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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    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.



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Stir It Up

Déjà vu in Detroit

Mulenga Harangua stops in to talk in circles all over again

"I thought you stopped drinking."

I knew that high, whiny voice. I turned and there was Mulenga Harangua dressed in a sharp suit and holding his own plastic cup of wine. We'd both showed up for a reception at a local nonprofit. 

"I did stop drinking," I replied, "but I'm holding onto this so that people stop offering me drinks. It seems like when people start drinking they expect everybody else to drink too. I got tired of refusing them."

Mulenga took a sip from his cup. "Well, you can give me that one when I'm done. I'm still drinking. As a matter of fact, I'm thinking about getting into winemaking. It's not that hard; you just have to be patient."

"So," I said, using my cup to indicate his jacket, "where did you get that suit?"

"My uncle died and I got some of his clothes. My aunt always had a soft spot for me."

"I thought you were gearing up to be a sexy bigwig Detroit man again."

"Aw, man, I've changed," Mulenga protested. "I ain't about that anymore. I'm just a simple man with simple needs."

"Well, there's an opening for a new sexy man."

"What do you mean?"

"Police Chief Ralph Godbee is sexy man emeritus. Make that ex-Chief Godbee."

"Yeah, man, we're going through police chiefs around here the way we go through mayors. Every time you turn around we're getting a new one." Mulenga finished his wine and reached for my cup. "Now, it seems like you called him one of the good guys in your last column."

"Well, when it comes to police work he talked a good game."

"I guess he talks up the ladies pretty good too. He's a budding Kwame Kilpatrick, with a wife, a girlfriend working in his department and reports that he's traveling around the country with a third woman."

"Maybe it's the Kwame vibe. He's back in town for his trial so he's spreading a bit of déjà vu around.

"Maybe he sprinkled it on the city as he flew in."

"Now, this is kind of interesting. When I went to the forum on crime at Wayne State University, Godbee was on a panel talking about police department reform. He said that he might not be around to see it through because the reality of politics was that when new administrations come in they want their own choice in place for police chief. I thought he had a little inside information on Mayor Bing's plans on whether or not he was running for mayor again. Now I'm wondering if he knew this shit was about to hit the fan and figured he was going to get fired."

"Could be," Mulenga said as his eyes roved around the room. "Man, I don't recognize hardly anyone around here."

"Well, your old girlfriend June is over there."

Mulenga seemed to shrink down inside his suit. "I don't want to talk to her. Last time I saw her she was throwing bricks and I was running for my life. Besides, she's married and got about five kids. It's safer over here with you."

"Maybe that's what Godbee should have thought before he got involved with one of his officers," I said. "I guess we shouldn't be too surprised. It's not like we didn't know he'd had an affair with another officer before."

"Oh, yeah, the same one that Warren Evans was involved with when he got squeezed out of the job as police chief. But he was forced to resign for making that promo for a reality show."

"That's what they said. As far as I was concerned it was a little bit of this and a little bit of that."

"Given what Bing already knew about Godbee's affairs, he probably shouldn't have hired him as police chief. It seems like the chickens are coming home to roost for Godbee. And Evans has even raised his head to comment with some weird logic on Facebook. "

"Yeah, I saw that stuff he wrote about 'single man dates single woman,' and 'married man dates single woman' stuff. It's kind of twisted logic. One thing for sure, this Facebook stuff gives you the raw emotions." I grabbed a couple of hors d'oeuvres from a tray as a server passed by.

"Then there's that thing Godbee's wife put on Twitter about, 'Know that you are not the only one in his life.' Man, talk about sticking it to him."

"Well he already stuck it to her ... and a few others."

"That could have been Carlita Kipatrick tweeting that one. Lord knows she put up with enough." Mulenga laughed at his own quip. "I guess the Kwame déjà vu really does have us in its grip. We can't get away from it."

"OK, let's leave that alone for now. So what do you think about Bing's chances of getting re-elected? Or do you think he's even going to run? We've got prospective candidates starting to pop up now."

"I don't even want to think about that until after the presidential election next month," Mulenga said. "I only want to think about one election at a time. We've got a lot of stuff pending in this one."

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