This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

City Hillsof Bloomfield a SOCRRA City

 It may be hard to remember but Former City Manager did his best work when he worked for the Residents of  the City Bloomfield Hills. Imported by City Commission as expert on Puds (Principal of development)  where normal zoning regulations are suspended for a perceived greater goal Mr Cravens was  expected be the man of the hour who would tell us what  to do with  land with  the former Fox and Hound Restaurant and former and Michigan Route 1 Inn and a restaurant on sat on.
 Unfortunately before his arrival circa 2010 City Commision had  split into two waring factions. One favoring a shopping Center and the other insisting on anything but. Residents who by law where entitled to Public hearing said they favored a fine dining establishment like the then departed Fox and Hound and said they  who lived in the condos in the vicinity enjoyed walking to dinner.
A consultant for said our City was already slated for a Fudruckers. 

Eventually It all got straightened out however.  The Fudrukers we were  slated for turned up a Square  Lake and Woodward and closed shortly after  the two year war ended during which nobody  consulted City Cravens because every already had an opinion.
City Manager took it all in stride. He found a grant for a resident  who needed but couldn't  afford a new roof. It was one of the few  grants  City residents could avail themselves to because  they were based on need not income.

Mr Cravens told the story quite often and was justifiably proud of himself. Cravens also made friends with the working  press. They had a symbiotic bond. They both worked normal hours meaning Cravens was available for quotes, and stories. In his time Cravens would bring meals on wheels to City Residents who could benefit  from it. again it was a service based on need rather than income. That was also the City's first contact with Contact with the Birmingham Senior Center.  That connection never got the play it deserved.  It was an election year in Birmingham all concerned  where concerned about the political fall out. Years  would go by before  the  Birmingham Senior Center    which serves many communities came before Our City Commission  and said our residents are welcome. (See previous Article).
and that is we are now with SOCCRA which stands for Southeastern Oakland Authority Reclying drop off and drop off Center and material recovery Facility (In Troy on Coolidge across from meiers thrifty acres. You might havef read the article  in the EAGLE "SOCCRA REVEALS UPDATES IMPROVED SERVICE AND RESIDENT PARTICIPATION.
Unfortunately the usually flawless Eagle failed to include the City of Bloomfield Hills as a participating member. So I called. We  are indeed members.  this was an another  Cravens accomplishment. He and City commission set it up for year round hazard since most waste haulers won't take it. Residents get so many free then pay nominal dome if more a required. They may if they desire  set up a drop of  appointment. That is only the the tip of the SOCCRA ice berg. 
Your shredder break ? Makes a mess with paper shred which or which vacuums up  worse than a  than a dog or cat ? ? Take it to SOCRRA. Their shreder is about the size of Jet Engine and in a shack that can  accommodating four shredding at simultaneously. It is only a slight exaggeration  to say you can shred ten years of canceled checks tax returns  in the time  it  takes to wait at a traffic light. You can dump ordinary paper in a  stair accesed railway car.
Bring your  Driver's license occasionally  SOCRRA spot checks   your validity on occassion  but so does the Baldwin Library

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


But City Commission missed the significance of moment. It happened at the January 9th City  Commission Meeting Commission meeting. In fact it was almost a two month to the day that  that the City  Commission candidates were asked as the second question of the League of Woman voters Candidate Forum what if anything could, or would the City  do for its senior Citizen residents. All five commission candidates blew the question falling back on Cedarbrook  a multi purpose senior living  by a private developer or meals on wheels a program former City Manager, Jay Graven pioneered by finding a grant that was age rather than income specific.
 As it so happend  Febuary 9th  was an un seasonably  warm night in Winter  and this writer sitting in the cheap seats of an otherwise deserted City Hall had a hard time hearing much of anything. So when the presenters from Next  (that is the name of the Birmingham Senior Center finished their presentation I followed them into empty lobby.

