Business

Story by Jeff Milo

Radar will make you think twice about what you consider “noise.”

In fact, the Detroit native, otherwise known as Michael Markham, changed the way I thought about music over the course of our conversation. The question Markham asks me, at the start of our interview is: “Why limit yourself?”

“Everything, to me, is an influence. Every single thing I hear, even if it’s something shitty that I hate, it’s all getting into you somehow and somewhere it’s gonna pop out. I always asked, ‘why do you wanna’ do just metal with your music or just rock?’ Whereas, I listen from hip-hop to rock to metal to grindcore to noise to experimental lo-fi to techno to electronic…that’s my listening palette.” Thus, a diversified appreciation for sounds and styles is his natural inclination.

Radar has been making music in Michigan for decades. He started performing in bands when he was 14, just after he learned the drums and got his first kit. Raised on Sabbath and Pink Floyd, he merged their iconic heavy sounds and psychedelic sensibilities with the burgeoning hardcore punk rock scene that flourished in the 1980’s. Not that we could ever pare down Markham’s influences, as they are inherently kaleidoscopic.

As the head of Radar Media Services, he specializes in music production, printing and graphic design. His unique moniker, a nickname since high school, was permanently adopted in his professional life back in 2003.

Over the last twelve years he’s collaborated with (and fronted) several bands, each recording and releasing numerous albums and performing consistently between Detroit and Ann Arbor. The two most prolific bands include Alien Inquisition, a minimalist metal and experimental-lo-fi rock outfit that has an album coming out later this year called Paramagnetic. Another, Sweet Kelly, turned some heads in the underground realms with a minor self-titled masterpiece of murk and exquisite menace a.k.a. Tape Fed into the Garbage Disposal by Spaceman and Jake. But then there’s also his solo music project Moaning Dwarf, along with his artwork, graphic design, and photography.

As you might imagine, his creative outlook, multifaceted, open-minded, subversive as well as diverse creativity, made him clash with teachers and professors in art school.

“I wouldn’t stick to one theme or one subject or one style,” said Markham. He’d be doing surrealism one day, but realism the next, Marvel-esque comic art another day and the next it’d be some terrific and startling hybrid of H.R. Giger and Savlador Dali’s mad visions.

“There’s so much in the world, so much diversity, why limit what you want to do with your art? Art creates such an impact; it changes societies and changes lives. It can influence audiences… and to only influence one audience with it is probably one of the most limiting things you can do as an artist, because what else are you given this talent for?”

Radar acknowledges that the hardest aspect of sticking to one’s genre-defiant guns means a difficulty in attracting a substantial audience. “Somebody’s liking it out there somewhere so something’s working, but just finding the right people to get behind you and give you that push and get it out there further to find its audience, that’s just not what (Alien Inquisition/Sweet Kelly) ever had.”

But he staves off disenchantment not merely because there are crucial artists and bands like The Melvins and Faith No More who have sustained their eclectic styles and continue to evolve and inspire, but also because, frankly, he can’t stop; be it music, photography, art or working with more bands and musicians, he can’t stop. “I never could…” says Markham.

But more than anything, my approach has always been to not do anything anyone else has done. I don’t want to do ‘…just metal,’ just because I’ve grown up being so diverse in art, (that diversity) is something I can’t help.”

Meanwhile, Alien Inquisition’s “heaviest” album to date, Paramagnetic is coming out soon, along with a free covers album by Moaning Dwarf (spanning Lennon to Amy Winehouse to an opera song). Sweet Kelly, meanwhile, has “something of a surprise” coming up soon. Stay tuned.

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Let Radar Media Services help you with your next project. http://radarmediaservices.com

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 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 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 treatment passes into breast milk.

Story by Derek Lindamood | Photo by Ed Abeska

GARDEN FRESH GOURMET, which makes the number one-selling salsa in the nation, as well as chips and hummus, is being acquired by Campbell Soup Co. for $231 million.

Jack and Annette Aronson founded Garden Fresh Gourmet in 1997 after they began making salsa at their restaurant and started to package it for a local grocer.

Production at Garden Fresh’s Nine Mile and Bonner facility is expected to continue, and could even be expanded, for the nearly 500 people that are working at the facility. And those people could even see their benefits expanded under Campbell. Campbell, headquartered in Camden, N.J., plans to also build a distribution center in Ferndale.

