northend detroit

There have been complaints of bad smells in the Midtown area of Detroit. If the air in downtown/ midtown Detroit area smells horrible please call the MDEQ inspector Rem Pinga at (586) 753-3744 or (313) 456-4712 and complain, as it may be coming from the incinerator.

Additional information is needed when you smell or see odors, smoke, etc.

  • Date & time
  • The location - your home address, a street location, friend’s address
  • Describe odor/pollution in detail, for example:
    • Smell: Like “rotten eggs”, “rotting garbage”, “sweet”, “sour”, “acid”, etc. 
    • Smoke: Color, thick, thin, rising in air, coming down toward ground, etc. 
    • Duration: Minutes or hours the smell or smoke lasts. Health effects: eyes burn, causes coughing, choking, headache, nausea, prompted urgent care, etc. 
    • Wind Direction: The direction the wind comes from, e.g. SW, SE (see map at right to determine direction).
  • Report Information:
    • Record the number you called to complain,
    • date and time of the call,
    • and the name of the person who took your report.
      State “answering machine” if you left a recorded message. 
    • If you talked to a person, record their response, e.g. “Someone will check,” “No one is available to check,” call referred to another number, etc.

    For Additional information contact: Brad van Guilder, (

Temp Job Opening: Youth Directory Project Manager

Vanguard CDC is look for a part-time Youth Directory Project manager for the month of June. This person will be creating a directory of all the youth programs and services in the North End from I-75 to the Lodge and I-94 to Highland Park/Hamtramck boundaries. The Youth Directory Project manager will work 10 hours/week and be paid $10/hr. 

Send your resume to Corey McCord at or fax number 313-872-7832. For more information call Vanguard CDC @ 313-872-7831, ext 23. Posting closes on Thursday, May 26, 2011. Interviews will occur on Tuesday, May 31, 2011.


“We Almost Lost Detroit” - Gil Scott Heron (April 1, 1949 - May 27, 2011)

The immortality of an idea lives beyond the passing of the flesh, when called forth by a community evolving it is bulletproof and can be carried forward for generations. Today we mourn the loss of Gil Scott Heron. However we are so very fortunate that his legend will live forward for many years.

I live in Northend Detroit, a neighborhood going through many changes. Some visiting would say it is lost with half the property bulldozed or abandoned. It concerns me when I find people from the neighborhood drifting our streets in the middle of night like zombies. We need to connect them with purpose and passion… but if you haven’t seen that in years how would you know it showing up? Ignorance has come with too many years passing, and generation to generation what is the legacy we are living into?

It isn’t money that is going to open people up to change. We have to wake the zombies, find a way to have them feel again (if they ever did). We have to connect with weakened spirits and offer them hope. It is said that the simple things are the most likely to connect. Working hands in the neighborhood aren’t those of the people here… put the jobs in the neighborhood. We need busy hands and minds of the people living here, not visiting helpers - that will not change our condition.

My colleague said that Detroit is a destination for the homeless. Hearing that saddens me, but I can wrap my head around it and understand. They come here to learn how to drift, to give up hope, to no longer care.

Oakland is a busy street, and more than a dozen times a day you can find a police car hustling north or to I-75 with little regard to the speed limit, traffic lights, or the residents here. Could we please see police walking a beat around the places they know could use watching? Our children need to know smiling uniformed faces, and they will never know them without casual encounters. When we go to the station to report stolen goods they just nod their head and say they know. They say to be careful around certain locations… if you know about these why aren’t they addressed? Is it a matter of maintaining the underground element of the neighborhood?

There was some mention in a visioning meeting about turning a portion of the building with the station into a business bazaar - honestly I think this is a very smart idea. It would create a requirement for law enforcement to casually meet residents and workers from the neighborhood.

The stage is set for change. Our city motto has two parts in Latin, which translate as “It will rise again from the ashes” - “We hope for better times”.

In closing … the lyrics of “We Almost Lost Detroit”

It stands out on a highway
like a Creature from another time.
It inspires the babies’ questions,
“What’s that?”
For their mothers as they ride.
But no one stopped to think about the babies
or how they would survive,
and we almost lost Detroit
this time.

How would we ever get over
loosing our minds?
Just thirty miles from Detroit
stands a giant power station.
It ticks each night as the city sleeps
seconds from anniahlation.
But no one stopped to think about the people
or how they would survive,
and we almost lost Detroit
this time.

How would we ever get over
over loosing our minds?
The sherrif of Monroe county had,
sure enough disasters on his mind,
and what would karen Silkwood say
if she was still alive?
That when it comes to people’s safety
money wins out every time.
and we almost lost Detroit
this time, this time.

How would we ever get over
over loosing our minds?
You see, we almost lost Detroit
that time.
Almost lost Detroit that time.
And how would we ever get over…

Cause odds are,
we gonna loose somewhere, one time.
Odds are
we gonna loose somewhere sometime.
And how would we ever get over loosing our minds?
And how would we ever get over loosing our minds?
Didn’t they, didn’t they decide?
Almost lost Detroit that time.
Damn near totally destroyed, one time.
Didn’t all of the world know?
Say didn’t you know?
Didn’t all of the world know?
Say didn’t you know?
We almost lost detroit…

In more recent years a waste incinerator was built within a mile of Northend… granted it is not nuclear, but when the wind blows a certain way you certainly get the drift. Check out the emissions, be vigilant about them. We the residents require this in claiming our neighborhood - Northend Detroit.

— Stephen Boyle “Fuzzytek”