Friday, May 26, 2006

Mayor Kilpatrick Takes On Illegal Dumping

Detroit's Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick announced earlier this week that he is declaring war on illegal dumping in the City of Detroit. While I can't help but feel that the idea of a politician declaring "war" on something or another is rapidly becoming a cliche, I'm glad to hear that he intends to work on this issue aggresively.

More importantly, I look forward to seeing tangible results that live up to Mayor Kilpatrick's words.

In the meantime, you can read the complete text of Mayor Kilpatrick's remarks here.

W. Warren Bridge to Re-Open

The construction crews removed the concrete barricades that had blocked off the W. Warren Avenue Bridge over the Southfield Freeway earlier today. They had swept away debris and, from the looks of things, they were about ready to re-open that stretch of W. Warren Avenue.

They got it done just in time for Memorial Day weekend. I am totally happy about this one.

They should start on the Paul Street Bridge after the holiday weekend.

My only hope is that the next phase of this project goes as smoothly as the first.

The NFL Youth Education Town

A couple of months ago, I was one of the people around town who were actually grumbling about the NFL Youth Education Town that was being built in Warrendale after Super Bowl XL. I felt that it would've been a lot better if the $6 million that was raised for it was spent on hiring more cops instead building another youth center since DPD wasn't able to respond to every 9-1-1 call.

Everything that I've seen over the past couple of months, however, has prompted me to change my position on this one.

While the former Herman Gardens site is still a fenced-off grassy lot, there is a general vibe in the neighborhood that things are slowly starting to improve. In the five months since the project was announced, for example, I've seen 7 new businesses open in Warrendale.

None of those new businesses were Earth-shatteringly huge - a barber shop, a cell phone store and so one - but still, 7 new businesses in less than 5 months is huge.

It's especially big when you remember that Michigan's overall economy has been, well - let's face it - less than spectacular during those 5 months since these plans were first announced.

I've also noticed a couple of people fixing up some vacant businesses along W. Warren Avenue and putting them up for sale (e.g., the former site of Novack Drugs). That's also a step in the right direction and a big contrast from the old standard of letting it sit forever.

Since all of this started shortly after the NFL/YET was announced, it gives me hope that some thing important to the Warrendale revitalization will arise from this grassy field.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering - it's official name will be the NFL/YET-Boys & Girls Club on the Dick and Sandy Dauch Campus.

Family Dollar in Warrendale

A new Family Dollar store is opening in Warrendale. They are building a store on Tireman, just east of the Southfield Freeway, at 17728 Tireman.

They demolished an old party store that had been sitting vacant for years - and wasn't exactly a huge asset to the neighborhood when it was open.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Warrendale Links

I finally got around to updating all of the hyperlinks on this page. There are now 16 sites that I like to - all related to Detroit, Warrendale or our neighbor, Dearborn.

If anyone knows of a site that they'd like to see linked here, please leave a comment and let me know about it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Reminder about DAH Tickets

I mentioned this in an earlier post, but I wanted to remind everyone in Warrendale that the Department of Administrative is sending its inspectors out into the neighborhoods.

They are looking for things like: bulk trash that is sitting by your house - waiting for a pick-up that isn't coming...

And grass that hasn't been cut all season long.

Either of these things can lead to one very expensive ticket. I know of at least two homeowners in Warrendale who have gotten these tickets. They're not a pleasant thing.

The National Weather Service is predicting a very nice day for this coming Saturday; perfect weather for mowing the lawn and moving bulk trash away from public areas. (My suggestion: store it in your garage and throw a couple of bags out every week as you have room in your trash container. Or take them to DPW's Southfield Yard.)

Redeveloping Ryan Park

Its official name is the Lloyd H. Ryan Playground, but very few people know it because there hasn't been a sign on it in years. Most people refer to it as "that field by Greenview and Kirkwood."

Its facilities are rather minimal; a swing set and a slide - barely enough to really call the place a "playground". There was talk about up-grading the area a couple of years ago. However, as Detroit's budget troubles escalated, the City could no longer find the estimated $14,000 that it would take.

When the Warrendale Community Organization submitted its application to the State to be designated as a "Cool City", we include the revitalization of Ryan Park as part of our catalyst project. (Neighborhoods that are so designated are eligible for up to $100,000 for a "catalyst project" that is designed to attract and retail residents and visitors to the area.) If the designation comes through, we should see some new activity at this spot later this year.

And if it doesn't - we'll still figure out a way to make it happen. It'll just take longer.

We'll know more in a few weeks.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Photos from the Motor City Make Over

As promised earlier, here are a few photos from the Motor City Make Over. All of them are courtesy of Jenn Ruud with Detroit Synergy since I didn't have my camera with me that day.

To recap the events of last Saturday, a team of 23 volunteers came from as far away as Ann Arbor to take part in Detroit Synergy's Project Clean. They were joined by folks from the Warrendale Community Organization as well as a brief appearance by State Representative Gabe Leland.

They picked up 71 bags of trash along the southbound Southfield Freeway Service Drive, from Joy Road to Paul. They also cleared away 19 scrap tires and trimmed branches that were blocking the sidewalk.

When they were done, the good folks from DPW came by with their trucks to cart everything away. As a personal note, I have to admit that I get a strange thrill from watching those big pieces of equipment do their thing.

When they were done, the crew from Detroit Synergy went to the Dog House Coney Island for lunch; followed by drinks at Chick's Bar - making it the perfect Warrendale experience for them.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Quick Warning

Speaking of Motor City Make Over, I wanted to give one quick warning to everyone in Warrendale.

A couple of months ago, it looked like the City of Detroit was going to do a curbside bulk pick-up for everyone as part of Motor City Make Over this month. However, due to the City's continuing budget problems, that has been cancelled.

More importantly, the Department of Administrative Hearings has already had their inspectors out writing tickets for anyone who has trash out in front of their homes. I know of at least two people who have gotten tickets from them for have stuff out for a bulk pick-up that isn't coming.

Since those tickets are $200 or more each (depending on how much trash you have out there), I encourage everyone not to leave stuff in front of your house. No one really needs that kind of a fine.

From my own experience, you can actually fit a lot of stuff in those Courville containers. Plus, if you ask your neighbors first and they have space, you can almost always find someone who is happy to let you throw another bag of trash in their container.

And if you have a lot of debris, you can also take it to DPW's Southfield Yard (12255 Southfield Freeway Service Drive, which is on the southbound side - just south of I-96). You can also find a lot of other key details about what is accepted at the Southfield Yard, their hours and a bunch of other details here.

Warrendale Make Over Was A Success

The Warrendale Community Organization and Detroit Synergy pitched in this past Saturday to clean the southbound side of the Southfield Freeway as part of Motor City Make Over. They went from Joy Road all the way down to Paul.

Along that 1 1/2 mile stretch of road, a dedicated team of 23 volunteers came out to:
  • Bag 71 bags of trash;
  • Remove 19 scrap tires;
  • Trim trees or bushes that were blocking the sidewalk; and
  • Clear approximately 50 cubic yards of additional solid waste (mostly carpeting that someone dumped along the side of the road).
Not a half bad way to spend a Saturday morning.

I didn't have my camera with me, but the organizers from Detroit Synergy promised to send me a few shots. I'll post them as soon as I get them.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Warrendale Gets Mentioned in Model D

The Warrendale neighborhood got mentioned in Model D - an on-line publication that covers development and happenings within the Detroit city limits.

It's great to see Warrendale get some publicity. Although, I seriously have to wonder about the clown that wrote the piece for them.

I mean, what the heck does he know about Warrendale?