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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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Savage Love

Unfinished business

A pregnancy scare and a creepy, manipulative ex.

Q: I was hanging out with a guy who is in a relationship. I told him nothing could happen, and we decided to keep things friendly. A while ago, I made the drunken mistake of climbing into the backseat of a car with him, and things got racy pretty quickly. He asked if I was on birth control; I told him yes, because I was, and he penetrated me and came inside me after one thrust.

The next day, I got all emotional, and he's since stopped talking to me because I freaked. Here we are a bit later, and I just had a pregnancy scare. Had I been pregnant, I would have had an abortion. If I'd actually been facing an abortion, I would have called and told him. Would that have been the right thing to do?

I wouldn't have asked for money or support; I would have told him solely because it would have felt wrong not to. I had some feeling, like he should know — because he has a right to know, you know? I can't imagine I'm the only woman who's been faced with a "to tell or not to tell" situation. Weigh in? —Classy Lady

A: A woman who is pregnant and has decided to have an abortion should tell the guy who knocked her up about the pregnancy and her decision to abort ... unless she sincerely believes — or even legitimately suspects — that the guy is gonna bully, badger or do violence to her in an attempt to prevent her from choosing abortion.

Guys need to know when they've dodged a bullet, CL. Being made aware that he came this close to 18 years' worth of child support payments can lead a guy to be more cautious with his spunk — and, in some cases, more likely to support choice.

Take the guy you fucked: He needs to know that not all birth control methods are foolproof and not every woman who claims to be on birth control is telling the truth or being diligent about taking those pills every day. Hearing that almost-a-daddy bullet whiz past his head may convince him to put on that condom the next time he's fucking a woman he isn't serious about, even if she is (or claims to be) on birth control.

And ... um ... gee. This bit is going to get me scratched off NARAL's Christmas card list, which will be a real bummer (last year's card was great: "The Crusades, the Inquisition, clerical sex-abuse scandals — all of this could have been prevented. Happy holidays from your friends at NARAL"), but I gotta be me. A guy — a good, decent, nonabusive guy — should be told about an impending abortion so he can, if he feels the abortion is a mistake, make a case for keeping the baby. It's still the woman's choice in the end — there should be absolutely no question about that — but the fetus, if not the uterus, is his too. It's only fair that the same guy who would be on the hook for child support payments if you decide to go through with the pregnancy be heard out before you follow through on your decision to end it.


Q:
I'm a 24-year-old mostly straight girl with a great GGG boyfriend. My problem is with an ex-boyfriend. We met when I was on a break from school. A few months after we got together, I went back to finish my degree in a different state. He was wary about a long-distance thing, but I wanted to try it, and I made promises about our future that I probably shouldn't have. Then the day after we broke up, one of my ex-boyfriends died. I was a total mess for months and completely incapable of dealing with the breakup, which was hard for the guy I'd just broken up with. We wound up ending things on a really bad note.

But it's still not over. He hasn't ever gotten over our relationship, and every few months he calls or e-mails with some new issue or wanting to talk. He's been verbally abusive, and I often want to cut off contact, but because of the death of my other ex-boyfriend, I'm really scared about losing contact with exes. He told me he almost killed himself a couple of years ago; I don't know if it's true, but I can believe it. He accused me of raping him — saying that he'd consented to sex with the understanding that we'd be together forever, and when we broke up, I violated the terms of the agreement under which he had consented to have sex with me. Now he's demanding that I admit to having raped him and threatening to post that I raped him on my Facebook wall.

I don't know what to do. I have no interest in getting back together, but I know I hurt him and I feel responsible. I'd do a lot of things differently in hindsight, but I don't think I'm a rapist. I know this sounds like a typical crazy-ex story, and I should probably just cut him off, but that feels wrong and I'm worried about him. —Freaked Out Feeling Stuck

A: Everyone you've ever dated — including the boy you're with now — is fated to die. (You too, FOFS.) Which means that, as the years grind on, you will eventually lose contact with each and every one of your ex-boyfriends, should you be fortunate enough to outlive them all. You will also one day lose contact with your current boyfriend, if you stay together, or he will one day lose contact with you if you precede him in dropping dead. It might help you cope with the coming inevitable losses, FOFS, if you cut your crazy ex out of your life now, while he's still alive. Think of it as an exercise in letting go.

Stop taking his calls, stop returning his e-mails, and block him on Facebook. You can urge him — in one final e-mail — to move the fuck on already, to get help, and to get a grip. Tell him that you're both too young to waste the rest of your lives processing a failed relationship, and you can add, perhaps in a P.S., that consensual sex in the early stages of a relationship — the stage at which dreamy, ill-advised discussions about a shared future are most common — does not retroactively become rape should that relationship end.

Finally, FOFS, while your ex sounds nutty and vindictive, your reasons for staying in touch with him are slightly batshit. People lose contact with exes all the time. Get over it. If you've convinced yourself that hashing shit out with your manipulative ex is the compassionate, loving thing to do, you're wrong — it's not helping him and it's making you miserable. Or so you say. The longer you go on helping your ex pick at his scabs, the more you look like the kind of controlling, vindictive ex who doesn't really want her exes to get over her.


Hey, everybody:
There's a bill moving through the state Legislature in Tennessee that would make it a crime for a teacher to say the word "gay." If this bill passes, a bullied gay kid wouldn't be able to go to a teacher or school administrator for help — as if things weren't already hard enough for gay kids in the Bible Belt. More info at wesaygay.com.

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