Saturday, March 14, 2015

STATE OF THE CITY: Video is available, and Hoover Middle School Jazz Band is featured!

Mayor Rick Solllars gave his second State of the City Address on Thursday, February 12, in the Wayne County Community College's Ray Mix Room.
Thanks to the Hoover Middle School Jazz Band, featured at the beginning and end of the video, for performing! 
The event was part of a Rotary Club of Taylor meeting and was attended by nearly 200 guests, all for the benefit of the Downriver Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry and the Taylor Foundation for Educational Excellence. The Penrickton Center for Blind Children was the benefactor of the 50/50 drawing.
To go to the video, click here.

FISH 'N FUN DAY: Scheduled for Coan Lake at Heritage Park on May 9

The Ecology Center's Fish 'N Fun Day returns to Heritage Park and Coan Lake after a year absence from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 9.
Registration at the Activities Building in Heritage Park the day of the event. Rods and reels, fishing materials and much more. Great fun.

For more information, contact Dennis O'Connell at the Ecology Center, located in the waterwheel building at Coan Lake, or call (734) 306-5235.

HOOVER MIDDLE SCHOOL: Poetry lovers will gather May 7

The "Where is the Love Poetry Slam" will be held at 6:30 p.m. May 7 at Hoover Middle School.
A poetry slam is a competition where poets read, recite or perform original poems.Any sixth through 12th grade student attending any public, private or charter school in the City is eligible to compete. Cost is $2 per entry, and tickets are $2 to attend.

First- and second-place winners will be awarded prizes. Judging will be done by Taylor teachers, a Taylor student and a local radio personality (to be announced). The goals of this event are to showcase Taylor talent, unite the community, allow the voices of youth to be heard and to raise money for MAD (Make a Difference), a Hoover club.

The theme of the event is "Where is the Love," by the Black-Eyed Peas, the contestants should aim to create poems with a positive message. Students are encouraged to tackle issues close to them, and express their feelings.

Guidelines include:
  • Each contestant is allowed three entries
  • Each entry may involve from one to six contestants in the same poem
  • Each poem should be between one and five minutes in length
  • Each poem must be the contestant's own words -- plagiarism will be disqualified
  • Language and content must be school appropriate
  • Poems must be submitted one or before April 30 via email to

To view examples of great poetry, check out YouTube performances like Dark Son, America in 4 Minutes, Shots Fired and Dear Young Man of Color.

MOTHER AND SON DANCE: Scheduled for May 2

The second annual Mother and Son Dance, for boys 2 through 11 and their moms, is scheduled for 5:30-8 p.m. Saturday, May 2, at Kennedy High School.

It's $25 per couple ($5 for each additional boy in the same family). Cash, money order or cashier's checks only. Preregistration only -- no tickets at the door. For tickets by mail, send your check to Mother and Son Dance Attn. Jennifer Phillips, 13505 Kennedy Drive, Taylor, MI, 48180 by April 29.

To purchase tickets in person, go to the Kennedy High School office between the hours of 7 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays between April 13 and May 1.

For more information, email Jennifer Phillips ( or call (734) 374-1229.

DJ, gift bag, flower, professional photo, pizza and drinks. All cities welcome.

HERITAGE PARK CLEANUP DAY: Second annual event scheduled May 2

Save the date!

The second Heritage Park Cleanup Day has been scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 2.

Last year's initial Heritage Park Cleanup Day was a huge success. Created by resident Jim Taylor and manned by a horde of volunteers, the cleanup attracted nearly 270 people, 15 sponsors, prizes totaling approximately $1,100 and resulted in five truckloads of trash being carted out of Taylor's largest park.

Those involved, many of whom traveled to the park from outside the City, had a load of fun and left the park cleaner than it was in a long time. The Heritage Park Cleanup Day also started a string of volunteer cleanup days across the community that lasted the entire year.

Thanks to last year's success, this year's emphasis will be slightly different. The group will gather in the Sheridan Center Open Air Pavilion for registration and group direction. The cleanup will then focus on the west end of the facility, including the Pardee Street entrance to the parkway, and all around and in Coan Lake.

