Culture

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Gavin is a happy, seven-year-old boy filled with love and laughter. He loves being outdoors and fishing along with spending time playing with his nine-year-old sister, Mackenzie. His other passion is photography. “He has an Etsy page where he features photos that you can purchase,” his grandmother Donna says.

Gavin also tires quickly and spends almost all of his time outdoors in a wheelchair. He suffers from mitochondrial disease, known as Mito for short. “Gavin has to work twice as hard as healthy children and adults do to accomplish everyday tasks. If he plays or does too much, his body goes into ‘crash’ mode, which makes him lethargic, weak and makes even the smallest of tasks seem impossible.” Donna explains. The “crash” also causes his body to respond with Paroxysmal Kinesigenic Dyskinesia, known as PDK, which is a “rare neurological condition that causes various types of involuntary and uncontrollable movements.”

According to the “Mighty Mito Superhero” Facebook page, Gavin has a whole host of symptoms.” However, Gavin isn’t alone in his fight. Big sister Mackenzie is on a mission to raise awareness. “She has been journal-writing since first grade,” Donna says. More recently, Mackenzie has written something more substantial: a book, featuring her brother as a superhero called “Mighty Mito Superhero.” The book has been a family project, from writing and editing to illustrations and the development of Gavin’s superhero look.

Mackenzie’s mission is to save Gavin’s life by raising $1 million for Mito awareness and to help find a cure. The front page of the book packs a powerful message from Mackenzie: “I love my little brother Gavin because he is so brave. He goes through more tests than most adults do and he doesn’t even cry. He is my hero. My wish is that he could be better and live like normal kids do. Seeing him sick all the time makes me sad.”

The book goes into details of everyday life for Gavin, including his fur-ever companion, a seizure alert dog named Hershey, who is a “black toy poodle with a funny white beard.” The book has been for sale on Amazon.com for only a few months, but the response has been enormous. There has been coverage from Perez Hilton, private blogs, and newspapers from all over the country. The book can also be found in public and university libraries.

Gavin and Mackenzie, along with their parents, Brandi (a Ferndale High graduate) and Jeff were recently interviewed on ABC News. The book is selling from here to Florida, where the family lives. The book has also gained international attention. “A film crew came in from Germany and followed the family for a day. They turned it into a documentary that played in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland,” Donna says.

By telling their story, Mackenzie hopes the fight for her brother’s life will bring about a change and help other families affected by Mito. To date, the book sales raised over $50,000, donated to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.

For more information, visit Gavin’s webpage: www.hope4mito.com

You can also check out Gavin’s images: www.etsy.com/shop/momlawrey

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 impotence and other states coupled to erectile dysfunction. 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 malfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction include 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 treatment passes into breast milk.

If life is like a chess match, then Sharon Chess is prepared for it in more than just name. This business-savvy woman has all her pawns lined up, running a successful roofing and siding company alongside her husband, David, while also being active in local charities and events. She’s also a mother, grandmother, and even the author of a children’s book.

A woman running a home improvement business is still a rare sight. How did she get into it? “I dated the owner and married him,” she says with a laugh. Sharon Chess met her husband David in July, 1999 and the couple married in December of 2005. David founded the company Chess Home Improvements in 1974, focusing on home building, improvements and repairs. The company started in Hamtramck, and David moved to Ferndale at the tender age of 23. He renovated his own home and gained the confidence to run the company and experienced great success. He then purchased several other properties and began renovations and improvements on many homes in the Metro Detroit area.

This success came with a price when David witnessed his truck being stolen outside of a home that he was working on. The thieves stole thousands of dollars of tools and equipment, forcing David to rethink his options for the business. Undeterred by this misfortune, David decided to refocus the company on roofing and siding. The name was changed to Chess Roofing and Siding and the niche was born.

Though Sharon came into the company via marriage, she knows the business through and through. “Before I met David, I did secretarial work.” She recalls. “David was busy, so our dates would be going out to do estimates. He taught me how to do them, and I was good at it.” This resulted not only in a new career, but also freed David to take her on actual dates.

Together, this power couple has developed this business into one that gives their larger competitors a run for their money. Chess Roofing and Siding prides itself on its professional work ethic, earning an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a place on the prestigious Angie’s List, as well as their ability to remain competitive by offering fair pricing.

When she arrived in Ferndale in 1999, “The city was in transition,” Sharon remembers. “About half the businesses on Nine Mile were empty.” Chess Roofing and Siding did their part to help make Ferndale what it is today. Before the economic downturn, Chess worked with the City to choose two residents per year (one in spring and one in fall) who needed a new roof or siding but could not afford it. Chess donated the materials and labor and the chosen homeowners got the work done for free. Chess is still involved in helping the community. “There are over 130 nonprofit organizations in Ferndale,” Sharon points out. In recent years, she’s also mentored middle school students and organized events like the Cookie Challenge.

Some might think that handling the responsibility of running a successful business and volunteering in the community would be enough for anyone. Sharon is proving that her goals and dreams cover a broad spectrum, with success behind every door. There’s also family to consider.

