Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blogging for the Beast



As of this moment, my earnings from Google Adsense (those ads that you see on this blog and over on my personal one) for the month of October have amounted to $6.66. Intellectually, I know that this is purely a coincidence.

However, this is one of those coincidences in life that still manages to make me feel a wee bit nervous. The fact that this is happening on Halloween only makes it worse.

Will someone please click on one of those links so my final total for the month isn't $6.66?

Update @ 8:40 p.m.
Thank you, everyone!  I know no have to worry about that ominous total for the month.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Charlie LeDufff Has Left the Building

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie LeDuff has resigned from The Detroit News. Mr. LeDuff reportedly intends to work as a freelance writer while he continues to weigh his options. Mayor Dave Bing and many others who hold political power in Detroit have complained that Mr. LeDuff never showed the good news about Detroit.

Charlie LeDuff
Instead, Charlie LeDuff reported on other things. He reported on ambulances that didn't arrive when they were desperately needed. He reported on the homeless man who was found dead in an abandoned building and the man who hunts raccoons to supplement his meager income.

It is doubtful that any of the people in power will miss Mr. LeDuff's presence at The Detroit News. I, in stark contrast, will miss him dearly.

One of the great tragedies in Detroit is the state of local journalism. The overwhelming number of "reporters" at the various media outlets worry about being denied "access" to one politician or another. As a result, they are downright timid when it comes to their reporting.

Mr. LeDuff instead seems to prefer the style of Finley Peter Dunne; a man who proclaimed a mission to, "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." In my opinion, both the city of Detroit and the entire profession of journalism would be in much better shape if there were a few more Charlie LeDuffs around.

I do not know where Mr. LeDuff's career will take him next. I pray, however, it keeps him in Detroit and focused on Detroit.

Friday, October 29, 2010

When Detroit Says 'Eat Local,' It Really Means It

I love the Warrendale neighborhood. However, as I look at our neighbors in Corktown, Eastern Market, and Midtown there is one district area where they us beat by a significant margin.

There are lots of bars and restaurants in Warrendale. However, none of them stock beer, wine, or liquor that is made in Michigan. Michigan's breweries, wineries, and distilleries have won awards around the nation, but you can't buy them anywhere in Warrendale.

And then there is the food itself. There is growing trend among restaurants and grocery stores in other neighborhoods to buy food from local growers - often only a few blocks from the restaurant.

This is not only a lot better for the environment, because it minimizes how much energy is used in transporting food across the country, it's also a lot better for the local economy.

The Atlantic has an article about the local food movement in Detroit. I encourage everyone to read it.

When Detroit Says 'Eat Local,' It Really Means It - Tracie McMillan - Food - The Atlantic

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Featured Business: Planet Fitness

David L. Malhalab  - MNS Photo
Planet Fitness (18450 Ford Rd.) is now open in Warrendale. They are located behind Chilli's in the former Office Depot location.

I've been to other Planet Fitness locations and have always been impressed with them. I'm glad to have them operating in the Warrendale neighborhood.

They are currently running a series of specials for membership. Please check their web site for more details.

Planet Fitness is your Featured Business of the Week.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cool Warrendale Thing: Halloween

It's almost here.

My House on Halloween
This weekend is All Hollow's Eve.

Or Halloween, as the kids today are calling it.

Regardless of what one calls it, the fact of the matter is that every bar in the Warrendale neighborhood is having a Halloween party this weekend. The folks at Gracie See Pizzeria are offering a year of free pizza to whoever wins their costume contest. The other bars all have something going on, too.

This much spooky fun activity makes it easy for me to proclaim Halloween the Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Featured Place to Live: 7340 Fielding

7340 Fielding in Warrendale
7340 Fielding is a three bedroom brick bungalow in the Warrendale neighborhood. It includes a good roof with some new windows as well as a one car garage. This home also has a partially finished basement.

Some of the added benefits to this home is that it is within walking distance of Rouge Park. It is also only a few blocks from the major bus lines for D-DOT and SMART.

