Business

Questions by Derek Lindamood

Who or what prompted the idea for the 3-60 Project?

Our city’s downtown strategic revitalization vision and long-term planning prompted the 3-60 Project. As early as 1998, the City’s Master Land Use Plan already incorporated specific language about mixed-use residential and office space development on city-owned parking lots.

For the past six years, the real estate crash depressed property values, making new development financial unviable for most communities. Now that real estate is in recovery and Ferndale is a highly desirable community, multiple developers have interest building in Ferndale, including the 3-60 Project team.

What are the potential benefits for the residents and businesses of Ferndale that this project could bring?

I believe great downtowns make people a priority as a revitalization strategy instead of just car travel and parking spots. I often wonder how we can use the city’s under-utilized parking lots to strengthen our connectedness and social interactions — or create a stronger sense of place. With Ferndale’s intense focus making walking and biking more safe and enjoyable, our downtown provides people an engaging environment that leads to great experiences for those who live, work and visit our downtown. With that in mind, the development project can help solve current challenges and position us to further achieve downtown goals and aspirations.

First, a development project like 3-60 will create more parking for downtown businesses. We all know it can be a challenge to find parking at peak times in our downtown. Time and again, our DDA and businesses have made increasing parking supply a top priority.

A second major benefit from this project is more daytime foot traffic. Our downtown business owners and the DDA have been consistently vocal about the need to balance downtown Ferndale’s thriving night-time economy with the slower daytime economy. More people living and working in the downtown will result in more people walking, dining and shopping during the day.

Adding more choice of housing options is another benefit. Increasingly, some people desire lofts, one-two bedroom apartments or condos located in a walkable urban downtown where they can complete most of their daily trips by walking or taking transit.

New office space means businesses bringing new jobs. The 3-60 Project seeks to fill the proposed new office space with second-stage tech companies that will most likely provide high- paying jobs.

Increased neighborhood retail space for entrepreneurial small businesses is an overall benefit to our community. Remember, the City can negotiate with any developer what types of business uses are allowed in the new storefronts (i.e., retail versus a bar or restaurant).

What is this project – i.e., how many loft units, how many stores, what are they intending to be used for – and what is the ultimate goal for this undertaking: What is it that the 3-60 Project hopes to achieve for the City of Ferndale?

The ultimate goal of any project on City-owned parking lots is to fulfill the City’s strategic revitalization goals. Other developers proposals were considered, however the 3-60 Project provided more options worthy of further exploration.

Conceptually, the 3-60 Project team proposes one residential loft building with 75-100 living units and three office buildings approximately 60,000 square feet each. As part of the proposal, the city seeks to add a public parking deck to reduce the existing parking capacity issues in the downtown and support the residential and office space uses.

We are in control of what we want this development project to achieve for us as a community. City staff are working closely with the 3-60 Project team to ensure their proposal meets the city’s stated goals, and follows the city’s required development review process.

What is the current timeline of this project, start-to-finish? How will this undertaking affect downtown businesses, and for how long?

The 3-60 Project has three phases, and the project proposal is currently in Phase One. Activities in Phase One included several public outreach sessions, and a parking and financial feasibility study. Phase One is the most critical for the city—this period determines the cost and financing options to build the new public parking deck.

City Council accelerated the suggested 18-month timeline to complete the conceptual evaluation of the 3-60 Project after 12 months. At the end of the 12-month period, City Council will determine if there is enough potential to move forward to a formal planning review process (Phase Two). If City Council approves moving to Phase Two, then construction (Phase 3) could start in late 2015.

How will this project be funded, and what is the estimated cost for taxpayers?

This development project is designed as a public/private partnership, which means that the developer will fund the construction of the residential and office space, and the City funds the construction of the parking deck, leading to both parties gaining benefits.

The financial feasibility study is currently underway. As of this writing, City Council has yet to receive a detailed project proposal with all the cost and project financing information, which is the final step of Phase One. Council anticipates city staff and the 3-60 Project team to provide more details in early 2015.

What will City Council propose to do to mitigate some of the anticipated traffic congestion, etc. that could cause downtown businesses to see a decrease in activity at their stores?

With any project on city-owned parking lots, I expect the developer to conduct a traffic impact study based on the number of proposed parking spaces. This study, performed in Phase 2, will inform the city and DDA on any anticipated increase in traffic congestion and recommend avoidance solutions.

What are the potential issues e that the construction of the 3-60 Project could cause for the residents and businesses?

I know that any major downtown development project the City approves will have short-term impacts on businesses and residents during construction. Construction will result in street, sidewalk and alley closures, traffic detours and construction noise.

