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■ inside / july ■ 6: MAIL BAG Kelly E.
■ 14: CRIME MAP A locator guide to specific categories of crime in the local area
■ SNAPSHOTS ■ 17: Dr. Sheryl Rosin ■ 37: Nancy Schlichting ■ 55: Judge Nancy Edmunds
■ 18: STATE School funding legislation; higher education budget; speed trap crackdown; annexation reform
■ 33: MUNICIPAL Post Office closure; Shain park project; Zazios liquor license request; dispatching agreement; election date change; treasurer resigns; Kenning Park plans; new water rates; chamber president selected
■ 39: EDUCATION High school merger; avoiding cuts in athletics, superintendent agreement
■ 53: COUNTY Parks budget proposal; dog license fees up; snuffing out phony pot; State Police funding debate
■ 57: BUSINESS NOTES Scandia Down; Sweet Earth Frozen Yogurt; Bordine's; Beadz and Bags; Pink Pump; Shore Mortgage; Sandella's Flatbread Café; Energy Sciences Resource Partners; Four Paws Community Center
■ 59: EATING OUT
A directory of places where you can dine out; Main Course and Quick Bites from the restaurant scene with Eleanor Heald; Focus on Wine with Eleanor and Ray Heald
■ 67: THE COMMUNITY HOUSE
On Nov. 5, 2008, Michigan became the 13th state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana for medical use, by a statewide vote of 63 percent to 37 percent on Michigan Proposal 08-1. That may be the last time there was a clear consensus on medical marijuana use in Michigan.
The President and CEO of The Community House, Shelley Roberts, on the Elmore Leonard Literary Arts and Film Festival.
■ 68: SOCIAL LIGHTS/SALLY GERAK The latest from the charity and non-profit circuit
■ 78: FINAL WORD Stem cell reporting requirement; high school merger decision
■ OUR COVER
■ 9: SUMMER FUN IN BIRMINGHAM
■ 27: DISTRICTS SET THEIR BUDGETS
■ 61: MIXING IT UP IN EVERY WAY
Birmingham is buzzing with fun — and free — things to do this summer, so grab your friends and family and enjoy a sizzling time around town.
With recent cutbacks funding and declining values, public school are facing an uphill battle.
Birmingham's new South bucks the minimalist design trend, and offers a contemporary approach to southwest and Mexican fare.
in state property districts budget
Marshall Fredericks’ “Freedom of the Human Spirit” sculpture in its new location within Birmingham’s Shain Park. Cover art by Chris Grammer, from photos by Amy K. Lockard.
All sale items are FINAL SALE. Only select styles from brands listed are on SALE. SALE ITEMS may not be combined with any other CARUSO CARUSO PROMOTION.
PAPER PUBLISHER / PRESIDENT: James W. Fancy BUSINESS MANAGER: Dennis Boggs EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: Carol Barr
EDITOR: ASSISTANT EDITOR: Tim Dmoch Lisa Brody Staff Writers: Brooke Meier, Leslie Owsley, Kirk Pinho, Michael Shelton Contributing Writers: Sally Gerak, Eleanor Heald, Ray Heald Social Lights Photographer: Sally Gerak Staff Photographer: Amy K. Lockard ADVERTISING MANAGER: Jules Haapala Account Representatives Jill Cesarz, Dan Neumaier, Linda Stickney, Laurie Wasker Assistants: Nicole Batchik TELEPHONE SALES MANAGER: Lori Snyder Account Representatives Rhonda Libkuman, Cindy Stawick, Leslie Timko GRAPHICS/SYSTEMS MANAGER: Chris Grammer Graphics Assistants: Denise Jungjohan, Karen Polatka, Marcia Reimer DISTRIBUTION: Dan Griffin ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE SUPERVISOR: Carolyn Petherbridge Assistant: Mable McCullough
MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 14, Union Lake, MI 48387-0014 OFFICE ADDRESS: 7196 Cooley Lake Road, Waterford, MI 48327-4113 TELEPHONE: 248.360.6397 • 248.360.7355 OFFICE HOURS: Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
■ mail bag Don't assume, exclude From Kelly E., Bloomfield Twp.: I wanted to address last month's article "Brian drain: Exodus of young, skilled talent poses concern for state needing revitalization" (June 2010 Paper). On page 35 within the first paragraph, the article assumes that the "young, college-educated people" are all of one demographic. I base this on the article's usage of "reverse white flight." I do not represent that demographic, yet I have graduated from a university with honors through pre-med and have a degree in chemistry. I
will be attending medical school outside Michigan next fall. It is not always best to assume or exclude. Being young and college educated crosses many demographics. For example, parents from other countries raise their children with a hard work ethic and have contributed much to local schools. I do not think it is best to assume that the young and college educated are all of one demographic. However, due to the particular area of the county it might have been more precise for the usage of the term majority. ■
Editor's Note: The language cited by the letter writer was part of a direct quote from Lou Glazer, president of Michigan Future, Inc.
Correction An article published in the June 2010 edition of The Paper under the headline "Ice Cream: We all scream for the opiate of summer, and area shops are ready to satisfy that craving" should have stated that Birmingham's Dairy Mat is owned by Mary Jo Joseph of Joseph Foods, Inc. and is leased to Carol Okragleski and Kathy Reissdorf. ■
Talk to Birmingham-Bloomfield Your opinions are important so let us know what you think. Mail Bag provides our readers with a forum to express their thoughts on important issues. We reserve the right to edit all letters. Letters for Mail Bag should be submitted by mid-month to appear in the next issue and must include the writer’s name, address and phone number for verification. Only the writer's name and community will appear in print. Letters can be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, submitted through the website for The Paper (oaklandpaper.com) or by mail to P.O. Box 14, Union Lake, MI 48387. ■
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homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills just before the start of each month. Additional complimentary copies are available at newsstand locations. Paid subscriptions are available for $15.00 annually, ask for our distribution department at 248.360.6397.
The August issue of The Paper. In homes July 30. Ad deadline July 13. Contact Jules Haapala. 248.360.7355 firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPINAL COLUMN NEWSWEEKLY THE PAPER OAKLAND LAKEFRONT OAKLAND HOMES MONTHLYADVERTISER WEST OAKLAND DIRECTORY
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November 10-13, 2010 Birmingham, Michigan presented by The Community House The Community House recognizes the achievements of Michigan native and legendary writer Elmore Leonard for his contributions to the arts and to the state of Michigan. This multifaceted event will include: s a national competition for screenwriters and ﬁlmmakers s a teen short story contest for students, ages 13-18 years s a screening of the pilot episode of Elmore’s hit TV series “Justiﬁed” on the FX Network (“Fire in the Hole”) s screenings of the ﬁnalists from the Short Film Competition s a beneﬁt gala honoring Elmore Leonard on November 13 For tickets and/or information on entering the competitions visit www.elmoreleonardliteraryartsandﬁlmfestival.com or call 248.554.6586
Proceeds beneﬁt The Community House 380 South Bates Street Birmingham, MI 48009 248.644.5832 www.communityhouse.com
Itâ€™s time to have fun around town and enjoy annual events that make summer special
By Leslie Shepard-Owsley
irmingham's summer season is buzzing with activity for fun-and freethings to do around the area. Bargain shoppers will definitely want to hit the town when the merchants haul out great merchandise tagged with sale prices during the annual Day on the Town Event. It's a shopper's paradise for women and men, kids, pets, and housewares. For relaxation and culture, spread out a blanket and picnic under the stars while a diverse blend of music serenades you during the weekly concert series at Booth Park.â?Ż
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For a family-friendly evening out, pack up the kids, pop some popcorn, and enjoy a family classic film during the Movie Night series. For the classic car enthusiast, a pair of traditional auto culture events are headed this way, so put on the brakes and park along Woodward for the Birmingham Cruise event or the Dream Cruise. The simultaneous extravaganzas showcase the sleek and novel, eclectic or suped up classics that wow every age group. Set to memory-inducing oldies music, these events celebrate the regionâ€™s automotive heritage and draw droves of people from all over the country. Each event is an annual tradition in the communities, and has historically cultivated a regular following. Below is a snapshot of each of the events, so grab your friends and family and enjoy a sizzling time around town.
DAY ON THE TOWN Day on the Town is known as the biggest single retail event of the year in Birmingham. It is slated for July 24 from 9 am-9 pm, rain or shine. The event combines a sidewalk sale extravaganza with lots of special entertainment and kids activities. All streets in the Central Business District will be closed, including Old Woodward from Hamilton to Brown; and Maple from Bates to Peabody to set up tables and tents to prepare for the stream of hungry shoppers. Live entertainment will perform along the heart of Maple and Old Woodward. Local restaurants will be selling choice menu selections in kiosks in the streets. Birmingham offers an eclectic variety of dining options, from seafood, steak and sandwiches to Greek, Italian, Thai, sushi, and other ethnic fare. The event has been a tradition in the city for over 30 years. "It used to be a 12-hour sale for six years, when it was a midnight madness event referred to as Night on the Town," said Executive Director of Birmingham's Principal Shopping District John Heiney. "It's very popular in the city." Last year about 10,000 people roamed the city streets striking bargains and enjoying the festivities. The event kicks off with a bike parade where kids decorate their bikes in various themes for prizes ranging from gift certificates and bike shop gifts. Local dignitaries act as judges for the contest. Participants will earn prizes for categories including: most creative; most patriotic; most fashionable; and wackiest. Bicyclists will gather at 8:30 am at Center Stage and begin to tour the area at 9 am. They will be led by the Birmingham Police Department and a marching band. All participants are instructed to wear bike helmets. In addition to shopping, dining, and entertainment, an activity center, or Kids Zone, will be on site for a diversion from shopping. Children will be provided with an arts and crafts activity assisted by volunteers from Birmingham Youth Assistance. "We encourage the parents to stay with the kids," Heiney said. "It provides an outlet for the kids to express their creativity." In conjunction with the Day on the Town event, a Green Breeze ecofriendly living fair and expo hosted by the Birmingham Community House will be located on South Old Woodward. During the event, there will be free parking in all structures and all meters throughout the day.
MUSIC IN THE PARK Booth Park will be reverberating to the beat on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer as the Music in the Park series gets underway. Booth Park, located at north Old Woodward and Harmon, will feature locally-renowned bands free of charge. Concerts begin at 7pm. "Most of the bands tour locally," Heiney said. "We try to select a variety of musical tastes, but all are family-friendly." Spectators should bring chairs and/or blankets for the evening. Alcohol is prohibited but food can be purchased at local restaurants. At some events, Boy Scout troops will be selling ice cream. Parking is available a block north of the event, or at any of the five parking deck structures that have two hours of free parking. Typically, each event attracts several hundred people. "It's a relaxed atmosphere and a beautiful place to spend the evening," www.oaklandpaper.com
Heiney said. "The hill, stadium-style seating is carved in a grassy knoll." On June 23, the Beatles revival group, Toppermost, was the first to take the stage. The group has been performing for 10 years in the region and is billed as one of Southeast Michigan's hottest Beatles tribute bands, concentrating on the group's early era, from 1963-1966. Tumbao Bravo, a nationally acclaimed Latin jazz band, will mix things up on June 30. The band features Cuban rhythms while infusing jazz harmonies. The ensemble plays an array of instruments, such as congas, timbales, bass, saxophone, flute and keyboard. "We're excited to have them," said Heiney. "It's the first time they'll be playing for us." The U.S. Army Field Band has been marching across America performing its popular repertoire that ranges from patriotic to pop rock to country and pop. The group will take center stage on July 7 in celebration of Independence Day. Get ready to be transported back in time back to the 50s and 60s on July 14 when An Tekes, a homegrown six-member band performs the classics from the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, and the legendary Chuck Berry. The band Rock Bottom will pump up the volume on July 21 with its bluesy and soulful sound. The three-man, high energy band performs in the style of good ol' Detroit rock and roll. On July 28, the event switches gears as the country band Steel Traxx performs popular tunes. The band features three female vocalists, fiddle, mandolin, electric and acoustic guitar, bass and drums. Clear Avenue Band will belt out classic rock favorites on Aug. 4. Its wide range of music stems from the 1970s through today. The group also dabbles in blues, country and pop genres. To finish off the concert series, local sensation and consummate artist Michael King will perform on Aug. 11. King borrows from the influences of pop, jazz, classical and World Beat. "He is an internationally-recognized artist that produces musical shows and also does large events such as his production for the 2004 Ryder Cup," Heiney said. "He has also judged our Battle of the Bands event in the past."
MOVIE NIGHT Booth Park will also be the destination location for movie nights on selected Fridays through the summer beginning at 7:30 pm, when a trio of family-friendly movies will be shown, all free of charge. "It's the perfect event for families to grab the blankets, pack a picnic and spend a fun evening outside," said Heiney. Akin to the drive-ins of yester year, movies begin once the sun goes down. Prior to the credits rolling, some live entertainment will keep families and kiddies busy. On selected evenings, local merchants sponsoring the events will give away free popcorn or ice cream and/or gift certificates. The first movie night kicks off on June 25 with "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." "Night at the Museum 2" will be shown on July 30, and followed by "The Blind Side," on Aug. 13.
BIRMINGHAM CRUISE/WOODWARD DREAM CRUISE Rev up your engines classic car lovers: the hallmark event of the season, the Woodward Dream Cruise, is set to begin on Aug. 21 at 9 am. Crowned as the worldâ€™s largest one-day automotive event, the Woodward Dream Cruise draws 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars each year from from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the former Soviet Union. North American cruisers from California, Georgia, Canada and all areas in between caravan to metro Detroit to participate in what has become an annual rite of summer. The 16-mile auto parade continues to attract memorable participants each year, like the Splish Splash custom auto, reminiscent of a unique bathtub, that is a real crowd pleaser. Spectators line up along the Woodward strip on both sides of the road on the look out for their favorites, whether they are vintage, classic, or muscle cars. The event has them all from mint green to cherry red. The 16 year-old gala event is hosted by eight communities from Ferndale to Pontiac.
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"It doesn't start in any one place, but Ferndale and Royal Oak draw the most people," said Bloomfield Township Dream Cruise Coordinator Leslie Helwig. Individual communities hold their own festivities during the event. Bloomfield Township is hosting a classic car show complete with entertainment and refreshments. It will be held at Mercedes Benz of Bloomfield Hills located south of Big Beaver on Woodward Avenue from 9 am-5 pm. Those wishing to enter their vehicle in the township car show can register for a fee of $50. If applicants want an official Dream Cruise shirt as part of the package, registration is $75. The car show is free of charge and open to all. "It's for those who want to display their cars or for anyone else to enjoy the event," Helwig said. "We'll have food, a DJ, portajohns, and bleachers." Marion's Dad's Club will be selling hot dogs, snacks, and water; Coldstone Creamery will be on site with ice cream for purchase. The township is also sponsoring parking alternatives for car clubs and spectators. "There will be parking immediately to the south of the Comerica Bank on Woodward Avenue for car clubs," Helwig said. "We had five to ten sign up last year." The registration fee is $35. For those who want to park and walk along the Woodward strip, the township is providing the building to the north of the Mercedes Benz dealer at a rate of $5 per vehicle. "It's a great family event and a great place to enjoy the Dream Cruise," Helwig said. "It's convenient and easier to navigate around than other congested areas." All proceeds from the Bloomfield Township event benefit three charities, including the Bloomfield Township Fire Department Charity, Police Department Benevolent Fund, and the Bloomfield Optimist Club.
In recent years, Birmingham opted out of its membership as a host city for the Dream Cruise. Instead, it holds the Birmingham Cruise event in conjunction with the Woodward cruisers from 9 am-7 pm. The event has become a traditional event to celebrate the region's automotive heritage. Birmingham will host its event along South Old Woodward and in front of the 555 Triangle where Old Woodward meets Woodward Avenue. "We have our own car show that's located in the triangle area," Heiney said. "We've had over 400 car cars displayed. The car clubs come from Michigan and states like Ohio and Pennsylvania." Cars line up according to theme or era. "We've had classics from 1978 and older, all the way to the 1920s," Heiney said. The show is conducted live and broadcasted by WCSX radio, the city's sponsor for the event. Live entertainment is performed throughout the day and food vendors will be on hand selling a variety of fare. T-shirts and cruise apparel will be on display for sale. All cruise events and venues are within walking distance of Birmingham’s five parking decks, where the first two hours of parking are free. Other cruise events in the region host concerts, dances, parades, classic car shows, events for kids and an official ribbon-cutting that include: • A Classic Car Parade in Berkley on Friday, Aug. 20; • The Official Woodward Dream Cruise Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony in Ferndale on Friday, Aug. 20; • The Woodward Dream Cruise Family Party in Huntington Woods on Friday, Aug. 20. • The famous Cruizin’ Car Show in Pontiac on Aug. 20-21. • The Royal Oak Kids Cruise on Aug. 17 in downtown Royal Oak. Be sure to get there early for all of the cruising. It ends at 9 pm. ■
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■ crime map
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● Sexual Assault ● Assault ■ Robbery ■ Home Invasion ■ Breaking/Entering ■ Larceny ■ Burglary ▲ Vehicle Theft ▲ Vandalism ● Murder ★ Arson ✖ Drug Offenses ✪ Larceny From Vehicle
The latest crime locations by select categories from mid May through mid June, from information provided by the Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, and Bloomfield Township police departments.
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r. Sheryl Rosin, speech-language pathology director at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (CASD), works to open the world for autistic children who have difficulty communicating with others, including their own parents. Rosin was first struck with inspiration as a student at Lahser High School in Bloomfield Hills. "I was raised in Bloomfield Hills and Lahser was the home school for students with hearing impairments," she said. "I would watch interpreters, and think that it was a great advantage to these individuals who could now learn." Rosin earned her doctorate from Wayne State University and has made a career of service to those afflicted with autism. At William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, she worked in the Department of Childhood Speech and Language Disorders for more than 10 years before moving on to CASD in Birmingham. Rosin also developed the Pediatric Autism Learning System for Pragmatic and Language Stimulation (PALS for PALS), a group treatment program. "From the onset, it's grown into a program for all different ages," she said. "We cover early elementary through adolescents. It helps with communication and socializing."
While autism can be a very difficult disease to treat, the specialty came naturally to Rosin. "Significant behavior challenges didn't bother me," she said. The most misunderstood aspect of autism is that it's treatable, she said. At this point, experts now know that evidence doesn't link vaccines to autism, but Rosin said that diet can play a significant role in treatment. "Children with autism are known to have a metabolic disorder. If you pull gluten and casein out of their system, it can reduce gastrointestinal issues and improve the way they feel and their ability to pay attention," she said. "When you increase attention and behavior is better, you are able to improve socialization." Rosin, a Birmingham resident, has traveled abroad to speak about autism and is widely recognized for her service with autistic patients, but the patients themselves are what make her job worthwhile. "I have a passion for helping others," she said. "The communication advancement that I am able to bring to these children every day is what I'm most proud of. Giving the gift of communication to a child is very rewarding, and that is why I do what I do." â€” Katey Meisner â€” Photo courtesy of J. Lang
■ state Bill helps protect some townships from annexation
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By Lisa Brody Responding to cases where land developers have tried to petition cities to annex charter township land in order to more easily develop land the way they envision, the state House has passed House Bill (HB) 6071 to exempt townships having more than 20,000 people and offering a full range of services from both annexing and detaching territory. There are 37 townships in the state that qualify, including Bloomfield Township, Commerce Township, Waterford Township, West Bloomfield Township, and White Lake Township. The Charter Township Act provides protection for a charter township from annexation by a contiguous city or village if the township existed prior to June 15, 1978, or if it was incorporated after that date and meets certain specified criteria included in the bill. In order for a township to be exempt from annexation, they must have a state equalized valuation of at least $25 million; have a population density of at least 150 people per
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■ state Work progressing on 2010-11 funding for public schools By Lisa Brody Legislators are continuing to work on school aid funding for the 20102011 school year. Senate Bill (SB) 1163 has returned to the state Senate from the state House, where the two chambers will work together in conference to hopefully resolve their issues and have a finished bill for Gov. Jennifer Granholm to sign before school districts begin their new fiscal year. SB 1163 was introduced in March 2010 seeking more aid for public school children in the state during the 2010-11 academic year, following cuts in education spending for the 2009-10 school year. Of those cuts, $51.5 million was sliced from the state’s 39 so-called Section 20j school districts, which were those with the highest pre-Proposal A local property tax bases in the state. In addition, a $165-per-pupil cut in state spending was approved by the Legislature under the 2009-10 state budget, due to declining state revenues. According to the version, the current bill will lower the per-pupil cut by $65, to $100-per-pupil. Some legislators believe there will be more state revenues in the upcoming year. An attachment to the bill adds funding for school bus maintenance. An initial version of the bill passed the Senate in March. It was then sent to the House’s Appropriations committee, where numerous amendments and changes were debated and inserted. A critical amendment inserted by state Rep. Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield) was one where money for the state’s 20j districts was re-inserted. It was later removed. “I’m trying to get the 20j funding back. The money was there last year — there was about $53 million left over in the school aid fund. And the money is there (in the school aid fund) right now,” she said. “I will not support a school aid bill that does not support 20j funding. “Furthermore,” she said, “some of the 20j districts have now fallen below the state’s foundation allowance, which means they’re being given money (from the state) to bring them up.” Brown said it’s an uphill battle in the House because there are many legislators who don’t represent districts that had ever received 20j funding, so to them, it’s viewed as an “extra.” “But these districts (the 20j districts) received $400 per-pupil cuts (in 2009-10), vs. $165 per-pupil cuts,” she said. www.oaklandpaper.com
Stem cell reporting Debate stalls university appropriation bill By Lisa Brody
n appropriations bill for state institutions of higher education has lawmakers in both the state Senate and House debating an amendment requiring public universities to report their usage of embryonic stem cells derived from donated human embryos before receiving their state funding. Senate Bill (SB) 1157 deals with specific appropriations related to higher education for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2010 and ending Sept. 30, 2011. It delineates specific allocations to each of Michigan’s public universities, from research universities, state and regional programs, to grants and financial aid. The bill also prescribes the powers and duties of certain state university departments, institutions, agencies, employees, and officers. Community college funding will be provided under a separate bill. Language in the Senate-adopted version of the bill requiring that every university conducting research using human embryonic stem cells derived from donated human embryos must report to the state Department of Community Health by Dec. 1, 2010, has caused concern among Michigan university officials. That language wasn’t supported in the House version of the bill. The amendment requires tracking the number of human embryos and the number of human embryo stem cell lines received by a university during fiscal year 2009-10; the number of human embryos utilized for research purposes during fiscal year 2009-10; the number of human embryo stem cell lines created from the embryos received during fiscal year 2009-10; the number of donated human embryos held in storage as of Sept. 30, 2010; and the number of research projects using human embryonic stem cells derived from donated embryos being conducted by the university. The House initially voted to pass the amendment, but then quickly took another vote and State Sen. Nancy Cassis (R-Novi) is also determined to restore 20j funding to districts who lost it last year.
overturned that, voting to reject the amendment. The bill is currently being revised by a concurrence committee in an effort to reconcile the legislative chambers’ differences before the end of June. Cynthia Wilbanks, vice president for government relations at the University of Michigan, said “Fundamentally, every move that is made in the Legislature to question or modify the ability to do stem cell research is a move that can be interpreted as an impediment to stem cell research. It’s not helpful to put up barriers to researchers who want to work here, or to make our state less hospitable to stem cell research.” “It’s not to stop the law — the voters spoke, I understand that,” said state Rep. Bill Rogers (RMilford), who voted to keep the Senate amendment in the bill. The House eventually voted 55-51 to reject the amendment. “It just doesn’t hurt to keep track of the usage of stem cells.” State Rep. Chuck Moss (RBirmingham, Bloomfield) agreed. “We feel that it’s information that should be kept track of,” he said. “There’s nothing that says using stem cells will be curtailed. It’s obviously legal to use them. There are no restrictions. It’s just, we want them to report it.” When questioned as to why the amendment was attached to an appropriations bill, rather than a stand-alone bill, Moss replied, “Universities don’t like anything that impedes their autonomy. The only thing we have is power of the purse.” State Rep. Eileen Kowall (RWhite Lake) agreed. “It’s a way of keeping things transparent, and a requirement for giving them funding,” she said. Wilbanks disagreed, stating an attachment “can create problems in the final passage of a higher education appropriations bill. A one-page report doesn’t do justice to it. There is so much information that has to be tallied, aggregated, and collated. If there is a purpose in mind (from legislators), it has not been disclosed.” ■ “It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul,” she said. “It is taking money these schools deserve from their taxpayers’ millages.”
