Most Read
  • Detroit area code 313 may be phased out

    Hey, everybody from the 313, start thinking of new numbers to rally around– the longstanding Detroit area code may be phased out. Our friends over at the Detroit News report that pending a revised estimate next week, the North American Numbering Plan Administration will stop handing out 313 telephone prefixes on new phone numbers. Detroiters with existing cell phone lines would be able to keep their current area codes, while those with land lines would change. via Detroit News: The venerable 313 will ultimately become overtaxed. Even as Detroit’s population has fallen, cellphone usage has accelerated like one of those smoldering SRT Vipers that Dodge has been bolting together at Conner Avenue Assembly — which is, of course, comfortably within the confines of 313. … When the first five dozen area codes were assigned nearly 70 years ago, says NANPA’s Tom Foley, “that was expected basically to last forever.” Instead, somebody invented fax machines, and then somebody else came up with cellphones, and lots of somebody elses decided to give them to 10-year-olds, and meantime the population grew to 300 million. Now every telephone carrier is required to submit twice-yearly forecasts of its needs in each area code, factoring in […]

    The post Detroit area code 313 may be phased out appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council

    Unfortunately, we were unable to attend last night’s Neighborhood Advisory Council, which, in case you were unaware, is a 16-member board established to weigh in on the new Red Wings arena near downtown. About three dozen residents and property owners cast ballots by the 8 p.m. deadline on Wednesday inside the Block at Cass Park, The Detroit News reports. It’s the culmination of a handful of community meetings which began weeks ago. Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda Lopez facilitated the meetings, but emphasized at previous meetings that it’s up to the community to conduct business. According to the News, the 12 candidates selected include: Michael Boettcher, Richard Etue, Jason Gapa, Francis Grunow, Steve Guether, Paul Hughes, Ray Litt, Warner Doyle McBryde, Karen McLeod, Delphia Simmons, Melissa Thomas and Anthony Zander. Joel Landy, a land owner in the area, lost his bid. The City Council appointed four candidates last month. As we reported in this week’s issue, the Neighborhood Advisory Committee was negotiated after Olympia Development of Michigan, Detroit Red Wing’s owner Mike Ilitch’s real estate arm, balked on a proposed community benefits agreement.  The committee is charged with the task of offering input on the arena’s design, parking security and more.

    The post Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag

    The Magic Bag in Ferndale will host James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets on Thursday, May 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. A press release reads, “James McMurtry recently signed with the bourgeoning Los Angeles record label Complicated Game. The legendary songwriter will enter the studio later this month to start working on his first album in six years. “I’ve got a new batch of songs, organic and with no added sulfites, aged in oak for several years,” he says. “Francois Moret at Complicated Game seems to like these songs and (producer) C.C. Adcock thinks he can turn them into a record. Good times fixing to roll.” Label head Moret agrees. “In March 2013, when C.C. Adcock told me we were going to see James McMurtry at the Continental Club in Austin, I expected to see a good show,” he says, “but what I saw left me mesmerized! I immediately knew I wanted to sign him. As a European, it is an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most talented American singer-songwriters.” Evidence: McMurtry’s Just Us Kids (2008) and Childish Things (2005). The former earned his highest Billboard 200 chart position in nearly two decades and notched […]

    The post James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit

    The Dead Kennedys, still with local boy Klaus Flouride in the ranks, will play St. Andrew’s Hall on Tuesday, June 24. Alongside Flouride and fellow original members East Bay Ray and DH Peligro, the current lineup includes singer Ron “Skip” Greer, taking the place of Jello Biafra. Downtown Brown will open that show, which starts at 7 p.m., with tickets priced $20-$25. Give Klaus a hero’s hometown welcome. Just over a week before that, strangely enough, Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine will play at the Magic Stick. It’s a weird coincidence, but one that DK fans should be happy to embrace. That show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $17-$19. Local hardcore vets Negative Approach play before Jello, with the Crashdollz opening the show. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face

    There is no easy answer to the question regarding what should be done with Detroit’s abandoned homes. However, an Eastern Market company has a solution that could reflect Detroit’s possibly bright future. Homes Eyewear has set out to make the city a little more stylish, and do their part in cleaning it up by repurposing select woods from neglected homes for sunglasses. All of the wood that Homes uses is harvested from vacant houses with the assistance of Reclaim Detroit. A lot of work goes into prepping the wood to be cut and shaped into frames. Homes goes through each piece to remove nails, paint or anything else detrimental to their production (it’s a bit strange to think that your wooden sunglasses could have had family portraits nailed to them). In order to produce more durable eyewear, they salvage only hardwoods like maple or beech, which are difficult to come by as most of the blighted homes were built with softer woods like Douglas fir and pine. If you’re worried about looking goofy, or shudder at the thought of salvaged wood resting on your nose, you can rest easy. Homes currently offers frames in the popular wayfarer style and are developing their unique spin on the classic aviators. For as […]

    The post You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



Search thousands of events in our database.


Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.


Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Politics & Prejudices

Tale of two Michigans

The movers and shakers went to Mackinac. What about those left behind?

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

MACKINAC ISLAND — Don't know about you, but I livened up my life last week by going to the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce's official tribal gathering of the rich and powerful.

Every year, at the end of May, our political and business leaders get together for three days on Mackinac Island, our state's favorite quaint resort area, (horses, no cars) which is way up in Lake Huron, 300 miles and a million cultural light-years from Detroit.

There are always a series of panel discussions, most of them not very memorable (this year's were duller than usual) plus a couple headline speakers (this year's Thomas Friedman and Fareed Zakaria were probably better and more thought-provoking than average).

Nothing much is normally accomplished on Mackinac, though the conference traditionally ends with some sort of resolution pledging everybody to new efforts at regional cooperation that mostly never quite happen. But nobody pays much attention to that.

Finding common ground is not why anybody goes. The politicians go because they get to rub elbows with business leaders who contribute to their campaigns. The corporate types go to see each other as well as the politicians they like to control.

Lobbyists go, for the same reason flies are drawn to honey. Journalists come, partly because it is easy to buttonhole powerful political and business types, who are thick on the ground. And all of the above go because there are mountains of free food and booze.

Personally, as Humphrey Bogart said in Casablanca, I came for the waters, which are indeed pretty up there. But besides the chance to touch base with some interesting people, I went largely for sociology; I wanted to see and feel what the ruling class thinks.

Essentially, my feeling is that they are cautiously optimistic. They think they've got a business-friendly governor in the saddle and folks they can do business with in control of the Legislature.

Curiously, the coming presidential election was not a big topic at Mackinac. There was one suspect "straw poll" at one session that showed the attendees overwhelmingly thought President Obama would beat Mitt Romney, but that wasn't their main priority.

Creating a "globally competitive Michigan" was. A series of successful young entrepreneurs were paraded on stage, including one Rich DeVos, the founder of Grand Rapids' much-admired ArtPrize competition, and a friend of startups.  Michigan's future success is "all about changing the culture," he assured us.

What he meant was we need to take the lead and start businesses, etc., rather than waiting for someone to put us to work. He's right, of course, but I couldn't help thinking that it's probably a little easier if you have the DeVos Amway fortune behind you.

I was more inspired by a Detroiter named Dave Zilko, who borrowed $5,000 from a girlfriend and parleyed that into what is today a $110 million business, Garden Fresh Gourmet.  He even ended up marrying the girlfriend, which was heartwarming.

However, he had a degree in finance and an MBA. These weren't illiterates stumbling out of the ghetto to boldly reinvent society. Even the one minority entrepreneur on view, Internet business pioneer Angel Gambino, had first been a highly successful lawyer with international experience and sports connections.

Nothing wrong with that, and we need more brilliant, energetic and ambitious young professionals reenergizing our economy. Oldsmobile isn't ever going to open up again, kiddies, and there are no more good-paying jobs for the unskilled.

However, there are lots of people being left behind, and so far as I could tell, almost nobody at Mackinac gave a damn about them, except for U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke, who was on a panel late on the first day. Nowadays, it is fashionable to sneer at "government jobs." Republicans take it as an article of faith that only the private sector can create legitimate jobs. But Clarke credited such a job with saving him years ago, when his parents had died, he had dropped out of school and was nearly homeless. "I got a job through a government program. It restored my dignity and self-respect," he said.

That started him on a path that led to finishing college, and on to law school and the Legislature, then Congress.  But few were listening to the Democratic Detroit congressman from the inner city.

Not long before, CNN megajournalist Fareed Zakaria spoke to the conference, making a major and highly impressive speech without a single note. The good news, he told us, was that the bad news was largely wrong. Despite the crisis in Europe and lingering unemployment here, the world economy is really in good shape.

There is now essentially a single world economic system. No country today is suffering from hyperinflation. There is, to be sure, the problem of the jobless recovery. Before the coming of the Internet, workers were all back at their jobs six months after a recession ended. Today, it takes, on average, five-and-a-half years.

This isn't news to Detroit. Americans need to do two things, Zakaria told the corporate and political leaders. One is raise taxes to "invest in the future," meaning education, roads and bridges.

But since resources are tight, he seemed to be saying, we need to cut spending on the "present and the past," including, he seemed to be implying, "entitlement" programs for the poor and elderly.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus