Oct / Nov 2016

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By H.G. Laurence

Jill Jack and The American Songbook Band has come out with a CD of American standards and, as a Ferndale resident of 20 years, she wishes to share the release of the CD, ALL OF ME, first with the residents of her hometown. The CD covers American classic singers from Billy Holiday to Sinatra, and her band will be performing these songs for your enjoyment at Local Kitchen & Bar on November 10.

A winner of 38 Detroit Music Awards, Jack has played a variety of music covering everything from pop to rock. ff15620_jilljack_chairBefore ALL OF ME, she and her band had already released ten CDs. Her taste in music is quite diverse, but the desire to play standards has always been something she carried with her. As a child, Jack’s parents often brought her to a piano bar they liked to frequent, to foster her musical growth. Learning to play songs by Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and Billy Holiday, Jack was taught by an 80-year-old lifelong musician. Her early experiences in the piano bar taught her the appreciation of some of America’s greatest classics.

While playing the Detroit Institute of Arts concert series, Jack and her band-mates discussed the idea of ff15620_jilljack_selfiecovering American standards, to fulfill her long time desire. They put their vision to work and, over four days in the studio, they recorded nine songs for this new CD.

On November 10, Jill Jack and the American Songbook Band will bring their CD release party to Ferndale’s Local Kitchen. She and her band-mates chose this location to bring business to the town they love, and to support small businesses within the community.

The Event Room doors will open at 7:00 P.M., with the concert starting at 7:30 P.M. & ending at 10:00 P.M. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com for $20-$50. Further information on this special concert and the Jill Jack and the American Songbook Band can be found through jilljack.com. They look forward to sharing this celebration with you.

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By Mary Meldrum

Deanne Iovan has been a volunteer for over a year at Ferndale’s Cat Shelter. Unlike other animal shelters, this one has no real brick-and-mortar address. The Cat Shelter in Ferndale relies on brisk adoption and wonderful foster homes to take in the cats that it accepts. Along with this support, the Cat Shelter recently opened the Catfe Lounge on Livernois in Ferndale.

The Catfe Lounge is a brick-and-mortar location – actually a large room – where cats, kittens and humans ff15622_di_catcan enjoy each other’s company. Coffee, tea and juice are offered and donations are very welcome here, in this immersive experience of feline and human energy. Deanne explains that the Catfe Lounge was the easiest and least expensive way to give cats exposure to humans and other cats. The socialization is important and works for the most part. Cats learn to tolerate each other and human interaction, and humans can come and really get to know a cat or kitten before deciding to adopt.

There are a few couches, chairs and tables, but the overall focus of the place is geared for the cat’s experience, with beds, ladders, toys, cat playscapes and bowls of food and water scattered about the room. This nonprofit organization has grown a lot over the last year, and the original thought was to build out the Catfe Lounge to include a larger coffee shop and an actual shelter so they could care for more cats. Over time, the Cat Shelter saw that the physical space of the Lounge has been good for the community and good for the cats. While they are still in need of an actual shelter for new quarantines, and kittens and mother cats, the Catfe Lounge has become a home for many kittens and cats while they wait to be adopted, and they wander about at their leisure.

The Cat Shelter recently took in over 50 cats and kittens from a hoarding situation. Cats were locked in a damp, hot basement in cages of a home. Many of the animals were sick and would have been euthanized if given to other rescues. Ferndale’s Cat Shelter is a no-kill shelter, and they scooped up all the kitties they could, calling on several of their veterinarian supporters to help with the initial care of the cats. The local veterinarians stepped up and helped care for the cats that needed medical attention. They are waiting patiently since these vets accepted the fact that the Cat Shelter would have to make payments in order to make good on their vet bills.

Now almost $10 thousand dollars in debt from this rescue of 50 cats, they need your help. To make a donation, please go to: www.youcaring.com/FCSmedical

The Cat Shelter has a goal to get a shelter space in the next year. In order to make that goal, they could use help in other areas, such as more volunteers, more fosters, donations of wet and dry kitten food and KMR ff15622_fcs(kitten milk substitute), cleaning supplies and of course more money. And if anyone has a building or space that they could donate for the shelter, please get in touch with the Cat Shelter.
The Cat Shelter and Deanne would like to extend a special thank you to Liz Blondy, owner of Canine to Five in Ferndale on Nine Mile, for providing much-needed space during the three weeks that the Cat Shelter was rescuing the 50 kittens and cats. Without their own facility, the Ferndale Cat Shelter would not have been able to save all the animals without a place to quarantine and organize the cats and cages that came out of that basement.

By Nicholas Ray
Photos by Bernie LaFramboise

I met Carol Teegardin at the Rustbelt Market on 9 Mile this past weekend at the annual Funky Ferndale Art Fair to discuss the play she has written, “Strawberry: What Party.” She’d written a book of the same title, published three years rior, chronicling the tragic and mysterious murder of Tamara Greene in 2003. The murder eventually became a major news story, and led to investigations that brought down a political dynasty and changed the course of Detroit history.

“Strawberry: What Party” tells the story of a party that allegedly happened the year before at the Manoogian ff15644_dd_bookMansion, the City-owned residence of the mayor of Detroit at the time, Kwame Kilpatrick. According to press accounts, Ms. Greene was one of several women working as exotic dancers at the private party hosted by the mayor, with several of the mayor’s friends in the house. And, we’d never ave likely heard about it except for the mayor’s wife allegedly assaulting Ms. Greene and the other exotic dancers at that party.

There are few unsolved murders in the history or Detroit more infamous or pivotal as the tragic death of Tamara Greene in the spring of 2003. The 27-year-old exotic dancer and entrepreneur was shot to death by a drive-by shooter that April and the case remains unsolved to this day. Ms. Teegardin spent years as a successful columnist for The Detroit News, but she remained committed to her goal of being an investigative journalist. “I’d always wanted to do the Bernstein/Woodward thing.”

And in Strawberry, she has certainly achieved just that, working as hard in retirement as she ever did for the Detroit News. Over a five-year period, she interviewed dozens of primary sources involved in all areas of the case, many of them more than once. She spoke with friends and family of Ms. Greene, her church pastor, and even attended a number of family events.

When it comes to identifying who actually murdered Tamara Greene, Teegardin doesn’t come to a definite conclusion. This might disappoint some readers, especially those who have their own theories (and there are plenty of those). What she does, however, is infinitely more nuanced and arguably far more interesting. Ms. Teegardin walks her readers through the intricate twists and turns, the seemingly contradicting evidence of the case, and describes how Greene’s murder became such a huge story, and how it led to the series of circumstances that would eventually bring down the Kilpatrick administration and end a political dynasty in Detroit.

No one should be fooled by Ms. Teegardin’s small stature. The book was a monstrous effort on her part, requiring an immense amount of commitment that seems so typical of “old-school journalists” like Teegardin. Not only did she edit the book herself, she also self-financed its publication in a number of unorthodox ways.

“It was the most fun thing I’ve ever done,” she smiled and nodded. “It was a dream come true.”
The Tamara Greene and Kwame Kilpratrick story never seems to go away completely. In fact,  Teegardin sold every book she had on the day I met her. Maybe her dream is coming true.

The stage production will debut at Marlene Boll Theatre on January 20, 2017, and will be about 90 minutes in duration. The production will be directed by award-winning director Mary Bremer-Beer.

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By Maggie Boleyn

Whoever said, “If you remember the ’60s, you weren’t really there” clearly never met Tom Coleman, who has just published a book called “Growing Up in Ferndale: A Baby Boomer’s Memories of Life in Mid-Century Suburban Detroit.” Not only was Coleman really there, his memories are a treasure trove for readers of all ages. “I feel that my experiences in Ferndale – whether good, bad, or somewhere in-between – contributed to who I am today,” he says.

For those who weren’t there, Coleman explains: “The 1960s ushered in an era of social, political, and religious upheaval. Just as these changes had a major impact on the larger society around me, they
also profoundly affected the way I thought and felt about myself and others.”

Baby boomers and history buffs of all ages will enjoy the description of the shopping available in the Nine ff15651_book1Mile and Woodward area in the ’60s. Some familiar names that Coleman mentions are Federal’s Department Store, Kresge’s, F&M Drugstore, Sander’s Candy Store, Winkelman’s Clothing, Hagelstein’s Bakery, Betty Murray Hair Shop, and an A&P Supermarket. A few of these can be seen on the cover picture of the book.

Coleman says he wants readers “to get a sense of what life was like for young people growing up in Ferndale, and America in general, during this transitional and often turbulent era, of the 1960s.” He notes that, “Life for young people today is so much different.” He notes that his life was shaped by “a variety of sources: church, school, family, friends, and television personalities.”

Coleman noted, “I realize that the experiences of my classmates may be much different than mine. But some of our shared experiences and memories will be similar. For memories of mine that are different, perhaps they will help a few dozen Baby Boomers who grew up in Ferndale see those two decades from a different perspective.”

Coleman attended St. James, and remembers his graduation class of 1966 with “deep and lasting affection.” One of his classmates, Sandy Fontiane, remembers Coleman as “an advocate for the underdog.”

Indeed, the idea for this book was born when Coleman decided to attend the 50-year reunion of his graduation from St. James. “Memories started to emerge, and I decided I should do something productive with them. I started writing, and soon realized that a book was emerging,” he said.
Coleman says that it took only two weeks to write the book, writing 60 to 70 hours a week. “It was effortless,” he said.  “It was almost as though I was channeling information from another dimension.”

Coleman says when he’s not writing, “I challenge authority.” From looking at “Growing Up in Ferndale,” this is nothing new for Coleman. Whether he was standing up to the “nuns with yardsticks,” or organizing 35 Detroit Newsboys, Coleman was, and remains, an active supporter of various causes. He has spent the last nine years focused on persons with disabilities in general and on adult guardianship issues in particular.

“For the past three years, I have devoted thousands of hours of professional time, pro bono, to reform the adult guardianship systems operated by the states, particularly in California, but more recently expanding nationally,” he said. “These systems are supposed to protect vulnerable adults but too often unnecessarily take away the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.” He plans to write a treatise of standards aimed at legal and mental health professionals. He notes that this scholarly legal text will take much longer to write than two weeks.

“Growing Up in Ferndale.” is Coleman’s third book, and he dedicated his work to his classmates, both living and deceased, from the Class of 1966. “We may be scattered throughout the United States, and have lived very different lives with a wide range of occupational and professional interests, but we share a common bond nonetheless. We spent many of our most formative years together – at St. James and in Ferndale – and, at least for me, those memories endure.”

By: Rudy Serra

Q: HOW DO I DROP A PERSONAL PROTECTION THAT I FILED?
Answer: In answering your question, I assume you mean a Personal Protection Order, or PPO.

A PPO is an order from the court telling another person to stop certain behavior or they will be arrested and prosecuted. A petition for a PPO is a civil action between two private individuals. The proceedings are always in circuit court. Violating the court’s civil order can still lead to jail time for contempt of court. Once an order is issued, violating the civil court order can result in criminal prosecution. If you have a PPO to stop stalking and there is a violation, the person who violated the order can be charged with the crime of aggravated stalking.

A PPO will not be granted unless the person seeking it is illegally threatened. You cannot get a PPO to impede legitimate business. A court will not grant a PPO against your landlord that prevents him for collecting rent or evicting. A PPO can be granted in cases of domestic violence, or in cases involving stalking behavior, such as harassing calls and threats. A list of conduct that can be forbidden (such as sending mail, or showing-up at your work place) is included on the petition you file asking for the PPO.

The answer as to how to “drop” the order depends a lot on what you mean by “filed” and what stage you’re at. If by “filed” you mean that you have completed a circuit court petition for a PPO that has not yet been heard or granted, you should go back to the court and notify the clerk that you want to withdraw your petition. If by “filed” you mean that a PPO has been granted (either with or without hearing) then you should file a written request to terminate the PPO. You can do this by going to the same court that granted the order. There is a form available on-line for a motion to terminate or modify a PPO. If your PPO was granted after a hearing, then you will certainly be required to file a formal written request to terminate it. The judge may set a date to require you to come to court to testify on the record about why you no longer feel you need a PPO. PPOs are routinely granted without attorneys being involved.  Nonetheless, it is often helpful to have counsel. If a PPO is issued against you, there is limited time to fight it, and having legal counsel is even more important.

JUDGE RUDY REPORTS is a regular feature in Ferndale Friends. This ¨ask the lawyer¨ format column 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.

By Jenn Goeddeke

Northern Auto Repairs, located at 27201 Woodward Ave in Berkley, recently received an impressive award through Channel 4 in Detroit. The competition involved the votes of Metro Detroit residents. Voting lasted for most of the summer, from June 13 up until August 7, with over 12,000 businesses on the list in 300 categories. Hundreds of thousands of voters participated last year!

Northern Auto placed in the ‘top winners’ group previously, for the years 2010 and 2015,  in competing for the same award. They have also been honored with the Angie’s List “Super Service” Award for two years in a row, and won first place in 2013 for the City Voter Detroit A-List contest.

Founded in 1970 by John Bures, and currently run both by Bures and his wife Kamile Bures, this auto shop prides itself on providing quality service. This year marks their 46th birthday, and they are the second oldest family business in the Berkley area.

In response to winning, Kamile Bures explained, “…this award confirms that providing auto repair services with integrity is highly-valued and recognized by our clientele…we strongly believe in a family owned, local business just like ours, where we can create a personable and friendly atmosphere!” She added, “…the relationships we have built span generations…it truly feels like a big happy family. We even welcome four-legged friends in the waiting lobby!”

Another contributing factor to the Bures’ success in running Northern Auto is providing a two-year/24K miles warranty. Providing this kind of warranty is rare for independent auto repair shops. It shows confidence in workmanship, and in the quality of parts used. They believe in going that ‘extra mile’ to take care of clients, such as providing a free local shuttle service; providing a $12.50 rental car option; cleaning clients’ cars, and even leaving a surprise gift in the car when clients pick up!

Northern Auto Repairs can be reached at: 248.548.9666.
For more information, check out their website: www.northernautorepairs.com or their Facebook page: facebook.com/NorthernAutoRepairsBerkley.
Open hours are: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 8:00am-5:30pm; Tuesday, 8:00am-7:00pm;
Saturday & Sunday, Closed.

Story by Rose Carver
Photos By Bernie LaFramboise

Jerry Vile has been an integral figure in Detroit arts culture for over two decades. Once described as the “Undisputed Kingpin of Detroit’s art racket,” this imaginative mystic has more up his wizard’s sleeve to contribute to the world of creation.

A painter, a photographer, a master party thrower; Vile (or Peterson, which he says is his slave name) has never been one to squander his vision to reach mainstream status.

Many remember him from his time as the founder and publisher of the irreverent Orbit Magazine, while others may know him from his annual erotically expressive and somewhat deviant art showcase, the Dirty Show. Others still may remember his famous additions to Detroit monuments of 2013, such as the giant Crisco can next to “The Fist.”

Vile lived in Ferndale in the ‘80s, and according to him, his presence was the main reason it became cool. Vile says he learned everything from watching TV, but he was inspired early on by comic book artists like Robert Crumb, Max Fleischer and Ralph Steadman.

Orbit Magazine was born at the dawn of the ‘90s, and is now still very alive in legend and in plastic covers of historical preservation. His alternative magazine focused on arts, culture, satire, and stayed out of the realm of the political. One of Vile’s earlier magazines, which served as a starting point for Orbit, Fun magazine, was a “free humor” satirical publication, which was around two years before The Onion. Vile is and always has been a true innovator of Detroit’s alternative arts scene, and he continues his legacy every year with the Dirty Show, which usually occurs in February. It is now in its 18th year, which Vile says is the longest he’s ever done anything. He said that the motivation for the first show was simply to impress his friends and to amuse people.

“The Dirty Show is an accident.  It was just a theme, fortunately it became a hit,” Vile said. “This is our 18th year. We are legal. It takes a lot more now to amuse people, so it is challenging, which is why it is still interesting.” The experience of the Dirty Show, as Vile describes it, is reliant upon the viewer and the way they will view the artwork. Past Dirty Shows integrate a wide variety of types of art mediums. Artwork within the shows theme is chosen by a panel that includes Vile. The true party is during the art shows opening, when one can dress up, and express their subconscious desires with leather or flesh. Every year there is a special guest, and while next years celeb has yet to be announced, in 2015 the show welcomed the likes of such royalty as filmmaker John Waters.

While The Dirty Show may be his magnum opus, sexual themes aren’t the pinnacle of his interests as an artist. Vile says he often draws creatures and rarely starts out with a planned vision going into the process –but no matter what, his conceptions are never textbook.

“I just sit and my hand starts moving with the brush and I figure out what it is after I paint,” Vile said. “Sometimes I will try to paint something, but it is not what my subconscious wants to paint so something different comes out. Its like spirit writing or something.”

Perhaps he is an artist who is truly tapped in. Interested persons will have a chance to discover “The Oracle of Vile.” On November 4th, Vile has an art show called “God’s Mysteries Elucidated” which is a show of illuminated proportions. This night shall prove to be a night of “A Most Curious Re-emergence.” The show stars Vile, walking among his works of paintings, sculptures, photography, and installations. The show guarantees to be the best art show you’ve ever seen, or your money back. The show is at Tangent Gallery, from 7-10pm.

For now, this sorcerous creator can be found at the Russell Industrial Complex, where he works in his studio. As for his future, Jerry Vile could see himself wandering to LA, New York, or London, continuing to follow his artistic aspirations. He said Detroit is a great city for creating art, but not so much for making money or getting known. As for his artistic future; Vile aims to never disappoint the true heart of what he does, never compromising his soul to sell out.

“Artistically, I do not want to be ‘arty band in t-shirt, shoe-gazing while playing highly intelligent music’ – I want to be Alice Cooper, Bowie or Kiss. These are the bands that created punk rock. I don’t need the mainstream viewer, I think there are a lot of disenfranchised art fans art there,” Vile said. “The mainstream can come to me when I am no longer relevant.”

By Ferndale Schools Superintendent Blake Prewitt

AS WE BEGIN A NEW SCHOOL YEAR, I am very excited to announce the implementation of a
new reading intervention program at Ferndale High School. The addition of this program is the direct result of Jack and Annette Aronson’s incredible commitment to the students of Ferndale High School. The Aronsons, lifelong Ferndale residents and founders of Garden Fresh Gourmet, reached out to me this past summer about implementing a reading intervention program for the 2016-2017 school year. To fund the startup of the program, the Aronsons generously agreed to pledge $100,000! The costs of the program include a full-time reading specialist, new laptop computers, flexible classroom furniture, and the READ 180 reading intervention program.

The READ 180 program targets individual students’ needs and accommodates instruction (and practice) in the specified areas. It uses multiple methods to reach the students’ goals: whole group instruction, small group instruction, computer activities, and silent reading time. Students are selected for the program based on test scores and previous year’s grades.
“If we can help students with reading skills and get them to read at grade level, we help them with all subjects. That means better grades overall, which translates to more opportunities.  This intervention will help them feel more confident,” said Ferndale Reading Specialist  Stephanie Scobie. “I have explained the program to the students by likening it to circuit training for your brain. The design of the program allows for me to confer and differentiate for each student.”

What an incredible community we have where an alumnus of Ferndale Schools, Jack Aronson, is will-ing to give back to the students in such a substantial way. On behalf of the entire Ferndale Schools family, THANK YOU to Jack and Annette!

By Ann Heler, President, Board of Directors

Our Big News This Month Is….we are moving! Credit Union One has sold the block between Paxton and Leland, alley to E. Nine Mile. We will be doing the actual moving in late November, and are anticipating that our December clinics will be held at the new site. Our new address will be 751 E. Nine Mile in the Ferndale Plaza strip mall at the corner of Hilton and E. Nine Mile. Over the next two months…..more news and updates to come!

FERNCARE ONCE AGAIN IS SCHEDULING APPOINTMENTS at least a month out. If you cannot wait that long, there are two free clinics that have available appointments much sooner than that: (1) Bernstein Community Health Clinic, 45580 Wood-ward Ave., Pontiac MI 48341, 248-309-3752; (2) HUDA Clinic, 13420 Woodrow Wilson, Detroit MI 48213, 313-444-5490. A sliding fee clinic is Covenant Care Clinic, 27776 Woodward, Royal Oak MI 48067, 248-556-4900, across the street from the Westborn Market. It is a full-service clinic, and open 40 hours a week. They also take Healthy Michigan and Medicaid insured patients. They also have dental services at their clinic on Detroit’s East Side.

KATE BAKER, A FOUNDING MEMBER of FernCare just received one of the Esteemed Women of Michigan awards. Well deserved! Congratulations!

OUR NEXT FUNDRAISER is Sunday, November 1, at Leon&Lulu on 14 Mile Road in Clawson. This will be our fifth fundraiser with them. They kindly donate to us ten per cent of every item sold on that Sunday. Once again, we will have our sommelier (wine specialist) pick out three Fall wines for the wine tasting.

HEALTHY MICHIGAN and AFFORDABLE CARE ACT MARKETPLACE ENROLLMENT ASSISTANCE EXPANSION: Call the appointment line and tell them you want a health insurance appointment. Our insurance counselor is here on Wednesday evenings, 5:00 – 8:00 pm. Even if all you have is questions……call 248-677-2273.

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By Jeannie Davis

A FEW YEARS BACK, I WAS READING Don Levin’s first murder mystery, set in Ferndale and titled “Crimes of Love.” The main character, a detective, was interviewing a young struggling artist in his studio. As he turned to go, the detective noted that the artist was good, and the kid lit up. As he left, the detective ponders how we withhold approval and complimentary things just because we can.

That so struck me. Just because I can, I will with-hold telling you something that would make you feel good. I recognized this in myself. That little bit of nastiness that comes out. Do we do it to feel powerful? Are we spiteful? Will we feel threatened if this person feels good?

Whatever the rationale since I read that book, I have endeavored to tell people when I admire some-thing. Whether it is a quality they have, something they are wearing, or something they have accomplished. I sure wasn’t looking to change my outlook by reading a murder mystery, but, there you have it. I only hope that I have made people feel good along the way.

Again, many years ago, I was touring Cranbrook with the seniors. We had been there quite a while, and had seen a good bit of stuff already. Our guide asked if we wanted to see still one more garden. “Why not, we’re here now” barked Virginia. I turned and stared at her as she casually glanced around, completely unaware of the impact her statement had made on me.

I had always been a hurry-up, do-the-tour, get-done-and-go-home kind of person. No side trips, no detours. That incident changed my outlook, and now I can dawdle with the best of them and get more out of my experiences.

These are little things, and in the grand scheme of things not particularly life-changing, but they do help. Also, I am not saying that everything you hear and read necessarily has a message. However, we need to be open to receive these hints when they come.

My grandmother, who helped raise me, was a source of thought-provoking statements. She was a strong woman who tolerated no nonsense. Her husband froze to death one night. He was returning from yet another evening at the local bar. He left her broke to raise seven kids. And she did. She did well enough to be comfortable in her old age.

She always told me not to always be looking for a man. Her claim was that we only needed a man when we had a flat tire, or couldn’t get the lid off the pickles. Now that’s pretty clear advice, and I understood perfectly.

She wasn’t always so clear, and some of the things she said still puzzle me. One day as I was crying because the neighborhood kids wouldn’t play with me, she said: “You can lead a horse to water Jeanette, but before you push him in remember how bad a wet horse smells.” Now if you can figure out what she was saying, let me know. Please. Another thing she said if somebody was a complainer was: “He would kick if you hung him with a new rope.” Never figured out that one either.

I guess, we have to be open to meanings in everything. Not a bad way to be I suppose.