Sunday, February 12, 2006

Blog Into Action

Okay - I've about had it with folks who leave trash in front of their homes, expecting it to be picked-up by the City. I think the worst part about it is the general confusion that comes from DPW's soft-sell "spin" of the issue. They continue to argue that bulk pick-up isn't really ending, it's only changing - with the change being that they will no longer pick-up your bulk trash on a monthly basis.

As a result, there are actually Warrendale residents who are expecting DPW to come to their home this month to pick-up their bulk trash.

I will say this once more for anyone who hasn't been paying attention.

The City of Detroit has ended monthly bulk pick-up of our trash.

Our next bulk pick-up of trash will not happen until May.

Since we can't have an effective City Administration who is willing to handle this thing properly, the burden - as usual - falls on the taxpaying residents who will have to pick-up the City's slack. With that in mind, I designed a simple flyer that you can leave on those piles of trash your neighbors leave out.

You can download it here as a PDF. I recommend printing it and leaving with your neighbors. If you don't want to be confrontational, you can leave it in the middle of the night. Tape it to their piles of trash. Stuff it in their mailbox or on their windshield.

Whatever. Let's just get the word out.

Many, Many Warrendale's

I was trolling through Google this morning - looking at the various references to "Warrendale" on the big ol' world wide web. I discovered that this blog ranks at number 13 on Google's hierarchical listings.

My first reaction was to be mildly paranoid or superstitious about the number 13. I got over that quickly, though. If for no other reason than the fact that, the internet being what it is, those rankings will change soon enough.

I found several listings for the town of Warrendale, Pennsylvania. I wonder if this where the neighborhood's name comes from. It wouldn't be unprecendanted if it did, because the Del Ray neighborhood in southwest Detroit was named after a like-named village in Mexico.

I also discovered, much to my chargrin, that Warrendale is also the name of a mental institution in Toronto and the subject of a 1967 documentary by Allan King. The film is regarded as a great classic from the cinema verite school of film making. It one several awards, including one at the Cannes Film Festival.

As a documentary filmmaker myself, I should have known this. But alas, I did not.

To Warrendale, With Love

Warrendale is receiving one positive benefit from Super Bowl XL, besides the fact that your's truly was on field for the half time show with the Rolling Stones.

The NFL, the SBXL Host Committee and others have raised $6 million for an NFL Youth Education Town. It will be built on the "Gardenview Estates" (the new name they came up with for the demolished Herman Garden Housing Complex), which is immediately adjacent to Warrendale. It is expected to open in May 2007 and will be the largest NFL Youth Education Town in the country.

I thrilled that they've raised all of this money for the new NFL YET. However, I can't help but wonder why it is that we can raise so much money for a project like this - and still not be able to fund our police and fire departments.

Drug dealers, hookers and gang bangers are a threat to kids, too. Nothing in this new center will do anything to deal with that threat.

For that, we need cops and a city administration that isn't afraid of hiring them.

Super Bowl XL Is Now History

It has finally happened. Super Bowl XL, an event that everyone in southeastern Michigan has waited for and, in many cases, worried about, is now history.

Downtown Detroit looks amazing. I've always been bullish about Detroit, but even I am pleasantly suprised by how far the central business district has come in a relatively short period of time.

Former Mayor Dennis Archer deserves a lot of credit from bringing Super Bowl XL to Detroit. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick also deserves credit for a lot of the things that have happened downtown. Roger Penske, of course, also deserves an enourmous amount of credit for everything that he has done in connection with this.

Of course, now that downtown is looking so great, I can't help but feel that it's time for some more attention to be paid to the neighborhoods. Ordinary residents can do a l0t, but we do our local government to do their part.

We can tell the police who is selling drugs and where the prostitutes are operating. Sooner or later, though, a police officer has to show up and make an arrest.

We can remind our neighbors that monthly trash pick-up has ended and report those who continue to leave large piles of trash in front of their homes. However, if no one ever issues a ticket to the repeat offenders then all is for naught.

For the past five years, I have heard one public official after another use the Super Bowl as their excuse for concentrating all of their time, attention and resources on downtown. Now that Super Bowl XL has passed into the history books, it's time for the neighborhoods to receive a little attention.

So Long to Al's Barber Shop

I went to get what little hair I have left cut earlier this week, only to discover that Al's Barber Shop has gone out of business. Their building is listed as being up for lease. This truly sucks.

Al's was a great barber shop. When I was on the board of directors for the Warrendale Community Organization, we honored them as Business of the Month at least twice.

I'm sad to see them go. I truly hope that someone takes that place over and does so soon.

Update on Wikipedia

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about Warrendale being one of the few Detroit neighborhoods to have its own entry on Wikipedia. (Take that Rosedale Park - lol).

Anyway, as I was surfing the web this evening, I discovered that not only is Warrendale one of the dozen or so neighborhoods to be listed; it's also one of only four where the article isn't a "stub".

Of course, I also discovered that the Warrendale blog is now linked on Wikipedia. You can call me easily impressed, but I'm impressed by this.