The House passed their version of the school aid funding bill on May 26 by a vote of 64-42. All lakes area legislators voted against the bill. “There are still a lot of unanswered questions. My no vote was to send it to conference (with the Senate),” said state Rep. Eileen Kowall (R-White Lake). “Maybe we should be banking that money based on projected funding. We don’t know that those funds will come in.” “I’m not going to vote on a hope and a prayer. If the money’s there later, we can add it in. The proposed budget is based on revenue, and that is highly speculative,” said state Rep. Chuck Moss (R-Birmingham, Bloomfield). “Now is the time for tight budgets, like Oakland County’s. The bad times are not over. There’s too much international and national debt out there. History teaches us that there could be more bad news to come.” Following the House’s passage of the bill, it returned to the Senate, where it failed on June 1, 21-15. “A conference committee will reconcile the House and Senate versions,” Cassis said. “Some will say we need to be cautious, and we need to leave money as a reserve behind in case there is more bad financial news next year. We do not want to do a negative supplemental conference in the middle of the year.” ■
Legislation seeks crackdown on police speed traps Legislation has been introduced in the state House to counter issues related to so-called speed traps around the state. Some municipalities, suffering budget cuts due to declines in property values and reductions in state revenue sharing, reportedly have lowered some speed limits within their jurisdictions in order to create a new revenue source by ensnaring speeding motorists. House Bill (HB) 6164 deals with speed restrictions and the establishment of speed limits.The bill states that municipalities, while having input on local speed limits, can’t override the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) traffic and engineering studies in determining roadway speed limits. “This bill is about speed traps. I don’t think speed traps are appropriate,” said state Rep. Hugh Crawford (R-Novi), a co-sponsor of the bill. “I don’t believe in giving out tickets for artificial situations,” Rep. Eileen Kowall (R-White Lake) said. ■ 19
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After voters passed a statewide proposal, lawmakers and doctors debate the efficacy of medical marijuana By Lisa Brody
MEDICAL MARIJUANA O
n Nov. 5, 2008, Michigan became the 13th state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana for medical use, by a statewide vote of 63 percent to 37 percent on Michigan Proposal 081. That may be the last time there was a clear consensus on medical marijuana use in Michigan, as municipalities seek to define its use in their borders, law enforcement officers aren't sure whether it's really legal or not, doctors debate whether its efficacy is up to snuff, caregivers seek patients and patients search for caregivers. Proposal 08-1, known as "a legislative initiative to allow under state law the medical use of marijuana," also known as the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, stated that it would permit physician-approved use of marijuana by registered patients with debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis (MS), and other conditions as may be approved by the Department of Community Health. The law would require the Michigan Department of Community Health to establish an identification card system for patients qualified to use marijuana and individuals qualified to grow marijuana. The law would permit registered and unregistered patients and primary caregivers to assert medical reasons for using marijuana as a defense to any prosecution involving marijuana. It would also allow individuals, to become known as caregivers, to grow limited amounts of marijuana for qualifying patients in an enclosed, locked facility. By an overwhelming majority, Michigan voters checked the "yes" box when asked whether to adopt the proposal. In Oakland County, 66 percent of November 2008 general election voters cast ballots affirmatively for the compassionate use of medical marijuana. The subsequent permit process for the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program is a state registry program within the Michigan Department of Community Health's Bureau of Health Professions. Michigan began processing applications on April 6, 2009, after developing guidelines, applications, medical clarifications and qualifications, and an approval process following the Nov. 2008 statewide vote. As of June 11, 2010, the Michigan Department of Community Health had received 35,469 original and renewal applications for medical marijuana use and dispensation. Of the applications received, 18,658 patient registrations had been issued and 8,063 caregiver registrations had been issued. Another 4,832 applications had been denied in that period, primarily for incomplete applications or documents with missing information. The department maintains that once it receives a complete application, it will review an application within 15 days and provide valid identification cards to qualifying patients and primary caregivers. Michael Komorn, a Southfield attorney who specializes in medical marijuana law and helping those in need of it and those providing it, disputes the amount of time the state is actually taking to process the applications and issue the cards. "They're backed up to at least January," he said. The state's medical marijuana program website, www.michigan.gov/mdch, states staff is issuing registry identification cards for complete applications, renewal applications and change forms for valid applications received in early February.
"The statute currently allows for a copy of the application submitted to serve as a valid registry identification if the card is not issued within 20 days of its submission to the department. At this time, we are unable to issue valid registry identification cards within the statutory time frame with the resources available to us," the website states. There is a mandatory fee of $100 that must accompany every application. Individuals receiving Medicaid Health Plan or are in receipt of current SSD or SSI benefits may be able to have the fee reduced to $25. In order to be considered to receive a Michigan medical marijuana card, the first criteria to meet is to be a resident of Michigan; the second is to have a recognized debilitating disease. Diseases and conditions that qualify as debilitating under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Law are cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease), Crohn's disease, agitation of Alzheimer's disease, or nail patella, a genetic disorder that results in small, poorly developed nails and kneecaps. Also qualifying are chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe and chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including but not limited to those caused by epilepsy; or severe or persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to, those which are characteristic of multiple sclerosis. A medical doctor — which the state recognizes as an MD (medical doctor) or DO (doctor of osteopathy) — must review a patient's medical records to ascertain their status, and determine if marijuana will provide a medicinal or palliative salve. The state will not look through a proposed patient's medical records; nor will they recommend to a patient a physician who is familiar with the program and predisposed to look at a patient and his/her condition and refer them to the program. It's up to the patient to find their own licensed and credentialed doctor — although it doesn't have to be the doctor who treats them regularly for their condition. he physician must state in writing that the patient has a qualifying debilitating medical condition and that medical marijuana may mitigate the symptoms or effects of that condition. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Program contacts each physician during the application process to verify the patient is under the physician's care. A signed and dated "Physician Certification" must be current within three months of the date of a person's new or renewal application. It's a very thorough process, and one in which the state easily detects people trying to get marijuana, irrelevant of their need. Patients do not receive a prescription for medical marijuana — and Michigan pharmacies couldn't fill such a prescription. That's because pharmacies can only dispense medications "prescribed" by licensed physicians. The federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, which means that licensed medical practitioners can't prescribe it. A physician, by providing written certification of a debilitating medical condition, can only recommend the use of medical marijuana. The state's Michigan Medical Marijuana card is issued to qualified patients in lieu of a prescription. Instead of a neighborhood pharmacy, patients receive their medical marijuana from designated caregivers. According to state law, a caregiver can acquire 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and grow up to 12 marijuana ❯
plants for a qualifying patient. One individual caregiver can assist up to five patients, who can be a relative, friend, associate, or other known relation â€” as long as they've never been convicted of a felony drug offense. The caregiver must sign a statement agreeing to provide marijuana only to the qualifying patients who have named the individual as their caregiver. The caregiver's name, address, birth date and social security number must be provided to the state at the time of a patient's registration. They must be at least 21-years-old. The department will then issue a registry identification card to the caregiver who is named by the qualifying patient on his/her application. he illnesses which can qualify a patient for medical marijuana use aren't debatable; but many physicians do question whether marijuana is a curative drug, rather than merely a recreational drug. "Marijuana, or the active ingredient, cannibanoid, does have an active medicinal effect," says Dr. James Honet, a Bloomfield Hills pain specialist. "There is a medicine with synthetic THC, called Marinol, that is approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for people with nausea and a lack of appetite. It comes in pill form. It's also been used for glaucoma. "However, it has no role whatsoever in helping pain," Honet added. "In no clinical studies has it been proved to help pain. It's really analogous to drinking a fifth of Jack Daniels. You won't feel any pain, but it's because you're impaired, not because your pain is gone." The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that Marinol has been studied and approved by the medical community and the FDA since the 1980s, and researchers are studying suitability for delivery of Marinol via an inhaler or a patch, similar to the pain medicine morphine, which would be beneficial for those suffering severe nausea and vomiting, especially associated with chemotherapy for cancer patients and those whose appetite is lost due to AIDS treatments. Honet and the DEA emphasize that smoking is generally a poor way to deliver medicine. Smoked marijuana has more than 400 different chemicals, many that are toxic, including several that are found in cigarettes, including four times the level of tar. Unlike monitored dosages in pill, inhaler, or patch form, they say it's difficult to administer safe and regulated doses of medicine in smoked form. "To smoke marijuana is just to put your health at risk," Honet said. The DEA notes that morphine has proven to be a medically valuable drug, yet no one endorses the smoking of opium or heroin. Instead, scientists and researchers extracted opium's active ingredients, which are sold as acceptable pharmaceutical products like morphine, codeine, hydrocodone or oxycodone. Honet's patients suffer from various forms of chronic pain due to a variety of conditions, with different levels of tolerance. "People ask us all of the time for prescriptions for medical marijuana," he said. "If we find out people are using pot, we will stop writing any prescriptions for pain medication because we do not want to further their impairment." ttorney Komorn, who is on the board of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, a patient advocacy group with approximately 16,000 members, is as passionately opposed to that medical approach as he is a proponent for medical marijuana use. "Prescription pills for chronic pain is a facade," he said. "So many people are never going to get off of them. There's just a growing number of pills, and it becomes a vicious cycle, with more and more people becoming addicted to pain pills. You get all of these other problems from the side effects of them. It affects their whole quality of life. Eventually, their organs shut down from the use. "It's hypocritical of our society to be in partnership with the alcohol and cigarette industries, when there are no medical benefits from them," he added. "If they came on the market today, they'd be Schedule 1 drugs, too. After all, people are not overdosing or dying from marijuana." Dr. Lawrence Eilander, a neurologist practicing in Southfield, said he has found that marijuana can be very beneficial for some of his patients suffering from multiple sclerosis. "Chronic pain patients with MS have a lot of muscle and nerve pain," he said. "From patients I've seen that have used it, many have been helped with severe leg pain, cramping, sharp
nerve pain, and discomfort. Most of them smoke it, and that gives them some relief for four to six hours." Eilander notes that his MS patients who have used medical marijuana have ended up "using a lot less narcotics-less morphine, oxycontin and Vicodin. They get off these drugs and just use the marijuana, which is much better for them, and it's the only time they get relief. I've seen it for 15 to 20 years in my practice." Since the new law came into effect in Michigan a year-and-half ago, Eilander said he has written out nine or 10 of the medical marijuana patient forms, all for MS patients. "I have found that it also works for the leg and back pain cancer patients get, not just for their nausea," he said. Dr. Bill Gonte, a Southfield internal medicine/sports medicine specialist, said he saw a potential opening in the medical field when the medical marijuana law passed. He said his own patients were clamoring for it, and after doing his due diligence on the law, he created Physicians Certification Specialists, a company with 10 doctors which certifies that a qualifying medical condition is present or not by reviewing patient medical records and documents. The group has opened clinics, called Michigan Medical Marijuana Certification Center, in numerous cities (mmmcc.com). The primary clinic is in Southfield, with others in Grand Rapids, Traverse City, and Port Huron. Others will be opening soon in other states, as there are medical marijuana referendums pending in several other states. "New Jersey is up and running, Illinois is on the brink, and Florida is right there, too," he said. "There are about 15 more states where it will be coming up for a vote in the next few years." Gonte emphasizes that he and his fellow doctors have nothing to do with determining the efficacy of marijuana use, or dispensing marijuana. "The state doesn't understand the medical conditions, so the state wants a medical doctor to certify it," he said. "The state says you can use marijuana if you have a medical condition, but it has to be certified by a medical doctor. Yet, some doctors have issues with it, and some don't want the liability that comes with it. There's a very low percentage of doctors who will certify for it." nstead, his clinics are receiving referrals from numerous oncologists, gastroenterologists, pain medicine specialists, internists, and family practioners. "They may recognize a need for their patients, but they wisely don't write for them, because the issue of the law is still very cloudy," Gonte said. "Also, because you have a treatment relationship with a patient, you have a responsibility to the patient. So we're there to help walk the qualified patients through the system." He said his doctors are primarily seeing patients with Hepatitis C, active AIDS, active HIV, cancer patients and chemotherapy patients, and chronic pain patients. "Chronic pain patients are very hard to diagnose because it's difficult to determine and measure pain," he said. Each patient pays between $100 and $200 to have their medical records reviewed. Michigan Medical Marijuana Certification Centers prescreen all of the patients who call in, qualifying only about 30 percent. "We clarify right up front that our standards are very high," Gonte said. "Therefore, we're not aware of anyone that we've certified that the state has denied (for a medical marijuana identification card)." Gonte specifies that he and his fellow physicians don't advocate one way or another regarding the use of medical marijuana, only certifying the patients that have the appropriate medical condition and walking them through the system. "We always tell them that they must discuss it with their physician. And after they see us, they should go back and see their physician, so their physician knows about it," he said. To find qualified, state-registered caregivers is a much more difficult endeavor, because the state won't supply a patient with that information, doctors can't, and the law currently is not clear on whether caregivers can advertise. "Finding a caregiver is very difficult," Komorn said. He advises patients to search the Internet for different organizations that provide services for medical marijuana users; there is often information on where and how to find a caregiver, or caregiver message boards, on some of those sites. "Compassion club meetings are good places to go, for many reasons,"
he said. "They're support groups that are open to the public, not-for-profit, there's no medicine given out, and they're just for discussion. Often you may run into a caregiver at a meeting." He noted that Birmingham's Baldwin Public Library hosts a monthly compassion club meeting. A bigger issue is one of legality and municipal control. hile medical marijuana is now legal in the state of Michigan, it's still a violation of federal law; and to many law enforcement authorities, federal law trumps state law. "We need some legislation," said state Rep. Chuck Moss (RBirmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township). They've made it legal, but they don't have the statutory infrastructure to support it. It's a problem getting something that's been illegal regulated. Ideally, we (state legislators) would like the local governments to legislate it, and the communities don't want to." "It hasn't been thought out very well," said Oakland County Commissioner Shelley Taub (R-Bloomfield Township), who notes that the Oakland County Board of Commissioners isn't doing anything about the issue. "There are two schools of thought. One is that we don't want it in our community at all. The other is looking to put it into an industrial area and regulating it. It could end up in court. "The problem is, the people in the state of Michigan â€” almost 70 percent of them â€” believe it should be legal. Many are suffering from terrible diseases. No one wants a loved one to die in pain, and I agree. We have to remember, it's now the law." Local communities are passing 120-day moratoriums to give them time to investigate and decide how they want to proceed with medical marijuana in their communities. All authorities, whether police officers, legislators, or local community officers, agree that if an individual patient has a card from the state's Michigan Medical Marijuana Program, and they are using it in the privacy of their own home, there's no problem. The greater issue is distribution by caregivers, and where else a patient in need of medical marijuana can medicate themselves. Birmingham officials passed an ordinance banning the growth and distribution of any marijuana, including medical marijuana, within its city limits, on April 26, 2010. The city's voters overwhelming supported the 2008 medical marijuana ballot proposal, with 70 percent voting in favor and 29 percent opposed. The City Commission adopted the ordinance because the drug is still illegal under federal law, and they wanted to avoid any confusion that could arise over growing and dispensing marijuana in the city. "This removes the inconsistency (between federal and state law)," said City Manager Tom Markus. "If it violates federal law, it violates city law," said Police Chief Don Studt. "We're not going to go after people if they've got a card, and they're using it privately. But if they're flaunting it out in public, or causing a disturbance, then we'll take action." omorn disagrees. "They do not have a legal right to ban it. It violates the precept of the federal law that says it can co-exist with state law. The cities are not acting in a democratic way because they are removing the people who voted this initiative into law." Komorn believes many civil and criminal issues will end up being worked out in the court system. "(Attorney General) Mike Cox could clarify a lot of this," he said. "It's not uncommon for the state's leading law enforcement individual to sort things out. The courts are having difficulty understanding the law because it's been illegal for so long, and there's a lack in the true belief in the health benefits of the drug." The Michigan Department of Community Health states that a person with a medical marijuana card is permitted to medicate on their personal property. State law, however, doesn't permit someone to undertake any task under the influence of marijuana, when doing so would constitute negligence or professional malpractice. They can't possess marijuana, or use it medically, in a school bus; on the grounds of any preschool or primary or secondary school; or in any correctional facility; on any form of public transportation; or in any public place. Additionally, whether it's for medical use or not, no one can operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana. Fraudulent or illegal use of medical marijuana can result in a $500 fine.
Furthermore, employers are not required to accommodate employees' use of medical marijuana. Lawmakers failed to incorporate language regarding use, growth, and dispensation of medical marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school when enacting laws to carry out the state's medical marijuana program. If there is a question about this, it's probably best to check with an attorney. "Many times people are in compliance with the law, and still are getting arrested," Komorn said. On May 24, Bloomfield Hills followed Birmingham's action, and similarly banned growing and selling marijuana for medical purposes within its city boundaries. Like in Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills voters backed the 2008 medical marijuana ballot proposal, with 62 percent in favor and 37 percent opposed. The concern was, that with a largely residential population, the city could end up with marijuana farms in residential zones if they didn't outlaw it completely. ity commissioners, while acknowledging that medical marijuana is both legal by state law and a compassionate recourse for many ill people, felt that legitimate patients could find qualified caregivers in other communities. "The ordinance prohibits caregivers in the community," said City Manager Jay Cravens. Bloomfield Hills Police Chief Richard Matott opposed having dispensaries in the city. He said that recently, for the first time in his career, he had to return some marijuana to somebody after they produced their medical marijuana card. "State law being what it is, we had to," he said, clearly not happy with the situation. Both Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills officials have been contacted by representatives of the American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) over the medical marijuana issue. ACLU representatives didn't return calls for comment prior to press time. Bloomfield Township is currently working on an ordinance regarding medical marijuana. Township officials have until Aug. 12, when their 120day moratorium enacted on April 12 expires. A majority of township voters supported the 2008 ballot proposal, with 63 percent voting in favor and 36 percent against medical marijuana use in the state. Township attorney William Hampton encouraged the township to develop an ordinance during the moratorium, which would dictate where a medical marijuana dispensary may be located within the township. During the moratorium, no dispensaries may open until township officials develop a zoning ordinance and put it in place. The township's moratorium resolution also provides for an appeal procedure during the 120-day ban. One proposed zoning location is the Bloomfield Hills Research Industrial Park (North of Square Lake Road on the east side of Franklin Road), which isn't located by any schools. "During the moratorium, caregivers can't operate at all," said Township Supervisor Dave Payne. "With a card, patients can still have their treatment." While Bloomfield Township could go the route of Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, it appears to be leaning toward developing a zoning ordinance to control medical marijuana distribution in specified zoning areas. Caregivers would only be permitted to cultivate medical marijuana according to state law in those designated areas of the township. "It will likely be a zoning ordinance/regulatory ordinance, so there will be a public hearing at the Planning Commission for the zoning ordinance. The township board will have the final say," Payne said. "Cities' ordinances and moratoriums are very unfortunate because it's the will of the people," Komorn said. "It's really a brilliant law. It did intend to decriminalize marijuana for medical uses for patients and their caregivers, and it does that." â–
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SCHOOL BUDGETS Teacher retirement incentives, cost cutting, fund drives reshape 2010-11 school budgets By Brooke Meier
he Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills school districts have set and approved budgets for the upcoming 2010-11 school year. The districts are required, by law, to have a budget in place by the end of June, despite uncertainty about funding coming from the state. Districts won't know final state school aid appropriations until Oct. 1, when the state budget must be set for the state's new fiscal year. While recently enacted legislation provides aging teachers with an incentive to retire early, the number of teachers in the local districts, and across the state, opting to take advantage of the opportunity hasn't met goals set to give the state significant savings. The legislation passed in May â€” Senate Bill (SB) 1227 and House Bill (HB) 4073 â€” are amendments to the public school employee retirement system. The bills allow older, more expensive, tenured teachers to retire sooner, freeing school district administrators to hire younger, less expensive teachers. It was anticipated that the legislation would save Michigan school districts $680 million, according to state estimates. Educators with a combined age and years of service totaling 80, as of
Aug. 31, 2010, are eligible to retire with their full benefits if they retire between June 15 and Oct. 1, 2010. The bill provides a 1.7 percent multiplier to a person's pension if they retire between June 15 and July 1; and a 1.6 percent multiplier if they retire between July 1 and Oct. 1. hose that don't retire, but were hired before Jan 1, 1990, will have to pay 3.9 percent of their salary toward their retirement. If they were hired between Jan. 1, 1990 and July 1, 2008, they will pay $510 annually, plus 4.3 percent of their salary above $15,000; and those teachers hired after July 1, 2008, will pay $510 a year, plus 6.4 percent of their salary above $15,000. Employees hired on or after July 1, 2010 would be placed in a new "hybrid" pension plan, which would be a blending of defined benefits and defined contribution components. These new employees won't be able to receive pension payments until they turn 60, and would be required to have worked at least 10 years as a public school employee to be part of the plan. Tiffany Brown, a spokesperson for Gov. Jennifer Granholm, said as of Monday, June 14, 17,100 teachers across the state had taken â?Ż
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advantage of the early-retirement incentives. Representatives from the state had said they hoped for at least 28,000 teachers to retire. Approximately 55,000 teachers in the state were eligible for the retirement incentives. "Those are not the final numbers and we will not give any future updates until we have the final numbers," Brown said. "We made assumptions (on savings) for the sake of giving perspective on budget impact." With the 17,100 teachers retiring, Brown said the state will save well over a half billion dollars in the upcoming school year. "Our goal was two-fold â€” achieve savings for schools and create job opportunities for new teachers, and we've done that," she said. With recent cutbacks in state aid and declining property values, the school districts, even in areas like Birmingham and Bloomfield, are facing an uphill budget battle. When it comes down to it, the districts have to decide which cuts to make in order to save money, while providing the same level of quality education.
far away from the classroom as possible." The district also consolidated environmental education services. "Our students will be participating in the environmental center programs in Bloomfield Hills as opposed to us trying to maintain a program ourselves," Wilkinson said. "We have quite a lengthy list of cuts and things we've done to save the district money." ilkinson said, like many other districts, the Birmingham Public Schools will be trying to bring in new sources of revenue to replace the ever-declining revenue from the state and local property taxes. "We are working on an advertising campaign and are getting more aggressive in our marketing efforts so we can hopefully attract more students to our district," she said. "We are looking at increasing revenues, but also looking at ways we can be more efficient. We need to take a look at all areas of operation, identify our efficiencies and make sure we keep reductions as far from the classroom as possible."
BIRMINGHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS
In the Bloomfield Hills School District, 40 teachers took advantage of the new early retirement incentives, according to Betsy Erikson, the district's director of communications and community relations. Unlike many districts in the state, Erikson said the Bloomfield Hills district actually has a budget surplus for the 2010-11 budget, despite losses in revenue from the state, including the $119 per pupil loss in so-called 20j funds, and declining property tax revenues. "This year's budget will yield a $410,000 budget surplus," she said. "We didn't have to make cuts, fortunately. We made some small dips into special funds, using some fund balance. We got a bigger Medicare reimbursement from Oakland Schools for the 2009-10 budget that will carry over." For 2010-11, the district is expecting a total of $80.58 million in revenue, assuming a $150 per student reduction in state aid. This compared to $79.52 million in revenue for the 2009-10 school year. The blended count figure for 2010-11 is projected at 5,415. For 20092010, it was 5,500 students. Approximately $32.98 million of the district's revenue comes from the state, and $38.78 million comes from local property taxes. Expenditures for 2010-11 are expected to total $80.47 million. In 200910, total expenses were $79.48 million. Of the total expenses, $44.9 million goes toward instruction expenses, including salaries and benefits for staff; and $31.75 million will go to support services costs, including transportation, general administration and school administration costs. The projected fund balance for 2009-2010 is $21.59 million. At the end of the 2010-2011 school year it's projected to be $21.7 million. The district's revenues were calculated using some special fund dollars and a $100,000 unrestricted commitment from the new Bloomfield Hills Schools Foundation. "That, in addition to the impact of a final General Fund appropriation of $300,000 for the ongoing technology build will yield a $410,000 budget surplus," Erikson said. "We made some big structural changes in the district over the last few years, including closing two elementary schools, renegotiating labor contracts, and making cuts to departmental budgets," she said. "We've chopped about $10 million out of the budget over the last couple of years. The difference for us was that these weren't just one-time cost reduction measures, these were structural changes that allowed us to continue to accumulate savings. They ripple through subsequent years. When you change your labor agreements and cut costs from the system you benefit years down the road â€” it's made a big difference." he most recent structural change is the unanimous decision, by the board, to move the district's two high schools, Andover and Lahser, to a single, unified high school. "The district estimates that merging the schools will save about $2.5 million annually while maintaining small class sizes, personalization and instructional excellence," Erikson said. The new high school will be built on the present Andover High School campus, pending voter approval of funding in November. The district will retain the Lahser High School athletic facilities. The finalized 2010-11 budget is a part of a five-year Deficit Prevention Plan aimed at resolving future budget deficits and allowing the district to maintain a 15 percent fund balance as directed by the district's 2018 strategic plan. â–
n the Birmingham Public School District, 50 teachers took advantage of the state retirement incentives. Marcia Wilkinson, director of community relations, said the district will hire some new teachers to replace those that have left, but not all of the retired teachers will be replaced. "We will have some savings as a result of the retirements," she said. "We will be hiring in some positions, so it will increase the number of new teachers we have to hire for the 2010-11 school year." According to Wilkinson, the district was facing an $8 million deficit for the 2010-11 academic year. "We did make reductions in order to balance the budget," she said. "We made over $5 million in reductions and covered the remaining balance using fund equity." The district's 2010-11 budget was approved at a June 1 Board of Education meeting. The district is expecting a total of $102.36 million in revenue for 201011, compared to $101.54 million for the 2009-10 year. The district's student enrollment blended count figure for 2010-11 is projected at 8,053. For 2009-10, it was 8,094, and in 2008-09 it was 8,017 students. Approximately 47 percent of the district's revenue comes from property taxes and 43 percent comes from state aid. Under the approved budget, approximately $1.4 million in revenue will be transferred to the district's Debt Service Fund, and $1.15 million will go to the Athletic Fund. In addition, $40,000 from the Cash Flow Stabilization Fund; $135,000 from the Birmingham Conference Center Fund; and $815,556 from the Autistic Center Program Special Revenue Fund will be transferred to the district's general fund. ombined with $13.38 million in the district's fund balance and a designated fund balance of $335,884, the district has a total of $113.755 million available to appropriate for the 2010-11 school year. Total expenditures for 2010-11 are expected to total $103.29 million. In 2009-10, total expenses were $104.2 million. Of the total expenses, 55 percent covers salaries, and 14 percent goes to FICA and retirement costs. Another 13 percent is spent on employee insurance. Overall for the 2010-11 school year, the district has a balanced budget with enough revenue, including the fund balance, to cover costs; however, if cuts and concessions aren't made by the 2012-13 school year, the district's fund balance will be depleted. To avoid a budget deficit in the coming years, the district is looking at restructuring programs and services; gaining concessions from staff; using fund equity; lobbying Lansing for more school aid; managing energy and assets; and generating revenue. The district's teachers and secretarial contracts are under negotiation, with current contracts ending on June 30. "Both groups are working hard to try and resolve the contracts as soon as possible, but I don't know that it will happen prior to June 30," Wilkinson said. To balance the 2010-11 budget, Wilkinson said the district reduced staff in the business services department; received concessions from labor groups; reduced $275,000 from the community education budget; and reconfigured schedules to reduce staffing costs. "We've done a variety of different things, including making reductions in the athletics and technology departments," she said. "We wanted to stay as
BLOOMFIELD HILLS SCHOOLS
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■ municipal No decision made on proposed dispatching pact By Lisa Brody Rumors have been swirling around Birmingham for weeks that the Birmingham Police Department’s dispatching services are about to be outsourced to Bloomfield Township. At a Monday, June 14 City Commission meeting, Mayor Rackeline Hoff read a statement to clarify the position of the city’s administration, the City Commission, and the police department. Hoff acknowledged that Birmingham has received a proposal from Bloomfield Township to handle Birmingham’s dispatching needs. She also cleared up the rumor, stating that it hasn’t yet been determined whether the city will accept the township’s proposal, largely because the city is still in negotiations with union officials. She read, in part: “While the City Administration has publicly stated their support for this change, the City Commission has not yet determined whether they will support such a change. The City Administration is currently evaluating some of the issues involved in the proposal, including governance, legal, fiscal, operational, and community impacts. Once these issues are further refined as to how a change in dispatch might work, the matter will be scheduled for review by the City Commission at public meetings. Currently, the matter is being discussed between the city administration and the Police Officers’ Association of Michigan — the union which represents the Birmingham dispatchers.” Hoff said reviewing dispatching is only one matter that the city is looking at because of the current economic situation. In the last year, 13.5 full-time positions have been cut from the city’s budget, bringing to 49.5 full-time positions the city has cut in the last 12 years. She also noted that under the current 201011 city budget, department heads and non-union employees have agreed to take a 2 percent wage cut, while City Manager Tom Markus has agreed to a 4 percent reduction. Changes in legacy programs for new hires have also been secured, and altered for current administration. Many unions understand the current economic climate, according to Hoff, and are working with the city. “Unfortunately, not all of the union negotiating teams acknowledge the current economic situation www.oaklandpaper.com
Shain Park project Improvement projects now complete By Lisa Brody
he landscaping is finally finished, the trees are planted, the fountain has been turned on — it’s official. The new Shain Park is finished. “The biggest change is we’ve turned on the fountain in the center of the park,” said Paul O’Meara, director of engineering for the city of Birmingham. The new fountain has been placed in the spot where Marshall Frederick’s sculpture, “Freedom of the Human Spirit,” used to stand. Trees, particularly ginkgo trees, a favorite of the city, have been planted throughout the park, giving it an elegant, finished appearance. Identical pergolas have been created and situated with plantings on both the north and south sides of the park. “The pergola on the south side is the permanent stage area; on the north, it’s just an architectural counterpoint,” O’Meara said. “Starting in the summer of 2011, the concerts (In the Park concert series) will be back in Shain Park (from Booth Park).” A children’s play area, on the north side, near the pergola, is still unfinished, although wood chips have been put down to prepare for it. Streetscaping around the park is now half complete and open to traffic, with Martin Road reconfigured for two-way traffic. The street has been widened, particularly in front of City Hall, and angled parking has been installed all the way along to Ring Road, to provide extra street parking. The area in front of the City Hall is still under construction. There will be a set of three granite steps stretching up from the street to a lower grass yard, and then six granite steps up to the front door and a higher grass yard. Rows of trees will greet visitors at each level.
Henrietta Street had sewer work done, which is now complete, and then was repaved and rebuilt as it was, with the same amount of parallel parking as it had before. The second phase of the streetscaping is beginning on Bates and Townsend streets. “They both need sewer work,” said O’Meara, who said contractors have begun removing the old streets. They will be repaved by the end of the summer, and will look the same as they had before, with the same amount of parallel parking. O’Meara said that, when finished, there will be 88 parking spots around the park. Merrill Street will remain closed to traffic in the park, where granite balls surround Marshall Frederick’s “Freedom of the Human Spirit.” “The original intent in having the granite balls was to separate vehicles from pedestrians, but now it’s not open to vehicles,” he said. Landscape plans for the park and streetscaping were done by architects Ron Rea and Chris Longe, and drawings were completed by the Albert Kahn architectural firm. Longe has expressed concern that while Henrietta, Townsend, and Bates will all be paved in concrete, Martin has been paved in asphalt. “We saved money by reusing the asphalt,” O’Meara said. “I’m not worried about the inconsistencies. We’re using concrete on the other three because it will last longer.” The original budget estimate for Shain Park improvements was $3.5 million. Total costs have thus far come in at approximately $3.2 million, prior to streetscaping, which O’Meara estimates may cost approximately $1 million, although the streets are not part of the Shain Park budget. ■
and continue to press for the current defined benefit pension and lifetime retiree health care programs,” she said. “The city intends to pursue the issue of defined contribution plans for new hires with the next round of negotiations with the firefighters’ union and with both the police officers’ union and police command union. As the police and fire unions are eligible for binding arbitration, the process to achieve these changes is time-consuming and difficult to achieve.” Once the negotiation process is completed, results will be turned over to the City Commission to discuss and consider for an approval vote. ■
Bloomfield Hills hikes millage for 2010-11 budget By Lisa Brody The Bloomfield Hills City Commission adopted a 2010-11 budget based on a 0.75-mill tax hike, at a Monday, May 24 special meeting. The budget was adopted in a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner Pat Hardy voting against the proposal. Bloomfield Hills, like all cities, townships, and villages in Michigan, has been hit with a double whammy of declining property values, which had led to a decline in property tax collections, and decreased state revenue sharing, which is based on a percentage of state sales tax collected and returned to municipalities. City Finance Director Carolyn Lorenz had requested a 1.5-mill increase in the city’s property tax collection in order to close a budget gap. She specified that the city had four choices: increase taxes through a millage hike; enact cost savings by privatizing services, decreasing services, and decreasing personnel; eliminating non-essential services; or a combination of those changes. “A 1-mill increase wouldn’t decrease the budget gap,” she said. “We need to increase the millage 1.5 mills to get us through for now. By increasing it 2 mills, it eliminates the budget gap for one year, and in 2012-2013, we would have a positive fund balance. If we increase it 3 mills, it eliminates the budget gap for two of the three years.” The city’s expenditures are primarily linked to personnel, which has seen increases in health care costs and long-term benefits. According to Lorenz, 65 percent of the budget is personnel costs, and public safety is 50 percent of those costs. Another Page 34 ❯
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35 percent of the budget is devoted to road maintenance. Total revenue under the 2010-11 budget is set at $8.1 million, with property taxes generating $6.8 million, the largest source of revenue for the city. The city expects to receive $425,000 in fine and forfeiture revenue from the 48th District Court, and $321,000 from license and permit fees. Total expenditures are expected to be $9.2 million, with public safety expenses pegged at $4.6 million, the largest expense for the city. General government costs are slated at $3 million, and public works, such as road maintenance, is set at $813,423. Lorenz said the city had a $2.7 million fund balance at the end of 2009. Without a millage increase or other changes, the city could be faced with a $780,000 deficit, according to Lorenz. By the end of the 2013-14 fiscal year, the city would have a $6.83 million deficit. City Manager Jay Cravens said the City Commission disagreed with Lorenz, and felt that a 0.75-mill tax hike would be sufficient. “It’s halfway there,” he said. “(A 1.5-mill increase) would have given us the ability to not come back to the residents for two more years for
another increase, and more time to make cuts,” he said, adding that while it appeared that Commissioner Sarah McClure came up with the 0.75-mill tax increase recommendation at the May 24 meeting, there was phone discussion among the commissioners prior to the meeting. Mayor Michael McCready and Commissioners McClure, Bob Toohey, and Mike Zambricki voted for the millage increase. “Pat Hardy voted no because she felt the millage increase should be higher,” Cravens said. “She said if Carolyn (Lorenz) said it should be 1.5 mills, then that’s what the commissioners should do.” Bloomfield Hills had the lowest per capita millage rate in Oakland County, at 8.31 mills, according to city officials. The city had 6.4 mills available to raise its property tax without a vote of the people. A mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of a property’s taxable value, which is generally equal to half the property’s market value. Under the 0.75-mill tax hike, the owner of a city property with a taxable value of $150,000 ($300,000 market value) will pay about $112 more to the city during the fiscal year than they would have without an increase. The City Commission had until
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May 31 to approve a budget. “Next week we’ll look at what we can do,” Cravens said. “The biggest issue is legacy costs, and we’ll have to ask the public safety union to reopen their contract and make changes, which is going to be difficult for them without a guarantee on jobs. As we continue this spiral downward, the only thing in the budget besides equipment to cut is jobs.” ■
Chamber hires Bauman to fill president position The Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce has announced that Joe Bauman has been hired as the chamber’s new president, effective June 2. Bauman replaces Carrie Zarotney, who is leaving to have her first child and pursue a freelance public relations career. He had been a member of the chamber’s Board of Directors for many years. Prior to his appointment as chamber president, Bauman was employed by USIS as a contract investigator for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. He was a journalist for more than 25 years, the last 19 with the Observer & Eccentric newspaper chain. He was a reporter, editor and assistant managing editor, and spent 18 years covering the greaterBirmingham community. Under Bauman’s leadership, the chamber is preparing to unveil two new tools to support membership: a Member Login area on the chamber website, complete with an online resource library; and an iPhone application that will give members added exposure and ability to be found by those seeking them. The chamber represents businesses and economic development interests in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms, and Franklin. ■
New water, sewer rates approved for Bloomfield Hills By Lisa Brody The Bloomfield Hills City Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday, June 8 to approve new water and sewer rates based on actual water consumption. The new rates take effect beginning July 1. “Our water rates will be a little bit lower than some other municipalities because we have joined SOCWA (the Page 35 ❯
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Southeastern Oakland County Water Authority). Our sewer rates will be unchanged,” said City Manager Jay Cravens. The approved resolution states that Bloomfield Hills negotiated a wholesale water contract with SOCWA in May based on rate recommendations from the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office. All city residential water customers will be charged $34.56 per 1,000 cubic feet of metered water usage each quarter, with a minimum quarterly charge of $69.12, based on an assigned use of 2,000 cubic feet. Additional fees will be charged to each residential customer. A standard $5 fee will be assessed for the city’s infrastructure fund in order to finance future water system improvements and rehabilitation programs. A $2 charge per cubic foot of water will be collected to offset future rate increases. The city will also add a fixed charge per quarterly water bill to offset fixed program costs. The city’s sewer rates are administered by the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office for discharging wastewater through the Evergreen-Farmington Sewage Disposal System. The adopted resolution states that the city will offset rate increases by reducing the city’s charges from $7.80 to $7.15 per 1,000 cubic feet. For metered users, the sewage disposal rate will be $26.59 per 1,000 cubic feet, and for unmetered users, the flat rate charge will be $141.44 per unit per quarter. Commercial and industrial users have a specific schedule of rates, which can be accessed at City Hall. ■
Kenning Park development plans hit a dead end
Post Office closure City opposes change in facility location By Lisa Brody
he Bloomfield Hills City Commission adopted a resolution Tuesday, June 8, opposing the planned closure of the U.S. Post Office branch on Long Lake Road, next to the Bloomfield Hills City Hall. At the meeting, postal union representatives handed out fliers and asked residents to sign petitions opposing the closure. The efforts are likely to come to naught, as the U.S. Postal Service is moving ahead with plans to move the Bloomfield Hills branch operation to a distribution location on South Boulevard, just east of Opdyke. They anticipate remodeling the South Boulevard facility to add a retail area for the public. They have not stated their time table for the changes. The Postal Service is keeping open the Bloomfield Hills Post Office at Town Square on Telegraph Road north of Square Lake Road, by the Costco store. “We are looking to maximize our assets, and we have an opportunity to sell the Long Lake property,” said Shannon LaBruyere, a communications specialist for the U.S. Postal Service, Southeast Michigan District. She said officials recently sat down with Bloomfield Hills officials and heard their concerns, but “the way people are using the Postal Service has changed. They’re using it less and less. We have to adjust accordingly. They’re using us more online. They’re emailing. The reality is, the Postal Service has to operate like a business. We’re not supported by taxes. We’re looking at losing $7 billion this year. That’s a lot of red
ink.” In 2006, there were 213 billion pieces mailed through the Postal Service; in 2009, there were 177 billion pieces mailed, a 17 percent decrease. LaBruyere emphasized that no Postal Service employees will be laid off during the move, and that there is much more parking at the South Boulevard location. The branch on Long Lake Road has limited parking, and traffic often backs up on Long Lake as drivers wait to enter the site. Nationwide, the Postal Service is considering dropping a day of delivery, and delivering mail just five days a week. “We intend to keep post office box numbers the same for people,” she said, noting that has been an issue for many businesses and residents. “Our union believes you don’t save a service by cutting its service,” said Roscoe Woods, executive vice president of the local postal workers union and a 22year postal worker. “It’s about providing a universal service at a reasonable rate. We feel the (Postal Service) has been dishonest in their approach, and has ignored their customers. There aren’t as many residential customers by the South Boulevard location. People tend not to travel, so we’ll lose customers.” LaBruyere disagreed. “It’s not 50 years ago, when people didn’t have as much transportation as today,” she said. “The South Boulevard location is only about two miles east of the Long Lake location. It will be farther for some residents, yet closer for others. These are our economic realities.” ■
By Lisa Brody It appears that all viable options for developing Birmingham’s Kenning Park in the near future have been exhausted. Kenning Park is located at the corner of Lincoln and Eton roads. It currently is a “pocket” park, according to Birmingham Parks and Recreation Director Bob Fox, because it’s an undeveloped, grassy site. Ideas to develop it as a multifaceted park for the eastern part of Birmingham began in the spring and summer of 2009, after Birmingham Little League and Brother Rice High School baseball representatives began the discussion by claiming they could come up with $1 million, plus money for a sinking fund, in order to have a home field for baseball games. Currently, they each play www.oaklandpaper.com
their home games at St. James Park at Lincoln and Grant streets, near the YMCA. Birmingham City Manager Tom Markus noted that the YMCA’s plans to update and redevelop St. James Park have stalled. There currently is a usable baseball diamond at the site. The YMCA recently informed Markus that it hadn’t succeeded in fund-raising efforts, leaving St. James Park as it is. “That may have caused a relaxation of the process (of committing money towards Kenning Park),” Markus said. “Brother Rice currently plays (at St. James Park), and potentially could stay there for a while without any improvements.” In September 2009, city commissioners adopted a resolution direct-
ing staff to draft and receive requests for proposals (RFPs) from planning, architectural, and landscaping firms experienced in facilitating public charrettes, to develop conceptual ideas for Kenning Park. Birmingham architect Kevin Hart of Kevin Hart Associates rendered a design for a project at Kenning Park that would include jogging paths, pavilion space, two promenades, bocce ball, shuffleboard, two sand volleyball courts, and four reconfigured baseball diamonds. Markus made clear at that time that was just one plan. “At this point in time, we don’t have any funds for the the project, other than what Brother Rice had been offering,” Markus said. “We don’t want to create the illusion that the park could be created without
private funding.” Markus added that while the City Commission has the capacity to issue more park bonds, “there is no appetite to so right now in light of today’s economy.” The city is in the midst of finishing the landscaping and streetscaping for Shain Park. Markus said he believes that Kenning Park improvements can be revisited in the future, and budgeting can be looked at annually; but for now, the city will not be proceeding with the planning process. ■
Hearing scheduled on change in city election date By Lisa Brody The Bloomfield Hills City Commission will hold a public hearing at its July meeting to consider changing the city’s elections from an annual May date to an odd-year November date. City Manager Jay Cravens said most residents don’t have a strong reaction against the potential change. “It’s a move to an election date where most people expect to vote,” said City Clerk Amy Burton. “As it stands, we’re the only community in Oakland County that does a May election.” City commissioners directed attorney Bill Hampton to draft charter amendment language to place on the Nov. 2, 2010 general election ballot, asking voters to approve fouryear terms for commissioners. Commissioners currently serve twoyear terms, as stated in the City Charter. In order to change the charter, any revision must be approved by a majority of the city’s voters. The city chose the May election date in 2004, when the state Legislature enacted so-called election consolidation bills providing municipalities with election date opportunities in February, May, August and November. “We had previously had our elections in April, so we chose May because it was closest,” Burton said. “If we had chosen November then, we could have had annual November elections. Now, we can only choose odd-year November elections, according to the attorney general. The whole goal of election consolidation is that voters expect to go to the polls in November.” In addition to placing city elections on a November ballot, a time when voters are accustomed to voting, the move will save the city money. By consolidating city elections with another elections, costs are disbursed as an election is Page 36 ❯
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already being administered. Burton noted that both school districts serving the city, Bloomfield Hills Schools and the Birmingham School District, have gone to November elections. “We’re small, so the savings aren’t huge, but at this point, any savings helps by not having an annual May election,” she said. If commissioners change the election date after the public hearing in July, another issue they will have to deal with is how long to extend existing commissioners’ terms. The recommendation is that the two recently-elected commissioners, Sarah McClure and Robert Toohey, would have their terms extended by 18 months. Their terms currently are scheduled to expire in May 2012; they would end in November 2013. The three remaining commissioners, Mayor Michael McCready, Commissioners Pat Hardy and Mike Zambricki, would have their terms extended by six months, from May 2011 to November 2011. “This would allow them to fall into a regular, staggered four-year rotation, if the charter amendment passes in November,” Burton said. The last aspect commissioners will have to resolve if they change the election date is that all appointments to boards and commissions are currently made in May, after the city’s annual election. “They’re going to have to decide if they are going to change those, also, to November to match up with the new election cycle,” Burton said. ■
Bloomfield Hills treasurer tenders her resignation By Lisa Brody Bloomfield Hills Finance Director/Treasurer Carolyn Lorenz tendered her resignation to City Manager Jay Cravens on Wednesday, June 9, the morning after presenting the city’s financial outlook at a City Commission meeting. “I was floored. I wasn’t expecting it,” said Cravens, acknowledging that relations with current commissioners are more tense than in the past. “She has been very professional and fit in with the staff. It’s really regrettable that she is leaving, but considering what has happened here in the last few months, it’s not that surprising.” Lorenz had presented a 2010-11 budget with expenditures exceeding revenues, primarily due to a significant decrease in property values and a decline in residential property taxes. She had recommended a minimum increase of 1.5 mills in the 36
Lorenz has been with the city for two years, coming from Plante & Moran, where she had worked for 11 years. Lorenz said she is hoping to spend more time with her family and husband, who has just started a new business. She has two children, age 3 and 5. As for a new position, she said she is keeping her options open for the time being. Her last day with the city will be June 30. ■
Zazios restaurant will open inside the Greenleaf Trust building (above), a five-story, mixed-used building which has resulted in a 2,046 percent increase in the assessed value of the site, which had been occupied by an abandoned gas station. It’s estimated that the Greenleaf Trust Company, out of Kalamazoo, has made an investment of more than $34 million in Birmingham. (The Paper photo/Amy K. Lockard)
Liquor license request Zazios coming before commissioners By Lisa Brody
he first test of Birmingham’s new economic development liquor license program has begun. Zazios, to go in the first floor of the new Greenleaf Trust building at the southwest corner of Maple and Woodward, proposes to serve a variety of Italian food and wines in a formal atmosphere. The restaurant has applied for an economic development liquor license. It will have to obtain a special land use permit and approval from the City Commission in order to operate an establishment with an economic development liquor license. On May 26, the Birmingham Planning Board unanimously recommended that Zazios receive the license, based on approval by the City Commission. Zazios will come before the commission on Monday, June 28 for a public hearing. An economic development liquor license is designed as a tool for economic development in a specific area of town. Criteria to receive a license includes a 500 percent increase and/or at least $10 million investment into a building, whichever is less. The licenses are confined to the city’s Triangle District and Woodward Avenue frontage, both east and west, from Lincoln up to
city’s millage rate, which commissioners declined to enact. Eventually, they approved a 0.75-mill increase. “The city is in a much better position than other communities, but they’re still going to be faced with some very difficult decisions,” she said. Plante & Moran auditors will provide services to the city until the
Poppleton, including the overlay district, with only certain specific buildings meeting the criteria and definition. None of them are adjacent to residential areas. All parcels must be a minimum of three stories. The Greenleaf Trust Building is a five-story, mixed-used building which has resulted in a 2,046 percent increase in the assessed value of the site, which had been occupied by an abandoned gas station. Further, it’s estimated that the Greenleaf Trust Company, out of Kalamazoo, has made an investment of more than $34 million in Birmingham. The location is within the targeted economic development area, according to Planning Department staff. “We have owned the original Zazios Restaurant at the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites in downtown Kalamazoo since October 2004,” said Patti Owens, managing director for Catalyst Development Company, which is constructing the building. “In that time, we have had zero complaints and infractions from the liquor control board.” Parking for the restaurant will be handled by the building’s underground parking garage, the Peabody parking structure, and by a private valet service. ■ vacant position is filled. Cravens said the city will fill the vacancy through a search by the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan General Financing Office. The position is fulltime. “I hope to have someone by late September and introduce them to the commission at the October meeting,” Cravens said.