This 1,100 square foot home is excellent choice and is available for only $33,900. It is available on a land contract with only $5,000 down and $550 per month. More details and additional photos are available here.

7340 Fielding is your Featured Place to Live for this week.

Tornado Watch at the Strip Club

Yes, there is currently a tornado watch in effect for the Detroit area. I guess guys have to seek shelter from it somewhere.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Reform Michigan's Constitution

One of the ballot initiatives next week will be Proposal 1, which will decide whether or not Michigan will have a constitutional convention. Almost every special interest group and lobbyist in Michigan is opposed to this. I would ordinarily argue that anything that upsets that many lobbyists must have some redeeming value to it.

However, given the challenges that Michigan currently faces, I believe it is important for me to go a bit farther than that. As one considers whether or not to support a constitutional convention in Michigan, I ask everyone to consider a few basic questions.

Why does Michigan need a bicameral legislature? It exists at the federal level as a compromise between two different ways to electing legislators. In Michigan, however, it simply repeats the same process; creating an unnecessary redundancy and making our government more expensive.

Why does the Michigan House of Representatives have an even number of members? In the 1990s, there was an even split in the number of Democrats and Republicans. No one was ever really in charge and nothing got done during those two years.

Why do we have a State Officers Compensation Commission that is set up to give elected officials raises automatically? Does anyone else around here get automatic raises at their job?

Why do we still have term limits in Michigan? They've been a complete failure at doing everything they were intended to do. More importantly, they have simply made the bureaucracy in Lansing more entrenched than ever.

The list of things about Michigan's Constitution that don't make sense and should be fixed immediately goes on and on. In my opinion, Michigan's Constitution is fundamentally broken. One could try to fix all of these problems through a lengthy series of amendments. However, that is the logical equivalent of buying a new car piece by piece at an auto parts store instead of walking into a local dealership.

I will vote "yes" on proposal 1. I encourage all voters in Michigan to do the same.

The Aftershocks of Crime

The Economist published an interesting article this week about how the Los Angeles Police Department is using new technology to predict when crimes will happen ahead of time.
LOS ANGELES is one of the most under-policed cities in America. With a mere 26 officers for every 10,000 residents (Chicago, by comparison, has 46), the Los Angeles Police Department needs all the help it can get.

That help may be at hand, with a modification of technology used to predict another type of threat that the city is prone to: the aftershocks from earthquakes. Big earthquakes are unpredictable. Once they have happened, however, they are usually followed by further tremors, and the pattern of these is tractable.
The entire article is available at Economist.com. It's great to see technological innovations being brought to police work.

WACO to Meet this Thursday

The Warren Avenue Community Organization, which represents that portion of the Warrendale neighborhood that is east of the Southfield Freeway, will have their next membership meeting this Thursday, October 28, from 6 - 8 p.m. This meeting will happen at the NFL Youth Education Town (16500 Tireman St.). Attendees are asked to enter the building through its east entrance.

The guest speaker for this meeting will be Ms. Lisa Whitmore-Davis from AARP.

Tip of the Week: Mini-Grants for the Arts

The Warrendale neighborhood is lucky to be home to a few artists. With that in mind, I pleased to remind everyone that the City of Detroit has an opportunity available for a $4,000 mini-grant for the arts and cultural projects. The application deadline is Monday, November 1 and projects funded must be completed between February 1, 2011 and September 30, 2011.

This Isn't in Warrendale - YET
Mini-grants fund locally developed, high-quality projects that address local arts needs and increase public access to the arts.  Mini-grants support a broad range of artistic expression from all cultures through projects that preserve, produce or present traditional or contemporary arts.  

The grants are financed by the State of Michigan through the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and administered by the City of Detroit Recreation Department, Arts and Culture Section.  Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, November 1, 2010.  The awards will be announced in January 2011. 

