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  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through BuildingDetroit.com, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial

    We don’t know about you, but usually Nancy Whiskey and Long John Silver’s aren’t two concepts we’d place in the same sentence. However, the international fast food fish fry conglomerate made a nod to the Detroit dive in their latest YouTube commercial. LJS is offering free fish fries on Saturday, August 2, which is the promotion the commercial is attempting to deliver. But, we think we’ll just go to Nancy Whiskey instead.

    The post Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns transwomen

    We came across an interesting item this week: Apparently, a music festival with the name “Michfest” is quietly oriented as a “Women-Only Festival Exclusively for ‘Women Born Women.’” It seems a strange decision to us. If you wanted to have a women-only music festival, why not simply proclaim loud and clear that it is for all sorts of women? But if you really wanted to become a lightning rod for criticisms about transphobia, organizers have found the perfect way to present their festival. Now, we know that defenders of non-cisgender folks have it tough. The strides made by gays and lesbians (and bisexuals) in the last 20 years have been decisive and dramatic. But the people who put the ‘T’ in LGBT have reason to be especially defensive, facing a hostile culture and even some disdain from people who should be their natural allies. That said, sometimes that defensiveness can cause some activists to go overboard; when we interviewed Dan Savage a couple years ago, he recalled his “glitter bombing” and said it was due to the “the narcissism of small differences,” adding that “if you’re playing the game of who is the most victimized, attacking your real enemies doesn’t prove you’re most victimized, claiming you […]

    The post Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns transwomen appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Use this widget to find your polling place for Aug. 5 primary election

    Reminder: the August 5 primary election is coming up. Where do you vote? What’s on the ballot? All these questions can be easily answered by simply typing the address you are registered to vote at into this handy widget created by Pew Charitable Trusts and Google: You can embed this widget on your own website with the following code, and more information can be found at the Voting Info Project.: <script type=”text/javascript” src=”https://voter-info-tool.appspot.com/js/loader.js”></script> <div id=”_vit”></div> <script type=”text/javascript”>vit.load({‘election_id’:’4034′, ‘suppress_voter_id_rules’: true});</script> Read up on MT‘s election guide for Wayne county executive here.

    The post Use this widget to find your polling place for Aug. 5 primary election appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Thank you, Detroit

    I’m not going to lie to you – this isn’t easy. This week, the final City Slang local music column will be published in the Metro Times (on hardcore band Final Assault), and I have just submitted a cover feature on the women of Detroit hip-hop, to be published next week (8/6). This blog that you’re reading now will be my last one as a regular MT contributor. I have a lot to look forward to. I’m going to be an associate editor at Yellow Scene Magazine in Colorado, a tremendous publication in a beautiful part of the country. But leaving Detroit will be incredibly difficult for me. I love the place. It’s been (amazingly) six and a half years since I arrived, a couple of cases in hand and not much of a plan in mind. I just knew, after three separate research trips for books and a magazine article, that I felt at home here. Metro Times offered me freelance work almost immediately, as did a new website called Metromix (whatever happened to that?) When I arrived here, I had been working as a writer in the UK for nine years, but the help and encouragement I received […]

    The post Thank you, Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers

      We here at MT will be delighted when Mr. Jack White throws out a pitch at Navin Field (at least, we hope he will), but until then, we’ll be happy with his pitch to Santa this evening at Comerica Park.    

    The post Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Politics & Prejudices

Ban all guns, now

Nobody needs to have a handgun in America — period

Photo: , License: N/A


Thoughtful man, Gateway Rick. Well, we'll learn more about who he is by what he does. But defeating these bills is not adequate. We have to defeat the culture of death.

Incidentally, I know the current Supreme Court has, for the first time in history, ruled that the Second Amendment means there is a constitutional right to bear arms.

The ruling did not, however, say gun control was unconstitutional. Frankly, any sane person ought to know that what was called "arms" in 1787 bears about as much relationship to a Bushmaster semiautomatic as a mouse does to a mountain lion, except both are "mammals."

We can choose to fight for culture and life or we can permanently embrace a world of killing and death.

Seems to me that may be not only a fight worth making, but perhaps the most important fight of all.


Getting rid of Right to Work: After the lame-duck session of the Legislature rammed through legislation outlawing the union shop last week, many workers felt helpless.

The solons had shrewdly stuck some appropriated money into the union-busting bill. Anytime they do that with a law, it means voters cannot collect signatures to put it on the ballot to try to get rid of it, as happened last month in a referendum on the governor's first emergency manager law.

But there is, in fact, still a way to try to get Right to Work before the people. Here's how: When you can't do a referendum, try an initiative. Citizens would need to collect more than 258,088 valid signatures over 180 days, on petitions asking the Legislature to reconsider and repeal right to work.

Naturally, this Legislature will almost certainly say no. But if they do, they'll have to put Right to Work on the ballot, elections experts in the Michigan Secretary of State's Office told me last week. That wouldn't be till November 2014.

But that would give labor a shot. When Rick Snyder signed right to work into law, U.S. Rep. Sander Levin said, "The effort to reverse this wrong-headed action and restore a Michigan that encourages middle-class jobs ... begins today."

OK, well, if he and everyone else opposed to Right to Work is serious, I've just given you a road map. So take it.

Jack Lessenberry opines weekly for Metro Times. Send comments to

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