Monday, April 23, 2018

Police community relations meeting this Wednesday

Detroit police officer walks a beat - Photo by Frank Nemecek

The 6th Precinct Community Relations Organization will meet this Wednesday, April 25 in the Activities Building of Ss. Peter & Paul Church (7718 Westwood St.). This meeting will happen from 7 - 8:30 pm.

Everyone from in or around the Warrendale neighborhood is invited to attend this meeting.

Future meetings of the group will happen on the last Wednesday of each month until June.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Rouge-A-Thlon returns to Detroit

Tour de Troit's second annual Rouge-A-thlon will return to Rouge Park in Warrendale tomorrow to raise funds for the Friends of Rouge Park. The event is a duathlon, which combines running and cycling into one race.

Proceeds from this event go towards Friends of Rouge Park to maintain its active infrastructure. Registration includes the duathlon, which is chip-timed, as well as a beer provided by Batch Brewing Company, Amicci's Pizza that will be baked on site, and a finisher medal.

Registration and additional information is available at

Teen prodigy Anastasia Rizikov to perform in Detroit area

Anastasia Rizikov - Press photo

Canadian classical pianist Anastasia Rizikov will perform at The Berman Center for the Performing Arts (6600 W. Maple Rd. in West Bloomfield) at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 29. Rizikov made her orchestral debut at the tender age of seven and has since appeared as soloist with major orchestras in North America and Europe.

The launch of Anastasia Rizkov's career was when she placed first at the Vladimir Horowitz International Piano Competition in Kiev, Ukraine. From there she was invited to perform with the National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine conducted by Mykola Diadiura.

Following those performances, Anastasia Rizikov stepped on to the international circuit competing with musicians twice her age. In 2011, she became the youngest person to compete and win in history at the Rotary International Piano Competition (Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 2011). She won in other major competitions including:

  • Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competition (Seregno, Italy, 2015);
  • Jaén International Piano Competition (Jaén, Spain, 2015); and
  • 13th Giuliano Pecar International Piano Competition (Gorizia, Italy, 2013).

“Ms. Rizikov is an extraordinary virtuoso, with abundant technical prowess,” said Renée Silberman at The Beat Magazine. “But she is more than the sum of ten fingers – she is a consummate artist, born to play, to love the art and act of music-making...” he continued.

Now 19 years old, she is being lauded as the “one to watch.” With more than 30 orchestral performances and 20 concerti in her repertoire, Anastasia Rizikov has already played with such major orchestras as Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the City of Granada Orchestra. She has worked with conductors such as Peter Oundjian, Alain Trudel, Bernhard Gueller and more.

Anastasia Rizikov’s concert schedules have taken her around the globe. She has played in such prestigious spaces such as Carnegie Hall, Roy Thomson Hall, Fazioli Hall, Hong Kong City Hall and the Kremlin. With a curiosity for diverse and exciting projects, she recorded a CD with NAXOS and performed at the prestigious Verbier and Orford Festivals (2015). In 2014, she tackled Rachmaninoff’s immense Piano Concerto No. 3 with Laval Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Alain Trudel; while in the fall of 2013,  and gave 20 performances over two weeks throughout all the Atlantic provinces of Canada as the winner of the prestigious Debut Atlantic Award.

Adept in English, Russian, and Ukrainian languages (and working towards mastering her French), Rizikov began studies at École Normale de Musique de Paris with Professor Rena Shereshevskaya. From 2003-2017 she studied with Professor Maia Spis at the Nadia Music Academy, Toronto. She has played in master classes for Sergei Babayan, Arie Vardi, and Robert Levin, and has worked with András Schiff, Emanuel Ax, Menahem Pressler, and Olga Kern.

Being a person who loves and understands her audience, she dreams of being able to share her unique musical voice with the entire world, including audiences in Detroit.

To purchase tickets, please visit or call 248.661.1900 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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. Please follow this blog on Facebook for more great content. I'm also on Twitter and Instagram as @fnemecek.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

I have a favor to ask of my readers

I have a favor to ask of everyone who reads the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog.

It has long been a dream of mine to travel Route 66 from beginning to end and now the National Trust for Historic Preservation has a program that will help me do just that. If I'm one of the people who are selected to be a part of it, I will spend a week traveling Route 66; posting to social media channels along the way.

As part of the application process, I'm asked to provide the National Trust for Historic Preservation with links to my social media channels. I think it would look a lot better if I had more people following me and that's where you come in.

I have three related social media channels. I would appreciate it if everyone reads this liked/followed me on one or more of them. The first channel is the Warrendale Detroit Blog page on Facebook, which is available here. Readers cans also find me on Twitter and Instagram as @fnemecek.

I thank everyone for their help with this.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Warrendale on SciTech Now

Back in October of last year, I reported that a crew from the show SciTech Now on PBS was coming to Warrendale. They did a report on how some of the vacant lots in our part of Detroit are being used bioretention gardens as well as the impact that these garden have.

Detroit Public Television interviewed Barb Matney of the Warrendale Community Organization and myself on behalf of the show. They also spoke to several other people in the area and included lots of footage from our neighborhood.

I'm thrilled that this episode of SciTech Now has aired on PBS. It is available to watch on Detroit Public Television's website or by clicking the embedded video above.

As cities around the nation continue to look for better ways to meet environmental challenges, I'm excited that Detroit is able to showcase one solution. I'm also grateful to Detroit Public Television and the rest of the PBS family for shining such a positive spotlight on the neighborhood.

I was only featured in this episode very briefly. However, SciTech Now also used several photos that I provided them that showed what my basement looked like after Detroit was hit with record rainfall in August of 2014.

That flood was a painful - and expensive - moment for everyone in Detroit. I'm glad that it seems to have served as an impetus for improvements to our water and sewage system. 

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Job fair this Saturday in Warrendale

Job opening - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The City of Detroit will have a job fair this coming Saturday, March 3 at the Edison Branch of the Detroit Public Library (18400 Joy Rd.). This event will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The City is hiring seasonal workers to maintain our parks during the warmer months. They have two categories that they will hire for this Saturday.

The first job category this is open is Laborer A/Park Maintenance Helper, which pays a starting wage of $10.04 - $10.40 per hour. Applicants must have the ability to understand and follow oral directions as well as a valid drivers license, Michigan identification card, or an identification card issued by the City of Detroit.

The second job category is Vehicle Operator I, which pays a starting wage of $14.35 - $17.12 per hour. Applicants must have a valid commercial drivers license with an air brake endorsement as well as a valid medical examiner's certificate that certifies the applicant's physical fitness for driving.

In order to attend this job fair, all applicants must do the following:

  1. Apply online before the fair for the job that they wish to be considered for. Start here for vehicle operators and here for park maintenance helpers. For both jobs, click the green "apply" button in the upper right corner.
  2. RSVP ahead of time by visiting Eventbrite here and selecting "register."
  3. Come dressed for success. Interviews will happen on site.
Additional job openings within the City of Detroit are posted at

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Burton Leland passes away at the age of 69

Burton Leland
Burton Leland, who represented the Warrendale neighborhood in both the Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan Senate for 26 years, passed away this morning. He was 69 years of age at the time of his passing. In later years, Leland represented Wayne County's 6th district on the County Commission.

During his time in the Michigan Legislature, Burton Leland was a tireless advocate for consumer rights. In 1986, while serving the state house, he sponsored Michigan's Lemon Law that protected buyers from defective automobiles.

Burton Leland was also a relentless public servant for the Warrendale neighborhood. Whenever the Warrendale Community Organization needed something during his almost three decades of representing us, he was one of the few elected officials that residents could consistently count on.

Burton Leland's son Gabe Leland continues to represent the Warrendale and surrounding neighborhoods on the Detroit City Council.

Burton Leland was also proud of his Jewish faith. I attended a meeting of the Wayne County Commission a few years back when, at Leland's urging, a Jewish rabbi delivered the invocation. The invocation is normally held before the start of each meeting and his lead by a local religious leader. However, that was the first time in Wayne County's more than 200 year history that a rabbi was invited to perform this ceremonial role.

Details for Burton Leland's funeral are not currently available. When they become public, I will share them here.

On a personal note, I want to add that I write this post with a tremendous amount of sadness. I have spoken with Burton Leland on more occasions than I can remember over the past 30 years - going all the way back to my days as a high school student in a government class. I was always impressed with his intellect, his dedication, and a love for Michigan and its people that will continue to live on with every person that he ever met.

Update @ 10:48 p.m.
I have learned that the funeral for Burton Leland will be at 2 p.m. this Tuesday, February 27. The service will be at the Ira Kaufman Chapel (18325 W. Nine Mile in Southfield). More information is available here.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Campground to re-open in Rouge Park

Rouge Park on a foggy day - Photo by Frank Nemecek
Scout Hollow, a 17.4-acre campsite that is located inside Rouge Park, will re-open this spring, the City of Detroit announced this morning. This re-opening of the only campground within the city limits is the result of a new initiative called Outdoor Detroit, which is designed to encourage our youth to understand and appreciate the great outdoors.

Once re-opened, Scout Hollow will be able to accommodate up to 30 campers at a time at each of the three campsites. The project's goal is to host 250 campers in 2018 and to reach 1,000 campers per year by 2020.

The re-opening of Scout Hollow is made possible by grants of $200,000 from the Kresge Foundation and $20,000 from the Sierra Club. The City of Detroit's Department of Parks & Recreation, as well as the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, made a significant buy-in to this project.

Any youth group will be allowed to use Scout Hollow. However, priority will be given to groups from Detroit and the surrounding communities.

Warrendale celebrates National Margarita Day

National Margarita Day - Stock photo from Max Pixel
Today is National Margarita Day, a special moment to celebrate one of the most popular cocktails in the world. Millions of people enjoy this blend of tequila, triple sec, and lime every day. There's even a page on Facebook that is devoted in large part to numerous different variations on the margarita recipe.

To celebrate National Margarita Day, the Chili's Bar & Grille (5707 Southfield Rd.) at Ford Road and the Southfield Freeway has margarita specials today. Several other bars and restaurants in the area have good options for them as well.

My personal favorite, though, is the food and margaritas at Tijuana's Mexican Kitchen (18950 Ford Rd.) I cannot say enough good things about them.

For those who read this from outside of the Warrendale neighborhood, WDIV-TV has a list places across the Detroit area who have specials for National Margarita Day on their website. USA Today information about specials and other events across the country today over on their website.

National Margarita Day is one of those great unofficial holidays. It was founded by Todd McCalla to celebrate his personal love for this classic cocktail as well as the good times, special friends, and warm memories that the drink inspires. His idea has spread from there across social media.

I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy National Margarita Day. Please drink responsibly, though.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Community meeting this Wednesday

Outside a community meeting - Photo by Frank Nemecek

The City of Detroit will host a community meeting for District 7, which includes Warrendale and the surrounding neighborhoods. This meeting will happen this Wednesday from 6 - 8 pm in the Adams-Butzel Recreation Center (10500 Lyndon).

This meeting will focus on financial literacy and housing. There will also be a dinner, which is sponsored by City Councilwoman Janee L. Ayers.

Everyone who lives in Warrendale or the surrounding neighborhoods of Detroit is invited to attend. Attendees are asked to RSVP by sending an email to alim [at] detroitmi [dot] gov.

Follow me, please

Blog - Stock photo courtesy of Pixababy
When I started blogging way back in 2004, pretty much the only way to read blog content was to visit the website. Today, however, things have evolved. People can read this material in any number of different ways.

In fact, of the more than 800 people who read this every day, there are now five different avenues of getting this material.  With that in mind, I'd like to take a moment to recap each of them.

Some folks prefer to have blog posts delivered to their email inbox every morning.  If this sounds like something that you would prefer, simply enter your email address into the "receive email alerts" box at the right, click the "subscribe" button and my friends at FeedBlitz will send my posts to you via email every morning for free.

For avid Facebook users, I invite you to join the 804 other people who follow the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog there. If you're interested, simply visit this blog's Facebook page and click the "follow this blog" hyperlink. My posts will then appear in your Facebook news feed.

My personal favorite is to use an RSS reader, which enables you to follow any number of blogs and then read all of them all on one consolidated page, instead of having to visit each site individually. If you would like to try this, simply your preference from the "Subscribe to RSS feed" pull-down menu at the right.  One can then add this to an Atom, Netvibes, or Yahoo feed.

Of course, if you prefer to keep things simple, you can always simply bookmark this site in your web browser of choice and visit my site periodically. This is the original method of doing things. Quite a few people still do it this way.

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, February 14, 2018

Warrendale bakery featured in Detroit News

Paczki - Stock photo
It seemed like everyone else in the Detroit area was in Hamtramck getting their authentic paczki or at some supermarket getting paczki of generally lesser quality. Those of us in Warrendale, however, knew that the best paczki came from our neighborhood. Whether it was Chene Modern Bakery, Sisters Cakery, or West Warren Bakery, all of them produced some of the best pasties in the metropolitan area.

One of our local bakeries, Sisters Cakery (15730 W. Warren Ave.) was featured in an article from The Detroit News. You can find their story here.

