Real challenges 

Mayor Dennis Archer’s request to City Council last week for an additional year to acquire riverfront property for permanent casinos makes one wonder whether Mr. Boss Man will actually pull this project off. It can’t bolster Archer’s confidence that the little grassroots group, Riverfront East Alliance (REAL), which has been fighting casinos on the riverfront from the get-go, turned in more than enough signatures last month to place the issue on next year’s election ballot. REAL, needing only 4,983 signatures, submitted 7,150 to Detroit City Clerk Jackie Currie. Currie determined that "the number of valid signatures submitted exceeds the number required by the City Charter," according to a Nov. 28 letter she sent Detroit City Council members. But she also assured the Council — per the city Law Department’s advice — that "no action is required" by them since Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Michael Sapala ruled against REAL earlier this year on the issue. Sapala reasoned that a ballot initiative can’t be used to rezone the riverfront. But this did not stop the stalwart folks belonging to REAL from going to the Court of Appeals. Nor will it stop REAL from holding a 2 p.m. meeting Dec. 10 at Christ Church, 960 E. Jefferson, regarding the lawsuit the City of Detroit filed against the group for interfering with the casino project.

No doubt all this makes poor Denny sweat through his well-tailored pinstriped suits. Take comfort, Mayor Archer, you are not alone. Compuware king Peter Karmanos is falling on hard times and postponed the construction of his Campus Martius office building a year. If the Compuware deal falls through, News Hits suggests that you move the casinos to Campus Martius. Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or cguyette@metrotimes.com

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