Thursday, September 30, 2010

Michigan Bloggers Meet Up - September 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Detroit Police Walking A Beat

Monday, September 27, 2010

Grass Cut at Vacant Lots

Blue Collar Jobs are Coming Back

CNN reports that there has been a 1.6% gain in manufacturing jobs this year, which is roughly twice the growth in other private sector jobs. This represents the largest gain in manufacturing jobs since 1994.

In a city like Detroit, which is dominated by blue collar manufacturing jobs, this is extremely good news. It gives me hope that things might actually turn around.

Surprise! Blue collar jobs are coming back

Tip of the Week: Chili's Donates Profits Today

The Chili's Grill & Bar (5707 Southfield Fwy.) in Warrendale is joining thousands of other participating Chili's restaurants across the United States and donating 100% of their profits for today to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to help fight childhood cancer.

To date, participating Chili's restaurants have raised more than $30 million for St. Jude, moving the brand beyond the halfway point of its 10-year goal of $50 million. Once completed, Chili's contribution will be the largest donation from a single partner campaign in St. Jude history.

Eat at Chili's and help fight childhood cancer. It's your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Friday, September 24, 2010

If Only Detroit Could Learn

The City of Los Angeles, California has roughly five times the population that Detroit has. It also has fewer police officers per capita than the Detroit Police Department does - although they do make extensive use civilian employees in the LAPD.

Anyway, in spite of all of this, Los Angeles is on track to record fewer homicides than Detroit. Not fewer per capita - but fewer homicides period.

And did I mention that Los Angeles has five times the population of Detroit?

Oh, and this will also mark the ninth year in a row of declining crime in Los Angeles, a city that not long ago was dominated by riots, drug trafficking, and gang warfare.

This, ladies and gentleman, is what happens when you don't have a police department that is dominated by Byzantine politics. It is what happens when the police department - as well as the elected officials who oversee it - are consistently held accountable by residents, the business community, and the news media.

L.A. on track for record-low number of killings, police chief says

Metro Parent Education Expo 2010

Metro Parent presents an educational, fun, and free day at the Detroit Institute of Arts on Sunday, September 26, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Discover the best opportunities for your children's academic success from metro Detroit's educational leaders.

Explore the exciting galleries at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Families are welcome to enjoy free museum entrance, free activities, and receive the latest and greatest information on what’s new in education from over sixty five exhibitors.

Metro Parent Education Expo 2010 - Events Exhibitions at The Detroit Institute of Arts

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Residents Deserve Better Services, and Bing Must Start Delivering

I moved home to Michigan a little over two years ago to raise my daughter here because I am from here. As a reporter, naturally I'm attracted to the Big City. And Detroit is Michigan's Big City.

I couldn't believe what I saw. Firefighters with holes in their boots. Ambulances without blankets, police cars with flat tires and computers that did not work. The Fire Department brass did not compile statistics (500 arsons a month). The Police Department brass lied about the number of murders. (It was 375 in 2008, not 306.)

I wrote these stories and people in power started complaining. "Where's the good news. Where's the fair and balanced?"

More at Residents deserve better services, and Bing must start delivering | | The Detroit News

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Detroit Police Seize SUV

Officers from the Detroit Police Department seized a black sport utility vehicle on the 6400 block of Ashton this afternoon, in connection with an on-going investigation.

Police Officers Seize a Vehicle

No further details about the case are readily available.

Traffic Enforcement in Warrendale

A quick, impromptu video about traffic enforcement in Warrendale. Of course, this could also be a video about why I should always shave and be ready to make a video at any moment.

But I digress.

Breaking News: Home Invasion in Warrendale

An elderly woman, living between Whitlock and Paul on the Southfield Freeway service drive, was the victim of a home invasion shortly after noon this afternoon. A black male in his early twenties broke into a home, assaulted the resident, and stole the estimated $100 that she had in her purse before fleeing the scene.

The victim reportedly hit her attacker with a vacuum cleaner upon noticing his illegal entry into her home. The assailant then shoved her against a wall and reportedly pistol whipped her with a handgun. She is in good condition at her home.

Anyone with information on the identity of this attacker is asked to call the Detroit Police Department.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Resurfacing Paul Street

Paul Street, between Stahelin and the Southfield Freeway, was recently resurfaced. This, by the way, is the second time in five years that this same stretch of road has been resurfaced.

And that warrants a video from me.

Green Speaks in Code

Deputy Mayor Saul Green announced today that he will keep Ralph Godbee as chief of police. He had previously only been chief on an interim basis.

What I thought was most interesting was this part of the announcement.
Ralph Godbee has proven that he is the right man to lead the Detroit Police Department. We received a number of quality candidates, but believe Chief Godbee is the person to lead DPD in our efforts to improve public safety.
Chief Godbee has proven that he's the right man for the job?

