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PLACES TO EAT: 200 RESTAURANTS • GERAK: SOCIAL LIGHTS 86

JANUARY 2017

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OAKLAND CONFIDENTIAL POLITICAL NEWS AND GOSSIP

OAKLAND WATERSHEDS: PROTECTING LOCAL RIVERS SCHOOL CRIME: WHAT YOUR DISTRICT STATS SHOW ENDNOTE: THE LOSS OF TWO BUSINESS LEADERS ECRWSS Postal Customer EDDM

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Watersheds of Oakland: Protecting the rivers Oakland County sits at the headwaters of a number of waterways and what transpires in the watersheds serving the county has a direct impact on other bodies of water and communities in the region.

FROM THE PUBLISHER

16

The Michigan House gives us one more reason to wish that the constitution would be altered to prevent the deceptive practice of tying appropriations to controversial bills which prevents citizens from petitioning to place such laws on the ballot.

OAKLAND CONFIDENTIAL

24

Blowback on Betsy DeVos’ nomination for the U.S. Secretary of Education post; Vicki Barnett as likely head of county Democrats; names of those who may seek Patterson’s office; jockeying already for 2018 ballot; plus more.

CRIME LOCATOR

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

MUNICIPAL

63

Township public comment policy; BSD head leaving for warmer climate; changes to Village of Bloomfield development; parking pattern on South Old Woodward; Poppleton Park plan approved; new business openings; plus more.

THE COVER The Cranbrook Institute of Science building, Bloomfield Hills. Downtown photo.


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SOCIAL LIGHTS

86

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

ENDNOTE

94

While progress has been made on two of the main river systems that flow through the communities served by Downtown newsmagazine, the work is not over; two business leaders are leaving after giving much to the local communities.

FACES

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Jason Eddleston Norman and Susan Stewart Caleb Carroll Gaylee Rubin Shauna Damman


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PUBLISHER David Hohendorf NEWS EDITOR Lisa Brody NEWS STAFF/CONTRIBUTORS Allison Batdorff | Rachel Bechard | Hillary Brody Kevin Elliott | Sally Gerak | Austen Hohendorf Kathleen Meisner | Bill Seklar PHOTOGRAPHY/CONTRIBUTORS Jean Lannen | Laurie Tennent Laurie Tennent Studio VIDEO PRODUCTION/CONTRIBUTOR Garrett Hohendorf Giant Slayer ADVERTISING DIRECTOR David Hohendorf ADVERTISING SALES Mark Grablowski GRAPHICS/IT MANAGER Chris Grammer OFFICE 124 W. Maple Birmingham MI 48009 248.792.6464 DISTRIBUTION/SUBSCRIPTIONS Mailed monthly at no charge to most homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills. Additional free copies distributed at high foot-traffic locations in downtown Birmingham. For those not receiving a free mail copy, paid subscriptions are available for a $12 annual charge. To secure a paid subscription, go to our website (downtownpublications.com) and click on “subscriptions” in the top index and place your order online or scan the QR Code here.

INCOMING/READER FEEDBACK We welcome feedback on both our publication and general issues of concern in the Birmingham/Bloomfield community. The traditional “letters to the editor” in Downtown are published in our Incoming section and can include written letters or electronic communication. Opinions can be sent via e-mail to news@downtownpublications.com or mailed to Downtown Publications, 124 W. Maple Road, Birmingham MI 48009. If you are using the mail option, you must include a phone number for verification purposes. WEBSITE downtownpublications.com

FACEBOOK facebook.com/downtownpublications TWITTER twitter.com/downtownpubs

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FROM THE PUBLISHER hen backers – both politicians and voters – of proposed change to the Michigan Constitution in 1908 passed an addition to our governing document to allow for the right of referendum on legislative issues, I doubt anyone thought at the time about the political chicanery that it would spawn decades later. But that is exactly what has taken place with increasing frequency in the halls of the Michigan House and Senate.

W

No doubt supporters in 1908 were overjoyed that the right of referendum was added to the constitution. The change allowed for citizens to gather signatures on petitions to place laws on the ballot for voters to decide whether to overturn legislative action by state lawmakers. The right to referendum has to be invoked within 90 days following adjournment of the legislative session in which the law was passed. A referendum could be used to challenge a law in its entirety or just a portion of the legislation. The only exception was that spending (i.e. appropriation) bills were exempt from referendum, based on the logic that the state had to be able to conduct business without having its finances or credit put in jeopardy by referendum at a later date. Sounds logical, that is until the power politics of Lansing years ago led to the first abuses of this constitutional provision. Basically the dominant political party, then as now, decided to block public participation in the legislative process by attaching appropriation clauses to controversial legislation as it snakes it way through the House and Senate, effectively preventing anyone from placing a challenge to a possible questionable law on the ballot for voter determination. This issue has been on my radar for a number of years as the trickery of tying appropriation amendments to controversial bills appears to be getting used with increasing regularity. Lansing lawmakers have used this questionable tactic to block public challenges on the ballot to such items as the state’s item pricing law, income tax on pensions, the right to work law, the latest emergency manager law, no fault insurance law changes, wolf hunting and the recent ban on straight party voting in Michigan, which like the emergency manager law had already been successfully overturned at the ballot. No matter to those intent on pushing through their own warped agenda – just reintroduce the same law and add some spending language and the voter is effectively left out of the process. The public be dammed. In just the last few weeks this deceptive legislative maneuver was used once again, this time to extend the ongoing GOP effort at voter suppression when the Michigan House passed a bill toughening the voter identification law in the state. Yes, I call it voter suppression even though party faithful like to frame it as one more step in controlling voter fraud in the state, although most municipal clerks readily admit that instances of such are almost nonexistent. At the risk of looking like I am throwing my lot in with the Democrats in the House (I am an Independent), the constant push by Republicans to “save” the election process in Michigan has become a tired refrain when all electionrelated bills have more of an impact on those from lower economic groups and minorities living in urban areas, often times considered Democrat when it comes to voting. Under the latest election “improvement” – which the Senate tabled before session adjournment, effectively killing the proposal for now – a voter who shows at the polls without acceptable voter ID can sign an affidavit affirming

his or her identity but then must return to the local municipal clerk’s office within 10 days or their vote will not be counted. With current election law, someone without picture ID can sign an affidavit and proceed to vote. A total of just over 18,000 registered voters in Michigan cast ballots in this manner for the 2016 November general election. Even a spokesperson for Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, a native of Oakland County, has been quoted as saying her office was not aware of any fraud related to the current affidavit option at the polls. But no matter. Emboldened by control of both legislative chambers and the office of governor, and the comfort of both the lame duck session and term-limited lawmakers who won’t return in January, Michigan Republicans were not going to miss an opportunity to tighten the screws on those who historically have been less inclined to pull the GOP lever in the voting booth. Interestingly, although the voter ID bill passed along party lines, 57-50 in the House vote, five Republicans (none from Oakland County) voted against this latest GOP power grab. As one Republican lawmaker from the Upper Peninsula related, in his part of the state, local clerks often function part-time and don’t keep regular office hours and a voter who has to sign an affidavit and then return within 10 days may not be able to reach a clerk when available, and then for some, it could be a 100-mile round trip to show ID after an election. If that is not voter suppression, I don’t know what is. But GOP House members were not taking any chances. They attached an $11 million appropriation to the bill for safe measure. Supposedly $8 million will be used for “election modernization,” $2 million to provide free birth certificates and another $1 million for a free state ID program. Of course, that all assumes that this “election improvement” money will actually be used for what the bill designates, which at least one study in past years indicates is not the case with a lot of the appropriation amendments that have been designed to make laws referendum proof. Surprise, surprise. The solution to all of these shenanigans is simple. We need a change to the Michigan Constitution. Let appropriations be part of the normal budgeting process and review, and provide a safe haven for this part of the government process. Let questionable or controversial legislation – all of it – be subject to referendum. But don’t hold your breath. A Royal Oak-based group attempted to gather signatures starting in 2014 to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot but came nowhere near gathering the over 300,000 signatures needed at the time, no doubt due to lack of funding and because the issue lacks the sexiness of other issues facing a beleaguered voting population. And then two Democrats – Michigan Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr. and Royal Oak House member Jim Townsend – introduced a resolution to put the constitutional amendment on the ballot for 2016 but it went nowhere. No one can claim to be shocked. Why would anyone want to allow voters the chance to eliminate the opportunity for lawmakers to twist the system to their own advantage when it comes to dominating their constituent base? David Hohendorf Publisher DavidHohendorf@downtownpublications.com


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INCOMING Publisher’s observations After reading Publisher David Hohendorf’s commentary on the presidential election results in December Downtown Birmingham/ Bloomfield newsmagazine, I felt compelled to say “Thank You” and “Bravo” for your courage to post your observations. My family was (and still is) in shock and disbelief over the result. As the Trump/Pence lawn signs went up in our neighborhood, my husband and I were (and are still) perplexed as to how the neighbors we smile and wave to on our daily walks could promote a candidate who epitomizes bigotry, racism, and lacks any form of respect for fellow humans who aren’t part of his exclusive group. Our neighbors are friendly and appear to be nice people and we refuse to believe they share his viewpoints. In addition to suffering our extreme disappointment in the result, we had to explain to our incredibly intelligent pre-teen daughter that a man with very divisive ideas had been elected as President. We softened the blow by telling her that a bad thing happened, but it will be up to her and her generation to fight for changes in the future to never allow something like this to happen again. She agreed she would. Until then, we still smile and wave to our neighbors not knowing what formed their decision, bear down to weather the storm, and remain hopeful that basic human kindness and decency will prevail. Wendy Drum, Esq. Birmingham

Apologies owed I read with dismay, in your November issue of Downtown, a cheap political attack on a very principled and sincere Bloomfield Township lady named Cara McAlister by a JM Merritt of Bloomfield Hills. The latter specifically charged Mrs. McAlister of harboring views of “overt racism and bigotry” and being “proud” of it. Merritt's evidence? That Cara McAlister was supporting Donald Trump. Well, I happen to know Mrs. McAlister and she has never uttered a single racist or bigoted viewpoint. downtownpublications.com

SPEAK OUT We welcome your opinion on issues facing the Birmingham/Bloomfield communities. Opinions can be sent via e-mail to news@downtownpublications.com or mailed to Downtown Publications, 124 West Maple Road, Birmingham MI 48009.

JM Merrit owes Cara McAlister an apology for her reckless and defamatory comments and you owe your readers the same for printing them. Philip O’Halloran Bloomfield Township

Community asset Your monthly publication is an asset to our community. The fact that you have editorial comment on today's world is important. After reading Kevin Elliot's detailed account of the fall of the Oakland Press (December/Downtown), it is even more important to have your monthly publication that highlights local issues with careful and accurate reporting. Most of all, taking on the coal tar sealant marks a new chapter in "doing something.” I hope your publication brings this issue to the forefront of our homeowners. Putting poison on our driveways to accomplish nothing but a "cleaner" look is stupid. Our community is a beautiful place, but the price of that beauty may be a high one to pay for our children, grandchildren, and much loved pets (not to mention wildlife). I am amazed at the little signs on the grass after an application of herbicide and pesticide that suggests not going on the grass for 24 or 48 hours. Dogs can't read, kids for the most part don't care, and homeowners accept easy to care for lawns over health issues. The dogs lick their paws after walking on the treated lawns, carry the toxins into the house on their wet paws, and then we wonder why so many die an DOWNTOWN

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early death from aggressive tumors. Golf courses use heavy applications of similar chemicals, generally doing so when the wind is calm. However, on many occasions, there will be a morning mist that rises from the treated grass ... it looks beautiful before it is cleared by the morning wind... that mist coats driveways, lawns, toys, cars, that are down wind. Sealcoat, herbicides, pesticides and a host of other chemicals are being applied to the ground we walk on daily only to keep our lawns and driveways "clean.” Keep up your fight and your excellent reporting on these and other issues. Michael Alberts Bloomfield Hills

Cleaning up our water Congratulations for publishing your editorial (November/Downtown) on cleaning up our water. Unfortunately, our public water has so many contaminants, from lead to pharmaceuticals, that no municipality can afford the necessary filtration. That's why my husband and I use a water filter on our kitchen sink. These filters can be expensive – up to $10/week if you use a lot of water. But that's cheaper than cancer or another illness. So I strongly recommend that people put filters on their sinks, especially if they have children under the age of 13. Cynthia Rymer Imes Rochester

Oakland Press decline (via facebook) Referred to as the Pontiac fish wrap. Bob Cass Waterford It's more like ‘The Oakland Wreck’ these days. Mick McDonald As a 25-plus year subscriber, I have seen this decline happen. Very sad to see, and we the people miss out when journalism goes away. Kevin Wisely Clarkston So sad...but good article. Barb Tipolt Clarkston downtownpublications.com

Great job chronicling the decline of the OP. I had a fun run there as a reporter in the early 80’s working for great editors like Bill Thomas. Didn't realize at the time I was working in the heyday of journalism and, perhaps, American democracy. David Holtz East Lansing Excellent article. I had an outdoor hiking and nature column with a nearly 11-year run that appeared every Sunday in the Oakland Press. And then the axe fell on my column as a cost saving action. Bit by bit the paper contracted to the point now that on some days the paper is not even thick enough to use to line the floor of a hampster cage. And as the paper continues to shrink, the quailty and accuracy of the few 'news stories' that remain plummet. Yes, the days of the Oakland Press, as more than fodder to ignite a campfire, are numbered. And that is very sad. Jonathan Schecter Ortonville (via website) Well done. I think I understand the history of The Oakland Press as well as anyone … I worked there 29 years and edited the 60,000-word, 60-page anniversary edition that marked the newspaper’s 150th year in 1994. Kevin Elliott nailed the facts in this well-researched analysis. I am not a person who is sentimental about the passing of print newspapers, yet I still have a place in my heart for The Pontiac/Oakland Press and the terrific journalists who have worked there. The Pontiac Press was at its zenith during the Fitzgerald period from 1914 to 1970 as the most influential, important voice in its community. It helped readers cope with two world wars, the Great Depression, the assassination of JFK, the Civil Rights movement, courtordered desegregation of schools and bus bombings in Pontiac. The hiring of Bill Thomas in 1982 helped re-establish The Oakland Press as a watchdog that monitored institutions of power and told readers what they needed to know about politics, culture, and sports in Oakland County. It was a honor for me to be editor

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from 1998 to 2006. I treasure those memories. But under JRC I found I was spending far less time planning news coverage and far more time implementing cuts to protect profit margins. At the very moment when consumers were trending away from print products to web delivery of news, the company decided to whack staff and news space. That's not a viable strategy. Garry Gilbert Oakland University Excellent article and very accurate. I love Thomas' last comment...."If you are interested in chasing prostitutes on a street corner....etc. the Journal Register is your company.” Very astute and right on the money. Kevin Elliott is to be commended by writing a somewhat complicated history of The Oakland Press and getting a myriad of facts and tidbits reported accurately. Frank Shepherd Former owner, Oakland Press As a former reporter under both Bill Thomas and Garry Gilbert, I was always exceedingly proud to tell people I was a reporter at The Oakland Press. If you wanted to know what went on in Oakland County, you read our paper. It breaks my heart to see what it has become and the industry as a whole. Glad you took the time to write this. Stephen W. Huber For a former OP journalist who thought local longform reporting was dead, or at least in critical condition long ago, I thought this was a refreshing, enlightening and wellcrafted piece. Kudos to Kevin Elliott and Downtown for putting it out there. I am the last person to defend the profit-driven rather mission-oriented corporate media management that this article so articulately examines, but I think it is worth mentioning that journalists also saw the writing on the wall when the news-seeking public increasingly turned its attention away from reputable and reliable news organizations and toward the water cooler tittalation of late-night talk downtownpublications.com

show hosts, partisan broadcast propagandists and, most recently, sham social media "news" organizations that polluted any hope of meaningful or productive dialogue about the recent presidential election. David Groves Ortonville Great piece by Kevin Elliott. The Oakland Press gave me my start in journalism, first as a freelancer, then my first full-time job, and I'll always have a soft spot for it. I started at The OP basically right at its major downslide, and then later, after leaving, ended up at Digital First corporate and Thunderdome in New York where I thought we'd be part of the solution for the company. Still think we could have been, but for money and time. It's unfortunate that the main purpose of the paper now is to bleed out some final profits for a disinterested owner before being cast aside. Ross Maghielse Guardian US New York, New York

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Digital First Media is bleeding its papers to death as a means to sustain cash flow. They are out of time. Douglas McIntyre Financial World Magazine New York, New York Excellent article. Very well written. As a former employee of the Oakland Press, it has been hard to watch it decline. The article engaged me from start to finish. Cindie Shrum Audia Highland

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Oakland Confidential is a periodic column of political/government news and gossip, gathered both on and off-the-record by staff members at Downtown newsmagazine. We welcome possible items for this column (all sources are kept strictly confidential) which can be emailed to: OaklandConfidential@DowntownPublications.com.

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Meet the boss: The recent announcement by President-elect Donald Trump that he had picked Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos, the Grand Rapids philanthropist known for her passionate school choice advocacy in Michigan, as the next U.S. Secretary of Education, has drawn the ire of some legislators and educators in Oakland County and across the nation. Considered one of the country’s political megadonors, DeVos and her family – she’s the wife of Dick DeVos and daughter-in-law of Richard DeVos, co-founder of Amway – have given millions to lawmakers and the state Republican Party to influence education-related legislation in an effort to DEVOS push for the expansion of charter schools. Critics of DeVos have said such schools overall have failed to deliver on improvements in education, instead serving to weaken enrollment and finances of public school districts. In December, Michigan State School Board President John Austin said efforts by DeVos to expand school choice were destroying learning outcomes, and that the family is a “principal agent of that.” The Detroit Free Press noted the family’s practice of donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to specific state legislature races to oppose conservatives who aren’t fully onboard with the family’s political agenda. A recent column in the New York Times by author Katherine Stewart, who has written about public education and religious fundamentalism in America, said the DeVos family has for decades funded the religious right through a network of family foundations. And politico.com recently chimed in with stats showing less than impressive results from the charter school movement backed by the DeVos family. One Oakland County lawmaker said, “The damage she’s caused in Michigan – we’re all going to pay for it. They’re bankrupting the schools and leaving the state on the hook. The GLEP (DeVos’ pet passion – Great Lakes Education Project) schools are the worst.” The winds they are a changin’: Frank Houston, Oakland County Democratic Party chair since September 2010, has confirmed he is stepping down after finishing his third term in December. “I wanted to stay on with the (county) redistricting, for this important election, and to take on some important countywide seats,” Houston said. He feels comfortable moving on now, because while there previously were not qualified leaders within the local Democratic Party willing to step up and take the helm, now there are. “Vicki Barnett is going to run. She is the announced candidate, and has a lot of support,” he said of the election, BARNETT which was to take place on December 15 at the party’s board meeting. Barnett, of Farmington Hills, unsuccessfully ran against L. Brooks Patterson in November for county executive, and while she didn’t win, she narrowed the gap to make it Patterson’s closest race ever – 53 percent to 46 percent. Barnett, who is a former minority leader in the state House of Representatives and mayor of Farmington Hills, has said she does not plan to run again for county exec in 2020. Crystal ball: Just as we predicted last month, President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Bloomfield Hills native and Northville resident Ronna Romney McDaniel to head the Republican National Committee. Romney McDaniel has been chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party since 2015, and impressed Trump by delivering the state to him when it was expected to be in Clinton’s camp, turning Michigan red for the first time since 1988. Reportedly, her role as national chair will be to promote Trump’s agenda and hold or expand the Republican majority in Congress. Word has it local Republican stalwart Jeff Sakwa will get the nod to SAKWA replace Romney McDaniel in Michigan. Race to the top: While it’s not over ‘til the fat lady sings, Oakland County executive L. Brooks Patterson said that the 2016 election would be his last, which has local Democrats salivating. It’s still early to handicap any one politician, but it appears a few are lining up their followers, looking at their hands, and getting ready to deal. Among the names of Democrats we’re

