Monday, April 23, 2018

Police community relations meeting this Wednesday

Detroit police officer walks a beat - Photo by Frank Nemecek

The 6th Precinct Community Relations Organization will meet this Wednesday, April 25 in the Activities Building of Ss. Peter & Paul Church (7718 Westwood St.). This meeting will happen from 7 - 8:30 pm.

Everyone from in or around the Warrendale neighborhood is invited to attend this meeting.

Future meetings of the group will happen on the last Wednesday of each month until June.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Rouge-A-Thlon returns to Detroit


Tour de Troit's second annual Rouge-A-thlon will return to Rouge Park in Warrendale tomorrow to raise funds for the Friends of Rouge Park. The event is a duathlon, which combines running and cycling into one race.

Proceeds from this event go towards Friends of Rouge Park to maintain its active infrastructure. Registration includes the duathlon, which is chip-timed, as well as a beer provided by Batch Brewing Company, Amicci's Pizza that will be baked on site, and a finisher medal.

Registration and additional information is available at http://www.tour-de-troit.org/rouge-a-thlon

Teen prodigy Anastasia Rizikov to perform in Detroit area

Anastasia Rizikov - Press photo

Canadian classical pianist Anastasia Rizikov will perform at The Berman Center for the Performing Arts (6600 W. Maple Rd. in West Bloomfield) at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 29. Rizikov made her orchestral debut at the tender age of seven and has since appeared as soloist with major orchestras in North America and Europe.

The launch of Anastasia Rizkov's career was when she placed first at the Vladimir Horowitz International Piano Competition in Kiev, Ukraine. From there she was invited to perform with the National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine conducted by Mykola Diadiura.

Following those performances, Anastasia Rizikov stepped on to the international circuit competing with musicians twice her age. In 2011, she became the youngest person to compete and win in history at the Rotary International Piano Competition (Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 2011). She won in other major competitions including:

  • Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competition (Seregno, Italy, 2015);
  • Jaén International Piano Competition (Jaén, Spain, 2015); and
  • 13th Giuliano Pecar International Piano Competition (Gorizia, Italy, 2013).

“Ms. Rizikov is an extraordinary virtuoso, with abundant technical prowess,” said Renée Silberman at The Beat Magazine. “But she is more than the sum of ten fingers – she is a consummate artist, born to play, to love the art and act of music-making...” he continued.

Now 19 years old, she is being lauded as the “one to watch.” With more than 30 orchestral performances and 20 concerti in her repertoire, Anastasia Rizikov has already played with such major orchestras as Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the City of Granada Orchestra. She has worked with conductors such as Peter Oundjian, Alain Trudel, Bernhard Gueller and more.

Anastasia Rizikov’s concert schedules have taken her around the globe. She has played in such prestigious spaces such as Carnegie Hall, Roy Thomson Hall, Fazioli Hall, Hong Kong City Hall and the Kremlin. With a curiosity for diverse and exciting projects, she recorded a CD with NAXOS and performed at the prestigious Verbier and Orford Festivals (2015). In 2014, she tackled Rachmaninoff’s immense Piano Concerto No. 3 with Laval Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Alain Trudel; while in the fall of 2013,  and gave 20 performances over two weeks throughout all the Atlantic provinces of Canada as the winner of the prestigious Debut Atlantic Award.

Adept in English, Russian, and Ukrainian languages (and working towards mastering her French), Rizikov began studies at École Normale de Musique de Paris with Professor Rena Shereshevskaya. From 2003-2017 she studied with Professor Maia Spis at the Nadia Music Academy, Toronto. She has played in master classes for Sergei Babayan, Arie Vardi, and Robert Levin, and has worked with András Schiff, Emanuel Ax, Menahem Pressler, and Olga Kern.

Being a person who loves and understands her audience, she dreams of being able to share her unique musical voice with the entire world, including audiences in Detroit.

To purchase tickets, please visit theberman.org or call 248.661.1900 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

This post is a part of this blog's semi-regular Friday Focus series, which endeavors to highlight news and opinions that, in my opinion, don't get as much attention as they deserve. Please follow this blog on Facebook for more great content. I'm also on Twitter and Instagram as @fnemecek.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

I have a favor to ask of my readers


I have a favor to ask of everyone who reads the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog.

It has long been a dream of mine to travel Route 66 from beginning to end and now the National Trust for Historic Preservation has a program that will help me do just that. If I'm one of the people who are selected to be a part of it, I will spend a week traveling Route 66; posting to social media channels along the way.

