Garlic and Onion Patch

To enhance the beauty of the fountain in the center of town perhaps we should plant garlic and onions around the dirt that surrounds it. Think of the benefits. As we walked the streets toward the center of town if we were blindfolded we could smell are way to the fountain. And the restaurants in the area could harvest fresh garlic and onion for their food preparation. It would provide the city with a much needed residual income. It would also keep the vampires away at night. We certainly would not want a beautiful fountain in the center of town to attract people to the center of town. If garlic and onions are too much to care for, we could plant the evasive species, the garlic mustard plant. It was brought over by European settlers as a garlic type flavor. It is a good source of vitamin A & C and has medicinal purposes such as a disinfectant, a diuretic and was sometimes used to treat gangrene and ulcers. It has a mild garlic-y taste and makes a wonderful addition to a salad. It is in full bloom right now and can be picked in many areas along the rivers.


The Trashinator

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Oh, oh, the Trashinator bought a new car

The Trashinator found himself in quite a bind. In the exaltation of a newly purchased automobile he made the mistake of driving a few houses down HIS OWN street, only to have the horrifying reality that he was in the midst of giant potholes ready to jump up and destroy the rims of his tires and suspension. A decision had to made. Does he continue down his own block and pay the price for driving the length of it, or back up and spare the heavy price traveling down a road that makes the 2000 year old Appian Way a superhighway. Freedom of speech is freedom to exaggerate (a little).

The Trashinator backed up and spared his new vehicle the torment of this dominatrix of cars, bicycles and little infants who would dare take their first steps on its surface. Oh, what a horrible word picture, a little child stumbling down the midst of potholes and patches, bloodying his little body. No, do not let your child take his first steps on Miller Street.

As a result of this experience the Trashinator dreamed that perhaps he could live on Wilson Street where more fortunate individuals do not have to face potholes that can swallow a car. He pondered why he could not live on the mayor’s street and once again be free of the bondage of potholes. Think about it, how much can one fix up the outside of their house to overcome the despicable condition of many of the city streets of Mt Clemens. City officials either avoid the road all together, or if they do drive on it, they are so unaware of its condition, that it is deeply ingrained in them that this is normal.

This city’s greatest strength comes not from its government but by its citizens. Take a trip through the city at this time and notice the flowering trees and the blooming flowers. You will find that in the neighborhoods the effort is put in to overcome the third law of thermodynamics – energy flows from a higher to a lower state. And it takes energy to lift things up from this deterioration back to the higher state. There is energy in the neighborhoods, but city government at its best is passive which is no real progress. City government has its own law of nature, energy flowing from a low state to a lower state. If there is not the focus of the continuous improvement of the quality of (1) life, (2) service and (3) product there will be regression, and regression we have in this city called Mt Clemens. The city has not kept up with the times. It has kept up with the Old Crowd though.

To the Trashinator, I say, how unreasonable can you be to expect your street to match the upkeep of your house. How foolish you are to think that the pride you have in your house should be matched by the pride of city leaders in their town.

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I introduce to you the Trashinator

No, its not me, I am not the trashinator. I am merely his ghost writer. He is a humble person who does not want the attention his well turned thoughts could bring. The topic of discussion today ironically is trash, and it is totally a coincidence the Trashinator’s first piece is about trash. We humans have lived in a world where we have darn polluted every area of this marvelous world. The most isolated snow covered areas on earth are covered with the whitewash of pollution from the air. To drink out of our lakes, rivers and streams is distant dream of past centuries. We urinate, defecate and spill countless chemicals in the water we drink. Thank goodness for six feet of sand or reverse osmosis or we would surely perish.

