Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bomb Threats at Lessenger

I missed this one last week, with all of the chaos that ensues from the Christmas holiday, but I wanted to at least mention it.

According to the Detroit News, there was a bomb threat last week at Lessenger Elementary-Middle School (8401 Trinity - (313)945-1330). It does not appear that there actually was a bomb in the school, just a phone call.

I seriously hope that the police catch whoever it was that made those threats and threw the school into chaos.

Clearing the Streets

I posted last week about how snow plows had missed some residential streets, both in the Warrendale neighborhood and throughout the city as a whole. As a dedicated blogger and resident, I felt it was my duty to do something about this.

And so, I have made sure that the streets were cleared.

More importantly, I did it with style.

Late last week, I gathered together a group of young professionals - attorneys, public relations people and sales professionals - for an evening of drinking at the Warrendale Pub, 3 Nicks and elsewhere in the neighborhood. All of which was followed by breakfast at L. George's at a little after 2 in the morning.

How does all of this relate to snow covered streets getting cleared?

Simple. That evening was a gathering of lawyers, PR folks and sales pros. In short, a lot of hot air.

And the snow promptly melted away.

It was a grueling price to pay for clear streets. However, I've learned to do what has to be done and do it with style.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Plows Missed Some Streets

According to the Detroit News this morning, there are between 100 - 200 residential side streets throughout Detroit that did not get plowed. The contractors who are assigned to do it are still required to plow, but they won't be paid as much as they would have if the job had been completed within 24 hours.

The full story is on-line here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Schedule of Health Classes

The Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation will present a free seminar on "Healthy Eating & Physical Activity" on Saturday, January 12 at 10:30 a.m. This seminar will take place at the Joy-Southfield Health & Education Center (18917 Joy Rd. - (313) 581-7773 ext. 105).

More details for this, and other up-coming events, are available on-line here.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Next WCO Meeting

The next meeting of the Warrendale Community Organization will be on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 7 p.m. This meeting take place in school building at St. Thomas Aquinas Church (5780 Evergreen Rd - (313) 271-3266).

In between now and then, the WCO is planning its operations for 2008. At this meeting, that plan will be presented and approved by the membership.

All Warrendale residents and businesses are invited to this meeting. Please enter the school through the middle doors off their parking lot.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Safety for the Holidays

With the holidays upon us, I think it's a good idea to review a few safety guidelines. Detroit Fire Marshal Charlie Pritchett urges Detroiters to observe fire precautions when using lights, decorations and Christmas trees.

"It's easy to forget about fire safety during the holidays," Fire Marshal Pritchett said in a statement. "Taking the time now to remember a few safety tips is the best way to ensure a safe and happy holiday season."

If you use a natural Christmas tree you should make certain that the trunk is sticky with resin and the needles bend as opposed to break. He also recommends the follow steps for natural Christmas trees.
  • Keep the tree away from any heat source, such as a heat vent, radiator or fireplace;
  • Keep your tree full of water and check it daily;
  • Avoid trees sprayed with coloring because those chemicals may be flammable;
  • Trim the lower branches to avoid eye injuries to small children;
  • Dispose of your tree quickly after the holidays; and
  • Avoid the use of candles near combustible decorations, curtains or other flammables.
If you use an artificial tree then Mr. Prichett recommends not putting any lights on aluminum trees. He also recommends not using combustible-type materials for decorating.

Regardless of whether you use a natural or artificial tree, he recommends keeping it out of exit paths.

When it comes to lights, Mr. Pritchett also suggests Detroiters replace strings of lights that have worn or frayed cords. He also recommends that we:
  • Buy only lights that have been tested and carry a seal, such as that of the Underwriters Laboratories (UL);
  • Do not plug more than three sets of lights into one extension cord;
  • Replace blown fuses with same size fuses, never with a larger size. Some appliances may have to be turned off or plugged into another outlet on a different circuit to remedy the condition;
  • Make sure lights used outdoors have been approved for that type of use and are waterproof;
  • Don't leave the holiday lights on overnight or when away from home;
  • Don't leave candles burning overnight and do not leave lit candles unattended at any time.
People who smoke should also observe safety precautions during the holiday season. Smokers should keep smoldering cigarettes and cigar butts away from gift wrappings and away from Christmas trees, light and other holiday decorations. Smokers should check furniture for fallen ashes and also empty ashtrays into a metal container with a cover or into the toilet.

Fire safety precautions also must be observed when using kerosene and electric space heaters. The Detroit Fire Department does not recommend or encourage the use of kerosene heaters.

Detroiters who insist on using kerosene space heaters should use only fuel recommended by the manufacturer. In addition, the Department recommends:
  • Fill the heater outdoors and do not overfill;
  • Properly ventilate the room where the heater is located;
  • Operate the kerosene heater on a drip pan to contain any spills;
  • Place the heater at least three feet away from any ordinary combustibles, which includes household furniture;
  • Have at least one multi-purpose fire extinguisher nearby;
  • Do not place clothes or furniture near the heater; and
  • Do not leave children alone with heaters or operate heaters in children's sleeping areas.
For more information about fire safety, please call the Detroit Fire Department Community Relations Division at (313) 596-2959.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow

All of southeastern Michigan is digging out of major snow storm at the moment. The Warrendale neighborhood is no exception to it. There are almost 7 inches of fluffy white snow on ground right now, according to the Official Warrendale Snow Gauge (a ruler in my backyard). More continues to fall,

I spoke with Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's office this morning. The City's Department of Public Works will plow a 10 foot wide path down the middle of all residential streets in Detroit. It will likely take up to 24 hours for the City, and its contractors, to complete this task.

If you can move your car off the street, it's a good idea to do so in order to minimize the chances of your vehicle being damaged.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Reminder: WCO Meeting Tonight

A quick reminder to everyone that tonight is the December general membership meeting for the Warrendale Community Organization. The meeting will happen in the school at the St. Thomas Aquinas Church (5780 Evergreen) at 7 p.m. tonight. Please enter through the middle door of the school.

There are just a couple of business matter on the agenda tonight. After that will be the group's annual holiday party.

If you're not familiar with how to get there, please feel free to type their address into Google Maps and take a virtual tour of the area.

Google Street View - Now In Warrendale

It is so darn weird to see an image of your own house on Google. Regardless, that's what I was looking at a moment ago.

Google Street View is now available for much of Detroit, including the Warrendale neighborhood. Instead of a simple map of a given area, I can now log on and see a 360 degree view of that same area. I can also "walk" down a given street on a virtual basis.

This is so cool. In fact, it's cool enough to be the Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Congrats to Girl in the D

One of my fellow Detroit-based bloggers, Girl in the D, was named "Best Blog" by Ambassador magazine. I met the Girl in the D and her husband at a fireworks party that some mutual friends of our had almost 2 years ago. Back then, the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog wasn't even a thought in my head.

She started her blog with a simple mission, to promote the positive news about Detroit in an effort to off-set what seems at times to be a never ending assault of bad news.

Congrats, Girl! You deserve all of the accolades that you are getting.

