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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Thursday, October 23, 2014

John Grisham Novel , Shopaholic to the Stars, Zombie Comedy, Cute Aliens, and Pit falls of living next to a frat house highlight Baldwin New Titles 10/21/2014.

Gray Mountain by John Grisham:  The Great Recession of 2008 left many young professionals out of work. Promising careers were suddenly ended as banks, hedge funds, and law firms engaged in mass lay-offs and brutal belt tightening. Samantha Kofer was a third year associate at Scully & Pershing, New York City's largest law firm. Two weeks after Lehman Brothers collapsed, she lost her job, her security, and her future. A week later she was working as an unpaid intern in a legal aid clinic deep in small town Appalachia. There, for the first time in her career, she was confronted with real clients with real problems. She also stumbled across secrets that should have remained buried deep in the mountains forever.Check Availability

Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella: Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is newly arrived in Hollywood and starry-eyed. She and her two-year-old daughter, Minnie, have relocated to L.A. to join Becky's husband, Luke, who is there to handle PR for famous actress Sage Seymour. Becky can't wait to start living the A-list lifestyle, complete with celebrity sightings, yoga retreats, and shopping trips to Rodeo Drive. But she really hopes to become a personal stylist--Sage's personal stylist--if only Luke would set up an introduction. Then, unexpectedly, Becky is offered the chance to dress Sage's archrival, and though things become a bit more complicated, it's a dream come true! Red carpet premieres, velvet ropes, paparazzi clamoring for attention--suddenly Becky has everything she's ever wanted. Or does she? Check Availability

Life After Beth (DVD): Zach is devastated after his girlfriend Beth dies unexpectedly. After Beth suddenly and mysteriously returns to life, Zach is overjoyed to have the second chance to prove his love for her. But when Beth starts developing some bizarre tendencies, including a rather disturbing taste for flesh, Zach has to confront facts. Can love survive among the living dead? Find out in this hilariously funny zom- com.

Neighbors (DVD):  New parents Mac and Kelly are living the American Dream, complete with a baby girl and a new home in the suburbs. Still, they want to believe that they are still cool, so when they discover that their new next-door neighbors are dozens of fraternity brothers-led by charismatic Teddy-they try to play along. But when the parties grow increasingly more epic, both sides begin to fend for their turf. The sabotage escalates into extreme one-upmanship, beginning an epic Greek war for the ages. 
Check Availability

Earth to Echo (DVD):
Tuck, Munch, and Alex are a trio of inseparable friends whose lives are about to change. Their neighborhood is being destroyed by a highway construction project that is forcing their families to move away. But just two days before they must part ways, the boys begin receiving a strange series of signals on their phones. They discover something beyond their wildest imaginations: a small alien has become stranded on Earth. Check Availability

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Homily on the occasion of the Mass celebrated by Msgr. Anthony Tocco as he observes his 70th birthday. July11 2009

Birthday Homily

By Edmund Cardinal Szoka

Church of St. Hugo
July 11, 2009

My Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Church in her sacred liturgy celebrates the birth of only two people: one is the birth of St. John the Baptist which we observe on June 23rd, the other is the birth of Jesus that we celebrate on December 25th.

The celebration of today’s liturgy is not to add  Msgr. Tocco’s birth to this exclusive list of birthdays we celebrate.  It is rather to join him at this altar as he celebrates the Holy Eucharist to give thanks to God for all the Lord has given him, for all the blessings he has received during the 70 years of his life.  We are all pleased to join him today as he thanks God for all His gifts and especially as he thanks Him for the greatest gift of all – the gift of the ministerial priesthood, the ordained priesthood.

It s a special privilege and honor for me to join him and all of you today and to proclaim the word of God on this special occasion. It was during my years as Archbishop of Detroit that I appointed Father Tocco to be pastor of St. Hugo’s parish.  That was on July 2, 1985 – 24 years ago.  And to my great joy, he is still the pastor.  All of you are aware of the leadership he has given to this parish.  We can look at the physical structures – the church, the school, the bell tower, the rectory, as well as the Gothic chapel and admire his leadership in all these accomplishments.

