Monthly Archives: November 2009

Detroit Daily Press not off to a great start

This is such a curious story that I want to preserve bits of it as they appeared, to help better make sense of it.

The back story is that some veterans of the "strike newspaper" industry decided they could make a go of doing a new daily Detroit paper, with delivery.

They launched to the point of being able to print a week's worth of paper, then abruptly shut down.

The Detroit News:

"Due to circumstances beyond our control, lack of advertising, lateness of our press runs and lack of distribution and sales,
we find it necessary to temporarily suspend publication of the Detroit
Daily Press until after the (first) of the year," the statement read.
"Once we can fix these things, we plan to be back stronger and more
organized when we return. This is just a bump in the road and not the
end of the Detroit Daily Press."

Bill Shea from Crain's had a hard time finding a copy on Monday when it got started:

While 3,500 sounds like a lot, I’d hazard that one could easily find 100,000 retail spots, or more, pretty easily in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, so the paper might be harder to find that some might expect.
I looked at a few downtown Detroit places at lunchtime with no luck. I’ll check again later and pop up to Royal Oak so I can get a copy to dissect for you on here. Stay tuned.

TIME's Detroit bureau weighs in:

Surprising — yet not surprising — news out of the new Detroit Daily Press. The city's new paper says it needs to regroup. Editors and writers now have a five-week vacation to see what happens.
Many friends were working there, and they were the ones who took the buyouts or were laid off from The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. I'm sad to see an enterprise that could have been an exciting addition to the community fall so quickly.

Media critic Jay Rosen had only this cryptic comment on the situation:

Not a single thing do I get about this story. Either the reporter is incompetent or the actors are crazy.

And I suspect it will take a while to figure out what really happened.

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Ypsilanti, Michigan to adopt more stringent Open Meetings Act rules

YPSILANTI – A very straightforward yet revolutionary approach to open meetings in Ypsilanti says that every subcommittee of City Council must abide by the Michigan Open Meetings Act – including providing advance notice of meetings – just in case enough council members show up to form a quorum.

Ypsilanti Citizen story:

The OMA resolution, which was added to council’s agenda at 5 p.m. on
Oct. 20, was discussed in relation to the approval of the Ypsilanti
Downtown Development Authority bylaws – a separate agenda item at the
meeting.

Murdock said the resolution is simply about “having meetings where decisions are made open to the public.”

Although
he had previous discussions with City Manager Ed Koryzno during
Council’s goal-setting sessions in January, Murdock moved forward with
the resolution Oct. 20, when the DDA violated the Open Meetings Act
earlier in the month by having a quorum, or more than seven members of
the board, participate at a planning committee meeting.

the Advance Ypsilanti PAC notes that the resolution snuck in at the last possible minute

Sadly, the process by which this open meetings resolution
was enacted is exactly the opposite of an open process. This is not
just ironic, but suspect.

For instance, consider that this resolution was sent to the city
clerk and posted to the council packets at 4:16 p.m. the day of the
city council meeting, less than 3 hours before
council was to convene. AY PAC asks ‘why’? There was no emergency, no
timeline that needed to be met on this issue. There was no pressing
need that forced this to be addressed and resolved THAT NIGHT.

If anyone can inform AY PAC as to why this was so urgent that it
needed to be addressed in a timeline that included NO opportunity for
public comment and little reflection by council, we welcome the
information.

The back story is the Ypsi DDA meeting in October 2008 which was held in closed session, in evident violation of the Open Meetings Act.  From YpsiNews (Steve Pierce) at the time:

(October 7, 2008) During a meeting of the Ypsilanti Downtown Development, the DDA board violated not one, but two sections of the Open Meetings Act.

The Director of the Ypsilanti DDA, Brian Vosburg, called an
emergency closed session meeting to be held on Friday, October 3, 2008
at 12 noon. The purpose of the meeting was to meet with DDA attorney
Tammie Tischler.

The DDA Director said in the meeting notice the “Closed Session (is)
to consider material exempt from discussion or disclosure by state or
federal statute – (Open Meetings Act 15.268, Section 8(h))”

However, neither the DDA Director nor the DDA attorney would cite
which state or federal statute exempts the DDA from the Open Meetings
Act. Failing to publicly state the reason for a closed session is a
violation of the Open Meetings Act.

Great Ships of the Great Lakes at Lake Erie Metropark, Nov. 22, 2pm, Brownstown MI

Cut and paste of a press release, with a few hyperlinks tossed in.


Great Ships of the Great Lakes at Lake Erie Metropark

 

Join nationally recognized lecturer, model maker and marine historian Keith Steffke for a fascinating look at some of the great ships that have plied and died on the Great Lakes at our special presentation “Great Ships of the Great Lakes,” on Sunday, November 22 at 2 p.m., at the Marshlands Museum and Nature Center of Lake Erie Metropark, in Brownstown. 

 

Steffke will focus on the many ships that were made at the legendary Great Lakes Engineering Works – a River Rouge/Ecorse (Detroit River)  shipyard that operated from 1902 to 1961. The Edmund Fitzgerald is perhaps the best known vessel produced at this facility, but there were many others. Each ship has a story to tell and Mr. Steffke will relate some of the more fascinating tales. 

 

This November marks the 50th anniversary of the end of commercial shipbuilding in the Downriver area.  The launching of the freighter "Arthur B. Homer" on November 7, 1959 spelled the end of 135 years of shipbuilding tradition on the Detroit River. Her builder, the Great Lakes Engineering Works,  was founded in 1902 and finally ceased operations in 1961.   This legendary shipbuilder was noted for the great variety and number of bulk freighters, tugs, car ferries and luxurious passenger ships they constructed at their River Rouge/Ecorse shipyard over the course of a half century. Steffke will deliver an entertaining program filled with anecdotes about  this renowned builder of ships such as the ill-fated "Edmund Fitzgerald", among other famous vessels.  Using unique prints, photographs, artifacts, and other rare archival items, Steffke documents the rise and fall of the last Downriver shipbuilder.

 

Travel back to a time when the rattle of the riveting gun and the tremendous splash of a launching hull could be heard along the Detroit River!

 

Fee: $2 per person. Pre-registration required.  Please call 734-379-5020 for more information, or to register.

Edmund Fitzgerald – memorial at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Whitefish Point, MI

(write about the display in Paradise)

from the Sault Star:

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is getting to once
again ring the bell 29 times, during the 14th annual Edmund Fizgerald
Memorial Service.

The Edmund Fitzgerald, a 729-foot ore carrier, and her entire
crew of 29 men were lost on Lake Superior 34 years ago in one of the
worst storms in three decades.

The freighter lies north-northwest of Whitefish Point in 160 metres of water.

The service begins Tuesday at 7 p. m. at the Whitefish Point, Mich., museum.

Each year, in honour of the Fitgerald crew, the bell is
uncovered and rung 29 times during a 'Call to the Last Watch Ceremony.'
The 30th ring is for all mariners lost on the Great Lakes.

Music will be provided by Great Lakes balladeer Carl Behrend
and Michigan singer and songwriter Dan Hall. Guest speaker is William
Maki, watchman on the Arthur M. Anderson the night the Fitzgerald was
lost.

The shipwreck museum will be open from 10 am. to 3 p. m.

For more information, call 1- 800-635-1742.

The Sault Star Contact Details

Send all correspondence to:

The Sault Star
145 Old Garden River Rd
Sault Ste Marie, Canada  P6A 5M5