 The meeting continued and with one ear  I thought  the City  was using was its standard plead poverty/our seniors are to old for that of thing reply.

Actually they were not. I asked the Next people if they were preparing a proposal for a future meeting. Apparently they were not. They said the purpose of their visit to invite residents of  our City to discover all that Next has to offer.   It is a lot and  it is detailed in a  21 page magazine published every other month.
  Games, games, movies, crafts. Book Clubs, and speaker series are but a tip of the ice berg. Next is sort of pay as you go when necessary. For example.  You want to go to the Henry Ford Museum ? On February 8th ?. The cost is ten dollars for members  and $15 dollars for non members and museum ticket of $21 for the all day event.Some activities like are  book clubs are free . So is the Writers Corner and Current  discussion groups  You can even have your books returned from Next to the Baldwin Library and new titles selected sparing you the hassle of parking ing and stairs.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with the Baldwin Library

BIRMINGHAM, MI (January 3, 2018) – To celebrate, honor, and recognize the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Baldwin Library is hosting historical impersonator Rosie “Miz Rosie” Chapman on Monday, January 15 at 3:00 p.m.
Miz Rosie will impersonate Rosa Parks, who became a close friend of Dr. King during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Chapman’s presentation will teach attendees about Ms. Parks’ life and will give audience the chance to take the roles of bus driver, riders and others.
Donna Smith, Youth Librarian, says, “Young and old alike are swept up in Miz Rosie’s dramatic and energizing theatrical experience. Through her presentations, storytelling becomes a useful educational tool for teaching cultural diversity, history, life skills, conflict resolution and social skills."
This is Miz Rosie’s sixth visit to the Baldwin Library for Martin Luther King, Jr. day. In previous years, she has presented on Madam C.J. Walker, Harriet Tubman, Coretta Scott King, Sojourner Truth, and African folk tales.
In addition to performing across the country and in Australia, Scotland, Germany, and Canada, Chapman offers professional development workshops for teachers, librarians, and major corporations on cultural diversity awareness insights.
The Baldwin Public Library is located in downtown Birmingham at 300 W. Merrill Street. The Library’s hours are 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. The Library’s website has information on how to register for a Library Card and access all of the Library’s services.

 It was a little over a year ago, when then Mayor Coakley writing in the Hills Highlight  edition #95 touted the City's progress in tele communications  by listing the antenna  facilities popping up in the 
City like mushrooms after the rain. He also mentioned one 

company in particular Rocket Fiber, and wrote , "We (editors note who is we ?) I do not know if the matter  has been  before City Commision  and if not why not ?
Before concluding "with  the Rocket Fiber to bring fiber optic internet cable into our the City". The folks have been very enthusiatic and  entergetic about serving the city and we look forward  to bring them this about  in due 
Almost a year has gone by and now is the winter of our discontent made glorious  summer by the sunny Sun of York (with apologies to Shakespear) Or For that matter anyone  one who wishes to to sell us something
Last weeks did not bring "due course" but it did provide  a  reveation  of what seem to be a done deal. 
when  Commissioner Coakley writing in the Winter 2017 Hills Highlights with has been delivered to  City residents in last week or so wrote  the following"
 "We have been working"The Rocket Fiber people to bring fiber optic cable into the City (of Bloomfield Hills) and we (unamed) look forward  to bring this about in due course. 
They (Fiber Optic?)will first roll fiber optic or wireless optic service ro the more than300 bisinesses in our city and from there branch out to the (neighborhoods)( sic).This will take some time  to implement  but we have taken rthe first to bring the City into the 21st Century. dAs in the case of 
MAYBE MAYBE not but a numbered questions arise. Was there any competitive bidding sought. How many  commissioners besides Mr. Coakley were part of the decision making process.   
 Will City residents be required install Rocket Fiber optic  on their premises or will they make their one internet cable provider. Since Residents have been excluded from the decision making process up to now the future does not look to be rosey.