Friday, June 27, 2014

Laws and ordinances that relate to fireworks

I used to love fireworks as a kid. Today, however, I hear them so often that I am simply sick of them.

I breathed a tiny sigh of relief, therefore, when I got this sheet in my email from Ricardo Moore, our police commissioner, that outlines the various laws and ordinances regarding fireworks in Detroit. The short version: most of this stuff violates an existing city ordinance.

Now, we just have to get someone to enforce those ordinances.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Consumers Beware: 5 Tips to Keep you Scam-Free this Summer

For the majority of Americans who plan to take a vacation, attend a concert, or work on their home or garden this summer, this season comes with its own unique consumer challenges. As this week's Tip of the Week feature, here are the top five scams and frauds to be alert for this time of year:

  1. Don’t buy gas additives that claim to make fuel last longer. Even though gas prices go up in the summer, the Environmental Protection Agency has not found any product that significantly improves gas mileage, and some could damage a car’s engine or increase exhaust emissions.
  2. Unlicensed home repair or landscaping contractors may come to your door to offer services. Always research contractors, pay for services upon completion—not ahead of time— and consider using a signed contract outlining the work to be done and the exact price.
  3. Interested in a summer concert or festival? If you buy tickets from a major vendor, remember surcharges and additional fees may be tacked onto the listed price. Some venues require the same credit card used to purchase tickets be presented when the tickets are picked up, so if you’re buying tickets for someone as a gift, they may have difficulty getting them at will-call.
  4. When renting a beach or lake house for vacation, make sure the property actually exists. Do your homework before paying— check out the owner or rental company, consult maps and read the lease carefully. Pay with an online payment service or a credit card so you can dispute the charges if something goes wrong.
  5. When flying, make sure you’re aware of the airline’s baggage charges and their policy when it comes to bumping passengers. A lot of airlines “bump” depending on how late you checked in, so check in ASAP!

For more advice on protecting your money, order the Consumer Action Handbook, which is available here. Also, follow on Facebook and Twitter. If you have your own consumer questions, ask us using the hashtag #AskMarietta, and they’ll answer them live during a Google hangout on Tuesday, June 24 at 3 p.m. ET.   

Don't leave your keys in your car overnight

I see some rather strange things as I go running or walking through the streets of Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood. (Okay - I see strange things everywhere. It's just the ones in Warrendale that fit this blog.) Regardless, I was surprised to see a set of keys dangling from a car door on Ashton near Kirkwood recently.

I also wonder which happened first: the owner coming back to retrieve his or her keys or someone taking advantage of this situation and stealing said car.

Guest commentary: Ricardo Moore, Police Commissioner

The following is a piece that was written by Ricardo R. Moore. He is the Police Commissioner for the District 7 in Detroit, which includes the Warrendale neighborhood.

Ricardo Moore campaigning in Warrendale - Photo by Frank Nemecek
As a police commissioner, I understand the role of checks and balances in respect to the Detroit Police Department. I also understand promoting peace and the long-term outcomes of doing such.

It’s important for us not to be reactionary to criticism but proactive to our thoughts and beliefs of a safer city. Moving the focus from the negative to the positive is needed.

In a lot of instances, leaders have programmed the citizenry for negativity: the violence, the robberies, the blood, the unsolved crimes. Pain is something everyone can relate to, and therefore, it’s served as a main course.

Currently, the Detroit Police Department is focusing on the positive aspects as opposed to the negative, more familiar headlines. A healthy, motivated and transparent DPD changes the community for the better.

A person feels safer when he or she senses the tone of their environment changing (streetlight repairs, blight removed, potholes fixed, visible leaders in the community). This tone is set from managers who control resources.

Leaders should always accent the positive, while also safeguarding lives and property.

I challenge every leader in southeast Michigan to put personal agendas aside and work for the betterment of our hometown, our city, our future.


Ricardo R. Moore
Police Commissioner
Detroit Police Department