To obtain a grant application or for more information, click here, or call (313) 224-1129 between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cool Warrendale Thing: Fall Colors of Rouge Park

It's fall in Michigan. The trees in Rouge Park are full of color.

And that makes them your Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week.

Friends of Rouge Park Will Meet This Evening

The next Friends of Rouge Park meeting will be held this evening from 6 - 7 p.m.at the Don Bosco Center, which was formerly St. Suzanne School. The center is located at 9357 Westwood, at W. Chicago. More information and a map is available on their web site.

The group will hold their annual board election. Please consider nominating someone or yourself for the board positions of:
  • President;
  • Vice President;
  • Secretary;
  • Treasurer; or
  • Trustee.

Featured Place to Live: 7703 Grandmont

7703 Grandmont is a three bedroom, 1,200 square foot brick bungalow that is available for the low asking price of only $39,900. This house has a one car detached garage and is in the Warrendale neighborhood.

7703 Grandmont
This home has a good roof and is in good overall condition, only needing new carpeting and some painting.

The seller is making this home available on a land contract. With only $5,000 down, the monthly payments would only be $600 per month. Even once property taxes and insurance are added in, buying this home would still be cheaper than what many people in the area are paying in rent.

Additional details about this property, including the seller's contact information and more photos of the home, are available here.

7703 Grandmont is your Featured Place to Live for this week.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Join Detroit Synergy at the Historic Dossin Mansion

Detroit Synergy will present its inaugural fundraising gala, Circa 1925, this Friday, October 22 at the historic Dossin Mansion (450 Keelson Dr.) in the Grayhaven Subdivision. This will include an evening of complimentary hors d'oeuvres, cash bar including beer, wine, and classic cocktails cocktails, as well as music from DJ Chris Guyer.

All of this will take place in the historic Dossin Mansion, which a Prohibition era venue that is rarely open to the public. Guests will be able to see the boat well that (presumably) once allowed for the clandestine delivery of alcohol as well as the speakeasy that operated in its basement.

Exterior of the Dossin Mansion
There will also be a "tin can" auction of various prizes that have been donated by the Detroit Tigers and other prominent businesses in the Detroit area.

Tickets for this gala are available in advance for only $25. At the door, they will be $35. Advance tickets and other details are available on Detroit Synergy's web site here.


Missing Dog Found

This dog found its way into a Warrendale homeowner's yard recently. If you know who it properly belongs to, please leave a comment below.

Police Seek Help to Identify Murder Victim

The Detroit Police Department and the Michigan State Police are working together to identify the remains of a homicide victim found in a shallow grave on Detroit’s Westside in March of 2008.

Composite Photos of the Murder Victim

On March 14, 2008 investigators were called to the alley behind 7401 Mansfield Street, where a set of unidentified human remains were found buried. An anthropologist later determined that these were the remains of a black male, aged 30-45. He was 5’6”-6’ in height and was wearing a black button up short sleeved shirt with a dramatic Chinese style dragon on the front and back. A black leather sandal was also found, suggesting that he had died during a warmer month.

The individual had several physical findings suggesting that he had a broken nose, several healed broken ribs and possibly had indications of lung problems during life.

If anyone has information, please call Detroit Police Homicide at (313) 596-2260 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

Tip of the Week: Stay Safe at the Bank

It's my pleasure to present a video Tip of the Week for this week. This one focuses on staying safe at the bank.



Stay safe at the bank. It's your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rouge River for Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day, which a day when 5,148 different bloggers from 138 different countries around world band together to talk about the importance of clean water. My post about it is below.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Police Officer Shot, Gunman Barricaded

An unidentified Detroit police officer was shot in the shoulder this evening in the vicinity of Mound Rd. and E. McNichols, which on the far east side of Detroit. According to WXYZ-TV, the shooter is reportedly barricaded in a nearby home.

The officer was reportedly treated at Detroit Receiving Hospital and released.

