American Federation of Teachers hold 2012 Convention in Cobo Center #AFTCOVN2012 #TellUsDetroit #TellUsUSANewsNetwork

The AFT convention in Detroit, its first one here in several decades, has so far drawn 2,350 delegates from across the country. The convention began Friday and runs through Monday. (Photo by Scott Sullivan/Tell Us Detroit)

By Angelina Czarnecki/ Tell Us Detroit

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) – Cobo Center Hall was filled with over 3,000 delegates for the American Federation of Teachers 2012 convention . Those representing were teachers, paraprofessionals, school-related personnel, higher education faculty, government employees, and healthcare workers.

For the first day of the convention AFT President Randi Weingarten presented “solution driven unionism,” a redefinition of unionism that advances solutions focused on members. Through this process members may work together to solve key issues facing their community.

“For me, solution driven unionism took root when I saw our members in the ABC Unified School District in Southern California commit to a unionism that focuses on solving problems, not on winning arguments. It unites those we represent and those we serve, and in so doing, it ensures that we don’t merely survive, but we succeed” AFT President Randi Weingarten in her keynote address.

Highly noted speakers featured at the event included Vice President Joe Biden, columnist for the New York Times Charles Blow, NYU historian of education and best selling author Diane Ravitch, UAW President Bob King among many others. Speakers addressed the issues holding back our school systems within the city of Detroit and nation wide. These individuals are striving for higher quality education systems, working to fight for an end to the fixation on high-stakes testing, and preparing students for work. AFT’s annual convention aims to solve these issues, and create a better learning environment for teachers, and students.

The AFT represent 1.5 million pre-K through 12th grade; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.



Judge Damon Keith to be honored by colleagues at his 90th Birthday celebration #JudgeDamonKeith #Damons90thBirthday #TellUsDetroit

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Judge Damon Keith stands before a display of his career at a VIP luncheon held at the McGregor prior to the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Center for Civil Rights which will bare his name. (Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us Detroit)

By Laydell Wood Harper/Tell Us Detroit

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) – The Association of Black Judges and other judicial and community leaders will gather at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church on Sunday, July 8th for a special 11 am service to celebrate the 90th Birthday of the Honorable Damon J. Keith, Senior Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Born on July 4th Judge Keith is one of the nation’s most well respected leaders and civil rights icons. “I am both delighted and honored to celebrate the 90th Birthday of Judge Damon J. Keith, a dear friend, nationally respected Jurist and civil rights icon on Sunday at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, said Dr. Charles G. Adams, Pastor of Hartford. “His contributions to the legal field are invaluable; The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights represents the foremost resource for the legal history of the Civil Rights Movement and historic accomplishments of African American lawyers and judges. We are proud of you Judge Keith, as a church and as a community. You have paved the way so eloquently for future Jurists of color.”

Judge Keith is also a hometown hero; born and raised in Detroit he has a long and proud history with the judicial system. Since 1977 he has been a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Court. He has also served as Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and recently named Senior Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for Sixth Circuit Court. He has consistently stood as a courageous defender of the constitutional and civil rights of all people, a common thread that is prominent throughout his career.

In the United States v. Sinclair, commonly referred to as the Keith Decision, the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Judge Keith’s landmark ruling prohibiting President Nixon and the federal government from engaging in warrantless wiretapping in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Judge Keith was heralded for that decision in Joseph Goulden’s book, The Benchwarmers, as “a prime example of an independent federal judge” who “had the courage to say ‘no'” in the face of “a presidency which likened itself to a ‘sovereign.'” “The strength of the judiciary,” Goulden wrote, “is rooted in just such independence as that displayed by Keith.”

Known as a “Fighter for Justice,” Judge Keith has never forgotten his roots. He is passionate about his long time involvement with the Detroit Chapter of the NAACP and speaks at length about some of their well-documented accomplishments under the leadership of his best friend Arthur Johnson as they worked side by side to bring about change. His annual Black History Month Soul Food luncheon is the talk of the town and attended by everyone from Governor Snyder and Mayor Dave Bing to many of his former law clerks including former Governor Jennifer Granholm, and also business and community leaders. Many of whom attend every year.

The Honorable Judge Keith continues to shine the spotlight on the principles represented in the United States Constitution while ensuring equal rights for all who have been victims of discrimination. The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School held its grand opening last Oct 19, 2011. The Keith Center honors the life and legacy of Judge Keith by carrying out his vision of civil rights.

