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New life for Bloomfield Park project? Craig Schubiner's vision for a 90-acre parcel in Bloomfield Township failed but a Chinese company may bring the land back to life.




35: Jordan Allen Broder



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City's 2013 golf course strategy; new police crime mapping online; Pierce Street project; Woodward corridor plan; commissioner vacancy; multi-modal plan; and more.



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43: Anita Lo


The three local fire departments do more than just fight fires, including emergency medical response for residents.




More than fires


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

23: Ashley Riegle

Mixing the medicine

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oming off the November general election and a rather disappointing experience my oldest son Garrett had with absentee voting from Manhattan after the October 29 storm Sandy, I thought for certain I would be using this space to urge a push for changing the process of voting and hopefully a move to the Internet for future elections. In Garrett's case, he was without power in the West Village area of New York starting about 8 days ahead of the election, which meant that the postal service stopped delivering mail, including the absentee ballot he had applied for from the Birmingham City Clerk's office. Power was restored in his neighborhood the Saturday before the November 6 election, but the same could not be said about postal service. As a dutiful dad, I stopped in at Birmingham Clerk Laura Broski's office where they have always been most accommodating and helpful in the past, although I knew the answer to my question before I reached city hall. No, I was informed, there was no option for casting a ballot short of returning the absentee ballot by the time polls closed on Tuesday. And, yes, I was not the only person who called or stopped in the Monday before election day with similar problems brought about by the East Coast weather upheaval. I have long been a supporter of early voting and still feel that the absentee voting process must be made more accessible. Now with the latest challenge posed by a natural catastrophe, my initial thoughts were that Internet voting was the end all for future elections. Little did I know, however, what a major undertaking this could be for the country and at possible great risk in terms of protecting vote totals on the Internet. I say that as someone who does not buy into the criticism that granting easier access to the voting process greatly increases the fraud in voting. Michigan and the nation, comparatively speaking, have very few documented instances of voter fraud, despite the stories we have all heard about the big city political machines that magically are able to have the dead cast ballots. I firmly believe that those who attempt to restrict voting rights or support rules that make voting more cumbersome are doing so largely out of a desire to control some classes or populations of voters for political reasons. That said, Internet voting looks dicey and no doubt will be years off before someone can devise a fool proof system that assures no one can tamper with the outcome of an election. Canada, Noway and Australia have online systems, but at present no one in the United States has been able to develop reliable software that would allow us to vote from our computers without the threat of vote tampering. There are a number of current attempts at online voting. Arizona allows paper ballots to be scanned and uploaded through an online system. In West Virginia five counties provide the option of casting ballots on a website. All told, 20 states allow e-mail voting, which at first is encouraging. But a red flag went up in Washington D.C., where an online voting system was put to the test by a University of Michigan professor and two graduate students invited to try hacking into the system and changing vote totals. They did, and quite easily. Congress has asked the states to conduct pilot projects, so at some point, we may make sufficient technological advances to provide for online voting. But a cautious approach must be the rule of the day when it comes to protecting voting results. As always, I welcome your feedback. David Hohendorf Publisher

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These are the crimes reported under select categories by police officials in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills through November 16, 2012. Placement of codes is approximate.




raig Schubiner could see it, clear as a laser cut photograph, a town-within-a-town rising like a golden phoenix on the northern edge of Bloomfield Township, south of the border with Sylvan Lake, Keego Harbor and Pontiac. Yet, he remained alone with his dream for years until it became too late, perpetually frustrated by doubters and cynics who saw his vision of a mammoth commercial, retail, entertainment and residential community as a mirage, or worse, a behemoth which would destroy their community rather than enhance it.

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loomfield Park. Today, the name is synonymous with hubris, economic meltdown, urban decay, eyesore and the suburban definition of urban blight. Its hulking remnants, the concrete shell of parking structures and the beginnings of commercial buildings, loom unfinished, unattended to, the visual statement left behind when finances dried up, contractors left town, partners sued partners, and bankruptcy became the development's legacy. Still Schubiner dreams, and laments about “What if?” while Oakland County works to secure a buyer for the remnants of the 90-acre site, someone who will turn a fantastical dream into a working development. And it appears a white knight may be about to ride into town in the form of a Chinese automotive company, possibly in a joint venture with one of the investors who went bankrupt in the deal in 2008. Dongfang is the fourth largest automotive parts manufacturer in China, producing more than five million automobile parts in its factories in Ruian, the auto parts capital of China. According to their website, they produce fuel system parts, electrical parts, auto sensors, car air conditioning parts, auto body parts, timing kits, timing belts, and auto accessories, which are sold around the world. According to Jim Faycurry, real estate project advisor at Oakland County Planning and Economic Development, Dongfang is looking to headquarter their North American operations at the former Bloomfield Park, which sits along Telegraph Road between Orchard Lake Road and Square Lake Road. “Two hundred to three hundred R & D (research and development) engineer jobs would be created right out of the gate,” Faycurry said. Coventry Real Estate Advisors of New York is also talking with Oakland County, with the possibility of Coventry and Dongfang blending their interests and expertise together on the site. In this workout, the Chinese would create a manufacturing and development park on some of the property, and Coventry would redevelop the rest of the site for retail and commercial use, which has some local municipal leaders and real estate experts shaking their heads. “Has anything changed from the original plan? It never made economic sense then, and it still doesn't,” said Bloomfield Township Supervisor Leo Savoie. “While we're feeling the resurgence of the economy, it's going to be harder to convince the rest of the country to come in (to this area). There is also still an over-saturation of office space in the area, and extra retail that is still vacant.” Even if a deal is hammered out, there is work to do before new development could begin. The former development, left in an unfinished and completely exposed state when it went belly up in November 2008, would need to be demolished before being rebuilt to the specifications Dongfang would seek, which would likely have a technological park, as well as offices and possibly some residential. “There is a housing component that would be made into a hotel, primarily for people going back and forth to China, but it would be open for anyone,” Faycurry said. Some municipal and real estate leaders, speaking off-the-record, said that while the county might like to blend Coventry and Dongfang together to optimize and speed along

redevelopment of the site, they would prefer to see the Chinese manufacturer go it alone. They are excited at the possibility of engineering jobs, with their six-figure paychecks (possibly dual-income) coming into the area, re-energizing the local market, and would prefer to see retail develop around Dongfang naturally, intrinsically, as needs and demands arise in the future. None of the concrete on the partially-erected Bloomfield Park buildings was sealed or protected, and four years of exposure to weather and wear and tear have left it vulnerable and in need of demolition rather than repair. Further, Schubiner and his partners had not put in place the infrastructure for the majority of the development when the economy went bust in 2008, and everyone picked up their tools and went home, ultimately for good. Only now, a scant four months after the acrimonious lawsuits have been settled between contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and service companies with liens against Schubiner's Harbor Cos. and the large-scale developers and financiers he brought in, Coventry Real Estate Advisors of New York and Developers Diversified Realty (DDR) of Beachwood, Ohio, can the county approach Wells Fargo Bank NA, which owns the property in foreclosure, with a new buyer. Settlements were reached with over 100 companies which had 175 collective liens on the property for unpaid balances on contracts totaling over $48 million for development work on Bloomfield Park after work was halted, according to Crain's Detroit Business in July 2012. Coventry and DDR owed Wells Fargo over $40 million on a 2008 acquisition loan, leading to the foreclosure. Schubiner sued Coventry and DDR in Oakland County Circuit Court for more than $200 million in damages, asserting that they did not perform to their best abilities to make Bloomfield Park successful after he sold it to them in 2006 before the economy tanked and violated their contract with him when they shut the project down at a time when he claims leases had been signed and the project was still viable. However, a jury in August 2012 in judge Michael Warren's courtroom determined he was not due damages, nor lost profits, in the failed deal. Schubiner has appealed. And while Dongfang, nor likely any subsequent buyer, will approach the property with anything close to an idea similar to Schubiner's, everyone but Schubiner recognizes it is time to move on, clean up the site, develop it as something usable and concurrent with local municipalities' zoning ordinances, and stop looking in the rear view mirror. While Schubiner says he has moved on, now buying small properties to lease out in Ann Arbor, in actuality he is still a man obsessed with the property he began buying in the fall of 1992, small parcel by small parcel, with the original idea of building a major health club like the East Bank Club in Chicago, or the Sports Club in Los Angeles. In 1992, he determined he needed about 15 acres, and he wanted it to be in an upscale area of Oakland County, which he narrowed down to the corridors of Orchard Lake Road, Woodward or Telegraph. He quickly ruled out Orchard Lake and Woodward because they were too far to one side of town or the other, with Telegraph right in the center. He determined that 12 Mile and Telegraph was already too crowded, Maple and Telegraph would

have been perfect but it was already crowded, and there wasn't enough land, and Long Lake Road wasn't a major enough of an intersection to him. He liked Square Lake Road, and how I-75 and Orchard Lake Road all met near there. His decision to begin to acquire property at that location may prove, in hindsight, to have been Schubiner's first major blunder. While there was no land available there at the time, he found a subdivision with commercial zoning, and began to assemble homes in Bloomfield Township. Then the Miracle Mile Drive-In in Pontiac, north of the subdivision, became available, and he had more land. During this period, Schubiner travelled to Boca Raton, Florida, and went to Mizner Park, a manufactured city-within-a city, called a lifestyle center, with residential, commercial, retail and movies all together with clean streets and a harmonious feeling, and became enthralled with the idea to create a similar environment on the land he was assembling in Bloomfield Township and Pontiac. He suddenly became infatuated with creating what he believed was an ideal environment—an area to live, work, shop, with movies, parks, nature trails, fountain/ice rink and other entertainment. He travelled to other upscale lifestyle centers, like City Place in West Palm Beach and The Grove in Los Angeles. He set out to acquire much more property, and to create Bloomfield Park. hat Schubiner did not acknowledge, or choose to see, is that Mizner Park and City Place lacked for tenants and residents in their initial incarnations, and went belly up, before subsequent developers reworked them to make them more viable. They still struggle. And their initial developers worked hand-in-hand with their local municipalities to create the minivillages together. Schubiner believes he was a visionary, and no one else was smart enough, visionary enough, or intuitive enough to see clearly what he was planning, whether it was Bloomfield Township staff, trustees, or residents, or eventually, Coventry Real Estate Advisors or DDR, his ultimate partners.He's Don Quixote tilting at the windmills he knows are out there. Save for himself, no one is spared from his vitriol, including the attorneys who worked for him each step of the way to try to salvage the deal. He believes former Bloomfield Township Clerk Wilma Cotton took a dislike to his idea, poisoned former township supervisors Fred Korzon and Dave Payne and convinced everyone else as well and that's why it didn't fly in the township. And later, he did everything right, but as far as he's concerned, DDR, the managing partner, screwed up the leasing and building of Bloomfield Park, and Coventry let them. He constantly sent Coventry emails telling them exactly that and how they should have been doing it better, even though he had fulfilled his development requirements, and was no longer involved on a daily basis. If only they would have all listened to him. Coventry Real Estate Advisors and DDR did not return numerous calls to comment for this article. “It (Bloomfield Park) should never have been built,” asserts a local real estate leasing agent. “It should have been a big box play, with Best Buy and Target going in there. But Schubiner wanted


to go high end. He was a moron and he didn't understand the market. He tried to duplicate Somerset (Collection). If Apple or Puma were going to open a second unit in metro Detroit, they were going to Novi, not to Telegraph Road in Bloomfield, actually then, in Pontiac. Schubiner did not understand this. He was in way over his head. The problem was it screwed up the whole street (Telegraph) for everyone. And it still is.” The leasing agent, who said he was contacted to do the work, “but the best thing I ever did was not get involved,” noted that at the time of groundbreaking, there were only seven confirmed signed leases—Barnes & Noble, which left its long-time location at Telegraph and Maple for Bloomfield Park; the Emagine Theater, whose shell of a theater is one of the vacant remains on the property; and five small specialty tenants. Word that Ann Taylor Loft, Chico's, Banana Republic, H&M, Chico's, White House, Black Market, Lucky Jeans, William Sonoma, Bravo, Hyde Park Steakhouse, and many other stores were going into the development were just “proposals. There were deals out but there was nothing on the table even close to being signed. Schubiner would tell the public that there were lots of these high end specialty restaurants signed, and I would talk to them (the restaurants), and they would say they were not interested in going into this project. Schubiner was just making this up,” he said. “The project was the victim of putting 20 pounds into a a 10 pound bag, mixed with a bad economy, combined with municipalities and financing partners,” noted Rob Miles of Restaurant Development Advisors, who worked on the project, and confirmed the other leasing agent's report on the restaurants and how imperative it was to have co-tenancy. “It clearly missed it's economic window. In order for the restaurants to come in, they had to have everything come together—topof-the-line, first class retail, a theater project, offices and residential. Residential was falling by the wayside but they still had office. That's what they proposed, and we needed those elements to come together.” Miles said that DDR was, and is, one of the largest retail real estate investment trusts (REIT), “but they had their own economic problems. This (Bloomfield Park) was nothing compared to what they had with financing problems in California. “Bloomfield Park's challenges were largely due to the local developer; it was build it and they shall come. There were problems with timing in respect to financing, and the length of time it took to get it done; getting the municipal approvals in a reasonable period of time; the retailers, if they had actually been committed ahead of time, like it was asserted; and ultimately, it's in Pontiac. You're not going to get the response to upscale residential. It was a perfect storm of problems. Could that deal have worked somewhere else in Bloomfield? All day long. Sometimes the square peg in a round hole just doesn't need to happen. There just was no demand for that development,” Miles said. chubiner met with tremendous local municipal resistance when he sought to create Bloomfield Park, but now, years later, it is unlikely a new buyer would encounter the same resistance or distaste on the part of locals, who unanimously want the site cleaned up and functional.


The 90-acres Schubiner assembled over a tenyear period is north of Square Lake Road east of Telegraph in Bloomfield Township, but due to annexation and lawsuits, is overseen by a tri-party organization of Bloomfield Township, Pontiac and Oakland County. Dan Devine, Bloomfield Township treasurer, is the only member left of the original Joint Development Council. Pontiac has since fallen to an emergency financial manager; with it, their head of planning, Madhu Oberoi became a casualty, and Oakland County's independent chairperson, Kay Stanfield Spinks, moved on to a private sector law firm. Any new governmental control would be under a combination of Bloomfield Township and Pontiac, under a 425 agreement Schubiner entered into with the city of Pontiac for 99 years. Under the agreement, Bloomfield Park receives police and fire from Pontiac—which is now outsourced. Pontiac now receives police protection from the Oakland County Sheriff's Department, while its fire and emergency medical care is provided by Waterford's Fire Department, which lost a public safety millage in November. All public works projects are also under Pontiac's jurisdiction, and Bloomfield Park is in the Pontiac School district. The mailing address and zip code is Bloomfield Hills. “Originally, all of the roads were going to be private,” Bloomfield Township's Savoie noted, unsure as to where they would currently stand. Most of Bloomfield Park's roads and other infrastructure were never put in place. “They would still need to be maintained by Pontiac's Department of Public Works.” Savoie said the water connection to the development is with Bloomfield Township, but it was disconnected because the water line was too shallow, although that could presumably be rectified. “We will be very fair and open to any prospect who wants to go through the process of filing a site plan with the Joint Development Council. We want to move forward with this parcel,” Devine said. “We are confident one day it will be developed properly because it's a desirable zip code.” Schubiner's possible second blunder in developing the project came after he had assembled all of the 90 acres, and then briefly hired Andres Duany, the noted Miami urban planner who created Birmingham's 2016 Master Plan, as well as consulting for two years with other urban planners and experts. He did all of this on his own, within the confines of his office walls. What he did not do was include Bloomfield Township planners as he was developing the plans for Bloomfield Park, which most developers do. The township had—and still has—a welldefined master plan with zoning ordinances in place, which every resident and business owner has to follow. In February of 2000, he finally unveiled his dream to the township leadership. “His (Schubiner's) initial renderings and discussions involved nine 20-story buildings, as well as some other buildings totaling more square footage, just for the office space, than the Renaissance Center,” Devine recalled. “He would also have retail, entertainment and residential for more than 1,000. We looked at the scope of his dream, vs. the reality of our master plan and zoning ordinances and explained to him that the maximum height of a building in Bloomfield Township was three stories. We were also very

concerned about the traffic impact. We were willing to talk to him if he was willing to come back with a scaled back version (of his development), but he was determined to move forward with his model.” Schubiner stuck adamantly with his vision of building a small city that he believed would be a destination, a world of its own, certain that those in local government were scared of the critical mass needed to create his city, and that they were out-of-touch with what most of the people in the community wanted. Township leaders disagree, noting that they held a public hearing meeting at the Bloomfield Township Public Library on December 6, 2000, and 90 percent of those in attendance strongly affirmed that they did not want Schubiner's plans. “He presented his plan to the public, and we took extensive public comments,” Devine said. “More than 90 percent of the citizens were against the plan as presented, with the reasons being its height, density and traffic issues. We were very careful not to stack the deck of the audience one way or another. After the hearing concluded, everyone in the room understood it would not fly as presented. We invited him to resubmit a new plan in keeping with the township's master plan and our zoning ordinances. The property was zoned industrial park. The importance of those documents to us is they are the culmination of our citizen's vision of the township for the future, and the consensus has always been to keep it a highend residential area without traffic gridlock any worse than it already is.” evine said the township entered into negotiations with Schubiner's attorneys, to no avail. “We also asked Schubiner if he'd done any market analysis, and he said, 'No, I don't need that. I know it will be wonderful.'” The township board of trustees, less assured, contracted with two out-of-state marketing agencies with expertise in real estate to provide the township with an unbiased opinion on the best use of the property. “They both came back in line with our master plan and citizen comments. We were told his proposal was way over the top and would be nothing more than a white elephant.” Bloomfield Township did receive a revised plan from Schubiner's now-deceased attorney, James Williams, proposing four and five-story buildings, including a hotel; an Emagine theater; high-end restaurants; retail; townhouses; and 1,000 units of condominiums. “We said we'd be willing to look at it if he was willing to provide a site plan that we could put through the process, even though it was more high-density than our master plan and zoning ordinances,” Devine said. “We were cognizant it bordered the city of Pontiac, which gave rise to the potential of annexation.” The area was always part of the Pontiac School District, not Bloomfield Hills', and township officials felt Bloomfield Township was a more advantageous address as well as a more financially-favorable municipality to do business in, with a tax rate base one-third of Pontiac's. “A normal developer wants to pay the least amount of taxes possible.” Before Bloomfield Township could receive revised site plans for Bloomfield Park, they received something else: notice that Schubiner


