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  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times

    Turns out, our very own Jack Lessenberry knows the Grosse Pointer seeking to ban the MT: Ten years or so ago, a woman named Andrea Lavigne sat in on some media survey classes I was teaching at Wayne State University. She was in her late 30s or early 40s, and seemed to be searching for answers. She wanted to know how the media work, and told me she was a Maoist. This fascinated me, because I thought authentic Maoists were almost as rare as passenger pigeons. Chairman Mao, we now know, starved to death and slaughtered tens of millions of his own citizens, and kept China economically and intellectually backward. Intrigued, I got together one night before class with her and another Maoist, to find out what they were all about. Alas, they spouted a form of primitive, grade-school Marxism. They seemed to have very little historical knowledge of Communism or what it had actually been like. Yes. A Maoist. Read the full story at Michigan Radio here.

    The post Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’

    A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the owner of Detroit’s municipal solid waste incinerator Monday, accusing the company of nuisance and gross negligence violations According to the complaint filed by Detroit-based Liddle & Dubin P.C., “On occasions too numerous to list, Plaintiffs’ property including Plaintiffs’ neighborhood, residences and yards were physically invaded by noxious odors and contaminants … As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s’ negligence in operating and/or maintaining the facility, Plaintiffs’ property has been invaded by noxious odors.” The eight-page complaint charges that local property values have dropped due to the incinerator’s presence, “and has interfered with Plaintiffs’ use and enjoyment of their property.” The lawsuit, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, seeks a financial award in excess of $25,000 and all costs and attorney fees related to the case. In an email, a spokesperson for the company says, “Detroit Renewable Power is reviewing the complaint filed today,” but declined further comment. The suit comes weeks after a Metro Times’ cover story earlier this month found a growing number of odor complaints from nearby residents since Detroit Renewable Power LLC (DRP) took control of the facility in 2010. The investigation found a spike in citations from the Michigan Department […]

    The post Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup

    The High Times Medical Cannabis Cup is more than just a celebration — although with the recent shift in attitudes toward marijuana legalization, there certainly is much to celebrate.  HT‘s Danny Danko described it as “just like any other harvest festival or a county fair where people bring their best produce, their best pigs and horses and cows, and they compete with each other for bragging rights, basically.” Here are a list of winners from this year’s Cannabis Cup, who did indeed walk home with some well-deserved bragging rights — if anyone knows their marijuana it’s High Times: Indica 1ST - Oasis Medical Seeds - Paris OG 2ND - Herbal Solutions - Alien Dawg F2 3RD - Herban Legendz, LLC - Grape OX Sativa 1ST - Arborside Compassion - CATFISH 2ND - Organibliss - Ghost Train Haze #1 3RD - We Grow Education and Collective Centers - MelonGum Hybrid 1ST - Herbal Solutions - Gorilla Glue 2ND - Pure West Compassion Club - Death Star 3RD - Kushman Veganics for Buds & Roses - Veganic Candyland Concentrate 1ST - Mr. B’s Extracts - Raskal’s Lemon 2ND - 710 Savant - Kosher Kush Dewaxed 3RD - Oasis Medical / Vader Extracts / Dab Vader - Candy Jack Shatter Non-Solvent Hash 1ST - NLG - Jedi Kush Ice Wax 2ND - Arborside Compassion - HeadCandy Kush Hash 3RD - New World Seeds Resource […]

    The post Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative

    So is the title of the press release we received this morning from The Satanic Temple. You may recall our interview with Doug Mesner from earlier this year. The Satanic Temple is, perhaps, best known for trying to build a child-friendly monument to satan in OKC: How Mesner and TST are rocking the Hobby Lobby ruling is interesting: The Satanic Temple Leverages Hobby Lobby Ruling to Claim Exemption From State Mandated ProLife Materials Reads the next line of the press release. And then their website: A number of states require that abortion providers give information to patients that maybe inaccurate or misleading. Demands that members of the Satanic Temple, or those who share our beliefs, be subjected against our will to anything but the best scientific understanding are a violation of our religious beliefs. Thanks to rulings such as Hobby Lobby, we can take a stand against these practices. Mesner points out how the Hobby Lobby ruling bolsters their position: While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when […]

    The post Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio

    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Your guide to Detroit's ruins

Urban explorer Seph Lawless give tips for anyone crazy enough to follow his footsteps.