The public is invited to this 90th Birthday celebration to be held Sunday, July 8th at 11 am at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, 18700 James Couzens Hwy., Detroit, Michigan 48235. For more information call (313) 861-1285


@ParadeCo 54th Annual Target Fireworks: What you should know before you go #TargetFireworks #TellUsDetroit

DETROIT – Hundreds of thousands of spectators will line the shores of the Detroit River to enjoy the Target Fireworks display, set for Monday, June 25. The City of Detroit is providing the following information pertaining to the event.


The City will actively enforce a citywide curfew requiring that all minors age 17 and under be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (with identification). Minors will be allowed to travel to and from work or organized sports. The curfew is in effect from 6 p.m. on June 25 until 6 a.m. on June 26. Minors in violation of the curfew will be issued a ticket. The parent or guardian also may receive a parental responsibility violation ticket.


Parents can find lost children in the following locations:

• Downtown/Hart Plaza – Hart Plaza in Lower Level Office – (313) 628-1150
• Belle Isle – Harbormaster on Inselruhe and Riverbank – (313) 628-2061 or 628-2062
• Southwest Area – Roosevelt Park at the Southwestern Police District – 4700 W. Fort Street – (313) 596-5300


The following traffic changes will go into effect at approximately 6 p.m.:

• No northbound or southbound traffic will be admitted onto Woodward Avenue between Fisher Freeway and Congress except for emergency vehicles, D-DOT and SMART bus coaches.

• Jefferson Avenue will be closed to eastbound and westbound traffic between the Chrysler Freeway (I-375) and Griswold, except for emergency vehicles. All other eastbound vehicles will be routed north onto the Chrysler service drive.

• West Jefferson from Cobo Center westbound will be closed. Parking will be prohibited on West Jefferson, on Civic Center Drive and on Atwater to St. Aubin.

• Outbound traffic will be routed on West Jefferson from the Joe Louis Arena garage to Rosa Parks Boulevard; traffic will then proceed north on Rosa Parks to the freeways.

• Traffic on Gratiot Avenue between I-375 and Randolph will be routed one way northbound only.

• Traffic on Brush between Lafayette and Madison will be routed northeast onto Gratiot or east onto Madison.

• Monroe Street, between Randolph and Woodward Avenue, will be barricaded and closed. Traffic on Monroe between Randolph and I-375 will be routed to travel eastbound only.

• Third Street at West Jefferson will be closed to the public and restricted for emergency vehicle use.

• Fort Street traffic between Cabacier and Rosa Parks Boulevard will be restricted to residents of the Riverfront Towers Apartments/Condominiums.

• Eastbound traffic on Fort Street will be allowed to turn right onto Griswold and proceed to the Lodge Freeway.

• Traffic on Trumbull Avenue between W. Fort and Fisher Freeway will be routed to travel northbound only.

• Traffic on Larned and Congress will be allowed to flow in respective directions, with no southbound turns except vehicles en route to the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel via Randolph.

• Michigan Avenue traffic will be westbound only.

• All traffic proceeding south on Griswold will be directed to the Lodge Freeway, via Congress.

• Eastbound Lafayette traffic will turn right at Griswold and proceed to westbound Congress to northbound Lodge freeway.

• St. Antoine traffic flow will be one way northbound from Atwater after the fireworks display.

• Woodbridge, Franklin, and Atwater between St. Antoine and Rivard will be one way, eastbound throughout the evening.

• Rivard will be one way northbound from Atwater to Lafayette after the fireworks display.

• E. Grand Blvd. will be used for outbound traffic from Belle Isle. Belle Isle traffic will proceed northbound on East Grand Boulevard and eastbound on East Jefferson.

• No parking on West Jefferson between 23rd and St. Anne.

• All the main streets – Michigan, Grand River, Gratiot, E. Grand Blvd. and W. Grand Blvd. – will remain open to allow motorists access to freeways. Woodward will remain open north of the Fisher Freeway service drive.

• Beginning at 4 p.m., surface streets south of Jefferson between Rivard and Chene will be closed to all vehicles but open to pedestrians only. These areas will be swept by the Detroit Police Department, and all vehicles present will be towed.**

• Beginning at 6 p.m., freeways will begin to close.**

• There will be no vehicular traffic south of Jefferson from Third to Jos. Campau.

** The Detroit Police Department reserves the right to request closure of the freeways and
surfaces streets earlier or later, depending on the volume of vehicle traffic.


