The 'Ville - January 2022

Page 1

January 2022 | Vol.5 | Issue 1

Northville’s News and Lifestyle Magazine

Next Generation The

A Poole is back on Main Street

Meet the Local Sales Reps in Your Community.

Vita Vizachero

John DesOrmeau

Vita has lived in the Northville / Novi community since 1989. Some of her local favorites are Table 5, Pooles, Rocky’s, and Cantoro’s on Haggerty.

John has lived in the Northville / Novi community since 1987. Some of his local favorites are Rocky’s, Custard Time, Guernsey’s and the Pizza Cutter. Office:(734) 524-2711 Office:(734) 524-2720

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THE GIFT OF LOCAL JOURNALISM As you decide what is important in your life as we start a new year, please consider a donation to support The 'Ville. Since we began publishing four years ago, our goal has been to provide our readers with valuable information about the Northville community each and every month. Your support will help that mission survive and grow. And while The 'Ville is sent to every address in Northville at no cost to readers, it is not free to produce. LOCAL Matters! is the foundation of this magazine. If you find it of value, please consider supporting it. Every little bit helps! Please send donations to: Journeyman Publishing 16435 Franklin Northville, MI 48168 You can also make donations via PayPal to Thank you in advance. We wish all our readers a Happy New Year and a healthy and prosperous 2022.




16435 Franklin, Northville, MI 48168 • 734.716.0783 •

KURT KUBAN – Editor/Publisher

Kurt Kuban is an award-winning journalist, having served as a reporter and editor for several local newspapers and magazines, including The Northville Record, over the course of a career spanning more than two decades. Kurt lives in Northville with his wife, Cheryl, and their three children, all products of Northville Public Schools.

CRAIG WHEELER – Creative Director

Craig has been in the creative industry for over 30 years. He has developed a diverse background in that time, but publication design has been his passion during the past 19 years. Craig enjoys chasing his young daughter and providing moral support to his lovely wife.


Michele Fecht is a longtime journalist whose first post-college reporter position was at The Northville Record before moving on to The Detroit News. A 30-plus year resident of the City of Northville and historic (old) house owner, she is an author, researcher, local history enthusiast, and community activist/advocate.


Over the course of his four decades with the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers, Brad established himself as one of the preeminent prep sports reporters in the state, winning many journalism awards along the way. His greatest joy is interviewing local athletes and coaches, and reporting on their efforts.

Publisher Here is a list of people who contributed to local journalism last month. We appreciate your support! John & Sharyn Duran Robert & Chantel Lenard Jim & Virginia Long Wayne & Mary Kay Pryce

Bill Sivy Yilu Zhang & Lan Tong Scott Frush


Maria is managing editor at The ACHR NEWS, a B2B publication based in Troy. She has worked as a reporter for the Northville Record, Novi News and Plymouth Observer, and once had her photo on the cover of TIME. She lives in Farmington and, as a self-avowed history nerd, routinely risks her life by standing in the road to photograph old buildings.

TIM SMITH - Writer

ADVERTISE IN THE VILLE Our locally-owned publication is an affordable way to reach the Northville Market. We direct mail to all 21,000 addresses in the 48167 & 48168 zip codes.

To secure space in The Ville, contact Scott at (313) 399-5231 or SCOTT BUIE - Advertising Director/VP of Sales

For more than 20 years Scott has worked with clients in Metro Detroit to create advertising campaigns to grow their business. After managing sales for radio station in the Detroit Market for 17 years he purchased Street Marketing where he works closely with a variety of businesses and events. Scott and his family have lived in the Plymouth and Northville area for over 23 years.

Tim brings a penchant for telling powerful and personal stories that run the gamut from news to sports. During more than 35 years in journalism, he has earned numerous state and national awards. The Wayne State grad is a published author and rec ice hockey player.


Larry is a metro Detroit area journalist whose work has appeared in The Detroit News, Jackson Citizen Patriot and the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers. When he’s not meticulously chronicling people or events, he’s avidly rooting for his favorite soccer teams – Manchester United and Glasgow Celtic.

BILL BRESLER - Photographer

Bill lied his way onto his high school's yearbook staff in 1971 and has worked as a photographer ever since. He recently retired after 39 years with Hometown Life, a newspaper group that includes the Northville Record. He's won many journalism awards for his work, and taught photography at Madonna University. According to Bill's wife, he's too young to retire, so he's happy to be part of The 'Ville.

BRYAN MITCHELL - Photographer

Bryan started working as a photographer more than 30 years ago, and was the Northville Record photographer in the 90's. He has freelanced for The Detroit News, The Guardian, Reuters, and other publications. His photography has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the globe. The Northville resident also coaches mountain biking at Northville High School.

A View From The ‘Ville

Downtown Northville’s Multi-Generational Foundation


ne of the things I love about downtown Northville is the fact it isn’t dominated by large corporate, chain-type businesses. Rather than big box stores, we have unique shops. Rather than the golden arches, we have a bunch of cool, independent restaurants. In this issue we feature one of the newest eateries to open its doors (see Page 10). The Little Salumi, owned by Jessica Poole, began welcoming customers at the end of December. Poole, a native Northvillian, has been in the restaurant industry for about two decades -- in places like Denver, New York and Los Angeles. If her name sounds familiar, that’s because her mother, Mary Poole, operated the former Poole’s Tavern for years just a couple doors down on Main Street. While Jessica could have opened a restaurant anywhere, she decided to do in downtown Northville. That brings me to the other reason I love downtown Northville. There are so

many businesses operated by families that have done so for more than one generation. Just look down Main Street, which is dominated by multigenerational businesses. Take Orin Jewelers, for example. Orin Mazzoni, Jr. opened the store at the northeast corner of Main and Center back in 1981. Over the years, he’s made major upgrades to the building, and now has transitioned the business over to his daughter, Antoinette Kramar. Across the street is Genitti’s, everyone’s favorite “hole in the wall”. Started 50 years ago by John and Toni Genitti, the business is now run by their daughter Laura, along with an assist from her brother, Andy. Genitti’s is the heart of downtown Northville, and has been a part of so many in this community, through weddings, showers and even wakes. Down at 190 East Main, you’ll find Long’s Plumbing, founded in 1949 by Glenn and Lois Long. From humble beginnings, it has

grown into the multi-faceted business that now includes Long Mechanical and Long Kitchen & Bath Design Gallery. Their son, Jim Long, took over the business and became a major player in downtown real estate (see Page 6), and his daughter Allison is now the president of the company, making it a third generation company. If you’re looking for an attorney in town, check out the Kelly & Kelly firm, located at 422 E. Main. Founded by the husband/wife team of John and Michele Kelly, the business is being handed over to their children, Mike and Ryan, who both not only grew up in Northville, but are now raising their own families in the community. The same can be said for the Corriveau’s, who operate a law firm just a couple doors down from the Kelly’s. Founded by patriarch Richard, the Corriveau Law firm is now operated by his son Joe Corriveau. Like the

Kelly’s, Richard and Joe (and another son Marc) have made significant upgrades to their historic building (next to Starbucks – OK, we do have a couple chains), which is one of the most distinct in downtown. I’m sure there are plenty of other multi-generational businesses, especially if you start enlarging the map (Guernsey’s, Parmenter’s Cider Mill, etc.). These families believe so much in Northville, they have continued to invest in it over several generations. We all benefit because our downtown is one of the most unique in the region. So stop in and say hello to Jessica Poole. Wish her good luck and support her new restaurant venture if you can. If you ask me, she’s exactly where she’s supposed to be. Kurt Kuban is the Publisher and Editor of The ‘Ville. He welcomes your comments at kurtkuban@thevillemagazine. com.

