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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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Politics & Prejudices

A statesman emerges

After years of Ambassador Bridge antics, Snyder gets it

Joel Thurtell, the man who has done more than anyone to raise our consciousnesses about the troll who owns the Ambassador Bridge, was driving across Pennsylvania last week.

He and his wife were going to visit their son in Connecticut (the boy got a job!), so he wasn't paying attention to the new governor's State of the State speech last Wednesday night.

You can hardly blame him. Throughout eight State of the State speeches, Jennifer Granholm hardly ever uttered a thought that had any more permanence than a soap bubble. What we had every reason to expect from the new governor were cheerful platitudes.

Yet that's not what we got. Rick Snyder stood up, took a decisive stand. "It's time to build the Detroit River International Crossing Bridge," he said flatly. No waffling, no hedging, no silliness.

His reasons were simple. The bridge will be needed for trade and our economy in the future. Building it will produce many jobs. And right now, as the self-styled nerd said, Job One is jobs.

OK, he tripped over his words a bit. His delivery was somewhat wooden, and lacked the tinkling effervescence of his predecessor. He sounded, in other words, like a real person.

But this governor said something worth saying. This governor had the guts to stand up to the social parasite who for years has bought off politicians of both parties with lavish campaign donations, especially his fellow Republicans.

Beyond that, he did something absolutely brilliant. The man who "wasn't a politician" went to Washington and negotiated an astonishingly shrewd deal for the State of Michigan.

Canada, as is well-known, wants and needs the DRIC bridge so much that it has offered to lend Michigan up to $550 million to cover the state's share of the construction costs. No muss, no fuss. Not even any real strings. We don't have to pay it back till the bridge is built, at which time the state will pay it back out of our share of the bridge's toll revenue — amazing.

But the new governor did better. Snyder went to the Obama administration and parlayed that into an arrangement where the money Canada is lending us can count as matching funds for federal highway money. In other words, somebody else puts up $550 million we get to use — and the state gets about $2 billion plus from the feds. How could anybody turn that down?

Perhaps the best indication of how big a coup this was could be seen in the stunned silence coming from the tower of Barad-dûr — oops, I meant the Ambassador Bridge Company.

Normally, a spokesman has been there with spin and outright lies whenever anyone said anything favorable about DRIC. This time, nothing ... until the next day, when spokesman Phil Frame had a simple comment. He was quitting.

Naturally, this had nothing to do with the governor's announcement, he said. That's OK, Phil; I happen to be a virgin too. Actually, whether he was fired or decided to scurry down the mooring rope before the ship sank was neither clear, nor very interesting.

But that someone stood up to Manuel J. "Matty" Moroun was. For years, this billionaire slumlord has bought off members of the Legislature, mostly Republicans, with lavish campaign contributions. Moroun's aim was simple: Kill any attempt to build the DRIC, the proposed internationally owned Detroit River International Crossing bridge two miles south of his aging span.

No matter that his bridge is wearing out, and the government of Canada has made it clear that it will not let him build another. No matter that a new bridge would create at least 10,000 jobs, mostly high-paying ones, when Michigan desperately needs them. No matter that every major corporate leader and most politicians of both parties support the DRIC bridge. No matter that our economy would literally be wiped out if something happened to the Ambassador Bridge.

We've had the best politicians money can buy — and Matty Moroun spent lavishly — more than a half-million dollars in the last election cycle alone. The Republican senators he purchased in the past did his bidding, by any means necessary. Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, a Rochester Hills Republican with a head full of gel, had promised a vote on the bridge. But Matty evidently told him no. So Bishop broke his promise and prevented any vote from happening a month ago. (Fortunately, however, he's now out of government, thanks to term limits.)

Things were looking bleak for our future. The Ambassador Bridge, built in 1929, is wearing out. It wasn't built for today's monster rigs. Moroun said he would build a new one right next to it — but the government of Canada said absolutely not.

Twinning the Ambassador Bridge made no sense, from either a traffic flow or environmental standpoint. What looked likely to eventually happen was freight traffic would end up being diverted to Buffalo, which would hurt our battered economy even more, and make any chance of an economic revival that much more unlikely.

Then things started turning against Moroun. Not due to the unthinking local media. They mainly applauded him, even when, a few years ago, he cooked up a deal with Kwame Kilpatrick, when the felon was still mayor.

Matty was going to sell the ruin of the old train station to Detroit, which would turn it into a new police headquarters. Fortunately, that fell apart when people quickly learned it would cost far less to build a new headquarters from scratch.

Yet nobody paid attention to Moroun — until, in September 2008, Thurtell reported on his blog that Moroun had seized portions of a city park, hung phony Homeland Security signs on a fence, and had a shotgun-toting goon try to evict him.

Thurtell kept chronicling Matty's bad behavior until he finally shamed the city into suing to get their public property back. Finally, the so-called mainstream media started to pay some attention.

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