Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rouge Park Appreciation Day is this Saturday

A quick reminder that Rouge Park Appreciation Day is this Saturday. Please join the Friends of Rouge Park and others in cleaning up the largest park in Detroit.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. at Joy Rd. and Spinoza St. Volunteers are asked to wear long sleeves and long pants as well as sturdy covered shoes.

There might have some rain so bring a raincoat. This event will go on, rain or shine.

Lunch will be served after for all volunteers.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Water deal on the line

The deal to create a regional water authority for southeastern Michigan is in trouble, according to published news reports. The City of Detroit's bankruptcy plan called for such an authority to be created no later than June 14. Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel doesn't appear inclined to go along with it.

If Hackel doesn't like the deal, that's between him and the people of Macomb County. I'm okay with this deal falling apart.

If there is no deal on a regional water authority then there is nothing to prevent the City of Detroit to retain ownership of that portion of water system that is within its city limits but sell the suburban portion of it. Such a sale would not only remove the water system's debt from the City's books, it would likely also leave us with more than $1 billion in cash.

The cash from such a sale could then be used to pay down some of the other debt that Detroiters carry - either debt from the City of Detroit itself or from the Detroit Public Schools. Either way, paying down our debts would enable us to lower our property taxes.

And lower property taxes - either as reduction in debt service levied by the City of Detroit or a reduction in what the Detroit Public Schools levy - would be welcome in a city like Detroit which has the highest taxes in Michigan.

If Hackel isn't happy with the regional water deal, that's between him and the people of Macomb County. I simply hope that Mayor Mike Duggan, Councilman Gabe Leland, and the other members of the City Council use this opening as a chance to advance the interests of our residents.

Let the deal fall through, if Hackel continues to object.

Sell the portion of our water system that is in the suburbs to any number of private investors.

Use the proceeds from such a sale to pay down debts - for either the City of Detroit or the Detroit Public Schools.

Once the debt is paid down, lower the debt service levy on Detroiter's property taxes.

The choice is clear. The only question that remains is: what will Detroit's leadership do?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Remembering more than a million on Memorial Day

Soldier guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns
U.S. Navy photo
We pause today to remember the estimated 1.3 million Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who have sacrificed their lives since the founding of this nation. Because of their sacrifice, those of us who remain are able to live the lives we currently enjoy.

May we each live lives that are worthy of their sacrifice.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Suspect wanted after shooting on Westwood Street

Christopher Lamar - Detroit Police photo
A critical shooting occurred in the 7800 block of Westwood, which is just south of Tireman Street in the Warrendale neighborhood. The crime reportedly happened Sunday at approximately 2:00 a.m.

The victim was able to make a positive photo identification of the suspect, a Christopher Lamar, black male, with the date of birth of February 6, 1979. The suspect has a violent criminal history. This person is to be considered armed and dangerous. The weapon used in this crime has not been recovered at this time.

A photo of the suspect wanted is above. During the investigation, there was speculation that the suspect has possibly cut his dreadlocks off.

If anyone has seen this individual, know of his whereabouts or have any information pertaining to this crime please call Detroit Police at (313)596-5646, or email the investigator directly at tanguayj181 [at] detroitmi [dot] gov. Citizens can remain anonymous as always by leaving a tip on our app, DPD Connect, or contacting Crimestoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

Detroit Police step up traffic enforcement

The Detroit Polic Department appears to be stepping up traffic enforcement in and around the Warrendale neighborhood. There was a period of heavy enforcement on Paul Street, west of the Southfield Freeway, late on Friday afternoon that lasted into the early evening.

Several tickets were issued and at least two vehicles were impounded by police during this time period. It's not clear whether or not any arrests were made in connection with those impoundments, although there didn't appear to be any from where I watched everything happen.

Portion of Ford Road renamed for fallen firefighter

Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation on Friday to rename a portion of Ford Rd. in the communities of Wayne and Westland the Firefighter Brian Woehlke Memorial Highway. This renaming honors a firefighter who died in the line of duty there in 2013 when a burning building collapsed on him.

The governor was joined at this signing by State Representatives Robert Kosowski and Julie Plawecki as well as Wayne/Westland firefighter David Polite and his son Tyler. Polite lives in the Warrendale neighborhood.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

House fire on Ashton

Detroit Fire trucks on the scene - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The Detroit Fire Department responded to a fire at a vacant house on Ashton Ave. this evening. The fire broke out at approximately 10 p.m. at a house between W. Warren Ave. and Whitlock St.

The crew promptly extinguished the blaze. There were no injuries during this incident. In addition, the occupied house that is next door to the one that caught fire was not damaged in the blaze.

Interview with Detroit Public Television

I was interviewed again last week for a special that Detroit Public Television is doing on life in our city and its neighborhoods. Instead of a standard, sit-down interview, this time I got to show their camera crew some of the interesting parts of Warrendale.

One of the places that I showed them was the Lloyd H. Ryan Playground at the southern end of Warrendale. The playground is currently undergoing renovations that will make it a much stronger asset to the neighborhood, in my opinion.

When work is done there will be a brand new playscape for young children as well as two soccer fields at the southern end of it. There will also be a covered picnic area.

Another thing that I showed them was the horse barn that the Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Association maintains inside Rouge Park. This is a great resource to the have in our neighborhood, I believe, and I'm always surprised by how few people know about it.

The team at Detroit Public Television is still working on this special. As a result, they do not have a definite day or time as to when it will air.

However, as soon as that is finalized, I will report it on this blog. I will also schedule a viewing party to watch it somewhere in the neighborhood.

In the meantime, I invite everyone to follow me on Instagram to see more photos like the ones that I have showcased in this blog post.

Motor City Makeover comes to Warrendale

Volunteers from the Warrendale Community Organization will clean up the some of the vacant houses that are near the Carver STEM Academy (18701 Paul St.). This event is part of the annual Motor City Makeover initiative. It will begin on Saturday, May 19 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. near the school.

Anyone who is interested in helping clean up a portion of the Warrendale neighborhood is encouraged to lend a hand that morning.