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The right to Plan B medication

Human trafficking

Local face of hunger

How local pharmacies and handling the morning after pill now that a 2013 federal law required easy access for all women.

PHuman trafficking of minors, be it for sex or labor, is taking place in Michigan and right here in Oakland County.

Food banks in the region and local food pantries are experiencing increasing year around demands and challenges.



15 35


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


23: Sheri Fink

33: Jacques Dricsol




For those not residing in the free mail distribution area, paid subscriptions are available for a $12 annual fee. Phone 248.792.6464 and request the Distribution department or go to our website ( and click on “subscriptions” in the top index and place your order on-line or scan the QR Code here.



One of Birmingham's iconic buildings at 1025 E. Maple Road, near the corner of Adams Road. Built in 1957, with extensive renovations in 2000. Downtown photo/Austen Hohendorf.














Publisher: David Hohendorf Ad Manager: Jill Cesarz Ad Sales: Matthew Swigart Graphics: Denise Jungjohan News Editor: Lisa Brody

News Staff/Contributors: Allison Batdorff, Rachel Bechard, Hillary Brody, Kevin Elliott, Sally Gerak, Eleanor & Ray Heald, Austen Hohendorf, Garrett Hohendorf, Kathleen Meisner, Laurie Tennent


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



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DISTRIBUTION: Mailed monthly at no charge to homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills. Additional free copies are distributed at high foot-traffic locations.



Cemetery advisory panel appointments; Baldwin Library expansion plan accepted; parking structure overload; Deli Unique closes; Kenning Park planning review underway.

Luigi Cutraro has returned to his Sicilian roots with the attractive, well-priced Trattoria da Luigi in Royal Oak.







65: Sr. Bridget Bearss

Recommendations on new wines for a New Year, from Italy to Napa Valley in California



63: Calla Glavin

41: Kathleen Curran




Balancing the Baldwin Library plan/funding with other needs; further review of Birmingham parking needs.

INCOMING: We welcome feedback on both our publication and general issues of concern in the Birmingham/Bloomfield community. The traditional Letters to the Editor in Downtown are published in our Incoming section, and can include traditional letters or electronic communication. Your opinions can be sent via e-mail to; or mailed to Downtown Publications, 124 West Maple Road, Birmingham MI, 48009. Letters must include your full name, address and daytime phone number for verification.


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he December passage in the Michigan House of Representatives of citizen initiated legislation restricting abortion coverage in both public and private health insurance plans in the closing days before lawmakers took a break for the holidays makes me long for the days when state house and senate members did not face term limitations. No, the anti-abortion initiative is not the only example of special interest pressure on state lawmakers, but it is the most recent, and probably most recognized, of issues that may not have turned out the same if house and senate members were not facing terms limits, something that I did not feel made sense when it first appeared on the ballot in 1992 as an amendment to the Michigan Constitution. In short, the Right To Life crowd, a potent force in elections, was able to garner over 300,000 signatures on petitions that force women to purchase a separate rider on their insurance policies to cover abortions. Lawmakers could have allowed the issue to go on the 2014 ballot for the state-wide electorate to decide or they could vote, which they did, to prohibit insurance policies from automatically including abortions as part of standard medical coverage. A similar measure was vetoed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder about a year ago on the grounds that such a measure was considered an interference in the private marketplace, let alone the fact it is an intrusion into the private doctor-patient relationship where such health matters are decided.

specific office would bring new ideas to state government, control the influence of special interest groups and bring a new sense of ethics to state government, which, was not possible with lawmakers who serve an average of 10-12 years at the time term limits were introduced. Instead, what we have gotten from term limits is a definite loss of institutional knowledge and an increase in the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups. I never supported term limits, in part because I had the benefit of being mentored early on by some of the more innovative, as well as ethical, state lawmakers who held office in Lansing back in the early to mid 1970's, among them former state senator Kerry Kammer, a Democrat, and state representative James Defebaugh, a Republican. Kammer, whose state senate district encompassed much of the west Oakland area, served from 1974-1983 and was best known as a strong outdoor recreation enthusiast with an environmental ethic. His Kammer Land Trust Fund Act of 1976 helped set the framework for the regulation of oil and gas drilling funds that now help underwrite state-wide recreation land purchases and programs to this day. In the case of Defebaugh, a Birmingham resident, his house 65th district meandered into the West Bloomfield/Commerce areas where he was known as an attentive, hard-working representative with a reputation for forging coalitions, all against a background of an ethical track record.

But my concern has less to do with an illogical law restricting insurance policies than with my suspicion that special interests have gained a very strong foothold in the state house and senate, thanks in large part to term limits.

These lawmakers shared similar advice with me in the 1970's in terms of the prevailing ethics in Lansing. Length of service was not the problem in terms of a loss of ethics or innovative service. Kammer and Defebaugh both felt that crossing an ethical line and abuse of power from long-term service in Lansing had more to do with the character of those holding an office.

Just the opposite was supposed to happen, if you believed term limit supporters when the issue was put on the ballot and became an amendment to the Michigan Constitution effective in 1993.

Both of these leaders, each serving over a decade, felt that strong personal ethics were needed to fend off the special interests in Lansing, something that term limits cannot instill.

As it stands now, the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and state senators (who serve four-year terms), are restricted to two terms. State representatives are held to three two-year terms. Backers of term limits going into the 1992 vote on this issue claimed that limiting how long a public official could hold a

So as the special interests machinations on litmus test issues unfold in the house and senate, I continue to wonder whether longer terms lawmakers would be more immune to some of the pressure exerted by special interests. Just a thought.

David Hohendorf Publisher

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Map key

Sexual assault






Larceny from vehicle

Vehicle theft


Drug offenses


These are the crimes reported under select categories by police officials in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills through December 20, 2013. Placement of codes is approximate.

BECOMING VICTIMS: Recognizing the child in crimes against children BY LISA BRODY ike parents of teenage kids across America, your 14-year old daughter is dropped off at the mall with her girlfriend, to hang out for the afternoon, shopping, gossiping, giggling and hanging out at the food court. You've armed her with a cell phone, a whistle on her key chain, and you've had numerous “talks” about strangers who do bad things. You've told her and her friend to stay together at all times. And they do. At the food court at the mall, there are lots of other teens and tweens milling about, talking, eating and flirting with one another. Your daughter and her friend are munching on fries and cokes, complaining about you and her parents, as teens do, when a cute older boy slides next to them. He flatters them, telling them how they look at least 17 or 18, that they're so cute and hot, and that he and his friends would really like to see them again next week. And they meet again at the food court the following week. In between, they stay in touch online and via that cell phone you gave her to keep her safe and in touch with you. They text all week. They become “friends” on Facebook. He sends her images and videos through the Internet. When they meet up at the mall the next week, perhaps he and his friends take them for a drive; maybe they make out a little. The next week, it goes a little farther, and perhaps a joint or an ecstasy pill is introduced. He tells your daughter how much he loves her, how much he wants her all the time, how great their life could be together if she would be with him. He's in her head. Then one week, when you drop your daughter off at the mall, she isn't there to be picked up. You search for her. The police search. You put up flyers, post rewards, cry on television. She has disappeared without a trace. You're sure she has been kidnapped, maybe by a sexual predator. And she has been. She has been caught in the human trafficking trade. Human trafficking of minors, for sex or labor, is circulated from Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus, and Asian countries, but it is also occurring here, in Michigan. And it's here in Oakland County. “The reality is that in the suburban areas of Michigan, including Oakland County, it is happening. In the majority of cases in Michigan, the girl is the victim. It's just that the laws haven't caught up with reality,” said Bridgette Carr, director of the Human Trafficking Clinic, noting girls are being forced and trapped into forced labor and sexual servitude, and then if they are caught, they are charged as criminals. “It is both happening to individuals from other countries as well as here in the United States with U.S. girls and boys.” As soon as they are together, the sexy boy no longer has any money, and tells your sweet, young, 14-year old daughter that for them to be together she has to go out and have sex with other older men. She has to be a prostitute. And if she objects, she may be threatened, beaten, raped, or otherwise physically and psychologically tortured. As Rep. Klint Kesto (R-West Bloomfield, Commerce Township, Wolverine Lake) pointed out, “We think it's something that happens in Eastern Europe, or in Asia. It's here in our backyards. It's not just in Hollywood movies.” Theresa Flores, today in her 40s and living in Cleveland, was a 15-year-old Birmingham student when she was blackmailed into a sex trafficking ring when she was in her freshman year at Groves High School. She spoke with Downtown's Hayley Beitman last spring, explaining that her family had just moved from Flushing, Michigan, and she had begun Groves when “I was targeted by a group of guys at my school who were older than me,” and flattered, she accepted a ride home one day. “He ended up taking me to his home and drugged me and raped me and the other guys there were taking pictures and blackmailing me,” Flores said. She ended up being forced to work as a prostitute in Birmingham for two years while simultaneously attending high school with the same boys. The entire time, she said she hid it from her parents and teachers. “My worst moment was being left for dead in a Detroit hotel,” she said. 248.362.5125

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Eventually, her father, a high-ranking automobile executive, was transferred, and she did her senior year “a thousand miles away without any of my friends knowing and I was able to heal and get counseling.” She eventually wrote two books on what happened and began to share her story, founding an organization, Trafficfree, to help create awareness that even kids from the best neighborhoods can be lured into prostitution or labor trafficking against their will. Flores was one of the few lucky ones. She got out and was successfully rehabilitated. But for the majority of youth caught in this sticky, tragic web, they are inextricably ensnared. And when offered an opportunity to leave, they are either afraid for themselves or their families, or believe their boyfriends – their captors – love them. Rep. Eileen Kowall (R-White Lake, Waterford) said that often, especially in the early stages, “the girls have Stockholm Syndrome. They're brainwashed that these guys, their pimps, love them, and if they're caught they want to go right back to them.” ut she stresses, there are no mistaking that they are pimps, and not boyfriends, and these girls are victims, and not criminals. “The pimps are so evil and insidious. One even admitted they lie awake at night thinking of ways to get young girls,” she said. “They admit that when they see a couple of girls at the mall, and hear a girl say 'I hate my parents', or 'I'm going to run away', they start grooming them.” “Human traffickers are luring Michigan children into dangerous situations where they will be sexually exploited,” said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. “As a father and husband, it turns my stomach. It could be anyone's daughter or neighbor. Our daughters, friends, and neighbors are forced into prostitution, domestic servitude and other forced labor by criminals who take advantage of them. Recruiting children to work as prostitutes is illegal, reprehensible, and we will not tolerate it.” “It's called 'grooming'. They'll start grooming the girls by befriending them, or they have a female become one of their 'friends', or a pimp will become a boyfriend,” explained Kowall, who has been part of the Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking, which released its findings in November 2013. “The girls will think the guys really love them, that it is a boyfriend, and then they turn them into a prostitute.” “Runaways are also prime targets. They get them as they're leaving home, along with the malls. Predators look for certain clues and signs, then they abuse and threaten them, and restrain them from leaving,” said Rep. Mike McCready (R-Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield), who along with Kesto, has been holding town hall meetings on human trafficking. “They abuse them physically and sexually. These pimps brainwash the girls, and instill fear of harm to them and to their families. They use blackmail, telling them if they leave or don't do just what they tell them they'll not only harm them, they'll harm their families. Some almost bar code the kids with tattoos to keep them. These are kids that are 12, 13, 14 years-old, and they treat them like they're personal possessions. For example, they make them make $500 a day as a prostitute or tell them they will be


severely beaten, or put them them on drugs so they don't know what's going on.” Of course, this is only one way young girls, and sometimes, boys, become victims of crimes against them. Child pornography, sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking, and labor trafficking are among the the crimes the Southeast Michigan Crimes Against Children (SEMCAC) Task Force works to combat in our backyards. According to the FBI Detroit, the SEMCAC Task Force was created in February 2007, as part of the Innocence Lost Initiative, a reaction to cases that Michigan law enforcement were encountering. Numerous law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies participate in the SEMCAC Task Force, including Michigan State Police, Wayne County Sheriff's Office, Detroit Police Department, Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, Southfield Police, Farmington Hills Police, Livonia Police, Highland Park Police, Roseville Police, Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, Macomb County Sheriff, Macomb Area Computer Enforcement, and the United State's Attorney's Office, among others. SEMCAC Task Force works to recover juveniles and arrest pimps and those utilizing the services of the youths. “Today, many prostitution rings are sophisticated and interstate in nature. They rely on the Internet and other electronic media to advertise and solicit customers,”according to the FBI website. “The most egregious of these prostitution rings abduct or recruit juveniles from all walks of life. These juveniles are forced into working for pimps/ring leaders, often subjected to violence and relocated to areas where they know no one in order to strengthen the hold these groups have on the juveniles.” The Oakland County Sheriff's Office is not part of the SEMCAC Task Force, but has developed it's own computer crimes unit (CCU), where they have allocated three fulltime detectives and four support staff. “I could have more staff dedicated to it if I had the money,” Oakland Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “There aren't the resources currently for many 'To Catch a Predator' opportunities,” referring to the former Dateline NBC component. Bouchard said Oakland County deputies receive the same training from all over the country as computer forensic examiners as the FBI in forensics, tracking and encryption. “We're finding that similar to the everyday person, the computer has become a staple to criminals' lives,” Bouchard pointed out. He said one of the key staples in a homicide investigation can lead to a motive being uncovered by a computer expert on a suspect's computer, or traced through the Internet. “It may be specific to another computer situation, such as burglary or homicides, and we discover child pornography.” Sadly, Bouchard said that “identity theft, cyberbullying, child pornography, predators – they're the meat-and-potatoes of the cases implemented and are how criminals are using computers as part of their crimes. There are hundreds and hundreds of cases. We're only limited by our resources. We could probably double our staff and still keep them busy.” “The Internet age has caused an explosion of child pornography because it's easier to transfer the image,” said Peter Henning, a professor at Wayne State University's Law School who specializes in criminal law. “It's

produced everywhere. There are a lot of distributors in the former Soviet Union, like the Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, because it's not policed there like it is here, so the distribution and sales takes place where there is no real law enforcement. “These are sophisticated criminals,” Henning emphasized. “You cannot just accidentally participate. Sometimes someone says they 'accidentally' got child porn. That's almost impossible to do. They charge quite a bit for access. These are computer experts distributing it. They hide their IP addresses, and hide behind firewalls. And there has always had organized crime elements involved, so the ability of law enforcement to penetrate is difficult. The distributors are sophisticated criminals, the worst kind.” He emphasized child pornography purveyors are not typically trafficking in images of 15, 16 or 17-year-olds, but sometimes of children as young as 3, 4 or 5. enning continued, “Over here, the emphasis then is on the buyer because they're easier to find. Child porn appeals to people who are sexually turned on by children. They tend to be all male, and from the middle class. They're voyeurs, non-violent, and tend to not have any prior criminal sexual conduct convictions. As seedy a crime as it is, it is all people with money. Interestingly, as totally repulsive an offense as it is, often what happens is that someone is being investigated for one offense, and their computer is searched and the government finds something else, which is how these images often are discovered. And the penalties are quite substantial, with five to 10-year mandatory/minimum sentences.” Bouchard said these crimes, as well as prostitution being operated out of homes in Oakland neighborhoods, are being found in all areas of the county. “It's everywhere,” he said. While Bouchard laments that his department cannot be as proactive in combatting prostitution as he would like, “we're not typically hearing about it unless we receive tips or complaints,” he said. “We want to make sure there are no connections to cases with human or sex trafficking. We have an expert on the staff on human trafficking, because there are delegations coming here from all over the world. There was a case a couple of weeks ago from Israel. It's a global issue.” Human labor trafficking refers to young children and minors who are kept against their will and used in hair braiding clinics, massage parlors, restaurants, nail salons, even sometimes in homes. “A lot of hair braiding clinics (in African American communities) like to use little kids the best for hair braiding because of their little fingers,” Henning said. “They use 10 and 12year-olds. Child labor is great because it's cheap, and children don't know to complain, especially when you terrorize them. There are parents who will sell their own children because they need the money.” Some of these children are brought in from overseas, but some of these young children are “sold” locally, and then moved to where the labor needs are greatest. Experts emphasize that human trafficking turns its victims into modern-day slaves, whether it is as sex slaves or as labor slaves. The Michigan Abolitionist Project (MAP) notes that slavery, “was officially made illegal in the USA in 1865. But making something illegal




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doesn't mean it ceases to exist. Slavery continues to be a reality in the USA today. It's a crime hidden in plain site and it's growing. Slavery may look differently over time, but it's just as inhumane.” MAP asserts that the main forms of slavery that exist in the USA, including in Michigan, are sex slavery and labor trafficking. “Often we hear the term 'human trafficking' used to refer to this crime. But we prefer to call it what it is: slavery. The term slavery is most widely used when referring to any form of modern slavery, bondage or human trafficking. Slavery means that a person is being held against his or her will and controlled physically or psychologically by violence or its threat for the purpose of appropriating their labor. Forms of slavery include sex slavery, sexual exploitation, forced labor, bonded labor, child soldiers, and organ trafficking.” Under Michigan law, recruiting a minor for the purposes of sexual exploitation is human trafficking. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 40 percent of human trafficking cases involve the sexual exploitation of a child. he U.S. State Department defines “severe forms of trafficking” as “sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose or subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. A victim need not be physically transported from one location to another in order for the crime to fall within these definitions.” The Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking, convened in March by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and included state legislators, law enforcement officials, Bridgette Carr, a University of Michigan law professor who is the founder and director of Human Trafficking Clinic, and Jane White, chairwoman of Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force, met for six months over 60 times before issuing its report in November. It focuses on legislative initiatives and the need to review Michigan's legal framework governing human trafficking and determining if new legislation is needed; the need to increase public awareness of human trafficking; the need to develop and provide greater victim assistance at the state and local levels, including coordinating public and private sectors; reviewing the strategies of statewide data collection so that law enforcement and policymakers can accurately gauge progress; professional training for those who regularly deal with victims of human trafficking, from law enforcement, health care providers, social workers, hospitals, those in code enforcement and regulatory agencies in order to look for and identify victims; and victim recognition. That recognition is a key point, all participants point out, changing the viewpoint of everyone involved from seeing women and girls who have been forced into a life of prostitution, not as criminals, but as victims. “Whether through legislation, training or public awareness, innocent trafficking victims must be treated as victims,” Schuette said. “They must not be re-victimized by being punished for 'crimes' over which they had no

control. “There is an effort to recognize them as victims, rather than as criminals,” Kowall said. “It's an effort to change everyone's point of view. It's a sea change of change in viewpoints, from law enforcement to everyday citizens who would look at a prostitute with disgust. But in actuality, many of these girls have been abused as children. They're runaways. Often, within 48 to 72 hours of running away, they've been caught in a web by pimps and traffickers.” The Human Trafficking Clinic's Carr noted that technically, in Michigan, a person under 16 cannot be arrested for prostitution. But they can be for other crimes. “Last year, there was a case of a 14-year-old in Ann Arbor who was caught. Now, they couldn't arrest her as a prostitute, but they didn't look to see if she was being forced into this, if this was someone who was being sold for sex to older men,” Carr said. “Instead of getting her help, she was held in juvenile detection on charge of minor in possession of tobacco because she had cigarettes on her. So that was a case that was never marked down as human trafficking. We did not help her, and she was not marked down as a statistic, and she was back on the streets in a month, being exploited again by the same pimps as before.” Kowall said part of the commission's goal is to prepare hospital emergency rooms to recognize the symptoms that these girls are victims of human trafficking, to get them away from their pimps and to get them help. “Some hotel chains are training their staffs to recognize symptoms when victims come in, as well.” The Michigan Commission's effort to not only change the perception of the girls from criminals to victims means they can hopefully get help and become rehabilitated, as well as be marked as a statistic of sexual trafficking. Officials with the Detroit office of the FBI, which oversee the SEMCAC Task Force, declined to provide statistics for sexual or labor trafficking in southeastern Michigan. “There are no statistics, because no one has been counting,” asserts Carr. “This is the first year that the FBI will check off someone as a prostitute, or as an illegal immigrant, or a foster child. Before, they would get checked off in another box, and it wouldn't be an accurate reflection.” The FBI, through the SEMCAC Task Force, has conducted numerous operations and raids over the last six years of its existence, culminating in multi-jurisdictional arrests, where pimps are arrested and juveniles are recovered. They declined to divulge information on these raids, but information released in July 2013 following their annual three-day Operation Cross Country showed that Detroit ranked second of 76 cities in the successful recovery of juveniles. At that time, there were 59 total arrests made in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne and Genesee counties, with 10 youths recovered. Recently, Kowall introduced a “Safe Harbor” bill, House Bill 5012, and had it pass the Michigan House of Representatives, that if it passes the state Senate and is signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, will provide a safe harbor for victims of human trafficking if they are caught. “It's not immunity from a charge, but a rebuttal presumption against the charge, that they were coerced into commercial sexual activity against the Michigan Penal Code,” Kowall

said. “Then, they would be subject to temporary protective custody under the juvenile code. There is a mechanism in the bill, that a police officer taking someone into custody under 18 for prostitution must report it to the Department of Human Services. Then DHS has 24 hours to begin an investigation which would determine if the minor is in danger of substantial danger or harm. It makes it all about the victim.” ep. Kesto wants to take it further, and introduce legislation that would seize the assets of traffickers and pimps. “These predators are making millions and millions off of these children and their other endeavors. They buy homes. They buy cars,” Kesto said. “With narcotics, we seize the results of their endeavors.” “This is a business model for the traffickers,” Carr pointed out. “The reality is there are folks with money paying for these services. The traffickers sole goal is to make money, and so they go where the money is.” Kowall said it's critical to assess what is available to these victims. “There is proof that the prolonged trauma they undergo causes their brains to stop developing. They can see that on brain scans,” she said. “They have real problems with cognitive issues. Often they have real psychosis, so that it can take months for them to admit they've been victims. We're trying to develop protocols in dealing with them, because we have to deal with them carefully – they're emotionally and psychologically very fragile.” Kowall also pointed out that rarely can these girls go back to their families, because often “that's where the problems started.” Further, most have lost their education, skills and have become drug abusers, “so they have to be taught basic skills.” A key point is that theses victims can't be helped until they're ready to be helped, and to accept that they have been victimized. “It takes a lot to get them through, and often they go back to that life because it's easier and it's what they know,” Kowall said. “Emotionally, it's too big a hurdle for some of them to break free of.” Vista Maria in Dearborn Heights is one place that successfully provides the support, treatment and education to “vulnerable youth so that they heal, believe in their worth, and build the skills needed to succeed. Every girl is treated as a unique individual – worthy of love based on just who she is. Therapy is designed around each girl's individual experiences and needs. This encompasses a variety of activities that address the physical, spiritual, intellectual, and recreational well being of the girls.” Vista Maria provides a continuum of mental health care, intensive trauma recovery, substance abuse and aggressive behavior treatment, and community reintegration. They treat over 900 girls, ages 11 to 17, every year who are victims of abuse, neglect and trauma, with a special understanding on the treatment of sexually abused girls. “We all want the Lifetime movie ending when the cops walk in and everyone claps, and the girls go to college, but that's not what happens,” Carr said. “We do victims a terrible disservice by perpetuating that myth because until we understand the power and coercive control these traffickers have over these girls, they can't get help.”