Township declines invitation to bid on former school site By Brooke Meier The Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees has unanimously declined an offer from Birmingham Public Schools to bid on the district’s former Meadow Lake Elementary property, citing the parcel location and the economy. “The elementary school was within our township boundaries,” said Bloomfield Township Supervisor Dave Payne. “They have put it up for sale and offered it to us first.” Payne said that a few years ago the township revised its Master Plan and identified various areas in the township as potential parks. “Residents expressed interest in establishing parks,” Payne said. “At that particular time, it was determined that the only large parcels of property that we could consider for parks were owned by the school districts, so we asked both the Birmingham and Bloomfield school districts if, in the future, they could let us know when those properties become available.” Payne said the Meadow Lake parcel is located in the southwest section of the township on the border with West Bloomfield. “We didn’t feel that this property was appropriate for what we were looking for,” he said. Bloomfield Township Clerk Jan Roncelli agreed. “It just wasn’t the right time, with the economy, or the right location for any type of park,” she said. “Residents want to add parks to the township, but at this point, we figured with the economy, lack of revenue, and location, it just didn’t make sense. The parcel is actually located in the middle of a subdivision. It wasn’t the most desirable piece of property for that use.” According to Roncelli, there are other properties the township has in mind for park use, if they ever are available for purchase, including by the Doyle Center. ■ JULY 2010
ancy Schlichting, chief executive officer (CEO) of Henry Ford Health Systems, has continually broken down gender stereotypes throughout her very successful career. From studying at Duke University to becoming the head of a highly-regarded health care provider, nothing has hindered Schlichting from striving to reach her greatest potential. “I’ve had a lot of support along the way, and wonderful parents who provided an education for me,” she said. “I was told many times, as a woman, not to go into this field. But, I think I had a strong personal conviction and a clear sense of what I stood for as a leader. That has guided me throughout my career.” At 10-years-old, Schlichting’s mother was hospitalized for a month, yet she and her siblings were not permitted to visit. The experience inspired her to work to create a more positive environment and improve how hospitals dealt with patients and their families. “Hospitals weren’t good places for me, and I wanted to change that,” she said. “(Hospital administration) really appealed to me; I wanted to make a difference.” As the CEO of a major metropolitan health system, Schlichting is forced to make tough financial decisions and balance the complexities of a very large business with the human elements of the job. The staff makes the
demands of a high-powered career worth the tremendous effort, she said. “We have the most amazing people in terms of intellect and values,” she said. “I enjoy connecting with them and providing the support they need to allow them to succeed.” According to Schlichting, Henry Ford has been able to grow considerably during the recent difficult financial times because they’ve invested heavily in quality and service. “It’s come back to its former prominence in leadership in health care,” she said. “We are very proud of that.” As a Bloomfield Hills resident, Schlichting and her partner chose to settle in the area due to the reputable school district. “My partner has two kids, and the district was a major factor for us,” she said. Schlichting and her family love the area and frequent Chen Chow Brasserie in Birmingham and Plum Market in Bloomfield Twp. regularly. With a bounty of personal interests, she hopes to get back to playing her violin, and said she’d love to play in an orchestra. Her immediate goal, however, is to lead Henry Ford Health Systems through the upcoming changes in health care. So far, she's proven there's nothing she can't accomplish. — Katey Meisner
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■ education Pact with new superintendent granted approval By Brooke Meier The Bloomfield Hills Schools Board of Education has unanimously approved a three-year agreement with Robert Glass, who was offered the district’s superintendent job in mid-April following an extensive interview process. Glass will replace Steven Gaynor when he retires in June. Gaynor served as the Bloomfield Hills superintendent for the last eight years. Glass’ employment will begin on July 1, 2010, according to Betsy Erickson, director of communications and community relations for the school district. According to the agreement, Glass will receive an initial salary of $180,000 a year, with a retirement annuity contribution of $12,000 and health care coverage equivalent to the administrative staff plan. The contract will be in effect for three years, with compensation tied to satisfactory annual performance evaluations by the school board, Erickson said. “We are delighted to welcome our new superintendent and look forward to his leadership as we continue to execute our 10-year strategic plan,” said Board of Education President Martin Brook. Glass will be leaving his position as superintendent of Dexter Schools, where has has served for the last two years. Glass was one of two final candidates for the job, along with Michael Simeck. Glass and Simeck were among four candidates presented to the school board in March by School Exec Connect, a search firm hired by the district, based upon a profile the firm developed. The profile, which was based on input provided by community focus groups and an online survey, called for the new superintendent to be a collaborative consensus builder with excellent communication and listening skills who can build community trust; to possess decisiveness and resiliency; to provide visionary educational leadership, strategic thinking, fiscal management skills, and unquestionable integrity. Glass was selected for the position following a meeting with community members, where both Glass and Simeck answered questions from the public as part of their second interview. Prior to his position in Dexter, Glass was executive director of instruction for the Birmingham www.oaklandpaper.com
High school merger Andover, Lahser to be consolidated By Brooke Meier
he Bloomfield Hills Board of Education voted Thursday, June 17, to combine the district’s two high schools into one new high school building. The district will build a new high-tech building on the present Andover High School campus, pending voter approval of funding in November. The Board of Education still needs to decide a time line and implementation details. Betsy Erikson, the district’s director of communications and community relations, said in order to build the new school, the community will need to approve a taxneutral bond issue that would replace current debt expiring in 2014 and 2015 — the bond issue wouldn’t require a tax increase for property owners. A recent poll of 300 district voters found that 78 percent of those polled would support a “quality high school that will go on for generations, and one that is done well.” “The board action caps years of discussion, and one failed vote by the community, about how to address the facilities at Andover and Lahser, which were built for student learning in another era, in 1955 and 1967, respectively,” Erikson said. The approved plan would retain the Lahser athletic facilities. This, according to Erikson, will help the district avoid the cost of operating old buildings, and future budget deficits and programs cuts with declining enrollment and cuts in state funding. “The district estimates that merging the schools will save about $2.5 million annually while maintaining small class sizes, personalization and instructional excellence,” she said. On July 15, the district will hold its regular school board meeting, where members are expected to consider when to implement an interim one high school/two campus solution. “Declaring one high school but keeping two campuses open while a new building is constructed will save the district an estiPublic Schools and principal at the Quarton School in Birmingham. He has been an elementary principal in
mated $500,000, and would prevent students from being temporarily housed in portable classrooms,” Erikson said. The single high school is part of the district’s facilities master planning. In addition to the vote on the high school, the board decided that the district’s Model High School and a consolidated Central Office will be located on the Andover/Central Office site near Long Lake and Telegraph roads. Physical Plant Services will relocate to the Bowers Farm on Square Lake and Squirrel Roads. The International Academy, the Bowers Farm and the Johnson Nature Center will be retained for their current uses. The Fox Hills facility will remain in its current use as Bloomin’ Tots Preschool. Vacant property owned by the district at Wabeek on Long Lake Road will be the first property sold, when needed, Erikson said. The former Booth school, now operated as administrative office space, will be retained for a lease partnership or will become the second district property sold, when needed, because it requires extensive renovations. The former Pine Lake and Hickory Grove schools will be retained for lease partnerships since they are renovated schools. John Roach, a Bloomfield Hills Schools resident, attended the meeting. Roach said that while be commends the board for attempting to solve the high school facilities problem without resorting to increases in taxes, that is only part of the job. “The other part is to be good stewards of the taxpayer funds in your care,” he said. The next Board of Education meeting will begin at 7 p.m. on July 15 at the Gary M. Doyle Center, located at 7275 Wing Lake Road in Bloomfield Township. For more information about the Bloomfield Hills Schools Facilities Master Plan, visit http://strategicplanning.bloomfield.org. ■ Suttons Bay, Mich. and Vestaburg Community Schools in Vestaburg, Mich., as well as an elementary
teacher in Hale, Mich. According to Erickson, Glass was the director of operations on a fellowship in India to manage orphanages, vocational schools and health services for children, the elderly and impoverished. Glass is currently completing a doctorate program in educational leadership at Oakland University. He received the 2008 AASA Worth McClure Educational Administration Scholarship, awarded nationally to six outstanding graduate students in school administration. He has master’s degrees in educational administration from Central Michigan University, and in teaching from Wayne State University, in addition to a bachelor’s degree in telecommunication from Michigan State University. He received an award for outstanding leadership from the Grand Traverse Regional Math and Science Center in 2008,. Glass is a member of the American Association of School Administrators, the Michigan Association of School Administrators, and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. ■
Panel formed to avoid cutbacks in athletic programs By Lisa Brody A committee comprised of Birmingham schools’ parents, principals, and athletic department leadership has come together to create an Athletic Advisory Committee to combat spending cuts in athletic programs for high school and middle school students. Their goal is to keep the schools’ athletic quality consistently high, maintain and increase students’ participation, and reduce the impact of future general fund budget cuts. The group has proposed a threeyear revenue plan, centered on community revenue, gate receipts, fees for participation in varsity sports, and charging fees to rent the district’s pools, baseball diamonds, gyms, and playing fields. They hope to cut reliance on the district’s general fund by 16 percent, or $225,000, with $50,000 in gate receipts collected at athletic contests; $15,000 in community donations; and $30,000 in family pay-toplay payments. The result over time will be a shift in funding to parents and the community, The committee would like to create an Athletic Advisory Board to permanently oversee details as a districtwide leadership council. ■ 39
Forest Lake Frontage $3,390,000
Custom designed French Country Home Estate in gated community sits on private Forest Lake with access to Lower Long Lake. Enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and award winning landscape. Updates make this home turnkey with all the amenities. Five bedrooms with 5.2 baths. 29148569 Presented by Ronni Keating
Georgian Colonial in Quarton Lake Estates on one of the most sought after streets! New kitchen with Limestone fireplace in breakfast area. Five bedrooms featuring back stairway to private suite. First floor Theater Room. Lovely private yard with stone patio and pool/spa. 210062128 Presented by Ronni Keating
Royal Oak $399,000
Builders own home with focus to detail and finishes! Gourmet kitchen with top of line cabinets, granite, stainless steel appliances and over looks family room with fireplace. Brazilian hardwood floors, second floor laundry and formal dining room. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 210066068 Presented by Erin Keating-Dewald
Breathtaking and completely renovated home in the Northwood subdivision! New custom gourmet kitchen with maple cabinets and island Calcutta marble countertop. New roof, windows, siding, furnace/air conditioning, plumbing, recessed lighting throughout. Four bedrooms with 1.1 baths. 210068852 Presented by Ering Keating-Dewald
Ronni Keating & Erin Keating-Dewald
SKBK Sothebyâ€™s International Realty skbk.com
248.644.7000 Equal Housing Opportunity
Franklin Village $1,495,000
Bloomfield Hills $1,375,000
Once in a life time opportunity to secure one of Franklin’s greatest homes. Mt. Tom sits high atop a 4+ acre hilltop property. Meticulously updated mechanically and cosmetically. Grounds are breathtaking. Four bedrooms, 3.1 baths, 4,581 sq ft. Square footage includes 550 sq ft in finished lower level walkout. 28164472 Presented by Sara Lipnitz
Set high upon a hilltop on a private cul-de-sac and in the heart of Bloomfield Hills, this home has been meticulously updated. Style and sophistication, high end amenities and gracious living space. First and second floor master suites, neutral stone baths and gorgeous fixtures. Gourmet kitchen. Four bedrooms with 3.2 baths. 210023765 Presented by Sara Lipnitz
Bloomfield Village $1,295,000
Stunning and stylish décor with great details in this newer construction. Great built-ins, wainscoting and thick millwork. Gourmet kitchen opens to family room, master bedroom with huge walk in closet and spa like bath, second floor laundry and finished lower level. Five bedrooms with 5.1 baths. 210010160 Presented by Sara Lipnitz
Gracious Quarton Lake Estates home. Soaring ceilings, custom details and stylish décor. Gourmet kitchen boasts premium appliances and granite. Generous master suite with a spa-like bath and huge walk-in closet. First floor laundry, finished lower level with recreation room and storage. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 29134475 Presented by Sara Lipnitz
SKBK Sotheby’s International Realty skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
Birmingham $2,995,000 Beautifully crafted Hunter Robertsâ€™s masterpiece house set on magnificent site. Multiple patios for outdoor entertainment. Finished lower level with game and media rooms, bar, bedroom and full bath. Apartment above garage. Six bedrooms with 6.2 baths. 210066029 Presented by Mike Cotter
Oakland Township $2,295,000
Bloomfield Hills $775,000 - $1,400,000
Exquisite home in gated Orchard Ridge Subdivision with the exceptional appointments you would expect! Superb kitchen entertainment area. Finished lower level with media room, sauna, spa, bar, bistro area, game room and guest suite. Five bedrooms with 6.2 baths. 210062442 Presented by Paula Law
"Barton Hills' new gated community is exquisitely located within the city of Bloomfield Hills. Architectural, construction review and approval are required. Some architectural concepts are available for consideration. Development is beautifully treed, has wonderful contour and grand views. Eight lots available. 29129547 Presented by Mike Cotter
Mike Cotter & Paula Law
SKBK Sothebyâ€™s International Realty skbk.com
248.644.7000 Equal Housing Opportunity
Forest Lake Frontage $2,975,000 Stunning lakefront Contemporary. Masterfully designed residence for entertaining with beautiful views. Vaulted great room, dining room, master bedroom with fireplace and his and her bath. Sunroom with hot tub, coal and steam/sauna with seating. In-law suite with kitchen. 210066037 Presented by Renee Acho
Stylish in town living! Custom finishes throughout in this elegant home on a quiet, dead end street. Living room with soaring ceilings and built ins, granite kitchen opens to family room with French Doors to patio. Finished lower level with large family room, recreation area and kitchen. Four bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 210071818 Presented by Renee Acho
Center entrance Colonial on large fenced lot with swimming pool! Large living room, eat in kitchen, formal dining room, family room with fireplace and lovely Florida Room overlooking private yard. Separate inlaw or nanny suite off main level with private entry. Bloomfield Hills Schools. 210056309 Presented by Renee Acho
SKBK Sothebyâ€™s International Realty skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
Bloomfield Hills $3,400,000 Reduced by $850,000! Spectacular views of grounds on 3.34 acres including in-ground pool, spa and tennis court. Renovated and expanded in 2000 with 2500 sq ft addition including basket ball court, gym, family room, sauna and full bath. Entertain in the 3900 sq ft walk out lower level with kitchen, wet bar and media room. Six bedrooms with 7.4 baths. 210066110 Presented by Cindy Obron Kahn
Bloomfield Hills $2,499,000 Gracious and impeccable 1935 Stone and Brick Farmhouse on 1.16 beautifully landscaped acres on quiet private lane just steps from Cranbrook. Gourmet kitchen with premium appliances, beautiful cabinetry and overlooks breakfast room with fireplace. Five bedrooms with 4.3 baths. 210060584 Presented by Cindy Obron Kahn and Marcy Sucher
Cindy Obron Kahn
SKBK Sothebyâ€™s International Realty skbk.com
248.644.7000 Equal Housing Opportunity
Orchard Lake Frontage $1,399,900
Lake Angelus Frontage $2,499,900
Fabulous 4,300 sq ft lakefront home with stunning sunset views. Updates include; new kitchen with all upper end appliances, baths and hardwood floors. Private hot tub. Sandy frontage and wooded lot on 1.3 acres. Four bedrooms with four baths. 210043324 Presented by Lee Embrey
Fabulous sunsets surround this newer built home on sandy point. Dead end street. Beautiful views. South Shore with every possible amenity, granite and marble heated. Three and a half car garage. Four bedrooms with 4.1 baths. 210021645 Presented by Lee Embrey
Lake Angelus Frontage $1,999,900
Lake Angelus Frontage $950,000
Contemporary Tudor on over one acre with 6,854 sq ft of modern sophistication. Granite kitchen, Subzero, Viking, Thermador and Bosch appliances. First floor junior master. Three fireplaces. 1,800 sq ft Mahogany deck with hot tub. Five bedrooms with five baths. 210021093 Presented by Lee Embrey
Beautiful South Shore location with 4.06 acres and 124' of lake frontage. Stone pillars at the entrance. Wonderful 2500 square foot 1860's farmhouse. The sale reflects the age of the farmhouse, which could be renovated if desired. Three to four bedrooms with 1.2 baths. 210054828 Presented by Lee Embrey
SKBK Sothebyâ€™s International Realty skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
Bloomfield Hills $1,199,000 A slice of heaven in the City of Bloomfield Hills on 1.45 acres. Updated walk-out Ranch with cedar shake roof and open floor plan. Five bedrooms, 3.2 bathrooms, 3,800+ sq ft. Finished lower level boasts an additional 2,687 sqft. Hardwood floors throughout first floor. Magnificent landscape includes ornamental pond and pathways. 210061035 Presented by Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublitsky
Bloomfield Hills $725,000
Two plus acres in the City of Bloomfield Hills! Serene tranquility surrounds this spacious Ranch featuring six bedrooms with 4.1 baths. Over 5,600 sq ft on both levels. Sunroom off the kitchen and large formal dining room with cathedral ceiling. Fenced deck and kidney shaped pool overlook huge private backyard. 210025301 Presented by Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublitsky
Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Ranch on a tranquil acre lot with tennis court and stream. Beautiful garden views from every window. Remodeled in 2003 with new kitchen, Brazilian Cherry floors, granite counters, Sub Zero and Dacor Range. Woodworker's shop in walkout lower level could be playroom or home office. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 210055067 Presented by Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublitsky
Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublistky
SKBK Sothebyâ€™s International Realty skbk.com
248.644.7000 Equal Housing Opportunity
Lotus Lake Frontage $3,800,000 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. Patio stretches to the waterfront and overlooks lake and fountains. Absolute masterpiece! Two bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 210062764 Presented by Karen Atchoo
Newer built Brick home on 1.5 acres in quiet subdivision. Two story foyer opens to formal dining room, living room and study. Huge eat in kitchen with island and adjacent family room. First floor master suite opens to patio. Second floor features three additional bedroom suites. 210067496 Presented by Karen Atchoo
Beautiful two bedrooms with two baths Ranch style end unit. Bright sunny and fabulous open floor plan. Spacious master bedroom suite with walls of closets and huge master bath. Dining area opens to a lovely private backyard with deck. Second bedroom could be used as a den. Freshly painted. 210053761 Presented by Karen Atchoo
SKBK Sothebyâ€™s International Realty skbk.com Equal Housing Opportunity
Island Lake Frontage $989,000
Contemporary masterpiece over looking Minnow Lake. Stunning architectural, exotic slate, wood floors throughout the main level and waterfall cascading down two floors. Granite chef 's kitchen, two story great room, six bedroom suites including a gorgeous master with two dressing rooms and a fabulous walkout lower level with theater and kitchen. 210067211 Presented by Marjorie Hirschfield & David Kopko
One of the best sites on Island Lake. Wonderful views of the lake and Kirk In The Hills Church! Why drive up north. Well maintained Ranch home on prestigious Island Lake. Three bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 210010343 Presented by Ronni Keating
Beautifully renovated. 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. First floor laundry and attached 2 car garage. Private yard. A true turnkey. Four bedrooms with 2.1 baths. 210067114 Presented by Heather Salesin
Exquisite taste and decorated to perfection! Beautiful two story foyer, large master suite with wood burning fireplace, balcony and Jacuzzi. A kitchen designed for culinary delight. Family room with marble fireplace and custom surround sound. Private landscaped yard with “Backyard Adventures” playscape. Birmingham schools. 210068981 Presented by Avery Weisling
SKBK Sotheby’s International Realty skbk.com
248.644.7000 Equal Housing Opportunity
A private gem nestled on two acres. Beautifully designed center entrance Colonial complete with all imported hardwoods. Four bedrooms, 4.3 baths. Lower Level is a second home with theater area. 210055501 $1,899,000. Joanne McGuire
Spectacular East Coast Colonial on Lake Oakland built in 2002 with nothing but the finest materials. Designer kitchen with high end appliances. First and second floor laundry. Four bedrooms with 4.5 baths. 210047461 $1,299,000. David Busch
Part of the Albert Kahn Estate backing to the Franklin River. Finished walk-out and day light windows. Ten and twelve foot ceilings, hardwoods, year round sun room, generator. Four bedrooms with 3.2 baths. 210042901 $1,100,000. Kay Hartwell
Completely renovated in 2008. Gourmet granite kitchen, first floor master, five bedrooms, 4.3 baths, hardwood and crown moldings throughout. Circular drive and private wooded lot. 210064732 $659,900. Lisa Sturdevant
Perfect for family life and entertaining. Featuring crown molding throughout, granite in kitchen, all baths and laundry room. Access to Kern Lake for swimming. Bloomfield Hills Schools. 29140499 $749,900. Lisa Sturdevant
Absolutely elegant unit with gorgeous views of Pine Lake. Fabulous master suite with balcony overlooking lake. Beautiful Brazilian Cherry floors throughout. Elevator to all three levels. 29059758 $548,000. Celeste Cole
Historic Indian Village “Ford Honeymoon Cottage”. Edsel B and Eleanor Ford lived here and named it as such. Leonard Willeke later redesigned the home. Six bedrooms with 3.1 baths. 210040986 $499,000. Donna Barlow
Soaring ceilings, custom marble fireplace, beautiful hardwood floors and open floor plan. Wonderful first floor master suite. Second floor loft/family room area is easily converted into a third bedroom. 210036512 $369,500. Kathy Lyons
Beautifully remodeled in 2008 with two large master suites; one on the entry level. Great room with cathedral ceilings and dramatic floor to ceiling fireplace. Three car attached garage. 210073681 $350,000. Candice Cuyler
Arts and Crafts Bungalow on a tree-lined street. Custom Cherry cabinets in kitchen with granite counters. Updated baths. Large deck in private back yard. Three bedrooms with two baths. 210041107 $322,000. Bev McCotter
Beautiful Colonial built in 2004. Open floor plan with spacious rooms. An island kitchen with stainless steel appliances, first floor laundry, custom window treatments. Three bedrooms, 2.1 baths. 210002537 $359,000. Avery Weisling
Wonderful downtown Bungalow with open floor plan. Hardwood floors throughout. Spacious master bedroom includes built-ins and walk in closet. Three bedrooms with 1.1 baths. 210054498 $249,000. Cindy Obron Kahn
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■ county County board tables proposed ban on phony pot By Lisa Brody A resolution in front of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners to prohibit the sale, display for sale, use, and possession of synthetic cannabis in Oakland County has been placed on hold following the introduction of an identical proposal in the state Legislature. The full board was scheduled to consider adopting the resolution at its Wednesday, June 9 meeting, but tabled the proposal while state lawmakers ponder changes in state law to achieve the resolution’s objectives. Currently, synthetic cannabis, and products containing synthetic cannabinoids are legal under Michigan law. They are used to mimic the effects of marijuana, but often have much more hazardous effects. It’s often sold as incense or potpourri, but that doesn’t deter teens and young adults from smoking the dried herb as they would marijuana. Known on the streets and marketed as K2, Spice, Blonde, Summit, Standard, Citron, Genie, and Fire and Ice, it has been outlawed in several other states and countries. Last month the The Oakland County Association of Police Chiefs called on the state Legislature to treat synthetic cannabis as a controlled substance, making it illegal to possess or sell. “The ingestion and/or smoking of synthetic cannabinoids and products containing synthetic cannabinoids have been reported to cause elevated heart rates, increased anxiety, elevated blood pressure, vomiting, hallucinations, and even seizures in human beings,” the board’s resolution states. There are reports of synthetic cannabis causing paralysis and loss of pain sensation in lab rats. The county board’s resolution states that, “synthetic cannabinoids may be more dangerous than the ingestion and/or smoking of THC, which is illegal in the United States.” The county board’s resolution, sponsored by Commissioners Tim Griemel (D-Rochester Hills) and Gary McGillivray (D-Madison Heights), would have made the first offense a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a sentence of 90 days in jail. A second or subsequent violation would have been a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and/or a sentence of one year in jail. ■ www.oaklandpaper.com
Parks budget approved 2010-11 plan heads to county board By Lisa Brody The Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission adopted its 2011 budget Wednesday, June 2, leaving final approval in the hands of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners. There are 13 county parks spread out throughout Oakland County, covering 6,700 acres. Included are Waterford Oaks, Lyon Oaks, and White Lake Oaks county parks in the lakes area. Oakland County Parks and Recreation provides 68 miles of trails, day-use parks, campgrounds, nature centers, waterparks and golf courses serving 1.5 million visitors annually. The parks system opened to the public in 1966. The 2011 budget the Parks and Recreation Commission adopted is a balanced budget of just over $25 million. “Our top three sources of revenue are the parks millage, fees and charges, and grants and interest on investment,” said Parks and Recreation Executive Officer Dan Stencil. “Our largest expenditure is salaries, followed by utilities and building and grounds maintenance.” The parks system expects to receive an estimated $12.6 million from property taxes through a 0.2415 millage collection; $2.8 million from greens fees collected at five golf courses; and $1.7 million from entrance and admission fees collected at two waterparks. Of their top expenditures for 2011, $11 million is targeted for salaries and fringe benefits for 74 full-time staffers and 700 parttime seasonal workers. Another $3.6 million is reserved for park improvements, and $1.4 million is set aside for utilities. “Entities across Michigan, including schools, libraries, police and fire departments are encountering decreases in millage revenues just like the parks system is experiencing,” Stencil said. “Property tax revenues fund the parks system by 50.3 percent. In 2011, we will see a decrease of $1.54 million because of a 12.25 percent decrease in property tax value in Oakland County. In this economic time, we are all being pressed to do more with less.”
