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The aging of Oakland County is coming. We better be ready for it. Oakland government officials, recognizing the demographic trends rapidly coming their way, are actively studying senior population impacts and infrastructure needs.
27: David Hirsch
Woodward home plans down-sized; Birmingham's long-term planning; art fair locations decided; Townhouse bistro plans approved; Bloomfield Hills looks to Barnum library
DISTRIBUTION: Mailed12timeseachyearat nochargetohomesinBirmingham,Bloomfield TownshipandBloomfieldHillspriortothestart of each month. Additional free copies are distributedathighfoot-trafficlocations. Forthosenotresidinginthefreemaildistribution area for Downtown Birmingham/Bloomfield, paidsubscriptionsareavailablefora$12annual fee. Phone 248.792.6464 and request the Distribution department or go to our website (downtownpublications.com) and click on “subscriptions”inthetopindexandplaceyour orderon-line.
The 220 restaurant in Birmingham celebrates its heritage in The Detroit Edison Building with a retro and historically referenced feel and good food.
LaFeast; Antonio's Bridal; Flash Accessories; Stacked Deli; Made; Shades Optical; Vintage Accessories, and more
Bloomfield Hills Schools received a 234page report from its outside consulting firm on the future of the district's high schools and how to reach voters
A look back at CREEM, a national magazine celebrating the world of rock 'n' roll, which was located in Birmingham.
47: Cindy Cheaves
CREEM magazine remembered
AT THE TABLE
A recap of select categories of crime occurring in the past month in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills, presented in map format.
17: Bill Hampton
Local private schools, as the economy starts sputtering back, are seeing enrollment numbers hit an all time high.
Aging in Oakland County
Private school enrollment
THE COVER Quarton Lake in Birmingham.
DOWNTOWN P U B L I C A T I O N S DOWNTOWNBIRMINGHAM/BLOOMFIELD 124WESTMAPLEROADBIRMINGHAM48009 P:248.792.6464
Publisher:DavidHohendorf AdManager:JillCesarz Graphics/ITManager:ChrisGrammer NewsEditor:LisaBrody
NewsStaff/Contributors:HillaryBrody, SallyGerak,Eleanor&RayHeald, AustenHohendorf,GarrettHohendorf, KathleenMeisner,LaurieTennent
Society reporter Sally Gerak provides the latest news from the society and non-profit circuit as she covers major events of the past month.
Our take on two issues: The push by some for street vendors in Birmingham and state lawmakers inaction on the medical marijuana issue.
INCOMING: We welcome feedback on both ourpublicationandgeneralissuesofconcernin the Birmingham/Bloomfield community. The traditionalLetterstotheEditorinDowntownare published in our Incoming section, and can include traditional letters or electronic communication. Your opinions can be sent via email@example.com;or mailed to Downtown Publications, 124 West Maple Road, Birmingham MI, 48009. Letters must include your full name, address and daytimephonenumberforverification.
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y the time this issue hits the homes, Devon Fent Baker of Birmingham, a middle school student at Detroit Country Day, will have received her grade on the class assignment about Heroes and Villains she was working on in mid-January.
Devon had ask me to participate in a short interview as part of her project, quizzing me on my current day heroes and who I thought were the modern day villains. Although at first blush the concept sounded simple, it took some consideration before I could really answer her questions. My heroes? I gave Devon three of whom I would consider modern day heroes, people who have positive impact on society at large. One of them, Daniel Ellsberg, a Michigan native and graduate of Cranbrook Schools, made his mark back in the 1970's when he released copies of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 to the New York Times and a number of other publications. The Pentagon Papers were a top secret government study of the Vietnam War, which not only laid bare the strategy of the war under three presidents from 1945-1968 but also brought to the forefront for the American people the fact that presidents do withhold information from, and yes sometimes lie to, their constituents. There was considerable debate at the time as to whether government documents of this nature should be made public. Ultimately, the release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 helped prevent Richard Nixon from adding 200,000 more troops in Vietnam and the widening of the war to neighboring countries. The federal government tried to destroy Ellsberg personally after he released this study and they tried to prosecute him under the Espionage Act, but the courts threw the case out in 1973 because of government misconduct. The release of the Pentagon Papers also established at the federal court level (New York Times vs. the United States of America) the right of newspapers to publish material without interference or attempts by the government to stop publication of news. Ellsberg was and still is a hero because he was one of the first persons to release on a mass scale secret government information that was being held from the American public, and at considerable personal risk. Because of Ellsberg's release of the Pentagon Papers, we continue to enjoy press freedoms in this country, and his actions helped speed up the end of our involvement in the Vietnam War. Today we have WikiLeaks, the founders of which I put in a hero classification. Julian Assange is the pubic face of WikiLeaks, which is a whistleblowing web site as part of a non-profit organization that publishes secret, private and classified government and business documents from news sources. WikiLeaks was first started to help shed some light on government regimes in Africa, Asia, the areas formerly known as Russia, and the Middle East. The first releases by WikiLeaks exposed large-scale international dumping of toxic waste in Africa. Since its launch, the site has expanded to include publication of documents from around the world, including Iraq and Afghan war logs and diplomatic cables from the United States, all of which has caused great consternation in this country and fueled a debate in government and media circles similar to what Ellsberg prompted 40 years ago. Assange is a hero because he has risked his own private safety and possibly his freedom to help open up governments around the world, which ultimately will benefit us all. Lastly, I listed among my heroes the class of citizens in southeast Michigan who spend their time worrying about those in the community who don't have enough to eat. There are about 38 million people in this country who are considered â€œfood insecure,â€? basically struggling to eat every day The people involved in the effort to make sure that our citizens have food, be it through either product or cash contributions, are modern day heroes because they have made the welfare of others a key concern. As always, I welcome your feedback. David Hohendorf Publisher DavidHohendorf@downtownpublications.com
INCOMING Coming home article Great articles in the latest Downtown. The first article about all the kids coming home (Downtown/ January) or not was so important. When we visited our son out in Los Angeles, we took him and a friend of his (a classmate from Hillel) out to dinner. They both said that they would want to come back and raise families here. But what was so interesting is that they both said other friends from the midwest don't have that pull to home. "No one longs for Toledo," his friend said. "It's something about Detroit that makes you want to come back." I don't know that either of my kids ever will come home but who knows. Thanks for some great articles. Debra Darvick, Birmingham
New generation's impact I read the Coming Home article (Downtown/January) and you did a great job. I think this article generated a positive acknowledgement that there is a bright future here for the next generation. It was a great introduction to the subject and a departure from the normal chatter about the mass exodus from our community. As I was reading the rest of the issue, I really enjoyed the Faces features. It could be fun to highlight someone from the under-40 set every month in a Faces-type profile. I think it would continue to reiterate the positive impact the new generation has in our community and also highlight that there are opportunities available for us. I believe it would create a continuous positive conversation and awareness and probably start to prove some nay-sayers wrong. Thanks again for taking this idea to press. As I have always said, we need to be our own positive epicenter and I believe this article is a strong step in that direction. Anne Strickland, Birmingham
Ingenious idea, informative Your latest issue (Downtown/ January) was terrific, but Lisa Brody's "Second Story" article was both an ingenious idea and extremely informative. Kudos. Jim Olson, Birmingham
Faces profile Thank you so very much (for the Faces profile in the January issue). Because of the ease of your website, I have posted the profile on Facebook 9
PROM DRESS DESIGNERS and have received so many lovely comments. I wish you much success in the New Year and I hope our paths continue to cross. Linda Solomon, Birmingham
Mac Duggal Jovani Basix Tony Bowls Black
Hidden treasures I received my January copy (of Downtown) and just wanted to let you know how great it is that you do features on local people--hidden treasures! I've had the pleasure of meeting Linda Solomon; she is a truly gifted but humble woman. I was moved by the story of the young boy from Memphis and her program. Your publication helps to bring awareness about the wonderful people who are in our own backyard. Please let "the powers that be" know that they're doing a great job. Nicole Piach, Wall Candy at Banner Sign Company, Hazel Park
Oakland County Child Killer Thanks for a great piece on the Oakland County Child Killer (Downtown/October 2010). I'm a journalist in NYC now, but I grew up in Oakland County during that time and still keep an eye out on the case from time to time. I found the theory about other cars that look like the Gremlin interesting. The blue Gremlin was like the Bogey Man to me and my friends growing up in Madison Heights. If interested, please check out a short story I wrote about that period of my life here: www.kennethinthe212/2007/04/killerblow.html.
Kenneth Walsh, NewYork, New York
Huge 'thank you' You deserve a huge â€œthank youâ€? for the story about the Oakland County Child Killer (Downtown/October 2010). I just watched the news and information was finally brought forth to the father who has been pursuing this case. I believe your story helped in this effort and you are to be congratulated. We need more of this type of reporting. I look forward to the next issue. Great job. Phoebe White, Bloomfield Hills
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Shedding some light I think the LGBT (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender) piece (Inside Of Out/December 2010) worked out well. Thank you shedding some light on this complex and important topic. Carla Young, Cranbrook Schools DOWNTOWN
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These are the crimes reported under select categories by police officials in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills through January 20, 2011. Placement of codes is approximate.
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Large, well maintained quad. Lower level walkout includes a sunken bar and fieldstone fireplace. 5 bedrooms, 3 baths on a beautiful treed lot with fenced back yard.
Stunning Quarton Lake Estates home with high end custom finishes throughout. First floor master suite, premium gourmet kitchen, 4600+ sq.ft., oversized garage and professionally landscaped.
In-town brick colonial. Kitchen with granite and cherry cabinetry. Luxurious master suite and finished lower level. Incredible deep yard with patio, play area and room for a pool.
Spectacular 150’ treed lakefront lot with breathtaking views of Island Lake and Kirk in the Hills Church from the living room, dining room and breakfast area. 3,847 total square feet.
248.644.3500 HallandHunter.com *2010 Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Twp. Data provided by BrokerMetrix and Realcomp II MLS
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Lake Angelus $3,200,000
Orchard Lake $5,500,000
Private road leads to stately 5 bedroom home. 5.77 acres on Lake Angelus. Distinctive interior details, quality craftsmanship, numerous amenities including chef’s kitchen, luxury master suite, terraces, pool, finished lower level with theater, game room, and entertainment area.
Stunning views of Orchard Lake and golf course from this elegant lakefront home. Meticulous attention to detail with high ceilings, private outdoor terraces. 4 bedrooms plus a separate apartment over the 4-car garage.
Addison Township $1,690,000
Orchard Lake $2,900,000
Private lakefront estate on 2.67 acres includes every custom amenity. 4 bedrooms plus 2 in-law/nanny suites and finished lower level walkout with theater, full kitchen and bar area.
Exquisite newer Georgian colonial. Gracious 2-story foyer, 4 bedrooms, 3.2 baths. Finished daylight lower level with theater room. Marble, slate and oak floors throughout.
Enjoy spectacular views from floor to ceiling windows in this lakefront home on Cass Lake. 5 bedrooms plus in-law quarters with kitchen. Beautiful hot tub overlooking lake.
Bloomfield Hills $1,990,000
Classic Birmingham farmhouse in prime uptown location with the charm of a bygone era and all the comfort and amenities expected today.
Beautifully renovated 3 bedroom colonial overlooking wooded ravine and Rouge River. 1st floor master with private bath, hardwood floors throughout.
Magnificent Prairie School design. Large, spacious rooms throughout, outstanding kitchen with breakfast room, cherry paneled library with built ins.
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Franklin $675,000 This elegant French-inspired home with a courtyard entrance is set on an idyllic acre bordering the 8th fairway of Franklin Hills Country Club. Franklin mailing with Farmington Schools.
Bloomfield Hills $3,250,000 to $6,800,000
Spectacular sites on the East Shore of Turtle Lake from 1.6 to 4 acres, in the premier gated community of Turtle Lake.
This magnificent soft contemporary has an exquisite setting with Gilbert Lake sunsets. 146’ of Gilbert Lake frontage on 1.63 acres and sandy beach. Indoor pool.
Magnificent limestone and cedar 1991 design by architect Michael Willoughby. 1.5 acres with 170’ of frontage on Chalmers Lake.
Wonderful transitional in-town Birmingham home with a spacious open floor plan. First floor Master Suite includes 2 baths and closets.
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With premier in-town location, this French inspired architectural masterpiece provides a stunning combination of sophistication and functionality. Elevatoor.
SOLD. Designer ’s own. Beautifully updated ranch on superbly landscaped acre site. Luxurious Master Suite and Dressing Room.
Former Ralph Lauren model residence at Woodland Villa; in-town Birmingham’s intimate residential enclave offering a luxurious lifestyyle and unparalleled locaation. Elevator.
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Bloomfield Hills $695,000
Bloomfield Hills $3,750,000
A n e x c e p t i o n a l 2 0 0 1 Tr i n g a l i - d e s i g n e d 1 8 0 0 ’ s E n g l i s h Tudor replica on 2.48 acres nestled in Franklin Village.
PENDING SALE. Elegant in its simplicity, this architectural gem by Minoru Yamasaki, discreetly nestled in the hilly landscape, is a utilitarian delight.
Prominently gracing the North shore of Wing Lake, this outstanding 2000 built New England style home is truly beyond compare. Also for lease $16,500/month.
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Bloomfield Hills $789,000
Not just the view to enjoy, but the beauty and serenity in this luxury home on Minnow Lake. Located on one of the premier lots in The Hills of Lone Pine gated community. 4,828 sq. ft. with 4 bedrooms, 5 baths and 2 lavs, has a first floor master suite with fireplace and luxurious bath, great room with soaring ceilings and wall of windows to view the lake. Finished walk out with full kitchen, 2 bedrooms, and 2nd family room. Heated greenhouse, private courtyard entry, 2 decks and brick paver patio. Excellent value! WIC211003385
Custom built home in desirable Birmingham neighborhood. Built in 1992 with all the custom features and architectural details you could imagine. 4,680 sq. ft. with 4 bedrooms, 4 baths and 2 lavs. Unbelievable master suite with 14’ x 13’ lounging area, enormous closet plus jack and jill and private suite up. Finished lower level with kitchen, bath, 2nd family room, exercise room and game room. Oversized Trex deck with spacious yard and perennial gardens. Short Sale. WES211009556
Opportunity of a Lifetime! Home custom designed by a r c h i t e c t D o n Pa u l Y o u n g i n t h e e s t a t e s e c t i o n o f F r a n k l i n . Almost 2 acre wooded site on a private lake to enjoy the natural surroundings. Interior is totally redone, taken down to the studs and finished to perfection. Never been lived in this 4,351 sq. ft. home has 5 bedrooms, 5-1/2 baths with a first and second floor master suite. CAN210124300
Oakland nd T Toownship $2,800,000
Vacant sites from fro $132,000
Magnificent Estate in the prestigious gated community of Orchard Ridge. Sits high on a hill with private wooded yard, multiple deckss with cement ballistters on 1.44 acres. 7,870 sq. ft. with 5 bedrooms, 7 baths and 2 lavs. Dream kitchen (23 x 17) opens to family room and breakfast room. Enormous firstt floor master suite with sitting area and fireplace, all bedrooms are suites plus apartment with bedroom, bath, kitchen, dining room and living room with fireplace. Walkout ready to finish. Too many custom features to mention. 6 car heated garage. ORC210058837
Oakland Township, Rochester Hills, Franklin, Brandon Township and Oxford. Sites in 3 coveted gated communities of Orchard Ridge, Wyndridge and Oak Pointe. Some walkouts and all over 1+ acres priced from $132,000. 2 cul-de-sac lots over 5 acres each located in Oakland Township on private road priced from $299,900. Harmony Hills in Oxfford has 2.5 acre sites sttarting at $44,000. Half acre + site in Franklin, 2 sites in Rochester Hills and 53 acres in Brandon Township. Call about land contract terms and private tour.
Built in 1998 on almost an acre located on a peaceful and serene location backing to woods. 3,469 sq. ft. with 4 bedrooms, 4 baths and 2 lavs. Spacious master with fireplace and oversize closet, jack and jill plus a private suite, oversize laundry with mudroom. Finished walkout perfect for entertaining. Paver patio with fire pit, gazebo on top deck and 3 car garage. CHE211006325
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FACES Bill Hampton ill Hampton, publisher of AutoBeat Group, LLC, began his college career at the University of Michigan intending on becoming an engineer, but his passion for cars and writing soon led him in a different direction. “I was a car nut as a teenager, but the interest in writing about the auto industry didn’t happen until college,” said Hampton. “I could tell after two years that engineering wouldn’t be my calling. I thought that since I seemed to be good at writing, I could write about technology.” With a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in science writing, Hampton embarked on a vocation that would lead him to the top of his field. “This is the 40th year I’ve been writing about the industry,” said Hampton. He began working for World News, but eventually took a position as bureau chief of Business Week. There, he authored 17 cover stories on the auto industry. “Business Week’s philosophy was always that readers are busy people,” said Hampton. “They need to know more than what happened. They need to know why it happened and what does it mean. It helped me develop that way of looking at the news.” After 13 years with Business Week, Hampton was urged to relocate from Michigan, but declined because his wife, Tavi Fulkerson, had created a successful events marketing business in Birmingham. “I decided to go to Campbell Ewald in Warren,” said Hampton. “I became a group publisher. That’s where I learned the publishing business, and there came a moment where I thought maybe I could do it myself.” Hampton left Campbell Ewald in 1993, and began a publishing career that compelled him to create AutoBeat Group, an online news source focused completely on the automobile industry. Today, AutoBeat Group, encompassing AutoBeat Daily, AutoTech Daily, AutoBeat Asia and AutoBeat Europe, boasts 155,000 readers worldwide and recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary. The company is currently reformatting its website, making it possible for subscribers to have access to all four publications. “Under the new format, we’ll be doing live updates during the day.” The global publication boils the news down in the most succinct way possible, said Hampton. “We write articles that are quite brief, a few hundred words per item. Executives can skim it within a couple minutes and start the day knowing what’s really important.” An auto enthusiast, Hampton has been attending the Detroit auto show since 1971, and recalls driving down the Woodward Dream Cruise when it first began, with his wife and their then one-year-old daughter in tow. While he’s drawn to newer, more high-performance vehicles, he has made a hobby out of restoring the 1965 Sunbeam Alpine passed onto him by his father. Ultimately, changing gears as a college student was a decision that has allowed the Bloomfield Hills resident to combine his passion for automobiles with his love of writing. “I’ve always thought I have the greatest job around because I get to write about the things I want to learn about anyway.”
Story: Katey Meisner
Photo: Laurie Tennent
AGING IN OAKLAND Senior population trends impact infrastructure
BY LISA BRODY
hen you receive an AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) card along with other birthday cards on your 50th birthday, it's like a cruel joke. Somebody out there thinks you're a senior citizen. At 55, both the Birmingham and Palladium theaters offer senior discounts, even if you don't have even one gray hair on your head. The Bloomfield Township Senior Center invites residents with admission at 50. Boomers, it's coming. The final act is about to be played. It's called old age, and it's up to you how the performance goes. The wondrous fact is that today, being a senior can take on different tones and faces, and for most, it lasts far longer than adolescence. Beginning this year, 2011, the first baby boomers, born in 1946, turn 65, ready to apply for Social Security and Medicare. In 2010, there were 7,000 new beneficiaries of Medicare every single day, and over the next 20 years, AARP estimates that 70 million individuals will become beneficiaries, compared to 45.2 million in 2008. Over 40 percent of the registered voters in Oakland County are 50 or older, and surveys indicate that as many as 60 percent of baby boomers intend to relocate some day, when they can finally retire. Worldwide, there are now 600 million people over the age of 60. By 2025, it is projected that number will double. Imagine—that's 1.2 billion people over the age of 60. Here in Oakland County, by 2015 there will be more senior residents over the age of 65 than school aged children, and by 2017, Oakland County will have the same percent of residents age 65 and over as Florida currently has. There are now over 500 Oakland County residents who are 100 years old or older, and every seven years, the number of centurions doubles. The aging of Oakland County is coming. We better be ready for it. Oakland County government officials, recognizing the demographic trends rapidly coming their way, have nicknamed it the “Silver Tsunami,” and are actively studying senior population impacts and infrastructure needs. They, and some local governments, are preparing with senior centers, transportation programs, housing, and other government services. They also have studied, and fully understand, the economic implications of a society that tilts older rather than younger. Remember when we weren't going to trust anyone over 30? Now the laugh is on us. Yet the image of a frail, dependent, incapacitated senior accounts for only about 5 percent of the older population, according to Jim McGuire, Director of Research at Oakland County's Area Agency on Aging 1-B. “There's a misperception that seniors are a drain on society,” he said. Rather, most older Americans are vital contributors to the economic, philanthropic, cultural, and social communities within which they live, and Oakland County will benefit greatly in the years to come from the aging population. “For every $3 spent on seniors, there is $4 returned to state and local governments by them,” said McGuire. “Most 65 year-olds are healthy, active and working. The average income of a 65 year- old household in Oakland County is $40,000, which is pretty reasonable, when you consider that they don't have a lot of the traditional expenses anymore that a younger family has. They are buying more as consumers; they are taking in more than they are consuming in public resources.”
