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  • Jumpin Jumpin: Police, fire fighters, and EMS workers to be honored at Sky Zone

    When we think of honoring the brave men and women who protect and serve the metro Detroit area, we think of trampolines.  We think they should jump on trampolines. And by trampolines, we mean an all-walled trampoline field where they can land in a pit of 10,000 foam cubes. They have to blow off steam some how. Sky Zone, the inventors of such a place, are hosting a special day at their Canton and Shelby Township locations that will be all about police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, and their families. On Tuesday, August 5 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. there will be free jumping for these folks. All metro Detroit police, firefighters, EMS workers and their families are invited to come, though an employee ID or professional organization ID will be required for admittance to 60 free minutes at the indoor park. The hour of free jumping comes with free pizza from Jet’s as well. This is the first event of its kind in Michigan.  Sky Zone Canton is located at 42550 Executive Drive Sky Zone Shelby Township is located at 50810 Sabrina Drive. Check for more information. 

    The post Jumpin Jumpin: Police, fire fighters, and EMS workers to be honored at Sky Zone appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times is getting a new website today

    Your favorite local alternative weekly is getting a digital facelift at around 4 p.m. today, and we need your help. If you, dear reader, spot anything amiss or notice that any of our regular features are not working properly, do give us a shout in the comment section below or on social media. If, on the other hand, you find that you positively adore our new design (which we surely hope you do!), we’d certainly enjoy hearing about that as well. Let the countdown to launch begin!

    The post Metro Times is getting a new website today appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well

    By LeeAnn Brown Some people say that hip-hop is dead. Local ban Fderal Ground is proving that is not the case. The seven-member band, consisting of three lead vocalists, a DJ, bass, drums and guitar, plays what they call “living hip-hop.” Their music, peppered with multiple styles, covers all aspects of life from growing up in the D to playing with fire despite knowing you will likely get burned. Their undeniable chemistry and raw lyrics compose a music that is living, breathing, and connecting to their listeners. It has been nearly 11 years since Vinny Mendez and Michael Powers conjured up the basement idea that has flowered into the Detroit funk-hop band Feral Ground. Throughout high school the two wrote and rapped consistently, playing shows here and there. In those years they matched their rap stanzas with the animated, dynamic voice of Ginger Nastase and saw an instant connection. The now trio backed their lyrics with DJ Aldo’s beats on and off for years, making him a permanent member within the last year, along with Andy DaFunk (bass), Joseph Waldecker (drums), and newest member, Craig Ericson (guitar). We sat down with Feral Ground and their manager, Miguel Mira, in their […]

    The post Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

    Much has been made about Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s decision this week to transfer authority of the city’s water department to Mayor Mike Duggan. In what is the most interesting read on the situation, Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, pens an analysis on Michigan’s novel emergency manager law on the New York Times Opinionator blog. Stanley deconstructs Michigan’s grand experiment in governance by addressing two questions: Has the EM law resulted in policy that maximally serves the public good? And, is the law consistent with basic principles of democracy? Stanley ties in examples of Plato, James Madison’s Federalist Papers, and Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. A short excerpt: Plato was a harsh critic of democracy, a position that derived from the fact that his chief value for a society was social efficiency. In Plato’s view, most people are not capable of employing their autonomy to make the right choices, that is, choices that maximize overall efficiency. Michigan is following Plato’s recommendation to handle the problems raised by elections. Though there are many different senses of “liberty” and “autonomy,” none mean the same thing as “efficiency.” Singapore is a state that values efficiency above all. But by no stretch of […]

    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

    Walking with Dinosaurs, a magnificent stage show that features life-sized animatronic creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, will be in town next week. But to preview the show’s run at the Palace, a baby T-Rex will be making an appearance at four area malls to the delight and wonderment of shoppers. Baby T-Rex, as the creature is being affectionately referred to, is seven-feet-tall and 14-feet-long. He’ll only be at each mall for about 15 minutes, so while there will be photo opportunities, they’ll be short. The dino will be at Fairlane Town Center Center Court at 18900 Michigan Ave. in Detroit from 2-2:15 p.m. today, July 30; The Mall at Partridge Creek at 17420 Hall Rd. in Clinton Township from 5-5:15 p.m. today, July 30; Twelve Oaks Mall at the Lord & Taylor Court at 27500 Novi Rd., Novi tomorrow, Thursday July 31 from 1:30-1:45 p.m.; and Great Lakes Crossing Food Court at 4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills from 5-5:15 p.m., tomorrow Thursday, July 31.  

