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A PR firestorm around Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert’s $5.5 billion Detroit project shows that money isn’t the biggest challenge he faces in revitalizing the city

Sunday July 8 th 2018

dan gilbertRebecca Cook/Reuters

  • Since moving his company, Quicken Loans, to downtown Detroit in 2010, Dan Gilbert has been investing billions of dollars into the city to revive it after decades of decline.
  • Last year, a marketing mistake confirmed many Detroiters’ fears that Gilbert’s project was looking to eliminate the city’s overwhelming black majority, fears built on a history of racial strife in Detroit.
  • Gilbert told us that he thought the “See Detroit As We Do” campaign was terrible and was against his goal of trying to transform the city for not only new business, but lifelong Detroiters.

Dan Gilbert, the billionaire owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has been transforming downtown Detroit for almost a decade. Since moving his mortgage company Quicken Loans to the neighborhood in 2010, he’s invested $3.5 billion (with $2.1 billion in development) through his real estate firm Bedrock.

With a roster of around 100 properties in or around the downtown area, it’s the most ambitious private project in Detroit, a city that recently survived bankruptcy and had developed a reputation around the world as a ghost town, a post-apocalyptic shell of a once great American city.

But even though Detroit’s downtown is now filled with bright new storefronts, renovated office buildings, and fast-moving construction sites, it’s still a city of around 670,000 people who have dealt with years of strife, corruption, neglect, and poverty. Many Detroiters are rightfully skeptical of change. And that came to a head last year, when a Bedrock ad sparked a major controversy in July.

If you don’t live in Detroit or aren’t aware of its history, the ad, which primarily features a crowd of young adults with the words, “See Detroit Like We Do,” may seem benign. But the lack of context that went into it is exactly why it became such a problem, and why it shows that community relations, not access to capital, is the biggest challenge in Gilbert’s massive undertaking.

detroit adKhaled Beydoun via Michigan Radio

In a city that is 80% black and largely working class, the poster seemed to communicate that Bedrock stood for a new Detroit for and by white people working for their companies, where a white downtown could thrive while minority neighborhoods would continue to languish. Local Detroit media ran with the story and it blew up on social media in the worst way possible.

Business Insider spoke with Gilbert in May, for an episode of our podcast “Success! How I Did It,” and he explained why he publicly apologized for and denounced the poster.

As he wrote in a Facebook post last year, “Although not intended to create the kind of feelings it did, the slogan/statement we used on these graphics was tone deaf, in poor taste and does not reflect a single value or philosophy that we stand for at Bedrock Development or in our entire Family of companies.”

Gilbert told us that Bedrock had developed a variety of ads featuring a diverse group of people around the city (he posted the full ad series on Facebook). A contractor they hired put up the first ad downtown and planned on finishing the rest on Monday. But Gilbert acknowledged that regardless of the images used, he found the slogan itself condescending and had not personally approved  it.

“Who cares how ‘we see Detroit’?!” he wrote on Facebook. “What is important is that Detroit comes together as a city that is open, diverse, inclusive and is being redeveloped in a way that offers opportunities for all of its people and the expected numerous new residents that will flock to our energized, growing, job-producing town where grit, hard-work and brains meld together to raise the standard of living of all of its people.”

But even after the poster was taken down and the slogan abandoned, Gilbert needs to convince remaining skeptics in the city that Bedrock and the rest of the Rock Ventures companies. He told us his companies employ 4,000 people in Detroit, and that they have been instrumental in blight removal (destroying abandoned or ruined properties) and the rejuvenation of homes outside of downtown. He also acknowledged that Rock Ventures could have a better line of communication with the neighborhoods outside of the downtown area, and that his Detroit project is indeed holistic.

“There’s no way businesses can be successful by having really bad neighborhoods and a successful downtown,” he told us. “It just doesn’t work that way.”

The Best Way To Get Free Car Insurance Quotes

LOS ANGELES, July 7, 2018 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Autocarinsurancecheap.com has published a new post that explains to its clients how to get free car insurance quotes!