Groups will still be sent out to clean areas deeper in the park, but other groups will not only pick up trash and debris, but work on flower beds, trim bushes, throw mulch, etc. 

More information will be published on this website between now and the event.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Jim Taylor at (734) 666-8968 or email him at

For those of you who would like to create your own volunteer cleanup day at a given location in the community, or are interested in discussing the possibilities, contact the City of Taylor's Communications & Marketing Director Karl Ziomek at or call him at (734) 374-1447.

EASTER EGG HUNT: Scheduled for April 4 (pre-registration required)

Rosecrans Picture Perfect Photography will host its annual Easter Egg Hunt at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 4.
The Easter bunny will arrive at 12:45 p.m. and the hunt will take place near the portrait studio at 12405 Pardee Road in Heritage Park.

Cost is $12 per child. The cost includes an Easter basket, candy eggs, chocolate bunny and the hunt. Tickets must be purchases in advance and the event is always sold out. The Easter bunny will be hiding more than 3,000 candy filled eggs.

There will also be a raffle after the hunt.

The studio will offer special portrait packages.

For more information, call (734) 771-7202 or (734) 282-5163.

CONCERT: U.S. Army Field Band to perform at WCCCD

The Wayne County Community College District's Downriver Campus will host the U.S. Army Field Band and Soldier's Chorus at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 29, in the Heinz Prechter Educational and Performing Arts Center.
This performance is open to the public at no cost. Advance tickets are available, and tickets will also be available at the door.

The 65-member Concert Band and 29-member Soldier's Chorus will perform orchestral masterworks and operatic arias to Sousa marches, jazz classics and Broadway musicals.

For more information, call (734) 374-3200 or click on

TAYLOR JUNIOR FOOTBALL: Registrations scheduled

Registration for football and cheerleading for the 2015 Taylor Junior Football Club season will take place from noon until 3 p.m. March 21, May 17 and June 14.
Registration will take place at the TJF Clubhouse at Papp Park, 25225 Wick Road.

You will need the child's original birth certificate and one proof of residency. Registration packets are available at

Football players must be 7 to 13. Registration is $95 per player ($55 per additional player from the same family). Cheerleaders must be 4 to 13. Registration is $90 per cheerleader.

MAHA HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS: State tourney at Sportsplex Sunday

The MAHA State Hockey Championships finish up Sunday, March 15, with four finals.
Squirts will play at 1:30, with Pee Wee U-11 at 3, Pee Wee Majors at 4:30 and Bantam AAA at 6.

All games will be at the Sportsplex, Telegraph Road south of Northline. 

Free admission.

AID FOR FIRE VICTIMS: Councilmember holds drive to support displaced family

City Council Chairwoman Pro Tem Angela Croft is coordinating a campaign to come to the aid of a family recently displaced by a fire. She is asking anyone interested in helping to drop off items in the offices of the City Council at City Hall, 23555 Goddard Road, during regular business hours. The council offices are located off the main atrium, next to the Customer Service Center.

There are 8 people in the family: Two parents, 4 children, a special needs sister and an elderly father suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. They are in extreme need of clothing, furniture (including beds and bedding), cookware, dishes, small appliances and towels. They lost everything in the fire and the insurance they have only covers the structure. 

The insurance carrier will be rebuilding the family's house, but in the meantime they are still paying the mortgage as well as the rent on a house in neighboring Southgate. The family's only income is Social Security disability (they do currently receive food stamps). Here are the sizes of clothing for all individuals that can be posted for donations.

Teen age 17: Pants- Men's size 32/32 
                      shirts - Men's medium 
                      boxer briefs- men's med
                      shoes - men's size 10

Teen age 17: Pants- Men's size 32/32 
                      shirts - Men's large
                      boxer briefs- men's med
                      shoes - men's size 11

Teen age 14: Pants- Women 13 
                      shirts - Women large or XL
                      underware - womens 7, bra-38C
                       shoes - women's size 11

Boy age 7: Pants- boy's size 8
                      shirts - boy's med
                      boxer briefs- men's small
                      shoes - boys size 3

Girl (sister): Pants- Women's size 10
                      shirts -women's med
                       underwear - women's 7, bra-36DD
                      shoes - women's size 7

Eldery man:  Pants- Men's 46
                      shirts - 2 or 3X
                       boxer briefs- men's XL
                       shoes - Men's 12 - needs diabetic shoes and socks

Mother: Pants- Women's size 26 or 28
                      shirts -  3X or 4X
                       underwear: women's briefs size 26/28
                       shoes - women's  12 - needs high top shoes only because of arthritis.