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hearing a lot of are Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner and county commissioner Dave Woodward (Royal Oak), along with possibly county clerk Lisa Brown. “People explore runs when they see unlikely people moving up,” noted a county official. One individual who knows them all well said they each have different strengths, although “Andy has positioned himself a little stronger.” The individual said that Woodward, as a commissioner on a veryRepublican commission, has learned to work very creatively across the aisle in order to figure out how to get things done. MEISNER “He has a lot of political savvy. He is less cautious, and more willing to put it out there. Dave could win. They both (Meisner and Woodward) have very loyal bases.” As to rumors that Meisner could possibly seek congressman Sander Levin’s (D-Royal Oak, Bloomfield Township) seat if the 85-year-old chooses to retire, it seems unlikely, although Meisner began his public service career in Levin’s Washington D.C. office as a staffer. Since redistricting in 2010, the Royal Oak Democrat’s 9th District seat meanders from Roseville to Royal Oak, Bloomfield Township and Franklin, and includes Warren, Sterling Heights and Eastpointe, large WOODWARD municipalities in Macomb County. “You need a person from Macomb County,” to keep the seat, the person in the know stated. “Andy has a clearer road going with (Oakland) county executive.” It’s believed by lots of politicos that, with Patterson gone, it will be a very competitive race on both sides of the aisle – probably the most watched race in the state. Duck, duck, goose: It seems like state Rep. Mike McCready (RBirmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township) thanked the electorate of the 40th District after winning his third – and final – term in office, and already jackals are circling the wagons, readying themselves for a run for the seat in 2018. Word is Republicans with a laser focus on the seat are former Oakland County Commissioner Dave Potts, who unsuccessfully ran against McCready in 2012, and then sought a seat on the Birmingham City Commission in 2015. “He’s in better shape now physically. He’s lost 50 pounds, he’s walking well, he’s healthy,” said one politico. Another potential candidate is Clarence Dass, who left the Oakland County prosecutor’s office as an assistant prosecutor in November to go into private practice, “with the intent to run for this seat.” Dass was an Oakland County “Elite 40” and Chaldean News’ “One to Watch.” Melissa Bozadart, a middle aged divorced mother from Bloomfield Township who hangs with the local Republican Party is also rumored to be interested in the seat, as is Michael Benarian, a former youth leader for the party. But it’s still very early, so all bets are off. As for McCready? He’s looking at the state Senate, notably term-limited Jim Marleau’s 12th District seat, which covers Bloomfield Township north to Pontiac, Keego Harbor, Auburn Hills, Addison Township, Oakland Township, Independence Township, Orion Township and Clarkston, which will likely necessitate a move for the former Bloomfield Hills city commissioner and former mayor. Realtors may want to start compiling Bloomfield Township listings to show McCready and his family. TSL: Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson earned a spot on this month’s list, after hosting author James Simpson as the keynote speaker of the 24th Oakland County Business Roundtable Annual Meeting. Simpson, a former economist and budget analyst for the White House Office of Management and Budget, is best known for his strong anti-refugee stance – considered racist by some – including his 2015 book, “The Red-Green Axis: Refugees, Immigration and the Agenda to Erase America.” Critics said Simpson’s appearance at the breakfast, which has traditionally been a nonpolitical event, gives credence to Patterson’s image as being intolerant of Middle Eastern refugees. Simpson’s booking led Fifth Third Bank, a key sponsor of the breakfast in recent years, to withdraw their sponsorship for this year’s event, held on Thursday, December 1. An online petition at change.org drew nearly 500 signatures protesting the event. Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner, who spoke highly of previous business roundtable events, said he boycotted this year’s event because of the speaker. “Previous roundtable speakers have included governors, heads of companies, and people with insight to share about economic development, job creation and helping entrepreneurs. That seems like a pretty good focus to me,” he said. “This other meeting was a needless distraction at the very least, and at worst, a purposeful attempt to stoke the flames of bigotry and hate.” downtownpublications.com

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CRIME LOCATOR

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Sexual assault

Assault

Murder

Robbery

Breaking/entering

Larceny

Larceny from vehicle

Vehicle theft

Vandalism

Drug offenses

Arson

These are the crimes reported under select categories by police officials in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills through December 9, 2016. Placement of codes is approximate.


FACES


Jason Eddleston eturning to his hometown of Birmingham in 2006 to help run his family's oil and chemical business, Sterling Companies, in the the past five years Jason Eddleston has taken a personal interest in metro Detroit's comeback in the city of Hamtramck, where Sterling is headquartered. A 1995 graduate of Cranbrook Schools, Eddleston attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania before working in the marketing field. In 2006, he returned to Birmingham to oversee operations of Sterling's Hamtramck storage and blending facility. "Living in New York City, it was really tough to get involved with things, but being back, I feel I can make a difference," said Eddleston, who serves as vice president of operations for Sterling Oil. He also owns property in Hamtramck that he maintains as rental investments. "With the time and money I spend, I can see projects from beginning to end, and see it have value to the citizens of the area," Eddleston said. "As the standard of living is raised, it will obviously benefit some of the businesses in which I'm involved, but also the whole area." Being a good corporate neighbor can also come with challenges. In 2009, a fire at Sterling's Hamtramck facility led to a temporary evacuation of some 750 surrounding residents, prompting a classaction lawsuit the company settled with residents in 2010. The following year, Eddleston began his personal involvement in the city, partnering with the community. Most recently, Eddleston's involvement with the Detroit Institute of Arts' Founders Junior Council, a group of young professionals working to encourage involvement to support arts and the museum, led him to become involved in saving the 30-year-old folk art installation known as "Hamtramck Disneyland." Created by Dmytro Szylak, a Ukrainian immigrant who began work on the project in the 1980s, Hamtramck Disneyland occupies two lots in the 12000 block of Klinger Street. Built on top of two garages, the work includes a series of whimsical mechanisms that light up and play music. "It's kind of like the Heidelberg Project, where people come from all over the world to see it," Eddleston said. Working with Hatch Art, a non-profit art collective in Hamtramck, and joining the organization's "Save Hamtramck Disneyland Committee," Eddleston helped Hatch secure the funding to purchase the property and restore its condition. "We reached out to other business owners, and we teamed up and gave two loans to the collective to purchase it," Eddleston said. "We were concerned with repairing it and keeping it in place." In May of 2016, Hatch purchased the property. It's now in the process of improving the structures and insuring its place in the community. In 2011, Eddleston sought a position on Hamtramck's Recycling Commission, where he has been able to partner with the city to create recycling programs at two of the city's schools. The same year, he worked with the community to organize The Haven, a community garden in the city by working with the city and a Hamtramck church. "We have about 20 soil boxes that we still maintain to this day," he said about the community garden. "We try to teach kids about healthy eating and living. All the food goes to the community. "I believe in public-private partnerships. In these times, cities can't provide all the services they need, so I think it's up to the private businesses to step up for the betterment of the area."

R

Story: Kevin Elliott

Photo: Jean Lannen


BY KEVIN ELLIOTT

J

ohn Hartig was a senior high school student in 1969 when he and his classmates in Allen Park watched a plume of smoke rise from the Rouge River. "You thought the Ford Rouge plant was burning," he said, recalling events of that October 9th day. "When we got home, everyone found out the Rouge River caught on fire." As it turned out, the fire was started when someone dropped an acetylene torch into the water, igniting a thick layer of oil and wood debris floating on the surface. Fueled by decades of pollution, flames rose 50 feet into the air as dozens of firefighters worked for hours to put out the blaze, even employing the help of a Detroit fireboat. In 2016, the idea that a major river could be so polluted that it could constitute a fire hazard may seem unfathomable, but 47 years ago, such incidents had become almost commonplace. Just four months before the Rouge River fire, Cleveland's Cuyahoga River caught fire for the 10th time in its history when a passing train sparked oil and debris on the river's surface. In 1968, a welding torch dropped in the Buffalo River ignited that river on a cold January day. In Illinois, the Chicago River had been a source of fuel for oil fires since the late 19th Century.


OAKLAND WATERSHEDS GROUPS LEAD EFFORTS TO RESTORE RIVERS


The lack of any meaningful environmental laws allowed rivers like the Rouge, Clinton and others in the Great Lakes region to become a dumping ground for industrial facilities and municipal wastewater plants. By 1985, the contamination in the Rouge led to the death of Novi man Kenneth Hagstrom, who contracted leptospirosis, or "rat fever," after falling into the river near Beech Daly Road in Redford, and swallowing the water. Hartig, who has worked to address water quality issues for more than three decades as an environmental scientist, chronicled the long history of river pollution in his 2010 book, "Burning Rivers: Revival of Four Urban-Industrial Rivers that Caught on Fire." "You have to remember how much oil was on the water," said Hartig, who said about 5.9 million gallons of oil and other petroleum products were dumped into the Rouge and Detroit rivers each year in 1946 through 1948, alone. Beneath the black oily surface, the Rouge River's water had been tainted from municipal sewage and industrial waste, depleting from it any trace of oxygen needed to support life. The water itself, Hartig said, had been stained orange by a mix of chemicals used in the steelmaking process known as "pickle liquor." "You would see the river and it would be all oil," Hartig said. "Pickle liquor has an orange color, and you wouldn't know it was there until a boat went by and left an orange wake. It was just black and orange on the river." Eventually, public outcry over water pollution led to the enactment of some of the first environmental protection laws, such as the Clean Water Act of 1972, The Endangered Species Act of 1973, and formation of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the United States and Canada. As new regulations helped to eliminate specific sources of pollution, watershed management groups began working with local communities to take a broader approach to controlling pollution throughout each river's area. A watershed is any geographic area where water drains into a river, lake or stream that leads to a larger body of water. Drainage areas include streams, drains and any other means in which rainwater or other specific sources lead to a river. Unlike jurisdictional boundaries, watersheds are determined by the flow of water based on natural topographical features. There are five watersheds in Oakland County, each named for the river from which it drains. Those watersheds include the Clinton River Watershed, the Flint River Watershed, Huron River Watershed, the Rouge River Watershed, and the Shiawassee River Watershed. Today, there are watershed management groups for each watershed that help to head up mitigation and monitoring efforts.

Key to addressing the issues in the Rouge River was using a watershed management approach, meaning that oil, sewage and stormwater runoff going into the river upstream has as much impact as that being dumped in near its mouth. The concept, in its initial stages, was a tough sell to upstream communities who didn't witness the extent of the pollution first hand. "When the Rouge burned, it was at the mouth, and they thought that's where the pollution was coming from," Hartig said. From a watershed management approach, watershed groups work to educate residents to recognize that whatever they put in their local waterbodies eventually flows downstream and may end up in drinking water aquifers, waterbodies, and ultimately, impacts the entire watershed. "It's really amazing what has happened. They tackled it head on," Hartig said of watershed groups such as the Alliance of Rouge Communities, Friends of the Rouge, the Clinton River Watershed Council and others such groups. "There are many success stories out there. If you can take a burning river and go to today where industries are making a front door to the river, and people are

canoeing, kayaking â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it's an amazing story of how far it's come. "It was literally an open sewer. It had oil and grease and all these industrial pollutants. It was really a river that only supported industry and commerce."

In Oakland County, the Clinton River Watershed acts as the drainage basin for much of the eastern portion of the county, while the Rouge River Watershed spans the majority of south and southeastern Oakland County. The Huron River Watershed drains much of of the central and southwest portion of the county; the Flint River Watershed covers a good portion of northern Oakland County; and the Shiawassee River Watershed encompasses a northwest portion of the county. "If you throw a gallon of water on your drive, where does it go? It goes to a river, and that's the watershed where you live," said Jim Ridgeway, executive director of Alliance of the Rouge Communities (ARC) and vice president of Environmental Consulting and Technology (ETC) Inc. Watershed management groups serve to coordinate a variety of restoration and monitoring efforts in each of the watersheds. Those efforts may range from addressing federal stormwater treatment requirements to picking up trash and monitoring water quality. The groups have also been key to forming watershed management plans, which act as a roadmap for maintaining or improving the water quality. Work by such groups include a wide variety of activity and projects, that may include assisting or coordinating efforts to attain federal stormwater permits, monitoring oxygen in local streams to assess water quality, education efforts, restoration of wetlands and stream banks and other projects. As each river contains a number of different tributaries and drainage areas, each watershed also includes different subwatersheds, named for different branches of the river. For instance, while portions of Birmingham and Rochester are both in the Clinton River Watershed, Birmingham is located in the Red Run Subwatershed, while portions of Rochester and Rochester Hills are in the Stony Creek Subwatershed, yet both eventually lead to Lake St. Clair at the mouth of the river in Harrison Township. Additionally, some other areas of Rochester Hills and Birmingham drain into a main branch of the Rouge River, meaning those areas are part of the Rouge River Watershed. Similar to local watershed management groups, each subwatershed may have a subwatershed advisory group, with individual subwatershed management plans formed, as well. The Birmingham/Bloomfield and Rochester/Rochester Hills areas are located in either the Clinton River Watershed or the Rouge River Watershed. The two watersheds are the only two in Oakland County that have been designated as 'Areas of Concern' under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, which is a contract between the United States and Canada to restore and protect the waters of the Great Lakes. The agreement provides the framework for addressing bi-national issues to improve water quality. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for coordinating activities for the United States under the agreement. The Area of Concern designation means a watershed, or portions of it, are suffering from degraded environmental conditions stemming from historic or ongoing pollution. In total, there are 43 Areas Of Concern (AOC) in the Great Lakes watershed, with 14 in Michigan. A watershed may be listed as an AOC if it has substantial restrictions or impairments limiting recreational and wildlife


opportunities, or Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs). Those impairments may include beach closings, restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption, undesirable algae growth, and other issues stemming from pollution. Once a watershed has been deemed an Area of Concern, a remedial action plan must be developed and implemented that addresses each of the impairments. The plan then works as a model for restoring uses that have been impaired, and delisting the watershed as an area of concern. It is in this process that watershed groups have served a crucial role. "They gave a voice to the river. They cared about it," Hartig said, who previously worked for 14 years on the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement under the International Joint Commission. "In my opinion, these groups are essential in getting where we have to be." Formed in 1972, the Clinton River Watershed Council coordinates efforts of local governments, businesses, community groups and individuals in the watershed to improve water quality and celebrate the river as a natural and recreational resource. The council was reorganized in 1994 as a 501(c)3 non-profit, which allows the council to accept funding and grants from private donors. Today, the council is funded by local and county government dues, business sponsorships, grants and individual contributions. Clinton River Watershed Council Executive Director Anne Vaara joined the council in 2010, after spending nearly 20 years in the environmental science field. "The work that we can do in the large area we cover â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 760 square miles â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I knew we could make a big impact," she said about joining the council. "Since 2010, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has made a huge impact on the work that we and the work that our communities are able to do to restore the watershed, specifically fish and wildlife habitat. That funding made a big difference. About onethird of those funds are dedicated to addressing Areas of Concern. We are right in the middle of $20 million in projects in Oakland and Macomb counties. They are mostly in Macomb County, but some (are) in Oakland." About 75 percent of Macomb County drains to the Clinton River, while roughly 40 percent is located in Oakland County. The watershed includes more than 1,000 miles of streams, as well as an 80â&#x20AC;&#x201C;mile stretch along the main branch of the river. In total, the watershed encompasses 60 communities, with the headwaters of the river located in Springfield and Independence townships. Subwatersheds of the Clinton River include the Stony Creek/Paint Creek Subwatershed, which includes northern portions of Rochester and Rochester Hills; the Red Run Subwatershed, which includes the eastern portion of Birmingham and a southern portion of Rochester Hills; the Clinton Main Subwatershed, which includes a western portion of Rochester and Rochester Hills, and small northwest portion of Bloomfield Township; as well as the Upper Clinton River Subwatershed in northern Oakland County; the Clinton River East Subwatershed in western Macomb County; the Lake St. Clair Direct Drainage Subwatershed in southeast Macomb and Wayne counties; the North Branch Subwatershed, which spans portions of Lapeer, Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair counties; and the Anchor Bay Subwatershed, in St. Clair County.

In 1987, the Clinton River was declared an Area of Concern due to restricted uses, or Beneficial Use Impairments, caused by unsafe E. coli levels, nutrients from fertilizer; dissolved solids such as salt, oil and grease; soil and sediment contamination caused by heavy metals; and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contained in coolants and other applications. The Area of Concern was initially restricted to the Main Branch and the spillway downstream from the Red Run, but was later

updated to include the entire watershed, as well as the shore area of Lake St. Clair. Factors that resulted in the Clinton River being listed as an Area of Concern include eight Beneficial Use Impairments, as listed by the EPA. Those uses include restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption; undesirable algae; degradation of fish and wildlife populations; beach closings; degradation of aesthetics; loss of natural aquatic plants; restrictions on dredging activities; and loss of fish and wildlife habitat.

An Area of Concern may become delisted when Beneficial Use Impairments, or BUIs, have been addressed and uses have been restored. The delisting process, which typically spans several decades, starts with a scientific assessment by state and federal agencies to determine which beneficial uses are impaired and the type of management actions are needed to restore them. After management actions are implemented, a monitoring and verification plan may be implemented. The AOC status may be delisted when all beneficial use impairments have been removed. "None have been removed to date," Vaara said. "We are not delisted at this time, but the work is being done and coordinated. The bulk of restoration work is to help restore fish and wildlife population, and then the other impairments being looked at and worked on with the EPA and the state of Michigan. They are working together, and we are hoping to be delisted by 2019." Despite the designation as an area of concern, some branches of the Clinton River have very high water quality. For instance, Stony Creek is home to a coldwater fishery, which the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) stocked with brown trout until 1991. Because many of the issues in the watershed are more apparent near the mouth of the river, upstream communities often get fingered as the source of problems, but Vaara said that shouldn't necessarily be the case. "There are many moving parts dealing with water and water quality, and it's easy for people to point the finger upstream when that's not the case," Vaara said. "It could be weather or (water)flow driven. It could be the timing of the water sampling. Also, keep in mind that we put a lot of impact on our shoreline. Many used to be wetlands and we filled them in, but Mother Nature still wants them to be wetlands. "We want to swim in areas that maybe should be wetlands. It's a very complicated issue, and very emotional. In an urbanized watershed, you can't point at one area or the other. About half the people in Harrison Township are still on septic systems, and that can be an issue. We have to be mindful of all the issues that could be at play and how to bring solutions to the table to enjoy water quality." Like the Clinton River, groups working to restore the Rouge River Watershed have yet to completely remove all of the use impairments identified. The Rouge River was declared an Area of Concern in 1985 due to nine official use impairments, including restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption; undesirable algae; degradation of fish and wildlife populations; beach closings; fish tumors and deformities; degradation of aesthetics; loss of aquatic plant life; restrictions on dredging activities; and loss of fish or wildlife habitat. Main sources of pollution in the Rouge River Watershed come from municipal and industrial water discharges that flow directly into the river; sanitary and stormwater sewer overflows; and pollutants carried to the river by stormwater runoff. Contaminants


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SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN WATERSHEDS

GRAN

GREENW OOD

LYN N

Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG)

Drains directly to Lake St. Clair Drains directly to St. Clair River


include heavy metals, PCBs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), oil and grease. "We have a list of projects that are still required," Alliance of Rouge Communities Executive Director Jim Ridgeway said. "We are optimistic we will get a substantial chunk of federal money in the next year or two. The EPA has tried to set it aside so they can go into a watershed and address all of the issues, and have it all delisted."

