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  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times

    Turns out, our very own Jack Lessenberry knows the Grosse Pointer seeking to ban the MT: Ten years or so ago, a woman named Andrea Lavigne sat in on some media survey classes I was teaching at Wayne State University. She was in her late 30s or early 40s, and seemed to be searching for answers. She wanted to know how the media work, and told me she was a Maoist. This fascinated me, because I thought authentic Maoists were almost as rare as passenger pigeons. Chairman Mao, we now know, starved to death and slaughtered tens of millions of his own citizens, and kept China economically and intellectually backward. Intrigued, I got together one night before class with her and another Maoist, to find out what they were all about. Alas, they spouted a form of primitive, grade-school Marxism. They seemed to have very little historical knowledge of Communism or what it had actually been like. Yes. A Maoist. Read the full story at Michigan Radio here.

    The post Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’

    A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the owner of Detroit’s municipal solid waste incinerator Monday, accusing the company of nuisance and gross negligence violations According to the complaint filed by Detroit-based Liddle & Dubin P.C., “On occasions too numerous to list, Plaintiffs’ property including Plaintiffs’ neighborhood, residences and yards were physically invaded by noxious odors and contaminants … As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s’ negligence in operating and/or maintaining the facility, Plaintiffs’ property has been invaded by noxious odors.” The eight-page complaint charges that local property values have dropped due to the incinerator’s presence, “and has interfered with Plaintiffs’ use and enjoyment of their property.” The lawsuit, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, seeks a financial award in excess of $25,000 and all costs and attorney fees related to the case. In an email, a spokesperson for the company says, “Detroit Renewable Power is reviewing the complaint filed today,” but declined further comment. The suit comes weeks after a Metro Times’ cover story earlier this month found a growing number of odor complaints from nearby residents since Detroit Renewable Power LLC (DRP) took control of the facility in 2010. The investigation found a spike in citations from the Michigan Department […]

    The post Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup

    The High Times Medical Cannabis Cup is more than just a celebration — although with the recent shift in attitudes toward marijuana legalization, there certainly is much to celebrate.  HT‘s Danny Danko described it as “just like any other harvest festival or a county fair where people bring their best produce, their best pigs and horses and cows, and they compete with each other for bragging rights, basically.” Here are a list of winners from this year’s Cannabis Cup, who did indeed walk home with some well-deserved bragging rights — if anyone knows their marijuana it’s High Times: Indica 1ST - Oasis Medical Seeds - Paris OG 2ND - Herbal Solutions - Alien Dawg F2 3RD - Herban Legendz, LLC - Grape OX Sativa 1ST - Arborside Compassion - CATFISH 2ND - Organibliss - Ghost Train Haze #1 3RD - We Grow Education and Collective Centers - MelonGum Hybrid 1ST - Herbal Solutions - Gorilla Glue 2ND - Pure West Compassion Club - Death Star 3RD - Kushman Veganics for Buds & Roses - Veganic Candyland Concentrate 1ST - Mr. B’s Extracts - Raskal’s Lemon 2ND - 710 Savant - Kosher Kush Dewaxed 3RD - Oasis Medical / Vader Extracts / Dab Vader - Candy Jack Shatter Non-Solvent Hash 1ST - NLG - Jedi Kush Ice Wax 2ND - Arborside Compassion - HeadCandy Kush Hash 3RD - New World Seeds Resource […]

    The post Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative

    So is the title of the press release we received this morning from The Satanic Temple. You may recall our interview with Doug Mesner from earlier this year. The Satanic Temple is, perhaps, best known for trying to build a child-friendly monument to satan in OKC: How Mesner and TST are rocking the Hobby Lobby ruling is interesting: The Satanic Temple Leverages Hobby Lobby Ruling to Claim Exemption From State Mandated ProLife Materials Reads the next line of the press release. And then their website: A number of states require that abortion providers give information to patients that maybe inaccurate or misleading. Demands that members of the Satanic Temple, or those who share our beliefs, be subjected against our will to anything but the best scientific understanding are a violation of our religious beliefs. Thanks to rulings such as Hobby Lobby, we can take a stand against these practices. Mesner points out how the Hobby Lobby ruling bolsters their position: While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when […]

    The post Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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.

