Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Illustration by Billy Alexander
I want to wish a happy New Year to everyone in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood and beyond. I hope 2013 brings health, happiness, and prosperity to every one of us.

I will be back with more posts on Wednesday. Until then, I hope your celebrations this evening are both safe and loads of fun.

Find a Personal Trainer

Photo by Ariel da Silva Parreira
It's almost the New Year. 2013 is just a few hours away now.

For many Americans, this means a resolution to lose weight. If you're one of them, I recommend finding a really good personal trainer who can help you every step of the way. You can find a comprehensive list of them here.

This has been your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Changing Demographics of Warrendale

Photo by Peter Mazurek
I received an email from a student at Kansas State University who was during a research paper on the Polish-American community in the Detroit area. Her research was primarily focused on Hamtramck where she found strong evidence that deindustrialization and race relations in 1960s - 1980s caused a considerable number of Polish immigrants, as well as 2nd and 3rd generation Polish-Americans to leave the inner city for the suburbs.

She wanted to know if there were similar parallels in the Warrendale neighborhood, which also had a strong Polish-American presence for most of its history. She wasn't able to find very much information about Warrendale so she reached out to me.

I wrote her a lengthy email in response with links to a few other resources. When I was finished with it, I thought it would make for an interesting blog post. Therefore, I have decided to publish my entire email below. I welcome your reaction, either in the comments section or in a private email.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Metallica Comes to Belle Isle in Detroit

Metallica - Official Press Photo
One of the most legendary heavy metal bands ever, Metallica, confirmed today that they will bring their Orion Music Festival to Belle Isle in Detroit this summer. Detroit is also expected to host the festival in 2014 and 2015.

While Belle Isle is several miles from the Warrendale neighborhood, I think it's really cool that a band of Metallica's stature is bringing their signature music festival to the city of Detroit. The Detroit Free Press has more about this story on their web site.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas, Detroit

Photo by Joey McEight
I want to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood and beyond. I hope the holiday season brings the best of everything to you and your family.

I also want to let everyone know that my next pizza party at Gracie See Pizzeria and Sports Lounge (6889 Greenfield Rd.) will be on Wednesday, December 26 starting at 6:30 p.m. We will be in the front room, which is to your left when you walk in the door. As always, our first pizza of the evening will be on me. After that, we simply split the bill when it arrives.

I will be back with more posts and news about the Warrendale neighborhood on Wednesday, December 26. Until then, Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Celebrate the World Not Ending

Contrary to how some people have interpreted the Mayan calendar, the world did not end today. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm more than a little relieved by this. In fact, I feel like celebrating. Luckily, there are a couple of great opportunities to celebrate the fact that Mayans were wrong about today.

Publicity Photo for Roxi D'Lite
Roxi D'Lite, the world famous "Bad Girl of Burlesque" and Miss Exotic World 2010, will have 2 special live performances at the Toy Chest Bar (18728 Ford Rd.). While her performances are about as far as you can possibly get from being family friendly, they are still always really good.

Roxi D'Lite, after all, isn't called a smoking, drinking, and dancing machine for nothing.

If Roxi D'Lite and her burlesque performance aren't the way that you want to celebrate the world not ending then our friends at Chick's Bar (18550 W. Warren Ave.) are also having an End of the World Party all day today. They have a clearance shelf of liquor, just in case the world does end, with drinks available for only $1.50. They will also bottles of beer for only $1.75, drafts for only 75 cents, and $1 well drinks.

Oh, and Chick's Bar will also have free dart games all night long. No burlesque dancers, mind you, but free dart games.

Update @ 5:39 p.m.
Not to be outdone, my friends at Last Call Bar (19432 W. Warren Ave.) are also having an End of the World Party until 10 p.m. this evening. Their version of it will feature $1.75 domestic bottles of beer as well as 12-ounce drafts for only $1.

Buffalo Soldiers Take Over the House Barn in Detroit's Rouge Park

Photo by Jason Kingsbeer
After several years in the making, the Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Association finally secured a long-term agreement with the City of Detroit to operate from the former Detroit Police Department's horse barn in Rouge Park. The group has operated from that horse barn through a series of short-term agreements for several years now.

In addition to keeping the history of the buffalo soldiers alive, the group also offers horse rides for kids during the warmer months. The Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Association is a valuable part of maintaining Rouge Park as one of the great jewels of Detroit and the Warrendale neighborhood.

More information about the Buffalo Soldier Heritage Association is available on their Facebook page.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Free Truck Driver Training

Photo by Ilker Ilco
Detroit Empowerment Solutions is offering a free training program to help those interested Detroiters get their commercial drivers license. This is the first step in a new career as a truck driver.

There are certain restrictions associated with this program. Additional details are available here.

The Other Edgar Allen Poe

Did you know that Edgar Allen Poe is buried in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood?

Not the famous writer, of course. That Edgar Allen Poe is buried in Baltimore, Maryland.

However, there is another Edgar Allen Poe who lived from 1875 - 1954, who fought in the Spanish-American War, and who buried in the cemetery next to Ford Memorial United Methodist Church (16400 W. Warren Ave.).

Edgar Allen Poe's Gravestone - Photo by Frank Nemecek

While he isn't as famous as the other Edgar Allen Poe, I think it's kind of cool that we have someone with that name resting among us for eternity in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Detroit Cop Pleads Guilty to Corruption


A former Detroit Police officer pleaded guilty yesterday to charges stemming from her forging departmental overtime sheets to obtain almost $30,000 for hours she did not work while she was a Detroit Police officer, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced. Ms. McQuade was joined in the announcement by Robert D. Foley, III, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Detroit field office.

Kim Mosby-Colbert, age 52, a recently resigned Detroit Police officer, entered the guilty plea in U.S. District Court before Judge Paul D. Borman. She pleaded guilty to one count of defrauding a program receiving federal funding, which carries a statutory maximum of 10 years and/or a $250,000 fine.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, she faces up to six months’ imprisonment. Although the agreement contains no specific amount of restitution, she could be ordered to pay $29,859.50 in restitution.

“We hope that prosecutions like this one will let public servants know that they will be held accountable for their conduct and will deter them from stealing public funds to which they are not entitled,” Ms. McQuade said.

Mr. Foley added, “The falsifying of records for the purpose of stealing money from tax payers is a criminal abuse of public trust. The FBI-led Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force is committed to ensuring citizens have honest government.”

A sentencing hearing was set by Judge Borman for March 19, 2013 at 2 p.m. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Michael Buckley and was investigated by the Detroit Police Department Internal Affairs Section and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Harvey Santana Speaks Against the Emergency Financial Act

Screen Image from Speech - Video by Michigan House Democrats
While I have decided to take a break from talking about politics until after Christmas, State Representative Harvey Santana (D-10) who represents the Warrendale neighborhood as well as many of the areas around it has not made such a promise. He stood on the floor of Michigan House of Representatives and spoke out against the emergency financial manager act.

The full video of Representative Sanatana's speech is available here. His speech is a little less than 10 minutes long. I recommend taking a moment to watch it.

I will have much more to say, probably without references to the Old Testament, after my self-imposed Christmas moratorium on politics.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Friends of Rouge Park to Meet on Tuesday


Foggy Day in Rouge Park - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The next Friends of Rouge Park meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 18 from 6 - 7 p.m. at the Park Joy Bar (23220 Joy Rd.), which is across from Rouge Park at the northwest corner Joy Rd. and West Parkway St. The bar has a dinner menu, so plan on ordering dinner.

This will  be an informal dinner meeting. However, there will be a representative from the Greening of Detroit to discuss downspout disconnection. The group will also discuss concerns and plans for the park.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Taking a Break from Politics

Christmas Stock Photo 
I have decided to take the advice of a very good friend of mine and refrain from making any more posts or comments about politics until after Christmas. Everything regarding the right-to-work law that was passed recently and the City of Detroit's budget, will simply have to wait a few days.

For the sake of my own blood pressure, and a basic desire to refrain from doing more damage to the walls in my home, I need to do this. Besides, there will still be plenty of things to rant and rave about on December 26.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Jobs Coming to Michigan - Any Minute Now



As of this afternoon, the great state of Michigan is now a right-to-work state. We are the 24th such state in the union; joining such economic and cultural powerhouses as Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

If one believes Governor Rick Snyder, the Republicans in the Michigan Legislature, and the super-geniuses at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy then a multitude of new, good-paying jobs will be headed to Michigan any minute now.

Any minute now.

Friday, December 07, 2012

How Should Michigan Deal with the Loss of Income Tax Revenue?

Michigan Capitol Building - Photo by Frank Nemecek
Michigan is now well on its way to being a right-to-work state and will almost certainly be one within the next few days. This isn't a good idea, in my opinion, but it is reality. Regardless, I would like to be proactive about this.

Since people in right-to-work states almost always see their incomes drop, and since people with less income pay less in income taxes, we as a state need to start asking how we are going to adjust to this. Thus, I would like to pose a question for discussion: how should state and local governments deal with lower tax revenue now that Michigan is a right-to-work state?

I posted this question over on my Facebook page earlier today. One of my friends suggested that this is a perfect time for Michigan to legalized the sale and use of marijuana. Such an action, he pointed, not only mitigates the costs associated with prosecuting marijuana sellers and users, it also gives the government something else to tax instead of incomes.

I agree with his idea about changing marijuana laws as a way to deal with the drop in income tax revenue that Michigan will see now that we're a right-to-work state. However, I'm curious to see if anyone else has any ideas. If so, please feel free to share them with me, either in the comments section, on Google Plus, or on Facebook.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Emergency financial manager for Detroit called "All but inevitable"

Michigan Legislature - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The Detroit Free Press published a report on their website this afternoon, claiming that sources have told them that an emergency financial manager for the City of Detroit is "all but inevitable." Their full report is available on-line here.

Since I have been covering the City of Detroit's financial condition longer than either Mayor Dave Bing or Governor Rick Snyder have been in office, I wanted to make 2 quick comments about this matter.

First, I truly hope that the Michigan Legislature passes a replacement for the old Emergency Financial Manager Act before Governor Synder tries to appoint an emergency manager for the City of Detroit. Many have argued that he still has said authority under the old law (P.A. 72). They argue that since voters repealed P.A. 4, which repealed P.A. 72, then the original law must now be in force.

Those individuals are simply wrong. MCL 8.4 states:
Whenever a statute, or any part thereof shall be repealed by a subsequent statute, such statute, or any part thereof, so repealed, shall not be revived by the repeal of such subsequent repealing statute.
Repealing a repealing statue simply does not revive the original law, at least not in Michigan. If anyone wants to appoint an emergency financial manager anywhere in Michigan, the Michigan Legislature will have to first pass - and Governor Synder will have to sign - a new version of the emergency financial manager law. This presumably should be a lot like the old P.A. 72 that everyone was able to live with.

Second, and perhaps even more important, I should point out that the City of Detroit will almost certainly be in bankruptcy regardless of whether or not an emergency financial manager is appointed. The City of Detroit is billions of dollars in debt and losing residents (i.e., the people who pay the taxes that enable any government to function) at an alarming rate. More over, the rate at which Detroit is losing residents is accelerating; not slowing down.

All of this means that if Governor Snyder tries to appoint an emergency financial manager without a new version of the EFM law, we will likely see a protracted court fight as to its legitimacy. All of this will still see Michigan's largest city in a bankruptcy court in a matter months, regardless of how it turns out.


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Jewelry Making Class at the Edison Branch Library

Stock Photo by Maurice Smith
The Edison Branch of the Detroit Public Library (18400 Joy Rd.) will host a special class on jewelry making this coming Saturday, December 8 at 2 p.m. This class is free and open to the public.

However, while it is open to everyone, this class is intended for teens. Those attending will learn to design and create a jewelry treasure that they can wear or give as a gift. This class will be taught by Mia Walker.

If someone cannot attend this class, they will offer another one next Saturday, December 15, again at 2 p.m.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Detroit Police Department Hosts "Stuff A Cop Car" Holiday Toy Drive


Photo by Frank Nemecek
Members of the Detroit Police Department are helping Santa Claus put smiles on the faces of children and a gift under their Christmas tree by sponsoring the “Stuff a Cop Car With A Toy” drive. Citizens are encouraged to stop by and place a new, unwrapped toy for children from the ages of 1 - 12 inside a Detroit Police patrol car. All donations will go towards the Central District’s Adopt-A-Family Program. Several families are participating in this program.

The toy drive will happen from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Thursday, December 6. in front of the Detroit Institute of Arts (5200 Woodward Ave.). To make it easier to find them, just look for the flashing lights. Members of the Detroit Police Department’s Central District’s Police Community Relations and Police Community Services will be on site to accept your toy donation.

Toys can be also dropped off at the Central District (7310 Woodward Ave.) anytime before the event.