Culture

By: Ingrid Sjostrand

Hazel Park is using the power of a word to promote positive, inspiring change in the city and the word they’re wielding is “HOPE.”

Through a permanent art installation inspired by the work of Robert Indiana and his famous “LOVE” sculpture in Central Park, the bright red, metal piece spelling out the letters of HOPE sits in front of the Hazel Park Historical Museum, 45 E Pearl, for all to see and create their own meaning.

The project is a collaboration of several organizations in the city, including the Hazel Park Historical Commission, Hazel Park Creative Arts which funded the project, and the Community Engagement team. Superintendent of Hazel Park Schools, Dr. Amy Kruppe, says the team effort made this project possible.

“We have a beautiful Community Engagement committee here in Hazel Park, and we’ve been talking about doing city art projects because our team is really about developing and bringing the city together,” she says. “This piece is just a centerpiece expressing that we’re all hopeful. Without great communities, schools and organizations you don’t have a great city. You have to have all those pieces together.”

The sculpture was built by local artist Richard Gage and his team and sat in front of Tony’s ACE Hardware, at 24011 John R Rd, through the month of October for the City’s “Artober” event. It was painted, moved and unveiled at an event on Saturday, November 5th in its new home at the Historical Museum. During the event, over 60 locals purchased and painted locks to attach to the HOPE piece.

“This is really a tribute to Robert Indiana. My association with it is not on a creative level, I just executed it and helped pull the team’s ideas together,” Gage says. “It’s important for me as an artist that the proper credit goes to who it belongs.”

THE MUSEUM WAS CHOSEN FOR ITS SIGNIFICANCE TO HAZEL PARK and also for its location, says City Council Member, Bethany Holland, who also serves on the Board of Creative Arts as well as the Historical Commission.

“That section of road right there – so many people go by it or have to stop in traffic and are going to see that. My goal is that people will see the sculpture and whatever’s going on in their world at that moment, that word is going to be burned into their brain,” Holland says. “Whatever you’re going through, there’s hope.”

The inspiration for adding locks to the piece came from Kruppe at a time in her life that could have felt hopeless. In October 2017, her husband Frank was diagnosed with lymphoma and they spent a year traveling to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where an art installation was created with painted locks. She shared the story of the project in Hazel Park and HOPE was born.

“It was a really difficult time. It was the hardest year I’ve ever had, but Frank is now in remission and the beautiful thing about this sculpture for me and my family is that out of all of this grows hope and I hope that’s what this art project is going to bring to Hazel Park,” Kruppe says.

People are encouraged to continue to add locks to the sculpture, which can be purchased from the museum during open hours (the first Sunday of each month from noon to 4:00 P.M. and the third Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M.) Tony’s ACE Hardware also sells locks for $3.59, with $2 of every purchase donated to funding after-school activities for Hazel Park Schools.

For more information about the sculpture and additional lock painting dates, follow the Hazel Park Historical Commission & Museum and Hazel Park Creative Arts on Facebook.

Story By Sara E. Teller
Feature Photo By David McNair

A IS TRUE OF MANY UNIQUE AND NOTABLE START-UPS, THE IDEA FOR SHEHIVE WAS BORN OUT OF BOTH HAPPENSTANCE AND PASSION.

“The idea began with a conversation I had with a classmate in grad school in late 2015,” explained founder, Ursula Adams. “I knew I wanted to create a space for leadership development for women. However, my belief system is that leadership development is equal parts personal and professional. Or, rather, that there is no real difference between who we want to be at work and in the rest of our lives. My vision was that the SheHive would be a space where women could learn all about themselves – a ‘one-stop shop’ for personal development.”

“I started drafting the business plan for the SheHive while I was still in school and still working full-time,” she added. “A few months after graduating with my master’s degree, the desire to bring the SheHive idea to fruition started to get stronger and stronger, just as my full-time job of nearly 16 years was becoming less satisfying due to a management shake-up. I decided to quit my job to pursue the dream and gave myself six months to give it a try before going back to work.”

Encouraged by a mentor, Adams drafted a prototype. “A fancy way of saying I drew it out room-by-room in a $2 sketchbook,” she said. “My mentor suggested piloting a single room for a short period to explore if there was a customer base and a desire for the vision to exist. I decided to run the experiment!”

TAKING THAT NOTEBOOK ALL AROUND TOWN, Adams met with family, friends, and former colleagues, pitching the idea and asking for their input and suggestions.

