Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: on courting rink controversy, DeKeyser and Kronwall’s charity game

Regardless of your opinion regarding the Red Wings' new rink and the funding surrounding it, there are at least facts available about the public and private portions of its construction costs, the rink proposal itself and who's in charge. If anything, the various websites on both sides of the political aisle are pissing me off (and again, I'm a moderate independent) because I keep on reading so much vitriol spewed that assumes the rink's being built in a vacuum and/or in an area that is only supported by the citizens of the City of Detroit.

Hell, more often than not, reading some of the rants of late makes me wonder whether the authors understand that the city does not in fact float like an island in space, absent any connections to the vast metropolitan area which surrounds it (save "South Detroit," a.k.a. Windsor, Ontario, of course).

For those of you who aren't familiar with the area, depending on where you draw the borders of Metro Detroit, it spans somewhere between 3,800 and 5,800 square miles, and includes somewhere between 4.2 and 5.2 million of the 9.8 million residents.

This area includes over 1,000,000 people in Wayne County who do not live in the City of Detroit (which has about 760,000 residents), Macomb County's 840,000 residents and the 1.2 million people who live in the richest county in the State of Michigan, Oakland County (see: the other side of the vast majority of 8 Mile Road).

In those three counties alone, there are more than enough large, medium and small companies, manufacturers and independent businesses to employ at least 20,000 people who can save their pennies to purchase individual-game or partial or full-season ticket packages to attend Wings games, and there are more than a few companies that happily enter into sponsorship agreements with the Red Wings.

The fact that so many Metro Detroiters work in Downtown Detroit is not exactly a new phenomenon, but the number thereof has increased by leaps and bounds over the past 20 years. Downtown Detroit's home to General Motors' world headquarters, Rock Financial/Quicken Loans' main workplace, Compuware's headquarters, DTE Energy's headquarters, Ilitch Holdings, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Wayne State University, the Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Hospital, and even accounting firm Ernst & Young, and several important Big 3 companies' manufacturing plants and parts suppliers (like American Axle) are located within the City limits.

The players don't live in the City of Detroit, either--they tend to live in prosperous suburbs like Birmingham, Troy, Novi and Northville.

So yes, while the City of Detroit is in Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy, and while yes, the people in the City of Detroit are struggling thanks to 40 years of financial mismanagement from their elected officials, a shitty, shitty level of basic city services and a lack of , Detroit is not a burnt-out crater of a city, and is surrounded by nothing less than a Metropolitan Area which has weathered Chrysler and GM's bankruptcies and is on the rebound.

It's the citizens of the Metro Area and the rest of the State of Michigan as a whole who are on the hook for the credit backing the $450 million in bond sales being used to float the rink-and-econonomic-development project and provide 44% of the funding for said rink, too, and those bond sales will be repaid by property taxes on the aforementioned downtown businesses as diverted by the Downtown Development Authority and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, and as reported by many sources, that $12.8 million in property taxes cannot be used for anything other than downtown development as deemed necessary by the DDA and DEGC, which are not City governmental agencies.

I was hoping that when Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea, who's something of the "guru" regarding the scuttlebutt surrounding the Wings' follow-on rink, stated that he was going to appear on Toronto's TSN 1050, he would be allowed to at least explain the situation and let listeners decide for themselves, but instead, he spent most of his four-and-a-half-minute interview with Leafs Lunch listening to the hosts express their dismay and disdain for any public funding going toward a private entity's business endeavor:

I'm starting to believe that, as we go forward, the opinions regarding the rink and economic development are going to resemble debates regarding questionable hits and plays which result in NHL suspensions:

It certainly seems like nobody gives a flying *#$%@& about the facts surrounding the development, and instead, they want to further their political points of view and their own economic philosophies, and no matter how many times anyone attempts to state, "Okay, here are the details, here's how it's going down, here's who's in charge, and oh yeah by the way, the City of Detroit and its residents do not exist on some magical floating island that has no connections to the surrounding area," people have already made their judgments, and no amount of reasoned analysis or deposition of facts and figures will change their opinions, nor do anything less than continue to serve as fuel for their blustery fires.

As I've stated previously, there's obviously no way to truly defend the use of any public funds in a bankrupt city (again, Chapter 9, "We're gonna try to pay our creditors back as best we can" as opposed to Chapter 11's, "Liquidate our assets, everything must go!") being used on anything other than its residents' basic needs, but there are tangible benefits involved, the DDA and DEGC actually have a history of getting things done on time and on or under budget...

And there is the fact that the business world does not involve fairness nor anything less than encouraging businesses to invest in the cities around them, even if doing so is largely motivated by desires to improve investing businesses' bottom lines.

I don't know whether the "job creation" stats have any sort of basis in reality given that those figures are the one part of almost any project that involve blatantly lying about which jobs have been "created" versus which jobs simply transfer to new locations, which jobs are permanently created and/or which jobs are temporary.