Your Voice: Letters to the Editor 4 Northville Downs plans back on track 6 Skatepark cause winning over community 22 High School Confidential 26

The Next Generation


Marquis Takes Center Stage


Northville’s National Champs


ON THE COVER: Jessica Poole shows off her signature Caprese Classic panini. Poole is the owner of The Little Salumi, a new panini and wine shop in the Marquis Theatre building on Main Street. Photo by Bryan Mitchell.

Community Bulletin Board 30 Dishin’ With Denise 32

Your Voice

Preserve small town charm

I moved to Northville at the age of 14 in 1964. At that time, I thought Northville was a sleepy little hick town. But I grew to love the quaintness of the town so much so that I remained to raise a family of my own. My kids had the benefits of being within walking distance of the library, their schools, their church, and the majority of their friends. At some point, the town decided to capitalize on its Victorian heritage and rather than just tear down the old historic buildings, Dr. Bill Demray on Main Street. Mill Race was created. Homeowners seemed to realize the character of their old homes and began to restore them. Then something weird began to happen. Homes were no longer restored, but reinvented to be something they weren’t. A parking lot was paved over to make a concrete plaza. Eventually, when the old Victorian style clock no longer ran, it was replaced by a clock of some other period and a contemporary bandshell was installed. Parking, as well as streets wide enough to drive through safely, disappeared. Since the pandemic shut the streets down, I have avoided town like the plague. It’s not just that getting from point A to point B is a royal pain, but I find the very appearance of the “entryway” to the town not only prohibitive, but embarrassing. In light of trying to help businesses weather the storm, I won’t judge the temporary closure of the streets, but the ongoing barricading seems extreme. However, I’m bothered by the tacky way it has been done. The orange construction pylons and road closed signs feels like the town is announcing a disaster area. Now, there’s talk of extending this roadblock for another year or two, or even permanently. Additionally, there is the ongoing discussion of how many living units to put on the Northville Downs property. How are the people currently living in the area to navigate all of this? Northville Road and Sheldon are both overwhelmed as it is during rush hour, jockeying around a town you can’t drive through. I applaud people like Dr. Demray who is concerned in preserving the true historic, small town character of Northville. As well as those who restored the Water Wheel and other landmarks in the area. I only wish more people were interested in restoring as opposed to re-creating. Jill Monette

Downtown’s more enjoyable

We’ve lived in Northville Township for over 20 years. We are not city residents and we really don’t have a vote on this issue, but we do have opinions. The city is much more enjoyable since it was closed to traffic. We now go downtown three or four times a week, where in the past it was, maybe, once a week. The downtown area reminds us of our travels in Europe where the old town areas are pedestrian only, and families enjoy an evening “passeggiata.” The streets could be closed during the weekend and open all week. I believe the businesses would win and those who want the roads open would get their

SOUND OFF 4 The ‘Ville

wish too, at least most of the time. The retractable bollards are much more aesthetically pleasing than the traffic barriers currently in use. Bart Cavasin

Opposed to project

I am totally against reopening the streets in Downtown Northville, as well as the proposed Northville Downs project. Traffic is already a major problem. Our streets will not handle the amount of traffic that would be added with what has been proposed. We cannot widen our streets and the residents would be faced with traffic jams. The only individuals who would benefit from the proposed building are the builders. Northville is too small to handle this kind of project. I hope the individuals who make the decisions come to their senses. Do not allow the builders to do a sales job on them as it will result in our present great city being destroyed. Jack Bianco

Open it back up

In response to one of your top stories recently regarding whether to keep downtown Northville’s Social District open I’d like to respond for myself as well as for many others I’ve spoken with to say please open it back up. I’m a 20-year Northville resident and I’ve always loved our town. Regardless of the season we could count on parades, festivals, cook-offs and other “small town” activities that gave Northville a unique feel from other surrounding communities. Conversely, I was also thankful in 2020 when the pandemic was raging to see Northville react creatively to the ban on indoor dining and create a wonderfully warm outdoor option for its residents. Now, however, it’s a year later with the closed off streets and it’s time to open up. Unless it’s a weekend, the streets are so quiet it’s like a ghost town. Even on many Friday and Saturday nights I’ve been in town it’s been dead. There is the occasional family or couple walking their dog, but social it is not. With the world opening up and vaccines probably becoming a yearly thing, we as a town need to open up as well. Let’s get some life back downtown. Cars and parking, and more hustle and bustle because we have an open downtown that’s not closed off by police barricades and police cars. Let’s get our town back open. Plymouth never closed and their downtown is alive and vibrant. We need to do the same thing for Northville or my fear is we’ll have a dead downtown that will continue to struggle for business, activity and foot traffic. Elizabeth McWilliams

Please submit your letters by emailing Editor Kurt Kuban at Letters must be 150 words or less. We reserve the right to edit all letters.




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This rendering includes the proposed mixed-use buildings for the corner of Cady and Hutton streets looking southwest. Courtesy of Hunter Pasteur Homes

This Is A

By Tim Smith


Transformative downtown projects are getting closer to reality


he new year brings with it big potential for the future of downtown Northville, with one major project recently approved and another waiting for the green light. Shovels into dirt could commence sometime during 2022 – at least in the estimation of Mayor Brian Turnbull – both at the proposed Northville Downs redevelopment and at the site of the defunct Foundry Flask, the latter near the Rouge River on the east end of the city. And the pieces might finally be coming together for the long-envisioned river walk that could make Northville a destination point for southeastern Michigan residents. Elements were carefully outlined in the updated Master Plan – which was officially accepted and unveiled at the Dec. 20 council session. “This is a big year for putting these opportunities into reality and the framework plan and what we’re doing at the level of river walk has brought this together,” Turnbull said. “We’ve been able to do this because of partnerships

