News

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When area shoppers think of bringing their business to Ferndale, many possibilities come to mind. The fabulous fashion boutiques, the handmade goods at Rust Belt , and the plethora of unique speciality shops all top the list of must-hit places when shoppers cruise through our town. What some may not realize, however, is that the best value in Ferndale may very well be just underfoot.

Located on 930 West 8 Mile Road, between a mattress showroom and a restaurant specializing in southern food, sits Value Carpet & More. At first glance it seems modest, but the unique L-shaped construction is misleading; it is larger than it appears and packed full of great deals.

Composed of goldenrod brick and glass block windows, the building is unassuming. There are no flashing signs to distract motorists and no gimmicks to draw the wandering eye of pedestrians. Instead, there are black-and-red block letters proclaiming the name of the store, its specialties, and the deals that await inside. It’s a refreshingly simple approach, and one that works for a business that lets its services and products speak for themselves.

This Ferndale business is owned by Ali Safaoui, and has been in this 8 Mile location for the last three years. The time spent in this area is only a fraction of the 15 years that Safaoui has been operating a flooring store. He’s been loyal to Ferndale for years; long time Ferndale residents may recall that before moving to this current location he had a store on Woodward, in the place that Level One Bank now resides.

It didn’t take long speaking to Safaoui, who was courteous and kind, for his appreciation of Ferndale to become clear. His tone of voice conveyed as much as his words on the subject of why he choose Ferndale as the home of his business. “It’s a great location!” he said; the salient enthusiasm in that short sentence implying that Ferndale was the only obvious choice. “The city is coming back,” he added, showing that he was aware of the revitalization that is going on in this little section of Oakland County. His decision to stay in the area after leaving his original location illustrates his support of the city.

When asked what interested him about his job, Safaoui replied, “I just love carpet and flooring. I have 25 years of experience with it. It’s what I know.” His passion and experience are evident in the way he runs his business. Despite having other employees, he is always present in the store, and on hand to answer questions and phones.

Value Carpet & More is a multi-faceted operation and does not just focus on one aspect of the flooring business. They specialize in carpet, hardwood, vinyl, tile, laminate, and stone, and offer a wide variety of each. They also do more than simply sell flooring. Expert installation of flooring is offered, as well as interior design consulting, and they make an effort to provide same-day estimates for their customers. Safaoui also takes pride in his ability to beat competitors’ prices, even those of well-known chain stores. On top of the already affordable products and services, they also offer other unique opportunities for deals and discounts on their website. It’s clear that with everything they do, Value Carpet and More is dedicated to providing each and every customer with the best possible buying experience.

Looking to purchase the best quality floor coverings at the lowest area prices? Want some help picking out the perfect color carpet for your renovated space? Stop in and see Ali and his staff at Value Carpet and More. The products, the prices, and the service speak for themselves.

Value Carpet and More is open 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays, and 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Visit www.valuecarpetandmore.com for more information and a listing of current specials.

If some 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 emasculation and other states connected 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 health problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a status 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 curing passes into breast milk.

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The Michigan State Fair was shut down in 2009 by Jennifer Granholm. Since then, developers have been salivating at the opportunity to build at the iconic 8 Mile and Woodward intersection, right next to Ferndale.

Meijer is already in, but the rest of the Michigan State Fair property (about 157 acres) still belongs to the people of Michigan. In fact, someone recently did the math and figured out that each taxpaying household in the state owns two square feet of the land.

Unbeknownst to many of us, the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority (MLB) is poised totransfer our land, for free, to a private developer.

That’s right: 157 acres of prime real estate for free to a group of investors, led by the stardom of retired NBA player Magic Johnson and Lansing’s Joel Ferguson. Developer Magic Plus LLC met the RFP minimum financial requirements of the MLB — a group that was formed by Governor Snyder in 2012 to “promote economic growth in this state through the acquisition, assembly and disposal of public property.”

Any development is good development right? Not so much. The Magic Plus plan has been deemed “big box boring,” and also referred to as a “1990s strip mall” according to public opinion in recent newspaper articles and stories online. The amount of pavement in the plan speaks for itself. And a look at Magic Plus’s past investments tells a lot about where they’re headed for the development: Burger King and Best Buy are two of Magic’s favorites; certainly a world away from Assaggi Bistro and the Rust Belt Market.