It may be hard to tell just by looking at this lovely lady, but she is a mother of three and grandmother of eight. Sharon found out that she was going to have her first grandchild when her daughter gave her a book about being a grandparent. To her shock and surprise, Sharon discovered that her daughter had had a hard time finding a book on the subject. Sharon has a knack for writing and graduated from the Institute for Children’s Literature in 2009. She decided to use this skill to write her own children’s book, made for grandmothers like herself.

The book, “Grandma’s Ready,” is wonderfully illustrated and tells a story of a grandmother’s excitement over the impending arrival of her grandchild. The story is written in English as well as Spanish and is published by Ferne Press. If you would like to purchase a copy of Grandma’s Ready, you can do so from her website, www.sharonchess.com where you can get special pricing as well as a signed copy from Sharon herself. If you’d like more information about Sharon or Chess Roofing and Siding, you can contact her at 248-398-1050 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sharon.chess.1

If slightly 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 vital aspect you must 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 core 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 dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

Zander Melidis wonders aloud whether it’s just cooler to seem like you don’t care.

Melidis performs as Zander Michigan; he tends bar over at Dino’s Lounge and cut his teeth (and turned local ears) by performing at a handful of its open mic nights. He’s confused as to why more local singer/songwriters, artists, performers, you name it, aren’t as prepared nor as presentable toward the level he aspires to, complete with striped bowtie, straw basher hat, blazer, coat and vintage saddle shoes along with an E.P. of songs that he’d already recorded before anyone knew who he was or had seen him play.

If Melidis doesn’t care about something, actually, it’s whatever sarcastic remark any chucklehead at a sports bar might throw his way when this stylized singer casually saddles up on a Sunday night just to hang out. That’s how he’s going to look, regardless; because ever since he started performing as Zander Michigan, one year ago next month, now he can no longer leave his house in Clawson without dressing to the nines (or at least up to the sevens).
But then, Melidis is pretty much over feeling stressed about anything, least of all music, since he just graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan, which boasts one of the highest-ranked programs in the world.

“Stress? You can’t even use that word for that program,” said Melidis. “But now, with (music), this is something I’ve always dreamed of doing, so I know how to handle that.” He can remember the moment he knew he wanted to pursue music: he was six years old, listening to the Beatles for the first time. It wasn’t long before Melidis, barely through the first grade, dreamt up starting a band with his cousins, to be just like the Beatles. “We could do this,” he remembers thinking to himself at that young age.

We ask if he’s ever gotten nervous. Like, when he went in for a live session on Essential Music with Ann Delisi on WDET, or when he performed River Days in Detroit and Ann Arbor’s Summer Festival in one weekend?

“No, I don’t get nervous. I get anxious. It’s a different kind of nervousness, more like: where am I going to go next?”

And that’s Melidis in a nutshell. He’s self-assured without any ego. Happy to perform but humble as hell. He exudes an inviting vibe, even if his singing voice mimics that raspy warble of Bob Dylan – an acquired taste for some, maybe, but his guitar playing can lasso a listener inward with its rivulet of riffs churning along under the occasional gusty fuzz from his harmonica. Yes, that harmonica’s strapped around his neck, just like the Highway 61 Revisited-era Dylan and yes, that’s intentional, if just incorrigible.

“In my junior year of college, someone told me: you gotta’ listen to this guy…”

Bob Dylan?

“Yeah! I mean, I must have heard of him, somewhere, but never listened to him at all. I sat down, listened, and…WOW! This edgy, raspy voice and I’d been wanting to do more solo stuff. So, hey, why couldn’t I maybe be Bob Dylan’s grandson, or something? I picked up the folk patterns, started strumming and wrote some weird, indecipherable lyrics down and got to a twang in my voice and said: Hey, this works. No, wait, this actually really fits!”
He wrote more than ten songs in just two months, eventually recording four of them onto a CD so that he could have something ready for his first show. “Yeah, I think I did it kinda’ backwards, compared to what most musicians might do, they might play live a lot and get people to know their songs first before they record. But I had it ready to go.”

“I was ready to hit the ground running.”Flashy business cards, CDs, bow-tie and basher hat, he was ready.

It’s one thing to dream, as Melidis did – be it about The Beatles or Bob Dylan; it’s another thing to experiment and find your voice and find your style – be it with an early screamo/metal band in which he played drums or a brief trip down lanes derivative of Coldplay or The Strokes; it’s another thing to establish a work ethic.
“That’s part of the game. You have to be starving, you have to be hungry, you have to chase it.” And he did. He started working here in Ferndale a year ago; Dino’s catchphrase, actually,also fits Zander Michigan’s live presentation and style of music: “Upscale But Not Uptight.” Or, as Melidis’ friend once praised him: He “keeps it G’edup from the feet-up.” Ever since, his work ethic instilled him in a diligence – to chase open mic nights, set up modest coffee shop gigs, and eventually grab ears at WDET or for River Days or for as far west as Ann Arbor. Slow, but steady.

“And it comes down to a sense of entitlement,” Melidis said.

“That’s a key word in any conversation regarding any field. If you feel you’re God’s gift to the Earth and you’re so talented and sexy? Whatever. Get over yourself.”

