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As immigrant numbers continue to grow in Birmingham and Bloomfield, local schools are facing new challenges from a student population that is speaking multiple languages. Here's how they tackle the issue.
33: Joe Faris
Fiat of Birmingham; President Tuxedo; The Basement/Flash Accessories; The Tux Shop; Primi Piatti; Amici's Gourmet Pizza; Blu Arch Collection; and more
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.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wines showcase a soft, appealing mouthfeel and a marvelous mélange of dark fruits hinged to a generous backbone.
Elie's in Birmingham, first opened in 1993, has a defined heartbeat – fine Lebanese cuisine in a comfortable atmosphere with a distinct Mediterranean feel.
Work issues at 220 restaurant; bistro license sale nixed; Barclay Inn coming down; property values fall; post office sold; vendor ordinance stalling; liquor license reviews.
It's the time of the year when more people worry about getting fit, and personal trainers are one way to get on the healthy path.
AT THE TABLE
57: Olivia Walby
Using a personal trainer
FOCUS ON WINE
A recap of select categories of crime occurring in the past month in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills, presented in map format.
21: Alicia Smith
Alcohol and marijuana are the two most widely used substances locally, joined by a rise in prescription drug abuse.
Multi-cultural school challenges
Drug trends in the area
THE COVER Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomfield Hills
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Society reporter Sally Gerak provides the latest news from the society and non-profit circuit as she covers major events of the past month.
A misguided mayor's refusal to review Birmingham's bistro license ordinance and the push by Bloomfield Township on service consolidation.
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FROM THE PUBLISHER he March issue of Downtown Birmingham/Bloomfield you hold in your hands, at 100 pages, has set a new record for our young publication. Nearly sixty local businesses joined us this month to bring you the news magazine for Birmingham and Bloomfield. The universe of accounts using Downtown on some regular basis has reached almost 150 in number, which is certainly one indication that we have designed and produced a monthly publication of interest for this area.
It goes without saying that we are pleased with the continued growth this month of Downtown. For those involved in the day-to-day work of producing a quality news magazine for Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills, this strong and growing support is heartening. But what we also find equally exciting is the feedback we continue to receive from the community. One of the goals we set for Downtown when we launched in 2010 was to foster dialogue in the community, and we gauge that by the response we are receiving from readers. The feedback comes in the form of e-mails sent through our website, e-mails sent to both News Editor Lisa Brody and myself, letters that arrive by mail, personal phone calls we receive and comments we get just walking down the street. Feedback will not always be in agreement with what we do here, as evidenced by some of the letters we received this month in response to prior stories and editorial opinion appearing in our Endnote section at the back of the publication each month. But we still welcome the comments. We learn from the comments we receive and we certainly continue to learn more about the viewpoints in the communities we serve. So we encourage everyone to become involved and let us know your thoughts on issues we present in Downtown and general issues in the community of concern to you personally. For traditional mail, our address is listed on the index page each issue; or you can e-mail us from our website, www.downtownpublications.com, where you will find on our home page an About Us/Reaching Us section in the top index. The topic of feedback brings me to my second issue this month. Richard Rosenbaum from Bloomfield Hills sent me a personal e-mail after receiving the February issue and reading my column. His purpose in writing was to state his agreement with my choice of modern day heroes (Daniel Ellsberg/Julian Assange). He also asked if I would be sharing with readers those I consider modern day villains, a reasonable request because last month's column was prompted by an interview with a local student doing a school project on heroes and villains. Without belaboring the issue, I consider modern villains the extremists we encounter in the current day world of politics, on both sides of the political aisle, at the national and state level. Yes, I understand passion of one's viewpoint and I am no stranger to espousing a passionate viewpoint on critical issues. But I also understand that our national, state and local government financial pictures are in a fragile state, and believe that the overall good of the population must take precedence over political ideology if we are to make progress on solving the challenges facing all levels of government. So at the risk of painting those with passionate views with too broad of a brush, villains today are those preventing us from solving important issues facing us because extremism prevents compromise, which is what we need if we are to make progress on critical issues. Footnote: If you are looking for additional information between monthly editions of Downtown, updates on our website (downtownpublications.com), or our postings on Facebook (facebook.com/downtownpublications), you can now follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/downtownpubs. As always, I welcome your feedback. David Hohendorf Publisher DavidHohendorf@downtownpublications.com
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If you choose to wade into the emotion-laden public school vs. private school waters, you have to walk with care. All schools fight many embedded and misguided perceptions. The stakes are high because enrollment drives revenue. And this is about the well-being of our children. Unfortunately, features like “Private Schools” (Downtown/February 2011) only feed stereotypes. The problem started with an assumption in the first sentence: that if you prize education, you have to look to private and parochial schools. Even worse, the story accepted as fact many unsupported claims by the independent schools, which must work hard to create perceptual distinctions in the minds of their customers to support value. This story painted Bloomfield Hills Schools with a broad and unfair brush. The truth is that the district compares favorably, or better, to the costly private and parochial schools on so many measures. Our taxpayers can celebrate the tremendous return that they get on their education dollar. The evidence includes the fact that nine out of ten Class of 2010 Andover and Lahser graduates were accepted to their first-choice college. Our students received more than $13 million in college scholarship offers. We have numerous Oakland County Teachers of the Year, and other faculty who are recognized statewide and nationally within their areas of expertise. Furthermore, we’re among a handful of districts in the nation to offer the International Baccalaureate in preschool through high school, developing global-minded citizens and critical thinkers. Harvard’s Visible Thinking at Way and Eastover help students develop 21st century skills. Our low class sizes foster important student/teacher relationships in an unequalled program of rigor, relevance and choice. Public schools have an important mission to nurture every child who enters our doors. We embrace that mission, and invite our community to learn more about Bloomfield Hills Schools at www.DiscoverBHS.org. Betsy Erikson, Communications Director, Bloomfield Hills Schools
Sacred Heart response I recently received a copy of the “Private Schools” article in Downtown
SPEAK OUT We welcome your opinion on issues facing the Birmingham/Bloomfield communities. Opinions can be sent via e-mail to email@example.com or mailed to Downtown Publications, 124 West Maple Road, Birmingham MI 48009.
Birmingham/Bloomfield's February issue. I was surprised and deeply disappointed to see the Academy of the Sacred Heart's enrollment statistics misrepresented. In light of the current economic challenges in the broader community, we have intensified efforts to maintain our existing families and reach out to new audiences using an innovative, yet personal approach. In fact, what our admissions director, Barbara Lopiccolo, communicated was that our attrition levels were the lowest they had been in 12 years, meaning that once a student arrives at the Academy, he or she is ever more likely to remain here until graduation (in grade 8 for boys in Kensington Hall and grade 12 for our young women in Upper School). Enrollment remains steady at approximately 500 students, including our new infant/toddler program for children ages six weeks to 2 ½ years, which is running at capacity. Attendance at our January open house was at a five-year high, with parents inquiring at all levels of the school. As we celebrate our 160th anniversary serving metropolitan Detroit, we are confident we are on the right path, educating students to be tomorrow's leaders of conscience. Bridget Bearss, RSCJ, Head of School, Academy of the Sacred Heart
Public school advantage At Birmingham Public Schools, we understand the value of any education – whether it’s public, private or parochial. Our job as a public school is to provide students with the best education possible while including myriad opportunities beyond the classroom. Our increased enrollment
this year indicates to us that many new families are also seeing the advantage a public school can provide. Aside from an exceptional curriculum that has cultivated students that have matriculated to places like Harvard, Yale, Duke and Carnegie Mellon, our students have dozens of extracurricular activities from which to choose. These activities range from clubs like Green Club, Fashion Club and academic and technology clubs, to athletic programs like Water Polo and Lacrosse. We have award-winning Orchestra and Theatre students. BPS students participate in culturally-diverse experiences inside and outside the classroom. All these opportunities together aren’t found at smaller schools in our area. Former private and parochial school families are seeing the advantages as well. When we broke down our enrollment, we found that 191 students entering our district this year came from private or parochial schools – 66 came to our elementary schools, 43 to the middle schools and 82 to our high schools. With 19 private and parochial schools in our area competing for students, we’re happy to see that our programs and resources are valued enough to make us the district to choose. It’s great to know our families are saving money that they could use to send their children to college – colleges that come to BPS to find college-ready, success-driven students. Our parents know that we’re giving their child an exceptional education and numerable extracurricular opportunities that can’t be met anywhere else. I invite you to visit our Web site at www.birmingham.k12.mi.us or contact one of our schools to arrange a tour. Dr. David Larson, Ed.D., Superintendent, Birmingham Public Schools
Superintendent's time Can you possibly imagine what kind of time Bloomfield Hills Schools Superintendent (Rob) Glass spends on all this school building stuff rather than on what he is being paid to do and that is run an academic program for the system. I dare say he spends at least 70 plus percent of his time on this buildings mess. So you can imagine how things like long-term scholastic issues and planning are all set aside. And by virtue of what the voters have said in elections, it would appear the 03.11
system will be suffering in the long term. A part of Glass's job is to be spending time dealing with the future, spending time on the business, not in the business. I would say his time commitments are totally upside down, and have been since the day he came into office. Not his fault, but it could be relieved if the board would listen to what the constituents have said. And his ability to help heal the community have simply not materialized. At the moment the heat is at least where it was when he arrived. It lessened a bit some months ago, but now it is back up. Things are just not going too well. This school board has made a real case for the argument of: It's a Mad Mad Mad World out there. Rich Andrews, Bloomfield Hills
The aging generation I really enjoyed (Lisa Brody's) article on the aging generation (Downtown/February 2011). I think she did such a fantastic job of just "nailing" what is so pertinent and I applaud her. I think you have been doing a fantastic job of capturing the essence of our community. Marcy Klucznik, Birmingham
Eye-opening article What a great article (Aging in Oakland/ February 2011). Fabulous numbers and very eye-opening. Thank you. Pat Hardy, City Commissioner, Bloomfield Hills
CREEM magazine article I thoroughly enjoyed your remembrance of CREEM Magazine. It was journalism in the truest (and increasingly rare) sense of the term. The article was well researched, thoughtful and compelling. However, the real reason I am writing today is to congratulate Downtown Publications for treating your readers like adults. By this I mean the inclusion of words (used in direct quotes) not found in "family" newspapers. I'm grateful that the editors recognize that readers of an article about rock and roll might have some acquaintance with the argot of that culture. I sincerely applaud your courage and dedication to the journalistic tradition. Cary Gersh, Bloomfield Hils downtownpublications.com
Glad to participate I wanted to tell you that I enjoyed it (CREEM Remembered/ February 2011), saw it online the day it went up. It's a fun read. Glad to have been a part of it. Robert Matheu, Hollywood, CA
Great articles Great article on the schools and enrollment and quite a spread on CREEM (Downtown/February 2011). Who knew? I also enjoyed reading about 220. Debra Darvick, Birmingham
Lowering “heroism” bar In the early 1960’s, communist North Vietnam, with full material and financial support from the Soviet Union and communist China, invaded South Vietnam, along with Laos and Cambodia, with hundreds of thousands of troops. South Vietnam, being a poor agricultural society, did not have the resources to repel the military might of North Vietnam and its communist allies so it asked the world nations for help and America agreed to provide troops and assistance. Daniel Ellsberg’s reckless decision to release documents containing our top secret military strategy for the defense of South Vietnam to the North Vietnamese communists eventually led to the defeat of the South and allowed the North to impose one of the most brutal and oppressive regimes the world has ever seen on the people of the South. The responsibility for the millions of innocent South Vietnamese civilians who were murdered by the communist North Vietnamese invaders after the fall of Saigon rests, in a large part, with a person who some consider to be a hero, Daniel Ellsberg. While there are those who wish to build monuments to Mr. Ellsberg in this world, in the next world he will have to face the souls of all the lives he destroyed and it will be there where he will have to pay for his crimes. (Lastly), in the Endnote comments (about) the marijuana issue, the last paragraph states that marijuana must be recognized as medicine. I ask why? The FDA has never approved any use of it and has repeatedly and consistently said that it has never found any medical benefit from marijuana. Just think how much better we would be if all the money, time, energy, resources, and efforts spend growing marijuana and getting “high” where instead directed towards any activity which would improve our lives and society as well. John Nowak, Birmingham
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Larceny from vehicle
These are the crimes reported under select categories by police officials in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills through February 18, 2011. Placement of codes is approximate.
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SCHOOL DIVERSITY CHALLENGES DEALING WITH MULTI-CULTURAL POPULATION BY LISA BRODY
ho we become is shaped by our earliest years; by our families, our culture and our education. For children coming to the United States from another country, their development is enhanced or hindered by how well they are acculturated into American society, from their language development to their inclusion into everyday life. Diversity. It's become the buzzword of our early century. But it's really much more than the cliché it's in danger of becoming—it's not about being color blind, but culturally-accepting. Once, the thinking was that our great country was a large melting pot, to be stirred together, for all of us to come out as one homogenized “American” flavor. Today, the more enlightened thinking is to treasure our backgrounds, highlight the uniqueness that we each bring to the table, find commonalities, and celebrate the human spirit within us all.. In practice, that can be easier said than done. Be it through natural immigration practices or via international relocation for a job, when legal immigrants move into a community, it is a challenge for schools, community centers, and others who help ease the transition. For many newcomers, first there is the language barrier which must be addressed. Then there are the social and cultural challenges to deal with, from finding compatible food to eat, places to shop, doctors to take children to, to the more mundane, such as where to go to get a hair cut and buy shoes for growing children. Some new members of the community have family here, but for others, isolation can take a toll, and school districts have developed programs to ease the transition, going well beyond traditional English language classes. Today, almost half of Michigan's school districts have students who speak little or no English, including every district in Oakland County, according to Michigan Department of Education data. Just nine years ago, in 2002, only about 13 percent of districts were teaching students who did not speak English. That comes with a price tag. This year, the state will spend more than $12.8 million to help schools teach English language learners. Most of this is provided through federal grants, including nearly $8.8 million in Title III funding for students with limited English language skills. That's more than three times the $4 million granted to students with the same limited skills in the 2002-03 school year. Birmingham and Bloomfield are seeing a wide spectrum of non-English speaking children—and their parents—entering local schools. In Birmingham Schools, Pierce School's English Language Learners currently have children whose first language is German, Italian, French, Wolof (the native language of Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania), Spanish, Vietnamese, Albanian, and Chinese. West Maple Elementary has lots of French-speaking children,
as well as Chaldean, Arabic, and Hebrew speakers. At Berkshire Middle School, newcomer students speak French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chaldean, Arabic, Hebrew, Czech, and Russian. Bloomfield Hills Schools are now seeing children speaking Italian, Portuguese, German, French, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Farsi. In the neighboring Troy Schools, students speak 57 different dialects right now, said Nancy Brown, Ph.D., Associate Professor for Teacher Development and Educational Studies at Oakland University School of Education and Human Services, creating unique challenges— and opportunities. “The languages change every year,” said Laurie McCarty, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction for Bloomfield Hills School District. “A lot of families are moving in with zero level of English language skills. They're moving in for the auto industry and suppliers. At one time, most were Asians. Later on, when Chrysler changed, then we had a lot of Germans. Now, we're seeing a mix of multiple languages.” Bloomfield Hills has two different programs, a Newcomers program, housed at Lone Pine Elementary, which began in the early 1990s, and at West Hills Middle School, which is about 10 years old. Currently, there is no specific high school program; those who come in seem to have some English knowledge, McCarty said. This program is for elementary and middle school-age students with little to no English language skills or cultural skills. The second program they have is a support group, which helps the student, and the family, as they gain more language skills, and shadows them until they are fully fluent and acculturated. The length of time depends on the student. “To really understand a language at an academic level, it takes five to seven years,” McCarty said. Currently, according to McCarty, there are between 150 to 200 English language learners in the district, at different levels. There are currently about 20 in the Newcomers program, with students moving in and out of it at all times. They are considered an English language learner, she noted, based on federal standards, based on levels 0 through 5, with levels 0 and 1 being non-learners, and level 4 or 5 considered able to communicate. Assessments are given in the spring of each school year. In Birmingham, Cindy Blanchard-Kronig, District ESL Chair for Birmingham Public Schools, said there are about 200 active students this year. At the elementary level, there is a fulltime program at West Maple Elementary, and a half-day program at Pierce Elementary. Middle school students study at Berkshire Middle School, and high school students have all of their classes at Seaholm. Years ago the belief was that non-English speakers were behind other students, and often were put in special education classes with little or no language assistance. Without English
language learning and cultural support, the children floundered, further reinforcing educators belief that these students could not learn or had difficulty learning or learning disabilities. “We no longer think that way. It's no longer considered a language deficit to be a non-native speaker,” said Oakland University's Brown. “These students will have an advantage in the world as they get older because they will be multilingual. At Oakland University, we see diversity as an advantage; we see it that we are building communities of learners, and all learners add value to the classroom. We don't live in a monolithic society any longer. Our children, when they grow older, will have to operate in a multicultural environment. The world has gotten smaller, so the more diversity that exists in the classroom, the more everyone's learning is broadened and everyone's is enhanced. That's how we prepare our teachers for the classroom. It's the teacher's responsibility to create an environment where everyone is welcomed, valued and can learn to their fullest potential.” It is now acknowledged that what happens during a child's earliest years shape how they react to people of other skin colors and customs, and whether they become accepting or fearful. That period of time is also an opportunity for them to learn to feel proud, rather than ashamed, of their own heritage and language. Many English language learners will continue to speak their native language within their homes, becoming dual language speakers. Teachers are a key conduit for that diversity education, to educate students about different cultures, helping to eliminate stereotypes, while providing an environment that is inclusive and respectful. For newcomers, English as a Second Language (ESL) or English Language Learners (ELL) class is critical, and those moving to Birmingham and Bloomfield are fortunate that both districts have highly-developed programs. The school districts receive funding under Title III through the U.S. Department of Education, providing language instruction for limited English-proficient and immigrant students. ESL or ELL are more than just language immersion; they provide social and cultural knowledge as well as involving parents in the life of the school and their child's life. “ESL is different than just teaching someone the language,” said Autumn Templeton, an ESLcertified tutor with RLAC-Reading & Language Arts Center in Bloomfield Hills. “You have to address social issues as much as the language. You have to teach students what's appropriate in terms of language and gestures in the classroom, and the differences in terms of interpretation. There's also slang, and the appropriate usage of that, whether in the classroom, grocery store, or playground.” Templeton points out that in addition to mastering the English language, students have
to address sentence structure and the proper placement of nouns, verbs and adjectives to advance academically or professionally. “The sounds and the spelling won't do you a lot of good if you don't know which order to put the words in,” she said. “English is also one of the only languages where we have words that sound the same but have different meanings. We also have sounds that other languages do not have, and other languages have sounds we don't,” compounding the difficulty of learning the language. To help ease the arduousness, she said they encourage students to watch TV and listen to pop music, “because it's easy to engage in those words and sounds, so we want to bring those tools into the classroom so they can grow academically and socially.” They also use multisensory tools, such as sand, sandpaper, textiles and music, to connect the learner with the language. Amanda Davidson, a Birmingham ESL teacher at Berkshire Middle School and Pierce Elementary School, agrees with that approach. “We use a lot of songs, pictures, visuals, movements and dance,” she said. “Repetition and songs are great, anything that gets the message across. By showing a picture of something, doing movements, hand motions, and saying the word, the students picks it up very quickly. We also do a lot of games so they feel comfortable. The most important thing at the elementary level is that they feel comfortable very quickly, because when they feel comfortable, they begin to take risks with the language, and that's when they really make leaps.” According to Birmingham's program, there are four stages to approaching language mastery: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Motivation on the part of the student leads to self-confidence, which therefore results in increased language acquisition by the English language learner. Establishing a warm environment and consistent routines won't guarantee success, but they do help to decrease anxiety and the low self-esteem that can come from feeling like an outsider. Being sensitive to the culture shock that new students experience is an important criteria as well. According to Marge Kaplan, an ESL teacher in St. Paul, Minnesota, there is a cycle children often go through in any new setting. At first they are really excited to be in a new environment. Then reality sinks in, and they may feel stupid, lonely, depressed and isolated. Kaplan said this period can last anywhere from six weeks to three months or more. She said that almost all students eventually learn to accept and feel comfortable in their new situation, adapting and learning English and getting comfortable in their gradeappropriate classroom. Birmingham Schools cite Robert Marzano's research, which urges teachers to identify similarities and differences between the languages students are learning, helping students summarize and take notes, if they can. Reinforcing their effort and providing recognition of what they are learning is aided by homework and practice. As Davidson pointed out, non-
linguistic representations aid their learning. By continually setting objectives for English language learners and providing them with constant feedback and reinforcement, their learning grows exponentially. When students feel stumped or blocked, providing cues, questions and advance organizers move them along in their progress. In both Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, at most grade levels the schools provide dedicated classrooms with specific ESL or ELL orientations, which become havens for newcomers. When students first enroll and arrive, they are assessed to determine their level and see if they qualify for Title III funding. “If you have students in the district who qualify to get funds under Title III, you have to identify on the enrollment form that the students or the household has a primary language other than English,” said Bloomfield Hills' McCarty. Once the student is screened to determine their English level, if they are Level 0 or Level 1, “which is basically non-English speaking,” she said, then depending upon age, they are placed
BOTH SCHOOL DISCTRICTS PROVIDE CLASSROOMS THAT SERVE AS HAVENS FOR NEWCOMERS
into a school with a Newcomer's program offering language immersion, socialization, and support. “They're usually there for the year. It's their home base,” she said. “The first thing they learn about is American culture. They need that even before language.” In Bloomfield Hills, a new non-English speaking student is immediately paired with grade-level peers for special classes, such as gym, art, music and lunch. Academics are with a certified English language teacher. “As those students become more proficient and comfortable with their language skills, they move into their first content area, and then others. The first one is usually math with their peers. Hopefully, by the end of the school year, they'll have acclimated to their natural grade level,” McCarty said. “They really learn quickly at this age. The following year, when they enter their regular grade, we provide support, which is the second
stage of our programs,” she said. Support can continue for several grades, declining as their language skills and acculturation rises. Birmingham's Davidson notes that “the ESL room is really safe.They can really show their own personality and feel comfortable. In their grade level classroom, they can be intimidated by not being able to speak the language well.” She notes that the comfort and intimacy of the ESL rooms in Birmingham's dedicated classrooms do exactly what they are intended to do: allow the children to relax and feel at ease, “which then makes them feel less self-conscious in these smaller, more intimate, relatable classrooms of ESL. When they feel that way, they can then take that back to their grade classrooms.” This year, Birmingham Schools have created three magnet schools. At the high school level, ESL learners go to Seaholm High School; middle school English language learners attend Berkshire Middle School; and all elementary age students, other than those whose home school is West Maple Elementary, attend Pierce Elementary. “There are so many English language learners at West Maple that they stay at their home school, and the rest go to Pierce,” said Davidson. While Davidson said they don't specifically pair the newcomer with a non-immigrant student, she said they recommend that they have a “buddy.” “We suggest it's someone who may speak their language, which is another area of security for the student, and another family within the school for the family to connect with.” “We're in contact with families a lot,” she said. “We use parent volunteers in the schools who can give advice on ESL programs at local universities and programs at community centers, some will plan monthly breakfasts and other programs. It's ways for them to connect with one another.” Oakland University's Brown, who works to help educate students seeking to become educators, noted, “Our students are taught that when a family is involved, it's always best. There are multiple ways of reaching out to parents who may not speak the language or share our cultural norms.” Orientation, or whenever the child enters, is the best time to begin, because it sets the tone for open communication between the family and faculty. Educators are advised to ask parents how they would they like them to recognize their child ethnically; what family traditions they would like the program to acknowledge; what can the school learn about their culture to help them be as respectful as possible; what language or languages does the family speak; and what holidays do they celebrate. If parents or grandparents are available, even with limited language skills, they are asked to share their experiences of their heritage, as it provides a diversity lesson that cannot be reproduced with mere learning tools. Besides providing classrooms with first generation interactive cultural information, it gives teachers valuable information about the families' backgrounds and traditions, and shows children how much their heritage is valued at the same time they are being taught a new culture and language.
