Archive for January, 2013

Discount Grocer ValuLand Opening Soon in Dearborn

Thursday, January 31st, 2013
A work crew installs signage for ValuLand, a new discount grocery store opening in west Dearborn.

A work crew installs signage for ValuLand, a new discount grocery store opening in west Dearborn.

A new discount grocery store in downtown west Dearborn is inching closer to its grand opening. Signs for the new store were installed Wednesday and the soon-to-open store is now soliciting applications for job openings.

Valu Land is Spartan Store Inc.’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.

Valu Land will be the new neighbor to ACO Hardware, the second-hand store Goodwill and the Family Dollar, which opened in 2011.

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.

Dearborn Tree Ordering for Residents Opens Feb. 14

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Beginning February 14, and for a limited time, Dearborn residents can order affordable trees that will be planted on the easement in front of their homes.

The city of Dearborn encourages the planting of trees as a way to keep neighborhoods attractive, reduce energy consumption and support a healthier environment.

The annual spring tree planting program is open to Dearborn residents only.

This year trees cost $175 each, and the supply of trees for the program is limited. Trees range in size from 8 – 10 feet in height and are sold on a first come, first served basis through Dearborn’s Department of Public Works.

Residents can choose from an assortment of trees. Each species offered meets American Association of Nurserymen standards and is zone hardy.

Starting on February 14, residents may place an order or request a selection guide by phoning 943.2317 or visiting

This year’s tree options include: “Ivory Silk” Japanese Tree Lilac, Corktree, Celebration Maple, American Hornbeam, Golden Rain Tree, Corzam or Corinthian Linden, American Yellowwood, Ginkgo Tree/Maidenhair Tree, “Lustre” Allegheny Serviceberry and Sugar Maple “Legacy”.

Homeowners can suggest an easement planting location and city personnel will have final approval.

The area between resident’s sidewalk and curb must be a minimum of 4 feet wide to accommodate a tree. Public Works officials will decide if there is adequate space in the easement of a property owner’s home for a tree. Multiple trees may be ordered if correct spacing is available.

Trees will be planted by a contractor and have a one-year warranty. Planting usually takes place in late April and should be complete by the end of June. The contractor is responsible for planting, mulching, staking, pruning, watering and clean up at the time of planting.

At the end of the first year, the contractor will provide a final inspection and remove tree stakes and bracing.

Residents, who are responsible for maintaining the health of the tree through regular watering, will be billed by the City of Dearborn after tree planting is complete, usually in July.


Dearborn Library Hosts Book, Media Sale Feb.6

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

The Friends of the Library Dearborn (FOLD) will present a book and media sale 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at Henry Ford Centennial Library, 16301 Michigan Ave.

Items for sale include books, compact discs, DVDs, vinyl records, and much more. Items featured this month will focus on hobbies and music, with many quality titles available at bargain prices.

Stop by the book sale room for extra special values, including books about Black History Month and books of science experiments for 25 cents each. Mystery Grab Bags are also available and contain several hardcover and paperback books for only $1 per bag. No peeking allowed.

The FOLD book sales are presented regularly on the first Wednesday of each month except January, August and September.

All proceeds from the FOLD sales are used to support popular library programs.

Dearborn Seeks Input on Downtown Development

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

The city of Dearborn is asking for more public input on future development ideas around Dearborn’s new train station, which is scheduled to open in 2014.

The three open meetings are Jan. 17-19.

The three interactive meetings all will take place inside the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, and are follow up events to a lively kickoff brainstorming session held in December, which attracted about 100 residents.

The Jan. 17-19 sessions are part of the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) initiative that seeks to capitalize on the new train station’s ability to draw more visitors, businesses and residents to Dearborn’s west downtown.

Public sessions will be 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, January 17 and Friday, January 18, and 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19.

All will be in Wet Rooms 1 & 2 at The Center.

Through a grant awarded the city from MIPlace Partnership, planners from Michigan State University and experts from the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority are assisting city staff and stakeholders with creating a vision for the neighborhoods, parkland and business area near the train station.

The train station is scheduled to open by early 2014. Through this visioning process, steps can be taken over the next year to set in place future development to accommodate elements determined important by Dearborn stakeholders, such as bike paths and fresh housing opportunities.

On January 17 and 18, there will be additional sessions during the day aimed at invited groups, such as business and land owners.

All ideas will be considered. On Saturday, January 19, the revised TOD Neighborhood designs with illustrations will be presented to all groups and the public at the same time. People will be able to react to the conceptual design and comments will be recorded.

For more information, please call Liz Hendley in the City Plan Office at 313-943-2171.

Dearborn Police, Fire Face-Off in Charity Hockey Game Jan. 11

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

The public can show support for the good work done by the members of the Dearborn Police Department and the Dearborn Fire Department – and get their hockey fix – during a charity game at 8 p.m. on Friday, January 11 at the Dearborn Ice Skating Center.

The annual friendly rivalry raises money for the Dearborn Police Charities and the Dearborn Firefighter Burn Drive.

The hockey game could be a good refresher for those anticipating the start of the NHL’s abbreviated professional season in the coming days.

Admission is by donation, and the charity event will also feature a 50/50 drawing and raffle.

The DISC is at 14900 Ford Road.


Bonding on Dearborn’s Waverly Street

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Bishop Moses Anderson, who lived in Dearborn for several years before moving to Livonia in 2009, died Tuesday, January 1, at age 84.

The following article about Bishop Anderson is excerpted from a story in “Best Dearborn Stories: Voices From Henry Ford’s Home Town, Volume II,” published last November by the Museum Guild of Dearborn. The article is written by David L. Good, who is chair of the Dearborn Historical Commission.


By David L. Good

Every street has its characters — odd or otherwise memorable — who in turn give neighborhoods their character. Our block of North Waverly near Cherry Hill had its quota, though there is one whom we’ll always remember with special fondness, partly because he never tried to make us go to his church.

I don’t really want to demean him by calling him a character, but he was certainly the one person who exercised the strongest influence for good on our block. He was in his late 70s when he moved in a couple of doors away about eight years ago. We first knew something was up when the male nurse with the two yappy pug dogs sold the house, and the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit bought it and started painting and doing renovations. Our new neighbor, we were told, would be a Catholic auxiliary bishop named Moses Anderson. And he was not only a bishop, he was a black bishop – one of only a very few in the country.

As it turned out, our new neighbor was indeed a bishop, and he was indeed black. To my knowledge, Bishop Anderson was the first black resident of our block, though not the last. In that sense, it was a watershed moment of sorts for the folks on North Waverly Street. Many of us had grown up in the days when Mayor Orville L. Hubbard made sure we got the best city services, and, we remembered, he also did his best to let people know he was “for segregation, 1 million percent.” So most of us hadn’t had much experience living with black people.

Bishop Anderson, who sometimes referred to himself as “a poor little boy from Selma, Alabama,” was everything we anticipated of a man of the church – and more. I know of no one on the block who made him feel less than welcome, and I know of no one who could have been a better neighbor and friend to all than he was. He actually helped strengthen the sense of unity and collaboration on a street where there wasn’t as much interaction as there used to be.

We had neglected the block parties that were an annual staple of summer when our kids lived with us. Bishop Anderson made sure the gatherings were back on schedule, and he enriched them by demonstrating his considerable culinary skills on the grill.

We also had an ongoing problem with flooding in our street during heavy rainstorms. So there was Bishop Anderson – no rain gear, no umbrella – getting sopping wet as he bent over the sewer near his curb, poking at it with a rake handle to make sure the water could go down.

Bishop Anderson was a true intellectual, firmly committed to evangelization, and yet, to his credit, he never did any proselytizing around our household. He knew we were, to put it politely, unchurched, but the most he ever did was to lend us a C.S. Lewis book on Christianity. He was more apt to bring up my interest in Mayor Hubbard and to urge satire, along the lines of Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” as a salve for prejudice.

North Waverly Street’s great experiment in race relations – and its successful demonstration project in brotherhood – came to an end about four years ago when Bishop Anderson told us he was having problems climbing stairs and would be moving to a ranch home . . . in Livonia. What kind of irony is that, we thought: leaving a suburb that for decades was vilified as a bastion of racism and settling in another that’s been widely described as the “whitest city in America”?

But, we knew, if there was anybody who could set Livonia straight about how to make integrated neighborhoods work, it was Bishop Anderson. The poor little boy from Selma, Alabama, had left an indelible mark on North Waverly Street, and we were sure he’d do the same in his new neighborhood.


Student Urges Dearborn School Start Time Change

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

School start times have been a contentious issue in Dearborn and now a petition is being circulated with the goal of pressuring the Dearborn School Board to consider rolling back the start time of high school students until after 8:15 a.m.

Fatima Shareef, a senior at Edsel Ford High School, penned the column below and makes a pretty compelling, commonsense argument regarding the sleep time needs of people between the ages of 11 – 22.

Opinions vary but early school start times are a medically proven detriment to health and education. We wrote about this very topic in 2009.

You can sign her petition HERE

Her column begins below.


It’s a Monday morning. It’s dark outside, and your head is throbbing, but you force your melted eyes open to start getting prepared for the day and think to yourself, “why do I have to attend school so early?”

Last spring, the school administration offered to have our high school start time moved up, but at the expense of not offering transportation for 30 percent of students who ride the buses, 27 percent of students who play sports, and 9 percent of DCMST students.

For yet another year, we are left to deal with the consequences of starting school so early. Students are putting their heads down on the desks, dozing off, and not focusing on the lessons. This is not entirely due to waking up early in the morning, but it is a major factor that the failed plan could have easily eliminated.

Some people argue that going to bed early, reading a chapter of a book, and eating a healthy breakfast are all you need to wake up feeling refreshed and alive. The issue—for teenagers, anyway—is much more complicated than that.

According to the research done at Brown University by Mary Carskadon, for students between the ages 11 to 22, the brain chemical melatonin is distributed to the body at 11 p.m. and ends at 8 a.m. This means that unless students are going to sleep by 9 p.m., they will miss an entire cycle of rapid eye movement and remain sleepy all morning as a result.

Dr. Charles Czeiler, a professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School, says that when students don’t get an adequate amount of sleep, the sleep deprivation accumulates, and within a week, that deficiency is equivalent to being awake for 24 hours. He says that the deficiency also has the same impact as being legally drunk in terms of reaction time and other measures of performance.

Helena Thornton, a DHS parent and Edsel graduate, said, “I’m concerned about the fact that the data shows that the students are missing an entire REM sleep cycle with an average of seven hours sleep when studies show they need nine, and how sleep deprivation builds up over the week and has been shown to measurably affect performance comparable to being under the influence of substances.”

Recently, Ms. Thornton asked me to conduct a survey with students from our school about their sleep patterns. In my sample of 42 students from grades nine to twelve, the average amount of sleep that students get is 7.17 hours. Compared to the nine hours that we are supposed to get, the results are quite alarming.

I was also asked to survey them about their opinions on changing the school start time from 7:20 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. Only forty percent of them said yes. The others argued that they would like to be able to wake up a later time, but if it means that they have to stay after 2:15 p.m., then they would rather just wake up earlier and “get it over with.”

This careless attitude towards our learning is dangerous. Instead of thinking about which start-time plan gets us out of school the earliest, we should be supporting a plan that will make our learning experience as productive as possible. We are going to be in school for the same amount of time anyway, so we might as well make the best use of it. Any parent, student or community member who understands and supports this issue is asked to join in our communication to Dearborn Public Schools by signing the following petition: HERE



Optimism for Dearborn in 2013

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

2013So what does 2013 hold for Dearborn?

They say optimism is the passport to a better tomorrow.

Here is hoping that Dearborn will be able to move into a great 2013.

There is much to do . . .

Happy New Year!