The Metro Detroit Buick Pontiac GMC Dealers are giving away 1000 tickets to the March Basketball games in Detroit!

All you have to do is visit one of the participating dealerships located on the map below and register by MARCH 27th!

Four® Ticket Official Rules


Open to Michigan and Ohio residents who are 18 years of age or older with a valid drivers license at time of entry. Employees, officers and directors of Metro Detroit Buick Pontiac GMC Dealers (“Sponsor”) and General Motors dealerships, The NCAA, The Barber Shop Marketing (“Administrator”) and their respective divisions, affiliates, subsidiaries and agents, and any others engaged in the development, production or distribution of promotional materials or prizes for this Promotion, and members of the immediate families or households of any of the above are not eligible to enter or win. This Promotion is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.

Complete the required fields on the electronic entry form at any participating Buick Pontiac GMC Dealership (listed below) between March 2, 2009 and March 27, 2009, during dealers’ regular business hours (“Promotional Period”). Limit one (1) entry per person. Multiple entries will be disqualified.

A total of four hundred seventy five (475) Grand prizes (see description below) will be randomly selected by the Administrator from all valid entries at each dealership on or about March 29, 2009. Number of winners per dealership varies (see list below). Potential winners will be notified by phone and must claim winner status within 24 hours, or prize will be forfeit and an alternate will be selected, time permitting. If the winner can not attend the game day he/she is awarded, they will forfeit their prize and an alternate will be selected, time permitting. Potential winners must then complete and submit an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability and Publicity Release form (where permissible) to the Administrator within 48 hours or the prize will be forfeited and an alternate will be selected, time permitting.

Click Here For Participating Pontiac GMC Dealerships or Contact Steve Batman Gotham at Somerset Pontiac in Troy for all your Pontiac and GMC needs:
Direct Line: 248-614-3667
On April 1, at 7:30 p.m., Dr. Phil will give a presentation at Music Hall, 350 Madison in Detroit; on April 2 at 2 p.m., he'll take part in a town hall-type discussion at I Am My Brother's Keeper Ministries, 1435 Brainard Street in Detroit. Later, at 8 p.m., he'll be at the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor for a program priced at $75 (Can.) a ticket.

Individuals and groups can compete for tickets to the Music Hall appearance by e-mailing WWJ-TV and telling why they want to hear Dr. Phil. To enter the ticket giveaway, visit and complete the request.

Admission to the town hall program will be first-come, first-served. Award-winning author and Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom will moderate the discussion. For information, call 313-974-9227 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Dr. Phil learned about Pastor Henry Covington and I Am My Brother's Keeper when he read a recent Sports Illustrated article Albom wrote called "The Courage of Detroit." Both programs will be filmed for future broadcasts.

For ticket information about the casino appearance, visit

Locally, Dr. Phil's show airs at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on WWJ-TV (Channel 62).

New York Times

RECENTLY, at a dinner party, a friend mentioned that he’d never seen so many outsiders moving into town.

This struck me as a highly suspect statement. After all, we were talking about Detroit, home of corrupt former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, beleaguered General Motors and the 0-16 Lions. Compared with other cities’ buzzing, glittering skylines, ours sits largely abandoned, like some hulking beehive devastated by colony collapse. Who on earth would move here?

Then again, I myself had moved to Detroit, from Brooklyn. For $100,000, I bought a town house that sits downtown in the largest and arguably the most beautiful Mies van der Rohe development ever built, an island of perfect modernism forgotten by the rest of the world.

Two other guests that night, a couple in from Chicago, had also just invested in some Detroit real estate. That weekend Jon and Sara Brumit bought a house for $100.

Ah, the mythical $100 home. We hear about these low-priced “opportunities” in down-on-their-luck cities like Detroit, Baltimore and Cleveland, but we never meet anyone who has taken the plunge. Understandable really, for if they were actually worth anything then they would cost real money, right? Who would do such a preposterous thing?

A local couple, Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert, started the ball rolling. An artist and an architect, they recently became the proud owners of a one-bedroom house in East Detroit for just $1,900. Buying it wasn’t the craziest idea. The neighborhood is almost, sort of, half-decent. Yes, the occasional crack addict still commutes in from the suburbs but a large, stable Bangladeshi community has also been moving in.

