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Hatch Detroit Final Four

Hatch Detroit 2014

By Jeffrey Buck

The 2014 Hatch Detroit Contest Final Four are in and voting has already commenced.  Voters now must choose only one business each day in this round. The four finalists that will continue to try and win your heart are the following:

Cockadoodle – Breakfast/Lunch concept on Avenue of Fashion

Gabriel Hall – Live New Orleans style entertainment bar & restaurant

Sister Pie – Bakery including pies, cookies and more

Third Wave Music – Instrument retail store

You can vote by visiting their website, click here. The Hatch Off, this Wednesday August 20th,is where the winner will be announced. The crown will be awarded by 50% popular votes and 50% Hatch Off Judge votes. If there happens to be a tie the winner will be determined by the total number of popular votes from both rounds of voting. Tickets for the Hatch off being held at Ford Field can be purchased by clicking here.

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Hatch Detroit Voting in Full Swing

Hatch Detroit 2014

By Jeffrey Buck

The 2014 Hatch Detroit Contest Top 10 we’re announced last week and are now looking for your vote. Voters may choose up to four business for the first round of voting and participate once per day. The lucky ten semifinalists looking to win your heart are the following:

Alegria Pops – Authentic paletas (Mexican ice pops)

Bumbo’s – Polish bar/cuisine

Cockadoodle – Breakfast/Lunch concept on Avenue of Fashion

Gabriel Hall – Live New Orleans style entertainment bar & restaurant

McClary Bros. Outpost – Tasting room/Soda shoppe

Rocco’s Italian Deli – Midotwn deli

Sister Pie – Bakery including pies, cookies and more

Third Wave Music – Instrument retail store

Uncle Bug’s Organic Creamery – Ice cream manufacturer

1701 Bespoke – Custom clothing

You can vote by visiting their website, click here. Past winners have included Hugh, La Feria and Batch Brewing. The top four finalists will be announced on August 15th at which point Round Two of voting will begin. The Hatch Off and winner will be announced on August 20th.

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Leap into Conservati​on by Joining FrogWatch

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Detroit Zoological Society is encouraging Southeast Michigan residents to hop to it and join the local chapter of FrogWatch USA. The “citizen science” program teaches volunteers how to identify frogs and toads by their breeding calls and gather and record data that supports a national network.

“We already know about the extinctions and crises amphibians face globally, but data is deficient in our own backyards. This program allows us to keep better records and monitor our native species for any changes that may occur,” said Detroit Zoological Society Curator of Amphibians Marcy Sieggreen.

FrogWatch remaining training classes for 2014 will be held Sunday, Feb. 23, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Thursday, March 6, 5 to 9 p.m., at the Detroit Zoo’s Ford Education Center. For more information or to register, contact Associate Curator of Amphibians Rebecca Johnson at rjohnson@dzs.org.

FrogWatch volunteers choose from locations throughout the tri-county area and monitor the sites for several weeks. Their observations provide valuable insight into whether amphibians in the region are declining or increasing or if new species are being found in areas where they have not been identified before.

More than one-third of the planet’s 6,000 amphibian species are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, climate change, pollution, infectious diseases and other factors. FrogWatch is intended to raise awareness of these environmental threats.

FrogWatch USA is a collaborative effort among the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums throughout the U.S. The program allows individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and to contribute to the conservation of amphibians.

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Detroit Zoo to Collect Food Donations During Wild Lights

Wild Lights - Detroit Zoo

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Visitors to Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo are encouraged to bring a canned or other non-perishable food item to be donated to Gleaners Community Food Bank. As presenting sponsor of the holiday light display, Bank of America is organizing the food drive to help provide meals to individuals and families in need across Metro Detroit.

In addition, for every dollar donated online to national food bank network Feeding America’s Give a Meal campaign, Bank of America will match it by $2. A link to donate can be found by clicking here.

“Thanks to our partnership with Bank of America, Wild Lights guests can help ensure that everyone in our community has enough to eat this holiday season,” said Ron Kagan, Detroit Zoological Society Executive Director and CEO.

Wild Lights will feature more than two million twinkling LED lights adorning buildings, animal sculptures and trees on a half-mile trail through the front of the Detroit Zoo. The event will also include live entertainment, a musical light show, cookie decorating, storytelling, ice carving demonstrations and a Lego city and train display.

Wild Lights will be held for 24 nights Nov. 23-24, 29-30; Dec. 1, 6-8, 13-15, 20-23, 26-30, 2013; and Jan. 2-5, 2014. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and remain open until 9 p.m. weeknights and Sundays and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is $8 per person in advance and $10 at the gate for ages 2 and up (under 2 free); parking is $5 per car. Tickets can be purchased at Detroit Zoo main admissions, online at http://www.detroitzoo.org/events/wild-lights and at all Michigan Kroger stores.

