Archive for December, 2010

Thieves Target West Dearborn Homes

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Dearborn police are issuing a neighborhood crime alert after a recent rash of home break-ins in west Dearborn.

News of the break-ins has been the topic of many a conversation between homeowners living in the area targeted by thieves. The five known homes burglarized so far are located on each side of Telegraph, between Michigan Avenue and Ford Road.

Dearborn Police tell WDIV, Channel 4 news that the number of break-ins could rise as families return from holiday trips.

If you have any information, please call Dearborn police at 313-943-2240.

Dearborn Fire Dept., Oakwood set New Standard

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

The Dearborn Fire Department and Oakwood Healthcare System are using the latest technology to treat cardiac patients in as little as 40 minutes—less than half the national standard time.

And that’s good news for Dearborn residents because the faster a cardiac patient can receive treatment, the better his or her odds of making a full recovery—without long-term damage to the most important muscle in the human body.

Using Bluetooth technology, paramedic crews can transmit data directly to the cell phones of hospital physicians, who can analyze it wherever they are and respond accordingly. The information can be transmitted in as little as zero point-three (0.3) seconds, said Jeff Beutner, Dearborn Fire Department Battalion Chief, Emergency Medical Services.

“The hospital is looking at the same thing our paramedics are looking at,” he said. “In essence, we’ve not only brought the emergency room to the patient, we’ve also brought cardiology into the fold, too.”

Whether EMS is evaluating patients in their living room or in the ambulance, Beutner said, it’s like “we’ve got the emergency room physician and the cardiologist standing right behind us. It’s really having a huge impact on patient care.”


Westborn Market’s Customers, Staff Aid Hungry

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Thousands of hungry people in metro Detroit will benefit this winter from local donations from customers and staff of Dearborn’s Westborn Market and its stores in Berkley and Livonia.

During the past month, this independent gourmet grocer’s three stores collected donations totaling nearly $14,400 for Forgotten Harvest, a mobile food rescue organization in metro Detroit.

For several years, Westborn Market has been an active supporter of Forgotten Harvest and collected holiday donations to help feed the hungry. Special recognition was given to Westborn’s Berkley cashier Patricia Labbate who helped raise nearly $2,000 of the total received.

“This generous donation will help us rescue and deliver more than 75,000 meals to people right here in our community,” said Susan Goodell, executive director of Forgotten Harvest.

Westborn Market helps Forgotten Harvest in other ways throughout the year, including the non-profit’s annual Champagne Cruise fund-raiser held each summer during the Woodward Dream Cruise.

“Even in a tough economy, we can always rely on our customers and staff to be extremely generous to help those less fortunate,” said Mark Anusbigian, president of Westborn Market and a member of Forgotten Harvest’s Advisory Board. “While there are signs of optimism about Michigan’s economic recovery, we know the need is still very great, especially during these winter months.”

Westborn Market has stores in Dearborn, Berkley and Livonia. Location information is available at or by calling 313-274-6100.

Happy Holidays . . .

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Happy Holidays from While things may not be quite perfect for each of us or the city we call home, certainly we each can take a moment to recognize all the special gifts around us.

For me, being blessed with a wonderful family, very special friends and a city I am proud to call home, it is that time of the year that we should all remember the goodness of human kind and what potential we have to assist one another in the little moments and in the big moments.

It’s worth keeping in mind a quote from the visionary U.S. architect and city planner, the late Daniel Burnham, as we approach 2011 here in Dearborn.

“To love one’s city and have a part in its advancement and improvement is the highest privilege and duty of a citizen.”

Merry Christmas and happy New Year.

Dearborn to Offer Pay by Cell Phone Parking

Friday, December 17th, 2010

It’s taken a while to make its way to Dearborn (we raised it long ago as a “copy with pride” idea) but the city will finally be offering a new pay-by-cell-phone metered parking system.

For those without cash or those not wanting to race back and forth feeding a meter, this is great news for west Dearborn patrons and business owners.

City officials will make the announcement Monday at a ribbon cutting at the Bryant Library.

