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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Friday, August 30, 2013

High School Football starts tonight. Do you know where your Gold Card Is ?

Bloomfield Hills Residents 55+ and over are entitled to a free Gold  Card good for home sporting events, dramatic productions, and Musical programs at Bloomfield High School. Football and Basketball  games are new wrinkle.  When the card was revamped and re-introduced  via one of the district's community partnership committees, the school board was asked to be generous with Gold Card privileges.After all they wouldn't be overwhelmed with Seniors attending High School Football games would they ? We'll find out. tonight  when the Bloomfield Hills High School Black Hawks  open the season with Superintendent Rob Glass' alma mater  Birmingham Groves.

2013 Schedules 

 Cranbrook Cranes

Bloomfield Hills Black Hawks

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Baldwin New Titles 8/20/2013. Anne Perry's latest and Gatsby on DVD as the Twenties roar.

Baldwin New Titles 8/20/2013
Blind Justice by Anne PerryInspector William Monk searches for proof of his friend's innocence in a controversial and dangerous case, in the nineteenth novel in Anne Perry's acclaimed series. Oliver Rathbone, now a judge, is presiding over a trial for corruption. Proud of his elevation to this position, he is determined to be proper and fair, and, with much skill, convicts a deeply corrupt man. On the back of this success Rathbone is given a controversial new case: that of a charismatic minister accused of using other people's faith for his own gain. This will be a real test of skill, perhaps even dangerous - is this what Rathbone wants? A sensational case begins. True to his principles, Rathbone delivers justice - but at a cost, as murder and suicide ensue, and he is arrested under the charge of blackmail. Can Monk unravel the truth behind the court hysteria? Or will Rathbone spend the rest of his years in prison for exposing a relevant truth, in an appropriate way, for a cause he saw as just?  Check Availability

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny:  In Three Pines Chief Inspector Armand Gamache investigates the disappearance of a woman who was once one of the most famous people in the world and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo.
Check Availability
The Whole Enchilada by Diane Mott Davidson:  Goldy Schulz knows her food is to die for, but she never expects one of her best friends to actually keel over when she's leaving a birthday party Goldy has catered. At first, everyone assumes that all the fun and excitement of the party, not to mention the rich fare, did her in. But what looks like a coronary turns out to be a generous serving of cold-blooded murder. And the clever culprit is just getting cooking. When a colleague - a woman who resembles Goldy - is stabbed, and Goldy is attacked outside her house, it becomes clear that the popular caterer is the main course on a killer menu. With time running out, Goldy must roll up her sleeves, sharpen her knives, and make a meal out of a devious murderer, before that killer can serve her up cold.
Check Availability
Great Gatsby (DVD): A would-be writer Nick Carraway leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz, bootleg kings, and sky-rocketing stocks. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby. It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits.Check Availabilty

 Pain & Gain (DVD): When an ambitious group of personal trainers go after the American dream, they get caught up in a criminal enterprise that goes horribly wrong. Now, living large will take everything they've got.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Birmingham Community House. Fall Open House Tuesday August 27th 6 pm-9 pm.

Find a Class ? Looking to Join a Club ? Interested in Travel ?

RSVP's appreciated. Walk ins Welcome. 
The House is Open.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Best Picture Nominee Amour, DVD's, Highlight Baldwin New Titles 8/20/2013

The Kill List by Frederick Forsyth:  In Virginia, there is an agency bearing the bland name of Technical Operations Support Activity, or TOSA. Its one mission is to track, find, and kill those so dangerous to the United States that they are on a short document known as the Kill List. TOSA actually exists. So does the Kill List.  Added to it is a new name: a terrorist of frightening effectiveness called the Preacher, who radicalizes young Muslims abroad to carry out assassinations. Unfortunately for him, one of the kills is a retired Marine general, whose son is TOSAs top hunter of men. He has spent the last six years at his job. He knows nothing about his targets name, face, or location. He realizes his search will take him to places where few could survive. But the Preacher has made it personal now. The hunt is on.  Check Availability

Amour (DVD): A touching tale of a loving couple whose unbreakable bonds of marriage are tested by life's greatest challenge. Check Availability

Epic (DVD): The story of an ongoing battle deep in the forest between the forces of good and the forces of evil. When a teen age girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she must band together with a rag-tag team of fun and whimsical characters in order to save their world, and also ours. Check Availability

Scary Movie V (DVD): A couple begin to experience some unusual activity after bringing their newborn son home from the hospital. With the help of home-surveillance cameras and a team of experts, they learn they're being stalked by a nefarious demon. Check Availability

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ballot Language for Charter Amendments for the November City Election as posted on Oakland County Elections web site.



