Thursday, February 28, 2019

The wonderful Warren Medical Center

Exterior of the Warren Medical Clinic - Photo by Frank Nemecek
I have previously posted on some of the terrible things that can happen at some of the businesses in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood. I figured, therefore, that I should mention one particular business that is obviously putting so much energy into improving our community. I am talking, of course, about the Warren Medical Center (16921 W. Warren Ave.).

I haven't had the privilege of being a patient at this august facility. However, when one looks at how wonderfully the Warren Medical Center maintains the exterior of their property, I can only imagine the diligent concern and care that they have for each and every one of their lucky patients.

I mean really, just look at what is in front of the Warren Medical Center.

Sidewalk in front of the Warren Medical Center - Photo by Frank Nemecek
While other business in the Detroit area might pollute their surroundings with annoying things like concrete sidewalks, the Warren Medical Center has taken the effort to ensure that the sidewalk in front of their establishment is completely covered in ice and snow. I can only imagine the joy that this would bring to a patient who is coming to this clinic must have as he or she try to seek treatment for an injury sustained elsewhere as they traverse this miniature artic wonder.

I would not be surprised if each of them got down on their hands and knees to celebrate such an experience. It's truly a joy that the Warren Medical Center has brought to Detroit.

I'm even confident that many Detroiters who walk past the Warren Medical Center in its current condition will suddenly realize that they need medical treatment.

I'm confident that I speak for everyone in Warrendale when I say that we are uniquely lucky to have such a place as the Warren Medical Clinic in our little corner of Detroit.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Cody High: A Life Remodeled Project

I watched Cody High last night. This is a documentary about the Detroit public high school that people from the Warrendale neighborhood would attend. The film itself focused on what happened when students there went through the Life Remodeled Project a few years ago.

The Life Remodeled Project was an ambitious philanthropic project that was conducted in the area. It attempted to identify challenges and opportunities in every aspect of a students life at Cody High; not just those that directly impact their academic performance. For example, if a student is experiencing serious problems at home then it's inevitable that those problems will bleed over into their schoolwork regardless of how much teachers may try to isolate them.

The Life Remodeled Project sought to address the challenges that these students face on a holistic level. Moreover, since this was shot during some of Detroit's darkest days, there were a lot of problems for them to work with.

A lot of problems.

I like that this documentary had enough grittiness in it to be authentic yet still captured the hope that permeates Detroit. I highly recommend watching it.

I found Cody High on Amazon Prime. However, it is probably available elsewhere as well.

Review: So Many Doors by Oakley Hall

So Many Doors - Cover art by Robert McGinnis
For the first time in 60 years, So Many Doors by Oakley Hall is available in publication. This 320-page mystery/crime novel was called, “beautiful, powerful, even masterful” by novelist Michael Chabon.

The story behind So Many Doors begins where most other novels would end. The reader meets a condemned prisoner who has been sentenced to death for the murder of a beautiful young woman. In the opening chapter, Hall doesn’t tell us who exactly this character is – only that he is on Death Row for murder and that he has no interest in challenging his sentence.

From there, the author takes his reader back in time to the murdered woman’s teen years. Her name, by the way, is Vassila Caroline Baird but everyone calls her V. In the early chapters, we get to know V, her family, her neighbor, and the ranch that she grew up on in California.

As the story continues, V grows into adulthood and moves away from her childhood home. The reader continues to meet new characters and learn more about them as V continues into her late-teens and into her 20s.

With each succeeding chapter, the reader can hardly help but notice that if someone had something a little differently or had done one small act a little different, the entire story may well have ended in a manner that was radically different from the initial encounter with a prisoner condemned to death for V’s murder.

The great mystery, of course, is the identity of this condemned prisoner for the opening pages. The reader meets several men in this story who may well have had the means, motive, and opportunity to murder V but only one of them did it.

As one chapter flows into the next, this novel presents its reader with so many options as to which one of these men could have been her killer. This fact only reinforces that the novel showcases dozens of different ways in which V’s life could have gone in another direction.