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“The families become the support for one another,” said McCarty. “We have Family Days for our newcomers done by our parents. Our families have to teach newcomers what is Halloween, what is Thanksgiving. We have classes and meetings for our parents filled with cultural information on what it is to be an American, and how do you adjust to American schooling as opposed to just learning the English language.” McCarty relates that when she was principal of Lone Pine Elementary in the district, parents developed the Lone Pine International Club, consisting of American families and, initially, Italian families, though it grew to encompass families of many backgrounds. “It started out one August with a pool party at one family's house, for the families to meet one another before school started, and it grew to have over 100 families,” she recalled. “They were laughing and connecting and sharing. The hub was the school, but the families became support for one another, so that when some of the families returned to their original countries, they stayed friends, and American families visited them.” While that dream goal does not always materialize, a connection between parents and the school is critical to the success of the incoming student. Janet Scott, lecturer and testing coordinator at the English Language Institute at Wayne State University, notes that for many adult ESL students or family members, “finding day care for my kids, where do I shop, how do I get around are the big questions. The transportation issue is a huge issue, and a real problem. The bus system (in metro Detroit) is horrendous, and compound that with language difficulties. If you have the means, you buy a car, but otherwise, it's a problem. A lot of immigrants who move in do have families who can help them, but for others, networks through school are very important.” “Parent volunteers at our schools will plan monthly breakfasts for our new mothers, connecting them to one another,” said Birmingham's Davidson. “They also provide them with advice on ESL at local universities.” It also offers an opportunity to understand cultural differences in childrearing. “One of the things new teachers have to learn and understand is that parents (from other countries) do not not love or discipline their children, or not want their child to succeed, but they may not understand American cultural norms, and it's the teacher's responsibility to help bridge that gap for them,” explained Oakland University's Brown. The Community House in Birmingham offers a Newcomer's Club where new members of the community, whether international or just relocating from another American city, can drop in and meet others. They hold social and educational events which provide assistance and a cultural and social outlet for parents, especially wives of men brought here for jobs who may feel isolated in the community. “In all of my dealings, I've never had a challenge with families. It may be true that one or another of the spouses has a better grasp of the language, but that has never inhibited
conversation,” said Director of the Upper School at Detroit Country Day School Brad Gilmour. “If they are not completely fluent, a parent might have a son or daughter clarify what we were talking about.” At Detroit Country Day, students entering must be full English-speakers. “That's not to suggest that English is the primary language of their home, but they are fully conversant at school,” said Gilmour. “For some, English is their second language, or it's 1A or 1B.” Gilmour said the school does not keep statistics as to what percentage or the amount of students who fall into this category, “but the student body has had a long history of being very diverse and very welcoming of ethnicities. We've always felt it provides our students the ability to learn from one another.” Gilmour said they do not have any ESL or ELL programs, but do have programs that promote learning of other cultures, “and the importance in a global society we're living in that students have the ability to learn first-hand about many countries and ethnicities.”
A CONNECTION BETWEEN PARENTS AND THE SCHOOL IS CRITICAL FOR THE SUCCESS OF A STUDENT
Each school year, they devote a week to learning about one another's cultures, culminating in a Culture Day, where students dress in native attire and bring in foods representing their heritage. “The day is focused on heightening awareness, educating and enlightening people— students, faculty and staff—of the cultures within our school,” Gilmour said. “It provides an opportunity for awareness of the similarities shared across cultures, not just the differences. Similarities may just be called different things.” Cranbrook Schools has a boarding element in its Upper School, and they currently have more than 80 international students from 18 different countries across the world. Cranbrook Upper School Headmaster Charlie Shaw notes they are largely from the Pacific Rim countries of Korea, China, and Taiwan, along with subcontinent India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Nigeria.
“We're usually represented by Europe, Asia and Africa,” Shaw said. He said the key challenges are that for most students, their written English when they arrive is very strong, but “their spoken English is less strong, and they are often coming from an educational background that is not as participatory and interactive as American schools are.” Cranbrook's ESOL program, Shaw said, is a very intensive program that is designed to bring the kids into readiness for the education being offered. The school offers an international student orientation for three days prior to school beginning, an intensive introduction to American classrooms, banking needs, cafeteria usage, socialization and culture. Families are also involved in the orientation. “We also utilize international mentors, which are older students who take them through at the beginning,” Shaw said. “It's one part ice breaker, one part communication skills, and one part how Cranbrook works. These kids are phenomenally motivated, and these parents have all made sacrifices, arrangements, and preparations for an American education for years before the kids have arrived. The kids feel an enormous pressure to succeed.” He noted that international students initially are overwhelmed by American classrooms, and the expressiveness and openness that American students exhibit. “Many of our kids from other countries are coming from classrooms with 50 or 60 kids in them, and they are used to being awarded for being studious and attentive, for being 'rote learners'. American education is more challenging, verbal and expressive, and that's new to them. We have to engage them as learners,” he said. Many come for the full four years of high school, and “they're tracing the same trajectory as American kids. As freshman and sophomores, they're reading what's going on around them. They're also building their confidence and making friends from a non-American perspective. As juniors and seniors, they're taking more risks, doing more with extracurriculars activities, and looking for opportunities to excel, which they do, in music, art, athletics,” Shaw noted. Cranbrook honors all of the different cultures represented on their campus through affinity events and clubs, celebrating various Thanksgivings, New Years, and other cultural events. “They're not giving up their home culture, but gaining a second culture,” Shaw said. “It's pretty special.” He said a significant challenge they encounter is to help the children, and the parents, understand the education options available in the United States. “The parents of these students tend to be very mono-focused in grades, results, 'name' schools, like the Ivies (Ivy League colleges),” Shaw said. “They have difficulty understanding how we work with kids having emotional issues. It's a new thing for them to understand nurturing, talking about issues, all of the emotional aspects of a student's life.”
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Alicia Smith licia Smith, morning co-anchor for WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), began as a high school student with her sights set on becoming a broadcast journalist. With persistent determination, she has let nothing get in her way. “I was living on St. Simons Island, Georgia,” said Smith. “My dad had kept us moving around because of his job. An AM radio station opened down the street and I offered to work for free.” Smith landed a job at the contemporary Christian station and eventually earned a paycheck for her work, but quickly realized she wanted to delve into a career in television. She took several unpaid internships to gain experience and a reputation in broadcast television while studying at the University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism. Following college, she applied all over the country, ultimately ending up in Michigan. “I got the opportunity to come to WXYZ in Detroit,” said Smith. “The first three months I worked at Channel 7, I would come into work and I would just float down the hall. I was so excited to work here.” As a journalist, Smith has had the opportunity to interview many celebrities, including Drew Barrymore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa and Jerry Seinfeld, but the human interest stories she has covered throughout the years are what she truly identifies as the highlights of her career. “Last year I interviewed a Holocaust survivor who was in her 80s,” said Smith. “It was beyond horrific, but she bravely answered every question. I teared up in the interview. It’s moments like that, that it hits you that this job is important. We have the opportunity and responsibility to report on history.” Smith’s on-air talents and uninhibited zest to get out from behind the desk and report in the community has helped earned her three Emmy Awards. “I won’t lie— it’s awesome!” she said. “I’ve been so very fortunate to have received them. Face it, the competition is so stiff.” While Smith is at the top of her game professionally, she remains a passionate humanitarian dedicated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Michigan Humane Society and Habitat for Humanity. “Wherever you live, you have to be a cheerleader for (your community),” she said. “I moved around a lot and I thought, let me just dive into causes that are close to my heart.” As a Birmingham resident, Smith still finds time to unwind and frequently drops by Toast for brunch with her WXYZ co-worker and friend, Anu Prakash. “I also like Forte and 220,” she said. Although Smith has had to sacrifice along the way to fulfill her goals, she has ultimately ended up right where she dreamed she would. “It’s been a wild ride. It’s been hard and difficult to move around. I work crazy hours and have had to be away from family, but it's totally worth it. At the end of the day, I do what I love to do and I think that is so important.”
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Fact or fantasy? Where there are teens, there is risky behavior, yet usage of alcohol and drugs has not changed substantially from years past. According to experts, alcohol and marijuana in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills are the two most widely used substances, and their usage is consistent with previous years. The two are joined by a substantial rise in prescription drug use and abuse in the last few years, primarily of attention deficit disorder (ADHD) medications and opiates.
loomfield Township Detective John Hoffman, a school liaison officer for Bloomfield Hills Schools, said, “It's the same as it's been for many years. Ninety-nine percent is marijuana, alcohol, and prescription drugs. Every few years, we'll see heroin, but not on the kids. In the schools, it's very rare. It comes in spurts. We don't see heroin for three or four years, and then we'll see a few overdoses, and then we won't again for a few years.” “Dope is primarily from traffic stops, down Woodward. It's rarely from residents,” said Bloomfield Hills Police Chief Richard Matott. Bloomfield Hills officer Jay Reynolds, K-9 handler and community relations liaison with Bloomfield Hills Schools, concurred with Hoffman. “Alcohol is number one, and marijuana is number two. Prescription drugs are harder to track. They're dealt with more at the family level because they're going to recognize the abuse easier than we will. Also, our (toxicology) screening tests do not test for prescription pills.” “We're not finding hard-core drug users in general,” said Hoffman. “With the pills, especially the ADHD drugs, it's usually kids looking for an advantage at exam time. From a law enforcement point-of-view, if they've got it on them without a prescription in their name, we charge them with it. Alcohol and marijuana are really no different than it's been for years, other than it's not the same pot from the '60s. Now, marijuana is often laced with heroin and other drugs that make it much more addictive and dangerous. It's 60 times more powerful than it was before. These kids buy it and put it in their bodies, and they don't have a clue.” According to police report statistics from Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Bloomfield Township police departments, use of alcohol, marijuana, narcotics, prescription pills, cocaine, and other drugs appear to be about the same year-to-year over the last five years, with minimal variations each year. However, according to the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future study, which has conducted studies annually since 1975 by a team of social scientists at the University of Michigan's Institute of Social Research, the proportion of young people using any illicit drug has been rising over the past three years, due primarily to the increased use of marijuana. Locally, police departments and schools confirm that marijuana use is up as alcohol use continues to fall. In Bloomfield Township, there were 79 arrests for marijuana possession in
2006; 95 in 2007; 68 in 2008; 93 in 2009; and 68 in 2010. There were 7 arrests for marijuana sales in the township in 2006; 5 in 2007; 1 in 2008; 2 in 2009; and 4 in 2010. In Bloomfield Hills, there were 15 arrests for marijuana possession in 2006; 45 in 2007; 22 in 2008; 21 in 2009; and 34 in 2010. There was only one arrest, in 2006, for sale or manufacture of marijuana, in Bloomfield Hills. In Birmingham, there were 7 youths arrested in 2006 for miscellaneous drug offenses, compared to only 2 in 2009, the last year statistics are available. Compared to minor in possession (MIP) tickets in Birmingham for alcohol possession, there were 13 tickets given out in 2006, and 5 in 2009. For the adult population, Birmingham gave out 104 tickets for operating while intoxicated in 2006; 65 in 2007; 103 in 2008; and 60 in 2009. Bloomfield Township ticketed 432 individuals for operating under the influence of liquor or drugs in 2006; 428 in 2007; 388 in 2008; 370 in 2009; and 228 in 2010. Alcohol abuse campaigns and drunk driving awareness, coupled with parental emphasis and communication, appear to have driven home that drinking is not safe nor acceptable. It is also more difficult for teens to acquire alcohol than marijuana, and depending on the situation, sometimes more expensive. Recently, many teens have become convinced that marijuana is not dangerous as it has become a legal option for the ill as medical marijuana. “The attitude towards marijuana is really changing, and it may be because of the medical marijuana law,” said Sherree Wilson, crisis intervention counselor, Birmingham Schools. “It's been condoned by people in medicine and in government, there are crusades to legalize it, so it must by OK, the kids will say. You can say it's horrible, but if it's OK to treat diseases, it's hard to argue. It's the old argument—it's natural, herbal, you cannot physically overdose, you can't get physically addicted, etc. The kids truly believe it's better than alcohol, and that it's less dangerous than alcohol. It's certainly much easier to get. They'll say 'I don't even know how to get alcohol. It's so hard to buy. Someone has to buy it for me.' But to get pot, it's abundant. They know how to find marijuana because it's all over.”
ilson noted there appears to be a rise in what she calls an “entrepreneurial group” among some students in the area who see an opportunity to create a business model of growing marijuana, selling it to fellow students, and making money from it. They clearly do not see themselves as drug dealers but as businessmen. “There's this new entrepreneurship among kids right now. They talk about 'let's grow pot and make some money.' It's the next generation's entrepreneur opportunity for some,” Wilson said. She said many are looking at how to grow it hydroponically, and appear to look at it from a business proposition viewpoint. “I don't think the arguments of the past, the
scare tactics, telling them—although true, that the pot is more potent than years ago—will work anymore,” Wilson said. “They'll just tune you right out. Parents are having a really hard time because it's so condoned (societally).” The big problem, besides the potency issue and how it is often laced with heroin, opiates, and other toxic products on the street, “is that pot a has different effect on the teenage brain than an adult brain, which is still developing,” said Wilson. When someone smokes marijuana, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, THC, the main active chemical in marijuana, rapidly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body. THC acts upon specific sites in the brain, called cannabinoid receptors, kicking off a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the high that users experience when they smoke marijuana. Some brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors; others have few or none.
he highest density of cannabinoid receptors are found in parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentrating, sensory, time perception and coordinated movement. Marijuana intoxication can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving and learning and memory. Research has shown that in chronic users marijuana's adverse impact on learning and memory can last for days, or weeks, after the acute effects of the drug wear off. As a result, someone who smokes marijuana everyday may be functioning at a subpar intellectual level all of the time. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2009, 16.7 million Americans 12 years-old or older used marijuana at least one a month. In youth 12 -17, the current use rate for 2009 was 7.3 percent, up from 6.7 percent in 2008. Past month use among those 18-25 increased from 16.5 percent in 2008 to 18.1 percent in 2009. University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future study said that marijuana use has been rising for the past two years, which is a sharp contrast to the past decade of declining use, and the proportion of young people using any illicit drug has been rising over the past three years, which they said is due largely to the increased use of marijuana. “Perhaps the most troublesome part of this is that daily use of marijuana increased significantly in all three grades (8, 10, 12) in 2010,” said Lloyd Johnston, the principal investigator of the Monitoring the Future study. Daily or near-daily use is defined as use on 20 or more occasions in the prior 30 days. Therefore, about one in 16 12th graders today, according to the study, use marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis. Monitoring the Future noted that one possible reason for the resurgence in marijuana use is that in recent years, few teens report
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seeing much danger associated with its use, even with regular use. As such, fewer teens have shown disapproval of marijuana use over the past two or three years. Both perceived risk and disapproval continued to decline in all three grades they studied in 2010.
irmingham Schools' Wilson agreed with Detective Hoffman and Chief Matott that heroin is not being used presently by students in local schools. It appears to be a line that teens know not to cross. “I think that's a really low number. Shooting drugs is just not happening here. Every now and then, you'll hear about one or two situations, but there's not a group of kids doing it. If so, adults would hear about it. If they heard about a kid doing heroin in school, kids would be in the office telling someone,” Wilson said. She said there is a smattering of cocaine being used today, but not in big numbers as a decade ago. Police numbers bear that out. Bloomfield Township had 9 arrests for cocaine possession in 2006, and 2 in 2010. Bloomfield Hills had 3 arrests for cocaine possession in 2008, and 1 in 2010. Bloomfield Hills had 2 arrests for heroin possession in 2006, and 3 arrests in 2010, while Bloomfield Township had 2 arrests for heroin possession in 2006 and 4 in 2010. Birmingham did not break out their drug arrests by type. The Birmingham-Bloomfield Community Coalition studies community trends in drug and alcohol use every two years for all the high
schools and middle schools in Birmingham and Bloomfield to help determine what is happening amongst the teens in our community. They surveyed 8th through 12th grade students in 2005, 2007, and 2009, to ascertain their perceptions of risk, age of first substance use, parental disapproval, and 30-day substance use. In 2005, 35.7 percent of Birmingham and Bloomfield students reported using alcohol within a 30-day period; 15.75 percent said they smoked cigarettes during that time; and 16.8 percent reported they had used marijuana. In 2007, alcohol use was reported at 32.25 percent within a 30-day period; tobacco use was down to 11.05 percent; and marijuana use was at 11.55 percent. In 2009, 31.8 percent of teens reported they had used alcohol within the previous 30 days; 11.2 percent said they had smoked cigarettes; and 14.75 reported using marijuana. What concerns Carol Mastroianni, executive director of the coalition, is the perception change that is occurring among young people, that marijuana and prescription pills are not as dangerous as alcohol to use, as Wilson noted. “We toddler-proof our homes, putting stoppers in our electrical sockets and gates up, but we do not teen or tween-proof our homes,” Mastroianni said. “Where are our prescription drugs? In medicine cabinets and drawers where they can get them. There's the perception that if our kids have prescription drugs, someone sold them to them. But parents do not realize they'll just go take them from the medicine cabinet, or from their friend's parents.”
“Anything a kid finds in a medicine cabinet, they'll take to see what it does. They're looking for a high.” U-M's Monitoring the Future study said the non-medical use of psychotherapeutic prescription drugs rose during the mid-1990s along with the use of nearly all illegal drugs, but while most illegal drugs peaked in the late 1990s, and then began to decline, the misuse of most prescription drugs continued to climb into the 2000s. The study said this had the effect of making them a more important part of the nation's drug use problem than they had previously been. Amphetamine use has shown a pattern of peaking, then declining, and peaking again. More than 75 percent of college students who reported using prescription stimulants illicitly last year chose products like Adderall over products like Ritalin. Monitoring the Future showed a 6.5 percent annual prevalence rate among the nation's 12th graders. The primary reason for the usage of Adderall, and other stimulants, is to enhance academic performance. Northeastern University pharmacy professor Christian Teter found that while most were looking to improve their concentration due to academic competitiveness, 40 percent moved into crushing and snorting of these stimulant drugs. He said he believes Adderall has become preferred over Ritalin and other similar stimulants because Adderall is an extended-
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release drug whose effects last 10 to 12 hours, while the other stimulants only last a few hours. “We hear they're using ADHD drugs (like Adderall) to study and focus during exam times,” said Wilson. “But any prescription drug has the potential to mess you up. You're always taking someone's word about what you're really taking, and you don't know what the strength (of the pill) is. Also, they can mix it with other drugs or alcohol, and really have problems. Often, I hear about kids taking pills without knowing what they're taking.” According to research, first-time prescription drug users now occur at the same rate as firsttime marijuana users, and teens are more likely than adults to abuse prescription drugs. When asked about prescription drugs, about one-third of teens say they feel pressured to try them. Others admit they try them to get high, as a means of escape, a way of relieving boredom, or simple curiosity. Others say abuse of prescription drugs helps them deal with stress, anxiety, depression, or the pressures of school. Some also believe because a doctor has prescribed them—even if it's not for them—it's safer. Besides ADHD medicines, Monitoring the Future found that Vicodin and OxyContin are the most commonly misused prescription drugs, followed by over-the-counter cough medicine, sedatives and tranquilizers. The use of narcotic sedatives other than heroin tripled from 1992 through 2004, according to Monitoring the Future, from an annual prevalence of 3.3 percent in 1992, to 9.5 percent in 2004. In
2010 there was a significant drop in the use of Vicodin, down 1.7 percent in 2010 among 12th graders, although it still remains one of the most widely used of illicit drugs. OxyContin use has changed little. “The fact that these two powerful and highly addictive drugs—Vicodin and OxyContin—remain as prevalent as they are among adolescents in this country is a real concern,” said Monitoring the Future's Johnson.
he use of cough and cold medicines to get high was first measured in 2006, and that use continues to remain steady. These over-thecounter medications, usually containing the active ingredient dextromethorphan, are taken in large, multiple doses in order to achieve a high. “These drugs can be dangerous when consumed in the large quantities that young people tend to use in order to get high,” said the 2010 Monitoring the Future study. Usage rates for students are 3.2 percent for 8th graders; 5.1 percent for 10th grade students; and 6.6 percent for 12th grade students. Mastroianni said they are aware that some kids will have “Skittle Parties.” “That's when kids will grab whatever pills they can from their home, or their grandparents', and throw them into a bowl, and then take a handful. It could be antibiotics, heart pills, antidepressants, ADHD medication, statin heart medicine, pain medication, anything, and they just take them without knowing what they are taking. This is something that is not on parents' radars. As parents, we need to be knowledgeable, because knowledge is power,
even if we don't like what we're hearing.” “We're most concerned about the traditional experimentation, such as alcohol and marijuana,” said Charlie Shaw, Cranbrook Schools Upper School Headmaster. “The amount of diagnosis for attention deficit disorders is climbing, and research shows that ADHD is proportional to affluence.” He said it is very difficult to discern when students are using ADHD prescription drugs illegally, and said it is critical that parents have the discussion with their children over the harmfulness of prescription drugs, as well as marijuana and alcohol, and their expectation of their children. “Some parents are fearful their child will tune them out. But when we make expectations, children rise to them. I tell parents that a way to begin the conversation, a way to ease back from a situation is that kids want an out or a scapegoat,” he said. “We know kids are going to experiment. It's the nature of the age. But I want to emphasize that you may not have an agreement with your child, but you can ensure that if you are having a conversation with your child, you are doing all you can. The key is avoiding your child, and retreating from ultimatums. It's having the conversations.” he said. “Statistics show that if you eat dinner together as a family five times a week, it helps reduce the chances of drug abuse,because you're having conversations as a family, you're talking with your children,” said the Birmingham-Bloomfield
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Coalition's Mastroianni. “You must communicate with your kids, whether about drinking and marijuana, or about newer, synthetic drugs. It can happen to anyone. There aren't good people or bad people. It can happen to anyone's children, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, anywhere.” Mastroianni emphasized that often, in affluent areas, such as Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Bloomfield Township, there can be a greater incidence of substance usage by teens because there is greater access to alcohol and drugs because they have greater access to their own cars, and higher levels of liquidity. Bloomfield Hills' Officer Reynolds agreed. “They have the financial means to buy these substances,” he said. All of the educators note that communication and awareness do work with students, such as the repeated campaigns not to drink and drive. “The kids are so against drinking and driving. They'll be sure to get a designated driver. But that does not carry over to driving high (on marijuana or pills), “said Wilson.
ynthetic drugs are peripherally on the radar for kids and young adults. Recently, K-2, a synthetic marijuana, was made illegal in the state of Michigan. Now, a new drug, called “bath salts” is being sold on the Internet and at gas stations under the names of Zoom 2 or Aura. “It's not something you would buy at Bed, Bath & Beyond,” said Rep. Lisa Brown (D-West
Bloomfield), who introduced the legislation to ban synthetic marijuana in Michigan. “These kinds of products are so dangerous. They snort it, smoke it. I'm looking at introducing legislation to ban bath salts, and so are the feds.” While local law enforcement officials are not aware of bath salts yet, federal drug officials say it's a dangerous stimulant with effects similar to cocaine or meth. It can increase blood pressure, cause heart attack, stroke, delusions, paranoia, psychosis and rapid addiction. Soon to hit the market will be Canna Cola, a pot cola for medical marijuana users that combines soda pop with THC. Co-brand developer Clay Butler is calling it a “medible,” or edible medicine, and a way for people to ingest medical marijuana without smoking. It will come in 12ounce bottles, and is expected to sell for $10 to $12 at dispensaries in states with medical marijuana approval. The concern is that it can get into the hands of children who do not recognize it is a drug. “Canna Cola is medicine,” said Butler, who said it is not intended for anyone without specific medicinal reasons. Addiction specialists say they see the same reasons people are coming to rehab mirroring drug usage trends. Tom Jhena, administrative director for Henry Ford Health System, Maplegrove Center in West Bloomfield, said, “In some respects, things have not changed. Alcohol addiction, if not the sole drug, is in combination in two-thirds of the admissions we have. What is more prevalent is the prescription drug
abuse, as well as heroin abuse has risen.” Jhena said prescription drug abuse and heroin abuse is often intertwined, as Vicodin and OxyContin are opiate-based drugs, and “users jump over to heroin as a natural progression. It takes the high to the next stage. It's not unusual to see someone with heroin usage for one to two years be predated by prescription drug usage. Whether they were getting it illicitly or not, it was easily obtained, and the natural progression of the compulsion to seek to find a greater high becomes a greater urgency. As the compulsion progresses, the move to heroin because when using a drug intravenously, the high becomes much more intense.” Maplegrove is a 67-bed inpatient facility that has the capacity to treat approximately 200 more as outpatients. Jhena said care is usually a continuum of care mixture of inpatient and outpatient. He advises parents to look for changes in what they believe their child's normal behavior is and has been, outside of normal adolescent changes; to be attuned to sharp drops in their grades; to be aware of lack of interest and non-involvement in activities and sports, which they may have been involved in previously; a complete change in groups of their friends; and a change in the eating habits. “There is often some transition going on, and it may have substance involvement going on with the child,” he said. “These are yellow flags the parents need to check out further.”
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Joe Faris ong before Joe Faris was under the critical eye of Tim Gunn on the hit television show “Project Runway,” he was deconstructing denim to learn how to make the perfect pair of jeans. “I was probably in high school when I started sewing,” said the former Brother Rice High School student. “I always had a desire to remake clothing.” Inspired by his father, an interior designer, Faris had his family's support to pursue a career in fashion. He attended Parsons The New School for Design in New York and his all-American, rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic landed him a career and a coveted spot on “Project Runway: Season 5.” “It was an application and screening process,” Faris said. “It took almost seven months, but once I got on the show, I was in the Project Runway world.” Faris was forced to challenge himself as a designer within the fast-paced momentum of the show. “I had never really made dresses, but being in that environment made me focus on my designing abilities.” For Faris, having Tim Gunn critique his work was an experience he valued throughout the season. “There were times where I didn’t necessarily agree with him,” he said, “But, what Tim was telling you was usually something you already knew. He’s someone I respect very much. I can take criticism from Tim any day.” Faris earned a space in the top six designers, and the experience opened doors for his career in fashion. Since the show ended, he has remained close to his Metro Detroit roots by launching Motor City Denim, a denim company he defines as “gritty, but high-fashion.” Loyal to his beginnings, Motor City Denim designs are all made in Michigan, and are geared toward both men and women's fashions. He’s also looking to add children’s apparel. “One of the things with Motor City Denim that I’m really trying to do is to utilize denim in a different way. I’m mixing some denim with leather. If I had to categorize Motor City Denim, it's industrial edge with high-couture and design elements to it,” said Faris. “I don’t want to be the jean that people do their yard work in. I want to be the jean they go out in.” Faris is looking to get Motor City Denim in Birmingham’s Caruso Caruso, but he’s already landed perhaps one of Detroit’s most famous rock ‘n’ roll clients. “I’ve done a few things for Kid Rock,” Faris said. “I made the jacket he wore at the (2010) Country Music Television awards. But,that’s easy for me because I understand the look. Rock ‘n’ roll is what I do.” While his designs have gained him acclaim on a national stage, his purpose for applying to be on Project Runway was his two daughters. “It’s really more about the family.” Faris said he really wanted to go on Project Runway to show his girls that their dreams are as big as they are and to encourage them to find and feel a passion.
Story: Katey Meisner
Photo: Laurie Tennent
PERSONAL TRAINERS KEEPING ON TRACK IN THE QUEST TO BE HEALTHY
BY LISA BRODY he snow is beginning to melt, that orange globe in the sky, formerly known as the sun, has begun to shine once again, and we are all tentatively reentering society like the Munchkins after the Wicked Witch of the East was killed by the house. It's that yearly ritual known as spring. Along with spring comes the desire, once again, to get fit and healthy. Many people find the idea of exercise to be a chore, something to be dreaded, while for others, it's as much a part of their daily routine as brushing their teeth. Why can one person wake up before the dawn, put on running shoes and run through the streets of Birmingham, ending up at Starbucks before most of her neighbors are awake, while someone else has to have an appointment etched into their iPhone in order to get to the gym? “People just enjoy making an appointment with their trainer to keep them on track,” noted Derek DiGiovanni, owner of Coach Me Fit in Birmingham's Rail District, and a personal trainer. “I credit them for making exercise a priority in their lives.” Personal trainers are not only a great motivating factor to get you exercising, it can be a way to tailor-make an exercise and fitness program exactly to your body's needs. It's a way to push you out of your comfort zone, get you out of a rut, or help you find your way out of an unhealthy lifestyle. If you have had an injury, are recovering from surgery, have an illness, are depressed, or are aging and not sure how to incorporate a fitness routine into our life, a good personal trainer can help assess where you are today, and where you would like to get to tomorrow. A personal trainer in the Birmingham-Bloomfield area can cost $65 to $90 an hour, depending on where the training is occurring, certification, if you are doing it with a fitness-compatible partner, and other intangibles. Sometimes, a trainer who comes to your home may be less costly than one at a large fitness center, perhaps because there is overhead and other costs associated with the facility. While it can seem like an expensive luxury to some to hire a personal trainer to exercise with, DiGiovanni points out, “To some it's a luxury, and people say they can't afford it, but I say for some others, you can't afford not to.” That's because health care costs fall for individuals who are healthy, and regular exercise has shown to lower cholesterol, improve heart rates, lower body weight and body fat, which then reduces the likelihood of diabetes and heart problems. It can also stave off injuries such as broken bones and falls by building lean muscle mass and helping to create flexibility and balance. According to the American Heart Association, without regular physical activity, the body slowly loses its strength, stamina and ability to function well. For each hour of regular exercise in which we participate, we gain about two hours of additional life expectancy, even if we don't start until middle age. Moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, for as little as 30 minutes a day, has the proven health benefits of letting us look and feel better, giving us greater energy, as well as improving our blood circulation, which reduces the risk of heart disease; weight control; helps in the battle to quit smoking; prevents and manages high blood pressure; prevents bone loss; helps manage stress and releases tension; promotes enthusiasm and optimism and counters anxiety and depression; helps us fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly; increases muscle strength; reduces the risk of stroke by 20 percent in moderately active people, and by 27 percent in highly active people; reduces coronary heart disease in women by 30 to 40 percent; and helps delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging and maintains quality of life and independence longer for seniors. That all sounds pretty motivating.
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Many physicians follow the guidelines of the American Heart Association, and say a good exercise program is one that gets your heart rate up over for a sustained period of at least 30 minutes five days a week, with strength training added in two to three times a week. Flexibility training, in the form of yoga, Pilates, or stretching can be very beneficial, as can balance work as we age. Physical activity is anything that makes you move your body and burn calories, such as climbing stairs or playing sports. Aerobic exercises benefit your heart, such as walking, jogging, swimming or biking. Strength and stretching exercises are best for overall stamina and flexibility. “When people ask how much they need to exercise, I tell them a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes, but that it doesn't have to be all all at once. To some people that's daunting,” said Allison Kaplan, a Bloomfield Township personal trainer with a complete gym in her home where she trains her clients. She also has a popular website, ASKinyourface.com, focusing on women's health, nutrition, and exercise needs. “I say to them, just move. Walk around the house, sweep your floors, make your beds, carry your laundry upstairs. Get a dog and walk it every day. Take the stairs. Park as far as you can from the store and
walk. There's a lot of movement in everyday activities. They sound cliché, but they work.” She also recommends buying a clip-on pedometer and keeping track of how many steps you are walking each day. “The ideal is 10,000 steps a day, which is the equivalent of five miles,” said Kaplan. “The pedometer is a mini-motivator. It's amazing how attached people get to this $15 device. People will say, 'Oh, I have to walk another 1,000 steps today.' Just doing this decreases the effects of diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers by 50 percent. It's the most basic human movement—walking.” Whether you need motivation to get moving in the first place, or are looking for a trainer to take you to another level in your exercise routine, a personal trainer can do that. Local personal trainers advise there are two things to look for when seeking out a trainer. One is a great connection with the person you are going to have an intimate relationship with, working your body and your mind during your private exercise session. The other is to make sure they have proper certification with a recognized certified fitness organization to legitimize themselves and to inform their potential clients of their professionalism, education and dedication to the field.
“In Michigan, there is no required license for personal trainers, but people volunteer to align themselves with recognized organizations,” said Nancy Simpson, MA, LMSW, of Royal Oak, who is a member of the American Council of Exercise (ACE) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), both of which are national organizations. Simpson, a personal trainer who goes to people's homes or their country club's fitness centers, said there are various degrees of rigors in passing the tests of different organizations. “Some require a college education in the field, others only require a weekend workshop. Some are courses that can be ordered online in order to be certified. The fitness industry is working hard to bring some uniformity and accountability to the field. But it's still the client's responsibility to inquire into the trainer's experience and background.” The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1985, committed to enriching the quality of life through safe and effective exercise and physical activity. A national certifying, educational and training organization with nearly 50,000 certified professionals, ACE protects all segments of the fitness society against ineffective fitness products,
programs, and trends through its continuous public education, outreach and research. ACE said it further protects the public by setting certification and continuing education standards for fitness professionals. They conduct unbiased, scientific research in activities and theories impacting the fitness industry, allowing clients and trainers a reliable source to turn to for information. To be a qualified ACE personal trainer (as well as most other certified fitness trainers), professionals must take a certifying exam showing proficiency and knowledge of risk factor screening; fitness assessment; nutrition; exercise science; exercise programming and progressions; instructional and spotting techniques; lifestyle modification; and professional scope of practice. They must be at least 18 years old, and hold a current adult CPR and first aid certificate. There are many different ways to work with a personal trainer. Health clubs, such as Beverly Hills Club, on Southfield Road, has an extensive staff of personal trainers, as well as yoga, Pilates, a spin studio, aerobics, and a full fitness studio. The new Powerhouse Gym Birmingham on Brown in downtown Birmingham also offers personal trainers, including
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some who specialize in pre and postrehab work, as well as a full fitness facility, yoga, Pilates, muscle conditioning and weight classes. LA Fitness on Telegraph in Bloomfield Township has a large offering of traditional and unique classes, from belly dancing and aqua fit to kickbox cardio and Latin heat, as well as personal trainers. At each of these private health clubs, you must be a member to work out with one of their personal trainers. Personal trainers often get their clients through referral from other clients or medical professionals, providing a first-person assessment of their competency, but there can be other ways for clients and trainers to connect, from meeting at the gym, via ads, the Internet, newspaper or magazine articles, which make it incumbent upon the client to do some kind of a background check on the trainer to make sure the individual will be the right fit for them. “The client really has an obligation to themselves to learn about the trainer's credentials, who their clients are, what age group they tend to train, and are they comfortable training with people with your issues,” said Simpson. “For example, if you're 65, you don't want a trainer who's only working with a more youthful population. Ideally, you want a trainer who is experienced working with clients similar to yourself.” DiGiovanni, whose personal trainers at Coach Me Fit are all certified, most with a degree in exercise science, said he believes there are five words that crystalize a personal training experience: investment, meaning the financial and time devoted to the experience; accountability, of the trainer to train you appropriately; safety, a critical component to show “that clients are supervised, that they are completing their exercises safely, and they are teaching them to do them the right way,” customized, as an exercise plan is customized just for you, because “people often do not know where to start;” and efficiency, “because a lot of people we are working with are professionals where time is at a minimum, and we want to be efficient with their time.” Greg Walczak, owner of Elite Fitness Training, a “small, exclusive facility” in Birmingham's Rail District, said that everyone he works with is completely different, with different reasons for training, and with different goals. “I try to approach it from a health standpoint, and try to help them get a balance of physical health and mental or emotional health. I try to downtownpublications.com
relate to people to help them gain a total healthy lifestyle, who may lack balance in their lives. Maybe they're stressed, or working too much. I believe that controlling their physical body will help them in gaining control of their life in general. But everyone is completely different. So first, I sit down with each individual and break down what their life is like. We look at what are their goals, what can they compromise on in their lifestyle—because it's not just following a diet, it's what will you be happy doing,” he said. Walczak, who has been a private trainer for 15 years, with a B.S in health fitness from Central Michigan University and multiple certificates from different fitness organizations, noted the key to a healthy lifestyle and long-term fitness success is enjoying what you are doing, and who you are working with. “If you are not happy, you won't do it,” he said. “It's not always easy, but people hopefully find the results worth the challenge. There's a high failure rate with diet and exercise, because people cannot meet their goals, or are not willing to compromise to meet their goals. We sit down together to get that out of the way right away. You have to look at this as a partnership. You're on a team together. You're working together, ultimately, and you have to have an extremely open line of communication to work effectively. It's a very personal relationship.” “It's personal, as in personal trainer,” said Simpson. “That's an obligation of the personal trainer, to get enough information about the client to find the motivation for them. The whole thing about personal training is the word 'personal.' One person might be on the treadmill six days a week, vs. another person might not exercise between sessions. It's up to the trainer to help the client establish their fitness goals, and help them uncover what will motivate them to achieve those goals. It's through that personal relationship that you develop that. Goals are not just for aesthetics, they are for function. For an older client, they may not be trying to get into a dress for a wedding, but recognizing that their physical capacity is diminishing, and they want to stabilize, and ideally improve, their activities of daily living.” Krista Mayo of Driven Fitness Training, which provides in-home personal training, said every program she designs is tailored for the specific client. Mayo, with a black belt in martial arts, is certified with the International Sports Sciences Association, is a certified fitness therapist, and a fitness nutritionist.
Here at Elite Fitness Training we take great pride in providing our clientele with the upscale service they expect and deserve. We offer a variety of health improving programs in a very private and personal setting. Our years of experience have allowed us to offer a facility that solely concentrates on what is important, you. We have recently added more time slots in order to meet the demands of our increasing clientele. Please contact us to learn for yourself how Elite can improve your health and well being. – Yours in Health, Greg Walczak
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“When I meet a new client and get to know them, I find out their fitness and health goals, and from there, I do a fitness assessment, including their medical history. I always ask their limitations, from their perspective. Is it, 'I can't do push ups' or 'I have serious limitations' due to injuries or health problems? If necessary, I have them get a doctor's clearance,” Mayo said. “Then I run them through a mock test to see how many push ups they can do, how many sit ups. I run them through a cardio test to see where their heart rate is, either on the treadmill or by doing jumping jacks,and then plan accordingly.” Mayo said that clients do not need to have a full gym in their home, and she will bring equipment with her to get them started, beginning with resistance bands, hand weights, and a BOSU (pronounced “Bo – sue”), which is a balance trainer which can be used in a myriad of ways. Mayo said her clients who are in their teens or 20s are looking for strength training, while her clients in their 30s, 40s, and 50s are also looking to build lean muscles, flexibility, strength, and to strengthen bone density. “Weight training is one of the most important things a woman can do for herself,” said Allison Kaplan. “It physically strengthens the body, it
improves muscle mass and bone density, which can be improved at any age, and it helps with balance, which is a huge issue for us as we age. But we cannot do one thing. We have to do cardio, strength training (weights), flexibility, and balance. You do not want to find yourself on a bathroom floor one day. If you do not have the strength in your muscles to get to a phone, you may lay there for hours. People suffer from devastating injuries from falls every year. If you are strong, and you do fall, your muscles will protect your joints. You may hurt yourself, but the effects will not be as devastating.” To increase flexibility, Pilates is a preferred choice of many fitness advocates because of its mind-body connection and its belief in strengthening the core of the body for stability. Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century as a physical fitness system for dancers, primarily, and to help those who were injured rehabilitate. Pilates believed in strengthening the mind and the body, in a holistic sense, using breathing to cleanse the body and circulate blood flow. “Pilates is anatomically-based, and instructors learn how to do postural analysis of certain body types, in order to counteract incorrect posture and help the body properly align,”
said Nancy Hodari, owner of Equilibrium Studio in Bloomfield Township. “You learn to teach the individual, and to assess their individual body.” The key element in Pilates is the core, called the powerhouse of the body, which are the abdominal muscles, obliques, and lower back. “It's called the powerhouse of the body because this is what holds you up,” said Hodari. “All athletes need to train their core. If your core is not strong, you are more at risk of injuries and back pain. Pilates addresses flexibility, strengthening of your muscles, core work, and weight training—everything but your cardio. It's called the intelligent exercise for profound results.” While Equilibrium, and other Pilates studios, such as Townsend Street Pilates, and Pilates Birmingham, offer various small group classes, their primary focus are one-on-one personal training sessions. “The first few minutes, the instructor is always assessing where you are today, reviewing your exercise history, your injury history, and your goals, as well as how you are feeling today,” said Hodari. “It's very smart for everyone to work one-on-one to learn your body and the correct movement patterns. It's important to
learn the main stabilization principles of shoulder stabilization and pelvic stabilization, and then you move on from there, adding in the mind/body aspect, where breathing facilitates movement.” No training or exercise program can be effective without proper nutrition; not eating well, or dieting inappropriately is like expecting your car to work without filling its tank with gas. “Nutrition is huge. We're constantly learning more and more,” noted Kaplan. “Nutrition is the key to protecting us from all kinds of diseases and illnesses, regardless of age. You can nutritionally have it all going on, and achieve the level of fitness that allows you to be strong, because it will help you enjoy your life to its fullest.” Mayo concurred. “As far as fitness is concerned, if you are not eating healthily and balanced, nothing you do will matter. Everything you are doing to stay in shape and build muscle tone will not mean anything if you're not eating properly. “You must maintain good water intake, protein intake, good carbs, good fats—they all play a part in staying in shape, and living a healthy life, while losing weight appropriately.” Time for a walk, anyone?
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CITY/ TOWNSHIP Bloomfield in talks with Sylvan Lake Bloomfield Township has begun talks with Sylvan Lake about taking over all of their police, fire, emergency and dispatch services. Bloomfield Township Supervisor Dave Payne confirmed the talks, saying, “They approached us. We have had just one conversation. We met with city manager John Martin and the police chief, but it's really in it's infancy stage.” Payne noted that the consolidation of services makes sense since Sylvan Lake is adjacent to the northern borders of Bloomfield Township and, like the township, is a residential community. Sylvan Lake was originally a resort community between Detroit and Pontiac, and is a lakes area community with a population of 1,753 residents in 867 households covering 1.5 square miles. Bloomfield Township, in contrast, has over 43,000 residents, 16, 804 households and covers 26 square miles. “It's like a large subdivision,” Payne commented. Payne said that Sylvan Lake has some full-time and some part-time police and fire personnel, and that any arrangement between the communities would be done on a contract basis. “Staffing levels for 24/7 are sometimes greater than the demand is,” he said. “I think we can provide as good, or better, service to them. The benefits of a bigger department for them are they do not have detectives; we have experts. It offers benefits to their residents because we do not have to staff up to meet their needs.” Payne said he is not sure it would be necessary to hire any of Sylvan Lake's public safety staff, but said that issue would need to be discussed. Payne also emphasized that discussions with Birmingham regarding consolidation of dispatch services are continuing and making progress, and would not be impacted by consolidation of services with Sylvan Lake. Regarding Birmingham and dispatch service consolidation, Payne said, “I think it's prudent for them to take their time and make sure all of their needs are met and concerns are taken care of first, and we can
Complete Streets to redesign Woodward By Lisa Brody
irmingham has received a grant to study how to improve pedestrian crossing areas on Woodward, and the potential inclusion of bike lanes, bus lanes and other ways to improve the usability of the roadway for all segments of the transit population. At Birmingham's recent long-range planning meeting, Jana Ecker, city planner, presented the study for a new concept called “Complete Streets,” which is a state legislative effort to improve intersections for pedestrians, bicycle users, busses, motorists—all legal users of a roadway. Complete Streets takes into account the design and operation of the entire roadway, with all of the users and transportation modes in mind. In Birmingham, the street that would be re-oriented to comply with the legislation is Woodward Ave., which runs from Jefferson Ave. in downtown Detroit north through Birmingham and then north to Pontiac. Attributes of the plan, according to the National Complete Streets Coalition, help to improve transit for all members of the population. Features include improved and continuous sidewalks; bikeways and lanes; wide shoulders, transit stops and amenities; crosswalks and crossing islands; traffic calming measures; and treatments for disabled travelers. Birmingham's study will help determine where it would be best to spend the dollars to improve traffic flow, pedestrian crossing lanes, where a bicycle lane would work, and how to work in a bus lane. It would also help the city prioritize its improvements. All of these road improvements provide greater safety and health benefits for travelers, as well as economic activity for businesses along Woodward, according to the National Complete Streets Coalition. Wherever Complete Streets have been instituted across the country, improved environmental sustainability has been recognized. There has also been a discernible creation of community, improved sense of livability, and a greater feel of livability along the streets and roadways with the improvements. Ecker said that the efforts can be achieved through zoning amendments, site plan ordinances, and continued work with surrounding communities to provide a connection with other communities. “The legislation passed by the state requires MDOT (Michigan Department of Transportation) to do all of this (work),” she said. “We work very closely with MDOT” to ensure it is done to Birmingham's standards. How it will be funded is currently unknown, and is being explored as the study is done, said Matthew Baka, planning department intern. Complete Streets, Ecker noted, can not only achieve all of the goals that the legislation set out for it, it often beautifies an area and promotes local walkability by creating clear areas of movement with defined lanes for walkers, cyclists, busses and cars. Commissioner Mark Nickita concurred, noting, “This is an important layer to our walkability.”
hopefully do this in the next six months.” Birmingham Police Chief Don Studt and Assistant Chief Mark Clemence say many issues on dispatch consolidation are moving forward.
“The 911 system is easy,” Studt said. “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. The big problem is closing the building. It provides a safe haven. Too many things happen here, exchange of child custody, too much happening in the downtown, too many late meetings. If we're not going to close the building, we can move forward (with consolidation).” The decision will be made by Birmingham's city commission. “For communities to survive, these kinds of arrangements have to be looked at and undertaken whenever possible, especially as Gov. Snyder lays out his budget with proposed cuts,” Payne said.
CEO sought for Community House After almost 13 years, The Community House's CEO, Shelley Roberts, has decided to step down from her position. Roberts announced her resignation on Monday, Jan. 31 to The Community House's staff and to the board of directors at an evening board meeting. “Everyone was shocked and surprised,” she said. “But I have been thinking about this for a while. It's a really good time now because the board is very strong and the staff is very strong, so a transition would be better now than at another time.” Roberts, an attorney, is looking to travel, garden, visit her two children, George and Lacey, who live out-ofstate, and do things she has put off for many years. “This June, it will be 13 years with The Community House,” she said. “I have always worked. It's a dream job; I just want to spend more time on things I have put off doing.” She said she told the board her last day would be March 31, “or when a successor is in place. I would be happy to stay until they find someone, and then help with the transition. I still plan to volunteer here, and be a donor. I'll be around.” The Community House has posted the job on their website. It notes they are looking for a CEO with strong leadership skills in fund development, financial management, strategic direction, program development, event planning, operations, marketing, public relations, human resources management, and board and volunteer relations.
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Jeff Daniels’ original comedy, The Tropical Pickle, comes to St. Dunstan’s Theatre Guild of Cranbrook This slapstick show shines with unforgettable moments that you won’t want to miss!
