Dec 2018 / Jan 2019
Ferndale Friends December 2018 / January 2019

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Story By Maggie Boyle

THE MOVIE THEATRE SHOOTING IN AURORA, THE SHOOTING AT THE ORLANDO NIGHT CLUB, and other high-profile school shootings like Sandy Hook and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have all increased public awareness of dangerous situations in public places.

Programs to educate the public about violent intruders are becoming more common. Ferndale Police Department (FPD) has begun active intruder training for the public and for Ferndale businesses. In late September, Sergeants Dan Kuzdal and Janessa Danielson gave a presentation for the general public, held at the Ferndale Public Library.

“We want to inform businesses and organizations to prepare,” said Sgt. Kuzdal, an 11-year veteran with FPD and a member of the SWAT team. “We rely on the public to be prepared as much as possible.”

Recently, the Credit Union One Staff in Ferndale was scheduled for active intruder training, according to Sgt. Baron Brown, FPD Community Engagement and Public Information Officer.

Dangerous situations do not always involve shootings. In September 2018, a teen was stabbed to death at Warren Fitzgerald High School. Sgt. Danielson, who uses the term “Active Intruder Training” rather than “Active Shooter Training,” points out, “It’s not just a gun all the time.” Sgt. Danielson has been with FPD for 14 years, and serves as the school resource officer. She has conducted mock drills on active shooter and other dangerous situations. Sgt. Danielson noted, “Homicide is a leading cause of workplace death for women.”

Although most research has focused on school violence events, the lessons learned from school violence translates to surviving violence in other workplaces. Law enforcement response in these situations has evolved over the years. For example, the trend is moving away from assembling SWAT teams in favor of solo entry by a police officer.

Another evolving area includes changes to the traditional “lockdown” response to a violent intruder. Traditionally, people were instructed to hide under desks or chairs. There are problems with that approach. “When you are lying under a chair or desk, you are an easy target,” Sgt. Danielson said.

Three problems have been identified with the passive approach in a traditional “lockdown”, Sgt. Danielson said. “What if you can’t get to the locked location? What if the intruder has keys? What if the intruder is already inside with you?”

Modified approaches to the traditional lockdown include options like jumping out windows, if possible, and barricading doors to slow down an intruder. If the intruder does gain entry to your immediate area, throwing things and running away from the intruder is also possible. Sgt. Danielson advises not to run in a straight line away from an intruder. Rather, use a zig-zag path to confuse the intruder. Also, know where your best exit is at all times. Sgt. Danielson points out, “Remember, like on an airplane, the closest exit may be behind you.”

Ferndale Public Schools (FPS) has taken steps to reduce the possibility of school violence. Currently, there are 102 surveillance cameras located in Ferndale High School alone. Sgt. Kuzdal adds that every (FPS) classroom is equipped with a “Jacob Kit.” These trauma kits are available for use, should severe casualties occur. The kits are named for Jacob Hall, a six-year-old who died after massive blood loss during a school shooting.

To learn more about additional active intruder training sessions for Ferndale businesses, call the Ferndale Police Department at (248) 541-3650, press 5, and ask to speak to the Community Engagement Officer.

“We love to hear from the community,” Sgt. Brown said. “We’re an open book.

Run, if a safe path is available.
Try to escape or evacuate even if others insist on staying.
Encourage others to leave with you, but do not let the indecision of others slow down your effort to escape.
Once you are out of the line of fire, try to prevent others from walking into the danger zone and call 9-1-1.
If you cannot get out safely, find a place to hide.
When hiding, turn out lights, remember to lock doors, and silence your ringer and vibration mode on your cell phone.
As a last resort, working together or alone, act with aggression, use improvised weapons, and fight.

Source: Michigan State Police Department

By: Jill Lorie Hurst

THEIR MISSION: “The Ferndale Community Concert Band is a diverse, multi-generational musical ensemble of experienced volunteer musicians from all over Metro Detroit.”

Their purpose is twofold: “To provide quality, challenging musical and mentoring experiences for the members and student musicians, as well as educating and entertaining the citizens of Ferndale and surrounding communities.”

By the way, the concerts are free. And you can buy baked goods before each performance.

Beautiful music and delicious cookies made for a perfect Sunday afternoon this past November 4th, as the  FCCB opened their fourth season. Their “American Inspiration” performance included pieces by Aaron Copeland, George Gershwin, and Michigan composer H. Owen Reed as well as a medley of music from Woodstock called “Summer of 69.”

