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    The post PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Dinner Club Does Brunch

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    The post Dinner Club Does Brunch appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden

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    The post Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks

    Dogs of Detroit have new territory to trot: Yesterday, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy held a soft opening for a 20-acre westward extension of the Riverwalk. Part of a planned two-mile track of the West Riverwalk, the new span runs from the Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks Boulevard, says Mark Pasco, director of communications for the conservancy. “It’s going to be great,” Pasco says. “It’s a wide open green space. It’s going to be great for activities.” The endgame for the Riverwalk, Pasco notes, is to extend the walkway from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just past the MacArthur Bridge — about a 5.5. mile route. The new westward expansion is wider than most of the walkway, about 30 feet, says Pasco — a decision made by the conservancy to accommodate fisherman that previously frequented the area. “We knew … once it opened up they’d want to fish there again, so we made the Riverwalk itself wider,” Pasco says. The conservancy will hold a grand opening in late September, which will include “food and music and activities,” Pasco says, though no official date has been set.

    The post Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • DJ Josh Cheon shares his favorite darkwave tracks

    San Francisco’s Josh Cheon runs the darkwave revival label Dark Entries and is a member of the Honey Soundsystem DJ collective. This Saturday, July 26, Macho City switch out of disco mode and get a little gothic, bringing the Dark Entries 5th Anniversary Tour to town. Synth bands Bézier, Max + Mara, and Redredred will play, and Cheon will spin select cuts in between sets. We asked Cheon to share a playlist of some of his favorite tracks: Martin L. Gore — “Compulsion”: “I first heard this song at The Bank, a goth club I used to go to every weekend in New York as a teenager. I love the synths that sound like brass instruments and of course Martin’s distinct vocals.When I bought the EP, I discovered it was actually a cover of a song by Joe Crow, who used to play with UK post punk group The Nightingales. The rest of the covers on this EP turned me onto so many other great bands like Tuxedomoon, Sparks, The Durutti Column and Comsat Angels.” Clan of Xymox — “Call it Weird”: “This song was also part of my teenage soundtrack after it was reissued in 1994 on CD. I never imagined I would reissue it then, but when I started my label it was one […]

    The post DJ Josh Cheon shares his favorite darkwave tracks appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault

    The Metro Times is looking to hear your experiences will sexual assault on a Michigan college campus — from anything to how many sexual assault prevention programs, rape kits or crisis centers you may have had access to, to how the administration or local law enforcement handled your experience. If you, or anyone you know might be interested in talking to a reporter at the Metro Times, please email us at

    The post Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Politics & Prejudices

A shining moment

The billionaire miscalculates and justice is done

Photo: W. Kim Heron, License: N/A

W. Kim Heron

Bridge company attorney Reginald Turner with Moroun shortly before the hearing ended.

Whatever happens next, remember this: For years, an arrogant, squat little billionaire has bought our politicians, sneered with contempt at our laws and our courts, and held our economy hostage.

But on the morning of Friday the 13th, he woke up in the Wayne County Jail, dressed in a green jump suit. Yes, yes, I know, it was only for one night; the court of appeals let him out the next day.

And yes, Sheriff Benny Napoleon, petrified that this 84-year-old parasite might get sick, or god forbid, die on him, sadly allowed him to have dinner brought in from the Detroit Athletic Club. 

Yet it happened. Our worst citizen went to jail, despite his wealth and connections. We all got to see the front-page picture of Manuel J. "Matty" Moroun's moon face, mouth gaping in astonishment and horror, as he was ordered off to jail.

And though he is out now, he could be going back to a cell soon. 

For once, the bloated spider miscalculated. He ran into an honest judge, Wayne County Circuit Court's Prentis Edwards, whom he could not buy, intimidate or goad into making a silly mistake.

Two years ago, that judge ordered that Moroun's company live up to an agreement signed with MDOT, the Michigan Department of Transportation. Now, it is important to realize that Moroun doesn't believe that things like laws and contracts, rules and agreements apply to him. He believes he can do whatever he wants and get away with it.

That's what he always has done. The thing that ended him up in the slammer is a good case in point. Nearly eight years ago, MDOT and the Detroit International Bridge Co. signed a contract to build a development to ease congestion around the Ambassador Bridge, the so-called Gateway project. There was no mystery about what it was supposed to look like; drawings were publicly available.

But true to form, Matty ignored the agreement, once he calculated he could make more money breaking the rules. He promptly closed 23rd Street, which was supposed to stay open, and improperly installed some new gas pumps and a duty-free shop.

Traffic was re-routed by these, so drivers would stop and spend money, further enriching Moroun. Even worse, according to MDOT and the courts, the Gateway plan indicated that Moroun should have built an elevated two-lane ramp on his property for heavy trucks heading to the bridge. He never did, and instead trucks are still backed up in one lane on Fort Street. So much for easing traffic.

MDOT did what anybody who had been taken advantage of in such a deal should do: It sued. The case wound up in the courtroom of Edwards, a highly respected, no-nonsense judge. Two years ago, he ruled that MDOT was correct, and ordered Matty Moroun to rip out the illegal things he had built and rebuild Gateway according to the agreed-upon design. Usually when judges give you an order, it is a good idea to pay attention, unless you are eager to bunk with a cellmate named Lover Boy. But Moroun just sneered. 

One year later, Judge Edwards hauled the Detroit International Bridge Co., and its president, a Moroun mouthpiece named Dan Stamper, (aptly nicknamed "Rubber" by investigative journalist Joel Thurtell) back into his courtroom.

Finding that no work had been done, Edwards threw Rubber in the slam for a few hours, until he pretended to be ordering the work.

They let Rubber Stamper out, and the work stopped. This year, the judge decided he had no choice, and last Thursday, tossed Moroun and Stamper into jail, and ordered them kept there until the bridge company did the work it had agreed to do in April 2004.

Moroun's son Matthew, who stands to inherit his father's empire, and his paid servants squalled like stuck pigs, which may be appropriate. When Matty first got a hint that he might be in real trouble, he went through contortions that would have been an insult to the intelligence of a thimble. He first claimed he didn't really own the bridge company, and therefore wasn't responsible.

When that didn't work, he announced in court that he and Stamper had just resigned from the board of directors, and so could no longer be responsible for cleaning up the mess they'd made out of Gateway.

That's an interesting defense tactic, and I wonder why the head Nazis didn't try that during the Nuremberg trials. In any event, it didn't work with Edwards, and they were soon in the slam.

Son Matthew then poured out his usual torrent of character assassination and lies, the funniest of which is that the Morouns had no idea what the judge wanted them to do with Gateway.

The next day, however, Moroun and his shadow were sprung, at least until a hearing, which will be held, appropriately enough, on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2. Patriotism always has been the last refuge of scoundrels, and Matty did not disappoint us stereotype-lovers. "I love my country," he said, apropos of absolutely nothing.

"There's not a country like ours in the world. We better fight for it," he said, before his lackeys drove him away. Had I been there, I would have asked what country he was talking about.

Best guess is he meant the one he believes he owns, Morounland, which includes at least Michigan and Ontario, since he doesn't recognize the authorities in either place.

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