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    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval

    In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy.  And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]

    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Savage Love

Your Sister’s Keeper

HIV Secrets, gender identity, and same-room sex.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


Q:

 Two years ago, I found a letter in my sister’s car informing her that the blood she gave during a charity blood drive had tested positive for HIV. I didn’t say anything to her at the time, because it was a really bad time, I wasn’t supposed to find out and I didn’t know what to say.

In the time since, there were a couple of times that it sounded like she came close to telling me, but never did. I worry she never will. She has also recently had some health complications that raise concern about how well she’s taking care of herself and I am concerned she’s missing out on treatment that she should be receiving, fearing that someone in our family might find out. (As an added complication, our family is a bunch of judgmental, religious immigrant types.)

My sister and I have had a complicated relationship growing up and have really only begun to get along in the last few years. In short, our relationship is fragile, but I care for her deeply. I can’t really understand the gravity of having to live with HIV, especially being from such a family as ours, but I wish we could have her diagnosis acknowledged between us so she can know that I’m not going to stop loving her. What should I do?

—Sensitive Issue Surrounds Treating Errant Retroviruses

 

A:

 Your sister may not be facing HIV alone. She could have confided in friends, she could be seeing a great HIV doc, she could be attending a support group. And if your sister were in good health, SISTER, I would encourage you to run with those assumptions, i.e., that she’s getting the help and emotional support she needs. Because it’s generally a good idea to err on the side of respecting a sibling’s right to privacy — even if that respect is retroactive in your case — while also respecting your sister’s specific right to control who she tells about her HIV status.

But it doesn’t sound like your sister is in good health.

While it’s possible she’s facing unrelated health problems that you’ve wrongly attributed to her HIV infection — people with HIV can come down with other shit — that could be a risky assumption.

You wanna show respect for your sister, of course, but you don’t wanna respect your sister to death. If there’s a chance your sister hasn’t sought treatment because she feared it would get back to your family (she’s still on your parents’ health insurance, her physician is a family friend) or because there’s some other issue that prevented her from accessing services for people with HIV (language barriers, cultural barriers), I’m going to urge you to err on the side of speaking up.

Tell your sister what you know and tell her how you found out. If you don’t tell her how you learned about her HIV diagnosis — “How did you know?” “That doesn’t matter!” — your sister will worry that rumors are spreading and that other people already know. So you have to come clean about snooping.

Then tell her you love her, tell her you’re worried for her, and tell her you want to make sure she’s getting both the medical care and the emotional support she needs to stay healthy.

 

Q:

 I’m a youth who identifies as asexual. (That isn’t my question.) I was born female, and I’ve been binding for a while and identify as gender-neutral. But I’m afraid to tell others that I’m gender-neutral for fear of being told I’m wrong because I wear dresses. Does wearing skirts and dresses mean I’m not gender-neutral? I just think I look better in dresses than flannel. —Gender Neutral Asexual Youth

 

A:

 Wear whatever you like, identify however you like and refuse to engage with idiots who think they have a right to critique, dictate or overrule your gender identity.

 

Q:

 I’ve been reading your column for years and that helped me tremendously as my husband’s kinky side began to emerge. We have recently started flirting with the idea of “same-room sex” with other couples. We want a couple to watch us have sex, and we want to watch them have sex, but there would be no physical contact between the couples. But we have had a difficult time finding couples that do not want a soft or full swap. Long story short, I have decided to surprise my husband with a prostitute who will watch and video us but not have contact with either of us. I think he will be thrilled. But I’m wondering if you have any advice on this situation. What are the dos and don’ts? I am totally naive about sex work and sex workers, and I’m also afraid I could get jealous since there would be no other man in the room for me! I should mention that we have had same-room sex with a couple and it went fairly well, but we couldn’t really perform because they kept trying to initiate a swap with us. Help me avoid possible pitfalls! —Monogamous Voyeurs And Exhibitionists

 

A:

 “Surprises are generally unwelcome when it comes to sex, and especially to sex work,” says Siouxsie Q, a Bay Area sex worker as well as the creator and host of the WhoreCast (thewhorecast.com), a weekly podcast about sex work and sex workers. “You think your husband will be thrilled by a surprise prostitute — but what if he is not?”

You’re already worried that you might not be into it: You wanna be watched by a male-female couple, but you’re only thinking about hiring a woman, and that could leave you feeling jealous and left out.

“But if you are going to hire a pro, you might as well get exactly what you want, right?” says Siouxsie. “There are plenty of escorts who do ‘doubles’ with other escorts. Take the time to do the research and find a provider who offers doubles with a male escort or a partner — some providers even specialize in this! Communicate about it with your husband, and instead of putting together an elaborate surprise, embark on a sexual adventure together. The process of looking through ads and picking out people you both find attractive may even be fun.”

Siouxsie recommends booking at least two hours for a session like this — you don’t want to rush through your fantasy, right? — and to respect your sex workers’ quoted rate, i.e., no haggling over their hourly rate.

“When your providers arrive, communicate your boundaries and expectations clearly so everyone is on the same page,” says Siouxsie, “and you and your husband should agree in advance about either of you being able to call a ‘time-out’ mid-session in order to re-establish boundaries or to talk something out. And finally, on a more personal note, this sounds like a really fun session that most providers I know would be really stoked to book! So get out there and make your fantasies come true!”

 

For your Halloween treat, Dan Savage secures sex advice from a mortician, at savagelovecast.com.

Find Dan Savage’s weekly podcast every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage. Reach him at mail@savagelove.net or @fakedansavage on Twitter.

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We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
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