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By Rebecca Hammond

FERNDALE MONARCH PROJECT: This is the Project’s third summer and, according to the experts at Point Pelee, the area just experienced an “egg dump,” which they describe as female monarchs finally finding milkweed plants and dumping many eggs per plant or stand of plants. The previous two summers I found a total of 42 eggs. This July I found maybe 225 in about two weeks, twelve eggs on one small plant alone, all nearby. Numbers seem up everywhere in the region, and I hope that so many people in our area planting hundreds of milkweeds contributed to our own noticeable upswing. Monarchs are easy to raise indoors, and the survival rate is so much higher than outside, it’s worth the small effort. A few dozen members of our group adopted eggs and, as I type this, those eggs, having hatched into caterpillars two weeks or so ago, are now pupating, and will each be a chrysalis over the next ten days to two weeks.

Children at the Ferndale Area District Library watched eggs found right on Library milkweed hatch into caterpillars, and those caterpillars pupate. The timing of the monarch butterflies emerging couldn’t have been better, with story hours on two different mornings ending up the right time to release butterflies into the courtyard. Thirty-nine viable monarch eggs have been found so far this summer in the Library’s butterfly garden (and some eggs that spiders or ants had already partially eaten). A lone black swallowtail caterpillar was found on a library dill plant, and after being in the chrysalis phase for about three weeks, emerged and was released.

How can you tell if a monarch egg is viable? It will look opaquely white, maybe yellowish white. The eggshell may remain stuck to the leaf if a predator like a spider or earwig ate the contents, but it will look smaller, more transparent, and more iridescent. Tiny drops of “milk” that seep from a leaf and harden may fool you at first into thinking you found eggs, but they’re too round, not ridged and pointed like a real egg. By the way, moths spin cocoons; butterflies pupate into chrysalides. The larva of a moth is hidden beneath silk; when you look at a chrysalis, you’re looking at the butter-fly pupa.

Any monarch you see by the time Ferndale Friends arrives at your door is beefing up for a flight (hope-fully) all the way to Mexico. Most of the butterflies you’ve seen this summer lived for four-six weeks, and likely reproduced, but not any you may see from mid-August on. They’ll live for as long as seven or eight months, and need to feed on flower nectar to make a very long, amazing flight. Consider planting some goldenrod and asters. Late-blooming flowers are travel food for monarch butterflies.

While area residents have pitched in and planted milkweed for over two years, the enthusiasm for adopting eggs and caterpillars has been enormous and touching. And while some who adopted have found the individuality of caterpillars surprisingly nerve-wracking (as I experienced myself at first), as many have reported enjoying the process greatly, and seeing it as a more enjoyable way to educate their children than reading them a book on the subject.

BACKYARD HABITAT NEWS: This is a prime year for watching baby birds, with a first for me:watching a male cardinal feed a cowbird fledgling. Cowbirds lay eggs in other birds’ nests, leaving the raising of the chick to the other species. Seems like the usual number is one, but cowbirds have been observed clearing a nest of every egg before laying their own. While the cardinal feeding the begging cowchick had a certain appeal, watching the great-er number of parents feed their true offspring i
is better. We’ve had maybe three nests of chickadees, one of tufted titmice, there are perhaps two families of cardinals exploring right now, young wrens are still out back, having hatched at least a month ago, and neighbors Tom and Evelyn Elster watched Baltimore Orioles raise a family in their unique, pouch-type nest, as well as a family of red-bellied woodpeckers high in a silver maple. Our big trees allow for bigger birds like those. A great blue heron took off from my roof recently, and swooped down the street in its prehistoric way. They find our backyard ponds, but I hadn’t seen any for the last few years. Once one spent winter days in my yard, standing asleep on one leg, that leg barely fitting through the hole made by the electric deicer. If a great blue heron is in your yard and isn’t moving, you may never notice it, they blend in so well. Naturalizing your yard with plants is like setting up a movie screen of nonstop nature viewing.

LINE FIVE: Maybe the time has come to relieve ourselves of a responsibility we accepted in a different era, and hand the problem of getting oil from Canada to Canada back to Canada. While cutting back on America’s massive oil use has to be a prerequisite to the shutdown of pipelines, or stopping new ones, Michigan accepts the risk of the Enbridge Line Five pipeline while not even getting the use of the oil.

The Dakota Access Pipeline, fought so bravely for so long, ends in Illinois. It’s supplying people like us. Line Five is not. And it doesn’t just threaten the Straits of Mackinac. It travels down the Lake Michigan coast in the UP, and it crosses under the Au Sable and St. Clair Rivers, and every river from Mackinaw City to Sarnia, Ontario.

