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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Short List For Person of the Year.

  • What would Robert Glass Bloomfield Hills School Superintendent. say about Doug Koschik ? He might say that Koschik is  man who excels at doing what he does best. So does Robert Glass who came to a school district divided and healed it to the point where people managed to get along without going for the jugular. At least for now. Glass is a master showman. If you are an educator it comes with the territory but the ability of Robert Glass go far beyond he classroom. By clever positioning which more or less  said "If I don't acknowledge you, you  not there"himself  he helped deflate the recall campaign. Fielding Nair cost $800,000 but it played to packed house.  Then there was the scene stealer Plan B which has already spun a humorous sequel Son of Plan B subtitled Trailers Up and  Down Long Lake.  Regardless One School (not two) on one campus or two became  the reality most people could live with. This month  the the superintendent  and the school board  will be at seven town hall meetings gathering information and the resident's opinions of what they want and what  should be put on the ballot. His biggest challenge in 2012? Talking to people who do not  go school board meetings or PTO's.,ave no kids and won't want to spend the dough.

  • What would Mayor of Bloomfield Hills Michael Zambricki say about Robert Glass ? He might says that Glass is a man  inspired and driven. The same could be said about the Mayor. When you've been Mayor five times and on City Commission since 1989 what do you do for an encore ? Micheal Zambricki has never lost a city election. If he gets re-elected  in 2013 he will pass the quarter century mark. A Politician you say ? Hardly. This year he has raised hackles without much notice of the vox populi. by asking questions  the sacred cows weren't keen on answering. He poked and prodded the beloved City Manger into acute awareness which caught a  DTE over charge and prompted an $85,000 refund to the City from DTE. Zambricki also took on the most sacred of all the cows Public Safety. Questions about new hires, overtime, and disability costs rained down and tempers flared. The City is solvent and even in the black but with diminished tax revenues it isn't easy. Zambricki manages quite well but now it gets tougher. He and the  Ordinance Task Force are about unveil a long and involved and some say controversial  city tree ordinance, Politically it is not advisable. Zambricki doesn't care He is proceeding because he believes it is the right thing to do and it's next the agenda.His biggest challenge in 2012 ? The Tree Ordinance.

    • What would City Commissioner Pat Hardy say about  Mayor Zambricki ? She might say he is a legend in the City of Bloomfield Hills. So is she. Hardy was first elected to City Commission in 2003 and has been elected ever since.You will always find her in the Society pages (called Social-Lights) in the back or Downtown   Birmingham Bloomfield Magazine. Her accomplishments this year are many. By a tradition of rotating the position of Mayor among sitting  city commissioners based on seniority she was supposed to be  Mayor this year. The Commission dec instead elected Michael Zambricki. The City Charter, essentially the laws of how the city is governed, requires an election. The rotation was something the City Commission decided to on it's own with no basis in law a number of years ago.It  further marginalized the rights of the people. While disappointed  Hardy, a master politician who knows how the game is played  remained a team player on the commission. She was on the committee that negotiated with  Baldwin and is now the city's library liaison. Once again she is the chair person for Preservation Bloomfield. Her biggest challenge in 2012. Letting go of the past (specifically the City Commissions of 2007-2009.) If she can do that she will be a big  part of the City's future. 

    • The Andover and Lahser Football teams. What would they say about Pat Hardy? If they knew her they would say she is a lady who does things for the City. Lahser and Andover do a lot too. Lahser started the season by remembering Mom and wound up by making the State Play-offs. Quite a turn around for a team that won but one game the year prior. For the Knight Football the team work continues. This Christmas Players  raised $600 for needy family and contrinuted to nine familes in  Eastpointe  via a food drive. Lahser Coach Loria  told  the Birmingham Eagle, "I have always believed there is a responsibility to give back and I think the guys embraced that." Andover struggled all season with a shortage of players. Their play on the field was an inspiration to all who saw it. Their last offensive play was a dramatic score from midfield on on third and long . There is an old saying in sports played in a finite period of time. It is "we didn't lose. Time ran out on us." Luckily for our community Time did not run out on the Andover Barons Football. All indications are that they will back for 2012 after a community wide effort of all concerned to find players. As usual the big challenge in 2012 will be the last game for either school, the Battle for the Sword before both schools become the new Bloomfield Hills High School.

    • If you  have read this far you are in for a pleasant surprise. You are on our  2011 Short List for Person of the Year. You say you don't Live in the City of Bloomfield Hills ? People weren't picked based on geographic location of residence. They were picked  for their contribution to the City. What do we know about you ?  A lot thanks to Google, guess, and by golly. Google tells us that since our blog began on June 1st of 2011, we have a 1395  visitors who chose to look at 5,356 pages. At any given time 75% percent of our readers are returning and 25% are new. 1338 of our  visitors are  from the United States.1042 of our readers are from  the communities  of Birmingham, Franklin, Bloomfield Hills and Keego Harbor.The average visitor spends 11.45 minutes on the site. People from the four above communities averaged 15 minutes. We guess  that in trying to measure communities  as small as ours from a global perspective there is some overlap or margin of error. Apparently we have no readers from Bloomfield Township and we wonder if  Franklin and Keego Harbor might be them since we have never reported on the latter communities.While we are flattered by the many Birmingham readers are reported, aside from the library we don't cover  many  the aspects of that  city like City Commision , The Schools, Shopping, Dining and more.We don't even know where or what  the railroad district or the triangle district  is. Does it matter ? Of course not. Sometimes we are chastised  by the  realization  that the City of Bloomfield  Blog which purports to take a cosmopolitan and global  view of everything frets over  the signs of city limits. More than likely if you are reading this you read other things as well. You think about things you read  and may share those thoughts with others. Your interest in community affairs civic or otherwise  is lauditory regardless of where you live or what community you choose to read about. Do not underestimate your contribution.  To   quote Edmund Burke, No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. You do a lotTherefore we pleased to include all  1395 of you  in our short (now much longer)  list of Persons of the year. Thank  you for your support in 2011 and best wishes in 2012. 

        A little boy once asked President Kennedy how he became a war hero. "It was absolutely involuntary." The President replied."They sank my boat." City of Bloomfield Hills Blog 2011 Person of the Year.

        Baldwin Library Director Doug Koschik     

         2011 Person of the Year
        Our Person of the Year is Doug Koschik, the Director of the Baldwin Library. Of all the possible candidates  we could have picked, he is the one who in our opinion had the greatest impact on our city and the surrounding communities. What he accomplished, was accomplished in  a position he held for less than  a year. In 2011 he took on the added responsibility of negotiating a library contract with the City of Bloomfield Hills. That would involve going beyond Birmingham and Baldwin to The City of Bloomfield Hills and when things  blew up to Bloomfield Township  on behalf of Baldwin contract communities Beverly Hills and Bingham Farms.Totally devoid of acrimony Koschik waited for six months until the City of Bloomfield Hills passed judgement on the path this man had taken, and by the slimmest of margins (37 affirmative votes) allowed him to carry on  even more  audacious plans.Since that fateful election day, to start a dialogue, he has presented dramatic plans for a new and improved Baldwin  library. He and the Baldwin Library have also already promised  to cooperate fully with all  schools, public or private serving City of Bloomfield Hills students. Whether the schools will cooperate with Baldwin to enhance the education of City of Bloomfield Students remains to be seen. In the past  City of Bloomfield Hills students suffered as the Bloomfield School District simply routed assignments through the Township Library which City students could not use. The Baldwin Library was the first to speak on their behalf. (See December 30  post  Baldwin Library to Cooperate Fully With All  Schools Serving City of Bloomfield Hills Students.)

        Most of what Baldwin Library Director Doug Koschik overcame or accomplished in the last year  is available in writing via meeting minutes in various communities. We want you the reader to know the whole story. We are compiling all the minute meetings and providing commentary which we will publish in the next couple of days. It is rather lengthy but we feel it is a story we should tell and you should read. If reading it now does  not suit your busy schedule save it for later. At least there will be a record of it. One advantage of a blog is that we are not limited by space.

        Congratulations to Mr. Doug Koschik, an unwitting and involuntary  Hero/Role model and the City Of Bloomfield Hills Blog 2011 Person of the Year.

        Friday, December 30, 2011

        Baldwin Library to Cooperate Fully With All Schools Serving City of Bloomfield Hills Students.

         In a prepared statement sent to City Manager Jay Cravens for inclusion in the January issue of the City Newsletter, Hills Highlights, Baldwin Library Director Doug Koschik wrote the following:
        As a result of its new contract with the City of Bloomfield Hills, the Baldwin Public Library will be cooperating fully with all schools serving the students of Bloomfield Hills.  This includes the Birmingham Public Schools, the Bloomfield Hills (Public) Schools, and all private schools.

        The Baldwin Library already has a longstanding and close relationship with the Birmingham Public Schools, and carefully coordinates its programming and collections with them.  In early 2012, Baldwin will reach out to the Bloomfield Hills Schools and private schools located in the Hills, and intends to establish a close and fruitful relationship with those as well..

        So remember: Every student living in the City has full privileges at Baldwin.  These include unlimited checkouts of print and audiovisual materials; the ability to place holds on items; interlibrary loan of materials not available at Baldwin; full use of the Library’s e-books, downloadable audio books, and subscription databases; and participation in all programs, including the summer reading program.

        And if you are homeschooling your children, be sure to take advantage of Baldwin’s materials and programs. You might be especially interested in the Parent and Teacher Resource collections in our Youth Room.

        The telephone number of the Library’s Youth Services Department is 248-554-4670.  The Adult Services Department, which helps students in middle and high school, can be reached at 248-554-4650.  Feel free to call and seek the advice of our friendly and knowledgeable librarians!

        In the past,when the City had no formal relationship with a public library, students in the City of Bloomfield Hills we unable to use the Township Library where the Bloomfield Hills Schools routinely sent  Homework assignments. The willingness of Baldwin to  cooperate with all schools serving our students both public and private could  make a dramatic difference in the ease of learning.

        It is also not the first time the Baldwin Library has been ahead the curve in developing ways to serve the City of Bloomfield Hills. Our City commission was considering  the above but had not gone beyond the exploratory steps. The Bloomfield Hills School Board in 2012 will be seeking support of a $65 million dollar Bond issue from City residents.They  had  been told by this author that assistance in something as mundane as the routing of homework assignments might prove valuable  to the support of the  bonds issue. As a body however this did not seem to register.
        Hopefully the Baldwin outreach to begin in 2012,  based on the success they have had with Birmingham Schools,and perhaps with the aid of our Library liaison , Commissioner Pat Hardy will produce results in the new year.

        End Of 20/20 Recall Campaign.2012 Bond Issue Election Numbers to Think About.

        The following E-Mail  was sent to us by Chris Fellin  one of the Bloomfield 20/20 leaders with instructions that it could be shared so we will share it.

         Bloomfield Hills School Board Recall Update

        Dear concerned district residents and families,

        Led by Bloomfield 20/20, volunteers collected thousands of signatures over a 120-day window, but not enough as required within a 90-day window.  Signed petitions continue to come in.  Petition volunteers learned a lot of people were surprised the combined high school plan was still alive.   They thought the proposal had been rejected in November 2010.  Petition signers told volunteers they are angry with the board obsession for combining high schools and are committed to reject any high school merger bond proposal.

        Petition signers were grateful we took the bold step to initiate a recall effort and expressed thanks to volunteers who hit the streets with petitions.  This grass roots team was remarkably successful despite aggressive tactics deployed by board supporters.

        I implore you to pay close attention to what the board is saying and what they aren't saying.  Their information/propaganda blitz has already begun and behind the scenes the architectural and construction management firms they have hired will support this bond campaign as well.  These firms have a lot of money riding on bond passage.  I will continue to work tirelessly to provide you with facts, and continue to ask questions of the board and press for answers.

        Finally, I encourage you to be prepared to vote against this bond proposal in a likely "stealth" May or August election.  A November election ensures the highest turnout and delivers the only valid voice of district residents on such an important issue as a bond proposal.