He said that income is equivalent to an $18 an hour job, while a new UAW job is now $14 an hour. Many in the county earn significantly more, and have greater economic resources. Furthermore, McGuire said that seniors spend 92 percent of their monthly income, rather than saving it, as younger demographics do. “They spend their money locally, vs. the Internet,” he said. “In 2009, seniors spent $5 billion in Oakland County. They are a very strong, positive economic force.” Most of the dollars they spend are imported into the county, as in Social Security checks, pensions, investment income, and the like. “They are buying more as consumers, taking in more than they are consuming in public resources,” he said. That is money that is vital to capture, and retain locally. It is vital to the economy of the county and local municipalities to provide an environment in which seniors want to remain here, and not relocate to other states. “It is vital that local government leaders remain in tune with the concerns of our seniors so we can model our senior programs,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson stated at the introduction of the “Silver Tsunami” study at the annual meeting of the Oakland County Senior Advisory Council in May 2010. Oakland County Commissioner and Oakland County Senior Planning Coalition Chairperson Helaine Zack (D-Huntington Woods) echoed Patterson, “While focusing on the future outlook of the growing needs of this population and quality of life, we want to make certain we are laying a foundation to build a strong and flourishing senior community.” McGuire noted that healthy, active seniors, which is often classified as those 65 to 85, often have their own transportation, are likely to have their own health insurance, not Medicaid. “There's a complete misperception that seniors are a drain on society,” he said. “Most 65 year-olds are healthy, active, and often, working. Eighty-five is a little different.” Because of this thriving and vital economic power, he noted that many states are actually actively recruiting seniors to their communities, and it is a benefit to Oakland County to have so many seniors in their midst. “The benefits to attracting and retaining this demographic is huge,” he noted. “It allows hospitals in the area where seniors are to update their equipment in order to provide them with the services they will need. There is the opportunity to improve and inhabit housing stock. They add to the economic and social vitality of a region, and there is a mostly positive social end impact to having them in the county.” “We know a lot more now about aging, and there is a sizable amount of seniors who will know health and wealth, and for many of them, older age will be one of the best times of their lives,” said Dr. Peter Lichtenberg, Ph.D., Director of Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology Professor of Psychology. “It can be a time of life when older adults can chart their own course, with a lot less stress. They can pursue new interests and hobbies; creativities seem to emerge more in older age for many. For those who are doing well financially, they are the backbone to our civic engagement, and they take tremendous pleasure in helping others, engaging in society, and meeting their own personal goals.” Lichtenberg noted that they often no longer have the same status pressures they had when they were younger, and they can now focus positive energy on personal relationships, and the satisfaction those relationships give them. A 2009 Pew Research Center study on Growing Old in America: Expectations vs. Reality, found there is an upside to growing old for many Americans. Of all of the good things about getting old, the best, according to older adults, is being able to spend more time with family members, especially children and grandchildren, with a full 70 percent saying they enjoy their time with family. Of those surveyed, 28 percent responded that is the best part of reaching their point of life, and another 25 percent say that above all, they value time with their grandchildren. A distant third on their list is having more financial security, which is cited by 14 percent of older adults as what they value most about getting older. Another upside to aging, according to the Pew Study, is that there is more
time for hobbies, more financial security, and not having to work, even if some choose to continue working. Sixty percent say they receive more respect and feel less stress than when they were younger. Over half of older adults say they enjoy having the time to travel more and do more volunteer work. “There is a great freedom in not having to work for a paycheck every day,” acknowledged Lichtenberg. What no one seems to agree on is when they become a senior citizen. It is well-acknowledged that the federal government decides you are a senior at 65, when you qualify for Social Security and Medicare benefits. To those under 30, the average person is old even before turning 60. But according to Pew, just 6 percent of adults 65 and older would agree. Among respondents to the Pew Survey, respondents aged 65-74, only 21 percent say they feel old. Even among those 75 years and older, just 35 percent say they feel old. Lichtenberg said that older adults doing well say they feel 10 to 12 years younger than their chronological age. “They usually do not feel aged until disabilities arise,” he said. “We think of older adults as 65-plus, but they are more like 50 year olds used to be,” said Deb McGinnis, Associate Professor of Psychology at Oakland University. “What this generation will want is very different from previous generations. The model of the frail, dependent, mobility-impaired older adult is not exactly accurate. That model will not apply to this generation. Many of the demands of aging may not happen until they become infirm.” Life expectancy adds to the decision of when old age may begin. At the beginning of the of twentieth century, a boy born in the United States could expect to live 46 years, while a girl could expect to live 48 years. In 2003, a hundred years later, the life expectancy for a boy that year was 75 years, and 80 for girls. If you were 55 years old in 2003, according to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, you could expect to live another 26 years on average. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the total population of those aged 65 and older increased by 5 percent between 2000 and 2005, due to better life expectancies. The census noted that there were sharp differences in the rate of growth, however, between the populations aged 65 to 84, and those aged 85 and older. There was a slower growth among the groups aged 65 to 74 and 75 to 84, largely due to the lower birth rate during the late 1920s and 1930s. As lifespans increased, there was a rapid growth in the numbers of those aged 85 and older. “The epidemiology show that if you live into your 80s, you will have a more active lifespan,” said McGinnis. “Many are still choosing to retire at about 65, so now we have an active group with 10, 15, 20 years of being actively engaged in society. They are staying more physically active, volunteering, working on causes which they might not have before because of time demands.” A significant difference between today and a half-century ago is the relative affluence of today's seniors. In 1959, 35 percent of the population aged 65 and older in the United States lived in poverty. In 2005, 10 percent of those 65 and older lived in poverty. While still an unacceptable statistic, it is a drastic improvement for a majority of senior citizens. In Michigan, 23.5 percent of the population is 55 or older, and of those 55 to 64, 53.4 percent are employed. Of that workforce, 11.7 percent are selfemployed. Contrasting to younger demographics with sustained double digit unemployment figures, those who are 55 to 64 have a 5.7 percent unemployment rate. As Michigan's workforce continues to age, employers may consider how they want to adjust employee policies and practices to reflect the needs and priorities of those workers, as most employees older than 50 say that they anticipate working well past traditional retirement age. Additionally, many older workers are entering the labor pool, either as full or part-time workers, proving to be a labor pool that is underutilized. “Some will start new careers, and in some communities, older adults go back to school, which is wonderful. Senior centers are wonderful, also, with diverse programs,” said McGinnis. “There will be some pressure on the medicine and service communities, but they will develop gradually, will not
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be overwhelming. It will be wonderful to have this older group as a more visible force in society.” “Fully 11 percent of baby boomers have an intention of starting a business in their retirement years,” said Area Agency on Aging's McGuire. “When you look at the demographics, that's thousands and thousands of seniors who want to start businesses. Our economy needs this. We in Oakland County should be fostering that interest and helping these people implement that plan. Over the next 18 years, that's potentially 58,000 retirees, or 11 percent of Oakland County's boomers, who at this point in time have an interest in starting a business. That's a lot of economic potential for the county. The county government is already looking at this. They've convened a roundtable that is looking at how they can take advantage of this.” Oak65 is Oakland County's report on how to go forth to serve the senior population at its best. Oakland County is already tackling the “Silver Tsunami,” having developed programs to transport seniors, offer health care assistance, both in home and in skilled nursing care, offering some memory care services, and working collaboratively with aging agencies, senior centers, neighboring counties, and with interfaith groups. “The problem is that many people in the community do not know what there is for them. There are many things here for people 55 and older. Most people from a middle to upper-middle class background have never had the need of a government service until they apply for Social Security or Medicare,” said Oakland County Commissioner Shelley Taub (R-Bloomfield Township). “The Area Agency on Aging is wonderful, and it's there for everyone. Some services you have to pay for, or pay partially for. The transportation services are wonderful.” Taub sits on the Senior Advisory Council for the county, and chairs the Committee on Transportation. The Committee on Transportation has put together a comprehensive list, she said, with SMART and the Area Agency on Aging. “They are all checked out, bonded, licensed, and they know exactly the price they're going to charge. You're not going to send your mother to dialysis with someone who's drunk or stoned,” she said. “Without good transportation, people lose many of their face-to-face social connections, and lose volunteer work,” noted Lichtenberg. “Their ability to stay connected to civic engagement opportunities, and the ability to feel like an autonomous human being, which is critical to their psychological well-being, relies on transportation. Without it, they feel lonely, they are at risk for depression, and they feel devalued by society.” The committee has also put together a report on how to retrofit an auto for seniors—how to actually do it, and what it entails, so that a family member, handyman or mechanic can do it for them. They are disbursing it to senior centers, of which there are 26 throughout the county, including the Bloomfield Township Senior Center, so that seniors and their families will be aware of what can be done. They have also prepared a Driving Form, which is a very sensitive subject for seniors and their loved ones. Driving, and the loss of that ability, is a particularly difficult subject for those who are aging and their families. A loss of independence and identity is tied into the ability to drive, especially in metro Detroit, where mass transit has been scarce and driving and having a car has always been essential. According to Oakland County's Silver Tsunami report, medical conditions, medication usage, and age-related changes in physical and mental function can increase the risk of crashes and injuries among aging adults. “The largest percentage of Oakland County seniors travel by automobile—either driven by themselves or another individual,” the report said. It continues by asserting that there is a need for methods to fairly identify high-risk senior drivers, to learn to talk to seniors about their driving and when it is time to stop, and especially the need to increase the availability and appeal of public and private transportation alternatives. Taub points out this is what they have accomplished recently with the driving form, which invites seniors to locations on set Saturdays to take competency tests on simulators in order to ascertain if they are fit to continue driving. Beyond that, she acknowledged that more must be accomplished in
providing community transportation in the form of busses and vans for the elderly. “You're not going to have grandma standing in the cold or rain or in the heat waiting for a bus. That's not realistic,” she said. The Bloomfield Township Senior Center offers medical transportation services to residents of the township. “We take people to doctor's appointments, radiation, dentist appointments, dialysis, anything that helps them maintain their medical care,” said Christine Tvaroha, director of senior services. The transportation services are one part of the supportive services the township Senior Center offers to residents of the township. “They are for people who have less independence,” Tvaroha said. Meals on Wheels is a two-fold program, she said, bringing a friendly face to senior shut-ins, as well a safety check. With 120 volunteer drivers, each working once or twice a month, drivers get to know their seniors. Besides providing a hot meal once a day, Monday through Friday, “if someone doesn't come to the door, we begin the process of calling family contacts, so these people do not fall through the safety cracks,” Tvaroha said. “So many family members are out-of-state, and their loved ones have found us through our website to care for their elderly parents.” Another vital support service the Senior Center offers is an adult day care for patients suffering from dementia and their caregivers. “Respite care for caregivers is critical, as is the actual structured therapeutic day care,” she said. The other half of the building is a fitness center for active seniors and enrichment programs. With over 20,000 of the people living in Bloomfield Township eligible to use the Senior Center—fully half of the township's residents—which is available to any resident age 50 and over, it is a vibrant, busy, and vital component to the community. “Social interaction is key to brain health and well-being,” Tvaroha said. “It helps the brain to be resilient to the challenges that occur in aging. Open only since July, 2009, it came about from a 2004 township senior services millage, good for 10 years. The current millage rate for senior services is .2439 mills. A mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of a property's taxable value, which is generally equal to half of a property's market value. The owner of a property with a taxable value of $100,000 ($200,000 market value) would pay $243.90 in taxes for senior services. Township Supervisor Dave Payne sees it as a wise investment for the township. “The demographics show that we do not see younger people moving into Bloomfield Township because we are mostly higher-end residential without a downtown. As a township, we've thought ahead.” “Six years later, with all of the changes in the federal and state levels of funding, we see how fortunate we are,” said Tvaroha. “Having tax dollars as our base makes us accountable to our residents, so that it is essential that we use the money in the best way possible to give our residents the best value possible.” She said the average age for the fitness center is 65; for programming it is around 70; and for services, it is 85 to 87. There is no fee for a township resident to join, as they already support the center via their millage, although there may be a fee for an extra service or program. “For any of our activities or clubs with a fee, a non-resident pays $10 extra,” she said. The exceptions are the fitness center and open swim, which are only open to residents. Birmingham Interim City Manager Joe Valentine said that his community's walkability and pedestrian-friendly accessibility makes it a destination for seniors, as well as people of all ages. “I like to think we have been preparing for quite a while, through all of the efforts at developing downtown, to create a walkable community,” he said. “We've created mobility with access to all of the offerings in the city. By making the community accessible to all ages, it is an enhancement to this age group.” Valentine noted that over the last decade there has been an increase in the variety and choice of housing stock in the downtown area. “This provides
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the opportunity for them to stay in the community that they have lived in and loved, and allows them access to the variety of offerings available within a walkable distance.” He emphasized that the retail establishments, restaurants, and civic offerings, such as the library, are available to people of all ages. “We're following the guidelines of the 2016 (Master) Plan, and catering to a diverse population,” he said. Valentine did acknowledge that one stumbling block some seniors may have with downtown Birmingham is the high price points of a majority of the new residences in the downtown area, besides Baldwin House. “We do know the key is that people would like to make the move to downtown Birmingham, but the price points may prohibit it,” Valentine said. “There are discussions under way to encourage and support more affordable housing within the community and into downtown, to create opportunities, and enhance what we have.” He said there are currently long term discussions in the works with local developers about creating more affordable housing in downtown, the Triangle District and other nearby areas, but the economy has cooled more active dialogue. “It's all timing,” he said. In contrast, Bloomfield Hills appears to be in denial that their population is, or could ever be, aging. “We haven't done anything. We're kind of denying it's happening,” said City Manager Jay Cravens. “The Damone project (The Woodward of Bloomfield Hills, a potential continuum of care independent living through skilled nursing care proposal) gave us an inkling of the public's denial. They don't even want a whiff of Ben Gay near them, or to think they, or their parents, are getting older.” The Woodward of Bloomfield Hills received strong public backlash when presented at the Bloomfield Hills City Commission in the winter of 2010; it finally received approval under a Planned Unit Development (PUD) in April 2010 by the commission despite the public's disapproval. The split decision of the commission led to the ouster of the city's former mayor, Dave Kellett, and the decision of another commissioner, John Utley, to not seek another term on the commission. Recently, the developer, Michael Damone of The Damone Group in Troy re-approached the city's Planning Commission and City Commission, requesting a revision to the PUD based on a complete redrawing of the plans. The redesign is much smaller, at 146 units, vs. over 200 units of independent living apartments, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing care. The exterior was also revised to reflect what Damone called a more “Bloomfield Hills” exterior. It is anticipated that the PUD will be approved by the city in February. The next hurdle Damone features is finding appropriate financing. Housing needs for seniors is the critical component that the county, and every local municipality, is faced with. The majority of the population wants to age in place—to live, and age, in the home that they have lived in throughout their adulthood, or where they currently reside. It is also significantly more cost effective to provide services to seniors in their own home as they age than to move them to a nursing home. “Aging in Place refers to older adults' preference to stay in their home as long as possible and delaying or avoiding institutionalized settings. Greater than 80 percent of individuals wish to remain in what they term the 'comfort of home,' however, changes in health, finances and lifestyle and neighborhood conditions can impact the decision to age in place,” said the Silver Tsunami report. “The ability to financially and physically maintain a home, manage stairs, transport outside the home, receive in-home care, and live safely are all issues to be considered. Many older adults gradually need increasing amounts and types of community-based supports and services.” The need to provide affordable support services and affordable living options is the critical need of the next decades. “Aging in place is a huge quality of life issue. Seniors want to stay as long
as they can stay involved in meaningful activities; transportation and mobility are key,” Wayne State professor Dr. Lichtenberg said. “Downsizing may be something they want, but so many are economically stalled in their ability right now because of the housing market.” He noted that key services to assist older adults stay in their homes, such as ride sharing, meal prepping, cleaning, and other assistance programs are essential, and communities could even phrase them as concierge service to make them more palatable to affluent seniors who need help. McGuire of the Area Agency on Aging said that it costs $60 a day to assist a person with nursing level care in their own home; it costs $185 per day per patient to be in a nursing home. My Choice, a program through the agency, is a program for lower income people who need nursing level care but want to stay in their own home. “We have more than 600 people on a wait list for this program,” McGuire said. “If they don't receive the help, some may end up in a nursing home. Some families will do whatever it takes to prevent that. But we have very little affordable assisted living in the county.” Assisted living facilities that provide modest levels of living assistance while allowing residents to maintain their own high level of independence are an important, and less cost-prohibitive option, to nursing homes for most older citizens. Continuum of care developments—large scale developments, like the proposed The Woodward of Bloomfield Hills—will become more desirable as boomers age, because people can go from independent apartments to assisted living to nursing care within the same development. Many elderly consumers will see the value and ease to these living communities. “Psychologically, congregate living will give a lot of independence to the residents,” said Oakland University's McGinnis. “It becomes a community people enjoy living in. They offer multiple levels of care, working with people to have as much autonomy as possible. I think it could be more fun for them live at one of these, than staying in their own home.” The key need within Oakland County, as baby boomers age in the coming years, is for more affordable housing. In 2030, less than 20 years from now, 21 percent of the county will be considered elderly, with medical needs and disabilities tied into housing. When the economy reaches a stage of growth once again, it will provide an opportunity for developers and builders to create and build alternative housing for the elderly, primarily affordable housing. Oakland County also will have to recognize they will have a surplus of existing homes on the market, as the seniors entering other housing options will sell their homes. At the cusp of the boomers turning 65, Oakland County has done a lot of preparation, and is in the throws of getting ready for the future. They are working to help reshape health care as a change to the demographics, the needs, and the financial cuts. “We have a lot of resources, but often, people don't know about them, or how to access them,” said Commissioner Zack. “I'd like to see more connectivity between the providers. I keep hearing from people how difficult it is to help their parents. There should never be a wrong entry point to getting help. You shouldn't have to make 10 phone calls to get assistance. And if you're 85, chances are you don't know how to use the web or voice mail.” She emphasized that the Silver Tsunami is here now. “It's going to change the face of everything we know, every service, every aspect of infrastructure. But preparations are being made,” she said. “For example, in the Oakland County Park System, which is large and lovely, there will need to be changes, because as we are aging, and we're walking the trails, we need more benches to stop and rest. “It's efforts towards thinking of different ways to accommodate the population. The goal is to make as many changes as possible now by moving the needle despite changes and shortfalls in government resources.”
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David Hirsch fter 16 years in Los Angeles, writer, producer and actor David Hirsch returned to his hometown of Birmingham with an impressive breadth of work, and he found that Hollywood followed him home. “It’s a little different here than Los Angeles because there aren’t as many roles,” said Hirsch. “But since this film incentive has come, they’ve been shooting a lot of motion pictures in town and I’ve been able to explore this again.” Hirsch wrapped the movie “Another Happy Day” in Rochester this past September. “The film was directed by Sam Levinson and stars Demi Moore,” said Hirsch. “That was a great opportunity and a great cast.” The all-star cast also includes actors Kate Bosworth, Ellen Barkin, George Kennedy, Ellen Burstyn, Ezra Miller and Thomas Haden Church. “I play Ellen Barkin’s brother-in-law. Three generations of a family come together for a wedding.” The film, which doesn’t yet have a release date, premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January and Hirsch was in attendance. “It’s been really exciting,” he said. While Hirsch said his knack for performing was evident early on when he worked on the radio show at his alma mater, Seaholm High School, his career in acting was serendipitous. Upon graduating from Michigan State University with a concentration in telecommunications, Hirsch departed for California, where he initially worked as a writer and producer. “I got my first television job working for Dick Clark on Dick Clark Productions,” he said. “I was working there as a writer at the time and I kind of fell into (acting). The first job I got in front of the camera was replacing Dick Clark on American Bandstand.” Hirsch went on to appear in “Days of Our Lives” and “The Practice,” a legal drama, but eventually found that he was ready to return to his midwestern roots to embark on a new chapter in his life as husband and father. “Being back in Birmingham after so many years has been great,” he said. “I’m a producer and I have a creative shop in Birmingham called Lean Creative,” said Hirsch. “I write and produce for television and commercials. I just completed two different shows for the Discovery Channel.” Additionally, Hirsch has produced Noodlebug, a line of DVDs and children’s books. “It’s a lot of different things to juggle,” he said. “But the great thing about working for yourself is that you can balance your time, hours and the projects that you take.” While Hirsch said that his main focus is writing and producing, he hopes the state government will continue to see the value in offering the film industry incentives to film in Michigan. “I see young people graduating who are extremely creative and they take off. This industry, if allowed to grow, will keep creative people here in Michigan.” While the opportunities are limited, Hirsch intends to take on any roles that would help him build his body of work. “That would be the icing on the cake.”
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PRIVATE SCHOOLS ENROLLMENT NUMBERS LOOKING BETTER BY LISA BRODY
he Great Recession of recent years has been difficult for many families who prize education, as private and parochial schools' tuition became less attainable for some families, causing some to either pull their child, or put off enrolling them. Yet, as the economy begins sputtering lightly back, local schools are seeing enrollment numbers reach all-time highs. Other independent schools are surprised to look back and find their numbers never dipped as much as they had expected. Anecdotal evidence from admissions directors point to a desire by parents to make whatever sacrifice necessary to provide the education they desire for their child, coupled with a new dissatisfaction on the part of some with local public education caused by funding cuts by the state legislature.
