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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

Free Obama now

Mulenga Harangua knows the prez is tied up in the basement at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

I was browsing the stacks at my local public library when I heard a hissing sound. I looked around at the people sitting at tables reading. There in a back corner I saw Mulenga Harangua waving his arm from behind a gigantic book that obscured most of his body. I went over and took a seat at his table.

"I see you finally showed up," Mulenga admonished me as though I were late for an appointment.

"I didn't know that we had plans together."

"I've been sitting in here all day for a couple of weeks waiting for you to show up," Mulenga said. "I wanted to talk to you but didn't want to take the chance of coming to your house. You've been writing about me in that column of yours. I speak too much truth, so I know that the powers that be are looking for me. I needed to run into you on the sly. I know you read books all the time, so I knew you would show up here sooner or later."

"Well I have been using our public libraries ever since I learned to read when I was 6 or 7," I said.

"I've been using them ever since I learned to read when I was 28. That's when I realized the man wanted me to be ignorant, so I fought the power and learned how to read. Learning how to read is like a stick in the eye of the oppressor. It makes it that much harder to fool us. " Mulenga stretched and twisted his head around until his neck cracked. The noise cut through the air like a gunshot. The folks sitting nearby bobbed their heads like they were ducking bullets. When no more shots rang out they returned to their reading as though nothing had happened.

"Well, you got that right," I said. "Sorry that I didn't get over here sooner. I didn't know I had an appointment."

"That's OK. It's actually been pretty nice. They have air conditioning and water and clean restrooms. All the comforts I could ask for as hot as it has been this summer. And I get to use a computer once in a while."

"So what did you want to see me about?" I asked.

"It's about Obama."

"What? Have you gotten on the bandwagon with Cornel West and Tavis Smiley going around on their poverty tour ripping the president? It's not like he doesn't have enough trouble with those Tea Party people barking at him about every little thing he does. What's that West called him, the 'black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs?' They want to call him names when it is West and Smiley who want to be the black oligarchs telling everybody what to think. Had the nerve to come around here talking shit when they didn't lift a finger to help any poor people in Detroit."

"No. I'm afraid it's much worse than that," he said.

"I know things are bad. Black unemployment nationally is 17 percent, closer to 50 percent in Detroit. People getting foreclosed out of their houses left and right, black people killing each other left and right. I'd like to get to the bottom of that."

 "I did. That's what I'm trying to tell you," Mulenga said. "I got a scoop that's gonna win you a Pulitzer Prize if it doesn't get you killed first."


"They got the real Obama tied up in the basement of the White House."

"Who are they?" I asked.

"Them oligarchs you was talking about. You know the cabal that really rules the world. When Obama got elected talking about change and hope, they grabbed him the minute he moved into the White House. We have been seeing a body double for the president, like in that movie Dave where the president has a stroke and the guy who looks like him takes over. Except in this case I think it's the guy from Saturday Night Live who is impersonating him. Everybody thinks that's Obama caving in to the right when it's not him at all." 

"And you think West and Smiley are in on this?" I asked.

"Most definitely. Can't you see from the grin on Cornel's face that he's performing for massa? I was out there last week when they showed up in Detroit at the Young Municipal Center. There they were, carrying on and trying to rabble-rouse. I've always known that I could make a lot of money by masquerading as a black conservative; look what it did for Condoleezza Rice and Clarence Thomas. Colin Powell was in on it too before they went too far and he had to cut that shit loose. West and Smiley have lined up for their share. They're masquerading as black liberals in service to the conservative cause. It's a brilliant move but I see right through them."

"So is that what West meant when he said that Obama is not a 'free black man'?" I asked. "I was kind of wondering about that." 

"He was just covering his backside. On the one hand he called Obama a slave as a put-down. But if it ever comes out that Obama has been kidnapped, he can jump up and claim that's what he was trying to tell us. Those two want their bread buttered on both sides." Mulenga pretended he was spreading butter on the book in front of him. "They're probably getting their checks directly from them Koch brothers who bought up all those Republican governors who are attacking the unions."

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