Food,B7 www.hometownlife.com orcall1-866-887-2737 SPORTS—B1 SubscribetoanObserver,Eccentric orHometownNewspaperat BobRock,presidentoftheDDA board,saidthedecisioncameaftermuch discussionandreviewbyaneventscom- mitteethatconsistsofboardmembers andstaff. “Oureventscommitteehasbeenwork- ingforagoodfivemonthstogether,”said BobRock.“Wehaveaneventsplanner onstaff.SherantheNorthvilleFarmers Market.Wejustneededtomakeahard decision.” TheObserver&Eccentric Newspapers PleaseseeTECHGIRLS,A7
CLUB GETS KIDS GLUED TO ‘OLD SCHOOL’ HOBBY, A2 FARMINGTON UNIFIED TOPS CANTON AGAIN, Eat well ... with endive Food, B7 SPORTS — B1 THURSDAY January 27, 2011 The Observer & Eccentric Newspapers Volume 124 Number 40 hometownlife $1.00 LOCAL LINK Preschool Night Parents who are thinking about preschool options for their child can meet with a variety of facility representatives at the annual Preschool Night at the Farmington Community Library at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, in the auditorium on the second floor of the Main Library, 32737 W. 12 Mile, Farmington Hills. Nancy Ely from Farmington Public Schools will be on hand with details about the programs that serve several hundred students throughout the school district. Representatives will also be on hand from preschools, including those at Our Lady of Sorrows, Antioch Lutheran, Farmington Presbyterian, Mayfair Co-op, The Learning Experience, Kindercare, First Impressions, and Bright Horizons and an in-home day care called Blue Skies and Butterflies. Adults only are welcome to attend this free program. Call (248) 848-4315 for more information. Vote for this North Farmington’s National Honor Society is teaming up with the NHS from Harrison High School and Farmington High School to raise votes to fund a twoday drive-through charity event that will provide free flu shots on two Saturdays in October. The event is a contest, and Shilpa Philips, president of North Farmington’s NHS, says that text votes are needed. People should text “104303” to 73774 (PEPSI). About 1,000 votes a day are needed, until Jan. 31. During the flu shot event, people will be able to drive up and get the shot from a trained health care professional without leaving their car and at no charge with a donation of a new or used clean winter coat to help seven local charities. The lead doctor, Dr. Alex George, is a parent of three North Farmington students and requested the society’s help. If enough votes are gathered, they will win a $25,000 grant from Pepsi to fund their charity event. George said if he wins, he will donate $10,000 to North Farmington. The Pepsi Idea page for the idea they are promoting is www.refresheverything. com/freeflushots. Coffee hour State Sen. Vincent Gregory, D-Southfield, is inviting members of the community to join him for coffee and conversation regarding state and community issues, from 9:30-11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 7 at Panera Bread, 34365 Grand River Ave., Farmington. For more information, contact Gregory’s office at (517) 3737888 or toll-free at (866) 6260814. Sign up for Gregory’s e-newsletter at www.senate. mi.gov/gregory/join.php. com DDA eliminates market master job BY SUSAN STEINMUELLER OBSERVER STAFF WRITER The Farmington Downtown Development Authority announced Tuesday that it has eliminated the position of Farmers & Artisans Market market master, the duties of which will be handled internally and by volunteers. It also announced a new part-time position, assisting events planner Janet Bloom with DDA events, including the Farmers Market. The decisions were financial ones, said DDA officials. “With property values dropping, the taxes we capture also are dropping,” said Annette Knowles, DDA executive director. “We are looking at every opportunity to supplement our budget through our events, while maintaining a work force that can meet the demands the events require.” Bob Rock, president of the DDA board, said the decision came after much discussion and review by an events committee that consists of board members and staff. “Our events committee has been working for a good five months together,” said Bob Rock. “We have an events planner on staff. She ran the Northville Farmers Market. We just needed to make a hard decision.” The new position will help with the DDA board’s goal that all its events become at least self-funding, he said. The decision eliminated the job held by Scott Stevenson for the past five years. A contract employee, he was compensated at a rate of $10,000 annually. “Scott had the best interests of the market at heart,” said Knowles. “I am Please see DDA, A5 TechGirls answers Obama’s call for tech education Ria Jones, 17, a senior, helps Sabrina Bruni, 13, in the Architecture and Engineering session. PHOTOS BY JOHN STORMZAND | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Anu Emmandi, 14, works to remove a tire from an auto during the TechGirls program at Farmington High School. Program promotes technology, engineering and math BY SUSAN STEINMUELLER OBSERVER STAFF WRITER “We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair. “... Over the next 10 years, with so many baby boomers retiring from our classrooms, we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science and technology and engineering and math.” Heidi Skodack, engineering and architecture teacher at Farmington High School, called it “awesome” when she heard President Barack Obama say those words during his televised State of the Union speech Tuesday evening. Earlier in the day, she had helped supervise a one-day TechGirls program at the high Aria Moore, 13, in the Architecture and Engineering session. school, designed to show eighth-graders what the school can offer them in the way of science, technology, engineering and math. “That was awesome, I couldn’t believe it,” Please see TECHGIRLS, A7 Warm up to a hometown homemade pie contest For more on the Winter Farmers Market, see A8. BY STACY JENKINS OBSERVER STAFF WRITER Can you bake an amazing apple pie? Or maybe a sensational sweet potato pie? It’s time to show off that baking prowess at the first Homemade From Scratch Pie Contest, brought to the community by the Power Road Winter Farmers Market and the Farmington Observer. This hometown event is set for noon on Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Power Road Winter Farmers Market, located in the Positive Attitude Dance Academy, 23020 Power Road, just north of Grand River in Farmington. To enter, mail a copy of your recipe, along with your full name and contact information to: Jean Smith, PRWFM Pie Contest, 4324 Mushroom Road, Snover, MI 48472 Home Delivery: (866) 887-2737 Return Address: 41304 Concept Dr. Plymouth MI 48170 The Homemade From Scratch Pie Contest is at noon on Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Power Road Winter Farmers Market, 23020 Power Road in Farmington. or e-mail your recipe and contact information to email@example.com. The first 20 recipes received will be entered into the contest. The grand prize is a $100 gift card to Whole Foods Market of West Bloomfield, with a recyclable grocery bag filled with groceries. The runner-up receives a $25 Whole Foods gift card and a complimentary recyclable grocery bag. All other contestants will receive complimentary Whole Foods recyclable grocery bag. As with any contest, there are a few rules. This pie contest is for amateur bakers only. Each baker must bake two pies from the same recipe — one for showing and one for the judges to taste. Recipes become the property of the Power Road Winter Farmers Market. All pies must be made from fresh ingredients — no pre-made filling or store-bought crust. Each pie must be baked in a disposable 9-inch pie pan and not require refrigeration. An index card with the contestant’s full name and the recipe must accompany the pie. Only one recipe per contestant and each recipe must be prepared and baked by the contestant. WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED! INDEX APARTMENTS ... ... ... ..B10 AUTOMOTIVE ... ... ... ... B11 CAREER BUILDER ... ... ..B10 Two categories will be accepted for the contest — fruit pies and other (pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato, etc.). Each pie will be judged on overall appearance (20 percent); crust color, flavor, texture and doneness (30 percent); filling consistency, doneness and flavor (40 percent) and originality (10 percent). The top pie from each category will be judged again to determine the overall winner. Contestants’ names will not be revealed to the judges. Jean Smith, organizer of the Power Road Winter Farmers Market and the pie contest, said this event will be a nice break from the winter doldrums. “Everybody is tired of winter by February, so we decided to do a pie contest,” she said. Smith runs the Winter Farmers Market, which is held 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every other Saturday through April 2. Remaining dates are Feb. 5, Feb. 19, March 5, March 19 and April 2. CROSSWORD PUZZLE ... ... B9 HOME & SERVICE ... ... ... B9 OBITUARIES.. ... ... ... ... B4 REAL ESTATE ... ... ... ... B9 SPORTS .. ... ... ... ... ... B1 STRICTLY BUSINESS ... ... A6 Subscribe to an Observer, Eccentric or Hometown Newspaper at www.hometownlife.com or call 1-866-887-2737 A2 (F) online at hometownlife.com LOCAL NEWS Observer & Eccentric | Thursday, January 27, 2011 PHOTOS BY STACY JENKINS It took Lear White, 8, of Redford, a long time to finish his Indy car, but he accomplished it on Saturday. Scott White and his children, Eden, 12, and Lear, 8, of Redford, attend the club every Saturday at Nankin Hobby in Farmington. Eden is building a Robert E. Lee Mississippi Steamboat. Roll models KIDS MODEL BUILDING CLUB What: Kids Model Building Club When: Every Saturday 10 a.m. to noon, September through end of March Where: Nankin Hobby, 33350 Nine Mile, Farmington Who: Boys and girls ages 8-16; parents welcome Details: Free club; first snap together building kit free; discounts on kits at store Contact: Bob Blevins, (734) 7281134 or e-mail blevins5@prodigy. net Club gets kids glued to ‘old school’ hobby BY STACY JENKINS OBSERVER STAFF WRITER When Bob Blevins was a kid, there weren’t computers, XBox 360s, Playstations, the Wii, iPods or even cell phones to text his friends. Entertaining television was a rarity. “Cartoons were only on Saturday mornings,” said Blevins, of Westland. Building model cars, airplanes and more, was the thing to do, he said. And, now he’s making sure kids today have the same chance to experience the hobby that’s become somewhat rare among kids nowadays. Blevins leads a Kids Model Building Club every Saturday at Nankin Hobby in Farmington. He started the club three years ago and has introduced this classic hobby to 180 kids since its first season. “I grew up model building,” said Blevins, who is a member of the International Plastic Modelers Society, Livonia Chapter. He, along with his son Travis, 14, and other volunteers from the IPMS-Livonia, run the free club every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon in a large room at Nankin Hobby, on Nine Mile, just east of Farmington Road. Blevins has a passion for model building and for exposing as many kids as possible to the lost art of sitting and building something cool, from scratch. “It’s just something that we never let go,” he said. “A lot of kids don’t even know this hobby exists. We love the hobby so much and we don’t want to let it die out.” It’s free to join the Kids Model Building Club, which runs from September through the end of March. The first Tommy Strech, 14, of Livonia, is building this Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero Fighter airplane. He just needs to add some detail work, lights, antenna and paint the propeller. who stopped by last Saturday to donate a dozen kits. “I’m just thinning out my collection a bit,” he said. “I figured I’d let the kids have some fun with them.” Grigg is happy to help promote modeling among the younger generation. “The hobby has gotten away from kids over the years,” he said. BUILDING INTEREST Donations and the generosity of Nankin Hobby makes the club possible, said Blevins. The shop was devastated by fire and reopened last August, with Tommy Strech, 14, of Livonia, enjoys a bigger and better work area being in the Kids Model Building Club. for the club to use. Chris Wrigley, the store’s model car, a snap together kit, general manager, said the club is free. Nankin Hobby offers a builds an interest in model discount to club members on building and it’s good for busikits and supplies. ness. The young modelers have “It’s good for both parties,” he built everything from battle said. “Parents, kids, everybody ships and World War II aircomes in — everybody’s welplanes to Indy cars, tanks and come.” even a T-Rex dinosaur. Supplies Blevins and the IPMSare donated by Nankin Hobby Livonia also hosts a make-andand by fellow modelers, like take event every year at the Steve Grigg of Garden City, Westland Library. That’s where EXPLORE LOCAL ONLINE VIDEOS St. Michael Elementary School hometownlife Celebrates... Catholic Schools Week Jan. 30th - Feb. 5 This year’s theme is Dorothy Grace of Westland and her three girls, April, 6, Jackie, 8, and Emma, 11, discovered they liked the hobby. “You get to be creative,” said Jackie Grace, who is building a Model T pickup at the Kids Model Building Club. QUALITY ACTIVITY Scott White of Redford who is also in the IPMS Livonia chapter, brings his daughter Eden, 12, and his son, Lear, 8, to the club on Saturdays. He enjoys the quality time with his kids. “It’s a nice solid chunk of time that I get to be with them,” he said. White became interested in modeling when he was in high school and is glad to pass the interest to his kids. “I think it gives them a sense of accomplishment; it helps with hand-eye coordination and problem solving,” he said. “They stop and ask questions and sometimes we figure it out together. There’s a lot of patience involved. It’s just a different set of skills.” His son, Lear, started building an Indy car last year, but lost some parts and moved on to a different model. He actually finished that car on Saturday, and was happy to show it everyone. “I’m really proud of him,” said Scott White. His daughter, Eden, is working on something inspired by a trip to Greenfield Village. She’s building a reissued Robert E. Lee Revell brand Mississippi Steamboat, a kit firstname.lastname@example.org | (313) 222-2369 CORRECTIONS • A story in Sunday’s paper should have stated that only 52 cards will be sold in the 52 Card Raffle during the Feb. 5 Heart and Soul Gala. The $100 cards are for chance to win a six-night stay at a Fairmont Hotel in one of 10 locations in the U.S. and Canada. • A photo in Sunday’s paper from the Harrison High School rehearsal for Seussical the Musical should have identified an actor as Ellysa Herr, not Lindsay Herr. WHERE HOMETOWN STORIES UNFOLD “Discover the Wonders of God” HOMETOWNLIFE.COM which underscores the Christ-centered foundation and academic excellence of Catholic schools. Our week kicks off with a HOW TO REACH US Family Open House Sunday, January 30 from 2-4 p.m. Home Delivery/Customer Service..........1-866-88-PAPER (866-887-2737) Newsroom..........................