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CALL ME MS. EPILEPSY. Ms. Bird is not defined by her disease. She just wants her students to turn their homework in on time. Fortunately for Lori Bird, she has the experts at Henry Ford making sure her epilepsy behaves inside and outside of the classroom. As the largest and most experienced epilepsy center in Michigan, the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Henry Ford has overseen more than 50,000 patient visits and has performed more than 1,000 epilepsy surgeries over the last 15 years. By bringing together the latest clinical trials, brain stimulation systems and surgical techniques, patients like Lori have found hope for living complete, active lives.

HENRY FORD NEUROLOGY AND NEUROSURGERY. Michigan’s only program named “America’s Best” the past 13 consecutive years by U.S.News & World Report.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, visit or call 1-800-HENRYFORD.

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DOWNTOWN08.11 31


Cameras in schools: safety vs privacy Surveillance cameras in public spaces and buildings have become a common occurrence, inlcuding in public and private schools in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area.







29: Laura Mecsey


The attempt to recall members of the Bloomfield Hills School district has now been expanded to include the entire board of education.

DISTRIBUTION: Mailed­monthly­at­no­charge to­homes­in­Birmingham,­Bloomfield­Township and­Bloomfield­Hills.­Additional­free­copies­are distributed­at­high­foot-traffic­locations. For­those­not­residing­in­the­free mail­ distribution­ area,­ paid subscriptions­are­available­for­a $12­ annual­ fee.­ Phone 248.792.6464­ and­ request­ the Distribution­ department­ or­ go­ to­ our­ website (­ and­ click­ on “subscriptions”­in­the­top­index­and­place­your order­on-line­or­scan­the­QR­Code­here.



Child care options are plentiful but it helps to know the regulations and track record before you place your children.

Revive Street/Revive; Inspired Wellness; Shish Kabbob Express; Schakolad; World of Wine; What Crepe?; and more.

Bacco Ristorante, celebrating it’s 10th anniversary, is even more delightful than when it opened a decade ago in Southfield.



Commissioners run again; Holy Name expansion; Bloomfield supervisor replacement; library tax ballot; Birmingham Bike Festival, Borders liquidation; Pappageorge recall.



Who's watching our children?


43: Adam Helfman


Long before most of us are awake each day, crews are hard at work making sure downtown Birmingham is ready for another day.


A recap of select categories of crime occurring in the past month in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills, presented in map format.

17: Dr. Silas Norman

Good morning, Birmingham

THE COVER Oriental Gardens, Kingswood School, Bloomfield Hills. Photo: Austen Hohendorf



DOWNTOWN P­ ­ ­ U­ ­ ­ B­ ­ ­ L­ ­ ­ I­ ­ ­ C­ ­ ­ A­ ­ ­ T­ ­ ­ I­ ­ ­ O­ ­ ­ N­ ­ ­ S DOWNTOWN­BIRMINGHAM/BLOOMFIELD 124­WEST­MAPLE­ROAD­­­BIRMINGHAM­48009 P:­248.792.6464

­Publisher:­David­Hohendorf Ad­Manager:­Jill­Cesarz Graphics/IT­Manager:­Chris­Grammer News­Editor:­Lisa­Brody

News­Staff/Contributors:­Hillary­Brody, Sally­Gerak,­­Eleanor­&­Ray­Heald,­ Austen­Hohendorf,­Garrett­Hohendorf, Kathleen­Meisner,­Laurie­Tennent


Society reporter Sally Gerak provides the latest news from the society and non-profit circuit as she covers major events of the past month.

Our thoughts on the appointment process to fill the Bloomfield Township supervisor vacancy and the attempt to recall the school board.

INCOMING: We­welcome­feedback­on­both our­publication­and­general­issues­of­concern in­the­Birmingham/Bloomfield­community.­The traditional­ Letters­ to­ the­ Editor­ in­ Downtown are­ published­ in­ our­ Incoming­ section,­ and can­ include­ traditional­ letters­ or­ electronic communication.­Your­opinions­can­be­sent­via e-mail­ to­; or­ mailed­ to­ Downtown­ Publications,­ 124 West­ Maple­ Road,­ Birmingham­ MI,­ 48009. Letters­ must­ include­ your­ full­ name,­ address and­daytime­phone­number­for­verification.­


A very special



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FROM THE PUBLISHER ate July and early August hold a special significance for me as I begin writing this month's column. At this time last year we were still completing our current downtown Birmingham office space, which included painting old wood floors, cleaning, hunting for the best bargains on furniture, ordering equipment, completing designs on corporate material--basically setting up a business in a 30-day period.


We were the “new kids” on the block, so to speak. Our logic a year ago, as we began work on our October launch issue, was that positioning the publishing group in the center of downtown Birmingham would allow us to more quickly become part of the community, to have a better day-to-day feel for what was going on. Clearly, it was one of the wiser decisions we made. The standard line in our office today is that it takes at least a half hour just to walk the three blocks to the parking structure or one block to get a coffee because we are constantly running into people we know, both local business owners and members of the public at-large. We have built some great relationships in the past year. I looked at just the last couple of days before writing this column and realized how much opportunity on a daily basis I have to interact with local merchants. The list is too long to detail in total but my encounters included owners of stores newer to the downtown area, like Chuck Kruse at Blu Arch, Tracy Mayer at Back Country North and Aaron Cohen at Revive/Revive Street. And of course the list includes the “old timers”-comparatively speaking--like Dr. Bill Koppin at Shades Optical, Marc Secontine at The Varsity Shop, Frank and Lennon Caruso at Caruso Caruso, and Neil Blaz at Legacy Jewelry and Loan. Our downtown location has allowed me to develop more personal relationships with so many merchants and a fuller understanding of the challenges and the successes of the businesses. Each of these business owners has their own vision for the future and works hard to make these a reality, with a commitment to the local area. Our location on Maple Road has strengthened my appreciation for the local business men or women in Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Bloomfield Township. These business owners are truly the entrepreneurs and risk-takers who help make the communities unique. The past year in the downtown area has also strengthened my understanding of “shopping local” and supporting the local business community. The retail and service businesses add so much to the fabric of society beyond the tax base they provide for the communities, and the health of the area is tied directly to the success of these business ventures, something local residents hopefully keep in mind when it comes time for spending money and shopping. **** As a final footnote, we are well underway with our efforts to produce the first edition of the Black Book of Non-Profits. The Black Book of Non-Profits is designed to be an annual guide to the major and minor philanthropic organizations that help improve life in the local and regional area, and this annual publication will help promote the groups' major fund-raising activities for the coming year. Produced in a traditional glossy stock, full-color, magazine format, approximately 30,000 copies will be distributed, mostly by direct mail at no charge, to the majority of Birmingham, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills and Franklin, areas that have a reputation for strongly supporting the non-profit community groups. Because of the anticipated size of the Black Book, we will be doing a mailing separate from the monthly issue of Downtown. This special publication will have a long shelf-life, consulted all year by an affluential group of residents, philanthropists and businesses for social planning and purchase decisions, and provides a perfect environment for business marketing. So if you have not yet spoken to Ad Manager Jill Cesarz, now is the time to contact her for participation in our 2011-2012 edition, which deadlines in September. As always, I welcome your feedback. David Hohendorf Publisher


REAL ESTATE TODAY “A real estate recovery?� Written by Bob Taylor, Residential Real Estate Concepts & Consultants, Associate Broker

PG 8

Want the real info on what’s happening in real estate right here in your neighborhood? Bob Taylor, former president of the Michigan Association of Realtors, urges you to disregard the national media’s “sky is falling� view and keep thinking “local.�

“Birmingham: wonderfully walkableâ€? :ULWWHQE\'RQ$PDOĹšWDQRAssociate Broker

PG 9


The Village: new affordability in an established, upscale community Written by Lorraine Yalman, Realtor

PG 9


“The development at 250 Martin is unlike anything previously seen in Birmingham� Written by Kevin Cristbrook and Gwen Schultz, Associate Brokers

PG 10

A New York state of mind right here in Birmingham? Imagine enjoying spectacular vistas RIEHDXWLIXO6KDLQ3DUNIURPWKHIRXUWKĹşRRUWHUUDFHRIDVXSHUOX[XU\FRQGR:KRQHHGV Central Park when you have America’s “5th most walkable cityâ€?? Kevin Cristbrook and Gwen Schultz delight in telling the world about downtown Birmingham’s unparalleled 250 Martin condominiums. | 248-644-6300

A real estate recovery?

Sales of newer, large homes declined last as demand continued by those least affected by the initial downturn in the economy. The decline in sales of luxury homes can easily be pinpointed to coincide with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and severe declines in consumer confidence. And, just as these declines took place at different times, recovery in the value of homes of different sizes has not been uniform.

by Robert Taylor

“Real estate recovery? Have you heard what the media are saying?� I know some people may be reluctant to believe anything about market recovery when we continue to see national news telling us the opposite story. But, remember: all real estate is local when you get right down to it. If the Florida market isn’t doing well, it won’t really have an impact on the sale of your home in Birmingham. So set aside all that negative media. Let’s take a look at what’s actually happening in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills. The signs have been there. The signs of market recovery have been around for more than a year in our area. Inventories have been dropping in most market segments since July of 2007.

Homes for Sale in Birmingham, Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Data provided by RRECC, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Sales activity began increasing in 2008. From 2008 through 2010 the market has been steadily improving, but some of the sales gains were artificially stimulated. Low prices in 2008 and the first home buyer credit in 2009 and 2010 accounted for increased sales and reduced the inventory of homes.

HomesSold for Sale in Birmingham, Homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield,Bloomfield BloomfieldHills Hills Bloomfield, 1000 900 800 700 600 500 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Data provided by RRECC, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Prices lagged the trends. From 2004 through 2006, as inventories began to rise along with severe job losses, both average and median sales prices were also increasing. It was not until 2007 that average and median sales prices started to decline from their highs. Prices continued to be trailing

indicators through 2009 as the market began its recovery. It wasn’t until 2010 that average and median sales prices turned the corner and started to respond to market fundamentals. This positive trend has continued through the first half of 2011 even with the absence of a first home buyer credit or a large inventory of distressed homes for sale. Unfortunately, while it would be nice to use the old saw, “a rising tide lifts all boats equally,� this is not true in real estate, or at least not in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills. Homes in different price brackets have been impacted differently throughout the early stages of this recovery. For example, while homes under $355,000 and homes over $495,000 each represented approximately 40% of what sold in 2004. In 2006 it was 34% and 50% respectively; and in 2009 it was 65% and 20% respectively. In other words, expensive homes fared better longer into the downslide, but are recovering more slowly than homes in more affordable price ranges.

In general, Oakland County and the tri-county area of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties are improving. } In Oakland County, inventory is 34% of what it was four years ago } Foreclosed re-sales are less than 10% of what is now for sale } Distressed sales, which include short sales, have declined from close to 50% in June of 2010 to just over 40% in June of 2011 } In the tri-county area, inventory is 39% of what it was four years ago with sales up 1.2% for the same period } The overall absorption rate is a healthy 19% (it was 7% four years ago!)

“While it would be nice to use the old saw, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats equally,’ this is not true in real estate, or at least not in Birmingham, %ORRPÂżHOG7RZQVKLSDQG %ORRPÂżHOG+LOOV´

What does all this mean? Simply that: 1. 2.

Price groups as percent of all sales, Birmingham, Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills


70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0


2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 $0-355k



Data provided by RRECC, Inc. All Rights Reserved

All real estate is local. Homes in different prices ranges react differently in a market under stress. Homes are selling at a brisk pace compared to two years ago. Real estate consumers in this market should always consult with a trusted real estate advisor with specialized market knowledge of the area.

These figures include new construction, existing homes, condominiums unless noted otherwise. Historical sold data includes all “dollar sales� within these communities and is derived from all relevant sources. Analysis and charts are the sole property of RRECC, Inc.

Robert Taylor welcomes your comments: 248-433-5432 |

Homes of differing size and age were also impacted differently. Sales of “tear down� properties declined earliest, as builders stopped acquiring land upon which to build inventory.

Next month: a look into the REO/short sale market and how it’s affecting traditional sales | 248-644-6300

Birmingham: wonderfully walkable E\'RQ$PDOÂżWDQR

Having worked in the heart of Birmingham for the past 17 years as a trusted real estate advisor, I am connected to a city I love. I’ve found that, in the last few years, many of my clients want to subscribe to the greener, healthier way of life and so seek a walkable community. Birmingham has many options for them. Single-family homes a Birmingham staple This time last year there were 94 residential homes sold with a top price of $1,400,000. This year, 109 homes were sold, with a top price of $1,930,000 - quite an uptick! Currently available for sale within walking distance to downtown are some 119 residential homes ranging from $127,900 to as much as $2,395,000. Buyers shopping for newer built homes will have wonderful options. On South Bates, north of Lincoln, you can purchase an impressive 4348 square foot four bedroom, four and one half bath 2000 built Colonial for $1,599,000, with similar offerings on streets like Hanna and Pierce. Head south of Lincoln for homes ranging from the mid $100,000’s to $300,000 for a 1200 square foot bungalow, to $815,000 for a newer built 3200 square foot Colonial. On the north edge of town typical communities noted for their close proximity to the action contribute to the diversity. Commonly referred to as the Holy Name area, this neighborhood provides a wonderful sense of community. Being able to walk from the neighborhood to visit nearby eateries is just another great feature. Little San Francisco, which borders the west side of Woodward Avenue and just east of Old Woodward Avenue, features classic homes on hilly city-sized lots that are reminiscent of the famous hilled neighborhoods of San Francisco. Condominiums - the perfect option for many It’s not surprising that the convenience of condominium living remains top of mind for urban home buyers. The condominium market has followed the same trend as residential homes with 22 condo units sold this time last year vs. 28 units for 2011 thus far. However, in Birmingham you may find yourself competing for these premium locations. Buyers will have only 34 offerings in this segment, ranging from $109,000 to $3,500,000. It is clear that the desire to live in a place of city lights, cafes, specialty shops and service facilities has remained strong. On streets like West Brown and Townsend, sophisticated townhomes are available from $1,100,000 with as much as 4400 square feet. In the center of town the Willits is a full-service condominium residence with concierge and doorman service. Currently available is a two bedroom three bath unit with 2097 square feet for $588,000 but larger units in this building have sold for well over $1,000,000. Newcomer 325 North Old Woodward, located across from the Willits, provides even more options for the luxury condo shopper. Birmingham Place, ideally located on South Old Woodward near Brown Street, has studio and one bedroom units available in the mid $100,000’s with alternatives up to $750,000 for a beautiful three bedroom unit with tremendous views. More affordable buildings such as Piety Hill located at the corner of Southfield and Brown Street are known for their spacious interiors and reasonable prices. Victoria Place is like stepping back in time: it’s a classic, older

building characterized by high ceilings and wood accents. Located just off Southfield Road north of Brown Street, it is within walking distance to all the fun. I have found that many of the home buyers relocating from other countries choose Birmingham because it reminds them of the walkable nature of their communities abroad. In many instances they are coming from households where they traditionally own only one vehicle because public transportation and downtown access are readily available. The real estate market is very much alive in walkable Birmingham, and you couldn’t find a better time to buy!



As a “transferee� to Michigan six years ago, and having settled in Bloomfield Village, I can attest to the warmth and radiance of this lovely area. Like so many folks living here, I bought at the height of the market and have seen prices drop significantly over these past years. For example, the median list price overall in The Village back then was more than $850,000. Today the median is at a much more affordable $499,000. I’m not lamenting about my investment, though, because I know it will come back - as evidenced by the market “heating up� with brisk sales activity and demand currently exceeding supply. I’m in a great community, to boot. Homes in The Village are on the market an average of three months before they sell. Previously, homes languished on-market for an average of 179 days. And, for Realtors, the importance of staying on top of new listings has never been more important, as so many buyers are in the market competing for their dream houses. As homes have become more affordable and interest rates remain low, the current uptick is one based on a price-value equation that has resulted in the affordability of homes that may have been out of reach to many home buyers just a few years ago. Due to the current low prices of homes and low interest rates, the real cost of owning a million dollar home today has dropped from nearly $2.5 million over the life of a 30year loan (considering prices and interest rates in 2005) to closer to $1.6 million. Proudly helping families buy and sell their homes in The Village and within the surrounding areas, I can attest to the benefits of either upsizing to homes that may not have been affordable six years ago, or downsizing to homes that represent tremendous value for the money. Many of my clients have taken advantage of this market by upgrading or rightsizing within The Village. Many people opt to stay in The Village, because the location is great and the homes are unique. Clients are “buying up� to live in homes that were out of reach in the past, while others are downsizing without having to compromise. And, with these current interest rates and current prices - why wouldn’t they?

Lorraine Yalman welcomes your comments: 248-433-5431 |

Next month: a look at Heron Bay, Turtle Lake and Chestnut Run | 248-644-6300

/LYLQJLQWKHODSRIOX[XU\ by Kevin Cristbrook and Gwen Schultz

Upscale. Refined. Sophisticated. Energizing. This is life in Birmingham and 250 Martin on the Park is located directly in the heart of it all. The Martin Prosperity Institute of the U.S Census Bureau, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, identified Birmingham as securing the #5 spot nationwide as one of the most successful walkable suburbs in the United States when ranked by education levels, per capita income and travel time to work. This, of course, is not news to those of us who live, work and play here; but, such national recognition is certainly well-received and noteworthy. Every residence at 250 Martin on the Park has panoramic views of Shain Park that are both calming and welcoming. The expanded park boasts Marshall Fredericks’ “Freedom of the Human Spirit” statue, a covered performance stage area with open lawn space for large audiences, lighted and treed pathways, beautiful benches, an inviting children’s play area, and a spectacular fountain. At 250 Martin on the Park you can enjoy breakfast in the park or the weekly Wednesday concerts simply by opening your terrace door. Famed architect Chris Longe of Christopher J. Longe AIA, Architecture and Interiors, redesigned the building’s exterior and created floor plans to capitalize on the incredible southern light and Shain Park views. He notes, “The re-invented building fits perfectly within its civic context and serves as an anchor to Birmingham’s new “Central Park” — the redesigned Shain Park. The contemporary style reflects the surrounding English Tudor buildings, contributes to the pedestrian-friendly fabric and, as a result, becomes a good neighbor.” Renowned builder Whitelaw Custom Homes collaborated with Longe to implement innovative technical solutions throughout the process. Their craftsmanship is evidenced by the ornate

detail in the model units, from sleek suspended ceilings to stainless steel accents, rich mahogany detailing to sophisticated wall tiles in every spa-like bath. Before a single nail is driven, the team at 250 Martin on the Park works with you to ensure the initial floor plan suits you best. Want to relocate the master suite? Add a breakfast nook? Add more walk-in closets? You can! Because of the very upscale nature of this project, you are given the opportunity to work directly with the designer and architect to customize the floor plan and design elements such as cabinetry, floor coverings, lighting, fabrics, tile, electronics/digital and more. They do so for one simple reason: your satisfaction is all that matters. The influence of a designer is critical to the creation of an extraordinary residence for the high-end market. With that in mind, 250 Martin on the Park sought out the very best: Richard James Laney, a native of Detroit. His vision was simple. “For the model unit I brought the outside…in,” says Richard. “The sky, the clouds and the greenery of the redesigned Shain Park. All combined in a contemporary vernacular. Clean and linear, devoid of clutter. A sophisticated oasis.” Richard’s unique vision and effortless aesthetic were crucial in the design and realization of 250 Martin on the Park. Two spectacular residences have already been completed on the fourth-floor, each with its | 248-644-6300

own exceptional character and floor plan. Priced at $1.85M and $1.95M, they both offer three outstanding bedroom suites, radiant-heated flooring in the master baths, magnificent kitchen spaces created by the renowned team at Kitchen Studio, generous walk-in closets, intricate ceiling details with indirect lighting, private foyer entrances, exclusive elevator access and much, much more. Conceptualized layouts offering similar amenities with the same exacting attention to detail and high quality have already begun for each of the two third-floor units under the creative talent of celebrated architect Dominick Tringali. These residences are currently available in their finished state for $1.75M and $1.85M. 250 Martin on the Park also presents an unparalleled park estate -- encompassing nearly the entire 2nd floor -- and two phenomenal bi-level penthouses with expansive private terraces at or near rooftop level. With finished prices ranging from $2.9M to $3.5M, these incomparable downtown residences are limited only by your own imagination and vision. So, treat yourself to a life that’s big on unparalleled style and sophistication. The moment you walk into 250 Martin on the Park you’ll be bathed in serenity and comfort of space that’s expansive yet intimate. The simplicity of modern design that’s clean and uncluttered. And the light. The light that pours in from outside embraces an elegance rarely seen in building design. Be one of the few – seven to be exact – to call Birmingham’s ultimate address‌home.

Gwen Schultz and Kevin Cristbrook, Realtors with Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel, are handling the sale of WKHVHLQFRPSDUDEOHUHVLGHQFHV1RVWUDQJHUVWRWKHOX[XU\PDUNHWVRI%LUPLQJKDP%ORRP¿HOG+LOOVDQGWKH surrounding communities, they have represented buyers and sellers of some of this area’s most notable addresses. For more information and to arrange your personal tour of 250 Martin on the Park, please call Gwen or Kevin at 248-971-0280 or visit

Without question, the finest view Birmingham has to offer. Shain Park, as viewed from a terrace of 250 Martin on the Park. | 248-644-6300



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Government press releases Thank you for your comments (From The Publisher/Downtown/July 2011) regarding the current practice of many local publications who print "press releases" from local governments and school districts as if they were objective reports of activities and news. I am a founding member of Bloomfield 20/20, a grass-roots organization formed in 2003 to oppose the Bloomfield Hills school board's plan to build a mega-school at the site of Andover High School. We created this political action committee to raise awareness among taxpayers of some inappropriate decisions and spending on the parts of our elected trustees. It's been an uphill battle, since the school district employs an entire staff of public relations and clerical workers who can generate "press releases" on a moment's notice. Our little group of volunteers can't compete. A couple of things can demonstrate the effect of this phenomenon. The BHSD often includes the academic ranking of the International Academy (IA) in it's press releases about scholastic achievement of high schools in the district. But the IA is not a Bloomfield Hills public school. It is held in a BHSDowned facility. Only 10 percent of the students enrolled in the IA are residents of the BHSD. The other 90 percent come to the IA from 17 Oakland County districts that participate in the IA "consortium." The BHSD operates two mainstream high schools, Lahser and Andover. Both are above-average in national and state rankings. Neither competes with the IA, which draws students based on applications, a lottery, and a policy that allows "grand fathering" of siblings. The IA is more like a charter or private school; it is not a mainstream public high school that accepts all applicants. It's ok with me if the BHSD wants to "blend" the test scores of BHSD resident student who attend the IA with the mainstream public school which is their home school, but it is inappropriate and misleading to blend the scores of the entire IA population and pretend these high scores were reached by BHSD resident students. A second example: Bloomfield

Township generates press releases that indicate widespread public support for recent bond proposals and millage increases because these measures were successful at the polls. We built a senior center and greatly increased the size of our library following a small turnout election held in August; a one-mill general operating tax increase passed by just 500 votes in a mid-February, 2009 vote. Would any of these measures have passed muster in an even-year November contest? From a taxpayers standpoint, I can tell you that it is pretty easy to win a low-turnout stealth election held in February, and some of these expensive proposals passed by a handful of votes. The time to ask taxpayers for approval is in even-year November elections to ensure broad participation by voters, and a true test to the validity of the requested proposal. Thanks for acknowledging the problems caused by local media when biased press releases are published as "news." Jenny Greenwell, Bloomfield Township

'Safe' not really accurate The article by Lisa Brody, "A son's wandering: a mother's sorrow” (Downtown/July 2011), is really not accurate. He actually does not keep to himself. About a month ago I came out of Birmingham 8 alone to put more money in the meter, and this person said hello and I ignored him. I never speak to strangers, especially people who are intimidating to me. I do not like to be approached, and it is my prerogative to ignore these types of advances. Oftentimes women are harassed by men when we walk past them and we all know this to be true and for those who don't like it, it is uncomfortable. My way is to not respond. I simply walked a few steps past to put money in the meter. He then went on to spout off a soliloquy to another man near him that I was racist. On and on he went as I did my business and kept to myself. I reported him to the police that he was harassing me but they said he did nothing illegal. Nothing illegal, just intimidating. No one knows if or when this man might go off on someone, so I would be careful about


SPEAK OUT We welcome your opinion on issues facing the Birmingham/Bloomfield communities. Opinions can be sent via e-mail to or mailed to Downtown Publications, 124 West Maple Road, Birmingham MI 48009. While we don’t have a specific word limitation, we reserve the right to edit for length.

making statements that he is “safe. “ I don't really like my children being in Birmingham with people like that around. KMD, Bloomfield Hills (Name withheld upon request)

Thanks for 'homeless' piece Thank you so much for your recent article (Downtown/July 2011) about the young man who is homeless in Birmingham. I see him almost daily on my early morning runs, and I have often wondered about him. He is always polite, and clearly not a threat to anyone, although at first his behavior may appear threatening. Unlike some of the other homeless people who have been in Birmingham in recent years, he never asks for anything (despite clearly being in need.) I am so glad to know he has family who look out for him. I hope some day he will get the help he needs. Barb Ritsema, Birmingham

Now it all makes sense At a recent Bloomfield Township (board) meeting, my neighbor and I asked the board to slow down in its haste to enact new employee contracts far in advance of their expiration. These contracts were quite generous to current and former township employees. We could not understand why they were so anxious to accelerate the new contracts when they did not come up for renewal until 2012. Now it all makes sense. The township (supervisor) has suddenly announced his retirement, well in advance of the end of his term. He doesn't cite any issue that would 08.11

cause him to accelerate his departure prior to the end of his term. He simply says it is time for him to go. It is time because he has paid off his long-time cronies with a sweetheart six-year contract, which by the way, provides for automatic cost of living increases for the next six years, a benefit that will surely accrue to him, as well as continued top of the line retiree health care. One questions why this quick 'run for the door' immediately after the new contracts were adopted. Perhaps he wants to be done before the public wakes up to what wool he pulled over their eyes and has taken out of the public pockets. This is just one view of the surprising resignation. There are just too many questions that arise. Rick David, Bloomfield Township

Can't afford new school We cannot afford a new high school. Bloomfield (schools) have about four empty or almost empty buildings that cost about $200,000 each for electricity and gas in one year; just built a $2.9 million school at the Bowers Farm for only 30 students; and just bought new school buses and authorized asphalt to the tune of $346,000 at West Hills Middle School. However, they say there is a $6.1 million deficit for this fall. Cara McAlister, Bloomfield Hills

Recall only solution I will be a junior next year at Lahser High School. I am a proud member of B20/20, and am 100 percent for the recall of the Bloomfield Hills School Board, and 100 percent against the consolidation of the two high schools (Lahser and Andover). The Bloomfield Hills community has been torn to shreds over the past seven years. The majority of the people have spoken, and expressed their discontent with the school board, and its plans for the Bloomfield Hills School District. After repeated defiance to meet the majority of the community’s wishes, recall is the only answer. The future of the Bloomfield Hills School District must be better than its recent past. The school board has wasted millions of dollars on projects that do not benefit our students or our community. Our citizens have asked for responsible spending; and what the school board

has offered them is multiple fiscallyirresponsible plans. The board has not achieved any cost-containment, which is costing taxpayers millions in operating expenses every year. The board claims to be fiscally responsible; but their actions say otherwise. While enrollment has dropped drastically, employment levels remain constant. We are getting to the point where the BHSD may need to apply for the services of an emergency financial manager, who has authority to open up the agreements they’ve made with the employee groups and the teachers union. The board’s plans spend less and less on existing assets every year. The buildings and properties the district owns are all assets that are paid-off. It is the school board's responsibility to maintain these assets. The school board has clearly neglected their assets (Andover and Lahser), with the intent of withholding the majority of sinking fund money for one new high school. The voters have voted down funding for a new high school two times, and the community’s approval of a sinking fund is a clear statement, by the community, to maintain the assets the district already owns. Yet after all of this the board continues to plow ahead with consolidation of the two high schools. They are not listening. Spending over $100 (million) on a new high school cannot possibly save the district money, but following their normal patterns of fiscal irresponsibility, they spend, spend, spend. The Board has shown a clear disrespect for the majority of voters in this community. The backlash that each of them face today, in the form of a recall, is well deserved. The board have brought this upon themselves and they are 100 percent responsible for their poor decisions. Please support recall for Ingrid Day, Ed Ford, Kate Pettersen, Cynthia von Oeyen, Mark Bank, Jacqueline ElSayed, and Robert Herner. For more information on how to sign the recall petition, please call the recall hotline at (248)-943-8580. If you would like general information on (why the recall is needed), call the hotline and we will redirect you to sources for that information. Michael Banerian, Bloomfield Township

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These are the crimes reported under select categories by police officials in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills through July 15, 2011. Placement of codes is approximate.

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Silas Norman r. Silas Norman is a revered Bloomfield Township internal medicine specialist, but just 50 years ago he sat audaciously at a “whites only” lunch counter in protest of segregation during the civil rights movement. Norman and his fellow activists were spit on, ridiculed and denied service, but refused to be deterred by hate as they fought for the right to equality. “The south, perhaps like much of the rest of the country, was completely segregated at the time,” Norman said. “I grew up in Augusta, Georgia and we were a pretty insulated community in those days. Up until graduate school, I went to segregated schools.” Norman acted as the student body president of his alma mater, Paine College, and it was there that he became involved with a movement that would clear the way for the eventual success he would achieve. “The initial activity involved seeking accommodations at public lunch counters and restaurants. We began to look around at the institution of segregation and identify areas of concentration. The major issue we went to court with was to challenge segregation on the city bus system. On buses, blacks were not allowed to sit in the front of the bus and sometimes they weren’t able to enter the front door of the bus.” While revolting against the practice of segregation posed a constant threat of danger, nothing could dissuade Norman from taking action. “We certainly had some sense of danger,” he said. “But, even though people were being killed around us, it was a strong commitment. We


didn’t fear for our lives. It seemed obscene not to be involved and not to demand equal rights and justice.” In large part due to the civil rights movement, the landscape of America began to change and the path cleared for Norman to pursue a life he had always dreamed of living. “I had wanted to be a physician since I was 10-years-old,” Norman said. “Until I came to Detroit, I had given up on pursing a medical career.” Through the encouragement of his community, Norman applied to and was accepted into the Wayne State University (WSU) School of Medicine. He earned his medical degree in 1976, and became the first in his family to go to college. “Personally and professionally, (the civil rights movement) opened up opportunities for us. We still fall short in a number of ways, but it gave us a political voice and it opened educational opportunities,” he said. Since that time, Norman has worked tirelessly with the homeless population and patients afflicted with HIV and AIDS. He also acts as Associate Dean for Admissions, Diversity & Inclusion at the WSU School of Medicine. Once forbidden to use the same facilities as others because of the color of his skin, Norman is now a success by any standard. Although he concedes the vestige of segregation continues to crop up, his efforts helped create a society that empowered him to reach his own childhood dream. Story: Katey Meisner

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SECURITY CAMERAS LOCAL SCHOOLS: SAFETY VS. PRIVACY BY LISA BRODY here's an old saying that says that just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get you. Similarly, it could be said that just because they're putting cameras in schools, it doesn't mean they don't trust you. In a post-Columbine, post-September 11 world, everyone and everything is suspect, and nothing is more worth protecting than our children. With frightening violent episodes erupting throughout the United States, students and faculty are being taught strategies they can use to attempt to combat emotionally explosive situations through peer mediation and character education. Some schools choose to hire and station full-time security officers in their high schools. Others have invested in surveillance cameras, chiefly in common areas, to monitor activity as it takes place. A 1940s survey of teachers revealed that the biggest behavioral problem they had with students was talking out of turn, chewing gum, running in the halls, cutting in line, dress code violations, making noise and littering. A teacher's ability to observe his or her student's was deemed more than adequate for the times. By a 1990 teacher's survey, in just 50 years, the most significant problems educators said they dealt with on a daily basis were drug abuse, alcohol abuse, pregnancy, robbery, assault and suicide. “Today, we live in a much more diverse society with troubled youth and adults who have easy access to weapons, drugs, pornography, etc., which have enabled students and staff to bring their violent and/or inappropriate tendencies into naïve schools. What worked in 1940, with teacher-student confrontations, is not as realistic in contemporary schools, where teachers are hesitant to confront misbehaving students due to fear of violent retribution, and where teachers are sometimes involved in inappropriate activity themselves during school hours,” said Kathy Davis, lead writer of “Surveillance in Schools: Safety vs. Personal Privacy.” Her study contends that victimized students dropped from 10 percent of all students in 1990 to 6 percent in 2001 due to a collaboration of multiple surveillance techniques, including observation through


cameras, metal detectors, locker searches, and Internet tracking. Cameras in public spaces have become an accepted occurrence, with many surveillance cameras placed in outdoor spaces. There are cameras at traffic intersections to monitor and record traffic transgressions, and at malls to observe what is happening both in the outdoor parking areas, as well as in the public, interior spaces. It's not unusual to see cameras, and notices alerting shoppers of their presence, in dressing rooms, in order to deter and catch shoplifting. Many local area schools have installed security cameras in their schools as safety measures. In Bloomfield Hills Schools, there are 30 surveillance cameras at Andover High School and 26 at Lahser High School, as well as 12 at East Hills Middle School. “They are all in common areas of the schools, like hallways, outside of restrooms, libraries, media rooms, and a few are in exterior areas,” said Betsy Erickson Brown, director of communications and community relations, Bloomfield Hills Schools. She said there are no cameras currently at Bloomfield Hills Middle School nor at West Hills Middle School, and “that's an inconsistency we will be addressing soon, looking to see if there is a need for them there. At East Hills, they were purchased independently by a previous principal.” Birmingham Public Schools will be expanding their footprint of security cameras this summer, in time for the new school year, after a series of racial threats in April and May at Seaholm High School had students, teachers and administrators on high alert. Through old-fashioned police work and faculty and administrative investigation, the culprit for the first racially-threatening act was caught, arrested, and is now going through the judicial system. He was an African American student at the school, who ironically had included his own name in the racial threat in a boy's bathroom at the school. A senior at the time of the incident, he graduated from Birmingham Schools, although he was expelled and not permitted to walk in graduation ceremonies with the rest of his Seaholm class.

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Currently, there have been surveillance cameras in the outdoor parking lots of Seaholm and Groves high schools, and at the main entry doors. Groves, with a larger footprint, has had 28 cameras, and Seaholm has had 19. At a June 22, 2011 Birmingham Public Schools Board of Education meeting, the board approved a plan, by a vote of 4-3, to install 65 additional surveillance cameras in the hallways and common areas of the two high schools. According to Birmingham Public Schools Community Relations Director Marcia Wilkinson, 36 cameras will be installed at Groves, and 29 at Seaholm. At the school board meeting, parents were widely in favor of installing more cameras, viewing them as a tool at the schools' disposal which they weren't using to their full advantage. et, just a couple of years ago, in March 2009, when the board previously reviewed adding more cameras after a rash of robberies from lockers at both Seaholm and Groves, many students, and some parents, protested them as an invasion of privacy, and the board chose not to pursue the plan. A Facebook campaign, with a page called Seaholm and Groves Students Against Security Cameras, drew more than 860 friends. Then-Seaholm student Jake Drutchas wrote on the site, “We can come up with legitimate alternatives to help stop theft. For now, let's start with a little student responsibility. Lock your stuff up. Don't leave it out in the open.” Deputy Chief of Police Mark Clemence said the the locker thefts were solved through the use of surveillance cameras—in Clawson High School. “The cameras in Clawson High School led police to the suspects in Walled Lake High School, and they then confessed to having done it in Birmingham,” Clemence recounted. “Without those cameras, we never would have found out who had done those crimes.” The April and May racial incidents changed people's minds, and there was limited outcry against the cameras at the latest board meetings. The current installation of cameras is taking place in communal areas. “They will strictly be put in common areas and hallways,” Wilkinson said. “They will be installed in the lobby, cafeteria, gym lobby, media center, and larger areas where people tend to congregate. They will not be in private areas, such as locker rooms or bathrooms, nor was that part of the discussion. But by having them in the hallways, we can identify who is going in and out of the restrooms and locker rooms, and what times they are going in and out.” She said the cameras have the ability to live monitor activities as well as a 30-day storage capacity and playback. The 65 new cameras will cost Birmingham Schools $102,800 to install in the two high schools, and $49,200 for infrastructure updates. They will be installed by Peripheral Vision in Livonia. Money to pay for the cameras is coming from the capital equipment fund. “These cameras are not coming from any dollars that would have supported educational programs in the classrooms,” said Wilkinson. She noted that about 10 years ago, there were federal grant funds which helped support school security, but these dollars have been the victim of budget cuts, as have many areas of education on the state level, as well as the federal level.


‘Eyes in the sky’ for the Birmingham police force irmingham police refer to them as their “eyes in the sky.” They are 24 surveillance cameras disseminated throughout the downtown area of the city, providing the police with the ability to monitor and review activities. While the police do not want the cameras’ actual locations revealed for security reasons, there are surveillance cameras situated in key locations and intersections in Birmingham, including inside and around the police station. Shain Park, Barnum Park and Booth Park all have cameras keeping an eye on activities, as do intersections such as Old Woodward and Maple, Old Woodward and Hamilton, Maple and Chester, and Woodward and Lincoln. “Basically, the downtown is covered,” said Birmingham Police Chief Don Studt. He noted that from the monitoring desk, they can pan the cameras, as well as tilt them and zoom in, “so we can pretty well see what's going on.”


Lori Soifer, chairman of Birmingham's Board of Education, voted against the installation of new cameras. “What I objected to were the interior cameras, in hallways, even though they wouldn't be in classrooms, bathrooms or locker rooms,” she said. “Both of our (high school) principals, (Groves' Fred) Proctor and (former Seaholm principal Terry) Piper have wanted more interior cameras for a while. They have felt it would help them determine responsibility for events that happen in their buildings.” Soifer acknowledged that no one will be sitting in a room monitoring the cameras on a 24-hour basis. “They will only be looked at if there is an incident, and then administrators can go back and review the tape,” she said. “Due to budget cuts in recent years, we have decreased the number of hall monitors in both schools. Hopefully, adding these extra surveillance cameras will save both time and money.” Soifer explained why, however, despite acknowledging there may be a need for them, she voted against having more cameras installed in both high schools. “My opposition was philosophical,” she said. “I do not think it makes students any safer. I think it provides a false sense of security if something were to happen in the school. We have made a deliberate effort, especially at the elementary level, of weaving character education into the curriculum and the climate and culture of the schools for the last ten years. Then, to get to the high school, and see cameras, it creates a climate of distrust. I'm fine with exterior cameras, because the schools are community buildings, and people are entering them all day long, especially the high schools, including the evenings. “It's important to remember that cameras, inside or outside, are just a tool, and will not likely prevent things from happening,” she continued. Wilkinson countered, “It's not a panacea, but it is another tool to keep students and staff safe.” Clay Matthews, Director of Communications for Cranbrook Schools, said the schools do have security cameras on their campus, but declined to specify number or placement. The schools have private security staff employed which patrol the campus and monitor who is entering and leaving. etroit Country Day School also has an unspecified number of security cameras on their campus. “The safety and security of Detroit Country Day School students, our school community members, and visitors to our campuses are priorities to us,” said Susan Murphy, director of external affairs at Detroit Country Day School. “We have security cameras and employ a team of security professionals to ensure their well being. While we have not encountered any major security issues on our campuses, we are fully prepared to respond if needed and maintain the safety of our community.” The question is often asked philosophically if cameras belong in school, and if it is legal to permit them there, and what use they really serve. The American Civil Liberties Union asserts that security cameras, whether in public places or school buildings, are a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution, and a threat to civil


Between one and two officers are always sitting in front of all of the screens, with simultaneous duties of dispatching police, fire and emergency response calls, as well as monitoring the police radio. “We have someone there handling all of that 24/7,” Studt said. The benefit of having the cameras monitored at

all times, Studt said, is that “if he gets called for a trouble call, he will zoom the camera in if he can, and he'll be the eyes of the police until an officer can get there, which is pretty quick. Our response time is very quick, a couple of minutes or less. If

something happens, the cameras can focus right in on them.” He noted that sometimes the monitoring officer will spot an accident or disturbance happening on a street before it is called in, and police officers can respond before anything gets out of hand. Studt and deputy chief Mark Clemence assert though, that cameras do not replace having officers out on the streets patrolling, nor putting squad cars outside potential trouble spots. “They serve two different purposes,” Studt said. “A scout car and a police officer are visible to everyone, and they provide a visible deterrent. Cameras are no replacement for police officers on the street. Cameras from a remote location can monitor activities and provide a record.” The cameras provide a 30-day record of activities on the city's streets. Studt said that in the current fiscal year's budget, they have been allocated funds to upgrade the surveillance camera system, which will allow for greater retention of video records. He said it will be paid for through the police department's budget, specifically through federal forfeiture funds.

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liberties. The Fourth Amendment reads: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Although opponents say cameras placed in public spaces are questionable under this amendment, the courts have generally ruled against anyone asserting this as a defense in a crime, saying that at common law, a police officer could arrest an individual if that individual committed a misdemeanor in the officer's presence, or if the officer had probable cause to believe the individual had committed a felony. Reviewing a camera's tape provides the evidence for a police officer to arrest an individual. In March 2008, in a letter to Ann Arbor Public Schools, the ACLU of Michigan threatened to sue the school district unless the superintendent reversed a Pioneer High School decision denying school club status to a school group opposing the installation of surveillance cameras. The school's administrators had refused to give the group the same privileges as other groups because it contended it was a political group opposing a school decision, which the ACLU said went against the students' First Amendment rights. The group had mounted an effort to stop the installation of 53 surveillance cameras at Pioneer, even acquiring 1,100 petition signatures from students which they presented to administrators and school board members. They did not succeed in reversing the board's decision. However, the ACLU prevailed, and the group was recognized. rofessor Robert Sedler, Wayne State University law professor, noted that cameras in schools are legal because “the school is a legal place, and they're in an open space. Students know they're there, so there are no privacy concerns. Therefore, if you see drugs being transferred between students, or students fighting, it's out in the open, because it's on the cameras. Student's cannot expect it to be private.” He said that schools have extended that definition of privacy and open spaces to locker searches as well. “Schools say that lockers are school property, and that students are using school property, so they have no right to privacy in their lockers, and schools can go in and search their lockers,” Sedler said. Kingsley Cotton, an attorney with Freeman, Cotton & Gleeson in Bloomfield Hills, seconded Sedler. “It's absolutely legal,” he said. “We're talking about perfectly open areas, and people in public have no explicit rights to privacy, and students have no rights unless they are invisible. Outdoor cameras are all over, and people have no idea where they are being caught on camera. Most businesses have surveillance cameras; many crimes are caught that way. Further, it's hard to not be on board with cameras in schools, because of safety concerns.” Cotton pointed out that many crimes and other incidents have been caught on surveillance cameras, which just have happened to be there, including the “Miracle on the Hudson” River landing by the U.S. Airways jetliner a few years ago. There would have been no visual record of the passengers and crew members all standing on the wings of the disabled jet if not for various surveillance cameras which, wondrously, captured their plight, sending their image out and permitting numerous boats and first responders to rescue them. “In schools, it frequently solves problems for them because it shows what really happened, even though it can't be put into context,” said Cotton. “Common sense tells you that having cameras in public areas of the schools would be a deterrent. It should be a deterrent for misdeeds.” Dr. Bob Maxfield, assistant professor in educational leadership at Oakland University, was previously a superintendent with Farmington and Berkley Schools, said, “I do think it works as a deterrent, and most importantly, it gets at the truth of the matter. In a case of vandalism, the tape does not necessarily lie. If there is an altercation, and there's a question if the teacher is hit, or a student is hurt, there's proof. You still have to to follow due process. It does not effect how the educator proceeds. I also believe that kids like to know that things are being taken care of. Additionally, in light of all of the educational budget cuts, this is a good use of money. If bond money is being used, that's a good use of that money. And, even if it's coming out of the general fund, you're still saving money because you're preventing expenses from skyrocketing between people and vandalism.” Maxfield noted the most important factor, “It's all about using common sense. Anything can be misused. Surveillance cameras have to be a part of a comprehensive plan, as well as the schools having a good relationship with local police. And schools all need to develop a school safety plan.” “The safety of our students and staff members is our top priority, and our records show that our buildings are safe, but we have to be ever vigilant,” said Bloomfield Hills' Erickson Brown. “It's the world we're living in.”

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Bloomfield $625,000

Ranch home with walk out Lower Level on 1.56 acre site with gorgeous pool & spa. Sought after Chelmsleigh neighborhood. 5 Bedrooms, 2 full & 2 half Baths. 3 car garage. Also for lease at $4500/month.

Beautifully maintained & updated soft contemporary, 4 bedroom ranch. Over 4,000 sq. ft. of living space. Newer Kitchen. Luxurious Master Bath. Indoor pool converts to banquet size room for entertaining.

Beautiful colonial on nearly 2 acre hilltop setting. Spacious entertaining areas. Family Room with fieldstone fireplace & 12’ pine ceiling. 5 Bedrooms. First floor Master with Sitting Room. Deck, Terrace and Pool.

Updated ranch home on impeccably landscaped acre site in Chelmsleigh. 3134 sq. ft. 4 Bedrooms, 3 & 1/2 Baths. Surrounded by million dollar plus homes. New granite Kitchen. Move-in condition. Room to expand.



Nanci J. Rands Associate Broker

248.701.9000 Bloomfield Hills $4,200,000

Beyond a sweeping tree-lined gated drive lies PARK HAVEN, an impeccably maintained 1929 manor on 7 lush acres with a courtyard entrance. Wide bluestone terraces overlook perennial gardens and magnificent grounds. Spanning nearly 10,000 square feet of living space and designed by architect George DeWitt Mason, the estate was superbly renovated and expanded in 2006. The home features five Bedrooms and four full and three half Baths. A gracious Foyer opens to the beamed Great Room with a carved limestone fireplace. An elegant Dining Room overlooks the north lawn and terrace. The Kitchen, with a brick chef’s alcove, and adjacent Butler’s Pantry are both finished in white marble. The four-room Master Suite has a Sitting Room and dual Dressing Rooms. Evident throughout is incredible attention to detail, including intricate woodwork and decorative ironwork.

Franklin $4,250,000 Exceptional 2001 Tringali-designed 1800’s English Tudor replica on 2.48 acres nestled in the heart of Franklin. Winding gated drive opens to stunning views of the slate roofed home with pond, fountain & arched walkways. Over 10,000 sq ft of luxury with 4 Bedroom Suites, 4 full & 3 half Baths. Interior design by Dan Clancy of Perlmutter Freiwald. Refined cherry paneled two-story Library. Fabulous Kitchen with custom Chilton country blend granite island has alder wood cabinets, granite work surfaces & top-of-theline appliances. Kitchen is open to casual dining area & Hearth Room with Jerusalem stone fireplace. Screened 3-season Sun Porch has gas fireplace & built-in grill. Phenomenal Knotty Pine paneled Family Room with exposed beam ceiling. 1st floor Master Suite with prominent double door entry has serene Master Bath, and tremendous closet space. The Lower Level’s gem is a meticulously crafted 3,000 bottle Wine Cellar and Tasting Room. Impressive Exercise Facility houses a professional Dojo. Heated garages with 8 car capacity.



Meredith Colburn Associate Broker

248.762.5319 Bloomfield Hills $3,200,000 On a private, landscaped hilltop overlooking Wing Lake, this historic property was restored & expanded in 2001 to extraordinary elegance & functionality. Molded plaster ceilings, tumbled travertine floors, carved beams & sculptures. Over 6,000 sq ft with an additional 4,000 feet in a beautifully finished Lower Level. 3 Bedrooms, 5 Full & 2 Half Baths. Grand entry Foyer with domed rotunda. The Living Room is highlighted by a mural depicting Edsel Ford’s 1st transcontinental Model T journey. The Cook’s Kitchen features an octagonal island, spacious casual dining area and access to the 4-seasons Sun Porch. A 38-foot gallery leads to the 1st floor Master Suite with fieldstone fireplace, sitting area and serene Bath. Two fabulous 2nd story Bedroom Suites. Lower Level houses an impressive Wine Cellar with tunnel entrance, Entertainment Room and expansive Exercise Facility.

Bloomfield Village $1,599,000

This outstanding 2008 renovation & expansion by Alex Bogaerts & Gardella Homes has a prime location in the heart of Bloomfield Village. On a one acre, beautifully landscaped site with swimming pool, this home boasts over 5,800 square feet, 5 Bedrooms, 4 full & 2 half Baths. The finished Lower Level with Recreation Area, Performance Stage, Family Room & half Bath adds approximately 1,700 square feet of living space. The new dream Kitchen & adjacent Family Room are beyond compare. The Kitchen features an oversized granite island, granite counters, custom cabinetry, Breakfast Bar & professional appliances. The Kitchen opens to an expansive Family Room with cathedral ceiling, fireplace, views of the phenomenal backyard & pool through floor to ceiling windows & French doors to paver patios. The fabulous Master Suite features 2 custom walk-in closets & a luxurious marble Bath. Other spaces & amenities include a formal Living Room, Dining Room, Library, Office, Sun Room, Mud Room with lockers, 1st & 2nd floor Laundry, 3-car Garage.