Friday, December 07, 2007

December WCO Meeting

The Warrendale Community Organization will hold its December general membership meeting at the St. Thomas Aquinas school (5780 Evergreen Ave. - (313) 271-3266) on Wednesday, December 12. The meeting will start at 7 p.m.

There will be a short meeting before the organization's annual holiday meeting.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Health Education Classes

The Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation is offering free HIV testing and counseling, along with a free sex education class and free condoms this coming Saturday, December 8 at 10:30 a.m. This event will happen at the Joy-Southfield Health & Education Center (18917 Joy Rd. - 313-581-7773).

The Joy-Southfield CDC will also offer a series of other health classes in the coming year. The ones that have been announced so far include:
  • Healthy Eating & Physical Activity on Saturday, January 12;
  • Cervical Cancer on Saturday, January 26;
  • Heart Health; on Saturday, February 9;*
  • Asthma & Allergy on Saturday, March 8;
  • Minority Health Issues on Saturday, April 12; and
  • Stroke Awareness on Saturday, May 10.*
The classes marked with an asterisk will be held at Second Grace United Methodist Church (18700 Joy Rd. - 313-838-6475). All other classes will be held at the Health & Education Center.

Each of these classes includes free food, free medical supplies and, of couse, free advice.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Detroit Handbell Ensemble to Perform in Warrendale

The Detroit Handbell Ensemble, one of the finest such ensembles in the Midwest, will present a concert in the Warrendale neighborhood. They will perform in Sts. Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Church (7685 Grandville - 313.846.2222) on Sunday, December 16 at 4 p.m. There is no charge for this concert.

Without any doubt at all, this concert is the Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What Can the W.C.O. Do For You?

A little over a year ago, I posted a question to this blog that never got answered. On August 23rd of last year, I asked: What can the W.C.O. do for you?

What is it that a neighborhood group like the Warrendale Community Organization could do that would motive you to get more involved than you currently are?

Would you like to a Shop Warrendale initiative to promote retail businesses in the neighborhood? Detroit Synergy does a similar program every December in the downtown, Midtown and New Center neighborhoods. It wouldn't be that hard to expand such a program to include the Warrendale neighborhood.

Would you like the group to act as a liaison with the Mayor's Office and the City Council?

There have been various community initiatives over the years intended to combat prostitution, drug trafficking and crime in neighborhoods. They have had varying degrees of success. Would you be interested in seeing something like that happen in the Warrendale neighborhood?

To everyone who reads this blog I ask: what is it that the Warrendale Community Organization can do that would cause you to become more involved in the neighborhood than you currently are?

Please feel free to share you thoughts by leaving a comment below. As the newly elected president of the W.C.O., I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

To everyone in the Warrendale neighborhood and beyond - Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone who visits the Warrendale blog has a day full of family, friends and really good food.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to get another slice of Pumpkin Pi. (Oh, I'm such a nerd!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Senior Citizens Department to Host Holiday Gala

The City of Detroit Senior Citizens Department invites senior residents to dine and dance at the 2007 Holiday Gala on Friday, December 7. The event is from 7 – 11 p.m. in the Michigan Room of the Cobo Conference/Exhibition Center in downtown Detroit.

The event is for Detroit residents who are 60 years of age and older. It will include food, entertainment and giveaways. Recommended attire is semi-formal. Space is limited and reservations are required. To reserve a seat, please call (313) 224-5444 by 5 p.m. on November 30.

Juan's Corned Beef

I didn't see this myself, but reportedly Juan's Corned Beef (19533 W. Warren - 313-271-3556) was on Fox 2 Morning News yesterday. The restaurant, located in the former Subway location, gave away 100 turkeys yesterday morning.

Something like that is both giving back to the community and some great publicity. More importantly, it's the Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week.

Mayor Kilpatrick to Confront Foreclosures

Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick announced today that he would convene a meeting of several mayors from around the country to brainstorm tactics for combating the nationwide epidemic of foreclosures. The group is scheduled to meet in Detroit.

I applaud Mayor Kilpatrick for making this move. I wish him tremendous success.

I simply hope that this effort proves to be more successful than the time he declared "War on Illegal Dumping" in May of last year.

Police Chase Ends in Warrendale

I don't know all of the details as of this moment. However, according to witnesses and what I saw myself, a police chase that started in Dearborn Heights ended early this afternoon in Warrendale with a horrific crash on Artesian, just north of W. Warren Ave.

On the scene as of 3:28 p.m. this afternoon there were:
  • 5 patrol cars from the Dearborn Heights Police Department;
  • 1 motorcycle unit from the Dearborn Heights Police Department;
  • 3 patrol cars from the Detroit Police Department;
  • 2 ambulances;
  • 2 wreckers; and
  • A dozen or so gawkers.
There was also a helicopter overhead. However, I could not make out whether it was from a police agency, a local news crew or just a random helicopter.

I haven't seen anything about this in the news. I don't know who was being chased or what happened to those involved. If and when I learn more, I will post it here.

In the meantime, let me just say this: fleeing and evading the police is a bad idea.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mailbag: No One Shows Up

I wrote a post last week about the commissioners not showing up when the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners held a public meeting. Rebecca wrote in to ask:
Typical. Has anyone notified the mayor's office of this? Or the news or something?
I notified Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's staff of this matter shortly after the meeting. Unfortunately, they have not responded.

This, of course, is one more thing to keep in mind for when we go to the polls in 1 year, 11 months and 2 weeks.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Results from the WCO Elections

The Warrendale Community Organization held its regular monthly meeting this evening to elect a new crop of officers on an interim basis and to adopt new by-laws.

The officers are:
  • President: Frank Nemecek
  • Vice President: Rev. Patricia Butler
  • Corresponding Secretary: Ethel Thomas
  • Recording Secretary: Janice Slomba-Koss
  • Treasurer: Steve Thomas
  • Membership Chairperson: Amy Smyth
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Robert Engle
  • Trustees: Arlene Byczek, Michael Dziadziola and Mary Volker
  • Members-at-Large: Susan Bittikosm, Wayne Lovae and Thelma Wisniewski
There was also a proposal for the WCO to pursue a bingo license as a fund raising tool. However, the measure was defeated.

No One Shows Up

The Detroit Board of Police Commissioners was scheduled to hold a meeting in the Warrendale neighborhood last Thursday at the new NFL/Youth Education Town-Boys & Girls Club. I emphasize the world scheduled in that sentence because, even though the Commission's staff showed up and dozens of community members came out, the commissioners themselves didn't.

This meeting was scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Not one of the commissioners were in attendance at that time.

The commission's vice chairperson, the Rev. Jim Holly, Ph.D., eventually arrived at 7:03 p.m. However, he was the only member of the five member commission to bother attending.

Of course, with only one member of the commission in attendance, they could not conduct any business. As a result, showing up at the meeting was basically a waste of the community's time.