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had filed a petition for annexation to move jurisdiction of the property from Bloomfield Township to Pontiac. hile Bloomfield Township did not own the property where neighborhood homes sat, they had jurisdiction over all zoning and municipal services. Annexation law provided that only residents of Pontiac and those individuals living on the property in question could vote on the annexation, bypassing Bloomfield Township officials, their planning department and zoning board completely. By appealing to Pontiac officials, Schubiner recognized he could develop the land as he desired. A vote was held—on September 11, 2001— and the annexation question passed. While a township resident, Ed Lennon, filed suit alleging election fraud and technicalities related to the petitions, Schubiner prevailed in having the land annexed to Pontiac. Bloomfield Park was now under the shared jurisdiction of Pontiac and Bloomfield Township following numerous other lawsuits, one of which had a settlement reached on the eve of the Michigan Supreme Court ruling on it. “We could protect our vested interest in jurisdiction and temper the height and traffic impact, we felt,” Devine said. The shared jurisdiction was allowed on November 27, 2002, via Michigan Public Act 425. It allowed for up to eight-story buildings in the back of the property, tapering to two-story along Telegraph frontage. “The entire settlement was predicated on the


promise the developer made to the courts that he had financing to build the development,” Devine said. “However, the courts refused to allow us to ask him for proof of financing. Before the ink was even dry (on the settlement agreement), Schubiner went to the Pontiac City Council and requested that the entire property be deemed a brownfield property, which was designed for property that was toxic. There was never any proof of brownfield there. In essence, he said I don't have any money, and asked for a 30-year tax abatement to wipe Pontiac, Bloomfield Township and Oakland County from tax revenues for 30 years. We cried foul, and Pontiac made a concession and gave him a 20-year abatement.” Pontiac is also where in 2003, Schubiner sought, and received in 2004, $68.2 million worth of tax increment financing (TIF), a public financing method used to subsidize infrastructure improvements against future gains, in order to create the infrastructure of water, sewer improvements, roads, sidewalks, even a DTE substation, all of which were needed to build the mini-city of Bloomfield Park, which as of fall 2002, had ballooned to more than 2 million square feet of commercial buildings over nine stories and 1,100 units of residential. It was time to build, to firm up leases, and to find financial partners who could accommodate the massive project which Bloomfield Park had become. To Schubiner, all of the municipal wrangling was just a necessary evil, part of the process to creating his utopian vision. Yet, he believed municipal officials, lawyers, the courts and others without his focus had wasted five years of his time, precious time that delayed him


from marketing the development to those who he just knew wanted to live there, to businesses who he was sure would relocate to the city-withinBloomfield, and residents who would want to live amidst nature trails, mini-lakes, parks, movies and stores. Sort of like Birmingham. On Telegraph. By Pontiac. Schubiner sold Bloomfield Park as a joint venture in August 2006 to Coventry and DDR, acknowledging it was just too big for him at that point. Schubiner held onto a portion of the project, with Coventry financing and keeping 80 percent of ownership of the joint venture, and DDR the remaining 20 percent. At that point, there were allegedly six executed leases, and 23 executed letters of intent, but DDR had total control of the building. Coventry was the financial arm. And then it all fell apart, along with the economy and the real estate market around the country. Schubiner contended that he did not realize that DDR did not understand mixed-use developments, and that, as far as he is concerned, they did not put qualified leasing individuals on the project, and that he repeatedly told them they were headed for disaster, while DDR and Coventry kept telling him to butt out. By April 2008, Schubiner had completed the jobs he was required of and got a signed release. Bloomfield Park was closed down in November 2008. Perhaps in 2013, in some form, Bloomfield Park will see life breathed into it again. But it will never be the vision Craig Schubiner had all those years ago. That mirage has evaporated.


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or compounding pharmacies, it's been a bad few months. They have gone from a specialized niche retailer to a feared pariah in the mind of the public, all due to the actions of a large scale compounding pharmacy in Framingham, Massachusetts, the New England Compounding Center (NECC), which is accused of creating a massive outbreak of fungal meningitis through the contamination of medications for epidural steroid injections for back pain.



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As of October 9, the Center for Disease Control estimated that as many as 14,000 patients may have been exposed to the tainted drug; to date, 148 patients in Michigan alone have fallen seriously ill with fungal meningitis, and six have died. Others are now being treated for secondary problems at the site of the injections, epidural abscesses, which can develop into meningitis, as well as joint infections, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. The outbreak has been a tragedy all around—for those unsuspecting patients in serious pain seeking relief from a steroid injection; for the doctors who unwittingly injected them, trusting that the medicine they used would be safe and sterile; and for compounding pharmacies, which have unfairly received a black eye on their profession for something they have had no hand in. “My colleagues and I are outraged and sickened by the alleged malfeasance at NECC. They call themselves a compounding pharmacy, but in actuality they were apparently careless manufacturers who needlessly and shamefully endangered the lives of their customers,” Mazen Baisa, PharmD, RPh, managing partner and clinical director of BioMed Pharmacy in Southfield said. “It is alleged by regulators that NECC somehow was able to skirt existing state and federal laws and operate its business by shortchanging quality. That is not what a compounding pharmacy does.” “This company (NECC) turned themselves into a large manufacturing company, in violation of every law to keep patients safe, and lost sight of what they were supposed to be doing,” asserted product liability attorney Alyson Oliver of the Oliver Law Group in Rochester. “They were already on the radar because they already had had six violations, one of which was on this same drug. Local (compounding) companies shouldn't be tainted by this bad company. I've never seen problems with local pharmacies.” ccording to the Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA), pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications for patients, whose practice dates back to the origins of pharmacy. As a matter of fact, in the 1930s and 1940s, the majority of prescriptions written were compounded. As drug manufacturing by pharmaceutical companies began developing en masse in the 1950s and 1960s, compounding declined as the pharmacist's role as a preparer of medications metamorphosed into someone who dispensed manufactured dosage forms. But, in the process of creating a “one-size-fits-all” approach to dosage, some patients' needs failed to be met. In the last few decades, as patients' are experiencing more allergies, unique needs and identified requirements which cannot always be satisfied by massproduced medications, compounded pharmacists' specialization and expertise is permitting a renaissance of the practice. Enter a modern compounding pharmacy and you will discover a confluence of modern research and technology, ancient practices, and innovative artistry in a sterile surrounding which permits pharmacists to customize a wide range of medications to meet individual patients specific needs. PCCA points out that while there are many uses for compounded medications, the primary reason is for patients to avoid non-compliance, meaning the patient is either unable or unwilling to use the medication as it is created and directed. It's not only an integral part of the pharmacy profession, but when properly employed, a useful tool for doctors in obtaining effective treatment options for their patients because it can allow for the creation of medication with less side effects and less over-medicating. PCCA notes that “many patients are allergic to preservatives or dyes, or require a dosage that is different from the standard drug strengths.” Compounded pharmacists can easily adjust the strength of a medication; avoid ingredients that are unwanted or harmful to a patient, such as dyes, preservatives, lactose, gluten, or sugar; add flavors to make the medication more palatable, especially for children or the elderly; and they can prepare medications using unique delivery systems. For example, for a patient that cannot swallow a capsule, a compounding pharmacist can make the same medication in the form of a flavored liquid, as a lollypop, or some other easy to take form. They can also create topical gels or creams that can be absorbed through the skin, suppositories, or as a small drop to dissolve under the tongue. Compounding has been a part of healthcare since the origins of medicine, and is utilized throughout the industry, from hospitals to nuclear medicine and home health care. Advances in technology, quality control and research methodology in the last few decades have added to the allure of compounded medications, with the rise of more and more compounding pharmacies in the metro Detroit area. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which does not directly oversee or monitor compounded pharmacies, nor individualized compounded drugs, has stated that compounded prescriptions are both ethical and legal as long as they are prescribed by a licensed practitioner for a specific patient and compounded by a licensed pharmacy. Compound pharmacies are regulated by state boards of pharmacy. In


Michigan, the Michigan Board of Pharmacy, under the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, oversees all professional functions associated with the practice of pharmacy, include the interpretation and evaluation of prescriptions; drug product selection; compounding, dispensing, safe storage, and distribution of drugs and devices; maintenance of legally required records; advising the prescriber and the patient as required regarding contents, therapeutic action, utilization, and possible adverse reactions and interactions of drugs. The board, made up of 11 voting members, six pharmacists, and five public members, also has the obligation to discipline licensees who have adversely affected the public's health, safety and welfare as it oversees 14,734 pharmacists and 3,257 pharmacies in the state. “We are inspected all year long,” noted Baisa of BioMed. “If there are any citations, it is our responsibility to correct it as soon as possible. It is also the responsibility of the agency to make sure it's been carried out and enforced.” “There is a whole list of guidelines in USP 797 which details out what guidelines have to have in place in order to do compounding,” said Brad McCloskey, a pharmacist with University Compounding Pharmacy in Troy. USP 797 refers to chapter 797 of Pharmaceutical Compounding – Sterile Preparations, in the USP National Formulary. It is the first set of enforceable sterile compounding standards issued by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). USP 797 describes the guidelines, procedures, and compliance requirements for compounding sterile preparations and sets the standards that apply to all settings in which sterile preparations are compounded. These standards are applicable to anyone who prepares compounded sterile preparations (CSPs) and all places where CSPs are prepared, the National Formulary said. “The United States Pharmacopeia is very detailed with its guidelines and regulations, especially as its applied to compounding pharmacies,” Baisa said. “The guidelines are applied to quality assurance, sterility, testing and non-sterile items like topicals. A good compounding pharmacy will have chemicals coming from an FDA-approved facility, the appropriate equipment to make the compounded medication, the training and experience to compound, and the knowledge of the devices they are giving to patients in the form they require.” “Sterility is key,” McCloskey said. “We designed a clean room that's sterile. There's a sterile hood within that room, and then the whole room it's in is called a clean room. You have to be in specific clothes—gown, gloves, hair net, booties— to be in that room to minimize anything getting in to any of the medication.” Further, McCloskey added, “every six months the clean room is checked and certified by an outside company to make sure there are limited particles in the air, as well as no mold or growth that could harm patients.” University Compounding Pharmacy hires Champion Air Testing in Belleville to perform their checks. “Compounded medicine is made-from-scratch medicine, using individual ingredients mixed together in the exact strength and dosage form, in the exact amount required by the patient,” explained pharmacist Pierre Boutros, who owns Mills Pharmacy and Apothecary in Birmingham with his brother and fellow pharmacist, Hany. “It's custom medication to meet the patient's needs, and it's wide ranging. And we must always have a script (prescription) from a doctor to create a compound medication.” Approximately 40 percent of Mills' prescriptions are compounded medication, prepared in a sterile environment separate from the pill dispensing area and the upscale store area. Mills renovated their pharmacy, expanding into the former Quarton Market, and in the process created a “clean room built for quality assurance to accomplish a sterile environment to make sure, whether we were making a gel or an IV, everything is made in a clean, sterile environment in order to avoid contamination,” Boutros said. “We have top-of-the line sterilization machines, from a special oven to a dishwasher.” Further, while the FDA does not come in and check compounding pharmacies, Boutros, like other local compounding pharmacists, only purchase and utilize FDA-approved chemicals. “I do not make anything or use anything that is not FDA-approved. Some pharmacists (around the country) do. Some will do medicines approved in Europe that are not FDA-approved. I will not.” outros did not begin his work as a pharmacist thinking he would specialize as a compounding pharmacist; out of school, he began working at a Rite Aid, doing a little non-complex mixing here and there, primarily for gels or ointments. In 2003, he took the risk of opening his own pharmacy in Lake Orion in a small center with an urgent care center, a surgical center and several doctors. “Everything started with that pharmacy,” he looks back with pride. The area had a large population of seniors, and Boutros said he saw they were being neglected in their health care. “I wanted to make a difference in their lives. I began helping provide medication at a small 16-bed assisted living facility, and it all grew from there,” he said. Today, the Boutros brothers service 3,000 beds with compound medication, including Botsford Nursing Homes, Lutheran Home Society, all Waltonwood Homes, Harbor Chase, and 49



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other facilities. “I took it personally. I touch people physically everyday,” he noted. “I had to learn compounding medication,” he said. “That is because a lot of nursing home patients need IV (intravenous) antibiotics in sterile circumstances. From there, we kept expanding. We call it One Care RX, for one family taking care.” BioMed's Baisa noted, “(Compounding medication) really sheds the light on pharmacy work because each person is unique, with an individual biology. Not every person is right for every commercial medicine. And every commercial medicine is not right for every patient.” Baisa said compounding pharmacies came about to fill the void and help patients who couldn't find the right medicine for their needs, whether because they weren't being made to their needs, they have allergies, or because there have been pharmacological shortages. “Compounding really provides a great value. And the difference between compounding and manufacturing is a compound pharmacy actually makes a medication to order from a doctor's prescription for a particular patient. A manufacturer, like NECC in Massachusetts, mass produces mass orders at a deep discount. They weren't ever receiving individual orders for individual patients.” Boutros of Mills agrees. “We are not a manufacturing company. We are a compounding pharmacy that dispenses only with prescriptions from a doctor for individual patients.” BioMed provides customized, compounded medication for “doctors, patients, and hospitals,” Baisa said, including Beaumont Hospital, Karmanos Cancer Centers, Detroit Medical Center, and some Henry Ford Hospital patients. “Almost every hospital system uses compounding,” Baisa noted. “Most cancer medication is compounded individually because it is usually not available. Also, compound medication is important for hospice patients, because they often cannot take medicine orally any longer. We'll create topicals, IVs, whatever a doctor orders.” Baisa pointed out that many doctors, such as pain doctors and dermatologists, prefer to have specially-created medicine made for their patients by a compound pharmacist, rather than rely on commercial, “onesize-fits-all” medicine. aren Raehtz, owner of Physicians Compounding Pharmacy in Bloomfield Hills, was the Director of Pharmacy at Bon Secour Cottage Health Services in Grosse Pointe before opening her business in 2004 with former partner Debbie Vinuya. “One of my friends was doing a lot of compounding and loved it. He was doing a lot of hormones. I loved that a lot of it was doing just what the patient needed, and getting to know the patients personally. Compounding is unique and customized to a patient's needs, and all about health and wellness. In a hospital, it's about taking care of patients when people are sick,” Raehtz noted. “We are bombarded by prescriptions for pain management. Why would you take something that would medicate your whole body, when only one part, like your knee, is in pain?” asked Baisa. “We've been using compound medication and compound pharmacists for years and years and years,” said Jim Honet, M.D., of Pain Care Associates in Bloomfield Hills, whose practice currently uses Health Dimensions Pharmacy in Farmington Hills. “We have pain pumps, and when you take narcotics by mouth, it goes all over the body. We've been using these specialized pain pumps for over 20 years. It's vital to us to have these pumps with sterile medication. So when we get the medication with a letter that says they've tested it by putting it in an incubator to grow it, and they've made sure it's clean and sterile, that's really good. We get documentation each time we get a shipment.” Honet also performs epidural pain injections for back pain, like those received by the individuals who received tainted shots from NECC and fell ill with fungal meningitis. In order to make sure his patients are protected, Honet said they stopped receiving shipments of steroid medications from regular manufacturers several years ago, and turned to local compounding pharmacies. “They stopped making them in a way we could use them, or the price was way too high, so we began to look for alternatives. That's why we began to look at compounding pharmacies. We were also looking for medication without preservatives, which are toxic to the spinal cord and central nervous system. We all just know that, to not have alcohol in these injections,” Honet said. “These compounding pharmacies just know how to make these medications correctly without preservatives for not a lot of money. And we knew to ask for these letters stating the medicine was clean, sterile, certified and tested.” Mitchell Shek, M.D., a Birmingham dermatologist, also often turns to compounding medications for his patients. “I compound topical steroids for


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Christmas Services Please join us as we await the coming of our Savior! Festival of Gifts — Saturday, December 8 at 5 PM; Sunday, December 9 at 10 AM Acolyte Christmas Pageant and Gift Drive for local charities. “O” Antiphons (Lessons and Carols) — Sunday, December 16 at 10 AM Traditional Anglican Holy Eucharist service of Scripture and Christmas carols led by the Christ Church Cranbrook Choir. No sermon. Blue Christmas — Sunday, December 16 at 4 PM A service dedicated to all who are challenged by this year’s holiday season; such as the grieving, the unemployed, and those feeling alone.

Christmas Eve ~ December 24 Advent Weekend Worship — December 1 - December 23 Holy Eucharist: Saturdays at 5 PM; Sundays at 8 and 10 AM. Lex Orandi on Sundays at 6 PM. Advent Weekday Worship — December 3 - December 20 Morning Prayer Mondays-Thursdays at 8:30 AM, Holy Eucharist Tuesdays at 10 AM, Holy Eucharist Wednesdays at 7 AM followed by Bible Study at 7:30 AM. Holiday Friendship Tea — Saturday, December 1 at 4 PM A special time of fellowship for those who want to attend church, but need encouragement or transportation to do so. Gather in the church after High Tea for our regular Saturday evening service. Advent Family Fair — Sunday, December 2 at 11:15 (Coffee Hour) All are welcome in the Hospitality Center for fun family activities including a Jesse Tree craft for families, decorating yummy cookies to eat, hearing St. Nick read a story and decorating the CCC Christmas tree. Advent by Candlelight — Monday, December 3 at 6 PM A special evening for women, including hors d’oeuvres, desserts, a special program and the viewing of spectacularly decorated tables by Christ Church Cranbrook hostesses. Reservation required.

Holy Eucharist at 5 PM (suggested for families with small children and youth); Festive Holy Eucharist at 8 PM and 11 PM with full choir and musicians. Christmas Day — Friday, December 25 at 10 AM Holy Eucharist service with cantor and sermon. Senior Christmas Brunch — Christmas Day 11:15 AM Offering seniors in the community music, appetizers, conversation, and a traditional Christmas day feast with turkey, ham, and all the trimmings.

