Friday, November 09, 2018

First snowfall of the year



One of the first things that I saw this morning, before I even looked outside, was a cheerful message on Facebook from an old friend of mine from high school who happens to run a snowplow business.

Even if you're not excited about the first snowfall of the season in Detroit, I hope all of my readers are able to confront the day with the same level of enthusiasm as my friend Wayne has about it.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Record voter turnout in Warrendale

I voted - Photo by Frank Nemecek
Today is the day.

Today is the midterm election; where we will choose a new governor for Michigan, a new Member of Congress to replace the retired John Conyers, as well as a new state representative and state senator. All of this is in addition to deciding who will be our United States Senator and a host of other elected offices at the state and local levels.

Precinct 337 in Detroit, which is a portion of the Warrendale neighborhood that is south of W. Warren Ave. and closer to the Southfield Freeway, is reporting record voter turnout today. The number of people showing up is eclipsing not only a normal midterm election but is better than normal for when there is a presidential race.

The other precincts in Warrendale - as well as the rest of the Detroit area - seem to have rather large voter turnouts.

Polls will still be open for another couple of hours. Let's keep it going, Detroit.

If you haven't already voted, please get out and do so.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Gas prices in Michigan hit 7 month low

Gas pump - Stock photo from Pixabay
Drivers across Detroit and the rest of Michigan are finding the lowest prices at the pump since April. According to a survey conducted by AAA of Michigan, the state average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $2.72, which is 39 cents less than this year's high and the same as this time last year.

The AAA of Michigan survey also showed that gas prices continued their downward trek last week, declining another 9 cents.  The state average declined for the 10th consecutive day on Sunday, for a total discount of 12 cents.

The most expensive gas price averages were found in Marquette at $2.89, Ann Arbor at $2.81, and Metro Detroit at $2.76. In contrast, the least expensive gas price averages were in the Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland area at $2.65, Benton Harbor at $2.66, and Jackson at $2.66.

"Michiganders are saving 40 cents per gallon, compared to when gas prices peaked during Memorial Day weekend," explained Nancy Cain, spokesperson, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Gasoline is becoming less expensive to produce-and-sell thanks to lower crude prices and cheaper-to-produce winter blend fuel. Retail prices have not quite caught up with declines on the wholesale side, so motorists should see another round of discounts this week. However, fuel prices definitely have the potential to reverse course based on any fluctuations in the stock market due to Election Day and the activation of U.S. sanctions against Iranian crude. Regardless, AAA believes the highest prices of the year are behind us."

Why are Crude Prices Falling? 
Crude oil prices are hovering near 7-month lows. On Friday, WTI settled at $63.14 per barrel - nearly $4.50/b less than the week before, and the lowest daily settlement since April 6, 2018. The weekly average price for U.S. crude has declined the past four consecutive weeks. Before then, crude prices faced upward pressure amid growing concerns that U.S. sanctions against Iranian crude would cause a global supply shortage. However, those concerns are being quelled by increased production by countries like the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Russia.

Crude production in the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Russia all remain strong. U.S. oil inventories rose for the sixth consecutive week, according to weekly data from the Energy Information Administration. Domestic supplies rose 3.2 million barrels from the week before. Meanwhile, gasoline inventories dropped by 3.2 million barrels. Meanwhile, OPEC production levels for October reportedly reached the highest output levels since 2016 as some members boosted production in preparation of the Iran sanctions.

More on U.S. Sanctions Against Iran
Friday, the Trump Administration announced the U.S. would re-impose sanctions on Iran that were lifted in 2015 under the Obama Administration. The sanctions, which will go into effect on November 5, 2018, target the Iranian energy sector and impede Iran’s ability to sell oil.

According to the Energy Information Administration, Iran ranks as the world’s fourth-largest reserve holder of oil. Iran also ranks among the world’s top 10 oil producers, producing almost 4.7 million b/d of petroleum and other liquids in 2017. While Iran is an oil powerhouse, Saudi Arabia (9%) and Iraq (6%) are the top two OPEC countries exporting to the U.S. and two of the top five countries overall that sell oil to the U.S.

In May, when the decision to re-impose oil-related sanctions was announced, the market reacted quickly with crude oil prices peaking at $77 per barrel this summer. As the crude market saw big upward price swings due to concerns about restricted global supply, Iran started to feel the impact on oil exports. According to the Trump Administration, Iran went from exporting 2.5 million barrels per day in May to 1.5 million barrels per day in October and over twenty countries have reduced their imports of Iranian oil to zero. Exports are expected to drop further, but not immediately.

Bloomberg reports that the U.S. has granted temporary waivers to eight countries - including Japan, India and South Korea - allowing them to continue to import Iranian oil. Those receiving the waiver are expected to continue cutting imports.

Detroit start-ups to compete for funding

Women business owners - Photo from Pixabay
This Wednesday, November 7, 10 woman-owned businesses will go head-to-head in a pitch competition. This event will start at 5:30 p.m. at NextEnergy, which is located at 461 Burroughs in the Midtown neighborhood.  This is a public event that is presented by Michigan Women Forward with support from the Consumers Energy Foundation.

The participating companies are divided into lifestyle and growth companies. The 10 finalists have been narrowed from an initial field of more than 140 applicants.

The five woman-owned businesses to make it to the finals in the lifestyle category are:
  • Birch Bride from Whitmore Lake;
  • GreenHouse Soups & Chilli from Allen Park;
  • Jo’s Gallery 2 from Detroit;
  • Buttons 2 Button from Northville; and
  • Team Fit from St. Clair.
The five woman-owned businesses to become finalists in the growth category are:
  • Dough from Ann Arbor;
  • PocketNest also from Ann Arbor;
  • FrontWest Customs Brokerage & Services from Romulus;
  • SignOn from Grosse Pointe Farms; and
  • Dearborn Career Academy from Dearborn Heights.
Each of the ten finalists will receive support services and technical assistance. Winners in each category at each location will get cash prizes ranging from $10,000 to $1,000

Similar competitions are scheduled in Grand Rapids on November 8 as well as in Jackson on November 14.

“We at Consumers Energy are committed to creating opportunities for everyone in our state, particularly female entrepreneurs who can bring new ideas to the table,” explained Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, the Vice President of Customer Experience for Consumers Energy. “The Woman Up Pitch Competitions illustrate the diversity that exists in Michigan’s workforce. When these businesses can thrive, we all win.”

