Friday, February 27, 2009

Snow Blast Winter Festival

I know. I know. It's been almost two weeks since I've posted anything on this blog.

W-a-a-a-y t-o-o long.

I know that.

I've got a bunch of projects at work with deadlines looming. I probably shouldn't even be on-line know. However, there's something happening tomorrow that I think is important enough telling several clients to wait.

The Warrendale Community Garden and Anointing New Beginnings are pleased to present the first ever Snow Blast Winter Festival. It will happen tomorrow - Saturday, February 28 - from noon until 5 p.m. in the Don Bosco Hall - St. Suzanne Community Center (19321 W. Chicago).

This will feature:
  • Inflatable slides;
  • Marshmallow roasting;
  • Chili cook-off;
  • Youth stage revue;
  • Youth art exhibit; and
  • Youth sports.
More details for this are available on their web site.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Endorsments Roll In

We are now only a little more than a week away from the first of Detroit's four mayoral elections this year. Ordinarily, I would say that so many elections in one year was excessive. However, the fact of the matter is that Detroit needs something like this to force politicians to produce results expeditiously - something that was sorrily lacking throughout 2008 as the entire region languished in a political limbo caused by former Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick's text message scandal.

Because we are so close to this first election, the endorsements are all starting to roll in.

The Metro Times has endorsed the incumbent, Interim Mayor Kenneth V. Cockrel, Jr. As part of their endorsement, they cited a need for stability within Detroit's government at this moment in our history. I disagree with their rationale vehemently.

Detroit needs stability in its political hierarchy like New Orleans needs another hurricane.

The dictionary defines stability as a resistance to change. Fundamental change, in my opinion, is something that must occur within Detroit - and must occur as expeditiously as humanly possible - if we are going to have any chance at surviving as a community.

Under Mayor Cockrel, the City of Detroit is spending $19 million to support the Harmonie Park/Paradise Valley project. However, we can't hire enough police officers to make sure every 9-1-1 call is answered.

Under Mayor Cockrel, the City of Detroit has 5 different municipal agencies working on economic development. However, none of them are doing a very good job of it.

Under Mayor Cockrel, the City of Detroit spends $15.4 million to operate the nine member City Council and another $11.8 million to operate the Mayor's Office itself. However, the Detroit Fire Department routinely has to do without the equipment and manpower that they need to do their jobs effectively.

Under Mayor Cockrel, the City of Detroit spends $11.9 million on the Civic Center. I love Hart Plaza as much as anyone else. However, I'm painfully aware of the fact that many neighborhoods haven't seen a single snow plow all winter.

This is what "stability" has gotten Detroiters: a persistent devotion to special projects while our basic needs go unattended. To put it quite simply, we cannot afford any more of it.

The Detroit News, Detroit NAACP President Rev. Wendall Anthony and the Fannie Lou Hammer PAC have all endorsed businessman Dave Bing. By my informal count, Mr. Bing now has more endorsements than any other candidate in this race. The fact that Mr. Bing used to live in suburban Franklin, Michigan had no impact on any of these key opinion leaders and neither did the fact that his wife still lives there.

Freman Hendrix has also led an impressive campaign. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Hendrix several times during his 2005 campaign for mayor. As someone who used to work on political campaigns professionally, I also got to know him during his service to former Mayor Dennis W. Archer as well as during his service to former Wayne County Executive Ed McNamara.

The Detroit Free Press endorsed Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans. Mr. Evans has done a very good job as sheriff. I was impressed by his decision to stop foreclosure sales in Wayne County. However, I am concerned about his on-going feud with Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano. Detroit's next mayor will need to build a lot of strategic partnerships and such a feud could be detrimental to Detroit's interests.

After much deliberation, the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog is making its own endorsement in the mayoral race; it's a dual endorsement. I endorse both Dave Bing and former Deputy Mayor Freman Hendrix.

Both of these gentlemen are uniquely qualified to lead Detroit through the challenges that we currently face. They each have an impressive resume and are well-qualified for the position in this important time.

Only one of them, of course, will be able to become Detroit's next mayor. However, that is something for us to decide in the May election.

I look forward to that debate.

Mayor Cockrel to Host Community Forum

Interim Mayor Kenneth V. Cockrel, Jr. will host a community forum tomorrow, February 17, at the Northwest Activities Center (18100 Meyers Rd.). This forum will take place from 6 - 7 p.m.

Mayor Cockrel is schedule to share his plans for the City of Detroit and address resident's thoughts on the future of Detroit. Several city departments will be present to answer your questions and address your concerns.

A flyer for this event is available on-line here. He will also host a similar event at the Northeast District Neighborhood City Hall (2328 E. 7 Mile) on Wednesday.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Today is Valentine's Day - that special day when the entire world celebrate my grandfather Valentine Nemecek's birthday. There are a multitude of things happening around town. I wanted to highlight just a couple of them that are happening in the Warrendale neighborhood.

The folks at Gracie See Pizzeria (6889 Greenfield Rd.) are serving heart-shaped pizzas in honor of the holiday. Pizza from Gracie's is always a great way to celebrate any holiday. However, there's something just plain cool about a heart-shaped pizza from them.

Also, the folks at the Px Bar & Grille (18490 Ford Rd.) are having a Valentine's Day party this evening. They are offering a complete buffet for only $14.95 and it includes a special performance by vocalist Lawanda Aner.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Mailbag: Groundhog Day - Warrendale Edition

I made a comment in my Groundhog Day post that Warrendale should have it's own prognosticator. Rebecca wrote in to echo that sentiment.