“Eventually I was introduced to another woman who had a very similar vision and together we decided to pilot the first room together for 100 days. We pulled together a group of women who had expressed interest in the idea and invited them to be our advisory board. Within two months we had drafted the business plan, created a partnership agreement, filed the legal paperwork, designed 100 days of programming, built out our online presence, leased the necessary software, and leased and furnished a small space on Hilton.”

After the first 100 days, Adams’ business partner had to bow out because she was still working full-time and the schedule was too much for her. But before she left, the two women came up with a membership program in which a select group of women would deliver programming and pitch in on some of the administrative work.
“The group is called the KeyHolders and it’s proved to be very successful,” Adams said. The KeyHolders now consists of 19 women. She added, “Most of them earn revenue by hosting programming or running their own small businesses out of the SheHive.”

On SheHive’s first anniversary, the group moved into a new, larger space on Hilton and are currently constructing a podcasting studio. The SheHive podcast, Life on the Other Side of Should, will launch later this year.

The SheHive also offers classes, one-on-one and group coaching across various modalities, and community. Some of the recurring classes include an annual goal-setting seminar, resume building, personal branding, a public speaking course, a book club, Tarot classes, a weekly therapy group, a monthly Shamanic healing ceremony, a writers’ group, and relationship repair.

“We also partner with the Build Institute to offer their eight-week Build Basics business planning workshop, and the Women’s Divorce Resource Center to host their workshops for women contemplating divorce,” Adams said.

COMMUNITY IS OFFERED THROUGH SOCIAL EVENTS like game nights, Bestie Speed Dating events (to find friends as opposed to romantic partners), crafting classes, and other fun outings and activities.

According to Adams, the women who come to the SheHive are equally committed to building community and their own personal growth, and the group is adamant about maintaining certain rules that define their culture. These are: We don’t do should, only must; We don’t fix unless we are invited; We are practicing, not perfecting; We don’t yuck on other’s people’s yum; We step up, or step back, or both; We share lessons, not secrets.

“It’s a great place for women interested in becoming more self-empowered by learning from and teaching other women wanting the same,” she said. “Having said that, our doors are open to any adult. Some of our classes are mixed gender. We’ve never said no to a man who reached out and asked if he could attend a class, though we do appreciate it if they ask first.”

Adams said Ferndale is a logical choice for the start-up, because “the business community in Ferndale has been very supportive, and I love our cur-rent space and our landlord. It’s centrally located and easily accessible.”

For more information, check out www.theshehive.com.

Story By Rebecca Hammond  Photo By Dwight Cendrowski

ONE DOESN’T USUALLY EXPECT A FEELING of mild intimidation associated with the task of interviewing two renowned peaceniks.

Sometimes, however, you can find yourself anticipating a conversation with a real sense of awe.

THAT’S HOW I FELT LAST WEEK, walking over to visit local Peace Action members, Helen Weber and Frank O’Donnell. An article on Helen and Frank’s work could have been done at any time, given their dedication. But they happen to have just won a Lifetime Achievement Award, as “Peacebuilders,” presented by Peace Action of Michigan.

Helen currently runs Peace Action’s board and Frank is treasurer, but each has spent time in various roles. Michigan’s office, in the Pioneer Building on West 9 Mile in downtown Ferndale, is an affiliate of the national organization, which Helen also once co-chaired. She visited Washington several times a year and weighed in on issues in conference calls. Frank told me that the national organization “started in 64. Right after the first Nevada (atomic) test, Eleanor Roosevelt and Albert Einstein realized that something extraordinary had happened, and they formed the group.

“In the ‘80s, here in Michigan, there was a group called the Nuclear Freeze. Nuclear Freeze and Peace Action combined and then became Peace Action.”

Helen and Frank have been involved for so many decades, they were unsure of the exact year they got started. Frank thought it was “probably in the mid-to-late 1980s. We have a good friend, Deborah Williamson. She was very active with Nuclear Freeze and she saw that the merger [with Peace Action] wasn’t really going that well, so she invited us to a two-day workshop at Schoolcraft Community College and that’s where we met the whole group. Debbie was also on the school board with me.”

Helen added that this was when they got to know Doug and Pat Lent, the namesakes of the Peacebuilder Celebration where the lifetime achievement award was presented. Like many of us who join a group, Helen and Frank were just members at first, leaders later. Helen said, “I guess we were just interested in peace.”