So what did $1,900 buy? The run-down bungalow had already been stripped of its appliances and wiring by the city’s voracious scrappers. But for Mitch that only added to its appeal, because he now had the opportunity to renovate it with solar heating, solar electricity and low-cost, high-efficiency appliances.

Buying that first house had a snowball effect. Almost immediately, Mitch and Gina bought two adjacent lots for even less and, with the help of friends and local youngsters, dug in a garden. Then they bought the house next door for $500, reselling it to a pair of local artists for a $50 profit. When they heard about the $100 place down the street, they called their friends Jon and Sarah.

Admittedly, the $100 home needed some work, a hole patched, some windows replaced. But Mitch plans to connect their home to his mini-green grid and a neighborhood is slowly coming together.

Now, three homes and a garden may not sound like much, but others have been quick to see the potential. A group of architects and city planners in Amsterdam started a project called the “Detroit Unreal Estate Agency” and, with Mitch’s help, found a property around the corner. The director of a Dutch museum, Van Abbemuseum, has called it “a new way of shaping the urban environment.” He’s particularly intrigued by the luxury of artists having little to no housing costs. Like the unemployed Chinese factory workers flowing en masse back to their villages, artists in today’s economy need somewhere to flee.

But the city offers a much greater attraction for artists than $100 houses. Detroit right now is just this vast, enormous canvas where anything imaginable can be accomplished. From Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project (think of a neighborhood covered in shoes and stuffed animals and you’re close) to Matthew Barney’s “Ancient Evenings” project (think Egyptian gods reincarnated as Ford Mustangs and you’re kind of close), local and international artists are already leveraging Detroit’s complex textures and landscapes to their own surreal ends.

In a way, a strange, new American dream can be found here, amid the crumbling, semi-majestic ruins of a half-century’s industrial decline. The good news is that, almost magically, dreamers are already showing up. Mitch and Gina have already been approached by some Germans who want to build a giant two-story-tall beehive. Mitch thinks he knows just the spot for it.

Writer Toby Barlow is the author of “Sharp Teeth.”

Michigan Could Be Home To Maglev Superhighway

Lawmakers in Michigan are considering plans to build a high-speed, hydrogen-powered maglev rail line that would carry people between Detroit and Lansing using specially built cars, buses, and trucks.

The project would be funded entirely by the private sector, and according to the company that designed it, provide a variety of economic and environmental benefits to the state.

Supports of the program say it's a chance for Michigan to take a leadership role in an emerging industry, while critics argue it is an expensive distraction.

Known as the Interstate Traveler Hydrogen Super Highway, the program is nothing if not ambitious. Stainless steel tracks would run alongside and above the stretch of Interstate 96 that connects Detroit and Lansing, accommodating a wide range of vehicles built by the Big Three and capable of traveling up to 200 mph. Passengers would board and alight from traveler stations built at each freeway interchange, and rail-mounted solar cells would fuel hydrogen batteries that power the system's magnetic field.

Interstate Traveler Company LLC, the company that designed the system, says the Superhighway will not only move people across the state fast, but will spin off enough surplus energy to power municipal sewer and water, communication, and security systems, and its tracks can be used to house conduit clusters of utility lines and fiber optic cables.

Making this system a reality won't come cheap. The company estimates construction costs of $15 million per mile, but says private investors will put up the entire $2 billion required for the Detroit-Lansing line. That seems to have Michigan lawmakers chomping at the bit.

"This innovative rail system has tremendous potential for Michigan residents, and could be a major catalyst to strengthen our economy and create jobs," said Rep. Bill Rogers, who leads the task force studying the project. "Just as Michigan was the birthplace of the world's first mile of concrete roadway, our state could usher in a new era of transportation with just as much impact as the automobile."

Not so fast, say detractors, who question the wisdom of launching an unproven program in the current economic environment. The Conservative Media, a blog that covers Michigan politics, points out that the maglev project is being discussed at the same time other state public transportation projects are being starved of investment, and TreeHugger wonders if Michigan might not be better off with a more cost-effective, easier to deploy high speed iron wheel line.

But Interstate Traveler says that its superhighway, once deployed alongside all 54,000 miles of the Eisenhower Interstate System, will do much more than solve America's transportation problems. Building a national network, the company says, will require something in the neighborhood of 750 million tons of American made steel, singlehandedly saving that industry.