By definition, an independent school is one that is governed independently and does not receive any financing by local or national government sources, and is instead funded by a combination of tuition charges, gifts, and in some cases, the investment yield from an endowment. The Internal Revenue Service recognizes them as non-profit 501 (c)(3) organizations. An independent, or private school, is governed by a board of directors that is elected by independent means which ensures it is an independent operation. To educators in the U.S., independent school and private school are used interchangeably. While independent schools are not subject to governmental oversight or regulation, they are accredited by the same six regional accreditation agencies that accredit public schools. The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) is a membership organization of American pre-college independent schools, and Independent Schools Association for the Central States (ISACs) is the organization which Michigan private schools are accredited by. A parochial school is one that engages in religious education in addition to a secular education. A parochial school receives no government funds but often receives subsidizing or funding from its religious community, and can be found most frequently in Catholic, Lutheran, Jewish, Islamic and fundamentalist communities. “Our schools were not significantly impacted by the recent economic downturn. I'm amazed. There has been very little decrease (in enrollment),” said Dick Halsey, Executive Director of the Association of Independent Michigan Schools (AIMS), of which the Academy of Sacred Heart, Cranbrook Schools, Detroit Country Day Schools, Eton Academy, Frankel Jewish Academy, Hillel Day School, The Roeper School and University Liggett School, a mix of independent and parochial schools, are all participants. Halsey attributes it to “the significant number of parents who just go to independent schools; there are others who just choose independent schools.” He noted that there are certain elements that these parents are choosing, first of which is small classes in which teachers know the students as individuals, and can serve as role models and guides to the students. The teachers are often able to have individual flexibility in curriculum development, allowing for a more personal, customized education. He said many AIMS schools offer more challenging course work taught by specialists in their field, and offer a wider choice of elective and special classes than local public schools. This can foster a close-knit community with high expectations for the academic and personal success of the students. There is also often a partnership between home and school regarding communication, and the school community can be more diverse, with an emphasis on exploring and enhancing mutual differences and similarities. That is not to say that there has not been any financial impact to any member schools. “Economically, there are some families who have not been impacted, yet are worried about what's happening. Then there are some who have been devastated economically,” Halsey said. Susan Murphy, Director of External Affairs for Detroit Country Day Schools, noted they have been taken aback to find very little difference in enrollment figures in the last several years. “We expected to be hit by the economy, and we were prepared. Then we were pleasantly surprised that interest in a Country Day education has remained strong, even for families struggling economically. They are still recommitting to the value of a Country Day education,” she said.
From top: Detroit Country Day, Cranbrook Schools, Roeper.
“We are currently at capacity for 2010-2011, with 1,601 students. We're right where we would like to be. And we're just about even to a few years ago. In 2006-2007, we had 1,592 students. In between, it might have gone up or down 10 students, but it has stayed pretty even,” she said. “We had expected it to be a challenge, and families are not applying as early, but by September, they all fill up.” The sharpest difference that Murphy finds is the admissions cycle has changed; what had been a defined admissions period of applying in the fall, with admittance in January through March, has changed. “Now it's a 12-month period. We get applications every single month, and we now do rolling admissions. We just admitted a couple to start in January (2011),” she said. Current tuition at Detroit Country Day School for grades 9-12 is $24,700. Younger grades are slightly less expensive, and there is a half-day pre-kindergarten program. Detroit Country Day does not offer merit-based scholarships. Drew Miller, Director of Admissions at Cranbrook Schools, has also been pleasantly surprised by the sustained interest in Cranbrook. “We're seeing more applicants than ever before, and we have our highest attendance in the history of Cranbrook, at 1,655 across all divisions,” he said. “I think we've been fortunate that our parents really value our education. We have a 95 percent retention rate. That's a huge sign that our school is healthy.” With a tuition this year at $24,450 for a 9-12th grade day student (they also have boarding students from across the United States, and the world, at a higher fee), Miller noted that, “more people have been applying for financial aid, both new and returning families. About 30 percent of students receive some sort of financial aid.” Miller said that 99 percent of financial aid is needbased, not merit-based. “A vast majority of our families have to make a significant adjustment to their budget to send their children to Cranbrook,” he said. Chris Ciajne, Principal of St. Regis School, said the school has actually benefitted from the recent economic downturn. “We ironically have seen a significant increase in enrollment in the last five years—a 30 percent increase in enrollment since 2005, and I can theorize as to why,” he said. “In fall 2005 we cut the ribbon on a state-of-the-art, technological middle school. The economy has no doubt forced many Country Day and Cranbrook families to consider a less expensive but comparable education. We have had 12 to 15 families specifically come over from Country Day because of the cost difference, and have told us that they find out our technology at the new Middle School is on par with what they had experienced.” Ciajne said in 2004, St. Regis, which educates students Pre-K through grade 8, the school had 387 students, and they currently have 500 students. Tuition for in-parish families is around $6,500; for out-of-parish families, tuition is $8,500. He said very few families receive financial aid, and those are handled between the family and the pastor, without his knowledge. Some schools in the area have stepped up their efforts to let people know what they have to offer. The Roeper School has increased their marketing efforts recently to inform families that they are a school for gifted children. “Our enrollment did drop three years ago, due most certainly to the local economy,” said Roeper's Director of Admissions/Marketing Lori Zinser. They currently have 571 students, with six students beginning Jan. 20, 2011, for the school's second semester. “We have a 2 percent increase in enrollment over last year, and we're even to
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five years ago. We are putting more time and energy into how we market our school, and we have had to increase our financial aid and support that we give our enrolled families to meet their financial needs.” Zinser said that 35 percent of their families currently receive some sort of financial aid support. Current high school tuition is $21,650. Anne Van Prooyen, Director of Admissions at Frankel Jewish Academy, said the school has seen a definite impact in attendance due to the economic climate. “At the peak, four years ago, we were at 226 students; now, we're at 209 students. We have been below 200. Right now, there's a positive buzz, and after the school year started this fall, we were still admitting students,” she said. She noted that their fall and winter admission season has been especially strong for next year, having seen 80 potential students at this point. “I'm getting a cold call every day” Frankel Jewish Academy, which is strictly for grades 9 through 12, has a current tuition of $18,850. Van Prooyen said, “more families are asking us for help, or if we can partner with them.” She said close to 50 percent of families are receiving some level of financial aid. “It used to only be at 38 percent,” she noted. Judy Martin, who handles admissions at St. Hugo of the Hills, which has kindergarten through 8th grade, said they are definitely down compared to 10 years ago, and slightly down compared to five years ago. “We currently have 690 students in grades K-8. Ten years ago, there was a time when we always had 800 students. It's a combination of economics and demographics,” she said. “Demographically, there are fewer people moving into town for jobs. The people who are committed to a Catholic education are making the sacrifices to send their children to our school.” She noted that less than 5 percent of their families ask for and receive financial aid. There are two rates for tuition; as a member of the parish, tuition for one student is $4,625; tuition for a non-member is $5,650. There are discounts for second and third (or more) children. Barb Lopiccolo, Director of Admissions at Academy of the Sacred Heart, said “These are very difficult times. 2009-10 was our lowest in 12 years. We worked hard to keep our families. We listened to parents concern, asked what more can we do to help their children, worked on an individual education approach, and sometimes, we're helping people through a tuition assistance program.” Currently there are just over 500 students, from 9 weeks to 2 ½ in a new preschool through high school. High school tuition this year is $20,000; 17 percent of families are receiving some help with tuition this school year. Lopiccolo said they also instituted a multiple child discount for the first time. “Demographics are a big problem, too. We're still in a population dip. They told us years ago it was coming, but when it combined with the economy, it was a challenge,” she said. “We're also not gaining as many people moving into the area as we have had in the past.” Brother Rice High School has seen enrollment rise in the last few years, and then stay steady, with a current enrollment of 692 boys in grades 9 through 12. The reason, Co-Director of Admissions Brian Kalczynski said, is that there has been a greater effort at getting the word out to appropriate families. Kalczynski, an alum whose father has taught at the school for 39 years, said, “The reason is I love Brother Rice. I know what Brother Rice can offer young men.” Seeing so many qualified families needing financial assistance fortified Kalczynski and a friend to start a scholarship fund in their fathers' name—the Ron Kalczynski/Chain Sandhu Scholarship—which has already raised $100,000. “It helped five families this year,
From top: Frankel Jewish Academy, St. Regis, Brother Rice.
and should help three to five families next year. We hope to raise up to $1 million in the next eight years, and establish an endowment at $25,000 at Brother Rice, and have it in perpetuity.” Kalczynski said about 25 families per class—100 families total—are receiving need-based financial aid currently on the $10,100 tuition. They each receive between $1,000 and $4,000. Admissions directors say that a chief reason each of the schools is seeing a rise in admissions requests is a parental perception that public schools are not satisfying them, largely due to recent state legislative cuts. The School Aid Fund saw cuts in per pupil state subsidies of $165 per K-12 student to every public school district in fiscal year 2010, as well as the complete abolishment of the 20j entitlement districts, of which Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills had been, by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Fiscal year 2010 brought a minimal increase of funds due to federal stimulus dollars, which were a onetime infusion into Michigan's budget. It is projected that the upcoming budget will bring far more severe cuts to K12 education. Additionally, due to declining enrollment coupled with budget cuts, Bloomfield Hills closed two of their five elementary schools, and realigned the configuration of some of their middle schools. “There are four or five families in Birmingham schools that have recently expressed that they are not happy with their schools,” said St. Hugo's Martin. “Another family, whose child was in a Bloomfield Hills' school, is here, and their child is thriving. He is so happy, and they're sorry they didn't move him sooner.” Frankel Jewish Academy's Van Prooyen is definitely hearing from dissatisfied public school parents. “I am hearing from a lot of parents, especially Farmington Hills parents, which has combined a lot of schools and cut programs, saying there are 35, 40 kids average in a class. There are a lot of 9th graders visiting for 10th grade. They feel very comfortable here because it's very intimate, and they've been very cramped,” she said. “Anecdotally, I'm hearing some parents telling me they are not happy with the sizes of their child's classes in public schools,” said Sacred Heart's Lopiccolo. “When you go from five elementary schools to three in Bloomfield Hills, you're going to get larger classes. These are parents who have high expectations. We have 15 kids in a class, vs. 33 in some public schools.” “I wouldn't call it a benefit, but definitely many families are coming to us because they are dissatisfied because of their public school environment,” said Zinser of Roeper. “Often, their children are just bored. They are not doing meaningful work. Their class sizes are large, and there is no personalized instruction. They are often needing to 'pay-to-play' for any extras, or have had to make cuts in arts or athletics. We expose them to the benefits of a multicultural world.” Cranbrook's Miller concurs. “People are coming in and saying they're concerned about their current school, public or private, and the real or proposed cuts. We have full-time faculty, and we've maintained all of our programming. People say my child is number one in their school and bored.” “From both public and private school parents, they are expressing dismay in cuts in programming and fees for participation,” agreed Country Day's Murphy. “There is also a great deal of concern about class size. Each family is different, but each family gets to their breaking point. They realize how competitive college can be, and they want to give them their child the advantage. A lot of parents are looking for academic, athletics and arts in an education. They like that our faculty is all full-time, and that we are adding programs, from a sailing program to a conservatory program.”
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EDUCATION Consultants present report to community By Lisa Brody
Fielding Nair International, a school consulting group chosen by the Bloomfield Hills Board of Education to help the district determine the future of their high schools and the path they should follow in best reaching voters in the district, came back with a 234-page document which was presented Jan. 11 during a special meeting. The document touched on everything from focus group findings to the reasons for the bond failures and the schisms in the community to their recommendations for the future. A chief conclusion reported in the document is that a lack of trust and openness in the board of education on the part of the community, in addition to a “blank check” mentality on the board's part, led to defeat of a bond proposal in November which would have allowed the district to build a new high school on the grounds of Andover High School, combining the populations of Andover and Lahser high schools. Consultants Prakash Nair and Randy Fielding presented their findings, which is a result of online surveys, focus groups held in November and December, workshops, and town hall meetings also held in November and December to gather and “listen to every voice and every opinion” in the school community, and to let all who wanted to “voice their concerns and aspirations” for the future of Lahser and Andover high schools, the report said. The entire document can be found online at http://www.bloomfield.org/files/strate gic_planning/discovery_report.pdf. Nair and Fielding said that when they began working with the district, they quickly saw that the community was very divided. One side, they said, would prefer to have two schools, and the other, one combined school. However, they noted that both sides clearly “have the best interest of the students and the community at large at heart.” “Despite suspicions to the contrary expressed by those on either side of the issue, FNI did not find evidence that this 'fight' was being downtownpublications.com
Say you love her with a Valentine’s gift that sparkles. fought on ideological grounds,” the document said. According to both Nair and Fielding, the one-high-school plan on the Andover campus would be a better choice in terms of administrative costs. The price of construction is estimated to range from $83.1 million, which would create a renovated, single campus at Andover's campus with its current building, to $94 million, which would keep both buildings open and update each. Due to construction costs, the one-high-school choice would realize up-front savings of $11 million, as well as yield operational savings yearly because there would be energy savings in the new building. Fielding Nair's report calls both Andover and Lahser antiquated and dysfunctional, with “inherent and significant architectural (and) engineering flaws,” However, they said that as part of its analysis that “there is no compelling reason” to have one school instead of two. At the same time, the organization’s analysis said that keeping two schools open also means 113,000 in unneeded square feet. One school would be best used at 313,000 square feet, according to the analysis. A suggestion in the report is to create “at least two academies” that could be housed within a new high school, which could address concerns by Lahser parents that Lahser would be absorbed by Andover. This way, the two schools could maintain their own identities despite being housed on the same campus. Fielding and Nair emphasized that “Every effort must be made to preserve the name and history of Andover and Lahser.” The also recommend creating a series of “mini-academies” for technology, engineering, broadcast journalism and media, environmental sciences, graphic arts, photography, music and fine arts, architecture and other subjects of student interests. A Community Partnership Meeting for members of the community wishing to serve and work on this project was to be held at the end of January and volunteers from the community can call 248.341.5424, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Men & Women 02.11
CREEM REMEMBERED National rock magazine made Birmingham home
Upper left, the first issue of CREEM; at right the second issue. Below, underground cartoonist R. Crumb’s ‘Boy Howdy’ logo
olling Stone magazine is now the grande dame of music magazines, having outlasted and outclassed most of its competition. But in the beginning, it was launched in San Francisco in 1967 as a hippie counterculture rag celebrating the music of those who professed peace through signs BY LISA and urged the world to make love not war. CREEM was another beast. It was crude, rude, sarcastic, and appealed to the rough and tumble world of blue collar autoworkers. CREEM began in Detroit, and represented the rock 'n' roll music of those who lived hard and partied even harder. As the late legendary CREEM reporter Lester Bangs once said, according to former editor Bill Holdship, "Grossness is the true criterion for rock 'n' roll. The cruder the clang and grind, the more fun." “It was an anti-West Coast kind of thing. It was a necessary evil, being in Detroit, because we couldn't have all that peace, love stuff,” said Robert Matheu, a former photographer and staffer who authored a controversial book, CREEM: America's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine in 2007. “Being from Detroit is a state-of-mind, just like CREEM was a musical state-of-mind.” And CREEM, a national magazine celebrating the rough-and-tumble world of hard-core rock 'n' roll music over two
decades, was located in Birmingham for most of its tenure. CREEM was started by Barry Kramer and Tony Reay in March 1969, during a strike by the two dailies, BRODY The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. Working out of a small office in the Cass Corridor, “they started hawking CREEM on the streets during the strike—that's how it all began,” said former assistant editor (1976-1980) Linda Barber Roach. Finding an audience who wanted to read about the music they were listening to, the magazine quickly gained a local following and began publishing monthly. Their iconic logo was designed by cartoonist Bob Wilson, and underground cartoonist Robert Crumb (R. Crumb) reportedly drew the “Boy Howdy” and “Mr. Dreamwhip” icons for $50. After they were held up at gunpoint in Detroit, Kramer moved the staff to a farm in then-undeveloped Walled Lake, where the group lived in a commune-like setting for a couple of years. After learning the FBI had them under surveillance for possible revolutionary activities, they moved to offices in Birmingham above the Birmingham Theater, where they remained for years.
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“What was so cool was the location in Birmingham, right above the old Birmingham Theater,” said Roach. “On the right, when you went up the stairs was this dentist's office, and maybe a law firm. The rest of the floor was CREEM. It was all still from the '30s and '40s, with heavy wood, frosted glass. Think Walter Winchell. And then there was us.” By “us”, Roach refers to Kramer, editors Dave Marsh and Susan Whitall, staff photographer/art director Charlie Auringer, herself, circulation director Ric Siegel, senior editor Jaan Uhelszki, and Bangs. Reay left the magazine shortly after it was founded. Staff and contributors read like a who's who of a generation of rock writers, critics, photographers and artists: Robert Matheu, Lisa Robinson, Patti Smith, R. Crumb, Cameron Crowe, Penny Valentine, Ben Edmonds, Billy Altman, Nick Tosches, Wayne Robins, Richard C. Walls, Robert Christgau, Georgia Christgau, Richard Meltzer, Richard Riegel, Rick Johnson, Joe Stevens, Nick Kent, John Morthland, Greg Shaw, Ed Ward, Lenny Kaye, Howard Kaylan, Stanley Mouse, Billy Altman, and numerous others. “Marsh saw us as foot soldiers in the counterculture revolution and Lester just saw us as Bozos on the bus. We used to say CREEM was a cross between Mad magazine and Esquire. Marsh and Lester were largely responsible for maintaining that delicate balance between the absurd and the profane,” Uhelszki told Holdship, in an article in Metro Times. Kramer ruled over his motley crew with a mixture of brilliance, moodiness, arrogance and an impudent, flippant sense of humor which took no captors. “I loved Barry,” said Roach. “He could be kind of temperamental, but he could be very kind. He knew I had had a rough childhood, and we'd have editorial meetings, and spit would fly. Then he'd get very quiet and come over and kiss me on the forehead. That was Barry. “Other days, he'd be very moody. He would call people to his desk and ask them what they were doing there,” she said, with a touch of humor and admiration in her voice. “You have to be insane—or have a touch of borderline insanity—to have the balls to do this and create what he created. There as a great respect for him. We had job to do, we were a good team, and we did it well. We were all committed to Barry and his vision, and the approach to music that he had. We were all dedicated to music, and primarily rock 'n' roll. We weren't Rolling Stone, which veered off into some other areas. And we were glad of that. Barry, and therefore CREEM, took an irreverent look at rock 'n' roll. He loved music, and he didn't want to clutter up the book with politics. The whole purpose of doing what we were doing, from his point, was to pay homage to the artists he admired and the music he loved.” “Alice Cooper once said the people of Detroit would leave the factory in jeans and leather jackets, pick up their beer, and head to a concert and scream their heads off,” said Robert Matheu. “They work hard in the factory, and go listen to loud screaming rock 'n' roll. That's who CREEM was for.” “Barry was a funny guy, sarcastic, who had a great sense of humor,” recalled former editor Dave DiMartino. “He had a real wacky sense of humor which stemmed from being the man at the top. He wasn't very focused, but that was part of his
charm. He was a creative fellow. I had no problem with him. However, it's tough to be close to someone who is the entrepreneur. When they become an icon, they're ruthless.” DiMartino said that his only complaint was that he was too hands on. “He knew what the right elements were for the magazine at that point. The right elements were a combination of knowledge of the music, a real love of it, almost a romantic attachment to all kinds of music. There was great humor at work. And then there was the strangeness of the time. We were working with the biggest stars in music at the time who were wearing weird clothes and big puffy hair. “And in contrast to today, there was a real community feel in the music community,” he added. Roach came to CREEM from a totally different world; she had just returned from 10 years of working in New York City in publishing at Conde' Nast, working at Mademoiselle and Glamour magazines. “I had never heard of CREEM magazine. I was into Cheryl Tiegs and all these models,” she recalled. “It was quite a culture shock, a total mind
people were so impressed that I had worked in New York at fashion magazines. “These days, they're pretty unimpressed by that. They're way more impressed by CREEM.” For Roach, the magic ended when Barry Kramer died of a drug overdose in 1981. “It was fun—how could you not have fun—it was rock n'roll! Too bad he fucked it up.” Barry's wife Connie tried to hold it together, but as she said, “I came from the publishing side, the marketing end.” She gives all her kudos to Susan Whitall for keeping CREEM the strong editorial magazine it remained, although she said, “There was no CREEM for me after Barry died.” Iconic writer Lester Bangs, who was immortalized in the movie Almost Famous by former CREEM writer Cameron Crowe and was played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, died nine months after Kramer, also of a drug overdose. He had had a rift with the editors over editing, and died broke. Today, some question the brilliance of his writing, but as Holdship pointed out, just as Elvis' brilliance has to be seen in the context of his time, so should Bangs'. “He was one of my idols as a kid,” said Holdship. “I never met him, but nobody would still be talking about CREEM magazine today
Above, photographer Robert Matheu with Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders at the Fox Theatre in 1984; Editor Dave DiMartino with Lene Lovich, 1979. Photos by Robert Matheu.
blower, working there. The first thing Barry asked me was 'what do you drink?' I said, 'Dewar's Scotch White Label.' The next day, there was a bottle for me on my desk, as well as everyone else's favorite drink on theirs. However, we never partook until it was deadline and we were working late into the night.” Roach recalled that she had quite a learning curve coming to work for this hard-core rock magazine after the more genteel and ladylike mags she had been working at in New York. “The first concert I was sent out to cover was an opening act at the Royal Oak Music Theater. It was Joan Armatrading (a British jazz/pop singer), who I had never heard of. Then I asked my sister if she wanted to stay and see the main act, who I was also unfamiliar with. It was Billy Joel. He was just magnificent.” Roach said, looking back, the magazine business was the same, even if the environments were strikingly different. “It was quite a learning curve, but publishing is publishing, word count is word count; it all comes out in the wash. What's so funny now, is that when I came home (then),
without him. But he was a druggie and an alchie for a long, long time.” Holdship referred to him as a “walking Physician Desk Reference.” Connie moved the offices across the street to plusher offices in the former Continental Market building, where today there is a Chase Bank, Max & Erma's, Schubot Jewellers and South Bar. She kept it going for four years, and then sold it to Arnold Levitt. Levitt eventually moved the magazine to Los Angeles in 1987, with Kordosh and Holdship moving with the magazine. It ceased to publish in 1989. “Connie did as best as she could, but she had a hard time of it,” said Holdship. “She was taking care of it for her son (J.J., who was six when Barry died), who had inherited it. I used to have a band, and she came and heard it, and we played '99 Tears,' and we were always close after that.” “The era of CREEM, when CREEM was in Birmingham, was the greatest time of the magazine,” said former editor John Kordosh, who
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now lives in Simi Valley, CA, working once again as a chemist, his original career. “When we were there, we captured the gestalt of rock music. We were funnier, and more professional. It was the best journalism CREEM produced.” CREEM became a national magazine during those days, when they figured out how to provide circulation on a greater scale than just around the metro Detroit area. Arrogantly proclaiming itself “America's Only Rock 'N' Roll Magazine” on its masthead, the geographical separation from the rest of the music industry worked in CREEM's favor and added to the irreverence the editors and writers had towards not only music, but themselves. It purportedly was a “so, you think your so great?” punch at Rolling Stone magazine, which had become much more self-serious, and was branching out into politics, movies, and other topics. “CREEM had a personality, calling people's bluff, it's priceless tone, which was it's personality,” said Dave DiMartino, who was editor from Aug. 1979 to Oct. 1986. He is now music editor for Yahoo. “It was the best publication in America at the time in the music industry because they established a relationship between the readers and the musicians and the music they were doing. CREEM established a real bond and created a community with common interests, which back then was very rare. A lot of artists would talk to me about riding their bikes to the 7-11 to get the latest issue of CREEM and a Slurpee. In those days, if you wanted to find out what was happening in music, you had to read a magazine. For many, it was CREEM.” Kurt Cobain once stated to RIP Magazine that he had first learned about punk rock, which
CREEM coined, from reading CREEM as an adolescent. The magazine was known for giving exposure to artists like Lou Reed, David Bowie, The Clash, Blondie, Roxy Music, The New York Dolls, R.E.M., The Cure, The Smiths, Kiss, Judas Priest, Van Halen, Motorhead, and others before the mainstream press touted them.