The Ferndale DDA has worked hard to gain support for local, family- owned small businesses that keep downtown Ferndale thriving.

So how will the development of the 157-acre State Fair property affect downtown Ferndale and its residents?

Some locals think that the plan should be severely altered to center around a regional transit hub, rather than some fast food joints and a sea of pavement. In response, Ferndale City Council wrote a letter to the MLB openly asking to be included in further meetings with the developers, while strongly urging that the land be considered for a regional transit hub. The February letter written to the MLB from Ferndale’s city council states, “We believe the sale and redevelopment of this property will have a significant impact on the City of Ferndale and the region as a whole.”

The letter, signed by our mayor Dave Coulter, also requested, “Any sale of the property takes into consideration the recently passed Regional Transit Authority, and more specifically the ongoing efforts to develop a viable Transit Oriented Development Plan for the entire Woodward Corridor and Southeast Michigan Region.”

Along the same lines, representatives from a group called the SFDC (State Fairgrounds Development Coalition) would like to see the land passed directly into the hands of the RTA, rather than into a private developer’s pockets. “The Michigan Land Bank will miss out on billions in transit investment,” said Jim Casha, an activist who lives in Sherwood Forest, our neighbor to the south, near the State Fair. Casha and the SFDC are leading a charge that follows Michigan’s “place-making initiative,” which was put in place by the governor himself. The SFDC is made up of local citizens, who are urging Ferndaliens interested in supporting the META alternative to speak up. One way to get started is by checking out their Facebook page, “Future of the Michigan State Fairgrounds.”

The SFDC has been holding community meetings (charrettes) over the last year with local citizens who were more than interested in amending the proposed plan and even expressed interest for an alternative plan. Through those community meetings, Growtown, along with architect Mark Johnson, developed an alternative plan: The METAexpo. META stands for Michigan Energy Technology and Agriculture (see the plan and several videos at www.growtown.org/blog/news).

The META plan includes a re-imagined state fair for the future; one that can include the traditional agricultural fair, plus an expo center (centered in the historic State Fair buildings). The expo center will be a showplace for Michigan’s technology sectors, including our world-class universities. “It will be a hotspot to roll out Michigan technologies and industries,” said Growtown’s Ken Weikal.

The META plan includes a regional, multi-modal transit station, an “economic engine for the city,” surrounded by plenty of green, open areas. Housing would be similar to downtown Royal Oak, which boasts a thriving city center where thoughtful place-making has condensed living, working, and socializing spaces together.

GrowTown, along with architect Mark Johnson, developed the community’s input into the METAexpo concept and visual graphic materials (as is typically done in design charrettes). The resulting META concept represents the SFDC and community response to the Magic Plus plan. The METAexpo concept was overwhelmingly supported when it was presented at a community meeting held by the FAC (Fairgrounds Advisory Committee). Over 200 people were, very vocally, present at the November 2012 meeting.

“You can fit the entire downtown of Royal Oak or Ferndale into the area of the State Fairgrounds,” said Growtown partner Beth Hagenbuch. She pointed out the huge amount of economic impact that kind of development, through the META concept, will have on the entire region.

“It’s place-making and smart growth versus a ‘power center’ strip mall. Power centers are category killers. In other words, they dominate a particular category of products and focus on vehicle rather than foot traffic.”

Hagenbuch said the META vision offers the kind of place our young people are moving to other cities to experience. “It will be the place to ‘land’ in Michigan and then fan out to the rest of the state,” she said. It’s the kind of place that supports further development of thriving areas like Ferndale, rather than competing with them, or drawing business away. It is the “strategic” in the term strategic economic planning.

Ferndale openly supports the development of the property but, as stated in their letter to the MLB, they “do think it is important that whoever purchases the site and is ultimately responsible for its redevelopment understands Michigan’s commitment to ensuring quality development that contributes to the state’s vision of a regional transit system and the associated positive economic impact.”

