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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The UFO Factory Situation-Now With Response!


 

* UPDATE* Metro back. Okay so it took me about 12 hours to get a statement from the UFO Factory that should have been posted on their Facebook page at the very least, months ago so everyone who contributed to their process could be kept in the loop.  In all interests of fairness I will post it here including the various insults towards me, and then post a response.  In the interest of fairness I have kept the original article in its entirety after this update below. 



UFO Response- "OMG! (That means OH MY GOD it’s an acronym that the kids use on the line) —- the level of ineptitude and confusion as it relates to very basic reality is shocking - so much so that l can’t believe l find myself responding! Here goes: 1. ALL the money received from gofundme etc was fairly distributed among the employees that lost their jobs - so yes the above ufo employee benefited from the ufo EMPLOYEE BENEFIT! Shocker! ( I’m guessing she’d prefer her full time employment as a manger in a relaxed forward thinking arts focused workplace - to a temporary short lived payout???) 2. We haven’t received ANY Insurance money! All the insurance money will go directly to rebuild over 1/3 of the entire building... 3. The ufo factory does not make more $$$ closed than when open - in fact since the August closing we are currently making ZERO MONEY! 4. That other grant that you “uncovered” is very public info and the process was started before the incident - it relates to a completely different renovation project - not rebuilding. 5. No reopening date has been announced because there Isn’t one yet - crazy! l promise you’ll be the last know... and yes you win - if winning equals me spending 3 minutes on the Facebook responding to an ill informed super smart very stable internet troll - 😻 congrats you have cracked the case wide open! (Also l recommend doing an internet search on the terms journalism, defamation/libel , and said/say) - thanks!

Super basic. Most folks know how insurance works, what an employee benefit is, and that business’ announce reopening dates when they have that info (business’ like their customers to visit their establishments that how capitalism works!) - and yes you win again! Every time a rational person responds to you an internet troll gets its wings 

Metro's response- ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.  Metro is woken up by secretary Jean. Response-
Okay, so the entire purpose of the post below was not to make accusations but rather to raise questions as to where all the money that has been funneled into the UFO Factory since August 2017 has gone because after the initial outpouring of support at that time....well, the story kind of went away as the money kept coming in.  That's all.  If they made any extra cash, more power to them. "Capitalism" I think they called it. I just wanted the people who donated their hard earned money to know where the money was going, and up until today, UFO Factory made zero comment and minimal thanks about any of it.  Oh yeah, "internet troll, live in parents' basement", I get those easy, lazy jabs all the time, but look at that spiel above.  He said it took three minutes to write. Yet before this week it had been six months since any comment.  You're welcome. And as a bonus, allow me to reply publicly to his talking points above....
1. I'm glad that ALL (in caps, compensating much?) monies went to the staff, as it should have.  I'll take your word for it though. Also, "full time employment as a manger in a relaxed forward thinking arts focused workplace" sounds like the most insufferable job in the world.  Now see!  That's me being a troll.  Me asking where all the money is going is not a troll. Educate yourself (just not in a relaxed forward thinking arts blah blah work blah"
2.  Six months and no insurance money?  Maybe look into a new provider. It's good that all of the money will go to rebuilding 1/3 of the building.  I'll take your word for it as I am a Nice Guy.
3.  "We are making zero money since August."  Let me correct that for you-"We have a had a successful GoFundMe, Insurance payout, and a grant issued since August.  But no money."
4.  That other grant I "uncovered" was indeed public info because it was public info.  And so this is for a completely different renovation project.  Cool.  I'll take your word on it.  Weird that zero statements have been made what that completely separate renovation project is.  But yeah, I guess nothing to see here.  Just asking the questions, leaving it up to the public to make their opinions.
5.  I can understand the no re-open date because there isn't one.  I recommend doing an internet search on the term "timetable" because if you don't have one after six fucking months then people like me start asking questions like this and it gets under your skin really really quick at 8 in the morning.
So, in conclusion, I am not trying to be a troll.  I'm just asking the questions nobody has asked, and until today, nobody has fucking answered.  No defamation or libel.  I didn't say that the damage to the building was orchestrated or anything preposterous like that.  I just like to look out for the little people who give their money and make sure it is used properly. So go ahead and post another youtube clip.