DON’T MAKE ME COME DOWN THERE DEPT: It’s nice to see usable items placed at the street before garbage pickup so we can all help ourselves, but if it’s not gone by pickup time, how about donating it? Our oddly-named landfills (they’re really garbage heaps) are full of usable items and recyclable materials.

Rebecca Hammond lives in Ferndale and loves her folding bike.

Story by Sara E. Teller
Photos by Bernie Laframboise

It goes without saying that individuals with criminal offenses on their records find it more difficult to get a decent job. No matter their skills-set, they are often turned away because of past behavior, no matter what they’ve done to rectify the situation. However,Michigan Works! has instituted a program designed to help these individuals get back on their feet. Michigan Works! helps the unemployed build their marketing tools, including cover letters and resumes, and search for the most appropriate job opportunities. Unemployment pay is often offered during the job hunt, as well.

Ex-offenders are “provided with intensive one-on-one services,” says David A. Straka, Career Planner with Ferndale Michigan Works!. These are a bit more extensive, because those that have committed crimes need to know how to best approach being open and honest about their offenses while seeking employment. “We provide counseling on the best way to structure their resumes, how to approach the employment application and, also, how to handle the interview process and follow-up to the interview,” David says.

The ex-offenders program has been around for several years, almost since the employment service was established in the 1930s. “This was all part of the Employment Counseling program,” David explains. “Throughout the years, more attention was paid to providing services to ex-offenders through programs like Employment Service, the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), and now the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).”

The services are only as helpful as an individual’s own effort, however. As long as a person is willing to put in the work, Michigan Works! can help just about anyone get back on his or her feet. “The services we provide, if they are followed by the individual, can result in employment,” David says. The service can be very individualized, focusing on the exact skill or marketing tool needed by a particular person to be successful.”

“Sometimes, depending on their situation, retraining can be an option to assist them in gaining a marketable skill to help them be more competitive in the marketplace,” David explains. “We also give them information about the Federal Bonding Program, Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program, and if necessary, Michigan [Prisoner] Re-Entry Program (MPRI).” The Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program offers a federal tax credit to employers for hiring individuals with significant barriers to employment. And, the vision of MPRI is that every prisoner will return to the community prepared for success. Through this program, state departments work with local officials and human services agencies, such as Michigan Works!, to coordinate services and integrate support systems to aid the returning prisoner in finding employment.

The Federal Bonding Program serves as an insurance plan, more or less. It is in place to help an individual “sell an employer” by offering “an assurance that if they do anything that would cause damage due to their actions, [this] program can help cover any monetary damage,” says David. “Depending on their particular situation, we also provide [employment seekers] referrals to other partners in our program who can assist with other barriers we may not be able to provide.”

As far as how the Michigan Works! Ex-Offenders Program benefits the city of Ferndale, David explains, this “basically means that employers that hire individuals with a barrier are now contributing to the community, paying taxes and can invest in the local economy.” Employers willing to hire ex-offenders will receive the federal tax credit, and are aiding in the reduction of crime by keeping a large percentage of the population off the streets.

The Ferndale community is encouraged by members of Michigan Works!to get actively involved. “The main members of the community that can get involved would be businesses and organizations that hire these individuals,” David says. “A number of times individuals with barriers have needed skills, but are being turned away from employment because of the offense.”

This is a shame, because the individual has the talent to truly benefit
the community if he or she is just given a chance. “We hear a lot from employers about how they can’t find qualified employees, when individuals with barriers have the skills and a business or organization will not hire them” simply due to this fact.

For more information on all services offered:
The Ferndale Michigan Works! Office, located at 713 E 9 Mile Rd, Ferndale, MI, 48220, can be reached Monday through Friday, 10:00AM to 4:30PM, at 248-545-0222.

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Most Ferndale residents probably know that we have first-class musical organizations in our public school system. The Ferndale Golden Eagle Marching Band in particular has an amazing run of state championship appearances: they’ve come in first place seven of the last nine years, and when they don’t flat-out win, they’re still top contenders. This year’s show, End2End, put them in third place — a mere tenth of a point behind second-place Lakeshore Stevensville. The State Finals took place at Ford Field on November 2nd.

Ferndale’s shows have stood out artistically against their competitors — and that competition is fierce. In competition, bands are grouped into four flights of 12 based upon school size. In years past, there was a noticeable difference between flights but now there are no bad marchers. From the first to last, all bands look practiced and accurate. There is, however, a difference in sound and in movement across the field.

The Golden Eagles had the first championship sound we heard in flight III, and their coverage of the whole field was striking. Imagine how challenging trying to coordinate many dozens of young musicians must be, especially when you consider they aren’t simply congregated in the center of the field. From the onset of their performance, these musicians are moving all over the field — and moving quickly. Visually the show was stunning, and the effort to see everything, to take in all that was going on, combined with the gorgeous balanced sound to create the experience marching-band enthusiasts crave: a fantastic sensory overload.

