Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Going Thru the Jungle to Find the Kinky Kaberet

I find some of the weirdest things as I walk through Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood. Today I discuss the jungle that the Ryan Playground has become, abandoned dirt, the Kinky Kaberet (coming soon to the Toy Chest Bar), mud lots, and repairs to phone service.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Unbelievable Incompetence: Still Easy to Believe

The Detroit Free Press reported this morning that the Detroit Police Department abandoned its crime lab in 2008 and left mountains of evidence and equipment unsecured in the now vacant building after then Mayor Ken Cockrel ordered it closed. This included thousands of rounds of ammunition as well as Social Security numbers of rape and assault victims.

Defense attorneys and judges are currently lining up to decry this situation. "Unbelievable incompetence" is the term that I hear most frequently.

The sad part of this, beyond the obvious jeopardy that crime victims and the criminal justice system itself has been placed in, is that I have now reached the point where I no longer have any trouble believing that "unbelievable incompetence" is happening.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cutting the Police Budget - Hyperbole Rules the Day

The Detroit City Council proposed cutting $12 million from the Detroit Police Department's annual budget. They argue that this is necessary to deal with Detroit's financial problems. Mayor Dave Bing argues that this is irresponsible and would result in laying off approximately 200 police officers, which would endanger public safety. Quite frankly, Mayor Bing's argument is uneducated nonsense.

As I pointed out last January, the Detroit Police Department has a budget that is well-above average for a city of our size. Even after the proposed cuts are made, the Detroit Police Department will have a budget that, on a per resident basis, is 61.1% larger than average. As I pointed out last January, the problem with the Detroit Police Department and its budget is that DPD spends an inordinate amount of money on administrative costs.

The fact remains that if DPD's administrative costs were brought in line with national average, the Department could absorb the full $12 million cut and still hire hundreds of new police officers for patrol and investigative duties. If the Bing Administration cannot find a way to accept these cuts and still make improvements in the quality of police protection then maybe it's time to put competent law enforcement professionals in charge of the Department.

My original post from January is here. It contains links to budget data from each of the 25 cities that have a population less than 1 million but more than 500,000.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Race for the Cure Launches in Detroit

I happened to be in Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit for what turned out to be a launch event for 20th Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. It was a publicity stunt, of course. However, I thought it was once of the best such events I seen in a long time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Clearing Puddles from a Sidewalk + Two Other Clean Ups

In this short video, I demonstrate tips for clearing puddles from a sidewalk after a rainstorm. I also discuss the two clean ups that will happen this Saturday in the Warrendale neighborhood.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How to Clear a Flooded Street

Heavy rains over the weekend brought flooded streets to Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood. In this short video, I demonstrate how one can clear a flooded street in only a few minutes using simple tools.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Breaking News: Whitlock Is Flooded

Whitlock Street, between Rosemont and Penrod, is currently flooded. This is most likely the result of rain not being able to drain because of clogged street drains.

There are almost certainly other sections of the Warrendale neighborhood that are flooded. Please feel free to leave a comment below to let everyone know where they are.

UPDATE: May 16 @ 6:44 p.m.
It would appear that all of the flooded streets have cleared. If there are any that still under water, please let me know.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Another Night. Another Drive By Shooting.

It was another night on Ashton, the street that a grew up on.

This is the place that was my personal refuge when the rest of the world seemed to go to hell.

This is the place with more memories per square inch than anywhere else on the planet.

Earlier this evening, I heard my neighbors across the street argue with two black men in their twenties. I heard them scream profanities at one another. I saw the two black men get into two cars and race away.

A few minutes later, they were back. The two cars paused for a moment halfway down the block. Somehow, I knew that they guys were up to no good as soon as they returned.

And then they gunned their engines.

I did some math in my head. The first car had to have past at close to 50 m.p.h., based on how fast he traveled that short distance.

The second car followed close behind. I saw the muzzle flash come from the driver's seat. I heard the gun shots.

It was another night in Detroit and there was another drive by shooting. Thankfully, the only thing that was hit was a vacant house. Amateur shooters are very good marksmen. They're even worse when they're driving past their target at 50 m.p.h.

The saddest part of it all was how quickly everything returned to normal. The neighbors across the street from me, the ones who were the targeted in this shooting, started talking about who it was that pulled the trigger. I went back inside because I didn't want to know what they were going do to him.

The street that holds more memories per square inch now hold one more.

New Sidewalks + Rouge Park Vision Session

New sidewalks are being installed along Paul Street in the Warrendale neighborhood. This, plus the upcoming visioning session for Rouge Park, are the big news items for the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog this afternoon.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Construction on the Southfield Freeway

The Michigan Department of Transportation is rebuilding the Southfield Freeway (M-39). This is an update on their progress, with an emphasis on the portion that runs through Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood.

Tip of the Week: Michigan Tax Amnesty

The State of Michigan is launching a tax amnesty program for Michigan taxpayers. It goes into effect next week and will run until June 30.

Michigan Tax Amnesty
Anyone who owes any type of taxes to the State of Michigan can simply pay them. State income taxes, business taxes, as well as sales and use taxes are covered by this. Local and property taxes, however, are not. While taxpayers will still have to pay interest on their taxes due, as well as the taxes themselves, they will avoid both civil penalties and potential criminal prosecution.

More details about the tax amnesty program are available here from the Michigan Department of Treasury.

The Michigan Tax Amnesty is your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Pizza A Go-Go Opens in Warrendale

One of the great stories that I missed when my life got in the way of blogging is the opening of Pizza A Go-Go.

Pizza A Go-Go | Photo by David Malhalab
Pizza A Go-Go opened at the southeast corner of Evergreen and Paul (6540 Evergreen Rd.). They have good traditional pizza, plus a variety of other hot food menu items (e.g., burgers, chicken, shrimp, subs, and ribs) as well as a limited selection of other grocery items at very reasonable prices.

The owners, Craig Deland and Sal Ambrosio, hope that the new business will help the Warrendale neighborhood. I wish them well and will have more on this new restaurant next week.

Irony at the Strip Club + Cinco de Mayo Madness

Yes, I am back with another video post.