Most Read
  • Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor

    Detroit home-girl Lily Tomlin will perform at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, June 14. A press release reads, “Get together with Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. “Tomlin is amazing” The NY Times and “as always a revelation.” The New Yorker This unique comic artist takes her audience on what the Washington Post calls a “wise and howlingly funny” trip with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann.” “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” NY Daily News “Her gentle touch is as comforting as it is edifying.” NY Time Out She has “made the one-person show the daring, irreverent art form it is today.” Newsweek Her long list of awards includes: a Grammy; two Tonys; six Emmys; an Oscar nomination; two Peabodys; and the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Find more info here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor

    The Detroit Metro Times, Detroit’s award-winning alternative weekly media company, is proud to announce the recent hire of Valerie Vande Panne as Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning independent journalist and Michigan native, Vande Panne’s work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Daily Beast, and Salon, among other publications. Previously, Vande Panne attended Harvard University and was a regular contributor to The Boston Phoenix, and a news editor of High Times magazine. She has spent years covering drug policy among other subjects, including the environment, culture, lifestyle, extreme sports, and academia. “Valerie understands our business and what we expect to accomplish in Detroit. She has an excellent sense for stories that will move our readers, as well as experience with balancing print and digital content. I’m excited to have her at the paper and trust her leadership as we move forward,” said Detroit Metro Times publisher Chris Keating.

    The post Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’

    She welcomes you when you enter Detroit, from every direction, with the one word that might just be Detroit’s biggest philosophical question: Injured? Joumana Kayrouz is deeper than the inflated image watching over Detroit, peddling justice to the poor and broken of the city. This Wednesday, Drew Philp takes us behind the billboard and into the heart of the Kayrouz quest. (And all of Brian Rozman’s photos of Kayrouz have not been retouched.) Check out MT‘s cover story, on newsstands Wednesday!

    The post Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt

    There was a fire in an upstairs apartment at PJ’s Lager House on Monday evening. No people were hurt, although three cats belonging to the tenants died after CPR. The fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. during a show featuring Zombie Jesus & the Chocolate Sunshine Band, Curtin, and Jeffrey Jablonsky. “We just smelled smoke and someone yelled everyone has to get out,” 33-year-old Nick Leu told MLive. On the Lager House Facebook page in the early hours of the morning, a post said, “We at PJ’s lager House would like to thank everyone for their care and concern. Also, a very big THANK YOU to all who stepped up to do what they could this evening. The fire was contained to the upstairs but due to water damage in the bar, we will be closed until it can be assessed. Everyone is safe and we will keep you updated.” A later update read, “Update from the big boss. Since there was no damage to the stage side of the bar, the show will go on tomorrow! You may have to enter through the back door and there may not be a large selection of booze but we are going […]

    The post Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Music review roundup

    Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to The Sugar Clouds’ Partners Don’t Do That (They Watch and be Amazed) (Wax Splat) is a nostalgic look at the psychedelic days of ’60s grooviness. Even the album cover looks like a lava lamp. The male-female vocals have a sort of Jefferson Airplane feel, and the songs are blessed with both sugary sweet pop melodies and a garage-y earthiness. The story of the band’s formation is rather interesting; the two vocalists, Greg and Melissa Host, are a divorced couple who wrote the songs in their living room. The band is still together, so this divorce was a hell of a lot more civil than any we’ve ever known of. Steffanie Christi’an has friends in fairly high places. Her new Way Too Much mini-album is being put out by Nadir Omowale’s Distorted Soul label, and she is also a regular feature on Jessica Care Moore’s Black Women Rock revue. Maybe the choice of cover image isn’t the best – she looks a bit like a Tina Turner tribute act here. But that can and should be […]

    The post City Slang: Music review roundup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’