I do believe that any investment in the city at this point is good news, and I do know that the Cass Corridor still separates Downtown from Midtown with an area that most suburbanites don't want to spend any time in unless absolutely necessary. As such, the rink and surrounding development do help serve as something of a bridge-maker that should attract more people downtown and at least make a "scary" part of the city safer and more economically viable.

It should also be noted that another significant part of the underpinnings of the project's infrastructure moved forward on Tuesday, as Shea noted both on Twitter...

And in an article on Crain's Detroit Business's website:

Because engineering is still underway, a maximum contract price hasn't been determined. M1 believes construction of the grade-level streetcar loop itself between Hart Plaza and New Center will cost $135 million to $145 million, which could drive the total project cost closer to $187 million from a previously estimated $137 million.

Of that, the state is funding a Woodward resurfacing and some overpass work concurrently with the streetcar line construction, M1 COO Paul Childs previously told Crain's. The MDOT work, at a cost of $35 million to $45 million, will be between Sibley and Chandler streets. That amount is part of the project's total, which could end up higher or lower than $187 million.

...

Work is expected to begin this fall between Larned and Adams streets and M1's goal is to be operating by the fourth quarter of 2015.

M1's plan is a mostly curbside-running, fixed-rail streetcar circulator system, co-mingled with traffic, with 11 stops between Grand Boulevard and Congress Street. It will run in the median at its north and south ends.

...

M1 Rail is led by Penske Corp. founder Roger Penske and Quicken Loans Inc. founder Dan Gilbert, the project's co-chairman; Peter Karmanos Jr., founder of Detroit-based Compuware Corp.; and the Ilitch family, owners of the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings and Little Caesar Enterprises Inc.

Major construction commitments of $3 million have been secured from Wayne State University, Quicken Loans, the Ilitch companies, Penske Corp., Compuware, Chevrolet, Chrysler Group, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System, Wayne County government, the Ford Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Hudson Webber Foundation has pledged $1 million.

The $3 million commitments are for the display advertising rights to a station along the route. The Troy-based Kresge Foundation has pledged $35.1 million, part of which already has been spent, and it gave an additional $3 million as a "backstop" grant.

The Detroit Downtown Development Authority has earmarked $9 million for M1. Another $16 million is from federal New Market Tax Credits, which have to be sought annually. Plans also include a $22 million commercial loan.

It's going to be interesting to see whether Shea's allowed to actually speak when he conducts another interview on Friday:


As for this blog's thrust going forward, I'm going to continue to share my opinions, but I'm always going to repeat the facts and figures surrounding the development to ground my observations upon those facts...

And I'm also going to assume that there's no way in hell that I'll ever change your opinion about the subjec.t

 

 

 

In terms of more directly Red Wings-related news, the Free Press's Helene St. James continues her series of articles discussing Red Wings players who will contribute to the team's attempt to adapt to the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division by placing the spotlight on the surprising Danny DeKeyser, who was by far the team's best free agent signing of the past...Well, two or three years:

Looking back: The Wings and a dozen other NHL teams wooed DeKeyser for a year leading up to the end of his career at Western Michigan in March. Within a week he signed with the Wings, who — still reeling from last summer’s departures of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart — offered him both a chance to play at home and a chance at serious minutes on a defense. After spending a few days learning the Wings’ system, DeKeyser was inserted into the lineup, where he stayed until he suffered a broken right thumb two games into the series against Anaheim. He returned to play in the minors, helping the Griffins to the Calder Cup.

Looking ahead: DeKeyser, 23, wasn’t drafted and now looks like sure-fire top-four material. He’s a lanky 6-feet-3, and like all young newcomers needs to gain muscle and a little bulk. The reason he was so coveted is his skating, as he’s the sort of mobile, puck-moving D-man all teams need to jump start their offense.

DeKeyser and Jakub Kindl = the Wings' "second pair" as far as I'm concerned.

DeKeyser made a favorable impression in just the one month he played, leapfrogging a couple of veterans to join the lineup. Come next season, he’ll be that much better from having gone through training camp. He’s a viable candidate to push his way into the top-four mix and can play both sides of special teams. He’s young and has lots to learn, but he figures to join the list of the Wings’ core players.

Yep.

 

 


In a surprising development, Yahoo Sports' Sam McCaig may believe that Jimmy Howard is the NHL's 17th-best starting goalie, but Greg Wyshynski believes that Howard's in the top ten:

9. Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings: The best indication that Howard’s the real deal is that he forced the Red Wings to actually invest real dollars in the goaltending spot under GM Ken Holland. That his numbers didn’t fall off post-Lidstrom was a major test passed for Howard, who frankly made the blueline corps in front of him better than it looked on paper. His playoff numbers could be better, but he’s as dependable as they come. Plus we're fond of any goalie with the "-y" nickname, much like Timmy Thomas and the various Cor(e)ys. Memo to Mason: Go with "Stevie."