Staffing the network's traveler stations and associated businesses would create 2.1 million "livable wage" jobs, and the whole enterprise would generate a carbon offset value that exceeds $650 million.

Justin Sutton, the head of Interstate Traveler, says work on the Detroit-Lansing line could begin as early as mid-2010. While we like his vision, we're betting it's going to take longer than that.
EXT Life Sciences, Inc., a biotechnology start-up company spun off from Wayne State University that develops proprietary, targeted antioxidant treatments to slow the aging process, announces the development of a cell-penetrating catalase derivative that eliminates the fundamental cause of graying hair.

EXT’s new compound, called CATSKL™, is the only targeted antioxidant of its kind. EXT co-founder Stanley R. Terlecky, Ph.D., a pharmacology professor at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and a leading authority on the enzyme catalase, says EXT’s discovery and extensive research on targeted antioxidants present a platform for anti-aging products of the future, including shampoos to keep hair from turning gray and creams to keep skin smooth, by counteracting the natural oxidant damage that occurs with the aging process.

“The preservation of good health and youthful appearance well into old age is critical to the EXT mission. Given the dramatic growth of an aging global population, our research presents a transformative development for society while also introducing business opportunities for the cosmeceutical and medical fields,” said Dr. Terlecky.

CATSKL™ is a targeted catalase technology that reintroduces the enzyme into peroxisomes of aged cells to reestablish the balance of pro and anti-oxidants and has already earned patent protection in several countries.

Research by Dr. Terlecky and colleagues points directly at the importance of this equilibrium in thwarting the progression of certain aging parameters. This groundbreaking work has clear implications for the cells of aging hair follicles – where the first visible sign of aging deterioration occurs (as gray hair), as well as in cells corrupted by diseases associated with the aging process, including diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

EXT’s announcement occurs as the scientific community deepens its research into aging issues. In a recently published scientific report, researchers at England’s University of Bradford discovered why hair turns gray as it ages. According to the study, hydrogen peroxide accumulates and "bleaches" hair due to the age-related absence of catalase.

Specifically, amassed and highly destructive reactive oxygen species (ROS), often referred to as “free radicals” or “oxidants”, damage melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, because the responsible enzyme, tyrosinase, is inactivated by the high levels of hydrogen peroxide.

Dr. Terlecky says EXT’S research takes the Bradford study further.“EXT not only understands the process that turns hair gray but offers a potentially powerful antidote. Through our research, we have shown that CATSKL™ overcomes the catalase deficiency in a variety of human cell types, including those of the skin, scalp, and hair follicles,” affirms Dr. Terlecky. “We are ahead of the game in terms of nearing the point where we can act on our research and take a product to market.”

About EXT Life Sciences, Inc. (EXT)

Founder, Dr. Stanley R. TerleckyStanley R. Terlecky, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Pharmacology at Detroit’s Wayne State University School of Medicine.

His laboratory researches the molecular mechanisms of peroxisome biogenesis in human health, disease and aging. Dr. Terlecky is the author of 39 published articles in various areas of biochemical and cell biological research.

He holds a B.A. from New York University and a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Physiology from the Sackler School of Tufts University’s School of Medicine. Dr. Terlecky was a National Institutes of Health (NIH) fellow in the Department of Biology at the University of California, San Diego.

He is a recipient of the National Research Service Award from the NIH, the Basil O’Conner Research Scholar Award from the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, Wayne State University’s Academy of Scholars Junior Lectureship, and Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Research Excellence and College Teaching Awards.

About EXT Life Sciences, Inc.

EXT is a Michigan-based biotechnology company engaged in developing, manufacturing, and selling new classes of proprietary, targeted antioxidant biologicals to prevent, treat and cure diseases associated with aging in the global pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical markets. EXT, founded in 2004, was initially a joint venture with Wayne State University in Detroit and is now privately held, offering investment opportunities to sophisticated technology investors.

Olga's Kitchen will support the Michigan community by providing a Free Original Olga sandwich on Wednesday, April 8 through Friday April 10, 2009 to anyone presenting a ticket stub from Jay Leno's two tapings at the Palace, Tuesday, April 7 and Wednesday, April 8. The offer will be good at all Olga's Kitchen restaurants.

Matt Carpenter, President & CEO, Olga's Kitchen, said, "As a successful Michigan based company with over 30 years of creating dining experiences for families, Olga's Kitchen wants to make a difference in the lives of local families by continuing the sensitivity, respect, and concern that Jay Leno has extended to our hard working communities. Through the simple act of providing a free Original Olga sandwich, we hope to continue the good work that Jay Leno has started and challenge other Michigan based businesses to do the same."

The offer will be limited to one per person per ticket stub, dine-in only, no substitutions.

Olga Loizon opened her first restaurant in downtown Birmingham, Michigan in 1970. Olga's Kitchen, Inc. was founded in 1976. Serving lunch and dinner in a sophisticated yet comfortable, healthy environment, Olga's Kitchen is committed to providing the best family casual dining experience.

Olga's Kitchen owns and operates 34 restaurants in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri.

Go to for more information including details about the full menu, and a list of locations.

Olga's Kitchen, Inc. is headquartered at 1940 Northwood Drive, Troy, Michigan. The phone number is 248-362-0001.

Automation Alley, Michigan’s largest technology business association, announced last week that the organization has been awarded more than $2 million in funding from the Omnibus Authorization Bill, which was signed into law by President Obama.

“We’re very pleased to have received funding for these critical projects,” said Ken Rogers, executive director. “Now, more than ever, we need to create high-technology products, services and jobs. These projects will allow us to better assist our members and the business community in Southeast Michigan. We thank Senator Levin, Senator Stabenow and former Congressman Knollenberg for their support in the last session and also Congressman Peters for his support in this session.”

The first project is a feasibility study on a 4,000 square foot expansion of Automation Alley’s Troy headquarters for $285,000. The current building and property will be reviewed to plan the construction of additional meeting rooms and parking, as well as renovating the facility to host international guests.

Since the building opened in 2004, Automation Alley’s membership has doubled from 500 to more than 1,000 members. Parking has become a challenge from this growth. More than 15,000 people have used Automation Alley’s headquarters in the past two years.

“The City of Troy’s partnership with Automation Alley is vital in promoting business attraction and technology company growth,” said Brian Murphy, assistant city manager/economic development services. “This construction grant will provide for renovation to bolster international business attraction to Troy and Southeast Michigan.”

The remaining two projects – the Advanced Manufacturing Training Center and the BUSolutions project – each received additional funding. The AMTC project will receive $428,000 to train displaced and dislocated adult workers in the advanced manufacturing industry.

“The equipment used in the AMTC program is state-of-the-art for the industry,” said Bill Williams, director of the AMTC program and a consultant for Oakland Schools in Career Focused Education.

“We offer software that is widely used for designing cars, trains, ships, aircraft and other manufactured products. In addition, there is also a broad array of training options for "green" technologies.”

An additional $1.6 million has been allocated to the BUSolutions project, which is a collaborative effort between government and industry, intended to demonstrate the feasibility of producing easily maintainable, efficient city transit buses.

In partnership with Altair Engineering, it is expected that the organizations will complete one prototype bus that will be delivered to SMART in 2010.
Model D

The movies are coming and the Detroit Film Office is trying to make sure Detroiters and their businesses are ready to take advantage of the jobs and contracts that come with them. One of the first steps is a free filmmakers round table on Thursday at the Northwest Activities Center.
"It's an educational symposium," says Stephanie Milledge, director of the Detroit Film Office.
"We're targeting citizens and residents of the city of Detroit and the metropolitan area."
The event will feature panels of actors, caterers, casting directors and others who will speak about their experiences working on movie sets, how they got their jobs and what was expected of them.
"They will explain what has worked for them," Milledge says.The event is from 5-8 p.m. March 19 at the Northwest Activities Center, 18100 Meyers.
For information, call (313) 224-3400.Source: Stephanie Milledge, director of the Detroit Film Office

It's Jaaaaaaaaaaay Leno!

Associated Press

Leno to give free show for Michigan's unemployed
Jay Leno will offer a little comic relief with a free show next month at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The NBC "Tonight Show" host said on Monday's show the April 7 performance will be for "anybody out of work in Detroit."

People only have to say they're unemployed to get tickets.

Refreshments and parking also will be free when "Jay's Comedy Stimulus Plan" comes to the home of the NBA's Detroit Pistons.

