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  • Detroit Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych

    Coming up on August 16, former Detroit Tigers greats Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt will team up with the Navin Field Grounds Crew and Metro Times‘ own Dave Mesrey to honor legend Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. The festivities, known as the annual “Bird Bash,” will be held at the infamous Nemo’s Bar & Grill, and will benefit The Bird’s favorite charity, the Wertz Warriors, and also the Mark Fidrych Foundation. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

    The post Detroit Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • First Little League game at Navin Field today

    Today Navin Field (the Old Tiger Stadium) hosts its first Little League game on a new field made just to host the youngsters! Here’s a photo of the game happening right now, courtesy Tom Derry and Metro Times‘ copy editor extraordinaire, Dave Mesrey: Stop by the site (corner of Michigan and Trumbull) today to watch history in the making!

    The post First Little League game at Navin Field today appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Poll shows Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race

    If a poll released this week is any indication of how the August 5 primary election will turn out, current Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano has reason to worry, Fox 2 reports. Ficano, who’s seeking a third term, polled in fourth place — behind former Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans, Westland Mayor Bill Wild and Wayne County Commissioner Phil Cavanaugh, according to Fox 2. The poll by Strategic Solutions LLC, showed 6.7 percent of respondents said they’d vote for Ficano, which isn’t so bad: He finished ahead of County Commissioner Kevin McNamara (who came in at No. 6) and someone literally described as “a candidate not named here” (who polled at No. 5.) If you’re planning to head to the polls — which you should! — and need some input on the candidates and ballot proposals, you can read for our election coverage in this week’s Metro Times.

    The post Poll shows Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • A Mad Decent Mixtape

    Mad Decent Block Party will roll through town on Saturday, August 16, bringing to town artists like Dillon Francis, Diplo, Flosstradamus, RiFF RAFF, Keys N Krates, and Zeds Dead. Thugli, a Canadian duo, will perform on the Toronto leg of the tour and they put together a 45 minute mix that features songs by some of the tour’s featured artists as well as a host of others.  Listen to it here. 

    The post A Mad Decent Mixtape appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders

    Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host a special event this Saturday, July 26 in hopes of raising money for the local faction of an international nonprofit, Burners without Borders Detroit. Breaking Borders is a one-evening-only event that will feature live music, performance, and art. Satori Circus will perform along with spoken word artist ZakAndWhatArmy. Music by Tartanic, Dixon’s Violin, and Servitor. Fire dancers, hoop performers, and acrobats will provide a certain mysticism to the ambiance as old Victorian steampunk and tribal art is shown in the main gallery. There will also be a runway fashion show and the evening will end with a dubstep rave featuring DJ Forcefeed and Dotty. Truly, there’s something for everyone. Perhaps more importantly, there will be a full service bar. The event is open to those 18 and older and IDs will be checked at the door. Admission is $25 at the door, or $20 with the donation of a canned good. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the party goes until 2 a.m. A 20 percent commission will be taken from all art sold at this event and donated to Burners without Borders. The Tangent Gallery is located at 715 Milwaukee Ave., Detroit; 313-873-2955; tangentgallery.com.

    The post Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders 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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