I love it when the local news media show Warrendale businesses a little love.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Let's go skiing in Rouge Park

Official Warrendale Snow Gauge - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The far west side of Detroit got 6.5 inches of snow last night and early this morning, according to the Official Warrendale Snow Gauge. More is continuing to fall. Moreover, the snow is expected to continue through tomorrow as well.

For those who are interested in enjoying this winter wonderland, the Friends of Rouge Park are hosting an impromptu cross-country ski event this afternoon. Anyone with their own skies is invited to join them. There is no cost to join this event.

The group will meet at 1 pm in Rouge Park at the south prairie trailhead on Outer Drive at Tireman. They intend to ski through the prairie trail then possibly onto some others.

Rouge Park is one of the few places within the Detroit city limits where one can do a lot of cross-country skiing. This is a great opportunity for those enjoy the sport.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Snow plows to hit residential streets in Warrendale

Snow plow in action - Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force
The City of Detroit's Department of Public Works has announced that their contractors will soon begin plowing residential side streets in the Warrendale neighborhood as well as the rest of Detroit. The snow plows are expected to clear a 10-foot wide path along each of the 1,880 miles of residential streets in the city beginning at 6 a.m. tomorrow.

Under the terms of their contract with the City, each of the four private contractors has until 6 a.m. Sunday morning to complete the job.

In order to avoid being plowed in and to make work easier for snow removal crews, Mayor Mike Duggan urges residents to not park their cars on side streets, if possible.

With additional snow in the forecast over the next few days, DPW will continue to monitor the weather and our road conditions. If conditions change, they will supply updates throughout the day as deemed necessary.

Many area residents have already responded on Facebook to news of snow plows on residential streets by saying "I'll believe it when I see it." As a result, readers of this blog can look forward to a special report on how effective the snow plows were on Sunday afternoon.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Greening of Detroit seeks volunteers to plant trees

Trees in Rouge Park - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The Greening of Detroit seeks help from volunteers to plant 1,500 saplings in Rouge Park's Meyers Nursery. They are also looking for people willing to train to become Citizen Foresters to lead groups of volunteers in planting. 

To become a Citizen Forester, volunteers are required to their field training session on Saturday, April 7 at 9 am. This training session will take place at the Meyers Tree Nursery, which located on W. Outer Drive inside of Rouge Park.

The upcoming volunteer planting dates for the Greening of Detroit will be:
  • Saturday, April 21;
  • Friday, April 27;
  • Friday, May 4; and
  • Saturday, May 19.
More information the Greening of Detroit, their Citizen Forester program, an opportunity to sign up are all available on their website.  

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Inspiration for the Lone Ranger

Company D of the Texas Rangers, Ysleta, Texas, 1894
I wrote yesterday about the 85th anniversary of The Lone Ranger radio show first airing on WXYZ here in Detroit; how the character captured imaginations and went from being a simple local radio show to being an international icon. I thought, therefore, that I would take a moment to discuss the possible inspiration for this legend: the life and career of Captain John Reynolds Hughes of the Texas Rangers.

In the photo above from 1894, Captain Hughes is seen seated on a stool with a rifle in his hand at the far right. An unknown Mexican prisoner is seen seated at the far left of this photo. The remaining men in this photograph are the Texas Rangers that Captain Hughes led.

Writer Fran Striker and radio producer George W. Trendle never publicly discussed their inspiration for their the Lone Ranger character in great detail. Trendle's obituary in The New York Times stated that he wanted to enliven the Great Depression with a mix of folklore's Robin Hood and pulp fiction's Zorro; the latter of which also rode a horse and wore a black mask.

However, over the years, it has been theorized by some historians and authors that Captain Hughes may have played a significant role in inspiring the character.

Captain Hughes, of course, was a real-life Texas Ranger who brought law and order to plains from August of 1887 until his retirement in 1915. Novelist Zane Grey dedicated his book The Lone Star Ranger to Hughes in 1914. More importantly, Hughes led an investigation into an ambush on a group of Rangers in 1893 that was very similar to the one depicted in the Lone Ranger's origin story.

Hughes also reportedly told relatives that he believed the character of the Lone Ranger was inspired, at least in part, by him.

In 1940, Captain Hughes became the first recipient of the Certificate of Valor. He was also inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame. He passed away on June 3, 1947, at the age of 92.