Towed vehicles within the downtown area will be held at 2121 W. Fort near Rosa Parks. Vehicles towed on Belle Isle will remain on the island. Tow lots close at 1 a.m. The fee for towing is $75.


The following locations have been identified as the best viewing sites:

Hart Plaza
Detroit RiverWalk, east of Orleans
Belle Isle (viewing from the MacArthur Bridge will not be permitted)
Orleans/Atwater east, Mt. Elliott Park, Owens Park and Erma Henderson Park

Hart Plaza

• Entry to Hart Plaza will close once it has reached desired capacity.

• No tents allowed.

• No alcohol, pets, or contraband (weapons, knives, etc.) will be allowed.

• Flames or fires are prohibited, and cooking is prohibited.

• Reserving an area in excess of the number of people currently in the group is prohibited.

• Coolers and backpacks will be searched.

Belle Isle

• Belle Isle will still be accessible for normal activity on June 25.

• On Sunday, June 24, the ordinance that limits access to Belle Isle after 10 p.m. will be enforced. No overnight parking or camping will be allowed on June 24.

• Access to Belle Isle begins at 6 a.m. on June 25 until desired capacity is reached. At that time, parking will be allowed on Sunset around to the Strand. No parking will be allowed around the Scott Fountain.

• Parking on the Casino paddock is $10 per car and $20 per recreational vehicle.

• Beginning the evening of Sunday, June 24 until Monday, June 25 at 6 a.m., these streets will be closed: From the Message Board on Sunset, down Fountain Dr., around the Fountain and out the Strand, Casino Way to Sunset, and Picnic Way to the Strand.

• 10’ x 10’ canopies with no sides are allowed. Canopies larger than 10’ x 10’ are not allowed.

• Grilling must only take place in designated areas.

Detroit RiverWalk

• East of Orleans – No vehicular traffic will be allowed, only pedestrians.

• RiverWalk, from Orleans west to Third (Joe Louis Arena), will be closed at 1 p.m.

• Reserving an area in excess of the number of people currently in the group is prohibited.

• No alcohol, pets or contraband will be allowed.

• Coolers and backpacks will be searched.

• Flames or fires are prohibited.

• No tents allowed.


The Detroit People Mover (DPM) will operate from 6:30 a.m. – midnight.
Due to the early closures of the Cobo, Millender and Renaissance centers, trains will bypass these facilities on June 25 beginning at 3 p.m. There will be no public access to these People Mover stations. All other DPM stations will remain open and receive train service until midnight.
The fare is 75 cents per ride, and children ages five and under ride free. For more information, go online to or call (313) 224-2160.


Motorists are advised to observe parking restrictions. Parking violators will be ticketed, and in some instances, vehicles may be towed. Motorists will be ticketed for:

Improper parking (vehicles within 20 feet from crosswalk; within 15 feet from an intersection, within 30 feet of a stop sign or traffic control device; and within 15 feet of a fire hydrant)

Parking in designated zones, such as handicap zones (without proper credentials), fire lane, no parking zones or no standing zones.

The Municipal Parking Department also will not enforce parking meters.

Parking Facilities and Lots

To accommodate parking for individuals attending the Fireworks, MPD will offer a $5 rate at the following City-owned garages and lots

Ford Underground Garage 6 a.m. – 1 a.m. $5
30 E. Jefferson

Joe Louis Arena Garage 8 a.m. – 1 a.m. $5
900 W. Jefferson

Millennium Garage 6 a.m. – 1 a.m. $5
432 W. Congress

Premier Garage 24 hours $5
1206-08 Woodward Ave.

Cadillac/Farmer Lot 6 a.m. – 1 a.m. $5
1025 Farmer

Fireworks viewing from any parking facility and tailgating are prohibited. For more information, call (313) 221-2500 or go online to


Residents must take steps to ensure their family is prepared for a possible emergency. Important
items to have ready include:

• A battery powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, medicines, non-perishable food, and first-aid supplies.

• For more information on family preparedness visit


@DetroitRvrfrnt RiverDays set for a weekend full of family fun #DetroitRiverDays #DetroitRiverFront #TellUsDetroit


By Sharon Hill/Tell Us Detroit

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) – Roaring in the sky was a World War II B17 Bomber from Yankee Air Museum saluting the 15 Tuskegee Airmen. Along with a proclamation from the City of Detroit made in honor to the Tuskegee Airmen by Mayor Dave Bing were the highlights of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy kickoff of its 6th Annual Detroit River Days Festival

Tuskegee Airmen who were honored; Jesse Rutledge, Bill Thompson, Richard Jennings, Ralph Mason, Sandy Reid, Washington Ross, Alex Jefferson, P.T. Cochran, William Fuller, Harry Stewart, Dr. John Cunningham, Frederick Henry, Burkes Esaw Sr., Eddie Marcy, and Arthur Green who is president of the Detroit Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, and a special thanks to Burt Lowe.

