September 2013 - Detroit City Limits
Read the Positive! FREE
Detroit City Limits
Detroit’s Hidden Gem:
The Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum
See story on page 2
Some of the Positive Stories Inside...
A Mission from the Heart....
Men on the Move -Promotion
Mariner’s Church of Detroit
The doc is in....
Downtown Tour Suggestion
Detroit’s Hidden Gem: The Tuskegee Airmen National
Historical Museum By Phil Stayhue
Motivated nearly three decades ago by concerns
that the story of African Americans fighting on
behalf of their nation in World War II simply
wasn’t being told, the Tuskegee Airmen National
Historical Museum was born. It was a humble
beginning in 1987 when the museum opened,
fittingly in the city known as the “arsenal of
democracy” thanks to a massive war production
Today, the inspiring exploits of America’s first black
military airmen have landed a more appropriate
place of honor in the history books. Those
legendary Tuskegee airmen – aided by dedicated
museum members – are now waging a campaign
to inspire a new generation of aeronautical leaders.
“One of our major missions for the Tuskegee
Airmen National Historical Museum is to
encourage African American youths to explore
career opportunities in the field of aviation,”
said Dr. Brian Smith, museum board president.
“We want all young people to realize they can fly
airplanes. There is an incredible sensation when the
light bulb goes on in the faces of children visiting
the museum, as they realize their potential.”
Visitors at the museum quickly learn about the
young black men – beginning in July 1941 -that started pilot training in an era when many
people believed black men lacked attributes like
intelligence, skill, courage and patriotism required
to engage in aerial combat. The first 13 cadets in
the class started training at Tuskegee Army Air
Field in Tuskegee, Alabama, where they proved
their mettle. They weren’t the last. A total of 992
graduated from the field from 1942 through
1946, according to the museum Web site (www.
“One of the greatest aspects of the museum is
The museum is filled with historic reminders.
the untold story of these Tuskegee pilots,” said Perhaps the most striking is a T-6 training plane
Larry Sargent, a three-year board member of the known as the “pilot maker” for its reputation as a
Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum.
reliable two-seat instructional craft.
“It’s not just a story about black history. It’s a
“This is not just the same kind of plane,” added
story about American history. A few people in the
Smith. “It’s the
this experiment to
number as the
fail, but these pilots
Tuskegee airman retired Lt. Col. Harry
were the cream of the
Stewart in a T-6 trainer over Detroit.
crop, with four-year
instructor in Alabama. The Renaissance
college degrees. Even
Center is visible in the background. Photo
by John Stewart.
means ‘warrior’ in the
actually flown by
local Native American
language. How could
these pilots fail?”
A total of 450 pilots
training in Alabama
served overseas in two
squadrons. The 99th
ultimately received a
pair of Presidential
Unit Citations for outstanding tactical air support.
The famed “Red Tail” fighters of the 332nd Fighter
Group earned a similar honor for its longest
bomber escort mission to Berlin, Germany in the
waning months of the war in 1945.
Smith did correct a misconception about the
332nd Fighter Group, as well. Contrary to tales
shared over the years, the group did lose about
25 bombers under its protective wing. The group
had earned a reputation for remaining close to the
bombers they were tasked with protecting, instead
of seeking glory with aerial combat.
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Publisher: Elizabeth H.
Russ Bisinger, Jen Bucciarelli, Annette Compo, Michelle Fallena, Andre Salamy, Tim Pascarella, Jane Peterson,
Sarah Rigg, Kurt Schwarz, Phil Stayhue
Detroit City Limits is run by EHAC, LLC. Copyright 2013 - Detroit City Limits reserves all rights. This is a free publication and may not be reproduced either in part or whole without permission from the publisher. Detroit City Limited does not assume responsibility of unsolicited materials of any sort. The publisher has the right to decline anything that is submitted and does
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2 Volume 1 September 2013
is a major coup,
but it’s no more
m e m e nt o s
donated to the
the ranks of
that included the late Detroit mayor, Coleman
Young. Airman Walter Downs donated three of
his uniforms; Alexander Jefferson, shot down
and captured during the war has shared his
experiences for museum visitors; and a replica of
a highly-prized 1949 competitive gunnery award
earned by Harry Stewart will be arriving at the
Smith has a very personal connection to the
Tuskegee airmen, too. His father, a World War
II veteran, was one of the soldiers responsible
for providing security at airfields used by the
airmen. He would later become a prisoner-of-war,
captured by German forces.
“That was how I first learned about the Tuskegee
airmen,” said Smith, a friend with many of the
airmen for more than three decades. “After the
war, both my father and I were inspired by their
actions. We could do nothing less than to try to
excel in our lives.”
Smith ultimately earned a PhD in biomedical
engineering, and many former Tuskegee aviators
were present for Smith’s graduation. “It felt like
many of these men helped raise me, and that’s
played a big part in my dedication to the museum
for so many years. My wife often refers to the
museum as ‘the other woman’ for all the time I’ve
dedicated to it.”
