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New skate ramp to become art exhibit at Cranbrook Art Museum

You've got until Nov. 12 to go make your mark on the new ramp at Modern Skate Park in Royal Oak before it becomes an art exhibit at Cranbrook. If you're not a skater, you can still come check out this 25-foot-long art installation. 


"Cranbrook Art Museum just completed the installation of a new half-pipe skate ramp at Modern State Park in Royal Oak. Skaters are encouraged to use the ramp over the next few weeks and leave their mark, then the surface will be peeled away and it will become part of the Museum’s new exhibition,  My Brain Is in My Inkstand: Drawing as Thinking and Process, which opens on  November 16.

The exhibition examines the work of 22 artists from around the world as they show how the act of drawing impacts both artistic and scientific thinking. This project is directed by Chemi Rosado-Seijo, an artist whose  History on Wheels  project is an ongoing exploration of the correlation between skateboarding and artistic practice."

Watch the video to see the ramp in action. And for more info, click here.

Michigan's cider mills make national hit list of fall travel getaways

Rochester's historic Yates Cider Mill has cropped up on a list of autumn trips to make around the nation.


"For a farm-style adventure that's full of flavor, make Michigan's cider mills part of your travel itinerary. There are more than 100 of them in the state, many of which offer free admission. Prices per tasting and bushel vary, but a family of four can typically enjoy an afternoon at one of the mills for less than 50 bucks. One popular example is Yates Cider Mill. A working water-powered cider producer since 1863, it is an authentic piece of American agricultural heritage that's bursting with home-spun fun."

More here.

Beaumont Hospital receives $5 million gift for natural birthing center

Expecting mothers who'd like to go the natural childbirthing route at Beaumont will have a new support system once they reach the hospital.


"Danialle and Peter Karmanos  Jr. are giving $5 million to Beaumont Health System  in suburban Detroit to expand natural birthing options for expectant  mothers...

The Karmanos Center for Natural Birth is expected to open in late 2014. It will combine the comfort of a home-like environment with the safety net of a hospital. The center will include birthing suites, a walking path for expectant mothers and a rooftop  garden."

More here.

Dickinson Wright is tops in U.S. News' "Best Law Firms" 2014 report

The legal eagles at Detroit-based Dickinson Wright PLLC have taken top national and regional awards in a litany of specialties, according to the 2014 rankings in U.S. News. The firm says it has garnered 92 first-tier rankings out of 70 practice areas overall. Within Michigan, it earned first-tier recognition in 67 practice areas.

See the rankings here.

Big Bang Detroit production company gets shout-out from NY Times

A Detroit and Clawson-based producer is getting national notice for its coverage of entrepreneurs around the country. Along with the cofounders of Priceline.com and Angie's List, Detroit's McClure's Pickles has been featured on this nationally-televised show.


"Gary Bredow has always been curious about how the businesses he patronizes started, whether it’s a local bakery, a pizza place or a hardware store. "I always wondered about how they got their inventory, how they leased the store or where they got the idea in the first place," Mr. Bredow said.

He gets his answers, and more, in "Start Up," a new television "docu-series" he created for PBS that, in its first season, tells the stories of entrepreneurs in eight cities across the United States. Mr. Bredow hosts the series, which was directed by Per Franchell, Mr. Bredow’s partner in a production company,  Big Bang Detroit."

More here.

GM makes headway in Consumer Reports' quality rankings

After decades of losing sales to Japanese automakers, now GM is increasingly making it worth buyers' while.


"Consumer Reports  pulled its recommendation for Toyota Motor Corp.’s Camry sedan and said post-bankruptcy  General Motors  Co. is among the automakers cracking Japanese brands’ dominance in fielding reliable  cars...

Consumer Reports last month awarded the new Chevrolet Silverado with the highest rating among all pickups after giving the Chevy Impala the best marks among all sedans in  July.

"Post-bankruptcy GM has just gotten its stuff together," said Fisher, a former development engineer at the Detroit-based automaker who worked mostly on theCadillac  and Saturn brands. "The vehicles that have been produced and designed” after bankruptcy have shown "marked change in terms of  performance."

More here.

Detroit talks transit, local food at Initiative for a Competitive Inner City

It was evident, after last week's Initiative for a Competitive Inner City conference in Cleveland last week that Detroit's wheels are turning on mass transit and urban ag, among other things.


"If Detroiters wish to know what benefits may come from the new M1 light rail line that will soon start construction on Woodward Avenue, they need look no further than Cleveland.

Cleveland’s HealthLine, a bus rapid transit system that connects downtown Cleveland with the hospitals and universities in the University Circle district four miles to the east, is celebrating its fifth anniversary. And in those five years, ridership has soared 60% from the first year and development along the route has boosted property values more than 300%...

A lot of the discussion at the two-day ICIC summit centered on local food economies and the promise they hold for new jobs in cities like Detroit...

Right now, Carmody said, most people get only about 3% of their food from local sources, and the rest comes from distant locales like Mexico or California. If that increased to 20%, he estimated it would create 5,000 jobs and $125 million in new household income for Detroiters."

More here.

Moving Our Metro event explores pace of transit to come

Save the Date: The public is invited to the Michigan Suburbs Alliance annual meeting and Transportation Mini-Conference on Monday, Nov. 18 at the Adoba Hotel Dearborn.