The proposed amendment amends Chapter III, Section 4, and Chapter IV, Section 7, to acknowledge that city commissioners are elected to 2 year terms at the odd-year November election commencing with 3 commissioners being elected at this 2013 election and all 5 commissioners being elected in November 2015.
Shift from annual May elections to the November odd-year general election was made last fall by the statutorily-authorized Resolution 22-2012 of the Commission.
The amendment also provides that a commissioner’s term of office commences on the first Tuesday after the commissioner’s election.
Shall this amendment be adopted?

Chapter III, Section 5 [Organizational meetings; election of mayor and mayor pro tem] provides for an organizational meeting of the city commission. At this meeting the commissioners elect from among themselves a mayor and mayor pro tem on the first Monday after each city election. It is proposed that the day for
this organizational meeting be changed, from the first Monday after each city election, to a regularly scheduled meeting in November of each year.
Shall this amendment be adopted?

Chapter IV, Section 4 [Conflicts of Interest] provides that no member of the city commission shall vote for any contract or expenditure of any city money if he or she
is financially interested in the proceeds of the contract or expenditure. It is proposed that a second sentence be added to this section to authorize the commission
to implement this section by adopting a resolution or ordinance.
Shall this amendment be adopted?

The proposed amendment to Chapter VII, Section 9, [Annual Budget] changes the deadline date for the commission to prepare an annual budget, from the 10th
day in May, to the second Tuesday in May.
Shall this amendment be adopted?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Approximately 150 City residents sign nominating petitions to place Michael Coakley, Pat Hardy, Mark Kapel, and Stuart Sherr on November 5th City Election Ballot.

Those residents should take a bow and be commended for participating in  the Democratic Process and for saving the City oodles of money in the process.

Consider if only three  candidates were able to secure the necessary number of signatures (which is not a large number  but the process can be time consuming and frustrating). Then the race would be uncontested. The City would have probably been required to hold it anyway, especially after the successful write in campaign in Detroit and  our city's proposed charter changes

We have been told that five residents did request petitions but only four submitted them by yesterday's deadline.There were also some inquiries that did not  result in a request for petitions.

Many of the residents who signed petitions were family and friends but when those ran out dog walkers, and people who answered a ringing doorbell  rose to the occasion.

Now the four candidates Coakley, Hardy, Kapel and Sherr  will tell you who they are and seek your opinion and vote on November 5th. The four are running for three seats on City Commission, the only elected office in the city.

Give the candidates time. One minute to five works in most cases. Do not give them money. Campaign spending by two candidates in the 2012  City Election approached or reached five figures. Almost all of it was the candidates' own money but even so it was overkill. 

The City's last uncontested election was in 2008. We are not going there this year. We will leave it up to the candidates to tell us where it is our City is going.

Praise the Lord and pass  the ammunition.

Baldwin New Titles 8/13/2013. Robert Redford "Company You Keep" and Tommy Lee Jones "Emperor: are DVD's of Note.

Tragic by Robert K. Tanenbaum:  Longshoremen’s union leader Charlie Vitteli is like a cold-blooded villain straight out of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Vince Carlotta, the union boss’s fiercest rival, has accused Vitteli of embezzlement, election rigging, and other abuses—and even called him a crook at a union meeting. Now Carlotta is just another corpse on the waterfront—allegedly gunned down by an armed robber. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Vitteli is somehow involved.  But proving it is a whole other story.  Check Availability

