Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween, Everyone



Happy All Hallows Eve to all of my neighbors in the Warrendale neighborhood and to everyone around the world who reads my blog. I hope your Halloween is a spooky spectacular one!

Disconnecting Downspouts from Your Sewer Drain


Michigan law now requires Detroit residents to disconnect downspouts from their sewer drains. During heavy rain storms, each down spout on your home can deliver 12 gallons a minute to the sewer system, which can contribute to basement backups and sewer overflows. By simply disconnecting a down spout, you can make a difference in keeping excess water out of the sewer system.

But, there’s a proper way to disconnect down spouts to avoid problems and special how-to workshops are available to help. The Greening of Detroit, in partnership with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Dept. and SEMCOG, are hosting the following hands-on instruction and free materials to participating residents.

There will be a total of seven of these workshops over the next few weeks in the Warrendale neighborhood as well as others throughout the city. I encourage everyone to find the time to attend at least one of them.

Joy-Southfield Community Development Corp. (18917 Joy Rd.)

  • Wednesday, November 2 from 6:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m.;
  • Monday, November 14 from 6:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m.;
  • Friday, November 18 from 10 a.m. -11 a.m.;
  • Wednesday, November 30 from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.;

NFL/YET Boys & Girls Club (16500 Tireman St.)

  • Tuesday, November 8 from 6:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.

Don Bosco Hall (19321 West Chicago St.)

  • Tuesday, December 6 from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Dixon Elementary (8401 Trinity St.)

  • Tuesday, December 13 from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Outside of the Warrendale area, there will also be another workshop at the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation (19800 Grand River Ave.)


  • Tuesday, November 15 from 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Disconnecting you downspout from the sewer drain, while it isn't glamorous, is none the less your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Detroit Police Gear Up for Halloween

The Detroit Police Department is geared up for its Halloween Family Fun 2011, but it’s important that you and your children remain safe. These simple tips will help make your Halloween celebration one of the best ever:

  • Wear clothing that is bright, reflective and flame-retardant. Also, children should not wear long, baggy or loose costumes or oversized shoes to prevent tripping.
  • Wear sneakers or comfortable shoes.
  • Don’t wear floppy hats or wigs that slide over the eyes.
  • Stay away from pets. The pet may not recognize the child and become frightened.
  • Children should stay within familiar areas and surroundings. Parents should establish a route for children.
  • Children should use flashlights and stay on sidewalks.
  • Children should cross the street at corners / crosswalks and not between parked cars. Motorists should drive slowly and watch carefully for children
  • A curfew for minors will be in effect and a parent or guardian must accompany children under the age of 18.
  • Use face paint (non-toxic, hypoallergenic) and avoid masks, especially if the eye-holes obstruct the child’s vision.
  • Avoid toy weapons. If desired, use costume knives and swords that are flexible, not rigid.
  • Everyone is asked to turn on his porch light from dusk until dawn.
  • Adopt a vacant house in your neighborhood.
The Detroit Police Department also reminds everyone that is unlawful for a minor under eighteen years of age to be on any public street, sidewalk, alley, park, playground, vacant lot, or any other unsupervised outdoor public place on Saturday, October 29  from 6 p.m. through Sunday, October 30 at 6 a.m. and from Sunday, October 30 from 6 p.m. through Monday, October 31 from 6 a.m.

Normal curfew hours will be in effect for Monday, October 31 after 6 a.m. The regular curfew will resume on Monday, October 31. Youth 15 and under should be off city streets from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. Youth, ages 16 and 17, should be off city streets from 9 p.m. on until 6 a.m.

All curfew offenders will be issued a civil infraction and parent/guardian may be issued a “Parental Responsibility” citation, which will require a court hearing. The presiding judge/magistrate will determine the fine for the violations which may range from $50 to $500.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Colors and Police Cars

In my walk through Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood today, I talk about the changing season, rain, and a traffic stop that I saw the Detroit Police Department making along the way.

