Most Read
  • Detroit area code 313 may be phased out

    Hey, everybody from the 313, start thinking of new numbers to rally around– the longstanding Detroit area code may be phased out. Our friends over at the Detroit News report that pending a revised estimate next week, the North American Numbering Plan Administration will stop handing out 313 telephone prefixes on new phone numbers. Detroiters with existing cell phone lines would be able to keep their current area codes, while those with land lines would change. via Detroit News: The venerable 313 will ultimately become overtaxed. Even as Detroit’s population has fallen, cellphone usage has accelerated like one of those smoldering SRT Vipers that Dodge has been bolting together at Conner Avenue Assembly — which is, of course, comfortably within the confines of 313. … When the first five dozen area codes were assigned nearly 70 years ago, says NANPA’s Tom Foley, “that was expected basically to last forever.” Instead, somebody invented fax machines, and then somebody else came up with cellphones, and lots of somebody elses decided to give them to 10-year-olds, and meantime the population grew to 300 million. Now every telephone carrier is required to submit twice-yearly forecasts of its needs in each area code, factoring in […]

    The post Detroit area code 313 may be phased out appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council

    Unfortunately, we were unable to attend last night’s Neighborhood Advisory Council, which, in case you were unaware, is a 16-member board established to weigh in on the new Red Wings arena near downtown. About three dozen residents and property owners cast ballots by the 8 p.m. deadline on Wednesday inside the Block at Cass Park, The Detroit News reports. It’s the culmination of a handful of community meetings which began weeks ago. Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda Lopez facilitated the meetings, but emphasized at previous meetings that it’s up to the community to conduct business. According to the News, the 12 candidates selected include: Michael Boettcher, Richard Etue, Jason Gapa, Francis Grunow, Steve Guether, Paul Hughes, Ray Litt, Warner Doyle McBryde, Karen McLeod, Delphia Simmons, Melissa Thomas and Anthony Zander. Joel Landy, a land owner in the area, lost his bid. The City Council appointed four candidates last month. As we reported in this week’s issue, the Neighborhood Advisory Committee was negotiated after Olympia Development of Michigan, Detroit Red Wing’s owner Mike Ilitch’s real estate arm, balked on a proposed community benefits agreement.  The committee is charged with the task of offering input on the arena’s design, parking security and more.

    The post Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag

    The Magic Bag in Ferndale will host James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets on Thursday, May 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. A press release reads, “James McMurtry recently signed with the bourgeoning Los Angeles record label Complicated Game. The legendary songwriter will enter the studio later this month to start working on his first album in six years. “I’ve got a new batch of songs, organic and with no added sulfites, aged in oak for several years,” he says. “Francois Moret at Complicated Game seems to like these songs and (producer) C.C. Adcock thinks he can turn them into a record. Good times fixing to roll.” Label head Moret agrees. “In March 2013, when C.C. Adcock told me we were going to see James McMurtry at the Continental Club in Austin, I expected to see a good show,” he says, “but what I saw left me mesmerized! I immediately knew I wanted to sign him. As a European, it is an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most talented American singer-songwriters.” Evidence: McMurtry’s Just Us Kids (2008) and Childish Things (2005). The former earned his highest Billboard 200 chart position in nearly two decades and notched […]

    The post James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit

    The Dead Kennedys, still with local boy Klaus Flouride in the ranks, will play St. Andrew’s Hall on Tuesday, June 24. Alongside Flouride and fellow original members East Bay Ray and DH Peligro, the current lineup includes singer Ron “Skip” Greer, taking the place of Jello Biafra. Downtown Brown will open that show, which starts at 7 p.m., with tickets priced $20-$25. Give Klaus a hero’s hometown welcome. Just over a week before that, strangely enough, Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine will play at the Magic Stick. It’s a weird coincidence, but one that DK fans should be happy to embrace. That show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $17-$19. Local hardcore vets Negative Approach play before Jello, with the Crashdollz opening the show. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face

    There is no easy answer to the question regarding what should be done with Detroit’s abandoned homes. However, an Eastern Market company has a solution that could reflect Detroit’s possibly bright future. Homes Eyewear has set out to make the city a little more stylish, and do their part in cleaning it up by repurposing select woods from neglected homes for sunglasses. All of the wood that Homes uses is harvested from vacant houses with the assistance of Reclaim Detroit. A lot of work goes into prepping the wood to be cut and shaped into frames. Homes goes through each piece to remove nails, paint or anything else detrimental to their production (it’s a bit strange to think that your wooden sunglasses could have had family portraits nailed to them). In order to produce more durable eyewear, they salvage only hardwoods like maple or beech, which are difficult to come by as most of the blighted homes were built with softer woods like Douglas fir and pine. If you’re worried about looking goofy, or shudder at the thought of salvaged wood resting on your nose, you can rest easy. Homes currently offers frames in the popular wayfarer style and are developing their unique spin on the classic aviators. For as […]

    The post You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face 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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