Big Ten ballers

Love this promo for Big Ten b-ball. Scored with PE and the finale is Mateen floating one for J-Rich.

The situation in Detroit

An interview with Mayor Dave Bing, who is "determined to make the tough decisions that will help bring the city back." The significance of stabilizing the mayor position in the city can not be overstated.

Who says Gary can't demolish blight

The guy from the U.S. Department of Housing did and got grilled by Senator Evan Bayh, who then grabbed a sledgehammer and beat a flamed out shack on Georgia Street. The mechanical claw finished the job. Hopefully someone clears the rubble. There are thousands more to go.

Ford Motor Company presents...

Relax Robin

Wisconsin State Rep. Robin Vos, a Republican, is mad about the state Democratic Party's 'High Speed Fail' sticker. He reportedly thinks the red blasting across the train symbolizes blood and brains spewing from the Governor's head.

Phil Hands' political cartoon actually penetrates the skull. He also did one depicting the Governor-elect as a baby.

Then there's the creative caricature by Sue Pezanoski Browne over at Justseeds. The cartoon - GASP! - calls the Governor-elect a grinch.

Futuristic Chicago museum could open in 2015

The proposed Chicago branch of the National Museum of Health and Medicine aspires to "showcase the absolute cutting edge in museum science and provide a testbed for the development of new technologies for scientific visualization, interactive graphics and biomedical knowledge management," according to the online brochure.

The building's exterior facade, for example, will project digital exhibits and be powered in part by the energy of people moving through the building. The spokeman for the architectural firm leading the building renovation explains:
When the museum is lightly populated, the marquee will exude a quiet energy. At peak times it will visibly flicker and pulse from the physical presence of the building occupants.

Lake Superior responding to global climate shifts... clearly as anywhere on Earth, according to research and analysis led by scientists at Minnesota Sea Grant. Changes observed over time include diminishing ice cover, increasing wind speeds and surface water temps warming faster than air in the summer. Seems likely, the scientists say, that people around Lake Superior should expect the following changes in weather patterns:

  • More frequent and intense storms
  • Increased climate variability and extremes
  • Warmer annual temps
  • Drier summers, measured by reduction in soil moisture
  • Warmer nights
  • Warmer winters
  • Similar winter precipitation, but more falling as rain
  • Lower water levels in Lake Superior
  • Changes in the kind of critters living on land and in water
  • Longer growing seasons

Cleveland's call to action for quality design

Steven Litt compiled this roundup of Cleveland's 2010 art and architecture highlights. Humbly, he did not include mention of Designing A Better Cleveland, the thoughtful "mini-primer" he published in October to help raise the standards of civic design in the city. The guide, relevant to urban-making efforts far beyond Cleveland's borders, will no doubt be remembered as an important and timely tool in the campaign to make the city a better place to live.  An excerpt:
To the extent that Cleveland fails to make the most of public and private investments in buildings, highways, bridges, streets, parks and waterfronts it will waste opportunities, fail to compete effectively with its peers and damage its economy. Everyone, in other words, has a stake in good design.
Maybe in 2011 the designers of select aforementioned development "highlights" will read the booklet. (Looking at you casino team.)

Learning water in Braddock

It's not entirely clear from this video why folks in Braddock believe it's a good fit to make the basement of the Carnegie Library into a "pure water research center" for children. More obvious, for example, to transform an old treatment plant into the Global Enterprise for Water Technology. Still, this is another small sign that the people of the greater Great Lakes sense opportunity in water tech.

The Toronto Star's emerging artist contest...

... was won by Kelly Turgeon with this acrylic painting of city streetcars.

Detroit's historic Book Cadillac reviewed by NY Times

The Bottom Line of the CheckIn/CheckOut column:

Detroit is a tough town, and the lack of comforts is hard to miss; fancy grocery stores, sleek restaurants and other signs of well-traveled urban life are comparatively rare. The economy is still hurting. But recent tax breaks have made the city popular with Hollywood and television productions, and big touring bands come through downtown regularly. Full-scale rejuvenation is still a long way off, but in the meantime, the Book Cadillac, where rooms can start at $159 a night, offers friendly service and a pleasant environment, a respite in a city with few luxuries (and even fewer sophisticated hotels). All the TV, music and movie stars in town have to stay somewhere, right?