It becomes obvious when thumbing through the program that this day of student excellence is a product of the public school system. Although the Michigan Competing Band Association (MCBA) allows — as far as their website reveals — any band to compete from any public or private school, every band listed is a Michigan public school. The roster left me proud of our schools; the day seemed actually a tribute to them and especially the artistic endeavors they are adept at producing.

Director Elon Jamison put it this way: “I guess I would say that competitive marching band
done right is just that: artistic. But, because of all the demands on them physically, musically, emotionally, and in terms of time, it educates the whole child in a way that nothing else does.

These kids walk away with so many stronger skill sets in so many disparate areas, they’re much better prepared for whatever comes after. The challenge is that (marching bands) are very expensive and because we are so demanding, many kids and families don’t or can’t commit, and many districts can’t, so, many kids are really missing out on what may be the single most powerful tool we have in our collective educational tool chest.”

Stacey Jamison described the big picture of what helps make this program so successful: “For me, it’s way more than the band or about being in the band. These people are my family. The people of our community are so accepting and welcoming, and marching band really exemplifies that. You come as you are, and you’re part of a team of people where each individual is just as important as the others. Everybody loves and cares about each other, from the directors and staff down to the kids that help bring equipment on the field. My son was a part of that family before he was even born.”

Those of us with marching band in our past often remember it as one of the best times of our lives. Taking the field with your peers after months of honing your own skills and meshing them with 117 others is a peak experience.

For the past three years, Ferndale Schools have been recognized as a Best Community for Music Education. We have something special going on here and we community members get to see it embodied before our eyes.

“For some kids, it’s their most loving, supportive, encouraging, excelling part of their lives,” Stacey Jamison told me. “I always say: marching band saves kids.”

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 united to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most vital 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 heartiness 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.

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Stepping up to a microphone for the first time can be daunting. Especially when the material you plan on performing happens to be 100 per cent original.

“I sang in high school, but I really didn’t share it with anyone,” Amy Saari says. “I was never brave enough to perform my own songs in high school and college.” It took the Ferndale resident a long time to realize what she is: a performer. And now she’s got her very own album to show for it.

Saari, who owns SoundSorceress Studio in Ferndale and offers both singing and beginning piano lessons, has been playing piano since she was about five years old. “I did not have the patience to take lessons,” she says. “I would start, quit, start and quit.” As she got older, a newfound confidence began emerging. “I kept writing, and through some life changes, I was finally able to get the courage to perform,” she says.

“It took me a long time to see myself on stage and be a full-on performer.”

When she started performing in front of an audience, the fact that Saari plays keyboard made for some early challenges. “Being a keyboardist, it was tough getting out on open mic nights,” she says. “Most people play a guitar at open mic nights. It’s challenging to bring a keyboard up there.” But she took the stage again and again, gaining confidence the whole while and honing her unique style.

Saari released her first CD on Saturday, Nov. 16 at a private release party in Ann Arbor. The CD, entitled We Are Love: Metaphysical Piano Bar, consists of three songs featuring just Saari, her voice and her keyboard. The other three selections on the album feature Saari, Michael Brown on drums, and Kevin Nowak on upright bass.

What’s the trio’s music sound like? “The feel of the band is like a little bit of soul, and a little bit of funk,” Saari says. “I decided to call it Midwest soul. It’s kind of piano bar music with a Motown soul influence.”

Saari has drawn comparisons to Carole King. Some of her influences, she says, include John Mellencamp, Alicia Keyes, and early Tori Amos. Influences aside, though, Saari’s style is totally her own. “I’m not trying to sound like I’m on Valium,” she says. “I want to sound like I’m alive.”

Saari said she met Brown when she was performing at Spiritual Life Center in Ferndale, where he was also performing. “He just got my music,” Saari says. “He could easily play with me. He listens very well.”

People started asking Saari: “Have you recorded anything yet?” Once she joined musical forces with Brown and then Nowak, she decided the time had come to lay down some tracks in the studio. The trio entered Fifty-Four Sound in Ferndale, and We Are Love: Metaphysical Piano Bar is the result.

The trio is playing on Jan. 5th at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Grosse Pointe Woods at 3 p.m. as part of the Music in the Woods concert series to raise money for the restoration of the church’s historic E.M. Skinner Opus 705 organ.

After this, the group will play at the Black Lotus Brewing Company in Clawson on Jan. 25 at 9 p.m.

For more information about Saari or how to purchase her album, or to inquire about taking singing or beginning piano lessons, visit soundsorceress.wordpress.com, e-mail Saari at soundsorceress@yahoo.com or call her at (248) 467-4966.