        Thank you for your interest and participation.  Please feel free to forward this to your family, friends and neighbors.


        Chris (Fellin)

        The part about the Recall reads like a concession speech which it is . Recalling the entire board was audacious and seemingly miscalculated.  Not to have recalled a single board member is major defeat. In politics nothing need be irreparably fatal however. There are many voters through out the district who do not have children in the school system, don't know anything about Fielding Nair or a new high school and thought all that was resolved in 2010. 20/20 knows who they are. The School Board/Bloomfield One United people will just be finding out that the vast majority of district voters are not like the people who attend school board meetings or even Town Halls. The days of preaching to the choir are over.

        Do pay close attention to what everyone on both sides are saying and not saying. Remember the old poker adage. If you are in the game for 20 minutes and don't know who the patsy is, your the patsy.

        A November election  insures the highest  turnout  but it is not necessarily a "valid voice." People in November are there to vote for the President of The United States. That and other important state and national issues will mean  the  high school issue will be of secondary importance and  have little chance of being heard. A November election is likely to insure a No vote. When in doubt or confused or fatigued  by a lengthy ballot  it's easier to say no a $65 million dollar request than "yes".
         In August if  there are primaries going on  the same confusion occurs but on a smaller scale.
        May is the best alternative that  focuses directly on the issue of a new a  high school. The turn out will be smaller and favor the group that is best able to rally its supporters and get them to the polls That used to be 20/20. Maybe it still is.

        How many petition signatures to you think 20/20 has ? To recall  a single school board member 5000 or so were needed or 35,000 for the entire board. They didn't get that and we surmise they may not have got enough  to recall one or two. Do you think they got 2,000 signatures  per board member ? Maybe 3,000  ?
        Maybe somewhere in between. say 14,000 to 18,000.  Signatures don't cost money but they do provide a name and address. In The Bloomfield Hills School District 45,000 live in Bloomfield Township. 4,000 live in Bloomfield Hills.Maybe there are 10,000 elsewhere in West Bloomfield, Pontiac and Auburn Hills.That's 60,000 thousand. What will the turn out be in a one issue May Ballot ? In November it would be 60%. In May 40% would be very good. That's 24,000 voters. How many signatures did we decide 20/20 had 14,000 to 18,000 ? That's enough to win.

        Thursday, December 29, 2011

        2011 In City of Bloomfield Hills, The Year of Doer.

        In 2011 Time Magazine's person of the year was The Protester, From the Arab Spring to the Athens, From Occupy Wall Street to Moscow.....Demonstrations Have Regained the Power to Make History.

        Once I thought I thought so but I was much younger then and I had the benefit of living in a relatively free society. The Nixon Administration may have it's repressive aspects but it was no match for a free press. In many parts of the world the idea of the free press  is a dream pursued with a great deal of  risk. In 2011 in the City of Bloomfield Hills  there were more one than one who criticized  the users of such freedoms when  their viewpoints did not coincide.

        Then for as many gone by years  as the Nixon administration  was ago  I did nothing except  the job which paid bills. I do however recall on occasion lifting my feet when the wife came by with the vacuum. Doing nothing as it so happens is doing something. Edmund Burke and Father Niemoller told us so with famous quotations. Curiously lesser know quotations by both individual seem more immediately pertinent to our city.

        Burke: No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

        Neimoller: Whoever  wants peace, must learn to live together with their opponents.

        Somewhere along the line  I roused  myself  enough to write the words you read. Why exactly I don't know. Maybe it was my dead parents talking to me from beyond the grave. I think a lot like they did, now. Maybe it is what you arrive at by process of elimination when you get tired of wishing things might be different. 

        At any rate I was so unfamiliar with the verb "Do" that "Doer" in which the suffix "er" makes it the verb a noun  looked peculiar on the printed page. Is one who does really a doer or  am I just misspelling the scotch whiskey that often turns up on holiday "open bars" . So I looked it up.

        In  2011  The City of Bloomfield Hills was changed for better or worse by people who did things. Much was accomplished and much more was planned.
        • The Position of Mayor is now to be elected by the City Commission rather than rotated among the sitting commissioners was arrived at but not without pain. The City Charter calls for such an election but for a suggested period of 30 years the City Commission chose to ignore the charter at  the expense of the people.
        • A Library, the community chose to contract  and partner  with as opposed to simply refunding individuals who purchased cards  became a reality.Now  plans for a revamped and improved version of that  Library have appeared in this publication and are being considered.
        • The Bloomfield Hills School Board wants build a $65 million dollar high school to replace two that either are or are not falling apart. A citizens group opposing this request wanted to and reportedly still is planning to impeach the entire school board. The football teams of both  high schools who's replacement is suggested gained fame in different ways. One made the state play-offs. The other lost all it's games but be came the talk of the town.
        • While the  school issue and the library threatened the City's splendid sense of  isolation by at the very least suggesting some sort of involvement with Birmingham and or Township there was also the realization that it might not be all that bad. In fact at a City Commission meeting when the City Manager revealed that the County (Oakland) had been taking down on Country roads (Woodward and Long Lake) the City's beloved black and gold signs and replacing them with green ones the sense of  outrage lasted only minutes before it was suggested ," moving  on to more important matters."
        • On November 11th 2011 the Cranbrook Art Museum, after a two year remodel threw an 11 day gala grand re-opening that restored the City's place in the world. Manhattan has MoMA, the Guggenheim, the Frick,and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Paris Has the Louvre. Madrid the Prado. Florence has The Uffizi.  St. Petersburg  has The Hermitage and the City of Bloomfield Hills has The Cranborok Art Museum. Need we say more ?
        • On a similar note of civic pride bursting at the seams,  New York, New York in it's heyday had seven daily newspapers to serve 7 million people. With the addition of two new electronic publications  The City of Bloomfield Hills has five publications (three newsprint, two electronic) which claim to report  it's affairs to a population of 3800. All of the five have an internet component which can be updated or published daily. All include the word "Bloomfield" in their published name. Two add the word  "Hills" and one has the expressed  written intent of writing exclusively about the city or when it is necessary to deviate from that roll to do in a manner reflecting the interest, spirit, and charms of City of Bloomfield Hills.
        Conveniently enough the last of the above is the one you are now reading. This week we promise a thorough review of all of the above and more. You will meet the doers and some who did not. You will know what was done in 2011 and you will know what needs to be done or not done in 2012. If you are a new reader or an occasional reader you may be shocked at what is already on the drawing board for 2012

        On New Years Eve we will pick our  Person the Year. This year many things were accomplished and planned by doers.One of whom we believe stands above the rest. It is a person regardless of residence who in our opinion had the most impact on the City. This not an award. There is no plaque or banquet and the person we pick will not be notified in advance. That person will find out just like you by visiting our blog on the Oakland Press online blog page or by going to It is not a selection we will necessarily make every year, but in 2011 the year of the doer we will.

        Tuesday, December 27, 2011

        Canadian Football Christmas Card makes the Rounds.

        Those  of us who are older  can not comprehend how fast the internet is changing the world. The other day I thought I knew  but I was wrong. Cliche's come to mind. That's all they are. The Global Village they say. 56 years ago it was 1956. That seems at odd first glance  but you can do the math. 44 years between  1956 and 2000 and 12 more minus a couple of days makes 56.  In 1956, a the famous Canadian writer Mordecai Richler  wrote

         "My last royalty statement from New York cost me a good deal of sleep. It covered the last six months in 1956, and in that period two copies of The Acrobats had been sold. One domestic and the other Orient. For nights, I was kept awake thinking, 'Who in the hell do I know in the Orient? Would it be possible to trace the buyer? Shouldn't we correspond? Or did he, perhaps, buy the book in error?"'

