Thursday, January 31, 2019

Surviving the polar vortex

Hot Toddy | Photo by Timothy Krause/Flickr
Between the polar vortex that is gripping the Midwestern United States and everyone in the Detroit area being asked to turn their thermostats down so DTE and Consumers Energy don't run out of natural gas, I figure that I need to do something to make the lives of my loyal readers a little bit better.

Therefore, I give you, my dear reader, the one thing everyone needs to get a day like this: the recipe for a perfect hot toddy from our friends at Epicurious.

A Google search shows that there are roughly 2.1 million recipes for a hot toddy online today - each putting a slightly different twist on this classic beverage. I have researched many different recipes over the past week. I have come to believe that Epicurious has the best of them all.

One can find their recipe for a hot today online here.

Stay warm, Detroiters.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Freezing temperatures bring dangers

As I write this post, it is only 14 degrees above zero Fahrenheit in Detroit. Moreover, the weather forecast calls for it to get even colder and for this weather to last for more than a week. Weather such as this poses some very serious problems for those among us who are already having a tough time.

Anyone who lives within the city of Detroit who does not have heat in their home is asked to call the Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department for help. Their telephone number is (313) 628-2451.

Also, anyone who finds themselves suffering from extreme cold is asked to call 9-1-1.

Finally, the City of Detroit has released a flyer outlining places where people can take emergency shelter from this cold weather. It is located above.

Please share this information widely. One never knows who will need it.

Class 2019-A graduates from Detroit Police Academy

Graduates of the Detroit Police Academy take the oath of office | Photo courtesy of Detroit Police Department

Class 2019-A graduated from the Detriot Police Academy earlier today. These new law enforcement officers are pictured above took the office of office before being awarded their badge by Chief James Craig.

I believe that I speak for all Detroiters when I say congratulations to these police officers and welcome to the Thin Blue Line. We expect great things from you and stand ready to support you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Ridiculous Amount of Fun

Winter - Photo from Pixabay
It was a random Saturday morning last February when my phone started blowing up. "You have to get down here," one friend insisted in a text message.

"Where are you?" another friend asked.

I ignored the first couple of messages. I shrugged off the third and fourth messages, too.

I even assumed that the fifth and sixth messages about this fun run that was happening downtown that day was some kind of a prank.

By the time the eighth text message came in, I was in my car and heading downtown. I was still skeptical about what this Cupid's Undie Run was. However, I had succumbed to a toxic mixture of curiosity and FOMO to put my skepticism aside for at least a few minutes.

And I'm really glad that I did. I only managed to see the tail end of it, but I saw enough to know that the 2018 Cupid's Run in Detroit was simply a ridiculous amount of fun.

I was excited, therefore, to learn that the Cupid's Undie Run will return to Detroit on Saturday, February 9. Things will kick off at noon at The Fillmore (2115 Woodward Ave.) in downtown. There will be a brief (15 minutes or so) run around downtown with most of the participants wearing their colorful underwear. After that, it's back to the Fillmore for more fun.

The entire event raises money for the Children's Tumor Foundation, which funds research into neurofibromatosis or NF. It is also a ridiculous amount of fun and it's for a good cause.

Channel 95.5 captured video evidence of how much fun a previous installment of the Cupid's Undie Run was and I'm embedding it below. From what I hear, this year's installment will be just as much fun if not more so.

The event this year will include music from DJ Prevu. There will also be the usual madness of the pre- and post-run parties at the Fillmore.

And did I mention that Cupid's Undie Run is a ridiculous amount of fun? Yeah, well, it is.

Anyway, more details about the 2019 installment of Cupid's Undie Run can be found on their website, which also has a link to where one can register. Check it all out here.

Monday, January 14, 2019

The water is safe in Warrendale

Water in Detroit - Photo by Frank Nemecek
Nine people have reached out to me by phone, text, or Facebook this morning, asking about the boil water advisory for portions of Detroit that was issued by the Great Lakes Water Authority and that has been all over the news today. The key point for everyone to know is that the Warrendale neighborhood is not impacted by this.

Let me repeat this, the water in Warrendale is perfectly safe. The portion of our city that is impacted by this is basically downtown Detroit as well as the area between downtown and Belle Isle. The City of Detroit and the Great Lakes Water Authority have more information about this on their website.

And now that everyone knows that the water is safe in Warrendale, I'm going to go have a glass of the stuff myself.


Friends of Rouge Park to meet tomorrow evening

Rouge Park on a foggy day in Detroit - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The non-profit advocacy group Friends of Rouge Park will have their next general meeting tomorrow evening. This meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 15 at 6 p.m. It is expected to only last for approximately an hour.

This general meeting will happen at the Westside Christian Academy (9540 Bramell St). Everyone who is interested in the future of Rouge Park, which is the largest park in Detroit, is welcome to attend.

More information about the Friends of Rouge Park and their work in Detroit can be found on their website.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Monarch butterflies are in trouble

Monarch butterfly - Creative Commons photo courtesy of Wikimedia
A series of academic studies and news reports show that the monarch butterfly is in trouble.

A report published by the University of Florida showed that the number of monarch butterflies reaching their winter home from along the Atlantic coast has dropped by more than 80% since 2005. This report was written by Professor Hannah Vander Zanden of their Department of Biology and also appeared in the journal Animal Migration.

This echoes results published in National Geographic that focused more on western populations of the monarch butterfly, which also showed almost an 80% decline in their population. A third study by the researchers at the University of Texas-Austin showed similarily that these winged insects are in trouble.

I mention all of this because Michigan normally has a strong population of monarch butterflies. In fact, there are two areas in the Warrendale neighborhood of Detroit that have become strong habits for them. The Tall Grass Praire in Rouge Park is the largest and most strongly established one. Volunteers at the In Memory Of Community Garden at Minock and Whitlock Streets have also reported a growing population of these and other butterflies.

The fact that monarch butterflies - a winged insect that pollinates many other plants and enables them to continue growing - are in such trouble along with these two populations of monarch butterflies in Warrendale emphasizes, in my opinion, how important thee two programs are.

These programs are largely dormant for the winter but they will resume in spring, just in time for the surviving monarch butterflies to return to the Detroit area. While in Michigan, they will spend there summer here and hopefully lay enough eggs that to begin stabilizing their population.

The monarch butterfly in Rouge Park and at the community garden is, of course, one of the many stories that I will continue to follow in 2019.

Also, for my internatonal readers, may I suggest taking a look at "Protecting British Butterflies"by Chris Lee over on UP Gardner.

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. It's only because of scheduling challenges this week that my Friday Focus article is published on a Saturday afternoon.

Please follow this blog on Facebook for more great content. I'm also on Twitter and Instagram as @fnemecek.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Tlaib sparks controversy in Congress

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib - File photo

U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI 13) sparked controversy recently when she said, "we're going to go in there and we're going to impeach the motherf*cker." She was, of course, referring to President Donald J. Trump.

Since these words were uttered, there has been a considerable amount of criticism of Tlaib for her use of profanity. Examples of this can be found here and here.

Since Tlaib represents the Warrendale and surrounding neighborhoods in Detroit, I wanted to comment on this controversy.

Quite frankly, I'm surprised that there is any controversy about these comments from Tlaib at all - especially from the Trump Administration or its supporters. After all, throughout the 2016 campaign, one of the things that conservative voters said that they loved about Trump was that "he speaks his mind" and that he "wasn't afraid to be politically incorrect."

The comments about impeaching Trump were simply Tlaib speaking her mind and being politically incorrect. This is supposed to be something that they like; not something that they condemn.

I guess they only like it when certain people speak their mind and/or are politically incorrect.

Oh, well.