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    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

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    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

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    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.

  • ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list

    Yes, it’s true. Forbes says Detroit is one of America’s most creative cities: “We ranked these places based on four metrics: activity per capita on project-funding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo and music sites Bandcamp and ReverbNation. The goal was to capture organic creativity, since many artistic and musical types have “day jobs” outside of creative pursuits.” The Forbes list sandwiches #9 Detroit between #8 Seattle and #10 Oakland, Calif. If you are watching the art and culture explosion happening right now in Detroit, you probably think we should rank higher than #2 Boston and #1 San Francisco, if only for the fact that it’s actually affordable to create here and there is space for everyone to be creative. But hey, those metrics weren’t part of the equation. And there’s always next year.

    The post ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Red Bull Creation brings makers and more to Detroit

Innovation gives Detroit wings

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


When you think of Red Bull, you might think of a syrupy energy drink that mixes well with Jager. Or you might think of Eastern Market’s House of Art sponsored by the beverage giant. Or perhaps air races come to mind. In fact, there are seemingly hundreds of events, sports, hell, even people that the company has its name attached to around the world and right here at home. Red Bull Creation, now in its fourth year, is another event sponsored by the company and for the first time ever, it’s going to be held in Detroit.

A 72-hour competition to create and innovate, Creation plays host to the country’s best makers, hackers, builders, and inventors who come together to solve a problem. To qualify, teams were required to submit the theory of an achievable project that would address a specific need in their community, be it something as grandiose as a world-changing innovation or something as simple as a fun and interesting place. Seven teams were chosen by Red Bull to participate in Creation, including i3Detroit and OmniCorpDetroit, with a “house team” from Recycle Here giving the host city the advantage of being home to three of the seven teams. The four subsequent teams are Tactical Urbanists from San Diego, the Maker Twins from Phoenix, and MB Labs from Chicago. 

Previously held in Brooklyn, this year Creation will be held at Detroit’s Recycle Here facilities, and the event’s creators clearly drew from the city’s biggest industry when deciding on 2014’s theme. “Reinventing the Wheel” is purposefully broad, giving teams the chance to create and innovate with few restrictions. With the official announcement coming at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 8, teams found out only hours before their three-day summit began. 

When we called up Sean Denny from the participating team from i3Detroit last week, he didn’t yet know what the theme would be. And while he was anxious for time to first speed up for the announcement to arrive and then subsequently slow down once the 72 hours began, he and his teammates were preparing by creating kits of anything they might possibly need, from machinery as big as motors and pumps to smaller tools. In fact, even decor was being included in their preparation, in case the theme required something along the lines of, say, a steampunk design. 

With four people on each team, Denny says only those people are allowed to touch tools and actually build. But knowledge and advice can be drawn from a limitless number of sources. The team will get little sleep in the 72 hours, just enough to functionally operate power tools. Once the time is up, the design will be considered not only by a panel of judges, but also by the people of Detroit. All creations will be shown at the Division Street in Eastern Market, where votes can be cast for the people’s choice award. 

Chosen by the judges, one team will return to their hack space with a $10,000 prize along with their invention. The money can be used in whatever way they see fit, whether it’s to further and perfect the invention or to go on vacation. 

The invention will also serve as a touchstone for these collectives to showcase what they’re capable of. I3Detroit participated last year and Denny says parts of that invention have continued to live on. While it remains unknown what the team will create, it’s safe to say it will find a home in Detroit one way or another. 

“We want to show we can do big things,” Denny says, noting that the national attention is good for the team, as well as the collective as a whole. Of course, bringing the summit to Detroit is good for the city as well, considering the resurgence and renaissance many neighborhoods are experiencing. 

Denny adds that the Recycle Here space will offer some inspiration.

“It’s an interesting urban environment,” he says. 

Denny is also excited for what the other teams will bring and create.

“They’ve all invented nationally,” he says. “I really want to see what they bring to the table.” 

With three Detroit teams, we’re hoping the competition yields something the city can truly benefit from. For now, we just have to wait and see.

Red Bull Creation takes place Wednesday, July 9 through Friday, July 11, at Recycle Here at 1331 Holden St., Detroit. The judging takes place on Saturday July 12, at Division Street from noon to midnight at 1469 Division St., Detroit. For more information see creation.redbull.com.

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