Saturday, October 29, 2005

Parks to be first woman, second private civilian to lie in honor in Capital rotunda

Although it was initially expected that the body of civil rights-pioneer Rosa Parks would lie in repose in the rotunda of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., the passing of a resolution by Congress yesterday will see that Parks' body is lain in honor in the Capital rotunda - a privilege that is normally reserved for high-ranking government officials and military leaders, and one that showcases the powerful impact Parks had on this country.

Allowing a private citizen to lie in honor at the Capital rotunda is such a rare occurrence, in fact, that it has only happened once before; Pierre L'Enfant, the architect responsible for designing Washington D.C., is the only non-government citizen to have ever been bestowed this unique honor. Until now.

Parks' body will lie in honor at the Capital rotunda from October 30 - October 31, allowing Americans the ability to pay their respects to the courageous and humble woman that changed America by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1957.

* * *

On Monday afternoon, the civil rights pioneer will be remembered at a memorial service at AME Church in Washington D.C.

Following church services in the nation's capital, Parks' body will be flown back to Detroit to lie in state at the Ford Freedom Rotunda inside Midtown's Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

On Wednesday morning, Parks will be moved by horse-drawn carriage to Detroit's Greater Grace Temple for funeral services, which begin at 11 am.

According to this story in yesterday's edition of the Detroit News, Parks' casket will be open at the Wright Museum, as well as at Greater Grace.

Rosa Parks will be buried alongside her husband at Detroit's Woodlawn cemetery, located at 19975 Woodward Avenue.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Book-Cadillac Renovation

Maybe miracles do happen.

Both the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press reported today that a deal to renovate the Book-Cadillac Hotel in downtown Detroit is nearing finalization.

According to the
News' article, San-Fransisco real estate company Chevron TCI, Inc. plans to put up almost $60 million in financing for the renovation project, whose total price tag is $163 million.

Cleveland-based developer Ferchill Group hopes to turn the once-luxurious lodging space into a 400-room Westin hotel with 57 luxury condos.

An October 13 newclip of Detroit Public Radio noted that the developer expects to begin construction on the 85-year-old vacant hotel early next year.

Aside from securing the finacing, the plan must be reapproved by the Detroit City Council before any renovation work can begin.

Local filmmaker Frank Nemeczek completed a documentary on the Book-Cadillac Hotel earlier this year, and just recently submitted his piece to the Sundance Film Festival. To find out more about the film and the hotel, please click here.

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Super Bowl Host Committee, Detroit Windsor Tunnel Spread the Love of Reading

As part of its Super Reading Program, the Super Bowl Host Committee has partnered up with the Detroit Windsor Tunnel to collect books for area children.

From Monday, October 24, through Friday, October 28, travelers heading to Windsor from Detroit can drop off new and gently-used children's books in bins that will be placed near tunnel lanes 1, 2 and 5.

Bins will be available at lanes one and two from 5 am - 8 pm, and at lane five from 3 pm - 7 pm during the entire work week.

Collected books will be distributed Detroit non-profit organizations Communities in Schools, First-Book Detroit, Focus: HOPE and Detroit Kiwanis Club No. 1.

Super Readers, an initiative to encourage reading among Detroit youth, is sponsored by Charter One Bank. Partners include Comcast Foundation, the Detroit Lions, Detroit Public Schools, Detroit Public Library and Applekids Educational Services.

Charter One is collecting new and gently-used books at all of its metro Detroit locations during the month of October.

Volunteers will also be collecting books at the Lions/Bears Game at Ford Field on October 30.

Please click here for more information on Super Readers.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Find out what all the hype's about

Hardly a day goes by that I don't hear about something new happening in Detroit.

Whether it's a new housing development, a cool art show or a fresh DJ that's emerged on the scene, Detroit is where it's at - and if you haven't spent any time downtown lately, you're missing out.

The good news is, you're not too late to get in on the action.

And, tonight may be just the right time for you to test out the waters of the D to see what all the hype is about.

That's because tonight is the fifth installment of the ever-popular
Illuminate, a four-hour evening event designed to show you some of the perks associated with having a Detroit residence, as well as to introduce you to some of the city's best local businesses.

Housing and merchants aren't the only things you'll discover at Illuminate, though; the Friday-evening shindig will also feature works from area artists; food and drinks courtesy of local restaurants; and, music by some of Detroit's most well-known DJs.

Illuminate, which is sponsored by a host of organizations, including
Metrotimes, Detroit Synergy, Atlas Global Bistro and Detroit Urban Living, runs from 6 - 10 pm.

It will be held at
The Carlton Loft-Condominiums, a recent Brush Park-redevelopment with 51 units ranging from 700-1800 square feet.

So, if your schedule is open tonight, and you're up for trying something new, give Illuminate5 a try.

Just make sure to register - 700 people came to the last event, and this one is likely to top that.

The kitchen of a model unit in The Carlton

A $5 donation, which will go to the non-profit group,
Friends of the Book-Cadillac Hotel, will get you into Illuminate5.

For more information, please visit Illuminate on the web, or call 313.831.8000.

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Monday, October 17, 2005

United Way for Southeastern Michigan and Lofts of Merchants Row Team Up for Thursday Night Fundraiser

Lofts of Merchants Row

If you're looking for a nice evening out this week but don't want to spend a bundle, head over to Detroit's Lofts of Merchants Row on Thursday night.

As part of the local Hurricane Katrina relief effort by the United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM), the Lofts of Merchants Row is hosting a UWSEM community fundraiser from 6 to 9 pm to ensure that the long-term needs for Detroit-based Hurricane Katrina evacuees are met.

