Friday, February 22, 2013
Two stories highlight the bigger problems of food deserts in Detroit, a problem that's being documented through a new data mapping project in collaboration with WDET and our partner station WNYC.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Detroit's financial future may soon be out of the city's hands. Yesterday a review team appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder issued its final report, and explained what many in the city already knew: that Detroit faces enormous financial problems. Charlie LeDuff, author of "Detroit: An American Autopsy," explains what the future looks like for the city.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn talks about her message for the middle class in her State of the City address and her proposals for making city living more affordable for them. Plus: author and Detroit native Charlie LeDuff on his hometown; the Oscar documentary nominee series continues with “How to Survive a Plague”; the February series on fashion; and a Valentine’s Day edition of advice roulette, where listeners give and get love advice.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
We continue now with our on-the-ground look at the state of something other than the union President Obama will talk about tonight in his State of the Union Speech. Austin Jenkins, is a statehouse reporter for the Northwest News Network and KUOW in Seattle. Craig Fahle is the host of the The Craig Fahle Show at WDET in Detroit. And Peter O'Dowd is the news director for Fronteras and KJZZ in Phoenix.
Monday, January 14, 2013
(Mitchell Hartman, Marketplace) The North American International Auto Show has kicked off in Detroit this week. Last year clearly showed the big-three U.S. automakers were back -- after GM and Chrysler got bailouts, and Chrysler also got new investment and leadership from Fiat. Auto sales were the highest since the recession began.
Facing ambitious new federal mileage standards (fleets have to average 54.5 mpg by 2025), and higher gas prices, automakers are touting ‘fuel efficiency’ at the auto show.
And no longer is it just for mid-market compacts. Even pickups, and sports cars like the new Chevy Corvette, brag on their gas mileage.
The new Corvette -- with styling like the Stingray of the 1970s, after which it is named -- came out from under the fancy tarps yesterday at the show. GM says it’ll get much better mileage than the previous version, which did 16 mpg in the city.
Many of the premier GM, Chrysler and Ford brands are now considered as reliable and well-engineered as European and Japanese performance cars -- and they tend to be cheaper.
Hybrid gas-electric car sales were up nearly 70 percent in the U.S. last year.
But automakers are also pushing higher fuel efficiency in conventional gasoline engines. They’re using lighter metals like aluminum, magnesium, and ultra-strong plastics. Also, there are ever-smarter computers in car engines that get more ‘oomph’ on a four-cylinder engine. Diesel vehicles, which can get better mileage and have become much more clean-running, are also gaining traction in the U.S. market.
One thing that’s changed from decades past, says auto analyst Paul Eisenstein atTheDetroitBureau.com: The domestic car market has become truly international.
“Does Detroit still matter as the dominant player in the U.S. auto industry?” asks Eisenstein. “No. There’s competition from all over the world that’ll continue to grow.”
But Eisenstein says there’s a flip side -- GM has to compete with Hyundai or BMW here. And those companies have to take the U.S. automakers seriously abroad.
“Chevy had record sales last year -- significant enough,” Eisenstein says. “But 60 percent of their volume took place overseas. And a good portion of that took place in all the emerging markets, like China, Brazil and Russia.”
Automakers could have record profits this year, and luxury cars are expected to fly off showroom floors. This year at the auto show new luxury models are on display from Cadillac, Lincoln, Lexus, Infiniti, BMW, Bentley, Audi, Acura, and Maserati.
Germany’s BMW is predicting record sales again this year. Ford is predicting luxury sales will be up 7.5 percent this year -- almost double what the company anticipates for its mass-market models.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Record collector and music historian Amir Abdullah talks about researching -- and reissuing -- the music of Detroit's Strata Records.
Monday, December 03, 2012
Detroit-area native Mark Binelli talks about Detroit—it’s long downward spiral and its new role as a laboratory for the future of cities. In Detroit City Is the Place to Be, he goes beyond the usual portrait of crime, poverty, and ruin to show how Detroit is being re-invented as a post-industrial city becoming smaller, less segregated, greener, economically diverse, and better functioning.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The World Series kicks off tonight, and Detroit is hoping their Tigers will do them proud. But do they have what it takes to beat the San Francisco Giants? Quinn Klinefelter, a Detroiter and reporter, from WDET weighs in.