Cars have become a necessity for our modern way of life. Without them, the world will be totally different. The need for protecting a car comes naturally. Owning car insurance is not only a moral but also a legal obligation. Online insurance quotes help in finding a good coverage plan at an affordable price. Use http://autocarinsurancecheap.com/ to compare prices, for free.

First of all, a driver must determine which companies provide the best insurance services. Reserve some time to perform an in-depth research, using data provided by the state’s Insurance Department and consumer websites that provide a rating.

Once you have determined the top companies, a driver must determine how he will get quotes from them. There are several ways to get quotes: via an insurance agent, via insurer’s own website or by using brokerage websites.

The insurance agent will assess a client’s risk profile, get as much info as possible and them provide quotes and sales options.  Keep in mind that even if the insurance agent provides quotes for free, he will still be paid by the insurance company for his services.

When using online quotes, the clients skip the salesman and his additional fees. Furthermore, online quotes are really advantageous. Submit forms can be easily customized, resulting in different price estimates.  

“Car insurance quotes are simple and efficient comparison tools. And if you provide accurate info, you will get really accurate and useful quotes,” said Russell Rabichev, Marketing Director of Internet Marketing Company.

Autocarinsurancecheap.com is an online provider of life, home, health, and auto insurance quotes. This website is unique because it does not simply stick to one kind of insurance provider, but brings the clients the best deals from many different online insurance carriers. In this way, clients have access to offers from multiple carriers all in one place: this website. On this site, customers have access to quotes for insurance plans from various agencies, such as local or nationwide agencies, brand names insurance companies, etc.

For more information, please visit http://autocarinsurancecheap.com/

Media Contact:Russell Rabichev, Internet Marketing Company, 8183593898, russellr@gmail.com

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach: https://ireach.prnewswire.com

 

SOURCE Autocarinsurancecheap.com

‘I definitely personally hope centralized exchanges burn in hell:’ Ethereum founder blasts the most powerful players in crypto

Ethereum cofounder creator Vitalik ButerinGetty/John Phillips

  • Vitalik Buterin had some choice words for centralized exchanges, according to TechCrunch. 
  • His remarks come as so-called decentralized exchanges gain popularity in the crypto world. 

Vitalik Buterin, the 24-year-old founder of the cryptocurrency Ethereum, had some choice words for centralized crypto exchanges. 

“I definitely personally hope centralized exchanges burn in hell as much as possible,” Buterin said speaking to TechCrunch

When bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, was founded in 2008 by the anonymous Satoshi Nakomoto, the point was to create a decentralized financial future that renders middlemen useless.

Nearly 10 years later, the centralized exchanges — those folks sitting in the middle of buyers and sellers — are among the most powerful players in the market for digital currencies such as ethereum and bitcoin.

Bloomberg News estimates they brought in $3 million a day last year. And exchanges such as Gemini and Coinbase are expanding at a clip, bringing on talent from Wall Street. 

“It’s hard to ignore the irony that an asset created to allow decentralization is currently almost completely traded on centralized exchanges,” Peter Johnson, a vice president at Jump Ventures, said in an interview.

Buterin, however, wants the crypto community to focus more on decentralization so that cryptos can more frequently trade peer-to-peer. Buterin’s remarks come as so-called decentralized exchange gain more attention.

Exchanges facilitate a number of functions in trading, including holding funds, matching buyers and sellers, and settling trades between traders. The more of those functions that occur peer-to-peer, the more decentralized an exchange is. The appeal of decentralized platforms is that since more functions occur on the blockchain there is less of a chance that hackers can steal funds. Notably, one-third of centralized crypto exchanges have been hacked, according to JPMorgan. 

Redar Relay, a type of decentralized exchange, has raised approximately $10 million from a number of investors including Blockchain Capital, sources tell Business Insider. With Redar Relay, settlement occurs on the blockchain itself, whereas matching is facilitated by a centralized entity.