City Council made an earnest effort to include public feedback early in the development concept stage, and City staff are collaborating with the 3-60

Project team to incorporate suggestions into the development proposal. A major concern expressed by business owners during the 3-60 public input sessions is that construction or closure of both the Withington and Troy lots at the same time is untenable. City staff are working with 3-60 to determine how to construct one lot at a time, keeping essential parking available to downtown businesses.

I know City Council will ensure City staff, and the DDA, downtown businesses and other partner organizations develop a strong mitigation plan that reduces the impact of construction. Together we will need to identify alternative parking solutions, understand the individual needs and concerns of each business, and then determine business technical support services to assist them throughout the construction phase. I know Ferndale’s DIY attitude and creative energy will guide us through.

Who is responsible for ensuring the project is completed within the time frame specified by the builder?

The City is responsible for holding any developer accountable on their approved development plan. For example, the Vity held the Lofts at 9 development team accountable for their approved plan and construction timeline, which was a successful project for the community.

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If slightly happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a cure. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states connected to erectile malfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most vital aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as soul trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this curing passes into breast milk.

Questions by David Wesley

What does the 3-60 Project mean to you, and, given your experience, what do you think it will mean for Ferndale?

I was initially excited about the potential development of added parking and offices or apartments downtown when the City first broached the idea. But when they later announced that they weren’t seeking lots of ideas or bids from multiple companies, but instead were giving an exclusive agreement to one individual and his partners, I became much more guarded.

When we saw the plans and the scope and timing of the first proposal, my feelings sank. I live one block from downtown, and have watched our downtown blossom over the past 20 years, and was one of many players who had a hand in that success. But this 3-60 project, as presented, is just so massive, on a scale so far beyond what Ferndale is presently. It would be disruptive and character-changing, and that worries me a lot. Over the years, we have grown in thoughtful and measured steps, evolving into a cool but still livable and welcoming community.

While I would like to believe that any final decisions bring a better, smarter plan that fits with our size and character, the risk is also real that bad decisions are made that could affect all of us for many years to come.

What are your strongest reasons for opposing the 3-60 Project?

In spite of reactionary comments from some who back this current plan and methodology, none of us who are opposing the 3-60 project are against development. On the contrary, we support smart development and measured change.

Since the mid 1990s through 2010, under Mayors Goedert, Porter, and myself, most residents and business owners in Ferndale supported the kinds of smart, measured, sensible, and sustainable development we undertook. Narrowing 9 Mile Road, adding street parking, supporting the DDA, encouraging new businesses and stores, fixing the roads, water mains, and sewers, and creating the walkability and street life with festivals were all popular and part of a grand shared vision.

Fixing up the Courthouse was a great example of sensible and efficient redevelopment. But that almost was disastrous when some on City Council back around 2008 wanted to tear it down and move City Hall into the Credit Union One Building. I feel we are back again to those days of some in city government who have grandiose ideas of massive new buildings and wildly expensive projects, and who don’t seem to want to check with experts and experienced developers.

Ferndale is a four square mile town with 19,000 residents who have created a fun, interesting and inclusive community that is welcoming and affordable. We should not delude ourselves to think we should look like Birmingham or compete with Detroit. I strongly believe that there are not dozens of high tech companies demanding to move into a cramped building squeezed into the Withington Parking lot. There are hundreds of thousands of square feet of empty office space in Troy, Southfield, and Detroit.

Why would members of the city council be enticed by this project and what incentive would it have for them?

Since I assume that those in our current city government want what is best for the city, then I also assume that they are either mistaken or are being given bad advice. Maybe they are star struck by visions of a huge new edifice downtown, to be built by a 20-something whiz kid who struck it rich. They do not like criticism even though they say they want input and feedback. They asked for residents’ thoughts and ideas, but then seem to get uptight when folks share their concerns. One council member resorts to sarcasm and over–the-top slogans on Facebook, while another expresses frustration that people don’t like the current plans. We get mixed messages when we are told this is just an idea, but then see timelines that imply the shovels will go into the ground next summer.

I wonder sometimes if those running things now are too insular, and don’t seek advice from fellow city managers, mayors and council members in neighboring cities. Royal Oak just decided on a very beautiful new development in their downtown that includes new parking, apartments, and storefronts. It is reasonable, fits neatly into the space where the old car dealer was on Main Street, and is no more than five stories tall. This was done without drama or rancor. I’m not sure why we don’t seem to be able to follow that model.

What is your most important concern about the 3-60 Project that Ferndale residents need to know?