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December 16 4:00 PM Service of Lessons and Carols

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8:30 PM Holy Night Service Dr. Norman Pritchard 11:00 PM Holy Night Service Dr. Norman Pritchard

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inflammatory conditions. If I need to for an infection, I mix a topical steroid with a topic antibiotic or with a topical fungal agent, and I have a cream or ointment for an individual patient,” he said. For his acne patients, he said he sometimes combines a topical steroid with a topic acne medication. “I find compounding very valuable in my practice. It's so much more efficacious and gets my patients much better results right away,” he said. “Using compounded prescriptions has really differentiated me from other physicians.” There are many different medical areas of usage for compounded pharmacies. Local pharmacies note that they are most often called upon to create medications for management for pain; hormone replacement therapy; veterinary medicine; pediatric care; anti-aging; medication due to allergies; sports medicine; senior care; hospice; dentistry; men's healthcare; and alternative medicine. “A human medication can be made in different dosage forms and different flavors for a pet, and a lot of medications can be made into topicals, which for a pet can be especially beneficial,” Raehtz said. Boutros said that for a child who is afraid of taking a medication, a compounding pharmacist can customize any medication into a lollypop or lozenge that they will easy enjoy. “We can flavor it any way they want,” he said. Oral liquids, gummy treats, gels, and effervescent drinks can also be created for children, for pain relief, respiratory disorders, oral thrush, diabetes, head lice, diaper rash, skin disorders, cold sores and fever blisters, among many other afflictions. For senior citizens, new anxieties can arise, from a fear of getting into the shower or going to the bathroom, or of being left alone. “A tranquilizer gel, like Ativan (an anti-anxiety medication), can be created to relieve their anxiety,” Boutros said. ain management medication is a huge area of customization for compound pharmacists. Sufferers seek remedy for chronic conditions like back pain, arthritis, nerve and muscle pain, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, sports injuries and other conditions. “Primarily for transdermal (topical) pain medication, we can combine different medications together that work in different ways to get great results without the side effects that patients can get from oral medications,” Raehtz said. Others may need a pain pump, which is customized with a narcotic drug and targeted directly into the pain site for better pain management and works to help keep a patient from becoming addicted to prescription pain pills. Many perimenopausal and menopausal women seek out compounded hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a way to restore balance and to treat irregular menstrual cycles, moodiness, post-partum depression, weight gain, endometriosis, sleep disturbances, hot flashes, night sweats, decreased libido, painful sexual intercourse, and vaginal dryness, among other symptoms. With a doctor's treatment, a compound pharmacist can prepare hormones to attempt to ease these symptoms and adjust a woman's balance. Men's health and hormones are also treated through compounding, for erectile dysfunction, low libido, prostate and bladder health, fungal infections, hair loss, excessive sweating, chronic bad breath, and aging skin, often with testosterone supplementation. Compound pharmacists also do a lot of anti-aging and cosmeceutical compounding, because although aging of skin can't be stopped, for many it can be slowed down. Biotech research has created products which can address damage from the sun, cold and wind; stress; smoking; fatigue; poor nutrition; and environmental irritants. “My largest compounding demands right now are for HRT, anti-aging compounds, and veterinary medications, followed by sports medicine,” said Boutros. However, unlike traditional prescriptions, often compounded prescriptions are not covered by insurance. “Some insurances pay for compounded pharmaceuticals, and some do not,” Baisa said. “Blue Cross Blue Shield instituted last year a policy that they will not cover compounds, and that patients will have to pay out of their own pockets. It's very sad. Many patients are very frustrated. Their insurance wants them to go on pain medication that will hurt their stomach and have lots of side effects, vs. their compounded medicine which will cause none. We've really been fighting with Blue Cross Blue Shield.” Blue Cross Blue Shield of Detroit did not return a call on the matter. “Insurances are covering compounded drugs less and less,” Raehtz agreed. “We are trying to keep the cost of our medications equivalent to co-pays for our patients, with our average prices for medications between $40-$45.” “The reality is that costs for compounded medicines are less expensive than for traditional retail medicine because one size does not fill all,” Boutros said. “The real benefit of compounded medication is that it's the more homeopathic way of dispensing medicine.”


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ordan Allen Broder, lead violinist of NUCLASSICA and founder of Concert Prodigy, picked up his first violin when he was six years old. “I found that I had a really good ear. I used to watch a lot of TV and would be able to repeat the theme songs perfectly on first listen,” he said. “I didn't practice at all. Everything came very easily so I didn't have to practice.” Broder joined the band and orchestra while he was a student at Cranbrook, juggling violin and the saxophone. “I was already a little ahead of everyone else,” he said. “In about 11th grade, I made the decision that I wanted to give music a shot. I thought, what would I wake up every morning loving to do and it was definitely music, performing, and getting up on stage.” He began preparing for college auditions. “I was kicking it into overdrive practicing seven to eight hours a day. I had to forge my own path. It's a mysterious thing, how exactly do you get into a music school?” He briefly attended the University of Michigan and transferred to Michigan State University after his first semester. “Michigan State had such a diverse international student body. It was really an amazing experience to be surrounded by those kinds of musicians,” he said. “After MSU, I wanted to be done with school and wanted to get my feet wet. I lined up a manager who started booking me for different things.” He frequented New York to learn more about music production and artist management, and launched Concert Prodigy, a local nonprofit to help and guide talented young musicians. “I started it based on a need that I saw in the music industry and based on my own experiences. I wanted to start something that was devoted to helping guide young musicians, and I wanted it to be geared towards nurturing young talent.” Concert Prodigy has its home at Cranbrook Schools, where Broder is an adjunct faculty member and honorary member of The Collaborative Group. Broder is also the lead violinist in the group NUCLASSICA. “The other side of me is a performer. That's what I'm really passionate about,” he said. NUCLASSICA, a classical, electronic and acoustic violin group that plays everything from The Beatles to Lady Gaga, is comprised of several violinists and one DJ. “Our music utilizes the virtuosity we developed as classically-trained musicians, but in terms of repertoire and style, we're more pop-oriented,” he said. “People are going crazy over it so far and it's a really exciting thing.” He has performed with the winners of America’s Got Talent and Miss America. When he's home in Bloomfield Hills, he balances his more low-key teaching lifestyle by playing tennis, working out and running. “I'm really excited for the potential of NUCLASSICA and Concert Prodigy. I want to make them into international organizations and have a reputation for being that necessary platform for young talent,” he said. “I'm confident that we have something special here based on appeal and demographic, crossing all musical genres and tastes. This is totally a dream come true.” Story: Hayley Beitman

Photo: Laurie Tennent








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hey rush into buildings, sometimes with flames shooting towards the sky, putting their lives on the line to rescue civilians possibly trapped by fire or smoke. They are emergency medical responders, quickly diagnosing medical conditions, at times pumping life back into non-responsive victims. They address the most critical and hazardous chemical conditions, making sure the environment and our neighborhoods are safe. And supposedly, they're darn good cooks. They're our local firefighters. “We do have good meals, when we have the time. We eat lunch and dinner at the stations. But we can't afford to have a cook. Sometimes when we're busy, we just order pizza,� noted Bloomfield Township Fire Department Captain Mike Cummings.






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In Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills and Birmingham, all firefighting personnel and emergency medical staff are full-time professionals who labor to protect the communities in which they are employed. And most firefighters are cross-trained as fullycertified emergency medical personnel, as well. Birmingham Fire Department Assistant Chief John Connaughton proudly pointed out that next August 2013, “Birmingham will have been a career department for 100 years. In July, 1979, we started advanced life support. We were the second department with that, after Southfield.” Birmingham has 24 full-time firefighters, and they are in the process of hiring three more, to bring the total up to 27. Of those, 11 are also cross-trained as emergency medical paramedics. “We're hoping to get that up to 15, so that we'll have five per unit,” Connaughton said. To be a Birmingham firefighter, an applicant must have a high school diploma; a state of Michigan Firefighter II certification; state of Michigan AEMT or national certification; vision correctable to 20/20 in both eyes; a valid Michigan operator's license with a good driving record; and be in good physical condition. Birmingham has two stations, the main one at 572 S. Adams Road, at the corner of Bowers, and at 1600 W. Maple at Chesterfield. Firefighters and paramedics work on 24-hour schedules, with an eight-man minimum per fire station. The Adams station, Connaughton said, has two engine trucks, an aerial truck (or ladder truck), and a rescue truck. At the Chesterfield station, which is smaller, they run just one engine truck. As of November this year, Birmingham's department now provides EMS transport to local emergency rooms after having subcontracted it out for many years. It was taken in-house as a source of revenue. “So far, it's gone very, very well,” Connaughton said. “We've have had about 50 runs so far that will be billed out by Mobile Health Resources. The primary purpose of the department remains saving lives and protecting property, and with that goal, they aim to keep fires to a minimum through training, a response time that is on average, three minutes and 36 seconds, and public education. Birmingham has a hazardous materials truck that is jointly used by eight other communities as part of a mutual aid pact, called Oakways. “We house the truck because we're centrally located among all of the communities,” Connaughton said. The other communities are Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Waterford, Bloomfield Township, Ferndale, Southfield, Royal Oak, and West Bloomfield. “We have Hazmat personnel that are cross-trained in each community. Birmingham personnel will drive the vehicle to the community, and all of the different Hazmat-trained personnel from the different forces will join us as a team to combat a dangerous situation,” Connaughton explained. He said most of the Hazmat equipment is very specialized and has been purchased with grant money. The Bloomfield Township Fire Department, which was formally organized in 1930, has 63 full-time firefighters, including Bloomfield Fire Chief David Piche, an assistant fire chief, a fire marshall, two fire inspectors, and an EMS coordinator. While the leadership staff (or the day staff, as they are called) works 10-hour shifts four days a week, the firefighting personnel are on 24-hour shifts. Firefighters work an average of 56 hours per week. “There are three shifts working 24 hours,” Cummings said. To be a firefighter, a candidate must be at least 18, with no

felony convictions, have a minimum of 60 credit hours (two years) from an accredited college or university, have passed state of Michigan firefighter certification 1 and 2, as well as received a state of Michigan paramedic license. They must also have current certificates of passing from the Conference of Western Wayne Firefighter Testing Program, and have passed drug screening, a background investigation, psychological exam, multiple oral interviews, and a post-offer physical. The department asserts that their mission is public education in fire safety and hazard recognition; aggressive fire suppression; professional emergency treatment and care of the sick and injured; efficient pre-incident planning and emergency management; and hazardous materials control and mitigation. Bloomfield Township has four fire stations throughout the township. Station 1 is located at 1155 Exeter, in the township campus off of Telegraph Road south of Long Lake. Station 2 is at 1063 Westview, about one-half mile west of Adams Road. Station 3 is at 4151 West Maple, a block west of Telegraph Road. Station 4 is at 2389 Franklin Road, one block north of Square Lake Road. Station 1, which is considered Central Station, has, on any given shift, one captain who is also a paramedic; a lieutenant who is a paramedic; and at least four firefighters who are paramedics. Station 2, 3, and 4 are always assigned a lieutenant who is a paramedic and at least three firefighters who are paramedics. Bloomfield Township, which covers 26 square miles, had 1,360 fire calls in 2011, and 2,360 medical emergencies in 2011. “Our fire and EMS are combined, and almost everybody is trained as a paramedic,” Cummings said. “There are a few guys who aren't, but they are in training to be, and will be soon.” Department officials say that because of the nature of the calls they receive, it is imperative that firefighters be trained for both kinds of emergencies. They explain that a fire engine is the first vehicle that will come to anyone's house or business when there is an emergency or 911 is called because the fire engine carries the necessary equipment to fight any type of fire or to do any type of rescue in a fire or car accident. A fire engine is the vehicle that carries medical equipment and is always staffed with a lieutenant/paramedic and a firefighter/paramedic who are both cross-trained to provide advance life support. Bloomfield Township officials say that the dual training of firefighter/paramedic and the multiple responsibilities they each carry, along with the response of a fire engine followed by a rescue truck, allows for a very efficient and effective reaction to emergencies in the township, whether they be fire or medical. “A vast majority of our runs are medical runs,” Cummings noted. A rescue truck follows the fire engine, and in Bloomfield Township that rescue truck is required to be staffed by two firefighters/paramedics. The rescue truck provides advance life support and is able to continue with any kind of patient care until someone is transferred over to emergency room doctors. A rescue truck is often identified as an ambulance because it is a fullyequipped vehicle that will transport someone in need to a local hospital when that is necessary. Bloomfield Township owns three front line fire engines, and three front line rescue trucks. They have one ladder truck, which Cummings said is used, in some way, every single day, “Although not always as a ladder truck. It's also a paramedic truck, so it can be used both ways.” A ladder truck is staffed by a minimum of one lieutenant/paramedic and one firefighter/paramedic. The ladder truck has a full range of firefighting equipment, similar to a fire engine, but also has a 78-foot elevated ladder which allows it to

reach tall buildings to fight fires and to make rescues. It is also equipped with advanced life support provisions, allowing it and those firefighters on it to provide help and service until a rescue truck arrives to transport a patient to the nearest hospital emergency room. Unlike the classic image of firefighters on TV, where they seem to sit around the fire station, playing cards, sleeping, cooking and waiting for the fire alarm to ring so they can throw on their gear and slide down the pole, Cummings says there is very little down time on the 24-hour shifts. “We really work all day,” he said. “When we're not working, we're busy training and doing training exercises. We'll be at different locations, working on equipment from early morning until late in the evening.” They also reach out into the community, providing service to residents of the township. Need to learn CPR? You can call them during the township's regular business hours, 248.433.7745, Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., and they'll assist you. If you need a home safety inspection, you just need to contact them during those same hours and they'll make an appointment with you to arrange for someone to come out and provide an inspection. They can also be contacted for information on where to place smoke detectors in your home, and what to do if your carbon monoxide detector activates. Department individuals will also install or inspect infant and child car seats, give fire station tours, come to an event if requested, or answer any questions you may have. “Always remember, when in doubt, call us out,” is the department's mantra. They also have advice for all of us on a “Knox Box.” If you've never heard of a Knox Box, you're probably not alone. A Knox Box is a secured box, available from the department, that is placed on the front of a home or business that contains keys to a commercial building or a residence, with the purpose of allowing fire department personnel into a building in case of an emergency. “The fire department has a master key which allows them to unlock the Knox Box to gain access to the building's keys.” Being a firefighter and paramedic is not all physical work, Cummings pointed out. “We use a lot of software and rely on computers to do a lot of different work now.” Payroll, logistics, record keeping, report writing are all done on laptops during and in between fire and medical runs, Cummings said. “We use laptops during EMS runs and write up the reports right on those laptops. We use computer software all over the place.” A critical advantage which computers now provide them with is pre-incident surveys, which allow them to map out all of the hazards of a building or a structure on a map, and file it on computer. “Then we can pull it up on a computer when we need it, and see all of the hazards of the building before we go in,” Cummings said. “Also, all of the contact information is available right at our fingertips.” In Bloomfield Hills, all firefighters are also medical first responders and public safety or police officers. “We're a joint public service department,” explained Chief Richard Matott. He said that medical first responders are fully licensed, and are the lowest level on the medical chain, “the next up is EMT-emergency medical technicians. We are not EMTs. We're a couple of classes off of being EMTS.” The department, which is currently comprised of 24 officers, all of whom are fully certified in police, fire and medical, work 24-hour shifts, of which 8-hours is police work, and the other 16-hours is a

combined shift of fire and medical. The public service station, at 45 E. Long Lake Road, is a combined station, with police, fire and emergency vehicles. Matott said that whether it's a general predicament or a medical emergency, the first one on the scene is usually a road officer who is medically trained and will arrive with an automatic external defibrillator to hook up in case someone is having a heart attack, usually in less than three minutes. “We have recorded saves here in Bloomfield Hills with the device,” Matott said. “At the same time, the guys on fire duty will roll up with a fire truck that has bandages, splints, another automatic external defibrillator, oxygen, and more medical equipment to use on any medical emergency. The officers in the office will respond as well as the guys on fire duty.” Bloomfield Hills does not provide its own transport services, subcontracting with a private ambulance service, Star Ambulance Service, whose main office is in Pontiac. “They usually have a bus stationed in the area, though, for our use,” Matott said. Bloomfield Hills had approximately 250 medical runs in 2011, many of which came from Woodward Hills Nursing Home, Matott said, where residents had everything from heart attacks to just not feeling well. The city's general citizenry was responsible for a lot of medical calls, also. “People worry they're having a heart attack. They have chest pains, difficulty breathing, slip and falls. There are traffic accidents. Broken bones, usually from construction accidents, are rare here,” Matott said. He noted that the department had about 200 fire runs in 2011, for everything from a few house fires to odor investigations. “With storms, wires come down, and there are arcing wires. We also have alarm investigations. We call it the careless cook—an accidental oops. Or they put on the oven (automatic) cleaner with the chicken still in the oven,” he explained. If Bloomfield Hills does need assistance with a fire or emergency, Matott said they have a local mutual aid agreement with Troy's Fire Department. Troy's department is unique for a large city—the 2010 U.S. Census showed it has a population of almost 81,000, making it the 11th largest city in Michigan—but it's department is, and has always been, completely staffed by volunteer firefighters, save for the top brass who provide training, public education, plan review, inspection and code enforcement, permitting, equipment acquisition and maintenance, hazardous material reporting, and emergency management planning. It has the largest fire department in Oakland County, and the largest volunteer fire department in Michigan, with almost 1,100 runs in 2011. The chief, William Nelson, is a 36-year veteran of the department, and in August he was named recipient of the Michigan Fire Chief of the Year by Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs (MAFC) based on his many contributions and accomplishments to fire service during his career. Troy's department was organized in 1940 by a group of businessmen and other concerned citizens who convinced the then-small village that a fire department was needed, as well as a fire truck and other equipment. In the past 62 years, the department has grown to six fire stations, one training center, 180 volunteer members, and 10 career staff members. They operate nine pumper trucks, three platform ladder trucks, three conventional ladder trucks, one heavy rescue truck, two mobile air tenders, one grass fire truck, one reserve pumper, one training pumper, 13 staff vehicles, and several specialized response vehicles. All department members are certified by the state of Michigan, and the volunteers are on call 24-hours a day to respond to requests for emergencies like fires, vehicle extrications and other rescues.