On some decentralized exchanges, such as Ether Delta, settlement and matching is decentralized. Elsewhere, Coinbase bought decentralized exchange Paradex. And venture capital investors tell Business Insider decentralized exchanges have been a hot investment idea recently. 

Larson Electronics LLC Releases LED Light Package for Zetor 8441 Tractors

KEMP, Texas, July 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Industrial lighting leader, Larson Electronics LLC, has released an LED tractor light package that directly replaces and upgrades existing lights Zetor 8441 tractors. This LED light kit consists of six LED work lights – two top rear cab lights, two top front cab lights and two head light replacements. This light package provides operators with a powerful and versatile LED tractor lighting system upgrade.

LLP-ZT-TR-8441The LLP-ZT-TR-8441 LED Light Package is ideal for installation and use on a Zetor 8441 Tractor. Each LEDEQ-3X3-CPR produces 2,975 lumens and each IL-LED-DLR-4X6 produces 1,800 lumens of high-intensity LED light output on low beam mode and 2,600 lumens on high beam mode with low voltage and amp draw.

The LLP-ZT-TR-8441 tractor light package comes with four of Larson’s LEDEQ-3X3-CPR LED light bars which emit 2,975 lumens each at just 45 watts a piece, and shine bright white 6,000-6,500K illumination. These light bars are aluminum with polycarbonate lenses, and comply with CE, ROHS and E4 standards. Their IP67 certification means they are protected from dust and water immersion up to 3.3 feet. The four LED light bars are mounting with adjustable U-bracket style trunnion mounts for easy vertical light adjustment. These lights operate on 9V-64V DC.

Also included in the LLP-ZT-TR-8441 tractor light package are two Larson Electronics’ IL-LED-DLR-4X6 automotive headlights, which are direct replacements for existing fixtures. These headlights are low voltage 45-watt lights with both high and low beam settings. Die-cast aluminum and clear polycarbonate lenses protect the nine LED bulbs within each lamp. These LED headlight upgrades are IP67 rated and feature a breathable design which prevents fogging. An included chrome reflector ensures great illumination even in dark and hazy conditions. These LED headlights operate on 10-30V DC, including 12V DC and 24 VDC

“This LED tractor light package is a perfect upgrade for traditional tractor lights on the Zetors that waste energy and are not bright enough for dawn and dusk farming operations,� said Rob Bresnahan, CEO of Larson Electronics LLC. “Better yet, these LED lights have been specifically designed for direct replacement, so upgrading the existing ones is quick and painless.�

About Larson Electronics LLC: Larson Electronics LLC is a manufacturer of industrial lighting equipment and accessories. The company offers an extensive catalog of industry-grade lighting and power distribution products for the following sectors: manufacturing, construction, food processing, oil and gas, military, marine and automobile. Customers can benefit from the company’s hands-on, customized approach to lighting solutions. Larson Electronics provides expedited service for quotes, customer support and shipments.

For further information, please contact:
Rob Bresnahan, President and CEO
Toll-free: 1-800-369-6671
Phone: 214-616-6180
Fax: 903-498-3364
E-mail: sales@larsonelectronics.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/d7bfed2c-253d-4391-81aa-74c5c050ae71

Aerial Firefighters Deploy Assets To Huge, Early Season California Fires

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ – Operators of fixed wing air tankers and helicopters are continuing to drop fire retardant and water on the County Fire, which has scorched over 86,000 acres in Yolo and Napa Counties, with containment at 30 percent as of July 5. The smaller, but also destructive Pawnee fire, which exploded across Lake County on Saturday, June 23rd, has burned over 15,000 acres, prompting hundreds of evacuations, and destroying some 22 structures. Containment of that fire currently is 92 percent. Both fires are considered highly unusual in size and intensity this early in the California fire season, which generally hits its stride in mid to late July.

Responding to the fires, operators have put some of their aircraft immediately to work, and repositioned others for quick deployment, if required.

