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  • 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.

  • ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list

    Yes, it’s true. Forbes says Detroit is one of America’s most creative cities: “We ranked these places based on four metrics: activity per capita on project-funding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo and music sites Bandcamp and ReverbNation. The goal was to capture organic creativity, since many artistic and musical types have “day jobs” outside of creative pursuits.” The Forbes list sandwiches #9 Detroit between #8 Seattle and #10 Oakland, Calif. If you are watching the art and culture explosion happening right now in Detroit, you probably think we should rank higher than #2 Boston and #1 San Francisco, if only for the fact that it’s actually affordable to create here and there is space for everyone to be creative. But hey, those metrics weren’t part of the equation. And there’s always next year.

    The post ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Best of Detroit 2012

Public Square - Staff Picks

Our staff picks for Metro Detroit

Best Arts Campaign 

Fela! at Music Hall 

It was audacious in the first place for Music Hall to bring the Broadway show Fela! here for a three-week run — a $1.6 million gamble. But Music Hall Prexy and Artistic Director Vince Paul and his crew went beyond traditional marketing and fundraising in cobbling together a web of more than 40 collaborators: philanthropic souls, corporations and institutions. There were presentations in schools (tying the Nigerian activist-musician's Afro-beat to hip hop), Fela-related exhibits at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Virgil H. Carr Cultural Arts Center, etc. The show more than broke even dollar-wise, but in bringing disparate Detroiters together around a timely message, Fela! was a smash. 

Best Poet for Busy People

Ken Mikolowski

Not that he can't stretch out, but Mikolowski's poems can make haikus seem long-winded by 10, 15, even 16 syllables. Even as he cuts down the reading time, the reader still needs to have time to ponder, and if you can't give even that, you're too busy for poetry or art and can skip a couple items down the list. If you're still with us, we'll note that the poem titled "THINGS TO DO IN AN ECONOMIC CRISIS" advises "Buy low / stay high." "WAY TO GO" cuts to the quick: "Gone." Mikolowski, who is a lecturer in the University of Michigan's Residential College, tells us he recently completed a 75-poem — two-lines max — manuscript for a new book of poetry titled THAT THAT. Here's a preview: The poem "REALITY" reads "not really."

Best Hope for the Detroit Institute of Arts 

The people 

Visit the DIA's website and you'll see the latest on great goings-on. Free Friday night music, award-winning films, world-renowned offerings from the standing collection (such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder's "The Wedding Dance" and the Rivera murals). What you don't get is the sense of how precarious it all is. With the city and state support now zeroed out, the museum is throwing a hail Mary pass by seeking a 0.2 mill property tax in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Without that kind of a cash infusion, museum Director Graham Beal foresees an institution open only for limited weekend hours, a rump institution. Wayne County Commissioners have OK'd a ballot measure, which would raise an annual $9 million if passed. Oakland County is still undecided on authorizing a ballot measure to raise an estimated $11 million; Macomb commissioners nixed and at press time were reconsidering a ballot measure to raise $3 million. Residents of counties passing millages would get free admission and bragging rights as arts patrons and saviors. Past efforts for cultural taxes have had mixed success (no to a 16-institution cultural tax, no to an earlier DIA proposal, yes to the Detroit Zoo). Could energizing the base of artists and arts lovers make a crucial difference for the DIA this time? 

Best Art Idea to Steal 

Lansing's Old Town Scrapfest

oldtownscrapfest.com 

This isn't a big-purse undertaking like Grand Rapids' ArtPrize, and it doesn't generate international waves, but it is modest in size, cool and easy to replicate. Sculpture teams get one hour to grab as much as 500 pounds of junk of their choosing at a scrap yard, then two weeks to build sculptures that are displayed during outdoor events, voted on by the public and finally auctioned off to raise money for ... more public arts projects. It's now entering its fourth year in Lansing. Let's see, we have scrap yards, artists, art-appreciative audiences and plenty of public arts projects that need funding. Let's have fun like they do in Lansing. 

Best New Pro Sports Team

American Ultimate Disc League's Detroit Mechanix 

theaudl.com, detmechanix.com

Go ahead and laugh at the American Ultimate Disc League. But the professional Ultimate Frisbee organization kicked off this month, and its Detroit-based team, the Detroit Mechanix, is ready for action. And the Pontiac Silverdome is going to see some consistent action again courtesy of the Mechanix home games. It's a bit like soccer, or maybe basketball, only with a Frisbee! Fans of ultimate, take note, as well: The sport's longstanding tradition, commonly referred to as "Spirit of the Game" — of leaving it up to players to make calls on the field — has been tossed out the window. The league is using refs, and, as AUDL founder and president Josh Moore recently told Slate, this will probably get more people to take the sport seriously. The Silverdome will also play host to the AUDL's first championship game on Aug. 11.

Best Creative Class Mingle 

Drinks x Design

We're reluctant to blow our own horn, but you might think we're holding back if you haven't gotten word already. Once a month, Metro Times teams up with Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3) and Quicken Loans — plus other outfits such as CCS and AIGA Detroit — to corral a local design shop to open its doors for a happy hour, typically followed by cocktails at a nearby bar or restaurant. It's an opportunity to hang out, network and talk up Detroit as a burgeoning center for design and creative innovation. It happens the second Thursday of the month. Past mingles have included Skidmore Design Studios, Digitas and Signal-Return. On May 10, we're at Kraemer Design Group, (1420 Broadway, downtown Detroit; thekraemeredge.com). Watch for Drinks X Design updates at MT's Facebook page (you like us already, right?) or e-mail drinksxdesign@metrotimes.com.

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