Father: Pants- Men's 34/32
                      shirts - XL or 2XL
                       boxer briefs- men's large
                       shoes - Men's 10.5

All members of the family need slippers. Currently someone paid for  rented furniture that will be going back in three months (living room and kitchen furniture only).

Also, the mother and father both lost dentures and a hearing aid in the fire. If you know of any company, civic group or other organization that may give them emergency assistance, please contact Councilwoman Croft at or by calling the council offices through the main city number (734) 287-6550.

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Students ride into reading month!

Ride Into Reading! March is Reading Month and Randall Elementary School is taking a “Ride into Reading.” For the fourth year Randall is participating in the One School One Book program. Every student and staff member receives the same book and we read chapters and answer trivia questions throughout the month.

The kick-off assembly started by Library Paraprofessional Mrs. Patts talking about all the activities the students will be doing for the month. When she started to announce what book our whole school is going to be reading, there came a sound of a motorcycle. Principal Mrs. Meszaros was reading and riding on the back of a bike from Biker Bob’s Harley Davidson Motown dealership.

The school also received a mouse from Critter’s Pet Shop on Ecorse Road to have as a pet for Randall. Her name is Ruby. Every class will be able to have her in their class for the day. Mrs. Troy's class was the first to have Ruby.

Now putting a motorcycle and a mouse together during our assembly led the students to guess we will be reading “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” by Beverly Cleary. Everyone was excited and ready to go on an adventure with Ralph, the mouse from the story.

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Watchdog Dog Night a success!

Randall Elementary School’s “WatchDog Dad’s” night was February 24.

WatchDog’s is a program designed to encourage participation of positive male role models during the school day. Our students were excited to spend time with their dads, grandpas or uncle. We even had a great grandpa!

After enjoying some delicious pizza with the kids, our visitors learned about the program and had the opportunity to sign up and participate. We look forward to our WatchDog group growing strong.

EAGLE NEWS: Latest edition is published

EUREKA HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Launching one school, one book

Eureka Heights Elementary School launches its one school-one book selection “The One and Only Ivan,” campaign with a school assembly.

Gia Cook portrays Julia sharing a moment with our own Ivan. Every family received the book that they will read at home and in school from this Newbery Medal winner by Katherine Applegate.


Children at Eureka Heights Elementary School are already jumping into their books, “The One and Only Ivan.” They are anxious to learn about Ivan, Stella, Julia, Bob and Ruby.


Spirit days just got more fun at McDowell Elementary School! Pupils colored their hair, candied their hair, “dotted” their hair, showed off wild hair, and all other kinds that made up "Crazy Hair Day!" The school is planning more fun spirit days to come.

KINYON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: March is reading month

A member of the Wayne County Sheriff's Department reads to Kinyon Elementary School children to support Taylor Reading Corps and March is Reading Month.

RANDALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Commander Collins reads Dr. Suess

March is reading month continues at Randall Elementary School with Commander Collins reading Dr. Suess. He topped it off by educating the class on how the Wayne County Sheriff's Department serves the community.

TOMMIE SAYLOR: The strength of each member equals the team

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
-- Phil Jackson, famous NBA basketball coach

By Tommie Saylor
Kennedy High School Principal

I don’t know if it was because I was trusting and na├»ve or just young and dumb, but I can clearly remember sitting in the middle of the living room looking across the coffee table at my older sister. I wasn’t even 5 years old.

You see, my older sister and I had a deal. I would trade her all my dimes for her nickels. So every now and then I would get my piggy bank and meet my sister at the coffee table where I would pull the plug on the bottom spilling the condense all over the table top.

