Graffiti Vs. Art: Detroit Grapples With the Question

Mural in Detroit

On abandoned buildings and bridge abutments, sidewalks and signs, Detroit is covered with graffiti--and Detroit mayor Mike Duggan doesn't like it.In a campaign to clean up the streets, Duggan dispatched inspectors along the city's major arteries to ticket vandals with spray cans, charging them with malicious destruction of property.  The Detroit Police Graffiti Task Force identifies graffiti artists and imposes fines and penalties ranging from a fine to a lengthy jail term.But in a city … [Read more...]

You Want Water? Well, Get a Bucket….

Water Bucket

Water has been big news in Detroit this week.That's because the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has issued shut-off notices to thousands of delinquent customers, who have an average past-due bill exceeding $500.  And in a city facing bankruptcy, more than 90,000 of the 323,900 residents are delinquent in paying their bills.  According to an AP report, the amount of past-due payments exceeds $90 million.But did public sentiment turn against the procrastinators, those who were so d … [Read more...]

Catholic Priest Brings the Spirit of Christmas to Life in Detroit

Santa Claus / Fr. Joseph Marquis

I’m from a family of Christmas-lovers.   My Dad always took us kids downtown to watch the annual Thanksgiving Parade.  Bundled and mittened, my sisters and I shivered anyway in the cold, perched on ladders to peer over the crowd of merry-makers.  And the highlight, of course, was always Santa—his merry ho-ho-ho! thrilling children lining Woodward Avenue along the route which ended with Santa’s climbing to his throne in front of J.L. Hudson’s.Years later, when my own children were small, w … [Read more...]


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