For those who are not familiar with the Tuskegee Airmen, they were a group of 932 pilots who trained at the Tuskegee Institute’s Division of Aeronautics, located in Alabama, with 355 pilots deployed overseas. Of that group, 30 pilots were prisoners of war and Alex Jefferson was a prisoner of war at the infamous Stalag Pow Camp.

The Red Tails were the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces. During World War II, African Americans in the United States were still subject to Jim Crow Laws. The American military was racially segregated. Despite these adversities, they trained and flew with distinction. So, we do still respectively honor the Tuskegee Airmen.

Faye Nelson, President and CEO and Matt Cullen, Board Chairman of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, and Robert Bury, CEO of the Detroit Historical Society were on hand to invite and welcome everyone to the festival.

The Detroit River Days Festival will be held for three days with such events as the Detroit River ArtScape competition, outdoor activities from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Maritime themed activities from the Detroit Historical Society, performers by local and national musicians with Boyz II Men, the Whispers and Kansas, a 5K run/walk and Pooch-a-Palooza canine walk and much more.

The 2012 River Days Festival kicks off Friday, June 22 at 11:00am and spans from the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor to the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority Terminal & Dock, west of the Renaissance Center. The festival hours are 11am-11pm on Friday and Saturday, and 11am-10pm on Sunday. Admission is $3 before 5pom, $5 after 5:00pm and free on Friday until 5:00pm. For more information visit 


400 kids attend 2nd annual Fishing Fest on the Detroit Riverfront #KidsFishingFest #TellUsDetroit

Saturday, June 9, 2012, over 400 youth attended a free program that gave families, parents, grandparents and children throughout Metro Detroit the opportunity to learn the basics of fishing while creating lasting memories and enjoying the beautiful Detroit River. The event kicks off the 2012 Detroit River Days Festival, one of the most highly anticipated summertime events happening June 22-24, 2012. (Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us Detroit)

DETROIT (Tell Us Detroit) – Saturday, June 9, 2012, over 400 youth attended a free program that gave families, parents, grandparents and children throughout Metro Detroit the opportunity to learn the basics of fishing while creating lasting memories and enjoying the beautiful Detroit River.

Program highlights included fishing instructions from the experts at Michigan Department of Natural Resources, free food, prizes, face painting, arts and crafts and a kids’ fun zone. Participants came with their own pole, tackle and a bucket, but a limited number of loaner poles were available.

Detroit River Days Kids Fishing Fest was presented by Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Rivertown Detroit Association, Gander Mountain, Grapentin Specialties, Inc., Wayne County Parks, Michigan State University Extension, Sea Grant Michigan, the United States Coast Guard, Michigan Department of Community Health, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This Detroit Riverfront Conservancy received $5,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through the Connecting People with Nature Program for this year’s event. This funding support is part of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to connect people to the outdoors through compelling recreational, educational, and conservation experiences. In Michigan, America’s Great Outdoors focuses on the Detroit River by improving public access to the Detroit River through parks and trails and engaging youth in river restoration.

For more information, visit


Crews begin to build stages at Hart Plaza for the 2012 MOVEMENT Festival this week

Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us Detroit)

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) – Crews started loading equipment onto Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit Monday around 9 a.m. for the Movement Electronic Music Festival. 2012 marks the 13th year the festival will occur in Detroit over Memorial Day Weekend.

Leading toward opening week crews will erect five stages; move-in huge sound systems and lighting rigs; set-up vendor booths and art installations by Detroit creative community–all in an effort to transform the concrete plaza into a premiere music venue that will showcase more  than 100 local and international electronic dance music stars.

Nearly 100,000 people from across the globe are expected to flock into Detroit’s Hart Plaza for the festival to see acts like Public Enemy, Carl Craig, DJ Sneak, Josh Wink, Marco Carola and Loco Dice

Movement Electronic Music Festival begins at noon on Saturday, May 26 and continues on May 27; and Monday, May 28. Hours are noon until midnight each day. For ticket information please visit

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