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Flint Residents Paid The Highest Rates In The US For Their Lead-Contaminated Water [VICE News]
“Some of the poorest people in the US are paying the highest price for the worst quality water in the United States. It’s appalling — and in a region we call the Great Lakes.”

Once In a Great City: A Detroit Story By David Maraniss [The News & Record]
Rather than dissecting the forces that ganged up to bring his hometown low, Maraniss has instead given us a snapshot of the city at its giddy peak, when everyone was too busy making money and great music and great cars to notice that the worm was already in the apple.

The Best Breweries In Cleveland: A Cheat Sheet [Wall Street Journal]
“The audience here is just used to craft beer. It’s not really a new thing here. So on one the hand you have very traditional beer styles…but then all these little upstart breweries can feel free to experiment and try a bunch of new things because they know the that the audience here, the drinkers here, have have grown up with craft beers…”

Study Of Akron Paints Mixed Picture Of Erie [Erie Times-News]
The good news is that per capita and household incomes have continued to increase in Erie County. But the bad news is that Erie residents have seen their buying power decline.

Bringing The Silver Screen To The Rust Belt [The Jambar]
“I feel there needs to be more focused efforts on specific things. I know it’s hard to do that because the population here is more limited than trying to do something in Cleveland, or Pittsburgh, or even Akron. There’s a lot more support you can get behind niche ideas because there are more people that are probably interested, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do things like that. It just means we need to cater to the appropriate proportion.”

From Optimism To Arrogance: A Look At EPA On The Eve Of Another Great Lakes Day [Great Lakes Echo]
The region has experienced two significant drinking water failures in two years: Toledo and Flint. That’s what’s in the spotlight. People have been hurt and the region’s brand, if it had one other than Rust Belt, has been further tarnished.

New Crop Of Buffalo Coffee Shops Ups The Bar For Quality [The Buffalo News]
This “third wave” of coffee culture, which emphasizes quality, took a while to reach Buffalo after its 1990s beginnings in hipper locales. But now that it’s here, neighborhood joints with an uncommon focus on quality beans, advanced brewing methods and clear, clean flavors are popping up in unexpected places.

Banner photo of Cleveland, OH by W. Rickman.

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