Oct / Nov 2016

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By: Kim Hart, Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce

WITH FLAVOR AS ITS THEME, the Ferndale Area Chamber is planning its annual 2016 Gala Thursday, November 10 held at The Rust Belt Market. As the Chamber’s largest fundraiser, “Our Local Flavor” will be all about promoting area restaurants and businesses. Chamber restaurants will be featuring some of their best dishes at our event. Also, national and local businesses will donate to our silent auction for the evening. Tickets are limited to 175 people, and are going quickly! Because the Chamber is member-funded, our Gala is extremely important. Members and non-members can get involved by donating to our silent auction and/or signing up to volunteer. This participation not only allows businesses the opportunity to get their faces in the public eye, it helps the Chamber remain a vital organization for our members and for the business landscape alike.

WHETHER YOU ROLLED OR STROLLED, “Sip. Stroll. Roll!” was a hit. Event participants had the opportunity to experience the atmosphere and excitement of the city of Ferndale. The event was not only well-received, but also provided a way for our community to come alive and get involved. With business owner and local organization volunteers, the event was a warm outreach initiative and another way to get Chamber members in front of the community. We appreciated ALL of our volunteers that made time that day to assist us. The event itself was an expansion of our city’s energy.

And, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect,” said Ferndale Area Chamber Executive Director and Event Organizer, Kim Hart. “The local establishments that participated in Sip. Stroll. Roll! were able to show-case signature wines, cocktails and delectable appetizers to entice participants to experience both food and drink in an inviting setting.” We look forward to next year and will continue on the tradition of sampling, taste and flavor.

TO KEEP THINGS ROLLING, A Guide to the Ferndale Area will be hitting the presses soon. Members will be featured in this exclusive resource magazine that includes valuable con-tact information, city maps, profiles, and photographs of our thriving business community and the people who make its heart beat. The publication is a keepsake. Our members look for-ward to sharing the “Guide”’ with their customers and clients.

WE HAVE PUT OUT A “SOFT LAUNCH” of our new web site, www.ferndaleareachamber.com. With the help of Hadrout Design and our Chamber intern Eliza Gogirla, we have been moving forward in executing and making changes to our new site.  We encourage you to take a look!

AS OF NOVEMBER 1, our office will be relocating to the main floor of Credit Union One on 400 East Nine in Ferndale.  We are very excited to enter our new space and we thank Credit Union One for accommodating us. Credit Union One in the process of selling the property we stood on to developers and plans are currently being worked on with the city.  Keep an eye out for this new development in Ferndale! Our phone, fax and emails will remain the same.

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By: Jeff Milo, Circulation Specialist

Halloween is right around the corner. I can’t think of any other sentence that brings me more joy. As we’ve proven year-in and year-out, you’ve got a library in your community that’s absolutely mad about this time of year, the costumes, the candy, the decorations…

On the last Saturday of October, we always host a SPOOKTACULAR, where kids (and families) can come trick-or-treating throughout the library, winding their way around book shelves and through the Kids Corner on a path that’s populated by friendly Ferndale Library staff and volunteers in spirited costumes, passing out candy. Each year we select a theme for our staff and volunteers to embrace, and this year we’ve blended two perennial favorites. It’s Fairy Tales vs. Super Heroes on October 29. Our SPOOKTACULAR begins at 6:00 P.M., right after the annual Downtown Ferndale Trick Or Treat event. Our regular hours close at 5:00 P.M. that day, but we will re-open at 6:00 P.M. SPOOKTACULAR’s usually wrap up by 7:30 P.M. Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. No registration required.

The Youth Department is accepting donations of sealed candy every day leading up to the SPOOKTACULAR. We also are looking for volunteers, so if you love Halloween as much as we do, call Jordan or Ashley (Youth Librarians) at 248-546-2504 ex. 694.

FIRST STOP FRIDAY: Meanwhile, we are marking a full month of being back open on Fridays! We had a great time celebrating the return of Friday hours last month when we hosted a casual carnival for the community, with live music, juggling, activities and games in our courtyard. Let’s keep the festive vibes going with even more live music next month!

