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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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Opening Day Issue

Frozen in time

How a bone-chilling 31-1 home opener defeat was a team's greatest moment

Photo: Photo courtesy Peter Williams, License: N/A

Photo courtesy Peter Williams

In warmer climes: Oak Park Knights Matthew Waddell, Clayton Day, Earl Murrie and Robert Johnson with Coach Boyer in Florida.

2011 Opening Day Issue

Baseball home openers, with all the hot dogs, hot chocolate and hot corner clamor, stay with you for years. Like when I saw the Yankees edging the Tigers 2-1, April 6, 1987, despite Larry Herndon's colossal 500-foot blast soaring over my silent scream into the Tiger Stadium upper deck bleachers. The game on Opening Day can foreshadow truly unforgettable seasons, even when ending in a loss.

Speaking of lasting opening game memories: No one in Michigan should have played baseball on April 4, 2007. At least not outdoors, not when April so cruelly mimicked December. Thin batting gloves left my fingers freezing, so, as coach of the Oak Park Knights, I tossed mine to one of our most broke ("ghetto") players, one who kept batting barehanded, too shy to ever ask for a momentary loan. We grimly waited for the other team, the Avondale Yellow Jackets, to show. I kept turning to one of my volunteer assistants, Art Mellos, "This your coldest wind-chill ever for a game?" Art's long playing career culminated at Eastern Michigan University, but the chilly wind drowned out his glory days nasty weather boasting.

Like most high schools, baseball and softball are typically the least supported of any of the major sports programs offered. The American cliché of "football first, basketball second and everything else after" prevails. Due to the poverty and limited resources plaguing most urban settings, this means most city kids just don't play much baseball anymore. Somehow, for several years, I managed to recruit a small group of players willing to raise money and start spring training each February in Delray Beach, Fla., at the Bucky Dent Baseball School. Five weeks earlier, four of these players had been throwing beach sand after a week of throwing baseballs in the warm Atlantic sun, including two seniors who had never been on a plane before (I used to drive the guys down before marriage made me smarter). One player endured special teammate ridicule for believing socks were the preferred beach footwear. On this Opening Day, the guys were about to experience another lesson in a unique version of snow ball.

We had a brief head start, already fielding half a team, but at Oak Park High School, with no Little League, Babe Ruth or middle school feeder programs, and a Junior Varsity about to be terminated, we had to play harder preparing for a long-shot playoff run (every school qualifies for at least one initial playoff game). We had never won more than a half-dozen games per season in more than 20 years, which translated into at least a dozen defeats per season, some as 5-inning losses under the humane 10-run mercy rule. This included 19 years without a playoff win. This losing season streak should also have an asterisk, since, for much of the 1990s, baseball or softball did not even exist in Oak Park schools. The sport had been cut by an earlier school board and superintendent, along with various art, drama and music programs. A decade later, some of these programs had yet to return to the district.

The team survived on a barely playable dirt field with two boxes of baseballs, generic red and white pinstripe uniforms and vague reassurances that two umpires would be present for home games (with an available, if perennially late, school bus for the road). How we were able to compete at all was up to the head coach and my two volunteer assistants, Art and Ken "Mad Dog" Stechuk, a ball-playing friend since Little League.

Fan attendance had always been sparse enough to note who came to cheer the Knights. We usually drew only one or two noisy moms and one quiet dad per game, but in seven years, three different athletic directors had witnessed a combined total of only two innings of Oak Park baseball. No principal or assistant principal ever observed even one inning. Disgruntled coaches privately spit such trivia from dugouts furnished with the extra equipment they purchased beyond their meager allotted budget.

Less than a half-hour before game time, the metal stands and the adjacent running track were completely barren. The athletic director could have strolled outside and quickly postponed the contest with a couple of short phone calls. He instead drove home, leaving only the umpires with the power to delay or call the game.

Eleven courageous Oak Park players tried to stretch, throw and shiver through a feeble pre-game regimen, which proved to be a major tactical error. We should have warmed up inside the gym or, better yet, in an athletic field house and then on a hot bus like the belated visitors from Avondale, a considerably more affluent school district much farther north of Detroit. We also should have worn at least three undershirts beneath the long sleeve shirts under our jerseys. Avondale hailed from an upper division superior to Oak Park, so this typical Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) non-league game did not have to be made up if it was (understandably) canceled. "If the underpaid umpires arrive," we thought, "surely they'll call the game."

Two strangers resembling a darkly-clad ski patrol marched up five minutes before game time. Pleading, I stuttered how these conditions were unplayable.

They shrugged me off, muttering how the disadvantage affected both teams equally. The opposing manager, probably sensing a mercy-rule onslaught, simply clapped his gloved hands and buttoned his coat up to his chin. Shaking my head, I yelled at the team to take the icy field.

As a mini-snow squall began to swirl over the diamond, we quickly discovered the profound difficulty in catching and throwing a ball to first base. Everyone moved in close, as if somehow we might be a little warmer if we didn't stand so far apart. Their lead-off cracked a ground ball past our paralyzed shortstop. The ball rolled over the rock-hard tundra all the way to the fence as an improbable triple.

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