While we're talking about "bests," the Sporting News offers a list of the NHL's best jerseys sans a ranking, and it has this to say about the winged wheel:

Detroit Red Wings: No sense in parsing minimal changes to Detroit's kit. Credit for not messing with near-perfection.

Near-perfection? Two colors. One color best ever color. Winged wheel. No fluffernutter. We am de best, like pie-scented cleaner!

 

 

 

In news from across the pond, part 1:

In news from across the pond, part 2: Niklas Kronwall's holding his annual charity hockey game to raise funds for his childhood hockey team, Jarfalla HC, on August 9th (admission is free), and he shared a list of participants with Marie Hallman...

Right now, these guys are playing: Niklas Kronwall, Detroit, Jonathan Ericsson, Detroit, Gustav Nyquist, Detroit, Jonas "Monster" Gustavsson, Detroit, Mikael Samuelsson, Detroit, Joakim Andersson, Detroit, Johnny Oduya, Chicago, Marcus Krüger, Chicago Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado, Jacob Josefsson, New Jersey, Niklas Grossman, Philadephia, Henrik Tallinder, Buffalo, Patric Hornqvist, Nashville, Mattias Norstrom, formerly of LA Kings, Daniel Rudslätt, former sometimes AIK [player.]

And she spoke with Kronwall about a couple of topics--and what follows is roughly-translated Swedish:

"The admission is free to the game, rather than an entry fee. If you want to, then you can pay any amount for the ticket. The idea is still to raise money for Jarfalla HC as it's Niklas Kronwall's parent club. And the whole thing started, as I said, a few years ago on a smaller scale:

"I always thought it was really fun when we had a reunion game with the old Jarfalla guys who played in higher leagues but weren't active anymore. But basically it's about trying to raise as much money as possible for Jarfalla, and we found that we might be able to get more money if we had more NHL players who are active and play. So we're very grateful to everyone involved in setting up the Jarfalla game."

And there's still no admission?

"Yes, that's right, and we hope, of course, that the audience donates what it thinks is sensible."

Were you supposed to sell tickets?

"Well, maybe, but the idea is to fill the rink and get an audience, and then we could sell tickets and have some other stuff about the game and we hope that it's reflected in the result," says Niklas Kronwall, who pushed a little hard to get Stanley Cup-winners Kruger and Oduya and World Championship-winners Tallinder and Landeskog.

"Chicago had an incredible season. It will be difficult to repeat what they did in the regular season, and they were by far the best team over the entire year. So it's a blast to have (Kruger and Oduya) included, and we've also got Gabby (Landeskog) and Tallen (Tallinder) who recently won the World Championship, it also feels really fun to bring them to the audience. And Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist won the Calder Cup in the AHL, so there are a lot of winners this year."

And an old winner, who won the Olympics, World Championship and the Stanley Cup?

"Yes, but that was a while ago, and now we're talking about fresh winners, ha ha."

There's no mistaking that Niklas Kronwall still has a strong commitment to his parent club. Jarfalla had a rough past season and is now working hard to rehabilitate its budget.

"I know it was a little tough in the spring, but now there's some new blood in the team that's very engaged, and got the team back on track. It's inspiring and it feels like everyone's working in the framework and that they've established and really want to move forward and do something," says Niklas Kronwall.

He remains in regular contact with the team and he follows them through the information he receives and knows what's going on. And the help, including the money that this game provides, is obvious to see.

"I think of the kids! If the team has to start over maybe half of the players have to start over on other teams, and there's another half of the team who might not find another team, and it's not good for anyone if you've got to engage in the junior stuff that they've done before. But I think they can build a solid business [model] agai and so I think it looks positive for the future. Everything's up to date."

Otherwise...

Former Wing Damien Brunner took part in a golf game while accompanied by Sport.ch's Simon Bodenmann, but all he talked about was golf...

According to Ilta Sanomat's Atte Husu, former Wing Petr Klima's 16-year-old twin sons, Kevin and Kelly, are attempting to catch on with Tappara Tampere's junior team, hoping to ink 3-year deals...

 

 

 

In a very different vein, the Red Wings posted Tweets from their "partner summit" on Tuesday at the Joe...This stuff isn't exactly scintillating, but if you've ever wondered about the strategies of the WIngs' corporate partners, here they are:

 

 

 

And finally, I didn't have the same relationship with Hockeytown Todd that many Abel to Yzerman readers did, but as Bill said, the man was a remarkable repository of hockey knowledge who could be as kind and generous as he was salty and gruff...And there was no doubting that he was a brilliant man. I'll miss him dearly.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

EDJ's avatar

DeKeyser and Jakub Kindl = the Wings’ “second pair” as far as I’m concerned.

It isn’t really important, but in my opinion the ranking of defensive pairs should be determined by amount of even strength ice time and quality of competition, not by who appeared to play the best. I believe Smith and Quincey were playing tougher minutes and more of them, regardless of whether they belonged in that situation.