Photo: Photo courtesy of Seph Lawless., License: N/A

Photo courtesy of Seph Lawless.

Seph Lawless examines a typical Detroit ruin.


Ruin porn, urban exploring, urban spelunking — call it what you will, but the fascination with Detroit’s ruins is undeniable. Photographer Seph Lawless prefers to use his own term, though. “This isn’t really ‘urban exploring.’ This is a strategic autopsy being done on America,” says Lawless (no, that’s not his real name), who has been photographing rust belt ruins since just after 9/11. “I wanted people to see a different side of America that they didn’t really know existed,” he says. His photos have been published in a book, Autopsy of America.

The fascination with Detroit’s ruins has only risen in recent years, even though the ruins have been sitting there for decades. “I was just up there [at the Packard Plant],” says Lawless, who is originally from Detroit but now lives in Cleveland. “On that day, on a Saturday, there were literally 200 cars there. I’ve never seen that many people.”

Lawless doesn’t discourage people from following his path, but he does advise wannabe explorers to exercise caution. “I was naive,” Lawless says. “Terrible things have happened to people who unsuspectingly go into these places and don’t really understand the danger.” Lawless has the following advice for anyone crazy enough to follow his footsteps:

Wear dark clothes: “Let’s face it, you’re going to places that you’re not really allowed to go in. You don’t want to draw attention,” says Lawless. “It’s trespassing across the board.” Lawless has been arrested more than 50 times for explorer-related incidents. “I never vandalize anything,” Lawless says, but he has been arrested for kicking in doors or removing plywood to access places. Beware.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket: “If you’re going to park somewhere, a lot of the times your car will get busted into,” Lawless says. “I wouldn’t keep everything in your car, but I definitely wouldn’t keep everything on you.” Lawless advises keeping a phone in your car and on your person, and keeping a credit card in your sock. “You just have to assume that stuff is going to happen.”

Watch the floors: “People don’t understand how dangerous it is,” Lawless says. “I’ve had floors fall down while I was on that floor, and it shook the whole thing like an earthquake.” 

Look out for wild animals: Lawless recounts climbing to the top of the Whittier Hotel. “That one has a falcon — two of them — that sit on top,” he says. “So when you go up there, you get attacked. It was quite an experience.”

You don’t have to go for the obvious landmarks: “There’s a lot of great, crumbling, kind of apocalyptic-looking homes in Brush Park,” Lawless says. “Some of them have been renovated, some of them have been taken over by the artists. I really get a kick out of the older-style homes.”

Just cruise Gratiot: “You just go down that street, it’s very sobering,” Lawless says. “You just go down that stretch, from downtown all the way, either which way you look, it’s a pretty sobering reality of what’s going on.”

Be respectful: “What [people] don’t understand is these places aren’t really abandoned,” Lawless says. “Some of the most disenfranchised Americans live in these locations. You more than likely aren’t going to be welcome there. That’s the reality of it.” Oftentimes squatters will break glass on the stairs to serve as an alarm system.

You could be looking for trouble: “I carry,” Lawless says. “I’ve been confronted too many times. You’ll get wild dogs, pit bulls that will come right up to you. Criminals, drug addicts, people approaching you, all sorts of different things.” Fortunately, Lawless has not had to use his piece yet. “Honestly, it’s just a matter of time. I hope not. I’m not one of those guys. I’m non-confrontational.”

Give back: “A lot of people find it to be exploitative, and I kind of empathize with that a little bit,” Lawless says. “[Urban explorers] aren’t really spending a lot of money, and they’re taking pictures of the shittiest parts of the city and broadcasting them to the world.” So Lawless began partnering with charities like Educate Not Incarcerate and Feed the Children. 

For more information, check out Seph Lawless' website, sephlawless.com.

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