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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    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.



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Cover Story

Shredding it up in Motown

Two 20-somethings carry the hope of a metropolis on their backs in an effort to bring the X Games to Detroit.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

The Works Inc., which produced the video bid touting Detroit, secured the closure of city streets and a helicopter to film a rally car weaving around Detroit landmarks.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

ESPN, the cable sports network, has produced the summer X Games since its inception in 1995; two years later the network launched the winter games.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Organizers estimate that hosting the X Games could deliver $150 million in economic benefit to the city of Detroit.

The story of Detroit’s bid for the X Games began with Ian Studders, a good friend of Krease and Koehler from college at Miami University. Studders, who currently works at Wayne State University, heard about ESPN’s plans for global expansion of the X Games and thought the games positively belong in Detroit — thinking this was something the city could really take ownership of.

Studders shared this vision with Krease. After a lot of research, this past fall Krease contacted the ESPN consulting group managing the global expansion of the X Games. They put him in touch with ESPN executive director Jack Weinert, who just so happened to be in Detroit for another conference at the Cobo Center.

Krease, 27, born and raised in Grosse Pointe, and currently a resident in Midtown’s Park Shelton apartments, seized the opportunity and reached out to Weinert. He picked up Weinert at the Marriott hotel and took him for a tour of the city, including a visit to Astro Coffee in Corktown, where Weinert urged Krease to put together a Detroit bid.

Krease, who was enthused, had been thinking about a bid for the 2016 or 2017 summer games when Weinert told him the expansion would begin in 2014; the bid process would begin October of 2012, and the clock was ticking.

With Ian Studders busy with his full-time job at Wayne State, Krease reached out to Chicago native and 26-year-old Koehler, a college friend who’d been working in project management in Chicago. He wanted a project manager’s eyes to look at the opportunity, as Detroit’s qualified bid procedure for the X Games had begun.

Koehler came to Detroit in December and immediately got on board. His reaction: “I’m going to do this. This has got to happen in Detroit. There is no better city for the X Games.” He promptly quit his job at Groupon and moved here at the beginning of January 2013.

Krease and Koehler make up Action Sports Detroit LLC, the team behind the city’s bid for the X Games. Krease is founder and director. Koehler is managing partner. They do everything from cleaning the office to building financial models.

They have also had a lot of help. The Work Inc. put together the powerful video behind Detroit’s X Games bid. The event production management group Paxahau, which put on Movement, Detroit’s electronic music festival, as well as the Detroit Jazz Festival, has also been instrumental.

Perhaps no one has been of more help than Rock Ventures LLC, the company of local business titan Dan Gilbert, also owner of Quicken Loans Inc., the Cleveland Cavaliers, casinos in Ohio and Maryland, and now Detroit’s Greektown Casino Hotel too. Gilbert is providing funding and office space in the Compuware Building for Krease and Koehler.

Gilbert says of the X Games bid, “X Games Detroit is an outstanding fit for the city, the fans, ESPN and the games themselves. The core of Detroit is a young, diverse, edgy and gritty place. It matches up perfectly for the kind of feel that the X Games are looking to achieve. If we all get behind this effort Detroit can win the rights to host the X Games for three consecutive years beginning next summer. It would be another big confidence booster not only for Detroiters and the region but also for the international audience who will see Detroit in an authentic and exciting light.”

R.J. Wolney, director of business development at Rock Ventures, elaborates on Gilbert’s sentiments by adding, “This aligns with everything we’re trying to do down here — a Detroit where people can live, work and play.”

Wolney, who has been helping Krease and Koehler with building financial models to help support their efforts in convincing ESPN to choose Detroit, sees them as “an excited and energized pair of guys — very fitting with the entrepreneurial spirit here. ESPN has the opportunity to come in and be part of the amazing story of the revitalization of Detroit.”

Scott Guglielmino, senior vice president at ESPN, the network responsible for all aspects of the X Games franchise, has given Krease, Koehler and the city they are touting some hope by way of positive comments. He spoke from Barcelona about what he has seen from the Detroit bid: “We love their passion. They have some terrific ideas. We’ve been very happy with what they’ve shown so far. It is an interesting and passionate vision.”

Part of what Krease and Koehler have done well so far is harness the power of social media. Through Facebook and Twitter, their vision has been “… to create a movement that resonated with people who care about Detroit. Social media is a way to tell the story. It is all about creating a place for people to show their support for the city,” Koehler says.

Their Facebook page includes X Games Detroit photos and postings from followers. The name of their movement is #XG2D. On social media, they advertised an X Games Detroit event that was held April 20 in Eastern Market, at which 2,000 people showed up in support — and the seminal hardcore punk band Negative Approach played. The online community that supported the bid had become tangible.

The X Games are about sports, but they go beyond sports, as does Detroit’s vision for the games. Koehler explains: “More than anything, X Games is a celebration of the action sports lifestyle. We want to create a festival that embodies the ethos of action sports — all about action, including music, art and craftsmanship. It will be an urban festival anchored in sports, including an outdoor gallery and art creation space in Hart Plaza.” The potential of such a festival here seems limitless.

The Work Inc.’s video for X Games Detroit is, by all accounts, riveting material with visceral moving shots of action sports athletes and iconic Detroit city images. It brings to mind the rising of hope over despair.

The production company was an early partner with Action Sports. The principals had mutual friends and the partnership grew from one small meeting last February. According to Christopher Gruse, one of the Work’s five partners, Krease and Koehler let them run wild with the ideas they had for the video.

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

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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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