Everyone agrees that the planning and roll-out of the new “Luke” remote kiosk-style parking system installed in 2013 was very poorly executed and caused much distress and added expense. But most people are now resigned to it, and it is supposedly working well now. But this 3-60 project is one hundred times bigger and more serious than that decision. While many want to trust the current Mayor and City Council and staff, we can’t just cross our fingers and hope they get it right.

The good news is that the project as proposed will surely not happen without big changes. No real estate experts believe that any developer can sign on enough office tenants to fill the kind of building proposed, and it is doubtful they could find bank financing or backers on the scale they need. Also, 2015 is an election year, and the Mayor and two council members are up for election in November.

The bad news is that 80 per cent of residents don’t vote in local Ferndale elections, and many won’t even know or understand what the 3-60 is all about. If you care about your city and its future, then you must let your Council members and mayor know how you feel, and that you vote.

Tell them that to close the entire Withington parking lot for a year or two will be a death knell for our downtown shops and restaurants. Tell them you don’t want to look like Detroit or Birmingham or Troy, and that they should seek alternatives. Bob Wolfson, who built the Lofts on East Nine, offered to build apartments and a parking deck on half of the Withington Lot. Tell the City you want reasonable, doable, smart development that fits the character of the city we all love. Remind them that our roads, water mains, sewers, and other infrastructure need attention, too.

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If some happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a cure. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states coupled to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you have to look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as soul trouble. Causes of sexual malfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.

The Ringwald Theater, located just south of Nine Mile on the East side of Woodward next to Dino’s, is a live entertainment theater that opened its doors in 2007. The theater naturally aims not only to entertain audiences, but to challenge. The Ringwald goes further by proclaiming to “blur the lines between race, income, religion, and sexuality,” while providing a creative environment for local artists and aspiring actors—and recently, also providing a venue for artists all around the U.S.

The Ringwald recently anchored The Detroit Improv Festival from August 3-10, providing a place for performance artists from both near and far to showcase their skills. Individuals and improv groups from a number of cities around the U.S. performed, as groups arrived from Chicago, St. Louis, Toronto, L.A., Vancouver, NY and a host of other areas. I attended a show at the Ringwald during this festival and, while all the troops had their unique styles, I was most impressed by Ferndale’s own Dubalicious. This act was particularly impressive because instead of the usual six performers—there were only two. The female duo kept the ball in the air throughout their entire 35-minute skit without a break, showcasing their combined experience by personifying dozens of hilarious and awkward characters in everyday situations, while brilliantly playing off each other and expanding the boundaries of improv comedy.

At the end of September, I stopped by The Ringwald to take in “Angels in America Part II.” It proved to be more of an experience than a play, compounded by the fact that I had not attended Part I. Leaving no cultural taboo or sociopolitical stone unturned, the characters dramatically exemplified, personified, and blasted away at every dogma, conventional viewpoint and ideology under the sun. The play was full of complex characters, all ceaselessly struggling to find meaning and purpose, while reflecting on their own situation and it’s relation to a society they cannot concretely explain.

The play began with an intense and provoking speech from “the oldest living Bolshevik” in 1985, during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, who asked questions such as “What is progress?” and, further, “Is it worth it?” Mentioning market incentives and the McDonalds hamburgers begotten by these markets, the age-old Marxist question remains: Isn’t there something more? And can we, as a people, reach it? The Bolshevik concludes, “If the snake sheds his skin before a new skin is ready, naked he will be in the world, prey to the forces of chaos. Have you, my little serpents, a new skin?

The play centers around characters with HIV/AIDS during the highpoint of the crisis during the mid-1980’s, and closet homosexuality. The characters’

relationships with one another are complexly and dialectically intertwined, while one AIDS victim is dying, another is being visited by a multi-phallic, hermaphrodite-equipped angel, and another- a Conservative Homosexual Mormon Lawyer- is leaving his wife for a man, which is sending his wife into an emotional spiral leading to breakdown.

