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Stephen Colbert returns to TV...on public access in Monroe, Mich.

Stephen Colbert made a triumphant return to television yesterday, though it wasn't as the host of CBS's "Late Show." Colbert won't assume that post, which was held by the inimitable David Letterman for nearly 22 years, until Sept. 8. On July 1, Colbert returned to TV as the substitute host of "Only in Monroe," a cable access show broadcast from Monroe, Michigan.

Colbert's show was posted on the "Late Show" YoutTube Channel yesterday. In the episode, Colbert sits in for "Only in Monroe" regular hosts (whom he interviews), takes a shot of whiskey, and discusses the cresting of the River Raisin and his favorite Bob Seger songs with none other than Marshal Mathers (aka Eminem).

Check the show out for yourself:



 

Regional Transit Authority to roll out shuttle service to Metro Airport

If you do not own a car or cannot afford to hire a cab or private car, getting to and from Detroit Metro Airport can be a serious ordeal. That could change, however, with the rollout of a new airport shuttle service between the airport and Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties and the city of Detroit.
 
The Detroit Free Press is reporting that the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan is expecting to launch the shuttle service incrementally beginning in spring of 2016.
 
Read more: Detroit Free Press
 
 

Exploring the origins of euchre, Michigan's favorite obscure card game

It's summer and Michigan, and that means it's time to gather with friends on the porch of your house or around a campfire Up North for a spirited game of euchre. But have you ever wondered the origins of this card game obscure to people outside of the Midwest? Thanks to The Awl, wonder no more.
 
According to The Awl writer Jason Boog, a native Michigander, "Euchre began as a variation of an older card game carried over by German immigrants as they traveled across the United States in the nineteenth century."
 
Read more about the origins of Michigan's favorite obscure card game in The Awl.

What if metro Detroit public officials strictly rode transit for three weeks straight?

Imagine a city or region where public officials actually understand the importance of transit because they ride it every day.
 
It actually doesn't require much of an imagination. Starting on June 1, several San Francisco city officials, including Mayor Ed Lee, began to fulfill a pledge to ride public transit for 22 straight days.
 
According to KRON 4, "The challenge, spearheaded by the advocacy group San Francisco Transit Riders, will continue until June 22 and aims to help city officials gain familiarity with public transit and inspire them to improve the experience."
 
Now imagine if metro Detroit's public officials, from county executives to mayors to city council people, undertook a similar challenge. Do you think they'd gain a new appreciation for the challenges faced by transit riders throughout the region and a new perspective on our system's shortcomings? Chances are they would have plenty of time to contemplate these issues and more while they wait on their buses.
 
Read more about San Francisco's transit challenge: KRON 4

Every free outdoor movie screening in metro Detroit this summer in one list


It's the time of the season for free outdoor movie screenings throughout metro Detroit and Ann Arbor. Between the Cinetopia International Film Festival, the New Center Park film series in Detroit, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, and community screenings throughout the region, it can be hard to keep track of all the great free film-related events happening each week. Thankfully, Thrillist Detroit's Jeff Waraniak put them all together in a single place. As a bonus, Waraniak listed all of the amenities associated with each screening, such as whether or not there will be booze or food trucks on hand.
 
Read more: Thrillist Detroit

Asian mega mart opens in Madison Heights


Remember when Metromode proclaimed Madison Heights to be the Asian food capital of southeast Michigan? We weren't kidding. This week, an Asian foods superstore called 168 Asian Mart opened at 32393 John R (just north of 13 Mile).

According to the Detroit Free Press, the market is "located in a space formerly occupied by Mervyn's." The store, an amazing 38,000 square feet, "has more than a dozen aisles of fresh produce, a full-service seafood counter, a meat counter and much much more."

Read more in the Detroit Free Press.

New census pop. estimates show what cities in metro Detroit grew last year and which shrank

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2014 population estimates, which were released last week, Michigan is growing for the third straight year, albeit at a modest rate. While Detroit is still losing population as it has done for decades, the rate of loss is slowing.
 
"Detroit shed an estimated 6,424 residents last year — about 1 percent of its population — and has lost an estimated 30,945 residents since 2010," writes MLive's Jonathan Oosting.
 
So what are the fastest growing communities in southeast Michigan between 2013 and 2014? In Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties, the answer is outlying townships.
 
In Wayne County, which itself lost 1 percent of its population last year, Brownstown and Canton charter townships experienced the greatest rate of growth.
 
In Oakland County, whose population grew by 0.5 percent, Lyon and Oakland charter townships grew the fastest.
 
Washtenaw County's population grew by 0.6 percent, with Macomb and Washington townships leading the way.
 
The cities that declined in population throughout metro Detroit tended to be near suburbs and central cities.
 
Read more in MLive and the Detroit Free Press.

Millenials want to live in cities, but can't afford to stay downtown

A recent report from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) flips what has become conventional wisdom about millennials on its head. For years, the thinking has been that millennials want to live in downtowns – places that afford them the "live, work, and play" lifestyle.  Yet recent research indicates that millennials can't afford downtowns and are choosing cheaper city neighborhoods outside of central business districts.
 