Posted by EDJ on 07/31/13 at 03:12 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I happen to think that your factual statement was part of the problem in terms of the gaffes which occurred during the playoffs, but that’s just me, and I do believe that when you learn the hard way, you get better…

But who’s the “second pair” versus the “third pair” for the Wings is probably just as subjective and perhaps as “controversial” as deeming Helm or Andersson to be “third” our “fourth-line” centers—and it’s just as dependent on who’s playing more and who’s playing against tougher competition on a given night, which is of course going to change depending on the opponent.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/31/13 at 03:44 AM ET

EDJ's avatar

I do believe that when you learn the hard way, you get better…

I agree. It’s pretty surprising how much trust Babcock has in Smith, and how different that is from how we’ve seen him coach in the past.

As for third line and fourth line centers, I think that if Helm is healthy that should be clearer after training camp and if it isn’t, then maybe we can call it a tie for third line. If Babcock does decide to go with the Grand Rapids line of Nyquist - Andersson - Tatar, then the third and fourth lines have very different looks. We’ll probably see Bertuzzi - Helm - Miller, which is more of a classic checking line than the Grand Rapids line, which is almost another scoring line. I think it would be interesting to see what that line could do against other checking lines.

If the defense and Howard can maintain the same chemistry that they shared near the end of last season and in the playoffs, I really like the look of the team. Adding Weiss and Alfredsson gives Detroit a legitimate top six that can be trusted against other teams’ top lines, and everyone in the bottom six can be counted on for twenty to thirty points, if they stay healthy. If Abdelkader doesn’t work out on the Eurotwins’ line, then Tatar and Nyquist are both good candidates to move into the top six as well as Bertuzzi if he’s healthy.

Posted by EDJ on 07/31/13 at 04:24 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Down here in CBJ-land some in the local media are balking at the Wings arena funding.  This makes me laugh because mid-westerners have been electing anti-public sector/pro-business local officials for almost twenty years now, and then people spit their coffee out because those same individuals slash public goods in favor of pro-business tax cuts, subsidies, and handouts.  It’s akin to the union busting legislation in Ohio, Wisc, and Mich; many union members voted for the exact same people who had them in their sights and then walked around the capitol in shock, as if these politicians have ever been secretive about their plans once in office.  I’m not asking anyone here to agree or disagree with those policies, but I just wonder how this can come as a shock or an occasion for moral indignation to anyone.  This is exactly what we’ve been asking for in this part of the country.  Save your buyer’s remorse for the next election.

We live in a capitalist economy where nothing is free; did these media guys think that if the money didn’t go to an arena, that it would magically be given to the people who need it?  Give me a break, the ruling party in Michigan would have found another campaign donor to repay.  The only group that might bailout metro Detroit is the Feds, and I wouldn’t hold my breath on that.  In many respects, this was the best possible scenario for the rank and file worker in Detroit to get a piece of the action.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/31/13 at 08:10 AM ET

Avatar

So yes, while the City of Detroit is in Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy, and while yes, the people in the City of Detroit are struggling thanks to 40 years of financial mismanagement from their elected officials, a shitty, shitty level of basic city services and a lack of , Detroit is not a burnt-out crater of a city, and is surrounded by nothing less than a Metropolitan Area which has weathered Chrysler and GM’s bankruptcies and is on the rebound.

Thank you for precisely illustrating why building a huge retail investment downtown is a stupid idea, George.

The people who have the money to do retail cluster shopping have those options a) closer to home and b) more reasonably priced (because just adding Detroit’s city tax on purchases makes retail non-competitive).

Moving the hockey team four miles north doesn’t change that.  Yes, Comerica and Ford Field and the Wings will draw very well in their cluster.  No, that draw won’t have any real impact on the surrounding area because the more money that gets focused on turning Detroit into a drive to and leave entertainment complex, the less there is to make it a place where, you know, people might actually want to live given some degree of choice.

If the focus was on making Detroit a livable city there’d be a totally different approach.  That’s not the goal.  the immediate goal appears to be paying off some huge-money powerbrokers in the city before the very last of the money is gone.

Which, hey, is just like what’s been happening the past 40 years anyway.  It’s closing time at the ‘Reckless and Stupid Muny spending Pub’ and the last guy to find a hookup for the night was the Wings.  The bankruptcy proceedings are just the bartender flicking the floor lights a couple times to let everyone know it’s time to get their last shot.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/31/13 at 08:21 AM ET

Avatar

If the people of Detroit don’t want to assist the wings in developing a new arena im OK with that. There are other communities that surrounding the D that would be happy to have them. Though it would be terrible to take the Wings out of detroit, i’d be more inclined to go see them without having wade through the cesspool that is detroit. I sure as hell don’t plan on taking my young sons there anytime soon.