This is not a good precedent to set. Since all five of these commissioners are appointed by Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick, I sincerely hope that the mayor communicates to his appointees that they are expected to show up for meetings.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Cool Warrendale Thing: Party w/ the Fire Fighters

One of the cool things about the Warrendale neighborhood is that we're home to the Tipperary Pub, which is a popular hang-out for fire fighters - not just from Detroit but from surrounding communities as well. The Tipperary Pub is on the southbound Southfield Freeway service drive, just south of Joy Rd.

Tomorrow - as in Friday, November 9 - they will have a special party with the (off-duty) fire fighters. It should be fun.

More details are available on their MySpace page.

I Need A New Camera

I really need to get a new digital camera and start carrying it with me all the time when I'm in the Warrendale neighborhood. (Most of the photos here are either stock ones or ones that I've used before.) I see some of the most interesting things while I'm out.

Last Saturday, on the Southfield Freeway just south of W. Warren, there was a guy in a black SUV who was towing a trailer. Whatever it was that was inside this trailer must have caught fire. I could see the smoke from 2 blocks away. No one got hurt, luckily, but it would have made for some spectacular photos.

Yesterday, I saw something that I haven't seen since I was living in New York. There was a car driving along W. Warren Ave, just west of the Southfield, that had a diplomatic license plate on it. I would see those license plates all the time in New York or Washington, DC. However, this is the first time I've ever seen one in the Midwest.

I checked the phone book: there are seven foreign governments that have office in the Detroit area. Canada, Italy, Japan and Lebanon all have consulates in downtown Detroit. Yemen has a consulate in Dearborn. The French Trade Commission has an office in Troy. I wonder which one of them was in the Warrendale neighborhood recently?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ballots Are Counted

The results from voting yesterday are in. With 100% of precincts reporting, incumbent Annie Carter beat challenger Dwight Thomas with 68% of the vote. She will retain her seat on the Detroit Board of Education.

There is no official word yet as to whether or not Britney Spears will demand a recount after the stellar write-in campaign that I launched on her behalf.

In other news, voters approved an advisory question and indicated that the State of Michigan should be responsible for a $213 million deficit left by the School Reform Board. Board members indicated prior to this vote that they would seek a lawsuit against the State if the question passed and the State still refused to pay.

On behalf of all of the lawyers that I know, I would like to thank everyone for supporting this nonsense. The lawyers will collect a healthy chunk of cash from such a lawsuit. Unfortunately for Detroit's taxpayers, such a lawsuit has little to no chance of prevailing.

Therefore, on behalf of the students in the Detroit Public Schools, I have to say that I am profoundly disappointed that so much of our limited resources will be squandered on an effort that is doomed from the start.

Last, but not least, comes the news that Wayne County voters have rejected the Wayne County Community College District's request for another 1.5 mills on our property taxes. This is one of bright spots from the election yesterday.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Warrendale Votes

Tuesday, November 6th is Election Day throughout Michigan. This brings three for us to vote on in the Warrendale neighborhood. With that in mind, here is my run down in the issues.

Wayne County Community College District
WCCCD is asking us to approve a 1.5 millage increase to further support the community colleges in Wayne County. Quite frankly, I'm getting tired of one entity after another coming up with one reason after another to ask us for more money.
  • The service tax.
  • The trash fee.
  • 64 mills on our property taxes.
Yes, WCCCD has done an admirable job in recent years. I'm just getting tired of people trying to think of new ways to raise my taxes. Every time someone somewhere talks about raising my taxes for the same service, it makes me want to pack up and leave Michigan.

Therefore, I recommend a No vote on this one.

DPS Advisory Question
There is an advisory question on the ballot as to whether or not the school board should ask the State of Michigan to cover more than $200 million in debt that the Detroit Public Schools incurred while it was being operated by the State of Michigan.

There is no way the State is going to cover that debt. It's a waste of time to keep bringing this one up.

Therefore, I recommend a No vote on this one as well.

School Board
There are two people squaring off tomorrow to represent our district on the Detroit School Board. Neither of them has any proposals for improving test scores, introducing teacher accountability nor improving the quality of the schools themselves.

Therefore, I am launching a write-in campaign to have Britney Spears represent us on the school board.

Ms. Spears clearly wouldn't be any better than either of our actual candidates. However, she wouldn't be any worse. Best of all, Britney Spears would be a lot more entertaining than our actual school board candidates.

Steve's Three Brothers Closes

Steve's Three Brothers (17820 W. Warren Avenue) has closed its doors for good. This restaurant has been a part of the Warrendale neighborhood for decades. It's sad to see them go.

The building is currently vacant and for lease.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Board of Police Commissioners

The Detroit Board of Police Commissioners will meet on November 8 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will happen on the new Dick & Sandy Dauch Campus, home of the NFL/Youth Education Town-Boys & Girls Club (16500 Tireman, 313-523-4540).

This is an excellent opportunity to meet your Board of Police Commissioners as well as your Northwestern District police officers. Refreshments will be served.

Friday, October 26, 2007

For Sale: Ryan Playground

According to this morning's Free Press, Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick and the Detroit Department of Recreation intend to sell a total of 92 parks in Detroit. The Lloyd H. Ryan Playground at Greenview and Kirkwood in the Warrendale neighborhood is one of those parks that the City proposes to sell.

Any such sale would require approval from the Detroit City Council. According this morning's paper, Council President Ken Cockrel Jr. is concerned about selling so much parkland.

"It looks like every park in the city, every small park, is on here," he told the newspaper. "If we sell everything, we'll look up one day, and there won't be any place for kids to play for recreation."

I'll continue to follow this story, just like with the proposal to sell much of Rouge Park, and will post what I know here.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Next WCO Meeting

The next meeting of the Warrendale Community Organ- ization will be on Monday, November 12th at 7 p.m. It will happen in the activities building of Sts. Peter & Paul Church (7685 Grandville - the activities building is located behind the church; accessible from their parking lot).

This meeting will focus on reviewing and approving a new set of by-laws for the organization. They will also seek nominations for each of their officer positions.

Get Your Flu Shots

The Detroit Department of Health & Wellness Promotion is offering flu shots at various locations in Detroit now through Thursday, December 6. Local residents, particularly those considered high priority for getting the flu, are urged to get their vaccinations as soon as possible. The cost for the vaccine is $10 for those who do not have Medicaid or Medicare (Part B).

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, people at high risk for serious flu complications include:
  • Children from six months to age five;
  • Pregnant women;
  • Individuals aged 50 and older;
  • Individuals of any age with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma or diabetes; and
  • Individuals who live with or care for persons at high risk.
For information more information, please call the Detroit Department of Health & Wellness Promotion's Immunization program at (313) 876-4334.

Get Off the Porch, Get a Job

Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick was quoted in the Detroit News this morning as admonishing Detroiters to, "get off their porches", clean up their acts and get a job. He added that those who want good jobs have to pass a drug test, which many employers require.

While the city is wrestling with a 15.1% jobless rate, there are many companies in Detroit, such as the casinos and the Detroit Medical Center, that are hiring.

