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  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    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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Opening Day Issue

The team's team

Ever wonder who supports your Tigers? Now you can collect them all!

Photo: MT Photos: Casey O'Neil, License: N/A

MT Photos: Casey O'Neil

2011 Opening Day Issue

Manager Jim Leyland, the coaching staff and the players have to worry about the hitting, catching and throwing.

The Tigers front office staff has to worry about everything else.

Players' contracts, the shade and thickness of the grass on the playing field, what Tigers clothes fans can buy, what souvenir giveaways they get at certain games, whether the first aid stations are staffed, and if ushers are all in their proper places, for just a few of the thousands of possible examples.

At Metro Times, we leave the Opening Day on-the-field features and analysis to the sportswriting experts — and instead bring you a glimpse of the team that makes the rest of the magic happen, juggling countless operations that all make Opening Day the unofficial Detroit holiday it is.

Mike Smith, Director, Baseball Operations
10th Detroit Opening Day

Previous teams:
Florida Marlins and Peninsula Pilots, a college summer league team.

Job duties:
Arbitration, contracts, work with scouts, statistical work, trade work, Major League Baseball rules and regulations, MLB drug testing, assisting with negotiations and finances.

What that means:
"I'm helping build a baseball team."

Equivalent position on the diamond or dugout:
Bench coach

Training for current position:
Undergraduate degree in geology and geophysics with a concentration in the atmosphere and oceans.


Heather Nabozny, Head Groundskeeper
13th Detroit Opening Day

Minor League affiliation:
West Michigan White Caps for five years.

Job duties:
To make the grass grow to Major League Baseball-worthy standards, to ensure the infield is covered in inclement weather, to keep the dugout, the bullpens and the umpires' tunnel clean.

Six full-time seasonal workers, a pool of 45 that rotates for game days.

Recent "injuries":
Increase in special events held on field and the sulfur pellets that ignite the post-game fireworks and then fall on the field and burn out the grass.

Comerica Park field conditions compared to Tiger Stadium:
"From an agronomic standpoint, it's a lot healthier for the grass. We have good air movement here, we don't have too many problems with shading. At Tiger Stadium the walls were really high and it stayed cold in there until June, then it stayed hot until September. ... At Comerica Park, we typically don't have to use any colorant for the turf because it gets warm nice and early in the spring."


Janine Kurpiel, Retail Director, Sportservice, Comerica Park
2nd Detroit Opening Day

Minor League Experience:
Four years with Minor League independent team in Gary, Ind., three years with Philadelphia's Triple-A team.

Reporting time on Opening Day:
4 a.m.

Job duties:
Buying Tigers merchandise for sale at the park, working with designers for new products.

Best seller of the 2010 season:
The Tiger Claw; new in green for this year.

Best prospect for 2011:
The toaster that lightly burns a "D" on the bread

Likely fan favorite for 2011:
The new 6,000-square-foot store at the northwest corner of Comerica Park.


Eli Bayless, Director of Promotions and In-Game Entertainment
10th Detroit Opening Day

Current duties:
"All the fun and games that fans experience at the ballpark." Music, scoreboard content, national anthem performances, ceremonial first pitches, gate giveaways and Paws, the mascot.

Previous team:
San Francisco Giants

Biggest competition:
"Ourselves." Fans can watch games on high-def TV or online, which is much cheaper than being at Comerica Park. "We need people to leave saying, 'That was so much more than a ballgame. It was a wonderful experience and I can't wait to come back.'"

2011 forecast:
31 giveaways, 17 special events, 16 post-game fireworks shows.


Mike Healy, Vice President, Park Operations
7th Detroit Opening Day

Baseball Metaphor for Job:
Clean-up hitter

Facilities, HVAC, tradesworkers, grounds crew, ushers, first aid, security; upward of 800 employees during the playing season.

His season:

Other Positions:
Vice president of civic relations and event logistics at Olympia Entertainment.

Pre-game ritual:
Supervises walk-throughs of Comerica Park starting nine days before the home opener. Makes sure plumbing works, lights come on, seats are intact, bunting is hung, carpet is cleaned, beer signs are properly installed and other tasks most of the fans probably, unfortunately, won't think about twice.


Rofeal Daniels, Event Operations Manager
9th Detroit Opening Day

Current duties:
Oversee ushers, organize rides and games, other crowd-pleasing aspects of Comerica Park.

Previous position:
Crowd management and general security for Detroit Tigers.

Favorite part of job:
"Just coming to the ballpark every day."

Does he ever see action:
"You've got to check on your staff, and it just so happens my staff is out near the field."

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