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    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

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

  • Food trucks go to the dogs

    Today, starting at 10am, Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck will be swinging by the  Cherry Hill Village at Preservation Park on  N. Roosevelt St. in Canton. They’ll be serving the pups (“gour-mutts,” as Milo’s calls them) treats and the dog parents the opportunity of “family portraits.” Milo’s is on a cross-country food truck trip, promoting their “grilled burger bites” and “chicken meatballs” to pup parents from L.A. to NYC, with stops in between, including Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, the Carolinas, and Arkansas. But watch out! Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck markets “real chicken and beef home-style dog treats” that are are “wholesome” and “authentic” without “artificial flavors or colors-made right here in the USA.” Authentic, processed food that is. Remember what George Carlin said about “home-style”? Their treats are also packed with soy, TVP, wheat flour, tapioca, rice, and sugar–fillers that make the meat go far and aren’t the best for your pup. They’re also packed with preservatives, like sodium erythorbate, nitrates, BHA, sodium tripolyphosphate, and potassium sorbate. Small amounts are probably ok, and no doubt the pup will love it, the same way it’s easy for humans to love carb- and sugar- laden, processed and preserved, treats.  

    The post Food trucks go to the dogs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych

    Coming up on August 16, former Detroit Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt will team up with the Navin Field Grounds Crew and Metro Times‘ own Dave Mesrey to honor legend Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. The festivities, known as the annual “Bird Bash,” will be held at the infamous Nemo’s Bar & Grill, and will benefit The Bird’s favorite charity, the Wertz Warriors, and also the Mark Fidrych Foundation. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

    The post Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • First Little League game at Navin Field today

    Today Navin Field (the Old Tiger Stadium) hosts its first Little League game on a new field made just to host the youngsters! Here’s a photo of the game happening right now, courtesy Tom Derry and Metro Times‘ copy editor extraordinaire, Dave Mesrey: Stop by the site (corner of Michigan and Trumbull) today to watch history in the making!

    The post First Little League game at Navin Field today appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Extreme makeover

Meet a woman who can dress just about anyone for success

Photo: Photos: Detroitblogger John, License: N/A

Photos: Detroitblogger John

Alison Vaughn, left, and Betty Henderson.

The teacher has her work cut out for her today.

Betty Henderson's students look as though they'd rather be somewhere else. One girl sits with her eyes closed. Another's cell phone rings, and she eagerly leaps up and leaves the room as she talks to the caller. Others giggle at not-so-funny things at the wrong time. Some have wild colors in their hair, or sport obscene tattoos, or wear dirty gym clothes.

They're in class at Jackets for Jobs, an eastside nonprofit that provides dressy clothing for needy job seekers who don't have a professional outfit to wear for an interview. But the price of getting that free outfit is sitting through this 90-minute lecture on proper job etiquette. Dress clothes will mean nothing if the applicant walks into an interview and begins swearing.

"They don't know how to fill out an application," says Karen Terry, a volunteer here, of the typical clients who come through. "They don't even know how to talk."

There are 16 women in class today, all but a few in their late teens or early 20s. Most are single mothers. Seven of them never graduated high school. Most haven't worked in at least a year or two. Some get fired a lot. A couple of them have never held any job at all.

The little rules of work life that are obvious to others are new to many here. Don't flirt with the interviewer or ask for his phone number, Henderson tells them. Don't lose your temper and start yelling at the interviewer. Don't light a cigarette in the interviewer's office. Don't bring your child to the interview.

"If you couldn't find a babysitter for the interview, what are you going to do when you get the job?" Henderson asks them. The 68-year-old former schoolteacher's tone is motherly but firm. "You've got to have your ducks in a row. I don't care if the kid is 10 or 2. Leave the child at home. Find a babysitter, someone that's responsible."

Woven into the etiquette instructions are segments on improving self-esteem. After years on welfare or without a job, after countless rejections and firings, the staff here find that many of these women have little or no self-confidence.

"A lot of the women, some like myself — homeless, unemployed, single mothers — you're going through these things that you have to go through daily, culminating in how you're feeling as a woman and your emotions," says Terry, 50. "See, people don't address those issues, and here they address those issues as well as give you clothes."

But Henderson faces an uphill battle. In many cases, years of bad habits, poor social skills and street behavior have to be undone, and it's hard to do that in an hour-and-a-half.

"I have students that literally fall asleep, and I know this class is not that boring because you're looking for work," Henderson lectures the students. "This is good stuff for you. You should have a page full of notes by now. You can't say, 'Well I didn't know I couldn't do that.' You need to know this."

The girl with the pink hair giggles.

Alison Vaughn
was a model and flight attendant when 9/11 happened. Airline business dropped off significantly for a while, and she accepted her employer's offer to take a leave of absence.

She had just reunited with a stepsister who had fallen on hard times, was subsisting on assistance checks, and then died six months later of cancer. Seeing her sister trying to survive physically and financially made her want to do something to help women in similar circumstances.

"Every woman that walks through this door, I'm reminded of my sister," says Vaughn, 44. "I want to help them become a better person and get off welfare and be self-sufficient, 'cause some of them have kids and they're trying to make it, and they're struggling."

She started Jackets for Jobs 11 years ago in her apartment with a few outfits to give away, moved to space above a church as the donations started coming in, then found offices in a former hospital building at Connor and Shoemaker.

"I just saw a need in the community," Vaughn says. "It was kind of like a Catch-22. A person was going for an interview, they needed a suit, but they needed a job to get the suit." Once they get a job, they're entitled to two more free outfits.

She estimates that 10,000 people have come to her so far; about two-thirds have succeeded in getting a job, she says. Henderson, Vaughn's mother, joined her early on as the organization's career wardrobe director, as they call it. Most of their clients are women, though they've been expanding their program for men, many of whom are just-released ex-cons.

The Jackets for Jobs offices are laid out like a small department store. Women's business suits are neatly hung on department store racks bought at a Montgomery Ward going-out-of-business sale. Most clothes are new; some still have the tags hanging on them. Clothes and donations come from retailers in the area, from corporations, from individual donors who believe in her mission.

Vaughn's real task, though, is getting the women who come through here to believe it too.

"You feel frustrated because you're trying to get a person to step out of their comfort zone," she says. "And we tell them we know that you're used to wearing miniskirts and tight-fitting clothes, but there's a difference from date wear and daytime wear to interview wear, and so we try to explain the difference. You know, if you're going on a date you can have your cleavage hanging out, but when you're going for a job interview, that is not appropriate at all."

The class
comes to an end, and the students leap up and swarm to the racks of new clothes. Henderson and Vaughn help each one match their outfits properly, pick out clothes that fit, get shoes that the women can walk in gracefully.

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