Tickets will be available starting Monday at the Palace box office. Only four tickets will be allowed per person.
The Palace of Auburn Hills has released details for how people can obtain free tickets to an April 7 Jay Leno performance:

Participants must bring a valid Michigan I.D. to the Palace box office, 5 Championship Drive, no earlier than 8 a.m. Monday. Tickets, at a four-per-person limit, will be handed out starting at 10 a.m. Automotion, the Detroit Pistons dance team, will hand out slices of Dominos Pizza to those in line.

Jay Leno's "Stimulus Plan for Unemployed Michiganders" show happens at 8 p.m. April 7. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The parking lot opens at 5 p.m. For more information, call the Palace at 248-377-0100 or visit
Due to popular demand, a second show is slated for Tuesday, April 8.

Celebrate Johann Sebastian Bach’s 324th birthday with the Chamber Ensemble as they perform Brandenburg Concerto #2 in F major, featuring the DSO’s Kevin Good on trumpet.

Featured entrée: Wild mushroom, chicken, and dried cranberry strudelVegetarian option: Wild mushroom and dried cranberry strudel

Seating begins promptly at 11 a.m. with concerts beginning at 12 p.m. Seat assignments are based on the date tickets were purchased. Tables for two may be requested, but availability is limited. When such tables are not available, small groups will be seated together at large tables. Performances are approximately one hour long.

Brunch & Concert
Ticket Price: $35 (not intended for children under 7 years of age). Concert tickets include a hot entrée, fresh fruit, breakfast breads, coffee, tea and juice. Vegetarian entrees, which are also vegan must be requested when ordering tickets. Museum admission ($8 value) included. Excludes ticketed exhibitions.

Concert-Only SeatingConcert-only seats are $15 each. Tickets may be purchased in advance and, if available, on the day of the performance. Museum admission ($8 value) included. Excludes ticketed exhibitions.

Tickets may be purchased online. You may also order by calling the Box Office at 313.833.4005 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday; and between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Reservations will be held at the door. No tickets will be mailed. Tickets are non-refundable.
Jason Beck

Jim Leyland had plenty to worry about on Saturday, from Jeremy Bonderman's return from a sore shoulder in a morning camp game to Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson making their latest outings in the afternoon.

So given the questions he has to try to answer this Spring Training, he could be excused if he had a smile on his face as he gave up his manager's chair for a couple of minutes.
Ben Meisner studied up for his stint as manager for a day, including what to look for in the camp game, and the Southfield, Mich., native was anxiously anticipating the behind-the-scenes experience of a day at Spring Training. And when someone remarked that Meisner looked comfortable in the chair, Leyland was quick with a reaction.

"Well, there are a lot of guys that want that chair," Leyland said. "He might have it."

At least he seemed to bring some luck to camp with him for the Tigers, whose 10-4 win over the Blue Jays marked just their second win in their past eight games.

The Tigers and Leyland have used the idea of allowing a fan to be a manager for a day as a way to raise money for charity over the last few years. This year's honor was part of a charity auction during the Tigers' winter caravan in January, raising money for the Detroit Tigers Auction.

"This is an actual physical experience," Leyland said. "This is a little different from your normal charity thing. That's why I like it."

Howard Goldman had the winning bid, but when he realized a few weeks ago that he couldn't make it, he gave it as a gift to Meisner, whose father Irving is a lifelong Tigers fan who took Goldman with him to the 1968 World Series. And the younger Meisner returned the favor by taking his father with him on this trip.

Meisner, who lives in Chicago, followed Leyland for much of the day once he arrived in the clubhouse at 8:45 a.m. He took in the camp game with Leyland and Tigers officials and had a chance to observe the evaluation process.

"I've never seen the behind-the-scenes stuff," Meisner said. "To see the intersquad game, I was really excited to see Bonderman pitch and see if Bloom could get out lefties. I read all that stuff, but to actually be able to get a chance to watch Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland assess that was amazing."

Later, as the rest of the Tigers took batting practice, Meisner shagged fly balls in the outfield and chatted with Nate Robertson.

Once the game began, Meisner was seated beside Leyland just outside the Tiger dugout, watching the game and listening to Leyland as he explained some of his observations as the game went along.