These, however, are buildings, structures, which are necessary and very important but not foundational to the life of the parish.  The people of the parish in a union of love of Christ, and with each other together with their pastor, are a particular community in the worldwide community of the Mystical Body of Christ.  It is to the building up of this community of faith and love, which is the fundamental mission of a parish priest.

I have celebrated the Holy Mass a number of times in this parish church and every time, as I greeted the people after the Mass, I could sense and feel the very positive spirit of faith and love and enthusiasm of the people of St. Hugo’s.  That has been Msgr. Tocco’s greater accomplishment as your pastor.

This celebration in which we are participating today should not simply center on one particular person.  It is rather an occasion to recall again the sacredness of the ministerial priesthood of Jesus Christ.

We all know and have heard so many times that we all share in the common priesthood of all the faithful, each in its own proper way, in this one priesthood of Christ.  Because of baptism and confirmation, we share in various responsibilities in the Church.  However, the ordained priesthood is essentially different from the common priesthood of the faithful.

In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ Himself who is present to His Church as Head of His Body, Shepherd of His flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of truth (CCC #1547).  This is why we say the ordained priest acts in the person of Christ.  By his ordination, a priest is sacramentally configured to Christ the priest.  In this sense, he is Christ the priest in this world, especially when he proclaims the Gospel, administers the Sacraments and, most especially, when he stands at the altar to offer this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  So it is not just this priest who stands at the altar, it is Christ who stands there.  It is not just this priest who says: This is my Body, this is my Blood.  It is Christ who is standing at the altar; it is Christ who is saying these words.

The ordained priest possesses the most awesome authority in the world.  No king, no president, no emperor, no dictator, no billionaire can change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.  Only the ordained priest can do that.  This belief has always been the foundation of my faith conviction that there can be no greater vocation than the vocation to the ordained priesthood.  Pope John Paul II, as well as other popes, stressed the absolute necessity of the priesthood.  He said that without the ordained priesthood, there is no Eucharist, and without the Eucharist there is no Church.

All of this does not necessarily mean that the priest is the holiest person on the block.  The history of the Church makes that clear.  But it does mean that he is essential to the life of the Church and to all its members.

Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has declared this year, beginning June 19, the “Year of the Priest”.  He has named St. John Vianney, the Curé, or pastor, of the little town of Ars in France, as the patron of priests.  St. John Vianney was not a brilliant intellectual.  He had trouble getting through the seminary because of difficulties with his studies.  But he became one of the greatest parish pastors of all times.  He gave himself tirelessly to catechetical instructions, to the hearing of confessions – as much as 16 hours in a day, and to the celebration of Mass.  He lived a life of simplicity, of prayer, of penance and drew thousands of people to Christ.

The Holy Father has various reasons for calling this the Year of the Priest.  It is an opportunity to re-emphasize the importance of the ordained priesthood; it is an opportunity to reaffirm priests in their ministry and to encourage them to keep striving for holiness; it reminds us as well of the necessity of parents and all of us to encourage vocations to the priesthood.  It is the Year of the Priest – all priests, our priests, your priests.

It is on this note of the Year of the Priest that I express our best wishes and gratitude to Msgr. Tocco for his 44 years of dedicated ministry as an ordained priest of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I have known him well since 1981 when I became Archbishop of Detroit.  He was always a loyal, dedicated, hard-working priest and he was always most loyal to me in my ministry.  So, to Father Tony, another 70 years of the joy and happiness which our Great High Priest, our Lord Jesus Christ, gives to his ordained priests who sacramentally make Him present to our world.

Father Tony and Saint Hugo of the Hills at three quarters of the way to the century mark.

