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  • PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan

    #150207742 / gettyimages.com As locals continue to flood Detroit streets to protest the city’s ongoing water debacle, one national organization is hoping to be part of the solution — that is, for a dietary price. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA as the organization is more commonly known, has offered to pay outstanding water bills for 10 Detroiters who are willing to go vegan for one month. “Vegan meals take far less of a toll on the Earth’s resources,” PETA representatives said in a recent press release. “It takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce just a pound of meat but only about 155 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat.” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk adds, “Vegan meals are also a cost-effective way to help prevent health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart conditions, the last thing that someone who is struggling financially needs to deal with.” Folks interested in participating are asked to send a copy of their most recent overdue water bill and their written pledge to go vegan for one month to PETA Attn: Detroit Water at 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510 before Aug. 1.

    The post PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Dinner Club Does Brunch

    Sure, The Dinner Club, a regularly occurring pop-up that takes places at the Storefront Gallery  in Ferndale (and other locations, occasionally), usually happens around dinner time, but this Sunday, July 27, there will be a special edition: Brunch Chef Matthew Baldridge, who’s resume includes stints at such Detroit greats as Cliff Bell’s, The Rattlesnake Club, and Seldom Blues, has crafted a menu of French-inspired items that employ locally procured ingredients. Brunch includes four courses where guests will be treated to such delights as cocoa, cinnamon, chili-spiced creamy grits with pickled strawberries, cocoa puffs and strawberry-infused syrup, a smoked gouda potato gallette with Faygo Root Beer braised pork belly, quail egg and Faygo Root Beer syrup, banana marscapone-filled French toast with fresh raspberries, whipped cream and balsamic syrup, and champagne-soaked strawberries. It is also important to note that brunch is BYOChampagne. Baldridge, along with The Storefront Gallery’s Derek John and Lilacpop Studio owner and artist Janna Coumoundouros, curate the event that includes an art show, a great playlist, and visuals.                 Brunch services are at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and last about two hours, only 20 seats are available at each service. The cost is […]

    The post Dinner Club Does Brunch appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden

      By Ashley Zlatopolsky It’s been a little over twenty years since iconic ‘90s alternative hip-hop group Jurassic 5 first formed in Los Angeles’ Good Life club. Widely regarded as a pivotal influence in the decade’s underground hip-hop movement by critics and fans alike, the six-piece crew consisting of two DJs (Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark) and four MCs (Akil, Zaakir, Marc 7 and Chali 2na) were well on their way to becoming one of hip-hop’s greatest and most powerful acts of all time, ranking alongside names such as Public Enemy and N.W.A. with socially-conscious lyrics and smooth beats paired with smart sampling. But in 2004, Cut Chemist left the group to pursue a solo career, and in 2007 Jurassic 5 completely called it quits after nearly 15 years of music. And that was it for the crew until 2013. After almost seven years apart (nine for Cut Chemist), Jurassic 5 reunited and re-emerged stronger than ever before with a new flair, seasoned attitude, and more vibrant energy at Coachella Music Festival, the group’s first show with the original six members since Cut Chemist split. During their performance, Jurassic 5 gave fans a memorable concert revisiting all the classic feel-good tracks […]

    The post Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks

    Dogs of Detroit have new territory to trot: Yesterday, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy held a soft opening for a 20-acre westward extension of the Riverwalk. Part of a planned two-mile track of the West Riverwalk, the new span runs from the Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks Boulevard, says Mark Pasco, director of communications for the conservancy. “It’s going to be great,” Pasco says. “It’s a wide open green space. It’s going to be great for activities.” The endgame for the Riverwalk, Pasco notes, is to extend the walkway from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just past the MacArthur Bridge — about a 5.5. mile route. The new westward expansion is wider than most of the walkway, about 30 feet, says Pasco — a decision made by the conservancy to accommodate fisherman that previously frequented the area. “We knew … once it opened up they’d want to fish there again, so we made the Riverwalk itself wider,” Pasco says. The conservancy will hold a grand opening in late September, which will include “food and music and activities,” Pasco says, though no official date has been set.

    The post Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • DJ Josh Cheon shares his favorite darkwave tracks

    San Francisco’s Josh Cheon runs the darkwave revival label Dark Entries and is a member of the Honey Soundsystem DJ collective. This Saturday, July 26, Macho City switch out of disco mode and get a little gothic, bringing the Dark Entries 5th Anniversary Tour to town. Synth bands Bézier, Max + Mara, and Redredred will play, and Cheon will spin select cuts in between sets. We asked Cheon to share a playlist of some of his favorite tracks: Martin L. Gore — “Compulsion”: “I first heard this song at The Bank, a goth club I used to go to every weekend in New York as a teenager. I love the synths that sound like brass instruments and of course Martin’s distinct vocals.When I bought the EP, I discovered it was actually a cover of a song by Joe Crow, who used to play with UK post punk group The Nightingales. The rest of the covers on this EP turned me onto so many other great bands like Tuxedomoon, Sparks, The Durutti Column and Comsat Angels.” Clan of Xymox — “Call it Weird”: “This song was also part of my teenage soundtrack after it was reissued in 1994 on CD. I never imagined I would reissue it then, but when I started my label it was one […]

    The post DJ Josh Cheon shares his favorite darkwave tracks appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault

    The Metro Times is looking to hear your experiences will sexual assault on a Michigan college campus — from anything to how many sexual assault prevention programs, rape kits or crisis centers you may have had access to, to how the administration or local law enforcement handled your experience. If you, or anyone you know might be interested in talking to a reporter at the Metro Times, please email us at college@metrotimes.com.