DiMartino noted this was in the relatively quieter days before MTV came on the music scene, and changed music, and the dissemination of both music and information about the artists, forever. “There was so much more reverence towards music and musicians then,” agreed former coeditor Bill Holdship, who worked for the magazine, first as a freelancer beginning in 1980, and then as an editor from 1981 until its demise in 1988. He later became Metro Times' music critic until the summer of 2010. “I grew up reading it and loving it. I studied magazine journalism at Michigan State University, and when I started at CREEM, I thought I never wanted to work anywhere else.” Holdship said the key to CREEM's longterm
success lay in its sarcastic tone and in it's humorous approach not only towards the music, but towards the musicians themselves. “We were more irreverent and funny towards the artists. We made as much fun of ourselves as anyone else, which is the only way to do it without being an asshole,” he said. “It was a combination of irreverence, snarkiness and irony, which other magazines may have tried, but they were always lame. Most others make fun of others at the expense of others. CREEM was hey, we're just a bunch of drunken buffoons, so we can make fun of you, too.” John Kordosh, who was co-editor with Holdship from 1981 to 1988, agrees. “At its core, we were all
Left, Patti Smith, The Masonic in Detroit 1979. Above, members of the Ramones, MC5, the Stooges. Photos by Robert Matheu.
into the humor aspect. I thought it should be the funniest magazine in America. My favorite thing to do in the magazine was to write the irreverent captions, which often had no relevance to the photos. But we really had a fairly good reputation as a music magazine. All of the musicians knew CREEM, and they wanted to be in it. In those days, we didn't have a huge subscription base, but kids
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got it at newsstands. There were limited resources for musicians to reach their audience—don't forget, this predates MTV. We enjoyed a certain cache', along with Circus and Rolling Stone.” Kordosh said the decade of the '80s, before they moved to L.A., when the magazine was under his, DiMartino and Holdship's care, may have been it's best. It certainly was it's most profitable, with its highest newsstand and subscription sales. “We had, and I give all credit to Dave DiMartino and Bill, a professional approach to putting out a magazine,” he said. “There were journalistic ethics, a love of music, and we, as a staff, knew how to behave appropriately. It was still pretty freewheeling, but it wasn't as crazed. It was still loose and fun and rock'n'roll. We were able to convey to the reader our love of rock music with a total irreverence. I believe what we produced was a real worthwhile effort and phenomenon for readers. “For example, the music we covered wasn't music we necessarily liked or listened to,” he continued. “We'd have Billy Idol or Madonna on the cover, and we hated their music. There was a lot of winking at the reader, and the hip readers got it. Our irreverence said, we're not really into this crap, but here's your Billy Idol story, because if you're a national magazine, you just have to do it. It's what gave CREEM a real nationally-recognizable approach. Something else about CREEM, wherever the editors had a voice, such as on the contents page, captions, letters to the editor, it would be freaking hilarious. The back page was called Back Stage; it was six pictures with six captions. It's some of the funniest shit I've ever read in my life. Then you'd read a story, and it wouldn't be quite as reflective as that voice. CREEM developed this editorial voice that hipper readers recognized.”
Iggy Pop, 1979 in Ann Arbor. Photo by Robert Matheu.
A recurring character, Binky, was a constant figure in captions, that Kordosh said was a hook and a wink throughout each issue. Then they moved out to L.A. and lost their vibe. Arnold Levitt, who had bought the magazine from Connie Kramer, moved it, thinking that it would place the editors and writers in closer proximity to the musicians. “Connie sold it to save it. She had been there since the Cass Corridor days,” said Holdship. “But Levitt came from the publishing side, and while he was a friend, he did not know the music business, and had no innate feel for music. It was the end of the chain.” “The move to L.A. was bad for the magazine. There's too much competition in L.A. Like Iggy Pop
said, 'You're in the belly of the beast,'” said Matheu. “When they (musicians) were in Detroit playing, they had nothing else to do but deal with the editors of CREEM magazine. Once MTV came along, bands didn't need CREEM anymore.” With the rise of MTV came public relations firms demanding access to certain writers, photographers and editors, insisting upon seeing questions first, making stars, and up-and-coming stars, look good, demanding, and receiving, control. “The industry changed,” said DiMartino. “Once upon a time, I was impressed with CREEM's status to get anyone. It's the kind of fame that comes regularly to anyone right now.” The last issue was published in 1989, although Robert Matheu and investors bought the name and rights to CREEM around 2000, and attempted a website, which ultimately shut down. He did publish a coffee table book about CREEM, which has proven to be controversial amongst some former staffers. It features dozens and dozens of photographs, some excerpts of articles, and memories. “CREEM set the tone for my career as a photographer, and for my taste for music,” Matheu said. “The book was from my perspective. The book is a celebration of the CREEM people who came before me, and who I worked with.” It's been 23 years since CREEM ceased publishing. The Birmingham Theater has been renovated, and the dentist who shared office space is no longer there, either. The Continental Market is but a memory for those who used to hang at Olga's when Olga and her kids served the real original and salad. But CREEM persists in the memories of those who devoured it as readers, for the musicians featured in it, and those who dreamed of being musicians.
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FACES Cindy Cheaves s president of the Cultural Council of Birmingham Bloomfield, Cindy G. Cheaves has helped immerse the community in the arts for the last 10 years. Although she initially moved to Bloomfield Township 20 years ago to start Maplewood Professional Services, an organization geared toward assisting businesses with their everyday needs, she quickly realized the influence art has on the sophisticated Birmingham and Bloomfield communities. “Art may not be something that people consciously think about, but if it’s not there, they notice it’s missing,” said Cheaves. “And, I think for anyone starting a business in Birmingham, volunteering and getting involved in an organization like the Cultural Council is a great way to meet people. For me, it gives me a great connection to the community.” Cheaves' tenure as president, beginning in 1999, was fortuitous for her. “I went to a meeting to volunteer to work at the Family New Year's Blast (formerly First Night) event, and they were in transition and needed someone to be the director of the event,” said Cheaves. “I volunteered for that position. Eventually Harriet Alpern and Wally Klein recruited me to the Cultural Council.” Alpern and Klein were originating members of the Cultural Council, according to Cheaves. As president of the council, Cheaves is involved in initiating funding opportunities for CityScapes, the Cultural Arts Awards, and the Family New Years Blast, a family-centered New Year's Eve celebration in and around Birmingham. The ability for these programs to come to fruition is made possible only through the support of the community, Cheaves pointed out. “For the Family New Year's Blast, Maggie Allesee has sponsored it every year. Without her help, we wouldn’t be able to do it,” she said. “We also had an individual who purchased a sculpture and donated it to CityScapes. We’re always looking for individuals and businesses to purchase (CityScapes art) so the pieces can remain where they’re at.” Cheaves is pictured in Birmingham with a steel, mixed media sculpture entitled “Journey Home” by Dennis Oppenheim. The piece is a temporary installation, but Cheaves hopes it will be purchased and donated to the city so that it can remain as a permanent fixture. As a business owner and president of the Cultural Council, Cheaves has little spare time, but recently acquired a new skill to apply to her Birmingham business. “I started studying handwriting analysis,” said Cheaves. “I’ve found it a valuable asset for businesses to use, and will be teaching it at my business in Birmingham.” In the meantime, she stresses the importance of keeping art at the forefront of the community. “Art and culture is an ingredient that can increase property values. If you have a place that people want to come to, it’s going to bring value.” Most importantly, Cheaves urges more residents to become involved with the Cultural Council. “I think that we have a lot of great things going on and nonprofits make that happen, but we’ve got to get more people to step in so we don’t lose what we’ve gained as far as events,” said Cheaves. “We’ve come through some tough times, but we have to keep everything going.”
Story: Katey Meisner
Photo: Laurie Tennent
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CITY/ TOWNSHIP Downsized senior housing approved A revised, downsized senior care housing development project, The Woodward of Bloomfield Hills, was approved by the Bloomfield Hills City Commission on Tuesday, Jan. 12, pending revisions to be made at the planning commission's February meeting. Michael Damone, president of The Damone Group, presented the downsized project for his continuum of care housing development. Damone had previously received approval for a planned unit development (PUD) in April, 2010, for the project, which will offer independent living apartments, assisted living, memory care for Alzheimer's patients and others suffering from dementia, and skilled nursing beds. The proposed project, at 41150 Woodward, is north of Long Lake Road, just north of Roeper School, and backs up to St. Hugo's of the Hills Catholic Church. The original PUD had up to 200 units, five floors with a sloping elevation, a grand elevation and drive, and met with great resistance from the community. Subsequently, Damone has had difficulty getting financing for the project. He does not currently own the property. He returned to the commission to request an amendment to the previous PUD agreement, and presented a sharply revised elevation, with Tudor-styling in red brick, a lower elevation and less units. “I believe the exterior elevation is now more compatible to what people in the community expect,” he told the commissioners. “We downscaled and significantly altered the elevations. It's now all two and three-story buildings, with traditional Bloomfield Hills architecture.” His site plan now proposes 146 units, of which 40 units would be for independent living apartments. There would be 20 skilled nursing beds, and a larger memory care unit, at 36 units. There would be 50 assisted living units at The Woodward. City Manager Jay Cravens said the planning commission, which had met just prior to the city commission meeting, had made five requirements to The Woodward's PUD amendment language, including to replace trees, financial assurances to demolish the building if it is not 75 percent or more complete, and if it reaches that point
and Damone could not financially finish, the city could get access to a letter of credit to finish the exterior. The commission requested Damone put up $1 million surety to cover the cost of finishing the exterior of the project. The commissioners said their concern is an unfinished large-scale project, like Bloomfield Park on Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Township. Damone said he has every intention of creating a finished project, and told the commissioners that his research points to a greater-than-ever need for senior housing. “The key thing is the financial initiative at this point,” he said. “While the markets are healing, there are some lenders entering. We're hoping for financing in the third quarter, end of third quarter of 2011, to begin construction summer of 2012, with an 18-month construction cycle, and one to two months for licensing, so we're two years out.” Mayor Mike McCready asked city attorney Bill Hampton when revisions requested by the planning commission would be available. “We'd be able to have it in February,” Hampton responded, at which point the commissioners approved the PUD amendment, subject to planning commission revisions. Commissioner Bob Toohey then made a motion, which was unanimously approved, to extend a moratorium against further PUDS in the city for another six months.
Filing date nears for May city election Three Bloomfield Hills city commission seats will be available at the May 3 election and the filing deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 4 p.m. Mayor Michael McCready and Commissioners Pat Hardy and Michael Zambricki all have seats that are coming due in May. According to City Clerk Amy Burton, each of the commissioners have pulled election filing packets, but none have filed yet for re-election. Requirements to file to be a city commissioner is an individual must be a resident of Bloomfield Hills for at least one year prior to the May election, must be a U.S. citizen, and must be a registered voter. Anyone interested in filing to be a commissioner can do so at Bloomfield Hills City Hall.
Baldwin, Bloomfield Hills considering partnership for library services aldwin Library in Birmingham has sent a letter to city officials in Bloomfield Hills, inviting them to consider a partnership arrangement with the library. “We would like to serve Bloomfield Hills on a contractual basis, the same as we do with Beverly Hills and Bingham Farms, not providing library cards for individuals,” said Baldwin Library Director Doug Koschik. “The specific details would have to be worked out, if they are even interested in meeting with us. I have not heard back yet from Bloomfield Hills.” Bloomfield Hills City Manager Jay Cravens said they had received the letter from Baldwin Library, which he said expressed the parameters the library would set for a partnership, such as fee schedules. Cravens initiated the conversation when he sent the library a letter in November expressing interest. Bloomfield Hills' residents have been without a library for seven years, when access to Bloomfield Township Library was severed over financial disagreements. Residents have been utilizing Troy's library for the last several years, but that library is scheduled to close due to the city's financial problems. In November, city residents voted down a proposal, 60-40 percent, to redevelop a contract with the Bloomfield Township Library and create an independent library board. “We have a potential interest in working on something with them,” Cravens said. He said he has directed Mayor Mike McCready and commissioner Pat Hardy, who have library responsibilities as part of their commission duties, to work with a committee Baldwin has set up to determine if an arrangement can be worked out for Bloomfield Hills' residents. Koschik said that Baldwin Library board members Andrew Harris and Ann Conigliaro will represent the library in those discussions. He said he is eager to hear back from Cravens as to the city's interest in furthering a dialogue between the two municipalities. “A contract with the city of Bloomfield Hills would assist Baldwin by offsetting the loss in tax and contract revenues from Birmingham, Beverly Hills and Bingham Farms due to declining property values, and by providing the library with the resources to continue quality services to all citizens in our service area,” Koschik said. “We currently serve 30,000 people in three communities. There are 4,000 people in Bloomfield Hills, which would be about a 12.8 percent increase in our service area. We can definitely handle that.” Cravens said he knows many residents would like access to a library, and they will have to determine the contractual arrangement the library has with the other communities “to see if we're in line with these other communities so we're not getting, or asking, for a sweetheart deal from the library.” Koschik said he would like to see a deal consummated as soon as possible, for the financial sake of the library, and the benefit of Bloomfield Hills' residents, but certainly before the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2011. “A contract with Bloomfield Hills would also solve the current problem of our having to turn away residents of the city, who are now denied services at Baldwin because they live in a community with neither a home library, nor a contract with a neighboring library,” he said. “Some of these people are, of course, school children. It should be noted that a portion of Bloomfield Hills is in the Birmingham School District, but Baldwin provides services based on the community where people live, not on the school they attend.” Any agreement would need to be approved by Bloomfield Hills' city commission and the library board.
Commissioners serve for two years, and are paid $5 a month, with a minimum of one commission meeting a month. Hardy, finishing her third term after first being elected in 2003, said, “At this point, I am planning on filing (for re-election). Right now, that is my
intention. There's more I want to accomplish. I don't want to leave until there's a library for our youth and our seniors.” McCready, who is finishing his second term, and Zambricki, who has been a commissioner since 1989, were unavailable for comment.
City long range planning meeting By Lisa Brody
Townhouse bistro receives approval By Lisa Brody
The Birmingham City Commission held its annual long range planning session Sat., Jan. 22, to determine its financial status and to look at issues it will likely undertake in 2011. Most of the city's departments, from finance to the police and fire departments, Principal Shopping District (PSD), engineering, clerk's office, planning and Baldwin Library made presentations to the commissioners. Some departments brought the commissioners up-to-date on what they have done in 2010, while others put forth programs that they would like to see implemented in the coming year. Sharon Ostin, the city's treasurer, gave a presentation on the city's financial forecast along with a representative from Plante & Moran, who does the annual audit. It was noted that while the general fund balance is continuing on a downward slide, they are more optimistic about the city's forecast than they have been for the last few years. “The last few years saw $10 million deficits in the city's general fund, and we no longer do,” said Plante & Moran's representative, noting that by 2015, the city could see a fund balance of $4.6 million in 2015. “You've created benefits on the expense side,” he continued. “The impact of those are flat right now, but the compounding effect of removing some of those are huge.” The city's decisions to leave some positions unfilled and to accept managers' decisions to voluntarily take pay decreases have helped. The irony, it was noted, is that in 2013, the revenue projected is less than the revenue actually received 10 years ago. “Compared to some other communities I'm working with, I think you should feel very good,” the Plante & Moran representative said. “Just remember there's still more work to be done. Your growth is mechanically limited, and your revenues are not.” Commissioner Mark Nickita commented that people realize that it's a different day, and that no one is going back to 2005. Chief Don Studt and assistant chief Mark Clemence made a presentation on combining police dispatch operations with Bloomfield Township, while emphasizing that
he Birmingham Planning Commission approved, by a 5-2 vote, Townhouse, a bistro proposed for 180 Pierce Street, which will now go before the Birmingham City Commission for approval of a bistro license on Monday, Feb. 14. The bistro, in the former Posh Couture and Simply Wine locations, is proposed to seat 50 inside the establishment, including 10 at a sumptuous, wood and red leather bar, and is designed to look out onto Pierce and Martin Streets and the newly renovated city hall. Plans call for 64 seats designated for outdoor dining wrapping around the building, which is a condominium building above the first floor. The prospective owner, Jeremy Sasson, a Birmingham resident, said he is seeking an “al fresco dining experience” with Townhouse. A raised platform would be constructed in one parking spot on Pierce in front of the current wine shop for outdoor dining, while tables would wind down Martin, overlooking city hall. A 400-square foot glass accordion wall addition facing Martin will provide an open air feel during inclement weather, and open completely during spring and summer months. On Pierce, floor-to-ceiling windows will open out to the street, bringing indoor diners out. A four-foot red overhang will protect outdoor diners. This fall, an addition to the space that previously housed Posh Couture was approved by the planning board. That space has been designed into the plans, created by noted restaurant designer Ron Rea of Ron and Roman LLC in Birmingham. The
they felt it was essential that the station in downtown Birmingham remain open. “We have seven full time dispatchers. One was laid off; one left. We have an opportunity now with Bloomfield Township,” Studt said. “Bloomfield Township would hire four out of five, and four of five have expressed an interest in going to Bloomfield Township. The township has interviewed three.
kitchen will be an open prep kitchen, with a proposed chef's table where guests can dine and watch the chefs cook. Sasson characterized Rea's design for the bistro as vintage contemporary with neighborhood friendliness, and said he hopes it will be a place diners of all different ages feel comfortable eating at often. He anticipates his menu,
city. The bistro must also have windows lining the street. “The goal is to bring something to the market that doesn't exist, or wasn't being done,” said Sasson, who is in real estate. “The name Townhouse was chosen because it is a reflection that it is in the center of town; it's big city meets neighborhood. “There's a restaurant in New
which he says will be a carefully culled 12-15 items, to be affordable for the marketplace. He said he and Rea have been constantly redesigning the bistro, seeking ADA-compliance for outdoor dining on the Pierce and Martin sidewalks, refining the concept to achieve his dream while working with the city's planners. Sasson said he hopes to be open this summer. Bistros have been allowed in Birmingham since 2007 under a special land use permit, which is a zoning ordinance. It permits up to two bistro liquor licenses to new businesses in the Central Business District (the downtown area), the Triangle area, or the Rail District each year. A bistro must conform to very specific criteria. There may be no more than 65 seats in the establishment, including no more than 10 seats at a bar. They must have a full service kitchen, and they can offer low-key entertainment. There must be outdoor seating, either on the sidewalk or on a raised platform in a parking spot, which is purchased through the
York's West Village that I love that I wanted to bring here,” Sasson continued. “Minetta Tavern. It's not at all pretentious. It has innovations in food fare. They have a dry-aged steak burger, for example, that's fabulous, that I hope to bring here. It's steak house caliber at lower prices.”
