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  • Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers

      We here at MT will be delighted when Mr. Jack White throws out a pitch at Navin Field (at least, we hope he will), but until then, we’ll be happy with his pitch to Santa this evening at Comerica Park.    

    The post Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW)

      Footage from the Gathering of the Juggalos set to clips of Morgan Freeman’s narration from March of the Penguins? Kind of forced, but also kind of beautiful. As the AV Club reports: The oft-sought voiceover champion lends a touch of gravitas to the festival proceedings. Unfortunate scenes of barely clad people having various liquids dumped onto them now carries a quiet dignity as it’s all part of nature’s majestic plan that keeps the world spinning through this elegantly designed and truly wondrous universe. Also, the video is NSFW as there are boobs in it. Watch the clip below:

    The post Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW) appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love”

    It seems like the polar vortex will never end: the weather phenomenon that brought us the most brutal winter on record this winter is to blame for this summer’s chillier-than usual temperatures as well. A couple of bands, though, made lemonade out of lemons (or snow cones out of snow?) by using the icy landscape to film music videos. 800beloved shot the video for “Tidal” in some sand dunes near Empire, Mich., and this week Turn to Crime debuted the video for “Can’t Stop,” the title track of their recently-released album. Even more piles of ice and snow might be the last thing Detroiters want to see right now, but the footage makes for some good visuals that mesh well with the song. Watch the video below:

    The post Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love” appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr transferred oversight of the the city’s water department Tuesday to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an order intended to refocus “efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills,” Orr’s office said today. “This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the mayor,” Orr said in a statement released Tuesday. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability.” Duggan will have the authority to manage DWSD and make appointments to the utility’s board, according to a news release. In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said he welcomed Orr’s order, adding that officials will develop a plan that “allows those who truly need to access to financial help … to do so with shorter wait times.” “We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly,” Duggan said. “There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills — we need to do a much better job in […]

    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times

    Turns out, our very own Jack Lessenberry knows the Grosse Pointer seeking to ban the MT: Ten years or so ago, a woman named Andrea Lavigne sat in on some media survey classes I was teaching at Wayne State University. She was in her late 30s or early 40s, and seemed to be searching for answers. She wanted to know how the media work, and told me she was a Maoist. This fascinated me, because I thought authentic Maoists were almost as rare as passenger pigeons. Chairman Mao, we now know, starved to death and slaughtered tens of millions of his own citizens, and kept China economically and intellectually backward. Intrigued, I got together one night before class with her and another Maoist, to find out what they were all about. Alas, they spouted a form of primitive, grade-school Marxism. They seemed to have very little historical knowledge of Communism or what it had actually been like. Yes. A Maoist. Read the full story at Michigan Radio here.

    The post Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Stir It Up

Getting grounded

Hanging and chatting with Mulenga Harangua

Photo: , License: N/A

Take the DIA vote as a sign of regional cooperation?

The Detroit Food Policy Council will hold a listening session on the "Land Sale Process in the City of Detroit" at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, at the Gleaners Community Food Bank. Call 313-833-0396 for more information.

Mulenga Harangua and I sat on the back porch of the house where he's been squatting the past few years, watching the rain fall. It's been a hot, dry summer and a rainy day was welcome respite for me and for his big garden that stretched onto an adjoining lot. Raindrops pattered on the leaves of plants, making them dance like little waves across the yard.

"Man, I hope this storm doesn't get too bad," Mulenga said. "When we had that hail last month it really messed up my garden. Anything with a broad leaf got torn up and it broke off branches on a lot of my tomatoes and peppers. My lettuce was in really bad shape, but the good thing about that is it grows really fast."

"Tell me about it. I got a bunch of tiny dents on my car from that. But your garden looks pretty good now."

"One thing about nature, it will repair itself, just not necessarily on our schedule," he observed.

"Well, it seems to be recovering, and I've got to say that you have fixed this house up pretty good too. It's not the raggedy place you moved into."

Mulenga's smile was so big that it seemed the sun was cutting through all the gray clouds. "Yes, it's really feeling like home. I'm even thinking about buying the place."

"You got money?"

"I been hustling this summer, working with a guy collecting scrap metal a couple of days a week, and I have about 20 folks I'm delivering produce to. I got a few hundred dollars saved up for the first time in I don't know when. I'm thinking about going legit. I know I'll need more for the house, but I'm starting to think about it."

"This place looks like it's a part of the Detroit Works project. I saw a picture in the paper the other day. Everything looks so neat and green."

"Except I've been doing the work here, not the city," Mulenga said. "That's why I'm thinking about buying — before somebody else comes in and buys the place out from under me. It takes a couple of years just to get the dirt where you need it to be. Hantz Farms got all that land from the city for about $300 per lot. I thought I should get some myself. There is plenty of vacant land available."

"The difference is that you're not buying in bulk like Hantz. They bought some 1,900 vacant lots. Plus you've got a house on the property. But the biggest problem is that the city probably won't try to help you at all. I know a guy who's been farming several lots and doing pretty good. He's been trying to buy them all and he can't get the city to tell him who owns the land. He bought land outside the city because he doesn't want to build a business on land he doesn't own."

Mulenga frowned as deeply as he had smiled earlier, and the rain seemed to pelt down a little harder. "So it's the same old crap. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It's like that Romney Hood thing (Robin Hood in reverse) that President Obama was talking about the other day. If Hantz can get land from the city and the county, why can't folks who have been fixing up this place all along get a piece of the action too?"

"I don't know. Maybe when this Detroit Works thing gets going things will open up."

"I can't depend on that. Detroit Works got put on the sideline while the city got into this consent agreement thing with the state. Now that we're struggling with this Public Act 4 being set aside until the November election, who knows what's going to happen with Detroit Works? I think they're going to be spending a lot of time fighting about what the Public Act 4 thing means to the city."

"But the city is under a consent agreement, not an emergency manager," I reminded him.

"But the main reason they consented to the agreement was they were being threatened with an emergency manager. Snyder knew that if he appointed an emergency manager for Detroit that people were going to freak out. It's just a big mess — the public schools, the city and the water department under fire, everybody suing each other over technicalities in the law."

"Yep, it's a mess, but that's democracy for you. Everybody gets to be heard and everybody gets their day in court. Sounds like money time for the lawyers. I read something from Gov. Snyder's spokeswoman on Public Act 4 where she says the state expects plenty of litigation."

"Oh, there's going to be plenty of litigation going on no matter who prevails. The minute the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of Stand Up for Democracy to put Public Act 4 to a vote, Roy Roberts went to court to keep his power over the elected school board. He's as bad as Bob Bobb was. And they both seem as ineffective as Gov. Engler's appointed school board back in the 1990s. As far as I'm concerned it's all about whose friends get the contracts from these institutions."

"Well, that plays into it."

"And we're just getting played."

The rain stopped and the sun began to peep through a few cracks in the clouds. We got up and walked around the garden. The eggplants glistened in the bit of light that hit them.

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