As of July 3, two BAe 146 tankers, flown by Missoula, Montana-headquartered Neptune Aviation Services were stationed in California. One is based at McClellan, outside of Sacramento, and is actively fighting the County Fire, following deployment on the Pawnee Fire. The other is at Merced working on a series of fires throughout central California. The tanker flying out of McClellan is under a CAL FIRE contract, while the other is contracted by the US Forest Service, (USFS). Both are call when needed contracts, according to Ron Hooper, the company’s Chief Executive Officer.

Hooper noted that the tanker at Merced has been operating at that location since it was activated on June 2nd, while the one at McClellan was called up for the Pawnee Fire on June 25. Each aircraft is supported by two pilots and two mechanics.

“At this time, seven of our nine BAe 146 tankers are out on either a USFS call when needed or exclusive use contract, or a CAL FIRE call when needed contract,” said Hooper. “The other two tankers are undergoing maintenance, with one available July 24th, and the other by late August.” He added that between June 20th and July 2nd, over 65 tanker hours were flown in California, alone.

“Forecasters see a significant fire season in the western part of the country—specifically the three West Coast states as well as western Montana,” Hooper said. “The reality is, there will be more fires this year, and the fires will be more intense—at least through September.”

On July 1, one of Helimax Aviation’s CH47D Chinook helicopters was activated under a CAL FIRE call when needed contract for water dropping on the Pawnee Fire, according to Josh Beckham, the Sacramento-headquartered company’s General Manager. The aircraft, he noted, is equipped with a 2,600 gallon Bambi bucket. Upon activation, the twin rotor helicopter was repositioned from its base at McClellan to Middletown, California, along with two pilots, five mechanics and a fuel truck driver for field support.

Beckham reported that Helimax currently has a total of six CH 47Ds. Along with the one on the Pawnee Fire, two are currently working in Utah and New Mexico. “I expect this to be a very busy fire season, and a longer one, especially in California due to the dry conditions,” he said.

During the same period, three S-64 Aircrane Helitanker, operated by Portland, Oregon-headquartered Erickson Inc., have been working on fires throughout California, including one on the Pawnee Fire, under a state call when needed contract. On July 1, one of the S64s was reassigned to the County Fire. That aircraft has subsequently been deployed to the Klamathon Fire, which has destroyed more than 8,000 acres near the Oregon border at Hornbrook.

Andy Mills, the company’s President, Commercial Aviation, explained that all three are equipped with 2,650 gallon-capacity tanks for water or fire retardant dropping. Supported in the field by a crew of five or more—per aircraft–depending on operating conditions and contractual requirements, each helicopter is capable of dropping up to 25,000 gallons per hour, flying multiple sorties.

“We are seeing above average early season activity and were well prepared for an early response,” Mills said. “At Erickson, we are constantly training and innovating to insure we are prepared to serve.”

Other companies have positioned aircraft closer to the fires in anticipation of a call-up. For example, Rick Livingston, President of Intermountain Helicopter in Sonora, California, noted that his single Bell 212HP was moved to Red Bluff under a CAL FIRE call when needed contract, following release from another CAL FIRE assignment.

The helicopter, he explained, is poised for immediate action, supported by a pilot, mechanic, mechanic’s helper and a fuel truck driver. “We have prepared for this since the middle of May, even though a normal fire season—with really large fires—usually begins in mid-July.”

Brian Jorgenson, Vice President, of Timberline Helicopters, Sandpoint, Idaho, reported that he moved a UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter to Sacramento for a possible CAL FIRE assignment. The helicopter, he said, is typically used for water and retardant dropping. Two pilots, a mechanic and fuel truck driver accompanied the aircraft. Jorgenson indicated he expects another active fire season.

“Fire seasons have a way of taking on their own personality. However, based on last season in California it will likely be another busy season,” he said.

Erickson Inc., Helimax Aviation, Intermountain Helicopter, Neptune Aviation Services and Timberline Helicopters are members of the American Helicopter Services and Aerial Firefighting Association (AHSAFA), the Washington-based trade association representing the privately operated aerial firefighting industry before federal government agencies tasked with wildland and natural resources management and protection.

SOURCE American Helicopter Services and Aerial Firefighting Association