Linda Preka, President and CEO of Nobile Cleaning Services, is proud to announce the launch of Green Paradiso, a new line of ECO-Friendly cleaning products using raw materials approved by the EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) .

The launch will be celebrated at an event on Thursday, November 12, 2009, 6:30pm at Andiamo Warren, 7096 East 14 Mile Road, Warren, Michigan 48092.

The cleaning products are super concentrated formulas, packaged in recyclable materials, which are highly effective, safe and easy to use.  Most ingredients are derived from biorenewable resources originating from animal, plant, or marine material, reducing our carbon footprint.

 “As I have grown my commercial cleaning company, I realized there was a need for effective cleaning products that are green”, said Linda Preka.  “I wanted to use products that were both safe for my employees, clients and their employees, and for the environment. Working with Arrow Chemical Products, another Michigan based company, I developed products that I want to share them with other businesses.  I created the Green Paradiso line of cleaning products which I will now make available to any business that shares my concern for their employees and the environment.”

“Two women owned Michigan businesses have joined together to do their part to create a better environment within commercial business establishments,” said Cindy Schroeder, President, Arrow Chemical Products. “Our company brings over 70 years of experience formulating specialized chemical products and Linda Preka has many years of experience in the commercial cleaning business.  We have combined our knowledge and desire to help the environment and created Green Paradiso.

The product line includes Green Paradiso All-Purpose Cleaner, Heavy Duty Degreaser, Glass & Surface Cleaner, Disinfectant, and Laundry Detergent.

 Nobile Cleaning Services is located at 200 E. Big Beaver, Troy, Michigan and can be reached at 586-726-5319.  More information is available at  

More information regarding Green Paradiso can be obtained by calling 1-800-910-0114 or going to the website at

Livingston Daily

"In a sense, we are all Detroiters."

That was a comment made this week by George W. Jackson Jr., a Detroit business booster who addressed a breakfast meeting of the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce.

Jackson, a former Detroit Edison marketing executive, heads the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., a private, nonprofit organization at the center of a lot of the revitalization efforts in the state's largest city.

Jackson's organization is sort of a parallel government in a city plagued by bureaucracy, inefficiency, incompetence and a strong scent of corruption. Rather than continue to fight the roadblocks at city hall, the economic development group finds ways to circumvent them.

There has been some success. Streetscapes have been refreshed, storefronts have gone through extensive renovation, residential and business districts have developed and the historic and virtually abandoned Book Cadillac hotel reopened last year after a $200 million renovation as the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit.

Some of the progress has been the long-overdue demolition of eyesores to make way for new projects. The Book Cadillac itself was a possible demolition target before a Cleveland developer came in to invest in the restoration of a 453-room hotel, topped by 66 condos. Blight is still a problem, but Jackson says now that most of the city's blight is privately owned rather than city-controlled property.

Jackson hopes to see a continuation of young professionals and baby boomers with higher-than-average incomes moving into various downtown pockets. He says outsiders — such as the Cleveland developer — are seeing the value in investing in Detroit.

Jackson is part of a group that works with other regional leaders — including Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, often unfairly cast as the bad guy in these discussions — to produce regional solutions.

Jackson is also optimistic about the administration of new Mayor Dave Bing, the former professional basketball player who turned into a successful Detroit businessman before running for mayor. Jackson says Bing will bring integrity and solid business credentials to city hall.

That said, Jackson said we in Michigan are too negative when it comes to Detroit. Downtown has many attractive features, drawing 5.6 million entertainment visitors a year. Despite the city's reputation for crime, Jackson said FBI statistics show the city is safer than many other large cities in the United States.

In Livingston County, we need to pay attention to Jackson. The region is defined to outsiders by Detroit. As Jackson says, outside of our immediate area, the Detroit brand is far more recognizable than the Michigan brand.

That brand needs to be a positive one. If Detroit is vital, then the entire region benefits. It's encouraging to see a Detroit leadership that appears to want to work with the rest of the region, rather than demonizing it.

Jack Lessenberry: Freedom House One of a Kind

Jack Lessenberry

They arrive here from all over the world, usually after having been beaten, tortured, traumatized. Many have seen family members killed; some were left for dead themselves.

Some were persecuted because of their race or religion or ethnic group. Others because they spoke out about abuses or fought for democracy. They are the people for whom America was invented.

The United States still has a policy of granting asylum to all who can prove they are truly refugees from political persecution.

A small group of those manage, against all odds, to get to Detroit every year, to a place that they know will help them see it. It is called Freedom House and is located in a rambling, century-old red-brick structure in the shadow of the Ambassador Bridge.