Occupy Detroit - Or What the Rest of the Country Could Learn from Michigan

Occupy Detroit is continuing to happen in Grand Circus Park in downtown Detroit, approximately 10 miles east of the Warrendale neighborhood. As far as protests go, it is a peaceful - almost uneventful - protest. There are signs, slogans, and speeches, but these isn't anything even remotely close to the chaos that has happened in Boston, New York City, and Oakland. It's also a much smaller protest than is seen at many other cities around the country.

A large part of why Occupy Detroit remains so much smaller and less problematic than many other cities around the country is because the Detroit Police Department and related agencies are treating it different than their counterparts in other cities do. For this, I give a lot of credit to Chief Ralph Godbee, which long time readers of this blog will find noteworthy because I haven't been a fan of him in the past.

Other cities around the country have tried to shut down the Occupy encampments, often evicting the protesters with a considerable degree of force. Oakland, California is the most recent example of such an abuse, which is documented in the two videos below. (Warning: these videos contain explicit language and graphic images.)



The protesters were in a plaza that was legitimately closed, even if there hadn't been a protest going on, that area would still be closed to the public. As such, there was a legitimate basis for ticketing or arresting them.
But shooting people in the face with a tear gas canister? Or throwing a flash grenade into a crowd?

These things are utterly reprehensible. They are even more so when they are done by someone who has sworn an oath to protect and serve the public.

Non-violent offenders should face a non-violent arrest. It's really that simple. Adding violence to the equation does not ever contribute anything positive.

Incidents like this have happened several times over the past month. Each time it happens, the Occupy protests get larger as images of police brutality stream across the internet, which only adds fuels to the fire that is the Occupy protests. If the police were to allow them to simply protest non-violently, it's doubtful that this movement would have ever grown to its current size.

Thankfully, the Detroit Police Department and their counterparts elsewhere in Michigan have not fallen into same trap that law enforcement officers in Boston, New York City, and Oakland have. They allow the Occupy Protests to happen with little interference and it doesn't gain the same momentum as in other cities.

The rest of the nation could learn a few things from Michigan, if they were willing to learn.

WACO Meeting This Evening


The Warren Avenue Community Organization, which represents that portion of the Warrendale neighborhood that is east of the Southfield Freeway, will meet this evening from 6 - 7:30 p.m. at the NFL/YET Boys and Girls Club (16500 Tireman St.). Attendees are asked to enter via the east entrance.

The guest speakers for this month will be State Senator Tupac Hunter and Commissioner Ken Coleman from the Detroit Charter Revision Commission. State Senator Hunter will present a series of legislative updates. While Commissioner Coleman will discuss the proposed Charter for the City of Detroit that will be on the ballot next month.

Please also bring a can good for Thanksgiving Baskets.

New Bill to Promote Financial Literacy


State Representative Harvey Santana, whose district includes the Warrendale neighborhood, has introduced House Bill 4988 which would require a high school course in basic financial literacy. It would teach students the basics of managing their money, the importance of budgeting, the importance of saving, the uses of credit, and the dangers of debt.

This would be a no-nonsense course designed to teach the economic realities of money and how we use it. A student would have to take this course before graduating from high school.

Our children need schooling on financial literacy. I, personally, think that this bill is a good idea.

If you would like to express your opinion on this legislation, please contact State Rep. Santana via his web site.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book Review: "How to Save Your Home Without Losing Your Mind or Your Money"

With so many people in the Warrendale neighborhood and surrounding areas losing their homes to foreclosures, I wanted to share a book review that I wrote for BlogCritics.org. It's a review of Anna Cuevas' new book How to Save Your Home Without Losing Your Mind or Your Money.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gov. Snyder to Announce Infrastructure Plan Tomorrow

Governor Rick Snyder
Governor Rick Snyder is scheduled to announce his infrastructure plan tomorrow in a speech at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield. According to the Associated Press, his address will include plans for roads, bridges, sewer and water systems, as well as broadband access.

