There’s a bit of a puff piece on Detroit in the Boston Globe today:
Detroit neighborhoods are being relit, its vacant homes are being sold off or torn down, its public transportation is cleaner and more often on schedule, and the city has renegotiated some burdensome union contracts.
In the little more than a year since state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr made Detroit the largest US city to seek bankruptcy protection, it has experienced a wide range of improvements that will factor into Judge Steven Rhodes’s decisions during next month’s bankruptcy trial.
Since then, the city has installed at least 10,000 new streetlights. It is also going after absentee landlords, threatening to take and sell or demolish vacant houses that violate city codes. Eight houses awarded to the city’s Land Bank are being put up for auction. Belle Isle, the city’s most popular public park, has been put under state control and received a much-needed cleaning.
There are a few things here: first cutting people salaries and benefits is presented as a good thing; second, something is being left out. Now what was it, oh yes:
On Friday in Detroit, hundreds of local residents and activists — and, somewhat inexplicably, Mark Ruffalo — gathered to protest what has become an only-in-Detroit kind of crisis: The city’s water utility has been shutting off service to thousands of homes, many with the elderly, the poor and children inside.
This actually sounds like it’s more complicated than it appears, but if you’re going to do a story on how Detroit is doing it seems that you should probably include that thousands of people are now going without water.