“We are proud to bring this opportunity in Detroit, Jackson and Grand Rapids in 2018,” added Carolyn Cassin, president of Michigan Women Forward. “This influx of capital can make a big difference to our winning companies as they start or grow their businesses.”

Since 2014, MWF has loaned $2,391,200 to 93 businesses, in addition to 74 pitch competition prizes and investments totaling $468,400. The Consumers Energy Foundation has contributed $200,000 to Michigan Women Forward this year toward its Women's Entrepreneurship Initiative.

The session is open to the public and all are welcome to attend.  For information, visit www.miwf.org.

There's help to buy a home in Detroit

Homes in Warrendale during the winder - Photo by Frank Nemecek
Anyone who is looking to buy a home in the Warrendale neighborhood - or many of the other outlying neighborhoods in Detroit - can get some great incentives thanks to the Step Forward Program from the Michigan State Housing Authority. For starters, MSHDA is offering $15,000 to eligible homebuyers to cover their downpayment, closing costs, and other prepaid expenses.

While $15,000 to put towards the purchase of a new home in Detroit is great in and of itself, MSHDA and their Step Forward Program are offering even more for qualified homebuyers. They are also working with a coalition of more than 45 lenders to offer a 0% interest rate as well as no monthly payments for eligible homebuyers.

The Michigan State Housing Authority will even forgive 20% of the home loan per year. This means that 100% of the loan amount will be forgiven within five years. Eligible homebuyers essentially get a free house in the Warrendale neighborhood or elsewhere in Detroit, with no monthly payments along the way, provided that they live in their home for at least five years.

There are, of course, several conditions are requirements for homebuyers to gain access to this program. For starters, there is a maximum income limit that ranges from $85,080 to $99,260 depending upon the size of one's household as well as an asset limit of $10,000 excluding retirement savings. Anyone who makes more than that amount or who has assets worth more than $10,000 is not eligible for this program.

The purchase price of the home may not exceed $224,500, which means that any home in the Warrendale neighborhood easily qualifies. Homebuyers will also be required to complete a homebuyer education workshop.

The home that one buys must be in the Warrendale neighborhood or one of the other qualifying neighborhoods in Detroit. (Although, let's face it - buying in Warrendale really is the smartest bet.) The Michigan State Housing Development Authority also requires that homebuyers use an MSDA MI Home Loan for this purchase.

Finally, in order to qualify, homebuyers must have a minimum credit score of 640 (or 660, if buying a manufactured home). If anyone is uncertain about their credit score then I recommend checking out Credit Karma or WalletHub. Consumers can use those sites to get their score for free and do so without a credit card. They also offer a variety of tips on how to improve one's credit score.

There will be a housing and resource fair this Wednesday, November 7 from 4 - 7 pm at the Northwest Campus of Wayne County Community College (8200 W. Outer Dr.) in Detroit. Additional details can be found on this flyer from the Michigan State House Authority.

$15,000 to purchase a home in Detroit, as well as all of the other benefits of the Step Forward Program, are your Tip of the Week for November 5.

These tips are brought to you by the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog as part of our semi-regular Tip of the Week feature. Please check back every Monday for more advice on your home, money, and life.

Also, be sure to follow the author, Frank Nemecek, on Twitter and Instagram as @fnemecek for more great information.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Three bits of good news

Artists depiction of the Core of Cygnus A - Public domain image from NASA
I feel like bad news, division, and drama have been dominating our news cycles forever. Therefore, I want to share three bits of good news with everyone this morning.

First, a new astronomical survey was recently published, which confirmed that the planet Jupiter has 10 newly discovered moons. This brings the number of confirmed moons in orbit around Jupiter up to 69. (Insert your own filthy joke about 69 moons here.)

Second, speaking of moons, Robert Zubrin, a rocket scientist and president of The Mars Society, has unveiled plans for low-cost colonies on our Moon. His proposal can be found in the summer/fall issue of The New Atlantis.

Finally, on the subject of cool sciency stuff, my science-fiction novel The Roswell Chronicles is currently available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback formats.

Oh, wait - did I just bury the lede?

Yes, I wrote a science-fiction novel and it has been published.

My novel is called The Roswell Chronicles and it's the first book in a planned series that is also entitled The Roswell Chronicles.

The Roswell Chronicles series tells the story of Samantha Haut and her cousins as they find themselves caught between a group of greedy Wall Street bankers and some pissed off aliens from outer space.

Ever since the Roswell crash in 1947, the Haut family has secretly held onto a series of journals that contain details of advanced alien technology. Whenever the family has needed money, they quietly sold one of the inventions in those pages.

This is fine until an investment banking executive learns about these journals, steals them, and begins selling the technology much faster to generate more profits.

The problem here is that the Haut family was never supposed to have those journals. They were supposed to be returned to the aliens more than a half-century ago under the terms of the secret Roswell Treaty between the aliens and the United States government. If and when the aliens learn that those journals are still in existence - which becomes much more likely once a whole bunch of their technology hits the market - they will undoubtedly be back.

And they won't be happy.

The Roswell Chronicles is currently available on Amazon.com.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween


I want to take a moment to wish everyone in the Warrendale neighborhood and beyond a safe and happy Halloween. There are spectacular spooky things happening at all of the area bars and even more happening throughout Detroit.

Today has all of the makings of a great Halloween - even we don't have the best weather at the moment. (The weather forecast claims that the skies will clear in time for trick or treaters. I'm not sure if I believe it, though.)

Anyway...

Enough about the weather in Detroit. Back to my original point.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Statistics and Sweetest Day


I knew that today is World Statistics Day. That was no surprise to me at all.

I even posted on Twitter about today being World Statistics Day. This, after all, is a day that was created by the United Nations and is recognized in more than 130 countries. This is a day to highlight the idea that better day means better decisions.

I knew all about World Statistics Day.

However, until several of my friends and family members posted on Facebook about romantic getaways and Sweetest Day in general I had completely forgotten that today is also that "holiday" that candy makers in Cleveland invented 96 years ago.

This fact that I remembered World Statistics Day but forgot about Sweetest Day probably says more about me than I really want to admit.

Happy Sweetest and World Statistics Days, everyone!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

9 year-old receives citation for saving her grandmother


A 9-year-old resident Jada Anderson, who is a third-grade student at the Warrendale Charter Academy, received a citation for saving her grandmother's life. She was at home with her grandmother on August 13 of this year when she collapsed.

Jada Anderson could have panicked like most 9-year-old would have done in such a situation. However, she remained calm, called 9-1-1, and administered CPR on her grandmother.

WXYZ-TV has more on this story in the video embeded above.

Monday, October 15, 2018

John James puts Nazi swastika in new campaign ad


Republican candidate for the United States Senate John James released a new campaign ad this week that is entitled "Ready to Serve." The ad has appeared on television in the Detroit media market and presumably elsewhere in the state. It's also available on YouTube here.

The thing that is profounding troubling is that there is a Nazi swastika hidden in this campaign ad. The Nazi symbol appears 11 seconds into this 30-second video on the bulletin board that appears on the screen.

I have to ask: why in the world would someone like John James - a Republican candidate for the United States Senate - put a Nazi swastika in his campaign ad?

Members of my family served in the 13th and 101st Airborn Divisions of the U.S. Army during World War II. My family fought the Nazis in Europe. They parachuted into Normandy, France on D-Day; survived the Battle of the Bulge and a Nazi prisoner of war camp.

When they defeated Adolf Hitler and Nazis in Europe, they came home to Detroit to raise a family and live the American dream. They never expected to see Nazis show up in Michigan.

They certainly never expected to see a Nazi swastika show up in a campaign ad for a Republican who wants to serve in the United States Senate.

All of this begs the question: why in the world John James and his campaign for the U.S. Senate chose to include a swastika in their commercial?

I reached out to the John James campaign for a comment earlier today. As of posting this, I have not received a response from them.

If and when John James or his campaign reply with an explanation for the Nazi swastika, I will provide it on this blog in a follow-up.

Update @ 7:26 p.m.
I want to acknowledge that Chris Savage of Electablog published a similar story to mine one hour and 56 minutes before I did. I did not see his story before publishing my version of it. However, I believe it's worth noting that he did independently notice the swastika in that commercial for John James before I did.

Friends of Rouge Park to meet tomorrow


The Friends of Rouge Park, a nonprofit advocacy group that works for the betterment of the largest park in Detroit, will have a general membership meeting tomorrow evening. The group will meet at 6 pm at the Westside Christian Academy (9540 Bramell St.), which is near West Chicago and Outer Drive. Their meeting is expected to last approximately one hour.

The agenda for this meeting includes board elections for the group as well as:

  • Opening of the Sorensen Interpretive Trail;
  • Goals for 2019; and
  • General updates on Rouge Park.
Anyone who is interested in the preserving and protected Rouge Park in Detroit is welcome to attend this meeting.

Travel tip: Use a resort pass to take a vacation on the cheap

Tropical vacation - Stock photo from Pixabay
Looking to get away at a resort this winter but not break the bank?

Consider using a resort pass for a day from DayCation.  What is a resort pass? It’s a pass that gives you access to a resort or hotel’s amenities for a single day without having to book a stay at full price. This way you can lounge at the pool or go to the spa as if you were a regular guest.

Daycationapp.com offers great deals on resort passes in popular locations such as Miami, New York, and even Nassau, Jamaica.

A resort pass (also known as a day pass) is basically the best way to enjoy a daycation without spending a fortune. For instance, you can stay at a lower tiered hotel but access the facilities of a nearby luxury resort of your choosing. This allows you to save money for other aspects of your trip or vacation. Or, if you live in the local area, a resort pass is a great way for you to take a quick staycation, but still feel like you are getting away from the daily grind.

How does a day pass work? First, you locate the hotel/resort that has the amenities you want and book your ticket.  Second, you check in at the front desk as you would as if you were a normal guest. You will need to bring your ID and show a confirmation e-mail. Third, enjoy the amenities for the rest of the day! It’s that easy.

A resort pass is the most affordable option for travelers on any budget, whether you want to check out a cabana in Miami or go to a spa in a luxurious New York hotel. With a resort pass, you can relax and enjoy a hotel for a day. 

Enjoying a DayCation is your tip of the week for the week of October 15.

These tips are brought to you by the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog as part of our semi-regular Tip of the Week feature. Please check back every Monday for more advice on your home, money, and life.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Gabe Leland indicted on bribery charges

Gabe Leland at a Warrendale Community Organization meeting
Photo by Frank Nemecek
According to a published report in The Detroit News, Gabe Leland has been indicted on bribery charges by a federal grand jury. Leland has represented the Warrendale and surrounding neighborhood as a state legislator and city councilman for more than a decade.

Leland allegedly received more than $15,000 in cash and services in exchange for his help with a real estate deal, according to this indictment. The full story is available here.

On a personal note, I have known, trusted, and supported Gabe Leland since the beginning of his political career. I've always found him to be a hard-working public servant who has done much to help the Warrendale neighborhood. I'm both shocked and disappointed by this news.

I will have more on this story as it continues to develop.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

District 7 fall meeting announced

Meeting - Stock Photo courtesy of Pixavy
The fall meet and greet for the District 7 area, which includes the Warrendale neighborhood, has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 3. This meeting will happen in the Adams-Butzel Recreation Center (10500 Lyndon) at 6 p.m.

This meeting will consist largely of general updates from the District 7 staff.

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by phone or email to the District 7 manager Ray Solomon at (313) 236-3516 / solomonr [at] detroitmi [dot] gov or the deputy manager Mona Ali at (313) 236-3540 / alim [at] detroitmi [dot] gov.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Friends of Rouge Park to meet tomorrow

Rouge Park on a foggy day - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The non-profit advocacy and service group Friends of Rouge Park will have their next meeting tomorrow evening. They will meet at the Westside Christian Academy (9540 Brammel St.) from 6 - 7 pm on Tuesday, September 18.

Anyone who is interested in the future of the largest park in Detroit is welcome to attend this meeting.

FBI warns about cyber risk to students

Cyber-threats - Stock image by Pete Linforth/Pixabay

The Federal Bureau of Investigation released a statement recently encouraging public awareness of cyber threat concerns related to K-12 students. The US school systems’ rapid growth of education technologies, which is also known as EdTech. This technology has led to the widespread collection of student data could have privacy and safety implications if compromised or exploited.