Ferndale also requested to be part of any design charrettes that the developers will hold in the future and would like to participate in the process as it moves forward so that, “all stakeholders have an opportunity for input.”

It’s been three months since Ferndale City Council wrote their letter and, when asked if any invitation has been sent their way from the MLB, Council member Melanie Piana said, “Development takes time to process. While the developer has yet to contact Ferndale City officials directly, I’ve been informed by many individuals involved in this development proposal that Ferndale will be included
in the discussions.”

Piana continued, “I’m confident the developers working with the State and City of Detroit understand the importance of connecting future transit with the proposed development plans. The economic benefits from this type of development ensure success at the State Fair property.”

If you’re concerned about the State Fair and its economic impact on Ferndale, contact the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority: landbank@michigan.gov or RobinsonJ22@michigan.gov. For more information about the joining the SFDC contact Jim Casha at jim.casha@gmail.com.

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 coupled 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 disfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness 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 disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.

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Works to Support & Defend Marie Mason

Peter Werbe has been drawing attention to social issues, from a progressive viewpoint, since the early 1970s. His weekly phone-in talk show, Nightcall, is broadcast on WRIF 101.1 FM in Ferndale. Now, he’s concerned about imprisoned Marie Mason.

Five years ago, Mason was all over the news. “Middleaged mother of two sentenced to twenty-two years for eco-arson,” reported newspapers ranging from the New York Times to the Lansing State Journal. Detroit’s Fifth Estate and the alternative press were appalled at her being branded a terrorist and receiving the longest sentence ever imposed for environmental sabotage. “It’s the Green Scare,” wrote the London Guardian, referring to the long jail terms meted out to convicted ecology activists.

Werbe has known Mason for over 25 years, since she was involved with the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) in Detroit. “Marie was an activist in the full sense of the word,” he says. “She’s also a warm and caring woman who gave much of her time to help others.”

Marie is a major cause for many environmental activists; she refused to “name names” and she was trying to make a point. No physical harm to persons was intended, and none occurred. She and her then-husband set a fire at a GMO (genetically modified organism) research lab at Michigan State University, far from residential housing. It was done on New Year’s Eve 1999. Marie pled guilty and at her sentencing said, “I accept responsibility for my actions. At the time, I feared there were dire and immediate threats to both human and non-human lives and that the health and safety of human communities, as well as the ecological integrity of the Earth, were in jeopardy”

Environmental activists committing similar crimes were called vandals a few decades ago. In the post 9/11 world, Congress gave funds and teeth to the campaign against terrorism. In 2007, an FBI investigation led to Marie’s former husband. He pointed to her, wore a wire, and engaged her in incriminating conversations. Marie was sentenced under the Terrorism Enhancement designation on February 5th, 2009 in the Federal District Court in Lansing. She was given a total of 262 months to serve; after release she will be under strict supervision for the remainder of her life. The sentence was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; it was found lawful and within the judge’s discretion.

The U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney, during the course of that sentencing, pointed out that Mason “during the course of her life has done significant and admirable charitable work in the City of Detroit and elsewhere,” also praising “…the advocacy of social causes she was engaged in over the course of her life.” He granted defense counsel’s request as to recommendations to the Bureau of Prisons: she was to go to a correctional institution with programs best suited for her and as close to her family as possible.

The recommendation of Judge Maloney was followed and Mason went to Waseca, a low-security correctional institution in Minnesota. Susan Tipograph, a New York City attorney now representing Marie pro bono, says, “She went a number of years with a perfect disciplinary record, no rules violations, and there was no allegation of her being a security threat.” Still, without explanation, Marie was suddenly stuck in solitary confinement for weeks, and then shipped to Carswell, an infamous federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas. She was placed in highly restrictive conditions away from and outside of the general prison population and the programs available to them.

The dramatic change occasioned by Mason’s prison transfer has not been all over the news. Werbe believes it deserves public attention.

He thinks Marie deserves support to “help keep her sane,” especially now that she is imprisoned under harshly restrictive conditions on the other side of the country from family and friends. He communicates with her regularly, and helps raise funds for her monthly maintenance. “In the Federal system, every day of her sentence must be served,” says Peter. He plays a leading part in the “Support Marie Mason” effort which is in place to not only help with her daily needs, but also to help return her closer to home and out of high-security conditions. That campaign takes pains to point out that one doesn’t have to agree with or support her tactics to help her serve time in a humane manner.

Marie is now in Carswell, which has repeatedly been criticized in the media for various forms of prisoner abuse. Tipograph, who has represented criminally accused indigents and activists for 37 years in both the state and federal courts says, “I’m assisting her, trying to deal with the draconian and unnecessary nature of the conditions under which Marie is being held.”

The negative impact of Carswell on Marie is not, however, because of abuse: it’s because of the highly-restrictive conditions. And, it’s because the location is far from her family who reside in the Midwest. As to prison officials or guards: “The staff likes her, she gives them respect and they in turn treat her with respect,” observes Julie Herrada, who has known Marie for several decades. She’s in weekly touch by email or phone, and has visited Marie in Waseca as well as Carswell.

At Waseca, Marie could go out and walk on the grass, teach guitar, and participate in all the available activities, says Julie. “Now she’s confined with twenty women in a building beyond where the general population is housed; any type of problem and they all go on lockdown. She never sets foot off concrete and sees the sky through steel mesh in what’s essentially a cage.”

“It’s been a real hardship for everyone who wants to visit,”  says Herrada. In Waseca, visitors could come at any time. “Visitation was held in a large open room, with only one or two guards, where inmates and their families could all walk around. There was a vending machine and also you could actually have a private conversation,” says Julie. “Her mom, sister and children visited all the time.” The situation is entirely different now according to Herrada. It’s not merely the extra cost of getting to Texas, it’s that the time must now be reserved weeks or even months in advance; it’s that the visit is now limited to one-on-one in a small room with a guard.

Julie also plays a part in the “Support Marie Mason” effort. “Every single letter she gets means a lot to her,” says Julie, who also notes that while Marie can receive mail, there’s a limited amount of people she can write or phone herself. The support group is informally arranged but “all money goes in and comes out of a specially set up bank account,” says Julie. Money is sent for Marie’s internet service (email only), personal hygiene products, food (she’s a vegan), and many other things a prisoner must pay for. Additionally, “We can’t afford to pay legal fees but would definitely try to pay for filing fees or other expenses.”

A few questions: How much weight doesa federal judge’s recommendation to the Bureau of Prisons carry? Why is Judge Maloney’s recommendation no longer being followed? What must happen to get Marie transferred back into the general population in an institution close to her family?

If you would like to support Ms. Mason’s cause, please write respectful letters to:

Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons,
Charles E. Samuels, Jr.,
Federal Bureau of
Prisons, 320 First St.,
NW, Washington, DC 20534
and ask that Marie be transferred to a minimum security facility near her friends and family.

Donations made to “Support Marie Mason” may provide answers. Marie has to do her time, the question is where and how. For information as to how to contact, or support Marie Mason by writing the Bureau of Prisons, visit http://supportmariemason.org; or call Peter Werbe on his Sunday evening call-in show at 313-298-WRIF.

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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 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 malfunction 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 medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this curing passes into breast milk.

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Ferndale is a city full of talent. Many residents possess unique expertise in a variety of trades, occupations, and abilities. The Ferndale TimeBank is working to create a consortium of those willing to share their talents with others; building bonds between neighbors and garnering a true sense of community.

By signing up to be a part of the TimeBank, Ferndale residents are guaranteed equal help in return for the help they give. Whether it is painting walls or landscaping, driving or tutoring, everybody’s strength is equally valued and equally rewarded.

The Ferndale TimeBank started in 2010 and has been growing ever since. The organization operates on four core tenants: assets, work, reciprocity, and social capital. It values each citizen who participates and their talents equally. Every person who volunteers an hour of their time working for someone else earns a Time Dollar. For every Time Dollar a participant banks, they are then entitled to that many hours in return work from another TimeBank volunteer. This unique system of time management (all done digitally through a special software) makes giving and receiving help within your own community, easy. It is the ultimate neighbor-to-neighbor volunteer exchange experience.

