Your weekly reading list: 10 of the best stories about Detroit

There’s no shortage of stories this week about Detroit.

D-Grand BBQ manFinally, urban farming is legal in the city of Detroit. Loveland Technologies has a “modest proposal” that could revolutionize property tax collection. Some of the best and brightest are being attracted by the opportunity of the city. Dan Gilbert bought another building, taking his square footage total to 2,900,000. And, the Rust Belt Market proved yet again the internet can fund your ideas.

Oh, if that wasn’t enough, new Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s first official day is Monday.

So for your reading pleasure, here are 10 of the best links around the web about Metro Detroit. And our image to the right? That’s from outside of the D-Grand gallery downtown. Made me think of spring and, of course, barbeque.

Detroit’s downward spiral attracts nation’s brightest

The Daily Journal: Marcus Clarke left his job in San Mateo’s Community Development Department two years ago to take on the unique challenge of helping to revitalize the nation’s poorest big city — Detroit.  Clarke accepted a fellowship from Wayne State University, along with 28 others, that is now winding down but he will continue working in the city starting this summer for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.  He will extend a program he started to help local companies improve their procurement, tapping into supply chains.

“A modest proposal” for Detroit’s property tax collection woes

Michigan Radio: A Detroit-based technology firm says it has an elegant solution to the city’s property tax-collection woes. Loveland Technologies has been mapping the city’s tax-foreclosed properties online. And Loveland founder Jerry Paffendorf says they’ve come across some remarkable data along the way, like this: “The city of Detroit is nearly half a billion dollars behind on property tax collection, when you add in penalties and interest.” Paffendorf says part of the solution could be making paying property taxes online easier.

There’s no place like Detroit

Technology Report with Matt Roush: As Detroit’s Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr deals with staggering debt, the rising crime rate and blight, he will also find much as already been done to take advantage of our city’s unprecedented potential for growth, innovation, collaboration and sustainability. Our business and philanthropic communities have seen Detroit’s potential and are vested and invested in our city.

Can Detroit return to its former glory?

NPR: The newly appointed emergency financial manager of Detroit begins the Herculean task Monday of turning the once bustling capital of the car business back from the brink of bankruptcy. Though Detroit still has its cultural centers, architectural gems, funky restaurants and packed sporting events downtown, the city has suffered an urban blight that has slowly eaten away at its neighborhoods.

DiMarco steers new course for Cranbrook

Observer & Eccentric: For much of its long history, the Cranbrook Educational Community was a closed enclave that had little contact with the world outside its 300-plus acres in Bloomfield Hills. “Some neighbors had never even been here,” said Dominic DiMarco, Cranbrook president. That’s changed. These days, Cranbrook has opened its doors in a number of ways, from adding an inviting gull-wing entranceway on Woodward the implementation of a variety of outreach programs aimed at students across the state.

Dan Gilbert buys 1001 Woodward in downtown Detroit

MLive: Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert has bought a 16th high-rise in downtown Detroit: The 1001 Woodward building.  The 23-floor building, located at the corner of Woodward and Michigan Avenue, houses GalaxE Solutions, Meridian Health Plan, the University of Phoenix and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG).

Detroit City Council legalizes urban farming

WDET: While the state took over Detroit’s finances and Kwame Kilpatrick received guilty verdicts last week, Detroit City Council approved a zoning ordinance that legalizes urban farming in Detroit. WDET’s Laura Weber-Davis speaks with Kami Pothukuchi, Associate Professor of Urban Planning at Wayne State University, about the urban agriculture zoning ordinance and why it’s important to gardeners and farmers in Detroit.

Rust Belt Market gets $20,000 in crowdfunding to kickstart upgrades

Deadline Detroit: “We crossed the finish line,” Ferndale entrepreneur Chris Best says at Rust Belt Market’s Facebook page, celebrating a $20,000 fundraising campaign at that reached its goal five days early. Best opened the weekend mall for artisans and indie retailers two years ago with his wife Tiffany in a former Old Navy store at the high-traffic corner of Woodward and Nine Mile.

State looks to turn trickle of returning college grads into a flood

Bridge: A 2008 survey of more than 5,000 recent graduates from Michigan’s 15 public universities found that 49 percent left the state within a year of graduating. In an attempt to combat that brain drain, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. has recently unveiled a number of programs designed to retain and attract young talent. Among them are MichAGAIN, a program that reaches out to young former Michigan residents at events around the country, such as SXSW, an annual film, technology and music festival in Austin, Texas.

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer, MI native Chad Smith lobbies for music education

CBS Detroit: Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer and Lahser High School graduate Chad Smith says he’s a prime example of why music education is needed in public schools. The 51-year-old was part of a group lobbying Congress on the importance of music education in the classroom. Smith said he wouldn’t be where he is today if it weren’t for music classes.

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