We tell him that the popular perception, or stigma, of singers and bands is that they’re inherently flakey, aloof and too cool to care, when it comes to work ethic. “And I think that’s the biggest load of crap,” Melidis says, signature sun glasses shading his eyes from the summer sun as he flashes a characteristically affable and toothy smile. “It’s so important! Like, what if I see Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr or Flint Eastwood or a guy from The Beggars out at the grocery store. Here’s my card! Here! I would love to play with you or maybe you could come out and hear my songs.”

Even if they don’t like his songs – they’re going to remember him, if just by his dynamic wardrobe. “People have stopped me on the street just to ask for a photo of my shoes.”

Zander Michigan (i.e. Melidis) will be getting his newest songs ready to record this month and hopefully return to the studio this Autumn. What’s next? “…just keep playing.”

Listen to songs and follow up on upcoming shows by Zander Michigan:soundcloud.com/zander-michigan – facebook.com/zandermichigan/info

Full length album, titled “Zander The Great,” will be released in late October with a release party to follow in late November/early December. For more information and to hear Zander’s music: www.zandermichigan.com

If some 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 impotency and other states coupled to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What men 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 malfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart 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 disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

Ferndale Police Detective Brendan Moore has a voice that’s anything but hard-boiled.

A tenor, he began singing in high school, performing in theater productions and in choir as a hobby. After a stint in the armed forces, he joined the Ferndale Police Department, where he’s helped keep the community safe for the past 27 years. Besides a couple of stints with community theater, he didn’t sing much at all. That began to change a few years ago.

“The kids were grown.” He explains, “I had more time.” He was drawn to a local classical singing group called the Twelfth Night Singers, where he discovered that his old high school choir coach was the director.

His co-workers knew of his singing endeavors, because one day the police chief came up to him and asked, “Do you know the national anthem?”

Detective Moore said yes, and the chief handed him a flyer for something called the “Home of the Brave Contest.”

Sponsored by Comerica Bank, the contest is open to firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, members of the armed forces, and military veterans. Entrants record themselves singing the national anthem and upload it to YouTube. People vote on their favorite, and the winner gets a $10,000 grant for their station or unit, plus the opportunity to sing the anthem before a Tigers game at Comerica Park — plus 35 game tickets,so all your family, friends, and colleagues can come and see you do it.

“I entered last year and this year.” Detective Moore says,with a laconic shrug. “This year, I won.” His wife shot the video in their living room, a simple set-up with drawn blinds and an American flag hanging behind him.

I congratulate him, and he looks almost apologetic. “It isn’t really a talent contest.” He says. It’s more about who can get the most people to vote for them. “But I hope that if my version was terrible, they wouldn’t vote for me.”

No worries there. Detective Moore went to the Tigers game on September 27 against the Minnesota Twins and, before about 38,000 fans, looking smart in uniform, he sang the anthem.

Was he nervous? “No.” He says. Everything looks bigger than you think when you’re standing out on the field, he admits, but there were no butterflies. “It was just amazing.”

Does he get any ribbing from his co-workers? “Constantly,” he says, dryly.

Will his experience change any aspect of his job? Will he be singing suspects their Miranda Rights from now on? I finally get a chuckle, and an emphatic “No.”

I ask if he plans to branch out, maybe start singing for a rock band? No, he’s happy with classical. Then he stops and thinks about it for a second. “Maybe something like James Taylor.” he says thoughtfully.

If slightly 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 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 disfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction switch on 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.

Yeah, baby! Ernie’s Market serves up massive eats and millions of smiles.

by Jeff Lily | Photo ©2014 Bernie Laframboise

You’d be forgiven for driving by Ernie’s Market without giving it a second glance, if you stumbled upon it at all. Located in a quiet residential neighborhood in Oak Park near the border of Ferndale, the building itself is simple and nondescript, brown brick and white lettering sitting on blacktop with beer signs in the windows. If you went by after business hours, you might even think it abandoned.

Go by most days around lunch, though, and you’ll find a curious thing: People lined up, out the door, sometimes around the corner, waiting up to an hour to get inside. The reason? That humble exte- rior, Clark Kent-like, hides a super man inside.

Meet owner and sandwich man extraordinaire, Ernie Hassan, who’s been here just shy of sixty years, wielding his meat slicer and ear-to-ear grin, feeding bellies and hearts alike. Ernie does things a little differently (and a lot better) than anyone else.

“Hey, Baby!” Ernie shouts to the next person in line. “How ya’ doing, dar- ling?” He greets everyone, regardless of age or gender, the same way.

He’s somewhere north of 70, white hair tucked under a battered cap, beaming a smile that could melt an iceberg in ten seconds flat. He shoots the breeze for a minute, because whether you’ve been coming for 20 years or this is your first time, Ernie wants to know what’s happening in your life. He offers his fist for a bump, then gets down to busi- ness.

There’s no menu at Ernie’s. “The customer is number one.” Ernie says. “I want them to tell me what they want.” Rough guidelines are the $3, $4, and $5 sandwich (one meat, two meats, or three meats, respectively), but things tend to morph in a wonderful way, and always to the customer’s advantage.