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Mariner’s Inn to host River Rhythm Fundraiser Nov. 8

Save-The-Date-RR13_WebBanner

DETROIT – Mariners Inn will host its 25th annual River Rhythm gala fundraiser at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.

Detroit Tigers special assistant and 1968 World Series champion Willie Horton will serve as keynote speaker for the event. The evening will feature a VIP reception with Willie Horton, a plated dinner, silent and live auctions, an award ceremony and entertainment.

The theme of this year’s black-tie 25th anniversary event is “Silver Linings of Recovery,” celebrating the self-worth, dignity and hope Mariners Inn provides to those struggling with addiction.

Monies raised by River Rhythm support Mariners Inn services, with 92 cents per dollar directly benefiting programming. Last year Mariners Inn provided vital recovery services to more than 600 homeless men, as well as family and youth outreach services focused on family reunification to nearly 170 individuals.

“River Rhythm is an opportunity for us to honor the individuals and generous donors who have supported our mission and made possible the continued expansion of our services, which now includes at-risk youth and young adults,” said David Sampson, chief executive officer of Mariners Inn.

Tickets are $150 each or $1,500 for a table of 10. Mariners Inn is seeking sponsors and donations of raffle items for River Rhythm. For information regarding sponsorships or to purchase tickets, please call Shauna Vercher-Morrow at 313-962-9446 ext. 230 or e-mail smorrow@marinersinn.org.

About the Mariners Inn:

Founded in 1925 by the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, Mariners Inn is a nonprofit homeless shelter, substance abuse treatment center and family social service agency dedicated to helping men who want to be free of addiction achieve a life filled with dignity and purpose. Based in Detroit’s Cass Corridor neighborhood, Mariners Inn provides a wide range of community social services including residential and outpatient treatment, transitional housing, family outreach, alcohol and highway safety, career training, peer mentoring, youth prevention and more. Ninety-two cents of every dollar contributed directly benefits Mariners Inn programming and services. For more information about Mariners Inn please call 313-962-9446 or visit www.marinersinn.org. “Recovery is real…and begins at Mariners Inn.”

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Neighborhood Service Organization Partners with Quicken Loans to Reduce Homelessness in Detroit

Sheilah Clay, NSO President and CEO and Bill Emerson, Quicken Loans Inc. CEO.

Sheilah Clay, NSO President and CEO and Bill Emerson, Quicken Loans Inc. CEO.

DETROIT —Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO) announced Wednesday a partnership with Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online home lender, as part of its efforts to fight homelessness in Detroit.

Focused on being “always within reach,” NSO is a private, non-profit human service agency providing accessible and innovative human service programs designed to support and strengthen individuals and families and empowering communities. As part of its commitment to Detroit’s neighborhoods, Quicken Loans has partnered with NSO to help finish renovating the former Michigan Bell Building into permanent, supportive housing for homeless adults as well as a health clinic for the community.

“Today we are celebrating the one-year anniversary of the residential opening of the NSO Bell Building,” said NSO President and CEO Sheilah Clay. “Quicken Loans’ generosity will take us closer to completing the restoration of this historic building while the people living here are working daily to restore their lives. Together, with partners like Quicken Loans, our community can truly put an end to homelessness in Detroit.”

Quicken Loans has contributed $350,000 to NSO to support the renovation of the historic Michigan Bell building. NSO and Quicken Loans are also teaming up to provide Bell Building residents with professional development initiatives that will help them be successful. Quizzle (part of the Quicken Loans family of companies) team members have already begun educating residents on credit ratings and how to improve them. “NSO is doing incredible work to give homeless individuals a second chance at success,” said Quicken Loans CEO Bill Emerson. “We are proud to support NSO’s efforts to reduce homelessness in Detroit and are looking forward to partnering further with NSO to help Detroit residents.”

The NSO Bell Building includes 155 furnished 500 square-foot apartments, as well as a gym, library, computer room, library, art and music rooms and a chapel. NSO provides intensive case management, mental health and addiction treatment, financial literacy, community engagement activities, and other on-site support in one location to better help residents restore their lives. NSO’s headquarters are also now located within the Bell Building along with their Older Adult Services and Emergency Telephone Crisis and Suicide Prevention Services programs.

About Neighborhood Service Organization

Since 1955, Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO) has been reaching out to people across metropolitan Detroit by strengthening and empowering neighborhoods, supporting families and helping people in need. Over the years, the scope and variety of services offered have grown into a network of sophisticated, vertically integrated programs that have received local, statewide and national recognition. For more information about NSO, visit http://www.nso-mi.org.

About Quicken Loans

Detroit-based Quicken Loans Inc. is the nation’s largest online home lender and the country’s third largest retail home mortgage lender. The company closed a record $70 billion of volume across all 50 states in 2012. Quicken Loans generates loan production from web centers located in Detroit, Cleveland and Scottsdale, Arizona. The company also operates a centralized loan processing facility in Detroit, as well as its San Diego-based One Reverse Mortgage unit. Quicken Loans ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among all home mortgage lenders in the United States by J.D. Power and Associates in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

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A conversation with the guys behind Corktown Cinema

corktown_cinema_logo

By Patrick Smith

It has been a hard, frustrating few years since The Burton Theatre in Detroit was forced to close its doors due to a dispute with its landlord. Since then we here at the Spine have been following the ups and downs of their quest to find a permanent home with the same anticipation and attachment as the rest of Detroit. Now it looks like our days of waiting may soon be over. But first you have to go vote for Corktown Cinema in the Hatch Detroit contest. Like right now, go vote on Facebook and at Hatch.com, then wait 24 hours and one minute and do it again. Repeat until August 29.

And you need to do this everyday because Corktown Cinema is proof that all the nice stuff you want to believe about Detroit is true.

During its too-brief run, The Burton was the sort of place people are talking about when they talk about the possibilities of Detroit. Too often all that bluster about the freedom and space to make what you want of the world just ends with Dutch people buying shitty houses, but the people behind the Burton actually took an old school and turned it into a really special place to watch movies. And then they showed incredible and unique films there. The Burton wasn’t just about having a movie theatre in Detroit that was like theatres in other cities, it was about having one that was better. Which is the idea after all, right?

Any confusion or frustration felt by fans of the former Burton, now Corktown is understandable. For a long time it looked like they had a spot in an exciting new complex in Corktown (hence the new name) but that development has hit some snags. It is understandable that people set themselves up for failure, or brace for expected disappointment. But the Corktown guys haven’t stopped working. Since the Burton closed, Brandon Walley joined Jeff Else as a part owner. Walley was the director of the Detroit Film Center and is a filmmaker himself, so he brings valuable knowledge and perspective to the operation.

This week both Else and Walley answered some questions for the Spine. Their edited answers are below.

Woodward Spine: The Hatch contest winner gets $50,000. What are you going to do with the money?

Brandon Walley: Corktown Cinema will become a reality. It has become a singular mission for Jeff and I. Winning Hatch Detroit will put us on the fast track to purchasing the building that will be a perfect fit for us in Corktown. Having our own space as oppose to renting, as was the case with Burton Theatre, will allow us to do everything Burton did but on steroids. So much more opportunity to have unique programming and events that aren’t offered in Detroit currently.
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Jeff Else: We will be using the $50,000 in conjunction with some private investment we have committed towards the purchasing of a building to house the cinema, and the expenses involved in adapting the space.
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WS: Why should people vote for you?
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BW: We are offering something that is singularly unique to Detroit right now. Anyone that lives in the city knows that going to see a movie usually means driving to the suburbs. But mainly, we will offer programming that isn’t even offered anywhere in Michigan. Major cities in the US have options for unique cinema, we’ll bring it to Detroit but also do it better than most. Basically, we’re all friends working towards the same goal… cinema not otherwise offered in Detroit. The mantra remains.
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JE: We think watching movies in a social setting (with a beer maybe) is an essential part of any vibrant community.  As anyone who lives in the city can tell you, far too often seeing a movie involves going to the suburbs.  There are only 4 functioning movie theatres in the city, most of them on the outskirts.  We think that’s tragic.  Also, we’ve proved that this idea works.  We were open for almost two years as the Burton Theatre, and developed a loyal following when we were forced to close due to a dispute with our landlord.  We have card-carrying members.. Detroit wants this.
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WS: What else you guys working on beyond this contest?
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JE: Well we’ve been working hard towards finding a suitable building for the cinema, which is a bit more challenging than just finding your average storefront, that’s really been our focus this year.  We kept up a fairly consistent pop-up schedule after the Burton closed, but we’re really trying hard to find a permanent home now.
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BW: Beyond my role as Program Director for Corktown, I’m lucky that I get the opportunity to program (when asked) for other organizations. I’m curating the next Mothlight Cinema here in Detroit, which is a really great outlet for avant garde cinema (bridging the gap until CC opens.) Programming at Nightingale Microcinema in Chicago this fall and continuing to be the regional programmer for Media City in Canada.
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Then, well I’m a filmmaker. Keep working. Hopefully my first feature, loosely based on the Detroit music scene, will be done by the end of the year.
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WS: It has been a while since you closed, what has been going on since then? Why the hold up?
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JE: Oh boy, so many things.  We had been working with some developers from New York for about a year and a half to be part of a big complex of independent retail, food etc.. they are doing in Corktown, but their development hit some snags and is sort of in limbo.  Earlier this year we were in a prolonged bidding war for a building that we ultimately lost.  So, you know, just mundane stuff, but we’ve been working hard all the while to make it happen, and there’s no stopping us.
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