Friday, November 21, 2014

Detroit named one of the top cities for shopping locally

Small business in action - Photo by Frank Nemecek
As millions of small retailers prepare for Small Business Saturday on November 29, I believe it's worth noting that Detroit was recently named one of the best cities in America for shopping locally. A survey conducted by Yelp and Nielsen found that Detroit has the sixth highest concentration of highly rated retail businesses where consumers can buy gifts this holiday season.

Detroit, I should add, is also the largest city to make the top 20 in this list. Portland, Maine took the top spot in the survey. They were followed by Lawrence, Kansas, St. Petersburg, Florida, Asheville, North Carolina, Santa Cruz, California, and then Detroit in the number six spot.

Rounding out the top twenty in this list of the best cities for shopping locally was

  • Bend, Oregon
  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Wilmington, North Carolina
  • Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Minneapolis, Minneapolis
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Frederick, Maryland
  • Flagstaff, Arizona
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Seattle, Washington and
  • Baltimore, Maryland
I want to take a moment to congratulate all of the small business owners in the Warrendale neighbor and across Detroit for giving some great options for shopping locally.

Publisher's Note: This story is presented as part of this blog's semi-regular Friday Focus series, which features stories that I do not believe are getting sufficient attention from the mainstream media. Please check back next week for another Friday Focus story.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Detroit examines creating its own auto insurance for residents

Auto insurance has long been the bane of many Detroiters. The rates that city residents pay is dramatically higher than those paid by our suburban neighbors and this has been one of the many impediments to bother attracting new residents as well as retaining current ones. All of this may change, though, thanks to a plan approved by the City Council today.

The City of Detroit has hired Pinnacle Actuarial Services of Bloomington, Illinois to examine the feasibility of creating a city-owned insurance program. This program, tentatively called D Insurance, would provide city residents with auto insurance rate that much cheaper than what is currently available.

This idea has been proposed several times over the years, most notably by former City Council Member Kwame Kenyatta. However, prior to today, no action has ever been taken on making it a reality.

I believe this is an important first step in either creating such a program or in scaring the crap out insurance companies so that they make changes to their rates. I commend Mayor Mike Duggan as well as Council Member Gabe Leland who represents the Warrendale and its surrounding neighborhoods on the Detroit City Council and each of the other council members for taking this important first step.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Featured Place to Live: 6784 Asbury Park

6784 Asbury Park - Photo courtesy of the Detroit Land Bank Authority
The Detroit Land Bank Authority is currently auctioning a four bedroom, 1.5 bath brick bungalow in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood. The home, located at 6784 Asbury Park, does need some work but has tremendous potential and it reasonably priced. The current bid for this home is only $1,600 plus the 2014 property taxes.

This charming home features an open layout as well as:

  • Stone-clad living room wall;
  • Fireplace;
  • Wood paneling;
  • Bay window at the house’s rear;
  • Open living room leading directly to a large back patio
  • Sizable front window, allowing plenty of natural light to enter;
  • Wood floors; and
  • Detached garage.
Additional photos of this home are available here. There are also several attractive financing options available for this home, with more information available here.

6784 Asbury Park is your Featured Place to Live for this week.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Board of Police Commissioners to meet in Warrendale

Detroit police officer on patrol - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The Board of Police Commissioners will meet in the Warrendale neighborhood on Thursday, November 13  at 6:30 p.m. This meeting will be at the Boys and Girls Club (16500 Tireman Ave.).

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy will be a special guest at this meeting.

The public is invited to attend this special meeting.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Charlie LeDuff deals with squatter in Warrendale

Fox 2 News Headlines

The one and only Charlie LeDuff cracked down on a squatter who was illegally living in a house on Artesian Street in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood. He did it, of course, in typical Charlie LeDuff style by squatting on the squatter.

The result is perfect. Not only to the rightful homeowner get her home back, but the squatter ended up getting arrested.

Please take a moment to watch his report.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Art Van teams up with Humble Design and COTS for fundraiser

The future looks a bit brighter for some of the families experiencing homelessness in Detroit. Local nonprofits, Humble Design and Coalition On Temporary Shelter (COTS), have teamed up with Art Van Furniture to help families overcoming homelessness.

The trio has planned a celebratory event to launch their collaboration.  The event, ‘There Is No Place Like Home,’ will take place on November 19, 2014 from 6-8 p.m. inside the new Scott Shuptrine Interiors, which is located at 32301 Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak.

The objective of this partnership is to make a house a home and provide supportive services to 12 homeless families.  Funds raised from this initiative will provide the security deposit and first month’s rent; new and gently used furniture, along with accessories and home supplies; a new mattresses for each family member; and continued supportive services. The organizations seek to raise $60,000 to support this initiative.

A full cocktail bar and strolling hors d’oeuvres will be available for attendee’s enjoyment. Renowned local artists Stevie Soul and Omar Aragones will keep the crowd entertained with their signature sounds throughout the evening. Complimentary valet parking will also be available.

Event supporters can peruse the state-of-the-art gallery and learn more about each organization within this new partnership. Scott Shuptrine has graciously offered to gift 15 percent of all furniture and furnishing sales made during the event back to the partnering nonprofits.

“We encourage supporters, both new and old, to attend,” said Julie Nagle, Director of Humble Design. “With Art Van Furniture backing both organizations, we can provide furniture for more families that are striving to escape the cycle of homelessness.”

COTS’ chief executive director Cheryl P. Johnson added, “It is partnerships such as this that serve to empower families experiencing homelessness.  Together we are helping to end the cycle of poverty and homelessness and create stable homes for children to be educated and to thrive. With participation from supporters, we all can take pride in helping others succeed.”

Tickets for this event are free, but a donation of at least $50 is encouraged and appreciated. To RSVP please visit before November 12, 2014.