(313) 222-2223 Fax......................(313) 223-3318 Classified Advertising..................................................1-800-579-SELL (7355) Display Advertising.....................................................................(734) 582-8363 OE08726356 Our National Junior Honor Society members will offer group tours and our staff will be on site to answer any questions you may have about St. Michael School. For more information please check our website at www.livoniastmichael.org or call the school office at (734)421-7360. com April Grace, 6, of Westland, is working on a snap together model at the Kids Model Building Club. that was first sold in 1957. “I started working on a car, but this was more interesting to me,” she said. “I saw (the boat) at Greenfield Village and thought it was really cool.” Tommy Strech, 14, of Livonia, is almost finished building a Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero Fighter, an airplane that was part of the attack on Pearl Harbor. “Tommy likes the history of World War II, so it gives him the chance to learn more about it,” said Tom Strech, his dad, who also grew up building models. Tommy said it’s nice to do something different. “I like taking the time and breaking away from all of the electronics,” he said. “And, I like seeing what others are building. To me, there’s no good model and there’s no bad model. You can’t really mess up on a model.” Matt Helms of Livonia said he’s been waiting for his boys to get into model building, a hobby he also grew up on. His sons David, 12, and Nick, 14, were big on Legos. Graduating to model cars is right up their alley. They’re building hot rods like Mustangs and a Dodge Charger. “I like cars, so it’s definitely cool,” said David Helms. Their dad couldn’t be more pleased. “It seems like a great thing to do on a Saturday,” he said. “It builds character and patience.” visit us online at hometownlife.com 615 West Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226 online at hometownlife.com LOCAL NEWS Observer & Eccentric | Thursday, January 27, 2011 (F) A3 Farmington Hills outstanding employees honored BY STACY JENKINS OBSERVER STAFF WRITER Even through tough economic times, reduced staffing and increased workload — not to mention months of a disruptive construction and relocation during the Farmington Hills City Hall revitalization project, these employees continued to give their all. For the 35th year, the City of Farmington Hills held its Employee Recognition Awards Ceremony Monday night at the Costick Center. The awardees were honored for their teamwork, dedication, expertise, customer service, their innovative ideas and their good attitudes during a year marked with challenges. “I know it’s been a trying year for all of us,” said Farmington Hills City Manager Steve Brock, noting the loss of 39 employees who took advantage of the early retirement incentive program in 2010. “A lot of us have had to pick up the slack. It’s not been easy, but we got through it and we’ll get through it this year and next year.” Brock said the city continues to offer services to residents and will always continue to do so. The Employee of the Year for 2010 is Jack Li, an information systems analyst II in the Central Services Department. Li was hired in 2004 and was a key player in 2010 during the city hall renovation project, when the data center was upgraded. “He and the rest of the staff did a fantastic job with that,” said Brock, noting it was a “smooth transition.” “Jack never says it can’t be fixed,” added Brock. “He often goes that extra mile to make sure the job is done right.” Four employees were named Outstanding Employees for 2010: Nathan Geinzer, management assistant, City Manager’s Office; Andrew Konkle, civil engineer II, Public Services Department; Kelly Monico, senior buyer, Central Services Department; and Brian Moran, Ice Arena manager, Special Services Department. The event also honored the PHOTO COURTESY OF SWOCC STUDIOS From left, Andrew Konkle, Civil Engineer II, Public Services Department; Nathan Geinzer, Management Assistant, City Manager’s Office; Kelly Monico, Senior Buyer, Central Services Department; Jack Li, Information Systems Analyst II, Central Services Department; James Cubera, Senior Engineer, Public Services Department; and Brian Moran, Ice Arena Manager, Special Services Department. JOHN STORMZAND | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Farmington Hills Fire Chief Corey Bartsch, left, with Fire Fighter of the Year, Inspector John Kastran. 2010 Police Officer of the Year Officer Gary Lavin and the 2010 Fire Fighter of the Year, Inspector John Kastran. In addition, recognition was given to James Cubera, senior engineer, Public Services Department, for being the 2010 IDEAS (Innovation Drives Excellence And Savings) Award winner, and also to the 59 employees who celebrated significant service anniversaries ranging from five to 35 years with the City of Farmington Hills. email@example.com | (313) 222-2369 Farmington Hills City Manager Steve Brock talks about the great job done by Jack Li, right, who was named Employee of the Year. JOHN STORMZAND | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER AN EXCEPTIONAL HOME-LIKE SETTING FOR ACTIVE/ALERT, FRAIL/RECOVERING, MEMORY IMPAIRED AND ALZHEIMER’S RESIDENTS. • Planned Activities • Beauty & Barber Shop • On Call Nurse Practitioner • Medication Management • Incontinence Management CANTON • (734) 453-3203 Located at 8121 Lilley between Joy & Warren Roads OE08714926 • 24 Hour Professional Staffing • Private/Semi Private/Barrier Free • 3 Home Cooked Meals A Day • Daily Housekeeping & Laundry • Wander Secured/Enclosed Courtyard JOHN STORMZAND | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Farmington Hills employees were honored during a dinner and awards ceremony at the Costick Center Monday night. Among the awardees was Kelly Monico, senior buyer, pictured center. JOHN STORMZAND | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Farmington Hills Police Officer Gary Lavin was honored as Police Officer of the Year for 2010. A4 (F) Observer & Eccentric HAVE A STORY IDEA? com 6 Hw y.. Orchard Lake Rd. 696 Grand River Ave. 4 12 9 Mile Rd. nd 10 10 Mile Rd. Sh iaw 11 as Riv see er A ve. Rd . Inkster Rd. Gra CITY OF FARMINGTON 275 rn 1 11 Mile Rd. 2 rth we ste Middlebelt Rd. Drake Rd. 12 Mile Rd. 696 10 Mile Rd. 10 11 FARMINGTON HILLS 13 FARMINGTON . A 16-year-old hitchhiking in the northbound lanes of Farmington Road at 2:30 a.m. Jan. 17 was stopped at Nine Mile Road and questioned by police officers, then cited with underage drinking. The teen said he was walking home to Livonia after walking to a Novi house party, where he was ejected. The teen, who said he had dropped out of a Livonia high school last year, admitted to drinking vodka and smoking marijuana. His preliminary breath test registered a blood alcohol content of .10. He was driven home and released to the custody of his father who advised that his son is in drug rehabilitation for his addiction to marijuana. . The 42-year-old Detroit driver of a car stopped at Grand River and Orchard Lake around 2:30 a.m. Jan. 16 for drifting in its lane was arrested on several charges. The man told police he was returning to his home after being out “clubbing” and believed he was in Detroit. A preliminary breath test registered a blood alcohol content of .16. His car was improperly plated and he said he switched plates with another car he owns. He was issued citations for: operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated; driving while license suspended; driving an unregistered motor vehicle; and driving an uninsured motor vehicle. 9 13 Mile Rd. Farmington Rd. 9 No M-5 7 Shi aw ass ee 8 Mile Rd. 12 . Police were flagged down by two motorists around 7 p.m. Jan. 15 at Farmington and Nine Mile, saying their cars had been struck by unknown objects thrown by a teen in an orange jacket, part of a group of teens nearby at a bus stop. Those teens, all from Farmington, told police that a member of their group had decided to throw pennies at cars while they waited for their bus, but had run off upon seeing the police car approach. When officers caught up with the 15-year-old Southfield teen, he admitted to throwing pennies but said he was not the only one. His mother was contacted and said her son is on probation with Oakland County Probate Court. Officers found several juvenile record arrests for him; he was in Children’s Village recently for violating his probation terms. The teen was released Rd. to her custody. The cars were not damaged and the victims said they would not press charges. Officers will forward the incident report to the court. . A man called police at 5 p.m. Jan. 15 to report seeing a man in a locked storage locker that was not his. The caller, a resident of the apartment complex, said when he questioned him, the man climbed over the door of the storage cage, walked to the parking lot and left in a ‘90s blue Ford Taurus with a lot of brown boxes in the rear. The owner of the storage locker found that she was missing a set of Affinity golf clubs valued at $280. The suspect is described as white, in his late 20s to early 30s, six feet tall, about 190-200 pounds, and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with the hood over his head. He had a reddish-colored goatee. 13 EXPLORE LOCAL THINKING ABOUT... A ONLINE VIDEOS NEW ACE? FURN FREE ESTIMATES 525-1930 (734) Our 36th Year! UNITED TEMPERATURE hometownlife 8919 MIDDLEBELT • LIVONIA www.unitedtemperatureservices.com com SCHOOL CLOSING ALERTS hometownlife com COUPON REE F Lincoln Dollar with coupon to our first 100 visitors! Redford Twp. COIN SHOW Sunday, January 30 9 am-4 pm VFW Hall 27345 Schoolcraft OE08728052 Buy-Sell-Trade! S.E. Corner of I-96 & Inkster Road-Redford For more information call 313-737-9141 FREE Dollar Event held in Conjunction with Comic Archives 313-937-8860 Canton Animal Hospital Our mission is to keep your pet happy, healthy, and pain-free at affordable prices. TOUR OUR • Full Service Pet Hospital FACILITY! • State of the Art Facility • Medical, Surgical & Dental • Emergency Care • Orthopedic Specialist Available (fractures, cruciate repair, bone plating, etc.) • Grooming, Boarding & Day Care 50% Off 20% Off $$ 10.00 Per Vaccine! Complimentary Nail Trim With Any Service Our Already Low Examination Fee (New Clients Only) Spay/Neuter & Dental Procedures Open 7 Days: M-F 8am-Midnight Sat-Sun 9am-9pm Extended hours at no additional cost Expires February 5, 2011 WALK-INS WELCOME 43439 Michigan Ave. Canton, MI 48188 Michigan Ave. CAH 734-397-7779 www.CantonVets.com OE08726098 5 8 8 275 4 . An 18-year-old West Bloomfield woman was arrested for possession of heroin after the car she was riding in was pulled over by police, for following too close another vehicle during inclement weather conditions. They were traveling on Grand River, west of Middlebelt on Jan. 20. The woman had heroin in her purse and syringes in her pants, according to the report. Another passenger was arrested for giving police a fake name and for having a felony warrant. The driver of the vehicle told police she drove the couple to Detroit to pick up the drugs. . A 16-year-old Wixom boy was arrested for shoplifting at Best Buy on Orchard Lake Road on Jan. 20. He was spotted by the store’s loss prevention officer putting an iPod case into his pants. He reportedly admitted that it was a bad idea. He was taken to police department, then released to his mother. . A resident on the 29000 block of Highmeadow Road reported someone stole a laptop computer, speakers and a drill from his home. He reported workers from a construction company have been at his home and he suspects they may have taken his belongings. Farmington Rd. 3 7 OE08722632 2 14 Mile Rd. Halsted Rd. 1 . A home on the 27000 block of Westcott Crescent Circle, which is not occupied, was the target of copper thieves sometime between Jan. 13-19. Thirty feet of copper plumbing was stolen from the basement. . A 34-year-old Farmington Hills woman was arrested for drinking and driving after she crashed her minivan into a tree, and then into a parked car in the lot of the Diamond Forest Apartments on Halsted at about 8:30 p.m., Jan. 22. Both airbags deployed and the woman and her passenger were taken to Botsford Hospital. They admitted they were at a bar drinking. The woman registered a .22 on a preliminary breath test. It’s illegal to drive with blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. The woman had one prior drunken driving conviction in 2008, from a December 2007 incident. . Someone broke into a home through a basement window on the 31000 block of Country Ridge Circle on Jan. 21. The suspect or suspects put the family dog into its crate while loading a 42-inch TV, $15,000 in jewelry, two fur coats, a laptop computer and a suitcase out of the house. There were no suspects listed in the report. . While on patrol, police pulled over a pickup truck for having an improperly displayed paper license plate, at about 7 p.m., Jan. 21 in the area of M-5 and Farmington Road. A check revealed the passenger had several warrants. The passenger also had a syringe in his pocket. A search of the vehicle resulted in eight packages of heroin, more syringes, a burned spoon and pills in the coat of the driver, a 31-year-old Howell man. He was arrested for narcotics possession and the passenger was arrested for narcotics paraphernalia possession and on the warrants. . A Farmington Hills woman reported she left her vehicle unlocked during the night of Jan. 18 while it was parked on the 30000 block of Crest Forest and someone stole her radar detector, a rosary, a silver ring, sunglasses, eyeglasses and other personal items. . A manager of a jewelry store on the 30000 block of Orchard Lake Road called police after witnessing a man urinating on a newspaper stand near his business at about 5:30 p.m., Jan. 21. He followed the man inside the business next door and they exchanged words. The man, 70, of West Bloomfield, told police he needed to relieve himself because he didn’t think he could make it to the restroom and that he’s being treated for prostate cancer, so he’s lost some bladder control from the radiation. 