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  • DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs

    In light of worldwide attention on its efforts to cut water service for thousands of Detroit residents, the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department said today it would host a Water Affordability Fair on August 2nd to explain options available to those facing financial hardship. DWSD officials said in a news release today the fair will be take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the department’s Eastside Customer Service Center at 13303 E. McNichols. The move came on the heels of growing pressure from opponents of the initiative and criticism from the U.S. bankruptcy judge overseeing Detroit’s Chapter 9 case. “Every customer that has come to DWSD with a legitimate financial hardship has not had their water service terminated,” said Darryl Latimer, DWSD deputy director, in a statement. “In cases where the water has been shut off, it’s been restored. We keep hearing at DWSD that there are poor people who are not receiving the assistance that they need, so we want to help them and we want to make it as easy as possible for the to receive that help. That’s why we created the Water Affordability Fair – ease of access and ease of assistance. We are here to […]

    The post DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation

    The folks at Thrillist have again compiled their annual list of the nation’s best burgers, and Southeast Michigan, it seems, is well represented. Ranking alongside joints in major cities such as New York and L.A., is Detroit’s own Motz’s Burgers, hailed specifically for its Double Cheeseburger Slider. Via Thrillist: There’s nothing remarkable about the façade of this SW diner… it’s just a diner, like the hundreds of others in the D. The staff’s been there for years… and so have the regulars, who can’t get enough of Motz’s legendary smashed burgers. The formula’s nothing revolutionary: smashed, griddled patties with oozy cheese and onions that melt into the burger itself as it cooks. But it’s that unmistakable flavor of a well-seasoned griddle — which has also been here for years — that makes the difference. You can score big burgers with accoutrements, but this isn’t really a place to say things like “accoutrements”. Grab the old-school slider (the double cheeseburger one), and prepare for three perfect bites of Detroit’s finest. Flint’s Torch Bar and Grill also made the cut, most notably for its Deluxe Torch Burger with Bacon. Tucked away in an alley beyond the brick streets that used to mark […]

    The post Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know!

    The Metro Times is looking for college students or graduates of Michigan colleges that used atypical means to pay for their schooling (i.e. sugar baby, selling underwear, military enrollment purely for school help, etc.). We are looking for personal anecdotes about the lengths you went to help pay for school, what came of it, your monetary situation, if the resource worked to get you through college and more. If you have utilized any one of these avenues, or know someone who has, please drop us a line at college@metrotimes.com.

    The post In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit

    File under “WTF” — attorneys representing former Psychopathic Records publicist Andrea Pellegrini announced Monday that they have subpoenaed Kid Rock to produce a glass dildo as part of Pellegrini’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the Insane Clown Posse’s record label. Pellegrini claims the glass dildo was given to her by Psychopathic Records employee “Dirty Dan” Diamond as part of a larger culture of constant harassment in which she was called “bitch,” made the target of explicit sexual advances by Diamond and other co-workers, asked to procure automatic weapons for a photo shoot, and even encouraged to “deceive government investigators from the US Department of Labor.” On Friday, Diamond admitted under oath that he told Pellegrini that he had “a fat cock” and that he would “fuck the shit out of her.” The dildo, though, was “a work of art,” according to Diamond, and should not be considered sexual harassment. Why is Kid Rock involved? Diamond says when Pellegrini declined his dildo, he gave it to Kid Rock instead (presumably as a “work of art” and not a sexual advance). So now, according to court orders, Rock has 14 days to produce the glass dildo so the court can better determine if it is art or, well, a dildo. We will […]

    The post Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Henry Cavill and Amy Adams spotted at Pig & Whiskey

    Fans of the latest Superman franchise got a treat at Pig & Whiskey this weekend. Actors Henry Cavill and Amy Adams were spotted amid the crowds of the festival that took place in downtown Ferndale as well as a local restaurant. Cavill, who plays the man of steel in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, stopped to chat with fans, take pictures, and sign autographs on Saturday afternoon and evening. He was wearing an inconspicuous black polo shirt as well as a signature Superman-style ‘do. Other fans spotted Amy Adams at Ferndale’s Imperial on Saturday night, some were even seated next to her at the restaurant’s communal benches. Adams reportedly was slightly annoyed that patrons continuously asked for her photo, but she smiled while cell phones snapped images nonetheless. The Zach Snyder film the two are starring in together is currently filming in Birmingham. Ben Affleck, who plays Batman, has been spotted around town with his wife Jennifer Garner recently as well. The closed movie set is under intense security and Brett Callwood attempted to infiltrate the filming last month, but was forced to give up his camera’s memory card, lest he make off with telling photos.

    The post Henry Cavill and Amy Adams spotted at Pig & Whiskey appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Shop Talk: Harvard and Duke students moderate panel discussion in Detroit

    The Social Club Grooming Company, a metro Detroit-based environmentally conscious company that focuses on health and beauty as well as education, will host Shop Talk this Thursday, a special in their on-going event series that will bring students from both Harvard and Duke for a panel discussion about the social-entreprenurial climate and business innovation happening in Detroit. Detroiters like Burn Rubber’s Rick Williams, fashion photographer Piper Carter, Crain’s Detroit’s Eric Cedo, Mission Throttle’s Jamie Shea, and campaign manager Bryan Barnhill will come together to discuss how to create change in the city’s economic landscape through innovation and entrepreneurship. Of course what makes this panel discussion unique is the way in which it will take place. As The Social Club is a barber shop, each panelist will be receiving a haircut while speaking, the trimmings from which will be used for their nitrogen content to help grow plants in the city. Part of a series that will help Detroiters meet city leaders, voices, artists, activists, and business owners, Shop Talk’s objective is to help young people understand their role in the city’s ever-changing economic system. “There’s so much positive energy in Detroit right now,” says Sebastian Jackson, The Social Club’s founder. “It’s […]

    The post Shop Talk: Harvard and Duke students moderate panel discussion in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Higher Ground

What if Cannabis Oil Cured Cancer?