6 The ‘Ville

with developments like Foundry Flask, developments going on at Northville Downs, partners such as DTE and other parcels that we own along the river. “Previously this would have been too difficult and too expensive to do.” Planning commissioners on Dec. 21 gave approval to the final site plan for what will be known as “The Foundry” located at 456 E. Cady Street. “We’re excited about it,” said Jim Long, a resident and business owner who represented the Foundry developer at the meeting. “We think it’s going to be a great addition to the community, and an improvement to the current, abandoned facility that it is right now.” DOWNS MEETING SET At its Feb. 1 meeting, the planning commission will continue deliberations over Hunter Pasteur Homes’ bid for a Planned Unit Development on the 49-acre Northville Downs site. The meeting at the Northville Community Center (303 W. Main Street) will be open to the public

rather than virtual. Hunter Pasteur has already modified its original 2018 site plan to cut down on residential units (599 to 478), add underground parking, storm water detention and a 1.25-acre “Central Park” in the Cady Street area. “They are coming for final site approval,” Turnbull said. “I think we’ve come a long way on this journey. It’s getting very close. I think we’ll be honing in the different opportunities in the next meeting or two. “I have full confidence that great things will happen with the planning commission’s input on this. They’ve done a nice job in evaluating the master plan, working with Hunter Pasteur, working with the citizens of Northville and getting their input.” But there is expected to be some pushback from concerned citizens at that Feb. 1 meeting, to ensure the proposal does not overtax Northville in traffic and density. Count Jim Long among those who are opposed to the Hunter Pasteur plan. “What people in this town have to know is that the Downs, they have a ways to go to get approval,” Long said. “That’s not a done deal.” Randy Wertheimer, Hunter Pasteur Homes CEO, would only comment in an e-mail that “we are looking forward to presenting our updated plan” to the planning commission. Long plans on keeping his finger on the pulse of the Northville Downs proposal, but he is first and foremost involved with what is about to happen at the site of the historic Foundry Flask. At the planning commission’s Dec. 21 meeting, final site plan approval – with conditions – was given for development of 79 apartments and a specialty grocery store at 456 E. Cady. “We’re currently done with the planning commission until we want to go back to them for signage and if we do make any modifications to our plans,” Long said. “We have got final site plan approval, which was a big step for us.” Existing buildings on the Foundry Flask site could be demolished as early as this spring, although certain historical elements and artifacts will be saved to meet Historic District Commission requirements.

The developer and city are working to get brownfield approval, required by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. “We’ve got a brownfield consultant that is communicating with the city,” Long explained. “It has to do with the soil issues and the ground issues that are current.” As detailed on the website, brownfields are required for “expansion, redevelopment, or reuse” of properties which “may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant.” According to Long, construction on “The Foundry” is tentatively set to begin in midto-late summer. “It is our intent to pursue a ‘green’ grocer,” namely one which sells whole foods, he said. “The building has been approved for commercial space, so we have the commercial space and we have the required parking for that space.” CONNECTING THE DOTS Dave Gutman, who is a leader on the city’s River Walk Task Force as well as chairman of the Northville Sustainability Committee, sees 2022 as an important year for beginning to connect important planning dots. The river walk itself – which if the Hunter Pasteur proposal finally gets its approval

will feature the daylighting of 1,100 feet of the Rouge currently entombed under Northville Downs – very much could be the crown jewel of the entire region. The Hunter Pasteur Homes rendering shows the proposed river walk area that “Definitely will be created after the Rouge River is daylighted through the Downs property. the Downs development as well as the Foundry Flask Gutman said. “It (the river) meanders development will require collaboration and around the Water Wheel Centre and partnership between those of us working past the Foundry Flask headed south on the river walk and the owners and and eventually flows under Beale Street partners of Foundry Flask and the Downs right into the Downs, which is currently because the river goes right through their entombed under pavement. It resurfaces properties,” Gutman stressed. “We’ve right at Seven Mile as it connects to the had informal discussions with both. We Rouge River that goes into the Hines Park understand pretty much the work that will extension.” need to be done in both of those locations, Gutman and Turnbull were both buoyed in order to accomplish the objectives of the by an early January meeting with U.S. Rep. river walk in getting it daylighted as well as Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), who recently just cleaning up the area and establishing a announced she will move to Ann Arbor and walkway. be in place to run for election in November “A lot of work to be done. Even beyond to the newly drawn 6th Congressional just getting a trail. We’ve got all kinds of District that includes Northville. things like river bank erosion, sediment She is moving because redistricting is deposits. We engineer a lot of that.” forcing her out of her longtime spot as Northville’s rivers, creeks and tributaries 12th District representative. If elected, she combine for nearly two miles. would begin serving Northville in January “The start of it really is at Ford Field,” 2023. ‘TRANSFORMATIONAL’ ENDEAVOR The Northville Master Plan and key components such as the river walk were among topics discussed at the recent meeting, primarily to bring Dingell up to speed on what has been and hopefully will be accomplished over the coming few years “(Dingell’s involvement is) extremely important, because a project of this magnitude requires the work and collaboration of many different partners,” Gutman said. “Both governmental agencies, private businessmen, the environmental support groups like The Alliance of Rouge Communities. You’ve got to bring all those people together. “Debbie Dingell works with all these groups all the time and with her support

This artistic rendering of the proposed Downs project is Central Park looking south from Cady Street. Courtesy of Hunter Pasteur Homes

Downs continued on page 8

The ‘Ville 7

Downs Continued from page 7

and understanding of everything we’re working on, can give us a tremendous boost in bringing parties together – not only one at a time but to create kind of a tapestry that will produce all these different parts of the river walk that we need.” Helping secure federal funding is another area Dingell might be able to help Northville’s quest to complete the final key parts of the Master Plan before the 2027 bicentennial (which is a major goal for Turnbull). Some of that funding could come out of the recent $1.2 trillion infrastructure package or be available in President Joe Biden’s ongoing campaign to pass Build Back Better legislation. “These (federal) programs, if the money – as large as it is – comes rolling in, I do know that a lot of it is earmarked for environmental improvements, ecological enhancements, particularly as it involves rivers and the health of all of the wildlife

The Planning Commission approved The Foundry plan for the old Foundry Flask site at 456 E. Cady, which will include 79 apartments and a specialty grocery store. Courtesy of Jim Long

and plants that are around it,” Gutman continued. Turnbull noted that Northville’s current state representative, Democrat Haley Stevens of Rochester Hills, also is strongly in favor of the “transformational” vision put forward in the Master Plan. But with the redrawn map, Stevens likely will look to be elected to the new 11th District, which will include Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Farmington Hills among other communities.

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“It is a transformational activity she (Dingell) believes should be supported nationally, statewide and by the counties,” Turnbull said. “That’s because it (links) city parks, county parks and state parks. … She is all in and she touches a lot of those pieces, from parks to recreation to environmental. “We have that all on the river, park space and areas to recreate for not only Northvillians but (for) Downriver, Wayne and Oakland (counties).”



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pandemic brought me home,” she said. “Everyone in the restaurant industry was forced to pivot.” It was that pivot that led her to open her panini and wine shop. So, why paninis? “I am obsessed with sandwiches,” Poole exclaimed. “Really, my whole family is.”

The Little Salumi Jessica Poole’s new venture follows family’s restaurant legacy Story by Michele Fecht | Photos by Bryan Mitchell


hat are the chances that a small storefront perfectly sized for a grab-and- go sandwich shop would come available only a stone’s throw from your family’s former iconic restaurant on Northville’s Main Street? Serendipity? Perhaps, but for Jessica Poole, the shop on the east end of the Marquis Theatre is a culmination of a lifetime of restaurant and food industry work . . . and a chance to return to her hometown roots. The Little Salumi, a panini and wine shop, which opened just at the close of 2021, is in a snug space just under 400 square feet overlooking the Town Square. Its chalkboard offerings range from a variety of freshly made paninis, salads, graband-go homemade dips, select desserts and individual-sized baby charcuterie (oh, yeah!). Charcuterie platters for a crowd may be pre-ordered. There are wine varieties selected by Poole’s brother-inlaw Chad LeMieux, a sommelier with more than 20 years of experience in the wine industry.

10 The ‘Ville

the industry.” Having grown up in the family business at Poole’s Tavern (now Exchange Bar & Grill), as well as working at the familyowned Lake Street Tavern in South Jessica Poole makes a panini at The Little Salumi. Lyon with Other beverages include a mom Mary selection of beers, ciders, sodas Poole and her sister Lauren and waters. Sister Melissa Romeo, Poole is more than a LeMieux helped design the shop little familiar with the local that has a New York vibe with restaurant scene. its black and white tiles and Her food industry experience industrial shelving. “I love New also extends to years spent York City,” Poole noted. “We in Denver, New York and went for that look.” Though too California. Her last gig before small for indoor seating, Poole returning to Northville in 2019 will add outdoor tables and was working as director of chairs in the warmer weather. operations for Chick-fil-A in Poole first looked at the Los Angeles. “It was interesting Marquis site in January 2021. to see the corporate side of “I didn’t pull the trigger right the business,” she noted, away. I needed to pull together adding that she needed a pause my resources from my years in when the pandemic hit. “The


You may be wondering about the origins of the name Jessica Poole chose for her new panini and wine shop in downtown Northville – The Little Salumi. It derives from a name her father used to call her and her two sisters growing up, “little salami” and the term salumi, which is defined as “cured meats that are sliced and served as an appetizer in an Italian meal.” Poole first tested her homemade paninis at pop ups in downtown Northville’s Social District and at the Northville Winery and Brewing Company. Positive feedback helped spur her to seal the deal on the storefront. And the name? “My dad used to call me and my sisters ‘little salami’ and so on a group text we came up with little salumi. It fit perfectly.” Salumi — you’ll find the definition on the shop’s website — is “cured meats that are sliced and served as an appetizer in an Italian meal.” The motto? Good Eats, Good Treats, Good Peeps. Poole says the motto is a perfect fit. “We’ve had great response from the community. People have been so supportive.” The Little Salumi is located at 137 Main Street. For hours and offerings, check the website at

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The Marquis has been undergoing construction to repair the historic building. Photo by Bryan Mitchell

Marquis Takes Center Stage Historic theatre’s extensive renovation is under way By Michele Fecht


irst, let’s dispel the rumor. Northville’s historic Marquis Theatre on Main Street is not being converted to a boutique hotel. Since the iconic downtown mainstay was purchased at the close of 2019 by longtime Northville business owner and Tipping Point Theatre co-founder Chuck Lapham, speculation about the theatre’s future has run rampant. Lapham’s passing in September coupled with the extensive façade work undertaken beginning in August has further fueled public interest. So what is the next chapter for the 1926 movie theatre? Lapham’s grandson, Brandon Bueter, who has taken on the theatre’s restoration, said ideas for the interior are still percolating but he is eyeing a multi-faceted space that can accommodate events, receptions, concerts, live stage

12 The ‘Ville

productions and perhaps films. Following Northville City Council approval for the Marquis to join the Northville Social District, Bueter said the first offering most likely will be a pop-up bar serving both onsite and to-go alcoholic beverages in the front lobby. Situated in the center of Main Street opposite the Town Square — “the north wall of Town Square” — the theatre is an optimum location for social district pedestrian traffic. COSTLY DISCOVERY Northville architect Daniel Schneider, a project manager and preservation architect at NORR, a global architectural and engineering firm with an office in Detroit, is architect for the Marquis project. No stranger to historic restoration, Schneider also is working on Alpena’s historic Maltz Opera House and is preservation

The façade of the Marquis Theatre has so far been the focus of the renovation project. Photo by Bryan Mitchell

architect for the adaptive reuse of the 1926 Dairy Cattle Barn building and a portion of the Coliseum building portico for a new transit hub at the historic state fairgrounds in Detroit. Noting the Marquis project is being done in phases, Schneider said the most pressing phase was securing the façade . . . and none too soon. The 3-D scanning technology used to

build a 3-D model of the theatre revealed that the brick on the building was bowing — a revelation that would prove a game changer and nearly double the cost of the first phase of restoration. Discovery of the compromised façade resulted in extensive structural restoration under the direction of RAM Construction Services. Owned by Northville resident Robert Mazur, RAM has done exterior restoration work on landmark structures such as Detroit’s Guardian Building, the Book Tower, and the iconic Michigan Central Station. “The largest challenge with restoration work is that you never really know what you’re getting into,” said Joe Gabris, RAM’s superintendent on the Marquis project. In the case of Northville’s historic theatre, opening up the building’s façade revealed that structural steel supports holding up the masonry bearing wall were deteriorating. “It very quickly went from a basic restoration project to a structural project,” noted Gabris. The supports not only were holding up the front wall, but also the theatre’s signature marquis attached to the building by one-inch steel rods. On August 2, RAM assembled the scaffolding that would encase the front of the theatre for more than four months while new reinforcing steel supports, nearly 4,500 replacement bricks, and custom-made limestone sills were put in place. Gabris said it “took some time to track down the original masonry products.” The new replacement bricks located above the second story windows are the same dimensions as the

original bricks and contain the same wire-cut texture. The only noticeable difference is that the new bricks are slightly darker because they haven’t been exposed to UV light. In time, the color between the new and old brick will meld together. Remaining finetuning on the exterior includes rebuilding the stone mosaic above the entry on the east side store front now occupied by Jessica’s Poole’s wine and panini shop, The Little Salumi. (see story on page 10). The marquis, now reinforced with new steel supports, is outfitted with neon tubes. Another phase may be to replace the neon with LED. INTERIOR UPGRADES Schneider said the master plan for the interior will be completed by the end of January at which time a general contractor will be brought in to determine if the work needs to be done in phases. The building’s interior is not without its challenges. While the 1971 restoration of the theatre by the Zayti family was extensive, changes in building codes in the last 50 years will mean considerable upgrades such as ADA-compliant restrooms, an elevator, more energy-efficient HVAC, and electrical upgrades, just to name a few. The 1926 black walnut ticket booth at the entry of the theatre will remain along with any original millwork that can be salvaged. Plans for the theatre seating area, orchestra pit and stage are to be determined based on the final master plan. The building’s second level which contains skylights is being considered for a banquet room. The space was occupied in the 1980s by Larry Christoff, owner of Onyx Furs.