Posted by SlimChance on 07/31/13 at 11:22 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Actually, I hope that rail is up and running and makes Vegas a stop.  I’m interested in seeing this great country from the ground instead of the air.  I can get to Detroit faster by plane, but there’s nothing like seeing the country from a train cabin.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 07/31/13 at 11:37 AM ET

Primis's avatar

It certainly seems like nobody gives a flying *#$%@& about the facts surrounding the development, and instead, they want to further their political points of view and their own economic philosophies, and no matter how many times anyone attempts to state, “Okay, here are the details, here’s how it’s going down, here’s who’s in charge, and oh yeah by the way,

AKA the Ken Campbell Process of voicing an opinion…

Though it would be terrible to take the Wings out of detroit, i’d be more inclined to go see them without having wade through the cesspool that is detroit. I sure as hell don’t plan on taking my young sons there anytime soon.

Posted by SlimChance on 07/31/13 at 12:22 PM ET

Detroit isn’t that bad.  There are much smaller communities around the state that give me the heeby-jeebies to have to spend time in, more even than Detroit.  I feel better taking my kids to Detroit than to parts of Battle Creek or Jackson, for example.

Posted by Primis on 07/31/13 at 11:43 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Any talk about running some sort of public transit (if one could call the People Mover public transit) out to the new arena?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/31/13 at 02:55 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

You’re of your mind Primis.  Detroit’s probably the one city that makes the hair on my neck stand up.  Not all of it, but plenty enough.  Southside Chicago has nothing on Detroit.  Jackson?!  please, brother.  Now, Flint?  Absolutely.  But, through all the ghetto’s I’ve been in (Chi, ATL, MiamiFL, Cleveland, Cinci, New Orleans) Detroit get’s the title belt.

Of course you could just get your ccw and kick your feet up and relax.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/31/13 at 02:56 PM ET

Avatar

I feel better taking my kids to Detroit than to parts of Battle Creek or Jackson, for example.

When you say “Detroit”, what do you mean, exactly?  If you’re talking about the stadiums and their immediate vicinity, totally agree.  If you’re talking about the other 98% of area that encompasses Detroit, you’re freaking nuts.

Yeah, ‘parts’ of other cities are bad.  No kidding.  The problem is that only ‘parts’ of Detroit are even slightly safe… and I wouldn’t exactly count on being safe within sight of any stadium on a non-game day, so even those areas are only safe when in use.

Like HO said, a ccw is the only way anyone interested in some degree of personal safety who is in Detroit a lot in non-peak hours, and I’d add a pretty high threat level awareness factor in there as well.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/31/13 at 03:41 PM ET

Avatar

“The people who have the money to do retail cluster shopping have those options a) closer to home and b) more reasonably priced”—Great idea. Because the people still living in Detroit deserve nothing better than they already have while the affluent suburbs deserve everything because the people living there are the developers. Brilliant. I wish ever city would follow this suggested model. Only the rich would benefit from good things while we continually had the poor a “not a chance” ticket to life.

“Moving the hockey team four miles north doesn’t change that.”—actually it does. Why do you think stores selling similar products are gathered around each other? They draw similar consumers and more of them. By putting all the sports arenas in close proximity they (sports franchise owners) are creating more interest in their products by attracting other sports consumers attending the other sports events. It’s a very simple concept in business development.

“No, that draw won’t have any real impact on the surrounding area…” Don’t you notice all those other businesses surround shopping malls or car dealerships? What the heck are they doing there if what you are saying if a fact of life?

“...focused on turning Detroit into a drive to and leave entertainment complex…”—have you looked at the proposal? You probably should educate yourself on it before you make comments about it.

“If the focus was on making Detroit a livable city there’d be a totally different approach.”—like what? Developing Belle Isle into a white, rich gated community?

“..the immediate goal appears to be paying off some huge-money powerbrokers…”—brilliant! spend all your money on debts without focusing on how to also make money to keep the city going…Sorry citizens of Detroit the power is going off, your kids won’t be educated, and you won’t be protected by the police because Mayor HockeyinHD has used up all our money and all our future money to payoff debts. Happy life to you.

“...the bartender flicking the floor lights a couple times to let everyone know it’s time to get their last shot….”—except that the bar you are hearing that in is probably somewhere in the suburbs of Indianapolis (no where near the hardship you are lambasting).

Thanks again for the laughable entertainment.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 07/31/13 at 03:57 PM ET

Avatar

“... If you’re talking about the other 98% of area that encompasses Detroit, you’re freaking nuts…”—How do you know? have you been there or are you merely going on conjecture and speculation? Aren’t you the guy who once said all he does is drive in and leave? Then how could you have any idea that 98% of detroit is as bad as you think?

“...and I wouldn’t exactly count on being safe within sight of any stadium on a non-game day…”—That’s only because you are such an ass that the other 15,000 wings fans would pile to your beating as well.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 07/31/13 at 04:01 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Some good points HnH.  Visiting the cancer ward there was the first time i saw a hospital parkinglot with razorwire around it.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/31/13 at 05:48 PM ET

Mistercristo's avatar

HoweandHowe:

It’s much easier (not to mention intellect-sparing) to simply click on “ignore member” than it is to make a Quixotic attempt to parse anything of substance from said member.

