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

What will happen to Detroit?

In 2013, Detroit can’t rely on business as usual

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Nobody knows what this year will bring, but one thing is certain: Detroit can no longer go on the way it has.

That's not opinion, but cold fact. City officials admit Detroit is burning through cash at a terrifying rate. Soon, Motown will face either an emergency manager (likely), a new, tougher consent agreement (less likely) and then, possibly bankruptcy.

Regardless of what happens, and whether anyone likes it or not, if there is one central political, economic, philosophical and psychological issue facing Michigan this year, it is this:

What will happen to Detroit?

The future of everyone in Michigan depends to a greater or lesser extent on the answer, whether they live on the city's tough east side, in Birmingham, or in happily calm Holland.

There probably is no more important question facing the state's future than Detroit's future. Want to attract investment and high-tech, new-economy businesses to Michigan?

How well do you think that can work when the state's largest city is perpetually on the verge of bankruptcy; the neighborhoods are rotten, desperate slums; the schools a joke; and the inhabitants simmer with resentment and hatred.

What will happen to Detroit?

We've been putting off really facing this for years and years. All of us, including the white businessmen who used the city and abandoned it, and the politicians in the suburbs, who spent decades sneeringly bashing the city for cheap political gains.

Governors and legislators, who, since William Milliken left office 30 years ago, have seen Detroit as either a mess to be ignored or as a problem to be avoided or, at best, finessed.

They haven't taken responsibility for the city they and their predecessors built, used and left when they didn't need it anymore. Without Detroit, L. Brooks Patterson would be county executive of a lot of fields full of corn and cows.

Many people have let Detroit down. But Detroiters too have been a big part of the problem: Politicians of all colors who swept long-term money problems under the rug, agreeing to impossible pension obligations.

Detroit officeholders who did little or nothing to maintain the city's infrastructure, because spending on lighting equipment and sewer pipes wasn't a flashy way to win votes.

Black Detroit politicians, who shamelessly stole from their constituents, robbed poor black people blind, and cavorted publicly like extras from a modern remake of Birth of a Nation.

Think about it: If the Ku Klux Klan wanted to convince the world that African-Americans were inferior clowns prone to criminal behavior and unfit to govern, central casting couldn't possibly do better than Kwame Kilpatrick and Monica Conyers.

Throw in Otis Mathis, the school board president who was first exposed as being almost illiterate, and then fired for masturbating in front of the superintendent of schools, and you have a city that is a laughingstock and a national disgrace.

One of the many tragedies is that this means few hear about and fewer remember the many success stories flourishing in Detroit. Glenda Price, for example, who came here from Atlanta in 1988 to be president of Marygrove College.

She turned the place around financially. When she retired, she could have gone back to her native Philadelphia, or almost anywhere else. "But then I realized everything I want is right here," she told me. Recently — at age 73 — she has taken on the daunting task of running the Detroit Public School Foundation, trying to raise money to better the lot of kids in perhaps the most maligned school system in the nation.

There are people like Matt Robb, a 27-year-old white guy from Suttons Bay, way up north. He had enough talent to turn golf pro, but instead decided he needed to be a teacher in Detroit's tough inner city. He's at Cody High School now.

The night President Obama was re-elected, some guy in a ski mask got into the parking garage in Matt's Detroit apartment building and spray-painted NIGGER LOVER all over his car. Matt laughed, drove it around for a couple days, and then cleaned it off. They aren't driving him out.

But what will happen to Detroit, now?

What we need is everyone to come to the table with an honest, open mind. Yes, there has been white racism and black corruption and all manner of stupidity on all sides.

But nobody, repeat, nobody has anything to gain by continuing it. Detroit cannot go on as it has. The city is broke, impoverished, and has $12 billion in pension and other long-term obligations it cannot possibly manage to honor.

The city today cannot provide even minimally adequate public safety protection; the budget is badly out of balance and systems are still in place for a city three times the size.

Yes, it would be nice if the federal and state governments would assume a lot of these obligations, but they won't. So let's all grow up. Providing essential services, getting the books straightened out, and building a foundation for a sustainable future has to be where everyone needs to start.

The governor and his advisers need to determine whether that would be best done by an emergency manager, a consent agreement or whatever means make the most sense for the short, middle and long terms — and do that.

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