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  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times

    Turns out, our very own Jack Lessenberry knows the Grosse Pointer seeking to ban the MT: Ten years or so ago, a woman named Andrea Lavigne sat in on some media survey classes I was teaching at Wayne State University. She was in her late 30s or early 40s, and seemed to be searching for answers. She wanted to know how the media work, and told me she was a Maoist. This fascinated me, because I thought authentic Maoists were almost as rare as passenger pigeons. Chairman Mao, we now know, starved to death and slaughtered tens of millions of his own citizens, and kept China economically and intellectually backward. Intrigued, I got together one night before class with her and another Maoist, to find out what they were all about. Alas, they spouted a form of primitive, grade-school Marxism. They seemed to have very little historical knowledge of Communism or what it had actually been like. Yes. A Maoist. Read the full story at Michigan Radio here.

    The post Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’

    A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the owner of Detroit’s municipal solid waste incinerator Monday, accusing the company of nuisance and gross negligence violations According to the complaint filed by Detroit-based Liddle & Dubin P.C., “On occasions too numerous to list, Plaintiffs’ property including Plaintiffs’ neighborhood, residences and yards were physically invaded by noxious odors and contaminants … As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s’ negligence in operating and/or maintaining the facility, Plaintiffs’ property has been invaded by noxious odors.” The eight-page complaint charges that local property values have dropped due to the incinerator’s presence, “and has interfered with Plaintiffs’ use and enjoyment of their property.” The lawsuit, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, seeks a financial award in excess of $25,000 and all costs and attorney fees related to the case. In an email, a spokesperson for the company says, “Detroit Renewable Power is reviewing the complaint filed today,” but declined further comment. The suit comes weeks after a Metro Times’ cover story earlier this month found a growing number of odor complaints from nearby residents since Detroit Renewable Power LLC (DRP) took control of the facility in 2010. The investigation found a spike in citations from the Michigan Department […]

    The post Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup

    The High Times Medical Cannabis Cup is more than just a celebration — although with the recent shift in attitudes toward marijuana legalization, there certainly is much to celebrate.  HT‘s Danny Danko described it as “just like any other harvest festival or a county fair where people bring their best produce, their best pigs and horses and cows, and they compete with each other for bragging rights, basically.” Here are a list of winners from this year’s Cannabis Cup, who did indeed walk home with some well-deserved bragging rights — if anyone knows their marijuana it’s High Times: Indica 1ST - Oasis Medical Seeds - Paris OG 2ND - Herbal Solutions - Alien Dawg F2 3RD - Herban Legendz, LLC - Grape OX Sativa 1ST - Arborside Compassion - CATFISH 2ND - Organibliss - Ghost Train Haze #1 3RD - We Grow Education and Collective Centers - MelonGum Hybrid 1ST - Herbal Solutions - Gorilla Glue 2ND - Pure West Compassion Club - Death Star 3RD - Kushman Veganics for Buds & Roses - Veganic Candyland Concentrate 1ST - Mr. B’s Extracts - Raskal’s Lemon 2ND - 710 Savant - Kosher Kush Dewaxed 3RD - Oasis Medical / Vader Extracts / Dab Vader - Candy Jack Shatter Non-Solvent Hash 1ST - NLG - Jedi Kush Ice Wax 2ND - Arborside Compassion - HeadCandy Kush Hash 3RD - New World Seeds Resource […]

    The post Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative

    So is the title of the press release we received this morning from The Satanic Temple. You may recall our interview with Doug Mesner from earlier this year. The Satanic Temple is, perhaps, best known for trying to build a child-friendly monument to satan in OKC: How Mesner and TST are rocking the Hobby Lobby ruling is interesting: The Satanic Temple Leverages Hobby Lobby Ruling to Claim Exemption From State Mandated ProLife Materials Reads the next line of the press release. And then their website: A number of states require that abortion providers give information to patients that maybe inaccurate or misleading. Demands that members of the Satanic Temple, or those who share our beliefs, be subjected against our will to anything but the best scientific understanding are a violation of our religious beliefs. Thanks to rulings such as Hobby Lobby, we can take a stand against these practices. Mesner points out how the Hobby Lobby ruling bolsters their position: While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when […]

    The post Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio

    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Broken home

A 71-year-old aunt gets kicked out of her house the hard way

Photo: , License: N/A

Dory Bryant in front of her aunt's ransacked house.