*Original Post*

Hey all, Metro here.  Now this isn't exactly my "February Surprise" because it's not quite February and the two pieces I have ready to roll are not related, although they share the same DNA.  I know that makes zero sense but it makes for a great segue to today's piece....

First off, I want everyone to take what I am about to type at Face Value, and give the benefit of doubt that it is true.  This past year the UFO Factory in Corktown was severely damaged by a construction crew and had to close, putting its employees out of work.  This galvanized the community and a GoFundMe was immediately set up that exceeded its goal, a goal that was matched by the construction crew.  There were numerous benefit shows at other local venues with all the profits going to the UFO Factory.  There was a vague promise of a re-launch in 2018 but with no timeline. And now there's this- a grant going towards building renovation.Youtube-Patti Smith-Free Money
At face value, that's a pretty darn good happy ending....

Now, lets slide down the surface of things........

If you read this site you'll know that I am quite cynical, and even untrusting, by nature.  You will also know that I am the only real journalist in this city.  I'm not a Jeff Milo who just regurgitates press releases only with a thesaurus.  I'm not even a Melody who was to stay within the lines due to her job.  That's not journalism.  That's reporting.  I got into a conversation this week with a friend about journalism vs. reporting.  Journalism asks the questions and reporting, well, reports. Well, as the only local journalist with the guts around town, I happen to have a few questions about this UFO Club Situation....

Lets start with the easiest and most obvious:  Where is all this money actually going?
To recap- A GoFundMe that exceeded its goal AND was matched by the construction crew.  Check!
-Numerous benefit shows with "all profits going to the UFO Club".  Check!
-Just announced (link above) that a grant was awarded for renovations.  Check!
-Okay, let me get cerebral for a second: And what about the insurance payout because of the damages. A business in a big time city has to be insured right?  Ahhh let's toss in another check literally and figuratively. Check!

Anyway, I got off track ranting about things nobody here really cares about, fucking facts, and for that I apologize.  Lets get back to the original question. Where has all this money gone?  What I just listed (actual amounts left out due to respect for the business and what I'm working on with the IRS) was a whole lot of money.  A lot of money.  Big money for a local business that struggled to turn a profit when it was open.  Okay, that may be me being cynical again, but it really was a good segway (that's for the grammar police)-

The fact is, the UFO Factory has made more money being closed than when it was open.  There, I said it.  Its the elephant in the room that nobody who covers local news or contributes to fraud Kickstarters wants to address. "Oh, it's terrible what happened." "Oh, the show of support is amazing", "How can I help?", "It will be back!".  All quotes from casual followers in the dark.  You know where I can't find any quotes from?  The actual fucking business, the UFO Factory.  Aside from a post saying they'll be back in 2018, it has just been generic youtube music video clips and links to Third Man Records' releases that nobody ended up buying.

The last paragraph may have come off as catty, but I'm just sick and tired of people, working class people, being taken advantage of around here. Everybody looking for a hand out.  If you disagree with what I write, so be it, but you most likely have me on your side anyways. Lets all take a minute to focus on the complete lack of transparency from the UFO crew regarding any of this as to where this money is going.  Certainly, those that donated their hard earned money to this "bust out" deserve to know where their money is going...

Recap #2- Yes, the grant is for building renovations.  Okay, cool.  So where did the insurance payout go?
-Yes, the GoFundMe was to benefit employees who were out of a job.  Okay, cool.  I lost my job before.  Hell, you want me to lost a job, I'll lose you a job by 3 o'clock.  Fact is, I got another job in my same industry.  I feel for employees who were affected by the bust out but the service industry bounces back quick.
-I don't even want to get into the tax implications of all the various means to funnel money to the UFO Factory, but I promise that I am looking into it.  Just wanted to plant that seed in your heads.
-Back to the insurance payout.  How does that affect the grant payout?  No worries, looking into it.
-Finally, I promise not to refer to the vacation management took after the accident/gofundme.  Ahhh GODDAMMIT.

