Monday, December 31, 2012

Find a Personal Trainer

Photo by Ariel da Silva Parreira
It's almost the New Year. 2013 is just a few hours away now.

For many Americans, this means a resolution to lose weight. If you're one of them, I recommend finding a really good personal trainer who can help you every step of the way. You can find a comprehensive list of them here.

This has been your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Changing Demographics of Warrendale

Photo by Peter Mazurek
I received an email from a student at Kansas State University who was during a research paper on the Polish-American community in the Detroit area. Her research was primarily focused on Hamtramck where she found strong evidence that deindustrialization and race relations in 1960s - 1980s caused a considerable number of Polish immigrants, as well as 2nd and 3rd generation Polish-Americans to leave the inner city for the suburbs.

She wanted to know if there were similar parallels in the Warrendale neighborhood, which also had a strong Polish-American presence for most of its history. She wasn't able to find very much information about Warrendale so she reached out to me.

I wrote her a lengthy email in response with links to a few other resources. When I was finished with it, I thought it would make for an interesting blog post. Therefore, I have decided to publish my entire email below. I welcome your reaction, either in the comments section or in a private email.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Metallica Comes to Belle Isle in Detroit

Metallica - Official Press Photo
One of the most legendary heavy metal bands ever, Metallica, confirmed today that they will bring their Orion Music Festival to Belle Isle in Detroit this summer. Detroit is also expected to host the festival in 2014 and 2015.

While Belle Isle is several miles from the Warrendale neighborhood, I think it's really cool that a band of Metallica's stature is bringing their signature music festival to the city of Detroit. The Detroit Free Press has more about this story on their web site.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas, Detroit

Photo by Joey McEight
I want to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood and beyond. I hope the holiday season brings the best of everything to you and your family.

I also want to let everyone know that my next pizza party at Gracie See Pizzeria and Sports Lounge (6889 Greenfield Rd.) will be on Wednesday, December 26 starting at 6:30 p.m. We will be in the front room, which is to your left when you walk in the door. As always, our first pizza of the evening will be on me. After that, we simply split the bill when it arrives.

I will be back with more posts and news about the Warrendale neighborhood on Wednesday, December 26. Until then, Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Celebrate the World Not Ending

Contrary to how some people have interpreted the Mayan calendar, the world did not end today. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm more than a little relieved by this. In fact, I feel like celebrating. Luckily, there are a couple of great opportunities to celebrate the fact that Mayans were wrong about today.

Publicity Photo for Roxi D'Lite
Roxi D'Lite, the world famous "Bad Girl of Burlesque" and Miss Exotic World 2010, will have 2 special live performances at the Toy Chest Bar (18728 Ford Rd.). While her performances are about as far as you can possibly get from being family friendly, they are still always really good.

Roxi D'Lite, after all, isn't called a smoking, drinking, and dancing machine for nothing.

If Roxi D'Lite and her burlesque performance aren't the way that you want to celebrate the world not ending then our friends at Chick's Bar (18550 W. Warren Ave.) are also having an End of the World Party all day today. They have a clearance shelf of liquor, just in case the world does end, with drinks available for only $1.50. They will also bottles of beer for only $1.75, drafts for only 75 cents, and $1 well drinks.

Oh, and Chick's Bar will also have free dart games all night long. No burlesque dancers, mind you, but free dart games.

Update @ 5:39 p.m.
Not to be outdone, my friends at Last Call Bar (19432 W. Warren Ave.) are also having an End of the World Party until 10 p.m. this evening. Their version of it will feature $1.75 domestic bottles of beer as well as 12-ounce drafts for only $1.

Buffalo Soldiers Take Over the House Barn in Detroit's Rouge Park

Photo by Jason Kingsbeer
After several years in the making, the Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Association finally secured a long-term agreement with the City of Detroit to operate from the former Detroit Police Department's horse barn in Rouge Park. The group has operated from that horse barn through a series of short-term agreements for several years now.

In addition to keeping the history of the buffalo soldiers alive, the group also offers horse rides for kids during the warmer months. The Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Association is a valuable part of maintaining Rouge Park as one of the great jewels of Detroit and the Warrendale neighborhood.

More information about the Buffalo Soldier Heritage Association is available on their Facebook page.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Free Truck Driver Training

Photo by Ilker Ilco
Detroit Empowerment Solutions is offering a free training program to help those interested Detroiters get their commercial drivers license. This is the first step in a new career as a truck driver.

There are certain restrictions associated with this program. Additional details are available here.

The Other Edgar Allen Poe

Did you know that Edgar Allen Poe is buried in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood?

Not the famous writer, of course. That Edgar Allen Poe is buried in Baltimore, Maryland.

However, there is another Edgar Allen Poe who lived from 1875 - 1954, who fought in the Spanish-American War, and who buried in the cemetery next to Ford Memorial United Methodist Church (16400 W. Warren Ave.).