Father Tony with  the Stanley Cup

The life of every human being has some unique significance. We all teach each other by the way we deal with the challenges of life. We can learn from the youngest one in our midst even as we marvel at the insights and humility of the most senior."
-Monsignor John Zenz, Pastor at Holy Name Parish in Birmingham 

The Parish directories for 2014-2015 arrived at St Hugo's  a few weeks ago.  According to  the  introduction written by Pastor Monsignor Anthony M. Tocco,  the Directory is intended to put names to the people who serve the Parish in the many aspects of Parish Life and to the people who worship there. 
Putting a name to a pastor everyone calls Father Tony is a little bit harder.  The History of the Parish on page 8 gives the pastor exactly eleven words including title and middle initial. 
They are "on a July 2nd 1985, Father Esper retired after 20 years of devoted service and was replaced by "Reverend Monsignor Anthony M. Tocco who currently serves in that position." 

But there is more to it than that. Father Tony came to St. Hugo in July of 1985, twenty nine years ago. The is the longest that any prelate has served the Bloomfield Hills parish. Curious, we called.

And on July 11th 2014 Father Tony celebrated 75 years of youth and shared with us some of the makings of 75 years.

Cardinal Szoka 
Five Years prior Cardinal Szoka delivered a special homily at a mass honoring of Father Tony's 70th Birthday and 24 years at St. Hugo's. The Homily is reproduced in a subsequent post.
It reveals a lighter side of the Cardinal and the friendship between the Cardinal and  the parish that spanned decades.

It was then Archbishop Szoka who in July of 1985 appointed Father Tony Pastor of  St. Hugo of the Hills.

And it was  Cardinal Szoka, who a helped Father Tony celebrate yet another milestone, his 75th Birthday.
"He is coming all the way  from Rome for your Birthday ?" this reporter a little out of the ecclesiastic loop, asked.

No, Father Tony explained. "He is retired now and lives in Northville. He has an chapel in his basement and says Mass daily. It is really quite nice".

Exactly forty days later Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka died  of natural causes at Providence Hospital on August 20th 2014. He was 86 years old.

At a Sunday Mass  shortly there after Father Tony recalled the Cardinal at the prelate's 75th Birthday Party. The event held at St. Hugo's was attended by many well wishers. 

"So when is you feast day" (A special day on the Calendar to commemorate a saint) The  Cardinal asked Father Tony.

"Feast Day ?" Father Tony  replied surprised by question.

" Feast day, "the Cardinal continued. "These people have already canonized (process of selecting a saint) you a couple of times over."

A fact that amused the Cardinal not known for levity, who made his mark as an administrator, and financial guru  capable of making  hard decisions in tough times.  His first assignment as Archbishop required him to create an archdiocese in Gaylord and points north, virtually from scratch. In 1980 in the midst of a severe recession he became the the successor to the popular Cardinal Dearden and had to make difficult decisions about Church closings and other measures to conserve cost. He also developed new sources of funding.

 Father Tony, told St.Hugo parishioners that Church they now worship in and the parish community they now enjoy would not have been possible without the the encouragement and the financial backing Cardinal Szoka provided.  That financial expertise took the Cardinal to Rome to assist the Vatican. Father Tony said nine out of ten times when he tried to call Cardinal Szoka in Rome he was told 
that the Cardinal was in conference with the Holy Father, the Pope which figured. No pun intended.

On May 14th 1990 Father Tony was elevated to the Honorary Prelature of Monsignor by the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II.

  Father Tony who shares an office with a dog named Sunshine, however does not stand on ceremony. While  "Monsignor Tony" is his correct title and Parish memos refer to him as "Msgr Tony," many parishioners,  who like their pastor, go back decades, affectionately call him "Father" Tony. There  is also a listing on page 106 of the  the parish directory for one  "Tocco, Anthony" at 2215 Opdyke Rd. 

That is the address of St. Hugo of the Hills Parish. That  is also the name Father Tony was born with 75 years ago, in the middle of the summer of 1939, in  Detroit Michigan. He was the 12th child in family of 13.

   For the sake of brevity, this publication did not ask about all 13 siblings but  his two oldest brothers served in World War II notably  at the Battle of Bulge. Another Tocco of interest is Father Tony's  younger brother, James, who is a pianist of worldwide re known. 

Monsignor Tocco with Pope John Paul II

Father Tony and Brother James Tocco were founding fathers in the creation of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival which preforms locally on an annual basis.