So that's it.  Go ahead and cut out the entire middle part and like I said at the beginning and take it at face value, and everything that happened was true.  So congrats to the UFO Factory and their yet to be announced re-opening of 2018.  Ahhhh fuck it.  Transparency fuck-o's.  There are still a few left that see through the bullshit of all this.  And if I'm wrong and they can prove it, I still win because I got them off their asses and made them say where the money went.





And spoiler alert-  Anybody who wants to take the bet that Jett Plastic Records doesn't get the next grant/Kresge, get your head out of your ass.  The fix is in.  Sheefy McFly is gonna be PISSED!


There I said it, from the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro


39 comments:

Anonymous said...

The fact that Dion commented on the JCM Facebook, and with a stupid youtube clip and no real commentary just goes to show that there is correuption everywhere around here. From the UFO Club to Lee, and the infuriating thing is they all get away with it and actually are out in public rubbing it in people's faces. Thanks for at least trying to call them out.

Bryan Metro said...

I made a point at the beginning and the end of the post to say take everything in public thus far as being true, giving them the benefit of the doubt. Dion's lazy youtube Star Wars "Everything you said is wrong" clip just shows that they don't even care that the entire city is being fleeced. Fine, whatever. At least the questions I posed in the post are now out there and hopefully people raise a few eyebrows. See what I did there? Raze???

Anonymous said...

Are you applying for the job at Jett Plastic?

Bryan Metro said...

Nahhh, I won't bend to others' requests or PC statements.

Anonymous said...

Curious, how much did you donate to the go fund me?

Anonymous said...

As the 2nd best journalist in town I just did a search on that relief fund page and didn't see any donations made under any of your pseudonyms. Perhaps you donated anonymously. If so could you please provide screenshots of the confirmation email stating the amount donated, the date, the email address associated with the donation? I'm just looking for transparency here.

Bryan Metro said...

Where at any point in my post did I say I donated? The purpose of the post was to get some questions answered. I donate to animal rescues and I have posted proof on here before. You guys are really slacking off. And that is a farrrrrr away 2nd best journalist.

Anonymous said...

It didn't. I didn't say it did. I just think it's important to include that information. Honestly it makes you look better, as in 'I didn't donate but look at me caring anyway.'

Unfortunately I don't think UFO owes you any explanation though.

Anonymous said...

I'll give you one for the gofundme though. It's speculation but uses maths. The gfm raised about 23K. Was matched 15K. 38K total. Lots of money! 15 employees at UFO. Assuming its split evenly, 2500 for each employee. Still lots of money! Spread out over 5 months, a stipend of 500 a month or 125 a week! Those scum!

Anonymous said...

I see they actually responded to you. Again not associated but guessing, 6 months waiting for an insurance payout isn't crazy and if you don't know when you're getting the money creating a timetable is ludicrous.

You're the only one with a problem about this and as you said, you didn't even donate.

Bryan Metro said...

They should have responded months ago. Even if I'm the only person with a "problem" with any of this then that still is a problem. The lack of communication from the venue just raises so many questions. Some like, If they didn't get that grant recently to rebuild on a separate rebuild, were they actively looking for a new location? Or what about the rumors that the lot has already been sold? Like I said, just rumors....but they're out there.

Bryan Metro said...

Fuck it. I would donate 8 hours of my day to get the ball rolling and start fixing this place up, free of charge so that all the employees can get back to work. Six months and zero movement. Nahhhh nothing to see here.

Bryan Metro said...

And to close, the questions I posed here to get the ball rolling and get the UFO employees back to work are more than Dion has done sitting on his ass for the past 6 months.