The museum holds numerous programs and
informational sessions to foster a desire among
youth participants to pursue careers in aerospace,
aviation and other related fields. Many past
participants have successfully pursued careers in
A tax deductible charitable corporation, the
Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum is
located at 6325 West Jefferson Avenue in Detroit.
The museum is open to the public free of charge
from April to September and weekends and by
appointment the other times of the year. Schedule
appointments via: [email protected]
Do you have a great story about Detroit
Anyone can plan an event,
let us make it
(248) 962-3225 h Livonia, MI
Detroit City Limits
Mariner’s Church of Detroit is brimming with history
By Sarah Rigg
Over the past few months,
Detroit City Limits has profiled beloved
Detroit landmarks, from the Detroit
Princess Riverboat to The Spirit of
Detroit Statue to Belle Isle. None of
those landmarks can boast that they are
name-checked in a hit song by Gordon
Lightfoot – but the Detroit Mariner’s
Using a bit of poetic license in the name
of the church, in 1976 Lightfoot racked
up a #2 hit in the U.S. and a #1 spot in
the Canadian pop charts with a song
that includes the lyrics:
In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
in the “Maritime Sailors’ Cathedral.”
The church bell chimed ‘til it rang twentynine times
for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The Mariner’s Church has been serving
sailors and the maritime community
since1842, and the church’s history is
so packed full of exciting and unusual
turns of event that we can’t cover all of
them in a brief newspaper piece.
However, here’s a list of some of the
juiciest bits of historical trivia:
• The church was founded by a widowed
woman, Julia Anderson, whose will
directed that the lot of land she owned
become a site for a mariner’s church.
• The building was originally located at
the corner of Woodward Avenue and
Woodbridge Street, but to make way
for a civic project, the 3,000-ton stone
building was moved 900 feet east to its
current location in 1955.
• Anderson’s husband, John, was an
employee of the U.S. Topographical
Engineers, and the church’s second and
current site at 170 E. Jefferson Ave. was,
coincidentally, established as the U.S.
Topographical Engineers headquarters
in 1937. The engineering organization
was merged with the United States
Army Corps of Engineers in 1863.
• The church’s current Jefferson Avenue
location is believed by historians to be
the site of the first Protestant worship
in Detroit. The church sits on land that
originally held the Old Indian Council
House, used for meetings with Native
Americans, worship, and later, meetings
of the Masons.
• During the days of American slavery,
the church served as a stop on the
Underground Railway. Slaves passed
through a tunnel from its basement to
• Mariner’s Church has been listed on
the National Register of Historic Places
• The congregation, while using
the Common Book of Prayer and
coming from the Anglican tradition,
is an independent church with no
denominational ties to or oversight by
the Anglican Church. The Episcopal
Church tried to overturn Mariners’ legal
independence but was defeated in 1990
and again in 1992.
Photo credit: Dave Hogg
We hope these tidbits have roused your
interest. The church’s congregation
maintains a webpage with a more
detailed history of Mariner’s Church
history. A concise history of the church,
along with historical photos, is also
available through the National Parks
Service, which oversees the National
Register of Historic Places. Visit http://
Detroit DJ Steve Black Releases New Autobiography
By Kurt Schwarz
Steve Black loves Detroit
and he loves music. The
local DJ has led quite the RockStar life
without succumbing to the pitfalls of
the industry. From the concert stages
to the back of tour buses, Black has seen
it all. He’s backpacked his way across
Europe, co-hosted a radio show with
Ted Nugent, partied alcohol-free with
Slash, and fought with Alice Cooper
backstage at Joe Louis Arena. He’s got
an uncanny ability to bond with the
listeners and will forever be revered in
this town tied to the memories of his
first wife, the beloved radio personality
After being diagnosed with cancer only
days before their wedding, Sabrina died
in 2006 after a hard-fought battle with
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. When his days
seemed the darkest, Steve fought back
depression the only way he knew how:
through hard work. With a successfully
syndicated weekly guitar-based radio
program, The Chop Shop, to showcase
Detroit City Limits his interviewing skills, Steve’s business
mogul-dreams are becoming a reality.
He’s happily remarried and a proud
stepfather. Now he can add “published
author” to his impressive resume.
Black recently decided to publish
a memoir that uniquely blends his
experiences along with some of the
writings of his late wife. ’From Black
To Light’ is a Detroit DJ’s triumphant
tale of Life, Love and the Pursuit of
Rock N’ Roll. With the release of this
fantastic new autobiography, we decided
to turn the tables on the professional
interviewer by asking him a few
questions for a change:
DCL: From your perspective, how does
the Detroit music scene rate these days
for up and coming bands?
Black: Detroit will always be a pivotal
place for music to grow. Paul O’Neill
of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who
helped break many bands in America
including Joan Jett and the Scorpions,
once told me that all the management
guys in New York agreed that if you
could break a band in Detroit, they will
work anywhere. We are picky listeners
yet extremely loyal.
DCL: Any new local favorites that we
should know about?
Black: I just started listening to Tripp
N’ Dixie and they sound good, fresh. I’d
love to see what they could do with a big
time producer. I also like some of what
The Erers are doing. If they get more
focused, there is a lot of talent there.
DCL: Are there any Detroit-area legends
that are missing from your interview
Black: I don’t think so, I’ve talked to
most of the big names. Outside of the
rock realm, I’d sure love to talk shop
with Stevie Wonder. I’ve never talked to
Jack White, he tends to shun the media,
but that may be his loss. Talking to the
media is still the best link to potential
DCL: What’s your favorite area venue
for live music?
Black: I always like the Magic Bag and
the Magic Stick on the smaller side.
On a bigger scale, I’m so happy that
Freedom Hill is back; it’s a great place to
see a show.
DCL: What do you and your family like
to do for a fun night out on the town?
Black: My job at WRIF is kind of my fun
night out and it often has me at concerts
and events. My wife Gina and I are big
sports fans, so we like to get out to a
game or two when the schedules allow
To purchase a copy of ‘From Black To
Light’, please visit www.ChopShopRadio.
com or visit the ‘From Black To Light’
Facebook page for excerpts and details
on any upcoming local book signing
events. And of course, always be on the
lookout for Steve Black at a rock concert
Volume 1 September 2013 3
A Mission from the Heart & Garden
By Jane Peterson
This is the time of the year in Michigan when home gardens are exploding with
tomatoes and zucchini, supermarket shelves are jam packed with cucumbers and
sweet corn and farmer’s market vendors are fully stocked with greens, fresh herbs,
peppers, watermelon, berries and so much more locally-grown produce.
The sight of all these local goodies can make anyone’s mouth water, but it can also be
overwhelming. In order to get the nutritional benefits of fresh produce, people have
to do more than just buy it – they have to eat it.
That’s where Maggie Kantola comes in. As a nutrition program instructor for the
Health & Nutrition Institute, a program of the Michigan State University Extension
(MSUE) - Wayne County, she is on a mission to help people change their perspective
on fresh produce by increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption.
“You just feel better when you eat fresh produce,” she said.
Kantola staffs a MSU Extension- Wayne County kiosk at the Eastern Market that
aims to educate visitors about the different produce available in Michigan. She also
teaches weekly Cooking Matters classes, which teach income-eligible adults how to
prepare nutritionally-packed meals on a limited budget.
Michigan has a strong farmer’s market presence. Across the state, communities
are providing farmers, vendors, food producers and artisans the means to reach
consumers directly. Eastern Market is one of the most storied markets in Michigan.
Today, many farmer’s
cards, giving people who
receive food assistance the
opportunity to reap the
benefits of fresh produce.
Kantola is a trained chef
who enjoys sharing her Photo courtesy of Maggie Kantola
knowledge about produce
with others. She said people are often shocked by the number of diverse crops that
can be grown in Michigan and are almost always surprised by the tasty results she
produces in the Cooking Matters classes.
Among her favorite veggies is kale because it has a long growing season, is affordable
and is versatile as it can be eaten plain, cooked or in smoothies.
It’s rewarding for Kantola to hear from program participants who shop at farmer’s
markets or maintain personal gardens.
“Sustainable agriculture is an empowering feeling,” she said.
To learn more about the MSUE Nutrition Program, call (313) 567-9701 or visit the
extension’s Facebook page or booth at the Eastern Market.
M O T O W N SENIOR P R O M
DATE: Saturday, September 28, 2013
Place: First Congregational church of Detroit
33 E. Forest at Woodward, Detroit, MI 48201
Time: 3:00PM – 5:00PM
Performance by: Vocalist Delores Washington “Londen” of
Photos packages will be available starting at $5.00
Photographer Jim R. Cliff
Certified Organic Raw Milk Cheese
Certified Organic Grass Fed Beef
Available at Detroit’s Eastern Market year round.
Price: Advance - $10.00 at the Door $ 12.00
R.S.V.P. By September 14, 2013
Phone: (313) 831- 4080
Ask for Michelle or Yolanda
4 Volume 1 September 2013
Detroit City Limits
The doc is in: Children’s Health Project adds new mobile clinic
this fall to treat Detroit’s youth By Jen Bucciarelli
As the new school year
schedule annual check-ups,
the doctor will come to
you and your child—and remain nearby
should you need them later this year.
The Children’s Health Fund and Henry
Ford Health System paired in late 2010 to
birth Children’s Health Project of Detroit,
which has given way to the city’s first
mobile health clinic. And the program
gains traction as another unit will be
added to its fleet this fall.
The first clinic rolled out with the name
Health Alliance for Neighborhood Kids,
or HANK for Henry Ford. It stretches
38 feet in length and is an RV, holding
pediatricians, medical assistants and other
From annual physicals and immunizations
to infections, injuries, asthma and disease
prevention, the team treats it all.