As one of the longest rivers in the state, the Rouge River's four branches span about 125 miles through Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties, with the lower four miles of the river maintained as a shipping channel from the turning basin to the river's mouth at the south end of Zug Island. The river also contains the most heavily populated and industrialized areas in the Great Lakes Basin. Of the 467 square miles included in the Rouge River Watershed, more than half are used for residential, commercial or industrial uses, with increasing developmental pressures. The watershed includes four major branches, including the Main branch, which is divided into two subwatersheds; the Upper Rouge Subwatershed; two subwatersheds in the Middle branch; and two subwatersheds in the Lower branch of the river. The Main 1-2 Subwatershed contains about 103 square miles in Oakland County, including much of Birmingham and Bloomfield Township, and all of Bloomfield Hills. The Rouge River is considered to be extremely "flashy," meaning that water levels rise and fall quickly and drastically after it rains due to hard clay soils and the amount of paved surfaces in the watershed. Because of the large amount of paved surfaces in the watershed, the river is particularly susceptible to runoff carrying fertilizers, oil, pet waste and other pollutants. While the Rouge hasn't yet been delisted as an Area of Concern, the river is now able to support fish and wildlife, as well a variety of recreational opportunities. Monitoring of dissolved oxygen in the water – which is needed to support any life in the river – has gone from having a complete absence in some locations to an amount capable of sustaining plants, fish and other organisms. Today, the river is home to various amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, plants and mammals. "There are impairments that need to be corrected for the waterway to be considered safe," said Karen Hanna, executive director for Friends of the Rouge. "We do fish, kayak and canoe, but you can't swim in the water." The Alliance of Rouge Communities and Friends of the Rouge are two separate non-profit organizations in the Rouge River Watershed that work to collaborate different efforts in the watershed. Formed in 1986, Friends of the Rouge works to promote restoration and stewardship of the river's ecosystem through education, citizen involvement and other collaborative efforts. The Alliance of Rouge Communities (ARC) was created to coordinate restoration projects among all communities located in the watershed. Currently, the two groups are exploring the potential of merging into one group. "For the past two decades, the ARC has substantially financed the Friends of the Rouge. Many of the programs were through federal grants that came through the ARC, or are membership dues," Ridgeway said. "The ARC and Friends were coming to communities and both asking for money. From a pragmatic view, it makes sense that the two of them work together." While operations may be combined, the two groups conduct different activities, both intended to improve the quality of the watershed. Representing the interests of each of the member communities in the watershed, the Alliance contracts with Environmental Consulting & Technology (ETC), Inc., to conduct

operations on its behalf. Friends of the Rouge, on the other hand, like the Clinton River Watershed Council, has a heavy focus on community and volunteer activities to conduct monitoring and further education. "Municipalities are required to have stormwater permits," said Ridgeway, who is also vice president of ETC Inc. "One of the reasons ARC was put together was to help control combined sewer overflows. You could see stormwater regulations forming, and the smartest and cheapest way to handle them is to do it jointly. The ARC itself is a group of communities. They hired an executive director, and they hired a firm, of which I am an employee. And a group of us do it. There are engineers and wetland ecologists. As the ARC moves forward, they rely on ETC to comply with their permits." In other watersheds, the role the ARC plays is often done by individual communities or the county's water resources commissioner. "We do discharge elimination work," said Jim Wineka, with the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner's Office. "We find pollution and go upstream and find the sources and work with communities to eliminate them. We started with (watershed groups) back in 1999, and we do a lot of work with them." Friends of the Rouge Executive Director Karen Hanna said that while ARC is heavily involved in the permitting process of stormwater management, Friends of the Rouge conducts more clean ups, monitoring, and work to attain grants for special projects, such as rain gardens. Among work that Friends of the Rouge conducts on an annual basis includes the Rouge Rescue, which involves volunteers from the local communities to clean up neglected sites along the river; its River Restoration project, which includes educational efforts, workshops and training to encourage native plantings; and the Rouge Education Project, which is a school-based water quality monitoring program that involves students from local schools who conduct chemical and biological testing. Both Friends of the Rouge and the Clinton River Watershed Council conduct multiple volunteer programs, including bug hunts, fish monitoring and frog and toad surveys. "We have a frog and toad survey, but we have no funding for it," Hanna said. "We have volunteers that have been doing it for so long that they just continue to do it. We include that in our data reports."

Monitoring life in the river is done because it's an indicator of the water's quality and the health of the river. For example, watershed groups in both the Clinton and Rouge rivers conduct annual stonefly searches, as the bugs require a high quality of water to survive. The presence of such organisms, along with frogs and toads, indicate the river location sampled is in good health. While there is still work needed in the two watersheds to attain delisting status of their areas of concern, Ridgeway said work that has been done has made substantial improvements.And while work continues to improve to address remaining sewer overflows, the vast majority of those that existed in the 1970s, as well as illegal discharges in to the rivers, have been curbed. "Prior to 1972, there really were no standards, but the Clean Water Act of 1972 said all wastewater needed secondary treatment, at least," Ridgeway said, who first started working to improve quality in the Rouge River in 1975. "If you didn't do that, you would have these oxygen demands, (which) would consume the oxygen, kill the fish, and it would smell like a toilet that sat in the back of your cottage for a week. "Everyone turned their backs on the river, and with good reason," Ridgeway said about the Rouge during the 1970s and ‘80s. "If you went along the Lower Rouge, what were wetlands was a variety of abandoned dumps where industry filled it with slag or whatever industrial waste they wanted to get rid of."


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KIDS OR CRIMINALS WHAT LOCAL SCHOOLS' CRIME STATISTICS REVEAL

BY LISA BRODY

A

t the end of each school year, local Michigan school districts are required to report to the Michigan Department of Education the total number of all of the students who have been expelled that year, along with a list of 20-some infractions, which include everything from truancy to homicide, bullying to gang-related violence, that have occurred on school grounds or at school activities.


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The law applies to all public and charter schools, while private schools are exempt from reporting any incidents on their grounds. The goal is to provide an accurate local and statewide picture of school crimes, and to work to plan and implement the appropriate school programs to provide safety to all students, staff, administrators and visitors.

F

or every parent and educator, schools are designed as more than just a place of learning, but also as a sanctuary from the troubles students may encounter in the outside world. According to the U.S. Department of Justice and National Institute of Justice, “For students to succeed, their educational environment must be safe, secure and orderly. To this end, schools must cultivate a climate of respect, free of disruption drugs, violence and weapons.” According to studies by the National Institute of Justice, students who are victimized at school are more prone to truancy, poor academic performance, drop out of school at higher rates, and have more violent behavior. And while schools can be safe havens within the communities they are located, school safety and security remain important issues. The first national study on school safety was mandated by Congress in 1974, when researchers from the Research Triangle Institute asked public school students and teachers in grades 7 through 12 to report school-related victimizations and vandalism in their schools. At that time, in a typical month, an estimated 5,200 teachers reported being physically assaulted. In 1989, a National Crime Victimization Survey looked at school crime in order to measure school crime for youths 12 to 19, with 54 percent of students reporting being victims at school caused by other teens. The crimes included were primarily robbery and assault, which the survey noted were most likely to occur while students were going to and from school; simple assault – school fights – happened more often in their school building. The requirement from the Michigan legislature to provide the annual listing of crime statistics hails back to the 1990s, as a state version of the Clery Act, a law enacted by the U.S. government in 1990 to offer campus security and campus crime security, with compliance monitored by the U.S. Department of Education. The Clery Act amended the Higher Education Act of 1965, and required all colleges and universities that receive federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime that happens on or near their campuses. The law is named for Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old student at

LeHigh University in Pennsylvania who was raped and murdered in her residence hall on campus in 1986. Clery's murder prompted a nationwide backlash against unreported crime on campuses and led to not only this law, but to revised school codes for all school districts, including in Michigan. Coupled with the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999, it led to legislative revisions of the Michigan School Code, Public Act 451 of 1976, to require that “the superintendent of public instruction shall consult with local and intermediate school districts and law enforcement officials. The reporting shall include at least crimes involving physical violence, gang-related activity, illegal possession of a controlled substance or controlled substance analogue, or other intoxicant, trespassing, and property crime including...theft and vandalism.” The definition of school crime can differ by school districts and personnel, depending on what is considered a crime. Definitions can range from a threat to student, to theft, to considering only violent crimes that are reported to police as crimes. The crime statistics list helps determine what the state is looking for on an annual basis. The Crime, Violence and Discipline Task Force created by the National Forum on Education Statistics developed definitions and protocol for collecting school crime and violence in 1995, setting a standard for schools to follow. It recommended that school crime be inclusive of incidents that occur on school grounds, on school transportation, or at off-campus schoolsponsored events; incidents involving alcohol, drugs or weapons; incidents involving a gang; hate crime motivated incidents; and all incidents reported to law enforcement. A primary goal of the crime statistics listing, according to the Michigan legislation, is to “Foster the creation of partnerships among schools, school districts, state agencies, communities, law enforcement, and the media to prevent further crime and violence and to assure a safe learning environment for every pupil.” It is compiled and held for the state and educators by the Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI), but Lauren Leeds said they are strictly a data agency, and don't comment on policy. Bill DiSessa of the Michigan Department of Education said the department works to try to improve safety and protocol with school districts, but maintains crime statistics are largely a local issue. “Bottom line, while we care, we are charged with caring with certain items and not with others,” he said. “It's primarily local issues. While districts are required to report their statistics, the specifics are enforced by local police

departments. If there is a gun incident in Grand Rapids today, we care about it, but there's nothing we can do. It's local police.” Along that line is proposed House Bill 5661, which stalled in the 2016 legislative session, to revise school reporting requirements from mandating districts report all crime statistics and bullying incidents to the state annually, instead having superintendents' post them on their district's website for five years. State Rep. Mike McCready (RBirmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township) was not a fan of the proposed bill, and noted the bill's sponsor, Amanda Price (R-Grand Haven) is term-limited, and will not be returning to the state House in January. State Rep. Michael Webber (RRochester, Rochester Hills) said the proposed bill “would do away with a lot of duplicative reports, which overall our superintendents and school boards say to us we do have so many reports. Maybe it would make it more accessible to parents and the public, if it were on the (school's) website, but not all rural districts have great websites. It's an interesting pushpull.” McCready said he felt a bill he sponsored and which was passed and signed into law in November, House Bill 4388, now Public Act 319, to expand the use of sinking funds for capital improvements, including security upgrades, is a much more positive step for schools, and one that superintendents are happy about, and “homeowners will be happy about because it will save them money because they will not be paying interest and legal fees on bonds. I'm happy for the schools, but more importantly I'm happy for the families who use our schools because they focus on technological improvements. The schools can better provide security for the staff and students.”

T

he goal in the existing state legislation of providing transparency has been achieved through the reporting of the crime statistics, for those who seek the statistics. Many school districts, especially in Oakland County, have created alliances and cooperative working relationships with local law enforcement. Many local police departments have police liaisons working with their school districts, fostering greater communication and collaboration between the two. Many local officials state having seen certain offenses, such as bullying, decline quite a bit in schools, but others, such as sexting, are sky-high. Captain Michael Johnson of the Oakland County Sheriff's Department Rochester substation, noted, “Sexting is really a problem. They don't get


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it until something bad happens to them. When you spread it, it's spreading pornography. We have charged some, and they're just shocked.” According to the National Institute of Justice, in 2012, students aged 12 to 18 experienced approximately 615,600 incidents of theft, and 749,200 violent victimizations while they were at school. Comparatively, in 2014, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that among students aged 12 to 18, there were about 850,100 nonfatal victimizations at school, which included 363,700 thefts, and 486,400 violent victimizations, including simple assaults and more serious attacks. Students experienced 33 nonfatal victimizations per 1,000 students while at school, and 24 per 1,000 students while away from school.

A

nd nationally, since the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, there have been almost 200 school shootings on school campuses. The reaction by all local school districts to the increase in school shootings has been for the districts to go to voters to request bonds for security and safety upgrades.

what measures were in place,” said Shira Good, director, communications and community relations, Bloomfield Hills Schools. “Most schools at this point have door buzzers and cameras (at their entrances). We had them prior to Sandy Hook.” “All our outdoor doors are locked – it's a change since Sandy Hook,” noted Wilkinson. Visitors, including parents, at all local districts are required to be buzzed into the main entrance, and then go to the office where they are signed in and directed to the appropriate location. Today, by state law, districts have to incorporate lockdown drills along with other emergency drills. Grein said there must be a minimum of five fire drills, two tornado drills, and three lockdown/shelter-in-place drills, per school. “We work with our local police departments. They check us to make sure we'e doing the proper procedures,” Wilkinson said. Wilkinson said that a lock-down drill leaves students literally locked down in their classrooms. “They cannot use hallways, and they have to stay away from doors and windows. An example is an intruder in a building, or an active shooter situation. “Then there is a closed campus, when

“Today's events over the last few years have raised awareness about safety and security,” said Birmingham Public Schools director of community relations Marcia Wilkinson. In May 2015, voters living in the Birmingham district approved a $66 million bond proposal to allow for building and site, instructional space, technology and safety/security upgrades. The safety and security upgrades included a new secure vestibule with an access control system to restrict direct access into all of the schools, among other improvements. In November 2015, voters residing in the Rochester Community Schools district approved a $185 million bond proposal that will fund critical infrastructure and technology enhancements and improve student safety and school security, said Lori Grein, community relations and foundation, Rochester Community Schools. “The bond projects are scheduled to span over a five-year period of time. Year one projects are currently under way. Over the summer, the main building entrances at eight of our schools were redesigned with two vestibule doors, along with an immediate passage to the office, a better visitor verification system, and lock-down capabilities.” “After the crisis in Connecticut, every district in the entire country evaluated

2015-2016 SCHOOL YEAR Avondale

Birmingham

Bloom. Hills

Pontiac

Rochester

Royal Oak

Troy

W. Bloomfield

Student Bullying

0

34

2

75

22

20

52

36

Truancy

57

533

1

2,272

133

29

54

116

Physical Assaults

3

0

1

0

4

3

3

8

Illegal Possession

3

5

6

27

27

8

2

7

Trespassers Or Intruders

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

0

Vandalism

1

13

0

2

1

24

7

16

Criminal Sexual Conduct

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Hostage

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Weapons On School Property

2

2

1

23

1

1

0

4

Homicide

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Drive By Shooting

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Bomb Threat

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

1

Explosion

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Arson

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Robbery Or Extortion

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Unauthorized Removal Of Student

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Threat/Attempt Of Suicide

0

2

0

0

8

4

47

46

Suicide

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Larceny/Theft

1

13

5

47

14

3

13

17

Illegal Drug Use Or Overdose

6

0

0

0

11

2

2

6

Students Who Are Victims Of Violent Criminal Offenses

0

0

0

0

0

0

20

0


there is an issue in the adjoining neighborhood,” she said, a situation the district has instituted a few times, such as when there was a concern about a threat of an individual locking up a realtor in a home near Pierce Elementary School with a gun. “In a closed campus situation, no one can leave and no one can come into the building, but they're still attending classes,” Wilkinson explained. “They cancel outdoor recess and outside lunch (for high school students), but otherwise, everything is normal. The students are going about their usual business.”

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hankfully, so far there has not been an active shooter, or other situation necessitating a lock-down at any local schools. But they're prepared. “An active shooter situation is radically different than a fire or tornado. There is no time. It's seconds – not minutes. With a fire or tornado, there's potential for harm, and it's dangerous, but you can avoid catastrophe. With an active shooter – it's imminent,” said Good. “With a fire, there's about three to five minutes, and with tornadoes, we're watching the weather service for hours, getting alerts, talking to people on the phone, so we can prepare. We have plans in place and time on our side. The active shooter situation is totally different. You're talking about totally unpredictable situations.” She said that is why they work with local police, and have hired a district safety and security officer who is a Bloomfield Township police officer, Cory Donberger, working in a shared position with the police department. “His main responsibility is to oversee all of the district's safety and security matters,” she said, noting that one of the first things Donberger has done since being hired was to implement a visitor sign in process. “Visitors come in, get an authorization badge, and sign in so we know who is in the building at all times,” Good said. “We're the education experts, not safety experts. It's why Cory was hired. He has extensive training in all security measures. Our superintendent Rob Glass sat down with chief of police (Geof Gaudard) and said, 'What can we do to be better prepared?' Cory has helped us with other things as well.” Ken Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services, recommends schools work with local law enforcement, and noted that while “technology can enhance our school safety procedures, it cannot be substituted for a reasonably well-trained and highly-alert staff.” Rochester has five school liaison officers serving all 21 of their schools. “In addition, we have contracted a security service at

our three conventional high schools and our one non-conventional high school,” Grein said. Birmingham Schools has two school liaison officers, one at Seaholm High School, through the Birmingham Police Department, and one at Groves High School, through the Beverly Hills Police Department. Grein said general duties for school liaison officers include assisting school administrators and staff with everything from monitoring the school grounds for safety and security hazards, weeding out prohibited activities and noticing behavioral concerns, recognizing unauthorized visitors, and watching for physical and conditional hazards. “The teams can also assist with managing crowd control, conducting safety drills, and helping with medical and other emergencies,” she said. Captain Johnson of the Rochester Hills substation of the sheriff's department, said that his department provides three deputies and Rochester police two officers, and they stay in the schools about five or six years, unless they are promoted, leave the department, or there is another mitigating reason. “It's about building relationships. Our school liaison officers actually teach classes pertaining to law enforcement. Our goal is to get a police officer to teach a class in front of students every other year. It helps to develop a strong relationship,” Johnson said. “Many students will come and talk with officers then if they have issues and concerns.” Classes with the school liaison officers range from stranger danger, pedestrian safety, 911 emergencies, abuse prevention, bullying, and alcohol, tobacco and marijuana substance abuse awareness in elementary school to bullying, health and drug awareness, internet awareness, sexting, retail fraud and vandalism in middle school; with further education about substance abuse, wellness, a “get real about sex and violence” class, drinking and driving, information about the department of corrections and search and seizure in high school. “We're one of the only ones that does this kind of program,” Johnson said, noting he believes there's a difference in the level of crimes since they began doing classes and expanded programming. “It began about 40 years ago with an 'Officer Bill' kind of thing, and as the community grew, we went from there.” For example, in the 2015-2016 school year, while there were eight suicide attempts in Rochester schools, there were no actual suicides – at least on school grounds or at school activities. Comparatively, Bloomfield Hills had no attempts last year, while Birmingham had two suicide attempts on school grounds.

Johnson said he believes having officers in the schools with students from an early age, where they can become comfortable with the officers and their uniform, “helps alleviate anxiety and those issues related to suicide.” In addition, he noted, “They all work closely with the school counselors. When we see something, they talk about it with the counselors, and when they (school counselors) see something, such as a potential crime, they alert us. “Our three high schools are like little cities,” he noted, with all the attendant highs, lows and dramas. Birmingham's Wilkinson agrees, noting that the school district reaches out to law enforcement when threats are an actual misdemeanor or felony on school property, or if there is a threat – or perceived threat – against another student or staff member. “Even if a student is joking around, we don't have the luxury of taking the chance. We have to investigate. We are very reliant upon our local police, and take direction from them,” she said, noting that at times there are clear cut reasons to contact police, such as students doing misdemeanor vandalism on school property, “or if there were a suspected felony.” Less clear are issues related to social media, even if it doesn't occur on school grounds. “If someone is threatening students or staff, it becomes a school issue, we contact law enforcement,” she said. “If a student made a threat against another student on Facebook, like wanting to get back at another student, or a threat against a staff member, or a threat against the building, like a bomb threat, the police department and district would get involved.”

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rein concurs. “Any perceived criminal activity is reported to local law enforcement officials, who then work with the district administrators to determine the best course of action,” she said. “It's always a building administration decision,” in Bloomfield Hills, Good said. “They will call (law enforcement) when they can't handle it – like an irate parent, a family circumstance, someone who's not supposed to be picking up a child, drugs, a fight – but they're good, because the teachers know how to step in. Our learning communities allow the staff to see when things are brewing. Our focus is on prevention and restoration, and then the emphasis is less on pure punishment, and more on consequences. It's giving the students the tools to resolve conflicts.” Bullying, a focus for educators for several years, is a line item in the crime statistics, and one that has not seen a


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spike from the recent election season in local districts, despite the incidents in Royal Oak Middle School, where students were caught stating racists chants, and a noose was found in a boy's restroom. “We haven't seen any escalation in bullying since the election,” said Pam Zajac, spokesperson, West Bloomfield Schools. “We have our political leadership classes where they talk and discuss the issues. They may be disappointed, but they're learning to deal with it. One of the plusses we have in our district is that it is very diverse, and they are used to being with so many ethnicities and religions. They're already out in the real world. They're very worldly.”