Anonymous said...

Whether you believe it or not I actually enjoy these exchanges. I agree with you often but I'm not going to say "hear hear" like your automaton friends because that's stupid.

Back to my point. They don't owe anyone am explanation at this point. The shit went down in August. Insurance companies don't move fast. Everybody knows that. There's also the question of if it's worth it which tacks on insurance time. This creates the weird situation where Monahan, knowing that this corner spot is important to their own development, has to help fight to keep the place open. My guess is this is the only reason the whole place wasn't a wash from the insurance company. A cracked foundation from an accident in Warren would equal payout plus demolition. I didn't even expect to hear 2018. I wouldn't be surprised if that date was pushed back to early 2019.

I doubt your abilities to fix a foundation, btw.

Bryan Metro said...

You've never felt my muscles.
C'mon it's a cash grab right?

Anonymous said...

What cash though? Go ahead and double the amount above. Let's exaggerate and say that every benefit together generated another 40K. So each employee got 5K. It's been 5 months. It's not our business what they do with it at that point. Rent, car, suits, blow, who cares?

Anonymous said...

Robocop statue. That's a cash grab.

Bryan Metro said...

There is no stipulation that the employee CAN'T GET ANOTHER JOB. The payout is garnish. The service industry is quite easy to get into. And I'm not knocking it because I've been through the trenches, but a server with experience should be able to find work as soon as the day after, and that including the payout. When the place re-opens (insert joke here) they will have a place. This isn't brain surgery.

Bryan Metro said...

Why am I getting all the hate when the UFO Factory has sat on their hands for 6 months and letting the charities and grants flow in. Fuck it, maybe they have the right idea. The questions of me being able to build a foundation should be directed to the mgmt of UFO

Anonymous said...

They absolutely can find other work but there's uncertainty when stuff like this happens and people pony up. What you're saying with this is that everyone who donated are idiots for doing so or at least for doing so and not demanding answers. That's fine. It's your right to do that. Just as it's UFO Smalls and every other place you trash talk to say we aren't booking jcm.

For me, I like your enthusiasm but your focus is off on this one. It's not hate just trying to figure out why you're so angry.

Bryan Metro said...

Its not anger really. I just want to know some answers to a few questions. Regarding Smalls, that's in the can for the February piece. I never said those that donated are idiots. I just posed the scenario that they may have been taken advantage of. Or may not have. Much of my frustration is with local "journalists" who were all over the bust up the week it happened and did zero follow up. So here I am 6 months later doing so.

Anonymous said...

I call it unnecessarily stirring the pot just to get attention. Agree with anon 7:37 am.

Bryan Metro said...

I appreciate the comment and not throwing in insults, but I would have to disagree. I would say it's necessarily stirring the pot because the questions I posed have gone unanswered (until yesterday sorta). Also, I have no reason to clamor for attention. I don't have a record coming out. I don't have a show to promote. I have yet to enable the ads on this site so not making money here. I just woke up one day and realized that everybody forgot about this story after the gofundme and benefit shows. If anything, it was to get attention for the poor folks at UFO who after 6 months have made zero headway in re-opening, but muchos headway in fundraising. If UFO mgmt showed as much passion as the people defending them here and on Facebook, the joint would be open by now.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Metro on this one. I can see it now.... 2020, the grand re-opening of the UFO Factory. In its new location in midtown or Ferndale.

Bryan Metro said...