“Is there anything you’re afraid of?” Ernie asks, when it’s my turn. I tell him “Things that go bump in the night”, but he’s talking about food. I select an onion roll as the base, tell him I want a $5 sandwich, and put it in his hands.

He stoops over his slicer and starts running a ten- pound block of colby through it with the manic energy of a man half his age. Four slices. Then provolone. Then comes the meat… ham, turkey, salami, piling comically higher and higher. All the while, Ernie keeps up a constant stream of chat- ter, telling jokes, spinning yarns, and talking to the others in line, now eight deep behind me. No one’s in a hurry, though, and everyone is smiling and having a blast.

Ernie loves a crowd, and everyone knows they’re going to get the same careful attention.

“I’m going to give you some pepperoni, too!” Ernie shouts, yanking a huge stick of it from the cooler. “You’ll like this! Who loves ya, baby?”

“You do.” I say.

“Ernie does!” Chorus the others in line. “Yeah, baby!” Ernie answers.

He hands the sandwich over to one of his assistants, who piles on tomato, onion, lettuce, pickles, cucumber slices, bell pepper slices, banana peppers, mayo, mustard, oil… and “The Love”, Ernie’s own blend of spices. Ernie picks up the sand- wich, which is now approaching the size of a bowling ball, and deftly wraps it in wax paper. I promise to return later for an in- terview, pay my $5 (cash only, please) and walk out. Behind me, Ernie is asking after the sister of a regular, chatting up another about his mother. He knows everyone, and talks to all the newbies too, learning their names and their stories so he can treat them with the same warmth and concern when they return.

I park my car on a residential street, roll down the windows, and have a picnic. I hadn’t had breakfast, and I’m definitely not going to need anything before dinner. It’s fresh, simple, and very, very delicious. I find out later that Ernie also does great veggie sandwiches, serving up things like sliced apples, radishes, and other goodies for those who don’t want meat. Like the rest of his ingredients, the details vary from day to day, but you’re guaranteed to get your ingredients fresh, and freshly- sliced, on the spot.

I return at five, just as Ernie’s helpers are packing up and leaving. Ernie locks the door after them and sits himself on a carpeted pad atop an old radiator, king of the world.

“My dad bought the market in 1955.” He recalls. “It started as a grocery store. My dad turned it into a meat mar- ket.” He points to the original meat locker, with its oak door and brass handles, still intact behind the sandwich counter. He takes me back and demonstrates the bal- ance beam scale, also original to the store, once used to weigh sides of beef. Ernie started off young as a stock boy and ca- shier, just helping out his father. “When my dad ran errands, the people from the neighborhood would come in the store and sit with me, to make sure nothing bad hap- pened.” He recalls with a smile.

When the meat business declined, “we sold beer and wine.” When Ernie took over the store, he started selling sandwiches.

“The store would be full of students” from Ferndale High, Ernie explains. “They were hungry. They wanted to eat. So I made them sandwiches. They’d yell at me if I screwed up, and we went from there.”

It’s safe to say it’s been a good long time since Ernie screwed up a sandwich. He’s won WDIV’s “Best Sandwich in Metro Detroit” honor every single year since 2008, as banners hanging at the front and back of the store commemorate. The store’s walls and the shelves above its coolers are decorated with articles about Ernie and awards given to him. Oak Park Citizen of the Year. Awards from the City of Fern- dale. Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition. There are many more. Ernie isn’t shy; he loves the attention.

“What is this?” He says, waving his arm, taking in the totality of the place.

“A local institution.” I reply.

“No.” He shakes his head vigorously. “It’s home. That feeling, in the community, is why I’m here.”

I ask him how the neighborhood has changed over the years. “It’s gotten better.” He says instantly. It’s been great to watch things change, he says, to see the revival of Ferndale and Oak Park and Hazel Park, all of the different festivals and func- tions and fun. “The high school football team is good, too.” He grins. “The excitement of a community. Know what I mean, baby?”

Where does he get his energy?

“From you.” He says emphatically. “From the people. We’re all in the same canoe.”

Ernie reaches under the counter and pulls out an old index card file box. In the old days, he explains, regular customers had a card with their weekly tab. On payday, someone would come down and settle up the bill. Ernie tells of a former customer who recently dropped in for a visit after many years away.

“Bet I still got your card.” Ernie told her. The woman didn’t believe it, so Ernie pulled it out… and discovered that they owed 25 cents.

“I’ll pay it.” Said the former customer. “No, you’re not. Your husband will.” Ernie said. She informed him that her husband had passed away.

“I told her, when I see him…” He pointed toward the ceiling, the big grin spreading its joy. “He’s gonna’ pay it!”

Here’s hoping Ernie doesn’t collect on that debt for a long, long time.

Whatever your views of the afterlife may be, one thing’s for certain… Ernie’s Market is a little slice of heaven, right here on earth.

Nah. Make that a lot of slices, piled high on an onion roll. With pickles and extra mayo, please. Oh, and don’t forget the love!

Ernie’s Market is located at 8500 Capital Street in Oak Park.
Open Monday to Friday 10 to 5, Saturday 10 to 3, closed Sunday. Phone (248) 541- 9703.

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 connected to erectile disfunction. 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 disfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core 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 physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

by Derek Lindamood | Photo ©2014 Bernie Laframboise

Currently there is a major downtown Ferndale development project in the works, called the “Ferndale 3-60 Project”, which is a mixed-use development currently in the public input and planning phase. It includes new parking, office, residential and retail space on two city-owned parking lots — Withington and Troy Street. The developer, 3-60 LLC, recently entered into an “exclusive negotiating rights agreement” with the City of Ferndale for a potential public-private partnership. Project plans are currently only preliminary concepts, and your insight will help shape the potential project as it moves forward.

The following interview is with Kristi Faulkner, who recently started an organization called FAIR — Ferndale Association of Invested Residents — specifically to provide citizens with a voice regarding this and other future projects. Kristi, originally from Toledo, went to New York for Graduate school then moved to Ferndale in 2010 to stay and start her own professional dance company.

Q: What is FAIR, when did it start, and what prompted the need for this organization?

KF: FAIR started a month ago, because of the meeting at Rust Belt about the Ferndale 3-60 Project. The concept for this organization had existed for a few years, but it came to fruition after the Rust Belt meeting when my partner, Maria Gahry, and I realized that residents needed an outlet to be heard and express their concerns.

It wasn’t a one-issue thing, although the 3-60 Project was an impetus… for a while we’d been considering forming our own group, FAIR, to specifically advocate for resident’s interests. After the Rust Belt meeting, there was a real pulse in the community for something to occur for people’s voices to be heard, which didn’t seem at the time to be funneled or channeled in a productive way or taken seriously. FAIR gives residents a cohesive voice.

Q: How does FAIR differ from the organization Citizens for a Fair Ferndale?

KF: Most significantly, Citizens for Fair Ferndale does not take a particular stance on issues like the 3-60 project, which is why it was so important for us to form an organization that could advocate for residents who are opposed to it. CFF serves the broad Ferndale community, including businesses and other groups. FAIR focuses spe- cifically on residents having a voice. It’s more powerful to have a point of view coming through an organization, rather than an individual.

Q: What is the current status of the 3-60 Project?

KF: City Council had a few closed door sessions — we’ve been keeping an eye on the Council meeting agendas because we are waiting for the reveal of the plans signifying “Phase 2” of the project. We’re hoping they are taking the resident’s concerns and feedback into account. We’re waiting for them to unveil their current plan. They presented to us, the citizens, their initial plan… and now they’re working to develop it further, and we’re hoping they will show us a more organized plan.

Q: What are the issues with this project?

KF: There are a number of issues for residents and small business owners. Residents believe that something on this grand of a scale doesn’t really fit our community. The location of it will be adjacent to residential properties and the plans will infringe upon our neighborhoods. Traffic, logistical issues, increases in population density, how we can accommodate an increased traffic flow without endangering the surrounding neighborhoods… these are just some of the concerns that have been brought up by residents at our meetings. The major concern for business owners is that the construction process will take 18 to 24 months and they won’t be able to survive it. Ferndale would lose two of the most utilized parking lots during the building process.

In Royal Oak, small businesses are going under because they can’t afford the rent and don’t have the foot traffic promised by the development projects that occurred. Because of this project, the entire landscape of Ferndale could change. We could likely lose the boutiques, book stores, mom and pop shops, yoga and martial arts studios — all the things that make our community special and unique. And when that happens, the burden falls on us, the residents and taxpayers. City Council keeps hearing what we don’t want to be, and they don’t think we’re voicing our opinion on what we do want to be — but we are. We are what we want to be — right now — a community of unique and independent small businesses that are growing organically and with a commitment to community. The 3-60 project threatens that.

Q: Detroit is undergoing construction right now. What if things go well down there, could it change your opinion of the 3-60 Project?

KF: We’re not against development, we’re against where it’s being placed, the grand scale of it, and the lack of planning. There’s a danger sitting back and waiting to see what happens. City Council has made comments on how we don’t want to “get left behind” — and that’s a real concern, we don’t want to be stagnant, settle for the status quo, but we can approach a project like this with caution, and with a responsibility to the integrity of the community — not just developing for the sake of developing. We have to ask: Who will this benefit? The City Council has not given us enough information to trust that our community will not suffer or be destroyed.

My partner and I have lived here for four years, and we’ve seen so much change in this time. Things are going so well right now, and it would be such a shame to see current businesses suffer because of the construction — we have to think about how to integrate development with the community — but if it’s not done thoughtfully and with the interests of everyone at heart, it can be very dangerous.

Q: What if the City Council tried to develop the strip of small businesses along Livernois? There’s a bike path, it’d link us to Palmer Park and Detroit, what if they tried to expand development down there?

KF: It’s a great idea. Residents have offered numerous options for locations throughout this first phase of the project – developing Livernois and utilizing the Save-A-Lot space just to name two. But, there’s a number of things at play — for one, there’s a developer bankrolling this, so it’s really on him and the arrangement he has with the city. Is that the location that he wants?