Regarding the idea(s) that provided the backbone of the play, theater Director Joe Bailey said, “An idea was born here that never really took hold and/or flushed itself out. America is like a melting pot that never melted.” Throughout the play, characters took as many cracks at every aspect and fringe of our culture and country as was humanly possible during the three-and-a-half-hour drama – libertarians, social democrats, communists, conservatives, Mormons and other religions, blacks, whites, homosexuals, Reagan — all were challenged as each individual character struggled with his and her own issues in relation to the narrative of the American Idea. Memorable one-liners were sown throughout the entirety of the play, as the African American character memorably proclaimed, “The cracker that wrote the national anthem wrote the note to ‘Free’ so high that nobody could ever reach it – that was deliberate.” Other noteworthy lines aimed at our present societal currents hit home: “Lawyers are the high priests of America. Hire a lawyer, sue someone – it’s good for your soul.” “Angels in America” is full of insight into the past and present-day, and showcases a cognitive dissonance within each character that may be inherent and ingrained into our adolescent and still-developing culture. The same character, confined to a hospital bed and dying, proclaimed “America has no use for the sick. America is no place for the infirm,” while also making affirming statements, such as “What you love will take you places you never dreamed you’d go,” while carrying a noble love of justice, saying “I save my hate for what counts,” conjuring hope and harnessing the modern-traditional American Spirit of “making it.”

The Ringwald put on a show that was intelligently chaotic, full of fire (and some nudity), in-your-face and one of a kind. Love it or reject it – the experience will be unforgettable. The actresses and actors hit every line flawlessly, the stage set was professionally-crafted and easily transformed to new backdrops after each scene. If you’d like to see some live entertainment that will provide intellectual stimulation akin to drinking water from a fire hose, head to The Ringwald.

For more information, please visit: www.theringwald.com/current

If slightly happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states connected to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as soul trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

Ferndale Friends: With Improv Comedy and The Ringwald, both at the center of the recent Detroit Improv Festival, it seems live comedy and entertainment is gaining in popularity—and fast. What is it about the current generation that’s driving the success and resurgence of live entertainment, and how does live entertainment tie into the popular culture we see around us: DIY, bicycling to work, the re-development of urban areas, making creative and better use of smaller spaces, etc. Is there a connection?

Joe Bailey: I think people are always looking for different types of things to do. We are fortunate to be in a city of folks that really embrace this philosophy. With the numerous street fairs and alternative stores and restaurants in the area, I think it’s a good and natural fit for us to be where we are. When Go Comedy opened about a year after we did, it was nice to have another performance space in Ferndale and we quickly became great friends and colleagues with those folks and treasure our relationship with them.

Jamie Warrow: I cannot speak to just comedy performance, (and especially I cannot address improv as a medium – because it is a whole other animal), but as for live theater like what we do at the Ringwald, I believe that live performance is an immediate challenge to the audience spiritually, intellectually and emotionally. It forces them to participate on multiple human levels, to be present in the moment and pay attention. Thus, I think the immediacy of live performance is becoming more attractive/popular because the current generation wants to be involved, is more “hand on” and wants to see the nuts and bolts of art.

FF: On your website, it states the goal of your venue is to challenge and entertain, and that the Ringwald “blurs the lines between race, income, religion, and sexuality.” Just what is it about audience members that you want to challenge specifically, and could you give an example and/or provide more explanation of what you mean by “blurring the lines…”

Bailey: For me personally, I like to offer different takes on things. Whether it’s the type of show we do, or if we have a guy in a dress, or do a show reverse-gender, I like for people to potentially see something that they’ve never seen before or think in a way they’ve not done.

Warrow: I believe that presenting diverse views broadens human understanding and empathy. It’s important to view the human experience from a perspective that is not necessarily an instinctive one.

FF: In comparison to other live entertainment venues: Mark Ridley (Royal Oak), Go Comedy (Ferndale), Planet Ant (Hamtramck), what is the defining characteristic that distinguishes The Ringwald from the other theaters and makes it a unique place to take in live entertainment?

Bailey: Every theater has it’s niche and what they’re known for. I suppose over the years, we’ve primarily come to be known as “the gay theater.” It’s an easy identifier, but not wholly accurate. I like that we take risks and challenge ourselves to do shows that don’t necessarily make sense for us to do – whether due to size of the show or subject matter – and then we work really hard to make sure it’s the best product that we can make it.

Warrow: We are not the gay theater. We are Unpredictable theater. Eclectic, smart and funny, fearless, and dangerous.

If slightly happened with our heartiness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states coupled to erectile malfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What folk talk about “viagra stories“? The most essential aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction switch on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

y Andrea Grimaldi | Photos by Garnette Archer and Chris Allen

Jo’s Gallery has been a Detroit art scene staple for three decades. Founder Jo Griffin was an avid art collector who filled her home with art. After selling a few personal pieces, she decided to open a shop in Trappers Alley. The shop specialized in African American contemporary art and featured custom framing. After the casino took over the original location, Jo’s Gallery found its permanent home off Livernois Avenue.

Jo passed away three years ago, leaving the gallery to her daughter Garnette Archer. Garnette wanted to continue Jo’s legacy and kept the gallery open. Today, Jo’s features a lot of modern and abstract art along with art in different forms; unique handmade jewelry, home décor, and gifts are also featured in the gallery.