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etective Mike Romanowski of the Birmingham Police Department is a school liaison officer at Seaholm High School, along with a variety of private and parochial elementary, middle and high schools in Birmingham. “Quite frankly, with the schools I'm in, I'm not seeing a huge trend in bullying in social media or in person,” he said. “Bullying is looked down upon for any kind of disability or any kind of financial hardship. I don't see anything racial.” In last year's reporting, there were 34 incidents of bullying in Birmingham; two in Bloomfield Hills; 36 in West Bloomfield; 22 in Rochester; 52 in Troy; and 75 cases in Pontiac. When incidents are unresolvable, suspensions and/or expulsions may occur. At the local districts, representatives stated that suspensions are primarily an administrative and staff decision, while expulsions must go before the local board of education. All of the districts make it clear to students and parents up front, listing the reasons and specifics in their Student Code of Conduct on their websites. “Any time a student is missing school, whether a suspension or an expulsion, it has to go before our school board,” said Annette McAvoy, public relations and communications supervisor for Avondale Schools. “It's a really big deal for a student to miss school.” “An expulsion is such a major step that it is thoroughly vetted. It's a decision that absolutely has to go through the board, based on recommendations by administration,” said Birmingham's Wilkinson. “It's such a serious issue. If it involves a student, it would be a closed session. A suspension is a little different – it's usually short-term, and goes through the building principal on whatever issue it is.” Rochester Schools, with almost 15,000 students, had 371 one-day suspensions during the 2015-16 school year, 132 three-day suspensions, 67 five-day suspensions, 22 10-day suspensions, and 11 long -erm suspension/expulsions. “The immediate objective of school discipline is to allow for student growth in abilities, attitudes and habits, which are essential to the personal and collective learning environment,” Grein said. Birmingham Schools had no expulsion in the 2015-16 school year, but had eight five-day suspensions and two 10-day suspensions for serious offenses. Wilkinson said there were some one-day suspensions for minor transgressions like “insubordination.” As an antidote to suspensions and expulsions, Bloomfield Hills, which had no expulsions in the 2015-16 school year, has hired former administrator Bill Boyle to help the district implement restorative practices at all levels. Boyle said he is helping staff and students work to develop a more inclusive culture of belonging. He said that often when punishment is meted out, the assumption is that someone did something wrong, they're a bad person. “It's a way of calling out the deed, but not the doer, teaching the thing that makes something harmful has an impact to the community around them,” Boyle explained. “How do you construct a learning a opportunity so they can learn from the situation. It's not saying there's no discipline or consequences, but once they're branded as bad kids, that follows them through school for life. If you only suspend them, they never have a way back into the community.”

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FACES Norman and Susan Stewart he fine art produced over the past three decades by Bloomfield Township screenprinters Norman and Susan Stewart has been featured in the Detroit Institute of Art and other galleries around the country, but the beginnings of their craft may be attributed to the luck of the draw. Married for nearly 50 years, the former high school sweethearts both studied design at the University of Michigan. When Norman returned to the school to earn his masters degree, most of the classes he wanted to take were already full. "I asked, 'what is open,'" Norman said, recalling the conversation with the school's registrar's office. "She said, 'well, I think there's an opening in screenprinting.' So I did that." Screenprinting is one of five basic printmaking techniques. Made popular by artist Andy Warhol through his silkscreening of pop culture icons, the process involves using fine fabric as an ink screen and stenciling part of that fabric to create an image. While the process dates to ancient times, Norman and Susan work with select artists to help them create unique and innovative work by blending the ancient practices with modern technology. "We are using very transparent inks, which is different than most screenprinting. We can achieve much more, and there are extra colors," Norman said, explaining the process of layering different screens to produce many colors out of a few. "If you print two colors, you can get three because of the overlays. If you print three, you get seven colors. There are over a million permutations printing with 20 colors. We have done 32, and for each one, the artist does a separate stencil. It's a pretty labor intensive process." Artists from around the country often spend weeks working with them at their Bloomfield Township studio, collaborating to produce unique works of art. "We started with Michigan artists in the beginning," Susan Stewart said, who previously worked as a graphic designer. "Then, through word of mouth it happened with more nationally esteemed artists, and that snowballed into working with even more artists." The couple's work is particularly unique for its use of computer technology in the printmaking process. "We wanted that to be a signature for us," Norman said. "There are a few (fine art screenprinters) that are left, and they would recoil when you mention anything with computers. We are just using it as another tool." In 1991, "Collaboration in Print â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Stewart & Stewart Prints: 1980-1990," became a national touring exhibit that debuted at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The exhibition and catalog documented the first decade of work by Stewart and Stewart, and was accepted into the prestigious International Fine Print Dealers Association. In 2005, "The Art of Screenprint," another exhibit at the DIA, celebrated their 25th anniversary. Working with artists during each step of the process â&#x20AC;&#x201C; often at their home studio on Wing Lake Road that they bought as their first home, the couple has collaborated to help produce hundreds of one-of-a-kind works. "We are there to support them 100 percent," Norman said about the collaborative work with artists. "They are focused on doing their best work. They are like a performer, but in our situation, the artist comes in, and the audience is the print." "It's the basic difference between collaborative printmaking and contract print making," Susan said. "You pretty much cherry pick who you work with because you have to be able to work with them."

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Photo: Laurie Tennent


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FACES

Caleb Carroll irmingham student Caleb Carroll might get a little nervous when he has to talk about himself and his musical talent, but his voice is at ease and inspiring when he sings before a crowd of people. "I had a little trouble with my voice changing," Carroll said, who started singing the national anthem at sporting events when he was 13-years-old. Two years later, the maturity in his voice goes beyond what one might expect from a 15-year-old high school freshman. "I started with a very high tone, and my voice changed a lot. I had to start picking different songs." His higher tone wasn't out of pitch in 2014 when Carroll – not yet then a student at Groves High School in Birmingham – sang the national anthem before a basketball game and caught the ear of NBA basketball team owner Dan Gilbert. The performance inspired the billionaire to ask Carroll to sing before two Cleveland Cavaliers events, including a 2015 playoff game. Nor was he nervous when he auditioned and was selected to sing “America the Beautiful” at the 2015 U.S. Open in New York City. In fact, Carroll seems to be at home wherever he sings, be it online, television, or a stadium of sports fans. "I don't really have trouble singing," he said. "I'm actually a little nervous to talk." Around Michigan, Carroll has opened games for the Detroit Tigers, Pistons, Eastern Michigan University, Oakland University, and other events. In November, he sang in America's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit, and in March he will be singing before a Detroit Red Wings game. Performing at professional sporting events also gives Caleb an opportunity to see some of his favorite players in person. "I sang at a (Golden State) Warriors game. Stephen Curry is my favorite player," said Carroll, who plays basketball and football for Groves. "I would like

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to sing more for the Oklahoma Thunder. I like Russell Westbrook, too. People say I play basketball like them." While sporting events offer him a way to showcase his talent, Carroll said his favorite to perform is Christian and inspirational music. It's in the different styles he sings that Carroll's full range as a vocalist is apparent, as it is in his 2015 cover of Mali Music's "Walking Shoes" and others that can be seen on YouTube. "I like singing Christian music. That's my biggest. I also like inspirational music," Carroll said, who sings with the adult choir at the Life Application Ministries (LAM) Church in Warren, where he is the leader of the Youth Praise Team. Caleb was about six-years-old when he got involved with singing at the church, where his favorite singer (and mother), Dhamahi Carroll, serves as musical director. "I started singing young, like he did," she said. "But he has taken it to a whole new level." Caleb said it was his parents, Dhamahi and Craig, who had the idea to post his videos of him singing on YouTube. Those videos led to requests for him to sing at events, and word spread from there. Today, he said, he hopes to study music in college and make a career out of his talent. Caleb's mother said it can be challenging to balance all of his interests, but he has his heart in his music. "He knows it takes a lot of hard work," she said, "and he's up to the challenge." Story: Kevin Elliott

Photo: Laurie Tennent


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Changes for Village at Bloomfield edico, a Southfield development corporation which bought the foreclosure rights to the Village at Bloomfield, formerly known as Bloomfield Place, on Telegraph Road north of Square Lake in Bloomfield Township, received approval for amendments to the development agreement from the Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees at their meeting on Monday, December 12. The board's approval permits supervisor Leo Savoie, who represents the township on a joint development committee that oversees redevelopment of the site, to vote to allow Redico to begin demolition and development. The joint development committee is comprised of a representative of Bloomfield Township, Pontiac, and a neutral party representing Oakland County, as the Village at Bloomfield and is governed by a 425 Development Agreement between the city of Pontiac and Bloomfield Township. A 425 Development Agreement allows two local units of government to share tax revenues resulting from new or expanding development in their jurisdictions. Patti Voelker, township director of planning, building and ordinance, explained that the original developer “felt there would be critical mass and retail in a lifestyle community so you could live, work and play.” She said that developer proposed approximately 2 million square feet of retail and about 1,200 residential units, with pocket parks, open spaces and a pedestrian experience. Voelker said the plan has now been redeveloped and redesigned and will still fall within the township's B-4 business district, which is a mixed use district. She said that Redico wants to lower building heights to about 30 feet, other than one parking structure they will not demolish, to have one hotel without a restaurant, she said, larger signage, and smaller units of apartments than originally planned. “In our discussions, we're finding a lot of interest in limited service hotels,” that would focus on business clients, said Ken Till, senior vice president development at Redico. The preliminary site plan, which would have a grocer or a theater, one hotel, not two as they initially proposed, a Menard's in the back area in Pontiac, a luxury auto dealership in the front, in Bloomfield Township, other retail space, and a 432 unit three-story apartment complex to be developed by Edward Rose & Sons of Bloomfield Hills. Nathan Rosen of Edward Rose & Sons said they have built more than 60,000 apartment units nationally. “This is a new product type we're proposing. It's really like a home,” he said of smaller units, primarily onebedroom (216) between 700 and 780 square feet; 192 two-bedroom units at 950 to 1,150 square feet; and 24 three-bedroom units, running 1,250 to 1,300 square feet. Rosen said the units would be a higher end product with washer and dryers in-unit, with attached garages under the threestory buildings. To concerns from trustees Dani Walsh and Michael Schostak regarding the size, Matt Gibb, assistant to Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said, “These are not micro-apartments. Those are 300 square feet, which is being proposed in Royal Oak and Rochester.” “One of the trends is to go to smaller apartments,” trustee Neal Barnett noted. Savoie asked Rosen how much they will be investing in the project. He said Edward Rose & Sons would be investing $40 - $50 million in the project. “One of the things I like is that Ed Rose is a national company, located here (in Bloomfield Hills). They build, they manage,” said treasurer Brian Kepes. “They're not going to move on.” Noting the difficulty of reselling the property, Gibb said, “I'm not going to tell you that this is the best we can do – but this is the best we can do. Redico has worked and achieved the best plan. I believe the county has a vested interested in getting this fixed.” “This is a unique property for Bloomfield Township. This is a developer who has developed 4 billion square feet of property. This was marketed nationally for 18 months,” Savoie said. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve changing the hotel to a limited service hotel and to the signage changes, but voted 6-1, with Kepes dissenting, on changing the minimum building height, as he objects to the parking structure staying. Trustees voted 5-2, with Schostak and Walsh voting against, to change the size, scope and plans of the apartments.

R Poppleton plan moves forward By Lisa Brody

A conceptual master plan to update Birmingham's Poppleton Park sometime in the future, with a parking component pulled out, was unanimously approved by Birmingham city commissioners at their meeting on Monday, December 12 before a packed room. Poppleton Park is a 17-acre cityowned park located off Woodward Avenue, north of Maple Road, nestled in the Poppleton neighborhood. It currently has an outdated playground, two municipal tennis courts, a ball field, open space, and 14 parking spaces along Rivenoak. In the past year, the Birmingham Parks and Recreation board was charged by the city commission to look at both Poppleton and Adams parks for conceptual work, with each having neighborhood meetings. The goal, director of public services Lauren Wood said, was to work with the public to create a conceptual plan that could then “in 2017, as we update our parks and recreation master plan as a five-year document, keep us on track for grant funding and budgets. The process has just begun. It's a place holder for budgeting.” A concept plan presented by MC Smith of MC Smith Associates recommended an enhanced, universal, inclusive play system; a walking path; benches and seating areas; drinking fountains; two pavilions with picnic areas; maintenance of the tennis courts and improvement of the ball field; new trees; maintenance of green space; and the addition of 88 proposed parking spaces along the interior of Woodward, along the berm area, without the removal of any trees. “The park has some beautiful elements, but the open spaces, it's a very wet open space,” Smith, who said he's been designing parks for over 40 years, noted. He particularly recommended designing a high level playground for a variety of users that would be ADA-compliant that would be accessible by walkways traversing the park “so a variety of users can use the park.” To objections from those in the audience who came out to object to the 88 proposed parking spaces, Smith said, “We know a ball field like this should have 70 outfield parking spaces – that's what it takes.” He noted that MDOT, which owns Woodward Avenue, not Birmingham,

had recommendations for parking and access points. “We received a lot of correspondence on this. Tonight, we're asked to accept this concept plan, or reject this. But we have a third option. I think we need to remove the parking elements from this concept plan so we can talk about the parks and recreation elements of the plan,” commissioner Stuart Sherman proposed. Mayor Mark Nickita asked the audience for a show of support, and it was unanimous. Nickita then explained that the key component of a park plan “is the general upgrade of various areas. By moving forward on this concept plan, we can seek funding options,” he explained. Commissioners and the public liked the upgraded playground and a shade/picnic pavilion near the playground, and most liked the idea of accessibility provided by a walking path. “I hear from a professional that walking paths are nearly universal in parks in metro Detroit,” mayor pro tem Andy Harris said. Smith concurred, “Yes. Walking is the number one activity.” “I'm in favor of a walking path. That's a good element,” commissioner Rackeline Hoff said. But commissioners were not in favor of a larger pavilion proposed in the plan that Smith suggested could be used for family picnics, neighborhood picnics, birthday parties, or classroom for a day, as well as shade. City manager Joe Valentine noted that specifics of the plan would be studied further, if and when the plan would be implemented. “Accepting this concept plan allows it to be looked at during the master plan process, and allows for funding, and then we can get into the specific details,” he said. Commissioners approved the concept plan 7-0, minus the parking addition and the larger pavilion.

Gazelle Sports opens in Birmingham Gazelle Sports, an activewear store featuring footwear and apparel for women and men first begun in Kalamazoo 30 years ago, opened its doors at The Woodward Building in downtown Birmingham on Wednesday, November 23. Gazelle is located on Pierce Street at the corner of Maple Road at 99 W. Maple, and while The Woodward Building is still under construction,


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shoppers are urged to make their way through the construction barriers to its door, where they will find clothing, activewear, footwear and other items to enhance running, walking and active lifestyle. “Our focus is on building healthy communities, whether it's individually or collectively,” said coowner Chris Lampen-Crowell. “It's about active living.” The store’s running, walking and workout shoe collection is for the active user, not the collector, with shoes by Nike Air, Asics, Brooks, New Balance, Saucony and others available in the store. “We'll evaluate your gait and foot structure,” Lampen-Crowell said. “We train all of our employees, because we're trying to find the right shoes for you.” He goes a step further than many other stores, by guaranteeing the product Gazelle sells. “If it doesn't work out – bring it back,” LampenCrowell said. “We don't want you to give it away or put it in the back of your closet.” The store features activewear and lifestyle clothing for running,

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walking and lifestyle for both women and men from Nike, Adidas, Lole, Prana, Toad & Co., and other fun activewear lines. The Birmingham location is the second Gazelle Sports on this side of the state. In August 2015, they opened a Northville store at Haggerty and Seven Mile. They also have stores in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Holland.

Shopping district leader moving on Longtime Birmingham Shopping District (BSD) executive director John Heiney has announced that he will be leaving his position in midto late-January to relocate to Arizona. Heiney is following his wife, Sheri Heiney, president of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, who submitted her resignation to become the incoming president and CEO of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce in Prescott, Arizona. Heiney has been in his position for 17 years, since 1999.

“I have been blessed to have a board with great continuity in leadership, and a dedicated and talented staff,” said Heiney. “Birmingham has been a special and defining part of my career. Now I am looking to a new direction. This seems like the right time to make the move.” The Heineys have close family in Arizona and Colorado, including a new grandchild in Denver. “Driving distance and/or a very short plane ride,” he exulted. He said his mother and a brother live in Sedona, Arizona, which will be an hour away. BSD board chair Geoff Hockman thanked Heiney for his service to the organization, and wished him luck in his new endeavor. “John has worked to continually improve the shopping district in all aspects,” Hockman said. “We thank him for his dedication and service, and wish him well in his next endeavor.” “I was in on the hiring process for him,” recalled executive board member Richard Astrein, co-owner of Astrein's Jewelry. “We had 14 applicants, and he was the first interview. After he was done, I

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closed my notebook and said that's it. “It's so important to have good people skills. John's a good listener. He's got a constituency of 1,000 people, from merchants to restaurateurs to landlords to the city commission,” Astrein continued. “He will be sorely missed.” The executive committee is planning to work immediately with the city of Birmingham to begin a search for a new executive director. Astrein said he hopes to be on the hiring committee. Heiney said he has assured his board members that they will be in good hands during the transition. “The BSD staff are the finest I have worked with,” said Heiney. “They will make sure things run smoothly as the board seeks a new executive director.”

Parking pattern to remain the same An issue many residents may not have been aware of was discussed, and discarded, on Monday, November 21, by Birmingham city

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commissioners who approved adding head-in parking – the style the city currently has – to Old Woodward when it is completely reconstructed from Willits to Brown next spring. City engineer Paul O'Meara and planning director Jana Ecker explained that during the spring and summer of 2017, the city plans to completely reconstruct portions of Old Woodward and Maple in downtown Birmingham. A complete reconstruction is more than just grinding up the pavement and repaving – it includes the installation of new water and sewer lines, new curbs, gutters, sidewalks, and new lighting, followed by repaving and striping. “We have three water mains there. One water main we're still using is from 1899,” O'Meara said. “We have four sewers running parallel, which says to me they've been added over time to add capacity. It's kind of a mess. We need to clean that up, add bigger pipes.” He said there are also numerous handicap access issues, and some very long crosswalks, including the one at Brown Street, which is over 70-feet across Old Woodward. Sidewalks in several areas date back to the 1930s. Ecker said the idea of redoing the road and the streetscape “is not a new concept. It was in the 2016 Plan. The street is overly wide, and doesn't work.” Planning for the road construction, however, has been on a very advanced scheduled, and with plans to implement it being rushed in order to make it for the spring construction schedule, commissioners were presented with parking and crosswalk plans by road design consultant MKSK after a quickly scheduled meeting of the city's multi-modal transportation meeting right before the city commission meeting. MKSK recommended narrowing Old Woodward by two-feet on either side, creating a 66-foot wide street and wider sidewalk, with back-in angled parking, which they said gains a wider sidewalk and more linear landscape. The road would maintain a left center turn lane, which could be used for travel and snow removal storage. The consultant said, “Your head-in parking isn't safe when you're trying to promote biking.” They said that the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) now opposes head-in parking due to greater likelihood of crashes. 66

Township adopts public comment policy By Lisa Brody

fter seeing public comments after some agenda items degrade into what Bloomfield Township Supervisor Leo Savoie categorized as “public debate” at many recent board of trustee meetings, trustees voted on Monday, November 28, to change public comment to the beginning of trustee meetings. Public hearings would not be affected. “It used to be when I got on the board, there wasn't public comment after each agenda item,” Savoie said. “It has degraded into something else – into public debate. This forum is to do business, not for public debate. Each board member has an email address.” Township attorney Bill Hampton said the Michigan Township Association strongly recommends the adoption of policy where “the public has the right to attend and watch the board conduct its business. However the public does not have the right to participate in the deliberations or decisions of a township board.” Hampton said that the “township board meeting is where the township conducts its business as part of a meeting. The public has a right to be heard. It can be at the beginning or end of a meeting. The proposal here is for the beginning of the meeting. There is ample opportunity for the public to be heard, whether by emails, personal meetings or letters. There is a misconception of what public comment is for.” The Open Meetings Act states that “public body may establish reasonable rules and regulations in order to minimize the possibility of disrupting the meeting.” One or two residents had taken to commenting on most agenda items at every meeting, sometimes with great animosity. As Savoie noted, if there are 10 agenda items, at three minutes each, each person adds 30 minutes to the meeting. “To limit our entire population based on a couple bad interactions seems over the line,” said trustee Dani Walsh. “Commenting on each agenda item is unheard of, and there's an attorney general opinion on that,” Hampton said. “Most of the major issues we deal with are public hearings, and every resident has the opportunity to speak at those,” Savoie said. Trustees voted 5-2, with Walsh and trustee Dave Buckley dissenting, and it was enacted immediately at the meeting.