"The size, speed, talent -- it's amazing," Meisner said. "I've been to 500 baseball games in my life, and to sit next to Jim Leyland and talk about the game (was great). I've watched a lot of baseball, and you think you know a lot about the game until you sit next to someone where that's their job. It was so cool to watch and see how he reacts, watch how he handles people."
The Associated Press

Detroit Pistons owner Bill Davidson, a noted philanthropist who was inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame last year, has died. He was 86.

The team said in a release early Saturday that Davidson died Friday at his Bloomfield Hills home with family at his side.

"The entire Palace family is mourning the loss of Mr. Davidson," Tom Wilson, president of Palace Sports and Entertainment and the Pistons, said in the release. "He was truly a pioneer in so many ways. His legacy will live forever."

Davidson also owned the WNBA's Detroit Shock and Palace Sports & Entertainment, comprising The Palace of Auburn Hills and DTE Energy Music Theatre.

Davidson's name was rarely in the headlines, but he was one of the most successful and innovative owners in professional sports. Under his ownership, the Pistons won three NBA championships, the Detroit Shock won three WNBA championships and the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup.

He was the first owner in the NBA to provide his team their own private jet, and he was the first to include luxury suites in his privately-funded arena, the Palace of Auburn Hills.

In the years that followed, nearly every team has followed in his footsteps, and even though the Palace is now one of the oldest buildings in the league, it remains one of the league's premier home courts.

Last summer, Davidson was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, not only recognized for his teams' success on the court but also credited for sharing his business acumen to help the league solidify its standing domestically and expanding its marketing reach internationally.

"Over the last 35 years, Bill Davidson's impact on the sports world and the NBA in particular has truly been legendary," David Stern said in a statement released by the NBA.

"From his seven championships in three different leagues during his Hall of Fame career to his incredible business successes to his extraordinary community service, Bill set a standard for ownership in sports that will be difficult for anyone to match. The NBA family has lost an innovative thinker, a visionary businessman and most importantly, a trusted friend. I want to extend our condolences to Karen and the entire Davidson family during this time. Bill's influence on our league will never be forgotten."

As CEO of the privately-held Guardian Industries, Davidson employed over 19,000 people while becoming one of the wealthiest people in country. Although he was most famous as the owner of the Pistons, Davidson was also an extremely generous supporter of the arts and charitable causes, giving over $200 million to various universities, hospitals, orchestras and other organizations over the years.

In addition, Davidson was the founder and the guiding force behind the University of Michigan's The William Davidson Institute, which was created in 1992 to study worldwide market economies.

In a press release, U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said Davison's impact on the college would "last for generations."

"His generosity as an adviser, a business executive and a philanthropist enhanced the teaching and research experience for U-M students and faculty," Coleman said. "He did not hesitate to share his knowledge and expertise and our university is stronger for it."

Davidson donated $5 million for the construction of facilities at the Michigan business school, from which he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1947.

By June 2007, his gifts to the university totaled $59.8 million.

Forbes magazine ranked the Bloomfield Hills billionaire as one of the richest people in Michigan, tied for 68th in the country.

But Davison shied away from the limelight. He granted only a handful of interviews and turned down requests for dozens more.

"I just don't want to be a public figure," he told The Associated Press in 2004. "I don't see any point in it."

Services are scheduled for Tuesday at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield, according to the Ira Kaufman Chapel Funeral Home. A cause of death was not immediately known.
The Detroit News

There are "two great days in Detroit" for Ryan O'Halloran -- "Opening Day and the St. Patrick's Day parade."

"That's when everyone from all over comes out and has a good time," the 28-year-old Royal Oak resident said as friend Koebe Mosher nodded in agreement.

The two were among hundreds who gathered in the sunshine along Michigan Avenue on Sunday afternoon for the 51st annual St.
Patrick's Day parade in Corktown.
Highlighting the parade theme "The Irish were Green before it was cool," many were decked out in their best green attire waving Irish flags while taking part in numerous tailgates in parking lots such as Maxies Deli across from the old Tiger stadium.

Vendors selling St. Paddy's hats, necklaces, bags, shamrock sunglasses and more were also out in full force.

The two-hour festivities kicked off at Sixth Street and moved west toward 14th Street with horse-drawn carriages, clowns zipping by on miniature motorcycles and parade participants throwing beads and candy to spectators. Some onlookers wearing green wigs watched the parade from roof tops and cheered as five DeLorean sports cars manufactured in Northern Ireland cruised by with the doors raised open.