I read that this morning and, quite frankly, I thought about about pasting a giant copy of it on the homes of one or two residents near me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Next Rouge Park Meeting

The next Friends of Rouge Park meeting will be on Wednesday, October 17 at 6pm in St. Suzanne's School.

They will hold elections for their new officers and make a final decision about a proposal to change the group's name. In addition, State Representative Gabe Leland (D-Detroit) is scheduled to appear and to discuss his ideas about building a community center in Rouge Park.

Friday, October 05, 2007

RIP - Bob Franko

I was saddened to learn yesterday that Bob Franko, a board member of the Warrendale Community Organization as well as the Warrendale Radio Patrol, has passed away. His volunteer efforts often happened behind the scenes, which is one of the reasons why it was so hard for me to find a photo of him to include in this post.

Over the past several years, he had helped the Warrendale neighborhood in numerous ways. Most notable of them was his leadership with the community block grants, which had brought more than $500,000 over the years to help low-income residents with home repairs.

Mr. Franko had also been an active member of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church for decades. There will be a memorial mass for him at the church this coming Monday.

He will be missed.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Upper Rouge Tunnel Project

The Friends of Rouge Park will have their next meeting on Wednesday, September 19th from 6 - 7:30 p.m. in St. Suzanne School (9357 Westwood). Representatives from the Department of Water & Sewage will be on hand to update members the Upper Rouge Tunnel Project.

Everyone is invited to attend and ask a lot of questions.

Monday, September 03, 2007

WCO Returns

The Warrendale Community Organization returns tomorrow (Tuesday, September 3rd) from their summer hiatus. Their next general membership will be that evening at 7 p.m. in the Activities Building of Sts. Peter & Paul Church.

Everyone is welcome to attend. One of the first items on their agenda will be elect a new crop of officers.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Rouge Park Meeting Cancelled

The Friends of Rouge Park have canceled their planning meeting for this evening. They will instead discuss plans for their upcoming 5K run in Rouge Park at their general membership meeting on Wednesday, August 15 at 6 p.m. in St. Suzanne's Church (9357 Westwood - (313) 838-6780).

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tax Cuts On Their Way

According to a press release issued by Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick, the City's Finance Department has started mailing applications for a discount on property taxes. Individuals who live in the Warrendale neighborhood, west of the Southfield Freeway, are eligible for discount on their property taxes beginning in 2008.

The Detroit City Council has approved Mayor Kilpatrick's proposal to designate 22 more neighborhoods as Neighborhood Empowerment Zones. This approval will bring property tax discounts of 18 - 35% for eligible homeowners, provided that they make at least $500 in improvements to their homes. The discounts last for up to 15 years.

However, the discount isn't automatic. You have to apply in order to get it. These applications should arrive shortly and are due no later than October 1, 2007.

Home Repair Grants for Seniors

The Housing Services Division of the City's Department of Planning & Development will award $3 million in grants to low-income senior citizens for home repairs as part of their Senior Emergency Home Repair Program. Grants of up to $12,000 are available to low-income seniors aged 65 and older as well as to physically disabled persons aged 55 or older.

There will be a citywide drawing for these grants on Saturday, September 29 at 9 a.m. in the Cobo Conference/ Exhibition Center. Seniors need not be present to receive these grants.

These grants can be used for:
  • Furnaces;
  • Plumbing;
  • Roofs;
  • Electrical;
  • Structural; and
  • Building Code Violations.
For more information, please call the Housing Services Division at (313) 224-3461 or (313) 628-2565.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Upcoming Rouge Park Meetings

The Friends of Rouge Park have announced three new activities that will happen over the coming weeks.

There will be a dedication of Rouge Park in Town Youth Camp at West Chicago and West Parkway. This will happen this coming Thursday, August 2, at 2 pm.

They will also have a planning meeting for the Fall Rouge Park 5K Benefit Run next Wednesday, August 8. This will happen at 6 pm in Chick's Bar (18550 W Warren Ave - (313) 441-6055).

Last, but certainly not least, their regular monthly meeting will be on Wednesday, August 15 at 6 pm. As always, this will happen at St. Suzanne Church (9357 Westwood - (313) 838-6780).

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

5K Planning Meeting Tonight

The Friends of Rouge Park are having their next planning meeting for their 5K Fun Run this evening.

It will happen at Chick's Bar (18550 W Warren Ave. - (313) 441-6055) at 6 p.m.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Credit Card Safety Tip

A friend of mine is a police officer in Las Vegas. I'm not sure if this has actually happened in southeastern Michigan, but I'm sure the crooks will bring this one to the Midwest eventually if they haven't already. It turns out that there's a whole new way to steal someone's credit card information.

The whole thing starts when you walk into a restaurant or retail store. You pay for your purchases with a credit or debit card; handing the card over to what you presume to be an honest employee. They hand you back a credit card and you slide it into your wallet without giving it a second glance.

It's only later that you realize that the card returned to you is someone else's expired credit card or a counterfeit card entirely.

Of course, by the time you discover the switch, they've already charged several thousands of dollars to your account and you've probably forgotten what the employee in question looked like.

For that reason, it's always a good idea to look at your credit card when it's returned to you after using it anywhere. Make sure that it's yours.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Detroit Transit Options for Growth

The Detroit Department of Transportation will hold a set of four public meetings about the Detroit Transit Options for Growth Study at different locations in and around the city. The closest of these meeting to the Warrendale neighborhood will be on Saturday, July 28 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center (15801 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn).

The purpose of these meetings is to:
  • Define the options to be elevated during the study;
  • Identify the social, economic and environmental impacts to be evaluated; and
  • Allow members of the public to offer their comments and suggestions.
Each meeting will begin with an hour-long open house providing members of the public with an opportunity to discuss the issues with project staff and view displays to help them understand the proposed options. A brief presentation will then be given that will focus on the scoping process, project purpose and alternatives currently under consideration. After this presentation, members of the public will have an opportunity to comment and offer suggestions.

The same information will be presented at each of the meetings. Information about the day, time and location of the other three public meetings is available here.

Free Lead Poisoning Prevention Conference

The City of Detroit's Department of Health & Wellness Promotion will host a free Lead Poisoning Prevention Conference to educate Detroiters about lead prevention through good nutrition and lead safe remodeling, renovation and minor homes repairs. It will take place Friday, July 20 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Eastern Campus of the Wayne County Community College (5901 Conner, map available here).

Lunch will be provided to pre-registered participants. Please call 313-876-4212 to register.

Lead Reduction Grants Available

The City of Detroit received a $4 million grant from the U.S. Housing & Urban Development Department (HUD) to fight lead poisoning in our neighborhoods. The HUD Lead Demonstration Grant provides funding assistance for two lead hazard reduction programs administered by the Housing Services Division of the City's Planning and Development Department.

Funds are available to single-family homeowners, citywide for the removal of lead-based paint hazards from owner-occupied properties for families with children under the age of six.

Funds are available to landlords (one-to-four units), for removing lead paint hazards in rental properties that are occupied by families with children under the age of six.

