GERAK: SOCIAL SCENE • HEALD: NEW HELLAS FARMINGTON HILLS
MISSING STATE CLEAN-UP FUNDS TAX AT PUMP GETS DIVERTED FROM LEAKING UNDERGROUND FUEL TANKS ASSESSMENTS: LITTLE HELP FOR COMMUNITIES IN RISING NUMBERS ZERO-TOLERANCE: SCHOOLS RETHINK 'GET TOUGH' POLICIES
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OvER 65 MILLIOn SOLD In 2013
Slow recovery on local budgets While home sales prices and property assessments have been increasing, local municipal budgets will not be seeing a windfall anytime soon.
The magnet for Greek cuisine has moved to Farmington Hills at the new New Hellas restaurant on Northwestern Highway.
81: Judith Burdick
39: Timothy Page
103: Rachel Schostak
48: Elizabeth Rose
MISSING STATE CLEAN-UP FUNDS
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. 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 (downtownpublications.com) and click on “subscriptions” in the top index and place your order on-line or scan the QR Code here.
ASSESSMENTS: LITTLE HELP FOR COMMUNITIES IN RISING NUMBERS ZERO-TOLERANCE: SCHOOLS RETHINK 'GET TOUGH' POLICIES
Birmingham's Baldwin Public Library on Merrill Street, which will be the subject of a public bond vote in May. Downtown photo: Rachel Bechard.
DOWNTOWN • WESTEND • THE GUIDE 124 WEST MAPLE ROAD BIRMINGHAM MI 48009 P: 248.792.6464 downtownpublications.com facebook.com/downtownpublications • twitter.com/downtownpubs
Publisher:David Hohendorf AdManager:Jill Cesarz AdSales:Matthew Swigart Graphics:Glynn Barnett NewsEditor:Lisa Brody
NewsStaff/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.
Rodney Strong Vineyards produces three single vineyard designated cabernet sauvignons grown in Alexander Valley that demonstrate the importance of place.
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TAX AT PUMP GETS DIVERTED FROM LEAKING UNDERGROUND FUEL TANKS
Update on municipal golf courses; library bond vote set; Valentine takes over in Birmingham; multi-modal committee; Bloomfield Township 5-year plan; plus more
FOCUS ON WINE
Schools are now taking a look at zero-tolerance policies of past years when it comes to student punishment.
Searching for tolerance
You pay extra at the pump to address underground fuel tank leakage problems but the money often gets diverted.
AT THE TABLE
GERAK: SOCIAL SCENE • HEALD: NEW HELLAS FARMINGTON HILLS
A recap of select categories of crime occurring in the past month in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills, presented in map format.
29: Elizabeth Hieter
Leaking storage tanks
Good news on municipal golf courses; focus on alleys where retail now exists.
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 email@example.com; 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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FROM THE PUBLISHER
s news coverage by reporters at Downtown Birmingham/Bloomfield continues on a daily basis, either for our monthly print edition of the newsmagazine or the ongoing updates to our website, it’s interesting to watch the machinations of government unfold against the backdrop of international news each evening about burgeoning attempts at democracy in a number of aspiring nations around the world.
disparity has become the buzz word in terms of political platforms and objectives. At Downtown we are reminded on an almost daily basis that perhaps the closest thing to a participatory democracy occurs at a local level where residents can still show up at meetings of the local township board or city council or meetings of their appointed boards and committees to weigh in on local issues of immediate concern.
We are fortunate in these times to have had the major battles fought hundreds of years ago to establish the representative democracy as we know it today.
While not a participatory democracy in its purest form, it is grassroots democracy at its finest, although it only happens on a limited basis.
I distinguish our form of democracy as representative from what might be referred to as participatory democracy.
The next best thing in terms of approaching a participatory democracy is to be informed and actually exercise one’s right to vote, something that does not take place often enough when one reviews the low voter turnouts in too many elections.
Our system of self governance entails electing leaders on a periodic basis to hopefully represent the views of the majority at a national, state, county and local level, as opposed to making collective group decisions in the “town square” – so to speak. From the standpoint of sheer size of population, a pure form of participatory democracy is no longer possible. Throughout history, and in more recent times, we have seen attempts at participatory democracy, such as the start and development of the women’s movement and the peace movements in the 1960’s and 1970’s – all efforts that eventually grew into larger national movements which influenced the public agenda of our representative democracy. The most recent example of an attempt at participatory democracy would be the Occupy Wall Street movement in the fall of 2011 with a two-month dramatic camp-in/sleep-in protest in the Wall Street financial district of New York City, which eventually spread to other cities across the country. Social and economic equality concerns were at the center of the Occupy movement, where New York City’s Zuccotti Park protesters on a daily basis attempted to set an agenda through classic participatory democracy. Although the Occupy movement moved out of the headlines two years later, the issues the protestors brought to the forefront have now worked themselves into the general discussion of issues in the representative democracy as evidenced by the recent mayoral campaigns in New York and other major cities across the country, along with the latest tack by President Obama, in which economic
You can write it off to busy lifestyles or work schedules in a lame attempt at an excuse, but clearly there has developed a disengagement on the part of the voting public when it comes to taking the time to understand the issues and candidates and either show up at the polling places or cast an absentee ballot to at least be involved in setting the agenda for the representative democracy under which we govern ourselves. Author James Miller (Democracy is in the Streets), professor of politics at the New School for Social Research, probably said it best years ago when he observed that politics has become more of a “spectator sport” with declining involvement of those being governed. I raise this issue now because 2014 is an important election year in which voters have the opportunity to determine a host of elected offices from the U.S. Senate and House, Michigan governor, the state house and senate to county commissioners, along with some important local issues. Clearly we need less “spectators” and more participants if we are to both preserve the system we now have and make it work. If you doubt it, just remind yourself of those fighting, and in some cases dying, around the world so that they can have the system of governance that we now enjoy.
David Hohendorf Publisher DavidHohendorf@downtownpublications.com
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ISRAEL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Zubin Mehya, music director Saturday, March 15, 8:45 pm Hill Auditorium 825 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, along with their “Music Director for Life,” Zubin Mehta, returns to Ann Arbor for the first time in a decade. Bronislaw Huberman founded the IPO in 1936, and their inaugural concert was conducted by Arturo Toscanini. For more than 75 years, the orchestra has hosted the world’s greatest conductors and soloists while developing Israeli artists and young talent from both Israel and abroad. Born in Bombay, Zubin Mehta’s affiliation with the orchestra dates back more than 40 years. He has also served as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic, and counts among his many accolades a star on Hollywood Boulevard.
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J A Z Z AT L I N CO L N CENTER ORECHESTRA W I T H W Y N TO N M A R S A L I S ,T R U M P E T
Sunday, March 30, 4 pm Hill Auditorium 825 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Performing music that links today’s improvisers with the rich history of traditional and contemporary big-band composition, Wynton Marsalis’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra brings an expansive range of music to the most treasured international stages. Despite one of the most aggressive touring schedules in the business, JLCO makes each concert fresh, drawing in audiences who are continually energized and amazed by the group’s depth of outrageous talent. For their Ann Arbor performance, the Jazz at Lincoln Center will perform a range of repertoire including Duke Ellington compositions, historic Detroit Jazz, and historic New Orleans Jazz.
Symphony No. 8 in c minor (1890 version)
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INCOMING Patterson accomplishments Publisher David Hohendorf's comments on Brooks Patterson (February 2014/Downtown) were well taken. It is high time that his efforts and accomplishments are acknowledged. So his comments may seem a bit salty compared with the P.C. boilerplate most politicians employ. At least he has our attention. Marion Costello, Bloomfield Hills
Peace in the womb There is only one important issue here: perception of what is being aborted (From the Publisher/January 2014) Science has proved that what many believe can be terminated is not part of a woman's body, but another human being -- her developing child, with its own DNA. What could be more ethical than protecting the lives of the most vulnerable in our society? We all hope and pray for peace. There will never be true peace until there is peace in the womb. John F. and Sally A McGrath, Beverly Hills
Glaring disdain As a reader of Downtown, I must say that I was offended by some of the comments in the January From the Publisher article. I realize that the greater point of David Hohendorf’s editorial was in regard to term limits. However, in citing the recent legislation concerning abortions and insurance coverage as his example of the negative aspect of term limits, I was particularly dismayed at his reference to those who are against abortion as the Right to Life “crowd”. His disdain for those whose views differ from his was apparent. I consider myself a member of the “crowd” of which he spoke. By referring to those who believe that abortion is wrong as a “crowd”, his sneering disdain was glaring. Could he not have simply referred to those whose views on the subject differ from his in a courteous manner – such as, “those members of the Right to Life Movement” – some type of objective reference, as opposed to a subtly demeaning and disparaging one? I find it interesting that many of those who espouse a liberal/progressive agenda of tolerance are often those who are least tolerant of those with opposing views. Eileen Ball, Bloomfield Hills downtownpublications.com
SPEAK OUT We welcome your opinion on issues facing the Birmingham/Bloomfield communities. Opinions can be sent via e-mail to email@example.com or mailed to Downtown Publications, 124 West Maple Road, Birmingham MI 48009. While we don’t have a specific word limitation, we reserve the right to edit for length.
Birmingham City Manager Mr. Bruner (Birmingham City Manager) should have been free to talk with Huntington Woods or any other potential employer pending the outcome of his negotiations with Birmingham (Endnote/February 2014/Downtown). In the Business 101 of the “real world” of “successful companies”, any employee, from janitor to vice president, reports only to one supervisor. The more potential supervisors a person has, the more likely that any company will be chaotic and not follow the rules of “good management”. A typical example of bad management is a small company where all employees report to “the partners”. In the “auto world,” it would be unthinkable that any Big Three director would ever call a local plant manager. In Birmingham, the city manager traditionally has been expected to respond to the city commissioners individually, many of whom feel free to call or visit, usually on behalf of a constituent. The mayor should be their contact person. City commissioners should operate like the directors of a large corporation. Their opinion should be solicited and allowed only during scheduled meetings of all commissioners. I, for one, would like you to publish Bruner’s current salary and fringe package, and that of the five highest–paid Birmingham employees, with and without overtime. The present salary and benefit package of Mr. Bruner is less than that of a typical junior high school assistant principal. This is a municipal disgrace. Do the commissioners want DOWNTOWN
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to hire a first-class administrator, or just another stooge or mantelpiece? And why shouldn’t the Birmingham City Manager have a salary equal to that of the Bloomfield Township Supervisor? Is his job any less difficult or stressful? The local press has an obligation to be a watch dog, not a lap dog. Richard Rosenbaum, Bloomfield Hills
Heather Catallo story Let me tell you my Heather Catallo (Faces/February 2014/Downtown) story. When the King family started its search on the possible involvement of Christopher Busch in the murder of my son, Tim, my daughter made a Freedom of Information Act request to the Bloomfield Township Police Department for his suicide file. She was advised on January 28, 2008 that the report had been destroyed in accord with standard procedures. On December 3, 2009, 22 months later, Heather Catallo gave me the report. In early November of 2009, I requested from the Genesee County Circuit Court the criminal files on Busch and his companion, Gregory Greene. The clerk advised me she could not locate them. On February 17, 2010, Heather gave me both files. These were the first two public files we requested and Heather’s work prompted us to commence our public activity. Barry King, Birmingham
Library Endnote response In response to the editorial about the Baldwin Library project (Endnote/February 2014/Downtown), funds for required professional fees of $1.661 million (largely architectural services), furniture and furnishings of $1.050 million, and an owner’s representative of $183,000 are included in the total project costs of $21.5 million. Also, you were critical of the lack of funding for computers. Technology infrastructure costs of $100,000 are included (e.g., improved cabling). The original Quinn Evans amount for computers and related equipment such as scanners and printers of $470,000 was based on a formula, and were taken out of the project for several reasons: · The library project does not call for an increased number of computers or computer related equipment. · The library views computers as an operating expense, which are replaced and updated on a regular basis (as we downtownpublications.com
know, computers have a limited technological life). Therefore, at the launch of the expanded library, existing computer equipment would be adequate for the most part. · If upgrades are desirable above normal operating requirements (e.g., specialized software or equipment), these could be funded through fundraising, or the Library Trust. And, from a finance and accounting perspective, including equipment with a limited life of three years or so was not deemed an appropriate item to include in a bond issue. Although this note was written mainly to address issues you had with the numbers and project funding, I will briefly cover a couple other criticisms contained in your editorial. The project was not “rushed” as you wrote in the editorial. This project began over three years ago with the library’s 2010-2013 strategic plan. The community’s needs and wants regarding Baldwin library have been thoroughly researched and documented, functional requirements determine by a nationally recognized library consultant, and conceptual design and cost completed by a wellrespected library and historic building architectural firm. Saying it was rushed does an injustice to the three city commissioners, three library board members, and planning board member that formed the Joint Library Planning Committee (JLBC), who unanimously recommended the project. It’s time for the citizens of Birmingham to vote on it. Putting it on the May 6 ballot makes sense from several perspectives: the project is as complete as it going to be prior to obtaining bond funding; there is plenty of time for the public to become educated about the project; and May 6 is driven by the design and construction schedule that calls for beginning construction in June-July 2015. A delay of the vote to November, would delay the project by more than 6 months, perhaps 12 months, because the 2015 summer/fall construction season would be lost. Regarding staffing, a requirement for the project all along was not to increase staffing levels. This has been accomplished through careful planning in the location of staffing desks and improved sight lines. The library is confident that there will be no increase in staff driven by this project. Jim Suhay, member Baldwin Library Board and Joint Library Building Committee DOWNTOWN
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These are the crimes reported under select categories by police officials in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills through February 14, 2014. Placement of codes is approximate.
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BUDGETS CHALLENGED DESPITE SALES PRICES SLOW COMEBACK FOR LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES
BY LISA BRODY & KEVIN ELLIOTT
omeowners are feeling happy once again, as assessed property values and home sales prices have begun to show significant improvements after years of depressed worth. In the metropolitan Detroit area, Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties all had residential property values showing gains for the first time in six years, after a recession that in actuality more closely resembled a depression to the individuals, businesses and municipalities who had the misfortune to have to live through it.
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Assessments and values vary widely by individual community, but overall, southeastern Michigan’s Detroit metropolitan area has seen home prices rise 52 percent since the end of 2009, after first watching them plummet an average of 60 percent. While sales prices do not directly correlate to taxable values, Oakland County overall has seen the needle of the arrow turn northwards. Locally, residential property sales values have increased by an average of 10.66 percent in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area from 2013 to 2014, according to figures provided by Oakland County Equalization Division manager Dave Hieber. Countywide, property assessments increased by an average of 8.38 percent. In neighborhoods that once saw for sale signs litter the landscape like neglected garbage and foreclosure notices scattered about with abandon, houses are now selling at a rapid clip. Real estate, that sacred cow of a commodity, is hot once again. So while sales values and corresponding assessment values declined in recent years, the situation is starting to reverse itself.
et despite the rise in values, this has not translated into a windfall for government units relying on tax revenues to underwrite budgets, thanks to a couple of long-standing constitutional amendments and some legislative action this past year. The first roadblock to recovery for municipal budgets was actually enacted by voters in 1978. Called the Headlee Amendment, this constitutional amendment keeps taxes from increasing more than the rate of inflation and automatically “rolls back” a municipality’s millage rate to cap overall community revenue growth at the rate of inflation. An exception to the cap on taxation involves new construction and improvements to existing structures, the full value of which can be added to the tax rolls, a definite boost to the municipal revenue stream. The Headlee Amendment was enacted because real estate values were increasing at a fast pace, driving up assessed values so when taxing entities – cities, townships, villages, the state – calculated property taxes based on how much the property was worth, they would collect a windfall in terms of new revenues each year. But the Headlee Amendment altered that scenario. Then in 1994, state voters approved Proposal A, another constitutional amendment which was aimed at moving most of school funding to an increased state sales tax. At the same time, Proposal A cut property taxes and capped them while creating a new gauge – taxable value – as the basis for the calculation of property tax. Any increase in taxable value is limited to the Consumer Price Index of inflation or 5 percent, which ever is lower. While under the pre-1994 system taxes were tied directly to state equalized valuation (SEV), which is generally 50 percent of market value, capped taxable value is determined by taking the previous year’s taxable value, plus/minus losses or additions to a property, with an adjustment for the rate of inflation or five percent, which ever is lower. Another factor affecting municipalities in limiting the amount of taxes local governments can collect are recent changes made by the Governor Rick Snyder administration to personal property taxes paid by businesses. In December 2012, Snyder signed into law 11 bills affecting the taxation of personal property. Beginning on December 31, 2013, owners of personal property or commercial personal property with a true cash value less than $80,000 can file for an exemption. The exemption refers to industrial and commercial personal property, such as machinery and equipment. Hieber said personal property tax revenues account for about 7 percent of all tax revenues in the county. Exemptions being implemented this year, he said, will equate to about a 15 percent
reduction in personal property tax revenues countywide. The personal property tax exemption, Hieber said, will likely impact communities with greater amounts of commercial and industrial businesses, such as Auburn Hills. Assessed residential property values rose in double digits in Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, and Bloomfield Township is coming close. As of January, residential property values in Birmingham increased about 11.36 percent from the previous year, with ratios equaling about 44.45 percent of a property’s market value. Property values in Bloomfield Township increased about 9.90 percent on average, with ratios at about 45.04 percent of their market value. Values in Bloomfield Hills increased about 10.74 percent, with ratios equaling about 44.7 percent of market value. The increases mark the second consecutive year for increased values in all three of the municipalities in the past decade, indicating that home values that stabilized in 2012 continue to rise. Home values in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area showed the first signs of dropping in 2007 when values in Bloomfield Hills dropped .8 percent from 2006. Values continued to drop in subsequent years, falling by an average of 13 percent in 2009; 11.29 percent in 2010; and 8.14 percent in 2011 in the three communities. Values began stabilizing in 2012 and increasing by an average of 10.35 percent in 2013. These increases don’t portend a windfall for local government. As taxable values fell, so did the budgetary amounts that local government had to work with. Local government budgets are based on taxable values, not on increased market value. With capped valuations and inflation remaining low under Headlee and Proposal A, municipal budgets remain squeezed. “This is one of the most difficult budget years we have faced because of the cap only going up 1.6 percent,” Bloomfield Township Supervisor Leo Savoie said. “In income, that equates to only about $500,000. For every one percent in CPI, that brings in $320,000. If we’re able to get another half percent, we could get about $650,000 in additional revenue. With pension obligation funds increasing $1.5 million in costs, health care costs increasing, and all employees receiving a 2 percent raise in 2013, it’s a tough budget we’re facing. The CPI is great if you are a homeowner, but it strangles you as municipality.” Savoie pointed out that all municipalities are faced with increases in utilities – just like the rest of us – with rises in prices in electricity and gas, as well as the large equipment purchases that they have, such as fire trucks and snow plows. “Large equipment purchases go up so much higher than the CPI,” he said. Add in the much higher than normal costs from this winter incurred by clearing months of snow and ice covered roads and patching an excess of potholes, and the increase in property values, the CPI, has now become a liability. “Right now, it’s a matter of cutting back and not doing things out of the ordinary,” Savoie said. “We had hoped for a light winter. Well, that didn’t happen. We are fortunate we have the reserves. We had put $1 million to $1.5 million from previous years’ accounts aside, put that money into a VEBA account.”
espite the stranglehold on Bloomfield Township – just like other communities – Savoie said, “I don’t find Proposal A overly offensive. But nobody envisioned the fall in values that occurred. Everyone always thought they would go steadily upwards. They always had.” He says he believes it will take 15 years – possibly until 2030 – to get SEVs back to where they were for municipalities in 2007. “It was a freefall going down, and it’s baby steps going back up,” he pointed out. “We’re not going to recoup until the late teens – but at least we’re going to recoup,” said Bloomfield Hills City Manager Jay Cravens.
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“Some other communities are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. People are buying in the community, and they’re happy to renovate – and that’s uncapped. It’s still a tight real estate market, and we’re being very conservative about budgeting and delaying any purchases. We’re only purchasing what is absolutely necessary.” Birmingham Interim City Manager Joe Valentine said they see increases in terms of taxable value of 2.92 percent in 2015-2016; 3.13 percent in 20162017; and 3.83 percent in 2017-2018. That’s still, however, a far cry from the taxable value revenue streams prior to the economic crisis.
akland County’s Daddow has long cautioned governmental officials, going back to 2007-2008, just prior to the crash, that their revenue streams were not sacrosanct. He said the current CPI of 1.6 percent needs to be compared to the 30 percent of value which was lost over six years. “The only way to really rectify it is to see holes in the ground and new construction,” Daddow pointed out, because new construction is outside of the taxable caps of the Headlee and Proposal A amendments, and can provide communities with sizable new construction taxable revenue increases. “Without new construction, individual taxpayers are seeing the benefits of the CPI, but local governments have not recouped, and they won’t for a long time. Right now it’s 1.6 percent. So even if it’s a 3, or 5, or even 7 percent increase of SEV, governments are just chasing inflation,” Daddow said. “The high point for local governments was 2007. They’ll be back around 2020 to 2025, depending on the community. A bedroom community that is all built out, it’ll be closer to 2025 to 2030. But newer communities, with greater potentials to build and put on houses and infrastructure, that goes right into the coffers for a community’s taxable property value. “But, the reality is, not every community is going to experience a restoration of property values,” Daddow continued. “The unfortunate thing is, many are not going to see anything more than the rate of inflation, and they’re going to have to wait for inflation to restore those values. Of course, at the same time as inflation is growing, so are their expenditures, so the net is zero.” Cravens said that over the last six or seven years, union negotiations, which were initially difficult, eventually came to terms with concessions. “By the end, they agreed to them. Eventually they saw the light and there was legislation that favored municipalities, Public Act 152, with insurance costs for employees,” Cravens said. “We renegotiated service contracts, met with our consultants to reduce our costs, and went back to bid on services more frequently, as well as learned to forgo certain things. We became more frugal. “I don’t think it changed anyone’s ability (at city hall) to serve the residents,” he continued. “It just made employees more aware of purchases. It made everything more business-like in the way department heads were asked to do things, and we realized savings that way.” Birmingham’s Valentine said they are in the midst of budgeting for fiscal year 2014-2015 based on taxable values. “We’ve always had to make cuts based on where the revenues have come in at,” he said. “We’re looking at our wish list, and phasing them in as the money comes in. “We’re working to address immediate projects and moving them forward and talking about priorities in the budgeting process, because that’s how we’re assigning the money. At the beginning of the recession, we cut back in several areas, from staff reductions to delaying capital projects. Going forward, we’re starting to see some of the increases in the revenue side after several flat years,” Valentine said. As in Bloomfield Township, he said Birmingham’s expenditures are rising more rapidly than its revenues, which can cause problems if meeting the city’s objectives causes overspending. “We’re using tools to stay ahead of the game, such as five-year forecasting,” Valentine said. “In our five-year forecast, it showed things will start to get better, but we’ll still have to be cautiously optimistic. Staying the course the city has been addressing with personnel costs, infrastructure, health care and the like, is the key.”