“This convenient service is another example of the city’s commitment to be responsive to customers and to businesses,” the City of Dearborn says in a prepared statement.

We raised the idea of copying-with-pride back in August 2008 when downtown Petoskey, Michigan went to a paid parking system that uses your cell phone. That system allows drivers to call a phone number listed on the parking meter. They then register personal info (credit card and car’s license plate) and enter the meter’s number using the phone’s keypad.

Equipped with an electronic record of the parking fee schedules associated with that meter, computers then charge the correct amount — plus a 25-cent “convenience fee” — to the driver’s credit card.

When the driver is finally ready to leave, another call ends the billing and generates an electronic receipt that can be sent to the driver’s cell phone or to a pre-registered e-mail address.

The first lot to get the new system will be Parking Lot H, which is on West Village Drive (south of Michigan Avenue), between Mason and Monroe.

The ribbon-cutting will be attended by Dearborn Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr., Garret Snook from Parkmobile USA, the company implementing the cell phone system and Scott Mooney from Republic Parking, the company that now manages paid parking in Dearborn.

Also on hand will be members of the Dearborn Parking Advisory Commission, the West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority.

Medical Center at new Dearborn Town Center Opens

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
Ribbon Cutting at 1 p.m. Wednesday Celebrates Grand Opening

One year and eight months after breaking ground, the new Midwest Medical Center at the Dearborn Town Center at Michigan and Schaefer will celebrate its official grand opening Wednesday.

During these tough economic times across our state, the dedication of this multi-million dollar development is nice to see. While we can argue whether a medical facility was the best use of this corner (former home of Montgomery Ward), having this piece of property sit vacant in our city until that “something better” came along simply wasn’t an option in these tough economic times.

But that is exactly the position Dearborn Council President Tom Tafelski and Councilman George Darany took when this project was voted on a couple of years ago. Both voted against having REDICO Development Company build a medical center. It will be interesting to see if the two show up for the building’s dedication this Wednesday at 1 p.m.

For those of you planning to join, the dedication will take place at 1 p.m. inside the Midwest Medical Center, 4700 Schaefer. There will be refreshments served and speeches will begin at 1:15 p.m. with remarks from:

• Brian Connolly, Oakwood Healthcare

• Dr. Mark Saffer, Midwest Health Clinic

• Mayor Jack O’Reilly, Jr., The City of Dearborn

• Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano

• Dale Watchowski, REDICO Development Company

The actual ribbon cutting will take place at 1:45 p.m. and building tours will then take place at 1:50 p.m.

The facility officially opens Jan. 3, 2011 providing healthcare services to Dearborn and southeastern Michigan.

East Dearborn Holiday Open House Dec. 15

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

Is it just us or does the East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority (EDDDA) seem to be more active than the West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority (WDDDA)?

Between EDDDA’s outdoor jazz concerts this year, the work being done with Artspace to try and bring affordable living and work space for artists to Dearborn and the work the EDDDA has done to promote businesses in its area such as taste “The World in a Mile,” it just feels more active than the WDDDA.

Now the EDDDA Board of Directors is inviting all to their Holiday Open House Wednesday, Dec. 15  from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.  at the EDDDA office located at 13750 Michigan Ave., 2 blocks west of Schaefer.

Last year, more than 100 people visited their inaugural Holiday Open House. Among the many attendees were district merchants and residents, business partners, stakeholders and City of Dearborn officials.

EDDDA spokeswoman Melissa Kania says it’s a great opportunity for guests to connect with the EDDDA and learn what they do and what they can do to help support and promote their businesses and the East Dearborn downtown area.

Visitors  will enjoy tasting ‘the world in a mile’ with food from several of the diverse restaurants in the neighborhood, Kania says.

Dearborn Extends City Calendar Orders to Dec. 16

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Dearborn residents who would like an official 2011 City of Dearborn calendar now have until the end of the day on Thursday, Dec. 16 to order one.

The deadline has been extended as a convenience to Dearborn residents.  It is one free calendar per household.  For those who order now, calendars will be delivered by Dec. 31.

The 2011 calendar is also posted online for review and can be printed in its entirety or by individual pages. View it at

The preferred method to request a home-delivered calendar is to complete the online order form on the City’s website at . Click on “Order a 2011 City Calendar” on the right side of the home page.

Residents who do not have access to a computer can request a calendar by calling 943-2285.

Residents who ordered a calendar by the original deadline of Nov. 10 should receive theirs in the mail by Monday, Dec. 13.

The City Calendar is a comprehensive resource for City programs and services, event dates and phone numbers. It also explains the City’s budget.

Dearborn Councilwoman: Matters ‘out of context’

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Suzanne Sareini

Dearborn Councilwoman Suzanne Sareini is speaking out, saying her involvement in the web and email campaign that was launched against Council President Tom Tafelski in the 2009 election is not true.

In a letter to the Dearborn Press & Guide, Sareini says the paper’s article about the situation “does not accurately portray my involvement and could mislead the reader to draw a conclusion that I was somehow involved in the email or web campaign that was launched against Tom Tafelski in the last council race; and that is simply not true.”

We wrote about the matter here a couple of weeks ago. You can click HERE for that story.

Below is the letter Sareini wrote to the Dearborn Press & Guide

To the Editor:

It is my opinion that your article titled “Report on campaign material form 2009 election could portend friction on “new” council”; dated Nov. 21 does not accurately portray my involvement and could mislead the reader to draw a conclusion that I was somehow involved in the email or web campaign that was launched against Tom Tafelski in the last council race; and that is simply not true.

This unfortunate twist of events regarding an email that I received and forwarded to 14 people that I normally forward things to, 6 of whom are my family, was re-forwarded to a member of the Council President’s family.

Upon realizing the political games that were taking place, I immediately spoke to Tom and explained what had happened to ensure that matters were not taken out of context, and I apologized to him and his family for forwarding the email I received.

I believe that Tom understands the situation and realizes that I was not the drafter or originator of any negative emails or web campaign against him. I maintain that my intentions were not malicious; however I cannot speak to the motive of the person who re-forwarded the email.

I have personally experienced the pain that is caused to a candidate and their family by others who choose to twist words and tell half-truths.

This can all be avoided if we as an electorate choose to focus on the issues; the candidate’s record and vision for the future rather than negative and misleading ads.

As Council President Pro-Tem, I will continue to focus my energies on what is best for Dearborn and its residents.

Dearborn Firefighter Set to Return to Afghanistan

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Dearborn firefighter Ryan Darnell

For Ryan Darnell, service above self is a way of life. Even if that means his life is in constant motion.

He is both a Dearborn firefighter and a member of the elite U.S. Air Force Pararescue team, with previous assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Having just come home in September, he is returning to Afghanistan in late December for his third deployment in a zone of conflict.

His two lives parallel each other for drama, strength and heroism, and he keeps a positive outlook about the good he is able to do because of both of his life-saving professions.

“The two jobs I do marry up beautifully. There’s a lot of commonality. I hope my experience will encourage other young people to serve their community and country,” he said.

Darnell is one of several dedicated Dearborn employees who serve both their community and their country. Also on active duty and serving in Afghanistan is Fire Lt. Alex Zawinsky. In addition, on military reserve duty is Lt. Paul McKeever and firefighters Mark Gosbeth and Brian Keith.

Darnell, an eight-year veteran of the Dearborn Fire Department and a 13-year veteran of the Air Force, found out in mid-November he is returning to Afghanistan after just three months being home and back on assignment with the city.

He’s been active duty, reserve and National Guard and is currently assigned to the Air National Guard out of Louisville, Kentucky.

He served a three-month tour in Iraq as a firefighter before becoming a Pararescue Jumper. He then served a four-month tour in Afghanistan as a Pararescue Jumper.

Dearborn Fire Chief Richard Miller says, “The motto of Air Force Pararesecue is ‘That others may live.’ It is a fitting place for a very dedicated and motivated husband, father and firefighter.”