Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Free Comic Book Day

Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood has a lot of great things going for it, but do lack a comic book store. One of these days, I'll get around to changing that. In the meantime, nerds like me are about to rejoice the fact that this Saturday is Free Comic Book Day.

Free Comic Book Day, as the name implies, is an annual event where comic book stores around the nation give out free comics to whet one's appetite for the glories of the comic book art form. Until Warrendale Comics opens, I give you a few nearby comic book stores that are participating in Free Comic Book Day.
  • A-Z Comics (32659 Ford Rd. in Garden City). The guys at A-Z were kind enough to offer a sneak peek at Free Comic Book Day to Erik Monnier and his daughter, Syndney Yochum (13) of Livonia. A photo of this moment appears below courtesy of David L. Malhalab of M News Service / MNS Photo (313-5802393).
  • Comics Archives (25650 Plymouth Rd. in Redford). I used to stop into this place all the time when I biked home from Bishop Borgess High School in the late 1980s; accumulating a rather impressive comic book collection - which promptly got thrown away by my Mom when I went away to college. Not that I'm bitter or anything.
  • Green Brain Comic (13210 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn). The crew at Green Brain have won some many awards and reader polls over the years, I've pretty stopped counting them all. (Reviews of the place are here.)

Free Comic Book Day. I invite everyone to stop by one of these shops and check out some cool comics.

In the meantime, I wonder: do comic books make for a decent Mother's Day gift?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cobo Deal Really Is Dead

The venerable Crain's Detroit Business has proclaimed the deal to transfer Cobo (1 Washington Blvd.) to a regional authority that would renovate and expand it to be dead. The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled this morning that Mayor Kenneth V. Cockrel, Jr. did not in fact have the legal authority to veto the Detroit City Council's resolution disapproving of the transfer. More importantly, he has decided not to appeal this matter to the Michigan Supreme Court.

This, of course, was essentially what I predicted eight days ago in a previous blog post as well a second blog post a month before that. The only part of this affair, quite frankly, was the fact that Mr. Cockrel decided not to appeal this matter to the Michigan Supreme Court.

There are moments when I really hate being right about things.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Amnesty at the Detroit Public Library

The Detroit Public Library has launched an amnesty program, which they refer to as their own stimulus package. Library patrons who have overdue books or other items may return them to the library and they will waive the normal penalties; thus allowing patrons to restore their full library privileges. This program is currently on-going and will continue until Saturday, May 9.

In a statement on the library's web site, the need for this program was explained by saying, "Detroit Public Library wants to help the Detroit community cope with the severe economic crisis by restoring library privileges to people not using the Library because they owe for materials past their due date. Public libraries are needed more than ever in times of economic stress for Internet access and information on practical issues of self-education, resume preparation and more."

The Warrendale neighborhood is lucky to served by a really good neighborhood library, the Edison Branch (18400 Joy Rd.). If you have any overdue items, now is the best time to return them to the Edison Branch or any other DPL Branch.

You can also apply the amnesty to overdue items that you returned before this program began. To do so, patrons simply need to visit their neighborhood branch or the circulation desk of the Main Library (5201 Woodward Ave.) and request amnesty for those unpaid fines.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dinner + Detroit Synergy

For almost a year now, there has been a group of people who have held a monthly dinner party at Gracie See Pizzeria (6889 Greenfield). The next one will be this coming Thursday, April 16 from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. This time around, the monthly dinner party gets stepped up a notch.

Every month for several years now, the good folks at Detroit Synergy have done a monthly social event on the third Thursday of each month at different bars and restaurants throughout Detroit. Oddly enough, it's called "Third Thursday". This time around, their Third Thursday social event will be held in conjunction with the monthly Warrendale dinner party.

It's two events in one, baby!

Anyway, one of the unique things about Detroit Synergy's Third Thursday events is that they ask participants to bring something that will benefit a local non-profit. This month, the designated non-profit that they are targeting is none other than the Warrendale Community Garden.

The awesome group of volunteers who run the Warrendale Community Garden have a wish list of items that they would like to support their work. If you're available to attend the monthly get together this coming Thursday at Gracie's, your donation of anything on their wish list is greatly appreciated. It doesn't matter whether you donate something from their program needs list or their administrative needs list. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Program Activity Needs
  • Potting Soil
  • Gardening Tools
  • Hand Tools
  • Gardening Gloves (all sizes)
  • Planter Boxes
  • Pots and Containers
  • Wheelbarrows (small)
  • Plant Cart
  • Magnifying Glass
  • Spray Bottles
  • New Lumber (cedar preferred)
Administrative Needs
  • Photo Paper
  • Snacks for Volunteers
  • Water for Volunteers
  • Notebooks
  • Dry Erase Board
  • Flip Chart Paper
  • Bulletin Board

Friday, April 10, 2009

Breaking News: Shooting at Henry Ford CC

There was a shooting at Henry Ford Community College (5101 Evergreen Rd.) in nearby Dearborn. According to news reports, this was a case of murder/suicide. A male shooter reportedly killed a female friend. The identities of both the shooter and his victim as well as any possible motive for this crime have not been revealed by the authorities at this time.

Both the Dearborn and Michigan State Police Departments are on scene at this time. This shooting reportedly happened in the vicinity of the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center on the HFCC campus. The campus itself is on a lockdown.

My deepest sympathies go out to the families involved in this tragedy.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Cobo Deal Dies

Judge Isidore Torres of the Wayne County Circuit Court ruled less than an hour ago that Mayor Kenneth V. Cockrel, Jr. did not have the statutory authority to veto the City Council's rejection of the Cobo deal. I hate to say, "I told you so" - but I did.
The majority of attorneys that I've talked to have told me that - with the way the Michigan Legislature structured the Cobo deal - Mr. Cockrel did not have such an authority. Some of have even gone on to argue privately that he reasonably should have known that he didn't have said authority.

- Warrendale (Detroit) Blog. March 10, 2009

I have to admit that I'm still a little upset about this. Detroit needs to have Cobo expanded and renovated. Our suburban neighbors need to have Cobo expanded and renovated. All of Michigan needs to have Cobo expanded and renovated. Transferring the facility to a regional authority is, in my opinion, the best way to do this.

There is no small amount of political grandstanding in the whole affair. It is, however, a reality that politicians will always grandstand - especially during an election year.

Judge Torres was obviously hoping that some type of a negotiated settlement would resolve this matter. However, that never happened.

Mayor Cockrel will most likely appeal this decision. This will give the Michigan Court of Appeals and, most likely, the Michigan Supreme Court an opportunity to opine. However, that process will likely take weeks if not months.

The City Council will almost certainly do something or another about this once they return form their spring recess - in another two weeks. Since this is right before the special mayoral election, I highly doubt that whatever they do will be productive.

In the meantime, we as Detroiters simply sit by - without the kind of convention center that our economy needs and without the kind of city government that we pay for.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Council By District

Detroiters for City Council by Districts is aggressively ramping up its efforts to collect 31,420 signatures by August 4, 2009 in order to put the district system proposal on the November ballot. More than 10,000 signatures have been collected to date and there are more than 100 days left to collect the rest of them.

Electing our City Council by district, in my opinion, is absolutely vital for Detroit. Far too often, the Detroit City Council has obsessed over one thing or another downtown while the needs of the neighborhoods have gone unattended to. A district system will go a long way towards making sure a neighborhood's desire for police and fire protection don't get forgotten about in the City of Detroit's budget.

More information about this effort, and details on how you can get involved, are available here.