Custom Home Building and Renovations Kitchen, Bath and Whole House Renovation Exterior Modifications/Addition Historical Preservation Design/Cost Consultation Member National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Member Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan (BIA) BIA Builder of the Year Award BIA Remodelor of the Year Award NAHB Certified Aging in Place Specialists Greenbuilt Michigan Michigan Historic Preservation Network

81 West Long Lake Road Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

(248) 647-2228

Since 1978





Anita Lo


hef and restauranteur Anita Lo, who has competed on Iron Chef America, Top Chef Masters, and Chopped All-Stars, grew up watching her mother make dumplings in Birmingham. “My mother and father were doctors and I think they decided this was a good place to have kids because the school system was good. This is my childhood home. I don't know that I had the best childhood in the world, but there are parts about Birmingham that I enjoyed.” Lo was introduced to cooking at a young age by her mother, but her passion for it didn't come until later, when she was on her own. “I was in college and had to learn how to cook for myself, and realized that I really just loved it.” Attending Columbia University, Lo traveled to Paris twice, to study the french language and to attend a prestigious culinary institution. Upon her return, Lo worked at Chanterelle, Maxim's, Mirezi and Bouley in New York, where she learned the importance of ingredients, perfectionism and flavor. Exploring Europe and Asia gave her even more inspiration to open her own restaurant in New York, Annisa. “It's difficult to open a restaurant. Owning a small business in New York is ridiculously hard.” In 2005, Lo competed on the first season of Iron Chef America against Mario Batali and on the first season of Top Chef Masters in 2009, where she placed fourth and donated $20,000 to charity. “They just call you, and I said yes. It sounded like fun actually, and to be on the first season was an honor. It was hard but great to be around some really amazing chefs.” She has made other television appearances, including CNN, NBC, CBS, the Food Network, and the Martha Stewart show.

On July 4, 2009, her restaurant experienced an electrical fire, forcing Annisa to temporary close. “We closed for nine months, and when we reopened, all but one of the staff came back to help. I'm really proud of that.” Lo reopened Annisa in 2010, and received a second two-star review from the New York Times. “I don't know that anything major was changed. We updated it with a new kitchen and warmed it up. It's always been contemporary American and adventurous cuisine, and that hasn't changed.” Anita caters to her regular customers by cooking based on their tastes and creating on-the-spot dishes. “You're in the business of making people happy and it's very rewarding when people call and tell you it was the best meal they've ever had. It's very rewarding when they tell you the service is great and the food is amazing,” she said. Every Monday, she dines out in New York. “I always try to eat out somewhere new. I think it's important for me to see how the industry is changing. I just met a chef from Michigan, so that was fun to talk to him about our old stomping grounds.” With two trips planned in the next month, Anita hopes to travel more and work less. “Personally, I'd like to stop working so much and try to find a little more balance in my life,” she said. “I'm getting older and the body is breaking down. I think my joints are going. I'm either going to be the face and owner, or who knows. Maybe I'll completely retire and be a food writer. We'll see.” Story: Hayley Beitman

Photo: Annisa Restaurant



Photos by Laurie Tennent (Laurie Tennent Studio)

Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 |

Grosse Pointe Farms $2,100,000 Magnificent Estate sitting on 2.69 acres on one of the loveliest streets in Grosse Pointe Farms! Spacious comfortable rooms create a perfect home for family living and entertaining. Distinctive architectural detailing throughout. Large private backyard featuring pool with Pool House and immaculate grounds. Seven bedrooms with 9.8 baths. Seven bedrooms with 9.8 baths.

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ALL SPORTS LAKE! 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, 3-car garage with side entry. Over 5000 sq.ft. of living space with beautiful view of Maceday Lake. Unique master suites on first and second floors. Finished walk-out lower level.  Brick built in 1988 with quality materials.  Dramatic 2-story foyer with winding Oak staircase. 2 brick fireplaces. Huge deck across back of home.  Wet bar perfect for entertaining. Premium appliances stay.  Large lot with circular driveway. BOAT DOCK!! $875,000

UPDATED CONTEMPORARY HOME PERFECT FOR COOKING AND ENTERTAINING. 4 bedrooms, 4 full baths and 3-car garage. Over 5,500 sq. ft. of living space. $75,000 of updates in kitchen, best appliances, granite, extra cooking & prep area, built-in sitting area. Master includes bar area, sun room and 2 walkin closets. Large theatre room. Exterior offers waterfall, koi pond, saltwater pool, pavilion with 2 ovens and beautiful landscaping.  Brick paver circular driveway with side entry garage. Extra tall doors for larger vehicles. Access to Pine Lake. Bloomfield Hills Schools. $979,000

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UNIQUE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY WITH REAL ESTATE! Black River Winery & Vineyard in Cheboygan with tasting room and retail shops in Mackinac City and Cheboygan. 8 acres to grow Valiant grapes, rare and sweet makes for a fruity wine. Package includes 1800 sq ft Ranch home with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 car-garage, perfectly livable and comes with most furnishings, additional building with all the equipment for making wine. Also includes all recipes, inventory, licenses, training if needed, business and website. Business does make a profit, however, there is much more growth potential. Currently making and selling 15 different varieties in store and on website. Great investment or winemaker's dream property! Serious inquiries to view records. $850,000




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CITY/ TOWNSHIP New Birmingham crime tracking tool Birmingham police have a new online tool, CRIMEDAR, which will allow residents to view and track some crime incidents within Birmingham. CRIMEDAR is an online crime mapping system, which residents can access by going to At the site, residents can see the date and time a crime occurred, the location it happened, and the description of what occurred. Birmingham began utilizing CRIMEDAR on November 21. The Bloomfield Township and Troy Police Departments have also begun utilizing the mapping system. Birmingham police will not post all crime incidents occurring in Birmingham, as some remain under review or are withheld for other reasons. Incidents posted will primarily be larcenies, larcenies from cars, drunk driving arrests, marijuana or other drug arrests, home invasions, vandalism, assaults and arson or gunfire incidents. According to the police department, the CRIMEDAR site features a Google map with icons which represent specific crimes, which are available for anyone to see, along with a brief summary of the incident. The crime icons will remain on the CRIMEDAR map for two weeks, and then are archived. “We’re taking this proactive approach to help residents visually see potential crime patterns taking place in the city,” said Birmingham Police Chief Don Studt. “Our goal is to create a partnership between the community and our department with this interactive tool.” Studt and the rest of the Birmingham police force are encouraging residents to visit the site often for crime updates, as well as to submit tips of any information they may have on any incidents.

Winter Markt returns to Birmingham The third annual Birmingham Winter Markt will take place in Birmingham's Shain Park Friday, November 30, from 3 to 9 p.m., Saturday, December 1, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, December 2, from 11a.m. to 4 p.m.

Commission divided over Pierce Street By Lisa Brody


irmingham city commissioners were divided by a proposal on how to redesign the sidewalks of Pierce Street, part of the streetscaping project and street repaving work to be done this spring. They did approve the proposal put forth by Birmingham City Engineer Paul O'Meara, to have curb bump outs at all four corners of the crosswalks at Pierce and Martin, and one at the northeast corner of Pierce and Merrill, by a vote of 4-3, with commissioners Nickita, Moore, and Sherman dissenting. In September, city commissioners approved the reconstruction of Pierce Street between Maple and Merrill streets, and Merrill between Pierce and Old Woodward next spring. O'Meara said sewer work, water main work, new sidewalks, streetscaping, and streetlights will all begin in early March, followed by road reconstruction in concrete, which has a longer life than asphalt. A second crosswalk will be added at the south end of Martin and Pierce Street, parallel to the current one. Also, angled parking will replace the parallel parking spots in front of City Hall on the southwest side of Pierce. Construction is estimated to last three months and to cost about $800,000. Commissioner Mark Nickita, an architect by profession, challenged O'Meara on the bump outs, which ease the transition from the sidewalk to the street for pedestrians, asserting that there should be bump outs at every corner of every intersection. Commissioners discussed the idea with O'Meara, and compromised by adding an additional bump out at Maple and Pierce streets. “Mr. Nickita felt there should be more bump outs than I felt appropriate, on every single corner,” O'Meara said. “There needs to be a give-and-take. Bump outs are good for pedestrians, but Pierce is not a wide, scary street to cross. There also needs to be access for busses and delivery trucks. The end result was the commission asked if we could add a bump out at Maple and Pierce, and we did.” Commissioner Scott Moore supported Nickita, saying that Nickita is more knowledgeable on streetscaping and design than he is. Commissioner Stuart Sherman said if there was this much concern and discussion, the proposal should either have been voted on in its original form, or returned to the architectural review committee, which had approved the original proposal, for further design review.

Birmingham's annual Winter Markt is patterned after traditional German Christmas markets. Shoppers and visitors will enjoy traditional German food, drinks, gift items, live reindeer on the green, roaming winter princesses, and the popular Santa House, which is located at the corner of Merrill and Henrietta streets. The event will also have warming stations, ice carving demonstrations, horse-drawn carriage rides, and live entertainment for the whole family. “This is an exciting event that offers the community a chance to come together to enjoy the delicious sights and sounds of the holidays,” said John Heiney, executive director of the Birmingham Principal Shopping District (PSD). Children will enjoy the Kinderhaus children’s activity area thanks to Kinderhaus sponsor Astrein’s Creative Jewelers, and hosts which include

the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Art Road and Michigan Falun Dafa Association. The Kinderhaus will offer crafts Friday, November 30, from 3 to 8 p.m., Saturday, December 1, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, December 2, from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. Miss Michigan USA, Jacyln Schultz, will emcee the opening ceremony and spend time at the Wilkommen Booth to greet visitors. Classic Hits radio station 104.3 will broadcast live on Saturday, December 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with Bobby Mitchell and Stacey Duford. The event is hosted by Birmingham Winter Markt Committee in cooperation with the PSD. The presenting sponsor is Mercedes Benz of Bloomfield Hills, along with silver sponsors ThyssenKrupp and Plum Market.


Bloomfield Hills looking to fill seat By Hayley Beitman

The Bloomfield Hills City Commission will now be accepting applications to fill an open commission seat when Bloomfield Hills resident and current city commissioner Mike McCready heads to Lansing in January as the new member of the state House of Representatives for the 40th district after winning in the November 6 election. Protocol to fill McCready's open seat was addressed at the city commission meeting on Tuesday, November 13. His resignation will be effective Friday, December 14, which will give the city commission members 30 days until Monday, January 14, to fill the seat. The four remaining members, Michael J. Dul, Michael T. Zambricki, Patricia Hardy and mayor Sarah H. McClure will appoint someone to serve the remainder of the term, which ends November 2013. Bloomfield Hills City Attorney Bill Hampton noted the current charter is silent on the procedure. Hampton suggested having candidates submit a resume and cover letter. Commissioner Patricia Hardy asked if the candidate could be a former city commissioner, who would have experience. McClure suggested it is in the city's best interest to seek a candidate who will be interested in running again and not just to serve as a place holder. Michael T. Zambricki was in favor of getting the word out to residents and then making a decision. “I don't think we'll know until we see it,” he said. Michael J. Dul agreed, stating, “The sooner the better, to get interest.” City manager Jay Cravens will be sending out an e-mail blast and posting the application on the city of Bloomfield Hills website. The cut off for applications will be Thursday, December 6, to give the city commission time to discuss the candidates before McCready's December 14 resignation. 51




Birmingham submits 2013 golf strategy By Lisa Brody

On the heels of a much more successful golf season, Birmingham Director of Public Services Lauren Wood recently submitted a plan for the 2013 season to both the city's parks and recreation board and the city commission. Wood reported that a revised 2012 golf strategy report “brought forth the new business model for Birmingham golf courses. There were many recommended changes that were completed during the 2012 season.” Birmingham owns two municipal golf courses, Lincoln Hills Golf Course at 2666 W. 14 Mile Road, just west of Cranbrook Road, and Springdale Golf Course, located at 316 Strathmore Road. They are each nine-hole courses open seven days a week during the season, with availability for residents, nonresidents and businesses via inexpensive leisure passes. Chief among the the modifications were the acquisition of a Class C liquor license, which then brought about expanded food and merchandise in the two municipal golf course clubhouses. The city hired a new golf operations manager for clubhouse operations, Jacky Brito, a PGA professional with a strong golf background in all aspects of the game. There were modifications to the leisure passes system, including with annual passes and for packages. Wood said they also utilized enhanced marketing tools which included a new and updated website, online tee time reservations, a variety of tournaments, and other promotional activities to increase usage of the two municipal courses. “In all, the 2012 season embarked

Plan approved; Café ML license okayed


he Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees approved a site plan for Eddie Merlot's Steakhouse and a request for a liquor license for Café ML at their board meeting on October 22. Eddie Merlot's, proposed for 37000 Woodward Avenue at the corner of Big Beaver and headquartered in Indiana, is a premier American steakhouse featuring prime aged steaks and an extensive selection of fine wines. A representative told trustees they plan to open in March 2013, serving classic steakhouse fare, from shrimp cocktail starters and an assortment of the finest prime aged steaks. There will also be a generous assortment of fish and seafood, salads and sides, the spokesperson said. They requested a site plan approval with a Class C liquor license, but there was no approval of a liquor license because not all of their paper work had been submitted. They did receive site plan approval. “They will likely come back on the agenda sometime later for Class C liquor license approval,” said township clerk Jan Roncelli. Café ML, proposed by local restaurateur Bill Roberts for the Bloomfield Commons shopping center at Maple and Lahser, in the former Blockbuster Video location, came before the trustees for approval of a Class C liquor license. Previously, Roberts had received unanimous approval for a special land use permit for a Class C liquor license by the trustees in July. Captain Scott McCanham presented a police report indicating the Bloomfield Township Police had no concerns about Roberts or his financial partner, and highly recommended the trustees approve Café ML for a Class C liquor license. Trustees concurred and unanimously approved the license. Roberts said he hopes to have the new restaurant open in February 2013. He said he is still doing some testing on food concepts. Construction work began recently on the new restaurant site. He is the owner of Bloomfield Township's Roadside B&G, the Beverly Hills Grill in Beverly Hills, Streetside Seafood in Birmingham and Town Tavern in Royal Oak. our courses on a new and, in some cases, daring path towards selfsufficiency,” Wood asserted. “We have charted a new direction and will continue to build on our strengths and address our weaknesses.” A strong increase in leisure pass purchases was noted in 2012, with 1,843 resident passes sold this year compared to 1,244 in 2011. There were 745 business and non-resident passes

sold in 2012, versus 567 in 2012. Wood said they intend to maintain leisure pass prices at the same price levels for the 2013 season, although they intend to begin marketing them earlier. One effort will be at the Novi Golf Show. A decision was made to make Brito's position full-time, year-round, rather than one which begins in February or March, in order to “provide a multifaceted season-long approach to

growing the game of golf and providing enhanced services to our members,” especially regarding Junior Golf, tournaments, leagues, special programs, member outings, and other endeavors. Having her on staff full time will also permit her to provide marketing efforts earlier for the 2013 season, as well as market the courses earlier for outings, which will bring in extra revenue, according to Wood. There were problems, however, which occurred during the first half of the golf season, primarily involving the delay in the Class C liquor license and problems servicing the food. Besides the delay in receiving their liquor license, personnel did not embrace “the added role of providing food and beverages,” according to Jeff Bremer, assistant director of public services, as “for them, their traditional role has been simply to register the golfers and nothing more. Changing their mindset has been a major effort on the part of the clubhouse manager and has, in part, taken away from her role of marketing the courses. Our efforts to hire additional staff have been met with difficulty as well, despite the repeated placement of ads for help. These efforts have exceeded our traditional advertisement and have included ads at culinary schools, local colleges, and Craig’s List. “The lack of personnel is the sole reason for the delay in rolling out the food. We did not want to start promoting a broader menu if we could not consistently offer it.” Additionally, many new hires left early to go back to college. To alleviate this problem this year, they are participating in a recruiting fair in February 2013 in order to have key personnel in place before the season begins. Wood also said they hope to have the grill available on a more consistent basis in 2013.

