Culture

by Jeannie Davis | Photo ©2014 Bernie Laframboise

I study my old friend as he selects his tea. He is still Kevin, still has that bad boy twinkle, still looks like a loveable teddy bear, with a wicked secret. Yep, that’s my Kevin. We make our tea and settle at my dining room table for a cozy chat. Just like so many other times when we “dished the dirt.”

Only now, something is different, and has been different since May 4 of this year. That is when our Kevin was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Since then, he has had a melanoma removed from his arm, a lesion surgically removed from his brain, 14 radiation treatments to his brain, and is currently on a new treatment program. He had to be rescued from his locked apartment when he had a seizure. He has been poked, cut, examined, and in general, his life has been turned inside out; all of this with no health insurance. (Financial concerns forced him to cancel a year ago)

Kevin Rogers, who has owned “ Just4Us” for the past ten years, has seen many changes in the Ferndale downtown scene. He shares the stories of people picketing, and hate mail, and other store owners ignoring him. He is aware that some of his window displays offended people, but, he twinkles, “Sometimes you just have to push the envelope.” That was then, this is now. He smiles as he tells me how touched he was recently when the owner of the new chocolate shop across the street came and asked him for a rainbow flag. He says the neigh- boring businesses are much more open to Just4Us.

But, this may also be because of Kevin himself. He is hard to ignore. He goes all out for what he thinks is right, and he is just as enthusiastic when he thinks something isn’t right.

He is concerned about our downtown becoming too much about adult entertainment, and not enough about families. He wonders about too many liquor licenses, and not enough parking. And, he speaks out about these things. He enjoys the “hipster” feeling of 9 Mile. He loves the art fairs, and the other small events, and participates enthusiastically.

Kevin was one of four boys when he lost his father at age five. His mother remarried three years later, and Kevin got his “dad.” He credits this man with helping him prepare for life. His eyes grew misty as he told me about Cub Scouts with his dad, and the fun they had with the pine wood derby. He can’t say enough about his dad who took on a widow with four boys, and didn’t just go through the motions but took an active part in his upbringing. He also has a sister, who is vigilant about keeping the family together.

He has found out that his father was adopted as a young boy in Pontiac by a family whose name was Meyers, and who were known to his grandmother. He would love to connect with this family, and see if he has cousins or uncles.

I asked him if he has become more spiritual since his illness. He tells me about his upbringing as a Catholic, loving the pomp and mystery of the mass. He is proud of the fact that he went to Catechism until the twelfth grade. He was the only boy in his class to do this. And get this. Are you ready for this?

Kevin Rogers was an altar boy! Who knew?

He is no longer a practicing Catholic, however he still prays daily, and in some ways is even more spiritual. He knows God is looking out for him, and his faith is strong.

He has hopes for the future, but, some of these hopes have changed. At 57-years-old, he has been without a partner for eight years, and has always “been in the market.” But, now he has put that on the back burner for the moment. He candidly tells me that he has no energy for the pursuit right now. His hopes include getting healthy and returning full- time to his beloved store.

He tells me that the store has always skated by financially, providing just enough to pay his salary along with a few helpers. He has created an inviting atmosphere so people don’t just come to “buy a tube of lube.” They stay for coffee, to chat, and tell Kevin their troubles. People feel at home here. Kevin has played cupid for more than one couple, arranging chance “meetings” for men he knows will be attracted to each other. He has poured himself into that little store, and it works.

Kevin tears up when he talks about all the people who have stepped up and helped him; from his friend Mike who called the police and rescued him when he didn’t respond to his door, to all the people who have driven him to doctor appointments, and the people who have donated to help with his medical bills. He is touched by the fundraiser held at Drayton Avenue Church last month. Several performing artists gathered to sing and play instruments, and pass the hat for Kevin. He wept several times during the event.

He says if people want to help, they should come into the store and buy something. And if they are lucky, it will be a good day, and Kevin will be there and give them a hug. And what a great hugger he is!

So many times when I have dropped into the store, just to see him, he has come from the back, arms already out- stretched, and enveloped me with the most satisfying warm hug. At that moment, suddenly all is right with the world.

And that is as it should be. Kevin has added so much to all of our lives here in Ferndale. He is our little mother hen, clucking, and fussing over all of us.

—-

Help For Kevin Rogers

KEVIN ROGERS, LONGTIME PROPRIETOR OF JUST 4 US IN FERNDALE and beloved member of the community is battling stage IV melanoma. Kevin has always generously supported the community. Now he needs our help. Kevin is struggling with mounting debt and medical costs which has forced him to forgo necessary medical treatment. Here’s what we can do:

• Give to FRIENDS OF KEVIN ROGERS, c/o Level One Bank 22635 Woodward, Ferndale, MI 48220

  • Patronize Just 4 Us on 9 Mile, where Kevin continues to work despite the debilitating effects of chemotherapy.
  • Join us for a Night of Celebration on Friday, November 14, 8 P.M.-10 P.M. at Soho 205 W. 9 Mile (next to Just 4 Us). 100% of proceeds to benefit Friends of Kevin Rogers.

If slightly happened with our soundness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a cure. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states coupled to erectile malfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What men talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you have to look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

by Jeff Lilly | Photo ©2014 Bernie Laframboise

As children, many of us had Legos or Lincoln Logs or other such toys, and spent many happy hours designing and building little cities. Or maybe you made sand castles, or just drew your creations on paper. Now imagine doing the same thing, except in real life, with real buildings. Real cities, with real people in those buildings, working, playing, and living. No longer an idyllic exercise, balancing the needs of resident, business owner, and investor while keeping the theme consistent and the future in mind is a real challenge.

Luckily for us, the Executive Director of our Ferndale DDA, Cristina Sheppard-Decius, is on the job and up to the task. As of January, she’ll have been at her post for a decade and a half, and has overseen the revival of Ferndale’s downtown from a sad, half-abandoned byway into the bustling and beating city heart it is today.

I visited her Nine Mile office recently to learn more about what she and the DDA do for Ferndale. She sat, dignified and composed, behind a desk groaning with papers and folders, hundreds of sheets deep yet neatly-organized. Behind her, shelves and cabinets barely contained their own massive helpings of paperwork.

It seemed a good metaphor for the job Sheppard-Decius does every day; juggle five thousand things at once, while keeping everything in its place.

“The DDA is an economic development agency.” She started off, giving me an overview. “We’re quasi-governmental, an arm of the city, but a separate authority with our own board of directors.” How do they differ from the Chamber of Commerce? “We do more.” She says with a smile. “We work well together. The CoC works with their members. They’re more about business education. The DDA helps everyone in Ferndale.” The DDA maintains, manages, and implements infrastructure improvements, including helping businesses to freshen facades and fix other building issues. “We’re the economic engine.” Sheppard-Decius explains. “We set policies and procedures at the city level. We’re also policy-changers, making doing business easier.”

Sheppard-Decius is a natural for the job she does. She majored in public relations in university, and has a background in marketing, special event and nonprofit management. She still does the latter, finding it a very satisfying experience. “There’s a realness to (nonprofit work).” She explained. “Private corporations are always about the buck. (Nonprofits) are about the goal of achieving something as a community.”

The best part of her job, she says, is seeing the changes that the DDA works for take place, watching the fruits of their labor grow, and working with everyone to make it happen. The worst? “So many conflicting viewpoints.” She sighs. “Building consensus is tough.”

Asked what she’s most proud of in her time at the DDA, Sheppard-Decius smiles and mentions the Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA). It’s awarded to only five communities annually throughout the USA, and is given to communities that show “significant improvement” in their downtown.

Her biggest current project is the Vester Streetscape project. Vester Street east of Woodward is currently being re-zoned from light manufacturing, and Sheppard-Decius is determined to add some charm to a neglected area. “We want to tie it into Downtown central,” She explains. I ask about the parameters for a project like that. “Is it pleasant to walk in?” She says. “That’s number one.” Better lighting. More on-street parking. Utilizing what’s there (the White Heather Club building) and helping the businesses that exist to freshen up. M-Brew, she says, is an excellent start. As well as fielding inquiries from businesses, she’s also always reaching out to the owners, seeing what they might need.

What are some general plans for Ferndale’s downtown, going forward? “We need to increase daytime activity.” She notes. “Office space is important. Having people living downtown is beneficial for businesses downtown.” She also mentions releasing stress on residential neighborhoods by providing more parking.

How about the future? I ask about her 25th year on the job, a decade from now. What’s her vision for Ferndale in 2024? More walkability, more viable environment, stronger retail presence. Making everything seem connected, maintaining character and sense of comfort.”

Doing what’s best for businesses. What’s best for residents. For now, for the future. Connecting it all into a seamless whole. That’s the amazing balancing act that our DDA works to achieve every single day. Sheppard-Decius reminds me that it’s not just all in a day’s work. After all, she lives here, too.

“I’ve been here since 1994.” She smiles. “I’m fully invested. I’m part of it, and I want to stay.”

Juggling all the way.

The Ferndale DDA office is located at 149 West Nine Mile Road. Call (248) 546-1632.

 

If some happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a preparation. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states connected to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as soul trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual malfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If slightly happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a cure. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states united to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If something happened with our heartiness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states coupled to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.

Any parent knows how difficult it is to raise children. Parents are constantly plagued with questions — Should they breastfeed? What toys should their children play with? — and a myriad of others.

Luckily, Nature’s Playhouse makes answering these questions a little bit easier. Recently opened on Nine Mile in Downtown Ferndale, Nature’s Playhouse offers several courses designed to give parents a natural alternative to more “traditional” parenting styles. Owners Michelle McEvoy and Lisa Ball strive to educate and assist people through the journey of parenthood. Theirs is an all-natural approach to childcare, and no detail is left untouched in their pursuit of that goal.

Lisa says “Our programs are very unique in that all of our classes allow for families to bring their children with them while they learn, get fit in one of our wellness programs, or find help in one of our free support groups to guide them on their journey through parenthood.”

To create an all-natural environment, Michelle and Lisa encourage parents to play and explore with their children. The toys inside the Playhouse are all made using natural materials such as wood and cotton. Parents are also encouraged to sit close to the floor, at eye-level to the children. According to their web site, this is so that parents can see the world from their child’s perspective.

Nature’s Playhouse was originally started by two Waldorf teachers, and the inspiration for the design of the space truly came from that philosophy. [From Wiki: The educational philosophy’s overarching goal is to develop free, morally responsible, and integrated individuals equipped with a high degree of social competence.] Michelle took over in the Spring of 2012, when the original owners were planning to close as they were moving out of state. Nature’s Playhouse had come to be a second home for her and her son, Zander, and she couldn’t stand to see it close.

Michelle and Lisa met about a year later when Lisa expressed an interest in becoming a part of the expansion of the business. They found they had a mutual desire to create a community of resources and support for new and expecting parents, based on their own needs as they had become mothers themselves. Upon examining the needs of expecting mothers and their families in nearby cities, the duo decided to move the Playhouse to Ferndale, where it now has a solid home along Nine Mile.

According to them, “There are plenty of other play spaces around that give kids a fun place to play, but there is nowhere that caters to the whole family and encourages connection and well-being on every level. That’s where Nature’s Playhouse comes in, that’s the void we fill in the community.”

Michelle and Lisa are no strangers to the world of parenthood. Lisa has a three-year old son, and Michelle is the busy mommy of two children of her own.

Michelle is a proud graduate of University of Michigan with a Bachelor in Anthropology. Michelle is also a certified elementary school teacher, certified to teach grades K-5 in both Michigan and California. Shortly before giving birth to her two children, Michelle taught both kindergarten and fifth grade.

Lisa is a graduate of the Detroit Business School and owns her own publishing house, known as William Joseph K Publications. Her publishing house currently holds six different titles that are sold worldwide. In addition to her publishing house, Lisa is also heavily involved in various community events in Clawson. Lisa also heads her own consultation firm known as My Glass is Full, and she’s the Project Coordinator for The Formation of Motherhood project, which captures the physical and emotional transformation of a woman during her pregnancy through photography.

For more information about Nature’s Playhouse and the programs they offer, Michelle and Lisa can both be reached by phone at 248-955-3219 or by email at info@naturesplayhouse.com.

If you would like to visit the Playhouse for yourself, it’s located at 318 West 9 Mile in downtown Ferndale, right next to Assaggi Bistro. Michelle and Lisa are both avid Facebook and Twitter users, so be sure to follow them there as well for information on upcoming classes and events!

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 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 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 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 curing passes into breast milk.

“Our city screams ‘art’,” says Meg, giving the Senior Report in the online Ferndale Friends. True? If so, the Ferndale Arts & Cultural Commission offers a means for voices to be heard and artistic talent to strut its stuff.

On tap for sure: Two summer evenings of music in the park. Probably coming in the Fall: A murder mystery. A longer term possibility: Big band or orchestra concerts, or both. What else? It depends on what residents say they want to see or hear, what they will show up for and support. It also depends on finding those with a flair or aptitude for singing, dancing, designing, composing or otherwise able to put on an exhibit or show.

The Ferndale Arts & Cultural Commission originated at the turn of this century. It languished over the past few years; the rumor is that there was too little direction and interest, not enough volunteers. The Commission was revived in January of this year; various Ferndale residents attribute this to a belief in the possibilities of an eclectic and artistic community, along with urgings of Councilman Dan Martin, Francine Hachem and others.

Five appointments were made to the Board of the Commission: Francine Hachem, Jeannie Davis, Sherry Kruzman-Martin, Joanne Wilcock and Mark Burton. They all are volunteering their time and services. The Commission meets every second Monday at the Kulick Center, and the public is welcome to attend and give input.

The Commission’s goals encompass promotion of all of the arts, including the visual, dramatic, musical and storytelling. However; “we want to give Ferndale residents what they want,” says Mark Burton, one of the new appointees to the Board. “A LOT depends on feedback,” he notes.

In that regard, the Commission has a survey on its Facebook page. There are boxes that can be checked in connection with artistic interests, along with room to comment and elaborate on ideas and suggestions for happenings and events.

So far, Music in the Park is one event that many have wanted back. It’s returning on July 18th and August 27th; both concerts to be held at the Kulick Center (for an indoor option should the weather be bad), and scheduled from 6:00 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. The Commission expects to pay local groups to perform, and will have food available. Burton plans to put together promotional materials,like posters and flyers, with Sherry Kruzman-Martin, another member of the Board. Both have a background in visual arts, Mark as a painter and framer of art, Sherry as a photographer. The necessary monies are anticipated to come from the Community Foundation upon approval of the Board’s budget in the grant application.

Much or most of the funds for other Commission shows or events will also be dependent on community demand and budget approval by the Community Foundation. Volunteer talent and service is also a major factor. For example, big band or orchestra performances would entail, at the minimum, volunteer time by musicians, active or retired, and perhaps band members in high school or college.

The Commission does not have its own bank account but monies can be donated specifically for its purposes and channeled through the Community Foundation for its use.

A fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, June 14 at Dino’s from 3:00 to 6:00 P.M. Snacks and finger foods will be available. It’s also an opportunity to meet all of the Board members, as well as provide input about future cultural and artistic showings or events.

At, and partnering with the Ferndale Public Library, the Commission expects to put on a murder mystery this Fall. Participants will be assigned characters, with suspense and surprise to be expected. “This is something where we’re trying to see the reaction,” says Mr. Burton, “as with other programs and events, turnout and response will determine if we have it again or regularly.”

“We really do want feedback from the public,” emphasizes Mark. Want a poetry slam, folk singing, a showing of local painters or photographers? Are you willing to contribute your artistic talent? Let the Ferndale Arts and Cultural Commission know: Take the survey on their Facebook page, or write something on its wall; attend the fundraiser in June or come to one of the Board meetings. Give voice to your thoughts and opinions that scream art.

Ferndale Arts and Cultural Commission: contact on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Ferndaleartsculturalcommission<

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 emasculation 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 dysfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as soul trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

After seeing his mom struggle with vision loss, Brian Lane vowed to help others who were suffering through the same situation. Brian says that “Seeing my mom being scared of the world and scared to take on the world, I wanted to do something about it”.

So he and his brother, Terry, started Fifty-Two 4 Mom, a 501(c)3 organization that helps to increase awareness and raise money for research and treatments of optic nerve disorders and other causes of vision loss that affect millions worldwide like ischemic optic neuropathy, glaucomatous optic nerve disease, toxic optic nerve disease and Heber’s hereditary optic neuropathy.

The members of this organization are doing great things in the community, including racing for cures and other charitable events that they sponsor. Their goal is to raise a million dollars through participation in races across the country. The team participated in the Boston Marathon in April 2014, where Brian guided his visually impaired partner, Rachel, to the goal.

Brian said that the thing that he loves most about what he does is “being able to actually help the visually impaired community”.

Fifty-Two 4 Mom has several upcoming events that are open to the public. Brian and the team will be hosting the “Jump for Charity” event at Chene Park in Detroit on July 12. Participants will have an opportunity to safely jump off a platform from as low as ten feet to as high as forty feet. The jump is for anyone who would like to participate. “It’s going to be a really exciting event for all those involved,” said Brian. A Girl’s Scout troop will be helping at this event, along with others to assist in donation efforts.

Other events include charity poker games and appearances at local colleges. They will also be participating in several races like the T-Rex triathlon which will take place in Flint, Michigan, and the New York Marathon later this year in New York City. Brian will be guiding his partner along with the rest of the Fifty-Two 4 Mom family.

You can find more information about current and upcoming events on their web site, fiftytwo4mom.org. There you can read Brian’s mom’s story, plus find lots of information about optic nerve disorders (ONDs), links to informational sites and other resources. “Mom’s Story” is also posted, and it helps to give readers a more thorough look at why they got started at FiftyTwo4Mom and what they are about in general. You can contact them online or by phone at 517-420-2198 if you would like to make donations, or if you would like to participate in any of their events.

If some happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a cure. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat emasculation and other states united to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction switch on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.

Ferndale Pride is one of Ferndale’s best known celebrations, and this year’s event is set to be especially exciting. Recognizing the diverse LGBTQ and ally community, Ferndale Pride aims to be a safe, fun, and inclusive event for all.

Mixing Ferndale residents, visitors, businesses, and performers, the Pride weekend is guaran-teed to have something for everybody: big-name performers, thought-provoking speakers, and unique and interesting vendors are just some of the things to look forward to at this year’s festival.

Though the main Pride event takes place in the last weekend of May, there are a number of fundraising opportunities before then in and around the city. The New Way Bar is hosting a Warm Up to Pride night on Saturday, April 12th at 9 p.m. with various fundraising opportunities. Downtown favorite Rosie O’Grady’s will host 50/50 raffles the first Wednesdays of April and May, where profits will go to supplementing the costs of putting on the weekend-long celebration. Check the pride website at FerndalePride.com for a complete calendar of events.

Attendees can look forward to an all-weekend street fair that brings together many different local flavors. On Saturday and Sunday, from Noon to 9:00 P.M., the streets will be filled with a variety of performers representing a diverse group of tastes and talents.

Two separate stages sponsored by Motor City Casino have continuous music lineups planned for entertainment and dancing. The headlining act is one of Michigan’s favorites, singer Tony Lucca, performing on Saturday night. While the music plays, you can peruse the shopping area. From local businesses to independent crafters, exploring the vendor tables will be a great way to find gifts and other unique items. A wide variety of food and drinks will also be served.

The jam-packed weekend has events to fit any schedule starting, with the Friends of the Library-sponsored “Pride Prom” — an unofficial kickoff event featured on Friday night. Saturday morning, runners, walkers, and spectators alike can join in the fun of the Rainbow Run — a standout Pride event. Registration is still open for the 2K Fun Run or 5K Walk, and participation in either events promises to be an unforgettable colorful memory. Saturday at noon marks the official kick-off balloon launch, followed by the awarding of the charitable grants organized by Pride.

New this year is the group marriage ceremony held Saturday afternoon — a first in Pride history. The fun continues with a rally for gender
equality (with an array of speakers), and a Sunday full of after-parties.

Are you ready to get involved with Ferndale Pride? Register to be part of the Rainbow Run at Rainbow-Run.com. Visit FerndalePride.com to see sponsorship and volunteer opportunities. Volunteering positions include greeters, information distributors, stagehands, and more. Sponsoring Pride weekend has a variety
of benefits at many different levels. Follow the website as well as the Ferndale Pride Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with the schedule and opportunities happening.

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 emasculation and other states coupled to erectile malfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction 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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The Michigan State Fair was shut down in 2009 by Jennifer Granholm. Since then, developers have been salivating at the opportunity to build at the iconic 8 Mile and Woodward intersection, right next to Ferndale.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If slightly happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states coupled to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.

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Works to Support & Defend Marie Mason

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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If some happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a preparation. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states connected to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you have to look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction switch on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this curing passes into breast milk.