Most Read
  • Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor

    Detroit home-girl Lily Tomlin will perform at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, June 14. A press release reads, “Get together with Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. “Tomlin is amazing” The NY Times and “as always a revelation.” The New Yorker This unique comic artist takes her audience on what the Washington Post calls a “wise and howlingly funny” trip with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann.” “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” NY Daily News “Her gentle touch is as comforting as it is edifying.” NY Time Out She has “made the one-person show the daring, irreverent art form it is today.” Newsweek Her long list of awards includes: a Grammy; two Tonys; six Emmys; an Oscar nomination; two Peabodys; and the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Find more info here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor

    The Detroit Metro Times, Detroit’s award-winning alternative weekly media company, is proud to announce the recent hire of Valerie Vande Panne as Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning independent journalist and Michigan native, Vande Panne’s work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Daily Beast, and Salon, among other publications. Previously, Vande Panne attended Harvard University and was a regular contributor to The Boston Phoenix, and a news editor of High Times magazine. She has spent years covering drug policy among other subjects, including the environment, culture, lifestyle, extreme sports, and academia. “Valerie understands our business and what we expect to accomplish in Detroit. She has an excellent sense for stories that will move our readers, as well as experience with balancing print and digital content. I’m excited to have her at the paper and trust her leadership as we move forward,” said Detroit Metro Times publisher Chris Keating.

    The post Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’

    She welcomes you when you enter Detroit, from every direction, with the one word that might just be Detroit’s biggest philosophical question: Injured? Joumana Kayrouz is deeper than the inflated image watching over Detroit, peddling justice to the poor and broken of the city. This Wednesday, Drew Philp takes us behind the billboard and into the heart of the Kayrouz quest. (And all of Brian Rozman’s photos of Kayrouz have not been retouched.) Check out MT‘s cover story, on newsstands Wednesday!

    The post Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt

    There was a fire in an upstairs apartment at PJ’s Lager House on Monday evening. No people were hurt, although three cats belonging to the tenants died after CPR. The fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. during a show featuring Zombie Jesus & the Chocolate Sunshine Band, Curtin, and Jeffrey Jablonsky. “We just smelled smoke and someone yelled everyone has to get out,” 33-year-old Nick Leu told MLive. On the Lager House Facebook page in the early hours of the morning, a post said, “We at PJ’s lager House would like to thank everyone for their care and concern. Also, a very big THANK YOU to all who stepped up to do what they could this evening. The fire was contained to the upstairs but due to water damage in the bar, we will be closed until it can be assessed. Everyone is safe and we will keep you updated.” A later update read, “Update from the big boss. Since there was no damage to the stage side of the bar, the show will go on tomorrow! You may have to enter through the back door and there may not be a large selection of booze but we are going […]

    The post Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Music review roundup

    Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to The Sugar Clouds’ Partners Don’t Do That (They Watch and be Amazed) (Wax Splat) is a nostalgic look at the psychedelic days of ’60s grooviness. Even the album cover looks like a lava lamp. The male-female vocals have a sort of Jefferson Airplane feel, and the songs are blessed with both sugary sweet pop melodies and a garage-y earthiness. The story of the band’s formation is rather interesting; the two vocalists, Greg and Melissa Host, are a divorced couple who wrote the songs in their living room. The band is still together, so this divorce was a hell of a lot more civil than any we’ve ever known of. Steffanie Christi’an has friends in fairly high places. Her new Way Too Much mini-album is being put out by Nadir Omowale’s Distorted Soul label, and she is also a regular feature on Jessica Care Moore’s Black Women Rock revue. Maybe the choice of cover image isn’t the best – she looks a bit like a Tina Turner tribute act here. But that can and should be […]

    The post City Slang: Music review roundup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’

      There’s at least one city councilmember who’s less than pleased with Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan to increase all parking violation fines. Councilman Gabe Leland, whose district represents the city’s west side, issued a statement today, calling Orr’s plan a potential “deterrent” to attracting people to the city. I don’t believe the argument to raise the parking ticket fines from $30 to $45 and eliminate the $10 early payment fine are justification for this action. The emergency manager’s order to increase ticket fines places city government inefficiencies on the backs of our residents who need to do business in downtown and other parts of our city. And, this will increase the barrier for people to frequent Detroit-based establishments; likely to be a deterrent for some to shop and dine in our city. Leland suggested implementing a plan that maintains current rates for fines and reduces operating inefficiencies to collecting parking fines. “In my view, generating revenue by increasing fines when residents from neighborhoods must go downtown to get licenses and permits, attend court appointments and do other necessary business, is the wrong direction,” Leland said. “…Additionally, generating revenue using fines when we are trying to grow this city and attract […]

    The post Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’ 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

Want to stop the emergency manager?

