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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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The secret garden

Here's one woman who's considered the neighborhood folk doctor

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Tamra Meadows in her herb-filled garden

Her wound would not stop bleeding. She'd just had abdominal surgery, was laid up at home, and blood kept dewing up on the incision. She couldn't get back to the hospital right away, so instead she called a friend from down the street, the woman from the neighborhood known for healing people.

Tamra Meadows came over, examined the wound under the dressing, and sent for the one remedy she knew would help fast. Was it some magical elixir? A secret homeopathic blend?

It was cayenne pepper from the kitchen.

Meadows, 53, practices folk medicine, the use of herbs and simple household items to treat illnesses the way they were treated years ago, before people had access to much modern medicine, or before medicine was even very modern.

She used cayenne because it's known to stop bleeding, sometimes within seconds. Most people probably have it on a kitchen shelf. Few know what it can do besides spicing up food. The same goes for any number of herbs and spices and plants in their houses or yards. And such knowledge is what makes Meadows so respected in her community.

A lot of inner-city folks don't have much money, don't have any health insurance, and have little trust for the run-down clinics that cater to the poor. So if their illness isn't too serious, many will rely on folk treatments or natural remedies passed down through families for years. 

And they rely on people like Meadows. Her reputation in the neighborhood has even earned her the nickname "The Witch Doctor."

"They say, 'I know you got something over in the yard. I need you to fix me something up,'" Meadows says of her neighbors. She's learned much of what she knows from books she's studied, but a lot of it, she says, just comes to her. "I pray about it," she says. "And I tell them, 'It's not me. It's a power.' Sometimes I tell God, 'Leave me alone.'"


The comfrey grows in bunches. The horehound's stems point to the sun. And the lemon balm sure smells like the real thing.

They're among the herbs that grow in Meadows' lush backyard garden. She knows which are for colds and which are for fevers, the ones that aid digestion or the ones that give you energy or calm you down. She knows which go in you, and which go on you.

Meadows lives in an east side neighborhood on the downswing. Along her street, several homes have boards covering the windows. Others have tall lawns overrun with crabgrass. Some houses just need paint, others need renovations, a few just need to be torn down.

And in the middle of all this neglect, this indifference to beauty, Meadows has nurtured an oasis in her yard.

Thick bouquets of purple flowers bloom in scattered clusters. Wide-leafed hostas spread their leaves along a walkway. Fish swim in a pond that's fed by a trickling hose. A towering tree arches over the yard and spreads its branches wide.

"Oh my God I love outdoors," Meadows says, sitting outside on a late summer day. "I spend hours out here. Sometimes I used to come out from sunup to sundown."

For years she was a Wayne County Sheriff's deputy, until it finally got to her and she just quit one day, several years shy of retirement and its benefits. Something about seeing prisoners mistreated, she says. A few odd jobs later and now she's unemployed, which grants her the luxury of long days in her serene sanctuary.

Her yard's also a gallery of found objects. An antique sleigh. A wood rocking chair. A cast-iron tub she sometimes uses for outdoor baths. All decoratively placed, peeking out of shrubs or leaning against a fence. An out-of-context sign on the swinging gate warns of no hunting at this private club. She found that somewhere too. And a white flag flies in surrender from a tall pole near the yard's edge. "It means I surrender to God," the churchgoer says.

A painted archway leads to the pond beyond the pebble-covered walkway, declaring it "The Lovers Garden" after the place where her mom went in Jamaica to spend her last few weeks of life.

Her Eden is such a peaceful contrast to the shabby standard of the area that it draws the neighbors here, sometimes to hang out, sometimes for advice, sometimes when she's not even home.

"I've had neighbors tell me, 'I was feeling real sad one day and I just went over there and sat in your yard.'"

Not everyone has such reverence for it. Neighbors have come by when she's gone and fished the perch out of her pond. For a while she sold candy and organic food out of her old garage, but someone kept walking off with the Jamaican and African artifacts she sold there too. 

But most people, even the local drug dealers, find themselves drawn here just for its tranquility.

"This neighborhood is infested with drugs, and I used to allow, and it's not that I don't allow them now, but when they come I have to give them instructions — you can't be in here cussing people out, and clean yourself before you come in, just mentally. This is my place of peace."


She doesn't heal people so much anymore. After the cayenne stopped her friend's bleeding, the friend went to a doctor, Meadows says. "And when they went to clean it off they said, 'What is in here?' 'She said, 'My neighbor brought some cayenne.' I said, 'You snitch! You're trying to get me arrested!"

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