"Spend a day learning tactics and tools you can use to shape a greater Detroit though transportation funding and planning. We're bringing in experts on scenario planning, MAP-21, performance metrics and cargo-oriented development to help us work together toward a better transportation future for metro Detroit.  With several sessions to choose from, you can tailor your experience to meet your interests and needs."

Click here for more details.

How Utah turned an unpopular transit system into a hit

How does a regional transit system go from angry protests and scorn to citizen's taxing themselves $2.5 billion to complete construction faster in just 10 years? With all the rancor aimed at developing local transit options, maybe there's something to be learned from Salt Lake City's build it and they will love it approach.
"Oddly enough, one of UTA's most effective strategies for uniting people was targeting those who don't use public transit. The agency and its advocates pointed out that TRAX ridership saves 29,000 trips — or two full freeway lanes — in the Interstate-15 corridor every day. Road-reliant businesses like UPS ran ads explaining that FrontLines would help residents get their packages quicker by reducing traffic.
UTA also worked hard to create what Meyer calls an "inter-local agreement" among cities up and down the Salt Lake Valley corridor. Transit officials explained the basic infrastructure that would be put in place in every city and told local officials that they would have to pay for any extra amenities themselves. That early clarity prevented cities from withholding support unless they got a better deal than others."
Read the rest here.

Ford and U-M team up to open battery lab

Developing the next generation of hybrid and electric battery for autos is tricky business. Innovations don't always square with nusiness needs. Ford and U-M are hoping to close that gap by joining forces.


"The center, on the university's campus in Ann Arbor, will bring together battery makers, car companies and researchers who will test new batteries for prototype vehicles.

Ted Miller, who manages battery research at Ford, said the lab will be unique in the U.S. He said that labs currently testing new battery chemistries can't produce them in the amounts or formats needed for automotive research. And battery companies aren't always sure that what they're developing could be useful to the automotive industry."

Read the rest here.

Ann Arbor to Detroit commuter rail plans move forward

How does commuter rail service with stops in Ann Arbor, Westland, Dearborn and New Center in Detroit sound? Pretty good to us as well.  Semcog gave a presentation of what the new MiTrain line would look like for residents of Dearborn and Dearborn Heights.


"Officials are looking at providing five round trips a day when service begins in about three years. It will be run as a demonstration for the first two years. After the first two years, officials will evaluate the project and its feasibility.

They have leased 23 bi-level rail cars, rehabilitated them and have been showcasing them in various areas along the proposed line. "

Read the rest here.

Schramms Mead sweetens Ferndale's bar scene

The Metro Times (Ferndale's newest media resident) has a terrific profile of mead connoisseur  Ken Schramm and his newly open tasting room.
"Now, at 54, Schramm is finally getting into the production game. With laughing candor, he says, “I’ve had the books out for 10 years, and now I’m finally getting into the business when other people have had a five-year head start — and I’ve told them all my tricks! What kind of a businessman goes out and teaches everybody everything they need to know to be more successful than you are? Apparently that’s me.”"
Read the rest here.

Ford Motor Co. & U-M to open battery research & manufacturing lab

It seems the days of charging our cars to fuel them are drawing ever closer.


"Ford Motor Co. and the University of Michigan are opening a new battery research and manufacturing lab that they hope will speed the development of batteries for electric and hybrid cars...

The center, on the university's campus in Ann Arbor, will bring together battery makers, car companies and researchers who will test new batteries for prototype vehicles.

Ted Miller, who manages battery research at Ford, said the lab will be unique in the U.S. He said that labs currently testing new battery chemistries can't produce them in the amounts or formats needed for automotive research. And battery companies aren't always sure that what they're developing could be useful to the automotive industry."

More here.

Freep Film Festival to make its premiere

The new Freep Film Festival will showcase Detroit and its metros in spring 2014.


"Detroit may be ailing, but a new film festival there intends to give it a good dose of positive attention.  The Freep Film Festival,  presented by the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit Media Partnership, which manages the newspaper’s business operations, will screen around a dozen documentaries in four days, all of which focus on Detroit and its surrounding regions.

Themes range from the city’s industrial wastelands to Michigan’s abundance of new craft breweries to the city’s music history, from Motown to the birth of techno pop raves...

The festival also intends to get community leaders and urban planners involved, with a series of post-film discussions with filmmakers."

More here.

LiveWorkDetroit! career event to be held at Ford Field on Oct. 19

If you're looking to kick off a new career or a new reason to move to Detroit, come to Ford Field this Sat. Oct. 19.


"LiveWorkDetroit! is an MEDC initiative designed to connect Michigan’s college graduates to Detroit job opportunities and promote the city of Detroit as a preferred post-graduation talent destination...

Participating students will have the opportunity to network with a wide range of Detroit employers, seasoned professionals and peers already working in sectors of Detroit’s emerging economy. The event will include a keynote address by Moosejaw President and CEO Eoin Comerford, panel discussion with some of Detroit’s young leaders, and a tour of Ford Field. Participants will also learn about Detroit’s high-tech startups, medical researchers, fashion trendsetters, restaurants, museums, and affordable places to live."

For more details and to register, click here.
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