Q: Does the city have applications for people who want commercial space, but cannot get it?

KF: In a letter from 3-60 LLC to the City regarding their exclusive negotiating rights agreement for this project, they referenced a market analysis done by the DDA which stated there was a potential need for Class A office space in Ferndale. However, this market analysis — which they are using as the rationale to support the project — also indicated many concerns and threats for a project of this size and scale, and does not provide a definitive yes/no answer regarding the need for the community. It is essentially inconclusive. The analysis does say that trying to compete with the development in Detroit poses a significant threat — and we believe it just doesn’t make sense to do so. So, this project shouldn’t be about not getting left behind, it’s about what’s good for our city, and how to define ourselves independently as a community.

Q: Most of the businesses downtown have a sign in their window of “Do a 180 on 3-60.” How can City Council ignore this? How can they even bother planning a “Phase 2” when so many businesses in town is publicly opposing this?

KF: I feel some of the members of City Council are on this mission, thinking that this is a good idea, and they’re trying so hard to convince us that they’re not listening to us. They’re just planning, talking — they’re not breaking ground yet. So who’s to say that seeing these signs peppering the entire downtown community will not affect them or slow down or stop the current state of this project? There’s been some friction between those who are opposed to the project and Council, and what we’re trying to accomplish. Councilwoman Piana gave an intense speech at the last meeting, about her frustration over the opposition to this project. But I think there’s a level of not really hearing each other, not really understanding the narrative of the residents. It’s not that we want to maintain the status quo, it’s not that we’re against change, we just want it done in a way that benefits our community and doesn’t destroy it. I think if Council opened up a little more, and heard what we have to say about a vision for our future — that’s where the disconnect is happening. Opposi- tion can be polarizing, but it doesn’t have to be. We’re not trying to stop it for the sake of not changing, we’re just trying to protect our community.

Q: Ferndale has really boomed the past couple of years, things seem to be going so well in this town. Why do we need such a drastic change, and so soon?

KF: This is an exciting place to be, we’re happy, we love it, we’re starting to boom again — we shouldn’t be greedy about it by forcing massive growth. We need smart, organic growth, and we need to make sure it’s in line with the vision of the residents, because they are clear stakeholders in the community. The market analysis shows the ratio between retail and restaurants/bars has flip-flopped. We’ve got far more bars and restaurants than retail. What the market analysis says is that we need a more equal balance, and we’re not sure the 3-60 Project will bring a balance, it could tilt it even more unevenly.

We can look to Royal Oak as an example — retail can- not be sustained so to fill space bars and restaurants go in. Plus, landlords can charge more per square foot for restaurants and bars as opposed to retail. We don’t even know if there’s a second stage tech company that even wants to move here. It sounds sexy, but has anyone even expressed interest in this? That’s a very important element to the success of this project and the last time we asked, it’s not there. Jake Siegel is the developer, and adding to the complications, he’s not a real estate guy, he’s a tech guy — this is his first project. I’m a big fan of supporting people, they’ve got to get their start somewhere, but this project is just so massive and could drastically alter the landscape of our community. It threatens the livelihood of our small businesses so he’s got to instill some confidence that we have a plan and it’s good. Up to now, that confidence is just not there.

Q: How does someone get involved with FAIR?

KF: We have a Facebook page, and you can email us at fair48220@gmail.com. We hold meetings open to the community; we’re waiting to hear on the “Phase 2” plans on the 3-60 Project to announce our next meeting regarding this issue.

Q: How does FAIR represent citizens to the City Council?

KF: We represent FAIR at the call to audience during City Council meetings on Monday night. We also encourage our members to email City Council Members, and speak to them after meetings. We hope City Council is beginning to recognize us as a positive organization for residents, as elected officials they should want to know directly what their residents think.

Q: I think this organization is a great idea.

KF: Yeah, and this 3-60 Project is our first issue. It’s emotional for a lot of people, because their livelihoods are at stake. There are other things we would like to take up in the future, such as recycling. Ferndale does a great job with recycling, and we’d love to see larger bins to accommodate all the materials — not a hot button issue, but it’ll never be heard unless we collectively voice it. Another issue- revising the noise ordinance, it’s behind the times. Many other cities like Royal Oak and Dearborn have more sophisticated ways of measuring noise, and we must be cognizant of developing a down- town that the city’s own residents can enjoy while not being disturbed by it. Having residential areas and business areas co-exist peacefully is very important, especially when looking to expand development projects into neighborhoods.

To learn more about Ferndale 3-60 Project, go to www.downtownferndale.com/userfiles/ 360FerndalePresentation.pdf

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 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 disfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual malfunction. Even though this medicine 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.

MOST BEAUTFUL PLACE DEPT: Is it good or bad that Michigan is finally getting national notice? A few years ago, probably to the surprise of many of us, voted Sleeping Bear Dunes the most beautiful place in America. More recently, a cell phone photo taken by a kayaker in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore won the photo contest and will appear on the National Parks Land Pass. We expect the splendors of the West to constantly be noticed, not so much those in our own backyard.