Thank god you stayed anonymous 12:48. That's something that I really didn't even consider, but it does open a lot of possibilities. The main problem would be the insurance money and the grant which I'm pretty sure are earmarked for renovating the current location. That's a lot of money to throw away if you sell and move to a new location. Unless, of course the money is used to fix up the Corktown location and then flip the lot for money to re-open at a different location. This way everybody is happy: The owners, the construction/gentrification outfit that wanted the lot from the get-go (that much is fact), online commenters. Of course this is all speculation and not true. So I'll lay it out here. I am willing to do a face to face interview with UFO management so they can clear up these questions and use this website as a platform to update everybody to the process and timetable of the re-open because they're not doing it anywhere else. They're back to posting youtube clips on their page today. I'm sorry but I'm not letting this story fade away, and based on the passionate threatening responses from this post I mayyyyyy have maybe struck a nerve. E-mail me at bryanmetro1@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

True, Monahan & Soave wanted that property, but you're forgetting what happened when they tried to annex it. Everyone lost their shit, the companies wisely backed down. It became apparent that it was in their best interest for UFO to stay put. It still is. Soave & Monahan are in this odd position now where they almost have to stand with UFO. It doesn't take a genius developer to look at how Corktown is going and say "damn, nobody cares when desolate places are renovated and turned into something new, but people get pissed when something old gets reworked, changed, or consumed." I would've figured you'd had something to say about Corktown Tavern, because it's a prime example of this. That place will most likely tank before the year is out. Some semblance of authenticity is highly valuable to developers. UFO is one of those places.

Anonymous said...

Also, why would they care to do a sit down? Nobody cares about this topic except for you and your 4 to 5 deep echo chamber. The lack of timetable in the face of legalities, insurance payouts, what this means for grants, etc. makes sense to everyone but you.

...and who knows? The insurance company might win out and refuse to pay up for repairs. They might move to Ferndale or some other place (doubtful but possible).

Bryan Metro said...

August 2017- Everybody cares. January 2018- "Nobody cares about this topic but you." And that, in a nutshell, is Detroit! Love it.

Bryan Metro said...

Also, you can't have it both ways. I was blasted on FB saying its not journalism because I'm asking questions but getting no answers. Now when I reach out for an interview I get heat as to why they should sit down with me and address my questions. And that, in a nutshell, is Detroit 2.0

Anonymous said...

Lmao the hard hitting gonzo journalist that somehow missed the Instagram posts of them prepping for the rebuild, somehow missed the construction crew that was working on the building for a few weeks before the ground froze, somehow missed that Dion is married to a doctor (gasp - maybe that's why they were able to go on vacation together?), somehow missed the fact they everybody has found other employment, and just generally missed the mark all over this blog post. "It's been a whole 6 months since 1/3 of the building was destroyed and the foundation cracked but they haven't fixed it and set a reopen date yet, what gives?" Spare me, this shit is weak.

Bryan Metro said...

I don't have instagram. As for all the "somehow missed's" if you know so much about this stuff why don't you start running their social media. At the very least I did bring attention to the fact that they are lazy in keeping the people who donated updated as to where the money is going and the progress. So for that fact alone and comments like yours I raised awareness, got a few answers, and got people talking. Yeah, shit's real weak indeed.

Bryan Metro said...

And for the record, this has always been an entertainment/satire/shit starting website. Only recently did I get bored and venture into the journalist shit. I don't get paid for any of this (which probably makes me the biggest idiot of all) but to shrug off what I have done here: Taking the piss out of Blowout, exposing the Ben's Encore charity, exposing the Hamtramck Music Fest as corrupt. Hell just the other week I helped track down somebody who had "fallen off the grid" and worried their friends. I did so, made sure they were fine and healthy, and relieved their friends. All of the above pro bono, karma, whatever. The point of my post was to get people talking about why the talk about UFO has gone silent since last year, and the fact that people are talking and commenting means I did my job. The whole non-paying job.

Anonymous said...

That just reads like a whole lot of you just trying to avoid saying "I was wrong and smelled blood in the water when there wasn't any", with a heavy dose of "I'm not really privy to things that people who actively participate in the local goings on are privy to, but I'll be damned if I'm not going to jump to wild conclusions about those things". So you can either be like everyone else on the internet and dance around the fact that you were wrong and bring up other unrelated shit, or you can just be like "eh, fucked up on this one guys, just looks like they've gone a little quiet on social media during reconstruction, nothing nefarious to see here."