Also, directly quoting what I have to imagine was a bleak wasteland of sententious thoughts defeats the purpose of clicking on said button - for both myself and undoubtedly others - who’d rather see “You have chosen to ignore comments from this member”.

Sentient points made, though (but you probably knew that already grin )

Posted by Mistercristo from Cameron Frye's garage, circa 1987 on 07/31/13 at 08:22 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by Mistercristo on 07/31/13 at 09:22 PM ET

Obviously opinions differ on blocking people, but the ignore feature seems like a weak move to me.  If I can’t muster the will to disagree with someone openly, or at the very least, read the comment and move on, then I have to wonder why I bother looking at the comment section at all.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/31/13 at 09:48 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/31/13 at 10:48 PM ET

I understand your point(s).  Here’s mine.  I am on the downward side of the hill.  I no longer have the time nor inclination to suffer fools gladly.  I truly enjoy the back and forth with many posters on KK.  Criticism is welcome, belaboring the point and insulting people is not.  I try to be civil in my discourse but will not engage with those who are consistently negative.  Ignore allows me read my favorite blog without having to see the negativity in print.

Posted by calquake on 07/31/13 at 10:17 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I’m genuinely curious how much some of you blanket-statementing Detroit as “dangerous without peer” have actually BEEN to some other Michigan cities recently.  It’s not good people, not at all.

Guess what?  What has happened in Detroit has happened across the state, and there are communities less-well-equipped to handle it.  I keep hearing really bad Flint-ish stories about Saginaw (but nobody EVER talks about Saginaw ).  Albion has lost so many people that it can’t ever get too bad at this point, but I still see things myself when I go through and hear stories (Albion , for God’s sake, it’s not THAT big).  Did everyone forget that Benton Harbor hasn’t just been reborn anew?  Battle Creek’s violent crime is nuts.  How long has Jackson has large bad patches now?  Most of my life, almost as a completely separate issue from the economy.

I myself now live in another town of all of something like 10,000, and there’s a whole 1/3 or 1/4 of town that it’s just understood you don’t go into.  For God’s sake, 10,000 isn’t many people… and it’s not like it’s a suburb or in the vicinity of a much larger population base that’s catching bleed-over.

Detroit is big.  With any city that size you have areas that are Bad.  But nobody seems to be able to get past “Detroit”.  You shouldn’t be having this sort of thing in these smaller cities though, and we now have it in spades.

I’m not just painting sunshine and unicorns, rainbows, puppies, and hookers about Detroit, but any kind of perspective at all when discussing Detroit seems to have gone out the window some time ago…

Posted by Primis on 07/31/13 at 10:52 PM ET

Avatar

. Because the people still living in Detroit deserve nothing better than they already have ... 

For electing people like Conyers and Kilpatrick I think they have exactly what they deserve.

Posted by SlimChance on 07/31/13 at 10:58 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Any talk about running some sort of public transit (if one could call the People Mover public transit) out to the new arena?

That’s exactly what the M1 Rail Line that Shea discussed involves. It’s going to be a light rail line that will go from the intersection of Woodward and Jefferson all the way to Mid-Town, and there will be a stop on Temple Street, where the rink will be located. They’re also going to rebuild the Woodward Avenue bridge over I-75 to cover it to cut down on freeway noise and encourage folks who’ve parked in Foxtown or downtown to walk north as it’s not a particularly long walk to the rink.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/31/13 at 11:08 PM ET

calquake's avatar

. Because the people still living in Detroit deserve nothing better than they already have ...

And the people still living wherever they live deserve nothing better than they already have…

For electing people like Conyers and Kilpatrick I think they have exactly what they deserve.

Posted by SlimChance on 07/31/13 at 11:58 PM ET

What about those people that didn’t vote for them?  F*ck ‘em right?

Posted by calquake on 07/31/13 at 11:10 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

What about those people that didn’t vote for them?  F*ck ‘em right?

Posted by calquake on 08/01/13 at 12:10 AM ET

Well of COURSE f*ck THEM. If those people were meant to be happy, then fate wouldn’t have f*cked them. Those people should know better than to be caught up in circumstance.

assholes…

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/31/13 at 11:24 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/01/13 at 12:24 AM ET

I see the light, I am better than “those people”... assholes.

Posted by calquake on 07/31/13 at 11:30 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

What George has learned from the last couple days’ worth of arena talk: the less I know about my readers’ political beliefs, the better.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/31/13 at 11:58 PM ET

Avatar

Ok.  I give.  Detroit is a great place and in no way a drain on its productive citizens, the rest of the state or soon the federal govt by means of a bailout. I’m glad you folks are so happy with it.