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
The next big thing for cars out of Detroit is a huge transportation safety and infrastructure project that has buy-in from eight auto-makers and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The project is called Safety Pilot Model Deployment. Cars communicate with each other, the roads, and the traffic signals to improve safety and prevent accidents.
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
This past week, Detroit and much of America held its breath, waiting to find out if the newest lead on Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance would reveal the truth. Thirty-seven years later, why does Jimmy Hoffa still capture the American imagination? Quinn Klinefelter has a few theories.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Reed Kroloff is no stranger to cities that are in need of a rebirth. As dean of architecture at Tulane University, he was responsible for bringing back 97 percent of the school's student body after Hurricane Katrina. This week, Kroloff is a part of the second annual Detroit Design Festival. He explains why he thinks that the Motor City could be the next design mecca.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter at WGBH, Boston Public Radio, tells the story of how Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, may have gained financially from the American auto bailout he has long opposed.
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Remember the Venn diagram? You know, two circles that overlap a little bit where they meet… well, if we made a Venn diagram consisting of indie rock in one circle, and indie classical in the other, My Brightest Diamond would find themselves right smack dab in the middle of ...
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
It may be called the Motor City, but a third of Detroiters don't have a car. They depend on the bus and it ain't easy. In the past few years, riders have suffered three-hour waits, dangerous conditions culminating in a driver strike, and watched service cut by a third. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing even suggested privatizing the bus system as a possible way to make ends meet in the municipal budget. These are gloomy times for the city's transit users.
But on Tuesday, Detroit's battered bus system took a leap forward -- not to mention a leap over some other larger bus systems. Riders can now text their location to "50464" and receive the next arrival time of the nearest bus -- not scheduled arrival but actual projections based on the location of the bus at that moment. It's designed for people who ride the bus every day: school kids, teenagers, folks who don't own a car. This isn't a fancy smart phone app -- anyone with text messaging service can use this. New York City has experimented with a similar plan but hasn't rolled it out citywide yet.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing issued a statement calling the new #TextMyBus service "an essential resource for all of our citizens as we continue our efforts to improve DDOT service and provide reliable bus transportation.”
To pull this off, Detroit's Department of Transportation partnered with the Federal Transit Administration, the Detroit Public School system, the White House Strong Cities initiative, and the Knight Foundation. It also managed to wrangle three "fellows" from Code for America, which calls itself "a Peace Corps for geeks."
CfA is a nonprofit organization that sends web designers, computer engineers, and software coders to beleaguered cities around the country. These fellows then work with city agencies on digital improvements for the collective good.
In Detroit's case, #TextMyBus is CfA's first project. The group's fellows are also working on other projects, including a way to streamline the process to buy city-owned property.
For those of you not in Detroit, the online brochure -- partially excerpted above -- does a good job explaining how the app works.
Monday, July 30, 2012
Do you live in the greatest music city in America? Detroiters seem to think so. In their honor, we've made Motor City the next stop on our cross-country musical road trip. Our tour guide is none other than Grammy winner, Detroit native, and founding member of the Supremes Mary Wilson.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Thirty years ago this month, against the backdrop of a suffering American auto industry, and a growing Japanese one, a young Chinese American man named Vincent Chin was beaten to death by two white auto workers. Neither was found guilty of murder or served any jail time. The case galvanized the Asian American civil rights movement and introduced many Americans to the notion of hate crimes before U.S. hate crime laws existed.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
In the rest of America, vinyl may be a dying breed, but it’s alive and kicking in Detroit. Archer Records, one of the few companies left in the world that continues to press records, thrives on a symbiotic relationship with techno DJs.
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Street Fighting Man is a documentary about three generations of men living on the east side of Detroit. It shows what happens to communities who have been left with no option but to fend for themselves and their families. Celeste Headlee had the opportunity to screen the film last week in Detroit and shares her reaction.
Saturday, May 05, 2012
How long would you be prepared to wait for a bus? Ten minutes – maybe twenty. Try three hours. Here in Motor City, for the many thousands of people here who don’t have a car, and that’s about a third, getting from A to B is proving almost impossible.
Some riders say the poor service has cost them their jobs, others are having to drop classes because they can't get where they need to go. Yet, Mayor Dave Bing says he’ll do "whatever it takes" to fix the problem. So far, no dice.
WDET reporter Quinn Kleinfelter talks to The Takeway about getting around the Motor City when you don't own a motor yourself.