Campbell, as well as other large conglomerates, is in the market for healthier products to put on shelves. Campbell has made acquisitions in recent years to bolster its non-soup categories, including Bolthouse Farms, which puts out various healthy vegetable and fruit juice drinks.

Garden Fresh recorded sales of over $100 million last year, up from $4.6 million in 2002, and although they apparently were not for sale, Campbell made an offer that could not be refused. According to an article in The Detroit News by Daniel Howes, Dave Zilko, the Vice Chairman of Garden Fresh said, “Campbell’s reached out to us. They made an extremely strong offer. We were not for sale. Valuations on food companies are at historic highs right now.”

Garden Fresh produces an average of 75 tons of salsa every day in Ferndale. They produce 40 tons of hummus every day, using fresh chickpeas, not canned. As long as Campbell can maintain the quality of the product, following the distinct processes and formulas that Garden Fresh has established over the last 18 years, the Garden Fresh brand could keep its reputation as a solid local employer with a quality product worth purchasing.

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 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 dysfunction 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 state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.26.46 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.27.06 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.27.15 PM

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 united to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What humanity 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 core trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction turn 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.

Story by David Wesley

Life Skills Village (LSV) helps people with brain injuries reintegrate into the broader community by providing a wide variety of therapeutic services: (psychotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, community reintegration day program, and others.) The LSV Sheltered Workshop exists to give people with brain injuries the opportunity to earn a paycheck while they perform a meaningful service for numerous non-profit groups. By giving people with a TBI the chance to do something purposeful, we show them that they can still make a positive impact on the community. With treatment centers already established in West Bloomfield and Farmington Hills, LSV recently opened a “sheltered workshop” on Nine Mile Road in Ferndale.

Dr. Bryan Weinstein, who owns Life Skills Village says that a little bit of fulfillment in life can lead to an expo- nentially greater amount of enjoyment in life. “Our hope is that by giving our patients purposeful work and helping them reintegrate into the community, they will be on the road to independence and view their rehab and doing something positive for the community as vital elements of that process.”

Ferndale Friends spoke with Drew Bufalini, Chief Marketing Officer at Life Skills Village.

FF: Why did Life Skills Village decide to open a location in Ferndale?

Drew Bufalini: After looking at numerous properties around Metro Detroit, we decided on Ferndale because of its central location; its downtown area provides our patients with many opportunities to practice the social and behavioral skills they learn at LSV; and, admittedly, the visibility of our business on Nine Mile was a big factor.

Ferndale Friends: What are some of the nonprofit organizations you work with?

Drew Bufalini: Arts & Scraps is one. We help recycle materials that are then made into various items and sold to benefit children’s literacy. For Volunteers of America, we wash and sort donated professional clothing that is then donated to VofA for their Veteran’s Program. For The Detroit Chessed Project, we have assembled dressers for them. Overall, Chessed’s mission is to help the Detroit

Jewish community in their time of need. LSV Sheltered Workshop employees have also assembled hygiene kits, which we then don- ated to the homeless population. The plan is to do this on a regular basis. We are actively seeking additional non-profits who could use our help.

FF: Have you gotten support from the Ferndale community, and who are your biggest supporters?

Drew Bufalini: Yes. The folks at the Ferndale DDA welcomed us into the Ferndale community and has kept us updated on all the exciting local events and have offered to connect us with other local organizations.

FF: What are the future plans of Life Skills Village?

Drew Bufalini: LSV will be opening a new treatment center in Oak Park in October. This will be our primary treatment facility. The LSV Sheltered Workshop will continue in Ferndale. We hope to dramatically increase the work we do for non-profits as well.

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For more information, visit LSV’s website at www.lifeskillsvillage.com. The Sheltered Workshop is located at 914 West Nine Mile Road. Phone: 248-788-4300.

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 united to erectile malfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What men 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 include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a status called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

Story by Julia Sultes | Photos courtesy of Go Comedy!

Go Comedy! Improv Theater has been an important part of the Ferndale community for the past seven years. The theater company was started by four friends, PJ Jacokes, Gerald Knight, Chris DiAngelo and Tommy LeRoy. Jacokes and LeRoy sat down with Ferndale Friends to talk about their ties to the community and what Go Comedy! offers to our neighborhood.