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FRANKLIN | $1,499,000 5 Bedrooms 4 Full, 2 Half Baths 4500 Square Feet MLS# 213078518
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Elizabeth Hieter loomfield Hills writer Elizabeth Hieter worked for nearly a decade to land a book deal before selling five novels to romance and women’s fiction publisher Harlequin Enterprises in 2012. “Early on in the process, I went to a book signing for Susan Brockman,” Hieter said of the New York Times bestselling romance author. “She told me the difference between an unpublished writer and a published author is perseverance. That really stuck with me. I had moments where I thought it wasn’t going to happen, and I was very discouraged.” Last year, Hieter’s first book, “Hunted”, was published. The psychological thriller is one of two in the author’s “Profiler” series, which feature fictional FBI profiler Evelyn Baine. The second book is scheduled to be released in January 2015. Hieter’s three additional books still to be published are part of her “lawmen” series, which incorporate aspects of the psychological fiction thriller genre and romance. Each of the three titles in the lawmen series are scheduled to be released in 2015. The timeframe to complete five novels is an ambitious project for any writer, let alone one who works a day job. In addition to writing, Hieter works as an editor for an e-learning company during the day. Previously, she balanced her writing while working as a communications director for a financial company. “It’s a challenge, basically having two full-time jobs,” Hieter said about balancing her writing career and day jobs. “I always wrote novels in my spare time, but now the deadlines are definite, and there is more to do on the marketing side that I didn’t see before. I work from home at my day job, and
on evenings and weekends, I work on my book.” To keep her fiction realistic, Hieter has interviewed actual FBI profilers, law enforcement agents, and read through their crime files to gain a better understanding of their work. She’s read autobiographies, spoken with agents, and even spent time researching and shooting at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. “I’m big on getting details right,” she said. “I hate when there are details wrong and there’s no literary reason.” Hieter, a 1997 graduate of Birmingham’s Groves High School, became interested in mystery stories early on, starting with reading the Nancy Drew series of the teen detective, and later writing her own stories. She later honed her writing skills at the University of Michigan, where she graduated in 2001 with a degree in English. By 2003, she began submitting her own manuscripts to book publishers. Before being published, Hieter’s manuscripts have been finalists in the Golden Heart, Marlene, Daphne Du Maurier, and Golden Gateway contests. She also won the Susan Brockman 2010 Haiku contest, and is a member of the International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America. “I’ve always been drawn to mystery and suspense. That’s what I like reading,” she said. “I’ve always loved suspense. I love the mental puzzle of trying to figure out who did it. Hopefully, when the reader is going through the book, they don’t know who did it. I love creating that puzzle.” Story: Kevin Elliott
Photo: Laurie Tennent
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LINGERING PROBLEM LEAKING UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS AND THE DIVERTED STATE FUNDING
By Kevin Elliott ess than a penny per gallon. That’s how much Michigan motorists pay at the pump to ensure the gas going into our tanks isn’t leaking into the ground from underground storage tanks before filling up our own vehicles. That equates to about $50 million every year that is collected by the state to repair leaking underground storage tanks and the contamination associated with them. Why then, nearly a quarter century after the 7/8-cent per gallon fee was introduced, are there as many leaking underground storage tank (LUST) sites that still need cleanup action in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area as there are gas stations operating in the community? The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) places the number of LUST sites in the state at more than 7,200, with as many as 300 new sites discovered each year. Locally, the DEQ has records on 32 active cases in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area where gasoline, diesel fuel or another type of petroleum-based fluid has been released from an underground storage tank. “There are a lot of old releases,” said Dennis Eagles, who oversees the LUST program under the DEQ’s Remediation and Redevelopment Division. “When gas stations were more plentiful and had more individual owners, they operated on budgets that were fairly marginal, at best. When they had releases, they didn’t have the funds to clean it up. A lot of those have gone orphan, or they don’t have the money to address them.”
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Releases, or leaks, typically happen when an aging tank begins rusting has been used to fund operations other than LUST sites. or corroding, which then allows the fluid inside to leak out into the “It has been used for various things,” Eagles said. “The Department of ground. Older metal tanks are typically replaced with fiberglass tanks. Agriculture has used it to pay for programs. It’s also been used for bond Federal regulations require gas stations to replace faulty tanks and to debt. It generates about $50 million (annually). Right now they are install monitoring systems that can detect leaks. working on trying to get some of that money available to clean up sites. The property owner where an underground storage tank is located at There is some talk and serious moves to get about $20 million a year set the time of the release is typically responsible for any actions required to aside for owners and operators (of contaminated sites) to tie into it and address the problem. Because the liability rests with whoever caused the use it to clean up releases.” release, as well as any party that may have contributed to the original or In 2010, the state legislature began an effort to address what has been subsequent releases, the responsibility may lie with more than one party. viewed as an unacceptably low rate of LUST site closures in the state. Even when the appropriate party is identified, the cost associated with Lawmakers introduced a package of bills which were subsequently cleanup may inhibit taking action. Those actions may include removal of passed and enacted. A number of changes went into effect in 2012, a tank and contaminated soil, as well as monitoring of potential including how sites are addressed and the type of action and information contamination of soils and ground water. Clean-up costs can range from needed to close a LUST case within the DEQ, as well as efforts to restore about $50,000 on the low end of the spectrum, to upwards of $1 million, funding to LUST closure actions. with the average cost estimated near $400,000. Part of the 2012 legislative reforms to the program included the “From a state standpoint; let’s say if an older couple owns a gas formation of an underground storage tank system cleanup advisory board, station, we do a cost evaluation on the funding they have and make a which was created to make recommendations to the DEQ and the state determination that they either are legislature on the development of a or aren’t a viable party,” Eagles cleanup program, funded from the said. “If we make that Refined Petroleum Fund, to assist determination, we can use state owners and operators in financing The following is a list of active LUST sites in the Birmingham and money to do it. But in large part, Bloomfield area, including the site name, address, type of release corrective action required under (if known) and date of release. there’s a large number of (still Part 213 of the state’s Natural active) sites because we can only Resources and Environmental Shell Station Quarton Woodward Service work on a certain number, and Protection Act (NREPA), as it 34977 Woodward Ave, Birmingham, 1599 S. Woodward, Birmingham, (used oil) 12/8/2008 (gas) 5/19/1997 there are 200 to 300 new releases relates to leaking underground each year.” storage tanks. The purpose of Part Amoco Station Northpointe Office Bldg. 14 Mile, 880 W. 14 Mile, 2525 Telegraph, Bloomfield In total, the number of 213 is to provide a process to Birmingham, unknown Township, 10/1/1987 underground storage tanks in the remedy sites posing a threat to Woodlinc/Mich Ltd Partnership state – about 18,777 – far exceeds public health, safety or welfare, or Shell 1050 S. Old Woodward, 3690 Maple Bloomfield Township, the number of leaking underground the environment as a result of Birmingham, (gas) 12/20/1996 6/12/1989; 7/12/1995/; 3/1/2000; storage tanks, which total a little releases from underground storage 5/10/2000 Tiffany Florist less than half, at 7,202. Of the more tanks. 772-784 S. Old Woodward, Sunoco #0008-4079 than 18,000 tanks in existence, the The advisory board, according Birmingham, (gas) 7/21/2008 42994 Woodward, Bloomfield DEQ estimates about 95 percent to its latest report, published in Township, 8/16/1988 Birmingham Public Schools are in use, while 5 percent are 2013, recommended that all of the 550 W. Merrill, Birmingham, Academy Of The Sacred Heart temporarily out-of-service. About annual funding to the Refined 8/8/1990 1250 Kensington, Bloomfield 62 percent of the tanks are Petroleum Fund be restored to the Quarton Elementary Township, 6/26/1995 considered “low risk,” based on the state’s underground storage tank 771 Chesterfield Ave, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills Country Club age and type of construction. The 6/29/1990 programs in order to: (1) provide 350 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield remaining are likely to need financial responsibility for owners Derby Middle School Hills, 1/1/1985 replacement in the next five to 10 1100 Derby, Birmingham, 9/9/1988 and operators to address future Former Sunoco Station years, according to the DEQ. releases; (2) fund a reimbursement Parking Lot (Dietz Corp) 2385 S. Telegraph, Bloomfield 985 E Maple Road, Birmingham, DEQ records indicate about program to provide assistance to Township, 10/1/1987 10/14/1997 9,200 releases have occurred at the qualified owners and operators Amoco SS #14209 Former Gasoline Station state’s 7,200 sites, meaning it’s not undertaking corrective action to 2481 Telegraph, Bloomfield 33801 Woodward, Birmingham, uncommon for one tank, once it address known historical releases; Township, (gas) 5/12/2004 unknown becomes faulty, to have more than and (3) conduct corrective action to Amoco Station #5643 Jax Kar Wash #048 one release before it is replaced. mitigate imminent and substantial 6495 Telegraph, Bloomfield 34745 Woodward, Birmingham, Township, 1/6/1992 threats to public health or the To help gas station owners 10/27/2000 environment at leaking address the problem of leaking Amoco Station #5643 Douglas Cleaners underground storage tank sites 6495 Telegraph Bloomfield underground storage tanks, the 1794 W Maple Road, Birmingham, Township, 3/20/2002 where no liable or viable owner or Michigan legislature, in 1988, 1/17/1992 operator is identified or able to created the Michigan Underground Amoco #5451 Marathon 4009 S. Telegraph, Bloomfield undertake corrective actions, which Storage Tank Financial Assurance 101 E 14 Mile Road, Birmingham, Township, 8/3/1989 are known as “orphan sites.” Fund (MSUTFA), which was funded (gas) 6/13/05 (used oil) 11/10/2005 Cranbrook Educational Community by a gas fee at the pump. The The 2012 changes to Part 213 1000 Vaughan, Bloomfield Hills, program was stopped in 1995 when of the state’s environmental Amoco #579 8/24/1990 35975 Woodward, Birmingham, the fund ran out of money. Since protection act require DEQ to adopt (gas) 1/13/1989 Shell Station then, the number of LUST site “risk-based corrective action” 39580 N Woodward, Bloomfield Amoco Station #5696 cleanups have dropped by about 80 processes developed by the Hills, 12/19/1994; 8/29/1994; 2483 W Maple, Bloomfield percent. Despite the American Society of Testing and 12/2/2003 Township, 5/26/1992 discontinuation of the program, the Materials as the basis for Elliot Cohen Property Budget Rent A Car 7/8-cent per gallon fee on all addressing contaminated 1185 Eton Cross Road, Bloomfield 1000 E Maple, Birmingham, refined petroleum products sold or properties. The new change is Hills, 3/2/1995 6/1/1990 imported into Michigan was intended to make cleanup of Woodward Ave & Square Lake Road Budget Rent-a-car reauthorized in 2004, and the fund properties more feasible than the 2510 N. Woodward, Bloomfield 1000 E Maple, Birmingham, was renamed the Refined former, stricter regulations. Township, 4/12/2000 5/11,1990 Petroleum Fund. While the fee “That allows more options on Mobil SS #03-K9Q collects about $50 million per year, what a party needs to do to have 1065 W Maple, Birmingham, Source: Michigan Department of about $850 million from the fund closure on a site,” Eagles said. (gas) 6/15/2004 Environmental Quality
Birmingham/Bloomfield LUST sites
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“They have to have a conceptual site model, which is basically a picture of where the contamination is, where it is moving and the risk it might present.” The legislative changes also modify time frames for reports required to be submitted by owners or operators responsible for leaking underground storage tank releases. If the required reports, which are to document corrective actions taken at a leaking underground storage tank sites, are not audited by the DEQ within specified timeframes, they are considered approved by operation of law. Overall, the amendments intend to provide more cost effective and efficient closures of LUST releases while maintaining acceptable protectiveness of human health. The recent changes also repealed the DEQ’s obligation to evaluate and annually update a list of consultants and workers conducting clean-up work. Instead, the owner or operator of a site is now responsible for assuring the consultant meets a minimum qualification required under the state’s environmental protection law. The legislative changes enacted in 2012 extend the collection of the Refined Petroleum Fee (RPF) to December 31, 2015. Further, Governor Rick Snyder’s budget has cut off some of the raiding from the RPF, allowing more to be used for its intended purpose. Eagles said funding was noticeable last year. “We got about $20 million to work on these sites, and we used a couple million to go out and investigate the old sites to see if there’s a risk there, and how serious it is. It’s not a full scale investigation. It’s like a ‘triage’ investigation.” In order to “triage” a site, the department first tries to obtain permission from the current property owner in writing in order to investigate the site. Investigators then inspect the site and look for signs of contamination. The department then looks to see what actions need to be taken to close the site. In some cases, the pollution is so old that much may have already degraded and additional action isn’t needed. “In the first year we did it, there were about 208 sites where we did this,” Eagles said. “At about 46 or 47 percent of those, we determined we could close the site because there wasn’t a risk. At about 10 percent of the sites, we determined there was sufficient risk to take some action in the near future. Then there was a middle band, where there’s some risks that don’t have to be addressed immediately.” The changes enacted in 2012, in addition to additional funds being made available for the inspection of the sites, has resulted in an uptick in the number of LUST sites being investigated and subsequently closed. However, funding remains significantly below the levels needed to correctly address the problem. “It’s really is an uphill battle,” said Paul Owens, southeast Michigan district supervisor for the DEQ’s Remediation and Redevelopment Division. “We do what we can to take action with the state funding that is available, but what we really need is more compliance out there. We have a pretty low compliance rate, with more sites out of compliance than in. It’s tough to get that under control.” LUST sites that are considered out of compliance may be categorized as “inactive” cases, or those in which a release has been reported and no additional information or action was taken. Others are “stopped” cases, in which some action and information had been done and reported to the DEQ, but had been stopped for some reason. An active site is considered in compliance if appropriate action is continuing; and a site is “closed” when all actions and monitoring are complete. Of the 32 open cases in the Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, and Bloomfield Township areas, 12 are classified as “inactive” status; 17 are “stopped” status; two are on “active” status; and one site is considered “new.” “If they haven’t submitted anything for a year, it may be inactive or stopped status,” Owens said. “We don’t always have the resources to follow up on all of them, but we try to look at the ones that present the biggest threats. There are definitely a significant number that aren’t moving forward the way they should. A lot of that has to do with the responsible parties going through bankruptcy or running out of money.” Statewide, the DEQ has 31 open cases where releases are considered hazardous. The remaining releases are categorized as either class 1, class 2, class 3 or class 4 sites, with class 1 posing the greatest risk and class 4 sites approaching closure. Statewide, there are 1,282 class 1 sites; 1,584 class 2 sites; 2,374 class 3 sites; and 999 class 4 sites. The number of unclassified sites in the state is about 2,995. Terri Golla, project manager for the DEQ’s Remediation and Redevelopment Division’s Southeast Michigan District, said she isn’t aware downtownpublications.com
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of any hazardous or class 1 sites in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area. However, there are sites where the amount of known information is limited. Owners of a LUST site may be able to submit a baseline environmental assessment to the DEQ. The assessment provides basic information about the site, and it protects a potential purchaser of the property so that they aren’t held liable for the contamination on the property. Golla said a site may be considered inactive if it has had such an assessment done. “The liability lies with whoever caused the release, or whoever contributed, so there could be more than one party,” Golla said. “Property owners can transfer use and say that the contamination was there when they bought it.” In instances where heavy contamination is found, the owner of the property may be required to conduct some mitigation, even if the use is changed. For the public, the fallout remains significant. Leaking fluid may contaminate soil, poison groundwater or result in vapor releases from beneath the surface. In some cases, the amount and type of release is so old that it breaks down naturally. “Most of the time, if it gets into the groundwater, it could migrate faster, so if there are drinking water wells nearby, it could be a problem,” Golla said. “In Birmingham and Bloomfield, it’s not as much of a drinking water issue. It could be a vapor issue, but usually petroleum vapors aren’t as bad as, say, a dry cleaner. But you could still have an issue. Usually, it has to be pretty heavily contaminated.” In general, the inclusion of a property as an open LUST site in the DEQ’s database doesn’t necessarily indicate a health hazard. Some sites that have been identified as open LUST sites maintain monitoring systems and have been redeveloped for new purposes, such as restaurants. Experts say they would eat at those new sites. Contamination at other sites is less known. For instance, the DEQ’s database lists 1100 Derby, in Birmingham, as the location of a 20,000 gallon heating oil tank which leaked in 1988. The DEQ’s database lists the site as Derby Middle School, although the current address of the school is 1300 Derby. The school likely encompasses the property. Additional information about the site wasn’t available, Golla said, as the DEQ doesn’t consider heating oil tanks part of the LUST program. A similar lack of information is found in a case file regarding a 1990 release at Quarton Elementary School at Chesterfield and Oak streets in Birmingham. Golla said the file doesn’t contain any information, and nothing has been submitted by the owner of the property, which is Birmingham Public Schools. Other local property owners have cleared themselves of responsibility, such as the site of a former gas station at 33801 Woodward in Birmingham, which was subsequently made into Neighborhood Hardware store and recently closed and sold. Golla said the property owner there has submitted a baseline environmental assessment, therefore alleviating themselves of responsibility. “There was contamination there, but we aren’t sure who the liable party is,” she said. “There was a former tank system there, which isn’t there anymore. So there is probably contaminated soil or groundwater, which was noted in the report.” Other reports are more detailed. Jax Kar Wash, 34745 Woodward Avenue in Birmingham, was the site of groundwater contamination from a LUST. According to Golla, the depth of the contamination was between 3 and 12 feet deep in water that flowed to the east of the location. The last report from the site was submitted in 2005, and a baseline assessment has since been submitted, so the current owner, Bruce Milen, president of Jax Kar Wash, isn’t liable for submitting further information. “When the properties are sold, it’s hard to track down a liable party,” Golla said. “The person that is liable, they have to pay for a consultant to do the work.” The lack of a responsible party is one of the roadblocks to closing a LUST site that might be nearing closure in the DEQ’s database. In order to speed the process, and to better assess the threat of such sites, the DEQ triage of sites may help speed the process. “Usually we try to triage a site where we don’t have any information or very minimal information,” Golla said. “If its a class 1 and nothing is being done, then we better evaluate it. Some we don’t find anything (on the site) because it’s so old, so we can close out the files, too. If there is a risk, we put it on a list for a state cleanup if there isn’t a liable party. Every site is different. It depends on how much is released, but the financial issue is the biggest problem.”
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Timothy Page irmingham ophthalmologist Timothy Page has been recognized for his advances in cataract and refractive laser surgery, but he feels his most remarkable achievements involve restoring sight to hundreds of blind people in Africa. Page, a surgeon at Oakland Ophthalmic Surgery since 2000, started doing charity work in Africa about seven years ago, after reading a book by Dave Eggers about the Lost Boys of Sudan, a group of about 20,000 boys displaced by war. Looking for a way to help, Page learned about work that Detroit’s Jewish Community Relations Coalition was doing in the area, and later teamed up and helped form the Michigan Darfur Coalition. He now leads a team of doctors from Detroit each year on a mission trip for the Kenya Relief Program. “I bought his book, and as I was reading it I was shocked to learn what was going on in that region of the world without having any knowledge of it,” Page said. “I started looking into it and after learning more, I felt compelled to be involved.” Page was astounded to learn blindness affects about 4 percent of the population in South Sudan, which has a population of about 11 million people. Those who suffer from blindness there, he said, often do so from cataracts or glaucoma due to a lack of ophthalmologists in the country. “There is probably only one ophthalmologist in the main city. There is a tremendous, unmet need,” Page said. “On average, we see about 1,000 people in three days, and do 100 to 150 cataract surgeries.” Page said the number one cause of reversible blindness is cataracts, but there are about 39 million people worldwide who suffer from blindness because of it, almost all in developing countries. The surgery he conducts in Sudan, which he said is so obsolete that he had to learn it online because that specific type of surgery is no longer practiced in the United States, takes about 15 minutes to perform. Those who undergo the treatment have their vision restored the following day. In Kenya, Page has helped to establish an optical clinic, with donations of equipment coming from the Detroit area. The hope is that the clinic will be able to create its own lenses. Page, who is originally from Jackson, Mich., and moved to Birmingham about 14 years ago, received the 2011 Outstanding Physician and Humanitarian Award at Beaumont Hospital, as well as several other awards for his work in ophthalmology. He teaches surgery and microsurgical courses to residents at Beaumont and Henry Ford Hospital, as well as classes at the University of Michigan Medical School. “Here, we usually take care of cataracts way before people start having trouble with their vision. There, they don’t come in until they have trouble walking. People come in so blind that they can’t even walk. They’ll be led to the clinic by someone holding their hand. Sometimes they will carry a stick to find their way, and when it’s one man’s turn, he will give the stick to the next person in line.”
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SEEKING TOLERANCE SCHOOLS START TO RETHINK‘GET-TOUGH’ POLICIES OF PAST
BY LISA BRODY nce, in days gone by, two students would engage in a schoolyard fight, with fists flying. The worst wound might be a black eye and bruised prides. They’d both end up in the principal’s office, possibly with detentions. And likely, some talking to by their parents, as well. And then, two students shot up a school in Columbine, Colorado, followed by school shootings around the country, including in Jonesboro, Ark., Virginia Tech, at a community college in Houston, an elementary school in Georgia, and of course, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. And the idea of a simple reprimand for such heinous actions flew out the window along with the bullets. Zero-tolerance policies in school began about 15 years ago in the wake of the Columbine school shooting. Zero-tolerance policies are discipline policies under which children are suspended, and even arrested, for major as well as minor offenses that can include cursing, getting into shoving matches, and other garden-variety misbehavior that in decades past would have been sorted out by a visit to the principal’s office, detention, or meetings with the student’s parents.
