Saturday, October 18, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Saturday, September 27, 2014
I'm clearly the target audience for Belt Magazine, the online ode to all things Rust Belt run out of Cleveland. It's only been around one year, but it has managed to corner the market on intensely reported, heartfelt, and sometimes funny coverage of post-industrial America. It's personal and raises larger issues about the forces shaping the entire country, not just the Midwest. And I'd say that even if I didn't write for it.Here's how founder and Editor Anne Trubek describes it:
When Belt Magazine launched one year ago, we did so for one basic reason: We felt that Cleveland and other cities in the Rust Belt were being defined by outside media that didn’t know us. We wanted to tell our own story ourselves.
So we assembled writers, engaged citizens, academic experts, history buffs, and all sorts of people who live and work here to write about who we are. Some of our stories are long-form investigative journalism, some are essays about the arts and historic preservation, and many are thoughtful commentaries about economic issues. Quite frankly, we are proud of how we have progressed in the past year, engaging people who are interested in issues that matter. Visitors to our site continue to increase, and the number of people who support us by becoming members keeps growing. People join Belt to be part of a community and to acknowledge our commitment to pay writers, to edit carefully, and to have an independent voice.Dispatches from the Rust Belt: The Best of Belt Year One is an anthology of Belt's first year. It features the work of Jacqueline Marino, Laura Putre, Jake Austen, Edward McClelland and many more writers. Including me. (Okay, that was awkward.)
Pre-order Dispatches from the Rust Belt here.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Saturday, August 23, 2014
The fundraising campaign to demolish 6608 Parkbelt Drive in Flint in now complete. More than 150 donors gave everything from $1 to $1,000 to help us reach our goal. In the end, we raised $11,113. It's a reminder that even people who haven't lived in Flint for years still want to do their part to help all the current residents who are doing such inspiring work in the city. Flint has a storied past, but I think this shows that it also has a future.
“The land bank is very grateful to all the generous donors who have contributed and made this campaign a success,” said Douglas Weiland, executive director of the Genesee County Land Bank. “You can rest assured that the results in this one neighborhood will not only be significant in eliminating this blighted house and the detrimental effect it has had, but it is also a great reflection on our society that people still come to the aid of others that they don’t even know. The neighborhood residents will benefit from your generosity for years to come.”
Here is the tentative schedule for the demolition of the house provided by the land bank:
September: Complete all demolition inspections, surveys, and request utility cuts.
November/December: Pending utility cuts, complete demolition, backfill lot, and complete winter grade inspection
May: Complete final grade, seed, and mulch lot. Conduct final inspection.
June: Make lot available for sale as a side lot to eligible adjacent homeowner.
Thanks again to everyone who contributed to the campaign. They are listed below using their Indiegogo username.
Beth and John Kirkpatrick
Carlo & Cindy
The Coyne Family
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
I'm not above taking a certain perverse pride in growing up in a tough, unpredictable city. But MLive's Blake Thorne explains why the t-shirts, stickers, and hats that glorify the violence that plagues Flint are far from funny:
The real subject of this apparel was Flint's violent reputation. I'm sure you've seen it before. It's been around, there are several iterations. Some shirts say "Murderville" or "most violent city," some simply have the word "Flint" alongside a drawing of a handgun or a bullet hole.
Bang bang. You're dead. People get killed here. Funny, huh?
Sure, they're meant to be jokes, a tongue-in-cheek riff on Flint's violent reputation. Maybe at first they seemed funny, or clever. That one where the "L" in Flint is a sideways gun. That's kind of cute, right?
But somewhere along the line, these shirts -- or hats or stickers or whatever -- have lost their cultural cachet. There was a time, maybe, when making a joke about murder was the only comfort in an endless winter of senseless violence. Some people might still feel this way.
Read the rest here.