Additional details were not given, but I expect Governor Snyder to include a renewed push for a publicly owned bridge from Detroit's Delray neighborhood to Windsor, Canada to be a part of this plan. Since his earlier push for such a bridge went down in flames in the Michigan Senate, I expect that there will be enough other infrastructure projects in other parts of the state - all tied to this bridge - to convince enough state legislators to agree to build the new bridge to Canada.

I am of the opinion that the new bridge is a good thing for Michigan. If it is included, I'll be happy - even if a few other road projects have to be included in other districts in order to get this through the legislature.

The one other thing that I am going to watch closely is Governor Snyder's proposal for increased broadband access. This is one of those things that could be either very good or very, very bad.

Michigan Legislature at Work
I love the idea of everyone having high speed access to the internet. I think it's a great way to connect people; allowing information and commerce to flow in ways that it could not otherwise happen. However, there have times in the past where such a thing was proposed - with the condition that one particular company be allowed to have control over it - not just over the building and maintaining of it, but to control what sites on the internet users are able to visit.

If Governor Snyder were to propose something that in anyway interferes with or violate the fundamental principle of Net Neutrality then that would be a very bad thing. Again, I don't know if he intends to propose such a thing. I just know that he intends to include broadband access in his infrastructure proposal tomorrow and that proposals to jeopardize Net Neutrality keep being brought up.

Governor Snyder's address tomorrow should be an interesting one. I will undoubtedly have a lot more to say about it tomorrow.

Parking Lot Repaired

L. George's Coney Island on W. Warren Ave. finally got their parking lot repaired.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Missing Dog

Sammy is missing and this is the only picture of him.
Please keep your eyes open for a black lab mix, approx 70 lbs, has longer hair and a white chest. His name is Sammy, but he's mostly deaf. He doesn't have a coller on, but his family insists that he is super friendly.

If you find him, please call Amy at (313) XXX-XXX.

Update - October 28 @ 2:53 p.m.
Sammy has been reunited with his family with a little help from the neighborhood.

Good job, Warrendale!

Tip of the Week: Coffee with State Rep. Harvey Santana

State Rep. Harvey Santana
State Representative Harvey Santana, whose district includes the Warrendale neighborhood, announced a series of informal coffee hours. These provide residents with an opportunity to voice any concerns that they might have directly to their elected representative and to do so in comfortable environment, such as one of our local diners.

The next coffee hour with Rep. Santana that is in the Warrendale neighborhood will be Monday, November 4 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Ceaser's Coney Island (15621 W. Warren Ave.), which is just west of Greenfield Rd.

He will also hold three other coffee hours at other locations within his district. On Friday, November 4, he will be at McDonald's (18403 Grand River Ave.) from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and at Scotty Simpson’s Fish and Chips (22200 Fenkell St.) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Monday, November 7, shortly after his coffee hour in the Warrendale neighborhood, he will be at Mary’s Grill (20804 Plymouth Rd.) from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Having coffee with your state representative is your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dog Found at W. Warren and Southfield


This dog was found recently in the vicinity of W. Warren Ave. and the Southfield Freeway. If you know he or she belongs to, please leave a note here or in the Warrendale, Detroit Facebook group.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy Detroit - Will it Change Anything?

Jeff Wattrick from MLive.com posted about his experience spending 24 hours at the Occupy Detroit encampment at Grand Circus Park. One can find his comments and reporting available on-line here.

It is too early to tell if the Occupy Detroit protests will spark some sort mass revolt or the birth of a Utopian society, as some at the protest hope it will. If history is any guide, however, it's doubt that such a thing will happen. However, if one continues to follow history as a guide, there is a very good chance that these protest rallies and encampments could lead to other benefits for Detroit and the rest of Michigan.