In the last few years, school administrators around the country have become increasingly concerned about this “one-size-fits-all” approach to disciplining students, with statistics more and more indicating that most suspensions and expulsions were for minor issues, and that minority students were overwhelmingly bearing the brunt of the punishments. A more moderate approach to discipline has been sought by educators, one where schools could choose the punishments on an individual basis, which hopefully would be more judicious. “Superintendents recognize that out-of-school suspension is outdated and not in line with 21st century education,” said Daniel Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, in a statement. That’s not to say that if a child brings any sort of firearm to school, or makes a serious threat in any form, school and law enforcement should not be alerted and take action. Firearms and grave weapons, all experts agree, are in a sacrosanct category. These policies date back to 1994, when congress required states receiving federal education money to expel any student who brings a gun onto school property. Over time, states and local governments broadened and altered it to expel students for all sorts of offenses, including seemingly minor ones. At the same time, schools across the country began stationing police officers and security guards in their hallways. There, they witnessed infractions and arrests increased for non-violent behavior. Further, studies reveal that the number of students actually bringing a firearm to school has dropped. More and more, school administrators are suggesting that energy spent deterring potential gun-toting teens would be better directed at preventing disruptive behavior that teachers deal with on a daily basis, behavior that gets more students thrown out of schools. ow, many educators have determined that tough school discipline codes like zero-tolerance policies and mandatory suspensions for even minor infractions may have significant costs to schools, students and society as a whole. “We’re trying to get away from mandatory, zero-tolerance policies. Oakland Intermediate Schools supports that. We believe that local control is always a good thing. It gives our superintendents and building principals the ability to make individual decisions,” said Oakland Intermediate School’s Director for Government Relations and Pupil Services Lisa Hansknecht. The federal government, after mandating zero-tolerance discipline policies 15 years ago, has come to the same conclusion. In January of this year, the Obama administration issued guidelines that recommended public school officials use law enforcement only as a last resort for disciplining students, noting that it comes as a response to a rise in the number of zero-tolerance policies that have disproportionately increased the number of arrests, suspensions and expulsions of minority students for all crimes, including minor, nonviolent offenses. A 35-page document prepared by U.S.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan outlined an approach that included more moderate approaches such as counseling students, coaching for teachers and disciplinary officers, and sessions that would teach social and emotional skills to students, in an effort to reduce the time students spend out of school as punishment. “The widespread use of suspensions and expulsions has tremendous costs,” Duncan wrote in a letter to school officials. “Students who are suspended or expelled from school may be unsupervised during daytime hours and cannot benefit from great teaching, positive peer interactions, and adult mentorship offered in class and in school.” Not only have zero-tolerance policies been overutilized, according to Duncan, but data collected by the U.S. Education Department shows that minorities, particularly black boys and students with all kinds of disabilities, have received the harshest disciplines from schools. According to the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, black students without disabilities are more than three times as likely as their white counterparts to be suspended or expelled. And for those students who are eligible for special education services, who are generally those with disabilities, they make up almost 25 percent of students who have been arrested at school. Yet they comprise only 12 percent of students in the country’s schools. Civil rights groups say that as school districts have placed more police officers in schools, criminal charges against kids have spiked. “A routine school disciplinary infraction should land a student in the principal’s office, not in a police precinct,” Holder said in a statement. The Obama administration’s document also sets guidelines for reducing arrests and keeping discipline within a school. They advised schools to focus on creating positive environments, setting clear expectations and consequences for students, and to ensure fairness and equity in disciplinary measures. The document calls for districts to collect data on school-based arrests, citations and searches, as well as suspensions and expulsions. It also reminds schools of civil rights laws protecting all students. According to the Council of State Governments Justice Center, which is a nonprofit policy group, children who are removed from school are at a heightened risk for low achievement, are held back more frequently, to dropping out or becoming permanently entangled in the juvenile justice system. They did a study of school discipline policies in Texas, which showed that nearly 6 in 10 students in public schools had been suspended or expelled at least once between seventh and twelfth grade. That’s 60 percent of students. However, they noted that only a very small percentage of those disciplinary actions were taken for serious criminal conduct that would require suspensions or expulsion under state law. Since their report, the Texas legislature has taken steps in an effort to keep minor misconduct cases from reaching the courts. One law recommends that school districts consider
less harsh sanctions, such as sending a warning letter to parents or recommending counseling. Another measure is designed to stop police from ticketing and fining children under 12 on school grounds or on a school bus for minor infractions. Similar actions are taking place in other states, including Michigan. The Los Angeles school district became the first district in the nation to ban suspensions for what they have called “willful defiance”, which is a large grouping of all sorts of violations which consisted of more than 40 percent of California’s suspensions in the 2011-2012 school year. A new California state law allows for suspensions for serious offenses, like those involving violence or weapons, but it requires schools to try alternative strategies, which include utilizing parent-teacher conferences, before they can suspend a student for a non-violent infraction. Nothing has yet been passed by the Michigan legislature, but a few bills were introduced in 2013. Rep. Thomas F. Stallworth III (D-Highland Park, Detroit) introduced House Bill 4490 which would give schools greater latitude in providing disciplinary action and penalties for physical assaults at school against another student. According to Rep. Mike McCready (RBirmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township), a key notation is the change in the wording of “may” from “shall” in suspensions or expulsions for up to 180 days when a pupil in grade 6 or above commits a physical assault at school against another pupil, and the assault is reported. ther language in the bill urges school officials to attempt documented efforts to “modify the pupil’s behavior without a suspension or expulsion...these efforts to modify behavior may include, but are not limited to, a coordinated behavior plan, alternative programming, referral for individual counseling, behavior contracting, in-school parental supervision, or other evidence-based alternatives to suspension.” The bill also seeks to mandate the county department of social services or county community mental health agency follow up to coordinate completion of a behavior risk assessment that is performed by a licensed mental health worker or social work professional and that includes recommendations for effective intervention, for any student expelled more than three days. The bill was referred to the education committee last March, were it has been stalled ever since. Rep. Stallworth and his office did not return calls for comment or clarification. However, the Michigan Department of Education has suggested they were supportive of the bill because it gives schools more latitude and allows individual discretion on the part of principals. Another bill introduced in February 2013, House Bill 4262, sponsored by Rep. Frank Foster (R-Emmet, Mackinac), deals with exceptions to prohibitions on carrying certain weapons, most notably to certain knives and other types of stabbing weapons. The bill would amend the Michigan Penal Code to remove certain types of knives from the classification of a felony of being
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armed with a dangerous weapon to a restriction on carrying a concealed weapon. The bill would not apply to an object that was being carried between someone’s house or other land they possessed as long as it was encased and not readily accessible for immediate use; or an object carried in the course of hunting, fishing, trapping, or for use as a tool in the course of someone’s occupation or hobby, as long as that hobby required the use of that object. hat that means for students and schools would be if a small sheathed knife was brought to school without the intent to do harm. For example, a Boy Scout knife, or a Swiss Army knife, which a student may inadvertently bring in their backpack, or for use in a shop class. The bill is clear that anyone with the intent to use a sharp instrument as a weapon unlawfully against another person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment of up to five years in jail, or a fine of not more than $2,500. While the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Department of Education have indicated they have no objections to this bill, it too has remained stalled in committee. “In general discipline terms, (previously) the legislature took out of schools’ hands any sort of local discretion,” when they created zerotolerance discipline policies, stated Bob Maxfield, interim dean of the School of Education at Oakland University. “Obviously, if an older child brings a gun to school, there needs to be strict consequences. But what about more subjective situations? Like if an 11-year-old brings a Boy Scout knife to school to show a friend? Under the current law, he’s treated as if he’s an older student, and suspended or expelled.” In April 2013, the ACLU of Michigan wrote to the Grand Rapids Public school district after hearing from several parents whose young sons were expelled from the district for inadvertently bringing knives to school. The ACLU explained that expulsion for such conduct is not mandated under state law; rather, school administrators have discretion to consider factors like whether the student intended to use the knife as a weapon. In June 2013, the school district agreed to start informing students facing expulsion about the discretionary factors, to develop standards to guide hearing officers about the discretionary decisions, and to allow students to be represented by legal counsel in expulsion proceedings. Maxfield, who was superintendent of Farmington Schools for many years, emphasized that the one-size-fits-all zero-tolerance policies creates a loss of local autonomy on the part of local school districts. He noted that despite where the districts are, whether they are Farmington, Birmingham, or Bloomfield Hills, “there is a problem of discrimination and overreaction on how African American boys are being treated, and the disproportionality of how they are being handled.” Marcia Wilkinson, spokesperson from Birmingham Public Schools, didn’t exactly agree. “We look at this issue throughout the year and take each one individually,” she said. “We look at
the more restorative efforts, to teach lessons and gain awareness in how their behavior impacts upon them and others.” She noted there are different layers of offenses that the district deals with, and addresses each one differently. “It depends on the grade level and the offense,” she said. “There is no one-size-fits-all policy. There are different layers of offenses and things that require discussions with a counselor or the principal. Then there are others where a greater intervention is needed than just a conversation with a teacher, like a student involved in a physical altercation where there is an injury, perhaps a theft of a computer, or someone involved in another major theft, those demand more involved disciplinary situations. It’s typically done on a case-by-case basis.” Wilkinson said that while the law is clear on firearms and the size of a blade, if a student has a small pocket knife, they often deal with it with a conversation between the student and parent and school administration. “Intent is such a strong component,” she noted. “If the student recognizes what they did is wrong, that is important. Did they mean to hurt someone if they bumped someone accidentally in the hall, or did they do something on purpose?” She also noted that age can definitely be a factor in the way the schools handle an issue. “You have to have a certain amount of realism in these circumstances,” she said, pointing out the way they deal with a first grader is often different than a senior in high school. While every Birmingham school has its own individual code of conduct, she said the board of education has an anti-harassment policy that is clearly stated and available on the district’s website. “We take a strong stance on the issue of public safety, and we do not compromise on safety for our student population,” stated Shira Good, director of communications and community relations for Bloomfield Hills Schools. “However, each student is an individual and each student is treated individually. We look at each situation and say, what are the circumstances, and who is the student.” In Bloomfield Hills’ schools, the assistant principals handle all discipline matters with students and their parents. Building principals work closely with school resource officers, liaison officers from Bloomfield Township Police, to ensure a supportive and engaging atmosphere in each school, Good said. “When incidents arise, we work in collaboration with our parents to address our concerns,” she said. “Our counseling staff works to support student needs and is available to our parents as challenging issues arise. Often, our school resource officers serve as an additional resource to support parent concerns both within and outside of the home.” ood did not address any specifics, such as racial inequalities in disciplinary matters. However, Bloomfield Hills School data dashboard, on their website, indicates that 66 percent of their school population is Caucasian, with 22 percent of their student population African American.
“A problem with all schools is, they tend to cut one kind of kid slack, and not another kid,” asserted Oakland University’s Maxfield. “These laws need to be softened because they tend to be discriminatory. And schools’ attorneys tend to be risk-averse. They tend to tell schools to suspend students out of caution –’you don’t have a choice, and you don’t want it to come back to haunt you.’ It leads superintendents and principals to be overly cautious because the lawyers have told them to be.” Maxfield also raises one last issue that could have impact on both students and society for years to come: “What do you do with the kids that have been suspended and expelled?” he asked. “There are some online courses, and some disciplinary measures. But there is a lack of meaningful programs to address for these kids. Basically, the system has said to a 13-yearold, you’re out of public education.” The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), in a policy statement issued in 2013, said that zero-tolerance policies do no good for children, and that suspending or expelling a child from school should be a rare last resort and not a routine punishment for bullying, drug use or other infractions. “If the parents are at work with a child who is out of school, more inappropriate behavior often occurs. Students who are suspended or expelled are more likely to never get a high school diploma, end up in the juvenile justice system or eventually land a low-paying job, or no job at all,” the group stated. What about the assertion that zero-tolerance policies keep troublemakers out of school, allowing “good” kids to benefit? Research doesn’t indicate that, AAP’s report said. In 2006, a task force set up by the American Psychological Association, after a decade of research, found there was no evidence that zerotolerance policies made schools any safer or helped any students’ performance. The pediatrician’s group said the best method for benefitting all students in a classroom is to come up with expectations for all students’ behavior, such as keeping your hands to yourself when you’re in the hallway or speaking up when you see someone being bullied, and making all expectations very clear. It’s also imperative to let everyone know what the consequences to rulebreaking will be. If it’s minor, a teacher or principal will handle it. If it’s serious, it will be handled up the chain of authority. But in order to fully implement these common sense guidelines, which school administrators and educational authorities appear to crave, legal handcuffs need to be removed from school districts to allow them to handle students in ways they recognize are appropriate. “It’s easy for the legislature to determine what we as educators should do,” Maxfield said. “Ultimately, we need to draw a line in the sand, because we need to protect our kids. Yes, there has to be hard discipline taken with guns. Everybody was so concerned about firearms, that they created less interpretation for everything else. It went from some reaction to no tolerance. There has to be subjective discipline.”
Elizabeth Rose f Willy Wonka had tried to make the perfect cup of coffee, the operation might have looked something like the Javabot contraption inside downtown Detroit’s Roasting Plant, located inside the First National Building at 660 Woodward Avenue. “Marvel is a pretty common reaction,” said Elizabeth Rose, owner and operator of The Roasting Plant’s Detroit location. “It’s fascinating to see the whole process.” Created to make what might be the freshest cup of coffee in the Motor City, the store’s Javabot system uses pneumatic tubes to send a dozen different varieties of coffee beans overhead from the store’s roaster to storage canisters and back over to the grinder/brewer. The system roasts small batches of coffee beans throughout the day in order to offer customers the freshest product available. Then, when someone orders a cup of coffee, the beans are whooshed back through the tubes to the grinder, where they are ground up and brewed to order. The result is a coffee house like none other. “The big differentiator is trying to create the freshest cup of coffee by eliminating the large, off-site roasting plant and trucking coffee from place to place,” Rose said. “We start with green, or un-roasted beans, that we roast in micro-batches of three or four pounds. “What’s most entertaining about it is that the beans get moved through the process by air pushing them through clear pneumatic tubes. It creates a lot of theater, and customers love seeing the beans get blown through the different stages.” The roasting process is continued throughout the day at The Roasting
Company, so customers don’t have to wait for their beans to darken after placing an order. The beans do have to be sent overhead from the roasting canisters to the grinder, which breaks down the beans and brews the coffee to order. Rose said the wait time for an order at The Roasting Plant takes about 30 seconds longer than a typical cup of coffee that is pre-brewed and kept warm for hours. A short time, she said, considering the freshness of that cup of coffee. “When customers come to the counter to order, they literally see their beans get shot overhead into the grinder/brewer,” she said. “Nothing is brewed or ground until the customer orders it. So, we are not having any pre-brewed coffee orders. It’s really one of the freshest cups of coffee out there.” Rose said she and the founder of The Roasting Plant, which is based in Manhattan, were acquaintances, and she became fascinated with the business when she visited the company’s first shop on the lower east side. With a spot on the company’s board of directors, she is now happy to be “fueling Detroit.” A native of Birmingham, Rose moved to the San Diego area in 1996, but moved back to Bloomfield Hills in 2012 when she had an opportunity to open the new location. The store was hand-picked by Dan Gilbert, who she said was looking for a unique shop for the building that would draw a crowd. “I love being in the seasons again, even as brutal as this year has been,” she said about Michigan’s weather. “It’s still beautiful.” Story: Kevin Elliott
Photo: Laurie Tennent
OFFERTE DI MERCATO MARZO 2014
PANORAMICA DI UN BRAND STRAORDINARIO
Sothebyâ€™s - Global Exposure Our 2014 media plan is expected to deliver nearly 800 million impressions with media powerhouses such as: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Daily Telegraph and Architectural Digest. They are supported by additional far reaching mediaâ€Śto round out our plan, create global connections and increase our exposure, we have identified the following partners where we leverage their innovation, experience and international impact. These partners were hand-picked to help drive incremental brand awareness and intelligently showcase the listings represented by our network to a broad audience of consumers who value the unique.
Sothebyâ€™s - Global Exposure THE NEW YORK TIMES
Our 2014 advertising program with The
New York Times is a continuation of years prior and is structured to fetch nearly 300 million media impressions through branding and listing exposure elements, utilizing local ownership advertising opportunities and fixed positioning on various New York Times channels. This long-term plan features exclusivity and dominance in both print and digital marketing opportunities, designed to attract a diverse worldwide audience and maximize our reach to more than 40 million unique NYT monthly readers.
Sothebyâ€™s - Global Exposure THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Our continuous collaboration with
The Wall Street Journal offers an array of opportunities to showcase the homes represented by our network to the global audience that turns to this media icon for their daily source of insights into both micro and macro financial and economic landscapes. Designed to deliver 170 million impressions, this marketing strategy is comprised of a worldwide, multi-faceted program providing our brand with exclusivity and dominance throughout The Wall Street Journalâ€™s Digital Network websites.
Sothebyâ€™s - Global Exposure ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST Every day, Architectural Digest inspires millions of affluent home enthusiasts to redesign and refresh their lives through a multi-platform presence that includes print and digital connections. Our alignment with AD will deliver an anticipated 14 million media impressions and encompasses an integrated online partnership through a commanding presence on architecturaldigest.com. Recently redesigned and re-engineered, architecturaldigest.com attracts on average more than 900,000 unique monthly visitors, consuming about 10 pages per visit and is the perfect environment to uniquely showcase the homes we represent.
Rochester $6,750,000 Private Gated Community of Estate Custom Homes! Country French Normandy home with over 14,000 square foot of living space on four acres. Custom design and details throughout. Walkout lower level, selections still available to choose. Six car garage. Four bedrooms with 5.3 baths. 213101162
Rochester $2,499,000 Spectacular Estate Home in Private Gated Community. Fabulous floor plan with open living spaces on first floor that include a two story living room, wonderful family room off kitchen, stately office with judges paneling, bright and sunny breakfast room overlooking back yard and pool. Second story boasts five bedrooms including wonderfully appointed master suite with gorgeous sitting area, dressing room and luxurious private bath. Lower level is well suited for family fun, convenient to patios, pool and garden. Six bedrooms with 6.2 baths. 213036910
Equal Housing Opportunity
Lupton $6,500,000 Just a short drive from West Branch! Lodge resembles one from the late 1800s with its massive Douglas fir timber truss system, stone columns, and field stone exterior. Interior is a blend of wood and stone and decorated to perfection. 800 acre enclosed preserve consists of hardwood forest, wetlands, lakes and big rolling hills. Trophy whitetail deer imported from Canada, a Rocky Mountain elk herd and fisheries boast monster Northern pike, large mouth bass and pan fish. Sporting clay course and much more! Five bedrooms with nine baths.
To-be-built charming French-Country custom home features an open-air courtyard, open floor plan with beam ceilings, covered terrace and authentic European details and high-end architectural appointments. Exquisitely designed by the award-winning team of VanBrouck & Assoc. & Olde World Homes. Make your selections with their in-house designers (included in price) and customize your new home. 1.26 acres in highly sought after "Bloomfield Estates". 12-14 months to build. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 213114556
A bit of Paris in this beautifully presented French Townhouse! Three story European elegance and sophistication exudes a gracious historic lifestyle. Filled with very custom millwork, wrought iron, exquisite stonework, 10' ceilings, marble and granite baths, French doors, European courtyard with fountain, handcarved Limestone entrance. Third floor library could be 4th bedroom. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 213099032
Equal Housing Opportunity
Bloomfield Hills $1,195,000 Magnificent and completely renovated home in 2013 with only the finest finishes and design at every turn in this premier section of Bloomfield Hills. The open floor plan is spectacular including a grand first floor master suite, chef 's designer kitchen with granite counter tops, top of the line appliances and custom cabinetry. An amazing lower level that will delight your guests by this enormous living area, exercise room, wine cellar and full bath. Smart home technology and efficiency throughout. Absolute Perfection! Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths.
