Friday, September 29, 2017

Southfield woman walks to save lives

When Patty Castelli of Southfield, Michigan became ill in 2013, she had a feeling something was seriously wrong. What she didn’t know was that the simple chest x-ray she insisted on would end up saving her life.

“I was lucky,” Patty says, “I was lucky that I chose to have that scan, and I was lucky that the dark spot on my lung showed up.” After more testing and a biopsy, it was confirmed that Patty had lung cancer. “Most of all I was lucky that we caught it early.” Shortly after the detection, Patty underwent robotic surgery to remove the tumor from her lower left lobe. “I am still doing fine four years later.”

But not everyone is as lucky as Patty. As the #1 cancer killer, lung cancer takes the lives of more women than any other cancer. Yet, according to the American Lung Association's 3rd annual Women's Lung Health Barometer — a survey of over 1,000 American adult women that measures their awareness, knowledge, and perceptions about lung cancer — 98 percent of women do not have lung cancer on their health radar. Awareness is critical because if lung cancer is caught before it spreads, like in Patty’s case, the likelihood of survival more than triples.

That’s why Patty has made it her mission to partner with the American Lung Association to help spread awareness and save lives.  In April, she was selected to represent the state of Michigan to meet with Congress in Washington, D.C. to personally advocate for lung cancer research. “This was one of the proudest moments of my life,” she remembers. “I was representing more than just myself and my own struggles. We are a force to be reckoned with, and we can make a difference!”

Patty will be continuing her mission this Sunday, October 1 at the LUNG FORCE Walk at the Detroit Zoo. The event features LUNG FORCE Heroes and their families, a LUNG FORCE Action Passport to interactive education areas, fun games and activities, and inspiring stories of hope. Funds raised support research, advocacy, and educational programs. Learn more and register at or call the American Lung Association at (248) 784-2000.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

WCO to meet on Monday

The next general membership meeting of the Warrendale Community Organization will be this coming Monday, October 2. The meeting will be in the Activities Building of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church (7685 Grandville Ave.). It will start at 7 pm and is expected to last until 8 p.m.

This meeting will include a guest speaker from DTE Energy in Detroit.

Everyone in the Warrendale neighborhood is welcome to attend.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Keeping contaminants out of Detroit's recycling

To increase recycling rates, the City of Detroit created a single-stream recycling system a few years ago. They thought it would be easy. However, over the last five years, the value of recovered waste has plummeted while the effort to extract it has risen. One of the major challenges in single-stream recycling is contamination.

Contaminants - or those dirty, rotten scoundrels - are what happens when non-recyclable items are mixed with recyclables. Innocent papers smeared with food or grease, paper towels, paper plates, napkins, the dreaded Styrofoam - these are some of the reasons that tons of recyclables are rejected from Detroit's recycling system each year.

There’s a general rule of thumb we use to help those who are not sure if something is recyclable or not recyclable: When in Doubt, Throw it Out.

Contaminants pickup by season too. In the spring there will be garden hoses and plant containers. During the holidays, there will be broken Christmas lights and foil wrapping paper. So let’s take a look at the top three most common contaminants found in recycling today. Keep in mind that every community is different and some accept things curbside where others do not so check with your municipality for a current list of what can be recycled. For the most part, here are the top three things that material recovery facilities do not like:

Plastic Grocery Bags.  Number one thing facilities pull out during hand sorting. These bags can muck up the machinery and close it down. Grocery Bags can be taken back to your local grocer to be disposed of properly.

Speaking of plastic grocery bags: do not put recyclables in them and then into your cart. These would be automatically pulled and sent to a landfill. Workers should never open plastic bags to sort through recycling due to safety reasons.

Pizza Boxes. Some municipalities will allow these to be picked up curbside if you take the insert out and throw it away, but the truth of the matter is that a pizza box can ruin an entire batch of slurry. The delicious cheese that we love on our pizzas is greasy. That grease permeates the cardboard. Cardboard is mixed with water and squeeze-pressed to make new paper and that grease will cause holes in paper.