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 connected to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What folk talk about “viagra stories“? The most essential 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 heartiness 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 physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this curing passes into breast milk.

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Oakland County is home to 1.2 million people and is among the top ten richest counties in the United States with populations greater than one million. The County is comprised of 62 cities, villages, and townships on 908 square miles, supporting around 471,000 households with a median income of $62K. Oakland County is also home to approximately 170,000 households that rent.

In 2012, more than 680 of these renters applied to an organization known as Oakland County Habitat (OCH) for a chance to be a first time homeowner. Only 20 of these applicants could be assisted.

OCH is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, which made the national stage in the early 1980s through the former President Jimmy Carter’s participation. Today, Habitat for Humanity is among the top ten developers of housing in America. OCH has one of its two major roots in Ferndale, where the Southern Oakland County Habitat developed its first project in 1994. Since then, OCH has assisted 120 households, and this year they are preparing to announce another new home owner in Ferndale, among other cities.

OCH, as is generally the case, is more similar to other Habitats than different. It is unique only in terms of its geography and population demographics. The outcome of that mix in Oakland County has resulted in a focus on renovation (of fore-closed properties) rather than new home construction.

OCH CEO Tim Ruggles recently wrote that there are more than 100,000 people living in poverty in Oakland County, and the need for affordable housing is great. The challenge is in acquiring land and structures that can be developed into affordable housing; typically a single family home with three bedrooms and one bathroom. Stephanie Osterland, Director of Family and Community Relations, added that “there is a silent housing crisis in Oakland County and
many of Habitat’s clients are dually impacted. When the economy took a downturn, rents didn’t didn’t go down and now that housing prices are going are going up up, the chance of becoming a first-time homeowner is increasingly slim.”

Despite the rebounding housing market, Oakland County Habitat recent- ly launched a new program to assist working class households, the Critical Home Repair program. As the program nears the end of its first year, Stephanie Osterland is worried that the word-of-mouth campaign isn’t reaching those in need of the service. “There is a lack of awareness of this new program but definitely not of need,” Osterland said.

It is her hope that homeowners who can’t afford necessary health and safety related home repairs will apply for assistance this calendar year. The Critical Home Repair program will grow in its second year depending on demonstrated need in the community for assistance with projects under $15,000. The cost to homeowners cannot exceed 30% of their annual gross income, and in all cases this program will positively contribute to housing values.

The home repair program and housing development projects are both partnership experiences between Habitat and the client, and the community — volunteers and sponsors.

During our interview, Stephanie’s mantra, “Habitat is not a give-away but a hand-up” was employed to describe this partnership with clients. It is a philosophy that is reflected in the sweat equity investment by clients of about 300 hours for housing development
and a percentage of the home repair assistance for homeowners.

Why is the hand-up a focus for Habitat? Stephanie replied, “I’m fighting a misconception of our work being a give-away and the associated stigma, which is really harmful to our families.” She expanded, “I don’t want to see families that I know personally, who are working very hard, to have this negative view cast on them.”

The other partnerships with the community are a mixed bag; Oakland County Habitat is not struggling to recruit volunteers, and currently “has a wonderful volunteer base.” They are always looking for sponsors, though, and their “greatest need today is for financial contributions.”

Representing the donor-weary, I asked Stephanie, what’s different about donating to Habitat? She responded simply, that unlike many charities with unknown recipients and ill-defined, ephemeral goals, with Habitat “you are donating to your community, to your neighbors.”

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 emasculation and other states connected 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 soul 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 treatment passes into breast milk.

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Please put away your books and notes and let’s begin our discussion of school funding with a high-stakes multiple choice test:

1. Does Michigan fund schools from:
A. Local sources B. Federal sources C. State sources

2. Does the revenue come from:
A. Property taxes B. Income taxes C. Sales taxes

3. Is school money allocated per:
A. District B. School C. Pupil

As with most interesting questions, there is actually no easy solution. While the answers in Michigan now tend toward C., the best correct response is the old standby answer D: all of the above. School funding in Michigan is so complex that even our political and economic leaders often fail to understand it. For more clarity, we need to look at where the money comes from, where it goes, and how the system has changed.

The best place to begin is the system Michigan used to use to fund schools (and the one that many people think continues to this day).

Before Proposition A
Until 1994, most school funding came from local property taxes in amounts that depended on how much a school district could get voters to approve. This allowed for local control, but it also allowed high inequality. In the early 1990s, the state legislature responded to concerns about high property taxes by simply eliminating property taxes as a source of school funding.

The legislature gave voters a choice between a ballot initiative called Proposition A based largely on sales taxes and a “statutory alternative” based on income and business taxes that would come into effect if Proposition A failed.

Voters approved Proposition A by 69% in part because it responded both to those who thought property taxes were too high and those who sought more equal funding for schools, but in appealing to many different groups the proposition created a very complex funding system.

Where does the money come from?
• Without access to local property taxes to fund school operations, Proposition A turned to almost every other possible source:
• Sales taxes and other state taxes. Proposition A took most school revenue from state sales tax (including a 2% increase imposed by Proposition A), state income tax, and a combination of smaller state- wide revenue sources including the lottery and cigarette taxes.
• State property taxes. Proposition A took the unusual step of levying a statewide property tax of 6 mills ($6 on every $1,000 of a home’s state equalized value).
• Local property taxes on non-homestead property. Proposition A did not eliminate school taxes on second homes, rentals, or commercial property (non-homestead), but limited school taxes on these to an 18 mill maximum. Responsibility for collecting these taxes lies stay with the localities, and school districts must from time to time renew the millage by citizen vote, though no district in the state have rejected a levy in this category.

Local homestead property taxes are still in the picture, but only in limited ways.

If something 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 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 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 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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One of the strengths of any great community is its education system and Ferndale is no exception. Starting with great teachers, a strong curriculum, and a focus on parent involvement, Ferndale’s schools have risen in stature to become some of the best in the state.

Now, in an effort to improve the impact, accessibility, and power of Ferndale’s special education programs, a group of parents, teachers, and advocates have gotten together to create a new organization designed to provide support and guidance for special needs students and their families.

The group is called Ferndale Friends of Different Learners (FFoDL) and they are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of all special needs students through a supportive program of community events and resources. “Our goal is to establish a presence, provide monthly meetings with topics and speakers relevant to our special needs families, provide support and/or guidance for our special needs families, and be the voice for special needs families to our school administration,” said Ron Owens, a parent and one of the founders of FFoDL.

The idea for Ferndale Friends of Different Learners came during a CLEAR (a political action committee focused on improving Ferndale Schools) meeting and was brought to the attention of the Director of Special Education for Ferndale Schools, Ray Locke. Inspired by similar groups in neighboring cities like Birmingham, the group of concerned parents were driven to create FFoDL to help promote an atmosphere of inclusion and information for the special needs community in Ferndale Schools. “We love this district and this group came about in order to improve and heal issues within the demographic of students with special needs,” said FFoDL Vice President Jodi Berger.

Though many may be aware of specific programs in place for students with special needs, many may not understand just how far-reaching the need for improvement can be.

“The term ‘special needs’ encompasses a very far and wide-reaching group of families and individuals,” said Owens. “Even so, it’s quite often that families feel as if they are alone in this; like no one else understands what they’re going through. After some time, it just becomes ‘normal’ to not want to go out and to just stay at home where it is more comfortable.” It’s the goal of Ferndale Friends of Different Learners to change that pattern.

The plan is to host monthly meetings, seminars, community events, fundraisers, and resource fairs to help spread their message and maximize the potential of different learners throughout the Ferndale Public School System. The group held their first annual summer picnic on August 19th at Geary Park, and the turnout far exceeded their expectations. “Hundreds of people came out to support us and we managed to get 80-plus email addresses of people wanting to know more about who and what we are,” Owens said. “If our picnic was any indication, our future is looking great!”

The group consists of parents, teachers, friends, family members, and caregivers of special needs students. The organization has a determined set of bylaws and an elected board (who are all parents of special needs children) that includes Owens (who serves as president), Vice President Jodi Berger, Secretary Barb Landry, and Treasurer Esther McCoy. Currently, meetings are being held on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m., alternating between the Harding Administration Building and the Ferndale High School Media Center. Meetings are open to everyone.

Owens says the overall goal is to engage the whole community, which will have a lasting positive impact on families of special needs students and beyond. “It’s our hope that the whole community will benefit from our group,” Owens explained. “We want to give families the assurance that they’re not alone in this and by supporting one another, we can assure our kids a happier and richer school experience.”

For more information on Ferndale Friends of Different Learners including a meeting schedule, parent resources, and more visit http://ffodl.webs.com. The group can also be found on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FFODL.

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 emasculation 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 dysfunction 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 disfunction. 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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Every day I am witness to the power of the public library to transform lives. At the Ferndale Public Library, we serve an average of 650 individuals every day. We offer around 30 educational, cultural community programs each month for all ages. We have a baby story time every week to stimulate the emerging literacy skills of our youngest residents.

We partner with the Ferndale Public Schools to support all students in achieving their academic goals. We host art receptions, film screenings, book discussions, community story telling sessions, concerts, local author fairs, and the list goes on. We lend over 10,000 items every month.

