Most Read
  • 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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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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