It’s really that simple. Oil and water do not mix and the facility will generally pull pizza boxes out during hand sorting.

Styrofoam. Expanded polystyrene, more commonly known as Styrofoam, is problematic to recycle. The problem is the weight. The exact reason that makes Styrofoam so attractive to be used in packaging is the same reason it is difficult to recycle.

Profits from recycling are calculated per pound. With material so lightweight, it takes more money to cover the cost of transportation, handling, and processing. To process it so that it is cost efficient requires costly equipment. While it can be recycled, it isn’t accepted curbside because it is not cost effective to do so. Your best bet is to avoid Styrofoam when possible.

Other contaminants include food, trash, hardcover books, light bulbs, electronics, cookware (ceramics, plates, cups), window/mirror glass and construction debris.

These tips are brought to you by the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog as part of our Tip of the Week feature. Please check back next week for more advice for your home, money, and life.

Monday, September 11, 2017

16 years ago

Sorrow - Photo courtesy of Max Pixel
16 years ago today, our world changed forever.

16 years ago today, at 7:59 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 took off from Logan International Airport in Boston on its way to Los Angeles. There were 81 passengers and 11 crew members aboard. Five highjackers were also aboard.

Within the hour, Flight 11 and three more commercial airliners would be highjacked. The deadliest terrorist attack in American history began 16 years ago at 7:59 a.m.

By the time that terrible day was over, 2,996 people had left this world before their time. More than 6,000 others were injured that day.

16 years ago today, our world changed forever.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Dramatic police chase on I-75

Officers from the Detroit Police Department were taken on a high-speed chase through the streets of Detroit today, one that ended in a dramatic fashion on I-75. Footage from a helicopter, which is embedded above, shows the man who was suspected of murder pull over on the highway.

Rather than surrender, though, he jumped over the median and ran across the freeway - dodging both on-coming traffic and police officers who were now chasing him on foot. As a minivan approached, the suspect jumped on top of it and was surrounded by police officers.

One officer jumped on top of the minivan and engaged the fleeing suspect. The officer threw this man off the van and onto the ground. It was at this point that his fellow officers were able to take their suspect into custody without further incident.

While this was an exceptionally dramatic chase and arrest, I have to say that I am proud of each and every officer who was involved in it. They got their man and did it without putting the general public in undo jeopardy.

Wendy Hilliard returns to Detroit for National Gymnastics Day

Children learn gymnastics through the Wendy Hillard Gymnastics Foundation - Press photo

World-class gymnast and Detroit-native Wendy Hillard is returning to Detroit to celebrate National Gymnastics Day with a special event at the Joe Dumars Field House (1120 W State Fair) on Saturday, September 16 from 10 am until noon. Hilliard was the first African-American to represent the United States in rhythmic gymnastics in an international competition, including three World Championships (1979, 1981, and 1983).

At this event, aspiring local youth will experience a free gymnastics lesson from elite athletes, parents can sign their children up for the new classes, and attendees can hear from Wendy Hilliard about her experience as a gymnast. These free and low-cost gymnastics lessons are presented for urban youth by the Wendy Hillard Gymnastics Foundation.

Brenda Jones, President of the Detroit City Council, will also attend this event. She is expected to present Hillard with the Spirit of Detroit award.

National Gymnastics Day is an annual celebration of the sport that is currently in its 19th year. It is sponsored by Gymnastics USA. It is also celebrated in Australia, the Philippines, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates.

Editor's note: This post is a part of this blog's semi-regular Friday Focus series, which endeavors to highlight news and opinions that, in my opinion, don't get as much attention as they deserve.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Chris Polite releases new indie album

Detroit is a town that is famous for cars and music.

Detroit-native Bill Haley ushered in the rock and roll era in 1955 with "Rock Around the Clock."

In 1959, Barry Gordie created a "Motown sound" that embodied the streets of Detroit into the music of local artists like Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, and Marvin Gaye.

Techno was born here.

Artists from Detroit have reached the top in every music genre from gospel to rock to hip hop.