The Last Kiss Goodbye by Karen Robards: While on her evening run, serial killer expert Dr. Charlotte Stone comes across a bloodied and hysterical woman who raves to Charlie that she was forced to kill two others. Though unsure if this gut-wrenching story is true, Charlie gets her to a hospital. But then she remembers an almost identical story told to her by a prisoner incarcerated at Wallens Ridge. Drawing on her despised ability to communicate with the newly dead, Charlie discovers a vicious serial killer is on the loose. At first, no one realizes that the Ringmaster is determined to involve Charlie in his evil games, but then it becomes terrifyingly clear that he's much closer than anyone realizes. Check Availability

Olympus Has Fallen (DVD): When the president is kidnapped by a terrorist who seizes control of the White House (Secret Service Code: Olympus), disgraced former presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped within the building. As the national security team rushes to respond, they must rely on Banning's insider knowledge to save the president and prevent an even greater catastrophe. Check Availability

Emperor (DVD): Immediately after Emperor Hirohito's World War II surrender, General MacArthur suddenly finds himself the de facto ruler of a foreign nation. He challenges his expert on Japanese culture, General Fellers to provide evidence in ten short days to decide if the Japanese Emperor, worshipped as a god by his people but accused of war crimes, should be punished or saved, as the fate of a nation waits. Check Availability

The Company You Keep (DVD): Jim Grant is a public interest lawyer and single father raising his daughter in the tranquil suburbs of Albany, New York. Grant's world is turned upside down when a brash young reporter exposes his true identity as a former 1970s antiwar radical fugitive wanted for murder. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

City Commission Meeting 8/13/13 Agenda Item 9: Award of bid for sanitary sewer rehab project for Whitehall and Bloomfield Sites Subdivisons

To make the documents larger click on them.  

City Commission Meeting 8/13/13. Agenda Item # 8 An Appointment to the Zoning Board.

Ever thought of applying for a position on one of the City's Boards or Commissions ?  

With the exception of City Commission which is the only elected office in the City  and requires nominating  petitions signed by fellow citizens, anyone who has an interest in serving the City of Bloomfield Hills  starts by filling out a form. It doesn't matter if they are the heir apparent, the next best thing, or Joe/Jane Nobody. Everybody must fill out a form which starts with...
What happens to those applications ?  Shortly after the City election of 2011  (City Clerk Amy Burton wrote the following memo to then newly elected Mayor (and now State Representative) Michael McCready explaining just that.

Tonight  one of the applicants from this year, (who's application in part appears  in this article) is Will Hosler of Randal Lane  is expected to appointed as an alternate to the zoning board of appeals. 
As you can see  on Mr. Hosler's application, he checked each of the three  Commission/Boards as areas of interest.

Many residents when  confronted with the form don't know what box to check. They simply have a desire to serve the community and that is fine. The  City is always looking for a few good men and women and will know where to put them.

For would be applicants however  a short explanation of the Boards or Commissions due might be in order.

The Board of Review  meets every spring to review property assessments  with residents who feel theirs should be adjusted. It is very specific and short term. Specific real estate  assessment knowledge would seem to asset if not a requirement.

The Zoning Board of Appeals meets monthly on the third Tuesday  of every month at 4pm. It is the only Board allowed by state law to have alternates.  The Zoning Board's purpose is maintain adherence to the City's zoning ordinances and in some cases grants exceptions where circumstances warrant. Some knowledge of zoning and it's intent are helpful . At every meeting the particulars of each appeal are however detailed in virtually every aspect by the City's  various consulting firms and building department.  A written copy is also provided in the Agenda package.  ZBA members also benefit aerial photographs and sometimes further their understanding by drive bys. In short the ZBA is a Board where you can learn as you go. That is why many begin there and once there stay for years or decades. It has been described by many participants as enjoyable exercise in reason.

The Planning Commission meets monthly at 4pm on the second week of the month. As the warm up act for City Commission which meets at 7:30 pm on the second Tuesday of every month, some consider the Planning Commission the second most important board in the City and there is some truth to this. 

The Planning Commission is a mandate  of the State of Michigan which insists every community have on as an example of  forward thinking. Like the Zoning Board consultants provide all most all the necessary information but the Planning Commission is not learn as you go. You are supposed to know before you get there. In 2009 the a Planning Commission's subcommittee wrote the City's Master Plan. A Planning Commission's Committee the Ordinance Task Force reviews ordinance on a regular basis.