One commitment led to another.

Frank: “We got involved with a group in Detroit that was part of the national opposition to the Vietnam war. We just had some friends who introduced us to all of that.

We met the great Morris Gleicher (a former president of the Michigan ACLU); his daughter Elizabeth was just reelected to the Michigan Appeals Court. It was just the person-to-person contacts over the years.”

HELEN TOLD ME THAT A GOAL OF PEACE ACTION is to “always try to involve more of our members and reach out to more people around the state who can be involved. If it turned out there was a good nucleus in some other part of the state, they could be an affiliate. To the extent that someone was interested, we could work with them to set up their own chapter.” Frank added, “There are three centers outside of Detroit where we have a lot of members: Kalamazoo, East Lansing, and Traverse City.”

Peace Action is now attempting to engage more of the younger generation. Here’s one way. “At this dinner they announced a new scholarship, The Frank O’Donnell and Helen Weber Young Adults for Nuclear Abolition Scholarship, for either a student or a teacher with the goal of assisting this communication, how to work together with the younger generation.” Helen added, “We need to help that happen. The fund has been established and donations have been made, and that’s going to enable us to do more with a new group.” A committee is forming to work out the details of the application and award process. A Detroit tradition called The Buck Dinner, started decades ago by a group of civil rights attorneys, will provide some of the funding.

Helen and Frank are fond of several of Peace Action’s ongoing projects, including the Monday-afternoon gatherings at Woodward and 9 Mile (15 years and counting) and the 2,000+ plus members of their statewide-and-beyond mailing list, who receive the quarterly newsletter. But there are some disappointments, a major one being the Iraq war. Peace Action of Michigan sent buses to large protests in New York and Washington, but “it was sad that we weren’t able to be more effective in slowing it down or stopping it,” Frank said.

Helen said she was always interested in peace, and Frank remembers being taken at age seven by his dad to picket with the UAW at the Dodge plant in Hamtramck. He mused that now at age 87 he and Helen are still involved with issues in Hamtramck, one being a mural for the Bangladeshi community there, who Frank called “marvelous, lovely, and dedicated.” These are words that could not apply more to Frank and Helen themselves.

Were they surprised to receive this year’s award? Helen said, “Yes. I think this was the sixteenth year our mission group has done this and sometimes there might be three or four people. It was kind of unusual that it was just two people, but we’re a package.”

They are indeed, one that greatly benefits our community. Well done, Helen and Frank.

Story by Sara E. Teller

GRACE BACON IS A LOCAL ICON, AND A 2018 RECIPIENT OF FERNDALE’S GOOD NEIGHBOR AWARD. BACON STARTED CROSSROADS IN 1977. “THE GROUP WAS DESIGNED TO BE A TRANSSEXUAL SOCIAL GROUP AND PLACE WHERE WE COULD GET TOGETHER,” SAID BACON. “We were still in the dark ages at that time. We couldn’t just walk into Walmart, you know? I started the group in Flint. Then, we moved to Ann Arbor, and finally, the group ended up in Royal Oak. I left the group at that time.”

After Bacon left, Crossroads moved again, to Lavender & Lace at 8 1/2 Mile and Van Dyke in Warren and a senior center in the area, before finally landing at Affirmations in Ferndale. “It just depended on what place was available and at what price. Members could dress up and be themselves,” she said. “The only other group of its kind for years was started by Virginia Prince, and I felt that didn’t give us enough leeway. Crossroads was a new concept, a nonjudgmental group where you could come and be welcomed while still figuring out who you were and go from there.”

Many well-recognized leaders were inspired by Crossroads, including Rachel Crandall-Crocker, founder of Transgender Michigan and the internationally-known Day of Visibility, which began in 2009, Michelle Fox of the Gender Identity Network Alliance, Samantha Rogers of Detroit Invasion, and Sandra Cole, founder of the University of Michigan gender identity clinic.

After leaving the group, Bacon traveled to Cincinnati to help start the Crossport group, which was founded on the same principles. She was also instrumental to the formation of Be-All, which was established in Detroit and grew to be nationally recognized.

The Be-All Weekend, which was in existence for thirty years, was a mix of social gatherings and seminars that took place Thursday through Sunday. “Every profession was represented in some way or another,” Bacon said. “There were authors, photographers, doctors, lawyers, therapists. It was a way to get known and to introduce yourself. The event was modeled after Fantasia Fair in Provincetown, MA, that has been around since the late-1970s.”

Bacon also took an interest in photography in the 1960s, while still in college. She said, “I started hanging around with people with cameras. I was a journalism student at the time and the sports editor for the school newspaper.”

SHE WOULD EVENTUALLY BECOME KNOWN IN THE FLINT AREA for her high school sports photography and would become a local sports editor and photographer. Bacon started a business creating films of the high school games at the same time, which she operated for three years before selling it to Saginaw Photo. And, she did wedding photography professionally for a number of years.

“I ended up dropping out of college to find myself, and in that time, the Army found me,” Bacon remembered. “I enlisted, and it was well worth it. I ended up being a non-commissioned officer, the equivalent to a sergeant, so I was in a leadership position.”

She spent her service time in Germany. “It is an entirely different culture,” she said. “Some are intrigued by it, some are not. I was. They have different values and ways of treating people.”

After the year-long stint, Bacon would end up spending more than twenty years as a production control analyst, working herself up the ladder. She said, “I started as a paper-handler, the lowest position there, and got to the point where I memorized the distribution system and moved my way up to production control. I would take a look at jobs that didn’t end correctly, figure out why, and get them up and running again. I eventually became a control room supervisor, then a manager with direct hiring and firing capabilities.”

Bacon added, “GM eventually sold me to EDS.” There, she moved to various locations and performed in different capacities before eventually leaving. “I then became a contract worker in the Detroit area for ten years, working with temporary agencies,” she said, and she has since retired.

Of her award, Bacon said she’s unsure who nominated her, “I have a framed certificate with signatures from the Michigan Legislature. It’s for my work as social activist, I suppose, and for starting Crossroads, which is affiliated with Affirmations in Ferndale. I guess I’m kind of known in Ferndale.”

Story by Sara E. Teller

STACEY JAMISON TOOK AN INTEREST IN MUSIC AT A YOUNG AGE. “I BEGAN PLAYING MUSIC WHEN I WAS EIGHT. My mom had bought recorders and a book for us to learn to play together. I took to it immediately, and apparently took off learning without her,” Jamison said.

She joined the band at her elementary school in Williamsport, PA playing the flute. “I had the privilege of growing up in a church community where I was able to play my flute all the time and really be
comfortable with performing,” she said.

“As I got older I started to learn other instruments, including the saxophone and bassoon, which ultimately became my primary instrument.”

By the time Jamison was in high school, she was regularly playing professional theater gigs and subbing in the local symphony. She remembered, “It became quite clear that music was my path. I was especially inspired by one of my bassoon teachers, who eventually became my husband.” Her husband happens to be he local legend, Elon Jamison, Director of Bands at Ferndale High School.

In college, Jamison studied music education and bassoon performance, eventually acquiring a Master of Music degree in bassoon performance. “How’s that for different?” she joked, adding, “I would come home in the summers and teach music to children at my home church. After college I moved to Ferndale to start my life as a professional and be with my future husband. I started teaching music in the public schools right away.”

After a few years in Ferndale, the Jamisons began looking for a Lutheran church family that was both progressive and welcoming. “Zion Lutheran was an obvious choice,” she said. “I had been teaching elementary music for a while, so when a position opened at Zion I jumped at the chance. I knew I had a gift to connect with children, and I wanted to show children that they could love being in church and love God through the greatest gift I have, music.”

TODAY, JAMISON LEADS A WEEKLY REHEARSAL WITH THE KIDS’ CHOIR and every year they put on a Christmas musical where the kids try out various speaking and singing roles. “It’s a safe and loving environment for these kids, and that’s why I’m so passionate about it,” Jamison said.

She is also a freelance musician, playing the bassoon in a symphony as well as pit orchestras on woodwind instruments, and has been working with Ferndale’s marching band for seventeen years.

“My official job is to work with kids musically and on the field to get them to be the best performers that they can be,” she explained. “One of the reasons I really love this job is the kids themselves. There are also those crossover kids that I’ve had since they were really little at Zion, and I love watching them grow up into young adults. I feel a special responsibility to keep an eye out for them.”

Jamison added, “Being with the marching band is so much more than a side job. For me and our family, it’s a big part of our lives and really defines who we are. The adults and students are together for hundreds of hours throughout the season, and we all get very close.”