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Ann Arbor is the only city in Michigan, they acknowledged, that has some areas of back-in parking. “You only turn left from Merrill and Hamilton. The rest of the area is wasted space. That's quite a significant space that is unused,” noted mayor Mark Nickita. Despite the traffic consultants stating there was a slight increase in safety with back-in parking, commissioners were not sold on the concept, and the city's retailers were not in favor, with 12 of them sending letters to the city opposing it, and three speaking to the commission. “I'm concerned that because the retailers are not in favor of back-in parking it will negatively impact our retail environment and the downtown area. I'm reluctant to experiment with this,” commissioner Patti Bordman said. “The fact that there is no

comparative community doing this – it's novel. I'm reluctant to approve this,” commissioner Stuart Sherman said. “I think it will scare people. It may be safer – it may not be. I see it as a toss up, and with a toss up, I'm going to stay with what we have.” Commissioner Carroll DeWeese concurred. “I'm uneasy proceeding with this. Not only the retailers, I've had other people express concerns, including older people. I'd go this way until you could prove the other was better. I don't think it's the way to go. It's not clearly better.” “We have to balance the retailers, the people who use the downtown, their concerns, with the gain. We know parking is a big concern. I concur with the move here,” Nickita said. Commissioner voted 5-1, with commissioner Andy Harris dissenting and Rackeline Hoff

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absent, to approve a 66-foot roadway with a nine-foot center lane, adding two-feet to each sidewalk, and accepting head-in parking with the flexibility to change in the future if they choose.

2017 safety path plan moves forward By a unanimous vote, the Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees approved the plan and authorized the design for safety paths for 2017 at their meeting on Monday, November 28. Bloomfield Township voters first approved a millage to design and build safety paths throughout the township in 1998, connecting the community via the safety paths with Birmingham and West Bloomfield, with millage renewals every five years. Township Engineering and Environmental Services Director Wayne Domine said about eight miles of safety paths have been built from the plans. For 2017, Domine recommended building a path on the north side of Long Lake, west of Bloomcrest Road to Adams, continuing from where the township left off in 2016, for about 4,000 feet. Another path he recommended would be 825 feet on Woodward, from Manor to Big Beaver, and 775 feet on Woodward from Big Beaver to Strathmore. “It's a little more than a mile of construction, for a total of $1.45 million,” all of which was budgeted, Domine told trustees. He also said they would do construction at various locations that needed repairs. Trustees voted 7-0 to permit Domine to have designs finalized, bid the work and construct the safety paths.

Separate city sewer, stormwater fees As a result of a class action lawsuit, Birmingham is required to separate its billing for stormwater and sewer fees to residents by January 1, 2017, which city commissioners unanimously approved, along with rates, at their meeting on Monday, December 5. “The lawsuit requires exact usage for sewer. We were required by the court order to pull out the stormwater unit from the sewer charges, and create a new methodology to create a user fee that is proportionate to use,” 01.17


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said city treasurer Mark Gerber, of the lawsuit, Wolf v. City of Birmingham, which challenged Birmingham's imposition of sewer charges as a tax in excess of stormwater disposal services imposed by Oakland County. The plaintiff, Lawrence Wolf of Birmingham, contended in the lawsuit he is a water and sanitary sewer customer who had paid stormwater charges imposed by the city. In the suit, filed by the law firm Kickham Hanley, which has initiated sewer and water lawsuits against several other Oakland County municipalities, Wolf asserted the stormwater charges were not proper user fees, but taxes wrongfully imposed by the city of Birmingham to raise revenue in violation of the Headlee Amendment, and that he and others similarly charged had been harmed by the city's collection and retention of the stormwater charges. The city of Birmingham resolved the lawsuit during a closed session of the city commission on Monday, November 23, through a $2.85 million settlement. The issue in Birmingham was because most of the city has a

combined sewer overflow system, where stormwater and sewer has been measured together, Gerber said. He said that engineering firm Hubbell Roth & Clark (HRC) created a new billing methodology, working with city staff, the city's attorney, Tim Currier, and in concert with pending legislation (HB 5991) in the state House of Representatives sponsored by state Rep. Mike McCready (RBirmingham, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills) to authorize local municipalities to adopt stormwater management utilities and funds to maintain them. It is supported by the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner's Office and Michigan Municipal League, Gerber said. Fees would be proportional to the volume of stormwater that is projected to discharge into the combined sewer system and stormwater sewer system from a resident's property. As for fees, HRC created a methodology that determined the percentage of the total property, and the percentage that would make up stormwater. “It may not be perfect, but it's an

improvement. I'm in full support given the circumstances,” said commissioner Carroll DeWeese. “Staff has done a competent job of moving us from where we were to where we need to be,” said mayor Mark Nickita. “We have a deadline of the end of the year. We can always refine it later.” “It's a reallocation of how we've always done it,” said city manager Joe Valentine. “Some properties will be disadvantaged, some will be advantaged, based on the circumstances, and based on the requirements.” Commissioners voted 7-0 to approve both the ordinance to amend the methodology and the change to the fees for sewer rates.

Old Woodward Cellar opens in downtown Old Woodward Cellar, a wine store and tasting facility located at 912 S. Old Woodward in downtown Birmingham, has opened its doors to both oenophiles and casual wine enthusiasts.

“It's a specialty store for people who want to deal with people who specialize in wine,” said Nick Apone, who owns the new store with his wife Gina. Apone has been in the wine industry for 20 years, working first in restaurants and then for five years at the Plum store at Maple and Lahser in Bloomfield Township, where he ran the wine program for the Jonnas, before moving on to The Red Wagon Wine Shoppe in Rochester for five years. The name – Old Woodward Cellar – is a play on both the street the store is on, along with its acronym, OWC, which stands for original wooden case, which wine comes in for auctions. “So wine guys know, and it gives auction lots provenance. It proves authenticity,” Apone noted. “I went to culinary school at Schoolcraft College,” he said. His father, also named Nick Apone, was a restaurateur who previously owned Intermezzo in Detroit, and Nick, the son, grew up in the restaurant, but realized cooking wasn't his passion – wine was. “In restaurants, people are there to enjoy their company. You have

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minimal time to talk (with them). In retail, it's like going to a candy store – they're wanting to talk wine,” he noted. “Retail is so different. It's such an open forum. They can talk freely about what they want.” He said it took him about 10 years to get his “ducks in a row,” and now he is thrilled with Old Woodward Cellar, designed by Ron & Roman in a beautiful environment which also protects the over 1,000 bottles, ranging in price from $15 to $15,000, from the elements. “I told them wine comes first and foremost. We had westfacing windows, and we blocked them in to protect the wines,” he said. A back door was also blocked in order to prevent any penetration of heat to the wine bottles, and any other windows on the site were coated with a UV film that is “15 times thicker than a coating on cars. It shields 99.95 percent of ultraviolet rays,” Apone said. “When UV rays hits wine, it emits dirty odors and it spoils the wine.” Old Woodward Cellar carries a large selection of California wines, along with French and Italian wines, and some from other areas of the world. “It's a world set,” he said. A 25-person tasting room will provide an opportunity for education. “When a winemaker visits Detroit, they can educate and explain to people about their wine, and have tastings,” he said, noting they have a tasting license. “We want to teach people about wine. “I just love wine,” he enthused. “When my wife and I – we're both Italian – when we're cooking, a bottle of wine is always involved. It's part of life.”

Manor Estates lot split nixed by board By Lisa Brody

A request by a developer who purchased three lots in an established neighborhood in Bloomfield Township with large wooded lots to split the lots into eight lots accessible by a private culde-sac road, was denied by a unanimous vote by the Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees at their meeting on Monday, December 12, noting it would change the character of the neighborhood, and set a precedence for other developers to downtownpublications.com

CDBG funds approved in Birmingham irmingham city commissioners unanimously approved county Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds that will benefit needy seniors in Birmingham in the form of yard services, senior services and minor home repairs, for 2017. For the 2017 program year, in conjunction with Oakland County, Birmingham will receive an allocation of $6,306 towards help for yard services; $3,300 for public services for seniors; and $22,414 for minor home repairs, for the rehab of previously owned homes, for a total of $32,020. The allocation is the same as for 2016. Mark Gerber, Birmingham treasurer, said that Birmingham has been a participant of the CDBG program for over 26 years. The CDBG program is a federal program under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. First created in 1974 as a compilation of numerous existing federal programs during the Nixon administration, the CDBG program is one of the longest continuously run programs at HUD. Gerber explained in a memo to commissioners that under CDBG guidelines communities may only spend a maximum of 30 percent of their 2017 funding allocation on public service activities. For Birmingham, the 30 percent allocation totals $9,606, which is the amount requested by NEXT, Birmingham's senior services program, under the public services category. “NEXT’s request included $6,306 for yard services and $3,300 for senior services to help defray the expenses involved in the overall operations of NEXT’s outreach program. NEXT also requested funding this year for the rehabilitation of privately owned homes occupied by low/moderate income households (minor home repair). It is recommended that funding for senior services, yard services, and minor home repair be approved for this grant,” he said in his memo. Commissioners voted 6-0 to approve the funds, with commissioner Patti Bordman recusing herself as she sits on NEXT's board.

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come in and subdivide neighborhoods. Patti Voelker, planning, building and ordinance director, explained that developer Matt Shiffman was seeking approval to demolish to existing homes and then subdivide the three parcels in order to get eight single family residential lots. The 7.33 acre property fronts Big Beaver on the north, Manor Road to the south, Manor Park in the city of Birmingham to the east, and Bloomfield Manor subdivision to the west, whose residents were opposed to the division of the property. Manor Road weaves between Bloomfield Township and Birmingham. Plans submitted showed a private cul-de-sac road with an entryway with a limestone sign reading “Manor Estates.” Each subdivided lot was proposed at an acre or under, while existing lot sizes are considerably larger, with

some home sites sitting on several acres. “The parcels comply with township ordinances. The lot sizes meet the R-3 standards, and are accessible from a private road,” said Shiffman's attorney Rick Rattner. “All of the lots are rectangular. The design of the lots, the designs of the homes will be reflective of the people buying those homes, just like the eclectic homes that are there.” Wetlands considerations, engineering and traffic studies were presented. Jeff Bridgland and Steven Niswander of Niswander Environmental wrote in a letter to township engineer Wayne Domine, “The site is somewhat rolling and is wooded, and is dominated by canopy trees such as oak, cherry, basswood, maple, and a variety of evergreens. Understory vegetation is generally of low quality, and consists of invasive common buckthorn and honeysuckle. A majority of the site is

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upland, although two wetlands are present along the eastern edge of the property, adjacent to an existing hiking trail.” The report stated the wetland and other environmental plans would not adversely impact the site. Numerous residents, however, told trustees they objected to the lot split because they had bought and lived in the neighborhood precisely because of the wooded, rural topography and secluded nature close to downtown Birmingham. Many noted that lot splits were not permitted in Bloomfield Manor Association area by deed restriction. “It would be a dramatic impact upon everyone,” said one resident. “It wouldn't fit in.” “Please take into consideration that your approval will change the overall character of the neighborhood, creating small nonconforming parcels with large homes,” said resident Lyn Medow, president of the neighborhood association. “The open space and natural environment of the neighborhood would be forever altered. My understanding is that our deed restrictions have been in effect for decades.” Trustee Michael Schostak asked if they approved the lot split it would set a precedent. Township attorney Bill Hampton replied, “It is precedence setting. It would be an argument (by future developers). It would not be binding, but it can be brought up.” “If you look at Mr. Rattner, he contends he has complied with all of the township ordinances, but the one thing that is out there is changing the nature of the neighborhood,” said supervisor Leo Savoie. “You have acreage and size of lots. I will let the legal minds determine the law, but I would put out there that the character of the neighborhood would be changed.” Trustee Neal Barnett moved to deny the request, noting it “has to do with the change of the character, nature of the area, and size of the lots. It's part of what Bloomfield Township has to offer. It's what Manor Road has been for more than 100 years, and that is important.” “I would suggest these lot size do not comply with the rural, open nature of this area,” treasurer Brian Kepes said. Trustees rejected the lot split request, 7-0. 71


FACES Gaylee Rubin he life of a movie star can be exhausting and difficult, but part-time Birmingham resident Gaylee Rubin has prepared herself for the arduous challenges. "I've had two hip replacements and cataract surgery, but I just keep going," Rubin said from her home in Los Angeles. "I figure I can work until I'm 90." Rubin, who took up a second career in acting in 2008 when film incentives brought the lights and cameras of Hollywood to Michigan and the metro Detroit area, is hesitant to reveal how old she is. Age discrimination is real, folks. To throw the agents off, she recently found a colorist to dye her hair to bring out the gray. "My agent told me nobody wanted me because I look too young for my age â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I love Hollywood," she said. "My acting teacher told me I'd get a lot of work if I let my hair grow gray. I resisted for a while, thinking I'd look old, but it turns out I don't look any older." In talking with her, it's clear she's not feeling any older, either. Raised in Birmingham from 15-years-old, Rubin's first introduction to acting came in the form of lessons when she was about 11. The Will-O-Way Playhouse in Bloomfield Hills was an apple storage building converted to a theater where she immediately fell in love with the stage. Despite her early passion, Rubin said her parents forbade it. "I loved it, and I knew I wanted to do it, but my parents wouldn't let me, so I started writing," she said. "But I loved writing." Earning her graduate degree in creative writing, Rubin started writing short stories for various journals, later compiling them into her book, "On A Good Day." She worked as an editor for Michigan Hot Apples, an annual literary anthology of poetry and fiction; an editor for Cigar Lifestyles Magazine; hosted "Writer's Round Table" cable show; and has been a guest presenter for various Detroitarea writing workshops. "Mostly, I wrote short stories. A lot of people who liked them were feminist literary journals. I didn't even know what a feminist was," Rubin said. "Now I know. I was surprised that people who really loved my stories were feminists." While she said she never completely gave up writing, she put her career on hold to care for her daughter's special needs. It wasn't until Hollywood seemed to discover Detroit that she rediscovered her desire for acting. Rubin's "big break" came about 2008, when she was cast as an extra in a movie shot in an abandoned car factory turned into a movie studio. "Then I was a movie star, just like that. In my mind anyway," she said. "I just tell everyone I'm a move star and they believe me." In 2011, Rubin landed a role in the move The Margarine Wars. More recently, she has been spending winters in California with her husband, where she has since taken up acting lessons at the Beverly Hills Playhouse and gotten an agent to help find parts. "I'm in class with mostly 20-year-olds. They are very talented and smart," she said. "I think they are nice to me because I remind them of their grandmother. They are always telling me about their grandmothers. "They always need an old lady in scenes, so I get a lot of work."

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BUSINESS MATTERS

Swedish cuisine offerings Christina Bakalis, a Swedish entrepreneur, is bringing a taste of Northern Europe to Birmingham. Svenska Café recently opened at 930 E. Maple Road. Diners can indulge in Swedish sandwiches and baked goods. “We have meatballs with beet salad, shrimp sandwich, salmon sandwich and chicken mango curry,” Bakalis said. “We’re trying to get (diners) to do it the Swedish way. We eat sandwiches open face with a knife and fork.” Bakalis, a Bloomfield Hills resident, makes her own baked goods in a commercial kitchen. “I think every Swedish person grew up cooking,” she said. “We have cardamom cake and I cook my mom’s hazelnut cake recipe.” Everything the café offers is created through Swedish cookbooks, she said. “If people want something different, we will make it however they want it.” According to Bakalis, the community has embraced the café. “I thought people would be afraid of it, but they love it,” she said. “We get a lot of Europeans here. A lot of people come in and work on their computer. I get people who come in and come back. People are really liking it and they love our coffee.”

Hair options for women Nicole Ashley and Amanda Fraifogl have opened Blo Birmingham, a blow dry bar in the 555 Building. “We have a hair menu with seven signature looks. You can also bring a photo and we offer an updo a la carte,” Ashley said. “We just announced three new styles for the holiday. We’ll announce three more come spring. They will be a little more summer-focused and more beachy.” Additionally, the stylists can accommodate ethnic hair. They recently hired a makeup artist who does full-face, eye makeup and eyelash application. Ashley and Fraifogl realized there was a need for this type of salon in Birmingham. They decided to set up in the 555 Building after considering the convenience of their clients. “No one wants to do their own hair and I felt we were missing that here.” Blo boasts 10 downtownpublications.com

chairs and about 11 stylists. “(The stylists) get intensive training on our seven signature looks.” Many of their patrons have extensions so most of their products have a heat protectant built into it. They also use all vegan and sulfate-free products. During the week, the schedule is fairly flexible and they can typically accommodate walkins. The cost is $38 for a wash, blow dry and style. “As far as make up, it’s $15 just for lashes. $35 for just eyes and full face is $60.” Their makeup line is mineral to avoid skin irritation. “You can call us last minute, book online or walk in the door,” Ashley said. “For the weekend, it’s good to make an appointment ahead.”

Gallery show Birmingham photographer Laurie Tennent will showcase close to 40 of her signature botanicals, recently exhibited at Chicago Botanic Garden and Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, at an exhibition at Oakland University, along with Lisa Waud of Detroit Flower House. Tennent photographs unique and unusual botanical specimens against black backgrounds, and then transfers them to metal, where they can hang indoors or out. “Lisa is going to do an interesting installation of flowers and branches when you come in, and a forest piece in the center that we collaborated on,” Tennent said. Oakland University curator Stephen (Dick) Goody has produced a companion catalog. “He does awesome shows. It’s a big, huge space,” Tennent said. The exhibit will run from January 7 through February 19.

Women’s fashions Women’s clothing store Voila Boutique has opened its doors at 395 Hamilton Row in downtown Birmingham. The boutique offers affordable clothing ranging from casual to evening apparel. Sister team, Pascale Forster and Carole Viadero, have owned Voila Boutique in Grosse Pointe for six years and decided to expand to accommodate their customers in the Birmingham

and Bloomfield communities. “It’s stylish, unique and affordable (clothing) for everyday life,” Forster said. The sisters travel to Paris, where they once lived, to bring back styles from all over Europe. “We carry (items) from France, Spain, Italy and Denmark,” she said. “We go to stores here in New York and Chicago, too. We carry some American brands, but we try to find European flare in the style.” They also carry handbags, shoes and jewelry designs by local artist Beth North. “She makes (jewelry) to go with our looks.” The business owners seek out unique styles at an affordable price point. “We work really hard when we go to shows to find good prices,” Forster said. Prices range from $50-$300 and they limit the quantity of each item to ensure their customers can display their own unique look. “We don’t want to see everyone wearing the same items,” Forster said. “We have sizes extra small to extra large and we only carry one of each. We don’t want to see the same clothes on the rack.” Customers can expect to see something new every week at Voila. Co-owner Viaedro designs her own line of clothing called Zig Zag. “She goes to France and buys some unusual fabric,” Forster said. “She has her own sewing machine and her own room. Everything is one-ofa-kind. We do have clients who just come for her designs. She’s very creative.”

Vintage t-shirts Homage, a vintage-inspired athletic apparel clothing store, has opened at 175 W. Maple in Birmingham. The store offers collegiate, pro-team and hometown pride apparel. “(Homage) is a growing company in Ohio,” said assistant manager Gabe Oviedo. “A lot of people are excited to come in who already know the name. There’s a following that’s already up here.” The vintage apparel pays respect to athletes of years past. “It’s wearing it again in a new way,” Oviedo said. “We just released our Hustle workout gear.” This is Homage’s sixth location. “We’re looking to grow and be a staple throughout the Midwest,” he

DOWNTOWN

said. “Birmingham is perfect. It’s a mix between the big city and hometown life.”

Medora retires Cucina Medoro at 768 N. Old Woodward in Birmingham closed its doors this past fall. Owner Maria Medoro decided to close the Italian eatery to spend more time with her family. “My daughter recently had a son,” she said. “I want to spend all the time I can with my grandbaby.” Medoro, a single woman, also suffered from health issues. “It was too much for me,” she said. “It came to a point when my health didn’t give me the energy.” Medoro also struggled to find employees. “I tried to look for help on Craigslist and Facebook. I had all my girls who worked for me in the summer and Christmastime when they were out of school, but it’s hard to find help for now.” Although Medoro is content with her decision to close, she said she misses her customers and the Birmingham community. “I miss the place and I miss the people, I really tried to make the place like family. My clients were really, really nice people. They recognized the quality.” The restaurant was open for three years and offered soup, lasagna and other Italian fare. “It wasn’t a lack of customers. A lot of kids liked to come in for the soup and lasagna. I had a lot of doctors and lawyers who came in,” she said. “People still call me for catering. I have a Facebook page and I’m still interested in catering.” Medoro now works for Bacco Ristorante in Southfield, but said she would consider starting another business if she had a partner. “It was too much work for me, but I miss it. I still keep in touch with some of my customers.” For now, Medoro is enjoying spending time with her first grandchild. “I can spend a lot more time with the baby and enjoy family time.” Business Matters for the Birmingham Bloomfield area are reported by Katey Meisner. Send items for consideration to KateyMeisner@downtownpublications.com. Items should be received three weeks prior to publication.

