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  • Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers

      We here at MT will be delighted when Mr. Jack White throws out a pitch at Navin Field (at least, we hope he will), but until then, we’ll be happy with his pitch to Santa this evening at Comerica Park.    

    The post Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW)

      Footage from the Gathering of the Juggalos set to clips of Morgan Freeman’s narration from March of the Penguins? Kind of forced, but also kind of beautiful. As the AV Club reports: The oft-sought voiceover champion lends a touch of gravitas to the festival proceedings. Unfortunate scenes of barely clad people having various liquids dumped onto them now carries a quiet dignity as it’s all part of nature’s majestic plan that keeps the world spinning through this elegantly designed and truly wondrous universe. Also, the video is NSFW as there are boobs in it. Watch the clip below:

    The post Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW) appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love”

    It seems like the polar vortex will never end: the weather phenomenon that brought us the most brutal winter on record this winter is to blame for this summer’s chillier-than usual temperatures as well. A couple of bands, though, made lemonade out of lemons (or snow cones out of snow?) by using the icy landscape to film music videos. 800beloved shot the video for “Tidal” in some sand dunes near Empire, Mich., and this week Turn to Crime debuted the video for “Can’t Stop,” the title track of their recently-released album. Even more piles of ice and snow might be the last thing Detroiters want to see right now, but the footage makes for some good visuals that mesh well with the song. Watch the video below:

    The post Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love” appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr transferred oversight of the the city’s water department Tuesday to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an order intended to refocus “efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills,” Orr’s office said today. “This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the mayor,” Orr said in a statement released Tuesday. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability.” Duggan will have the authority to manage DWSD and make appointments to the utility’s board, according to a news release. In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said he welcomed Orr’s order, adding that officials will develop a plan that “allows those who truly need to access to financial help … to do so with shorter wait times.” “We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly,” Duggan said. “There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills — we need to do a much better job in […]

    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times

    Turns out, our very own Jack Lessenberry knows the Grosse Pointer seeking to ban the MT: Ten years or so ago, a woman named Andrea Lavigne sat in on some media survey classes I was teaching at Wayne State University. She was in her late 30s or early 40s, and seemed to be searching for answers. She wanted to know how the media work, and told me she was a Maoist. This fascinated me, because I thought authentic Maoists were almost as rare as passenger pigeons. Chairman Mao, we now know, starved to death and slaughtered tens of millions of his own citizens, and kept China economically and intellectually backward. Intrigued, I got together one night before class with her and another Maoist, to find out what they were all about. Alas, they spouted a form of primitive, grade-school Marxism. They seemed to have very little historical knowledge of Communism or what it had actually been like. Yes. A Maoist. Read the full story at Michigan Radio here.

    The post Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Higher Ground

Straight Talk

Wrapping up MT's Higher Ground event at Eastern Market

The Metro Times "Higher Ground: A Home Grown Event" inside Eastern Market's Shed 3 Friday evening seemed to go off well; the Feds didn't bust in and carry everyone off to jail. For the two hours I was there, it seemed a festive, though not over-the-top, event.

Mostly I wanted to hear what the distinguished panelists had to say, but, since I got there about an hour before their discussion, I strolled around to check out the crowd and the vendors. Early on, it seemed the average age of the attendees was old enough that they indeed needed their medication. Not that the youth corps wasn't represented, but the generation to discover marijuana en masse — baby boomers — was in the majority. There were about 200 people there at any one time, although there were folks constantly coming and going, so I have no sense of the total attendance. I was headed home just as the Ben Daniels Band members began cranking up their Marshall amps, so maybe there was a whole different thing happening later on.

Fire is always a pretty eye-catching phenomenon, and there was a guy making glass pipes with the aid of a torch right in the middle of it all. There was more eye candy: Three young women dressed in fishnet stockings and very tight and short nurse outfits with green crosses stitched onto them wandered through the crowd handing out cards for a compassion club. One of them seemed to be constantly pulling the hem of her skirt down to keep certain parts under cover.

Many of the vendor tables were set up with various pieces of what I considered equipment for growing marijuana — some of it pretty expensive. Most of the rest of them had various pipes and vaporizers (for inhaling medicine without the debris of smoking) for sale. By and large it seemed an industry show for medical marijuana equipment.

I've heard proselytizers for the hemp (a marijuana relative that doesn't get you high) industry talking about all kinds of uses for the plant, from textiles and car parts to edible products and skin lotions. But I was surprised to find one vendor selling Hi T, an iced tea beverage that uses hemp in its brewing process. The sample I had didn't taste bad. Apparently it's available in some convenience stores around town. Although at $2 for a 12-ounce can I don't think I'll be drinking a lot of it. At least that's what they were charging there.

Shed 3 is a big, open space made for farmers selling produce. The problem is it was pretty unforgiving to the PA system used for the panel discussion. Even though it was held away from the vendors, the sounds of people talking reverberated throughout the place, making it hard to hear the discussion moderated by Metro Times News Editor Curt Guyette. I sat up front and listened hard and found it pretty informative. Here are some of the more interesting points made by each panelist.

Dan Solano, a retired Detroit police officer and founding member of the national group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition: Solano seemed the most pugnacious about opposing police coming into your home, saying, "You don't have to give up your rights" just because you're a medical marijuana patient. OK, but when the SWAT team is at your door with a battering ram, it's hard to impress them with talk about unlawful search and seizure. He also pointed out the hypocrisy of how municipal governments have approached medical marijuana during his years of activism. He said that, in the past, when proponents passed a local ordinance friendly to MM, opponents would argue that local law does not trump state law. Now that the state sanctions MM, opponents are using local ordinances to oppose it.

Shelli Weisberg, legislative director for the Michigan ACLU: Weisberg has been spending a lot of time in Lansing talking to legislators. She said that local ordinances can be a serious threat to MM patients, citing a "white paper" distributed by the Michigan Municipal League designed to give local governments strategies to undermine the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA). One such strategy is to tie up potential growers with prohibitive ordinances about electrical and plumbing systems and inspections for indoor grow operations. She also reported on the case of 30-year-old Joseph Casias, a registered medical marijuana patient who has cancer. He was fired from his job at a Battle Creek Wal-Mart last year after testing positive for marijuana. The ACLU is representing him in a wrongful firing suit. Last week, his lawyers argued against a motion by Wal-Mart to have the case tried in federal court rather than in state court in Battle Creek. Obviously a Michigan court, where medical marijuana is legal, would treat the case differently than federal court.

Charmie Gholson, editor of the Midwest Cultivator, a Ypsilanti-based quarterly publication focused on medical marijuana issues: Gholson pointed out the disparities in how different municipalities are dealing with the MMMA, particularly the differences between prohibitionist Oakland County and more accommodating places, such as Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. "This is about geography," she said. She also talked about creating an organization called Mothers Against the Drug War for women to give testimony about how they and their family members' lives were affected by drug arrests. She pointed out that the failed drug war has cost us nearly a trillion dollars for pretty lame results.

Maurice "Moe" Cheetham, founder and director of the Midtown Detroit Cannabis Compassion Club: Cheetham, a former board member of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, focused on people issues, whether regarding caregivers, patients, police or community relations. He talked about how the state hasn't really addressed how patients who can't grow marijuana can get medication. "Where can they go?" he asked, while pointing out that narcotics such as Vicodin and Oxycontin can be picked up at drug stores everywhere. He also criticized some compassion clubs for focusing so much on costly growing equipment. "Is it about patients or is it about business?" he asked, and called on the medical marijuana community to police itself.

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