The gallery also offers customized framing by Chris Allen. Customized framing is an art in itself. In addition to paintings or prints, Chris has framed dresses, jerseys, guitar strings, and model trains for clients. His unique talent will give any art or memorabilia the star treatment on your wall.

Jo’s Gallery puts an emphasis on local artists. Jewelry maker Lanette Gibson has many pieces in the gallery. Contemporary urban artist Eric Pasha will be featured in the gallery in the coming weeks, displaying his one-of-a-kind fine art pieces. His unique works range from abstract to portraiture and his style captures the social feeling of a big city.

In addition to artist spotlights, Jo’s Gallery runs a number of exciting specials. Every Tuesday they have a Blow Out Sale where everything, including framing, gifts, and prints, are hugely marked down. They have business card raffles for artwork. With new gorgeous art on display and a variety of gifts, Jo’s Gallery is a great place to visit while holiday shopping.

Jo’s Gallery is located at 19376 Livernois in Detroit, about half a mile south of 8 Mile near the corner of Outer Drive. Phone (313) 864-1401 for more information, or find Jo’s Gallery on Facebook.

If some happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a preparation. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states connected to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual malfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a status called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

By: Ann Heler

IT WAS SOME TIME THIS MONTH in 2007 that five members of Citizens for a Fair Ferndale sat around drinking coffee and be- gan talking about the idea of creating a free medical clinic. This was just the “looking around at each other and nodding yes” moment. Who would have thought that the clinic would be up and running, seeing patients and doing well, seven short years later. Many of you know the members of that first group: Dick and Joann Willcock, John Sterritt, Bob Babut and myself.

Next April, during our eighth anniversary month, I will list the members of our very first Board….the really “official” Board that dotted the “i”s and crossed the “t”s and made the dream a reality.

FOUR THINGS TO DO DAILY THAT WILL IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH!

  • Laugh out loud
  • Tell someone you are mighty glad they are in your world
  • Drink at least 3 glasses of water
  • Take a moment to be thankful and smile privately

Clinic Appointments and Information – 248-677-2273

We have NO waiting list. You will definitely have an appointment within the month. We can help you sign up for the Insurance Exchange or Healthy Michigan. The only criteria we require is that you have no health insurance and no primary care provider. CALL if you do not have health care!

Thank you everyone who got over to Leon & Lulu on November 2. The fund raiser went very well. Amanda Wahl once again chose wonderful fall red wines for the tasting and Dino’s provided the super good “noshes” to chew on while shopping. We are going to do it again next year. I will make sure the information gets into next September’s column.

John Sterritt, Steele Lindbloom, Judy Jones and Brian Wahl pitched in and assisted with this fund raiser…thank you all.

The clinic will not close in the foreseeable future. Michigan has a long way to go before a significant number of people have health care they can count on. Also, even if the new programs are an unqualified success, there will still be people who do not qualify for either plan and there are a number of services that we will be able to provide to enhance health care programs. Call if you do not have healthcare.

MEDICATION/MEDICAL EQUIPMENT COLLECTION

Bring medications and medical equip- ment to the clinic on either the first or third Saturday of each month, anytime between 9:00 A.M. and 12:00 noon.

We take everything EXCEPT:

  • wooden crutches (can’t be sterilized),
  • oxygen tanks****,
  • hospital beds,
  • stretchers,
  • motorized wheelchairs.

Take controlled substances, psychotropic medications or muscle relaxants to the Royal Oak Police Station medication drop box at 221 E. 3rd St. in Royal Oak.

****Oxygen tanks have to be returned to the name on the tank. Tank distributors ONLY take tanks that they distributed.

Any very heavy equipment, such as hospital beds and motorized wheelchairs, for example, can be picked up at no cost to you by World Medical Relief. Call 313- 866-5333.

If some happened with our soundness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a preparation. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states coupled to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most vital aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as soul trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a status called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

Randy at the Bicycle Doctor in Hazel Park has steeped himself in charity work for many years,using his business and his partners to help special needs children and adults get the support and attention they need.

I interviewed him very recently about how he became involved in charity work, his passion for biking and love for the Hazel Park and Ferndale communities.

Q: How long have you owned and operated your bike shop, and what makes you keep doing it?

A: I bought Continental Bike Shop in February 1996 with a business partner, and have since bought him out and renamed the store, BICYCLE DOCTOR, which I started in 1989 as a mobile bicycle repair service. We are a full-service bicycle shop, selling new bicycles and servicing old ones.

