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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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Politics & Prejudices

Anatomy of a smear

Case against U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee doesn’t pass the smell test

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What do you have in common with the rat I saw the other day, running under a trash bin behind a grocery store?

Well, my guess is that you like to eat, are capable of fear and at some point in your life have wanted sex. Think about that, and you understand the mentality of those who run much of the mass media.

Like rats, they aren't especially concerned with fairness, but are sometimes far more malicious. We had a nice example of that last week, when suddenly, stories surfaced saying that elderly, retiring Flint-area U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee was being accused of "improperly touching" a male teenage cousin almost a half-century ago.

WNEM-TV in Flint began heavily promoting their "exclusive I-team report" on this issue, which aired Nov. 21. What it turned out to be, however, was an outrageous hatchet job, in which their "six-month" investigation consisted mainly of an interview with the alleged victim, one Patrick Kildee. The station showed Patrick claiming that back in 1964, when he was 15, the future Democratic congressman "would take my little penis and start rubbing it. ... I had no understanding of what my penis was, other than for going to the bathroom."

Give me a break. That sounds like something a 4-year-old might say. Fifteen-year-old boys have been through puberty and most have been enthusiastically masturbating for years.

Patrick claimed that this ruined his life, and caused him to inflict many wounds on his own body. Eventually, he was diagnosed as a schizophrenic manic-depressive, according to WNEM. In a previously taped audio interview, Patrick's mother talked about her son's drug and alcohol abuse as well as his mental problems.

Why didn't he complain a long time ago? Well, he forgot. Years later, his "repressed memories" came out while in a state mental hospital.

Basically, then, we have the word of a schizophrenic against that of a man who has served in Congress since 1977, and about whom there has been no previous scandal.

The allegation wouldn't stand the test of reasonable evidence in any court, or journalism's two-source rule.  Oh, the Flint station had "other sources" — family members who said they believed what Patrick said. The congressman angrily denied all of it.

Kildee, 82, said this was the result of a failed blackmail attempt by the alleged victim's son in September, and that he had gone to the FBI about this. And while Dale Kildee announced last summer his decision to retire, there may be a political motive for smearing the family name: Dan Kildee, the former Genesee County treasurer, is running to succeed his uncle.

The "story" first surfaced recently on the blog of a Washington-area blogger named Susan Bradford. The right-wing Washington Times then picked it up, at which point Bradford got cold feet. She announced that she had been approached by one Jon Yinger, a "Christian" broadcaster with a history of donating money to the Republican Party.

Later, the Flint Journal discovered that the broadcast interview with Patrick Kildee "was coordinated by Genesee County Republican Party Chairwoman Prudy Adam and Yinger."

No other media outlet has been able to find the cousin, who allegedly lives in a trailer in New Mexico. Patrick Clawson, a former CNN investigative reporter who lives in Flint, told me that GOP operatives tried to shop the story to him a year ago.

Clawson is not in awe of big names. He's the journalist who uncovered the story last year that then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm had awarded a tax break and appeared smiling on camera with a convicted fraud artist whose business was entirely a scam.

As for Kildee, "Another investigative reporter and I independently checked out this more than a year ago," Clawson said. "We both concluded that these allegations could not be substantiated in any way, and were most likely false.

"The real story here is how incompetent journalists and partisan political opponents came together to smear a very good and decent man," Clawson added. Clawson — a libertarian, not a liberal — has known Kildee for nearly half a century. "Don't get me wrong. If I had turned up credible evidence that Dale Kildee or anyone else was a pedophile, I'd have hung him or anyone out to dry. But there wasn't anything there. ... If I tried to broadcast this when I worked at CNN or NBC, I would have been kicked out and fired," he said.

What is filthiest about all this is that some people will always believe it, and a taint will hang over the head of an elderly man who fought hard for fairness and was known for honesty his entire career.

History shows that a lot of straight-seeming men have had very bizarre sex lives. But here's why I don't believe any of these accusations:

Those who prey on children never stop with a single child. When they are caught (think Jerry Sandusky) other victims start coming forward. Since this "story" broke, guess how many other people have said Dale Kildee ever did anything to them? Not a single one.


Having the right stuff:  Earlier this month, Wayne County Circuit Judge Prentis Edwards Sr. again ruled against Manuel "Matty" Moroun, who owns the Ambassador Bridge. Judge Edwards has long had the outrageous idea that Moroun should follow the law, live up to signed agreements and comply with court orders.

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