However, the Occupy Detroit protests have show a lot of Detroiters in their 20s and 30s how to organize themselves and get things done. The encampment, for example, has a multitude of services to enable it operate, as Mr. Wattrick pointed out. The protesters have learned how to get a lot done with minimal resources.

If nothing else, I think Occupy Detroit will bring a new group of leaders into Detroit's body politic. Based on the way the current crop of politicians are performing in this town, I have to say that's an improvement.



A New Direction for Detroit

On November 8 of this year, Detroiters will go to the polls to decide whether or not we should approve a new Charter for the City of Detroit. This is the primary governing document for our community.

If you haven't already seen the proposed charter, I encourage you to take some time in the coming days to review it. A copy of it is available by clicking here. Including all of the commentary and historical background, this is a 28 page document. It will take a little time for each voter to go through and decide how they feel about it. Regardless, I encourage everyone to take the time to review it.

The Charter Revision Commission has made more than 300 proposed changes to how the City of Detroit will operate. For example, if the new Charter is adopted, then:
  • There would be new rules designed to minimize the changes of another Synargo scandal from happening;
  • Enable the City to cancel a contract, and bar the vendor from receiving any new ones, if it can be shown that the vendor engaged in an act of corruption or bribery to get a contract with the City. This is something that was sorely missing during the Synargo scandal;
  • Enable Detroiters to elect the Board of Police Commissioners instead of them being appointed by the Mayor; and
  • Make the appointment of our police chief, fire commissioner, director of planning and development, director of human resources, and corporation counsel subject to confirmation by the City Council. This is something that happens in most cities in the United States, but is sorely missing in Detroit.
This will be an important vote for Detroit. I hope everyone takes the time to study the issues and votes on Tuesday, November 8.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cursed by the Weather Channel

The Weather Channel is predicting rain for 9 of the next 10 days of its 10 day forecast. If anyone needs me, I'll be in my backyard building an ark.

Vacant House Gets Torched



A vacant house at the corner of Paul and Brace Streets in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood was set on fire by an arsonist recently. It's one of the three stories that I discuss in today's video update for the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mayor Bing Promises to Do Something About Buses - Just Not Sure What

Mayor Dave Bing
Mayor Dave Bing addressed members of Detroit's news media earlier today to discuss the on-going crisis with D-DOT buses being chronically late; imposing hardships on thousands of Detroiters every day. The short version of this press conference is that Mayor Bing promised to do something about the problem within 30 days, it's just not clear exactly what he will do.

He called on the mechanics union to do more to get buses repaired faster and out on the road. It is estimated that almost a third of all D-DOT buses are down for repairs at any time.

The mechanics, however, insist that they aren't the problem. They claim that the real source of the problem is that they often don't have the parts that they need for repairs and that staffing cuts hurt an already strained department.

Mayor Bing raised the possibility of outsourcing some of the repairs to DDOT buses this afternoon. Of course, the challenge will be: if DDOT can't pay for repairs under the existing system, how will they pay for it all with a vendor who expects to make a profit off the deal?

DDOT is currently underfunded and has been for quite some time. Their budget for Fiscal Year 2012 is $140.6 million, which is down more than $10 million from last year. To put that in perspective, Cleveland will spend $225.8 million on their transit system this year while Milwaukee will spend $164.5 million.

Plus, while DDOT's budget has been critically short for quite some time, there is also the fact that the City decided to spend an untold sum of money replacing all of the bus stop signs in Detroit shortly after Mayor Bing took office. The new signs are more colorful, look nicer, and are larger than the old ones. However, in hindsight, it's clear that those funds would've been better spent improving DDOT's fleet.

With all of that said, I would like to remind Mayor Bing and everyone else that I produced a series of specific recommendations earlier this year to save the City of Detroit more than $41 million and do so without harming any of the services that Detroiters receive. A copy of my letter to Mayor Bing, which he never responded to, is available here.

I believe it is time for Mayor Bing and his Administration to take a very close look on what they are spending money on and refocus their efforts on delivering services.

