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    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

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    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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Stir It Up

Unease at Wayne State University

Are changing admissions policies freezing out minority students?

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

I'd like nothing more than to tell you what happened when Wayne State University President Allen Gilmour met with the President's Advisory Group at the WSU Police station last week — but no sooner did I arrive than I was asked to leave. 

I was there because I'd received a message that Gilmour was going to discuss university admissions policies. I've been hearing rumors that WSU has changed its admissions standards in a way that would cut back on the numbers of African-American and Latino students, particularly those who come out of Detroit Public Schools. A few people I spoke with claimed that grades from DPS students are not considered equal to those of students from schools in places such as West Bloomfield or Grosse Pointe. For instance, a 3.2 DPS grade point average would be scored as something more like a 2.4 GPA from those other places. Not only that, say those who are alarmed about the issue, but these policies have already been put into practice and Gilmour's meeting was to be just a step in formalizing them. All this is supposedly in response to guidelines set up by Gov. Rick Snyder that impact the school's state funding. 

So I went to the meeting but, along with a Detroit News reporter, was asked to leave. (It's hard to be sure, but it probably wasn't a violation of the state's open meeting act.)

The President's Advisory Group is apparently a collection of folks from the community who are tasked with "advising" the president on whatever policy issues he chooses to bring before them. It was hard getting a clear idea of how it functions. However there were several folks, particularly Latinos, who'd heard the same thing I did and showed up to have their voices heard on the subject. Even though they weren't advisory group members, most of them had some kind of WSU connection, such as being alumni, and were allowed to stay. Donnell White, interim executive director of the local chapter of the NAACP, was there, but I didn't get his perspective on the proceedings because he didn't return my phone call to the NAACP office the next day. (That's not the first time White has declined to return my call.)

Detroit School Board member Elena Herrada was there. "It's interesting that they wanted to keep the press out of the meeting," she says. "There were rumors that there was going to be really serious change in admissions policy. In fact there have already been changes. The numbers of Latino and African-American students dropped dramatically in the last year. There was a rumor, that has not been confirmed, that WSU has decided that in order to raise its standing academically it would have to get rid of about half of the African-American students. No one's said that, but that looks like the way they are headed. 

"I was there as a representative of DPS. There are so many things being levied against our students now with the emergency manager. The schools are a mess. To punish students because they're in these schools is unconscionable. It's like starving somebody and then holding it against them because they're too thin."

WSU representatives say that nothing has been decided yet and that the meeting was part of preliminary discussions to address admissions and other issues at the school. 

"I'm not able to talk about specifics of the plan," said Ronald T. Brown, WSU provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, although he was very specific about how to spell his name and what his title was as the interview opened.

"The admission policies are to make sure students entering the university are adequately prepared and succeed," he says, adding that WSU wants "to be a university of hope for individuals who might not be able to get an education at another institution."

Hope for some, but at the meeting Gilmour reportedly said that students who couldn't meet WSU standards could go to community colleges.

"That's put a bit simply," Brown says. "There are students who have not done well here. ... They can come back when they're better prepared."

It's obvious that WSU is going down this road, but university officials are being very coy about which direction it leads. No specific numbers about what GPA or ACT scores will be required have been publicly discussed, but there are some enrollment numbers available. Those numbers do detail a decreasing number of Detroit students at WSU over the past few years. According to enrollment profiles available on WSU's website ( there were 6,483 students from Detroit at WSU in fall 2007. In fall 2011, the number had dropped to 4,982. Over the same time period, the number of Wayne County students from outside of Detroit rose from 8,082 to 8,692.

What could account for the 1,501-student, 23-percent drop in students from Detroit? Maybe it's due to the population drop in the city. Maybe it's due to the economic downturn hitting city residents harder than elsewhere. Or maybe it's university policies. 

Let's look at some other numbers. The number of black students from anywhere went from 6,542 in 2007 down to 6,313 in 2010. That's not a precipitous drop, and the number of Latino students actually rose from 558 to 617 over the same period. But what's alarming the WSU watchers is that while all the other numbers for fall 2011 are available, the "ethnic profile" is listed as pending.

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