As this was my first time seeing our band I was happy to meet up with Patti Aberlich, trumpeter and FCCB Board Member. Benched from the stage as she recovers from shoulder surgery, she was a generous and joyful guide to all things FCCB.

FIRST, BACK STORY. In 2015, co-founders Tim Brennan and Sharon Chess sent out a questionnaire to the community: Band or orchestra? Band! So, Chess and Brennan proceeded accordingly. Today, 70-plus musicians make up the Ferndale Community Concert Band. There are eleven Ferndale High School alumni among the group. Two high school students are the youngest, and Joe Sales, who plays tuba, is the senior member. The band is a family affair as well, with husbands and wives, siblings, and a mother and daughter in the membership. The musicians travel from all over Southeastern Michigan to rehearse on Tuesday evenings and perform five Sunday afternoon concerts a year.

Next up is their annual “Hometown Holiday” concert on December 16th. In February, they host a community band festival with bands from Clarkston and Rochester, then wrap up their 4th season with concerts in April and June. June is always a “Salute to Our Fathers” which is both patriotic and a nod to Father’s Day.

While the band would love a performance space of their own someday, the collaboration with Ferndale Schools has been a happy one. Retired Ferndale High School principal Roger Smith is “so supportive and enthusiastic.” Renting the auditorium has provided the band with a good home.

THE MUSICIANS REHEARSE AND PERFORM as a labor of love, but the FCCB has expenses! There are a number of simple ways to help them pay their rent, buy their music stands and music, pay their talented artistic director and conductor Ed Quick, and print programs. Along with the pre-show bake sales, you can donate or become a patron of the band. There are also easy ways to help through Kroger and Amazon to give back while you shop!

When I joined Patti Aberlich during intermission, she pointed out family and friends who travel to Ferndale for each concert. “We go out to dinner afterward.” She says. “It’s a Sunday event.”

The Ferndale Community Concert Band performances are my new Sunday event. Meet me (and Santa!) there for the holiday concert on Sunday, December 16th at 3:00 P.M. Get there a little early so you can buy some cookies before you settle in to listen to the wonderful Ferndale community Concert Band.

Find out more about the FCCB by contacting them at or at 313-549-9244. You can watch their promotional video at You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram at

Baron Brown, Ferndale Police
Hamburger Soup
My favorite meal at a restaurant is the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse ribeye, medium rare. Nothing else on it or with it…maybe a small Caesar salad as a starter. It’s the second best thing, next to my wife of course, about my wedding anniversary.

Hamburger Soup
• 1 lb ground beef (browned and drained of grease)
• 1/2 tsp cumin
• 1/2 tsp chili powder
• 1/2 tsp black pepper
• 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
• 1 packet of sazon seasoning
• Very finely chopped jalapeño (add seeds for extra hot!)
• 1 Potato-1/4 inch cubes
• 1 Small onion-finely chopped
• 1 Small shallot-finely chopped
• 14 oz can of beans, pinto or garbanzo are my favorite
• 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes
• 2×14 oz cans of your favorite low salt chicken broth
• 1 bag of your choice of frozen veggies for soup
• 10 sprigs of finely chopped cilantro
• 2 or 3 cloves of crushed garlic
Brown meat. Remove from pan and pour out grease. Cook shallots and onions in remnants of grease in pan until they become almost translucent. Add all spices and jalapeño. Cook until spices become fragrant, 5 mins. Add canned goods, do not drain beans. Add two cans of water…maybe 3 based on how big your soup pot is. Bring to a boil. Simmer over gently rolling boil for 20 minutes or until beans start to soften. Add potatoes and cook for 10 minutes over simmer. Add bag of frozen veggies and cook another 10-15 minutes over simmer until potatoes are soft. For last 5 minutes add in the cilantro. Eat with warm tortillas and a spoon of homemade salsa.

Story by Maggie Boleyn

THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEYS SAYS, “Most folks are so afraid of death, by extension, they are afraid of the people who are there to help when there is a death in the family.”

Ferndale and surrounding communities have nothing to fear. “We are honored to serve our community,” says Kelly O’Meara, who serves as business administrator of Spaulding & Curtin Funeral Directors. He is the son-in-law of Patrick Curtin. He and his wife live nearby.

“Funerals and memorial services are for the living,” said O’Meara in an email. “We are here to help navigate a difficult and stressful time. Our caring and compassionate staff aims to personalize each family’s experience to ensure their unique needs and wishes are met. We hope when family and loved ones enter the funeral home, they feel welcome and at home.”

Spaulding & Curtin has been in business for more than a century, serving Ferndale and surrounding communities for 91 years. A four-generation, family-owned-and-operated funeral service firm, Spaulding & Curtin has been at the present location on Nine Mile Road since 1939.

The history of Spaulding & Curtin is one of continuous service. The original founder, Verner Spaulding, entered funeral service in 1905 in Buchanan, Michigan. He moved his business to Rochester in 1911, where he operated an undertaking and furniture establishment until moving to Ferndale in 1927.

Verner Spaulding and Albert Steinbaugh operated a funeral home on Vester Avenue until 1938 when the firm became Spaulding & Son. In 1939, Verner and his son, Merton, moved the operation to their newly constructed facility on the present site at 500 West Nine Mile Road. This location is said to be the first funeral home built as such in Oakland County.

ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF FUNERAL HISTORY, in Victorian times, funerals mainly took place inside the family home. The deceased person was displayed in the front parlor. During the early 20th century, funeral service practitioners began establishing funeral homes, where bodies were transported and prepared for funeral services. During this time, front parlors became known as “living rooms,” because they were no longer used to display the dead. Michigan is one of nine states that no longer allow families to conduct funeral services in a non-funeral home.

In 1960, Merton and son-in-law, Patrick Curtin, who was born and raised in Ferndale, formed the partnership Spaulding & Curtin. Kevin Curtin, Patrick’s son, Merton’s grandson and Verner’s great-grandson, joined the firm in 1984 and eventually became the managing partner until his death in 2007. The funeral home continues to be owned and operated by the Curtin Family.  Kevin’s wife, Patricia, currently owns the business and resides within the Ferndale area.

“Externalizing grief helps people deal with their loss. Funerals are important because they allow the grieved to be supported by their friends and family during what is often the most difficult time of their lives. Funerals also celebrate the life a loved one. The sharing of stories and memories allows us to see how our loved one touched other’s lives,” says O’Meara.

One trend in funeral services is pre-planning. “Pre-planning ensures an individual’s wishes are known and fulfilled at the time of their funeral,” said O’Meara. “When pre-planning is pursued with family members input, valuable conversations take place before the event of death. This relieves stress on those left behind.”

O’Meara is mindful of the responsibility to the community, and appreciates the loved ones who need his services. “We know that families have choices when choosing a funeral home, and we value our clients’ trust when choosing Spaulding & Curtin,” he concludes.

ONE THING I’VE NOTICED ABOUT US CITY DWELLERS who try to lead outdoorsy lives is that not every foray into the outdoors has to be wonderful if you go often enough. A barrage of bullets deafening you from a shooting range 200 yards away doesn’t have to create a major disappointment if you hiked last week or know you will next. Things seem to even out when you stick with them. In the same vein, a single long hike will contain many moments of hassle or boredom or even pain, but if you pay attention, probably there’s a similar number of “Wow!” and “I love this. I just LOVE this” moments.

I like guidebooks. I like using them to dream and plan, when I’m feeling stifled in this city and feel like life is one big dense mistake. I like marking off hikes like badges of honor. I like keeping track of them because we used to sometimes find ourselves walking a “new” trail with a rising sense of déjà vu, then some unforgettable landmark, like an old chimney, popped up around some bend. I like having evidence of what I’ve done, and that I’m getting to know my region better. I like guidebooks the way I like gear, although I buy much less of that. Gear and guidebooks are signs of a life built around possibilities.

So, my new copy of The Best Hikes Near Detroit & Ann Arbor led us on a recent Sunday to a place southwest of Metro Airport called Crosswinds Marsh. The reason for the name is obvious as soon as you step out of your car and try to remain upright: You brace yourself, and gaze about at flatness, ponds, boardwalks, some welcome port-a-potties. No matter what Jeff Goldblum’s character said in The Big Chill, to the female of the species, the outdoors is not one big bathroom.

The guidebook’s map showed two big loops making a figure 8, with small loops in the center, easy to remember, impossible to get lost in, or so we assumed. We forgot about an equestrian trail shown circling the perimeter, but it didn’t seem like it could cause any problems anyway. So off we went, sans book. And were sorry in a pretty short time. Unexpected intersections were everywhere. Trails were named, but with no accompanying maps or even signs back to parking, the names were useless.

The afternoon was overcast, so with no sun to help us, often with houses in sight, with airplanes constantly overheard (in other words, not a wilderness) we got out compasses and finally, alas, Phil’s phone. If there was a prize for being as far as possible from where we thought we were, we’d have won.

Surprisingly, although it seemed to take only maybe 30 minutes, it ended up being two hours of nonstop walking, through third-growth forest, walls of invasive phragmites, glimpses of cornfields. It wasn’t necessarily a bust; we did see much beaver activity (lots of downed trees, two dams, and channels here and there). We saw waterfowl and an eagle’s nest in the distance that we never could manage to reach. But we were plagued by a sense of, well, falseness. Something didn’t exactly feel right in this place. Odd dumps of old, torn-up pavement, ponds with bottoms too even: There was something we couldn’t put our fingers on.

UNTIL WE GOT HOME and I hit the googles. In 1979, Michigan passed the Geomare-Anderson Wetlands Protection Act. This prohibits any destruction of wetlands unless 1.5 acres of new wetland is constructed for every acre destroyed. As all of Southeast Michigan was once swamp, maybe creating a new wetland can be merely a matter of no longer continuing to drain a previous one.

In 1993, runways were expanded at Metro Airport. The land needed for the expansion was wetlands which, by law, would need replaced. According to mLive, Michigan has lost 4.2 million acres of wetlands, mostly before the Wetlands Protection Act was passed, with the rate of loss now much slowed (but still a problem). In fact, also according to mLive, our state did such a good job protecting our waters and the wetlands that naturally filter them that Obama’s 2015 Clean Water Rule (hotly debated elsewhere) made little difference here. From an mLive article of that year: “’Most of Michigan is not affected by the federal Clean Water rule because we’re already administering those programs under state law,’ said Kim Fish, assistant Water Resources Division chief for the Department of Environmental Quality.” Good for us. What was built at Metro Airport was called Crosswinds Runway Expansion. The replacement for what was destroyed there was named Crosswinds Marsh.

Humans can destroy or replace a wetland, but animals will decide if a new one is “real” or not. The purpose of Crosswinds Marsh has been fulfilled. If beavers and bald eagles find it acceptable, I certainly should, although that is neither here nor there. Two urbanites thinking that as a hike goes it’s not the be-all and end-all has no effect on the ecosystem or what thrives there.

Recently neighbor Dick Towell told me, in a discussion of the environment, “In the end, there’s really only one issue.” It doesn’t matter if human visitors think a wetland seems worth a revisit, just as it doesn’t matter if we prioritize other issues over land and water and air and then assume that they’re actually more important. We’re not the deciders we think we are, and that maybe should be a relief: To be part of everything, no less and no more important than a beaver dragging downed trees through phragmites.

Find for online about the building of Crosswinds Marsh.

Becky Hammond knits socks and makes oboe reeds in Ferndale, as she’s done since 1986. Socks are more fun, and probably more useful.

Jim Poole, Lead Pastor Renaissance Vineyard Church
Sloppy Jim
If I’m eating out, my fave date night spot is Assaggi Bistro. The owners are hospitable and the prices are right. Starters are bread with oil. A bottle of the Lebanese red wine. And I love the gnocchi for my main dish. Espresso and a dessert to share are not uncommon.

If it’s family dinner at home and I’m cooking, top of the list is Sloppy Jim. This is a variation on the sloppy joe recipe my grandma taught me growing up as a kid, renamed, since “Sloppy Granny” doesn’t quite sound appetizing! This recipe has plenty of flexibility for your preference.

Sloppy Jim
• Worcestershire sauce
• mustard
• garlic powder
• ketchup
• oregano
• basil
• Italian seasoning • seasoned salt
• minced onions (optional)
I start with a pound of ground turkey or beef, browned in a cast iron skillet over medium heat with Worcestershire sauce. Once browned I add large amounts of ketchup and small amounts of mustard to form the sauce, with some extra Worcestershire sauce to taste. I let this reduce, adding in dashes of oregano, garlic powder, basil, Italian seasoning, and seasoned salt to taste. Minced onions are also a possibility. Once the flavor is right, I turn the heat to low, cover and simmer until the taste and temperature are right. Sloppy Jim works equally well over spaghetti, or buns for a more traditional approach. I’ll often serve with fries, green beans, asparagus, even sometimes a summertime corn on the cob.

BY: Ingrid Sjostrand

HONEY IS A SWEET, DELICIOUS ADDITION TO ANY KITCHEN, but your generic grocery store jar isn’t giving you all the benefits that honey has to offer and, chances are,
it’s not best for the bees either.

That’s where Alison John comes in. Her company, Honey Help, delivers pure, fresh honey products to homes through parts of Metro Detroit, all of which have been harvested from her hives in Richmond, Ferndale and Northville.

John’s love for honey began growing up in Richmond, Michigan, despite a fear of being stung. After learning the difference between aggressive yellow jacket wasp and the less sting-hungry honey bee, she decided to start beekeeping and wanted to take the most humane approach.

Many beekeepers feed their bees sugar and water mixtures, but John learned bees can’t metabolize sucrose and it causes the bees to get sick. She came up with a better solution.

“My process of beekeeping is to preserve the integrity of my bees first and foremost,” she says.

“I only feed my bee’s their own honey. I figure they work so hard for it, they deserve it back! This is something I am proud of that sets me aside from others in this industry. I also use lavender or sage and dried leaves to smoke my bees when I harvest the frames. This is a natural and chemical-free way to harvest without causing the bees any distress.”

FROM HER HARVEST, John creates her sellable jars starting at $13 in sizes from 10 oz. and up. She also creates lip balms, natural sunscreens and healing balms out of the remaining wax from her honeycombs.

On top of running Honey Help, John is a local emergency department nurse – embodying the classic “busy-as-a-bee” adage. She uses her medical background to increase the power of her honeys, making and selling holistic-infused varieties like French blue lavender honey, which can reduce anxiety, and pomegranate-infused honey, that has hormone balancing qualities for the thyroid and estrogen.

“In starting my business, I wanted to combine my love of honey bees with my background in Nursing and Holistic Medicine,” John says. “By preserving one of nature’s finest ‘medicines’ and being able to offer it to the public through farmers markets, various events and even free local delivery, I am proud to say that Honey Help is quickly becoming a household name.”

JOHN HAS NO PLANS OF SLOWING DOWN And hopes to turn Honey Help into a Ferndale storefront where she can sell her Bee Friendly Goods and offer classes teaching children and adults about beekeeping and how to make your own lip balms and infused honeys.

“Lastly, for all of the work our bees do to help improve our ecosystem I find it only fair to help improve them as well. That is why I donate a portion of all delivery orders to,” John says. “They are an established group with the mission of preserving our honey bees, and teaching children and adults the importance of and need to preserve our endangered honey bee, and that is what Honey Help is all about!”

For more information about Honey Help and their local delivery schedule, follow them on Facebook or check out the Etsy shop:

By: Rudy Serra

Q: MY DAUGHTER PLED GUILTY TO A CRIME and her sentencing was delayed by the court. Now some friends of the accuser are sending text messages and snap chats with her picture and claiming she is on the run. Isn’t it a crime to harass someone by phone?

ANSWER: It’s important to look at the law where you live or where the crime is happening. Under Michigan state statutes, it is a crime to maliciously use a telecommunication de-vice to do any one of seven things, including threatening harm to a person or their property, falsely reporting their injury, and so on. But posting on social media that your daughter is “on the run” is probably not enough by itself to get any action under state law.

Some local communities have local laws that affect the answer. For ex-ample, the Ferndale City Code makes it a misdemeanor to use a phone to harass others. Other suburbs have similar ordinances that forbid repeatedly calling and hanging-up and similar activity.

Our local Ferndale ordinance says “A person is guilty of telephone harassment if he or she, by means or use of the telephone, disturbs or tends to disturb the peace, quiet or privacy of any other person or family by repeated and continued anonymous or identified telephone messages, intended to harass or disturb the person or family to whom the call is directed; etc.”

Under this local ordinance, a city attorney probably could decide to prosecute the harassers. Bear in mind, however, that they may consider your daughter’s criminal status against her, and may not be inclined to bring criminal charges. Whether the person posting made a mistake or intentionally lied might also be a factor.

Personal Protection Order (or PPO) is a civil order, issued by the circuit court, that can be obtained to protect a person from harassment and threats. Generally, three or more incidents are necessary and the person seeking the PPO has to be “reasonably fearful” for themselves, their property, or others to get a PPO.

Making a “statement of fact that is false in some material respect” is called “slander.” Slander is a civil action. No crime is involved. If the statement is a false claim that the target committed a crime, or has a contagious sexual disease, then the statement is “slander per se” and the victim does not have to prove

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they were damaged. Falsely accusing a person of being “on the run” from the court is a false accusation of a crime. Your daughter might be able to win a civil action for damages for slander, but the time and cost of bringing such an action and the amount you expect to get in return are important parts of the decision.