Category Archives: Detroit Ghetto News

Foreclosure Crackdown In Detroit – 70,000 Homes At Risk

One of every five Detroit properties in Detroit are in the process of foreclosure under an unprecedented effort by Wayne County to take possession of every property that is three or more years behind in taxes.

Wayne County is beginning to notify an unprecedented 80,000 property owners – about 70,000 of them in Detroit – that they are on the verge of losing their property to foreclosure because of delinquent taxes.

By comparison, the county began the foreclosure process on 42,000 properties in 2013 and 56,000 properties this year.

The treasurer’s office is targeting every property owner who is at least three years behind on taxes as Detroit embarks on an aggressive plan to eliminate blight and recover lost revenue under Mayor Mike Duggan.

“We have decided to foreclose on everything,” Chief Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski told me. “In 2008 and 2009, finances were so tight that people had to decide between eating and paying taxes in Detroit.”

But, Szymanski said, “The economy has improved.”

ghetto house in detroit with broken down car

The treasurer’s office said it’s important to begin the foreclosure process because it often prompts people to pay their bills. It’s also important because homeowners are eligible for assistance under the Step Forward Program, but not until the legal process has begun.

“If someone can’t pay their taxes, they really shouldn’t own a home,” Szymanski said, adding that the county offers payment plans. “We have a culture that has grown to expect that taxes are optional.”

The county began sending out crews to knock on doors and erect foreclosure signs on the affected properties. The county also is notifying property owners by regular and registered mail.

Szymanski said the treasurer’s office is sensitive to the struggles of residents but said it’s critical that the county recover delinquent taxes to pay for vital services such as police and fire protection.

“We can’t provide services without taxes,” he said.

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robocop arrives at robocop day

Detroit Celebrates Robocop Day, Statue To Honor Our Beloved Robotic Police Officer

Today I went downtown Detroit for “Robocop Day”, an event I had only heard of a few days earlier. I had read about the event and the limited, vague itinerary on mlive.

Original Robocop Day Itinerary:

Noon – ROBOCOP and Detroit Police Department arrivals

    • 12:10 p.m. – ROBOCOP presentation and statue announcement
    • 12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m. – Fan photo opportunities with ROBOCOP
    • 1 p.m. – ROBOCOP and Detroit Police Department departure to protect the City of Detroit
  • 7 p.m. – ROBOCOP throws out the first pitch at Comerica Park

I met a buddy and his co-worker at 1301 3rd St in Detroit, the Detroit Public Safety Headquarters building, which is where the itinerary said the event was happening. Upon arrival at noon, we were told that the event had been moved to Campus Martius Square. Hmm, last minute, but alright.

By the time we drove there, found a parking spot and got to the park around 12:15, there was still no Robocop. In fact, we didn’t see any signs of anything related to Robocop. We walked into one of the buildings, and my friend asks the security guard behind the counter at the information desk, “Where’s Robocop”? He looked puzzled, and after a few moments began stuttering, “Um, uh, I uh, don’t know what you’re talking about”.

After wandering around in the square for a few moments, we stumbled on some people in black shirts that said “Robocop”, handing out cupcakes. “Robocop will be here soon”, one of the said. “Here’s some free cupcakes”.

small woman dressed in robocop costume at robocop day in detroit 2014

Fans waiting for the arrival of Robocop

At this point we didn’t really know what to expect. This event seemed so poorly planned, we wondered if the city of Detroit had planned it! However, it was really just a promotion for the DVD release of the latest Robocop movie. One can only assume the movie studios organized the event to generate some buzz in the media.

Robocop finally arrived at about 12:50. Damn traffic. He arrived in a Lincoln Navigator with blacked out windows. There was a crowd of a couple hundred people or so now. There wasn’t really much said by the event organizers, just that you could get your picture taken with Robocop and that they would be going to the Fillmore next. That wasn’t on the itinerary at all, but we couldn’t stay any longer at this point as we had only planned on being here from 12-1 as the itinerary had originally stated.

There is, however, an actual 10 foot bronze statue of Robocop that was supposed to part of this event. Who knows, maybe this was happening at the Fillmore. Supposedly, the location of the statue’s placement is still up in the air.The statue was privately funded though, as you may be wondering how the city of Detroit has money for this. I assure you, they don’t. And if it did belong to the city, they would have already scrapped him.

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map showing the racial segregation of detroit michigan

Detroit is the Most Segregated City in the US, According to the 2010 Census

I recently read an article on the most segregated cities in the United States, and guess what? Detroit was number one. Not too surprising. If you’ve ever driven across 8 Mile you’d know. Or, cross Alter or Mack road from Grosse Pointe into Detroit. There are several youtube videos that show the stark contrast of the Detroit/Grosse Point Border… multi-million dollar mansions on one side, crack houses on the other. Search wiki for “Alter Rd”… they refer to it as somewhat of a “Berlin Wall” separating communities. The point is, when you cross into Detroit, you know it. Segregation apparently has not changed much in the last several decades according to reports from the 2010 US Census.

The map measured segregation in major cities with a dissimilarity index, which identifies the percentage of one group that would have to move to a different neighborhood to eliminate segregation. A score above 60 on the dissimilarity index is considered extreme.

The 21 most segregated cities in the US are as follows:

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Here’s a picture of Detroit’s segregation map. I drew a general outline around the border of Detroit so the map makes more sense to you out-of-towners.

detroit segregation map

And here’s another map taken from google maps showing the actual borders of Detroit.

Detroit City Map

You can read the complete Census report on segregation here: http://www.s4.brown.edu/us2010/Data/Report/report2.pdf

I found it kind of funny that in the report, they actually referred to cities in the Northeast and Midwest as the “Ghetto Belt” because of their unusually high black-white segregation numbers. So there’s a new term for ya… now you can say you live in the Ghetto Belt!

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Kwame Sutra

5 Books About Detroit & Kwame Kilpatrick, Former Mayor

I was browsing Amazon for something totally unrelated tonight when I came across a book called “Kwame Sutra” in the “Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed” section. The name of the book caught my attention, so I clicked on it. Seems like it might be an interesting read, as well as a few other books published about Detroit and former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

I’m thinking about ordering numbers 1, 3, and possibly 5.

1. The Kwame Sutra: Musings on lust, life and leadership, from Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

This book was written by 2 guys who work for the Detroit Free Press newspaper, covering him since 2002. It includes quotations, public pronouncements, candid asides, unscripted outbursts and secret text messages made by Kwame, many of which have never been published or released.

2. Surrendered: The Rise, Fall & Revelation of Kwame Kilpatrick

This book received a lot of really bad reviews by those who bought it on Amazon. But what do you expect? It was written from Kwame’s point of view, and supposedly he tries to make himself out to be better than he really is. Pro-Kilpatrick propaganda as one person called it. And if you think the money will go to support Kwame, SUPPOSEDLY the judge residing over his legal case ordered that the proceeds of this book go to repay the city of Detroit. I don’t know if that went through officially though, because the lawyer for the publishing company never showed up for the court date!

3. Badge of Honor: Blowing the Whistle (The True Story of a Mayor’s Bodyguard)

Written by a former(?) Detroit police officer who became one of Mayor Kilpatrick’s bodyguards, later blowing the whistle on some of the crimes he committed while in office.

4. Kwame Kilpatrick: The Untold Story

This one is a DVD actually, but since it’s about Kwame I threw it in here for those who don’t want to read!

5. Detroit: An American Autopsy

Written by Detroit native and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charlie LeDuff, this book had excellent reviews on Amazon. It covers the downfall of Detroit and paints a very dismal but true to life picture of the city.

 

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