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    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list

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    The post ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Food trucks go to the dogs

    Today, starting at 10am, Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck will be swinging by the  Cherry Hill Village at Preservation Park on  N. Roosevelt St. in Canton. They’ll be serving the pups (“gour-mutts,” as Milo’s calls them) treats and the dog parents the opportunity of “family portraits.” Milo’s is on a cross-country food truck trip, promoting their “grilled burger bites” and “chicken meatballs” to pup parents from L.A. to NYC, with stops in between, including Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, the Carolinas, and Arkansas. But watch out! Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck markets “real chicken and beef home-style dog treats” that are are “wholesome” and “authentic” without “artificial flavors or colors-made right here in the USA.” Authentic, processed food that is. Remember what George Carlin said about “home-style”? Their treats are also packed with soy, TVP, wheat flour, tapioca, rice, and sugar–fillers that make the meat go far and aren’t the best for your pup. They’re also packed with preservatives, like sodium erythorbate, nitrates, BHA, sodium tripolyphosphate, and potassium sorbate. Small amounts are probably ok, and no doubt the pup will love it, the same way it’s easy for humans to love carb- and sugar- laden, processed and preserved, treats.  

    The post Food trucks go to the dogs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych

    Coming up on August 16, former Detroit Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt will team up with the Navin Field Grounds Crew and Metro Times‘ own Dave Mesrey to honor legend Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. The festivities, known as the annual “Bird Bash,” will be held at the infamous Nemo’s Bar & Grill, and will benefit The Bird’s favorite charity, the Wertz Warriors, and also the Mark Fidrych Foundation. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

    The post Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • First Little League game at Navin Field today

    Today Navin Field (the Old Tiger Stadium) hosts its first Little League game on a new field made just to host the youngsters! Here’s a photo of the game happening right now, courtesy Tom Derry and Metro Times‘ copy editor extraordinaire, Dave Mesrey: Stop by the site (corner of Michigan and Trumbull) today to watch history in the making!

    The post First Little League game at Navin Field today appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Politics & Prejudices

The lost election

Deafening silence surrounds the GOP fight against Stabenow

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Michigan's quiet senate race: Incumbent Debbie Stabenow

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...versus recumbent Pete Hoekstra.


You may not have realized this, but there is actually an election for the U.S. Senate in Michigan this year.

Well, sort of an election. But really not much of one. The GOP candidate either seems to be sleepwalking, or to have decided that he really doesn't want to be a senator after all.

This is the race between U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat trying to win a third six-year term, and Republican Pete Hoekstra, a former congressman from the west side of the state who used to chair the House Intelligence Committee.

If you've forgotten this was going on, that's understandable. Hoekstra was last seen campaigning in Israel.

Why? Well, when he came back, he told one reporter he felt that getting the latest information on what was happening in the Middle East was more important than campaigning in Michigan. You never know. He could be on to something.

It just might be that hundreds of thousands of unemployed Michiganders are most intensely interested in the next Knesset elections, or how the mess in Syria turns out.

But I kind of doubt it. Meanwhile, Stabenow, who is now chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, locked up the endorsement of the usually Republican Michigan Farm Bureau.

One recent poll showed her up by 53 percent to 37 percent, about the same margin by which she beat the hapless Oakland County Sheriff "Six Gun" Mike Bouchard last time.

When he came back from Israel, Hoekstra sat down with The Detroit News, his best bet for an endorsement. "I think I'm behind," he told them. "It's an uphill battle."

Can't say that guy isn't perceptive. Well, actually you can. This was supposed to be a competitive race. Hoekstra had won high marks as chair of the House Select Committee on Intelligence in the years after Sept. 11.

He finished a distant second in the GOP primary for governor to Rick Snyder last year, but did beat out Attorney General Mike Cox and the by-then shopworn Bouchard.

Yet, from the moment the Senate race began, Hoekstra seemed determined to put his foot in it. First, there was his racist-seeming Super Bowl ad, featuring a pretty Asian girl with an accent straight out of a 1930s Charlie Chan movie.

"Sank you, Debbie Spend-It-Now. You borrow so much money from us your economy get very weak. Ours get very good. We take your jobs," she said, grinning evilly.

Ironically, it turned out that Hoekstra spent about nine times as much to air the ad as it brought in, in terms of contributions, making him non-Senator Pete Spend-it-Now.

Quietly, Michigan soon disappeared from the national Republican Party's lists of seats they hoped to pick up. This summer, Hoekstra further made a fool of himself by running ads claiming Stabenow was the "worst senator ever."

Detroit Free Press columnist Brian Dickerson said, "mostly, I'm embarrassed for the guy." Hoekstra's agony will be over, mercifully, in less than a month. Unless there is a sudden surge of write-in votes from Israel, he is clearly toast.

The agony of the Michigan GOP, however, continues. His defeat will mean Republicans have lost 11 of the last 12 U.S. Senate elections in Michigan. The only exception in the last 40 years was in 1994, when Republicans won every open Senate race in the nation. Hoekstra won't starve; he could perhaps go back to his old job as a furniture executive at Herman Miller.

More likely, he becomes a lobbyist. For nearly four decades, Republicans have sneered at Debbie Stabenow, back to when she first ran for a seat on the Ingham County Commission in 1974. They pick on her non-flashy style and her weight.

Then she beats them, every time.

 

Bottom feeders: In past years, we've had some decent Republican secretaries of state. Candice Miller and Terri Lynn Land were competent and non-ideological enough that I found myself voting for both when they ran for re-election.

However, Ruth Johnson, — the third blond, middle-aged GOP SOS in a row — is something else. She's obsessed with the need to prevent non-citizens from voting, though there is little or no evidence that more than a handful ever have.

Earlier this year, the governor vetoed a law that would have required voters to check a box affirming that they are U.S. citizens when they vote. That didn't matter to Ruthie.

She decided to impose the requirement anyway in the August primary. This caused howls of protest and some principled voters, like the Michigan Campaign Finance Network's Rich Robinson, to be denied a ballot.

Things were confused further when she then issued new instructions, now saying voters didn't have to do that, in the middle of Election Day. Unlike my dog, however, Johnson seems incapable of learned behavior, and announced she was bringing the check box back for the November election.

Not so fast. Last week, U.S. District Judge Paul Borman told her to forget it. After first compelling Johnson to show up in court, Borman told her what she was doing wasn't legal.

"The bill was not enacted because the governor vetoed it," he said, explaining that her move created a lack of equal protection under the law. As for her order, "it's clear that a lot of clerks aren't following it because it wasn't legally enacted." 

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