MI Gov Jennifer Granholm presented a ppt file.. the Clinton Global Initiative. I'm just saying. 14m in she says "shooting with pea bullets." 16m 20s ... hooked and heckled.

Trains or tunnels in Toronto

Marcus Gee asks if subway spending - vs laying light rail track - is the best bang for Toronto's transit buck. This info graphic illustrates the differences in cost and infrastructures between the two modes in a key corridor.

The modern governance platform

In Redesigning Ohio, David Osborne outlines his view of the difference between 20th century bureaucracy and 21st century government:

20th century bureaucracy
  • Statue and rule directed
  • Hierarchically driven
  • Control centralized
  • Primarily accountable for conformance to rules
  • Manage costs
  • Quality defined as adherence to standards
  • Exclusive service mandate
  • Focus on what's best for government

21st century government
  • Mission and results directed
  • Team and network driven
  • Decentralization
  • Primarily accountable for results for people
  • Manage value
  • Quality defined as meeting or exceeding customer expectations
  • Choice and competition
  • Focus on what's best for customers, citizens and taxpayers

The Deadbeat State

Sounds ugly for state budgets. 60 Minutes reports it's ugliest in Illinois. Mug shots of PA, NY and MI too.

Surf's up in the Great Lakes

Bryan McDonald offers a sense of winter surfing in Lake Michigan: 
When your paddling out your face gets real cold . . .and after about 90 minutes your feet start going numb ... You paddle out, wait for the right wave and try new moves. By the time you come out of the water you’ve got ice all over your upper body, your back, your hood, your chest. Just big chunks of ice, you can’t even unzip your suit. You just jump in your car and thaw out.

Back to the battery tech future

Jarret Skorup uncovers a doozie of a deja vu quote from a Detroit Free Press story published in 1967:
Companies are searching for a billion-dollar breakthrough in battery design. General Dynamics is working on a zinc-air cell battery. Ford is actively interested in a sodium-sulfur cell. Gulton Industries and General Motors are tinkering with lithium…All the activity is bound to pay off probably within the next five years.

Thank you Bob Feller

"Rapid Robert" played 18 seasons with the Cleveland Indians. Many memorable outings against my Tigers.

Here's the NY Times obit.

Malcolm Moran also composed this admirable vignette about the man after baseball.

Jesse Ventura's Conspiracy Theory features Great Lakes

The show begins in Michigan. But it's not until the 20-minute mark that alarmist Jesse Ventura starts to unravel "the plot to steal the Great Lakes." At 32 m 10 s the former governor of Minnesota "makes it to the place where Nestle is pumping all the Great Lakes water outta the ground."  

US Attorney: We hope the culture of the corruption is over

A federal grand jury dropped the hammer on former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his dad and a gang of cronies. Here's a segment of this afternoon's news conference. The depth of the investigation and the scope of the corruption is staggering.

More in the 38-count indictment (PDF)

Grand Rapids' new "happy place" opens in January

One of many investments Grand Rapids, MI continues to target in health care - one of the few sectors of the US economy that is growing.

(via WOOD TV)

Cleveland lighthouse encased in ice

Photojournalist George Payamgis shot this footage of the Harbor West Pier Lighthouse iced over by high frigid winds and the Lake Erie surf.

The lighthouse in warmer days

OH Gov-elect John Kasich vilifies the "train cult"

A snippet from the Nov 30 press conference introducing Ohio's new transportation department director...

The View of John Boehner

Good to have a Midwest guy presiding over the United States House of Representatives. Bad to have that guy getting abused on the View ... for crying. Walters has a point about double standard.

New look Big Ten

The new Big Ten alignment, division names and logo. The latter two elements were both widely derided as lame.

Here's the formal announcement.

Detroit bike shop circa 1912

The Metzger bicycle shop. Interestingly, the shop's (likely) namesake also was a pioneer of the auto industry, establishing one of the first car showrooms, helping to organize the Detroit Auto Show. Also the launch of Cadillac Motor Car.

(via ShorpyJason Kottke)

Where is the Rust Belt

Over at the City-Data Forum there's a bit of a debate about Rust Belt geography. Here's the proposed map (Canada apparently does not qualify) that prompted the conversation:

Metrodome collapse

Scary footage of the roof on the Hubert H. Humphrey Dome collapsing (for the fifth time) under the weight of heavy snow Sunday morning. The dramatic fail inevitably now ratchets up debate about the need for a new stadium in the Twin Cities.

Chicago Mayor Daley on Education

Prior to accepting the Global Metro Award at a recent Brookings' summit, Mayor Daley spoke about the importance of establishing a city-wide "learning environment."

Detroit- or Flint-style coney?

Jason Hale, who grew up near Flint, MI, comments on a Detroit News story  about coney dogs, a Michigan innovation and a great source of local pride.
It's a detroit paper. So they'll get all the coverage and the glory. But everyone knows Flint coneys are the best. I hate when they're described as "beanless chili." Total bullshit. Coney meat is ground up viennas and ground up beef heart.

A taste of the Wisconsin rail debate

A reporter for The Capital Times writes this meeting was "a train wreck."

(via the Badger Herald)

The largest water rate hike in greater Cleveland's history ...

... was approved to launch the $3 billion Project Clean Lake initiative (and comply with federal water law). News 5 owned the story:

July 14, 2010 

Aug 9, 2010

Nov 9, 2010

Nov 18, 2010

Dec. 2, 2010

Toronto is the latest to reject rail

Toronto Star columnist Christopher Hume interviews Councillor Shelly Carroll about newly elected Mayor Rob Ford's abandonment of the Transit City initiative, a move Hume writes is the beginning of The War on the City.

Cradle to career

The executive director of Strive speaks at TedxCincy on the potential for more effective use of data to improve student achievement.

(via Ed Morrison at Brewed Fresh Daily)

Salvaged Landscape in Detroit

Architect Catie Newell provides a tour of a space she made exclusively of burnt lumber salvaged from a flamed out house in Corktown, Detroit.

(via Imagination Station)

Rust Belt in the red

Illinois: $15 billion deficit (FY 2012; plus another $8B in IOUs and epic pension obligations)
Indiana: $1.3 billion (FY2012)
Michigan: $1.5 billion (2011-12)
Minnesota: $6.2 billion (2012-13)
New York $9 billion (2011-12)
Ohio: $8 billion (2012-13)
Pennsylvania: As much as $5 billion (FY 2012)
Wisconsin: $3.3 billion (2011-13)

A brief history of Northerly Island

Blair Kamin recaps three major turning points that led to today's presentation of a plan to transform Chicago's former Meigs Field airstrip into a spectacular public park. 
In 1996, after [Chicago Mayor] Daley announced he would close Meigs and turn it into a park, then-Gov. Jim Edgar pushed the General Assembly to authorize a state takeover of the airport, leading to a deal that kept Meigs open through 2002. Then, in 2003, as the Iraq war began, Daley bulldozed the airport on the flimsy pretext that terrorists might crash small planes into downtown skyscrapers.
More at the Northerly Island Planning page on Facebook. 

Steel to wind works?

Over at Scientific American, David Biello files this vignette from Braddock, PA as part of the Beyond the Light Switch series.

Keith Schneider investigates and reports a similar story - Midwest Emerges as Clean Energy Center - in yesterday's NY Times.

Cleveland's riverback casino

A preliminary concept for the proposed Cleveland Casino. Quick critique from this armchair architect: clearly aspires to activate the street front, potentially missing big opportunities on the river front. Also a bit short for a prime piece of downtown real estate. Steven Litt encourages the public to engage.