Posted by SlimChance on 08/01/13 at 12:03 AM ET

calquake's avatar

Ok.  I give.  Detroit is a great place and in no way a drain on its productive citizens, the rest of the state or soon the federal govt by means of a bailout. I’m glad you folks are so happy with it.

Posted by SlimChance on 08/01/13 at 01:03 AM ET

Yeah, ‘cause that’s what we said.

Posted by calquake on 08/01/13 at 12:05 AM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

yanno ... it’s really disgusting that people commenting on this blog insist on arguing about how a new arena is going to be funded when we should be asking other, more important questions about the city of Detroit ...  like:

a) when will Detroit’s school system improve so the illiteracy rate of its population is no longer almost 50% ??

b) when will Detroit’s school system improve so the people that populate the city are smart enough to vote in City Council members that know what the fuch they are doing ??

c) when will Detroit’s school system improve so there are residents smart enough to be elected to a City Council position ??

d) when will Detroit start thinking decades in advance and build a city-wide rapid transit system so you don’t need a car to get around ??  If New York can have one why can’t a smaller city like Detroit ??

e) when there actually is talk of some sort of new construction in the city, why don’t we hear about these buildings (homes/condos/office buildings) employing alternative energy sources ??  Is the city really building new buildings and not putting solar panels on the roofs ??  The buildings being torn down to make way for the new are 100 years old.  New construction not using alternative energy sources may as well not be built.

I could ask many more important questions ... regarding housing and retail construction but those will take care of themselves once the education system improves to the point where the average person would actually consider enrolling their kid in a Detroit school. It would also be nice to know their kid would get to and from school safely without get raped or shot somewhere between home & school.

The only real argument concerning the new arena should be ...  “why now ?”

I’m sure the Ilitch family would argue that now is the best time to do this because the more money they make, the more money they can put back into the city. That’s just their way of saying they want to bring more suburban money into the city.

If they truly cared about Detroit, they would have delayed funding proposals for the new arena until Detroit sorted out its bankruptcy issues.  For some odd reason, I don’t think the Ilitch family gives a crap about their public image ... just their bottom line.

I haven’t commented until now because I don’t care how the new arena will be funded and bitching about it isn’t going to change anything.  Ten years from now, Detroit will be out of bankruptcy, the Red Wings will be winning their next Stanley Cup in the new arena, and everybody will forget about how it was funded.

I think the city has more important issues to take care of before they worry about funding a new hockey arena and I think this blog has many more important issues to cover ahead of the new arena and its funding.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 08/01/13 at 12:07 AM ET

Avatar

What about those people that didn’t vote for them?  F*ck ‘em right?

Yeah,‘cause that’s what I said.

Posted by SlimChance on 08/01/13 at 12:13 AM ET

calquake's avatar

Because the people still living in Detroit deserve nothing better than they already have ...

If that’s not “F*ck ‘em” I don’t know what is Slim.

Posted by calquake on 08/01/13 at 12:16 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

What about those people that didn’t vote for them?  F*ck ‘em right?

Yeah,‘cause that’s what I said.

Posted by SlimChance on 08/01/13 at 01:13 AM ET

It’s waaaaay easier to read what Cal inferred from your quote than what you read from his response.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/01/13 at 12:16 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I think that the one thing we can all agree on is that there could not have been worse timing than for our dear “Tough Nerd” (and I voted for him) to decide that it was perfectly fine to make this announcement on the same day that the city filed for Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy.

That makes the optics of this so absolutely horrific that it’s silly, and there’s no surprise whatsoever that the Ilitches have said jack and squat about the funding and are likely to keep quiet until the bankruptcy process works itself out.

I don’t know how one can justify spending for any sort of economic development when the city’s residents are struggling so mightily. I can only throw up my hands and say, “Well, it’s the way of the world, and the DEGC and DDA are not about fairness: they’re corporations who have sway over tax money, and use it to increase the economic and business footprint of their appointed downtown territory.”

And all I can say regarding the safety of the city of Detroit is that my father was a probation officer who worked at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice for 22 years, and spent his days going into neighborhoods to speak to family members and friends of people who were already judged to be guilty of crimes in his attempts to issue accurate estimates of the sentences that would best protect public safety. He taught me how to keep my eyes peeled when the city was a much, much more dangerous place.

And there are times that one feels unsafe in neighborhoods and there are times that one does not. It’s not black and white as the racial segregation between the city and suburbs. Detroit is a patchwork quilt of war zones, areas that still look as bombed-out as they were immediately after the riots in 1967, and there are areas that offer at least some hope and optimism outside of the downtown and mid-town footprints.

That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 08/01/13 at 12:25 AM ET

Avatar

I didn’t write that. It was a partial quote from another comment. My point is only that Dereoit is where it is because of decades corruption and mismanagement that seems to exceed what is even normal for big city corruption.  I feel a little sorry for the poor bastards who are routinely victimized by the city officials and don’t seem to any relief, but if they don’t leave I can’t have much sympathy for them.  I lived in a sh*thole area and busted my ass to leave.  I dont think this quite equates to F*ck em, but to each his own.

