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    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.

  • Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval

    In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy.  And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]

    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Sports

Burn the Closet

34-year-old NBA center, Jason Collins

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


When it was revealed this month that NBA player Jason Collins, most recently with the Washington Wizards, had written an article for Sports Illustrated essentially kicking open the closet doors while stating, “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay,” the response from the sporting world and the world in general was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone from President Obama to L.A. Lakers’ Kobe Bryant publicly praised Collins for his bravery, and they were right to. Collins has just made the world an easier place to live in for many people.

However, shouldn’t the bigger question be, why the fuck does anyone care? In 2013, is it really shocking for an adult male to be gay? Yes, Collins is the country’s first active professional sports player to announce that he’s gay (although at the time of writing he’s a free agent, so the word ‘active’ is being stretched), and so the outpouring of public sentiment was inevitable. However, that Collins made this move and the story extended beyond the day’s headlines is ridiculous. We should be past this. “Jason Collins is gay” should have the same impact as “Jason Collins is a vegetarian,” “Jason Collins likes ’70s R&B” or “Jason Collins owns Spiderman jammies.” Who gives a shit?

People seem a touch preoccupied wondering how Collins’ future teammates will react in the locker room (as if, before this revelation, pro basketball players were waving their schlongs around like batons in a parade).

As Ronni Sergeant, a former psychologist for the British Army, told us, that’s ridiculous. “This really makes no difference at all. You look at stereotypical ‘manly’ scenarios like the military and think someone’s sexual preferences will throw a kink in the way things function. It’s just not how it works, especially nowadays. It’s like how most young people feel about gay marriage — who cares? Everyone should be equal.”

Who cares indeed? In fact, not to knock Collins, but before his coming out became such a media event, when was the last time his name was mentioned in a story of any significance? “Jason Collins has been a career back-up center so his national and even local marketing and endorsement profile has been limited,” Howard Krugel from Farmington Hills-based Dietz Trott Sports & Entertainment Management told us. “Jason being the first active team sport professional athlete to publicly announce that he is gay has really increased his national profile. Who was talking about Jason Collins before his SI article?”

Krugel, vice president of Sales and Marketing at Dietz Trott, adds, “In his case, as the public pioneer on this issue, he might get some national endorsement opportunities that he would not have been a candidate for based on his star status as a player. Had a superstar been the first to ‘come out,’ I would hope that corporate America is tolerant enough in 2013 to not have an issue like this affect their endorsement profile, but that brand might not want the controversy, even if they support Jason, his right to live an open, honest life, and his lifestyle.”

We don’t want to be cynical and suggest that Collins has just made an astute career move. Surely it would be patronizing to suggest, “pay the man; he’s gay.” We hope this has no bearing on his career whatsoever. If he remains at the same level playing-wise, then he should remain a back-up center. If he gets better, then maybe he’ll demand a more prominent role in a team somewhere.

Meanwhile, let him bang whomever he wants to bang.

MT editorial intern Jason Singer contributed reporting for this column.

 

Brett Callwood is a staff writer for Metro Times. Send comments to bcallwood@metrotimes.com.

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