  • In summary The Zoning Board  interprets existing ordinances and decides on the relevance of enforcement in individual cases. 
  • The Planning Commision change ordinances or writes new ones but final approval of said rests with the elected by the people, City Commission.

It should also be noted that the Boards and Commissions are not mutually exclusive. Many agenda items require approval of both the Zoning Board and  Planning Commision. As always the City Commission is the court of last resort.

If you have an interest in serving on the City Commission, the City's only elected office, participation on an appointed board is an unofficial, unwritten, prerequisite.

Perhaps the hardest part of applying for a position on a City Board or Commission is the waiting which some may interpret as a rejection. You did not attend the Sorbonne. Your French isn't good enough. Nobody likes you. Everybody hates you.Guess you  should go eat worms.

Actually the exact opposite is true.If you are interested in serving the City, the City would like to know more about you. The best way for that to happen is to attend meetings. If you attend City Commission meetings you may very well be one of less than five in the audience. Let's see that would be you, the Police Chief, this reporter, maybe another reporter or another resident, and the TV camera man. Five.

Planning and Zoning meetings attract a larger audience  of those   who may have direct interest in the outcome of the matter being discussed. The planning and zoning meetings are structured like Public Hearings so public comment is not restricted. It is the City Commission however that makes the appointments.

Resident Hosler's application is date April 7th 2013. He will be appointed to the zoning board tonight August 13th 2007. In the interim a retirement by a 16 veteran of the planning commission, filled by a zoning board member created the vacancy he is expected to receive.

If you are interested in joining him on a City Board or Commission  fill out an application. Everyone must. It is your leave behind in the big stack Attending meetings will speed the process by showing your interest and telling people who you are. Name recognition helps. It is not really a case of who you know. It is however a case of who knows you.

Chief's Report.City Commission Meeting 8/13/13. Agenda Item 2 Bb Correspondence. Coyote Not so Ugly.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Baldwin Library one of 473 libraries awarded grant to present Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle Film series

Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle Film Screenings at Baldwin Public Library

The Baldwin Public Library is one of 473 institutions across the country to be awarded grant funds and a set of four films chronicling the history of the civil rights movement. The grant series, Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle, will introduce four documentaries with riveting footage illustrating the history of civil rights in America.  It will include a series of screenings, lectures and discussions centered around four documentaries starting in March 2013.  The Race Relations & Diversity Task Force and the Birmingham Historical Museum & Park are co-sponsors for the series.

Created Equal is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) that uses the power of documentary films to encourage community discussion of America’s civil rights history. NEH has partnered with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to develop programmatic and support materials for the sites.

The powerful documentaries, The Abolitionists, Slavery by Another Name, Freedom Riders, and The Loving Story, include dramatic scenes of incidents across the 150-year effort to achieve equal rights for all.  Freedom Riders received an Emmy in 2012, and The Loving Story and The Abolitionists were nominated for Emmys in 2013. 

Danielle McGuire, an author and professor of history at Wayne State University will be the scholar for the project.   “These films chronicle the long and sometimes violent effort to achieve the rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—for all Americans,” said Kathryn Bergeron, project director for the grant.  “We are pleased to receive a grant from NEH to provide programming around these films.”

Each of the films were produced with NEH support, and each tells remarkable stories of individuals who challenged the social and legal status quo of deeply rooted institutions, from slavery to segregation. Created Equal programs bring communities together to revisit our shared history and help bridge deep racial and cultural divides in American civic life. Visit for more information. 

The Created Equal film set is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

About the Baldwin Public Library
The Baldwin Public Library is located in downtown Birmingham and serves the communities of Birmingham, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms and the City of Bloomfield Hills.  The Baldwin Public Library is at 300 W. Merrill Street and can be reached at 248-647-1700 or through the Library’s website at   

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Founded in 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization that promotes excellence in the teaching and learning of American history. Programs include publications, teacher seminars, a national Affiliate School Program, traveling exhibitions, and online materials for teachers, students, and the general public.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities. NEH grants enrich classroom learning, create and preserve knowledge, and bring ideas to life through public television, radio, museum exhibitions, and programs in libraries and other community places.

Jazz series presented by the Baldwin Public Library and the Friends of the Birmingham Historical Museum & Park. Beginning Tuesday at 7 pm at Baldwin.

