LANSING (CBS Detroit) – It would no doubt be controversial, but the idea of dissolving the fiscally struggling city of Detroit and absorbing it into Wayne County is being tossed around in Lansing.
WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reports some state Republicans are talking about giving the city the option to vote itself into bankruptcy. And mid-Michigan Senator Rick Jones said all options should be considered — including dissolving the city. READ MORE.
Detroit’s story has encapsulated the iconic narrative of America over the last century— the Great Migration of African Americans escaping Jim Crow; the rise of manufacturing and the middle class; the love affair with automobiles; the flowering of the American dream; and now . . . the collapse of the economy and the fading American mythos. With its vivid, painterly palette and haunting score, DETROPIA sculpts a dreamlike collage of a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution. These soulful pragmatists and stalwart philosophers strive to make ends meet and make sense of it all, refusing to abandon hope or resistance. Their grit and pluck embody the spirit of the Motor City as it struggles to survive postindustrial America and begins to envision a radically different future.
Detroit face unique demographic challenges and Michigan was the only state to show a net population decline in the decade ending in 2010.
In the period from 2000 through 2010, amid the economic upheaval that shook Michigan to its foundations, people in the state were remarkably consistent at one thing: dying.
Annual deaths for that 11-year period averaged 86,746 — with a range of just several thousand year to year in a state of about 10 million people. Meantime, births were declining almost every year over that same span, from 136,048 in 2000 down to 114,717 by 2010.
The result, according to a new analysis by Data Driven Detroit, was a 47% drop in Michigan’s natural population change from 2000-10. In 2000, births exceeded deaths by 49,060; by 2010, the margin was just 26,659. READ MORE.
Midwest states saw the largest net loss of school buildings from 2006-07 to 2010-11 school years, according to Education Department data.
The Midwest has lost more than 2,100 public schools in recent years as school districts hammered by population loss scrambled to shift students and save money.
From 2006-07 through 2010-11, the region saw a net loss of 2,110 K-12 schools, according to a USA TODAY analysis of U.S. Department of Education data. The rest of the nation had a net gain of 965, largely from growth in the West.
The closings — which often see students moved to other buildings in a district — can affect home prices and businesses and often take an emotional toll on residents.
“It’s like losing the soul of the community,” said Terry Ryan, vice president for Ohio Programs & Policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a public policy center focused on education. “It’s a painful experience.”
The Midwest has been losing schools for some time, but the trend has accelerated in the past decade, largely because of economic issues, Ryan said. READ MORE.
The population of Detroit fell by 25% in the decade to 2010, an unprecedented development for a large American city which has created new challenges for its remaining residents. ROCHELLE RILEY writes in the Detroit Free Press:
Marylyn Thurmond had been a registered nurse at Detroit Receiving Hospital for 13 years when she was diagnosed with arthritis. She has had both hips replaced. Six weeks ago, she was diagnosed with lupus. She also suffers from hypertension, diabetes and coronary heart failure.
Marylyn Thurmond is 57 years old.
Novella Walker-Page was a registered nurse at Hutzel Hospital in high-risk labor and delivery for 26 years before becoming a home care nurse and then a contract nurse for the Detroit Public Schools. One day, she fell from the bus that took her around for student care. During that same doctor’s visit, she learned that she had sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease. She also suffers from hypertension, high cholesterol and atopic dermatitis, a skin condition.
Walker-Page, who cares for her 95-year-old mother at her northwest Detroit home, is 60. She doesn’t think she’ll live as long as her mother or her grandmother, who died at 116.
Thurmond and Walker-Page are among a fast-growing part of Detroit’s population — the new elderly, people who are 50-59 years old but more like 60-74 in terms of their health. Neither, for now, wants or needs nursing home care. But as that need is growing among their age group, their chances of finding it are in decline. READ MORE.