For more information about the programs, please call (313) 628-2565 or (313) 224-3461.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tax Cuts Coming to Warrendale

Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick announced his proposed neighborhoods for the second round of Neighborhood Enterprise Zone tax cuts. That portion of the Warrendale neighborhood that is west of the Southfield Freeway is getting a property tax cut of between 18 - 35%.

This proposal is still subject to approval by the Detroit City Council. The Council has scheduled a hearing on Mayor Kilpatrick's proposal for Wednesday, July 25 at 10 a.m. in the 13th Floor Auditorium of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center (map available here).

All Detroit residents are encouraged to attend this hearing.

Friday, July 13, 2007

July Membership Meeting - Friends of Rouge Park

The Friends of Rouge Park will have their next general membership meeting this coming Wednesday, July 18 in St. Suzanne School (19321 W Chicago - (313) 836-7031). The meeting starts at 6 p.m.

If you're not familiar with where St. Suzanne School is and need directions, you can find them at Google Maps here.

As for the photo to the right, it's simply one of my favorite photos of Rouge Park. You can see 18 other photos from that set on my Flickr page.

I hope to see everyone at the Rouge Park meeting next Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Summer in the City Guide

Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick has published a Summer in the City Guide. When I first heard about it, I thought it would be just another one of those cheap publications that tell you about entertainment options during the summer.

While it does have some of that information, it also has a lot of very good and extremely useful options such as:
  • Information on down payment assistance for first time home buyers;
  • Details on trash pick-up in Detroit;
  • Fire safety tips from the Detroit Fire Department;
  • Information on the various cooling centers throughout the city;
  • Complete schedule for concerts at Chene Park this summer;
  • Crime prevention tips from the Detroit Police Department; and
  • Information on the Home Heating Credit, which Detroiters have until September 30 to apply for.
I encourage everyone to download this this guide.

Open Mic Night @ the Tip: Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week

It's been way too long since I've named anything the Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week. A little over a month, in fact. (I know, I've been a very bad blogger.)

Anyway, it turns out that tonight at 9 p.m. is Open Mic Night at the Tipperary Pub. The Tip is located at 8287 Southfield Fwy., on the southbound service drive, just south of Joy Rd. Their phone number is (313) 271-5870.

Good local music.

Good booze at reasonable prices.

Lots of good people.

Open Mic Night at the Tipperary Pub truly deserves to be the Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

ARISE Detroit (in Warrendale?)

There's a coalition of community groups that are banding together to deal with many of the same issues that all neighborhoods face. It's called ARISE Detroit.

One of the things that they want to do is a "feel good" event called Neighborhoods Day, which is simply a series of neighborhood events around the city that will all happen on Saturday, August 4. This will include block parties, health clinics and so on.

This is one of those things that the Warrendale Community Organization would jump on. However, since the WCO is currently on sabbatical until September, that won't happen.

Regardless, the folks at Detroit Synergy have approached me to see if anyone in the Warrendale neighborhood would be interested in being a part of this through their project process.

If you're interested in being a part of this, or know someone who is, please let me know. You can leave a comment below or, even better, shoot me an email at frank.nemecek [at]

Monday, July 09, 2007

Help Wanted @ the Dog House

The Dog House Coney Island (19344 W Warren - (313) 271-DOGS) is looking for an experienced waitress. Anyone interested in this position should fill out an application, which is available at the restaurant.

By the way, I love the fact that their phone number works out to be 271-DOGS. (Yes, I can be easily amused.)

No General Tao Chicken

I was disappointed to learn today that King Wah Chop Suey (20510 W. Warren - (313) 982-9711) is temporarily closed. They will re-open this coming Friday, July 13.

(Yes, something good happening on a Friday the 13th. Amazing.)

I'm pretty sure the elderly couple who runs the place just needed a vacation. Regardless, I look forward to eating there again soon. They have the best crab rangoon in town.

Thoughts on Fireworks

Every summer, one can hear and see illegal fireworks being set off throughout the Warrendale neighbor- hood and its surrounding areas. It seemed there was even more of them than last year, but almost no enforcement of them.

While there weren't any major accidents involving illegal fireworks this time in Warrendale, there certainly were some else where. We got lucky.

One of the things that my fellow blogger, David L. Malhalab, pointed out in his posts on the subject is that as much as 60% of the calls for police service that involve reports of shots being fired turn out to involve fireworks. This, of course, pulls officers' extremely limited time and resources away from other things.

More importantly, a report of shots being fired isn't exactly something that the police can afford to simply ignore under the assumption that it's just fireworks.

There is also the persistent risk of property damage, or injury to innocent bystanders, when fireworks are used improperly. For more on this subject, please check out his posting here.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Rouge Park 5K Fundraiser

The Friends of Rouge Park will host a 5K Run on Sunday, September 30. They are attempting to raise money for a picnic shelter in Rouge Park and need lots of help.

If you would like to help plan the run, please come to their planning meeting on Wednesday, July 11 at 6:00 p.m. at Chick's Bar (18550 W. Warren Ave., 313-441-6055).

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

City Council Wastes $500,000 - Kids Get Shot

The City of Detroit recently spent $500,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by Famous Door II, now Bouzouki's II, a strip club in downtown Detroit. The lawsuit was the result of the City Council's efforts to prevent the club from transferring its ownership. Various religous leaders, such as Pastor Marvin L. Winans of the Perfecting Faith Church and Rev. Ronald Griffin of the Rose of Sharon Church of God in Christ, vigorously opposed the transfer of ownership.

Those opposed to allowing strip clubs to operate, or allowing them to change ownership, point to those facilities as havens for crime and urban blight. Quite frankly, I think those arguments are downright stupid.

Two children were shot in their home in the Warrendale neighborhood this past February. The shooters weren't strippers; they were drug dealers. The shooters were drug dealers who were looking for more drugs. The drug dealers killed those two children (ages 11 and 13) just because they were in the house.

A 1-year old boy was shot and killed, and two other people were wounded, in a seperate shooting this past Sunday. Again, the shooters were not strippers; they were drug dealers.

We have also seen an especially violent streak these past few days. Two children, ages 8 and 9, were shot in Detroit this past Saturday. A man in a wheelchair was killed in a Saturday shooting. Three other people were shot Thursday on Detroit's east side.

In none of these cases was the shooter a stripper.

Detroit's problem, in my opinion, isn't that we have too many strippers or strip clubs. It's that we have too many drug dealers. We could shut down every strip club in the city and it wouldn't do a single thing to prevent these crimes.

Our neighbors in Dearborn, for example, currently have two strip clubs operating in their main commercial areas. Those clubs haven't turned Dearborn into a slum nor have they caused a noticable increase in crime. Dearborn imposes tough regulations on those clubs and they are enforced.

When the City of Detroit went into a legal battle with the owners of the strip clubs, we as a community lost $500,000 that we really can't afford to lose.

That's $500,000 we could have spent hiring more police officers to crack down on the drug dealers who are shooting our children.

$500,000 that we can't spend on protecting our children because we wasted it trying to prevent a strip club from changing owners.