Winning one of Ferndale’s 2018 Good Neighbor awards was a surprise. “I look at all of the people around me who do so much for others, and I never considered myself to be among their ranks. When I thought about it more, I realized that what people have seen is my passion and devotion, to the children interested, in my spiritual, musical, and emotional care,” Jamison said. “I am honored that people think I have been successful in this mission, and it makes me be even more passionate. I have been considering delving into youth ministry, and this to me is confirmation that I’m going in the right direction.”

The Jamisons have two boys, one in second grade at Ferndale Lower Elementary, and one preschooler at Drayton Co-op Preschool. “I served on the board for the preschool for the four years my older son was there. We are very passionate about school districts being local and growing together as a community. We are very passionate about raising our children in a community that is welcoming, progressive, loving, accepting, and feels like family,” she said.

Story by Sara E. Teller
Photo by David McNair

EACH YEAR, CITIZENS FOR A FAIR FERNDALE (CFF) SELECTS NOMINEES FOR ITS GOOD NEIGHBOR AWARDS, which recognize the ongoing efforts of those who live, work, or attend school in Ferndale and who value the fair and equal treatment of others, building an equal and strong community. Cheryl Salinas-Tucker and Jeny Bulatovic, sisters and founders of Rouge MakeUp & Nail Studio, were honored with a 2018 award.

“It was definitely a surprise to us,” said Bulatovic. “To us, it just means we are doing our jobs. When we started Rouge, we wanted to take people in, treat them with kindness, and take care of their needs. We welcome all kinds of people in every age and stage of life, and the goal is for them to feel better when they leave. You never know how you’re affecting someone else’s life.”

Rouge was started in 2010, and the vision came about after the sisters and their families were impacted by the recession. “My husband worked in the auto industry, and I had been a preschool teacher for fourteen years and had just started doing nails at the time,” said Bulatovic. “Cheryl had been on the corporate side of the industry. She helped start Douglas J. Aveda Institute in Royal Oak and had been an Aveda regional director. We decided to pool together our resources.”

The sisters didn’t want to start just any salon, though. They decided to focus on those services that typically get put on the back-burner, and that they would work with plant-based products only. “Most salons don’t have makeup and nails at the forefront, so we decided to go this route. I had worked with acrylics, shellac, gels, and there’s a price to pay for that,” Bulatovic said. “As someone who is more a caregiver than anything, I felt bad putting that stuff on people’s nails. What goes on our bodies goes into our bodies.”

SO ROUGE USES VEGAN AND ORGANIC, PLANT-BASED NAIL PRODUCTS rather than chemical-based. “We started working with a small, Michigan-based company, Eve Organics. Her products work and are good for you,” explained Bulatovic. “We want to offer our clients only the best ingredients – we call it their ‘personal eco-system.’ And, we’ve introduced Spa Ritual and Zoya, which perform really well. Our products are better for you, but they still need to perform and be competitive.”

Rouge has regulars who have been coming to the salon since its inception, as well as new customers who stop in all the time. “We have clients who have come to us since we opened and new people coming from all over,” Bulatovic said. “Word-of-mouth advertising has been key. When you’re a small business, it’s all about building relationships and trust, and we strive to bring that to our people every day.

They seek us out for a number of reasons. We have cancer survivors who are now more aware of ingredient lists, those with allergies, and those who just tell us, ‘I don’t like the way it smells in the nail salon.’”

Rouge offers a variety of other, unique services as well. “A year ago last May, we opened our sauna lounge,” Bulatovic said, adding, “We also built a pedicure platform at that time. The lounge consists of two infrared dry heat saunas with ambient heat. We tell our customers ‘this is time for you.’ We never book you with strangers, it’s always quiet and private. You can go back and forth, in and out. The sauna helps with muscle tension and with releasing toxins. It helps with insomnia, anxiety, and chronic pain, and is good for your cardiovascular health, too, because it gets your heart rate up.”

Microblading is performed by Myranda Jennings who has been with the salon for seven years. “She is our brow expert, and she does threading, waxing, and body work. She’s also a makeup artist who’s worked for the Detroit Opera House. People who have over-plucked for too long and their brows never grew back, those who’ve lost brow hair due to age, and blondes love the microblading option. We are fully certified with a body art license.”

Rouge’s service room also offers facials, massage, reflexology, and Reiki. Bulatovic is certified in Reiki, and says, “I always love when I can take a short break from doing nails and work with a Reiki client. It’s rejuvenating.”

www.rougemakeupandnails.com

By David Ryals

AT AGE 14, RYAN ENNIS, AFTER RECEIVING the 9th-grade Outstanding Achievement in English Award for his essays, began dreaming of one day seeing his writing in print. He spent much of his high school and undergraduate years typing away on his typewriter, then a word processor, and eventually on a laptop, perfecting his craft. It was during his graduate studies that he received success, by winning the Tompkins Fiction Writing Contest at Wayne State University two years in a row for his short stories and seeing his work appear in Ferndale Friends as a regular contributor. Since then, his fiction has appeared in a variety of publications.

Ryan spoke with fellow author and Ferndale Friends contributor David Ryals about his latest book: a collection of short stories about sexual attraction, dating and surprises inside relationships called ‘The Unexpected Tales of Lust, Love & Longing.’

FF: What inspired you to write The Unexpected?
The Unexpected Tales of Lust, Love & Longing is a collection of nineteen tales with themes that have preoccupied me since I began writing stories in my teens: the nature of love; the consequences of acting on impulses; and the need or longing inside of us to be fulfilled.

Perhaps of interest to Metro Detroit readers are the local suburban settings featured in my stories: Ferndale, Livonia, Royal Oak, Garden City, Hazel Park, etc. To appeal to a wide audience, the collection strives for a balance with male and female main characters in overlapping settings and plots.

I enjoy exploring the psychology of my characters. Consequently, I spend time (in the form of detailed prose) getting into my characters’ heads, providing clear motivations for their actions, so that they are relatable.

FF: What was the writing process like? How long did it take?
I once read that Jackie Collins carried a notebook around with her everywhere and would write whenever she had moments free, even if it meant when she was stopped in her car waiting for the traffic light to change. I never attempted that one.

In my early 20s, I read several Victorian novels whose author introductions described how they would take their desks out onto their lawns in the summer and produce flowery prose from sun-up until sun-down. I tried it a few times, but I couldn’t concentrate outdoors — not sure why.

I would say my writing process is to take advantage of my free time when I have it. As a teacher, librarian, homeowner, and dog owner, I maintain a busy schedule. I admit that it is always a challenge to find the time to write. I try to set aside time in the evenings and on weekends to write, even if it means just enough to write a few paragraphs before bed. I try to keep myself in what I call “writing shape”—able to write productively.

FF: How was the reception of its release? How did you and readers feel about the final edition?
I’ve received positive reviews from those who have read ‘The Unexpected’. Many have told me that my book has made them embrace the short story genre. Unlike a novel, a short story can be read rather quickly. With a collection of short stories, the reader can read a few, take a break for a while, and resume reading when time permits. The same typically cannot be said for a novel.

Contact Ryan Ennis at cityguy714@aol.com

Story By Marv Meldrum
Photo By Bernie Laframboise

ORIGINALLY FROM MONROE, MICHIGAN AND A 23-YEAR VETERAN OF THE POLICE FORCE, FERNDALE’S NEW CHIEF OF POLICE, VINCENT PALAZZOLO, HAS A LONG RESUME THAT BEGINS WITH AN ENLISTMENT
IN THE ARMY. More recently, after two years as a captain on the Ferndale police force, he was tagged as the interim Chief of Police in May of 2018, and is now installed as the permanent Chief of Police.

Palazzolo served in the U.S. Military for 11 years, deployed to Iraq with the Michigan Army National Guard as an infantry soldier. His stellar resume includes serving on the Oakland County Crime Suppression Task Force, Team Commander of the Southeast Oakland SWAT, and Team Commander of the Oakland County Mobile Field Force.

Currently, he is a member of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Veterans of Foreign Wars. An advocate for veterans, Palazzolo is involved with the reintegration programs through physical fitness and veteran suicide prevention.

Palazzolo has a robust and sincere focus on community engagement and two years ago initialed the Department’s community engagement approach. He observes and follows six pillars of community policing laid out in the President’s task force on 21st Century Policing.

The Chief recalls when the housing bubble popped in 2008- 2009 and the Ferndale police force went from 54 officers down to 39. Half of those officers who were cut were bought out and half retired, but the Department still found ii necessary lo lay off five officers.

“In 2010, we lost the number two commander; the person who did the day-to-day nuts and bolts,” Palazzolo says. “So, the chief was doing all the work for two people. Personnel for the Department is 98 percent of their budget. As a department we were doing the minimum to survive; there was no extra training in that time frame because that takes money. Any training that wasn’t mandated by the state wasn’t done.”

“EVERYONE CALLS THE POLICE FOR EVERY PROBLEM,” Palazzolo explains. ”We have had to adapt to the full spectrum of the issues that come our way. We are training officers lo do a very tough job. Expectations are higher on public officials and police especially. Police are very visible today.”

“Now that I was made full-time chief, three positions need to be filled so we can start doing big projects. I need a captain. I have two lieutenants applying for that. A sergeant will be promoted to be a platoon commander. Then I’ve got to promote an officer to sergeant. Then we will have lo recruit to fill that officer’s position. The rest of 2018, we will just be trying lo get up lo full staffing!”

Fully staffed, the force is 41 strong, including the chief. They have six or seven civilians filling records and holding administrative positions. And don’t forget the crossing guards.

The City of Ferndale presents a large number of festivals and public events, such as the art fairs and the Dream Cruise. They pay for officer staffing, so there will be an extra four-to-five officers just assigned to those events. Holidays are quiet, but summer gets busy as downtown now has 23-plus liquor licenses. Three additional officers work Friday and Saturdays to maintain the bar district.

If you want lo know the inner workings of the Ferndale Police Department, residents can join the four-week long Citizen’s Police Academy each October. You learn how the Department works, and officers set up a situation and walk you through an actual mock homicide scene.

After the Academy, Chief Palazzolo wants to start the Chiefs Round Table with the graduates. People who have a little knowledge can help mold the future. They can meet every month or so and brief graduates on events and talk about policy.

PALAZZOLO HAS FIXED HIS ATTENTION on operating his Department efficiently, safely, ethically and morally, and dictated by laws and policies that were put in place for officers to follow.

There will always be random acts of violence. The Chiefs answer to that is, “The idea is to create an omnipresence.”

While they can’t anticipate or prevent everything, active patrolling helps to deter crime. But with the creation of the Internet, through stolen identities people can sit in their horn e and remotely do the crimes they used to do on the streets.

“Crime stats are down because it’s easier and safer for the criminal to do remote crime. Most of the crime we see is crime of opportunity, like breaking into cars, but they only really look for the open doors.”

“We need our public to have confidence in our Police Department and believe that we are ope.rating legally, morally and ethically.”

Chief Palazzolo wants lo let everyone know who they are, and he wants to build relationships with the public. “You don’t have to go on a retreat with someone to build a relationship. Just talking to high school students or chatting with someone on the phone is a connection. We are husbands, wives, and family members, just like anyone.”

By Ingrid Sjostrand

PRISON POPULATION IN AMERICA KEEPS RISING BECAUSE OF EARLIER FAILED PROGRAMS, SUCH AS THE ‘WAR ON DRUGS,’ AND THE CURRENT, ’MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.’ The U.S.A. simply warehouses people without any real rehabilitation. These people become part of a cycle of incarceration and punishment, usually returning to society very angry, and with even better criminal skills,” musician Tino Gross says.

Gross is working to change the stigma that prisoners cannot be rehabilitated by providing them with new skills through a 501c3 program called Jail Guitar Doors (JGD). The nationwide program run by Michigan rock icon Wayne Kramer provides prisoners with musical instruments and instruction in songwriting and playing to reduce prison violence and reoffending. JGD is in over 120 U.S. prisons, and just expanded to the Ryan ReEntry Facility in Detroit the summer of 2018.

“JGD is a program that reaches out and rehabilitates convicts through music, helping them to work on themselves and return to society as contributors, instead of dangerous ex-cons,” Gross explains. “The social aspects of playing guitar and singing give the inmates a pathway to self-improvement, and prevents future violence.”

As a musician, Gross has seen how music can tap into people’s emotions and touch on topics that might not otherwise be discussed or explored. Through JGD, he teaches guitar to inmates and helps them explore songwriting. They meet once a week for a ten-week period.

“We focus on their life experiences, presenting song topics like freedom, anger, and forgiveness; The process never fails to produce incredible lyrics which are then put to music,” he says.

“GUITAR-PLAYING CAN TAKE A WHILE TO LEARN, SO WE START SIMPLE, with blues and gospel material so that everyone can join in. The first day I went in to teach at the Detroit prison, I was moved by how hard these guys worked in their orange jumpsuits. In a few hours we were all laughing and singing together, and these are some tough guys!”

This reaffirmed to Gross that this program was worthwhile and meaningful. “Music has a power that is mystical, defies science, it really does work,” he says.

Jail Guitar Doors would never have started without the power of music. It all began in 1977 when The Clash wrote a song by the same name about an imprisoned fellow musician – none other than Wayne Kramer — who helped bring JGD to the US. Musician Billy Bragg launched JGD in the UK in 2007, and collaborated with with Kramer to bring the program to the United States in 2009.

Kramer, a Metro-Detroit native, has been building the program across the country for over ten years and funding it through benefit concerts, TV appearances, CDs and even concerts within the prison system. He and Bragg have even received brand-new guitars donated for JGD from manufacturers like Fender.

Gross got involved through his friendship with Kramer, and he urges people to donate or, if they have an interest in music, to volunteer. Those interested can learn more at jailguitardoors.org.

“The purpose of this program is to lend a helping hand to your brothers and sisters that have made bad choices, but are salvageable as productive human-beings. We are all in this life together,” he says.

By Sara E. Teller

Jill Warren and her husband, Rev. Robert Schoenhals, arrived at First United Methodist Church (at the corner of Leroy and Woodward) early the Sunday before Labor Day, and were met with a very unwelcome surprise.

As they approached the church’s main entrance, the couple noticed a derogatory flyer taped to the door. It featured an image of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones with a Star of David taped over his mouth as if to silence him. On either side were crude and offensive caricatures of Jewish men.

“My husband and I arrived at about 8:30 in the morning and noticed the flyer taped to the door. It contained hate speech, completely anti-Semitic, aggressive, just horrible,” Warren said. “My stomach just clenched up, and I had a gut feeling to walk the parameter of the church. Sure enough, I found one on each of the entrances.”

She immediately notified Ferndale police, as Rev. Schoenhals proceeded with his morning routine before members of the congregation arrived. “I took charge, so my husband could get ready, and they said they’d send an officer before my Sunday school class,” Warren explained. “We learned there had been other incidents. Flyers were also posted at Arts Beats and Eats and in downtown Detroit.”

Responding officers told her that taping the flyer to the door could be protected by free speech, and thus, may not necessarily constitute a crime. However, the Department would open an investigation to see if they could identify the perpetrator and bring charges for destruction of property or trespassing.

WARREN AND REV. SCHOENHALS SPREAD THE WORD to the congregation hat day, and Warren posted the following to social media, “Friends and neighbors – these [flyers] were taped to our church doors this morning. Be aware that hate groups do exist locally. #LoveIsBigger — at First United Methodist Church of Ferndale, MI.”

She said, “My husband informed the leadership team. We share a space with another congregation and he shared it with their leadership team. I shared it during Sunday school. We informed everyone internally first, then reached out to local pastors. We didn’t hear back, so we assumed they hadn’t noticed anything.”

Warren added, “The terrible thing is that we were right in the midst of a meet-your-neighbor event we had planned to host in Ferndale. The event is all about socializing and understanding different cultures. We had to push it back.”

CURRENTLY, THE POLICE HAVE A VIDEO of a Caucasian man in khakis, a white polo and a black hat with sunglasses posting the flyers outside the church. They are asking for help in identifying the man.

“That’s all we know at this point,” said Warren. “There was no property damage, but what this is, really, is a desecration of a sacred place of peace and safety.”

The couple have been with First United Methodist in Ferndale for five years. The church was established in 1922 and will soon be celebrating its century anniversary. Rev. Schoenhals has been in ministry since 1975 and is set to retire in five years.

“We love Ferndale – just love living here,” Warren said. “It’s progressive politically, diverse, and is small enough to enact policies and practices that get implemented. Ferndale is very community minded and there’s good leadership. We have yard signs stating, ‘Black Lives Matter,’ and ‘Love is Love.’ These show our values. On top of that, we’re a sanctuary congregation, so I think that could be why we were targeted.”

Warren speaks fondly of fellow church members, sharing the reaction of one member in particular to the incident. “After learning what had happened, this person said, ‘This is horrible, this is hate. Pray for that person.”