The problem we’re running into is that for every one project we try to tackle, there are 15 things to correct before we can finish just one thing.” Brandon Bueter Marquis owner discussing the theatre’s restoration

A STORIED HISTORY The Marquis Theatre made its debut in Northville as the Penniman-Allen or P & A on February 9, 1926. The theatre was built by the indomitable Kate Penniman Allen, the daughter of one of Plymouth’s most prominent citizens (Senator Ebenezer Penniman). The Northville P & A was her second theatre; she built the Penniman-Allen Theatre in 1919 in downtown Plymouth. Kate Allen spared no expense in building the Northville movie house. The $150,000 in construction costs included 750 seats, an orchestra pit, a $13,000 Wurlitzer orchestra organ and a stage accommodating 14 sets of scenery. The opening night film was “Little Annie Rooney” starring Mary Pickford. The theatre was later sold to Edward Hohler, who owned the Farmington Civic. In 1971, the Zayti family purchased the historic landmark, renaming it the Marquis Theatre and focusing primarily on live stage productions.

LAPHAM’S LEGACY While the enormity of the restoration project is daunting, Bueter said he is determined to honor his grandfather’s commitment. “Grandpa always said that the Marquis needed to stay in town,” he noted. “While the building needs to pay for itself, it also needs to benefit the city.” Acknowledging that the cost is far more than anticipated, Bueter said he is working on a way to open a path for people to help support the theatre. “The problem we’re running into is

that for every one project we try to tackle, there are 15 things to correct before we can finish just one thing.” That is pretty much the lament of every owner of a historic structure. Changing a lightbulb can lead to a total electrical upgrade. With the scaffolding disassembled and the building façade secured, Bueter said he is catching his breath before the next phase begins. “I also think the building needs a little rest,” he acknowledged.

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Northville grad Abby Willerer helped anchor a Grand Valley State defense that captured two NCAA Division II championships. Courtesy of Julie Willerer After a season at NCAA Division I Fordham University, Northville native Alexa Morello transferred to Grand Valley State. Courtesy of Grand Valley State Athletics.

‘You Couldn’t Ask For Anything Better’ By Brad Emons

Northville’s Willerer, Morello lead GVSU to soccer glory

here were a couple of cool story lines to Grand Valley State’s march to its seventh NCAA Division II women’s soccer championship in school history. For Abby Willerer, a senior defender from Northville, it was the proverbial icing on the cake as she battled a bum knee for two seasons, yet logged all 101 minutes in the championship match on Dec. 11 against Saint Rose (N.Y.) in a 3-2 doubleovertime thriller. Willerer, a transfer from Central Michigan, captured her second straight title for the 24-

16 The ‘Ville

1-2 Lakers, who also earned the crown in 2019 after COVID-19 shelved the 2020 season. “I couldn’t have imagined a better way to end my career,” Willerer said. “It’s always sad . . . but winning a national championship in your last game -- you couldn’t ask for anything better.” Meanwhile, Willerer had a reliable partner on the backline in redshirt junior Alexa Morello, another Northville native who started and played 72 minutes in the championship final held in Colorado Springs, Colo. Both players – despite being

two years apart -- came out of the Michigan Hawks club soccer program and helped form a formidable defense for the Lakers, who gave up just 16 goals all season to go along with 18 clean sheets. “Abby is just one of those people who is not a complainer,” said Morello, who transferred to GVSU after playing one season at Division I Fordham University (N.Y.). “She’s playing on a knee that is holding on by a thread and she ends up being the defensive MVP for the National Championship. It’s unreal.”

‘GREAT TEAM PLAYER’ Remarkedly, Willerer played in all 27 of Grand Valley’s games despite missing a good chunk of cartilage in a left knee that she hurt in October of 2019. “They found out during the surgery I couldn’t get the planned surgery, I had to get a bigger one, so the doctor said I can play on it, manage my minutes and see how much I can tolerate the pain,” Willerer said. “So, I’ve been doing that ever since.” After hours of physical therapy, Willerer was able to persevere both in practice and

I was not expecting that at all, but once my coach told me I was at a loss for words. It was an awesome feeling to see how all your hard work paid off, and just another great way to end my career with that award.”

Abby Willerer , GVSU senior, after earning unanimous All-American honors

in games during the 2021 spring and fall seasons. “Abby was a huge asset to us this year,” Grand Valley first-year coach Jim Conlon said. “Obviously playing in her final season, she did a great job of helping our back line being as efficient as it was. She had battled a knee injury throughout the entire season, but really was able to get her mindset in a great place to help us in practice, understand the tactics we were trying to do as a team and really competed at a high level.” In August, Conlon replaced Jeff Hosler as Grand Valley’s head coach after a successful stint at NCAA Division III Washington University (Mo.). And much to his delight, Conlon said Willerer brought many intangibles to the table. “What makes her special is her ability to be a great team player and mentor the ones around her, as well as play at a high level on the field,” he said.

FINDING A HOME One of those players Willerer mentored was Morello, who started 21 of 27 games this season and had collected three assists. “I don’t know, I just felt comfortable with her behind me,” Morello said of Willerer. “She had my back and I had her back as well. She sometimes switched over to the left center back on my side. But other than that, I flipped over and it was like a brick wall.” Under Conlon, Morello

switched roles and found a home bringing energy to the outside back position. “A great player in the middle of the park that we asked to play on the back line and give us a bit of an attack out of there,” the Grand Valley coach said. “The combination between Lexi and Abby were definitely two major parts to our back line. Lexi is hungry, motivated and just a great deal of positive energy that is contagious on the field every day.” Morello, a pre-dietetic and psychology major, started playing soccer at age 4 and attended Our Lady of Victory Grade School in Northville and Farmington Hills Mercy High. Growing up she played summer tennis, but soccer was always her main sport. She played nine years with the Hawks where she was a captain for five years and was named to the Olympic Development Program roster in 2014-15. “I actually started out as a midfielder, but I’ve pretty much played all over the map,” Morello said. “I’ve been a versatile player and kind of go where the team needs me. This year I started out at midfield and kind of made my way to an outside back position and ended up being a left back. It was so fun.” At Fordham, she appeared in 19 games her freshman year (2019) logging a total of 592 minutes, including two starts in a defensive role as the Rams finished 4-4-2 in the Atlantic 10

and earned a berth conference tourney. But Morello migrated back to be closer to home. She decided to transfer during the COVID-19 pause and reached out to Hosler, who was Grand Valley’s head coach at the time. “I wasn’t going anywhere, I loved it, had a great experience,” Morello said of Fordham. “But I definitely loved that my family was able to come and watch me play throughout club (soccer), so coming back to Michigan would allow them to come and watch me more easily because my family lived in Michigan. “I love the style of play. It’s pretty soccer . . . so very similar to Hawks, and with the girls there, we already knew each other and it had a great program for science. I love it. I love Grand Valley.” And winning a national title made it all worth the effort for Morello. “It was incredible,” she said. “It was like everything I worked for . . . 2020 was a hard year and not being really able to play . . . it was all the hard work me and my team had done the last two years really paid off. It was probably the most-proud moment of my life.” Prior to Grand Valley, Willerer had a similar transfer story. She played club for the Hawks from U-9 through U-18 winning back-to-back Elite Club National League national championships in 2016 and 2017. She was awarded Best 11 after the 2016 ECNL semifinals

and finals. At CMU in 2019, Willerer started all 19 games and ranked second among defenders in minutes played (1,409) while earning Academic All-MidAmerican Conference honors. “I played at Central for two years, but a change of plans was needed for me,” Willerer said. “I found Grand Valley, had a few friends on the team. There was a coaching change (at CMU) and I thought it would best for me to do something new. I just think the (Grand Valley) program gives you so much outside of soccer. It’s all about just striving to be the best you can every day, whether it was in practice or outside of soccer. They just do a really good job helping you for the long term.” As a redshirt sophomore in 2019 with the Lakers, Willerer appeared in 24 games making 20 starts at center back with a total of 1,493 minutes. She was named honorable mention All-Great Lakes Athletic Conference and scored her first career goal on a PK in the NCAA Midwest Regional final against the University of Indianapolis. That year the Lakers not only won their 15th GLIAC regular season crown and 13th straight conference tourney title, they went on to capture their record sixth NCAA Division II national championship.

