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    The Metro Times is looking to hear your experiences will sexual assault on a Michigan college campus — from anything to how many sexual assault prevention programs, rape kits or crisis centers you may have had access to, to how the administration or local law enforcement handled your experience. If you, or anyone you know might be interested in talking to a reporter at the Metro Times, please email us at college@metrotimes.com.

    The post Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Get ready for National Tequila Day!

    Thursday, July 24th marks National Tequila Day, and forget everything you know about the beverage. Those nasty old “tequilas” of yesterday were find for doing body shots, but tequila has become something of a luxury spirit while few were paying attention. Have you tried all the varieties of tequila? Can you tell the difference between blanco, joven, reposed, añejo and extra añejo?  If your local bar doesn’t have the stuff that will help you celebrate this important holiday, there are several bars that cater just to the tequila fan. There’s Aqua Rum and Tequila Bar in the MGM Grand Detroit Casino in Detroit, as well as Rojo Mexican Bistro in Novi, which offers more than 100 kinds of tequila, and Taqo Detroit, a new spot serving American-friendly Mexican fare and serving an astonishing variety of tequilas, more than 200 in all. Been waiting for a reason to drink up this south-of-the-border nectar? You got it. Guzzle responsibly.    

    The post Get ready for National Tequila Day! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs

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    The post DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation

    The folks at Thrillist have again compiled their annual list of the nation’s best burgers, and Southeast Michigan, it seems, is well represented. Ranking alongside joints in major cities such as New York and L.A., is Detroit’s own Motz’s Burgers, hailed specifically for its Double Cheeseburger Slider. Via Thrillist: There’s nothing remarkable about the façade of this SW diner… it’s just a diner, like the hundreds of others in the D. The staff’s been there for years… and so have the regulars, who can’t get enough of Motz’s legendary smashed burgers. The formula’s nothing revolutionary: smashed, griddled patties with oozy cheese and onions that melt into the burger itself as it cooks. But it’s that unmistakable flavor of a well-seasoned griddle — which has also been here for years — that makes the difference. You can score big burgers with accoutrements, but this isn’t really a place to say things like “accoutrements”. Grab the old-school slider (the double cheeseburger one), and prepare for three perfect bites of Detroit’s finest. Flint’s Torch Bar and Grill also made the cut, most notably for its Deluxe Torch Burger with Bacon. Tucked away in an alley beyond the brick streets that used to mark […]

    The post Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know!

    The Metro Times is looking for college students or graduates of Michigan colleges that used atypical means to pay for their schooling (i.e. sugar baby, selling underwear, military enrollment purely for school help, etc.). We are looking for personal anecdotes about the lengths you went to help pay for school, what came of it, your monetary situation, if the resource worked to get you through college and more. If you have utilized any one of these avenues, or know someone who has, please drop us a line at college@metrotimes.com.

    The post In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit

    File under “WTF” — attorneys representing former Psychopathic Records publicist Andrea Pellegrini announced Monday that they have subpoenaed Kid Rock to produce a glass dildo as part of Pellegrini’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the Insane Clown Posse’s record label. Pellegrini claims the glass dildo was given to her by Psychopathic Records employee “Dirty Dan” Diamond as part of a larger culture of constant harassment in which she was called “bitch,” made the target of explicit sexual advances by Diamond and other co-workers, asked to procure automatic weapons for a photo shoot, and even encouraged to “deceive government investigators from the US Department of Labor.” On Friday, Diamond admitted under oath that he told Pellegrini that he had “a fat cock” and that he would “fuck the shit out of her.” The dildo, though, was “a work of art,” according to Diamond, and should not be considered sexual harassment. Why is Kid Rock involved? Diamond says when Pellegrini declined his dildo, he gave it to Kid Rock instead (presumably as a “work of art” and not a sexual advance). So now, according to court orders, Rock has 14 days to produce the glass dildo so the court can better determine if it is art or, well, a dildo. We will […]

    The post Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Incentive programs for city employees start to pay off

Apparently you've got to pay them to live in Detroit.

Two major incentive programs that encourage those who work in Detroit to live in the city have kicked off in the past month. One of them, Live Midtown, is for employees of Wayne State University, the Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Health System. The other, Project 14, is a city of Detroit program to get police officers and possibly firefighters to live in the East English Village and Boston-Edison neighborhoods.

