Most Read
  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Politics & Prejudices

The problems that remain

From Detroit to across the nation, there is much to be done

The votes are in — except, that is, for 10 million or so absentee, mail-in and provisional ballots that won't be counted for days or weeks. Still, odds are you know something I didn't when I wrote this column: You probably know who won.

That is, unless we are hip-deep in another disputed presidential election, in which case we will have final proof that we and our nation are hated by all the gods.

But the odds are pretty good that by now, you know either that President Obama is going to serve a second term, or that Mitt Romney will be our first Mormon president.

No matter which is the case, the talking heads on all the cable channels are chattering away about why the election went the way it did. Tomorrow, they'll have moved on to predicting what the next administration will do — though based on history, they won't have much of a clue, especially if it's Malleable Mitt.

But here's what I know: Regardless of who is president, regardless of who controls the Michigan Legislature, regardless of how Michigan voted on the six ballot proposals and regardless of who controls the U.S. Senate, ...

We still have problems. Big problems. Now that the last lying campaign commercial has assaulted our brain cells, it's time to get real about some of what lies ahead:


Detroit: The voters on Tuesday either reaffirmed or pulled the plug on the tough Emergency Manager law the Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder created last year.

That law was suspended when those who hate it — mainly unions and their supporters — collected enough petition signatures to slap it on the ballot. Everybody knows the main reason the governor wanted it: Detroit can't go on much longer the way it is.

Two months ago, I went to see Mayor Dave Bing. I could see how he might balance the budget by using the consent agreement, I told him. But I didn't see how that could do anything about — his figure — $12 billion in unfunded liabilities.

Essentially, he agreed. There's no way the city will be able to come up with that money. It seems inevitable that at some point the city will pass into some kind of state control, with or without a session in bankruptcy court.

If the emergency manager law is back as a result of the election, and an EM is named, what will his or her mission be?

And if the voters have repealed the EM law, what then becomes of Detroit? How does the city get out of this immense hole? How does a city function when it doesn't have enough police to ensure even minimal public safety?

How does a city with no trustworthy public school system attract new middle-class families?

How does a city that is totally broke turn down an offer from the state to fix up and restore its once-beautiful, now crumbling signature public park, i.e. Belle Isle?

And having done that, thanks to an insular and irrational City Council — how do the ruins of that once great city even begin to attract any rational investors?


Michigan's forlorn proletariat: Thirty years ago, this was a nicely humming, brawn-based economy. Men with sometimes less than a high school education could make $60,000 to $70,000 a year, with minimal skills and no overtime.

Then the world changed forever. No matter how far the economy recovers, there will never again be hundreds of thousands of high-paying, low-skilled jobs in the automotive industry here. When the automakers do hire nowadays, the new workers make less than $30,000 a year.

You can't buy a house on that. You can't even buy much of a new car on that. Yet we haven't a clue what to do about the hundreds of thousands of kids who come rolling out of our high schools every year, wanting to find careers and stay in this state.

We've cut scholarships and raised tuition, so that kids who could once have almost paid for college by working good summer jobs now come out $40,000 or more in debt.

Despite laying out all that money, they too often are finding that there aren't any good jobs available.

And what about those who aren't cut out for a traditional four-year school? How do they find and afford training programs that will actually lead to a real job?

What about the tens of thousands who come out of inner-city (and some suburban) high schools every year, basically illiterate and without work ethic and life coping skills?

What about them? Did either presidential candidate indicate they'd do anything to give them the skills they need to have a shot at becoming productive members of this society?

Did any candidate for any office say anything about helping these people, sometimes called the lumpenproletariat?

Does it ever occur to anyone living in the Grosse Pointes that their lives might not be utterly secure forever, living next to a huge and growing mass of desperate people with no future?

How much do you think the next president is thinking about those leading lives of quiet desperation in the ruins?

How long do you think their desperation will be quiet?

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