A direction that would not have resulted in V being murdered and this man condemned to Death Row.

This, in my opinion, is the main reason why So Many Doors is such a fascinating and enjoyable mystery novel to read. The reader not only follows the story that resulted in V’s murder but is called to imagine all the different lives that she could have lived along the way.

So Many Doors by Oakley Hall is published by Hard Case Crime. It is available at bookstores everywhere or by clicking the banner below to read sample chapters at

The paperback version of this mystery novel is priced at $9.95 in the United States, $13.50 in Canada, or £7.99 in the United Kingdom.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Warrendale Community Organization to meet Monday

Ken Cockrel addresses the WCO - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The Warrendale Community Organization will have its next general meeting on Monday, March 4  from 7-8 pm. The group will meet in the Activities Building at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church (7685 Grandville).

The guest speaker for this month will be from the-Detroit Area Agency on Aging. The meeting will also feature a series of community updates.

Everyone in the neighborhood is invited to attend this meeting.

Spring will be here in...

SS Peter & Paul Catholic Church in the spring - Photo by Frank Nemecek
I would like to remind everyone that spring arrives in Detroit in 21 days, 7 hours, 4 minutes, and 18 seconds from now.

Not that I'm counting or anything.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Windstorm knocks down trees in Warrendale

Fallen tree - Image from Pixabay

The windstorm that we are currently experiencing brings with a possibility that trees may be knocked down. If anyone sees a fallen tree in the neighborhood, please report it to the City of Detroit's Forestry Division by using the Improve Detroit app or by calling their emergency response number at (313) 590-3336.

Crews are currently in the field responding to such calls. They will remain out there for as long as they are needed.

The City of Detroit has three different priority levels for situations like this:

  1. Trees that are blocking streets will be cleared first regardless of whether it's one that was on city or private property;
  2. Trees from city property that are blocking driveways or doors at homes are their next priority; and
  3. Trees and branches that are down but not blocking anything are their lowest priority.
Again, anyone who sees a fallen tree in the Warrendale area is asked to report it via the Improve Detroit app or by calling (313) 590-3336.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Aging Gen-Xer reflects on Bill and Ted

Theatrical poster for Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
I learned a moment ago that Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure debuted in theaters 30 years ago today. As someone who saw this film at the movie theater in Fairlane Mall shortly after it came out, I suddenly feel very, very old.

The movie was, without a doubt, hilarious and inspiring. I've seen it a dozen times since it first came out. I enjoyed it on each occasion and frequently saw things in it that I hadn't noticed the first time.

Moreover, I spent much of the spring and early-summer of 1989 working Bill and Ted quotes into everyday conversations - a fact that annoyed more than a few college classmates as well as my friends and family.

Ed Solomon, one of the co-writers of the Bill and Ted script, posted images of the original, handwritten first draft to Twitter earlier today. The words that he attached to this thread are, in my opinion, powerful and poignant. Therefore, I want to share them here.

Anyway, aging Gen-Xer things aside, I want each of the people who follow my writing know that I love each and every one of you. Be excellent to one another, Detroiters!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

City of Detroit looking for young adults to help plan the future

The City of Detroit is seeking people between the ages of 15-25 to participate in meetings with them about the city's future. Young adults in that age range who live in the Warrendale area are invited to apply. There is a stipend that will be paid to those who participate.

Those residents who are interested should contact Lindsay Barrett at (313) 207-3696 or email her at barrettl [at] detroitmi [dot] gov.

A flyer from the City of Detroit with more details is available below.

Dinosaur discovered with heart-shaped tail

dinosaur heart-shaped tail Valentine's Day
Dinosaur with a heart-shaped tail - Illustration from the National Science Foundation
Just in time for Valentine's Day, the National Science Foundation announced the discovery of a new dinosaur that had a heart-shape at the end of its tail.

This dinosaur, which scientists are calling the Mnyamawamtuka moyowamkia, lived more than 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous period in Earth's history. A research team that was funded by the National Science Foundation found these creatures fossils in Africa, where it once roamed.

I know that I'm a nerd because the news of a newly discovered dinosaur with a heart-shaped tail being announced in time for Valentine's Day really does amuse me more than any such an announcement really should.

For those who are interested, the National Science Foundation has more news and photographs about their latest discovery over here.

With this news further spread, I would like to join all of the dinosaurs in wishing everyone in the Warrendale neighborhood and beyond the very happiest of Valentine's Day. I hope today brings everyone the best of everything.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

District meeting set for February 26

There will be a community-wide meeting for District 7, which includes the Warrendale neighborhood and the parts of Detroit that are near it. This meeting will happen from 6 - 8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 26 at the Adam Butzel Recreation Complex (10500 Lyndon).

Representatives from Mayor Mike Duggan's office will host this meeting. Their focus for the evening will be on navigating through the different levels of state, county, and city government.

Residents of the 7th District in Detroit are invited to this meeting. RSVPs are appreciated, though. Please reach out to Mona Ali, district manager for our area, by emailing AliM [at] detroitmi [dot] gov.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Detroit Police and Wayne County Sheriff to host hiring event

Police officer on patrol in Detroit - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The Detroit Police Department and the Wayne County Sheriff will have a joint hiring event on Thursday, February 21 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Northwest Activities Center (18100 Meyers Rd). Recruiters from both agencies will be there accepting applications.

In order to be considered, applicants must:

  • Able to obtain a concealed pistol license;
  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Possess a valid Michigan drivers license;
  • Have 20/20 vision or vision that is corrected to 20/20;
  • High school diploma or GED;
  • No felony convictions; and
  • U.S. citizen.

In addition, applicants must be able to pass the MCOLES tests in order to be hired by the Detroit Police Department. Those applying to the Wayne County Sherrif's Department must be able to pass the MSCTC (Sheriff)

Please share this with anyone who might be interested in a career in law enforcement.

Things that make me laugh

Screenshot from my email this afternoon - Photo by Frank Nemecek

From the category of things that make me laugh, I got an email today from that recommended a certain book. The simple fact that they sent me such an email, in and of itself, is not big deal.

It's really what Amazon recommended that I should read next that made me laugh.

I mean, I have absolutely no idea why the folks at Amazon would think that I'd be interested in a science fiction novel called The Roswell Chronicles by some guy named Frank Nemecek.

No idea at all.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Detroit gets double the good news

A new day in Detroit | Photo by Frank Nemecek
Detroiters got two pieces of good news today. Both of which point to continued recovery for the Motor City.

First, Standard's & Poor's announced that they raised the City of Detroit's credit rating. The credit agency said in part “Detroit is demonstrating the ability to meet its budget demands, while also providing a strong reserve cushion against unexpected events or stagnating revenues,. They went on to add that Detroit “must continue investing in public infrastructure and economic development initiatives” to help stabilize its population and tax base.

I know simply from being in this neighborhood that things are getting better in Detroit on a slow but steady basis. Regardless, it's exciting to have an international agency like Standard's & Poor's confirm what I have been telling everyone for some time now.

More details about the improved credit rating for Detroit is available here.

The second piece of good news came from the Detroit Fire Department. They confirmed that 2018 saw the lowest number of structure fires in our city since the 1960s. This was a 42% drop in fires since 2014.

The Detroit News has more on this drop in structure fires on their website.

There are a lot of people who have put an enormous amount of work into making these two things happen. I thank each and every one of them and look forward to more great things for Detroit in the near future.

UPS delivers happiness

A stack of happiness | Photo by Frank Nemecek
UPS delivered two packages of happiness to me this afternoon. It was a stack of soon-to-be-released novels for me to read and review on this blog.

There's a lot of promising titles in this group. A Bloody Business by Dylan Struzan is your classic dark crime novel. I've only skimmed through the others but All My Colors by David Quantick, The Smoke by Simon Ings, Ruin's Wake by Patrick Edwards, and Zero Bomb by M.T. Hill all look like they're going to be a great read.