“It’s the same quality of care that you would
get if you went to an ordinary clinic,” said
Kate Conway, administrator for pediatrics
HANK and crew make their rounds
through the city, stopping at several
Photo courtesy of Children’s Health Project of Detroit
schools and a few community centers to
“If kids aren’t feeling good and aren’t
healthy, they’re not going to be able to
learn,” Conway said, “so one of our goals is
to take care of the child and if we can, we
send them back to class.”
The latest addition, appropriately named
Clara after Henry Ford’s wife, will make
her debut this fall, adding four to five new
school locations to the route, said Elliott
Attisha, medical director for the Children’s
Health Project of Detroit.
“We had roughly 800 visits to HANK this
past year and estimate that Clara will catch
up to this number pretty quickly,” Attisha
R u s s e l l
Here is our exclusive Detroit City Limits
interview with Kate Conway on some
DCL: Where will mobile clinics HANK
and the soon-to-be Clara park this year to
see their young patients?
K.C.: Dixson Educational Learning
Academy, Sampson-Webber Academy,
Catherine Ferguson Academy and Don
Bosco Hall and others.
DCL: Who treats the patients and what
are the costs for care in these clinics?
K.C.: The staff is employees of the health
system. We bill insurance for our services.
Most of the kids we see have Medicaid
DCL: What does the clinic do if a child
without insurance wants to be seen?
K.C.: We see them any way. That’s partly
why we also have to have grant funding,
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all kinds of
because we don’t necessarily get paid for
everything we do.
DCL: Do other hospitals offer mobile
clinics in the area?
K.C.: In Detroit, we are the only ones.
DCL: What does it take to get a mobile
clinic up and running?
K.C.: It takes months and months for the
unit to be built because we want to make
it to our specifications so it meets all the
state and federal requirements for a clinic
and then it has to be equipped with all
the exam tables and equipment that you
need for any kind of visit—blood pressure
monitors; otoscopes for the ears, (etc.).
An important part is to work with the
principals at the schools or the community
center to engage those sites because we
require parental consent for the kids to be
DCL: What is something important to
remember about the clinic on wheels?
K.C.: Unless it’s an emergency, we don’t
see (children) if they don’t have a parent
consent (form) on file.
An official launch event for Clara will be
announced later this month. Want to learn
more? Be sure to check out the clinics
online at www.HenryFord.com.
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S&M Jewelry Designs
Custom & Retail Jewelry & Scented She Butter!
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Volume 1 September 2013 5
Eastern Market Profile: Verace Pasta e Olio
PASTA ARTISAN IN DETROIT
By Sarah Rigg
In each issue of Detroit City Limits, we’ll profile a regular vendor at Detroit’s Eastern Market, focusing on
some of the lesser-known vendors, products. This issue: Verace Pasta e Olio.
Vendor: Cas Chirco
Products: Pasta, sauces and olive oil.
Location: At Eastern Market in summer, we’re in Shed 2; in winter, Shed 3.
Website: None yet – one is under construction.
DCL: What does your business name
VP: In Italian, “verace” means “true and
genuine.” I was born in Sicily, and what
I’m trying to do is bring the heritage I
have – true and simple food – to the
market. It’s food without preservatives
or chemicals, no bleached or brominated
flours, no GMOs (genetically-modified
food crops). I’m making the simple kind
of food my mom makes, where it takes
six hours to make a sauce.
DCL: How did you get started?
VP: I’ve been in business just for a
year. Before that, I worked for a family
member in a family business. Five years
ago, I worked in construction. I had
some bad luck, but when I fell down, I
picked myself up and never looked back.
DCL: What makes your pasta
VP: Our pasta is all hand-produced, not
Q & A with Cas of Verace Pasta
forced or extruded. Commercial pasta is
rapidly dried and boxed. It takes three
days for me to make pasta and let it dry
the old way, on the racks. If you force
pasta to dry quickly, it’s hard and brittle.
When it’s naturally air-dried, it’s soft and
moist and melts in your mouth, instead
of feeling like you’re chewing on a shoe.
I’m selling a premium gourmet product,
and I’m not trying to compete with big
boys. People say they want to eat well,
but they want it for 50 cents. I had a lady
come up to me and show me a package
of pasta that she’d bought for $3 at
the store, and I told her to look at the
ingredients list, and half of it, she had to
do an internet search to figure out what
those chemicals were.
DCL: What products do you sell?
VP: For pasta we sell traditional dried
pastas, and handmade ravioli with
organic whole-milk cheeses. We hand
make our gnocchis and pasta sauces. We
Photo taken by DCL staff member
also sell extra-virgin first cold pressed
olive oil. My uncle in Sicily is 90 years
old and has a mule on a family vineyard,
hundreds of years old. He hand picks the
olives, true cold-press extra-virgin oil.
