Spring / Summer 2018
Ferndale Friends Spring and Summer 2018 Edition

By: Jeff Milo

JAMIE D’ANGELO MARKED THE FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF RUNNING FERNDALE’S NEW WAY BAR BY MAKING A SIMPLE, YET BOLD MOVE. Starting in January, there would no longer be admission fees on nights featuring live local music. “That door charge was just bothering me,” D’Angelo said. “It just didn’t suit me well.”

It might be expected that a handful of folks would opt to go find another bar if they find out there’s a cover charge for their intended destination, but for D’Angelo even just seeing one person turn away was one person too many.

Under D’Angelo’s management, the New Way’s standing in the local music scene has certainly elevated; it’s now among the regular hotspots of weekend nightlife activity, where you’re likely to find a variety of contemporary artists like the band Remnose. “I’ve met a lot of fellow local musicians through the New Way, for open mic nights formerly hosted by [now-deceased] Brian Miller,” said Remnose singer/songwriter Marlon Morton.

D’ANGELO IS A LIFELONG MUSIC LOVER who does have some experience in the food service
industry — but his main gig used to be construction. “I was a builder,” as he puts it… But with New Way, he’s been able to build some-thing beyond bricks and mortar, and instead with heart and soul. New Way sprang from his own vision of making it into a traditional neighborhood bar for Ferndale, with the blue-collar intimacy and easygoing-ambiance of a classic “dive bar.”

It’s also a bar going out of its way to build a home for musicians. “We’re their host,” he said. “We want (local bands) to feel welcome. Without them, I’d barely have a business. And without them it certainly wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun!”

Morton recalls when D’Angelo brought up the idea of free shows. “I’m sure he brought it up to many other of his regulars,” said Morton. “But as a musician, it’s a win-win. Bands are compensated for the music they provide and the people they bring to their shows, while the no-cover policy can help bring in more people who might otherwise never have heard your music.”

“You’d have no way of knowing that (D’Angelo) owns the place the way he’s just out amongst the crowd,” Morton continued. “(He’s) just enjoying watching everybody do their thing. (D’Angelo) likes to consult with the locals and regulars about any changes he wants to make; he genuinely wants to know what they think.”

Now, five years in to running the New Way, D’Angelo is definitely in a groove, with a solid staff, an upgraded PA system, updated lighting, and new monitors for the stage. Then there’s the satisfying result of improving the menu, beers on tap and liquor selection.

D’Angelo has a starting rate that Morton appraised as quite amenable to regional artists. Before the switch, his motto was to always give bands 100 per cent of the cover charge, but now there will be a rate that can fluctuate depending on the bill and number of bands. The sound engineer is also compensated in this new “no cover” era. “So far I’ve kept (prices) the same,” said D’Angelo. “I might have to raise (some items) by a quarter here or there, but so far everything is the same. I’ll look at things after a few months.”

Along with regular weekly concerts, The New Way has a strong following for its weekly stand-up comedy nights (on Mondays) and open mic nights (on Wednesdays). Singer/songwriter Ryan Dillaha (leader of the band The Miracle Men) took over as host of the Wednesday open mic nights after the untimely passing of Brian Miller. Dillaha deemed D’Angelo’s decision to be “a positive one.”

THE OPEN MIC NIGHTS DILLAHA OVERSEES became one of New Way’s surest ways of nurturing a sense of community between performers and music lovers. “They have a crowd and following at that bar, but I have noticed how they were sometimes deterred at the door by being asked to pay for a band they didn’t know. I think it’s a good move for musicians to have folks hear them who normally wouldn’t, and for the bar to get the bands’ fans in there too.”

“People who love music but aren’t familiar with the incredible scene in Detroit need an ‘in…,’” said Lisa Joan, a Ferndale resident and ardent music fan often found deeply embedded in the audiences of several venues on a weekly basis. “And if they don’t have a friend in it or a connection to the scene, then I don’t even know how they could dip a toe into it. Free shows are a way…, and I hope it works out for the (New Way) and for the bands.”

D’Angelo said it came down to a simple platitude: “Treat people nice!” That went for his customers, his staff, and the bands he wants to host on a regular basis. “I have a passion for this; I really love what I do. I’m glad to be there every day…I’m lucky to be there every day.”

One of D’Angelo’s favorite events of the year is Record Store Day, when local quartet Duende performs a matinee rock show. This annual vinyl-celebrating holiday was on April 21, and if you visited New Way during the afternoon, you were treated to a free show from Duende. Then again, you can walk in any weekend, this year, free of charge.
A five-dollar fee will no longer be a barrier to someone discovering their new favorite band. In fact, you’d be surprised how many of your new favorite bands might be living just down the street from you. You’ll find them at the New Way.

Story by Jill Lorie Hurst
Photos by David McNair

NEW IN TOWN? TRYING TO GET A FEEL FOR FERNDALE? STEP INTO CANDLE WICK SHOPPE. Friendly and mysterious, with a welcoming staff and a fascinating collection of wares for sale, Candle Wick is a lot like the town it lives in. I recently spoke with manager Patrick Vincent, a lifelong Ferndalian who owns and resides in the house he grew up in, and employee Emma Walter, who refers to Candle Wick as the best job ever and hopes to move to Ferndale soon.

We took some time to look at merchandise, both the classics – like the wonderful collection of candles produced by Coventry Creations – and newer items, including products made by Detroit-based companies like Twisted Willow. They are adding new products and building their online business these days. Vincent points to a few “giftier” additions like mugs and greeting cards, but they are still very much in keeping with the feel of the store, with a sense of spirituality and sly humor, fun and intriguing.

Candle Wick co-owner Jacki Smith started her candle-making in the early ‘90s. She bought her first supplies at a store in Ferndale! She and sister Patty Shaw opened Coventry Creations, a thriving business.

They have candles for everything you can imagine. Vincent says the biggest sellers are the “tension candles” but there is something for everyone. “Everything here has a spiritual niche,” says the manager. Reiki, spiritual counseling and tarot readings are also available in a quiet back area. Their Reiki Healing Center opened in 2014. Patrick mentions Eric Swanson, who counsels and reads cards for anyone, but focuses on the LGBTQ community.

THE SHOP ALSO TAKES PART IN A NUMBER OF community events. Vincent shared the news that Candle Wick is the naming sponsor of 2018 Ferndale Pride. What a great way to celebrate ten years! He also spoke proudly of the shop’s staff, their diversity and shared affection for the store. When asked about customers, he replied that many are regulars who know what they want when they come in the door. Candles, herbs, incense, crystals, books. And they welcome newcomers. “If you’re just looking around, I know you’re going to be back.” A nice, refreshing attitude for those of us who like to browse but are slow-shoppers!

Candle Wick’s Mission: “We have a remedy for what ails your soul. We are here to stimulate your senses and relieve your stresses.” Their core values? Extraordinary experience, joyful interaction, authentic purpose and rewarding effort.

This store can’t be explained in an article, or even a conversation. It requires a visit. Well, probably more than one visit. I was back a few days after my chat with Vincent and Walter to buy a card, two “Emotional Balance” candles, four spell candles and a small silver bell that has Molly (my cat) totally entranced. Speaking of cats, as I paid I saw a bowl full of dollar bills on the counter and a sign that told me the charity of the month is the Catfe Lounge on Livernois. Perfect! Cats seem like the right mascot for this store. “It’s a safe place. Everybody’s welcome,” says Vincent with a smile. Welcoming and mysterious. Once you step inside, you’ll see for yourself.

Candle Wick Shoppe is located at 175 W. Nine Mile Road. You can shop online as well, at www.candlewickshoppe.com. And you can find them on Facebook.

By Jennifer Goeddeke

RELAY FOR LIFE IS A NONPROFIT, WORLDWIDE ORGANIZATION set up to benefit the American Cancer Society (ACS). This event is a celebration of the lives of people battling cancer, and also a remembrance of lost loved ones. It began in 1985 with Dr. Gordy Klatt, a surgeon from WA who walked and ran around a track for 24 hours to raise money for the ACS.

