Archive for November, 2012

Dearborn Opens Studio A as New Comedy Club

Friday, November 30th, 2012
New weekend entertainment option begins Friday, Dec. 7

You won’t have to go far for a few laughs when Dearborn opens the Studio A Comedy Club at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center on Friday, Dec. 7.

The Studio A Comedy Club will feature locally and nationally known comedians on most Friday and Saturday nights through February. Shows will be at 8 and 10 p.m. and are value-priced.

Beer, wine, soft drinks and a variety of mixed drinks will be available for purchase, as will light appetizers, such as buffalo-style chicken wings, pizza squares, Swedish meatballs and a fruit and cheese plate.

Headliner Steven McGrew, along with Frank G., will be the featured performers on Dec. 7-8.

The remaining December schedule for the Studio A Comedy Club features Ruben Paul with David Beck on Dec. 14-15, Mike Green with Stu McCallister on Dec. 21-22, and Tommy Savitt with Cory Hall on Dec. 28.

Tickets for the Studio A Comedy Club are $15 a person. Patrons must be aged 21 and over.

The Studio A Comedy Club will also host a pair of special New Year’s Eve shows, headlined by Mike Bonner and featuring Ron Sweet.

Tickets for the New Year’s Eve shows are $25 for the 8 p.m. performance and $40 for the 10:30 p.m. presentation. The latter ticket includes party favors and a champagne toast.

Tickets for all Studio A Comedy Club performances are available at the door, as well as in advance at the Michael A. Guido Theater ticket box office, which is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Purchase online at

For further information, call 313-943-2354.

‘The Dance of Bliss’ Dearborn’s Art in Public Places Featured Sculpture

Friday, November 30th, 2012

“The Dance of Bliss” sculpture by Mike Sohikian is installed in the West Village Plaza Court Yard next to Starbucks. Constructed from steel and concrete, “The Dance of Bliss” stands about six feet high and is priced for sale at $7,500.

Twelve sculptures have been placed throughout Dearborn as part of the community’s 2012-2013 Art in Public Places – Midwest Sculpture Initiative (MSI).

Funding for the project is provided by the Dearborn Community Fund and the East and West Dearborn Downtown Development Authorities. Each month a different sculpture and sculptor are highlighted.

“The Dance of Bliss” by Mike Sohikian is the featured sculpture for December. The sculpture is installed in the West Village Plaza Court Yard next to Starbucks. Constructed from steel and concrete, “The Dance of Bliss” stands about six feet high and is priced for sale at $7,500.

A retired ironworker, Sohikian always loved art but didn’t start his own career as an artist until 1995. He frequently draws inspiration for his work from literature and the work of other famous artists and is best known for creating innovative pieces from salvaged steel incorporating other industrial type materials, like concrete, in to the designs. The end results reveal fascinating forms that frequently embody an air of whimsy coupled with strength conveyed through the very materials used to create the piece.

Dearborn has hosted Sohikian’s work in the past. His “Guerrero” was installed at the theater entrance to the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center for the 2010-2011 sculpture initiative, and in 2011-2012, his “Eight Horse Power” sculpture could be seen on the Dearborn Historical Museum grounds located at Michigan Avenue and Brady. Besides Dearborn, Sohikian’s work has been exhibited throughout Michigan and Ohio. He has won numerous prestigious awards and recognition, and his work can be found in over 400 art collections nationwide.

A video about “The Dance of Bliss” sculpture will air on Dearborn cable television during December and can be viewed online at

“I Spy Dearborn’s Art in Public Places” cards, which include photos and locations for the 12 MSI sculptures and two Pockets of Perception pieces, are available upon request or on the Dearborn Community Fund web page at

For more information on Dearborn’s 2012-2013 Art in Public Places Midwest Sculpture Initiative, including information about purchasing the sculptures, contact the Dearborn Community Fund office at 313-943-5478

Santa Visits Dearborn Fire House Nov. 30, Dec. 1

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Santa is coming to the Dearborn Fire Department’s Fire Safety House on Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1.

Santa will arrive by ladder truck at 6 p.m. both nights. He will stay until 8 p.m.

The Fire Safety House is next to Fire Station 2, 19750 Outer Drive.

This holiday event includes a picture with Santa and a tour of the Fire Safety House, along with winter favorites of cookies and hot chocolate. No one will leave empty handed as every child will receive a coloring book and balloon.

The festivities are free, but donations will be accepted. All proceed will benefit the Dearborn Firefighters Burn Drive and help firefighters purchase toys for children in the hospital.

Public Service Days End Nov. 30; Leaves Dec. 7

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

The city of Dearborn’s Public Service Days program will conclude for the season on Friday, Nov. 30 and resume again on April 1, 2013.

That means for the winter months, residents will not be required to remove their parked vehicles from the streets from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on their trash collection day.

However, it is still a good idea to keep vehicles off the streets when possible, to allow for more efficient trash pickup, said Jim Murray, the director of the Department of Public Works.

The collection of loose leaves raked into the streets continues until Dec. 7, so having parked vehicles off the street as crews do their work is helpful, he said.

Another date to remember is Dec. 14. That is when the City will stop its seasonal collection of yard waste put in proper containers on trash day.

This curbside yard waste collection will resume the week of March 18, 2013.

For more information, contact the Department of Public Works at 943-2085.


Valu Land, a Discount Grocer, Coming to Dearborn

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Valu Land is moving into the building on Michigan Avenue that was once home to Michaels.

West downtown Dearborn is getting a new grocery store but it isn’t a Trader Joe’s as many had hoped for in the past.

Spartan Stores Inc. plans to open a new Valu Land store in the building that was once home to Michaels arts and craft store.

Michaels, readers of will recall, moved its store in 2008 to Allen Park. Valu Land will be the new neighbor to ACO Hardware, the second-hand store Goodwill and the Family Dollar, which opened in 2011.

Valu Land is Spartan’s version of Aldi, a discount grocery store with no brand name products. Valu Land is also designed to compete with Save-A-Lot and even dollar stores. Many of the products lining the shelves of Valu Land will be the grocer’s own Spartan brand or the discounted brand Valu Time.

This smaller Valu Land is a new direction for Spartan Stores, a Byron Township, Michigan-based grocer which operates about 100 stores across the state under the banners of D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare Supermarket, VG’s Grocery and Glen’s Market.

Spartan Stores opened the first of three Valu Land locations in 2011 in three smaller cities — Marion, Leslie and Clare, in north-central Michigan — and a fourth store earlier this year in Lansing Township, the only store that was not a conversion from another banner. The Lansing store is located in a shopping plaza that houses a Volunteers of America Thrift Store, Rite Aid and Dollar General store. Similar to the new Dearborn location.

In addition to Dearborn, Spartan Store officials have said the company plans to open Valu Land stores in Warren and Roseville — metro Detroit cities that have a “larger population base in the surrounding prime trade area” than its other stores.

The company hopes this new model store will help the grocery retailer expand beyond its Michigan borders. The grocer’s wholesale distribution business supplies more than 350 independent grocery stores across Michigan, and northern Ohio and Indiana.

Salamey Defeats Wygonik for 19th District Court

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Sam Salamey

The race for judge in Dearborn’s 19th District Court was supposed to be a close one but when the votes were all tallied, it was Dearborn attorney Sam Salamey defeating incumbent Judge Richard Wygonik by more than 4,000 votes.

Salamey pulled in an impressive 18,150 votes to Wygonik’s 14,020 votes.

Salamey worked hard, going door-to-door to most homes in Dearborn and picking up a key endorsement from Dearborn Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr. What weight the mayor’s endorsement had on this race isn’t known but the Wygonik camp was unhappy when the mayor made the endorsement earlier this year.

Wygonik was appointed to the bench in 2005 and Dearborn voters retained him for a full six-year term in November 2006.

Blackburn, Lane Return to Dearborn School Board

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

It was a close race, but Dearborn voters returned two Dearborn School Board incumbents to the board.

Incumbent Aimee Blackburn (first elected in 2000 and serving her third term) and Mary Lane (serving her third term) were the top two vote-getters finishing with 17,868 votes and 15,678, respectively. The two will keep their seats for another two years.

Mary K. Petlichkoff, who threw her hat back in the race after being defeated in 2011, finished in third with 12,863 votes.


New Management Team at Former Hyatt in Dearborn

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Dearborn’s former Hyatt hotel, once considered one of the prime luxury hotels in metro Detroit, has a new management company today who plans to operate the 772-room building as an “eco-friendly” location.

What that means isn’t really clear but after Royal Realties LLC, the hotel’s current owner, failed at attempts to keep the Hyatt banner and then failed again with the Radisson chain, this newest deal is better than having the building sit closed.

The new management company, Colorado-based Atmosphere Hospitality LLC, signed a management agreement with the hotel’s owner, Royal Realties, to take over operation of the hotel today, Nov. 1.

Atmosphere apparently plans to operate the hotel as the eco-friendly Adoba Hotel Dearborn/Detroit. This apparently means more than different shower heads and linens that only get changed with each new guest but details are so far scarce. And according to Crain’s Detroit Business, Atmosphere has signed a letter of intent to purchase the building and property within 60 days for an undisclosed price.

Atmosphere is an unknown in the hotel business. Atmosphere operates a hotel next to Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse in Rapid City, S.D., offering rooms for less than $100 a night or about the price of a Hampton Inn. It is clear that this Dearborn property will go down several notches in prestige with these new owners but, again, better than being a vacant property.

Also unknown is what the new owners will do with the banquet space at the former Hyatt. They could be the price alternative in the area, putting pressure on places like The Henry and the Dearborn Inn. But with a brand name that has no identity in Michigan, let alone most of the country, the new owners of the Hyatt will have their work cut out for them.