“We turned our pipe dream into reality when we opened Go Comedy!” LeRoy says. The group had looked into other surrounding cities and decided that Ferndale was where they wanted to be. “We live here and it has nice heart,” Jacokes explains.

According to their website, the company is “based on three principles: integrity, inspiration and innovation” and they “execute these principles for the benefit of the audience, the community…” The theater company applies these principles in many ways, and Ferndale Friends set out to discover just how they do it!

Integrity “helps them grow into a respected community in improv, in theater, in Detroit and nationally.”

Inspiration aims to “instill in (the community) the passion that got us started in the first place and the love of the craft that grew from that. Help them grow as individuals and as a community. Energize them.”

And innovation allows them to grow; “challenge them to raise the bar. Challenge them to challenge us. Demand imagination.”

Introducing people to improv is something the theater group takes to heart. When talking about the difference between stand-up comedy and improv, LeRoy explained that improv is simply “more scenic than stand up.” The team at Go Comedy! even created the Detroit Improv Festival, which takes place at the end of summer and attracts over 250 participants.

Go Comedy! offers classes, summer camps and workshops. Classes have already started; however, they will be available again for upcoming terms. This summer, the improv company is hosting Kid’s Improv Camps; they are divided by age range and run June through August. Looking for a workshop? Try their “Last Saturday Workshop.” Each workshop features a different improv skill; June’s was “Improv as Chess.”

Innovation is something that the cast and advanced students showcase on a regular basis at the theater. Wednesday evenings feature newer Improv participants and includes “Bits,” the popular, head-to-head, improv competition. Thursday and Friday evening boast a great date night atmosphere with tons of laughs and improv fun! The GoBar! is also open after each show, giving the audience a chance to rub elbows with the cast.

Go Comedy! Improv Theater is an exciting place to experience improv at its best. Make sure to visit them Wednesday through Sunday when hilarity ensues.

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For ticket and show information, visit their website at gocomedy.net or call 248-327-0575. The theater is located three blocks East of Woodward on East 9 Mile Road.

Go Comedy! just won Best Live Comedy
in the Click on Detroit Vote 4 the Best contest!

If something happened with our heartiness, 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 connected to erectile malfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What men 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 health problem such as heart 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.

by Jennifer Goeddeke

BY WAY OF INTRODUCTION TO MY recent ‘journey’ into Essential Massage, I first received a friendly invite in by the owner, Lisa Boyd. Boyd began her impressive career by working for a chiropractor in high school, and then opened Essential Massage after graduating from the Flint School of Therapeutic Massage in 2003. Along with offering eight types of massage, aromatherapy, and ear candling, Boyd and staff are now also certified to provide ‘Cupping Therapy.’ This is described on their website as “…an ancient healing art, used to in- crease blood flow and kick-start the body’s natural healing response.”

To help me write a story, Boyd wanted me to experience at least some of the services offered. She suggested the following ‘pampering’ regimen: acupuncture, guided meditation and then deep tissue massage. I must confess some trepidation about stage one, the acupuncture, despite all the good stories I have heard about the benefits! Fortunate- ly, all my fears were soon set to rest.

On entering the Essential Massage space, there is an immediate sense of comfort; with soft lighting, neutral colors, soothing aromatherapy smells and gentle music playing. Quite a change of pace from my typically hectic schedule! Amy O’Hara, the receptionist, quickly greeted me with a smile at the front desk. After a minimal amount of questions and paperwork, I was guided through the afternoon. It became apparent that the treatment plans are carefully tailored to each individual whenever possible.

Before very long, Sara Barcus greeted me; a highly qualified, experienced acupuncturist. Prior to the session, she explained some of the ‘magic’ Chinese-based, medical philosophy behind the needles, and how they
work alongside our endorphin system to promote natural energy flow. A course of acupuncture can help provide relief from dozens of conditions, including chronic pain. Barcus rapidly placed and removed the needles, as though it were second nature to her. Surprisingly, I could barely feel the tiny needles!

