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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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Summer Guide 2011

Juggalos in the mist

A retreat to the wilderness turns weird in a heartbeat

Photo: MT illustration: Justin Rose, License: N/A

MT illustration: Justin Rose

Summer Guide 2011
  • In (the) heat The psychology, anthropology and politics of the summer fling | 6/15/2011
  • Juggalos in the mist A retreat to the wilderness turns weird in a heartbeat | 6/15/2011
  • Killer prose By day, he's a Detroit business writer. On his time off, Tom Henderson is a chronicler of the sensational, the lurid | 6/15/2011
  • Feed your head Detroiter lit-lovers share their summer reads | 6/15/2011
  • Life's a beach Summer highs to look forward to | 6/15/2011

Late this winter, my Hamtramck buddies Steve Cherry and Jeffrey Fournier asked me to join them canoe-camping on the Au Sable River in northern Michigan. After long months trapped in the city, I was psyched to get away to nature. I agreed instantly, took time off work, and looked forward to our getaway longingly. Cherry had done this stretch of the Au Sable before, and was familiar with the various stops along the way where camping was free to canoeists, a kind of subsidy for the canoe liveries that dot Mio's main drag. He scheduled us to rent canoes from the Hinchman Acres canoe livery, and we drove up together in Fournier's truck the last week of May. Once there, an old-timer set us up with canoes, took our money, and scheduled us for a few days on the river.

The livery van dropped us off at a sandy river slope just outside Mio, and laid out our crafts for us. Cherry had a bunch of 3-mil contractors' bags to pack away our gear, just in case we spilled out of our canoes. He had a clever way of sealing them, pushing all the air out, then twisting the top of the bag until it was long and thin, then bending it back on itself and tying it off with thin rope. It took a while to get it right, and at least two sets of hands to do the job, but the seal was impressive. No water would get in there.

Soon we were about ready to push off into the water. A few other people were starting off ahead of us, rare travelers on this chilly, damp May afternoon. I looked over at them and saw them dressed in rain gear, despite the lack of rainfall. Cherry took out his rain poncho and put it on. Where was mine? Where was Fournier's? In our haste to pack our waterproof bags, we'd packed them away as well. Did we want to open the waterproof bags, then go through the trouble of finding our ponchos and resealing them? Nah, we were OK. It wasn't raining. We pushed off.

I'd never canoed solo before, and I must say you feel a bit more secure in your balance than you do canoeing with a partner. You know where your weight is while you move, and I didn't miss the unexpected jolts and tilts of having somebody up front. The tradeoff is that you do lose a certain amount of steering power. All the more reason to work on your J-stroke, pushing with your oar, then straightening it out for a moment like a rudder. I've heard the best canoeists seldom have to switch sides, though I switch it up a lot, especially in a current.

At some points on the Au Sable, you pass a bunch of tacky 1940s getaways, million-dollar hillside dream homes and manicured lawns, but this part of the river just outside Mio seemed wild and natural. Late May meant few bugs, but swallows darted around our watercraft to gobble what bugs there were. We even saw two bald eagles soar away from us when we disturbed them, a beautiful sight. But wildness also means there were some hazards to take seriously: fallen dead trees waiting to snag you and turn your canoe sideways, dead branches ready to take an eye out, eddies whirling you off-course and into danger. Luckily, the water was high, which meant we were less likely to founder on rocks.

Then the rain started. At first, just a gentle patter of drops, darkening the cotton of my light jacket. Then came a steadier drizzle of rain, dampening my hat, shoulders and pants. The wind picked up, turning our canoes into sails, pushing us sideways, seemingly whenever a particularly dangerous looking hazard lurked to that side. Sure, maybe once or twice the strong breeze blew at our backs, but mostly it toyed with us. I struggled with my oar to outpace it, but as some dead tree or white water came closer, I'd have to brake with my oar on the other side, saving me from danger but slowing me down. Then I'd paddle like mad to catch up with Cherry and Fournier, already far ahead.

I'm not sure when exhaustion set in. After an hour, I realized that working at a newspaper can turn you into a deskbound weakling. Fighting the wind, the current, shivering in the rain, struggling to keep up with my party, I felt my face turning grim. How long could I keep this up? Would we make it to our campsite? The way the river twisted and turned, who knew where we were?

Cherry seemed to be an expert canoeist, sliding ahead without apparent effort, warm and dry under his hat and poncho in what was now a driving rain. I caught up with Fournier, who was now, like me, soaked through entirely, his black cotton shirt sticking to his skin, his jeans dark and wet. He looked over at me with an expression that said it all: the ultimate look of hapless anguish, eyes wide, a slight rictus of the mouth, an I-am-about-to-go-into-fucking-shock face. We were in trouble unless we found land soon. We were in luck. Cherry pointed his oar ahead to our campsite, and we maneuvered our canoes in delicately.

Morale was low. On a normal canoe trip, Cherry told us, the party would simply grab a cooler and some chairs and have a few beers before even thinking of setting up, but as wet and cold as we were, we needed to take action. We humped all our gear up the hill, put the canoes on dry land, rigged up a fly where we could take shelter from the rain that now fell in a steady mist, changed into some dry clothes and ponchos, set up our tents, got a fire going, even found a dead tree to saw down for firewood. After a few hours of work, camp was built, and we were seated around a fire, Cherry splitting the dry, dead wood into chunks with a hatchet to feed the flames, our dirty, wet clothes sizzling on the metal fire ring, a small transistor radio barking out classic rock hits from "The Bear." Cherry had also brought a small grill, and we cooked up a few small steaks and wolfed them down. Food seldom tastes as good as when you're exhausted, cold, wet, hungry and in the middle of nowhere.

Though there was little conversation, there was something we vocally agreed on: At least we were away from it all. That was why we'd been looking forward so much to this trip, our getaway, our retreat from society and its ills. We had gotten up early, driven hundreds of miles, embarked on a trip with some dangers, faced some hardship, and now, on a wet and rainy afternoon somewhere on the Au Sable River, we had found our peaceful reward. We nursed our cold, adult beverages, speaking little, enjoying the calm.

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