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Thatcher New construction in premier community. Beautiful custom built colonial. Built by Bella Homes, known for its attention to detail. Dynamic 2 story foyer with floating staircase. Outstanding gourmet kitchen with fireplace. Bedrooms with walk in closets, or separate bath & so much more. 212107184 $949,000

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Woodfield Superb location for this incredibly beautiful & pristine custom built home. Featuring dual staircases, 1st floor laundry & 3 car garage. Lovely granite kitchen w/island opens to awesome family room w/ gas fireplace. Lower level is finished to perfection w/full kitchen. 212105441 $839,000

Goodison Place First floor master w/ steam shower. 2 story kitchen w/ stainless steel appliances. Library with built-in’s & a finished lower level w/ theater room. Billiard & workout room. Basketball court with 2 hoops & private lush landscaped yard. 212110882 $689,900

Maxwell Just redecorated home that’s excellent for entertaining! Tremendous storage with amazing floor plan. 2 story foyer & glass entry doors. Master bedroom has 2 person Jacuzzi. Large kitchen w/ an island & 2 ovens. Sun room off of the kitchen & a finished basement. 212113608 $605,000

Holland Magnificent Birmingham 4 bedroom w/ 3.5 bath tudor. Newer construction featuring 10’ ceilings w/ 8 solid wood doors on 1st floor. Cherry cabinets and granite counters. All Kohler fixtures. Finished lower level w/ wet bar. Professionally decorated w/ beautiful landscaping. 212110108 $485,000

Sodon Lake Scenic Sodon Lake area w/ treed & hilly lot. Spacious home on a low traffic cul-de-sac. Large entry & cathedral ceilings. Front room w/ granite bar & fireplace hearth. Wood floors in entry way & kitchen. New roof in ’10, AC in ’12, & carpet in ’10. 212103282 $400,000

Walmer Lovely, well maintained 5 bed colonial in excellent condition located in desirable Huntley Sub. 1st floor laundry, crown moldings, 800 + sq ft brick patio, awesome mahogany bar in finished basement w/ commercial style deep fryers, grill, stainless steel hood. 212103639 $379,000

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Mayfair Drive Sharp tudor! Open floor plan w/ newer cherrywood floors in kitchen, living room. Large kitchen w/ beautiful granite counters. Large master w/ walk in & huge 2nd floor bath. 1st floor laundry. Very large back yard w/ patio. Move in ready! 212115612 $230,000

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CITY/ TOWNSHIP Woodward corridor planning firm chosen By Lisa Brody

The Birmingham Planning Board, which has made the redevelopment of the southern area of Birmingham between Lincoln and 14 Mile Road a priority, began its first step in that direction by choosing a company, LSL Planning of Royal Oak, and its conceptual urban design master plan, at its meeting on October 24. This summer, the city put out a request for proposals for a S. Woodward Corridor Master Plan, which would address the area generally defined by commercial properties on Woodward from 14 Mile Road to Lincoln. City planners said the areas surrounding the study area would also need to be addressed in order to determine its impact, as well as to see its influence on the residential neighborhoods, Birmingham's downtown, and the Triangle District. The area is considered the southern

gateway into Birmingham. In requesting a conceptual urban plan, city planners said they envisioned it having two major sections. One would be a conceptual plan which would include elements of planning, design and land use and market development, utilizing public involvement to develop the plan on each point. The second section includes strategic implementation policies. The goals sought in the plan would create a framework for orderly growth and development for the area, as well as to facilitate good multi-modal access, circulation, and parking for vehicles and pedestrians in the area while protecting the integrity of the residential areas. Planners say there is a need to improve the economic and social vitality of the corridor by encouraging new diverse uses and creating opportunities for different uses. Within the plan, planners were also seeking to improve how pedestrians will be able to access and use the corridor as it is improved, how well

planners would integrate recommendations from the Woodward Avenue Transit Oriented Development Corridor Study for South Oakland County, as well as enhancing the appearance of the area. “Essentially, the work will involve comprehensive zoning, future land use, design plans, and an implementation priority plan with extensive public participation throughout,” the request specified. Birmingham's planning department narrowed down the submissions to two candidates, Beckett & Raeder of Ann Arbor and LSL Planning of Royal Oak. Each company has significant experience in urban planning and design, as well as the ability to produce the requested work product of a finished master urban plan for the S. Woodward Corridor incorporating public involvement in each step of the process. Planning board members indicated that they felt LSL Planning's proposal was a little more targeted towards what the city was seeking.

Bloomfield Hills looks at beautification The Bloomfield Hills City Commission discussed developing a beautification program at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, November 13. City manager Jay Cravens stated the goal of the program is for local businesses to make landscape improvements as needed in the city. Cravens suggested the city of Southfield has a similar program where the city matches funds from local businesses for beautification projects. He also suggested starting a beautification committee which will provide continuity in the future. City commissioner Michael Dul said commercial beautification is the biggest area of concern. Mayor Sarah McClure said creating a committee may make the beautification process move slower. The Bloomfield Hills City Commission decided to consider the beautification program and committee and discuss it further at their December meeting.

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Derby parents file suit against schools By Hayley Beitman

A husband and wife have filed a class-action lawsuit against Birmingham Schools, claiming the requirement to purchase a planner, lock and gym uniform for their son who attends Derby Middle School contradicts the state constitution and has been illegal since 1972. On Friday, November 2, Troy residents John and Laurie Kelly filed a lawsuit in Oakland Country Circuit Court. The suit states that during school registration every August, students are required, “to purchase a planner or assignment book, a lock for their hall locker, a lock for any locker used for physical education and a specific uniform for physical education consisting of blue shorts and gray T-shirts.” The locks cost either $3 or $6, the planner costs $10, and the uniform costs $19. Attorney-at-law Mark Wasvary

represents the Kelly family. “I've spoken with many parents. I've been contacted by other parents who are upset by this. It's a concern. I know some people think $40, what's the big deal? The big deal is the school is blatantly violating the law when other districts don't seem to be doing this. Why should Birmingham be any different?” he said. The Kelly family willingly purchased these items for their son, who is in the sixth grade at Derby Middle School, 1300 Derby Road in the Birmingham School District. The issue came to the Kelly's attention on Thursday, October 18, when a staff member at Derby Middle School sent an email to parents stating, “in a review of fees that have been charged to students and parents, it has been determined that some fees are beyond what is permitted.” Wasvary said the email did not suggest parents will be refunded. “They know every student spent $10 on a planner. They keep a list of locks they sell. All of these things are

listed in the registration documents. For these three schools, it's online listing what you must buy, and at least for the locks and planners, you must buy them directly from the school,” Wasvary said in response to the email. According to the lawsuit, points are deducted from the student's grade if they fail to wear the gym uniform and due to the point deduction, a student could fail the class if they did not purchase the $19 uniform at all. “These charges are contrary to the State Board of Education position in 1972 following the lawsuit regarding these very same issues. The State Board of Education put out a statement stating schools are not allowed to charge for these particular items,” Wasvary said. “The State Board of Education has sent out notices reminding them they do not charge these things. The most recent notice that I found was in 2011 but Birmingham has been charging these fees for years.” Birmingham Public Schools

spokesperson Marcia Wilkinson did not have a comment. Wasvary said Birmingham Public Schools has 30 days to submit a response. The case will come before Judge Michael Warren.

Bin Blitz ending Friday, Nov. 30 Residents of all Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority (SOCRRA) communities, including Birmingham, have until Friday, November 30, to purchase added recycling bins as part of a “Bin Blitz” conducted during November. Residents can purchase recycling bins for half price at the SOCRRA Recycling Facility, which is located at 995 Coolidge in Troy and at member municipalities, including Birmingham’s Department of Public Services (DPS), located at 851 South Eton Street in Birmingham. It is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Discounted recycle bins, regularly $12 each, will be on sale for $6, and can be purchased with cash or check.

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Birmingham to begin transportation study Planners in the city of Birmingham are in the beginning stages of preparing a multi-modal transportation plan for Birmingham, which will help to determine how to redesign the city's infrastructure for the needs of the population in this century. The goal of planners is to create a master plan for multi-modal transportation which they say will transform the future usage of streets, sidewalks, rail, busses, bicycles and other forms of movement in the city for all users. Over the summer months, planners developed a survey to ask residents and businesses how they foresee utilizing the roads for various transportation needs, and are now looking at responses. “The plan will help to improve the balance between all modes of transportation, with the goal of making foot, bike and transit travel easier and safer. To help guide the project, a survey has been prepared that will be used to help identify travel patterns,

preferred types of improvements and desired project outcomes,” said Sue Weckerle, assistant city planner for Birmingham. The survey of residents and business people in Birmingham yielded 429 completed surveys, and over 550 partial surveys. Of those responding, 313 were residents, and 237 were non-residents. Those living within one mile of their place of work represented 12.9 per cent of those responding, while 17.5 percent live within five miles of their job. Fully 88 percent responded that they had never ridden a SMART bus in Birmingham. Weckerle said the next steps in the process will include an inventory and an analysis of the existing bicycle, pedestrian and transit environment, as well as the city's current policies, programs and statistics. They will evaluate the current roadway system as it exists for truck routes, road width, number of lanes, speed limit, and the ability of cyclists and pedestrians to use and cross the roads, vs. all users needs. A community visioning session will be held at Baldwin Public Library on January 17, 2013, at 7 p.m. to provide

more details and to gain more insight from the public.

Dilgard new mayor of Birmingham George Dilgard was sworn in as the new mayor of Birmingham on Monday, November 12. He took the gavel from Mark Nickita, who resumed a seat as a city commissioner. Dilgard will be mayor until November 2013. Dilgard, a Birmingham city commissioner and for the last year the mayor pro tem, is taking his turn as the city's mayor, having been selected by his fellow commissioners for the honor and responsibility. Commissioner Scott Moore was chosen by his fellow commissioners as mayor pro tem. Birmingham follows the city manager form of government, where a hired city manager is the equivalent of a chief executive officer (CEO), providing professional management and administrative duties while working with an elected city commission. Birmingham has a seven-


member elected city commission, and its members rotate for the year-long duty and honor of acting as the city's mayor. Duties of mayor include presiding over city commission meetings, performing weddings, representing the city at ribbon cuttings and other ceremonial obligations. Dilgard, a financial analyst with Ally Financial, is in the second year of his second commission term, having been re-elected in November 2011. “I'm excited about being mayor,” he said. “We have a great commission and a great staff.” As for goals for the coming year, Dilgard said he wants to “just keep things moving. We have a lot of oars in the water. The thing about Birmingham is we always move forward, like we are doing on infrastructure. Every year there's a different project to work on to maintain our infrastructure.” Moore, an attorney, has been a city commissioner since 1995, with a hiatus from 1999 to 2003. He has been mayor twice before, in 1999 and 2006. “It's a faith and trust I hold very dear, not just from the commission but from the community,” Moore said.


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BUSINESS MATTERS Trader Joe's opening Trader Joe's, the national grocer known for value-oriented, organic and healthy foods, is opening in the former Roz & Sherm location at Maple and Telegraph roads on Tuesday, December 11, according to Trader Joe's National Publicity Director Alison Mochizuki. The new store will sell private label items, kosher, vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan foods, and prepared foods. Trader Joe's also has another location on Woodward in Royal Oak.

Brewery equipment on site Big Rock Chophouse at 245 South Eton Street in Birmingham's Rail District has moved its brewery equipment out of the restaurant in preparation for the opening of Griffin Claw Brewing Company down the street at 575 South Eton Street. The old equipment was sold to Blue Stallion Brewing Company in Lexington, Kentucky and the new brewery equipment will be delivered by Lake Orion's Kraft Werks in December. Jaclyn Robinson, a managing partner at JT Marketing Group, said the new brewery and restaurant will be open for business in April 2013.

Bakery anniversary Frank Street Bakery at 420 East Frank Street is celebrating its first anniversary in Birmingham. Owners Matt and Grace Dersa owned a small deli in Florida and opened Frank Street Bakery in November 2011, when they moved back to Michigan. "My husband and I wanted to work where we live. We have enjoyed this area for over three years and have been really pleased with the Birmingham schools, which our son attends. We had a small cafe in North Fort Myers and couldn't wait to introduce our Hot Pressed Cuban to the locals here. It has been almost one year and the response to our business from the locals has been such a warm welcome. We wouldn't want to be anywhere else," Grace Dersa said. The husband and wife team completely renovated the space, putting a kitchen in the back and added seating for 12 people. “We specialize in sandwiches, soups, desserts and providing great service in a small, yet welcoming environment,” she said. The bakery also serves pies, cakes, cookies,

cupcakes, chocolates, paninis, salads, soups and daily specials.

Cicchini moving Paul Cicchini Custom Clothier, a custom clothing store for men and women which has been on the corner of 180 S. Old Woodward Avenue in Birmingham, is moving to the former Birmingham Blockbuster Video location at 494 S. Old Woodward Avenue, and will hopefully be open by late December, according to manager Herman Master. The new location will give the store 1,000 additional square feet to present more merchandise to shoppers. "It will be a much larger store, so it will have a much better layout. The store we have now is almost two different stores, so it will be one big store," Master said. The new location will concentrate more on custom made attire, and will feature clothing from different designers, as well as providing more women's clothing options. Master said the new Paul Cicchini will focus on two different ends of the fashion spectrum, from high-end, expensive designer fashions to more affordable options. Paul Cicchini Custom Clothier currently carries custom made and ready-to-wear suits, tuxedos, trousers, shirts, ties, sport coats and overcoats.

lululemon opens lululemon athletica, a popular retailer with a line of yoga, running and activewear apparel for women and men, has opened in the former Ann Taylor Loft location at 101 S. Old Woodward in Birmingham. "We are so excited to be opening in Birmingham because we really see it as joining a community. Birmingham is so full of energy, and the people are so passionate and committed to their hometown, add in a booming yoga and fitness scene and we are just beside ourselves," said Nina Gardner, community relations director for lululemon. "Each lululemon is designed to really reflect the community it is in, and Birmingham will be no differentthe space is gorgeous and really feels like Birmingham,” Gardner added. "The team has been spending the last few months out in the community, sweating at local studios and getting to know their new neighbors. They have been hosting a run club on Mondays that has been a huge success and once the store is open, we will be able to support even more sweating.

Complimentary yoga classes will be held on Sundays at 11 a.m. and the store's goal is to always be a hub and resource for what's sweaty and healthy in Birmingham."

Mills to open at airport Birmingham-based Mills Pharmacy + Apothecary at 1740 W. Maple Road at Chesterfield announced it will soon be at the McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.“We will be one of only two local stores,” Mills Pharmacy + Apothecary's Retail Director Rita Sayegh said. Mills will team up with fitness retailer Running Fit. “It will take one year and we will do construction in three-month increments. We will only tackle a quarter at a time so as not to inconvenience other stores.” Sayegh said. Maryland-based HMSHost won the bid to work with Detroit Metropolitan Airport, but won't take control of the new stores until the end of February. “They came to Michigan to physically scout independent pharmacies, and approached us to look for a pharmacy concept. Even though we are a pharmacy, we will not fill prescriptions at the airport. We will sell over-the-counter goods that appeal to travelers.” The store will be about 5,000 square feet and sell upscale gift items, personal care items, perfumes, candles and more. “It will be an upscale gift shop located inside of another store. Ze Market exists in Atlanta and one other airport. It's an organic and natural market and our shop will be inside that store.” Mills also operates pharmacies in Clinton Township, Lake Orion, Lambertville and Madison Heights.

Custom engraving services Custom Elegance Group is now open at 280 Merrill Street in downtown Birmingham. Custom Elegance Group held its soft opening on Saturday, November 17, with a grand opening coming the first week in December. Sales Manager Michele Mathews said, “We are a personalized gift shop. We offer engraving personalization services, everything from glass to wood to leather to plastic. You can also bring in your own items and have them personalized. We are planning to have more but we wanted to start in Birmingham because it has such a good downtown area and foot traffic.”


Skin care closes Consher Skin Care closed its Birmingham location at 966 Maple Road and moved to 164 East Maple Road in Troy. “I needed more space,” owner Con Ciecko said. “We are open seven days a week still. We will stay the same.” Consher Skin Care offers waxing, massages, airbrush tanning, manicures and more.

Whistle Stop changes The Whistle Stop, an iconic Birmingham breakfast joint at 501 South Eton Street in Birmingham's Rail District, is under new ownership and briefly closed for updates. The restaurant, once owned by Matt Rafferty and then Carrie and Steven McNaughton, was bought in early November by Valter & Elda Xhomaqi. They also own the Double Ee Restaurant on 9 Mile Road in Ferndale. Elda said the Whistle Stop will be temporarily closed while the restaurant is painted and they have the carpet replaced.

Max & Erma's closing After over 30 years, Max & Erma's in Birmingham will be closing the end of this month. Sometime this spring, Stoney River Steakhouse will replace Max & Erma's at 250 East Merrill Street in downtown Birmingham. According to its website, Stoney River Steakhouse serves a wide range of steaks, fish, salads and sandwiches for lunch and dinner. Stoney River Steakhouse has multiple locations in Maryland, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri. Max & Erma's and Stoney River have the same corporate owners.

25th anniversary for spa Carol Lewis Day Spa, located in the historic house at the corner of Maple and Peabody at 386 East Maple Road in Birmingham, is celebrating its 25year anniversary. Carol Lewis Day Spa has been recognized by the National Association of Women Business Owners and has been a member of the Birmingham/Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce since 1991. Business Matters for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area are reported by Hayley Beitman. Send items for consideration to Items should be received three weeks prior to publication.



FREE MOVIE! December 6, 2012 The first 1,000 people to bring 3 canned goods can see any first run movie between the hours of 6 and 9:30 PM at Palladium 12. Seats are subject to availability. 3D movies not included.

Metro Times, Palladium 12 and 93.9 The River are proud to support Gleaners Food Bank.





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

220: American. Lunch & Dinner, MondaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 220 Merrill Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.645.2150. Andiamo: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 6676 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Township, 48301. 248.865.9300. Bangkok Thai Bistro: Thai. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 42805 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Township, 48304. 248.499.6867. Barrio Tacos & Tequila: Mexican. Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 203 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.6060. Beau Jacks: American. Lunch, MondaySaturday; Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 4108 W. Maple, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.626.2630. Bella Piatti: Italian. Dinner, TuesdaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 167 Townsend, Birmingham, 48009. 248.494.7110. Beyond Juice: Contemporary. Breakfast & Lunch daily; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. 270 West Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.7078. Big Boy: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 6675 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.642.0717. Big Rock Chophouse: American. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 245 South Eaton Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.7774. Birmingham Sushi Cafe: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 377 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.8880. Bloomfield Deli: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, Monday-Friday. No reservations. 71 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.645.6879. Brooklyn Pizza: Pizza. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 111 Henrietta Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6690. Cafe Via: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 310 East Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.8800 Cameron’s Steakhouse: American. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 115 Willits Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.1700. Chen Chow Brasserie: Japanese. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 260 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.2469. China Village: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 1655 Opdyke, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.758.1221.

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. Cosi: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & wine. 101 N. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.203.9200. Deli Unique of Bloomfield Hills: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 39495 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.646.7923. Dick O’Dow’s: Irish. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 160 West Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.1135. Einstein Bros. Bagels: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 176 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.9888. Also 4089 West Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.258.9939. Elie’s Mediterranean Cuisine: Mediterranean. Lunch & Dinner, MondaySaturday. No reservations. Liquor. 263

INTRODUCING OUR HOLIDAY PRICE FIXED LUNCH MENU Special $25 Holiday Price Fixed Lunch Menu available for any sized lunch party November 26, 2012 - December 29, 2012. Complete menu details can be found online.