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FACES Shauna Damman hen Shauna Damman gave birth to her third child last summer, her C-section left her unable to comfortably use sidewalk chalk alongside her oldest daughter, Claire, who loves to doodle on the driveway of the family’s Bloomfield Hills home. “Getting up and down with chalk was a challenge,” said Shauna, who found a solution to her problem in the form of a busted rake. Attaching a piece of chalk to the rake handle with a plastic zip tie, Shauna found she could color flowers, stick figures and the like with her nine-year-old daughter without having to get on her hands and knees. Unbeknownst to her at the time, Shauna had created the inaugural prototype for what would become known as Walkie Chalk, a product she and her husband, Matt, launched from the ground up. Currently on sale at the Beverly Hills' Ace Hardware and Birmingham’s Restyle Child, Walkie Chalk is also slated for the shelves of national retailers, including Bed Bath and Beyond. The stand-up chalk holder is a kid-friendly gadget that uses durable foam to hold in place a piece of chalk at the end of the plastic handle. “It’s been neat to show our kids that if you put your mind to anything – if you come up with an idea, you can make it come to life,” said Shauna. “(Our son and daughter) are on the package, so they think it’s really neat.” “There’s a lot of uses for it that we’re just scratching the surface of,” said Matt, who has a background in manufacturing, sales, and retail. “I had a distributor in Kansas City (contact us). They’re going to tire repair stores – if someone can’t reach a tire, they can reach out and mark something (with Walkie Chalk).” Art teachers and physical therapists are also taking a liking to the new product, as is the Plymouth Township clerk, who requested Walkie Chalk before the August presidential primary, citing it as a helpful tool for precinct workers who have to draw lines to keep voters organized while they wait. While Shauna gets crafty with art projects for the kids at home, her chalk-on-a-stick concept was her first invention, and she credits Matt for making “the magic happen.” “You’ve got to get beyond friends and family, and push your comfort zone, be willing to put yourself out there,” he said, making no qualms about the difficulty of being an after hours entrepreneur while working full time and being a dad. “We’re just a normal couple taking our personal time and money, and we really tried to do it. That we actually did it, that’s the gratifying work. We did something a lot of people would rarely do.” Working on Walkie Chalk has meant lack of sleep for Shauna, as well, who makes time for the budding business in between commitments with her children. “I have my traveling office in the minivan,” she joked. “My phone, a couple of notebooks, and my planner. If I’m waiting in the school pick-up line, I’m making callbacks, then it’s full throttle from 9 p.m. to midnight,” said the former public relations representative. “It’s been a neat journey… to put my work hat back on, and show myself I can get back in the saddle.”

W

Story: Katie Deska

Photo: Laurie Tennent


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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 listings include nearly all dining establishments with seating in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area, and then some select restaurants outside the immediate area served by Downtown. The complete Places To Eat is available at downtownpublications.com and in an optimized format for your smart phone (downtownpublications.com/mobile), where you can actually map out locations and automatically dial a restaurant from our Places To Eat.

Birmingham/Bloomfield 220: American. Lunch & Dinner, MondaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 220 E. Merrill Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.2220. 5th Tavern: American. Lunch & Dinner daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2262 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Township, 48302. 248.481.9607. Andiamo: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 6676 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Township, 48301. 248.865.9300. Bagger Dave's Legendary Burger Tavern: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 6608 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Township, 48301. 248.792.3579. Bangkok Thai Bistro: Thai. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 42805 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Township, 48304. 248.499.6867. Beau's: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 4108 W. Maple, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.626.2630. Bella Piatti: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 167 Townsend Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.494.7110. Beverly Hills Grill: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. Liquor. No reservations. 31471 Southfield Road, Beverly Hills, 48025. 248.642.2355. Beyond Juice: Contemporary. Breakfast & Lunch daily; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. 270 West Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.7078. Big Rock Chophouse: American. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 245 South Eton Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.7774. Bill's: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Daily. Reservations, lunch only. Liquor. 39556 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.646.9000. Birmingham Sushi Cafe: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 377 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.8880. Bistro Joe’s Kitchen: Global. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Sunday brunch. Liquor. Reservations. 34244 Woodward Ave., Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.0984. Bloomfield Deli: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, Monday-Friday. No reservations. 71 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.645.6879. Brooklyn Pizza: Pizza. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 111 Henrietta Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6690. Café ML: New American. Dinner, daily. Liquor. Call ahead. 3607 W. Maple Road, Bloomfield Township. 248.642.4000. Cafe Via: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 310 East Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.8800.

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Cameron’s Steakhouse: American. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 115 Willits Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.1700. China Village: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 1655 Opdyke, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.758.1221. Churchill's Bistro & Cigar Bar: Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 116 S. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.4555. Cityscape Deli: Deli. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. 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. Dick O’Dow’s: Irish. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 160 West Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.1135. Eddie Merlot's: Steak & seafood. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 37000 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.712.4095. Einstein Bros. Bagels: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 4089 West Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.258.9939. Elie’s Mediterranean Cuisine: Mediterranean. Lunch & Dinner, MondaySaturday. No reservations. Liquor. 263 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.2420. Embers Deli & Restaurant: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. Dinner, Monday-Friday. No reservations. 3598 West Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.645.1033. Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: American. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 323 N. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.0134. Forest: European. Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 735 Forest Avenue, Birmingham 48009. 248.258.9400 Greek Island Coney Restaurant: Greek. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 221 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.1222. Griffin Claw Brewing Company: American. Dinner, Tuesday-Friday, Lunch & Dinner, Saturday and Sunday. No Reservations. Liquor. 575 S. Eton Street, Birmingham. 248.712.4050. Honey Tree Grille: Greek/American. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, daily. No reservations. 3633 W. Maple Rd, Bloomfield, MI 48301. 248.203.9111. Hunter House Hamburgers: American. Breakfast, Monday-Saturday; Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 35075 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.7121. Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse: American. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 201 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.4369. IHOP: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 2187 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301. 248.333.7522. Ironwood Grill: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations, 6 or more. Liquor. 290 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.385.0506. Kerby’s Koney Island: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 2160 N. Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.333.1166. La Marsa: Mediterranean. Lunch & Dinner daily. Reservations. 43259 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.858.5800. La Strada Dolci e Caffe: Italian. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. No

SERVING DINNER 6 DAYS, BRUNCH ON SATURDAY & SUNDAY. PRIVATE EVENT SPACE AVAILABLE FOR HOLIDAY PARTIES.

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M-F: 7am – 8 pm Saturday – Sunday 7 am – 4 pm

3598 W. Maple Road Bloomfield Hills 48301 Maple and Lahser in the Village Knoll shopping center

248.645.1033 • www.embersdeli1.com 79


THE COMMUNITY HOUSE OFFICERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS

C O R D I A L LY I N V I T E S Y O U T O AT T E N D

THE

DINNER

January 28, 2017 at 6:30 pm 380 South Bates Street, Birmingham, Michigan 48009

Three Course Seated Dinner, Wine and Cocktails, Live Entertainment, Inspirational Evening of Recognition Black Tie Optional, Valet Parking

For tickets or more information, visit communityhouse.com or call 248.644.5832

2017 PILLAR INDUCTEES INCLUDE: C U LT U R E

E D U C AT I O N

PHILANTHROPY

WELLNESS

David Hohendorf Victor Saroki

Margaret Matthes

George Miller Lois Shaevsky

Richard Astrein Rosanna Morris

The Bates Street Society was created in 2015 to recognize donors who make significant charitable contributions to support the work and mission of The Community House in Birmingham and to recognize The Community House’s annual Pillars of Vibrancy: Culture, Education, Philanthropy and Wellness. Membership in the Bates Street Society is achieved when a donor’s cumulative giving totals $25,000 or more. The Bates Street Society features a number of major giving recognition levels, each offering graduated benefits and recognition.


reservations. Liquor. 243 E. Merrill Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.480.0492. 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, 48304. 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. Mad Hatter Cafe: Tea Room. Brunch, Lunch & Dinner. No reservations. Liquor. 185 N. Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.540.0000 Mandaloun Bistro: Lebanese. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, Daily. Reservations. Liquor. 30100 Telegraph Rd., Suite 130, Bingham Farms, 48025. 248.723.7960. Market North End: Mediterranean. Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. No reservations. Liquor. 474 N. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.712.4953. MEX Mexican Bistro & Tequila Bar: Mexican. Lunch, Monday-Friday, Dinner, daily. Liquor. 6675 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Township, 48301. 248.723.0800. 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. Nippon Sushi Bar: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2079 S. Telegraph, Bloomfield Township, 48302. 248.481.9581. Nosh & Rye: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 39495 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.646.7923. Olga’s Kitchen: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 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: American. 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. 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. Also 42967 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Township, 48304. 248.874.1876 Roadside B & G: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 1727 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.858.7270. Rojo Mexican Bistro: Mexican. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 250 Merrill Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.6200. Salvatore Scallopini: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & Wine. 505 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.8977. Sanders: American. Lunch, daily. No reservations. 167 N. Old Woodward,

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Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.3215. Sidecar Slider Bar: Burgers. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 280 E. Merrill Street, Birmingham 48009. 248.220.4167. Social Kitchen & Bar: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations, parties of 5 or more. Liquor. 225 E. Maple Road, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.4200. Stacked Deli: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, Monday-Saturday. 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, Monday-Friday; Dinner, daily. Reservations, Lunch only. Liquor. 273 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.645.9123. Sushi Hana: Japanese. Lunch, MondayFriday; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. 42656 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.333.3887. Sweet Tree Family Restaurant: Middle Eastern/American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 42757 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Township, 48302. 248.481.7767. 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 Bird & The Bread: Brasserie. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 210 S. Old Woodard, Birmingham, 48009. 248.203.6600. The Franklin Grill: American. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 32760 Franklin Rd, Franklin, 48025. 248.865.6600. The Gallery Restaurant: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & wine. 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. The Stand: Euro-American. Dinner, MondaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 34977 Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.220.4237. Toast: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 203 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6278. Touch of India: Indian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 297 E. Maple Road, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.7881. Townhouse: American. Brunch, Saturday, Sunday. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 180 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.5241. Triple Nickel Restaurant and Bar: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Liquor. Reservations. 555 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham 48009. 248.480.4951. Village Coney Island: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 653 S. Adams. Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.7964. Whistle Stop Diner: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily; No reservations. 501 S. Eton Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.566.3566.

Royal Oak/Ferndale Ale Mary's: American. Weekend Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 316 South Main St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.268.1917. Anita’s Kitchen: Middle Eastern. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & Wine. 22651 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, 48220. 248.548.0680. Andiamo Restaurants: Italian. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 129 S. Main St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.582.0999. Assaggi Bistro: Italian. Lunch, TuesdayFriday. Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 330 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, 48220. 248.584.3499. Bigalora: Italian. Weekend Brunch. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. No Reservations. Liquor. 711 S. Main Street, Royal Oak, 48067. Bistro 82: French. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 401 S. Lafayette Ave., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.542.0082. The Blue Nile: Ethiopian. Dinner, TuesdaySunday. Reservations. Liquor. 545 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, 48220. 248.547.6699. Bspot Burgers: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 310 S. Main St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.268.1621. Cafe Muse: French. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 418 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.544.4749. Cork Wine Pub: American. Sunday Brunch. Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 23810 Woodward Ave., Pleasant Ridge, 48069. 248.544.2675. D’Amato’s: Italian. Sunday Brunch. Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 222 Sherman Dr., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.584.7400. Due Venti: Italian. Sunday Brunch. Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 220 S. Main St., Clawson, 48017. 248.288.0220. The Fly Trap: Diner. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. Dinner, Monday-Friday. No reservations. 22950 Woodward Ave., 48220. 248.399.5150. GreenSpace Cafe: Vegan. Dinner, TuesdaySaturday. No reservations. Liquor. 215. W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, 48220. 248.206.7510. Howe’s Bayou: Cajun. Lunch, MondaySaturday. Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 22949 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, 48220. 248.691.7145. Inn Season Cafe: Vegetarian. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, TuesdaySaturday. No reservations. 500 E. Fourth St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.547.7916. Inyo Restaurant Lounge: Asian Fusion. Weekend Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 22871 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, 48220. 248.543.9500. KouZina: Greek. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 121 N. Main St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.629.6500. Lily’s Seafood: Seafood. Weekend Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 410 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.591.5459. Local Kitchen and Bar: American. Weekend Brunch. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 344 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, 48220. 248.291.5650. Lockhart’s BBQ: Barbeque. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. Liquor. 202 E. Third St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.584.4227. Oak City Grille: American. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 212 W. 6th St, Royal Oak, 48067. 248.556.0947. One-Eyed Betty: American. Weekend Breakfast. Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 175 W. Troy St., Ferndale, 48220. 248.808.6633. Pronto!: American. Weekend Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor.

DOWNTOWN

608 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.544.7900. Public House: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 241 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, 48220. 248.850.7420. Redcoat Tavern: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 31542 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak, 48073. 248.549.0300. Ronin: Japanese. Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 326 W. 4th St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.546.0888. Royal Oak Brewery: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 215 E. 4th St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.544.1141. Strada: Italian. Dinner, Wednesday Sunday. Liquor. No reservations. 376 N. Main Street. Royal Oak, 48067. 248.607.3127. Toast, A Breakfast and Lunch Joint: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 23144 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, 48220. 248.398.0444. Tom’s Oyster Bar: Seafood. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 318 S. Main St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.541.1186. Town Tavern: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 116 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.544.7300. The Morrie: American. Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 511 S. Main St., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.216.1112. Trattoria Da Luigi: Italian. Dinner, TuesdaySunday. Reservations. Liquor. 415 S, Washington Ave., Royal Oak, 48067. 248.542.4444. Twisted Tavern: American. Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 22901 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, 48220. 248.545,6750. Vinsetta Garage: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 27799 Woodward Ave., Berkley, 48072. 248.548.7711.

Troy/Rochester Bspot Burgers: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 176 N. Adams Rd, Rochester Hills, 48309. 248.218.6001. Capital Grille: Steak & Seafood. Lunch, Monday-Saturday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 2800 West Big Beaver Rd., Somerset Collection, Troy, 48084. 248.649.5300. Cafe Sushi: Pan-Asian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 1933 W. Maple Rd, Troy, 48084. 248.280.1831. Chapman House: French-American. Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Reservations recommended. Liquor. 311 Walnut Blvd., Rochester. 48307. 248.759.4406. Ganbei Chinese Restaurant and Bar: Chinese. Lunch, Monday-Saturday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 227 S. Main St, Rochester, 48307. 248.266.6687. O’Connor’s Irish Public House: Irish. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 324 S. Main St., Rochester, 48307. 248.608.2537. Kona Grille: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 30 E. Big Beaver Rd., Troy, 48083. 248.619.9060. Kruse & Muer on Main: American. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 327 S. Main St., Rochester, 48307. 248.652.9400. Lakes: Seafood. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 5500 Crooks Rd., Troy, 48098. 248.646.7900. McCormick & Schmick’s: Steak & Seafood. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. Somerset Collection, 2850 Coolidge Hwy, Troy, 48084. 248.637.6400. The Meeting House: American. Weekend Brunch. Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. No reservations. Liquor. 301 S. Main St, Rochester, 48307. 248.759.4825.

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Miguel’s Cantina: Mexican. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 870 S. Rochester Rd, Rochester Hills, 48307. 248.453.5371. Mon Jin Lau: Asian. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 1515 E. Maple Rd, Troy, 48083. 248.689.2332. Morton’s, The Steakhouse: Steak & Seafood. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 888 W. Big Beaver Rd, Troy, 48084. 248.404.9845. NM Café: American. Lunch, MondaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 2705 W. Big Beaver Rd, Troy, 48084. 248.816.3424. Oceania Inn: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. The Village of Rochester Hills, 3176 Walton Blvd, Rochester Hills, 48309. 248.375.9200. Ocean Prime: Steak & Seafood. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 2915 Coolidge Hwy., Troy, 48084. 248.458.0500. Orchid Café: Thai. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. 3303 Rochester Rd., Troy, 48085. 248.524.1944. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. Somerset Collection, 2801 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy, 48084. 248.816.8000. Rochester Chop House: Steak & Seafood. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 306 S. Main St., Rochester, 48307. 248.651.2266. Ruth’s Chris Steak House: Steak & Seafood. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 755 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy, 48084. 248.269.8424. Silver Spoon: Italian. Dinner, MondaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 6830 N. Rochester Rd., Rochester, 48306. 248.652.4500. Steelhouse Tavern: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 1129 E. Long Lake Rd., Troy, 48085. 248.817.2980. Too Ra Loo: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 139 S. Main St., Rochester, 48307. 248.453.5291. Tre Monti Ristorante: Italian. Lunch, Thursdays. Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 1695 E. Big Beaver Road, Troy, 48083. 248.680.1100.

Liquor. 25485 Telegraph Rd, Southfield, 48034. 248.358.1310. Pickles & Rye: Deli. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 6724 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield Township, 48322. 248.737.3890. Prime29 Steakhouse: Steak & Seafood. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 6545 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield, 48322. 248.737.7463. Redcoat Tavern: American. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. Liquor. 6745 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield Township, 48322. 248.865.0500. Shangri-La: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. Orchard Mall Shopping Center, 6407 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield Township, 48322. 248.626.8585. Sposita’s Ristorante: Italian. Friday Lunch. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 33210 W. Fourteen Mile Rd., West Bloomfield Township, 48322. 248. 538.8954. Stage Deli: Deli. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 6873 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield Township, 48322. 248.855.6622. Sweet Lorraine’s Café & Bar: American. Weekend Breakfast. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 29101 Greenfield Rd., Southfield, 48076. 248.559.5985. Yotsuba: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 7365 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield, 48322. 248.737.8282.

West Bloomfield/Southfield

North Oakland

Bacco: Italian. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 29410 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, 48034. 248.356.6600. Beans and Cornbread: Southern. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 29508 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, 48034. 248.208.1680. Bigalora: Italian. Weekend Brunch. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. No Reservations. Liquor. 29110 Franklin Road, Southfield, 48034. Maria’s Restaurant: Italian. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 2080 Walnut Lake Road, West Bloomfield, 48323. 248.851.2500. The Bombay Grille: Indian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 29200 Orchard Lake Rd, Farmington Hills, 48334. 248.626.2982. The Fiddler: Russian. Sunday Brunch. Dinner, Thursday-Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 6676 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield Township, 48322. 248.851.8782. The Lark: American. Dinner, TuesdaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 6430 Farmington Rd, West Bloomfield Township, 48322. 248.661.4466. Mene Sushi: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & Wine. 6239 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield Township, 48322. 248.538.7081. Meriwether’s: Seafood. Lunch, MondaySaturday. Dinner, daily. Reservations.

Clarkston Union: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 54 S. Main St., Clarkston, 48346. 248.620.6100. Holly Hotel: American. Afternoon Tea, Monday – Saturday, Brunch, Sunday, Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 110 Battle Alley, Holly, 48442. 248.634.5208. Kruse's Deer Lake Inn: Seafood. Lunch & dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 7504 Dixie Highway, Clarkston, 48346. 248.795.2077. Via Bologna: Italian. Dinner daily. No reservations. Liquor. 7071 Dixie Highway, Clarkston. 48346. 248.620.8500. Union Woodshop: BBQ. Dinner, Monday – Friday, Lunch & Dinner, Saturday – Sunday. No reservations. Liquor. 18 S. Main St., Clarkston, 48346. 248.625.5660

DOWNTOWN

West Oakland Gravity Bar & Grill: Mediterranean. Monday – Friday, Lunch & Dinner, Saturday, Dinner. Reservations. Liquor. 340 N. Main Street, Milford, 48381. 248.684.4223. It's A Matter of Taste: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 2323 Union Lake Road, Commerce, 48390. 248.360.4150. The Root Restaurant & Bar: American. Lunch & Dinner, Monday - Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 340 Town Center Blvd., White Lake, 48390. 248.698.2400. Volare Ristorante: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 48992 Pontiac Trail, Wixom, 48393. 248.960.7771.