Soccer continued on page 18

The ‘Ville 17

Soccer Continued from page 17

ALL-AMERICAN HONORS During the abbreviated spring 2021 season that did not count toward her eligibility, Willerer started seven of eight games and helped GVSU win its 14th straight conference championship. But winning the 2021 National Championship against Saint Rose, however, proved to be stressful. Willerer and her Laker teammates had crossed a similar path when they defeated Western Washington in double OT, 1-0, two years earlier. “I think since we had been through it in 2019 – with winning in double overtime – we were ready for it,” Willerer said. “We also had a few

Grand Valley State won its seventh NCAA Division II women’s soccer championship in school history Dec. 11 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Courtesy of Julie Willerer

overtime games during the regular season and I think we never lost sight of the fact of that, ‘We’re going to win this game. No matter how long it takes us, we’re going to win,’ and I think that definitely helped us through those overtimes.” And for her efforts, Willerer earned several post-season

accolades this season including first team All-GLIAC, AllRegion, All-NCAA Tournament and Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the Division II national playoffs. She then earned unanimous All-American honors by both the United Soccer Coaches and Conference Commissioners

Association. “I was not expecting that at all, but once my coach told me I was at a loss for words,” Willerer said “It was an awesome feeling to see how all your hard work paid off, and just another great way to end my career with that award.” And while Morello will return to spring workouts for 2022 and try and win another national championship for GVSU, Willerer, a finance major, has already moved on from collegiate soccer where she plans to remain physically active following her surgery. “Me and my friends call it ‘retired athlete work’ where we don’t kill our bodies, like walk, do lighter lifts, lighter workouts . . . stuff like that,” Willerer said with a chuckle.

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Northville Township Board of Trustees Rings in 2022 and Celebrates the Successes of 2021

Northville Township Board of Trustees 2021 Accomplishments: Received the coveted AAA Bond Rating from S&P Global Ratings Removed the 1% property tax administration fee on your property tax bill Amended our late fee policy on water and sewer bills, adding a grace period Held two Vaccinate Northville clinics, inoculating 3,000 registrants Hired a social worker to help the Police Department and Northville Youth Network support residents during mental health crises Cut the fees to connect to our public water and/or sewer system Filed a lawsuit against Arbor Hills Landfill Established a Legacy Park Committee to update the Seven Mile property's master plan

Established Pathways Advisory Committee Approved a $12 million bond sale for demolition of the former state hospital buildings at Legacy Park Welcomed a six-obstacle dog agility course at Marv Gans Community Park by Eagle Scout Jonathan Barringer Hosted a Town Hall on the Beck Road Corridor Improvement Initiative Invited homeowner associations to a get-to-know-the-Township session Explored adding a skatepark and fieldhouse to our parks Introduced a new website design Hosted an on-site shredding event Congratulated the Northville Township Police Department’s two CALEA Accreditations

“On behalf of the Northville Township Board of Trustees, thank you for allowing us the opportunity to serve. It is truly an honor to represent this great community, and we look forward to building on the foundation established in 2021.” - Supervisor Mark J. Abbo





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n less than a year, the Northville Skatepark Project has gone from pipe dream to half-pipe reality. And in keeping within the sport’s vernacular, they’re shredding it. Spearheaded by Gabriella Duhn, whose son Dominic, 20, was killed Sept. 3, 2020 by a hit-and-run driver while skateboarding along Sheldon Road, the proposed 10,000-square- foot skatepark has marshaled unwavering support while also serving as a masterclass in how to fasttrack such endeavors through municipal government. Millennium Park is the first choice for the $500,000 skatepark. So far, the Duhn family and supporters have whipped up more than $170,000. They have asked for a $150,000 match from the township. Once two-thirds, or $375,000 is raised, the skatepark’s design process will

22 The ‘Ville

t s sa a f ft


k c a r r a c k t t

ahead s d n i r g raising d n u f s a munity m o c r e v leaders, skateboard enthusiasts ning o n i w and casual observers, many e d a rus c k r a of whom attended the p e t Ska mother shared how she sent study session or sent letters

commence, which could come as early as spring. “We haven’t hit up any of the big corporate sponsors yet,” said Gabriella, whose previous fundraising experience was limited to her two sons’ involvement in Boys Scouts and local charities.

Dominic Duhn

What started as a safety issue has evolved into a crusade for teen mental wellness. During a Northville Township Board of Trustees study session on Dec. 9, the grieving

15 condolence cards to nearby parents who have also recently lost children. Duhn was stunned to learn eight of those were suicides and while overdoses played a role in four other deaths — all age 23 or under. The farthest she addressed letters was Kalamazoo. “Currently, we have parks for the little kids, parks for our dogs and a senior center, but no place for our teens to go,” she said. “In my opinion, they have suffered the most with the pandemic happening, having to give up their much-needed socialization events that are keys to healthy development. “Now more than ever, we as adults need to recognize that it’s time to get the young people out of their lonely rooms and off of the destructive screens and offer them a safe place to go and skateboard and socialize and just have a good time.” Duhn’s passionate, heartfelt message has resonated with a cross-section of people. In their ranks are community

expressing support. An overwhelming number of those folks have pitched in money or provided in-kind services. The Northville Parks & Recreation Commission, township board of trustees, city council and board of education all passed resolutions supporting the skatepark. Northville Youth Network Advisory Commission and McCaskill Family Services also back the plan. A vast majority of letters submitted by residents support a designated place for skateboarders to thrive in solidarity. A few naysayers wrote, citing noise, potential liability, other skateparks nearby and the usual “waste of taxpayer funds.” Skateboarder rumble measures 50-68 decibels from 70 feet, according to noise level analysis. A fire truck siren produces 110 decibels, which is notable since Northville Township Fire Station is 196 feet north of the proposed skatepark in Millennium Park.