5 Haggerty Rd. FARMINGTON HILLS 6 3 LOCAL POLICE CALLS S. Morton Taylor hometownlife Sheldon Rd. Thursday, January 27, 2011 Contact Editor Stacy Jenkins Voice Mail: (313) 222-2369 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Comment online at hometownlife.com online at hometownlife.com LOCAL NEWS Observer & Eccentric | Thursday, January 27, 2011 Health fair meets church’s, hospital’s goals BY KAREN SMITH OBSERVER STAFF WRITER Lighthouse Worship Center in Livonia and Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills teamed up Jan. 19 to provide free health screenings and health information to members of the community. The church hosted a health fair presented by Botsford health professionals. It was a first-time joint venture that served both of their purposes — one they expect to repeat later this year. The 80-member church, located on Middlebelt Road near Clarenceville High School, wants to reach out to community members and connect them with services they might not otherwise have access to, Bishop Roger Fleming said. Other recent programs have included help with finding employment. Meanwhile, Botsford Hospital wants to get health information to a younger audience. “It’s a way of catching people early in the disease process,” said Caroline Schairer, a registered nurse and program coordinator at Botsford. The fair at Lighthouse Worship Center did just that. “Two or three families found out they have high blood pressure or high cholesterol,” Fleming said. Typically, Botsford conducts health fairs at senior centers. But Lighthouse Worship Center is one of about three churches in the past year that have invited Botsford in for health fairs. Those fairs attract a wide range of ages from families and young adults to seniors, she said. The fairs are free to the churches — and the attending public, Schairer said. In addition to catching diseases earlier, health fairs at churches give Botsford a chance to showcase its cancer and fitness centers, Schairer said: “It’s a way of getting out in the community.” Botsford also offers a free speakers bureau. At the fair at Lighthouse Worship Center, Botsford offered free blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, an ask the pharmacist booth, an interactive cancer center booth that taught participants how to conduct breast self-exams and recognize the early warning signs of prostate cancer and a joint replacement center booth where participants could see models of joint replacements. In addition, Botsford gave (F) A5 DDA FROM PAGE A1 sure his presence will be missed at the market.” “It was a painful decision,” said Rock. “He was the face of the market.” ‘A LABOR OF LOVE’ Stevenson also found the decision a tough — and surprising — one. “Having made the goals set for me and actually turning a profit for the first time, I thought things would be different, but they weren’t,” he said Wednesday. Stevenson has managed the market since its move to the Walter E. Sundquist Pavilion prior to the 2006 season. A Farmington resident of over 30 years, he said he enjoyed the community aspect of the market. “It’s been a labor of love for me,” he said. “I got involved as a volunteer and put in hundreds of hours for free, but it’s been a great investment of my time.” Stevenson said he will not apply for the new position but will look for other opportunities, which could include managing PHOTOS BY JOHN STORMZAND | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER another farmer’s market. Bishop Roger Fleming’s church hosted the fair with Botsford health professionals including registered nurse Lisa Modzel of Farmington. “I have been approached by other cities, asking if I could replicate the Farmington model,” he said. Nicholle Knowles said that the DDA Mehr, board will look for a volunteer to director be on site at the Farmer’s Market of the on Saturdays and have oversight, Botsford while the management will be Cancer handled by DDA staff. Center, Knowles told the DDA board and Chuck at its meeting Monday that one LaParr were of the points made to them by among the the Oakland County Main Street presenters. program to which it belongs is that the Farmington DDA should have more volunteers to actually take the helm of events. But the elimination of the Stevenson’s job to be replaced with a volunteer handling onsite duties on Saturdays is “a coincidence,” she said. A job description for the new Marie Wirwille of Botsford gets a blood sample from Betty Glatfetter of position is being finalized and a Livonia for cholesterol testing. posting is forthcoming, she said. out free trial passes to its fitness center. Also, Nicholle Mehr, director of the Botsford Cancer Center, spoke on “Breast, Prostate and Head and Neck Cancers: Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment.” Fleming said attendance was lower than church members had hoped for because it was so cold out. He expects to have Botsford back for another health fair when the weather is warmer. The health fair fits in with the church’s mission to be a resource to community members in a way that benefits them, Fleming said: “We’re not trying to proselytize, or get them to join our church. We want to share God’s love with the community.” For more information about Lighthouse Worship Center, call (248) 476-7933. For more information about hosting a health fair or lining up a speaker from Botsford, call (248) 442-1661 or e-mail email@example.com. A list of speakers is available on the hospital’s website, www.botsford.org. firstname.lastname@example.org | (313) 222-2098 email@example.com (313)222-2241 Building a Foundation for the Next Generation www.plymouthchristian.org 734.459.3505 43065 Joy Road • Canton, MI 48187 OE08727197 A6 (F) HAVE A STORY IDEA? Thursday, January 27, 2011 hometownlife IT’S YOUR BUSINESS Q&A Contact Editor Stacy Jenkins Voice Mail: (313) 222-2369 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Comment online at hometownlife.com com MILESTONES ANNOUNCEMENTS ‘The Social Network’ The film The Social Network continues to be popular at the Farmington Civic Theater. Based upon that continued interest, the theater is keeping the movie on its schedule through Feb. 3. Nominated for eight Academy Awards on Tuesday, The Social Network is the story of the creation and early years of Facebook. It recently won four Golden Globe Awards. The theater established its own Facebook page just one month ago with well over 300 people on board. Farmington Civic Theater show times and a link to the Facebook page may be found at www.theFCT.com. Bright House online Tom Kroeger is president of Optimum Reading. Local company helps optimize reading skills Observer: Tell us about your business, including the types of services and/or products you feature. Kroeger: Optimum Reading helps people maximize their reading skills. I use Reading Plus, an award-winning online program that helps users from ages eight to 80. After the Reading Placement Assessment, users start at a level where they are successful. Then the program adapts to the user to keep them in the “zone of proximal growth,” where they are successful but also feel challenged. By keeping users in this zone, users improve left-to-right tracking, perception, comprehension, and vocabulary. Students who complete 40 lessons in the zone typically improve two or more grade levels in four months. They also read faster, since their reading is more efficient. I also work with schools, colleges and institutions, offering Optimum Reading and Apangea Math. We help schools determine the most effective implementation and then train and assist them in using the programs to the greatest effect. Apangea Math actually has live math teachers available to help students when they get stumped by a problem. It’s like having spare math teachers on call to help students, and they even are available at night and on weekends. Observer: How did you first decide to open your own business? Kroeger: I started Optimum Reading when I realized that public schools were actually eliminating reading programs for high school students. In 2010, over 38,000 high school CHAMBER CHAT T wonderful value it offers its members. Whether a company needs assistance with marketing its business, needs to connect with the perfect referral or needs business tips, it can turn to the GFACC for help. The main purpose of the GFACC is to serve its membership. One of the exciting events for the Chamber is right around the corner –The 2011 State of the Cites Breakfast. With local government budget shortfalls, cities and school leadership are looking at different ways to manage the lack of funds. The decisions made by our leadership will impact every citizen living within our cities’ borders. The Chamber encourages the community to join Chamber members in hearing what is happening within our community at a Chamber sponsored event: State of the Cities Breakfast which will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 from 7-9 a.m. at the Costick Center in Farmington Hills. Join us for an update of our community by hearing from Mayor Jerry Ellis (Farmington Hills), Mayor Tom Buck (Farmington) and Howard Wallach, president of the Farmington school board. Cost of the event is $25 per person. For information regarding the State of the Cities Breakfast, please contact the Chamber at (248) 919-6917. Don’t put off joining the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce any longer; contact the Chamber to start taking advantage of membership. For information on any upcoming events at the Chamber or on how to become a member, contact the Chamber at (248) 919-6917 or visit us on the website at www. gfachamber.com. If interested in advertising opportunities on the Strictly Business section of the Farmington Observer, contact Carole Layne at (734) 582-8363. Services login. Customers can register for a My Services account online at www. brighthouse.com/myservices. Customers can also go directly to ESPNnetworks.com to register or sign-in and view the programming. EVENTS Wine tasting Argentinian wines will be featured at the Wednesday Night Wine Tasting, at 7 p.m., Feb. 2, at Cowleys in downtown Farmington. California Cabernets will be featured on Feb. 16. Join Sommelier Mike Larranaga and sample four wines each paired with a regional cuisine small plate prepared by Chef Zachariah Peterlin. $30/person Reservations required (248) 474-5941. John Cowley & Sons is at 33338 Grand River Ave, Farmington, MI 48336 www. johncowleys.com. BUSINESS NEWSMAKERS Paul Olejniczak Paul Olejniczak, M.D., has joined the medical staff at Botsford Hospital. Board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, Dr. Olejniczak is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Michigan State Medical Society. Dr. Olejniczak practices at Rehabilitation Physicians located at 28455 Haggerty Rd., Suite 200 in Novi. The office number is (248) 893-3200. Dr. Olejniczak received his medical education from Wayne State University School of Medicine. He completed an internship and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency at Sinai Hospital of Detroit. Dr. Joseph Weiss Joseph Weiss, M.D., has joined the medical staff at Botsford Hospital. Board certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology, Dr. Weiss is a fellow of the American College of Physicians. He is the editor and chief of the Detroit Medical News and chairman of the Michigan Rheumatism Society’s Educational Committee. Dr. Weiss has his own practice located at 18829 Farmington Road in Livonia. The office number is (248) 478-7860. Dr. Weiss received his medical education from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He completed his training including a rheumatology fellowship at Wayne County Hospital in Westland. Mercury M e r c u r y EEarly arly B Bird ird P Program rogram U Up p ttoo 6 m months onths p payments ayments w waived* aived* 2011 FOCUS SE FWD 24-MONTH1 For Current A/Z Plan Customers JUST J UST A ANNOUNCED NNOUNCED SPECIAL S P E C I A L FORD F O R D AUTO A U T O SHOW S H O W OFFERS O F F E R S TO TO L O W E R YOUR LOWER Y O U R MONTHLY M O N T H LY P PAYMENTS! AY M E N T S ! 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Saturdays! 9800 Belleville Rd. • Belleville, MI 48111 734.697.9161 www.atchinsonford.net Business Hours: Monday & Thursday 9 am-9 pm Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 9 am- 6 pm, Saturday 10 am to 3 pm OE08719554 he business community has had to make adjustments and changes in order to survive this current economic environment. Companies are constantly finding new and efficient ways to remain viable, which has been Mary Engelman accomplished through downsizing employees, fine-tuning services, and managing cash flow. Chambers are not unique to the changes in the business environment. Chambers understand and are impacted by the business climate and continue helping businesses by offering educational programs, networking events, referrals and more. The Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to growing its membership through the I offer the Visagraph eyemovement evaluation to screen for severe vision processing Business: Optimum Reading difficulties. Before I start a Address: 33930 W. Eight Mile Rd, person on an 18-week program, Suite 3A, Farmington Hills I want evidence that they have Your name and title: the commitment and capacity Tom Kroeger, president to succeed. Finally, I am a Hometown: Livonia certified Reading Specialist, Business Opened: 2005 with an M.A. in Reading from Eastern Michigan University, Hours: By appointment working with reading since Business specialty: Helping 1973. schools and individuals optimize As for servicing schools, their skills using the award-winI am one of only two people ning Reading Plus Online and available to provide Apangea Apangea Math Programs. Math in Michigan. Before I left Phone: (248) 471-8630 teaching I used Reading Plus with hundreds of students, so Website: I know the program extremely www.optimumreading.com well. Both companies are working continually to improve juniors failed the reading the quality of their programs portion of the Michigan Merit and their customer support. Examination, and this is the Observer: Do you have a funny lowest number to fail in the last tidbit or story to share with our four years. I also found that readers about your experience as Reading Plus worked extremely far as a small business owner? well with stronger students, Kroeger: When I opened, raising their ACT scores four I established my location and five points. How often do because over 9,000 students you hear of something that had failed the Reading MEAP benefits