Archive for November, 2008

A few times a year, I have the good fortune to get a professional massage.  For my birthday this year, my wife got me a gift certificate for an hour massage at Pure Massage.  Tera is the owner and massage therapist.

Everything about the experience was fantastic.  Tera has amazing hands.  I’ve had really good massages from a variety of therapists, but her’s was equal to or better than the best one I’ve ever had.  She took her time to work my tight, trouble areas, freeing the knots and kinks.  Because I do a lot of weight training (and probably don’t drink enough water), my muscles are constantly tight and knotted.  That’s the tough part of any massage — that can be painful — but she did it tremendous skill, leaving me feeling great.  Even though she did deep tissue work, I had to fight from falling asleep.  I felt like a new person the next day.

Pure Massage has a nice, clean, very relaxing atmosphere.  Tera herself is relaxing and calming.  She has the perfect personality for a massage therapist.

I can’t say enough about Tera on a personal level.  She has been a God-send to my wife who needed weekly or bi-weekly sessions due to a health issue.  Tera treated my wife not as a customer but as a friend in need.  Thanks to Tera, my wife’s symptoms were greatly improved and managed.  Although I feel a debt of gratitude for Tera’s wonderful care for my wife, I would highly recommend Pure Massage based on my experience alone.

If you’re looking for a fantastic massage at a good price, call Tera at 734.459.8414 or check out her website:


Pure Massage is located at 696 N. Mill in Old Village.

With Christmas fast approaching, a gift certificate for an hour at Pure Massage would be a great gift.


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88.1 FM, which broadcasts from the Plymouth Canton Educational Park, is student-run radio.  WSDP is buried all the way over to the left of the dial (for those of us that remember radio dials) and doesn’t have the strongest broadcast signal, but it comes in crystal clear in town and within a few miles from here.

I had almost forgotten about it.  I listened to it years ago but for some reason went to more commercial radio stations.  I sort re-discovered it a few weeks ago when I was trying to find out whether there was a football game at the park.  Since then I’ve reset it on my radio presets and I’ve hardly listened to another station since.

WSDP is what radio should be.  There are few commercial, almost no talking and a staggering amount of musical variety.  This is what FM radio used to be (back in the ’70’s.)  The playlist is definitely a lot less mainstream than most FM programming.  It has a college radio feel to it.  But most of the music played is pretty accessible.  You don’t have to be heavy into so-called “alternative” or “underground” music to enjoy it.  At the same time, you won’t hear the same 50 songs day and day out like most corporate radio these days.

Check out The Escape.  The kids do a great job.

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Group and family trees are up in Kellogg Park.  As of yesterday, about half had been decorated.

I love this event, if you will.  I have to say, though, that the memorial trees, especially of young kids who have passed on, are very hard to take.  I walk through the park with a big, fat lump in my throat whenever I stop to look at the trees.  As sad they can be, the trees are great reminders of what should be most important to us: our families, our community, our churches and schools.

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In yesterday’s Detroit News, there was a front page article entitled “Traffic fines help fill city coffers.”  Here’s a link to the article.


George Hunter of the Detroit News reports that 10 metro Detroit communities, from 2002 to 2007, have dramatically increased the number of traffic tickets written.  Plymouth leads the way with an increase of 487% in that five year period:

• The number of violations in Plymouth rose from 440 in 2002 to 2,584 in 2007, a 487 percent jump.

Ever since I was a little kid, I remember adults complaining that police had traffic ticket “quotas,” i.e. a minimum number of tickets that had to be written in a given period.  Police officer friends of mine have denied this.  Apparently the practice fell out of favor for good reason.  While “quotas” no longer exist as such, police officials in the metro Detroit area were quite candid in this Detroit News article that there is pressure on local police forces to write more tickets to raise municipal revenues:

“A portion of the tickets our officers write helps pay their salaries, but the rest is profit for the city,” said Priebe, a former Taylor police officer. “ ’Profit’ may not be the right word to use in government, but that’s pretty much what it is.

“Obviously, revenue isn’t the only reason our officers are out there — but I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said it wasn’t a consideration.”

Thankfully, some recognize that ticketing to create revenue is understandably offensive:

“The people we count on to support us and help us when we’re on the road are the ones who end up paying the bills, and they’re ticked off about it,” [Trenton Police Sgt.] Lyons said.

“We might was well just go door-to-door and tell people, ‘Slide us $100 now, since your 16-year-old is going to end up paying us anyway when he starts driving.’ You can’t blame people for getting upset.

If faced with the choice of raising everyone’s taxes or raising the revenue from those who break the law, I would prefer the police issue more traffic tickets.  However, the obvious concern is that the police will be writing tickets for extremely minor traffic violations.  Offenses that used to be ignored or get warnings from officers will likely result in tickets if revenue generating is the goal of traffic enforcement.

We want safe streets here in Plymouth, but if the officers need to ticket us to pay their salaries, perhaps that is an indication that there are too many police on the force.  I’m not suggesting cuts in policing be made, just suggesting that traffic enforcement and certainly revenue generation should not be top police priorities.

Things are not likely to change given the current economic situation in this area.  The moral of this story is to drive slowly through town.  Make full and complete stops at stop signs and red lights.  Put on your turn signal to change lanes.  Don’t tailgate other drivers.  Drive extra slowly through school zones (particularly on Sheldon between Ann Arbor Trail and Ann Arbor Road, a major “speed trap”.)  You’ll save yourself some money and help keep our city safer if you drive safely.

