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

    In light of worldwide attention on its efforts to cut water service for thousands of Detroit residents, the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department said today it would host a Water Affordability Fair on August 2nd to explain options available to those facing financial hardship. DWSD officials said in a news release today the fair will be take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the department’s Eastside Customer Service Center at 13303 E. McNichols. The move came on the heels of growing pressure from opponents of the initiative and criticism from the U.S. bankruptcy judge overseeing Detroit’s Chapter 9 case. “Every customer that has come to DWSD with a legitimate financial hardship has not had their water service terminated,” said Darryl Latimer, DWSD deputy director, in a statement. “In cases where the water has been shut off, it’s been restored. We keep hearing at DWSD that there are poor people who are not receiving the assistance that they need, so we want to help them and we want to make it as easy as possible for the to receive that help. That’s why we created the Water Affordability Fair – ease of access and ease of assistance. We are here to […]

    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.

  • Henry Cavill and Amy Adams spotted at Pig & Whiskey

    Fans of the latest Superman franchise got a treat at Pig & Whiskey this weekend. Actors Henry Cavill and Amy Adams were spotted amid the crowds of the festival that took place in downtown Ferndale as well as a local restaurant. Cavill, who plays the man of steel in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, stopped to chat with fans, take pictures, and sign autographs on Saturday afternoon and evening. He was wearing an inconspicuous black polo shirt as well as a signature Superman-style ‘do. Other fans spotted Amy Adams at Ferndale’s Imperial on Saturday night, some were even seated next to her at the restaurant’s communal benches. Adams reportedly was slightly annoyed that patrons continuously asked for her photo, but she smiled while cell phones snapped images nonetheless. The Zach Snyder film the two are starring in together is currently filming in Birmingham. Ben Affleck, who plays Batman, has been spotted around town with his wife Jennifer Garner recently as well. The closed movie set is under intense security and Brett Callwood attempted to infiltrate the filming last month, but was forced to give up his camera’s memory card, lest he make off with telling photos.

    The post Henry Cavill and Amy Adams spotted at Pig & Whiskey appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Shop Talk: Harvard and Duke students moderate panel discussion in Detroit

    The Social Club Grooming Company, a metro Detroit-based environmentally conscious company that focuses on health and beauty as well as education, will host Shop Talk this Thursday, a special in their on-going event series that will bring students from both Harvard and Duke for a panel discussion about the social-entreprenurial climate and business innovation happening in Detroit. Detroiters like Burn Rubber’s Rick Williams, fashion photographer Piper Carter, Crain’s Detroit’s Eric Cedo, Mission Throttle’s Jamie Shea, and campaign manager Bryan Barnhill will come together to discuss how to create change in the city’s economic landscape through innovation and entrepreneurship. Of course what makes this panel discussion unique is the way in which it will take place. As The Social Club is a barber shop, each panelist will be receiving a haircut while speaking, the trimmings from which will be used for their nitrogen content to help grow plants in the city. Part of a series that will help Detroiters meet city leaders, voices, artists, activists, and business owners, Shop Talk’s objective is to help young people understand their role in the city’s ever-changing economic system. “There’s so much positive energy in Detroit right now,” says Sebastian Jackson, The Social Club’s founder. “It’s […]

    The post Shop Talk: Harvard and Duke students moderate panel discussion in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Stir It Up

Our Bizarro Detroit

Is Dave Bing the invisible mayor?

It seems that Kwame Kilpatrick just won't go away. In the past few weeks, the former mayor has garnered more ink in local news pages than the current mayor. And given that the city of Detroit is in multiple crises that Mayor Dave Bing is supposed to be pulling us out of, it seems strange.

In the old DC comic books, there was a recurring storyline about Bizarro World where everything is done opposite of the way things are done here on Earth. In fact, it was also known as Htrae — earth spelled backward. The Bizarro Superman flew backward and said goodbye when arriving. Doing things the "right" way is considered a crime on Htrae.

Things may be generally bizarre in Detroit, but I'm actually thinking about Bing and Kilpatrick as polar opposites when it comes to style. Kilpatrick loved media attention; the camera was his friend, and making a public show of almost anything that came out of the mayor's office seemed de rigueur.

And when things went bad, the media couldn't get enough of him. Even now, he's in the news regarding the missing computer from his old office, money paid to the former federal police monitor Sheryl Robinson Wood, and alleged bid-rigging with his old pal Bobby Ferguson.