Father Tony with Luciano Pavarotti 

Father Tony's dad was fruit vendor selling from a cart in various City neighborhoods. Young Anthony Tocco often helped him on the job.

As early as  the third grade  young Anthony showed promise as a Shabbat Goy (Sabbath non Jew) in the heavily Jewish 
Dexter-Davidson neighborhood of more than a half century ago.

Orthodox  Jews do not as rule engage in labor or use mechanical devices on the Sabbath. That  applies to the use of motor vehicles, elevators, answering the phone, or turning on the gas to cook dinner. The  young Anthony Tocco as a trustworthy shabbat goy would be called to the house to turn on the gas and then return later to turn it off.

Reflecting back  on those days  Father Tony said "The tips on that were better than selling fruit, but  of course you could always eat the fruit if you got hungry...."

In 1965 at the of age of 25, Father Tony was ordained a priest. It was the beginning of a career that would be noticeable for longer than usual stays at each location. 

Like the Orthodox families of Dexter-Davidson, others discovered Father Tony was dependable, likeable and did good work. 

Like  Michael Zambricki, (many time Mayor of the City of Bloomfield Hills) and  the City's current Chief of Police and Public Safety Director David Hendrickson;  Father Tony's career began on the East side. His first assignment was serving as associate pastor of St. Veronica's in Eastpointe before becoming  Pastor of St. Margret of Scotland Parish in St. Clair Shores.

 To any, of any faith, who who drive up or down Opdyke road  it is immediately apparent that grass  is not growing under the feet of ST. Hugo of the Hills. The new Church was dedicated  with then Archbishop  Szoka,  On Sunday April 16th 1989, more than a quarter of a century ago. Father Tony  is proud to say that because of  his large and extended family that first baby christened in the new Church was a Tocco.

The original St. Hugo's chapel  of  historic and architectural  note was  renovated and maintained with painstaking care that produced results some thought impossible. That is why Monsignor Tony, a member of the College of Consultors of the Archdiocese,  was asked by Cardinal  Adam Maida to take charge of the restoration of The Blessed Sacrament Cathedral.  

The carillon  and its tower is a recent and a very visible and audio addition to the Parish grounds. It  was a specific gift of the late Wilda King Tiffany. There are 48 bells crafted from a foundry in Holland.  Engravings on the Bells  honor  donor Wikda King Tiffany, Father Tony, and last but not least Sister Margret Van Velzen, IHM Principal of  St. Hugo School and the School Children of St. Hugo's . When asked if the school children contributed to the Clarion Tower, Father Tony said they contribute  to everything and thus the recognition. When asked if there been any complaints about the Clarion Bells. Father  Tony admitted than been. Approximately half dozen or so from  people who said they couldn't hear the clarion bells from where they lived. In the summer the parish hosts free of  charge. outdoor,  bring your own picnic basket,clarion concerts.
Father Tony and Sunshine confer

So what is the secret to being  young despite  a multitude of birthdays that says otherwise ?  At St. Hugo's of the Hills that is a topic of discussion that will continue as anniversaries multiply. The St. Hugo School is also 75.In 2015 Father Tony will have been  a Priest for 50 years and Pastor of St. Hugo for thirty years. The Parish itself, next year will
be 84 years young. 

James Tocco on  the Piano

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Waste Hauler Public Hearing of January 12th 2010.Where are the participants now ? And the demise of the Public Hearing.

City Commission 1 January 12, 2010

January 12, 2010 The regular meeting of the City Commission was called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Mayor Kellett, in the City Commission Room, 45 E. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Commission Present: Mayor L. David Kellett
Mayor Pro Tem Michael McCready
Commissioner Patricia Hardy
Commissioner John Utley
Commissioner Michael Zambricki
Staff Present: City Manager Jay Cravens
City Clerk Amy Burton
Finance Director / Treasurer Carolyn Lorenz
Building Official Larry Rospierski
Lt. Detective Terry McDonnell 
City Attorney Derk Beckerleg