Take a walk about Mt Clemens and see the abundance of trash. There are very few pop and beer bottles and can laying around, but that is because of the 10 cent deposit on them. But then as to flush logic down the toilet we do not put a deposit on alcohol containers, non-carbonated beverages, worm containers, water bottles and the such and let them be throw to the wind. The Trashinator’s suggestion is to put a 25 cent deposit on all containers that might be thrown on the ground. In fact he is tired of the bag birds hanging in the trees and on fences so he wanted 10 cents on all bags. But let’s not stop there, a deposit on cigarette butt, 10, 20 50 cents, however much it would take to stop folks from throwing them all over the earth, and better yet, quit killing themselves the slow death that mass produced tobacco products bring to mankind. The marketeers of these products are despicable. How can they go to bed at night knowing that to get the majority of folks hooked on mass produced tobacco they must be hooked prior to 20 years of age. After 20 we get smarter and dare not pollute are lungs. With these higher deposits and more deposits the down trodden and homeless will be able to make a much better living and have a high standard of living. The different groups that collect cans and bottles and such will have a much higher revenue source. All will have a great incentive to keep the world that has been given to us in a more natural state. It will be a win-win for all.

Now the Trashinator is pondering making a statement. He is first going to build a solid fence around his frontyard and backyard. Then he is going to go around and pick up the trash from the highways and byways of Mt. Clemens and deposit the trash in his yard. He is going to do this until one day the city inspector comes to his/her house and writes him up for too much trash. He will not say a word until he goes before the judge when he will state his case. This trash that he has collected in his yard is yours, Mt Clemens. Levy a find upon the Trashinator because of your trash.

I think the Trashinator in doing this will make a wonderful statement to us all.

Yours truly,

The Trashinator

PS. Who or what will the Trashinator trash next?

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Hero jumps in river to save three year old boy

Joshua Traylor is a hero. A man who put his own life at risk to save a three year old boy. He did intuitively what a real man would do – save the life of a child. This is my only commentary on the life he gave for this child. Joshua, I wish I could have met you. You are honorable. You are courageous. You are brave. I will not forget you as I walk on the boardwalk.

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Owls and Birds of Prey in and around Mt Clemens

Late winter is time of the year in Mt Clemens and the surrounding vicinity for sighting of Snow Owls. Over the years I have seen them flying down Wilson Street. They have now been reported at the Harley Ensign/South River boat launch. I saw one yesterday to the left of the gate on the condo roof.

img_4594In the day time if an interested person enters into the launch and drives as far as he or she  is able into the parking lot there is a medium size grove of pines near the DNR office. In one of the pines you will find a saw-whet owl sleeping in the tree.  Look for poop on the asphalt road.  The owl is a 5-6″ tall bundle of feathers and can be very hard to see despite resting for the day in the lower branches. Kids love to see the saw-whet. Approach the area quietly, no loud talking or quick movements and there will be the pleasure of spotting the owl. It is very well camouflaged, so be attentive and you will find him or her.


I have seen owls, along with other bird of preys such as peregrine falcons and hawks throughout Mt Clemens’ neighborhoods. When you spot one immediately stop moving, freeze, and you might be surprised what can happen. Several years ago on a early morning walk I saw a falcon out of the corner of my eye and stopped. Ten to fifteen feet in front of me was a squirrel who turned out to be his prey. The peregrine made two attempts at Mr. Squirrel, but missed them both. I have seen these falcons take a pigeon out of the air, as I sat on my front porch. Do you realize the peregrine falcon is the fastest animal on earth in which a dive can be as fast at 240 mph. Look it up!

Several years ago on Halloween, I will never forget, two owls (I do not know what kind, it was too dark, past dusk) took up residence on our bird feeder in the front of the house for at least a half hour. This was witnessed by my family and scores of trick-or-treaters who were walking twenty feet from them on the sidewalk. It was an amazing experience for all.

There are hawks all around. I always see them on Cass Ave heading west over the Clinton River. They can show up along the river, in the neighborhoods, or anywhere were small animals and birds might be. Small dogs and cats can be the object of any bird of prey. There is at least one breeding pair of bald eagles on Lac St. Claire. I just sighted one the other morning about 8:00 AM driving out South River Road near the North Star Yacht Club.