With its commitment to community and activism, Ferndale is seemingly the perfect city for a TimeBank. Joe Spain, who recently took over as coordinator for the organization, believes Ferndale’s diverse group of talent makes it an ideal location. “Ferndale is a unique community, very friendly and walkable. It’s a city where everybody wants to give back and get to know their neighbors. TimeBank’s focus on building great communities and neighborhoods one person at a time. Ferndale fits perfectly within that model,” said Spain.

Aligning with TimeBank’s commitment to valuing every citizen, membership is open to all ages, races, creeds, and walks of life. It’s also a perfect opportunity for new citizens and new homeowners to get involved in their new community. Membership is growing, and the more people who join, the more diverse the talent pool becomes. “We’re now up to 82 members, each with unique abilities,” Spain said. “Since starting, we’ve had over 66,000 hours traded within the community.” That time equals up to a lot of improved homes, finished projects, and successful events.

The TimeBank isn’t just about members giving back to members; they often organize as a large volunteer group to help with different projects and events within the city. “We’re very involved with the city, so whenever they need a group of volunteers they call us and we put the word out to our members,” said Spain. “Recently, we participated in Clean the F Up and Pride and had a great time. We’re looking forward to taking part in many other events throughout the year.” The TimeBank members also hold their own events, including a yard sale fundraiser and monthly potluck get-together for members to help build a sense of community within the organization.

Joining the Ferndale TimeBank is easy and can be done online. Joe prefers to meet with new members face to face, in order to build a personal connection and help explain the TimeBank process and the software that keeps track of Time Dollars. There is an annual fee of $25, but members are rewarded with the opportunity to join a large pool of volunteers that really make a difference in the community. Volunteers find that TimeBank is much more than just work; it’s about meeting new people, networking, and having fun with a likeminded group of local volunteers.

Joe Spain is encouraging everyone who is curious about getting involved to give volunteering, and TimeBank, a try. “Everybody has a talent, and everybody is valuable. Some people say ‘what can I do?’ If you can babysit, do yard work or anything in between, we want you to be involved. Everybody can make a difference.”

For more information about the Ferndale TimeBank visit www.Ferndaletimebank.org.

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 impotence and other states united to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What folk 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 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 disfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

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Some call him a hero, some call him a traitor, but — labels aside — there is no doubt that the case of Bradley Manning will be watched intently across the country and throughout the world. Private First Class Bradley Manning is accused of sharing confidential military video and documents, later published worldwide on Wikileaks, facilitating what some are calling the biggest intelligence leak in the history of the United States.

Born in Crescent, Oklahoma, Manning joined the United States Army in October of 2007. Two years later, he was de- ployed to Iraq, and It was during his time that his service turned from conventional to controversial. In April of 2010, Wikileaks, the much-storied nonprofit organization dedicated to publishing information to the public (often from anonymous sources), released a 38-minute black-and-white video that appeared to show a United States helicopter killing two Reuters journalists. The released foot- age was traced back to Manning after for- mer hacker Adrian Lamo released transcripts of alleged chats between him and Manning discussing the classified material to the Department of Defense. A month later, Manning was arrested.

As Manning was moved from a camp in Kuwait to a prison back in the United States, Wikileaks continued to release classified information including an Afghan War diary, logs from the Iraq War, and US diplomatic cables all linked to Manning. As word began to spread through the media about his involvement in the leak, the public as a whole began to struggle with how to perceive Manning. Many see him as a disgraceful, treasonous anti- patriot, no doubt guilty of the 22 charges brought up against him. The other side, however, paints Manning as a whistleblower, guilty of little more than exposing war crimes to the general public.

One of those working to support the effort to free Bradley Manning is Oak Park resident Heidi Lucken. After reading about the case in the Christian Science to speak out about the reported mistreatment of Manning, which she feels is a grave injustice, regardless of Manning’s guilt or innocence. “I’m pro soldier, I will always be pro-troop. My position is in the middle: Bradley Manning could be the guiltiest soldier in the world, but in the process of determining his guilt, no one should be treated the way he is being treated.”

