Local news roundup: Cars, guitars, and a few weirdos (kind of)

AJ’s Music Cafe got the Guinness entry for “longest continuous concert by multiple artists,” the Assembly Line Concert that ran over 280 hours in March 2009 for the benefit of awareness of the American Big 3 auto firms’ plight. So naturally he wants to do it again: Ferndale café plans 2010 music marathon to top own Guinness record (Detroit Free Press, August 20, 2009). It’s still unclear, to me at least, whether anything was accomplished besides a very long open mic, but hey.

One thing that GM and Chrysler are doing is appealing local property tax assessments, in an attempt to get them radically reduced. This helps the companies, of course. But it could be a mega-disaster for cities like Warren. According to the article in the current Warren Weekly, Chrysler wants a reduction of 45% while GM is expecting an 80% cut. These combined would cost the city of Warren over $7 million, and that doesn’t count what school districts or the county would lose. Layoffs loom in shadow of tax disputes (Warren Weekly, August 19, 2009)

Meanwhile, Detroit is now afflicted with a new plague: Journalists and photographers crawling all over all the decayed buildings and blocks of vacant lots. SOMETHING, SOMETHING, SOMETHING, DETROIT: Lazy Journalists Love Pictures of Abandoned Stuff (viceland.com, August 2009) alleges that people are flying in to help document the already well-documented decay of the city. Y’know, it was almost news when the CBC and New York Times came here, but really not; the city has been declining since the late 1950s. What’s happening these last couple of years is really not much worse, yet it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, I guess. As a result of the article, I learned a new term: “ruin porn.” If you knew how many people photographed places like the Michigan Central Station and the Packard Assembly Plant, you’d understand immediately.


About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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3 Responses to Local news roundup: Cars, guitars, and a few weirdos (kind of)

  1. hellmutt says:

    Cool on the long concert, I say. Even though I’m indifferent to the ’cause’, well, why not? ‘S a bit of fun. Would you join in?

    If all those journalists at least stay long enough to buy a sandwich or something, it might help…

    • songdogmi says:

      I’m kind of bah-humbug over the event. I don’t really know what it was supposed to accomplish, and it was totally disruptive from a week before the event all the way through (so, something like three weeks). Plus the guy who ran the sound most of the time was someone I don’t really want anything to do with. …yes, I have a bad attitude. You’ll find a lot of other people who did like it and take part in some way.

      I like your idea … make them buy something. Sandwich, dinner, maybe a car…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hasn’t happened to me.

    ….but I’m probably just not as popular. 🙂

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