Detroit Angelina Italian Bistro: Italian. Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 1565 Broadway St., Detroit, 48226. 313.962.1355. Antietam: French. Sunday Brunch. Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 1428 Gratiot Ave., Detroit, 48207. 313.782.4378. Bucharest Grill: Middle Eastern. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor.

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2684 E. Jefferson, Detroit, 48207. 313.965.3111. Cliff Bell’s: American. Sunday Brunch. Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 2030 Park Ave., Detroit, 48226. 313.961.2543. Coach Insignia: Steak & Seafood. Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 100 Renaissance Center, Detroit, 48243. 313.567.2622. Craft Work: American. Sunday Brunch. Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 8047 Agnes St., Detroit, 48214. 313.469.0976. Cuisine: French. Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 670 Lothrop Rd., Detroit, 48202. 313.872.5110. The Detroit Seafood Market: Seafood. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 1435 Randolph St., Detroit, 48226. 313.962.4180. El Barzon: Mexican. Lunch, Tuesday-Friday. Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 3710 Junction St., Detroit, 48210. 313.894.2070. Fishbone’s Rhythm Kitchen Café: Cajun. Breakfast, daily. Sunday Brunch. Lunch, Monday-Saturday. Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 400 Monroe Street, Detroit, 48226. 313.965.4600. Giovanni’s Ristorante: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 330 S. Oakwood Blvd., Detroit, 48217. 313.841.0122. Green Dot Stables: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2200 W. Lafayette, Detroit, 48216. 313.962.5588. Jefferson House: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 2 Washington Blvd., Detroit, 48226. 313.782.4318. Joe Muer Seafood: Seafood. Lunch, Monday- Friday, Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 400 Renaissance Center, Detroit, 48243. 313.567.6837. Johnny Noodle King: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2601 W. Fort St., Detroit, 48216. 313.309.7946. Maccabees at Midtown: American. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 5057 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 48202. 313.831.9311. Mario’s: Italian. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 4222 2nd Ave., Detroit, 48201. 313.832.1616. Midtown Shangri-la: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 4710 Cass Ave., Detroit, 48201. 313.974.7669. Motor City Brewing Works: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & Wine. 470 W. Canfield St., Detroit, 48201. 313.832.2700. 1917 American Bistro: American. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, MondaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 19416 Livernois Ave., Detroit, 48221. 313.863.1917. Prism: Steak & Seafood. Dinner, TuesdaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 555 E. Lafayette St, Detroit, 48226. 313.309.2499. Red Smoke Barbeque: Barbeque. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. Trappers Alley Shopping Center, 573 Monroe Ave., Detroit, 48226. 313.962.2100. Roma Café: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 3401 Riopelle St., Detroit, 48207. 313.831.5940. Russell Street Deli: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. 2465 Russell St, Detroit, 48207. 313.567.2900. Santorini Estiatorio: Greek. Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 501 Monroe Ave, Detroit, 48226. 313.962.9366. Selden Standard: American. Weekend

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Brunch. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, daily. Liquor. Reservations. 3921 Second Ave., Detroit, 48201. 313.438.5055. Sinbad’s: Seafood. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 100 St Clair St., Detroit, 48214. 313.822.8000. Slows Bar BQ: Barbeque. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2138 Michigan Ave, Detroit, 48216. 313.962.9828. Small Plates Detroit: American. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 1521 Broadway St., Detroit, 48226. 313.963.0702. St. CeCe’s Pub: American. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, MondaySaturday. No reservations. Liquor. 1426 Bagley Ave., Detroit, 48216. 313.962.2121. Tap at MGM Grand: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 1777 Third Street, Detroit, 48226. 313.465.1234. Taqueria Nuestra Familia: Mexican. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 7620 Vernor Hwy., Detroit, 48209. 313.842.5668. The Block: American. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 3919 Woodward Ave, Detroit, 48201. 313.832.0892. Tom’s Oyster Bar: Seafood. Lunch, Monday-Friday. Dinner, MondaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 519 East Jefferson Ave., Detroit, 48226. 313.964.4010. Top of the Pontch: American. Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Reservation. Liquor. 2 Washington Blvd, Detroit, 48226. 313.782.4313. Traffic Jam & Snug: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 511 W. Canfield, Detroit, 48201. 313.831.9470. 24grille: American. Sunday Brunch. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, 1114 Washington Blvd, Detroit, 48226. 313.964.3821. Union Street: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 4145 Woodward Ave, Detroit, 48201. 313.831.3965. Vince’s: Italian. Lunch, Tuesday-Friday. Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 1341 Springwells St., Detroit, 48209. 313.842.4857. Vivio’s Food & Spirits: American. Saturday Breakfast. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2460 Market St., Detroit, 48207. 313.393.1711. The Whitney: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & High Tea, Monday-Friday. Sunday Brunch. Dinner, daily. Liquor. Reservations. 4421 Woodward Ave, Detroit, 48201. 313.832.5700. Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria and Cucina: Italian. Dinner, Wednesday-Sunday. Reservations. Liquor. 1777 Third St, Detroit, 48226. 313.465.1646. Wolfgang Puck Steak: Steak & Seafood. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 1777 Third St, Detroit, 48226. 313.465.1411. Wright & Co.: American. Dinner, MondaySaturday. No reservations. Liquor. 1500 Woodward Ave Second Floor, Detroit, 48226. 313.962.7711.

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THE COMMUNITY HOUSE “It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it” – Albert Einstein As we begin 2017, full of hope and optimism, all of us at The Community House have taken pause to reflect back on all of the people, individuals, corporations, foundations – kindnesses large and small, which have made a true and lasting difference at The Community House over these last 94 years. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization, it is our duty and our obligation to remain ever mindful that good stewardship is an essential part of the fundraising cycle. It covers the entire relationship between donor and organization. Likewise, we must continually celebrate and honor the importance of selfless service and volunteerism. For without either, the work and missions of noble organizations such as The Community House would not be possible. I read recently that “Selfless service is absolutely fundamental, both from an individual perspective and from the perspective of the entire human race, without which there can be no true progression. Selfless service should be offered and provided out of a genuine and deep desire to help and be of service to others.” Several years ago, The Community House created the three Pillars of Vibrancy: Education, Wellness and Culture. The purpose was to publicly recognize extraordinary individuals who have demonstrated selfless service and philanthropy toward others while helping to “Create More Vibrant Lives” in the community - selfless service offered and provided out of a genuine and deep desire to help and be of service to others. In 2016, a fourth pillar was added: Philanthropy.

Bill Seklar

Over the last few years, 34 pillars in our community have been recognized and inducted into TCH’s Pillars of Vibrancy. This year is no exception. Recently, The Community House announced its 2017 Pillars of Vibrancy – what an extraordinary and selfless group. They include: Pillars of Culture: David Hohendorf, Victor Saroki Pillars of Education: Margaret Matthes Pillars of Philanthropy: Lois Shaevsky, George Miller Pillars of Wellness: Rosanna Morris, Richard Astrein

...FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

In an effort to also recognize individuals, corporations and foundations that have given extraordinary treasure, $25,000 or more cumulatively, or donors who make an irrevocable legacy gift of $25,000 or more to The Community House, TCH leadership decided to gather and recognize all of these key stakeholders; Pillars of Vibrancy and Major Donors, together, under one philanthropic umbrella; Bates Street Society. Bates Street Society was established in 2015, to publicly recognize and induct members who have made significant charitable contributions to support the work and mission of The Community House in Birmingham. Members will be acknowledged annually at its Bates Street Society Dinner, a semi-formal event hosted by The Community House’s Officers and Board of Directors. The second annual Bates Street Society Dinner, a three-course sit-down dinner is scheduled for Saturday, January 28, 2017 in the Wallace Ballroom of The Community House. Members of the community are not only welcome, but encouraged to attend. This important dinner will offer guests a wonderful opportunity to publicly show enthusiastic support for the 2017 TCH Pillars of Vibrancy inductees, and to the scores of individuals, foundations and corporations whose contributions and kindness makes The Community House’s work and mission possible. Tickets are $200 per person and are now on sale by going online at communityhouse.com or by calling The Community House at 248.644.5832. Special thanks to our founding second-year presenting sponsor PNC Wealth Management – PNC Bank. Our thanks as well to The Bates Street Society’s other corporate sponsors; Barbara & Tim Hertzler, M1 Concourse, DBusiness, Hour Media and Parsonage Florist. Other Happenings:

JAN. 30 - FEB. 3 and FEB. 6 - 10 3-course lunches for $15, 3-course dinners for $30 Birmingham’s finest restaurants are participating Contact restaurants directly to make reservations First two hours are free in all parking decks Visit BirminghamRestaurantWeek.org for event menus Birmingham Shopping District

Tickets on sale now! 25th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast, 9 a.m., Monday, January 16, at The Community House. Keynote speaker; Shirley Stancato, President & CEO, New Detroit, Inc. Hosted by The Community House Race Relations & Diversity Task Force. Tickets $35 (includes breakfast). Register communityhouse.com

@BhamShopping

Presenting Sponsor

William D. Seklar is President & CEO of The Community House in Birmingham. downtownpublications.com

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SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Here is the update on the recent social scene. Many more photos from each event appear online each week at downtownpublications.com 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.

Karmanos Partners Night

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Karmanos Partners Night The Russell Industrial Center’s cavernous first floor, tamed by lighting, lounges, stand-up tables and music, was the venue for the Karmanos Sally Gerak Partners 23rd annual Night party. Forte Belanger passed hors d’oeuvres and food stations offered savory diversions during the cocktail hour that preceded the program in which honorees Ed Levy and Linda Dresner provided the highlights. Ed, a supporter of the cancer hospital since it was the Michigan Cancer Foundation and a Karmanos board member since 1994, spoke with warm sincerity about his first-hand knowledge of the incredible life-saving patient care and research that takes place there. He also saluted recently resigned fundraising vice president Nick Karmanos. “Nick has left us and we will miss him but our doctors and nurses continue the fight. We wish Nick success in his next career.” Style icon Linda then introduced her WOMAN fashion show with her trademark candor. “I hope you like it. But, if not, it won’t be the first time,” she said with a friendly smile. The evening, combined with the Partners Golf Classic, raised $750,000 for the creation of the Dr. Vainutis K. Vaitkevicius Endowed Chair in Cancer Research.

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1. Ed Levy & Linda Dresner of Birmingham. 2. Karmanos pioneer Dr. “V”, aka Vainutis Vaitkevicius (center) of Houghton, Patti & Jim Prowse of Bloomfield. 3. Milton (left) & Eunice Korman Ring of Franklin, Gerold Bepler of Bloomfield. 4. Dick (left) & Eleanor Gabrys of Bloomfield, Daniel Cascardo of Detroit. 5. Paul Robertson (left) of Birmingham, Cheryl Mauro of Troy and Sonia & Keith Pomeroy of Birmingham. 6. Jenny Lewis (left) and Debra & Rick Partrich of Bloomfield. 7. Roger (left) & Andrea Sherr of W. Bloomfield, Stuart Sherr of Bloomfield, Harriet Sherr of Southfield. 8. Kristen DeVries of Southfield and Bahman Mirshab of Bloomfield. 9. Cheryl Daskas (left) of Bloomfield, models Shelbie Kramer of Hazel Park and Cassandra Ferguson of Shelby Twp. 10. Sandy LaBelle (left) of Troy, Alisa Simon of Troy, Haley Cassar of Sylvan Lake and Erika Broderdorf of Birmingham.

Impact 100 Oakland County Award Meeting

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1. Mary Pat Rosen (left) of Bloomfield, Ginny Fischbach of Davisburg. 2. Amy Loepp (left), Jessie Bell and Colleen Miller of Birmingham and Adrienne Cousins of Troy. 3. Jessie Bell (left) and Laura Liras of Birmingham, Beth Henderson of Bloomfield. 4. Sherry Tattrie (left) of Birmingham, Renee Axt of Bloomfield.

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Impact 100 Oakland County Award Meeting The power of collective giving was on display at the first Impact 100 Oakland County Award event. It attracted 120 (members and guests) to the Birmingham Athletic Club where they first sipped, snacked and chatted with some sponsors and the representatives from the five non-profit finalists in the new Oakland County philanthropy’s first competition. The local chapter, one of 32 nationwide plus seven in Australia, was launched by Ginny Fischbach and Amy Loepp in November, 2015. Six months later they had the requisite 100 members, each of whom donates $1,000, and opened the application process for the inaugural $100,000 grant. “We want to be good stewards of your dollars, “ Ginny explained, so “...there is intense vetting of the applicants...We also want more members. The Pensacola chapter has 420 members so they give can away $420,000.” After representatives from the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, CARE House of Oakland County, Eton Academy, Furniture Bank of Southeast Michigan and Variety, the Children’s Charity explained their programs, the members voted on paper ballots. While the votes were being counted it was difficult to discern who was more excited – the five finalists’ representatives or the Impact 100 members. Cheers and applause filled the room when the Variety Feeds Kids program was announced as the winner. The grant will fund the purchase of weekend take home meals for 330 students in a second Pontiac elementary school for three years. But what sets this hunger relief program apart from others is that Sheriff Mike Bouchard’s law enforcement officers help distribute the food packs. And, as program founders Kelly Shuert and Connie Beckett had explained, “...for many of the children this is their first positive encounter with uniformed officers... To see how happy this new relationship makes the kids is very encouraging.” VarieTY Lights, Camera, Auction Speaking of Variety, the Children’s Charity, Emagine Theatre owner Paul Glantz again welcomed their supporters (300 of them) to his Novi theater for the annual event that funds Variety’s Bikes for Kids program. Event chairs Leslie Miller and Bob Golding had lined up more than two dozen of Metro Detroit’s finest restaurants, whose serving stations competed with the silent auction and ongoing serious socializing. A sneak movie preview capped the evening, which raised $25,000. This will buy deserving children a brand new bicycle, helmet and lock to be presented during a holiday party. Hospice Crystal Rose Celebration Many in the crowd of 275 ($150 ticket) at the 31st annual Hospice of Michigan fundraiseR remembered the late Kathy Antonini’s leadership of the earlier ones. In fact, her idea to hold a Crystal Rose Ball in the art-filled Kmart

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Troy headquarters (when Joe Antonini was the CEO) launched the tradition to select outof-the-ordinary venues for the annual benefit. The 2016 event which honored Kathy was at Waterview Loft at Port Detroit and its glass walls provided stellar views of the Windsor skyline. Some guests, like Kathy’s family and old pals like the Tim Leuliettes, traveled from afar for the Chandeliers on the Riverfront party. A strolling dinner preceded the program, highlights of which included remarks by HOM CEO Bob Cahill and John Antonini, now in retailing at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City. “My mom showed us how philanthropy was done,” he said. Like others in the room, this reporter recalled that John’s sister Kara would bake hundreds of chocolate chip cookie to take home for the many charity events their mother led. Their father Joe followed his son, thanked everyone and concluded, his voice cracking a bit, “I’m passing the baton to you kids.” The splendid evening not only honored a women “whose personality filled an entire room,” it also netted about $75,000 for HOM’s non-profit, end of life care. Yatooma’s Foundation Masked Gala Natalie and retired Detroit Lion Rob Sims hosted the 12th annual Champions for the Kids Gala. It attracted 310 ($250 ticket) Yatooma Foundation supporters to the Royal Park Hotel. Most wore masks, and before dinner they chatted and checked out the silent auction in the lobby. The dinner program was notable for Norman Yatooma and emcee Paul W. Smith’s good natured bantering, Gar Liebler’s acceptance of the Champion award and Rob’s remarks. They included recollections: his dad’s death 37 days after the 2006 NFL draft in which Seattle picked him; being traded to the Lions and playing every game for four years “My dad had the best seat in the house,” he noted. Natalie Sims presented the Bridge of the Future Award to Heather Mitchell who will get to take her two children to Disney World. Yatooma’s four daughters gave the Best Mask award to Kim and Paul W. Smith, who were costumed rather than masked. “A misunderstanding on my part,” explained Paul W. Charles Wickins conducted the live auction ($41,450) and pledging ($8,945). The winsome Yatooma girls kicked off the postauction show by singing Megan Trainor’s “Dear Future Husband” with Simone Vitale’s band. The Champions for the Kids Invitational Golf Tournament was staged In June. The two events raised $212,000 to help the foundation supply emotional, educational and financial stability to families after the loss of a parent. Rochester Hills Library Holiday Party The Friends of the Rochester Hills Public Library staged the Holiday Home Tour Gala at Hepplewhite’s furniture store in downtown Rochester. As the Classic Winds quintet made seasonal music more than 60 guests ($25 downtownpublications.com

Hospice Crystal Rose Celebration

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1. Kara Antonini Howe and Joe Antonini of Bloomfield, John Antonini of Scarsdale, NY. 2. Anne LaBrecque (left) of Rochester and Kim Palmer of Rochester Hills, Janet Kavanaugh and Katie Parks of Bloomfield. 3. Matthew Heather (left) and Christa & Greg Schwartz of Bloomfield. 4. Linda Juracek-Lipa (left) of Birmingham, Sylvia & Ed Hagenlocker of Bloomfield. 5. Ed (left) & Heather Dzurko of Rochester Hills, Veronica Isaacs of Birmingham, Bev Gross of Bloomfield. 6. Liz Lee (left), Kim Fortin and Margie Stacy of Bloomfield, Terri Eick of Birmingham.7. Patrick Howe (center) of Bloomfield, Mary Elliott (left) and Betsy Elliott Reid of Birmingham.

Yatooma’s Foundation Masked Gala

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1. Gar & Carine Liebler of Rochester. 2. Norman & Nicole Yatooma of Bloomfield. 3. Tony DiVergilio & Victoria Valentine of Bloomfield, Renee & Michael Acho of Birmingham. 4. Beverly Ross (left) of Rochester, Marlana Geha of Sterling Hgts. 5. Ray (left) & Joan Antos of Orchard Lake, Jacquelyn Pierce and Valerie & Richard Leebove of Bloomfield. 6. Char Wells (left) of Clarkston, Melissa & Drew Neal of Rochester.

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SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK ticket), including Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett, relished bonhomie and appetizers and drinks provided by local businesses. Hepplewhite’s was in full holiday mode, enticing some guests to make purchases. But the real stars of the show were the five homeowners – Julie Granthen, the Mark Kowals, Michael Keighleys, Gerri Birgs and David Dehns – who would open their homes for the Holiday Home Tour. Friends President Ron Meegan presented a framed artistic photograph of their abodes to the homeowners. The following Sunday some 500 people ($25 ticket) toured the homes bringing proceeds for both events to more than $16,000 for the Rochester Hills Public Library.

Rochester Hills Library Holiday Party

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1. Christine Hage (left), Theresa & Friends president Ron Meegan of Rochester Hills. 2. Micki (left) & Mark Kowal of Rochester Hills and Amanda & Michael Keighley of Rochester. 3. Nancy Ritter (left) and Juanita Mallman of Rochester; Jeanne Palazzolo of Shelby Twp., Julie Granthen of Rochester Hills. 4 John & Gerri Birg (center) of Oakland, Mary (left) & Tom Asmus and Jean & Bill Kruger of Rochester.

Hamtramck Historical Museum Benefit

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1. Greg Kowalski of Hamtramck, Theresa Mazur of Bloomfield. 2. Diane Bert (left) and committee member Sue Nine of Bloomfield. 3. Jan Roncelli & Dan Gorney of Bloomfield. 4. Joyce Koreman (center) of Bloomfield, Rosemary (left) and Contessa Bannon of Beverly Hills. 5. Lisa (left) & Madie Crawford of Bloomfield. 6. Mike Dul (left) of Bloomfield, Gene Meadows of Royal Oak, Shirley Maddalena of Bloomfield, Steven Kalczynski of Birmingham. 7. Patti (left) & Ron Jessup and Shelley Taub of Bloomfield.