And yes, the Bicycle Doctor still makes house calls!

I have been in the bicycle industry since 1977 and, even though it has changed dramatically, it is still awesome when you sell a brand new bike to someone who gets all excited about it. It can be a kid’s first new bike or someone who has not ridden in years and is getting back into it, that makes your day! It can also be fixing a bicycle that has been down for years and just pulled out of the attic and we refurbish it, they get that kid-like look and excitement all over again.

Q: How long have you been involved with Make-a-Wish and why did you begin doing charity work with them?

A: I’ve been doing support on the WAM300 since 1992. I received a form letter in the mail saying that they were looking for volunteers for their ride. Upon answering it, I wound up at a committee meeting and just got involved. I became part of the committee and started volunteering more of my time. During the years I have not just done mechanical work but at one time I was also the photographer, I designed the route, and was in charge of the route crew that put up the signs along the way and marked the pavement. We also support the MS rides, Tour de Cure, DALMAC, and Tour de Ford.

Q: What connection do you feel to Hazel Park and the surrounding cities where biking is becoming constantly more popular?

A: The Hazel Park area and Ferndale, Royal Oak, and others have some viable roads to convert to bike lanes, and I think the population is starting to really think of bicycling as a mode of transportation, not just a toy. We started a Wednesday evening ride that goes through Hazel Park, Ferndale, Palmer Woods and Palmer Park, that is made for new cyclists and is a slower pace that is made to be more sociable. This ride highlights some of the bike lanes and routes and is just made for a casual bike ride.

The Bicycle Doctor 24436 John R, Hazel Park, MI 48030; 248-545-1225

Mon, Thu: 10:00am – 7:00pm; Tue, Wed, Fri: 10:00am – 6:00pm; Sat: 10:00am – 5:00pm; Sun: Closed

If something happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states coupled to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What men talk about “viagra stories“? The most vital aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction switch on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.

by Jeannie Davis | Photo ©2014 Bernie Laframboise

I study my old friend as he selects his tea. He is still Kevin, still has that bad boy twinkle, still looks like a loveable teddy bear, with a wicked secret. Yep, that’s my Kevin. We make our tea and settle at my dining room table for a cozy chat. Just like so many other times when we “dished the dirt.”

Only now, something is different, and has been different since May 4 of this year. That is when our Kevin was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Since then, he has had a melanoma removed from his arm, a lesion surgically removed from his brain, 14 radiation treatments to his brain, and is currently on a new treatment program. He had to be rescued from his locked apartment when he had a seizure. He has been poked, cut, examined, and in general, his life has been turned inside out; all of this with no health insurance. (Financial concerns forced him to cancel a year ago)

Kevin Rogers, who has owned “ Just4Us” for the past ten years, has seen many changes in the Ferndale downtown scene. He shares the stories of people picketing, and hate mail, and other store owners ignoring him. He is aware that some of his window displays offended people, but, he twinkles, “Sometimes you just have to push the envelope.” That was then, this is now. He smiles as he tells me how touched he was recently when the owner of the new chocolate shop across the street came and asked him for a rainbow flag. He says the neigh- boring businesses are much more open to Just4Us.

But, this may also be because of Kevin himself. He is hard to ignore. He goes all out for what he thinks is right, and he is just as enthusiastic when he thinks something isn’t right.

He is concerned about our downtown becoming too much about adult entertainment, and not enough about families. He wonders about too many liquor licenses, and not enough parking. And, he speaks out about these things. He enjoys the “hipster” feeling of 9 Mile. He loves the art fairs, and the other small events, and participates enthusiastically.

Kevin was one of four boys when he lost his father at age five. His mother remarried three years later, and Kevin got his “dad.” He credits this man with helping him prepare for life. His eyes grew misty as he told me about Cub Scouts with his dad, and the fun they had with the pine wood derby. He can’t say enough about his dad who took on a widow with four boys, and didn’t just go through the motions but took an active part in his upbringing. He also has a sister, who is vigilant about keeping the family together.

He has found out that his father was adopted as a young boy in Pontiac by a family whose name was Meyers, and who were known to his grandmother. He would love to connect with this family, and see if he has cousins or uncles.

I asked him if he has become more spiritual since his illness. He tells me about his upbringing as a Catholic, loving the pomp and mystery of the mass. He is proud of the fact that he went to Catechism until the twelfth grade. He was the only boy in his class to do this. And get this. Are you ready for this?

Kevin Rogers was an altar boy! Who knew?

He is no longer a practicing Catholic, however he still prays daily, and in some ways is even more spiritual. He knows God is looking out for him, and his faith is strong.