Since that time, the event has grown into the world’s largest movement to end this prevalent and relentless disease. The Relay for Life mission statement is to “Celebrate those who have won the battle against cancer, remember those we have lost, and fight back through research and early detection.”

Every year, teams of people literally camp out at local schools, fairgrounds or parks, and the participants take turns in walking or running around a path/track. The atmosphere is family-friendly and upbeat. Be-cause “cancer does not sleep,” these events always run overnight.

Founders of the Ferndale area event, in 2007, were Jackie Koivu, and Beth Collins from ACS. Then in 2008, Michele Sibula – a lifelong Ferndalian – was asked to help, and she accepted the challenge.

I recently took the opportunity to talk with Sibula, who has been successfully running the Relay for Life events in the Ferndale ar-ea for almost a decade. During that time-span, over $460,000 has been raised for the ACS! Sibula’s personal mission is “to have a world where no one dies from cancer.”

Sadly, Sibula explained, the total donations are down this year, so the main Relay for Life event is not running. (The organization will be changing its name soon to: “Ferndale Area Fights Cancer.”) Sibula added, “it’s important for us to evolve with the times and to stick with what works.”

Meanwhile, the current team of volunteers is led by Sibula, and she is assisted primarily by Tammy Dengate and Sonia Ross. They continue to work hard on smaller fundraising events to benefit the ACS. They just raised $3,000 through a drag queen bingo event at the Royal Oak’s Elk Club in March. Previous popular events have included a “Pizza Palooza” at Ferndale High School, and a bus trip to the Dark Horse Brewery & Firekeepers Casino.

Promotion is through social media/regular media, flyers, and general word of mouth. More volunteers are needed, because lots of work is always involved! Sibula mentioned that their team has a great Community Support Manager from ACS: Chris Rettich. He is effectively guiding their team into the next chapter. Additionally, the Ferndale Upper Elementary School still does fundraisers for them, and the whole Ferndale community has been very supportive. Sibula wishes to express her total gratitude for everyone’s amazing support over the years!

MANY PEOPLE ARE CURIOUS HOW THE ACS FUNDS ARE ALLOCATED. A good portion goes to research, both nationally and locally (as in Wayne State University; the ACS is second only to the U.S. government in providing money for cancer research.)

Resources through the ACS are plentiful too, for both patients and their families. For example the 1-800-227-345 line is staffed by specialists 24/7/365. Anyone can call with any questions , even if it is regarding a friend or loved one. Sibula mentioned that, “it is great someone is there all the time…even if it’s just to talk!”

Patients can also receive a free ‘personal manager’ from the ACS, to stay organized during treatment. Lodging is provided for patients who must travel a distance to receive their treatment. Via the ‘Road to Recovery’ program, volunteers provide rides to much-needed treatment locales. Sibula emphasized that, “having a

support network is crucial for patients, as it is a strong indicator of rate of success in recovery from cancer. It is frightening how many people cannot get to treatment without this volunteer service…they just do not have that kind of support in their lives.”

Naturally, we hope the team keeps up their hard work to raise funds, as almost all of us have been affected by cancer, either directly or indirectly. It is inspiring to see what a huge difference just a small team can make in the battle against cancer. Sibula hopes more local individuals will get involved in the ACS volunteer work, after reading this article!

Visit the Ferndale Area’s Relay for Life website at: www.relayforlife.org/ferndalemi.

Chris Rettich of the ACS can be emailed at: chris.rettich@cancer.org or called to answer any questions: 586.216.9471. The ACS 24/7 helpline# is: 1-800-227-2345.

For all updates and for more information, visit the Ferndale area Facebook page:

The team office is located at: 22742 Woodward Ave, Ferndale 48220

Ferndale Library

By: Jeff Milo, Circulation Specialist

The Library is getting some new technology for circulation services after April 6, making your next visit here quick, convenient and efficient. With updates to our Envisionware software, a new self-checkout station that will be simpler to use (than the previous equipment). Plus, we’re adding a second print-release station for folks working on our public computers, to expedite individual access to documents. We’re also excited to activate new Mobile Printing software, eliminating an extra step of having to log-on to a desktop to retrieve documents that are on your personal laptop or smartphone. With Mo-bile Printing, patrons won’t even have to physically be in the library. A downloadable app will let you link up to our print station ahead of time and you can pick them up later that day. And finally, we’ll have a new Document Station for faxing and scanning. Call us if you have any questions, and rest assured that staff can walk you through the intuitive operation of each of these new features.

Exemplifying the collaborative relationship between our role as a District Library with Ferndale Schools, Head Youth Services Librarian Ashley Lehman played an integral role in reestablishing Battle of the Books. This competition culminated on March 28, a two-month literacy-boosting initiative designed to spark students’ enthusiasm for reading with a tournament of trivia pertaining to six diverse and enriching novels for upper elementary grade levels. On top of that, our Youth Services Librarians continually partner with the schools throughout outreach programming throughout the year.

Just a reminder to always stay tuned to our Face-book page, where you’ll get updates on all of the interesting programs and fun events happening at your library. In mid-April, we capped off an innovative fusion of four libraries (including Berkley, Huntington Woods and Oak Park) for a quad-city book club series of presentations and discussions with participants reading and experiencing one book together. Stay tuned, because our Summer Reading 2018 program is coming up in June—the theme is “Libraries Rock!” Summer Reading pro-grams will be kicking off in late June with a series of enlightening events and fun activities for kids, as well as a Bingo-style reading challenge for adults.

As part of Clean the Ferndale Up on Saturday, May 19, we’ll be having a book drive from 9 AM-11:45 AM, that day. Bring any and all books that you want to get rid of. We’ll take what we can use. We’ll give the rest to SOCCRA, who will be in our parking lot that day. Bring your books to the back of the parking lot on the east side of the Library.

This will be no “First-Stop-Friday” concert event until October. Our monthly local music showcase goes on hiatus to make room for a separate Summer Concert Series. The Ferndale Library’s Summer Concert Series has always strived to expose library visitors to music that is new and exciting in a setting that is both lively and thoughtful. FADL’s biggest music event features three free, family-friendly concerts spread across the season. Stay tuned for a lineup announcement for Summer Concert Series 2018.

More info: ferndalepubliclibrary.org or facebook.com/ferndalepubliclibrary.

Judge Rudy Serra

By Rudy Serra

Q: I WAS ACCUSED OF A CRIME I DID NOT COMMIT. I have been told that if I plead guilty I will get probation, but if I get convicted at a trial I will get the maximum jail sentence. Can the judge do that?

Answer: No. An accused per-son has a right to a trial. You cannot punish someone for exercising a “right.” To do so is to violate that very right.

This has been a recurring problem in Michigan. The same issue arose in 1997, 2002 and 2007. The court said the same thing each time. A court can-not base its sentence on a defendant’s refusal to admit guilt. Doing so violates the right against self-incrimination. “It is a violation of due process to punish a person for asserting a protected statutory or constitutional right.”

“Courts, including the United States Supreme Court, have sometimes struggled to articulate the precise line between rewarding a defendant for pleading guilty, which is routine in plea bargains, and punishing a defendant for asserting his constitutional right to trial.” It’s okay to be lenient be-cause a person admits guilt, takes responsibility and expresses remorse. It is not okay to punish someone for insisting that they are not guilty.

More than one judge has attempted to enact a “policy” whereby you get the maximum possible sentence if you get convicted at trial. Such policies are always wrong and always unconstitutional.

Part of the job of a judge is to exercise judgment. This is just as true at sentencing as it is at any other phase of legal proceedings. The law requires that sentences be individualized. The crime, the person, the consequences, and all other facts are supposed to be weighed. Sentencing cannot be used to punish a person for choosing a jury trial over a bench trial, or for rejecting a plea bargain, or refusing to admit guilt.

All judges are accountable for knowing and obeying the law of sentencing. In Michigan we have a Judicial Tenure Commission located at 3044 West Grand Boulevard in Detroit. Complaints about unethical or improper conduct by judges can be re-ported there. In some cases, lawyers and judges have a duty to report misconduct that they learn about.

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.