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  • Detroit area code 313 may be phased out

    Hey, everybody from the 313, start thinking of new numbers to rally around– the longstanding Detroit area code may be phased out. Our friends over at the Detroit News report that pending a revised estimate next week, the North American Numbering Plan Administration will stop handing out 313 telephone prefixes on new phone numbers. Detroiters with existing cell phone lines would be able to keep their current area codes, while those with land lines would change. via Detroit News: The venerable 313 will ultimately become overtaxed. Even as Detroit’s population has fallen, cellphone usage has accelerated like one of those smoldering SRT Vipers that Dodge has been bolting together at Conner Avenue Assembly — which is, of course, comfortably within the confines of 313. … When the first five dozen area codes were assigned nearly 70 years ago, says NANPA’s Tom Foley, “that was expected basically to last forever.” Instead, somebody invented fax machines, and then somebody else came up with cellphones, and lots of somebody elses decided to give them to 10-year-olds, and meantime the population grew to 300 million. Now every telephone carrier is required to submit twice-yearly forecasts of its needs in each area code, factoring in […]

    The post Detroit area code 313 may be phased out appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council

    Unfortunately, we were unable to attend last night’s Neighborhood Advisory Council, which, in case you were unaware, is a 16-member board established to weigh in on the new Red Wings arena near downtown. About three dozen residents and property owners cast ballots by the 8 p.m. deadline on Wednesday inside the Block at Cass Park, The Detroit News reports. It’s the culmination of a handful of community meetings which began weeks ago. Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda Lopez facilitated the meetings, but emphasized at previous meetings that it’s up to the community to conduct business. According to the News, the 12 candidates selected include: Michael Boettcher, Richard Etue, Jason Gapa, Francis Grunow, Steve Guether, Paul Hughes, Ray Litt, Warner Doyle McBryde, Karen McLeod, Delphia Simmons, Melissa Thomas and Anthony Zander. Joel Landy, a land owner in the area, lost his bid. The City Council appointed four candidates last month. As we reported in this week’s issue, the Neighborhood Advisory Committee was negotiated after Olympia Development of Michigan, Detroit Red Wing’s owner Mike Ilitch’s real estate arm, balked on a proposed community benefits agreement.  The committee is charged with the task of offering input on the arena’s design, parking security and more.

    The post Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag

    The Magic Bag in Ferndale will host James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets on Thursday, May 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. A press release reads, “James McMurtry recently signed with the bourgeoning Los Angeles record label Complicated Game. The legendary songwriter will enter the studio later this month to start working on his first album in six years. “I’ve got a new batch of songs, organic and with no added sulfites, aged in oak for several years,” he says. “Francois Moret at Complicated Game seems to like these songs and (producer) C.C. Adcock thinks he can turn them into a record. Good times fixing to roll.” Label head Moret agrees. “In March 2013, when C.C. Adcock told me we were going to see James McMurtry at the Continental Club in Austin, I expected to see a good show,” he says, “but what I saw left me mesmerized! I immediately knew I wanted to sign him. As a European, it is an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most talented American singer-songwriters.” Evidence: McMurtry’s Just Us Kids (2008) and Childish Things (2005). The former earned his highest Billboard 200 chart position in nearly two decades and notched […]

    The post James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit

    The Dead Kennedys, still with local boy Klaus Flouride in the ranks, will play St. Andrew’s Hall on Tuesday, June 24. Alongside Flouride and fellow original members East Bay Ray and DH Peligro, the current lineup includes singer Ron “Skip” Greer, taking the place of Jello Biafra. Downtown Brown will open that show, which starts at 7 p.m., with tickets priced $20-$25. Give Klaus a hero’s hometown welcome. Just over a week before that, strangely enough, Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine will play at the Magic Stick. It’s a weird coincidence, but one that DK fans should be happy to embrace. That show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $17-$19. Local hardcore vets Negative Approach play before Jello, with the Crashdollz opening the show. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face

    There is no easy answer to the question regarding what should be done with Detroit’s abandoned homes. However, an Eastern Market company has a solution that could reflect Detroit’s possibly bright future. Homes Eyewear has set out to make the city a little more stylish, and do their part in cleaning it up by repurposing select woods from neglected homes for sunglasses. All of the wood that Homes uses is harvested from vacant houses with the assistance of Reclaim Detroit. A lot of work goes into prepping the wood to be cut and shaped into frames. Homes goes through each piece to remove nails, paint or anything else detrimental to their production (it’s a bit strange to think that your wooden sunglasses could have had family portraits nailed to them). In order to produce more durable eyewear, they salvage only hardwoods like maple or beech, which are difficult to come by as most of the blighted homes were built with softer woods like Douglas fir and pine. If you’re worried about looking goofy, or shudder at the thought of salvaged wood resting on your nose, you can rest easy. Homes currently offers frames in the popular wayfarer style and are developing their unique spin on the classic aviators. For as […]

    The post You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Me and my arrow

Every shot is aimed at creating a better life

Photo: , License: N/A

Eric Tomlinson with his future college students.

