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Archive for February, 2012

Here’s a blog about one of our local churches.  There is little in the way of helpful or interesting information since little is available online about the church itself.  But the photos are kind of nice.

http://housesofworship.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/st-michael-melkite-catholic-church-plymouth-michigan/

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So reads one of many signs in front and in the windows the Plymouth Blockbuster store (Sheldon & Ann Arbor Roads.)

That the story is closing — and this news, I know, is weeks old at this point — is no real surprise.  Blockbuster has been in financial trouble for a few years.  I imagined a year or more ago that our Blockbuster would close and, well, here we are.  She’s all but gone.

I’m probably a bit late in talking about it, but there is a massive fire sale going on now.   When I was in there on Sunday, the place was heavily picked over.  But my family was still able to find some seasons from a few TV shows we like and a few movies.  I think we spent about $28, which was something like a $1.50 a disc.  The store is also selling off shelving, TVs, things like that.

It won’t hurt to stop by.  You might find a gem or two.

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Because I had relatively strong feelings about valet parking downtown, I figured that contacting the Downtown Development Authority might be a better way of voicing my concerns than simply blogging about the matter.  I’m pleased that I got responses from the DDA, by email, within hours.

What follows is the body of the response email, which explains the whole point of valet parking in front of Compari’s and Panache, how it works, and how the city believes this may actually increase downtown parking.  Having gotten the DDA’s side of the story, if you will, I feel better about the program, which is still in trial phase.

Thank you for your comments on valet parking in downtown Plymouth.  As you indicated, the valet parking pilot programs in front of Compari’s and Panache are for a limited time and will be evaluated after 90 days.

The intention of the Downtown Development Authority Board and the City Commission when approving the valet parking experiments was to free up public parking downtown during peak periods.  The thought is valet parking would allow for many vehicles to be parked on private parking lots, thereby leaving more public parking spaces for visitors to the downtown.

The valet in front of Compari’s – which is for all visitors to downtown – parks cars in the Saxton’s parking lot, a private lot which was previously closed at night.  Some nights, nearly 40 cars are parked in the Saxton’s lot.  The valet from Panache parks its vehicles in the Westchester Square parking lot off Forest Ave., which is also a private lot.  The numbers there are generally much less.  However, in both instances those are vehicles that would normally take up public spaces.

Of course, valet parking is voluntary and those who don’t want to valet their cars can  find public parking spaces throughout downtown Plymouth at no charge.

I will forward your comments to the DDA Board and City Commission.  Also, feel free to attend a DDA Board meeting (the second Thursday of the month)  or a City Commission meeting (1st and 3rd Mondays) to further express your concerns.  Both groups meet at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Thank you, again, for your interest in downtown Plymouth.

Decide for yourself whether this sits well with you.  I’m not certain that I think the program should remain in place, but I now have less gripes about it.

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Maybe you realize this, maybe you don’t.  Only in the last several weeks did I notice that there is valet parking downtown, right in front of Comparis and Panache.  City Council approved it for 90 days by a 5-2 vote.

http://plymouth-mi.patch.com/articles/plymouth-to-allow-businesses-to-test-drive-valet-parking

I don’t get upset about too many things, but I despise when public resources are used to benefit only a handful or less of private businesses.  Right now it’s hard enough to park downtown, and sometimes it’s just not feasible to walk.  We pay enough in taxes that all of us should have a fair shot at landing a parking spot without paying for it.  First-come-first-served is the way to go.  I don’t like that some company is gets to pocket money for publicly-owned parking spots.

That’s just me.  Maybe I’m old, cranky and short-sighted.

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