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Laura Mecsey aura Mecsey is set to appear in two films slated for release in 2011, but her fondness for acting began when she was just a gregarious third grader. “I came from a great community that supported my love of art,” she said. After seeing the musical “Les Miserables” while in elementary school, Mecsey aspired to act. “My dad explained each song and what it meant,” she said. Mecsey’s father, Tom Mecsey, was the former athletic director at Cranbrook Boys' Middle School. “I listened to the soundtrack over and over again and that’s where my love for the theater started.” Mecsey was encouraged to pursue acting by her father, who had also studied theater in high school. “I grew up in such a loving environment,” she said. “My dad took the time to help me explore. He was always a strong believer that you should pursue the things that you love and enjoy. I found my niche in acting and it worked out really well.” Mecsey performed in theater shows at Cranbrook, where she grew up and also honed her craft. “I had an awesome high school acting teacher, Robert Murphy,” she said. “I think he was the person who made it possible for me to do this for a living.” Mecsey went on to study acting at the University of Oklahoma and returned to Michigan where she has done commercial work and appeared on a few billboards. Most recently, she has appeared in “Red and Blue Marbles,” a science fiction film, and “The Alumni Chapter,” a coming of age story, both slated for release in 2011. “'The Alumni Chapter' is an awesome new indie film,” said Mecsey. “To this day, it’s my shining moment. I play the love interest and female lead.” The film will be available on Amazon and Netflix in September. “Red and Blue Marbles” is still in production. While Mecsey’s talent has allowed her to advance from a high school stage performer to film actress, her ultimate objective is not to storm Hollywood, but to channel her enthusiasm into teaching performing arts. “The life of an actor is really hard,” she said. “At some point you have to decide on being an actor or giving back to the community. My next long-term goal is to give back to the community through theater.” Mecsey is currently living in Indiana, but is back in Bloomfield Hills for the summer and working as an acting coach for a theater camp at Cranbrook. She is hoping to start a camp at Kingsbury Country Day School in Oxford, where her father is the headmaster. While most actors have visions of fame and fortune, Mecsey said she is seeking a family-based lifestyle. “I never wanted to be famous. That was never my goal,” she said. “It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop going to auditions, but I want to do satisfying work.”


Story: Katey Meisner

Photo: Laurie Tennent

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GOOD MORNING, BIRMINGHAM BY LISA BRODY To paraphrase Robin Williams, Good morning, Birmingham! Downtown Birmingham, with its immaculate and beautiful green parks, clean streets, lush flowering planters and overflowing hanging baskets, is a busy mini-metropolis during business hours and late into the evening, when restaurants, bistros and the theaters bring patrons into town. Yet, how many of us have given serious thought to how the city gets to look the way it is, and how it is maintained? Here's a secret: it's truly a case of the early bird getting the worm. In the early morning hours, six days a week, before most of us have woken up and had a sip of our first cup of coffee, city workers are hard at work cleaning the streets and sidewalks from the previous day's refuse, watering plants, clearing trash, and all together preparing the city to be ready for when stores open, retail and business employees arrive, moms and tots visit, and shoppers and diners show up. “We have a game plan,” said Lauren Wood, Birmingham's director of public services (DPS). “We try to get out early, so we can get out of there before most people get there, so people don't see us working. We're very mindful of the city's business climate and we try to get in and out so as to not disrupt them. It's also easier to maneuver before anyone is there.” During the heart of the season, from June through September, each morning, other than Sundays, six early shift city workers arrive at 4 a.m., working until noon throughout the entire city. Other DPS workers work a more typical shift of 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The early workers begin first in the downtown area, to get in and out. After getting their supplies and machinery, they arrive downtown at approximately 5 a.m. from the Department of Public Services building on Eton Street.

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A woman works stealthily on garbage pickup from all of the green trash receptacles throughout the city, beginning in Shain Park, and works her way throughout the downtown city streets and Booth and Barnum Parks before heading to the residential neighborhoods of Birmingham. A downtown street sweeper cleans away the travails of the previous day, removing soot and grime from the streets and litter from the sidewalks. He, or on occasion she, begins each morning at 4, sitting high up in a one-man vehicle with a rotary brush. He drives along the curb, sweeping the streets and the curbs before traffic resumes for the day. He's there before the delivery trucks visit the restaurants and coffee shops with their supplies for another day, providing a fresh and spotless beginning to the day. He or she also sweeps the sidewalks, picking up the litter that has accumulated from the previous day's activities. One of the more recent hallmarks of downtown Birmingham are the alluring planters situated throughout the downtown business district. A number of years ago, Birmingham's Principal Shopping District (PSD) commissioned Detroit Garden Works in Sylvan Lake to create large planters with the PSD's Birmingham “B” logo incorporated into them. The containers are filled with different summer planting creations each year and the PSD works with the city's DPS to make sure they are watered each morning. The PSD also hires a gardening company each spring to install beautiful hanging baskets at specific locations throughout the downtown area to fill in and enhance visitors' sightline. DPS workers, in conjunction with DPS, water all of the hanging planters each morning as well. And since they're out there watering every day anyway, the PSD decided several years ago to water all of the pots and planters sitting outside of the restaurants and retail establishments within the central business district at the same time. “All of the beautiful pots and hanging planters would not look so beautiful if not for the workers going out so early every day, watering them,” said John Heiney, executive director of the PSD. “Since they're out there watering, if a storefront has planters out front, the city will water them while they're on their rounds for free. In the last five years, since they've begun doing that, we've seen more stores coming out with more and more beautiful planters. It's helped to beautify the streets. The watering starts in June and goes through September. We really see a difference in the number of stores now with beautiful planter displays.” Heiney noted that the morning's maintenance of the downtown area of Birmingham is a collaborative effort between the city's public services and the PSD. “We really do a lot of stuff with Birmingham's DPS; it's a joint effort. They do the trash pickup and they sweep the street corners, six days a week, which really gives the downtown a freshening up every morning. The PSD is responsible for the planters and hanging baskets, from planting them, maintaining them and watering them, and the city is responsible for maintaining the parks and the flower beds throughout the city,” Heiney said.

“People think the city looks nice because little elves come in at night, and that's the way we like it,” laughed Wood. Wood noted that lawn crews operate during normal business hours at city hall, Shain Park, Booth Park, Barnum Park, Baldwin Library, Greenwood Cemetery, and other city-owned and maintained properties. Snow removal in the winter is done on an “as needed” basis, whether it's 2 in the morning or 2 in the afternoon. Getting Birmingham's “face on” is not only the city's responsibility. Property owners also have the duty of maintaining not only their property but adjacent land and roads. Every morning, city workers are joined by employees of Central Park Properties, which owns 21 buildings, large and small, throughout Birmingham, including the Wells Fargo Building; McCann Erickson building (the former Jacobson's women store) and the newlyrenovated Universal McCann building on E. Maple; Birmingham Theater building; the new 151 building on S. Old Woodward, home to Universal Watch; Don Thomas Sporthaus; 880 S. Old Woodward, where Prudential is; 950 S. Old Woodward; 1000 S. Old Woodward; and the buildings where Todd's Room, Stacey Leuliette and Schechter Financial are on Pierce Street, among other buildings. “Every morning, they just get out the brooms and hoses, and we hose down most of the sidewalks and sweep them clean,” said Ted Fuller, owner of Central Park Properties. “There's a lot of litter of the sidewalks from the day before.” The company has a staff of seven people whose job it is to go around the company's properties and clean up the buildings and their surrounding areas. “We have a woman who goes out watering at 5:30 a.m. every day,” Fuller said. “We have landscapers who start early, and continue their work throughout the day.” Street sweepers and flower waterers are not the only ones up and populating Birmingham early. Most of the coffee shops are open early for those who need their caffeine fix, pronto. Runners, walkers, bikers, and people walking their dogs occupy the streets. Barb Ritsema, a Birmingham pharmaceutical representative, loves the early morning quiet and camaraderie she encounters in her daily 5 or 5:30 a.m. run. “I love it out there,” she said. “Even when it's dark out, I never feel unsafe because there are so many people out; there's never a creepy feeling.” One of her favorite things, she noted, is that she has gotten to know the regulars along her running routes. “You wave to the bikers, runners and walkers,” she said. “Then there is the lady who picks up all of the trash from the bins and sweeps up all of the trash from the sidewalk. We always say hello. There is the street sweeper man; he nods to you, and you to him. I swear we have the cleanest streets anywhere because of the two of them.” She said one day she stopped and asked the man watering the beautiful flowering baskets how he gets them to look the way they do. “Have you noticed the hanging baskets are amazing? I had to

ask him how he gets them that way. It's not only the daily watering but every Wednesday, he fertilizes them,” Ritsema said. “They have inspired me to fertilize my own pots.” She said a wonderful offshoot of her early morning runs is “I now have this huge group of acquaintances from my early morning work outs. My husband will say, 'How do you know them?' and I'll reply, from running.” Ritsema recounts that she has learned about a lot of people's habits by observing them in their early morning habitats. “Every morning, there's a woman who walks her dog out of the Willets (condominium building). In the winter, with a coat on the dog, and in the summer, the dog is very happy to not be wearing its coat! There was a family that was walking two beautiful golden retrievers every day, then I didn't see them for a few days, and then they were only walking one. It makes me so sad. “All of these things you get to know about people's habits,” she noted. “You worry about people when you don't see them for a while, even if you don't actually know them. There's this whole community I see, and who I know are looking out for me. They're nodding acquaintances.” She's noticed a new social occurrence, also. “I even know the people waiting for the bus to go to work in front of Cosi at Maple and Old Woodward. It's very much a part of their day, like the run is part of mine. They're there every day at the same time, waiting to make their transfer, in every kind of weather. It's a very busy corner in every direction in the morning. In the last year, I've noticed a new phenomenon. As gas prices have increased and parking costs so much, I'm seeing more people choosing to ride the bus. It's not just blue collar people any more. There are a lot of people in suits, more and more, choosing the bus as an alternate form of transportation.” Ritsema also has enjoyed surprising bits of nature which has inspired and thrilled her along her runs. “I have seen deer, fox, big box turtles and opossum on my runs,” she said. “It's unbelievable. You feel like you've left Birmingham and gone somewhere else.” Besides seeing deer recently crossing Maple near Linden Park, “I have also seen them by the Palladium Theater,” she said. “There's some grass there, and they walk in the neighborhood and by the parking garage. They seem very comfortable there. I've seen big box turtle tracks in the grass where they've been walking near the waterfall (near Quarton Lake). This morning I saw an opossum, and I've seen fox. Both of those, I give them their space.” Ritsema's finale to her five-mile runs are a finish at Starbucks, which opens at 6, as do Cosi and Biggby Coffee. “All runs, all walks, all workouts, end at Starbucks,” she said. “It's my treat. My Starbucks people always ask me how my run was. They're wonderful there.” To her, it's a perfect way to start her day. It certainly sounds inspirational. Perhaps we'll all set our alarms a little earlier, and catch the city as it wakes itself up.

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hey're our jewels, our priceless and most precious possessions. They're our children. We give birth to them, cuddle and coddle them, and when they aren't in our care, we try to make sure they are tended to by the most qualified people we can find. The question that stresses and perplexes parents of every socio-economic group is how we, as individual parents, can find the best and most proficient caregivers for our babies and toddlers. Going back to work after giving birth is a wrenching choice and time for most new parents, with the most stressing aspect finding qualified child care. Short of finding Mary Poppins, discovering another caregiver who is practically perfect in every way is taxing, demanding, and often next to impossible.

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Yet qualified child care is available and affordable. It's just a matter of knowing where and how to find it, as well as seeing if you are qualified to receive state subsidies for the care. It's important to know where to look for excellent care, and to see how to find out if caregivers have the training and certification required to care for your precious cargo. There are websites available to help guide you, as well as websites which can advise you as to problem child care facilities and individuals who should not take care of children. Local resources are available to assist with child rearing because despite the fables, for many people it's something that needs to be learned to do well. It's all a matter of knowing where to look, the questions to ask, and what to expect from caregivers and child care facilities. Where to look and what to expect Most of us wouldn't consider going to a university or graduate school that wasn't accredited, much less consider sending our teenager to one which wasn't. When our kids are high school juniors and seniors, we research the appropriate colleges, visit them, talk endlessly about where our son or daughter will feel happiest and most at home, agonizing over the choice. Yet, few of us give nearly as much thought to the home caregiver or child care facility we send our infant child or toddler to when we get ready to make that decision, when young children are the most vulnerable of consumers, and research repeatedly shows that brain development is at its highest between six months and five years of age. How a child spends the first three years of his or her life is crucial to their physical, emotional, social and intellectual well being and development. During that age and those developmental milestones, a child learns to learn, problem solve, make friends, trust, and to love. By the age of two, a child's brain has attained 90 percent of its growth. Synapses a child has not used during that time will likely be lost forever. Child care advocates, economists, all the way to public safety officers all say that good early child care reduce juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancies, welfare dependence, and high unemployment, while improving high school graduation rates, test scores and nutrition. Researchers from the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public police organization in Washington D.C., assert that investing in early education provides society “with estimated rates of return that would make a venture capitalist envious.” “Each child is different, and because of that, there is a need to be flexible in the implementation of child care for all different children,” said Patti Wagner, director of the early child care program at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills. “We do not use a cookie cutter approach to child care because we do not have the same child, from child to child. It's important to integrate many different teaching philosophies and integrate them.” Many parents choose a child care facility by price or proximity, or a home caregiver because they are a family member or someone they are friends with knows someone who is available. A friend's verbal, “She's great!” may be the only reference they use to hire their babysitter or nanny. “Parents don't know what quality looks like,” said Marcia Egbert, senior program office for Cleveland's The George Gund Foundation, which funds efforts to improve child care. While there are no standardized tests scores or

college admission rates for caregivers for parents to consult when choosing a caregiver or a child care center, there are standards which qualified centers have to meet. In Michigan, child care facilities are licensed and monitored by the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS). They are licensed every two years, and checked and monitored every year. DHS notes that “a child's physical and mental health is influenced by the kinds of toys he plays with, the food he eats, the care and attention he receives from adults, and the atmosphere and personality of the child care home or center. Choosing a place where your child will be cared for is a very important decision. Your child's future is at stake. Be selective. Begin looking well in advance of when you need the child care. Take your time in making your decision. Visit the program. Involve your child in making the decision. Allow for a trial period. Plan for backup caregivers.” A key point is that whatever choice you as a parent make, it must be the best one for you and for your child. There are four different kinds of child care options. They are child care centers, family

CHILD CARE FACILITIES ARE LICENSED AND MONITORED EVERY TWO YEARS BY THE STATE child care homes, group child care home, and an in-home child care aide. A child care center is a facility, other than a residence, which is licensed by DHS, to care for children. When you look at a child care center, you want to make sure that activities are structured for different age groups; they offer specialized services, such as field trips, swimming lessons and transportation; full and half-day care is usually provided; meals and snacks are usually provided; and parents should be involved in the policymaking decisions and center operations, especially in relation to their child. A family child care home is a child care facility which is situated in a private home other than a relative of the child's. It should be registered with DHS, undergo regular inspections and licensing like a larger facility, but cares for no more than six children. A group child care home is also located in a private home other than the child's or relative's home, which is licensed by DHS, to care for between seven and 12 children at a time. In a family and group child care home setting, a child is

cared for in a family or homelike environment, receiving meals and snacks, with children of all ages playing and learning together. Often there is flexibility from the caregiver as to hours and days for child care. In most of these settings, children can receive non-stop care from the time they are infants until they reach school age and enter kindergarten. Another option is to have an in-home child care aide in the child's own home. While many people never consider having a certified child care individual, it is a necessity by the local DHS office when DHS pays for the care. Whether or not the state is paying for this option for you and your child, this is an option chosen for some because it can be very convenient, providing greater flexibility in terms of hours and time. It also allows the child to remain in familiar, secure surroundings, in their own home. If you are looking outside of your home, be sure the provider is licensed or registered by DHS, and ask to see their current license or registration. Not only do you then know the facility and their caregivers have taken required courses, you can rest easy in the fact that the establishment is regularly inspected. For your own peace of mind, check out the play, napping, food preparation and bathroom areas. They should be clean and wellmaintained, with ample space for the number of children being cared for. Look at the outdoor play space, even in the winter, and make sure it's in good shape, without junk cluttering it. All cleaning supplies and medicines should be locked up or out of reach of the youngsters. Most importantly, observe the attitudes of the adult caregivers and the way they interact with the kids. See if it's a fit for you and your child. You want to be sure you see happy kids, with diapers that are changed fairly promptly, babies that are being held lovingly, especially when they are being fed, by calm and gentle caregivers who interact well with children individually. When you watch group activities, it's important to see clear yet encouraging directions from caregivers. It's important that activities are planned for children, especially toddlers and preschool-age kids, and they're not just laying around or watching TV. On the other hand, it's important to have some time for creative free play time, when youths are allowed to choose their own activities and pursue their own interests. If discipline does need to be given out, it's critical to make sure that it's done with care and understanding, and not physical or emotional abuse. When you visit, a facility should be open and welcoming, and allow you to see other children's daily schedules and be upfront about costs, sick policies, lunches and snacks, safety rules, and how children are disciplined. If not, that's a key clue that this is not a facility, regardless of the type of facility, to use. Protecting your child In 1973, the Child Care Organizations Act was passed giving the DHS the power to develop and enforce rules for child care facilities. Within the department, the child care licensing division in the bureau of the children and adult licensing has the responsibility to license and regulate child care programs. The act's most recent update was on April 4, 2009. By law, an infant is from birth to 11 months of age, followed by a young toddler, who is 12 to 29

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months old. An older toddler is 30 to 35 months of age; and school age means attending kindergarten until 13 years of age. A caregiver means an adult who provides direct care, supervision and guidance of children who is at least 18 years of age. A center means a child care center or day care center which is a facility other than a private residence, which receives one or more preschool or school age children for care for periods of less than 24 hours a day, and at which parents or guardians are not immediately available to the child. It cannot be a Sunday school, vacation Bible school, or a religious instructional class, or a special education program. The act provides that the licensee of a child care facility must demonstrate to DHS that he or she is of good moral character, and all licensees and employee applicants must undergo a Michigan Department of State Police criminal history record check, a criminal records check by the FBI, and a DHS check for a history of substantiated abuse and neglect. They must also perform a criminal history check using the state police's Internet criminal history access tool, called ICHAT, before making an offer of employment. A current license and current regulations must be posted in a visible spot for parents to see. The act also states that at least one caregiver must be trained and always on duty with current certification in infant, child, and adult CPR and current first aid certification. By state law, staff cannot punish a child by hitting, spanking, biting, pinching, or inflicting other forms of corporal punishment or inflicting mental or emotional punishment, such as humiliating, shaming, or threatening a child. A

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child can never be confined in an enclosed space, such as a closet, locked room, or similar cubicle. It is also prohibited to deprive a child of meals, snacks, or necessary toilet usage. Parents can locate their individual child care facility at the DHS part of the state website ( where 200 Oakland County centers are listed in alphabetical order. By clicking on the name, it takes you to the full licensee information, from type of facility, hours, services offered, and if there have been any license offenses. If there have been any offenses, there is a link to read what they were, if there was an investigation, and what were. This oversight, and its public availability, is invaluable. Michigan audit report Despite all the regulations, that does not mean every child care facility complies. An audit report from the Michigan Office of the Auditor General from July 2008 reveals that during the period of October 5, 2003 through March 4, 2006, DHS authorized 116,585 child day care providers to care for 273,364 Child Development and Care (CDC) Program children. Through various criminal history and background information checks, the auditors identified 1,900 unsuitable child day care providers which DHS had authorized to provide child care services—placing approximately 4,600 children at risk. Of those numbers, there were 301 individuals enrolled, licensed or registered in the state as child care providers who were substantiated perpetrators of child abuse and/or neglect prior to their child care application. The audit also revealed there

were 712 enrolled child caregivers with unsuitable criminal conviction histories recorded in their ICHAT records at the time of enrollment. Even more disturbing, the audit identified 31 caregivers who cared for children while they were registered sex offenders on the Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR). DHS informed the auditor general in April 2007 that they had begun including PSOR checks as part of its criminal history check procedures. The auditors were able to discern the caregivers were unsuitable for a variety of important transgressions; some had more than one. Problems they uncovered included substantiated perpetration of child abuse and/or neglect; conviction of a crime that DHS may have considered terminable; a publicly registered sex offender; people convicted of serious and dangerous crimes; people who had been incarcerated in state prisons at the time DHS had authorized them to provide child care; or they were under parole supervision restrictions which limited their contact with children. “We concluded that DHS' efforts were not effective in detecting unsuitable individuals and preventing them from providing child day care services,” the audit read. They specifically noted nine material conditions where there were significant problems. These included: -DHS' central registry records checks were not effective in identifying individuals with substantiated histories as perpetrators of child abuse and/or neglect and preventing them from providing child day care services. -DHS had not implemented effected controls to detect applicants with unsuitable criminal histories.

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Quality editorial environment. Produced by local residents from offices in downtown Birmingham. Join the local leaders in our September issue. Deadline Wednesday, August 17. Contact Jill Cesarz. (O:) 248.792.6464 or (C:) 248.860.8414




-DHS did not include a review of the Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR) in its criminal history check procedures to detect publicly registered sex offenders and prevent them from providing child care. -DHS did not consistently perform monthly ICHAT records checks. -DHS did not update their list of terminable crimes and updated criminal histories of child care licensees and program directors during the twoyear period between licensure and renewal. Oakland County options The Child Care Council of Oakland County in Bloomfield Hills is a resource and referral entity within Oakland County, and has been advocating and promoting quality child care since 1973. A standalone 501(c)(3) agency, the council does not provide the actual child care, but works with the United Way in Oakland County and Great Start Collaborative to assist parents and caregivers by offering classes, consultations, monitoring of licensing, and other education and resources. “Kids always find ways to learn. If we do not provide the appropriate ways to teach them, they will find a way to learn that we find inappropriate,” said executive director Susan Allen. “We help both the parent and child care provider understand and appreciate the child and their needs so they can become fully independent, self-sufficient people. If you build their skills early and give them the tools to learn, they develop the tools for learning. If you do not talk to kids, or read to them, or leave them in play pens for a long time, it can lead to lifelong

problems. It's important to build positive, playful interaction. “Parents or providers who sit in class may not have had that kind of environment growing up,” she noted. Michelle Salcedo, director of education for the Learning Care Group in Novi, with local child care facilities Child Time and Tutor Time, agrees. “Our philosophy is based on the acronym 'HOMES.' H, that children need to be hands on; O, there is not one expected outcome; M, that learning is best when teaching is meaningful; E, that when children's bodies are engaged and involved and they're not passive recipients, they're experiencing learning much better. We know their attention span is one to two minutes more or less than their age, so that if they are not involved in doing something, they shut off; and S, for the more senses engaged in learning, the more important it is to have in our classrooms.” Salcedo said their goal in all of their classrooms is to create lifelong learners. “We are constantly teaching our professionals and parents what is best for the children. We have a department which trains our professionals when they enter a classroom and professional development as they go along.” As for licensing and educational requirements, she said they follow all state standards in every state they are in. Wagner, at Academy of the Sacred Heart, which accepts children from birth to 4 years, said they do full and complete background checks of all potential employees. “Because we are a Catholic

school, all of our faculty and staff are required to complete the 'Protecting God's Children' program through the Detroit Archdiocese,” she said. “But it's hard to hire good people when the wages are so low. Wages will need to rise as qualified training becomes necessary. We want our providers to be true professionals, and you can't be true professionals at $7.50 an hour.” She said they see or hear from DHS on a yearly basis, with relicensing every other year. “We're not required to have certified teachers, per the state, but all of our teachers and aides must have a degree in the education field or a related field.” While the current Michigan state budget did not cut child care funds, “K-12 got whacked, but there weren't any cuts to child care funds,” said state Rep. Chuck Moss (R-Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. But Allen noted that in the last few years, there were changes in the subsidy program for child care. “Many parents became ineligible for child care subsidies, and the state made some changes to the hourly rate they paid, and to the number of hours they pay for,” she said. “They may now only pay for 60 or 80 hours in a two-week period, so parents struggle with the differential. Some providers will accept the differential, and other families have to struggle to find coverage. Sadly, the subsidy does not mirror what the actual cost of child care is.” Whatever choice you make, and wherever you choose to place your child, it will be costly, and you will agonize over the choice. It's one of the many price tags associated with parenthood.

