Editions

By Rudy Serra

Q: I WAS TOLD THERE IS A NEW LAW that allows papers to be signed electronically. What if I need a document notarized? Do I still have to personally appear before a notary public?

Answer: Michigan law now allows documents to be notarized electronically. Notaries are not required to make arrangements to do their deed by computer, but they are authorized to do so. In order to notarize documents remotely, a notary has to use a service that has been approved by the State’s “Office of the Great Seal.”

The Secretary of State published this helpful information about the approved vendors:

• E-Mortgage Law – Offers electronic notarizations services.

• Nexsys – Offers both electronic and remote notarization services.

• Pavaso – Offers both electronic and remote notarization services.

• NotaryCam – Offers both electronic and remote notarization services.

Because only approved vendor systems can be used in Michigan, a notary wishing to provide these services must use one of the vendors above. Otherwise, a notary should still use the pen and ink method.

Any person who can obtain a $10,000 notary bond from an insurer can be a notary. Licensed attorneys are exempt from the bond requirement. There is a ten-to-twenty dollar fee for filing the bond with the County Clerk and an additional ten dollar application fee. The new on-line application asks about electronic notary services and asks the applicant to identify one of the approved vendors if they wish to provide that service.

Unless they are being reimbursed for costs of travel, a Notary Public in Michigan should not charge more than ten dollars to notarize a document. Many attorneys, banks, insurance companies and others provide public notary service free. Serra Services P.L.L.C., for example, provides free public notary service.

The title “notary public” simply means a public notary. A notary acts as an impartial witness of a signature. When a document is notarized, the notary is certifying that they were present when the document was signed, that they knew or identified the person signing, and that they saw the person sign.

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.

By Jeff Milo, Circulation Specialist

Mostly Fine Free: Let’s get to the big news first: We are no longer assessing overdue fines for a majority of our circulating items! There will still be fines on new materials (in adult fiction/non-fiction, DVDs & CDs, as well as our wi-fi hotspots). Still, if it’s a regular three-week loan book, a one-week loan DVD, or, even better, an item from the children’s or teens’ collections, there will no longer be a penalty for late returns. We really just want the materials back! And while there are still fees for lost or damaged items, we’re really friendly about those. We’d love to see your smiling face in the library again.

Youth & Teen Programs: We’re now four stops into our ongoing monthly off-site storytime series, Storytime Stopover. Our Youth Services Librarians head out into the community and host events and activities for young readers inside local businesses. We’ve been at Drifter Coffee and EnSoul Yoga, and next, on December 9, we’ll be at the Detroit Cookie Company. Call 248-546-2504 and ask for the Kids Corner to register.

Other events for kids include a “Cozy Storytime” on December 13, for ages 3-5. That same day, in the evening, we’ll be hosting a special event for teens, inspired by the original ‘90s Nickelodeon program (as well as its recent reboot) “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”. The Midnight Society program for teens will feature games and crafts between 6:30 P.M. and 8:30 P.M. For more information on the Midnight Society for teens, you can once again contact the Kids Corner (248-546-2504, x. 694).

Winter Break Events for Kids: With school-age children set to be home for a while following the holidays, your library will be ready to serve as an excellent boredom-buster station. Get out of the house and come to a weeklong series of events! Programs include Gingerbread House decoration workshop on December 26 (ages 4+), a make-your-own Shoebox Foosball craft on December 27 (ages 8-12), an introduction to freerunning and parkour with Phoenix Free Running on December 28 (this is for ages 7+ and registration is required). We’ll wind down before the New Year on December 29 with a fun “Popcorn, Pajamas, & a Movie” for ages 2-10.

In the New Year: Our Youth Librarians will be at Ferndale Upper Elementary on Rosewood St on January 7, launching 2020’s Battle of the Books for fifth graders. Students can form groups of 2-4, creating their own team names for the competition and are even encouraged to design their own uniforms/costumes. There will be six books for students to choose from, and the “battle” is a tournament-style quiz about the plot, themes, and characters of their selected title. For more info on the Battle of the Books, follow us online at facebook.com/ferndalelibrarykids.

For adults, we’ll be continuing our four-part series on “How to Hygge Winter Away,” on January 9. If you register ahead of time, you can attend this life brightening workshop on suncatchers, which are basically the indoor, light-refracting version of wind chimes. Hygge is a Nordic/Danish lifestyle trend of cultivating coziness and contentment in our lives. Register by phone at 248-546-2504.

Coming up in the New Year, our monthly series of free yoga classes by Motor Om kicks back off for 2020 on January 12. We also have drum circle leader Lori Fithian bringing “Drummunity” here at the end of February. After that, on February 6, we’ll be hosting a special Oscars-themed film discussion.

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By Rebecca Hammond

THE OJIBWAY MUSEUM IN ST. IGNACE IS SMALL AND INTIMATE and worth a stop for its gift shop alone. It was there that I discovered books by Canadian First Nations writer Richard Wagamese.
A novelist and essayist, Wagamese produced two wise books of essays, now part of my daily morning read. In “Wolf Tracks,” in One Story, One Song he wrote about hiking: “The land felt alive. When I was out there standing on it, I felt alive, too. . . .[But] We can’t experience a primordial thrill with each breath.” And we don’t. And yet…

ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO HIKE IN MICHIGAN is Ludington State Park. It’s hilly and beautiful, with a long stretch of Lake Michigan beach and inland lakes ringed by classic stands of white pine. Most of the dunes there are stabilized by forest. They are steep in places. And a long hike there has ups and downs in more ways than altitude. If the day is icy and windy, just being there seems nuts. But it was there that I first noticed that such experiences aren’t sum totals of good and bad moments. They add up to more than mere pleasure or its lack.

Recently, Phil was forced to engage in a couple of my bucket list items (I hate that phrase, but there you are), as I was feeling that 30 years was too long to keep putting off backpacking Pictured Rocks, and at 62 was guessing that waiting longer might not make it any easier.

The shuttle ride of an hour and a half required four days’ walking back. I may have panicked about what we assumed was do-able do in four days is usually tackled in five if Noah’s flood hadn’t been pouring since we left the motel. Weather is distracting.

We hiked in the deluge for three hours. Then ,as we finally hit the Lake Superior shore, the rain stopped and sunbeams appeared. Angels might have burst into chorus, the change was so welcome and dramatic.
The next three days were a mixture of sore feet, breathtaking views, pounding surf, aching shoulders, hips, knees, bear tracks, and open pit toilets that were great equalizers. When you’re the only older woman in four days of encounters with the young and fit, anything that’s a reminder we’re all human is welcome.

BUT NO MATTER THE PARTICULARS, NOTHING COULD IMPACT the marvelous experience, not a last afternoon spent wading and sliding through mud, not some of our bad packing choices; even the mostly-terrific daytime weather and some of the world’s best scenery seemed less than the total. It was all so good that two weeks later we decided we needed another adventure. We packed bikes and panniers and headed to Otsego State Park, and hit the North Central State Trail, a rail trail extending from Waters to Cheboygan.

We planned to bike what Michigan Trails magazine told us was 53 miles (it was actually 60), and this was a vastly different experience than the backpacking was. In the first place, all that walking didn’t get us in the right kind of shape for cycling, although our legs were strong. The hardest part about long-distance cycling (in our late 40s, we biked across the UP, and another year, home from the Mackinac Bridge) ends up being the hours on the bike; hands, wrists, and shoulders getting progressively numb or painful.

It was cold, and of course both days had headwinds, even though we headed north one day and south the next. 60 miles is too far on crushed limestone, which seems to reduce average speed by about two mph. Did I mention it was really cold? We left Cheboygan bundled for the upper 30s at about 9:00 A.M. At 7:00 P.M., we were finally back at Otsego. Did I mention that railtrails are boring? There’s a bend in the flat, straight trail far ahead, and you look forward to its novelty. When you finally round it, you see more flat, straight trail. Rail trails often parallel highways, and at one point I switched to it just for some hills and curves. Phil stuck with the trail for a couple of miles, but joined me after seeing how much faster I could go on the paved surface, even with climbs.

FORTY TOUGH MILES LATER, PAST RIVERS AND BEAVER LODGES AND SMALL TOWNS, we were cheerleading aloud, not to each other, but to ourselves. I held mental conversations about what could be worse than what I was doing, in between chanting self-encouragement aloud. See that dead tree? If that fell on you, that would be worse than this. See that wasp nest at eye level right beside the trail? If it were warm and they were active, they could sting you. That would be worse than this.

But the takeaway from those tough two days of cycling ended up the same as the backpacking: the experience was worthwhile, greatly so, and we’re eager for more. Just this morning I read a William James quote: “What our human emotions seem to require is the sight of struggle going on… .Sweat and effort, human nature strained to its uttermost…then turning its back on success to pursue another [challenge] more rare and arduous still — this is the sort of thing the presence of which inspires us.”

Wagamese wrote that we can’t experience primordial thrills with each breath. But he also wrote that we should still strive for those thrills, “…that charge in the belly that says we are not alone and the earth is not ours to order.” Why treks reveal that charge is part of the mystery that makes them worthwhile.

Rebecca Hammond lives in Ferndale and believes in new beginnings. Wave when you see her walking to and from the library with Phil.

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By Sara E. Teller

JERRY HASSPACHER ADVOCATES FOR MORE AWARENESS AROUND CLIMATE CHANGE and other environmental issues. Since 2009, as a board member of the Sierra Club Southeast Michigan Group, Hasspacher has delivered 184 Climate Change & You presentations and with more to come.

Climate Change & You is a free presentation covering a variety of topics related to the environment about which the public should be more aware, according to Hasspacher. Topics include renewal energy, energy conservation, problem weather and severe weather, permafrost, sea level rise, acidification of oceans and lakes, loss of biodiversity, an increase in disease, pollution from all sources, and others.

Through the Sierra Club, Hasspacher has offered his expertise in a variety of settings, including libraries, schools, clubs, City Council meetings, and many others. “I can travel just about anywhere in Southeast Michigan,” he said.

“JUST THINK, IN GENERAL, the European Union has banned 379 chemicals and the U.S. has banned only 11,” he said.

“Michigan now has an administration that has stepped up, but not a legislator,” Hasspacher said, “So it’s largely left to local governments to do something.”

Hasspacher is very involved in Warren, the community in which he resides, in general, as well as throughout the tri-county area. He is on the Citizens Advisory Committee to the Southeast Michigan Regional Transportation Authority, is a member of Beaumont’s Healthy Grosse Pointe & Harper Woods, a member of SEMIWILD, and a citizen member of Warren’s Environmental Advisory Committee and WarrenSUN.

He stated, “I’ve had a passion for environmental issues since I was very young and used to go camping.” Hasspacher also credits his careers in public school teaching and nursing for laying the necessary public speaking groundwork.

“I always say the two degrees are left- and right-brained,” Hasspacher said. “Nursing gave me the science background. And when I was a teacher I led an environmental club and the band boosters, both of which gave me valuable public relations experience.”

IN HIS FREE TIME, HASSPACHER ENJOYS PLAYING BADMINTON AND VOLLEYBALL, and riding his bike. His favorite ride is the 30-mile Beat the Train event that takes place in Detroit Saturday mornings at 6:30 A.M. throughout the riding season. Asked what else readers should know, Hasspacher offered, “They should know that on April 21, 2020, Earth Day will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, and it just so happens to be the same day as the Lyrid meteor shower and a night of ‘no moon.’ So, the showers will be highly visible.”

For more information about the Southeast Michigan Sierra Club, stop by a meeting at the Royal Oak Elks Lodge, 2401 E 4th St, Royal Oak, MI 48067, Thursday nights at 7:00 P.M. (a meet-and-greet takes place 6:30 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.). For more information on Climate Change & You and or to book a presentation, email jhasspac@gmail.com.

By Ingrid Sjostrand

DR. JOEL KAHN WANTS TO HELP PEOPLE EAT BETTER. He’s dedicated nearly 30 years to spreading the importance of a plant-based diet and has been practicing what he preaches for even longer.

A cardiologist by day and restauranteur by night, Kahn has been vegan since college. A combination of necessity from trying to find Kosher foods around the campus of the University of Michigan and his mother’s cooking style at home led to him eating fully plant-based for nearly ten years before starting his career. Naturally, he began incorporating nutrition into his practice.

“I started teaching every patient that we can do a bypass and I can do stents, but they could get out of this pickle they are in…by eating pickles,” Kahn says. “I’m fortunate that I had something to offer people, which was prevention, and the opportunity to get off medication and avoid operations.”
Kahn calls this practice “inter-preventional cardiology” – a twist on the standard interventional practice of treatment.

“WHAT I FOUND REALLY INTERESTING WAS IN MY 30 OR 40 MINUTES with a patient during a procedure I had a great opportunity to teach them how to never come back. That was the best and most effective time. I started talking about diet, sleep and fitness and a lot of them made some really significant changes,” Kahn says. “So I came up with this word, I can do interventional cardiology like other cardiologists. But I really want you to never be here again because you’ve learned the tricks of a healthy lifestyle, and eating is the biggest one.”

Outside of his practice, Kahn has worked to make healthier, plant-based food more accessible to more people. He’s written five books and is about to publish his sixth in 2020. He also teaches at both Wayne State University and Oakland University, but one of the biggest ways he’s done this is through his restaurant, GreenSpace Cafe, which he opened in 2015 with his son Daniel. Located at 215 W Nine Mile Rd, GreenSpace’s menu is locally-sourced and free of GMOs, processed foods, fryers, microwaves and animal products.

KAHN SAYS. “WE’VE TRIED VERY HARD TO EMPHASIZE REAL FOOD, old food, healing food. This is certainly not a medical clinic, but you can create great food and great-tasting food from real ingredients without processed chemicals.” The menu changes based on ingredients available seasonally. Another unique attribute of Greenspace compared to other local vegan restaurants is that they have a full bar. They regularly host events ranging from plant-based breakfast for dinner, staying healthy during the holidays to a presentation of a vegan bellydancing troupe.

“It’s been an amazing ride. I’m here most nights, Daniel is here most days, my wife is here a lot and we’ve served over 500,000 meals,” Kahn says. “We want to make sure everyone who comes here has some comfortable options to eat. We have seen so many people that have never been in a restaurant with plant-based options, and that’s been really great.”

IN 2018, THEY EXPANDED THE BRAND and opened Greenspace-And-Go in Royal Oak: a fast-casual space with dine-in, carry out and catering and a completely different menu cooked almost entirely without oil.
“You can’t help but notice around the country in the last couple of years that people are starting to be more conscious of what they are eating. I don’t know if anyone would have predicted that mainstream America is trying plant-based substitutes,” Kahn says.

“Very honestly, I don’t need to be in the restaurant business, I want to be in the restaurant business. We’re proud to have survived in a tough industry for four years and plan to be here for many more; we welcome everyone to come in just once or every night.”

How to take the first steps to change your eating:

1. “Decrease the garbage because it’s bad for you and have awareness of what you are putting into your body. Realize that food is medicine and bad food can be poison. Most people aren’t really thinking as they eat a meal ‘is this promoting my health so I don’t have to take medication or have surgery?”

2. “Increase the good stuff, I like Meatless Monday for people that are starting. Start with one day a week where you have a smoothie or oatmeal or skip breakfast, bring a salad to lunch that is loaded with protein or beans and peas and carrots and maybe a little cubed tofu, make it bulky and find a way to make a cheeseless pizza at home and add every vegetable in the world.”

3. “Get rid of dairy seven days a week – ‘Dairy is scary,’ as we say. Dairy causes acne, bloating, gas issues, stuffy nose.”

Dr. Kahn recommends two documentaries • Forks Over Knives/Netflix • Game Changers – Netflix

By Jill Lorie Hurst

Just when I thought I’d met every brilliant human who lives in the 48220, Ferndale Friends sent me to learn all about Rachel Engel: homesteader, permaculture consultant, perfume and candle maker, winner of the Ferndale Beautification Award, urban farmer, ecologist. Engel is one of the founders of the Ferndale Seed Library. She holds workshops for people interested in leading a zero-waste lifestyle.

Rachel is also warm, funny, empathetic and very gracious. Seconds after arriving at her Ferndale home on a snowy morning, I was seated in a big, comfy chair with a blanket tucked around my shoulders, terrier Teddy in my lap, immediately, dangerously comfortable. Rachel: “It’s important to be cozy and have your basic needs met. Celebrate your day-to-day.” She celebrates with husband/partner Brian, eleven-year-old daughter Terra and a growing group of animals that include Wyandotte chickens, “big, fat heirloom chickens who love the cold.”

Born into a military family, Rachel moved over 35 times as a child. She found Ferndale as a grownup, and met Brian just as she was leaving for a great job in Chicago. She left. And then returned. They’ve been growing a life together ever since.

The “growing” started when she wondered if he’d mind getting rid of the front lawn! I expressed interest and confessed a lack of skills. “Failure is all part of the process. Fail – you have compost. Things will grow better next year. Just get roots into the soil.”

RACHEL ADVISES STARTING WITH AN HERB SPIRAL. Easy to grow fruits and vegetables? She recommended garlic, chives, Asian pears, persimmons, arugula. Divide your yard into zones. Grow the things you use most in the zone closest to your house. Think small. Make long-term goals.

Rachel has two goals these days. One is design-ing permacultures for others. “Helping people become guardians of their own land. Each garden is diverse and unique. It’s based on following the sunlight paired with water and energy conservation by focusing on perennial food production and inviting natural ecological systems to do the work.”

Second, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), which Rachel calls a “deep-hearted endeavor.” They deliver fresh, seasonal produce to lucky customers on a regular basis. Food is harvested an hour before delivery!

We discussed the idea of a CSA on every block. What’s a CSA? Each household grows different things to share with the neighborhood. “We can shrink our carbon footprint and increase our nutrition by becoming ‘hyper-local.’” Rachel is passionate. “The best legacy we can leave future generations is good soil.”

HER DAUGHTER TERRA ON GROWING UP in a permaculture homestead: “My favorite part is being able to go into the yard and being able to eat so many yummy veggies and plants. The hardest part is maintaining it, but it’s definitely worth it. And it matters because we are going through a global crisis and growing our own food helps the Earth in many ways. Also, growing up on an urban farm is so much fun because of being able to play with the animals and make many things and eat many things with the plants.”

On the walk home I thought about an herb spiral, the arugula we can grow, the clover and wildflowers that’ll replace the grass in our front yard. Up until now I’ve left the gardening to my husband, but Rachel has made me unafraid to fail! A great teacher inspires you to dig in. Explore. Set goals that work for you.

Rachel Engel moved more than 35 times as a kid. It was hard to put down roots. Rachel dreams of picking an apple off a tree she planted herself. Hopefully she’ll pick that apple right here in Ferndale.

By Peter Werbe

THOSE PEOPLE BURNED OUT ON 1960S NOSTALGIA can take comfort in the fact that this year marks the end of the 50-year anniversary of the tumultuous events of that fabled decade. Being awash in history of a half-century previous is mostly a function of media focus on those long-ago events.

People in 1969 weren’t harkening back to recognize what happened in 1919 even though that year was filled with labor militancy including a general strike in Seattle, lynchings and murderous white assaults on black communities, the deportation of radicals, and even the Boston Molasses Disaster that killed 21 people and injured 150.

But with media now truly mass and ubiquitous, a recognition of each day’s event in history is content for our habituation to news sites.

So, permit me one last comment on the year, but with what I hope speaks to today.

IN AUGUST OF 1969, THE STOOGES, FRONTED BY IGGY STOOGE, now Iggy Pop, released their eponymously-titled first LP containing their hit song named for the year at hand. It sang a simple rhyming doggerel projecting a sense of profound boredom and youthful angst.

Here are the relevant lyrics:

“Well, it’s 1969 okay all across the USA. It’s another year for me and you; Another year with nothing to do. Last year I was 21. I didn’t have a lot of fun.”

“No Fun” was another song on the album. The lyrics don’t exactly rise to the level of those being written at the time by Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen, but the studied ennui combined with a hard rhythmic beat actually provided a lot of fun and something to do for those young people who bought The Stooges record and heard them play live “all across the USA.”

In reality, Iggy was having a ball, as well, headlining concerts at Detroit’s fabled Grande Ballroom or opening there for some of the biggest rock acts of the era. Plus, when Iggy, now described as the Godfather of Punk, went outside of the rock venues, the streets were filled, like 50 years before that, with strikes, anti-war and black power demonstrations, feminist and gay demands, cultural experimentations in film, music, poetry, and theater, riots and rebellions — a world in the midst of extensive change in attitudes and politics. And that was just in Detroit!

Just one issue of the paper from that era that I work with today, the Fifth Estate, gives a picture that something was happening here, and contrary to what Buffalo Springfield sang, what it is, was very clear. See FifthEstate.org site for the stories in the May 1969 edition.

BUT THAT ALL SAID, THERE OFTEN IS THE SENSE IN ANY CONTEMPORARY ERA that things were much more exciting and interesting in a previous period. That’s the theme of Woody Allen’s 2011 fantasy comedy film, Midnight in Paris. The central character, played by Owen Wilson, is visiting the French capital in advance of a marriage of which he is growing increasingly unsure.

Out walking alone one midnight, he is mysteriously transported back to 1920s Paris where he is swept into the wild cultural scene of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway, Josephine Baker, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Cole Porter, Paul Gauguin, and many more. For the film’s time traveler, this is amazing and exciting beyond anything he can imagine (and is he, or is it real?). This is the era in which he wishes he had lived; not the dull 21st Century.

Spoiler alert: The twist at the end of the film comes when he and a woman with whom he is infatuated are transported from 1920s back to the Belle Époque (Beautiful Age) at the end of the 19th Century where his companion wishes she lived rather than the 1920s, stunning the Wilson character.

The message? Almost a corny one. Appreciate where you are at the moment and make that come alive with adventure and purpose.

SURE, SOME ERAS SEEM MORE IMPORTANT OR INTERESTING THAN OTHERS, and probably were. But, what decade seems the dullest and most repressive in the last 150 years? The 1950s with its demand for political and cultural conformity typified by TV shows like “Father Knows Best,” singers like Perry Como and Pat Boone, and a Red Scare enforcing repressive politics.

What that was all about was the mainstream control apparatus in the media and government trying to keep the lid on things because right below the surface, things were boiling.

Rather than “nothing to do,” in the 1950s, there were intense battles for civil rights. School integration strife, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott were announcing the end of Jim Crow laws. Rock and roll was pouring forth from the black musicians who originally created it and white kids had their radios tuned, often in stealth, to stations playing the so-called “race music.” Rock and roll riots broke out at concerts all across the country. Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, and other jazz musicians were doing some of their most creative work. And, Beat movement writers like Allen Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs were not only knocking down literary traditions and inventing new forms, their work contained strident critiques of what Henry Miller had called a few years before, “The Air-Conditioned Nightmare” — American society.

The 1950s official clampdown only momentarily held back the tidal wave of change that racked the nation in the next decade.

So, my message? Same as the Woody Allen film. Make it happen right where you are right now. Guaranteed that you will have something to do.

Peter Werbe is an editor of the Fifth Estate magazine, now in its 54th year of publishing from Detroit. www.FifthEstate.org.

IT WAS MY RECENT PRIVILEGE TO MEET UP with local fitness instructor Marius Padieu at Dino’s in Ferndale. I was impressed with Padieu’s youthful appearance, obvious high energy/fitness level and lively personality. As our conversation progressed, it became clear he is committed to sharing a message of lifelong fitness and good nutrition practices to all his clients, who range from ages 18-100.

Padieu’s expertise is a combination of personal training, nutritional counseling and teaching group classes. Currently, his signature class is Zumba and, due to his widespread popularity as an instructor of this class, he acquired the playful nickname of “Zumba King.” For those unfamiliar with this cardio workout class, it is a blend of various dance styles, including: hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue, and mambo. As Padieu explains on his website (MKPFitness.com), this is a full-body workout, which burns huge amounts of calories per hour.

He has mostly female participants in his group classes, and added, “I think guys are a bit intimidated!” Padieu hopes that gradually there will be less of a gender division with Zumba.

Classes are tailored around who attends and their experience/fitness levels, and beginners are always welcome. The classes are held at the Gerry Kulick Community Center on Mondays and Thursday evenings. There are also extended, 90-minute long classes, which are the ‘dance party’ nights. These are hosted at different locations with varying fun.

I asked how he decided to focus on fitness as a career choice. Padieu explained that he worked out from early in life, often running around Belle Isle. Then a few years ago, he began working on a regular/structured fitness training routine with Terry Ulch from the 359 Fit Studio on Livernois. Padieu found Ulch’s approach highly-effective and rewarding. And he trains his own clients at that same location. He estimates that 70-80 percent of his personal training clients also take his Zumba classes.

Padieu sees his role as not just a personal trainer but also a friend. He always hopes that his clients will make a lifetime commitment to their health and fitness, instead of setting short-term goals.

Additionally, he advises his clients to set realistic goals, and to avoid getting discouraged. “You will always get to a better level than where you were!” Overall, Padieu is a big advocate of consistency: “It’s all about building good habits, plus the camaraderie and friendly competition in my classes definitely helps my clients to stay motivated.”

Certainly a very inspiring approach, and one which he truly believes in!

Marius Padieu hosts Zumba Cardio and Tone classes at the Gerry Kulick Community Center: Mondays, 7:00-8:00 P.M. & Thursdays, 6:00-7:00 P.M. (1201 Livernois, Ferndale). Reserve your place online; drop-ins available also. The cost is $10 per class. Friday Night Dance Party Zumba is also offered at varying locales. Padieu can be reached via email, for further information regarding classes and personal training: marius@mkpfitness.com or MKPFitness.MI@gmail.com. He can be reached via phone at: 313.971.8399. Detailed information is available on his website: MKPFitness. com, and on: facebook.com/mkpfitness.

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By Sara E. Teller

IN JANUARY OF 2019, THE MICHIGAN SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT created new water sampling requirements to better detect possible lead in drinking water.

“These changes require all communities with lead service lines and older housing stock, including Ferndale, to do more sampling than we’ve done in the past,” explained Kara Sokol, City of Ferndale’s Communications Director.

Before the revisions, the cities were required to test water from five properties with lead service lines each year and now 30 lines must be tested. The City of Ferndale stresses to residents this doesn’t mean the quality of the water sources has changed, only that there are stricter measures in place to detect lead in the lines. After sampling is completed, the results are sent to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE).

Dan Antosik, Deputy Director, City of Ferndale’s Department of Public Works said, “The revisions to the lead and copper provisions of the administrative rules under the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act, 1976 PA 399, as amended, were put in place to help better protect the public. The rule changes may have an impact on the sampling for water supplies with corrosion control as they are stricter in the sampling protocols than prior to the changes.”

He added, “In order to identify the additional 25 properties to test, the Department of Public Works sent out a mass email to all addresses in our contact list asking for those with a lead service line for assistance. We then verified those willing to assist with the sample collection that they had a lead service line. After we finished the sampling, all sample results were submitted to EGLE for review.”

AFTER THE SAMPLES WERE SENT TO PARAGON LABORATORIES of Livonia and the results submitted to EGLE, Ferndale found 27 of the 30 properties were in compliance. Having three above EGLE’s Action Level, which the City is stressing is “not a health-based standard,” simply means more sampling must take place to determine if any further action needs to be taken.

Sokol said, “Despite this, the City of Ferndale takes the issue of lead service lines seriously. In accordance with new state rules, we’re working on a plan to identify and inventory service lines throughout the City, and by 2021 will begin replacing five percent of our lead lines per year.”

In the meantime, residents concerned about the potential of lead in their lines can have the water independently tested by submitting a sample to an approved lab. Bill Mullan, Media & Communications Officer for Oakland County Executive David Coulter, said, “If residents want to know the quality of the drinking water in their homes, Oakland County Health Division is certified to test drinking water for lead and copper.”

EGLE’s Action Level is 15 parts per billion (ppb) and, if after submitting samples to a lab, residents find their water is above this standard, they can flush out the lines for five minutes before consuming the water or install a water filtration system. Lead hardware can also be replaced with lead-free components.

Mullan said, “If there is an actionable level of lead or copper in the water, then residents should purchase a filter at any of the big box stores that indicates on the packaging both that it filters out lead and copper and has the NSF laboratory symbol on the packaging. Residents should note that the filters are designed to fit traditional faucets. Some of the modern faucet designs do not allow filters to be attached to them. In that case, they should use a filtered drinking water dispenser or pitcher.”

Several neighboring Metro Detroit cities reported that the stricter guidelines did indeed reveal levels higher than the actionable standard. “When the State of Michigan officially notifies a local community that they have actionable levels of lead or copper in their water, the community has three business days to notify their residents. Oakland County Health Division also receives notification from the state,” Mullan explained. “The Health Division then supports the city, village, or township by assisting with its messaging to residents, being available for public information meetings, and helping to distribute water filters that filter out lead and copper to households that qualify.”

NEIGHBORING HAZEL PARK’S DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS indicated no elevated lead levels found in their lines during the stricter sampling process. This does not include independent sampling, however, and HPDPW encourages residents to check for lead exposure if there is concern, indicating, “Anyone that may have a lead service line may take simple steps to reduce exposure. Educational materials on reducing lead exposure is located on city websites.” In addition to running water at a faucet for several minutes to flush the line, residents can accomplish the same results by flushing toilets, doing laundry, running a dishwasher, or watering plants.

Oak Park’s sampling, on the other hand, did return some results above desirable levels. Colton Dale, the City’s Community Engagement & Development Specialist, said, “Of the 30 homes tested, ten came back as having lead levels higher than the Action Level. All 30 water customers who participated in the summer sampling pool have been notified of their results.”

Dale added, “If a resident lives in a home that has been identified as having lead levels higher than the Action Level, it is recommended that they use a water filter for drinking water and look at getting all lead water service components replaced as soon as possible.”

The City is taking the findings seriously, and he added, “As an immediate measure to help those affected, we are working with them to replace their private lead water service lines later this year and into 2020. As part of a larger project, we will be keeping an ongoing list of the private lead service lines throughout the city. The City of Oak Park is committed to continue to replace these private lead service lines. We will replace these private lead service lines regardless of the lead level found in testing or if the lead level is over the Action Level of 15 parts per billion. We want to eventually get to a point where no home in Oak Park has any private lead water service components.”

Dale also noted, “The main takeaway here, in my own words, is that this is not Flint. When people hear ‘lead,’ they want to equate this to the situation in Flint. This is not Flint. The lead water issues being mitigated here are related to lead components found on the private side of the water service system. The City of Oak Park has no known public lead service lines within the water system. The issue is not large in scope and it is not city-wide.”

Oak Park is recommending that residents with additional concerns contact the Oakland County Nurse-On-Call hotline, which offers information about health and related resources. The phone number is 800-848-5533. Those interested in learning more about Oak Park’s water can review the quality report at www.bit.ly/OakParkWaterQuality.

At the County level, Mullan declared, “No level of lead in water is acceptable. Water quality is paramount to the health and quality of life of our residents. Oakland County Health Division robustly supports municipalities in educating their residents about what it means when there are actionable levels of lead or copper in the drinking water and what the next steps are.”

“In the long-run,” he said, “Oakland County would like to see sources of lead in drinking water eliminated. The long-term solution is to replace older, lead-lined pipes.”