Jazz is coming to downtown Birmingham in the month of August!  Both programs are free and open to the public.  This series is a follow-up to the jazz lecture given by Birmingham resident Peter Bray in January 2013. 

Jazz lecture with RJ Spangler
Tues., Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Baldwin Public Library, 300 W. Merrill St. in downtown Birmingham
RJ Spangler lives and breathes music as a Detroit-based drummer, producer and manager.  Join him on a fascinating journey through the jump and swing jazz of the 40s and 50s.

Jazz concert with the RJ Spangler Trio
Tues., Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Birmingham Historical Museum & Park, 556 W. Maple Rd. in downtown Birmingham
Live concert on the back porch of the Museum with the RJ Spangler Trio featuring Larry Smith on the alto sax. RJ is a veteran Detroit bandleader & drummer. His trio consists of Oliver Nevels on guitar and Greg Cook on the upright bass. They deliver straight ahead 50s/60s hard bop jazz as only seasoned veterans can. Bring a blanket and picnic!

Two hours of free parking are available at the Chester Street parking structure located on the corner of Chester and Maple.  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Friends of Preservation Bloomfield Primer.. Don't forget Corn Roast Family Fun Fund Raiser, Tonight at the Bowers Farm. 4pm-7pm.

The House that Friendship Built video shows the restoration of the Bowers Farm House and many of the fund raising events the Friends of Preservation Bloomfield put on annually to raise money for such projects.You may recognize the names or facers of some of the event coordinators as your friendsand neighbors.

If you are a little fuzzy on the history of the locale where most of us live, the above rather remarkable video will get you started. 

Afterglow a Bloomfield Hills Magazine of the roaring twenties appears towards the end of the video. The Magazine was primarily oriented to the social  scene of that era but it provided a chronicle of the palatial homes being build in Bloomfield almost a century ago.

And don't forget the Corn Roast this afternoon which raises money for such historical preservations.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

City Commission Candidates deadline for submitting nominating petitions is August 13th 4pm. A week from this Tuesday.

Downtown Birmingham Bloomfield Magazine reported in late Friday's electronic on line edition  that two prospective candidates have already submitted petitions. The Magazine also quoted one potential candidate  as erroneously saying 35 signatures are required. Actually only 25 signatures are needed to place one's name on the ballot. Those that sign must be residents of the City of Bloomfield Hills and registered voters.

Those who are asked to sign need only provide their John Hancock, their printed name, address, zip code and the date. Signing does not commit or obligate one in any way. 

Because three commission seats will be contested registered voters can sign petitions for up to three candidates. 

The candidate by submitting the 25 or more valid signatures then gets his or her name placed on the ballot. 

If persons A,B,C,D and E submit verified petitions their  names will appear on the Ballot in rotating alphabetical order for the various Precincts.

The City of Bloomfield Hills has two in person voting precinct and (we believe) the absentee ballots are  also treated as a precinct. If so the rotation might be  Candidates A, B, C, D, E for Precinct One (City Hall Fire Station ). Then B, C, D, E, A for  Precinct 2  (Congressional Church Cranbrook Rd and Woodward) and  finally C, D, E, A, B for the absentee ballots.

Signing the nominating petitions is an important part of the democratic process and candidates appreciate your assistance.  It gives them a chance to meet you and you to meet them.

Other communities with larger populations offer  payment of a $100 fee as alternative to getting signatures. It is has been said that closing time on deadline day in those communities often resembles the crowd at a casino. Players gauge who is in and out before plopping down five twenties or reaching for the check book, or credit card.

With our system candidates are free to inquire about who is in or out which is public information but the effort required to obtain the necessary signatures precludes a "Will I Won't I " aura of frivolity.

Candidates who submit the required number of  verifiable signatures  by 4pm Tuesday August 13th will  still have a two day grace period in which they may withdraw without penalty of a fine.  Late in the day on August 13th and August 14th is also the date the news media traditionally announces candidate list since rarely does  a candidates withdraw after filing.

 As of last Friday  two have filed and it is said that an equal or greater number have requested petition kits. It has also been said that requesting kits and not filing is a fairly common occurrence.