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Adam Helfman dam Helfman, home improvement guru and nationally recognized television and radio sensation, is a fourth-generation contractor who began his career in his hometown of Bloomfield Hills. As a boy, Helfman would spend Saturdays with his father on job sites and earned money drumming up work for his family's business by going door-to-door. “I would get $10 whenever a homeowner would be interested,” Helfman said. “My great-grandfather was a pioneer in the business. He invented the second story addition. He figured out a way to build up houses. He called it a ‘dormer,’ and he patented it.” Helfman, a graduate of Andover High School, went on to study construction management at Michigan State University and then spent some time working with Fairway Construction, the family business. In 2004, he was tapped by ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to rebuild a home for a Michigan family. “They came to Detroit and picked our company to build the home in Oak Park for a family with parents who were hearing impaired and a child who was blind and autistic,” he said. “We totally gutted their house and built them a safe, user-friendly house to live in. That episode won an Emmy in 2004 and it was the highest watched episode ever.” Helfman said he maintains a friendship with the family to this day. “It’s very rewarding to change someone’s life and I think doing good deeds is contagious.”


After the episode aired, Helfman left the family business and went to work for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. “I consulted on about 22 episodes,” he said. “(My family) recognized the opportunity and supported it.” Returning home following his work with the show, Helfman shopped the idea of a home improvement radio show to a local station. “I came back into town and ran into an executive at a radio station,” he said. “I pitched the idea for the show (to WXYT-1270 am) and Hire-It-Done was born.” The radio station took interest in the concept, but said they could not compensate Helfman for his work. Ever the entrepreneur, Helfman offered to sell advertising for the show, splitting the money he made with the station. Hire-It-Done, a service designed to assist homeowners in choosing reputable contractors for home improvements, proved to be a success and Helfman’s show went on to air on Magic (105.1 FM) and WRIF (101.1 FM) as well. For his most recent project, Hire-It-Done is slated to air on a new conservative Detroit radio station that will be launching in the fall. “I’m doing a TV show on WOW! Cable on channel 14,” he said. “It’s a video version of the radio show. I started that in January of this year. I also have a national TV show in development.” When not lighting up the airwaves, Helfman values the time he spends with his family and his 11-year-old son, Max. Story: Katey Meisner

Photo: Laurie Tennent

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248.203.9760 MY ROAD TO BBA: I was first introduced to Audiology at the age of two when I was diagnosed with hearing loss. After high school, I considered going into Audiology and it seemed a perfect fit. I graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Audiology and Kristin Hinderliter Speech Sciences and a Au.D., FAAA Master’s Degree in Doctor of Audiology Audiology. My journey began at Deaf Hearing and Sign Language Center, a non-profit organization in Detroit, where I managed the Audiology department for six years. In 2002 I was inspired to open a private practice with Dr. Eileen Bessega. At that time, I was also completing my Doctorate Degree from Salus University. I feel fortunate to have found a career that is fulfilling, challenging and inspiring! MOST REWARDING ASPECTS: I love my job! The most rewarding aspect is making a personal difference in someone’s life. It is very gratifying to hear patients’ honest, emotional stories of reconnecting with loved ones and experiences they used to enjoy. Patients often tell me, “I don’t know why I waited so long. I have missed out on so much.” BIGGEST CHALLENGE: The biggest challenge I face is encouraging people to take the first step towards better hearing. Many people are anxious about having their hearing tested and considering amplification. My goals are to improve their quality of life by providing hearing solutions that can help alleviate frustration, restore confidence and enhance personal relationships.

OUR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES: Advanced Diagnostic Hearing Evaluations Vestibular Testing Digital Hearing Aids | Visible Speech | Aural Rehabilitation In Office Repairs | Cerumen (Wax) Removal Pediatric Audiology | Custom Ear Molds Video Otoscopy | Community Education

MY ROAD TO BBA: My journey actually came about as I was faced with a “fork-inthe-road” during my career. Having worked in the business sector for years after majoring in Business Administration, I was in a position where I had to make a career change after my place of employment was closing. I was temporarily employed as a teacher and I had students that were hearing-impaired. It was lifechanging for me! I became attached to my students and their families and knew that I wanted this experience in my life. So, through the next several years I returned to college at Wayne State University and “re-invented” myself in an entirely different role of academics. Some people would say I’m addicted to school, because I am still enrolled! I am presently pursuing my Ph.D. in Communication Disorders with an emphasis in the pediatric population. Eileen Bessega Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA Doctor of Audiology

MOST REWARDING ASPECTS: I certainly enjoy working with all ages of my patients that have hearing loss, but I do have a passion for – as I call them- “my little’s”! The children are very special to me. I love working with the families and those that support our children, whether it be their pediatrician, teacher, caregiver, or their favorite friend – their fluffy Mr. Teddy Bear. BIGGEST CHALLENGE: The biggest challenge I have and foresee in the future is the need for public awareness for all levels of hearing impairment and how it affects every age as well as every stage of life. Hearing loss is usually a transparent challenge others are unaware of. However, the impact can be far-reaching, whether it be in the classroom or the board room. Hearing is integral to every aspect of communication!



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CITY/ TOWNSHIP Planning Board prioritizes plans At Birmingham's joint city commission/planning board meeting workshop on Monday, June 20, Planning Director Jana Ecker asked commissioners and planners for suggestions for usage of a $25,000 appropriation to the planning department which had not yet been allocated in the budget. She requested they prioritize planning projects for the coming fiscal year, which began July 1, 2011. No decision was made as it was a planning session, although later it was determined to allocate it to alleyway and passageway improvements, a longtime planning department project. Ecker enunciated key project priorities which she felt would benefit from the appropriation, such as realigning Worth Street in the Triangle District; improving the crosswalks of Woodward Avenue according to the Complete Streets plan; rework S. Old Woodward to include a landscaped boulevard median to match N. Old Woodward; and to redo Bowers Street. She noted that improving Woodward's crosswalks would increase the walkability of Birmingham and tie together the central business district with the Triangle District, as well as begin to address key areas of the Complete Streets plan, a state legislative effort to improve intersections for pedestrians, bicycle users, busses and motorists. The Worth Street

Pappageorge petition approved etition language to recall state Sen. John Pappageorge (RBirmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township) was approved at an Oakland County clarity hearing in mid-July. The three-member election commission comprises Oakland County Clerk Bill Bullard, Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner, and Chief Oakland County Probate Judge Linda Hallmark. Their role is to determine if the language in the petition is clear and understandable, not if it is accurate, Meisner noted.


Birmingham commissioners to run again By Lisa Brody

ith a deadline for candidates to file for the November 8 election approaching, all four Birmingham city commissioners whose terms will be ending this November are planning to run for another four-year term. Up for election this year are mayor Gordon Rinschler, George Dilgard, Tom McDaniel, and Scott Moore. Birmingham city commissioners are elected for four-year terms, and are paid $5 per meeting. The filing deadline for candidates for city commission, Baldwin Library Board, and board of education, is Tuesday, August 16 at 4 p.m. at city hall with the city clerk. According to Birmingham City Clerk Laura Broski, only Dilgard has filed so far for a commission position. For library board, incumbent David Underdown has filed for another term, as have Robert Tera and James Suhay. There have not been any filings yet for school board. Dilgard, who is finishing his first four-year term, said, “It's been an enjoyable four years, and we've accomplished a lot. I've learned a lot about city issues. It takes a while to get up to speed on the ordinances and to get knowledgable on the budget, and I feel I can contribute more. We have a strong and diversified city commission, and we work well together.” Rinschler said, “Barring anything cataclysmic happening, I'm planning on running again. I'm having fun, and I want to keep at it.” Moore concurred, noting he was also having fun. “I still have a vision, spit and vinegar, and a passion,” he said. “I want to continue to help. This is not the time to be a maintenance commission. When things turn around, we'll be ready to advance.” McDaniel also confirmed that he is planning to run again this November.


realignment has been on the planning department list for many years, she said, and “I believe it would have a very great significance for the Triangle District, it would be easy to do, and there is great cooperation and support of the landowners in the area,” she said. City Manager Bob Bruner said he thinks creating a boulevard-style median for S. Old Woodward is

Justin Winslow, chief-of-staff for Pappageorge, said the senator is the 17th member of the state Republican caucus to have a recall petition pulled because of their support of House Bill (HB) 4361 in May, which replaced Michigan's business tax with a set tax, raised the income tax, and changed other tax credits. Petitioners claim that it will be an increase of Michiganders' taxes. The petition language was identical, or nearly identical, to all of the other recall petitions. Winslow said, “The senator respects any citizen's right to disagree or recall him but it is not a distraction. The way he voted on tax reform is not different from the way

important because, while it has not been high on the city's planning list, “The city engineer has been pursuing federal funds which are available, and that may be a high priority for the community.” He also said streetscaping that area is important. City commissioner Mark Nickita said “We need to think about these in terms of overall criteria, the overall beauty and timing issues.

he has acted his entire political career, and the way he was voted in to do this job.” Bullard said he voted against the petition's language in the clarity hearing. “To me, this petition did not clearly state what the bill (he voted for) did. The petition language did give a date, how he voted, and which bill it was, but for me, that wasn't enough,” he said. “There are a whole lot of legal issues without clear court opinions to give us direction, and so I interpreted it one way and my two colleagues interpreted it the other way.” Bullard noted that a successful recall petition must allow the office holder to know what the charge

Streetscaping and beautification are important. The Old Woodward area is one of the three most important areas for all of us, and it would be a huge impact to all of us. As an economic generator, it could actually generate the economy. Like Bates Street, its redevelopment could actually bring money to the area. We have to look at what are we actually trying to achieve. I think Old Woodward is very important, and Bates Street, on the 2016 Plan, is the biggest hole we have. Another low-hanging fruit is alleys and passageways, and their beautification. It's almost there. For crossings, we have some funding, and it's safety.” Commissioner Stuart Sherman pointed out that by redoing Worth Avenue, it could help the city revitalize the Triangle District and set the stage for a future parking deck in the area while prices are still depressed. “We have to establish where parking is going to be. Land prices are bottoming out, and we could pick up land and establish parking in the Triangle District,” he said. “Also, we need to look at Maple through downtown. We're going to have to deal with that. We have 130-year old water pipes which keep breaking.” Planning board chairman Robin Boyle suggested, “The city manager should put money into S. Old Woodward, and planning should put its money into the Triangle District, into getting us to cross Woodward Avenue. We have an opportunity to make a change with slowing down big Woodward, getting us across safely, and redeveloping change.”

against him is. “He must know what he has done wrong in order to defend himself,” Bullard said. “The language also must be clear so that a person signing the petition can make a sufficient decision as to whether or not to sign it.” Winslow said that neither he, nor Pappageorge are familiar with the petitioner, who he said he has learned is a Democratic precinct captain from Troy. In order to hold a special recall election, petitioners will need to acquire 27,001 signatures within 90 days of filing for the petition. Pappageorge, in his second fouryear term which ends in 2014, is term-limited.

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Supervisor post to be considered July 25 By Lisa Brody

Bloomfield Township trustees may well have appointed a new supervisor this week to fill the vacancy created by the resignation, effective Aug. 1, of incumbent Republican Dave Payne. Following Payne's notice to resign, the board of trustees met on Thursday, July 7 for a study session open to the public to discuss procedures to pick a successor. After a discussion of Michigan's statutory election law and comments by the board and from the public, a motion was passed to consider applications for the job from current board members at the July 25 board of trustees meeting, with the anticipation that an appointment could be made that evening, after this publication went to press. The motion passed 4-2, with trustees Neal Barnett, who made the motion, Brian Kepes, Leo Savoie, and township clerk Jan Roncelli voting yes, and Dave Buckley and township treasurer Dan Devine voting against the measure. Payne said he will not vote to pick his own successor. Devine said he felt it should be open to any township resident older than 18 who wanted to be considered for the job. He has publicly stated he is interested in the job, as has trustee Leo Savoie. Devine intimated that by proceeding in this fashion, Savoie will automatically be appointed the next township supervisor by the board. On Tuesday, July 5, a press release sent by Devine urged a special election for the job rather than the board appointing a supervisor. "In business and government, one of the key principles that people are demanding in this new century is transparency. Voters want a say in their government and they want their government to be run in the open, not behind closed doors,” Devine said. “In the spirit of complete transparency, assuring that every voter in the township has a say in who the new supervisor will be, I urge clerk Jan Roncelli and the elected trustees to join me in voting to call for a special election to elect the new supervisor.” However, Roncelli and the trustees voted down a motion made by Devine for a special election after township attorney William Hampton clarified the election law statute, which clearly mandates that the township board must first attempt to fill the vacancy within 45 days after the beginning of the vacancy, then only the county clerk can call a special election. “Under state law, township boards do not have the authority to call special elections except for ballot questions; not for this purpose,” Hampton said. “They do not have the authority to circumvent the authority of the election statute. The use of the word 'shall' in the statute is mandatory.” He further explained that this would not

be an open election where anyone could run, like an open primary election. Under subsection 4 of the Michigan Election Law, in the event the board cannot, or does not, make an appointment, the Republican and Democratic committees of the county each would select and choose nominees from the parties, and then each would choose one nominee to go forward for a special election. There is no guarantee it would be Devine, despite his call for the election. Devine quarreled with Hampton, saying he too is a lawyer, and disagrees with the interpretation. “In subsection 3, there is the work 'may', and I interpret that as for an interim replacement,” Devine said. “I believe Mr. Devine is missing a key point. Mr. Devine misses the key word 'or'; if this board does not make a decision within 45 days,” Hampton clarified. Roncelli said she had gone back through the township's minutes since the 1930s, and looked in Oakland County's history, and there is no record in the last 80 years anywhere in the county, much less the township, where a board failed to make an appointment and a special election had to be held. Whoever is appointed will finish Payne's term, which expires in Nov. 2012. An August 2012 primary will be held for the general November election, and will be open to whoever files a petition to run. Approximately 50 people filled the room, and many spoke, both for a public election, which they still assumed would be a full public election, and others, in support of the board fulfilling their elected duty. “Let the board do it's job. The township is the epitome of government in the state,” said resident Don Beal. Resident Marcia Robovitsky requested that the township post the position, so that anyone who wants to apply for it have the opportunity to be considered, not just current board members. However, when public comments were closed, and the final motion was passed, trustees determined that only board members will be considered, at least for the first round of considerations, at the township board meeting on Monday, July 25. Payne began the meeting by saying he wanted to clarify some misconceptions and rumors in the community by sharing his personal reason for choosing to retire now, rather than waiting until his term ends in Nov. 2012. “In 2002, I underwent an echocardiogram for a defective aortic valve, which was a birth defect,” he stated, noting that his aorta had suddenly doubled in size, necessitating sudden surgery. He had his aorta replaced with a pig valve, and eight inches of vascular repair. “This kind of valve has an 8- to 12-year lifetime, so I know I will have to undergo another surgery in the not too distant future,” Payne said. “I want to have a few healthy years before I have another surgery. Right now I am perfectly healthy. That's the reason I am retiring now.”

220 working with city on alley fixes irmingham and the 220 restaurant are currently working to resolve a work issue between the city's planning department and the restaurant at 220 Merrill Street that came to light in February at a city commission meeting, shining a spotlight on the lack of enforcement over a three-year old unresolved construction issue in the alley to the west of the restaurant. Assistant City Manager Joe Valentine said he is currently working with 220 owner Judi Roberts to rectify the situation, acting as an intermediary between her and the planning board. “I got involved to try to facilitate a resolution,” Valentine said. In February, Birmingham Planning Director Jana Ecker explained that in 2007-2008, 220 did some work to the alley area behind the restaurant for which they did not pull a permit, and after the fact, they came to the city for approval for the work that was already done in Sept. 2008. “But the planning board did not like what had been done, and denied it in spring 2009,” said Ecker. Roberts received a citation. In the interim, the site plan expired. At issue was that Roberts had the area, which is not a private driveway but a pedestrian walkway, repaved with concrete, and had not cleaned it up nor landscaped the area as the city requires. Roberts said she and Birmingham architect/designer Ron Rea presented new designs to the Planning Board, which were unanimously approved. Valentine said that he has worked with Roberts on a solution for the alleyway to convert it into an active passageway with an alternating pattern of concrete and exposed aggregate, similar to the passageway by Jos. A. Banks on E. Maple. He noted that the “long term plan of the planning board is to change the alley to a passageway to complement the other passageways throughout the downtown and increase its walkability. That is the core focus of doing it.” The planning board also had a landscaping issue with the site, requiring trees to line the passageway, although they did not specify which type. Roberts disagreed, saying they did present her with a great deal of specificity on the type of tree they would like at the site, offering her a choice of two. “Working with Judi, we came up with using columnar oak trees, which is a narrow tall tree that is at some of the other parking structures, and since this is by the Pierce Street structure, we thought it would look nice. But she has had trouble locating them, and is trying to find other species that would work,” Valentine said. Roberts said the city's arborist had recommended two types of trees to acquire, and she has been working to purchase them. “I've gone as far as Virginia to find them, and they're not available,” she said. “That nursery did not feel the tree would work well and be viable in zone 5. I'm sure, working with Joe, we'll come up with a tree that will work well in the near future, and resolve the situation.”



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Prime, in-town location that has been COMPLETELY renovated. New hardwoods, drywall, kitchen, baths, paint and more. Charming details with sun filled rooms. New landscaping and sprinkler system in Spring of 2011. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 211051898

Well maintained and tastefully updated! Newer, white, granite kitchen and eat-in space. Fresh paint, gorgeous hardwoods and stylish decor. Finished lower level offers great space. All this on a deep lot that screams come out and enjoy! Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 211051712

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Grand new construction. Spacious room sizes, over 5,200 sq ft and 1400 additional sq ft in finished lower level. Kitchen is a cooks delight with dual Wolf ovens and sub zero refrigerators. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 29117427

Wonderful soft contemporary architecture. Stunning interior with many premium appointments. Set on beautifully landscaped 1/2 acre grounds. Much recent updating including a premium kitchen. Limestone fireplace, 1st or 2nd floor laundry and walkout lower level with full bath. Birmingham Schools Three bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 211065474

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Franklin Village $1,980,000 Magnificent Contemporary Estate home on two rolling acres! Beautiful kitchen features Mexican tile, hand finished custom cabinetry and is open to the family room. State of the art pool/recreation area for year round fun! Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths.

Bingham Farms Village $899,000 Nestled on over two acres on prestigious Bingham Road. Extensively updated in 2001, 2005 featuring a beautiful open kitchen with premium stainless steel appliances and wet bar. The sophisticated neutral decor is filled with natural light from the many large windows that offer sweeping views of the beautiful surroundings. Three bedrooms with three baths. 211066298

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Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 |

Metamora $2,695,000 Magnificent Estate! In the Heart of Hunt Country on 138 acres sits this spectacular 10,000 square foot Country French Manor. Luxurious first floor master suite. Chef's kitchen and large keeping room with fireplace. Walkout lower level with 28 x 20 club room, wet bar, game room, exercise room and wine cellar. Exceptional landscaping with pond, barns and caretakers cottage. 211053323

Metamora $1,675,000 Beautiful Coach House and Carriage Barn on 77 spectacular rolling and wooded acres with lake frontage. The Coach House features cozy keeping room and chef's kitchen with high end appliances and finishes. Exterior is cedar and field stone with metal shingles. Immaculate six car heated garage. Automatic generator. Large carriage barn with heat, living space and decks. Exceptional! 211065980

Dave Busch

SKBK Sothebyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s International Realty Equal Housing Opportunity

Birmingham, Michigan


Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 |

Orchard Lake Frontage $3,995,000 Lakefront Estate in Private Gated Community of North Bay. Over 13,000 sq. ft. of living space. Three levels with Magnificent Views of Orchard Lake. Gourmet kitchen with additional back kitchen, lower level kitchen, three story Atrium, wine cellar, sauna. Expansive ceilings, Pella windows and decks frame the lakeside. 135 ft. of lake frontage with a panoramic views. Beautiful pool, decks and landscaping. Five bedrooms with 6.3 baths. 211049109

Upper Straits Lake $3,550,000 One of Orchard Lake Village's finest lake front Estates. Over three acres and 150 ft of frontage on prestigious Upper Straits Lake. Stone pillared entrance winds up to this 10,000 plus square feet executive home. Incredible views on gentle sloping grounds to the water. Three car attached garage, additional nine plus garage and helicopter landing pad. Five bedrooms suites with 6.1 baths. 211068917

Michelle Yurich

SKBK Sothebyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s International Realty

Birmingham, Michigan

248.644.7000 Equal Housing Opportunity

Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 |

Lake Angelus Frontage $1,795,000 Fabulous newer construction on all sports lake. Breathtaking views from every room from this South facing transitional home. Over 9800 plus square feet of living space. First floor master suite with marble bath. Finished walk out lower level. Four bedrooms with 5.1 baths. 211010061

Lake Angelus Frontage $1,499,900

Lake Angelus Frontage $849,900

Fabulous Sunsets from this beautiful Lake Angelus Estate with over 150' of lake frontage. Three +acres and three bedroom, two baths (grandfathered) Guest House (not included in sq. ft). Up to date home has views from every room in Main House. First floor master bedroom. Walkout with sauna and hot tub, family room with second kitchen. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 211010071

Fabulous Newer Construction! Built on a "no wake" zone. Exquisite views of Lake Orion! Interior decorator's own home. Gourmet Kitchen. Second kitchen in lower level. Deck, paver patio and dock. Custom upgrades throughout. Â Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 211047442

Lee Embrey

SKBK Sothebyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s International Realty Equal Housing Opportunity

Birmingham, Michigan


Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 |

SOUTHERN MICHIGAN’S MOST UNIQUE PROPERTY! Approximately 2,000 Contiguous Acres - Including a 100 acre lake Additional adjoining 595 acres also available for close to 2600 acres

Manchester Township & Norvell Township • 1 1/2 hours from Detroit • 45 minutes from downtown Ann Arbor • 200 Miles east of Chicago Opportunities exist to create a private recreational retreat or to create a conservation development design or a preserve for future generations. Civil War Italianate home ready for restoration (once a station in Michigan’s Underground Railroad Systems.) RECREATIONAL RETREAT Consider this distinctive property located in Washtenaw & Jackson counties for your personal estate, corporate getaway, hunt club or recreational retreat. The topography is diverse, including a high hill overlooking the 100 acre Watkins Lake.

PRESERVE What legacy will you leave? Permanently preserving and protecting property (homes & land) can have significant federal, state and local tax and / or additional monetary advantages for you and your family.