Step up with the ideas to make things happen — or get out of the way

Photo:, License: N/A

Yes, you read that right.

Last week hundreds of people marched in Ann Arbor to protest the emergency manager law — and the man behind it, Gov. Rick Snyder. They got as close as they could to the governor's home in a ritzy gated community. They chanted "We are the People's Army," and "This is what Democracy looks like," and similar things. 

They had every right to do that. The governor himself said so. But frankly, they didn't accomplish anything.

Nor did they say what the state should do instead of eventually appointing an emergency manager to run Detroit.

Nor have any other of the law's many critics come up with any alternative strategy that makes any rational sense. "Giving the elected leaders a chance to fix it," just doesn't cut it. They've had years and years to do so, and none of them are offering any plan now.

Nor do they have a clue how to address the long-term problems, which include $12 billion in unfunded liabilities.

Sure, the state could come up with money to help Detroit close its current budget deficit, as long as Detroit fires enough workers and further weakens essential services, including police and fire.

But what about the next crisis a few months from now? What about the billions and billions in pension and other liabilities for which no money is set aside? How will the city ever be able to pay?

How will the remaining 700,000 mostly dirt-poor Detroiters get themselves out from under this mountain of debt, while maintaining some minimal standard of city services?

They can't. They never will, simple as that.

So here's a rational suggestion for how to fix Detroit's problems, and give Motown a decent long-term chance to succeed. The state should take its lead from what Washington did to save General Motors and Chrysler. Detroit needs to be taken over, restructured, helped through a "soft landing" that is likely going to include bankruptcy.

And last, but not least, Detroit needs to be guided through a merger — an arranged marriage if you will — to help keep her stable.

That's what the government did for Chrysler, marrying it off to Fiat, and because of that the all-but-dead automaker is alive and prosperous and growing stronger by the day.

This analogy isn't perfect, but there's a lot that applies. Here's what should now happen to Detroit: Nobody doubts that when the financial review team finishes its work, probably around the end of next month, it will confirm that things are a total mess.

The team could then recommend either that the city seek a consent agreement, under which Mayor Dave Bing and the council would take on new powers to fix the city's finances.

Or it could recommend the appointment of an emergency manager. The governor says that he hopes this could be done with a consent agreement. Normally, I would agree. But not this time.

The problems are just too mammoth and overwhelming. They are results, to some extent, of the city being stiffed by the suburbs and the state and the generations who used the city and abandoned it.

But they are also the result of years and years of criminal behavior and utter irresponsibility on the part of the politicians who ran Detroit, borrowed billions that they expected future generations to pay, and just kept kicking an ever-growing can down the road.

Fred Leeb, a turnabout expert who was briefly the emergency manager in Pontiac, says Detroit has "hit the wall."

Detroit's "leaders must make drastic cuts in costs now, yes, but they must also develop and implement new far-reaching but practical strategies," he said. Borrowing more money is not the answer, he says,  adding that "every day that goes by without this positive process working at full speed is a day that speeds up the downward spiral for the city of Detroit." And without a healthy city, Michigan is never going to be able to attract new investment and business either.

So here's my solution:

Following the financial review team's report, the governor should move to appoint an emergency manager as soon as possible

The emergency manager then needs, as a first step, to figure out Detroit's true financial state as soon as possible, stabilize things — and then present a plan to return to solvency with an eye toward growth.

The best way to do that may well be a so-called "soft bankruptcy." The state helps guide Detroit through this as easily as possible — maybe by separating everything into two municipal corporations — "Good Detroit" and "Bad Detroit."

We help the good stuff get stronger and in a position to survive. The bad stuff is sold off, closed out, liquidated, disposed of.

Detroit starts fresh and clean. Yes, the creditors take a haircut, and Michigan's credit rating will be hurt for a while. This is strong medicine, but in the not-so-long run, everything should be better off.

But now for the final chapter: Gov. Snyder should then ask the Legislature to take the city and combine it with the county.

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