More information about Captain John Reynolds Hughes is available on the official website of the Texas State Cemetary, where he is buried, as well as from the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Lone Ranger debuted 85 years ago in Detroit

Lone Ranger publicity photo from July 30, 1965/Wikimedia
It was 85 years ago that The Lone Ranger rode into the hearts and imaginations of Detroiters on a fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust, and a hearty "Hi-yo Silver!"

The Lone Ranger began as a radio program that first aired on WXYZ in Detroit on either January 30 or 31, 1933. The records aren't clear as to which one of those two days was the first airing of the show. It's also not completely clear whether it was radio station owner George W. Trendle or writer Fran Striker first conceived that masked rider of the plains, according to On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old Time Radio by John Denning.

The one thing that is abundantly clear is that this legend started right here in Detroit and soon became a global cultural icon. A total of 2,956 episodes The Lone Ranger aired from our local radio waves. Dozens of books, comic strips, and comic books soon followed as well as The Long Ranger Magazine and several animated short films.

All of this culminated in The Lone Ranger television series, which aired on ABC and produced 221 episodes during its five-season run from 1949 until 1957. There were also a series of movies that began with The Lone Ranger (1956) starring Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels from the television series and continuing on to the 2013 version that starred Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, which was nominated for two different Academy Awards.

It's moment like this that one feels a need to step back and marvel at the legacy that was born here in Detroit and that continues on 85 years later with a global audience.

Hi-yo Silver! Away!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Warrendale Community Organization releases meeting schedule

Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The Warrendale Community Organization recently released their schedule of general membership meeting in 2018. The nonprofit neighborhood association will have their next meeting on Monday, February 5. Additional meetings will happen on:

  • Monday, March 5;
  • Monday, April 2;
  • Monday, May 7;
  • Monday, June 4;
  • Monday, August 6;
  • Tuesday, September 4;
  • Monday, October 1;
  • Monday, November 5; and
  • Monday, December 3.
The organization will not have any general membership meetings in either January or July.

In addition, their December meeting will be their annual holiday pot-luck.

All of these meetings will happen in the Activities Building of Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church (7685 Grandville St.). Anyone who lives in or has an interest in promoting Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood is welcome to attend these meetings.

Wear Pajamas to Work Day

I was reviewing my calendar for 2018 recently. One of the things that I noticed is that April 16 is designated as Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day.

I'm not making this up, Detroit. April 16, 2018 will be Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day.

I don't know who created this holiday nor do I know how it made it onto my calendar. The only thing that I do know is that I absolutely love this idea.

If your personal calendar doesn't already recognize April 16 as Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day then please do add it. I think this will be a lot of fun - so much so that I felt compelled to blog about it here.

Get ready, Detroit! Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day is going to be epic this April.

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. Please follow this blog on Facebook for more great content. I'm also on Twitter and Instagram as @fnemecek.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Fire strikes West Warren Ave

Fire trucks on West Warren Ave. - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The Detroit Fire Department responded to a fire at West Warren Auto Repair (19020 W. Warren Ave), which is between Warwick and Artesian Streets. A total of eight fire trucks, two fire chiefs, and an ambulance were on site.

The Detroit Police Department has W. Warren Ave. shut down to vehicular travel while firefighters finish their work.

The cause of this fire is not known. More information as this situation develops.

Review - The Will to Kill

One of the advantages of the cold snap that hit Detroit last week is that it provided me with an incentive to stay indoors and catch up on all of the books that I've been meaning to read. This included Erle Stanley Gardner's Turn on the Heat, which I reviewed last week, as well as The Will to Kill by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins.

The Will to Kill is one of the last Mike Hammer novels that were left unfinished when Mickey Spillane passed in 2006 at the age of 88. Before he left us, Spillane designated Max Allan Collins as the author that he wanted to finish his projects.

The Will to Kill begins with iconic private detective Mike Hammer taking a midnight stroll along the Hudson River. He pensive moment, though, was interrupted when he discovers a partial corpse on an ice flow.

The body, we soon learn, is that of a butler who spent the last years of his life working for a millionaire - now also deceased - and his notoriously privileged children.

Were both master and servant murdered? Mike Hammer's friend Captain Pat Chambers of the New York City Police Department thinks so. However, to prove it Hammer must travel upstate to investigate the dead man's family, all of whom have a motive for murder.

Like all Mike Hammer mystery novels, there are a number of twists and turns in every chapter - perfect to keep the reader exciting and guessing. More importantly, the story comes across with the same gritty eloquence from Collins' pen that millions of fans came to love from Spillane.