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AT THE TABLE Fun with food, hungry for more at Toasted Oak Grill & Market By Eleanor Heald


a poached egg. Mussels from the Bar $15, are cooked in vodka with spicy tomato and pickled veggies. Popular new Market Plates include Warm Raclette $11, Beet-Cured Salmon $12, where the salmon shows the impact of beet curing in both color and flavor. Among pizzas, try the Duck Confit Pizza $15, enhanced by Zingerman’s goat cheese, poblano, roasted tomato, caramelized onion and parmesan. Wood-burning grill items include Roast Leg of Michigan White Tail $29, Cider Brined Grilled Duroc Pork Chop $24, Grilled New York Strip $26, with Dijon-horseradish crust, and Cedar Planked Lake Huron Trout $19, garnished with red wheat berries, walnuts, brussels sprouts, grilled lemon and roasted grapes. It took Chef Grostick six months to be pleased with his Faygo Root Beer Braised Short Rib preparation $32 (18-oz on one bone), so rib lovers don’t miss it.

oasted Oak Grill & Market opened April 2010 in Novi’s Baronette Renaissance Hotel and hit stride almost immediately. The current winter menu, created by Executive Chef Steven Grostick, is filled not only with good eats, but fun. Because of the seating potential, it’s a perfect restaurant to take family, large or small in number, for a holiday treat at sensible prices. Toasted Oak is part of the Sage Restaurant Group headquartered in Denver, Colo. Peter Karpinski is co-founder and COO. As General Manager, Jared Chorney has teamed well with Chef Grostick in maintaining a hometown atmosphere showcasing its Novi location. The Market, one of three Quenching thirst adjoining dining areas, is the Chorney was more than first room entered from outside eager to explain Toasted the building. In addition to a Oak’s wine program. “We full-service bar and the most have,” he says, “the best valcasual eating area, it houses a ues of any restaurant in the gourmet meat and cheese area.” counter, and wine shop. The number of Michigan A large middle area feawines by the bottle ($24 and tures a fanciful chalkboard under) is significant. Wines of menu in addition to a printed the world range in price from version available in all three $14 to generally under $50. eating areas. Space three Add $7 to the wine list price adjoins the hotel lobby and for service in quality glassfeatures a contemporary fireware, and in a majority of place set into a stone wall. cases the price is less than Because it accommodates the most restaurant pricing. hotel, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It ...hungry for more also offers a Sunday “pajama Borrowing this phrase in the brunch,” a hit for families with headline from Tony Bourdain, younger children who if attired Toasted Oak is not finished havin their pajamas, eat free from ing winter fun. In January 2013, the kids menu. Adults are Faygo Root Beer braised short rib. Downtown photo: Kate Saler plans include innovations for attracted by the “make your the market aspect. Chef own” Bloody Mary or Mimosa Grostick would not give me more clues, but with elements so bar. Beginning at 3:30 p.m. every Saturday, adults can attend on point with everything else, let’s look forward. a themed wine tasting of three wines and snacks for $10. Toasted Oak Grill & Market, 27790 Novi Road, Novi, 248.277.6000. Monday-Friday breakfast 7-10:30 a.m. Until Signature dish 11 a.m. Saturday. Sunday Brunch 7 a.m.-2 p.m. MondayChef Grostick traces his liking for the style of food served Friday lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dinner: Sunday-Thursday 5:30at Toasted Oak from early years in his family kitchen, then 10 p.m. Saturday until 10:30 p.m. Parking: lot on premise. honing his skills and graduating from Schoolcraft Culinary College before working for Chef Brian Polcyn, proprietor of QUICK BITES Birmingham’s Forest Grill and internationally prominent New staffing at Forest Grill: This month begins a trancharcuterie master. sition at Birmingham’s Forest Grill (735 Forest Ave., Grostick’s love of “farm to fork” led to his becoming a 248.258.9400). As reported in Downtown’s November recent winner for his Porchetta at the Michigan Pork 2012 issue, Forest Grill’s Executive Chef David Gilbert Producers Association competition. His recipe features and his manager-wife Monica left to begin work on their Gunthorp Farms Duroc pork loin wrapped in housemade kielnew Grosse Pointe Park restaurant. Chef-proprietor Brian basa and bacon. Hand-rolled potato gnocchi, caramelized Polcyn appointed 27-year-old Justin Lucas (late of onion and spinach garnish the plated presentation. Toasted Oak, Novi) as his new Chef de Cuisine and Aaron As much as possible, Chef Grostick buys products from Koivu as General Manager. “I will,” says Polcyn, “be in Michigan farms. Famous for its Duroc pork (a breed known as Forest Grill’s Kitchen a lot more.” This month may be a the “Black Angus” of pork), Gunthorp Farm is in LaGrange, time to discover or re-discover this restaurant. Polcyn is a Ind., a stone’s throw from the Michigan border. culinary master, and to the delight of your palate will guide the transition well. Winter menu Several new items make the winter menu inviting. Among small plates is Dr. Mike’s Toasted Poutine $10, a Canadian treat with fries, crispy pork belly confit, cheddar cheese curds, caramelized onions, mushrooms, gravy and

Eleanor Heald is a nationally published writer who also writes the wine column in a double byline with her husband Ray for Downtown. Suggestions for Quick Bites section can be e-mailed to

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 Grill: American. Lunch, MondayFriday; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 735 Forest Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.9400. Fox Grill: American. Lunch, Monday through Friday; Dinner, daily. Sunday brunch. Reservations. Liquor. 39556 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304. 248.792.6109. Fuddrucker’s: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No Reservations. Beer & wine. 42757 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Township, 48302. 248.333.2400. Greek Island Coney Restaurant: Greek. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 221 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.1222. Hogan’s Restaurant: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 6450 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.626.1800. 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. 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. Leo’s Coney Island: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 154 S. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.9707. Also 6527 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.646.8568. Little Daddy’s Parthenon: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 39500 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.647.3400. Luxe Bar & Grill: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily; Late Night, 9 p.m.-closing. No reservations. Liquor. 525 N. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.6051. Max & Erma’s: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 250 Merrill Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.1188. Mitchell’s Fish Market: Seafood. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 117 Willits Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.3663. Mountain King: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 469 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.2913. New Bangkok Thai Bistro: Thai. Breakfast, Monday-Thursday; Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, daily. No reservations. 183 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.2181. Northern Lakes Seafood Co.: Seafood. Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 39495 North


KEEP IT The Birmingham/Bloomfield area is home to discriminating diners and an array of dining establishments. Make sure the message for your restaurant reaches the right market in the right publication – Downtown. The leading news and advertising source in Birmingham/Bloomfield. More readers. Strong loyalty. Perfect ad environment. Contact Jill Cesarz for advertising rate information. O: 248.792.6464 Ext. 600 C: 248.860.8414

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FOCUS ON WINE Iconic champagne represents unique style for the holidays By Eleanor and Ray Heald

Celebrate the holidays with prized bubbles. Time is an important element in making champagne. It is aged for two years on the yeast lees during a second fermentation. This aging in the bottle creates and traps carbon dioxide which gives the wine its effervescence – the very reason it has become the celebratory wine of choice. Champagne is the sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of France and is the only wine in the world entitled to put the word Champagne on the label. Champagne is a place name so be aware of frauds. We discussed champagne with Moët & Chandon’s winemaker Marc Brevot. “Ninety percent of all champagne,” he began, “is a blended, non-vintage wine. The only grape varieties grown and used to make champagne are chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier plus reserve wines of those varieties to help maintain consistency.” R&D through the ages Moët & Chandon was founded in 1743. In 1792, before the champagne production method was fully understood, Jean Louie Moët realized the need for and created a research and design department to help understand the science of making champagne. He knew that understanding the “whys and wherefores” gave him the opportunity for innovation, which in turn meant quality, modernity and sustainability. Moët & Chandon is the only champagne house with an R&D department. “Today,” Brevot continues, “we know that making good wine begins in the vineyard, but in 1792, growing grapes and making wine were separate tasks. Because Jean Louie Moët realized the importance of good fruit, he began to plant and purchase the best vineyards in the region. Now, the company owns the largest vineyard area (2,965 acres) in Champagne which yields 25 percent of the company’s needs. Fifty percent of the company vineyards are Grand Cru and 25 percent Premier Cru, but also are as diverse as possible. “The key development for us has been the versatility of the vineyards. Vagaries of weather mean that there is no guarantee that the best grapes are always found in the same place each year. Every year, grape quality seems to move from one vineyard to the next, but our diversity allows us to reach the maximum potential each year.” Brevot also says that at harvest the most important thing is maturity and sanitary conditions, meaning the fruit must be without botrytis or mildew. It is a challenge to grow grapes to the peak of flavor maturity in the cold climate of northern France. An iconic bottling Each grape variety and each vineyard is harvested by hand and fermented separately, giving more than 100 different wines plus reserve wines made in the previous one-to-three years and stored in stainless steel tanks. Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.646.7900. Olga’s Kitchen: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Also 2075 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.451.0500. Original Pancake House: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 33703 South Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.5775. Panera Bread: Deli. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 100 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham,


The task of a group of seven winemakers is to blend these still wine components so the style of Moët Imperial remains consistent from year to year. The task of blending is very difficult yet important since the winemakers have the job of projecting how the still wines will taste after going through the second fermentation which produces the bubbles. Moët Imperial $45 is the iconic wine of Moët & Chandon. Created in 1869, it is a blend of all three varieties, each adding to the complexity of the wine and represents the pure image of the Moët house style. Pinot noir contributes body to the wine, as well as notes of red fruits such as raspberry, strawberry and cherry. Pinot meunier adds suppleness, flesh and ripeness with highlights of yellow fruits such as peach, pear and apple. Chardonnay gives the wine backbone and finesse contributing citrus aromas with floral notes and a unique minerality. Over 300 years of experience growing grapes in Champagne has shown that pinot noir grows best in the area known as the Montagne de Reims, chardonnay in Côte des Blancs, and pinot meunier in the Vallée de la Marne. Enjoying champagne Moët Imperial embodies conviviality and, as such, it is a perfect holiday wine. As an aperitif it can accompany each course throughout the meal. Simple appetizers such as popcorn, salted nuts or shaved parmesan can work as well as more complicated creations. During the meal, Moët Imperial easily accompanies sushi, scallops, fresh oysters, white fish or roasted chicken. The magic of champagne is its bright fruit character and spontaneity. To discover the style of Moët & Chandon, begin with Moët Imperial. If you have experience with champagne in different styles from many producers, then you should try the Moët & Chandon 2002 Vintage Champagne $80, currently on the market. Moët & Chandon Vintage Champagne is produced only six out of every 10 years, on average. More bubbles One of the founding principles of the House of Delamotte and of its sister company, Salon, is that Champagne is first and foremost a wine to be enjoyed and appreciated for its quality and authenticity. It is on this premise that we recommend Delamotte Brut $46, Delamotte Brut Blanc de Blancs $60, and the unparalleled 1999 Salon Blanc de Blanc $375. The House of Salon produces only one champagne, from a one-hectare parcel it owns and from 19 other smaller parcels. On all accounts, it is a rare wine, always from a single harvest, single cru, single grape variety, and only in the best vintages. California’s Russian River Valley is the source for outstanding sparkling wine grapes. J Vineyards & Winery showcases this in two wines, 2005 J Vintage Brut $48 and 2003 J Late Disgorged Vintage Brut $90. Excellent balance is the hallmark of both wines. Eleanor & Ray Heald have contributed to numerous international publications including the Quarterly Review of Wines. Contact them by e-mail at

48009. 248.203.7966. Also 2125 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.253.9877. Peabody’s: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 34965 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.5222. 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. 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, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.3215. 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. 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. Sy Thai Cafe: Thai. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 315 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.9830. Tallulah Wine Bar and Bistro: American. Dinner. Monday-Saturday. Sunday brunch. Reservations. Liquor. 55 S. Bates Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.731.7066. The Corner Bar: American. Dinner. Wednesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 100 Townsend Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.2958. The Gallery Restaurant: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 6683 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.851.0313. The Moose Preserve Bar & Grill: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2395 S. Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.858.7688. The Rugby Grille: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 100 Townsend Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.5999. Toast: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 203 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6278. Tokyo Sushi & Grill: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 225 E. Maple Rd., Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6501. 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. Village Coney Island: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 653 S. Adams. Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.7964. What Crepe?: French. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday, Breakfast & Lunch, Sunday. No reservations. 172 N. Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.5634. Whistle Stop Cafe: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily; Dinner, Monday-Friday. No reservations. 501 S. Eton Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.5588. Zazios: Italian. Dinner daily. Reservations. Liquor. 34977 Woodward Ave, Birmingham, 48009. Phone: 248.530.6400. Zumba Mexican Grille: Mexican. Lunch & Dinner, Daily. No Reservations. 163 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.2775.


Happy Holiday’s from our family to yours. Shop at the Hills. Family owned and operated. “It tastes better here.” There is no need to go anywhere else to stock up for the Holiday Season or for any other occasion during the year…You will find the right Wine, Liquor or Beer at fair prices. Friendly Service and attention to detail is what you will find at this boutique wine and liquor store, Hills Fine Wine and Spirits. We offer Case discounts on select wines and Champagnes mix or match. Premium Cigars & Lighters, Extensive Liquor Selection over 300 Fine single malt Scotches and cognacs, 600+ plus Craft, Micro & Imported Beers, Delivery services are available, Keg beer available.

The lowest liquor prices in Michigan. Same as warehouse club prices. Gift cards available.

• CHAMPAGNE & FINE WINES • • PREMIUM CIGARS & LIGHTERS • • EXTENSIVE LIQUOR SELECTION • • CRAFT, MICRO & IMPORTED BEERS • 41 W. Long Lake Road • Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304 Located on the south side of Long Lake Road and west of Woodward, next to PNC Bank.

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THE COMMUNITY HOUSE 2012 Was A Pivotal Year Thanks to so many of you coming through our doors, our wonderful staff, volunteers, and loyal and new donors, we had a good year at The Community House. TCH needed this, as it had been struggling to become profitable for a number of years for many reasons. New programs and classes helped bring in much needed incremental revenue in 2012, along with raising the awareness of how valuable TCH is as a community nonprofit “pulse point.” We returned to our roots of putting programs in place to help those less fortunate – today that means at risk youth and those needing to increase their job skills. The team worked hard to increase the effectiveness and relevancy of everything we do. And if just a few more people consider how they can help with a year-end gift to our Annual Fund Drive, we will break even for the first time in years. We are grateful to so many of you for your support. Exciting New Things at TCH in December and 2013

Camille Jayne

Distinguished Speaker Series Breakfast December 13th: Don’t miss Penny Bailer, Executive Director of City Year Detroit, who will speak on "Where Is It Written That We Can’t Do This?" If you have met Penny, you know this will be a dynamic morning you won’t want to miss! Tickets $20 preregister or $25 at the door. Presenting Sponsor, Raymond James. Classical Brunch - December 16th: Holiday Horns with the DSO! Our last concert of the year. Karl Pituch, French horn and three other DSO horns will fill the room with traditional Christian and Jewish holiday music. Doors open for brunch at 11:30 a.m.; concert starts at 12:15 p.m. Patron Tickets at $50. Regular tickets at $35. Michigan Master Chef Series – Starts February 12th: Sponsored by "edibleWOW" magazine. Get up close with executive chefs from Michigan’s best restaurants who will teach you their secrets using Michigan products. Bulletproof Your Success™ Lecture Series Continues: Come join in for professional development and networking in these monthly lectures, starting on February 13th. Per lecture charge of $35, or sign up for all nine and get 20 percent off! See the complete line up at:

“If you are thinking about divorce and want a competent and knowledgeable lawyer who knows the system inside/out, call Dave Potts…..before your spouse does.”

Our 2nd Annual Gala – March 16th: Join us to celebrate TCH’s 90th birthday at our second Annual black tie Gala on March 16th. The Gala is our main fund raiser for our three Youth Development programs serving At-Risk Youth and Children in Need. We are thrilled that our 2013 Honoree is family business owner and philanthropist Linda Orlans, a great supporter of programs that help underserved children. Josh Linkner will be the Gala’s Distinguished Keynote Speaker. Presenting Sponsor Bank of Birmingham. VIP Reception Sponsor Greenleaf Trust.

No fee for initial consultation.

David W. Potts J.D., PLLC* 600 S. Adams, Suite 100, Birmingham (248) 594-4999 *AV rated lawyer

XYZ Trips NEW!: Fun outings for the younger crowd. We load you up in a wonderful coach bus and take you to enjoy: Comedy Castle and dinner, January 17; En Route to The Root Restaurant dinner, April 9.

Success Peer Groups NEW!: TCH is launching Success Groups consisting of a group of eight to ten of your peers in non-competitive industries, guaranteed to enhance your growth through a facilitated synergistic group interface. Get empowered with insights and resources in this six-month program.

Napier’s Kennel Shop

Rent Rooms By the Hour NEW!: Now you can rent two of our most beautiful rooms by the hour (with a two hour minimum) when you need a quiet and elegant place for important meetings. The Rosso Library perfect for board meetings, with seating up to 18 at $25/hour; and the beloved Ginger Meyer room with fireplace and seating up to eight at $18/hour.

Now Carrying a Large Selection of

Winter Apparel

My goodness, and that’s just the beginning, along with our dance programs, community events, early childhood center, travel ventures and volunteer opportunities. Come to TCH to learn, connect and help yourselves and others! Thank you again for allowing us to serve you.

20% Off Any One Item Excludes dog & cat food Expires 12/31/12


Camille Jayne is President & CEO of TCH.