all of the users? in the previous year, all within Observer: How did you decide a five mile radius of Seven Mile to locate in the Farmington/ and Haggerty. I anticipated Farmington Hills community? dozens if not hundreds of Kroeger: I moved Optimum parents taking steps to improve Reading to Farmington Hills in the achievement of their kids. 2008 because I was able to get Then the recession started, and a great office in a great location individual clients dropped off. at a great price. I’m on Eight It was more productive to work Mile, west of Farmington, so with schools directly. Now, I am easily accessible, and I schools make up at least 75 can be on I-275 in five minutes percent of my business. when I need to visit schools. Now I get to enjoy the Observer: What makes your relationship that develops with business unique? an individual student and his Kroeger: A number of things family over the 18 weeks of make Optimum Reading the program, as well as the unique. First, all individual longer term opportunities to clients receive a free 10-day help schools see their students trial using Reading Plus. Next, achieve at higher levels. OPTIMUM READING Bright House Networks customers can now watch ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Buzzer Beater on their computer. Access to these authenticated services is available to Bright House Networks Sports Pass HD customers. These customers already have access to ESPN and ESPN3.com online, services which were added in November as part of a wideranging agreement between the companies. The networks — ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPN Buzzer Beater — are accessible through a central website, ESPNnetworks.com. From this website, users will have the option to view the channels in several views, including picture-in-picture, simultaneous viewing of more than one channel and full-screen viewing of a single channel. Access through certain other Internet enabled devices such as mobile phones and tablets is expected in the near future. To view the programming online, Bright House Networks Sports Pass HD customers will need a My 1 Not all lessees will qualify for Ford Credit Red Carpet low mileage lease. Some payments higher, some lower. Payments based on A/Z Plan pricing for Ford employees, retirees and eligible family members. Cash due at signing after $750 on Edge SE, Escape XLT, Fusion SE and Taurus SEL and $500 on Focus SE. Calculation includes RCL/ RCO renewal cash on all vehicles; customer must terminate a Ford, Lincoln or Mercury contract to be eligible. Cash due at signing includes first month’s payment and acquisition fee. Taxes, title and license fees extra. Take new retail delivery from dealer stock by 1/31/11. See dealer for qualifications and complete details. 2 MPG-EPA estimated when equipped as show. *Check dealer for details. OE08727671 online at hometownlife.com LOCAL NEWS Observer & Eccentric | Thursday, January 27, 2011 (F) A7 LEAP offers ‘a healthy balance’ for youth BY STACY JENKINS OBSERVER STAFF WRITER They’re learning to LEAP. Learn, Earn and Play. A group of kids this week is working with former Detroit Lions player Lomas Brown Jr. in the LEAP program at the Costick Center. The 5-day program is being revived by Brown through a partnership with Best Buy and a company called Quantum Leaps. It focuses on physical fitness, academics, technology, life skills and social etiquette. Brown, who played for the Lions for 11 years and in the NFL for 18 years, said he’s excited to bring the program to boys and girls in the community. “I’ve got four daughters and one son,” he said. “There are a lot of camps out there for guys, but not a lot for the girls.” Brown, who lives in Waterford and is spending his retirement time as a sports analyst and working on the Lomas Brown Jr. Foundation, said he likes the multiple aspects of the LEAP program. “We’re making sure the kids get the educational portion of it and then they earn the right to go out and play,” he said, noting they’re doing non-traditional games such as archery, ping pong and chess in addition to basketball and f lag football. They’re also doing reading, writing, math and science and using computers in the lessons throughout the week. They’re also doing life skills lessons such as mock job interviews and filling out job applications, in addition to social etiquette skills such as setting a table and how to properly use utensils. They’re even learning the proper way to eat soup, said Cherryl Thames, president and CEO of Quantum Leaps. Volunteers from Best Buy are on hand all week from 27 stores as far away as Flint JOHN STORMZAND | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Corrinne Greer, a senior, shows a freshly printed T-shirt, during the Graphic Communications session of the TechGirls program. TECHGIRLS FROM PAGE A1 PHOTOS BY JOHN STORMZAND | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Former Detroit Lions offensive tackle Lomas Brown talks to kids in the LEAP program this week at the Costick Center in Farmington Hills. Kids work on a computer program during Monday’s LEAP program, while volunteers from Best Buy assist. and Toledo, said Krista Rich, business solutions advisor for Michigan Best Buy stores. She pitched the program to the Farmington Hills Youth and Family Services staff. She knew the After School Program was a perfect fit to relaunch LEAP. “This fits totally in line with what we were looking for,” she said. Brown said he’s thrilled to bring it back. “I’m very pleased,” he said. “I can’t wait for Friday, to meet with some of the parents.” Matt Taube, 13, a student at East Middle School, said he’s enjoying the program. “I think it’s really cool,” he said. “You get to meet new people, work together and have fun.” Lauren Thomas, 13, a student at Dunckel Middle School, said there are many good things about the LEAP program. “It builds self confidence and it gets you to be more active in school,” she said. “It’s not all academic or all physical, it’s a healthy balance.” email@example.com (313) 222-2369 said Skodack, of Obama’s comments. “The term they are using now is STEM — which stands for science, technology, engineering and math,” she said. “This one-day program is a challenging experience designed to promote interest in those areas.” It can also prepare them for careers in those areas, she said. Some 50 eighth-grade girls from East and Dunckel middle schools attended the program. High school girls acted as their mentors. Students rotated through three sessions. Those were automotive, in which they changed a tire; architecture, which involved computer design; and graphics, in which they printed T-shirts. Other teachers involved were Greg Ososky, automotive teacher; and Mike Hansen, graphics teacher. Some of the programs are also available at the district’s other two high schools. If they aren’t, she said, they can take the course at Farmington High School. “We had kids attending who are going to Harrison, North and Farmington high schools,” she said. Skodack said that Obama’s talk about the need for more innovation also had her think about the day’s program. “We need to push more girls in this area,” she said. “There are lots and lots of scholarships available for them. “They have great ideas and they have a lot to bring to the table.” firstname.lastname@example.org | (313) 222-2241 WE ARE ON FACEBOOK become a fan today A8 (F) Observer & Eccentric | Thursday, January 27, 2011 These adorable bird feeders are for sale by the Cookie Cutter Tweets company at the Power Road Winter Farmers Market. BY STACY JENKINS OBSERVER STAFF WRITER LOCAL NEWS online at hometownlife.com Winter farmers market has a bit of everything Raeann Girst, owner of Itza Bloomin’ Chocolate Company, arranges truffles and candies at her booth. It’s blustery and frigid outside, but that doesn’t stop the vendors of the Power Road Winter Farmers Market. One of very few winter farmers markets in the area, this new addition to Farmington happens every other Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. inside the Positive Attitude Dance Academy, at 23020 Power Road, just north of Grand River. Remaining dates are Feb. 5, Feb. 19, March 5, March 19 and April 2. About 18 vendors — who are regulars at the Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market during the spring, summer and fall seasons — offer everything from fine chocolates and olive oils to fresh produce and organic meats, breads, cookies and free trade coffee. Artisans have photography, candles, pottery, crafts, soaps and more. “It’s an awesome market,” said Jean Smith, organizer, who owns Garden Gate Farm in Snover, Mich., in the Bay City area with her husband, Neil. They raise organic pork and produce and they’re a Community Supported Agriculture farm. Garden Gate Farms is a mainstay at the Farmington farmers market, which is open May through November. The winter market is not affiliated with the farmers market PHOTOS BY STACY JENKINS at the Sundquist Pavilion, which is run by the Downtown Development Authority. So Martha Fruehwald, of Farmington, shops the Garden Gate Farm booth every other Saturday at the Power Road Winter Farmers Market. Eva Miller, left, and Jean Smith, market organizer, help far, the Power Road Winter Fruehwald find what she’s looking for. Farmers Market is going well. “We had an awesome opening day,” said Smith. “Now we just want to let people know that we’re here.” Martha Fruehwald of Farmington followed Garden Gate Farm from the summer farmers market in downtown Farmington. She shops the winter market every other Saturday for produce and the breakfast sausages and steaks. “The flavor is just amazing,” she said. “You can taste the difference.” VENDORS The vendors say it’s worthwhile to set up at the winter market. “It’s going really well,” said Alex, owner of Cheeky Monkeys Foods, which offers organic cookies, scones, shortbread and free trade and organic coffee. “No complaints.” He also sets up winter shop at the Royal Oak Farmers Market. More sweets can be found at the Itza Bloomin’ Chocolate Co. booth. Raeann Girst started her company after losing her job as a bookkeeper three years ago. Always a chocolate lover, she decided to take a chocolate candy class. “I said, ‘This is it.’ I was hooked. I bought recipe books and started experimenting,” she said. Now, she’s incorporated and sells the gorgeous candies and truffles at farmers markets. “It keeps me out of trouble,” she said, grinning. At the table next to Girst’s sweets are some tasty “tweets.” Pam Baril owns Cookie Cutter Tweets, unique bird feeders and premium dog treats. Her decorative hanging bird feeder creations are cute and tasty for backyard birds. Kapnick Orchards brings apples, cider and more to the Power Road Winter Farmers Market. They range in price from $6$14. For the chef in the family, Sharon Randall is at the Winter Farmers Market, from The Olive Grove in Farmington. She offers natural olive oils, balsamic vinegars and artisan pasta. Currently located on Farmington Road, just south of Grand River, The Olive Grove is moving to the Downtown Farmington Center, between Dagwood’s Deli and H&R Block. They will open the new location on Tuesday, Feb. 1. The Olive Grove offers free after-hours tasting parties for groups. Patrons are invited to bring their own wine, cheese, veggies or breads to compliment the various vinegars and oils. The tastings run about an hour and include instruction. “It’s so much fun,” said Randall. “There’s just this revelation when people taste the combinations. It’s a lot of fun.” email@example.com | (313) 222-2369 Organic cookies by Cheeky Monkeys Foods are just some of the good treats at the winter farmers market. HERE’S THE SCOOP Sharon Randall, owner of The Olive Grove in Farmington, arranges bottles of balsamic vinegar and olive oils at her table at the Power Road Winter Farmers Market. Fruit spreads are offered by Kapnick Orchards, from Britton, Mich., near Adrian. They also have cider, breads and apples at their booth. What: Power Road Winter Farmers Market Where: At the Positive Attitude Dance Academy, 23020 Power Road, just north of Grand River, Farmington. When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays Feb. 5, Feb. 19, March 5, March 19, April 2. Details: Vendors sell fresh produce, apple cider, baked goods, lots of organic products, meats, organic popcorn, olive oils, free trade coffee, crafts, chocolates, bird feeders, photography, pottery, soaps and more. online at hometownlife.com LOCAL NEWS Observer & Eccentric | Thursday, January 27, 2011 (F) A9 Do your homework before Farmington Players to present free one-act play on Saturday investing in municipal bonds W hile researching markets and investments, I found that the municipal bond market was dominating the discussion. The last few months have not been good months for municipal bonds and that has led to some issues. Standard & Poors warned that more downgrades in the ratings of municipal bonds are expected this year. The dialogue regarding municipal bonds has affected investors. In November and December alone, investors withdrew more than $20 billion from the municipal bond market. I believe the fiscal problems that many states and municipalities are going through have led to speculation as to whether we will see more Money Matters defaults in the municipal bond market. Rick Bloom This thought was echoed in a recent interview on 60 Minutes where a wellknown investment strategist stated she expects 50 to 100 defaults this year. Whenever an investment sector takes a hit and receives media and social network attention, you can almost guarantee that another element will creep into an investor’s decision-making process, fear. There is no doubt that the municipal bond market is having difficulties. However, don’t forget that the municipal bond market has had its problems in the past as well. Go back to 2008 the midst of a financial crisis, municipal bonds fell about 10 percent over a short period of time. There have been other periods where municipals were volatile and rebounded over a short period of time. In addition, investors should be reminded that municipal bond defaults are rare. Over the last 40 some years there have been over 18,000 municipal bond offerings with only a handful more than 50 defaults. There has also been lots of conversation about cities and states declaring bankruptcy and what that would do to municipal bond holders. Although, municipalities are allowed to declare bankruptcy, they have been very rare. It is important to recognize that under current bankruptcy law, states do not have the power to declare bankruptcy. Of course, laws could change in this partisan environment but I believe a major