Mayor Bing to Discuss Bus Crisis at 5 p.m.

Mayor Bing to Talk About Bus Service
Mayor Dave Bing will hold a press conference regarding the on-going problems with DDOT bus service at 5 p.m. today. The Mayor has faced harsh criticism from the City Council and others over the fact that many city buses are routinely late, sometimes up to three hours behind schedule.

Needless to say, I will likely have much to say about this issue once his press conference is over.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

FBI Issues Internet Scam Alert

Since everyone who reads this blog is obviously on-line, I thought I would pass a long a series of scam alerts that FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center has issued recently.


TRAFFIC TICKET SPAM
The IC3 has received over 70 complaints since July 2011 reporting fraudulent e-mails claiming the recipient had been issued a traffic ticket. The spam, which spoofed a nyc.gov e-mail address, claimed to be from the New York State Police (NYSP). Complainants, throughout the U.S. and internationally, reported that the e-mail indicated a traffic ticket had been issued against them as a result of a moving violation.


FRAUDSTER DOUBLE-DIPPING
Most of us are familiar with fraud involving automobiles being sold over the Internet. A fraudster will post a nonexistent vehicle for sale on the Internet, typically a luxury or sports car. The details of the vehicle, including photos and description, are typically lifted from legitimate websites. An interested buyer, hopeful for a bargain, responds and is told that the vehicle is located overseas. The fraudster then instructs the victim to send a deposit via wire transfer to initiate the shipping process.

In a new twist to this scam, the fraudster advised there was an issue with the initial wire transfer and sent the victim a cashier's check. The victim was instructed to cash the check and resend a second wire to a different account. Unaware that the check was counterfeit, the victim followed through as instructed by the fraudster. This resulted in the victim getting duped two times and the fraudster accomplishing his "double-dipping" strategy.


ONLINE VEHICLE SCAM USING KELLEY BLUE BOOK'S NAME
The IC3 has received complaints reporting fraudsters for misrepresenting themselves as Kelley Blue Book (KBB) agents to swindle victims out of thousands of dollars in online vehicle purchases. Upon finding a vehicle and making an inquiry to the seller, the complainant was told that the transaction must go through KBB's escrow-based buyer-protection plan to protect both of them. The fraudster claimed that the protection plan would hold the buyer's money for a five-day period while they could receive and inspect the vehicle. The fraudster then sent the complainant a link, which was purportedly to the KBB website, providing details of the process. Some complainants reported that the fraudster sent pictures of the vehicle as well. Once the purchase was agreed upon, the fraudster sent the complainant an official-looking e-mail, purportedly from KBB, instructing them to wire the payment to a KBB agent.

Upon contacting the actual KBB company, complainants were advised that it was a scam and that KBB does not offer an escrow-based buyer-protection plan. Recent articles have been posted on the KBB website warning consumers of this particular scam.

More information about all of scams, as well as a series of other ones, is available on the Internet Crimes Complaint Center's web site.


Featured Place to Live: 6100 Penrod St.

6100 Penrod St - Featured Place to Live in Warrendale
6100 Penrod St. is a four bedroom, one bathroom single family home that is available for sale in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood. This 1,050 square foot ranch home was built in 1951, but has been updated extensively. It is a beautiful, clean home that is in move-in condition today.

This home has a newer roof and newer furnace as well as central air. It also includes great amenities to make this a great residence or investment property such as:

  • Updated electrical, kitchen and bathroom;
  • Two car detached garage;
  • Partially finished basement;
  • Newer windows and entry doors; and
  • Deck in the backyard.
This home is represented by Wanda Porada from CENTURY 21 Curran and Christie. More information about it is available here.


View Larger Map

6100 Penrod St. is your Featured Place to Live in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood for this week.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Trash, Trees, and a Concert




In today's tour of Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood, I talk about a concert at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, a huge pile of trash on Whitlock St., and a fallen tree that landed on some guy's Jeep, which blocking another street entirely.

