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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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Road tips from MT’s motorcycling intern

Highway to the danger zone.

Photo: Photo by Eli Ruhf, License: N/A

Photo by Eli Ruhf

Summertime is once again upon us, which means a lot of drivers are opting for two wheels rather than four. What a lot of Michigan drivers take for granted is that there are no motorcycles on the road for four or five months out of the year, depending on how bad our winter is. In that short time, drivers seem to completely forget how to share the road with motorcyclists. On the other hand, bikers perhaps become a bit eager at the beginning of the riding season and forget that they have to ride defensively. When bikers put their bikes away for the winter, they tend to spend that entire time pining for the chance to mount their “steel horse.” 

However, the stakes of riding a motorcycle are high. There are things both drivers and riders need to know in order to keep each other safe. 

The necessary skills are taught in safety courses. However, as with any other skill, practice makes perfect. There is no better way to learn how to ride than to actually ride. The golden rule of motorcyclists is to ride within your skill level. If you’re shaking like a scared puppy getting onto 696, you probably have no business merging into freeway traffic. 

Perhaps the most valuable set of skills a motorcyclist can possess is riding defensively. Avoid tailgating; you shouldn’t be able to read the Braille bumper sticker on the car in front of you. Prepare to react quickly, especially at intersections, where 70 percent of collisions occur. Riding defensively is mostly reflexive, which develops with practice. 

It may dramatically damage your street cred, but simply obeying the laws is a very easy way to keep everyone on the road safe. Obey road signs and speed limits. Avoid white-lining, the tactic popular with “One percenters,” where the biker maneuvers between traffic, riding on the white lane markers. Regardless of the rider’s skill level, a motorcycle weaving in and out of traffic can be terrifying to drivers. 

Beyond skill level, proper protective gear and clothing should be worn by riders and their passengers. Take the weather into consideration. If it looks like rain, maybe leave the bike at home, or wear something that does not absorb moisture. Aside from riding within your skill level, wearing a helmet is the safest thing you can do. In Michigan, motorcyclists have the choice to wear a helmet or not. Unless the rider is younger than 21, has less than $20,000 in first-party medical benefits, or has not held an endorsement for at least two years or passed an approved safety course, he or she must wear a helmet by law.

In addition to all the precautions bikers must take, drivers are equally responsible for promoting safety on the road. Despite the temptation, everybody should avoid distractions. It could be an incoming text message vibrating your phone or an 8-year-old screaming in the back because they dropped a chicken nugget under the seat, but while behind the wheel, your sole responsibility is driving safely.

Keeping sufficient distance is as important for drivers as it is bikers. Obviously, a motorcycle lacks external protection and stability. So, if a person on a motorcycle gets rear-ended, chances are it will end in injury. One thing that most drivers do not realize is that motorcyclists do not necessarily need to apply the brakes in order to slow down. Riders can downshift, or simply roll off the throttle and neither of which will engage the brake lights. Thus, drivers behind the motorcycle have no warning that they are slowing down.

In the warmer months, drivers must become more aware that motorcycles are on the road. This means conditioning yourself to look for bikes. Pay more attention to your surroundings while changing lanes and at intersections. Because of their size, it’s easy for motorcycles to be obstructed by another vehicle, buildings or shrubbery or get lost in a blind spot. It’s also important to listen for bikes. While it’s true that loud pipes save lives, it’s hard to hear them over a blaring stereo.

Whether you’re riding a motorcycle or driving a car, it’s important to remember that you’re sharing the road with other human beings. Despite the surprisingly resilient stigma, not every person on a motorcycle is affiliated with the Vigilantes or Highwaymen. It’s too easy for us to look at the person in the vehicle next to us as though they have no identity, or at best, a stereotype. All riders on the road share the same goal: reaching their destination safely.  

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