Eric Tomlinson loves bows and arrows. Has since he was a kid. And for years, Detroiters into archery had to head to the suburbs for target practice, because there was nowhere in the city for them to go.

So he'd shoot at archery clubs in places like Lake Orion or West Bloomfield, where he'd see parents putting their kids through vigorous lessons, training them like they were trying to earn a spot in the Olympics. 

These parents, he soon learned, weren't just trying to create expert marksmen. It turns out there's such a thing as an archery scholarship at several colleges around the country, and those parents were training their kids so they could earn scholarships at those schools.

There's a lot less opportunity for kids in Detroit to go to college, Tomlinson reasoned, than there is out here among better-off families. Those scholarships could really go to use in the city, where hard-working kids sometimes have good grades but not the means to go to a good school. "I said, man, I'm gonna take that to the inner city," the 62-year-old says.

But archery? In terms of street cachet, it ranks somewhere alongside rowing or fencing. Tomlinson would have his work cut out for him getting kids from Detroit interested in something so foreign to urban culture. 

"You know, it was a battle, because most of the inner-city kids do not even know what archery is," he says.


Tomlinson got his first bow-and-arrow set when he was 9. "My mother wouldn't buy me a gun to play with, and she realized that most kids want to shoot something, so she bought me a bow," he says. 

Before that she'd see him and his friends bending tree limbs, latching a string to them and fashioning arrows from sticks topped by bottle caps that were bent into a cone point. After he got a real bow and arrow, a little fiberglass model from a dime store, he practiced hard, entered tournaments, learned to hunt in the woods with it. 

He got married at 18, worked for a steel company for a quarter-century before hurting his back and retiring on medical grounds, and spent his free time tutoring kids in after-school programs in Detroit.

Then he heard about those scholarships. And it gave him a mission.

In 2004, he rented a building on the west side, set up a target range and a pro shop, and founded Elite Archery, a program whose sole goal was training kids to essentially shoot their way into college. 

But he needed students. Since archery was unknown among city kids, Tomlinson utilized his children and grandchildren as bait to draw interest. "I got at least nine or 10 grandkids or kids that started shooting when they were like 7, 8, 9, and that's who I started with. I said, 'Now what's going to happen is kids see y'all shooting, they're gonna want to shoot too.'"

It worked. Through word-of-mouth Tomlinson had been getting invited to speak at Detroit schools and demonstrate his sport to classes. And he found that when you show something new or different to variety-starved kids from places that don't have the resources to offer things like archery, they go crazy for it. 

"Every school I've taught at, the kids just overwhelm me trying to get into the program," he says. "Every kid wants to get into archery. I love the sport and I want to share it, and I figure if kids don't understand and know what archery is, once I bring it in I knew they were going to love it too."


Only a few years after opening his academy and store, his landlord sold the building. Tomlinson was suddenly a pro shop owner without a shop. He had to haul all the equipment from the store to his house, where he set up the pro shop in his basement, so his students and customers would still have someplace to get their equipment. It still resides there.

"But I needed a place for my kids to practice," he says. To get a scholarship, they're required to shoot in several tournaments a year, earning rankings and showing evidence of long-term dedication. 

Mike Wilson, who knew Tomlinson from the after-school programs they'd volunteered for, had just gotten permission to use a defunct elementary school to host programs there. He told Tomlinson he could borrow a classroom there to teach his students, but on one condition — he'd have to teach an after-school archery class there, too. Wilson realized it could have effects on the kids beyond the sport itself. 

"I saw discipline, I saw self-esteem enhancement, and I saw also teamwork," he says of Elite Archery. "I've seen a lot of kids in the program improve immensely."

Mecca Vance, one of Tomlinson's current students, is all self-esteem. Why does she like archery? "Because I win in it," the 13-year-old says, proudly. "I'm always first place. My whole basement is full of trophies." She's going for the scholarship to become a nurse.

Soon, kids weren't the only ones falling for the sport. Karen Austin, whose 12-year-old son Jesse begged for archery lessons until his mom found Tomlinson, came to her son's first class, saw the archers firing at targets and wound up fascinated. She shoots with the kids twice during the week now.

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