I'm disappointed that Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and the City Council allowed this to happen. We as a community gained nothing in this fight.

More importantly, I believe there is a better way to handle this situation; one that allows us to address the problems that strip clubs do have the potential to bring into a neighborhood while still protecting our neighbors, our children and ourselves from drug dealers.

I have previously pointed out on this blog that the women who dance in strip clubs earn a considerable amount of money and they earn it entirely in cash. Some of them are honest enough to pay taxes on it. A great number of them, however, do not pay any taxes to anyone.

All of these dancers are required to get a caberet license from the Detroit Police Department. It would be relatively easy to cross-reference a list of people who obtained this dance card with a list of people who filed a City of Detroit tax return.

No one is going to pay the $250 that it costs to get a dance card in Detroit unless they intend to dance professionally. And that means they're subject to a city income tax.

If they didn't file a City of Detroit tax return, the Income Tax Division of the Detroit Department of Finance should spring into action to collect that revenue.

By my calculations, the City of Detroit is losing somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 million in uncollected income taxes from these dancers. That's enough tax revenue to post a police officer in front of every strip club in town to respond to any issues that develop and to deter those who intend to commit a crime.

More importantly, that would also leave us with enough revenue to hire another 200 or so police officers. Those additional officers could, in turn, go after the drug dealers who have been using our children as target practice.

In addition, the enforcement and collection of these taxes would be much easier if it was coordinated with the IRS, the Michigan Department of Treasury and the other cities around Michigan that have both strip clubs and a city income tax (e.g., Flint, Highland Park and Lansing).

I have argued this for months. Hopefully, someone will listen before another child gets shot it in Detroit.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Homeowner Workshops

Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick and the Detroit Home- ownership Preserv- ation Enterprise will partner to host two workshops to provide current homeowners and future homebuyers with information to make homeownership easier in the NEXT Detroit.

The first Detroit Neighborhood Homeownership Workshop, and the one closest to the Warrendale neighborhood, will happen on Tuesday, June 26 at the Northwest Activities Center (18100 Meyers) from 2-7 p.m. A second one will take place on Thursday June 28 at the Samaritan Center (5555 Conner) from 2-7 p.m.

Counselors will be present to answer questions about:
  • Financial and Credit Management;
  • Predatory Lending;
  • Foreclosure Prevention;
  • Home Preservation;
  • Renter/Landlord Rights and Responsibilities; and
  • Taxes and Insurance.
They will also give tips about being a first time homebuyer. Homes available for purchase in the city of Detroit will also be featured during these workshops. Each workshop is free and open to any resident interested in becoming more financially savvy.

Refreshments will be served. There is no charge for parking and there will be prize drawings.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Upcoming Rouge Park Meeting

The Friends of Rouge Park will next meet at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20. This meeting will be held in St. Suzanne School.

The focus of their meeting will be feedback on the Rouge Park clean-up. They will also plan for the upcoming Fall Run.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Mansfield Park: Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week

I was working on a shoot for a client last night and met a great local band, Mansfield Park, and was pleasantly suprised to learn that they're from the Warrendale neighborhood.

In fact, a little voice in my head starting singing "It's A Small World" as soon as I heard what street their drummer lives on.

Anyway, you can hear some of the band's work on their MySpace page. You can also see them live in concert at 8 p.m. tonight at Studio 142, which is located at 142 Maple St. in Wyandotte.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Reward Increased for the Tiger Stadium Marker

Baseball lovers and purists in Detroit still look for a lost treasure – the historical marker for Detroit Tiger Stadium, which was stolen one year ago this Memorial Day weekend.

The only lead police have is that a Detroit police officer saw two white males, in broad daylight, with a white pick up style utility truck and a yellow top light backed up to the marker. He said they looked like they were doing their job so he didn’t challenge them. Only later did he learn that the marker was stolen.

The State of Michigan Historical Marker for Detroit Tiger Stadium, which was bolted to the Trumbull side of Tiger Stadium was stolen over the Memorial Day weekend 2006, between Friday night and Tuesday morning.

The green cast aluminum marker measures ¾” x 42” x 54” and weighs 200 pounds. The Marker has gold lettering relating the history of Tiger Stadium beginning with ”Baseball has been played on this site since before 1900 and it has been the home of the Detroit Tigers from their start as a charter member of the American League in 1901….and ends with this statement, “The site of many championships sporting events, the evolution of this stadium is a tribute to Detroit’s support of professional athletics.”

Peter C. Riley, president of Michigan & Trumbull LLC, a group dedicated to preserving historic Tiger Stadium and Executive Producer of the new Tiger Stadium documentary Stranded at the Corner, reported the theft to Detroit Police. Riley said he was devastated that this historical marker was stolen but not surprised.

He said Mike Ilitch, owner of the Little Caesars Pizza and the Detroit Tigers and defacto custodian of Tiger Stadium and the City of Detroit since 1999, when the stadium closed, has failed to properly secure and maintain the historic Stadium. Mr. Riley argues that Mr. Ilitch has created an atmosphere, in which, a person or persons would think that since the stadium has been in a state of ‘demolition by neglect’ since 1999, it would be alright to remove the marker as a souvenir or scrap.

Laura Ashlee, of the State Historic Preservation Office, stated that the State has given no one permission to remove the marker and that the State of Michigan takes the theft seriously and that there are serious penalties for those found to have stolen, be in possession, to have damaged, or trying to sell the Tiger Stadium Historical Marker. Ashlee says the theft is a high misdemeanor crime, punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. Businesses or collectors who accept the Marker could face jail time and a fine of up to $10,000.

Anyone with information about the Marker or the 40 other markers missing from around Michigan should contact Laura Ashlee (517–335–2725 from SHPO), any state or local police agency immediately.

Michigan & Trumbull LLC and Peter C. Riley, this weekend increased its offer to a $3,000 reward for information leading to the return, arrest and conviction of anyone who stole the marker, is in possession of the marker or has damaged the marker. Riley can be contacted at (313–402–4565).

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

D-DOT Buses Come to a Halt

The Crosstown bus normally serves the Warrendale neighborhood, as do the Tireman, Joy Road and Southfield routes. Early this morning, all of those routes, came to a halt as D-DOT bus drivers have refused to drive until some type of arrangement is made for security on city buses.

Buses are reasonably safe overall but 130,000 people riding city buses every day, incidents are inevitable. For more than a year and a half, D-DOT has operated without any dedicated security force. The labor union representing bus drivers has protested this lack of security repeatedly, but nothing has happened as the City Council dithers over whether Detroit Police or the Wayne County Sheriff should be responsible for security.

All of that came to a head this morning when the drivers refused to drive any longer.

Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick announced a tentative deal at noon today, one that would bring in sheriff's deputies on a temporary basis while the City Council continues to debate the issue. However, that deal has already fallen through because Sherrif Warren C. Evans doesn't want his deputies to take on the job unless the majority of council members approve of it.