Various bands including the Wyandotte Marching Chiefs marching band also got people off the curbs and out of their lawn chairs dancing. But the best part for Jim Doyle of St. Clair was listening to the bagpipers and drummers clad in kilts, he said.

"I love listening to them because it's all about ... the history. It doesn't get any better than that," Doyle said. "This entire event gives people a sense of community."

Kathi Kelly agrees. She drove down from Gaylord to share her family's Irish roots with her two grandchildren attending their first St. Patrick's Day parade in Detroit.

"I grew up in the Metro area and have attended many of these parades. I love the camaraderie and it's such a happy time. If you look around everyone is smiling," Kelly said. "So I couldn't miss out on sharing this experience with granddaughter and grandson. It's very exciting seeing their responses to everything."

Kelly's five-year-old grandson Andrew Whitman of Brownstown watched with glee as a dog dressed in a green hat and beads zipped by in a remote controlled car.

"Wow!" he shouted pointing at the car. "This is really fun."

Ferndale released a ray of light recently in announcing its better-than-expected growth rate.

Last year, 26 businesses opened their doors which is a net gain of 233 percent according to the Ferndale Downtown District Authority.

290 jobs were created.

“These jobs are opportunities for our residents to round out the local economy and support it by shopping and dining here. Jobs generate jobs, the formula works and Downtown Ferndale is the proof,” said Cristina Sheppard-Decius, executive director of the DDA.

The investments were large.

Leading the charts is the private/public investment figure of $20.1 million, a 299 percent increase from 2007. Significant contributors are the $9 million generated by the Lofts on 9 condominium project and $5 million from the Foley Mansfield Law firm rehabilitation of the historical library.

“The Lofts on 9 and the Foley Mansfield projects were certainly major, but it is even more important that our totals are based on decisions made by many different investors,” Sheppard-Decius said. “We were not reliant on, nor are we depending on, one single project or one single investor, and that is true for the year ahead. We already have projects in the pipeline or ongoing for 2009.”

What's the secret to Ferndale's success?

“I am asked that question all the time,” City Manager Bob Bruner said. “If I had the exact formula I could write a book. But, a key factor is that this a very open-minded community. It's inclusive. People here are very active, they don't just move here and sit back and do nothing.”

Bruner said there is high energy and participation from the residents who organize community events, work to make sure the city is diverse and accepting to all people, and strongly support their local businesses.

Businesses want to be part of the city.

Valerie Traylor, who owns Thicke Madam Boutique on Nine Mile Road, agreed. Thicke Madam was located in Oak Park for nearly two years, but Traylor and her business partner/daughter Shannon Eaddy decided that Ferndale's walking community would be a strong asset for the store.
“We have more visibility.”

Thicke Madam is a clothing boutique with clothes that are “jazzy and classy for plus sizes,” Traylor said.

Beverly Banton, owner of Unique Expressions on Woodward, said she decided to relocate her successful Southfield business to Ferndale because of the vibe that residents and the city have created. Unique Expressions carries branded merchandise for businesses.

“I needed a bigger building for my business and this one is beautiful,” Banton said. “Ferndale has blossomed in the past two years and the city itself has created an atmosphere that makes you want to be a part of it.”

Ferndale residents invest in their city. In the 90s they approved $60 million for infrastructure improvements, Bruner said. Nearly every street in the city has been resurfaced or rebuilt within the past 10 years.

“I tell other cities ... if you can figure out a way to attract people with that energy and openness — and a willingness to invest in their community — it's the secret sauce.”
Good bones help too.

In 1927 (when Ferndale began), it was created as a compact walking city with a traditional downtown and tree-lined streets.

“I think that compact community is back in style. So we began with strong bones,” Bruner said.
Sheppard-Decuius said the city has many reasons to be proud.

“We have exceeded expectations at every indicator,” she said.

The 2008 statistics indicate phenomenal growth and reinvestment in all segments of the market, from housing to retail to restaurant to business.

“Our programs are working, our downtown is thriving, we remain strong .”

Other new investments include 28 building rehabilitations such as the new billiard hall The Loving Touch and flower shop Blumz by JR Designs. Go Comedy! opened last year too, adding yet another entertainment destination to the city.