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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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.



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College Guide 2012

Want to survive college?

One grad's advice: Join a band, get out of town

I am declaring war on "The College Experience."

No, I am not talking in the vein of Rick Santorum, who apparently hates the idea of giving every child the opportunity to attend college. (You may recall this past May at a Tea Party rally in Troy, the then-presidential hopeful hurled an onslaught of words toward President Barack Obama, calling him "a snob" for "wanting everyone to go to college.")

See, I like college — big fan of learning over here. But, as a recent graduate, I can say I have some underlying concerns with the full-time experience of being sequestered in the halls of academia. I feel there is something intuitively wrong with an incoming student mainlining the socially accepted reasoning for going to college: the secure career.

I sweated it out behind the pages of books I would never care to read again, but I made sure to find time to breathe fresh air that wasn't tainted by the worries of a passing grade. We are here to learn, and the added help a degree offers in landing a job later on in life is the extra bonus. It is certainly not life or death, though.

Moreover, college is supposed to be "the best time of your life," right? Right?

A 2009 survey from the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment found that one of every four students will feel so depressed they'll find it hard to function; 47 percent will experience overwhelming anxiety, and a whopping 84 percent will feel overwhelmed by everything they have to do.

And there is no better place to examine in fine detail the overwhelming sensation of the college experience than a university library during finals week, or, more appropriately, Hell Week.

Students pounding books, notes and PowerPoint presentations can be seen fending off fears of failure by studying the night away while flying high on cup after cup of coffee and, in some cases. Adderall. Giving students a good head start on life? Hmmm?

Where's the time-of-your-life fun? Is there indeed still value in attending college? The Washington Monthly recently reported on a poll that found 41 percent of Americans find college to not carry as much value as it did 20 years ago. The cost is going up and more are finding less worth in the process.

So, is college the beautiful last hurrah that bridges the gap between high school and becoming an adult? Or is it a glorified, extended version of high school — one that still subjects a student to exams, projects and a boatload of homework all in the name of a piece of paper and a boost to your résumé.


The Exorcist.

It is not as unreasonable as it seems, even considering the potential costs of a short jaunt and the procrastination of schoolwork. (If anybody were to tally how much time they spend avoiding their studies on a daily basis, well, that should be the least of concerns.)

One good example was before the start of fall 2011 semester: I went camping in the Upper Peninsula with a friend for a week. I slept on the shores of Lake Superior, hiked through Pictured Rocks Lakeshore and saw the Lake in the Clouds of the Porcupine Mountains. The cost of renting campsites, food and gas was somewhere around $300.

This summer, a band I play guitar in toured the West Coast — my first time seeing that part of the United States — for 24 days. Gas was covered by what we made at the shows, we stayed at houses, camped and slept in the van, eliminating any lodging costs. So I had to personally account for food and anything else I may have wanted to do: Again, it was roughly $300 to do so.

The point?  I'm trying to say it's necessary to get away, away from the constraints of daily life. Experience the real world in order to better prepare for life after school and to actually enjoy learning if you do want to attend college.

Want something small-scale? A day trip to Chicago or Cincinnati make for a much more memorable time than racking up an impressive bar tab. (Gather a party of four and a reliable vehicle; you'll be looking at maybe $30-$40 depending on your spending habits.) 

Each time, as soon as I got back in the grind, though, the same exasperated feelings would return, and I'd be eager to flesh out the next set of travel plans. I've found nothing resolves stress better than being absolutely removed from it.

I fail to understand how universities can make the case they appropriately prepare their student body for the realities of life with such a consistently strenuous undertaking.

With a full-time class schedule and workload, I've developed an ability to juggle and appropriately budget my expenses — a necessary trait for survival later on in life — but, at many points, I've completely lacked a feeling that what I was doing was truly beneficial and worthwhile.

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