Spectacular New Construction by Jonna Luxury Homes. Meticulous design throughout and perfect for today's modern and sophisticated buyers. Incredible open fireplace with dialed in kitchen spacious sunlit great room, formal dining room and spacious first floor master retreat. Second level including three bedroom suites, separate play and homework areas, and additional amazing bonus space. Fabulous lower level optional. Currently framed. Contact listing agent for plans. Four bedrooms with 5.2 baths. 214002574
Totally Turnkey In-town Birmingham townhouse just steps from shopping, dining and entertainment. This home features a gorgeous kitchen with granite and high end stainless appliances, sunlit living room with fireplace and lovely dining room also with fireplace. The spacious master suite has stunning design with sitting area and spa bath. The lower level is fabulously finished! Great private deck for outdoor enjoyment. This is a must see home! Three bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 214005665
Renee Lossia Acho
Equal Housing Opportunity
Franklin Village $1,575,000 Masterful designer house by Jeffrey King Interiors on peaceful and quiet lake, sophisticated architecture, and secluded 1.13 rolling lakefront hills make this contemporary Franklin home a true gem. Two-story glass windows offer lake views in every room. Kitchen is appointed with gorgeous marble and stainless steel appliances featuring terrazzo floors, with extra-large imported Italian tile flooring throughout. Formal cathedral ceiling dining room, and great room/living room, finished walkout lower level, bluestone lakefront patio, and a second story office/loft with a sweeping view. The entry-level master suite features earth tone marble, a designer dressing room and his/her closets, private Jacuzzi and oversized double shower overlooking lake. Full house generator. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 213072719
Bloomfield $1,295,000 Award Winning Home! Wonderful example of Frank Lloyd Wright inspired mid century architecture. Completely renovated by Young and Young combines best of modern building trends with original integrity of home. Brick, glass and limestone combine for dramatic backdrop. High-end finishes throughout and situated on private lot overlooking Gilbert Lake with radiant heated exterior walkways and patio. Stunning landscapes by Deborah Silver Spacious and light filled. Two bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 213102901
Cindy Obron Kahn
Equal Housing Opportunity
Lake Angelus Frontage $2,900.000 Beautiful French Norman Estate on Pristine Lake Angelus. 5,500 square feet on 4.5 acres and over 250' of lake frontage. Fabulous master suite in its own wing of the home. One of the original Summer Estates on Lake Angelus Shores Drive. Boathouse can be set up as an in-law apartment. Park like setting with fabulous views. 2+3 car garage. Four bedrooms with four baths. 214008511Â
Lake Angelus Frontage $1,699,000
Fabulous Newer Built! Breathtaking views from every room from this south facing Transitional Home. Over 9,500+ square feet of living space. Beautiful hardwood floors, granite, marble, too much to list. Cherry kitchen with top end appliances, two large islands. First floor master suite. Finished walkout lower level and four car extra high garage. Sandy frontage backs to nature preserve. Five bedrooms with 5.1 baths. 214007801
Stunning Gated Country Estate in the Metamora Hunt Area. Over 8,000 square feet of Old World Charm and Elegance all updated for the New Century. All the amenities you could possibly imagine. Salt Water Pool and Koi pond, year round Greenhouse. Privacy and Wildlife abounds with views from every room. Top quality materials.Â Four car garage. Seven bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 214008521
Equal Housing Opportunity
Birmingham $2,149,000 Custom built by Trowbridge nothing about this home is less than grand, sits hilltop in the "San Francisco" area of Birmingham. Just steps away from downtown, open floor plan with 2 way fireplace between family room and library, gourmet kitchen, grand master suite, separate in-laws suite, completely finished lower level with full bath, bar and theater. Five bedrooms with 6.2 baths. 213102038
Incredible opportunity to own 2012 Detroit Home Design Award winner, breathtaking contemporary home. Only the finest materials were used including Arriscraft stone veneer, commercial brick, Kawneer commercial windows and doors, two story living room with floating fireplace, custom staircase supported by glass wall and custom railing, radiant heat flooring, state of the art kitchen with Downsview cabinetry and Miele appliances. Three bedrooms 3.1 baths. 214007351 Co-listor Mia Bardy
Just steps from downtown Birmingham, this brownstone townhouse comes complete with a 3 floor elevator, hardwood flooring throughout, separate study/library, open kitchen to family room, private deck and terrace. This home backs onto a beautiful view of a wooded ravine. Attached 2 car lower level garage entry and ample room for visitor parking. Two bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 213200839
Equal Housing Opportunity
Oakland Township $1,199,900 Outstanding home perched high on one acre, cul-de-sac and custom throughout. Loaded with hardwood, crown moldings, 5 fireplaces, hearth area in kitchen, lower level finished with music room, huge workout area and kitchen. Kohler generator, professionally decorated with exquisite landscaping, outside entertaining on two levels and Hardiplank siding. Over $600,000 in updates since 2007. Four bedrooms with 4.2 baths. 213094384
Oakland Township $1,099,900
Private Country Setting with view of pond and nature trails surrounding property. Wrap-around porch with sunrise and sunset views. Pool house with kitchen, bedroom and bath. Lower level is complete with kitchen, game room and bedroom suite, heated floors, heated exterior pavers. 33'x14' bonus room Close to Rochester.Â Seven bedrooms with 5.1 baths. 213117028
Transitional Contemporary with four levels of living space perched on a hilltop overlooking 6+acres, in-ground pool and fabulous landscaping. Open floor plan takes in nature's view from all windows, many floor to ceiling, unique angles, soaring ceilings, kitchen and closet custom cabinetry, moulding through out, hardwood flooring. Anderson windows, Gaggeneau, Bosch, Electrolux, Sub-zero appliances, granite throughout. Spectacular kitchen skylights. Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 213201126
Equal Housing Opportunity
Fenton $950,000 Beautiful custom built log lodge home on 13.44 wooded acres. Two story great room with custom stone fireplace, large country kitchen with granite. Finished lower level with recreation room, stone fireplace and exercise room. Stunning indoor pool with vaulted ceiling and door walls to 3,000 square foot deck that overlooks a large stocked pond. Three car garage, 40 x 60 Pole Barn and separate three car garage. Possible au pair or in-law suite on second floor. Four bedrooms with 4.3 baths. 214006025
Equal Housing Opportunity
Birmingham $1,749,000 Stately brick Colonial located on one of Birmingham's most prestigious street. Superb lot was landscaped to perfection, including a new in-ground swimming pool in 2006. The white kitchen offers Wolf, Sub Zero and granite. First and second floor laundry rooms. Enormous second floor bonus room is a finished basement alternative. Epoxy floors in 3 car heated garage. Generator. This wonderful gem has tasteful interior design and a timeless appeal. Four bedrooms with 3.2 baths. 213063163
Equal Housing Opportunity
Delivering Over 800 million impressions worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty®®
2014 MARKETING PLAN January
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Delivering Over 800 million impressions worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty®
2014 MARKETING PLAN ONLINE BANNER ADVERTISING sothebys.com NYTimes.com International Herald Tribune (Global.NYTimes.com) WallStreetJournal.com Asia.WSJ.com Europe.WSJ.com CN.WSJ.com JP.WSJ.com FTchinese.com Telegraph.co.uk PropGoLuxury.com PropGo.com ArchitecturalDigest.com JamesEdition.com HongKongTatler.com Googles Display Network
ONLINE PROPERTY DISTRIBUTION The Wall Street Journal Digital Network CN.WSJ.com NYTimes.com International Herald Tribune Zillow.com Trulia.com Yahoo! Real Estate Honk Kong Tatler Luxury Estate GC Privé House24 PropGoLuxury.com lp-luxuryproperties.com JamesEdition Homes.com Telegraph.co.uk lpdibiao.com (Luxury Properties Chinese) Real-Buzz.com Te Atrium MOBILE ADVERTISING Architectural Digest iPad Safari Browser NY Times iPhone App NYTimes.com Tablet Wall Street Journal Mansion iPhone and iPad SOCIAL MEDIA Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest youtube.com/sothebysrealty SIR Mobile eGallery INTERNATIONAL SIGNIFICANT SALES BRAND PUBLIC RELATIONS EFFORTS
Lake Charlevoix Frontage $11,995,000 This unparalleled 69 acres with over 3000 of lakefront footage is truly unbelievable. The property includes a barn, boathouse, covered bridge, ponds, a stream and pasture land. You will be in paradise. The exquisite log home and guest house will accommodate family and friends comfortably. Five bedrooms with 3.1 baths plus 1400+ sq ft guesthouse. 213117222 Presented by Mike Cotter
Bloomfield $5,400,000 Award winning, private, peaceful retreat, exquisitely built, gated 10,347 square foot home plus 6,580 sq. ft. walkout lower level on 11.47 acres (5 parcels) of up north living. Breathtaking views of woods & wildlife on Franklin branch of Rouge River with Koi pond. Beautiful first floor 6-room master suite includes spa room, sitting room, steam shower, private terrace. Elevator to 3 floors, 6 fireplaces, theater room, 2 story library, electronic "Smart House" Lutron/Crestron controlled, full house generator. Unique antique lighting and artifacts. 10' stained glass foyer dome. 2,573 sq. ft. 7-8 car heated garage including hoist. Hand scraped/distressed walnut plank flooring and tumbled marble heated flooring throughout. Four bedrooms with 4.2 baths. 214009031 Presented by Maria Constante and Dawn Williams
skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
Bloomfield Hills $2,950,000 Spectacular New Construction in the most sought after section of Bloomfield Hills! Every detail and finish is impeccably designed throughout for the most sophisticated buyer. Gorgeous open floor plan with state of the art kitchen, expansive family room, formal dining room. Second level features incredible master bedroom retreat and four additional bedroom suites. 3200 square feet finished lower level optional. Available Spring 2014. Five bedrooms with 5.2 baths. 213059638 Presented by Renee Lossia Acho
Dryden $1,050,000 Stunning Newer Construction designed after "English Manor Home" in the Heart of "The Metamora Hunt" surrounded by 5.35 acres of tranquil forest. Custom everything in this 2002 built masterpiece. Mural painted walls by Gretchen Gill. Copper, brass, 150 year old hardwoods, marble, granite, limestone and Viking appliances. Stone and custom landscape. Anderson windows and natural gas heat. You walk through the front door and feel like you are home. Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 214008539 Presented by Lee Embrey
skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
Bloomfield Hills $1,495,000 Beautiful living in this sprawling Frank Lloyd Wright inspired home in the Heart of Bloomfield Hills. The open floor plan encompasses a Poggenpohl kitchen. The walk out lower level is complete with sunroom, fitness studio, dry sauna, and theater. With over two acres of property, you will be sure to feel Zen outdoors while listening to the water flowing over rocks and taking in all the lush landscaping. An incredible estate. Six bedrooms with 6.1 baths. 213101662 Presented by Cindy Obron Kahn and Lisa LaBelle
Lake Angelus Frontage $974,900 Fabulous Lake Angelus Shores Ranch home with sunsets and privacy. Move-in condition home with four bedrooms, 2.1 baths, six car oversize garage for all your toys. Over 3,000 square feet all on one floor with views of the lake from all rooms. Nicely updated with neutral colors. Granite kitchen opens to great room. Deck with beautiful mature landscaping on almost one acre. Everything you are looking for in a lake home. 214007603 Presented by Lee Embrey
skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
Birmingham $899,000 Charming in 4,383 square foot in town home. Newer appliances, large master suite, second floor library and laundry. Close to the Townsend Hotel. Great potential. Also for Lease. Land contract possible with sizable down payment. Four bedrooms with 4.3 baths. 213203010 Presented by Nancy Beachum
Clinton Township $849,900 Seize the chance to own this incredible and meticulous home in the exclusive Bellagio Estates. Four gorgeous bedrooms, a loft that can be a fifth bedroom, and six beautiful bathrooms. The bedroom on the entry level is currently used as a den but can also be used as an au pair suite. This home offers over 4,000 square feet of luxurious living space. Gracious kitchen with high end cabinetry, granite countertops and premium stainless steel appliances, hardwood flooring throughout and the open loft space upstairs which can be converted to a bedroom. Finished basement boasts a generous open floor plan with a full kitchen for entertaining. Garage is completely tiled, heated and has a fireplace. Private backyard with a beautiful in-ground pool. 214002944 Presented by Lisa and Tony Scaccia
skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
Bloomfield Hills $799,900 Spectacular Cape Cod in prestigious Chelmsleigh neighborhood offers over 5400 square feet of living space (including lower level). Updated kitchen with Downsview cabinetry, large 1st floor master suite (21 x 20) with additional bedroom on main floor, four full updated baths, library with Oak floors and built-ins. Large windows throughout offer views of the beautifully landscaped .93 acre yard. Three car garage with heated air conditioned workshop. Four bedrooms with four baths. 213110576 Presented by Beverly McCotter
Bloomfield Hills $725,000 Wonderful Bauhaus style Contemporary home surrounded by nature! Fabulous open floor plan offers brand new Scavolini kitchen with quartz counters and new Miele stainless appliances, bamboo flooring, redone baths with custom cabinets and Marble, Three bedrooms with direct access to full bathrooms and private balconies, entry level laundry room, large private yard backing to pond and Walnut Lake privileges! Three bedrooms with three baths. 213111763 Presented by Christine Johnson
skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
West Bloomfield $699,000 Beautiful home great for a family! 4,000 square feet of open living space with 2005 square feet in finished lower level. Gorgeous brick paver deck with stainless steel BBQ unit and kitchen outside! Great curb appeal. Three car attached garage. A must see! Four bedrooms with 4.2 bath. 213061736. Presented by Sandra Treboldi
Bloomfield Hills $559,000 This wonderful custom built home offers an open floor plan with entry level office, private master suite, gorgeous living room with hardwood flooring and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the private yard with mature perennial gardens. Walkout lower level with full bath leads to patio and extensive decking with gazebo. Four bedrooms 3.1 baths 213117850 Presented by Christine Johnson
skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
Commerce $699,900 Over 1 million dollars of improvements and building costs in this state of the art home designed for family living and entertainment. Features include gourmet kitchen, two story living room, Brazilian cherry floors, 5 star resort yard with heated in ground pool, multi level decking, patios, extensive mature landscaping, lower level with recreation and media rooms, gorgeous bar area and full bath, Full house generator. Must see to believe. Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 214003518 Presented by Mia Bardy
Troy $650,000 Gracious Executive Colonial in Troy's highly desired Beach Forest subdivision, perched on a hilltop with a gorgeous, private lot. New roof (2011), newer windows or glass, carpet, state of art furnace and a/c (2010), and a tank-less water heater. Impressive two story foyer features leaded glass door and a beautiful spiral staircase. Vaulted ceiling and fireplace in formal living room. Inviting eat-in island kitchen recently updated with granite, overlooks the treed back yard. Paneled family room/library with second fireplace. Newer concrete patio has built in lighting and gas grill. Electric fence. Four bedrooms with 3.2 baths. 214001354 Presented by Maureen Francis and Dmitry Koublitsky
skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
Beverly Hills Village $519,900 One of the nicest homes in Beverly Hills is ready for new owners! Beautiful living area on the main floor showcasing an amazing kitchen with all the bells and whistles, large living room-dinning room combo and a great family room that opens into a very nice sun room with views of the back yard and the park. Huge master suite with beautiful master bath with heated floors and state of the art shower, and walk in closet. Enjoy the privacy of your yard and the access to the Beverly Hills Village Park, as well as the community pool and all the facilities of the Beverly Hills Downtown. Birmingham Schools.Four bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 214008865 Presented by Silvia Stan
Grosse Pointe $495,000 Perfect family home in perfect location. Listen to the freighters go by from this wonderful Colonial on quiet street-just steps to lakefront park, village, shops and restaurants and schools. Lovingly maintained and updated. Features include a newer Mutcher kitchen, first floor laundry, natural fireplace, finished hardwood floors throughout, beautifully landscaped yard with bluestone patio, finished basement and so much more. Four bedrooms with 2.2 baths. 214003071 Presented by Mia Bardy
skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
Sterling Heights $412,000 Beautiful newer built in Springbrook Estates with Utica schools! This four bedroom, 3.1 baths 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. Fireplace in great room and also wired for surround sound as well as study. New roof, new water heater, security system. Three and half car garage. Custom built with many updates. 213119551 Presented by Donna Barlow
Wonderful Condo Alternative! Eclectic custom designed contemporary home within walking distance to downtown Birmingham. First floor master and two bedrooms on the upper level. The second floor library/office could be a 4th bedroom. Dramatic 2 story great room. Very open and free flowing floor plan with great natural light and many skylights to enhance the natural open beauty of each room. Large wooden deck off the great room for outdoor entertaining. Three bedrooms with two baths. 213202580 Presented by T. Gerald Etue
Stunning 2-story ceiling, foyer with spiral staircase welcomes you into this unit at "The Enclave", a Pine Knob Golf community. Great room with an impressive bay window and elegant fireplace overlooking lush grounds and access to deck. Lafata cabinets and granite tops throughout, hardwood floors crown moldings, brand new Stanton carpet, walkout lower level to brick patio. Clarkston Schools, close to world class sports and concert venues, shopping, I-75. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 213115781 Presented by Carmen Mollicone
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Bloomfield $495,000 Gorgeous house and large, wooded lot located on a beautiful, winding street with Walnut Lake privileges. Open floor plan, vaulted ceilings, big windows, great living area, stunning new kitchen, updated three full bath and lavatory. New roof, floors, doors, wood and iron staircase, new paint, light fixtures, blinds, appliances and the list goes on and on. Amazing renovation, come and see it, you will love it! Bonus to lake access, a beautiful pool in the back yard! Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 213108926 Presented by Silvia Stan
Rochester Hills $385,000
This in-town Birmingham home has a wonderful open plan and large closets for a home of this era. The inviting front porch welcomes you to a light-filled home overflowing with original character combined with modern updates. Stainless Viking kitchen appliances. Family room with fireplace. First floor laundry/mud room. Spacious master suite with impressive closet. Roof approximately five years old. Waterproofing with transferable warranty, new floors, walls and lighting. Close to town. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 213201649 Presented by Linda Eriksen
Extremely private setting located on a cul-de-sac with pavers and beautiful garden. This extremely well-maintained home exudes the *perfect location. Huge family room, breakfast nook, reading/relaxing area with built-in bookcases, library, finished lower level with recreation room and full bath. Newer windows, roof, furnaces and air conditioning. A true pleasure to show, this home is spacious and move-in ready! Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 213112534 Presented by Susan Johnson
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Raber Township $399,000 Paradise found at this St. Mary's River getaway with a 2 mile view to St. Joseph Island. 2005 solid built home with three fireplaces, natural stone, gorgeous deck and views, 150 frontage. 100 foot rolling dock, lift, 100 year shingles, three car attached garage plus additional six car garage with 10 foot doors. Furnishings. Also available with 290 acres of prime timber/hunting camp with Amish Cabin five minutes away with paved roads. Great for corporate retreat. Together $799,000. Three bedrooms with three baths. 213117693 Presented by Michelle Yurich.
Bloomfield Hills $299,000
Excellent opportunity. All new kitchen appliances and granite counter tops. Freshly painted, new carpet, redone hardwood floors and beautiful winscoating. Drenched in sunlight from wall of windows and beautiful views. Completely finished walk out lower level with fireplace, wet bar, full bath, bedroom and office. 2 car attached garage. Lovely neighborhood with easy access to shopping and freeways. Four bedrooms with three baths. 214005616 Presented by Kris Barich and Molly Henneghan
Wonderful updated Pembrook Park Bungalow with upstairs full bath! Second full bath on main level. Nice hardwood floors throughout, great sunroom off back opening to paver patio. Professionally landscaped, 2+ car garage, newer windows, driveway, tear-off roof, electrical, finished basement and much more. Birmingham schools. Four bedrooms with two baths. 213112923 Presented by Bill Tracy
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Spacious updated brick Ranch. Hardwood floors throughout with an updated granite kitchen (09), cherry cabinets and stainless steel appliances. Newer windows, new hot water heater and new 95% efficient furnace. Home includes finished basement, attic fan, back covered porch and shed. Beautiful home in a great neighborhood with Royal Oak schools on a tree lined street. Four bedrooms with 1.1 baths. 213200417 Presented by Lisa and Tony Scaccia
Outstanding home in desirable Woodbriar Subdivision with Lake Orion Schools. Bright kitchen with stainless steel appliances, center island, which opens to a comfortable family room with gas fireplace and door wall to balcony. Master bedroom with walk in closet and large bath. Finished walk out lower level with recreation room and door wall to patio and beautiful fenced yard. Stunning contemporary interior architecture with vaulted ceilings and distinctive staircase. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 214009409 Presented by Jim Casey
Outstanding upper Ranch Condo has a very bright and open floor plan. Vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, new carpeting freshly painted, custom kitchen has large breakfast bar, all appliances. Huge bonus room/family room can be third bedroom. Living room/great room with custom fireplace. Large master suite with bay window, jetted tub, shower and walk in closet. First floor laundry. Private basement and attached garage. Walk to Scenic Hines Park and trails. Two bedrooms with two baths. 214009429 Presented by Felicia Scappaticci
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ESPOSIZIONE COMMERCIALE DELLE PROPRIETA’ IN TUTTO IL MONDO
ll marchio Sotheby’s International Realty® ha collaboralo e promosso immobili con i più importanti gruppi mediatici e siti web specializzati del mondo in campo immobiliare, raggiungendo 60.000.000 di visualizzazioni di immobili, annuali.
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FACES Judith Burdick udith Burdick was living in San Diego in 1991 with her husband of 10 years and two young children when tragedy struck the family. Her husband, who was just two years into his orthopedic practice, had gone scuba diving and was killed in an accident. “We had really just started our lives,” she said,” and the whole story changed.” With close friends and family thousands of miles away, the Farmington Hills native quickly learned that there were few resources available to help a young widow with a family to cope with such catastrophic loss. “There wasn’t such a thing as online support when I was going through this. There was truly a handful of books, and not a lot of support. There was just the community, and not a lot of awareness around grief and what that looked like,” she said. “I had to seek out support, and what was available was mostly for older people. I was a young widow with two small children, and trying to figure out my next move. It was hard to find examples of hope, so I became what it was that I needed, which was a grief and loss specialist.” Burdick eventually moved back to Michigan and completed her studies at the University of Michigan, then earned a masters in clinical psychology at the Center for Humanistic Studies in Detroit. Today, Burdick lives in Bloomfield Hills and operates her own practice in Bingham Farms. “I came to the awareness that it was a choice, that I had to be the best I could be for my children, initially. Then, realizing that, as I walked through the most difficult stages of loss and got through that – I would say a couple of years – I moved back to Detroit,” Burdick said. “Two years after that, I got remarried, and I felt grounded enough to go back to school and take the next step. “I have this burning desire to help people get through what I went through, and to create something that was lacking for me.” She is currently in the midst of a new effort to help others with grief with the documentary film, Transforming Loss, which she wrote, directed and produced. The film premiered in February 2013 at the Maple Theater, and has been screened at the Main Art Theater and other locations around the country. The film follows the story of six families who cope with losses in their own lives, and who are able to transform their grief into hope. The movie has already won best documentary in the Michigan Uptown Film Festival in Birmingham, where it also took awards for the best director and cinematography. Burdick is now seeking sponsorship for a national platform. The movie will be aired on Detroit Public Television on March 30th. “The topic, or the content, is very sad on one hand; it takes you through each of the individual’s loss in a very profound and raw way, but it also takes you through the pain and into the transformative process where there is hope,” Burdick said. “You leave the film feeling very uplifted.”
Story: Kevin Elliott
Photo: Laurie Tennent
Cindy Obron Kahn An Extraordinary Agent… Providing Extraordinary Results
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Bloomfield Village - $2,295,000 Stately Colonial redone To Perfection Flowing Floor Plan
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Birmingham - $1,149,000 Open & Flowing Floor Plan Bright, Light Filled rooms Lovely Private Landscaped Yard
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Bloomfield Village - $785,000 Updated Village Colonial Situated On Large Private Lot Wonderful Family room Co-listed with Heather Salesin
2011 - 2013
$53 MILLION SOLd IN 2013 Franklin Village - $599,000 renovated 1840’s Farmhouse Walk To Charming downtown Spectacular Lot
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Franklin - $899,000 Wonderful Tobocman Contemporary expansive Floor Plan Large Lot With Beautiful Setting
415 S. Old Woodward | Birmingham, MI 48009
Birmingham - $449,000 Wonderful 47x133 Lot Great Opportunity For In-Town Living
CITY/ TOWNSHIP Golf courses show better financials By Lisa Brody
At the Tuesday, February 4, Birmingham Parks and Recreation Board meeting, the 2013 golf season financials were reviewed, which were primarily positive, and a prediction for the upcoming 2014 season was presented. Lauren Wood, director of public services, noted that 2013 experienced a sluggish start due to inclement weather in the spring, but ended the year with a successful season with 53,066 combined rounds, which was 2 percent less than 2012. The golf courses experienced an overall net surplus of $68,249. Birmingham owns two municipal golf courses, Lincoln Hills Golf Course at 2666 W. 14 Mile Road, just west of Cranbrook Road, and Springdale Golf Course, located at 316 Strathmore Road. They are each nine-hole courses open seven days a week during the season, with availability for residents, nonresidents and businesses via inexpensive leisure passes. The city saw increases in leisure pass purchases in all categories in 2013. There were 2,007 resident passes purchased, up from 1,843 in 2012. In an effort to increase nonresident leisure passes, in 2012 the city reduced the rates in all categories and purchases increased. For individual, non-resident passes, there was a 17.89 percent increase; dual, non-resident, up 16.9 percent; and the biggest increase, by far, was seen in the family, non-resident category, with a 124 percent increase. Lincoln Hills recorded a 12.51 percent increase in rounds over 2012, surpassing the department’s projections for last season, with 28,397 rounds of golf played. Wood attributed that to 1,868 additional league rounds played and 983 guest rounds. The city anticipates a continuing upward trend at Lincoln Hills in 2014. However, the Springdale course saw an almost 15 percent decrease in rounds played in 2013, with the major factor being lower weekday rounds played. The course experienced six days of flooding over bridges, closing the course altogether, and the course closed early in October, leaving it with downtownpublications.com
Bank of America leaving downtown By Lisa Brody
he Bank of America center located at 99 W. Maple Road, at the corner of Pierce Street in downtown Birmingham, will be closed effective Friday, June 27. The closing was announced to Bank of America customers in a recent letter from the corporate office for the bank. Employees at the location were informed early in February and will be reassigned. Bank customers are being encouraged in the letter to continue banking with Bank of America at the banking center at 36050 Woodward, at Oak Street in Bloomfield Hills, as well as online. Buzz Wachler of David Wachler & Sons Jewelry, who owns the building in which Bank of America is located, said that the bank chose to close that location, and rent prices were not the issue. “We bought the building from Standard Federal bank (the predecessor of Bank of America) in 1987, and they have been in that location for decades,” Wachler said. “They’ve been the best tenant you could possibly have.” Wachler is now looking for a tenant to fill the almost 3,000 square foot space at a prime corner location in downtown Birmingham, and said he has been approached by several leasing agents as well as Birmingham Principal Shopping District leasing consultant Julie Fielder. He said he is open to all opportunities for the space. “I have nothing specific in mind,” he said. “I’m looking for a good retail establishment that would add to downtown Birmingham. I prefer a national tenant, but a good local tenant would be good, too.”