        This Blog which is published in the on line  edition of the Oakland Press under Blogs, Life, and then Community is often visited by mistake. That's understandable. Sometimes we provide reasonably accurate city commission, school board, library, and tree ordinance news and sometimes as the wife would say we go completely go off on a tangent. The mind boggling thing is where exactly the  tangent goes  and and how quickly we get there. Samples of where this blog sometimes turns up  are provided. To read the entire blog in that or any other language click on the foreign language phrase beside to the right of City of Bloomfield Hills which says (in German or other languages) Translate This Page. 

        City of Bloomfield Hills - Diese Seite übersetzen
        9 hours ago – In the City of Bloomfield Hills some residents we are sure have received cards from President Obama or at the very least The Governor of the ..

        French Canadian

        City of Bloomfield Hills - Traduire cette page
        9 hours ago – In the City of Bloomfield Hills some residents we are sure have received cards from President Obama or at the very least The Governor of the ...

        City of Bloomfield Hills - Перевести эту страницу
        9 hours ago – In the City of Bloomfield Hills some residents we are sure have received cards from President Obama or at the very least The Governor of the ...

        Brazil  (Portuguese)

        City of Bloomfield Hills - Traduzir esta página
        10 hours ago – In the City of Bloomfield Hills some residents we are sure have received cards from President Obama or at the very least The Governor of the ...

        EGYPT (Arabic)

         - ترجم هذه الصفحة
        10 hours ago‏ – In the City of Bloomfield Hills some residents we are sure have received cards from President Obama or at the very least The Governor of the ...


        City of Bloomfield Hills - Oldal lefordítása
        10 hours ago – In the City of Bloomfield Hills some residents we are sure have received cards from President Obama or at the very least The Governor of the ...

        Hong Kong (Chinese)

        City of Bloomfield Hills - 翻譯這個網頁
        10 hours ago – In the City of Bloomfield Hills some residents we are sure have received cards from President Obama or at the very least The Governor of the ..


        City of Bloomfield Hills
 - Përktheje këtë faqe
        10 hours ago – In the City of Bloomfield Hills some residents we are sure have received cards from President Obama or at the very least The Governor of the ..



        City of Bloomfield Hills
 - Þýða þessa síðu
        10 hours ago – In the City of Bloomfield Hills some residents we are sure have received cards from President Obama or at the very least The Governor of the ...


        City of Bloomfield Hills - Tafsiri ukurasa huu
        11 hours ago – In the City of Bloomfield Hills some residents we are sure have received cards from President Obama or at the very least The Governor of the ...


        City of Bloomfield Hills - Dịch trang này
        11 hours ago – In the City of Bloomfield Hills some residents we are sure have received cards from President Obama or at the very least The Governor of the ...

        Iran (Farsi/Persian)

        11 hours ago‏ – In the City of Bloomfield Hills some residents we are sure have received cards from President Obama or at the very least The Governor of the ..


        City of Bloomfield Hills - 이 페이지 번역하기
        11 hours ago – In the City of Bloomfield Hills some residents we are sure have received cards from President Obama or at the very least The Governor of the ...

        Interesting isn't it ? I''m sure the 16 page post on our proposed tree ordinance did not get the same play.
        While people are curious and interested in the City of Bloomfield Hills whose residents  have traveled the world, the minutia bores them in a way a Christmas card from the Canadian Football League does not . For area residents who wish to see what minutia what looks like in an exotic  foreign language 
        clicking n the language translation letters will also provide the Baldwin Library proposed remodel, the December 15th Bloomfield Hills School Board meeting, and the last meeting of the City of Bloomfield Hills Tree Ordinance Task Force, in that language.

        In 1956 corresponding with someone in the orient was not easy. Especially if you had no idea who that person was. Now  you can reach around the world using computers, the internet, and services like Google Translations which are available to most everyone. In my parent's day stamp collections and shortwave radio  brought in far away places. Now you go to those places on line in your language or theirs. The Community House has a series of interesting international tours planned for next year. Google Maps mean you can go in advance or at least get a sneak preview by literally flying over and dropping in. We will tell you more about that  in a future post.  

         56 years was very long time ago. Not as long ago as Marco Polo who died in the thirteen century but long enough.  Sputnik the satellite, that was the first step in bringing us all together was still a year away.