It contains both offices and sparse, dorm-like living quarters. (It was once a nunnery.) But for those living there now, it is nothing short of a shining sanctuary. And, indeed, there is nothing like it anywhere else. "We're the only agency of its kind in the United States," said Deborah Drennan, Freedom House's program director, and, at least for now, top administrator.

"We try to provide all services needed by those fleeing persecution in their home country."

That means medical care -- mental as well as physical -- legal aid for the asylum process, housing and food, and also English languages classes, job training, placement and transitional housing.

"I've never had a job that was more important or worked with people I cared about so much," said Drennan, 53, a Detroit native who has spent her life working for the downtrodden.

"But for the first time, I am really worried that we aren't going to have enough money to keep this up," she said. Donations have fallen off, and they've lost a couple of grants.

Accordingly, she has just sent out an emergency appeal looking for the $150,000 she needs to "continue providing our clients with the necessary resources to rebuild their lives in freedom."

Those sheltered by Freedom House are not the scum of the earth, to put it mildly. The 38 men and women living there last week included accountants, lawyers, teachers and four Ph.Ds.

They have, however suffered horrendously. Most have been raped -- men as well as women -- and are dealing with both the physical and psychological after-effects. Potential residents are carefully screened, Drennan said, and those not meeting the qualifications are not allowed to stay. But most do.

And the staff works hard to win them asylum. Nationally, according to Drennan, only about 42 percent of those who apply for asylum are granted it. The success rate in Detroit's immigration court is far less than that. But the nonprofit group's mostly volunteer legal staff has a perfect success rate over the last two years.

Freedom House was founded in the early 1980s, to help a few refugees from Central America's death squads. Originally called the Detroit-Windsor Refugee Coalition, it changed its name after the Roman Catholic Church donated the building, a former convent associated with St. Anne's, the oldest church in the city.

For many years, it was far easier for those fleeing persecution to win asylum in Canada, until Ottawa toughened the rules. Now, the refugees have to seek refuge in the country where they first arrived.

Over the years, the ethnic composition of the house has changed dramatically, depending on where things have been worst in the world. Today, most are from sub-Saharan Africa, with a few from Colombia and Iran. Relations with the immigration authorities, sometimes rocky in the past, are pretty smooth these days.

Freedom House's biggest problem is now economic. While the economy undoubtedly accounts for much of the problem, it also has become fashionable to bash "illegal" immigrants.

Drennan, whose ancestors came from Ireland, finds that ironic, given that none of the first white settlers of this land asked the Native Americans for immigration papers. "When our refugees are legally allowed to work, employers absolutely love them."

But some of the refugees find getting work in their field very hard, like a 30-year-old Rwandan named Aimable Iragula. He has an extensive background in finance, but his English is still not up to acceptable levels. In the meantime, he works as a nurse's aide.

Still, residents of Freedom House are remarkably cheerful. When one wins asylum and leaves, they write a farewell in a guest book Deborah Drennan keeps for special events.

"I truly believe that God has sent me through this wonderful establishment to show me and prove something to me," wrote a woman who signed her letter only Victoria. "I have seen the America that I have always imagined before I came to this country.

"God bless you."

Together, Michelle Matiyow and Lians of LM Studios in Warren, Mich. have earned an honorable mention in the Advertising – Fashion category of the 2009 International Photography Awards Competition. Their winning entry "Fugitive Color” is a series of photographs created to explore the relationship between fashion and fine art.

“A synergy exists between the classic beauty of the black and white images with the chaos of the paint,” said Matiyow.

 LM Studios is a photography and post production studio focusing on fashion. Photographers Michelle Matiyow and Lians met while working at Clear Magazine in 2002 and have worked together since then.

“It is truly an honor to have our work recognized by the IPA, an organization we consider to be the equivalent of the Oscars for photography,” said Lians.

The 2009 International Photography Awards received nearly 18,000 submissions from 104 countries across the globe. It is a sister-effort of the Lucie Foundation, where the top three winners are announced at the annual Lucie Awards gala ceremony. The Foundation's mission is to honor master photographers, discover new and emerging talent and promote the appreciation of photography.

Since 2003, IPA has had the privilege and opportunity to acknowledge and recognize contemporary photographer's accomplishments in this specialized and highly visible competition. View the winners at

For more information about Michelle Matiyow, Lians or LM Studio, send email to or visit the Web site

To learn more about the International Photography Awards, contact Competition Director Sarah Cho at or call (310) 659-0122.
As part of the Community Telecommunications Network (CTN), Wayne State University is providing the technical, strategic and systems support to provide Internet access for residents in two low-income Detroit neighborhoods.