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Stir It Up

Cue Mulenga

Harangua helps with a recap of a city year

Photo: , License: N/A


I was walking down Woodward Avenue near Grand Circus Park; the wind was cutting through my pants as winter finally started to show some teeth. I saw Mulenga Harangua walking along with what looked like an old, bent pool cue in his hand, peeping in the windows of storefronts. The cue stick looked more like something you'd use to shoot arrows than eight balls.

"Hey, Mulenga, what's up with the stick?”

He turned around looking a little wide-eyed until he focused on me. "Oh, I'm looking for a pool hall.” He waved his curvy cue stick in my general direction. 

"What's with this sudden interest in shooting pool?”

"I'm trying to get politically connected,” he said. "Apparently that's where all the political action is. Didn't you see that story about Ron Weiser, the Republican National Committee finance chair? He said that voters in Detroit get picked up at pool halls and barbershops and bused from 'precinct to precinct' to vote several times. I've been in lots of barbershops and never seen this happen, so I figure the real action must be at the pool halls. Plus, I figure if they have buses going from precinct to precinct then I can get a ride across town. They might be more dependable than the city buses.”

"Well, even though that doesn't really happen, it would just be on Election Day.”

"But you don't just show up on Election Day and expect to be successful.”

"You got that right.”

"So I went to the Magic Stick, Bill's Recreation, Paul's Recreation, El Bosque and Long Green Billiards. Nothing was going on at any of them. I can't seem to find a political connection. I'm over here because I heard there is a new billiards parlor on Woodward called Drive.”

"I heard about that place. But it's not a pool hall; it's a ping-pong parlor.”

"What? I never heard of something like that.” Mulenga tapped his stick on the ground a couple of times.

"Apparently they're hot in New York and other trendy places. Susan Sarandon is involved in a company that runs them. Drive is run by a minister, Diallo Smith, of the Awakening Movement church. They hold services there too.”

"Well, I guess my search is over. I should have figured it wasn't true about pool halls when I knew it wasn't true about barbershops.”

"You were looking for politics in all the wrong places. That Weiser guy is full of crap. It's just more of this Republican smoke and mirrors as they try to push voter suppression. Voter fraud at the polls is practically nonexistent. This summer News21, a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project, found just 10 cases of in-person voter fraud out of an alleged 2,068 cases reported nationally. Plus, those kinds of stories sound good when they're preaching to the Republican choir. I guess they actually believe that stuff. That's probably why Romney was so surprised that he lost the election. They actually believe their own bullshit. So what's with this sudden interest in politics? The election is over.”

"There's always another election over the horizon,” Mulenga replied. "Regardless of that, I feel like I've got to do something about Gov. Snyder and all this crap the state Legislature has shoved down our throats in the past few weeks. This right-to-work law does nothing but let workers enjoy the benefits of union-negotiated contracts without having to support the union. They passed almost 300 laws and Snyder signed most of them. It's like the revenge of the nerd governor after President Obama won the election.”

"Yep, I feel like I'm living in some backward hinterland. If it hadn't been for the Sandy Hook school massacre, Snyder would have signed the law allowing people to carry handguns into schools and churches. They were putting new amendments into laws and substituting legislation with no debate or public input. They passed a new emergency manager law and business-friendly tax breaks for their corporate pals. They passed a law aimed at putting medical facilities that provide abortions out of business. They also privatized a state prison, and made it harder to recall state legislators — I guess just in case people got ticked off at them for bulldozing those laws through.”

"You ought to mention that when you do your year in review column for 2012,” Mulenga urged.

"I don't know if I'm going to write one this year. It's been tough.”

"What? Obama won re-election, and folks voted to legalize marijuana in Colorado, Washington state, and even right here in Detroit.” Mulenga put a couple of fingers to his lips and sucked in like he was smoking. "It's legal now.”

"I'm glad that Obama won. Romney would have been a nightmare. But at the state level it's like conservative Republican land in more places than not. And as far as marijuana is concerned, it's a wait-and-see proposition. There was a news report the other day that the state police have no intention of honoring that law, and the county and city cops have their lawyers reviewing it. They're probably looking for a way to get around it. City Council President Charles Pugh said it was a waste of time.”

Somebody blew a car horn and waved out the window as it went by. Mulenga waved his cue stick in the general direction. Neither of us knew who it was.

"So what was so bad this year?” Mulenga said as he tapped his pool cue against a parking meter as we walked along.

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