CONSERVATION DESIGN DEVELOPMENT Conservation design development can simultaneously accomplish three often mutually exclusive goals. Higher net profits realized by a developer, improved privacy of building sites while maintaining or increasing home density, and permanently conserving over 80% of the total property acreage and natural resources. #210086302


Bev McCotter & Bill Vandercook

SKBK Sotheby’s International Realty

Birmingham, Michigan

248.644.7000 Equal Housing Opportunity

Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 |

Franklin Village $2,475,000 Expansive custom Ranch nestled on 2.79 wooded acres in heart of Franklin, overlooking the Rouge River. Home boasts 9,000 sq ft with additional 4500 sq ft in finished walk out lower level. Center island kitchen with granite counters, Gaggenau cook top and Thermador double ovens. Three car attached garage, brick paver heated driveway and gated entry. Four bedrooms with 4.2 baths. 211045273 Presented by Avery Weisling

Birmingham $1,399,000 Updated home on magnificent acre lot on one of Birmingham's most sought after streets. Beautiful first floor master, elegant living room and private, sophisticated den. Freshly painted bedrooms and large second family room that could be a bedroom. Five bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 210108151 Presented by Kris Barich & Molly Henneghan

Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 |

Bloomfield $2,290,000 Transitional soft Contemporary master piece designed by Dominic Tringali. Extraordinary architectural details. Granite, slate, limestone and cherry flooring. Six bedrooms with 6.3 baths. 210138060 Presented by Marjorie Hirschfield

Birmingham $1,300,000 - $1,650,000 Stylish and Elegant Townhouses! Adorned with high end contemporary finishes. Features include large living room opening to dining room and stunning kitchen. Minutes from downtown. Three units. 211055969 Presented by Renee Lossia Acho

Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 |

Oakland Township $1,995,000 Exquisite home in gated Orchard Ridge subdivision with the exceptional appointments you would expect! Superb kitchen entertainment area. Lovely formal dining room with butlers pantry. Two story living and great rooms. Five fireplaces. Fully finished lower level with media room, sauna, spa, bar, bistro area, game room and guest suite. Five bedrooms with 6.2 baths. 211075905 Presented by Paula Law

Northville $1,599,000 Gracious and beautiful estate living on the third fairway of Meadowbrook Country Club! This custom built home offers it all from the stunning entrance to the incredible walk out you have an open floor plan with incredible views, wonderful room sizes and custom touches everywhere. Six bedrooms with 5.2 baths. 211071006 Presented by Bill Tracy & Chris Johnson

Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 |

Birmingham $1,299,999 Exceptional quality and craftsmanship enrich this 5,000 sq ft home. Chef's granite kitchen opens to breakfast room and spacious family room with fireplace. Luxurious master suite with fireplace. Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 210143091 Presented by Marjorie Hirschfield

Lake Angelus Frontage $1,198,000 Over 3,100 sq ft on 6.26 acres with 140' of Lake Angelus frontage and an additional 1,400 sq. ft in finished lower level. Horse barn, Pole barn, Tack room, fences and corrals. Four bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 211010079 Presented by Lee Embrey

Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 |

Farmington Hills $1,590,000 Private Estate with highest regard to quality and craftsmanship on 5.14 acres. Custom island kitchen with door wall to deck, great use of granite and marble. First floor master suite. Walk out lower level has full kitchen with fireplace, exercise room, sauna and great room opening to patio. Private guest house, six car garage, putting green and in ground pool. Six bedrooms with 5.2 baths. 211058189 Presented by Dee Brooks

Bloomfield Village $1,595,000

Walnut Lake Frontage $1,295,000

Captivating interior renovation! This reconfigured floor plan is absolutely perfect. French doors lead guests from interior living spaces to beautiful brick terrace and yard. Five bedrooms with 4.3 baths. 210137579 Presented by Darlene Jackson

Magnificent property with 125' of lake frontage. DesRosiers designed and rebuilt in 1995. A great cook's kitchen, beautiful cabinetry and lovely finishes throughout. Birmingham Schools. Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths 211046761 Presented by Candice Cuyler

Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 |

Bloomfield $699,000 This is a builder's dream! This jewel of a property is located on exclusive Club Drive and is a 5-minute walk from Forest Lake Country Club. Spectacular views with 350' of frontage on Forest Lake with access to Lower and Upper Long Lakes. Build your dream home and live the lake front lifestyle. Bloomfield Hills Schools. 211062840 Presented by Dan Gutfreund

Birmingham $575,000

Bloomfield $519,900

Quiet, tranquil Condominium overlooks the Rouge River and Booth Park. Amenities include a wine cellar, gated covered parking spaces (two) and third on the street and library or home office with French entry doors. Balcony with spectacular views. Two bedrooms with two baths. 211067673 Presented by Michelle Christl

Maplewood Homes Builder Owners personal residence. Completely renovated in 2008. Gourmet granite kitchen and first floor master. Hardwoods and crown moldings throughout. Two decks and nature trail behind wooded private lot. Five bedrooms with 4.3 baths. 211059915 Presented by Lisa Sturdevant

Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 |

Bloomfield $695,000 Impeccable condition with amazing, spacious rooms. A fabulous great room with French doors leading to outside deck and breath taking views of Walnut Lake. This unique home features living on all three floors with a sixth bedroom on first level. Very private living with all sports lake access. Six bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 210137544 Presented by Kris Barich

West Bloomfield $449,000

Birmingham $390,000

Absolutely elegant unit with gorgeous views of Pine Lake. Fabulous master suite balcony overlooking lake. Beautiful Brazilian Cherry floors throughout. Elevator to all three levels. Two bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 211058815 Presented by Celeste Cole

Beautifully renovated. Updated kitchen with granite and stainless steel appliances opens to family room. Living room with custom fireplace and built in bar. Huge master suite with Jacuzzi tub and walk in closet. Four bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 211061025 Presented by Heather Salesin

Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 |

Great Value! BIRMINGHAM Rare in town Contemporary. Open floor plan, great for entertaining large gatherings. Enormous great room and dining room with French Doors. First floor master suite. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 211076859. $750,000. Andrew Teitel

Gated Community BLOOMFIELD Wonderful updated home in the Hills Of Lone Pine. Family Room with natural fireplace and door wall to deck. Walkout lower level could be separate living area with full kitchen, bedroom and bath. Home theater room. Five bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 211055007. $659,000. Jim Casey

Perfect Family Home BLOOMFIELD VILLAGE Bloomfield Village Colonial beautifully renovated and appointed. Formal living, dining and family room, gourmet kitchen with granite. Generous eat-in area and desk. Hardwood floors throughout. Five bedrooms with 3.2 baths. 211065720. $625,000. Jenny Turner

Authentic Cape Cod BIRMINGHAM A surround patio facing the Rouge River and enhanced by mature trees. Privacy but just a few steps from downtown. There is a guest house adding 961 sq ft. to the living space. Two bedrooms with two baths. 29116090. $595,000. Betty Pince

Great Charm and Character ROYAL OAK Beautiful 1925 home, professionally updated. Three car heated garage, landscaped double lot with patio and built-in grill, completely enclosed back yard for a lovely private setting. Three bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 211028135. $359,900. Candice Cuyler

Large Corner Lot BEVERLY HILLS VILLAGE Beautifully updated. Newer roof, Pella windows and lovely remodeled white kitchen. Remodeled baths with charm of old. Professionally landscaped. Five bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 211063969. $339,000. Kathy Smith

Completely Updated WEST BLOOMFIELD Elegant and Gracious home in a Cul-DeSac location. Blue Stone walkway and patio with Mahogany front door. Huge lot with pool and waterfall. Five bedrooms with 4.2 baths. 211028954. $689,000. Andrew Teitel

Spectacular 1.73 Acres BLOOMFIELD Unsurpassed beauty and "up North" feeling with breathtaking views. 125' of frontage on private Gilbert Lake. Wellbuilt home with many upgrades. Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 211038153. Bill Tracy & Chris Johnson

Newer Construction OAKLAND TOWNSHIP Top of the line quality custom home with hardwood floors and granite kitchen. Walkout basement and dual zone heating. First floor master suite. Five bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 210036856. $599,900. Donna Barlow

Exceptionally Updated BEVERLY HILLS VILLAGE Premium amenities throughout. Spectacular island kitchen with dual dishwashers, warming drawer, Chef's stove and multiple fridges Finished lower lever with new half bath and back up sump pump. Four bedrooms with 2.2 baths. 211071651. $425,000. Maureen Francis

Private 1.7 Wooded Acres BLOOMFIELD Nice family home in desirable Woodcrest Farms with Chalmers Lake privileges. New gourmet kitchen, new carpeting, new deck and nicely updated. Grandfathered out building could be used for car storage. Hot Tub in Florida Room. Bloomfield Hills Schools. 211074553. $369,000. Bill Tracy & Chris Johnson

Great Neighborhood BLOOMFIELD Classic Colonial offers a wonderful master suite and three nice sized bedrooms! Lower level is partly finished with room to work and play! Wood floors throughout. Bloomfield Hills Schools. Four bedrooms with 2.1baths. 211051058. $229,000. Bill Tracy & Chris Johnson

Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 |

Gorgeous Brick Home BIRMINGHAM Over 2,000 sq ft with hardwood floors. Granite and cherry kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Large family room with fireplace. Spacious back yard with paver patio. Four bedrooms with two baths. 211074300. $319,000. Dan Gutfreund

Private, Wooded Lot BLOOMFIELD Large kitchen boasts center island, maple cabinets and granite counters. Family room with natural fireplace and door wall to paver patio and serene landscaped backyard. Four bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 211055570. $315,900. Avery Weisling

Vintage Colonial with Charm BIRMINGHAM Sophisticated interior with hardwood floors, custom designed mantle and bay window in living room. Updated kitchen with granite and stainless steel appliances. Large yard. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 211062239. $299,000. Beverly McCotter

Open Floor Plan ROCHESTER HILLS Lots of updates. High efficiency furnace, roof gutter and guard, brand new carpet and freshly painted throughout, new kitchen and laundry floor. Large yard with circle driveway. A must see! Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 211053915. $250,000. Rosa Lau

Wonderful Lake Views TROY Great opportunity to live in Emerald Lake Village with views of Pebble Lake. A new quartz kitchen with all new stainless appliances. Family room has fireplace. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 211065063. $197,000. Donna Barlow

Great Neighborhood BEVERLY HILLS VILLAGE Wonderful solid Ranch. Hardwood floors under carpeting. New windows, cove ceiling and huge sun room. Hugh Basement with high ceilings. Three bedrooms with 2 baths. 211054476. $189,000. Bev McCotter

Great Curb Appeal BIRMINGHAM Exceptionally updated Colonial on a great tree lined street. Gorgeous hardwood floors, stylish decor, stunning baths and updated kitchen. Three bedrooms with 1.1 baths. 211036991. $319,900. Sara Lipnitz

Fantastic Opportunity! WHITE LAKE Custom built, transitional home on extra large lot overlooking Brentwood Golf Course. Kitchen with maple cabinets and granite open to solarium gathering room and dining room. Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 211064110. $299,000. Kay Hartwell

Charm and Prime Location FERNDALE Leaded glass doors and windows and coved ceilings. Updated electrical and recoat/refinish all exposed hardwood floors. Totally painted interior and exterior, EPA certified. Professionally landscaped. Four bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 211069422. $283,000. Kay Hartwell

Fantastic Opportunity! FARMINGTON HILLS Soft Contemporary on almost an acre lot. Spacious home. Great room with vaulted ceiling and wall of windows with view of lovely grounds. Master bath with jetted tub and separate shower. Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 211075886. $199,900. Kay Hartwell

Charmer PLEASANT RIDGE All mechanicals are updated. Hardwood floors throughout. New roof/gutters, new driveway and landscaping. Updated kitchen and eat in nook and second floor bath. Three bedrooms with 1.1 baths. 211076756. $189,000. Erin Keating-Dewald

Perfect Floor Plan! PLEASANT RIDGE Desirable Brick Ranch! Great for entertaining, paved patio, fire pit and bbq area off all season, bright family room. Beautiful large living room with fireplace. Swimming pool association, new fitness spa, parks and tennis court. Three bedrooms with 1.1 bath. 211064972. $179,900. Joanne McGuire

Legacy jeweLry and Loan



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Library confirms new lending policy By Lisa Brody

Despite requests from Birmingham's Baldwin Library and communities with much to lose in late June the board of directors of the Bloomfield Township Public Library affirmed its new policy prohibiting borrowing of books and other materials by residents of communities without libraries, even if they have agreements with participating libraries. As of July 1, nonresidents who do not live in communities with libraries belonging to The Library Network (TLN), or those not covered by a reciprocal borrowing agreement, were no longer permitted to borrow books, DVDs or other materials from the library. Nonresidents may still visit the library to peruse materials, use the guest computers for specified time periods, and attend public programs and events. While Birmingham residents will, according to Bloomfield Township Library, be permitted to borrow from the library, residents of Beverly Hills and Bingham Farms, which have contracts with Baldwin, will no longer be permitted to borrow from Bloomfield Township. Anticipating this decision by Bloomfield Township Library, in June the Baldwin Library Board made changes to its “historic special relationship” with Bloomfield Township, dating back to the 1960s, when Bloomfield Township was first built, ending Bloomfield Township residents special privileges at Baldwin, effective July 1. “It is sad that the Bloomfield Township Public Library Board has taken this action, which ends the special relationship that has existed between Bloomfield Township and Baldwin for over 40 years. Bloomfield Township’s decision will cause serious inconvenience to those Beverly Hills and Bingham Farms residents who, until now, have preferred to use Bloomfield Township Library, and those Bloomfield Township residents who have preferred to use Baldwin. It was an unnecessary step since the use of Bloomfield Township Library by Baldwin-area residents has always been fairly evenly matched by the use of Baldwin by Bloomfield Township residents. Bloomfield Township’s decision singled out, without valid basis, one particular group of communities, instead of tackling nonresident use of BTPL across the board.” Koschik, and some others in the community, say the Bloomfield

Holy Name expansion approved ith unanimous support from the neighborhood, parish, and Birmingham Planning Board, the Birmingham City Commission in late June unanimously approved the final site plan and special land use permit for 630 and 680 Harmon, 645 Woodland, 656 Greenwood and 647 Vinewood, all properties adjacent to Holy Name School in Birmingham. The school has been seeking to expand its parking lot, and create a new rectory apartment for a retired priest. Two existing buildings will be demolished, and new ones will be constructed in their place. The parking lot will be reconfigured and rebuilt for the school and church, hopefully easing congestion into the neighborhood. The parish has purchased the properties on Harmon, Woodland, Greenwood and Vinewood, with the intention of rebuilding the Woodland home into an apartment for a retired priest, and creating a storage facility in the Greenwood home. Both properties are adjacent to church properties. Plans also would create green space between the buildings for children's play areas. “It has been many, many years to get to this resolution,” said city planning director Jana Ecker. She noted that a last minute conference—in the hall outside of the commission room at City Hall at 7:45 (the commission meeting began at 7:30) between the church and residents allowed for a compromise on a landscaping buffer between Holy Name and the property on Vinewood, helped achieve success for all parties that evening. “Everyone is happy,” she said. “When this came to us two years ago, it was very contentious, and the church and the neighborhood, over time, were able to reach across the table and come to a consensus,” said commissioner Stuart Sherman. “The neighborhood supported it, the parish supported it, and the commission supported it.”


Township Library is punishing Baldwin for entering into a contract for library services with the city of Bloomfield Hills, with which the Bloomfield Township Library has had a conflicted relationship over the years. However, the contract between Bloomfield Hills and Baldwin specifies services are only for Baldwin Library.

Ballot language for library approved Bloomfield Hills city commissioners unanimously approved on Tuesday, July 12 both an agreement with Birmingham's Baldwin Library for a three-year contract for full library services for residents and the ballot language for Nov. 8 that would provide .39 mills to fund the pact. Bloomfield Hills residents have been

without full-time library service since 2004, when a long-term agreement with Bloomfield Township Public Library was dissolved after the city and the library could not come to an agreement over how much residents would pay for library services. Since that time, some residents have paid for a library card at the Troy Library, with Bloomfield Hills reimbursing them for the cost, but Troy is experiencing financial difficulties and the city library will close in August if a last ditch millage is not passed. Leadership at Baldwin Library and some Bloomfield Hills commissioners, as well as city manager Jay Cravens, began discussions last winter, after a resident-sponsored library millage proposal failed last November, 60 percent to 40 percent. Cravens has noted that many residents have requested access to library services.


Baldwin would benefit from providing services to Bloomfield Hills, as well, as the revenue would allow them to remain open more hours, retain more staff and provide greater services. The agreement reached last month would have Bloomfield Hills pay Baldwin $268,681 in the first year of the agreement. In successive years, the rate would increase by 5 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. The initial figure was based on an average household cost of $180.44 per year multiplied by the 1,489 households in Bloomfield Hills, and the .39 millage proposal was drafted to meet the appropriate funding level, Cravens said. If the ballot proposal is approved in November, library service would begin in July 2012.

All invited to watch new bike race The Birmingham Bike Festival will take place on Sunday, August 28 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Birmingham. It will feature bike races, safety clinics, vendors, and a bike fair. Amateur to professional races will be held from 8 a.m until 3 p.m throughout the streets of downtown Birmingham. The half-mile course will begin and end on West Maple at Henrietta Street, traveling along sections of Maple, Bates, Martin, Pierce, Merrill and Old Woodward. Top racers from each category can win cash prizes, with a purse of up to $10,000. There will be fun free races which will include children, family members and community employees. They, too, will be awarded prizes and gifts. A bike fair will be held in Shain Park.There will also be bicycle manufacturers such as Trek, athletic clothing, accessories lines and assorted nutritional products will be demonstrated and sold at booths. “The merchants of Birmingham are really coming together to make this festival complete. They are engaging in the preparation by joining in as sponsors, vendors and exhibitors along with providing giveaways for the races,” said Jeff Surnow, owner of The Surnow Co. in Birmingham and an avid cyclist who was instrumental in orchestrating the Birmingham Bicycle Festival. Assorted Birmingham and Bloomfield businesses are supporting the event, from lead sponsor Bank of Birmingham to American Cycle and Fitness, DePorre Veterinary Hospital, Streetside Seafood, Luigi Bruni, Antonino's, Plum Market, Yoga Shelter, and more. For more information, or to register, go to 69


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Borders to close, begin to liquidate By Lisa Brody

Bad news looms for local book lovers as Borders Group Inc., which has been in bankruptcy since February 16, now faces liquidation after a recent offer by Jahm Najafi unraveled on Wednesday, July 13 when publishers and landlords owed money from the company complained that his bid would allow him to liquidate the bookstore chain for profit after he bought the business. Gordon Brothers Retail Partners and Hilco Merchant Resources will now liquidate the once-thriving chain, a victim of the digital era of reading and buying books. It is believed that Borders chief failure was its inability to develop and launch an e-reader to compete with Amazon's Kindle, which Barnes & Noble has successfully done, as well as underestimating the power of a potent website. A few weeks ago, it appeared that Najafi was a white knight for the beloved, but struggling, Ann Arborbased book chain with a large two-story store on Woodward in Birmingham, and a smaller store at 13 Mile and Southfield roads in Beverly Hills, when he offered $215 million for the company, plus the assumption of $220 million in debt. The terms of the agreement would have allowed him to continue to operate the chain or to liquidate it, but a group of creditors objected to that part of the offer. Najafi allegedly was willing to drop his liquidation option if major publishers agreed to grant him normal trade terms, which some were willing to do, but a couple publishers were not agreeable to that, so Najafi withdrew his bid. There were no other bids before the court-ordered deadline. Borders, which once had 1,249 stores, now has about 400. It was created 40 years ago in Ann Arbor by brothers Tom and Louis Borders by stocking a rich assortment of books and creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. As of Friday, July 22, its almost 11,000 employees nationwide were to have been let go by the liquidators as they began liquidation sales. It is uncertain what will become of the iconic Birmingham building which is owned by New York real estate investors.

Lawsuit filed over county redistricting A lawsuit has been filed with the state Court of Appeals against the Oakland County Apportionment

Commission, challenging the commission's proposed plan for redrawing Oakland's 25 county commission districts. The plaintiffs, Oakland County Commissioner Dave Potts, Troy resident Janice Daniels, and Southfield resident Mary Kathryn Decuir, contend the Democratic members of the committee, which held the majority on the apportionment commission, “Intentionally and systematically designed and approved a district map aimed at effecting partisan political advantage.” The lawsuit was written by attorney Mike Bishop, former state senate majority leader, now with Clark Hill of Birmingham. “I have been around the process for many years, and had the ability to work on the process in 2000, and this map may be the most blatantly gerrymandering maps I've ever seen,” Bishop said. “It's a blatant attempt to flip power in Oakland County.” Potts said the suit will be paid for through fundraising efforts. Oakland County has been a Republican stronghold for many years. Due to President Obama's coattail effect in 2008, Democrats won the majority for 2010's redistricting, completed in May. The commission comprised Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner, Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper, Oakland County Democratic chairman Frank Houston, all Democrats, and county clerk Bill Bullard and Oakland County Republican chairman Jim Thienel, both Republicans. The Democrats prevailed, by a vote of 3-2, on Cooper's second amended proposed map. In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs also took issue with the way two current commissioners, Dave Potts (R-20) and Shelly Taub (R-17), had their districts combined, which would ultimately pit them against one another. Potts and Taub's terms expire Dec. 31, 2012, and they would each have to run in the newly reconfigured 16th district. Potts has recently confirmed he will run for the state house of representatives, as Rep. Chuck Moss (R40) is term limited. “In the end, you have to follow the law. You have to put together a map that passes muster,” said Bishop. “I believed we followed all statutory requirements. This was not drawn to partisan advantage, like the current map is,” said Meisner. “This was a process where I sought a level of compromise, and at the last minute, that fell apart,” said Cooper. “The creation of the fourth minority district creates an extra seat at the table. I also paid attention to other areas with minority representation.” DOWNTOWN

THE CHOICE Downtown Birmingham/Bloomfield Our print edition, mailed to homes in Birmingham/Bloomfield, plus newsstands, at the start of each month. Full-color. Upscale design. Strong editorial environment. Our on-line rendition of the print version, plus updates during each week as news breaks in the local area. Averaging 20,000 visitors each month. A unique design unlike any other social network page. Constant updates from our publishing group. One more way to keep local residents updated on quick items of interest in Birmingham/Bloomfield. Sign up to follow us today! Downtown Deals An e-mail newsletter issued once each month keep everyone up to date on what is happening in the business community in terms of sales and special events. Sign up on our website.


















EDUCATION Think All school candidates approved for recall Petitions pulled to recall Bloomfield Hills school board members Robert Herner, Mark Banks, and Jacqueline ElSayed were approved by a threemember panel of the Oakland County Elections Commission on Wednesday, July 14 at a clarity hearing. The new petitions follow petitions approved on June 29 to recall board president Ingrid Day, vice president Ed Ford, treasurer Cynthia von Oeyen, and secretary Kate Pettersen. The three-member election commission comprises Oakland County Clerk Bill Bullard, Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner, and Chief Oakland County Probate Judge Linda Hallmark. Their role is to determine if the language in the petition is clear and understandable, not if it is accurate, Meisner noted. The commission unanimously approved the petitions of the remaining three board members as the petition language was identical to the previously approved petitions for the other board members. The petitioners will now have their real work cut out for them. They have 90 days from the time they filed the petitions to get 5,266 signatures per board member. Bloomfield 20/20, a grassroots organization which has been opposed to the district's plans to combine Andover and Lahser High Schools into one school, filed the recall petitions because of what they perceive as the board's repeated disregard for the public's desires for the school district, as well as a perceived brush off of voters who have voted down bond issues for a combined high school. The Bloomfield Hills district has been embroiled in turmoil for the last year, the result of a decision by the board to consolidate the two high schools, Andover and Lahser, into one high school on the Andover campus. Initially, they planned to build a new high school on Andover's grounds before being rebuffed by voters in last November's election. Recently, the board introduced a new catchphrase, “One high school on two campuses,” as they reported they will need to utilize certain facilities of Lahser's building and campus. Bloomfield 20/20 objects to the combination of the schools into one, and the spending of money to achieve that, as well as paying for educational consultants and architects before voter approval. Bloomfield Hills Schools note that one high school has been under discussion by the district since 2003,

although voters have voted it down. Costs had ballooned to $145 million. Currently, the board is proposing spending $50 million to $79.5 million on the project.