Edgar Allen Poe's Gravestone - Photo by Frank Nemecek

While he isn't as famous as the other Edgar Allen Poe, I think it's kind of cool that we have someone with that name resting among us for eternity in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Detroit Cop Pleads Guilty to Corruption

A former Detroit Police officer pleaded guilty yesterday to charges stemming from her forging departmental overtime sheets to obtain almost $30,000 for hours she did not work while she was a Detroit Police officer, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced. Ms. McQuade was joined in the announcement by Robert D. Foley, III, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Detroit field office.

Kim Mosby-Colbert, age 52, a recently resigned Detroit Police officer, entered the guilty plea in U.S. District Court before Judge Paul D. Borman. She pleaded guilty to one count of defrauding a program receiving federal funding, which carries a statutory maximum of 10 years and/or a $250,000 fine.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, she faces up to six months’ imprisonment. Although the agreement contains no specific amount of restitution, she could be ordered to pay $29,859.50 in restitution.

“We hope that prosecutions like this one will let public servants know that they will be held accountable for their conduct and will deter them from stealing public funds to which they are not entitled,” Ms. McQuade said.

Mr. Foley added, “The falsifying of records for the purpose of stealing money from tax payers is a criminal abuse of public trust. The FBI-led Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force is committed to ensuring citizens have honest government.”

A sentencing hearing was set by Judge Borman for March 19, 2013 at 2 p.m. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Michael Buckley and was investigated by the Detroit Police Department Internal Affairs Section and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Harvey Santana Speaks Against the Emergency Financial Act

Screen Image from Speech - Video by Michigan House Democrats
While I have decided to take a break from talking about politics until after Christmas, State Representative Harvey Santana (D-10) who represents the Warrendale neighborhood as well as many of the areas around it has not made such a promise. He stood on the floor of Michigan House of Representatives and spoke out against the emergency financial manager act.

The full video of Representative Sanatana's speech is available here. His speech is a little less than 10 minutes long. I recommend taking a moment to watch it.

I will have much more to say, probably without references to the Old Testament, after my self-imposed Christmas moratorium on politics.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Friends of Rouge Park to Meet on Tuesday

Foggy Day in Rouge Park - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The next Friends of Rouge Park meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 18 from 6 - 7 p.m. at the Park Joy Bar (23220 Joy Rd.), which is across from Rouge Park at the northwest corner Joy Rd. and West Parkway St. The bar has a dinner menu, so plan on ordering dinner.

This will  be an informal dinner meeting. However, there will be a representative from the Greening of Detroit to discuss downspout disconnection. The group will also discuss concerns and plans for the park.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Taking a Break from Politics

Christmas Stock Photo 
I have decided to take the advice of a very good friend of mine and refrain from making any more posts or comments about politics until after Christmas. Everything regarding the right-to-work law that was passed recently and the City of Detroit's budget, will simply have to wait a few days.

For the sake of my own blood pressure, and a basic desire to refrain from doing more damage to the walls in my home, I need to do this. Besides, there will still be plenty of things to rant and rave about on December 26.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Jobs Coming to Michigan - Any Minute Now

As of this afternoon, the great state of Michigan is now a right-to-work state. We are the 24th such state in the union; joining such economic and cultural powerhouses as Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

If one believes Governor Rick Snyder, the Republicans in the Michigan Legislature, and the super-geniuses at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy then a multitude of new, good-paying jobs will be headed to Michigan any minute now.

Any minute now.

Friday, December 07, 2012

How Should Michigan Deal with the Loss of Income Tax Revenue?

Michigan Capitol Building - Photo by Frank Nemecek
Michigan is now well on its way to being a right-to-work state and will almost certainly be one within the next few days. This isn't a good idea, in my opinion, but it is reality. Regardless, I would like to be proactive about this.

Since people in right-to-work states almost always see their incomes drop, and since people with less income pay less in income taxes, we as a state need to start asking how we are going to adjust to this. Thus, I would like to pose a question for discussion: how should state and local governments deal with lower tax revenue now that Michigan is a right-to-work state?

I posted this question over on my Facebook page earlier today. One of my friends suggested that this is a perfect time for Michigan to legalized the sale and use of marijuana. Such an action, he pointed, not only mitigates the costs associated with prosecuting marijuana sellers and users, it also gives the government something else to tax instead of incomes.

I agree with his idea about changing marijuana laws as a way to deal with the drop in income tax revenue that Michigan will see now that we're a right-to-work state. However, I'm curious to see if anyone else has any ideas. If so, please feel free to share them with me, either in the comments section, on Google Plus, or on Facebook.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Jewelry Making Class at the Edison Branch Library

Stock Photo by Maurice Smith
The Edison Branch of the Detroit Public Library (18400 Joy Rd.) will host a special class on jewelry making this coming Saturday, December 8 at 2 p.m. This class is free and open to the public.

