Oct / Nov 2017

J.T. Green & Peter Werbe

J.T. Green
I READ PETER WERBE’S ARTICLE IN THE AUGUST EDITION OF FERNDALE FRIENDS with some alarm, and would like to present a rebuttal to what I believe are serious flaws in both facts and arguments.

The thrust of Mr Werbe’s argument is that the Ferndale recycling program is a net loss to the environment.
Firstly, Mr. Werbe focuses his ire on plastic exclusively; and in the process completely ignores that it is uncontroverted that glass and paper are the most easily recyclable substances known to man. If all of the paper currently thrown away in the United States were to be recycled, it would save approximately one billion trees a year. Similarly, producing glass consumes a huge amount of energy (inasmuch as sand is essentially melted down). The process for recycling glass for commercial use is much less energy-intensive. In order to promote recycling, Ferndale uses “single stream” recycling; meaning that all recyclables are recycled in the same container, a method which has been proven to increase recycling among the general population.

Speaking of containers, Mr. Werbe goes on to complain that the containers used to recycle are not themselves recyclable. Well, that’s beside the point, isn’t it? Unlike most household plastics, things like traffic cones, park benches and recycl-ing containers (which also come in for undeserv-ed criticism) are not intended for one-time use; they are intended to be a durable good. There is no point in a park bench being recyclable a sec-ond time, because it’s meant to be installed in a park and sit there for the next 20 years.
Mr. Werbe then goes on to argue that recycling plastic is a net loss to the Earth; a proposition that is as ludicrous as it is completely discredited by the scientific community. The process of recycling plastic uses 50 per cent less energy than the most common method of plastic disposal; which is incineration. By choosing to recycle plastic, we cut our carbon emissions by half. Secondly, by recycling just one ton of plastics, roughly 2000 pounds of oil can be kept in the ground. Recycling plastics further creates jobs; it’s a $5.4 billion dollar industry, which does not include the jobs generated at recycling plants in which recyclable materials are sorted.

No one is arguing for the use of more plastic, but we have to take the world as we find it. Recycling plastic is the best way we have to mitigate the effects of our use of plastic on the environment. What I find truly shocking, is that in 2017, I have to write an article in Ferndale Friends, in one of the most progressive cities in America, in support of recycling.

J. T. Green is a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists as well as EarthLaw, but is writing in a personal capacity.

Peter Werbe responds:
THANK YOU, J.T. FOR EXTENDING THIS CRUCIAL DISCUSSION. I’m sure you, like so many others, realize the planet is at a critical point, perhaps one of no return from the damage done by the fossil fuel/petrochemical/nuclear/industrial system. The rise in CO2 content in the atmosphere, the increasing species die-off, the systematic destruction of forests and natural environment, the poisoning of the seas and over-fishing — the list could on considerably longer.

Recycling as a solution to this is an illusion, one sown primarily by those industries which cause the damage in the first place. Let me repeat a little of what I said in the column you find alarming.

Most of what is threatening life on the planet comes from industry, not municipal waste streams. Although the 97%-3% ratio is challenged to some extent, industrial and mining solid waste still make up the vast majority of the trash of an out-of-control production and consumption system. These are older figures, but 250 million tons of municipal waste is produced yearly, while 7.6 billion tons of nonhazardous industrial waste comes out of factories and mines. And it’s growing steadily each year as the world-wide machine increases its frantic pace of production.

Sure, some of the latter can be recycled, but your organization cites metal reprocessing, for instance, as a major source of pollution in Houston, as are the city’s waste oil disposal sites. And, this is true of every recycling facility.

Increasing the number of recycling plants will add measurably to pollution overall. As I wrote, the reprocessing of anything is a toxic procedure (how do you think they get ink off of paper and where does that go?) and adding more buildings, trucks spewing exhaust, workers driving, etc., means it’s less than zero sum.

But, let’s get closer to home and look at the green behemoths that were recently dropped off and made so many giddy with excitement. With single-stream recycling, glass is a major component, but a third of it winds up broken and it’s off to the landfill. That same figure applies to all of recyclables that are contaminated by broken glass shards, food residue, oil, etc.

And, who are the big advocates of recycling as a mask for their poisonous products? The Union of Concerned Scientists cites the American Chemical Society, the American Petroleum Institute, the American Plastics Council as using their advocacy of recycling as a fig leaf for continuing their practices just as they are.

The Saving-a-Billion-Trees line is one promoted by the American Loggers Council. Almost all trees cut for paper are ones grown specifically for that purpose.

Plastic? You are defending plastic? Oh, if only everyone would recycle their plastic. Well, they don’t, they won’t, and they can’t. Much of what is produced isn’t recyclable and 20 years goes by pretty quickly for your park benches. Where do they go then? Most of it just gets dumped into landfills where it takes 1,000 years to break down, while leeching toxins into our land and water systems.

Here are a few things that aren’t recycled: The 100 billion plastic grocery bags used every year and are not permitted in our bins. The 500 million straws a day Americans throw away. The 25 billion Styrofoam cups discarded every year, including four billion from Starbucks alone. Plus, even though the U.S. is now the leading oil producer, it will still fight wars to protect petroleum sources in the Middle East.

Coca-Cola, which airs all those TV ads about how much they value water purity, increased its production of un-recyclable PET bottles by one billion last year, in a yearly total of 110 billion Coke containers.

And, to accommodate single-stream recycling, the SOCRRA facility on Coolidge will close for an indefinite amount of time, leaving all of what we can’t put in the bins…where?

As the American poet, E.E. Cummings once wrote, “I don’t want to startle you, but they mean to kill us all.” Well, I do mean to startle you.
The fate of the earth is at a tipping point and we need to quickly get rid of items that require recycling by first extremely and drastically reducing production and reusing what we can. If not, I fear a bad fate awaits us.

Story by Sara E. Teller

ROBERTA LUCAS, an expert in expressive arts therapy and dance,has been a resident of Ferndale since 2000. “I live in one of those tiny 1923 cottages you see in Ferndale – some have been added on to but you recognize them when you see them,” she says fondly.

“I like being close to the Woodward Corridor. It’s been amazing to see the down-town area grow and thrive while the neighborhoods continue to support people and families at a range of income levels.”

She owns Environmental Expressions, which “is my business and ‘umbrella’ for the work I do in arts education, arts integration and expressive arts therapy.” Of the name, Roberta explains, “The environment can refer to any place within or outside of us.”

The dance instructor reflects on how she first developed a passion for integrating the arts with psychology. “As I continued my work as a dance and drama teaching artist I would often hear from teachers: ‘Your work is so therapeutic, are you a movement therapist?’ As I continued to dance and perform and teach, I found I was incorporating what I was learning from life/art workshops into classrooms and performances. There is an artful lens to view any and every situation, whether it’s in education, social action, or personal development. When we engage our creativity hand in hand with body expression – there is an opportunity to shift and move in new ways physically and metaphorically.”

Roberta has been a special instructor at Oakland University since 2000. “I teach a class for elementary education majors, integrating dance and drama with core curriculum,” she says. “I also teach a creative dance for children class to dance majors.” She is also an O.U. alum. “I studied communications, theater, and received a B.A. and a minor in dance.”

Roberta says that even in her student days, she had quite a bit of exposure to the performing arts. “Even when I was an undergrad I had many opportunities to per-form and work with professionals in the arts. At O.U. I was a member of the dance musical-theatre ensemble Other Things and Company directed by Carol Halsted. We toured elementary schools presenting original productions written, composed and created by O.U. Students.”

She completed residencies at Hutzel Recovery for Women and Affirmations. “My intern work at Hutzel involved working with women in recovery,” she explains. “I ended up at Affirmations and going through their facilitator training in the ‘90s. I was preparing for my graduate program. My family had been affected by
HIV/AIDS, like others. At that time, there was so much that was unknown and misunderstood.”

She is still very involved with The Wolf Trap Institute for early learning through the arts. The Institute “first hired me as a Michigan artist, and then I joined the National Teaching Artist Roster in 1994,” she explains, adding that she “was teaching residencies across the country with opportunities to teach in England and Greece. They hire professional performing artists to carry the work into the class-room. It’s a great collective of fellow teaching artists, and now we have that in Detroit as well.”

Detroit Wolf Trap is available at Living Arts, a non-profit organization that engages Detroit youth and teaches transformative experiences in the performing, visual, literary and media arts. “I was hired as a teaching artist by Living Arts in 2008. I am the founding affiliate director of Detroit Wolf Trap at Living Arts. This was an exciting opportunity to bring Wolf Trap back to Michigan. I provide professional development for educators, and coaching for teaching artists.”

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Story by David Wesley
Photos by Bernie LaFramboise


Owner Eli Boyer, an opening partner at Gold Cash Gold in Detroit, parted ways with business partner and chef Marc Bogoff a few months back, and has recruited Justin Tootla and Jennifer Jackson from Chicago to serve as co-executive chefs at Voyager.

The romantically-linked pair met at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and worked in a number of Chicago restaurants together, including the seafood-focused Kinmont. Jackson is a native of Athens, Georgia, and brings a little bit of her Southern roots to the table with subtle Lowcountry influences peppering the coastal-inspired fare. Tootla is a Bloomfield Hills native whose cooking career began at Hunter House in Birmingham.

The Voyager menu always features six to eight oysters with a daily-changing presentation of fried, dressed or grilled preparations. There are also a handful of other raw offerings, such as ceviche, crudo and beef tartare. The raw bar makes up about a quarter of the offerings, but the bulk of the menu is cooked seafood, vegetables and salads. Voyager’s goal is to appeal to folks who might be wary of raw seafood while pushing the boundaries of what’s available in the area.

Part of the approach involves looking outside of the large seafood restaurants. Instead, they are reaching out directly to coastal suppliers and shellfish farmers, many of whom ship their fare from tide to table within 24 hours.

On the beverage side, the offerings have been selected first and foremost to complement the seafood-heavy menu. That translates to a selection of about 15 sparkling wines, high-acid whites and low-tannin reds, all available by either the glass or the bottle.

The tropical flavors are echoed slightly in the bright space itself, with its white, orange and light-blue color palette. Designed by Ferndale-based 5/8ths Architecture, the interior boasts blonde wood panels, white tile and stylish gold trim. The color palette and vaguely Scandinavian-inspired design gives off a mid-century modern vibe, bolstered by the vintage school chairs that double as seating. The 1,400-square-foot space seats 40, with 12 seats at the long bar and 28 in the dining room, which is split from the bar by a low divider sporting individual drink shelves, or “niches,” instead of a rail. Because of the restaurant’s petite size, the single glass-paneled garage door provides ample natural light. It is rolled up in warmer months to add a few more seats on the indoor/outdoor patio.

Eli Boyer was gracious enough to sit down with Ferndale Friends to give an intimate interview about Voyager’s beginnings, current operations and future plans and more:

DW: What was the catalyst for opening a seafood restaurant in Ferndale and how did it all come about?
EB: Often the catalyst is as simple as recognizing a need and a having desire to fill it. There was a void in the marketplace; nobody was going deep on oysters or presenting seafood in a contemporary fashion. In Ferndale, we have a helpful city government, supportive small business community and welcoming neighbors who only want to see us succeed. And people travel here from elsewhere for unique dining and nightlife experiences. I can think of no better place to open a restaurant.

DW: In such a competitive and diverse food scene as Ferndale, how does Voyager stand out? What things do you bring to the table other restaurants don’t?
EB: We really focus on doing one thing well, rather than attempting to be something for everybody. We want to create an experience for our guests— through food, beverage, hospitality and atmosphere — that transports them from the eastside of Ferndale to “{insert major American city here}”. Every night, it’s about creating a conscious desire within our guests to return as often as they’re able.

DR: What are the plans for the future?
EB: We just launched an oyster catering program called the Roaming Raw Bar (there’s more information on our website). And we’re planning a bunch of seafood-focused events for the coming months. In our spare time, we’re working on a new burger restaurant in Capitol Park called Loverboy.


Story by: Sara E. Teller

FERNDALE RESIDENTS AND THOSE IN SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES may be noticing public awareness signs that feature mosquitos popping up in their neighborhoods. What’s this all about, and is there cause for concern?

The signs are meant to announce the potential for mosquitos to carry the West Nile Virus (WNV). WNV is most often spread to humans after they are bit by an infected insect. The infected mosquito carries the virus after biting a bird with WNV.

While most who are infected with WNV will experience little to no symptoms, the virus can cause illness and even death. Approximately one in 150 people infected will develop severe illness. Symptoms of the severe version can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.

Up to 20 per cent of people who become infected with WNV will display some symptoms within three to 14 days, including fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine or treatment for WNV. Illness may last weeks to months, even in healthy persons. Those who are symptomatic may require intravenous fluids, help with breathing and nursing care. Severe cases require hospitalization. Pregnant women are encouraged to seek immediate medical attention if they develop symptoms that could be linked to the virus.

The Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) leads the county’s proactive response against the risks posed by WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases, such as the Zika virus. “We have had a WNV prevention plan since 2003,” said Johanna Cassise of the OCHD. There were recently three confirmed cases of WNV in Michigan, including those in Montcalm County, as well as Oakland and Macomb Counties.

“Whenever mosquitoes are active, there is a risk of getting WNV. The risk is highest from late July through September,” Johanna explained. “Currently, one confirmed case of WNV in Oakland County this year.”

The Oakland County Health Division administers funding allocated by County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and the Oakland County Board of Commissioners to employ preventative efforts in conjunction with the county’s 62 cities, villages, and townships (CVTS). “These funds are allocated to participating CVTs and support OCHD’s WNV prevention plan aimed at public education about personal protection and reduction of mosquito breeding habitats,” said Johanna.

This year, 45 CVTs have joined the Health Division in implementing protective measures designed to educate residents on the potential harm of WNV. Almost $200 thousand dollars, the amount that is allocated annually for prevention activities, will be distributed among those participating. The funds will pay for:

● Larviciding municipal catch basins to eliminate mosquito larvae and halt reproduction.
● Distributing personal-use mosquito repellent at outdoor community events.
● Implementing public-awareness campaigns about protecting against WNV and controlling mosquitos. Funding through Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) enhanced educational messaging throughout the county.

Part of the current public awareness campaign includes signs featuring Know the Buzz. “Signs were distributed to interested CVTs participating in the reimbursement program and the Oakland County Senior Advisory Council,” Johanna said. “City of Ferndale is one of the municipalities displaying the signs.”

THE OCHD RECOMMENDS SEVERAL WAYS TO PREVENT WNV. “The best way to prevent WNV infection is to prevent mosquito bites,” according to Johanna.

To best protect against bites, residents should use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellant. All EPA-registered insect repellants are evaluated for safety and effectiveness, and will contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or paramenthanediol as the active ingredient. Repellents containing a higher percentage of the active ingredient typically provide longer-lasting protection.

It is also important to get rid of breeding sites. To do so, homeowners should remove any standing water. Some tips include turning over any type of container that can collect fluid. Once a week, empty out items that hold water such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, pet bowls, flowerpots, and trash containers. Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains. Treat standing water that cannot be eliminated, such as retention ponds or drainage ditches, with a mosquito larvicide. Mosquito larvicide is easy to use and can be purchased at most home improvement stores.

Individuals should also wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants, especially while outdoors, and limit outdoor activities when-ever mosquitoes are most active, typically late afternoon, dusk to dawn, and in the early morning. Avoid areas where mosquitoes may be present and maintain window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of homes and buildings. Never prop open doors, allowing for easy entry into the home.

For more information residents can follow @publichealthOC on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. The Health Division encourages everyone to share its prevention messages. Additional information can also be found at the Mosquito-Borne Disease Information Page at:

By Kevin Alan Lamb

AMONG MANY OTHERS HELPING IN MANY WAYS, Ferndale’s First United Methodist Church teamed up with Royal Oak’s First United Methodist to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey through the United Methodist Church’s worldwide relief agency, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). On Labor Day, 2017, they began collecting “flood buckets” and continued through most of September. The buckets are filled with supplies like laundry detergent, household cleaner, soap, air freshener, insect repellant spray, etc., and given to evacuees returning to their homes.

Royal Oak First United Methodist received a donation of a semi-trailer truck and driver, and they filled it with donations to be driven to their Midwest supply depot in Illinois for further distribution. I spoke with Jill Warren, a member of the Outreach Committee at Ferndale First United Methodist helping with the collection.

How did the Outreach Committee come to be formed and who are its members?
It’s a standing committee of Ferndale First United Methodist Church. All United Methodist churches have a similar committee, although it may be called something different. Members are elected at our annual meeting from the congregation. The current chair is Deacon Mike Cadotte, a longtime member of our congregation now becoming ordained as a Catholic priest. He serves Community of Christ the Good Shepherd Catholic Church, which meets in our building.

The Committee leads our community-focused programs including our free Community Dinner (last Wednesday of the month, 6:00-7:00 P.M.), free community clothes closet, parents night out, Dream Cruise picnic, and annual Fair-Trade Ferndale pop-up shop. We also display banners to witness against injustice (Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ Pride, Immigration) and are a sanctuary congregation offering shelter to those in danger of deportation. It’s a very engaged Committee.

Since this will be published after the drop-off day, what can our readers do to support your effort?
The need to respond to disasters is ongoing for emergency preparedness. Keep checking our Facebook page and website for other ways to be involved. We support UMCOR financially, and anyone can contribute to this disaster relief organization, religious or secular.

For those overwhelmed with the current rate of natural disaster in our world, share with us a few different ways your organization stays focused and committed to the task at hand.
We are so fortunate to be part of a bigger denomination that funds and supports disaster relief every day. Knowing that we can share the work through our collections of items and funds becomes an extension of our commitment to “living according to the example of Jesus.” Doing this kind of work as a community builds community too, and that builds networks of personal support and encouragement when times are discouraging. Sharing the work with others is the best antidote I know to feeling overwhelmed.


RED CROSS: “This is major,” said Red Cross spokesman Perry Rech. “This is the largest weather event we’ve encountered since (Hurricane) Sandy.” Rech said the Red Cross has sent 60 people to Houston. “Michigan is well into the fray,” he said Monday. “We’ve got emergency response vehicles going down, we have people on the ground. We have our full national fleet deployed.” Those vehicles, said Bob Blumenfeld, chief operating officer of the Michigan region of the Red Cross, carry “a fair amount of materials and infrastructure” to aid in disaster relief— food, bottled water, blankets, “clean-up kits” consisting of buckets, rubber gloves and disinfectant.

SALVATION ARMY: The Salvation Army’s Eastern Michigan Division is asking for money donations but has not yet sent anyone, said spokeswoman Andrea Kenski. “We’re waiting for the call from our national headquarters, but we have our Emergency Disaster Services teams ready to go,” she said. Metro Detroiters can make donations by calling (877) 725-6424 (SALMICH).

DOW CHEMICAL: Dow Chemical Co. and The Dow Chemical Co. Foundation announced on Tuesday, Aug. 29, that they would allocate $1 million to support immediate relief and long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts for parts of Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey, according to a press release. According to Dow officials, as a part of financial commitment, Dow is collaborating with national and local partners providing critical services to individuals immediately affected by the flood and will donate $100,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, $100,000 to Team Rubicon and $200,000 to other local nonprofit organizations assisting the region.

JEWISH FEDERATION OF METRO DETROIT: The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit has opened a special relief fund for those affected by the devastating hurricane that struck the Gulf Coast. Many thousands of families and individuals are in need of food, medicine and other basic supports. 100% of all donations will go towards relief and recovery efforts.

PRESBYTERY CHURCH IN DETROIT: The Rev. Allen D. Timm, Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery Church in Detroit, said the church is waiting to hear from the general assembly as to when volunteers will be dispatched to Houston. “We work through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance,” said Timm. “We have a local group which will be sending volunteers, but we have to wait until we get word from the Presbyterian Disaster Group.’” The church is also taking donations.

THE CITY OF WARREN: Warren Mayor Jim Fouts’ office announced that it’s collecting non-perishable food items to distribute to Hurricane Harvey victims. “We know what it’s like to have most of a city underwater,” said Fouts, referring to the August 2014 record flooding in Warren. “It doesn’t compare to Houston’s flooding, but we needed outside help like the Southern Baptist Convention volunteers to help. “Our drive is an example of Americans helping other Americans in need.” The items can be dropped off at the Mayor’s Office on the second floor of city hall or the Warren Community Center on Arden west of Mound.

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WHAT YOU ARE HOLDING IN YOUR HANDS, BY CONVENTIONAL WISDOM, IS A DINOSAUR, soon to be a fossil. That’s right. We’re told that the Print Age that began in the Fifteenth Century is over, supplanted by electronic devices, with only a few remaining holdouts.

In fact, visiting news sites on one’s phone may soon be outdated technology replaced by holograms appearing with the wave of a hand (or maybe just a thought). Who needs a tree-killing, labor and machinery-intensive, hard-to-deliver, expensive means of communication when the whole world is on our phones?

Well, that would be me, but more importantly, so does this paper’s readership and those of the many other Detroit-area publications that defy so-called conventional wisdom, and see their circulation rising.

What is declining significantly is the corporate media. As an example, The Detroit News and Free Press now limit delivery of their daily edition to Thursday and Friday. In New York City, the drop-off in circulation of The New York Daily News is staggering; from 4.9 million copies of their Sunday paper in 1947 to 235,000 today. No more, “Extra, extra; read all about it.”

News is now garnered instantaneously from the Internet, so the social need for newspapers as an immediate information source is gone and won’t come back.

BUT FERNDALE FRIENDS and the other paper I write for, the Fifth Estate, and a host of other local papers such as the Metro Times, Between the Lines, and several more, serve a need not provided for by the Web.

One important aspect of each paper is that they serve very distinct
communities, and simply having it present is an affirmation of what each publication projects. Most young people grew up with a phone in their hand, so maybe they don’t have a reaction to the important tactile feel of holding a newspaper. But, if you’re reading this, you very well may.

This paper has the culture and residents of Ferndale and the surrounding area all over it, including its advertisements. Most people don’t like ads on TV, which is why programs are recorded and ads get the fast forward function. On radio, as soon as the spot break comes, boom, you hit the button for your second favorite station. But, if you’re like me, you probably read not only every article in this paper to see who is doing what and what is going on, but pay attention to the ads since they are a source of information around the community as well.

Here’s what Stephanie Loveless, Ferndale Friends publisher, had to say about print in a recent conversation I had with her. “I like print. Nobody ever got hacked reading Ferndale Friends or Fifth Estate! We don’t collect cookies, plant spyware or malware, and we make a nice friendly ‘plop’ when we hit your porch. What’s not to love about print?”

ALTHOUGH IT MAY BE IMPORTANT to recognize the Buddhist concept of Impermanence, having back issue available is an important source of history of events covered by a publication. When the Fifth Estate celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015, with exhibitions at the Detroit Historical Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), there was the first edition from 1965 on display, and the 1970 women’s issue which was the paper’s highest circulation. So was the paper’s coverage of the July 1967 Detroit Rebellion, a copy of which is part of the current million-dollar exhibition at the Historical Museum devoted to the uprising.

What’s on your blog is gone in a minute. Well, maybe not from the NSA computers if you are an enemy of the state.

Getting my eyes off of my phone and desktop screen, and onto a printed page is something I look forward to. I can read lengthy articles at my leisure and not get that immediate restless feeling that accompanies viewing Internet articles to move onto the next one. Remember that in George Orwell’s 1984, one of the goals of “Newspeak” was to diminish language and the capacity for full discourse. Although you can publish articles of any length online, how many people are going to read long ones on their phone?

A writer recently submitted an 8,000 word article to the Fifth Estate when we had asked for 1,200 maximum. When we declined to print it, they withdrew it and published it on a news site. It’s doubtful many visitors there read the entire text.
Granted, once you’re set up, online posting is relatively easy, certainly much less than all the effort it takes to publish a newspaper. But how do you know when it’s time to pack it in, like the venerable NYC’s Village Voice did this year after 62 years of print publishing?

Whether to continue printing is actually self-regulating. Newspapers are expensive, so if Ferndale Friends doesn’t get advertising it won’t publish any longer. If the Fifth Estate doesn’t receive subscriptions, it too is history.

For now, though, for both publications, no worry. Same for the others mentioned above. And, yes, I am blowing our own horn. There is a sense of enormous satisfaction that comes with the publication of each issue no matter how many times you’ve seen one roll off the press. You know you’ve connected with lots of people and connected them with each other through what appears on the printed page.

Peter Werbe is a member of Fifth Estate magazine’s editorial collective www.FifthEstate.org.

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By Rebecca Hammond

ON OUR MANY MINI-MICHIGAN TRIPS, WE NOTICE A LACK OF MILKWEED IN places that could sustain it, but we also notice an abundance of goldenrod. Monarch butterflies need both, milkweed being their only host plant, goldenrod and asters being the nectar plants that get the last generation of monarchs each year from northern places to central Mexico. You may have been told that goldenrod revs up your fall allergies. I was. But goldenrod pollen is too big and heavy to blow around and be inhaled. Most of us are really triggered by ragweed, which blooms at the same time, but with no attention-getting showiness.

I saw many monarchs in the UP a week or so ago, some along Lake Michigan, about to cross the Straits, one just off the coast of Grand Island, in the winds of a coming storm. We were on a ledge watching that storm roll in, and the monarch was a surprise.

If you visit Grand Island, consider the ferry schedule online and on the door of the ferry office in Munising to be a wee bit more flexible than stated. We thought we had a half hour to kill before the 9:00 A.M. ferry made the three-minute trip, but the captain wandered into the parking lot and gathered up four of us, and off we went. The ferries are actually pontoon boats, carrying only six passengers at a time, with three official trips a day at this time of year.

THREE DOWNY WOODPECKERS flew onto our porch recently, obviously nest-mates, a female and two males. They explored the place, rear-ranging things here and there. I have a bee house (although wasps and fireflies seemed to use it, no bees appeared to) and one compartment is full of wood shavings. A male pulled them out and dropped them, one at a time. Then the female pulled them out and inserted them into a different compartment, one at a time.

KATE FOX, NEIGHBOR WITH the “Keep Fernlandia Weird” straw-bale vegetable garden last year, expanded this year, same plants, just more of ‘em. Her carrots were so thick and abundant with foliage (itself edible) that she laughed at my inability to keep my hands out of it. The bales of straw are conditioned with fertilizer and heat up and cool down like compost.

Kate made recesses in the tops of the bales, and filled those with soil-less mix. The plants go right into that. Her basil was a healthy little fragrant forest, and the tomato plants were towering. She also has eggplant and cucumbers. The bales are already breaking down, and can be spread else-where like any mulch. Kate says this is her gardening method from now on.

My own tomatoes and peppers were lackluster. So, I googled. Filled a big watering can from the rain barrel, tossed in a handful of Epsom salts, and about the same amount of blackstrap molasses. Tomatoes like calcium. Molasses supplies that, and iron and potassium. I keep a bottle around for electrolyte issues I have in this older age, making sure to take a couple of spoonfuls any night we’ve been out getting sweaty hiking or biking. The salts have a lot of magnesium, which is supposedly why a good soak in a salty bath relaxes the muscles. If you’ve never tried this, you may be surprised. The tomatoes looked better two days later, and did fine from then on, as did green peppers that got the same medicine.

IF YOU’RE UP EARLY and sit outside in the dark, you may hear screech owls calling to each other just before dawn. Sitting outside in the early morning is so wonderful, so life-enriching, it’s a wonder that anyone who does it once isn’t up early and outside every day. Humans are odd things about continuing that which we find rewarding. We so often just go back to sleep, in more ways than one.

IF YOU TIRE EVEN OF FERNDALE’S great bike-lane system, head up Schoenherr and turn west on Clinton River Drive. You quickly come to a parking lot along power lines. It’s a trail-head for a paved path that goes through Utica and beyond. It shadows the Clinton River and goes up and down and around enough curves to be a relief to those of us locked into our incessant rectangles and straightaways. And it has some fun tunnels and bridges. Most of it feels quite remote from urbanness. Check out the paved trail right here in Harding Park. Fun addition to a pedal around town.

This urban setting is home to more deer now than I can believe. We visited some former neighborhood pals who moved to south Royal Oak, and were admiring their new home and back yard. Up walked a doe and buck. As the six of us, two couples, our friends’ two little girls, were shouting with surprise, and ooh-ing and ahh-ing, the deer decided to, right then and there, um, mate. At that moment, the older of the two girls remarked, quite innocently, “Maybe they’ll have a baby!” Uh, yeah. That’s just about a sure thing.

ADDING TO THE ONGOING LIST OF reasons I know I live in a great city this: When a police officer showed up at our house to take a look at vandalized plants in our front yard, her first comment was that the plants are milkweed, and monarchs need milkweed. And that we need to protect it. Thank you, officer. We are, and will continue.

Becky Hammond loves the Michigan outdoors and never wants to be anywhere else. Heaven is here.

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By: Jeff Milo, Circulation Specialist

IF YOU’RE READING THIS and haven’t visited the library in a while, I’d like to invite you to come in this week and say hello. Maybe your schedule kept you from making it in during our regular hours…? Well, we’re now open on Sunday! That’s right, we expanded our services and have now increased the community’s accessibility to our circulating materials and information resources! We’ll now be open on Sundays from 12:00-5:00 P.M.

We want you to consider your library as a community center. Finding something new to read can, and should, be a social experience. The Internet is amazing, but sometimes it can make your recreational recon of culture and entertainment a seclusive affair. It’s not just about finding a book, or picking one out – talking about books, browsing for something with a librarian’s recommendation, or get-ting to compare something you read in a group or one of our book clubs, can not only enhance your enjoyment, but bring you deeper understandings of the world, of history, of the human experience.

But you have to be here to fully experience it. The younger folk would hashtag this #IRL (In Real Life). Now that we’re able to stay open every day of the week, we want to invite you to learn more about everything we do here!

FIRST OF ALL: THE BOOKS! Thousands upon thousands of books! Your library card gets you access to not only the materials here in our building, but also to the loanable collection of titles from The Library Network of Oakland County.

DVDs? Of course! CDs? Yes, and might we add that we have an impressive amount of albums from local artists! Kids programming? Yes, several days a week, including a popular Music & Movement story-time for toddlers. We also host community conversations, seminars, presentations and more, from local organizations, state representatives, authors, and many more local luminaries.

We had our best-attended series of Summer Concerts last season, and we are thrilled to continue bringing you concerts on every first Friday of the month. In fact, you can catch rising punk-pop trio Prude Boys here on November 3rd: they just released a new single on California-based label Burger Records, and are undoubtedly a local band to watch in the year ahead.

So come discover something at your library this week – on any day you like!

SPOOKTACULAR: My favorite time of year! Our ever-popular annual Halloween Spooktacular party is Sat., Oct. 28 from 5:00-7:00 P.M., featuring artists and theatrical performers from local Detroit Circus’ Flyhouse troupe, including acrobatics, contortion, juggling, side show acts, feats of balance and strength, and stilt walking! That’s right, it’s a “Spooky Circus” themed Spooktacular!

This year, the Ferndale Library is an official stop along the 9 Mile route of participating local businesses for the Downtown Trick or Treating event. The library usually closes at 5:00 P.M. on Saturdays, but will remain open until 7:00 P.M. exclusively for the program of Halloween- themed activities. (Books, public computers, and other typically available resources wouldn’t be accessible during this event).

This event is free and open to all families, residents, and anyone attending the Downtown Trick or Treat event!

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By Rudy Serra

Q: IF I AM BEING CHARGED with embezzlement and I admitted to it, will I be able to get a court-appointed attorney even though I confessed? I am being charged with embezzlement (less than $200.00) from my place of work. I admitted to it, apologized and offered to pay it back on the spot. They told me to keep it, and told me they were going to press charges. This is my very first time doing anything so stupid. What will happen at my arraignment hearing?

ANSWER: The purpose of arraignment is to make sure you understand the charges against you and your legal rights. Some-times, defendants go through arraignment without a lawyer. When you face potential incarceration, you have the right to a court-appointed lawyer. Since bond is set at arraignment, in many cases there are court-appointed lawyers available at this stage. Sometimes, the court does not appoint a lawyer until after arraignment.

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

In 1963 the U.S. Supreme Court decided a case called “Gideon v Wainwright.” In that case, the defendant was not able to afford to pay for a lawyer. He wanted one anyway. The court decided that defendants have a right to a government-paid lawyer in criminal cases if they can’t afford to hire one on their own.

Later, the court clarified that poor people can have a lawyer appointed if they face incarceration. If an offense is punishable only by a fine or some other non-jail sanction, then there is no right to counsel. You do not get a court appointed lawyer for running a stop sign or over-parking because these are called “civil infractions” for which there is no jail penalty.

The fact that a person pleads guilty has no effect on their right to a court-appointed lawyer. If a guilty plea could possibly result in jail time, then the court should appoint a lawyer for you.

Usually, a defendant has to prove their own inability to pay. The court pays for counsel only if you are “indigent.” Also, usually, if you get convicted, part of your sentence requires you to repay the court for your lawyer. The courts have adopted competency standards for appointed criminal defense lawyers. Some courts use a “House Counsel” system, where an assigned public defender rep-resents everyone in court that day. In more serious cases, like felonies, the court assigns one lawyer to one defendant. In either case, continuing legal education and other standards apply.

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: rudy.serra@sbcglobal.net. Advice about specific cases cannot be provided but general legal questions and topics are welcome.

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By Jeannie Davis
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF EVERY GROUP? Every person working for a cause? Every com-mission that plans events? Fundraising!

It’s a universal problem – how to raise funds for your group or cause. I have helped raise funds for the Ferndale Foundation, the Ferndale Art Commission, the Ferndale Historical Society and more political campaigns than I can remember. I am not alone. Every other passionate, involved person in this city has had the same experiences. We have all worked hard for so many causes.

Some of the methods have been typical, like banquets, raffles, bar parties, and house parties. My particular favorite is the “moo-poo” event held to support sports at the high school. It involves a cow, a field with squares drawn and numbered, and I think you can imagine the rest.

This all leads to our Ferndale Senior Group. We are limited in raising funds, particularly within our peers, by the fact that the majority of seniors are on limited, fixed incomes. We can only raise so much money during our meetings with 50/50 raffles, pick-your-own prize raffles, and other efforts which raise limited amounts. We reach outside our group periodically. We are indeed all good bakers, and our bake sales are our biggest money-raisers. However, we can only have so many bake sales, and our ladies can only bake so many cookies.

In specific instances, we have applied, and received grant money from the Ferndale Foundation. What do we need money for? We pay for lunch at the Center once a month for members. We offer a special free trip for members every year. We partially subsidize holiday parties during the year. We provide small refreshments at meetings. We pay for speakers and entertainment at our meetings. This certainly is not covered by our $10 annual dues.

Please understand, we are not begging for money. Rather, we are begging for education on raising funds. We need ideas on what we can do to earn enough to be able to continue to offer these services to our people. The hard part is that the people doing the work are somewhat limited physically. Some of us can’t stand for long, lift heavy stuff, nor do we have the endurance for long shifts. Obviously, we need to reach outside our group. Pretty small parameters, but some of you must have ideas.

Maybe we could assist another group with a fund-raiser and have a small share in the profit. We have bounced so many ideas around during our meetings. My particular favorite is still the calendar-girl idea. Steve at Western Market even volunteered to allow us to use his fruit displays in his store for staging. However, only two of us were willing to do it. So another idea hit the dust.

So, please, if you have any know-how, or know of things which have worked out in other cities, please contact me, or stop one of us on the street, and talk to us about it. Even if you get an idea at 3:00 A.M., just call Virginia Saxton. She will be happy to answer the phone and talk!

Jeannie Davis, 248-541-5888