Monday, August 27, 2012

Resume Writing and Job Searching

Edison Branch of the Detroit Public Library
The Edison Branch (18400 Joy Rd.) of the Detroit Public Library will host a free class on resume writing and job searching this Friday from 10:30 a.m. until noon at the library. Participants will learn to effectively use Microsoft Word and an email account effectively as well as how to use a flash drive. All of this will enable individuals to write, save, and submit resumes and cover letters.

Also included in this class will be tips on conducting internet job searches and posting resumes at various sites. This class is free and open to the public.

The Resume Writing and Job Searching class at our local library is your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Demolishing the State Savings Bank in Downtown Detroit - Or Not

Andreas Apostolopoulos of Triple Properties in Toronto wants to demolish the historic State Savings Bank building because he says there's no parking near the Penobscot Building, which his firm also owns. His proposal has infuriated more than a few people in Detroit.

I thought I'd save him hundreds of thousands of dollars by posting this.

Parking for the Penobscot Building
The yellow circle is the Penobscot Building in downtown Detroit. All of those blue shapes on the map?

Those are parking lots nearby.

Triple Properties could almost certainly buy one of those surface parking lots for less than the cost demolishing the State Savings Bank. One could then build a parking structure on that land for the same costs and without infuriating so many people.

This would leave the State Savings Bank available for him to do something else with that would likely make as much money, if not more, than would a parking structure. Penthouse, for example, used that building for a rather spectacular party during Super Bowl XL. The building is also a prime location for a variety of retail and other adaptive reuses.

The real estate market in Detroit isn't quite ready for a return of many of the things that we saw during Super Bowl XL. However, at rate Dan Gilbert is buying up buildings and converting them into profitable ventures, we'll be there fairly soon. If the State Savings Bank is demolished then so are the opportunities that it represents.

You're welcome, Mr. Apostolopoulos.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Protesting Ramadan in Detroit

There's a guy with a cross at W. Warren Ave and Greenfield Rd. who is protesting Ramadan. Some people are just looking for trouble.

Update: Thursday @ 10:09 a.m.
The guy with the cross was joined by 4 other individuals who were passing out Bibles. They were there for approximately an hour before packing up and leaving.

Personally, I'm thrilled that no one seemed to offer any support to this protest. Several people expressed an opinion that it was wrong for them to protest another religion.

Jonathon Prince's Running Brings Him to Detroit

Jonathon Prince - Photo by Ben Watts/Milk Studios
Jonathon Prince, the runner and "social athli-vist" who once promised to run a mile on the Moon, will visit Detroit this Friday for a running event. This fun event will take place on Inslruhe Ave. on Belle Isle by the Alpheus Starkey Williams Monument at 6 p.m.

This is all part of Runners Exchange, a multi-city, one-mile run tour led by Prince to encourage an active lifestyle. At this event on Friday, Prince will provide OrthoLite insoles to race participants and educate consumers about how the strength and cushioning of the insoles have transformed his running experience.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Why Don't We Own Warrendale, Detroit?

Screen Shot from Why Don't We Own This 
My friends at Why Don't We Own This? have launched a new feature that enables you to see all of the properties in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood that will soon be up for auction by the Wayne County Treasurer. There are, quite frankly, a lot of them.

Some of these foreclosed properties are in reasonably good condition and are a very good investment. Others, well, not so much.

Regardless, this is a great tool for seeing what properties will soon be going up on the auction block. Thanks to Why Don't We Own This?, I can essentially proclaim the entire Warrendale neighborhood this week's featured place to live.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tip of the Week: Immunization Fair This Sunday

Stock Photo from Stock Exchange
The City of Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion will host its annual immunization fair on Sunday, August 26 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which is located at 315 E. Warren Ave.

Eligible children, newborn through 18 years old, can receive free immunizations for diseases such as polio, rubella, measles, mumps, tetanus, chicken pox, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and Hepatitis B. Additional services include registration for the Women, Infants, and Children feeding program, and enrollment for insurance. Giveaways will be provided.  Parents and guardians should bring a copy of their child’s shot record, identification and insurance card if Medicaid insures. Participants are eligible for shots if they are underinsured or have no insurance.

For more information, please call (313) 876-4334. The immunization fair is your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Power is Out in Warrendale

Power is out in at least some parts of the Warrendale neighborhood. Hooray for DTE!

Update: Sunday, August 19 @ 9:44 p.m.
Power was restored shortly after midnight, early Saturday morning. The Warrendale neighborhood, east of the Southfield Freeway, south of W. Warren Ave., and west of Evergreen was without electricity for a little more than 4 hours.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Detroit was Captured by the British Army 200 Years Ago Today

The Surrender of Detroit by John Wycliffe Lowes Forster
‎200 years ago today, during the War of 1812, the British Army managed to capture Detroit in of the most spectacular uses of deception ever employed during the conduct of war. After I finish work this evening, will commemorate this by watching a James Bond movie or two and wondering what Detroit would be like if we were still a British territory.