The fundraising event, which runs from 6 to 9 pm, is a great way to meet and mingle with area citizens and business people, as well as show your support for the newest members of the Detroit community - the Katrina-evacuees that were forced out of their Gulf Coast hometowns and into the Motor City.

For just $25 a couple, function-goers will enjoy free food and drinks, a live DJ and a fashion show by Mark England DeMode.

Attendees will also have the chance to partake in a silent auction, chock-full of fabulous prizes from area businesses like Marshall Field's, Avis Rent-A-Car, the Detroit Beer Company and more. Items range from a free weekend car rental to a membership at the new Boll Family Downtown YMCA.

Sports fans will have a ball trying to win one of the three autographed Red Wings pucks, and those with a penchant for the finer things in life will appreciate the artwork and theatre tickets up for grabs.

Keep in mind, though, that everyone attending this event is a winner - whether they go home with gift basket or not.


The Lofts of Merchants Row is located at 1247 Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit.

The United Way for Southeastern Michigan has been operating in various forms in the Detroit area since 1912. Its 2004 Annual Torch Drive raised $64.5 million for Metro Detroiters in need, and this year's Torch Drive - which runs through November 22 - aims to top last year's fund-raising goal by $2 million.

UWSEM was at the forefront of local Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, and has provided assistance with housing, food, transportation and utility relief for the 2,000-plus Katrina-evacuees now residing in Metro Detroit's tri-counties.

For more information on Thursday's event, or to find out how to donate time or money to UWSEM's local Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, please visit or call 313.226.9200.

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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Detroit area ranks fifth in logistics-friendly study of MSAs

The Detroit area is the fifth-most logistics-friendly metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the nation, according to a recent study by Logistics Today and Expansion Management magazines.

Logistics, the operational activity associated with the prompt delivery of raw materials and finished products, continues to play an integral role in the success of businesses everywhere - especially as the global marketplace expands.

The research project, called Site Selector, examined and scored each of the country's 362 MSAs in 10 logistics-related categories, ranging from road conditions and congestion, to cargo, railroad and water port access.

Road infrastructure, vehicle taxes and fees, and the transportation and distribution industry (T&D) and T&D work force were also looked at.

The New York MSA came in at number one, followed by Houston, Chicago and Cleveland. The Detroit MSA - defined as Detroit-Warren-Livonia - took fifth, up one spot from last year.

To see how Detroit scored on each of the 10 categories in the study, or to view study-data for any of the 362 MSAs, please click here.

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Monday, October 10, 2005

A Sweet Motor City Gift

Hey, Motor City Men!

Still racking your brain trying to find the perfect Sweetest Day gift for that special Detroit lady in your life?

If so, don’t start worrying just yet – you still have until Saturday to pick up that one-of-a-kind present that'll really show your significant other how important she is to you.

Sure, flowers and candy (and diamonds, if you really want to know) are always appreciated, but if you’re looking for something different – something that will evoke a “Wow, honey! Where did you find that?” type of response, consider checking out the distinctive lip balms from
Motor City Makeup, LLC.

Available in eight auto-inspired flavors – raspberry is “Joy Ride”, caramel is “Eat Dust” – the Vitamin-E-enriched balms come in black tins resembling car wheels, an added touch that turns a plain purse-necessity into a turbo-charged accessory.

Other available flavors include “Spin Out” (mango), “High Beam” (vanilla), “Shot Gun” (bubble gum), “Rag Top” (pineapple) and “Road Rage” (mint).

The 2-ounce lip balms, which retail for $10 each, do exactly what their founders intended: offer glitz, glam and groove to the rockin’ women of Detroit.

Started by two Metro Detroiters with the skills and passion to create their own high-quality cosmetic line, Motor City Makeup is the brainchild of Natalie, a registered nurse, and Cindy, a licensed esthetician and make-up artist.

Motor City Makeup is available exclusively at MCM’s easy-to-use website, You'll also find gift sets and gear there, too. And, later this year, you'll find the company's new line of lip gloss.

For further information on Motor City Makeup, please visit the company's

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Detroit hosts World Forum for Motor Museums

On October 9, automotive museum curators from around the globe will meet in Detroit for the 2005 World Forum of Motor Museums.

Hosted by Detroit's MotorCities National Heritage Area, this year's installation of the biennial conference - which runs through October 14 - will feature key-note speakers, panels and opportunities to visit and tour a number of auto-related venues in the Motor City. The Ford Piquette and Highland Park plants, and the
Henry Ford and Ford Rouge Factory Tour are just a few of the local spots that conference attendees will visit.

This year's forum, entitled, Motor Museums Today: Preserving the Past and Adapting to a Changing World, is the ninth of its kind, and is designed to bring curators and enthusiasts throughout the industry together to discuss the many facets associated with automobile preservation in today's ever-changing environment.

Additional events scheduled for the 5-day conference include attending the 2005 Automotive Hall of Fame Reception on October 11, and the first-ever Detroit Auto Pioneers Dinner on October 13, where they will have the opportunity to meet and commingle with direct descendants of several of Detroit's automotive legends, including Ranson E. Olds, Hugh Chalmers, Harley Earl, Walter P. Chrysler and more.

This year's forum will be headquartered out of the Detroit Marriott in the Renaissance Center. The last forum, held in Paris, France, was in 2003. Other previous host sites include Adelaide, Australia; Stuttgart and Sinsheim, Germany; Blackhawk, California; Gaydon and Beaulieu, England; and, Auburn, Indiana.

The MotorCities National Heritage Area seeks to preserve and heighten awareness of the automobile's impact within Southeast and Central Michigan and is associated with the
National Park Service.

Designated by Congress as the 18th National Heritage Area in the United States in 1998, MotorCities develops programs within three areas - revitalization and economic development; education; and, tourism and interpretation - to ensure its mission is successfully carried out.

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