Birmingham approves new teacher contract By Lisa Brody

The Birmingham Public Schools Board of Education approved collective bargaining agreements with their five employee unions at a meeting on Wednesday, June 29. The contracts are for the next two years, for fiscal and school years 20112012 and 2012-2013. Birmingham, like all Michigan school districts, is facing tighter economic realities this fiscal year with significant budget cuts in education from the state legislature. The state legislature passed, and Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law, bills which will cut $470 per student from the districts. For Birmingham, which has approximately 8,200 students, that will come out to approximately $3.9 million less per year for the district in state allocation. “We're hoping that through best practices incentives that the state is offering, to reduce that to $270” per student, said Marcia Wilkinson, district spokesperson. Teachers, as well as principals, paraprofessionals, maintenance workers and secretaries, will now pay 10 percent of their health insurance benefits, effective July 1, 2011. The health care package includes medical, dental, vision and long-term disability. Teachers will also have to give back one more work day for professional development during the 2011-2012 school year, and one more student instruction day in the 2012-2013 school year. Merit pay was also addressed in the agreement. It will be implemented and tied to employee and building performance. The district reached compromises with unions representing schools' building administrators, paraprofessionals, maintenance workers and secretaries. Principals will be eligible for merit pay tied to students' performance, and maintenance workers, paraprofessionals, and secretaries contracts hold a clause where their work is tied to their individual job performance. Wilkinson said that annual savings for the school district will be approximately $600,000 just from the teacher's contract. DOWNTOWN

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* Monthly payments will increase after the initial interest-only payment period ends. All loans subject to approval. Certain conditions and fees apply. Mortgage financing provided by MetLife Home Loans, a division of MetLife Bank N. A. Equal Housing Lender. ©2010 MetLife, Inc. L0110082465[exp0111] [All States][DC] © UFS






Beautiful Bennington Green Colonial on a large gorgeous lot w/mature landscaping & privacy. Charming patio. Clean move-in ready home. Fresh paint w/neutral colors. Newer windows, plumbing & light fixtures. First floor laundry. Bloomfield Hills Schools. 211051080. $299,900

Entertainerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s delight on spectacular Gold Coast of Union Lake. Gourmet kitchen with double oven, hardwood floors. Entire second level is huge master suite with laundry, walk-in closets, jet tub, fireplace and deck.. Spacious lot with circle drive. 4 bedrooms, 4 baths. 210078445. $729,000

Upper Long Lake front in desirable neighborhood setting. Walkout lot with fabulous views. Area of multi million dollar homes. Renovate, add on, or tear down to build your dream home. Survey and plans for 5,820 square foot home available. 4 bedrooms and 4 baths. 211037526. $650,000

Magnificent custom built contemporary on White Lake. Dramatic 2 story foyer, designer kitchen, hardwood floors, soaring ceilings, coved archways and crown molding. Finished walkout. Extensive tiered decking and landscaping nice sandy beach. 5 bedroom, 3.1 baths. 211028198. $599,900





1.37 acres. Spectacular property in Bloomfield Township. Build your dream home or refurbish this former pope estate home. Charming home needs tlc. Value is in the land. Bloomfield Hills schools. 211032153. $264,900

Long admired stately yet charming home with private location. New custom kitchen with premium upgrades. 2 fireplaces. Nice dining room. 4 car finished garage or studio plus 2 car garage. Registered historic home once the home of the original Lone Ranger's voice. 4 bedrooms, 4.1 baths. 210143189. $499,000

From the grand front entry to the well appointed kitchen-Welcome Home! Granite counters, maple cabinets, stamped concrete deck and wooded lot. Lower level with glass block window. 211059733. $445,000

A rare find in popular Foxcroft. Meticulously maintained 2 story with basement. Located on circle for privacy. Over 3/4 of an acre. Almost everything has been updated. Flooring, appliances, siding. Great room opens to Florida room. Home warranty included. 3 bedrooms and 3 baths. 211017660. $489,500





Ranch with walkout basement on almost 1 acre. Renovated in â&#x20AC;&#x2122;03 with brick exterior, Anderson windows, cathedral ceilings, 2 fireplaces, 2 master suites, circular cement drive, deck with hot tub. Basement has family room with wet bar and fireplace, a game room and bath. Four bedrooms and 4.1 baths. 210065847. $399,999

Great Room with vaulted ceiling and fireplace, formal dining, family room with fireplace, wet bar and glass French doors leading to sunroom. Kitchen, with island, granite counters, sub zero refrigerator and walk-in pantry. Custom Finished daylight basement with full bath. 4 bedrooms and 3.1 baths. 211016868. $347,500

This prime estate is completely updated with custom amenities & spectacular views of 5 acres. New hardwood floors. Limestone, granite, crown molding, cabinetry. Dining rm. Library. Atrium. Large living room. Bright kitchen W/ granite, gen-air. Additional Garage! 211049501. $579,900

Gorgeous 4 bedroom Colonial with Dramatic 2 story foyer with ceramic floors. Granite counter tops & tray ceiling in the kitchen. Best buy in Mission Springs! 211045211. $300,000

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Pristine vintage cape cod, loaded with charm and updates! Beautiful Oak floors, coved ceilings, abundance of built in cabinetry and custom shutters throughout. Gorgeous ½ acre lot! 211046652. $169,900

Gorgeous custom brick colonial situated on almost 3/4 acres backing to woods w/views of serene pond. Escape the stress & enjoy the privacy in your new home. Awesome 2-story foyer. Master suite w/bath and walk-in closet, Stunning kitchen w/granite. 211043888. $299,900

Beautiful, treed, 1.21 acre building site in upscale & desirable sub with all sports Walnut Lake privileges. Rebuild or remodel the current 1,508 square foot ranch. 28155905. $229,900




Lakefront Paradise! Lower Straits Main Lakefront. First time offered. Prime 1acre site w/100 feet of frontage. Panoramic views of center of lake. Custom designed kitchen w/granite snack bar, granite island, & 8x6 pantry. Generous master suite has 11x10 exercise room, 10x7 WIC, two-way fireplace. 211040700. $945,000

Beautiful and updated three bedroom with walk out lower level. Large corner lot inside the sub. First floor laundry, family room with fireplace plus more. 210124673. $285,000

Unique lake front, multi-tier decking, ponds, streams, hidden rooms, balcony, 2 kitchens, bridges, stunning views. This is a must see! 210118407. $199,900




Must see property! Hilly with mature trees, trout stream on property-totally spectacular! Near downtown with no homeowners association! 211060852. $399,000


Beautiful very well maintained home. Immediate occupancy. Bring your best offer! 211005672. $319,999


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BUSINESS MATTERS Revive Street Aaron Cohen, Birmingham entrepreneur and owner of Revive, is opening another high-end boutique for men at 157 W. Maple. The current Revive, across the street, will undergo a name change and will be called Revive Street. The new store will be called Revive. The opening is slated for the end of August and will offer hand-selected lines from Paris and Japan. “I’ve been traveling for the past month buying for the new store,” Cohen said. “No one else in Michigan is going to have these lines.” The new Revive will also carry high-end vintage Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Versace. With a higher price point, the boutique will be geared toward high-profile clients. “We’re aiming for clients who love fashion and want the best. We’ll have sunglasses, jewelry, candles, fragrances, lotions and clothing.” The build-out began in May, Cohen said. “It’s going to be beautiful, just like the lines we’re bringing in.” The 1,800 square foot space will feature a waterfall, marble and wood décor. Cohen, 28, opened the original Revive in 2006. His business partner is Ben White Levin, 17, an Andover High School student, who has traveled with Cohen around the globe to purchase items for the new store.

Inspired Wellness A devotion to health motivated Kelly Hale, a Bloomfield Township resident, to open Inspired Wellness at 1185 S. Adams Road in Birmingham ten years ago. Now celebrating its 10year anniversary, Hale said the Birmingham community’s commitment to fitness over the past decade has contributed to the success of the business, a rehabilitation and fitness facility with occupational and physical therapists on staff. “Birmingham really supports and promotes people being active,” Hale said. “I love that people will ride their bikes or walk in to see us.” “We use Pilates on the rehab and fitness side. We have Pilates to help people detoxify,” said Hale. “A lot of people come to us with prescriptions for therapy.” Hale said the facility is unlike a traditional gym and offers personalized private classes. “It’s a

very intimate setting and very much a boutique style. We spend an hour with each person.” According to Hale, patients with back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches and shoulder injuries benefit from the services at Inspired Wellness. “I think it’s just amazing to see people get inspired about their wellness.” Hale enjoys living within close proximity to the facility. “I think it’s important to be integrated in the community you live in, work in and play in.”

Shish Kabbob Express The Phat Sammich at 34186 Woodward Ave in Birmingham has closed. “Me and my partner couldn’t put the time we thought necessary into it,” said co-owner Annette Berman. This August would have marked the sandwich shop’s second anniversary. Berman will focus on Mt. Chalet, her restaurant in Royal Oak. “Mt. Chalet takes up most of my time and it was just overwhelming.” Berman said her business partner, Jeff McArthur, is focusing his attention on his other eatery, Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup, located in Farmington. Coming into that location is Shish Kabob Express, bringing their Middle Eastern cuisine into Birmingham. The restaurant offers kabobs, soups, salads, sandwiches, juices and smoothies. “Birmingham is a good, classy area and it’s a high traffic area near a lot of businesses,” said owner Omar Turk. The eatery features a modern Middle Eastern aesthetic. “It seats 18 inside,” Turk said. “We also have a nice patio outside that seats 45 people.” Turk, who came to the U.S. from Lebanon in 2000, has owned the Shish Kabob Express in Troy for three years.

Relocation Services Hall & Hunter Realtors at 442 S. Old Woodward Ave. in Birmingham has named Carolyn Bowen-Keating as President of Relocation Services. BowenKeating comes to Hall & Hunter from Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel. “It really was an opportunity that Hall & Hunter presented me,” Bowen-Keating said.

“I loved Weir Manuel; their company, leadership and agents. I had some special skills, and Hall & Hunter came to me with the opportunity and I took advantage of that.” Bowen-Keating’s new position will entail working with corporations that are moving families into and out of Michigan as a result of job transfers. “I work with those corporations to transition families into other homes.” Bowen-Keating said she has known the owner of Hall & Hunter, Dennis Wolf, for many years. “Carolyn is a highly-respected leader and a consummate professional in the relocation arena,” Wolf said. “Her diligent work ethic and attention to detail make her a perfect fit for Hall & Hunter.” BowenKeating has settled in and is looking forward to a prosperous year. “It’s a wonderful company with great people and I’m excited to be here.”

kitchen, certified kosher by Rabbi Jason Miller, and a pastry kitchen. Other offerings include Italian gelato, cake pops and chocolate drinks. Schakolad chocolates are kosher and offer vegan, sugar-free and whey-free selections.

Performance Bicycle If you're hot to trot, you'll be delighted to learn that Performance Bicycle pedaled its way into Bloomfield Hills on July 8. The bike shop, located on 2067 S. Telegraph Road, offers a selection of bikes, bike helmets, cycling shoes, jerseys, shorts, sports nutrition and bike parts. “We also have a repair shop,” said Lanalee Price, store manager. “We’ve had a great welcoming so far.” According to Price, Performance Bicycle has been in business for about 25 years. “We have approximately 15 employees and everybody here is an enthusiast.”

Schakolad relocating

Wow World of Wine

For those of you with a chocolate sweet tooth, there's no need to despair. Schakolad Chocolate Factory is moving, not closing, its sweet shop to a new location in Birmingham on September 1. The shop will re-open at 1728 W. Maple, next to Mills Pharmacy, from its former space at 167 N. Old Woodward Avenue in downtown Birmingham. “Our business depends on having strong relationships with our customers and being involved with our surrounding community,” said Douglas Cale, who opened Schakolad in Birmingham more than three years ago. “We feel this new location will better position us to develop stronger roots in the residential community, while continuing to service the vibrant population of Birmingham.” The new location is larger and will include 1,750 square feet of retail space with front and rear parking. The shop will feature Schakolad’s European style chocolates, Madeleine’s French Pastries, Great Lakes Tea & Spice and Chazzano’s fresh roasted coffee. The second level of the new location will include a chocolate

Wow World of Wine has set up shop at 230 Willits Alley in downtown Birmingham. Owner Ed Bosse has been in the wine business for 25 years. “I used to own Simply Wine on Pierce Street across from Toast,” he said. The wine shop will offer a variety of wines at all different price points. “We sell exotic wines from exotic places; they are delicious and accessible,” he said. “We also have wines from Northern Michigan.” The store is decorated with colorful pictures of vineyards from around the world. “(The store) is old-fashioned in the sense that it’s very much a part of the neighborhood.” Bosse, a Brother Rice alumnus, lives only a mile from his new business. “I’ll be able to ride my bike to work,” he said. “It’s just so nice to be a part of the neighborhood.” Wow World of Wine will offer about 100 varieties of wine from around the world.


What Crepe? A missing epicurean link is being filled in Birmingham. What Crepe? is moving its French cuisine eatery into Birmingham into the former Sandella's locale. “We’ll be open late 76

fall,” said owner Paul Jenkins, Jr. The restaurant will be located at 172 N. Old Woodward Ave. and will offer a variety of crepes. “We offer sweet, savory, vegan and vegetarian crepes,” Jenkins said. “We focus a lot on our savory crepes. It’s a misconception that (crepes) are just for dessert.” While Jenkins said crepes are traditionally viewed as a sweet treat or breakfast fare, What Crepe? creates options from rib eye to smoked salmon crepes. “We have over 60 different crepes to choose from,” he said. “All our stuff is homemade and made from scratch, even down to our batter.” What Crepe? has a location in Royal Oak and has acquired a loyal patronage. “It was really by demand,” Jenkins said. “We wanted to spread our brand.” Jenkins, who lives in the community, wanted to open another restaurant close to home. “The opportunity was so great,” he said. “It’s a beautiful space and a great town with a lot of great restaurants.” Boasting 1,400 square feet, the restaurant will seat 40 diners and offer outdoor dining.

Smart cars new home Mercedes-Benz of Bloomfield Hills, located at 36600 Woodward Ave. between Quarton and W. Maple roads, has taken over sales of Smart cars from The Smart Center Bloomfield, located at 1765 S. Telegraph Rd. in Bloomfield Hills. “Mercedes owns the Smart car,” said Chuck Ghesquiere, Jr., owner of Mercedes-Benz of Bloomfield Hills. “They asked us to be the Michigan dealer and we agreed. The Smart car is going to become a player. The mileage standards keep getting tougher and people are surprised to learn (Smart cars) have the same crash test and safety standards as Mercedes. It’s really a very safe, small car.” According to Ghesquiere, a Bloomfield Hills native, the dealership has hired two new employees as a result of the consolidation at the Woodward dealership location.

Detroit Guitar Birmingham rockers are going to have a new place to jam when Detroit Guitar opens at 243 W. Maple in September. “Our grand opening weekend is going to be September 911,” said part owner Claudia Leo. Leo owns Detroit Guitar with fellow business partners Charlie Lorenzi and Eric Wolfe. “Eric is a guitar aficionado and Charlie and I are Detroit musicians.” Jonathan Balbes, owner of Balbes Custom Building, is doing renovations for the space. “We started (the build out) in June, and we’ve create a front showroom for guitar sales,” said Balbes. “On the second floor, we built a studio for lessons. You’ll be able to buy a guitar there, get a guitar fixed and tuned up and take guitar lessons.” The space will include lesson rooms and a full range of guitars, amplifiers and accessories. “We’ll carry Fender, Gretsch and Taylor (guitars). We have Orange and Carr amps,” said Leo. “We’ll be the only dealer in the state of Michigan to carry Carr amps.” The store will also offer fashion items and jewelry. “It’s going to be very unique,” Leo said.





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Platinum AT&T Platinum AT & T has moved a few doors down in the Woodward Square Shopping Center to 42857 Woodward Avenue in Bloomfield Township from its previous space at 42979 Woodward Avenue. The store, located at the southwest corner of Woodward and West Square Lake Road, opened at the new location on July 12. “It’s a much nicer store and we needed the bigger space,” said manager Tiffany Jamil. Platinum AT & T offers home services, phones, contracts, prepaid phones and Apple accessories.

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Cinderella’s Attic Cinderella’s Attic, a high-end resale shop located at 420 E. Frank Street in Birmingham, has closed. The owner could not be reached for comment regarding the closure. Business Matters for the BirminghamBloomfield area are reported by Katey Meisner. Send items for consideration to Items should be received three weeks prior to publication.


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The Booth Park area of Birmingham, at Harmon and Old Woodward, serves as the northern gateway to the center of the city. Donated by the Booth Family and the Cranbrook Foundation, the park is rich with history as the site of a turn of the century inter-urban railway system. A new tradition is being written now with The Shops at Booth Park. Ample parking. Only two blocks from the central city. Explore The Shops at Booth Park.



Tailoring & alterations for men & women, reknitting sweaters, leather tailoring. Find us behind Merwin's Gallery with ample parking. Tuesday-Saturday.

Full service medspa serving all of your beauty needs with the Dr. on site daily. Visit us as Call for a complimentary consultation.





For 40+ years, a treasure trove of 18th-20th Century art, furniture, lighting, porcelain, jewelry & silver, including Tiffany, Cartier & Buccellati.

Board Certified Vascular Surgeons treating varicose and spider veins. Call for a free vein screening, most insurances accepted.





Offering an eclectic collection of elegant jewelry & trendsetting jewelry created by designers from all over the world. Unique gifts and accessories.

In Birmingham for 30+ years providing the latest in designer formal wear & accessories for rental or purchase. Come visit for your next black-tie event.





An edited boutique. Clothing, sleepwear, apothecary, fragrances, candles, and the best gifts for the home in the city.

Practicing dentistry in downtown Birmingham for over 18 years. General and Cosmetic Dentistry for Adults and Children. New Patients Welcome.





Bob Stern Building Company is a family owned full service remodeling company that has served the Birmingham/Bloomfield area since 1965. Call us Today.

We provides a world of dedication to make your wedding preparation as enjoyable & memorable as your wedding day. Visit



PRIMI PIATTI MARKET A little bit of Italy in Birmingham! Pasta made daily, gourmet cheese, cured meat and groceries. Featuring Italian pottery, cookware and gift baskets.





PLACES TO EAT The Places To Eat for Downtown is a quick reference source to establishments offering a place for dining, either breakfast, lunch or dinner. The complete Places To Eat is available at and in an optimized format for your smart phone (, where you can actually map out locations and automatically dial a restaurant from our Places To Eat.

220: American. Lunch & Dinner, MondaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 220 Merrill Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.645.2150. Andiamo: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 6676 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Township, 48301. 248.865.9300. Bangkok Thai Bistro: Thai. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 42805 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield township, 48304. 248.499.6867. Barrio Tacos & Tequila: Mexican. Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 203 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.6060. Beau Jacks: American. Lunch, MondaySaturday; Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 4108 W. Maple, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.626.2630. Beyond Juice: Contemporary. Breakfast & Lunch daily; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. 270 West Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.7078. Big Boy: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 6675 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.642.0717. Big Rock Chophouse: American. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 245 South Eaton Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.7774. Birmingham Sushi Cafe: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 377 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.8880. Bloomfield Deli: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, Monday-Friday. No reservations. 71 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.645.6879. Boston Market: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 42983 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.334.5559. Brandyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Steakhouse: American. Lunch, Monday-Saturday; Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 1727 South Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.338.4300. Brooklyn Pizza: Pizza. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 111 Henrietta Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6690. Cafe Via: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 310 East Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.8800 Cameronâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Steakhouse: American. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 115 Willits Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.1700. Chen Chow Brasserie: Japanese. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 260 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.2469. China Village: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 1655 Opdyke, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.758.1221. Cityscape Deli: Deli. Lunch & Dinner, MondaySaturday. No reservations. Beer. 877 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.540.7220. Commonwealth: American. Breakfast & Lunch,


daily. No reservations. 300 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.9766. Cosi: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & wine. 101 N. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.203.9200. Crust Pizza and Wine Bar: Pizza. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 6622 Telegraph, Bloomfield, 48301. 248.855.5855. Deli Unique of Bloomfield Hills: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 39495 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.646.7923. Dick Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Dowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s: Irish. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 160 West Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.1135. Einstein Bros. Bagels: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 176 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.9888. Also 4089 West Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.258.9939. Elieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mediterranean Cuisine: Mediterranean. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. Liquor. 263 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.2420. Embers Deli & Restaurant: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 3598 West Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.645.1033. Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily.

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FOCUS ON WINE Cono Sur is not a play on words

as use of lightweight bottles, reducing bottle weight by 25 percent.

By Eleanor and Ray Heald

Cono Sur wines to buy Sparkling Brut $20 a hard to beat bubbly at this price. Cono Sur produces wines in several tiers. Sensational values at $11 per bottle are in the Bicycle range (bicycle image on label). They include: 2009 unoaked Chardonnay, 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, 2010 Pinot Noir, 2010 Merlot (blended with cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot and malbec).

lthough wines branded as Cono Sur ring like a play on words, they're not. Cono Sur refers to the shape of South America or the "southern cone" on which lies the western edge of Chile and its renowned wine valleys. Admittedly, though, the name which pronounces like connoisseur, is a good fit for today's interest in popularly priced, value wines. Founded in 1993, with the goal of crafting innovative premium wines expressing their place of origin, Cono Sur Vineyard & Winery is located in Chile's Colchagua Valley. Its 2,200 vineyard acres are parceled into 40 distinct estate vineyards in a number of appellations from Elqui (the most northern) to Maipo and Bio-Bio (the most southern in Chile). Such vineyard diversity allows Cono Sur, owned by the families who also own the well-known Concha y Toro winery, to make wines that many Chilean wineries can't.


It is a good BBQ wine with a smooth polished finish. Carmenere 2008 is ripe and generous – a good introduction to Chile’s unique variety and the very drinkable 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon with beef or sausages at a summer BBQ. Sommelier news Veteran Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon, who was beverage director for the Matt Prentice Restaurant Group, has left the position that she held since 1995 and, at the end of the summer, will begin working with the Plum Market group (3675 W. Maple Rd, Bloomfield Twp., among other locations. 248.594.2555). She describes her new position as being “involved in wine selection, event development, newsletter production and whatever else owner Mark Jonna and I dream up. After so many years in the restaurant biz, I am genuinely excited about an authentic new adventure.”

Firsts Cono Sur started its pinot noir project in 1999 and has now become the largest producer of pinot noir in South America and among the top five producers of pinot noir in the world. It was the first to produce and export Chilean viognier and the first to make riesling with a Bio-Bio appellation; the first Chilean winery to use synthetic cork closures and the first to adopt Stelvin screwcap closures for the export market. Most importantly in the age of increased concern for the environment is Cono Sur's commitment in 2000 to organically managed vineyards that resulted in their first certified organically grown wine from 865 acres of organically certified vineyards. It was also the first to receive two ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certifications, one for quality assurance and the other for environmental policies, such

Cool whites to beat summer heat Because they are generally more delicate with less overt upfront fruit, French wines may be the most thirstquenching category of white wines. The following from Perrin & Fils are

Reservations. Liquor. 323 N. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.0134. Forest Grill: American. Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 735 Forest Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.9400. Forte Restaurant: American. Lunch & Dinner,

daily. Reservations. Liquor. 201 S. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.7300. Fox Grill: American. Lunch, Monday through Friday; Dinner, daily. Sunday brunch. Reservations. Liquor. 39556 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304. 248.792.6109.

outstanding examples: 2010 La Vieille Ferme White Wine $9, 2010 Reserve Perrin Cotes du Rhone White $11 and 2009 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Sinards Blanc $39. By varietal distinction, some whites really know how to beat the heat. First up, sauvignon blanc: 2010 Kenwood $12, 2010 Dry Creek Fume Blanc $12, 2009 Dancing Bull $12, 2010 Benziger $13 and 2010 Roth Alexander Valley $16. Pinot gris, also known as pinot grigio, is thirst quenching: 2009 Murphy–Goode Pinot Grigio $13, 2010 J Pinot Gris $16 and 2010 Kenwood Pinot Gris $16. For a change of pace, buy: 2010 Alamos Torrontes $13, 2010 Terrazas Torrontes $15, 2010 Don Olegario Albarino $18 and 2007 Zaca Mesa Roussanne $25. Reigning supreme atop the list of most popular varietal wines is chardonnay. Choose an unoaked style for the most refreshing: 2010 Valley of the Moon Unoaked $14 and 2010 Morgan Metallico $20. Best value chardonnay: 2009 Rodney Strong Sonoma County $14. Outstanding chardonnays: 2009 William Hill Napa Valley $25 2009 Jordan Russian River Valley $29 2008 Rodney Strong Reserve $35 2009 Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch $39 2009 Talbott Sleepy Hollow $40 2009 Dutton Goldfield Rued Vineyard $45 2009 Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch $48 For the lighter side of red, try 2010 The Wolftrap Rosé $11 or Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé Cuvée de la Pompadour $35. With grilled salmon, opt out of white and select a pinot noir: 2009 Kendall-Jackson $18, 2009 Talbott Kali Hart $21, 2009 La Crema Sonoma Coast $24, 2009 Davis Bynum Russian River Valley $35 and 2009 Talbott Sleepy Hollow $40. Eleanor & Ray Heald are contributing editors for the internationally respected Quarterly Review of Wines among other publications. Contact them by e-mail at

Fuddrucker’s: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No Reservations. Beer & wine. 42757 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Township, 48302. 248.333.2400. Greek Island Coney Restaurant: Greek. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 221 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.1222.

Hogan’s Restaurant: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 6450 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.626.1800. House of India: Indian. Tuesday-Sunday; Lunch & Dinner. Reservations. 1615 Opdyke Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.451.0201. Hunter House Hamburgers: American. Breakfast, Monday-Saturday; Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 35075 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.7121. IHOP: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 2187 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301. 248.333.7522. Kerby’s Koney Island: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 2160 N. Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.333.1166. Kirk’s Open Pit Bar B Que: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday- Sunday. No reservations. 33766 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.203.7010. La Feast: Mediterranean. Lunch & Dinner, daily. 297 East Maple, Birmingham, 48009. 248.731.7768. Leo’s Coney Island: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 154 S. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.9707. Also 6527 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.646.8568. Little Daddy’s Parthenon: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 39500 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.647.3400. Luxe Bar & Grill: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily; Late Night, 9 p.m.-closing. No reservations. Liquor. 525 N. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.6051. Max & Erma’s: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 250 Merrill Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.1188. Mitchell’s Fish Market: Seafood. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 117 Willits Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.3663. Mountain King: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 469 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.2913. New Bangkok Thai Bistro: Thai. Breakfast, Monday-Thursday; Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, daily. No reservations. 183 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.2181. Northern Lakes Seafood Co.: Seafood. Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 39495 North Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.646.7900. Olga’s Kitchen: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 138 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.2760. Also 2075 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.451.0500. Original Pancake House: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 33703 South Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.5775. Panera Bread: Deli. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 100 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.203.7966. Also 2125 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.253.9877. Peabody’s: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 34965 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.5222.

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The Community House Dedication and Open House —Carol’s Kitchen— Underwritten by the Rosso Family Foundation in memory of Carol Rosso

August 31, 5:30-7:00pm (dedication 6:15pm) Our new green demonstration kitchen will enhance the experience for the 50+ unique cooking classes offered each year at The Community House. - Watch chef demonstrations by Lakeland Catering - Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and wine - Enter to win a free cooking class at The Community House The public is welcome RSVP appreciated by August 24 at 248.644.5832, no charge The Community House 380 South Bates Street, Birmingham, MI 48009 The environmentally green design was donated by the talented team of Janice Steinhardt and Gary Fried of MDG Design LLC / the Dedication and Open House sponsored by: Planning Alternatives Ltd., Investment & Financial Advisors Lakeland Catering

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Contact Jill Cesarz Office: 248.792.6464 Ext. 600. Cell: 248.860.8414






Phoenicia: Middle Eastern. Lunch, MondayFriday; Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 588 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.3122. Pita Cafe: Middle Eastern. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 239 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.645.6999. Qdoba: Mexican. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 795 East Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.988.8941. Quiznos: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 185 N Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.540.7827. Salvatore Scallopini: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & Wine. 505 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.8977. South: Mexican. Lunch, Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 210 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.8133. Stacked Deli: Deli. Lunch & Dinner, MondaySaturday. Delivery available. No reservations. 233 North Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.5300. Steve’s Deli: Deli. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 6646 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield, 48301. 248.932.0800. Streetside Seafood: Seafood. Lunch, MondayFriday; Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 273 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.645.9123. Sushi Hana: Japanese. Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. 42656 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.333.3887. Sy Thai Cafe: Thai. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 315 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.9830. Tallulah Wine Bar and Bistro: American. Dinner. Monday-Saturday. Sunday brunch. Reservations. Liquor. 55 S. Bates Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.731.7066. The Corner Bar: American. Dinner. Wednesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 100 Townsend Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.2958. The Gallery Restaurant: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 6683 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 
248.851.0313. The Moose Preserve Bar & Grill: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2395 S. Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.858.7688. The Rugby Grille: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 100 Townsend Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.5999. Toast: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 203 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6278. Tokyo Sushi & Grill: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 225 E. Maple Rd., Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6501. Village Coney Island: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 653 S. Adams. Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.7964 Whistle Stop Cafe: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily; Dinner, Monday-Friday. No reservations. 501 S. Eton Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.5588 Zazios: Italian. Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner daily. Reservations. Liquor. 34977 Woodward Ave, Birmingham, 48009. Phone: 248.530.6400 Zumba Mexican Grille: Mexican. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No Reservations. 163 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.2775.

AT THE TABLE Bacco sets style for popular Italian cuisine By Eleanor Heald

s it possible? Bacco Ristorante in Southfield will early next year celebrate its 10th anniversary. When chef-proprietor Luciano Del Signore and his wife Monica opened their Italian restaurant in March 2002, some asked: did metroDetroit need another Italian restaurant? The answer then and now is an unequivocal "yes." Bacco is not like the others. The Del Signores created a Manhattan-style, contemporary atmosphere with understated elegance. Warm cherry wood, stainless steel accents, custom designs and paintings form backdrops for colorful murals, the visual focal point. During warmer months, Bacco Al Fresco is outdoor dining at its finest. A large covered patio shades diners from the sun, while heat lamps keep it comfy on cooler nights. The mood set is perfect -- from the decor to contemporary Italian music -- no Frank Sinatra, no traditional Italian melodies, no art deco and no warmed over la dolce vita. Bacco is about the unexpected and it's even more delightful today than it was when it opened nearly a decade ago. "Bacco is our personal interpretation of Bacchus, the mythical god of wine," Luciano explains. "I'm passionate about Italian culture, food and wine. I consider Italian lifestyle as a balance of work, play, food and family. Italian lifestyle and regional cuisine is all about simplicity and the use of a few flavorful ingredients."


roasted beets, watermelon, chevre cheese, heirloom tomatoes and crunchy toasted hazelnuts with sherry and beet vinaigrette. So colorful and refreshing! An entire page of pastas makes a diner’s mouth water. Strozzapreti Norcina $16, with hand-rolled pasta, housemade Italian Niman Ranch pork sausage, black truffles, tomatoes and cream is the most popular. My favorite is housemade Tagliolini alle Vongole $16, domestic west Washington manilla clams with white sauce. I have eaten this dish in some of the best restaurants in Italy and never had it better than Bacco. Tagliatelle Integrali ai Funghi $16, made with housemade whole wheat pasta and mushroom ragu showcases a tender healthy pasta. Secondi Piatti or main courses, $28-40, are also a page long and satisfy fish, poultry and meat lovers. Sogliola Arrosto $39, whole roasted wild caught Dover sole from Holland, is excellent. Suprema di Pollo Arrosto $27, is succulent with chicories garnish and ricotta salata. A different three-course vegan menu $38, is served weekly. Wine and sweet endings Pastry chef Carrie Walker creates exceptional desserts, including Biscotti $7, and Tortino Caldo al Cioccolato $12. Choose one or take this suggestion: housemade gelato transports your tastebuds to Florence. Bacco’s wine list covers the best Italian wine regions. A producer new to the list is Marramiero from Abruzzo. Since the last century, the Marramiero family has grown vines between the Adriatic Sea and the Gran Sasso Mountains on the hills around the coastal town of Pescara. Consider any of the following as delicious accompaniments to Bacco dishes: 2010 DaMa Trebbiano d’Abruzzo $36, 2010 Pecorino $52 (a white grape with the same name as the cheese!), 2009 DaMa Montepulciano d’Abruzzo $36, and 2007 Inferi Montepulciano d’Abruzzo $80 (perfect with Filetto di Manzo, 6oz $29). These wines are also offered by the glass. Buon appetito!

Modern Italian cuisine Although Luciano’s family roots are in the Abruzzo region of Italy, his menu puts a modern spin on the foods of several Italian regions. “Because I am Italian, I understand,” Luciano continues, “how Italians eat, live and think. I think like an Italian and translate that into my restaurant.” Luciano Del Signore. Downtown photo: Slowly over the last few years, Chef Laurie Tennent Bacco Ristorante, 29410 Northwestern Luciano has altered Bacco’s menu and specific offerings to reflect both a healthier lifestyle and the Highway (east side, north of 12 Mile Road), Southfield use of all natural antibiotic and hormone-free products. 248.356.6600. Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-10p.m. ; Friday Words such as grass fed, organic grass fed, organic free 11:30a.m.-11p.m.; Saturday 5-11 p.m. Parking: on site. range and wild caught now dot the menu. Reservations: recommended. Most impressive is the inclusion of housemade whole wheat pastas, replacing traditional white flour versions in QUICK BITES some dishes. Healthy grains, such as farro and quinoa have Café Via (310 E. Maple Road, Birmingham, 248.644.8800) become plate garnishes as well as frisee, radicchio and has elevated former sous chef Michael Little to executive endive, a group of healthy chicory greens. Yet, flavors chef. Former exec chef Jay Gundy has taken the head toque remain unmistakably Italian with regional uniqueness. position at the soon-to-open Townhouse (180 Pierce St., Birmingham). Summer menu A seasonal approach makes best use of fresh ingredients. Barrio Tacos & Tequila (203 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, Although many items have U.S. and Italian sources, a new 248.593.6060) opened July 14. Texas native and southwest Antipasti Freddi (cold appetizer) Salmone Affumicato $12, and Mexican cuisine aficionado chef Hammond Lawton showcases house smoked St. Brendan’s Irish Organic dishes up contemporary Mexican cuisine, including Salmon with radicchio, cabbage and diced apricot slaw. The ceviche, enchiladas and nine different tacos. More than 75 balance of sweet apricot and smoky salmon is phenomenal. tequilas and mezcals and 20 signature tequila cocktails are Among Antipasti Caldi (warm appetizers) is Capesante on the beverage card. Monday-Friday 11a.m. until late. di Mare $15, Atlantic wild caught scallops from Maine with Open Saturday and Sunday at 4p.m. minced vegetable farro, mango/cucumber salsa and arugula pesto. Bored with fried calamari? Try Calamari Ripieni Eleanor Heald is a nationally published writer who also writes the $13, rock shrimp and breadcrumb stuffed calamari with a wine column in a double byline with her husband Ray for tomato provencal sauce. Downtown. Suggestions for Quick Bites section can be e-mailed New for summer is Insalata di Barbabietole $13, with to

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THE COMMUNITY HOUSE BLACK BOOK OF NON-PROFITS ugust usually means slowing down a bit and enjoying the dog days of summer. Many of my friends go up north to enjoy the Michigan summer, leaving the neighborhood a little quieter. The one nice thing about this is that traffic is lighter and I can usually find a parking space in the structure a little quicker. However, this August is going to be busy, busy, busy. Since becoming the Executive Director here at The Community House, my life has definitely taken a turn for the busier. Representing The Community House wherever I go is a nice treat, especially when so much is happening. You may have noticed the addition of two benches outside our main entrance. The Community House is honored to have received a grant from Carole and Norman Hofley to provide funding for the two benches and an ash/trash receptacle. The Hofleys have moved to Wyoming, Debbie Schrot but they remember their roots and their family and friends in Birmingham. We all remember Carole and her beautiful gardens. Her sons, Jonathan and Eric, are the publishers/editors of Michigan Gardener and have spoken at our Garden Club meetings. I’m very excited to say that our demonstration kitchen has been newly renovated in time for fall classes. We are most grateful to the Rosso Family Foundation for its special funding of Carol’s Kitchen. Many of you knew Carol Rosso and remember what a fantastic cook she was. To honor her memory, her family has underwritten our new green demonstration kitchen. We hope you’ll join us with John, Sarah, and Abbey when we have the ribbon cutting ceremony. Please mark your calendar for the dedication on Thursday, August 31. This state-of-the-art facility will enhance the experience for the 50-plus unique cooking classes offered each year at The Community House. Come watch chef demonstrations, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and wine and enter to win a free cooking class at The Community House. The environmentally green design was donated by the talented team of Gary Fried and Janice Steinhardt from The kitchen dedication and open house are underwritten by Planning Alternatives Ltd Investment & Financial Advisors and Lakeland Catering. We have an opportunity for you to honor those you cherish with a lasting gift by adding a brick on our Tribute Terrace. Rededication will be September 22, so we’re asking that you order your brick(s) before September 1. Those of you who have been at The Community House recently know that there have been almost 400 bricks placed on our Terrace. What a beautiful way to commemorate a special occasion, such as a wedding, new baby, birthday, graduation, retirement, anniversary or holiday or provide a lasting gift or memorial for someone special to you: a friend, a child, a parent, a cherished companion or a dear friend. We have also memorialized beloved pets. Pavers start at $100 for 4 inches by 8 inches. Call 248.644.5832 for further information. The fall class catalog will be at your doorstep very soon if it hasn’t already arrived. Classes fill quickly so be sure to register for your favorite classes and trips right away. We have several camps and great classes taking place in August: TCH Dance Academy Jr. Intensive Ballet Camp, ages 9-12, 8/1-8/12; Leveraging Social Media to Benefit Your Career, 8/3; Metro Detroit Beer Sampling, 8/4; Cabaret Workshop, grades 7-12, 8/8-8/11; Kindermusik Playdate, 8/11; Restaurant Favorites; low fat, twice the flavor, 8/10; Safety Camp for Kids, ages 6-10, 8/15-8/19; Gourmet Veggie Dishes, 8/16; Class of 2012: Start and Finish Your Applications, 8/17; and Self Defense for Woman, 8/17. Lastly, be sure to save the date, September 8, for an evening of tribute honoring Shelley Roberts for her 13 years of wonderful service to The Community House and our community.


ING11 M O 20


BLACK BOOK OF NON-PROFITS Downtown Publications, publisher of Downtown Birmingham/Bloomfield, proudly presents the first annual Black Book of Non-Profits, a glossy-stock, full-color directory of the charitable organizations and their major fund-raising events for the period of November 2011 through October 2012. This annual guide is intended to serve as a road map for the next year to the major charity events for the non-profit organizations that contribute to the quality of life in the immediate local area and the region. This first issue of the Black Book of Non-Profits, 30,000 copies, is being distributed by mail to the majority of homes and businesses in the Birmingham, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills and Franklin areas of Oakland County where the residents have demonstrated their commitment, both as volunteers and major donors, to the various groups helping to improve the quality of life for so many. The Black Book of Non-Profits provides a unique environment for your business message to an affluent population and helps demonstrate your commitment to the community. The Black Book of Non-Profits will be consulted all year long for important decisions on giving, social event scheduling and purchasing decisions. Ad sales for the Black Book of Non-Profits are underway! For further information or space reservation, call now.

Debbie Schrot is Executive Director of The Community House.



Advertising Manager Jill Cesarz Office: 248.792.6464 Ext. 600

Cell: 248.860.8414

E-mail: A special publication of DOWNTOWN PUBLICATIONS 85

It’s your home. Why should we make all the rules? At Canterbury-on-the-Lake, residents have the chance to select their own activities, volunteer in key positions, and participate in community decision making (or not!). It’s up to you. Why not choose to live in a caring environment that also offers a true sense of freedom, independence, and security?

Call or visit Canterbury today.

248.674.9292 or Live life the way you want—in a senior living community that blends long-held traditions with new opportunities. CONVENIENTLY LOCATED ON HATCHERY ROAD IN WATERFORD.




SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Here is the update on the social scene from the past month. Many more photos from each event appear online each week at where readers can sign up for an e-mail notice when the latest social scene column is posted. Past columns and photos are also archived at the website for Downtown.

ADL’s Amazing Detroit Legends

ADL’s Amazing Detroit Legends Even though the weather was nasty, most of the 295 ticket holders got to the Townsend for the Anti Defamation League’s casual fundraiser. Many folSally Gerak lowed the invitation’s directions to wear “your favorite Detroit/Michigan gear”. All seemed to enjoy the legendary Detroit foods like Coney dogs, Hudson’s Maurice salad, Faygo pop and the Sanders dessert bar. They also enjoyed Southfield native actor/comedian Mike Young’s rap about the ADL, emcee Zach Smilovitz, and the three legendary Detroit awardees. They cheered entrepreneur/Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell, who advised that risk takers be rewarded and that “…instead of saying ‘I love you’ say ‘I believe in you’.” Music producer/multi-Grammy winner Jeff Bass got a cheer when he repeated the line he wrote for the infamous Chrysler ad: “…this is Detroit and this is what we do.” But Detroit native Jackie Kallen shared the most poignant ADL story about her Russian immigrant grandfather who had lost a job because he was a Jew. A friend told him about the ADL, whose intervention got him reinstated in the job. She also had a close connection to Keywell: “My mother and his grandmother were best friends,” she noted. A compelling video about fighting hate and building a better world preceded a brief live auction conducted by Jeff Sakwa and Mike Stone. It raised $12,900, because an anonymous donor added $7,000 when it was over. A Night for Sight Charity Wine Auction Vintner Preview Dinner The 10th annual charity wine auction benefiting the Alliance for Vision Research started splendidly at the Vintners Dinner hosted by Chef Luciano Del Signore at his Bacco Ristorante. There were 100 guests, including the four honorary vintners from California: Gianni Paoletti of Paoletti Vineyards, Bob Egelhoff of Egelhoff Wines, David Graves of Saintsbury Vineyards and Gus Kalaris of Axios Wines. Their wines were paired with outstanding dishes (think presentations like saffron risotto with fiddlehead ferns & black truffle; braised veal cheek & gorgonzola polenta). Before a mini live auction, auctioneer Paul Margetson challenged the guests, many of them ophthalmologists, to name 10 body parts with a three-letter name. Many got nine, none got 10. The fun prompted generous bidding ($9,000) for five lots and, combined with a mini silent auction of five lots, brought in $15,000. The main event the next night attracted 300 to The Henry. In addition to sipping, supping, socializing and bidding on fine wines and fun trips, the event featured a tribute to Kresge Eye Institute’s Dr. Gary Abrams by co-chair Dr. Frank Nesi. Nesi also read, to resounding applause, an e-mail message from the Alliance board chair Dr. Luisa DiLorenzo, who was on a medical mission in Kenya. The live auction Saturday night was highlighted by the four bidders who paid $50,000 total for four couples to tour Italy’s wine growing Piemonte region with the event co-chairs Frank and Karen Nesi and Rich and Karen Brown. The 10th annual A Night for Sight added significantly ($400,000 gross) to the $1 million raised for aid to the visually-impaired since the event’s inception. Sunset at the Zoo More than 1,900 attended the Detroit Zoological Society’s Sunset at the Zoo that Patricia Holtzman, Suzanne Lewand and Jessica Pellegrino chaired on June 17. They socialized big time and cruised the food stations abundant with donated selections from the areas top culinary stars. This year three judges - Annabel Cohen, Rebecca Powers, and Nathan Skid - made awards. (Not any easy task.) Best Strolling Supper went to Crave Restaurant; Best Dessert went to The Whitney; Best Decorated Tent went to Beyond Juice. They also bought Sunset Keys for a raffle of donated prizes which raised $19,500 and bid in a live auction conducted by Dan Stall that raised $106,900, including the $10,000 that someone paid for a carousel. And unlike the past two years, Mother Nature did not rain on this parade of zoo advocates. It included the 350 VIPS, like Linda and Joe Aviv, Kay and Gary Cowger, Sarah and Tony Earley and Bobbi and Stephen Polk who partied early around the Rackham Fountain and Dinosauria. The annual over-21 party netted an estimated $345,000, thanks also to generous sponsors.



1. Honoree Brad Keywell of Glenco, IL with his parents Stephanie & Fred Keywell of Bloomfield. 2. Barbara Bloch (center) of Bloomfield with honoree Jackie Kallen (left) of Los Angelus and retired boxer Tommy “Hit Man” Hearns (for whom Kallen was a publicist). 3. ADL director Betsy Kellman (center) of Huntington Woods with event chair Jeff Sakwa (left) and retired NBA player Earl Cureton of W. Bloomfield. 4. ADL chapter president Elaine Sturman (left) of Bloomfield with her daughter Julie & Jeff Fran of W. Bloomfield. 5. Brian Hermelin (left) of Bingham Farms, Jeffrey Kaftan of Birmingham and Linden Nelson of Bloomfield. 6. Karen (left) & Mickey Shapiro of Bloomfield, Mimi Strek of W. Bloomfield and Marshall Blau of Bingham Farms. 7. Julian (left) & Frannie Sturman Greenebaum and Steve Sturman of Bloomfield.






A Night for Sight Charity Wine Auction Vintner Preview Dinner









1. Co-Founder / event co-chair Dr. Frank Nesi (center) of Grosse Pointe with trustees Debbie & Michael Berger of W. Bloomfield. 2. Board members Ann Fecko (left) of Bloomfield, Patsy Denton and Karen Nesi of Grosse Pointe. 3. Alliance / event co-founder Dr. Paul Fecko (left) of Bloomfield with foundation trustee Leet Denton of Grosse Pointe & auctioneer Paul Margetson of Santa Fe, NM. 4. Drs. Mia (left) & Jeremy Wolfe of Birmingham with Dr. Richard & Roxana Han of Novi. 5. Dr. Larry & Mary Hamburger of Birmingham. 6. Lois & Gene Miller of Bloomfield. 7. Judge Marc Barron (48th district court) (left) & Noel Hernandez of Birmingham.


SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Women Officials Network Foundation’s Wonder Woman Approximately 120 attended the 27th Wonder Woman Celebration at Somerset Inn. Many were there to applaud the four 2011 honorees, all of whom were introduced in a warm, personal manner by a close friend. Colette Sirhal introduced her sister, former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan, who now serves in Governor Snyder’s Cabinet as Director of Human Services. Sherry Whiting introduced youth advocate Kristina Marshall ( Retired Birmingham Public Schools administrator Shirley Bryant introduced BPS trustee Geri Rinschler. Former Birmingham mayor Coco Siewert introduced AAUW veteran and women’s rights advocate Barbara Bonsignore. All received standing ovations, but foundation president Debbie Macon also got resounding applause when she introduced emcee Sue Nine thusly: “Sue Nine will always be a ten.” Nine & Maggie Allesee founded the award for the now defunct Women’s Survival Center and “gave” it to WON, which envisions more women in all levels of government. Past Wonder Women at the event included: Maggie Allesee, Lynn Alexander, Fran Anderson, Elizabeth Bauer, Pat Hardy, Debbie Macon, Sue Nine, Harriet Rotter, Jeanne Towar, Joan Young, Portia Fields-Anderson, Gilda Jacobs, Betty Lowenthal, Barbara Miller and this reporter.

Women Officials Network Foundation’s Wonder Woman




1. Past honoree Judith Miller (left) of Bloomfield with 2011 honoree Geri Rinschler of Birmingham and Coco Siewert of Birmingham. 2. Patricia Hill Burnett (left) and past Wonder Woman Pat Hardy of Bloomfield with 2011 honorees Maura Corrigan of Grosse Pointe and Kristina Marshall of Shelby Twp. 3. Event honoree Barbara Bonsignore (center) of Rochester Hills with past honoree Maggie Allesee (left) of Bloomfield and Joan Allesee of Troy. 4. Foundation board members Maureen McGinnis (left) and Robin Betramini of Troy, Cynthia von Oeyen of Bloomfield, Elizabeth Bauer of Birmingham and Eileen Pulker of Franklin.


Furniture Fashion benefiting Kids Kicking Cancer


Furniture Fashion benefiting Kids Kicking Cancer Hillside Furniture’s Jeff Selik and dress designer Paulina PH’s Paulina Harbe recently combined their talents and resources to benefit Kids Kicking Cancer at Hillside’s Telegraph Road showroom. More than 200 people attended the evening soiree. In addition to perusing the regular silent auction and snack stations, they also bid on Selik’s four room vignettes accented with models wearing a Paulina PH custom made gown. The evening raised more than $14,000 (gross) for Kids Kicking Cancer, which equips young cancer patients with martial arts skills. KKC’s next event, a fun family affair, is a Bike or Walkathon Sunday, Aug. 21 at Waterford Hills Raceway. Go to for more information.



1. Event host Hillside Furniture’s Jeff Selik (left) of Troy, event sponsor Cece Zlatkin of W. Bloomfield, Ted & Paulina of PH’s Paulina Harbe of Clinton Twp. 2. Andy Roisman (left) of Beverly Hills and Casey Powell of Birmingham. 3. Michael (left) & Mary Anne Alioto and Jeffrey Lance Abood of Birmingham with Issa Haddad of Detroit. 4. Shaun Nyeholt (left) of Royal Oak, Erin Nicole of Birmingham, Ann Marie LaFlamme of Rochester and Jeremy Scott of Bingham Farms.


Pilgrim Congregational Church



1. New pastor John Mathers (left) of Clarkston, church secretary Rosemary Ging of Birmingham, former pastor Jack Brown, now of Olivet. 2. Event co-chair JoAnn Colliver of Birmingham with Chris Hill of Bloomfield. 3. Event co-chair, Don Colliver (left) of Birmingham with Don and Betty Darnell who came from Florida.


CCS Annual Student Exhibition Opening

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1. Ed Levy (left) & his wife Linda Dresner of Birmingham, Steve & Sheila Hamp of Ann Arbor and Bob & Suzy Bluestein of Birmingham. 2. CCS Trustee Lois Pincus Cohen (center) with Irwin (left) and Judy Elson of Birmingham.