I wonder which one of the half dozen or so high-profile shootings we've had since he took over "proved" that.

I believe what Mr. Green meant to say is that Chief Godbee has proven that he won't run for mayor when Mr. Green tries to remove the word "deputy" from his job title.

Bing names Godbee Detroit police chief | | The Detroit News

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bing to Make Police Chief Announcement Tuesday

Mayor Dave Bing is expected to announce his decision on a police chief this coming Tuesday. I look forward to hearing what he intends to do and who intends to announce.

Help Board Vacant Houses

There is a group of us within the Warrendale neighborhood who are trying to the vacant houses in our neighborhood boarded up.  We could use your help.

This video explains it all.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Warrendale Burns the NFL

The Detroit Lions got screwed this past Sunday when what should have been Calvin Johnson's game winning touchdown catch was ruled an incomplete pass. It was one of those moments that truly makes me think that those in the NFL are lawyers and not athletes.

Yesterday, a group of Warrendale residents organized a protest on Facebook. We gathered at Chick's Bar (18550 W. Warren Ave.) and burned the section of the NFL rule book that was cited as the basis for overturning the touchdown catch.

Burning Pages from the NFL Rule Book

While this doesn't undo the injustice that was done to the Detroit Lions, nor guarantee that it won't happen again, I have to admit that it was a lot of fun.

Read This

The Detroit News published a piece about how bad things are for paramedics within the Detroit Fire Department. I recommend that everyone take a moment to read it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Parking Enforcement or Coincidence

Fox 2 News is reporting that the City of Detroit has been aggressively enforcing parking ordinances in neighborhoods that have already been devastated by the fire storms earlier this month. Some residents, for example, were ticketed for having vehicles that block a sidewalk.

Other vehicles were booted and/or towed by the City of Detroit's Municipal Parking Department.

I'm normally supportive of parking enforcement - and blocking the sidewalk is a pet peeve of mine. However, I can't help feel that targeting neighborhoods that were already been hit hard by the firestorms is just wrong.

There has already been a certain amount of blow back from this.

And that makes me wonder about all of the parking enforcement vehicles that I have seen in the Warrendale neighborhood as of late.

I wonder if the parking vultures are targeting our neighborhood to make up for fines that they aren't getting now that targeting the fire storm neighborhoods are politically impractical.

What about you? Have you seen an increase in parking enforcement in the Warrendale neighborhood?

Bing and the Detroit Strategic Framework Meeting

Resident Speaks During the Meeting
The first of the Detroit Strategic Framework Meetings was held yesterday evening. If you listened to any of the published news reports about it, this was glistening forum that was filled with ideas about how to solve every problem that Detroit currently faces.

Quite frankly, I think the reporters were at a different meeting. The vast majority of the questions and comments that I heard yesterday were the same complaints that Detroiters have had for decades.

The police don't show up when they're needed.

There aren't any retail stores in my neighborhood.

My taxes are outrageously high.

Many of these complaints were repeated yesterday because no one seemed to listen to them the first time they were made. I heard very few solutions proposed.

Mayor Dave Bing argues that most of Detroit's problems can be solved by condensing Detroit's neighborhoods into smaller, more densely populated ones. He told the audience that this was a new idea and that it was also a new concept for a mayor to solicit opinions from Detroiters. Both of these points convince me that Mayor Bing wasn't paying much attention to Detroit prior to announcing his candidacy.

The idea to condense Detroit into a smaller land mass has been around since the 1970s when the City first had to deal with the aftermath of "white flight" migration to the suburbs.

Every Mayor of Detroit, with the exception of Ken Cockerel during his stint as interim mayor, has held events like this. They were called something different, but the concept was the same.

Anyway, there will be several more of these meetings in the coming weeks. I will report from as many of them as I can.

In the meantime, I give you a video clip of Mayor Bing's remarks to the meeting.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Missing Woman

Marishia Gibson, sister of a Warrendale resident, has been missing since Wednesday, September 8. If you have any information about her whereabouts, please contact the Detroit Police Department at (313) 596-5740.

Update @ 9:37 p.m.
According to her sister, Ms. Gibson was last seen at the bus stop at W. Warren Ave. and Brace.

Update - October 2.
According to her family, Ms. Gibson has been located. She is in good condition at a local hospital, receiving the care that she needs.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Cool Warrendale Thing: Obama Encourages the Detroit College Promise

For the past couple of years, the Detroit College Promise has offered scholarships to students at Detroit public high schools. It started small an initially only serving students at Cody High School (18445 Trinity St.), which serves the Warrendale neighborhood. However, it has grown more every year to include all Detroit Public Schools graduates.

President Barack Obama
Everyone at the Detroit College Promise, however, got a significant morale boost when they received a letter of support from President Barack Obama. The full text of the President's letter is available here.

