Archive for December, 2014

Dearborn Goodfellows Provide Christmas Gifts to 900 Dearborn Children

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Santa hats off to the Dearborn Goodfellows, a committed group of volunteers dedicated to providing assistance to Dearborn children in need.

We see them on our local street corners collecting donations each year on the weekend following Thanksgiving. But most of us do not realize the direct impact these donations have on our community.

With their motto, “No Dearborn child without a Christmas”, driving their efforts, the Goodfellows cheerfully delivered Christmas to the doorsteps of 900 children from more than 400 families in Dearborn in 2014…and they will continue their efforts to bring smiles to these young faces throughout the New Year.

Dearborn Goodfellows 2014

Volunteers worked in a garage at Village Ford to package and load gift boxes for delivery.

This year about 100 volunteers were involved in the packaging, loading and delivery of gift boxes, teddy bears and candies to local families in need on the weekend before Christmas. A long standing tradition, the logistics of this major undertaking are made possible in large part due to the generous assistance of local businesses and partners.

Storage space and work areas for box sorting and loading, along with delivery vehicles were kindly provided by Village Ford. The folks at Les Stanford Chevrolet generously sponsored the stuffed and cuddly 2014 “Dear-Bears”, along with supplying delivery vehicles. Park Place proudly pitched in with the donation of candy boxes for each family, delivery vehicles and refreshments during packaging. In addition, DFCU graciously sponsored pizza on loading night and Rex’s Golden Grill kindly provided breakfast for all volunteers on the morning of package delivery.

It truly is an annual community holiday effort!

For more information on the Dearborn Goodfellows visit dearborngoodfellows.org.

More importantly, instead of driving right by next year slow down and give  . . . whatever amount you can. Your donation will help the Goodfellows make a difference in the life of a Dearborn child.

Dearborn Opens New $28 million Train Station

Monday, December 15th, 2014

The city of Dearborn today celebrated a milestone with the grand opening ceremony of the city’s $28.2 million intermodal passenger rail station, dedicated in honor of retiring Congressman John Dingell, the longest serving member of Congress in U.S. history and an essential advocate for the completion of the transit center.

The city-owned John D. Dingell Transit Center is at 21201 W. Michigan Ave., west of the Southfield Freeway at the entrance to Dearborn’s west downtown and just north of The Henry Ford. It replaces a smaller station erected by Amtrak on city property in 1979. The station was fully funded by $28.2 million from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and has free parking, free Wi-Fi, a soon-to-open Tim Hortons restaurant and bike racks.

Amtrak operates and staffs the station. Six daily Wolverine Service trains sponsored by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) run daily through Dearborn.  Nearly 79,000 Amtrak passengers used the former station in the last year, making it the busiest in Metro Detroit, More intercity passenger traffic is expected as MDOT’s accelerated rail project continues between Pontiac and Chicago, via Dearborn.

The station is also an important component in initiatives for commuter rail between Ann Arbor and Detroit. It is also seen as an economic driver for Dearborn and is anticipated to bring more business to the city, and in the future can inspire residential and other developments in the downtown area.

“We are excited not just to open this station, but to be part of the future of rail transportation,” said Dearborn Mayor John B. O’Reilly. “Today marks just the start of the possibilities for economic growth; for greater links between Dearborn, the region and the Midwest; and for our ability to showcase our outstanding community to more visitors, more customers and more employees attracted to our city because of convenient connections.”

The station is strategically placed so it has easy access to The Henry Ford, the visitor attraction that brings in 1.6 million people each year. Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford, was among the speakers.

“The Henry Ford is delighted by the formal dedication of the new John D. Dingell Transit Center,” said Mooradian. “The center will serve as a major intermodal hub for travelers throughout the region and beyond; a focal point for future transit oriented development here in Dearborn; and a new entryway onto the National Historic Landmark campus of The Henry Ford.”

The vision for an Intermodal Station

The pedestrian-friendly Dearborn Intermodal Passenger Rail Station serves as a rail gateway to Dearborn and southeast Michigan. The important transportation link will allow thousands of passengers per year to make connections to the Amtrak Wolverine service that extends from Pontiac to Chicago; as well as to SMART, DDOT, Greyhound and charter buses; corporate and hotel shuttles; taxis and personal vehicles.

The station’s proximity to the Rouge River Gateway Trail on the north side of Michigan Avenue in Dearborn should prove popular to pedestrians and bicyclists and provide easy access to the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Henry Ford College.

About the building

The 16,000-square-foot transit center draws on historic railroad architecture, combining traditional red brick with large expanses of glass. As passengers approach, they are greeted by a clock tower with gabled roof. A glass enclosed passenger bridge connects the building with the south platform. The axis of the bridge is aligned with the clock tower of the Henry Ford Museum, an appropriate design move since the station includes a new entrance to the popular cultural institution.