The ULI writes in a press release, "Contrary to popular belief, most Millennials are not living the high life in the downtowns of large cities, but rather are living in less centrally located but more affordable neighborhoods, making ends meet with jobs for which many feel overqualified, and living with parents or roommates to save money."
 
Read more on ULI's website.

How does Michigan rank in terms of bike friendliness?

Not well. According to a recent study by the League of American Bicyclists, Michigan ranks 18th out of 50 states, dropping four spots since 2014.
 
A number of factors went into calculating each state's bike friendliness, including the percentage of commuters cycling to work, whether or not a state has a complete streets policy (Michigan does), and the amount of dedicated state funding going towards cycling infrastructure.
 
Washington and Minnesota topped the list, while Kentucky and Alabama scored the lowest.
 
To learn more about the League of American Bicyclists' bike friendly state rankings, click here.

RTA launches regional transit planning process

On Tuesday, May 12, the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan (RTA) announced the kickoff of a process to create a regional transit master plan at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit.
 
According to Crain's Detroit Business, the RTA announced that it would study Woodward, Michigan, and Gratiot avenues as potential routes for bus rapid transit lines as well as create a single master transit plan for the region that is being referred to as "Building Equitable Sustainable Transit," or BEST.
 
Read more about the RTA's recently announced transit planning process in Crain's Detroit Busines.

NY Times study of best and worse places to grow up shows dramatic inequality in metro Detroit

In a recent study by the New York Times that analyzes the best and worst places to grow up in the United States, metro Detroit counties exhibit extremely varied outcomes for children.

According to the Times, Wayne County is "among the worst counties in the U.S. in helping poor children up the income ladder. It ranks 112th out of 2,478 counties, better than only about 5 percent of counties. It is relatively worse for poor boys than it is for poor girls."

Macomb County, on the other hand, ranks significantly higher. "It’s one of the better counties in the U.S. in helping poor children up the income ladder," writes the Times. "It ranks 1,561st out of 2,478 counties, better than about 63 percent of counties."

Somewhat surprising is that Oakland County, one of the wealthiest counties in the state, is "below average in helping poor children up the income ladder. It ranks 870th out of 2,478 counties, better than about 35 percent of counties. It is relatively worse for poor boys than it is for poor girls."

Learn more about the best and worst places to grow up in metro Detroit and the rest of the U.S. in the New York Times.

Cranbrook opens its gardens to the public all summer long


A national historic landmark, the campus of Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills is one of the most picturesque destinations in metro Detroit. This summer, thanks to financial support from PNC Bank, Roberts Restaurant Group, and Meijer, you will be able to enjoy much of that beauty for free.
 
Throughout the 2015 season, the Cranbrook Gardens will be open daily to the public with no charge for admission.
 
"The gardens are part of the estate of Cranbrook's founders, Ellen and George Booth," writes IXITI. "The home is the oldest of metropolitan Detroit's historic manors. Its gardens, works of art and first-floor appointments are preserved as a testament to the Booths' gracious lifestyle, their interest in landscape gardening and their involvement in the American Arts and Crafts movement."
 
Read more on IXITI, "the experience engine for southeast Michigan."
 
 

Eastland joins the ranks of troubled metro Detroit malls


On the heels of the closing of Southfield's Northland Center, one of the oldest indoor malls in the U.S., Sherri Welch of Crain's Detroit Business is reporting that the management group of Harper Woods' Eastland Mall has missed a payment on a $37.43 million loan tied to the property.
 
In the wake of Sears pulling out of Eastland in 2012, the mall is at just over 75 percent occupancy, well below the 90 percent that is deemed healthy for a shopping center of East Land's size.
 
Read more in Crain's Detroit Business.
 
In the coming weeks, Metromode will look into how metro Detroit communities are dealing with the loss of major retail anchors and examine innovative models for repurposing vacant shopping malls from around the country.
 

You can walk all the way around Michian's coastline without trespassing on private property

Did you know that it is completely legal for you to walk the entire coastline of Michigan (all 2,200 miles!) without trespassing on private property? Chastity Pratt Dawsey writes in a recent piece for Bridge Magazine that "Michigan law allows anyone to traverse the state's coast along the water's edge up to the ordinary high water mark of the land without being guilty of trespassing on private property."
 
For this reason, several advocates argue that Michigan would make a great starting point and centerpiece for an officially designated 10,000-mile walking trail around the Great Lakes.
 
Read more about the potential for a Great Lakes coastline walking trail in Bridge Magazine.

Metro Detroit's housing market is surging into spring

Thanks to low mortgage rates, the increasing availability of financing to working people, and a recovering economy, "metro Detroit's housing market is set to turn a corner this spring and become hotter for buyers and sellers," writes J.C. Reindl in the Detroit Free Press.
 
While values in some Detroit suburbs are still down as much as 20 percent from their peak values in the mid-2000s, Reindl reports that "some neighborhoods [are] seeing yearly gains of 10 percent or more, due in part to a thin supply of move-in-ready houses."
 
Oakland County is seeing the most significant rise in home sales, which are up by 17 percent countywide since the same time last year. Wayne County has experienced a 13 percent increase in median sales price since last year.
 
Read more about the state of metro Detroit's housing market in the Detroit Free Press.
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