Police Officer Shot, Gunman Barricaded

Update @ 11:10 a.m. - October 16, 2010
The Detroit News is reporting that three men have been taken into custody in connection with this incident. They reportedly seized an undisclosed amount of narcotics as well as an AR-15 assault rifle.

Warrendale Resident Featured in Inc.com

James Canning, founder of the Detroit-based public relations and marketing firm CANNING Communications and a resident of the Warrendale neighborhood, is featured in a new Inc.com article titled “5 Reasons to Start a Business in Detroit.”

The article is available in its entirety here.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Binary Day

I want to wish a Happy Binary Day to everyone in the Warrendale neighborhood and beyond.

Today is 10/10/10. We'll never see the ones and zeros of the calendar line up in perfect binary fashion like this in our lifetimes.

Life is about enjoying the odd moments like this.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Collect Seeds at Rouge Park

Volunteers are needed to help collect native prairie seeds on Saturday, October 9 from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. as part of the annual Rouge Park Seed Collection Day. Interested volunteers are asked to meet on the west side of Outer Drive just south of Joy Rd. This event is organized by the Friends of Rouge Park.

If one is able to, the Friends would appreciate volunteers bringing any of the following:
  • Plastic buckets;
  • Empty plastic gallon jugs; or
  • Large paper shopping bags.
Seed Collection Day is vital to maintaining and growing the native prairie landscape in Rouge Park. RSVPs are appreciated via email to rougepark [at] gmail [com].

Monday, October 04, 2010

Digging Up Gas Mains

Update on "Caveman"

The homeless man, commonly referred to as "Caveman", who frequently panhandles at the corner of Southfield Freeway and W. Warren Avenue, and his girlfriend have been discussed several times on this blog. I received the email below from a source familiar with them.

Caveman's real first name, by the way, is Scott. I'm not sure about his last name. Reportedly, he grew up in the Warrendale neighborhood.

With all of this said, I present an email update from my source with only minimal editing by me.
I can tell you that Scott and his girlfriend have been arrested numerous times.  Both of them are heroin addicts and every time they get locked up, they just let them go again.  There is nothing else we can do.  We kick them off the corner and they just come back.  They both have numerous diseases on top of their addictions so they don't want them in the cells.  I don't know what else to do with them.  We have tried and tried but it is a never ending battle.  Scott grew up in Warrendale and I remember him when he was straight.  I am sorry but I am at a loss on what to do. Everyone in the sixth precinct knows these two but....

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Update: Missing Woman Found

I reported on September 11 of this year about a Warrendale resident, Marisha Gibson, who had simply gone missing. Ms. Gibson reportedly had medical problems that may have been a contributing factor in her disappearance.

I happy to report that, according to her family, Ms. Gibson has been located. She is currently hospitalized and receiving the medical care that she needs.

Both the family and I wish to thank everyone who helped to locate Ms. Gibson.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Breaking News: Attempted Carjacking in Warrendale

There was an attempted carjacking in Warrendale earlier this afternoon. The attack happened at 4:55 p.m. this afternoon on the northbound Southfield Freeway service drive, just south of W. Warren Avenue. Two black males reportedly exited a gray Honda Civic and attempted to carjack a resident.

The resident managed to flee the scene in his vehicle. The assailants managed to steal his cell phone and sunglasses. However, they did not manage to steal his car.

The male resident sustained a broken cheekbone and nose in this attack. He victim is currently being treated at an area hospital, according to a family member.

Anyone with information about the identity of these two attackers is asked to call the 6th Precinct of the Detroit Police Department at (313) 596-5600.

Update @ 11:32 p.m.
I have spoken with the victim's family again. In addition to the broken cheekbone and nose that I reported earlier, he reportedly also suffered a torn rotator cuff and a concussion during this assault. Reportedly, he was pulled from his truck but managed to hold onto his keys and resist his attackers.

The attack reportedly ended when an onlooker hollered that they were calling the police. It was at that point that the two men fled the scene in their gray Honda Civic.

In spite of his injuries, the victim is in reasonably good spirits at a local hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery.