Thursday, November 29, 2012

Confessions of a Powerball Winner

Photo by Billy Alexander
Ladies and gentlemen of the internet, I have a very important announcement to make this morning.

I won the Powerball.

Yes, it's true. I won the Powerball last night.

Well, almost...

You see, by "won" I mean that I didn't bother to play the incredibly popular Powerball; opting instead to spend my money on beer. I mean, how much more of a winner at life could one person possibly be?

This, by the way, relates to something that I learned while working at Merrill Lynch in the back in late-1990's. Beer almost always provides a better return on one's investment than lottery tickets do.

Off-hand, I would have to say that all but 2 of the individuals who sacrificed their beer money to buy Powerball tickets yesterday will agree with me on this one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

5 Books Every Candidate for Mayor or City Council in Detroit Should Read

Stock Photo by Peter Mazurek
The race for Detroit's mayoral and city council elections are still almost a year away. However, it is already starting to heat up as more than a few people who have already declared their intention to run.

Since politics can be an ugly but incredibly important affair, I thought I would try to start things off on a positive note. With a little help from my friends on Facebook, I created my list of 5 books that every candidate for mayor or city council ought to read.

For anyone who hasn't read each of them of books, I strongly encourage them to do so. I have even included links to listing for each on Amazon.com to make it easier for people to find a copy.

Without further ado, I present my picks for 5 books that every candidate for mayor or city council in Detroit ought to read. My list includes, in no particular order:
For those wishing a little extra credit, I also recommend that those wishing to be the best possible leaders also read Comeback Cities: A Blueprint For Urban Neighborhood Revival by Paul Grogan, The Geography of Nowhere by James Kunstler, and The Great Good Place by Ray Oldenburg. Last, but certainly not least, I also recommend reading Leadership by Rudy Guiliani, if only for his chapter "Underpromise and Overdeliver."

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, November 23, 2012

Tailgating Party at Chick's Bar Tomorrow Afternoon

Chick's Bar - Photo by Frank Nemecek
Chick's Bar (18550 W. Warren Ave.) will host a tailgating party starting at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning. This is the perfect way to get ready for the big game between the University of Michigan Wolverines and the scum sucking toads from Ohio.

This party, according to bar owner Pete Bidolli, will feature lots of good food, a bonfire, some music, and lots of drinks for both adults and children. Plus, since this is Chick's Bar, you can also count on seeing a lot of really great people.

The Next Coach of the Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions lost another football game yesterday afternoon. This marks the 10th time in a row that they have lost on Thanksgiving.

One of the big factors in their loss today was a controversial Houston touchdown run by Justin Forsett in the 3rd quarter. One would think the officials would have seen his knee was down after the Lions tackled him well before getting to the end zone, but they did not, so it counted.

It also counted because Jim Schwartz, head coach for the Detroit Lions, threw the challenge flag when he shouldn't have.

This leads to one of the most profound ironies of my day. I realized this afternoon that, with the NFL being the way it is, the best possible coach for the Detroit Lions isn't a great strategist nor is it someone who can give great motivational speeches in the locker room. The best coach isn't even someone who knows a lot about football.

Instead, considering the way the NFL operates today, the best possible coach is probably a really good attorney. In the modern NFL, teams need to have lawyers standing by to make sure that every arcane rule is followed and that all of those rules work to their team's advantage.

And that's probably the saddest part of all.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Turkey Dinner - Stock Photo by David Lat
I want to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood and beyond. May your table be overflowing with food and drink, may you be surrounded by family and friends, and my you always have something to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Warrendale Bar Guide

Tonight is Thanksgiving Eve, which is the biggest bar night of the year. In case you don't already have plans for the evening, here is a rundown of what is happening at the various bars in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood.

Photo by Dorn Zurawki
Last Call Bar (19432 W. Warren Ave.) re-opened under new management recently. My review from their soft opening is available here. In the short time since then, they have continued to ramp up as a great neighborhood bar. Besides friendly service and cheap booze, they also offer free pool and Karaoke.

Last Call Bar is quickly emerging as one of those places that people travel from all around the Detroit area to come to. This makes it a great place to hang out at and spend some time.

Parking is available at the rear of their property.

Photo by Frank Nemecek
While Last Call Bar is the new kid on Warrendale's bar scene, Chick's Bar (18550 W. Warren Ave.) remains a legendary neighborhood establishment. Every Wednesday evening is ladies night at Chick's Bar, which means 1/2 off drinks for ladies from 8 p.m. until close. Plus, rumor has it some awesome Detroiters are having a birthday party there this evening.

Their kitchen is also open, serving good reasonably priced food. Tonight, in addition to everything else, my sources tell me that their potato and ham soup is on the menu, which is really good one.

Lighted parking for Chick's Bar is available in their lot on the east side of the building.

Photo by Frank Nemecek
While they are primarily known for their award-winning pizza and subs, Gracie See Pizzeria (6889 Greenfield Rd.) is also hosting a beer pong championship this evening. Several fraternity members from the University of Michigan - Dearborn are expected to compete. Anyone who is at least 21 years of age is welcome to join in their competition.

They also have a pool table and a Wii entertainment system if beer pong isn't your preferred source of entertainment. All of this, of course, is in addition to the pizza that has made Gracie See Pizzeria famous since 1967.

Lighted parking for Gracie See Pizzeria is available in their lot, which is on the north side of the building.

Photo by Frank Nemecek
For those who feel merely an abundance of alcohol doesn't offer quite enough debauchery for one evening, there is also the Toy Chest Bar (18728 Ford Rd.). As far as strip clubs go, they were named one of the best small clubs in the Midwest.

They have specials every night. This evening, they will offer $15 buckets of ice cold Miller. They will also have 1 liter bottles of Grey Goose for only $99.

All of these are great options for Thanksgiving Eve.

Plus, there are many more  establishments throughout the Warrendale neighborhood. Hurry Inn, 3 Nicks, Warrendale Pub, and the others will still have their usual combination of comradery and alcohol.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This. Is. Irony.

My dear readers, it is time for something completely random with very little connection to the Warrendale neighborhood. The folks at Anonymous released a video, in which they claimed that the hacked Karl Rove's servers and prevented him from stealing the election this year. A full story about it is available here.

I don't know if Mr. Rove actually did try to steal the election nor do I know if Anonymous actually did prevent him from doing so. The one thing, though, that I do know is that there was an advertisement from a right-wing group overlayed onto the version of this video that I saw.

Screen Grab from My PC - Image by Frank Nemecek
Yes, that is a screen grab from my PC. There really was such an advertisement displayed on this message from Anonymous.

If this really happened then I am profoundly grateful to everyone at Anonymous for protecting the democratic process. Regardless, I find it ironic as a heck that a message from them would accompany one of their videos.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Detroit Offers Emergency Notifications to Residents

Stock Photo by Keith Syvinski
The City of Detroit Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management announced recently that they have begun using the Nixle Community Information Service to create and instantly publish important and emergency messages directly to residents via cell phone text message, email, or online at www.nixle.com.

The service is available to any resident who wishes to subscribe. Messages may include community events, traffic incidents, and other relevant public safety and emergency information. This service is secure, reliable, and easy to use.

Messages can be sent specifically to residents registered within a ¼ mile radius, giving them the opportunity to receive trustworthy information relevant only to their neighborhood. Residents decide from which local agencies they want to receive information. Subscribers can also choose the way in which alerts are received, whether it is by email, text message, or over the web.

Residents of Detroit and neighboring communities can begin receiving pertinent information via text message, email, and the Web by registering at www.nixle.com or texting DETROIT to 888777. This has been your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Some Friendly Advice for Carjackers

I have 2 quick tips to share with everyone this morning.

Tip #1: Never try to carjack anyone.

Tip #2. Never, every try to carjack a cop. It's one of those things that is pretty much guaranteed to end badly for you.

Three idiots found out how bad of an idea it is to carjack an off-duty copy. It happened in the vicinity of the Southfield Freeway and Fenkell, which is approximately 3 miles north of the Warrendale neighborhood. The full story is available here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Let Louisiana Be "Free"


The State of Louisiana collects $1.78 from the U.S. Treasury for every $1 they pay in federal taxes, according to a report published by Business Insider. After the election last week, Michael E. from Slidell, Louisiana started a petition for the Pelican State to leave the Union. Quite frankly, this is the equivalent of a dead-beat moocher promising to never try to borrow money from you again.

Please take a moment to sign this petition. I doubt Louisiana will actually leave. After all, people who are getting free money rarely stop taking it. Regardless, I think it'll be fun to see where this leads us.

The petition is on-line here.

Update @ 10:56 a.m.
I came across this story over the weekend, but didn't want to publish something this controversial during a national holiday. I thus held the story until this morning, when Blogger published it for me automatically at 8:30 a.m. There have, however, been several developments since I drafted this story.

Since then, residents of more than twenty other states have drafted similar petitions on the White House's We the People site. As of this moment, only the petition to allow Texas to succeed has garnered the 25,000 signatures required by the White House for this to be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, one of those states with a petition in the works is Michigan. The petition was started by Lynn B., who would not confirm where he or she lives. We don't know if this person actually lives in Michigan. Regardless, I have to say that I am profoundly disappointed in this.

It's one thing when freeloading states have a petition like this. I don't expect anything less from them. However, we're Michigan. We are better than this.

Update @ 11:06 a.m.
There is now a petition on the White House's site to strip everyone who signed one of those succession petitions of their citizenship and exile them. It's on-line here.

I don't think this petition will go any further than the succession petitions. However, I like the idea of fighting fire with fire.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Detroit Celebrates Recycling

The City of Detroit is still a long ways from the citywide curbside recycling that our neighboring communities have enjoyed for more than a decade. However, they are at least making baby steps in the right direction. They will promote recycling during the week of November 12 - 17, in conjunction with America Recycles Day on November 15. 

Recycling - Image by Jay Lopez
The City of Detroit, along with its recycling partners, will participate in this effort as part of its ongoing Keep Detroit Beautiful campaign.

The Department of Public Works recently expanded its curbside recycling program to include 34,000 households.  By year’s end, that number will grow to a little less than 40,000 as other residents eagerly await the opportunity to conveniently recycle. Last year, the City collected and processed more than 1.3 million pounds of recyclable materials. 

Additionally, the City continues to provide free drop-off for Detroit residents at five locations. The Recycle Here facility at 1331 Holden is accessible to both Detroit and non-Detroit residents.

In recognition of America Recycles Day, some area recycling convenience centers will have extended hours for individuals to drop off recyclable items. This will include Recycle Here, which is funded by the City of Detroit, is open Monday (November 12 only) and Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.

On November 17, Rosedale Recycle will mark its 272nd month as a recycling drop-off location.  Area residents can drop off their recycling from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Christ the King Church, 20800 Grand River Avenue, which is near McNichols (enter from Pierson Street). This, of course, is the closest facility to the Warrendale neighborhood.

Detroit residents only can discard poisons, solvents, paint, heavy metals, and other toxic products at the Household Hazardous Waste Receiving Facility at 2000 E. Ferry Street, which is near the I-75 and I-94 freeways. The facility is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will have extended hours from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14.

In addition, a number of organizations are working with the City of Detroit to promote recycling during this week and throughout the year. The Zero Waste Alliance went go door-to-door on Saturday, November 10 on Detroit’s east side to distribute recycling information to residents and emphasize the importance of recycling. The Clean Energy Coalition developed recycling educational brochures and an outreach program that resulted in high rates of participation in the most recently expanded areas for curbside collection.

Information about the recycling program and promotional videos are available on the City’s Web site at www.detroitrecycles.com.

City of Detroit Offices Are Closed Today


Most City of Detroit offices will be closed today in observance of Veterans Day.  Normal police, fire, and bus services will, however, be provided.

In addition, the Department of Public Works will collect trash, yard waste, and curbside recycling as normally scheduled today. However, bulk drop-off locations will be closed on that day.  

Friday, November 09, 2012

Giving a Tour of Detroit's Warrendale Neighborhood

Welcome to Warrendale - Photo by Frank Nemecek
I was asked to lead a tour of Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood later this month or in early December. What do you think I should show them?

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section of this blog. You are also welcome to reach out to me via the "contact me" tab above.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Detroit Public Works Department Changes Hours for Drop-Off Locations

Yard Waste Waiting for Collection - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The Detroit Department of Public Works will continue to collect yard waste placed in biodegradable paper bags or personal containers through early December (weather permitting). However, due to the high volume of bags of yard waste, DPW crews may not collect yard waste on the specified day or week that bags are placed at curbside. Residents should leave their bags at the curb until collected and will not be ticketed.

Residents are reminded that yard waste placed in plastic bags will not be collected. Citizens should place properly contained yard waste at the curb on their weekly collection day.

If yard waste must be disposed of immediately, residents are encouraged to take their yard waste to any of the 5 free DPW drop-off locations. Also, as of this past Monday, DPW has switched to their fall/winter hours of 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. at its four drop-off locations. A fifth location, J. Fons Transfer Station, is open weekdays from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Residents can use the drop-off locations to discard bulk items, yard waste, tires (limit of 4), and recyclable items.  These hours are in effect from now through the end of March.
  • Southfield Yard at 12255 Southfield Service Drive is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.;
  • Davison Yard at 8221 W. Davison is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.;
  • State Fair Yard at 19715 John R is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.;
  • 5840 Anthon is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.;
  • J. Fons Transfer Station at 6451 E. McNichols is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
All locations, except J. Fons, are closed from noon – 1 p.m.  These drop-off locations are open to Detroit residents only with proper identification. There is a limit of 1,000 pounds or one cubic yard per household per day. The City will not accept demolition, construction, or remodeling debris (including shingles), household or commercial garbage, or tree stumps.

For more information, go to the City’s Web site at www.detroitmi.gov/dpw.

Toy Chest Bar is Hiring a Bartender

Toy Chest Bar - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The Toy Chest Bar (18728 Ford Rd.) is hiring a new bartender. Anyone interested in applying for this job is asked to apply in person at the bar.

Police Commission to Meet This Evening in Warrendale

Photo by Elvis Santana
The Detroit Police Commission will have a community meeting this evening, November 8 at 6:30 p.m. They will meet in the NFL/YET Boys and Girls Club (16500 Tireman Rd.).

The public is welcome to attend this meeting. This is a great opportunity for residents, business owners, and others concerned about the state of public safety in Detroit.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

5 Best Tweets from Election Day

Yesterday was Election Day and, across the Twittersphere, people made their observations of the day known to the world. 31 millions of comments were made, which smashed all of the records. Below are my picks for the 5 best tweets from Election Day 2012.

Jerry Paffendorf from Detroit's nearby Corktown neighborhood leads off my picks with his commentary on the stickers they were handing out at the polls.
 Mike Monteiro offered a simple observation for those who were stuck waiting to vote in long lines across America.
Democratic political consultant Joe DiSano offered this reaction to some of the Republican commentators that he saw on the airwaves late last night/early this morning.
Tiffany Boyte, however, offered a more down to Earth take on this election right before she went with her family to cast a ballot for Governor Mitt Romney.
Of course, my absolute favorite tweet of the day came from David Kurtz of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
It always amazes me how much wit and wisdom some people are able to cram into 140 characters. My thanks go out to each of these individuals for sharing their thoughts with the world.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Scene from Election Day in Warrendale

Election Day in Warrendale - Photo by Frank Nemecek
Polling places across southeastern Michigan are reporting voter turnout that is much higher than normal. It's no different here in the Warrendale neighborhood.

I vote at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. The photo above shows a parking lot that was almost completely full. I have never seen that many people on Election Day.

Michigan election law prohibits photography within the polling place. Otherwise, I would have snapped a photo or two of the incredibly long lines that I saw inside.

I also heard reports that the line stretch outside of the building at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, which is one of the other polling places in Warrendale. This is an interesting election.

Personally, I simply hope that we have this much interest next year when we elect our mayor and city council.

Breaking Down the Ballot Proposals


Interior of the Michigan Capital - Photo by Frank Nemecek
 David Baschal, a local activist and resident of Detroit's nearby New Center neighborhood, sent me his breakdown of the 6 ballot initiatives. The views here are his own.

For those who live in Michigan, here is a rundown of the state proposals with my peanut gallery comments.

Proposal 1 is about the recent changes to the Emergency Manager law. It keeps the law passed in 1990, but gets rid of the unlimited power that recent changes gave to EMs. Vote "no" unless you like totalitarian rule.

Proposal 2 restores collective bargaining rights that state laws have taken away. Vote "yes" to restore those rights.

Proposal 3 increases renewable energy to 25% by 2025 and caps utility rate hikes to 1% per year - oil and energy companies are against it. Vote "yes" if you like to breath clean air.

Proposal 4 allows home healthcare workers to organize, requires background checks for them, and preserves patients' rite to hire who they want. Vote "yes" to protect home healthcare consumers and workers.

Proposal 5 requires 2/3rds majority for any tax change; it is financed by Manny Maroun; it would allow just thirteen state senators to commandeer the senate. Vote "no" if you like democracy.

Proposal 6 requires a vote for any international bridge to be built. Canada has agreed in writing to pay for the new bridge and all cost overruns. Canada money will count as Michigan's money spent on infrastructure that the U.S. Government matches. That money will be spent on other infrastructure projects (roads, overpasses, etc.) within Michigan. Vote "no" unless you want to protect a billionaire’s monopoly of an international crossing.

If you would like to post a guest commentary, please see the contact me page on this blog.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Mayor Bing Establishes Non-Fraternization Policy

Mayor Dave Bing
Mayor Dave Bing announced this afternoon that he has signed an executive order to establish a non-fraternization policy for all City of Detroit employees. This is done in the aftermath of a series of high-profile sex scandals involving senior officials within the Detroit Police Department, including 2 different chiefs of police, who had affairs with subordinates. This standard, according Mayor Bing's statement, will ensure a fair, conflict-free workplace.

This policy affects all employees, including the Detroit Police Department. However, under the terms of Detroit's new charter, it will require approval by the Board of Police Commissioners. Mayor Bing explained that he fully expects that to happen at the next Police Commissioners meeting.

Greening of Detroit Returns to Warrendale

Photo by John Kovacich
The Greening of Detroit will return to Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood tomorrow morning starting at 9 a.m. for another tree planting. This is the third time this season that they have planted trees in Warrendale.

The non-profit group will plant 172 trees on Greenview, Faust, and Penrod Streets from Tireman Avenue to West Warren Avenue. Volunteers should meet at 7600 Penrod St., which is at the corner of Penrod and Sawyer.

Voting Your Bank Account


This coming Tuesday is Election Day. I haven't posted very much this election cycle. Regardless, I wanted to share a couple of thoughts with everyone. To start with, I would like everyone who reads this to take a close look at their respective bank statement.

Do you see a large deposit having been made into your account recently from DTE? I'm sure you've have a series of increasingly larger payment to DTE, but have they sent you a large amount of cash?

If not, I recommend that you vote yes on Proposal 3. It will caps our rate increases to no more than 1% (no matter what the scary commercials tell you) and it promotes clean energy.

Next, do you see a large check being deposited from Matty Moroun recently? If not, I recommend voting no on Proposal 6. It doesn't help anyone but him and those on his payroll.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Dog Missing in the Warrendale Neighborhood

Nala is Missing. Please call (313) 646-7695 if you see her. Family photo.
A Warrendale family is missing their 2 year old German shepherd dog, Nala, who went missing this past Saturday. The family lives on Warwick, near W. Warren Ave.

The family is offering a $100 reward for her safe return. Please call them at (313) 646-7695 if you see her.