Every two months, we host an after-hours concert showcasing two live bands (or musicians) in our community room. This program, spearheaded by our Head of Circulation Services, Kelly Bennett, began in 2010 as “First Stop Friday,” an ideal way to kick off your evening’s entertainment by-way-of a 7:30 P.M. performance in the library. In 2014, when we had to unfortunately cut back our hours, it became “Start HERE Saturdays.” Well…long story short, First Stop Friday concerts have returned! The series re-emerged on October 7. Stay tuned for more lineups, and mark your calendar for December 2.

COMING UP: Our Parent and Teacher Enrichment Series continues on November 15 at 6:00 P.M. These insightful programs are coordinated with Oakland Family Services. This segment features “Reading with Infants & Toddlers.” You can register in advance: 248-858-7766 x. 323.
And don’t forget, parents, to let your teens know about the Teen Advisory Group. Five awesome reasons to join T.A.G.: You can influence Library pro-grams. You get community service hours. You can meet other awesome teens. It looks great on resumes. And, free food. Next meeting: Nov 2nd, at 4:00 P.M.

Monday – Thursday 10:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Fridays 10:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Saturdays 12 Noon – 5:00 P.M.
Closed Sunday

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By Rebecca Hammond

BACKYARD HABITAT NEWS: This was the first banner year for hummingbirds in all my decades in Ferndale, especially last month. We had evenings of backups and battles, all punctuated by the tiny combination chirp/squeak that, once you recognize it, will alert you to hummers nearby. They are so small, so fast, it’s easy to miss them or think you glimpsed an insect.

But for the first time, I also had ant problems in feeders, keeping the birds away on occasion. Online solutions include Vaseline on the feeder’s hanger. While this halts the ants, birds can’t get it off their feathers. I found directions for an ant moat – nothing more than a container of water suspended above the feeder that ants can’t cross. Mine consists of the cap to the mint ant spray with which we have such success at our cab-in, a piece of coated wire, JB Weld to hold the wire in place, and a wad of foil inside that inner cap, to hold it all level. I melted the hole for the wire with a nail, bent crooks to keep the cap from sliding down it, and JB Weld-ed it. Online sources say caulk will work, but it did not for me. Wild Birds Unlimited in Royal Oak sells ant moats, if you prefer to buy. It works perfectly. I’m still seeing hummingbirds, and monarchs, as of September 26.

This was a bad year for monarchs here in SE Michigan, a winter storm having killed millions in Mexico, but by the end of August I was seeing them daily. I gathered and raised or gave away about 15 eggs, set-ting free three female monarchs from my yard. If you ever try this, you may be struck by how differently each caterpillar and butterfly behave. They are true individuals. Some are set free and cling to a leaf somewhere, seeming afraid to move, others zoom right off over the house, dodging bluejays like pros, in their first flight. The caterpillars can take greatly varying times to even choose a site to pupate. This was worrisome at first, interesting now. They know what to do.

The three best yard flowers for monarchs are common milkweed, purple coneflower (Ferndale’s official city flower), and goldenrod. All are natives, and hence just about un-killable. All will be visited by numerous other interesting guests, including chickadees, goldfinches, juncos (when cold weather is about to hit), and bees and butterflies.

FERNDALE BIKE NEWS: Not only do we have bike re-pair stands in three Ferndale locations (look for bright green, shiny stands with built-in pumps, and dangling tools), but also a new sign-led effort to keep cyclists walking on sidewalks, and avoiding collisions with pedestrians. The new signs for “Walk Your Wheels” show a walker and biker high-fiving, which I mistakenly saw at first as them fighting. Maybe the new program can help us avoid that! We’ve seen these repair stands on rail trails in the area, but our local ones have a big ad-vantage: you can take a bike right to them. Maybe you want to change out pedals and don’t own that wrench. Maybe you have one of those small pumps that are easy to carry, hard to inflate a tire with. You probably don’t live far from a repair stand. There is one at Wood-ward Heights and Wolcott, one near Nine Mile on Planavon, and one on the east side of Geary Park, along Pinecrest. Two great rail trails in the general area you may not know about: the Wadhams to Avoca trail, a bit west of Port Huron (terrific trestle), and the Southern Links Trailway, south of Frankenmuth, connecting Millington and Columbiaville. Maybe combine it with a trip to Frankenmuth and their Brewing Company.

PLEASANT RIDGE NEWS: Leslie Jones of the PR Environmental Committee tells me that longtime PR resident and professor of photography John Ganis will present his book, America’s Endangered Coasts: Photo-graphs from Texas to Maine on November 21, 7:00
P.M., PR Community Center, Ridge Road. Ganis’ book is a photographic journey of coastlines threatened by the rising waters in our planet’s warmer future. Colum-bia Earth Institute professor James Hansen, climatolo-gist and author of Storms of my Grandchildren, contributed an essay to Ganis’ book, and author/ activist Bill McKibben offered this comment: “The coasts we’ve always known are shifting before our eyes. John Ganis’s fine book helps us with the job of paying witness; may it spur us to the job of pre-venting further damage.” Ganis’ previous work includes “Danger Zone: Michigan’s Reichhold Chemical Plant,” exhibited at the Cranbrook Museum of Art and the book Consuming the American Landscape.

On a related note, yesterday another protest was held at the Straits of Mackinac in opposition to Line 5, the Enbridge pipeline crossing five miles of fast-moving open water, potentially disastrous should a rupture ever occur. I’ve been to a protest there myself, but decided this time to not use the substance carried by the pipeline to travel there in protest of it. Also in the news, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe is fighting to keep a pipeline from be-ing constructed near their water source in North Dakota. They are receiving great amounts of on-line support. And some of our Michigan tribes have traveled to join their ongoing stand.

Yet pipelines have two ends, a corporate end, and a consumer end. Our protests tend to focus on the corporate end, ignoring ours. The Dakota pipeline, if built, would run to the Midwest. I have yet to attend an oil protest that includes the idea of environmentalists considering our own oil use, and reducing it. If we want to tackle these multiple problems, that is long overdue.

Becky Hammond heaves a sign of pleasure every time a cool fall breeze blows through, and one of dismay every time we have to re-fight old battles. She’s lived in Ferndale since 1986.

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Story by David Stone
Photography by Ed Abeska

It started innocently enough, like any other writing assignment: Find out about the wonderful new bike ff15660_hmf_4repair stations located in Ferndale, including at Geary Park, Schiffer Park, and also at Wolcott and Woodward Heights. Then the story developed into something bigger, much bigger. The bike repair stations are part of what Ferndale City Planner Justin Lyons calls a “multimodal transportation plan” designed to provide “equitable transportation for all users, ages, and abilities.”

Here is the background.

According to the Ferndale Moves! Web site, the City passed what’s called the “Complete Streets” policy in 2010. The City Council decided to create this multimodal transportation plan in 2012. This plan became Ferndale Moves!

Ferndale works with the Woodward Avenue Action Association, which is working on a
“Complete Street Master Plan” that will benefit all of the Woodward Corridor. “The cities of Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, and Royal Oak were awarded a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant through MDOT and SEMCOG in 2015.” These funds enabled those ff15660_hmf_3communities to create a bicycle route that “will allow residents to connect with schools, libraries, and downtowns through Woodward Corridor communities without having to ride on Woodward Avenue.” The Ferndale Moves! Web site also points out that ‘the bicycle route will showcase the regional cooperation taken to complete the project.” This project included better “signage, improved pedestrian crossings and bike repair stations.”

So let’s meet one of the many people behind Ferndale Moves, Ferndale City Planner Justin Lyons. He has an undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and is finishing up his masters in urban planning at Wayne State University. Mr. Lyons has lived in Ferndale for two-and-a-half years, and has been our city planner for most of that time. I was surprised and pleased to learn that Justin Lyons rides his bicycle to work. As he puts it, “I use it as a mode of transportation.”

I asked Lyons why he felt Ferndale was a good place to locate a business. He responded by pointing out the “entrepreneurial character” of the city. He said residents are “receptive to new types of businesses.”  And that “a business can have true identity within a close-knit community.”

The bike repair station at Geary Park is very well located , along the stretch of park that runs parallel to ff15660_hmf_2Pinecrest and the bike route that follows Pinecrest. I must say, the site is amazing. You can hang up your bike while working on it. There is an air pump and a very impressive array of tools available to the knowledgeable biker. If you are like me — ignorant and afraid of tools — a sign gently calms you with a reassuring, “Scan code for detailed repair instructions.” Even the airpump, with its various attachments (Schrader and Presta), encourages you to “Scan code for information.”

Since all the signage isn’t up yet, you might not recognize the stations until you see the bicycle racks and the green post containing all the tools.

These stations are a wonderful way to encourage citizens of all ages, to bike rather than drive whenever possible. And enjoy our beautiful city.

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Story by Sara Teller
Photos by Ed Abeska

Nicole Rafaill, a Detroit native, opened State of the Art Framing & Gallery (located at 918 W. Nine Mile Rd.) ff15658_nr_1with her partner in 2005. “We love the Ferndale community, and have volunteered for both the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce and the DDA’s Board of Directors,” she says. Nicole, while “happy that I can share my passions with such a great community of people” didn’t exactly plan to become a personal trainer. “I started [to exercise] a few years ago when I was 35-years-old. I was working hard at my retail business and putting my health aside. I went to a party where someone took a picture of me, and brought it to me a few days later. I realized I needed to change.” She was 220 lbs.

At that point, Nicole began running, and dropped down to 195 lbs. “Then I started working with a personal trainer. We lifted weights, heavy weights. And my body responded. Not only did I lose  another 40 lbs, but, with good nutrition and consistent training, I gained lean muscle.”

After reaching her goal, “I was so excited about the changes I was seeing, and I was talking about weight training to everyone. I was so passionate about it that I decided to go back to school and become a personal ff15658_nr_2trainer,” Nicole explains. She enrolled in the National Personal Training Institute (NPTI) in Rochester, MI, where she studied to receive her personal training certification. “NPTI is the only ‘hands-on’ school for personal training. It is an intense program, five hours a day, four days a week, for six months. But the information and the experience you get by actually training other students is invaluable.”

While in school, “Friends and customers were coming into State of the Art, seeing that I had made a physical transformation, and wanted to know what I was doing. When I told them I was weight-lifting and studying to become a personal trainer, they asked me to start training them before I had even finished.” And so, Fitness Protection Program was born. “I wanted to share what I had accomplished, and help others get to their goals.”

“I use a private gym facility – 359 Fit – located at 359 Livernois Rd., Ferndale, by appointment,” Nicole says. “I find people really like the private atmosphere, and don’t feel like they are on display while working out.” ff15658_nr_3Fitness Protection Program serves “anyone who is interested in becoming healthy and creating change,” and Nicole believes it’s never too late to start training. “Anyone can start at any age, any fitness level. As I like to say, we all have to start somewhere.” She says, “It is especially important for people to know that as you get older you need to do weight-bearing exercise to maintain not only your muscles but increase your bone density and strength, so you can keep doing the things you love.”

At Fitness Protection Program, Nicole’s goal is “to take each person through a weight-training program that is a combination of old school tried-and-true weight-lifting techniques mixed with stability training for your core strength and abs. Sessions are an hour long, private and personalized.” She loves watching firsthand the positive changes. “The best part of training people is seeing the change. I don’t mean physically — though that’s what most people are excited about — I mean the change that people go through when they start to believe they can do this. They are strong, and they feel more confident in and out of the gym.”

More information is available on Fitness Protection Program’s Facebook page or (248) 890-9447.

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Story by Jeff Milo
Photo by Chantal Elise Roeske

Dear Darkness could blow your mind. They could throw you off, entirely. You might get the wrong idea. You might get it, instantaneously. Even as I write this, though, I’m not,myself, purporting to distill or fasten any authoritative interpretation upon this local duo, with singer/guitarist Stacey MacLeod and drummer/singer Samantha Linn.

“I think that rock audiences in Detroit just want to have a good time,” MacLeod said, “to let go, and truly be entertained. (Linn) and I prefer to play fast, fun songs with strong narratives—lyrically and musically. The thing I love about the band, most of all, is the way it allows me to tune out and live out my rock ‘n’ roll fantasies. We want to take people’s minds off sh*t.”

Dear Darkness a minimalist punk-rock that channels the theatrics of glam, the solemn poetry of 90’s alt-rock, the riffs of indie-pop. It’s expressive, it’s energetic, it’s got fight and it’s got charisma. It has sweet venom about it, indulging in down-stroke guitar scuffs, foot stomp snare-punch drums and empowering, cathartic sing/scream intonations that trill over the riffs. It’s not implicitly furious, but it can be.
So relax: you are supposed to be having a good time at a Dear Darkness set. That said — it’s also intense!

“(Linn) and I have pushed and supported each other into becoming dynamic performers,” said MacLeod. We want to encourage audiences to give themselves over to who they are and to their own forms of expression, to be wild and daring about what parts of themselves they expose. I’m dying to know who people really are. So, what (Dear Darkness) does when we perform, now, is surrender…even if it’s ugly, even if it’s a desperate shambles of a performance, at least we are vital and trying to connect!”

“As a band,” said Linn, “our pace of evolution is more rapid than any other creative project I’ve been a part of…” Linn met MacLeod in 2007, when they both worked at Whole Foods. They soon formed a band together, Looms, and reconvened for another project called The Heaven & Hell Cotillion. Linn, meanwhile, drummed for iconic Detroit garage-pop outfit Outrageous Cherry in the past. “We ask a lot of questions: What is Dear Darkness? WHY does it exist? What’s our role in its creation? We try to keep it fresh and check in with each other a lot to make sure we’re both still having fun.”

Though some call it “raw,” both players are more than capable musicians (MacLeod was a classical voice major in college for a time). The intention, though, is to utilize a coarser, uninhibited side. “I try to use the faults in my voice to my advantage and aggressively engage,” MacLeod said.

MacLeod lives a stone’s throw from downtown Ferndale with her family, while Linn is a former Ferndale resident currently based in Redford. This year finds them with an uptick of momentum, having played their first show in 2014 (in a backyard); they’re now performing at large local festivals, hip joints downtown like the Marble Bar, large gallery openings and even in the storefront of Found Sound on Nine Mile.

You can hear their latest EP; Get it online at: deardarkness1.bandcamp.com

In the near future, they’ll put out an art book, Strange Noise To Keep, with MacLeod’s poetry and Linn’s photography.

Meanwhile, they perform October 29th in Ypsilanti at the Dreamland Theatre. They start recording in December with Jim Diamond in Detroit.

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Story By Jeff Milo

Ferndale has its own manifestation of ferocious hardcore punk rock that’s aspiring toward the pantheon of Dead Kennedys, Black Flag or Flipper, so memorize the name:Counter Elites. There’s something grim-chic about a Counter Elites concert. The music is aerodynamic and wound like a coiled spring, the tones are ominous, the drums are tremulous and everything about it feels full blast. Jonny Genocide (under a protruding pompadour and sunglasses) sings (screams) and plays (attacks the) bass, while Switchblade Watson (concealed behind a bandana/baseball-cap and distinguished by his frenetic flailing) plays drums.

Crowds at Metro-area rock venues have swapped conjectures that the two sweat-beaded miscreants behind those outrageous guises are likely local musicians Jonathan Berz and Shaun Wisniewski , longtime friends ff15654_ce_usedand collaborators on previous projects/bands. The duo released their second full-length album, Pledge of Aggrievance, this month, after a considerably busy year that fostered significant evolutions for the implicitly-provocative, dada-inspired, art-of-the-hyper honing, propaganda-satirists.

Just like seminal/first-wave hardcore punk outfits, The Counter Elites were careful to present a striking iconography that could inspire as equally as intimidate, or perhaps incite. When Berz and Wisniewski are in character, they’re zeal for this disestablishmentarian dogma they’ve fostered (for fictional theatre’s sake…mostly,) can create characters that seem almost psychotic in their intensity. And that’s why it’s so fun to be at their shows. Fun…and loud.

“Misfit…is probably a better term, without sounding so obviously ‘punk,’” Berz said.
“Most people don’t understand what we do, or why, or maybe even don’t perceive it as music, and we are totally okay with that. But for the people that we do fit with, we seem to fit surprisingly well, and those people are almost always odd birds, or misfits.”

Other influences to hint at their specific aggressive/raw sound would be Sonic Youth, Minutemen, or even epically-costumed thrashers GWAR. These are bands you couldn’t actually corral into the “punk” pasture; there was undeniable musicality, versatility, and authenticity about those bands, just as Counter Elites aspire to an overall presentation (visually, aurally, in personality and in declaration) that would be “powerful and unmistakable.”

“I think we always had the theatre/art aspect of live shows in mind,” Wisniewski said, looking back to their debut performance (Jan, 2013).“It was never supposed to be just a punk band. I feel like from our inception, the posters we make, the album art and music videos, our social media posts, the stage antics, the fact that Berz and I have, maybe only one or two times, publicly stated that we are the Counter Elites and usually play-dumb when asked about it…all of those things are just as engaging as the music and the message.”

The early songs were short (35 seconds at most), but newer ones have evolved into broader spans… “Even if a song is short, we make it a point to create something complex and interesting,” Berz said. The duo had been in a space-pop ensemble called Songs From The Moon, when they started sliding more and more towards experimentation, genre-splicing, and defiance of convention. They’ve abandoned any strict demand for verses or choruses and instead flourish poetic (yes, poetic) stanzas (of anarchic evangelizing) over break-neck hooks, swift cinder-block breaks and mean bass riffs.

“I do hope that the degrees to which we take our art inspire other individuals similarly stricken with apathy and steamlessness to run with some wild ideas of their own,” said Berz.
At this point in the interview, the alter ego, drummer Switchblade Watson took over to say that “… (Pledge of Aggrievance) is going to bring (the Counter Elites) one step closer in (their) plan for global ownership…” Said Watson: “I can’t give away our secrets, but we had literally hundreds of unpaid interns working 60+ hours per week to make this the best record you never knew you loved.”
“Now you know…”

The Counter Elites’ Pledge of Aggrievance is out now. Release Party on Friday, Oct 14th at the New Way Bar in Ferndale.

Story By Ingrid Sjostrand

Where you live has a major impact on the path your life takes. It can determine where you work, your hobbies and, in the case of Dave Hudson, Kristy Kuehn and the city of Ferndale, the people you fall in love with.

Surely there are plenty of Ferndale love stories, but the thing that makes this one unique is the couple’s love ff15653_dh_kk_1for and personal investment in the city itself. Not only does their story include Ferndale landmarks, each of their careers make Ferndale a better place in two very different ways.

Kuehn moved to Ferndale 12 years ago after finishing her degree in early childhood special education, and immediately took a job working in Ferndale Schools.

“I am a sibling of a person with a disability, I grew up with disability being a part of my life so I always knew that special education was what I wanted to work with,” Kuehn says. “I had just finished student teaching and interviewed with Ferndale right away, and felt my personality and the things I look for in a community matched most with Ferndale.”

Hudson, on the other hand, worked in computer visual effects for 15 years and one day in 2012 decided to ff15653_dh_kk_hitake the leap and start his own furniture company, Hudson Industrial, and chose Ferndale as the home for his small business. He now has a store in Rust Belt Market and a workspace on Hilton Rd.

“I just started making stuff for myself, I think I made a coffee table as the first thing and sold it on Etsy, and that kind of sparked the idea of a business,” Hudson says. “I started making more and more things, and maybe three months after making that table I got a spot at the Rust Belt.”

And Rust Belt Market is a major setting in their love story. Kuehn regularly walked her dog there, located at the corner of 9 Mile and Woodward, to visit a friend and Hudson caught her eye. A few months later, they went on their first date and have been together for more than two years.

“We got married six weeks ago, got engaged at Rust Belt and had a reception there in August,” Kuehn says. ff15653_dh_kk_2“We went to Scotland to get married and it was just him and I so now we have to invite everyone to our party.”

Both say that they couldn’t consider any place but Ferndale home, affectionately referring to the city as their ‘bubble.’

“We don’t even leave Ferndale often, it has everything we need,” Kuehn says. “It’s a place where we feel safe in a lot of different ways – not only personal safety – but we feel like being around a variety of people, being in an LGBT community, it represents a lot more than itself; it means the people here are accepting and open.”
That sentiment greatly influenced Kuehn’s decision to work for Ferndale Schools; where she has taught for ten years now working with students ages two and a half through five years old with a range of disabilities, most frequent being Autism Spectrum Disorder. Initially, she says she was hesitant to work in the same city she lives but the community has consistently proven that she made the right choice.

“The longer I’ve been here the more important I find it to be a part of my community because the kids in my classroom are my neighbors and families,” she says. “It’s so much more meaningful because at the end of the day I don’t just leave my classroom, I see everyone out and about.”

Similarly, Hudson is often reminded of why he chose Ferndale for his business. He gets offers to join larger corporations regularly, but finds it import-ant that his products are custom made exclusively by him with just a small team to help him sell.

“It’s not just what I do – making stuff and having that business – it feeds into being a part of this community,” He says. “I do it all myself and take great pride in that, but it has been a challenge trying to keep up and not get bigger than I am.”

He has even made a few pieces for Kuehn’s class-room at the Early Childhood Center, including a handicap-accessible sandbox. Hudson is now on the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Small Business Council and despite a lack of formal training, he has found the small business and local manufacturers to be very welcoming. He even meets with a group almost every morning at Pinwheel Bakery on 9 Mile to discuss their work.

“We talk about shop and customers and tools, things like that,” Hudson says. “It’s cool to talk about different techniques in how to finish wood and or even business stuff, how to deal with customers.”
“It’s really entertaining, we call it the Coffee Craftsman Crew,” Kuehn adds.

“Other than that, working with the city has been really awesome, running a business here has been really easy,” Hudson says.

He hopes to open a standalone store soon, but continue to keep his space in Rust Belt because of the people he has met there and the connections he has built. Which is what it all comes down to for both Hudson and Kuehn – connections and community.

“I love him being his own boss and being able to be a local business owner,” Kuehn says. “I really love for him that his workspace is two blocks away from my school and he’s so close.”

And Hudson notes, “I like to see the reactions of parents, she’s super humble about it but you remember your teachers. Her kids might not but the parents do. There are certain things you remember your entire life and she has a huge impact on being a part of the community, and I’m super impressed by that.”

Story and photos by Jennifer Goeddeke

Peter Krasnici, proprietor of Hambo Coney Island, would first and foremost describe himself as a family man, ff15646_hambo_extwith a strong business sense. Krasnici is young, energetic, and enthusiastic about life, and it certainly shows. He divides his time between running (since 1995) this busy, family-owned business, and his happy marriage of nine years and counting. With three young children to raise (ages two, three and eight), Krasnici is constantly on the go: “…but my personal life with my family makes everything worth it!”

Krasnici has worked his whole career at the one location. “I have been coming here since I was 12 years old!” he explained. “I like what I do, and now have been solo here for two and a half years. My brother Joseph left to run the House of Pancakes in Clinton Township.”

Krasnici’s style is very personal and informal. “I try not to be a harsh boss,” he added, with a big smile. He describes Hambo as being on the less expensive end of the dining spectrum, but with an emphasis on quality and hygiene: “I hate dirtiness with a passion!”

Getting to know his customers is a priority for Krasnici, and he also keeps his radar open to what the younger, “trendier” crowd is leaning towards for breakfast and lunch (currently crepes have been added to the menu, due to popular demand).

The full Hambo menu — which Krasnici completely designed himself — is extensive and includes many new items. It includes various starters;soup/chili; salads; skillets/scramblers; kids menu, plus all the traditional ff15646_hambo_3Coney Island fare. Different specials are also available daily.

Krasnici mentioned that renovations for Hambo are coming very soon; the last improvements were in 1999 and, although the diner looks great to me, he sees the potential for some fresh paint!

His wife Diana often visits with his children; sometimes his eight-year-old daughter Viktoria helps to set up tables. He fondly recalls a time where she recently wrote an order by herself! Krasnici is looking forward to his wife joining him in the running of Hambo once his children are older. At that point, he expects to extend his hours into the evening (currently, Hambo is open until 4pm Monday through Saturday, and until 3pm on Sundays.)

Will his children follow in his footsteps? Krasnici explained, “I chose ff15646_hambo_in_2the restaurant industry, and I want them to choose whatever path they want, too. If they want to go to college, that’s fine with me!”

Peter would like you to know that they have “good food and good prices,” and it’s a great place to find good people too.

Hambo Coney Island is located at 22900 Woodward Ave, north of 9 Mile Road at Vester, on the east side of the street.

Hambo is open 7 days a week: 8:00 am-4:00 pm Mondays-Saturdays; 8:00 am-3:00 pm, Sundays. They can be reached at: 248.414.9400 or check out a menu via their web site: www.hamboconeyisland.com. MC and Visa accepted. Wednesdays are Coney Days: 99 cent Coneys all day- no limit, no coupon! Breakfast served all day; Party Hosting & Catering Service available.

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By Rose Carver

The new bike lanes on East Nine Mile Road have some pedaling with ease, while others are anxiously pumping the brakes.

The bike lanes were built as part of the wider goals set by the Ferndale Moves initiative — a far-reaching plan to make Ferndale a more multi-modal commuter-friendly city. The initiative began in 2010 when the city passed a “Complete Streets Policy, expressing the desire to design Ferndale streets with all road users in mind – including walkers, bikers and transit vehicles,” according to the Moves website.

The bike lanes are buffered, which means there is a painted barrier between the bike lanes and driving lanes. In addition to the bike lanes, East Nine Mile’s construction included a downsizing from four to three traffic lanes. Conversions were also made to the median of Woodward and Nine Mile at the intersection to allow for right turns only, and the middle lanes from three to two lanes.

Since last year, when the orange barrels were finally removed to reveal the new road structure, residents have reported the problems and advantages of such a change. Complaints include problems with traffic being diverted to residential streets, and issues with the pacing of Nine Mile, due to the loss of traffic lanes, as well as the safety of the bike lanes in general.

Debbie Connelly, a Ferndale resident of 41 years, said the bike lanes make her nervous because she doesn’t see them being used correctly.

“I think they are dangerous. A lot of bikers don’t follow the rules of the road,” claims Connelly. “A car weighs 4,000 pounds, a truck weighs even more and when bikers don’t pay attention, or maybe the driver isn’t because of texting – that’s so scary to me!”

Eddy McCauley, a resident of Ferndale for 15 years doesn’t see the same danger, and says the bike lanes are the inevitable next step for a progressive city.

“One of the first things people I know visiting Ferndale for the first time comment to me on is how nice it is to see a suburb of the ‘Motor City’ embrace alternative modes of transportation. It is one of the many things that makes Ferndale the place I choose to live,” McCauley said. “This is reality, if it annoys you, you may want to get out of the way before progress runs you down.”

Ferndale resident Natalie Ryan-Gluth provides a unique perspective because she moved to Ferndale from Chicago, a much larger city with a cyclist-friendly atmosphere. She believes that Ferndale is simply catching up with a common practice of many large cities.

“It is going to take several years for people to get used to [the bike lanes] and develop an affinity for them,” Ryan-Gluth said. “Bike lanes are normal in big cities. It’s Detroit that is weird for having so few. It’s smart to put them in now.”

Lori Lewand, another resident of Ferndale, finds middle ground when she says that she is happy about the bike lanes, but says more education about their use is necessary.

Barry Hicks is the Executive Director for Ferndale’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA). He says that the changeover can be a confusing time for some people.

“I think that whenever you are talking about multi-modal transportation and getting out of the “I-gotta’-take-my-car-everywhere” mindset, there is a little bit of a learning curve both for motorists and for those using the bike lane itself.” Hicks said the lanes were designed with safety in mind, and the statistics regarding buffered bike lanes, which were also constructed on Livernois last year, are positive. According to a study entitled: Route Infrastructure and the Risk of Injuries to Bicyclists: A Case-Crossover Study found on peopleforbikes.org, stated that “Streets with protected bike lanes saw 90 per cent fewer injuries per mile than those with no bike infrastructure.”

Hicks indicated that more signage around the bike lanes has been the topic of some internal discussion, and that citizens should be on the look out for those.

The Ferndale Moves website explains the implementation of the new bike lanes are a part of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which lumps in the bike lane construction with construction that was already planned. Hilton Road is the next one to be finished, with a reduction in lanes.

The user-friendly Safety section on the Ferndale Moves website provides Ferndaliens with the opportunity to do their part in researching the transition to help become familiar with the signals, rules, and regulations of the road’s current and upcoming transitions, so the traffic can move smoothly and safely for commuters of all types.