George keep typin and ill keep reading.  Even If Cal stays too wink

Posted by SlimChance on 08/01/13 at 12:34 AM ET

calquake's avatar

That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 08/01/13 at 01:25 AM ET

Thanks George.  Detroit is my hometown and always will be. I left because it’s a big world out there and I wanted to explore.  I’ve lived in the U.P., Kentucky, Pennsylvania and now California.  Each has it’s faults and it’s pluses.  For me to judge the people who live anywhere is elitism at best and arrogance at it’s worst.  Flay the politics if you will but don’t place the blame on the citizenry.

Posted by calquake on 08/01/13 at 12:48 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

However things break down, at the end of the day, others’ points of view are valid even if we don’t agree with them, and we’re simply never going to agree on certain points. This rink funding issue is clearly one of them, but I hope that even the arguing as well as debating going on here has allowed us to take others’ opinions into account…

Even if we think that those we don’t agree with are assholes, which happens.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 08/01/13 at 12:55 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

I understand your point(s).  Here’s mine.  I am on the downward side of the hill.  I no longer have the time nor inclination to suffer fools gladly.  I truly enjoy the back and forth with many posters on KK.  Criticism is welcome, belaboring the point and insulting people is not.  I try to be civil in my discourse but will not engage with those who are consistently negative.  Ignore allows me read my favorite blog without having to see the negativity in print.

Posted by calquake on 07/31/13 at 11:17 PM ET

I read you Cal.  Speaking for myself, I have my share of go arounds with a certain user, who can be insulting (in fact insult is often part of his (I presume) rhetorical scheme), but I prefer to hash it out.  To me it would feel like taking my ball and going home if I blocked him/her. 

In this instance Hnh wanted to respond and he/she did, and was gently told to be quiet by another user.  I don’t like it when it happens to me, so I said something.  Those comments can come off as pressure for prior restraint, and I don’t like that. 

Overall though, I know one user makes extremely insulting and costive comments, so I wouldn’t blame anyone for that.  I guess I feel that for better or worse I’d be cheating myself if I shut other users out.  I like to take the good with the bad.

For electing people like Conyers and Kilpatrick I think they have exactly what they deserve.

Posted by SlimChance on 07/31/13 at 11:58 PM ET

Comments like that presuppose the idea that we don’t have one party rule in this country.  I differ with that idea.  I very much doubt that life would be much different under either party for the average Detroiter.  What is happening in Detroit is almost extra-political at this point.  The price of labor on the global market can’t be controlled at the local or state level, or by a single state’s delegation to Congress. 

I feel a little sorry for the poor bastards who are routinely victimized by the city officials and don’t seem to any relief, but if they don’t leave I can’t have much sympathy for them.  I lived in a sh*thole area and busted my ass to leave.  I dont think this quite equates to F*ck em, but to each his own.

George keep typin and ill keep reading.  Even If Cal stays too

Posted by SlimChance on 08/01/13 at 01:34 AM ET

So “to each his own”.... but if others can’t pull up their bootstraps “just like you,” they deserve what they get right?  There’s American politics in a nutshell. 

————————————————————————-

As for the safety of Detroit, like any city, I don’t walk around alone if I can help it.  But I don’t feel any more apprehensive in Detroit than I would anywhere else.  Hell downtown Columbus has some unnerving corners. 

It all comes down to situational awareness though.  Keep your head up and make eye contact with people you encounter on the street.  Maintain a posture of preparedness internally and externally to send the message that you’ll be trouble if anyone targets you.  Prevention is the name of the game.  That’s as true in Detroit as anywhere else, but more scary? Nah.  It’s just a bigger place than a lot of towns, it comes with the territory of being a big city.

 

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 08/01/13 at 03:35 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Oh yeah I forgot to mention how much I love insomnia….

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 08/01/13 at 03:36 AM ET

Avatar

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/31/13 at 06:48 PM ET

Mine was the UofD compound.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 08/01/13 at 10:44 AM ET

Avatar

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 08/01/13 at 04:35 AM ET

I couldn’t agree with you more on all you points. This one in particular,
“What is happening in Detroit is almost extra-political at this point.”

It’s tough to swallow all the people who treat Detroit as a door mat to the Joe or what ever place they choose to come to and then immediately leave from. This is one of the largest causes to its financial troubles.

There is much more to this city then what most choose see on the surface. I’ve had some great times there both during the day and late at night. There are more great people there then the few that cause it’s perception as dangerous and fearful. If you don’t look like a target and respect people on the street they return the curtesy—thugs and homeless too. It’s kind of like those who comment on this blog. Be a dick and get treated like a dick. Be respectful and thoughtful and you receive respect and kindness. Life can be that simple. Be a champion.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 08/01/13 at 11:01 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.