A 10-year millage renewal for the county’s parks will appear on the Aug. 3 primary election ballot. Voters will be asked to a 10-year renewal of 0.2415 mills for the purpose of operating, maintaining, improving and acquiring parks and recreation areas and facilities in Oakland County. Stencil emphasized that, in essence, it’s really a tax decrease. “With people’s home values declining, they’re really paying less for county parks,” he said. “We think it’s a good value for clean, safe family fun.” A mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of a property’s taxable value, which is generally equal to half of the property’s market value. The owner of a county property with a taxable value of $100,000 ($200,000 market value) would pay $24.15 a year in property taxes under the millage renewal. The only user fees for the parks is a daily fee of $5 per car, or an annual fee of $30. Another option for people is a parks “Perks Pass,” which is a joint Oakland County Parks and HuronClinton Metroparks pass for $48 for the season. “If you are camping or renting a boat or a bicycle, there may be a rental fee,” Stencil said. “We are postponing projects and reducing expenditures where possible,” he added. “But our No. 1 goal is still to provide a highquality recreation service to the residents of Oakland County.” During a phone survey conducted in March, Oakland County Parks and Recreation ranked in the top 20 percent of parks systems nationally. Results indicated 29 percent of respondents were “very satisfied” with the overall value received from the county parks system, and 28 percent were “somewhat satisfied.” Oakland County residents have indicated the greatest need for (66 percent) and use of (42 percent) walking, hiking and biking trails. Picnic areas and shelters, followed by hard surfaced trails, are also important recreational needs. During the survey, 56 percent stated they would vote in favor of the millage renewal. ■
Board divided on seeking change in State Police funding By Lisa Brody A debate on whether more affluent communities in Oakland County should subsidize the police protection of less prosperous, more rural Michigan communities was taken up by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners at a Wednesday, June 9 meeting. At issue was a resolution by Commissioners Jeff Potter (R-South Lyon) and David Coulter (D-Ferndale) to seek cost recovery for the county from Michigan State Police (MSP) for the services it provides to local municipalities. An amended resolution was adopted by a vote of 17-8. Commissioners David Potts (RBirmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township) and Robert Gosselin (R-Bloomfield Township) were among those voting against the resolution. Commissioners Marcia Gershenson (R-Bloomfield Township) and Shelley G. Taub (R-Bloomfield Township) voted in favor of the resolution. The resolution states that, while MSP has always provided protection to rural communities with its State Police posts, that has grown so what were once rural, less-populated communities are now large communities with the ability to either field their own police department, or at least contract with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department. The resolution states that, especially in light of so many Oakland County communities struggling with declining resources and revenue sharing, the county dollars should stay local. “What MSP does can be done for half the price by local sheriff’s deputies, and it would save the state several million dollars by turning it over to the locals,” Taub said. “When a community has X amount of people, or X amount of money, they should either develop their own police department, or contract with the sheriff’s department.” Taub said she wants residents to understand that it’s not that she doesn’t like the Michigan State Police — but because she respects their superior level of training and education that she feels they are being misused as basically traffic cops. “The MSP is highly-trained, like the FBI. Many of them have masters degrees. Right now, it takes a year to get a rape kit back, or a DNA test back. They should be doing that rather than driving up and down the highway giving speeding tickets,” she said. ■ 53
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udge Nancy Edmunds didn’t originally realize she wanted to be a judge, first spending a couple years of teaching 8th grade English and social studies. She then decided to pursue a law degree at Wayne State University. “I had friends who went to law school, and I was intrigued by what they were learning about,” she said. After 16 years of practicing law, Edmunds was appointed in 1992 to U.S. District Court in Detroit by former President George H.W. Bush. She credits her parents and her husband, in part, for her success. “My parents both really encouraged me to reach for the best that I could possibly be and not to settle for anything less,” she said. “They both were extremely dedicated to their work; I would say they were my primary support all the way through my career.” Edmunds’ husband, Bill, has been fantastically supportive as well, she said. “He really worked hard to help me realize my dream of becoming a judge. He was never resentful of the time it took or any of the accommodations he had to make along the way.”
With two children, Edmunds has balanced the role of judge, wife and mother, resulting in two healthy and well-adjusted kids, she said. They are now both grown and on their own. “There are always more demands on your time than you can accommodate, but I was fortunate enough to have good childcare support when the kids were younger, and the wonderful support of my husband," she said. A 25-year Birmingham resident, Edmunds and her husband chose the area for the proximity to her downtown Detroit office. It became a perfect fit her family. When she’s not presiding over a courtroom, she goes to the occasional play at the St. Dunstan’s theater. She also likes to travel, walk her dogs, and read. “I tend to like fiction,” she said. “I particularly like short stories, mysteries and crime procedurals,” Though law wasn’t where Edmunds originally saw her future, she’s created a very successful career and has written a wonderful story for herself and her family in Birmingham. — Katey Meisner — The Paper photo/ Amy K. Lockard
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■ business notes Scandia Down, a national retailer offering European linens and furniture, will be moving in late July to 237 Pierce Street in Birmingham. “We’ll most definitely be open for the sidewalk sale in July,” said owner Christine Jackson. “Maybe the week before, but it’s definitely important for us to capture the opportunity when everyone is walking around for the sale.” Scandia, previously located at the Somerset Collection in Troy, is in its 20th year in business and has been stationed at Somerset for the past 11 years, according to Jackson. “It was actually located in Birmingham before moving to Somerset,” she said. “A combination of things made us decide to return. Our lease came up for negotiation and the overhead at our current location is very high.” With her three daughters, Mirriah Jackson, 31, Danielle Schindler, 28, and Rebeccah Jackson, 25, living nearby the city of Birmingham, Jackson said she is excited to bring the store to the downtown area. “We like the culture better and the store is great for us,” she said. “There’s a loft that is perfect to bring designers in.” Working with family is ideal for Jackson and her girls, she said. “We all actually enjoy each other. Sometimes we step on each other’s toes, but it doesn’t last. All four of us have very different personalities, but family is really important to us.” Scandia Down carries down comforters, pillows, furniture, beds, tables, lamps and home accessories. They also carry Pewabic Pottery, and Jackson is involved in an organization called Divine Inheritance. The group rescues child soldiers from Southeast Asia. “We sell jewelry, purse pads and I make topiaries and wreaths,” she said. All the monies from the sale of these items are donated to Divine Inheritance. ■ Sweet Earth Frozen Yogurt is coming to town. The nationally-known selfserve frozen yogurt store will be located at 141 W. Maple in Birmingham. Owner Ryan Robison is hoping to start serving his premium product to Birmingham by July 4. For Robison, who is looking to expand Sweet Earth by 2010, Birmingham is a perfect launching pad. “I’ve always considered (Birmingham) to be a cutting-edge Midwest community,” he said. “I like the atmosphere, the foot traffic, street events, festivals and their commitment to the parks.” A Birmingham resident himself, Robison said the shop is a West Coast concept and that offers consumers a lot of choice. ■ Bordine’s, a Michigan and family-owned nursery, has set up a new location at 33779 Woodward Ave. in Birmingham. According to Corey Bordine, third generation owner, the business saw an opportunity and decided to add a location closer to their customers. “The www.oaklandpaper.com
Birmingham, Bloomfield and Beverly Hills communities offer a great customer base for us already,” Bordine said. “We’ve heard from so many people
that they loved coming to our Rochester location, but it was too far of a drive.” Bordine, who co-manages the business with his brother Calvin Bordine, said his grandparents founded Bordine’s in 1939. “Family businesses have the unique essence,” he said. The new location has allowed for the hiring of six new local employees, and Bordine is elated by the community response. The nursery offers annuals, hanging baskets, perennials, garden gifts and statuaries. “Our business is seasonal from a perspective, but we’ll be here all year round,” he said. “We’re going to have fantastic Christmas offerings with custom-designed trees and lighting; we’ll have offerings for every season.” ■ Pink Pump is celebrating its one year anniversary at 150 W. Maple in Birmingham. Store manager Tamia Harrison said business is flourishing at the Birmingham location. “Customers are receiving us well,” Harrison said. “It’s a great place to have a business and the people are wonderful.” The boutique offers shoes, accessories, clothing and body care products. “We have a price range from $30 to $400,” Harrison said, adding they’re always looking for ways to expand the business. “We want our brand recognized nationally,” she said. Pink Pump brings designs from Jessica Simpson, Betsey Johnson and Michael Kors to local shoppers. ■ Shore Mortgage, one of the largest employers in Birmingham, has now expanded its operations with the innovative renovation of an existing, formerly vacant commercial building. The 5145-square-foot facility at 825 Bowers Street in Birmingham now houses the company’s Direct Lending Division and welcomes the relocation of 30 employees and the projection of an additional 100 employees into Birmingham. “Our commitment to create new Michigan jobs at this facility enhances our ongoing pledge to serve our customers,” said Robert Rahal, Shore Mortgage President. “The adaptive reuse of the former Baker’s Square restaurant is one of several buildings in our growing Shore Mortgage campus in the Triangle District. In addition to assisting our consumers with their mortgage needs, we believe renovating vacant properties is part of our company’s
plan for moving forward. We are creating new employment opportunities, which in turn impact our customer service in a very important positive way.” The open floor plan takes advantage of the natural light in the atrium and maximizes the creative reuse while retaining the charm of the familiar Baker’s Square site. Birmingham-based Shore Mortgage is one of the largest FHA and conventional loan mortgage originators in the country with over 25 years of conducting business in Michigan and more than 40 states. ■ Beadz and Bags has moved to 152 N. Old Woodward from 282 W. Maple in Birmingham. According to employee Pam Kirschke, a better location and a larger space contributed to the decision to relocate. “There is a lot more foot traffic,” Kirschke said.”We really like it here.” Beadz and Bags offers Chamilia and Troll beads, modern day charm bracelets, bags, wallets, fashion jewelry, hair accessories, rings and sunglasses.
“We also carry the Miche bags in two different sizes,” Kirschke said. The shop will be open seven days a week during the summer and has been in business for almost three years. ■ It’s been a year since husband and wife team Kelly and Joseph Brown brought Sandella’s Flatbread Café at 172 N. Old Woodward to Birmingham. According to Adam Brown, general manager and brother of Joseph, summer business is picking up. “We caught the tail end of the summer last year,” he said. “Winter slowed down, but as the streets have gotten busier and busier, so have we.” The owners keep full-time jobs away from the café, Adam said, so he handles the day-to-day operations. “It definitely keeps me on my toes,” he said. “The people are great and I have a nice group of consistent guests who come in; it’s great to see their faces.” Sandella’s offers a healthy alternative for the everyday diner, he said. “Everything is made with the freshest of ingredients. (Customers) get to see what’s going into their meal and make changes if they want.” The café features paninis, quesadillas, wraps, salads and rice bowls. “Working with family is fun,” he said. “It can have its ups and downs, but
it’s been pretty good so far. We know how to communicate with each other and we get the job done.” ■ Energy Sciences Resource Partners, LLC at 725 S. Adams Road has recently joined the Birmingham business community. “Birmingham is centrally located for our business and we are excited to serve the Birmingham community and surrounding areas,” said Frank Schulmeister, partner at Energy Sciences. The company is comprised of experienced energy professionals committed to the practice of energy conservation and greenhouse gas emission reduction. Specializing in demand-side energy services for municipal, commercial and industrial sectors, they identify and provide practical energy solutions through energy audits, comprehensive energy management programs and turnkey projects. ■ Four Paws Community Center, located at 2244 Franklin Road in Bloomfield Hills, is celebrating its one-year anniversary in July. Owner Linda Travis said business at the luxury pet resort and daycare facility is great. “It’s been growing and we’ve been
really fortunate that it’s doing so well,” she said. “Usually people who see the place book (a service) and people who book always come back. The best compliment is a return visit.” Travis has created space at the center for overnight staff so that overnight pets aren’t left alone. “We stay here when the dogs stay,” she said. An avid pet lover, Travis has two cats and three golden retrievers of her own at home. “One of our golden retrievers only has three legs, so we always joke that it’s Four Paws, give or take.” Travis started the business after being laid off from a position in the auto industry, but said it’s something she had always wanted to do. “It’s been kind of a dream for a long time,” she said. Business items from the BirminghamBloomfield community are reported by Katey Meisner. E-mails to email@example.com must be received three weeks prior to publication. 57
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■ eating out The Eating Out directory for The Paper is just that, a guide to dining establishments where patrons can go to eat. Many, if not most, of these eateries also allow for takeout orders. If an establishment serves beer(B), wine(W) or liquor (L), the listing indicates such. Likewise, if breakfast (B), lunch (L) or dinner (D) is served, we indicate by code and then the days it is offered. 220: A one-of-a-kind Birmingham restaurant specializing in steaks and fresh seafood with an Italian flair, complemented by a fine selection of distinguished American, Italian and global wines. Located in the historic Edison Building in the heart of downtown Birmingham. B, W, L. L & D, Monday-Saturday. 220 Merrill Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.645.2150. Akshay Indian Cuisine: Featuring Indo Chinese, South Indian, Northern Indian and Tandoori (Clay Oven) dishes. Spicy flavors compliment the relaxed and elegant atmosphere. Reasonable pricing makes Akshay Indian Cuisine a local favorite. L & D, Tuesday Sunday. 1615 S. Opdyke Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.858.2315. Andiamo: Andiamo’s offers Northern Italian decor amid a chic dining spot. A favorite among many area celebrities. Featuring traditional Italian dishes in an elegant dining room or live music in the lounge. An extensive wine list and selection of desserts. B, W, L. L & D, daily. 6676 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Township, 48301. 248.865.9300. Beau Jacks: Known for its superior whitefish and popular salads, Beau Jacks offers certified black angus beef as well as vegetarian and heartconscious items. The menu features chili, onion loaf, baked spinach and artichoke dip, croissants and wraps. B, W, L. L, Monday-Saturday; D, daily. 4108 W. Maple, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.626.2630. Beyond Juice: Offering Meal-in-a-Cup creations, sandwiches and a variety of desserts. Greek, seasoned chicken, tuna and garden salads also available, along with homemade Belgian waffles and jumbo muffins. B & L, daily; D, Monday-Saturday. 270 West Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.7078. Big Boy: Big Boy features its classic diner burgers, breakfast specials and popular dessert menu. With its famous Big Boy sandwich and soup and salad bar, its a hometown diner for the whole family. B, L & D, daily. 6675 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.642.0717. Big Rock Chophouse: Big Rock Chophouse’s 4-star, award-winning menu offers flavorful recipes centered around enormous, hand-cut aged steaks, lamb chops and fresh seafood. Featuring an on-site brew house, the restaurant also boasts an extensive wine cellar, complete with more than 400 fine wine and champagne selections. B, W, L. L & D, Monday-Saturday. 245 S. Eton Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.7774. Birmingham Sushi Cafe: Featuring Japanese and American fusion-style fare, the cafe specializes in sushi, beef teriyaki, bibimbap and some kobe beef. The atmosphere is a relaxing, familystyle environment. L & D, daily. 377 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.8880. Birmingham Tower Deli: Gourmet delicatessen located in downtown Birmingham features Boars Head meats and cheeses, soups, salads, burgers and pizza. Catering available. B, L & D, Monday-Friday. 280 N. Old Woodward Avenue, Ste. 105, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.9730.
Bloomfield Deli: With a large selection of sandwiches and wraps, Bloomfield Deli also offers several different varieties of grilled cheese sandwiches, grilled chicken wraps and breakfast sandwiches. Also offering fresh salads and a salad bar with 20 different vegetables and fruits. B & L, Monday-Friday. 71 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.645.6879. Boston Market: Features sirloin, beef brisket, turkey, meatloaf and rotisserie chicken. Boston Market offers soup, steamed vegetables, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and casseroles to pair with a main dish. L & D, daily. 42983 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.334.5559. Brandy’s Steakhouse: A cozy ambiance, private dining room and traditional dishes can be expected at Brandy’s. Offering salads, seafood, pastas and Brandy’s signature steaks. B,W,L. L, Monday-Saturday; D, daily. 1727 South Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.338.4300. Breakaway Deli: Breakaway Deli features a variety of house sandwiches as well as a meatfree zone for vegetarians. B & L, MondaySaturday; D, Monday-Friday. 71 West Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.642.2900. Brooklyn Pizza: Brooklyn Pizza features New York-style pizza by the slice, homemade cookies and ice cream. L & D, daily. 111 Henrietta Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6690. Cafe Via: A high-end downtown eatery featuring an elegant setting as well as a patio courtyard. Grilled salmon, roasted chicken, crabcakes and lambchops are some favorites at Cafe Via. B, W, L. L & D, Monday-Saturday. 310 East Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.8800. Cameron’s Steakhouse: Featuring dry aged and prime steak with an impressive wine list. Cameron’s is a classic steakhouse. B, W, L. D, daily. 115 Willits Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.1700. Chen Chow Brasserie: The decor and menu selection at Chen Chow Brasserie create a most elegant dining experience. Main courses include Pan Seared Tofu, Tamarind Glazed Salmon, Miso Sea Bass, Steamed Halibut, Dashi & Udon and more. Extensive wine list. B, W, L. D, daily. 260 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.2469. China Village: A warm environment featuring China Village’s famous sesame and General Tso’s Chicken. L & D daily. 1655 Opdyke, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.758.1221. Cityscape Deli: Cityscape offers homemade soups and a wide variety of custom carved sandwiches, pasta salads, bean and couscous and Hungarian beef goulash. Homemade healthy sides compliment fresh deli sandwiches. B, L & D, Monday-Saturday. 877 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.540.7220. Cosi: With a signature flatbread, sandwiches, melts, soups, salads and a kids menu, Cosi offers options for all diners. B, W. B, L & D daily. 101 N. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.203.9200. Crust: An upscale restaurant, with an open kitchen and dining room decor with natural wood elements. Full menu includes Neapolitan, thin crust pizzas, salads, sandwiches and small plates. B, W, L. L and D, daily. 6622 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield, 48301. 248.855.5855. Deli Unique of Bloomfield Hills: A menu featuring eight different deli sandwiches and an
extensive breakfast menu. B & L, daily. 39495 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.646.7923 Dick O’Dow’s: Offering Irish classics and home cooking, including stuffed chicken, wild Irish salmon and, of course, shepherd’s pie. B, W, L. L & D, daily. 160 West Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.1135. Einstein Bros. Bagels: Featuring a huge assortment of bagels, sandwiches and specialty coffees. B & L, daily. 176 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.9888. Elie’s Mediterranean Cuisine: Lebanese dishes from stuffed grape leaves to taboulee and humus. B, W, L. L & D, Monday Saturday. 263 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.2420. Embers Deli & Restaurant: Pita sandwiches, soups, burgers, hot dogs and melts available. An extensive breakfast menu includes egg specials, breakfast roll-ups, omelettes, breakfast sandwiches and sides. B &L, daily. 3598 West Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.645.1033. Forest Grill: Forest Grill’s seasonal menu showcases house-made charcuterie, raw bar, clay oven-baked pizzas and traditional bistro dishes. Influenced by French, Italian and contemporary American cuisine with an emphasis on simplicity and flavor. Extensive wine list, including a number of regional wines from boutique vinters and Michigan vineyards. B, W, L. L, Monday-Friday; D, Monday-Saturday. 735 Forest Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.9400. Forte Restaurant: With beautiful decor and lavish cuisine, Forte offers a complete dining experience, including an extensive wine list. Renowned chefs present a complete breakfast menu as well. B, W, L. B, L & D, daily. 201 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.7300. Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: An American steakhouse with a contemporary flair featuring aged prime beef, market fresh seafood and an award-winning wine list. B, W, L & D, daily. 323 N. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.0134. Fuddrucker’s: With simple recipes and madefrom-scratch buns, Fuddrucker’s offers burgers, chicken, fish, salad, and a kids menu. B, W. L & D, daily. 42757 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Township, 48302. 248.333.2400. Greek Island Coney Restaurant: Featuring sandwiches, salads and Coney Island classics. Breakfast is available anytime. B, L & D, daily. 221 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.1222. Hogan’s Restaurant: Casual atmosphere and homemade fare, Hogan’s offers steak, seafood, burgers, a vegetarian and children’s menu. A tavern-type environment is also available to patrons. B, W, L. L & D, daily. 6450 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.626.1800. Hunter House Hamburgers: Featuring high quality, gourmet hamburgers. Recently voted Number One Burger in Michigan by Food Network Magazine and “20 Burgers You Must Eat Right Now” in June 2009 Gourmet Magazine. B, Monday-Saturday; L & D daily. 35075 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.7121. IHOP: From creatively flavored pancakes to steaks, sandwiches and salads, IHOP is best known for its breakfast fare. B, L & D, daily.