Now more than ever, we as adults need to recognize that it’s time to get the young people out of their lonely rooms and off of the destructive screens and offer them a safe place to go and skateboard and - Gabriella Duhn socialize and just have a good time.” The closest residences are between 250 and 324 feet from the western edge of the skateboard area. “The noise levels consistently fall below ordinary recreational standards,” said Mark Gasche, Northville Parks & Recreation director. “Overall, a skatepark is

about as noisy as a playground.” Liability is not a big worry, either. Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority, the township’s carrier, said there is no extra cost as the asset isn’t insurable since a skatepark is mostly cement. The skatepark’s Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk has advocated for skateparks all over the country. Hawk’s The Skatepark Project will ‑ free of charge ‑ assist in the design of the Northville Skatepark.

upkeep would be included as part of Millennium’s routine maintenance. Other cost benefits add a twinkle to township officials’ eyes. Tony Hawk’s The Skatepark Project would — free of charge — assist in designing the concrete track and provide help putting the project out for bid, Gasche said. Northville skateboarders would also be asked for their input during the design phase. Northville Skatepark Project organizers put their own skin in the game, which separates them from most recreation advocates, said Mark Abbo, Northville township supervisor. “What caught my attention with the skatepark initiative is the funding came from outside of government,” Abbo said. “They wanted to bring us the money. To me, that shows passion.” Skatepark talk already has a few teenagers pining for the future. A few spoke during the Dec. 9 study session. “This has been the most crazy two or three years, and having a skatepark would be a great way of getting things off people’s minds and go and have some fun,” said Jimmy Proctor, 14, who raised nearly $1,400 through donations and a bottlecan drive. Main Street League,

which is a registered 501(3) c, is accepting donations for the project so contributors may receive a tax deduction. Lauren Poole Romeo designed a fundraising brochure. Mike and Kitty Liddell hosted an Oktoberfest fundraiser at their home, which brought in $33,000. Blake Healander, a Northville High sophomore is a member of the school’s skateboard club. The group meets one to three times a year at Farmington Hills’ Riley Park on Eight Mile Road. With a designated skateboard area near the high school, those get-togethers could easily increase to once a week and include trips downtown afterward, said Healander during the study session. The Northville Skatepark Project has also burnished the skateboarder image from a destroyer of property to that of a solitary, creative figure. Jeff Scroggins, 50, serves on the Northville Skatepark Project committee, running its Facebook and Instagram sites. The project manager is a

Skatepark continued on page 24

The ‘Ville 23

Skatepark Continued from page 23

40-year skateboard enthusiast who once hosted Tony Hawk for a video shoot at a thenempty backyard pool at his Northville home. He belongs to Old Bros Michigan, a group of skateboarders whose membership includes 60 and 70 year olds. Scroggins recalls the halcyon days during the late 1980s and early ’90s while growing up in Waterford Township. If the police weren’t singling out skateboarders, it was musclebound guys in leather varsity jackets. One incident involving his friend is seared in his memory. “A group that I would call football-player types pulled up,

called us names,” Scroggins said. “As I skated across the parking lot, they just started beating the crap out of him — just for being a skateboarder, nothing else. That was something we would see a lot. “Nowadays, I do see kids who play sports, play football, basketball and skateboard in their spare time. On the whole, as you see skateboarders progress, and it’s something I see time and time again, talented skateboarders are going to be talented in something else as well whether it be art, music, working with their hands, metal workers, welders, car builders ... you name it, I’ve seen it all.” Jack Tsalis and Enzo Duhn, Dominic’s best friend and younger brother respectively,

suggested building a skatepark in honor of the 2018 Northville High graduate and Michigan State student who was majoring in agricultural business. The endeavor’s wide appeal fits the character for whom the park effort is inspired. “He never judged anybody, Gabriella said. “He had friends from all walks of life. He would always bring them together and that’s what I envision this park to be, like kids from all walks of life, kids from every gender, every economic background ... Kids just coming together and having a good time, because he was known for his laughter, too.”


In an effort to reach their fundraising goal of $500,000, the Northville Skatepark Project organizers will host a fun event on May 21 at Millennium Park. The event will feature live music, food and local craft beer. All proceeds will be used to build the skatepark. To become a sponsor or to volunteer, contact Gabriella Duhn at or (248) 535-3777. There will also be updates on The Northville Skatepark Project Facebook page.

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Senior Abby O'Connell expresses gratitude for donors of the Period Poverty Drive.

An Ongoing Fight NHS clubs focus on human rights in Northville community and beyond


uman rights are the basic rights every person in the world deserves to have,” Northville High School computer science teacher Cheri Sclater says. “There is still work to be done… and things we can improve, but as long as we’re stepping in the right direction, that’s all we can ask.” December was Human Rights Awareness Month, and for student activist groups at Northville High School, it was an opportunity to share their goals with the community. The Period Poverty Club focuses on “aspects around menstruation including poverty, stigma, and advocating for menstrual equality,” explained junior Mayuka Kallakuri, who is vice president of the club. Members of the club advocate by making posters, organizing fundraisers, and donating to women in need. By

26 The ‘Ville

doing this, the club stands up for the human rights of women and girls across the world who may otherwise be unable to work or go to school due to the lack of menstrual supplies. “My thoughts for the future of human rights are very optimistic,” Kallakuri says. “If we are able to keep [doing] what we are doing in school and in the world, there is no doubt in my mind that we will [be able to] overcome many hurdles.” Another club fighting for human rights is the Culture Club. Its goal, according to its vice president and sophomore Anushka Malay, is “to educate the students in our school about the different cultures and ethnicities we have [...] in a way that is fun and enjoyable for everyone.”

The Culture Club posts on school bulletin boards to educate the school as a whole and dedicates meetings to learning about various cultures around the world. To encourage human rights in our community, Malay believes “it is very important for schools to be inclusive. [...] This could include a few days off for holidays, times in the day for religious students to pray, and a strict no-bullying policy.” President Mahitha Pentakota, also a sophomore, shares a similar sentiment: “Our community and school can start to spread awareness about different rights and cultures in general to others.” The Students Promoting Indigenous Education (SPIE) Club is also making an effort to advance human rights across the world - specifically to represent low-income indigenous people. SPIE raises funds for low-resource schools in Mexico and is currently working towards a new classroom and bathroom for a kindergarten. “The most important step to help human rights is making

people aware,” junior Daniela Paniagua Torres says. “The more people who are aware of this, the more help the organizations can get.” Through increased student involvement in our school through food drives and collections, Torres says we can grow to become more aware of the sheer amount of wasted food each day and learn to be conscientious of how their wasteful actions negatively affect others. Progress towards advancing human rights is made every day, but there is still much left to do. By finding causes that they are passionate about and striving to help, whether it be through cooperation with larger organizations or efforts in the community, students are making a positive change in the world. “I believe that in the future there will be more awareness and understanding,” Torres says. “There will be big changes in human rights in the near future, and we all have to do our part in order for that to happen.”

Youth Activism Society club members with their banner at a women's rights rally.

EDITOR'S NOTE: High School Confidential is a collaborative effort by the Stringers Journalism Club made up of Northville High School students Audrey Zhang, Lauren Sprow, Navya Meka, Maria Cowden, Tamsin Boyd, Wesley Paradowski, Alyssa Bachert, and Brian Zhang.

