The weather’s right for showing off your Detroit tattoos — take ’em to a vintage night market, artist talk, sound bowl workshop or the new wine shop in Rivertown. In the meantime, catch up on the legal fight over ShotSpotter, see a nuanced analysis of a police shooting and feel validated for all your driving angst after checking out a lackluster roads report card.
And make sure to check out our feature on inspection failures and other issues at Detroit Housing Commission properties, from persistent sewage stench to rats and mold. It’s important. <3 Team Detour
Detroit in Five
Do as I say, not as I do: A court decision should come next week on whether or not a case involving gunshot detection technology ShotSpotter brought by residents against the City of Detroit can move forward. The residents and their lawyers argue City Council didn’t follow a law (passed by… City Council) that requires the body to give the public information about surveillance technology and time for comment before lawmakers vote on these contracts. A city lawyer countered that the council doesn’t have to follow the law because, in summary, it just doesn’t need to. (BridgeDetroit, Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan)
Revisiting a police shooting: Three experts unpacked the footage of Detroit police’s killing of Porter Burks in an analysis by Michigan Radio. Burks, 20, was undergoing a mental health crisis when officers responded and subsequently shot and killed him in October. The panel dissected the incident in a play-by-play of police response, communication by crisis intervention officers and the use of lethal force. (Michigan Radio)
➡️ Who to call: See more guidance on how to respond if you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, with options other than calling 911. (Michigan Radio)
Emergency “ends”: COVID-19 hasn’t gone anywhere, but as of today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) no longer views the virus as a public health emergency. By letting the emergency declaration expire, the Biden administration moves toward treating COVID like the flu. The virus will be tracked but less intensively than at the peak of the pandemic. Vaccines and treatment will be covered by health insurers, though they’ll be free to everyone for another year or so while federal supplies last. Some pandemic-era changes are sticking with us, including expanded access to telehealth services and more free vaccines. (CDC, NPR, FactCheck.org, Bridge Michigan)
➡️ Local care: Free at-home test kits will be available for at least another year through Michigan libraries, neighborhood testing sites and some pharmacies. Vaccines will still be available for free in some instances, including for kids and uninsured Michiganders. Abdul El-Sayed, director of Wayne County’s health department, said the county has funding for pandemic-related care through 2024. (State of Michigan, CDC, Axios Detroit)
Fail the damn roads: There’s good news about Michigan’s roads — overall road quality has improved modestly in recent years. The bad news? It went from a D- to just a D between 2018 and 2022 on a report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Another analysis also showed a slight upward trend in road quality, but still concluded that 45% of local roads and 33% of state roads were in poor condition. The ASCE report also lists the highways with the most traffic during rush hour. The worst in both the morning and afternoon is I-75; the vast majority of the top 20 are in metro Detroit. (Bridge Michigan, ASCE)
➡️ Save your tires: The ASCE report says that Michigan drivers spend an additional $1,093 a year through wear and tear from the roads. If you need an incentive to switch up your commute, it’s not too late to participate in the month-long Southeast Michigan Commuter Challenge. Choose a green commute (like biking, carpooling, public transit), log your miles and you’ll have a chance to win a $100 gift card. (Commuter Connect)
Clearing trees and trash: The City of Detroit is spending millions clearing alleys of brush and debris. Now a new program has been launched, with more than $8 million in funding, to also trim or remove dangerous trees from private lots at no cost to owners. (BridgeDetroit, City of Detroit)
➡️ Apply: If you represent a block club or neighborhood association, you can apply for an alley clean-up. If there is a dead, dangerous or diseased tree you would like trimmed or removed from your property, submit a request online or call 313-224-4444. (City of Detroit)
Fire Festival: Citing open fire pits, propane tanks, blocked exits and blowing embers, the Detroit Fire Department on Saturday shut down a Star Wars-themed party for what department spokesperson James Harris called a “nightmare in progress.” Co-director of the event Daniel Land said it was all “very minor stuff” they could have fixed if given a chance. The more than 500 attendees — some wearing “flammable costumes” — were forced to leave early when the Empire broke up the rebellion at 10 p.m. Land-o and the rest of his Rebel Alliance promised the force would return next year, but said not to expect any refunds. (Metro Times)
Culture & Community
🌭 🎙️ Where’s Charlie LeDuff? Smoking, arguing and podcasting out of the studio he built in the attic above American Coney Island…
🍷 Mikiah Westbrooks opens Brix wine shop in Rivertown, offering bottles for sale and in-store tastings…
🪧 Following the Hollywood writers strike? If you caught the supportive, viral, profanity-laden speech from Hollywood Teamsters chief Lindsay Dougherty, you’ll want to read about her Detroit union roots (and Jimmy Hoffa tattoo)…
(Instagram, Hour Detroit, Michigan Chronicle, Deadline, Los Angeles Magazine)
🧑🏽🎨 Tune in this afternoon to see work from Detroit’s own Francis Vallejo, 2022 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Resident Artist, who is hosting an art demo at the refuge’s Virtual Bird Festival. Free.
🥣 Have a calming evening and play singing bowls at Gabriel Richard Park tonight as part of the workshop Tone Matters. Free; bring a yoga mat.
💿 Head over to Third Man Records in Midtown on Saturday to listen in as local music scene fixture Greg Baise moderates a discussion with Matt Goody and Richard Langston on Flying Nun Records and the ’80s indie rock scene. Free.
🚲 Still need summer wheels? Head over to a garage sale at Back Alley Bikes on Saturday. Bikes start at $25.
🛍️ Ahead of Mother’s Day, Avalon Village hosts The Goddess Marketplace Mama’s Day BIZzar on Saturday with vendors, a DJ and crafting activities for kids. Free.
🎧 Spot Lite celebrates its two-year anniversary with a weekend of drink specials and dancing to the likes of Donavan Glover, BlaaqGold and Sheefy McFly. $5.
🎶 The Mosaic Youth Theatre performs a new take on “Alice in Wonderland” this Saturday and Sunday and next weekend, May 20-21, at the Detroit Institute of Arts. “Alice and the New Wonderful” is about a young Black girl’s quest to find her own wonderland. Tickets start at $10.
🚲 On Wednesday, join the International Ride of Silence, starting at TechTown, to honor cyclists who have been injured or killed while riding. Free.
🎬 More than 30 films will show at this year’s Arab Film Festival, held virtually and in-person at the Arab American National Museum, May 17-21. The fest kicks off Wednesday with the acclaimed Tunisian drama “Under the Fig Trees,” accompanied by dinner from El Harissa. Ticket prices vary.
Written by Aaron, Alex, Koby, Lynelle, Miriam, Noah, Sarah and Kate, who’s walking to the park bench to read “Sidewalking” after this.