Friends of Rouge Park to Meet This Wednesday


The next Friends of Rouge Park meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 19 from 6 - 7 p.m. at the Don Bosco Center (9357 Westwood). 

The group will discuss the results of their Rouge Park visioning session and progress toward setting our priorities for the future of Rouge Park. This will include the removal of dilapidated comfort stations, locations for new comfort stations, picnic shelters, a nature center, winter sports area, as well as trails among many other things.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Got Chainsaw?

Does anyone in the neighborhood have a chainsaw? If so, the tree on Ashton (just north of Paul St.) is still blocking the street. It's a bunch of free firewood.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ashton Blocked by Fallen Tree

Ashton between Whitlock and Paul Streets is blocked by a fallen tree, which is also partially resting on some unlucky soul's green Jeep.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Joy Road - The Movie



Since Joy Road is the northern boundary of the Warrendale neighborhood, I was intrigued to find out that there is a new film debuting soon entitled Joy Road.

Joy Road is set in modern day Detroit and tells the story of a public defender who has to defend his sister's boyfriend, the reputed leader of the notorious MVP gang. It was named "Best Narrative Film" at the Hamptons Black International Film Festival. It was also an official selection at the American Black Film Festival and the Urban Mediamakers Film Festival.

The official trailer for the movie is above and they have a Facebook page here. Joy Road will premiere at the AMC Star Southfield (25333 West 12 Mile Rd. in Southfield) on October 20.

Tour of the New Center Area



I had a pair of appointments in Detroit's New Center area this morning and will be tied to my desk for the rest of the day. Therefore, instead of my usual walk through Warrendale, I give you a short video tour of the New Center area.

Featured Business: Pizza & Fish Express


Pizza & Fish Express (6540 Evergreen) opened earlier this week, taking over in place of the short lived Pizza - A - Go-Go. Hasan Harb is the owner of the newest Warrendale eatery, which also features a mini-mart.

Pizza & Fish Express - Photo credit: David L. Malhalab (MNS Photo)

Pizza & Fish is offering great take out food and mini mart. They hope to have a long relationship with the Warrendale neighborhood. Mr. Harb and his family own other Pizza & Fish outlets in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Los Angeles, and Kalamazoo.

Pizza & Fish is the Featured Business for this week. I think it great that the Warrendale neighborhood can attract a replacement business to that location as quickly as we did.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Comes to Detroit



It's raining currently in Detroit. Therefore, I can't do my usual walk through the Warrendale neighborhood to show you some of the weird, disturbing, or interesting things that I see along the way.

However, I did want to talk with you about Occupy Wall Street. The protests are coming to Detroit on October 21. With their impending arrival, I wanted to take a moment to share a few thoughts with you about them.

Update @ 10:52 p.m.
For anyone who would like more information about Occupy Detroit, please see their page on Facebook here.

Free Concert from the Sacred Heart Choral Ensemble


The Sacred Heart Choral Ensemble will offer a free concert at Sts. Peter & Paul Church (7685 Grandville) this Sunday, October 16, at 4 p.m. in the church. Everyone is invited to attend.

This ensemble released their first album in 2006 entitled, LIVE... from the Heart. Their music is both inspiring and uplifting. The fact that a free concert is available in Warrendale is a blessing to the neighborhood.

Therefore, it's my pleasure to proclaim this concert the Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week. I look forward to seeing many of you in attendance this Sunday.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Beware of Cat



In my walk through the neighborhood today, I discuss a traffic accident that happened over the weekend at Paul St. and the Southfield Freeway service drive as well as a multitude of observations about life in Warrendale.

Featured Place to Live: 5745 Artesian St.

5745 Artesian St.
5745 Artesian St. is a 1,307 square foot bungalow with three bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. This beautiful home has hardwood floors throughout and includes central air conditioning as well as finished basement.