I continue to believe that it would be a good idea for the Warrendale neighborhood to have its own version of Punxsutawney Phil. However, after further reflection, it might not be a good idea to have one that concentrates on predicted when spring will arrive.

I mean, just look at the folks who hang out with Punxsutawney Phil. These guys might seem pleasant, but I have a feeling that if Warrendale were to compete with them in the weather racket, they could get mighty unpleasant quickly.

Instead, I believe we should find our own spin on things. If I may be so bold, I would like propose Wally the Warrendale Woodchuck. He would live in Rouge Park, of course.

Rather than prognosticating about the weather, however, Wally the Warrendale Woodchuck would reveal the secret plays that the Detroit Lions could use to win a game or two next season.

And that would mean a lot for the Warrendale neighborhood as well as all of southeast Michigan.

Honored in Allen Park

I posted last week about the death of former Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Kaye Tertzag. Judge Tertzag was, without question, hesitation or qualification, a great human being.

However, I was honored when his son, Kyle, quoted from my blog post when he eulogized his father. This, of course, happened at the memorial service for Judge Tertzag at the Allen Park City Hall.

Judge Tertzag was an amazing human being and I am by no means the only person to proclaim this fact. However, I felt it was a profound honor that his son chose my words to echo in this eulogy.

Breaking News: Shooting on Greenview

Greenview, immediately north of Ford Rd., is closed for a police investigation. I saw numerous officers searching the ground. None of them would comment about exactly what they were searching for or why they were searching.

However, according to a neighbor in the area, there had been a shooting involving a police officer and that there was at least one fatality. No details were available about who was shot or why.

There was also a camera crew pulling onto the scene from Channel 7. They don't have anything on their web site and neither do any of the other media outlets. However, I'm sure that will change soon. When it does, I will post an update.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Friends of the Silver-Haired Bats

My friends at the Friends of the Rouge made an interesting discovery the other day. A silver-haired bat had made its way into their office, which is on the campus of the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Silver-haired bats are rare in Michigan. There have only been 7 confirmed sitings of them throughout the Great Lakes State; almost all of those cases have been in the Upper Peninsula or the northern Lower Peninsula.

Personally, I think the reason why he showed up in their office is simply that the little guy wanted to be a star on YouTube.

According to an email that I received, U of M Mammology Professor Phil Myers has agreed to take care of the bat until it's warm enough to release him back into the wild.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Friends of Rouge Park Moves Their Meeting Date

The Friends of Rouge Park have decided to move the date for their monthly meetings. They will now meet on the third Tuesday of each month.

This, of course, means that their next membership meeting will be on Tuesday, February 17 at 6 p.m. in St. Suzanne School. The school is located at 19321 W. Chicago, which on the corner of Westwood and W. Chicago.

Everyone who is interested in helping to make Rouge Park a stronger resource for the neighborhood is invited to attend. Please enter the school through the back door, which is off the parking lot. Ring the bell if the door is locked.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

RIP Hon. Kaye Tertzag

I was shocked earlier this evening when I got a text message from one of my closest friends; the Hon. Kaye Tertzag a long-time judge on the Wayne County Circuit Court passed away this afternoon. I remember him well from when I was far more active in politics as a part of the Young Democrats.

Judge Tertzag was an incredibly intelligent and competent jurist. More importantly, he was one of the most thoroughly decent human beings I have ever met in my life.

His political views ran decidedly to the liberal side of the spectrum. However, Judge Tertzag was admired by every lawyer and judge he encountered - regardless of their own political affiliations. And when I say every lawyer and judge, I really do mean every single one.

No matter where I go, he is one of the few people that I've never heard anyone say anything negative about - even when they disagreed with him vehemently.

In the simplest terms, Judge Tertzag was the kind of person that Mark Twain was thinking of when he declared, "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry."

The family of Judge Tertzag will be in my thoughts and prayers these coming days.

According to a note on his daughter's Facebook page, visitation will be this Friday from 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. as well as Saturday from noon - 9 p.m. in the Martenson Funeral Home (10915 Allen Rd. in Allen Park). A memorial service will be held this Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Auditorium of the Allen Park City Hall (16850 Southfield Rd.).

Monday, February 02, 2009

Happy Groundhog Day

Today, of course, is Groundhog Day 2009. The Warrendale neighborhood doesn't have it's own groundhog that we can use for our own prognostication. At least not yet.

Until this changes, we will have to rely on the good people of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. They remain able and willing to provide us with all of our groundhog news.

Unfortunately, it has been reported that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning. This means that we will have six more weeks of winter.

In an effort to help everyone pass the time, I thought I would share a clip from one of the best movies ever. Andie MacDowell and Bill Murray were amazing in this one.

I love that movie.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

State of the City

Interim Mayor Kenneth V. Cockrel, Jr. will deliver his State of the City address on Tuesday, February 10. His speech will be televised live from the Detroit Opera House (1526 Broadway in downtown Detroit).

As fate would have it, I have two tickets to this address. However, I will only use one of them. If you are available to attend and would like to join me, please leave a note in the comments section or email me at frank [dot] nemecek [at] gmail [dot] com.

Please note that everyone wishing to attend must be seated no later than 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. television broadcast. Doors will open at 5 p.m.