Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to take a moment to wish a happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the Warrendale neighborhood and beyond. I pray that this day brings the best of everything to you and your family.

The Warrendale (Detroit) Blog will be back in earnest starting Monday, February 2, 2016.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I will return in February

Open enrollment season - Photo by Frank Nemecek
For anyone who didn't know, my day job is as an insurance agent. Specifically, I help consumers and small businesses with life and health insurance.

The entire nation is currently in the middle of both Medicare Annual Enrollment (through December 7) as well as open enrollment for everyone under age 65 who gets their insurance through the federal marketplace. This means that I'm currently working 12 - 14 hours a day, six days a week and have been for a few weeks now.

This schedule really does not permit me to blog with any degree of frequency. Therefore, I am putting this blog on hold until February. I look forward to being back then with lots of news and analysis about the Warrendale neighborhood.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dr. Ben Carson from Detroit

Dr. Ben Carson - Photo by Michael Vadon
Retired brain surgeon and Republican presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson, has been at the center a media firestorm in recent weeks. Much of it centers over details from his past, such as questions as to whether or not the story that he once stabbed a man as a teenager is true.

I don't normally discuss presidential politics on this blog. While Dr. Carson isn't from the Warrendale neighborhood, he is from Detroit. There is at least one portion of this scandal that I feel an overwhelming urge to opine about.

This is this: You know someone is from Detroit when them not stabbing another person is the basis for a presidential scandal.

And that, quite frankly, is all that I feel needs to be said about this matter.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Friends of Rouge Park to meet on Tuesday

Rouge Park - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The next membership meeting for the Friends of Rouge Park will be on Tuesday, October 20 from 6 - 7 p.m. at the Don Bosco Center (9356 Westwood St.). The center is approximately a half mile north of the Warrendale neighborhood at West Chicago Street.

The agenda for this meeting will include:

  • Presentation on the Green Infrastructure Project in Warrendale by Professor Natalie Sampson from the University of Michigan-Dearborn's College of Education, Health, and Human Services;
  • Presentation on the Tireman Bioswale project that started on October 12;
  • An interest in signage and walkability from the National Kidney Foundation and the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services;
  • Restoration of the canceled Combined Sewage Overflow project site at W. Warren Avenue and Outer Drive;
  • Offer of assistance from Christ the King Service Corps; and
  • Plans for camping area restoration and programming at Scout Hollow.
 Additional items may be added to the agenda as needed.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Dog found on Rosemont

Found on Rosemont at Kirkwood
A stray dog, pictured above, was found on Rosemont at Kirkwood this past Saturday. He is a 50 pound male German Shepherd mix, probably some Chow or Husky in him.  This animal was not neutered; is very friendly with people but reactive to dogs. Those who found him are pretty sure that he was attacked by another dog.

He was found wearing a blue collar with no tags and a black leash. He was not microchipped.

If this is your dog, or you know who he belongs to, please call (734) 731-1182. The owner will be asked to confirm his or her claim with veterinary documents or other papers.

Looking back on the Ransom Gillis House

The Ransom Gillis House has stood vacant in Detroit's Brush Park neighborhood for decades. Various attempts have been made to save this historic home over the years, but it looks like Nicole Curtis is going to be the one to make it work.

Nicole Curtis, of course, is the hostess of Rehab Addict on HGTV. She has rehabbed historic homes across the country but has concentrated on Detroit. The Ransom Gillis House is one of her latest projects.

Her work on this historic home has garnered a significant amount of media attention. Curbed Detroit, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, MLive, and WXYZ-TV are just some of the media outlets that have covered the redevelopment of this house. I'm excited to see this home come back to back to life and am grateful to Nicole Curtis for all of her hard work.

The media attention, though, does make me want to share a documentary short that I made with former Warrendale resident Lee Runchey back in the summer of 2007. Our film Held for Ranson is embedded above.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Detroit Police Commission issues annual report

The Board of Police Commissioners, which is a civilian board mandated by the City Charter to oversee the Detroit Police Department, released their 2014 annual report. This report includes statistics regarding complaints that citizens have registered against police officers or the department in general. More importantly, it documents a 20% increase in the number of complaints filed

Of the 6,461 complaints filed against the Detroit Police Department in 2014, 3,838 - or approximately 59% of the total - were related to allegations that an officer did not follow established procedures or allegations related to his demeanor. The remaining 41% related to arrests made, entry into a property, damages made to property, searches, use of force, or general harassment.

I spoke with Ricardo Moore, who represents Warrendale and the surrounding neighborhoods on the commission, about this spike. He believes a large portion of this spike in complaints has to do a similar increase in news stories and social media posts about the police. He went on to add that body cameras will soon come to the Detroit Police Department.

The full text of this 58-page report from the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners is available below.

The report itself is fine. However, I believe it would have been useful if they provided some comparison with other departments of a similar size to Detroit.