Sheri Fink


egardless of the chosen field, it's typically our experiences that dictate what direction our career path will lead. For former Bloomfield Hills native and Andover High School graduate Sheri Fink, experience led her from medical school to the war-torn border of Kosovo and eventually to becoming a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author. From studying psychology at the University of Michigan and earning her MD and PhD at Stanford University, to doing relief work in disaster and conflict zones as a physician, Fink's experiences prompted her to research her first book, "War Hospital: A True Story of Surgery and Survival", about medical professionals under siege during the genocide in Srebrencia, BosniaHerzegovina. "I started out training in medicine and took, what I thought, was a year off to go to the Balkans and see how medicine was practiced in war time," Fink said. "When I was in the Balkans doing that research, the war in Kosovo broke out, and that's how I started doing aid work, by volunteering in a medical tent on the border of Kosovo and Macedonia. At the same time, I was working on my first book, and was also working on a lot of freelance journalism. Eventually, the journalism part became my career." Throughout her career as a journalist, Fink has reported on health, medicine and science in the U.S. and from every continent except Antarctica, covering topics including the global HIV/AIDS pandemic and international aid work in conflict and disaster settings. In 2010, Fink's 13,000-word story, "The Deadly Choices at Memorial," in the New York Times magazine about the

investigation into patient deaths at a New Orleans Hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, earned her a Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting. She is currently a contributor to ProPublica, as well as on tour for her second book, "Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital," which is currently a New York Times bestseller. "Originally, I think my first thought was just to do a profile of a doctor who had been arrested and accused of murdering her patients," Fink said. "Within the first few months, I spoke with another doctor who was willing to say that he participated in injecting patients and he has done it specifically with intentions to hasten the death of, in particular, one patient." Throughout her career, Fink has worked to keep the lines between medical practitioner and journalist separate, focusing on straightforward news reporting instead of first-person narratives. She also strives to find positive examples in her stories, presenting both lessons learned and highlighting work that needs to be done. "I think there are huge lessons that have not been learned yet from Katrina, and we saw that last year with Hurricane Sandy in New York City, where I live," she said. "I think we have huge vulnerabilities in America, and I think that's why we have to look at stories like this. We need to understand what some of the stakes are of not prioritizing some of the investments that could make us more capable of understanding these types of natural disasters that are common, or at least predicting certain areas." Story: Kevin Elliott

Photo: Jan Dessinger


BLOOMFIELD HILLS | $2,999,000 5 Bedrooms 5 Full, 3 Half Baths 9302 Square Feet MLS# 213020114

An incomparable Post Modern Masterpiece on 3.3 wooded acres. Sophisticated and functional spaces. Pool and tennis court.

- SOLD -

WEST BLOOMFIELD | $405,000 4 Bedrooms 2 Full, 1 Half Baths 3483 Square Feet MLS# 213109168

J. Nanci Rands

eredith MColburn

associate broker

associate broker



- SOLD -

BIRMINGHAM | $1,695,000 5 Bedrooms 6 Full, 3 Half Baths 5071 Square Feet MLS# 213094417

Exceptional Quarton Lake 4 Bedrooms Tudor completely renovated 5 Full Baths and expanded in 2006. 4966 Square Feet Incredible quality and MLS# 213066047 craftsmanship. Pool.


BIRMINGHAM | $798,000

Wonderful “Bloomfield on 4 Bedrooms the Park” home. Elegant 4 Full, 1 Half Baths formal Dining & Living 3386 Square Feet Rooms. Master Bedroom Suite has huge walk-in closet. MLS# 213083021

BLOOMFIELD | $995,000

Great in-town Colonial expanded and renovated in 1997. Exquisite crown moldings. Cherry/granite Kitchen. Holy Name Area.

Landmark 1920’s French Norman estate on a 1.49 acre riverside site. Perfect for renovation or expansion. Double lot.

BLOOMFIELD HILLS | $2,995,000 4 Bedrooms 5 Full, 2 Half Baths 6065 Square Feet MLS# 213082198

Historic property overlooking Wing Lake, restored and expanded in 2001 to extraordinary elegance and functionality.

T he real difference in Real Estate 442 South Old Woodward Avenue | Birmingham, Michigan 48009

Hardy Lanie Cosgrove realtor


248. 703.1105 lcosgrove@

BIRMINGHAM | $649,000 4 Bedrooms 3 Full, 1 Half Baths 3266 Square Feet MLS# 213120857

Renovated in-town home blends Old World character and modern amenities. A white kitchen with granite and double ovens adjoins the family room with limestone fireplace. Master with fireplace and stone bath. Mud Room. 2nd floor sound-insulated laundry. 2011 professionally finished LL with 10’ ceiling, tile bath and office. Front porch to enjoy excitement of downtown Birmingham!

View these and other listings at

442 South Old Woodward Avenue | Birmingham, Michigan 48009

Hardy Lanie Cosgrove realtor


248. 703.1105 lcosgrove@

BLOOMFIELD HILLS | $898,900 4 Bedrooms 4 Full, 1 Half Baths 3547 Square Feet MLS# 213120335

2007-built New England colonial on 1/2 acre+ in desirable Westchester sub. The open floor plan offers quality trim detail, hardwood floors and custom window treatments. Granite/stainless kitchen with custom cabinets and windowed breakfast nook adjoins generous family room. Mud room. 1st floor laundry. Master with marble bath, Euro shower and jet tub. 2nd floor nook. Professionally finished daylight lower level with huge rec rm, bath and wet bar. 3-car garage.

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442 South Old Woodward Avenue | Birmingham, Michigan 48009

Kevin ev vin C vin Conway realtor


BEVERLY BEVERL EVERL LY HILLS | $435,000 $ 3 Bedrooms 2 Full, 1 Half Baths 2783 Square Feet MLS# 213117215

Desirable private setting in prime location. Spacious 1st master suite, 1st floor laundry, Great room with vaulted ceiling. Library. Brick drivvewaay. Awa w rd-winning Birmingham Schools. Immediate possession.

248. 330.3324

BLOOMFIELD HILLS | $889,000 5 Bedrooms 4 Full, 1 Half Bath hs 3519 Square Feet MLS# 213121248

Completely renovated detached site condo with finished walkout LL. New kitchen, new baths, new flooring and new roof. Expansive 1st floor master suite. LL has family & exercise rooms, sauna, office & 5th bedroom. Prime location!

iew w these and other listings at View

442 South Old W Woodward oodward Avenue Avenue | Birmingham, Michigan 48009

442 South Old Woodward Avenue Birmingham, Michigan 48009 CHRISTIE’S INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE



A my Zimmer &

Tiffany Glime 248.469.6430

248. 763.2223


BLOOMFIELD | $749,000 Renovated mid-century walkout set on a one acre hillside ravine with a stream in the yard. Vaulted great room with wall of windows opens to new kitchen. Spectacular master suite. Walnut Lake privileges. 3-car garage.


BIRMINGHAM | $1,350,000 2 Bedrooms 3 Full, 1 Half Baths 2906 Square Feet MLS# 213120553

Tringali-designed and Derocher built intown home with open concept design and high-end finishes. Media room, wine bar and heated driveway. Large master suite with office. Grand living in the heart of town!

4 Bedrooms 3 Full, 1 Half Baths 2471 Square Feet MLS# 213200856

2001 Hunter Roberts built colonial located across from Pierce School/park. Flowing floor plan. 9” ceilings. Updated granite island Kitchen. Master Suite with Keeping Room and large walk-in closet. Finished LL.

ROYAL OAK | $120,000 3 Bedrooms 1 Full Bath 906 Square Feet MLS# 213117078

Updated 1920s Craftsman home. New roof 2012. Newer windows. Furnace 2007. Freshly painted. Updated kitchen with granite counters, breakfast bar, new appliances. 3rd bedroom could be great office. Rear deck.

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4 Bedrooms 3 Full Baths 2943 Total Sq. Ft. MLS# 213202949


BIRMINGHAM | $599,000



ost every pharmacy in our community has a “sex” section. Condoms hang here in tidy boxes. Lubricants hawk security, friction and fruity flavors. Jellies found here are not for your toast. Perhaps you’re here to browse. To assert your sexual responsibility with your pocketbook. To giggle. Or you might be running in, crazy-eyed and blushing, scanning for the item that may calm the rising tide of panic within you. A pregnancy test. A home HIV test kit. Or to grab the Plan B emergency contraceptive pill. Plan B One-Step’s friendly pink, purple and green packaging blends in well with the other items, but its price tag - $39 to $49 - stands out amongst the $6 crowd. The package contains one pill only. And, if taken within 72 hours of sex, it can safely prevent pregnancy.





All Star



Pine Gate Drive | $1,750,000 | SOLD BY

Eastmoor Road | $1,749,000 | SOLD BY

Woodlands Estates | $1,599,000 | LISTED BY

Larchlea Drive | $1,399,000 | SOLD BY

Dover Road | $1,275,000 | SOLD BY

E Long Lake Road | $1,200,000 | SOLD

Inwoods Circle | $1,200,000 | SOLD BY

Lakeland | $1,199,000 | SOLD BY

Hiddenbrook Lane | $1,149,900 | LISTED BY

Turtle Lake Drive | $1,112,391 | SOLD BY

Richmond | $1,078,720 | SOLD BY

Ann St | $1,049,000 | SOLD BY

Ranch Lane | $999,000 | LISTED BY Hamilton Row | $799,900 | LISTED BY Forman Drive | $799,000 | LISTED BY S Bates St | $660,000 | LISTED BY Humphrey Ave | $631,000 | SOLD BY Carlyle Xing | $479,000 | LISTED BY Pine Ridge | $399,000 | LISTED BY Red Maple Drive | $377,500 | SOLD BY Seabiscuit Drive | $359,900 | SOLD BY Portsmouth Drive | $350,000 | SOLD BY

Colby Lane | $329,900 | SOLD BY Tuckaway Drive | $324,000 | SOLD BY Crispin Way | $319,900 | LISTED BY Maclynn | $310,000 | SOLD BY Mayfair Terrace | $305,000 | LISTED BY Lewis Court | $300,000 | LISTED BY Stonetree Cir | $299,000 | SOLD BY Carllton Dr | $279,900 | LISTED BY Carinas Way Ct | $274,500 | SOLD BY

Hickory Grove | $250,000 | SOLD BY Devon Lane | $211,100 | SOLD BY Purdy St | $209,900 | SOLD BY S Washington | $199,900 | SOLD BY Ashford | $199,000 | SOLD BY Crooks Rd | $189,499 | LISTED BY Chesapeake | $189,000 | SOLD BY Woodlands Lane | $179,000 | SOLD BY Chester St, | $123,500 | SOLD BY


A federal law in April 2013 mandated the pill be available over the counter – meaning on store shelves – to all persons of “childbearing age.” Even so, area pharmacies sport different interpretations of “access to all.” In Oakland County, you might have to ask the pharmacist for Plan B. One pharmacy we visited did not stock it at all. It might be put away in a security box, out of convenient access. Or it might be right there on the shelf, as easy to buy as a box of sinus medicine. Here’s our look at Plan B’s impact in our community. Planning is part of preparation. Do you know the location of the nearest exit? The closest defibrillator? Do you have a family plan in case of a fire, tornado and food shortage? Where is your nearest Plan B emergency contraception? No matter where your personal politics fall on the conception or abortion spectrum, most people agree on one thing: when you’re dealing with a timeoriented sexual intervention, every minute matters. That’s why there are prayer vigils outside clinics and ardent advocates ushering people inside the doors. Legal – and moral – distinctions are made in months, in weeks, and in Plan B’s case – hours. A woman has 72 hours after sex to take emergency contraception to be reasonably assured of its effectiveness, though its effects can last up to five days later. It’s a tight deadline, and research shows that the more hurdles there are between a person and the ability to gain its intervention, the less likely its purchase and use. This puts every step in purchasing the emergency contraception under a microscope. Seemingly small distinctions play a large role in the debate – on both sides of the issue. How easy is it to get Plan B in our community? How do people feel about its placement in our pharmacies? What is it anyway? Dr. Renee Horowitz doesn’t advocate for Plan B’s use as regular birth control, but supports the pill’s designed use for sexual accidents. “Anyone can have a mishap. A condom can break. A diaphragm can slip,” said Horowitz, a Farmington Hills-based OB/GYN specializing in sexual health. “It’s designed for a slip-up and it’s a good, safe tool if it is used responsibly.” She still fields calls to her office for emergency contraception, as many people don’t realize that they have non-prescription access, she said. “I explain that they should be able to walk into any drug store, find it on the shelf, pay for it and follow the directions on the box,” Horowitz said. Having failsafe birth control – especially in long-term partnerships – can actually improve sexual health, Horowitz said. “If we’re not worried about getting pregnant, we can enjoy sex more,” Horowitz said. “People who are partners for a long time may not want to have sex because of pregnancy worries. Having the ability to access emergency birth control helps us have a healthier sex life.” But children, who are too young and impressionable, misuse emergency contraception, and sexual predators misrepresent Plan B to convince young children to engage in risky sexual behavior, said Barb Yagley, the vigil coordinator for 40 Days for Life Southfield. Part of her group’s mission is to evict Planned Parenthood from Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties in order to protect children, teens and women. “Having this access is fraught with abuse,” Yagley said. “It’s open season for child predators. They use emergency contraception to convince young girls to have sex with them.” nscrupulous predators may leave out important facts about Plan B – facts such as that it does not shield users from sexually transmitted diseases, sexually transmitted infections, and HIV transmission. She is also concerned about the health impacts of “super powerful” hormones on young bodies. “We’re seeing these children taking a steady diet of these pills and we don’t know yet what kind of havoc it is wreaking on the body,” Yagley said. Health impacts of Plan B made headlines last month when European regulators added a warning to the morning-after pill that it may not be as effective in heavier women. The pill’s European version, called Norlevo, will sport a warning to its label stating that: “in clinical trials, contraceptive efficacy was reduced in women weighing 75 kg (165 pounds) or more and levonorgestrel was not effective in women who weighed more than 80 kg (176 pounds).” The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has commented only that they would investigate the issue. The most recent research by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention places the average weight for an American woman at 166 pounds and an American man at 195 pounds. Both European and American versions of the morning-after pill contain the


same active ingredient in the same amount – 1.5 mg of levonorgestrel. Levonorgestrel is a form of progestin, a synthetic hormone widely used in birth control pills. Progestin is the patentable substance that mimics the body’s naturally occurring progesterone, a hormone made in the ovaries that balances out estrogen, maintains insulin and prevents cystic diseases. While other forms of emergency contraception contain other ingredients, Plan B’s levonorgestrel is considered “a second generation” progestin and is the most-widely distributed type of birth control pill worldwide due to its minimal side effects. That said, it still commonly causes “abdominal pain and cramping, irregular periods, bloating and spotting,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Like birth control pills, emergency contraception prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation or making the lining of the uterus “inhospitable” to a fertilized egg. The latter impact upsets the pro-life camp, which compares emergency contraception to the “abortion pill,” known as RU-486 or mifepristone, which induces medical/chemical abortion in pregnant women within 49 days from the first day of their last menstrual period. Groups have also stated their concerns that emergency contraception can lead to a false sense of security, giving rise to risky sexual behavior and increases of sexually transmitted diseases and infections. A pro-life media group, Lifewatch, cites a Washington state-based study where more widespread use of the morning-after pill led “led to a statistically significant increase in STD rates (gonorrhea rates), both overall and for females.” Yagley believes that young girls are most vulnerable to these risks and personally believes that emergency contraception should be used only with “informed consent.” Yagley said that she prays for those who undergo medical abortion, and personally attends and organizes prayer vigils outside Oakland County clinics where the procedures are performed. “I’m praying for these children, their parents, and the entire community that allows this to happen,” Yagley said. The emotionally charged nature of the issue gives rise to demarcations in odd places. resident Barak Obama’s administration, while supporting over-thecounter availability for some, made motions to impose age restrictions on Plan B under an operating principle that young people would find instructions “too complicated,” especially multipill contraceptive options. The generic and multi-pill versions of the pill retails for $10-20 less than Plan B One Step, which carries an average national price tag of $48. The FDA ruled in 2008 that Plan B One-Step could be sold over the counter to women over 18 without a prescription. Then, prompted by cases ruling that age limitations were arbitrary, the restrictions were removed by U.S. District Judge Edward R. Korman in New York, who called the age restrictions “politically motivated” and “scientifically unjustified.” Korman’s April 5, 2013 ruling allowed the sale of the pill to any woman “of childbearing age.” Obama’s administration filed for a stay of the ruling, citing concerns that young women would not understand how to take the pill. Months later, the filing was dropped, leaving a strange situation in place. The generic two-dose version of the pill stays behind the counter with an age restriction, and Teva Pharmaceuticals was basically granted a government-sanctioned monopoly with the exclusive right to sell the drug without a prescription to individuals 17 and under. In our community, the price of the pill varies as does its placement and accessibility. Practices even vary store to store within the same franchise. At Walgreen’s on Woodward in Birmingham, Plan B was on the shelf, but the franchise allows some leeway on this issue, said Emily Hartwig, Walgreen’s Corporate Media Relations spokesperson. “In some stores, the product will be placed in lock boxes on the shelf. These locations are determined strictly on an individual store’s past experience with retail theft,” she said. “All of the products, regardless of the lock box, will have anti-theft sensor tagging.” Additionally, pharmacists and employees with moral qualms about selling Plan B may “step away” from the transaction, she said. “We allow pharmacists and other employees to step away from completing a transaction to which they have a moral objection,” Hartwig said. “Our policy also requires the employee to refer the transaction to another employee or manager on duty who will complete the customer’s request.” At the CVS on Old Woodward in Birmingham, Plan B retails for $49.99. Additionally, CVS carries the cheaper alternative for “Next Choice" contraceptive with a card that a shopper could bring to the pharmacist for an over-17 years old identification check.