I'll probably also drool inappropriately while thinking of Keira Knightley at least once during the day. However, that's not because she's British, it's just because she is Keira Knightley.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Conversation with Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee

Ralph Godbee Wants Another Coffee
In an effort to get to the bottom of what is going on within the Detroit Police Department, I recently sat down with Ralph L. Godbee, Jr., chief of the Detroit Police Department. His comments on the record were nothing if not candid and they offer incredible insight into the problems facing Detroit.

Below is an unedited transcript of our lengthy conversation.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me this afternoon, Chief Godbee.

It's a pleasure, Frank. I just want to start by saying that I love how you host those monthly pizza parties and bring folks from as far away as Ann Arbor to spend money here in the city of Detroit. Everyone who is a part of Team Bing appreciates you doing that.

Why, thank you, Chief - it's good of you to notice. Now, if I may, I'd like to ask a question that might seem a little harsh, but so many Detroiters are asking it, I'd be remiss if I didn't put it to you: Chief Godbee, why do you need to have 12 assistants?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dave Bing and the Light Bulb Joke

After 3 years and 3 months in office, Mayor Dave Bing announced a 4 year plan to get the street lights back on in Detroit. The Detroit News has more on it here.

I swear, this is a light bulb joke in there somewhere. It's probably not a very funny one, but it's there.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

3 Teens Shot in Detroit's Warrendale Neighborhood

3 teens have been shot - 2 of them fatally - near Joy Rd. and the Southfield Freeway. WXYZ-TV has more on this breaking story here.

The Detroit Water & Sewage Report That Wasn't

Mayor Dave Bing released a report yesterday, which claimed that Detroit Water & Sewage Department could cut its staff by 81%, save approximately $900 million over the coming decade, and hold off rate increases. The Detroit Free Press has more on this report here, including a link to actual report that Mayor Bing released.

Much has already been written about this in other outlets. I would like to focus on three points that no one else seems to have picked up on.

First, I have a quick note to Mayor Bing and everyone who works for him. A series of bullet points (in a 14 point font, no less) coupled with a series of numbers that you don't back up does not qualify as a report. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the DWSD report is. Nothing but bullet points and unsubstantiated numbers.

I used to work on Wall Street in a previous life. If I had turned in something like what Mayor Bing released yesterday, I would have been fired on the spot.

In addition, the cost savings that DWSD is projecting by outsourcing employee responsibilities to private contractors seem really dubious. The report doesn't specify how they arrived at those numbers, but - as someone who has gone through more financial reports than I care to think about - their numbers just don't past the smell test.

Finally, I also have concerns about their plan to cut chemical usage by 15%. Those chemicals are used to treat sewage and make sure that our drinking water exceeds clean drinking water standards. If we cut their usage by 15%, will everything still be as clean?

Monday, August 06, 2012

Detroit Gets a New Director of the FBI Office

Robert D. Foley, III has been appointed special agent of the FBI's Detroit Division. Robert S. Mueller, III, director of the FBI, announced his appointment this afternoon.

Prior to this, Mr. Foley worked in a variety of assignments, including a stint with the Public Corruption Unit. Given all of the problems in both city and county government, I suspect that his experience with that unit will prove to be invaluable.

Tip of the Week: National Night Out is Tomorrow

Tomorrow, August 7, is National Night Out. This is a nationwide crime and drug prevention program that is jointly sponsored by Target Stores, the National Association of Town Watch and the U.S. Department of Justice.

In the Warrendale area, our local National Night Out event will happen tomorrow evening from 5 - 9 p.m. across the street from the Northwest District of the Detroit Police Department (11450 Warwick). This is just north of the neighborhood.

The focus of National Night Out is to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness as well as
  • Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs;
  • Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and
  • Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Everyone is invited to attend this event.

National Night Out is your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Detroiters Asked for Feedback on Long-Term Strategies for Detroit

Detroit Works Project Meeting
A draft of economic growth strategies developed by Detroit Works Project Long Term Planning will be shared during an Open House at the project’s Home Base on Tuesday, August 7 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Home Base is located at 2929 Russell Street in Detroit’s Eastern Market.

Tuesday will be the first of five consecutive weeks of Open Houses that Detroiters are being encouraged to attend to provide their input before the Strategic Framework Plan is completed in late October.

Each week will feature a different set of Draft Strategies, which have been developed from countless hours of research, analysis and community engagement, and separated by the project’s Five Planning Elements: economic growth; neighborhoods; public land and facilities; city systems, infrastructure and environment; and land use zoning and urban design. The schedule is as follows:
  • Tuesday, August 7: Economic Growth;
  • Tuesday, August 14: Neighborhoods;
  • Tuesday, August 21: City Systems, Infrastructure and Environment;
  • Tuesday, August 28: Land Use, Zoning and Urban Design; and
  • Tuesday, September 4: Public Land and Facilities.
The Open Houses will have a workshop-type atmosphere with some of the draft strategies being exhibited on the walls.  Project representatives will be on-hand from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. to give tours, explain the details, and gather input.  Formal presentations will be given at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at every Open House.

The Open Houses are just one of the many ways Detroiters will be able to review the draft strategies and give their input between now and September 20, the end of the final round of civic engagement before the Strategic Framework Plan is completed in late October.   Other ways include: Community Conversations; the Roaming Table; and inviting Long Term Planning representatives to attend a community meeting. Find out more by calling (313) 259-4407, visiting, or emailing