      There’s at least one city councilmember who’s less than pleased with Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan to increase all parking violation fines. Councilman Gabe Leland, whose district represents the city’s west side, issued a statement today, calling Orr’s plan a potential “deterrent” to attracting people to the city. I don’t believe the argument to raise the parking ticket fines from $30 to $45 and eliminate the $10 early payment fine are justification for this action. The emergency manager’s order to increase ticket fines places city government inefficiencies on the backs of our residents who need to do business in downtown and other parts of our city. And, this will increase the barrier for people to frequent Detroit-based establishments; likely to be a deterrent for some to shop and dine in our city. Leland suggested implementing a plan that maintains current rates for fines and reduces operating inefficiencies to collecting parking fines. “In my view, generating revenue by increasing fines when residents from neighborhoods must go downtown to get licenses and permits, attend court appointments and do other necessary business, is the wrong direction,” Leland said. “…Additionally, generating revenue using fines when we are trying to grow this city and attract […]

    The post Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Cover Story

Made in Michigan

We're smitten with the mitten ... An economic snapshot shows Michigan is finally producing numbers to take pride in.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

MICHIGAN HAS OFTEN been called a “canary in the coal mine.” The state’s once-dominant manufacturing base — its automotive sector — has always been susceptible to the slightest hint of recession. As a result, economic contractions are typically felt here well in advance of other indicators that register on a national scale.

Of course, the gutting of the U.S. manufacturing sector, which began after the rupture of the tech bubble in 2000, and continued throughout the new millennium’s first decade — exacerbated by a real estate bubble that drove the entire Western banking system to the brink of collapse — has made our once-rich state’s economic output comparable to states in the deep South.

Yet, despite Michigan's loss of more than 700,000 manufacturing jobs — and nearly 1 million people — over the course of 10 years, the state is on firmer economic footing now than it has been in a generation. The latest indictor, provided by the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index, shows a near two-point increase — to 50.9 in June 2013 — from 49 a month earlier. (A reading of 50 is the dividing line between expansion and contraction.)

And while Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, and his predecessor, Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, have championed industry diversification, the car is still king — especially in Detroit. And, according to the latest release of information, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

U.S. auto sales accelerated in June to the fastest pace since December 2007, according to a survey of analysts by Bloomberg News. The projected growth in June, which analysts say was led by Nissan Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co., will keep the United States on track for its best annual sales in six years.

“The market is very strong and we seem to be doing well despite what’s going on,” George Magliano, senior economist at IHS Automotive in New York, told Bloomberg News, referring to the volatility in the stock market due to uncertainty over continued Fed involvement. “Is the market going to be immune to the sell-off of the stock market and the rising mortgage rates? I find it hard to stay as strong in the face of these things. We’ll probably back off a little bit and then pick back up.”

Brisk auto sales are a combination of low rates for new-car loans, pent-up demand from Americans replacing the oldest vehicles ever on U.S. roads and the domestic auto manufacturing quality; the Big Three are producing their best cars in a generation.

As well, the latest report from the Commerce Department showed construction spending increased 0.5 percent in May. Michigan is one of only four states that have shown job gains in construction since June 2009 and is currently fourth out of 50 states in terms of construction spending.

The state’s expansion, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, is concentrated in specialty trade construction, but a May report by the Home Builders Association of Michigan indicates that the industry is on pace for a potential 37 percent increase in single-family home construction permits. However, a shortage of skilled laborers may hamper that estimate, according to the report’s authors.

“Right now the worker shortage is really causing things to slow down,” Robert Filka, the association’s CEO said in a recent interview. “And I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Despite a statewide unemployment rate of 8.4 percent in April, still one of the nation’s highest, it seems the economic expansion continues to lift Michigan from its most severe economic crisis since the Depression.

Overall, things look better now than they have in several years, setting the stage for healthy, sustainable growth in the decades to come.

Most notably, growth will no longer be solely dependent on the Big Three. Instead, it will come from both the autos and a new creative class coalescing in and around the state's hub cities, like Detroit and Grand Rapids. Small businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators, creating better mousetraps and driving new ideas, will play as significant a role in helping the state redefine its definition of success.

Meet a handful of these innovators by clicking on the links below; throughout the next several months we plan to keep those introductions coming too.

Michigan Made Features

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We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
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