Bing, on the other hand, seems to be the invisible man; there is little flash or sparkle in his demeanor or way of doing things. Lately, if not for Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley, who seems to be smitten with Bing, we'd hardly know he's mayor.

In the past month Bing went to Turin, Italy, to study how that city downsized itself when business for the car company Fiat, its major economic vehicle, went flat in 1980.

Other than the Turin trip, most of what we've heard of Bing is that he accepted a $2 million donation from General Motors for a community center, that he was at the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and that he and City Council aren't talking to each other. Yes, he's putting together a strategic plan to revitalize the city, but he's not talking about that yet.

Outside of the Turin trip, mostly what he has had to say to the media is "no comment," at least that's what we hear from his spokesman Dan Lijana.

You decide which one is the Bizarro mayor.

"He has not been that sort of No. 1 citizen that people can rally around, that person who feels our pain and feels our joy," says Greg Bowens, a public relations professional and former mayor Dennis Archer's spokesman.

Kilpatrick certainly seemed to feel our pain although he eventually became the cause of it. And we haven't recovered from that yet.

I'm not turning against Bing's Detroit Works approach to setting a new course for the city. I believe the stated process of holding forums in the community to gather information and use it in creating a long-term plan is the right way to go.

However, I do find it amusing to ponder the contradictions of our body politic. For instance, the big knock against Ken Cockrel Jr.'s 2009 mayoral bid was that in about six months as interim mayor he had his chance and hadn't done anything significant — that he lacked urgency.

Well, we've had Bing for a year-and-a-half and I'd say he hasn't had a signature accomplishment yet. If urgency is where the bar is set, then where is Bing's urgency?

"I'm very careful to not be sour grapes about the mayor," says Cockrel. "I might comment about policy issues at the council table, but I'm not going to make it my career to criticize Dave Bing. All I can say is that I agree with that assessment. He said he was only going to be a one-term mayor. If so, he better pick up his program pretty quick. ... Regarding the Detroit Works stuff, I do support that process; the concept is great. He does have my full support."

But, at best, we won't see a plan for another year, more than halfway through Bing's supposed single-term administration. It better be a hell of a plan if he's going to see much of it through as a lame duck.

Of course, if he continues his invisible act, he'll have to remind folks who he is by the time he has the plan in hand.

Archer's former deputy mayor, Freman Hendrix, says that Bing has "few options" for some decisions he has to make. "My understanding is that he's held off on specific ideas until it's all together," Hendrix says.

"That's absolutely the right approach if he's going to do something as bold and unprecedented as we need. ... He's doing the kind of things he needs to do."

Hendrix, who first ran against Bing in the primary to complete Kilpatrick's term but supported him in the run-off and became a member of Bing's transition team, says he's been too busy to pay much attention to insider politics at City Hall lately.

Running a uniformed security guard company and sitting on the Greektown Casino board of directors, leave him watching from "30,000 feet" away as he put it.

But even those who are paying attention don't have much idea of what is going on. And the small group Hood Research has already started a recall petition drive because "Bing has plans for gentrification" and "Detroit deserves immediate relief."

I suspect that part of the reason Bing holds his cards so close to his chest is that, being a businessman, he has a natural disinclination to divulge his plans.

I also suspect that some of what he will have to present to Detroiters will be controversial, and he prefers to roll those things out in the context of an overall plan rather than piecemeal.

"People believed that the business acumen he brought to the table would help us get our finances in order, see us through the red into the black," says Bowens. "None of that has come to be and maybe it was too much to expect.

"Maybe the expectation was, 'At least he won't embarrass us.' If that is the expectation, then he is doing that job incredibly well with the exception of a few early gaffes. ... The energy that it takes for people to feel like they are a part of something really hasn't been there. And the mayor sets the tone for the rest of the city. We want something magnificent to happen to galvanize not just Detroit but the whole region."

Bing is involved in politics now. Despite the urge to run our governments like they are businesses, there is a whole other set of issues involved, especially public accountability. I still believe in the process that the mayor is pursuing to create a plan for the city's future. And if he sees the need to withhold details until it's done, then so be it.

However, it shouldn't be like pulling teeth to get the mayor to say anything about anything.

That's a bit bizarre — unless we really are living in Tiorted.

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