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PSD requests bistro license review By Lisa Brody
The Birmingham Principal Shopping District (PSD) board on Thursday, Feb. 3, voted to request the city commission conduct a review of the city's bistro ordinance adopted in 2007, although mayor Gordon Rinschler declined at the Feb. 14 commission meeting, without consulting with his fellow commissioners nor allowing any public comment, to pursue the request. Rinschler dismissed the letter from the PSD, saying he would have "appreciated this (the request) more if it had come from the (Birmingham Bloomfield) Chamber than from the PSD. I see this as a winners and losers argument, and frankly, a conflict of interest on their part." PSD represents all businesses in the downtown business district, and is supported through a tax built into leases. Presently, bistros are not scheduled to be reviewed by the planning department and city commission until 2013. When they were first created by ordinance, they were supposed to be reviewed yearly for the first three years to determine how they were working relative to the other businesses in Birmingham, their viability, and their ability to create vibrancy and excitement on the streets. In nearly four years of existence, reviews have never been performed. According to Geoffrey Hockman, PSD board chair, the PSD is pleased with the benefits to the city from the increased foot traffic, greater vibrancy on the streets, and more excitement about dining in Birmingham, especially in the warm months. “However, some questions have been raised regarding the ongoing addition of bistros, and the city's long
Four file for three commissioner spots our candidates, including three incumbents, have filed paperwork with Bloomfield Hills clerk Amy Burton to run for city commissioner in the May 3 election. Three of the five Bloomfield Hills commissioner seats will be open and filing for re-election by the Tuesday, Feb. 8, 4 p.m. deadline were current Bloomfield Hills mayor Mike McCready and commissioners Pat Hardy and Michael Zambricki. Also filing to run was Connie Salloum, who is currently on the the Bloomfield Hills Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals. Salloum is a long-time city election worker. City commissioners serve two-year terms and are paid $5 a month for their efforts. The three candidates who win in May's election will serve until May 2013. Candidates had to gather a minimum of 25 valid signatures from registered city voters, said Burton. City voters will also be asked to approve on May 3 a city charter amendment governing how contracts for work done by outside contractors are to be paid. Currently, the charter specifies that all contracts for public improvements and purchases greater than $1,000, as well as construction projects done by city employees totaling more than $5,000, must first be approved by the city commission and accompanied by sealed bids, unless waived by the commission waives. The proposed amendment would require all purchases in excess of an amount to be determined by ordinance approved by the city commission, and formal sealed bids would need to be obtained unless the city commission formally resolved, based upon written recommendations of the city manager, that there would be no advantage to competitive bidding. Further, purchases by the city would not be able to be divided to get around established value limitations, and a low bidder would have to be chosen, unless the commission determines that it would be in the city's interest to choose a more expensive bid.
term plan to review and approve future licenses,” he said. He noted there is concern there could be “too much concentration (of bistros) in certain areas.” When the bistro licenses were first approved by the city commission, following review by the planning board, it was stated that a review of the concept would be conducted every year for the first three years. The PSD board noted that has not happened, and that in keeping with the intent of the original ordinance, it is time for the city commission to conduct a thorough review of the bistro license concept,
Former Barclay Inn to come down he former Barclay Inn, at the southeast corner of Woodward and Maple in Birmingham, was condemned in September by Birmingham's building department, and last week was turned over to TCF Bank by its previous owners, Pomeroy Investment Corporation of Birmingham. According to Bruce Johnson, Birmingham building official, the motel has been vacant for a number of
years, without any utilities. He said he requested, and received, a condemnation decree on the Barclay Inn on Sept. 30, 2010. By law, properties are condemnable when they reach the point where repairs would far exceed market value, or when the property has become an eyesore to the neighborhood. In order for any city or municipality to remove
including type, scale, condition, location, and the impact, both positive and negative, that a bistro has on the area. Bistros have been allowed in Birmingham 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, and in the first year of its existence, two licenses to existing businesses in the same areas each year. Recently, planning board chairman Robin Boyle sent an email to the city
a property from private custody, that property must be considered a blight. If a court finds in favor of the city, ruling that a property is in that condition, the city can invoke the right of eminent domain, and can claim the rights to the property. If the owner can be located, compensation for the property must be made, but if the owner isn't able to be found, the city can take possession of the property. Johnson said the bank has been cooperative with the city so far, that they have received a copy of the condemnation report and the property's inspection report and “they
commission requesting a similar thorough review of the restaurant sector of Birmingham, noting it is influenced by bistro licenses. In Jan. 2011, Birmingham's planning board approved two bistro licenses, for Townhouse, a bistro on Pierce Street, and Churchill's, a cigar bar on S. Old Woodward, and sent them on to the city commission for approval. If both are approved, the city will have used up its allotment of bistro licenses for 2011, no matter how interesting or valid future proposals may be. The PSD board said in a draft letter approved at their meeting that it is interested in participating in reviewing the bistro concept, and would like to review the impact of bistros on existing restaurants, retail and the downtown environment; establish criteria for determining how future requests for licenses are granted; and consider a policy that directs new bistros to specific areas that are in need of the revitalization and energy that a bistro can bring. “My concern is about balance so we don't become an entertainment town, with locations that have traditionally been occupied by soft goods retailers being eaten up by bistros,” said PSD board member and Tender co-owner Cheryl Daskas, one of several board members noting that there may be a saturation of bistros in certain areas of downtown. Other PSD members agreed, and asserted that the ordinance may need to be reviewed with an eye towards using a bistro license as an economic incentive in areas like the Rail District, Triangle District, and areas such as the N. Old Woodward shopping area. “We wholeheartedly believe it is time to conduct a thorough review of the bistro ordinance to determine whether the ordinance has accomplished the goals laid out in 2007, and what changes, if any, should be made going forward. The PSD is prepared to actively assist the city in this review process,” Hockman said.
are just getting a handle on it right now. We're not sure when they're going to demolish the structure.” He said that while the Pomeroy Investment Corporation did not comply with the condemnation order, they were helpful with other matters relative tot he property. “When no one is using a property for a long time, rot and decay and vandalism seem to accelerate,” said Johnson. “They were quick to comply if a window was broken or a door was open.” Representatives from Pomeroy Investment did not return calls prior to press time.
Three liquor licenses face hearings
Unresolved work issue with 220 n unresolved work issue between Birmingham's planning board and the restaurants 220 and Edison's on Merrill Street came to light at the city commission meeting on Monday, Feb. 14, almost by happenstance. Birmingham Planning Department Intern Matthew Baka was making a presentation on liquor license reviews for the commission, when he brought up a disagreement between 220 owner Judi Roberts and the city. Commissioners became incensed to discover that there was a three-year-old unresolved construction issue between Roberts and the city. Planning Director Jana Ecker explained that in 2007-2008, 220 did some work to the alley area behind the restaurant without a city permit, and after the fact, they came to the city for approval for the work that was already done in Sept. 2008. “But the planning board did not like what had been done, and denied it in spring 2009. Roberts briefly tried to meet with our planners, but there was a disagreement about what she wanted to do, and what the city wanted, and she got upset and left,” said Ecker. Ecker noted that it's been over two years, and the site plan review application has expired. At issue was that Roberts had the area, which is not a private driveway but a pedestrian walkway, repaved with concrete, narrowed it, and has not cleaned it up nor landscaped the area as the city requires. “We want it cleaned up, better lighting put in, other work done, and landscaping put in the alley,” Ecker said. She said after not reaching Roberts for a long time, she had just spoken with her. “If it was up to me, I wouldn't hold up the liquor license, but it's been very frustrating, and you may want to give her a condition in order to receive approval.” Commissioner Tom McDaniels spoke for all of the commissioners, saying, “If our process is to have any meaning, something has to be done.” Commissioner Mark Nickita, a former planning board member, said, “Let me explain why it's so important that this has not been addressed at all and there has been no movement. This is not an alley, it's not a street, it was a pedestrian walkway with aggregate, so that's essentially a sidewalk. But that was taken out and straight concrete was put in as if it were an alley. The whole area has been diminished, without any permits or city approvals. And it's been three years.” Commissioner Stuart Sherman said to Ecker, “What's really frustrating is, it's been three years—why are we only hearing about it now?” Ecker said the goal of her department is compliance, and dialogue with Roberts only began in the last two weeks, although the site plan expired in 2009. Commissioners instructed Ecker that the city has an enforcement policy, and it was important to follow it with 220 and Edison's.
During Birmingham's annual liquor license review of all Class B and Class C liquor licenses in the city, the Birmingham City Commission directed the city manager to notify the owners and operators of Hamilton Room, at 201 Hamilton Row, Papa Joe's at 34244 Woodward, and South, at 210 S. Old Woodward, that they were being requested to come before the commission at a public hearing on Monday, Mar. 21, due to the number of police reports generated at South and Hamilton Room especially assault and battery reports, and for Papa Joe's, because they have not begun work on their 2007 bistro license for Bistro Joe's. Birmingham's city staff is required to conduct annual inspections on establishments with liquor licenses. A handful of other restaurants with bars had minor infractions throughout the year, such as serving a minor alcohol, but commissioners were not concerned as they appeared to be isolated incidents which were rectified. None of the city's bistros had any violations or police reports in the previous year. Commissioners were concerned over the ratio of liquor served to food served at both Hamilton Room and South Bar. The state liquor code requires there to be a ratio of 60 percent food to 40 percent liquor served, but in the case of five locations in Birmingham, commissioner Rackeline Hoff said, reading from the report, that requirement is not being met. It was pointed out by the city's planning department that some places operate with a dual license, such as Hamilton Room and Quattro, and Mitchell's Fish Market and Cameron's Steak House. Mayor Gordon Rinschler noted, “There's also a direct correlation to where there's all of the police activity. One establishment has more problems than all of the others put together. There are quite a few assault and batteries in only a few establishments, especially South and Hamilton Room. I would like to have the staff review the contracts in the future for revisions, to make sure they are adhered to.” Birmingham Police Chief Don Studt and Deputy Chief of Police Mark Clemence said they do not feel the two establishments are out of control. “Neither place were out of the ordinary for us to handle,” said Clemence. “It comes down to size. You have to look at their size, and the clientele they cater to.
That has something to do with the problems.” “Those are variables we can control at city government,” said Rinschler. Commissioner Tom McDaniels said, “There were 19 incidents in the Hamilton Room. From my perspective, we need a hearing on the place. It all happens between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. It's 5 percent food, 95 percent alcohol. The dance floor is basically the whole downstairs, not 150 feet. I think they have a lot to answer for.” “What I think I'm hearing is a concern about the business models. Our job is health, safety and welfare, and a business model that ensures the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Birmingham,” said commissioner Scott Moore. As for Papa Joe's, they received an extension for Bistro Joe's, an in-store eatery that would serve wine by the glass, in 2009. If no work begins on the site, the license expires on Feb. 28, 2011. Anthony Curtis, owner of Papa Joe's, arrived at the commission meeting with a letter of commitment for financing, which he said is what had held up his ability to begin construction on the bistro. However, the building department still needed to approve the plans that had recently been submitted to them. “As a matter of law, this has to go back to the planning board. It is only alive if he (Curtis) begins, and continues, construction, before March 1,” said city attorney Tim Currier. All of the other liquor licenses in the city were renewed.
Billiards, video games and bowling proposed Play Birmingham, a new food and drink establishment proposed to go in the former Buca di Beppo location at 270 N. Old Woodward in Birmingham, was scheduled to go before the Birmingham Planning Board on Wednesday, Feb. 23 for final site plan approval and a special land use permit, but was postponed until the next planning meeting, pending more details. The owners of the building, who also operate Chen Chow, Quattro Pizzeria, and The Hamilton Room, are looking to create a new food and drink establishment that includes billiard tables, electronic video gaming, bowling, and a golf simulator.
Townhouse bistro on Pierce approved By Lisa Brody
According to plans submitted to the planning department, the restaurant, bar and retail on the ground floor, as well as the restaurant and bar area in the lower level would be developed to have recreational activities, including bowling, billiards, a video lounge, darts, a golf simulator, an indoor basketball area, and an interactive gaming area. According to the planning department, Birmingham zoning ordinances permit billiards and electronic video games as regulated uses in the zoned area only with a Special Land Use Permit. The proposal requests two outdoor dining areas, one on N. Old Woodward, in front of the establishment, next to Chen Chow, and the other one on Hamilton Row, next to the Palladium Theater. However, the planning department recommends the outdoor seating on Hamilton be restricted to the adjacent storefront (in front of the former Arhaus) in order for there to be sufficient room for pedestrians to to walk around and mingle in front of the theater. Play Birmingham does not require a separate liquor license from the city, as it will share one with the other establishments in the Palladium building. However, currently the city commission will review The Hamilton Room's liquor license at a public hearing on Monday, Mar. 21. Planning Director Jana Ecker was uncertain at press time if The Hamilton Room had their license rescinded, if that would effect the other establishments in the building.
Bistro owner tries to sell license Birmingham's Deputy Chief of Police Mark Clemence revealed at Monday, Feb. 14 city commission meeting that he had discovered that morning that the owner of the approved Cole Street bistro, Mario Gogjcaj, had put his bistro license for sale on Craigslist for $35,000. Birmingham's bistro licenses are approved under a special land use permit, and cannot be transferred or sold by ordinance. On Dec. 20, 2010, Birmingham's city commission approved an application for Cole Street, which proposed to offer upscale casual Italian dining. “I think it will be a great neighborhood, comfortable restaurant,” Gojcaj said at the time. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute in New York, and previously worked at the famed New York restaurant David Burke & Donatella, was a sous chef at Forest Grill in Birmingham and at a restaurant in Grosse Pointe. This would have been
the first restaurant he would have owned. Clemence said that he had spoken to Gojcaj that day, and he confirmed that he had posted the listing on Craigslist, in an attempt recoup some of his costs. He also told Clemence he would not be opening the bistro after all. He assured Clemence the listing would be taken off of Craigslist by the next morning, and Clemence was informed that it had been. Birmingham Planning Director Jana Ecker said that if Gojcaj does not use his 2010 bistro license for the Cole Street site, it cannot be re-appointed to another business or location. Only two bistro license can be given out per year, and the city is now working on 2011 bistro licenses. The city's bistro rules permit up to two bistro liquor licenses to new businesses in the Central Business District (the downtown area), or the Triangle area. In the fall of 2010, the city commission approved bistros in the Rail District as well, in an effort to animate and further revitalize the area. City leaders generally agree that bistros have enhanced the downtown area, bringing people to Birmingham at all different times of the day. Businesses in the Rail District, bound by Maple Road to the north, Eton Road to the west, Lincoln Road to the south, and the railroad tracks to the east, are hoping for some of the vitality and increased walkability in their area, as well. The Rail District is a mixture of neighborhood, commercial and office space. Amtrak rail also goes through the area.
Vendor ordinance not well received A proposed vendor and peddler ordinance to allow food carts, artisans, and other service vendors to set up shop on some of Birmingham's streets, parks and alleyways. was not well received by the Birmingham Planning Board at their meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 9, and it appears the ordinance is dead for this year. “The thought is to try to activate the streets, alleyways, and passageways a little more,” said Jana Ecker, planning director for the city of Birmingham. A subcommittee from Birmingham's Planning Board had been meeting and studying the pros and cons of allowing different kinds of vendors in Birmingham. The planning board did not agree, tending to be more concerned about the
he first bistro license of 2011, for the Townhouse at 180 Pierce Street in the former Posh Couture and Simply Wine locations, was approved at the Monday, Feb. 14 Birmingham City Commission meeting. Commissioners were very excited about the bistro, owned by Birmingham resident Jeremy Sasson and designed by Ron Rea of Ron and Roman LLC in Birmingham. The bistro will have 54 indoor seats, including 10 at a sumptuous, wood and red leather bar. The bistro will be designed to look out onto Pierce and Martin Streets and the newly renovated city hall, with 64 seats designated for outdoor dining wrapping around the building along Martin Street. 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, showing off the kitchen area. “This is my vision of a sophisticated, cozy bistro,” said Sasson. “I see it as a modern and posh neighborhood eatery, an Avenue Champs Elysee (in Paris)-inspired cafe' brought to life with neighborhood romance. Since the once-prominent Sportsman and Punchinello's closed in the 1990s, 180 Pierce has not had a retail presence. I bought this location in order to bring prominent al fresco dining to revive this prominent location.” Sasson purchased the first floor of the building, which is a condominium building. Sasson characterized Rea's design for the bistro as vintage contemporary with neighborhood friendliness, and he said he hopes it will be a place diners of all different ages feel comfortable eating at often. He anticipates his menu, which he says will be a carefully culled 12-15 items, to be affordable for the marketplace. His inspiration, he said, was a black label burger from Minetta Tavern in New York's Greenwich Village, which he fell in love with when living in Manhattan in 2009. The bistro, which will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, will feature appetizers like baked brie, tuna tartare tacos, and private stock sliders; entrees such as private stock burgers, lobster roll, wild salmon, wild truffle mac & cheese, and stuffed chicken; and fried oreos and twinkies and cheesecake donuts for dessert. Of initial concern during the planning phase is that the kitchen will be in the former Simply Wine location, while patrons will sit in the former Posh couture location. Sasson has developed a serving system where food will be enclosed in a red serving carrier which food runners will transport from the kitchen to tables, keeping the food hot, utilizing a state-of-the-art paging system. Sasson said that his father, real estate developer Henry Sasson, loaned him the money to help with the financing of the bistro, assuring the city there is enough money to fund the project. Along Martin Street, the sidewalk will be maintained next to the restaurant, while 64 seats at tables will wind along the aggregate, enhanced by pruned boxwoods. “This is a unique location,” said Ron Rea. “This is great for the invigoration of Martin Street, and great for the vitality of Pierce Street.” Commissioner Tom McDaniel told Sasson, “I think you've nailed it. I think this concept is terrific. It breathes life into retail space that would likely sit vacant for years. It opens up the streetscape. It's a welcome addition to Pierce and Martin streets.” Commissioner Scott Moore was concerned about the size of the outdoor seating, noting that the initial concept of the bistro license was to have cozy, intimate establishments. McDaniel responded, saying, “It's an indoor bistro in the winter, and it's an outdoor bistro in the summer months.” That satisfied all of the commissioners. “This says bistro to me. When it was the Sportsman and Punchinello's, it was a welcoming area. It's been largely dead for 12 years,” commissioner Mark Nickita said. “It's quirky, it's a little weird, but when we travel around the world, we want quirky.” Commissioner Stuart Sherman said, “I just see problems all around this. I'm just expressing my concerns. Ultimately, if it doesn't work, it's your concern.” He then voted affirmatively for the bistro.
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effect it would have on existing businesses, and the ripple effect on businesses struggling during the economy. In November, the Principal Shopping District (PSD) board voted against the idea of allowing vendors to set up carts to sell food and market items, citing it as a conflict of interest for retailers and restaurants who had invested in the city, paying rent and taxes, spending money for buildout costs, marketing and advertising their businesses 12 months out of the year, not just during fair weather months. “Even on a cold day, we're paying the same rent as when it's a beautiful day,” said Bill Roberts, owner of Streetside Seafood on Pierce Street. Planning Board chair Robin Boyle agreed. “I thought as a piece of municipal policy, it was a mess,” he said of the ordinance. “It was covering a lot of different objectives, and trying to do way too much. As for the goal of enlivening the alleyways and passageways, that is something we want to do. The vendor issue has, in my opinion, gotten way out of control.” Boyle said he has seen vendor ordinances enacted in many other communities. “I'm not in favor of it. I've seen it operated badly elsewhere. It does not belong in Birmingham.” As for individuals seeking to operate food, ice cream, coffee, and artisan carts, he said, “If it's ice cream we want to serve to children in Shain Park or Booth Park, them I'm sure the PSD can organize delivery of ice cream to the children of Birmingham in the parks.” The planning board does see the need to review how all of the catering licenses and ordinances are operating in Birmingham, and they agreed at the meeting to begin that as an undertaking. “We need to see how the existing industries are operating, and do that well in advance of a new vendor ordinance. We should get a better understanding of all of the existing licenses, be they Class C liquor, bistro, or other, before we introduce and enact a new ordinance.” Boyle said there was insufficient consensus among the planning board members to send a motion on the vendor ordinance to the city commission. PSD Executive Director John Heiney said he was told that the ordinance would not be pursued to the city commission this year. Instead, the planning division would look to have tables and chairs installed in at least Shain Park.
Fiat dealership coming to town A proposed Fiat dealership, to be located in the former Baker furniture store at 34500 Woodward Avenue in Birmingham, received unanimous approval from the Birmingham Planning Board on Wednesday, Feb. 9, and will now proceed to the city commission, where it is recommended for approval. Fiat of Birmingham received approval at this stage for a special land use permit and final site plan review. It faces Woodward with access on Bowers and Elm. The dealership will be owned by Bill Golling, owner of Golling Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Bloomfield Township, which will be the site of all service and repair work. It will be one of three new Fiat dealerships in Michigan. The Woodward location will strictly be a new car showroom, and all service orders will be driven by service technicians to the Golling dealership on Telegraph. The planning commission had previously turned down the special land use permit and final site plan review because they said the exterior and interior renderings did not meet the community's standards and ordinances. The dealership would be in the city's Triangle District, which encourages five to seven story mixeduse buildings. The dealership would remain a one-story building, which the board determine would still work. Architect Norman Ziegelman of Luckenbach/Zeigelman Architects in Birmingham redesigned the floor plans and elevation drawings in accordance with the direction of the planning board. Storefront windows were added to the Elm Street elevation to address the neighborhood to the east, as well as butt-glazed exterior storefront window systems with glass doors to the north, south and west elevations, and cement fiber board was replaced with cast stone to cover the existing brick over the entire building. To the north, new overhead garage doors in clear glass with anodized aluminum frames were designed into the elevation drawings. In January, the planning board requested various landscaping adaptions and additions of trees planted into the streetscaping, which were included in the plans. There was also landscaping design for a
Debut of Uptown Film Festival By Lisa Brody
ovie buffs and creative aficionados will be delighted to learn that leaders in Michigan's growing film industry have come together to launch the first Uptown Film Festival, a celebration of Michigan-made movies and productions created by Michigan filmmakers, which will be hosted Friday, Mar. 11 and Saturday, Mar. 12, 2011, at the Palladium Theaters and the Birmingham 8 theater in Birmingham. “This idea came about a year ago or so. The idea was conceived by myself, a few others in the film industry locally, Oakland County, and Laura Bayoff, a marketing executive with Uptown Entertainment,” said Jeff Spilman, the festival's co-director and managing partner of S3 Entertainment Group. “We wanted to develop a film festival in the area, and then determined what it should look like.” He noted that while many film festival's missions, such as Sundance Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival, is for the filmmakers to sell their film to distributors, they wanted to celebrate the film industry in Michigan, and those who work in the industry. “We wanted to celebrate the creative class, celebrating Michigan film, Michigan's filmmakers in top-quality films. We are extremely excited to bring the Uptown Film Festival to life this year,” said Spilman. “The films and talent highlighted during this event have played key roles in the substantial growth and success of the Michigan film industry during the past several years. This festival recognizes the hard work and dedication of the state’s film industry professionals, and the productions they’ve created in Michigan. We're really celebrating the 7,000 new jobs behind the camera, and 4,000 jobs as day players and extras that are the benefits of Michigan film incentives.” The festival will offer Michigan premiers of made-in-Michigan movies, in association with the Detroit Independent Film Festival, which is also hosting the Michigan Film Awards, an annual awards ceremony held to recognize the accomplishments of independent films in Michigan. The awards will take place on Saturday, Mar. 12. Of the more than 235 films submitted to the Detroit Independent Film Festival, the finest will be screened during the Uptown Film Festival. The Uptown Film Festival will begin with the Michigan premier of Kill the Irishman, starring Christopher Walken, Val Kilmer and Ray Stevenson, on Friday, Mar. 11. Another noteworthy film, Things Fall Apart, starring Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who will attend the showing, and Ray Liotta, will premier on Saturday, Mar. 12, followed by the the Michigan Film Awards ceremony. Three other notable Michigan films will be screened, as well as other, smaller films. The festival's presenting sponsor is Oakland County Film, and is also sponsored by the Michigan Film Office, Detroit Medical Center, Film Detroit, Huntington Bank, and FIT Film Industry. A VIP weekend pass, which includes entrance to a Friday VIP reception and closing events, goes on sale Feb. 9 for $150. For Saturday only events, tickets are $50. Organizers said individual ticket sales will be announced soon. For more information, visit their website at www.uptownfilmfestival.com.
concrete island separating the parking lot from Woodward. Fred Lavery, the property owner to the north, said in January he is very much in favor of the project. Matt Baka, planning department intern, said the project should go before the city commission for recommended approval in a month or so.