The Live Midtown website, livemidtown.org, says it succinctly: "It Pays to Live in Midtown. Literally."

"Many employers across the country have employee assistance programs like this," says Sue Mosey, director of the University Cultural Center Association, which administers the Midtown effort. "The idea is for anchor employers to offer benefits to retain and attract employees. Also, foundations are interested in attracting people to live in the core downtown area. Philadelphia ran a similar program for about five years; Baltimore has been running one for a long time."

There are four incentive options in Live Midtown for the area bounded by I-75 to the east, Philadelphia to the north, Mack/Martin Luther King to the south, Rosa Parks to the west, and Grand River Avenue (Martin Luther King to Rosa Parks) on the southwest.

New renters can receive a $2,500 allowance for the first year and $1,000 for a second year. New homeowners can get a $20,000 forgivable loan, or $25,000 paid out at $5,000 a year. People who have already plunked money down in the neighborhood aren't left behind. There is a $1,000 allowance for renewing a lease in 2011, and existing homeowners can get matching funds of up to $5,000 for exterior improvements on projects that cost $10,000 or more. Well, that could put a new roof on your house.

"This is an anchor-driven program, funded by anchor institutions," says Mosey. "It's another opportunity like many incentives to encourage more density. There are many other incentive programs in the neighborhood, grants for security improvements, for commercial business to fix up the front of their building. There's a mix of all things that help continue to improve the neighborhood. It helps everyone who's been here if more people move in and fix up the neighborhood."

WSU, the DMC and Henry Ford are three of the city's largest employers. WSU has 26,000 employees; the DMC has more than 12,000 employees in nine facilities; Henry Ford system spokespeople I spoke to couldn't breakdown how many of their 23,000 employees are in the city proper, but the program is open to employees system-wide. Those numbers carry considerable economic clout. As of last week, Mosey said the UCCA had processed about 30 applications, with more buyers than expected.

Project 14 beneficiaries are considerably fewer. The pilot program is offering 200 potential residencies. There are about 3,000 Detroit police officers, 53 percent of them living outside Detroit; a higher percentage of firefighters, who could be included in the program later, are nonresidents. Project 14 offers cops city-owned and -renovated homes for $1,000 down — with generous help with remaining down payment costs — and buyers responsible for monthly payments (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) of $500 to $1,000 per month.

The project name is from Police Code 14, which means a situation has returned to normal. It's hard to say what's normal when it comes to police residency. The state Legislature ended an 80-plus-year city policy in 1999 when it banned employment residency rules statewide. Policies across the nation show little consistency. Chicago requires police officers to live in the city; Atlanta doesn't. Philadelphia requires police to live in the city, but last year began relaxing requirements and accepting applications from nonresidents.

It's revealing that the city offers homes in only two neighborhoods. East English Village is a place where developers have built numerous homes over the past decade. Boston-Edison is a formerly tony neighborhood that has fallen on tough times. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Berry Gordy all once lived there. The houses are large, and proximity to the New Center and the proposed Woodward rail line make this a prime candidate as a comeback neighborhood.

Now we're getting a sense of where Detroit is headed. Propping up East English Village helps nearby Indian Village and the East Jefferson corridor near Belle Isle. Midtown and Boston Edison build on the Woodward corridor strategy. Last fall the Living Cities foundation collaboration picked Detroit as one of five cities (along with Baltimore, Cleveland, Newark and Minneapolis/St. Paul) to benefit from its Integration Initiative — a $17 million pledge that will help leverage millions more in grants, commercial loans and below-market rate charitable loans — along the Woodward corridor. Goals include at least 200 new units of mixed-income housing, renovation of at least 75 properties, attraction of 10,000 new residents and providing at least $50 million in additional vendor and supplier opportunities to local businesses. Apparently being close to Woodward heightens your chance of being a target for redevelopment.

Project 14 prompts another question: Does this give us any clue on what incentives will look like when the city tries to move people from sparsely populated neighborhoods to more densely populated areas? So far the city has been mum. The Project 14 incentive is employment-related, so neighborhood consolidations could be entirely different. However, if the city wants to take the property you already own, it might make sense to trade you for property that the city already has and leverage grants to help fix your new place up. I don't know much about urban development, but it seems something like that would stink less than other scenarios.

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