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  • DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs

    In light of worldwide attention on its efforts to cut water service for thousands of Detroit residents, the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department said today it would host a Water Affordability Fair on August 2nd to explain options available to those facing financial hardship. DWSD officials said in a news release today the fair will be take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the department’s Eastside Customer Service Center at 13303 E. McNichols. The move came on the heels of growing pressure from opponents of the initiative and criticism from the U.S. bankruptcy judge overseeing Detroit’s Chapter 9 case. “Every customer that has come to DWSD with a legitimate financial hardship has not had their water service terminated,” said Darryl Latimer, DWSD deputy director, in a statement. “In cases where the water has been shut off, it’s been restored. We keep hearing at DWSD that there are poor people who are not receiving the assistance that they need, so we want to help them and we want to make it as easy as possible for the to receive that help. That’s why we created the Water Affordability Fair – ease of access and ease of assistance. We are here to […]

    The post DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation

    The folks at Thrillist have again compiled their annual list of the nation’s best burgers, and Southeast Michigan, it seems, is well represented. Ranking alongside joints in major cities such as New York and L.A., is Detroit’s own Motz’s Burgers, hailed specifically for its Double Cheeseburger Slider. Via Thrillist: There’s nothing remarkable about the façade of this SW diner… it’s just a diner, like the hundreds of others in the D. The staff’s been there for years… and so have the regulars, who can’t get enough of Motz’s legendary smashed burgers. The formula’s nothing revolutionary: smashed, griddled patties with oozy cheese and onions that melt into the burger itself as it cooks. But it’s that unmistakable flavor of a well-seasoned griddle — which has also been here for years — that makes the difference. You can score big burgers with accoutrements, but this isn’t really a place to say things like “accoutrements”. Grab the old-school slider (the double cheeseburger one), and prepare for three perfect bites of Detroit’s finest. Flint’s Torch Bar and Grill also made the cut, most notably for its Deluxe Torch Burger with Bacon. Tucked away in an alley beyond the brick streets that used to mark […]

    The post Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know!

    The Metro Times is looking for college students or graduates of Michigan colleges that used atypical means to pay for their schooling (i.e. sugar baby, selling underwear, military enrollment purely for school help, etc.). We are looking for personal anecdotes about the lengths you went to help pay for school, what came of it, your monetary situation, if the resource worked to get you through college and more. If you have utilized any one of these avenues, or know someone who has, please drop us a line at

    The post In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit

    File under “WTF” — attorneys representing former Psychopathic Records publicist Andrea Pellegrini announced Monday that they have subpoenaed Kid Rock to produce a glass dildo as part of Pellegrini’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the Insane Clown Posse’s record label. Pellegrini claims the glass dildo was given to her by Psychopathic Records employee “Dirty Dan” Diamond as part of a larger culture of constant harassment in which she was called “bitch,” made the target of explicit sexual advances by Diamond and other co-workers, asked to procure automatic weapons for a photo shoot, and even encouraged to “deceive government investigators from the US Department of Labor.” On Friday, Diamond admitted under oath that he told Pellegrini that he had “a fat cock” and that he would “fuck the shit out of her.” The dildo, though, was “a work of art,” according to Diamond, and should not be considered sexual harassment. Why is Kid Rock involved? Diamond says when Pellegrini declined his dildo, he gave it to Kid Rock instead (presumably as a “work of art” and not a sexual advance). So now, according to court orders, Rock has 14 days to produce the glass dildo so the court can better determine if it is art or, well, a dildo. We will […]

    The post Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Henry Cavill and Amy Adams spotted at Pig & Whiskey

    Fans of the latest Superman franchise got a treat at Pig & Whiskey this weekend. Actors Henry Cavill and Amy Adams were spotted amid the crowds of the festival that took place in downtown Ferndale as well as a local restaurant. Cavill, who plays the man of steel in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, stopped to chat with fans, take pictures, and sign autographs on Saturday afternoon and evening. He was wearing an inconspicuous black polo shirt as well as a signature Superman-style ‘do. Other fans spotted Amy Adams at Ferndale’s Imperial on Saturday night, some were even seated next to her at the restaurant’s communal benches. Adams reportedly was slightly annoyed that patrons continuously asked for her photo, but she smiled while cell phones snapped images nonetheless. The Zach Snyder film the two are starring in together is currently filming in Birmingham. Ben Affleck, who plays Batman, has been spotted around town with his wife Jennifer Garner recently as well. The closed movie set is under intense security and Brett Callwood attempted to infiltrate the filming last month, but was forced to give up his camera’s memory card, lest he make off with telling photos.