Up until recently, though, we seemed unknown as a national destination. The Great Lakes have every kind of beauty: knockout splendor like Pictured Rocks, serene beaches almost everywhere, plus cities full of art, sports, food, and shopping. Why weren’t we more popular? Maybe now we are in the beginning phases of that. Someday we may feel lucky to have known the UP in its days of wildness and sparse population.

Speaking of the UP, last week in Marquette Lake Superior was full of ice, the beach dotted with sunbathers. Not many regions offer sunbathing near icebergs in hip college towns.

ENVIRONMENTAL GADFLY DEPT: Perusing guidebooks is a good winter pastime, thumbing through them on cozy nights, planning the summer’s adventures. This winter, despite record snow and cold, we used 50 Hikes in Lower Michigan (which actually has 60) for a series of trips to our West Coast. It has no duds. (A bonus: many have microbreweries nearby, and many towns with microbreweries have independent bookstores, some more than one.)

While Ludington State Park may have ended up my favorite, Muskegon State Park, Grand Mere Dunes, Crystal Lake with its Arizona-esque moonscape/dunescape, Nordhouse Dunes, and various inland trail systems were all beautiful. We often used Ludington as a base camp, with the Badger, the car ferry that’s about to (at long last) stop dumping four daily tons of coal ash into Lake Michigan, lurking in my peripheral vision constantly, both in reality and on every wall and restaurant menu. I wrote quite a few blog posts about the Badger. The big boat is certainly beloved, given the number of images of it everywhere (black plume of smoke always visible).

Oakland County has a number of great hikes, generally little-known, which is strange given the proximity to such a large population center. Our favorites are Holly, Seven Lakes, and Proud Lake, due to their up north feel and views of water. Recently we hiked Rose Oaks County Park, just south of Holly, a park we’d never even heard of. Although some of it was rather dull, just a wide mowed path, one northern loop treated us to a hawk, an egret, a beaver lodge, and a barred owl that astounded us, flying low over our heads with that silent wing work owls have. Their feather edges are different, their flight is noiseless. My Medicine Cards book, bought at Library Books on 9 Mile, says that because of this silent flight, owls represent deception, and may indicate that someone is snookering you.

FESC DEPT: The Ferndale Environmental Sustainability Commission is working on the part of our municipal code that deals with yards. While unofficially the city encourages us to replace our grass with perennials and/or native plants, the code could be clearer. Poring over codes of other cities that have encouraged naturalizing has been fascinating. Some like Orlando have gone so far as to mandate that no more than 60 per cent of one’s property can be turf. A few issues back, I gave the results of my informal bike survey of this quadrant of Ferndale: 18 homeowners had naturalized, no grass in sight; 66 had rid themselves of half or more; and 87 had replaced large amounts of grass with other plantings.

The lawn mower lobby has been pretty successful at fighting emission controls. Running a gas mower for one hour is like driving a car for 8-11 hours (55 mph, 25 mpg). Assuming that the numbers in our quadrant hold true for Ferndale as a whole, and using one of the lower estimates of how much CO2 a gas mower emits in a season (100 lbs.), those who’ve replaced grass with alternatives have saved Ferndale 29,200 pounds of carbon. Often when Phil and I sit down to calculate the impact of mowing, or driving versus flying, or this lightbulb compared to that one, the whole time I’m thinking our calculations might prove the whole exercise pointless. Not so far, though. Remember when we figured that for the emissions of one flight to Glacier National Park, we could do 80 local hikes? The amount of carbon we save if we stop using gas mowers is also dramatic. This is a change worth making. An old-fashioned reel mower is, of course, non-polluting; an electric mower much less polluting than a gas one. And we can’t forget this: while filling mowers each year, Americans spill more gas than the Exxon Valdez did. And the 86,000 injuries a year involving gas mowers add up to $5.4 billion in medical costs.

BACKYARD HABITAT NEWS: Facebook informs us of the following: Two hours of nature sounds per day is a proven, measurable stress reducer. Didn’t we used to just call them “sounds?” Anyway, anyone waking up in my neighborhood at about 5:30 A.M. this morning might not have been so positive. Two of the angriest creatures in existence, house wrens and red squirrels, were venting their spleens, one out front, one in back. Both are adorable and crazy aggressive. Neither seemed to be experiencing a real threat; it was all Just In Case. Robins built a nest in a clematis vine, laying two eggs, then abandoning the nest. I’ve been told that this is common with robins. Hummingbirds are coming to the feeders, but as usual, if you don’t watch, you’d never know it. They are small and they are fast. Tufted titmice are still nesting, collecting fur combed off our 20-year-old cat. And those wrens are patrolling every birdhouse, but, of course, using only one.

Becky Hammond has lived in and observed Ferndale since 1986. She may be a member of the FESC by the time you read this.

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 impotency and other states united 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 health problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state 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.

