Monday, September 11, 2017

Discount on Educator.com subscription


Every parent wants their child to do well in school and getting a discount in the process is even better. When a student isn't able to live up to the full potential in the classroom, services like Educator.com can help a student succeed.
For those not familiar with the service, Educator.com is a startup e-learning site focused on delivering the highest quality educational content created by great teachers. The Educator experience is designed to provide you with everything you need to succeed in your high school and university level courses.
Their site creates a one-to-one learning environment with the instructor; emphasizing graphical explanations and working through solution steps. Their goal is to make learning accessible, affordable, and fun for every student. Plus, they have a special discount for readers of this blog that I'll explain in a moment.
First, I want to tell you a little more about Educator.com and some of the things that I like about it. I really like the fact that there are multiple examples worked out and explained in each lecture as well as:
  • Under each lecture video are comprehensive notes that detail things to remember and common student mistakes. It is the perfect tool to refresh your memory before a big test without having to watch the entire lecture again;
  • Taught by the most effective college professors;
  • All of their instructors have doctorate degrees and are current university professors. Several have more than 25 years of teaching experience; and
  • Interactive student community to answer questions.
With all of these benefits, I'm pleased to an exclusive 10% discount for any of their courses for readers of the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog. All of these courses include a free introductory lesson.
To get this 10% off discount on a six-month or annual subscription, readers should enter the coupon code 399840D0EF at checkout.
This discount is brought to you by the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog as part of our Tip of the Week feature. Please check back next week for more advice for your home, money, and life.

16 years ago

Sorrow - Photo courtesy of Max Pixel
16 years ago today, our world changed forever.

16 years ago today, at 7:59 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 took off from Logan International Airport in Boston on its way to Los Angeles. There were 81 passengers and 11 crew members aboard. Five highjackers were also aboard.

Within the hour, Flight 11 and three more commercial airliners would be highjacked. The deadliest terrorist attack in American history began 16 years ago at 7:59 a.m.

By the time that terrible day was over, 2,996 people had left this world before their time. More than 6,000 others were injured that day.

16 years ago today, our world changed forever.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Dramatic police chase on I-75


Officers from the Detroit Police Department were taken on a high-speed chase through the streets of Detroit today, one that ended in a dramatic fashion on I-75. Footage from a helicopter, which is embedded above, shows the man who was suspected of murder pull over on the highway.

Rather than surrender, though, he jumped over the median and ran across the freeway - dodging both on-coming traffic and police officers who were now chasing him on foot. As a minivan approached, the suspect jumped on top of it and was surrounded by police officers.

One officer jumped on top of the minivan and engaged the fleeing suspect. The officer threw this man off the van and onto the ground. It was at this point that his fellow officers were able to take their suspect into custody without further incident.

While this was an exceptionally dramatic chase and arrest, I have to say that I am proud of each and every officer who was involved in it. They got their man and did it without putting the general public in undo jeopardy.

Wendy Hilliard returns to Detroit for National Gymnastics Day

Children learn gymnastics through the Wendy Hillard Gymnastics Foundation - Press photo

World-class gymnast and Detroit-native Wendy Hillard is returning to Detroit to celebrate National Gymnastics Day with a special event at the Joe Dumars Field House (1120 W State Fair) on Saturday, September 16 from 10 am until noon. Hilliard was the first African-American to represent the United States in rhythmic gymnastics in an international competition, including three World Championships (1979, 1981, and 1983).

At this event, aspiring local youth will experience a free gymnastics lesson from elite athletes, parents can sign their children up for the new classes, and attendees can hear from Wendy Hilliard about her experience as a gymnast. These free and low-cost gymnastics lessons are presented for urban youth by the Wendy Hillard Gymnastics Foundation.

Brenda Jones, President of the Detroit City Council, will also attend this event. She is expected to present Hillard with the Spirit of Detroit award.

National Gymnastics Day is an annual celebration of the sport that is currently in its 19th year. It is sponsored by Gymnastics USA. It is also celebrated in Australia, the Philippines, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates.

Editor's note: This post is a part of this blog's semi-regular Friday Focus series, which endeavors to highlight news and opinions that, in my opinion, don't get as much attention as they deserve.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Chris Polite releases new indie album


Detroit is a town that is famous for cars and music.

Detroit-native Bill Haley ushered in the rock and roll era in 1955 with "Rock Around the Clock."

In 1959, Barry Gordie created a "Motown sound" that embodied the streets of Detroit into the music of local artists like Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, and Marvin Gaye.

Techno was born here.

Artists from Detroit have reached the top in every music genre from gospel to rock to hip hop.

All of this is why I'm excited that Warrendale resident Chris Polite has released his newest indie album Death in Disguise EP. It is produced by Herschel Boone.

Death in Disguise features the new single from Chris Polite "Think It Thru." The video for that song was shot in Detroit by Diego Cruz and is embedded above.

You can find the Death in Disguise EP for purchase on iTunes and Google Play. It's also available on all of the major music streaming services.

Death in Disguise EP from Chris Polite - it's your Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week for September 5.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Training opportunity for the construction industry


Wayne State University is organizing an OSHA-approved training for those interested in obtaining certification for a Respirable Crystalline Silica Training. Spanish-speaking students will receive a $25 gift certificate to Honey Bee Market La Colmena at the end of the training.

This training will happen on Saturday, September 9 and Saturday, September 16 at La Sed Page Senior Center (7150 W. Vernor) in Southwest Detroit.

For any questions about this training opportunity in the construction industry for Detroiters, please contact Mary Carmen Muñoz at (313) 554-2015 or mcmunoz@lased.inc. One may also contact
Roberto Muñoz at (313) 815-3146 or munozrd@udmercy.edu with any questions.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Neighborhood flower competition

Flower garden in Tak, Thailand - Photo by Love Krittaya/Wikicommons
The District 7 office for the City of Detroit, which services Warrendale and nearby neighborhoods, is sponsoring a flower competition for local residents. Gardners are invited to show off their green thumb by submitting photos of their floral work.

Photo entries should be emailed to either Ray Solomon, District Manager at solomonr@detroitmi.gov or Mona Ali, Assistant District Manager at alim@detroitmi.gov. All submissions must be received by Friday, September 15.

There are a lot of great gardens in and around the Warrendale neighborhood. I would love to see a local Detroiter win this contest.

This contest is brought to you by the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog as part of our Tip of the Week feature. Please check back next week for more advice for your home, money, and life.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Help wanted at Chene Modern Bakery

Chene Modern Bakery is hiring counter help - Photo by Alachua County/Flickr
The staff at Chene Modern Bakery (17041 W. Warren Ave.) are looking to hire counter staff. The hours would be Tuesday - Saturday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. This would make for a great part-time or supplemental income or perfect as an after school job.

Interested applicants are asked to stop by the bakery to apply in person any day between the hours of 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. Please ask for Janice and tell her that you heard about this opportunity through the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog.

Round-up for Warrendale news

Waiting for surgery - Selfie by Frank Nemecek
I underwent surgery last week to repair a deviated septum and spent much of this past week recovering. Regardless, I wanted to give a quick rundown of news stories related to the Warrendale neighborhood that I've missed while recuperating.

South Warrendale Radio Patrol Featured on WDET-FM
Detroit's public radio station, WDET-FM, aired a story this week about some of the volunteer radio patrols. For the past 50 years, these patrols have been a key part of keeping our neighborhoods safe.

There are approximately 40 of these citizen-based radio patrols that operate in Detroit, including our own South Warrendale Radio Patrol. The Warrendale group was featured prominently in WDET's story. It is available online here.

Body Found in Alley
Early this past Monday, the remains of a 25-year old man later identified as Ahmed Alakoubi of Dearborn Heights was found in an alley near the Southfield Freeway and Paul Street. The Detroit Police Department is investigating this matter as a robbery turned murder, according to published news reports.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the Detroit Police Department's Homicide Unit at (313) 596-2260. More details about this story are available at MI Headlines.com.

Sidewalk Repairs on Minock Street
I reported previously about a hazardous sidewalk on Minock and the rather crappy repair that was hastily done to it by a contractor for the City of Detroit. Since then, the contractor has been back to replace the sidewalk fully.

WXYZ-TV aired a story about the hazardous sidewalk in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood earlier this week. Their story is available online here.

Community Garden Featured on WXYZ-TV
The In Memory Of Community Garden, which is located at the corner of Minock and Whitlock Streets, was also featured on WXYZ-TV earlier this week. Their story focused on the efforts of these volunteer gardeners to prevent kidney disease throughout the Detroit area.

The full story from WXYZ-TV is available online here.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Crappy sidewalk repair


The City of Detroit tried to repair a broken sidewalk on Minock Street in Warrendale today. The problem is that they appeared to be rather lazy and used asphalt patch rather than concrete.

William Penrod, who lives on Minock and reported the problem, posted an epic rant in which he called out Mayor Mike Duggan over this.

More on this story as it develops.

Awesome shot of the solar eclipse



Father Jerry Pilus, pastor at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood, took this amazing shot of the solar eclipse. This photo was taken at 2:28 p.m. from the church grounds.

Father Jerry posted this photo of the solar eclipse as seen from Detroit to the church's Facebook page. I'm happy to be able to embed it here.

For anyone who missed it, the next time that a total solar eclipse will be visible in the Detroit area won't be until April 8, 2024.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Flying over the Warrendale neighborhood in Detroit


One particular YouTube user flew a drone over much of the Warrendale neighborhood. The resulting video shows our section of Detroit from Ford Road north to Warren Avenue and from the Southfield Freeway east to Evergreen Road.

I have never seen the Warrendale neighborhood from this vantage point before. I have to admit that Detroit looks good from the air.

In fact, when I first saw what it looked like to fly over Detroit, I knew that I had to publish his video here so that everyone else in Detroit and beyond could see it.

And so I am.

Ladies and gentlemen, flying over the Warrendale neighborhood of Detroit is your Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Review - "Forever and a Death"

Forever and a Death  by Donald E. Westlake (Hard Case Crime)
Cover painting for the novel by Paul Mann

Like so many great novels, there is a story behind Forever and a Death by Donald E. Westlake that rivals the suspense of the fictional prose itself.

Donald Westlake had long ago established himself as one of the grandmasters of the suspense novel. Newsweek proclaimed him to be, "one of the great writers of the 20th century" while the San Francisco Chronicle observed years ago that "Westlake's ability to construct an action story filled with unforeseen twists and quadruple-crosses is unparalleled."

It was with that as background that United Artists Studio in Hollywood commissioned Donald Westlake to write an original screenplay for an upcoming James Bond movie. What Westlake eventually produced for them was a thrilling tale of a businessman who seeks revenge against the entire island nation of Hong Kong.

Unfortunately, the studio was nervous about the political implications of his story. They stuck his screenplay on a shelf and largely forgot about it.

Not wanting to waste what he thought was an exceptionally good story, Westlake converted this tale into a novel with a protagonist other than James Bond. The result of that was this novel, Forever and a Death.

Unfortunately, Donald E. Westlake died on December 31, 2008, before this book could be published. After two decades of delay, this story is finally available for readers to savor - complete with an afterword by Jeff Kleeman, one of the producers who helped to connect Westlake with the James Bond project in the first place.

One of the things that impressed me about this novel is that, even though Westlake wrote it decades ago, time did not dull its heart-pounding edge. The reader will no doubt notice something that places it as having happened in the not too distant past - with its references to pay phones, fax machines, and other things that have largely disappeared from everyday life - but there is still a thrilling quality to Westlake's writing that is as timeless as ever.

The characters are vivid. The dialogue is sharp. The way police inspectors are skeptical at first but eventually swayed into action by the evidence of our villain's plot rings amazingly true.

James Bond illustration by Tumisu/Pixabay
I highly recommend Forever and a Death by Donald E. Westlake for any reader who enjoys James Bond stories, devours the original works of Tom Clancy, or simply loves a good thriller.

Forever and a Death by Donald E. Westlake is available from Amazon.com or from your local bookseller.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Loud explosions in Rouge Park today - don't worry

Bomb squad vehicle - Photo by Raymond Wamsgans/Flickr
The Detroit Police Department has announced that their bomb squad will perform training exercises in Rouge Park this afternoon. Residents and visitors are cautioned that they may hear loud explosions but there is no cause for alarm - it's only a training exercise.

According to a statement from the Detroit Police Department, these exercises will happen at the archery range in Rouge Park, which is near Joy Rd. and Spinoza Dr. This is expected to begin at approximately 1:30 p.m.

Residents and visitors are also asked to avoid the area around the Rouge Park archery range while this training exercise is happening.

All 5 endorsed candidates move on to November

The primary election was this past Tuesday across Detroit and the rest of Michigan. It narrowed the field from dozens of contenders to the top two candidates who will move on to the general election in November for the offices of mayor of Detroit, members of the city council, and city clerk.

This blog made a total of five endorsements for these important offices in Detroit. I am thrilled that all five candidates have made it past the primary and will move on to the general election, which is set for Tuesday, November 7.

Congratulations and best wishes, therefore, go out to:
  • Mike Duggan for Mayor of Detroit;
  • Gabe Leland for City Council (District 7);
  • Brenda Jones for City Council (at-large);
  • Janee Ayers for City Council (at-large); and
  • Garlin Gilchrist for City Clerk.
I wish each of these candidates the best of luck as we move forward the election season in Detroit.

The history behind the streets of Detroit


There's a lot of history in the streets of Detroit - so much so that we forget how our streets themselves came to be in the current location. Thankfully, though, a friend of mine came across this short documentary that was originally produced by Wayne State University about the historic streets of Detroit.

In this short video, entitled Detroit's Pattern of Growth, Robert J. Goodman, a professor of geography at Wayne State University, and Gordon W. Draper explain how Detroit's street design went from a collection of ancient trails developed by Native Americans into the cityscape that we know today. 

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Light the Block - Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week


One of the many things that I love about Detroit is many ways that ordinary Detroiters find to solve everyday problems as a community. Cherry Selene and his Light the Block initiative is a perfect example of this.

When he noticed how dark his block was for pedestrians walking by, he started attaching motion-activated lights to wooden posts - the perfect thing to give light to pedestrians walking by. The lights themselves are powered by solar panels that charge batteries during the day.

Additional information about this project can be found on the Light the Block's Facebook page, which can be found here.

It has been too long since I've declared anything to be the Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week. Regardless, Light the Block is one of those things that warrant bringing this feature back.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Detroit Police President Condemn President's Trump call for mistreatment of prisoners

President Donald J. Trump - Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr
During a speech to police officers in Long Island, New York, President Donald J. Trump called for a harsher treatment of prisoners who are taken into custody. "Please don't be too nice," the President pleaded to law enforcement. In response, the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners passed a resolution last week that condemned his remarks.

The Police Commissioners in Detroit stated in their resolution that rough or abusive treatment of prisoners is not only contrary to the Constitution, it is also counterproductive to efforts of community policing. They also remarked that, "along with (President Trump's) actions through the Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, continue to roll back police practices to a rudimentary era of physical abuse, unlawful confinement, and wholesale discrimination that endangers all of our human rights."

Their resolution also condemned President Trump for using "an ethnic slur in his speech, a stark reminder of how ingrained discrimination has been in law enforcement and how some officials have used police powers systemically to intimidate people based on their skin color, religion, sexual orientation, or heritage, as Irish immigrants once experienced. It was especially disturbing that President Trump’s audience included Suffolk County police officers, whose former chief right now faces prison for beating a man."

President Donald Trump has not responded to the Police Commissioner's resolution as of today. If he does have a response at some point in the future, it will be reported on this blog.

The Detroit Board of Police Commissioners consists of seven individuals who are elected by district as well as four members who are appointed by Mayor Mike Duggan. They are mandated by the City Charter set policy for the Detroit Police Department, help to set the budget for the department, and other relevant matters for our police.

More details about the President Trump's speech - as well as a video of it - are available here. The full text of this resolution from the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners is available here.

Review: "Two Lost Boys" by L.F. Robertson

Courtroom - Photo by Faye Rollinson/Wikimedia
Two Lost Boys is the stunning debut crime novel by LF. Robertson. The characters are thoroughly captivating. Her dialogue rings with the kind of truth that only an author who had spent the past two decades in the trenches as a defense attorney can muster.

It tells the story of Janet Moodie, a death row appeals attorney in California who was recently widowed. Her client is Marion ‘Andy’ Hardy who was convicted along with his brother Emory of the rape and murder of two women. Emory received a life sentence while Andy got the death penalty; labeled the ringleader despite his low IQ and Emory’s dominant personality.

Convinced that Andy’s previous lawyers missed mitigating evidence that would have kept him off death row, Janet investigates Andy’s past. She discovers a sordid and damaged upbringing, a series of errors on the part of his previous counsel, and most worrying of all, the possibility that there is far more to the murders than was first thought.

There is never any doubt that Andy is guilty. However, by the end of this story, I feel that even those most jaded of us would find themselves if this character deserves to die.

Two Lost Boys takes the reader behind the scene to offer a look at a part of America's criminal justice system that few ever see. It does this without losing the reader. In doing so, I could help but think that this novel should be a serious contender for the Silver Gavel Awards.

I highly recommend Two Lost Boys by L.F. Robertson for anyone who enjoys crime stories or simply loves a really good story that is well-told.

Two Lost Boys by L.F. Robertson is available on Amazon.com.

Monday, August 07, 2017

WCO meets tonight

The Warrendale Community Organization will have its next regular membership meeting this evening at 7 p.m. The group will meet in the Activities Building of Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church (7685 Grandville). This event is expected to last until approximately 8 p.m.

Everyone who is interested in the future and betterment of the Warrendale neighborhood in Detroit is welcome to attend this meeting.

Free vehicle etching this Thursday

The Crime Prevention Task Force, which is sponsored by the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation's Community Security Program, will provide free auto VIN etching. This will happen at the Northwest Detroit Farmers' Market (18445 Scarsdale St.) on Thursday, August 10 from 4 - 7 pm.

Auto VIN Etching is a process where the vehicle’s identification number (VIN) is etched on the windows, as a deterrent to criminals who strip and sell a car for parts. VIN etching is a loss prevention strategy suggested by the Detroit Police Department and other law enforcement agencies as well as auto insurance companies. The process takes about 10-15 minutes. It normally costs $200 but is available for free through this program.

This Northwest Detroit Farmer's Market is located in the parking lot of the Grandmont Rosedale Community House).

VIN etching at the Grandmont Rosedale Community House is your Warrendale Tip of the Week. The tip of the week is a semi-weekly feature for this blog that is published most Mondays.


Saturday, August 05, 2017

My endorsements for Detroit's primary

There will be a primary election this coming Tuesday. During this contest, Detroiters will narrow the field for candidates who hope to serve as Mayor or City Clerk of Detroit and who will represent us on the City Council. The full list of candidates for each office is available on Ballotpedia or the City of Detroit's official website.

After much study, I am pleased to present my endorsements for these offices.

Mayor Mike Duggan - File photo
I am pleased to endorse Mike Duggan for re-election as Mayor of Detroit. He has done an excellent job of guiding Detroit out of bankruptcy. During his first term in office, we have seen a dramatic improvement in response times for police, fire, and emergency medical services.

There has also been a tremendous - almost mind-blowing - change in the corporate culture within Detroit City government. When I was president of Warrendale Community Organization during the Kwame Kilpatrick era, the WCO wanted information about police response times and other issues, we were routinely told that this information simply wasn't available.

Today, most of this information is readily available on the City of Detroit's website. This, I believe, is an important departure from the decades of failure that preceded Mayor Duggan's tenure. It shows that - even though there is still work that needs to be done - we have an executive team that is transparent in its dealings and accountable to the residents, businesses, and visitors who make Detroit one of the greatest cities in the world.

I am also pleased to make three important endorsements for the City Council.

Gabe Leland and I at the AIA Detroit Awards
Gabe Leland has represented Warrendale and the other neighborhoods that make up the 7th District admirably during his first term of office. As chair of the council's planning and economic development committee, he shepherded much of the work on the District Detroit project through the council and made sure that there were jobs and other benefits for residents.

His impact on the District Detroit project is particularly important, in my opinion. For decades, one project after another has moved forward downtown with far more benefits for developers than residents. The fact that residents are on track to get a healthy portion of the construction jobs and the more than 1,100 permanent jobs associated with it is impressive.

As one looks beyond our district representation, I am also thrilled to endorse Brenda Jones and Janee L. Ayers to continue representing all Detroiters as at-large members of the City Council. Both of these women have shown a strong, level-headed leadership that I believe has been a tremendous asset to all Detroiters. They have also been passionate about connecting with Detroiters throughout their tenure.

Brenda Jones at a Warrendale Community Organization meeting
Photo by Frank Nemecek
Brenda Jones is a veteran on the City Council, having represented Detroiters since 2005. Janee Ayers is a relative newcomer, having joined the Council in 2015 following the resignation of Saunteel Jenkins.

I especially like the combination of Jones and Ayers as at-large members. Jones brings a tremendous amount of experience with more than a decade on the Council and her previous role as president of the Communications Workers of America, Local 4004. Ayers brings a tremendous amount of energy to her work as she is the only member of the Council to serve on four different committees and she does it while still being an active and vibrant member of our community.

Again, I believe that the combination of Jones and Ayers is a dynamic duo that benefits all Detroiters.

Garlin Gilchrist, II - File photo
Finally, it is my pleasure to endorse Garlin Gilchrist, II to be the next City Clerk for Detroit. He has served with Mayor Duggan as his Director of Innovation & Emerging Technology. In this capacity, he worked to make the information that Detroiters needs about their local government readily available through social media and other technologies.

During his tenure, he implemented a technology solution to make sure city fire hydrants are regularly inspected and repaired. He also enabled anonymous police tips via cell phones and championed the Improve Detroit app which is used extensively in the Warrendale neighborhood.

As our next City Clerk, he is committed to improving the flow of information so that all Detroiters understand what is happening our government. He has also released a plan to help make voting effortless in Detroit.

I am proud of these endorsements.
  • Mike Duggan for Mayor Detroit;
  • Gabe Leland for City Council (District 7);
  • Brenda Jones for City Council (at-large);
  • Janee Ayers for City Council (at-large); and
  • Garlin Gilchrist for City Clerk.
These are the people who I believe have the dedication, expertise, and passion to continue moving Detroit forward. I am proud to endorse each of them for the primary this coming Tuesday.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Barricaded gunman causes evacuations on Archdale

A barricaded gunman who filled a house on Archdale Street in Warrendale with gas and threatened to blow it has been taken into custody, according to Commander Elvin Barren of the Detroit Police Department. No one was seriously injured during the incident, which happened early this morning.

Several homes in the neighborhood were evacuated as a precaution. However, the area is now safe. Residents have been allowed to return to their homes.

Fox 2 Detroit has more on this story here.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Teen kidnapped from his home


Jaylon Wilson, a 17-year old boy who lives on Westwood between W. Warren Ave. and Sawyer in the Warrendale neighborhood of Detroit, was kidnapped from his home yesterday afternoon.

He was reportedly abducted at approximately 12:30 p.m. from the side of a home. The teen was seen with three males in an older-model silver Chevy Impala or Malibu driven by a female, according to sources within the Detroit Police Department.

Detectives described the three individuals in this car as African-American and said one of them had dreadlocks. Unfortunately, additional details are not available at available.

Anyone with information about this abduction is asked to call Detroit police at (313) 596-5640 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Remembering the Twin Pines Dairy


The Twin Pines Farm Dairy used to have one of their main production facilities near Warrendale. It was on Greenfield Rd., just north of Tireman, in Detroit.

I was intrigued, therefore, when I found a video from 1957, which I embedded above. It documents both the work that the City of Detroit Department of Health used to do as well as Twin Pines Farm Dairy itself.

This was produced more than a dozen years before I was even born. Regardless, I remember my parents, grandparents, and other older Detroiters talking about many of the things that were discussed in this documentary film.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Shooting on Ashton


The Detroit Police Department is investigating a shooting that happened on Ashton, near Tireman, at the northern end of the Warrendale neighborhood, early this morning. This shooting reportedly happened at approximately 4 a.m. this morning.

According to published news reports, Detroit police officers were in the area when they heard a series of gunshots. After racing to the scene, responding officers discovered an unidentified individual shot inside of an automobile. Two individuals were seen fleeing from that location as police approached.

An investigation into this shooting is ongoing. The two individuals who fled from the scene are wanted for questioning in connection to it. Anyone with information about this tragedy is asked to contact the Detroit Police Department.

Fox 2 Detroit has more in their story, embedded above.

One day in Detroit

Detroit skyline, seen from the Detroit River - Photo by Frank Nemecek
A friend of mine posted a question on Facebook that I wanted to repeat here. He asked, "What's your pick for most essential experience to have in Detroit if you're here for just one awesome day?"

Most people responded things like Eastern Market, the RiverWalk, Campus Martius Park, and so on. A few people suggested experiences like taking in a Detroit Tigers. Lions, Pistons, or Red Wings game (depending on the season when this awesome day is supposed to happen).

Quite frankly, I told my friend, I was reminded of what a park ranger replied when someone asked what he would do if he only had one day at Yosemite National Park.

According to legend, the park ranger thought for a moment before declaring, "if I came all the way here and could only stay for one day, I'd probably just sit right down on that bench over there and cry."

But, yeah - any of those other responses work. too.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Happy 4th of July

U.S. flag aboard the International Space Station - Photo from NASA
I want to take a moment to wish a happy 4th of July to everyone in the Warrendale neighborhood and beyond.

Fireworks are bursting across Detroit (perhaps too frequently). Barbecues are warming up. Parks like Rouge Park, Belle Isle, and others are busy. Flags are waving, including aboard the International Space Station.

Detroiters, without question, are busy celebrating the 241st birthday of this great nation.

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

Monday, July 03, 2017

Rooster in Warrendale?

The rooster in question
Photo by Paula Sharpe
Is anyone in the neighborhood missing a rooster?

I ask because one has shown up in the vicinity of Paul and Warwick Streets. It does seem a bit odd.

Yes, I did say a rooster. Yes, it is here in Detroit.

This, by the way, isn't the first time that a rooster has been seen in the Warrendale neighborhood of Detroit, although the last time was almost 11 years ago. The folks over at Animal Corner tell me that the average lifespan of a chicken is only 5 -7 years so I doubt it is the same bird returning for another photo op.

Still, it is most unusual to see a rooster wandering free in the streets of Detroit. I'm just glad that someone sent me a photo of it while he's here.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Summer reading

"Wychwood" by George Mann - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The long holiday weekend is upon us. While others flock to the beach or leave town altogether, I'm in my backyard reading an advanced copy of Wychwood by The Sunday Times bestselling author George Mann.

I'm only a few pages into this novel, but like it a lot so far. I will have a full review on this blog soon.

Until then, I hope that everyone is having an amazing 4th of July weekend no matter what it is you do.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

City of Detroit releases water quality report

Water
The City of Detroit released their annual water quality report for 2016 earlier today. It documents that the water coming out of our taps meets or exceeds all state and federal standards. A copy of this eight-page report is available on-line here.

Copies of their previous water quality reports from 2008 - 2015 2006 are also available on-line as is their report from 2007. All of these reports can be viewed or downloaded here.

These reports document the quality of tap water throughout Detroit and its surrounding suburbs that are serviced by the Great Lakes Water Authority.

Update @ 2:53 p.m.
After I posted this article, I realized that this is the 2,000th post that I have published on the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog since its inception in December of 2005.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What is next for the Dixon site?

The site of Dixon Elementary
This is what the site of the former Dixon Elementary School in Detroit looked like this afternoon. The remaining debris is being cleared away. Soon all that remains will be a large vacant parcel of land where neighborhood children used to go to school.

While the ending of one chapter can be painful for many, I would like to start a conversation about what should happen to this site next. What do you think should happen to this parcel of land next?

Please feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment below or on Facebook.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Tip of the week: Get renters insurance

A friend of mine, who happens to be a building inspector for the City of Detroit, shared a few thoughts on his personal Facebook page. With his permission, I want to share it here as my tip of the week feature.

He posted:
For all renters in Detroit, please do yourselves a favor and get renters insurance. I have inspected three houses this week alone where a fire started. The tenants lost everything and have nothing but the clothes on their backs. Please consider this a public service announcement; get renters insurance.
 For anyone renting a home in the Detroit, you can get a free quote on renter's insurance online here.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dixon is demolished

Remnants of Dixon Elementary School - Photo by Frank Nemecek
All that is left of the long-shuttered Dixon Elementary School is a large pile of rubble and overgrown grass. The building itself has been demolished.

The demolition crews will remove the remaining rubble in the coming days. Hopefully, the grass will also get cut sooner rather than later.

The bigger question is: what will happen to this property once demolition is completed?

Whatever happens, it will be covered in this blog.

Additional photos of the site are below.

Some of the remnants of Dixon Elementary - Photo by Frank Nemecek

Tall grass at the site of Dixon Elementary - Photo by Frank Nemecek

Monday, June 19, 2017

Your children and their smile

Dr. Jamie Reynolds
Braces are often a rite of passage for middle school students with overbites or crooked teeth. However, the oral problems those braces are solving likely started way back in elementary school – possibly as early as the first or second grade.

So perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends children make their first visit to an orthodontist no later than age 7.

“That doesn’t mean they are going to get braces,” says Dr. Jamie Reynolds, an orthodontist, national and international lecturer and author of World Class Smiles Made in Detroit. “In fact, it’s pretty unusual to put braces on a child that young.”

But with those early visits, the orthodontist might be able to head off problems before they get worse. Reynolds says these are a few of the things an orthodontist would be checking with your child:

  • Are the jaws growing properly? You would think the upper jaw and the lower jaw grow pretty much in tandem, but you would be wrong. The upper jaw stops growing around age 8 while the lower jaw keeps on growing like the rest of the body. That means orthodontists can spot problems with the upper jaw earlier and recommend treatment if it’s needed, Dr. Reynolds explains.
  • Is there enough room for the teeth to grow in? Sometimes permanent teeth don’t have enough room to grow in properly, possibly because a baby tooth is in the way. Generally, baby teeth fall out on their own, but occasionally a stubborn one needs to be pulled so that the permanent tooth doesn’t start growing in an awkward direction and become impacted. “Removing a misbehaving baby tooth is often the simplest and best solution to a problem that could become much bigger,” Dr. Reynolds adds.
  • Are there too few or too many teeth? One of the things an orthodontist would do when examining a young child is to make sure the correct number of permanent teeth are forming. Extra teeth can be removed, but if a child is a tooth or two short the orthodontist will wait until all the permanent teeth are in before starting any treatment. “Before I went to dental school, I assumed everyone had the same number of teeth – 32,” Reynolds says. “But it’s not unusual at all to see people with missing teeth or with extra teeth.”
  • Does the child snore?  Snoring is a potential sign of sleep apnea, a condition in which a person stops breathing while sleeping. It can cause serious health problems and has been diagnosed in children as early as 4 or 5 years old. One common and treatable type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, in which the airways become partially or completely blocked by the tongue or fatty tissues of the throat. An orthodontist can widen the child’s palate so the upper jaw expands, and that expands the nasal passages. It also provides more room for the tongue so it rests on the roof of the mouth and not the bottom.

“Usually, orthodontists offer complimentary exams so it really is a good idea to have your child checked out by an orthodontist at age 7,” Reynolds says. “The odds are that no treatment will be necessary. But if problems are starting to develop, early detection could make a big difference.”

Dr. Jamie Reynolds is recognized on an annual basis as one of the top orthodontists in metro Detroit. His book, World Class Smiles Made in Detroit, puts an emphasis on the many benefits of having a great smile. Reynolds – who is a national and international lecturer on high-tech digital orthodontics and practice management – attended the University of Michigan for both his undergrad education and dental studies, and did his orthodontic residency at the University of Detroit-Mercy.

Friends of Rouge Park to meet tomorrow

The nonprofit advocacy group the Friends of Rouge Park will meet tomorrow from 6 - 7 pm at the Don Bosco Center (9356 Westwood St.). This center is located north of the Warrendale neighborhood at West Chicago.

The group will discuss upcoming events and other developments within the park. Upcoming events in Rouge Park include:

  • July 21 Splash Party and Movie;
  • July 22 Stay Fit for Health Run/Walk;
  • July 23 Joga and Jazz; and
  • July 30 2 pm Butterfly and Prairie Walk.

Everyone who is interested in the future of the largest park in Detroit is welcome to attend.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Rollover accident on Southfield Freeway

Rollover accident on the Southfield Freeway
Photo by Frank Nemecek
There has been a rollover accident on the southbound Southfield Freeway at Paul Street. The Detroit Police Department and the Michigan State Police are on the scene. They have the freeway blocked to only one lane on the southbound side.

While the northbound side is open, there are gawker delays in both directions of the freeway. These delays appear to stretch for at least half a mile and include the service drive.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area.

Update @ 4:38 p.m.
It appears that there were at least two vehicles that were involved in this accident. Only one of them rolled over, however. The injuries involved do not appear to be life-threatening as people were seen calmly removing belongings from both cars while police officers looked on.

Update @ 8:36 p.m.
The accident has been cleared. Traffic is now moving as normal in both directions.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Demolition begins on Dixon Elementary

Demolition work on the former Dixon Elementary School
Photo by Frank Nemecek
Demolition work has begun on the former Dixon Elementary School on Tireman at Minock Street in the Warrendale neighborhood in Detroit. The long-vacant school building will be entirely gone in the coming days.

As of right now, it's not clear what will happen to the underlying land once the vacant school is removed.

TARDIS comes to Detroit

Will the Doctor mind if I borrow this?
Photo by Dan Zemke
The TARDIS has landed in Detroit. It's currently in the Woodbridge neighborhood - at the northeast corner of Vermont St. and W. Warren Ave. - not far from Warrendale at all.

Fans of Dr. Who already know that the TARDIS is time machine/spacecraft that allows the Doctor to travel to any point in space or time in the universe. Its exterior appearance merely resembles a British police call box from the 1960s.

What many don't already know is that the TARDIS is also a free lending library that serves Detroiters. Anyone in the area is welcome to stop by and open its doors. One can then either take any of the books inside or leave a book for others to enjoy.

There are more than 100 books inside the TARDIS already. These titles range from non-fiction to most genres of fiction. Anyone could find a book they might enjoy inside of it.

TARDIS, of course, is an acronym for Totally Awesome Reading Dispensary In Society. There are some fans of the Dr. Who show believe that it stands for something utterly ridiculous like Time And Relative Dimension In Space. However, as I have already alluded to, such theories are utterly ridiculous.

Interior of the TARDIS
Photo by Frank Nemecek
I have been authorized to reveal that the current Time Lord who pilots this particular TARDIS uses the name Dan Zemke while he is occupying our current segment of time/space. His precise relationship to the Doctor is not known at this time.

For those who are interested in making a road trip this fall, the TARDIS is scheduled to make an appearance at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. If all goes according to plan, it will land at the corner of Monroe and Pearl Streets in front of the PNC Building.

Of course, knowing how the TARDIS moves through time and space, it may already be there. That, however, is a subject for another blog post.

Anyway, more information is available on the Time Lord-approved Facebook page for this library here.

I simply want to add that the TARDIS is the Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week, even those it's located outside of the Warrendale neighborhood. After all, anyone who has ever watched an episode of Dr. Who knows that time and space are relative concepts.

Monday, June 12, 2017

City of Detroit opens cooling centers

As summer temperatures begin to climb, the City of Detroit has opened four cooling centers for those who need it. Each of them will be open from noon to 8 p.m.

The closest one to the Warrendale neighborhood is the Northwest Activities Center. It is located at 18100 Meyers, which is near McNichols and Wyoming Aves. - approximately five miles from Warrendale.

This simple and free way to beat the summer heat is your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Mayor Duggan joins in supporting the Paris Accord

Mayor Mike Duggan of Detroit
File photo
In response to President Donald J. Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, a total of 211 mayors of American cities - representing a combined population of 54 million Americans - have pledged publicly to meet the environmental goals of the accord in their respective cities. Mayor Mike Duggan of Detroit was one of 11 Mayors from Michigan to join this coalition.

Mayor Duggan is joined by fellow Michigan Mayors Christopher Taylor of Ann Arbor, Brenda Hess of Buchanan, David Coulter of Ferndale, Karen Weaver of Flint, Rosalynn Bliss of Grand Rapids, Karen Majewski of Hamtramck, William Sprague of Lapeer, Daniel Guzzi of Rockwood, Jim Carruthers of Traverse City, and Amanda Maria Edmonds of Ypsilanti. The full list of mayors from across the United States who have made this pledge is available on-line here.

The fact that Mayor Duggan has joined in supporting the Paris Acord should not be surprising given his overall record of accomplishments as Mayor of Detroit. During his first term of office, he established a citywide curbside recycling program - something that Mayors of Detroit dating back to Coleman A. Young have talked about but failed to implement. He also:
  • Oversaw a citywide installation of new LED streetlights that are brighter and more energy efficient than the old ones;
  • Made significant improvements to mass transit in Detroit;
  • Included dedicated bike lanes for many streets in Detroit;
  • Worked with DTE Energy to bring a solar energy facility to Northwest Detroit; and
  • Supported bioretention gardens in Warrendale that capture excess stormwater before it enters our sewer system.
I want to thank Mayor Duggan and the other 10 mayors from Michigan for their leadership on this issue. I hope that as the days and weeks go on, more mayors will join them.

Update @ 4:25 p.m.
Since sharing this post on social media, I have received several comments about what the Paris Agreement does or doesn't do. Almost none of them are accurate.

Therefore, in the interest of promoting an intelligent, civil dialogue, I want to add that the full-text of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change is available here.

Monday, May 29, 2017

A prayer on Memorial Day

Remembering those who gave it all - Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force
Today is Memorial Day. Today we pause to remember the estimated 1.3 million Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who have sacrificed their lives since the founding of this nation.

That is 1.3 million Americans whose lives ended well before their time. 1.3 million Americans who missed out on sunsets, barbeques, and watching their children grow up. 1.3 million Americans who gave their last breath for us.

Because of their service and sacrifice, those of us who remain are able to live the lives we currently enjoy. We can do those things that destiny denied to them.

Today, I pray that each of us lives a life that is worthy of their sacrifice.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Cash reward for missing dog

Koda - Photo by Gerardo Garza
Koda (pictured right) is a male Siberian Husky who has been missing since April 12. He is two years old, has black and white coloring, brown and blue eyes, and was last seen wearing a black and gray harness. Koda is missing from the area around Plainview and W. Warren Ave.

Koda's owner, Gerardo Garza, is offering a cash reward for his safe return.

If anyone knows anything about Koda's current location, please reach out to Gerardo Garza. His phone number is (313) 648-9380 and his email is Ggarza1997 [at] Gmail [dot] com.

Please feel free to share this information.

House explodes in Detroit



A vacant house in the Warrendale neighborhood exploded early this morning; no injuries were reported. The house was on Evergreen, between Whitlock and W. Warren Ave. in Detroit.

This explosion happened at approximately 3 a.m. this morning. According to sources within the Detroit Police Department, the explosion was caused by gas lines that were left open after someone stole the furnace from this vacant home.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Stay sober this Memorial Day weekend

Tequila - Photo by Miguel Prado
Here comes the summer drinking season—Memorial Day, June graduations and weddings, Fourth of July, the beach, and barbecues!

What could go wrong?

Plenty, if you don’t have a plan for getting through the summer sober.

In Alcoholics Anonymous, we call the period from Thanksgiving through Christmas and New Year the "Bermuda Triangle" of sobriety—many alkies come in, but not all make it through.

If anything, summer is more dangerous for people in recovery, because there are so many social cues to drink.

What’s a recovering alkie or addict to do?

Here’s some kitchen-tested advice that gets passed along the Twelve Step meetings as holiday periods approach.

No. 1: Have an exit strategy.

Even before you get to the event, whether it’s a barbecue, a wedding, or holiday party, have a plan for leaving as soon as you feel uncomfortable. When everybody’s drinking, the pace of conversation and behavior, in general, seems to suddenly accelerate.

This is an extremely uncomfortable moment for people newly in recovery, and sometimes for people who have been clean and sober a long time.

When that moment arises, you want to have a plan for leaving. Did you come in your own car? Can you call an Uber or a cab? Will public transportation work? Or can you just walk out of there? Determine your exit strategy even before you enter. Don’t stick around once the drinking heats up. You won’t be missed. Everyone else will be too drunk to remember whether you stayed or left.

No. 2: Get a drink.

As soon as you get to the event, go to the bar or beverage area and get yourself a soft drink or juice—and carry it with you everywhere. People are far less likely to offer you a drink, or force a drink on you if you’re already holding a drink.

If people ask you what you’re drinking, tell the truth. The more insistent they get that you should be drinking, the more likely it is that they need a program, too.

If you put your drink down, even for a microsecond, it’s no longer your drink. Go back to the bar or beverage area and get a new one. That’s because alkies have this very slick trick of switching out their beverage "accidentally on purpose."

"I thought it was my Coke!" we exclaim pitifully. "How could I have known that it was actually someone else’s rum and Coke?"

It doesn’t even matter if you are maintaining visual contact with the drink—once it hits the table, it’s no longer yours. Go back and get a fresh one.

No. 3: Remain anonymous.

You don’t have to tell people that you are now sober in Alcoholics Anonymous or clean in another Twelve Step program. It’s nobody’s business. Sometimes, the newly sober tend to "overshare" with people in our lives. You are not in a Twelve Step meeting when you are at a party featuring alcohol (or other substances). You are out in the big, bad world, where no one cares that you are clean.

You do not owe anyone an explanation for your choice not to drink. Your sobriety is, in fact, none of their business. You do not need to share that vital information with anyone. Remember that the last name of every Twelve Step program is "Anonymous."

No. 4: Stay home.

There is no law that says that newly clean and sober people must test their sobriety or abstinence at every family or social event that comes along. If you’re feeling shaky about your recovery, don’t tempt fate. We love to do it, but ultimately, it could be a self-defeating choice.

If you feel that a particular event may be too much of a test for your recovery, make up an excuse and go to a meeting instead. Give your own sobriety a chance.
So there you have it—four ways to stay clean and sober through the often treacherous summer holiday season. Come Labor Day, you’ll be sober as a judge…instead of having to appear in front of one!

Publisher's note: This guest commentary is presented by New York Times bestselling author Michael Graubart has published Sober Dad: The Manual for Perfectly Imperfect Parenting (Hazelden).

A brief historical note

Historia Anglorum by an unknown artist
British Library (circa 1250)
The English historian Henry of Huntingdon (1088 - 1157) wrote one of the earliest histories of the British Isles, a book entitled Historia Anglorum, which was published circa 1129.

My brothers and I have been researching our family history for several months now. Building on the work of others in my family, we have traced parts of my family tree back more than 1,000 years.

It was this research into my ancestry that led me to Henry of Huntingdon and his opus.

In Historia Anglorum, the historian had a few choice words to describe my 29th great grandfather John Marshal (c.1105 - 1165). The chronicler referred to this minor nobleman, who happened to be one of my ancestors, as "that child of hell and the root of all evil."

So, you see, my dear readers, one must conclude that I am no ordinary troublemaker in Detroit. Instead, I come from a long line of troublemakers - including "that child of hell and the root of all evil."

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Children's book fair comes to Rouge Park

Children listening to a story - Joint Base San Antonio
A children's book fair will come to Rouge Park in Detroit on Saturday, June 3. This event will happen in the Brennan Pool Pavillion (map available here) from 11 am - 4 pm.

This Celebration of Children's Literature is presented by the Pearl SMART Network. It is sponsored by the Friends of Rouge Park, the University of Detroit-Mercy, and others.

Free children's books will be available during this event. There will also be food, music, games, and more.

Families from across Detroit are invited to attend this event.