For me, true virgin olive oil is from one
source, it’s not a blend of oils from many
different countries. So, it depends on
my uncle and his mule, if they have any
available. We don’t carry a large quantity
and only offer it for sale when it’s
available. I also do pasta tasting parties,
fundraisers, at your home or office. I’ll
bring my pasta, give out samples, tell
them the story of how it’s made and
talk about the ingredients. Then I take
orders, and then I get referral business
DCL: Who’s your typical customer?
VP: My typical customer is a woman.
I get people from all different ethnic
backgrounds, though, who understand
traditional pasta, little old ladies from
Germany or Italy who say they make
everything themselves. If someone
doesn’t understand good pasta and oil,
I will educate them a little bit; really I
do that with every sale. It’s what I like to
do; it’s my passion. Sometimes, I’ll have
a spirited debate with a customer, but
after I win them over, I get them for life.
DCL: What do you like about Detroit?
VP: I come to Eastern Market, and it’s
like a family; I feel like the people here
are like cousins I didn’t even know I had.
I tell everybody to come down here and
become part of the family, because we’re
all connected to each other. Some people
want to talk about the negatives in
Detroit, but I always believe in looking
at the positive, and like my mother say,
always look forward and never look
back. If everyone contributed one
ounce of positive, Detroit would come
Downtown Detroit Tour Suggestion By Russ Bisinger
About 15 years ago, I
started giving informal
downtown tours to out-oftown guests. Over the years, a
somewhat formal route took
shape. It has even got to the
point that people think I run
a part-time business giving
Detroit tours. Although I do
it for fun, I graciously accept
Photo Taken By Russ Bisinger
My tours begin at Belle Isle
around 10 AM. Our first stop is the Conservatory and
the Aquarium. For anyone who has been there, you can
imagine the positive reaction to the lush foliage. For
return guests, I alternate the Conservatory with the
I also try to give historical facts and point out
6 Volume 1 September 2013
the sights along the way. One example is the Nancy
Brown Peace Carillon. Nancy Brown was an advicecolumnist that organized the construction of the tower
by soliciting small change donations. I highly suggest
that you research facts online to impress your guests.
If possible, try to get your guests to the Belle Isle
nature zoo by 11:00 AM to feed the European Fallow
Deer. The Zookeepers give a nice history of the deer
that first came to the island as a gift from France in the
late 1800’s. Among the other exhibits, there is a bird
viewing window where you can see a good variety of
When leaving the Island, I like to take a ride to
Indian Village. I usually go down a couple of streets
and point out a few of the famous homes. Out-oftown guests are usually surprised to see a whole
neighborhood of stately homes that some have called,
After Indian Village, I usually go to Jacoby’s
for lunch. Jacoby’s is on Brush Street and claims to
be Detroit’s oldest saloon. Most weekends, there is
available street parking. After lunch, we walk to the
Renaissance Center. I enter through the front door
and walk around to the Winter garden. My guests are
usually quietly impressed with the building interior.
From there, we walk down the River Walk and enjoy
From the Renaissance Building, we take the People
Mover for a full loop, ending in Greek Town. The 20
minute People Mover ride gives a really nice over-view
of our famous downtown architecture.
This nice 5 hour tour provides a good overview of
our great Downtown Detroit area. I hope you and your
guests will enjoy!
Detroit City Limits
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Volume 1 September 2013 7
Got a Real Estate Question?
Dear Annette I am currently buying my home on a land contract. It has been. 3 1/2 yrs. would
like to refinance into a conventional mortgage. I have a poor but improving
credit history. Any advice? Ps love the show!
A. The first thing to do is to plan ahead! You can’t start to repair or grow your credit
score until you know exactly what you need to work on, you need a starting point.
Throw on your running shoes, this may take a little run to get it up to what we would
consider the finish line with the prize being a mortgage approval. Your credit report
includes a list of the accounts that are damaging and supporting your credit score.
Get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus to find
out which accounts need work and which are just fine. You can obtain a free credit
report from AnnualCreditReport.com.
What does a score translate into?
• 300-580: You’ll be denied credit or will only be approved for the very high interest
• 581-650: You may qualify for credit at high interest rates.
• 651-710: You’ll qualify for credit at moderate interest rates.
• 711-750: You’ll qualify for credit at competitive interest rates.
• 751 and up: You’ll get the most competitive, lowest interest rates on the market.
This is not a time to run out or with today’s technology get online and apply for another
credit card. JUST SAY NO! OR NO THANK YOU! New credit card purchases will
raise your credit utilization which is the ratio between your credit card balances and
your credit limit. The higher your balances are, the more your credit score is affected
negativity and will lower your score. So, pay cash for purchases instead of putting
them on your credit card. Even better, if you can avoid the purchase completely, you
can use that money to reduce your credit card balance. Lowering your balances helps
improve your credit score. When using the credit cards as a “in case of emergency”,
never charge more than ½ of your credit limit as this will affect your score negatively
as well. Pay on time! The further behind you are on your payments, the more it hurts
your credit score. If you have the money, get caught up on your credit card payments
before they are charged-off or sent to a collection agency. Talk to your credit card
issuer about your missed payments. Always ask your creditor to help you sometimes
they may be willing to re-age your account so your credit report shows your account
has always been paid on time.
