wow! i just stumbled across this blog, while sitting where else but at the reference desk on the third floor of the Frances Willson Thompson Library at the University of Michigan-Flint! I have worked here since 2000, and in that time i have seen definite signs that Flint is coming back strong. The University campus where i work is a major part of this, as we are adding new buildings including the Flint campus' first ever residence hall. The former "Character Inn" hotel is slated to become student housing as well. One by one, the once-empty storefronts are starting to become occupied with new businesses such as Pages Bookstore, Blackstones bar and grill (in the same building where a clothing store by the same name once was), and Soyla's Mexican restaurant. There is a new Family Dollar store, and other businesses in the works. So, although it may not be quite back to the way it once was, the City of Flint is showing signs of new life and vitality, and i am confident that this trend will continue as the University campus grows and other business sees that there are indeed good opportunities here.
I'm not aware that Dan Kildee has a flack over at the Land Bank, hustling their story to the national media...so who got ahold of who for this air time? Is Dan making calls on his own to push a Flint agenda, pretty much way out in front of the other local "leaders"? Or does Fox have an enterprising associate producer that picked up the idea from the NYT's clone of Ron Fonger's FJ story, and Dan said yes to the interview because he thought it would get us some idea-leadership "street cred"?
I think it would be great if Kildee were pushing this story. But Fox is such a bottom feeder, it wouldn't surprise me if they are simply following a recent AP story, which was following the NY Times story, which was following the Flint Journal stories.However the story gets out there, doesn't it seem like this shrinking plan has been cemented as city policy, at least in the national media? This is a brilliant way to get around Flint's historically slow-moving decision making process.
This isn't a new idea. Flint did this to the house I grew up in on Dayton St. way back in 1976 when the woman who bought it from my parents quit paying taxes on the property. They gave me a chance to redeem it before sending in the bulldozers but she had destroyed it so badly while living there, there wasn't much sense saving it.
I saw in the video that it looked as though the windows in the upstairs were still attached to the house. Did they try to get into the house to salvage as much as they could, i.e. doors, trim, appliances and what not. I am guessing that maybe it was too structurally unsound to walk in? If not, that's just plain silly. Think about how cool it would be for someone remodeling their house to say, hey this part came from a torn down house in Flint. Plus the city would make a bit of many selling the stuff, not a lot, but some.
Thanks for commenting. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.