2187 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.333.7522. Kerby’s Koney Island: Kerby’s offers a special chili recipe, lean meats and a wide variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner specialties. B, L, & D, daily. 2160 N. Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills. 248.333.1166. Kirk’s Open Pit Bar B Que: Serving barbecue ribs that are slow cooked and covered in a smoky sauce, Kirk’s also offers barbeque and broasted chicken, seafood, homemade macaroni and cheese, peach and apple cobbler, and sweet potato pies. B, L & D, Tuesday- Sunday. 33766 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.203.7010. Leo’s Coney Island: Greek specialties, burgers and coneys are offered along with omelettes, breakfast specials, soups and salads. B, L & D, daily. 6527 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301 (248.646.8568) and at 154 S. Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.8568. Little Daddy’s Parthenon: Featuring Greek fare, like hand-carved gyros, Little Daddy’s Parthenon offers oven roasted turkey, gourmet sandwiches and house-made food. B, L & D, daily. 39500 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.647.3400. Max & Erma’s: Features a family-friendly environment with a variety of burgers, an assortment of salads and a signature tortilla soup, plus steaks, ribs and fajitas. B, W, L. L & D, daily. 250 Merrill Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.1188. Mirage Cafe: Mediterranean fare with healthy options and menu items made fresh daily. Among customer favorites are the chicken lemon rice and lentil soup, chicken shawarma and chicken cream chop. The cafe also offers Caribou Coffee, smoothies and an assortment of desserts. L & D, daily. 297 E. Maple Avenue, Birmingham 48009. 248.731.7768. Mitchell’s Fish Market: Accepting daily delivery of a wide variety of fresh fish flown in from all coasts, the atmosphere is that of an upscale seafood restaurant. Also features a lively bar area. B, W, L. L & D, daily. 117 Willits Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.646.3663. Mountain King: Chinese restaurant serving fried rice, sesame chicken, General Tso’s chicken and standard Chinese favorites. L & D, daily. 469 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.2913. New Bangkok Thai Bistro: Featuring a Thai atmosphere and variety of Thai specialties such as duck, noodles, seafood and curries. Also offering soups, salads, fried rice and appetizers. B, Monday Thursday; L, Monday-Friday; D, daily. 183 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.2181. Northern Lakes Seafood Co: Serving a signature lobster reuben for lunch and a Chilean sea bass for dinner. The seasonal menu includes a soft shell crab, lobster bisque and Columbia river king salmon. B, W, L. L, Monday-Friday; D, daily. 39495 North Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.646.0370 Olga’s Kitchen: Olga’s offers fresh and unique flavored appetizers, sandwiches, soups and salads. Grilled to-order Olga bread available. L & D daily. 2075 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.451.0500 and at 138 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.2760. Peabody’s: With rustic beams and subtle lighting, Peabody’s offers unique sandwiches and sal-
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■ main course When a taco is not just a taco
tillas and vegetable. Yucatan 14-oz Ribeye is chili-rubbed and served with au gratin potatoes. Baby back ribs take on a southwest flair with chipotle honey barbecue sauce and served with sweet potato fries and apple jicama slaw. Sixteen beers on tap make good accompaniments to the flavors of South. A well-drafted wine list focuses on California brands with some nods to Europe in both $7-$12 by-the-glass and $23-$50 by-the-bottle selections. “Our aim,” says Spadafore, “is making people feel comfortable. We’ve created a hang-out place with a little bit of everything, where people can feel relaxed in jeans or a business suit.” (SOUTH, 210 S. Old Woodward, 248.593.81333, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days. Dance Club 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Late night bar menu. Reservations can be made through opentable.com.)
by Eleanor Heald
inimalist is a trendy term for some restaurant designs. Its antithesis is the new SOUTH, opened June 17 in Birmingham. Call the design wow factor and attribute it to Peter Stuhlreyer, managing partner of Designhaus in Rochester, Mich. Stuhlreyer dubs the multi-million dollar startup, “a saturation of abstract and subtle details focused on international design related to south of the tropics.” It’s an attention-grabbing mix of comfortable and modern, with galvanized steel bar tops, 2.5-inch black gas pipe foot rails, and a host of new and experimental products using, as an example, LED to dramatically light 3-D embossed wall panels. Birmingham has been cited as the area’s culinary epicenter. To that, South has added epicenter of cool with a bar/lounge area seating 70 at high tops and another 30 around the bar. A handsome covered front patio seats 40, and the restaurant proper 102. A large dance hall, with its own rear entrance, has a mix of live music and DJs from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. The entertainment calendar can be accessed via facebook.com/Birmingham-MI/South Bar. Owner/partners Steve Puertas, 46, a Florida Southern business major, and Joseph Spadafore, 38, a sports broadcasting major from Michigan State University, grew up in the area. Puertas has owned Main Street Billiards in Rochester for 16 years and Spadafore has been his manager. Add Executive Chef Matt Barkach and you have the trio heading up the place and regional foods under the “South” theme. “I’ve taken a contemporary approach to a southwest and Mexican theme with a little Cajun thrown in,” says 46-yearold Chef Barkach, who has worked in the Dearborn Big Fish kitchen and with the Muer Corporation. “I’m creating
Chef Matthew Barkach and owner Joseph Spadafore seated at the new South restaurant on S. Old Woodward in Birmingham. The Paper photo / Amy K. Lockard
unique dishes through seasonings, bringing flavors to offerings, many of which are seafood. “Regional flavors are the main reason I like to cook this style of food. New flavor profiles have infinite possibilities.”
AMBITIOUS MENU A long list of appetizers makes South a slam-dunk small plates eatery. More than a dozen apps range $6-$12, and include all the favorites, from Shrimp Empanadas, Chilies Rellenos and Fried Plantains to Tuna Sashimi, seared with Cajun spices and served with papaya
ads, along with fresh seafood, house prime rib, signature steaks and pastas. B, W, L. L & D, daily. 34965 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.5222.
salad, lambchops, seafood and taboulee. Pita Cafe is known for its fantastic garlic spread. L & D, daily. 239 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.645.6999.
Pancake House: Best known for breakfast fare, the Original Pancake House has a varied menu. B, L & D, daily. 33703 South Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.5775.
Pizza Papalis & Rio Wraps: Full menu includes rio wraps, pizzas, salads, soups, pasta and desserts; known for its Chicago-style deep dish pizza. L & D, daily. 4036 Telegraph Road, Ste.106, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.540.7722.
Panera Bread: A variety of soups, sandwiches and desserts., plus an on-site bakery. B, L & D, daily. 100 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48309. 248.203.7966 and at 2125 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.253.9877.
Qdoba: A one-of-a-kind Mexican grill restaurant, Qdoba features tacos, salads, nachos, quesadillas and more. L & D, daily. 795 East Maple Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.988.8941.
Phoenicia: A special dining experience, Phoenicia offers all the traditional dishes of Lebanon. 588 South Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. B, W, L. L, Monday-Friday; D, daily. 248.644.3122.
Quattro Cucina Italiana: A high-end setting offering Osso Buco and Branzino filet among several signature Italian dishes. With a relaxing, open atmosphere, Quattro features a variety of pastas, soups, salads and an extensive wine list. B,W,L. L, Monday-Friday; D, daily. 203 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.593.6060
Pita Cafe: Middle Eastern fare featuring chicken shawarma, sweet salad, fattoush, Greek
Quiznos: A signature toasting style creates
slaw and chipotle avocado cream. Among “sandwiches,” are Fish Tacos ($11) made with grilled mahi, apple slaw and Pico de Gallo, served with Spanish rice. South serves other style tacos, but don’t dub it just another taco joint. “We believe,” says Puertas, “that we’ve developed a unique concept for the area.” Main courses, ranging $12-$22, are served with choice of salad or soup. Arrachera is distinctive. It’s grilled marinated skirt steak accompanied with black bean and roasted red pepper sauce and served with warm flour tor-
crisp edges, melted cheese, sizzling meat and warm bread. Choose from over 20 oven-toasted subs, five flatbread chopped salads, 10 sammies, five torpedoes & bullets and soups. Offering a full children’s menu and new, on-site catering. L & D daily. 185 N Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.540.7827. Rio Wraps: Features burritos, salads and deli wraps. L & D, daily. 42805 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.540.7722 . Salvatore Scallopini: Salvatore Scallopini offers fresh prepared daily Italian dishes, appetizers and a variety of desserts. B, W. L & D, daily. 505 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.644.8977. Sandella’s Flatbread Cafe: A casual cafe offering health-conscious options. Grilled paninis, sandwiches, grilled flatbreads, chopped salads and quesadillas are featured. L & D daily. 172 North Old Woodward, Birmingham, 48009. 248.594.4200
Chef/Proprietor and cookbook author Brian Polcyn (Forest Grill, Birmingham) is in the process of co-authoring (with Michael Ruhlman) his second cookbook, Salume, which will be released autumn 2011. Charcuterie, Polcyn’s first book (which has sold 80,000 copies), had a chapter titled “The Artist and the Sausage,” which he said gave him inspiration for Salume, defined as Italian dry-cured sausage. With Ruhlman, recently, Polcyn traveled to Lombardy, Piedmont, Liguria, Tuscany, Umbria, and Emilia-Romagna to visit artisan producers. “Italian Salume producers,” Polcyn says, “have an authentic, regional spirit. I will be using native American pigs to raise awareness of a product that should never die in American cooking.” ■ Eleanor Heald is a nationally-published writer who also writes the wine column in a double byline with her husband Ray for The Paper. Suggestions for this feature and specifically for the Quick Bites section can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve’s Deli: Classic and popular deli featuring a wide variety of soups, sandwiches and deserts. B, L & D, daily. 6646 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.932.0800. Streetside Seafood: Streetside has developed a reputation for fresh fish, oysters and other seafood on a seasonal menu B,W,L. L, MondayFriday; D, daily. 273 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.645.9123. Sushi Hana: Sushi Hana’s menu includes tempura, teriyakis, yakitori, fried egg, seafood, vegetables and more. Offers traditional Japanese fare as well as some Korean dishes. L, MondayFriday; D, Monday-Saturday. 42656 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48304. 248.333.3887. Sy Thai Cafe: A casual dining atmosphere, Sy Thai serves orange duck, noodle dishes, stirfried mussels with onions and all the usual Thai classics. L & D, daily. 315 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.9830. Tallulah Wine Bar and Bistro: Featuring wine
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■ focus on wine Buy Michigan? – Indeed, buy Michigan wines By Eleanor and Ray Heald “Michigan is a youngster in the global wine picture,” says Linda Jones, executive director of the Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council. “The industry has grown at an amazing rate in the last 10 years — from 25 wineries to 71, with at least four more due to open in the next year.” With such rapid growth, Jones was concerned that if it were not documented, early history (pre-1900s to early
PROGRESS About 2,000 acres are devoted to wine grapes, making Michigan the eighth state in wine grape production. Vineyard area has increased more than 60 percent in the last decade. Annually, Michigan’s 71 commercial wineries produce more than 1 million gallons of wine, making Michigan 13th in wine production. Michigan wineries are popular tourist destinations, attracting more than 800,000 visitors annually. Yet, as we eat out at restaurants with a wine list in the Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Bloomfield Township area, we find very few Michigan wines. Since there’s a push to “buy Michigan” among restaurants and local chefs, we wondered why this did not apply to wine. We asked several Michigan winemakers and winery owners: How much success have you had placing your wines on Detroit Metro area restaurant wine lists?
1970s) might be lost. Through the council, Jones commissioned Lorri Hathaway and Sharon Kegerreis, authors of From the Vine: Exploring Michigan Wineries, to conduct research on the early years. They learned that winemaking in Michigan dates back to 1679, and there are references to the first commercial wine grape vineyard planting in 1863. In May 1918, Michigan banned alcohol, more than a year before the National Prohibition Act banned alcoholic beverages in all states. Good news: fifteen years later, Michigan was the first state to repeal alcohol prohibition. In 2005, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Granholm v. Heald (yup, that’s us), opened the door to consumer direct shipping in the state. Now, 38 states, or over 80 percent of the U.S. population, have the Constitutional right. Each year, Michigan’s wine, grapes, grape juice products and related industries contribute nearly $790 million in total economic value to the state. The industry pays more than $42 million in state and local taxes and an additional $42 million in federal taxes. Across Michigan, the industry accounts for more than 5,000 jobs, for a payroll of more than $190 million.
There are certain keys to earning placements in restaurants, explains Shady Lane Cellars winemaker Adam Satchwell. “One is having good representation; people who understand what we are doing and can communicate that. Our distributor (Elite Brands) is focused on quality producers. They tell our story. We are a small winery and we like to think of ourselves as a quality producer. There has to be a reason for someone to consider our wine. We are getting very nice wine list placements.” Along the same lines, Lee Lutes, Winemaker at Black Star Farms, says that Michigan wineries are all fighting for the few spots on wine lists. “We may get rotated in this year and then another winery is rotated in the next year. Obviously, we would like to see more depth where Michigan wines can make up at least 10 percent of the list.” Cornel Olivier, 2 Lads Winery winemaker and partner, says they have not pushed to get their wines into restaurants in Metro Detroit, but they have many restaurants calling them. “Unfortunately,” he says, “we have a very small production to meet the demand.” Bel Lago winemaker Charlie Edson responds, “Some of the Detroit area restaurants have stellar wine lists, but
it would be great to have more local wines represented. When you travel to Europe, you find a majority of local wines on restaurant lists. That is not true in this state in most areas.” Larry Mawby, proprietor/winemaker at L. Mawby, defines the winery as a sparkling wine niche producer. “The sparkling wine portion of a restaurant’s wine list,” he points out, “is usually small, so the food and beverage person is willing to include our wines because we are focused on only one wine type. Other Michigan wineries will experience similar success as they begin to specialize.” Marie-Chantal Dalease, Chateau Chantal marketing and management director, explains, “It is easier to get offpremise than on-premise placements. We have to build greater awareness before restaurants are ready to accept more Michigan wines. More customer demand by diners will certainly help us go forward.” And in that remark, lies the path to more Michigan wines on local wine lists. Ask the restaurant manager or whoever makes purchases for the wine list, “Why aren’t you featuring more Michigan wines?”
MICHIGAN’S NEWEST WINE Larry Mawby (L. Mawby) has released a new sparkler that he calls Detroit. “There are two reasons for naming the wine Detroit. First, there are a lot of people in Detroit, and I thought I could sell a bunch of wine there. Secondly, it seems to me that when a community doesn’t have a wine with which to celebrate, good things are not likely to happen. I am trying to do my part for Detroit. I am giving them a wine with which to celebrate good times and believe that good times will come.” At $15, Detroit is a fun bubbly, suitable to celebrate anything, even Fridays!
OTHER NEW RELEASE MICHIGAN WINES TO BUY:
PINOT PASSION Generous fruit and a luxurious mouthfeel make pinot noir popular, yet the price is all over the board. In most cases, quality rises with the price. Try: 2008 Murphy-Goode $14 2008 Kendall-Jackson $18 2008 Santa Barbara Wine Co., Santa Barbara County $20 2008 Frank Family Napa Valley $35 2007 Lynmar Russian River Valley $40 2007 Lynmar Terra de Promission $70 2007 Lynmar “The Summit” Quail Hill Vineyard $70 2007 Lynmar Bliss Block Quail Hill Vineyard $70 2007 Lynmar Hawk Hill Vineyard $70
IN THE BOX THOUGHTS MORE BARGAINS FROM OCTAVIN Big House White $22/3L, Bodegas Osborne Seven from Spain, $22/3L, Monthaven Winery Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon $24/3L.
fries, nuggets, onion rings, burgers, chili and soups. L & D, daily. 327 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, 48009. 248.220.1108.
Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, 48301. 248.851.0313.
daily. 100 Townsend Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.642.5999.
The Moose Preserve Bar & Grill: The Moose Preserve features a full menu, including fresh fish, barbecue ribs and certified black angus steak. B, W, L. L & D, daily. 2395 S. Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, 48302. 248.858.7688.
Toast: With a modern retro style, Toast offers American dishes with a touch of southwestern taste, including signature breakfast food to burgers. B, W, L. B & L, daily; D, Monday-Saturday. 203 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6278.
The Corner Bar: Part of the Townsend Hotel complex, The Corner Bar offers a lighter fare from 5-7 p.m. that includes sliders and salads. B, W, L. D, Wednesday-Saturday. 100 Townsend Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.2958.
The Phat Sammich: Offers 70 different sandwiches, five daily soup specials and salads. Homemade fare is prepared fresh daily and weekday lunch delivery is available. L & D, daily. 34186 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, 48009. 248.723.0860
Tokyo Sushi & Grill: A cozy sushi bar offering sashimi, soba noodle dishes, teriyakis, tempura, all the traditional Japanese dishes, and, of course, sushi. L & D, daily. 225 E. Maple Rd., Birmingham, 48009. 248.258.6501
The Rugby Grille: Conveniently located inside Birmingham’s Townsend Hotel and offering a luxury dining experience. B, W, L. B, L & D,
TOPZ: Offering homemade fare, featuring Michigan vendors and local Michigan products, TOPZ prides itself on its air-baked, non-fried
HAIL THESE CABS 2007 Murphy-Goode $14 – value 2007 Kendall-Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon $20 – blend of all five Bordeaux varietals that can’t be beat at this price 2008 Penley “Phoenix,” Coonawarra $20 2007 Chappellet Napa Valley Mountain Cuvee $29 – value 2007 Sbragia Andolsen Vineyard $35 2006 J. Lohr Hilltop Vineyard Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon $35 – outstanding 2006 Dry Creek Vineyard “The Mariner,” a blend of all five Bordeaux varieties $40 2007 Shafer Napa Valley One Point Five $70
2 Lads Winery 2009 Riesling $20 2 Lads Winery 2008 Cabernet Franc $25 Bel Lago 2008 Auxerrois (oh-zherWAH) $13 Black Star Farms 2008 Arcturos Dry Riesling $16 Brys Estate 2008 Pinot Noir $25 Chateau Chantal 2009 Pinot Blanc $14 Chateau Fontaine 2007 Woodland Red $28
varieties from regions all over the world, Tallulah offers wine by the bottle, half bottle and glass. American fare is on the menu with a farmto-table concept. Dishes are made fresh daily with organic, local products. Indoor and seasonal patio seating available. B, W, L. B, D, Wednesday-Sunday. 155 S. Bates Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.731.7066.
The Gallery Restaurant: Family restaurant in an art gallery environment offering full menu. American fare includes omelettes, sandwiches and a variety of salads. B, L & D, daily. 6683
Chateau Grand Traverse 2008 Whole Cluster Riesling $14 Circa Estate 2007 Pinot Grigio $18 Left Foot Charley 2009 Pinot Grigio $15 Shady Lane Cellars 2008 Dry Riesling $15 Shady Lane Cellars 2008 Blue Franc $22
Eleanor & Ray Heald are contributing editors for the internationally-respected Quarterly Review of Wines among other publications. Contact them by e-mail at email@example.com.
Whistle Stop Cafe: Voted among the best diners in America by Good Morning America, this eatery boasts of its local roots and feel. B & L, daily; D, Monday-Friday. 501 S. Eton Street, Birmingham, 48009. 248.647.5588. (Want your eating establishment listed? There is no charge for this directory in The Paper but there are a couple of rules. An eatery must be located in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township or Bloomfield Hills and must have tables where patrons can dine in. Send your information via fax (248.360.1220) to Katey Meisner or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
■ the community house
have exciting news! The Community House is planning an inaugural event which will expand the reach of our service to the community. The Elmore Leonard Literary Arts and Film Festival will take place on Nov. 10-13, 2010, and, annually thereafter. When we conceptualized the idea of hosting a festival, we felt that there was no better way to do so than by honoring Elmore Leonard, a metro-Detroit legend who has contributed significantly to the arts and the state of Michigan. The Elmore Leonard Literary Arts and Film Festival will annually celebrate and showcase the lives, works and themes of other writers, producers, directors, composers, actors, etc., whose success and contribution to the arts can be traced to their connection to the state of Michigan. Shelley Roberts The multifaceted event will include a competition for screenwriters and filmmakers, as well as a separate teen short story contest for students ages 13-18. A screening of the pilot episode of Elmore's hit TV series "Justified" on the FX Network ("Fire in the Hole") along with screenings of the finalists from the Short Film Competition, will be highlighted from Nov. 10-13. The festivities will conclude on Nov. 13 with a benefit gala honoring the legendary writer for his contributions to the arts and to the state of Michigan. In addition to honoring the career of Elmore Leonard and providing a significant cultural program for our community, the festival has the added benefit of bringing a tremendous amount of positive attention to Birmingham and the Detroit area. The festival has already been covered by national press, and there is much more to come. For information about the festival, including the competitions and sponsorship opportunities, please see www.elmoreleonardliteraryartsandfilmfestival.com or call Kathie Ninneman at 248-594-6403. For those of you who have visited "The Community House Island" during the past few weeks, my sincere apology for your inconvenience. I have heard many harrowing stories, but my favorite was from our top donor who mailed in his check because he tried to deliver it personally but couldn't get to the building. Soon, this will all be history, and The Community House will be completely accessible. We are very pleased that the contractors are substantially ahead of schedule, and all their work should be finished no later than the end of July. In the meantime, the lane on Chester on the west side of The Community House is reserved for Community House drop off, and Lot 7 is open for parking with pedestrian access to The House. So don't stay away — we have lots of great programs during the summer. Of special interest are our great cooking classes. We have lots of new ones that sound wonderful. They include: • Salads Are Not for Sissies; • Eat Right to Live Longer!; • Raw Finger Foods and Cocktails; • Entrée Salads; • Local and Seasonal; • Seafood Favorites on the Grill; and • Utilizing Summer’s Bounty of Fruits and Vegetables. While you are enjoying summer, spend a little time thinking about fall and going on one of The Community House's great trips. Details have just been finalized for our Wright On trip, a Frank Lloyd Wright experience in Pennsylvania. We will spend the nights of Oct. 15 and Oct. 16 at the William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh and enjoy a city tour with acclaimed author and professor of art and architecture, Franklin Toker. This will prepare travelers for the tour of Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob on Saturday. The trip includes breakfast daily, dinner Saturday night at Le Mont restaurant and more. Call 248-554-6583 for details and to sign up — the deadline to register for this perfect fall weekend is Sept. 10. Also, consider going on our always popular, always sold-out trips to Paris (Oct. 5-11) and Tuscany (Nov. 4-12). Finally, it's not too late to have fun while supporting the Children's Charities Coalition (The Community House, CARE House of Oakland County, Orchards Children's Services and Variety The Children's Charity) and the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association by attending the President's Ball, Sunday, July 11 at The Townsend Hotel. The evening includes cocktails, dinner, a live band and auction. Tickets are $100. There are still a few spots available for the golf outing on July 12 at Oakhurst Country Club. For more information or to make reservations for the President's Ball or golf outing, call Pamela Ayres at 248-593-1576 or e-mail email@example.com. I look forward to seeing you at The Community House! ■ Shelley Roberts is President and CEO of The Community House. www.oaklandpaper.com
■ social lights / sally gerak ■ HAVEN’s Promenade of Hope
Here is the update on the social scene from the past month. Social Lights is posted each week on The Paper’s website at oaklandpaper.com, where readers can sign up for an e-mail alert when the latest column is posted. Many more photos from each event appear online each week, and past columns and photos are archived on the website for The Paper.
HAVEN’s Promenade of Hope Over the years, HAVEN has staged its Promenade of Hope in hotel ballrooms, corporate atriums, the Silver Dome and Meadow Brook Hall, to name a few of the event sites. This year it attracted a record crowd of 400 to Red Run Country Club where the balmy weather made the tented terrace a magnet for viewing the course. The VIPs who arrived early got to hear Joe McClelland sing “Somedays” after sponsor Towers Watson’s Beth Lieberman and sponsor Charter One’s Sylvia Morin spoke briefly. Silent auction bidding ($20,000), raffles ($11,400), and serious socializing preceded the strolling dinner. Celebrity host Diana Lewis spoke convincingly about the tragedy of domestic abuse before auctioneer Charles Wickins conducted a brief live auction (11 items) that raised $15,000. This included the $750 someone paid to adopt a winsome puppy that made friends during the cocktail hour. Thanks also to generous sponsorships the event netted $190,000. This is vital to HAVEN, because, as board chair Jim Moritz reminded the VIPs, “Victims never pay for services at HAVEN.”
New Horizons’ Make a Difference Auction Nearly 400 supporters of New Horizons Rehabilitation Services attended the award-winning agency’s 20th annual Make A Difference Charity Auction at the Centerpoint Marriott. During the first part of the evening folks socialized, perused the silent auction, enjoyed the strolling dinner and checked out the raffle prizes. During the live auction, auctioneer Geffrey Jewell got them to part with $14,350. This included the nearly $1,600 that someone paid for Traveling Bistro – the gourmet dinner for 6 in the buyer’s home prepared by New Horizon staffers Ron Storing, Greg Kriovan, Lois Paul and Tina Collins. Combined with the silent auction proceeds ($15,590) and the beneficence of sponsors like Lear, ArvinMeritor, and PNC Bank, the event raised nearly $150,000 for the agency that serves people over 16 who have a barrier to employment and disabling conditions.