Next, I moved on to Jeannie Bayley, with a class in guided meditation. Here again, I was feeling rather like a novice. Bayley has an expansive knowledge of meditation techniques (as well as having certifications in hypnotherapy and massage therapy). We sat comfortably, and she took me through a meditation on gratitude. Perhaps, like many of us, I seldom take the time to find complete peace and quiet for 30-60 minutes during my day; this experience with Bayley certainly encouraged me to do so. She explained the basic goal of meditation is to achieve balance in our system, mind and emotions. During the session, I started to feel a lot more in tune with my own thought process.

Finally, I was in position to receive a deep tissue massage from Courtney Ruddock (a graduate of the Ann Arbor School of Massage Therapy). This final step is where I learned how tense I really am, without even realizing it! Ruddock quickly adjusted her technique to accommodate my tolerance level. After an hour of Ruddock ‘kneading the knots’, I decided this had been certainly the most effective massage of my lifetime! (My lower back and neck are especially thankful.) On leaving the spa, I felt thoroughly rejuvenated and de-stressed.

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Be sure to give yourself a treat soon by setting an appointment, or pick up a gift certificate! To learn more, visit Essential Massage online: www.emtherapy.com. Call for an appointment, or with any questions: 248.547.5428. Hours are: M-F, 9am-8pm; Sat & Sun, 10am-4pm. 22941 Woodward Ave., Ferndale

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 emasculation and other states connected to erectile malfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What men 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 soul 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 malfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.

Story by David Wesley | Photos by Bernie Laframboise

MANAGER LIZ ROEKLE’S WARM GREETING reflects the March sun when I step into The Treasure Trove. At first glance, I tell her how different and unique this bright re-sale shop is.

“One of the reasons is we’re always looking to emphasize the customer/owner relationship!”

Antique mirrors, baroque furniture and twinkling trinkets flash our faces while she guides me around the store, talking about The Treasure Trove’s successful presence in Ferndale.

“We opened our Ferndale location on April 5, 2014, and our Grosse Point location will be open six years in May.” Liz recalls. Customers clutter in, eyeing and musing over the elegant set-up of furniture and decorations. Between breaks assisting customers, she continues, “We wanted to expand, and now we have a very different clientele in Ferndale.”

“How so?”

“We carry lots of different items. More vintage, mid-century and modern. What’s unique is we can only sell these here in Ferndale. Our Grosse Point patrons aren’t into refurbishment like they are here. Plus, it’s a much younger clientele here.”

Most of the longstanding customers help themselves, noting what snares their eyes and whispering about the possibilities of home decor and creative furnishing.

“Ferndale is growth! We’re ultimately about brand expansion. That’s what all retail is about. And, while we have two stores, we’d like to expand but stay in Michigan, stay local. Michigan is bouncing back and our sales show it.”

Liz, a resident of Berkley, tells me she’s been in retail management for over 15 years, and only supports local businesses. “I feel passionately about brick and mortar and local business growth. I believe in spending money locally. It’s a beautiful cycle. I never go to the mall. Walmart never sees a dime of my money.”

When I ask about the shopping trends she’s observed in her career, she eagerly tells me why Treasure Trove is so successful. “People aren’t looking to spend on a junky Ikea item but, rather, quality pieces and at a good price. And we offer that. I’ve seen that if you grow a local economy from the bottom, it has a domino effect for the community. Plus, the way people spend money now is different. People are now looking for one- on-one experience through small business. That’s our advantage over bigger corporate brands who don’t offer the perks local brands do. There are lots of changes down here and we’re looking forward to seeing them because we’re not going anywhere. We don’t want the empire, but we want to support local  business.  We want to enjoy the two communities who’ve embraced us.”

As we glance at the traffic flowing in and out of the store, she explains further the younger shoppers, “We didn’t expect to have such a great response in Ferndale. I definitely think because of the younger community here we were a little nervous, but right away we saw people in Ferndale were into re-purposing. A lot of people strip our furniture and re-build it the way they want. People have been wonderful! We have friends across the street at the DDA who support us, too.”

Chatting inside the Treasure Trove and hearing its backstory, I wonder what ambitions Liz and the owner have.

“We’ll always try to be involved with what’s going on in the Ferndale and Grosse Point communities. We’re always helping support fundraisers and local events. Things like that are another non-corporate perk. I like this community a lot because everyone is very involved and it’s unusual.”

I agreed, thanked her and said it’s a pleasure doing business with a small store offering so much more than any shopping mall or corporate conglomerate. She welcomed more curious customers as we waved goodbye through warm sunbeams.

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The Treasure Trove is located at 200 West 9 Mile, Suite A. Phone 248-546-3200

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

Story by Jill Lorie Hurst | Photos by Bernie Laframboise

(Due to unforeseen circumstances, Melissa Kolb and Carey Gustafson have abruptly lost the space they were leasing at 624 Livernois. For now, Kolb will primarily be working from home and selling her merchandise at the Rust Belt. The best way to reach them is through their email addresses : mendedmaterial@gmail.com / glass_action@yahoo.com)

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Walk into 624 Livernois, Suite 200 and you’ll want to shop. A light, airy and inviting room, it’s a combination retail space and workshop for Melissa Kolb of “Mended,” who shares it with Carey Gustafson of “Glass Action” and Jessica Downey, who makes ceramics. A local band also uses the space on occasion. Communal creativity! The workroom area reminds one somewhat of an New York City showroom. Finished pieces and works in progress…dresses hanging, piles of fabric…every item unique. “I don’t make the same thing twice” said Melissa with a smile. “It’s time consuming, but I love it.”

Melissa Kolb studied architecture at Lawrence Tech in Southfield and was poised to continue her studies
in New York City. She decided to stay in the Midwest when she realized that architecture was not her life’s passion. It takes guts to go with your gut, but you get the feeling that Melissa is happy with the choices she’s made. She, her husband, and two cats live in Ferndale. A 15-year gig waitressing at Uncle Harry’s in St. Clair Shores has given her a home base and steady income, which helped her to start her own business. Melissa acquired her grandmother’s sewing machine and started making clothes for herself. People liked what they saw, and she started making and remaking items for others.

She and Glass Action’s Carey Gustafson have known each other for years, but just started sharing the space at 624 last March.

She finds the upholstery fabric, coats and clothing she works on at second-hand stores or through donations from family and friends. The bags range from small ones you can snap on a belt loop to large shoulder bags with sturdy straps and well-placed pockets. When I admired the hanging shelves they were displayed on, Melissa quickly told me they were built by Tyler Hall, who builds furniture and sells at the Rust Belt (“Planning for Humanity”) displaying some of Melissa’s items there.

I picked out a strapless black and tan print dress, elastic waist, knee length (maybe a touch above) – classic, but a little quirky. Melissa told me it came in with a collar and sleeves and was boxy. She sculpted it into a very different dress, but takes care to keep things close to their original size. “I like having a variety of sizes. Something for everyone…” It’s a room full of characters – and stories? Again, her sparkly smile.

“Clothes have a story when I get them. I change the story a little bit.”

I look forward to visiting Mended again. There are a couple of bags I hope will still be there on payday. If not, I know I’ll find something else. And so will you, when you stop by.

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 impotence and other states coupled to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most essential aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as soul trouble. Causes of sexual malfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state 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 treatment passes into breast milk.

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Big plans are afoot to transform the I-696 / Woodward intersection… and, eventually, all of Woodward Avenue, from the riverfront to Pontiac… into something much more friendly to pedestrians and cyclist

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Ferndale is lucky. Large enough to have variety, yet compact enough to be easily traversed, with offices, restaurants, and entertainment in range of bike or feet.

But head north, toward the zoo and downtown Royal Oak, and you’ll run into the barrier that is the current I-696 / Ten Mile Road intersection. Unless you’re driving a car, it’s a formidable and dangerous prospect to get anywhere. Even as a driver, the experience is bleak, gray, and uninviting. It’s a monument to the ubiquity of the automobile in American life, and these days, with environmental consciousness on the rise and a growing interest in healthy, energy-saving means of travel, it’s frankly outdated.

HighwayToAve2But change is coming. The Woodward Avenue Action Association recently hired the internationally-recognized Gibbs Planning Group to develop a plan to give the intersection a pedestrian- and bike-friendly makeover. The study was funded by the cities of Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, and Huntington Woods. Study completed, presentation done, MDoT is currently putting together the funds for the project. If all goes well, we could start seeing the plan put into action as soon as late this summer.

I traveled to the neat, modestly-sized office of the Gibbs Planning Group in downtown Birmingham to

discuss the project with company president Robert Gibbs. A tall man with a soothing voice and a quiet, focused intensity, he’s been in business for 25 years as a landscape architect and professional planner. In that time, he’s built up an international reputation in urban planning circles as one of the most innovative and accomplished members in his field. He’s authored five books on urban planning and is one of the originators of “New Urbanism,” a design philosophy that encourages walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods. Each summer, Gibbs travels to the Harvard Graduate School of Design, as he has for the past 20 years, to teach a course on urban retail planning. He also has a connection to Ferndale. It was his presentation and recommendation to narrow 9 Mile west of Woodward to two lanes and offer on-street parking that was the impetus for transforming our main street into the thriving, walkable downtown district it is today.

HighwayToAve3“We’ve done work in 45 states.” Gibbs says. The firm typically has only two or three projects a year in Michigan, which is why he’s very excited to be involved in this one.

Studies show that five percent of Michigan residents live within two miles of Woodward Avenue. “It’s Michigan’s Main Street.” Gibbs smiles. It’s his goal to help it live up to that name, but there’s a lot of work to be done. The current design of the intersection presents a lot of challenges. Gibbs flips

through a thick sheaf of photos of the I-696 / Woodward intersection, taken from various vantage points. He points

out the problems that their studies have revealed as he goes. From a pedestrian standpoint, it isn’t safely walkable. The roads are too wide, and the traffic goes too fast. There’s also the business angle to consider.

“The underpass has ruined both sides of Woodward for commerce.” Gibbs explains. The underpass, only usable by cars, cuts the road off from the businesses up top. He asks if I’ve noticed the restaurant up there that keeps re-opening and going out of business. I have. By the time drivers see a business, it’s too late. There’s no place to turn right. Gibbs is quick to say that he intends no criticism of MDoT for the design. “When they built it 20 years ago, it was state of the art.” But, he says, they wouldn’t build it like that today. Ideas have changed as the science of urban planning continues to evolve.

HighwayToAve4Gibbs isn’t working on a solution alone. He’s brought in a pair of international traffic consultants, Peter Swift from Colorado (who spent time in Iraq, working to rebuild that country’s infrastructure) and Rick Chellman from New Hampshire. He’s also consulting with Mike Lydon, a bike transport expert and one of the originators of “tactical urbanism.”

The goal is to change Woodward from a highway back into an avenue. In the urban planning business, these are two very different things. Highways, Gibbs explains, are high-speed and intended only for cars. Avenues handle the same number of cars per day, but the speeds are lower, and are intended for mixed-use.

Thus, the vision is for Woodward Avenue to live up to its name and be usable not just for cars, but for bicycles, pedestrians, and public transport as well. How to get there? “Traffic calming” is the term that Gibbs throws out. Slowing traffic speeds will be accomplished by widening sidewalks, narrowing the car lanes slightly by installing dedicated bike lanes, and planting trees in the medians and along the sides of the road. Trees serve three purposes. One, it gives pedestrians a sense of safety to have trees between them and the road. Two, the trees make the road look narrower, thus getting drivers to slow down. Three, the trees provide shade, visual interest, and environmental relief by cutting down noise, heat, and smog. The center of Woodward, Gibbs adds, will be where they plan to run the public transport, at this point projected to be a BRT, or Bus Rapid Transit system, similar to the “bus trolleys” that currently run in Toronto and other major cities. In the final stages, the bike lane will be separated from the road by a low, protective curb. (See Figure 1)

How does an urban planner figure out what should go where? Gibbs gives me an example of a small part of the project. He shows a photo of the corner of southbound Woodward and 10 Mile. The right turn lane onto 10 Mile has been painted over in red. “We counted less than 200 cars a day using this lane.” Gibbs says. “So we’re recommending getting rid of it.” This will narrow the road from four lanes to three, making pedestrian crossings there shorter and safer. They’ll implement the changes in stages, studying the effects on traffic as they go. The first step here would be to conduct detailed research and engineering and block off the lane with portable barriers. If there are no problems, the lanes will be painted out. (See Figures 2 and 3) The final stage will be to extend the curb outward, physically eliminating the lane. They plan on beginning the first stage as early as September, when summer vacation ends and traffic patterns return to normal. Phase two could start as early as next spring.

HighwayToAve5I spoke by phone with Deborah Schutt, Executive Director of The Woodward Avenue Action Association, and leader of the vision of making Woodward into a true avenue once more. As she explained to me, though, that vision goes much further than a few intersections. There’s a plan in place to remake Woodward all the way from downtown Detroit to downtown Pontiac, connecting city to suburbs with continuous public transport, bike lanes, and a safer, better-designed roadway lined with new shops.

“We need a more holistic and complete street that serves everybody,” She says. MDoT’s master plan for “Complete Streets” has been approved, in concept, by all of the cities along the route. The big remaining hurdle is getting together the funding, but that’s a problem with any large project. The time frame for the whole project? Twenty years.

Back in the office of Robert Gibbs, he shows me the final jewel in the crown, the ultimate goal of his plan. The Woodward underpass will be eliminated, (See Figure 4) and the street will flow above, with buildings on both sides of the street, built above I-696. (See Figure 5) “The goal is for people to not even know there’s a freeway running below them.” He shows me a photo of a similar project recently completed in Columbus, Ohio.

Picture it in your mind’s eye — families walking up to the zoo, couples riding bikes into downtown Royal Oak, a senior group taking a trip on a trolley bus to the ballpark. From a highway to an avenue, connecting Detroit with its suburbs. A pleasant Main Street for all of Michigan, a road that’s usable, and enjoyable, by all.

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Story by Jill Lorie Hurst | Photos by Bernie Laframboise

Assignment: Cover Andrea Rosenfeld Founder of the Detroit Art & Business Institute, “Where artists, craftsmen and designers come to learn targeted business strategies that allow them to find their passion and increase their value.” Yay! This article will write itself….

Not so! Andrea Rosenfeld is an amazing force of nature but, like a butterfly, or maybe a firefly, it’s hard to capture her on paper. You all need to meet her even if you’re not an artist! In the meantime, a few words: Mixed media artist, consultant, model, business coach, teacher, mother and, my favorite word for her, “Connector.” She connected me to the sweet potato cake at “Good Cakes and Bakes” bakery on Livernois! Yum. The conversation started as she walked into the bakery: First, about D*FINDS, a “consignment shop for the creative community” which will open soon. She’s looking at space in Hamtramck, an area she finds to be very artist-friendly. D*FINDS will be a community space but offer something unique: the ability for creatives to sell their used studio supplies and buy from other local artists. Profits from donations will help fund a student scholarship to help them purchase art supplies.

The Oak Park and West Bloomfield native attended U of M School of Art & Design and New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. She studied fashion, but taught herself merchandising so she could run a business. She stayed east for close to 30 years, married, and raised three children. Motherhood is a consuming job, but eventually Andrea started creating bench jewelry. Work style? “Hands-on, curious. I love to learn.” She sold her work through stores like NYC’s Bloomingdales, Henri Bendel and local art galleries, no small feat.

Andrea loved the East Coast, but felt drawn to the visible resurgence whenever she visited her parents. Two years ago she made the leap and came home to the Detroit area, full of energy and ideas. She started a unique business that would help artists help themselves: Detroit Art & Business Institute. There are so many people who do wonderful artwork but have no idea how to get their pieces out there, where to get grants, legal advice, how to price and profit from their art, budget and speak to potential clients. Andrea is here to help.

“I’m privately coaching artists who want to quit their day job and succeed with their business,” she says. Her average student / client ranges from age 30 to 65, but she’d like to broaden that. Rosenfeld is determined to reach out to students. “Art schools should include business classes in their curriculum.” Agreed. As a start, Rosenfeld partnered with ACCESS Growth Center to teach a first-of-its-kind, eight-week business course crafted specifically for the creative community, “Mind Your Art Business,” at the Arab American Museum starting June 9th, 2015.

She is on numerous advisory boards and committees. In her “quiet time” she models for artist John Hegarty; her time to sit still and engage with her community outside of exhibitions “on the other side of the canvas.” Her mother was a fashion model. In August, Andrea’s jewelry and her mom’s work will be on display at the Historical Museum.

Andrea Rosenfeld is determined to keep the creative community in the Detroit area growing, exciting and profitable. She is open to working with all artists. “I don’t segregate.” She smiles. “It’s all about building healthy relationships. The better I can educate artists in business, well, everybody wins.”

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Find Andrea Rosenfeld at www. thedabi.com or email her at andrea@theDABI.com

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