However, while it is open to everyone, this class is intended for teens. Those attending will learn to design and create a jewelry treasure that they can wear or give as a gift. This class will be taught by Mia Walker.

If someone cannot attend this class, they will offer another one next Saturday, December 15, again at 2 p.m.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Confessions of a Powerball Winner

Photo by Billy Alexander
Ladies and gentlemen of the internet, I have a very important announcement to make this morning.

I won the Powerball.

Yes, it's true. I won the Powerball last night.

Well, almost...

You see, by "won" I mean that I didn't bother to play the incredibly popular Powerball; opting instead to spend my money on beer. I mean, how much more of a winner at life could one person possibly be?

This, by the way, relates to something that I learned while working at Merrill Lynch in the back in late-1990's. Beer almost always provides a better return on one's investment than lottery tickets do.

Off-hand, I would have to say that all but 2 of the individuals who sacrificed their beer money to buy Powerball tickets yesterday will agree with me on this one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

5 Books Every Candidate for Mayor or City Council in Detroit Should Read

Stock Photo by Peter Mazurek
The race for Detroit's mayoral and city council elections are still almost a year away. However, it is already starting to heat up as more than a few people who have already declared their intention to run.

Since politics can be an ugly but incredibly important affair, I thought I would try to start things off on a positive note. With a little help from my friends on Facebook, I created my list of 5 books that every candidate for mayor or city council ought to read.

For anyone who hasn't read each of them of books, I strongly encourage them to do so. I have even included links to listing for each on to make it easier for people to find a copy.

Without further ado, I present my picks for 5 books that every candidate for mayor or city council in Detroit ought to read. My list includes, in no particular order:
For those wishing a little extra credit, I also recommend that those wishing to be the best possible leaders also read Comeback Cities: A Blueprint For Urban Neighborhood Revival by Paul Grogan, The Geography of Nowhere by James Kunstler, and The Great Good Place by Ray Oldenburg. Last, but certainly not least, I also recommend reading Leadership by Rudy Guiliani, if only for his chapter "Underpromise and Overdeliver."


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, November 23, 2012

Tailgating Party at Chick's Bar Tomorrow Afternoon

Chick's Bar - Photo by Frank Nemecek
Chick's Bar (18550 W. Warren Ave.) will host a tailgating party starting at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning. This is the perfect way to get ready for the big game between the University of Michigan Wolverines and the scum sucking toads from Ohio.

This party, according to bar owner Pete Bidolli, will feature lots of good food, a bonfire, some music, and lots of drinks for both adults and children. Plus, since this is Chick's Bar, you can also count on seeing a lot of really great people.

The Next Coach of the Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions lost another football game yesterday afternoon. This marks the 10th time in a row that they have lost on Thanksgiving.

One of the big factors in their loss today was a controversial Houston touchdown run by Justin Forsett in the 3rd quarter. One would think the officials would have seen his knee was down after the Lions tackled him well before getting to the end zone, but they did not, so it counted.

It also counted because Jim Schwartz, head coach for the Detroit Lions, threw the challenge flag when he shouldn't have.

This leads to one of the most profound ironies of my day. I realized this afternoon that, with the NFL being the way it is, the best possible coach for the Detroit Lions isn't a great strategist nor is it someone who can give great motivational speeches in the locker room. The best coach isn't even someone who knows a lot about football.

Instead, considering the way the NFL operates today, the best possible coach is probably a really good attorney. In the modern NFL, teams need to have lawyers standing by to make sure that every arcane rule is followed and that all of those rules work to their team's advantage.

And that's probably the saddest part of all.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Turkey Dinner - Stock Photo by David Lat
I want to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood and beyond. May your table be overflowing with food and drink, may you be surrounded by family and friends, and my you always have something to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Warrendale Bar Guide

Tonight is Thanksgiving Eve, which is the biggest bar night of the year. In case you don't already have plans for the evening, here is a rundown of what is happening at the various bars in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood.

Photo by Dorn Zurawki
Last Call Bar (19432 W. Warren Ave.) re-opened under new management recently. My review from their soft opening is available here. In the short time since then, they have continued to ramp up as a great neighborhood bar. Besides friendly service and cheap booze, they also offer free pool and Karaoke.

Last Call Bar is quickly emerging as one of those places that people travel from all around the Detroit area to come to. This makes it a great place to hang out at and spend some time.

Parking is available at the rear of their property.

Photo by Frank Nemecek
While Last Call Bar is the new kid on Warrendale's bar scene, Chick's Bar (18550 W. Warren Ave.) remains a legendary neighborhood establishment. Every Wednesday evening is ladies night at Chick's Bar, which means 1/2 off drinks for ladies from 8 p.m. until close. Plus, rumor has it some awesome Detroiters are having a birthday party there this evening.

Their kitchen is also open, serving good reasonably priced food. Tonight, in addition to everything else, my sources tell me that their potato and ham soup is on the menu, which is really good one.

Lighted parking for Chick's Bar is available in their lot on the east side of the building.

Photo by Frank Nemecek
While they are primarily known for their award-winning pizza and subs, Gracie See Pizzeria (6889 Greenfield Rd.) is also hosting a beer pong championship this evening. Several fraternity members from the University of Michigan - Dearborn are expected to compete. Anyone who is at least 21 years of age is welcome to join in their competition.

They also have a pool table and a Wii entertainment system if beer pong isn't your preferred source of entertainment. All of this, of course, is in addition to the pizza that has made Gracie See Pizzeria famous since 1967.

Lighted parking for Gracie See Pizzeria is available in their lot, which is on the north side of the building.

Photo by Frank Nemecek
For those who feel merely an abundance of alcohol doesn't offer quite enough debauchery for one evening, there is also the Toy Chest Bar (18728 Ford Rd.). As far as strip clubs go, they were named one of the best small clubs in the Midwest.

They have specials every night. This evening, they will offer $15 buckets of ice cold Miller. They will also have 1 liter bottles of Grey Goose for only $99.

All of these are great options for Thanksgiving Eve. Plus, there are many more  establishments throughout the Warrendale neighborhood.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This. Is. Irony.

My dear readers, it is time for something completely random with very little connection to the Warrendale neighborhood. The folks at Anonymous released a video, in which they claimed that the hacked Karl Rove's servers and prevented him from stealing the election this year. A full story about it is available here.

I don't know if Mr. Rove actually did try to steal the election nor do I know if Anonymous actually did prevent him from doing so. The one thing, though, that I do know is that there was an advertisement from a right-wing group overlayed onto the version of this video that I saw.

Screen Grab from My PC - Image by Frank Nemecek
Yes, that is a screen grab from my PC. There really was such an advertisement displayed on this message from Anonymous.

If this really happened then I am profoundly grateful to everyone at Anonymous for protecting the democratic process. Regardless, I find it ironic as a heck that a message from them would accompany one of their videos.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Detroit Offers Emergency Notifications to Residents

Stock Photo by Keith Syvinski
The City of Detroit Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management announced recently that they have begun using the Nixle Community Information Service to create and instantly publish important and emergency messages directly to residents via cell phone text message, email, or online at

The service is available to any resident who wishes to subscribe. Messages may include community events, traffic incidents, and other relevant public safety and emergency information. This service is secure, reliable, and easy to use.

Messages can be sent specifically to residents registered within a ¼ mile radius, giving them the opportunity to receive trustworthy information relevant only to their neighborhood. Residents decide from which local agencies they want to receive information. Subscribers can also choose the way in which alerts are received, whether it is by email, text message, or over the web.

Residents of Detroit and neighboring communities can begin receiving pertinent information via text message, email, and the Web by registering at or texting DETROIT to 888777. This has been your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Some Friendly Advice for Carjackers

I have 2 quick tips to share with everyone this morning.

Tip #1: Never try to carjack anyone.

Tip #2. Never, every try to carjack a cop. It's one of those things that is pretty much guaranteed to end badly for you.

Three idiots found out how bad of an idea it is to carjack an off-duty copy. It happened in the vicinity of the Southfield Freeway and Fenkell, which is approximately 3 miles north of the Warrendale neighborhood. The full story is available here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Let Louisiana Be "Free"

The State of Louisiana collects $1.78 from the U.S. Treasury for every $1 they pay in federal taxes, according to a report published by Business Insider. After the election last week, Michael E. from Slidell, Louisiana started a petition for the Pelican State to leave the Union. Quite frankly, this is the equivalent of a dead-beat moocher promising to never try to borrow money from you again.

Please take a moment to sign this petition. I doubt Louisiana will actually leave. After all, people who are getting free money rarely stop taking it. Regardless, I think it'll be fun to see where this leads us.

The petition is on-line here.

Update @ 10:56 a.m.
I came across this story over the weekend, but didn't want to publish something this controversial during a national holiday. I thus held the story until this morning, when Blogger published it for me automatically at 8:30 a.m. There have, however, been several developments since I drafted this story.

Since then, residents of more than twenty other states have drafted similar petitions on the White House's We the People site. As of this moment, only the petition to allow Texas to succeed has garnered the 25,000 signatures required by the White House for this to be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, one of those states with a petition in the works is Michigan. The petition was started by Lynn B., who would not confirm where he or she lives. We don't know if this person actually lives in Michigan. Regardless, I have to say that I am profoundly disappointed in this.

It's one thing when freeloading states have a petition like this. I don't expect anything less from them. However, we're Michigan. We are better than this.

Update @ 11:06 a.m.
There is now a petition on the White House's site to strip everyone who signed one of those succession petitions of their citizenship and exile them. It's on-line here.

I don't think this petition will go any further than the succession petitions. However, I like the idea of fighting fire with fire.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Detroit Celebrates Recycling

The City of Detroit is still a long ways from the citywide curbside recycling that our neighboring communities have enjoyed for more than a decade. However, they are at least making baby steps in the right direction. They will promote recycling during the week of November 12 - 17, in conjunction with America Recycles Day on November 15. 

Recycling - Image by Jay Lopez
The City of Detroit, along with its recycling partners, will participate in this effort as part of its ongoing Keep Detroit Beautiful campaign.

The Department of Public Works recently expanded its curbside recycling program to include 34,000 households.  By year’s end, that number will grow to a little less than 40,000 as other residents eagerly await the opportunity to conveniently recycle. Last year, the City collected and processed more than 1.3 million pounds of recyclable materials. 

Additionally, the City continues to provide free drop-off for Detroit residents at five locations. The Recycle Here facility at 1331 Holden is accessible to both Detroit and non-Detroit residents.

In recognition of America Recycles Day, some area recycling convenience centers will have extended hours for individuals to drop off recyclable items. This will include Recycle Here, which is funded by the City of Detroit, is open Monday (November 12 only) and Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.

On November 17, Rosedale Recycle will mark its 272nd month as a recycling drop-off location.  Area residents can drop off their recycling from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Christ the King Church, 20800 Grand River Avenue, which is near McNichols (enter from Pierson Street). This, of course, is the closest facility to the Warrendale neighborhood.

Detroit residents only can discard poisons, solvents, paint, heavy metals, and other toxic products at the Household Hazardous Waste Receiving Facility at 2000 E. Ferry Street, which is near the I-75 and I-94 freeways. The facility is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will have extended hours from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14.

In addition, a number of organizations are working with the City of Detroit to promote recycling during this week and throughout the year. The Zero Waste Alliance went go door-to-door on Saturday, November 10 on Detroit’s east side to distribute recycling information to residents and emphasize the importance of recycling. The Clean Energy Coalition developed recycling educational brochures and an outreach program that resulted in high rates of participation in the most recently expanded areas for curbside collection.

Information about the recycling program and promotional videos are available on the City’s Web site at

City of Detroit Offices Are Closed Today

Most City of Detroit offices will be closed today in observance of Veterans Day.  Normal police, fire, and bus services will, however, be provided.

In addition, the Department of Public Works will collect trash, yard waste, and curbside recycling as normally scheduled today. However, bulk drop-off locations will be closed on that day.  

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Detroit Public Works Department Changes Hours for Drop-Off Locations

Yard Waste Waiting for Collection - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The Detroit Department of Public Works will continue to collect yard waste placed in biodegradable paper bags or personal containers through early December (weather permitting). However, due to the high volume of bags of yard waste, DPW crews may not collect yard waste on the specified day or week that bags are placed at curbside. Residents should leave their bags at the curb until collected and will not be ticketed.

Residents are reminded that yard waste placed in plastic bags will not be collected. Citizens should place properly contained yard waste at the curb on their weekly collection day.

If yard waste must be disposed of immediately, residents are encouraged to take their yard waste to any of the 5 free DPW drop-off locations. Also, as of this past Monday, DPW has switched to their fall/winter hours of 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. at its four drop-off locations. A fifth location, J. Fons Transfer Station, is open weekdays from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Residents can use the drop-off locations to discard bulk items, yard waste, tires (limit of 4), and recyclable items.  These hours are in effect from now through the end of March.
  • Southfield Yard at 12255 Southfield Service Drive is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.;
  • Davison Yard at 8221 W. Davison is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.;
  • State Fair Yard at 19715 John R is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.;
  • 5840 Anthon is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.;
  • J. Fons Transfer Station at 6451 E. McNichols is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
All locations, except J. Fons, are closed from noon – 1 p.m.  These drop-off locations are open to Detroit residents only with proper identification. There is a limit of 1,000 pounds or one cubic yard per household per day. The City will not accept demolition, construction, or remodeling debris (including shingles), household or commercial garbage, or tree stumps.

For more information, go to the City’s Web site at

Toy Chest Bar is Hiring a Bartender

Toy Chest Bar - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The Toy Chest Bar (18728 Ford Rd.) is hiring a new bartender. Anyone interested in applying for this job is asked to apply in person at the bar.

Police Commission to Meet This Evening in Warrendale

Photo by Elvis Santana
The Detroit Police Commission will have a community meeting this evening, November 8 at 6:30 p.m. They will meet in the NFL/YET Boys and Girls Club (16500 Tireman Rd.).

The public is welcome to attend this meeting. This is a great opportunity for residents, business owners, and others concerned about the state of public safety in Detroit.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

5 Best Tweets from Election Day

Yesterday was Election Day and, across the Twittersphere, people made their observations of the day known to the world. 31 millions of comments were made, which smashed all of the records. Below are my picks for the 5 best tweets from Election Day 2012.

Jerry Paffendorf from Detroit's nearby Corktown neighborhood leads off my picks with his commentary on the stickers they were handing out at the polls.
 Mike Monteiro offered a simple observation for those who were stuck waiting to vote in long lines across America.
Democratic political consultant Joe DiSano offered this reaction to some of the Republican commentators that he saw on the airwaves late last night/early this morning.
Tiffany Boyte, however, offered a more down to Earth take on this election right before she went with her family to cast a ballot for Governor Mitt Romney.
Of course, my absolute favorite tweet of the day came from David Kurtz of
It always amazes me how much wit and wisdom some people are able to cram into 140 characters. My thanks go out to each of these individuals for sharing their thoughts with the world.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Scene from Election Day in Warrendale

Election Day in Warrendale - Photo by Frank Nemecek
Polling places across southeastern Michigan are reporting voter turnout that is much higher than normal. It's no different here in the Warrendale neighborhood.

I vote at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. The photo above shows a parking lot that was almost completely full. I have never seen that many people on Election Day.

Michigan election law prohibits photography within the polling place. Otherwise, I would have snapped a photo or two of the incredibly long lines that I saw inside.

I also heard reports that the line stretch outside of the building at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, which is one of the other polling places in Warrendale. This is an interesting election.

Personally, I simply hope that we have this much interest next year when we elect our mayor and city council.

Breaking Down the Ballot Proposals

Interior of the Michigan Capital - Photo by Frank Nemecek
 David Baschal, a local activist and resident of Detroit's nearby New Center neighborhood, sent me his breakdown of the 6 ballot initiatives. The views here are his own.

For those who live in Michigan, here is a rundown of the state proposals with my peanut gallery comments.

Proposal 1 is about the recent changes to the Emergency Manager law. It keeps the law passed in 1990, but gets rid of the unlimited power that recent changes gave to EMs. Vote "no" unless you like totalitarian rule.

Proposal 2 restores collective bargaining rights that state laws have taken away. Vote "yes" to restore those rights.

Proposal 3 increases renewable energy to 25% by 2025 and caps utility rate hikes to 1% per year - oil and energy companies are against it. Vote "yes" if you like to breath clean air.

Proposal 4 allows home healthcare workers to organize, requires background checks for them, and preserves patients' rite to hire who they want. Vote "yes" to protect home healthcare consumers and workers.

Proposal 5 requires 2/3rds majority for any tax change; it is financed by Manny Maroun; it would allow just thirteen state senators to commandeer the senate. Vote "no" if you like democracy.

Proposal 6 requires a vote for any international bridge to be built. Canada has agreed in writing to pay for the new bridge and all cost overruns. Canada money will count as Michigan's money spent on infrastructure that the U.S. Government matches. That money will be spent on other infrastructure projects (roads, overpasses, etc.) within Michigan. Vote "no" unless you want to protect a billionaire’s monopoly of an international crossing.

If you would like to post a guest commentary, please see the contact me page on this blog.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Mayor Bing Establishes Non-Fraternization Policy

Mayor Dave Bing
Mayor Dave Bing announced this afternoon that he has signed an executive order to establish a non-fraternization policy for all City of Detroit employees. This is done in the aftermath of a series of high-profile sex scandals involving senior officials within the Detroit Police Department, including 2 different chiefs of police, who had affairs with subordinates. This standard, according Mayor Bing's statement, will ensure a fair, conflict-free workplace.

This policy affects all employees, including the Detroit Police Department. However, under the terms of Detroit's new charter, it will require approval by the Board of Police Commissioners. Mayor Bing explained that he fully expects that to happen at the next Police Commissioners meeting.

Greening of Detroit Returns to Warrendale

Photo by John Kovacich
The Greening of Detroit will return to Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood tomorrow morning starting at 9 a.m. for another tree planting. This is the third time this season that they have planted trees in Warrendale.

The non-profit group will plant 172 trees on Greenview, Faust, and Penrod Streets from Tireman Avenue to West Warren Avenue. Volunteers should meet at 7600 Penrod St., which is at the corner of Penrod and Sawyer.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Polish Dance Group to Sell Pierogi

Pierogi - Photo by Renata Szar
The Polish Alliance Dancers, who practice at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Warrendale, along with the Gen. Polaski Polish Language School and the POLANIE Song & Dance Ensemble, are kicking off their annual pierogi fundraiser. They offering a dozen homemade pierogi for only $7 with a different flavor available each week.

The group will make potato and cheese pierogi this week. Those ordering them can pick them up at the SSPP Activities Building on Saturday, November 3 or they will deliver them. Next week, they will make kraut pierogi, which will be available for pick up or delivery on Saturday, November 10. Potato and onion pierogi will follow after that, with a pick up or delivery date of Saturday, November 17.