    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Stir It Up

Full plate of Detroit

Finding the spirit of the city — in vanity tags

Photo: , License: N/A

Photo: , License: N/A

Mulenga Harangua was so excited, he was practically dancing in his seat as we drove across town. I was helping him move some furniture that one of his relatives gave him. We were eastbound on West Grand Boulevard with a couch, a table and a couple of chairs in the back of a borrowed pickup truck. I had a cold ice tea perched between my thighs as I maneuvered through rush hour traffic. I felt the condensation moistening my pants and thought about years back when my dad would have had a beer warming between his thighs as we cruised around the neighborhood. 

"I got some good furniture now," Mulenga said as he gazed smiling at some of the gigantic houses that line the boulevard. "That sofa folds out into a bed. It's probably better than that piece of foam rubber I've been sleeping on. No sense pretending I need living room furniture for the guests. We can just take that straight into the bedroom."

"That's simple enough," I said as I eased onto the brake at a red light. 

"Hey look at that license plate," Mulenga pointed at a SUV turning the corner. Its license plate read BLAKISBU.

"Hey, that's slick," I said. "Black is beautiful. They get the message out in just eight letters. It's more economical than Twitter or even a haiku."

"That's what I like about you," Mulenga said. "One minute we're sweating getting furniture onto a truck, the next minute you're talking about Japanese poetry. Hmmm ... what could I say on a license plate? How about BAD MF?"

"So you think you're Shaft? They wouldn't let you do that. I checked it out one time when I was thinking about putting my name on a plate. One of the rules is that selections 'cannot be offensive to good taste or decency' as judged by the state. I don't think the folks in Lansing will go for the MF."

"I don't think BAD MF is offensive."

"What you think isn't even close to the way most people see things," I said as I maneuvered one of the boulevard's big, sweeping curves.

"Hey, sometimes I agree with others," Mulenga demurred. "Like with Krystal Crittendon — I agreed with her suit against the state about the consent agreement. She ain't taking that laying down, not like some folks around here."

"Well, I knew that wasn't going anywhere, especially when we didn't even have a united front right here with our city government. A divided city has little hope in this atmosphere."

"Hey, look at that license plate," Mulenga said, pointing at one that read 4EVR313. "Forever 313. See, Crittendon has the 313 in her heart. Mayor Bing doesn't. He was living in Franklin before he moved downtown because the business guys around here wanted him to be mayor."

"Business people got behind Kwame Kilpatrick. They got behind Dennis Archer too. Looks like they might be getting behind Mike Duggan now."

"He's another carpetbagger, moving into Palmer Woods from Livonia so he can run for mayor."

Another car passed us as we trundled slowly along. The license plate ALLBLAK seemed to wave at us as the car sped away.

"That's what I mean," Mulenga said. "We need an all-black government here. Duggan is white, there's no way Detroit is going to elect him mayor."

"I don't know. I used to think Maryann Mahaffey could have run for mayor and won. She used to get more votes than anyone on city council."

"Well, she was all right. I think that, deep inside, Mahaffey was a soul sister."

"Oh, now you gonna decide who is black and who is not based on whether you like them or not?"

"I like that," Mulenga said, pointing to a license plate that read BLUENILE. "We ought to follow that and get some of that Ethiopian food. I love that stuff."

"Maybe we should follow that one if you're hungry." I pointed to a little coupe with 1HOTDOG on its plate. Advertising on the side of the vehicle showed it to be from some kind of hot dog shop. Then I spotted another plate that read MHTYGOD. "That's the one you need Mulenga. You need the power of the man upstairs."

"The whole city could use that. But I don't think God is taking sides here. We got free will and we've got to use it."

"Speaking of your free will, who do you like for mayor next year? We got Duggan out there making inquiries. Charles Pugh and Gary Brown have been mentioned as possible candidates. Benny Napoleon wants the hot seat too. And Bing is talking about making another run."

"I think I'm gonna support Tom Barrow," Mulenga said with a grin.

"You're just trying to start something. Barrow isn't even on the list."

"Barrow has run so many times he doesn't even have to plan ahead. He can just push a button and the whole thing goes on automatic." We were almost cut off by a car with the GO GET license plate. Mulenga pointed it out. "See that should be Barrow's slogan. He's gonna go get something for Detroit."

"Maybe he should use that one," I pointed to a plate that read GOOD2ME. "He wants Detroiters to be good to him. Maybe that should have been Crittendon's plea to the court. It may yet be her plea to Bing in order to keep her job."

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