If you don’t use the card, and it is paid off, cancel it. Understand though never close
credit card accounts that have become delinquent. Try to work out an arrangement
with the creditor to see if there is a way to isolate the financial HICCUP, so it will
not negatively affect your credit. For example, canceling a credit card with a balance
can damage your credit score if the creditor also stops reporting your credit limit.
Last but not least…………Be Patient! Patience isn’t a factor that’s used to figure
your credit score, but it’s something you need to have in your tool box while you
wait to see how your activity is improving your credit. Your credit wasn’t damaged
overnight, so don’t expect it to improve in the same amount of time. I always tell
people the analogy, credit repair is like dieting. You have to exercise or have activity
to see a difference, but the difference in not overnight. You did not over eat 24 hours
to get the 25 pounds you are trying to lose. Staying busy will help the time clock
move and continue paying your debts on time each month and over time you will
see your credit score improve.
If your credit report contains errors, you have the right to have them removed by
writing to the credit bureau. Check out Credit411now.com for help as well. When
you write a letter to the credit bureau, you will need to reference the creditor the
amount and why it is incorrect. The credit bureau will have 30 days to contact the
creditor with a response asking for validation of the debt. If there is no response
from the creditor then the credit bureau has to remove the inaccurate information
immediately. Follow up and record keeping are you tools you will need to have in
place to get this resolve. Errors can hurt your credit score more than you think. For
example, an inaccurately reported late payment could bring your credit score down
60 to 110 points depending on the other information in your credit report.
*If you have a Real Estate Question and want to “Ask Annette”, you can submit your question at
www.realestate411now.com or call (877) ANNETTE
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to meet your needs.
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8 Volume 1 September 2013
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Detroit City Limits
Mortgage Points. What’s the point?
By Tim Pascarella, Mortgage Expert
If you could pay money to get a better interest rate on your mortgage loan, would
you? Before you’re quick to answer, “yes,” let’s take a closer look at how discount
points work to determine if paying mortgage points is in your best financial interest.
Discount points are a prepaid interest fee that you pay upfront to lower your
interest rate. Points are calculated as a percentage of your total loan amount and
typically equal 1% of the loan. For example, one point for a $200,000 home costs
Although each point generally lowers your interest rate by .25%, there is the
potential that you could lower your interest rate by up to .5%. You also have the
ability to deduct points as prepaid interest come tax time.
While the idea of paying mortgage points to lower interest rates may intrigue
you, there are two key factors you need to take into account before making a
decision: your current financial situation and the length of time you expect to live in
Once the down payment and closing costs are accounted for, most people don’t
have the luxury of allocating funds toward mortgage points. If you are able to put
a portion of your funds toward paying points, you need to consider how long you
plan on living at that house. The longer plan on living there, the more you’ll benefit
from paying points.
To weigh the opportunity cost of paying points, let’s go back to our example of
the $200,000 loan.
For a $200,000, 30-year fixed rate mortgage loan with an interest rate of 6%,
your monthly mortgage payment would be approximately $1,199 a month. If you
decided to pay one point to lower your interest rate to 5.75%, your monthly mortgage
payment would drop to $1,167. This would save you an extra $32 each month, with
$8.33 in monthly investment savings, for a true monthly savings of $23.63.
If you take your true monthly savings and divide it by the cost of points (in this
case $2,000) you can determine how long you will need to live at that residence to
break even. At this rate, it would take you approximately 84 months, or seven years,
to regain the money you paid for points.
So, if you plan on living there for seven years or more, then it would be wise to
consider paying mortgage points. However, if you plan on relocating in the relatively
near future, I would advise you to look at other ways you can improve your interest
When it comes to purchasing a home, you want to carefully consider all of
your options. After all, it is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make in
life. To determine if you should pay points to lower your interest rate, try using our
mortgage point calculator.
With more than 10 years of experience at Ross Mortgage Corporation, Tim
Pascarella has closed more than 1,750 mortgage loans, totaling more than $300,000,000.
He is consistently the top producer at Ross Mortgage. Tim’s business is primarily by
referral only, and customer satisfaction is his top priority.
Tim is a graduate of Western Michigan University and a native of Bloomfield Hills,
MI, where he lives with his wife, three children and dogs. Tim is an avid outdoorsman
and enjoys golfing, boating and traveling with his family.