Long Lake post office building sold The U.S. Post Office building at 71 E. Long Lake Road in Bloomfield Hills has tentatively been sold and will likely close in June. The Postal Service accepted a signed purchase agreement on Jan. 18 and the buyer has 100 days of due diligence, said Shannon LaBruyere, Communications Specialist for the Southeast Michigan Region of the Postal Service. The 100 days of due diligence, during which a buyer can investigate the property and decline to follow through with the offer if it does not meet their liking, ends April 28. “A closing on the property would occur about a week after that, in early May,” said LaBruyere. She said the post office would remain open until early June, and then all operations would transfer to the carrier annex at 2050 South Boulevard in Bloomfield Township. That location is currently being renovated to accommodate customer service operations. Bloomfield Hills City Manager Jay Cravens said that he had heard it was sold to a physician. LaBruyere would neither confirm nor deny that, saying she could not comment on that, nor a sale price, until the sale is complete. She did say the property had been listed at $1.2 million. “Like a lot of people, we've been spoiled, having the post office so conveniently located next door, but we'll get used to going to the South Boulevard location,” said Cravens.
Hills meets with Baldwin Library Members of the Bloomfield Hills City Commission met with representatives of the Baldwin Library board to see if a cooperative agreement can be worked out where residents of Bloomfield Hills could use 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,” Baldwin Library Director Doug Kosckik said in January. “The specific details would have to be worked out.” 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 in the near future due to the city's financial problems. In November, city residents voted down a proposal to redevelop a contract with Bloomfield Township Library and create an independent library board, 60 percent to 40 percent. Jay Cravens, Bloomfield Hills City Manager, said that 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.” He said the meeting at Baldwin Library recently went very well. “We learned a lot about Baldwin, and we really enjoyed that,” he said. Mayor Mike McCready said, “We met with their board and had a very nice meeting. They gave us some information about the library, its product and services. We're going to list that on our (city) website, and we encourage our residents to go to the website and see the product and services and see what the library offers, to go over there and try it, and give us their feedback on it, and we'll go from there. We'll see if it's something our residents our interested in accessing. One step at a time.” Commissioner Pat Hardy was very impressed during the visit. Cravens noted that no contract has been offered to the city yet, “although here is a government just to the north of them that is interested. We hope it will be a win-win situation.” Baldwin Library currently has contractual arrangements with Beverly Hills and Bingham Farms. Their contracts allow their residents full use of the library, including reciprocal relations with the Bloomfield Township Library. Cravens said that reciprocity with the township library would have the
potential to cause problems with long term users of Baldwin Library, which he said, no one wants to see happen. “We know they (Baldwin Library) are interested in us for the revenue, and we would like the services, if our residents decide that is what they want,” Cravens said. “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 in January. “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.” “If enough of our community is supportive, after they visit our website and visit the library, we will go forth fielding a millage,” said commissioner Pat Hardy. “They would really like us to sign a contract with them because it would help them with their deficit. For us, it's too important for the community. You cannot be a first rate community without access to a local library.” Residents of Bloomfield Hills can get information on Baldwin Library, and the opportunity to visit and use the library at www.bloomfieldhillsmi.net.
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Bloomfield Hills $5,300,000
Photography: Beth Singer, Steven Nikkila and Mary Kaye Ouvry
Beyond a sweeping tree-lined gated drive lies PARK HAVEN, an impeccably maintained 1929 manor on seven lush acres with a courtyard entrance. Wide bluestone terraces overlook perennial gardens and magnificent verdant grounds. Spanning nearly 10,000 square feet of living space and designed by architect George DeWitt Mason, the estate was superbly renovated and expanded in 2006. A gracious foyer opens to the stately beamed Great Room with a carved limestone fireplace. Handsomely paneled, the Library is adorned with bas relief and a dark marble fireplace. An elegant Dining Room with a tray ceiling overlooks the north lawn and the terrace. Adjacent to a Butlerâ€™s Pantry, the Kitchen is finished in white marble. The home features five primary Bedrooms and four full and three half Baths. Reached by a private entry, the four-room Master Suite has a Sitting Room and dual Dressing Rooms. The impressive Lower-Level Retreat is enhanced by a striking fireplace and maintains its original terrazzo floor. Evident throughout the residence is incredible attention to detail, including intricate woodwork and decorate ironwork. This is truly a rare offering.
Nanci J. Rands Associate Broker
CHRISTIEâ€™S INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE
Meredith Colburn Associate Broker
THE INTEGRITY OF HALL AND HUNTER...THE POWER OF CHRISTIEâ€™S
Historical Georgian Revival colonial on 1.42 gated acres. Historically restored & maintained with cast plaster ceilings, grand staircase and custom features throughout. 248.250.2951
Stately Boston Blvd. manor with extensive woodwork, Pewabic fireplace, stained & leaded glass. Private brick fenced back yard and covered stone verandas. 248.250.2951
Sterling Heights $339,900
Traditional 4 bedroom colonial with a finished lower level & beautifully landscaped yard. Great floor plan for entertaining plus numerous recent updates.
Exquisite 4 bedroom home with 2-story foyer, remodeled kitchen & baths, extensive interior detail and custom paint treatments. Professionally landscaped fenced yard.
Birmingham $998,000 This in-town Saroki-designed cedar and stone Tudor features quality appointments throughout including 4 inch wood floors and 10 foot ceilings. At 3427 square feet, this home has 4 bedrooms and 3 baths, including a bedroom suite over the 2 car garage. The Atwood kitchen features a beamed ceiling, concrete counters and stainless steel appliances. The living room includes mahogany built-ins while bluestone surrounds the family room fireplace. The master suite features an additional fireplace and French doors to the balcony. Plus there is a patio and a porch for outdoor entertaining. The finished basement has daylight windows and a temperature controlled wine cellar. An unfinished third floor offers the opportunity to add 1000 square feet to this beautiful home.
CHRISTIEâ€™S INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE
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Bloomfield $3,980,000 Perched on a hilltop over Island Lake, one of the most exclusive lakes in Bloomfield Township., this private setting offers perfect lake views and sunsets year-round. A one-of-a-kind architectural masterpiece, with an understated front elevation, that has a European look and exquisite taste. Quality at its finest. Materials and art from around the world have been incorporated into this exceptional home. Attention to detail and creative application of materials are second to none. Two-story Library. First Floor Master Bedroom Suite where the Closets and Bath exceed the Bedroom size itself. Extensive walk-out Lower Level with a Billiards Room, Entertainment Area, full Gym with hot tub, Sauna, and Steam Shower, an ingenious Playroom, a full-service Bar, Wine Cellar, and doorways to a lower patio overlooking the pristine lake. Play the nation’s premium courses on the full-room golf simulator.
Bloomfield Hills $1,990,000
An incredible custom log home on almost 20 serene acres. Up-north style, situated in Northwest Oakland County. Private wooded road with gated security entry. Two-story natural stone fireplace in Great Room. Top-of–the-line features and appliances. True Entertainer’s Bar. Large deck off the four season Sunroom. Finished daylight Lower Level with Wine Cellar and iron artisan banister. Three car garage.
This fabulous Prairie School design home, incomparable in style, is located on a lush 1.71 acres. It borders Bloomfield Hills Country Club and offers spectacular views of the clubhouse and the eighth and ninth holes of the golf course. A rare blend of detailed luxury and intimate comfort are found throughout. Soaring ceilings illuminate the home’s large open spaces. Heated four car garage and guard house.
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Olivia Walby t just four-years-old, blue-eyed beauty Olivia Walby is charming audiences and racking up awards for her starring role in the Michigan-made film, “Annabelle & Bear.” “She was two-and-a-half years old when she started filming,” said Patty Walby, Olivia’s mother. “It’s been an adventure.” With some prompting from a friend, Patty took Olivia to her first audition for “Annabelle & Bear,” and with no professional training, the two-year-old landed the starring role and the title as the youngest lead actor in the history of film. The independent film, directed and co-written by Birmingham’s Amy Weber, is about a burly rebel suddenly propelled into parenting “Annabelle,” played by Walby. While this was Olivia’s acting debut, she seemed to exhibit a knack for performance from the start. “Even before Olivia could speak, she displayed her playful personality with others,” said Patty. “We never imagined that this outgoing personality would land her in the middle of a busy film set, surrounded by dozens of cast and crew members less than two years later.” Although Olivia has since worked with veteran actors well beyond her age and experience, she is not overwhelmed by the pressure to perform. “I never get nervous because it’s so much fun,” Olivia said. “Annabelle & Bear” has sent the young starlet jetting across the country for film festivals and award ceremonies, but she was most excited to travel to California. “I had never been on an airplane and we got to stay in hotels.” she said.
Olivia has earned three film festival acting awards for her performance, and is nominated for a Best Actress Award in the upcoming Uptown Film Festival in Birmingham. “Annabelle & Bear” will be screened at the Uptown Palladium theatre on Saturday, March 12. Olivia will be in attendance for the awards ceremonies. “It feels really good,” said Olivia. “I like when everybody wins awards.” Since her role as “Annabelle,” Olivia has landed the part as a baby vampire working beside big names like Sigourney Weaver, Wallace Shawn, Alicia Silverstone and Krysten Ritter in the upcoming romantic comedy “Vamps,” slated for release later in 2011. For Olivia, it is too soon to decide what the future holds for her. “I don’t know,” Olivia said. “I could be a doctor.” But she’s not discounting a career in acting. If her early success is any indication, her enchanting charisma will continue to earn recognition and draw interest from the industry. Yet, despite her early notoriety, the Bloomfield Hills resident continues to enjoy the simpler luxuries in life. “I can ride my scooter really fast,” Olivia said. “I like to draw and paint and I like to dance: ballet, tap and hip-hop.” Patty said her goals for Olivia are the same as any other parent. “I want her to be happy and healthy, and I just want to help her become the person she’s meant to be,” Patty said. “As long as she’s enjoying it and it’s a positive experience for her growth, we’re going to keep moving forward.” Story: Katey Meisner
Photo: Laurie Tennent
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BUSINESS MATTERS Fiat of Birmingham Bill Golling, owner of Golling Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Bloomfield Hills, and his 26-year-old son, Michael Golling, will be opening up a Fiat dealership at 34500 Woodward Ave. in Birmingham. “We have no firm dates, but we’re hoping it will be late summer to early fall,” Bill said. In the meantime, Golling will be opening an interim studio at their Bloomfield Hills store located at 2405 S. Telegraph Rd. The new dealership will feature the Fiat 500 with more products becoming available in the future. “We took the car out to the Michigan International Auto Show in Grand Rapids,” he said. “It’s got appeal for young people and people across the spectrum. I’ve driven it on winter roads and it’s a fine automobile.” Golling said he is looking forward to entering into the new business partnership with his son. “This will be (Michael’s) first venture,” he said. “He works here at the Chrysler store and he’ll be our Fiat manager.” While Golling said a name for the dealership is still in the planning stages, they are tentatively looking to call it Golling Fiat or Fiat of Birmingham. “(Fiat) has a very good reputation in Europe,” said Golling. “It’s a vehicle that is sold worldwide and I see it as a great opportunity for the future.”
President Tuxedo Looking to spiff it up for prom or a wedding? President Tuxedo has
relocated to 534 N. Old Woodward Ave. from its former space at 33423 S. Woodward Ave. in Birmingham. “We’ve had the other location for over 30 years,” said owner Barbara Sbrocca. “We wanted to be in Birmingham, so it was another opportunity to stay in town.” President Tuxedo offers tux rentals, retail merchandise and restaurant wear. “We have Ralph Lauren and downtownpublications.com
Calvin Klein tuxedos,” said Sbrocca. “We also have a child tuxedo we sell a lot of.” The shop caters to wedding parties, black-tie events and promgoers. Sbrocca, who has lived in Birmingham for more than 30 years, has two daughters who attended Seaholm High School and wanted to keep the business local. “This space is all new,” said Sbrocca. “We’re close to the bridal salons. It’s got a wedding row type feel and it’s just a fun town to be a part of.” President Tuxedo offers alterations on the premises.
Victor Saroki award Victor Saroki, longtime Birmingham architect, has received a prestigious gold medal from the Detroit Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. “It’s the highest personal recognition for an architect. It’s a real honor,” said Saroki. “We’ve been very fortunate. We’ve received over 60 design awards, but the gold medal is really given for notable work over many years and they only bestow the gold medal to one person a year.” Victor Saroki & Associates Architects is located at 430 N. Old Woodward in Birmingham. “We’ve been in Birmingham for 28 years, and we’ve done over 60 projects in Birmingham alone.”
employee health services. St. Joseph Mercy Oakland also operates urgent care centers in Lake Orion and Waterford.
Mortgage joint venture Wells Fargo Ventures, LLC and Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel (CBWM) Realtors, headquartered at 500 S. Old Woodward Ave. in Birmingham, have formed a joint venture to originate, process and fund mortgage loans for Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel customers. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the alliance will provide a wide range of home financing products and services to CBWM clients through Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “We are proud to be in this relationship with Wells Fargo,” said Kelly Sweeney, CEO of Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel. “We look forward to providing our clients the same positive experience in financing they received from us over the years when using our brokerage services.” Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel has recently experienced rapid growth, expanding from 125 sales agents to more than 450 in the last 24 months.
One-stop clothes shop The Basement, a consignment and vintage boutique, has merged with
New urgent care center St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO) has recently opened a new urgent care center at 2110 E. Maple Road in Birmingham. “We had been looking to expand our offerings into the market because, to a great degree, (patients) have had to travel to our main campus for our services,” said Jack Weiner, SJMO President and CEO. “We see Birmingham as an attractive area that allows us to provide service consistent with the area.” Weiner has been a Birmingham resident for seven years and lives only a few blocks from the new facility. “We just see it as a long term growth market, and we wanted to provide high-quality service in a therapeutic environment.” St. Joseph Mercy Oakland will offer urgent health care services to patients with cuts, sprains, fevers, earaches, sore throats, infections, minor asthma-related symptoms, and rashes. Additional health care services will include vaccines, lab tests, radiology procedures, sports and school physicals, pregnancy testing and
Flash Accessories at 110 S. Old Woodward in Birmingham. “We are sharing a space,” said Farrah Orow, owner of The Basement. “The front of the store is The Basement and the back is Flash Accessories.” Orow met Flash Accessories owner Kelli Feldman while shopping at her boutique, and the entrepreneurs teamed up to form a one-stop-shop for women’s clothing and accessories. “They complement each other,” said Orow. “Every client who walks out with a dress or a top from The Basement accessorizes with a piece from Flash Accessories, and they leave looking fabulous.” In addition to offering clothing and shoes, The Basement features gently
or never-been-used bags from Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, Valentino, Christian Dior and sunglasses from Fendi, Gucci, Chanel and Christian Dior. “We’re also very excited to announce that we’re buying sale items from local boutiques and selling them anywhere from 75 percent to 90 percent the original prices.”
Goldfish Swim School Goldfish Swim School at 2388 Cole St. is celebrating the 5th anniversary of the opening of their Birmingham corporate location this month. Husband and wife team Chris and Jenny McCuiston met at Seaholm High School. “Jenny had a love and passion for swimming since the age of three,” said Chris. “For me, it was a passion for business and the opportunity for us to run our own entity. My wife and I have been longtime residents and we felt starting the business in Birmingham would give us the best chance for success.” The school offers swim training for children four months old and up. “We also offer birthday party opportunities on Saturdays, family swim times, retail and vending,” said Chris. “We sell goggles, suits and equipment.” According to Chris, Goldfish has seen growth every year since its inception in 2006. “We currently teach over 2,000 kids a week and we have 45 staff members on board.” After five years in business, Goldfish has expanded with a franchise in Farmington Hills. Two more franchises in Ann Arbor and Rochester Hills are slated to open in 2011, and a Macomb location will open in 2012.
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operating the high-end bridesmaid dress boutique at the 2121 Cole St. location in Birmingham. “We’ve always wanted to own a dress store,” said Galacz. “Just being in the wedding industry, we worked with the previous owner, Kate Richard. When she decided she wanted to get out, she presented the opportunity to us.” The boutique is geared toward bridesmaids, and consultations are available by appointment only. “It’s set up to be a completely different type of experience,” said Galacz. “They get an hour consultation and run of the store for an hour. It’s meant to feel like you’re trying on dresses in your friend’s living room.” Galacz calls it an upscale setting, tailored to customer service. “It’s very homey,” she said. “People feel relaxed and at ease.” Galacz and Watkins also own Affordable Elegance Chair Covers in Linens, located in Troy. “We actually fell into the linen (industry),” said Galacz. “But this is where we wanted to be; we’re just six years behind the plan.” The business partners have worked together for 11 years and both were previously buyers for department stores. Miss Kate’s Maids offers dress lines through Priscilla of Boston, Melissa Sweet, Thread, Lynn Lugo, and Coren Moore.
Gourmet Italian market Primi Piatti, a new gourmet Italian market, is moving into Birmingham at 550 N. Old Woodward. “I’m planning to open no later than May 1,” said owner Monica Bisignano Zamler. The market will feature organic, freshly made pastas. “My mother taught me to make pasta and I’ve been making it my entire life,” she said. “There’s not really a venue in Birmingham to buy organic freshmade pasta. I built the rest of the store around that.” Zamler, a widow, had always wanted to start her own business and decided the time was right to begin a new phase in her life. “I have two children in college and my youngest is a junior at Groves,” she said. “I just thought the timing was right for me personally.” Primi Piatti will also offer Italian cheeses, prosciutto, salami, sauces, breads and other Italian groceries. “There will also be Italian home goods, like pottery, glass and linens.” Zamler, who grew up in Birmingham, will be traveling to Italy prior to the market’s opening to bring back merchandise. “I’ll be going to Italy two or three times a year.”
Blu Arch Collection Michigan artist Daniel Cascardo, will showcase his abstract work at
The Tux Shop Jeffrey Nelson recently opened The Tux Shop, his first independent retail business venture, at 33423 S. Woodward Ave. in Birmingham. “I’ve been in the business for over 17 years, and I’ve been working in this area for more than 12 years,” said Nelson, “I’m comfortable with the client base. I know how to take care of the customers, and it was a perfect match.” The tux shop offers rentals for wedding parties, proms, charity and black tie events. “We also sell retail merchandise and restaurant and uniform apparel,” he said. Nelson has up to five formal wear specialists on hand to serve his customers and has outfitted local schools with his apparel. “I’ve done school fittings for Brother Rice,” he said. “I’ve also outfitted the (acting company) Marion Rice Players.” downtownpublications.com
11 from 6-9 p.m. Cascardo will be on hand to talk about his work with guests. The gallery specializes in unique art pieces including sculpture, vases and bowls, jewelry, furniture and paintings from a variety of artists, including local talent from Michigan.
Vintage antique jewelry Jewelry designs by Birmingham resident Sally Serwer Designs & Antiques are now available at Antonino Salon & Spa at 191 Townsend St. in Birmingham. “I do interior design and I’m an antique dealer on the side,” said Serwer. “I have sold out of my home, and I now have a case of all vintage antique jewelry at Antonino.” Susan Shea, manager at Antonino, said that vintage jewelry has become a popular commodity and they were pleased to have the opportunity to sell Serwer’s designs. “Her pieces are lovely and in good condition,” said Shea. “The clients really like it, we’ve sold a lot of it and she comes in and changes it on a weekly basis.” According to Serwer, each piece she sells is hand-selected and in mint condition. “A lot of people aren’t familiar with vintage and antique jewelry,” she said. “What people have been really excited about is that it’s all very affordable.” The majority of Serwer’s jewelry sells for under $100. “I travel a lot and go into little nooks and crannies to find the jewelry,” she said. “All my business has been through word-of-mouth through the years and it has been a real success.”
Amici’s Gourmet Pizza
Blu Arch Collection, a Birmingham gallery located at 142 W. Maple. The exhibit will be on display March 1120, and will feature paintings, sculptures and multi-media projects by the renowned visual Royal Oak artist. “I’ve known Daniel for a couple years,” said Chuck Krause, manager of Blu Arch Collection. “He has a powerful, graphic style and we liked that he’s a local artist.” An opening reception for the public will be held on Friday, March
Jennifer Stark and Maureen McNamara, owners of Amici’s Gourmet Pizza in Berkley, are opening another location, bringing a pizza-to-go concept to Birmingham this summer. “We have a lease agreement,” said Stark. “But we haven’t started doing our build-out yet.” The business duo will set up at 1160 Grant Street with their approach of fresh, gourmet pizza with healthy options. “In addition to the classics, we offer gluten-free crust, whole wheat crust and vegan pizzas,” Stark said. “Everything is made from scratch every day, and we are one of the only certified green restaurants in Michigan.”
With 17 different gourmet pizza options on the menu, Stark is looking forward to branching out to a new community. “Maureen and I have wanted to expand for a while,” she said. “The reason we chose Birmingham is because we think it’s an untapped market and people in Birmingham care about food and quality.” According to Stark, the new location allows easy parking access to the storefront. “It’s kind of at the bottom of the hub of Birmingham, so people can just park out front and walk in to pick up the pizza,” she said. “We really like that it’s in a neighborhood and we like the walkability of Birmingham.” Following complete renovations of the location, Stark is looking to open in June or July of this year.
G. Studio opens If you’re ready to exercise, G. Studio, a fitness training facility, has recently moved into the space at 784 Industrial Court in Bloomfield Township. The studio, owned by husband and wife team Kelly and John Gottsacker, is located at Franklin and Square Lake roads. “We have worked in the industry for over 20 years, teaching and personal training,” said Kelly. “We’ve taught at other clubs and studios in the area and we’ve had a strong following. It was about time to open a place for ourselves.” The facility offers group fitness and has 32 classes on the schedule. “We have good old-fashioned aerobics, specialty classes, and my husband teaches an amazing dance class,” she said. “The ladies just have a good old time and we get a lot of gentlemen in as well.” Gottsacker said the space is a sectioned-off warehouse setting. “We’re in the process of finishing up our second studio,” she said. “It’s white, bright and fresh. We have hardwood floors and a locker room. It’s all new and beautiful.” 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.
