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Story by Jeff Lilly | Photos courtesy of Ferndale Schools | Portrait of D’Anne McNeil by Jeff Lilly

Good habits learned early can lead to a lifetime of benefits. That’s the hope of every teacher and parent. In the Ferndale school district, one of the hoped-for benefits is a better, greener world

Five Ferndale schools were certified as “Green Schools” in a program managed by Oakland County. Signed into law in 2006 by former governor Granholm, the program gives interested schools a list of 20 environmental and energy-saving targets, fulfilling ten of which earns the school a “Green” designation, certificate, and flag. Fifteen targets fulfilled gets the school “Emerald” status. Twenty confers the coveted “Evergreen” designation. Currently, Coolidge Intermediate School, Ferndale Middle School, and Roosevelt Primary have achieved Green status, and Ferndale High School has made it to Emerald level.

John F. Kennedy Elementary School, however, has gone all the way and is currently the only Evergreen school in the district. Now in its seventh year of participation in the program, kindergarten teacher D’Anne McNeil and parent volunteer Susan Christin were the prime movers.

“I live in Royal Oak, and my kids had the ‘Oakroots’ movement in their school for Green School certification.” McNeil tells me, as I sit in a kindergartner-size chair in her classroom. The little whirlwinds have just left for the day, and the room still has all the evidence of their bustling activity. “I thought, wow, I want to do this for my school, too.” She hooked up with Christin, who’d had the same thought, and worked to turn Kennedy green.

It starts with educating the students on recycling. Students in Ferndale have a good head start, because many recycle already at home. In the classroom, McNeil says, “Anything paper, plastic or glass” goes into bins. In the main hallway, next to the office, is a large station where students can bring in electronics, batteries, and cords. A large container holds old prescription medication bottles, which are cleaned and sent to FernCare Clinic for re-use. The recycled electronics are purchased by a company that sends a bit of money back to the school, to be used to help run the program.

Another component of being a Green school is reducing waste. Kindergartners receive a “waste- free” lunch kit, including a water bottle, snack bag, and reusable napkin. Still, a lot of garbage is generated in the lunchroom, which is where parent volunteer Jennifer Krycian steps in, spending about a half-hour each day sifting recyclables from the lunchroom waste, doing things like rinsing yogurt cups and styrofoam trays. It’s a job that requires “rubber gloves and a strong stomach,” according to Krycian, but she believes in the program and the results.

“It sets a good example for the kids.” She says. It also has financial rewards for the school; a company that takes and recycles applesauce containers returned $190 to the school last year, for example. Other companies handle hard-to- recycle items like foil drink pouches. Krycian hopes that soon the styrofoam trays can be phased out in favor of biodegradable ones. She’d also like to get a few more volunteers to help start a comprehensive composting program. Still, the efforts are making a difference. The janitor, Krycian says, has noted that there’s a lot less garbage being produced in the lunchroom than before.

A third component of Green school certification is energy efficiency. McNeil talks about the solar cooker they acquired to make applesauce. The school has also installed programmable thermostats to cut heating and cooling bills.

Then there are the ecological initiatives. 6th grade teacher Greg Williamson raises salmon in his classroom for the DNR, releasing them into the wild. There are guidelines for adopting endangered animals.

The most visible initiative at Kennedy, however, is the gardens, supervised by Stacy Budzik and Jennifer Vermeersch-Bacon. McNeil shows me photos of the raised planters. “We grow kale, lettuce, beans, herbs.” She says. Some are sold to raise money, others are harvested and served at the school’s fall festival. Rain barrels have been installed on four corners of the school. There’s also a native plant garden, run by

Gretchen Abrams. The school’s latchkey program has students caring for the gardens, weeding, digging, planting, and refilling the bird feeders. Kennedy Elementary’s grounds are a certified wildlife habitat and a waystation for monarch butterfllies, as well.

Susan Christin, who gathers information and statistics and compiles and sends the needed reports and documentation to Oakland Schools for Green certification, acknowledges the positive effects of the program. “My kids and others now have a huge awareness of what’s recyclable. They also take the initiative to recycle on their own.” She says.

It’s a lot of work, and a lot of progress! D’Anne McNeil just smiles at my amazement, though. “The hard part was getting started. From there, we just added a little bit every year.”

Everyone doing a little bit can add up to a whole lot, including a greener, healthier world. Here’s to the teachers, parents, students, and

administrators of Ferndale schools, working hard to keep it green!

If something happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a preparation. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states connected to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction switch on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

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Story by Sherrad Glosson | Photos by Bernie Laframboise

IN A PERFECT WORLD THE SKY IS ALWAYS BLUE, the weather is always nice… and people are nice to each other, too. In a perfect world, people accept one another in all of our diverse shapes, sizes, colors, creeds, and gender identities.

Life hasn’t always been perfect for Rachel Crandall, but she’s taken the lemons and is making lemonade. A victim of transgender discrimination, she’s working hard so others don’t have to go through what she has.

“With unity comes power,” Rachel said. I sat down with her recently at Affirmations, where she’s been working for the last ten years, and heard her story.

Rachel was fired from her job at a hospital after she came out as transgender. Then, as now, under Michigan civil rights laws, transgender persons are not a protected class. They can be dismissed from jobs, denied apartments, and in many ways be legally treated as second-class citizens.

“I felt really angry,” Rachel said. And out of that anger she founded Transgender Michigan, a non-profit organization with roughly 1,000 members and two major chapters in Saginaw and Traverse City. She started it in 1997 with her now soon- to-be legally-married girlfriend. The intent was to bring together the whole state.

“A lot of people were lonely and there wasn’t a connection. I really wanted unity and everyone to be treated fairly” said Rachel.

Because of her diligent work to bring equality to everyone, she has received numerous awards over the years. Among others, she has received a special tribute from the Michigan legislature, a statewide award from the Human Rights Campaign, a statewide award from the Michigan Bar Association, and most recently in May 2015 she received the Ferndale Good Neighbor Award.

Rachel has been so adamant in her quest for equality that she started the International Transgender Day of Visibility in 2009. When I asked her the intent, she explained, “There had never been a day for transgender people. I wanted a day where all transgender people all over the world can come together and celebrate what they are.”

She even has a help line that started with Transgender Michigan, and now has a line in California to aid those who have never told anyone who they really are, and to help those who have to deal with the problems that arise. The help line has received calls from as far as Dubai and Saudi Arabia. “I’m one of the few transgender activists anywhere,” said Rachel, so the calls come in from everywhere.

When I asked about her short and long terms goals, this is what she said. “Our short term goal is to get more rights for transgender people in Michigan. As far as long term I want to open a transgender shelter, but it will require a whole lot of money. That’s why we need all the support we can get.”

With that support, maybe we can move a bit closer to that perfect world, where our differences are cause for celebration, not division.

For more information on how to donate, go to www.transgendermi.org

If something happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states connected to erectile malfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most vital aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual malfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.

Story by Jill Lorie Hurst | Photos by Bernie Laframboise

(Due to unforeseen circumstances, Melissa Kolb and Carey Gustafson have abruptly lost the space they were leasing at 624 Livernois. For now, Kolb will primarily be working from home and selling her merchandise at the Rust Belt. The best way to reach them is through their email addresses : mendedmaterial@gmail.com / glass_action@yahoo.com)

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Walk into 624 Livernois, Suite 200 and you’ll want to shop. A light, airy and inviting room, it’s a combination retail space and workshop for Melissa Kolb of “Mended,” who shares it with Carey Gustafson of “Glass Action” and Jessica Downey, who makes ceramics. A local band also uses the space on occasion. Communal creativity! The workroom area reminds one somewhat of an New York City showroom. Finished pieces and works in progress…dresses hanging, piles of fabric…every item unique. “I don’t make the same thing twice” said Melissa with a smile. “It’s time consuming, but I love it.”

Melissa Kolb studied architecture at Lawrence Tech in Southfield and was poised to continue her studies
in New York City. She decided to stay in the Midwest when she realized that architecture was not her life’s passion. It takes guts to go with your gut, but you get the feeling that Melissa is happy with the choices she’s made. She, her husband, and two cats live in Ferndale. A 15-year gig waitressing at Uncle Harry’s in St. Clair Shores has given her a home base and steady income, which helped her to start her own business. Melissa acquired her grandmother’s sewing machine and started making clothes for herself. People liked what they saw, and she started making and remaking items for others.

She and Glass Action’s Carey Gustafson have known each other for years, but just started sharing the space at 624 last March.

She finds the upholstery fabric, coats and clothing she works on at second-hand stores or through donations from family and friends. The bags range from small ones you can snap on a belt loop to large shoulder bags with sturdy straps and well-placed pockets. When I admired the hanging shelves they were displayed on, Melissa quickly told me they were built by Tyler Hall, who builds furniture and sells at the Rust Belt (“Planning for Humanity”) displaying some of Melissa’s items there.

I picked out a strapless black and tan print dress, elastic waist, knee length (maybe a touch above) – classic, but a little quirky. Melissa told me it came in with a collar and sleeves and was boxy. She sculpted it into a very different dress, but takes care to keep things close to their original size. “I like having a variety of sizes. Something for everyone…” It’s a room full of characters – and stories? Again, her sparkly smile.

“Clothes have a story when I get them. I change the story a little bit.”

I look forward to visiting Mended again. There are a couple of bags I hope will still be there on payday. If not, I know I’ll find something else. And so will you, when you stop by.

If something happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states coupled to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most essential aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as soul trouble. Causes of sexual malfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual malfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

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Story by David Wesley | Photos courtesy of Ann Perry, Pleasant Ridge City Commission

FERNDALE FRIENDS: When and how did the idea of city block clubs come about?

Ann Perry: The whole City Commission started talking about block clubs a while ago. Some streets in Pleasant Ridge already had strong block clubs organized, and we recognized how those clubs lead to a greater sense of connection within the smaller community of their street.

This connection with the neighbors and community around them is something that many people who move to Pleasant Ridge tend to enthusiastically embrace. We are a community of front porches, sidewalks and neighbors who like to get out and talk to their neighbors.

FF: What’s the overall aim of the block clubs?

AP: The overall aim is Block parties! It sounds superficial, but as one of the block captains on Kenberton told me, “The biannual parties get us talking with one another. They serve as an immediate welcome to new neighbors.” We have had many new residents move into the neighborhood over the past few years, and having a gathering with neighbors is a great way to help introduce people so later, they can strike up a conversation on the street. When you know your neighbors and their family by name, you feel more connected which can lead to friendships and sometimes helping each other out. Block clubs also do things like have book clubs, celebrate new babies and set out luminarias.

The Commission also sees that block clubs help communicate when emergencies like the flood happened last summer, or the catastrophic tree storms that left us without power for a week, or if a Neighborhood Watch alert goes out. These are times when communication with residents is key. Also when there are small things like a neighbor needs help with snow removal, or take soup to each other when they are under the weather.

Many times the discussion of aging in place has come up in our City. The neighbors on Oakdale helped a long-time resident, who had raised her children in Pleasant Ridge, stay in her home for many years longer than if she had not had the connection of her street. They did this by just helping with simple chores and sharing some meals. It was also a great experience for the kids. They learned how to reach out and help their neighbor.

This connection leads to a lot of fun as well. The Devonshire block club and PRPC joined together with beer shop 8 Degrees Plato, donated money and gave two beer wagons to the PR Foundation Auction this spring. These wagons raised over $300 for the Foundation! Wellesley is one of the stronger block clubs. They have monthly events through the summer, and then slightly less frequent winter events. Their May event is called Gainsboro Games, and the group will spend their Saturday in the park with fun competitions for kids and adults! The Oxford summer block party has a bounce house and slushy machine. They also frequently win the bidding at the Auction to have the Ferndale Fire Department show up at their party. Fairwood and Oakdale invite the entire city to their block parties.

Block clubs have a dedicated Facebook page or email list to help keep everyone informed about the next event or other information. They also know their neighbors who are not online and know to connect with them at their door or by phone. The Amherst club even does a newsletter that gets delivered to every home on the street.

I have heard from folks who have lived in their homes for 40 years, and they are excited to hear that new neighbors are going to restart the block clubs like they did years ago. Many neighbors want to help get the club started. With the busy lives everyone leads, we are working to get three to five Block Captains on every street so that they can all share in the tasks.

FF: How do you get block clubs started?

AP: There are many ways to kick off a block club. Wellesley restarted their club this year and they used a simple approach. They had a party to plan their parties! They put out a flyer on the door of every home on the street inviting them to a gathering. They could bring a dish or not, but encouraged people to join in on the planning.

Another idea is putting out a flyer to each home on your street collecting contact information so you can build a directory for your street. This way you can create an email list or Facebook page that will help you share information. You can check out some ideas on our PR Block Clubs Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/prblockclubs/, or email me at APerry@cityofpleasantridge.org and I can send you some information.

FF: What’s the future of the clubs looking, or is it too soon to tell?

AP: We should be able to have block clubs on each of the streets within the year. People have raised their hands to lead the effort on almost every street! As people see different block clubs coming together, it will inspire people to connect their own blocks. There will be starts and stops, but that is how things get built.

If slightly happened with our soundness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat emasculation and other states coupled to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What folk talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual malfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.

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Story By Jill Lorie Hurst | Photos by Heidi Bowen

Hummingbirds. Colorful, diverse, independent…they are the perfect summer addition to our community. And it’s not all that difficult to get them to be a part of Ferndale’s summer celebration year after year.

As you read this, it’s a lovely time to be here. The front yard gar- dens are shaping up, the wind chimes are chiming and the memo- ries of slipping on the winter ice are fading. The big Michigan sky stays light late into the evening, the sunsets and thunderstorms are amazing. And there’s a possibility you will have the chance to get acquainted with those small, pretty visitors feasting on nectar out of various specially designed feeders or diving into delicious plants and bushes planted especially for their enjoyment. Yes, the hum- mingbirds are hovering in Ferndale. We, as good hosts, should en- courage them to stay.

Most hummingbirds arrive in our area in May and leave in Septem- ber, which right there makes them wise creatures. They fly upside down, know a good “sweet” when they taste one and never forget a reliable food source. My new heroes.

Some facts about those hovering hummingbirds:

– According to Native American tradition, they are the symbol of spreading life on the earth.

– Early Spanish explorers called them “flying jewels.”
– Five types of hummingbirds make their way to Michigan; the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, the Broad-billed Hummingbird, the Green Violetear, the White-eared Hummingbird, and the Rufous.

– They can fly sideways and upside-down, at up to 35 mph.

– Most hummingbird species flap their wings from 50 to 80 times per second, and have heart rates as high as 1260 beats per minute!

– They do “hover” and perch because, although they have feet, they can’t really walk.

– Most are brilliantly colorful, but there are some albino humming- birds spotted every year.

– Their brain is 4.2 percent of their body weight.

– They remember every flower they encounter, can see and hear better than humans, but have no sense of smell.

– They use their W-shaped forked tongues to lap up nectar.

– They eat seven times an hour for 30 to 60 seconds.

– Their favorite color is red.

– They do indeed hum, due to the rapid beating of their wings.

– Hummingbirds are known as the “promiscuous species.” They do not form pair bonds at all. The male doesn’t help raise the babies. The female builds the nest all by herself, then generally lays two eggs.

– Every year, ruby-throated hummingbirds make a 500-mile, non-stop migration flight over the Gulf of Mexico.

– One species, the bee hummingbird, is the smallest bird in the world. Adults weigh less than a penny.

– They feast on the sweet nectar from gardens and the feeders especially set up for them, and on insects for protein, but because they are so tiny, their natural enemy is an insect: the Praying Mantis.

– They have a cake named after them. “Hummingbird Cake” is a spice cake with pineapple, nuts and cream cheese frosting. Southern Living Magazine said it’s their most requested recipe.

There’s a lot of information available on the web and at the library if you are interested in growing a hummingbird garden or putting out a feeder. A few basic tips:

– Plants and Flowers Hummingbirds Love: Milkweed, morning glories, lilacs, sage, snap dragons, bleeding heart, day lilies, delphinium, foxglove, fuschia, hollyhock, hosta and honeysuckle.

– Hummingbird feeders: Two cautions when you make or buy hummingbird nectar. Even though red is their favorite color, the red dye that is usually part of their nectar can make them sick. Also, do not use honey, syrups or artificial sweeteners. The best nectar is made of one part plain white table sugar (Do not use brown sugar, “sugar in the raw,” or turbinado sugar; the iron content can harm them) to four parts water. Bring mixture to a boil and stir for two minutes while it boils. Then remove from heat and once it has cooled it can be added to your feeder.

– Clean your hummingbird feeder every three to four days with either warm soapy water or white vinegar.

When I started researching this article, I typed in “Hummingbirds in Ferndale MI” and found that a band named The Hummingbirds will be performing here this summer. I look forward to hearing them and seeing what they have in common with their feathered, brightly colored counterparts!

Something else I read on a website called “World Of Hummingbirds” made me understand why hummingbirds are a great addition to Ferndale.

“Hummingbirds don’t read books on what they are supposed to do and tend to do what they want”.

Come hover with us in Ferndale, hummingbirds! You’ll feel right at home.

If some happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a preparation. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states coupled to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What folk talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.

Multi-Talented Artist Jimmie Thompson Draws From A Big Bag Of Tricks…And Deep Artistic Roots

Story by Jeff Lilly | Photos by Ed Abeska

You could easily apply famous clichés to Jimmie Thompson. You could say he wears many hats. Has a lot of irons in the fire. To expand on that thought, you could say he paints many canvases, draws many cartoons, designs many floats, sculpts many sculptures, builds many shadowboxes… and teaches others how to do it all, too.

“I was fortunate enough to be raised in a family of artists.” Jimmie says, one sunny morning in mid-March, curling himself into a chair in his living room. The room is comfortable and eclectic and almost every square foot of wall is covered with art, most of which Jimmie has a personal connection to.

“My grandfather was an artist,” Jimmie says, pointing to a series of landscapes hanging next to the piano. “His nickname was ‘Birdseye Thompson’ because he used to paint buildings, what they would look like, before they existed. The ones done by computer today, he did those by hand. My father was a commercial artist. My mother was a classical cellist.” Jimmie’s wife Jane and daughter Jenny are artists as well, and his son Ray a musician and songwriter.

JThompson

 

His own art has its place in the room, too. On the back wall is a huge 3D shadowbox, filled with dynamic, colorful, cartoony figures. Jimmie’s own style, to a T.

“I’ve loved to draw ever since I can remember. As for direction, at different times I’ve been a cartoonist, an animator, a puppeteer, an illustrator, and I am working on two childrens books.” Jack of all, and master of all of them, too. Right now, his bread and butter is “special events,” or translating others’ ideas into floats, decorations, character balloons, and installations for parades and festivals. He’s worked for 26 years on Detroit’s own America’s Thanksgiving parade (with a brief hiatus), starting as a designer and sculptor, moving up to art director and finally Vice President of the parade company. His designs have been a yearly sight at the Festival 500 Parade on Memorial Day in Indianapolis. He also currently creates designs and teaches workshops for the Festifools and Fool Moon events in Ann Arbor.

He shows me a photo of his favorite creation, a “Jack & the Beanstalk” float from a past Thanksgiving parade. “We had a height restriction because of the People Mover. So I rigged it with a hydraulic system so that after we cleared it, the stalk would shoot up.” He smiles. There’s a good helping of the mad inventor in Jimmie, too!

“I love character development.” He says. “Everything I do stems from that. Often, people come to me, and they have an idea but don’t know how to do it. I can help them, find out what they like, what they don’t, and translate their ideas into something that appeals.”

He leads me to his basement workshop as he talks about some projects on the table right now, including working on a design for a snow globe. He’s an artistic Swiss Army knife! His studio is neat and well-organized, but crammed full of portfolios, supplies, and materials. A drawing board has several pages of inked designs taped up. There’s a spacious workbench, and hanging from the ceiling is a 3D wire frame of a cartoon animal, which I promptly bump into. That’s a piece for the class he’s currently running for Festifools, teaching others how to build sculpted luminaries. Another shadowbox leans against a wall. On a desk are designs for the kind of stand-up displays where tourists put their heads through and have their pictures taken. A paper maché sculpture leers impishly from a corner.

In a large black portfolio are examples of Jimmie’s cartoon work. We talk about the impact of political cartoons, and their ability to pack a profound message in a deceptively innocuous wrapper. “It’s a very powerful medium that’s been used throughout the centuries.” Jimmie says. “I’ve known politicians through the years who have wanted to befriend cartoonists.” He smiles knowingly. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer!

I ask Jimmie if there’s anything he hasn’t tried, a medium or a project he’s always been eager to tackle. He pauses, and his voice grows eager. “I would very much love to start and be a part of an event here in

Ferndale. Something immersive, along the lines of Festifools. I’ve got some ideas, but haven’t hammered them out yet. We have a lot of great events here, but I want to do something that’s a little more… well, that people walk away from and say, ‘I haven’t seen anything like that!’”

With Jimmie Thompson involved, that would be a sure bet. Let’s give it a go, people! Give him the keys and let the Jack of all Dreams take us to places we’ve only imagined.

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Jimmie’s new comic strip debuts in this issue. Check it out!

If some happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states connected to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

Story by Jeff Lilly | Photos by Bernie Laframboise

It was a nippy night in late March when I marched into the Bizarre Bazaar. Not the opening line of a short story or a movie pitch, but a fun evening for a deadly serious cause.

The Michigan AIDS Coalition held its second annual Bizarre Bazaar at the Twist Night Club on March 26, a silent auction of goodies donated by individ- uals, stores, and organizations to raise money to continue their important mission. Artwork, framed posters, jewelry, home accents, furniture, and other items were on display. One end of the room was taken up by a selection of clothing and cards from Just4Us, our own dearly departed Kevin Rogers, still helping a good cause from the other side.

I spoke first with Terry Ryan, CEO of the Michigan AIDS Coalition. He quickly gave me the title of this piece, and told me it was the most important thing to remember.

“AIDS is not over! You don’t see AIDS covered much on the news anymore.” AIDS began as a terrifying and unknown killer. Once its transmission and risk factors were understood, and the fear began to be replaced with practical suggestions, there was a tremendous drop in new AIDS cases. Combine that with advances in anti-retrovi- ral drugs, and today AIDS is now seen as merely another chronic, manageable disease.

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Almost. “Younger people need to know the risks.” Terry says. He fears an upswing in new cases due to lack of education. The same rules still apply; always wear protection when having sex. Don’t share needles.

MAC serves the most vulnerable populations, high-risk populations in poorer areas who generally lack good health care coverage. MAC sends trained outreach teams into bars and, with assistance of the management, provides a safe, anonymous area where people can be voluntarily tested. The staff circulate, chatting casually and letting people know they can be tested. The reaction is generally positive, Terry says, and the testing is simple. A quick finger prick is all that’s needed to test for AIDS. This year, MAC has expanded their testing to include other STDs like gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia as well.

I next spoke with our mayor, Dave Coulter. Mayor Coulter was affiliated with the Michigan AIDS Fund, which in 2009 merged with the Midwest AIDS Pre- vention Project to form the current Michigan AIDS Coalition.

“I have a passion for HIV prevention.” the Mayor explained. He echoed Terry Ryan’s sentiments, saying “There are a lot of young people now who don’t know anyone who’s died of AIDS. We have to keep awareness alive, at a time when people think the crisis is over.”

If some happened with our soundness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat emasculation and other states united to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most vital aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual malfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a status called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

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Story by Malissa Martin

Heather Cutlip, owner of Little Lotus Wellness, says that yoga is a brain training exercise that “forces your mind and body to be calm in a stressful situation.” Cutlip began doing yoga as a way to cope with her stressful job as a restaurant manager. The benefits of yoga, she said, led her down the path to discover the world of wellness. “It really does start to apply to your everyday life. So you can kind of take it off the mat and learn to be more reflective instead of more reactive.”

Later, she enrolled at Irene’s Myomassology Institute in Southfield where she received her license in massage therapy. Soon after, she began looking for a space to start her business. Friends suggested Cutlip check out 195 West 9 Mile. “As soon as I found this location, it totally made the decision for me,” Cutlip said. Originally from the East Side of Detroit, Cutlip said she always loved Ferndale. “I just got the vision in my head right away and said, ‘okay, this is it,’ and everything just flowed really easy from there.”

Little Lotus Wellness opened in May 2014, and business has been growing thanks to word-of-mouth. “I think intimacy is what draws a lot of people here.” Cutlip said. The average number of students per class is five, but the studio can hold eight per session. In addition to Cutlip, there are four other instructors at Little Lotus. The Yoga Basics and Yin Yoga classes are the most popular at Little Lotus right now. Cutlip iintroduced a new class in January at her studio called Rebel Warrior, which she describes as “yoga on steroids.” Classes change seasonally to provide a variety of options for students.

Creating a calming atmosphere for each session is very important at Little Lotus. Music, candles, dim lighting, and a small bamboo fountain are just a few of the tools Cutlip uses to construct a stress-free environment for students.“We wear all these labels every day. So when people come into class it’s time to start shedding these labels. Just get down to you. In here you’re not a co-worker, you’re not a mother, you’re not a husband or a wife. You just kind of focus on yourself.” Cutlip explained.

Yoga classes and massages can be purchased in packages. Yoga packages come in sets of 5, 10, and 15 classes. There’s also an unlimited yoga package available for $99 a month.

Private yoga group classes for bachelorette parties, office parties, and more are now available and can be catered to the group’s needs. A meditation class meets every Sunday at 11:00 A.M. The class is free, but donations are appreciated. In addition to yoga and massages, Cutlip has many guests from the wellness community, such as life and health coaches, performing workshops at Little Lotus. Other workshops include intro to essential oils, mala bead making, and stress reduction. There’s also movie night, once a month, where a film about yoga is shown in relation to its history, new practices, health benefits, and more.

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Contact Little Lotus Wellness at 586-344-6587 or check out the website at www.littlelotuswellness.com for more information.

If some happened with our heartiness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states coupled to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most vital aspect you have to look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a status called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

CJ Forge’s artistry brings blacksmithing into the modern age

Story & photos by Jeff Lilly

You’d miss the place, 99 times out of 100, if you weren’t looking for it. Driving along Ten Mile Road, just west of John R in Hazel Park, among the row of humble and nondescript industrial buildings, it’s easy to look over the graphic of the anvil, the sign announcing “Blacksmith,” one of the oldest of trades.

A blacksmith? Here? In the 21st century? Yes, indeed. The art and the craft of forging tools, accessories, and decorations from steel, coaxed from a stock piece by fire, muscle, and sweat, is alive and well for this generation and many to come.

What is a blacksmith’s shop like? It’s a bit different from the depictions you might see in historical reenactments or in fantasy films. It mainly looks like a modern machine shop, with rack of tools and benches. A power hammer and mill take up a lot of the space. But the anvils are there, and the hammers, and the forges piled high with coke, hissing and orange. When I shake hands with the three men inside, all of them have steel-hard grips and big smiles.

“Blacksmithing was the center of life.” explains Owen C. Creteau Jr., master blacksmith and one of CJ Forge’s founders. “People today think it was all about horseshoes.” While shoeing horses was indeed important, the blacksmith “made just about everything of metal. Every tool, every hook.”

“If you were building a house,” chimes in Kevin Keena, master blacksmith and CJ’s other senior member, “you had to go to a blacksmith and have all of the nails made.” No hardware store, no big box store. In the old days, Owen adds, people used to burn down their old, dilapidated houses just to recover the nails to re-use in another structure.

Today, there’s less need for horseshoes, but plenty of demand for skilled, durable metal. A display on the wall shows the kind of work they do. Coat racks, hooks, fireplace sets, toasting forks, trivets, hinges, wine racks, and even furniture. Kevin shows me the skeleton of a coffee table, ready for a marble top. Owen points out a hanging pot rack, based on a customer’s drawing. “If they can draw it, we can make it.” He says.

I walk over to the workspace of Donnie Miller, a younger fellow with a full beard. He walked in a few years back, looking for information on working metal, and ended up working, period. “I told them I’d do whatever I had to. Sweep floors, clean toilets.” He laughs. An old-school apprentice in an old-school trade. I watch as he thrusts a steel bar into the pile of glowing coke (a medium-size job will consume fifty pounds of the stuff,) heating it until it glows bright orange. With his hammer, he taps and shapes it into a leaf. Hanging on a rack next to him is a work in progress: a mirror frame, decorated with steel vines and leaves. It’s a wonderful mix of beauty, ruggedness, and simplicity. Like everything CJ Forge makes, it will doubtless last a lifetime and will hopefully become an heirloom. Art and practicality, meeting in the best possible way.

Owen, meanwhile, is working on making a pair of tongs for another blacksmith. It’s amazing to watch him shape a featureless bar into a precision tool. As he works, he tells me how he used to give demonstrations at Greenfield Village. They don’t any more, sadly, as the blacksmith shop there is now just a static display. But blacksmithing as a trade is alive and well, he assures me. There are organizations for promotion and training. Classes are offered, and CJ Forge makes the rounds to many art fairs and exhibitions, where they are always a popular draw.

As I get ready to leave, Donnie hands me a gift. It’s the leaf he was working on, the stem twisted around a key ring, still warm to the touch. A reminder of a great day that will no doubt outlast me!

CJ Forge is open on a by-appointment basis (to protect patrons from flying sparks and loud noises) and they’re eager to talk to you about your design needs. Phone 248-543-4010 or visit their web site at www.cjforge.net

If some happened with our soundness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states coupled to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a status called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this curing passes into breast milk.

by Daivd Wesley and Jack Lilly

At the beginning of his famous comedy piece, Sataland Diaries, David Sedaris recalls how he first came to New York, expecting to step right off the bus and into a gig writing for soap operas. He didn’t, of course, and ended up working as an elf in Macy’s Christmas display.

It turns out Sedaris was doing it work. Jill Lorie Hurst, a Ferndale resident for the past year (and writer for Ferndale Friends) did have a gig writing soap operas, achieving the rank of co-head writer for Guiding Light. But she didn’t just step off a bus and into soap stardom…she did it the hard way.

“I grew up watching them.” Jill recalls. “My mother was a fan, and girls tend to follow their mothers.”

Originally from the east side of Detroit, she studied theater at Wayne State, then moved to New York City. Once there, she worked as a waitress for ten years, living day-to-day. Jill describes a carefree life of walking to work, then afterwards walking over to see plays on Broadway.

One day, one of her regular customers asked if she wanted to have a tour of the studio where her husband worked, filming commercials. Jill was nonplussed until her customer mentioned that the studio was also where they filmed Guiding Light.

“My eyes lit up then!” Jill says. On her tour, she met some actors and came away with a great impression. Later, she accepted a part-time receptionist job at the studio. “I was still waitressing, breakfast and lunch, then answering phones at the studio in the late afternoon.” Eventually, there was an opening for writer’s assistant. She did that for five years. Then, things started to snowball.

“It was a series of very supportive people, gently pushing me to the next step.” She recalls. She started writing scripts with a partner. From there, she became a script editor, then a breakdown writer. She learned on the job, bootstrapping from one task to the next. She spent a year as a producer. At last, one day she found herself as co-head writer of Guiding Light.

“Nothing magical.” Jill says. “I just showed up. I loved being there.”

Unfortunately, she couldn’t spend too long at the pinnacle. Guiding Light was canceled in 2009 after a 57-year run on television. Her co-creators hit the ground writing, working for other soaps, but Jill was exhausted. “We’d been working seven days a week, for forever.” Jill wanted a break. She jumped into other projects, gathering old colleagues and actors from the show to work on pitching new properties, and…

“We failed miserably.” She laughs. Jill found other work, including a gig working for Ricky Lauren, wife of Ralph, for three years. But all things change, and real life sometimes intrudes. Four years after Guiding Light ended, she and her husband (who she’d met at the studio) had hit the wall financially. “We left NYC because we were broke and I wasn’t quite sure what the next step should be.” Jill says.

So how did they decide on Ferndale? “We didn’t! It found us. When my mom’s best friends offered us one of their Ferndale rentals that had just been vacated, we grabbed it.”

Asked what aspected of Ferndale attract her the most, Jill says, “First of all, it’s walkable. I don’t drive, and it has such direct access to Detroit. We have old friends who live right down the street on Woodward. We love the restaurants, the fact that there are two bookstores, the piped-in music downtown, the front porches, the wind chimes, and the terrific people we’ve met, most of whom seem proud and happy to live here. I love that!”

How does she feel about Ferndale’s future with so much happening inside the city? “I hope it continues to be a town that values small business and diversity. I hope it holds onto its community of artists and tradespeople. Ferndale reminds me of working on Guiding Light; it’s character driven, collaborative, and all about community.”

Welcome home, Jill. We hope you stay with us for a long time!

If some happened with our heartiness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states coupled to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What folk talk about “viagra stories“? The most vital aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.