Most Read
  • 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

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

  • Get ready for National Tequila Day!

    Thursday, July 24th marks National Tequila Day, and forget everything you know about the beverage. Those nasty old “tequilas” of yesterday were find for doing body shots, but tequila has become something of a luxury spirit while few were paying attention. Have you tried all the varieties of tequila? Can you tell the difference between blanco, joven, reposed, añejo and extra añejo?  If your local bar doesn’t have the stuff that will help you celebrate this important holiday, there are several bars that cater just to the tequila fan. There’s Aqua Rum and Tequila Bar in the MGM Grand Detroit Casino in Detroit, as well as Rojo Mexican Bistro in Novi, which offers more than 100 kinds of tequila, and Taqo Detroit, a new spot serving American-friendly Mexican fare and serving an astonishing variety of tequilas, more than 200 in all. Been waiting for a reason to drink up this south-of-the-border nectar? You got it. Guzzle responsibly.    

    The post Get ready for National Tequila Day! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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.



Search thousands of events in our database.


Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.


Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Politics & Prejudices

Emergency manager for Detroit?

Talking with Joe Harris about the city, its problems and a persistent lack of vision

There was something poignant about the scene last week at City Hall, aka the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, when the council, mayor and other Detroit city leaders huddled around a podium.

They all expressed solidarity. We can fix our problems. We don't need any emergency manager. We can do it, honest, mon.


Just days before, they'd been nastily bashing each other. The mayor's budget didn't cut enough, the council said. After turning the other cheek for months, Dave Bing finally lost it.

He shot back that Council President Charles Pugh couldn't even manage his own finances, so how could he know how to fix the city? He accused Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown of being a triple-dipper who, thanks to a salary, police department pension and successful lawsuit, was sucking more money from Detroit than his share. As for Councilman Ken Cockrel Jr., who served as interim mayor for seven months: "What the hell did you achieve for the time that you were here?"

Nothing like money troubles to turn tempers ugly. But now the threat of an emergency manager suddenly is real. The governor has ordered a review of the city's finances, usually the first step. Whatever they think of each other, neither the mayor nor the council wants to lose their powers. Nor do the city unions want a situation where an emergency manager can void out their contracts.

Yet is it too late to avoid that?

Last weekend, I talked to a man who may have the best grasp of the situation — Joe Harris, now the emergency manager in tiny Benton Harbor, off in the southwest corner of the state.

Harris, a certified public accountant in private practice for many years, was Detroit's auditor general for a decade, from 1995 to 2005, and afterward served as the city's chief financial officer during the seven months Cockrel was mayor. 

I asked him: Do you see any way the city can avoid having an emergency manager and losing control of its own affairs?

"Truthfully, no," he said — and paused. "Well, there is a way for the mayor and council and the unions to get together and order some draconian changes in labor contracts," he said.

"They'd have to do that quickly, and the mayor needs to understand he can't maintain the same public safety force the city has had." While both mayor and council agree that city positions have to be eliminated, council wants to eliminate far more – including 500 police and firefighters, something the mayor has refused to do.

There really isn't any choice, the former auditor said, and even that doesn't solve the city's bigger problems. What, I asked him, did he think the odds were that the city leaders could come together?

"Well, let's put it this way. I wouldn't bet the ranch on it."

Harris may feel he has to be somewhat circumspect. He was, after all, briefly, Detroit's chief financial officer before being replaced by Bing, and doesn't want to look like a vindictive ex-employee.

He is also now an emergency manager in another city, and might risk being seen as speaking out of turn. He's also aware that he has also been mentioned as a possible EM for Detroit, and might not want to be seen as campaigning for the job.

Yet, blunt, plain-speaking honesty has always been Joe Harris' style. When I asked him how Detroit ended up in this mess, he didn't hesitate to answer: "You have to start with a plan. What the city has is a long-term problem, and it takes a strategic plan to try to address it.

"But Dave Bing doesn't have a plan. Matter of fact, that's the same as the last four mayors. Not one has presented a viable plan."

"When Mayor Bing ran for office," observed Harris, "he said he would bring in a team of experts and straighten out the city's finances.

"But he didn't know anything. When you took a look at his team of experts, they didn't have the qualifications. I'm sure they were all good and respected in their fields, but they didn't understand ...

"After that, it turns out [Bing's] plan, such as it was, was to sit down with department heads and find a way to work together to solve the problem." 

But these were people who had grown up in the system. They couldn't see outside their own closed universe, Harris said, with an air of regret. He has been predicting for years that would happen. "I thought it would have happened already.

"But they helped Bing get a quarter-billion-dollar loan, and instead of using it to help reorganize, they just went on doing the things they were doing," making a failed ship float a little longer.

What's important to keep in mind is that the city's real problem is not the current budget deficit. Far worse is the fact that the city has $5 billion — billion with a capital B — in unfunded pensions and other liabilities, according to the respected, nonpartisan Citizens' Research Council. How can the city ever hope to manage that?

"The tragedy is that this would be the time to borrow and refinance that," Harris said. Interest rates are near historic lows. "But the city has maxed out its credit cards." 

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus