Oct / Nov 2018

By: Sara E. Teller

PLANS ARE BEING FINALIZED FOR FERNDALE’S NEW SKATEPARK, which the City is hoping to roll out in the Spring. Ferndale’s City Council, Department of Parks and Recreation, and Department of Public Works have been busy working out the logistics and soliciting feedback from area residents. So far, they’ve secured help from Detroit’s architectural firm Hamilton Anderson, the Community Skatepark Advisory Committee, and the Tony Hawk Foundation, and a few changes have been made along the way.

“At this time, the location of the skatepark has not been confirmed. Previous plans of a pre-fabricated skatepark was set within Wilson Park. Based on the community feedback we received, we are now building a concrete skatepark,” said LeReina Wheeler, Parks and Recreation Director. “At the Parks and Recreation Department, we have been doing our due diligence, investigating and researching all potential viable locations for the skatepark. Data to assist with selecting the best location is being collected from skatepark designers, architectural personnel, skatepark professionals, City departments, and resident surveys.”

A design meeting was held on August 29th at B. Nektar Meadery, 1511 Jarvis, Ferndale. “There were attendees from both the skateboarding and non-skateboarding community [there],” said Wheeler.

“With the support of our architectural firm Hamilton Anderson, we presented examples of community skateparks within our region and asked for feedback on what elements were desirable, and which elements would not work in our community. The discussion and feedback provided an overview of what we would like to include in our Request for Proposal for a skatepark designer.”

Attendees were able to have a little hands-on fun at the meeting’s conclusion. “At the end of the meeting Brad Dahlhofer of B. Nektar extended an invitation to the participants to check out and skate his mini-ramp. Several skateboarders took the opportunity to show off on the mini-pipe,” Wheeler said. She confirmed the parties are still searching for a contractor to take on the design of the project.

“We are currently developing the RFP (Request For Proposal) for design-build. It should be published by late October or early November,” she said, adding, “With the support of Hamilton Anderson, we have been working on gathering preliminary information on what elements our community members want incorporated in the skatepark. Concept designs will be developed after we hire a skatepark design firm and confirm the final location of the skatepark. Additional community design meetings will be held to assist with the development of the final concept design.”

A separate meeting was hosted by the Parks and Recreation Department on September 5th, as well. The Department presented information to the Ferndale PARC Board regarding the viability of potential site locations. The meeting was open to the public and resulted in the recommendation of the top three potential site locations, ranked in order of most preferred: 1) Wilson Park, 2) Martin Rd Park, and 3) Geary Park.

“The recommendation was unanimously supported by the PARC Board,” Wheeler said. “Once the skatepark designer is hired, the Parks and Recreation Department will get input from the designer and make a final skatepark location recommendation to City Council for approval.”

She added, “The City is excited to bring this new amenity to our residents. We want our skatepark to be one of a kind and cater to all levels and abilities. Our residents have waited long enough and deserve the best when it comes to new amenities in our parks.”

More information on skatepark grants available from the Tony Hawk Foundation can be found at www.tonyhawkfoundation.org. Information regarding Ferndale’s new skatepark project, upcoming meetings, and project status can be found on the City of Ferndale’s website, www.cityofferndale.org.

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By Rebecca Hammond

THE FERNDALE MONARCH PROJECT BEGAN IN MARCH 2015 WITH A SIMPLE GOAL: Adding milkweed to the yards and parks of Ferndale to begin replacing habitat, the loss of which has been dooming the species. At the time I tossed the idea out on the FB Ferndale Forum, with John Hardy leaping in with help and support I didn’t even know people raised monarchs indoors.

A friend shared an article with much-repeated advice: Since only ten percent of eggs laid in the wild make it to the butterfly stage, search for eggs and raise some yourself. This seemed a sound idea. And raising them turned out to be fun and gratifying, if at times nerve-wracking. Caterpillars and butterflies may look alike, but they do not act alike. Their varying behaviors drove lots of us up the wall with worry. Letting them handle their small lives on their own, assuming they knew what to do, was hard for us modern, in-control humans.

THE HOBBY GREW, with many of us almost obsessively gathering eggs and sharing them and our successes on social media. We converted others, and assumed we were doing good. Then the unthinkable happened: Two science-based organizations, The Xerces Society, and Monarch Joint Venture, rocked our world. According to them, we have actually been putting the species at risk, and haven’t even helped it.

In the wild, monarchs usually lay one egg per milkweed, caterpillars do not live in crowded conditions, and the open air of their normal habitat helps keep diseases to a minimum. There are predators; wasps, spiders, ants, even birds, but the huge numbers of monarchs that used to exist did well enough with those risks. It was humans that began dooming them, with development, pesticides, “roundup-ready” crops.

Not all organizations agree that the risk of sending diseased butterflies into the wild where they might infect a mass of wild monarchs is real or dire, but to my surprise, none recommend raising monarchs indoors, either. I’ve shared Monarch Watch’s clear instructions many times (wishing anyone discussing raising monarchs online would do the same), and just assumed that since they were telling us how, they were telling us to. No, like every other major monarch advocacy group, they agree that while raising them might be a nice hobby, especially fun for kids, it’s not helping the species regain its former numbers. The only thing that can boost those number of additional milkweed stems needed, especially in the upper Great Lakes region, is at least a billion. But we can’t raise them back to species health in our homes. And as some of the scientists in these groups have stated, we don’t attempt to save other species, the Kirtland’s Warbler, say, by raising them indoors.

Certain “social” (as opposed to science-based) monarch pages are full of posts about diseased caterpillars or butterflies. Usually the poster asks how to cure them, or turns them loose anyway. Some ask how to keep them alive indoors, maybe until spring. The goal of doing a small part to save a wonderful species seems abandoned, the practice personalized, the butterflies treated as pets. And in this focus on individual people raising butterflies, the need to plant more milkweed is rarely mentioned.

I RECENTLY MADE TWO TRIPS TO POINT PELEE, one resulting in viewing massed monarchs at the tip, maybe 7,500 of them. The other trip, a week later? We saw two, less than I’d seen in my front yard that day! But a side trip to a wonderful place called the John C. Park Homestead, a farmstead on Lake Erie, led to a conversation with a staffer who directed me to some shrubbery that was full of monarchs. She was thrilled. They’d never seen them there in large numbers before. And she told me something surprising: the park had applied for and received a permit to raise them next year. A permit? Yes, raising a Species of Concern requires a permit in Ontario. Permits seem to go to educational organizations, and the numbers of eggs and caterpillars is limited. How many can Ontarian raise without a permit? One.

This time of year gives us our best opportunity to make a real difference, because there are stands of mature milkweed all over, in parks, rest stops, along roadsides, and one pod can contain as many as 300 seeds. Green pods are fine if the seeds are brown. And if you want easily-separated seeds, you want to pick the pods before they explode and the fluff starts drying. The whole inner works comes out looking like a pinecone, and the seeds flick off the damp clump easily. You can even do this indoors. Wait a week longer, and your house could resemble a snow globe.

Goldenrod is the second-most important plant to monarchs, because it and New England Aster give the butterflies the nectar they need for their long flight to Mexico. Scatter some of those seeds, too. Pick some flower clusters after the blooms dry and shake them out in some goldenrod-free areas. And look for our seed-exchange box in the Ferndale Library.

My FIRST COLUMN FOR FERNDALE FRIENDS, at least ten years ago, was called “Leave Your Leaves,” and was about the benefits of allowing leaves to rot on the ground. My formerly-sandy soil is now rich and filled with worms. Leaving leaves seemed worth it for this reason alone. Avoiding the environmental cost of the leaf trucks was another plus, since they’re usually diesel and usually very low-mileage. Now a number of researchers have pointed out that leaf litter is full of moth and butterfly eggs and even chrysalides and cocoons, and a number of things birds like and need. Leaving your leaves, or raking them into your flower beds, is so multi-­beneficial, I hope it’s soon the norm.

Becky Hammond lives in Ferndale and changes her mind as situations warrant.

By: Jeff Milo, Circulation Specialist

HALLOWEEN: OUR FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR IS GETTING NEAR! The library has always opened its doors on the last weekend before All Hallow’s Eve for a kid-friendly party – but we’ve particularly taken things up a notch over the last five years, and we’re always changing things up with a new, fun theme for our staff costumes.

This year’s Ferndale Library Spooktacular is Saturday Oct. 27 (5:00-7:00 P.M.), embracing a Charlie Brown-esque theme of a “Great Pumpkin Party!” In fact, to follow through on the nostalgia factor, this year’s theme will be iconic characters from children’s literature!” So, think Charlotte’s Web, Bunnicula, or Willy Wonka…, you’re sure to see some familiar faces from your favorite books! Join us for cider and donuts, crafts and games for kids, and a chance to trick-or-treat through the library!It’s free, and no registration is required.

ONE THOUSAND BOOKS BEFORE KINDERGARTEN: We’re inviting families to win prizes for every 100 books they complete with their toddlers (or babies) during the “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” early literacy program. This nation-wide challenge encourages parents and caregivers to regularly read aloud to their children; it’s a fun and effective way for parents to assure their little ones are ready for kindergarten. The simple and enjoyable act of sharing a book with a child before they start kindergarten helps them learn pre-reading skills, such as understanding the sounds letters make, developing a bigger vocabulary, and building comprehension skills. Participants are eligible right up until the day their child starts kindergarten. Prizes (for every 100 completed books) will be awarded in the Kids Corner, and we’ll also add a leaf to our Reading Tree.

NEW STORYTIME: Saplings! We’re continuing our tree themed storytime titles with the unveiling of “Saplings.” Joining our family tree, along with “Sprouts,” “Buds” and “Uprooted,” we’ve got a new interactive storytime (for ages 3-6) that will be hosted in the evenings. For parents who aren’t able to make it to our morning storytimes, we’ll host the “Saplings” events on the third Monday of every month. “Saplings” will also have an age-appropriate craft-focused program on the third Saturday of every month. No registration will be required for either event. We’ll start “Saplings” with a storytime on Mon., Oct. 15th at 6:30 P.M., followed by the first crafts program on Sat., Oct. 20 at 2:00 P.M.

COMING UP IN OCTOBER: The Clean Water Campaign (CWC) for Michigan will be here on Thursday, Oct. 25 (6:30-8:00 P.M.). The CWC uses music and storytelling to spread awareness, and builds an informed constituency around clean water issues.

Then, just before Halloween, on Oct. 30 (4:00-8:00 PM) the Book Club of Detroit will be celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Frankenstein’s print edition with a screening of the original film, discussions about Mary Shelley’s immortal novel, and a fun costume contest. We’ll also have a new art exhibition by Ferndale High School graduate and Artist In You finalist Espacia Fotiu, on display through Nov. 5th.

First Stop Friday live music series: Nov. 2, 7:30-9:30 P.M.
Adulting 101: Money Milestones (Budgeting for the Big Stuff) Nov. 8, 6:30-8:00 P.M;
Songwriting Workshop with Jill Jack, Nov, 13, 6:30-8:00 P.M..
For more information, follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/FerndalePublicLibrary/.

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Judge Rudy Serra

By Rudy Serra

Q: I HAVE A JUDGEMENT AGAINST SOMEONE and they still refuse to pay. They drive a nice car, have top-of-the-line phones and computers, and constantly spend money on expensive jewelry. What can I do?

ANSWER: A court speaks only through its written orders and a judgment is an order of the court. Unless it is enforced, it is only a piece of paper.

The practice of “collecting” on a debt is now highly regulated. Debt collectors are subject to many limitations.

The process of getting a court “judgement” is one of the steps that must be taken to collect a debt without the cooperation of the debtor. Once you have the judgement, there are other steps required.

Before you can get the court to help you seize property, you need to know where it is located and who really owns it. The court rules provide a “creditor’s examination” procedure to allow creditors to question a debtor under oath about bank ac-counts and other assets. Titles to vehicles are easily proven and other personal property can be connected to the debtor in other ways.

Assuming the target of your judgement is “collectible” and you know they have valuable personal assets not real estate), you usually must wait 21 days after the judgment is issued. Then, you can go back to the judge who entered it and file a “request and order to seize property.”

A “request and order to seize property” applies to “personal property” and allows a court officer or deputy sheriff to seize the defendants’ personal property, such as cars, tools, jewelry, business equipment, cash and bank accounts.

The order allows the court officer to sell property after ten days, deduct their statutory fees and expenses, and return the remaining funds to the plaintiff. Court officers and deputy sheriffs sometimes are involved in property seizures and often do such work by contract. Some counties have a unit in the sheriff’s department for this purpose. The amounts deducted are spelled out by law, and again, other requirements exist to seize real estate.

JUDGE RUDY REPORTS is a regular feature in Ferndale Friends. We welcome 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.

I NEED A FAVOR FROM ALL THE SENIORS IN FERNDALE. It’s not big, but, it is important.

Why do I need this favor? I’m hearing that seniors feel a little left out with respect to the cultural and educational aspects of Ferndale, and that you want to learn things, be entertained, and socialize with your peers.

You’ve said that you don’t want to do the bars or in general hang out with young, noisy people consuming adult drinks. I get it, I don’t either anymore. We need to get more information from you, as to what you want, what time of the day, and where.

I understand that you want classes geared to seniors. But what subject matter? Do you want a series? Or maybe just one-time lectures? Do you want to learn something and, if so, what? Nutrition, scam-prevention, knitting, drawing, health, art appreciation, history of Detroit?

The reason for this pathway of thinking is that our senior group is not growing. Together with the apparent needs of seniors not in our group, this makes me wonder if we could do more to answer the needs of those who aren’t members.

After all, we are all in the same boat. We all have already lived full lives. Now is the time to have a little fun.

Learn a new skill, learn how to know what a painting is telling us, find out about the streets of Detroit from the past. The possibilities are endless.

Some of these things you can get now at the Kulick Center, and by attending senior meetings. We have a knitting group with a capable teacher. At our meetings, we routinely have speakers from the DIA, Detroit Historical, scam experts, nutrition experts. We also have fun stuff like card parties, tea parties, pot luck lunches. We travel to cider mills, unique restaurants, museums, shopping trips, even the Detroit River walk!

All that said, a person has to know about these things to take advantage of them. I was astounded to talk to a man yesterday who had no idea that the senior group even existed. This leads to the question of where do you folks get your information on what is happening in Ferndale? We publicize on Facebook, as well as with flyers at the Center. Clearly, this isn’t enough if people are unaware of it.

Our Senior Group meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 11:00 A.M. at the Kulick Center. Ask at the front desk for a copy of the newsletter, and you can read about our upcoming events.

SO, HERE IS THE FAVOR: Please call me. My number is at the end of this column. Tell me how you get information on happenings. Tell me what classes or lectures you would at-tend. Tell me if it’s day or night classes or lectures. We can’t help if we don’t know.

Or just attend a meeting to see what we are all about. We promise we won’t grab you and sell you into slavery. At least not at the first meeting.

Call me.
Jeannie Davis, 248 541 5888

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HELP STILL WANTED: Physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners. Do you have three hours a month to volunteer in the fabulous FernCare Free Clinic? You can be retired but need to have kept your practicing license current.

Upcoming clinic sessions:
Saturday mornings 9:00 to Noon : Oct. 20/Nov. 3/Nov. 21/Dec. 4.
Thursday evenings 6:00–8:30 : P.M.: Oct. 11/Oct. 25/Nov. 8/Dec. 6/Dec. 20.

If you have any questions, e-mail our Head Nurse, Diane Dengate at dengate436@aol.com or go to www.ferncare.org and pull down the Volunteers tab, complete the application and send it to Diane.

Lift a glass of a charming fall red wine or a great bubbly! Leon & Lulu is once again hosting a huge fund-raiser for us on Nov. 18, Sunday all day. FernCare volunteers will be there from 1:00 to 4:30 P.M. with finger foods from Dino’s Catering and, once again, three great wines for tasting. Amanda Wahl always finds wines that are spectacular. This is our seventh year with Leon & Lulu, please come by. Leon & Lulu 96 W. 14 Mile Road, Clawson 48017.

FernCare is still scheduling new patient appointments a month out, call 248-677-2273. If you cannot wait that long, there are two free clinics with available appointments much sooner than that:
Bernstein Community Health Clinic, 45580 Woodward Ave., Pontiac MI 48341, 248-309-3752.
HUDA Clinic, 13420 Woodrow Wilson, Detroit MI 48213, 313-444-5490.

If you need more resources, please call the clinic and ask for Carolyn Barr. She has the lists of all the free clinics and the services they offer in the area.

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

MEDICATION/MEDICAL EQUIPMENT COLLECTION: Bring medications and some equipment (see list below) to the Clinic on either the first or third Saturday of each month or anytime weekdays between 9:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. We take medications only from people not medical clinics, physician’s offices or nursing homes. Of course we will continue to take medications and the medical supplies below from churches and social groups that collect from their members.

FernCare now only accepts:
Vision and hearing aids equipment.
No-longer-used medications.
Small medication vials. No opaque vials and bottles.
Disposable diapers, all sizes.
Disposable bed liners, all sizes.

Take controlled substances, psychotropic medications or muscle relax-ants to the Ferndale Police, 310 E. Nine Mile in Ferndale. They have a collection receptacle in the lobby.

You can always take medical equipment to World Medical Relief, 21725 Melrose Ave. in Southfield MI 48075, 313-866-5333, one block north of 8 Mile at Lahser. Any very heavy equipment. Hospital beds, for example, can be picked up at no cost to you by World Medical Relief.

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GO COMEDY! IMPROV THEATER’S monthly storytelling show, Let’s Just Say, takes a turn towards the terrifying this month with a live Ghost Stories show.

The event will take place on Thursday, October 11 at 9:30 P.M. at 261 East 9 Mile Road in Ferndale. It will feature local writers and performers telling stories about their brushes with the paranormal. The lineup includes John E.L. Tenney, nationally-recognized para­normal investigator, who has appeared on numerous television shows including Ghost Stalkers and Paranor­mal Lockdown.

Producer and host Amy Oprean explains that Let’s Just Say is zeroing in on the reason for the season: Terrify­ing ourselves and others. “Usually I choose a theme that’s broad enough that most people can come up with a story from their life that fits,” Oprean said.

“This month, however, I was much more specific. All of the storytellers have encountered, or at one point thought they’d encountered, a ghost.” Audience members can expect to be at the edge of their seats for many of the storytellers, though things might also get introspective. “People love telling stories, but they especially love tell­ing ghost stories,” Oprean said. “Why is that? It’s an interesting question, and it makes me wonder if there will be any common themes between stories.”

Above all, Oprean says the show will leave you feeling spooked. “My hope is people leaving the theater will be checking for ghosts over their shoulders as they go.”

Tickets for the event are $10 and can be purchased in advance at gocomedy.net or in person at the Go Comedy box office. For more information on Let’s Just Say, visit www.facebook.com/LetsJustSayGoComedy.

By Andrea G.
Photos By Bernie LaFramboise

THIS YEAR, HOWE’S BAYOU IS CELEBRAT­ING ITS 20TH YEAR OF CREOLE CUISINE ON WOODWARD A VENUE. The Ferndale classic is known for their New Orlean’s-inspired decor and menu. The restaurant offers a transportive experience, with each visit featuring rotating food specials and specialty cocktails.

As one of Ferndale’s longest operational restaurants on Woodward, the Howe’s Bayou family has watched Ferndale grow around them. Owner Michael Hennes has been running the restaurant since nearly the beginning, after taking over for the original owner a year and a half into operations. Although he was working at a nonprofit at the time, Hennes took an inspiring trip to New Orleans which helped make his decision to take on the restaurant. Hennes calls it a pleasure to be among Ferndale’s unique dining options and to watch the city blossom from within the heart
of it.

The restaurant has a low turn-over rate, with many employees spending years on the team delivering deliciousness. One employee in particular, Will Webb, has been with the restaurant since opening day, working as an integral part of the Howe’s Bayou kitchen. The low turn-over rate is a sign of a great place to work, but also a sign that the entire staff has combined their talents to create a family dynamic. The team effort of coming up with new treats and sustaining the welcoming atmosphere helps make Howe’s Bayou stand out amongst neighboring restaurants. The accommodating service is consistently cited as one of the highlights of visiting.

Howe’s Bayou focuses on famously New Orleans dishes – gumbo, jambalaya, catfish, po-boys, and don’t forget about the shrimp. Homemade lobster bisque is among the rotating selection of fresh seafood. Their incredible bar comes up with seasonal creative craft cocktails, especially focused on bourbons and ryes. Louisiana beers and boutique wines are also available to pair with the southern dishes.

The restaurant doesn’t have a specific date for an anniversary, so they will celebrate their 20th year of operation with events and specials throughout the rest of the year. Watch the restaurant’s web site, www.howesbayouferndale.net and their Facebook page for announcements of what is in the works. They are open for lunch and dinner and offer a happy hour Monday through Sunday from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. As Michigan cools down into winter, you can always warm up at Howe’s Bayou.

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By Maggie Boleyn

RECENTLY, SHOPPING EVENTS HAVE BEGUN POPPING UP IN SUPPORT OF LOCAL BUSINESSES: “Small Business Saturday,” which encourages shoppers to buy local at  small shops, is celebrated on the  Saturday after Thanksgiving, and “Buy Nearby,” held the first weekend  in October, is devoted to finding,  celebrating, and shopping at  businesses in your own city.

Shoppers familiar with Western Market on West Nine Mile Road practice “Buy Nearby” all year round.

Tony Selvaggio, his brother Steve Selvaggio, and Steve’s wife Virginia Selvaggio opened the market back in 1983. Ferndale residents, as well as shoppers from north Detroit, Oak Park, Hazel Park, and Pleasant Ridge have been coming to Western Market forever including some of Southeast Michigan’s premier chefs. While Western Market’s appeal transcends the borders of Ferndale, the owners remain dedicated to the neighborhood.

“Western Market is a true community business that serves its neighbors by meeting an essential need – to eat well – 362 days of the year,” said Steve. “We work hard every day to enrich the lives of our customers and the producers who make and grow the products we offer.”

Shopping at nearby small markets spurs the local economy. According to the National Grocers Association, independent supermarkets in Michigan generate $3.11 billion in annual revenue statewide, and employ nearly 30,000 people. Shoppers at Western Market can consistently expect to find unique local and artisan foods, carefully selected wines, craft beer and cheeses. Western Market is also a very reliable source for fresh flowers, potted herbs, and seasonal plants.

CUSTOMERS CREDIT WESTERN MARKET’S STAFF with providing a superior shopping experience. “While I love going to Western Market for the amazing high-quality selections, the people that work there are the reason I keep coming back,” said Paul Fradeneck, bar manager at Mabel Gray in Hazel Park and a Ferndale resident.

Employees come from the surrounding cities, and you might find a student from Ferndale High School working in the store.

“We work with a program at Ferndale High School that brings high school students here to work at the market,” Tony explains. “We have participated for the last three year, and once hired a student who first came to us through this program.”

Western Market also has longtime employees. Fahdel Alameer has worked at Western Market for 21 years, ever since he came to the United States. “This was my first job,” he said. “I try to always make everything beautiful and nice for our customers here in the produce department.” One thing he remembers from his early days is the price of produce. “Oranges used to be ten for a dollar, now they are a dollar or more,” he noted.

Albert Garcia, Western Market’s nut and candy buyer, is in his first year with Western Market. “First, I was a customer here, and I became an employee,” he said. “My first day happened to be my birthday. Tony took the time to come over and talk to me, wish me a happy birthday. I thought it was such a good indication of what it would be like to work here.”

Executive Chef Keri Winne oversees all in-house food preparation and catering offered at Western Market. Over the past decade, the addition of beverage experts like Jarred Gild, product development director, and Putnam Weekley, wine director, further expanded this footprint for the market.

“We’ve changed as the community and its needs have changed,” said Steven. “We’re proud to have great employees and they make up a big part of our success as a business.”

Western Market is located in Ferndale at 447 W. Nine Mile Road. Learn more by connecting with Western Market online at @westernmkt on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.