Think (and ask) Before You Remodel
By Andre Salamy
True story: One of the first clients I started working with when I got into Real Estate were a newlywed couple. They had very specific things they wanted in
a home. We must have looked at no less than 50 of them. Several offers were made along the way until they fell in love and got their dream home in Royal
Oak. Fast forward 10 months after purchase, they called me for advice about an addition they were doing. They explained their remodel and also stated
they weren’t comfortable with whom they had gotten quotes from. I informed them that not only were they making a sound decision on what they wanted
to do because it would pay back no less than 2 times the investment but I could also put them in contact with one of the contractors within our Real Estate
411 network. Let’s just say the work will begin soon and they are getting a lot more work for their money than they would have using a different contractor.
A great thing is happening. With all of the programs available to homeowners now, more and more families are able to keep their home (contact us at 877-ANNETTE if
you don’t already know about these programs and would like to). Because of this, they are remodeling or adding on to their homes as well. The biggest mistake you can
make when doing so is to throw money away by doing something that adds no value or worse, decreases the value of your home. If you are going to invest your hard earned
money, you might as well get a return on that investment. Your home is your largest investment, yet some people don’t view it that way.
There are two rooms that people look at the most as factors to purchase or not purchase a home; kitchens and bathrooms. The reason is these two rooms need to be the
most functional because they are used most often. I’m not saying you have to go out and spend big money on those, but if you’re thinking about remodeling, those rooms
are where you should start. It can be as simple as re-staining or re-painting the cabinets and adding or changing the hardware (note: if you are changing the door hardware,
make sure it matches, at least in color, the hinges). It can be as elaborate as gutting the kitchen and adding more cabinets, marble countertops, built-in appliances and island.
The key to remember is ask a professional for their advice on what value will be added after the remodel.
Another thing people like to do are additions. Remember one thing, if you are doing an addition, always think it through in terms of necessity or functionality. If your home
has 3 bedrooms and only one bath, you may want to consider adding a master bath if possible. Buyers like having a master bath. There is something inherently pleasing to
buyers that they don’t have to share their bathroom with anyone else. It gives them a sense of privacy. Speaking of privacy, another functional thing that you can do is, if
you don’t already have a garage and have the room for one, add one. And if at all possible, make it attached. This not only adds value to your home but its another sense of
security for future buyers to be able to pull into the garage close the door and walk into their home.
I could fill this entire newspaper describing all of the things to consider and not consider doing when remodeling, but I think you get the idea by now. Your home IS your
largest investment. Anything you do to your largest investment, should garner a return. The only way to make sure that happens is to consult with your trusted real estate
professional. If you don’t have one, call me at 877-ANNETTE or 248-932-0330 or email me at [email protected] I’m happy to assist you.
Detroit City Limits Volume 1 September 2013 9
Welcome to the Big “D” ! by Michelle Fallena
INDIAN SUMMER 2013 IS STARTING OFF WITH A “BANG”!! Paramount Pictures is shooting another movie, “Transformer 4” here on Washington Blvd. in
Downtown Detroit. Nothing like a movie set to put Detroit’s name on the map! The glitz and glamour of Hollywood right here in our own backyard. It has brought
from all over. Most of the foot-traffic seems to be going toward Tiger Stadium or here where
they are filming. Streets are closed off, traffic re-routed and in a general snarl. Even the Transit Center was closed for a day. I live right in the middle of all this excitement.
Being a veteran volunteer of eighteen years this is nothing new. By next week everything will be back to normal or almost. There is so much going on in the “Big “D”,
everyday there seems to be a different “normal”. All the new construction everywhere, suburbanites moving in, people in
hurry all the time – no wonder I love this city.
One more outing before school starts and then its Football season and Dad will be glued to the TV set. The Detroit Historical Museum has a recent exhibit – “Doorway
to Freedom – Detroit and the Underground Railroad” discover Detroit’s fundamental role in historical story of the Underground Railroad. For a really great experience
visit the Underground Railroad Living Museum tour at the First Congregational Church in Mid-town Detroit. This is a “true to life” tour put on by live cast members
that make the “Flight for Freedom”, real. People have come from all over the United States to see it. This is a great place for learning about our historical heritage, see the
Mark your calendars and get ready for some fun! Calendar of Events 2013
Seniors ROCK! Resource Fair - Saturday, September 21st, http://JuliesList.homestead.com
Eastern Market Vendors - Tuesday from 9am - 3pm; Shed 2
Detroit Free Press Flagstar Bank Marathon - Sunday, October 20, www.freepmarathon.
America’s Thanksgiving Parade - Thursday, November 28, www.theparade.org
Eastern Market Vendors - Tuesday from 9am - 3pm; Shed 2
Big Bright Light Show- Mid-November-Early January, downtownrochestermi.com
Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village - December 6-8, 13-15, 19-23 and 26-28,
Noel Night - Saturday, December 7, detroitmidtown.com
10 Volume 1 September 2013
Under New Ownership
Golden R azor
Servicing All Hair Types
All walk-ins welcome
Open Tuesday thru Saturday
300 River Place
(Joseph Compo & Atwater)
Detroit City Limits
Can You Buy /Sell and Make Money in a “Seller’s Market”?