While all of this is happening, thousands of people in Detroit are without a reliable way of getting around, demand for taxis has skyrocketed and SMART has annouced that they won't be able to pick up the slack. The fact that this matter has gone on for more than eighteen months without a resolution, and that it took a work stoppage to even get people talking about it seriously, is something that both the Mayor and City Council ought to be ashamed of.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Motor City Makeover: Warrendale

The Warrendale Community Organization and State Representative Gabe Leland sponsored this year's Motor City Makeover in the Warrendale neighborhood. A total of 34 volunteers from the WCO, Motor City Blight Busters and Americorp helped clean the southbound service drive of the Southfield Freeway.

The entire clean-up effort was also supported by several companies and their generous donations. The donations included:
  • CVS donated cash to support the efforts;
  • Greening of Detroit loaned the WCO tools;
  • Pizza Place donated five pizzas for volunteers;
  • Red Robin donated cash to support the efforts;
  • Sajewski Funeral Home donated cash to support the efforts;
  • Sherwood Food Distributors donated hot dogs for volunteers;
  • Tipperary Pub donated space for a staging area; and
  • Wendy’s donated french fries and soft drinks for volunteers.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

3 Year Old Girl Killed in Hit & Run

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that a 3 year old girl was killed in a hit and run accident in the Warrendale neighborhood yesterday afternoon. Sha'Reese Lipsey and her 13 year old sister were playing near their home on Ashton, between Belton and Constance, when she reportedly ran into the street. She was hit by a red sedan and the driver fled the scene, according to police.

Miss Lipsey was taken to Children's Hospital of Michigan and was pronouced dead, according to the newspaper.

My deepest condolences go out to the Lipsey family. She will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Friends of Rouge Park to Meet Next Wednesday

The Friends of Rouge Park will have their next meeting this coming Wednesday, May 16, at St. Suzanne School (19321 W. Chicago). The meeting will start at 6 p.m.

Everyone is invited to attend.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Earlier this week, I posted an entry about the Motor City Makeover happening " May 19". I was right that the Motor City Makeover is indeed happening in the Warrendale neighborhood on May 19. However, May 19 is not this coming Saturday. It's this Saturday,next Saturday.

I'm sorry for the mix-up.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Motor City Makeover: Next Saturday

I want to remind everyone that next Saturday, May 19 at 9:30 a.m. is the Motor City Markover for the Warrendale neighbor- hood. Please join local leaders, businesses and your neighbors for Detroit's annual clean up. Everything starts at the Tipperary Pub (8287 Southfield Fwy.) and should last until 12:30 p.m.

The event this year is being coordinated by State Representative Gabe Leland and the Warrendale Community Organization. It will focus on both the Southfield service drive as well as removing the scrap tires that someone dumped in Rouge Park.

Lunch will be provided.

Quick Reminder

Another quick reminder: Mother's Day is this Sunday. Eddy's Florist (19202 W Warren Ave. - 313-438-9130) is located here in the Warrendale neighborhood and they have some great deals on gifts for your Mom.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Yard Waste Collection Resumes

The City of Detroit's Department of Public Works has resumed its collection of yard waste (grass clippings, leaves and so on). Yard waste collection happens on the same day as our regular trash collection (Tuesday in most of the Warrendale neighborhood).

All yard waste must be placed on the curb at least six feet from the Courville container in biodegradable paper bags or a personal garbage can. DPW will not collect yard waste in plastic bags. Residents who set out yard waste more than 24 hours before their scheduled pick-up will be subject to a fine.

DPW also offers the following "Dos" and "Don'ts" as it purtains to yard waste collection.
  • DO place yard waste at the curb by 7 a.m. on the weekly trash collection day at least six feet away from your Courville container;
  • DO NOT put yard waste out more than 24 hours before weekly collection day;
  • DO place yard waste in biodegradable paper yard bags, which can be purchased at a hardware or grocery store. Residents also have the option of placing yard waste - not in bags - in a plastic or metal garbage can (not to exceed 32 gallons) that will be emptied into the truck;
  • DO put branches and twigs less than two inches thick into bundles not to exceed four feet in length. Do not tie the bundles;
  • DO NOT place yard waste in a Courville trash container;
  • DO NOT put yard waste in plastic bags. The bags will not be collected, and a fine will be issued.

NFL/YET Is Unveiled

The long-awaited youth center was unveiled today. The 32,000 square foot NFL/YET Boys & Girls Club facility on the Dick & Sandy Dauch Campus has been completed on the grounds of Gardenview Estates (formerly Herman Gardens).

I'm thrilled to have this facility in the Warrendale neighborhood.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Joy Road Peace March

This is one of those things that was announced at the most recent WCO meeting, but I've neglected to post to this blog. (I'm still whittling down the size of my in-box.)

There will be a march tomorrow morning (Saturday, April 28) in memory of Police Officer Charles C. Phipps, III. Officer Phipps was killed in the line of duty on April 28, 2006. Registration begins on 8 a.m. at the corner of Joy Road and Spinoza. The march itself will start at 10 a.m. and will proceed to Joy Road and Longacre Street (2 blocks east of the Southfield Fwy.), which is where Officer Phipps was killed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mail Bag: The Missing Blogger

After I reported that the WCO was going on a sabbatical, Rebecca wrote in to ask:
Good to know, Frank, but what's been up with the missing blogger? Don't tell me there's NO other Warrendale news... like what's the deal with the large packs (larger than EVER) of teenagers aimlessly wandering our neighborhoods?
It's nice to notice that my absence was at least noticed. I apologize for not posting much. It's not for want to Warrendale news, I've just been insanely busy.

As for the large packs of teenagers, I'm not sure about that one. However, once school is out, I'm sure they will be around a lot more.

Ranting Ove the Mail

I got a copy of Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick's Next Detroit report in the mail this morning. It's a 28 page document that is printed in full-color on heavy glossy paper.

I could help but wonder though:
  1. How much money did Mayor Kilpatrick spending on printing and mailing for this booklet to people?
  2. Most importantly, how many more police officers could we have hired if the Mayor didn't do it?
I wonder this because every time anyone complain about a lack of police protection in our neighborhoods, the answer is always that the City of Detroit doesn't have enough money to hire any more police officers.

But there always seems to be enough money for things like a 28 page full color booklet that tells me what a great job the Kilpatrick Administration is doing.

This doesn't really seem like a good idea to me. First, I'm confident that even if the booklets only cost as much as 1 police officer, that officer would have accomplished a lot more than any booklet would have.

Second, and more importantly, the only report that I need regarding the Kilpatrick Administration's progress in this City, is the one I get every time I look out my window. When I see one drug deal after another happening in our community, something is seriously wrong. When I call the police, only to be told that there is nothing that can be done about it, something is seriously wrong.

And that is something that no booklet in the world can improve upon.

30 Day Amnesty on Water Bills & Taxes

Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick announced a 30-day tax amnesty program, which began on Monday, April 16. Penalties will be waived on unpaid income taxes (prior to 2005) and personal property taxes through May 16.

