Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Quote for 2011

Spirit of Detroit
Every once in awhile, I hear a quote that so perfectly summarizes how I'm feeling at a given moment, I am compelled, it would seem, to emblazon it on the wall by my desk. Today, I came across such a quote.

"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man," Ralph Waldo Emerson once observed, "but he is brave five minutes longer."

Today, as I ponder the challenges that our neighborhood faces as well as those that we face individually, I pray that each of us finds the strength to hang onto our bravery for those extra five minutes.

5 Years of the Warrendale Blog

The Warrendale (Detroit) Blog is now five years old. When I launched this site, quite frankly, I never thought I would still be doing it five years later. Regardless, here we are.

Anyway, I thought I would take a moment to look back over that past few years in the neighborhood.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays from Bing, Fred, and Me

My dear friends, Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, wanted to send along their holiday wishes to everyone in the Warrendale neighborhood and beyond. I join then in wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Violent Crime in Detroit Drops by 8%

The Detroit Police Department announced this morning that violent crime in Detroit has dropped by 8% in the first six months of 2010, in comparison to the same period last year. The homicide rate dropped by 28% and armed robberies dropped by 9%. Arsons, unfortunately, increased by 16%.

I congratulate all of the police officers and other individuals who were a part of making this happen.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Limits of the Detroit Works Project

Mayor Dave Bing
Mayor Dave Bing is still developing his Detroit Works Project. Since it will likely be a far-reaching affair, I want to take a moment to discuss the things that it will not be able to accomplish. I choose to start with these simply because I have heard so many people, particularly in the news media, talk about DWP solving problems that it has no chance of solving. I'll get to what it can do next.

The Detroit Works Project is built on the idea of encouraging people to move from the lowest density neighborhoods to some of our higher density neighborhoods. Some individuals in the news media have argued that this will enable the City of Detroit to improve police and fire protection by focusing our resources in those areas. They are simply wrong.

Every part of Detroit will still need police and fire protection. All of it.

Unless every part of Detroit receives adequate police and fire protection, it will be a danger to all Detroiters. This will continue to be true even if everyone moves out of low density neighborhoods that Mayor Bing hopes to further depopulate.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Former Detroit Public Schools Bookkeeper Charged with Federal Program Fraud

Allen Swayze, 34, a former Detroit Public Schools bookkeeper, was indicted by a federal grand jury today in Detroit on charges that he fraudulently obtained money from Detroit Public Schools, according to a statement release by U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade.

U.S. Attorney McQuade was joined in this announcement by Andrew G. Arena, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The indictment charges that between August 2006 and May 2009, Mr. Swayze, who worked as a bookkeeper at the Breithaupt Career and Technical Center, issued fraudulent checks to himself and to his company, Swayze Management Industries, in the amount of $148,000. Mr. Swayze then deposited the checks in his bank accounts or cashed them at banks where his accounts were located.

Ms. McQuade said,"As our community works to fund and improve our schools, we will not tolerate anyone who steals money intended to educate our children."

Mr. Arena added, "This individual has abused the public trust by illegally obtaining money designated for educating the children in the City of Detroit. The FBI is committed to investigating individuals who fraudulently obtain money through business with the Detroit Public Schools."

If convicted, Mr. Swayze faces a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the DPS Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela Thompson.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Detroit Police Enact Verified Response System

Photo Courtesy of David Malhalab
The Detroit Police Department announced on Friday that they will enact a verified response system for alarms. This will require alarm companies to confirm the validity of an alarm before dispatching an officer to the scene.

This effort is designed to minimize the number of false alarms that police officers have to deal with. As a result, it is expected to improve the police department's overall response time.

Tip of the Week: Fire Safety During the Christmas Season

The Detroit Fire Department urges residents to take the time this holiday season to observe the following fire precautions when using lighting, decorations, and Christmas trees. If you use a natural Christmas tree in your home, pleas keep your tree stand full of water and check it daily.

Other holiday fire safety tips include:
  • Keep the tree away from any heat source, such as a heat vent, radiator or fireplace, and out of exit paths;
  • Do not plug more than three sets of lights into one extension cord;
  • Make sure lights used outdoors have been approved for outdoor use and are waterproof; and
  • Smokers should keep smoldering cigarettes and cigar butts away from gift-wrapping, Christmas trees, lights and other holiday decorations.
If you use candles this holiday season, please remember to:
  • Keep burning candles, matches, and lighters out of the reach of children;
  • Don’t place candles near natural Christmas trees, decorations, draperies, or combustible items such as furniture, paper, and clothing; and
  • Place candles in sturdy, non-combustible holders.
Staying safe this holiday season is your Warrendale Tip of the Week, courtesy of the Detroit Fire Department.

    Wednesday, December 01, 2010

    Breakfast with Santa

    The Detroit Recreation Department will host Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Belle Isle Casino.  There will be two seatings: one at 9 a.m. and the other at 11:30 a.m. Participants will enjoy breakfast, crafts, letters to Santa, and a winter wonderland walk!

    Tickets are $5 per person.  Pictures with Santa will be available for an additional fee.  For tickets and additional information, please contact your local recreation center or call (313) 628-2081. A map and directions are available here.

    While this isn't happening in the Warrendale neighborhood, it's still cool enough to be your Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week.