Good morning! In the newsroom this week, we’re scrutinizing a litany of dysfunctions over at Detroit’s Section 8 program that jeopardizes what should be one of the most reliable options for affordable housing, as well as chatting with weather experts about what to expect from El Niño this year.
Outside the office, we’re looking forward to a festive Juneteenth with celebratory events all weekend, plus art, music, an opportunity to build a butterfly garden and more. Keep reading for the rest, from a ban on cashless businesses to a new (non-Apple) computer store.
And if you’re looking for something more explosive, here’s the vid of the incinerator demo. (Though is it really an implosion if the smokestack just fell over?) <3 Team Detour
Detroit in Five
Pride and shame: Some political leaders in Michigan are rooting out discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. Others would rather not be reminded that this community exists. Two weeks into Pride Month and two days after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer created a commission to advise the state on LGBTQ+ policy, the Hamtramck City Council voted unanimously to ban the display of Pride flags on city property (along with political, racial, ethnic and religious flags). During three hours of public comment with extensive opposition, some residents blasted the resolution as discriminatory, while one councilmember said they wanted to “respect the religious rights of our citizens.” (Pride Source, City of Hamtramck, Detroit Free Press, Metro Times)
Cash ban banned: On Tuesday, Detroit City Council voted unanimously to ban cashless food stores and retail businesses in the city. This means that restaurants (including food trucks, carts and stands) and retail stores have to accept cash as payment or risk a misdemeanor that comes with a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and/or $500 in fines. Plum Market will have to make a switch, while parking systems like the Aretha’s and online transactions aren’t affected. “This ordinance is one step in helping the unbanked be full members of the local economy,” said Councilmember Angela Whitfield Calloway, who pointed to the large number of residents who don’t have bank accounts — nearly one in four Detroiters, according to a 2019 University of Michigan survey. Some voiced criticism of the ban for creating more red tape rather than helping residents get bank access — or, as Charity Dean, president and CEO of the Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance, told BridgeDetroit: “(Whitfield Calloway) went to Plum Market and couldn’t buy a sandwich, and because of that all of these businesses will have to suffer.” After discussion, councilmembers amended the ordinance to include a 90-day grace period, which means it will take effect on Sept. 11. (Sherrie Smith/Detroit Documenters, Axios Detroit, The Aretha on Facebook, University of Michigan, BridgeDetroit, City of Detroit)
New housing help: Housing experts hope that the reform of a shelter intake system and the creation of a new city office will create more stability for those at risk of homelessness. Housing providers are saying a change in management at the Coordinated Assessment Model (CAM) — a centralized office and hotline for unhoused residents to get shelter and assistance — will improve service through more in-person assistance and better staff training. After launching its own hotline last month to streamline access to housing resources, Detroit announced the Housing Services Office to provide case management to residents without a stable home and act as a one-stop shop for those with housing needs. With more than 80 staffers, the new office is intended to streamline the process of getting assistance from the city, help residents fill out paperwork and even pay for some moving costs. (Freep, Michigan Radio)
➡️ Who to call: Call the CAM hotline at 313-305-0311 if you are experiencing homelessness or need immediate shelter. Call the Detroit Housing Resource HelpLine at 866-313-2520 for various resources, including help with evictions, property tax assistance, rental applications and more. The Housing Services Office is available through the HelpLine to assist Detroiters at risk of displacement.
