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  • PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan

    #150207742 / As locals continue to flood Detroit streets to protest the city’s ongoing water debacle, one national organization is hoping to be part of the solution — that is, for a dietary price. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA as the organization is more commonly known, has offered to pay outstanding water bills for 10 Detroiters who are willing to go vegan for one month. “Vegan meals take far less of a toll on the Earth’s resources,” PETA representatives said in a recent press release. “It takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce just a pound of meat but only about 155 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat.” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk adds, “Vegan meals are also a cost-effective way to help prevent health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart conditions, the last thing that someone who is struggling financially needs to deal with.” Folks interested in participating are asked to send a copy of their most recent overdue water bill and their written pledge to go vegan for one month to PETA Attn: Detroit Water at 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510 before Aug. 1.

    The post PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Dinner Club Does Brunch

    Sure, The Dinner Club, a regularly occurring pop-up that takes places at the Storefront Gallery  in Ferndale (and other locations, occasionally), usually happens around dinner time, but this Sunday, July 27, there will be a special edition: Brunch Chef Matthew Baldridge, who’s resume includes stints at such Detroit greats as Cliff Bell’s, The Rattlesnake Club, and Seldom Blues, has crafted a menu of French-inspired items that employ locally procured ingredients. Brunch includes four courses where guests will be treated to such delights as cocoa, cinnamon, chili-spiced creamy grits with pickled strawberries, cocoa puffs and strawberry-infused syrup, a smoked gouda potato gallette with Faygo Root Beer braised pork belly, quail egg and Faygo Root Beer syrup, banana marscapone-filled French toast with fresh raspberries, whipped cream and balsamic syrup, and champagne-soaked strawberries. It is also important to note that brunch is BYOChampagne. Baldridge, along with The Storefront Gallery’s Derek John and Lilacpop Studio owner and artist Janna Coumoundouros, curate the event that includes an art show, a great playlist, and visuals.                 Brunch services are at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and last about two hours, only 20 seats are available at each service. The cost is […]

    The post Dinner Club Does Brunch appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden

      By Ashley Zlatopolsky It’s been a little over twenty years since iconic ‘90s alternative hip-hop group Jurassic 5 first formed in Los Angeles’ Good Life club. Widely regarded as a pivotal influence in the decade’s underground hip-hop movement by critics and fans alike, the six-piece crew consisting of two DJs (Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark) and four MCs (Akil, Zaakir, Marc 7 and Chali 2na) were well on their way to becoming one of hip-hop’s greatest and most powerful acts of all time, ranking alongside names such as Public Enemy and N.W.A. with socially-conscious lyrics and smooth beats paired with smart sampling. But in 2004, Cut Chemist left the group to pursue a solo career, and in 2007 Jurassic 5 completely called it quits after nearly 15 years of music. And that was it for the crew until 2013. After almost seven years apart (nine for Cut Chemist), Jurassic 5 reunited and re-emerged stronger than ever before with a new flair, seasoned attitude, and more vibrant energy at Coachella Music Festival, the group’s first show with the original six members since Cut Chemist split. During their performance, Jurassic 5 gave fans a memorable concert revisiting all the classic feel-good tracks […]

    The post Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks

    Dogs of Detroit have new territory to trot: Yesterday, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy held a soft opening for a 20-acre westward extension of the Riverwalk. Part of a planned two-mile track of the West Riverwalk, the new span runs from the Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks Boulevard, says Mark Pasco, director of communications for the conservancy. “It’s going to be great,” Pasco says. “It’s a wide open green space. It’s going to be great for activities.” The endgame for the Riverwalk, Pasco notes, is to extend the walkway from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just past the MacArthur Bridge — about a 5.5. mile route. The new westward expansion is wider than most of the walkway, about 30 feet, says Pasco — a decision made by the conservancy to accommodate fisherman that previously frequented the area. “We knew … once it opened up they’d want to fish there again, so we made the Riverwalk itself wider,” Pasco says. The conservancy will hold a grand opening in late September, which will include “food and music and activities,” Pasco says, though no official date has been set.

    The post Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • DJ Josh Cheon shares his favorite darkwave tracks

    San Francisco’s Josh Cheon runs the darkwave revival label Dark Entries and is a member of the Honey Soundsystem DJ collective. This Saturday, July 26, Macho City switch out of disco mode and get a little gothic, bringing the Dark Entries 5th Anniversary Tour to town. Synth bands Bézier, Max + Mara, and Redredred will play, and Cheon will spin select cuts in between sets. We asked Cheon to share a playlist of some of his favorite tracks: Martin L. Gore — “Compulsion”: “I first heard this song at The Bank, a goth club I used to go to every weekend in New York as a teenager. I love the synths that sound like brass instruments and of course Martin’s distinct vocals.When I bought the EP, I discovered it was actually a cover of a song by Joe Crow, who used to play with UK post punk group The Nightingales. The rest of the covers on this EP turned me onto so many other great bands like Tuxedomoon, Sparks, The Durutti Column and Comsat Angels.” Clan of Xymox — “Call it Weird”: “This song was also part of my teenage soundtrack after it was reissued in 1994 on CD. I never imagined I would reissue it then, but when I started my label it was one […]

    The post DJ Josh Cheon shares his favorite darkwave tracks appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault

    The Metro Times is looking to hear your experiences will sexual assault on a Michigan college campus — from anything to how many sexual assault prevention programs, rape kits or crisis centers you may have had access to, to how the administration or local law enforcement handled your experience. If you, or anyone you know might be interested in talking to a reporter at the Metro Times, please email us at

    The post Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Politics & Prejudices

The People vs. the Monster

Even though the 'people have decided,' expect Moroun's meddling to continue

Photo: , License: N/A

Back in the 1960s, kids in my neighborhood would go to the Radio City Theatre in then not-so-beautiful downtown Ferndale to see monster movies on Saturday afternoons.

Mostly, these were cheap, low-budget things, where you could almost see the tape holding the fins on the little lizards masquerading as dinosaurs. But we loved them. The Mummy! Boris Karloff! Lon Chaney! Bride of Frankenstein!

I don't remember the titles of all the bad movies I saw, but one of them was mainly about the "undead," vampires that you could kill, but wouldn't stay dead. You could blast them, decapitate them, crush them, bury them — but they still kept coming, rising from the muck just when you were certain they were dead, staggering at you through the ooze and slime, making you pee your pants.

Time passed, and I forgot all about the matinee monsters. The movie theater closed. I moved away. And then, on Nov. 7, 2012, I realized with a shock that there was such a thing as the undead.

That there was a creature you could keep killing, a slimy, loathsome thing, which kept coming at you, intent on evil.

Except now I finally knew its name. Matty Moroun.

We have long known that the patriarch of the family that owns the Ambassador Bridge will stop at nothing to prevent someone else from building a second span over the Detroit River. He doesn't care about our future.

He doesn't care that our economy would be plunged into deep recession or depression if his ancient bridge were to collapse without any backup. He couldn't care less about Detroit, his rotting ruin of the train station, or his other slum properties.

He cares only to make himself richer. Never mind that he already is worth at least $1.5 billion, according to Forbes, or that he is 85 years old, and must, if indeed human, die soon.

He cares only to enlarge his own swollen monopoly, and possibly about his pathetic wife Nora, and his son Matthew.

But this has been the worst year for Moroun since the neighbors started wearing garlands of garlic and thrusting out little silver crosses when he came by. (OK, I made up that part.)

Still, it has been the year when Michigan residents finally woke up to who he is. This started in January, when Wayne County Judge Prentis Edwards had the guts to throw him in jail, after Moroun and Co. spent two years ignoring his court orders to live up to the terms of a contract he signed with the state. This was for the so-called Gateway Project, intended to improve access from the freeways to the Ambassador Bridge. Moroun illegally routed traffic past his duty-free shops. The courts released Moroun after a little more than a day, but the courts took control of the project away from him — and made him pay the state $16 million to do it right, which they speedily did.

Next, Gov. Rick Snyder found a way to build a new bridge without involving the Legislature, which has been so corrupted by Moroun's money they wouldn't even hold a vote on the project.

The new bridge is the best deal Michigan ever had. Canada will pay all our costs, and Washington gives us $2.2 billion in federal highway funds. Naturally, the deal enraged Moroun.

He declared war, spending possibly as much as $40 million to try to fool the voters into passing two constitutional amendments.

Proposal 6 would have essentially prevented anyone from building a new bridge across the river, ever. Proposal 5 would have made it impossible for the Legislature to raise any taxes, or change tax rates, thus reducing state government to virtual impotence.

Moroun then spent $34 million on a constant flood of TV commercials and a "let the people decide" advertising campaign, a little of which was hilarious distortion, and the rest vicious lies.

Yet on election night, he must have smelled, not his usual sulfur, but the cleansing stench of garlic, and glimpsed the crosses.

The people overwhelmingly said no to Moroun! Even though those telling the truth essentially did no advertising, the people voted down his bridge amendment by almost two to one.

His effort to stop the bridge was dead. Well, not quite. The votes were still coming in when Mickey Blashfield, Moroun's mouthpiece, came forth, saying the new bridge shouldn't be built because of "the unstable salt mine foundations" below the new bridge site.

Experts say that is nonsense, but the truth is of no more interest to the Morouns than it was to Joseph Goebbels. Blashfield hinted, however, that we can expect further lawsuits aimed at stopping what's now being called the New International Trade Crossing.

After all, every year the bridge is delayed is another $100 million or more for the Moroun family. Hopefully, a presidential permit to build will soon be forthcoming, and work can begin.

Call me vindictive, but it would be really nice for the vampire to see the new bridge rising south of his ancient, rotting and rusting structure before he next returns to the primordial ooze. 

Passing of giants: Imagine a Republican governor's wife demonstrating to pass an Equal Rights Amendment for women, and demonstrating for abortion rights at a Republican National Convention. Imagine the same woman saying publicly that abortion should not only be safe and legal — the costs should be covered by state and local governments.

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