Being the helpful older sister, she would assist me in separating my change that I would earn from doing chores around the house into two piles – just dimes, and those not dimes. With the dime pile, together we would count them out and I would hand them over to my older sister where she would give me an equal number of nickels. According to my older sister, nickels are bigger than dimes so therefore they were better. Being the benevolent older sister, she was just trying to help me out.

Likewise, a few years later after I figured out her dimes-for-nickels scam, and given her eagerness to make amends for her fiscal transgressions, my older sister was happy to be “in charge” of equally dividing the candy bar. When I was young my parents would take us with them on their weekly trip to the grocery store, and if we were good, they would buy us a candy bar that we could share.

With this, and being very careful not to get “ripped off” again by my older and more experienced sibling, I insisted that we split the candy bar immediately upon receipt. So there I was, sitting in the back seat of my parents car with my humble older sister on our way home from the store, when we would receive the candy bar well earned by our angelic behavior.

My sister would immediately take charge, and under my close scrutiny, unwrap our treasure and split the candy bar as evenly as possible, yet never quite achieving a perfect split. But fear not, my sister had a plan, she would simply bite off and consume the extra portion on the longer piece squaring up and evening out the two portions of the candy bar, and hold the two equal sections up before me so that I could indeed inspect and approve the equal split.

From here I would receive one piece and she would get the other.

Over time her accuracy in evenly splitting the candy bar became less and less proficient, and the two portions after evening out the split became smaller and smaller. I honestly believed her when she explained that my parents were just buying us smaller candy bars.

When this kind of thing happens between kids. It is funny, comical. We all get a good laugh.

But when this kind of thing happens between adults, it is tragic in the worst way. When one adult, or unit of adults, tries to better improve their position by “stepping on” another, then humanity suffers, and in the end there are no winners.

It seems that when life gets hard, when difficult decisions need to be made, we often forget that we are a team. Though self-sacrifice for the betterment of the team is a praise-worthy endeavor, as is placing the needs of the team before one’s own needs, when the team “feeds” upon its own members, then the team has paved the way for its own demise.

Simply, what happens to one is felt by all.

We must remember and always keep in mind. All of us who make up the Taylor School District are on the same team. Never should we air our dirty laundry before the public, for doing so harms us all, like an infection it spreads toxic residue among the very people we have sworn to serve.

Simply, no matter how difficult things become, no matter what the problems are, if ever asked by the public how things are going my answer, our answer, should always be the same: Great. Things are just fine.

I’m not advocating that we lie to the public, but I am saying that we all need to follow my mother’s advice she gave me when I was a young man: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then say nothing at all.”

If not, we will definitely fall into the trap my father warned me about. “It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear to be a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

In public education the formula is simple. If you lose the public’s trust, they take their children to a different school. And we are all looking for employment elsewhere.

What starts here, changes the world. Making Kennedy the school of choice. Excellence by design....

JOHNSON EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER: Celebrating reading month

Ms. Chadwick's preschool class at Johnson Early Childhood Center is celebrating March is reading month by decorating the Johnson showcase in a Dr. Seuss theme with additional favorite books and authors. The students have been reading Dr. Seuss books this month and are focusing on rhyming and alliteration. 

TAYLOR READING CORPS: Sheriffs read aloud in elementary schools

The Taylor Reading Corps and the Wayne County Sheriff's Department have partnered to promote March National Reading Awareness Month in eight Taylor elementary schools.

Over 40 Wayne County Deputy Sheriffs and Sheriff Benny Napoleon haved commited to read aloud to students in the Taylor School District.

Reading aloud is a key way to introduce new vocabulary to children. When children are read aloud to for 15 minutes every day from birth, these children will be ready to learn when they enter kindergarten. They will have the literacy skills needed to succeed in school, and they will be prepared for a productive and meaningful life.

The Taylor Reading Corps is a nonprofit organization that promoted volunteerism and citizen service to help children gain reading proficiency by the end of the third grade. Michigan is one of only four states in which fourth-grade reading proficiency is declining.

The Taylor Reading Corps is a member of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, which works to increase reading proficiency.

If you are interested in becoming a member, email or call (734) 225-1213.

COUGAR CONNECTIONS: The latest from Principal Skopzynski