There once was an old woman who lived alone in a house. One winter day, her niece stopped by to take her to church, and when she got inside she found that her aunt's furnace was broken. It was almost as cold inside as it was outside.

"I took her hand to try to help her out of the house, and her hands were just ice-cold," says Dory Bryant, her 56-year-old niece. "So when she got out of the house and I saw her, she was just shivering. I said, 'Oh, no, you cannot go back in there.'"

So she put 71-year-old Betty Brock in her car and drove her back to her apartment to warm her up, get her to a doctor, check out the old house and see about getting the furnace fixed. 

And when some neighbors saw the old woman leave, they tore her house to pieces.

They kicked the front door in and stole the TV and the computer and the fridge. They tore the iron bars off the windows and the iron door off the front, then stole the windows themselves, frames and all. They pulled down the rain gutters, stole all the aluminum siding, walked off with the metal fence that circled the yard. They even took the electric meter from off the back of the house. 

She'd been gone only about a week.

And what they didn't steal, they destroyed. The rooms inside are a blizzard of thrown clothes and books and hoarded mementos and belongings, feet high in the impassable front rooms. Debris spills out of missing windows and scatters throughout the yard. Cans of food from the kitchen lie as far as the sidewalk out front. Some of her clothes are outside in the mud. Even her little red Bible was thrown out to the front porch, its pages bent and wrinkled and fluttering in the wind.

Scrapping is rampant in the city. Abandoned houses and foreclosed homes are routinely invaded and destroyed by thieves, who steal anything that can be traded for a little money. But it takes real brazenness to scrap a house that someone still lives in. 

"It's kind of a spiritually bankrupt mind if they can do stuff like that," says Chris Burns, 41, a family friend. "I mean, I can't even understand that. It's really sad, but I always knew that with that area being so desolate, that it was just a matter of time before something happened to the house. They were just waiting for the opportune time."

A few days after bringing her aunt to her small apartment, Bryant had gone back to the house to grab some things, and that's when she discovered the destruction. Now she had to bring her aunt there to show her she didn't have a home anymore. 

"When she went the first time she sat down — there was a crate like a milk crate — and she just sat in the yard on the side of the house, and just looked at the house, and just started crying," Bryant says.

Brock came to Detroit from Arkansas in 1959, spent most of her life as a seamstress and later as an upholsterer for Chrysler before retiring. She has no kids and never married. "All by myself," she says.

She bought a house on Arizona Street in 1973, by John R and East McNichols, back when it was still a good neighborhood. "Oh, yeah, the neighbors was neighbors," she remembers. "And then they started selling and renting their properties, and anything and everything started coming in."

Almost all her neighbors fled long ago, and their houses disappeared. Whole blocks in the area are completely empty and smothered in grass. Drug dealers sell openly on the street, and prostitutes roam John R in the daytime. Brock was just another elderly person trapped in a bad part of the city, too poor to move away. Now she had no choice.

"There's so much damage 'cause they've taken all the windows out, and it's just too expensive," Bryant says. "There's no way we can redo that, so it's just a wash at this point. We can't do anything with it."

Bryant originally thought her aunt would stay with her a few days at most. Suddenly she had a homeless elderly woman living with her indefinitely, one who struggles to walk, shows signs of dementia and needs constant care. 

To make things worse, Brock's identification, her Social Security card, her health care info, were back at the house. Now they're either stolen or buried in waist-high debris. Without them, Bryant can't get her aunt health care, can't access her bank account and its Social Security checks, can't use her aunt's Bridge Card to get her food, nothing.

"I can't prove she is who she is," Bryant says "I'm just stumped at every level. I can't do a thing."

Aunt Betty really missed her home. So one day, she decided she was simply going back.

Her niece came home from work on a Saturday afternoon, after only a few hours gone, and her aunt wasn't in the apartment. Or the hallways. Or outside.

"This is Dory. I am calling about Aunt Betty," Bryant said frantically into the phone. "She wasn't here when I got back to the apartment and I have no clue where she is, how she got out, or nothing. I'm trying to keep my mind from thinking crazy but I don't know where she would have gone. You know she can't walk. I don't know how far she could've gotten."

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