“The 911 system is easy,” he continued, “Everyone has the same system. Non-emergencies we can transfer to anyone. The downtown cameras are a tough nut. They benefit us greatly in real time, they pan and tilt. Replicating them there (Bloomfield Township) is very costly, because of ethernet connections and other details, but we're working on it. Prisoner transport is a big issue, too, because it takes people off of the road,
Cigar bar proposed for Birmingham By Lisa Brody
hurchill's Cigar Shop of Birmingham is seeking to operate a bistro with a cigar bar in the former Jennifer's Convertibles location at 116-118 S. Old Woodward, and to move their tobacconist operation to the same place. The restaurant and cigar bar would be called Churchill's, received approval from the city's planning board on Wednesday, Jan. 26 for a bistro license. It will now go before the city commission for final approval. According to planning department intern Matthew Baka,
and we'll have to work on that. The big problem is closing the building. “I'm going to part company with Plante & Moran (an accounting study done for the city). I think we need to keep the building open,” Studt said. “It provides a safe haven. Too many things happen here, exchange of child custody, too much happening downtown, too many late meetings. If we do not close the building, I do not think we need to change the cameras.
the entire restaurant would be a cigar bar, which is part of the model for the restaurant. According to the Michigan Smoke Free Law, which went into effect throughout the state May 1, 2010, in order to qualify for exemptions, which are casino gaming floors and cigar bars and tobacco specialty retail stores, cigar bars must file an affidavit for an exemption with the Michigan Department of Community Health on or before June 1, 2010 and must renew that exemption by Jan. 31 of each subsequent year. The cigar bar must also demonstrate that it generated 10 percent or more of its total gross annual income from the on-site sale of cigars and the rental of on-site humidors. Further, the cigar bar must be located on premises that are physically separated from any areas of the same establishment in which smoking is prohibited. There must be an on-site humidor. No minors under the age of 18 may be allowed in at any time that the cigar bar is operational. The only smoking permitted on the premises is cigars that are available for retail for at least $1 each. As Churchill's, the restaurant, intends to be an entire cigar bar, no minors would be permitted in the restaurant as a whole. The owner intends to relocate his retail establishment from 142 S. Old Woodward to the restaurant, combining the spaces. According to the state, he will need to update the Department of Community Health to update the exemption information. The smoking exemption, to permit smoking in the bistro, will have to be approved at the state level. As for the bistro application, the second bistro application for 2011, it states that it would be for American cuisine with several
The thing we need to decide on is personnel. If you commit we're not going to close the building, we can move forward (with consolidation). The only wrong decision is no decision.” PSD leasing consultant Julie Fielder showed a powerpoint she had created to present to retailers around the country “who knew Birmingham, but did not know what the area had to offer,” said John Heiney, executive
items unique to Churchill's, with 64 seats, eight at a bar, and 12 on the sidewalk close to the restaurant. The applicant is also proposing to renovate the existing façade with a new clear glass storefront on a marble sill, clear glass transom windows and the addition of marble façade treatment on a portion of the building to match the existing marble. In addition, they are proposing new signage and lighting, including cast stone lamp posts with glass shades, in keeping with the feel of the historic district, of which the building belongs. The business is scheduled to go before the historic design and signage review committee on Feb. 2. In its application to the city, the applicant has provided documentation from Charter One Bank indicating that Churchill’s cigar shop has $182,088 in liquid equity and no outstanding obligations to the city. Bistros have been allowed in Birmingham since 2007 under a special land use permit, which is a zoning ordinance. It permits up to two bistro liquor licenses to new businesses in the Central Business District (the downtown area), the Triangle area, or the Rail District. A bistro must conform to very specific criteria. There may be no more than 65 seats in the establishment, including no more than 10 seats at a bar. They must have a full service kitchen, and they can offer low-key entertainment. There must be outdoor seating, either on the sidewalk or on a raised platform in a parking spot, which is purchased through the city. The bistro must also have windows lining the street. The intent is to activate the streets of Birmingham.
director of the PSD. He said that in the last year, Fielder had identified the need for the PSD for national retailers with $1 million in annual sales which need 2,000 square feet; ones which prefer downtowns to malls; clothing, accessory, shoes, and home décor stores; counseled and advised landlords about retaining key tenants. such as Ann Taylor Loft. The planning department presented updates on the Future Land
Use Plan from 1980, 2016 Plan, Eton Road Corridor Plan and Triangle Plan, and planning director Jana Ecker and planning department intern Matthew Baka said their action list will consist of items from each that have not been completed, such as parking on Woodward between 14 Mile and Lincoln, and reviewing parking standards in the existing zoning and current conditions to determine which options are available to increase the potential for increased commercial viability of the properties in that area.said Baka. From the 2016 Plan, Ecker said the project prioritization will now focus on alleys and passageways. “There is the possibility to add life by adding artists markets and food vendors,” she said. Later in her presentation, she said, “We want to invigorate Birmingham's public spaces, make them more walkable. We want to clean them up, make them green things, increase their liveliness, add vendors, artisan markets, and food. We do not yet have a cohesive effort by landowners. But the Cafe Via passageway is a perfect example, where people want to walk through to go someplace, and there are things of interest. We're looking at different ways to work on that. We're looking at the current vendor ordinance, to try to work out the bugs. Originally we had talked about 7 to 12 locations, including the parks, and areas like in front of the Pierce Street parking deck, which is a dead area. “In the 2016 Plan, it does not call for vendors in Shain Park, but it does say food and beverages there would be a good idea. 2016 does call for a kiosk in Booth Park,” Ecker continued. She said they looked at what they already have, and many restaurants and retailers already have entranceways onto alleys. The PSD is not in favor of bringing in casual food vendors or artisans, as local restaurants and retailers pay rents and taxes, and this would be an unfair competition to merchants, noted Heiney. Ecker said she plans to propose two vendor locations to start, in front of the Pierce Street parking structure and the other at the Tokyo Sushi alley, with more to come later. Mayor Gordon Rinschler said, “We have to see about fees. “If you're opening in front of someone who's paying property taxes, you don't want to have everyone closing their stores and opening up carts.”
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Hamilton Room permit rejected Past performance and numerous police calls in 2010 helped defeat a resolution authorizing Birmingham's police chief to sign a new entertainment permit for Hamilton Room at 201 Hamilton in Birmingham at Monday, Jan. 24 city commission meeting. The owners of Hamilton Room also own Chen Chow at 260 N. Old Woodward, and by a close vote, 4-2, with commissioner Scott Moore absent, they did approve a resolution to allow Chen Chow to receive an entertainment permit. Both establishments have Class C liquor licenses, which allow them dancing (by patrons only), karaoke, and a band. An entertainment license permits other live entertainment, such as dancing by a performer or employees, comedians, magicians, pay-per-view events, DJs, and other entertainers. Kelly Allen, attorney for the owners of Chen Chow and Hamilton Room, said that an entertainment license is needed for special events being held at each establishment, such as for bar or bat mitzvahs, when there might be a DJ and dancers, Christmas parties, and other parties where people hire outside entertainers to come in to interact with their guests. Chen Chow has hired a dance troupe and a fire eater. The commissioners, looking through their packets of information, were disturbed to see the number and breadth of police calls made in the last year to each establishment, particularly to Hamilton Room. Allen said that at Chen Chow, the number of calls have gone down significantly. She said that at Hamilton Room, “they're doing better, they've hired a new manager. The owners are working really hard, and working with their staff. They do not like seeing incidents in the assaultive categories. These guys are very, very, very concerned, and trying to do the best they can and work with the police.” “I think they're asking for something special. If you ask for an extra benefit, you have to deserve it,” said commissioner Rackeline Hoff, noting there were 82 violations against Chen Chow, and 172 against Hamilton Room. City attorney Tim Currier advised
King convinced case is resolved By Lisa Brody
t's been 33 years in coming, but Barry King, whose son Timothy was a victim in 1977 of the Oakland County Child Killer, says he finally feels he knows who killed his son and three other preteens following court-ordered release of records held by law enforcement officials. King had been fighting to see documents and records acquired by law enforcement officials and prosecutors over the last three decades, convinced that a deceased Bloomfield Township pedophile, Christopher Busch, was the Oakland County Child Killer. After reviewing more than 3,400 pages of investigative records he gained access to via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, King said he is convinced Busch was the man who killed and sexually assaulted his son and 12-year old Mark Stebbins of Ferndale, 12-year old Jill Robinson of Royal Oak, and 10-year old Kristine Mihelich of Berkley. Before each of the youths were killed, they were held between four and 19 days each. Law enforcement knew after the second case, and certainly by the third, that they were dealing with a serial killer. The Michigan State Police led a group of over 200 law enforcement officials from 13 communities, forming a task force devoted solely to the investigation. “It's quite conclusive. We did not find anything in our search that would eliminate Christopher Busch. We have not found any instance that he was not on the streets when each of the children were abducted and killed. I think he was involved,” said King, who added that he does not think he acted alone. “I've always felt there were more than one person involved. The killer held Kristi (Mihelich) for 19 days.” Christopher Busch was the son of Harold Lee Busch, a high level General Motors executive, and his wife Elsie, who lived on Morningview Terrace in Bloomfield Village. Their son lived with them at that address. Both elder Busch have since passed away, as have two of his siblings. Christopher Busch was in and out of police custody around the time of the Oakland County Child Killings for his involvement with a suspected child pornography ring, and had been previously convicted in pedophile cases. Busch was convicted of raping four children in Flint, was released on $1,000 bond while his co-conspirator, Gregory Greene, was sentenced to prison. He later died in jail. Busch was under investigation by the Oakland County Child Killer task force in the 1970s, until he passed a polygraph test. As reported by Downtown Publications in an Oct. 2010 cover story, in July 2006, Patrick Coffey, a California polygraph examiner, who had been a childhood friend of the King children, attended an American Polygraph Association conference, and met Lawrence Wasser, a Southfield forensic polygraph examiner. Coffey grew up across the street from the Kings. Chris King, Timothy's older brother, received a call from Coffey after the conference, telling him that he met an examiner from the Detroit area who had polygraphed the Oakland County Child Killer in 1977. Wasser later denied telling Coffey that, although he has since refused to testify under oath to that effect. Records Downtown reviewed seem to indicate that Busch was polygraphed, and did admit to the crime prior to his exam, claiming attorney/client privilege.
commissioners that once the city granted the entertainment permits for the venues, they could not be separated from the liquor licenses. Commissioner Stuart Sherman cautioned Kelly Allen to advise her clients for that “when we do review the liquor licenses in a few weeks, based on the comments heard tonight, there are concerns about the organization. I think you are going to want to be very prepared to explain the problems and how they are being addressed.”
Birmingham art fairs set for 2011 The Birmingham City Commission unanimously agreed at their Monday, Jan. 10 meeting to a compromise proposed by the Principal Shopping District (PSD) to hold for this year the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center 30th Annual Art Birmingham in and around the renovated Shain Park, and the Common Ground 37th Annual Birmingham Street Art Fair (formerly
known as Art in the Park) on S. Old Woodward. The Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center fair will be held May 14 -15, 2011; the Common Ground fair will be September 24 -25, 2011. Due to construction at Shain Park in 2010, both fairs were relocated to S. Old Woodward, where they were met with mixed results. Previously, both fairs had been situated in and around Shain Park for decades. On S. Old Woodward, some merchants felt the design of the fair, with the backs of the tents facing stores, obstructed visibility of their stores, and saw traffic to their establishments plunge over the dates of the fairs, always over a Saturday and Sunday, and the Friday before, when the street was closed at noon for set up. After much discussion at a fall PSD board meeting, a compromise was struck, and it was recommended to the commission by the Guild of Artists and Artisans of Ann Arbor, which sponsors both shows, to hold the spring fair in and around Shain Park, and avoid blocking of the Community House entrance; to hold the fall fair on Old Woodward, but have tents in the center of the street, facing stores, and begin setting up the event later on Friday to minimize impact on businesses. The Guild has assured the city and the PSD that they will carefully monitor the type of vendors and sponsors to maintain a highquality image for the event and for Birmingham. Addie Langford, President and CEO of the BBAC, said the new proposal by the Guild for the spring art show will allow a total of 198 booths, for 190 booths and eight sponsors. It will allow for a clearance area around The Community House, access will be built around the Townsend Hotel, and the food court area has been relocated to the north area of the park. Mayor Gordon Rinschler said of the plan, “My feeling is, it has plusses and minuses, but it gets the fair back to Shain Park.” The Common Ground proposal offered 230 booths, which is more than last year on S. Old Woodward, but the same amount they had two years ago in Shain Park. Following both art fairs, the city and PSD will evaluate both events to determine which worked best for all parties, and make a recommendation for 2012.
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. Beau Jacks: American. Lunch, MondaySaturday; Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 4108 W. Maple, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.626.2630. Beyond Juice: Contemporary. Breakfast & Lunch daily; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. 270 West Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.7078. Big Boy: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 6675 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.642.0717. Big Rock Chophouse: American. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 245 South Eaton Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.7774. Birmingham Sushi Cafe: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 377 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.8880. Bloomfield Deli: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, Monday-Friday. No reservations. 71 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.645.6879. Boston Market: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 42983 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.334.5559. Brandy’s Steakhouse: American. Lunch, Monday-Saturday; Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 1727 South Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.338.4300. Brooklyn Pizza: Pizza. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 111 Henrietta Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6690. Cafe Via: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 310 East Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.8800 Cameron’s Steakhouse: American. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 115 Willits Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.1700. Chen Chow Brasserie: Japanese. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 260 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.2469. China Village: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 1655 Opdyke, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.758.1221. Cityscape Deli: Deli. Lunch & Dinner, MondaySaturday. No reservations. Beer. 877 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.540.7220.
Commonwealth: Coffee Shop. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 300 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.9766. Cosi: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & wine. 101 N. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.203.9200. Crust Pizza and Wine Bar: Pizza. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 6622 Telegraph, Bloomfield, 48301. 248.855.5855. Deli Unique of Bloomfield Hills: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 39495 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.646.7923. Dick O’Dow’s: Irish. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 160 West Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.1135. Einstein Bros. Bagels: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 176 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.9888. Also 4089 West Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.258.9939. Elie’s Mediterranean Cuisine: Mediterranean. Lunch & Dinner, Monday-Saturday. No reservations. Liquor. 263 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.2420. Embers Deli & Restaurant: Deli. Breakfast & Lunch, daily. No reservations. 3598 West Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.645.1033. Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 323 N. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.0134. Forest Grill: American. Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 735 Forest Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.9400. Forte Restaurant: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 201 S. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.7300. Fuddrucker’s: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No Reservations. Beer & wine. 42757 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Township, 48302. 248.333.2400. Greek Island Coney Restaurant: Greek. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 221 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.1222. Hogan’s Restaurant: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 6450 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.626.1800. House of India: Indian. Tuesday-Sunday; Lunch & Dinner. Reservations. 1615 Opdyke Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.451.0201. Hunter House Hamburgers: American. Breakfast, Monday-Saturday; Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 35075 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.7121. IHOP: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner,
daily. No reservations. 2187 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301. 248.333.7522. Kerby’s Koney Island: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 2160 N. Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.333.1166. Kirk’s Open Pit Bar B Que: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday- Sunday. No reservations. 33766 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.203.7010. La Feast: Mediterranean. Lunch & Dinner, daily. 297 East Maple, Birmingham, 48009. 248.731.7768. Leo’s Coney Island: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 154 S. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.9707. Also 6527 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.646.8568. Little Daddy’s Parthenon: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 39500 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.647.3400. Luxe Bar & Grill: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily; Late Night, 9 p.m.-closing. No reservations. Liquor. 525 N. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham, 48009. 248.792.6051. Max & Erma’s: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 250 Merrill Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.1188. Mitchell’s Fish Market: Seafood. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 117 Willits Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.3663. Mountain King: Chinese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 469 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.2913. New Bangkok Thai Bistro: Thai. Breakfast, Monday-Thursday; Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, daily. No reservations. 183 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.2181. Northern Lakes Seafood Co.: Seafood. Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 39495 North Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.646.7900. Olga’s Kitchen: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 138 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.2760. Also 2075 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.451.0500. Original Pancake House: American. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 33703 South Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.5775. Panera Bread: Deli. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 100 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.203.7966. Also 2125 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.253.9877. Peabody’s: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 34965 Woodward
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AT THE TABLE Cuisine and city history at Birmingham’s 220 By Eleanor Heald
lthough Birmingham celebrates its current dynamic restaurant image, there’s a lot of history. The Detroit Edison Building, built in 1932 to house northern suburbs’ company offices, has been home to 220 Restaurant since 1994. The popular bar stands where, at one time, people could exchange burned out light bulbs for new ones! Once Edison moved to new quarters, developers viewed the building’s main level as ideal for a restaurant, which opened with a GermanAmerican theme in 1979 and was then sold in 1993 to Judi Roberts and her partner Frank Tillman, now General Manager, who changed the theme to Italian-American and adopted the name “220.” A 1930s retro style, created in 1994 by designer Ron Rea (Ron & Roman LLC, Birmingham), replete with antique chandeliers and a light bulb theme, recalls 220’s historic location. Forget what Thomas Edison looks like? His portrait hangs in the lobby. Space for 160 diners at 220 is well divided, giving the impression of lively, cozy closeness, whether seated in the bar area or a main dining room with tables accommodating as few as two to more than eight. Currently, the proprietor-partners and their veteran Executive Chef Luis Reyes characterize their eatery with words such as retro, comfortable, unique and historically referenced. “In addition to the Detroit Edison Building,” notes Tillman, “Birmingham has incorporated the train station, municipal and Wabeek buildings among others into the city’s charm.”
Setting standards “From the beginning,” says Chef Luis, “220 set standards for what Birmingham restaurants have become today.” Call that woven into the city’s food culture. Both Tillman and Roberts have decades of restaurant experience. “At 16, I started as a salad girl for Harris Machus (of area Machus restaurant fame),” relates Roberts. “I rose to cashier and just kept moving up in a business I love.” In 1986, with just over a semester left to finish a Wayne State University degree, Chef Luis began to wash dishes at a Beverly Hills restaurant (now the location of Beverly Hills Grill). He advanced to making salads and credits his great chef mentors for honing his creative kitchen skills to the level of head toque. Italian-American What is an Italian-American food style? “It’s American food with an Italian influence, such as our Sauteed Lake Perch Piccata served over Asiago risotto, $23,” explains Chef Luis. “Yet, it’s also Italian food with an American influence, such as Toasted Lobster Ravioli with lobster sherry cream sauce, $19.”
Both dishes are prominently listed on the menu as “220 Favorites.” Two others join this elite group: Spicy Italian Sausage Penne with sundried tomatoes, basil and cream, $16; and Chicken Breast Tosca with artichokes and fresh lemon buerre blanc, $18. Portions for all dishes are large (but you can request a half portion), so take this into account as
that’s no surprise. There’s 2008 Talbott Logan Chardonnay from Monterey County ($12/$48), but also delicious steals such as 2007 Unus Garnacha Old Vine from Spain’s Cataluña region ($7/$28). Sweet endings Cream Puff Sundae with pistachio gelato and Sanders Hot Fudge Sauce, $6, is the most ordered dessert. On the lighter side, a daily changing Sorbetto, $7, is a treat. “Looking at what we do best,” says Chef Luis, “it’s pleasing people.” Tillman points to “regulars who love the food.” Roberts concludes, “220 has that Cheers feel.” 220 Restaurant, 220 Merrill Street, Birmingham, 248.645.2150. Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. Parking: Pierce Street structure.
QUICK BITES Birmingham 2011 Restaurant Weeks: The annual event runs January 31-February 4 and February 7-11. Participating restaurants will offer discounted lunch ($15) and dinners ($30) for two weeks during the event. As in years past, diners will enjoy special menus created by some of the area's top chefs at extraordinary prices for three-course lunch and dinners. The following is a 220 first week dinner snapshot and my three-course suggestions: Creamy Minestrone, Roasted Rainbow Trout and Strawberry Mascarpone Cheesecake with fresh strawberry compote. To tempt your return, week two has a different menu. Visit enjoybirmingham.com to review other restaurant menus.
Executive Chef Luis Reyes. Downtown photo: Laurie Tennent
you craft your menu (dinner in the following case). Among appetizers, Roasted Portobello features forest mushrooms and gorgonzola, $12, easily shared as a first bite. The 220 Creamy Minestrone ($4.50/cup and $5.50/bowl) is chunky and delicious, almost a meal in itself. As a stimulus-inspired section of the menu, “Lighter Fare” includes pizzas, a burger and sandwiches between $10 and $13. “Steaks,” says Tillman, “are big sellers and come garnished with choice of potato and vegetable. New pasta dishes evidence that 220 is not stuck in a rut or resting on laurels: Lamb Ragu Cavatelli with porcini mushrooms and cipollini onions, $17, and Smoked Salmon Orecchiette with pine nuts, broccolini and sun-dried tomatoes, $17. Wine and beer Tillman is a craft beer aficionado and maintains a changing list of 25. “There’s a growing trend,” he says, “toward micro-brews and specialty beers. Michigan beers are phenomenal.” Yet, Tillman admits alcoholic beverage sales at 220 are topped by wines. Given the list of recognizable brands and several hand-selected bottles,
Fox Grill opening delayed: Due to a hiccup in plans, according to General Manager Steve Peherson, Bloomfield Hills new Fox Grill (Woodward/Long Lake) has delayed opening until some time in March 2011. Stay tuned. Wine club serendipity: That is what Master Sommelier Claudia Tyagi calls the novel wine and food pairing at Forest Grill (735 Forest, Birmingham, 248.258.9400). For $25 per person every other Tuesday (1st and 15th this month), taste five two-ounce wine pours spanning the globe with five small plates prepared by Executive Chef David Gilbert. Limited to 15 people. Reservation required. Phoenicia: A city landmark restaurant since 1982, Phoenicia (588 S Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham, 248.644.3122) will remodel in the first half of 2011. Proprietor Sameer Eid said his last renovation was nine years ago and it’s time to again facelift the dining room. At this time, exact dates for the project have not been set. Eleanor Heald is a nationally published writer who also writes the wine column in a double byline with her husband Ray for DOWNTOWN. Suggestions for Quick Bites section can be e-mailed to QuickBites@downtownpublications.com.
