Trending
Most Read
  • Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio

    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list

    Yes, it’s true. Forbes says Detroit is one of America’s most creative cities: “We ranked these places based on four metrics: activity per capita on project-funding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo and music sites Bandcamp and ReverbNation. The goal was to capture organic creativity, since many artistic and musical types have “day jobs” outside of creative pursuits.” The Forbes list sandwiches #9 Detroit between #8 Seattle and #10 Oakland, Calif. If you are watching the art and culture explosion happening right now in Detroit, you probably think we should rank higher than #2 Boston and #1 San Francisco, if only for the fact that it’s actually affordable to create here and there is space for everyone to be creative. But hey, those metrics weren’t part of the equation. And there’s always next year.

    The post ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Food trucks go to the dogs

    Today, starting at 10am, Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck will be swinging by the  Cherry Hill Village at Preservation Park on  N. Roosevelt St. in Canton. They’ll be serving the pups (“gour-mutts,” as Milo’s calls them) treats and the dog parents the opportunity of “family portraits.” Milo’s is on a cross-country food truck trip, promoting their “grilled burger bites” and “chicken meatballs” to pup parents from L.A. to NYC, with stops in between, including Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, the Carolinas, and Arkansas. But watch out! Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck markets “real chicken and beef home-style dog treats” that are are “wholesome” and “authentic” without “artificial flavors or colors-made right here in the USA.” Authentic, processed food that is. Remember what George Carlin said about “home-style”? Their treats are also packed with soy, TVP, wheat flour, tapioca, rice, and sugar–fillers that make the meat go far and aren’t the best for your pup. They’re also packed with preservatives, like sodium erythorbate, nitrates, BHA, sodium tripolyphosphate, and potassium sorbate. Small amounts are probably ok, and no doubt the pup will love it, the same way it’s easy for humans to love carb- and sugar- laden, processed and preserved, treats.  

    The post Food trucks go to the dogs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych

    Coming up on August 16, former Detroit Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt will team up with the Navin Field Grounds Crew and Metro Times‘ own Dave Mesrey to honor legend Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. The festivities, known as the annual “Bird Bash,” will be held at the infamous Nemo’s Bar & Grill, and will benefit The Bird’s favorite charity, the Wertz Warriors, and also the Mark Fidrych Foundation. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

    The post Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • First Little League game at Navin Field today

    Today Navin Field (the Old Tiger Stadium) hosts its first Little League game on a new field made just to host the youngsters! Here’s a photo of the game happening right now, courtesy Tom Derry and Metro Times‘ copy editor extraordinaire, Dave Mesrey: Stop by the site (corner of Michigan and Trumbull) today to watch history in the making!

    The post First Little League game at Navin Field today appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

Calendar

Calendar

Search thousands of events in our database.

Restaurants

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Nightlife

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Politics & Prejudices

How to save Detroit

Bing's address, hard realities and a modest proposal

"When I was elected, I thought I knew what was going on. But I got here and found out ... things were way worse than I ever imagined."—Mayor Dave Bing, Washington Post, February 2011

A half-century ago, when the mayor was still a high school basketball star, Detroit was a happening place. Downtown Hudson's was the tallest department store in the world.

They were, alas, knocking down old City Hall, thanks to the new modernistic City-County Building. (Historic preservation wasn't much on anyone's mind, because Motown still saw itself as a young and vibrant city.) Sure, it had lost a little population, something the experts at the time put down to the freeways, but Detroit still had nearly 1.7 million people.

Seventy-one percent of them were white. But the black population was not only mushrooming, it was making itself heard. "Please Mr. Postman" would be Motown's first No. 1 nationwide hit that year. The Red Wings made the Stanley Cup finals. The Detroit Tigers would stun everyone by winning 101 games, only to be beaten out at the end by the Yankees.

Change was coming, though. That fall, for the first time, a young politician running for mayor would openly court the black vote. With their help, Jerry Cavanagh would pull off the biggest upset victory in Detroit mayoral history.

When he took office, he was only 33 years old. It was an age of young men; the governor, John Swainson, was only 35 when who took office. The new mayor believed in Detroit, believed in the future, believed in cities.

Today, Detroit city is a very different place than those vibrant leaders must have dreamed it would be. Soon, we'll have the final census figures from last year. The city almost certainly has fewer than 800,000 people, the vast majority of them black.

They are overwhelmingly poor, poorly skilled and poorly educated. The affluent have largely left, the skilled have left, many who want decent public schools for their kids have left.

And the city left behind is being crushed by debt.

According to the Washington Post, which did a long story on Detroit last month, the city's long-term debt is $5.7 billion, a figure the city has no realistic prospect of paying off.

The annual budget deficit had been wrestled down to $150 million, before the city got the bad news about the governor's budget. Among other things, it once again slashed revenue sharing, for the umpteenth time.

That's money the city needed to keep going. Last week, the mayor, a good and decent and talented man, gave his annual State of the City speech.

Dave Bing is more than twice the age of the mayor Detroit had half a century ago, and seemed older and wearier than his 67 years. The governor's budget, he said, "has potentially devastating consequences for the city of Detroit. It threatens the concrete but fragile gains we have made."

"We simply can't afford it," he said. Later, when discussing labor negotiations, the mayor said, "I know change is difficult. I know change takes time. But we are getting there."

But is Detroit really getting there? Can it get there?

Bing meant specifically the negotiations, but also Detroit as well, a city he called "a work in progress." Dave Bing is loyal to the city he moved back to to govern. Yet he is also an honest and realistic man.

During his State of the City speech, he talked about building something that they would have taken for granted half a century ago, "a city that works." Detroit doesn't work now. Dave Bing knows that, and admitted as much — something other mayors wouldn't have dreamt of doing.

He spoke, however, of a vision of his version of Detroit as a shining city on a hill, "a city that reversed the cycle of decline by stopping the population drain and [is] beginning to attract new residents ... a city that transformed its economy and made Detroit a major job center once again.

"A city that attacked blight and turned vacant land into opportunity for economic development, jobs and public use. A city that brought residents together to create safe neighborhoods and deliver outstanding public services."

The mayor told Detroiters that this was, indeed, the future they could build, "but not without dealing with today's reality."

Astonishingly, in his speech, he subtly touched on just how divorced from reality Detroiters are. This is, he reminded people, a city where 50,000 false security alarms get pulled every year, a place where, as the mayor delicately put it, "we must also continue educating our residents about the appropriate use of 911." As in, don't call it if your cat is sick.

One thing the mayor didn't mention, however, was what was even then going on behind the scenes in Lansing. The day after the annual State of the City speech, the Michigan House of Representatives easily passed a bill designed to make it easier for the state to appoint emergency financial managers to run troubled cities, school districts or other local governments.

In addition, the bills would give the EFMs broad new powers, including the ability to void labor contracts, and strip local officials of virtually all their powers. Nor would emergency financial managers have to be an individual. The law would permit the state treasurer to appoint a firm to govern a city.

Does that mean, say, that Nationwide Security Contractors could be given total power in Detroit, if it came to that? Damn right it could. Needless to say, this has sparked a far amount of outrage. But the people who would normally rise to protest this were too busy last week protesting the governor of Wisconsin's attempt to destroy public sector unions.

Without much doubt, the bills will sail through the Senate, where the pathetic Democratic minority doesn't even have the ability to delay a bill from taking immediate effect.

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