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  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr transferred oversight of the the city’s water department Tuesday to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an order intended to refocus “efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills,” Orr’s office said today. “This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the mayor,” Orr said in a statement released Tuesday. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability.” Duggan will have the authority to manage DWSD and make appointment’s to the utility’s board, according to a news release. In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said he welcomed Orr’s order, adding that officials will develop a plan that “allows those who truly need to access to financial help … to do so with shorter wait times.” “We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly,” Duggan said. “There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills — we need to do a much better job in […]

    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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.



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Best of Detroit 2011


Photo: Marvin Shaouni

Nutritional Value - Staff Picks

From style to fare to special dishes, our staff picks what's best


Best Ribs

Vicki's Bar-B-Q
3845 W. Warren Ave., Detroit; 313-894-9906

Vicki's is a small storefront shrimp and ribs joint. The sides are perfunctory, but the ribs are spectacular. They serve their slabs hot or mild, cleaving each rib, leaving a fringe of meat to hold it all together. Then they dunk them in their special sauce — hot slabs get a dusting of spices on the top and bottom, as well as one more generous pour of hot sauce for good measure. The sauce and ribs create a nearly perfect package. The meat is perfectly cooked, not too fatty, not too crispy; the sauce imparts a sweetness, but doesn't overwhelm the meat's smoky flavors. They're a bit pricey, costing $19.62 a slab, but with quality like this, who'd argue over pennies?


Best New Barbecue Restaurant

Lockhart's BBQ
202 E. Third St., Royal Oak; 248-584-4227;

Giving a nod to Lockhart, Texas, considered by some to be the barbecue capital of the Lone Star State, this Royal Oak joint is drawing crowds for top-notch 'cue. Start with a plate of the burnt ends, double-rubbed and double-smoked chunks of brisket, then move on to the usual suspects: ribs, chicken, pulled pork and house-made sausage, hot or mild. Go for the hot. The full bar has a selection of cold beer, perfect with barbecue. A side of collards, unlike the usual smothered style, is crisp and tender. A slice of chocolate Dr. Pepper cake is a fitting finish.


Best Raw Food

Red Pepper Deli
116 W. Main St., Northville; 248-773-7672;

She has more competitors than in the past, but Carolyn Simon is still serving the best raw-vegan-organic around; she can convince even omnivorous skeptics that it's possible for a restaurant to eschew cooking. So for a Greenwich sandwich, she'll food-process seeds into "cheese," add spinach, cucumber, avocado and sprouts, and put it on thin crunchy "bread" also made of seeds. It's funny that she keeps the titles — pizza, meatloaf, spaghetti and meatballs — for dishes that don't resemble their namesakes — they're delicious in ways that are surprising and inventive. They have to be.


Best Street Food Destination

Eastern Market

Detroit is hardly the best city to find street food, but you wouldn't know it walking around Eastern Market on a Saturday. Follow the enticing aroma of Bert's outdoor grills as they send wafts of mouthwatering smoke into the market. Inside the market you can find baked goods, soups, sandwiches, and other hot eats from Russell Street Deli, People's Pierogi Collective, Good Girls go to Paris Crêpes and J & M Farms. You can also explore the shops around the market for quick eats. Eastern Market is a living, evolving thing. Even regular patrons are surprised on a weekly basis.


Best Hot Dog Stand

Gourmet Hot Dogs
2 E. John R, Detroit; 313-646-8055

This downtown hot dog stand is self-dubbed as the "Home of the Cleveland-Style Polish Boy" — that's a pre-grilled Polish sausage that's dunked into a deep-fryer for crisping, then topped with a heaping layer of cole slaw and fries, and finished with a barbecue-based sauce ($4). They also serve Italian sausage with grilled green peppers and onions, the "Detroit Dog of Champions" with cole slaw, cheese and chili, a turkey Polish dog, a "Hot and Spicy Dog," a slaw dog, a New York dog, a veggie dog, and an "All-American Hot Dog" with onions, relish, mustard and ketchup. One of their biggest sellers is the "Big Lew," an all-beef, quarter-pound hot dog with add-ons to order. All dogs come in an easy-to carry plastic case, wrapped inside tin foil. Be sure to ask for extra napkins. You'll need them.


Best Throwback Diner

24060 Woodward Ave., Pleasant Ridge; 248-548-5288;

Mae's is clean and decent and suggestive of a fairy-tale land where young love is measured in baseball euphemisms and cigarettes aren't yet bad for your health. Natural light washes across the white counter and the vibrant aqua vinyl stools and chairs. Vintage wooden soda crates and a milkshake mixer lie among the shelves of kitchen tools and foodstuffs. Though the menu is more eclectic than what you might have eaten in a real 1950s diner, the vibe is all old-fashioned neighborhood wholesomeness with plenty of good food.


Best New Lebanese Restaurant

Le Chef Restaurant
32621 Northwestern Hwy., Farmington Hills; 248-932-1300;

Hidden from view in a small strip center lies a culinary oasis. The contemporary decor, the white tablecloths, and the welcoming staff all give you a sense of the food that follows. The flavors exhibit a refinement, subtly seasoned, with emphasis on the quality and freshness of the ingredients. Begin with the ubiquitous mixed appetizer. The tabbouleh is pristinely fresh and crisp; the hummus creamy and the baba ghanoush smoky, both with just the right proportions of lemon, garlic and tahini. There's also lamb shank stewed with okra, eggplant stuffed with meat and rice, and a variety of seafood dishes in addition to the shawarmas and kebabs, as well as numerous vegetarian dishes.


Best New Indian Restaurant in the Suburbs

Mazza Indian Cuisine
3354 W. 12 Mile Rd., Berkley; 248-543-6299;

There's no dearth of Indian food in these parts anymore. Located in the former digs of Passage to India, Mazza Indian Cuisine is a recent addition to the pack. The front is now glass, eliminating the cave-like atmosphere. The food, too, has been transformed. The meat and poultry dishes are assertively seasoned, although some are not spicy enough unless you request them so. The chicken tikka masala is first cooked in a tandoor, adding an extra layer of flavor to the sauce that it is finished in. Several of the vegetarian entrées are available as sides. Do not pass on the mulligatawny soup.

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