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“To comply with the FDA, in August we made Plan B One Step available as a non-pharmacy item and carry it either in the family planning or feminine care sections of our stores,” said Michael J. DeAngelis, CVS’s Pharmacy branch Director of Public Relations. However, Plan B was more difficult to find at smaller, private pharmacies. In Bloomfield Hills, the Medical Park Pharmacy did not carry it at all, but the pharmacist said that she could “order it and have it within a day.” At Mills Pharmacy & Apothecary in Birmingham, it was behind the counter with a price tag of $47. Same scenario at Sav-On Drugs at Maple and Telegraph – you can buy it, but you have to ask. That said, all three of the above pharmacies are small, with their “family planning” or “sex” sections offering a slim selection of items in all areas. The Rite Aid at Maple and Telegraph carried Plan B on the shelf in a lock box. These findings are fairly typical, said Jo Ellen Green Kaiser. As the executive director of The Media Consortium, she collects pharmacy reports in an investigative project called “Where’s Your Plan B?” The website publishes a national map with community-generated findings focused on the placement and accessibility of Plan B One Step. The variability seen in our region is common of what is being reported in Midwestern states with broad interpretations for “on the shelf.” “We found that ‘on the shelf’ in practice means that women still have to ask someone for assistance in order to buy the drug because stores keep it locked up due to theft concerns,” Kaiser said. “In middle America, we found a large number of stores were not complying – they had Plan B at the pharmacy and required ID.” But most of the time, pharmacists and clerks seemed to be acting out of inertia and misinformation as opposed to policy, she said. “For example, some store clerks told reporters that they kept Plan B at the pharmacy because they still had old supplies of Plan B One-Step that were labeled ‘prescription only.’ As they sold out of the old supplies, they would move the drug to the shelf,” Kaiser said. Some segments of the population are currently without any access whatsoever to emergency contraception, namely those in immigration detention, women on reservations and prisoners, she said. ori Lamerand is also concerned about the young women she sees at the health centers within the Planned Parenthood system. Many have been slipped date rape drugs, she said, and while the situation itself is devastating, emergency contraception does provide a certain comfort. “I met a young woman who wasn’t sure if she’d had sex or not because she’d been drugged,” Lamerand. “It was incredibly disconcerting for her not to know if she was part of an intimate act like that.” Most of the women who ask for Plan B in the health centers are ages 19-25 and are trying to either shore up a birth control failure or who have had sex unexpectedly, Lamerand said. She is the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan “Our clients trend toward the better educated. They know they have options,” Lamerand said. “Sex is so complicated and we prepare people so poorly in this country. Anything we can do to give them tools to manage whether they want a child or not, or not at this moment, is really an important thing.” But should young kids who don’t really know what they want have easy access to Plan B? One Walled Lake big sister, who requested to remain nameless, made this comment. “My sister is 16-years-old. She is mostly responsible, but she is still 16years-old and doesn’t really understand consequences. Having Plan B on the shelf is an invitation to misuse the drug and to reinforce irresponsible behavior.” Still the $48 price tag would most likely curb most teens’ ability to use Plan B as regular birth control, she said. No matter who you are – your age, your beliefs or your community – the journey to the sex section of the pharmacy when you’re under stress is a horribly uncomfortable process, said Brittany Batell, a 23-year-old college student from Dexter. She watches individuals and couples agonize over emergency contraception in her duties as a store manager in the University of Michigan’s Safe Sex Store. “There is often a good deal of worry and anxiety, tension between partners, embarrassment about going to a pharmacy to pick it up, and difficulty with the cost of it (emergency contraception).” Batell said. “It is not a pleasant experience, and it is not one that people typically want to repeat.”$1”

The Plan B Journey – from OMG to OTC This timeline is reprinted with permission from Dr. James Trussell of Princeton University’s Office of Population Research and by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals.

History of Plan B OTC: May 1999: Plan B approved as Rx drug by the FDA April 2003: Application submitted to switch Plan B from Rx to OTC; FDA decision due February 2004 December 2003: FDA convenes advisory committee, which votes 23-4 in favor of taking Plan B OTC February 2004: FDA announces that it will delay decision on Plan B up to 90 days May 2004: FDA rejects application to switch Plan B from Rx to OTC, citing lack on data on females younger than 16 June 2004: Congress requests report on FDA decision not to switch Plan B from Rx to OTC (report released in October 2005). Report concludes that decision on Plan B was "highly unusual", and may well have been made months before it was formally announced July 2004: Barr Laboratories submits amended application to make Plan B Rx for females older than 16 and OTC otherwise January 2005: Deadline for FDA to respond to Barr's application July 2005: HHS Secretary Leavitt promises that FDA will act on Barr's application by September 1, 2005, to ensure a vote on Senate confirmation of Lester Crawford as FDA Commissioner August 2005: FDA announces that Plan B is safe for OTC use by women 17 and older, but announces an indefinite delay, citing three concerns (and allowing a 60-day public comment period on the first two questions): Can Plan B be both Rx and OTC depending on age? Can Rx and OTC versions of Plan B be marketed in the same package? Can an age restriction for Plan B be enforced? July 2006: The day before his confirmation hearing, acting FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach publicly invites Barr Labs to resubmit its application by changing the OTC age restriction for Plan B to 18 and older August 18, 2006: Barr labs resubmits its application to make Plan B available OTC to consumers 18 and older, and Rx to women aged 17 and younger August 24, 2006: FDA approves making Plan B available OTC to consumers 18 and older and Rx to women aged 17 and younger November 2006: Barr Labs begins shipping Plan B in new packaging to pharmacies March 23, 2009: Federal judge rules that the FDA must make Plan B available OTC to consumers 17 and older within 30 days and urges the agency to consider removing all age restrictions. April 22, 2009: The FDA announces that Plan B may be sold OTC to women and men aged 17 and older February 7, 2011: Teva submits actual-use study data and labelcomprehension study data on females older than 18 to the FDA December 7, 2011: the FDA is set to approve OTC status for Plan B with no age restriction based on the studies submitted by Teva. However, this action was overruled by the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. 2012: Teva files an amended application to make Plan B One-Step available without prescription to consumers aged 15 and over and to allow it to be available in the family planning section of a pharmacy rather than behind the pharmacy counter; proof of age would still be required at checkout. April 5, 2013: U.S. District Judge Edward R. Korman orders the FDA to allow over-the-counter sales of Plan B One-Step with no age restriction. April 30, 2013: the FDA approves Teva’s amended application, allowing sale of Plan B One-Step on the shelf without prescription for women aged 15 and older. May 1, 2013: U.S. Department of Justice appeals Judge Korman's April 5 ruling, seeks a stay of this order to remove age and point-of-sale requirements. May 10, 2013: Judge Korman denies DOJ's request for a stay, reprimands Administration. June 5, 2013: A 3-judge appeals court denies the DOJ's motion for a stay, demands that 2-pill generic ECPs be made available without restrictions. June 10, 2013: DOJ drops its appeal, agrees to support unrestricted approval of Plan B One-Step if generics remain age-restricted and behind the counter. June 20, 2013: FDA approves Plan B One-Step for unrestricted sale on the shelf.


Jacques Driscoll


t was years after leaving Bloomfield Township and graduating from Bloomfield Hills' Cranbrook Kingswood High School when Jacques Driscoll found himself waiting tables in San Diego, wondering if he should pack it up and return to Detroit. "I went to Michigan State (University) for business, and after graduating I moved to San Diego in about 2006. I took a sales job and sold tree equipment. Grinders and chippers and stuff," Driscoll recounted. "I got laid off from there, and a restaurant was something I always wanted to do, but I never worked at one. I started waiting tables at a sushi place." After learning the service side of the business, Driscoll worked for about six months at a catering company. Having a crash course in the restaurant business, Driscoll decided he would return to Detroit and try opening his own restaurant. Less than two years later, the Green Dot Stables at 2200 W. Lafayette in Detroit has become one of the hottest restaurants in the metro Detroit area. "I convinced my wife to move to Detroit. My thought was, 'if I don't do it now, I would never do it,'" Driscoll said. "She had only been here once, so it was pretty unknown to her in terms of good and bad scenes, but she didn't have any negative thoughts. A lot of my friends' parents during high school wouldn't let them come to Detroit. But Christine was open to it, and we ended up making it happen."

Hoping to set up a restaurant and menu based on quality food and a low price point, Green Dot Stables specializes in sliders. All kinds of sliders. From vegan options like kale and chimichurri to kobe beef or fried bologna with onions, everything on the menu is available for $4 or less. The idea, Driscoll said, was based in part on his father's car wash, which was built by offering customers $2 and $3 car washes. "I really wanted to do tacos and tequila, from the experience I had in San Diego. There's not a lot of that here, but it evolved over time," Driscoll said. "It evolved into sliders and bourbon, which seems to fit the atmosphere and Detroit better. I think that was a good choice." Without an advertising budget, Driscoll said they spread word of the restaurant by donating food during events and doing everything they could to let people know about Green Dot Stables. It also served to perfect the menu, which longtime friend Lee Molnar helped to improve. "I would throw things out there, and he puts his culinary touch on it and makes it work," Driscoll said. A restaurant for years, Driscoll and his wife re-opened in May of 2012, and since its unique menu options and low price point has earned Green Dot Stables a top spot on the list of metro Detroit restaurants. "It's been awesome,� Driscoll said of the restaurant's success. "It's already far exceeded our expectations." Story: Kevin Elliott

Photo: Esme McClear


e recognize the face of hunger when it's cold and blustery. But the reality is that for those seeking assistance, and for food banks and food pantries which provide aid and support for them, the need exists year round. Soup, vegetables, fish and fruit that are the staple of canned food drives account for only a small percentage of the million of pounds of food distributed to hungry people throughout southeast Michigan each year. The real meat and potatoes are donated by the truckload by food manufacturers, farms, grocery stores and restaurants who provide food pantries and food banks with surplus goods. Another 10,000 tons of food will be purchased in bulk at discounted rates and delivered to local agencies and food pantries where supply and demand often follows a roller coaster ride of feast or famine conditions.

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"The biggest dip in food begins at the end of the summer through the fall. That's when it's hardest to keep the shelves stocked," said Robin Maloney, executive director of Open Door Outreach Center in Waterford. "By the middle of October, that's when you see the pace pick up on donations. By November 1, it really feels like a holiday. But there's really a need during the summer and early fall." Open Door's food pantry serves residents in Waterford, White Lake, West Bloomfield, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Commerce, Walled Lake and parts of Wixom. And despite a reported uptick in economic conditions, Maloney said the center is seeing more families in need now than ever. "In terms of demand and the number of clients, we have seen a drastic increase over the past few months," Maloney said. "In October, we had an all time high in clients, with 305 households and over 12,000 pounds of food. We are continually taking appointments for new clients and existing clients as well. There is a steady need for food assistance." Seasonal food fluctuations are typical at most of the food pantries where food is available to people in need. The abundance of food during the winter months is particularly helpful at that time of year when freezing temperatures lead to increased gas bills for families struggling to make ends meet. In addition to those who have lost their jobs or their homes, there are those families in need who are living hand-to-mouth or paycheck to paycheck who must decide between paying existing or overdue bills and putting gas in their car, or buying groceries. Some families may be experiencing additional strains this winter, as federal stimulus funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly the federal food stamps program, expired at the beginning of November 2013. That's a loss of about $7.5 million in the five county-area of southeast Michigan, and an estimated loss of about $1.2 million in Oakland County, or about 488,501 meals per month, said Anne Schenk, vice president of marketing and communications for Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan. leaners mission has been to fight hunger in southeast Michigan. They have broad community support, both from donors and member agencies, which include more than 522 partner pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe Counties. There are more than 150 partners in Oakland County alone. Schenk said the cuts are currently the biggest factor impacting the emergency food system and causing an increase in needs. Additional SNAP cuts were approved in September by the U.S. House of Representatives, but have received little action in the senate. However, other factors, such as a cut in tax deductions for annual donations, may also have impacted the generosity of some private donors. Likewise, it's hard to predict exactly how the economy and unemployment will play out in the new year. "It's difficult to estimate hard numbers. It's hard to estimate what people are going to do, how long it will take to find employment to meet their needs, or if they move, so it's hard to get precise projections," Schenk said. "We know for certain that pressure on the emergency food system isn't going to let up until we see a real noticeable uptick in employment. We still have one of the highest unemployment rates in Michigan. That's the main thing that needs to change before we see a reduction in needs for food. Government cutbacks, particularly, makes it much more difficult for families to sustain and feed themselves." The largest amount of food (38 percent) distributed by Gleaners is purchased in bulk at a discounted price from suppliers. About 24 percent of the food comes from government sources; 15 percent comes from grocers, retailers and merchants; 8 percent from donations other than food drives; 6 percent from local food drives; 5 percent from food manufacturers; 3 percent from food bank networks; and about 1 percent from community gardens and farms. "Gleaners isn't going to run out of food," Schenk said. "We always carry an inventory that ranges between a million and three million (pounds). Certainly, the more we get in, the more we can get to our partners. We can never distribute enough for all the needs out there." Overall, Gleaners distributes about 42 million pounds of food per year to its partner agencies throughout southeast Michigan. The majority of Gleaner's partners include food pantries, which then make food directly available to clients and families in need.

Another model of hunger rescue is Forgotten Harvest, which began in 1990 to relieve hunger in metropolitan Detroit by rescuing surplus, prepared and perishable food and donating it to emergency food providers. "Forgotten Harvest isn't a food bank, it's a rescue organization. We fight hunger and waste," said John Owens, communications director. "We have about 34 trucks that run every day, and we rescue food that would otherwise be thrown out from grocery chains, farms and others, and we distribute to 280 agencies across the tri-county area." Forgotten Harvest provides food to the agencies free of charge, and specializes in fresh, healthy perishable foods, such as produce, meats and other items. "All the food we can rescue that has been surplus or close to expiration, for whatever reason – we pick it up in the morning and distribute it to agencies during the day," Owens said. “It's generally on the table by the end of the night." ll told, the organization rescued about 45.5 million pounds of food in 2012. That's nearly 50 million pounds of food that would otherwise be wasted. In total, it's estimated about 95 to 150 billion pounds of food is wasted each year across the nation. In 2010, 48.8 million Americans lived in food insecure households, meaning they weren't sure what and where they would be eating that day. "We serve people of all backgrounds, in every single neighborhood. The needs aren't diminishing, they continue to grow," Owens said. "It may grow larger due to many of the budget cuts that everyone is aware of." As with Gleaners and local food pantries, food donations at Forgotten Harvest tend to peak during the holidays and taper off throughout following year. The largest need of the organization, Owens said, is funding to keep operations steady. "The food is there, but in order to get to the food we have to keep our trucks running," he said. "The funds to keep that going are critical." Funding for Forgotten Harvest comes from individuals, foundations and corporations in southeast Michigan. Although the organization has grown its donor base from about 16,000 to 96,000 people over the past five years, a great deal of work is done by volunteers – which are in particular need during the winter months, Owens said. Donovan Neal, executive director of Hospitality House in Walled Lake, said staff at the organization runs on the lean side to save money. "I've been here for five months, and I've already seen the feast or famine type situations, where there's lots of food or very little," Neal said. "One thing we have done recently to get through the slumps is to join with the Emergency Food Assistance Program. That has bolstered our food by about 5,000 pounds. We purchase half, and the other half is donations." Hospitality House, like other food pantries, receives food from Gleaners, as well as other sources, including groceries, businesses, schools and religious organizations. The organization distributes more than 35,000 pounds of food to about 750 households each month. Hospitality House, which serves individuals and families within the Walled Lake Consolidated School District, serves about 600 families a month. Families must fall below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to receive assistance from the organization. Neal said keeping staff levels low and tightening up on requirements is one way the organization copes with shortfalls. "We run very lean. There is only myself and a warehouse business manager. Everyone else is a volunteer," Neal said. "As food prices increase – Gleaners has difficulties at times, so their costs go up and we experience that on the backend – we have had to change some business parameters. There is more internal verifying of who is eligible within the district. We only service those within the Walled Lake school district, so we have to make sure they fit in that boundary. We are doing our due diligence." Lynn Martin, director of the Ladies of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul at St. Hugo of the Hills Catholic Church in Bloomfield Hills, said the organization serves about 18,000 people in Oakland County each year. The Ladies provide food, clothing and household items to those in need. The organization is entirely run by volunteers, with at least 70 active each week. "It stays fairly steady, but we only have so much space, resources and funds," Martin said. "We can only deal with social service agencies, not the client directly. If we have items to give, the case or social worker

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has to pick them up and drop them off to the client. People can donate by dropping items off here." Martin said the organization helps about 500 to 600 clients each month with food. Like other food pantries, Yad Ezra's primary source of food and groceries is through Gleaners, which provides them with items for about 12 cents a pound, sometimes more, depending on how much the items cost Gleaners or what the food pantry had to pay for it. Yad Ezra, in Berkley, is Michigan's only Kosher food pantry and is a member of the Food Bank Council of Michigan. "From a logical and practical standpoint, if we go to a supermarket and price out items and what it would cost in retail versus what it costs Yad Ezra, because of our buying power and discounts, for a family of five, a package that would cost $170 retail costs about $80 at Yad Ezra," said Lea Luger, development director for Yad Ezra. The pantry serves about 1,300 families each month, which represents about 3,000 people, who are able to choose items they want while visiting the pantry. Most of the food available to clients is purchased by Yad Ezra, as it is a kosher pantry and the cost of items may be slightly higher. "Thank God we have a lot of generous, dedicated supporters. We are able to meet the demand by supplying enough food for everyone who comes through our doors for assistance," Luger said. "The Farm Bill is still being debated, and who knows what will happen with Detroit. We don't know what's in store for us, but we feel morally obligated to help anyone who comes to our door in need." Luger said the need from clients is slightly lower than it was at the peak of the economic crisis, when the pantry served about 1,700 families a month. Still, she said, there is large number of people having trouble making ends meet. "There were times after the economy tanked when people called us crying saying that they were former donors and now needed our assistance," Luger said. The demand remains high. Like other pantries, those receiving



hile thousands of families in Oakland County were settling into their couches to watch the Detroit Lions trounce the Green Bay Packers before digging into a pile of mashed potatoes, gravy and stack of roasted turkey, Duane Duke and Jessica Williams were sharing their stories of loss and redemption at the Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac over their Thanksgiving meal. "Be thankful," said Duke, a 29-year-old recovering heroin addict. "There is a reason you're here. God is using my testimony and your skills to help someone else." Four months into a one-year program that aims to take people from homelessness to homeownership, Duke found himself at Grace Centers of Hope after running into trouble and living on the streets of Detroit's Cass corridor. "By trouble, I mean I had a barrel of a .45 in my mouth and a needle sticking out of my arm," he said. "I had nowhere to go." Eventually, Duke turned himself in to authorities for outstanding warrants. He served 90 days in the Oakland County Jail, and went through 90 days of drug treatment. With six months of sobriety behind him, Duke turned to Grace Centers of Hope to help get out of the revolving nature of the system and open new doors. Despite a three-month waiting list, the center was able to bring him into the program and help him start facing his problems directly.

help from Yad Ezra must fall within 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline. That means while federal guidelines don't consider a family of four making $23,500 annually to be impoverished, Yad Ezra helps the same family making up to $47,000. The qualifications and continued economic hardships, Luger said, has brought in new clients that haven't navigated the system before now. "They don't know where to turn, and they are embarrassed. They sometimes wait too long to ask for help before their situation has almost hit rock bottom," Luger said. "At this point, it's been a couple years already, so they are learning to deal with things, but we still have people every week who just lost a job or are going into foreclosure. It's not as dramatic as three or four years ago when we were getting those calls daily." Doris Nelson, director of Troy People Concerned, said the number of people still needing help is higher than people often expect, particularly in areas where incomes have traditionally been well above the poverty guidelines. Nelson said the organization works strictly with families and individuals in Troy. Among the assistance the organization offers is holiday gift baskets at Thanksgiving and Christmas time to help ensure that families can have a holiday meal. The organization served more than 55 families this Thanksgiving, or more than 200 people in Troy. The baskets, Nelson said, help families who are struggling to survive. Troy People Concerned also assists with emergency situations, such as helping with one-time payments to keep utilities on or avoid eviction. "People have said, 'Troy? You must be kidding, if you live in Troy you are doing alright,'" Nelson said. "But that's not the case." The majority of resources the organization offers comes from donations from Troy-area churches and individuals. "They lose jobs or have lost jobs in the past when we had the big economic downturn, and they never got back up to where they were," Nelson said. "They took temporary jobs and they never got back up. That's what they are striving to do. In the meantime, it's hard to get there. People have taken jobs at McDonald's or wherever they can because they can. It's difficult to ask for assistance."

"I was in trouble as much as you can be, and I've found there's something in my heart for helping others," Duke said, who discovered the healing power of helping others. "I've grown closer with God, and can work on my own issues of abandonment, loneliness and abuse." The gratefulness Duke expressed isn't just air for Thanksgiving Day. He knows his spot in the program is in high demand. Each month, the center turns away between 400 and 500 people hoping to get into the center's 30day temporary assistance program or one-year program, said Pastor Kent Clark, CEO of Grace Centers of Hope. "We just don't have enough room," Clark said of the center, which provides a home to about 200 men, women and children, making it the largest homeless shelter in Oakland County. In order to better meet the demand for help, the center recently purchased the former Clutch Cargo property at 65 E. Huron Street. About 99 percent of the food cooked each day at the shelter is donated, said Mickey Dodge, director of food services for the center. Roughly 100 additional plates are served on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas, as staff encourages residents to invite family for lunch and dinner services if they don't have a home of their own. Clark said clients come to the center through different paths, including word of mouth, referrals from other agencies, as well as the court system.

Jessica Williams said she had been in and out of jail for probation offenses when her probation officer guided her to Grace Centers of Hope. "I was getting ready to get probation and told my probation officer I needed help," she said. "I said, 'I need you to save my life because I don't know how.'" On Thanksgiving, Williams was nine months into the year long program and had been drug free for 10 months. The program, she said, has helped her realize she has the ability to change her life for the better, including establishing a better relationship with her 18-year-old daughter and other family members. "I don't say that I'm going to change anymore. Now, I just work to do it," she said. "My sister told me she is proud of me, and it's real." Nine months into the program, Williams started steps toward transitioning out of the shelter, which includes finding employment and housing. Throughout the entire time, the shelter has provided warm meals to her and other clients in the one-year and 30-day programs. "It's not a food kitchen, so we feed people every day," Dodge said, who added the center is fortunate to have adequate storage space to help make it through the peaks and valleys of the year. "From Thanksgiving to the first of the year, we probably receive more donations in those six weeks than in the following four months."

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athleen Curran was looking for a vacation spot in 2001 where she could pick up a new language when she took a trip to South America. The former practicing attorney ended up discovering a new purpose to her life in helping others. "The motive was to learn Spanish. And I love to travel," Curran said. "I went to an orphanage in Bolivia, and it just grabbed hold of me. I was going to stay there for a month, and that turned into a year. I would say, 'I can't leave now, how will they get food? Who will help them with homework?' The crises on a daily basis are never ending." The importance of education was stressed from an early age in Curran's home while growing up in Birmingham, and eventually led her from Marian High School to the University of Detroit Mercy where she earned her law degree. She spent six years practicing law, including a stint in Chicago with the Jones Day law firm. But it was through teaching that Curran discovered a new calling. "I was on autopilot, but I felt like my soul was in my work," she said. "I jumped out of bed every day." Overwhelmed with the needs of her students, the onemonth trip turned into a longterm project that resulted in Curran founding Mission Keep the Faith Bolivia, a non-profit mission in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, dedicated to lifting young Bolivians out of poverty through education and love. The mission was named after a scripture verse and Curran's late father's unofficial motto: “You gotta keep the faith, kid." In its 10 years of operation, the mission has helped more than 50 students graduate from a university or vocational school, and has provided more than 200 kids with school supplies. "I really understand what it's meant by the term, 'cycle of poverty,'" Curran said, noting that less than 25 percent of students in rural Bolivia graduate from high school, and less than 3 percent go to university. "If you are born poor in a place like Bolivia, you stay poor. Really poor. A lot has to do with education. There was no opportunity for them after high school. The men would have to stay there and work in the fields. The girls would wash dishes, or more likely, laundry." While she had no formal training as an educator, Curran spent about four years teaching students in rural areas of Bolivia. Concerned that she wasn't reaching all of her students, particularly those with learning disabilities, Curran recently completed her master's degree in education at Northwestern University. "A lot of people thought it wouldn't work," Curran said. "I have kids that grew up in homes with mud walls and thatched roofs, and now they are doctors and business people." In the future, Curran said she hopes to continue providing resources and teachers to children in Bolivia, but would like to relocate to Detroit and teach in the area, where she hopes to help improve the lives of local children. "I was brought up in a home where education was the highest priority," she said, "but I was really astounded at the power of education, and how it can transform lives." Story: Kevin Elliott

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Rabbi lied, resigns from local temple By Lisa Brody

Keren Alpert, a popular educator and rabbi at Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Township, tendered her resignation to the temple's board of director's on Thursday, November 21, after it was discovered she had never attended rabbinical training as she had told the temple she had. Raymond Rosenfeld, president of Temple Beth El's board, said that Alpert joined the staff of the temple in 2004 as an educator and then became a rabbinic associate in 2007. “Rabbinic associate was a position she would hold while she was going to school to gain educational credentials that we wanted for ordination and for her to be engaged as a rabbi at Temple Beth El,” Rosenfeld said. “Then, in May 2012, we had an ordination at Temple Beth El on the assumption, the assurance, that Keren had completed her education.” Alpert had led the temple to believe that she had enrolled and attended ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal ordination programs in Philadelphia. A non-traditional seminary, it blends a variety of modalities of learning, including its own retreats, seminars and tele/video-conference courses, along with other distance learning programs and courses and coursework undertaken in universities, colleges, synagogues and seminaries to which a student has access, supervised by each student's director of studies. Rabbi Marcia Prager, director and dean of the ordination program, stated that Alpert was never enrolled and had never applied to ALEPH. Rosenfeld acknowledged that Temple Beth El did not contact ALEPH to verify her ordination when they celebrated as a congregation her rabbinic ordination. “We went on her word – she was a known entity,” he said. “She was not someone from outside the community. She assured many of us that she had completed her education.” The discovery of her lie occurred about six months ago when the board asked Alpert, a Grosse Pointe resident, if she would participate in the ALEPH ordination ceremony in addition to the temple's ceremony. “We assumed she was fully qualified to,” Rosenfeld said. “In modern Judaism in American, the

overwhelming majority of Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist rabbis are ordained at seminaries.” Rosenfeld said Alpert agreed, and from there they ultimately learned that she had not enrolled in any rabbinic ordination program or courses, although she had taken a pre-rec course for student with no pulpit experience. Her resignation was accepted on Thursday, November 21, and Rosenfeld sent a letter to the congregation on Friday, November 22, stating, “In recent days, Keren admitted that over the past five years she was not truthful with the clergy, leadership and congregation. Specifically, she did not initiate or complete a rabbinic training program, and did not disclose this fact. Accordingly both her ordination and her position at Temple Beth El were accepted under false pretenses.” Rabbi Prager said, “In the world in which we live, the misrepresentation of credentials is something that happens. It rarely goes unnoticed and it always brings shame and sorrow to those involved. It is our sincere prayer that the congregation finds leadership in this time of healing.” Rosenfeld also wrote to fellow congregants, “we have consulted multiple authorities who all concur that even though Keren never trained as a rabbi, the Jewish rites that she performed over the past year are still absolutely valid, including all weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, conversions and baby namings.” Prager concurred. “From a Jewish perspective, those weddings, conversions, bar and bat mitzvahs that she officiated at are valid because neither weddings nor conversions require a rabbi, just someone expert in the practice of Jewish law. Young people become bar or bat mitzvah whether there is a celebration or not. I would think Keren was an expert, but I do not know. She was highly regarded by other rabbis in the region, and I have been told other rabbis were present during ceremonies she officiated at.” Rosenfeld said the congregation is moving forward. “We have already engaged a new lead rabbi, Rabbi Mark Miller, from Houston, TX, who will begin on March 1, 2014, as Rabbi Daniel Syme steps aside and Rabbi Miller provides leadership for Temple Beth El,” he said, noting that transition has been in the works for two years, and was announced at the congregation's Rosh Hashana services, prior to Alpert's revelation.

ighteen months after it was first begun, Birmingham City Commissioners on Monday, November 25, unanimously approved a resolution receiving the Multi-Modal Transportation Plan which will now be used to guide city staff as it begins implementing it for policy and program recommendations for all future transportation projects in Birmingham. Birmingham Planning Director Jana Ecker told commissioners that over the last 18 months they had heard a lot about the plan, seen four drafts from Norm Cox of Greenway Collectives in Ann Arbor, had appointed a steering committee comprised of different constituencies representing the community, did a nine-mile bicycle tour and a twomile walk of different roadways and paths with the steering committee, and held three public hearings. “The latest draft is a plan that's meant to be a guide,” Ecker said. Cox, who works at The Greenway Collaborative, works on greenways projects, complete streets and sustainable design. They were hired by the city of Birmingham over a year ago to determine Birmingham's multi-modal desires and needs, and to come up with a multi-modal transportation master plan which can be implemented in different phases over 20 years or so. Cox told commissioners there was actually a higher cost of doing nothing than of implementing a multimodal transportation plan, which considers the needs of all users. “From 2004 – 2011, automobiles struck 67 pedestrians and 44 bicyclists,” Cox told commissioners. “That's about one crash a month. Not only is that terrible for those who were in the accident, but it's a huge toll on drivers. Fears stop us. We want to make sure what we're doing is right. The cost of the crashes is $17 million; $2.1 million a year, or about $104 per resident. The cost of Phase 1 & 2 of the plan is about $2.3 million. If we do just the basic framework, there will be a cost savings.” Cox said that not only can the city anticipate a decrease in crashes, but also an increase in health, with more people walking and using bicycles. “We also need to prepare for more seniors in Birmingham,” he said. He noted that currently 14 percent of the population is 65 or older, but are responsible for 28 percent of the crashes. By 2040, they will be 20 percent of the population. “You need to prepare for them by creating shorter cross walks, better visibility, traffic islands, traffic calming measures and better access to transit,” Cox pointed out. He also said that these same measures will help position Birmingham for the new economy and appeal to younger demographics. “You have lost about 1,100 younger people in the last census,” he said. “You need to appeal to an educated youth, high equity immigrants and entrepreneurs. Pedestrian and bicycle linkages and access to transit is key to this demographics.” Cox said about 90 percent of the costs are for improving pedestrian improvements, “but they speak to your brand as a walkable community.” Many residents appeared at the meeting to speak out against the plan, especially concerned about the possibility of changing W. Maple between Cranbrook and Southfield roads into a three-lane road with one lane of traffic in each direction, a center turn lane, and bike lanes on each side, from its current configuration, and possibly removing the light at Lake Park. Commissioners, Ecker and city manager Bob Bruner all emphasized that they saw the plan as a guide, without specific recommendations for set streets, and W. Maple would not be addressed directly until it was actually time to work on it. “Each corridor or intersection should be revisited and studied prior to construction,” Cox pointed out. “The plan is full of places where additional analysis is required,” Bruner said. “This is a guide which will help staff walk the walk on specific projects.” Several commissioners, prior to the unanimous vote of support, compared the plan to other master plans in the past, from the 2016 master plan to the city's parks master plan, which are used as guides that are “living, breathing documents.”







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Pine Lake Frontage WEST BLOOMFIELD Open & bright floor plan with floor to ceiling window views of magnificent private lake, tiered deck & lush landscape. Gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite island and new cabinetry adjoining huge & bright breakfast room. Five bedrooms with four baths. 213093602. $ 1,299,0 00. R enee Lossia Acho

Breathtaking Contemporary BIRMINGHAM Incredible opportunity to own 2012 Detroit Home Design Award winner home. Only the finest materials were used including Arriscraft stone veneer, Kawneer commercial windows and door, 2 story living room with floating fireplace, and state of the art kitchen. Three bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 213120780. $ 1,199,000. Mia Bar dy

Great Potential BIRMINGHAM Charming in town home with 4,383 square feet, newer appliances, large master suite, second floor library and laundry. Land contract possible. Four bedrooms with 4.3 baths. 213203010. $899,000. Na ncy Beachu m


Wood Lake frontage in the City of Bloomfield Hills! This custom built estate features dramatic stone entrance with a hill top setting and panoramic views of the lake. Featured in Design Magazine for superior quality and unique design. Fabulous! Four bedrooms with 3.2 baths. 213040393. $2,599,000. Ronni Keating

Coventry Lake Frontage FRANKLIN VILLAGE Masterful designer house by Jeffrey King Interiors on peaceful & quiet lake, sophisticated architecture, & secluded 1.13 rolling hills make this contemporary Franklin home a true gem. Well appointed kitchen, entry level master suite, finished lower level walkout with bluestone patio. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 213072719. $1,575,000. Cindy Kahn

European Style BIRMINGHAM Stunning Contemporary home on a park like setting close to Rouge River trails! Spectacular open floor plan, two story great room with stone fireplace, oak floors & big windows. Gourmet custom kitchen with top of line appliances. State of the art patio with built-in GE grill. Five bedrooms with 4.1. 213069864 $1,290,000. Sil via Stan

Magnificent Landscaping BLOOMFIELD HILLS Updated walk-out Ranch with open floor plan that takes full advantage of the views of the treed park-like yard, including ornamental pond & pathways. Spacious first floor master's suite and newer island kitchen. Five bedrooms with 3.2 baths. 213119664. $1,150,000. Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublitsky

A Bit of Paris BIRMINGHAM European elegance and sophistication exudes a gracious historic lifestyle. Filled with very custom millwork, wrought iron, exquisite stonework, 10' ceilings, marble & granite baths, French doors. European courtyard with fountain, hand-carved Limestone entrance. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 2137099032. $859,000. Paula Law & Mike Cot ter Equal Housing Opportunity


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Transitional Contemporary


OXFORD Four levels of living space perched on a hilltop overlooking 2+acres, in-ground pool and fabulous landscaping. Open floor plan takes in natures view from all windows. Gourmet kitchen with high end appliances and spectacular finished lower level. Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 213201126. $849,900. Susan Johnson

Steeplechase Subdivision

Eclectic Custom Designed

Many upgrades & custom features. Grand 2 story foyer open to pillared living room, dining room & library. Double door to private study, gourmet kitchen, nook overlooking 2 story family room. Walk-out lower level. Clubhouse with fitness center and 2 pools. Four bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 213099680. $649,000. Felicia Scappat icci

Very open and free flowing floor plan with great natural light and many skylights to enhance the natural open beauty of each room. Dramatic 2 story great room, first floor master. Large wooden deck off the great room for outdoor entertaining and barbecuing. Three bedrooms with two baths. 213202580. $579, 000. T. Geral d Etue

Springbrook Estate

Magnificent Landscaped Lot WEST BLOOMFIELD

STERLING HEIGHTS Beautiful newer build Tudor boasts lots of room and great private rear yard. There is a formal living room, dining room with bay window, study with wet bar, great room off of the large kitchen breakfast area. Utica Schools. Lots of updates. Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 213119551. $412,000. Donn a Barlow

Grand foyer and impressive staircase greet you as you enter into the open and sprawling floor plan. Stunning in ground Gunite pool. Perfect house for entertaining. Kitchen is spacious and totally updated with beautiful wood floors and granite. Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 213102217. $399,900. Kris Barich and Molly Henn egha n

Wooded Ravine Setting

Lots of Updates



A lovely home with neutral colors and wood trim throughout, front patio with professionally landscaped gardens, fireplace in living room. Granite in kitchen and master bath. Finished basement with daylight windows. Great decks. Three bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 213113064. $324,900. Ca ndice Cu yler

Restoration Hardware inspired center entrance Colonial remodeled in 2012. Bright open concept kitchen with white Merillat cabinetry, granite counter tops, GE profile stainless appliances. Hardwood flooring throughout. Partially finished basement with lots of storage. Three bedrooms with 1.1 baths. 213203518. $319,900. Julie Dea n

Pembrook Park BIRMINGHAM Wonderful updated Bungalow with upstairs full bath! Second full bath on main level. Nice hardwood floors throughout, great sunroom off back opening to paver patio. Finished basement. Professionally landscaped. Four bedrooms with two baths. 213112923. $284,900. B ill Tracy

Equal Housing Opportunity

Great home for a family! 4,000 sq ft of open living space, 2005 sq ft of finished basement. Gorgeous brick paver deck with stainless steel BBQ unit & kitchen outside! Four bedrooms with 4.2 baths. 213061736. $699,000. Sandra Treboldi



Great Curb Appeal

Spacious Updated Ranch ROYAL OAK Hardwood floors throughout with granite kitchen, cherry cabinets and stainless steel appliances. Newer windows, hot water heater and new 95% efficient furnace. Finished basement, attic fan, back covered porch and shed. Beautiful home in a great neighborhood. Four bedrooms with 1.1 baths. 213200417. $259,000. Lisa & Tony Scaccia


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CITY/ TOWNSHIP Review of Kenning Park options begins In a meeting open for public comment, the Birmingham Parks and Recreation Committee met on Tuesday, December 3, to begin reviewing plan options for reworking Kenning Park. The Johnson Hill Land Ethics Studio of Ann Arbor presented two different options for the park, each with several alternatives, in order to make the most efficient use of the park's space. Kenning Park, situated on 22 acres, is one of the largest parks in Birmingham. It has several baseball diamonds, four public tennis courts, a skate park and a playground, as well as picnic tables. A need to improve the park's parking lot, including drainage and pavement, prompted the evaluation of the rest of the park. The city previously looked at improvements to Kenning Park in 2010 and 2011, but costs to upgrade it at that time, based on proposed plans, were determined to be too costly. An initial public workshop on October 17 provided Johnson Hill and the parks and recreation committee with feedback on how to begin the design planning process. During that workshop, members of the community discussed various improvements for the park's parking lot and overall park area. They identified strengths and weaknesses of the current park configuration and usage patterns, and discussed what kinds of future amenities and potential reconfiguration of the existing park features could be incorporated into the park. In their first master plan draft, which they presented at the December 3 meeting, Johnson Hill stated, “All options and alternatives include the following: four ball diamonds, clustered on the east side of the park to make more efficient use of the space available. We propose that all diamonds be fenced...If the decision is made to eliminate one ball diamond, we suggest the southernmost one.” Their plan continues, “An expansion zone for an additional sheet of ice at the SW corner of the ice rink; a snow melt area near the ice rink; relocation of the skate park to the vacant parcel at the NE corner of Lincoln and S. Eton; two park

Deli Unique closes at Radisson Hotel By Lisa Brody


eli Unique, a deli and restaurant favorite for years on Woodward in Bloomfield Hills, closed its doors for the final time on Sunday, December 22, after being unable to come to terms with the Radisson Hotels & Suites to extend its lease. Deli Unique has been a fixture at 39495 Woodward Avenue in the Radisson Hotel since 1987, when the hotel was still the Kingsley Inn. Its 80-seat diner had become a power meeting place for breakfast and lunch since it opened, offering deli specialties, soups, huge fluffy omelets and salads. Last month, North Lakes Seafood, also part of The Epicurean Group, closed its doors in the Radisson, and recently reopened in The Met Hotel on Crooks in Troy. At the time of Northern Lakes closing, Eric Djordjevic, president of The Epicurean Group, said he was hopeful that his company and the Radisson could come to terms on a long-term lease so that Deli Unique could continue on Woodward, and The Epicurean Group could reopen the former seafood restaurant as a new concept restaurant. “We were not able to come to terms with the Radisson on the former Northern Lakes or Deli Unique space,” Djordjevic said. “I don't think we're going to have an extension of our operations.” He said the upside was that they have opened a new restaurant, Epic Cafe, in The Met Hotel, “which will have a lot of our old favorites, from our sandwiches and especially our soups. We're taking the best parts of Deli Unique, starting with the staff, and our most popular dishes, and will take those great elements and still have chef-inspired elements for people looking for casual dining that is more than just a deli.” He said the menu, which will continue to offer Deli Unique's Reuben and double deli sandwiches, Michigan chicken salad and soups, will also have strong seasonal offerings which will change often. He said they will continue to deliver and offer their traditional tray catering. The Met Hotel is at 5498 Crooks Road in Troy.

pavilions; expanded play area; a free standing park restroom building; a one/half mile long walking/jogging path at the perimeter of the park.” Lauren Wood, director of public services, said the meeting was another opportunity for the public and the committee “to chime in, ask questions and look at viable options.” From the input at the meeting, Johnson Hill will examine the plans and narrow down the options to be presented again at a future parks and recreation meeting. “The park is jam-packed with a lot of amenities, from baseball, tennis, soccer, a play area,” Wood said. “People like certain aspects. With every option there are different costs. We're still doing conceptual ideas. Later, we'll do the conceptual costs. The board will ultimately come up with the right plan and give direction to the city commission, but right now we're getting public input on active and passive athletics. We're still in the early stages of what belongs here, what do people want to see in Kenning Park, and how they want to use it.”.

Outdoor ice rink open at Barnum Although warm weather has thrown a wrench in cith plans, the outdoor ice skating rink at Barnum Park in Birmingham has opened, according to Lauren Wood, director of public services. Lincoln Hills Golf Course, at 14 Mile Road at Cranbrook, has also opened for sledding and cross country skiing. The Barnum outdoor ice rink is located in Barnum Park, at the corner of Frank and Purdy. After a great deal of research, the parks and recreation board determined that was the best location within the park to place it. There is no parking on the west side of Frank Street, next to the ice rink, and permit parking only is required next to the businesses on Frank. On Purdy, there is three-hour parking permitted next to the ice rink and permit parking only on the residential side of the street. Wood said that once the rink is open, it will stay open for the entire winter, as long as the weather cooperates. “We never know when it opens,


and it's open then for the whole winter,” she said.

Student rep spots proposed for boards At a study session for the Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees on Wednesday, December 4, township clerk Jan Roncelli proposed inviting high school students who live in Bloomfield Township to sit on township boards in an effort to develop future leaders and to provide boards and commissions with the perspectives of the students. “They (the trustees) were very supportive of the idea,” Roncelli said of the proposal. “It was favorably received and we will meet at another time to discuss it further.” Roncelli presented trustees with a packet consisting of information from four other local communities with programs which incorporate local students in junior leadership on municipal boards. She provided detailed information from Novi, Farmington Hills, Birmingham and Rochester Hills. “Each community has very different criteria and involvement. Some have youth advisory boards and some don't,” she said, noting that students would not have a vote on any board or commission they would be invited to sit on. Preliminary recommendations for student representatives for township boards and commissions would be that they must be a township resident and attend a local high school, public, private or parochial. It would promote student leadership and participation in local government; and “influences the education of our youth in the decision-making process, group communication, and service to the community,” Roncelli wrote in her proposal. It also demonstrates the importance of citizen participation and feedback, and provides township boards and commissions with a student perspective. Further, Roncelli noted, it benefits the residents of Bloomfield Township by empowering future community leaders. “Overall, trustees thought it was high time we did this. There are actually more communities that have this than don't. It's a great opportunity to develop future leaders,” she said. “I would want a liaison, a mentor for the youth sitting on our boards, with a different person for each board.” After studying how the four different communities approach student representatives, the board of trustees will take up the possibility again after the first of the year. 49

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Commission names four to committee By Lisa Brody

After interviewing 18 interested candidates, the Birmingham City Commission appointed four members of the public to the Greenwood Cemetery Advisory Committee on Monday, December 9. The advisory committee for Greenwood Cemetery was created in October in order to examine how to maintain the cemetery, whether services should be outsourced, to prepare recommendations for the reclamation of abandoned burial sites, if more burial spaces should be created, and whether a permanent endowment should be developed for perpetual care after some residents complained regarding a service contract for Greenwood Cemetery with Historic Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit in June in order to save Birmingham $30,000 a year for maintenance. Currently there are no burial sites available in the cemetery and there is a wait list for plots. The committee is to be comprised of seven community members, as well as city manager Bob Bruner and city clerk Laura Pierce, who will set the agenda and take minutes. Three of the positions were appointed from the Birmingham Historic Museum, Friends of the Museum and the Historic District Committee. The city commission, in setting up the advisory committee, determined that the other spots should be comprised of one member of the general public who owns a grave and intends to be interred in Greenwood Cemetery; another must have a family member who is currently interred in the cemetery; one committee member of the general public who does not currently own a grave at the cemetery; and one member should be a licensed funeral director. Of the 18 interested candidates who interviewed before the commission at the November 25 city commission meeting, there were three licensed funeral directors, and several members of the community who overlapped in categories. Mayor Scott Moore directed commissioners that they would go through the categories of open committee seats to nominate 52

community members who had interviewed that they felt were particularly qualified, and then they would vote. If there was not a majority vote, they would revote until they attained a majority vote for that category. Commissioner Rackeline Hoff requested a mix of male and female members be voted onto the committee to reflect the community. Laura Ann Schreiner was appointed as the member of the general public who does not currently own a grave at Greenwood Cemetery. Daniel Share was appointed as a member of the public who owns a grave and intends to be interred at Greenwood Cemetery. Linda Peterson was appointed as a member of the public who is a family member of an individual currently interred in Greenwood Cemetery. Kevin Desmond was appointed as the member of the general public who is a licensed funeral director. All appointments are for one-year terms to expire December 31, 2014. Bruner said that the current contract with Elmwood Cemetery continues to exist while the committee is set up and meets, and until it comes back with any kind of recommendations for the city commission. Greenwood Cemetery, a historic cemetery located off Oak Street north of Greenwood Street, west of Old Woodward in Birmingham, was established in 1821 and covers almost 8 acres and almost 3,000 gravesites, of which 650 date to the 19th century. Martha Baldwin organized the Greenwood Cemetery Association in 1885 after the cemetery had fallen into disrepair, and left the city $1,000 in her will for the Cemetery Perpetual Care Fund upon her death in 1913. Birmingham took over the care of the cemetery operation and maintenance in 1946 after the cemetery once again fell into disrepair. Until the contract with Elmwood, it cost the city $30,000 a year for maintenance. Notables buried in the cemetery include Elijah Willets, Birmingham's first mayor Harry Allen, Martha Baldwin, George Gough Booth and Ellen Scripps Booth, creators of Cranbrook, and Marshall Fredericks.

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The 10 things I wish every Home Seller knew BEFORE marketing their home for sale.

The Myths and Realities of Selling Real Estate 1. Business: First and foremost, you must treat selling your home like a business. You are selling your highest valued asset. Do everything you can to take the emotion out of the equation, and understand that THE MARKET dictates the price. PERIOD! 2. Perfect Presentation: Before your house hits the market, it should look and feel as if you are doing a photo shoot for Architectural Digest. I cannot stress this enough. It is a mistake to think you can sell your house the same way you live in your house. You have to have an understanding of how buyers think. Fresh coat of paint on the walls, Kitchen and Bathroom counters cleared, beds made, toys and dogs put out of sight, excess furniture put in storage, and most important …TOILET LIDS DOWN! Your Realtor should have a minimum of 15 STUNNING PROFESSIONAL photos taken, preferably with a wide angle lens. 3. Bright: Open all blinds and shades for every showing. If your home does not get a lot of natural sunlight, replace the recessed bulbs with spot lights. Buyers love light filled rooms, and spots shine a brighter light. 4. Inspect: Have a Pre-inspection done. Now is the time to find out if you have mold in the attic or high radon levels. This will help you avoid the dreaded “BACK ON MARKET” status in the MLS. 5. Buyer is Right: You must be willing to be inconvenienced at times. Remember, you have a lot of money at stake. Potential buyers will want to see your home even at dinner time. Allow it. 6. Alone: Leave your house for every showing! In other words, “Get Lost”. Buyers feel uneasy while you are there. They feel as if they are intruding on your space, and will want to leave as quickly as possible. This is not good. 7. Wood Floors: If you are lucky enough to have hardwood floors under the carpet, get rid of the carpet, and show the hardwood. Refinish if needed. You cannot imagine how important WOOD FLOORS are to today’s buyers. 8. Update if Possible: Buyers cringe when they see Formica counters. You should seriously consider replacing with Granite. Granite prices have come way down in recent years, and it is way more profitable to replace counters than to reduce your price because feedback says “YOUR HOUSE NEEDS UPDATING”. While you are at it, if your appliances look like they would fit right in with the Brady Bunch Kitchen, replace with Stainless Steel. Nuff said. 9. First Offer: Your first offer is usually your best offer. I know you have heard this before. There actually is a reason for this. Buyers will not lowball you in the first 2 weeks of being listed. Now, if it is 90 days later, and you still haven’t sold yet, watch the games begin, and just hope your Realtor is a strong negotiator. 10. See #1: Remember, selling your house is a business. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. This is not rocket science. The longer your house sits on the market, the lower your offers will be. THIS IS A FACT. This is why it is CRITICAL to do everything you can to sell within the first 30 days.

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CITY/ TOWNSHIP Library, renovation plans approved By Lisa Brody

Birmingham City Commissioners voted 6-1 on Monday, November 25, to accept the schematic designs developed for the proposed Baldwin Library renovation and expansion project, and to direct city staff to develop a financial plan to underwrite the project that, if approved by the commission in February, would go before Birmingham voters on May 6, 2014. Following months of work, meetings and analysis, the joint library building committee, of which mayor Scott Moore and commissioners Gordon Rinschler and Rackeline Hoff were members, chose a conceptual plan in October from Quinn Evans Architects which would take down both the 1960 and 1980 additions, leaving only the original 1927 building, which would be enhanced. A new building would be built in the shape of a rectangle on Merrill Street stretching from Chester

to Bates the full length of the block, two stories tall with the addition of a basement for three stories of use. The new building would be integrated and connected to the original library on the main floor in the center of the block. Library director Doug Koschik presented the plan to the city commission along with a representative from Quinn Evans, who went over the schematics. The city will need to issue a bond to pay for the expansion and renovation, which would likely be for $21.5 million, which led to discussion among commissioners, notably commissioners Stuart Sherman and Tom McDaniel, as to whether it was appropriate to ask voters to fund a significant library project with a number of future capital projects coming up in the next few years in Birmingham. “In the next few years, we're also going to have to deal with the issue of senior services and the possibility of a senior services facility, and what are we going to do, as well as roads,”

Moore said. “The problem is that the money we're getting from the state, the revenue sharing, has dropped significantly, to only about 20 to 25 percent of what we spend on roads. With so much revenue down, roads everywhere are suffering, and the question is what are we going to do about it. Going forward, we have to figure out and it's not going to be fun. With the library, the question is, are voters going to support it with these other issues upcoming.” McDaniel said, “Both commissioner (Stuart) Sherman and I expressed our concern about going to the voters without knowing how some of our other capital expenditures will be resolved. Our street fund is nearing zero. I'm not comfortable going forward not knowing how we're going to pay for it.” Only Sherman voted against the resolution. “I voted for it because I voted to go ahead to do the work,” of developing a financial plan, McDaniel said. “We'll still have another swing at it in late February when we have

the language to approve for a ballot amendment. You can't go to the voters half-cocked if you don't know what the capital expenditures will be. Maybe at that time for a full capital bond measure vs. just a library bond.”

Dairy Queen coming to Bloomfield Plaza A Dairy Queen is under construction at 6622 Telegraph Road in the Bloomfield Plaza Shopping center at Maple and Telegraph roads in Bloomfield Township, in the former Crust pizza location. Andrea Bibby, Bloomfield Township assistant planner, said the Dairy Queen has received approval for building permits and signage. Dairy Queen, which began over 70 years ago as a frozen treat, now has a full menu which includes burgers, chicken sandwiches and other sandwiches, sides and salads, as well as soft serve ice cream, sundaes, and the signature Blizzard soft serve frozen blended delights.

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Birmingham running out of parking spots By Lisa Brody

As the influx of high-tech companies into Birmingham has grown in recent years, so too has the demand for monthly parking permits at the city's parking structures, causing demand to exceed supply in all five of the city-owned parking garages, Paul O'Meara, city engineer, told members of the Principal Shopping District (PSD) board of directors at their monthly meeting on Thursday, December 5. Birmingham has five parking garages at pivotal points in the downtown area to accommodate shoppers, diners and office workers. They are the Pierce Street structure; Park Street structure; Old Woodward structure; Peabody Street structure; and the Chester Street parking structure. The Auto Parking System constructed the five current structures from 1966 to 1989. O'Meara reported that once the Chester Street garage opened in 1989, there was a

period of little growth in the downtown area, and for many years, it appeared as though the newest facility would be chronically underutilized. At the same time, demand remained consistently strong at the Pierce Street structure, at Pierce and Merrill streets, and to a lesser extent, he said, in the Peabody Street structure. “With the passage of the Downtown 2016 Master Plan, and its new liberal zoning rules that would encourage more building, the Advisory Parking Committee became concerned that the system was not going to be able to handle the increase in demand,� O'Meara wrote in a memo. It led the committee to several actions, including an effort to increase the supply of parking spaces on the street wherever possible; a study of the Pierce Street structure to see if it could be expanded by two levels; and a system-wide parking study which was conducted and finalized in 2000. It determined that the city should increase its parking capacity first in the southeast corner as that was where the demand was,

as well as where there were several underdeveloped properties. However, since the growth in demand was not imminent at that time, the city took no action. Several buildings have since been built, along with the construction of a lot of residential space. With the decline of the economy in 2007, the parking system was able to continue to meet the needs of most businesses. There were plans to build an underground parking facility below Shain Park when it was redeveloped, but costs proved higher than expected and that plan was shelved. Fast forward to 2013, and there has been an explosion of development and new businesses in downtown Birmingham. One key change, according to O'Meara, is that while a previous business may have had four or five employees, newer tech companies coming to Birmingham are filling desks with numerous people on computers, increasing the number of employees requiring parking permits at the parking structures. The former


Jacobson's store on Maple is now McCann-Erickson USA advertising agency, with several hundred employees parking in the Chester lot. PSD board members were surprised to learn at the meeting that the former Birmingham Schools administrative building, now owned by businessman Jeff Surnow (and under construction), has been extended coverage by the PSD district, with Surnow requesting 150 parking permits for employees, and the city assuring him of those, in the Chester Street garage. There is now an approximate 16-week wait for a parking permit in the Chester structure. O'Meara said the easiest solution to the current permit crunch would be to build two extra floors onto the Pierce Street structure, as that structure, the most centrally located, currently has a two-year wait for a parking permit, and was initially designed with the potential to be expanded. This would provide an additional 280 parking spaces in a prime location at a cost of






Beautiful home in the heart of Downtown with a 2 minute walk to dining and shops. Newer kitchen with granite counters and stainless appliances, large living room with natural fireplace, spacious dining room with French doors, original hardwood trim throughout, hardwood floors, charming screen in front porch, finished basement in 2013 with full bath, laundry room. Home has potential for a second floor that can be finished off to almost double the square feet. Professionally landscaped.

Spacious 3700+ square feet. Walk-out basement situated on a premium wooded lot in the beautiful Woodland Ridge Subdivision. Open floor plan with wood floors, walkin closets, cathedral ceilings, granite counter-tops and jetted tub in Master. Library/Study located off Foyer, Large kitchen that opens into the FR with fireplace. Floor to ceiling windows in great room w/fireplace. Extensive deck recently redone, fresh paint in both exterior/interior.




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Gorgeous modern condo in Downtown Royal Oak with open floor plan, vaulted ceilings, fireplace, balcony for enjoying outdoor living. Spacious master suite with walk-in closet, bath with jetted tub & separate shower. Loft with office and sitting area. Hardwood floors in kitchen and dining room, some new carpet. 1 car attached garage with direct access.




Custom residence on estate setting. Entry level master with arched ceiling, his/her closets, exercise room, private library, heated inlaid marble bath, chefs kitchen with soapstone counters, dual sub-zeros, expansive glassed breakfast area, 2 staircases, limestone slab foyer with expanded gallery for art with museum lighting and wet bar. Family room with built-ins, Pewabic fireplace adjacent to kitchen, bluestone patio and possible 6 bedrooms.






Custom contemporary of your dreams! Situated beautifully on a private cul-de-sac setting. Master suite retreat with 2 walk in closets, dressing area, huge bath with jetted tub and shower. Marble foyer leads to fabulous living/dining room, oversized library with expansive windows and built-ins. Gorgeous white kitchen opens to nook and family room. Finished lower level walkout with family room, exercise room and large bedroom with bath, 3 1/2 car garage. A must see!






Gorgeous double lot on all-sports Walnut Lake, sloping gently to the water’s edge. Remodel, fix-up, tear down and build your dream home. Award winning Birmingham Schools. Enjoy all of Michigan’s water sports; boating, skiing, swimming…a terrific opportunity to have your up-north home in the city. Two Sidwell Numbers: 18-25-201024 and 18-25-201-025.

This is another great Hillan Home! Use this plan, tweak it, or work with our architect to totally customize. Hard wood flooring, granite and tile baths, granite counters and stainless appliances in kitchen, mudroom with built-ins. Heavy trim package, 9’4” basement ceiling, 2 car garage, landscape package and in ground sprinklers.




Beautiful new kitchen in this soft contemporary home with gorgeous granite counters, Viking appliances, sub-zero fridge and an abundance of storage. Fabulous open floor plan with vaulted ceilings, expansive living room into dining room, 1st floor laundry room, large master suite with 2 walk-in closets and large bath that includes a jetted tub and shower, amazing finished lower level with built-in theatre, billiards and expansive bar, well maintained extravagant landscaping.


Exceptionally clean and beautifully decorated! This top of the line condo is move in ready. Located in prestigious Pembrooke Crossing. Large master suite with dressing room, 2 walk in closets, and large master bath. Beautiful setting overlooking the woods. Granite countertops, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, and washer/dryer. A must see, this one won’t last! Furniture also available for sale.



32440 Franklin Road, Franklin, MI 48025

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CITY/ TOWNSHIP approximately $9 million with a lifespan of about 35 years. The only other location would be an expansion of the N. Old Woodward Ave. parking facility, especially with the possibility of building upon the surface lot, but O'Meara said that since new parking spaces here would not be very attractive to those wishing to visit or work at buildings in the southeast part of downtown, parking spaces built in this area might not be utilized to a level that would make this the best option. O'Meara said they will be doing a survey of merchants in the downtown to help make their determination, and he is hopeful a decision could be made by spring, with construction starting in summer 2014. It would be partially paid for from savings from the parking fund, to the tune of about half of the costs, and the remainder would be from raising parking fees and then assessing businesses in the PSD area. Geoff Hockman of the PSD board, said, “We need to rethink this (assessments). Retail should not be

subsidizing this.� First floor tenants, which are primarily retailers, pay approximately double in PSD assessments than second floor tenants, which are mostly offices. It was determined that at their January board meeting, John Heiney, executive director of the PSD, would come back to the board with the current assessment formula and a review with recommended changes would take place, which would then need the city's approval. PSD board meetings are the first Thursday of each month at 8 a.m. at The Community House.

Richard Atto named to planning panel Leo Savoie, Bloomfield Township Supervisor, appointed township resident Richard Atto to a vacant seat on the township planning commission at the board of trustees meeting on Monday, December 9. A vacant seat became available

on the planning commission as Dr. Scot Goldberg resigned recently due to a move to Farmington Hills. Bloomfield Township advertised its vacancy and there were 10 applications for the one spot, township clerk Jan Roncelli said. A preliminary discussion and decision was made at a study session of the board of trustees on Wednesday, December 5, where all of the applications were reviewed, and Atto, a township resident for 33 years, was recommended to be appointed. The selection remained the supervisor's final choice, and was unanimously approved by the full board of trustees. Atto is a general contractor and has owned Atto Construction since 1974. He is currently involved on two other township boards, the construction board of appeals, electrical board; and international property maintenance board of appeals.

City approves 2014 CDBG funding plan The Birmingham City Commission unanimously approved allocations of $32,997 for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for the program year of 2014 on December 9. Under the city's sub-recipient agreement with Oakland County, federal funds under the program are funneled to the city through the county. The CDBG program provides communities within Oakland County with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs, particularly to provide decent housing, a suitable living environment, and opportunities to expand economic opportunities, principally for low and moderate income individuals. The city commission approved $6,571 for yard services; $3,328 for senior services; and $23,098 to remove architectural barriers and replace a handicap lift at the Birmingham municipal building.

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FACES Calla Glavin


ou can take the girl out of Birmingham, but you can't take Birmingham and southeast Michigan out of West Point cadet Calla Glavin. "I'm exceptionally proud of being from Michigan, and the Detroit area," said Glavin, 21, who was recently named as a Rhodes Scholar. "To be a woman cadet at West Point, to do hockey stats and be from Detroit – I wear my Red Wings hat – everyone knows where I'm from." Glavin entered West Point in June 2010, about a month after graduating from Seaholm High School in Birmingham. "I wanted to do something different," she said about entering the academy, located about 50 miles north of New York City. "Nobody was in the military in my family, but I grew up with my dad being kind of a history nerd, so I learned a lot about it. My grandparents would tell stories, and you hear about those stories and want to be part of it. I always respected veterans, and thought it would be interesting. I knew in high school I wanted to go into the military academy. I visited West Point, and liked it. I thought it was a good fit, and I wanted to be able to serve my country." A major in mathematical sciences, Glavin is also the cadet brigade headquarters company commander, editor-in-chief of the West Point cadet newspaper, Pass in Review, and the goalkeeper on the women's lacrosse team. She also served as goalkeeper on Seaholm's lacrosse team. As a Rhodes scholar, Glavin intends to earn a masters of science in applied statistics while attending Oxford. "I want to come back to Detroit again one day and use mathematics to solve social problems, like crime or optimizing delivery of police fire and other emergency services," Glavin said. Glavin, who also is the president of the local Society of Women Engineers and a mentor for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, developed a mathematical model for a novel method of nanofiber formation for use in wound healing as a student researcher at the disease biophysics group at Harvard University. Despite her accomplishments, Glavin was initially reluctant to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship. However, she said an instructor who mentored her encouraged her to go after the scholarship. "Basically, you have to be nominated by your institution to be considered. I was hesitant, and I wasn't sure what would happen. You also put a lot of time and work into it, and there's not big chance that you'll win it," she said. "I didn't want to become all about applying for this. I wanted to stay excited about what I really wanted to do in the long run." With the proper encouragement from her mentor, a former Rhodes Scholar himself, Glavin came to realize that the scholarship would bolster her opportunities to eventually accomplish the longterm goals she had set. "It took a long time. I wasn't an easy sell," she said. Story: Kevin Elliott

Photo: Jason Hu


























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FACES Sr. Bridget Bearss


t was her freshman year of college at Maryville University in St. Louis when Sr. Bridget Bearss said she became impassioned with the power of liberation and freedom that is possible through education. "I was originally thinking what I wanted to do was work in the political action field," said Bearss, who serves as head of the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills. "In my freshman year at college, I landed in an education course." Last year, Bearss experienced another first when she became the first woman to be named as chair of the board of trustees for Guest House, a Lake Orionheadquartered organization that specializes in addiction treatment for Catholic clergy and members of the religious order. Founded in 1956, Guest House follows a traditional 12-step program, but provides treatment in both a clinical and spiritual setting. "I was asked to serve on the executive board a number of years ago. I'm very fortunate to work with the people on the guest house board. To be the first woman on the board of trustees is a real honor, but it's also a real collaborative effort," Bearss said, crediting the board of trustees and staff with the work accomplished Guest House. "I've been with Guest House for a very long time. They've been in the archdiocese for a long time, and I've been on the board there for about seven years. I'm very honored to serve as chair of the board. It's a part of the way that I connect to service through the church, and service to the archdiocese." While treatment at Guest House is specially tailored to the needs of the clergy and religious, Bearss said the basics of the program are the same as other 12-step programs. "There are expectations placed on priests and religious that are such that people think we fall outside the norm," she said. "If you compare to previous times, there has been a drop in the priesthood, for sure. But cultural things shift, too. So, what we are continuing to do is inspire a life of faith within the church, and looking at new ways to inspire in the future, not just the present." As for her own leadership role in the church, Bearss said she is excited to be part of the church at the moment, as new conversations are being started with the work of Pope Francis. "Obviously, I've made a commitment through my consecrational vows, with that comes leadership in the church as it is. I continue to find my place in leadership in the church and continue to support Pope Francis and the many initiatives happening, particularly in the area of social teachings that empower people. "We are taught that the grace of the Spirit is alive in the presence of the church, and it's very alive in Pope Francis as he continues to inspire the church in new ways. I'm delighted to be part of that. It's an exciting time for us. We are having a conversation in a new way with people who are interested in committing their lives to a religious way of life."" Story: Kevin Elliott

Photo: Jean Lannen

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BUSINESS MATTERS Pizza goes extreme A California-based pizzeria has moved into the city. E xtreme Pizz a, 1160 Grant Street, Birmingham, opened in November in the former Amici's Gourmet Pizza To Go space. Founded in San Francisco in 1994, the Birmingham location is just the second Extreme Pizza franchise to open in Michigan, the first being opened last year in Grosse Pointe by Sam Saigh, who owns all of the Extreme Pizza franchise rights in Michigan, said partner John Moran. "It's a thin to medium crust," Moran said about the pizzeria's offerings. "All of our crust is prepared in-house, fresh daily. We also offer a gluten-free pizza." Extreme sizes are big, with a "huge" round measuring in with an 18-inch diameter. But the really extreme offerings come with the toppings, which range from traditional pepperoni and Italian sausage to bbq pork, mandarin oranges, potatoes, carrots and salami. Customers can mix and match toppings to make their own creation or pick from one of the 25 signature pizzas. "It's not a $5 pizza by any end. We are probably on the higher end of the scale. We've been voted in the top three in San Francisco every year since its inception," Moran said. "It's all about extreme, not mainstream."

Stores combine Two former independent stores with the same owner have moved under one roof in downtown Birmingham as both Double Up and The Jungle Room have relocated to 175 W. Maple. Double Up, formerly at 128 S. Old Woodward Avenue, is a streetwear and sneaker boutique that offers clothing, shoes, sunglasses, watches, hats and other accessories. The Jungle Room, formerly at 205 Pierce, offers tobacco products, high-end glass pipes and other accessories.

Pharmacy at airport The popular and classic Birmingham drugstore Mills Pharmacy and Ap othecary, located at 1744 W. Maple at the corner of Chesterfield, has expanded with a new satellite store at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. The new location, which opened in November in concourse B of Detroit's McNamara terminal, emulates the interior design and aesthetics of the Mills' Birmingham location, which offers conventional and all-natural, over-the-counter medications, as

well as candles, lotions, cosmetics, personal care, gifts and other items. "Being chosen as one of the few local companies to receive space inside the airport has been such an honor for us," said Pierre Boutros, coowner of Mills Pharmacy. "We are delighted to have the opportunity to introduce visitors to our selection of personal care and gift items that we have had selected from around the globe."

Sway'd Style Lounge For the style-conscious woman or man who needs pampering while still getting things done, there is now Sway'd Style Loung e, which opened at 600 N. Old Woodward, Suite 101 in Birmingham, in December. Dez Santiago, founder of Sway'd, said the business is a "multi-functional" salon, as it has partnered with Birmingham Concierge to offer clients personal assistance with everything from shopping for clothes and groceries to planning parties. "I anticipate Sway'd being more than a place to get your hair and nails done," Santiago said. "I see it being an all inclusive beauty and grooming destination, and also a spot where people come to hang out, have fun and network." The salon caters to men and women with all hair styles and lengths, and features a secluded shampoo room and equipment geared toward conserving water use. The salon's "therapy den" offers massage therapy, spa manicures, pedicures, eyelash shaping, extensions, scalp massages and scalp treatments. It also offers a printer, fax and wireless services for clients.

Salon closes doors The Socialite Beauty Bar, 191 N. Old Woodward, Birmingham, has closed less than two years after opening. The salon, which was owned by Arian Simone, and featured body scrubs, butters and other products featuring Simone's signature, had a grand opening in June 2012. Marketed as a "a place for people who love amazing products, quality service and appreciate a cool atmosphere," Simone said at the time that she chose Birmingham to open the business because she saw an opportunity to introduce a new concept to the area. The shop was Simone's first storefront in Michigan.

Carol Lewis Day Spa Carol Lewis Day Spa, located at

the corner or Peabody and Woodward at 386 E. Maple in Birmingham, is celebrating 25 years of operation at its historic row house location. Carol Lewis, owner of the spa, said providing a good value and quality service has been the key to the business' success for a quarter century. "It's all about the client," Lewis said. "Without the client, you don't have a business. There are a lot of spas out there that try to open because it looks like fun. You have to realize it's a business. You have a service or product, and in our case our service is our product. You have to be consistent. You have to know your customers and what they want, and what they want has changed over the years." Lewis said the spa used to only be about pampering customers, but gradually morphed into accounting for clients' health. Now, there is a medical side to spa services, as the business now offers services such as Botox injections and chemical peels for the skin. The salon also offers facials, massages, nail services, waxing, and make-up services. The spa has received awards in Allure, InStyle and Crain's Business magazine, Lewis said.

Dunkin' Donuts hits town It's time to make the donuts, as a new D unkin' Donuts has opened in the former Peiper's Pie shop location at the Kingswood Square Shopping Center at 43119 Woodward Avenue just north of Square Lake in Bloomfield Township.The new donut shop features a drive thru window and all the standard menu offerings from the global donut maker, such as hot and iced coffee, donuts, bagels and muffins.

Closure, name change The Old Wood ward D eli, 768 N. Old Woodward, Birmingham, has closed. The restaurant featured a classic coffee house style feel with a light menu offering soups, salads and sandwiches. Diva Nails, 837 W. Long Lake Road at Telegraph in Bloomfield Township, has changed its name to Blis s Nails Spa. The phone number of the business will remain the same.

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PLACES TO EAT The Places To Eat for Downtown is a quick reference source to establishments offering a place for dining, either breakfast, lunch or dinner. The 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. Bagger Dave's Legendary Burger Tavern: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 6608 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Township, 48301. 248.792.3579 Bangkok Thai Bistro: Thai. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 42805 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Township, 48304. 248.499.6867. Beau Jacks: American. Lunch, MondaySaturday; Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 4108 W. Maple, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.626.2630. Bella Piatti: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 167 Townsend Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.494.7110. Beyond Juice: Contemporary. Breakfast & Lunch daily; Dinner, Monday-Saturday.

No reservations. 270 West Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.7078. Big Rock Chophouse: American. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 245 South 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. Café ML: New American. Dinner, daily. Alcohol. No reservations. 3607 W. Maple Road, Bloomfield Township. 248.642.4000. Cafe Via: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 310 East Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.8800 Cameron’s Steakhouse: American. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 115 Willits Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.1700. China Village: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 1655 Opdyke, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.758.1221. Churchill's Bistro & Cigar Bar: Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 116 S. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.4555. Cityscape Deli: Deli. Lunch & Dinner,

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FOCUS ON WINE New wines for a New Year: from Italy to Napa Valley By Eleanor and Ray Heald


uscany (Toscana) is the most famous wine region in Italy and wines labeled Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and Chianti Classico are in the part of Tuscany where sangiovese is the principal grape variety. Maremma (from Latin mare, or sea) is located in southwestern Tuscany, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea to the east. Nearness to the sea yields a climate more moderate than the hills of central Tuscany, allowing earlier ripening and more consistent harvest. Ampeleia, founded in 2002, is located in the Maremma village of Roccatederighi, just west of Montalcino, and boasts 94 acres of vineyards, planted at elevations up to 2,000 feet above sea level. Winery manager Simona Spinelli explains, “Three vineyards are surrounded by olive and cork trees in a region of great biodiversity. The grapes are grown biodynamically, ensuring the soil is healthy and rich in microorganisms and the wine is fermented using only indigenous yeast.” The vineyard known as Ampeleia di Sopra, with the highest elevation, is planted to cabernet franc. Ampeleia di Mezzo is planted to sangiovese, carignan, grenache and alicante bouschet. While Ampeleia di Sotto is planted to grenache, alicante bouschet, mourvedre and marselan, grapes usually associated with those of the Rhone Valley in southern France. The following Ampeleia wines are grown in Tuscany’s Maremma district, but are labeled Costa Toscana to emphasize their Tuscan regionality. 2012 Unlitro, $21/liter. A 50/50 blend of grenache and mourvedre, aged three months in cement tanks and bottled unfiltered in February to yield a wine with bright fresh-fruit cherry flavors that is light and easy to drink with burgers, pizza or even fish and chicken. Think Beaujolais style. 2011 Kepos, $24. A blend of grenache, mourvedre, alicante bouschet, carignan and marselan. Full bodied due to longer aging that boasts dark cherry and rose petal aromas with a lengthy finish. A delicious Italian wine with a Mediterranean heritage that won’t break the bank. 2010 Ampeleia, $45. A blend of 60 percent cabernet franc, 10 percent sangiovese and 30 percent Mediterranean varieties. Aged in seasoned French oak barriques. Rich, full and smooth on the palate. A serious wine to accompany veal, pork or pasta with a rich, creamy mushroom sauce. More new wines Liparita, Hoopes and Hoopla are three quality Napa Valley wines you should get to know. We did, when we met Lindsay Hoopes and learned her fascinating story. She grew up between San Francisco and Napa where her parents bought vineyard property in 1983. Hoopes explains, 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. Eddie Merlot's: Steak & seafood. Dinner, daily. Alcohol. Reservations. 37000


“When my parents moved to Napa, I went to boarding school in Andover, Mass., then college at Georgetown University. On advice of my father, I worked for Gallo on the distribution side and later for Pottery Barn to learn the business side of things. “I graduated from law school and became a district attorney in the city and county of San Francisco. I always expected to join the family business, but when my father became ill in March 2013, I was pressed into service. This means I worked at the DA’s office and at the winery. I was a busy girl. After my father returned home, we decided I would be part of the family business full time.” The 10-acre Hoopes Estate Vineyard is located on Yountmill Road at the southern end of the Oakville AVA. It was planted in 1983, to a Bordeaux clone of cabernet sauvignon on St George rootstock which avoided phylloxera and explains why it is some of the oldest cabernet in Oakville AVA. Fruit from Hoopes Estate was sold to other wineries until the first vintage of Hoopes was released in 1999. Hoopes 2010 (Estate) Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa Valley, $68. Aging in French oak highlights distinctive aromas of cedar and tobacco followed by a big, concentrated cabernet impression. Try it with a charcoal grilled prime New York strip steak. Hoopla 2012 Unoaked Chardonnay, Napa Valley, $25. A pure, unoaked Napa Valley chardonnay that is true to the fruit and the terroir where it is grown. It boasts ripe fruit character without being masked by oak. Hoopla 2010 The Mutt, cabernet/merlot blend, Napa Valley, $36. A nice segue for people being introduced to Napa Valley cabernet. The first vintage of Hoopla was 2006, the same year that the Liparita label was purchased. Liparita is one of the oldest wineries in California. Its purchase was important from a historical perspective to keep the brand alive. Founded in 1880 by William Keyes, the Liparita label shows the original gold medal won in 1900 at the Paris World’s Fair. Liparita 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa Valley, $68. A blend of Hoopes Estate vineyard and purchased fruit. It is smooth and complex with generous fruit in a Bordelaise style. Try it side by side with the 2010 Hoopes as a vintage comparison. Liparita 2009 V Block Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Yountville, Napa Valley, $68, has good depth and solid cabernet fruit. Both Liparita cabernets were made by the same winemaker with the same oak treatment and illustrates the contrast between neighboring Oakville and Yountville AVAs.

Eleanor & Ray Heald have contributed to numerous international publications including the Quarterly Review of Wines. Contact them by e-mail at

Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.712.4095. 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 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. Griffin Claw Brewing Company: American. Liquor. Dinner, Tuesday-Friday, Lunch & Dinner, Saturday and Sunday. 575 S. Eton Street, Birmingham.


248.712.4050. 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. Market North End: American. Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. No reservations. Liquor. 474 N. Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.712.4953. MEX Mexican Bistro & Tequila Bar: Mexican. Lunch, Monday-Friday, Dinner, daily. Liquor. 6675 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Township, 48301. 248.723.0800. Mitchell’s Fish Market: Seafood. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 117 Willits Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.3663. Mountain King: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 469 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.2913. 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. Nippon Sushi Bar: Japanese. Lunch & dinner daily. 2079 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Township 48302. 248.481.9581 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, 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, Monday-Friday; 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, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 34965 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.5222.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. Liquor. 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,

AT THE TABLE Sicilian tastes abound at Royal Oak Trattoria da Luigi restaurant By Eleanor Heald


few months ago, we returned from Provence with a stop in Paris before flying home. Although we enjoy France, we had tired of French food, so we were delighted to discover Pizza Marinara on Rue Dauphine in the St. Germain des Prés area. The pizzaiolo stood guard at his wood-burning brick oven, pizza peel at the ready. A menu outside suggested items typical of an Italian trattoria. The atmosphere did as well. We requested a table and sat among neighborhood folks (no tourists) who spoke French as easily as they did Italian. More recently, we had a parallel experience in Royal Oak when we discovered Trattoria da Luigi on Washington near Fifth Street in the culinary heart of the city. This neighborhood spot opened in early September last year.

toni, tagliatelle, or tortellini in their various iterations. Yet, the first pasta offering listed is Spaghetti alla Napolitano, indicating a Naples style. On the other hand, Rigatoni alla Norma is a classic pasta from Catania in Sicily. All pastas are in the range of $13 to $16, and cooked al dente. Main courses or “Secondi” are priced $15 to $23. Myriad choices in this category showcase the talents of Chef Steve Siekierzynski, late of Assaggi Bistro in Ferndale. All selections are made authentically. My appetite arrow points to Saltimbocca as the best way to offer veal scaloppini. Filetto di Sogliola al Cartoccio is a delicious preparation of Atlantic Sole in parchment. Recall my mention of the pizzaiolo in Paris. He has a counterpart at da Luigi. Instead of a traditional Pizza Margarita, try the Pizza Siciliana which derives its big flavor from anchovies, grilled eggplant and pecorino cheese — all stars in the Sicilian kitchen. If anchovies are not your thing, there are myriad other pizza toppings. Prices range $7.50 to $13.50. Pizza and wine at da Luigi makes a lighter dinner meal.

Returning to Sicilian roots Long-time owner of Sangria, a Spanish eatery in Royal Oak, Luigi Cutraro If you’ve eaten light sold it and returned to his in early courses, Sicilian roots, opening an Gnocchi Casarecci and Rigatoni alla Norma. Downtown photo: Jean Lannen Asssortimento di attractive spot with a wellFormaggi, $7 per person, priced menu. A city of with a glass of wine makes a delicious ending. Caffé Taormina mural graces one wall and adds distinctive Affogato, vanilla ice cream and espresso topped with Sicilian village character to the colorful interior decor. It whipped cream and sprinkled with cinnamon, $4.50, invites reviewing the well-edited wine list and choosing a qualifies as a sweet ending. If you passed on a pizza, Sicilian wine and antipasti to begin your meal. you can order one as dessert. Pizza Nutella, $9.50, covers Two white wines are standouts: Tasca d’Almerita the pizza with Nutella, strawberries and powdered Regaleali Bianco, $8 by the glass or $26 by the bottle, and sugar. Yum. Sallier de la Tour Inzolia $30. Three Nero d’Avola reds are delicious: Tasca d’Almerita, $38; Zabu, $8 and $29; and Sallier de la Tour, $30. Trattoria da Luigi, 415 South Washington Ave., Royal Antipasti are generally less than $10. Insalata di Mare is Oak, 248.542.4444. Sunday, then Tuesday-Wednesday a Mediterranean seafood delight. Bistecca di Calamari fea4-10:30 p.m. Thursday - Saturday until 11:30 p.m.. tures fried calamari steaks topped with grilled peppers Parking: metered street spaces or city structure at A typical Sicilian salad is noted as Insalata Siciliana: Lafayette and 6th Street with walkthrough to Washington orange slices, white onions and goat cheese sprinkled with Ave. next to the Baldwin theater. extra virgin olive oil, $6. Other menu items Typically, Sicilians enjoy pasta, abundantly topped with sauce. That’s how you’ll be served spaghetti, riga-

Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.5999. The Stand: Euro-American. Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 34977 Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.220.4237. Toast: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 203 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6278. Touch of India: Indian. Lunch & Dinner,

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

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 Diner: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily; No reservations. 501 S. Eton Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.566.3566


Spotlight on... LLena e na O skanian’s b Oskanian’s belief elief and and motto mot to in in real re a l e s t a te h as a l w ay s b een “ Honest y, IIntegrity n te g r i t y estate has always been “Honesty, a nd S er vice.” T hos e b eliefs have have helped helped her her and Service.” Those beliefs b ecome a mu ltimillion-dollar producer. producer. become multimillion-dollar moving LLena ena grew grew up up in in Beirut Beirut before before m oving tto o P hiladelphia first, first, and and finally finally settling set tling in in Michigan. Michigan. Philadelphia rowing u eirut h as e x posed h er to many G p iin nB to many Growing up Beirut has exposed her ccultures ultures a nd sshe he sspeaks peaks 4 languages: languages: English, English, and Armenian, Arabic Arabic and and French. French. Armenian,

Many off h her have M any o er cclients lients h ave bought bought and and sold sold multiple multiple ave become become her her friends. friends. homes with her, and most have om e s w ith h er, a nd m os t h h her job job and and real real estate e s t a te She passionately She ffeels e els p assionately about about her she has has been been affiliated af filiated and and ffeels eels very ver y fortunate for tunate that that she anuel ffor or tthe he llast as t 2 6 with Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel 26 with C oldwell Ba nker W eir M and marketing marketing years. years. “The “The cutting cut ting edge edge technology technology and have tthat hat tthey h ey h ave provided provided me with over me with over the the years years is is unbeatable.” u nbeatable.” W ant tto o llearn ea rn m ore a bout LLena? e na? Want more about

She lloves oves the t he D etroit area. area. Her Her children, children, who w ho She Detroit currently llive ive in in Los Los Angeles, Angeles, can’t can’t wait wait for fo r currently any o ccasion tto o ccome ome h ome a nd rre-live e - l i ve a he any occasion home and allll tthe good times times tthey h ey e x p e r ie n c e d g ro w i n g u ph ere. good experienced growing up here.

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THE COMMUNITY HOUSE TCH Bringing the Programs To People At TCH, we have been very fortunate to have Dr. Marcella Wilson, Ph.D. , CEO of Matrix Human Services, on our Board of Directors for the past two years. Dr. Wilson applauds The Community House for being one of the few nonprofits helping people “break through the system” by taking our impact programs out to people, and/or physically bringing them to TCH to experience our educational programs. I’m very grateful that not a day seems to go by without one or two people kindly complementing me and our employees on the great things they are seeing come out of TCH. However, I don’t think I’ve talked to one person who realizes even half of the programs we offer and the magnitude of people we help. So, as one of your oldest (if not oldest at 90 years-old), non-profits in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area, have a look at some of our programs below that either we take out to others, or bring them into TCH to help them go forward in much better ways. Camille Jayne

Feed Your Family’s Future Mentoring Program We will start a four-weekend mentoring program for Headstart parents and their children in February. We bus families in from Pontiac and Detroit (helped by our Cranbrook partner Horizons Upward Bound) to be mentored in family budgeting, resume writing, job interviewing, nutritional family cooking and exercise and coping with stress. Their children will spend the time in our Early Childhood Center learning via the acclaimed HighScope program. TCH Supports A Dozen Nonprofits for Free So few people realize that TCH supports a dozen other non-profits and groups by letting them meet at TCH for free each week. Many also get free administrative help from TCH. Where would these groups go if we did not support them under our roof? Their causes help underserved children, the blind, those in need of literacy – as well as programs that teach diversity, art, music and leadership. We Have the Only 5 Star Rated Day Care in Oakland County Our Early Childhood Center is the only day care in Oakland County that has earned the 5 star rating by the Michigan Great Start to Quality System. The only one! We have three “rooms”: one for infants starting at six weeks old; our Toddler room; and our Pre School room. All with the best of the best teachers and directors in Oakland County. TCH Dance Academy 40 Years Old TCH has two dance studios under our roof: The Allesee and the DeRoy. The fact that we have the longest lived dance academy in the area is testament to the fact that our classic ways of teaching ballet, tap and contemporary dance are unparalleled.


At Charter One, we’re for homes. We’re for helping more people be successful homeowners. And a Charter One loan is a great way to start. Our Loan Officers can help you secure both the construction as well as the permanent financing all at once. Our experts can help you: • Obtain a fixed rate mortgage, a 5/1 or 7/1 adjustable-rate mortgage for the permanent loan up to $2 million. • Lock in your permanent loan rate at application.

• Take up to 12 months of interest-only financing during the construction period. • Renovate an existing home or tear it down and rebuild. • Include lot financing or build a home on your own lot.

1000 Classes If you need to take a class in just about anything, you’ll find it at TCH. We screen teachers to very high standards so the classes always have tremendous value. Bulletproof Discussion Workshops Come experience a new learning concept in each luncheon lecture, followed by a 30-minute case study discussion with your table mates! February 20th starts with the topic: “Securing Great Relationships.” 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. $25. Register at:

MARILYN JOHNSON NMLS ID# 697433 810-441-1377

TCH Launches the First “Center for Wealth Education” in February We want to help educate the public in an information rich, non-selling environment in the wealth management arena. Handpicked expert panels will help you learn in key areas how to protect yourself, your assets, your loved ones and/or your business in the estate planning, investment, insurance, banking and tax arenas. TCH will provide information, definitions and guidelines to help you go forward with greater confidence. Experts from Bank of Birmingham, Baker Tilly Accountants, Dickinson Wright Attorneys, JPS Insurance, Managed Asset Portfolios, Northwestern Mutual, Serlin, Trivax & Stearn Attorneys, TAMMA Capital, and the School of Business at Oakland University will be on the moderated panels. No charge. First panel is on Wednesday, February 12th at 6:30 p.m. Register at: Camille Jayne is President & CEO of TCH.

Mortgages are offered and originated by RBS Citizens, N.A. Charter One is a brand name of RBS Citizens, N.A. (NMLS ID# 433960). All loans are subject to approval. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. 1119



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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.

Masquerade for Hope The first annual Grace Centers of Sally Gerak Hope Masquerade for Hope happened, essentially, because Sharon and Dave Wood’s daughter got a driver’s license, giving her mother-chauffeur some free time to volunteer at Grace Center of Hope’s Hands of Hope child care center. Working with the teachers and those innocent children whose lives are so different “…from what my kids think is normal,” inspired her to launch a fundraiser and ask fellow Orchard Lake CC member Wendy Petherick to help. Petherick, who volunteers at GCH with her husband Kip, agreed to help because, as she told the 236 guests at the club on Halloween weekend, “…when you lose a child to addiction as we did many years ago, I could not say ‘no’…The Hands of Hope kids are the true victims of homelessness.” GCH’s Melissa Rodriguez commented on the stunning masks many of the guests were wearing and noted that “…the mask of homelessness is not so attractive.” GCH client Stephanie Hogness, who told her personal story of addiction, homelessness and recovery, spoke about how much her three-year-old daughter Brianna loves the activities at the center. She got a standing ovation when she finished. Other components of the evening included spirited socializing and dinner, a silent auction, performers from the Detroit Flyhouse, and GCH CEO Pastor Kent Clark’s thank you to Beaumont Health System, Stonebridge Financial Partners and Valenti Foundation for their generosity. It helped the event raise more than $100,000 for GCH’s Hands of Hope. It’s just part of the faith-based human service organization that takes no government funds and recently received a gift from the Luther family – the 30,000 sq. ft. First Congregational Church/Clutch Cargo nightclub. Oakland Literacy Council’s Ex Libris Since it was founded in 1984, the OLC has helped 12,000-plus adults learn to read. Its 24th annual benefit dinner attracted 75 guests ($125 & $175-tickets) to the Village Club for cocktails, dinner and talks. The latter are always compelling and this year was no exception. “Our journey was different,” tutor Don Robinson said, explaining that he first knew his student Thair Kassab as a friendly, 27-year Meijer employee. Kassab, an immigrant who couldn’t read or write and quit high school at 16, had learned enough to pass verbal driver’s license and citizenship tests, but wanted to know how to read. On Kassab’s behalf, Robinson checked around for a reading program and discovered the only reading instructors for adults in Oakland County were the OLC trained volunteers. He took the training and was paired with Kassab. “He’s the hardest worker…read 77 books this year…I’m very proud of him…This has been the most rewarding experience of my life,” Robinson concluded. Kassab followed his tutor to the podium and sincerely expressed his gratitude to the OLC donors. “This program is wonderful…Someday I hope to help someone else,” he concluded. The final speaker was state capitol political correspondent Tim Skubick who frankly shared some opinions: “Our democracy is at risk if voters don’t give a hoot…Governor Snyder is the most interesting governor I’ve ever covered…TV news has lost its way…I’m able to survive because I tell it like it is.” The event raised $25,000 which will go far since, according to council president Judy

Masquerade for Hope



3 1. Sharon Wood (left) and Wendy Petherick of Birmingham. 2. Katie (left) and Sam Valenti of Bloomfield with Shannon and Dave Sokol of Oakland. 3. Jeff Petherick (standing) of Shelby Twp. and Katie Petherick Beechler of Royal Oak with Kip and Wendy Petherick of Birmingham. 4. Ham (left) and Barb Bowman Schirmer of Birmingham and John Grant of Bloomfield. 5. Mandy Lunghamer (left) of Birmingham and Rita Margherio of Orchard Lake with Alice Aikens of Bloomfield. 6. Laurie (left) and Tom Cunnington of Birmingham with Janet Grant of Bloomfield. 7. Barbara and Robert Wilson of Bloomfield. 8. Marcia Bearden and Bill Aikens of Bloomfield.






Oakland Literacy Council’s Ex Libris



3 1. Judy Lindstrom (left) of Bloomfield and her sister Pam Grant of Grosse Pointe. 2. Pat Wagner (left) of Birmingham and Julie Hoensheid of Rochester Hills and Pat Ojala of Waterford. 3. Bob Gaynor (center) of Rochester Hills with Julia Blakeslee and Rita-Ann Lindstrom of Bloomfield. 4. Ellie Robertson (left) of Bloomfield, Kathy Stanley of Birmingham, Mary Rosenbusch of Rochester and Ellie Couch of Washington. 5. Donna Yost (left) of Plymouth and Barbara Van Dusen of Birmingham. 6. Bernard Robertson (left) of Bloomfield and Russ Raden of Plymouth. 7. Dennis (left) and Judy Bryce of Farmington Hills and Carol and Jay Herbst of Bloomfield.




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SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Lindstrom, the yearly OLC student cost is $150. For information visit

Beyond Basics Friend & Fund Raisers




1. Rod Hairston (left) of Livonia with Pam Good of Birmingham and Stephen Polk and Lois Miller of Bloomfield. 2. Renee (left) and Steve Read with Bobbi Polk of Bloomfield. 3. Barry Brink (center) of Beverly Hills with Bill Powers (left) and Paul Gard of Bloomfield. 4. Shelley Smith (left) of Bloomfield, Greg Schwartz of Birmingham, Wendy Powers of Bloomfield and Jeff Rowland of Detroit. 5.Sheryl Kammer (left) with Bob and Maryclare Pulte of Bloomfield. 6. Missy (left) and Tom Mark of Birmingham with Lori Blaker of Rochester Hills.




Kirk in the Hills Legacy Auction



1. Sydrena (left) and Irwing Epstein and Jan and Jim Keeling of Bloomfield. 2. John King (left) of Bloomfield and Carolyn Steffen of Birmingham. 3. Patti Hughet (left) of W. Bloomfield with Justin and Laurie Hughet Hiller of Bloomfield. 4. Paul (left) and Carol Lay with Rev. Norm Pritchard of Bloomfield. 5. Connie and Len Johnston of Bloomfield. 6. Joan Pritchard (left) and Rev. Carol Tate of Bloomfield. 7. Kevin Krawczyk (left) of Troy, Christine Gahman of Pontiac and Denise and Alyssa Leighton of Bloomfield. 8. Chip (left) and Bobi Tallinger of Birmingham and Patrick Gahman of Pontiac.


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Beyond Basics Friend & Fund Raisers And speaking of literacy, Pam Good’s Beyond Basics non-profit is another very successful player in the reading game. To introduce donors to its mission, it staged what I’m calling “A Tale of Two Houses”. Both are historic edifices built in 1915. The first is Stephen and Bobbi Polk’s Bloomfield Hills home which was purchased by Stephen’s grandparents in the late ‘20s. The Polks and Wendy and Bill Powers co-hosted a gathering there at which 70 BB and potential BB supporters enjoyed Diane de Movellan’s cuisine ( and the view of the gardens. They also learned from Good that BB uses the F.A.S.T. reading program to bring ill-prepared Detroit school children up to grade level in six weeks at a cost of $300 per child. She believes that with teachers trained in the program and BB volunteers it is “…absolutely doable to get all DPS students reading at grade level.” The 2013 Excellent Schools Detroit report confirmed the BB success at Thirkell Elementary. Some guests also learned that Stephen’s savvy grandmother once eschewed a string of pearls as an anniversary present from her husband, telling him that she would prefer “…that property on the other side of the river.” Two weeks after the Polk-Power info-social, another 87 people convened for a BB fundraiser ($55,000) at a historic home in Detroit’s Arden Park neighborhood. Occupied for many years by Stanley Kresge, the classic mansion was badly in need of TLC when Bloomfield Hills native and funeral director Paddy Lynch bought it in 2011. Guests enjoyed Lynch’s hospitality, cuisine from Bacco Ristorante (, and touring the renovated six-bedroom, three-story manse from the basement ballroom with its fountain to the third floor butler’s quarters with a fireplace. It’s new life could be symbolic of BB’s vision for all Detroit school children.


Kirk in the Hills Legacy Auction The second annual fundraiser for the Ministries Endowment Fund had as it’s theme “Little Italy on the Lake” because, thanks to committee member Sharon Gioia, singer Aaron Caruso (, renowned for his performances of all genre of Italian music, entertained the 186 guests.



When he concluded with “Time to Say Good-bye” (to get to another engagement at Andiamo’s) they gave him a standing ovation. Another event highlight was the live auctioneering skill of Youth Minister Kevin Krawczyk. Both men followed the reception, silent auction and Italian-accented cuisine prepared by caterer Jack Leone, paired with wines donated by Hiller’s Market. The fellowship-filled evening raised about $30,000 for the fund. Cranbrook Art Museum’s Crandemonium If you think “pandemonium” when you hear “Crandemonium”, you have the right idea of the scene at the Cranbrook Art Museum’s annual fall fundraiser. It attracted 300 ($500, $250, $150-under 35 and CAAA alum) for an evening jammed packed with laughter, art, dining on the stroll and diversions. Actually, the committee headed by Deborah and James Bragman and Lynn and Bharat Gandhi was inspired by a photo of Loja and Eliel Saarinen taken at the first Crandemonium Ball in 1934. And they credited committee member Nicole Wagner with finding (at Target) the colorful, outlandish, foam headgear all the Forte Belanger catering staff were wearing. The photo also inspired academy alum Victoria Ashley Shaheen as she designed the porcelain vase each benefactor ($500) got as a party souvenir. It was especially interesting to watch guests approach the food station that was offering spiced meats spun on skewers with cotton candy. Many initially eschewed the cotton candy but, when they tried one, were surprised to find the blend of sweet and savory so tasty. Guests also bought the 22 pieces of art donated by CAA alums and all the limited-edition plates designed by alums in silent auctions. The event proceeds, which are not being released, support the museum, which director Greg Wittopp describes well in his latest letter at u6.html. SKY Foundation’s November Fundraiser “Pancreatic cancer has found a formidable foe in Sheila Kasselman,” declared Karmanos Cancer Institute VP Nick Karmanos. He was addressing the sold out crowd of 300 gathered at the Townsend to celebrate SKY Foundation’s fifth anniversary. Since founded by Sheila Sky Kasselman following pancreatic cancer surgery, the foundation has raised more than $500,000 to fund research for early pancreatic cancer detection. Karmanos

Cranbrook Art Museum’s Crandemonium



1. Debbie (left) and James Bragman and Lynn and Bharat Gandhi of Bloomfield. 2. Janice Steinhardt (left) of Birmingham with Lynda Charfoos and her daughter Amye Charfoos of Bloomfield. 3. Cathy Rosenthal (left) and Stephan Huber of Bloomfield with Stephen Knollenberg and Roz Jacobson of Birmingham. 4. CEC board chair Bruce Peterson (left), Chris Eikenberry and Dietrick Knoer of Birmingham. 5. Robin Eikenberry (left), Kimberly Peterson and Katy Knoer of Birmingham. 6. Jeanne Graham of Bloomfield and Randy Forester of Birmingham. 7. Peggy Daitch (left), Dr. Yvan Silva and Sue Marx of Birmingham and Sandy Seligman of Bloomfield. 8. Carol Ziecik (left) and Karen Swanson of Bloomfield with Rick Carmody of Berkley. 9. Bill Burdett of Detroit and Amy Zimmer of Bloomfield. 10. Andrea (left) and Erik Morganroth of Birmingham and Jennifer and Paul Silverman of Franklin.









SKY Foundation’s November Fundraiser





1.Rod Meloni (left) and Sheila Sky Kasselman of W. Bloomfield with auctioneer Charles Wickins of Birmingham. 2. Wendy Williams Powers (left) of Bloomfield with Kathy Wilson of Birmingham. 3. Judy McClelland (left) of Birmingham with Shirley Dylewski of Bingham Farms. 4. Niki Gallaudet (center) of Bingham Farms with Margie and Fred Hubacker of Bloomfield. 5. Martha Nefcy (center) of Dearborn with Bob Kupfer (left) and Dave Weir of Bloomfield. 6. Lee (left) and Larry Vogt and Gladys Kowalski of Bloomfield.7. Pat Sullivan (center) of Pontiac with Irv Tobocman and Barb Mazer of Birmingham.



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SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK announced that $50,000 of that has gone to KCI’s Dr. Rafael Fridman and his collaborator at the Mayo Clinic. Karmanos was followed at the podium by University of Washington gastroenterologist/researcher Dr. Teri Brentnall. She gave the best explanation for the critical need for private donations to research I have ever heard. And she did it in layman’s terms. It was so good, that when Dan Glosser, whose wife succumbed to pancreatic cancer, offered to match donations, pledges exceeded $50,000. Auctioneer Charles Wickins, with help from volunteer spotters like Bill Powers and Dave Weir, also got people to bid more than $16,000 for nine items. Combined with proceeds of a silent auction and raffle, the midday event raised more than $250,000.

FAR Conservatory’s Showcase events





1. Pamela Ayres (left) of Bloomfield, Ryan Husaynu of W.Bloomfield and Kelly Donaldson of Plymouth. 2. Tim Travis of Waterford, holding “Q Tip” and Judy Jonna of Bloomfield. 3. Eva Meade and her son Christian Wohler of Bloomfield. 4. Peggy Kerr (left) of Birmingham and Bianca Glendinning of E. Lansing. 5. Carrie Hall (left) and her husband John Schalter of Shelby Twp. with Rose Glendinning of Bloomfield and her father Peter Glendinning of E. Lansing.


Camp Casey’s Giddy Up Gala




1. Molly Reeser (center) of Royal Oak with Judie Sherman (left) and Valerie Straith of Bloomfield. 2. Francee Ford (left) of Bloomfield, Marshall Blau of Bingham Farms and Dale Austin of Grosse Pointe. 3. Tracey and Alex Burnstein of Bloomfield. 4. Bonnie Jobe and Larry Walsh of Bloomfield. 5. Steve Gbara (left) of Birmingham and Ben Thorpe of Berkley. 6. Harvey and Elaine Minkin of Bloomfield.




Chocolate Jubilee Goes Country


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1. Event chair Mary Wilson (left) of Grosse Pointe and her niece Mary Owen of Birmingham. 2. Honorees Lisa and Roger Kasle of Birmingham. 3. Honorees Gary and Becky Sakwa of Bloomfield. 4. Ken and Mari Barnett of Bloomfield.



FAR Conservatory’s Showcase events People with special needs flourish in FAR’s visual and performing arts programs. Goldner Walsh hosted HeART, a collaborative art show and reception featuring original artwork and photography by FAR clients. The photography was created in workshops conducted by Kelly Donaldson ( who brings photo art to children all over the world. Three weeks after the art show, FAR’s signature Flute, Friends and FaLa-La attracted more than 600 to the Seligman Performing Arts Center at DCDS. More than 100 of them, led by event co-chairs Sherine Marzouk and Carrie Weiner, honorary chair Karla Sherry and sponsor Kroger’s Dale Hollandsworth came early for a benefactor dinner. The show featured Alexander Zonjic, Josh White, Jr. and FAR clients performing music from the silver screen. People are still talking about Asia Anderson who sang “When You Believe” with the First Presbyterian Choir and the couples fathers and daughters, mothers and sons - who danced to “Wind Beneath My Wings.” The FAR Bazaar offering client artwork for sale did bustling business before and after the show. The 13th annual event raised $90,000 for FAR’s enrichment programs serving more than 1,200 people. Learn all about FAR at Camp Casey’s Giddy Up Gala Camp Casey’s sixth annual “dress up” fundraiser attracted 100 supporters ($125 & up) to Knollwood Country Club for cocktails, a silent auction and raffle, a southwest dinner and the toe tapping music of Annabelle Road. Monica 01.14

SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Gayle and Dan Petry emceed a brief program which was highlighted by a heart-warming video of the organization’s horsey programs for children with cancer and the enthusiasm of its director, Molly Reeser. She founded CC more than 10 years ago because she had seen the therapeutic effects horses had on an adorable, young cancer patient, the late Casey Foote, at an MSU horse farm. Now the non-profit organization annually takes the healing power of horses to more than 275 children with cancer and their families through three, cost-free programs: weekend cowboy camp outs, horsey house calls and day outings. Because there are more than 500 CC volunteers, the $15,000-plus that Giddy Up Gala netted will cover a lot of horseplay. Find out more about it at

The DIA A Night of Illusion











Chocolate Jubilee Goes Country Boots, buckles and cowboy hats were de rigueur when the Alzheimer’s Association’s 29th annual Chocolate Jubilee, chaired by Mary Wilson, went country this year. It attracted 750 gussied up cowboys and girls to the MGM Grand for some high falutin’ horsing around including country music and line dancing to Devin Scillian and his Arizona Son. Guests also previewed “The Journey,” a new AA video, and honored the extraordinary generosity of the Kasel Family as well as the Gary Sakwas, Jim Grosfelds, Ralph Wilsons, Bruce Rosens, Paul Alandts and Charity Motors. The Chocolate Bonanza exhibition earned its usual rave reviews. Thanks also to presenting sponsor Quicken Loans the event raised a heap of cash - $1-million - for services to patients, their families and research.




1. Lauren Fisher (left), Nedda Shayota and Karen Davidson of Bloomfield. 2. Phillip Fisher (left) of Bloomfield and Gene Gargaro of Grosse Pointe. 3. Elise and Rip Hayes of Bloomfield. 4. Dan (left) and Kathy Carroll and Christine and John Giampetroni of Bloomfield. 5. Peter Remington (left) of Birmingham and Mark Reuss of Bloomfield. 6. Ethan and Gretchen Davidson of Birmingham. 7. Lenora Gimpert (left) of Birmingham with Dr. Michael Sherbin, Bonnie Jobe and Larry Walsh of Bloomfield. 8. Wendy Silverman (left), Sal Salort-Pons and Rebecca and Alan Ross of Bloomfield. 9. Drs. Daisy and Renato Ramos of Bloomfield. 10. Kim Reuss (left) of Bloomfield with Arnie Weingarden and his wife Joanne Danto and Peggy Daitch of Birmingham. 11. Jane Schulak (left) of Birmingham and Karen Davidson of Bloomfield. 12. Bruce Kridler (left) of Bloomfield, Andy Cox of Lake Orion and Andy Jacob of Franklin.


Eagles for Children Last year Oakland Hills Country Club members Hal Zaima and Don Kegley started the non-profit Eagles for Children to benefit disadvantaged children. Its sole means of fundraising is to charge golfers a minimum of $2 for each eagle (two strokes below par) they card. The first year EfC raised $40,000. This year, with golfers from Oakland Hills CC, Walnut Creek CC, Pine Lake CC, CC of Detroit, Western Golf & CC and Oakhurst CC shooting 223 eagles, they really soared, raising nearly $138,000. It was presented to representatives of the charities at a breakfast event before Thanksgiving at Oakland Hills. To learn the charities and how to participate go to 01.14

The DIA A Night of Illusion The energy level at the DIA’s annual fall gala is always high, but this year it seemed more lively than ever. Not surprising since it was inspired by the special exhibition “Watch Me Move: The Animation Show.” And NewD Media, the talent that created the interactive animated sculpture at the end of the exhibition, gave the museum a concert aura with artistic light projections throughout the night. Event co-chairs Karen Davidson, Lauren Fisher, Vivian R. Pickard and Nedda Shayota were pleased that the party sold out with 529 dinner guests seated in the Great Hall and Rivera Court. Museum director Graham Beal and board chair Gene Gargaro thanked all and, depending on the ticket level, Forte Belanger’s cuisine varied slightly - angus filet for the $2,500 ticket holders and braised short ribs for the $600 tickets. They were joined after dinner by 300 late night guests ($100 tickets) and most toured the cutting edge animation exhibition then danced past midnight to music by DEFTMIX. Thanks also to generous sponsors, the evening netted $1 million, 30 percent over the committee’s ambitious goal. “Watch Me Move”, the most extensive animation exhibition ever mounted, features both iconic moments and lesser-known masterpieces from the last 150 years. It closes at the end of the day Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. Stomp Out Diabetes The American Diabetes Assocition’s seventh annual wine splashed fundraiser moved to The Townsend this year and 225 attended. On the stroll they consumed such elegant fare as smoked salmon, Spanish paella with saffron rice, baby lamb chops, mushroom risotto and roasted beef tips artfully paired by The Townsend chef with wines from five countries. While the Sinatra-like tones of Ben Sharkey and his crew filled the ballroom, they also bid in a small silent auction that raised more than $5,500. Event chairs Gary Edelson and Eric Langer thanked the generous sponsors and committee volunteers before WDIV meteorologist Brandon Roux, who has Type 1 diabetes, spoke about the promise of the artificial pancreas as “…the cat’s meow” for managing diabetes. He concluded, “…I can see the future and…the future is bright.” The splendid evening raised more than $70,000 for patient services and research. The next ADA benefit - Commitment for a

Stomp Out Diabetes






1. Drs. Gary Edelson (left) of Franklin and Eric Langer of Troy. 2. Evan (left) and Nickole Black of Troy and Lori and Marc Siegel of Bloomfield. 3. Michael (left) and Alicia Stillman of W. Bloomfield and Alan Cutler of Birmingham. 4. Effie Steele of Bloomfield and Shari Stanbach and Bonnie Castro of Grand Rapids. 5. Jennifer Miller and David Doyle of Birmingham. 6. Jason Baynak of Shelby Twp. and Julie Lundberg of Bloomfield. 7. Alan J. Kaufman (left) and Sally and Graham Orley of Bloomfield. 8. Nick Bennedetti (left) of Chesterfield with William Steele of Bloomfield.





SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Cure Gala - is Saturday, March 29, at the MGM Grand. For more information, contact Brandy Hirschlieb at (248) 4333830, ext. 6688. Cheryl Hall Lindsay’s Retirement Salute A steady stream of well wishers poured into Saks Fifth Avenue’s Designer’s Salon just before Thanksgiving to toast the woman they have loved as an invaluable member of uncountable fundraising committees during the 35 years she directed SFA’s fashionable community outreach events. Looking as young as she did when she started, the personable red head, wearing her favorite color - hot pink – was all smiles as she admitted, “I never felt like I was going to work. My job has always been fun.” Volunteer mavens in the crowd breathed a sigh of relief when Cheryl said she would continue in a complimentary role, but will no longer be punching a clock. Piety Hill DAR Veterans Day Salute Terri Krause chaired the Piety Hill Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution’s Veteran’s Day Ceremony in Birmingham that attracted nearly 100 to Shain Park on a cold, rainy day. They witnessed the traditional posting of colors, placing of wreaths at both the World War II and Civil War monuments, Judy Cochill singing the National Anthem with bagpiper Frank Stasa and Lynn Hoellars Popa playing taps. But the highlight was the keynote address given by US Army Veteran Ingrid Tighe. The first woman to be honored at the Veteran’s Day program, Tighe served in Bahdad with the 1st Cavalry Division and in Germany, Macedonia and Kosovo with the 1st Infantry Division. Cranbrook Holiday Tables events Stephen and Bobbi Polk’s Bloomfield Hills home was a perfect setting for the Cranbrook House & Gardens Auxiliary’s Holiday Tables event that saluted the Holiday Tables benefactors ($125). Not only is it historic, being only seven years younger than Cranbrook House which was completed in 1908, it also has splendid, panoramic gardens that were visible before nightfall. Speaking of age, renowned pianist Alice Haidostian, whose virtuosity belies her 88 years, was not the most senior in the crowd of 40 guests. That honor went to 96-year old Tina Scheiwe. And not surprisingly, the congenial in-home hospitality for which the Polks are famous included socializing in the kitchen and interest82

Cranbrook Holiday Tables events


2 1. Steve Polk (left) with Dom DiMarco and Jay Cooke of Bloomfield. 2. Bobbi Polk (left) with Peter and Tina Scheiwe of Bloomfield. 3. Beth (left) and Dick Lilley of Birmingham with Diane De Movellan of Beverly Hills. 4. Sheryl Kammer (left) and Alice Haidostian of Bloomfield. 5. Erin DiMarco (left) and Tom Balames of Bloomfield with Julie Ritter of Orchard Lake. 6. Randy Forester (left) of Birmingham with Michael Crain and Marcy Glencer of W. Bloomfield. 7. Chris Cooke (left) of Bloomfield and Rochelle Forester of Birmingham. 8. Dominic (left) and Cindy Schicano of Franklin with Queenie Sarkisian of Bloomfield and Nancy Kulish of Southfield. 9. Valerie Leebove (left) and Judy Anderson of Bloomfield. 10. John and Marilynn Rusche of Birmingham.










SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Lighting the Way for the Holidays






1. Gail (left) and Jeff Van Cleave of Troy with Becky Yellen of Bloomfield. 2. Mary Lou Schmidt (left) with Don and Melissa Stebbins of Bloomfield. 3. Priscilla Perkins of Troy and CJ Ghesquiere of Bloomfield. 4. Julie Sosa (left) and Carol Shaya of Bloomfield with Amy Hoglund of Birmingham. 5. Ian and Connie McEwan of Birmingham. 6. Sheri Boos (left) and Pam Dolan of Bloomfield. 7. Marcy Hayes (left) of Farmington Hills, Debbie Dingell of Dearborn and Vivian Pickard of Bloomfield. 8. Mollie (left) and Tom Saeli of Birmingham and Amy Peash of Bloomfield. 9. Judge Lisa Goryca (left) of Troy with Karen Shapiro of Bloomfield and Dan Griffin of Warren.




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Salute to Child Advocate Debra Partridge and Marianne Endicott chaired a luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club that saluted Ann Nicholson for her long time, hands-on commitment and leadership of Wayne State University’s Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development. The tribute included remarks from friend and fellow institute board member Phebe Goldstein and institute director Dr. Peter Lichtenberg. Included in the audience of 55 admirers were Ann’s husband Jim and son, David, who was recently elected to the Wayne State Board of Governors.

3 1. Ellen Lietch (left) and Betsy Laboe of Birmingham. 2. Diana Day (left) of Birmingham and Shelly Lanesky of Bloomfield. 3. Joy Di Censo (left) of Bloomfield and Mary Dakin of Birmingham. 4. Wendy Miller (left) and Janine Toundaian of Bloomfield. 5. Meg Ferron of Bloomfield with Henry Lee of W. Bloomfield.

Lighting the Way for the Holidays Patty and CJ Ghesquiere, Priscilla and Huel Perkins, and Melissa and Don Stebbins co-chaired the annual holiday season kick off benefiting the hundreds of families adopted by Lighthouse of Oakland County at Christmas. They moved it to The Townsend this year and 225 people attended. They not only savored cocktails and a gourmet strolling dinner, shopped for holiday décor and gifts in a silent auction ($16,000), they also had a fun show to watch. The Decorating Duel featured good sport designers Jon Gerych and David C. McKnight each decorating an evergreen tree in what was labeled The Ultimate Flock-Off. Their transformations were fascinating to observe and, when the voting was done, the popular vote went to McKnight by a hair, and the judges called the duel a tie. Both trees sold for $500 during the live auction of 10 items ($9,600) conducted by Huel Perkins and Detroit News columnist Neal Rubin. The spirited evening raised more than $80,000 for Lighthouse. Winter Holiday Gift Show Preview Party Two hundred people ($45 tickets) flocked to The Community House for the Preview Party chaired by Betsy Laboe and Ellen Leitch that kicked off the annual Gift Show. They socialized, sipped, supped and shopped at the booths stocked by 50 vendors. Everyone was raving about Detroit Scroll, which featured wall art produced from vintage Detroit bus scrolls and the estate and Victorian jewelry at Very Jewelry Yours. Shelly Lanesky chaired the show that attracted more than 1,000 ($7 admission) during the following two days. Proceeds benefit children’s outreach programs at TCH.

Winter Holiday Gift Show Preview Party


ing food talk with caterer Diane De Movellan. Others at the party included exhibitors Judy Anderson and Cindy Schiano, the Polks’ next door neighbor Sheryl Kammer, and Holiday Tables chair Randy Forester. The exhibition of 13 extraordinary tablescapes opened a month after the benefactor party and 60 Patron Tea guests were the first to view them. Before the three-day show closed, nearly 600 tourists toured the exhibition. Many stopped at the auxiliary gift shop and at one or more of the free seminars. The 38th annual fundraiser for the auxiliary’s preservation and restoration projects raised approximately $30,000.


Send ideas for this column to Sally Gerak, 28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, 48304; email or call 248.646.6390. 01.14

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Balance library against other needs


ollowing months of work, meetings, and analysis, the Birmingham Joint Library Building Committee presented schematic designs developed for a proposed Baldwin Library renovation and expansion project to the city commission in late November, and commissioners accepted the general drawings, directing city staff to develop a financial plan to fund a $21.5 million library project that, if approved by the commission in February, would go before Birmingham voters on May 6, 2014. However, before anyone rushes to place this on the ballot, other needs in the city, which might also require voter approval, must be weighed against the library proposal. Baldwin Library was first built in 1927, with its entrance facing Martin Street, parallel to city hall. Additions were added in 1960 and 1980, which not only enlarged the library, adding larger reference, meeting and youth rooms, but also reoriented its entrance to Merrill Street. Last year, the city set up a library committee comprised of members of the library board and city commissioners. Mayor Scott Moore and commissioners Gordon Rinschler and Rackeline Hoff sat on it, and hired an architecture firm out of Ann Arbor, Quinn Evans. The committee eventually chose a conceptual plan in October which would take down both the 1960 and 1980 additions, leaving only the original 1927 building, which

would be enhanced. A new building would be built in the shape of a rectangle on Merrill Street stretching from Chester to Bates the full length of the block, two stories tall with the addition of a basement for three stories of use. The new building would be integrated and connected to the original library on the main floor in the center of the block. During the design process, the committee identified needs and wants. Before the city commission authorizes a financial plan and ballot language for a dedicated library bond, we believe they should carefully and thoroughly look at all of the city's needs, and wants, as well. Birmingham wants a newly-renovated and expanded Baldwin Library, but it doesn't necessarily need it done right now, especially for $21.5 million, even if some are concerned that it will cost more in a few years. The library, while in need of updates, continues to be a functional facility for the residents of Birmingham and its contract communities of Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms and Bloomfield Hills. However, Birmingham does have several upcoming needs, most pressing of which is upgrading its aging infrastructure (sewer and water systems) and roads. At the same November meeting at which city commissioners approved the Baldwin Library renovation and expansion project, commissioners also approved a resolution receiving the multi-modal transportation plan which will now

be used to guide city staff as it begins implementing it for policy and program recommendations for all future transportation projects in Birmingham. It will act as a master plan as the city proceeds with future road, parking and other transit projects. Road reconstruction is an ongoing maintenance issue in any city, and Birmingham is no different. Senior services are also a concern in a city with an aging population. Moore pointed out during the library discussion at the city commission meeting that “the money we're getting from the state, the revenue sharing, has dropped significantly, to only about 20 to 25 percent of what we spend on roads. With so much revenue down, roads everywhere are suffering, and the question is what are we going to do about it. Going forward, we have to figure it out and it's not going to be fun.” Commissioner Tom McDaniel concurred, noting that the current balance in the city's street fund is nearing zero. “I'm not comfortable going forward not knowing how we're going to pay for it,” he said. We aren't either. It would not be fair to Birmingham taxpayers, the only ones paying for Baldwin's renovation, to ask them to approve a sizable bond this year, and then come back to them next year for roads and infrastructure and/or other needs. It would be far more prudent to wait on holding a special bond millage election for a library project until all of the city's needs are thoroughly analyzed and prioritized.

More data needed on city parking crisis


or the first time since city leaders can recall, the demand for monthly parking permits at Birmingham's five city-owned parking structures is at a point where demand now exceeds the supply. Monthly permits are primarily utilized by those who work at companies located in the city or at retail or dining establishments in the downtown area. A smaller percentage are given out to residents of the downtown area, such as to residents of Baldwin House. Birmingham has five parking garages at pivotal points in the downtown area to accommodate shoppers, diners and workers. They are the Pierce Street structure; Park Street structure; Old Woodward structure; Peabody Street structure; and the Chester Street parking structure. The Auto Parking System constructed the five current structures from 1966 to 1989. Paul O'Meara, Birmingham city engineer, reported that once the Chester Street garage opened in 1989, there was a period of little growth in the downtown area, and for many years it appeared as though the newest facility would be chronically underutilized. A confluence of events have led to the higher than usual requests for monthly parking permits, which are only good for a specific parking structure. The economy has rebounded, with the downtown overlay area experiencing an

approximate 97 percent occupancy rate. On top of that, there has been an influx of high-tech companies into Birmingham in recent years, meaning that while a previous business may have had four or five employees, newer tech companies coming to Birmingham are filling desks with numerous people on computers, increasing the number of employees requiring parking permits at the parking structures. The former Jacobson's store on Maple is now McCann Worldgroup advertising agency, with several hundred employees parking in the Chester lot. Additionally, 150 parking permits have been promised to businessman Jeff Surnow for the former Birmingham Schools administrative building which is under reconstruction. O'Meara reported to the Principal Shopping District (PSD) board that the city performed a survey of the parking system on a random fall Thursday, helping to inform his department of the increased need for parking permits. His recommendation to the PSD board was to increase the Pierce Street garage by two floors, which he said could be done beginning this coming summer, for approximately $9 million. It would be partially paid for from savings from the parking fund, to the tune of about half of the costs, and the remainder would be from raising fees on parking and assessments on businesses in the PSD area.

We feel that could be a rash decision. Without a more detailed sampling of parking needs, the results of a city-proposed survey of merchants and other businesses, the city does not really know if there is a sustained demand for parking permits, or a temporary crisis. A system-wide parking study which was conducted and finalized in 2000 needs to be dusted off and reevaluated. In the last 14 years, the city has undergone a boom, an economic bust, and is booming once again. A decade ago there were plans to build an underground parking facility below Shain Park when it was redeveloped, but costs proved higher than expected and that plan was shelved, leaving Birmingham with less parking spots as the park expanded onto the surface lot. A new parking study may be the wisest investment of all. Lastly, if it is determined that parking improvements are warranted, members of the PSD board have suggested that the formula for assessments, which weigh more heavily on ground floor businesses than second story offices, must be reviewed given the fact that office workers may be driving this increased demand. Obviously there is much work to do before the city commits to expanding the parking structure offerings.

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January 2014 - DOWNTOWN is an upscale monthly full-color news magazine mailed at no charge to homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and...