    The post Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Politics & Prejudices

Defending Debbie

Why right-wingers hate Stabenow's stubborn hold on office

The degree of contempt and hatred the right wing harbors for U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow seems out of all proportion. Vulgar, sexist, obscenity-laced attacks on her can be found all over the Internet.

This is fascinating, both from the standpoint of social pathology, and from the degree her enemies are disconnected from voter-based reality. To those who don't live in nutball fantasyland, Stabenow is a hard-working senator, the first Michigander since the 1880s to chair the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Warmly personable, she still has more than a touch of the small-town girl from Clare, the daughter of the local Oldsmobile dealer back when she was growing up. When I had a long chat with her in Dearborn a couple weeks ago, the only loathing she expressed was for the Asian carp, "the fish that keeps me up at night."

Pressing the Obama administration to do more to stop the giant invasive species from getting into the Great Lakes is a major priority of hers, but not the top one. That could be summarized as "jobs, jobs, jobs," she said. "Helping bring more jobs to Michigan."

Helping people always has been what she wanted to do, since she enrolled at Michigan State in 1968. She earned two degrees in social work while singing folk songs part time in a local coffeehouse. Later, she married, raised two children, wore sensible shoes, and first ran for office in 1974 when she was outraged that the Ingham County commissioners closed a nursing home.

People who know Stabenow usually like her. They've been electing her to office after office ever since. Republicans have more and more trouble even finding a credible candidate to run against her.

Yet you wouldn't recognize this from the venom that drips from dozens of blogs. Much of this is clearly misogynistic, and is often coupled with sneers at the weight problem she's battled for years.

Other attacks are merely spluttering and incoherent. One of the milder ones was posted last week on a blog called Northern Michigan Conservative View. "It would be nice if everybody called her Dangerously Incompetent Debbie Stabenow," the bloggist wrote, adding, helpfully, "It helps to understand who we are talking about. The woman is the MOST LIBERAL DEMOCRAT in the Senate."

Whatever that means. Curiously, this echoes a contradictory theme raised by many of Stabenow's usually anonymous attackers: They portray her as both hopelessly incompetent and also cleverly plotting to force "the liberal agenda" down America's throats.

What her enemies mostly don't say, however, is what really bugs them the most. Not only can't they seem to beat her, this time, they can't even find a candidate to run against her.

Less than a year ago, Republicans were confident that this was the year "we take Debbie out," as one said. Actually, they've been underestimating her since the start of her career. The Ingham County commissioner she ran against a lifetime ago dismissed her contemptuously as "that young broad." She beat him like a drum.

Next it was on to the state House, then the state Senate. Her one major loss was a lucky one. She was the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for governor back in 1994, but lost narrowly to the inept Howard Wolpe when the teachers unions turned against her after she touched off the education reforms that led to Proposal A.

No Democrat could have beaten John Engler in that very Republican year, and had she been the nominee, it could have been fatal. As a good soldier, Stabenow accepted the worthless nomination for lieutenant governor. Two years later, she challenged incumbent Republican Rep. Dick Chrysler.

Chrysler was contemptuous of her too, referring to her as "liberal Debbie" when I interviewed him that fall. She crushed him by a landslide. Four years later, she took on U.S. Sen. Spencer Abraham. He outspent her by more than $5 million. Ten days before the election, he was ahead by 12 points in the polls.

But she'd wisely kept what money she had for a last minute push, and squeaked to victory by 67,000 votes. Six years later, Republicans had what they felt was the dream attack video of all videos. It showed Debbie Stabenow, looking very portly and wearing an unflattering outfit, speaking in the Senate next to a sign saying "Dangerously Incompetent." Worse, the sign matched her red dress.

Republicans then managed to recruit popular Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard to run against her. Incidentally, the sign was actually referring to what Stabenow had been saying about the Bush administration. Voters seemed to get that better than the media.

When the votes were counted, it was Stabenow, 2,151,278; Bouchard 1,559,597. That was an even wider margin than Gov. Jennifer Granholm had over the hapless Dick DeVos. The senator thanked everyone, and went back to work for another six years.

Next year, she has to run again. Confident Republicans thought Pete Hoekstra, the runner-up in their gubernatorial primary last year, would give her the "fight of her life." Except, well, he wasn't willing to run. Incumbents Mike Rogers and Candice Miller weren't about to give up their safe U.S. House seats.

Their colleague, the eccentric Thaddeus McCotter, said he might run for president, but wouldn't dare take on Stabenow. Republicans couldn't even get Frank Beckmann, the blowhard football announcer and part-time right-wing columnist, to run.

That doesn't mean she doesn't have opposition. Randy Hekman, a former probate judge from Kent County, says he is running. So is Peter Konetchy, a guy in Roscommon who does accounting work for law firms. ... OK, I was wrong. She doesn't really have opposition.

A few weeks ago, Michigan Republicans were pathetically saying they heard a former Detroit Red Wing might be able to get into the race. That eventually fizzled, perhaps because their choice may have been a Canadian citizen.

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