Pilgrim Congregational Church Fifty years ago 60 members of the Birmingham Congregational Church protested its merger with the United Church of Christ by leaving it and forming the Pilgrim Congregational Church. Initially, the primary concerns were survival –Who is going to preach? Where are we going to meet? Do we have enough money? In some ways, a rough start, but mostly, based on old meeting minutes, it was a wonderfully exhilarating time – a new beginning, reports JoAnn Colliver. She and her husband Don chaired the recent all day celebration of that momentous decision. It began with coffee and bagels, followed by a worship service, an al fresco lunch catered by Picano’s Italian Restaurant and a performance of a musical production “Bible on Broadway.” It attracted more than 100 current and former members to the now landmark church on Adams Road in Bloomfield Township. CCS Annual Student Exhibition Opening The College for Creative Studies held its 86th annual end of the year show at its A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education. Always popular, this year the event 08.11

attracted an estimated 1,850 people. Opening night art sales also outpaced last year, with sales of $45,000. The event raised more than $100,000 for undergraduate student scholarships and free art programs for Detroit kids. Common Ground’s Hit a Home Run for Tony Ninety people honored Tony Rothschild’s 20th anniversary as CEO of Common Ground by attending “game night” at Jack Krasula’s home. Because the five acres of gardens were too wet to enjoy up close, the host invited all to return anytime and tour on their own. But truthfully, Krasula’s renowned collection of sports memorabilia and Doug West’s commissioned art in the Bloomfield Hills home were totally engaging diversions before the evening’s program. During it, Detroit Tigers Foundation director Jordan Field told a poignant story about how Common Ground changed his brother’s life and read a poem about recovery. Rothschild also shared a personal story about his father’s suicide. It highlighted the importance of Common Ground being available 24/7 to respond to cries for help. For souvenirs, guests, whose donations in honor of Rothschild exceeded the Community Foundation’s challenge grant of $10,000, took home an official MLB baseball. As part of Common Ground’s yearlong celebration of its 40th anniversary, the agency is planning a big reunion the afternoon of Sept. 8 at the Village Club. Former employees, board members, volunteers, clients and community partners who would like an invitation should email Brandy Hirschlieb at or call her at (248) 451-3735. Common Ground is also a beneficiary of the Birmingham Street Art Fair Sept. 24 & 25 in downtown Birmingham. Young Professional’s Bravo Bravo! “People were calling me all day for tickets but I could not help them,” confided Michigan Opera Theatre General Director/founder David DiChiera at the sold out (2,200) happening event. Starlets from Amy Kaminsky Productions greeted arrivals as they tred the purple carpet into the Hollywoodtheme soiree. Chaired by Dominic Arellano, Piper Carter and Jerrid Mooney, it featured dozens of food and beverage stations and entertainment throughout the opulent Detroit Opera House, as well as in a parking area. One of the diversions was Salon Bliss Rochester’s beauty bar in the General Director’s Lounge, where an arrangement of peacock feathers hid DiChiera’s portrait. Most of the guests who stopped there were getting make-up applications but this reporter opted for false eye lashes for the first time in her life. Thanks to sponsors like Bank of America, McDonald’s, MGM Grand Detroit, Quicken Loans and many others, the spirited party raised approximately $200,000 and new friends for MOT and downtown Detroit. Dining with the Masters During the cocktail hour at the Henry Ford Transplant Institute culinary-focused fundraiser, many of the 360 guests “shopped” the display of 18 appealing packages in the “pick-your-own-prize” raffle that raised $11,500. They also nibbled on unique passed hors d’oeuvres prepared by the 30

Common Ground’s Hit a Home Run for Tony





5 1. Event host Jack Krasula (left) of Bloomfield, honoree Tony Rothschild of Lake Orion and event chair / board member Cathy McNamara of Rochester Hills. 2. Jon & board member Kathy Walgren of Birmingham. (In background-Doug West painting for July 2006 NBA Hall of Fame program cover). 3. Ginny Nienstedt (left) and artist Doug West of Rochester Hills with board member Kay White of Bloomfield. 4. Event host Jack Krasula (left) of Bloomfield with Judy & Chris (Howard) Christie of Birmingham. 5. Pam Good (left) of Birmingham with Ginny Nienstedt of Rochester Hills and her daughter Patti & Bob Koval of Troy. 6. Susan Newell (standing left) of Detroit, Rita Margherio of Orchard Lake, Barbara Logan of Royal Oak, Dr. Jack (seated left) & Susie Baker of Bloomfield and Dian Wilkins of Beverly Hills.


Young Professional’s Bravo Bravo!



2 1. Lou Sabatini (left) of Bloomfield and Linda Hines of Birmingham with Flower to Flour’s Daniel Jarzembowsky of Royal Oak. 2. Cindy Jacobs (left) of Royal Oak, Cora & Jason Orchard of Bloomfield and Lola of Ferndale. 3. Katy Van Maanen (left) of Birmingham and Ellen Storch of Novi. 4. Tanja Ranke of Bloomfield with visitors from Germany Heidi and Jutta Ranke and Birgit Spiess of Farmington Hills. 5. Eldridge Ryans (left) of Birmingham with Steve Honingford of Rochester Hills and Cristina Bonanni of Macomb.


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SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Dining with the Masters







1. Event co-chairs Mary Abouljoud (center) of Grosse Pointe and Suzanne Gilson (left) and Peggy Goldberg of Bloomfield. 2. Judy St. Romain & Dr. Doug Weaver of Birmingham. 3. Organ recipient Anne (left) & Marty Welch of Bloomfield, Dr. Bill Conway of Birmingham with his daughter Dr. Colleen and Scott Grace of Beverly Hills. 4. Birmingham florist Norm Silk (center) of Detroit with Robert & Leslie Jacobs of Bloomfield. 5. Tom O’Brien (right) of Birmingham with his daughter Colleen of Chicago and her friend Katie Wilson of Royal Oak. 6. HFHS’s Bob Riney of Bloomfield. 7. Bob (left) & Peggy Bogart of Bloomfield with Peter & Tracy Stuyck and Nancy & Bob Count of W. Bloomfield. 8. Rita O’Brien (left) of Birmingham with Michael & event co-chair Suzanne Gilson of Bloomfield.


Women of Bloomfield’s Garden Party The Women of Bloomfield, a social and philanthropic organization, canceled its annual juried arts and crafts show because not enough artists registered to make the event profitable. In its place, Sydrena Epstein hosted a lovely garden party luncheon at her Bloomfield Hills home and 45 members attended. Many wore hats. All enjoyed the keyboard music of Brian Lang and most participated in a raffle that raised more than $2,100. Winners included Louis Kisic, Linda Kisic, Mary Lou Pet, Patricia Gualdoni, Ruth Rough, Dee Sidelko, Rei Sloane, Joyce Staten, Anne Bladin and Carol Duggan. Proceeds will support WoB’s two charities – CARE House and SCAMP, as will the next planned fundraiser – The Harvest Gala in November.


Women of Bloomfield’s Garden Party





1. Event hostess Sydrena Epstein (left) of Bloomfield, WoB president Terry Stacy of W. Bloomfield and Barbara VanDorn of Birmingham. 2. Anita Hedreen (center) of Bloomfield with Remonda Sheffield (left) and Lisa Sanders of W. Bloomfield. 3. Carol Marsh (left) and Ann Baldin of Bloomfield and Jenny Rock of W. Bloomfield. 4. Eileen Buck (left) of Bloomfield and Camilla Kavanagh of Beverly Hills.


master chefs who were setting up individual prep areas beside their assigned tables in the dining room at The Henry. Birmingham/Bloomfield chefs were from Cameron’s Steakhouse, Chen Chow Brasserie, Forest Grill, Mitchell’s Fish Market, Northern Lakes Seafood Company, The Rugby Grill at the Townsend Hotel, Tallulah Wine Bar & Bistro, Zazio’s and private chef Juli Camden. All were toasted before guests settled in to savor the four courses served at each table. In the program, during a break before the dessert course, the reason for the fundraiser was spotlighted. Guests applauded twotime organ donor Bruce Colburn and liver transplant recipient Heather Erickson. Erickson concluded her brief remarks by declaring, “I stand here a new person…thanks for a new life.” For HFHS’s Bob and Sandy Riney, the evening was a 30th wedding anniversary, and for HF West Bloomfield CEO Gerard Van Grinsven, it was a homecoming of sorts. He was formerly the CEO at The Henry (when it was the Ritz-Carlton). He complimented the staff and then had fun auctioning off a dinner party for six at his home prepared by Luciano Del Signori. The $12,000 he got for that helped bring the event total to nearly $175,000. HFHS loyalists nearly 200 strong also convened June 23 at the original hospital in Detroit to celebrate the ongoing success of the Envision Campaign. It has already raised more than 70 percent ($176-million) of its $250-million goal. Major donors in attendance included Nancy Schlichting, Jean Shapero, Karen Davidson, Florine Mark, Gary Valade, the Michael and Stanley Bergers, Marco Capicchions, Paul Alandts and Bob Rineys. Guests toured interactive displays that showed how their donations are being used.


The Garden Party Elizabeth and Syd Ross and the J. Lewis Cooper family set out to “…create a pleasant Sunday afternoon, pleasing to the eye, the palate, and for its charitable aspect – pleasing to the soul.” Judging from the third annual al fresco event for the Garden Party Foundation, which attracted more than 600 to the tented fields at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in June, it can be said: “Mission accomplished.” The 32 food purveyors were most generous. They donated such offerings as Lobster Risotto Cakes (220 Restaurant), Salt Baked Shrimp (The Lark) and Filet Mignon (Morton’s The 08.11

Steakhouse). The Rugby Grille’s display of Sweets was voted The Best Décor. The 100 wine choices included Celani Family Vineyards’ Tenacious and Adore and Joseph Drouhin Clos de Moches’ Blanc. There was no intrusive program or live auction, just inviting seating groupings from Rick and Lisa Detkowski’s Moon Valley Rustic Furniture for comfy socializing. There were also handsome classic cars and fetching hats on many women to admire. The splendid event raised $30,000 for the Children’s Leukemia Foundation and $30,000 for the Oakland Community College Culinary Institute. Detroit Rock When Detroit Reads Following the cocktail hour at Beyond Basics’ annual fundraiser, the Thirkell (School) Singers got a rousing ovation from the 250 guests gathered at the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education. So did the two kids who talked about having their books published and the three honorees. The latter included dedicated volunteer Robin Perry, PNC Bank’s Anne Harpe, who received the artistic Literacy Chair, and GM’s Chris Perry, who received a framed work of student art. An impressive video spotlighted how Beyond Basics is changing the destiny of children one child at a time. “With intensive tutoring we can bring problem readers up to grade level in six weeks,” noted program founder Pam Good. Volunteer auctioneer / attorney Greg Bator conducted a short live auction in which a five-day stay at the Hyatt Regency in Paris with airfare for two sold for $8,000. The live and silent auctions, a raffle and lots of generous sponsors brought the seventh annual event total to nearly $150,000, the most successful ever. Proceeds enable BB annually to provide reading, writing and enrichment programs to 5,000 Detroit school children. Music Hall’s Cars & Stars Legendary Prohibition Era destinations - Harlem’s Cotton Club and Detroit’s Paradise Valley - were revisited at the 10th annual Cars & Stars gala fundraiser for The Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts. The only thing prohibited was boredom. At the entrance, young news boys gave away their goods (actually the event program) with a 1920’s Ford Model T and a vintage Absopure Delivery Truck nearby. There were costumes to ogle (many of the 300 guests sported feather boas, flapper dresses and Zoot suits) and casino games to play. The VIP dinner (200 guests) on the stage was enlivened by a live auction of five lots conducted by

The Garden Party







1. Event founders Syd & Elizabeth Ross of Bloomfield with Doug Turnbull of Clarkston. 2. Andiamo’s Joe Vicari (left) of Clinton Twp. with sponsors, vintners Tom & Vicki Celani of Bloomfield. 3. Herb Abrash, Bill Seklar and sponsor Surburban Collection’s David Fischer of Bloomfield. 4. Neil & sponsor Korotkin Insurance’s Jackie Sefferman of Bloomfield. 5. Debra & Jim Berline of Bloomfield. 6. Ajay (left) & Julie Chawla of Troy with Danyelle & Gary Burkart of Bloomfield. 7. Marty (left) & Diana Johnson and Elizabeth Kojoian of Bloomfield. 8 Paula Grandon (left) of W. Bloomfield and Char Blaney of Bloomfield. 9. Mary Beth (left) & John Balardo and Lori & Howard Goldman of Bloomfield. 10. Children Leukemia Foundation’s director Bill Seklar of Bloomfield and John & Carol Aubrey of Birmingham.







SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Detroit Rock When Detroit Reads




Bob DuMouchelle which raised nearly $14,000.They were joined by the 100 supporters who came from the Jazz Café (a speakeasy for the night) for the show (jazz by the Cab Calloway Orchestra with C. Calloway Brooks, grandson of Cab, Kron Moore as Billie Holiday, David Greene as Louis Armstrong and the cast of “Ain’t Misbehavin”) and tap dancng. Guests continued to dance and gamble on stage until almost midnight. The frivolity and fun raised nearly $100,000 for the educational outreach programs of the historic Music Hall.


1. Honoree PNC bank’s Anne Harpe (center) of Rochester Hills with Larry Nahigian of Bloomfield and BB founder/CEO Pam Good of Birmingham. 2. Honoree GM’s Chris Perry of Birmingham. 3. Event co-chairs Robin Perry (left) of W. Bloomfield and Sharla Stabile of Royal Oak. (Perry was also honored as Volunteer of the Year.). 4. BB Board member Lionel Margolick (left) of Franklin with committee member Lynne & Rob Morley of Birmingham. 5. Ben (left) and Joe Grace of Bloomfield. 6. Julie & Peter Kreher of Birmingham. 7. Bob Koval (left) of Troy with Caroline & Robert Dempster of Bloomfield. 8. Joe & Nancy Grace of Bloomfield.





Music Hall’s Cars & Stars




1. Maureen & Roy Roberts of Bloomfield. 2. Sponsors Chuck (left) & Charli Podowski with Cynthia & Alan Johnson of Bloomfield. 3. Patricia Hill Burnett (left) of Bloomfield and Linda Juracek-Lipa of Birmingham. 4. Event coordinator Laura Raisch (center) of Royal Oak and committee member Roseanne Duncan (left) with Patti Prowse of Bloomfield. 5. Diana & Marty Johnson of Bloomfield. 6. Sue Ellen Eisenberg (left) of Bloomfield, John Hantz of Birmingham and Jacki Popadich of Grosse Pointe. 7. Committee member Sandy Duncan (left) of Bloomfield with Stephanie & Patrick Kerzic of Grosse Pointe. 8. David (left) & Elizabeth Head of Ann Arbor and Retha & Walt Douglas of Bloomfield (Elizabeth Head won Best Costume award).



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Childhelp’s Drive the Dream Gala The Walter P. Chrysler Museum was a perfect venue for Chilldhelp Michigan’s celebration of kids and cars (Drive the Dream) and 200 supporters recently did just that. They sipped, supped, ogled the vintage and classic cars and bid in silent and live auctions. The latter included impromptu offerings from Childhelp ambassador NASCAR racer Paulie Harraka and Fox 2’s Raj Roop, which helped raise $22,000. Guests also applauded Corporate Compassion Award recipients Trudeau Group’s Stephen and Laura Trudeau. The previous evening at the VIP cocktail reception Keith Pomeroy hosted in a Townsend Hotel penthouse, Susu Sosnick received the Compassionate Angel Award. It was presented by Childhelp USA’s new(pro bono) COO / retired Arizona entrepreneur Jim Pierce. Both Sosnick’s and Pierce’s expressions of their passion for helping the abused children Childhelp serves were poignant. The event raised $115,000 for Childhelp Michigan’s mentoring and lifeskills programs for foster and adoptive families. Lighthouse PATH’s 20th Anniversary “PATH gave me a life,” said 1999 PATH graduate Linda Fournier, who was a homeless mother of two boys when she arrived at Lighthouse of Oakland County’s transitional housing program in Pontiac. Not only is she now self-sufficient and thriving, as are 91percent of PATH participants, she can also boast that her older son is a midshipman at Annapolis and the younger is a good high school student. Fournier’s speech was just one of the highlights in the program at the event which attracted 160 to the Village Club. Another was former LOC board member Ian McEwan, who introduced honoree / former LOC president Noreen Keating. McEwan asked for a show of hands of those who know how to say “no” to Keating. The only hand raised 08.11

was Keating’s husband Terry. For her part, Keating recalled the beginnings of PATH and construction industry guys like Peter Burton and Larry Goss who donated $1 million in labor and materials to convert an old building into the PATH residence. She also noted that the other event honoree, the Junior League of Birmingham, has contributed talent and treasure to PATH since its establishment 20 years ago. Thanks to a silent auction ($8,000) and sponsors like Teri Fenner, Charter One, St. Joseph Oakland Mercy, Kostal of America, Inc. and UBS’ Rebecca Sorensen and Reverend Diane and Mark Tomlinson, the event raised about $37,000 for PATH. Franklin Garden Club’s Garden Walk Before and after hundreds of people toured the six gardens open for the Franklin Garden Club’s 26th annual Garden Walk, many shopped at the 24 Michigan artisans’ booths set up around the village gazebo. More than 200 also lunched on the homemade salads contributed by members. This year the luncheon was in the St. Owens Parish Center, north of the village. But the gardens generously opened by owners Michelle Seid, Judy Jacobs, Brandy Silverstein, Connie Cece, Rose Marie Battey and Judy Partridge were the raison d’être for the muchanticipated-by-garden lovers event. Battey had commissioned blown glass artist April Wagoner () and old world iron artist Carlos Nielbach () to enhance her Chalmers Lake-side spread that has been nurtured by Goldner Walsh’s Tim Travis, and all three talents were on hand to answer questions. Partridge, with the solicitous support of her engineer husband Jim, has gloriously enhanced her formerly flat Bloomfield Township subdivision lot with lushly planted hillocks, a waterfall, ponds and non-stop art. Partridge also offered homemade cookies and lemonade to the walkers who lingered to peruse the countless artistic bird houses and sculptures. Hospitality, as well as camaraderie, was likewise abundant at the garden club’s follow-up luncheon hosted by Cindy Schiano one week later. There it was announced that the tour raised some $11,500 for the club’s various horticultural and environmental projects and scholarships. Persons interested in membership may call. Send ideas for this column to Sally Gerak, 28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, 48304; email or call 248.646.6390.

Childhelp’s Drive the Dream Gala





1. Gala co-chairs Margo (left) & David Grossman of Franklin, event host/Michigan president Keith Pomeroy of Birmingham, special guests Tammy & Jim Pierce of Scottsdale, AZ. 2. Committee member Elizabeth Brazilian, awardee Susu Sosnick and Detroit board president Betsy Reich of Birmingham. 3. Honorary co-chair Wendy Silverman with Sarah & Joseph Saker of Bloomfield. 4. Childhelp CEO Jim Pierce of Scottsdale, AZ and Childhelp Compassionate Angel awardee Susu Sosnick of Birmingham. 5. Terry Merz (left) and Paul & Joan Halpern of Bloomfield.


Lighthouse PATH’s 20th Anniversary





1. Honoree Noreen Keating (left) of Auburn Hills and presenter Ian McEwan of Birmingham. 2. Event founders Maggie Allesee (left) and Sue Nine of Bloomfield. 3. Monica (left) & Matt Schwanitz , Mark Bolitho and board president Jim Clarke of Bloomfield. 4. Laura Stapleton (left) and Diana Johnson of Bloomfield, Cheryl Hall Lindsay of W. Bloomfield, Patty Ghesquiere of Bloomfield, Cindy Evans of Birmingham, Julie Goddard of Pleasant Ridge.

Franklin Garden Club’s Garden Walk





1. Event co-chair Lynn Chodhury and vendor chair Elizabeth Simko of Bloomfield and committee members Georgia Charnas and Laura Miller of Beverly Hills. 2. Dora Higbie (left) of Beverly Hills, Sylvia Hagenlocker of Bloomfield and Cathie Pollock of Birmingham. 3. Dianne Sennett (left) of Bloomfield and Margie Smith of Birmingham. 4. Jewelry vendor Dodie Smith (left) of Bloomfield, Mary Ann Rosborough of Birmingham and Lynn Stinson of Bloomfield.



Don't sign school board recall petitions he Bloomfield Hills School District is facing a new challenge with the effort of a grassroots organization to recall the entire sevenmember school board. We can't think of a worse idea and are urging everyone to resist signing the petitions now circulating. Here's the background. A well-organized civic group, known as Bloomfield 20/20, initiated a recall campaign for the seven school board members, president Ingrid Day, vice president Ed Ford, treasurer Cynthia von Oeyen, secretary Kate Pettersen, and trustees Jacqueline El-Sayed, Robert Herner and Mark Bank. Bloomfield 20/20 has 90 days from the time their petitions were approved by the Oakland County Election Commission on July 14 to acquire 5,266 valid signatures per board member to put the recall questions on the ballot. The group's complaints revolve primarily around the board's decision to consolidate the district's two high schools, Andover and Lahser, into one high school, to create a school that can accommodate up to 2,000 students, on Andover's campus. District officials will tell you that ideally they want to build a new building, to create the infrastructure and meet the educational and technology needs of 21st century students, against the background of declining enrollment. A November 2010 bond vote for a new school at the Andover site failed, 10,839 'no' votes to 8,822 'yes' votes, with just over 60 percent of registered voters showing at the polls. The proposal failed largely due to a bloated price tag, and possibly due to poor communication with


the voters of the district on the part of the schools. The district regrouped, set up several parent and community outreach meetings, and hired Fielding-Nair, school architects, to develop different choices for the board and community. The board, and new superintendent Rob Glass, always made it clear they were hoping to consolidate the two high schools, whether they had to renovate Andover or build new. On March 3, after four months of work, Fielding-Nair presented their recommendations--one solution a phased-in hybrid of remodeling and new construction on the Andover site; the other a completely new building at Andover. The hybrid option is what the district is now pursuing, although the plan seems to be fluid and has taken some confusing turns in recent days. Members of Bloomfield 20/20, and many residents of Bloomfield Hills Schools, have been infuriated by the decision to follow the recommendations, feeling that in an era of school budget cuts and property value declines, it is not a wise move. School board members feel it is essential to act now, before costs grow higher, school populations decline further, and schools deteriorate even more. Dan McClorey, a Bloomfield Township resident with Bloomfield 20/20 who filed the recall petitions, said he did so â&#x20AC;&#x153;because they're not doing their job. They're not following the voters wishes. It's taxation without representation. The taxpayers voted it down Nov. 2 (2010). If voting is not respected, what is?â&#x20AC;?

Here's the rub. State law dictates that a recall should be due to misfeasance and malfeasance while a person holds office. Misfeasance is a very serious transgression, and malfeasance is willful wrongdoing and illegal act. High standards, but ones that protect elected officials from whims of the public, or differences of opinions. There is no question that there is a very strong difference of opinion about the direction of Bloomfield Hills Schools, both for how its buildings should be configured and maintained, and the educational direction of the district, which has maintained its excellent standards regardless. But we do not believe that any of the elected members of the school board have committed misfeasance or malfeasance, which would justify signing the recall petitions. That is not to say that we agree with all of their actions, nor agree with some of the directions they have taken. We do not believe any dollars should be spent towards upgrading Andover before a bond is approved by the electorate, because once some money is spent on renovations, it obligates the schools to finish the job, whether or not that is the appropriate direction to take. We certainly understand the complaints of some members of the public that the school board is not reacting to their point of view relative to the single high school concept. But that does not constitute malfeasance or misfeasance in office. So there should be no rush to recall the school board.

Open appointment an important process y the time you read this, a new supervisor may have been chosen for Bloomfield Township, following a first vote among trustees on Monday, July 25. The change right now for Bloomfield Township has come about as longtime supervisor Dave Payne retires on August 1, after 41 years with the township. Payne jokes that he has had every position in the municipality. Payne took his first in 1970 in what was then the road department. He held that job full time while he worked his way through college, and in 1975 he was appointed to be the head, overseeing roads, motor pool and maintenance. In 1990, he was appointed administrative assistant to thensupervisor Fred Korzon. In 1995, he was appointed treasurer. When Korzon retired in 1999, the trustees appointed Payne to the office of supervisor. He was repeatedly re-elected to the position. His current term expires the end of 2012. Payne, who has a heart condition, is retiring now to enjoy time with his family while he is healthy and spry.


But his retirement leaves a vacancy in the township which is causing antagonism and jockeying among some of the township's board of trustees. By state statute, the township has 45 days after Payne's resignation is official to appoint someone to replace him. If they fail to appoint someone, the county clerk must call for an election, and county Republican and Democratic party committees will choose a representative to run for supervisor. It would not be an open election. Some trustees and members of the public would have liked the position to have been posted, but trustees chose to begin by appointing from within their own ranks. Township Treasurer Dan Devine made it clear he feels the position should automatically be his because both Payne and Korzon were the township's treasurer before being appointed supervisor. What he failed to realize was their peers felt they were the best individual for the job at the time. In a democracy, no one is owed, nor

anointed, to a position, and his efforts to push for it only alienated his fellow trustees, as well as some of the public. Fellow trustee Leo Savoie had announced that he was also interested in the position, and appeared at press time to have the support of the majority of the board behind him, an important factor going forward and creating a unified government to serve the citizens of Bloomfield Township. Frankly, the appointment process failed in that trustees had plenty of time to issue an open call to the public in the township for anyone that may have been interested in the position. We understand the logic of selecting someone who has a more immediate familiarity with the issues. But considering the demographics of the township, it was entirely possible that a qualified retired or unemployed executive may have wanted to throw their hat in the ring. For the future, a more open, transparent appointment process would be the best route.




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Downtown Birmingham/Bloomfield  

August 2011 - DOWNTOWN is an upscale monthly full-color news magazine mailed at no charge to homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and B...

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