Women Officials’ Network Foundation’s Wonder Women of 2010 The WON Foundation’s Wonder Woman of 2010 celebration attracted 120 to the Somerset Inn to honor Fran Anderson, Elizabeth Bauer, Pat Hardy and Kym Worthy. Their qualifications are varied. Anderson’s include more than 40 years of volunteer leadership in legal, educational and hospital organizations. Bauer has advocated statewide, nationally and globally - the legal and human rights of all persons, especially those with disabilities, for over four decades. Hardy’s public impact has been on the Bloomfield Hills City Council and the rescue of the Barton Farm House. Worthy is best known as the current Wayne County Prosecutor, but for 10 years she served as a circuit court judge and before that as assistant prosecutor for 10 years with a 90 percent conviction rate. Anderson, an octogenarian, was the first to be introduced. The introduction by her son Russell and her acceptance speech were both so impressive that when Hardy got the microphone she announced that she, Worthy and Bauer had just decided that Anderson should be Michigan’s next governor. The room resounded with applause. In addition to foundation chair / event chair Debbie Macon and emcee Sue Nine, past Wonder Women at the event included Millie Pastor, Judge Joan Young, Harriet Rotter, Judge Denise Langford Morris, who introduced her friend Kym Worthy, and this reporter. WON welcomes everyone who feels there should be more women in governmental leadership positions. Persons interested in membership should call Macon at (248) 425-4111 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mothers, Daughters, Sisters & Friends Patron Cocktail Party “The most beautiful dresses I’ve ever seen. I could not resist buying one,” said Myrna Partrich following the Naeem Khan fashion show that Saks Fifth Avenue staged for the Mothers, Daughters, Sisters & Friends Patron Brunch at the Somerset Collection store. It attracted 120 patrons ($600 & up), some of whom had first met the personable designer at the Patron Cocktail Party the preceding evening at Aston Martin of Troy. It was hosted by co-chairs Irma Elder, her daughter Stephanie Battershall, and daughter-in-law Elle Elder. To date, the MDS&F event has raised more than $90,000 to benefit the Francee & Benson Ford Jr. Breast Care and Wellness Center at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. The main event, which Francee Ford and her mother Mickie Kline and Florine Mark and her daughter Lisa Lis are chairing, is a luncheon and boutique Monday, Sept. 20 at the Shenandoah Country Club. The guest speaker will be Peggy Fleming, Olympic Gold medal winner and 12-year breast cancer survivor. For more information and tickets go to www.henryford.com/giving and select Special Events, or call Gloria Sikorski at (313) 874-6139. HAVEN board president Jim Moritz(left) of Grosse Pointe with event chairs Sylvia Morin and Mary Ann Lievois of Bloomfield and auction chair Marilyn Gordy of Beverly Hills. Mary Ann (left) & Jerry Lievois, ISCG’s Mary Jo Henry and Ted and Nancy Haddad of Bloomfield. Left: Tom Matthews (left) and Kim Easterle Mattes of Grosse Pointe and Pam & Ronald Iacobelli of Bloomfield. Right: Carol & Drayton McClelland of Bloomfield. Left: Jerry (left) and Marja Norris of Bloomfield with Marie Remboulis and her husband Pierre Corriveau of Birmingham. Right: Reception vocalist Northwestern University student Joe McClelland (left) with his parents Sarah & Mick of Bloomfield.
2010 Walsh College Wine Gala A record crowd (371) attended the Walsh College Wine Gala at Andiamo’s in Warren. They enjoyed wine tastings from the private collections of college trustee Van Conway and long-time event supporter Bob Cummings, as well as from A.H.D. Vintners and Great Lakes Wine & Spirits. Dining on the stroll, a martini bar, a cigar room, a raffle and silent auction were other diversions. The event, which was chaired by Kathleen Kosmatka and Michael Semanco, raised $50,000 (also a record) for the
Walsh College General Scholarship Fund.
■ New Horizons’ Make a Difference Auction
Michigan Region ORT’s WINGO Nearly 400 women supporters of ORT’s educational mission flocked to Congregation Beth Ahm for WINGO. Julie Hirsch, Robbie Sherman, Paula Lynn and Sylvia Wolf chaired this popular night of playing bingo, winning raffle prizes and bidding on silent auction items. Many also brought school supplies for the Hermelin ORT Resource Center. It is located in the West Bloomfield Jewish Community Center and is the only local ORT school, which exist in 63 countries worldwide and have more than 3-million program graduates. WINGO 2010 netted nearly $29,000. Steven J. Tapper, Sandy Shecter and Randy Wertheimer are chairing the next ORT fundraiser – Rub-A-Dub, Thursday, Aug. 26 at Franklin Hills Country Club. The theme they have chosen is We ORT the World, We ORT Detroit.
Save the Gold Cup Rally Members of the GPYC are feeling good about the response to their pep rally aimed at saving the storied Gold Cup Races. The event, which has been part of the Detroit scene since 1916, is threatened due to Chrysler’s inability to continue its support. Commodore Mary Treder Lang (the first female Commodore in GPYC history) welcomed 100 potential sponsors and race lovers like Terry and Christopher Stinson to the cocktail-hour event that featured heartfelt appeals by Paul W. Smith and mayor Dave Bing. Six-time National Driving Champion and Gold Cup event director Mark Weber then outlined the various participation levels and the perks for donors and business affiliates. More dollars are still needed to save the race and its cup – the oldest motorsports trophy in existence — older than the Indy 500, LeMans or the Daytona 500. Interested parties should contact the DRRA (Detroit River Regatta Association) at (586)774-0980.
Crohn’s & Colitis Fashion Preview A sold out crowd of 220 packed Oakland Hills Country Club to see the Think About Spring fashion show that Saks Fifth Avenue produced for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. Before lunch people got makeup applications by Dior Cosmetics and cruised the mini silent auction and raffle display (more than 80 donations were assembled by Linda Jacob and her crew into 39 attractive packages, which raised more than $6,000). Event cochairs Nanci Kantor and Wendy Gorge welcomed all and thanked Beaumont Foundation, ARIA Facial Care, and Pegasus Entertainment for their sponsorship. Then Cheryl Hall Lindsay presented the show of 41 ensembles suitable for all occasions. The third annual event raised $44,000 for CCFA, which, among other services, provides a free camp experience for children with Inflammatory Bowl Disease.
Donate Life Coalition’s Alive 2010 The gift of life is precious. The Donate Life Coalition of Michigan stages its annual ALIVE event to put organ recipients, donor families and the need for donors in the spotlight. The seventh annual event attracted 300 ($40 ticket) to the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center where they enjoyed sustenance www.oaklandpaper.com
Clockwise from lower left: Javan Nation (left) of Detroit with PNC’s Elizabeth Washington of Royal Oak and Boyd Pethel & his wife Jen of Birmingham. Jackie (left) and Paul Keller of Franklin with Cadillac Products’/event co-chair Michael & Kathryn Williams of Bloomfield. ArvinMeritor’s Lin Cummins (left) of Rochester, emcee WJR’s Paul W. Smith of Grosse Pointe, ArvinMerior’s Chip & committee member Sarah McClure of Bloomfield Hills. John & Kathy Beran of Bloomfield. Tim Travis (left) of Waterford and Peggy Kerr of Birmingham with Ruth & Ford’s Gordon Cooley of Bloomfield.
■ Women Officials’ Network Foundation’s Wonder Women of 2010
Clockwise from lower left: Bob Pastor (left), Paul Nine and Tom Hardy of Bloomfield. Honorees Liz Bauer (left) of Birmingham, Kym Worthy of Detroit, Pat Hardy of Bloomfield and Fran Anderson of Waterford. Mary Counihan (standing left) of Birmingham, Sandi Pape of Bloomfield, Lynne Eichinger (seated left) of W. Bloomfield, Virginia Antakli and Carol Shaya of Bloomfield. Foundation board chair Debbie Macon (left) of W. Bloomfield and board member / event emcee Sue Nine of Bloomfield
■ Mothers, Daughters, Sisters & Friends Patron Cocktail Party
Clockwise from upper left: Dan (left) & SFA’s Kim Nye of Troy with main event co-chair Florine Mark of Farmington Hills. Rosemary Bannon (left) of Beverly Hills with Claire Chambers, Bob & Millie Pastor and HFHS’s Jennifer Harmon of Bloomfield. Event co-chair Elle Elder (left) of Bloomfield with Elder Automotive Group’s Molly Padovini. Patron Party co-chair Elle Elder (left) of Bloomfield and Roz Jacobson of Birmingham. Dr. Mark & Tracey Burnstein with their son Alex of Bloomfield. Stephanie Miller (left) and Tony Elder of Bloomfield and Tika Ivezaj of Commerce.
■ social lights / sally gerak ■ Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s Third Annual Fashion Preview
Clockwise from upper left: Event chairs Nanci Kantor (left) of Bloomfield and Wendy Gorge of Franklin. Committee member Harriett Fuller (left) with Sis Fisher of Bloomfield. Committee members Jean Dubin (left) and Connie Colman of Bloomfield. Committee member Meredith Colburn (left) with her mother Nanci Rands of Bloomfield. SFA’s Ken Dewey (left) of Bloomfield and Gretchen Duff of W. Bloomfield. Committee members Sandra Moers (left) and Irma Elder of Bloomfield. Wendy Petherick (left) with committee member Barbara Bowman of Birmingham and Janet Grant of Bloomfield. Ann Thompson (center) of Bloomfield with Susan Cooper (left) and Mandy Lunghamer of Birmingham. Committee member Sydell Schubot (left) of Franklin with sponsor Beaumont’s Dr. Pam Markovitz of Ann Arbor and Stephany Austin of Bloomfield. Event committee member Sally Marx (left) and her daughter Julie Marx of Bloomfield.
■ Donate Life Coalition’s Alive 2010
donated by Barefoot Wine, Splendid Plates Catering, Zoup!, Demarle at Home, Garden Fresh Salsa and Maggianos of Troy. They also bid $8,400 in a silent auction and took chances in a Treasure Chest ($910) and Goody Bag sale ($820). Music was generously donated by the Lyin Dogs. The group is led by Dr. Ken Tobin and includes Dr. Rob Pikal, medical salesmen Jim Paratore, and Dave Parr, St. Regis choir director Andy Langlands, and Chrysler’s Tracy Wagaman. One highlight of their performance was when heart recipient Lexi Dorfman joined them for a vocal. The band took a break while Park West Gallery, L. Brooks Patterson, Patricia Montemurri, and Glenda Lewis received awards and some organ donor relatives and recipients modeled fashions. Fifty guests also got copies of “The Blind Porcupine” autographed, by its co-authors, Kalamazoo-area twins who both received cornea transplants. The celebration of life raised $27,000 plus the registration of more donors. Anyone may register at www.giftoflifemchigan.org.
Junior Council’s Cirque Odyssey Youthful supporters (420) of the Detroit Institute of Arts, many of them in feathered masks with theatrical makeup from 6 Salon, partied in the Crystal Ballroom at the Masonic Temple at the Founders Junior Council’s Cirque Odyssey. Co-chairs Chris Trebilcock and Lauren Rakolta’s committee had transformed the vintage venue into a NYC club look-a-like, and Bacchanal Productions added stilt walkers, contortionists and fire performers to the dance scene. About 60 of the 175 patrons ($225-ticket) had attended the Patron Soiree a week previously at the Capital Grille. Patrons also enjoyed an exclusive reception at Cirque. The energetic, chic party grossed more than $70,000. FJC will also benefit from the revival of Fash Bash that was announced last week by Saks Fifth Avenue. Amanda Posch and Rick Bone are co-chairing Fash Bash Rehash (“rehash” because the longstanding Fash Bash took a hiatus a few years ago) Thursday, Aug. 26 at SFA’s Somerset store. The event will celebrate the DIA’s 125th anniversary and SFA’s new Contemporary Collections salon with a full runway production show of SFA’s Contemporary Designer Collections. For tickets ($125include cocktails, hors d’oeuvres & $25 SFA gift card) call Tim Burns at (313) 833-4025.
RESTORE Connection 2010
Clockwise from lower left: Madison & Malia, twins who received cornea transplants autographing copies of their book. Event coordinator Peggy Burkhart of Commerce and committee member Dr. Stan Dorfman of Bloomfield. Alana Greenspan (left) of Bloomfield, Isabelle Sui of Birmingham, and Cassie Nichols of Bloomfield with their friend, a heart recipient Lexi Dorfman of W. Bloomfield and cardiologist / Lyin Dogs band leader Dr. Ken Tobin of Commerce. Committee members Lisa Dorfman Ziff with her daughter Shay, a heart recipient, and her mother Lenore Dorfman of Bloomfield. Kathy and Michael Schwartz of Birmingham.
Over 150 attorneys, judges and community leaders attended RESTORE Connection 2010 at The Moose Preserve. Judge Ed Sosnick emceed the cocktail hour program that included an award to the Oakland County Bar Foundation, accepted by president Michael Sullivan, encouragement by attorneys Ven Johnson and Alan Ackerman to attend the drug court graduations to see first-hand how lives are transformed, and, most notably, testimony by Ashley Loudenback. She spoke about how her participation in the juvenile drug court brought her recovery from drug addiction, renewed family relationships, college attendance and the tools to lead a productive life free of drugs. The RESTORE Foundation raises funds for the adult and juvenile drug JULY 2010
courts. Drug Court is a rigorous program offered as an alternative to confinement. It balances intensive supervision, frequent drug testing and court appearances, with scheduled treatment and recovery services. In 2009, Oakland County’s nine drug courts collectively admitted 1,207 participants. Together these participants maintained sobriety for over 400,000 days and reported improvements in social skills, employer relationships, family functions and the overall qualify of life. Ten days after the foundation event, nearly 400 people attended the graduation ceremony, All Rise, at Waterford Mott High School. This included 45 graduates, 95 current participants, and a dozen judges in the Procession of Judges. Past drug court graduates, some of their parents, police and parole officers and social workers gave personal testimonials about the life saving impact of the courts. Then, in true courtroom fashion, each court’s participants, sitting in nine different sections of the auditorium, were commanded to “All Rise” and be introduced. A reception followed. To understand how the drug courts elevate all of us go to http://www.nadcp.org/learn/all-rise.
■ Founders Junior Council’s Cirque Odyssey VIP Soiree
Reception for Susan Cooper Nearly 200 gathered at a reception at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak to recognize Susan Cooper for her generous $5- million gift to establish a Women’s Urology Center at the hospital. Guests, including Cooper’s personal friends, physicians and community leaders, sipped, supped, and toured the new center and stopped to be photographed with the philanthropist (who said the next day that her face still ached from all the smiling). The center is the first of its kind in the Midwest dedicated exclusively to treatment and research of urological conditions such as incontinence, pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction. Kenneth M. Peters, M.D., chairman of Urology at Beaumont, Royal Oak, said that since the center opened in March they had received extremely positive feedback. “We owe Susan Cooper an enormous debt of gratitude,” he noted.
Clockwise from upper left: Chris (left) & FJC board members Trish Dewald and Cirque co-chair Chris Trebilcock (with Lauren Rakolta) of Royal Oak and FJC president Nicole Wagner of Birmingham. Josh Bartlett (left) of Farmington Hills with FJC board member Dante & Suzi Cerroni of Bloomfield. Steve (left) & Kathy Minns of Birmingham, Bacchanal Promotions performer Andrew D’Ascenzo of Auburn Hills and Melissa Gould of Bloomfield. Charley (left) & Carolyn McQueen of Bloomfield and FJC board member Rick Bone of Rochester Hills. Linda (left) & Alan Taylor of Birmingham, David & Amanda Pontes of Ferndale.
■ RESTORE Connection 2010
Productions Plus Open House Kudos to Margery Krevsky for expanding her modeling talent agency by acquiring a complementary business to provide talent management for a vast range of clients, including Michigan’s burgeoning film industry. Well wishers, including her original business partner Harriett Fuller and staffers from the Los Angeles office, flocked to the Open House she recently hosted to showcase all the bells and whistles in the new Bingham Farms location.
Preservation Bloomfield’s Ball III The effort to save, move and restore the historic Barton Farmhouse has been a joint effort of the four B’s – Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield School District and Bloomfield Historical Society. Thus, three years ago the clever supporters of the project hit upon the bee as a symbol for their first fundraiser and it works as well as the real life busy insects do. This year, the event attracted the largest crowd yet (164) to The Village Club. It happens to be just down Long Lake Road from the original site of the farm house that has been moved to the school district’s Bowers Farm. The www.oaklandpaper.com
Top row, left to right: Paige Curtis (left) of Bloomfield, host committee member Diana Dietle of Milford, Judge Kelley Kostin of Clarkston, Judge Wendy Potts of Birmingham. Oakland County Bar Foundation Trustees: Elizabeth Luckenback Brown of Bloomfield, Hills, foundation president Michael Sullivan of Bloomfield, Diana Dietle of Milford, Joe Papelian and Dan Quick of Bloomfield, presiding judge of the women’s drug treatment court program Judge Colleen O’Brien of Rochester Hills. Bottom row: Host committee member Henry Baskin Bloomfield Hills and Judge Wendy Potts of Birmingham. Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Drug Court Judge Edward Sosnick of Bloomfield and speaker / graduate of juvenile drug court Ashley Loudenback of Royal Oak.
■ social lights / sally gerak ■ Preservation Bloomfield’s Bee Hive Ball
historical highlight of the party program, emceed by Sue Nine, was Jon Marshall’s unveiling of a signed window that was preserved during the window replacement phase of the restoration. Folks were also buzzing about some party details. Co-chair Judy Anderson credited florists at Just Add Water, Sue Nine, and Carol Shaya, a decorating legend who also did the table cloths, for the bee-accented centerpieces. Shirley Maddalena donated the splendid Bee Hive cake which co-chair Christine Zambricki commissioned sugar artist Laura Amadeo to create. Not only was it a thing of beauty to behold, the chocolate cake with mocha & raspberry filling, buttercream frosting and edible flowers and bees was also a delicious dessert. Co-chair Lisa Yamin coordinated the Bower’s Farm 4-H Club volunteers and their auction donations. Live auctioneers Ed Cherney and Colleen Burcar inspired spirited bidding and impromptu donations, including their own. The live auction ($6,000) and silent auction ($3,500) coordinated by Joan Cleland, combined with ticket sales ($100, $75), brought the total proceeds for the Barton Farm House restoration project to more than $20,000. The ultimate goal is for the house to be used for classes and community gatherings.
Top row, left to right: Isabelle Yamin (left) with event co-chairs Lisa Yamin (her mother) and Judy Anderson of Bloomfield. Committee member Carol Shaya (left) with Joan Gaston of Bloomfield. Bowers Farm 4-H members Isabelle Yamin of Bloomfield and John Kolar of Troy. Committee members Bee Englehart (left), Carol Zuzenak and Judy Kelliher of Bloomfield. Cindy Boudreau (left) of Bloomfield, Eddie Mancini of Troy, Chris Thornber and Michael Zuzenak of Bloomfield. Benefactors Joe (left) & Lisa Yamin and Nick & Virginia Antak.
■ Karmanos Cancer Institute Annual Dinner
A Surprising Event Surprising volunteer super star Sue Nine is not an easy task, but Pat Hardy, Carol Shaya, Millie Pastor and Maggie Allesee did precisely that when they convened a few of her many friends for brunch at The Heathers Club on June 1. And because the theme was “Sue Nine is a Real Gem,” not only were the decorations and souvenirs bejeweled, but the group gift was a gold locket. It was selected by the thoughtful hostesses as a token replacement for a sentimental piece that went missing when burglars had their way with all of Nine’s jewelry.
Zoological Society’s Party Unlike the Detroit Lions’ playing field, the habitat for the Detroit Zoo’s Kings of the Jungle is one of the few exhibits that has not been renovated. This will change following the Detroit Zoological Society’s annual Sunset at the Zoo fundraiser Friday, June 18. Some of the 200-plus Sunset benefactors ($600) convened for a cocktail supper salute on May 14 at Tony and Sarah Earley’s home. Before the hosts received a lion topiary sculpture for a thank you gift, Detroit Lions’ boss Tom Lewand, whose wife Suzanne is co-chairing Sunset with Jessica Pellegrino, assured the partygoers of his team’s support. Zoo director Ron Kagan also presented the prestigious Nautilus Award to six-year DZS board chair Gail Warden for his “…incredible wisdom, dollars and time.” All guests left with a cuddly stuffed lion.
Ford Transplant Institute Reception
Top row, left to right: Doreen Hermelin (left) of Bingham Farms, Mel Lester of Franklin, event emcee Dick & Gail Purtan of West Bloomfield. Kay Ponicall (left) of Bloomfield, Rita Dunker of Birmingham, Dr. Sonya Friedman of W. Bloomfield, and honorary co-chair Lil Erdeljan of Bloomfield. Second row: KCI’s Dr. Charles Schiffer(left) of Bloomfield with Lori Dresner and her father Joseph Dresner of Franklin, (who recently honored Schiffer with a $2-5-million gift to establish a Bone Marrow Transplant and Hematologic Malignancies Center). Maggie and Bob Allesee of Bloomfield. Elham Shayota, Detroit Lions Coach Jim Schwartz, and Nedda Shayota of Bloomfield. At left: Honorary co-chair Linda Dresner. At right: Tracey & KCI president / CEO Gerold Bepler, M.D of Bloomfield.
Chefs and artists who will star at Henry Ford Transplant Institute’s Dining with the Masters event were toasted by committee members, sponsors and HFHS staffers at a cocktail reception in the Crystal Ballroom at the Westin Book Cadillac. HFHS’s Gary Rounding assured all that 100 % of the event proceeds will affect living people. HFHS’s Dr. Mark Kelley added that the transplant center, which is one of the country’s largest, will begin a program for long term management of recipients’ remaining lives
because, as he explained, “(after a life saving transplant)… recipients are different people.” Acedilllo and 22 more outstanding chefs will prepare and present tableside a five-course gourmet dinner for each table of 12 at the Masters event Monday, June 21 at the Westin Book Cadillac. It will also feature a silent auction of work donated by prominent area artists. For tickets ($225, $425) call Louise Rallis at (313) 874-6138 or visit www.henryford.com/diningwiththemasters.
■ Detroit Zoological Society’s Sunset at the Zoo Benefactor Party
Karmanos Institute’s Annual Dinner Over 400 guests attended the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute’s 28th Annual Dinner at Rock Financial Showplace on May 8. Due to the 30-hour power outage that hit our neighborhood that day, I could not get my car out of the locked garage. I was especially sorry to miss cancer survivor Linda Dresner’s fashion show because people said it was smashing. (The 35 models paraded on each dinner table. See this photo gallery for pictures, taken and kindly provided by KCI’s Patricia Ellis). Ellis also reported that the event raised nearly $500,000 for the nationally-recognized patient care and cancer research programs at Karmanos. This included $16,150 from the Super Silent Auction, $16,550 from the Memorial Candle Tributes, $13,200 from the Tiffany Raffle and the beneficence of Compuware Corporation, Kenwal Steel Corporation, Trott & Trott and Kellie and Mike Ferrantino, to name just a few of the sponsors The next KCI fundraiser - Karmanos Partners’ 17th annual two-part event – will honor Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg. It offers golf/breakfast/ lunch/dinner on Monday, Aug. 30 at Franklin Hills Country Club and a nighttime soiree on Saturday, Sept. 11 at the Detroit Institute of Arts. For reservation information call Karry Samulski at (313) 576-8106.
Clockwise from lower left: DZS board member Stephen & Bobbi Polk of Bloomfield Hills. Event hosts DZS board member Tony (left) & Sarah Earley with Bonnie Larson of Bloomfield. Joe Aviv and his wife, DZS board member Linda Wasserman of Birmingham. DZS board member Jim Rosenthal (left) of Bloomfield with Detroit Lions’ president/CEO Tom Lewand of Royal Oak and DZS board member Joel & Shelley Tauber of W. Bloomfield. DZS board member Allan Gilmour (left) and Eric Jirgens of Birmingham.