Wonderful Customer Service

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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 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. Partners Night Tailgate at Somerset Sally Gerak Six hundred supporters of Karmanos Cancer Institute’s exceptional care and research streamed into Somerset Collection South for the second half of the young professionals’ two-part event, the Partners Night Tailgate Party chaired by Carol Ritchie and Jill Schumacher. They were welcomed by real cheerleaders from Ann Arbor and East Lansing. Many guests wore fan gear but savvy Karmanos CEO Gerold Bepler did not take sides. He wore a Michigan cap and an MSU sweat shirt. People socialized, scarfed down great game day food, applauded generous Karmanos supporters Julie and Bob Skandalaris, redeemed chits for tailgate items stashed in shiny Chevy vehicles, and bid on great silent auction donations. Smiling in the crowd of souvenir backpack toting guests was Eunice Ring, whose parents established the event beneficiary – the Susan Korman Cancer Research Fund in memory of Eunice’s sister. She fondly remembered the inaugural Partners fundraiser which was also held at Somerset 19 years ago and thought the high energy tailgate party was enough fun to repeat in the future. The 2012 Partners two-part event raised $1,003,355, including the $35,000 raised, with a matching gift from Cathy and Nate Forbes, by Tree of Hope tributes. Guests also learned that Kim and Mark Reuss will chair the 31st Karmanos Cancer Institute Annual Dinner which is Saturday, April 20, 2013. For more information about the Karmanos young professional support group, which is chaired by Michelle Mio and Dave Thewes, go to Annual Cattle Baron’s Ball Since the American Cancer Society first lassoed Detroit’s auto barons 10 years ago, the Cattle Baron’s Ball has moved from the state fairgrounds to the Shotwell-Gustafson Pavilion to the Joe Louis Arena, where this year more than 1,000 frolicked western-style. More than 200 of them started the evening at the VIP reception in the Legends Club where sponsor Ford’s Jim Farley and his wife Lia welcomed them before all headed upstairs for the strolling chuck wagon dinner, auction bidding and the program. Dedicated volunteer finance guy Greg Nowak received the Cowger Leadership Award, named for event founding chairs Kay and Gary Cowger. The Toby Keith music and live auction were stellar. The latter raised more than $400,000 with such items as a one-of-a-kind custom candy red 2013 Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca, which brought $180,000. The coveted culinary awards went to Treat Dreams (sweet), Slows Bar BQ and Zazios (savory), and Olympia Entertainment (presentation). Thanks also to Ford and other generous sponsors, the 10th annual event raised more than $1.2 million. This includes two fundraising events preceding the ball – the Shoot Out at the Huntsman Hunt Club and the Golf Round-Up at Orchard Lake Country Club. Prize winners at the latter included Chris Wright, Dan Fagan, Michael Young, Paul Koltono, Tom Kennedy, David Kennedy, Greg Yatooma, Reid Straith, Dave Woodruff, Rob Reynolds, Kathy Brennan, Kevin Michalik Schlander, and Chris Wright. Celebrations @ Home Nearly 1,000 shelter design buffs attended Celebrations @ Home at one of the area’s most unique facilities – the Michigan Design Center. Some 350 were there for the Thursday night Charity Preview Gala benefiting Variety, The Children’s Charity.

Partners Night Tailgate at Somerset






1. Honorees Bob (left) and Julie Skandalaris of Clarkston with Brian Manoogian of Birmingham. 2. Sarah and Partners co-chairs Dave Thewes of Bloomfield and Michelle Mio of Birmingham. 3. Past event honoree and Partners pioneers Milt (left) and Eunice Ring of Franklin with Susan and Burton Brodsky of Bloomfield. 4. Elyse (left) and David Foltyn of Birmingham, Sandie and Alan Schwartz of Franklin and Danialle and Peter Karmanos of Orchard Lake. 5. Event coordinator Maureen Bender of Rochester Hills with Karmanos CEO Dr. Gerold Bepler and his wife Tracey of Bloomfield. 6. Olivia, Sophia, Norman, Ava, Nicole and Gabriella Yatooma of Bloomfield.


Annual Cattle Baron’s Ball







1. Honoree/event treasurer Greg Nowak (left) and his wife Lisa with event chairs Lia and Ford’s Jim Farley of Orchard Lake. 2. Kay (left) and Gary Cowger of Bloomfield with committee member Larry and Cheri Ott of Plymouth. 3. Craig (left) and Karen Bierley and Charlie and Mary Carpenter of Birmingham. 4. Elizabeth and Syd Ross of Bloomfield. 5. Committee member Matt Van Dyke (left) of Bloomfield with Lisa and Jeff Bouchard of Birmingham. 6. Mike and Lauren Rakolta Fitzgerald of Birmingham. 7. Julia Carnovale (left) with Nick and Don Manvell of Birmingham. 8. Peggy Daitch (left) and her husband Peter Remington of Birmingham and Dave Woodruff of Bloomfield with Lindsay and committee member David Scheinberg of Northville.








1. Flora Winton (left), 95, and her daughter, designer Susan Winton-Feinberg of Bloomfield. 2. Designers Jane Spencer (left) of Bloomfield and Anne Carney Strickland of Birmingham. 3. Hugh and Cindy Carney of Bloomfield. 4. Designer Michael Coyne (left), Paul Feiten and Phil Mara of Bloomfield. 5. Phillip Morii (left) and Joe Nieradka of Sylvan Lake with David King of Birmingham. 6. Designer Diane Hancock (left) of White Lake with Steve and Margaret Preisti of Birmingham.




St. Hugo Altar Guild’s Fashion Luncheon




3 1. Event co-chairs Judi Juneau (left) and Karen Seitz of Bloomfield with guild president Jamie Thomas of Troy. 2. Committee members Mia Materka (left) of W. Bloomfield, Cecelia Kelley and Sandie Knollenberg of Bloomfield. 3. Committee members Carolyn Flynn (left) of Lake Angelus, and Paula Smela Rose Obloy and Joan Page of Bloomfield. 4. Committee members Martha Oliveria (left) and Marie Doyle of Bloomfield and Dolores Jovick of Troy. 5. Committee members Sheila Konwinski (left) and Martha Torre of Bloomfield.

Women of Vision Luncheon

1. Speaker Lauren Bush Lauren (left) of NYC with event co-chairs Sue Lasser of Birmingham, Barbara Rosenthal of W. Bloomfield and Joanne Aronovitz of Huntington Woods. 2. Jodi Goodman (left) of Franklin, Doreen Hermelin of Bingham Farms, Leypsa Groner of Southfield and Susan Lewis of Bloomfield. 3. Guest speaker Lauren Bush Lauren (right) of NYC with honorees Leonard Zucker (left) husband of the late Marsha Zucker, Gilda Jacobs of Huntington Woods, Patti Nemer of W. Bloomfield, Michelle Passon of Commerce and Sandy Schwartz of Franklin.


St. Hugo Altar Guild’s Fashion Luncheon More than 220 attended St. Hugo Alter Guild’s 54th annual fashion luncheon at Oakland Hills Country Club. Social Lights has a special affinity for this event because the 1978 luncheon which Connie Salloum chaired was my first freelance assignment and it led to my permanent weekly column in the Eccentric. This year Judi Juneau and Karen Seitz chaired the event that spotlighted fashions from Peppertree and furs from Ceresnie and Offen. They were modeled informally by June Grannis, Kaley Page, Kim McInerney, Sandie Slowey, Lisa Stanczak, Karen Rust, Lucia Lehman, Fran Sherman, Tammy Albert and Angie Casper. It also featured a raffle, silent auction and message from emcee Patty Ward based on her book “God Calling, Please Pick Up.” The popular event raised about $50,000 for the guild’s 25 community outreach projects. Women of Vision Luncheon Nearly 300 supporters of the National Council of Jewish Women flocked to Temple Beth El to hear former model/young philanthropist Lauren Bush Lauren speak about her project benefiting the World Food Program ( Fifty of them arrived early for a reception with the granddaughter of former president George H.W. Bush and the event honorees. These included president and CEO of the Michigan League for Human Services Gilda Jacobs, the Cancer Thriver’s Network




They socialized big time in addition to sipping, supping and viewing the 25 designer-created vignettes. Another 600 got to the Open House the next day which also offered two presentations. In one, Chef Adam Hightower shared a few simple recipes and tips like using a piece of granite, heated or frozen, for appetizer service. In another, Jon Gerych emphasized the importance of lighting to special occasion moods. All visitors were invited to vote for their favorite vignettes in three categories. Winners were: Design Inspiration Award -Linda Winborn Minster’s, “My Family Legacy - A Bountiful Garden Celebration”; Crowd Pleaser Award Steven Teich, Stanley Lecznar, Tracey Meagher and Lisa Landy’s, “Fifty Shades of Pink”; One in a Million Award - Dan Davis and Chachee Xiong’s,”A Night of Candlelight and Moonbeams.”



for Jewish Women co-founders Michelle Passon, Sandy Schwartz and Patti Nemer; and community volunteer and activist the late Marsha Zucker. The luncheon event, which was chaired by Suzanne Lasser, Barbara Rosenthal and Joanne Aronovitz, also included boutique shopping. It raised more than $50,000 for the council’s community services, which include, among other projects, providing backpacks for homeless students and interest-free loans to college students. The Parade Company’s Preview Party The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation hosted more than 1,000 sponsors, supporters and their families at the annual, behind-thescenes Parade Preview Party in the studios. Festivities included crafts for kids, face painting, interactive games, chow, viewing the vintage papiermâché heads showcase and watching the artisans craft larger-than-life creations for the cherished annual tradition. For parade info, go to OUR TOWN Art Show Opening Party For 27 years people have flocked to The Community House on a Wednesday in October for the Opening Night Party of the OUR TOWN Art Show and Sale. The founders’ vision was that the art, which was originally all two-dimensional, would be images of places – hence the event title. Our Town could be All Towns. Within a few years, the “place” parameter was abolished and all media was accepted. But the show’s name was kept, not just because there were many art galleries in Birmingham, but because, like Thorton Wilder’s play of the same name, it suggested universality. There were 338 pieces of art by 166 Michigan artists juried into the 2012 show by DIA curator Jane Dini. She divided $10,000 in prize money among 12 artists. Since 1986, Michigan artists have won more than $260,000. This year the committee added a stylish dimension – Art in Vogue, young women whose look was inspired by one of the ark works modeling fashions and makeup in juxtaposition to the art. Albion College student Dana Sorensen, whose parents were the honorary chairs, coordinated this effort and recruited some of her sorority sisters to model. The 400 guests seemed to enjoy the addition. That is when they weren’t sipping, supping,

OUR TOWN Art Show Opening Party






1. Dana Sorensen (left) with her parents, event honorees Rich and Beckie Sorensen of Bloomfield. 2. Juror Jane Dini (left) of Grosse Pointe with benefactor co-chairs Deborah and Hugh Sloan of Bloomfield. 3. Event chair Barbara Heller (right) of Birmingham and Janessa Hubble (left) of White Lake. 4. Judy Miller (left) and event benefactor cochairs Jim and Barbara Suhay of Birmingham. 5. Event sponsors Raymond James’ Renato Jamett (left) of Grosse Pointe and Bill Roney of Bloomfield. 6. Maggie Ridenour of Birmingham. 7. Artist Janice Degen (center) of Bloomfield with Ali (left) and Lauren Sabella of Grosse Pointe. 8. Barbara (left) and Tom Denomme of Bloomfield with artist Laura Locke of Lake Orion. 9. Arianna Leonardi (left) of Dearborn Heights with Dana Sorensen of Bloomfield. 10. Christine Heidrich (left) of Birmingham and Kristine Graham of Commerce.






Benefit for Life Charity Reception




1. Honorary chairs Kathleen (left) and Jason Hanson of Franklin with guest speaker Pam Tebow of Jacksonville, FL. 2. Michelle Mersereau (left) of Livonia with committee member Dorothy Perrotta of Bloomfield. 3. Joe Knollenberg (left) of Bloomfield with committee member Karen Brown and John Kruse of Troy. 4. Kitty Proctor (left) of Rochester Hills, Linda Stewart of Bloomfield and Louise Caldwell of Birmingham.



SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK socializing and selecting art. The show was open free of charge the next three days. When it closed, OUR TOWN had raised about $48,000, thanks also to sponsors like The DeRoy Testamentary Foundation and Raymond James, plus the artists’ entry fees and percent of their sales.

United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society




1. Event host Joel Tauber (left) of W. Bloomfield with Bobbi and Stephen Polk of Bloomfield. 2. Ed (left) and Sylvia Hagenlocker of Bloomfield and Warren Rose of Birmingham. 3. UW CEO Mike Brennan (left) of Northville with Lois and Gene Miller of Bloomfield. 4. Richard (left) & Invie Jessup with Barbara and John Tierney of Bloomfield. 5. Tim and Liz Manganello of Bloomfield. 6. Event host Shelley Tauber of W. Bloomfield and Andi Wolfe of Bloomfield.




Judson Center’s A Night to Embrace




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United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society Sixty very generous supporters of United Way experienced Shelley and Joel Tauber’s warm hospitality at their lakeside, art accented home when the couple hosted a cocktail dinner for members of the UW’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society (donors of $10,000 annually). After a savory buffet supper Joel evoked giggles when he thanked everybody for coming to an event that was “not a fundraiser.” They applauded when society board chair Mark Petroff described the impressive success of kids in the UW’s” turnaround” high schools and the mentoring programs therein financed by society donations. He said the successes represented “…the tenacity of caring power.” They also applauded when UW CEO Mike Brennan presented bouquets to the 25-year society members – the Taubers, Sylvia and Ed Hagenlocker, and Warren Rose and his family. For society membership information, call Genie Sherard at (313) 226-9304.

6 1. Mike Savoie (left) of Bloomfield with event chair Melissa Howe and Kevin Knapp of Clarkston. 2. Jim Bayson (left) of W. Bloomfield with Joanne and John Carter of Bloomfield. 3. Cameron Hosner of Shelby Twp. with Steve Henes of Birmingham. 4. Donna and David Zimmer of Bloomfield. 5. Peter and Janet Greer of Bloomfield. 6. Jeff (left) and Susan Sadowski and Glee and Doug Firth of Birmingham. 7. Nadia and Faiz Simon of Bloomfield. 8. Tracee (left) and Chris Theodore with Julie Henes of Birmingham.

Benefit for Life Charity Reception Nearly 220 supporters of the Right to Life Educational Fund gathered at Petruzzello’s Banquet Center for the 17th annual charity reception. The center’s buffet cuisine is exceptional but the speaker is the big draw. Past receptions have featured respected writers like political analyst Dinesh D’Souza and constitutionalist Judge Andrew Napolitano, but this year’s speaker was most famous for her fifth child – Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow. Pam Tebow was preceded at the microphone by honorary chairs Kathleen and Detroit Lions placekicker Jason Hanson, the NFL’s third leading scorer of all-time. He demonstrated his speaking talent with his invocation to “…the beauty of life.” Emcee WDIV’s Chuck Gaidica followed Hanson with his moving story of how he and his wife ignored her doctor’s urging to abort their fifth child, now an “awesome” teenager. Then the spotlight was on Pam, whose remarks kicked off with a video featuring Tim. It included the well known story of his birth, a story similar to Gaidica’s. I was sitting beside a young woman who had driven down from the Grand Rapids area with a friend. When I inquired “why”, she said, “…because Tim is my son Caleb’s hero and Pam is mine.” She then explained that, like Pam, who home schooled all five Tebow children for 12 years and they all attended college on scholarships, she was homeschooling hers. Tebow then told lots of “…God stories,” meaningful occurrences since the famous Super Bowl ad that featured their choice of the life of an unborn baby and put her in the spotlight. The crowd gave her a standing ovation and raised more than $38,000 for the life saving work of the Educational Fund.



Judson Center’s A Night to Embrace Some 180 supporters of Judson Center gathered at Oakland Hills Country Club for the 29th annual Night to Embrace, which was generously presented by Chevrolet. The cocktail hour was a happy combination of socializing and bidding $16,000 for the silent auction items. Retiring CEO Marn Myers was accepting congratulations upon her retirement after 26 years at the helm of the family service agency and her successor Cameron Hosner was meeting Judson friends. The dinner program was emceed by Cynthia Canty and featured a testimonial by Dr. Delores Baran, whose daughter attends the center’s respite program. “Judson Center has made a great impact on our family,” she declared. In the live auction someone paid $5,000 for the Super Bowl package. This brought the event total to $138,000, including the income from the spirited heads and tails raffle. White Christmas Ball Preview Party Kathy and Bill Whelan hosted the St. John Fontbonne Auxiliary’s White Christmas Ball thank you party at their Grosse Pointe home. Bonnie Jobe was among the 90 committee members and underwriters at the party. Marie DeLuca is chairing the gala Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The 59th annual soiree will benefit the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. For tickets ($300, $125-afterglow only), call Raegan Movinski at (313) 343-3675 or go to Support Our Capuchin Kitchen Nearly 1,000 people attended the 40th annual Support Our Capuchin Kitchen (SOCK) fundraiser, this year chaired by GM’s Dan Akerson and his wife Karin at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel. Thanks also to Buick’s sponsorship, the event raised a record $1 million. The previous record was $713,000 back in 1999 when the economy was booming. LionTown Roaring Good Time! On the same night that the Detroit Tigers played their first home game in the sweep of the American League playoff series across the street at Comerica Park, the excitement level at Ford Field was also high as 550 guests streamed in for the finale of the Children’s Charities Coalition’s LionTown chaired by Lisa Payne and Connie Beckett. Of the 50 majestic cats created by Prop Art Studio’s Michael Stapleton and adorned for outdoor display by selected artists, the 40 that would be auctioned at the party bordered the walkway to the Atrium where upscale tailgate cuisine was presented at buffet stations. Pre-auction supping and socializing was accented by music, baseball bustle visible through the windows and from an outdoor terrace and the games set up on the football field. Because the colorful cats were so large their auction was no easy task, even for a pro like Dan Stall. But when the final “sold” was declared, he had garnered $102,000. Maggie Allesee bought the one Patricia Hill Burnett painted and donated it to Oakland University the next day when she heard Erin’s

LionTown Roaring Good Time!







1. Event chairs Lisa Payne (left) of Bloomfield and Connie Beckettt of Troy. 2. Honorary co-chairs Lois Shaevsky (left) of Bloomfield and Bill and Lisa Ford of Ann Arbor. 3. Sabrina Mayhew (left) of Birmingham, Suzanne Lewand of Royal Oak and Kathy Schwartz of Bloomfield. 4. Maggie Allesee (left) of Bloomfield with Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and his girlfriend Kelly Hall. 5. Artist Michelle Montone Flyte (left) and her husband Todd Flyte with Pamela and Len Dillon of Bloomfield. 6. Barbara Porter (left) and her husband artist Victor Pytko of Birmingham with artist Deborah Kashdan of Southfield. 7. Dana Baskin Coffman and her father Henry Baskin of Bloomfield. 8. Committee member Joy DiCenso (left) of Bloomfield with Ellen Rogers and her son Griffin Romney of Birmingham. 9. Ralph and Barbara Caponigro of Bloomfield. 10. Martha Whiting (center) of Birmingham with Joan Sneyd (left) and Mark Wayde of Bloomfield.