All of this is why I'm excited that Warrendale resident Chris Polite has released his newest indie album Death in Disguise EP. It is produced by Herschel Boone.

Death in Disguise features the new single from Chris Polite "Think It Thru." The video for that song was shot in Detroit by Diego Cruz and is embedded above.

You can find the Death in Disguise EP for purchase on iTunes and Google Play. It's also available on all of the major music streaming services.

Death in Disguise EP from Chris Polite - it's your Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week for September 5.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Training opportunity for the construction industry

Wayne State University is organizing an OSHA-approved training for those interested in obtaining certification for a Respirable Crystalline Silica Training. Spanish-speaking students will receive a $25 gift certificate to Honey Bee Market La Colmena at the end of the training.

This training will happen on Saturday, September 9 and Saturday, September 16 at La Sed Page Senior Center (7150 W. Vernor) in Southwest Detroit.

For any questions about this training opportunity in the construction industry for Detroiters, please contact Mary Carmen Muñoz at (313) 554-2015 or One may also contact
Roberto Muñoz at (313) 815-3146 or with any questions.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Neighborhood flower competition

Flower garden in Tak, Thailand - Photo by Love Krittaya/Wikicommons
The District 7 office for the City of Detroit, which services Warrendale and nearby neighborhoods, is sponsoring a flower competition for local residents. Gardners are invited to show off their green thumb by submitting photos of their floral work.

Photo entries should be emailed to either Ray Solomon, District Manager at or Mona Ali, Assistant District Manager at All submissions must be received by Friday, September 15.

There are a lot of great gardens in and around the Warrendale neighborhood. I would love to see a local Detroiter win this contest.

This contest is brought to you by the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog as part of our Tip of the Week feature. Please check back next week for more advice for your home, money, and life.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Help wanted at Chene Modern Bakery

Chene Modern Bakery is hiring counter help - Photo by Alachua County/Flickr
The staff at Chene Modern Bakery (17041 W. Warren Ave.) are looking to hire counter staff. The hours would be Tuesday - Saturday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. This would make for a great part-time or supplemental income or perfect as an after school job.

Interested applicants are asked to stop by the bakery to apply in person any day between the hours of 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. Please ask for Janice and tell her that you heard about this opportunity through the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog.

Round-up for Warrendale news

Waiting for surgery - Selfie by Frank Nemecek
I underwent surgery last week to repair a deviated septum and spent much of this past week recovering. Regardless, I wanted to give a quick rundown of news stories related to the Warrendale neighborhood that I've missed while recuperating.

South Warrendale Radio Patrol Featured on WDET-FM
Detroit's public radio station, WDET-FM, aired a story this week about some of the volunteer radio patrols. For the past 50 years, these patrols have been a key part of keeping our neighborhoods safe.

There are approximately 40 of these citizen-based radio patrols that operate in Detroit, including our own South Warrendale Radio Patrol. The Warrendale group was featured prominently in WDET's story. It is available online here.

Body Found in Alley
Early this past Monday, the remains of a 25-year old man later identified as Ahmed Alakoubi of Dearborn Heights was found in an alley near the Southfield Freeway and Paul Street. The Detroit Police Department is investigating this matter as a robbery turned murder, according to published news reports.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the Detroit Police Department's Homicide Unit at (313) 596-2260. More details about this story are available at MI

Sidewalk Repairs on Minock Street
I reported previously about a hazardous sidewalk on Minock and the rather crappy repair that was hastily done to it by a contractor for the City of Detroit. Since then, the contractor has been back to replace the sidewalk fully.

WXYZ-TV aired a story about the hazardous sidewalk in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood earlier this week. Their story is available online here.

Community Garden Featured on WXYZ-TV
The In Memory Of Community Garden, which is located at the corner of Minock and Whitlock Streets, was also featured on WXYZ-TV earlier this week. Their story focused on the efforts of these volunteer gardeners to prevent kidney disease throughout the Detroit area.

The full story from WXYZ-TV is available online here.