At the Library, we offer free access to the Internet, and we have friendly, knowledgeable staff on hand to help. And do we ever help! We help search for jobs, fill out job applications, create resumes, access government services, prepare for the GED, search for housing, navigate databases, recommend books to readers of all ages, teach patrons how to download eBooks onto their devices, and a myriad of needs on any given day. We provide a warm place to relax and friendly human interaction with no expectation that you buy something in exchange.

In this month’s issue of Ferndale Friends, you will read more about some of our great programs at the library, as well as exciting new social media initiatives and mobile apps for accessing library services written by Circulation Specialist Jeff Milo. Some people predicted that the Internet and eBooks would make the public library obsolete. That prediction could not be farther from the truth; we are busier than ever, helping more people than ever.

As Jeff’s column demonstrates, we are embracing technology and using it to deliver the core services that have remained fundamental to public libraries since their inception.

The library is of vital importance to our community, and it is highly valued and enjoyed by our residents. Yet in spite of all of the support that we enjoy from the residents of Ferndale, and the dedicated tax funding that was approved by the voters, library revenues have declined precipitously since the housing market crashed. Even after making significant cuts to our spending, the Ferndale library is still operating at a deficit. Libraries and municipalities will not recover from the recession for many years due to the Headlee Amendment to the Michigan Constitution, which was passed in 1978, and Proposal A of 1994, which means they cannot collect as much money as they did before the recession, even as property values increase. If our statewide system for funding libraries and local government is not reformed, it will likely take 15–20 years for revenues to return to their pre-recession level. At the same time our local funding has been depleted, State Aid to libraries in Michigan has declined 76 percent since 2000. The use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is on the rise in Michigan, which also limits the amount of funding a library receives.

Many libraries throughout the state have been forced to cut their hours and reduce staffing and services due to the depletion of funding. In Ferndale we believe our library is too important to our community; to make such cuts will be an absolute last resort.

We currently have a fund balance that we are using to supplement some of the revenue we have lost. However, this is obviously not a long-term solution. The library is exploring several possible avenues for increasing our revenues so that we can continue to deliver the high level of services that Ferndale residents have come to expect. We’re working with a fundraising consultant, and planning an important fundraising initiative next year. The Friends of the Ferndale Library work enthusiasti- cally to support the library. I encourage anyone who cares about the Ferndale Public Library to consider joining the Friends group and getting involved. The Friends meet at the library on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. I highly encourage you to reach out to our elected officials at the local and state level and tell them that you support reforms that would restore funding to Michigan libraries.

I am grateful to live and work in a community that values our public library so highly. I am confident that we will find a way to navigate these challenging financial times, and emerge a strong institution.

Thank you, Ferndale community, for your continued support.

Sincerely,
Jessica Keyser, Director, Ferndale Public Library

If some 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 connected to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What folk talk about “viagra stories“? The most vital aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong 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 dysfunction. 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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At this time of year, we often turn our thoughts and efforts to supporting the organizations and individuals who are working to make a difference right here in our own community. If you’re looking for a local charity that will have long-reaching effects on the success of Ferndale education and its youth, look no further than the Ferndale Education Foundation.

Formed in 1989 by then-Superintendent William Coyne, the Ferndale Education Foundation set aim at improving the state of education within Ferndale Public Schools. Coyne recognized a need for a foundation that would support educational initiatives that were not included in the general operating budget for the school district and decided to take action.

Composed of an all-volunteers base, the FEF makes possible a wide range of learning opportunities for all of the students in Ferndale schools.

Along with great work throughout the community, the FEF is responsible for supporting innovative and unique teaching programs through small grants, sponsoring talks and workshops from visiting authors, and the annual support of Camp Skyline — an ACA-accredited camp that hosts summer programs and retreats for many groups throughout Michigan.

The FEF bases all of their work on the principle that all students are entitled to an enriching and quality education, and deserve to be challenged academically.

Funding is dependent on the generous contributions of individuals, businesses, organizations, and other community members. The FEF is also sustained through sponsorships and participation in their annual fundraisers including the Fore Kids golf outing and auction. Many district employees also support the FEF and its endeavors by contributing through a payroll deduction that goes to benefit the organization. Each of these methods of support helps to continue building the Foundation’s endowment for the support of excellence in education.

Along with helping education initiatives, the Founda- tion also works to spotlight and encourage students with various programs and awards. Earlier this year, the Ferndale Education Foundation announced the recipient of their first annual True Grit Award. Ferndale High School Senior Nieyri Cobb received the award in recognition of her academic success in the face of challenges throughout the year.

Planned to be an annual prize, the True Grit Award focuses on honoring a Ferndale student’s persistence and determination.