He has hopes for the future, but, some of these hopes have changed. At 57-years-old, he has been without a partner for eight years, and has always “been in the market.” But, now he has put that on the back burner for the moment. He candidly tells me that he has no energy for the pursuit right now. His hopes include getting healthy and returning full- time to his beloved store.

He tells me that the store has always skated by financially, providing just enough to pay his salary along with a few helpers. He has created an inviting atmosphere so people don’t just come to “buy a tube of lube.” They stay for coffee, to chat, and tell Kevin their troubles. People feel at home here. Kevin has played cupid for more than one couple, arranging chance “meetings” for men he knows will be attracted to each other. He has poured himself into that little store, and it works.

Kevin tears up when he talks about all the people who have stepped up and helped him; from his friend Mike who called the police and rescued him when he didn’t respond to his door, to all the people who have driven him to doctor appointments, and the people who have donated to help with his medical bills. He is touched by the fundraiser held at Drayton Avenue Church last month. Several performing artists gathered to sing and play instruments, and pass the hat for Kevin. He wept several times during the event.

He says if people want to help, they should come into the store and buy something. And if they are lucky, it will be a good day, and Kevin will be there and give them a hug. And what a great hugger he is!

So many times when I have dropped into the store, just to see him, he has come from the back, arms already out- stretched, and enveloped me with the most satisfying warm hug. At that moment, suddenly all is right with the world.

And that is as it should be. Kevin has added so much to all of our lives here in Ferndale. He is our little mother hen, clucking, and fussing over all of us.

—-

Help For Kevin Rogers

KEVIN ROGERS, LONGTIME PROPRIETOR OF JUST 4 US IN FERNDALE and beloved member of the community is battling stage IV melanoma. Kevin has always generously supported the community. Now he needs our help. Kevin is struggling with mounting debt and medical costs which has forced him to forgo necessary medical treatment. Here’s what we can do:

• Give to FRIENDS OF KEVIN ROGERS, c/o Level One Bank 22635 Woodward, Ferndale, MI 48220

  • Patronize Just 4 Us on 9 Mile, where Kevin continues to work despite the debilitating effects of chemotherapy.
  • Join us for a Night of Celebration on Friday, November 14, 8 P.M.-10 P.M. at Soho 205 W. 9 Mile (next to Just 4 Us). 100% of proceeds to benefit Friends of Kevin Rogers.

If slightly happened with our soundness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a cure. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states coupled to erectile malfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What men talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you have to look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

by Jeff Lilly | Photo ©2014 Bernie Laframboise

As children, many of us had Legos or Lincoln Logs or other such toys, and spent many happy hours designing and building little cities. Or maybe you made sand castles, or just drew your creations on paper. Now imagine doing the same thing, except in real life, with real buildings. Real cities, with real people in those buildings, working, playing, and living. No longer an idyllic exercise, balancing the needs of resident, business owner, and investor while keeping the theme consistent and the future in mind is a real challenge.

Luckily for us, the Executive Director of our Ferndale DDA, Cristina Sheppard-Decius, is on the job and up to the task. As of January, she’ll have been at her post for a decade and a half, and has overseen the revival of Ferndale’s downtown from a sad, half-abandoned byway into the bustling and beating city heart it is today.

I visited her Nine Mile office recently to learn more about what she and the DDA do for Ferndale. She sat, dignified and composed, behind a desk groaning with papers and folders, hundreds of sheets deep yet neatly-organized. Behind her, shelves and cabinets barely contained their own massive helpings of paperwork.

It seemed a good metaphor for the job Sheppard-Decius does every day; juggle five thousand things at once, while keeping everything in its place.

“The DDA is an economic development agency.” She started off, giving me an overview. “We’re quasi-governmental, an arm of the city, but a separate authority with our own board of directors.” How do they differ from the Chamber of Commerce? “We do more.” She says with a smile. “We work well together. The CoC works with their members. They’re more about business education. The DDA helps everyone in Ferndale.” The DDA maintains, manages, and implements infrastructure improvements, including helping businesses to freshen facades and fix other building issues. “We’re the economic engine.” Sheppard-Decius explains. “We set policies and procedures at the city level. We’re also policy-changers, making doing business easier.”

Sheppard-Decius is a natural for the job she does. She majored in public relations in university, and has a background in marketing, special event and nonprofit management. She still does the latter, finding it a very satisfying experience. “There’s a realness to (nonprofit work).” She explained. “Private corporations are always about the buck. (Nonprofits) are about the goal of achieving something as a community.”