Lucken supports Manning, and his innocence, and to get her message out to the community she has put up a banner in her front yard that reads, “Free Bradley Manning. Blowing the whistle on war crimes is not a crime!” She hopes the kids who ride the school bus, which stops directly in front of her house, will understand her message and take it to heart. “I want them to continue to know that it’s important to do the right thing. And if that includes blowing the whistle, live with yourself and do the right thing.”

Lucken isn’t the only one in the area who feels strongly about Manning’s case. Recently, the Michigan Peace and Liberty Coalition hosted a benefit at the Old Miami in Detroit to commemorate Manning’s 1,000th day behind bars. Manning’s cause has also seen some high-pro- file support, too. He has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and noted anti-war rocker Graham Nash wrote and released “Almost Gone” as a tribute to Manning. Folks on both sides of the issue are speaking up, and speaking out, about Bradley Manning the hero, or Bradley Manning the traitor.

On February 28th, 2013, Manning appeared in military court and pleaded guilty to 10 of the 22 charges filed against him, including improper handling of classified information. For some of the more serious charges, including aiding the enemy, Manning entered a not guilty plea. His court martial trial is set to begin on June 3rd and, If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in jail.

While his actions and the subsequent backlash have sparked a larger de- bate about public knowledge of classified information, Bradley Manning, and the details surrounding his trial, has become one of the most hot-button debate issues in recent memory. And while we don’t know what will happen at his trial on June 3rd, one thing is certain: Heidi Lucken, and the rest of the country, will be watching closely.

If something 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 disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What folk 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 core 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 disfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this curing passes into breast milk.

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It’s enough to proclaim, enough to celebrate, that Ferndale High School’s Golden Eagle Marching Band has made state finals 20 years in a row. It’s a huge bonus that they’ve won seven out of the last eight years. We could get used to this, and take their success for granted, but for the engrossing quality of their performances.

State Finals were held at Ford Field on November 5th. Ferndale was one of 12 Flight III bands to compete, under the direction of Elon Jamison with assistant director Ben Moy.

I once heard said of Judy Garland on one of those Hollywood-blockbuster salutes, that her talent “leaped off the screen.” This
was what popped into my head as Ferndale merely entered for competition. The quality seemed to exude from them; it almost seemed as if final-band-to-march Byron Center had an unfair advantage following Ferndale. Often it’s rough to trail a spectacular performance; in this case, the sense of quality saturating the atmosphere carried over after Ferndale exited the field.

This year’s show was called “(No) Strings Attached,” and was unusual (and classy) on two counts: unlike most marching band shows, this was a medley of famous string pieces like Barber’s heartbreaking Adagio for Strings (remember the sad music in Platoon?). Most surprising and interesting, as well as impossible-seeming, the band was linked together in large groups with long cords, and maneuvered while strung together for the beginning portion of the show.

Ferndale marched 11th of the 12 bands in Flight III, and was the first with that good, big sound we band geeks long to get hit with. The brass was fantastic, a clarinet ensemble moment was rich and had a sonority not often heard on the marching field. The best bands can sound more like they’re sitting on a concert stage than playing complex music while moving through difficult formations; like last year, the leap in quality as Ferndale performed was huge. Unlike last year, when I wondered which of the top three might win, this year I had no doubt (although I was dead wrong about number two).

Ferndale won with a score of 86.34, and also won Best Marching and Best Music. The show was so artistic and elegant that it was a surprise when Byron Center won Best General Effect. Byron Center came in second with a score of 85.81, hence that surprise, as Stevensville Lakeshore seemed a sure second to me. They were fourth with 82.92, DeWitt 3rd with 84.58. Stevensville also had an unusual, symphonic component to its show: they began with a woodwind trio of flute, oboe and bassoon, although the miking was not terribly effective and this opening didn’t contribute much. Local band Lamphere was one of the smaller bands present, with only 38 winds, but was energetic and had interesting music and great choreography. They had that rich concert sound and great trumpet and trombone soloists.

See the band’s webpage at www.fsfab.org for links to videos and more of those now-familiar photos of band leaders holding a championship banner, as well as links to other articles and personnel information.                <

Becky Hammond is a former OU Music faculty member. She has hemmed many a pair of Golden Eagle band pants in the past. 

 

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 connected to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What humanity 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 health problem such as heart 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.