Built in 1953, this single family home also has a detached two car garage. Additional photos and information for this beautiful home are available here.

This home is represented by Tanya Chakkour of CENTURY 21 Curran & Christie. Its asking price is only $65,000.

5745 Artesian St. is your Featured Place to Live for this week.

Register to Vote. Today

Vince Keenan from Publius.org would like to remind everyone that today is the deadline to register to vote in Michigan. His full post about why it is so important for everyone in Detroit to be registered is available here.

I just want to say that I agree with every single word in Vince's post.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Free Homework Help Videos - Tip of the Week

For anyone with children who need a little extra help with their homework (and really, who doesn't?), there is Brightstorm.com. The site offers free homework help videos as well as affordable test preparation. They offer videos to help students with math, science, and English as well as affordable assistance with the ACT, SAT, PSAT, and AP examinations.

Brightstorm.com, with its free homework help and afford test preparation, is your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Friday, October 07, 2011

New Recreation Center to Open in Warrendale Park

Construction Continues on Recreation Center in Warrendale Park

The frame work for the new Wayne County Hype Recreation Center is up and work is continuing. This new center is being built in the Warrendale Recreation Area, which is ironically just outside of the Warrendale neighborhood. It's on W. Warren Avenue, just west of Ann Arbor Trail, in Dearborn Heights.

The Hype Center will offer youth athletic programs as well as tutoring and mentorship. It will also offer substance abuse prevention, leadership and entrepreneurial training and support, food bank / nutritional center, vocational / literacy center, senior activities center, youth education center as well as a healthy living center. The building will contain 110,000 square feet of space on two floors with a 1/8 mile indoor running track, five full basketball courts and a 5,000 sq ft weight training center.

Thank you to David Malhalab and the MNS News Services for sharing this with me.

Ford Free Day at the DIA

This Sunday will be Ford Free Day at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The museum will offer a variety of fun family-oriented activities, all of which will be free courtesy of Ford Motor Company.

A complete schedule of these free family events is available on-line here.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Beer, Trash, and Graffiti





In my walk through Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood today, I talk about some graffiti I found that's actually kind of interesting as well as what I thought at first was a garage filled with beer.

Unfortunately, it turned out to only be a bunch of trash that had been stuffed inside cases of beer and then tossed into the garage of vacant home. (Although, yes, I was excited for a moment there.)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Free Computer Class at the Edison Branch Library

Edison Branch Library
If you're reading this, you evidently are already proficient in how to use a computer. However, if you're like me, you probably already know someone who could use a little instruction. Luckily for us, the Edison Branch (18400 Joy Rd.) of the Detroit Public Library is here to help with a free class on basic computer skills.

This class will happen this Saturday, October 8, from 10:30 a.m. until noon at the library. Participants in this class will learn computer basics such as the components of a computer and its terminology, how to use the mouse and keyboard as well as how to navigate in a Windows based operating system.

Computer literacy at Edison Branch of the Detroit Public Library is your Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Another Kilpatrick Associate Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges


Emma Bell, age 66 of Detroit, a former fundraiser for Kwame M. Kilpatrick, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds to two counts of tax evasion, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced. Ms.McQuade was joined in this announcement by Erick Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of Criminal Investigations for the Internal Revenue Service, and Andrew G. Arena, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Kilpatrick Looses Another One
According to Ms. Bell’s plea agreement, between 2003 and 2008, she worked as a fundraiser for non-profit entities that included Kilpatrick for Mayor, the Kilpatrick Inaugural Committee, and the Kilpatrick Civic Fund. She was paid a percentage of the funds she raised for these entities, as determined by former Detroit Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick - usually a commission of between 10% and 15%. She received payments from the Kilpatrick-related entities totaling over $900,000, none of which she reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service.