The two-story waiting room includes tall round-arched windows, as well as square windows below the roofline. Altogether, they allow ample natural light to bathe the interior throughout the day. Interior walls are composed of smooth cream colored concrete masonry units accented by rough textured horizontal bands; terrazzo floors are elegant yet durable.  Public art includes a mosaic entitled “Transformations” that was designed by Dearborn high school students.

“Green” elements

Through the selection and use of environmentally friendly materials and design solutions, the John D. Dingell Transit Center achieved a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. Sustainable features include a metal roof with solar collectors, energy-efficient lighting and geothermal heating and cooling.

For more information about the station, its unique features and the rich history of Dearborn with an emphasis on railroads, visit the Amtrak Great American Stations website.

Economic growth

Dearborn is courting further economic possibilities with transit oriented development.  Research shows people want to live and work near mixed-use residential and commercial areas close to public transportation and, because they do, property values can be strengthened

Curbside Yard Waste Collection Ends Dec. 8-12

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Collection of yard waste at Dearborn residents’ curbs ends for the season the week of Dec. 8-12.

Yard waste collection begins again the week of March 16, 2015.

Yard waste includes grass clippings, weeds, leaves, shrubs and brush trimmings.

It does not include fruits or vegetables or animal droppings.

Put yard waste into yard waste paper bags or your own 20 – 32 gallon container. Mark your container with a yard waste sticker. Stickers are available free at Dearborn libraries and the Dearborn Administrative Center.

Do not use plastic bags or cardboard boxes.

Private contractors must haul away their own debris. Do not blow or sweep yard waste into the street.

Unbundled or improperly bundled brush requires a special pickup. Call 943-2433 for fees.

Open House Dec. 15 at New Dearborn Train Station

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
The public is invited to a free open house at Dearborn’s new train station, the John D. Dingell Transit Center, from 4-6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 15.

The public is invited to a free open house at Dearborn’s new train station, the John D. Dingell Transit Center, from 4-6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 15.

The public is invited to a free open house at Dearborn’s new train station, the John D. Dingell Transit Center, from 4-6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 15

The new transit center is at 21201 Michigan Ave., near Brady Street, at the entrance to the west downtown business district.

At the Dec. 15 open house, residents can tour the station, see informative displays and talk with people knowledgeable about the future of train travel.  A mural created by Dearborn students will also be featured.

In addition, people attending the open house can enter a free drawing to win tickets to The Henry Ford’s popular Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village.

The new station will open for business a few days before the open house.

Amtrak trains will begin stopping at the 21201 Michigan Ave. site on Wednesday, Dec. 10. Amtrak is moving its operations from the current train station behind the Dearborn Police Station.

The new 16,000-square-foot Dingell Transit Center promotes intermodal transportation, connecting travelers via train, bus, taxi and pedestrian and bike paths to work, education, cultural attractions, shopping and recreation in Dearborn and beyond.

The station is an important component in initiatives to boost commuter rail from Ann Arbor to Detroit and accelerated speed rail from Pontiac to Chicago.

Six Amtrak trains will continue to stop daily at Dingell Transit Center, with increased Amtrak service and the addition of commuter rail expected in the coming years. In fiscal year 2014, almost 79,000 passengers used the existing Dearborn Amtrak station.

“Dearborn is excited to be part of the future of rail. We will continue to work with our partners to increase convenient travel that starts in Dearborn and takes riders throughout southeast Michigan, as well as between Dearborn and Chicago,” said Mayor John. B. O’Reilly, Jr.  “We’re anticipating bringing more customers to our Dearborn businesses and more visitors to our cultural and entertainment venues. And in the near future, people are going to find it very easy to get on a train in Dearborn and connect with the new M1-Rail in Detroit for an evening out or to go to a game.”

The new transit center was funded entirely with $28.2 million from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The City of Dearborn owns the station and the 7-acre site, and Amtrak will run the facility.

The Henry Ford has historic displays inside the center, including an iconic Davenport train engine.

The transit center also features a pedestrian bridge over the tracks that will allow travelers to access a new entrance to The Henry Ford complex, including the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, the IMAX Theater, and Ford Rouge Factory Tours. About 1.6 million people a year visit The Henry Ford.

Ford Motor Company will plans on having a new F-150 on display at the transit center.

The transit center has a silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED). The building has a metal roof with solar collectors, energy efficient lighting, and geothermal heating and cooling.

Inside the building is also a large tile mural created by students and volunteers in the Pockets of Perception (POP) art project. The initiative, led by the Dearborn Community Fund, brings together high school students from across Dearborn to create community art.  For the station, students designed the mural and enlisted volunteers to help create some of the tiles.  A POP representative will be on hand during the open house to share more information about the project.