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  • 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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Saluting Motown spirit

Thick as a brick: Awards heaved in worthy Detroiters' general direction

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the first annual Motor City Brick Awards, a totally random acknowledgement of things that happened in Detroit this past year. We're holding the ceremony in front of Belle Isle's Scott Fountain because there's a lot of space out here, and people are milling around bonfires chatting, snacking and having a genial good time. We've got some grills roasting up Detroit-grown vegetables and some Indian Village free-range chickens. Don't ask me where in Indian Village and I'll tell you no lies. There is also a garbage can full of grog created from the dregs of liquor bottles collected from 500 local New Year's Eve parties. Just dip your paper cup in and scoop up some swill.

The awards are made from bricks we've recovered from a number of crumbling buildings. Several of our local artists have lent a hand to paint them with mysterious designs of their own origin. So without further ado, let's get on with the Motor City Brick Awards.

Who Woulda Thunk It Award: This one goes to the Detroit Lions. Who would have thought the most feel-good story in Detroit sports as we enter the New Year would be the Lions? The fact that our Honolulu-blue-and-silver gridiron warriors managed to win six games isn't such a big deal. Many pre-season pundits put them in that territory going into the season. However, they way they did it, pulling off four of the wins in a season-ending streak, defied belief. They broke loss streaks — road losses, division losses — had a four-game win streak for the first time in over a decade, and they won with whichever quarterback was healthy enough to tape up and throw out there on a given week. They gave us a reason to smile on a New Year's weekend when the Wolverines and Spartans stunk up their bowl games so badly they were bigger jokes than the Lions. Michigan coach Rich Rod may well have been run out of Ann Arbor by the time you read this. Michigan State looked so lame in its 49-7 shellacking by Alabama and former coach Nick Saban that it's hard to feel like its 11-1 regular season record really represented where this program stands. Those aren't sugarplums dancing in your head; those are Lions footballs and the dreams of next season.

Miss Congeniality Award: She almost lost this award for not showing up for a pre-Christmas roll call, but considering more than 70 members of Congress skipped out early for the holiday, I'll let it slide and make outgoing U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick Miss Congeniality. I know there isn't a lot of love out there for Cheeks; after all, voters tossed her out in the August primary election. However, she took her medicine without a lot of twitching and moaning, although had it not been for the problems of her son, former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, she'd probably still be in Congress for another term. Aside from coming up with that "y'alls boy" comment during Kwame's 2005 re-election run, she pretty much stayed out of the Kwame muck. That was borne out when the federal indictments came down and her name was not on the list. I'm not saying she was the greatest legislator ever, but she lost her seat because she happened to be the mother and ex-wife of a couple of gangstas. You might say that showed bad judgment from the start, but I hear that she counseled Kwame not to run for mayor in the first place (he didn't listen) and also told him to stop running around with Christine Beatty (he didn't listen). Like I said, she took her medicine and didn't start yowling about God's plan or a comeback, and showed more class than anybody else around here named Kilpatrick.

Best Thing That Happened in Detroit This Year Award: In an admittedly tough year, it was hard to get large groups of people to come to the city for any reason not related to physical freaks who are paid incredible amounts of money to throw balls or score goals, but the United States Social Forum 2010 managed to get about 15,000 leftist activists to come to town for hundreds of workshops, mostly at Cobo Center, focused on learning from each other how to continue the fight for social justice in the face of the globalized economy. They also spread out to help clean up the city, add numbers to several protests, and party in some of our cultural enclaves in the course of dropping some cash into the local economy.

Yeah I Said it Award: Few folks in Detroit took as much heat as Ron Scott and the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality did for not taking the knee-jerk easy reaction in the wake of the tragic killing of police officer Brian Huff last May. Scott always seems to stand strong on controversial police issues, but it must have taken extra nerve when a media circus and war of words sprang up between Scott and then-Police Chief Warren Evans after Scott questioned police activities leading up to the tragedy. The war of words continued as a diversion from the real issues surrounding Huff's killing. In the long run, Scott is still out there doing good work in the community, rightfully questioning a police force with a history of questionable behavior, and Evans ... well, I'm not sure what he's up to these days, but he's no longer police chief.

Medicate Me Now Award: This one goes out to the medical marijuana movement. Although medical marijuana was legalized in Michigan two years ago, a lot of the action around it sprang up in 2010 with the proliferation of compassion clubs, big-time busts, cities taking their stand for or against it, lawsuits challenging some of those laws, and activists coalescing into a movement. We'll know a lot more about how this is shaking down in the next year, but journalists have to give up the overused metaphor "hazy" for their description of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.

Alexander Haig Memorial 'I'm In Charge' Award: Robert Bobb's attempt to be the Detroit Public Schools czar of everything rather than just its emergency financial manager was pushed back in early December, when Wayne Circuit Court Judge Wendy Baxter ruled in a suit by the Detroit School Board against Bobb. It was one of the few things that has gone the board's way in recent years.

Cee Lo Green F-You Award: This award goes to former state Attorney General Mike Cox. The position of state attorney general can be just a few steps from the governor's office — that was Jennifer Granholm's route — but Republican voters gave state AG and suave ladies' man Cox the boot in his bid for governor, in favor of the Nerd, who easily swept into office on the tails of his own fortune.

Local BS Political Ploy Award: For a minute, there was faux drama when Mayor Dave Bing threatened to close 77 parks during a budget standoff with City Council. It was never a serious threat, but it kept people like me going for a couple of news cycles.

Those are the winners for our highlight broadcast. There are many other winners. You'll know who you are when I toss a brick on your porch.

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