005-2010 PUBLIC HEARING: Single Municipal Waste Hauler 
Mayor Kellett opened the public hearing at 8:15 p.m. 
Speaking in favor of Multi   Waste Haulers
 Brady Lane
 Eton Cross
 Kingsley Trail
Representing Condo Association
Hickory Glen
Kensington Rd.
Lowell Ct.
Trowbridge Subdivision
Vaughan Crossing
Speaking against    Multi  Waste Haulers
Randall  lane

Editors note : The Minutes of the January 12th 2010 meeting, were  by resident demand, quite  detailed in terms of resident participation on a number of 2010 issues. Those residents wishing to speak  provided their name and street address.This publication, to give the  readers of today  of a feeling of numbers and  where they came from has only publishes the street name. 
Later in  2010 City Commission  meetings began to be televised  and the need for detailed  minutes atrophied into it's present sparse form. Today residential attendance at City Commission meeting is almost non existent.
 The Public Hearing of January 12th 2010 concluded with..

Where are they now ? Mayor Kellet owns a local business and is still active  community affairs applying for vacancy  on Commission  in 2012. He is also a historian of our area  and gives slide presentations on the subject to  civic groups.

Michael  Mc Cready the Mayor Pro tem of  the January 2010 Commission, followed Mayor Kellet as Mayor. In 2012  McCready  ran successfully for State Legislature. This year he is up for election to another two year term

Commisioner Hardy is the Current Mayor of the City.

John Utley retired from City Commission  in the Spring of 2010.

Michale Zambricki retired  from City Commission after  25 years of  service including many terms  as Mayor in 2013. The retirement was prompted by increased involvement with his employer and a promotion to Vice President. Zambricki has been featured in Crain's  Detroit Business and most recently be elected as adelegate for the Republican Party.

All City officials  are as they were then except for the  Treasurer and  the Building Inspector who have retired.

The City year of 2009-2010 was not without controversy, but the public was heard on numerous occasions usually at  public hearing. Public Hearinsg are conducted by many forms if government nationwide, On the municipal level The  hearings may take many forms but  the point as the name implies is always to hear the public, 

In 2012  Under Mayor Sarah McClure. City Commission public hearings took  a different form. An advocacy speaker for the City's position would speak first for about 15 minutes.  In many Municipalities  the advocacy speaker is usually followed by a speaker presenting a  contrary point of view thus allowing the public to hear  both sides of the issue. In the Public hearings of 2012 this not done. After the advocacy speaker (often hired  by the City) the Mayor sought the opinion of the City Commissioners.

 In all fairness how can the commissioners express a opinon before they listen to their constituents who's viewpoint they supposedly seek at Public Hearing ?

It took City Attorney Bill Hampton  a couple of meetings  to pick up on the last point but  when he did  he suggested that  Commission listen to the Public before stating any opinions they may have in regards to rendering a decision.

The last  City Commission  Public Hearing held in the City of Bloomfield Hills occurred in December  of  2012. It seems City Manager Cravens had found a Meals on Wheels grant  needy residents could qualify for . Unfortunately passage required a public hearing and one had not been scheduled.  City Commission  then declared an Impromptu  Public Hearing and was able to hear from  one member of the public who was in attendance and familiar with program. Mayor McClure did however consult with City Attorney Hampton as to whether a member of the Public could speak on such occasions. If  recalled correctly we believer her exact were, "can he speak ?" Apparently so. That is why it is called a Public hearing.

Since then  City Commission has considered  all sorts of things including a letter writing campaign (in 2013 regarding the proposed out sourcing Public Safety Dispatch) and an Advisory Vote on the City's selection of a  Single Waste Hauler. The State of Michigan which does not do "advisory votes"  rejected the last one.

City Commission then rightly decided, since they has promised  residents an election (advisory or otherwise)  to conduct a state sanctioned binding election on the Waste Hauler matter.

Residents should take advantage of the opportunity. because it may not come again.  In the City of Bloomfield Hills Public Hearings are gone, have been for quite awhile, and are not  expected to make a comeback any time soon. That is why you may not have heard of them.