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The controversy over the wall at Veteran’s Memorial Park happen to mushroom in the run-up to Veteran’s Day.  I got so caught up in talking about the wall, I almost forgot about the veterans themselves.  (Actually, I saluted veterans on another blog, but neglected to do that here.)

If you have served our country in the armed services, I salute you and thank you for your service.  The sacrifices you and your family made to serve us will not be forgotten.  God bless you and have a wonderful belated Veteran’s Day.

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I received an email last night indicating that the Veteran’s Memorial Park Committee has agreed to give the Plymouth Preservation Network the time/opportunity to raise the funds necessary to repair the existing wall.  This is good news for those of us who believe the historical wall should be repaired, not replaced.  Here is the substance of the email, with information about how you can help:

I have great news! The veterans have agreed to allow our group some
time to fund raise. They would like us to set a deadline for when we
think we will have at least 50% of the money raised. They would also
like to have a detailed plan of work that the stone mason will be
performing to the wall.

We are currently in the process of obtaining two other bids from
stone masons (the one we already have is for $18,000). Our group also feels that some sort of historical marker should be created to let people know about the history of the wall.

I did a little quick math and figured out that if every house hold in the city and township donated just $1.25, we would have enough money to repair the wall. We realize that in these difficult economic
times families are having to choose between putting food on the table and paying the heating bill. So it will not be possible for every house hold to donate money, even just $1.25. If there are people who
want to help, but are not in a position to donate money, we would encourage them to volunteer their time. Time is just as valuable as money. We will need help with planning at least one major fund raiser
for this project.

If you would like to get involved with saving the wall, please plan to attend our next meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 18th, 7pm at the historical museum on Main Street. We will be discussing a time line and plan for fundraising.

If people wish to donate money, please make checks payable to Plymouth Preservation Network and mail to:

Plymouth Preservation Network
P.O. Box #6137
Plymouth, MI 48170

This would be a huge task for one person, but as a community working
together, I think it is a goal we can achieve!

Thanks for spreading the word!

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The battle over the proposed demolition of the Veteran’s Memorial Park wall is heating up.  I, without reservation, urge that the wall should be saved and that the reasons given to replace the existing historic structure with a new one are lousy, at best.*

This issue was brought to the attention of many of us through our neighborhood park association forum.  On the front page of today’s Plymouth Observer is an article about the issue.  See the link below.


The article nicely lays out the position of the Veteran’s Park Committee.  While I appreciate the Committee’s position, I think the members are dead wrong on this issue.   Indented quotes are from the article, followed by my thoughts:

“(The stone wall) is in bad shape,” Bob Zaetta of Plymouth Township, president of the Plymouth Community Veteran’s Memorial Park committee, told commissioners Monday night. “According to our contractor, one of the major reasons why the wall keeps cracking and crumbling is because it doesn’t have a footing underneath it. There are at least a dozen different kinds of mortar in the wall … and according to (City Manager Paul) Sincock at least three times people have run into it with their cars. So the question is how much of the wall is original, anyway?

A few major questions are raised by Mr. Zaetta’s comments.  One, is their contractor that says the wall is in such bad shape the same contractor that stands to land a $100,000 renovation project?  Would we expect that contractor to suggest anything other than the wall being completely replaced?  Two, if the historic wall is replaced with a new, manufactured wall, will cars stop running into it?  Three, so what if there are “a dozen different kinds of mortar” in the wall?  The preservation of any historic structure requires the use of  non-original materials.

While Zaetta told commissioners his group has a donor to pay the $100,000 cost for a new wall, the Plymouth Preservation Network promised to raise money for the $18,000 needed to repair the rock wall.

Southeastern Michigan is in economic crisis right now.  More bad news for our area could be on the horizon.  If an historic structure can be preserved for $82,000 less than replacing that structure, we would be better stewards of people’s money to preserve the wall.  I understand that a donor has supposedly pledged $100,000 to replace the wall and it is his or her money to do with it as he or she sees fit.  But this wall is in our community.  As a member of that community, I would ask the anonymous donor to give his or her money to a more worthwhile cause, e.g. fixing the existing wall.

“We’re not looking for a temporary fix. We think it will help beautify the park.”

Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.  In my humble opinion, the stone gateway at the park entrance looks fake, cheap.  It lacks character and holds no significance — cultural, historical or otherwise — whatsoever.

This is a somewhat atypical situation.  Often times it costs more to preserve an historic structure than it does to replace it.  Here, the present wall costs considerably less to save than to replace.  To me, that makes preserving history a no-brainer.

Something smells foul about this whole thing.  I do not understand the Veteran’s Park Committee’s anxiousness to rid a park, that is historical in nature, of its most historic feature.  The contractor that would replace the wall stands to make a decent sum of money.  I would love to know more about the relationship between the mystery contractor and members of the committee and/or the anonymous donor.

I hope the Plymouth City Commission will come to its senses and reject the VPC’s request to demolish and replace the wall.

*I profess that I am biased.  In most instances, I value the traditional and historical over the modern and utilitarian.  I also do not like most contemporary buildings and structures.  In my view, they often lack the beauty and depth of historical structures.  I am also not a veteran and I admit that the Veterans Park Comittee members may have stronger feelings about this issue in particular precisely because they are intimately involved in the establishment and running of the park.

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