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  • 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.

  • City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May

    Margaret Doll Rod will celebrate the release of her new EP, Margaret, with a show at PJ’s Lager House on Saturday, May 10. A statement reads, “The EP contains 3 new original songs and one Chrome Cranks cover with Italian actress Asia Argento singing background vocals. Margaret moved to Italy after the end of the Demolition Doll Rods where she still lives touring and performing festivals in Europe. The Dollrods were a Garage Rock force for over 20 years, opening for Iggy, Jon Spencer, The Scientist, The Monks and The Cramps. Margaret was the front person and principal songwriter for The Dollrods. Her chief musical foil was Danny Kroha, who joined the Demolition Doll Rods after the now legendary Gories called it quits. Margaret’s sister, Christine, on drums, rounded out the legendary trio. Margaret will do a special performance in the round that night with a 360 degree revolving stage and special guest DJ Adam Stanfel.” The bill will also feature the Stomp Rockets and the Volcanos. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May 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 bcallwood@metrotimes.com. Ricky Rat’s Tokyo Pop/Glitter People (New Fortune) 7” single highlights all that’s great about the Trash Brats guitarist, but also his limitations. The man can write a bubblegum rock ’n’ roll song to match anyone in the city and most beyond. He’s also a killer guitarist, ripping out one throwaway riff after another with reckless abandon. He’s a machine. On his own though, without Trash Brats frontman Brian McCarty, his voice doesn’t have enough strength to do the songs justice. Not that you need to have the greatest voice in the world to sing this stuff – you don’t need to be able to perform vocal gymnastics – but you do have to be able to wail the tunes out. Both of the songs on this single are great, but you can’t help but wonder how much better they would sound with McCarty or somebody similar talking the mic. Still, as they are the songs are great fun. We’re just being picky. The Paper Sound’s Trajectories is a dense, atypically dark Americana-tinged album, unrelenting and […]

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

  • Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes

    “Neighbors wanted.” That’s the message on the homepage of buildingdetroit.org, a new website launched by the City of Detroit today to auction off city-owned homes to prospective buyers who pledge to fix them up and move in. “We are moving aggressively to take these abandoned homes and get families living in them again,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement today. “There are a lot of people who would love to move into many of our neighborhoods. Knowing that other people are going to be buying and fixing up the other vacant homes at the same time will make it a lot easier for them to make that commitment.” The website to facilitate the auctions went live this afternoon. The first auction is scheduled to take place Monday, May 5. Officials said in a news release that one home will be auctioned per day, Monday through Friday. Fifteen homes are available for sale on the site, a dozen of which are in the East English Village neighborhood. Any Michigan resident, company, or organization that can do business in the state can bid, according to the website. Properties will be for sale for only one day, with bidding taking place from 8 […]

    The post Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes

    In case you haven’t heard, two of the biggest names in film, Steven Spielberg and John Williams, are collaborating to put on a benefit concert for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this summer. In case you wanted to go- well, you’re too damn late. The DSO says tickets to the June 14 concert were snapped up in a record-breaking 15 minutes after they went on sale at 9 a.m. today. The DSO has since released this statement to fans who didn’t snag seats: Our apologies to everyone who was unable to buy tickets this morning for our historic benefit concert featuring John Williams and Steven Spielberg. Despite increasing our phone and internet system capacity for the day, a surge of hundreds of ticket buyers purchased tickets in a matter of minutes, filling the phone lines and temporarily maxing out our web servers. After a one-hour pre-sale made available to donors and subscribers at 8am, we released additional seats at 9am to the general public, including seats available for as low as $30. All seats sold out immediately. The concert program seems nothing short of top notch: Williams will conduct the orchestra as it performs some of his most iconic tunes, such […]

    The post Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Culture Feature

Short Hauls

Short on time (or gas money)? Grab some friends and check out these quick, action-packed trips.

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SUMMER IN SANDUSKY

Drive Time: 2.5 hours

Close enough to make a day of it, but with plenty fun-filled possibilities to fill up a weekend or more, Sandusky, Ohio, offers an assortment of good, clean adventures for all ages. Sandusky is waterpark central, but two of our favorites for chlorinated fun are Great Wolf Lodge and Kalahari Resort.

A quick 10-minute drive from each other, they are also centrally located just north of the Ohio Turnpike, making either a great base for exploring the area. Originating in the watery Wisconsin Dells, GREAT WOLF LODGE (greatwolf.com) — designed to re-create the rustic setting of the Northwoods — was Sandusky’s first indoor waterpark, offering 41,000 square feet of indoor thrills.