By Annette Compo, National Real Estate Expert, Radio Personality for Real Estate 411
If you looked in the dictionary, for the definition of an investor in the 90’s, you
may have seen a picture of a business person in a suit, tie and briefcase. You also
would have assumed that the briefcase was filled with piles of money. Fast forward
with evolution, we now define an investor as not a particular income bracket, shape,
education or size. It is a person or group of people that have money to invest and feel
that they can make their money grow faster in real estate than in maybe the stock
With the market value of real estate increasing, many investors have become
frustrated because the margin between costs vs. profit has shrunk. When you look
at buying a home to remodel and sell for profit you should know what equation you
are comfortable with. The numbers change but the equation still is:
(Acquisition +Construction Costs +Closing Costs when you Resale) – (Resale
Price) = Profit
When the market value increases, it will impacted the equation at the profit level
if the numbers remained the same in the equation. If one variable changes then you
need to be creative and adjust appropriately. Looking at a seller’s market, here are a
few points to help you with your equation so your profit continues to stay with you.
Profiting from property can take reimagining and rehabbing. With the housing
supply is down and competition is up, real estate investors must work harder to buy
homes to own, rent or flip. Some brave veterans of the process are going deep for
value: buying decrepit homes that others won’t, to fix and sell.
• Create the Competitive Advantage!
Look for a home that has a special need. –When I go to view a potential house
project, I am looking to see which wall I can move, create a more open floor-plan
with desirable indoor-outdoor living. There is a higher value on a home that has
something unique that other homes do not have.
• Structural Problems – OH MY!
Do not be afraid of what others are. You can find a great deal on a home that may
have a structural defect that you can fix. Let’s open our eyes and look at a house with
tree damage or a basement with water damage. What’s the success formula for these
major rehabs? Buy it right, then redesign a bad layout or fix a nasty repair. The value
of a solid construction team is priceless.
• Location – Location – Location!
Generally speaking the rules of thumb are buying low as possible and buy the worst
house in a good neighborhood. You can fix ugly structural issues, but you can’t fix
a lousy location. Avoid busy streets or neighborhoods that do not have curb side
“Flipping” homes is not hard to understand with the right team of people on your
side. Surround yourself with a talented Real Estate Professional and Construction
Crew and anyone can be a success. The report from the foreclosures site RealtyTrac
shows that single-family home flips across the U.S. were up 19% in the first half of
2013 from the same period a year ago and up 74% from the first half of 2011. It
defines flips as homes that were purchased and then sold again within six months.
Investors made an average gross profit of $18,391, or 9%, on the initial purchase
price, the RealtyTrac report says. Don’t be afraid to “JUMP IN”.
Annette Compo is the popular radio personality of Real Estate 411, heard weekly
on Saturdays from 6-7pm on 760AM WJR. Annette is a Real Estate Broker and has
been helping consumers understand all options when making decisions with their
largest investment, their real estate. You can always contact her at (877) ANNETTE.
Support DCL by supporting their advertisers;)
Moving made easy
N E W P ROM OT ION !
Take a picture of a MEN ON THE MOVE truck on the road, at a job site,
restaurant, gas station....and post the picture on your Face book page and
be entered in a monthly drawing for a $50.00 Gas Card.
(Make sure you tag Men on the Move or Gary Bulson on the post)
* *Don’t forget to LIKE US on Face book * *
We are the Millers
Over all very disappointing.
Some of the family-bonding bits are nice and Jennifer Aniston is good at problem
solving for her fake family, particularly when the kids are involved.
But over all very predictable with a couple weird if not creepy scenes. Might be worth
a $5.00 matinee ticket but certainly not worth a night time ticket at full price.
This mover gives it 2 out of 5 stars
Detroit City Limits Volume 1 September 2013 11
Stunning masterpiece that boasts a large living
room and fireplace, a sweeping staircase, gives
1st fl wonderful flow, great for entertaining, 3 br
suites & 5+ br, and large yard with car carriage
Well maintained 3 story brick colonial, bath
on each level, finished basement with 1/2 bath,
large fenced yard, 2-car garage, move-in ready,
a must see!
Great neighborhood, wonderful house,
hardwood floors, original hardwood paneling,
fireplace in living room. You can put your
finishing touch on this turn of the century
Historical and beautiful 4BR/2BA colonial.
This home is a diamond in the rough.
In the right hands, this gem will shine again.
Curb appreal. Five bedroom brick colonial.
Third floor masters quarters with bathroom
Words cannot describe this historic,
gorgeous colonial! Exquisite features include 7
bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half baths; 8 fireplaces;
ballroom; full kitchen with all appliances
and cooks pastry pantry, butlers pantry with
German silver sink, cooks prep and breakfast
room; formal living room; formal dining room;
sunroom; fully fenced manicured grounds with
These featured properties are not necessarily listed by this office
Fisher Building, 3011 W. Grand Boulevard, Ste. 800 Detroit, MI 48202
12 Volume 1 September 2013
Detroit City Limits