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THE COMMUNITY HOUSE y now, many of you know that I submitted my resignation as President and CEO of The Community House. It is something that I thought long and hard about because I have thoroughly enjoyed serving in this position but decided that I want more personal time to travel and enjoy other activities. It has been a dream job, and I have enjoyed every day of my tenure. I have been so fortunate to have a wonderful Board of Directors, an outstanding staff and dedicated volunteers and donors. Most importantly, I believe in the mission of The Community House. Shelley Roberts I thought carefully about timing my resignation in the best interest of The Community House. After serving almost 13 years as President and CEO, I believe that now is the time for a new leader with fresh ideas and insights. I also think that this is an excellent time for this transition because we have an experienced Board Chair and Executive Committee which will be a great resource for my successor. In addition, we have a very capable staff that will make the transition a seamless one. This year is off to a great start for The Community House. Committee chairs are in place for our 2011 Annual Fund Drive and for all of our special events. Construction around the House is complete; our program enrollments are much greater than during the winter of 2010; and our trips are more popular than ever. Our banquet and catering department has lots of events for 2011 on the books. Thanks to the Rosso Foundation, our new state of the art green demonstration kitchen will be constructed in April. Although the 13 years have flown by for me, there have been many changes at The Community House during that time, and I’d like to mention a few of them. For the last several years, The Community House has suffered through the very weak economy but is still standing strong. We offer over 800 classes and programs annually and have greatly expanded our dance program, now called
TCH Dance Academy. Our very popular cooking classes will become even more popular with our new demonstration kitchen. Through the years we have made many physical improvements to The Community House, including the renovation and redecoration of all three floors and the additions of the beautiful tent on the Van Dusen Terrace and The Community House Tribute Terrace. In 2010, we renovated our front and north entrances to make them wheel chair accessible and much more user friendly. In an effort to meet the changing needs of the community, we endorsed the organization of two additional sponsored groups, the International Community Club and TUG, The Uptown Group, which is comprised of young adults. Because of our commitment to inclusion and diversity and our sponsored group the Race Relations and Diversity Task Force, the Community House received New Detroit’s Closing the Gap Award in 2007 and Corp! Magazine’s Diversity Award in 2010. In response to the downturn in the economy and the resulting loss of employment for many in our community, we hosted a series of very successful programs called Successful Job Strategies to assist those in need. Our long standing signature events, the OUR TOWN Art Show and Sale and the Birmingham House Tour, continued and grew, and we added three very important and popular events, the Green Breeze Environmental Fair, Classical Brunch Series and House in Bloom. Our collaboration with the Children’s Charities Coalition prospered and enabled us to raise needed funds. Our Annual Fund Drive and individual giving is strong, and a planned giving program was initiated which has resulted in significant planned gifts and excellent programs for our donors. Although corporate sponsorship from the auto companies, their suppliers and financial institutions has declined, grants from foundations that realize the value of our programs have significantly increased. In short, I feel good about leaving The Community House at a time when it is not just stable but growing.--- but, I’m not really leaving. I will soon have the time to enjoy the many classes, programs and trips that it offers. I look forward to seeing you at The Community House. Shelley Roberts is President and CEO of The Community House.
When The Details Matter. At Kastler Construction, we believe details are everything. We also believe it is our extreme attention to those details, that sets us apart from our competition. From the most subtle architectural nuances to bold design details, we know how to bring your vision to life. We assist in not only the design process, but also in material selection, from flooring to cabinetry hardware - even paint colors. When it comes to home renovations, help with those details can really make the difference. View our entire portfolio online at kastlerconstruction.com
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To Our Customers, Neighbors and Friends: The dramatic changes taking place in the real estate industry and economy these days are historic in scope and proportion. And as you may know SKBK Sotheby’s International Realty is one of the most respected and successful brokerages in the metro-Detroit area. You may be asking yourself, "What does this mean for me as a SKBK Sotheby’s customer?" The answer simply is - it's business as usual. That's because perhaps never before in our company's 90-year history has SKBK Sotheby’s enjoyed a greater reputation for strength, security, financial discipline, and doing what's right for the customer than it does today. The community trusts us with its business and continues to give us even more of it – last year we had 55 percent increase in sales volume – that beats the market averages by nearly 15 percent. We're attracting more customers and earning more business from our current customers like you because many of our customers rave about us to their families, friends and business associates. We're known and admired for our conservative diligent approach and time-tested business model, and it succeeds because you trust us to do what's right for you, the customer. We still focus, as always, on what got us here - building lifelong relationships with our customers and communities. Our team works hard to know you, understand your complete real estate picture, listen to you, provide you value and reward you for doing even more business with us. We put you at the center of everything we do. And we work together to decide locally how we can help support the communities in which you - and we - live and work. Thank you for entrusting us with your business! Douglas H. Hardy, MD Chairman SKBK Sotheby’s International Realty March 2011
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
Birmingham, Michigan 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
The Sotheby’s Realty Mobile application (SIR Mobile) allows consumers to view properties based on GPS location, address, city or zipcode. The application displays detailed property information including price, bed/baths, taxes, estimated mortgage, features, maps, high-quality photos and more. When you’re ready to see a property hit the “call” feature and you’ll be immediately connected to a Sotheby’s International Realty sales associate. Go to Sothebysrealty.com to download the app.
A. Upper Straits Lake Frontage - Fabulous site of ten plus acres. Can be divided as Lakefront Estate size homes or one site of Pristine acreage. Colonial with three bedroom and 3.1 baths. 210137481. $8,000,000. B. Upper Straits Lake Frontage - Custom designed home on the highest elevation on the lake! Spectacular landscaping with three stone patios and walkways to water. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 210103249 $3,900,000. C. Lower Long Lake Frontage - Country French Estate featuring walk out lower level to private landscaped pool area with brick deck and walkways. Six bedrooms with 6.2 baths. 210033030 $2,850,000.
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
Leadership â€” For continued growth & success, every business, industry and community must have leaders who can see change that is needed, organize resources, and engage those around them. SKBK Sotheby's encourages their agents to be involved with the local, state & national association. Giving our agents the competitive edge in the marketplace.
A. Birmingham - This Longe designed and Derocher built home boasts a fabulous kitchen, enormous 1st floor master suite with spa bath. An amazing finished lower level. Five bedrooms with 4.3 baths. 210116511. $3,400,000. B. Bloomfield - Rebuilt in 1990, stylish Contemporary tucked away from the road on two acres of beautifully manicured grounds. Over 5600 sq ft, perfect for entertaining. Three bedrooms with two baths. 210098519 $1,500,000. C. Bloomfield - Exceptionally maintained Bloomfield Village home on deep private lot. Professionally landscaped and offers great patio area with a true outdoor kitchen. Four bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 211011752 $469,900.
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
In Oakland County, on-market inventory continues to decline; 8,617 in January 2011 compared to 11,296 in January 2010 (down by 24%) - this is the lowest on-market inventory in the past three years. There is no better time to allow me to market your home than now. Frequently we see multiple offers and sales in less than a few weeks.
Mike Cotter Paula Law
A. Lupton - Lodge resembles one from the late 1800s with its massive Douglas fir timber truss system, stone columns, and field stone exterior. Eight hundred acre enclosed preserve consists of hardwood forest, wetlands, lakes and big rolling hills. Five bedrooms with nine baths. 210109240. $10,900,000. B. Bloomfield Hills - Absolutely stunning private location set behind Bloomfield Hills CC. Gated entry and manicured grounds. Great room sizes, perfect for entertaining. Four bedroom with 3.2 baths. 210090660 $1,990,000. C. Oakland Twp. - Beautiful island kitchen with Lafata cherry cabinets, granite counters and Jenn Air appliances. Finished walkout with English Pub, billiard and game areas. Four bedrooms with 2.2 baths. 211012424 $445,000.
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
Low Interest Rates coupled with the market shift in home pricing makes this an estraordinary time to purchase a home. Now more than ever, experience the difference between an Agent and an Expert.
B A. Bloomfield - Outstanding home in every way! Function, form and style abound through out the 9,000 sq ft of superb living space. Flowing floor plan with generous room sizes perfect for both entertaining and comfortable living. Six bedrooms with 7.2 baths. 210040822. $1,995,000. B. Bloomfield - 2006 Built Custom Crafted Masterpiece! Flowing floor plan adorned with custom carved wood walls, coffered ceilings and high end finishes. Finished lower level. Five bedrooms with 6.2 baths. 211015454 $1,125,000.
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
Professional, Knowledgeable and Committed! My expertise in negotiating, market knowledge and personal attention to detail is an effective advocate for your real estate goals.
According to the National Association of Realtors â€“ 90% of all home buyers utilize the Internet to find their homes. Therefore it is essential to not only be on the internet but stand out as the source of information for those seeking homes. Sothebysrealty.com is a destination website throughout the world.
Cindy Obron Kahn
A. Franklin Village - Beautiful home situated on 2.14 acres with exceptional design and amenities. Hugh great room overlooking sport/tennis court. Five bedrooms with 5.2 baths. 210136334. $1,599,000. B. Birmingham - Stunning Colonial! Beautifully rebuilt by Steve Templeton. Extensive use of crown and dentil molding, wainscot, marble and hardwood floors. Four bedrooms with 3.2 baths. 210139458 $1,595,000. C. Bloomfield - Stately Bloomfield Village home offers the perfect blend of Comfort and Sophistication. The fabulous open floor plan is perfect for entertaining. Five bedrooms with 6.2 baths. 211006611 $1,395,000.
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
Maximum marketing exposure, trusted real estate advice and expertise! I will put my knowledge to work and earn your trust as your real estate adviser.
Erin Keating Dewald
A. Birmingham - Uncompromising quality in this newer construction. Close to park and downtown. Builders own home with focus to detail and finishes! Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 210066068 $499,000. B. Birmingham - Charming house in heart of Birmingham. Hardwood floors throughout. Updated kitchen. Fireplace in family room. Original woodwork. Three bedrooms with 1.1 baths. 211003715 $289,000. C. Royal Oak - Newer construction! Fabulous layout with custom kitchen. Finished basement with an additional 1,000 plus sq. ft. Three bedrooms with 3.1 baths 211009177 $279,000.
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
When you sell, you can be exempt and not pay the State portion of transfer tax on your primary residence if the SEV and TAXABLE VALUE is less than when you purchased your home.
A. Lake Oakland Frontage - Spectacular Colonial! Built in 2002 with the finest materials. Two designer kitchens with high end appliances. Clarkston Schools. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 210047461. $999,000. B. Metamora Twp. - An exceptional Equestrian Farm in the heart of Metamora Hunt Country. Perfect as is or as a Bed and Breakfast. Three bedrooms with three baths. 29146030 $799,000. C. Metamora Twp. - Beautiful Colonial on ten acres. Four Masonary fireplaces and chef's kitchen. Harwood floors and California Closets. Three bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 211014926 $624,900.
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
That you can retain your property tax homestead exemption on the home you are selling, if it is listed for sale and also file a homestead exemption on the new home you purchased.
A. Bloomfield - Builder's unbeatable low price and top quality make this newer construction home the best value in Bloomfield. Four Bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 210099696. $759,900. B. Bloomfield - Maplewood Homes Builder Owners personal residence Completely renovated in 2008. Gourmet granite kitchen and first floor master. Five bedrooms with 4.3 baths. 210064732 $599,900. C. Bloomfield Hills - Fabulous location. Award winning Birmingham schools. Every square inch of this Colonial has been completely renovated. Four bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 210089028 $599,900.
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
Ask me about anything â€œLakeâ€? related to real estate. I know the Lake Angelus community, the people and the lake. I am extremely familiar with the complexities of lake property and can take the stress out of buying and selling your home by offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
A. Lake Angelus Frontage - Fabulous newer construction on all sports Lake Angelus. Breathtaking views from every room this South facing transitional home. Over 9800 sq. ft. of living space. Four bedrooms with 5.1 baths. 211010061. $1,795,000. B. Lake Angelus Frontage - Fabulous Sunsets from this beautiful Lake Angelus Estate with over 150' of lake frontage. Guest house. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 211010071 $1,499,900. C. Lake Angelus Frontage - Over 1,600 sq ft on 1.00 acres with 96' of Lake Angelus frontage and an additional 1,200 sq. ft in finished lower level. Three bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 211000857 $999,998.
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
Short sales and foreclosures continue to represent just less than half of the transactions in our area. Not only is it imperative to have an experienced realtor assisting in the transaction but a thorough review by legal representation and tax specialist is required to insure that the sale achieves the objectives of the seller.
Bev McCotter Bill Vandercook
SOUTHERN MICHIGAN’S MOST UNIQUE PROPERTY! Approximately 2,000 Contiguous Acres - Including a 100 acre lake Additional adjoining 595 acres also available for close to 2600 acres
Manchester Township & Norvell Township • 1 1/2 hours from Detroit • 45 minutes from downtown Ann Arbor • 200 Miles east of Chicago Opportunities exist to create a private recreational retreat or to create a conservation development design or a preserve for future generations. Civil War Italianate home ready for restoration (once a station in Michigan’s Underground Railroad Systems.) RECREATIONAL RETREAT Consider this distinctive property located in Washtenaw & Jackson counties for your personal estate, corporate getaway, hunt club or recreational retreat. The topography is diverse, including a high hill overlooking the 100 acre Watkins Lake.
PRESERVE What legacy will you leave? Permanently preserving and protecting property (homes & land) can have significant federal, state and local tax and / or additional monetary advantages for you and your family.
CONSERVATION DESIGN DEVELOPMENT Conservation design development can simultaneously accomplish three often mutually exclusive goals. Higher net profits realized by a developer, improved privacy of building sites while maintaining or increasing home density, and permanently conserving over 80% of the total property acreage and natural resources. #210086302
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
B A. Oakland Township - For individuals use to the very best, a fantastic opportunity to put your finishing touches on this spectacular French Normandy home with over 14,000 sq ft of living space on four acres. Four bedrooms with 5.3 baths. 210125581. $5,900,000. Jim Casey. B. Grosse Ile - Serene, private three home Executive Compound on five acres with Detroit River frontage is completely gated. Main House and Guest House are of Museum quality. Four bedrooms with 4.3 baths. 210069577 $5,375,000. Kathy Lyons
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
B A. Lotus Lake Island - Exceptionally Unique Tobocman and Lawrence Home on Lotus Island with stunning views of Lotus Lake. Escape to your private one acre island complete with state of the art Contemporary Home. Two bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 210062764. $3,800,000. Karen Atchoo. B. Bloomfield Hills - Luxury and style abound! Perfectly manicured landscaping. Chef's Kitchen, hearth room and breakfast area. Custom millwork through out. Five bedrooms with 7.2 baths. 210051936 $3,200,000. Kathy Lyons
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
B A. Franklin Village - Spectacular home situated on almost two acres. Entrance into the 2 1/2 story great room abounds with light and true beauty of workmanship in moldings and beautiful Brazilian cherry floors. Six bedrooms with 5.2 baths. 210099347. $1,695,000. Donna Barlow. B. Northville - A private gem nestled on two acres of scenic tranquility. Enter down the private drive to the beautifully designed center entrance Colonial complete with all imported hardwoods. Four bedrooms with 4.3 baths. 210102678 $1,650,000. Joanne McGuire
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
B A. Bloomfield Village - Captivating interior renovation! This reconfigured floor plan is absolutely perfect. French doors lead guests from interior living spaces to beautiful brick terrace and yard. Expansive finished lower level. Five bedrooms with 4.3 baths. 210137579. $1,595,000. Darlene Jackson. B. Bloomfield - Custom built to perfection! This home is tucked away on gorgeous 1.57 acre grounds with wildlife sanctuary backdrop and full compliment of privacy. Six bedrooms with 6.2 baths. 210088924 $1,450,000. Mike Cotter
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
A. Oakland Township - Tucked within 7+ acres of Oakland Twp grandeur. Spacious European Country House has premium appointments and high-end detailing throughout. Lovely guest quarters with chefs kitchen. 210090251 $2,850,000. Paula Law. B. Detroit - Magnificent architecture and style that was Detroit's past. Rebuilt all new, but in its original design. This Inn is part of the Select Registry of Distinguished Inns. Ten bedrooms with 11.1 baths. 210137467. $2,500,000. Adrena Holman & Candice Cuyler. C. Bloomfield - Transitional soft Contemporary master piece designed by Dominic Tringali. Extraordinary architectural details. Six bedrooms with 6.3 baths. 210138060 $2,290,000. Marjorie Hirschfield
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
A. Birmingham - Updated home on magnificent acre lot on one of Birmingham's most sought after streets. Beautiful 1st floor master elegant living room and private, sophisticated den. Five bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 210108151. $1,399,000. Kris Barich & Molly Henneghan. B. Birmingham - Sophisticated Condo Alternative. This stunning, in town soft Contemporary home with custom finishes and hardwood floors. Four bedrooms with 3.2 baths. 210144828 $1,225,000. Renee Acho. C. Birmingham - Exquisite amenities, panel ceiling and curved arches in this beautiful Tudor home! Chef's granite kitchen/family room combination and breakfast area. Overlooks neighborhood park. Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 210143091 $1,299,999. Marjorie Hirschfield.
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
Magnificent Home BLOOMFIELD
Rare In-Town Contemporary BIRMINGHAM
Impeccable condition with amazing, spacious rooms. A fabulous great room with French doors leading to outside deck and breath taking views of Walnut Lake. Six bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 210137544. $875,000. Kris Barich & Molly Hennenghan
Built with the best materials. Open floor plan master piece, great for entertaining large gatherings. Great room and dining room with French doors open to pool with private yard. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 210121487 $849,000. Andrew Teitel
Two Plus Acres In The City
WEST BLOOMFIELD Situated on three plus acres (two lots including lots 80 & 81) overlooking swimming pool, stream and plush landscaping. Walkout lower level space is great for family entertaining and living. Four bedrooms with 3.2 baths. 211014214. $729,000. Jenny Turner
Stunning and Bright BIRMINGHAM Formally two units, formed to one large open floor plan "Villa" with high end amenities. Hardwood floors round the fireplace. Gourmet custom kitchen with granite counters and island. Two bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 210109406. $699,000. Ronni Keating
Newer Construction OAKLAND TOWNSHIP Top of the line quality custom home with hardwood floors and granite kitchen. Walkout basement and dual zone heating. First floor master suite. Five bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 210036856. $599,900. Donna Barlow
Just Reduced WEST BLOOMFIELD Great Maple Creek home situated on a private corner lot. Custom John Morgan Built-ins in family room and library. Community pool and tennis. Four bedrooms with 4.2 baths. 211014005. $525,000. Andrew Teitel
Quality New Construction BIRMINGHAM Dark hardwood floors throughout the first floor. Master suite with two large walk in closets and beautiful bath with jacuzzi. Third floor loft with full bath. Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 211016610. $519,000. Renee Acho
BLOOMFIELD HILLS Serene tranquility surrounds this spacious Ranch. Over 5,600 sq ft on both levels. Fenced pool area overlooks huge private backyard. Close to Cranbook School. Six bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 210025301. $725,000. Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublisky
Gated Community BLOOMFIELD Wonderful updated home in the Hills Of Lone Pine. Family Room with natural fireplace and door wall to deck. Walkout lower level could be separate living area with full kitchen, bedroom and bath. Home theater room. Five bedrooms with 4.1 baths.210117634. $679,000. Jim Casey
Authentic Cape Cod BIRMINGHAM A surround patio facing the Rouge River and enhanced by mature trees. Privacy but just a few steps from downtown. There is a guest house adding 961 sq ft. to the living space. Two bedrooms with two baths. 29116090. $595,000. Betty Pince
Price Reduced FRANKLIN Open European style floor plan provides for easy family living and entertaining. Updated kitchen with granite, cherry and high end appliances. The lower level boasts an additional 2000 sq. ft. Five bedrooms with 4.2 baths. 210130681. $539,900. Jenny Turner
Newly Updated 2008 BINGHAM FARMS Lovely and open all Brick Contemporary Ranch. Large windows offer wonderful light and views to fabulous patio, pool and private yard. Finished walk out basement with fireplace. Three bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 210136063. $475,000. Candice Cuyler
Birmingham, Michigan | 248.644.7000 | skbk.com
Totally Updated BLOOMFIELD Wonderful blend of contemporary and traditional. Warm and comfortable family home features a custom kitchen that has been completely redone. Walk out basement with fireplace. Three bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 211015543. $445,000. Cindy Kahn
Prime In-Town Location BIRMINGHAM Charming front porch. Updated baths, newer kitchen with stainless appliances, gorgeous hardwood floors and newer fixtures. Spacious back deck that acts like a second living room Three bedrooms with 1.1 baths. 211014076. $335,000. Sara Lipnitz
Wing Lake Privileges BLOOMFIELD Beautiful Ranch home on a private 1.69 acre lot. Large living room with fireplace. New roof and large wrap around deck overlooking huge back yard. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 211001020. $325,000. Renee Acho
Well Maintained TROY Very tasteful Brick Ranch with open floor plan. Spacious kitchen with eating space. Dining area opens to living room. Family room with vaulted ceiling and fireplace. Wooded lot. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 211018369. $279,000. Mike Cotter
Inviting Colonial BEVERLY HILLS VILLAGE Open floor plan with granite kitchen, new appliances and spacious eating area. Kitchen has skylights which makes home drenched with sunlight. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 211006851. $239,000. Kris Barich & Molly Hennenghan
Overlooks Golf Course BLOOMFIELD Ranch condo with first floor master with beautiful deck and views Beautiful formal dining room overlooking golf course. Lower level is walk out with patio and newly done brick pavers. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 211014095. $199,000. Cindy Obron Kahn
Beautifully Renovated BIRMINGHAM Updated kitchen with granite and stainless steel appliances opens to family room. Living room with custom fireplace and built in bar. Huge master suite with jacuzzi tub, walk in closet. Four bedroom with 2.1 baths. 210105394. $399,000. Heather Salesin
Desirable Neighborhood BIRMINGHAM Updated and meticulously cared for Colonial. New wood floors on entry level and new carpeting in lower level. Park-like back yard with paver patio. Four bedrooms wtih 3.1 baths. 210143837. $328,000. Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublisky
Heart of West Beverly BEVERLY HILLS Fantastic Ranch with over $70,000 in updates. 14 X 12 Sunroom is heated. B-Dry system in 2010. Too many updates to list. Very private and oversized yard with brick pavers. Three bedrooms with 3.2 baths. 210134274. $309,000. Beverly McCotter & Christina Bakalis
Charming East Beverly BEVERLY HILLS VILLAGE Traditional living and dining room with bay window, natural fireplace and builtins. Open kitchen with spacious nook overlooking deck and private yard. Three bedrooms with two baths. 211008994. $259,900. Beverly Napier
Delightful and Bright FARMINGTON HILLS Nice flowing layout with good size living, family and dining room. Refinished hardwood floors. Newer baths, one with a jetted tub. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 210117614. $235,000. Bob Thom
Great Opportunity FARMINGTON Wonderful Farmington Hills three bedroom condo! First floor master with deck and views! Cute courtyard entryway, Wood floors in kitchen and dining areas. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 211009136. $165,000. Cindy Obron Kahn
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, MondayFriday. 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.
“neighborhood favorite” - Zagat 2010
Award of Excellence Wine Spectator 2010
273 Pierce Downtown Birmingham 248.645.9123 www.streetsideseafood.com
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FOCUS ON WINE Montepulciano d’Abruzzo: Delicious and value priced By Eleanor and Ray Heald
ome red wines are too ambitious! They’re blockbusters and overpriced. If the recession has taught wine aficionados anything, it’s that there are a significant number of delicious, wellpriced red wines. Some of them, like Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, hail from Italy. Get your tongue around the grape variety montepulciano (mahn-tay-pulCHAN-no) and treat your palate to one of today’s hottest Italian red wines. Be careful, though, we’re not referencing Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, produced in Tuscany from Sangiovese. We’re writing about the montepulciano grape, grown in Italy’s Le Marche, Molise and Abruzzo regions, where Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is the famed red wine. No so long ago, Abruzzo, Le Marche and Molise were known for large grape crop yields, the largest in Italy, that produced ordinary wine, usually sold in bulk to other wine regions. No longer the case. With the GenXers taking family winemaking reins and investment capital on the increase, wine quality made major strides, but recognition at first, was not warp speed. Highly acclaimed U.S. Italian restaurants sought a good representation of the best wines from Abruzzo, yet that was rare, until recently.
