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    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.

  • Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval

    In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy.  And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]

    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Politics & Prejudices

Another year shot

Sure's shootin', many readers in a tizzy about guns

Photo: , License: N/A

Well, we're almost through another year, though in the trite, overused, yet accurate and immortal words of the Prophet Yogi ... it really ain't over till it's over.

And hopefully, by this time next year, the secret Communist forces that we've gradually secreted in Cheyenne Mountain will be hunting down the last free, patriotic Americans and taking their guns away. We liberals need to do that, so we can impose Sharia law along with Stalinism.

Then I, as a self-hating, frustrated little man with a small penis, will gloat in glee. Oh, I know they'll eventually kill me too, for some form of Trotskyite heresy. Even before that, they'll take this column away, and make me sort dirty sugar beets in a drafty warehouse in Caro. But it will be worth it.

Because before I die, I figure I'll get to see them hang Matty Moroun and maybe Mel Gibson from the Ambassador Bridge, and that will fulfill my sorry and twisted dreams.

Sorry about that, but I thought the least I could do for the pro-gun fanatics was to indulge their fantasies. It's Christmas week, and I'm feeling generous. Last week I read the comments to this column that folks post online, and found that the gun fanatics more than lived up to my expectations. I haven't seen such fury since I poked a fire ant nest with a stick.

What is truly frightening is the irrational, screaming hysteria you see if you even hint to certain creatures that maybe they shouldn't be allowed to clutch their automatic killing machine when they walk into a kindergarten. Several suggested that I should have my First Amendment rights taken away, for questioning their unnatural attachments to their pistols.

Someone named "Christine” (Jorgensen?) suggested my, ahem, member should be taken into the police department to be destroyed, which is probably a good indication of how many or most fanatical gun owners feel about their hand cannons. Anyway, there are indeed a lot of wingnuts in any assembly, as daddies all over the nation find out when they try to put together things on Christmas Eve.

But now, time to get serious.

Many of my critics complained that I was just another ivory-tower liberal who has never been mugged and doesn't know how brutal life is or how truly bad the bad guys can be.

True enough. So I thought I'd ask my favorite military hero for his perspective. Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Colin Chauret grew up in Bay City, where he spent his senior year in high school envying the Spitfire pilots in the Battle of Britain.

First chance he could, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. He is a veteran of three wars — World War II, Vietnam and Korea, where he flew exactly 100 combat missions.

He has a Bronze Star and a chest full of other medals, and has killed men himself in battle. What does he think of gun control?

"I am in full support of whatever (Vice President Joe) Biden's panel comes up with — as long as the first thing they do is outlaw those assault weapons,” he told me.

"And not just stopping (their) sale, but also retroactively make it a law for everyone owning one,” he said.

That, however, is not enough. The colonel, who knows far more about weapons than most barstool-squatting NRA supporters, thinks we need "a really strict law on who can purchase any weapon that is legal, with heavy penalties for any gun sales to persons who violate the law. And I mean not just a slap on the hands, but money fines and hard jail time.”

Funny, but in a lifetime of interviewing people, I have found that those who really know what guns can do — longtime cops and real military heroes — are often the sanest about them.

Now, back to Michigan. 

You might think us gun control pukes actually scored a victory last week, when Gov. Rick Snyder actually vetoed the bill that would have allowed anybody to carry a concealed weapon into elementary school classrooms like the one in Connecticut, where a sick creep slaughtered 20 first-graders, pumping exploding bullets into their heads.

State Sen. Mike Green, the doofus who sponsored this we-need-guns everywhere bill, expressed disappointment. So did any number of drugstore cowboys who had fantasies of the Sandy Hook principal pulling a derringer out of her garter belt and shooting down the fiend as he crashed into the school.

Green's bill would have allowed anyone to take a concealed weapon into not only a classroom, but also into day care centers, churches, mosques, maternity wards, you name it.

Snyder's veto of it was no great surprise. Frankly, it probably would have been politically impossible for any governor to have signed such a bill, barely a week after the Connecticut massacre. But here's what you may not know:

Indications are that it would have been vetoed anyway. The day before the shootings, Dick Posthumus, Snyder's director of legislative affairs, told the bill's sponsor that the governor would only sign it if schools were given the option to "opt out,” to be able to choose not to allow concealed weapons in their buildings. But incredibly, Green wouldn't agree.

What's odd is that his bill did allow private-property owners to ban concealed weapons on their territory, as well as some colleges and universities. But not elementary, middle and high schools.

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