The initiative is supported by one of several Knight Foundation creative sector grants totaling more than $5 million; these grants are intended to transform the city's economy by creating jobs and extending digital access to community centers and underserved citizens.

CTN, funded by an $800,000 Knight Foundation grant, provides $100,000 in matching funds to support Internet access infrastructure development in Detroit's Midtown, Northend and Osborn-Northeast neighborhoods.

CTN members include Detroit Public Schools; Detroit Public Television; Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties intermediate school districts; and Wayne State. Community partners in this Detroit Connected Community Initiative with CTN are the 4C's/Family Place, Focus: Hope and Matrix Human Services.

"Wayne State University is excited about the Knight Foundation's investment in Detroit and proud of our role, along with our partners in CTN, in extending broadband access," said WSU President Jay Noren. "This is a critical component in our collective efforts to revitalize Midtown and Detroit, connecting stakeholders and supporting new applications for economic development, public safety, education and health care. This project will change lives, uplift neighborhoods and help move this great city forward."

According to Patrick Gossman, executive director of CTN and Wayne State's deputy chief information officer, Wayne State will provide rooftop space for the hub of the new network, as well as technical expertise in its design and installation. Wayne State will then work with community partners to build networks that extend into the surrounding areas. The community partners will provide training and support for local residents.

"Wayne State computer scientists are providing design expertise and are excited about opportunities to include undergraduate and graduate students in the development and testing of advanced wireless networks," Gossman said. "As a leader in research and innovation, Wayne State and its partners in the Community Telecommunications Network are uniquely positioned to combine their K-12 and higher education resources to meet the challenges of the region.

"We are grateful for the assistance of Merit, a nonprofit corporation formed by the University of Michigan, Wayne State and Michigan State University, which will be the official Internet service provider for this initiative."

Salvation Army Creates Giant Red Kettle in Detroit

Associated Press

The Salvation Army has created a kettle made of red lights that stands about 56 feet tall in a downtown Detroit park. The kettle in Campus Martius Park was assembled Tuesday morning and is about 24 feet wide. It is made of 25,000 red lights.

The Detroit News reports organizers may earn a Guinness Book of World Records entry for world's tallest kettle with the creation.

The Salvation Army's iconic red kettles are a common sight at grocery stores, malls and other locations during the nonprofit organization's annual fundraising drive.

The army's Detroit-area branch is seeking to raise $7.8 million during the drive starting Nov. 13 and running through Dec. 24. The giant kettle at Campus Martius Park will be lit on Nov. 20.

Join the Red Wings in honoring the Hockey Hall of Fame’s newest member Steve Yzerman Thursday, Nov. 12 at Joe Louis Arena as the Red Wings take on the Vancouver Canucks beginning at 7:30 p.m. EST (FOX Sports Detroit & 97.1 The Ticket).

Fans are encouraged to arrive early as ‘The Captain’ will take part in a ceremonial puck-drop. All fans in attendance at Thursday’s game will receive a Steve Yzerman commemorative plaque, courtesy of Fifth Third Bank.

Red Wings vice president Steve Yzerman will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto Monday, Nov. 9, along with Red Wings alumni Luc Robitaille and Brett Hull and hockey greats Brian Leetch and Lou Lamoriello.

Single-game tickets for the entire 2009-10 season are available at the Joe Louis Arena box office, all TicketMaster locations including, Hockeytown Café, Hockeytown Authentics in Troy, Mich., or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. Fans also can purchase tickets by logging on to

Mr. Pita restaurants will treat U.S. veterans to lunch or dinner again this year on Veteran's Day, Wednesday, November 11th.

In honor of the men and women who have served in the U.S. military, the restaurant chain will offer a choice of one of eight Mr. Pita sandwiches FREE – a regular-sized, classic pita (Italian, Ham and Cheese, Greek, Turkey, BLT, Tuna Salad, Veggie and Club).

"We felt it was important to provide a small gesture of gratitude to the many men and women who served in our  U.S.armed forces," said Casey Askar, chairman and  chief executive officer of Askar Brands. "We are proud to be giving back to Michigan’s veterans who made sacrifices in order to keep our nation safe.”

Veterans (with proper proof of service) who visit participating Mr. Pita locations may order their choice of sandwiches throughout the day.

 Based in Commerce Township, Mich., Mr. Pita was founded in 1993 and today operates 31 locations in Michigan, New York, Texas and Colorado.  Additionally, the chain operates Pita Wagons that visit work sites to provide Mr. Pita foods.  In 2008, Mr. Pita sandwiches were voted “Michigan’s Best” in an annual survey of readers of the Detroit News.

Visit Mr. Pita on the web at for the location closest to you.