Friday, October 18, 2019

Concert series comes to SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Warrendale

The Sacred and Spiritual Concert series will continue tomorrow with a concert of music for the organ and tenor. This event will happen at SS. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church (7685 Grandville Ave.) in Detroit’s Warrendale neighborhood on Saturday, October 19. The concert will begin at 6 p.m.

The organist for this concert will be Johnny Kash. He is the music director at SS. Peter and Paul Church in Detroit. He will be joined the accomplished tenor Matthew Moore.

This concert will be performed from the front of the church. A Viscount Digital Organ will be installed on the altar for this occasion.

There will also be a light reception prior to this concert, which is complimentary for all attendees. The evening will begin a celebration of Mass that will start at 4:30 p.m. The reception will last from the conclusion of Mass until the concert starts at 6 p.m.

I would like to add that even though this concert is happening in a Catholic Church and it is happening shortly after the celebration of a Catholic mass, one does not have to attend the religious service in order to attend either this concert or the reception that precedes it. The organizers understand that not everyone in Detroit is Roman Catholic.

There will not be an admission charged for this concert or for the light reception prior to it. All families and individuals in Detroit who enjoy classical and sacred music are invited to attend it.

This post is a part of the Warrendale Detroit Blog's semi-regular Friday Focus series. The series endeavors to highlight news, events, and opinions that, in the view of this blog's publisher, don't get as much attention from the news media as they deserve.

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

Thinking about Rimah Fakih

Rimah Fakih-Slaiby at Wrestlemania Fan Axxess - Photo by Simon Q/Flickr
I wrote a series of posts about Rimah Fakih back in 2010 after she became the first Muslim Miss USA as well as the first Miss USA from Michigan in almost 20 years. It seemed appropriate because she grew up only a couple of miles from the Warrendale neighborhood and was gaining national and international prominence.

If you're curious, you can see my five posts about her by clicking here to see them in the archives of this blog. I wrote four posts about her in 2010 and a fifth in December, 2015.

Even though I haven't written a word about Rimah Fakih in several years, Google Analytics tells me that a couple of people visit the Warrendale Detroit Blog every day after searching for her in one of the various internet search engines.

The same software package also tells me that the southern United States is the most common place for this traffic to come from. I don't know why southerners in particular are so fascinated by her. I find this part of the data to be mildly odd because I thought she would be more popular in the Midwest.

Anyway, since there are so many people who are coming to my blog looking for information about Rimah Fakih, I figure that I may as well give those individuals are few quick details. After all, I always aim to please by readers.

Since completing her time as Miss USA 2010, Rimah Fakih converted to Maronite Christianity in April of 2016. This, by the way, is a branch of the Eastern rite of the Catholic Church. Her conversion to Christianity happened shortly before her marriage to Wassim "Sal" Slaiby, who is a Lebanese-Canadian music producer and is also The Weeknd's manager.

The Weeknd even performed at their wedding. I imagine this to have been one of the coolest wedding performances of all time.

I mention Rimah Fakih's conversion to Christianity because Google Analytics again tells me that many of those searching for information about her include Muslim somewhere in their seach terms.

Rimah Fakih-Slaiby and her husband Sal currently have two children, a son and a daughter. The couple is also expecting their third child soon.

For those who are still interested in what's going on in her life, I recommend checking out Rimah Fakih-Slaiby's Instagram account.

Anyway, I wonder what weirdness I will discover as I continue to dig through the analytics data. To find that out, I suppose you will just have to subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the box at the top of this blog's righthand column or by adding it to your favorite RSS feed..

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Halloween coming to Rouge Park

Halloween - Illustration by Myriam Zilles
As previously reported on this blog, Detroit’s Halloween in the D program is coming to Rouge Park. Children across Warrendale and the surrounding neighborhoods are invited to the Brennan Pools Building (22340 Plymouth Rd.).

Volunteers will be on hand to help make sure that the youngest Detroiters have a spooky good time. Trick-or-treating will happen there from 5 - 8 p.m.

This, of course, leads directly to my second announcement that is related to Halloween in the D.

The nonprofit group Friends of Rouge Park is looking for volunteers to help make this event a safe and fun time for the children of Detroit. The more people who help out, the easier this will be on everyone. There are two different times next week when they will need people to help them with the Halloween program.

Volunteers are needed to help pack bags of candy for the children on Wednesday, October 23 from noon until approximately 5 p.m. Anyone who is willing and able to help should sign up via the link below and then come to the Brennan Pools Building that day.

The group will also need lots of help on Thursday, October for Halloween itself. From noon until 6 p.m., the group is looking to help with people who can help setting up for this event and staffing it. They will also need help that day with staffing this event and then breaking everything down later at night. This will needed from 4:30 - 10 p.m.

Anyone who is willing to volunteer to make Halloween in the D a safe and fun evening for the children of Detroit is asked to sign-up by clicking this link.

For more information, please contact Erica Hill, manager of special events and programming for Detroit’s Parks and Recreation Department. She can be reached at (313) 628-4203.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Warrendale gets ready for Halloween

Home decorated for Halloween - Photo by Frank Nemecek
Halloween is only 15 more days away. While I'm still not ready for it, I'm thrilled to see that so many of my neighbors in Warrendale certainly are.

I started to notice homes being decorated for Halloween a week or so ago. Every day since then, it seems like more and more homeowners in the Warrendale neighborhood of Detroit are getting in on the holiday swing.

This makes me happy. Detroit has gone through some really tough times in recent years. Seeing all of these homes decorated for Halloween gives me this feeling that we are returning to a general sense of normalcy.

Home decorated for Halloween - Photo by Frank Nemecek
Some people are going all out for their Halloween decorations. Others prefer a more minimalist approach to the season. No matter which approach any given homeowner takes,

Again, it makes me happy to see all of these homes decorated for Halloween.

In fact, it makes me happy enough that I am hereby proclaiming these decorated homes to be the Cool Warrendale Think of the Week for the week of October 16, 2019.

Keep it up, Detroiters.

The Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week is a semi-regular feature that is brought to your by the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog. Please check back every Wednesday glimpses into more of the things that make this such a great neighborhood.

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

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Detroit seeks contractors

Guard services are one of the areas where the City of Detoit is seeking conractors - Photo by Ryan McGuire/Pixabay
The City of Detroit is looking for Detroit-based or Detroit-headquartered businesses to fill various roles in its chain of supply contractors. Each of these business selected would provide a certain service to the municipal government.

The City is specifically looking for local businesses that are able to provide guard services as well as

  • Ground maintaince services;
  • Janitorial/custodial services
  • Uniforms; and
  • Facilities management.
In order to attract as many Detroit-based and Detroit-headquarters businesses into their contracting process, the Office of Contracting & Procurment will host an information workshop tomorrow morning from 8 - 11 a.m. at the Adams Butzel Recreation Center (10500 Lyndon St.). This center is approximately five miles from the Warrendale neighborhood and is near Fenkell and Myers Rds.

During this meeting, representatives from the City of Detroit will discuss many elements about how to contract with the local government. They will discuss connection local businesses to resources, the pre-qualificatin process, BidSync, licensing, and performance expectations. They will explore how how local business owners can certify their business with the City of Detroit.

This event is presented by Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, Council Member Janee Ayers, and Council Member Gabe Leland. Leland, of course, represents the 7th District on the City Council, which includes the Warrendale and surrounding neighborhoods. Jones and Ayers were elected on a citywide basis to represent everyone.

Detroit-based and Detroit-headquartered business who would like to take advantge of this opportunity are asked to confirm their attendance via this page on Eventbrite.

Anyone with questions about this workshop is asked to contact Yolanda Gaines by emailling gainesy [at] detroitmi [dot] gov or by calling her at (313) 224-3595.

