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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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Politics & Prejudices

Snyder's shortfalls

Why society's leaders think Snyder is the best they've got to work with

It's official: Rick Snyder is the establishment's choice for governor of Michigan. The Detroit Free Press, which usually endorses Democrats (if they don't threaten that paper's economic interests) made it unanimous last weekend.

After listing where they disagree with Snyder, the newspaper adds: "The most important choice Michiganders face has less to do with policy preferences than it does with the need for leadership and independence in Lansing.

"We're confident Snyder will bring both."

If the Free Press editorial board really is confident he can get the job done, they're idiots. This is, they must know, a crapshoot at best. Nobody has any idea whether this somewhat aloof, self-described nerd will work and play well with others. We know he has no experience at politics or government, know he has never strong-armed or sweet-talked any bill through any legislative body, know that he is a wooden speaker who did his best to duck debates.

He only won his party's nomination because his more-right-wing opponents carved each other up, and because disillusioned independents and Democrats voted for him in the belief that a Republican was almost certainly going to win, and that Snyder seemed better than Mike Cox, Pete Hoekstra or the now-oafish Mike Bouchard. Even with that, the winner got barely 37 percent of the vote in a tiny turnout.

However, those who consider themselves society's leaders think he's the best they've got to work with. (The ones in Detroit thought the same of Kwame Kilpatrick in 2005. Freman Hendrix, a man comfortable with union locals and small business owners, made them uneasy.)

By the way, if you think this is a Virg Bernero commercial, it isn't. Voting for Rick Snyder may not be the wrong choice. I was originally appalled by the notion of a Bernero candidacy. He has taken money from Matty Moroun, opposes the proposed internationally owned new bridge, and appears not to understand the issues at stake or who Moroun is.

He runs for every office in sight, usually as soon as he gets elected to a different one. Too much of the Democrat's campaign has been based on improper and demagogic issues: Bashing China, for example, and claiming Snyder wants to send all our jobs there. He's also tried to portray his opponent as some kind of anti-abortion fanatic who would gravely endanger the reproductive rights of women in Michigan. There's no evidence of that whatsoever.

When one listens to Bernero, one sometimes thinks he believes that with a little tweaking of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, all our high school graduates again will be able to get good jobs at Oldsmobile.

However, I have developed a grudging respect for the cheerfully angry mayor's never-say-die style of campaigning. He's brought up a few ideas worth thinking about, such as a state bank to make small loans to businesses. He's done his best to carry the battle to his immensely rich opponent, with little money or support, and little media pressure on Snyder to give us the debates we deserve.

Bernero is also energetic, damn it, and really seems to care. Yet his chances are abysmal. Any Democrat's would be this year. That's partly because eight years ago, the Free Press and virtually every other media outlet in this state fought to see who could do the most to kiss up to a Democrat named Jennifer Granholm, then running for governor. She was beautiful, we were told. Brainy! Accomplished! Went to Harvard! She was on The Dating Game! The Free Press endorsed her with even more glowing praise than they gave Snyder. Granholm was going to revolutionize government in Michigan.

Besides, she was the first woman running for governor who had a serious chance, and it was about time. They wanted so strongly to believe.

Yet you only needed to talk to the pre-gubernatorial Granholm for an hour to see the danger signs: She didn't have a clue how to get a bill through the Legislature, or build the coalitions she needed. But the various establishments decided she was their choice.

That 2002 campaign was an embarrassment of riches, compared to now. Republicans, who nominated the conservative Dick Posthumus, could have chosen Joe Schwarz, for years the most capable, decent man in state government. Democrats also had the choice of Congressman Dave Bonior, then House Minority Whip, a skilled lawmaker who had also been in the Legislature, and Jim Blanchard, who had been governor for two terms and knew how Lansing worked.

But that meant nothing, because not only did we have a chance to elect our first-ever woman governor, she was mesmerizing to a world that hadn't heard of Lady Gaga yet. A Freep columnist suggested the U.S. Constitution be changed so our Canadian-born superwoman could run for president. Unfortunately, Lady Charisma proved unable and unwilling to make hard choices or tough decisions. Midway through her last term, even fellow Democrats in the Legislature sometimes treated her with thinly veiled contempt.

Other times, they didn't bother with the veil. Now, the powers that be are excited that we are about to elect a brilliant and rich self-described nerd, even though we haven't a clue how he will close next year's enormous budget deficit.

All we know is that the stimulus money is gone, and Snyder's proposal to abolish the Michigan Business Tax would make the deficit worse, at least in the short run.

We also know that unemployment benefits will completely run out by the end of November for 142,733 workers, who have been jobless for nearly two years. Money will be cut off to 324,000 by next spring, with no relief in sight.

What I think is that Campbell's Soup is on sale, and we all oughta get several cases to stack in the basement. Lasts for years, y'know.


Not trusting the people:
Earlier this week, I moderated a panel that included three politicians I generally admire: former state Rep. David Gubow, now a district judge in Oak Park; state Sen. Gilda Jacobs; and state Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton. All are liberal Oakland County Democrats, and all agreed that our state government doesn't work very well.

They also agreed that there are built-in, structural flaws in our present system. As I've noted here before, on Nov. 2, the voters are going to be asked if they want to call a convention to consider writing a new constitution.

After the panelists had talked about how things weren't working, one audience member asked each member if they would support a constitutional convention. They all said no. For one simple reason: They don't trust the people.

They didn't say it in those words, but that's what they meant. Gubow talked about the "present climate not being right." Lipton said she had worked hard to make stem cell research legal, and feared right-wing crazies would write a constitution that outlawed it again.

Those may be legitimate fears, but what kind of democracy can you have if you fundamentally don't trust the people? If we aren't willing to gamble that we can figure out a better way to govern ourselves, we might as well petition Queen Elizabeth and ask her to take us back as colonies.

My guess, however, is that she's too smart for that.

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