24,699 rounds played. The goal in 2014 is to increase rounds to 28,000 by promoting Mondays for play as well as offering incentives to play on the course. “As every new season approaches, our goal is to increase memberships by offering two well-manicured courses for our community to enjoy with the addition of amenities; food and beverage;merchandise; and an excellent teaching academy,” Wood wrote in the golf report. In 2012, Birmingham acquired a Class C liquor license for the golf courses, which then brought about expanded food, beverages and merchandise in the two municipal golf course clubhouses. In 2013, they increased their food and beverage sales by 26,426 over 2012, or a 51 percent increase, with a significant increase of $16,766 in beer sales, and $8,971 in food and beverages for 2013, which Wood attributes to “our members/guests enjoying a cold beverage and a great burger/sandwich before or after their round.” Listening to requests, they will add greek salads, veggie burgers and grilled cheese to their menu options for 2014, and create daily specials. The report also states that outside patio furniture will be replaced this spring to create a better ambiance as
well as offering additional seating. The golf shops successfully introduced more merchandise from different vendors, increasing sales by 57 percent from 2012, or $8,481, particularly at Lincoln Hills. In 2014, Springdale will receive a “small facelift” behind the counter in order to better display items, as sales remained static in 2013. “We moved Michigan and Michigan State apparel very well, along with our new addition, Detroit Tiger (apparel),” Wood reported. “Outerwear went well, and our members/guests enjoyed the women’s apparel from Kate Lord, and we will bring in another grouping for 2014. One major request from our ‘End of Year Survey’ is to bring in children’s apparel. We will give it a try with a small grouping to see how it is received by our members/guests.” The municipal junior golf program had a successful year in 2013 with the introduction of online registration. A new teaching professional created “plusses and minuses” for the program, and after a review, the report said they will be making some changes, including starting lessons in May, prior to the actual start of the junior golf program. They also discovered that utilizing
Springdale, in addition to Lincoln Hills, for junior golf, curbed weekday rounds at Springdale, so they will bring all junior golf rounds back to Lincoln Hills in 2014. Overall, Wood said they are on the right track with the golf courses, turning around expenditures and better capturing revenues, which were just over $1 million for actual income for all golf operations in 2013. To continue on this trend in 2014, they plan to begin marketing the courses in local publications; offer a trial membership for $25 to non-residents for the month of May that can then go towards their membership; continue a loyalty program, where after 10 rounds, the next round is free; increase participation in special events; provide improved food, beverages, and merchandise; and better utilize notifications and registration via the Internet. Overall, revenues from the combined golf courses actually exceeded costs for the first time since 2006, leaving the courses after depreciation with a surplus of $68,249. In past years, the net loss for the golf courses ranged anywhere from $93,000 to $250,000.
Library bond set for May special vote Birmingham City Commissioners, by a 6-0 vote, with commissioner Rackeline Hoff not in attendance, approved a resolution to place a library bond proposal worth $21.5 million before city voters at a special election to be held on Tuesday, May 6. In October, the Birmingham Joint Library Building Committee, of which mayor Scott Moore and commissioners Gordon Rinschler and Hoff were members, chose a conceptual plan 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. 83
In November, Birmingham City Commissioners accepted the schematic designs and directed city staff to develop a financial plan to fund the library project. The city needs to issue a bond to pay for the expansion and renovation, which is estimated to cost $21.5 million. Because the library is owned by the city of Birmingham, only residents of Birmingham will be asked to pay for the expansion and renovation, even though Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms, and Bloomfield Hills residents, under contract arrangements, use the library. The library bond is a 20-year bond, with the average cost per household anticipated to be approximately $124 annually for 20 years, or about $2,500 over the lifetime of the bond. Moore said he approved putting the bond on the May ballot, despite some public concerns, when it will be a election dedicated to just one issue. “It is far from a stealth election,” he said. “We’ve been working on this for 18 months. We’ve kept to a schedule, and if we don’t apply for bonds by a certain point, we can’t apply and issue a bond (for the library) until June 2015 – which would delay construction a whole other year. It will still take a year for the design and construction process. If we delay the bond proposal until August or November, we’re looking at potential increases in construction costs. That’s just the way it falls.” Commissioner Stuart Sherman said he approved the resolution because “with three commissioners on the joint library building committee, it was going to pass. I voted for this because we have to get this before the voters and let them make an informed choice.” Sherman continued, “This is a decision voters have to make, whether the project makes sense, and whether they want to spend $21.5 million on this over other capital needs in the city.”
What Crepe? closes Birmingham location What Crepe? restaurant in Birmingham, located at 172 N. Old Woodward just north of Maple, closed as of January 31, along with its companion Royal Oak and Ann Arbor locations. 84
New multi-modal standing committee By Lisa Brody
irmingham City Commissioners unanimously approved on Monday, January 27, a resolution to have staff create a standing multi-modal transportation committee to review the process of all transportation-related projects in the city, and its coordination with other relevant committees and departments. On November 25, 2013, commissioners 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. The process was begun in May 2012, when city planners began the creation of a master plan for multi-modal transportation which they said will transform the future usage of streets, sidewalks, rail, busses, bicycles and other forms of movement in the city for all users. It is an offshoot of Complete Streets, a federal initiative adopted by Birmingham in August 2011. Complete Streets’ policies are designed to enable safe access to streets for all users. It is an enterprise that results in roadways which are designed and operated to enable safe and comfortable access and travel for all users of all ages and abilities. A goal of Complete Streets is that as roads and streets are repaired and redeveloped, they will be looked at, analyzed, and redesigned with more than just cars in mind. The goal of creating a permanent multi-modal transportation committee is to satisfy just that goal and to eliminate the more “piecemeal” process of choosing which Birmingham streets could, and should, be converted into ones with multi-modal uses, such as bike lanes, traffic calming devices and other initiatives, as they come up for repavement and reconstruction. Birmingham Planning Director Jana Ecker had recommended constituency representatives for seats on the committee, but city commissioners felt that was too restricting, and that if a road project occurs near a school, a school district representative could be consulted rather than putting that individual on the committee full time. “We need to create a core group and then step back and look at the representatives of the population,” said commissioner Gordon Rinschler. The commission approved the resolution to direct staff to prepare ordinance language to establish a standing multi-modal transportation committee to analyze the existing review process for all transportation-related projects, including but not limited to a merger of the responsibilities of the traffic and safety board, and to make recommendations for enhanced coordination among planning, engineering and public safety.
The French-inspired crepe restaurant, which offered both sweet and savory crepes, opened in 2012, and appeared on the cusp of growth just over a year ago, when owner Paul Jenkins Jr. received unanimous approval from the Birmingham City Commission for one of two coveted bistro licenses for 2013. It was Jenkins second attempt at getting a bistro license, which permits restaurants a special land use permit with a liquor license as long as they have no more than 65 seats, including no more than 10 at a bar, outdoor seating, large windows which open to the outdoors,
invigorating the pedestrian activity of the city streets. However, despite receiving the bistro license approval at a city commission meeting on February 11, 2013, according to Birmingham Police Deputy Chief Mark Clemence, Jenkins never formally applied for the liquor license with the city, nor the Michigan Liquor Control Commission. In October 2013, Clemence reported, “he (owner Paul Jenkins) hasn’t done anything yet. He won the bistro license and hasn’t applied for the city license. He’s on the clock. It expires after 18 months,” meaning August 2014.
Clemence said that it typically takes four to six months to go through the complete liquor license process and be approved. “There are two steps, because Birmingham has a local ordinance that says you have to come to us and be approved, as well as receiving state approval,” Clemence said. “If I was running a business, and that is the timetable, I would give myself that long.” Jenkins did not return repeated phone calls. When he applied for his bistro license in February 2013, he told the city commission he would be doing construction to enlarge and alter the restaurant’s interior to add tables at the windows and booths along the wall. Jenkins said he would add eight seats at the bar and increase the bistro to 42 interior seats, and add a dining platform in two parking spots on N. Old Woodward, to provide 23 outdoor dining seats. While the interior construction was never begun, he did add the dining platform this past summer. “I have been in business for a year with no liquor license, and we’ve been competitive, but to stay in business, I need to stay competitive, and the liquor license will allow me to have the staying power,” Jenkins told commissioners in 2013. It’s unlikely there will be two bistros given out for 2014, either. In October, city commissioners approved two proposals to move on in the planning process for this year, Debonair Bistro, for the former Baker’s Square location in the Triangle District, and Mad Hatter’s Cafe, a family-friendly tea house in the downtown area. Mad Hatter’s Cafe is moving steadily through the planning approval process, with plans to come before the city commission on Monday, February 24 for final site plan approval and a special land use permit, but Debonair Bistro never submitted plans to the planning department before its expiration on January 20, 2014. It is uncertain if commissioners will re-open the bistro submission process for 2014, which would occur by April 1. They have that option, or to approve one, or no, bistro licenses for 2014. 03.14
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B Birmingham | $3,200,000 | This Wallace Frost masterpiece has been exquisitely renovated & enhanced by its third owner. Sits on an acre overlooking the scenic Rouge River, yet a short walk to town. Stunning gourmet kitchen w/tumbled limestone back splash, exotic granite counter tops, 9 foot center island, Sub-zero refrigerator, Wolf stove, wine refrigerator. Open floor plan & spectacular views to striking pool & outdoor living spaces. Presented by: Jennifer Zachary T: 888-522-4807 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Bloomfield | $1,790,000 | Stunningly updated rambling, open, light-filled floor plan on private cul-de-sac overlooking 2nd fairway of Forest Lake Country Club. Features include rich detailed custom moldings, coffered ceilings, judges paneling, volume ceilings, gourmet kitchen, marble foyer, gorgeous fireplaces, & magnificent paver patio with pool overlooking panoramic view of the golf course. Must see to appreciate this quality home. Presented by: Rebecca Meisner T: 888-461-4453 | email@example.com
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Spotlight on... Bob Holcomb has been in real estate for more than 40 years, and when asked if he would still become an agent if he had to do it all over again...“YES!” “I have met so many wonderful individuals and couples through the years, and putting them in their first home, or their third home, is such a happy and exciting moment. It’s truly wonderful to be a part of it all, and for me the best part is that these same people become close friends. So yes, I love what I do!” Bob is a lifelong Birmingham/Bloomfield resident, graduating from Seaholm (then called Birmingham High). Bob also graduated from Michigan State University where this Spartan studied Real Estate Law and Business. He enjoys a love for all sports, but is an
especially avid golfer, and is a member of Edgewood Country Club in Commerce. Among his professional accolades, he has been inducted into the Real Estate Hall of Fame received the Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the Emeritus Award from the Michigan Association of Realtors. We could go on, but as you can see we’re out of space. Let Bob put his reputation for astonishing excellence to work for you. Visit his website at cbwm.com/rholcomb or call him at 877-465-8571.
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Bloomfield | $499,000 Enjoy the feeling of country living and be five minutes from downtown. 2.11 luscious acres. Presented by: Deidre “Didi” Etue T: 888-822-1586 | email@example.com
Troy | $649,327 Absolutely stunning and sophisticated East Oak River Colonial. Updates top to bottom! Presented by: Megan Clark T: 888-810-6781 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Birmingham | $295,000 Each unit has 2 bedrooms. One unit has two full baths and the other unit has 1.5 baths. Presented by: Peter Webster T: 888-436-0767 | email@example.com
Bloomfield | $279,000 Attractive brick ranch beautifully situated on 0.62 acres on the N. Course of Oakland Hills. Presented by: Mary Dean T: 888-254-2470 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Salem Township | $2,500,000 The most incredible equestrian compound in S.E. Michigan, situated on 49.07 acres. Presented by: Jim Wolfe T: 888-439-8792 | email@example.com
Salem Township | $1,000,000 Stunning custom home on 2.82 wooded acres on private cul-de-sac! Travertine floors. Presented by: John Goodman T: 888-286-5282 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Birmingham | $945,000 Charming 1930’s Connecticut colonial situated on a beautifully landscaped .5 acre lot in one of Birmingham’s finest areas. Presented by: Robert Dundon B T: 888-570-3742 | email@example.com
West Bloomfield | $659,900 Newer custom home on canal to private All Sports Upper Long Lake! 4,457 total sq. ft. Soaring two--story foyer and great room with fireplace. Presented by: John Darvis T: 888-251-3481 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Bloomfield Hills | $629,000 Custom wet plaster 4362 square foot home with handsome quality custom features. Presented by: Rosalee Hill T: 888-605-2683 | email@example.com
Waterford | $597,200 Elegant, sophisticated, contemporary with soaring ceilings and sunset views of Loon Lake. Presented by: Cindy Hannah T: 877-679-7802 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hamburg Township | $1,550,000 Totally custom ranch with 693’ of frontage on the point! Turn-key: furniture, docks, pontoon & jet skis Presented by: John Goodman T: 888-286-5282 | email@example.com
Oakland Township | $650,000 Ride, refresh, relax....you can have it all! Inviting four bedroom soft contemporary. Presented by: Donna Bousson T: 866-466-9530 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Royal Oak | $139,000 Great location, truly walk to town. Townhouse style 1/2 duplex with updated kitchen and bath. Presented by: Wendi Miller T: 888-810-6483 | email@example.com
Bloomfield Hills | $192,000 Condo with two bedrooms, two full baths, library, private porch, dining room, kitchen with nook Presented by: Gwen Schultz T: 888-810-3789 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Birmingham | $799,000 Quarton Lakes Estates Georgian classic!! Wonderful updates. Four-car garage! Beautiful hardwood floors, 4 generous bedrooms with two suites. Presented by: Kathy Parker B T: 888-805-4648 | email@example.com
Bloomfield Village | $649,900 Elegant home on a beautifully landscaped setting. Significant updates include granite counters, a Wolf cook-top and double convection ovens. Presented by: Robert Taylor & Jennifer Doctor T: 877-469-0297 | firstname.lastname@example.org
West Bloomfield | $550,000 Gorgeous home with amazing view of the beautiful and private Green Lake. Presented by: Sufian Hannon T: 888-903-4582 | email@example.com
Birmingham | $539,000 Fabulous 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath Colonial with extensive updates facing Pembroke Park! Presented by: John Farhat T: 888-713-6774 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Rochester | $489,000 Motivated Seller! Don’t miss this beautifully landscaped spacious home with upgrades galore. Presented by: Tricia Wilson T: 866-205-4135 | email@example.com
Bloomfield | $489,000 Beautiful 4 bedroom 2.5 bath traditional Colonial with 3-car garage. Formal Living & dining rooms. Presented by: Wendi Miller T: 888-810-6483 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Independence Township | $799,000 Outstanding Oakhurst Golf & Country Club. Lorimer built with attention to detail. Presented by: Cheryl Bailey T: 888-663-7898 | email@example.com
Oakland Township | $599,900 New Eco-Smart construction to be built, brick and stone exterior, 9’ ceilings, 8’ doors. Presented by: Joe Carney T: 888-711-9130 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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B Birmingham | $1,900,000 | Exquisitely designed with a gracious warmth & elegance. This home offers craftsmanship and quality beyond compare. Hardwood floors in most of the home. 6 fireplaces. Each bedroom is a suite. State of the art kitchen w/amenities to please a master chef, has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens. Luxurious suite over garage. Stunning finished lower level offers great entertaining space. Garage is a true 4 car. Presented by: Barbara Draplin T: 866-936-6094 | email@example.com
Birmingham | $1,750,000 | Coveted Holy Name area: Walk to restaurants, theatres, shops, Quarton Lake, & Farmer’s Market. Stunning Newer Custom Construction w/ SPECTACULAR space and quality. Open layout suitable for traditional or contemporary furnishings. Formal living and dining rooms. Family room adjacent to kitchen w/stainless steel Thermador appliances - 2 dishwashers - and a very large island. Separate butler’s pantry. Presented by: Deidre “Didi” Etue T: 888-822-1586 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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B Birmingham | $1,850,000 | Custom built by Brandywine, this exquisite home, offers quality & amenities beyond compare. This house is definitely within walking distance to downtown Birmingham. Hardwood flrs & beautiful mill work adorn every room. Designer kitchen opens to great room for comfortable living. Each bedroom is a suite. Granite in kit, baths, & 2nd floor laundry room. This stunning home is like new and truly turn key!! Presented by: Barbara Draplin T: 866-936-6094 | email@example.com
Bloomfield Hills | $1,599,000 | Uncompromising in quality and amenities, this magnificent residence is situated on almost an acre of lovely landscaped private grounds. Foyer w/Brazilian walnut floor open to two story living room w/limestone fireplace & expansive windows. Library w/judges paneling & coffered ceiling. Incredible kit w/large island & heated floor. First floor master w/fireplace & luxurious bath. 17x10 solarium. Fab lower level. Presented by: Robert Dundon T: 888-570-3742 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Bloomfield Village | $725,000 Handsome Georgian Colonial. Great floor plan with large rooms and wonderful flow for entertaining. Granite kitchen with large serving area. Presented by: Rosalee Hill B T: 888-605-2683 | email@example.com
Bloomfield | $1,990,000 This beautiful 7000+ square foot home is high on a hill overlooking Island Lake. With large windows and a wrap around deck. Presented by: Dennis Kozak T: 888-605-2683 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Birmingham | $499,000 Excellent opportunity to own a triplex. First floor unit is newly renovated with a new kitchen. Presented by: Barbara Draplin T: 866-936-6094 | email@example.com
Birmingham | $385,000 Newly remodeled walk to town beauty! Open floor plan. Granite kitchen with stainless accents. Presented by: Janet Burger T: 888-897-4518 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Bloomfield Township | $365,000 Sharp, meticulously cared for home in popular Hickory Heights. Recent updates throughout! Presented by: Erna Whitmire T: 888-770-0907 | email@example.com
Bloomfield Hills | $339,000 Nestled in the woods this Tobocman designed ranch condo on the second floor is a gem! Presented by: Erin Oâ€™Neill T: 866-942-6533 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Green Oak Township | $1,198,000 110â€™ of lakefront in spectacular two-story home with gorgeous views of all sports Hidden Lake. Presented by: John Goodman T: 888-286-5282 | email@example.com
Birmingham | $192,000 Great price, great Locale! Walk to downtown and the Rail District from this charming bungalow. Presented by: Joanna Drukker T: 800-971-2356 | firstname.lastname@example.org
WEIR MANUEL WEIR MANUEL
Experience Matters Buying or selling a home, even under the best of circumstances, can be a stressful and complicated undertaking. So with the real estate market we find ourselves in today, choosing an experienced professional to represent your interests is even more critical than ever.
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BLOOMFIELD | $679,900 | Elegant custom â€œVillageâ€? Colonial with dramatic two-story formal dining room on a beautiful treed lot. Features include: gracious foyer, large open light-filled rooms and terrific, flexible floor plan. Fabulous as is or could be an exciting renovation. Circular drive, awesome location! Note: fourth bedroom is currently part of master bedroom suite - seller will install wall & door prior to closing. Very special home!
BLOOMFIELD | $419,000 | Fabulously located handsome Colonial on gorgeous privately landscaped lot lovingly maintained and updated to perfection! Super floor plan, hardwood floors, sophisticated white kitchen with double ovens, Sub-zero and awesome pantry, generous bedrooms with great double closets, first floor bedroom could be library. Note: newer windows, gutters, freshly painted. Finished lower level approx 700 sq ft.
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CITY/ TOWNSHIP Lower crime rate seen in Birmingham Birmingham saw a decrease in all categories of crime in 2013, save one – drunk driving arrests, which could possibly be because the police department made more traffic stops, leading to more arrests. According to the 2013 Birmingham annual police report, crime in seven of eight categories declined in 2013 from 2012, with operating while impaired arrests almost doubled from 61 in 2012 to 110 in 2013. “We had an extra officer in 2013,” Birmingham Police Chief Don Studt explained. “We had more traffic stops, which lead to more observations (by officers), which then lead to more drunk driving and more warrant arrests.” Studt noted that when it came to larger crimes, “It was a quiet year. But next year might not be the same. We lock up as many bad guys as we can.” In its annual report, the police department reported no homicides, compared to one in 2012; three criminal sexual contacts, up from two in 2012; six robberies in the city, versus seven the previous year; and 58 acts of vandalism, compared to 90 acts in 2012. There were half of the burglaries in Birmingham in 2013 than there were the year before, at 32; 187 larcenies, versus 237 in 2012; and 15 stolen vehicles. There were 17 stolen vehicles in 2012. All told, the police department responded to 18,372 police calls in 2013, and they had 30 sworn police officers. There were 29 officers in 2012, with 16,571 police calls. Studt said that while he knows his department does a good job, Birmingham is not an isolated island in terms of crime trends. “You can’t extrapolate four square miles to get the big picture. You have to look at us, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, Beverly Hills, Troy, to get a better idea of this area of Oakland County,” he said. “Do you think the criminals know our borders end at 14 Mile? Most crimes are crimes of opportunity.” He said he also believes crime can be cyclical. For those who worry that there is too much crime in Birmingham right now, he provided a 25-year perspective, with 1988’s downtownpublications.com
Valentine named interim city manager irmingham Assistant City Manager Joe Valentine was appointed interim city manager by a unanimous vote of the Birmingham city commission on Monday, February 10. Valentine, effective Friday, February 14, replaced outgoing city manager Bob Bruner whose contract was not renewed in mid-January by the city commission, effectively terminating his employment when his contract with Birmingham ended February 13, following three years with the city. At this point in time, city commissioners say they are not planning to commence a search for a new city manager. Valentine has been with the city for approximately 17 years, mayor Scott Moore said, and is knowledgeable about all aspects of the city government. He worked for several years as an assistant city manager to former city manager Tom Markus prior to working with Bruner. One of Valentine’s responsibilities as an assistant manager has been overseeing human resources for Birmingham. While Moore said they are not planning to hire a full-time human resources individual, plans to fill the position are currently pending. The other Birmingham Assistant City Manager, Christian Wuerth, was recently named the new administrator for the village of Milford, and will be leaving Birmingham at the end of the month. His duties have been reassigned and Moore said they plan to fill his position pretty quickly by performing an outside search.
crime figures. There were 656 larcenies in 1988, compared to 2013’s 187 – and 125 residential burglaries in 1988, compared to 32 in 2013. There was also a significantly greater amount of drunk driving arrests in 1988, with 321 operating while impaired arrests versus this past year’s 110. In the annual report, Studt said that drug forfeiture funds were used to replace outdated Tasers and individual body armor for all sworn officers. The department also purchased two laptops with LEIN/CLEMIS access for their investigative division, and they upgraded they’re in-car video equipment by purchasing 11 higher resolution cameras. They also issued 31,535 parking violations in 2013, up from 30,182 in 2012.