The Will to Kill is a wonderful detective story that is a joy to read. It is currently available in hardcover at finer bookstores and for the Kindle. It will be available as a paperback from Titan Books on February 27. The paperback can be pre-ordered by clicking here.

Please come next week when I will have a review of Help, I am being held prisoner by Donald E. Westlake.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Michigan State Police sets up aggressive enforcement on Southfield Freeway

Michigan State Police patrol car - Photo by Joe Ross/Flickr
The Michigan State Police announced this morning that they will begin a more aggressive enforcement of speeding on the Southfield Freeway effective immediately. Their Special Enforcement Section has been assigned to patrol the freeway.

This action is the result of complaints of excessive speeding along on the Southfield Freeway. The Special Enforcement Section will continue their patrol activity until more motorists observe the posted speed limit carefully.

Motorists are cautioned that there is a posted speed limit of 55 m.p.h. on the freeway. Slow down or get a ticket.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

South Warrendale Radio Patrol reflects on 2017

Warrendale Radio Patrol
Photo by Frank Nemecek
With 2017 now in the history books, the South Warrendale Radio Patrol released a few figures about their year. This group of neighborhood residents volunteered more than 2,000 hours over the past 12 months and drove 6,839 miles patrolling Detroit.

To put those numbers in perspective, the 6,839 miles that the South Warrendale Radio Patrol drove on their patrols is the equivalent of driving from Detroit, Michigan to Beijing, China - with 198 miles left over.

As if that wasn't enough, the group also issued approximately 50 You Make a Difference certificates as well as:

  • 60 Halloween decoration certificates;
  • 60 Christmas Decoration Certificates;
  • A Halloween trophy;
  • Two Christmas trophies;
  • Worked hard doing multiple community cleanups/board ups;
  • Installed 16 new neighborhood watch signs;
  • Posted almost 200 "This house is being watched signs" on vacant houses, and
  • Attended more meetings/media events and gatherings than anyone cares to count.
I am extremely proud of the work that this dedicated group of volunteers for our neighborhood as well as all of Detroit.

Review - Turn On the Heat

They're back.

Erle Stanley Gardner's legendary detectives Cool and Lam are back in bookstores for the first time in 50 years.

If you're not familiar with Erle Stanley Gardner, he was the creator of Perry Mason. When he died in 1970, Erle Stanley Gardner was the bestselling American author of all time.

Turn On the Heat tells the story of private detectives Bertha Cool and Donald Lam who are retained by a mysterious "Mr. Smith" to find a woman who disappeared 21 years earlier. In the course of their investigation, Lam finds himself facing a sadistic cop, a desperate showgirl, a deceptive client, and one very dogged reporter.

As he struggles to learn the truth, Donald Lam finds himself kidnapped, beaten up, and framed for a crime that he didn't commit at different intervals during the story. It's very clear in this story that powerful people don't want this missing woman found.

The action and pacing in this novel were great. I particularly loved the dialogue that Gardner constructed in these pages. It rang authentic for the characters and the time that they were operating in.

One can still occasionally find copies of Turn On the Heat in libraries and used book stores. However, since it's been out of print for decards, those copies are getting harder and harder to find. That's why I'm really glad that Hard Case Crime brought it back for a new printing.

Turn On the Heat by Erle Stanley Gardner is available now on and bookstores everywhere.

Monday, January 01, 2018

10 tips to make 2018 your best year yet

Ready or not, 2018 is here.

Many people think of the start of a new year as a chance to make a variety of improvements in their respective lives. Losing weight or eating more healthy are the most common New Year's resolutions, according to Reader's Digest, with many other people wanting to spend more time with their family, to improve their finances, to become more organized, or to travel more.

Regardless of one's goals for the coming year, Aaron Marino of Alpha M has ten tips on how to make 2018 your best year ever. Aaron's audience is largely male. As a result, he addresses gentlemen specifically in this video. Regardless of that, I believe that his ten tips entitled How to Kick 2018's Ass (10 Tips to CRUSH the New Year) applies equally well to ladies as well as to gentlemen.

I recommend that everyone take a few minutes to watch this video and to think about how one can incorporate Aaron Marino's advice into his or her life. In fact, his words of wisdom in this video are presented as my semi-regular Tip of the Week feature.

Please feel free to leave a comment below if any of his tips for making 2018 your best year yet particularly resonate with you.

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 FacebookTwitter, or Instagram for more great content.