An important organization like the Ferndale Educational Foundation is only successful through the generous support of the community it works to serve. Recently, the Foundation held a successful fundraiser at the Royal Oak Olga’s Kitchen in an effort to help raise funds for their great work. For information on events like these and other ways to get involved in supporting the mission of the Ferndale Educational Foundation, visit Ferndaleschools.org/fef.

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 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 dysfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as soul trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction 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 physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.

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In a recent open letter to parents, faculty, and community members titled “Ferndale Fights for Fair Funding in Our Schools,” Twomey warns about the dangers of the ever-shrinking public school budget voted on by the Michigan legislature. Refer- encing a newly-released school finance analysis conducted by the Michigan State University Education Policy Center about the long- term disinvestment, demographic shifts, and structural flaws in school financing, Twomey says the problems aren’t just something we hear about in other districts anymore.

“The storm,” she wrote, “is hitting Ferndale.”

Using a personal letter to reach out to the community was by design an effort to inform while leading by example. “I was hoping to reach all of our stakeholders,” Twomey said. “Time and time again I have seen the ‘silence, divide, and distract’ tactic work and I wanted something better for our district. Ferndale has a long history of successful advocacy; if anyone can break the cycle, it is us. I felt it was important to take the first step in building a coalition by communicating honestly about our needs and modeling advocacy.”

Referencing the current budget situation across our state and in our schools, Twomey, who has a Masters of Educational Administration and Leadership from Michigan State University, asserts that the public is being misled about the causation of the cutbacks. “The public is told that this funding drought is a result of Michigan’s current difficult economic situation,” Twomey wrote in the letter dated November 9th. “This simply is not true. The disinvestment in our state public schools is a choice.”

The choice, she says, is being made by an ineffective legislative body whose interest lies in funneling money away from K-12 school districts (like Ferndale Public Schools), and sending it to corporate special interests and higher education institutions.

“In 2011, state legislators chose to cut schools by a billion dollars; in the same budget they also chose to give $1.8 billion dollars to corporate special interests. They financed these business credits through an unprecedented transfer of money out of the K-12 School Aid Fund to pay for higher education,” Twomey wrote. Not everyone agrees with Twomey’s assertions that the legis- lature is at fault. “The Vice President’s comments are not accurate,” said State Representative Tom McMillin, who has served Michigan’s 45th district for three terms.

“What actually happened was that Republicans took charge in Lansing and stopped kicking the can down the road, and actually made the difficult spending decisions.”

McMillin, a Republican who represents Rochester, Rochester Omar MitchellHills, and parts of Oakland Township, currently sits on the House Education, Financial Liability Reform, and Regulatory Reform committees. He made news earlier this year when he introduced House Bill 4276, a legislative ban on the imple- mentation of Common Core standards in Michigan schools.

McMillin says the future of Michigan’s schools is not just about the funding, but the way we use and adapt education.

“I think governments in general, including school districts, are going to need to become more and more flexible so they can react to the changing times,” McMillin told Ferndale Friends. “Technology is going to change education — college and K-12 — dramatically. So is competition from charters and schools of choice. I think employee contracts need to give much more flexibility. This will require boards and administra- tors to be more diligent in negotiations to gain that flexibility.” Karen Twomey isn’t the only one of Ferndale’s administrators who thinks that those in power aren’t in tune to what is really going on within the schools. “I think Mr. McMillin and his friends in Lansing aren’t paying attention to the great things happening in our public schools,” asserted Jim O’Donnell.

Trustee and President of the Ferndale School Board. “Online and charter schools often cut corners and refuse to take kids that need extra help. Representative McMillin expects our public schools to compete blindfolded with one hand tied behind our back. The plain fact is that good education takes money — it always has and it always will. I want my child’s teachers fairly paid for the work they do with all kids, the education they have,
and the experience they bring to the classroom every day.”

The debate about the importance of proper school funding goes beyond just the quality of the education schools provide, Twomey told Ferndale Friends. It is an issue that impacts the community as a whole. “Strong schools affect not only housing prices but also crime rates and the overall climate and pride in a community,” Twomey explained. “Schools provide a social center and vast recreational opportunities. Most importantly, we are educating wonderful citizens.”

Twomey hopes her efforts inspire people within the community to make their voice heard. “Citizens have proven how influential they can be in Michigan.”

She suggests that anyone can get involved by starting small: donating to the Ferndale Education Foundation, volunteering time in the schools, and supporting the PTA are all good places to start — along with contacting your state representative and making your voice heard.

The movement isn’t just relying on community involvement either, there are also planning to take action and push from within the system as well. “Obviously advo- cacy cannot be our only plan. We are currently meeting collaboratively with various district leaders to find creative and collaborative solutions to the budget shortfall,” Twomey explained. “What I do know is that our tight budget has already caused the trimming of valued professional employees, programs, services, and increased class sizes.”

