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  • 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.

  • ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list

    Yes, it’s true. Forbes says Detroit is one of America’s most creative cities: “We ranked these places based on four metrics: activity per capita on project-funding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo and music sites Bandcamp and ReverbNation. The goal was to capture organic creativity, since many artistic and musical types have “day jobs” outside of creative pursuits.” The Forbes list sandwiches #9 Detroit between #8 Seattle and #10 Oakland, Calif. If you are watching the art and culture explosion happening right now in Detroit, you probably think we should rank higher than #2 Boston and #1 San Francisco, if only for the fact that it’s actually affordable to create here and there is space for everyone to be creative. But hey, those metrics weren’t part of the equation. And there’s always next year.

    The post ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Food trucks go to the dogs

    Today, starting at 10am, Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck will be swinging by the  Cherry Hill Village at Preservation Park on  N. Roosevelt St. in Canton. They’ll be serving the pups (“gour-mutts,” as Milo’s calls them) treats and the dog parents the opportunity of “family portraits.” Milo’s is on a cross-country food truck trip, promoting their “grilled burger bites” and “chicken meatballs” to pup parents from L.A. to NYC, with stops in between, including Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, the Carolinas, and Arkansas. But watch out! Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck markets “real chicken and beef home-style dog treats” that are are “wholesome” and “authentic” without “artificial flavors or colors-made right here in the USA.” Authentic, processed food that is. Remember what George Carlin said about “home-style”? Their treats are also packed with soy, TVP, wheat flour, tapioca, rice, and sugar–fillers that make the meat go far and aren’t the best for your pup. They’re also packed with preservatives, like sodium erythorbate, nitrates, BHA, sodium tripolyphosphate, and potassium sorbate. Small amounts are probably ok, and no doubt the pup will love it, the same way it’s easy for humans to love carb- and sugar- laden, processed and preserved, treats.  

    The post Food trucks go to the dogs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych

    Coming up on August 16, former Detroit Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt will team up with the Navin Field Grounds Crew and Metro Times‘ own Dave Mesrey to honor legend Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. The festivities, known as the annual “Bird Bash,” will be held at the infamous Nemo’s Bar & Grill, and will benefit The Bird’s favorite charity, the Wertz Warriors, and also the Mark Fidrych Foundation. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

    The post Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • First Little League game at Navin Field today

    Today Navin Field (the Old Tiger Stadium) hosts its first Little League game on a new field made just to host the youngsters! Here’s a photo of the game happening right now, courtesy Tom Derry and Metro Times‘ copy editor extraordinaire, Dave Mesrey: Stop by the site (corner of Michigan and Trumbull) today to watch history in the making!

    The post First Little League game at Navin Field today appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Politics & Prejudices

Ask the right questions

Can both sides of the aisle focus on the bigger picture?

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Ask the right questions

As I write these words, members of a group called Michigan Forward are battling to collect enough signatures to get a statewide vote next year on the emergency manager law.

If they succeed in getting it on the ballot, the law will be suspended till after the Nov. 6 election. Meanwhile, there's also intense debate over whether Detroit needs an emergency manager, or whether it can get itself out of the current mess.

To counter this, the Snyder administration is considering some kind of quarterback sneak under which they would pass a new, slightly tweaked emergency manager law if the current one is suspended. (Opponents are crying foul.)

Meanwhile, the Republicans who control our state Legislature have enthusiastically passed a law barring state employees from including their unmarried partners on their health benefits, one more in a series of "let's bash gays under the guise of saving tax dollars" moves.

That done, they are weighing the merits of dropping all limits on how many charter schools universities can create. 

Pretty much everyone has an opinion on all of these issues. If you've been a frequent reader of this column, you likely have a good idea of mine. 

But the fact is that I have changed my mind.

Changed my mind, that is, about where our focus needs to be. These are not the questions we should be asking, not until we have answered the one that really matters:

What kind of society do we really want?

When we've decided that, then, are we willing to do what it takes to make it become reality? 

What we are doing now is driving along without a plan, lurching at this or that, sometimes worrying about quality, sometimes inequality, and sometimes about money.

Yet the bottom line is that if we don't know where we want to go, we aren't going to get there. 

Frankly, I don't think most of us have a clue. We lunge at things we think we want (tax breaks for the rich, jobs for the rest of us) and react instinctively against things we don't like.

Yet we have no long-term plan.

What kind of society do we want? What kind of city, state, nation do we want? Have we even thought about this?

OK, Republicans: You want tax breaks for businesses and the rich, and want as little money as possible spent on welfare and education and other things for the poor.

Coming right up. Yet think about this: Who is going to buy your products if they can't make a living? How does having roads and bridges that are falling apart help your business?

Even more to the point: Every year, tens of thousands of kids are leaving our high schools — whether they graduate or not — totally lacking the basic skills they need to find jobs.

What's worse, they have little or no ability to get the higher education they need (not necessarily college). Thanks to our lawmakers, they also have lesser means to pay for getting these skills if they do know where to get them.

So, free market worshippers, how can you feel safe and secure with a growing mass of hundreds of thousands of unemployed and unemployable people in your midst?

OK, Democrats: You have blasted Gov. Rick Snyder's program of "reforms" and tax cuts. What is your alternative, other than hoping they piss people off enough they return your team to power?

Do you have the guts to seriously propose raising taxes on the rich instead? Do you have the guts to say to your special interest groups, "You have to make sacrifices too"?

Do you have the guts to say to the teachers unions that the product they are delivering isn't cutting it, for one thing, and for another, they can no longer automatically expect better benefits than most of the rest of society? 

You want to get rid of the emergency manager law? Great. Then what do you do when Detroit and Pontiac and Flint go bankrupt instead? The fallout will damage the credit rating of every city in the state as well as the state itself, not to mention what it will do to the economy as a whole.

OK, Detroiters: You don't want an emergency manager. You say you can solve your problems on your own.

Prove it. The city has billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities, bad and irresponsible debts racked up by mayors and city councils long gone. How do you plan to deal with that? The city isn't paying its vendors on time now. 

The city is literally falling apart, there's a large unionized city work force whose leaders don't seem to have a clue and are unable and unwilling to read a balance statement. 

The current budget deficit is increasing by $400,000 a day, and the city will literally run out of cash entirely in the spring. There are barely 700,000 people left; most poor and nearly half functionally illiterate. The mayor himself estimates that the real unemployment rate is more than 40 percent.

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