Aug / Sept 2017

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By: Jeff Milo, Circulation Specialist

The Ferndale Library will be a prime place to experience the big solar eclipse happening on Mon., Aug. 21, where kids and families can join in space and science themed activities, and get a hold of a special pair of glasses to safely observe this cosmic phenomenon. The party will get started at 1:00 P.M., just a bit before the eclipse begins.

There will be space-themed treats from Treat Dreams, celestial themed henna, other fun activities, and viewers on hand so that patrons can see this spectacular event safely. Re-member that the sun’s rays can be damaging to the eyes, so the Fern-dale Library’s supply of special glasses will protect everyone’s eyes as we gaze upward.

Hosted by and for the Friends of the Ferndale Library. Current and prospective members of the Friends of the Ferndale Library are invited on August 26 to fall down the rabbit hole into the library court-yard where music, hors d’oeuvres, henna artists, flamingo croquet and lots of surprises await. This Mad Hatter’s themed party features a cash bar with signature craft cocktails by Valentine Vodka and more. This will be a fun and funky celebration of the Ferndale library and the classic Alice in Wonderland novels by author Lewis Carroll.

Admission to the Mad Hatter Party is free for current Friends members, and new members can join online for only $20. The Ferndale Area District :Library is located at 222 E. 9 Mile Rd. Please join us for literary fun, meeting fellow book lovers, and dancing under the stars. There will be excellent photo opportunities at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, so wear a hat, any hat, to fit right in among your wonderland Friends.

Ferndale’s favorite arts, crafts & music festival is Sept 22-24 and the Library will be open, despite losing one of our parking lots. But we hope to get as many visitors as we can on Saturday the 23rd, because we’re hosting an “Instrument Petting Zoo” for kids, featuring the instructors from local music education nonprofit Girls Rock Detroit.

We’ll be ramping our bi-monthly lo-cal music showcase series back up in October. We want to take this opportunity to send out three thank-yous, regarding our best-attended Summer Concert Series ever: to the Friends of the Ferndale Library (for their support), to the bands (for perform-ing) and to all of our patrons (for coming out to enjoy the shows). Very soon, we’ll begin booking bands for First Stop Friday concerts in October, December, February and beyond.

Youth Services Librarians are planning a book club for high school- age readers. We have a handful of clubs for grade school readers, but a new monthly rotation of book discussions for teens is coming soon.
Stay tuned.

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By Jeannie Davis

THE LAST FRIDAY IN JULY CAME AND WENT QUIETLY. Not so in the past, when our annual Pub Crawl filled our streets with dedicated, organized drinkers, intent on hitting at least half of the drinking establishments in our small town. A fun evening for everyone, as well as a fund-raiser for assorted non-profits over the years, the Pub Crawl trotted along for several years, before running out of steam last year. The reasons for its demise are varied, but a contributing factor is simply that people change.

Today’s young people don’t enjoy the same thing as yesterday’s young people. Things change, attitudes change, manners, fashions, fads, and accept-able behavior all change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not.

We generally welcome the changes we make ourselves: New home, new car, clothes, re-decorations. All these things we have control of, and accept gladly. However, we struggle when things are changed for us. If you don’t believe me, read back to some of the remarks on Facebook with respect to the planned parking deck. We know we need it, yet we don’t want things to be different than they are now.

Yet when we consider that our entire lives are about change, why are we so resistant? We grow, educate ourselves (well, some of us do) , change our liv-ing statuses, make new friends, lose friends, forge relationships, lose relationships. Married, adjusted to living with someone, then, either through death or divorce, forced to adjust to living alone. All of this while our bodies are betraying us by aging, no longer able to do the things we did in our youths.

Some of us have endured more adjustments than others. Some have actually embraced new adventures in living, sought out things new and different to do. I find these people more flexible than the more settled folks.

A good example is Sharon, a new senior member who has lived all over the world with a government agency. She is adaptable, and open. I realize that this is not for everyone, and we can be happy and fulfilled living a life in one spot. There are several creative, enthusiastic seniors who have lived in ne place their entire lives. And yet, they have changed within themselves, learning, becoming passionate about one thing, then finding a different passion.

I have noticed within myself over the years, first, totally dedicated to making money, running a business, investing in real estate, whatever it took.

Then, retirement, and open heart surgery shifted my focus. A change was forced on me. My passion became travel, Greece, Italy, Paris… I got high just thinking about a trip.

I became bored with that, and shifted into more local kicks. Volunteering, Senior trips and meetings, political campaigns, Art Commission. I loved seeing events come from the idea stage to fruition, and worked my butt off making it happen.

And now, in my late 70s, I find myself focusing on the spiritual, working within the universe. Following spiritual leaders. Being present now. I am enjoying my one-on-one time with my seniors. Getting to know each of them individually.

So, I guess, we are constantly changing, and most of the time, it is for the better. Look at your life. So many things are nothing like they were at a younger age. Look at your attitude. I am sure you have mellowed, and don’t sweat the small stuff so much. I would hope that you are more confident, and enjoy interactions more. You are more open to change, and do not fear it so much.

This is the new “you.” This is a result of many minor and major changes in your life. Enjoy and revel in this person, but, be aware that, this too will change.

jeannie davis; 248-541-5888
Pub. Note: Ferndale has supposedly “needed” this parking structure for 25 years, yet for all that time we have somehow gotten by without it. In fact, Ferndale only keeps getting better and better! How can that be possible, if we need this thing so badly? Ferndale is great without a massive parking structure. We hope it will continue to be great after the construction mess is cleaned up and the cement is dry, because then it will be too late.

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By Rudy Serra

Q: “I AM 27-YEARS-OLD. Is it legal to date a 17-year-old as long as the parents are okay with it? I am freaking out because I don’t know if it’s legal, and Child Protective Services is coming to talk to them.”

Answer: The topic is more complicated than it may appear at first.

Sixteen is the age of consent for sex in Michigan. Under the law, any person who is under 16 years of age is incapable of giving valid consent. As a result, any sexual contact with a person under 16 can be charged as a crime. A person who has reached their sixteenth birthday can consent to sex. Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the answer.

Between 16 and 18 is an especially precarious time. A person who is 16 can agree to have sex, but they cannot validly sign a contract. They are still not an “adult.” They are legally a minor.

If you use a computer, phone or an-other electronic device to communicate with a 16 or 17-year-old, you may commit “child sexually abusive activity” without ever even meeting. Taking or sending photographs, for example, would be a felony even if the model is over 16 (when sex is legal) but under 18. No person under 18 can agree to be in pictures, movies or on a phone or computer without parental authorization.

The word “date” is vague. If “dating” does not include any physical contact (even through clothing), then you could “date” a 15-year-old legally. The problem is that the slightest sexual touching could break the law. Areas of the body such as the breasts, inner thigh, buttocks and other reproductive or excretory parts are strictly off limits.

The fact that the parents do not object, of course, makes it less likely that they will agitate the police to take action. Either way, it is best to stick with 18 or over to avoid a potentially life-altering prosecution.

JUDGE RUDY REPORTS is a regular feature in Ferndale Friends. We welcomes questions from readers. If you have a legal question or concern, send your question by email to Advice about specific cases cannot be provided but general legal questions and topics are welcome.

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By Sarah Liekweg

Dr. BEN DANTZER: Class of 1999

DR. BEN DANTZER HAS BEEN all around the world researching animals and ecology, but his journey began right here in Ferndale at Washington Elementary, now the Kulick Center.

“I was lucky to experience many excellent and passionate teachers throughout Ferndale
Schools that definitely shaped my career development,” said Dantzer.

A 1999 Ferndale High School alumnus, Ben graduated from Michigan State University in 2012 with a dual-degree Ph.D. in Zoology as well as Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior. He then went on to serve as Director of Studies in Natural Sciences at Churchill College in Cambridge, England while completing his Postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge.

Ben is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan where he conducts research and teaches classes. His research addresses understanding the causes and consequences of variation in the characteristics of wild animals with a specific focus on understanding how early life experiences shape individuals and how wild animals can cope with changing environments.

“I always enjoyed my biology classes with Mr. Bancroft and Mr. Bassier at Ferndale High School. They were great teachers that were very dedicated and seemed to know some-thing about everything. It definitely fostered a strong sense of curiosity I had about the natural sciences, especially biology.”

This curiosity has taken Ben all over the world as an evolutionary biologist, studying animals in the Yukon, Canada, and South Africa. When he looks back at his experiences with Ferndale Public Schools he sees them as being incredibly important in shaping who he is and what he cares about. Ben recognizes that the diversity Ferndale Schools fosters has greatly impacted his career, and he thinks it would impact anyone positively in any chosen field.

Story by Sara E Teller
Photos by Roche Photo Collective

THE AXLE BREWING CO. HAS BEEN BREWING, CANNING AND DISTRIBUTING THEIR CRAFT BEERS IN MICHIGAN SINCE SEPTEMBER 2015. Axle Brewing President Dan Riley (a Detroit native with over 20 years of experience in the media industry), along with his partners, sought to create a destination that would
embrace the neighborhood and elevate the typical craft brewery experience.

The company “began looking for the perfect spot for their public taproom shortly after,” according to Axle’s social media and marketing guru Jill Giacomino. Dan spotted a location on Livernois while doing one of his favorite things – biking riding from Ferndale to Downtown Detroit – and the rest is history, as they say.

Livernois Tap was established at 567 Livernois St and opened for business on June 3rd, acting as a family-friendly communal gather-ing space where patrons can enjoy a wide variety of craft beers and inspired beer food against a backdrop of great conversation and hand-selected tunes. “The space is our modern American interpretation of a classic European beer hall,” according to Jill. “It includes a sprawling outdoor beer garden, 30-seat bar, dining room, brewery, and the team’s offices.”

Livernois Tap’s menu includes specialty creations from Grey Ghost Detroit, a group of culinary experts committed to the art of butchery, refinement of crafting cocktails and unparalleled hospitality. The name stems from a notorious rum-running pirate fleet on the Detroit River during the prohibition era, members of which were never identified. The culinary copy includes food enthusiasts John Vermliglio, David Vermiglio, Joe Giacomino and Will Lee.

The Tap’s menu features over twenty items that pair perfectly with its extensive beer collection. Signature dishes include an eclectic mix of buffalo fried green tomatoes, a fried bologna corn dog and chicken shawarma wings. Guests can also enjoy a beer float in the restaurant’s porter. Weekend brunch is available on Saturday and Sundays from 11:00-2:00 PM, and includes a rotating selection of quiche bites, toaster strudel and other favorites along with a fleet of beer cocktails, of course, including a Shandy with our Noble Ghost and citrus oil. On the kid’s menu parents will find grilled cheese, popcorn chicken, mac ‘n cheese and corn dogs, along with a root beer float, cookies and pudding.

“The menu is currently being executed day-to-day by our Executive Chef, Elliot Patti,” Giacomino explains. Raised on the island of Maui in Hawaii, Patti graduated from the California School of Culinary Arts with a Diploma in Culinary Arts and certified in Le Cordon Bleu method of cooking. He was then fortunate enough to complete his externship training at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in the Four Seasons Resort in Wailea, Maui before relocating first to Los Angeles, then the Detroit area.

Livernois Tap prides itself on being family-friendly, catering to a wide range of restaurant-goers. “Our customer base is wide!” Giacomino exclaims. “We see families from the neighborhood, locals from Detroit, neighbors from University District and Green Acres, business people, bikers, and everything in between. We are very proud of the inclusive environment we’ve created and thrilled how the community has embraced us.”
The restaurant’s music selection is a combination of tunes selected by staff and those requested by guests. “Our team is comprised of huge music fans (okay, nerds),” Giacomino admits. “While we don’t have live music, we do feature curated playlists nightly of our favorite songs and requests from our friends and guests. We also feature themed nights such as ‘Throwback Thursday’ and ‘Soul Sunday’.”

Livernois Tap has already hosted a number of corporate events and social gatherings since its inception, Giacomino said, “We’re also planning to host group bike rides, yoga and other programming in the future. And of course, look for news about our inaugural Oktoberfest coming soon.”

Story By: Maggie Boleyn
Photos By: Bernie LaFramboise

HAVE YOU EVER COME HOME FROM A workout only to find yourself undoing all your effort by pigging out on junk food just because it was handy? Do you wish you could come home to a healthy meal prepared and waiting for you? If so, you will want to check out Clean Plates Detroit, a new meal-management option located at 149 West 9 Mile Road in Ferndale.

Clean Plates operates on the idea that a busy lifestyle does not always go hand-in-hand with healthy eating habits. Clean Plates Detroit aims to provide healthy, cost effective, meals for residents in the Metro Detroit delivery area. Manager Omario Matti said that the concept of healthy, clean eating on-the-go first originated in Toronto, at the sister company of Clean Plates Detroit. “It was not long before we saw an influx in the demand of healthy eating in the United States,” he said.

Ferndale was a natural fit for the concept, Matti said. “The city of Ferndale was an obvious decision,” he said. “Clean Plates represents a variety of things, one being diversity. Our menu offers clients an assortment of meal options including foods from various ethnic backgrounds and dietary restrictions. We cater to individuals who want to meet their goals and at the same time, offer a variety of meals that will accommodate their taste palate. The city of Ferndale is a direct reflection of that. We at Clean Plates believe our menu and motto replicates the demographics of Ferndale—multiplicity and full of energy.”

Matti is enthusiastic about his Ferndale location. “The energy here is a quality you cannot find elsewhere in Michigan. The city of Ferndale is exquisite in that the majority of residents are really in sync with the concept of health and wellness—something we promote so profoundly. Everything from our store design to our menu was a well-thought-out process, and we wanted to make sure our concept fit well with its surroundings.”

Clean Plates combines a passion for good food, and a commitment to the perfect balance between nutrition and taste. An assortment of meal choices were developed with this concept in mind. Also, Clean Plates offers to customize any of their meal plans to meet individual preferences. Popular menu items are always kept in rotation, and specialty meals change every 60 days.

According to the website, vegetarian customers can send an email to, and Clean Plates can work with any of your dietary needs.

Clean Plates promises a variety of high-quality foods delivered right to your door, giving you a leg up on a healthy lifestyle. Ingredients are sourced from Amish farms in Michigan and Indiana, and purchased at local markets. Poultry is all natural, cage-free and grain-fed, and free from hormones and steroids. Beef is grass-fed, also without using hormones and steroids. Meals are hand-delivered during a delivery time window. A text message or phone call is made approximately 15 minutes prior to delivery.

If you cannot be at home during your scheduled delivery window, place a cooler with ice by your door and Clean Plates will leave your delivery there. If you prefer, you can pick up your meals from the retail shop in Ferndale during business hours. However, if you miss your delivery, and you do not pick up your order at the retail store, a re-delivery fee will be charged.

Clean Plates Detroit meal management is on the web at

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By Anne Heler, Board of Directors

SMILE! FERNCARE CELEBRATED seven years as a working clinic on August 7! So many hugs and banquets of flowers for everyone who has supported the clinic. Thank you from all of us; the Board of Directors, clinic volunteers and very, very grateful patients.

Ferncare is still scheduling appointments for new patients a month out. 248-677–2273. If you cannot wait that long, there are two free clinics that have available appointments much sooner than that:

Bernstein Community Health Clinic, 45580 Woodward Ave., Pontiac, MI 48314, 248-309–3752.

HUDA Clinic,  13420 Woodrow Wilson, Detroit, MI 48213, 313–444–5490.

A sliding–fee scale clinic is Covenant Care Clinic – 27776 Woodward, Royal Oak, MI 48067, 248–556-4900 across the street from the Westborn Market. It’s a full service clinic in open 40 hours a week. They also take Healthy Michigan and Medicaid insured patients as well as other insurances. They also have dental services at the clinic on Detroit’s east side.

Change in Medical Collection
Bring medications and some equipment to the clinic on either the first or third Saturday of each month or anytime weekdays between 9 AM and 2 PM. We take medications only from people not medical clinics, physicians office, or nursing homes.

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Story by Sara E. Teller

FERNDALE FAMILY PHARMACY, LOCATED ON 9 MILE BETWEEN PINECREST AND LIVERNOIS, first opened its doors on October 17th, 2016. “We are embarking on our first-year anniversary, although it feels as if we opened last week! Man, is time flying!” exclaims owner Amin Khraizat who was determined to offer patients a more friendly, one-on-one experience than some big-name competitors.

“Poor experiences with big-box chain pharmacies and even local independent pharmacies served as the foundation and motivation that produced Ferndale Family Pharmacy into realization,” says Amin. “With inspirational support from my family, friends, as well as from healthcare professionals in the field, I chose to begin a true ‘Family Pharmacy’ which would cater to needs of individuals and families.

So, what makes the pharmacy unique? “Ferndale Family Pharmacy is a full-service retail pharmacy offering wide varieties of prescription medications, vitamins, and other cosmetic products. Our customer base is typically individuals and families from Ferndale and surrounding communities who strive to improve their health through prescription medication and vitamin supplements. With growing support from our customer base and increased referrals, Ferndale Family Pharmacy is here to stay,” says Amin. “Our pricing on products excluded from insurance coverage really does set us apart from all competitors, sometimes saving a patient hundreds of dollars.”

The pharmacy’s over-the-counter product line is also priced significantly lower than health-food stores in the area and the team offers a same-day free delivery service. “We are unique because our operations are man-aged differently than others. We operate well within federal, state and insurance guidelines, but do not have a corporate agenda to follow,” Amin explains.

The Ferndale Family Pharmacy team can access manufacturer coupons for patients to use on brand medications, and actively communicates with prescribers on substitute medications to dispense when others are not covered by one’s insurance carrier. “We are driven by our ‘No Patient Left Behind’ motto,” says Amin. “Although the opportunity for profit is there, we do not carry chips, soda, and other snacks that may be detrimental to one’s overall health. We are dedicated to improving health.”

“I chose Ferndale for a number of reasons. Having tried almost every restaurant in the city, I was exposed to the wonderful and positive atmosphere the city offers to its residents and tourists. I remember driving home one day and reading “#StayCoolFerndale” on the Ferndale Fire Department Sign and simply thinking

Amin manages Ferndale Family Pharmacy’s day-to-day operations, while his brother Sam acts as a patient advocate. Manager Alex enjoys “extended time and confidence managing a patient’s prescriptions and enhanced medication counseling, leading to guaranteed quality of care,” according to Amin, who adds, “Our enhanced patient counseling is a service rarely seen in the pharmacy world these days. Patients develop a true relation-ship with our team.”

Ferndale Family Pharmacy can be found across the road from Bigby Coffee and the Red Olive Restaurant. For more information, please visit the pharmacy’s web-site at or call 248.565.8031

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OCTOBER 11TH IS NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY, and this year, Kristi Faulkner Dance is hosting an “Empty the Closet” fundraiser for their project titled “Not in My House” – a collaboration with the Ruth Ellis Center to engage and inspire LGBTQ youth through performance and storytelling. “Not in My House” is an original dance production representing the authentic voices and coming out stories of Ruth Ellis Center youth and Detroit-based professional dancers who identify as LGBTQ.

The “Empty the Closet” fundraiser will take place from 6:00-9:00 P.M., October 11, 2017 at Fred Astaire Studios in Bloomfield Hills. The evening will include food, drinks, and an open salsa dance lesson with Fred Astaire Studio professional teachers. Partygoers who donate a bag of gently used/new clothing or new toiletries at the door will be entered into a raffle to win a prize. Attendees will also have an opportunity to learn more about the Ruth Ellis Center and their exciting collaboration with Kristi Faulkner Dance.

“Not in My House” is made possible partially through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge. The Knight Arts Challenge funds the best ideas for engaging and enriching Detroit through the arts. Through this fundraiser, Kristi Faulkner Dance hopes to complete the rest of their $30,000 match as part of the Knight Arts Challenge. Information about the event, as well as information about the “Not in My House” collaboration, can be found at

Kristi Faulkner Dance is a contemporary dance company based in Detroit, known for their highly physical and humorously theatrical work that em-bodies difference and challenges gender roles. Community engagement is integral to their practice. Through performance, workshops and community based projects, KFD pursues their mission of creating though-provoking, visceral experiences.

The Ruth Ellis Center (REC), incorporated in 1999, is a youth social services agency with a mission “to provide short-term and long-term residential safe space and support services for runaway, homeless, and at-risk lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.” As LGBTQ youth continue to be disproportionately affected by homelessness, the Ruth Ellis Center remains dedicated to ensuring that these vulnerable youth and young adults receive the services and inherent protections available to all citizens. While the Center emphasizes serving LGBTQ youth who are often ostracized, shamed, and denied services by other agencies, no youth, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation is turned away or denied services.

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy.

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EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU IS INVITED TO COME HELP paint the second in a series of community murals, themed on inclusivity,” according to Mark Loeb, a member of the Ferndale Arts and Cultural Commission. “And that’s the point. Our community is best served when we all are involved and work together.”

This year’s mural, entitled Human is designed by local teen artist, Heaven Guty. Her work was selected from more than 30 submissions. Artist Nevik Monet is working with her to convert it into large scale and the public will paint it during this year’s Funky Ferndale Art Fair, September 22-24.

Guty feels that her work is inspired by her relationship with God. She explains “Inclusivity means that we are one. Mankind, that is. We are made in the image of God, made equally in his worth. In perspective, this should mean that we should look at each other void of differences and allow love to have its way.”

Her work will join last year’s mural designed by Desaree Emmi, portraying tennis shoes in multiple cultural themes with the laces tied together to show unity.

“Our goal is to place four inclusivity murals on the wall of the Cupcake Station on Allen at Nine Mile Road to create a display reminding each of us how important we are to each other,” explains Loeb.

“The Michigan Council for the Arts has funded half of the costs of the first two, and the community has come together to support the balance.”

This year the Funky Ferndale Art Fair and the DIY Street Fair will be on September 22-24. The mural painting project is open to all, and will be near the corner of Nine Mile and Allen.