As part of the application process, I'm asked to provide the National Trust for Historic Preservation with links to my social media channels. I think it would look a lot better if I had more people following me and that's where you come in.

I have three related social media channels. I would appreciate it if everyone reads this liked/followed me on one or more of them. The first channel is the Warrendale Detroit Blog page on Facebook, which is available here. Readers cans also find me on Twitter and Instagram as @fnemecek.

I thank everyone for their help with this.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Warrendale on SciTech Now

Back in October of last year, I reported that a crew from the show SciTech Now on PBS was coming to Warrendale. They did a report on how some of the vacant lots in our part of Detroit are being used bioretention gardens as well as the impact that these garden have.

Detroit Public Television interviewed Barb Matney of the Warrendale Community Organization and myself on behalf of the show. They also spoke to several other people in the area and included lots of footage from our neighborhood.

I'm thrilled that this episode of SciTech Now has aired on PBS. It is available to watch on Detroit Public Television's website or by clicking the embedded video above.

As cities around the nation continue to look for better ways to meet environmental challenges, I'm excited that Detroit is able to showcase one solution. I'm also grateful to Detroit Public Television and the rest of the PBS family for shining such a positive spotlight on the neighborhood.

I was only featured in this episode very briefly. However, SciTech Now also used several photos that I provided them that showed what my basement looked like after Detroit was hit with record rainfall in August of 2014.

That flood was a painful - and expensive - moment for everyone in Detroit. I'm glad that it seems to have served as an impetus for improvements to our water and sewage system. 

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Job fair this Saturday in Warrendale

Job opening - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The City of Detroit will have a job fair this coming Saturday, March 3 at the Edison Branch of the Detroit Public Library (18400 Joy Rd.). This event will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The City is hiring seasonal workers to maintain our parks during the warmer months. They have two categories that they will hire for this Saturday.

The first job category this is open is Laborer A/Park Maintenance Helper, which pays a starting wage of $10.04 - $10.40 per hour. Applicants must have the ability to understand and follow oral directions as well as a valid drivers license, Michigan identification card, or an identification card issued by the City of Detroit.

The second job category is Vehicle Operator I, which pays a starting wage of $14.35 - $17.12 per hour. Applicants must have a valid commercial drivers license with an air brake endorsement as well as a valid medical examiner's certificate that certifies the applicant's physical fitness for driving.

In order to attend this job fair, all applicants must do the following:

  1. Apply online before the fair for the job that they wish to be considered for. Start here for vehicle operators and here for park maintenance helpers. For both jobs, click the green "apply" button in the upper right corner.
  2. RSVP ahead of time by visiting Eventbrite here and selecting "register."
  3. Come dressed for success. Interviews will happen on site.
Additional job openings within the City of Detroit are posted at detroitmi.gov/employment.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Burton Leland passes away at the age of 69

Burton Leland
Burton Leland, who represented the Warrendale neighborhood in both the Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan Senate for 26 years, passed away this morning. He was 69 years of age at the time of his passing. In later years, Leland represented Wayne County's 6th district on the County Commission.

During his time in the Michigan Legislature, Burton Leland was a tireless advocate for consumer rights. In 1986, while serving the state house, he sponsored Michigan's Lemon Law that protected buyers from defective automobiles.

Burton Leland was also a relentless public servant for the Warrendale neighborhood. Whenever the Warrendale Community Organization needed something during his almost three decades of representing us, he was one of the few elected officials that residents could consistently count on.

Burton Leland's son Gabe Leland continues to represent the Warrendale and surrounding neighborhoods on the Detroit City Council.

Burton Leland was also proud of his Jewish faith. I attended a meeting of the Wayne County Commission a few years back when, at Leland's urging, a Jewish rabbi delivered the invocation. The invocation is normally held before the start of each meeting and his lead by a local religious leader. However, that was the first time in Wayne County's more than 200 year history that a rabbi was invited to perform this ceremonial role.

Details for Burton Leland's funeral are not currently available. When they become public, I will share them here.

On a personal note, I want to add that I write this post with a tremendous amount of sadness. I have spoken with Burton Leland on more occasions than I can remember over the past 30 years - going all the way back to my days as a high school student in a government class. I was always impressed with his intellect, his dedication, and a love for Michigan and its people that will continue to live on with every person that he ever met.

Update @ 10:48 p.m.
I have learned that the funeral for Burton Leland will be at 2 p.m. this Tuesday, February 27. The service will be at the Ira Kaufman Chapel (18325 W. Nine Mile in Southfield). More information is available here.