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  • 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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Bringin' it back home

Motor City Pride makes a return to Detroit

Those who attended the first of many gay-pride marches in Michigan will remember Detroit as the city where it all began. And now, the patrons of the street fair known as Motor City Pride can finally and gratefully reflect on their roots and heritage — but not without some controversy among its organizers.

"This is a way for us to honor our tradition and to support the city core," says Detroit resident Michael Gregory, the director of communications for the LGBT advocacy group Equality Michigan, the organizers of MCP. "The movement started here in Detroit and it is going to be both fun and positive to bring it back."

Seizing an opportunity to grow and expand, the pride celebration will be stationed in the city's spacious festival area at Hart Plaza this weekend, June 4-5, and will feature two days of musical entertainment and local vendors in support of gay pride and equality.

Of course, the event will also host the march that started the movement in 1986, right downtown on Woodward Avenue, marking the 25th anniversary for all pride festivals in the state of Michigan.

Yet why move the festival now, after it has been held in Oakland County for nearly 18 years?

Gregory chalks it up to the growth of the LGBT civil rights movement.

"We've definitely seen massive growth in terms of the number of people getting involved with the gay and transgender struggle for equality in Southeast Michigan," he says. "That, with the addition of more sponsors, we knew that we would eventually outgrow the space that we were in."

That would seem to be the most logical answer, considering the humble beginnings of the festival, according to Curtis Lipscomb, executive director of Kick, a nonprofit organization that offers support and faith-based educational workshops for gay African-American men within the city.

"It makes sense that it moved from a pride event that, in most recent memory, was held in a parking garage in Royal Oak, then a street festival in Ferndale and now on to this," Lipscomb says.

Yet the reactions to the migration have been varied — and controversial.

While some see the Hart Plaza event as a chance to move the gay civil rights initiative forward, others feel that the organizers have turned their backs on the community that hosted them for almost all of its existence.

Take, for example, Craig Covey, former mayor of Ferndale, the current Oakland County commissioner, a key organizer for the 1986 event and the state's first openly gay elected official.

In response to the move, Covey and members of the Ferndale LGBT community plan to host their own separate pride event, one day before the Equality Michigan-hosted festival.

Turning up the heat, the LGBT newsmagazine Between The Lines published an editorial in March calling Covey's tactics "possessive" and "divisive," to which Covey issued a counter-counter response in a post on his blog, Covey's Corner.

Stressing that the newly coined Ferndale Pride was only a means to offer other options to the community, Covey wrote on his blog that he "really didn't understand why the magazine was so upset in the first place," seeing as how it is located in Livonia.

However, these kinds of changes have been going on since Michigan's pride celebrations were created, giving credence to BTL's statement that "no one person owns pride."

This type of friction is just a natural part of any change, Gregory explains.

"With something like this that has been going on for many years, especially with so much forward momentum towards growth, these things just happen," he says.

As that date looms closer, Covey has admittedly buried the hatchet with MCP and BTL.

"We have integrated fully with Motor City Pride, and we are offering shuttles back and forth between our two cities for the events," Covey says, assuring that any dispute between the two is now old news.

For Lipscomb, the infighting was just mere futility compared to the positive response to the move and the overall message that any pride event brings.

"I know that I am in the minority when it comes to my story of stepping out," he says, recalling the support from his family and friends when came out at the age of 15. "For other people, the experience has not been pleasant.

But this is what these events are for, Lipscomb says.

"For one or two days, out of 365 of them, you can enjoy yourself and who you are without discrimination," he says. "Detroit already has a long history of welcoming its gay residents, and having it at Hart Plaza only increases the visibility of our cause."

For more information on Motor City Pride and the calendar of the festival's activities, visit

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