■ Women’s Division Project HOPE’s Run for the Roses
Oakland County Bar Award Kudos to Oakland County Probate Judge Eugene Arthur Moore. He received the 2010 Distinguished Public Servant Award from the OCBA for his numerous leadership responsibilities (past and present), countless volunteer roles, and sound judicial temperament.
Suite Dreams Project’s Shoetini People are still talking about the kicky girls night out that the Suite Dreams Project staged last month. It attracted more than 300 guests to the club-like Townsend ballroom where the gals actually did dance with each other. They also bought $18,000-plus worth of raffle tickets (Jamie Burstein won a Cartier watch; Kim Viviano won a Ferragamo bag and Nicole Withers won a Max Mara cashmere coat). Many wore shoes worthy of the prizes awarded in three categories (Sassiest - Jessie Elliott, Funkiest - Melissa Mitchell and Most Creative – Ruth Tyszka). Ben Sharkey crooned before the program and Good Gravy played after it, but the real star of the night was young Lexi Carie. The cancer patient not only starred in the video that showed the magical bedroom created for her by event chair Lorin August and Kay Ponicall, she also starred at the podium. “My friends are all jealous of me,” she noted. She even outshined generous good guy Art Van Elsander, who accepted a thank you www.oaklandpaper.com
Clockwise from lower left: Sandy Duncan (left) of Bloomfield with Music Hall Center’s executive chef John Acedilllo of Clinton Twp. Event chairs Mary Abouljoud (left) of Grosse Pointe, Peggy Goldberg and Suzanne Gilson of Bloomfield. Tallulah Wine Bar & Bistro executive chef Jake Abraham (left) of Royal Oak with Tallulah owners Mindy & Bob Vanhellemont and Tallulah staffer Ashleigh Hus of Birmingham. Westin Book Cadillac executive chef / event honorary chef Jim Barnett (center) of Birmingham with Henry Ford’s Gary Rounding (left) and Dr. Mark Kelley of Bloomfield. Sculptor Doug Chick (center) of Troy with Carl & private chef Juli Camden of Bloomfield.
■ social lights / sally gerak ■ Suite Dreams Project’s Shoetini
honor from SDP founders Kris Appleby and Ponicall for his donation of furniture for 50 bedrooms. The tres chic event replaced a luncheon event and celebrated 10 years of bringing comfort and joy to seriously ill children.
Bottomless Toychest’s Shower
Clockwise from upper left: Domnita Sheena of Bloomfield. Committee member Danyelle Burkart of Bloomfield with Luigi Bruno of Birmingham (who cut her hair earlier in the day). Amy Kanarios (left) of Birmingham and Jennifer Holman of Bloomfield. Ginny Clausen (left) of Birmingham and honorary committee member Adele Acheson of W. Bloomfield. Nancy Eveslage (left) of Birmingham and honorary committee member Jane Iacobelli of Bloomfield. Event chair Lorin August (left) of Bloomfield Lexi Carie of Chesterfield Twp. Angela Buczkowski (left) of Troy, Lynn Bishop of Birmingham and Karen Wilson and Ann Brown of Bloomfield. Honoree Art Van Elslander with SDP founders Kris Appleby (left) and Kay Ponicall of Bloomfield. Renee Zawaideh (left) of Birmingham and Annalisa Sokol of Bloomfield.
Nearly 170 ladies of all ages donned tea finery and flocked to Birmingham Country Club for the Baby Shower staged by the Bottomless Toychest. Founder and executive director Mickey Guisewite was thrilled with the turnout for BT’s first big fundraiser. She frankly told all how frantic she became when her son was undergoing chemo for leukemia and how she had observed the need hospitalized children have for the creative and fun packages BT now delivers to them. When she introduced her son’s oncologist, Dr. Jeffrey Taub, she called him “my personal hero,” and told how he did magic tricks at her son’s bedside. For his part, Taub was glad to report that the cure rate for children’s leukemia is good. Speaker Marie Dittman, who had to quit her job because her son was undergoing radiation for a brain tumor, got a standing ovation when she concluded, “(Thanks to the Toychest)…my kids had the best Christmas ever.” Then the younger guests flocked back to the art activities and to get cookie decorating assistance from club pastry chef Randy Burt while their moms socialized and made a final pass at the silent auction. The event raised over $18,500, including the $5,000 from the silent auction of generous donations.
Christ Child Society
■ Bottomless Toy Chest’s Baby Shower
Clockwise from lower left: BTC founder/event co-chair Mickey Guisewite of Bloomfield and pediatric oncologist Jeff Taub of Birmingham. Event co-chair Terry Hughes (left) of Birmingham, committee member Christina Lorenzeth of Orhcard Lake and Roxanne Giumetti of Farmington Hills. Peyton Keffer with her mother, volunteer Jeannine Caesar of Royal Oak. Danica Whitfield, Mia DeCerhio and Lynn Walker of Bloomfield. Mary Hopkins (left) of Birmingham and Luli Montagano of Rochester Hills.
Pine Lake Country Club was awash in pink and green for Christ Child Society’s Pour Les Enfants luncheon and boutique which was dubbed Spring Fling by the five young event chairs. The color scheme saluted the legendary Lily Pulitzer fabrics featured in a fashion show at the 22nd annual event. Before adjourning for lunch, guests shopped eagerly at the stations of 13 vendors, who not only paid a generous booth fee but also donated a $50 raffle item. Before lunch was served, society president Jill Barker recognized those 25plus-years members in the crowd of nearly 300. These were Dorothy Ashley, Pam Gray, Donna Halter, Pat Hardy, Barbara Madigan, Carolyn Mergel, Maureen Wesley and Toni Bettisworth. The latter spoke in praise of absent Free Press artist Jon Buechel, who was tapped for the community service award. He has created the CCS Christmas cards since 1991. After lunch, Gretchen & Kylie Klotz, Shondell & Katie Patterson, Mimi & Tatum Schwartz, Jill Judge, Kelly Barker, Haven Capone and Kim Fortin modeled Lilly Pulitzer apparel which the audience seemed to love. Somerset LP’s Andi Tarel coordinated the show. The event raised $26,000 for the society which serves at risk children.
Winston Canine Cancer Paul and Mindy Richards Dunbar’s Winston Canine Cancer Foundation staged its ninth annual fundraiser at Oakland Hills Country Club last month, and 125 supporters turned out. They socialized, sipped, dined on the stroll, bid for donations in a silent auction, and got up close to some four-legged guests, working dogs who assist ownJULY 2010
ers with disabilities. They also heard from Dr. Dan Gustafson, a researcher at Colorado State University Animal Cancer Center, that dogs are vital to human cancer research because, like humans, they have complex immune systems. He suggested that researchers will eventually find “…one cancer, one medicine and one cure.” The event added $60,000 to the quarter of a million dollars WCCF has raised for research and for financial assistance for working dogs’ cancer treatments.
Boys & Girls Clubs Luncheon Artwork by Boys & Girls Clubs members decorated the Great Lakes Room at the Michigan Design Center when 130 members of the B&GC Women’s Association convened for the recent Matilda R. Wilson Spring Luncheon. For table centerpieces, event chairs Lynn Middleton and Carole Larson Wendzel and crew made arrangements of art supplies for the clubs. Two speeches highlighted the event. Alison Sunklad spoke about her love of art and the role the club staff and fellow members have played in her life. And Wilson Award winner Denise Lutz, honored for her commitment to youth in need, spoke convincingly of the impact the clubs have on kids’ lives. The event netted a record-setting $20,000.
■ Christ Child Society
Clockwise from upper left: Event co-chairs Kelly Parent (left) and Gretchen Klotz of Birmingham and Teresa Rea of Bloomfield. Event co-chairs Laura Keziah (left) and Jill Judge of Bloomfield. Kelly Barker (left) with her mother, Christ Child Society president Jill Barker of Bloomfield. Committee member Candace Seizert of Bloomfield. Elaine Szot (left) of Troy and Peg Harber of Birmingham. Daniella Henderson (left) of Birmingham, Chiara Baccarini of Beverly Hills holding Bainca, and Amy Bono of Franklin. Colleen Burcar (left) of Bloomfield and Sally Versaci of Birmingham. Claudia Duerr(left) of Birmingham and Marlen Borio of Beverly Hills (flanking decoration made by Jill Judge).
Michigan Youth Foundation More than 200 supporters of Ed Deeb’s Metro Detroit Youth Day were saluted July 8 at the fundraising reception at the Roostertail. The group included board members, elected officials and corporate sponsors like AT&T’s John Peterson, DTE’s Fouad Ashkar and Pepsi’s Steve Honorow. Deeb announced that 35 scholarships will be awarded at this year’s event July 14 at the Belle Isle athletic field. Sports clinics with celebrity coaches, races, games, a talent Idol-type contest with prizes and, of course, lunch, are also planned. We say “of course” because Deeb is the Michigan Food & Beverage Association president. Kids who would like to register for the fun-filled and largest kids event in the state (35,000 in 2009) may do so by calling (586) 393-8800 or going to www.metrodetroityouthday.com. Volunteers are also needed.
And the Winner is… Kudos to attorney Henry Baskin and his Due Process TV program producer Mitch Jacobs for winning the Michigan Emmy Award for best Public/Current/ Community Affairs program the first time they entered. In the winning episode, “Treatment Court”, Baskin was joined by Circuit Court Judge Wendy Potts and ex-addict Shea Pounder for an in-depth look at the adult treatment court and its effectiveness helping adult felony offenders become substance free and productive. The show has run for 26 years, is currently on PBS, and is underwritten by Meade Lexus and WWJ-950.
■ Winston Canine Cancer Foundation Fundraiser & Silent Auction
Clockwise from upper left: Committee members Allan Bowman (left) of Birmingham and Paul Harris of Huntington Woods. Mike Berryman (left) of Ferndale with committee member Blake Green of Birmingham. Bob Stapleman (left) of Bloomfield, Tim Prior and Frank Evans of Birmingham. Cindy Evans (left) and Rebecca Prior of Birmingham, Laura Stapleman of Bloomfield. Foundation cofounder Paul Dunbar (left) of Beverly Hills, guest speaker Dan Gustafson, PhD of Ft. Collins, CO, and foundation adviser Kevin Windson, DVM of Birmingham. Events hosts and foundation founders Mindy Richards (left) & her husband Paul Dunbar of Beverly Hills with Dan Lorimer & his wife Laura DeLellis, DVM of Franklin. Event gold sponsor Dr. Uday & Shilpa Desai of Bloomfield with Pepi Chapuseaux of Commerce.
Detroit Economic Club’s Gala More than 600 SE Michigan powerbrokers attended the Detroit Economic Club’s 75th Anniversary Gala at the Westin Book Cadillac. The anniversary event marked the club’s first-ever fundraiser. Some 225 economic club board members and major donors to the anniversary Legacy of Leaders initiawww.oaklandpaper.com
■ social lights / sally gerak ■ Detroit Economic Club’s 75th Anniversary Gala
Clockwise from upper left: DEC board chair Bill Ford of Ann Arbor with president & CEO Beth Chappell of Bloomfield. American Axle’s Dick Dauch & his wife Sandy of Bloomfield. DEC board members Yousif Ghafari (left) and Ken Myers, both of Bloomfield. Victor Saroki (left) and John Rakolta, III of Birmingham. DEC board member John Rakolta & his wife Terry of Bloomfield. DEC board member Tarik Daoud of Bloomfield and his daughter Laurie Daoud of Beverly Hills. Barbara (left) & DEC board member Paul Czamanske with Beth Chappell of Bloomfield. DEC president / CEO Beth Chappell’s family fan club: Warren Chappell (seated left) with Kate, Michael (standing left) and Andrew Chappell of Bloomfield (not pictured: Jana, Mark & Mardee).
Below, left to right: Jennifer Fischer (left) and GM’s Vivian Pickard of Bloomfield, Ed Whittaker and Chris Liddell of Detroit , a DEC board member, with Renee Harbers of Seattle, WA. Terry Rakolta (left) of Bloomfield, Gretchen Ruff of W. Bloomfield and Lauren Rakolta of Birmingham.
tive arrived ahead of other guests for the VIP reception in the Crystal Ballroom. Before convening for the program in the Woodward Ballroom on the second floor, all guests sipped, supped and socialized. Many paused to look at the display of photos depicting some of the famous speakers from the past seven decades displayed on easels around the fourth level rooms. Bill Ford, DEC board chair and gala host committee co-chair with his wife Lisa, welcomed everybody and spoke confidentially. He noted that, despite the depressed local economy, the DEC “…is still one of the top 10 forums in the country... (but)…last fall was white knuckle time…the staff took cuts and members wrote checks. Thank you for hanging with us,” he said. The first woman DEC president / CEO, who happens to be the mother of six, Chappell has led the club since 2002. She thanked many (like Lawrence Technological University for filming the meetings), introduced a video that showcased the club’s history, noted a secret of the club’s success (like having timely speakers like Bill Gates, who attracted 7,000-plus attendees when he spoke), and revealed that no DEC speakers are ever paid, not even for their expenses. She also noted the popularity of the club’s program that invites high school and college students to meet with the speaker before lunch. Jim Nicholson followed with an endorsement of that educational outreach, noting that it accommodates more than 1,500 students (at $450 per table) each year and the speakers say the kids ask better questions than the luncheon audience. Nicholson then made a shameless pitch for funds for the program, which also provides two college scholarships each year. The evening, which raised $170,000, concluded with some 60 host committee members gathering on stage for a group photograph while others partook of a dessert afterglow. For DEC membership information go to www.econclub.org.
Judson Center’s Awards ■ Alliance for Vision Research’s Night for Sight Charity Wine Auction
Clockwise from upper left: Alliance board chair Dr. Luisa DiLorenzo with Antonio Benecchi of Birmingham. Linda Bloch (left) of Birmingham, Beverly Lopatin of Bloomfield, and Jo Kessler of Huntington Woods. Alliance co-founder Dr. Frank Nesi (center) of Grosse Pointe with Jim Henderson (left) of Bloomfield and his son Mitchell Henderson of Birmingham. May & Marshall Chin of Bloomfield. Juergen (left) & Stefanie Reers of Birmingham and Thomas Kwasniok, their house guest from Germany. Carolyn (left) & alliance board advisory committee member Dr. Antonio Capone with Daniela Henderson of Birmingham and her mother-in-law Robin Henderson of Bloomfield. Ann (left) & alliance co-founder Paul Fecko of Bloomfield with Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology president Dr. Phil Hessburg & his wife Betsy of Grosse Pointe.
The 120 supporters of Judson Center, who attended the Great Ambassador Awards, experienced a delightful Sunday afternoon social on Meadow Brook Hall’s sun drenched terrace before adjourning to the lower lever ballroom for the presentations. The diversity of honorees offered emcee Lomas Brown a wealth of opportunities for entertaining commentary. From Armani Hawes, a teen who staged a community garage sale benefiting the center, to the Detroit Auto dealers Association, whose auto show Charity Preview benefits children’s charities, including the center, the awardees all exemplified outstanding service. The other Great Ambassadors were Stephen Polk and his family’s foundation, Jackie Paige, Nancy & David Lau, Carole & Kurt Tech and PNC Financial Services Group. The next gathering of Judson Center supporters is the 18th annual FORE the Kids Corporate Golf Challenge Monday, July 26 at Indianwood Golf & Country Club. For reservations ($300-golf and dinner; $75-dinner only) call Janice Morgan at (248) 837-2027.
Belle Isle Women’s Luncheon You know you have a gem of an event when it sells out (480) and you 76
have to turn away people. Such was the case for the sixth annual BIWC luncheon at the Belle Isle Casino. Actually, the pre-lunch socializing, silent auction bidding, and people and hat-watching occurred in the casino. The luncheon was in the largest tent organizers could fit next to it. Mini-flower pots containing dessert decorated with a colorful packet of flower seeds accented each place. The brief pre-luncheon program began with BIWC founder Sarah Earley looking out over the colorful crowd and announcing “You are beautiful!” Then she told of the BIWC’s various coalitions and how its $2-plus million has been used, happily noting that the day’s event had already added $260,000, not counting the silent auction proceeds. Debbie Dingell and Vivian Pickard, who Earley said secured the seed money that got BIWC off the ground, were the event honorees. Pickard said she was accepting on behalf of all the families that use Belle Isle. Dingell noted that when women support each other they can accomplish anything. Indeed.
A Night for Sight Wine Auction In addition to the exceptional wines that starred at A Night for Sight, the soiree at the Ritz –Carlton had other notable aspects. One was the silent auction IML electronic bidding system. It enabled the 350 guests to keep track of the bidding without looking at a bid sheet. Although we observed some people a tad confused getting accustomed to the hand held device, the proof of its effectiveness was that the silent auction raised $70,000, up over 2009 by $10,000. For the longest while, Msgr. Tony Tocco’s Heavenly Dinner party for six in his rectory at St. Hugo of the Hills church garnered the highest bid ($6,500, by alliance board chair Dr. Luisa DiLorenzo). But before the auction ended, Dr. Frank & Karen Nesi’s offer of a rare, private Napa Valley tour topped the live action, selling for $10,000 and bringing the live auction total to $180,000. Another donated Napa Valley dream trip was the prize in a $50-ticket raffle that raised $6,000. Antonio Benecchi was the lucky winner. This ninth annual benefit for projects that enhance vision, primarily in children, grossed more than $400,000. Visionary wine lovers wishing to be involved in the 10th anniversary event next year may call (313) 610-5589, or email ANightForSight@yahoo.com.
■ Belle Isle Women’s Committee Polish the Jewel Legacy Luncheon
Clockwise from upper left: Event honorees Vivian Pickard (left) of Bloomfield and Debbie Dingell of Dearborn. Judy Anderson (left) and Nancy Chaput of Bloomfield. Marjorie De Capite (left) of Birmingham and Meg Lope of Bloomfield. BIWC founder Sarah Earley (left) of Bloomfield and event chair Valerie Ellis of Grosse Pointe. Barbara Diles (left) of Bloomfield and Judy Zorn of Rochester Hills. Millie Pastor (left) of Bloomfield and Louise Rallis of Huntington Woods. Lois Thornbury (left) of Bloomfield, Mary Kay Noteman of Milford and Colleen Monahan of Bloomfield. Joanne Brodie (left) and Char Terry of Bloomfield. Jan Forgione of Bloomfield.
■ Judson Center’s Great Ambassador Awards
JARC’s SpringElation! More than 2,000 supporters of JARC’s mission to provide services to children with developmental disabilities attended the 12th annual SpringElation! at the Detroit Zoo. They experienced great Matt Prentice picnic fare, music and dancing by StarTrax Entertainment, prizes for solving the Where’s JARC game, a grand raffle, face painting, crafts and, of course, the wildlife exhibits. Thanks to sponsors like Fifth Third Bank, Bienenstock Court Reporting, Quicken Loans and Gilbert Films, the event raised $300,000 for JARC’s family and children’s division.
Above, left to right: Ambassadors Stephen (left) & Bobbi Polk and Dave & Nancy Lau of Bloomfield. Ambassador Rod Alberts(left) with his wife Tammy of Bloomfield and Ambassadors Carole & Kurt Tech of Grosse Pointe. Judson board member Stephen Henes & his wife Julia of Birmingham with ambassador award maker Link Wacher and his wife Jody of Troy. Below, left to right: Ambassador Armani Hawes (right) with her parents Kim & Randy of Bloomfield. Ambassador Jackie Paige (left) with her family John (left) David and Jimmy Fischer of Bloomfield. Judson board president Mike Savoie (left) of Bloomfield with emcee Lomas Brown of Auburn Hills and his business partner Kevin Janeway of Bingham Farms.
Send ideas for this column to Sally Gerak, 28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, 48304, email email@example.com or call (248) 646-6390. www.oaklandpaper.com
■ final word Stem cell research data reporting
ichigan lawmakers are debating an amendment to a higher education appropriations bill requiring public universities to report on the use of embryonic stem cells derived from donated human embryos before receiving their annual state funding. The amendment is both irritating and disappointing. It smacks of being an attempt by Republican lawmakers to placate Right to Life of Michigan's obstructionist agenda. Annual reporting of certain stem cell research data by a handful of research institutions has nothing at all to do with general appropriations for all state universities. If supporters of the amendment are adamant that stem cell reporting is necessary, they should introduce a standalone bill to deal with the issue head-on, not hold all university appropriations hostage in order to appease an interest group that's sore about state voters authorizing stem cell research at the 2008 polls. Senate Bill (SB) 1157 provides specific appropriations related to higher education for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2010 and ending Sept. 30, 2011. Language in the Senate-adopted version of the bill requiring that every university conducting research using human embryonic stem cells derived from donated human embryos must report to the state Department of Community Health by
Dec. 1, 2010, has caused concern among Michigan university officials. The amendment requires tracking the number of human embryos and the number of human embryo stem cell lines received by a university during fiscal year 2009-10; the number of human embryos utilized for research purposes during fiscal year 2009-10; the number of human embryo stem cell lines created from the embryos received during fiscal year 2009-10; the number of donated human embryos held in storage as of Sept. 30, 2010; and the number of research projects using human embryonic stem cells derived from donated embryos being conducted by the university. The House initially voted to pass the amendment, but then quickly took another vote and overturned that, voting to reject it. The bill is currently being debated by a conference committee in an effort to reconcile the House and Senate differences. Publicly, supporters of the amendment claim they merely want to keep track of stem cell use by university researchers. But to what end? The answer we heard is that this kind of data should be reported, which would foster transparency. Privately, some lawmakers who voted in favor of the amendment say the only reason they supported it — even when they admit that it's inappropriate and
somewhat distasteful — was because it was requested by Right to Life of Michigan. It's beyond annoying that some lawmakers would jeopardize overall funding for higher education because they merely want to "keep track" of stem cell research data. The number of stem cell lines obtained and used in a given year by the University of Michigan has nothing to do with a general appropriation to Eastern Michigan University, for example. The amendment appears to be a thinly veiled effort to kowtow to the deep pockets and cut-throat negative campaign tactics of Right to Life of Michigan and other far-right conservative interests. A sizable majority of state voters backed stem cell research during the November 2008 general election — supporters out numbered opponents by 250,000 — including a prohibition against "state and local laws that prevent, restrict or discourage stem cell research ..." If lawmakers really want to keep tabs on stem cell research, they should have the courage and conviction to introduce the reporting requirement on its own, not use funding for all universities — including those they aren't engaged in such research — as a vehicle to protect themselves from a backlash at the 2010 polls. ■
High school merger decision
ending voter approval of a tax-neutral bond issue in November, the Bloomfield Hills School District has decided to consolidate the district's two high schools into one new building. That's a move that makes sense. The Bloomfield Hills Board of Education voted Thursday, June 17, to combine Andover and Lahser High Schools into one new high-tech building to be built on the present Andover High School campus. The approved plan would retain the Lahser athletic facilities. The board is still determining its time line and implementation strategy, but at this point it's believed they are aiming for a September 2013 date. Andover High School is located near Telegraph and Long Lake roads. The single high school is part of the district's facilities master planning. The district estimates that merging the
schools will save about $2.5 million annually by avoiding the cost of operating old buildings and transporting students between the two buildings for classes that are only taught at one of the schools. It will also allow them to provide a wide range of class choices, maintaining their high level of educational instruction. That is both fiscally and ideologically prudent — decisions that will allow the Bloomfield Hills District to maintain its reputation as a premier school district. This isn't the first time the district has attempted to consolidate the two high schools; the last time, approximately five years ago, parents loudly objected to the suggestion. Now, with the economy still in freefall, property values down, state funding and state shared revenues uncertain, anticipated future budget deficits and the district's population continuing to plum-
met, few parents attended the June 17 school board meeting, and there was little objection to the plan. A recent poll of 300 district voters found that 78 percent of those polled would support a "quality high school that will go on for generations, and one that is done well." Andover, built in 1955, and Lahser, built in 1967, were designed for student populations more than twice the current size of today, when the total student population of the district stands at around 5,600 students. The new school will accommodate 1,800 students, but is expected to house only about 1,600 in ninth through 12th grades. The students, parents, and faculty of Bloomfield Hills deserve a high school designed to meet the needs of education today. ■
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Published on Jul 1, 2010
Published on Jul 1, 2010
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