Producers to know IIlluinati: On a ridge overlooking the Adriatic Sea, Illuminati is perched at 1,000 feet elevation. “My great-grandfather Nicola came to this region to plant vines because the wines of northern Abruzzo are elegant with smooth tannins,” explains Stefano Illuminati. “Nicola believed it was because of the sandy, chalky soils, high elevation and long growing season that allowed the
grapes to develop deep, rich flavors. Proximity to the Adriatic Sea, which provides a diurnal temperature difference of nearly 20 degrees Fahrenheit, helps maintain montepulciano’s balanced acidity.” Illuminati Riparosso 2008 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, $15, is aged in large, neutral Slovenian oak casks, proving that montepulciano does not require small barrel aging to give a full, appealing mouthfeel. Zaccagnini: Situated 1,000 feet above sea level, 25 miles from the Adriatic and 75 miles from Rome, the unpretentious town of Bolognano is home to
Zaccagnini. Following an extensive viticultural study, new vineyards with four different clones of montepulciano are teamed with high-tech winemaking equipment to create wines with extended aging potential. Smooth and drinkable with cherry-berry aromas and flavors, 2008 Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, $15, is a value for the price. La Valentina: Sabatino Di Properzio whose passion is the promotion of Abruzzo wines, especially those made from montepuliciano, founded Fattoria La Valentina in 1990. La Valentina represents the new generation’s desire for authentic wines using the principles of organic farming in the hillside vineyards and minimal intervention in the winery, allowing the unique characteristics of the land to speak through the wines. Highlighted by juicy blackberry and black cherry aromas and flavors with generous, supple tannins, 2006 La Valentina Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, $13, is lively on the palate with an extended finish and a steal at the price. Umani Ronchiu: This is broadly consid-
ered the leading Le Marche wine producer. Yet, acknowledging a renewed interest in nearby Abruzzo, owners purchased an estate in a quality-driven subzone within Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Umani Ronchi 2008 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, $14, is quite appealing with a lot of depth for the money. Rising above a host of lower-priced quaffables in today’s wine marketplace, the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wines cited above showcase a soft, appealing mouthfeel and a marvelous mélange of dark fruits hinged to a generous backbone. Simply put: they over-deliver at their price point. Think Spring with Chardonnay Although chardonnay remains the U.S. white wine of choice, in many ways it has become just that – a glass of white wine, especially with most low-end bottlings ($10 and under). Most of those wines are nearly tasteless and boring. Begin to think spring with the following really delicious standouts from the crowd. Pair them with lobster or other rich shellfish, grilled fish or poultry. 2009 Bonterra Organic $14 2009 Rodney Strong Sonoma County $14 2009 St Francis Winery Sonoma County $16 2009 Franciscan Napa Valley $18 2009 La Crema Monterey $20 2008 Hess Napa Valley Su’Skol $22 2008 William Hill Napa Valley $24 2008 J Vineyards $28 2008 Dutton Goldfield Dutton Ranch $35 2008 Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch $39 2009 Sonoma-Cutrer Russia River Ranches $40 2008 Dutton Goldfield Dutton Ranch Rued Vineyard $45 Picks of the pack: 2008 Clos du Bois Russian River Valley Calcaire $25 2008 Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard $55 2007 Newton Unfiltered $60 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.
The Only Place to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day All of March!
Buy One Dinner & 2 Drinks and Get 2nd Dinner of Lesser Value
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BLOOMFIELD PLAZA 86
St. Patrick’s Day www.stevesdeli.com
The Birmingham/Bloomfield area is filled with discriminating diners and an array of dining establishments. Make sure the message for your restaurant reaches the right market in the right publication—Downtown. Call Jill Cesarz for advertising rate information 248.792.6464—Extension 600
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 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
AT THE TABLE Elie’s showcases Lebanese cuisine in comfortable setting By Eleanor Heald
lthough Elie’s Mediterranean Grill/Bar is the formal name, regulars just call it Elie’s. It had modest beginnings when opened in 1993 by proprietors Elie and Tracy Mondalek. However in 2008, when Elie’s acquired a city of Birmingham bistro license, the owners gave it a facelift under the direction of creative restaurant designer Ron Rea (Ron & Roman LLC, Birmingham). Today, the Mondalek’s vision of a downtown eatery in a walking neighborhood has a defined heartbeat – fine Lebanese cuisine in a comfortable atmosphere with a distinct Mediterranean feel, highlighted by the artful use of the color blue, integrated with dark wood. No white tablecloths here. Polished wood tables and booths accommodate 65. A small bar area creates a popular martini lounge with live Wednesday entertainment. As warm weather approaches, there will again be outdoor seating for 24.
mus, baba ghannouge, grape leaves, arayess (grilled lamb meat), samboussik (beef, lamb and pine nut stuffed pastry) and fried kibbee; or Vegetarian Maza with hummus, baba ghannouge, grape leaves, mjadara (lentils and rice), burgul and falafel. Kibbee Neyee (lamb tartar with minced basil and fresh mint) or its cooked version Fried Kibbee are also dinnertime favorites. As a main course, consider the chargrilled Lamb Chops, $35. “But, we also sell a lot of seafood,” Elie adds. “It’s always fresh and in season.” Desserts include traditional favorites such as Rice Pudding, Ashta (bread pudding with fresh fruits) and Baklava. Beverages A bistro license allows Elie’s to focus on a wine list, with selections chosen by manager Doug Hellebuych. As Elie points to Bridesmaid Napa Red Blend, $75 on the list he says, “this is my favorite wine with lamb chops.” I spied other best bets, such as 2009 Chamisal Unoaked Chardonnay $8 by the glass and $31 per bottle. Then there’s 2009 Clos de los Siete from Mendoza, Argentina, $44 and 2006 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Ripasso from the Veneto, $39. Both wines pair well with meat dishes.
Lebanese v. Mediterranean Although this is Elie’s first restaurant venture, he had many years of restaurant experience prior to launching out on his own. Mediterranean may be in the And the future? formal name, but Elie’s ethnic Pierce Street is fast becoming dishes are Lebanese. There are Birmingham’s restaurant row. also popular American dishes. How will this benefit Elie’s? Thus the kitchen team is divided “Competition will bring the best similarly. Head chef Mark Kelly out of all of us,” Elie says. “I’m focuses on American, such as the not opening another location. I’m all-you-can-eat baby back ribs concentrating on what we do Monday special. Lebanese best: offering a personal touch, natives Fadwa Aoude and Khalil knowing our regulars and their Bazzi prepare Lebanese dishes. preferences and going the extra “Lebanese food,” Elie mile to deliver top quality and explains, “is a cultural mix of Owner Elie Mondalek, head chef Khalil Bazzi and Fadwa the best service.” Greek, Italian, Turkish and Aoude. Downtown photo: Laurie Tennent French influences. Generally Elie’s, 263 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 248.647.2420, Monday ‘Mediterranean’ points to a specific country of origin, and in through Saturday, 11a.m. to midnight. Parking: street and my case, Lebanese. My pleasure in serving it is that it’s Pierce Street structure. healthy and fresh food. Fresh spices give it exotic characters and unduplicated exquisite tastes.” Let's do lunch Both for the varied menu offerings and moderate price, Elie’s is an excellent choice for lunch. For $4 or $5, depending on your selection, Pita Roll Ups are popular. They span the gamut from Shish Kabob, Shish Kafta, Lamb or Chicken Shawarma and Shish Tawook. Two vegetarian options, Falafel and Hummus & Taboulee, round out selections. Daily changing specials at $10 including soup or salad are popular among regulars. When offered, they particularly like Lima Bean Stew with Chicken or Baby Okra Stew. No less than 18 appetizers appeal to small plate aficionados. Dinner menu At dinner, among again a long appetizer list (principally $9-$12) are the two top sellers ($24 for two): Maza with hum-
QUICK BITES Chef Oscars: Often considered the equivalent of an Oscar nomination for chefs, the James Beard Foundation's 2011 semifinalist nominations as best chef in the Great Lakes region (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio) included Executive Chef David Gilbert of Forest Grill (735 Forest, Birmingham, 248.258.9400). Finalists (from among 20 regional semifinalists) will be announced March 21 and the winner will be announced May 9 in New York City. Congratulations, David! 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.
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.
Henry Ford Hospital’s Grand Ball
1. Event chairs / presenting sponsors Joanne (left) & Dick Brody of Bloomfield with special guest Mayor Dave Bing & his wife Yvette of Detroit. 2. Martha Ford (left) of Grosse Pointe with Ford Family Awardees Mort & Brigitte Harris of Bloomfield and Dr. Doug Weaver of Birmingham. 3. Susan (left) & Outstanding Physician awardee Bill Conway of Birmingham with HFH’s Rose Glenn of Northville. 4. Gail & Kresge Foundation CEO Rip Rapson of Birmingham. 5. Sponsor Paul (left) & Adriana Vlasic of Bloomfield with Beth & HFH CEO Dr. John Popovich of Birmingham. 6. HFHS CEO Nancy Schlichting (left) of Bloomfield with Katie & Christine Popovich of Birmingham and their friend April Mason of Royal Oak. 7. Gail & HFHS Medical Group CEO Dr. Mark Kelley of Bloomfield. 8. (Fellow UD Jesuit alumni parents) Randy Walker (left) of Southfield with Sarah & HFHS board chair Tony Early of Bloomfield. 9. Gail Kelley (left) of Bloomfield, HFHS’s Mary Tindall of Grosse Pointe, Dave & Valerie McCammon of Bloomfield. 10. Michigan Orthopedic Services’ Ken Hall & his wife Jamie of Bloomfield. 11. Stan & Christa Moran of Bloomfield. 12. Glen (left) & Sharon Fayolle of Birmingham with Ken & Anne Katz of Huntington Woods. 13. Dr. Brent & Karen Davidson of Bloomfield (with Waterford champagne glasses raffle” tickets”). 14. Ford Family Awardees Mort & Brigitte Harris of Bloomfield.
Henry Ford Hospital’s Grand Ball “That Grand Old Lady on the Lodge is beaming tonight,” declared Henry Ford Hospital CEO Dr. John Popovich. He was talking to the sold out (900) crowd at the MGM Grand. HFH System VP Gary Rounding had earlier and happily noted that the original goal for the hospital’s first-ever gala fundraiser was to have 600 guests, that 1,200 had actually paid, and the 800 seats were occupied by 900 guests. They were there to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the historic institution, which was founded by Henry Ford, and to honor philanthropic volunteers and employees. Many Ford family members were on hand to applaud the honorees: Brigitte & Mort Harris, Kresge Foundation’s Rip Rapson, CSC’s Russ Owens, Dr. Bill Conway, Paul Szilagyi and Lynette Norris. The evening was also a love-in of sorts for Detroit. Mayor Dave Bing thanked HFH leaders like CEO Nancy Schlichting, VP Bob Riney and board member Dick Brodie (“...a friendly competitor but he’s smarter than (I)”) for helping to “bring Detroit back.” Medical Group CEO Mark Kelley noted that the hospital is “…an economic engine for revitalizing the city and the region…I stand on the shoulders of giants…the future will be remarkable…Because of Henry Ford Hospital and people like you, we’re going to fool a lot of people.” Following the upbeat program, some people headed to the casino but many stayed until midnight to dance to Mel Ball’s music. Including proceeds from the unique Bubble & Baubles raffle for which the raffle tickets were Waterford Champagne flutes, the Grand Ball grossed more than $375,000.
National Kidney Foundation Annual Kidney Ball The same night as the above-reported event, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s annual ball attracted 720 supporters to the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center. The Motown-inspired evening included a cocktail hour, dinner, live and silent auctions, entertainment by the Jerry Ross Band and an after party. With more than 180 items, the silent auction was especially popular, raising more than $35,000. WDIV’s Steve Garagiola emceed the program that honored Vivian Pickard for her longtime support of NKFM and included actress Erin Cummings (Detroit 187), plugging her live auction donation of a day on the program set. The sixth annual event raised more than $475,000 to help prevent kidney disease and improve the quality of life for those living with it.
DHS Dancing with the Stars People are still talking about the Detroit Historical Society’s 2010 Ball because it was so much fun watching amateur dancers having so much fun dancing like pros. The amateurs were: Norman and Nicole Yatoma, Vivian Pickard, Kari Ross Dombrowski, Alicia Smith, whose parents came from Georgia to watch her, Stacey DuFord, Dr. 03.11
Juliette Oktie-Eboh, Peter Van Dyke and Karla Hall. That all of them were so good and, except for the Yatoomas, had pros for partners was thanks to the beneficence of Fred Astaire Dance Studio owners Evan and Lada Mountain and their staff. The dance competition capped the formal soiree which attracted 380 to the former GM Argonaut Building last month. Guests were welcomed by co-chairs Sue Nine, Tiffany Douglas, Kathy Brennan and Kristin Nicholson, who chose the party site in keeping with the DHS intention of spotlighting Detroit’s historic structures. It was designed by Albert Kahn in 1927 and for many years was home to legendary automotive designers. The beat goes on because it is now the College for Creative Studies’ Taubman Center for Design Education. The dance competition was won by Ross-Dombrowski based on her and her partner Blake Kish receiving the most cash votes. Because I had a camera disaster the photos are the generous courtesy of photographer Elayne Gross. Including $38,180 from the dance competition voting, $18,500 from the mini live auction, a silent auction, raffle and pledges to the museum’s Adopt-a-Class program which the Bank of America matches, the popular annual event netted more than $200,000. DADA 2011 Auto Show Charity Preview Detroit Auto Dealer Association show chairs emeritus’, company CEOs, the new governor, Detroit’s mayor and 2011 event chairs Barron Meade and Bill Perkins convened at a reception bankrolled by Delta to queue up for the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony. When he took his place on the stage, Ford’s Alan Mulally was especially enthusiastic, slapping his colleagues’ hands like a victorious athlete. Emcee WJR’s Paul W. Smith then told the gathered industry leaders and supporters of the beneficiary charities, “Everyone here has been to hell and back. …if the Lions can win four in a row, anything is possible.” This set the tone for the upbeat program and the entire evening that attracted more than 10,000 and raised more than $2.5 million for nine children’s charities. Unlike in the industry’s heyday when there were often extreme fashions statements, all the women we spotted were tastefully gowned. Along downtownpublications.com
DHS Dancing with the Stars
1. Event co-chairs Tiffany Douglas (left) of Detroit, Sue Nine of Bloomfield and Kathy Brennan and Kristin Nicholson of Grosse Pointe. 2. Retha (left) & Walt Douglas of Bloomfield with Retha’s mother Margaret Smith of Bloomington, MN. 3. Nancy (left) and DHS board member Larry Bluth (right) of Bloomfield with Pat & Debra Conroy of Birmingham. 4. Nancy & John Smith of Bloomfield. 5. Vivian Pickard of Bloomfield and her dancing partner Vadin Boldirev. 6. Joann (left) and Dick Brodie with Char Terry of Bloomfield. 7. Christa & Greg Schwartz of Bloomfield. 8. WXYZ-TV’s Alicia Smith of Birmingham with museum director Bob Bury of Grosse Pointe. 9. Judith Muhlberg (left) of McLean VA with Maggie Allesee and Anne Greenstone of Bloomfield. 10. Nolan Finley of Livonia & Jill Schubiner of Birmingham. 11. Terry Barclay & her husband Allen Gigliotti of Birmingham. 12. Ray & Rita Dallavecchia of Bloomfield.
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK with the event’s traditional champagne, guests could also sample Detroit-brewed beer. In addition to examining the vehicles, lots of people test rode/drove the electric and hybrid vehicles on the MEDC test track, gathered for the rock concert by Detroit’s Rockets and tried their skill at Ford’s virtual Road Rally. At the latter, 12-year-old Riley North bested his big brother’s time and they both beat veteran driver Sheryl Kammer. The Charity Preview is not only the largest one-night charity event in the nation, it is also the most important event of the year for Detroit, as Dave Bing noted. Incidentally, the mayor smiled broadly when Governor Snyder told him that he was a “Believer”. This was reference to the Believe in Detroit volunteerism campaign.
DADA 2011 Auto Show Charity Preview
1. NAIAS 2011 chair Barron Meade (left) of Birmingham with governor Rick Snyder of Ann Arbor. 2. Monte (left), Jessica, Cynthia & 2012 NAIAS chair Bill Perkins of Bloomfield. 3. 2000 event chairman Russ (left) & Kathy Shelton of Rochester with Tammy & DADA executive director Rod Alberts of Bloomfield. 4. GM’s Mark Reuss & his wife Kim of Bloomfield. 5. Mike (left) & Linda Kane with Bobbi & Stephen Polk of Bloomfield. 6. Gwen North with her sons Colin (left) & Riley of Bloomfield. 7. Sheryl Kammer of Bloomfield at the Ford Fiesta Road Rally stimulator. 8. Robert Stewart & Wendy Leonard of Bloomfield. 9. Productions Plus’ Margery Krevsky & her husband Seymour of Bloomfield. 10. Detroit Radio Advertising Group’s Bill Burton & his wife Carol of Bloomfield. 11. Judson Center’s Donna (left) & Tim Belgan of Warren with Carol & John Aubrey of Birmingham. 12. Katie (left) & Dave Andrews of Troy with Kathleen Ligocki & her husband / event chair emeritus Pete Rosenau of W. Bloomfield and Beth Gotthelf of Birmingham. 13. Lear’s John Trythall (left) & his wife Denise with Dean Gulis of Troy & Lear’s Marianne Churchwell of Bloomfield. 14. John Trentacosti (left) of Northville with Lauren Eisbrenner, Matt Paroly & Susan Baer of Bloomfield. 15. Aidan Overgaard (left) with Austin Nutt & Austin’s sister Jenna Nutt (right) of North Little Rock, AR and his mother Tammy Alberts of Bloomfield.
Children’s Center’s AutoGlow Eight hundred of the Charity Preview guests returned via shuttle bus to the Westin Book Cadillac for the 19th annual AutoGlow benefiting The Children’s Center of Wayne County. Board chair Doug Maibach welcomed the sold out crowd, most of whom actually had a glow on because at check-in each received a blinking ring (women) or lapel pin (men). The bling component prompted us to ask film industry entrepreneur Linden Nelson if he feared that the new governor would want to eliminate Michigan’s film industry tax incentive. “No way! Snyder’s smart. He knows the film industry means jobs,” opined Nelson, who was with his film company partners and their wives. Many guests, including board member Erick Reickert and his wife Susan Willis Reickert, refreshed their weary tootsies by relaxing on lounges while they socialized and enjoyed selections from the international buffets. Reickert, who retired as a Chrysler vice president, had been involved with the 1972 Ford Fiesta start up in England and was glad to see the new, spirited version of the Fiesta in the NAIAS. AutoGlow guests danced beyond midnight to the music of the Rick Lieder Band. Thanks to generous corporate support, especially from Ford, the event netted more than $180,000 for the 80-plus-year-old agency whose 20-plus programs serve at risk children and youth. The Pink Fund’s Jazz & Art benefit Nearly 100 turned out Jan. 15 for The Pink Fund benefit concert and
art show at the Birmingham Unitarian Church. The jazz vocals of actor Steve Blackwood included selections like “All of Me”, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, ”Satin Doll” and his original “Care To Love”, which you can hear on his web site (www.steveblackwood.com). His final song was a blues number, which he said his mother’s cancer battle inspired. Donations and a percent of the art sales benefited The Pink Fund. It was founded by Molly MacDonald and provides financial assistance to people whose cancer therapy impacts their cash flow. Blackwood’s artist wife Karen Blackwood’s oils on canvas lined the walls of the afterglow reception area and one sale plus several pending will benefit cancer patients. You can see Karen’s landscapes at www.karenblackwoodfineart.com. Learn more about TPF at www.thepinkfund.org. Women’s Association’s Meeting Approximately 40 members of the Boys and Girls Club Women’s Association’s and their guests convened at the Townsend Jan. 25 for a delightful continental breakfast and socializing followed by the election of officers. Outgoing chair Mary Nunez will be succeeded by Kathy Martin. Martin’s board comprises Linda Gillum, Anita Dauch, Beth Eberly, Julie Beals, Lynn Middleton and Nunez. The next date on the WA calendar is the Spring Luncheon, Wednesday, May 4 at Franklin Hills Country Club. It will honor Lil Erdeljan. Beaumont’s Broadway Premiere Night Before the curtain went up on “Mary Poppins” at the Detroit Opera House the night it played to 2,000 supporters of Beaumont Hospital’s Betty Nederlander Healing Fund, some 350 of them socialized and supped at the reception for patrons and sponsors. In that crowd were nearly 30 members comprising three generations of the theatrical Nederlander family. Most of them, like Liz Nederlander Coden, came from out of town and enjoyed reuniting with former neighbors like Dr. Murray and Dorothy Mahlin. The pre-curtain program featured appreciative remarks by hospital President/CEO Gene Michalski, anecdotes by Betty’s beloved Fred, gratitude for support of the fund from the theatre community and the downtownpublications.com
Children’s Center’s AutoGlow
5 1. Dave Richards & his wife / CC board member Denise Fleckenstine of Bloomfield with event co-chairs Lisa & Bill Ford of Ann Arbor. 2. Raleigh Studios/Michigan Motion Picture Studios’ Linden Nelson (left) and Steve Lemberg of Bloomfield and Tony Wenson of W. Bloomfield. 3. Gene Valentine of Bloomfield & Anne Bastenie of Berkley. 4. Michelle Nelson (left) and Barbara Lemberg of Bloomfield and Carol Wenson of W. Bloomfield. 5. The Henry Ford’s Patricia Mooradian of Bloomfield and Spence Medford of Grosse Pointe. 6. Dave Richards & his wife / CC board member Denise Fleckenstine of Bloomfield with CC’s Nanci Ballentyne of Royal Oak and Ford’s Brad Simmons of Birmingham.
6 The Pink Fund’s Jazz & Art benefit
1. Melany & her mother Alicia Roberts of Beverly Hills (check out Alicia’s cookie site at www.wholelottacookies.com). 2. Pink Fund founder Molly MacDonald (left) and artist Karen Blackwood of Beverly Hills. 3. Mary Sorise (left) of Troy, Beth Correa of Birmingham and Hubert Sawyers of Grosse Pointe.
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Beaumont’s Broadway Premiere Night
1. Event host Fred Nederlander of Franklin and sponsor Steve Sharf of Bloomfield. 2. Carol & Joe Nederlander of Bloomfield. 3. Foundation board chair Geoff & Mixie Hockman of Birmingham. 4. Sponsors Debbie (left), Matt & Beaumont Foundation special events committee chair Richard Astrein of Huntington Woods with Maggie Allesee of Bloomfield. 5. Hospital board vice chair Mark Shaevsky (left) of Bloomfield with Judge Avern Cohn of Birmingham. 6. C.J. (left) & Patty Ghesquiere with Matt Kiruluk of Bloomfield. 7. Sponsors Lois Shaevsky (left) and Paige Curtis of Bloomfield. 8. Sponsors Ben Maibach (left) of Farmington Hills and Hoot McInerney of Bloomfield. 9. Dr. Chuck (left) & Rhonda Main of Beverly Hills, Keith & Wendy Stickby of Madison Heights and Cathy & Marty Ingram of South Lyon. 10. Cheryl & Dennis Sibthorpe of Rochester Hills.
Disney company by daughter Amy, a Broadway producer, and the observation by daughter Lisa that her late mother, like Mary Poppins, could make things seem better over an ice cream sundae. In the audience that then settled in to enjoy the Broadway hit musical were 222 Friends of Betty ticket holders - pediatric cancer patients and their families whose tickets were purchased by donors. The theatre seat next to Fred was occupied by a photo of Betty, a bouquet of her favorite brightly colored roses and an authentic Mary Poppins parrot-handled umbrella. The second annual event raised $170,000 to support Beaumont’s Cancer Institute, which served Betty Nederlander and her family so compassionately.
St. Regis School’s Casino & Auction The parents of St. Regis School certainly know how to have a good time while they raise serious money for the Catholic elementary school. They congregated 400 strong January 22 Down on the Boardwalk. Actually, Megan Marderosian’s committee just made the Birmingham Country Club seem like an Atlantic City casino for the gaming and auction event and lots of guests wore sequins and bling. The gaming provided the fun but the auction action provided the dollars. The short (five items) live auction raised $11,000 but it was the silent auction that went viral, especially the 32 donated parties that raised $35,000. The donated social events ranged from kids parties to cottage house parties to a dodge ball party at the BAC for 20 couples. So not only did the St. Regis community have fun raising funds, they will also have fun “cashing in” their auction prizes.
Furniture Bank’s Accessory Exchange There were no price tags as such on anything that was displayed throughout the Amore Fashion boutique in Ferndale the evening of Jan. 20. All the merchandise there had been donated by friends of the Furniture Bank of Southeastern Michigan and nearly 100 supporters of the agency came to make selections. The first-time Accessory Exchange was a replacement event for the Furniture Bank’s annual Chair Affair, which offered redesigned but gently used furniture for auction. The exchange offered gently-used accessories for trade, rather than auction. People sipped, socialized, shopped 03.11
and were snatching up whatever caught their eye. Handbags and jewelry seemed especially popular, but event chair Rosemary Ricelli Scheidt happily modeled a pair of red-white-&-blue shoes. There was also a raffle that helped bring the evening’s proceeds to $7,000. This will help the Furniture Bank furnish household essentials to families in need.
St. Regis School’s Casino & Auction
1 Gift Gathering/Girls’ Night Out Wendy Alterman hosted a Girls Night Out at her Home & Garden Shop in Troy to collect gifts for the Academy of the Sacred Heart’s Wild at Heart – Benefit 2011. A crowd of approximately 75 ASH friends, parents and alumni attended, socialized and shopped, both to donate to the main event and the holiday online auction. The latter was a wise replacement for an annual preChristmas event. It freed up the busy parents and raised $26,000. Gwen and Doug North are chairing Wild at Heart slated for March 12 at a country club in Bloomfield Twp. To get an invitation, call Laura Millazzo at 248-646-8900 ext. 170. CARE House Circle of Friends The 15th annual Circle of Friends fundraising luncheon for CARE House of Oakland County attracted 285 guests (minimum $150 ticket) to the Townsend January 27. Among them were CoF co-founders Doris August, Vicki Celani, Janet Grant, Dr.Linda Sircus and Lois Shaevsky, who were recognized for what they started and other 15-year CoF patrons Maggie Allesee, Janann Hoge, Darlene Jackson and current CEO Pat Rosen. CH board president Cathy Weissenborn also honored four hands-on volunteers:Nina Cutler, Joan Groves, Janet Frericks, and Tracey Goddeens. She then got a big cheer when she said that the agency had been able to move into its new home because the campaign she had announced last year was three-fourths of the way to its goal. Program emcee WWJ’s Marie Osborne then introduced the featured speaker, Jenna Bush Hager, one of President George and Laura Bush’s twin daughters. Though youthful, her UNICEF experiences working with abused children in Latin America and Africa which resulted in her NY Times bestseller “Ana’s Story” gave her total admiradowntownpublications.com
1. Event co-chairs Megan Marderosian (left) of Birmingham and Meg Stenger and Tinney Newman of Beverly Hills. 2. Committee members Shanna Gorga (left) and Sarah Dubay of Birmingham and Julie Pietrosante of Beverly Hills. 3. Committee members Jen Simpson (left) of Bloomfield and Jennifer Waechter of Beverly Hills. 4. Kris Parke (left) of Bloomfield and Carol Grombala of Beverly Hills. 5. Susan Frick (left) and Jill Abelarde of Birmingham. 6. Greg & Tara Nodland of Bloomfield. 7. Nan & Murray Wikol of Bloomfield. 8. Brian Sharp (left) & Kristi Tyler of Kalamazoo with Liz & Tom Chinonis of Bloomfield. 9. Mike Kulka (left) and Bret Gruley if Birmingham. 10. Sam (left) and committee members Christina Yono of W. Bloomfield and Pat Parke of Bloomfield.
Furniture Bank’s Accessory Exchange
4 1. Event chair Rosemary Ricelli Scheidt of Birmingham. 2. Committee members Lynette Boyle (left) of Harper Woods and Kara Laramie of Bloomfield. 3. Lisa (left) & Katie Arnold with Mary Ellen Tonis of Birmingham. 4. Julie Wells (left) & and Mary Dakin of Birmingham. 5. Janet Hayes (left) of Bloomfield and Michelle Henning of Birmingham.
Gift Gathering/Girls’ Night Out
1. Benefit co-chair Gwen North (left) with committee members Susie Betrus and Karen Kearns of Bloomfield. 2. Hilary Bradley (left) of Birmingham with Andrea Briefs-Ferris and Suzanne Mahoney of Bloomfield. 3. Lauren Fisher (left) and Karie Ross of Bloomfield.
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK CARE House Circle of Friends
5 1. CARE House board president/event co-chair Cathy Weissenborn of Bloomfield, Jenna Bush Hager of NYC & event host Elyse Foltyn of Birmingham. 2. Tom & Circle of Friends co-founder Vicki Celani of Bloomfield. 3. Attorney Norman Anders (left) and Circuit Court Judge Michael Warren of Beverly Hills with event host attorney David Foltyn of Birmingham. 4. Ed (left) & Gerri Parks of Birmingham with their grandchildren Katy & Madelyn and their mother CARE House board member Katie Parks of Bloomfield. 5. Sandie (left) & Joe Knollenberg of Bloomfield, Courtney & Kappy Trott of Birmingham and Adele Acheson of W. Bloomfield. 6. Elise & David Schostak of Birmingham. 7. Gayle Burstein (left) of Bloomfield and her daughter Stephanie Rosen of Franklin. 8. Lynda Panaretos (left). Lisa Arnold and Mary Ellen Tonis of Birmingham. 9. Steve & Kathy Hoffman of Bloomfield. 10. Janet Ankers (left) of Bloomfield, Pam Mace of Grosse Ile, Tifiany Walker of Bloomfield and Kareem George of Franklin. 11. Benefactor event hosts David & Elyse Foltyn of Birmingham with their two sets of twins: Lily (left) & Abby, Eli (center front) & Evan.
CARE House’s Circle of Friends Luncheon
1. Circle of Friends co-founders Linda Sircus (left) of Franklin and Janet Grant, Doris August and Lois Shaevsky of Bloomfield. Not pictured: Vicki Celani. 2. Honored volunteers Nina Cutler (left) of Bloomfield, Tracey Goddeeris of Berkley, Janet Frericks of Waterford, and Joan Grove of Birmingham. 3. Past CARE House honoree Judge Debbie Carley (second from left) of Troy with her parents Gary (left) & Nancy and Julie Nelson-Klein of Bloomfield. 4. WWJ’s Marie Osborne (right) of Birmingham interviewing Jenna Bush Hager as she prepares to autograph her book “Ana’s Story, A Journey of Hope”.
tion for CARE House’s mission. She even expressed the hope that someone in the audience might be able to donate the remaining one-quarter of the campaign goal. Those who knew that the needed sum, which had not been stated, was one-quarter of $4 million, smiled at her optimism. They also smiled with affection during the Q & A when she concluded an answer about being the daughter of a president: ““There are far worse problems than your father being president of the United States. Don’t feel sorry for me,” she said. The Circle of Friends event raised $80,000 to help CARE House help heal 5,000 clients each year. Bush Hager’s friendliness charmed lots of people the preceding evening at the Preview Party hosted by Elyse and David Foltyn, well known for their warm and generous hospitality. It attracted 100 ($250 minimum) loyal CARE House supporters, neighbors and the host’s legal community colleagues like Circuit Court Judge Michael Warren who is always eager to inform new acquaintances about Patriot Week. Guests socialized, sipped and supped on savory cuisine by Sherri Waltz Catering. In a conversation, CARE House staffer Shawn Ciavattone told how one of the youngsters visiting the new building for the first time told him, “It’s so peaceful here. I feel like I can fly.” There will be a CARE House Grand Opening Preview Party the evening of April 14, followed by an official ribbon cutting the next morning. To get an invitation, call CARE House at (248)332-7175. HAVEN’s Celebration of Strength HAVEN, which provides intervention, treatment, prevention and education to eliminate domestic violence and sexual assault, pauses each winter to celebrate the strength of its partners. The uplifting celebration attracted 145 to the Somerset Inn on Jan. 20. When CEO Beth Morrison provided some program updates, she generated big applause by mentioning a new prevention program targeting high school football teams. Emcee WDIV’s Paula Tutman had lots of fun introducing WXYZ’s Diana Lewis, who was given the Heart of HAVEN Award for years of supporting its mission. Past board chair Kathy Elston received the Phoenix Award for survivors. Media specialist Joni Hubred-Golden received the 03.11
Voice for Victims Award. The President’s Award went to Allison Kaplan and her MSU student son Ben Gluck who involved the Young Farmer Coalition in the creation of a garden at HAVEN’s Pontiac shelter. It produced two tons of organic fruits and vegetables, enough for HAVEN’s clients, plus extra for Gleaners. Corporate Champions for Change Awards went to Humana, Charter One and iscg workplace design and furnishings. Among the guests applauding the honorees were proud family members, colleagues and past awardees Jeanne Towar and Gerry Barons. The celebration was not a fundraising event, unlike HAVEN’s annual spring Promenade of Hope. This year, Lori Mazurek and David Sokol are chairing Promenade, Home is Where the Heart Is, Thursday, May 12. The elegant evening will be hosted by Art Van at its Royal Oak store. To get a ticket ($150, $500-2 plus $100 auction voucher & VIP reception), call Tracey Thomas at (248) 334.1284, ext. 344 or visit www.promenadeofhope.org.
HAVEN’s Celebration of Strength
Chinese New Year Celebration Some 210 people trekked to Warren’s Golden Harvest Restaurant for the Wayne County Medical Society Foundation’s seventh annual Chinese New Year Celebration. In addition to bidding on silent and live auction donations, watching a colorful dragon dance exhibition and devouring Chinese cuisine served family style, guests also applauded some well known community servants. Dr. Michael Brennan, who served as president of the Karmanos Cancer Center when it was the Michigan Cancer Foundation, died last December and was honored posthumously, but Ed and Joanne Deeb and Bob and Millie Pastor were on hand to hear the accolades for their years of service to community organizations. The Deebs’ most visible project is the Metro Detroit Youth Day, which brings 35,000 youngsters to Belle Isle for fitness, food and fun. The Pastors’ contributions span support of countless non-profits with their energy and treasure earned in the design and building industries. Among those applauding were past honorees Mado Lie, the Tarik Daouds, the Bob Allesees and Irma Elder. The event raised more than $5,000 to help the foundation educate physicians about the problem of elder abuse.
Chinese New Year Celebration
1. HAVEN President/CEO Beth Morrison (left) of Oxford with awardees Ben Gluck & his mother Allison Kaplan of Bloomfield and Humana’s Denise Christy of Rochester Hills. 2. Jerry (left) & iscg’s Mary Ann Lievois and Mary Jo Warner of Bloomfield. 3. Awardee Charter One’s David Lochner (left) of W. Bloomfield, event patron Detroit Economic Club’s Beth Chappell of Bloomfield and HAVEN board president Jim Mortiz of Grosse Pointe. 4. Honoree WXYZ’s Diana Lewis (left) and emcee WDIV’s Paula Tutman. 5. Joyce Stuart (left) of W. Bloomfield and her granddaughter Samantha Gluck of Birmingham. 6. Ryan & Jill Schubiner of Birmingham.
1. Honorees Ed (left) & Joanne Deeb with Anne & Peter Vestevich of Bloomfield. 2. Honorees Millie (left) & Bob Pastor of Bloomfield with their daughter Karen Pastor and her fiancé Dean Panfalone of White Lake. 3. Kathy Wilson (center) of Birmingham with Brian Schultz and his mother Lorraine of Bloomfield. 4. Sue Nine (left) & Mons. Tony Tocco of Bloomfield with Julie Oldani of Birmingham. 5. Committee member Contessa Bannon (left) of Beverly Hills with Patricia Hill Burnett of Bloomfield.
SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK Children’s Charities Sing Out 4 Kids
1. Sheriff Mike Bouchard (left) of Birmingham, event co-chair Karla Sherry, steering committee member Pamela Ayres and Guy Gordon of Bloomfield (Bouchard & Gordon were the emcees.). 2. Event co-chair Kathy Broock Ballad (center) of Orchard Lake with Nancy & Mike Smith of Bloomfield. 3. Sander (left) & steering committee member Lexi Stone, honorary committee member Cathy Weissenborn and Jennie Cascio of Bloomfield. 4. Matt Trunsky (left) of Birmingham, honorary co-chair David Foltyn of Birmingham, honorary committee member Bruce Ballard of Orchard Lake and Geoff Langdon of Bloomfield. 5. Bryan Ludwig (left) of Royal Oak with honorary committee members Kelly Shuert of Bloomfield and Ed Shaw of Birmingham. 6. Dave (left) & Lee Ann Woodruff of Birmingham and Scott & Amy Murphy of Bloomfield. 7. Honorary committee member Linda Aikens (left) of Orchard Lake with Carrie Langdon of Bloomfield, Jami Trunsky of Birmingham and Gena Aikens of Troy. 8. Don Jackson (left) of Birmingham with Kirk & Kathy Martin of Bloomfield. 9. Onstar’s Linda Marshall (left) of Northville with Ed Doyle of Bloomfield and Betsy Reich of Birmingham. 10. Janene Samet (left) of Bloomfield, Adele Acheson of W. Bloomfield and Katie Coleman of Bloomfield. 11. Performers Birmingham salon owner Elizabeth Arsov of Ferndale and retired Piston Don Reid of Ortonville. 12. Judy Zorn (left) of Rochester Hills and Joyce Shuert of Bloomfield.
Children’s Charities Sing Out 4 Kids It may have been cold outside but the scene was sizzling in The Community House ballroom the night of Feb. 5. That’s when a sold out crowd (240) convened to Sing Out 4 Kids karaoke style. Because the four charities comprising the coalition enjoy broad community support, “everybody” was there, led by honorary event chairs Elyse and David Foltyn and event co-chair Karla Sherry who unabashedly speak out for the mission of CARE House. But no one had more fun than the other event co-chair and realtor Kathy Broock Ballard, who not only sponsored the fun raiser, along with Norman Yatooma, but also performed with second-to-none professional flair. Other performers were Simone Vitale, Don Reid, Elizabeth Arsov, Abby Jackman, Jaime McCarthy, Mary Callahan Lynch, John Rieson, Steve Blackwood, Judy Zorn, Kraig Nienhuis, Charlie Mancuse and Zavette Gibson. And after the scheduled acts, McCarthy, who has just released a new album, did an encore and people could make donations for command performances by anyone they chose. This brought eight good sports to the stage, including Variety’s Bruce Kridler, who suggested to the audience, “Drink until I sound good,” and brought the event net proceeds to $40,000. It will be split between CARE House, Variety, Orchards Children Service and The Community House. The Community House’s Classical Brunch Speaking of music at The Community House, the second concert in it’s new-this-year Classical Brunch series provided a decided contrast to the rip roaring event reported above as it highlighted the up close and personal quality of chamber music concerts. On Saturday, Feb. 12, the Concert for Kids attracted 100 people, including young guests from Detroit’s AME Zion Church and locals like Connie & Ian McEwan and Lillian Zonars, who brought their grandchildren. The next day the 175 who arrived for the noon brunch were joined by 25 more concert-only ticket holders, making it a sold out event. On both occasions the knowledgeable and good humored discussion between the two DSO musicians—violinist Kimberly Ann Kaloyanides Kennedy and violist James VanValkenburg – compli03.11
mented the music. The kids got answers to such questions as “Why does she (violinist) move a lot more than you (violist)?” and “How are the instruments able to play some songs so softly and others so loudly?” The musicians also demonstrated what happens when musicians are not in sync by purposely messing up a song, and they talked about the composers and the age of their own instruments (violin, 100-plus, viola, 200-plus). On both days they concluded with Handel/John Halvorsen’s “Passacaglia” because it showed off the instruments and the musicians’ playing abilities. The final concert in the Classical Brunch series is Sunday, March 27. It will feature pianist Kathryn Goodson and mezzo soprano Leah Dexter. For reservations call TCH at (248) 644-5832 or visit www.communityhouse.com. Passover Tables Design Preview On Feb. 9 Lil Erdeljan hosted a coffee for committee members and designers participating in Temple Beth El’s upcoming exhibition - The Passover Table. The lovely way to start a winter day was catered by Erdeljan’s chef son Rob Stakits and featured three tables designed by the hostess and Mikki Gardner-Mood to suggest the nature of the exhibits that will be on view at the event Thursday, March 3 at Temple Beth El. The Passover Table was launched last year and, as co-chairs Elyse Foltyn and Fair Radom told the guests at the coffee, the first year garnered rave reviews, happy comparisons to similar events and provided design inspiration regardless of themes. This year designers include: Jolie Schiller Altman, Jon Arnold, Rachael AWoods, Stefanie Barner, Karen Borenstein, Annabel Cohen, Shelly Cooper, Linda Dembs & Ashley Oleshansky, Carrie Doelle, Susan Feinberg, Adrienne Ruby Fink, Jon Gerych & Tamara Gorham, Kimberly Steinberg-Goodman, Laura Gorosh, Jackie Gurwin, Roz Jacobson, Lena Epstien Koretzky, Barbi Krass, Marsha Miro, Marla Singer, Amanda Tompkins, Amy Weinstein, and Carol Ziecik. In addition to viewing the unique tablescapes the evening will feature cocktails and small plates. 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
The Community House’s Classical Brunch
1. Event sponsor Honnigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn’s Ron Whitney (left) with his wife Kathy of Bloomfield and Carol Friend with her husband Mark Kilbourn of Troy. 2. Event chair Sandi Reitelman (center) with sponsor WRCJ 90.9 FM’s Dave Devereaux & his wife Kathleen of Birmingham. 3. Bev Decker (left) of Birmingham and Patty Riker, Doreen Bull and Ethel Parkes of Bloomfield. 4. Dr. Susan Molina (left) of Bloomfield and Lee and Dr. Claude Reitelman of Birmingham. 5. Birmingham natives Anthea & Peter Noonan, now of Royal Oak, with their daughter Sophia (guests of Sophia’s grandmother Lillian Zonars).
Passover Tables Design Preview
1. Event hostess Lil Erdeljan (left) of Bloomfield and coordinator Mikki Gardner-Mood of Birmingham at table 1. 2. Passover Table co-chairs Elyse Foltyn (left) of Birmingham and Fair Radom of Bloomfield. 3. Laura Segal (left) of Franklin and her sister / table designer Carol Ziecik of Bloomfield. 4. Host committee member Linda Hayman (left) and table designer Annabel Cohen of Bloomfield with table designers / sisters Linda Dembs and Ashley Oleshansky of Franklin. 5. Beverly Pierson (left) and Barbra Bloch of Bloomfield with table designer Art Loft owner Rachael A-Woods of Southfield.
Your honor, let bistro license review begin istro licenses, introduced in April 2007, were designed to animate the streets of Birmingham, and draw people to the downtown area so that they would also head to the city's retailers, in an effort to boost business in an era that had seen major anchors like Jacobson's shut their doors and others, like the Gap, move out of town. As a catalyst for foot traffic, bistros have been an unqualified success. So much so that some in town are worried they might be overwhelming other business interests, and have urged the Birmingham City Commission to review the bistro ordinance, not as a liquor control mechanism, but as an economic growth incentive. Yet at a recent city commission meeting, mayor Gordon Rinschler, without any discussion with or from any of his fellow commissioners, summarily dismissed the very idea of a review, stating that the scheduled bistro ordinance review in 2013 was sufficient, despite the fact that when they were first created, it was agreed then that each year for the first three years there would be a review of the bistro license situation. Rinschler would do well to remember that he is in a mayoral rotation with his fellow commissioners, and was not “voted” into a mayoral position by the public at large, a la New York City's Michael Bloomberg or Detroit's Dave Bing, cities with a strong mayoral form of government. Birmingham is a city manager form of government and Rinschler is just a “mayor” in title only, with no specific powers not accorded to anyone else on the commission, with the exception of running the meetings of the commission.
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, and in the first year of its existence, two licenses to existing businesses in the same areas 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 city. The bistro must also have windows lining the street. The purpose of the outdoor seating and the windows lining the street is to activate the streets of Birmingham, highlighting the walkability of the city, and creating color and vibrancy for the sidewalks and streets. In the nearly four years bistro licenses have been in existence, every license which has come before the commission has been approved. Recently, members of the Principal Shopping District (PSD) board have begun to wonder if, instead of a concentration of bistros in a small area of downtown, it would be more prudent to attempt to activate other areas of Birmingham—like N. Old Woodward, the Rail District, and the Triangle area—by urging the city commission to promote these areas which need the invigoration and vibrancy which a bistro license has proven to bring. There have also been concerns raised that viable retail space could be eaten up by bistros or that the downtown area could run the risk of
being considered just an entertainment area without the proper mix of retail to have a balanced downtown. And we are sure there will be other issues, including whether two licenses each year is enough if demand is greater. The PSD and the chair of the city's planning board, Robin Boyle, have sent letters to the city commission asking for the overdue review of the bistro situation to be addressed, which Rinschler seemed to dismiss. At the city commission meeting, Rinschler said, “I would have appreciated this more if it had come from the (Birmingham Bloomfield) Chamber rather than the PSD.” Rinschler even had the audacity to suggest that a letter from the PSD was a “conflict of interest,” even though the PSD is the representative voice of the downtown businesses, which pay special taxes to underwrite the activities of the downtown area. Frankly, the fact that an organization like the PSD, comprising business owners, retailers, and neighborhood representatives, has sent a letter should speak loudly to elected officials. Compound that with a request from the planning board asking for a thorough review of the restaurant sector of Birmingham, noting it is influenced by bistro licenses, and it is clear that the time has come for the entire city commission to review the effect the bistro licenses have had on Birmingham, and where they would best be utilized going forward or whether other changes in the ordinance are needed. If Rinschler fails to understand the significance of the need for a review now, then we trust others on the city commission will find a way to override his honor.
On the right path towards consolidation unicipal consolidation has been a hot topic for local leaders the last few years. We have learned in recent weeks that the tiny municipality of Sylvan Lake has made overtures to neighboring Bloomfield Township to take over its police, fire and emergency service and dispatch work. Bloomfield Township is looking into the possibility and strongly considering it. We applaud the effort, and urge local municipalities to carefully watch how the two explore the opportunity to share services, because consolidation and shared services are no longer something that will have to be done in the future— their time is right now. All municipalities are facing continued revenue shortfalls, even fiscally conservative ones like Bloomfield Township and Birmingham, which have made significant cutbacks, have not filled vacant positions, and are judiciously dipping into their general fund, while maintaining it as best they can. However, property values continue to fall;
recent assessments from Oakland County indicate that as a whole the county saw an average decrease in home values of 7.5 percent. In Bloomfield Hills, state equalized values fell 10.75 percent from 2009; Birmingham saw an 8.02 percent decline; and Bloomfield Township saw real values decline 5.67 percent. That means less money coming into municipal coffers from local property tax revenues. Further, Gov. Rick Snyder has announced that state shared revenue, the amount of money the state returns to cities, townships and villages, will be completely cut out of the state's 2011 budget. A full line item of revenue will now be deleted from local municipalities, and there is no way to make it up. Time to become fast friends with the neighbors. The reality is that, while everyone wants their own police, fire, emergency and dispatch services, there are a great deal of redundancies and duplication of services which consolidation can
eradicate while improving the distribution of those services. For example, Sylvan Lake is a community with a population of 1,753 residents in 867 households covering 1.5 square miles. Bloomfield Township, in contrast, has over 43,000 residents, 16, 804 households and covers 26 square miles. As Township Supervisor Dave Payne points out, it can be quite costly for the Sylvan Lake, and other small municipalities, to staff up 24/7 to meet the possible needs of their community. The township already provides the staffing needs and benefits, without any extra costs. Birmingham and Bloomfield Township have been in talks for a while regarding consolidating dispatch services. They are working on minutia items now, like monitoring the cameras around downtown Birmingham, but may feel an increased sense of urgency with the reduction of dollars coming in. That will likely be a win for all area residents in the form of continued services for lowered costs.
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Published on Feb 28, 2011
March 2011 - DOWNTOWN is an upscale monthly full-color news magazine mailed at no charge to homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bl...