Detroit’s ‘skyscraper curse,’ Black student files lawsuit against school, and more news you may have missed

Nov 24, 2021 at 1:00 am
click to enlarge Dan Gilbert's Hudson's site project pictured earlier this year. - Steve Neavling
Steve Neavling
Dan Gilbert's Hudson's site project pictured earlier this year.

It brings us no joy to report that the so-called “skyscraper curse” appears to be alive and well in Detroit. First put forth in 1999 by British economist Andrew Lawrence, the skyscraper curse theory states that the construction of new, tallest buildings can be seen as a sort of canary in the coal mine of an overheated economy — and could be a harbinger of an upcoming recession. The Free Press reports that progress on Dan Gilbert’s tax-subsidized tower at the site of the former J.L. Hudson Co. is slow, and Bedrock appears to have quietly scaled back the scope of the project, which may no longer be the tallest building in Michigan. Meanwhile, another Gilbert project, the Monroe blocks, appears to be indefinitely stalled. Gilbert’s in good company: The Fisher Building was initially planned to be one of three towers, one of which was supposed to be even taller, while the Book Tower was also intended to have a taller sister project. Both projects were foiled by the Great Depression.

The Independent Redistricting Commission likely violated the state’s Open Meetings Act by gathering behind closed doors to discuss voting rights and the history of discrimination in Michigan in October, Attorney General Dana Nessel said Monday. The commission, which has come under fire for proposing new maps that would eradicate all 17 majority-Black legislative districts, gathered in private on Oct. 27 to discuss the issue. The commission is tasked with redrawing the boundaries for state Senate and House districts, as well as Congress.

A Black student at Bloomfield Hills High School filed a federal class-action lawsuit last week, accusing the administration of all but ignoring racial discrimination. The $150 million suit filed in U.S. District Court by an unidentified 15-year-old comes a week after students walked out of school following a series of racist incidents, including “Kill all [n-word]!!] and “All the [N-word] should be dead!!” scrawled on walls at the school. According to the lawsuit, threats against Black students are common on social media, and little is done to address it. The lawsuit is requesting that a judge order a “prompt, thorough, and complete investigation to determine the source of any and all racist threats and pronouncements,” as well as sensitivity training for students, teachers, staff, and administrators.

Tens of millions of dollars worth of marijuana was recalled from more than 400 dispensaries in Michigan because the lab that tested the cannabis produced inaccurate or unreliable results, according to the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA). It’s the largest recall in state history and involves thousands of pounds of flower and edibles tested by Viridis Laboratories and Viridis North, which were launched by three former cops. John Fraser, the Michigan team leader of Dykema’s cannabis law practice, says some dispensaries may be forced to close because a large portion of their inventory was tested by Viridis. For one dispensary he talked to, 80% of its inventory was recalled. “It’s been a nightmare,” Fraser tells Metro Times. “This could cause some of these businesses to fail. This could be nothing short of catastrophic.”

Like the bullshit cowboy he has claimed to be since 1998, Kid Rock beats many a dead horse in his latest "song" and companion video in which the aging bigot recycles tired imagery, Fox News verbiage, and sports a pair of eagle's wings whilst straddling a phallic middle finger "Kid Rock-it" on a trip to Mars. The single, "Don't Tell Me How To Live," taps Canadian rock band Monster Truck (and their 2015 track of the same name) and, if we're being honest, looks and sounds like a joke song, like something we might see on a Saturday Night Live digital short featuring Pete Davidson. While Kid Rock, 50, is selective on when he chooses to take himself seriously (which directly correlates with his level of public intoxication), the single has everything we have come to expect from a Kid Rock song which, at this point, is almost sad. "A nation of pussies is our next generation/ and these minions and their agendas/ every opinion has a millennial offended," he rants. "But this Amendment one it rings true/ And if you don't dissent, bitch, then see number two," he threatens, while holding a shotgun against an American flag.

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