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nancy kaffer

blighted home in Detroit
Bridge Magazine

A $250-million budget to combat blight. That’s what Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is hoping voters will approve. He wants a measure on the March 2020 ballot that would authorize the city to sell municipal bonds to cover the tab.

Nicole Honeywell / Unsplash

This is the first week of school for many Michigan kids. Most classrooms share some basic features – desks, chairs, a blackboard or dry-erase board, but what makes for a good classroom? That’s a question Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer has been asking different people in education for years. She recently got some new answers from Detroit Public Schools Community District superintendent Nikolai Vitti. Kaffer spoke to Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about what she learned. 

water faucet
Flickr user Bart / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

This year in Detroit the city water department has shut off service to nearly 12,000 accounts because of overdue bills. More than 5,000 of those are still without water. Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer revealed the numbers in a story published Wednesday and calls the situation a humanitarian crisis. 

African American man with facial recognition scan
Pro-stock Studio / Adobe Stock

New technology brings with it new powers and questions. Since Detroit police began using facial recognition technology, there have been questions about how if it should be used, if it should be used at all.

Update: Tuesday, July 30, 7:40 a.m. The debate about police use of facial recognition software continues in Detroit.

Experts and activists shared their concerns about the technology at a forum Monday. Some experts say their fears about the technology extend beyond its current use in Detroit.

Back of a school bus
Pixabay

In the presidential campaign, Democrat Joe Biden’s past positions on school busing have become an issue. Growing up in Alabama, Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer was bused as a result of a desegregation lawsuit. That experience has left her with questions about the legacy of those busing policies today.

college building exterior
Marygrove College

Marygrove College in Detroit will close for good this December. The school announced Wednesday it had informed its staff and 305 students of the decision. It's citing financial reasons. 

Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer has been covering the story. She spoke to Michigan Radio’s Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about her article, “Detroit's 92-year-old Marygrove College to close in December.

foreclosure sign outside old home
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Detroit offers people living in poverty a 100% exemption on their property taxes. It’s Detroit’s local adaption of a state law. But many Detroiters living below the poverty line don’t know about it. 

streetlight on neighborhood street
Public Lighting Authority of Detroit

When the city of Detroit finished installing 65,000 new LED street lights in 2016, it was big news. Just a couple of years earlier, about 40 percent of the city’s lights were out. But now, about 20,000 of those new lights are burning out well ahead of their life expectancy.

An aerial view of Little Caesar's Arena.
Michigan Radio

Little Caesar’s Arena in downtown Detroit gets high marks as a venue for watching both NHL hockey and NBA basketball and has attracted a string of high profile concerts since it opened in 2017. A new report by HBO’s Real Sports looks at what’s happened to the plans for the areas around the arena, which isn’t much. 

Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer spoke to Michigan Radio's Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about the project. 

John Engler
Cheyna Roth

State Attorney General Dana Nessel wants to talk with former Michigan State University interim president John Engler. The interview would be part of Nessel’s investigation into MSU’s handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case. But Nessel and Engler seem to be having trouble getting together.

Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer wrote about the situation this week. She spoke with Morning Edition host Doug Tribou. 

A long table surrounded by red chairs in a school classroom.
BES Photos / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

If you think about public schools in Michigan with declining student populations and funding, chances are you think of Detroit. Those issues have been affecting Detroit schools for decades. But more affluent communities aren’t immune to them.

Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer joined Michigan Radio's Morning Edition host Doug Tribou to discuss a similar problem in the public schools in Grosse Pointe.

Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree
Wayne County

Family members of Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree bought tax-foreclosed properties at auction in the county then ran up delinquent tax bills. Those purchases violated the rules of the treasurer’s office, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press. 

exterior of Detroit Public Safety Headquarters building
Mr. Granger / Wikimedia Commons

Violent crime in Detroit was down last year. Homicides and aggravated assaults fell by 2 percent from 2017. Robberies were down by 13 percent.

Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

For some families a snow day is a treat … a little shoveling, some sledding, or maybe building a snowman out in the yard. But string together a bunch of days without school and the problems can go beyond stir-crazy kids roaming around yelling, “I’m bored!”

A major snowstorm followed by a polar vortex has put Michigan in one of those stretches right now and among the legions of frustrated working parents is Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer

Gretchen Whitmer
Whitmer for Governor

Since taking office on New Year’s Day, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a series of executive directives including an order designed to help women get equal pay as state employees, and one to increase transparency in state government.

Nancy Kaffer is a columnist with the Detroit Free Press. She spoke to Michigan Radio’s Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about Whitmer’s first days in office. They also talked about the impact of dozens of communities that want to prohibit pot shops in their cities and townships now that recreational marijuana is legal.

An aerial view of Downtown Detroit with other part of the city in the distance.
Robert Thompson / Wikimedia Commons

Seven companies have pledged a total of $35 million to Detroit’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund. Making the announcement this week, Detroit officials called it the largest-ever corporate investment in the city’s neighborhoods. The money will help fund improvements to parks, streetscapes, and other features in areas beyond Downtown and Midtown.

foreclosure sign in front of house
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit runs an annual property tax-exemption program for its lowest-income homeowners. The deadline is Monday, but many qualified residents don't know about it or struggle with their applications.

They risk heading into foreclosure and eventually seeing their homes sold in the Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction.

car with dented bumper
Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

A lot of people have tried – and failed – to make significant changes to Michigan’s auto insurance system. Michigan drivers pay some of the highest premiums in country. Enter Detroit businessman Dan Gilbert. The billionaire chairman of Quicken Loans says he’s ready to take the issue to the voters in the form of a ballot proposal, if the state Legislature doesn’t take action soon.

Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer talks to Michigan Radio's Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about Gilbert’s plans.

MATT PICIO / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 


 

Nancy Kaffer, a columnist with The Detroit Free Press, is known for being biting, funny, and insightful. She joined Stateside to talk about some recent topics on which she’s offered opinions.