As more stories like Alysa Erwin's become known, maybe medicinal marijuana will finally become formal protocol.

Photo: The Erwin family after Alysa's diognosis, License: N/A

The Erwin family after Alysa's diognosis


IN JANUARY 2011, then-14-year-old Alysa Erwin began having intense, debilitating headaches. By that spring she was diagnosed with Grade 3 Anaplastic Astrocytoma — brain cancer — at University of Michigan Medical Center.

According to information at mdguidelines.com, “Individuals with grade 3 astrocytoma have a median survival time of 18 months with treatment (radiation and chemotherapy). … Even with aggressive treatment, astrocytomas of all types tend to recur, making the prognosis generally poor.”

Alysa’s tumors were spread throughout her brain like ivy or a spider web. There was no local tumor that could be targeted for radiation. The Erwins, including Alysa’s parents Carly and David, returned to their northern Lower Peninsula home with five days worth of Temedor, an oral chemotherapy pill, to begin treatment.

“We were told she could live 18 months to two years on chemo,” says Carly. “We thought that was a death sentence to her.”

Still, seemingly without options, the Erwins figured they would give the chemotherapy a try.

“She was deathly sick,” says Carly of her daughter after taking the Temedor. 

Carly was bedridden with terrible headaches and couldn’t keep food down. The Erwins were devastated. A few days later they got a call from Carly’s father, who lives in southeastern Michigan, saying he’d recently gone to a meeting with the group now known as Michigan Compassion and heard about Rick Simpson Hemp Oil, a cannabis extract that some people are using to treat cancer. The Erwins then watched the videos “What If Cannabis Cured Cancer” and “Run from the Cure,” both available on YouTube.

“This is the end, we thought,” says Carly. “If this is all that chemo can do, at least we can make her comfortable for the months that she had left with us.”

At first, the Erwins couldn’t find cannabis oil. Eventually they met Gersh Avery in the Ann Arbor area, who facilitated the Erwins in finding what they needed. In early August 2011, Alysa had her first dose of oil. Carly mixed about eight milliliters of cannabis oil with about a half-cup of peanut butter. She gave her daughter about a half-teaspoon, once in the morning and again in the evening. After the very first dose there was a miraculous transformation in the sick girl. 

“About 30 minutes after taking cannabis oil she was out of her room eating and smiling,” says Carly. “We knew what we wanted after seeing her, but we wanted to see what she wanted because it was her body. The light was back in her eyes again. She was back to herself. She said she wasn’t doing chemo anymore; she was only doing cannabis oil.”

Starting out, Alysa slept a lot as her body became accustomed to the high levels of cannabinoids in her body. And, as she was able to tolerate it, her mother upped the dosage until Alysa was getting about one-and-a-half milliliters a day for a year, then upped it to three milliliters each day.

At first they didn’t tell Alysa’s doctor. They were afraid and unsure of the legal implications. At her first three-month checkup, the MRI showed that the cancer was not growing. The Erwins told her doctor that Alysa was doing the chemo. The subsequent exam showed the same result, but the doctor had questions because Alysa’s blood work was not showing the indications expected of someone on chemotherapy. The Erwins admitted then that they had stopped the chemo in favor of cannabis oil. The doctor’s response was cautious because cannabis oil is not a condoned treatment. But she said, “Whatever you are doing, keep doing it.”

After a year, the cancer had evolved into five identifiable tumors at the back of Alyssa’s head. One of the tumors was near her brain stem and threatened her ability to breathe and walk. The Erwins agreed to have radiation treatment. 

“After six weeks, I wished we’d never done it,” says Carly. “Her brain started swelling.”

They continued the cannabis oil treatments. In January 2013, two years after the onset of her headaches, Alyssa’s MRI showed no cancer. Subsequent MRIs, the most recent in October, have shown no cancer. Her next scheduled test is in April.

“The doctor looked at the MRI and she just smiled,” says Carly. There were a lot of smiles going around.

During this time it was usually a scramble to get cannabis oil. According to information available on the Internet from Rick Simpson, one pound of high-grade marijuana produces about 60 milliliters of oil; at one-and-a-half milliliters each day, a pound would last only 40 days. And with the cost of a pound of good quality marijuana somewhere north of $3,000, you can see the problems. With help from Carly’s father, the Erwins have spent about $17,000 on cannabis oil medicine. Some of what they got was donated to them. Avery, from Ann Arbor, helped the Erwins find a good strain and advice on how to produce oil.

Today, Alysa lives a pretty much typical teenage life, except she takes cannabis oil. She took driver’s training and passed her licensing test during this period with no problems.

“I didn’t really know anything about it,” says Alysa. “I started watching videos and seeing other people’s stories. I thought I should try it. I was excited to try it. I didn’t want to do that chemo anymore because of the way it was making me feel. I think I would have gave up if I had to keep doing that chemo.”

In the past year, she has started speaking publicly in support of the therapy that saved her life.

“I’m trying to spread the word around what this medicine can do; what it can help,” says Alysa. “The last time I spoke, it was trying to fight for the oil. I’m trying to help people out to get a second chance like I got. I know my family was really scared. I was too. Once I found out about this oil it just gave me hope. That’s what gave me hope for this cancer being gone. I like to let other families know that so they can have that kind of hope.”

In a few weeks, Alysa Erwin will have been officially cancer-free for one year. It will have been more than 36 months since her 18-month death sentence. She continues her cannabis oil treatments.

Need I say more?

Note: A previous version of this article said that Alysa was 4. She was 14.

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