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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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Rage against the machine

The mayor held a meeting to hear from residents. They gave him an earful.

Photo: Detroitblogger John, License: N/A

Detroitblogger John

A heated meeting with Bing

They came full of anger, and brought with them a long list of grievances. Tonight, the target of their fury would be placed before them on a stage. And by the end of the evening they'd drive him from the room.

The occasion was Mayor Dave Bing's fifth District Community Meeting with city residents, held Sept. 13, at Charity Lutheran Church on Kelly south of Seven Mile. The people who came to the event would not be those Bing is normally accustomed to mingling with inside the protective cocoon of his high-rise office. Tonight the room would be filled with people from "the neighborhoods," the catch-all term for the large swaths of the city characterized by untended parks and abandoned houses and stubbornly high crime rates.

They came not to pose questions, but instead to vent their rage, to get their pound of flesh from the man they accuse of destroying the city and handing the remains to outsiders. This would not be an evening of civil discourse.

"We don't usually have the opportunity to have a mic in our face," said Wanda Jan Hill, a retired city employee who was eager to confront the mayor. "They don't listen to the people. They listen to the shakers and the movers, that's all you hear about, but you don't hear about the ordinary Jane or John. And we need to be heard."

The meeting opened with a prayer by the church's pastor. It was the only quiet moment of the night. 

Before the mayor arrived, nearly two-dozen department heads filled out the seats on the stage and the first few pews in this little church, while several members of the mayor's executive protection unit stood off to the sides.

Kirk Lewis, Bing's deputy mayor, rose to the podium amid a wash of hisses and boos, and had the department heads stand and introduce themselves. Some of them drew indifference from the residents, others brought a smattering of boos.

There were dozens of Detroit cops in the audience, as there had been for previous community meetings with the mayor. They were here to protest the succession of cuts to the department, the proposed 12-hour shifts, the shortage of equipment and manpower. Suddenly they began to shout, "No police, no peace!" and the whole room took up the chant.

Lewis wasn't having any of this. "We're not going to get very far with these outbursts," he lectured. "This is very disrespectful to the community. Thank you. Now, with that, I'm going to introduce Mayor Dave Bing."

The mayor walked onto the stage, and the crowd erupted into a throaty, sustained "BOOOOOOOOOO!" The department heads in the pews looked to one another, and in response they all stood up and began applauding theatrically towards the mayor. This defiant gesture only further inflamed the crowd, and the boos grew deafening.

Here now, seated before the people, was the man in charge of this ailing city, someone most people only ever see on television. The stage was left unlit, as if the shadows afforded some protection from the crowd's ire. The City Charter requires seven of these face-to-face encounters between the mayor and his constituents each year — one in each of the seven new City Council districts — otherwise he would likely have preferred to have been somewhere else, anywhere else. After four previous meetings like this, Bing knew what to expect. He sat there exposed and vulnerable, with the look of a man about to undergo a root canal.

Question time began. Each resident had to fill out a card beforehand, and mayoral staffers hand-picked which questions could be asked and then called upon each resident to come to the microphone for two minutes. A Bing staffer kept time with a stopwatch, and held up printed cards noting that a minute had passed, followed by one that said, "Time is up." But few people had actual questions, and few adhered to the time limit.

The audience members did not pussyfoot around their feelings. The first speaker addressed Chris Brown, the city's chief operating officer. "I'm going to be honest with you. Seriously, you make me sick," he told him, without specifying why, other than noting his high salary.

The next speaker approached. "My issue is the blight, the overall non-commitment to neighborhoods," Marcus Cummings said to the mayor. "What are you doing to stop the blight, the drugs, the murder, the killing? What are you doing to help the police department, fire and EMS? You've done nothing to build these neighborhoods back up, i.e. citizens, which are leaving at an alarming rate. What are you doing?"

The room hushed as Bing leaned into his microphone. But instead of addressing Cummings, he turned to his group executive of planning and facilities. "Karla Henderson, if you would, would you give some overview and an explanation of what we're doing?" This infuriated the audience.

"He asked you the question!" a woman shouted from a pew. "Bing! The question was directed at you! We pay our taxes, we deserve to get answers. You got to answer him." Henderson began to speak. Someone shouted, "Who's the mayor here?" The crowd drowned out Henderson's words.

Bing stepped in. "It's very difficult to deal with so many people yelling and screaming at the same time, so if you ask a question and we can hear the question, we'll answer the question," he said in the tone of a sighing grandfather. "Let me hear the question that you want answered."

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