January 2, 2014
Re "California is no Detroit," Opinion, Dec. 29 John D.R. Clark's explanation of the state's pension problem was easy for even a regular guy like me to understand. He tells us that because of the post-1999 enhanced retirement formula, public employees with 30 years of service can retire with 90% of their salary. He mentions that bankrupt Detroit had no way to meet its pension promises, but that the vast majority of cities and counties in California are not on a path to bankruptcy.
January 1, 2014 |
Though it's not officially naming the car yet, Nissan will use the upcoming Detroit Auto Show to give us a good idea of what the next-generation Maxima will look like. The automaker announced Tuesday it plans to unveil the Sport Sedan Concept, a vehicle that points to where Nissan will take the design of a new Maxima that is due in production form later in 2014. PHOTOS: Highlights from the 2014 Detroit Auto Show The full-size, front-wheel-drive car sits at the top of Nissan's sedan lineup, and competes with the likes of the Chevy Impala, Toyota Avalon, Hyundai Azera and Kia Cadenza.
December 26, 2013 |
Detroiters may despise the ruins that surround them, but the hundreds - if not thousands - of tourists who come to see the derelict buildings say the experience helps them understand the Motor City. There are hundreds of buildings to explore: Jesse Welter, the photographer and urban explorer featured in a Los Angeles Times story , calls the city "an amusement park. " Cindy Lindow has gone on 22 tours with Welter. She lives in St. Clair, about 50 miles north of Detroit, but grew up in the city and has some nostalgia for the way it used to be. Her uncle was a priest in a church she has toured.
December 25, 2013 |
DETROIT - He'd heard stories of ruin and blight, but that didn't prepare Oliver Kearney for what he saw: Prostitutes roaming the streets at 8 a.m., rubble-strewn parking lots overrun with weeds, buildings taken over by bright pink graffiti, the message scrawled on blackboards in deserted schools: "I will not write in vacant buildings. " He took 2,000 photographs his first day. "No other American city has seen decline on this scale," Kearney said. "It's really a once-in-a-lifetime thing you're going to see. " And he saw it all on a tour.
December 23, 2013 |
Lexus and Kia are just the latest automakers to offer a peek behind the curtain for their plans at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Lexus, Toyota's fancy division, has confirmed what we originally suspected earlier this month: it will use the 2014 Detroit Auto Show to unveil a high-performance F version of its yet-to-be-released RC Coupe. Lexus hasn't revealed details about the unnamed variant, but it will build on the base RC Coupe unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in November.
December 21, 2013 |
D is for disheartening, devastation and disappointment. D is also for Dallas and Detroit. In a matter of weeks, the Cowboys and Lions have gone from the thick of the playoff race to a race to the bottom. They are a combined 0-4 since posting Thanksgiving wins and have tumbled from the top of their respective divisions. Both teams were 7-5 after their Nov. 28 victories, with the Lions seeded third in the NFC and the Cowboys seeded fourth. The Cowboys and Lions are now seeded eighth and ninth, respectively, and both Dallas' Jason Garrett and Detroit's Jim Schwartz are dangling by threads.
December 19, 2013 |
Works of art at the Detroit Institute of Art have been valued as high as $867 million in a report from the auction house Christie's that was officially delivered to the city Thursday. The valuation only covers those pieces that were purchased by the city, or roughly 5% of the museum's collection of 66,000 works. Christie's said in its report that the fair market value of city-owned art at the museum has a range of $454 million to $867 million. The report covers approximately 2,800 pieces of art in the DIA collection.
December 19, 2013 |
Are you an aspiring writer who wants to get cozy in a house and practice your craft, but just can't afford to pay for that house? Detroit has an offer for you. A group called Write-A-House is offering a writer-in-residency program. The chosen writer will get a house that is 80% renovated (by young people learning the construction trade). He or she will finish the work to make the house habitable and cover insurance and taxes. In exchange, the writer will be expected to live full time in the house, blog for the Write-A-House website, participate in literary readings and engage with the community.
December 17, 2013 |
Mini has announced that it will use the 2014 Detroit Auto Show in January to flex a little bit of muscle and reveal the John Cooper Works concept. The car is a high-performance iteration of the all-new 2014 Cooper Hardtop that Mini showed off at the L.A. Auto Show in November. Mini -- an offshoot of BMW -- has traditionally built a John Cooper Works version of nearly every model it builds. Powertrain details on the JCW concept haven't been disclosed, but it will likely use a tuned version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine in the new Cooper S. That model makes 189 horsepower and a maximum of 207 pound-feet of torque, so certainly expect a healthier piece of performance pie from the JCW version.
December 16, 2013 |
The C-class sports sedan from Mercedes-Benz is often called the “baby Benz” because it was the smallest and least expensive model the German automaker sold in the U.S. Baby has grown up. Mercedes revealed details Monday about the next generation C class, which will go on sale as a 2015 model next fall. The car is roomier than the current model and will offer more safety features and amenities, including a touch pad on the center console that will work the controls. PHOTOS: The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-class “The car matures,” said Steve Cannon, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz USA. “The level of refinement takes a dramatic step up.” The role of the C had to change because it is no longer expected to bring entry-level buyers into the Mercedes brand, Cannon said, a task that's now on the shoulders of the smaller and less expensive CLA. Mercedes hasn't discussed its pricing strategy but hinted that the vehicle will sell close to its current cost, which starts at around $36,000 and quickly climbs north with options.