Birmingham reviews long-range plans By Lisa Brody
Birmingham City Commissioners evaluated where the city has been and it’s needs in the upcoming year at its long-range planning session on Saturday, February 1, as city department heads came before commissioners with reports. Mayor Scott Moore informed
those in attendance that “this is more of a retreat to state the city’s goals. It’s akin to a workshop envisioning the city’s goals – not so much of a public meeting. It’s a workshop for us to sit informally with our city staff.” He told members of the public there would be no public comments at the almost day-long meeting, emphasizing that the commission was getting away from advocacy and opinion. “We’re looking ahead five and ten years to what it will mean to be a Birmingham resident in the future.” The first order of business was looking at the city’s five-year financial model and reviewing capitol improvements and funding priorities. City finance director Sharon Ostin was joined by Tim St. Andrew from Plante Moran to present the schedule of projected capital and other costs for the city for the fiscal years of 2014-2014 through 2018-2019. Ostin said that while the city’s general fund looks better than it did last year because of the positive outlook on property taxes and property values creeping up, there remains a number of unfunded planned projects. A compilation of projected capital and other costs for the city in the upcoming five years shows a number of unfunded projects, including in
the 2014-2015 fiscal year, $2.9 million for major and local street projects; $2.1 million in water and sewer projects; $2.3 million in pension contributions; and $4.8 million in retiree health care contributions. Other unfunded desired projects for this fiscal year include $1.3 million for the first phase of multimodal implementation, and almost $1 million to begin implementation of the second phase of multi-modal implementation; $21.5 million for Baldwin Library expansion and renovation; $2.5 million for senior services operation and building improvements; $1.2 million for Kenning Park improvements; $250,000 for Rouge River Trail improvements; and $100,000 for an endowment at Greenwood Cemetery. Paul O’Meara, head of the city’s engineering department, said that the engineering department considers the current condition of each street on an annual basis as it determines its maintenance needs, coupled with the needs of water and sewer. Those streets needing complete reconstruction are put to the top of the annual list. “We’re also being more aggressive about crack sealing and resealing asphalt to extend the life of the streets,” he said. Among the streets the engineering department is hoping to work on this year is a complete reconstruction of Clark Street, Mohegan and Kennesaw; new water main work with new technology on Yosemite and Villa; resurfacing of W. Frank, work on N. Eton and Lincoln roads; and work at Quarton and Chesterfield with Bloomfield Hills from grant from the state of Michigan. In 2015, O’Meara said they hope to rebuild Martin Street by Chester Street garage and resurface Chester. Oak Street reconstruction is slated for 2016, with the addition of bike lanes. He said he is hoping to get a federal grant to reconstruct Old Woodward for 2017. Money for the major and local street work will come from transfers from the general fund. “The general fund transfers are at the same levels they’ve been at. The street funds will remain solvent through 2017-2018,” O’Meara told commissioners. However, a dearth of parking spaces for parking permits in downtown parking garages led 95
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O’Meara to alert commissioners to a possible upcoming request to expand the Pierce Street garage. “We’ve kept rates the same since 1997,” he said. “More traffic in the evenings have kept the system afloat. All five (garages) have waiting lists – that’s never happened before. As of December 2013, we have about 1,000 parkers on our waiting list.” He said a recent PSD parking study of 80 respondents revealed that the current parking availability is bad for customers, and 36 percent felt it was a problem for employees. When asked if they would move their business in the future if the problem persists, 47 percent said they would consider moving if the parking problem continues. O’Meara said they could add two floors to the Pierce Street Structure, adding 720 spaces for $9.5 million, of which they have $5 million in the parking fund. “We could raise $4.5 million from a combination of increasing rates and assessments,” O’Meara said. He said the advisory parking
committee would review the survey and funding mechanisms, and may come back to the commission in the near future. Birmingham building official Bruce Johnson informed commissioners that the city has seen a strong increase in both residential and commercial building permits, adding a construction value to the city of $28,543 million in fiscal year 20122013. There were 65 residential permits that year, up from 58 in 20112012. While it’s a 12 percent increase, it’s a 364 percent increase from the depths of the recession, when there were only 14 permits in 2008-2009. He conservatively predicted there will 88 permits this year, and 100 in 20142015. “It’s a positive thing that the activity is up. Inspectors are amazed at how much activity we have going on,” he said. Police Chief Don Studt told commissioners that the 31 surveillance cameras in Birmingham, which were first installed beginning in 2001, need to be upgraded from
analog to digital, which will cost $150,000 plus the cost of the cameras. All of the costs will be paid for through drug forfeiture funds, which must be used for police equipment and expenses. Planners Matt Baka and Jana Ecker informed commissioners that it may be time to undertake a new master plan, as the last comprehensive one done was in 1980, and the 2016 master plan is also almost done. They are investigating inviting 2016 planner Andres Duany back to Birmingham this spring. “It’s standard practices to revisit plans. It’s something to think about going forward,” Baka said. Ecker discussed one of the last puzzle pieces of the 2016 plan, the alleys and passages. She said they have identified and classified all of them, documented their conditions, and identified their multi-modal opportunities. Signage, bike facilities and speed limits are a next step, as is enhancing signage standards to add life and vitality in the back of buildings.
“Our recommendation is to lay low on the topic and wait until more businesses go in and then tweak the standards,” she said. She said she would like to incorporate public art in the alleys and passages to add interest, and she anticipates going to the Public Arts Board in the next couple of months for feedback, as well as seeking to improve wayfinding for the passages. She said the planning board’s biggest issue is “they want to see the alleys cleaned up more. But that is expensive and falls under capital improvements classifications.” Regional collaboration has continued this year to help transform Woodward, Ecker said. “There actually is a plan, but the person from WA3 got laid off, so it didn’t come before the city commission,” she said. Bus rapid transit is being actively studied, Ecker reported, and will likely have its own lane on Woodward. She said it is very different than regular busses, going faster, and more flat like trains, creating ease for disabled passengers.
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
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She said placement for potential stations is still under discussion. Upon questioning from commissioners, she said she believes it will be about three years before they will begin to be built. All money will come from the Michigan Department of Transportation, and the state will do all the work as well.
Passageways get another look By Lisa Brody
The Birmingham Planning Board and City Commission first approved a plan to activate the alleys, passageways, and vias in the downtown area of Birmingham in 2012, with designated uses proposed and clarified, landscaping of some areas approved in 2013, and at the planning board meeting on Wednesday, January 22, the next step in the plan implementation strategy for some of the passageways was introduced. The first step taken by Birmingham in implementing the
plan, called Urban Space: A Strategy for Alleys & Passages, in addition to adopting the plan itself, was an amendment of the zoning ordinance to add the via activation overlay district in 2012 to create design standards for alleys and passages, and to clarify permitted uses in alleys and passages. In 2013, the city commission approved funding for landscape improvements to two areas adjacent to highly used alleys, west of the Edison passage, adjacent to the Pierce Street parking deck, and the area north of the N. Hamilton Alley adjacent to the Park Street parking deck. The landscaping in that area added new canopy trees, shrubs, and flowering perennials to improve the aesthetics of these highly utilized corridors, and to provide screening for existing mechanical equipment and trash receptacles. “Now that it’s (the plan) been in place for a while, we want to move it along, take it to the next steps,” said Birmingham planner Matt Baka at the study session with the planning board. “There’s no proposal on the
table, just ideas.” In a memo, planning director Jana Ecker said that the Commonwealth passageway would be a good choice for a small scale pilot location to implement some green alley features, noting that it is only five feet in width, without any vehicular traffic. She said the planning division recommends creating and implementing a green concept plan for that passageway that would improve its use, aesthetics and sustainability. The recommendations are to be presented to the city commission at its long-range planning meeting on February 1. She also suggested incorporating public art into Birmingham’s alleys and passages, as well as encouraging the placement of public art. In particular, her memo recommended the Peabody Passage, in the plaza area; the Clark Hill Passage; the Social Passage, at its terminating vista; and the Edison East Passage, in the plaza area, as sites for public art. “The Planning Division recommends that both the plan and
the Alleys and Passages Inventory be presented to the Public Arts Board for the future consideration of placement of art in the recommended alleys and passages,” Ecker wrote in her memo. Planners would also like to improve wayfinding for the alleys and passageways, a continuation of designs which were reviewed and approved by the planning board and city commission in 2012 and 2013. The wayfinding would be achieved through the branding of the same “via” sign, created at the time by Birmingham architectural and design firm Ron & Roman. At the time, the city commission felt local building owners needed to be contacted and approve having the signs polemounted onto their buildings. Now, the planning department is recommending the city consider fabricating and installing polemounted alley signs on public property by selecting various locations throughout the downtown area where signs could be mounted on existing light poles on public property.
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2014....... off to a great start! While inventory levels remain low, well priced homes continue to sell quickly. Just released statistics from REALCOMP show significant continued strengthening of the Oakland County real estate market in January 2014 from January 2013! As the graphs indicate, there was a tremendous decrease in AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET by 43% in 2014 to just 46 days. The increase in AVERAGE SALES PRICE of 16% demonstrates a notable change over 2013. However, LISTING INVENTORY, decreased by 12% in January 2013, which combined with strong sales, indicates that you do not need to wait until Spring to put your home on the market. Sellers should take advantage of these strong conditions to market your home now.
Average Days on Market 46 Days
Average Sale Price $202,013
Listing Inventory 3,682
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415 S. Old Woodward | Birmingham, MI 48009
Rachel Schostak f necessity is indeed the mother of invention, then Rachel Schostak is betting that her new website, Styleshack, is the answer to a problem facing local fashion boutiques. Big box stores and restaurants have mastered the art of online sales by offering a list of local inventories and making items available for pickup in person or delivery to their customers. It’s quite another experience for local brick-and-mortar stores and customers who want to support them. “It’s hard to find a lot of independent boutiques online, particularly their products,” Schostak said.”I thought it would be great to get a kind of online mall of local boutiques.” The site — styleshack.com — gives boutique owners the ability to offer customers a virtual showroom of their products that aren’t available at typical department stores or online shops, without the commitment of hosting their own e-commerce site. Styleshack also gives customers the ability to browse real inventories, explore their fashion sense, and find items close to home. “It’s surprising that a lot of boutiques haven’t jumped into the ecommerce world, considering 70 percent of consumers do research online before buying something,” Schostak said. “To stay afloat, you need an online presence, or good marketing. With Styleshack, we supply additional tools. It makes the shoppers’ lives easier, and it makes it easier for boutique owners. “We even have a feature where you can hold an item at the store for 48 hours, so if find something you like, you can place it on hold. Then you can go in and try it on or buy it.” A native of Oakland County, Schostak was raised in the Farmington area before leaving the state after her freshman year at the University of Michigan, opting for the real-life business training at fashion boutiques in New York City and Chicago. Last autumn, Schostak was accepted into the Bizdom’s accelerator program in Detroit. The program, spawned by Dan Gilbert’s Rock Financial family of companies, is aimed at helping entrepreneurs succeed with new startups. Those selected receive assistance and workspace in downtown Detroit, as well as $25,000 seed money. “The accelerator program is incredible,” Schostak said. “To be around other entrepreneurs is very uplifting, and it provides a lot, a lot of resources.” Now a resident of Birmingham, Schostak set her website’s initial focus on boutiques in Birmingham, Detroit and the surrounding communities. Current boutiques include Lola B Couture, Lexi Drew, Lucy Activewear, and others. Shoppers also may find local boutiques on Styleshack in Colorado, Chicago, Minneapolis and Pennsylvania. Since entering the Bizdom program, Schostak said about two dozen boutiques have joined the site, which has about 4,500 shoppers that are subscribing to its newsletters and other information. In addition to product and boutique information, Styleshack offers fashion tips and a fashion quiz that helps users create a fashion profile of sorts by registering to the site. Schostak said the goal is to expand both locations and users to include men and children in the future. “I’m very excited to have it based here because we have so many fashion-savvy customers,” Schostak said. “I feel good about having a fashion-tech company based in Michigan.”
Story: Kevin Elliott
Photo: Laurie Tennent
BUSINESS MATTERS Fresh Italian food Maria Medoro has brought a taste of Italy to Birmingham with the opening of Cucina Medoro, 768 N. Old Woodward Ave. in Birmingham, formerly home to The Old Woodward Deli. Medoro makes all the meals fresh, from scratch. “I’m Italian, so I cook Italian, from scratch,” Medoro said. The cucina has seating for about 22 guests, but if you want a meal, you’ll have to get there before sunset, as Cucina Medoro is only open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., most days (open until 4 p.m. Monday and 3 p.m. on Saturdays) and closed on Sunday. In addition to lunches and early dinner, Medoro takes catering orders and opens private parties. Favorites on the menu include lasagna, parmigiana, and tiramisu.
Private makeup salon Renata Stojcevski fell into the world of makeup about 12 years ago, almost accidentally. “I worked in the business to support my way through college,” Stojcevski said, who this March will be opening Wink Lash Beauty at 725 S. Adams, Suite 220 in Birmingham. Stojcevski will be joined
by her business partners Erika Cortez and Megan Woomer. Wink Lash Beauty will offer makeup and hair services by appointment only. Stojcevski said she believes personalized and private service will set Wink Lash Beauty apart from other businesses. “Women, I found, like the privacy aspect of it. They don’t have to come in and feel they are looking at 10 different people.”
Sports medicine facility Patients don’t have to be athletes to be treated by doctors at Sports Medicine Associates, 37000 Woodward Avenue, Suite 300, at Big Beaver, in Bloomfield Township, in the Eddie Merlot’s building. Formerly located in Auburn Hills, they moved to the Bloomfield Township location in October in order to have a larger, more efficient office that is more centrally located. Sports medicine specialists are experts in musculoskeletal medicine, as well as other sports-related conditions. Dr. Sami Rifat and Dr. James Moeller are both certified sports medicine specialists – Rifat is a native of 2/19/14 10:03 AM southwest Michigan and grew up in
Novi and Dr. Moeller served as the chief medical officer of the 2010 United States Olympic Team and was the US Olympic Speed skating team physician in 2006.
Apparel stores merge Bridal couture and high-end women’s fashion have merged into a single location in downtown Birmingham at Le Salon and One Ten Below, 110 S. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham. Martin Khemmoro, co-owner, said the location was purchased last year, but Le Salon, formerly at 237 Willits Alley, merged in January. Le Salon was founded by Alexis Williamson and has locations in Valparaiso, Ind., and Chicago. Williamson, Khemmoro and Jonas Pascua have now partnered to bring the bridal boutique and women’s fashion together.
Loan office opens Guaranteed Rate, 33483 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, has opened a new office in the area and added 10 new loan officers to the Birmingham team, said sales manager Beth Beal. With more than 166 offices and 2,700 employees nationwide, Guaranteed Rate, the Home Purchase Experts, is
the eighth largest home loan company in the country, which services customers in person, online or by phone. The company has assisted home owners with funding more than $14.7 billion in loans since 2012. Beal said in January that the business had a “very busy end to the year,” including the new office and its addition of loan officers.
New Downtown spa The Pampered Peacock Day Spa is tucked away in a quiet, second-floor location at 191 N. Old Woodward, Suite 200, in downtown Birmingham, intended to provide tranquil and relaxing service, said Irma, the spa’s manager and partner. The Pampered Peacock takes customers by appointment and offers an organic facial line and one-on-one personal treatment for both women and men, which can be customized to include massage, facials and waxings. Business Matters for the Birmingham Bloomfield area are reported by Kevin Elliott. Send items for consideration to KevinElliott@downtownpublications.com. Items should be received three weeks prior to publication.
2 0 1 4 YO U N G S T R I N G A RT I S T CONCERTO COMPETITION in partnership with Wilson Fine Violins Auditions are open to young Michigan musicians, grades 9 through 12, and will be held March 19 and 20. The winner will be awarded a cash prize and will perform with the Birmingham Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra during the 2014–2015 season. CALL OR EMAIL FOR APPLICATION: BWARD@BBSO.ORG
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As we enter into our 10th year, we look forward to celebrating our special anniversary with you at our new location just across the street from our current location. With a move date of Early Spring, construction is well underway at our new space. Details will be posted at our website Ristorantevolare.com ~ Dino
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 downtownpublications.com and in an optimized format for your smart phone (downtownpublications.com/mobile), where you can actually map out locations and automatically dial a restaurant from our Places To Eat.
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. Bistro Joe’s Kitchen: Global. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Sunday brunch. Liquor Reservations. 34244 Woodward Ave., Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.0984 Bloomfield Deli: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, Monday-Friday. No reservations. 71 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.645.6879. Brooklyn Pizza: Pizza. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 111 Henrietta Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6690. Café ML: New American. Dinner, daily. Alcohol. Call ahead. 3607 W. Maple Road, Bloomfield Township. 248.642.4000. Cafe Via: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 310 East Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.8800 Cameron’s Steakhouse: American. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 115 Willits Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.1700. China Village: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 1655 Opdyke, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.758.1221. Churchill's Bistro & Cigar Bar: Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 116 S. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.4555. Cityscape Deli: Deli. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. Beer. 877 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield
Hills, 48302. 248.540.7220. Commonwealth: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 300 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.9766. 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 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.
INTRODUCING OUR SPECIAL PRICE FIXED MENUS NOW AVAILABLE THROUGH MARCH 28, 2014 DINNER PRICE FIXED MENU $30 First Course - Choice of One Asparagus Soup Canadian Lobster Salad, Tomato Yogurt Grains & Seeds Lentils, Farro, Quinoa, Chia, Sunflower, Hazelnuts, Cous Cous, Spinach Poached Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail Lemon, Horseradish Second Course - Choice of One Skuna Salmon Rockefeller Crust, Basmati Rice, Sautéed Spinach, Pernod Sauce New York Strip Garlic-Thyme Fingerling Potato, Pickled Brussel Sprouts, Chop Sauce Half Roast Chicken Pancetta-Smoked Cheddar Grits, Arugula-Apple Salad Dessert Course - Choice of One Éclair Hazelnut, Vanilla, Raspberry Glaze Mousse on the Rocks Devil’s Food Cake, Dark Chocolate, Caramel, Berries
LUNCHEON PRICE FIXED MENU $15 Menu changes weekly, ask your server for details. This special menu is only available Monday - Friday through March 28, 2014. Price does not include 6% tax, 20% gratuity, or valet. For more information or to make reservations please call 248.647.7774 or visit www.bigrockchophouse.com.
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3 4 9 6 5 W O O D WA R D A V E BIRMINGHAM 248 644 5222 PE ABODYSRESTAUR ANT.CO M
FOCUS ON WINE Rodney Strong Single Vineyard Cabernets by Eleanor and Ray Heald
lexander Valley is the largest and most widely planted American Viticultural Area (AVA) in Sonoma County, Calif. It extends north from Healdsburg to the Sonoma County line and the Russian River bisects the AVA flowing south the entire length of the valley. Rodney Strong Vineyards produces three single vineyard designated cabernet sauvignons grown in Alexander Valley that, side-byside, demonstrate the importance and uniqueness of place. Since 2010 when the first vintage that all three wines were bottled, winery owner, Tom Klein, wants to share the story of these vineyards, the vintage and wines with our readers. In the 1970s, most cabernet sauvignon was planted on the valley floor because of the ease of farming. In 1971, to the astonishment of his neighbors, founder Rodney Strong planted Alexander’s Crown vineyard on a hillside 200 feet above the valley floor. In 1974, the debut vintage of Sonoma County’s first single vineyard cabernet sauvignon set a new standard for quality. When Klein purchased Rodney Strong Vineyards in 1989, he did so recognizing the special character of Alexander’s Crown and began to seek out additional hillside vineyards that shared its well-drained soils and west facing exposure. In 1997, Klein discovered and purchased Brothers Ridge vineyard at the warm north end of Alexander Valley. An ideal location since cabernet needs the warmth to achieve ideal ripeness. Brothers Ridge faces due west and exhibits rocky, self-limiting soils planted at 400-1,000 feet elevation. At Sonoma County’s northern boundary, the vineyard is the last to experience the nighttime cool down that rolls up the Russian River from the Pacific Ocean, whereas Alexander’s Crown is further south and cooler. This climate difference is profound and easily tasted in the glass. In 2003, Klein acquired Rockaway vineyard located halfway between Brothers Ridge and Alexander’s Crown, planted on rocky terrain between 225 and 750 feet elevation. When the Rockaway vineyard wine was tasted from the barrel, Klein knew he had a third unique top quality cabernet. Rodney Strong Vineyards then decided to build their Artisan Winery to hand craft the wines from these three vineyards. Klein has decided, with the advice of his winemakers, not to bottle any one of the single vineyard cabernets if the style and character of the wine is not true to the vineyard. Since the inception of the project, one or more of the wines was not bottled individually, until 2010 when all three cabernets met the highest standards.
The 2010 growing season was cool, resulting in wines with lively acidity and punctuated by dark fruit. The cool summer followed by a warm September allowed for longer hang times resulting in fully mature fruit at harvest yielding balanced wines with soft tannins. Tasting notes 2010 Brothers Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, $75. Klein explains that harvest began first at Brothers Ridge given the warmth at the site. Inky hues, chocolaty black fruit and spice are immediately evident with incredible richness on the palate, soft tannins and notes of boysenberries and mocha. 2010 Rockaway Cabernet Sauvignon, $75. Klein admits that Rockaway, with small additions of malbec and petit verdot, may be the most age worthy of the three vineyards. It boasts concentration of flavor that portends a long cellar life. The wine shows typical red and black fruits with hints of blueberry and plum with richness that lingers on the palate. 2010 Alexander’s Crown Cabernet Sauvignon, $75. Klein says this wine is true to the vineyard’s signature style including deep color, rich and round with soft tannin and layers of cassis, red fruits, dried herbs and long finish. The cool south end of Alexander Valley is expressed with finesse and elegance. Wine picks Rodney Strong 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, $45. Rodney Strong 2011 Symmetry Meritage Blend, $60. Rodney Strong 2012 Chardonnay, $22. Tablas Creek 2011 Roussanne, $30. Tablas Creek 2011 Esprit de Tablas Blanc, $40. Tablas Creek 2011 Mourvedre, $40. Tablas Creek 2011 Esprit de Tablas, $55, compare this to Chateau de Beaucastel. Grgich Hills 2010 Zinfandel, $35. Grgich Hills 2012 Fume Blanc, $30. Morgan 2011 G17 Syrah, $22. Morgan 2011 Double L Vineyard Syrah, $42. Biltmore 2012 Reserve Chardonnay, North Carolina, $15. Robert Mondavi 2011 Chardonnay, $19. Robert Mondavi 2012 Pinot Noir, $26. Dry Creek 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel, $30. Dry Creek 2010 Mariner, $45, a blend of all five Bordeaux varieties Bogle 2011 Essential Red, $11. B.R. Cohn 2011 Silver Chardonnay, $15. William Hill 2012 Chardonnay, $25. Matanzas Creek 2011 Chardonnay, $26. Eleanor & Ray Heald have contributed to numerous international publications, including the Quarterly Review of Wines. Contact them by e-mail at email@example.com.
