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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Best of Detroit 2011


Photo: Marvin Shaouni

Public Square - Staff Picks

Super people, places and things, picked by our team of critics


Best Detroit Lit of the Last Year - Tie

Working Words: Punching the Clock and Kicking Out the Jams

Punching Out: One Year in a Closing Auto Plant

We could claim Words as a Detroit work simply because anthologist M.L. Liebler is one of ours. But from Alvin Aubert to Al Young (OK, we couldn't get "Z"), Michael Moore to Dudley Randall, Lolita Hernandez to Eminem, Melba Boyd to Philip Levine, etc., Detroiters are more than amply represented in this massive testament to the poetry and prose of toil. And in this tense post-industrial time of transition, what better subject for us to ponder? Which is what former Paul Clemens also does in exploring the up-close reality and social ramifications of the dismantling of a Budd Company stamping plant on the east side.


Best Unfolding Legal Drama

Medical marijuana cases

Two years after the state began issuing ID cards to patients and caregivers, issues surrounding the state's medical marijuana law are still being sorted out. The Michigan ACLU is suing three cities that are trying to curtail medical marijuana-related activity. The DEA and other authorities have made a number of high-profile busts. And the whole question of whether so-called "compassion clubs" can legally sell marijuana to patients remains unsettled. The courts are going to be kept busy with all this for some time to come.


Best New Job For Mitch Albom

Film industry lobbyist

Oh, wait. He already has that gig. Has anyone at the Freep ever heard the term "conflict of interest?"


Best Reason to Hope for Michigan's Long-Term Future


Last year, the British government's chief scientist warned that water shortages will be the world's most pressing problem in the next decade. "Population growth, an increase in wealth, urbanization, and ... climate change, all of those are going to present really big problems to humanity," John Beddington said during the Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit in London. From agriculture to biofuels to the manufacturing of silicone computer chips, access to clean, fresh water is going to become more precious as shortages worsen in states from Florida to Arizona to California. And here we are in "the Saudi Arabia of water." All we have to do now is ensure that this most vital of resources remains protected — and under the public trust.


Best Way to Stay in Touch With a Radio Legend

Dick Purtan may be off Detroit's morning airwaves for more than a year now, but he's still in the air. He's maintaining a presence in cyberspace, and a connection with his thousands of radio fans, through his website. An early "Breaking News" post: "Radio retiree Dick Purtan shocked not only his wife, Gail, but also himself last night by sleeping an astounding 10 hours and 12 minutes in a row." After President Obama's recent deficit speech, he observed: "I missed Joe Biden's nap ... I'd nodded off about five minutes earlier in the speech than he did." We assume that with enough clicks we could get to the video of the last 10 minutes of his final broadcast on WOMC (104.3) March 26, 2010.


Best Unique Library Loaning

Grosse Pointe's tool checkout

In this era of DIY — sorry contractors — home improvement projects are part of a lot of weekend to-do lists. But who wants to spend big bucks on a tool that will be used once? There are even better rental rates than Home Depot et al. With a Grosse Pointe library card, you can choose from a list of dozens of tools: monkey wrenches, carpet knee kickers, bolt cutters and hammers. Some are standbys, some are more exotic. The collection — a list and photos of the tools are online at — is provided and maintained by the Grosse Pointe Rotary Club. What you won't find is a drain snake, the health department won't allow that, or chain saws, common sense takes over there.

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