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    The post Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW) appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love”

    It seems like the polar vortex will never end: the weather phenomenon that brought us the most brutal winter on record this winter is to blame for this summer’s chillier-than usual temperatures as well. A couple of bands, though, made lemonade out of lemons (or snow cones out of snow?) by using the icy landscape to film music videos. 800beloved shot the video for “Tidal” in some sand dunes near Empire, Mich., and this week Turn to Crime debuted the video for “Can’t Stop,” the title track of their recently-released album. Even more piles of ice and snow might be the last thing Detroiters want to see right now, but the footage makes for some good visuals that mesh well with the song. Watch the video below:

    The post Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love” appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

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    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

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    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.



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Last chance saloon

Maybe the last bar at the end of the world

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

Photo: Detroitblogger John

The Dyer family inside their bar.

There are three drinkers on the barstools. Here at Dyer's Bar and Grill, that's a packed house. All three live in the apartments in this building, so this is literally their home bar. Besides, along this rough span of Gratiot Avenue between Connor and East McNichols, few strangers ever drop in anyway.

"Every now and then," says Jimmy Dyer, the 48-year-old owner and bartender. "They see a bar sign and there's no bars on Gratiot, so you have somebody going to a game downtown and they're like, 'What the hell is this? We didn't know you were here.'"

Dyer's is as barebones as it gets. If you want a beer you've got few choices. Apart from the Milwaukee's Best on tap for $1.25 a glass, there's Bud and Bud Light, and Miller and Miller Lite. That's it. Cans only, for $1.75. "They're safer," Dyer jokes. "You get hit in the head with a bottle, it hurts a little more."

There's no cable or satellite on the lone TV, so viewing rotates among a handful of meager options. Today it's Antiques Roadshow on PBS, which the drinkers eye with a resigned weariness, the kind you get from years of watching shows you'd rather not watch. The lights are kept dim, so it's hard to see the wall rug portraying dogs playing poker, or the vintage jukebox collecting dust in a dark corner, or the out-of-tune piano people played years ago. A beam of daylight pours in through the open door at the back, shining hard on the faces of the old-timers occupying stools along the bar.

This is the world Dyer supervises, day after day. "It's pretty much not tending bar, it's taking care of the old guys," he says of his job here. "It's kind of like adult foster care, in all honesty."

Dyer's is like the last outpost in a dying place. Bars once lined this stretch of Gratiot before their owners bailed for the suburbs and the drinkers followed.

Now this block is like an island. "We're kind of like a little pie in the middle of Detroit, like another Hamtramck or Highland Park," Dyer says, and then adds his bar is "kind of like the Wild West saloon where everybody meets up and does their thing."

The surrounding neighborhood is a mess — empty homes whose lawns have grown high after the spring rains, front-porch drug sales in plain sight, and groups of unemployed men loitering on street corners during working hours.

The family planted flowers out back and they keep their grass cut, making the property stand out. "You can actually tell when you come through, it's different here," Dyer says. He owns the whole building. The bar shares an address with a used appliance store and 10 apartments he rents to an odd assortment of mostly white, mostly poor, mostly older folks, many of whom grew up in the neighborhood and are the last holdouts, relieved they don't have to wander away from their island to have a beer in a bar.

For years, the family owned a restaurant across the street, then bought this bar in the late '70s, when it was called the Snow Owl and featured German-themed decor, including personal beer steins that hung on the wall for each regular.

Back then, crowds of nearby factory workers who wanted a burger and beer filled the place every day. Those workers, and their workplaces, are now long gone. So is the grill. A few years ago, city inspector demanded they put in an expensive ventilation system. That was the end of the meals.

It's a family bar in the truest sense. Dyer and his wife, nicknamed Snoopy, serve the drinks. Her father, known as Pops, spends his days on a stool at one end of the bar.

Their niece Debbie works here too sometimes, putting her 10-month-old son in the playpen that sits by the cooler. And the customers, usually the same faces they see going up and down the stairs to the apartments, are like family by virtue of familiarity.

Though the place hasn't turned a real profit in years, Dyer keeps the bar open year after year, because almost all his customers are his tenants, and he knows those customers have nowhere else to go. He's become their caretaker in a way.

"I've grown up with most of these guys, so you kind of feel like, what are you going to do, shut down? These guys are pretty much all landlocked in this area anyway. Most of them don't drive. They've been around in this neighborhood probably all their life. Everybody else died, packed up or ran, and they're still here."

Tom Crunk's the exception. He's a suburbanite whose circumstances forced him to move into the inner city, the wrong way along the crowded path of migration out from Detroit. "It's a culture shock, let me tell you," he says, pouring beer from a can into his glass. "I'm starting to learn my way around, but as a norm you don't come down here."

Dyer loves to make fun of him for moving to the area.

Crunk lives in one of the ground-floor apartments. A few years ago he was an engineer at an auto supplier in the suburbs. But the economy crumbled, and he lost his job, then his house, then his health as he underwent knee surgery, which required him to stay with someone who could help him as he recovered. His sister lives in this building, so he moved in with her last year. Thus began his introduction to inner-city neighborhood life in Detroit.

"Had a few problems, had a few discussions with people. They know not to discuss it with me anymore," the stocky 54-year-old says with a menacing confidence. "I might be an old man, but I'm not a shy old man."

He's got a steel door for his apartment to make it harder for burglars to get in, but things still happen. Not long ago, he was lying on the couch when several guys from the neighborhood walked in after admiring his TV from outside.

"I left my front door open," he explains. "Don't do that."

Regardless, he's armed and ready. "If you wanna come in I'm gonna blow you right back out into Gratiot," the Army vet says. "That's the one thing the Army taught me — how to kill."

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