Detroit Pistons fans can win a new Jeep

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon - Photo by FCA US LLC
Detroiters will have a chance to experience the new Jeep Gladiator Rubicon at five upcoming Detroit Pistons home games. This will include a complementary gift as well as a chance to win $70,000 towards the purchase of a new Jeep.

The first of these five events will be on Thursday, October 24 when Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, and the Detroit Pistons will host John Collins, Trae Young, and the Atlanta Hawks.

Fans will be able to experience the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, the most off-road-capable mid-size pick up ever, at five Detroit Pistons home games during the 2019-2020 season. Also, at the Jeep brand space near the Meijer entrance, they will be able to speak to an experienced product specialist and enter to win autographed Detroit Pistons merchandise while supplies last.

Detroiters who complete a vehicle tour and visit the Jeep brand space will receive a complimentary gift while supplies last and enter for a chance to win the 2019 FCA US LLC Sweepstakes where one grand prize winner will receive a vehicle credit in the amount of $70,000 valid toward the winner’s choice of an FCA US LLC vehicle from the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Truck or Fiat brands.

After next Thursday, the next time when fans will have this opportunity will be on December 1 when the Detroit Pistons take on Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, Terrance Ross, and the Orlando Magic at the Little Caesars Arena followed by:

  • Marques Bolden, Kevin Love, and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, January 9, 2020;
  • R.J. Barrett, Julius Randale, and the New York Knicks on Saturday, February 8, 2020; and
  • Klay Thompson, D’Angelo Russell, Draymond Green, Stephen Curry, and the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, March 22, 2020.

Promotions like this, of course, are only one of the main reasons for fans to go watch the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. The main, of course, is always some Detroit basketball.

Go Pistons!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Detroit introduces a plan to cut the number of home foreclosures

An Anmerican Home - Stock photo by Pexels
Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans, Mayor Mike Duggan, and Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree called on the Michigan Legislature to implement a sweeping new approach to assist tens of thousands of Detroiters and Wayne County residents who owe back property taxes avoid foreclosure. The plan builds on steps the City and County have already taken to reduce occupied home foreclosures by 94% since 2015.

Michigan State Representative Wendall Byrd (D-3) has introduced legislation that will facilitate this proposal. They call this proposal to minimize foreclosures Pay As You Stay or PAYS. This proposal aims to reduce tax foreclosure for Detroit homeowners who live in poverty and who are struggling to make payments.

According to data from the City of Detroit, this plan would help approximately 31,000 homeowners stay in their homes by dramatically reducing the amount they owe on their back taxes and lowering their monthly payments.

This payment plan is available to all those eligible for the poverty tax and disabled veteran exemptions. It will remove interest, penalties, and fees so only back taxes or 10% of taxable value is owed whichever is less. This will include any past due balance on the City of Detroit’s solid waste fees.

Pay As You Stay is a simple, three-part plan:
  1. Once you enroll, all interest, penalties and fees would be eliminated;
  2. To reduce an undue burden on homeowners, the balance due would be limited to back taxes only or 10% of a home’s taxable value – whichever is less; and
  3. The remaining balance would be paid back over three years at zero percent interest.
Homeowners who qualify for a full or partial Property Tax Exemption and enroll in future years would be eligible for the program. To be PTE-eligible, a household with 1 person could not make more than $19,303 per year; a household with 4 people could not make more than $28,671.

“Since 2015, we’ve been able to reduce the number of occupied foreclosures by 94%, but far too many Detroiters still are at risk of foreclosure,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Pay As You Stay would help more than 31,000 Detroit homeowners stay in their homes by eliminating interest, penalties and fees and making payment plans affordable for those who need them.”

Detroit City Council Member Janee Ayers added in a statement on Facebook, “Our city can only thrive if we work with our most vulnerable residents who have stayed here through the hardest times.”

More information about this Pay As You Stay proposal is available on the City of Detroit's website.

The Warrendale Detriot Blog will continue to follow this story as it develops and the PAYS legislation moves throught the Michigan Hosue of Representatives.