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. 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, MondayFriday; Dinner, daily. No reservations. 183 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.2181. Nippon Sushi Bar: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner daily. No reservations. 2079 S. Telegraph, 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
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Brand new monthly series of concept learning while actively networking. Camille Jayne will present a new monthly lecture, lled with real world case study successes in an easy environment to meet others.
% 1+ 1&, 1-. + # + # # + * , 1-/ 0 March 20 Get the important secrets of marketing for yourself, a product, a service or your company: targeting, pricing, packaging, promotion, branding, creative briefs and more.
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11:30am-1:00pm $25 (add $10 for lunch)
Register at: www.tchserves.org or 248.644.5832
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Held at The Community House, 380 South Bates Street, Downtown Birmingham Sponsored by:
Hills, 48302. 248.858.7270. Rojo Mexican Bistro: Mexican. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 250 Merrill Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.6200. Salvatore Scallopini: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & Wine. 505 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.8977. Sanders: American. Lunch, daily. No reservations. 167 N. Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.3215. Social Kitchen & Bar: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations, parties of 5 or more. Liquor. 225 E. Maple Road, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.4200. Stacked Deli: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, Monday-Saturday. Delivery available. No reservations. 233 North Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.5300. Steve’s Deli: Deli. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 6646 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield, 48301. 248.932.0800. Streetside Seafood: Seafood. Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 273 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.645.9123. Sushi Hana: Japanese. Lunch, MondayFriday; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. 42656 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.333.3887. Sy Thai Cafe: Thai. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 315 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.9830. Tallulah Wine Bar and Bistro: American. Dinner. Monday-Saturday. Sunday brunch. Reservations. Liquor. 55 S. Bates Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.731.7066. The Corner Bar: American. Dinner. Wednesday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 100 Townsend Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.2958. The Gallery Restaurant: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 6683 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.851.0313. The Moose Preserve Bar & Grill: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2395 S. Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.858.7688. The Rugby Grille: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 100 Townsend Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.5999. 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, 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. Whistle Stop Diner: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily; No reservations. 501 S. Eton Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.566.3566
AT THE TABLE New Hellas finds new home by Eleanor Heald
nature lamb chops served 3 or 5 to an order at market price. The chops are marinated in Greek herbs, charbroiled to desired temperature, garnished with rice pilaf and vegetables. Our Moussaka $14.50, is a casserole with layers of fried eggplant, zucchini, spiced ground beef, potatoes and onions topped with bechamel. It is also available as vegetarian Moussaka $14.50.“Our Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves) $14.50, are topped with a dill, lemon-egg sauce and served with rice pilaf. Spanakotiropita (Spinach Pie) $13.50, is another vegetarian specialty using fresh spinach, imported feta cheese and spices with layers of filo dough. If you like fish try our Lavraki at market price. This is a whole broiled mediterranean sea bass in the classic Greek presentation with head on, prepared with lemon, olive oil and served with vegetables and rice pilaf. Be careful of the bones.
he magnet for Greek cuisine has moved to Farmington Hills. In September 2013, Chef Demetrios Papatriantaflyllou was encouraged by long-time restaurant manager Tony Hadjisofroniou to return to the kitchen at the new New Hellas restaurant on Northwestern Highway, far from Greektown. Chef Demetrios came to the U.S. in 1958 when he was 20 years old. He emigrated from Delphi, 120 miles northwest of Athens, without any restaurant experience. During his first two years in Detroit, he worked as a bus boy at three different restaurants. He explained, “In 1960, I went to work in the kitchen at New Hellas, got seriously interested in cooking, and became Starters the chef in 1962. For appetizers Demetrios “I had sent back to recommends Octopus $15.50, the old country to get a and explains, “The best octoGreek cookbook. pus comes from Spain or (Records of the first pubPortugal because it is tender. lished cookbook dates to It is cooked in its own juices 320 B. C. by the Greek over a low fire then marinated author Archestratos.) I and charbroiled with onion studied every recipe and and olive oil. Taramosalata every ingredient and by (Greek Caviar) $7, is made following the directions I with fish roe blended with Saganaki "Opa" with Chef Demetrios Papatriantaflyllou and restaurant man- olive oil and lemon juice to learned to cook and ager Tony Hadjisofroniou with assorted Greek specialties. Downtown photo: become a chef. I memomake a creamy spread served Laurie Tennent rized every recipe in the with pita. Scordalia $7, is a book sent from Greece, and from what I learned develfresh garlic dip served with sliced beets. Everone knows oped my own recipes. I never wrote down a single Tzadziki $7, but should try ours with homemade yogurt, recipe; they are still in my memory.” dill, garlic and cucumber, served with pita. It is also Chef Demetrios worked at New Hellas in Greektown served as a side dish with gyros.” for 35 years from 1962 to 1997. “Then I went out west to Wyoming and Montana and enjoyed myself hunting, Cap the meal fishing and cooking for my friends. I have had so many End the meal with homemade desserts such as opportunities to go here or there, but I have to cook. Baklava $4, a sweet layered pastry made with filo filled That’s what I love. I enjoy the people who love my food with chopped nuts and sweetened with honey. and crave my recipes. Galakoboureko $4, is a traditional dessert of custard in “It was Tony Hadjisofroniou who has managed filo and topped with syrup. Rizogalo $3, is a deliciously Santorini Estiatorio, Uptown Parthenon and Cyprus creamy rice pudding topped with cinnamon and Taverna, who said I must return to the kitchen and cook Pineapple Cake $5, consists of vanilla cake layered with again at New Hellas.” Tony admits, “I wanted Chef pineapple, custard, whipped cream and cinnamon. Demetrios to join me because we make a good team, with me in the front of the house and Demetrios in the New Hellas, 32729 Northwestern Hwy, Farmington Hills, kitchen.” 248.702.6999. Lunch Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dinner 3-10 p.m., Friday-Sunday until 11 p.m. Sunday Brunch. Parking on premise. The menu
Greek cuisine is part and parcel of what has become known as Mediterranean cuisine. Demetrios explained, “At New Hellas, we emphasize lamb, especially my sig-
Eleanor Heald is a nationally published writer who also writes the wine column in a double byline with her husband Ray for Downtown.
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What Would Ruth Think? So you’re asking: who’s Ruth? Ruth Shain. Many people don’t know that the same woman whose name graces Shain Park in Birmingham was a co-founder of The Community House (TCH), and its first board president 91 years ago. Her husband Charles Shain, then mayor of Birmingham, became TCH’s President in the late 1930’s. It is no coincidence that our front doors face Shain Park, which we proudly overlook as the Shain legacy lives on within our walls. In 1925 TCH was voted “the official center of charitable endeavors…to promulgate the social, civic and philanthropic life of the village”– a sign of how important this small non-profit had become as the “heart” of this community. And we still are today. Ruth set the tone that TCH would be a meeting place for all people and their needs, hoping every citizen would take a part to help serve others. Ruth and local business notables were set on making Camille Jayne TCH a sustainable success, believing “We should cherish… and do anything in our power to make this Community House a great success.” Ruth wanted TCH to be a non-profit that gave people access to things they couldn’t get elsewhere. A place for people to bond, get food, education and help. TCH was the first venue for Rotary and Lions Club meetings (still meeting here today), and for The Village Players - legitimizing TCH’s outreach focus, since these organizations would have found it difficult to exist without the free space from TCH. Today TCH provides free space and support for a dozen such groups. Ruth and future leaders reached out to citizens and the business community to raise money in times when TCH was faltering. So when I first came to TCH to help, I asked myself: “What did Ruth and others do?” Looking to TCH’s history gave guidance to what types of programs the community needed and would support:
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1920s: Business Girls Club: Sentiments in Business for Women 2014: Women’s Power Partners Club Learning & Networking Luncheon 1920s & 1960s: Job Placement Center & Business Education Classes 2013: Monthly Business Lectures, Annual Symposium & Scholarships 1920-1940s: Welfare Outreach for Families 2014: “Feed Your Family’s Future” Headstart family literacy outreach program 1993: Jazz Fest featuring local restaurants and music 2013: Annual Farm to Table Block Party featuring local restaurant chefs, farmers and food vendors using Michigan grown ingredients 2011: 11,250 class registrations 2013: Increased to 15,100 class registrations 2011: 2,500 hours of volunteer outreach 2013: Increased to 4,180 hours of volunteer outreach 1923: 1st Annual Fund Drive raised $3,500 2013: Annual Fund Drive raised $393,000 I believe Ruth would think we have worked hard to keep TCH’s focus on community education, a gathering place for all, while helping people in need. Thank you for supporting what we do, so we can proudly sustain her vision. Please come visit us next time you walk through Shain Park.
It’s never too early to explore your options, so speak with Marilyn Johnson today.
MARILYN JOHNSON NMLS ID# 697433 810-441-1377 firstname.lastname@example.org
March 12th Center for Wealth Education Panel, 6:30-8:30 p.m. TCH’s Center for Wealth Education brings together expert panelists who help educate the public in an information rich, non-selling environment in all the areas of wealth management. The March 12th panel will focus on “Taking Care of Your Assets”, explaining and defining the ins and outs of Investment Management (Michael Dzialo, Founder/Chief Investment Officer, Managed Asset Portfolios); Life Insurance (Drew Besonson, director of business and estate planning, Northwestern Mutual); Retirement Planning (Paul Fenner, founder TAMMA Capital); and Tax Planning (Brian Simmons, CPA, Baker Tilly Accountants & Advisors.) No matter where you are in your personal or business life cycle, come learn with others in the “safe” surroundings of The Community House. No charge, but registration is required: www.tchserves.org or 248.644.5832. Bring family and friends! March 20th: Professional Development Lecture and Networking Series A new professional development monthly series of concept learning and active networking. March 20th topic: “The Secrets of Good Marketing”. $25/session. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.. Register at: www.tchbulletproof.org Camille Jayne is President and CEO of TCH. downtownpublications.com
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SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Angels’ Place’s Annual Dinner Supporters of Angels’ Place, which provides Christian homes and programs for people with developmental disabilities, convened for the annual fundraising dinner early last month at The Henry. Excitement had been high ever since it was announced that Detroit Tigers boss Dave Dombrowski would be the Sally Gerak keynote speaker. In his introduction of Dombrowski, emcee WXYZ sports anchor Brad Galli recalled Mike Cassidy’s inspirational speech to his 2005 Brother Rice football team about Angels Place, where he lives. A standing ovation for the speaker followed Galli’s remarks that the AP residents loved sports and that Dombrowski had created great memories for them in his 13 years with the Tigers. Referencing the season-ending series with Boston, Dombrowski said, “Baseball, like life, can break your heart.” He also spoke about Cy Young pitchers Verlander and Sch erzer, Miggy (“the best player of this generation”), and the new manager Brad Ausmus, noting that his wife’s friends all think he’s so good looking. But his audience was most appreciative when he declared, “You (AP) are world champs…and the 2014 Tigers’ goal is to be world champs.” The 700 guests included 250 benefactors and two tables of AP residents. During the cocktail hour 20 volunteers, including Landon and Darbi Dombrowski, sold 200 Angel ornaments at $20 each. Raffle winner John Breza returned half of his $10,000 winnings to AP. The several live auction items included a colored pencil drawing of the Tiger’s Comerica Park by Ryan, a resident of AP’s Lochdale Home. Volunteer auctioneer / attorney Greg Bator determined it should raise lots of money. He cajoled the guests to consider such bid numbers as Ty Cobb’s lifetime hits. His ploy worked. Nancy Jess actually bid more than Cobb’s 4,191 hit total to top the bidding. Also, in addition to some other Tiger-related items, Dombrowski made an impromptu donation of his box at Comerica, and it sold twice for $10,000. Gwen and Doug North and Kelly and Mike Dietz chaired the event at which board president Pete Treboldi announced the creation of AP’s Care for Life fund by Joe and Diane Dallacqua. The comprehensive care AP provides residents, many of whom are aging, of it’s soon-to-be 21 homes requires lots of money. The recent dinner netted $249,000 toward that goal.
Angels Place Annual Dinner
1. Karie (left) and Dave Dombrowski and Gwen and Doug North of Bloomfield 2. Schuyler (left) and Nora Hamill and Kelly and Mike Dietz of Bloomfield 3. Claire Paszkiewicz of Bloomfield and Brad Galli of Troy 4. Connie (left) and Larry Hudas of Orchard Lake, Kappy and Dave Trott of and Kathleen McInerney of Birmingha 5. AP residents Mark (left) and Mary Beth (right) with Landon and Darbi Dombrowski of Bloomfield 6. Rosemary Ledwidge (right) of Bingham Farms with her son Dave and his wife Trish Mervene of Bloomfield 7. Katie (left) and Jim Adams of Bloomfield with Janet Francis of Birmingham 8. Loretta Nagle Ryan (left) of Bloomfield, Hal and Chris Weemhoff of Troy and Dan and Linda Casa Santa of Rochester Hills. 9. Karen (left) and Jerry Kearns and Alia Dietz of Bloomfield and Sr. Lenore M. Pochelski. 10. Cliff Worthy (left) of Bloomfield and Pat Carroll of Birmingham
Detroit Historical Society’s Annual Ball The historic Fillmore Detroit, formerly the State Theatre, was a perfect setting for the Detroit Historical Society’s annual ball. It was chaired by Leslye Rosenbaum, Cat Ruffner and Bobbi Polk, who co-hosted the pre-event Benefactor Party with her husband Stephen at their historic Bloomfield Hills. More than 400 supporters ($450, $750, $95afterglow) attended and perused the silent auction before dinner. WJR’s Paul W. Smith emceed the dinner program which included the live auction conducted by Dan Stall. Items included packages from Shinola, the D Las Vegas Casino Hotel, a Detroit Sports packages and a private dinner for eight at the Polks home. Thanks also to generous sponsors, the soiree raised more than $300,000 for the society’s exhibitions and educational programs. For more information about the museum, visit www.detroithistorical.org. 115
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s Kidney Ball The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s ninth annual soiree attracted more than 650 supporters to the MGM Grand. Cocktail hour entertainment included sipping spirits, including Blue Moon Brewing Company beer paired with cheeses, watching artist Jen Raine do a live painting of the Detroit skyline, and perusing the expansive silent auction of 250-plus items which raised more than $55,000. The dinner program emceed by WDIV’s Steve Garagiola included a video telling the compelling story of young John Kidd, who has had two kidney transplants and cancer and who got rousing applause when he spoke to the crowd. It also featured a live auction which raised over $60,000. This included the $6,000 someone paid for the impromptu donation of event honorary chair, Detroit Tigers VP Duane McLean - 4 VIP tickets to a Tigers game and a private dinner with him, Willie Horton and Al Kaline. Most guests danced to the Jerry Ross Band before filling up their take home bags with Mars sweets. The Winter Wonderland theme evening raised $550,000 for services to the more than 900,000 Michigan residents living with kidney disease.
Detroit Historical Society’s Annual Ball
1 1. Mort (left) and Brigitte Harris and event co-chair Bobbi and Stephen Polk of Bloomfield 2. Jeffrey (left) and Rachel Schostak and Scott and Anne Strickland of Birmingham 3. Shelley and Mark Roth of Birmingham 4. Mary Ann (standing) and DHS CEO Bob Bury of Grosse Pointe, Shelley (seated left) and Greg Smith of Birmingham and emcee Paul W. and Kim Smith of Bloomfield 5. Robert, Ann and Harry Greenstone of Bloomfield 6. Nick (left) and Shanna Gorga and Stephanie and Matt Kives of Birmingham
Cranbrook Holiday Tea and Gift Exchange This third annual gathering hosted by Director of Schools Arlyce Seibert and school governors Lori Thelen and Mary Pat Rosen attracted more than 75 Cranbrook moms to Cranbrook House, which was festooned for the holidays. In addition to bringing a wrapped gift for the exchange, conducted using a fun selection system which involves taking gifts from one another, guests also brought gifts for families served by Lighthouse of Oakland County. LOC’s Priscilla Perkins’ made them feel very good about their charity when she thanked them for their gift cards ($1,800-plus) and the bags of gifts piled into Lisa and John Blake’s car for delivery. Lisa Blake, Lara Ghannam, Dawn Harimoto, Kathy Broock Ballard, Dr. Anne Guyot, Tania Jann and Rola Zreik comprised the host committee for the event that was a great prelude to the holiday vacation.
NKFM’s Kidney Ball
1. Myra Moreland (left) of Birmingham with her mother Doris Ann Friedli of Nashville, TN and Jason Hall of Grosse Pointe 2. Laynie and Josh Bryant of Birmingham 3. Duane McLean (left) of Grosse Pointe, Chris Hudgens of S. Lyon and CEO Dan Carney of Saline
Mayor Bing Tribute Celebration Just before Dave Bing left the Detroit mayor’s office, nearly 400 civic boosters honored his service at a gala charity tribute staged in Cobo’s new ballroom. It was an especially fitting venue since it was the home of the Detroit Pistons when they brought Bing to Detroit in 1966 to play basketball for $15,000 per year. Following the social hour, folks settled in with their strolling dinner plates for the program. It began with a spirited cheer by the youthful Detroit PAL Dazzlers and included a great rap-style salute to Detroit by the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences choir, looking spiffy in their preppy school uniforms. Former Pistons star Isiah Thomas, still 03.14
sporting his trademark smile, was a great call to emcee the program and mentioned the many hours Bing mentored him when he first arrived in Detroit. Lear’s Matt Simoncini, who chairs the Detroit Recreation Foundation, noted all the kids and seniors who will benefit from the event and thanked the sponsors who enabled the evening to net $1.5 million. Speaking without notes, Bing’s love for the city and its people permeated his remarks. “After my first year here I knew I was going to make Detroit my home,” he confided. He also named and thanked his selfless mayoral team members who had become like family. “I’m going to miss you,” he told them, “…and, yes, if I were asked to do the last four years over, I would do it again,” he concluded. Before Bing spoke, Roy Roberts had offered Bing a good summary of his tenure: “You couldn’t solve all (Detroit’s) problems, but you served with class and decorum and equal doses of good and great.”
Cranbrook Holiday Tea and Gift Exchange
2 1. Event hosts Mary Pat Rosen (left), Arlyce Seibert and Lori Thelen 2. Teresa Anderson (left), Jennie Stone, Katie Prokop, Caroline Milia and Kathy Broock Ballard 3. Nicoloe Steimel (left) Charlie Shaw, Patty Black and Carolyn Brill
1 Henry Ford Hospital’s Grand Ball The night of that first, humongous snow storm of this grueling winter 750 supporters of Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital made the trek to the MGM Grand for the fourth annual formal celebration soiree. Not surprisingly, travel travails dominated conversation during the cocktail hour that preceded the gourmet dinner. HFHS Sr. VP Jon Fitzgerald emceed the program that featured brief remarks by HFHS CEO Nancy Schlichting and HFH CEO Dr. John Popvich. The latter, who co-chaired the event with his wife Beth and founding sponsors Joanne and Dick Brodie, thanked them and special hospital friends like Mort and Brigitte Harris. Then he paid special tribute to presenting sponsor Subway and its owners Nick and (his sister) Julie Moschouris and their partner Mike Curis, explaining that the trio has committed a gift of $1 million to make the Atrium at HFH a reality. The program concluded with a video that chronicled, to the tune of Kiss’s “Detroit Rock City”, a painted rock making rounds at the hospital. ‘Twas a fun way to salute HFH’s volunteers, corporate partners and employees before hitting the dance floor. Thanks also to other sponsors, the gala netted $250,000 for various departments and programs at the hospital. Children’s Hospital Cheers for Children The same snowy night as the above reported event, Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation’s emerging Leaders for Kids hosted their second annual Cheers for Children party. It attracted 500 to the College for Creative Studies Taubman Center where the décor paid homage to the city - Detroit street signs, murals of the Detroit landscape, and Spirit of Detroit and Old English D fixtures. Guests like Amy Zimmer, Derek Sarafa, Ajay Chawla and Linda Dresner and Ed Levy relished socializing, great food, spirits and entertainment by downtownpublications.com
2014 Mayor Bing Tribute Celebration
1. Master of Ceremonies, former Bloomfield resident, Isiah Thomas of NY and honoree Mayor Dave Bing of Detroit 2. Jacqueline (left) and WSU president W. Roy Wilson of Detroit with sponsor Peter Remington of Birmingham 3. Mayor Bing’s assistant John Truong (left) of Detroit with Roy Roberts of Bloomfield 4. Dr. Lorna Thomas (left) of Detroit with Bonnie Larson and Fair Radom of Bloomfield 5. Cocoa Berry (left) of Detroit with Peggy Daitch of Birmingham 6. Sandy Pierce (left) of Northville and Molly Shor of Bloomfield
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Six Rivers Conservancy Reception at BoConcept
local favorite Tom Butwin and the Selected of God Choir. Late night snacks by Detroit Coffee and American Coney Island and Somerset Collection swag bags capped off the evening. Ticket ($100) sales and generous sponsors enabled the Cheers event to raise $100,000 for free health service grants to programs in the Hamtramck Schools. One month later, the CHM Foundation welcomed more than 300 (at $150 each) to its PreGlow and AfterGlow at the MGM Grand the night of the auto show Charity Preview, which raised more than $4.5 million for nine children’s charities, including the CHM Foundation.