change allowing states to declare bankruptcy is unlikely. It is important for investors to recognize that not all municipal bonds are the same. Not only are the issuers different, but the quality of the bonds differ. Generally, municipal bonds can be broken down into two categories, general obligation bonds and revenue bonds. General obligation bonds, commonly issued by states, require states to use their taxing authority to prevent a default. In other words, a state would have to raise its taxes in order to prevent a default. These types of municipal bonds, although subject to market volatility, have very little risk, if any, of a default. On the other hand, revenue municipal bonds are issued to pay for a specific project. The best example of this type of bond would be the bonds issued to build the Mackinac Bridge. Bond holders were repaid by the revenues generated from the bridge. If the bridge had not been successful, bond holders potentially could have suffered some losses. Just because there is a default, does not mean an investor will lose all of his/her money. In fact, in past defaults of municipal bonds, investors have found that losses have been minimal. There is no doubt that cities and states are having difficulties. Just about every state has substantial budget deficits and there is there are some painful days ahead. However, that doesn’t mean that pain will translate into massive defaults in the municipal bond market. I believe some of the recent volatility has been fueled by fear. And as I have said many times, investors need to do their best not to let fear dictate their investment decision. For certain investors, municipal bonds do play an important part of a portfolio. Generally, I recommend municipal bond investors buy into a mutual fund in order to have diversification and greater flexibility in maintaining the investment, such as adding new money or taking an occasional withdrawal. That being said, there are a few standards I recommend regarding municipal bonds. First, pay attention to the quality of the portfolio. In today’s economic times, the bulk of one’s municipal bond portfolio should be in high quality and general obligation bonds. Unfortunately, some municipal bond investors make the mistake of only paying attention to the return on the bond fund, not the underlying risk. Cost and fees are extremely important. It is even more important in bond funds where you are getting very low rates of return. An extra percent or two in unnecessary fees can reduce returns by as much as 50 percent. Low-cost municipal bond funds are where you want to be. Also pay very close attention to commissions. After all, if you’re losing 6 percent in up-front commissions, realistically, that can be two years of returns. Therefore, avoid commissions when you purchase a bond fund. If you own a municipal bond fund, now is a great time to review it. If it is a fund with high fees and/or low quality investments, now is the time to make a change. Good luck! Rick Bloom is a fee-only financial adviser. Observer & Eccentric readers can submit questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit his Web site at www.bloomassetmanagement.com. The Farmington Players presents a free “one night only” production of Sam Wolfson’s one-act comedy Boy Meets Girl: A Young Love Story. Follow Sam and Katie as they go through the trials and tribulations of love at the tender age of five in this hilarious and sweet take on young romance. From the decision to check the “yes” box on their boyfriend/girlfriend contracts to more serious conversations about past nap partners, Sam and Katie find themselves entering into a genuine relationship, all in the midst of worrying about the spelling bee, selling Girl Scout cookies, and figuring out what they want to be when they grow up. This heart-warming comedy stars Amy Lauter of Farmington Hills, and Michael Gingerella of Royal Oak, both well known to regular audience members of the Farmington Players. The production is directed by Terie Spencer of Commerce, whose professional experience includes working for the renowned Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis. Boy Meets Girl: A Young Love Story is the Farmington Players’ entry in the 2011 Michigan AACTFest competition being held Feb. 4-6 at the Midland Center for the Arts. Community theaters from across Michigan will complete for the chance to move on to the American Association of Community Theater Regional competition in Columbus, Ohio in late April, and then on to the National competition to be held at the historic Geva Theater Center in Rochester, New York in June. “This performance is our final dress rehearsal before the state competition,” said Spencer. “We are asking everyone to help us put the finishing touches on this hysterical show by attending our free preview, and then join us afterward in the lobby for a celebration.” Boy Meets Girl: A Young Love Story will be performed on Saturday, Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. and is free of charge — no tickets are required. For more information on the Farmington Players or to purchase tickets for any regular season show, visit www.farmingtonplayers.org or call the box office at (248) 553-2955. The Farmington Players Barn theater is at 32332 W. 12 Mile, between Orchard Lake and Farmington Road. Veterans invited to see film at Fox Theatre American House Senior Living Communities is offering veterans a chance to attend the premiere of “Our Vietnam Generation,” for free on Jan. 28 at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Interested vets can secure their tickets by contacting Erika Bohnenstiehl at (248) 203-1800, ext. 228. Offer valid while supplies last. Vets are asked to limit their request to two tickets per person. Tickets are also still available for purchase. The documentary focuses on the struggles experienced by Michigan Vietnam veterans once they returned home from the war. Bob Gillette, the founder of American House, served as the film’s co-executive producer. “We wanted to say thank you to our veterans,” said Gillette. “This is a very moving and detailed film and we hope all veterans will come together to honor the men and women who have served.” Dianne Cameron, Assistant Director/Activity Director, American House Elmwood in Rochester Hills, appeared in the film. Cameron was with a band during the Vietnam War and toured the region, performing music for soldiers and others. The Jan. 28 premiere event will feature the Michigan National Guard 26piece band providing a special sound off to each branch of the military and the singing of the National Anthem by the Cornerstone Concert Choir. The evening will conclude with a candlelight vigil to honor the 2,654 Michigan men and women who died for their country in Vietnam. The Michigan Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall will also be on display in the Fox Theatre lobby. Tickets for the premiere of Our Vietnam Generation are $25 and $35 and are available through Ticketmaster, at the Fox Theatre Box Office or by calling (248) 869-0096. To view the trailer to the film or for more information, visit www.ourvietnamgeneration.com. OE08703418 OPINION PAGE A10 (F) THURSDAY, January 27, 2011 OUR VIEWS Making it happen hometownlife Our fundamental purposes are to enhance the lives of our readers, nurture the hometowns we serve and contribute to the business success of our customers. com OBSERVER FARMINGTON Stacy Jenkins, Community Editor Susan Rosiek, Executive Editor Grace Perry, Director of Advertising COMMUNITY VOICE If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? We asked this question at the Farmington Community Library, main branch. Dog park group needs commitment from members Forming a citizens group to investigate the possibility of building a dog park in Farmington Hills is a good thing, but only if certain things take shape immediately. The first meeting of this group was held last week, and was attended by more than 40 residents. While the turnout was good, the meeting could have been more productive. Preaching to the choir, so to speak, many at the meeting expressed their desires To make this project for a dog park. That’s a given. work, everyone must Everyone in the room was a supporter of establishing a dog park get on the same page in Farmington Hills. Many stat— and that page is ed the aspects of other dog parks, the one built 11 years called ‘effort.’ It’s including ago in West Bloomfield — what going to take a lot seems to work and what doesn’t. of volunteer hours in Many expressed their opinions about possible locations for a dog researching, fund- park — ranging from some vacant raising and more to space on the east side of the ice at Founders Sports Park, to make this dog park a arena the rolling land at Heritage Park. reality. Location will be the number one issue to be addressed. OK. Time to get organized and time to firm up those commitments from people who attended the meeting. It seems the group has a leader in Rick Bringardner and it seems it has the willing participation of a couple of other people. Others at the meeting seemed hesitant and some unwilling to devote much more than a nod of support to this effort, citing they’re too busy or that they’ll let the more outspoken folks run the show. To make this project work, everyone must get on the same page — and that page is called “effort.” It’s going to take a lot of volunteer hours in researching, fundraising and more to make this dog park a reality. Committees will be established at the next meeting, which is set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at Farmington Hills City Hall. We hope the core organizers won’t have to twist arms to get the manpower they’ll need to get going. Bringardner got it right when he said the city has turned this project over to the citizens and now they have to show the city that they’re serious. Holding another meeting in which people are talking over one another or dominating the floor will not move this group off square one. The first thing that needs to be secured is the commitment from many people to serve on the various committees. Those smaller groups will focus on a single area, such as fund-raising, or location, for example. They’ll report their findings back to the group as a whole. The leadership will then have to decide the next move. The Farmington Area Jaycees has volunteered to be a part of the project. The Jaycees, as an organization, has built city parks in numerous communities and Farmington Jaycees board President Jessie Boyd has copies of a project f low chart that will help with the organization of this group. We encourage those involved to take a look at this and consider using it for the purpose of getting the project rolling. The Jaycees can be great resource in fund-raising, too. The more support the better, as long as the group begins with a strong focus on organization and strong commitment from more than three or four individuals. We look forward to seeing where this effort will lead. Great things can happen when people — especially people who are as passionate as dog lovers — come together and move forward in a systematic way to achieve the goal. ONLINE VOICES & VIEWS The following are excerpts from readers participating in our online forum for discussing issues, In Your Voices. Find more comments or join the discussion on the Web at hometownlife.com. Holistic wrote: Mr. DeWard is to be congratulated for one fine (letter to the editor, Jan. 20). I would recommend that each member of the council read this, after all, they are elected to have SOME ideas instead of “tricks.” Perhaps Mr. DeWard will consider running for council himself. I found each point noted something that should be laid out for the citizens of Farmington Hills to see and understand in a simple, straight forward manner. I look forward to seeing if anything here is received by the council and will anticipate Mr. DeWard’s candidacy for City Council. “Europe — France. It just seems like it would be a lot of fun to go there.” “Santa’s Workshop. I’d like to be an elf and make toys for kids.” Shawna Rollet, 12 Farmington Hills Carrie Povirk “Hawaii, because it’s nice. “Back to the Grand I’ve been there; it’s nice Canyon. It takes your scenery, beautiful sea.” breath away.” Franklin Tristan Lyttles, 13 Farmington Hills Janet Schrock Farmington Hills LETTERS Keep school land The last time our school board sold an elementary school, it was less than 10 years when we just had to pass a bond issue to add more classrooms. This school board and administration have very short memories. Let us hope the property is kept for future use. It will not cost the district any taxes to keep the property. The original plan to have an elementary school within walking distance of most students is still a good plan. All of the rooms do not have to be full or in use. With the cost of transportation going up, it could cost more to transport the students than for instruction. What a waste that would be. Small elementary schools only need teachers and a principal, and one custodian can take care of several small schools. One, two and four room schools are great places to attend school. I attended a one-room school reunion last year. We still think it was a great experience. Norm Peters Farmington Hills Leave roads alone Farmington City Council is at it again — $15,000 will be spent to study on-street parking on Farmington Road, south of Grand River. North was studied and narrowed already. According to the artistically inclined DDA, this was so successful that the million dollar Grand River Streetscape followed. It was predicted that “Without these attractions, downtown businesses would close!” Looking around, I see closed businesses. Before improvements began, the downtown featured two supermarkets (Farmer Jack and A&P), a men’s clothing store, a fine gift shop and enough parking for the busiest times. The parking lot has been chopped up with high curbs, trees and grass. It is pretty, but not functional and no longer adequate. The biggest draw currently is the post office. Farmington was a “Best Place to Live.” Can’t we just leave things that way? Hank Borgman Farmington Health care experiment Why all the fuss about health care? Let’s just get on with it. The Republicans are just trying to keep this great product from us. Surely our elected and appointed shepherds of all that is good wouldn’t make decisions that hurt us, their employers. We should start right now with a pilot program. Let’s enroll all government officials and their families now. Local, state, and national. All of Congress, the Supreme Court, Capitol Hill, and, of course, all their aides and appointees. Include their