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Hamtramck Historical Museum Benefit Why would the Friends of Preservation Bloomfield partner with the Friends of Historical Hamtramck to raise money for a museum? Because the museum (Hamtramck Historical) has long been the dream of Greg Kowalski. Before he was the Bloomfield Township Community Relations Director, Kowalski, a Hamtramck resident and chair of the Hamtramck Historical board, was the editor of the Birmingham Eccentric when the preservationists began their effort to save the oldest house in Bloomfield Hills. Kowalski’s enthusiastic support of that effort, which was led by the then-mayor of Bloomfield Hills, Pat Hardy, was invaluable and the effort succeeded. That Pat has fond memories of time spent with her Buscia (Polish grandmother) in Hamtramck heightened her empathy for Kowalski’s vision. The ploy to raise money for the museum was Kowlaski’s 66th birthday and more than 180 people ($66 ticket) gathered at the American Polish Cultural center to celebrate it. People devoured Polish cuisine, applauded Polish dancers and musicians, bid in a silent auction, bought raffle tickets and sang “Happy Birthday” to the spotlight-shy star of the party. They also gave him a small wood box embossed in gold with an image of his dream come true and raised more than $20,000 for programs at the museum. It is, as Kowalski noted, dedicated to honoring Hamtramck’s Polish past and embracing its ethnically diverse future. Alzheimer’s Association Chocolate Jubilee The Masquerade Ball invitation instructed “wear a mask for one night to help unmask Alzheimer’s forever,” and many of the 550 guests ($200 & up ticket) at the MGM Grand did just that. During the social hour they socialized and nearly 200 paid $50 for a Sweet Chances bag. (In the valet line one gentleman happily showed off the Bulova watch that was in his bag.) The dinner program had highlights. University student Tyler Leightner spoke about the devastation caused by his mother’s early onsetAlzheimer’s at age 44. Its genetic nature has inspired his active involvement in fundraising 01.17


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SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK and research for the Alzheimer’s Association and determination to pursue a career in the field. Quicken Loans CEO Bill Emerson proved he could do okay as an auctioneer if need be as he persuaded guests to pay $75,000 for six packages in the short live auction. Dancing to music by Mel Ball & Colours and selecting sweets from 15 generous confectioners concluded the 32nd annual Chocolate Jubilee. Thanks also to generous donors like the Bill Farbers, Gary Sakwas, Bill Emersons, Roseann Constock, the Ralph E Wilson Foundation and others, the Ball raised more than $1.2 million.

Alzheimer’s Association Chocolate Jubilee

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1. Mari Barnett (left) and Marlene Emerson of Bloomfield, Jennifer Lepard of Royal Oak. 2. Marilyn Dimitroff (left) of Bloomfield, Nicole Wirick of Birmingham and Michele & Nathan Mersereau of Livonia. 3. Rich Pirrotta & Kat Phillips of Rochester Hills. 4. Larry (left) & Jackie Kraft and Peggy (left) & Dr. Mark Saffer of Bloomfield. 5. Elyse & David Foltyn of Birmingham. 6. Ken Barnett (right) of Bloomfield and his kids Emily Pomish (left) of W. Bloomfield, Alexandra Werthheimer of Franklin and Jacob Barnett of Ann Arbor.

Habitat for Humanity-Oakland

1. Cheryl Henderson (left) of Clarkston, Steve & Christie Rameakers of Bloomfield. 2. Ryndee & John Carney of Birmingham. 3. Victoria Valentine (center) of Bloomfield, Bob & Johanna Struck of Waterford. 4. Cheryl Gambaro & Bruce Trevarrow of Rochester. 5. Carolyn Demps (left) of Birmingham, Pam Benfield of Rochester Hills, Jim Hayes of Auburn Hills.

Northwood U Distinguished Women

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1. Pam Good (left) of Birmingham, Celeste Briggs of Detroit. 2. Jack Krasula (left) and Don Tocco of Bloomfield, Stephen Cecchini of Bay City. 3. Gerry Padilla (left) & Linda Orlans of Birmingham, Dr. Keith Pretty of Midland. 4. Gretchen Pretty (left) of Midland, Mary Callaghan Lynch of Bloomfield.

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Habitat for Humanity-Oakland Supporters of Habitat for HumanityOakland convened at the Townsend Hotel for its annual Fall Extravaganza. The 110 VIPs ($250 ticket) chatted in The Clancy Room (formerly the Corner Bar) while 132 patrons ($175 ticket) sipped and socialized in the Promenade. Emcee Marie Osborn’s warm style augured the tone of the program. It was filled with highlights: event chair Cheryl Henderson’s description of a four-year-old’s excitement at the dedication of his new home; CEO Tim Ruggle‘s update and declaration that Habitat is God’s love in action; Volunteer of the Year Darby McEvilly’s assertion that volunteering at Habitat has been a precious gift; new home owner Jennifer Rahman’s joy at having a home for her two daughters; and the litany of Maggie Allesee Community Builder Awardee Johnna Struck’s service to the community and Habitat, especially the Women Build program. Dan Stall followed with the live auction and Raise the Roof pledging which raised $36,900. Dessert, coffee and music by Alexander Zonjac and Serieux ended the evening on an energetic note. Thanks also to generous sponsors, the annual event raised more than $100,000, “not to giveaway homes but to empower people.” Northwood U Distinguished Women For 47 years, Northwood University has honored women committed to free enterprise in a global society. They serve as role models and mentors for the students. This year the event was staged at the Townsend Hotel. It included a forum and the Awards Gala ($325 ticket) attended by 180. They applauded two DW Endowed Scholarship awardees, Lifetime Achievement awardee Nancy Barker and the seven Distinguished Women. In addition to the hotel gatherings, Jack Krasula and Pam Good co-hosted the Welcome Reception. And, although the weather was not conducive to touring Krasula’s magnificent gardens, World Series mania made his celebrated sports collection a timely diversion before the program. NU President Dr. Keith Pretty began it by noting his long friendship with the hosts and NU’s connection with Jack’s neighbor, Mary Callaghan Lynch, who sang a beautiful invocation – “The Prayer”. Pretty then gave the impressive bios 01.17


of the NU leadership team in attendance before he presented the seven students who would introduce the DWs the next evening at the gala. The range of their abilities and interests was remarkable and a good omen for the future. Music rounded out the evening’s conviviality – Callaghan-Lynch’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and, on the August Förster grand piano that shares the room’s spotlight with Krasula’s art collection, student Kaitlyn Cole, and Krasula playing “How Great Thou Art”. BAPS Benefit Luncheon The Birmingham Area Panhellenic Association philanthropy is cash awards to current high school girls for summer enrichment opportunities in the arts, athletics and sciences. The annual luncheon to fund the awards, this year held at The Stand Gastro Bistro Restaurant, attracted nearly 100. During the social hour they chatted and perused the display of 12 themed gift baskets assembled by the sorority alumnae groups that belong to the association. The traditional Panhellenic Roll Call indicated that Pi Beta Phi and Kappa Alpha Theta had the most members (16) in attendance and that a number of guests had been sorority members for more than 50 years. The splendid luncheon adhered to The Stand’s philosophy of serving locally sourced, fresh, farm-to-table produce. Likewise, the post lunch presentation by Beaumont dietitian-nutritionist Shannon Szeles. The event, co-chaired by Carolyn Gatesman and Cheryl Noonan, raised enough money to enable BAPA to present six enrichment awards next spring. Christ Child Society’s Night of Angels Love In Few of the 350 guys and gals ($125, $250, $500 ticket) partying at the Royal Oak Farmers Market were old enough to remember the hippie heyday of the 1960s, but they sure had fun dressing like flower children for the Christ Child Society Love In. DJ Captain 20 even found some psychedelic rock music to accent the “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out” scene. Before the live auction, CCS president Pam Hildebrand presented the Merrick Award to the Carls Foundation for its generous donation of more than $350,000 since 2002 toward improvements at Christ Child House. It is home to 21 at-risk boys and is the focus of some, but not all, of society member’s energies. Thanks to a raffle and the live auction and pledging ($81,400) conducted by Dan Stall, the annual benefit raised more than $110,000. Sky Foundation Benefit There were highlights at the Sky Foundation luncheon which attracted 350 supporters ($100 - $250 ticket) to the MGM Grand. U of M Pancreatic Cancer Center researcher Howard Campbell noted: “This is all about hope. ... funding is the answer to the lousy pancreatic cancer survival downtownpublications.com

BAPS Benefit Luncheon

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1. Carol Plisek (left) of Bloomfield, Cheryl Noonan of Troy and Carolyn Gatesman of Highland. 2. Kelly Long (left) of Royal Oak, Sharon Moore of Bloomfield. 3. Petie Forbush (left) and Judy Hayward of Bloomfield. 4. Patti Phillips (left) of Birmingham, Karen Seitz of Bloomfield. 5. Carolyn Jenkins (left) of Birmingham and Anne Hayward Hammon of Beverly Hills, Barb Siebenaller of Warren. 6. Peggy Warmer (left) of Warren, and Kristin Tyll of Beverly Hills, Sharon Frost of Bloomfield.

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Christ Child Society’s Night of Angels Love In

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1. Laura Karmanos (left) of Bloomfield, Katie Gantner of Birmingham and Amy Zimmer of Bloomfield. 2. Maureen Carey (left) of Berkley and Laura Keziah of Bloomfield. 3. Susan Hall (left), Robby & Molly Robinson of Bloomfield. 4. Joe (left) & Pamela Hildebrand of Birmingham, Donna & Rusty Brown of Bloomfield. 5. Pam Surhigh (left) of Bloomfield, Kim Greidanus of Franklin. 6. Marc (left) & Amy Carroll of Birmingham, Maria & Dan Glod of Bloomfield. 7. Dr Lynn (left) & Cathy Miller of Bloomfield, Debbie & John Schrot of Birmingham. 8. Molly & Bill Markley of Bloomfield. 9. Cindy Livingway (left) of Lake Orion, Michelle Kelly of Bloomfield, Joi Leo of Beverly Hills. 10. Amy Carroll (left) of Birmingham and Maria Glod of Bloomfield.

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SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Sky Foundation Benefit

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1. Mary Beth Castorri (left) of W. Bloomfield and Niki Gallaudet of Beverly Hills. 2. Bluma Schechter (left), Sheila Sky Kasselam of W. Bloomfield, Carol Quiggley of Troy, Doreen Hermelin of Bingham Farms. 3. Wendy (left) & Bill Power of Bloomfield, cJudy McClelland of Birmingham. 4. Wayne & Joanne Wright of Rochester. 5. Kathy (left) & Dr. Dave Calver of Waterford, Joan & Scott Moore of Birmingham. 6. Paul (left) & Chris Lamarche and Char Terry of Bloomfield, Elizabeth Brazilian of Birmingham. 7. Jeffrey Imerman (left) of Birmingham, Jonny Imerman of Chicago, IL.

Rochester Schools Sip, Savor, Shop

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1. Jennifer Donovan (left) of Rochester and Suzanne Tedesco of Rochester Hills. 2. Lori Grein (left) of Harrison Twp., Sharon Ahearn, Amy Grande and Michelle Nagy of Rochester Hills. 3. Peyton Donovan (left) of Rochester, Jacklyn Tedesco of Rochester Hills, Jacqueline Carson of Rochester and Mollie Chmielewski of Rochester Hills. 4. Rosemarie Green (left) and Tamra Odrobina of Rochester. 5. Maria Mack (left) and Nancy O’Brien of Rochester Hills. 6. Dianna (left), David, Milan & Liming Dolezal of Rochester Hills. 7. Johanna Baartmans (left) of Rochester Hills, Jennifer Daugherty of Troy.

Homes for Autism Ring of Hope Dinner

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1. Bill Schramm (left) of Lake Orion, Brian Mills of St. John’s, and Colleen Allen of Detroit. 2. Michael F. Jennings (center) of Birmingham, Jeremy Cohen-Tannugi (left) and Michael K. Jennings of Bloomfield. 3. Jim Marleau (left) of Lake Orion, Mark Ambrose of Bloomfield, Anne Gerard of Harrison Twp. 4. Dawn Fredette of Rochester Hills. 5. Danny Smith (left) of W. Bloomfield, Christina & Jim Curling of Rochester Hills.

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rate...surviving is the exception...(foundation founder, pancreatic cancer survivor) Sheila Kasselman is one of the most exceptional human beings I have ever met. She is the symbol of hope.” U of M’s Dr. Diane Simeone brought news of a $33-million initiative that will revolutionize patient care. A terrific new video rapped about pancreatic cancer symptoms. Chris Aslanian conducted a brief live action ($51,300) and got 120 people to pledge another $58,650. The eighth annual luncheon benefit grossed about $300,000 for research to create hope - an early marker for pancreatic cancer. Rochester Schools Sip, Savor, Shop What Suzanne Tedesco and Jennifer Donovan started five years ago as a fundraiser for Rochester’s North Hill Elementary School, has grown. Big time. Two years ago it became a benefit for the Rochester Community Schools Foundation. This year it attracted 200 shoppers ($25, $35 ticket) and 33 vendors to the Forestre Event Center at ConCorde Inn to, as the event is named, sip, savor and shop. There was also lots of socializing. The “savor” was delicious and generously supplied by Rochester Hills Outback Steakhouse, Rochester Tap Room and Papa Joes. At evening’s end the vendors were all smiling and, counting the income from a raffle and silent auction, the event almost doubled the 2015 loot, raising nearly $10,500 for the foundation. Homes for Autism Ring of Hope Dinner Nearly 100 Homes for Autism supporters ($250 ticket) convened at The Village Club for the 20th annual Ring of Hope Dinner. It honored two people who are passionate about obtaining a better quality of life for people with autism. Following the cocktail hour and silent auction bidding ($4,000), Dr. Tisa Johnson described how awardee Dr. Colleen Allen had convinced Henry Ford Health System to establish a center for autism, describing her efforts as transformational. Accepting the award, Allen, who now heads the Autism Alliance of Michigan, said, “I think of parents of children with autism as super heroes, especially those with adult children.” State Senator Jim Marleau introduced awardee Brian Mills, COO of the state housing authority. Mills, whose child has autism, said his housing agency has a lot of work to do and that “...we’re going to learn from you.” HFA board chair Bill Schram described Mills as “.. a gift from the Lord that touches us all.” Following dinner, tribute artists Gary Sacco and Jerry Connelly “brought” Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Gene Pitney and Buddy Holly to the dance floor. The evening raised about $20,000 to help provide independence for adults with autism. Send ideas for this column to Sally Gerak, 28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, 48304; email samgerak@aol.com or call 248.646.6390. 01.17


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ENDNOTE

The vital watersheds of Oakland County akland County is a rich ecological wonderland, with its inland lakes, streams and rivers, state parks, natural woodlands, quarries, and the cornucopia of wildlife. In a vibrant business and industrial region, efforts have been made to protect the habitat around us, beginning with the watersheds, where management has led to better control over pollution. As an article on the topic in this issue explains, a watershed is any geographic area where water drains into a river, lake or stream that leads to a larger body of water. Drainage areas include streams, drains and any other means in which rainwater or other specific sources lead to a river. Unlike jurisdictional boundaries, watersheds are determined by the flow of water based on natural topographical features. Oakland County is unusual in that we are the beneficiaries, and caretakers of, five watersheds, each named for the river from which it drains. Those watersheds include the Clinton River Watershed, the Flint River Watershed, Huron River Watershed, the Rouge River Watershed, and the Shiawassee River Watershed. The local communities served by Downtown newsmagazine are covered by both the Clinton River Watershed and the Rouge River Watershed. Horrific pollution in the mid-20th century, to the point where rivers actually lit on fire, resulted in public outcry over water pollution. That public outrage lead to the enactment of early environmental protection laws, such as the Clean Water Act of 1972, the Endangered Species Act of

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1973, and formation of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the United States and Canada. From a watershed management approach, watershed groups worked to educate residents to recognize that whatever they put in their local waterbodies eventually flows downstream and may end up in drinking water aquifers, waterbodies and ultimately impacts the entire watershed. Today, there are watershed management groups for each watershed that help to head up mitigation and monitoring efforts. Living in the central and northern areas of Oakland County that we all do comes at a cost – it's the responsibility to care for the environment we live and work in, notably the watersheds, such as the Rouge River Watershed which winds from Rochester Hills down into Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Birmingham, West Bloomfield, Southfield, Farmington Hills and all the way to Detroit and then to River Rouge, where it dumps into the Detroit River at Zug Island. That's a long trajectory, and one which it is vital to preserve as a pristine as possible body of water. The water levels of the Rouge River rise and fall quickly and drastically after it rains due to hard clay soils and the amount of paved surfaces in the watershed. Because of the large amount of paved surfaces, the river is particularly susceptible to runoff carrying fertilizers, oil, pet waste and other pollutants. Those are problems we all contribute to – and must be much more proactive in protecting. The Oakland County Water Commissioner's office,

Friends of the Rouge River – which works to promote restoration and stewardship of the river's ecosystem through education, citizen involvement and other collaborative efforts – along with volunteer groups through schools, community service organizations, and neighborhood groups all help participate in annual cleanups, but more is necessary. The improvement and preservation of the Rouge River Watershed, like the other watersheds in Oakland County, are an ongoing concern. Regulations, along with consumer and environmental awareness, have helped improve our watersheds, including the Clinton River Watershed and the Rouge River Watershed, both of which are now able to support fish and wildlife, as well a variety of recreational opportunities. Municipalities now must have stormwater permits, to regulate point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the U.S. This matters because stormwater picks up all sorts of pollutants, from fertilizers to pesticides, oils, driveway sealants, and bacteria from animal waste, and flows into stormwater drains and into the waterways, along with other river watersheds, without treatment. Our drinking water and local aquifers are precious. Once soiled and toxic, it is a much tougher task to restore the watersheds to their original more pristine conditions. It's up to each one of us to preserve our watersheds, not only our communities, but for other communities who share this common resource.

Thanks for the good work, John and Sheri t isn't often that both halves of a couple are both employed in the public sector, and both are deserved of praise for work in their respective communities. But John and Sheri Heiney are exceptions, and ones we will miss as they take their talents to Arizona. Sheri, president of the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce, was recently hired as the incoming president and CEO of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce in Prescott, Arizona, and John, executive director of the Birmingham Shopping District, is interviewing for positions in the sunbelt as well. While we're thrilled for them and their new adventure, which will also allow them to be closer to family in Arizona and Colorado – including a new grandbaby – both Sheri and John leave big shoes to fill in Rochester and Birmingham. They have each been anchors of their respective communities. John has led the Birmingham Shopping District for over 17 years, and Sheri has been the leader in Rochester for 16 years. That's a lot of cumulative knowledge to fill for local leaders. As president of the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce, whose mission is “to provide leadership and resources in order to

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advance business development in partnership with civic, cultural, and educational interests for the benefit of its members and the community,” Sheri Heiney did just that. The greater Rochester area has grown in the last decade and a half, with the business community flourishing. From the growth and prominence of the Rochester Hometown Christmas Parade, which the Chamber sponsors and is a prime mover behind, to the Sunrise Pinnacle Awards, which honors the accomplishments and contributions of Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Oakland Township's most visionary leaders, entrepreneurs, businesses and non-profits, to the annual Community Outlook Breakfast, Sheri has crafted the chamber into a dynamic organization benefitting local business, all while making it look easy. John, who began in Birmingham in 1999, has been just as vital a cog in the wheel that makes the central business district competitively turn. He has worked with a strong executive board to combat first, the threat from the Somerset Collection, helping to capitalize on the unique identity of the downtown shopping area. In 2007, Heiney worked with the city of Birmingham to develop and market its bistro ordinance, with the goal to enliven the walkability of the streets by

having outdoor dining, open windows to invite the public in, and to create a synergism between the retail and restaurant community. Later, a retail marketing consultant, Julie Fielder, was hired to reach out to national and regional retailers to augment the unique local boutiques in the city, to have destination stores in light of the demise of the Jacobson's stores in 2002. That successful outreach has resulted in lululemon, West Elm, Paper Source, Francesca's, Allen Edmond's, Sara Campbell, J. McLaughlin, Evereve, and others setting up camp in downtown Birmingham. One of John's strengths has always been his sense of optimism, even in light of the Great Recession. He consistently worked collaboratively with the business community, local government leaders, merchants, and landlords, to not only create and sustain a vibrant downtown area while also promoting events which would draw residents and visitors in, he fostered a sense of harmony among all of his constituencies, which is no small feat. Now, the Heineys are on to warmer climates and new faces. We are sure they will warm the hearts of their new community as they have done with their old ones. Our loss is Arizona’s gain.


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January 2017 - DOWNTOWN is an upscale monthly full-color news magazine mailed at no charge to homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and...

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