Look for a series of new book reviews to appear on this blog towards the end of this month.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Detroit police announce explosion training

Detroit Police - Stock photo from Pixabay
The Detroit Police Department announced this afternoon that their bomb squad will have three explosive effects training sessions later this spring that will happen in Rouge Park. During each of these sessions, the archery range will be closed to the public. Also, residents and visitors near the park may hear explosive sounds, which should not be cause for alarm.

The three training sessions for the Detroit Police Department will happen on:
  1. Tuesday, May 7;
  2. Tuesday, May 14; and
  3. Tuesday, May 21.
Each of these three sessions will start at 7 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m. Again, residents and visitors near Rouge Park in Detroit should not be alarmed when they hear explosive sounds during any of these three time periods.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Good bye to Google+

A total of 92 people follow this blog by its page on Google Plus. For those individuals, I wanted to make a quick post to remind everyone of the various ways that you can still keep up today with everything on this blog and, in turn, with the Warrendale neighborhood in Detroit now that Google Plus is going away.

One of the most popular was is to get an email alert every time that I post new content. Readers can either get an individual alert or a daily digest depending on their preference. To sign up for these alerts, all one has to do is enter your email address where it says "receive email alerts" on the upper left corner of this blog. The folks at FeedBlitz will take care of the rest.

In addition, most of the content from this blog is republished on its Facebook page. Liking that page will put new posts into your newsfeed.

My personal favorite, though, is to keep track of 14 blogs that I read on a daily basis through an RSS reader. This puts the content into one stream that you can follow from there. I personally use Feeder but there are several other very good RSS readers out there.

No matter how you keep track of what is happening in Detroit and the Warrendale neighborhood in particular, I thank you for making the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog a part of your life.

More than 1,400 people have chosen to make my writing a part of their daily life. I am grateful for each and every one of you.

Happy Chinese New Year

Today is the Chinese New Year with the Year of the Pig beginning today. According to Chinese mythology, today is the luckiest day of the year. Please keep this in mind if anyone is debating whether or not to buy that lottery ticket or head to the casino today.

As for myself, if anyone needs me for the rest of today, I'll be at home. I'll most likely be eating Chinese take-out and watching Jackie Chan movies until I pass out around midnight.

Friday, February 01, 2019

Prepare for floods, Detroiters

Flooding | Stock photo from Pixabay
During the next three days, the weather forecast shows a rapid change in the temperatures – a possible 60-degree swing – and expected rainfall starting Sunday. Both of these factors bring the possibility of severe flooding. The Detroit Water & Sewerage Department encourages residents and businesses to follow the recommended tips this weekend and into the upcoming week.

  • Call DWSD at (313) 267-8000 if you see standing, gushing or bubbling water;
  • Avoid driving through standing water;
  • Clear snow, ice and debris from above and around the catch basins (storm drains) near your property; offer to help nearby senior citizens do the same;
  • Look at your downspouts and remove any snow or debris that may be at the point where the water exits;
  • Move snow away from the outside walls of your house or building. Rapid snowmelt could seep into basement walls that are not properly sealed;
  • Check your basement drain to make sure it's not clogged. Any water that enters your basement needs to drain properly;
  • Stay clear of standing water in your basement if the area includes electrical appliances, outlets, or a fuse box.

DWSD appreciates the patience of residents and businesses as we respond to an increase in water main breaks during and following the deep freeze. They temporarily re-assigned staff who normally work on sewer maintenance to assist with assessing and repairing the pipes. More than 200 DWSD employees are working in the field.

With temperatures rising today and into the weekend, DWSD and its contractors are now able to work on the backlog of repairing the water mains. It was unsafe for crews to perform underground repairs during extremely cold temperatures. Crews will be working through the weekend.

Report street flooding by calling DWSD at (313) 267-8000, or use the Improve Detroit SeeClickFix mobile app for Apple and Android devices.