Most Read
  • 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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Politics & Prejudices

GOP's appalling silence

A new report detailed the rise of childhood poverty. Guess what Mitt, Newt, Rick and Ron has to say about it.

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Well, the presidential primary is over, and the various roving bands of locusts have left our state for the next tent show.

The packs of journalists have gone too, trailing after the throngs of campaign functionaries and toadies. Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum, Former Mitten State Mitt and Ron "Atlas Shrugged" Paul took off too.

I'm sure we'll miss them, especially for the light they shed on key issues, such as affordable health care being a terrible thing, and that the bailout that saved the auto industry was worse.

Far as I can tell, all the candidates agreed that saving our economy was bad, even if they disagreed on important stuff, like whether contraception of any kind was evil, or whether government should only prevent women from controlling their own bodies.

There was, however, one issue they ignored entirely. Well, to be fair, they actually ignored a lot of issues, mostly those relevant to real people who live somewhere in America.

But perhaps the most appalling was that they failed to address this: During the last week of the campaign, a new report showed that the number of poor kids in our state has skyrocketed. Detroit has more children forced to live in concentrated poverty than any other major city in the United States of America.

Two-thirds of all Detroit kids live in such neighborhoods. We're talking about families of four scratching by on less than $22,314 a year. We're talking about kids who live in, or among, houses that lack heat and electricity, houses that people fire AK-47s into late at night, killing babies. Homes without roofs.

Houses next to crack houses and houses that have burned down. Of course, some live in shelters, or mainly on the street. 

The report, called Data Snapshot on High-Poverty Communities, was released Thursday by the Kids Count project. Based on the latest data available from the U.S. Census Bureau, the record tallied 341,000 children living in high-poverty communities in our state in 2010. That's more votes, by the way, than Mitt Romney got in the 2008 primary here.

Except, of course, that these kids can't vote, and the politicians don't give a damn about them. Leastways, they never mentioned them, or this report, during the waning days of the primary campaign.

Not as far as I could tell, anyway. Oh, I suppose I could have tried to get a response from some of them, but it was clear that it would be something like: "This is just another proof of President Obama's failed policies. Repeal minimum wage and child labor laws and weaken unions, and these kids will all be doing fine."

By the way, not only are these kids not all inner-city blacks in Detroit, as many seem to think, lots of them aren't in cities at all.

According to the report, the places with the highest share of kids in poverty include deeply rural, up-north areas like Chippewa, Roscommon and Isabella counties. Those are places with high rates of alcoholism and abuse, perhaps especially in winter.

Yes, a few of these kids will somehow get out, usually thanks to a devoted teacher, parent or other caregiver. Some will get a halfway decent education, a job and some kind of better life. But the vast majority won't, just as the vast majority of kids shooting hoops somewhere this afternoon will never make it to the NBA.

Their lives are likely to be mainly nasty, brutish, occasionally incarcerated, and, for the most part, shorter than average.

Which should concern us all. Things are getting worse. Compared to 2000, there were 125,000 more poor kids in our state in 2010. Since then, we've cut at least 30,000 children off cash assistance, with more to follow. 

Nationally, the number of kids living in such conditions increased by more than 1.5 million in the decade. Michigan, once one of the nation's richer states, is now one of the seven worst when it comes to child poverty. This is scary, and a disgrace. But almost nobody said anything about this last week. Nobody, except the small community of those who advocate for the less fortunate. Somebody needs to do something for these kids now, by any means necessary. This is a problem, that, left untreated, will have the effect of a cancer on the rest of us.

For we are creating a huge new underclass with the potential to destroy us. Once upon a time, even the capitalists had figured out you needed to pay a decent wage, and have a safety net in place, so people could afford to buy their products and buy in to this society.

Today, we have one major party taking a woman-hating, medieval jackass like Rick Santorum seriously. This is a man who said last week that the president was a "snob" for thinking everyone should be able to go to college. "There are good decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren't taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them." Naturally, that patronizing idiot has three degrees. Well, we have thousands in Michigan today that are testing their nonexistent skills by rooting through garbage bins.

Unless we do something soon, they may outnumber us someday. I saw a movie once about what happens then. It was set in Russia, in 1917. See you at the next exciting Republican presidential debate.


Mitt Romney & the bridge: The editor-in-chief of the Toledo Blade was all set to endorse Romney last weekend. The newspaper circulates in both Ohio, which has its primary next week, and in Michigan. But he wanted to know how Mitt stood on building a new bridge over the Detroit River. The newspaper's editors strongly support a New International Trade Crossing, as does just about every intelligent life form not in the pay of Matty Moroun.

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