    The post Henry Cavill and Amy Adams spotted at Pig & Whiskey appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Shop Talk: Harvard and Duke students moderate panel discussion in Detroit

    The Social Club Grooming Company, a metro Detroit-based environmentally conscious company that focuses on health and beauty as well as education, will host Shop Talk this Thursday, a special in their on-going event series that will bring students from both Harvard and Duke for a panel discussion about the social-entreprenurial climate and business innovation happening in Detroit. Detroiters like Burn Rubber’s Rick Williams, fashion photographer Piper Carter, Crain’s Detroit’s Eric Cedo, Mission Throttle’s Jamie Shea, and campaign manager Bryan Barnhill will come together to discuss how to create change in the city’s economic landscape through innovation and entrepreneurship. Of course what makes this panel discussion unique is the way in which it will take place. As The Social Club is a barber shop, each panelist will be receiving a haircut while speaking, the trimmings from which will be used for their nitrogen content to help grow plants in the city. Part of a series that will help Detroiters meet city leaders, voices, artists, activists, and business owners, Shop Talk’s objective is to help young people understand their role in the city’s ever-changing economic system. “There’s so much positive energy in Detroit right now,” says Sebastian Jackson, The Social Club’s founder. “It’s […]

    The post Shop Talk: Harvard and Duke students moderate panel discussion in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Politics & Prejudices

Conyers' last stand?

Big John faces challenges in redistricting, a field of candidates and his own diminished profile.

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Yes, he knew Martin Luther King Jr., and can show you photographs of them together, working for civil rights in Mississippi. Yes, John Conyers was the man who did more than anyone else to make MLK's birthday a federal holiday.

He came out in favor of impeaching Richard Nixon before almost anyone else did. He stood on a car with a bullhorn and tried to stop rioters from burning down their own homes in 1967.

Conyers stood up to Lyndon Johnson on Vietnam when others were scared to, and has done much to recognize and preserve that quintessentially American musical genre of genius, jazz.

He was the first African-American to chair the House Judiciary Committee, and his achievements will be remembered forever.

But sadly, there are abundant signs that it's time for him to leave Congress.

Conyers has been there almost a half-century. He was first elected in 1964, before most of his current constituents were alive. Now he is an old man with young sons. And his wife is in prison for taking bribes while serving on the Detroit City Council.

His effectiveness is diminished. There are times when he doesn't seem to know where he is or to whom he is speaking.

Last fall, he showed up at the National Arab American Museum during a serious discussion of the legacy of Sept. 11, 2001. He told a startled audience they should do more to appreciate the genius of Miles Davis and John Coltrane, and that they should buy bus tickets and go to Washington for the anniversary of the Congressional Black Caucus. (I was the moderator; evidently gauging my net worth, he told them they should buy me a bus ticket too.) 

Many journalists know stories like this, but lack the courage or ability to tell them. Conyers' office is a mess; it has been for many years. Constituent services are chaotic or nonexistent. It has been a long time since he has done anything much to help his district.

"Things shouldn't have come to this," says state Sen. Glenn Anderson of Westland, who is running against Conyers in the Democratic primary in the newly reshaped 13th District.

Anderson, a 58-year-old veteran of the Legislature, wishes he weren't running against the old lion. "He should have retired gracefully and with dignity," says Anderson, who first got interested in politics when Bobby Kennedy ran for president.

News flash: He may be an underdog, but Anderson has a real chance to defeat iconic John next Tuesday. Few have paid much attention to Anderson's almost under-the-radar race for Congress. If it had been any previous election, his candidacy wouldn't have been worth much notice. (A white guy from Tennessee running against John Conyers in a majority black district? Jesus! Forgetaboutit! )

Times have changed, however, and so has the district. According to the last census, only about 56 percent of the district's population is black, about the same percentage of the district that lives in Detroit.

The balance is a collection of mostly white, mostly blue-collar Wayne County suburbs, including Garden City, Westland, and Dearborn Heights. They are outnumbered by Detroiters.

However, white turnout is almost always higher than black, especially in primary elections. (Incidentally, Conyers won't be voting for himself; he doesn't live in the 13th, at least not yet.) Republicans are a negligible factor here; whoever wins the Aug. 7 Democratic primary is virtually guaranteed to go to Congress.

It is actually conceivable that white turnout could be as high as black. But Conyers has other problems as well. Two black state legislators are also making a spirited effort in the primary. State Sen. Bert Johnson of Highland Park has been arguing even more forcefully than Anderson that Conyers is ineffective.

State Rep. Shanelle Jackson is attractive, charismatic, and is counting on two factors to win some votes: She is the only woman in the race, and, at 32, is by far the youngest candidate. Unfortunately, she has little money to mount a major campaign, beyond a few scattered billboards. Johnson has been working hard, and won the endorsement of The Detroit News. But he suffers from the stigma of having done time for armed robbery committed at age 19.

Nobody doubts that he has since remarkably rehabilitated himself, and Johnson is up-front in discussing his past; what I found admirable is that he blames no one but himself.

But what happened, happened. In rejecting his candidacy, Detroit Free Press editorial page editor Stephen Henderson sniffed that "it would be nearly impossible [for Detroit] to get past the image of this community that would be created by replacing a civil rights icon with, well, a felon." Detroiters may be more forgiving.

The suburban part of the district, however, is unlikely to be. If Jackson and Johnson do pull any significant number of votes, they will come at Conyers' expense.

While there is another white suburban candidate — Wayne-Westland school board member John Goci — he has near-zero name recognition, and little cash other than what he's lent himself.

It isn't hard to imagine Anderson winning, say, 40 percent of the overall vote, and finishing first in the primary. If that happens, he says Detroiters have nothing to worry about.

"I intend to be a congressman from all parts of this district — I have lived here since I was 15. I care about what everybody here cares about — education and jobs," he told me. "Those would be my priorities in Congress, as they've been in the Legislature."

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