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.