Though no one can predict what the future will hold for Michigan’s schools, one thing is clear: those within the Ferndale Public School system remain passionate about keeping a high standard of education a priority for the city of Ferndale.

“We have award winning music education programs, we are effective at increasing student achievement, we care deeply about educating the whole child, and your children attend school in a commu- nity that cares about them along with their friends and neighbors,” School Board President Jim O’Donnell said. “You can’t beat community public education in Ferndale Public Schools.”

Karen Twomey’s Email

Ferndale Fights for Fair Funding for our Schools

I am writing you as a board member, teacher, parent, neighbor and friend of education. Recently, Michigan State University’s Education Policy Center published a school finance analysis for our state which describes a crisis of long-term disinvestment, demographic shifts, and structural flaws in school financing. These factors have already sent 55 school districts into deficit, and forced many more to cut teachers, gut programs, and close schools. This storm is hitting Ferndale.

In my five short years on the Ferndale Board of Education, I have watched our budget reduced from $43 to $36 million dollars as health- care, retirement, inflation and unfunded mandates increase. The public is told that this funding drought is a result of Michigan’s current difficult economic situation. This simply is not true. The disinvestment in our state
public schools is a choice. In 2011, state legislators chose to cut schools by a billion dollars; in the same budget they also chose to give $1.8 billion dollars to corporate special interests. They financed these business credits through an unprecedented transfer of money out of the K-12 School Aid Fund to pay for higher education. Unlike K-12 schools, colleges and universities are able to raise money through tuition, tax levies, and multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns. The operating costs of a public K-12 district are funded primarily by
the state-established per pupil foundation allowance. Current law does not provide us the same options to raise revenue. Now as Ferndale Public Schools faces a $1.5 million shortfall, our only options are to increase enrollment and to demand our money back from Lansing. This is the key: If the $470 per pupil funding cut in 2011 was to be restored that would return approximately $2 million to the Ferndale Schools. While this would not even come close to restoring us to our pre-recession levels, it would at least cover the current tight budget.

The legislature has succeeded by using three tactics: silence, divide and distract. Teachers and educators have been scapegoated for the current economic woes because they are union members and because they are particularly vulnerable because of inflexible schedules. Our legislators know that educators are dedicated to their children and do not tend to take personal days to drive to Lansing and fight back. They also know that in today’s competitive schools of choice environment, districts are not likely to advertise to the families they serve that jobs and programs are being cut. This makes schools the perfect silent targets. Then legislators try to distract school employees from the real culprits by pitting unions against school boards. When the state cuts the funding, district school boards are forced to make tough choices and sacrifice educational resources, class sizes, programs and quality instruction. Since the school boards are the facilitators of the cuts at the local level, infighting occurs as educators are divided against one another. This playbook of distraction has worked all across America, but it must not be allowed to work here!

Education professionals, community members and parents should be mad. Now you will see Board members, administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, bus drivers, custodians,
and hopefully YOU, fighting together. Your district has never needed support more, and here are five ways you can help.

1. Contact our state legislators: Here in the Ferndale Schools, we are fortunate to have state representatives who are fighting with us, yet it is always helpful to their argument when they can share letters from voters, or when we put pressure on those less support- ive in Lansing.

A. Tri-County Alliance is an excellent resource for staying up to date on legislative issues, join their Capwiz to learn how to have your voice heard.
B. Contact members of the House Appropriations Committee, and the Senate Fiscal Agency. These are the people who have the most influence about our state budget.

2. Support your PTA: Your membership dues and fundraising efforts help to cover many school and classroom instructional costs. In additional to the volunteer hours and funds, our PTAs help provide a strong unified voice.

3. Support Ferndale Education Foundation (FEF): This important fundraising organization provides mini-grants for innovative programs in our district.

4. Volunteer in the schools: Ferndale Schools has several opportunities for community members to volunteer. Please contact our volunteer coordinator Gretchen Abrams at gabrams@ferndaleschools.org.

5. Help spread the word about why you are proud to recommend the Ferndale Schools. If you have a story you would like to share write a letter to a local paper, post it on social media, or email your pride story to the Board at schoolboard@ferndaleschools.org.

Most importantly, take the time to let our family of professional employees know how much you appreciate and respect them. Our whole district will be uniting in some really hard work to find creative solutions to minimize impact on budget-related sacrifices on our children. I am proud to serve this district team; each one is a hero in my eyes.

Karen Twomey, Vice President Ferndale Board of Education
ktwomey@ferndaleschools.org

If something 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 emasculation and other states connected to erectile disfunction. 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 heartiness problem such as soul 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 malfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this curing passes into breast milk.