The best part of her job, she says, is seeing the changes that the DDA works for take place, watching the fruits of their labor grow, and working with everyone to make it happen. The worst? “So many conflicting viewpoints.” She sighs. “Building consensus is tough.”

Asked what she’s most proud of in her time at the DDA, Sheppard-Decius smiles and mentions the Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA). It’s awarded to only five communities annually throughout the USA, and is given to communities that show “significant improvement” in their downtown.

Her biggest current project is the Vester Streetscape project. Vester Street east of Woodward is currently being re-zoned from light manufacturing, and Sheppard-Decius is determined to add some charm to a neglected area. “We want to tie it into Downtown central,” She explains. I ask about the parameters for a project like that. “Is it pleasant to walk in?” She says. “That’s number one.” Better lighting. More on-street parking. Utilizing what’s there (the White Heather Club building) and helping the businesses that exist to freshen up. M-Brew, she says, is an excellent start. As well as fielding inquiries from businesses, she’s also always reaching out to the owners, seeing what they might need.

What are some general plans for Ferndale’s downtown, going forward? “We need to increase daytime activity.” She notes. “Office space is important. Having people living downtown is beneficial for businesses downtown.” She also mentions releasing stress on residential neighborhoods by providing more parking.

How about the future? I ask about her 25th year on the job, a decade from now. What’s her vision for Ferndale in 2024? More walkability, more viable environment, stronger retail presence. Making everything seem connected, maintaining character and sense of comfort.”

Doing what’s best for businesses. What’s best for residents. For now, for the future. Connecting it all into a seamless whole. That’s the amazing balancing act that our DDA works to achieve every single day. Sheppard-Decius reminds me that it’s not just all in a day’s work. After all, she lives here, too.

“I’ve been here since 1994.” She smiles. “I’m fully invested. I’m part of it, and I want to stay.”

Juggling all the way.

The Ferndale DDA office is located at 149 West Nine Mile Road. Call (248) 546-1632.

 

If some happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a preparation. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states connected to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as soul trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual malfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.

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With originality and a flair for the unique, Custom Beautiful Hair Salon is quickly becoming one of the stand-out salons in fashionable Ferndale. Sharon Williams – hair designer, beauty guru, and owner of the salon – prides herself on being about all things beautiful. Now with her salon in place at 501 West Nine Mile, Williams is excited to be putting more beauty out in the world – this time, through your television set.

Originally from Cleveland, Williams came to Detroit in 1990 and immediately fell in love with the community in Ferndale. “I like having clients from all walks of life,” Sharon says, “and I’m a people person.”

It is her welcoming personality that has made Custom Beautiful Hair Salon one of the must-visit salons in Ferndale. CBHS specializes in invisible weaves, cuts, color micro-linking, fusion, lace-front caps, and wigs. Sharon’s Spa, another part of the salon, offers services including Botox, fillers, mesotherapy, make up sessions, threading, facials, eyebrow waxing, and lashes. The goal in every service they provide, Williams says, is to “make women look good and make them feel positive.”

Now, Sharon is taking that positivity to the small screen. A show focused on fabulous hair design, fashion, and beauty, MotorCity Hair & Co. promises to be the it show for everything beautiful. Including all phases of hair and beauty, the show will follow master hair designers, makeup artists, nail technicians, fashion designers, and barbers all showing off their skills. The show began taping at Custom Beautiful Hair right here in Ferndale, but there are also plans to film in New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Atlanta.

The goal of the show is to put Detroit in the spotlight and show that the Motor City is the hair capital of the world. As a prominent member of the local hair design community, Sharon is using this unique opportunity to help out other local Detroit artists. One of her projects, a hair competition, will offer the winner the chance to be featured as the next master hair designer for the MotorCity Hair & Co. team.

Sharon, along with her partner who created and are working to market the show, have already seen interest from major networks including Bravo and VH1. The show will wrap taping later this month and fans can expect a celebratory release party thrown by Sharon and her team sometime early next year.

Until then, Sharon is on the hunt for Metro Detroit’s new, talented hair designers, nail technicians, makeup artists, barbers, and fashion stylists. She is hoping to present new talent on the show and she wants the best! Interested parties should contact her at 248-843-6455.

Custom Beautiful Hair by Sharon and Sharon’s Spa is located at 501 W 9 Mile Rd and features a striking, modern salon washed in hues of purple and silver. MotorCity Hair & Co.’s teaser video can be found on Youtube by searching MotorCity Hair & Co.

If something happened with our soundness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat emasculation and other states coupled to erectile malfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction switch on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a status called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.