Tucked away off Woodward Avenue just south of 7 Mile Road, on Goldengate Street, lies a colorful, graffiti-covered little home adorned with a serpent-painted stone wall, an ample tree house, and bonfire pit, all settled seductively in the front lawn. It’s an unexpected part of Detroit to find a place like this, yet there it stands, drawing eyes like a magnet.

A bohemian-looking man puts the finishing touches on the artfully painted rock wall, while a small child twirls her hula-hoop nearby. Faint sounds of someone playing the piano come from inside the house, and an aroma of delicious home cooking wafts through the air.

I found myself here, at the collective of urban legend and local revolutionary Dr. Robert Pizzimenti (better known as “Dr. Bob”), proprietor of the Innate Healing Arts Center and Goldengate Café. Dr. Bob is a well known staple of his community, functioning as a doctor of chiropractic medicine (after 25 years of practice, Pizzimenti prefers to call himself an unwinder), holistic healer, community activist, and counterculture provocateur.

He specializes in helping individuals become agents of their own healing by emphasizing the importance of balance between the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of the self and consciousness. Over time, Dr. Bob’s place grew from a simple chiropractic office with a small kitchen featuring a raw juice bar to fully-functioning vegetarian café and healing center that offers auriculotherapy, cranio-sacral therapy, massage, reiki, yoga and meditation, as well as bulk traditional medicinal herbs and herbal remedies.

Dr. Bob tells an unlikely story of how his healing center came to fruition. He explains how he opted out of the lifestyle of suburban comfort to open his practice in a less traditional location in the midst of urban decay, homelessness, and crack addiction. “Two years out of college, I already knew I wanted a healing center. I had lived in Ferndale and Royal Oak and even sent my children to Waldorf schools, but I couldn’t afford anything on that side of 8 Mile.” Taking the less traditional path, he bought a humble dwelling on the now infamous Goldengate Street and built his healing center out of nothing.

“Community helped put this place together, I did not really have any money at the time. It was just me and the crack addicts. I felt strange putting a healing center together with crack addicts, but I had no judgments against them. I gave them money to help build this place and figured they were going to do what they would do.”

There are many abandoned homes on Goldengate street occupied by squatters, mostly artist types who have transformed this neighborhood into a counterculture paradise of sorts. Most of the homes are artfully decorated with beautiful graffiti and adorned with found objects such as glass bottles and other decorative objects reminiscent of the Heidelberg Project. One home even has a whimsical slide affixed to its rooftop. Most of the squatters have also pitched in to start a large and thriving community gardening project.

Pizzimenti owns his home on this street as well, and is slowly buying up the abandoned lots and homes adjacent to his property. He bought the lot directly behind his home and turned the wreckage into a surprisingly serene wooded area featuring a remarkable bullfrog pond. At one time Pizzimenti also had an abundance of animals that roamed free on his property including pigs, chickens, peacocks, and goats. He explains the animals were living harmoniously in the community until the city sent ten police cars to take them all away. He jokes he is “trying to start a
revolution, one chicken at a time.”

The café is delightful and offers gourmet vegetarian food. It supports local farms and has daily specialty items that are sure to delight your body and nourish your soul. It is run by one full-time employee, named Evelyn, who currently squats in one of the abandoned homes in the neighborhood with her musician husband. Suddenly finding herself homeless one day, she explains, “Someone pointed us to Dr. Bob’s house. We had never met him before. He took us in and let us put everything we own in his living room and we stayed the night. He asked if we were willing to move into an abandoned house and fix it up. We said absolutely. We cleaned it up bit by bit and come to find out; it’s a gorgeous house with beautiful hardwood floors. It’s a work in progress and we plan on purchasing it in an auction for $500.00.”

While telling her story she served an array of delicious home cooked vegetarian food. I sampled homemade potato and leek soup, tree bean nachos, and nibbled on the most wonderful cornbread I‘ve ever had. Every Wednesday night, the community of Goldendate Street comes together and coalesces at the bonfire pit in the front lawn of the healing center for a weekly drum circle. Pizzimenti describes the event as a type of healing. He explains, “The drumbeat represents the heartbeat of the mother and people come to burn fire, light incense and sage to cleanse the space and each other. The drummers come, and the idea is we communicate non-verbally. When the drums are played, the magic happens. People come: hulahoopers,
fire-throwers, and musicians, too.”

The center conveys a blissfully creative vibe bustling with an array of interesting characters. While Dr. Bob is treating his clients in his office, Evelyn is busily cooking and serving homemade food in the kitchen, a teenage boy is plucking away at the keys on the piano in the foyer, a sizable dog sleeps lazily on the couch, while a grandmother teaches her three young granddaughters to knit at the cozy booth in the café while they wait for their food. It’s a diamond in the rough. A place, once discovered, you will not want to leave.

The Healing Arts Center is open every day at 8 A.M. until 8 P.M. Walk-ins welcome. Golden Gate Cafe is open Monday through Saturday 11 A.M. until 8 P.M. www.innatehealingartscenter.com/chiropractordetroit/. 18700 Woodward Ave; Detroit, Michigan 48203, south of Seven Mile; 313-366-2247.

If something 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 dysfunction. 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 soundness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction include 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 therapy passes into breast milk.