Orders for pierogi may be made by calling Donna Kutylowski at 313.505.0057 or emailing her at donnakutylowski [at] gmail [dot] com. Checks, payable to the Polish Alliance Dancers, may also be mailed to 4542 Korte Street in Dearborn, Michigan 48126-2804.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Last Call Bar Re-Opens in Detroit's Warrendale Neighborhood

Last Call Bar - Photo by Dorn Zurawski
The Last Call Bar (19432 W. Warren Ave.) had a soft opening yesterday, just in time for patrons to enjoy game 1 of the World Series. There is still a little work that needs to be done. However, this place is shaping up to be a classic neighborhood bar and a good one at that.

Their drinks are cheap, their service is good, and the crowd is friendly. What else could one ask for?

Parking is available in a lot behind the bar (enter through the alley). For those who rely on mass transit, the Crosstown bus stops right by the Last Call as well.

Friday, October 19, 2012

5 Things Governor Snyder Should Do to Help Detroit

Governor Rick Snyder - Official Press Photo
Governor Rick Snyder has been an integral part of 3 initiatives that were intended to improve the lives of everyday Detroiters while stabilizing the City's budget. He has pushed for a regional transit authority, a new authority to upgrade and manage Detroit's street lights, and he tried to have Belle Isle managed as a state park.

Each of those 3 things has provoked a certain amount of controversy and none of them have been enacted. I won't discuss the merits of those 3 initiatives, at least not in this post.

Instead, I want to take the time to highlight 5 things that Gov. Snyder should do to help Detroit, which would not provoke the political stalemate that his other ideas have encountered.

It has never been more important to turn things around in Detroit. A recent poll by the Detroit News shows that 40% of Detroiters intend to leave the area within in the next 5 years. Crime, and the Detroit Police Department's inability to respond effectively to it, is the prevailing reason for their intended departure.

Detroit simply cannot afford to see that many residents leave that quickly. A 25% loss in population over 10 years is largely responsible for our current financial condition. A 40% drop within 5 years will drive both the City of Detroit and the Detroit Public Schools into bankruptcy, which will set off a series of events that will likely prove detrimental to all of Michigan.

If that happens, even if we do get those 3 things that the Governor is currently working on, the loss of residents and tax revenue and corresponding bankruptcy will mean wide-scale credit downgrades for cities and counties throughout the region. It will be harder for them to borrow the money they all need to borrow from time to time and it will cost them a lot more when they are able to borrow. That, in turn, will make many of the problems those communities are facing much worse.

With all of that in mind, I present 5 things that Governor Snyder should do to help Detroit. I believe an overwhelming majority of Detroiters will support these initiatives.

#1. Find a Buyer for the Rackham Golf Course
Stock Photo by C. Flart
The City of Detroit owns the Rackham Golf Course in Huntington Woods. It's a fantastic course; often ranked as one of the best public golf courses in the United States. However, because it's in the suburbs, very few city residents use it.

Kwame M. Kilpatrick tried to sell the Rackham Golf Course to private developers when he was Mayor of Detroit. No one in Detroit rallied in opposition to the sale nor complained that our jewels were being taken from us. Pretty much everyone in Detroit seemed okay with the idea of selling the course to private developers.

The courts, however, ruled that a deed restriction from the Rackham family prevented the City of Detroit from selling it to anyone other than another unit of government. The deal to sell the course died shortly after that ruling came down and the City of Detroit continues to own a valuable asset that does little for city residents.

Gov. Snyder could use his influence to persuade either the City of Huntington Woods or Oakland County to buy the Rackham Golf Course for a price that ideally is at least somewhat close to what those developers were willing to pay a few years ago. Failing that, the State of Michigan could step in to buy it. The purchase could be financed with the sale of bonds and those bonds repaid with revenue generated by the golf course.

As for how this would benefit Detroiters, the proceeds from such a sale would be enough to:
  • Replace our current fleet of ambulances that are simply beyond their serviceable life;
  • Reopen at least one of our closed police stations; and
  • Buy a couple hundred squad cards for the Detroit Police Department.
Being able to say that we own that golf course is nice. However, I think most Detroiters would vastly prefer the benefits of selling the thing.

#2. Takeover the Operations of Detroit's 9-1-1 Call Center
Officially, it takes the Detroit Police Department an average of 37.6 minutes to respond to an emergency, which is the worst response time of any major police department in the industrialized world. Most people who have had to make one of those calls, however, can attest to the fact that its true response time is much higher. Individual police officers have told me that they are on scene within a few minutes of getting a call, it just takes much longer for DPD to route those calls for service than it would for other departments.

Officials within DPD love to offer one excuse after another for their response time. None of them, in my opinion, hold any water.

No small part of the department's response time has to do with how those calls for service are routed within DPD's call center and dispatching. Therefore, I believe it would be prudent for either the State of Michigan or Wayne County to takeover management of Detroit's 9-1-1 call center and police dispatching.

Moreover, if Detroit were to combine its call center operations with the Cities of Hamtramck and Highland Park, the cost to each community would likely be lower than it is now. Faster response times at a lower cost is powerful thing that will do a lot to stem the exodus from Detroit.

#3. Takeover the Policing of Downtown Detroit
Detroit Police Officer on Patrol During Super Bowl XL
The unfortunate reality is that the Detroit Police Department has been mismanaged for so long, and is in such bad condition right now, that money cannot solve its problems.

It will take time to recruit, train, and deploy new police officers. Once new officers are deployed, they will still be rookies who will need mentoring and experience before they are able to maximize their effectiveness. Those things take time and, with the rate that Detroit is losing population, we simply do not have enough time.

Therefore, I believe that the best possible course of action at this time would be for the Detroit Police Department to hand the task of policing our central business distinct over to either the Wayne County Sheriff or the Michigan State Police. If those agencies are able to handle adjacent areas also, such as Brush ParkLafayette Park, or the New Center, that would be fantastic.

By doing this, we could redeploy hundreds of Detroit police officers into the neighborhoods where their presence is essential to stem our population loss and avoid a bankruptcy. Moving police officers into the neighborhoods is something that residents have been begging for for years.

As for the costs that the Michigan State Police and/or the Wayne County Sheriff would have to incur, at least a portion of them could be paid by asking the Detroit Tigers, Lions, and Red Wings to reimburse those agencies for the costs associated with directing traffic during their games.

The idea of professional teams paying for police services, by the way, is nothing new. It is something that former Mayor Kilpatrick proposed shortly before his scandals became public and he was ousted from office. No one voiced any objections to it then. It's doubtful that anyone would object today.

#4. Takeover the Collection of Detroit's Income Taxes
The City of Detroit is one of the few local governments that has an income tax for residents and non-residents alike. Unfortunately, Detroit does a really bad job at collecting on those taxes. Mayor Dave Bing has sent out thousands of letters to people who money, but has had only limited success.

When Ken Conkrel, currently the President Pro Tem of the Detroit City Council, was mayor on an interim basis, one of the reforms that he proposed was to have the Michigan Department of Treasury takeover collecting that tax revenue. It is one of many reforms that have been discussed in this town without being enacted. Regardless, there were very few people who spoke against that move back then and it's doubtful such a proposal would stir much controversy today.

Since this would likely generate more than enough money to wipe out Detroit current $40 million deficit, I believe it is something that should be done expeditiously.

#5. Takeover Billing for the Detroit Fire Department
Stock Photo - Jakub Krechowicz
The Detroit Fire Department bills for a variety of services. For example, insurance companies, as well Medicaid and Medicare, are billed for patients who need service from our EMS, DTE is billed when they have to guard a downed power line, and so on. The problem is that the fire department only collects on 52% of those invoices.

Very few enterprises ever collect on all of their invoices. Regardless, a 52% collection rate is really low. If one were able to bring it up to 2/3 of all invoices being collected, that would mean millions more in revenue for a fire department where, quite frankly, a lack of adequate funding is costing lives.

Since the State of Michigan does a much better job at collecting on moneys owed to it, I believe it would be appropriate for them to take this task over as well. The administrative costs associated with their collections could be deducted from funds they receive. It would still mean a substantial boost in additional revenue for the Detroit Fire Department.

These, of course, are my thoughts: 5 relatively simple and not very controversial things that Governor Snyder could to help the City of Detroit and minimize the chances that it will go into bankruptcy within the next 5 years. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Detroit's Founder Died 282 Years Ago Today

Elizabeth Grutza with Antoine Cadillac - Photo by  David Yee
Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac passed away 282 years ago today in Castelsarrasin, France. During his 72 years on this Earth, he fathered 13 children with his wife Marie-Thérèse, served as the third French governor of Louisiana, and, in July of 1701, founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit, which later became the city of Detroit that we know and love today.

A statue of Cadillac stands today in Hart Plaza to commemorate his landing in Detroit. If he could see it, I think he would enjoy the photo that David Yee took of Elizabeth Grutza at his statue. I know I did.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Chene Modern Bakery in Detroit to Create Jesse Jackson's 71st Birthday Cake

Photo by Eric Bridiers/United States Mission Geneva
The Rev. Jesse Jackson will celebrate his 71st birthday on October 8 and the folks at Chene Modern Bakery (17041 W. Warren Ave.) in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood have been selected to create his birthday cake, according to a post on the bakery's Facebook page. This is the second time that this Detroit bakery has created a custom cake for Rev. Jackson's birthday.

Rev. Jesse Jackson could conceivably get his birthday cake from any bakery in the free world. The fact that he has chosen to get it from here only confirms something that those in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood have known for decades - Chene Modern Bakery is an amazing institution and a local treasure.

I hope that Rev. Jesse Jackson has an amazing birthday next week. I also hope that he and his guests enjoy every bite of their cake.