Hot enough for ya? Earth’s largest year-to-year weather cycle is already kicking into gear in the Pacific. Especially if it turns out to be a strong El Niño, Detroit could get a warm, dry winter in the bargain. But if the unusually hot, dry weather of the last few weeks continues into July and August, don’t blame the kid — El Niño has little effect on Midwest summers. (Outlier Media)
Culture & Community
📷 Photographer Bre’Ann White’s “Dance of a Black Man” series honors personal heroes after taking snaps of celebs like Halle Berry and Big Sean…
🥕 Organic halal food on offer at Supreme Café in Bagley neighborhood…
🎞️ Arthouse theater Cinema Detroit closes, but co-founder and CEO Paula Guthat still planning pop-ups, searching for new site…
🍩 Our doughnut dreams aren’t dead — Dutch Girl Donuts plans to reopen “very soon”…
🚫 Rewind to the ’60s, when the Detroit Police Department’s obscenity detail monitored movies and censored the raciest scenes before they were shown in theaters…
🛒 Brightmoor Connection Food Pantry offers free grocery shopping, lifeline…
💻 Human I-T tech shop opens Friday in northwest Detroit, offering low-cost computers and internet, digital skills training…
🗿 Artist Barry Lehr’s giant yellow “Ascension” sculpture is restored, returned to Palmer Park after nearly 20 years in storage…
(BridgeDetroit, WDET, Metro Times, Freep, Eater Detroit, CBS Detroit, Model D)
Juneteenth Freedom Weekend gets started Friday with events across the city:
🍻 Beats & BBQ Block Party at Batch Brewing Co. kicks off Friday evening.
🏃🏾♂️ Freedom Day 5K for health, wealth and literacy starts Saturday morning at Marygrove. $20 per family.
🛍️ Also on Saturday, don’t miss the Jubilee Stroll on the Livernois Avenue of Fashion.
Even more free Juneteenth festivities:
⚒️ Join Small Ville Learning Farms on the eastside for a spring clean-up on Saturday.
🥬 Fill your larder at the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund’s Juneteenth Black Farmers Market on Saturday.
📸 On Monday, Black Bottom Archives will debut “Black Bottom Street View 2.0,” an outdoor exhibit on the Dequindre Cut near the Lafayette Street entrance featuring photos of the once-thriving neighborhood.
🎶 Also Monday on the greenway, enjoy live music and an Afro-Cuban dance workshop at Juneteenth on the Cut, hosted by D.Cipher and featuring a host of musicians.
🏸 Don’t miss the Juneteenth Parade on Monday at Nandi’s Knowledge Cafe in Highland Park, with comedy, fashion, games, prizes, a cook-off and more.
👗 Wear your finest threads and get ready to watch in awe as the state’s leading designers send their pieces down the runway for Michigan Fashion Week at Eastern Market, tonight and Friday. Tickets start at $45.
🕺 Party with purpose this Friday at Takoi’s first Passion Fruit party of the season. A portion of the proceeds will go toward a tree preservation project in Brazil. Free.
🪴 Soak in the sun and peruse an array of ceramics, photography and paintings at the Nine Design + Homes Festival of the Arts in Old Redford on Saturday. Put on by the Guild of Artists and Artisans and Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas of HGTV’s “Bargain Block,” the event will also have art activities, food trucks and live mural painting. Free.
👽 Groove to the beat on Saturday at Future Fest, an Afrofuturist art and music festival featuring Urban Arts Orchestra that will take over Black Bottom Park in Milwaukee Junction. Free.
🖼️ “Sonya Clark: We Are Each Other” opens at Cranbrook Art Museum on Saturday. It focuses on her participatory and community projects, with at least one that should be familiar: Detroit’s COVID-19 “Healing Memorial.” On view through Sept. 24. Included with museum admission, up to $10.
🎧 It’s bigger than hip-hop, and sneaker designer Rick Williams will remind us just how big it is. To commemorate the genre’s 50th anniversary, Williams will debut an art installation at Spot Lite this Saturday inspired by the music that raised him. Free.
🚲 Grab your wheels for the annual Roll Along the River bike ride on Saturday through Southwest Detroit and Downriver. Free, donations accepted.
🦋 On Saturday, volunteer at LaNita’s Pocket Park on the westside to help plant and install a new rain garden that will create a home for butterflies and other pollinators. Free.
🎻 You might expect to see a cello or violin at Orchestra Hall, but what about DJs? On Wednesday, superNATURAL will feature electronic and acoustic music acts in the DSO Sosnick Courtyard, along with special guest dreamcastmoe. Free.
Written by Aaron, Alex, Koby, Lynelle, Malak, Miriam, Sarah and Kate, who hasn’t bought into the wild wine country hype.
Say it three times fast: Van Wyngarden working with White Pine Renewables on watery wind farm in west Michigan.
Correction: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect date for Future Fest. It takes place Saturday, June 17.