Anonymous said...

Like, if you really wanted to be a gonzo journalist you would've hopped in your car, driven to the city, and started asking questions at some bars around Corktown. Had you done that you would've known everything I just told you within the first half hour. Instead you decided to just troll some people on facebook and tried to create a controversy where there wasn't one. Then you try to hide behind "but this is a satire site!" You might try to deflect and defend but deep down you know that's weak af.

Bryan Metro said...

I'm not exactly sure what I was "wrong" about. The entire purpose of the post was to ask where the money was going. The fact is that we probably will never really know. My secondary gripe in the post was the lack of transparency from the business. After winning the grant for the "separate renovation" you would think they would have posted something like "Hey we got this grant and are using it to XXXXXXXXXX". I'm not dancing around the fact I was "wrong" because there was nothing to be wrong about. We still don't know where the full amount of the money (gofundme, insurance, grant) actually is going to and they aren't very forthcoming about that information about the separate mystery renovation. A simple facebook update would have taken less time than your comments. And if I wanted to "really be a Gonzo journalist" I wouldn't have done what you suggested. That would make me a regular journalist. As a Gonzo journalist I would have made myself part of the story in some way: fake credentials, applying to work on the reconstruction crew, getting a job at the WAB and use the free Wi-Fi to update this blog responding to Constant Readers. That being said, I do appreciate the time and effort you have put into your comments because it did save me that car ride downtown, and though I don't expect you to have the itemized printouts of where the money went to (the main point of the post), I do appreciate your passion. I hope you appreciate my appreciation of allowing people to post any fact they want on this site, anonymously I might add, and have zero censorship if it goes against my views. C'mon, at least gimmie some credit for that. What other site does that these days? Actually if you have all this time, can you let me know what other site these days actually opens up dialogue like this and isn't afraid to ruffle feathers? If you can I promise to match my salary from this site for the entire week.
Metro

Bryan Metro said...

Also, If I was "wrong" as you say and the place reopens with the exterior rebuilding, along with a second "mystery" renovation I would have no problem admitting here that I was overzealous in my questioning and apologize. However, if they reopen at a different location or there is no "mystery renovation" or the mystery renovation turns out not warranting the full grant payout like replacing some light fixtures, I can probably guarantee I will not receive the same apology from you mystery person.

Anonymous said...

Trust me, there are things I do appreciate about what you do. That wasn't the issue here, and what I think is wrong is starting to hypothesize in a way that implies you think there was some foul play going on. Re: the "mystery" renovation, there is no mystery. This took me two secs to google:

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20171128/news/646266/motor-city-re-store-awards-330000-to-44-businesses-for-facade

Re: The building actually reopening at the same location, once again, about 30 secs on their instagram provided all these:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BazWsX0D_Uf/?taken-by=ufofactory
https://www.instagram.com/p/BazW8YED6TJ/?taken-by=ufofactory
https://www.instagram.com/p/BazXMVVDWwk/?taken-by=ufofactory
https://www.instagram.com/p/BbcRFEFjpoL/?taken-by=ufofactory
https://www.instagram.com/p/BbepGJfjk9c/?taken-by=ufofactory
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bbeo8sHj4Lx/?taken-by=ufofactory
https://www.instagram.com/p/BcSoDfWjmn1/?taken-by=ufofactory


It just seems very lazy compared to what you normally put into things like this. That's why I called it weak. Granted, if I didn't have a couple days off and it wasn't cold outside I prob wouldn't have put in this effort. Then again, I also don't run the blog that was trying to muckrake this business.

Bryan Metro said...

I don't have Instagram.
After being burned by donating to local correct business ventures before I hope you understand my cynicism. Like I said, I'll be the first to apologize once it opens again. I may even offer to come out of retirement and play a grand opening show there. That'll really tear the place down (Too soon?)

Anonymous said...

Fair enough. You don't need an instagram to look at on the computer tho, FYI.

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