families, too. Have them follow every jot and tittle of the 2,300-page Obamacare bill to the letter. We could have a five-year pilot project. During that time, all their health care could be logged on the Internet for all to follow (transparency that Mr. Obama called for). We could keep track of how soon they receive treatment, the treatment provided, and the results. It would be inspiring to watch these public servants lead us. At the end of five years, we could evaluate the level of health care and the cost per capita. We should even include retired government workers already enrolled in their retirement plans (Dick Cheney, Bill Clinton, etc.). Then everyone could jump on board with exactly the same health care program. Let the leadership begin and make it public! I wonder, is tongue-in-cheek a pre-existing condition? Mike Teachman Farmington WHAT DO YOU THINK? We welcome your Letter to the Editor. Please include your name, address and phone number for verification. We ask your letters be 400 words or less. We may edit for clarity, space and content. Submit letters via the following formats. E-mail: email@example.com. Read or comment online: www.hometownlife.com Deadline: Letters must be received by 10 a.m. Monday to be published in the Thursday edition. Stop gun violence With the recent example in Tucson, is this country ready for a realistic relationship with our guns? This issue has been debated for decades. Why are we so fascinated, some have suggested addicted, to gun violence? How can the mentally disturbed legally purchase automatic weapons? Even Dick Cheney, in an interview this week, questioned the domestic value of a 30-clip automatic pistol. Cheney has been accused of a lot of things, but never a member of the “take away our guns crowd.” Am I hopeful that Congress has the courage to address gun regulation? No. The NRA and rigid interpreters of the Second Amendment to our Constitution are very strong. But this does not mean that those of us who want to stop gun violence should ourselves stop. To do nothing is simply to perpetuate slaughter of our citizenry. Government cannot make my neighbor love me but can prevent my neighbor from shooting me. Gerald and Dolores Maxey Farmington Hills Advanced planning needed On behalf of the thousands of patients, their families and community members that Arbor Hospice serves each year in southeast Michigan, I must respond to recent news of President Obama’s administration reversing the decision to include voluntary advance care planning consultations as part of a Medicare beneficiaries’ annual wellness exam. It is unfortunate that many people misunderstand the importance of such consultations. Sarah Palin, for example, expressed concern about “death panels” forming if doctors were allowed to counsel patients about end-of-life options. In reality, physicians will not be advising patients on options for ending their lives. They will be providing information about the most difficult transition a patient and family will ever make: options available at the end-of-life, determining when it is time to stop fighting and live each day to the fullest, no matter how many days are left; deciding how to determine when the treatment is futile. Yes, this means that there may be cost savings; but regardless if there are savings — the patient will receive better care. Recent studies have shown that when patients forego futile treatments they actually live longer and that these final days in a hospice setting are much more rewarding for the patient and their families than the typical final days spent in an ICU. Patients will live better in those final months because they had this difficult conversation with their physician well in advance of having to make crisis decisions and have had a chance to voice how they would like to live the final months of their lives. Patients and families are waiting for physicians to bring up this topic. When they don’t, families often assume that the patient will recover from their terminal illness. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, patients die and their families are shattered, wondering “Why didn’t we know about hospice earlier?” which is the No. 1 comment we receive from families in our surveys following the death of a loved one. The simple fact is that all of us need to discuss our end-of-life options now — not when it’s a crisis. Not when a car accident has occurred and family members are left to wonder what their loved one’s final wishes would have been. Statistics reveal that most people would like to die at home, pain-free and with loved ones, but nearly 60 percent of us do not have this experience. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if through these conversations more people were empowered to obtain their wish? I hope this issue doesn’t continue to be politicized. All of us — Republicans, Democrats and independents — will find ourselves facing the end-of-life journey someday, and we will need all of the help we can get to make the right decision for ourselves and our loved ones. Now that this regulation has been repealed, we ourselves will need to initiate these conversations with our physicians. There are many tools available to help families have the end-of-life discussion. The one we use at Arbor Hospice is Five Wishes and can be obtained at www.agingwithdignity.org/five-wishes.php. Gloria Danna Brooks, MPA, CHA president & CEO Arbor Hospice Citizens need to be informed New members of the 112th U.S. Congress could/ should realize voters elected them because of misunderstanding and lack of information about the economic collapse, two wars, and tax credits granted under the previous administration. Neither President Obama and his advisers nor the media stressed the many accomplishments of Obama’s administration. The individual voter had to be open-minded and get information alone. Some members of the 111th Congress refused to support the Obama administration. Perhaps some could not adjust to an African American as president of the United States or accept the content of his mind. There is no mandate from the people to continue partisan gridlock and rancor. Solving the unemployment problem should be a main priority, not killing the health care law. Improving lives of the lower and middle classes should be a main goal, not cutting programs which help these segments of society as legislators deal with deficit reduction. I believe these items should be true for all levels of government — city, county, state. Selfishness, self-interest, bias and fear should not be motivations for governing. Equally important tasks include ending two wars in a just manner and working for world peace by working with other countries. John Dean was interviewed recently on TV about his book “Conservatives Without Conscience,” which he wrote a few years ago. He stirred my interest in reading the book. All of us would benefit by improving our conscientiousness, that is sensitive regard for fairness or justice with a feeling of doing right or being good. Participatory democracy is crucial in helping our leaders solve problems and alleviate suffering in our country. Let us hope all citizens will inform themselves, be skeptical, positive and involved. 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(at Pontiac Trail across from Walmart) • www.morrismotorsmi.com Sales Hours: Mon. & Thurs. 9 - 9; Tues., Wed. & Fri. 9 - 6; Sat. 10 - 3 Service, Parts and Body Shop Hours: Mon. & Thurs. 7 - 8; Tues., Wed. & Fri. 7 - 6 248-624-4500 8728165 2199 Haggerty, Commerce Twp., MI VDAY PERFORMANCE BENEFITS PROGRAMS FOR WOMEN, GIRLS HAWKS MAKE PREY OF BLUE JAYS IN HOOPS — B2 ENTERTAINMENT, B6 (F) hometownlife THURSDAY, January 27, 2011 HOCKEY TEAM BRINGS FANS TOGETHER FOR FAITH NIGHT com RELIGION, B4 Farmington Unified tops Canton again Gymnastics teams renew their longstanding rivalry BY TIM SMITH OBSERVER STAFF WRITER Whenever Canton and Farmington Unified get together, one can be sure the longtime gymnastics rivals will battle to vault over each other. At the recent Farmington Invitational, the Chiefs were nipped 145.675-145.175 by Farmington. There was more of the same Monday in a dual meet at Plymouth High School. Although the margin was a bit more — Farmington earned a 147.125-to144.175 triumph — girls from both squads earned raves for their various moves and routines. “Today, we didn’t have our best meet.” Canton coach John Cunningham said. “I was very pleased with a 144 but, obviously, Farmington had the better team today. “They hit when they had to and kept the scores they needed. They had three really good all-arounders and that’s what beat us.” Canton, despite falling to 6-1 on the season, did boast the top all-arounder in senior Robyn Piwowar, who finished with 37.825 points. Piwowar demonstrated the high level of performance throughout the meet, particularly on vault (she took first with a Please see GYMNASTICS, B2 BILL BRESLER | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Farmington Unified junior Alyssa Bresso was second in the all-around Monday in the team’s dual-meet win at Canton. Farmington wrestlers celebrate a team championship in the dual-meet tournament Saturday at Fenton High School. Farmington wrestlers win Fenton tournament crown Glenn, 48-29. Until it faced Farmington in the final, Heritage had given Farmington High School had up just three pins in its first its best day of the 2011 wresfour matches, but the Hawks tling season when it won the were pinned seven times by the Fenton dual-meet tournament Falcons. Saturday. Nick Tomski (4:34), Justin The Falcons, who won each Roe (1:00), Mike Rankin (1:27), of five matches by 19 points Nimantha Herath (0:51), or more, defeated Saginaw Manny Govantes (0:59), Derek Heritage in the championship Sutherland (2:17) and Kevin match, 48-28. Kennerly (0:51) pinned their In earlier rounds, Farmington opponents. dominated Midland Dow, 49“I think the difference was 27; Royal Oak, 54-18; Clinton, Please see FENTON, B3 60-23; and Bay City John BY DAN O’MEARA OBSERVER STAFF WRITER Smaller field will compete for Observer tourney title BY BRAD EMONS OBSERVER STAFF WRITER Although three of last year’s top four team finishers have opted out this year, the 20th annual Observerland Invitational Wrestling Tournament refuses to be pinned to the mat. Fifteen teams will vie for the title, including defending champion Novi-Detroit Catholic Central, last year’s Division 1 state champion. Tournament action begins at 9 a.m. at Livonia Churchill High School with the finals set for approximately 5 p.m. All day admission is $6. Last year’s Observerland runner-up, Canton, currently ranked No. 8 in Division 1, along with third-place finisher Livonia Franklin and fourth-place Westland John Glenn, will not be in the tournament for the first time. Canton is coming off a runner-up finish in last weekend’s Wayne County tourney. Canton coach Cory Mancuso cited redundancy in scheduling for not attending the longtime tourney. “We do not want to see the same teams over and over again,’’ he said. “Also, you need Player of the Week Oakland University’s Keith Benson has been named Summit League Player of the Week in men’s basketball for the third time this season and ninth time in his career. The senior center from Farmington Hills led the Golden Grizzlies to a league-record 17 consecutive conference wins and set an all-time record for blocked shots. Benson began the week Jan. 20 with a season-high 28 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots at South Dakota State. He become The Summit League’s all-time shot blocker with 320, surpassing Central Connecticut State and NBA player Keith Closs, who had 317 (1994-96). Benson went 12for-17 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line. At North Dakota State on Jan. 22, Benson battled foul trouble most of the game, but he managed to score a team-high 21 points and grab 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the week and school record 42nd of his career. He blocked five shots in the game to go with a careerhigh three steals. For the week, Benson averaged 24.5 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, and he shot 62.5 percent from the floor. Benson will lead the Golden Grizzlies into the second half of the league season with home games vs. Oral Roberts tonight and Centenary on Saturday. Mercy ski results JOHN STORMZAND | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Farmington’s Kevin Kennerly (left) and North Farmington’s Mike Williams will compete in the Observerland tournament Saturday. rest. Wrestling is a mentally and physically tough sport. Rest does the body good.’’ Meanwhile, Franklin is coming off a thirdplace finish at Wayne County, and coach Dave Chiola also raised similar issues. “The KLAA and districts have virtually the same nucleus of teams,’’ Chiola said. “Many of us travel very far to avoid seeing the same competition. The Wayne County tournament gave us a chance to go somewhere and see different competition. “This was not a sudden decision; I made my decision last March. As far as I know, many of the other coaches did the same.’’ Chiola, however, said he has always been a big supporter of the tournament, but he would like to see it moved up to sometime in December. “This has always been a great tournament with a storied past, and I would certainly consider going to it early in the year,’’ he said. “With the emergence of the Wayne County tournament and the formation of the KLAA, the need for the Observerland tournament isn’t as necessary as it was when it was Please see TOURNEY, B3 North’s Creighton signs with Madonna the top of the lineup for us,” Madonna coach Al White said. “She will add even more speed to our outfield next season. North Farmington senior Karleigh “We lose a great outfielder this spring in Creighton will continue her Tara (LaMilza), but we know Karleigh could softball career at the collegiate come in right away and play. She has learned level next year when she joins from a great coach in Dave Brubaker, and we the Madonna University team. are looking forward to getting her here.” Creighton signed a national Creighton was named to the All-Observer letter of intent last week to second team last year after helping the Raiders play for the Crusaders, who post a 24-14-1 record. A career .399 hitter are ranked No. 17 in the 2011 in three varsity seasons at North, she batted NAIA coaches preseason top .401 last year with 11 doubles, two triples, four 25 poll. home runs and 24 RBI. Creighton The award-winning center Creighton also scored 30 runs; she had 49 fielder is a two-time selection for the All-OAA hits and eight walks with few strikeouts in 122 North Farmington’s Karleigh Creighton, flanked by parents Doug and Red Division, all-district and all-region teams. Kristin Creighton, signed her letter of intent Jan. 20 to play softball at Please see CREIGHTON, B2 “Karleigh is a player who can create havoc at Madonna University. BY DAN O’MEARA OBSERVER STAFF WRITER SIDELINES The Mercy High School ski team scored two third-place finishes in the first week of the 2011 ski season at the Mount Brighton Interscholastic Ski Association slalom and giant slalom events Jan. 18 and 20. In the slalom Tuesday, Mercy had three skiers finish in the top 20. Olivia Stoick finished fifth, Sara Yockey sixth and Alyssa Rozycki 17th to lead Mercy to its first third-place finish of the week. Stoick, Yockey and Margaux Kabodian placed in the top 15 and scored valuable points in the giant slalom Thursday. Stoick was sixth, Yockey 11th and Kabodian 12th at Mount Brighton to complete the team’s initial week of racing. Coaches Tom Gable and Laura Burek expect big things from an experienced group of skiers who worked hard through the preseason to prepare for another run at the league and state championships. Albion women win Allison Vial, a former Farmington High School swimmer, was a member of Albion College’s winning 200 freestyle relay team Saturday. Vial and her Briton teammates posted a time of 1:45.74 to win by less than a second over Saint Mary’s College. Albion defeated Saint Mary’s in an MIAA women’s swimming and diving dual meet at the Dean Aquatic Center, 169-115. Amy Bell of Farmington Hills (Farmington High) was second in diving with a season-high score of 201.68 points on the one-meter board. Ocelots finish well Freshman Shawnicka Thomas scored a game-high 18 points, including 12 straight late in the second half, to propel the eighth-ranked Schoolcraft College women’s basketball team to a 68-57 victory Saturday at St. Clair CCC. The Lady Ocelots, who improved to 17-3 overall and 7-0 in the MCCAA’s Eastern Conference, also got 16 points from Niki Helm. B2 (F) Observer & Eccentric | Thursday, January 27, 2011 online at hometownlife.com LOCAL SPORTS Flyers dominate Red Hawks, 3-0 Hawks make prey of Blue Jays in hoops The North FarmingtonHarrison unified hockey team dominated visiting Troy Athens for a much-needed, 3-0 victory Saturday night. The Flyers outshot the Red Hawks, 47-11, and took the game to the opponent from beginning to end at Farmington Hills Ice Arena. North-Harrison scored twice in the first period and added an empty-netter in the third. Goalie Cam Woodall stood tall in the net and turned aside all shots he faced to pick up his first high school shutout. Kyle DeMaagd scored a power-play goal on a slapshot from the point with assists going to Scott Newel and Peter Kusek. Blake Burnett scored the other first-period goal off a feed from Michael Race and Shane Moran. T.J. Zak scored the third goal with an assist from Burnett. The Flyers are 3-2-1 in the OAA Red Division and 7-7 overall. “It was a game we needed to win, and we got the job done,” Flyers coach Ken Anderson said. “We came out strong and played three periods. “We took the play to them and had a lot of opportunities. I would have liked to score a few more goals, but we will take the victory.” FLYERS 3, DRAGONS 3: North Farmington-Harrison played a game of catch-up Thursday, GYMNASTICS FROM PAGE B1 9.6) and the balance beam. She concluded her beam routine with a spot-on backflip and dismount, giving her a 9.475 (second to Farmington’s Alyssa Bresso, 9.6). Then Piwowar flashed a confident smile, knowing she nailed it. “There was a little more pressure (against Farmington), but I think we all just went out there and had fun,” Piwowar said. “I think having fun is the key to it all. Everyone’s relaxed when they’re having fun.” Farmington grabbed spots 2-4 in all-around with Bresso (37.60), Kristen McKelvey (37.35) and Kyoko Yamamoto (35.85). GOOD START “It’s one meet,” Farmington coach Jeff Dwyer said. “But what I liked is, at the invite we had them by four tenths. I look at it as two even teams. “There are only so many meets you get like this. You got your three invites, and your Cantons and your Athens and we never see Grand Ledge. But I’m just happy how they responded.” Dwyer said his gymnasts came out strong, perhaps aware that it was their coach’s birthday and, thus, making sure they would help it be a happy one. Indeed it was, as Farmington (60) tallied a season high in points. “Our first event was bars, and it carried us,” Dwyer said. “That was some of the best bars we’ve had. I think our whole team had some of their highest scores.” McKelvey and Yamamoto LAURA WRIGHT PHOTO North Farmington-Harrison’s Derek Ried (right) takes the faceoff against Dylan Kotora of Troy Athens. matching a Lake Orion goahead goal three times and settling eventually for an OAA tie. It looked as if the first period would be scoreless, but Lake Orion’s Jake Kreutzer was left alone in front of the net with the puck on his stick with four seconds left. The Flyers evened the score halfway through the second period when Kyle DeMaagd scored on a power play with a slapshot through a crowd. Assisting were Race and Ryan Murray. Two minutes later, Lake Orion once again took a onegoal lead when Nick Balavich scored on a breakaway. Kyle Wood tied it with a one-timer in the slot with assists from Murray and Newel. The Dragons struck first again in the third period with Daniel Chapie’s goal. The Flyers tied it with just over two minutes left in the game when Derek Ried found Jake Ladouceur alone in front of the net. Ladouceur lifted the puck over the Lake Orion goalie’s shoulder and just under the crossbar. Wood also assisted. The OAA does not recognize overtime, but teams play it anyway. Three minutes into overtime Lake Orion forward Zac Koonce found the back of the net with assists to Jessie Cameron and Balavich. “The Flyers played an okay game, but we did not match their intensity,” Anderson said. “We hung in there and battled. For us to have success, we have to outwork the other team. Tonight, we did not have a lot of puck support.” Raiders win close game at the end GYMNASTICS FARMINGTON UNIFIED 147.125 CANTON 144.175 Jan. 24 at Plymouth High School VAULT: 1. Robyn Piwowar (C), 9.6; 2. Alyssa Bresso (F), 9.5; 3. Kristen McKelvey (F), 9.375; 4. Erica Lewis (C), 9.225; 5. Amanda Lumley (F), 9.2; 6. Kyoko Yamamoto (F), 9.0; 7. Ayana Lewis (C), 8.825; 8. Hanna Berlin (F), 8.7; 9. Marina Milad (C), 9.525; 10. Alex Fideler (C), 8.5; 11. Meredith Jonik (F), 8.4; 12. Melissa Green (C), 8.375. Total: Farmington, 37.075; Canton, 36.175. BARS: 1. McKelvey (F), 9.4; 2. Yamamoto (F), 9.35; 3. (tie) Ayana Lewis (C) and Piwowar (C), 9.15; 5. Fideler (C), 8.925; 6. Jonik (F), 8.875; 7. Bresso (F), 8.85; 8. Lumley (F), 8.8; 9. Marissa Lapinsky (F), 8.55; 10. (tie) Cathy Huang (C) and Eica Lucas (C), 8.2; 12. Green (C), 7.3. Total: Farmington, 36.475; Canton, 35.425. BEAM: 1. Bresso (F), 9.6; 2. Piwowar (C), 9.475; 3. McKelvey (F), 9.35; 4. Fideler (C), 8.775; 5. Brooke Granowicz (C), 8.725; 6. Berlin (F), 8.675; 7. Lumley (F), 8.4; 8. Yamamoto (F), 8.3; 9. Ayana Lewis (C), 8.15; 10. Milad (C), 8.125; 11. Green (C), 8.05; 12. Jonik (F), 7.85. Total: Farmington, 36.025; Canton, 35.125. FLOOR: 1. Lumley (F), 9.65; 2. Piwowar (C), 9.6; 3. Bresso (F), 9.45; 4. Fideler (C), 9.4; 5. (tie) Green (C) and McKelvey (F), 9.25; 7. (tie) Ayana Lewis (C) and Yamamoto (F), 9.2; 9. Kali Pierce (C), 8.9; 10. (tie) Berlin (F) and Jonik (F), 8.6; 12. Lucas (C), 8.35. Total: Farmington, 37.55; Canton, 37.45. ALL-AROUND: Piwowar (C), 37.825; 2. Bresso (F), 37.60; 3. McKelvey (F), 37.35; 4. Yamamoto (F), 35.85; 5. Fideler (C), 35.6; 6. Ayana Lewis (C), 35.325. took places 1-2 in bars with respective scores of 9.4 and 9.35, with Canton’s Piwowar and Ayana Lewis tying for third with a 9.15 tally. Farmington also won in floor exercise, as Amanda Lumley’s 9.65 bested Piwowar (9.6), Bresso (9.45) and Fideler (9.4). BY DAN O’MEARA OBSERVER STAFF WRITER BILL BRESLER | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Farmington’s Meghan Campbell performs her uneven bars routine during the Monday dual meet with Canton. Meanwhile, Cunningham said the Chiefs will be gearing up to see Farmington again at the Canton Invitational Feb. 5. “We’ve been battling for 20 years or so, no doubt about that,” said Cunningham, with a grin. “It’s a friendly rivalry, two ex-gymnasts coaching gymnastics. “So we look forward to the meets. We’ll see them CREIGHTON FROM PAGE B1 at-bats. She’s a career .948 fielder who graded .979 in the outfield last season. “She’s an outstanding player,” said Brubaker, the longtime North Farmington coach. “She’s pretty much got the whole package. She has excellent speed and great power, and she covers territory that a lot of girls don’t. “She works hard; she’s definitely one of those committed players. Her No. 1 priority is her school work. When she’s done with that, she puts all that emphasis into softball. That’s quality stuff when you have kids like that.” Brubaker added Creighton sets a good example for other players with the time and effort she devotes to the game and to making herself a better player. been extremely happy with her on the floor, leading our team. As a sophomore, she has Tiera Parker scored a career- stepped up and grown a lot this high 22 points Tuesday as season.” Harrison zipped past visiting Harrison had another good Southfield in girls basketball, defensive effort, too, hold46-21. ing Southfield to single-digit The junior guard made one scoring in every quarter. The three-point field goal and sank Hawks led 21-8 at halftime and seven of nine free throws. She outscored the Blue Jays in the also made six steals to spark middle quarters, 26-12. the Hawks defensively. “I thought we were a little bit While Parker did a large flat at times,” Micklash said. part of the scoring, coach Tim “Overall, I’m very happy with Micklash emphasized the win how we’ve been playing defenwas the result of another great sively. team effort. “We gave up 21 tonight, 23 “That’s the fun thing about the last game to Groves and coaching this team,” he said. nine before that with Oxford. “Nobody is concerned about me I’m extremely pleased with on this team. Everybody is just the girls’ commitment to concerned about us. our defense and how they’ve “They don’t worry about all bought into what we’re doing. the extra stuff. When the game “Each night it doesn’t matis over, their concern is ‘Did ter how we play offensively. Harrison win the game?’ It’s Whether we’re in the flow of a very team-oriented group of things or not, I can count on girls.” the girls being consistent on Sophomore point guard defense, and it’s that effort Marissa Cotton tossed in 13 that’s going to keep us in all points and dished five assists games.” for the Hawks, who are 5-2 in Jade Ware scored seven the OAA White Division and points, Kenja Bryant and 8-4 overall. Mieanna Gaines six each “Marissa has done a fabulous for the Blue Jays (2-9, 1-5). job as a floor leader and being Harrison was 16-of-23 at the an extension of the coach on foul line and Southfield 10-ofthe floor,” Micklash said. “I’ve 25. BY DAN O’MEARA OBSERVER STAFF WRITER again at the Canton Invite.” Concurring was Dwyer, noting the Canton-Farmington rivalry always is good and competitive. “John and I have a great rivalry,” Dwyer said. “Tonight they weren’t on as they can be. But we’re going to see them two more times. You’re only as good as your last meet.” North Farmington had a scare from visiting Rochester in girls basketball Tuesday, but the Raiders persevered for a 42-38 victory. Junior guard Jasmine Harris, who led North with 11 points and 10 rebounds, hit a three-point shot late in the game to tie. Kaitlyn Kendall made a layup to give the Raiders a 4038 lead, and Harris sank two free throws with six seconds left to clinch the win. North trailed at halftime, 24-21, but it was within one at the end of three quarters, 3130, and outscored Rochester in the second half, 21-14. “I thought we really struggled in the first half,” North coach Tim Carruthers said. “We seemed very out of sync. Part of that was them; they made shots and defended well. “Then, we just played much harder in the second half. We’ve been in a lot of close games. I think that helped us, learning how to win close games, because we pulled one out at the end.” Kendall scored all 10 of her points in the second half and had nine rebounds. Hallee Kansman added six points and Holly Snabes five. Stevie Jones had three assists, Megan Keller and Harris three steals apiece. The Raiders, who are 7-6 overall and 4-5 in the OAA Red Division, made seven of 13 free throws. Kristin Garr scored 13 points and Zhana Randolph 10 for the Falcons, who are 0-10 in the OAA Red and sank six of 12 foul shots. colleges, is a scholar-athlete with a 3.97 grade-point average and is a member of the National Honor Society. She plans to major in biology at the undergraduate level and pursue a doctorate degree in physical therapy, FARMINGTON 51, HAZEL PARK 19: The specializing in sports medidivision-leading Falcons trounced cine. the visiting Vikings and increased Creighton was an origitheir OAA Blue record to 7-0 nal member of the South Farmington Wildcards summer team, which won five tournament titles in seven years. Creighton will play for the Mid-Michigan FireStix GIRLS BASKETBALL travel team out of Grand Friday, Jan. 28 Blanc this summer since the Ferndale at Farmington, 7 p.m. Wildcards have now disOak Park at Harrison, 7 p.m. banded. N. Farm. at Stoney Creek, 7 p.m. Madonna, which has won Mercy at Warren Regina, 7:30 p.m. BOYS BASKETBALL the last three WolverineThursday, Jan. 27 Hoosier Athletic Conference N. Farmington at Southfield, 7 p.m. regular-season championHarrison at Pontiac, 7 p.m. ships and last four postseason Oxford at Farmington, 7 p.m. tournaments, also signed WRESTLING Flat Rock pitcher Angela Saturday, Jan. 29 Pavilanis. Tuesday. Aaron Howell and Cherrish Willis paced the Farmington scoring with 19 and 17 points, respectively. Missy Tashjian added six for the Falcons (8-3). Shannon Hoobler scored seven points for the winless Vikings, who are 0-7 in the division and 0-11 overall. “We talked at the beginning of the game about the next step toward a league title,” Farmington coach Dave Browne said. “I thought the girls were very business-like today. “We had a period where we were sloppy, but they called themselves on it. They ratcheted it up at just the right time and extended the lead. “There are always things we can improve on, but overall it was a good performance.” Keshia Todd had six rebounds, Rae’ven Williams and Howell five each, Susan Roggenkamp and Lida Baur four each. Howell also had five