Books & Bites at Baldwin




1. Kelly Skinner (left) and Bob Bruner, mayor Mark Nickita and event coordinator Janelle Boyce of Birmingham. 2. Sponsor Frank Nesti and committee member Rosemary Miketa of Birmingham. 3. Jeanne Hulgrave (left), John King and Larry Neal of Bloomfield. 4. Margaret Betts (left) and committee member Dorothy Conrad of Birmingham. 5. Tom Varbedian of Bloomfield. 6. Linda Buchanan and her brother Ron Buchanan of Birmingham. 7. Barbara Suhay (left), Judy Miller and Pat Olsen of Birmingham with Sarah Ormond of Oak Park.




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SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Law advocate Erin Merryn speak about giving a voice to sexually abused children. Thanks also to lots of sponsors, including those who pre-bought 10 of the sculptures, LionTown raised $360,000 for the Children’s Charities Coalition (Variety and CARE House) and the Detroit Lions’ philanthropic program – Living for the City (

Hospice’s Walk With Me



1. Honorary co-chair Kathleen Chisholm McInerney (left) of Birmingham and event co-chairs Janice DiBattista and Gloria Kotas of Grosse Pointe. 2. Carol Chisholm (left) and her sister-in-law Pat Palmer of Bloomfield. 3. Foundation president Susan Burns (left) and her husband Frits Hoendervanger of Detroit with Dan and Julie Gorczyca of Birmingham. 4. Kathy Parker (left) and Mary McKeon of Bloomfield. 5. Mike and Pamela Harris of Birmingham.

Books & Bites at Baldwin The second annual Baldwin Library fundraiser epitomized what I have always thought to be Birmingham’s unique character – a small town with sophistication. More than 200 (at $50 per person) gathered there to chat and sample the savories, sweets and spirits generously donated by local businesses. They all appreciated the In House Valet service and seemed to enjoy the large, chance style auction – really a raffle in which one can only win something one chooses. It does require an auctioneer to draw the winning tickets and announce the names and mayor Mark Nickita was pleased to be it. Chair Janelle Boyce’s committee comprised Frank Pisano, Rosemary Miketa, Dorothy Conrad, Karen Rock and staffers Doug Koschik, Matt Church and Josh Rouan. Including a donation from the Friends of Baldwin Public Library, the event raised more than $23,000 to renovate and expand the library’s Teen Space.




Shoot for a Cure






1. Honorary co-chairs Dr. Mark and Pam Rosenblum of W. Bloomfield. 2. Event co-chairs Zelly (left) and Dr. Tom Mikkelsen of W. Bloomfield with Dr. Steve and Laurel Kalkanis of Bloomfield. 3. Sally and Graham Orley of Bloomfield. 4. Honorees Gail (left) and Dr. Mark Kelley of Bloomfield and Madge Berman of Franklin with Scott Rosenblum of Birmingham. 5. Rob (left) and Marcie Hermelin Orley of Franklin, past honoree Doreen Hermelin and Brian and Jennifer Hermelin of Bingham Farms. 6. Honorees Bill (left) and Madge Berman of Franklin and past honorees Brigitte and Mort Harris of Bloomfield. 7. Harry Colburn of Bloomfield and Linda Isaac of Waterford.

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Hospice’s Walk With Me The cocktail hour at the Detroit Athletic Club was appropriately upbeat as the 280 guests of St. John Providence Hospice socialized, sipped and selected fare from the strolling dinner stations. They also bought 42 martini glasses hand painted with an angel wing and a heart by Carolanne McCelland and bid $17,000 on the silent auction items. That collection included two donations crafted by honorary co-chair Scott Newton, a carpenter. But the atmosphere changed when guests gathered in the dining room for a poignant program introduced by Fox 2’s Ryan Ermanni. It featured Newton and honorary co-chair Kathleen Chisholm McInerney telling their hospice stories. McInerney, an artist, painted a word picture of her father Tom Chisholm’s passion for life, especially golf, his last trip to the Masters Tournament and final days with hospice care looking out his window as fellow Bloomfield Hills Country Club golfers tipped their hats to him from the fairway. Newton’s story, involving as it did his young son Evan, was even more touching. He explained how the hospice team built a bridge for his family that he could never have built alone - the one from diagnosis to death - and walked it with them. McInerney then gave Newton her painting of “Evan’s Bridge”, with a prayerful note on the back. A mini live auction ($5,000+) and singer Jill Hamilton’s vocals rounded out the evening. It netted an event record $89,000-plus for St. John Providence’s pediatric hospice services. Shoot for a Cure The annual Shoot for Cure involving Henry Ford Neuroscience Institute and the Hermelin 12.12

Brain Tumor Center was definitely A Night to Remember, as the evening was dubbed. The fundraiser was started because the docs at HFHS successfully treated the late, multi-talented athlete and coach Will Robinson for a tumor and he wanted to help others with neurological diseases. At that time, because Robinson was a Detroit Pistons scout, staging it at the Palace of Auburn Hills was logical. We covered the first event’s VIP Club reception, but did not join others to shoot baskets on the court, a big deal because the Pistons were in their heyday. Out of reverence for Robinson’s devotion and generosity, the name of the event was not changed when the venue did. The 20th anniversary version attracted 400 to the Troy Marriott. It was notable for the personal remarks by all six honorees, the institute and tumor center directors and specially recognized event founding chair Pam Rosenblum. Rosenblum, whose husband Mark is neurosurgery chair and a co-director of the tumor center, was radiant. “I’m not often speechless,” she admitted after accepting a huge bouquet of flowers, “but I am so touched by so many angels, so many patients here tonight.” Instead of shooting baskets, many guests concluded the evening on the dance floor. It raised $265,000, bringing the 20year total to nearly $7 million for research into neurological diseases such as brain tumors, stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, spine disorders, ALS and brain and spinal cord injuries. House of Payne Halloween Benefit Lisa Payne and her daughters Katie and Margaret sure know how to toss a spooky Halloween bash, and for the benefit of CARE House of Oakland. They engaged a troupe of talented young people,, to create two haunted walks, one for younger children and one for teens and adults. The latter was “really, really scary,” according to those brave kids we interviewed. The theatrical group also did a dynamite Zombie Flash Mob in the courtyard to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music that people were talking about the rest of the night. Many of the 300 guests of all ages wore costumes and stopped to see the wild animal guy,, who was offering handson thrills with live, creepy crawly critters. When they weren’t cruising the plentiful food stations, many of the kids, Detroit Country Day and Cranbrook classmates of the hosts, also played games like foosball and karaoke. The Paynes had asked party guests to make a donation to support the child abuse prevention programs at CARE House of Oakland County and they collected some $12,000 for the cause. Nothing spooky about that. Boys & Girls Clubs In Celebration Dinner For 26 years, the Women’s Association of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan has hosted a dinner that celebrates people who celebrate the clubs’ mission. This year, even though only one of the four honorees could join the 140 guests at the Orchard Lake Country Club party,

House of Payne Halloween Benefit







1. Party co-host Lisa Payne (left) of Bloomfield with Mark and Debie Pomorski of Beverly Hills. 2. Party co-host Katie Payne (left) of Bloomfield and Chelsea Smith of Farmington Hills. 3. Party co-host Margaret Payne (second from left) of Bloomfield with Sauma Di (left), Tylor Collier and Clara Munkarah of W. Bloomfield. 4. A monster named Theo. 5. “Gogo” Trunsky and Lily Foltyn of Birmingham. 6. Thomas Vlasic of Bloomfield holding his University of Michigan cap. 7. Abby Foltyn (left) and Charlotte Trunsky of Birmingham. 8. Cole Wiand and his mother Lisa Bouchard of Birmingham. 9. Lauri Boccia (left) of Clarkston and Jami Trunsky of Birmingham. 10. Julie Roddy (left) and Marc Vondenberg of Clawson with Adele and Mike Acheson of W. Bloomfield.





Boys & Girls Clubs In Celebration Dinner








1. Presenter/director emeritus Mort Harris and honoree By Fauver of Bloomfield. 2. Events chairs Julie Beals (left) and Beth Everly of Bloomfield. 3. Past event honorees Sharon (left) and John James of Farmington Hills, Joe Kozo and Linda and Rod Gillum of Bloomfield. 4. WA president Kathy Martin (center) with past honorees Paul and Sue Nine of Bloomfield. 5. Chuck Eberly (center) of Bloomfield with Pat Fenton (left) and Mike Vick of Birmingham. 6. Martha Everly (center) with her son David and his daughter Ashleigh of Bloomfield. 7. Kay Browne (left) of Bloomfield with her brother Ace Byerlein and his wife Phyllis of Birmingham.


SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK there was a lot of celebrating because the honorees’ names are on the Fauver-Martin Club of Highland Park. Lou and Nick Martin were in Texas and their granddaughter Lindsay Martin accepted their award. And when By Parrott Fauver accepted the award for John Fauver and herself, she referenced the illness that would bring his rich, long (90 years) life to an end five days later. ”Thank you for being a friend”, the video tribute to the honorees, and remarks by the B&G Clubs’ Youth of the 2012 Year highlighted the program and would have greatly pleased the absent honorees, whose commitment to the clubs dates back to the 1960s. The evening raised $100,000 to continue their work that enables the 20,000 B&GCSM members to become responsible, self-reliant, caring adults. Before dinner guests had paused to pay tribute to past honoree and WA member Karen Clark, whose untimely death two weeks previous had shocked and saddened all.

Rotary Foundation’s Honors Dinner





4 1. Honorees Dan (left) and Rosemary Kelly with Rotary president Bob Hoisington and event chair John Wilson of Bloomfield. 2. Tom (standing) and Yvonne Larabelle of Beverly Hills with Bob (seated) and Barbara Wilson of Bloomfield. 3. George (left) and Kay White of Bloomfield and Rose Hill Center CEO Ben Robinson of Rochester Hills. 4. George Moore III and Maggie Allesee of Bloomfield. 5. Alan Klein (center) of Bloomfield with Marc and Sabine Forest of W. Bloomfield. 6. Dan Devine (left), Brian Kepes and Fritz Adams of Bloomfield. 7. Mike Flannery (left) of Royal Oak, Nancy Sielaff of Bloomfield and Laura Malczewski of White Lake.

Rotary Foundation’s Honors Dinner Less than two weeks after Rose Hill Center, the residential psychiatric rehabilitation center Dan and Rosemary Kelly founded, celebrated its 20th anniversary with a sold-out crowd at The Townsend, the Bloomfield Hills Rotarians honored the founders at its annual Honors Dinner. The award is reserved for non-Rotarians whose lives demonstrate the Rotarian objectives of service, integrity, goodwill and fellowship. And when Tom Larabell introduced the Kellys, he shared stories about two people doing good. Rose Hill CEO Ben Robinson also had an entertaining anecdote, but Rosemary summarized why Rose Hill is so important when she recalled another parent’s statement of gratitude. “You saved our son,” she said.



Holiday Tables Benefactor Party




1. Party hosts Tom (left) and Lauren Balames of Bloomfield with HT co-chair Randy Forester of Birmingham. 2. Colleen Smith (left) of Berkley, Mary Marvel Nelson of Bloomfield, HT co-chair Juli Ritter of Orchard Lake and Beth Lilley of Birmingham. 3. Carolyn Booth Scripps and Helen Holmes of Birmingham. 4. CEC COO Rod Spearin (left) of Troy, Larry Gladchun and CEC CEO Dom De Marco of Bloomfield and CEC board chair Bruce Peterson of Birmingham. 5. Ed and Claudia Kulnis of Birmingham.

4 84


Holiday Tables Benefactor Party Lauren and Tom Balames hosted the Cranbrook House & Garden Auxiliary Holiday Tables Benefactor Party. The party venue was especially appropriate because the Balames’ home was built in 1929 by Cranbrook founder George Booth’s investment company and it sits in the shadow of Christ Church Cranbrook. In conversation around the scrumptious cocktail buffet set up in the kitchen, Tom said, “We are only the third owners….The original owner Richard English sold it to George and Pru Miller and we bought it from their estate.” Though renovated to contemporary standards, the home still retains the vintage charm and the handsome, original German nickel sink in the old butlers’ pantry which now also makes a perfect bar. The Balames’ warm hospitality was accented by the conversations of 60 guests, Mary Ann Krygier’s Broadway vocals accompanied by Alice Haidostian on piano, and a drawing for a piece of art glass donated by Holiday Tables exhibitors the Glass Academy’s Chris Nordin and Michelle Plucinsky. The friendly gathering was a splendid preview for the main event dubbed The Art of Entertaining. Send ideas for this column to Sally Gerak, 28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, 48304; email or call 248.646.6390. 12.12

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Merchants are priority with road work


erchants and restaurateurs in Birmingham are already girding for a rough spring in Birmingham next March as road construction comes to Pierce Street between Maple and Merrill streets, and Merrill between Pierce and Old Woodward. The two streets will be entirely rebuilt, including new sidewalks and an additional crosswalk, with new sewer work, water main work, streetscaping, and streetlights scheduled to begin as soon as there is a break in the winter weather, followed by road reconstruction in concrete, which has a longer life than asphalt. The entire construction project is expected to take three months and cost approximately $800,000, according to city engineer Paul O'Meara. It is well-acknowledged that Pierce and Merrill, like many roads in Birmingham, are in dire need of reconstruction. The infrastructure beneath the streets are over 100 years old, and the water mains and sewers must be rebuilt before an unfortunate incident occurs. Birmingham is wise to plan its road improvement projects ahead to avoid catastrophes. This year, the city completely rebuilt E. Maple Road between Adams and Eton. In 2014, Maple Road in downtown is the road slated for reconstruction. And once you're already rebuilding the road, the might-as-well of finishing the project by redoing the sidewalks, streetlights, and landscaping at the

same time, rather than coming back another time and creating havoc, makes total sense. When the road work is in the downtown area, referred to as the Central Business District, there are added concerns besides the usual construction worries. Rightly so, retailers and restaurant owners are extremely concerned about what a total shutdown of Pierce and Merrill streets will do to their businesses, especially following the winter months, which are generally slow in snowbound Birmingham. Birmingham has worked very hard to create a dynamic and vibrant walkable city, notably by developing its bistro ordinance, and Pierce Street has four fantastic restaurants whose access and outdoor seating will be severely impacted. Merrill Street is slated to have a new steakhouse, Stoney River Steakhouse, open in March or April, in the Max & Erma locale. It will be tough for diners and shoppers to get to any of them, as well as the independent retailers who make up the core of the two streets. That's not to say that road work shouldn't be done. But it's imperative that it be done as quickly as possible to minimize the financial impact upon these businesses, especially following the economic depression the area is just coming out of. We are aware the city has met with many merchants, especially restaurateurs, who are concerned about the lack of access to the businesses, as well as an original plan to block

the alley behind Pierce and S. Old Woodward. O'Meara reported they worked out a plan to leave one entrance of the alley open at all times in order to allow for deliveries and garbage pickup. O'Meara reported that he hopes to create incentives in the construction project to get the project done within three months. “I can't force them to work on Saturdays, but hopefully that (incentive) would get them out on Saturdays as well,” he said. The contract has not yet been put out to bid, as it is still in the design stage. O'Meara said he anticipates it being put to bid in January. We're wondering why there can't be a mandate to work six—or even seven—days a week to get the project done as quickly as possible and the street back open for all the businesses and residents who use the downtown streets. It's done in other municipalities, sometimes working around the clock. Downtown Rochester was hobbled this past spring and summer by a complete reconstruction of their main road, and work was completed early, to the benefit of all of the retailers and restaurateurs, as well as local residents and businesses, by performing the work every day. Rather than just suggesting that the work could get done a little faster if a financial incentive is created, why not make it part of the requirement? Birmingham should act as if the city's life depended on it. Because it does.

Schools must follow letter of law


n November 2, John and Laurie Kelly, Troy residents whose son attends Birmingham's Derby Middle School, filed a class-action lawsuit against Birmingham Schools, claiming the district's requirement to purchase a planner, lock, and gym uniform for their son contradicts the Michigan state constitution and has been illegal since 1972. The suit, filed on their behalf by attorney Mark Wasvary, states that during school registration every August, students are required “to purchase a planner or assignment book, a lock for their hall locker, a lock for any locker used for physical education and a specific uniform for physical education consisting of blue shorts and gray Tshirts.” The locks cost either $3 or $6, the planner costs $10, and the uniform costs $19. Students and parents must purchase the planner or assignment book and the locks from the school, and the specific blue shorts and gray T-shirts, with the school's athletic department logo from a specific

local store. According to the lawsuit, points are deducted from the student's grade if they fail to wear the gym uniform and due to the point deduction, a student could fail the class if they do not purchase the $19 uniform at all. While on the face of it, the costs for the locks, gym uniform, and planner amount to only $35, a moderately reasonable amount for those who live in the area and whose children attend Birmingham Public Schools, the reality is that under Michigan law, all public schools are legally responsible to provide students with all necessary school supplies. As Mike Flanagan, Superintendent of Public Education for the Department of Education for the state of Michigan, wrote in a memo to all public school superintendents on September 8, 2011, “In 1970, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled, in the case of Bond, et al vs. the Ann Arbor School District, that school districts may not collect fees for items that are necessary elements of school's activities or an

integral, fundamental part of elementary and secondary education.” Listed in that document are locks, workbooks, and athletic shoes, or anything else necessary for required or elective courses. Extracurricular activities, such as football and other sports, are excluded from this as it does not include all students, and they are not requirements in order to complete a student's education. While Birmingham Schools, like many districts, have been forced to tighten their belts, they can only suggest to parents that their students might like certain supplies. These items cannot be necessary or required. The Kelly's lawsuit may appear frivolous on the face of it, but in reality, goes to the substance of what public education is all about—education that is equally available to all students, supported by tax dollars. It's important that Birmingham Schools follow the rules, just as they teach their students to do.

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Downtown Birmingham/Bloomfield  

December 2012 - DOWNTOWN is an upscale monthly full-color news magazine mailed at no charge to homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and...

Downtown Birmingham/Bloomfield  

December 2012 - DOWNTOWN is an upscale monthly full-color news magazine mailed at no charge to homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and...