I recommend going for a walk through the neighborhood either early morning or dusk and you have the best chance of seeing our friendly neighborhood birds of prey. Be alert for the “who” of the owls which can be in the softest tones high in the trees or in pines which provide optimum cover. But again no noise, be still, move slowly and try not to disturb our feathery friends. They have eyesight extraordinaire. Do not get too close to any wild animal. We do not want to disturb them. We are the intruders, not they. We need to live in harmony with nature. The enjoyment and pleasure of observing wildlife is all around us. If we, people, move in too close and disturb the animals, they will not want to be around us.

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Canal Park Trail on Clinton River Rd

Canal Park on the corner of Canal and Clinton River Roads is technically not in Mt Clemens. It reside in Clinton Township, just over the city limits and a few minute drive for most of our residents. The park is access to a river trail in two directions, about a half mile north and a mile south. There is also access and parking at Budd Park. If the trail is looped starting at Budd Park it is about a three mile hike. Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash and are cleaned up after doing their business.

I would recommend wearing hiking boots that are waterproof since the trail can be muddy in places but wood chips keep the majority of the trail highly passable. Summer hiking will be a race against the mosquitos, but the trail will certainly give area hikers a good nine-ten  months of natural beauty that includes the Clinton River, old growth poplar, sycamore and other trees. Depending on the hour of the day an assortment of wildlife can be seen such as deer, coyote, fox, muskrats, hawks, wild fowl and a variety of birds. Deer and rodent tracks are plentiful along the trail and river. Hike using precautions against ticks just like you would on any trail where deer share the trail. Take precautions against lyme disease. On the north end of the trail across the river high in the tops of the trees are two rookeries I am able to see of great blue herons. A pair of binoculars will provide a great view into the nests. I am sure this is not an all conclusive list of wildlife but please feel free to add a comment to let us know what you have seen on the trail.

As a sidebar I think it would be a great idea if this trail/park could be expanded all the way to Cass Ave and across the river to a strip that touches Moravian Drive. A pedestrian bridge across the river would be marvelous. Perhaps the developers could do this for a favor to the community and enhance their development. Perhaps if the land across the river is privately owned the current owners would be kind enough to donate and share the land for the public trust. What a wonderful way of securing the land and its beauty for generations to come. An inheritance is share with one family, but a trust is shared with all. This land would then connect to George George Park which stretches along the river to Groesbeck Road and then along the Harrington Creek (technically called a drain, but that should be changed) to Harrington Road. What a beautiful connections of parks and trails this would be from Budd Park to the full extension of George George Park. I have included this proposal in yellow on the map. I know there are developers who own the land at the corner of Clinton River Road and Cass Ave, but perhaps they would be so kind to develop a path along the river to the fork of the North Branch of the Clinton River. The county or Clinton Township could look into purchasing the land across the river to access Moravian Drive. Would not this be nice? Hey, I am a dreamer. Much of this land is flood plain and is not suitable for development, but hikers and fishermen would find much pleasure in the beauty of nature for the majority of the months of the year on land right outside our back door.





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The Inner Tiny House Journey: Jay Shafer on Finding Meaning in Things

We need a tiny house movement in Mount Clemens.


Mark Sundeen, writing for Outside, traveled to the National Tiny House Jamboree in Colorado Springs last summer and talked to some of the tiny house movement’s pioneers, including its “godfather” Jay Shafer. Over a cigarette break in the woods — away from all the tiny space swooners, wannabe-minimalists, and sales reps — Shafer tells him a bit about his design philosophy and the purpose of material objects.

Shafer was raised in a large suburban house in Orange County, California. “I never had a true sense of home,” he said. After attending the University of Iowa, he got a master’s in fine art in New York City. But urban life didn’t suit him. He returned to Iowa City, where he taught art, living in a pickup and later an Airstream. Although he considers himself secular, as an artist he was drawn to sacred symbols and icons. “I got tired…

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