Among the nine waterslides are two tube slides, four body slides and three kiddie pools; four pools (three indoor, one outdoor) provide more watery fun. Traveling with a group? Check out the Wolf Den Suites, an in-suite cave-themed area with bunk beds. Great Wolf Lodge is also the first national hotel chain to have all of its U.S. properties Green-Seal Certified and has its own environmental sustainability program.

Just down the street, KALAHARI RESORT (kalahariresorts.com) is America’s largest indoor (173,000 square feet) and outdoor (77,000) waterparks. Also born in the Wisconsin Dells, the African-themed waterpark is packed with eight on-site dining options (including a swim-up bar), indoor cabanas and outdoor bungalows (with flat-screen TVs, refrigerators and wait-staff service) plus comfortably spacious guest rooms (many with whirlpool tubs, fireplaces and private patios) and an award-winning green initiative play up the resort experience.

Slides, geysers, raft rides, a wave pool, outdoor hot tubs and and two FlowRiders (which combine surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding on a five-foot ocean-like wave) offer watery thrills, while the Safari Outdoor Adventure Park features zip-line rides and a three-level ropes course and the Safari Adventures Animal Park offers visits with giraffe, zebra, ostrich and more. Take a break from the water at the full-service spa, indoor miniature golf, outdoor volleyball and more.

North America’s second-oldest amusement park, CEDAR POINT (cedarpoint.com) opened in 1870 as a public bathing beach and the park’s first roller coaster was built in 1892, standing 25-feet-tall and reaching a speed of 10 miles per hour. Today, more than 75 rides and coasters, waterparks, private beaches, children’s areas, a challenge park, parasailing, lodging and more, has earned it the title “number-one amusement park on the planet” by Amusement Today. New this season: The GATEKEEPER, Cedar Point’s biggest new addition since 2007’s Maverick, features a 164-foot drop, six inversions and the sensation of flight over the park’s main gate. Back for a second season, lifesize animatronic prehistoric creatures inhabit DINOSAURS ALIVE!, an interactive exhibit on a 4.5-acree wooded island.

Twenty minutes west of Cedar Point, the AFRICAN SAFARI WILDLIFE PARK (africansafariwildlifepark.com) in Port Clinton offers visitors up-close and personal access to giraffes, zebras, camels, alpacas and lots of other critters with drive-through and walk-through park areas. Dole out your free cup of animal food to the residents, then check out the pig races, pony rides and animal shows.

 

HARBOR COUNTRY

Drive Time: 3.5 Hours

Stretching along 15 glistening miles of  the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, the eight charming hamlets (Sawyer, Harbert, Lakeside, Union Pier, New Buffalo, Michiana, Grand Beach and Three Oaks) that make up HARBOR COUNTRY (visitharborcountry.org) in Southwest Michigan combine to offer everything from picturesque fishing villages and white-sand beaches to high-rolling casinos (hit the slots and a taste of opulence at the FOUR WINDS CASINO RESORT; fourwindscasino.com) and sleek luxury resorts. Make your base at New Buffalo’s beach-front HARBOR GRAND (harborgrand.com), a 55-room warm and comfortable take on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie-style design with luxury bedding, spa showers, fireplaces, indoor pool, complimentary bike rentals and 24-hour Ben & Jerry’s ice cream delivery. Or check out the MARINA GRAND RESORT (marinagrandresort.com) — also in New Buffalo, and also owned by the Harbor Grand’s boutique Toast Hotel Group. Modern Scandinavian design, a waterfront setting, suites with European kitchens and soaking tubs, and a DVD library “hand–selected to reflect a love for artistic and social merit, and a lust for the lack of it,” the Marina Grand provides beach towels and chairs to experience the silky-sand beaches. There are also loads of inns and B&Bs to choose from.

Climb the sand dunes, stroll the wooden walkways or stop at the THIRD COAST SURF SHOP (thirdcoastsurfshop.com) to stock up on rentals before catching a wave (yes, in Michigan) at the NEW BUFFALO PUBLIC BEACH. Made up of three miles of stunning Lake Michigan shoreline and six miles of trails and dunes that tower 240 feet above the water, Sawyer’s 1,952-acre WARREN DUNES STATE PARK is open for hang gliding, sand boarding, picnicing, swimming and more than 300 campsites — while you’re there, climb the dunes of MOUNT RANDALL for unparalled views of both the lake and the countryside. Harbor Country offers plenty of shabby-chic and antiques shops along the quaint towns’ tree-lined streets, casually elegant restaurants and comfort-food diners and summertime events.

While you’re there, take a day trip (just over an hour’s drive) to the area’s more celebrated (and crowded) twin cities of SAUGATUCK and DOUGLAS, or pick up a self-guiding map to explore a trail of more than a dozen wineries through LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE WINE COUNTRY (lakemichiganshorewinetrail.com).

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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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