steals; Tamera Anthony, Maggie Nelson and Willis made four picks apiece. Anthony also had three assists and Willis two blocks. MARIAN 43, MERCY 39: The visiting Mustangs staged a 16-3 scoring run to finish the game Tuesday and took a potential victory away from the Marlins. Both teams are 8-4 overall. In the Catholic League Central Division, Marian is 3-2 and Mercy 2-3. “We got off to a slow start, but we played very well in the middle quarters,” Mercy coach Gary Morris said. The Marlins were down after one, 16-8; however, they outscored the Mustangs over the next two quarters, 24-11, and had a 36-27 lead with over five minutes left in the game. “We proceeded from that point forward not to do very much right,” Morris said. “(Marian) became very efficient on offense. We had some passes go through our hands; we turned it over and, as a result, they finished up on a 16-3 run.” The Mustangs converted eight of nine free throws in the fourth quarter and were 15-of-24 overall. The Marlins made only two of nine foul shots in the second half. They sank seven of 15 in the game. Mara Mulroy led the Mustangs with 18 points. Marian’s Sara Zawacki and Mercy’s Janelle McQueen had 14 apiece. THE WEEK AHEAD North coach Dave Brubaker (left) and Madonna coach Al White witnessed Creighton’s letter-of-intent signing. “She’s a good leader, too,” he said. “In running workouts, she’s taking charge and doing what she needs to do. That’s a good inf luence on kids coming into high school when they have someone like her as a senior.” Creighton, who also was recruited by the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Hope, Kalamazoo and Alma Observerland at Churchill, 9 a.m. BOYS SWIMMING & DIVING Thursday, Jan. 27 Farmington-Harrison at North, 6:30. BOYS ICE HOCKEY Thursday, Jan. 27 North-Harrison at Birmingham, 7:30. Lake Orion at Farmington, 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29 Liv. Stevenson vs. North-Harrison, 7 p.m. at Farmington Hills Arena. Farmington vs. Detroit Country Day, 5 p.m. at Southfield Civic Center. online at hometownlife.com TOURNEY FROM PAGE B1 formed. “I was at Garden City when a group of coaches came up with the idea for an Observerland tournament to cut down on all-area discussions. Now that we have the KLAA and Wayne County, the need just isn’t there anymore.’’ Glenn, which has earned two straight trips to the Division 1 state team finals, also pulled out because of scheduling issues, according to coach Bill Polk. Despite receiving a contract, Churchill athletic director Marc Hage and tournament director Marty Altounian, the Chargers varsity coach, were not notified until last week that Glenn was not coming. “Some changes had to be made and, unfortunately, we had to go in another direction,’’ Polk said. “I have always enjoyed the tournament, and Churchill has always done an outstanding job. “With the Wayne County, KLAA and Observer right between the two, we see a lot of the same teams three weeks in a row. At Wayne County, we see many of the district teams, so it’s important to have that take place before the post-season. “The KLAA tournament (Feb. 5) is a league meet, so we can’t change that. I had to make the decision that John Glenn had to do what’s best for our schedule.’’ Despite the no shows, the event will still feature some outstanding individual grapplers with CC being the dominant team. The Shamrocks, ranked No. 1 in Division 1, are coming off a couple of close dual meet defeats, including a 30-28 setback Saturday at Cincinnati Moeller and a 29-25 loss Wednesday at home against St. Johns, ranked No. 1 in Division 2. CC will be an overwhelming favorite to repeat, because it currently has 10 wrestlers ranked among the top 10 in their respective weight classes statewide by MichiganGrappler. com. Two-time state champion FENTON FROM PAGE B1 we pretty much stayed off our backs all day, and that was a big factor,” Farmington coach Al Beyar said. The Falcons, who improved their record to 16-6 in dual meets, had four wrestlers who went through the tournament undefeated. Tomski, Rankin and Roe were 5-0; Herath was 4-0 and Zach Schulz 4-1. Tomski (152) had three pins, one decision and one void; Roe (215) and Rankin (140) had three pins and two voids each; Herath (112) had two pins, one decision and one void. Schulz LOCAL SPORTS Observer & Eccentric | Thursday, January 27, 2011 What: 20th annual Observerland Wrestling Invitational. When: Saturday, Jan. 29 (firstround action start at 9 a.m. with the finals starting at approximately 5 p.m.) Where: Livonia Churchill High School, 8900 Newburgh Road (between Joy Road and Ann Arbor Trail). Admission (all day): $6 (family discounts available). Participating schools: Livonia Churchill, Belleville, Farmington, Farmington Hills Harrison, Garden City, Livonia Stevenson, Lutheran High Westland, North Farmington, Northville, Novi, Novi-Detroit Catholic Central, Plymouth, Redford Union, Salem, Wayne Memorial. Past winners: Catholic Central (1993, ‘96, ‘99, 2000, ‘02, ‘03, ‘09, ‘10); Livonia Franklin (2005, ‘06, ‘07); Stevenson (1994, ‘95, ‘97); Canton (2001, ‘08); Churchill and Westland John Glenn (2004); Salem (1998); Farmington (1992). (135), who won by injury default against Heritage, had one pin, one decision and one void. Tomski is 32-3, Roe 29-5, Rankin 22-9, Herath 18-6, Schulz 17-15, Govantes 139, Kennerly 14-8 and Ryan Sutherland 20-13. Derek Sutherland, who just returned from an injury, is 6-2. “I took 20 to the tournament and everybody wrestled,” Beyar said. “Just about everybody got a rest in there. It helped throughout the day. “By the time we got to the last match, we still had a lot of gas in the tank. Heritage only brought 14, so they seemed a little bit worn down. The boys bowling team at North Farmington continued its season-long roll Monday with a 25-5 victory over Lake Orion. The competition was part of an Oakland Activities Association jamboree at 5-Star Lanes in Madison Heights. The Raiders remain undefeated in dual matches, pushing their record to 7-0 in the OA A and 8-0 overall. North split the Baker games with Lake Orion to take a 6-4 lead. The boys then proceeded to win both regular games and conceded only one additional point. “Our senior threesome of Ben Novak, Justin Lapides and Ryan Turner led the way with six 200 games between them,” coach Mike Horner said. “Sophomore Kam Caldwell chipped in a 203 of his own.” NORTH GIRLS TEAM JOHN STORMZAND | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Farmington’s Zach Schulz tries for an escape in last year’s city meet. It’s busy week for FPS wrestlers The Farmington schools wrestled Wednesday night in the annual city tournament. The OAA White Division title also was at stake as all three were among the leaders. That was the first order of business this week for the three Farmington teams before they turned their attention to the 20th Observerland Tournament Saturday at Livonia Churchill. Farmington, fresh from its victory last week in the Fenton dual-meet tournament, went into the Wednesday meet 16-6 overall and 6-0 in the OAA White. North Farmington, Harrison and Hazel Park were 5-1. Farmington’s most successful wrestlers are Nick Tomski (152), Nimantha Herath (112), Mike Rankin (140) and Justin Roe (215). “It was definitely a total team effort by the Falcons. They wrestled tough all day long.” The Falcons, who had 32 pins in the five matches and only gave up 11, won the Fenton tournament for the first time in the several years they’ve been competing. Dow was third and South Lyon fourth. “It gets a lot of kids involved,” Beyar said. “That’s why a lot of teams like going to team tournaments. Everybody feels a part of the action. “Even the younger wrestlers can contribute in some fashion whether they get a pin or don’t give up six.” “It’s always a tough tournament,” Farmington coach Al Beyar said. “A lot depends on the seeding and who’s at what weight class. “It all depends on the first couple rounds, who can survive them and get into the placing rounds. That’s the big factor.” Harrison is led by senior captains Evan Doyle (112), Andre Sanders (119) and James Roberts (140), who was the runner-up at 135 last year. Sanders is 29-3, Roberts 26-6 and Doyle, who just returned to the lineup, 16-5. Sultan Hubbard (160) also is doing well and has a 23-8 record. North Farmington’s most experienced and best wrestlers are Mike Hoover (103), Jordan Russell (119), Mike Williams (125), Kevin Miller (171), Courtney Drew (189) and Majd Mokbel (285). Robbie Czarnik of the Plymouth Whalers is quiet and reserved and isn’t about to crush an opponent through the boards. But the Whalers center from Washington, Mich. lets two things in his life do the talking for him — his strong faith in Christianity and considerable talent as a playmaker and goal scorer. As far as Czarnik is concerned, the two are woven together, with it being up to God more than himself or anybody else whether his path leads to the National Hockey League. “I just know if it’s meant Robbie Czarnik to be, if it’s gonna happen, there’s a plan set for me,” said Czarnik, whose NHL rights belong (appropriately, for a believer) to the Los Angeles Kings. “If I’m going to sign and play, get an NHL contract, I will get one and I just have to continue to play hard and believe it will happen.” L.A. scouts likely have been impressed with former University of Michigan player Czarnik so far this season. In 37 OHL games, he has 24 goals and 50 points. The future will take care of itself. But for Czarnik, the convergence of slap shots and scripture will be there to see Friday night, at the Whalers’ first-annual “Faith & Family Night.” Czarnik and the rest of the Whalers will host Niagara at 7 p.m., where he will flash the skills that have flourished recently — he has totaled nine goals and 15 points in eight January games. Farmington’s Eric O’Neill (left to right), Nimantha Herath and Dan Gambill proudly display the medals they received at Fenton. Following the game at Compuware Arena, all who attend are invited to enjoy Christian rock’s The Mark White Band and renowned youth speaker Jack Janigian. (See story next page.) “I think it’s a great event, it’s going to be good,” Czarnik, who turns 21 Tuesday, said following a practice last week. “It will be a nice game and ... it’s going to be pretty cool to have a concert after.” STEPPING OUT All of the Whalers’ promotions for the event feature Czarnik, and he is likely to get out of his comfort zone and say a few words to youth church groups and individuals who attend. “It’s really great to have somebody that is going to step up and be a part of it (the event),” said Denise Ronayne, director of sales and marketing for the Whalers. “I give him a lot of credit for being a young athlete, being a successful young athlete, and being very straightforward and just saying ‘I didn’t get here by myself.’” Ronayne said all church groups within a 45mile radius have been invited to the event. Tickets ($9 each) are still onsale for youth ministry and church groups and their families, although anybody who buys a ticket will be able to hear the concert and message. Brought up in a religious family (his uncle Mike is a pastor, for example), Czarnik’s beliefs helped him decide in 2009-10 to leave the University of Michigan hockey team and join the Whalers. (He still is a student at U-M.) “Yeah, I prayed about it and then decided what I wanted to do,” Czarnik said. “When it came down to it, after praying, thinking about it and talking to family, ... I felt strong about it and I didn’t have any regrets. “And I still don’t regret it at all to this day.” The North girls lost to Lake Orion but bowled their most impressive match of the season, according to Horner. Their 1593 total in the regular games was the highest series ever bowled by the Raider girls, and their 861 in the second game was the second-highest game ever recorded. “The girls showed great balance as every game was between 160 and 185,” Horner said. “Unfortunately, the girls were competing against a ferocious Lake Orion squad that bowled phenomenal games of 929 and 931 to defeat the North girls, 28-2. “Nevertheless, we are justifiably proud of the girls’ success as individuals and a team. They have been improving week to week, and today’s results provide a tantalizing glimpse of what the girls are capable of doing.” The Raiders are 5-3 overall and 4-3 in the OA A. COUNTY TOURNAMENT Czarnik’s faith keeps NHL dreams alive BY TIM SMITH OBSERVER STAFF WRITER B3 North boys stay unbeaten in bowling MAT EXTRAVAGANZA Alec Mooradian is the No. 1rated wrestler at 135 pounds. The other ranked CC wrestlers include Evan Toth (103), Malik Amine (112), Ken Bade (125), Logan Marcicki (135), Nick Mason (145), Drew Garcia (152), Andrew Erickson (160), Kevin Beazley (171) and Miles Trealout (189). Beazley, a transfer from Farmington Harrison, was the upper-weight MVP after finishing second at 160 to Canton’s Brent Winekoff. Other Observerland wrestlers ranked in their respective weight classes statewide in Division 1 are Jacob Meadows, Churchill (119); Alex Breckenridge, Plymouth (125); and Brendan Papin, Belleville (135). In Division 2, Harrison’s Andre Sanders (119) and James Roberts (140) are listed in the top 10. Redford Union’s Josh Hall, the Wayne County champ, will also make the 135-pound division one of the most competitive. (F) WALT DMOCH Robbie Czarnik of the Plymouth Whalers points to his strong religious faith as being a big reason for his emergence on and off the ice. With the Whalers, in a league considered a pipeline to the NHL, scouts from the Kings have watched him “more times than they ever did when I was at Michigan.” “And I’ve also developed better here,” he continued. “It’s just more of a developmental league and I’ve become a better player just coming here, coming to this path.” QUIETLY ASSERTIVE Czarnik the hockey player lets his stickwork make noise for him. What does that job when it comes to Czarnik the person is a tattoo emblazoned on his upper body. It serves as a welcome mat for anybody who decides to step onto it and discuss Christianity. “It’s not a huge thing that people talk to me about, it’s not brought up that often,” he noted. The North boys qualified 12th out of 28 teams and then defeated Hazel Park, the fifth seed, in the first playoff round on Saturday. They lost to the eventual tournament champion, Waterford Kettering, in the quarterfinals. Ryan Turner was fourth overall with a 692 series. On Sunday, the girls displayed some of their best bowling of the year while qualifying 10th out of 25 teams. In the first playoff round, the Raiders lost to tournament champion Kettering by a scant 12 pins. Rae’ven Turner was seventh overall with a 579 series.