EdTech can provide services for adaptive, personalized learning experiences, and unique opportunities for student collaboration. Additionally, administrative platforms for tracking academics, disciplinary issues, student information systems, and classroom management programs, are commonly served through EdTech services.

The types of data that are collected can include personally identifiable information as well as:
  • biometric data;
  • academic progress;
  • behavioral, disciplinary, and medical information;
  • Web browsing history;
  • students’ geolocation;
  • IP addresses used by students; and
  • classroom activities.
Malicious use of this sensitive data could result in social engineering, bullying, tracking, identity theft, or other means for targeting children. Therefore, the FBI is providing awareness to schools and parents of the important role cybersecurity plays in the securing of student information and devices.

Sensitive Student Data
The widespread collection of sensitive information by EdTech could present unique exploitation opportunities for criminals. For example, in late 2017, cyber-actors exploited school information technology systems by hacking into multiple school district servers across the United States. They accessed student contact information, education plans, homework assignments, medical records, and counselor reports, and then used that information to contact, extort, and threaten students with physical violence and release of their personal information. The actors sent text messages to parents and local law enforcement, publicized students’ private information, posted student PII on social media, and stated how the release of such information could help child predators identify new targets. In response to the incidents, the U.S. Department of Education released a Cyber Advisory alert in October 2017 stating cybercriminals were targeting school districts with weak data security or well-known vulnerabilities to access sensitive data from student records to shame, bully, and threaten children.

Cybersecurity issues were discovered in 2017 for two large EdTech companies, resulting in public access to millions of students’ data. According to security researchers, one company exposed internal data by storing it on a public-facing server. The other company suffered a breach and student data was posted for sale on the Dark Web.

Inter-connected Networks and Devices
EdTech connected to networked devices or directly to the Internet could increase opportunities for cyber actors to access devices collecting data and monitoring children within educational or home environments. Improperly secured take-home devices (e.g. tablets, laptops) or monitoring devices (e.g. in-school surveillance cameras or microphones), particularly those with remote-access capabilities, could be exploitable through cyber intrusions or other unauthorized means and present vulnerabilities for students.

Recommendations
The increased use of connected digital tools in the learning environment and widespread data collection introduces cybersecurity risks of which parents should be aware.

The FBI recognizes there are districts across the United States who are working hard to address cybersecurity matters in their schools to protect students and their data. For districts seeking assistance, there are numerous online resources, consortiums, and organizations available that can provide support on data protection matters and cybersecurity best practices.

The FBI encourages parents and families to research existing student and child privacy protections of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and state laws as they apply to EdTech services.
Discuss with their local districts about what and how EdTech technologies and programs are used in their schools.

Families should also research parent coalition and information-sharing organizations that are available online for those looking for support and additional resources as well as school-related cyber breaches which can further inform families of student data vulnerabilities. The FBI also recommends that families consider credit or identity theft monitoring to check for any fraudulent use of their children’s identity. Parents should also regularly search the Internet for their children’s information to help identify the exposure and stop it from spreading.

If you have evidence your child’s data may have been compromised, or if you have experienced any of the Internet crimes described in this PSA, please file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

Protecting your children from the latest EdTech cyber-risks is your Tip of the Week for the week of September 17.

These tips are brought to you by the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog as part of our semi-regular Tip of the Week feature. Please check back every Monday for more advice on your home, money, and life. In the meantime, please feel free to check out the author, Frank Nemecek, on Twitter and Instagram for more great content as @fnemecek.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Miss Michigan is my new hero

Emily Sioma, Miss Michigan 2019 - Photo by Yachin Parham/Miss America Foundation
Nia Franklin of New York was crowned Miss America at the pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey. However, it was Miss Michigan Emily Sioma whose introduction caused the most stir and excitement.

At the beginning of the Miss America pageant, each of the 51 contestants took center stage to introduce herself briefly to the audience. "From the state with 89% of the U.S. freshwater but none for its residents to drink," she began, "I am Miss Michigan Emily Sioma."

To say that the internet exploded with comments regarding Emily Sioma and her comments at the Miss America pageant is an understatement. Everyone seemed to understand that she was referring to the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Unfortunately, though, her comments could also apply to Detroit public school students and others around the Great Lakes State who lack a reliable source of clean drinking water.

I am incredibly proud of Emily Sioma for using her platform at the Miss America pageant to keep the problems of clean drinking water in Michigan in the public consciousness. There are a lot of people in this state, particularly in Lansing, who would like the issues associated with our water to go away so they can go back to cutting taxes and regulations. However, when people like her keep water at the forefront of everyone's mind, it makes it hard to impossible for this issue to die a quiet death without someone finally fixing the problem.

I feel like I should mention a few other things about Emily Sioma to put her life thus far into perspective. She was born and raised in Grass Lake, Michigan, which is along the I-94 corridor between Ann Arbor and Jackson, but closer to Jackson. She is also a graduate of the University of Michigan where she received a degree in women's studies.

Emily Sioma is a survivor of a sexual assault. She used her personal experiences and her education to further the "I Believe You" initiative as part of her reign as Miss Michigan. Its mission is to support those who also survived a sexual assault.

It is for all of these reasons that Emily Sioma, Miss Michigan 2019, is my hero.

One of the things that I normally do on this blog is to publish a Tip of the Week feature; something to make someone's life a little easier or better. This Monday, my tip of the week is simple: be more like Emily Sioma.

I want to be more like her. I want everyone in Michigan to be more like Emily Sioma. That's why it gives me great pleasure to make "be more like Emily Sioma" this blog's Tip of the Week for September 10, 2018.

These tips are brought to you by the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog as part of our semi-regular Tip of the Week feature. Please check back every Monday for more advice on your home, money, and life. In the meantime, please feel free to check out the author, Frank Nemecek, on Twitter and Instagram for more great content as @fnemecek.

Monday, September 03, 2018

How to take out of this world selfies

Visiting the Christmas Tree Cluster - Photo by Frank Nemecek (with help from NASA)
In an era that is truly dominated by social media, there's no getting over the fact that selfies are a ubiquitous part of Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, and Twitter. This creates a certain amount of pressure for people to take a truly spectacular selfie.

A selfie that is, to put it either figurately or in this case literally, out of this world.

To help with such a selfie, my dear readers, I would like to introduce you to the NASA Selfies app. This free app, which is available from either the App Store or the Play Store, takes a selfie like the one that I featured above.

My friends may have posted selfies from the beach or some music festival. I, however, got to post a selfie from the Christmas Tree Cluster - a group of new stars in the Monoceros constellation this is located approximately 2,600 light years from Earth. I don't think anyone can top an out of this world selfie like this.

The NASA Selfie app is incredibly easy to use. Besides the Christmas Tree Cluster, one can also take a photo of one's self at the Triangulum Galaxy as well as:

  • Andromeda Galaxy;
  • Antennae Galaxies;
  • Arp 142 Galaxies;
  • Cassiopeia A;
  • Cigar Galaxy;
  • Crab Nebula;
  • Eta Caninae Star Forming Region;
  • Galactic Center;
  • Helix Nebula;
  • IDCS J1426 Galaxy Cluster;
  • Large Magellanic Cloud;
  • Meisser 78;
  • Meisser 81;
  • Milky Way;
  • Mountains of Creation;
  • North America Nebula;
  • Orion Nebula;
  • Perseus Nebula;
  • Pleiades Star Cluster;
  • RCW Star Forming Region;
  • Rho Ophiuchi;
  • Serpens Cloud Core;
  • Sombrero Galaxy;
  • Spider Nebula;
  • Spitzer Space Telescope;
  • Trifid Nebula;
  • W33 Star Forming Region; and
  • W5 Star Forming Region.
All of this makes the NASA Selfies app a really cool thing to have on one's smartphone.

The NASA Selfies app, therefore, is your Tip of the Week for the week of September 3, 2018. Please check back next week for another tip on making your life just a little bit better.

These tips are brought to you by the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog as part of our semi-regular Tip of the Week feature. Please check back every Monday for more advice on your home, money, and life. In the meantime, please feel free to check out the author, Frank Nemecek, on Twitter and Instagram for more great content as @fnemecek.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Warrendale bakery coming to the Food Network


The Food Network will premiere a new series on Monday, September 3 that focuses on bakers, bakeries, and the art of baking. The show is called Baked and one of the first bakeries that they will feature is the Chene Modern Bakery (17041 W. Warren Ave.) for the Warrendale neighborhood in Detroit.

The Warrendale neighborhood is home to some of the best bakeries in the Detroit area, in my humble opinion. I'm glad that the national media is paying attention to this treasure.

Baked will premiere on the Food Network channel at 10 p.m. on Monday, September 3.

My Aretha Franklin story

Aretha Franklin - Photo by Joe Ortuzar/Flickr
The funeral service for the Queen of Soul herself Aretha Franklin was on the television when I went to lunch today. There was an elderly gentleman in the diner who spent his time complaining about how Aretha Franklin wasn't that great of a person.

The worst example that this man could think of as he struggled to make his argument had to do with a property tax dispute Aretha Franklin was involved with back in 2015. That was it. A property tax dispute.

I mention this because if - at the end of a long life - the worst thing your harshest critic can think to say about you is a property tax dispute then - as far as I'm concerned - you are a wonderful person who lived an amazing life. I hope and pray that Aretha Franklin was able to hear his rant from Heaven and was laughing her butt off.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Warrendale Community Organization to meet on Tuesday


The next meeting of the Warrendale Community Organization will be this coming Tuesday, September 4. The neighborhood group will meet from 7 - 8 p.m. in the Activities Building of Ss. Peter and Paul Church (7685 Grandville).

Everyone who lives, works, or plays in the Warrendale neighborhood of Detroit is welcome to attend.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

John McCain dies at the age of 81

U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona - Photo by Dave Davison/Pixabay
The distinguished Republican Senator from Arizona John McCain passed away earlier this evening. He was 81 years of age at the time of his death. While I disagreed with McCain on a multitude of issues, I respected him a lot.

I pray this evening, therefore, that all of angels and saints in Heaven join in welcoming him home. I also pray that his family and friends come to know comfort and peace in the days to come until they are reunited with him.

Good night, Senator McCain.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Detour to Warrendale

Warrendale - Photo by Frank Nemecek
Detour is a new email newsletter that covers a lot of stories about Detroit that other, larger publications miss. They recently launched a Neighborhood Ambassador program where a local resident will highlight stories in one of four given neighborhoods. I am honored to be their representative for Warrendale.

There will now be a new monthly column about Warrendale in their newsletter alongside my counterparts from Highland Park, Southwest, and Northwest Detroit.

As an aside, I sent the editor of Detroit four different photographs that she could use as a headshot in her introduction for me. Naturally, she used the goofiest of them.

Their latest newsletter can be seen here. It's complete with the goofy photo in question from a recent trip that I took to Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Voices of Rouge Park

Save Rouge Park - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The folks at Model D Media published a write-up on Rouge Park in Detroit. Their article primarily focused on the groups of ordinary citizens who put so much effort into preserving, protecting, and promoting the largest park in Detroit.

One can read their full article online here.

Personally, I'm thrilled that this article is one more example of people finally recognizing that Rouge Park is indeed the largest park in Detroit. (Sorry, Belle Isle - but Rouge Park is much bigger, even without factoring in the golf course.)

Full disclosure: I used to write for Model D Media several years ago. I haven't had any business relationship with them in years, however.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Mayor Duggan to meet with the neighborhood

Mayor Mike Duggan of Detroit - File Photo

The City of Detroit recently announced that Mayor Mike Duggan will have his annual District 7 Community Meeting on Monday, August 20. This event will start at 7 p.m. at the Straight Gate International Church (10100 Grand River Ave.) and is expected to conclude at 8:30 p.m.

This meeting is an opportunity for residents, business owners, and other interested parties in Warrendale and the surrounding neighborhoods to bring any questions or concerns they might have directly to Mayor Duggan in a public setting. Representatives from the various City departments will also be on hand.

The annual meeting is required by the Charter for the City of Detroit, which mandates that the Mayor hold at least one of these meetings each year in each of the seven City Council districts.