1 1. Gail Danto and Steve Syzdek of Bloomfield 2. Roger Young (left) of Clarkston with Richard Thompson of Bloomfield and Doyle Mosher of Birmingham 3. Jane Syzdek (left) and Art Roffey of Bloomfield with Sue and Bob McNutt of Birmingham 4. Jim Haefner (left) with Todd and Don Young of Bloomfield 5. Azar and Hormoz Alizadeh of Bloomfield
Henry Ford Hospital’s Grand Ball
1. Event co-chairs Dick Brodie (left) of Bloomfield and Beth and Dr. John Popovich of Birmingham 2. Judy St. Romain (left) and Dr. Doug Weaver of Birmingham, event cochair Joanne Brodie of Bloomfield, Mary Short of Grosse Pointe and Char Tery of Bloomfield 3. HFHS CEO Nancy Schlichting (left) of Bloomfield with Dale and Randi Watchowski of Birmingham 4. Mort (left) and Brigitte Harris of Bloomfield and Pam and Dr. Mark Rosenblum of W. Bloomfield 5. Genevieve and John Sparby of Birmingham 6. Dr. Scott and Jennifer Dulchavsky of Birmingham 7. Dr. Bill and Susan Conway of Birmingham 8. Dr. Manny and Loretta Higgins Brown of Birmingham 9. Dr. Jan and Eva Rival of Bloomfield
Six Rivers Conservancy Reception Nearly 150 advocates of land conservancy convened for Design in Nature at Steve Syzdek’s home furnishing store, BoConcept Birmingham, where the urban Danish design sofas were especially conducive to comfortable conversation. The wine-accented salon setting also offered display space for the silent auction of five artful photographs donated by the judges of the conservancy’s upcoming nature photo contest. The photographers who donated their work include Jim Haefner, the husband and wife team of Carl Sams and Jean Stoick, Steven Tapper, Richard Thompson and Frank Lombardo. Before the evening ended, guests had bid $2,300 for the photographs. We’re always curious how enjoyable events like this come to be. In this case, Syzdek and his wife Jane are neighbors and friends of Six Rivers board president Gail Danto and her husband Art Roffey. To learn about the conservancy’s work, go to sixriversrlc.org. CHAPS Realty’s Feed Detroit Party The old saw that “parties always end up in the kitchen” is totally true at Niki and Alisha Serras’ chic Scavolini by Cucina Moda store. The contemporary kitchen (and bath) cabinetry displayed there is perfectly functional for fundraising events that offer snacking on the stroll as did the CHAPS’ Forgotten Harvest benefit. Nearly 100 guests socialized and nibbled on splendid victuals generously donated by Cafe Via, Churchills, John D Bistro and Bosco. They also bid on items donated to a handsomely presented pick-your-own-prize raffle. Realtors Alex and Sarah Chapman were thrilled that this second foray into fundraising for Forgotten Harvest tripled last year’s success by raising $6,000. Motor City Open Sponsors Party Staging an internationally acclaimed squash tournament like the Motor City Open is no small feat. But with four months of planning, Mike Beauregard, Peter Schmidt and Derrick Glencer, their committee of 30 fellow Birmingham Athletic Club members and tournament director Julian Wellings, accomplished that late last month for the 15th
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK CHAPS Realty’s Feed Detroit Benefit 3
2 1 1. Alex Chapman (left) of Birmingham with Sara and Marie Chapman of Grosse Pointe 2. Dave Chapman (left) of Grosse Pointe, Marc Berke of Huntington Woods and Niki Serras of Birmingham 3. Theresa Selvaggio of Grosse Pointe and Michael Curis of Bloomfield 4. Jerry Hutcheson (left) and Charles Wickins of Birmingham and Mary Wallace of Beverly Hills
Motor City Open Sponsors Party
1. Rami Fakhoury and MCO co-chairs Derrick Glencer and Mike Beauregard of Bloomfield 2. Fred Matthaei (left), Peter Schmidt and Joe O’Connor of Bloomfield and Dick May of Birmingham 3. Roger Hilborn (left) of Troy with Nick and Julie Karmanos of Bloomfield 4. Jeff Gembis (left) of Birmingham and Robert Greenstone of Bloomfield 5. Bob Littman (left) of Birmingham and Kathleen Hardy of Brighton 6. Jeff Messano (left) with Steve Cosgrove of Birmingham and Mark Ambrose of Bloomfield 7. Matt Gurwin (left) of Birmingham and Pat Fuelling of Commerce 8. Walt Oehrlein (left) of Bloomfield, Rob Bradley of Birmingham and Walter Schram of W. Bloomfield 9. Owen Claar (left) and Hayes Bradley of Birmingham 10. Julie King and Kurt Streng of Bloomfield
consecutive year. The six-day event kicked off Jan. 23 with the Sponsors Party. It attracted nearly 450 people representing 60 corporate supporters and offered a silent auction benefiting Racquet Up Detroit for inner city youth and Karmanos Cancer Institute’s Shelley Littman Endowment Fund for Children. Shelley’s widower Bob, who established the fund in memory of her love for kids, was in the crowd and smiled when the fund’s children’s art therapy program for cancer-affected kids was featured in a video. To the great satisfaction of the club’s Squash and Education Foundation founders Joe O’Connor and Dick May, the auction raised $40,000. In addition to 12 kids comprising the court maintenance crew, there was a clinic on Saturday for 40 juniors, including 15 from Racquet Up Detroit. The 16-man, actionpacked main draw pro matches attracted sold out capacity crowds of 250, challenging the planners to devise an expansion plan for the future. World #4-ranked Egyptian Mohamed Elshorbagy was the ultimate champ, winning $11,000 (of the $70,000 purse) and a Rolex watch donated by Greenstone’s Jewelry. “We had 9 of the top 15 world ranked players competing. That’s the best field in the MCO’s 15-year history,” noted Beauregard. For a report of the action, go to themotorcityopen.com. ASH Holiday Benefit en Blanc The annual Academy of the Sacred Heart benefit which Ryan and Maya Marsh are chairing is not until April 5, but school boosters got in the mood before the holidays at a pre-event. Although the location was not disclosed until a few days before, it was staged at the historic Smith, Hinchman & Grylls building at 30 North Saginaw St. in Pontiac’s Commercial Historic District. A photo gallery of the restored beauty may be viewed at celeb r a t e 3 0 n o r t h . c o m / P h o t o G a l l e r y. h t m l . However, the gallery will not show the live Douglas fir trees the committee purchased for decorations and then donated to social service agencies to give to families they serve. Some 250 ASH education advocates relished the party’s family-like camaraderie and the spirits, savories and sweets. They also bid $60,000 in an auction that featured an NHL Winter Classic package, electronics and a made-in-Detroit Shinola watch. The April 5 event - Benefit en Blanc – will be based on a French tradition of an impromptu party at a location disclosed to guests just prior to the event itself. The Marshes describe it as a "FLASH mob for the sophisticated set". Details to be revealed later at ashmi.org/page.cfm?p=14 or call the school at (248) 646-8900. Eton Academy Pre-Gala & Auction Eton Academy parents also hold spirit03.14
building and acquisition events prior to the annual Gala & Auction which Mitzi Martin is chairing Saturday, March 1, at the school. Scott Rieck chaired a Dad & Student Bowling Night which attracted about 60 enthusiasts to Royal Oak Emagine Star Lanes for sporting fun. Then about 30 moms, headed by Martin, gathered at The Italian Dish and Lark & Co. before fanning out through Birmingham to do some benefit shopping. And the upper elementary students created a piece of art that they presented to St. Elizabeth Briarbank residents. It is being reproduced for the auction, which will also offer trips to Paris and Arizona and 2015 Super Bowl Tickets. For tickets ($200) to the main event - Opening Doors Opening Minds – as well as raffle tickets, call Jessica at (248) 642-1150 or visit etonacademy.org Detroit Film Theatre’s 40th Celebration The Friends of the DIA’s Detroit Film Theatre staged An Affair to Remember to celebrate the theatre’s 40 years of existence and 180 people ($150-tickets) attended. They socialized, cocktailed, savored a strolling dinner in the Rivera Court and applauded winners of “small tokens of appreciation” like film passes, DFT memberships, a named chair in the theatre and dinner with founder / film curator Elliot Wilhelm at the London Chop House. They also applauded eloquent expressions of gratitude for Wilhelm’s artistic integrity and vision which have consistently brought high-quality films, both new and classic, to the DFT screen. Then they sipped champagne in the balcony while they watched the critically acclaimed 1931 film “Spanish Dracula”. In all, 2,289 people attended 10 filmings during the anniversary weekend. They paid the retro 1974 price - $2. HAVEN Board Reception Fifty supporters of HAVEN, Oakland County’s center for the treatment and prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault, convened at The Community House early last month for a reception following the year’s inaugural board meeting. CEO Beth Morrison and new board president Carole Winnard Brumm introduced new executive committee members Susan B. Perlin, Robbin McCain and Meg Gordy; welcomed new board members and thanked outgoing board members for their dedicated service and expertise. They also celebrated reaching a milestone – the halfway mark of the capital campaign for HAVEN’s new 36,000 sq. ft. facility to be built near the Oakland County Complex. HAVEN’s inaugural Raise the Roof Gala is being chaired by Lara Fetsco Phillip and Nina Campbell Friday, June 6, at the Troy Marriott. For more information, call Kristi Pavlak (248) 322-3705 or visit haven-oakland.maestroweb.com/. downtownpublications.com
Academy of the Sacred Heart’s Holiday Benefit en Blanc
1. Event chairs Ryan and Maya Marsh of Bloomfield 2. Kara Spicer (left) of Waterford with Luisa Partipilo and Blaine Dennis of Franklin 3. Elaine Stritch of Birmingham with Fayez Hammoud of Ferndale 4. Karie Ross and Dave Dombrowski of Bloomfield 5. Mary Jo Dawson (left), Gail Callaghan and Chip Dawson of Bloomfield with Randi Watchowski of Birmingham 6. Keenie Fieger of Bloomfield with Lorenzo Laroc 7. Kevin Fogarty of Pleasant Ridge (center) with Karen and Tom Hartle of Birmingham 8. Courtney Rowling (left) of Orchard Lake with Lauren Smith and Anna Galati of Birmingham 9. Sean (left) and Christa Moran of Bloomfield, Robin Riutta of Birmingham, Darcy Fischer of Bloomfield
Detroit Film Theatre’s 40th Anniversary
1. Jennifer Dennis (left) of Rochester, Eliott Wilhelm of W. Bloomfield and Dennis Moore of Dearborn 2. Diane Schoenith (left) of Grosse Pointe, Larry Baranski of Detroit and Barbara Heller of Birmingham 3. Gary Marcicano (left) of Clinton, Sue Marx of Birmingham and Dr. Yvan Silva of Bloomfield
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK HAVEN Board Reception
Bonefish Grill Charity Opening Managing partner Jared Kirkman welcomed nearly 200 supporters ($35 tickets) of the North Woodward Community Foundation to the charity opening of the new Bonefish Grill just west of I-75 on Big Beaver. They socialized big time as they savored house specialties like Atlantic Salmon with Mango Salsa and appetizers like Bang Bang Shrimp®, PEI Mussels Josephine and American Style Kobe Beef Burgers. The North Woodward Community Foundation invests in citizen-driven initiatives that enhance the quality of life for children and seniors in Auburn Hills, Bloomfield Twp., Clawson, Madison Heights, South Redford and Troy.
1. Terry Merritt (left) of Novi and Carole Winnard Brumm of Bloomfield 2. Mary Ann Lievois of Bloomfield and Dave Sokol of Oakland 3. Danielle Olekszyk (left) of Bloomfield, Martha Moyer of Birmingham and Michelle Gillbert of Farmington Hills 4. Jeanne Towar (left) of Bloomfield and Sue Riley of Birmingham
Variety’s Chili Mac Cook Off
Variety’s Chili Mac Cook Off Variety’s new, laid-back event that Colleen Ziegler and David King cochaired is a welcome addition to the January charity calendar. It brought 150 supporters of Variety’s kids ($100 & $150 tickets) to The Townsend ballroom, which designer Jeffrey King had informally decked out with white picnic tables, checkered table cloths, bandanas and straw hats filled with pop corn and botanicals. ‘Twas a perfect setting for the comfort food that took center stage. Doubt anyone was counting calories as they devoured the mac & cheese and chili offerings from Town Tavern, Green Lantern, Birmingham Country Club, The Stand, Be Well, Star Lanes/Emagine Royal Oak, Mimi Choice, Rugby Grill, Peabody’s and Townhouse Bistro. Somehow, amid all the camaraderie and dancing, folks managed to choose a favorite chef’s presentation as did Celebrity Judge Chef Annabel Cohen. Town Tavern’s lobster-laden mac & cheese won both the judge's and the People’s Choice Award. Cohen gave Birmingham CC the nod for its chili and guests gave the chili title to Green Lantern. Many guests burned off some calories line dancing.
1. Paul and event co-chairs Colleen Ziegler of Bloomfield and David King of Birmingham with David’s sister Rebecca Przybiecki of Howell 2. Lisa Fresard (left) and Judy Stewart of Birmingham 3. Event designer Jeffrey King of Birmingham 4. Sarah Heath (left), Alison Rodney and Christene Roger of Birmingham 5. Christina (left) and Mark Jotanovic with Marla Green and Sarah French of Birmingham 6. Paul and Jan Robertson of Birmingham 7. Variety board president Connie Beckett (left) of Troy, Michael Coyne and Pamela and Len Dilllon of Bloomfield 8. Rick and Penny Persiani of Birmingham 9. Henry Baskin (left) of Bloomfield, Wendy Cox of Lake Orion and Bruce and Debbie Kridler of Bloomfield 10. Karla and Peter Sherry of Bloomfield
Circle of Friends Preview Party Tom Celani, Bill Roberts and Dennis Mannion chaired the Preview Party for the CARE House. Their decision to hold it at the CARE House facility for the first time was a good call for several reasons. It accommodated a larger crowd (250 supporters at $150 tickets and up) than a private home and it enabled guests to tour the welcoming space where young abuse victims begin the healing 03.14
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK CARE House’s Circle of Friends Preview Party
1. Event chairs Tom Celani (left), Bill Roberts and Dennis Mannion of Bloomfield 2. Sue Conway (left) of Birmingham, Valerie and Brad Ahlgren and Beth Chappell of Bloomfield 3. Board chair Vicki Celani (left) of Bloomfield and Kappy and Dave Trott of Birmingham with Franklin 4. Elyse Foltyn of Birmingham with Stephan Huber of Bloomfield 5. Elise (left) and Steve Guidos, Pam Mannion and Maryclare Pulte of Bloomfield 6. Maggie Allesee (center) with board members Susan Ivanovic (left) of Bloomfield and Beckie Francis of Rochester 7. Denise Abrash (left) and Jim Hayes of Bloomfield with Peter and Amy Hoglund of Birmingham 8. Teri Fenner (left) and Jeff Katz of Bloomfield
Brookside Kaleidoscope Patron Party
3 1. Alysse Mengason (left) of Birmingham, Angela Marcantonio of Bloomfield and Meg Kaplan of Franklin, and Stacey Quinn of W. Bloomfield 2. Keith McConnell (left) of Troy and presenting sponsor SKBK Sotheby’s International Realty’s Doug Hardy of Bloomfield 3. Sponsor Fred Lavery Company’s Shane and Angel Lavery of Bloomfield 4. Maha Sawyer (left) of Huntington Woods and Lillie Browett and Gina Schmakel of Bloomfield 5. Tori (left) and Michael Sawula and Kevin and Joelle Adell of Bloomfield 6. Charlene (left) and Joel Grandelius and Mike and Marilyn Roche of Bloomfield 7. Paul and Dondra Elie of Bloomfield 8. Michael and Taryn Carnnarsa of Birmingham
process. It also was large enough for Roberts’ five restaurants - Cafe ML, Town Tavern, Roadside B&G, Beverly Hills Grill and Streetside Seafood – to present stations serving succulent fare like jumbo lump crab cakes, planked salmon, braised short ribs, lobster bisque, Chesapeake Bay oysters and crab claws with Celani Family Vineyard wines. A common topic was the bitter cold, especially harsh, we assume, for celebrity guest and well known child victim advocate John Walsh, who arrived from Florida in time to attend. Folks also were charmed by the furry, friendly CARE House therapy dog Franklin, and some admired the shiny Motor City Harley Davidson motorcycle displayed near the entry. It will go to the winner of the Hog Wild for Kids CARE House benefit raffle on Aug. 16. Brookside Kaleidoscope Patron Party Although the main Kaleidoscope auction is not until March 8 at Brookside School Cranbrook, 245 school boosters got in the mood at the Patron Party ($250 tickets) Feb. 7. Many were inspired by the party’s Great Gatsby Gala theme to dress a la the 1920s. It not only referenced the school’s beginnings, it also gave The Townsend the aura of a movie set. Even the hotel staff was impressed by Kevin Adell’s vintage roadster parked in the corner of the ballroom. During the cocktail hour guests played casino games, bid in the silent auction of 16 packages and bought raffle tickets and mystery wine at the speakeasy. Before dinner was served, presenting sponsor Doug Hardy praised the school staff, Mothers Council and the US Armed Forces, and then shared a truly funny joke his second grader Gracie gave him. Auctioneer Christopher Aslanian got bids totaling more than $37,000 for live auction items and School Head Keith McConnell then introduced a video showing the importance of technology and explained that the Brookside computer lab needs updating. This inspired guests to pledge more than $60,000 to update it. (Total proceeds will be added to the main event results.) The Roaring Twenties party concluded with the flappers and their fellas dancing to the jazz sounds of the Steve Wood Band. Send ideas for this column to Sally Gerak, 28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, 48304; email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 248.646.6390.
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Good news for Birmingham golf courses n May 2011, following a detailed examination of Birmingham’s municipal golf courses and their financial position amongst other golf courses, we asserted that although Birmingham has been playing the municipal golf game for 80-some years, it appeared they may not be very good at it. We made that observation because for several years, their expenditures far exceed their revenues. In 2009, combined losses as Lincoln Hills and Springdale golf courses came to $176,465, and in 2010, the combined losses were $144,559. Those losses are on top of the outlay of $642,131 from the city’s general fund for a new clubhouse for Lincoln Hills, as well as irrigation upgrades. For a city the size of Birmingham’s, with a population of around 20,000 residents, we rightly felt a loss of $321,024 from one city service was enormous. When the clubhouse expense was added in, it became an almost $1 million bill to the city for a non-essential city service. We never felt the city of Birmingham should sell the two municipal golf courses. After years of significant losses, we suggested in 2011 that the city hire a professional management company to run the courses. Birmingham owns two municipal golf courses, Lincoln Hills Golf Course at 2666 W. 14 Mile Road, just west of Cranbrook Road, and Springdale Golf
Course, located at 316 Strathmore Road. They are each nine-hole courses open seven days a week during the season, with availability for residents, non-residents and businesses via inexpensive leisure passes. The city decided to put an exceptional effort in turning around the municipal courses, and we applaud not only the effort, but the results. A few seasons of beautiful, golf-worthy weather has definitely played into their favor, helping to increase the number of rounds played at the city’s owned and operated courses. In 2013, according to the parks and recreation department’s golf report, Lincoln Hills recorded a 12.51 percent increase in rounds over 2012, surpassing the department’s projections for last season, with 28,397 rounds of golf played, while the Springdale course saw an almost 15 percent decrease in rounds played in 2013, with the major factor being lower weekday rounds played. The goal in 2014 is to increase rounds to 28,000 by promoting Mondays for play as well as offering incentives to play on the course. Overall, revenues from the combined golf courses actually exceeded costs for the first time since 2006, leaving the courses after depreciation with a surplus of $68,249. Weather, obviously, was not the only factor working in Birmingham’s favor. In 2012,
Birmingham acquired a Class C liquor license for the golf courses, which then brought about expanded food, beverages and merchandise in the two municipal golf course clubhouses. In 2013, they increased their food and beverage sales by 26,426 over 2012, or a 51 percent increase. Additionally, they hired a golf professional to manage the courses and offer lessons, and it’s working. They intend to continue tweaking the system this season, and we wish them months of beautiful weather and plentiful rounds of golf. However, there is one outstanding issue that must be dealt with. The city loaned the parks and recreation department $642,131 from the city’s general fund for a new clubhouse for Lincoln Hills a few years ago, and that is a long-term debt that must be repaid before the golf courses can truly be considered a successful operation. In 2011, city commissioner Gordon Rinschler told this publication there was no timeline for the repayment on the $642,131 for the clubhouse. “We don’t have an end date for that loan to be paid back,” Rinschler said. “We’re assuming the golf course will become profitable again, and then we can transfer the money back to the general fund.” The time has come to lay out a plan for repaying the general fund. Only then will the municipal golf courses really be in the green.
Invigorate alleys with existing retail or the last few years, Birmingham’s planning department has turned its design eye towards the city’s alleys and passageways in an effort to better utilize all of the central business district. Following a small caveat in the city’s 2016 Master Plan, Jana Ecker, Birmingham’s planning director, has worked for several years on re-imagining Birmingham’s forgotten spaces. Rather than just back alleys filled with trash and overhead wires, she has actively sought to create vibrant spaces filled with outdoor cafes, benches, landscaping, stores—in essence, a microcosm of the uniqueness that we all enjoy about Birmingham. The Birmingham Planning Board created an ordinance plan called Activating the Urban Space: A Strategy for Alleys & Passageways to deal with repurposing these spaces. Some of these seemingly random passageways have become vias, transporting pedestrians from place to place, connecting them rather than
stopping them in their tracks, as some of the other alleys and passageways do. As in quirky and inviting areas around the world, Ecker has envisioned opening up the city from the inside out and maximizing the walkability that so many of us relish in Birmingham. Now she has presented a memo to the planning board to further improve some of the passageways, including incorporating public art. Take a look at the magnificent Cafe Via pedestrian via, as well as the newly-redone and revitalized passageway adjacent to Social Kitchen. Behind 220 Restaurant is a marvelous respite with landscaping and benches, perfect for a book, coffee or reflection. Yet some of the other alleys, such as the Willits Alley, remain truly alleys. By definition, an alley is a narrow passageway between or behind buildings. Trash fills dumpsters. Restaurants purge unwanted refuse. Cars are parked willy nilly despite no parking signs, obstructing both
motorized passage, but foot and bicycle traffic as well. Unsightly utility wires criss cross the air. Some buildings are painted and maintained, but many are neglected. And during this winter, the passageway is often uncleared. Rather than inviting visitors in, being an access point to the businesses opening onto Willits Alley, it is a city eyesore. And it is hardly the only city alley in this condition. Better ordinance enforcement is needed for parking and refuse, as well as coordination between building owners to spruce their exteriors. Benches and planters will make sense once conditions are improved. Before further enhancement is undertaken on some of the completed vias, it would be preferable, and more beneficial, to see attention paid to areas where businesses are already on alleys, such as the Willits Alley and behind Pierce Street and Old Woodward, where revitalization would benefit not only the businesses but the city, residents and visitors.
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Published on Mar 3, 2014
Published on Mar 3, 2014
March 2014 - DOWNTOWN is an upscale monthly full-color news magazine mailed at no charge to homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bl...