At the direction of Mr. Kilpatrick, Ms. Bell split her commission checks with him, giving him cash whenever she received a check of $5,000 or more. When Kilpatrick’s portion of the commission checks exceeded $10,000, Ms. Bell would make multiple deliveries of cash to Kilpatrick on different occasions so that she would not cause her bank to create a currency transaction report by obtaining over $10,000 in cash at one time. She also failed to report gambling winnings, interest, and other income during this time period.

“This is one more step forward in our prosecution of public corruption in the City of Detroit,” Ms. McQuade said. “We continue to make progress in bringing public officials to justice.”

“This plea shows that Emma Bell recognizes the seriousness of concealing the income she received from the Kilpatrick-related entities. There are severe consequences when one hides income from the federal government to evade taxes,” said Mr. Martinez.

Mr. Arena added, “The FBI will continue to investigate and expose the public officials and their associates who participate in schemes involving blatant greed.”

Emma Bell is released on bond pending her sentencing. She was referred to the U.S. Probation Department for a presentence investigation. She faces a statutory maximum sentence of up to ten years in prison or a fine of $500,000, or both.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, the government agreed to recommend that Ms. Bell be sentenced to no more than 18 months in prison. The agreement also provides that she will cooperate in the government’s continuing investigation of others, and that she could be eligible to receive a sentence reduction if her cooperation is deemed to be substantial assistance under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Time to Pay - A Lot
The plea agreement provides that if the government makes a motion for a sentence reduction, it will request that she be sentenced within the range of 9-12 months; however, the amount of sentence reduction, if any, would be decided by the U.S. District Judge. The plea agreement finally requires she pay her federal income tax due and owing, which is $334,236 as well as to file amended returns with the State of Michigan and City of Detroit and pay any additional tax due to the State and City.

The investigation of this case is being conducted by the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys R. Michael Bullotta and Mark Chutkow.

Featured Place to Live: 6310 Woodmont Ave.

6310 Woodmont Ave.
6310 Woodmont Ave. is a beautiful, well-maintained, brick three bedroom/ one bath single family home with a fenced yard and a brick one car garage that is in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood. This 903 square foot, 1.5 story bungalow was built in 1952 and is in move-in ready condition today. It makes for a great starter home or an investment property.

This delightful property includes a home warranty, a basement, and other great amenities such as:

  • Hardwood floors;
  • Newer windows, doors, and roof; and
  • Refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, snow blower, weed wacker, hedger, sprinkler, and edger all come this home.
As with all homes in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood, this home is also close to a wide variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. It's also close to some of Detroit's better schools for children and close to top-notch health care facilities for seniors.

The asking price for this beautiful home is $49,900. However, the seller is willing to negotiate so please bring all offers. Additional information about this home, as well as contact information for the real estate agent representing it, is available here.

6310 Woodmont Ave. is your Featured Place to Live in the Warrendale neighborhood for this week.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Southfield Freeway Re-Opens & Electric Cars Get Charged




The Southfield Freeway (M-39) opened all lanes of traffic early this morning after being closed for several months. The months of road construction are now completed.

I also showcase an opportunity for re-charging an electric car that's not in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood, but is still cool.

Save 25% on Halloween Costumes + FREE Shipping


Halloween is Coming
Halloween is rapidly approaching and that means that it's time for everyone to start thinking about Halloween costumes. I will refrain from mentioning what my Halloween costume was last year because I really don't need any more hate mail. I think I'll try something more traditional this year instead.

Anyway, the only thing better than Halloween is saving money on a great Halloween costume. This is why I'm delighted to share a special offer with readers of my blog.

Simply click the banner below and you will save 25% on a great selection of Halloween costumes for yourself or your children. Plus, you will also receive FREE shipping on orders of $39.99 or more.




25% off a great Halloween costume and free shipping. It's not just a cool thing, it's also your Warrendale Tip of the Week. Please hurry, though. This offer will expire on Saturday, October 8.

I look forward to seeing a lot of great Halloween costumes around the Warrendale neighborhood this year and to knowing that everyone saved money on them.