President Obama's letter is intended to provide encouragement to students in their program primarily. However, the fact that the Detroit College Promise was chosen as the vehicle for delivery this message speaks well of the organization.

I congratulate everyone at the Detroit College Promise on a job well done. It's always nice when people recognize their outstanding dedication and service to Detroit and its children.

Support from the President of the United States is, therefore, your Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Weird Sightings

Through the wonders of Facebook and the internet, people have told me about some of the strange things that they have seen in the Warrendale neighborhood.

One of my friends, for example, told me about how she saw a man riding a horse along Sawyer yesterday. I can only presume that he was affiliated with the Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Center since they offer horse rides out of Rouge Park.

Of course, even stranger than that was the report that I got via Facebook of a boy walking along Paul Street last week, carrying a pair of live chickens. I simply have no idea what that was about.

All of this makes me wonder: what is the strangest thing you've even seen in the Warrendale neighborhood?

Please feel free to leave your response in the comments section below.

Tip of the Week: Free Tutoring for Cody Students

Yesterday was Labor Day, which means that my Tip of Week is now a day late. Regardless, I wanted to share this with everyone.

Students at Cody High School (18445 Cathedral), which serves the Warrendale neighborhood, are eligible to receive free tutoring in math and reading from ATS Project Success. In order to receive this service, parents simply need to call them at (800) 297-2119. This program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education under No Child Left Behind.

More information about ATS Project Success, an approved supplemental education provider, is available here. Information about why this provided at Cody High School is available from the Michigan Department of Education here.

Free tutoring for Cody High School students is your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Help Save Fort Wayne

The Historic Fort Wayne Coalition is competing to win a $25,000 grant and they need your help to win. They are entered in the Community Challenge, which is sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Headquarters Bldg. - Ft. Wayne
Members of the public are asked to vote for the project that will receive $25,000 in funding. If the Historic Fort Wayne Coalition wins, they will use these funds to restore the Old Headquarters Building in the Fort.

While Historic Fort Wayne may be a few miles from the Warrendale neighborhood, I think it's important for us to help. The more projects like this there are in the works, the stronger our entire community is. Therefore, I ask that you take a moment to vote for Historic Fort Wayne in the NTHP's Community Challenge.

In order to vote, one only needs to do three things.
  1. Visit their page on the Community Challenge site, which is here.
  2. Enter your name, email address, and ZIP code in the appropriate field in the upper right hand corner. Please feel free to un-check the box below that if you do not want to receive email from the NTHP.
  3. Click on the "vote" button to enter your vote.
Helping your neighbor and saving an important piece of Detroit's history has never been so easy.

Friday, September 03, 2010

127 Google Hits

Okay, internet, what happened yesterday?

And how can I make it happen again?

Google, Google, Google
I ask because traffic on this blog was off the charts yesterday. Besides the normal people who visit my site every day, according to Google Analytics, there were 127 people who typed "Warrendale blog" into a Google search.

The result of that was the highest level of traffic this blog has seen since the bus stop shooting two years ago. Back then, several other blogs linked here for my coverage of it. Naturally, there was a huge surge in my traffic on that day.

But there wasn't anything like that yesterday.

I really can't help but wonder why 127 people did a Google search for this blog. Or, alternately, why 1 person would do 127 such searches.

All of this makes me curious about what it was exactly that happened yesterday. If anyone has an idea, please feel free to share it in the comment section below.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Breaking News: Fire Bombed House Gets Demolished

I reported several months ago about an assault at 6817 Ashton, which later led to the house in question being fire bombed. I'm able to follow up on that story today and report that this house is being demolished.

I recorded this video below from the scene.

Detroit Aero Modelers

I had the pleasure of visiting with the Detroit Aero Modelers last month, while I was doing some work for a client. This is the group that flies model airplanes out of Rouge Park on a regular basis.

They are a wonderful group of people. One can find a short video about them available below.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

I Can't Make This Up

Yes, I sometimes come across news stories that are so strange, I simply could not have made them up.

Kitty Didn't Park the Car
Sometimes, the truth is so strange that the only way I can possibly describe my reaction to it is by, once again, using my WTF cat photo.

A security vehicle for Mayor Dave Bing had its tires stolen while it was parked on private property on the 8200 block of East Jefferson, according to published news reports.

Sgt. Eren Stephens said the vehicle, which was reportedly a Yukon Denali, was assigned to the executive protection unit. She said it was unclear what time the theft happened. However, according to the mayor’s office, the tires were taken overnight.

Yes, the security detail for Mayor Bing had the tires stolen from one of their vehicles.

I'm just proud to say that several mayors have visited the Warrendale neighborhood over the years. None of them have ever had the tires stolen from their cars.