FOCUS ON WINE William Hill wines better than ever By Eleanor and Ray Heald
ome wineries bear the name of a person, yet there is no such person. It’s just a name drummed up in the marketing think tank. William Hill, however, was a talented vineyard developer who, beginning in the early 1970s, converted many Napa Valley virgin land parcels and others in Willamette Valley, Oregon, to vineyards now making outstanding wines. Beginning in 1976, Hill purchased, prepped and planted a 140-acre parcel of hilly rangeland in the cool, southern end of Napa Valley, known locally as the Silverado Bench. In 1990, he built William Hill Estate winery in the middle of that vineyard. Three decades later, William Hill winemaker Ralf Holdenried is making modern wines that speak to the unique terroir of this lesserknown area of southern Napa Valley. Holdenried worked in his family’s vineyard in Germany, studied viticulture at the University of Geisenheim and then at the University of California Davis. Like so many others before him, he intended to return to Germany, but met the love of his life while studying at Davis and decided to stay in the United States. Before taking the William Hill job in 2007, Holdenried was a member of the E. & J. Gallo winemaking team and winemaking director of Louis M. Martini’s small lot wines, produced in Cellar 254. “Originally, William Hill planted much of the vineyard to Chardonnay,” Holdenried explains, “and then gradually replanted to Bordeaux varieties. Currently, most of the vineyard is 10 to 15 years old. It’s just getting into its prime for quality. “Since 2007, we have researched the vineyard and how soil composition changes over the ranch. Generally, soils are thin and very well drained, so the challenge is to give it the right amount of water at the right time. Since a
drought is always possible in California, we are fortunate to have a rain pond and two efficient wells on the property. Most important for me is learning to fine tune irrigation practices.” William Hill Estate presents an opportunity to create a more contemporary Napa style. “This means that our wines are a little softer and fruit driven, targeted to younger consumers,” Holdenried continues. “Vineyard sources allow us to introduce a style that
is approachable on the palate without being simple. Our focus is wines made with character, as excellent accompaniments to food, but wines that can also be enjoyed on their own. That is my contemporary vision behind the wines.” Best buys from William Hill Napa Valley 2008 Chardonnay $28. Ripe white-fleshed fruits accented by vanilla dominate both aroma and flavor. Medium bodied with balanced acidity, the wine is smooth and round with characteristics of crème brulee. Napa Bench Blend 2008 Chardonnay $35. Bright, layered aromas and flavors of apple, white peach and pear frame an extended finish in a wine with streamlined elegance. Napa Valley 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon $30. Exuberant blackberry and dark cherry aromas spring from the glass and then tantalize the palate. Rich and concentrated dark berry fruit flavors last long in the finish of a wine that truly over-delivers at its price. Napa Bench Blend 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon $40 offers a big black fruit impression with good length and plenty of structure to accompany a thick, juicy steak. Its fruit intensity and
focused finish make it both cellar worthy and enjoyable now. Wine picks BEST BUBBLES for Valentine’s Day: Champagne Pol Roger Brut Reserve $45 and Nino Franco Rustico Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG $18. Prosecco is a sparkling wine made in the ConeglianoValdobbiadene region of the Veneto from the grape of the same name. It undergoes a second fermentation in a steel tank (versus in the bottle which is practiced in champagne production). Before 2009, when the region gained DOCG status, “Prosecco” referred solely to the grape; it now refers to the region and in ConeglianoValdobbiadene DOCG, the grape is now called glera. RED WINES for Valentine’s Day or for that matter, the entire month of February to warm more than your heart. Cabernet Sauvignon–King of Reds 2007 Joseph Phelps $54 2008 Justin Reserve $47 2007 Windsor Sonoma, Alexander Valley $28 2007 Souverain Alexander Valley $17 2009 Man Vintners $11 -- value wine Pinot Noir-Queen of Reds 2008 Sanford La Rinconada $50 2008 Morgan Double L $48 2008 Patz & Hall Jenkins Ranch $45 2008 Sanford Santa Rita Hills $40 2008 Windsor Sonoma Russian River Valley $28 2009 McManis $10 value wine Change of Pace 2008 Morgan Cotes du Crow’s $16 (blend of syrah and grenache). NV Sokol Blosser Meditrina $17 (blend of pinot noir, syrah and zinfandel). 2008 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel $50 (blend of mourvedre, grenache, syrah and counoise). Try it with grilled duck breast. Eleanor & Ray Heald are contributing editors for the internationally-respected Quarterly Review of Wines, among other publications. Contact them by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.5222. Phoenicia: Middle Eastern. Lunch, MondayFriday; Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 588 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.3122. Pita Cafe: Middle Eastern. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 239 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.645.6999. Qdoba: Mexican. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 795 East Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.988.8941. Quattro Pizzeria & Wine Bar: Italian. Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 203 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.6060. Quiznos: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 185 N Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.540.7827. Salvatore Scallopini: Italian. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Beer & Wine. 505 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.8977. Sandella’s Flatbread Cafe: Deli. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 172 North Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.4200. South: Mexican. Lunch, Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 210 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.8133. Stacked Deli: Deli. Lunch & Dinner, MondaySaturday. Delivery available. No reservations. 233 North Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.5300. Steve’s Deli: Deli. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 6646 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield, 48301. 248.932.0800. Streetside Seafood: Seafood. Lunch, MondayFriday; Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 273 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.645.9123. Sushi Hana: Japanese. Lunch, Monday-Friday; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. 42656 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.333.3887. Sy Thai Cafe: Thai. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 315 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.9830. Tallulah Wine Bar and Bistro: American. Dinner. Monday-Saturday. Sunday brunch. Reservations. Liquor. 55 S. Bates Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.731.7066. The Corner Bar: American. Dinner. WednesdaySaturday. Reservations. Liquor. 100 Townsend Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.2958. The Gallery Restaurant: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. 6683 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.851.0313. The Moose Preserve Bar & Grill: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. Liquor. 2395 S. Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.858.7688. The Phat Sammich: Deli. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 34186 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.0860. The Rugby Grille: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 100 Townsend Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.5999. Toast: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily; Dinner, Monday-Saturday. Reservations. Liquor. 203 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6278. Tokyo Sushi & Grill: Japanese. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 225 E. Maple Rd., Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6501. Topz: American. Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 327 Hamilton, Birmingham, 48009. 248.220.1108 Village Coney Island: American. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, daily. No reservations. 653 S. Adams. Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.7964 Whistle Stop Cafe: American. Breakfast & Lunch, daily; Dinner, Monday-Friday. No reservations. 501 S. Eton Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.5588 Zazios: Italian. Dinner, daily. Reservations. Liquor. 34977 Woodward Ave, Birmingham, 48009. Phone: 248.530.6400
BUSINESS MATTERS La Feast cafe’ There’s a new Middle Eastern cafe’ on the Birmingham landscape. La Feast has moved into the space at 297 E. Maple Rd. in downtown Birmingham. Owner Moe Afify has been a restaurateur for 10 years and is looking forward to serving his Birmingham patrons. “It’s a good area and we have a lot of customers from Birmingham that would go to our Royal Oak location.” Afify also owns restaurants in Livonia and Royal Oak, and is seeking to open two more cafes in Southfield and Grosse Pointe. La Feast offers ample menu options, including shawarma, lamb chops and the usual Middle Eastern fare. “We have healthy, fresh food,” said Afify. “We have the best hummus and lamb chops in town.”
Antonio’s Bridal move Antonio’s Bridal has moved to 526 N. Old Woodward Ave. from 34631 Woodward Ave. in Birmingham. Owner Vida Vafa said the boutique had been growing and was in need of more space. “We tried for the last six months to figure out a way to stay at the old location,” said Vafa. “But the new space is bigger and has more walk-in traffic. Even when people drive by, it’s just more visible.” Vafa made renovations to the new location to accommodate the vision for her boutique. “We made the place fit our needs,” she said. “We needed fitting rooms and we redid the flooring and put up partitions to make it more bridal/boutique. It was originally a totally open floor plan.” In addition to designer bridal gowns, Antonio’s offers evening gowns, bridesmaid dresses and mother-of-thebride dresses. “We also have accessories, shoes, jewelry headpieces and veils,” said Vafa, who has owned Antonio’s Bridal for 13 years.
Flash Accessories Another Birmingham boutique is on the move. Flash Accessories, previously located at 149 Pierce St., has just moved around the corner to 110 S. Old Woodward in Birmingham. “Our building was sold and is going to be office space. The new space is similar to the old space,” said owner Kelli Feldman. “It’s beautiful. It’s got a huge window and our signage is going to be great. At the end of the day, it’s going to be a great location.” Flash offers a wide range of women’s accessories, from earrings and bracelets to clutches and scarves. She carries many affordable jewelry designers, as downtownpublications.com
well as those that look similar to highend jewelry. “We have a great concept,” said Feldman. “We carry the hottest trends and designer pieces for black tie events, or any event, really. There’s something for everyone, and people who come in always come back.” Feldman has operated out of Birmingham for four years and is a resident. “I live in town and my store is in town,” she said. For Feldman, Birmingham was always the logical place for her accessory boutique. “Where else would you be if you weren’t in Birmingham?”
Stacked Deli opens Stacked Deli, a Jewish-style eatery, rang in the New Year by opening at 233 N. Old Woodward in Birmingham. This will be the first joint business venture for owner Cole Nreja and partner Edwin Alanouf. “(Edwin) owns part of the building and we’ve been friends
offer free delivery of their sandwiches, salads and soups.
Vintage Accents It’s a special collaboration, and it works. Vintage Accents, offering unique home accents and furnishings, has recently leased space in Root and Sprout at 474 N. Old Woodward in Birmingham. “Root and Sprout already carried our furniture and it’s always done well there,” said Natalie Vermeulen, co-owner of Vintage Accents. “We were asked to move in and we said ‘absolutely.’” Vermeulen and business partner, Debi Weathers, refurbish furniture to create shabby chic, one-of-a-kind items. “We go to flea markets and estate sales all over, from Chicago to Florida and Indiana, to make sure we have the most unique pieces. We really focus on the beauty of the elements and the structure of the unique styles.” According to Vermeulen, Weathers has been in the business for about three years. “We met a little less than a year ago,” said Vermeulen. “A mutual friend introduced us. She knew that I redid furniture and (Weathers) redid furniture. It’s been a beautiful partnership since.” In addition to home accents, Vintage will now offer the Karen Egren Jewelry Collection. “(Egren) has a huge following,” said Vermeulen. “People have been asking her to put her jewelry in boutiques for years and she felt this was a perfect fit.”
Made in Willits Alley forever,” said Nreja. “I’ve been in the food business for 24 years.” Stacked Deli offers corned beef, roast beef, pastrami, tuna, salads and homemade soups, said Nreja, who has previously worked at other Jewish-style delis. “We serve four soups daily: mushroom barley and chicken noodle every day, and we’ll switch out the other two soups each day.” Stacked Deli uses Jewish double baked rye bread and Sy Ginsberg corned beef and other deli meats. “For me, it’s the proper way to do corned beef.” According to Nreja, Alanouf is a resident of Bloomfield Hills. “I live in West Bloomfield,” he said. “But Birmingham is a nice, upscale town and it’s a place where I come to eat, go to the movies and go shopping. The city is very helpful and has very good people to work with. It’s a nice downtown area and there are so many businesses. We’ll see where it takes us.” Primarily a take-out establishment, there are a few tables and a counter with stools for eat-in diners, and they
Made, a one-of-a-kind boutique featuring leather purses and hand bags, has recently opened in Birmingham and specializes in handmade, customdesigned items. The store, owned by Rob White and Jeff Henning, is located at 237 Willits Alley. They offer items that are designed, patterned and prototyped in an upstairs loft studio. “We also have product designs for sale
clients who aren’t particularly impressed with a brand name, but like the idea of branding themselves. “If someone wants a certain pocket with a zipper or a bottle carrier on the side of a certain bag, we’re able to do that,” he said. “Our bags are at a very high level of workmanship and craftsmanship and (clients) are getting approached on the street to find out where they’re getting them.” White said they are looking to offer shoppers an experience rather than just an opportunity to purchase a product. “We have an area where clients can sit and have an espresso or cappuccino while they go over design possibilities,” he said. “The building is amazing. Everyone is blown away by what they see. It’s a little taste of Europe in Birmingham.” White has a design background, specializing in leather. “I was a design manager for a global leather company and have had a rather extensive automotive career.” As natives to the area, there was no question that White and Henning wanted to open their store in downtown Birmingham. “I went to Baldwin Elementary when it stood and I’ve been in Bloomfield Township my entire life,” said White. “Jeff is the same; he lives in Birmingham. It’s just a community we love and it’s a wonderful retail opportunity with a rather sophisticated clientele.” Made also offers belts with Swarovski crystal embellishments, and is looking forward to featuring local artists. Artist Michele Saulson is working with Made to create pieces with semi-precious stones and leather. “Her work is at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center right now, and her work is in our store. We’re trying to develop a talent base,” he said. “In order to do that, we have to sell our product. There’s been great preparation and now we’re ready to rock.”
Shades trunk show
off-the-shelf and some specialized apparel,” said White. According to White, Made is looking to appeal to
Looking for a one-of-a-kind experience? Shades Optical at 193 W. Maple in Birmingham will be hosting a trunk show featuring Paris designer, Anne et Valentin, and Belgium designer, Theo, on Thursday, Feb. 17 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. “These two companies have really unique collections and reps from each company will be here,” said Tom Matich, salesperson for Shades. “It’s impossible to carry a whole collection so it will offer a really unique experience where you get to view their entire spring and summer collections.” Matich said that approximately 1,200 57
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frames will be on hand for customers to try on. Shades Optical has been operating out of Birmingham since 1989.
Real estate recognition Birmingham real estate business owner Doug Hardy Sr. was recently recognized by the North Oakland County Board of Realtors (NOCBOR) with the Emeritus Member Award for his 49 years of cumulative years as a member. “He was honored by over 200 business associates attending an event at the Radisson Kingsley in Bloomfield Hills,” said Pat Jacobs, executive vice
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president of the NOCBOR. Also recognized at the event was Doug Hardy Jr. who was inducted as president of NOCBOR, Jacobs said. “We’re honored to have both Sr. and Jr. as members of NOCBOR.” The father/son team operates SKBK Sotheby’s International at 348 E. Maple Rd. in Birmingham and Century 21 Today at 6755 Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Hills. Century 21 Today also has offices in Farmington Hills, Livonia and West Bloomfield.
Bruegger’s Bagels Bruegger’s Bagels is slated to open in late March at 39568 N. Woodward Ave. in The Plaza, a new two-story mixeduse development at Long Lake Road and Woodward Ave. in Bloomfield Hills. “This particular location not only has great visibility, especially among motorists on Woodward Ave., but it will help increase our overall presence in the Detroit/ Ann Arbor region,” said Bruegger’s CEO, James J. Greco. “Bruegger’s is excited to open a new location in Bloomfield Hills’ growing and vibrant community. The bakery looks forward to serving its new neighbors, enjoying the community and becoming a popular destination place for breakfast and lunch.” Known for its New York-style bagels, Bruegger’s offers fresh breads onsite. “Guests can choose a variety of menu items that include unique cream cheese flavors, breakfast sandwiches, handtossed salads, hearty soups, DOWNTOWN
sandwiches, panini and desserts, with a frequently changing menu reflecting seasonal and geographical specialties,” Greco said. In addition, the new bakery will offer a catering program, which includes bagel and cream cheese platters for 16 and box lunches for 100 or more. Bruegger’s was founded in 1983 by Nord Brue and Mike Dressell and this will be its eighth location in Michigan.
Bye Bye Lines Bye Bye Lines, an online undergarment store based out of Birmingham, is celebrating the one-year launch of its business this February. Yoga enthusiasts Loren Weiner and Treger Strasberg realized a need for the product and partnered to create undergarments that would conceal embarrassing lines on women wearing yoga pants, skinny jeans and leggings. “We sell liners that you can insert into your own underwear or you can actually buy underwear or leggings with the inserts built in,” said Weiner. Bye Bye Lines products are constructed with a thin, breathable liner to prevent tight pants from riding up, while molding to fit the unique body shape of each individual. Price points for the products start at $10 and go up to $38 and have been selling all over the country and abroad. “I got an order a couple weeks ago from Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates),” said Weiner. “I was surprised by the order because many women there wear burkas, but the customer said there are actually a lot of cosmopolitan women out there.” Weiner and Strasberg hired a staff of women with fashion backgrounds to manufacture the products for them. “We buy our underwear pre-made in the USA,” said Weiner. “Our staff manufactures our liners and puts everything together, including the packaging. They work out of Michigan and are all over Oakland County.” The product, sold online, is also available at the following Birmingham businesses: Todd’s Room, Lori Karbal, Luigi Bruni and Yoga Shelter, she said. “We’re also working to get into a few different department stores.” Weiner moved to Birmingham five years ago from New York and Strasberg moved to Birmingham from Miami three years ago, said Weiner. Business Matters for the BirminghamBloomfield area are reported by Katey Meisner. Send items for consideration to KathleenMeisner@downtownpublications.com. Items should be received three weeks prior to publication.
THE COMMUNITY HOUSE his year, February will get off to a very fun start with “Sing Out 4 Kids.” On Saturday, February 5, the second annual Children’s Charities Coalition event will take place at 7 p.m. at The Community House. The event will offer an evening of karaoke performed by Detroit-based celebrities and personalities and will be emceed by WDIV-TV’s morning news anchor Guy Gordon and Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. I’ve heard some great stories at planning meetings about some of the acts. Norman Yatooma will be the best Elvis impersonator yet, and don’t be surprised if Kathy Broock Ballard and her back-up singers strongly resemble Madonna. General admission tickets are $50 per person or $500 per table of 10. Reserved Patron seating is $75 per person and reserved Patron tables of ten are available at $750. Food is catered by Vintage House and there will be a cash bar. For reservations, call 248.332.7173. All proceeds will benefit children’s programs in our area. The Community House will host another special musical program on February 3, A Gershwin Shelley Roberts Rendezvous Tea. This pre-Valentine’s Day afternoon performance lecture will concentrate on various aspects of Gershwin’s life, including his childhood, personality, relationships with women, his love of painting, and his death. In between, Penny Masouris will sing and play 12 of his show tunes. There are lots of other reasons to brave the cold, and come to The Community House during February: On February 2, 9 and 16, popular instructor Michael Farrell will lecture on Fernando Botero, Andrew Wyeth and N.C. and Jamie Wyeth. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn about these show-stopper artists. We have something great for kids from 5-7 to do on a cold Saturday. On February 5, join us for Van Gogh-Inspired Mixed Media Collage where students will create a non-objective picture using modeling clay and recreate the swirling textures represented in impressionist Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings. As most people know, our new TCH Dance Academy Director, Renee Wood, has greatly expanded our dance offerings. Beginning on February 2, we are offering an Adult Ballet Performance Workshop for the adult ballet dancer who enjoys the grace and elegance of ballet and is ready to perform. For adults and teens, we are offering a lyrical/contemporary dance class. This style fuses elements of modern, jazz and ballet to express an emotion or tell a story. Starting in February, we are offering a Recreational Sampler series of classes for kids ages 6 to 9 in three areas: Children’s Ballet, Children’s Jazz and Children’s Tap. Students learn to love dance while developing coordination, imagination, memory, musicality and motor skills. Your online identity is one of your most valuable assets. Attend our class Online Identity Basics: What You Need to Know on February 3 to learn what it is and creative ways to grow and maintain your online identity. For those of us who are overeaters, join us on February 16, for our class Making Peace with Food: Calming the Inner Critic. Learn how to break the vicious cycle of being critical, anxious, and eating more. On February 2, learn how to go Gluten Free and love it. I recently talked to a friend who was beset by serious stomach problems last summer. She went on a gluten free diet and now feels great. For the foodies among us, we have two special cooking classes in February. On February 16, learn to make Famous Restaurant Favorites from around the country and on February 22, learn to enjoy the tastes of summer all year long at our class Cooking with Fresh Herbs. Not only enjoy the tastes of summer, but think summer by attending our Garden Club’s meeting on February 21 where Bill Miller of Miller Landscaping will discuss Renovating and Redesigning Your Garden. Then, on February 26, feel like it is summer at our High Style Floral Design Workshop which will be held at Goldner Walsh Garden and Home. If travel to a Spanish speaking country is in your future, Spanish for Travelers, beginning on February 1 is for you. Come see how learning Spanish can change your travel experience. Finally, my sincere thanks to those of you who contributed to The Community House 2010 Annual Fund Drive. We greatly appreciate your support which enables us to provide valuable programs and services to enhance the lives of those in the community. I look forward to seeing you at The Community House.
Shelley Roberts is President and CEO of The Community House. downtownpublications.com
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SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Here is the update on the social scene from the past month. Many more photos from each event appear online each week at downtownpublications.com where readers can sign up for an e-mail notice when the latest social scene column is posted. Past columns and photos are also archived at the website for Downtown.
Women’s Association Celebration Dinner
5 1. Co-honoree Yvette Bing (center) of Detroit with event chair Bev Moore (left) of Bloomfield and WA chair Mary Numnez of Orchard Lake. 2. Brandon Harrison (center) of Pontiac with event co-chairs Kathy Antonini(left) and Beth Moore of Bloomfield. 3. Past honorees Maggie (left) & Bob Allesee and Sue & Paul Nine of Bloomfield. 4. Past honoree Linda Gillum (left) of Bloomfield with club member Aaliyah Hardy of Detroit. 5. Past honoree Irma Elder (left) with Val & Dave McCammon and Hannan Farah of Bloomfield. 6. Past honorees sponsor Alex & Lil Erdeljian with committee member Judie Sherman of Bloomfield. 7. Event sponsor Ken Way (center) of Bloomfield with his Cooley High School pals / brothers Sam Scavone (left) of Bloomfield and Nick Scavone of W. Bloomfield. 8. Sponsor Pat Steffes (left) and committee member Judy Sherman of Bloomfield. 9. Tom Spagnuolo (left) and Bill Saracino of Bloomfield with event sponsor Frank Migliazzo of Rochester Hills. 10. Sponsor GM’s Alex Burnett (left) of Grosse Pointe, Selam Sanders of Farmington Hills and Roy Roberts & his wife Maureen of Bloomfield.