Last year the City of Detroit only collected 77% of the personal business property taxes owed. Once the amnesty period is complete, the City will begin an aggressive collection process. The Detroit City Treasurer's office anticipates $8 million in revenue from this one time program.

Individuals wishing to take advantage of this program are encouraged to come to the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, Room 136, to receive their personal business property tax information or Room 510 for their income tax information. Back taxes must be paid in person. Those seeking more information about the tax amnesty program should call 311 from a landline telephone or 313-224-INFO.

Monday, April 23, 2007

WCO Goes on Sabbatical

At their April general membership meeting, the Warrendale Community Organization decided unanimously to put the organization on a haitus until September. No one really wanted to do it. However, it has been clear that everyone involved with the WCO has put so much into the organization over the past several months that they simply needed a break.

The day of their next membership meeting has not been determined. Once it is, it will be announced on this blog.

In spite of this, the WCO will still have its annual neighborhood clean-up as part of Motor City Makeover. The clean-up will happen on Saturday, May 19 along the Southfield Freeway service drive. This year's clean-up will be coordinated by State Representative Gabe Leland.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No More Tickets for Selling Spoiled Food

It used to be that storekeepers would get a rather hefty fine for selling food that is spoiled or past its expiration date. According to my counterpart at Detroit Undercovered, however, that is no longer happening.

The website is reporting:
Two men entrusted by the people and sworn to protect and serve who for personal and political gain are allowing party store and grocery stores operating in the city of Detroit to sell expired food items to the citizenry of Detroit. Assistant Chiefs Ralph Godbee and Robert Dunlap issued the edict calling for officers to look the other way as these business endanger the lives of the people of the city of Detroit.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

WCO Meeting Reminder

Quick reminder: the Warrendale Community Organization will hold its next meeting this Tuesday, April 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the Activities Building of Sts. Peter & Paul Church.

Come one, come all!

Mail Bag: WCCU

David L. Malhalab wrote in to ask:
An anonymous reader already answered a portion of Mr. Malhalab's question in the comments section, but I wanted to expand on it a bit.

The Warrendale Community Credit Union became a part of Community Choice Credit Union in the late 1990s or early in the year 2000. If I recall correctly, they were promised expanded benefits to credit union members as well as more stability for the credit union itself as a part of the merger.

Unfortunately, Community Choice subsequently closed the location in 2004. I heard two different reasons for the closures: one that it closed because they weren't able to purchase the laundromat next door so they could create a drive-thru and the other that they were simply tired of being robbed.

As for Community Choice Credit Union itself, they are still around. Their headquarters are in Livonia. They maintain 21 different locations in Michigan, with Redford being the closest one to the Warrendale neighborhood.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Many Updates

I've been a very bad blogger. It's been almost two weeks since I last posted anything. I have been insanely busy with a half dozen different projects.

Rather than post a series of notes about all of the things that I should have posted about over the past few days, I thought I'd write one long post with a series of quick updates.

6548 Greenview (a/k/a - "The House With A Hole In It")
I went past this house on Friday, March 23 and noticed that someone had positioned a sheet of plywood over the whole. Other debris had been stacked in front of it, to keep the plywood from moving. When I walked by the next day, someone had installed new cinderblocks to seal the gaping hole.

I don't know who it was that did this. I reported it the City and I know other people had as well. However, I doubt that they would have come out to seal the building. (If anyone knows, please feel free to correct me.)

To whoever it was that did this: thank you!

The house still has fire damage to its siding. However, the immediate threat of the building collapsing because of a hole in its foundation is remedied.

If you had anything to do with this, Cracktown! USA, then I have yet one more reason to love you dearly.

Warrendale Community Organization
The WCO's next membership meeting has been re-scheduled. It will be on Tuesday, April 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the Activities Building of Sts. Peter & Paul Church.

Friends of Rouge Park
The next meeting for the Friends of Rouge Park will be on Monday, April 16 at 6:00 p.m. in St Suzanne School. Everyone is invited to attend.

Monday, March 19, 2007

My Thoughts on Mayor Kilpatrick's State of the City Address

It's been almost a week since Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick delivered his 2007 State of the City Address. I was there to see it live and I feel remiss for not commenting on his speech already.

I liked almost everything that he said that evening. I was proud that he made a point of recognizing the widow and son of the late Dearborn Mayor Michael A. Guido. I was also glad that he recognized the new superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools, Dr. Connie K. Calloway.

I was thrilled that he talked about the importance of Detroit's neighborhoods. Even though Warrendale wasn't specifically mentioned, the simple fact that he made a neighborhoods such a center piece in his remarks is a wonderful contrast with previous mayors.

The only thing that I didn't like in the Mayor's Address was when he announced that Detroit would only hire 200 new police officers. According to The Detroit News, half of that number is simply a replacement for older officers who have retired from the department. That leaves a net increase in the number of police officers at only 100 - or roughly 1 new police officer per square mile of the city.

This is definately a step in the right direction. However, in my opinion, I believe that Detroit needs a lot more. If I were Mayor, I would have cut the amount spent on upgrading the Northwest Activities Center ($14 million, according to the Mayor's address) and used it to hire even more police officers.

As for the rest of his address, I loved every word of it.

Friends of Rouge Park Plan Their Appreciation Day

The Friends of Rouge Park are planning an event called the Rouge Park Appreciation Day to both celebrate saving the park from development and to clean up the park and a portion of the Rouge River. A planning meeting to facilitate the various details is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, March 21, at 6 p.m. in St. Suzanne School. Everyone is invited to attend.

The event itself is scheduled for Saturday, June 2. Clean-up of the park will begin at 8 a.m. that day. Lunch is scheduled for 11 a.m. and will followed by a model airplane demonstrations by the Detroit Aeromodelers Association and horseback rides from the Buffalo Soldiers Association.

The Appreciation Day is sponsored by the Detroit Aero Modelers, Friends of the Rouge, Friends of Rouge Park and the City of Detroit's Recreation Department. A flyer for the event can be downloaded here (Adobe Reader required).

Friday, March 16, 2007

Hunter Named Legislator of the Year

Michigan Senator Tupac A. Hunter was named "Legislator of the Year" by the Michigan Credit Union League yesterday. His district includes the Warrendale neighborhood as well as portions of Dearborn and Inkster.

Mr. Hunter sponsored several initiatives to assist financial institutions, including establishment of Individual or Family Development Accounts, under which eligible individuals and families could establish special savings accounts to be used for education, first-time home purchases, or business capitalization. He was also responsible for Public Act 192, which streamlines financial institution operations by repealing sections of statutes that required duplicate filings on suspicious activity.

He was also cited by the MCUL for his tireless leadership on numerous consumer protection issues.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

DSG Comes to Warrendale

Detroit Synergy hosts a monthly social event called Third Thursday at various bars throughout Detroit. Oddly enough, it's done on the third Thursday of each month.

This month, they will visit the Tipperary Pub (8287 Southfield) in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood. Everyone is invited to attend. The people are great and there will be drink specials throughout the evening.

The fun starts at 6:30 p.m. I hope to see everyone there.