Anyone with any questions or concerns about our local government is invited to attend this meeting.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Open Streets comes to Rouge Park

Detroit Grand Prix exhibit car - Photo by Frank Nemecek
An estimated 1,400 people came out for the inaugural edition of Open Streets Rouge Park this past Saturday. A three-mile loop of roads was closed inside Rouge Park from 1 - 5 p.m. to allow a coalition of non-profits, government agencies, and businesses to showcase all that the largest park in Detroit has to offer.

This included everything from tours of the newly redeveloped Scout Hollow as well as:

  • Archery demonstrations from Elite Archery, which is the company that maintains the Rouge Park Archery Range;
  • Lacrosse demonstrations from Detroit City Lacrosse;
  • Hiking on the miles of park trails;
  • Bike rentals from Wheelhouse Detroit and cycling events; and
  • Race car exhibit by the Detroit Grand Prix.
All of this was in addition 28 other events, displays, and information tables.

Bike rentals by Wheelhouse Detroit - Photo by Frank Nemecek
"There are so many wonderful amenities in Rouge Park, and this was a great way to highlight the natural beauty that exists in Detroit’s largest park," explained Lisa Nuszkowski, one of the event organizers. "We hope that Open Streets gives more Detroiters the opportunity to experience the city’s public spaces on foot and by bike."

How to get a felony removed from your record

Jail cells - Stock photo by TryJimmy/Pixabay
I'm always amazed at how many people - who seem like model citizens at first glance - have a felony conviction on their record. Usually, it's for something that they did in their younger days. Since then, they've learned from their mistakes and have become better people.

It's frustrating, therefore, that these folks are still haunted by something they did years or even decades ago when they were a very different person. They have trouble getting a job, renting a home, or receiving credit because of their criminal history.

Luckily, it is possible to get a felony removed from your record under certain conditions. My advice here is specifically for people who live in Michigan. Individuals in other states should contact an attorney in their home state.

In order to begin the process, an applicant must have completed serving any sentence connected to their felony conviction. This includes probation and parole, if applicable.

Once that is completed, one can submit an application for pardon to the Pardon and Commutation Coordinator at the Michigan Department of Corrections. This application must be completed in full and notarized before sending it in. The form itself is available online here.

These tips are 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 on your home, money, and life. Please follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for more great content.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

A few thoughts on the Michigan primary election


The primary elections are over. My friends Sylvia Santana and Karen Whitsett will soon represent Warrendale and the surrounding neighborhoods in the Michigan Senate and House respectively. My friend Marshall Bullock will also represent the area north of Warrendale in the Michigan Senate. Rashida Tlaib will soon be my Congresswoman and I have so much to talk with her about as it relates to Warrendale.

While they didn't win yesterday, I admire the way my friends Jeffrey Nolish and Rico Razo campaigned for the Michigan House in districts east of Warrendale. I look forward to great things from both of them in the near future.

In the governor's race, Gretchen Whitmer is going up against the Jihadist Bill Schuette. After Schuette's stint as Michigan's Attorney General - where he stood against Internet freedom for consumers; refused to protect the Constitution when it came to the Emoluments Clause but still found time to blur the boundary between church and state - I cannot stress enough how important I believe it is for Whitmer to beat this troglodyte.

Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention how important I believe it still is for all of us to support Matt Clayson for MSU Trustee. I believe he is uniquely qualified to help Michigan State University rebuild in the wake of sexual scandals that have rocked the school.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Anecdotal thoughts on the governor's race

A friend of mine, who I've had the pleasure of knowing for more than a decade, Brenna Lane posted some anecdotal thoughts on the race for governor of Michigan on her personal Facebook page. She addressed some things that she had seen about Democratic candidates Shri Thanedar of Ann Arbor and Abdul El-Sayed of Detroit.

With her permission, I wanted to share her thoughts with everyone as a guest commentary. The following are her observations on Shri Thanadar's campaign as well as her personal experiences with Abdul El-Sayed, which I publish here with only minor editing.

Stock photo by Sanja Gjeneor/Pixabay
Some anecdotal thoughts on the Governor's race here in Michigan:

Story #1
In my economically distressed neighborhood in Highland Park, there are Shri Thanadar signs everywhere. While driving home yesterday, I saw a van in the parking lot at Dean's liquor store at McNichols and Second. It was unmarked, but two men stood at the open back doors, one handing bundles of Shri signs to the five or six men waiting in line to receive them while the other counted cash and gave it to a man who had a bundle of signs under his arm.

I later saw my neighbor go by carrying a Shri Thanedar sign. I asked him if he was pulling it out and he said, "no, I'm putting them in all up and down the block." I asked, "Willie, why are you supporting this guy?" and he replied, "because they gave me $20 if I put out 20 signs."

Story #2
During my junior year of high school, I attended Andover High School in Bloomfield Hills. Abdul El-Sayed was in my grade. We had Calculus and AP Physics together. He was generally kind, humble, and very smart.

One time, I was waiting for our bus with my girlfriend who had presented a paper in one of her classes that day. She was dressed up for the occasion - wearing a skirt (out of character for her) and it was the first day she had ever worn makeup to school (the first time her mother ever allowed it). She was heavy handed with the makeup, and her look that day was a stark contrast to the way she normally dressed, which was a much more conservative, nerdy-bookish look.

Four guys on the basketball team, all seniors, approached us and asked my friend if she was planning to "go to 8 Mile" (that is, become a prostitute). They continued by asking her how much she would charge, making hand signs mimicking oral sex and thrusting their hips as they laughed. She was trying not to cry, I was telling them to fuck off.

Abdul El-Sayed was walking down the hall, saw what was happening and got between us and the guys. He asked them if that's how they thought men behaved. He asked "do you feel proud right now? getting laughs from your friends at the expense of her feelings?"

I don't remember everything Abdul El-Sayed said that day in high school, but it was basically like "you guys are seniors, this girl is a sophomore, pick on someone your own size or better yet, don't be the kind of man who picks on anyone."

The called him a f****t, and her a whore again a few times and then left. Abdul El-Sayed apologized to both of us. He said that things will be different when we were out of high school and the boys grew up to be adults.

Although I'm still not sure he was right on that last part, Abdul El-Sayed was standing up to bullies that were bigger than him and pushing back against toxic masculinity when he was 16 years old. Even if I didn't love his politics, I would still vote for this guy because of his character. He truly is a servant leader.

This is a crucial primary. Please - get out and vote. And if you employ people, please give them the time to vote.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Nike Community Store to give $50,000 to nonprofits in Detroit

Nike Community Store in downtown Detroit - Press photo by Nike
Nike has announced that applications for the next round of funding through the Nike Community Impact Fund (NCIF) are now being accepted through July 31, 2018. With the goal of building stronger communities and giving kids positive experiences with sport, play, and physical activity, the Community Store in Detroit will award a total of $50,000 via grants of $5,000 to $10,000 each to local organizations that are focused on getting kids active.

Six Community Stores throughout the nation will award a total of $300,000 in grants—ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 each—in Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Ivy City in Washington D.C., East Los Angeles and the Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn. NCIF is administered with the support of the Charities Aid Foundation of America and funds projects that help kids unleash their potential through physical activity, sport, and play.

NCIF is an innovative approach to grant-making that engages a committee of Nike employees to advise where grants are awarded to support the work of local organizations in the communities where they live and work. Since its launch in 2010, NCIF has awarded more than $4.97 million in grants to 502 nonprofit organizations in the United States: This includes 401 grants in Oregon and Southwest Washington, where NCIF began; nine grants in Memphis, where the Nike North America Logistics Campus is located; and 92 grants in communities where Nike has Community Stores: downtown Detroit; South Chicago; New Orleans; the Ivy City neighborhood of Washington, D.C.; East Los Angeles; and Brooklyn.

“We know that active kids do better--at school and in life. That’s why the Nike Community Impact Fund supports grassroots organizations that are focused on getting kids moving, “said Caitlin Morris, General Manager of Nike Global Community Impact. “We’re proud to support the important work of our community stores’ neighboring nonprofits, schools, and community centers as they bring positive experiences in play, sport, and physical activity into kids’ lives to help them reach their potential.”

At the Barney McCosky Baseball & Basketball League in Detroit, the NCIF grant in 2017 went toward equipment and uniforms for multi-sport activities that allow youth whose family may not be able to pay for traditional league play to find their place in a program that will help them to develop and build safe relationships while learning the basics of the game.

According to Barney McCosky Baseball & Basketball League President Isaac Orton, V, “We’ve been constantly growing over the past two years, and this grant has allowed us to have the proper equipment and uniforms we need, while maintaining our practice fields and gyms, so we can continue to grow the program and reach more kids. We’re thankful to Nike for this grant that has allowed us to continue to support these efforts.”

Applications for Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Ivy City in Washington D.C., East Los Angeles and the Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn are due July 31, 2018. All grant awards will support projects that deliver impact through the lens of sport and physical activity.

The online grant application along with the required information can be accessed at nike.com/ncif.                 

Monday, July 02, 2018

5 tips to get more things done


I find some great advice as I go about my work and life. One of the more powerful ones was a compilation of five hacks that will enable you to get more stuff done in your day.

The video above was created by Antonio Centeno of Real Men. Real Style and writer Thomas Frank. I have tried each of these things in my own work and my personal life. I can vouch for the fact that each of these five tips goes a long way towards reducing procrastination and getting more things done in your day, without adding much stress to your life.

It's my pleasure, therefore, to present "5 HACKS to Get Things Done!" as my Tip of the Week for the week of July 2. Please check back next week for more advice on your money, home, and life.

Hundreds gathers to celebrate church's history

Luncheon at SS Peter & Paul lower event center - Photo by Frank Nemecek
Hundreds of current and former parishioners at SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church (7685 Grandville Ave.) attended special mass yesterday at the church. This service was celebrated by Bishop Donald F. Hanchon. It commemorated both the Solemnity of SS Peter & Paul, which is a special day set aside each year in the Catholic Church's calendar to remember the two apostles, as well as the 95th anniversary of this parish.

This special mass with the bishop was immediately followed by a celebratory luncheon in the lower level event center of the church. Those who have been familiar with the church building for some time may recall the days when the lower level facility housed a second worship area so that two services could be celebrated simultaneously.

The church now looks forward to celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

SS Peter & Paul celebrates its 95th anniversary

SS Peter and Paul Church - Photo by Frank Nemecek
One of the oldest establishments in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood, SS Peter & Paul Catholic Church (7685 Grandville Ave.), will celebrate its 95th anniversary this week. The church will have a special anniversary mass at 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 1, which will be presided by Bishop Donald F. Hanchon.

To commemorate the Polish-American heritage of the parish, this special mass will be celebrated in both English and Polish. Everyone is welcome to attend, especially those who used to be a part of the SS. Peter and Paul community.

This mass will also celebrate the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, which is the special feast day for the patron saints of this parish. The actual feast day for the Apostles Peter and Paul will be on Friday, June 29 in accordance with the liturgical calendar. However, the parish will celebrate this feast day and their 95th anniversary on the following Sunday.

More information about this special event can be found on the Facebook page for SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church or their website.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Ford announces their plans for Michigan Central Station

The crowd as Ford Motor Co. announces its plans for Michigan Central Station - Photo by Frank Nemecek
Ford Motor Company officially announced its intentions to renovate the long-vacant Michigan Central Station in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood this morning. Company chairman Bill Ford declared that the train station will once again be a place of possibility; a crucial part in their strategy to ensure that Detroit remains the "mobility capital of the world."

There will be a lot more details coming in the weeks and months to follow. The key takeaway, though, is that Ford Motor Company will continue to have a strong presence in Dearborn while expanding its foothold in Corktown, where it already has offices.

This, in my opinion, is huge news. With Ford making large investments in Dearborn and Corktown, it can only mean good things for adjacent neighborhoods like Warrendale.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Open Letter to Keith Crane

The editor-in-chief of Crain's Detroit Business, Keith Crain, published an op-ed recently that was highly critical of dedicated bicycle lanes in Detroit. I wrote a response to him, which my readers will find below.

If Mr. Crain responds to me, I'll be certain to include his rebuttal in a future post. Without further ado, I present my open letter to Keith Crain.

_________________

Dear Keith Crain:

You seem confused by the City of Detroit's decision to install bike lanes in many parts of the Motor City. You even asked whose idea it was and why you didn't hear about it before those municipal bureaucrats began implementing it.

Since you asked, I'll answer.

The idea of adding bike lanes was discussed extensively when Detroiters began debating the future of our city. There were several meetings about this back in 2011 - 12 where residents, business owners, and other stakeholders came together to consider our options as part of the Detroit Works Project and, later, the Detroit Future City project.

Adding bike lanes and offering residents and visitors multiple options to get where they need to go were one of the many principles that were discussed and agreed to.

I'm not surprised that you weren't familiar with this, though. Crain's Detroit Business was the only media outlet in southeastern Michigan that didn't cover those meetings. In order to avoid confusion like this in the future, I suggest that you pick up a subscription to the Detroit Free Press.

Your pal,
Frank

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

5 Reasons to move the Detroit Grand Prix

Helio Castroneves races in Detroit
Photo by Nic Redhead/Flickr
The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will return to Belle Isle this weekend. This year, like every year, there have been protests from those who want to the island park to be a more tranquil refuge.

While I love the Grand Prix and all that it contributes to Detroit, I believe that the best of course of action is to build a permanent, municipally owned facility for auto racing within the city of Detroit. The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix should, of course, remain on Belle Isle while a new facility is being designed and constructed. However, there should be no doubt that it is time for the race to move.

I have five reasons for why I believe this should be done.

Reason 1: Money
Red Bull Rallycross on Belle Isle
Photo by Frank Nemecek
The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix brings an impressive amount of money into Detroit. However, I believe that we are getting a tiny fraction of its potential from a permanent racing facility.

We have the Grand Prix for three days each summer. However, Detroit is no longer a stop on the Red Bull Global Rallycross series, at least in part due to the challenges of having another temporary racetrack on Belle Isle during the summer months.

In addition, Detroit is not a stop on the MotoAmerica racing circuit for motorcycles nor do we have any snowmobile racing events here in the winter.

It's almost impossible to have temporary facilities for all of these races. By opting to only have a temporary racing facility on Belle Isle, we are missing out on the potential revenue from having multiples races on several different weekends throughout the year in a permanent facility.

Reason 2: More Money
Weddings are currently a $72 billion dollar industry in the United States, according to industry data. Belle Isle is already a somewhat popular destination for weddings. The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, the Belle Isle Casino, and the Detroit Yacht Club are all popular wedding venues. The Detroit Boat Club has also hosted weddings in recent years and, with more renovations, has the potential for even more.

Wedding Cake - Photo by Cleiton Isoton
Moreover, May and June are two of the busiest months for weddings. This is important because the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix keeps much of Belle Isle tied up for most of May and June. Sometimes, the teardown for it even stretches into early July.

May, June, and July, by the way, are peak wedding season.

I, therefore, have to ask the question: why in the world would anyone in their right mind want to keep a popular wedding destination tied up during the busiest time for weddings?

This is like owning a toy store and closing it in November and December when everyone is looking for Christmas presents for their kids.

This is like owning a costume shop and closing it in October when everyone is looking for Halloween costumes.

This is like owning a bar and closing it down when Charlie Sheen comes to town.

Okay - that last one might actually be a good idea. Charlie Sheen does have a reputation for getting a little too wild when he drinks.

Anyway, the point here is that weddings are a $72 billion industry, Belle Isle is a popular wedding destination, and we're closing it during peak wedding season. All of that money, therefore, has to be spent elsewhere and it's usually not within the Detroit city limits.

And forcing people to spend lots of money outside of Detroit is simply not a good idea.

Reason 3 - Still More Money
Music festival - Photo from Pixabay
When a permanent racing facility isn't hosting a race, it is routinely used to host music festivals and other events - all of which generate more money for the local economy. The Daytona International Speedway hosts the Country 500 Music Festival on Memorial Day weekend. The Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan hosts the Faster Horses Country Music Festival in July. The Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California hosts the HARD Summer Music Festival in August.

The list goes on and on. Hosting a music festival at a speedway is an established business model that event producers have down to a science. All of these events pump large amounts of cash into the local economy, with attendees traveling from out of state or even from outside of the country to attend.

As a related sidenote, now that the WYCD Hoedown has abandoned its traditional location in downtown Detroit for the DTE Music Theatre in Clarkston, I would love to see something like a speedway lure them back.

Regardless, the point stands: a speedway is a well-established location for a music festival. Detroit is missing out on yet another driver for our local economy.

Reason 4 - Did I mention money?
Beach volleyball - Photo from Pixabay
By keeping Belle Isle tied up with the Chevrolet Grand Prix for so much of the year, not only are we as a community missing out not only a significant slice of the wedding industry, we are also missing out on the opportunity to have other, smaller events on the island during that time period as well. Purely from a logistical and operational standpoint, it's extremely difficult to have other events on the island when half of it is taken up for the race.

We are missing out on a chance to have beach volleyball tournaments on the Belle Isle Beach. Even smaller tournaments will bring in a few thousand dollars. Larger ones, like any of the AVP Beach Volleyball Tournaments, have an economic impact that rivals the grand prix.

We are missing out on a chance to re-open the Remick Band Shell and have a series of smaller concerts there.

We are missing out on fishing contests at the island's South Fishing Pier and elsewhere.

We are simply missing out on so many other events that could happen on Belle Isle during those months.

Reason 5 - Detroit's Image
I mentioned above that moving the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix to a municipally-owned speedway would allow for more than just one race per year. This, I believe, is important for Detroit's image.

Detroit is a city that is synonymous with the automobile. We aren't called the Motor City for nothing. And one of the best ways to show off cars is by racing them.

Auto racing - Photo from Pixabay
In spite of this connections between cars and racing, the city built on cars only has one auto race per year. Meanwhile, Atlanta, Georgia; Kansas City, Kansas; and St. Louis, Missouri all have multiple professional auto races every year. Besides not having an obvious connection to the automobile industry, each of those four cities also has a smaller population than Detroit, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

I don't mean any disrespect to any of these communities. I'm just going to say that if you went to any place in the world and asked random people what was that they associate with Kansas City, Kansas, there aren't very many people who would say "cars."

In spite of that, Kansas City, Kansas (population 151,709) can put together three professional auto races every year in comparison to Detroit, with its population of 672,795 car-loving people, which can only pull off a measly one race per year.

This is embarrassing.

Embarrassing.

This is why, I believe, Detroit needs to build a municipally-owned speedway.