Women’s Association Celebration Dinner Twenty-three years ago the Women’s Association began staging a fundraising dinner event that, unlike the WA’s traditional luncheon Sally Gerak events, added men to the guest list by honoring individuals and couples whose lives serve as great role models for the 26,000 members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan. This year’s event attracted 180 supporters to Bloomfield Hills Country Club to honor Yvette and Dave Bing. Like the preceding dinners, it was notable for its intimate, friendly atmosphere, even though Mayor Bing, a Boys Club member in Washington, D.C. during his youth, had to send his salutations from Turin, Italy. Before he delivered the invocation, NFL Hall of Famer Rev. Lem Barney expressed his heartfelt admiration for NBA All-Star Bing and joked that “…it’s okay for men to kiss if they keep their eyes open.” Then he quipped, “When you are a preacher you can say whatever you want.” Two club members addressed the guests. Thirteen-year-old Aaliyhah Hardy sang “Hero”, and Brandon Harrison, the B&G Wilson Club’s Youth of the Year who speaks eight foreign languages, told the crowd that the club was “…like a refuge for me.” It gave him a job as a teacher when he was only 16 and got him through issues “…I’d never get through by myself.” Harrison is now studying foreign languages at Oakland U. Then Yvette Bing accepted the event award from immediate past board president John James and his wife Sharon. Among those giving her a standing ovation were past honorees Linda Gillum, Irma Elder, Lil & Alex Erdeljian, Bob & Maggie Allesee, Paul & Sue Nine, and event co-chairs Bev Moore and Kathy Antonini. The dinner raised more than $111,000, which will support Boys Club programs and facilities. Cranbrook Holiday Tables The 35th annual Cranbrook House & Gardens Auxiliary’s Holiday Tables exhibition featured 13 unique table/vignettes created by generous and talented people. The tables were revealed at the Patron Tea, which attracted more than 100 guests, including event gold sponsor Ann Rosenthal with her friend Sylvia Smaltz and most of the exhibitors. One of the latter, Chris Lamarche, was the lucky door prize winner of the Guerlain basket of products (valued at $500 plus) and a girlfriends party at Neiman Marcus with Guerlain’s representative from Paris. Pianist Alice Berberian Haidostian played all three-plus hours of the tea. The lovely tea table was wisely set up in the Oak Room, rather than the dining room as in years past, thus permitting tables and chairs for sit-down socializing. The Oak Room, with its iconic linen fold paneling was also where, for the first time, three educational talks were presented to standing-room-only audiences on Saturday afternoon. People are still talking about the China Closet’s Carolyn Hefner’s presentation. It used the special events planner’s trademark attention to creativity and detail (think an accordion player, Santa Claus, a trolley car parked in the courtyard for hot cocoa and goodie bags) to inspire the audience to “think outside the box” when entertaining. The auxiliary’s Thistle Room boutique, which was coordinated by Sarah Birkhill, was open during the tea as well as the following three days when more than 400 toured the exhibition. It offered Christmas and garden items as well as attractive giftables from other vendors. When Holiday Tables concluded on Sunday Ginny Latimer’s cadre of more than 200 members had volunteered an impressive number of hours for essential assignments and the auxiliary had netted more than $20,000. FAR’s Flutes, Friends & Fa-La-La Board members of FAR Conservatory of Therapeutic and Performing Arts including Ryan Husaynu (& his wife Sandra Plezia), John Ashcraft, Minoti Rajput, Peter Miller and Barbara Russell - led the crowd of 130 benefactors who dined before the performance of FAR’s Stars with Alexander Zonjic and Josh White, Jr. at the annual show staged in the Seligman auditorium at DOWNTOWN
Detroit Country Day School. They joined the audience of more than 600 for the performance, which always spotlights the heartwarming accomplishments of the developmentallychallenged FAR participants. Before and after the show folks snapped up all the jewelry and felt hair ornaments and much of the framed art for sale in the FAR Bazaar. The market was chaired by Barbara Fleischer and Linda Golden. Like the performance, it spotlighted the abilities of FAR participants. (FYI: FAR stands for Fun, Arts & Recreation.) Parade Foundation’s Hob Nobble Gobble The best family party of any year got bigger and better this year when The Parade Company moved it to Ford Field and changed the date from Thanksgiving Eve to the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Although the new date may have precluded attendance by some who previously came from afar to be with family for Thanksgiving, it obviously inspired others to attend as the numbers were up from 1,600 last year to 1,800. “I love the new date,” said Detroit Economic Club CEO Beth Chappell adding, “Wish it had happened years ago…And Ford Field is a great venue. It was really cool overlooking the whole thing when you first walk in.” A merry band of elves overlooking the Superstar ($1,000 per person) reception evoked lots of smiles. Kids stood in line to have their pictures taken with R&B/Pop singer Shontelle and hob nob with actress Jane Kramer, a Rochester native, and Olympic medal winners Peter Vanderkaay, Meryl Davis and Charlie White. But the main attractions for kids of all ages were the much expanded selection of rides, especially Quicken Loan’s Giant Slide. “Glad I didn’t wear a skirt,” said one woman watching the action as she awaited her turn. The always popular midway games, an abundant, centrally located dinner buffet, Mel Ball’s music for dancing and the super duper giveaways which distinguish this event did not disappoint. Neither did the fundraising, which is why event chair Comerica’s Elaine McMahon has not missed a Hob Nobble Gobble. Always a black tie event, it started in 1989 on a much smaller scale (450 guests) in the old parade warehouse. Sweet Memories Chocolate Jubliee The statistical projections cited by speakers at the 26th annual downtownpublications.com
Cranbrook Holiday Tables
1. Event committee members Julie Ritter, also auxiliary chair, and Sarah Birkhill of Bloomfield and Mary Ann Krygier of Rochester Hills. 2. Event sponsor Sylvia Hagenlocher (left) of Bloomfield and Ann Houston of Bingham Farms. 3. Event sponsor Maggie Allesee (center) of Bloomfield with Joan Abraham (left) and committee member Penny Persiani of Birmingham. 4. Exhibitors Joan Stanton (left) of Bloomfield, Margie Kell of Birmingham and her sister Chris Lamarche of Bloomfield. 5. Committee member Randy Forrester of Birmingham and volunteer Betsy Laboe of Birmingham. 6. Molly Saeli (left) and Julie Galante of Birmingham. 7. JoAnn Rynne Sierpien (left) and Barbara Jensen of Bloomfield at their table “A Passion for Porcelain” featuring plates hand painted by Jensen and objects from the Rynne China Company collection. 8. “Holiday Cocktails at Tiffany’s” by Chris Lamarche, Margie Kell, Barb Wallace, Mary Ann Wallace and Joan Stanton with champagne service in foreground. 9. “Imagine That” by Carolyn Hefner from the China Closet.
FAR’s Flutes, Friends & Fa-La-La
1. Event co-chairs Faye Gorback (left) of Franklin and Lucy Kauffman of Bingham Farms with Alexander Zonjic, board president Ryan Husaynu of W. Bloomfield and Josh White, Jr. 2. Christine Beser (left) of Birmingham, Link Wachler of Troy and Rose Glendinning of Bloomfield. 3. Carol & John Aubrey of Birmingham. 4. Honorary chairs Emily & Paul Tobias of Birmingham.
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Alzheimeer’s Association Chocolate Jubilee fundraising luncheon (e.g.. cost of Alzheimer’s in the U.S. by 2050 will be $20 trillion) attest to the fact that Alzheimer’s disease is not funny. However, three speakers did evoke some chuckles from the 700 guests. When Mary Wilson, honorary cochair with her husband, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph, accepted a gift of gratitude for the couple’s ongoing support, she apologized that the Bills beat the Lions, and then quickly admitted that she really wasn’t sorry. When attorney Norman Yatooma accepted the Community Partner Award for Charity Motors, he took his four daughters to the podium where Olivia, age eight, was the spokesperson. With winsome innocence she delivered a well scripted and rehearsed acceptance speech referencing her father’s appearance at previous events, each time with a new baby daughter, and suggested, “Wait ‘til next year!” When the laughter subsided, she added “…Mommy wants Daddy to get fixed. Daddy says he’s not broken. (Pause for laughter.) But, if your car is broken, give it to Charity Motors.” Then keynote speaker Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Ron Petersen concluded an informative talk with humorous charts of the male and female brains and suggested the importance of lifestyle factors like cognitive and physical activity. “So where are we?” he asked. “Drink red wine. Eat dark chocolate. Play golf,” he declared. Guests then sampled sweets at the 28 exhibitors’ booths. Sweet Nothings Fine Cakes & Desserts won the best presentation title. The Art Institute of Michigan was first runner-up. Thanks to generous donors, the event raised $700,000.
Parade Foundation’s Hob Nobble Gobble
1. Sponsor PVS Chemicals’ Jim Nicholson of Grosse Pointe and foundation chair Sandy Pierce of Milford. 2. Bill (left) & Anne Smolek Postelnic of Lake Orion, event chair Comerica’s Elaine Smolek McMahon of Birmingham, Rich & Michele Smolek of Farmington Hills and Tony & Nancy Smolek of Rochester Hills. 3. Lorin August (left) & Art Van Elslander of Bloomfield with Diane Charles of W. Bloomfield and Diane Wells of Lake Orion. 4. Ford’s Jim (left) & Brenda Graham of Birmingham with Andrea & Ford’s Jim Vella of Canton and cousins Josh (front left) and Emmy LaFeede of Wyandotte and Elle Densmore of Canton. 5. Two radio legends – Bob Allison (Allesee) (left) of Bloomfield and Dick Purtan of W. Bloomfield. 6. Bruce (left) & Debbie Kridler of Bloomfield with Penny & Rick Persiani of Birmingham. 7. Paul (left) & Mark Waggoner of Royal Oak with their aunt Linda Orlans of Birmingham and Bob & Shelly Farmery of Detroit. 8. Dr. Larry Walsh of Bloomfield with clown Karen Miller of Olivet. 9. Dan Assenmacher (left), Jennifer Schneider and Bonnie Jobe of Bloomfield. 10. Matt Riney (left) of Detroit & Shaun Riney of NYC with their parents Sandy & Bob Riney of Bloomfield. 11. John Ferracane & Maria Janevski of Birmingham. 12. Kate Chappel (left), her niece Allison Chappell and mother Detroit Economic Club CEO Beth Chappel of Bloomfield and cousins Mackenzie Krupic (left front) and Samantha McDermott.
Winter Holiday Gift Show Preview Party More than 60 vendors offering giftables for people, homes and pets set up shop at The Community House for the annual gift show. The second annual Thursday evening Preview Party, chaired by Denise Bianchini and presented by Kathy Broock Ballard, brought out nearly 200 for sipping, socializing and shopping. Before the vendors packed up at the end of the following day, 700 shoppers had checked off some of the people on their gift lists.
WISDOM’s Friendship & Faith Evening The final event of the year to be reported herein holds the promise of all new years – that of hope for the future. WISDOM is an acronym for
Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in MetroDetroit. It was explained to about 60 women who gathered before the holidays to hear “5 Women, 5 Journeys” at Saks Fifth Avenue. Why Saks? Because WISDOM member Brenda Rosenberg and SFA’s Cheryl Hall Lindsay go way back. As Rosenberg noted, the two women have shared “…fashion, faith and friendship for more than 40 years.” The speakers were Baha’i, Muslim, Christian, Hindu and Jewish. You can read their inspirational stories, and two dozen more, in the book “Friendship & Faith”, which event guests received as souvenirs. Guests were urged to go to to add their own stories about interfaith struggles and bridge building to the web site. “There’s something about women coming together that makes incredible things happen,” declared Rosenberg. And here’s hoping that the determination in her conclusion “We are changing relationships. We will bring our community together. We will bring peace to the world” – will come to pass. Gobble Wobble By any standards the Thanksgiving holiday reunion/charity fundraiser launched four years ago by former Bloomingham area school pals was a smashing success. The fourth annual version sold out two weeks in advance and organizers even saw several ticket postings on Craig’s List. The 400 ticket holders - mostly twenty-somethings and a few of their parents - partied big time at The Reserve. They stopped dancing to Good Gravy ‘s rockin’ tunes long enough for CATCH representative Colby Zemmin to thank them for supporting the children’s charity started by the late Sparky Anderson. They also bought $4,000 worth of raffle tickets for donated goodies, like an iPad and a wagon full of party essentials. The event netted an all time high of $15,500, and prompted the organizers to begin planning next year’s event. CCFA Gala Evening at the Movies The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s 33rd annual fundraising movie night was a warm salute to Dr. Bob Truding. It attracted 500 to the Palladium Theatre before the holidays for dining on the stroll prior to a short program that put the spotlight on Truding’s legacy of giving. His devotion to his young patients with an downtownpublications.com
Sweet Memories Chocolate Jubliee
1. Keynote speaker Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Ron Petersen of Rochester, MN with event cochairs Birmingham jeweler Richard Astrein of Huntington Woods and Amyre Makupson of Southfield. 2. Millennium Donors Becky & Gary Sakwa of Bloomfield. 3. Award recipient Lynn Alandt (center) of Grosse Pointe with major donors Ken & Kim Whipple of Bloomfield. 4. Charity Motors’ Norman Yatooma of Bloomfield and his four daughters Sophia (left) and Ava in his arms, Olivia (standing left) and Gabriella. 5. Major donor Lil Erdeljan (left) of Bloomfield with honorary co-chair Mary Wilson of Grosse Pointe and her niece Mary Owen of Royal Oak. 6. Paul Connell and Susan Foley of Birmingham. 7. Janice Nichols (left) of Bloomfield with Rita Dunker and her daughter Laura Wasserman of Birmingham.
Winter Holiday Gift Show Preview Party
1. Event chair Denise Bianchini (left) and Patty Peacock of Birmingham with Kathie Ninneman of Bloomfield. 2. Diana Johnson (left) of Bloomfield, event presenting sponsor Kathy Broock Ballard of Orchard Lake and Lyle & Joyce Shuert of Bloomfield. 3. Event gift sponsor Orchid Day Spa’s Cassie Vasileff of Birmingham. 4. Julie Wells (left) and Diane Vick of Birmingham and Michelle Otzen of Bloomfield. 5. Duffy Wineman (left) and Mary Jo Dawson of Bloomfield. 6. Karen Shapiro (left) of Bloomfield and antiques vendor Peggy Bonbrisco of Grosse Pointe. 7. Carol (left) & John Aubrey of Birmingham and jewelers Linda Stone & Julia Keim of Grosse Pointe.
WISDOM’s Friendship & Faith Evening
1. W founders Gail Katz(left) of W. Bloomfield & Trish Harris of Bloomfield with member Paula Drewek of Warren. 2. W members Mona Farroukh (left) of Dearborn, Brenda Rosenberg of Bloomfield, Ellen Ehrlich of Southfield and Nuha Alfaham of Bloomfield. 3. W members Irma Mogill (left) and Harriet Helfman of Bloomfield and Sheri Schiff of Birmingham. 4. Susu Sosnick (left) and Sandy Seligman of Birmngham and Elena Maccarone Facca of W. Bloomfield. 5. Contessa Bannon (left) of Beverly Hills with former retail associates SFA’s Cheryl Hall Lindsay of W. Bloomfield and W member Brenda Rosenberg of Bloomfield.
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK inflammatory bowel disease was the subject of a moving video as well as the presentation remarks by Dr. Souheil Gebara. “When Dr. Truding returns from camp (the CCFA Camp Oasis), he comes back smiling,” noted Gebara, the honoree’s Beaumont office mate. Michigan chapter CCFA board president Walter Schram then happily announced the creation of two camp scholarships in Truding’s name. Among those giving Truding a standing ovation before taking in one of three movie choices were: his wife Dale and more than two dozen personal friends; past honorees Harriet and Shel Fuller, Carol and Skip Robert, Jean Dubin and Jill Sklar; board members James Bond, Dr. Jason Bodzin, Katie Coleman, Jason Golnick, Dr. Ellen Zimmerman, Dawn Aronoff and Robert Higbee; and an impressive number of his grateful patients and their families. The event raised nearly $120,000.
1. Committee members Ann Carney Strickland (left) of Birmingham, Kyle Desmond of Beverly Hills, Patrick Thornton of Birmingham and Parker Lynch of Bloomfield. 2. CATCH board member Colby Sobelton Zemmin and committee member Scott Stricklland of Birmingham. 3. Committee member Liz Vollman (left) of Birmingham, her sister Andrea of Chicago, IL, and brother Andrew of Royal Oak with Sloan Eddelston of NYC. 4. Committee member Julie Rankin of Birmingham with Cory Richards of Farmington Hills. 5. Newlyweds Matt & Meghan Heather of Bloomfield. 6. Rick (left) & Karen Williams of Bloomfield with Aubrey Hang of Grosse Pointe and committee member Parker Lynch of Bloomfield (In foreground - coffee table with African accents by Adorn). 7. Laura Starkey (left) and Catherine Adrian of Ferndale, Shelley Cipa of Rochester Hills, Kristen Kerch and Jeremy Manion of Birmingham. 8. Sara Sherbow (left) of Bloomfield, Charles Johnson of Grand Blanc, Chuck Florek of Bloomfield, Alex Lannes of Grand Rapids, Brett Hudson and Ashley Fell of Bloomfield.
CCFA Gala Evening at the Movies
1. Honoree Beaumont’s Bob (Dr. Robert) Truding of Ferndale & his wife Dale of Arlington Heights, IL, (formerly Birmingham Covington School principal, now assistant superintendent of AH schools). 2. One of Dr. Truding’s patients Emme Coleman (right) of Bloomfield with Katie Rothstein of W. Bloomfield. 3. Past event honoree Harriett Fuller (right) with Sally Marx of Bloomfield. 4. Gordon (back left) & board member Katie Coleman with two of their children Grant & Grace of Bloomfield. 5. Julie Marx (left) and Mark & Lois Shaevsky of Bloomfield. 6. Brenda (left) & Howard Rosenberg with Jeanne Maxbauer of Bloomfield. 7. Dale Fuller and his daughter Nicoll of Bloomfield. T8. Andrea Hartman of Bloomfield with Rob Levy of Detroit.
BBAC Shop & Champagne New Birmgham Bloomfield Art Center CEO Addie Langford was seeing the Holiday Shop preview party for the first time but veteran event chair Annie VanGelderen has the formula down pat. She gets generous food and wine purveyors to serve spirits, savories and sweets and Lisa Gleeson to gift wrap purchases free of charge while music (Hubbell Street Jazz) plays in the background. This year the party attracted more than 350, including sponsor Maggie Allesee with her guests Barbara Tucker, Chris Strumbos, Millie Pastor, Lorraine Schultz and Joanie Abraham. The Holiday Shop is a juried sales show of very appealing handmade creations by 150 artists. They presented giftables in glass, wood, ceramics, metal sculptures by BBAC instructor Scott Brazeau, jewelry by many including Carol Spillberg and fiber creations like Anne Flora ‘s colorful felted hats. Lucky are they who found Shop & Champagne purchases under the tree on Christmas morning. Women of Bloomfield Holiday Party The Women of Bloomfield and their husbands and friends had a holiday party with a football focus. It attracted nearly 80 to Bloomfield Open Hunt where bidding in a silent auction and socializing preceded dinner. The football angle was covered with great good humor after dinner by Jim 02.11
Brandstatter, color commentator for the Michigan Wolverines and the Detroit Lions. His audience appreciated learning some strategy basics as well the more sophisticated technicals he provided during the Q & A. One member at the party who is well versed in football conversation is Frannie David, the widow of Jimmy David who played for the Lions in the 1950s. She had donated a picture of the Lions as 1954 Western Division Champions and a vintage Lions football helmet to the silent auction. The package helped the event raise $6,000 for CAREHouse and Scamp. The Women of Bloomfield sponsor many interest groups and activities. Persons interested in membership may contact Lora Spensley at (248) 685-3653. Friends Children’s Hour The Friends of Preservation Bloomfield—a unique coalition of the city, township, school district and the historical society—added a charming component to its third annual holiday fundraising event. The Children’s Hour attracted 130 adults and children in holiday finery to Oakland Hills Country Club for a delightful two hours of dining and diversions. The latter included gingerbread house decorating and other crafts, face painting, fireside storytelling and picture taking, both with a Justin Bieber cut out and a real live Santa. The latter was actually a jolly Santa’s helper, Louie Braun. Donna Yost chaired the enchanted evening which also served as a preview of the gingerbread houses to be auctioned at a brunch the following day. This reporter only regrets that she did not get the name of the youngster who spent most of the entire two hours absolutely entranced watching Alice Haidostian play the piano. The main event was chaired by Christine Zambricki who continued event founder Carol Shaya’s impeccable standard of perfection and thanked her coterie. It included Sue Nine, Pat Hardy, Karen Anderson, Pam Budde, Kay Baer, Bee Engelhart, Charlene Handelman, Mary Lou Kopmeyer, Patti Jessup, Judy Kelliher, Judy Vindici, Var Walsh, Shaya and Yost. While the sold out crowd (275) socialized and perused the 27 donated gingerbread houses and 60 tabletop trees and wreaths, all available for silent auction bidding, music was provided by Sam Salloum at the piano, Andover High School’s Chamber Orchestra downtownpublications.com
BBAC Shop & Champagne
3 1. Michael Stone-Richard (left) & BBAC CEO Addie Langford of Detroit with board member / event sponsor Comerica’s Elaine McMahon & her husband Dan of Birmingham. 2. Event sponsor / board member Judy Adelman (left) of Birmingham, sponsor / event chair Annie VanGelderen of Commerce and BB Chamber president Joe Bauman of Livonia. 3. Schakolad of Birmingham’s Doug & Ellen Cale of Bloomfield. 4. Penny Persiani (left) of Birmingham, Pam Esser and board chair Josh Sherbin of Bloomfield. 5. Dawn (left) & Dick Rassel and Grant & Sue Beard of Bloomfield. 6. Sharon Wood (left) & Leslie Luciani of Birmingham with Joy DiCenso of Bloomfield. 7. Michael Poris and Diane Vander Beke Mager of Birmingham.