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Stepping Up For Civic Concern

New Leadership At NEF

In early December a few loyal customers of the Northville Cigar Lounge approached new owner Giacomo D’Abate with the suggestion to host an NCL Christmas party. D’Abate, who purchased the business three months ago, agreed as long as the party would be a fundraiser for a local organization. Two customers, Bill Philips and Tim Lafferty, suggested the proceeds raised at the party be donated to Northville Civic Concern, and D’Abate agreed. The party was held Dec. 20 and raised $1,200. On Dec. 29, D’Abate (center) and Tim Lafferty (right) presented a check to Marlene Kuntz of Northville Civic Concern, who said the funds would be used to purchase much needed necessities such as toilet paper, toothpaste, femine products, and other non-perishable items for the Northville families and children serviced by the non-profit organization.

After five years with the Northville Educational Foundation, Christa Howley (right) has stepped down as the executive director. Kate Mitchell (left), the former NEF Executive Assistant, took over for Howley on Jan. 3. Howley is staying on until the end of the month on a part-time basis to help with the transition. The NEF was founded in 2000 by a group of Northville school parents and community leaders concerned about the changes to school funding in Michigan. The 501(c)3 charitable organization is dedicated to supporting enrichment programs to benefit all Northville students. The NEF provides grants and funding to all of Northville’s public schools, enhancing educational opportunities and academic excellence for all students. For more information, visit

Downtown Mural Approved The Northville City Council approved spending up to $11,670 for a mural depicting Northville’s horse racing past. The city’s DDA has contracted with Bizzell Design to do the work, which will be fabricated and installed on the Center Street side of the building located at 102 E. Main (Lucy and the Wolf), pending Historic District review and approval. Councilwoman Barbara Moroski-Browne requested that the background of the race horse design (pictured) include a historic image of the Downs racetrack. To achieve this, the DDA was instructed to work with the Northville Historical Society at Mill Race Village to review historic photos of the track and stands.

30 The ‘Ville

New Members The City of Northville recently added two new members, Paul DeBono and AnnaMaryLee Vollick, to the Planning Commission. In addition, Mike Jaafar will serve on the Downtown Development Authority board. Mayor Brian Turnbull, with the support of all City Council members, made the appointments. According to the city, a total of 10 people applied for the positions, and each was interviewed by both Turnbull and Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Moroski-Browne. DeBono is VP and Director of Corporate Servicing for Farbman. An avid community volunteer, he is the past president of the Greater Corktown Development Corp. and was instrumental in the development of the Slow’s block, streetscape improvements on Michigan Avenue, and the preservation of the former Tiger Stadium site. His term on the Planning Commission ends June 30, 2022. Vollick, a strategic planner for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, previously worked at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. She was involved in daylighting the Monguagon Creek on a former brownfield site. Her term ends June 30, 2023. Jaafar is the owner of Northville City Car Wash, as well as the undersheriff for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. His term ends Sept. 30, 2023.

On The Road With Beach Bums O

ver the holiday break, Northville residents Scott Patterson (left) and Ammar Senawi ran into Santa on the beaches of Marco Island, Florida. They gave him a copy of The ‘Ville for reading material after his long night. We’re hoping he took it with him back to the North Pole. The next time you head out of town, take along a copy of The ‘Ville, snap a photo, and let us know where your travels take you. Our readers would love to know! Please email the photos to kurtkuban@ We’ll feature the photos in an upcoming issue.

ome Furnishings - Interior Design 184 E Main Street Northville, MI 48167 248.308.3895

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Dishin’ With Denise

Denise Jenkins is a member of the Northville Chamber of Commerce and Tipping Point Theatre. An avid writer and proponent of the arts, she is also plugged into what’s happening in Northville. Contact her at

What’s New for 2022? H

appy 2022! It’s a new year. My annual tradition is to find a new word and live it. No resolutions for me. This year my word is “believe” - in God, in myself, in others. Could be a challenge. I’m up for it. I’m known to many of you as “Dishin’ with Denise”. Again, words are one of my favorite things. Dishin’ might imply that food is involved in this column. I do enjoy reviewing the local restaurants. But those who know me find restaurant reviewing by me somewhat funny, since I am picky, and like the beloved late Betty White try to never eat anything green.

I’d like to give a shout out to one of my favorites this month. It’s not new at all. But truly, it’s a town favorite for breakfast and lunch right on Main Street. I can never get the name right. I fondly refer to it as “the chicken and the egg” - I suppose it’s because they have a lot of chickens on display. Everyone immediately knows where I mean. It’s actually called Early Bird and you can always count on the food and the service. And always a familiar face. It’s my pleasure to wish a very happy 100th birthday to Mary Ware, everyone’s “Aunt Mary.” God bless you, sweet lady. I am just one of many who are proud to call you “friend.” And clearly, I’m just one of many, as there was a large drive-

32 The ‘Ville

"Aunt" Mary Ware during her 100th birthday parade.

by birthday procession on Jan. 7. It was so cool! There’s another woman I’m proud of who is celebrating a milestone. Happy 50th birthday to my lovely daughter, Jill. She is a great daughter, a good person and a terrific mom. I don’t generally fret about age - but I have a friend who is 100 and a daughter Jill Kara who is 50. Hmm, I can hear the clock ticking. The American Association of University Women Northville-Novi chapter is hosting a fashion show and luncheon that will proudly recognize the work of some of Michigan’s female fashion designers. “Peek at the Unique” will take place on April 2nd at Schoolcraft College’s VisTaTech Center. Tickets are $55 and go on sale Feb. 1. The emcee will be Miss Michigan Vivian Zhong of Northville. Vivian balances a medical school course load with

her duties as Miss Michigan, which has earned her $24,000 in scholarships. “We are hosting the Michigan Fashion Designers Showcase Luncheon to promote young women in the fashion design business and to raise money for young women from Northville and Novi high schools,” said Karen Zyczynski, chair of the event. “We also support local elementary school libraries.” Accessory designers will be on display with some unique work. And it will be for sale. For information about the event and ticket sales, visit aauwnn. org.

The work of Sara Sokolowski, a design student at Wayne State University, will be featured at "Peek at the Unique."

Out with the old, in with the new. Rose Misiolek is turning over the leash at Celebrity Pets after more than 10 years. I understand the customers love her, but the dogs love her more. She knows the joys and sorrows of each pet owner that comes through the door and has always “been there” for them with what they need. She’s trusting new owners, the Parzuchowksi’s, have what it takes to keep the tails wagging. Lisa Barry loved Northville. She served on the board of the Northville Community Foundation, was an honorable judge for Short on Words - the literature arm of Northville’s Art’s and Acts Festival and she was a co-emcee for the 4th of July parade for 10-plus years. She was the host of “All Lisa Barry Things Considered” on WEMU and way back when, she and I worked together at WXYT. During that time she was named “One To Watch” by an organization that honored women in broadcasting. Indeed she was. Lisa passed away recently - way too soon. Another woman I was proud to call my friend. She will be missed. Lots of girl talk this month. Sorry, guys, your turn is coming.

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