6 Women of Bloomfield Holiday Party
3 1. Jeff Van Dorn (left) of Birmingham with Irwin & event chair Sydrena Epstein of Bloomfield. 2. WoB president Terry Stacey (left) & Gary Famllian of W. Bloomfield with Anne Baldin of Bloomfield. 3. Dennis Winowiecki (left) & Sue Sullivan of Bloomfield with Linda & David Kisic of Commerce. 4. Barbara Van Dorn (left) of Birmingham and Jackie Kendall of W. Bloomfield. 5. Ernie (left) & Barbara Abel of W. Bloomfield with Steve Sharf of Bloomfield & Patti Finnegan of Southfield.
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK and Detroit’s Mosaic Singers. Sanders’ Mike Koch, contractor Daniel MacLeish and journalist Neal Rubin had the unenviable task of judging the gingerbread house craftsmanship. The event netted an all time high ($30,000) for restoration of the Barton Farmhouse at Bowers Farm. It also coincidentally brought joy well beyond the scene at OHCC. This happened because the very large house created by Beaumont Hospital chef Ed Gillis was a raffle prize. The winner, Pat Ribiat, wanted to donate it to an appropriate organization. When committee member Joan Cleland overheard this she knew that her daughter, the volunteer coordinator at the U.S. Army’s TACOM Welcome & Family Center, had hoped to win it for display at the center. Thus, unlike the moving of the Barton Farm House which was a traffic-stopping event, the Gillis Gingerbread House was loaded in the back of Cleland’s car for transportation to the military center where it was enjoyed by heroes and their families.
Friends Children’s Hour
1. Event chair Donna Yost (left), committee member Kathleen Lanciault & her husband Santa Claus (aka Lou Braun) of Bloomfield. 2. Avery (left) and Quinn Appleby of Bloomfield. 3. Noah (left), Steve, Henry & Elizabeth Katzman of Birmingham. 4. Virginia Antakli (center) of Bloomfield with her daughter-in-law Denise and granddaughter Chloe Antakli of Sylvan Lake. 5. Pam (left) & Jordan Linder and Brooke & Molly Pulte of Bloomfield. 6. Erin Cosgrove (left) of Birmingham and Audrey Flynn of Beverly Hills. 7. Madison Novice (left) of Bloomfield and Jacqueline Antakli of Sylvan Lake. 8. Jackson Bergstrom of Birmingham.
Friends of Gingerbread Brunch
1. PB board member Sue Nine & event chair Christine Zambricki of Bloomfield. 2. PB board president Pat Hardy (left) and Friends of PB president Lisa Yamin of Bloomfield. 3. Mary Counihan (left) of Birmingham and committee member Rose Obloy of Bloomfield. 4. Committee member Cynthia Van Oeyen (center) with ASH Showroom designer Dan Stevens (left) and Matt Finan of Bloomfield. 5. Gingerbread House raffle winner Pat Ribiat (left) of Birmingham with Karen Eynon and Mary Ellen Kass of Bloomfield. 6. Mary Ellen Miller (left) of Troy and committee member Molly Shor of Bloomfield. 7. Cathleen Brook (left) and Kyle Sim of Bloomfield. 8. Jan Roncelli (left) and Duffy Wineman of Bloomfield.
Christmas Home Tour Some 450 people took a break from Christmas preparations to go on Christ Child Society’s annual Christmas Home Tour of five Bloomingham area homes decorated for the holiday. The generous owners of the homes were Leslie & Jeff Etterbeek, Anne & Steve Doman, Stephanie & Jeffrey Caponigro, Krista & George Gauchy and Pamela & Joe Hildebrand. Each of the homes said “Welcome” in its own way, and tourists were still talking about them when they got to Birmingham Country Club for a buffet lunch and some last minute gift shopping at vendor booths. The event raised nearly $20,000 for the society’s support of needy children. This includes the $2,000 earned by a raffle for a $500 Somerset Collection gift card and the sale of the cookie jars that decorated the luncheon tables. Realtor Lanie Cosgrove, following in the footsteps of her mother Pat Hardy, who chaired one of the first tours years ago, and her associate Elaina Ryder, co-chaired the event for the second consecutive year. On a pre-event tour of the Gauchy home, this reporter shared Cosgrove’s amazement that the newly-occupied home, which Cosgrove had sold to the owners, was so gloriously decorated 02.11
in a matter of weeks. We also stopped at the Hildebrand home which has a special significance for this reporter. It stands on the exact Baldwin Avenue lot Joe’s and my first home, an early20th century bungalow where our four children spent their early years, was located before its 1999 teardown. The newer Hildebrand home exudes the same warm family atmosphere I fondly remember about its predecessor. Junior League Mistletoe Madness The first Junior League of Birmingham holiday fundraising party - Holiday Preview Benefit - was staged in 1986 at the two Jacobson stores in Birmingham. When the chair Paula Tennyson first told me about it I can remember asking, “Who’s going to pay ($15, $25-benefactor) to go shopping at Jacobson’s?” Well, I was totally wrong to question the plans. That party attracted 700 partygoers to the two Jacobson downtown Birmingham stores for sipping, supping, shopping, socializing, fashion modeling, demonstrations and entertainment. We dug out our report of that event (Nov.17, 1986 Eccentric) and have concluded that at least one person – Kathy Walgren - who was at that inaugural party was also at last month’s successor event, the 2010 Mistletoe Madness. What a difference 24 years make. The Jacobson stores are long gone from the scene and the event name was changed to Mistletoe Madness when it moved to Saks Fifth Avenue some years ago. The recent soiree attracted 178 to the Royal Oak Farmers Market. I’m not sure why the committee thought it was the 25th event anniversary, but who cares? It gave them an excuse to have a Best Dressed in Silver contest, won by JLB member Amy Stea. There was also lots of dancing and an auction in which Haley Vandemark’s donation of a week at a very luxurious villa in Mansanilla, Mexico, garnered a winning bid of $6,500. This brought the total proceeds to some $18,000 for the JLB’s outreach to local charities, including Gleaners Food Bank and Common Ground Sanctuary. Athletes Adopting Families The second annual benefit for the Volunteers of America’s Adopt A Family program attracted 300, including 100 VIP ticket holders, to the Reserve early last month to sip, sup, dance and chat with sportscaster Terry Foster. The VIPs paid $150 downtownpublications.com
Christmas Home Tour
6 1. Event co-chair Elaina Ryder of Birmingham. 2. Alexis Pollard (left) of Bloomfield and Colleen Styrna of Orchard Lake with vendor CCS member Laura Keziah of Bloomfield. 3. Julie Marx (left) with Lauren Duerr Northrup, her son Will and mother Claudia Duerr and designer Milda Bublys of Bloomfield. 4. Sweater vendor Wendy Nelson (center) of Washington with Susan Hall (left) and Lisa Stanczak of Bloomfield. 5. Just Call Kara vendor Kara Laramie (left) with Marilyn Wynns and Judy Peters of Bloomfield and Anne Allingham of Birmingham. 6. Michelle Spognardi (left), Carol Grombala and Kelly Martin of Beverly Hills with Donna Bergmann, Kris Parke and Amy Fischer of Bloomfield. 7. Home owner/designer Krista Gauchey (left) with event co-chair Lanie Cosgrove of Birmingham. 8. Home owner Pam Hildebrand of Birmingham (beside one of many Christmasthemed artifacts she has purchased over the years at Coach House in Birmingham).
Junior League Mistletoe Madness
1. Event sponsor Gary Wachler (center) of Troy dancing with event cochairs Lindsay Sorenson (left) of Rochester and Abbey Stark of Royal Oak. 2. JLB president elect Michelle O’Brien (left) of Berkley and president Katie Marinelli of Royal Oak. 3. Sustainer Betsy Laboe & her husband Kevin of Birmingham. 4. Best Dressed in Silver Woman Amy Stea of Beverly Hills. 5. Jackie Kim of Birmingham.
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Athletes Adopting Families
2 1. Presenting sponsor Stonebridge Financial’s Tim Bearden (left) of Bloomfield and Jeff Ivory with his wife Kelli of Rochester Hills. 2. Event sponsor Diamond Vault of Troy’s Tim Mayer (right) of W. Bloomfield with his sister Nicole & Norman Yatooma of Bloomfield. 3. John Akouri (left) of Farmington Hills with sponsor Jeffrey Lance Abood of Birmingham. 4. Jeff Ivory (left) of Rochester Hills, Red Wing Justin Abdelkader of Royal Oak, Keith McKittrich of Birmingham and Detroit Lion Louis Delmas of Canton. 5. Tim Bearden(left) and his father-in-law Wes Van Houten of Bloomfield. 6. Red Wing Justin Abdelkader (left), Pistons Bad Boy Rick Mahorn, former Detroit Lion Herman Moore, current Lions Derrick Williams, Cliff Avril and Louis Delmas.
Holiday High Tea Interior designer Shirley Maddalena has been hosting a high tea to benefit at-risk young women for years. It is a decidedly social event, no program or speeches. Some guests do bring a special treasure to place in a silent auction, and many enjoy shopping the auction for last minute Christmas gifts. This year, 95 supporters filled all the available seats in the Townsend’s tea and main lobbies. Some, like Marjorie Schultz, made new friends. The auction raised $2,000.The event grossed $8,500 and many new supporters for Alternatives For Girls. The Detroit agency helps homeless and high-risk girls and young women avoid violence, teen pregnancy and exploitation. At AFG they can access the support, resources and opportunities necessary to be safe, to grow strong and to make positive choices in their lives.
Holiday High Tea
1. Event sponsor Shirley Maddalena (left) and event loyalist JJ Benkert of Bloomfield. 2. AFG ‘s CEO Amy Good (left) of Detroit with sponsor MSSB’s Steve Riga of Bloomfield and Kristin Campagne of Birmingham. 3. Event sponsor MorganStanleySmithBarney’s Rebecca Csatari (left) and Josie Sheppard of Birmingham with Brodie Killian of Dearborn (Riga Group). 4. Lynn Witmer (left) and Laurie Tennent of Bloomfield. 5. Pam Budde (left), Carol Zuzenak and Cindy Boudreau of Bloomfield. 6. Cindy Lazarus (left) and Renee Read of Bloomfield. 7. Sascha Montrose (left) of Farmington Hills and Connie Purucker of Bloomfield. 8. Valorie Cheyne (left) of Beverly Hills and Donna Yost of Bloomfield.
(twice the price of the general ticket) to get in a private autograph and photo session with some good guy jocks. These included Red Wing Justin Abdelkader, Pistons Bad Boy Rick Mahorn, former Detroit Lion Herman Moore and current Lions Derrick Williams, Cliff Avril and Louis Delman. (Charlie Villanueva, Lomas Brown and Kevin Smith had to be elsewhere, but had also signed autographs for donors.) People who donated another $99 received a bottle of 99 Wine donated by Wayne Gretzky. A silent and live auction raised another $10,000. In total the spirited evening enabled the Volunteers of America to provide food, clothing and toys for 25,000 needy children.
Cranbrook 21st Century Club Reception Cranbrook alum Brian Hermelin and his wife Jennifer, whose children attend Cranbrook, hosted a reception last month for 130 members of Cranbrook Schools 21st Century Club. It was notable for its warm hospitality and bringing together parents, alumni and parents of alumni. Head of Schools Arlyce Seibert, who has been at Cranbrook since 1971, noted the “big family” nature of the school community. She mentioned that the Hermelin home was the former home of party guests, Cranbrook alumna Amanda Van Dusen and her husband Curtis Blessing, whose wedding occurred there. BTW: Brian Hermelin is familiar with the phenom02.11
enon of one’s home being known by the name of its former owners. For many years his parents’ home on the same Bingham Farms road was known as “Bunkie Knudsen’s house.” Seibert also introduced Cranbrook Schools’ Board of Governors chair Adele Acheson, who was effusive in her praise of Stacey Klein, Sue Feiten and Mary Pat Rosen for their time and energy. It has combined to produce 500 members – donors to the schools’ Annual Fund of at least $1,000.
Cranbrook 21st Century Club Reception
Send ideas for this column to Sally Gerak, 28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, 48304; email email@example.com or call 248.646.6390. downtownpublications.com
1. Event host Jennifer Hermelin (left) of Bingham Farms with Ron & 21st Century Club chair Stacey Klein of Bloomfield. 2. Parent Bobbi Polk (left) of Bloomfield with schools Board of Governors chair Adele Acheson of W. Bloomfield. 3. Jim Holmes (second from left) of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, with his mother Helen, brother Bill and father Jim Holmes of Bloomfield. 4. Alumni Cranbrook parents Mike & Linda Kane of Bloomfield. 5. Alumni parents Linda Ulrey (left) and Leslie Helppie of Bloomfield. 6. Marj DeCapite and her son/ CK ’87 of Birmingham. 7. Parent Gerry Brody (left) of Birmingham, Hugh & Cindy Carney of Bloomfield and Frank Castronova of Ferndale.
Project HOPE’s Holiday Luncheon The Women’s Division of Project HOPE has been staging a holiday fundraiser for many years. It provides an opportunity for Christmas shopping and camaraderie. This year, nearly 100 attended the luncheon at Forest Hills Country Club, where 20 vendors displayed tempting wares. The group netted around $5,000 for Health Opportunities for People Everywhere. Bloomfield Hills Optimist Club Breakfast Before Christmas, Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency and the Bloomfield Hills Optimist Club delivered more than 10,000 gifts to OLHSA Head Start preschoolers as a part of the Children’s Holiday Wish program. This Herculean effort was accomplished with the leadership of Master Elf Brian Mackenzie and helpers, fellow Optimists Phyllis and Don Zimmerman, Ted Wilson, Fern Garcia, Gordon Glidden and BHOC president Robert Dempster, plus the beneficence of 50 corporate sponsors. Sixty people attended the breakfast meeting Dec. 13 at the Centerpoint Marriott where Microsoft’s Donna Bank-Hoglen accepted a Corporate Partner award for Microsoft’s ongoing outstanding support of the project. OLSHA CEO Ronald Borngesser and the grandparents of a recipient were also on hand to deliver heartfelt words of gratitude to the Santa helpers. They have provided gifts to 23,000 children and, not incidentally, pumped over $1 million into the local economy during the past 20 years.
Project HOPE’s Holiday Luncheon
1. Event chair Brigitte Krawiec (left) with Sandy Kondos of Bloomfield, Carrie Krawiec of Troy and Julie Coen of Farmington Hills. 2. Boutique co-chairs Serena Orsini (left) and Mary Putinta of Bloomfield. 3. Stephanie Krawiec (left) of Bloomfield and WD president Eva Meharry of Windsor, ONT. 4. Mary Russell (left) of Bloomfield and Ellie Tholen of Birmingham. 5. Barbara Diles of Bloomfield (considering a coat from Something Special). 6. Kathy Hack (left) of Farmington Hills and Audrey Mooradian of Bloomfield.
Street vendor idea should be put to rest ere's an idea, frankly, that should have died months ago but continues to take on a life of its own: allowing vendors of food and possibly merchandise to set up shop on Birmingham streets, alleys or passageways and in the city parks. The idea first surfaced last summer thanks to the planning department at city hall. At that time, the planning commission formed a subcommittee to work on a revised vendor ordinance. From what we are now being told, despite reservations expressed by the business community, both the city hall staff and the planning commission are moving ahead with the ordinance. Of course, lending impetus to the idea are a few potential vendors who are pushing at city hall to let them set up temporary shop to sell their wares. We had thought the concept of opening up the city streets and parks to vendors would have been put on the back burner after a resounding opposition last fall from the board of the Principal Shopping District, which represents the merchants in the immediate downtown area. The PSD had formed a subcommittee to consider the question of vendors in city parks, Shain and Booth, and returned with a recommendation not to support the concept. The PSD board voted against vendors in city parks, although they did propose that perhaps the city would like to add tables to at least Shain so that visitors to the park could purchase food from established restaurants in the area and have a place to eat on a trial basis. But on Saturday, January 22, at the Birmingham long range planning session at city hall, the
planning department staff was back to announce that they were proceeding ahead with changes to the ordinance and, if approved by the city commission, would allow two vendors to set up food carts on city streets in 2011 on a trial basis. The planning staff, and those supporting this concept, wrap the idea of vendors in the mantle of the city's 2016 Plan, saying that vendors would help add foot traffic to the city streets and would help revitalize the alleys and passageways, along with the parks, in the city. Yes, the 2016 Plan does talk about revitalizing the passageways or alleys in the city, but this could be accomplished with simple landscaping and the addition of benches without introducing food or merchandise carts in the city. Nowhere in the 2016 Plan do the authors talk about vendors. In fact, when contacted months ago about the vendor proposal, one of the authors of the 2016 Plan said there was no mention of vendors in the plan and that he would be opposed to introducing vendors into the city landscape. We have said it before in this space: Increasing the foot traffic and therefore the vibrancy in the immediate downtown area seems laudable. That, after all, was the logic behind the bistro movement in downtown Birmingham. However, we don't think food and merchandise carts will add to this goal. As John Heiney, executive director of the PSD pointed out, it could deter walkability if people run to get coffee from a nearby vendor rather than walking to one of the city's coffee shops, for example. At the same time, the city has an obligation to
existing restaurants and retail merchants to create an even playing field. Brick and mortar merchants and restaurants in the downtown area either own or pay rent, taxes, maintain payroll work forces and the like for the privilege of having a business in Birmingham. So now, with an amended ordinance, vendors will be able—at much less cost—to enter the city and set up temporary shop to move food and other products, and be in direct competition with established businesses. Planning staff is quick to add that the food carts would not be of the tacky “carny bum” variety that you see at some local events, but would entail a considerable investment on the part of the vendor. No temporary food or merchandise cart, application fee and monthly operating fee or “rent” of public space would compare with the expense facing the brick and mortar businesses that operate all year in the city, so the playing field would not be a level one. We also have a concern about changing the face of the park system with the introduction of vendors. We simply can't envision vendors operating in Shain or Booth parks, nor do we see the need. While the city may want to add outdoor dining accommodations in the parks so residents can bring food into the parks, either from home or established local restaurants, that is a far cry from introducing vendors. Lastly, we were disappointed to see at the recent long range planning session that a couple of city commissioners were already throwing their support behind the concept of vendors in the city. Premature, to say the least.
State-wide marijuana legislation overdue s Rep. Chuck Moss (R-Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township) recently noted, it has reached the crisis point for local municipalities in dealing with medical marijuana ordinances for patients, caregivers and dispensaries. Throughout Oakland County, and the state, municipalities are either enacting ordinances which prevent the usage of medical marijuana within their localities, citing federal law, or repeatedly delaying making a decision by issuing moratoriums. What local lawmakers have to remember—whether they like it not—is that voters approved this proposition, and it is now law in our state. Further, in Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Bloomfield Township, voters overwhelming approved it. It is incumbent upon local lawmakers to honor all residents wishes, and not the few vocal individuals who consistently show up at municipal meetings. Medical marijuana was approved by a statewide vote of 63 percent to 37 on Nov. 5, 2008. Birmingham residents approved it with a 70 percent approval rate; 62 percent of Bloomfield Hills voters voted yes; and 63 percent of the Bloomfield Township electorate voted affirmatively. It passed with 66 percent of
Oakland County's vote and became law in the state in April, 2009. Proposal 08-1, known as the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, stated specifically that it was "A legislative initiative to permit the use and cultivation of marijuana for specified medical conditions." The law is purposely vague. The Michigan Department of Community Health issues a caregiver card, allowing caregivers to grow or acquire 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for a qualifying patient. Yet in Oakland County, community after community has outlawed the disbursement of medical marijuana. At the current time, Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills have created and approved ordinances which prohibit the usage and dispensation of medical marijuana, and Bloomfield Township has an approved ordinance where state registered patients must register at the township police department in order to use the medicine in their own homes. Their law prohibits any cultivation and/or distribution activity in the township by any caregiver or patient, in direct conflict with the state Michigan Medical Marijuana law. Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, along with
Livonia, have been sued by the ACLU, representing a Birmingham couple who have medical reasons for using medical marijuana. Bloomfield Township has been sued by a pair of John Does, who contend that the township's laws to register as medical marijuana patients violate the right to be free from selfincrimination, as guaranteed by the Michigan Constitution, as the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act guarantees confidentiality, and cities and townships may not adopt ordinances in direct conflict with a Michigan state statute. It's time for the state legislature to wade into the morass, and clarify the law that the citizens of the state supported. It's not for lawmakers to moralize, but to legislate. We appreciate that Rep. Moss is now chair of the Appropriations Committee, and that the state's finances are in even worse shape than previously expected. While there is much to be done to right the state's financial ship, it does not excuse the legislature from other duties. Medical marijuana must be recognized as a medicine, and treated as such. State lawmakers must show leadership on this issue and develop a set of rules to be consistently applied in all communities.
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February 2011 - DOWNTOWN is an upscale monthly full-color magazine-style publication mailed at no charge to homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield...
Published on Jan 28, 2011
February 2011 - DOWNTOWN is an upscale monthly full-color magazine-style publication mailed at no charge to homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield...