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

Search This Blog

Friday, January 31, 2014

Baldwin Library is no stranger to Birmingham City Commission's Long Range Planning Sessions.Time of Line of Events 1212 to 2014.

Baldwin Library remodel piques 

Birmingham City Commission's interest. Meeting with City Manager to follow. Joint Library-City Commission exploratory sub committee a possibility.

The City of Birmingham’s Saturday January 21stLong Range Planning Agenda was a big  half day, annual event. Before it occurred, it was widely discussed, analyzed and much anticipated. There would be pastries for breakfast. The Press would be there. There would ten presentations in varying form and length . Some sort of eat-on-the-spot 15 minute lunch would be provided. Finance, Building, Engineering, the Principal Shopping District, Fire and Safety, Planning, The Historical Museum, the City Clerk’s office and the Baldwin Library would all have their say. Some Agenda slots were thought to be better than others. Comments from the commission would be good. Silence would be awful.

The Baldwin Library had been preparing for the meeting for a long time. Library director Doug Koschik said the remodel had been a topic of internal casual  conversation for ten years.  Now it was time to seek other opinions. At the  December 18th Library Board Meeting,  the public was treated two re modelling presentations intended to present possibilities and start conversations.In prior posts on this blog  readers can find the written and  graphic version of these presentations. Click on Baldwin Library  Considers Expansion  Options
for a written version of the Library's presentation. It is currently in second place on our top ten post ranking found on the lower right hand corner of the blog page. Click on Baldwin Library  Presentation of Proposed Building Plans by Fanning Howey and Victor Saroki.

 At the library’s last building meeting (click on Baldwin Library Board Building Committee  Meeting of  January 6th) the art of think and double think had advanced to the point of  asking “what if the commission asked the library board  what they thought of  the two plans. To that end the library board drafted a statement at the last library board meeting  saying in essence the Fanning Howley plan would be practicality at a reasonable price but the Saroki Plan if any way possible would be the ultimate. A slide to that effect was tacked on to the Saroki  presentation.
Both Plans were presented at the Long Range Planning meeting and the dreaded silence did not occur. As a matter of fact the Saroki Plan stole the show.

The Mayor began by saying it seemed  "other communities look at our library as though it's their library." He said the  Baldwin Library board was doing a great job in initiating the current dialogue and maybe it was time to take the next step. Then asked the commissioners for input.  
Commissioner Rinscher advised against getting too hung up on design  too early. He advised looking at how the City managed three park project. He reminded the Library that it now served 35,000m people only 20,000 of which were Birmingham Residents. All in all he thought a sub committee to discuss things further might be a good idea.

Commissioner Mc Donald thought the Saroki design very compelling which presented a classic fund raising opportunity.
Commissioner Hoff  wondered why Fanning Howey addressed one floor instead of three. Library Director Koschik said it was intended to be a modest solution. He said he felt Fanning Howey did not address the needs of the handicapped. The Mayor then asked what was wrong with the library's current meeting of those needs. Wasn't there that big ramp by the front door ? Koschik said there was but it wasn't particularly popular because it was considered steep. 
Commissioner Hoff would suggest a sub committee and suggested looking at other libraries and getting public opinion.
Mayor Pro Tem Dilgard  wouldn't rule out a millage and mentioned recent projects like the YMCA or the  United Methodist Church which encountered road blocks along the way.
Commissioner Sherman said all related to how one saw the library fitting into the community.the he said "I like where this is going. That's Good." Public Feedback was needed. Library's were changing. E-Books, smaller collections, etc.

                                       Public Comments                                                                                       
 One speaker mentioned the Novi Library upgrade at $15 million, Bloomfield Township at $26 million and concluded the Birmingham Saroki plan could be done on a low per capita bond issue. Another resident preferred improving the library's collection first. A third  said the library should not overlook operational costs and wondered if one of the the city's two golf courses could be sold to provide money for the Library.

    Time Table ?
At the Baldwin  Library building meeting,  Director Koschik said maybe ten years. The plans and the interest they have generated indicate something sooner. Saturday January 19th 2012  it was obvious that the the library has done it's home work but there is much work to be done before the project leaves the drawing board. Could the Sarioki plan be done in modular stages ? Could both the Fanney Howey Plan and the Sarioki be implemented. The Next step is for Library Director Doug Koschik to meet with the City Manager. That wouldn't happen if the  City Commission had no interest or the timing wasn't right or the city didn't think the library had done it's homework. That meeting could take place this week. The next step after that would be the formation of a Library-City Commission sub committee. That would indicate need for more discussion and a mutual quest for answers. Last Saturday an   enhanced Baldwin Library went from being a conversation starter to something that important people who don't have time to waste and are willing to plan. That is a big leap forward.

A beginner's guide to the Birmingham City Commission.

 As the saying goes, you can't tell the players without a score card..Consider this your scorecard. The commissioners are listed and  depicted as they appear in the City of Birmingham  website. As commissions go  Birmingham 's is rather mature. Of the seven members elected to four year terms, all have been elected in the first decade of this century. 
The first was elected in 2001 and the last in 2009. All with the exception of the the latter all will achieve double digit longevity by the time the their current term expires.

In comparison in City of Bloomfield Hills only one member of the commission has double digit longevity and none of the other four could mathematically achieve it until the year 2020;

The Birmingham commissioners unlike their Bloomfield Hills counterparts  who sit in a straight line, sit in a curved dais which makes viewing  difficult. If this writer remembers correctly the left to right order from the audience perspective is  Nakita, Sherman, Dillard, Moore, Rinschler, Hoff, and McDaniel.

First timers attending a Birmingham Commission meeting  will quickly realize that one is not in Kansas anymore. Evening meetings can  last  to midnight and are held twice a month. Audience members usually  pick which agenda items to attend. Some topics are standing room only with the overflow sitting on the floor. Part of the length of the meetings is the result of extensive public comment which occurs topic by topic as determined by the mayor.

All items marked in red are links that  be clicked on to email a commissioner or to  obtain future meeting dates and information.

The Birmingham City Commission meets on the second and fourth Monday of every month at 7:30 p.m. in the Commission Room on second floor of Birmingham City Hall at 151 Martin Street, Birmingham. 

Upcoming Meeting Schedulee Long  Range  Planning  Meeting Saturday 2/1/14
                                                   Library  Bond  Issue Ballot Language  Monday  2/10/14
Mayor Scott Moore
Commissioner George Dilgard
Commissioner Rackeline J. Hoff
Commissioner Tom McDaniel
Commissioner Mark
Commissioner Gordon Rinschler
Mayor Pro Tem Stuart Lee Sherman  

Scott MooreScott D. Moore, Mayor

Elected November, 2003 
Past Boards/Appointments:
  • The Birmingham City Commission from 1995 to 1999 
  • Mayor 1999, 2006
  • Mayor Pro Tem 1998, 2005 
  • Birmingham Senior Foundation Board
  • Woodward Avenue Action Association Board
  • Birmingham Employees Retirement Board
Current Affiliations: 
  • Vice President, Cultural Council of Birmingham-Bloomfield
  • Board member, Birmingham-Bloomfield Community Coalition
  • Member, First Baptist Church of Birmingham (Former President of Education Ministries for the American Baptist Churches USA)
  • MOSES (Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength)
Scott is an attorney, a certified mediator and has a secondary teaching certificate. Scott is married to Joan (Lawyer for EDS and immediate past president of Automation Alley). He has one daughter Paige. Scott enjoys reading, gardening and sports (especially golf).
shermanStuart Lee Sherman,

Mayor Pro Tem

Elected in 2005
Past Boards/Appointments: 
  • Mayor, 2009
  • Mayor Pro Tem, 2008
  • Board of Review
  • Hearing Officer
  • Ad Hoc Sewer Committee
  • Retirement Board
  • Retiree Health Care Fund Investment Committee
Current affiliations:
  • Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America Executive Board
  • Camp Oasis for kids with IBD
  • Distinguished Clown Corp, Thanksgiving Day Parade
  • Finance Committee at his children’s school
  • Birmingham Sewer Lateral and Water Line Replacement Community Group
  • Committee Chair, Cub Scout Pack 613
  • Co-Pack Master, Cub Scout Pack 613
Stuart is a tax attorney and adjunct professor.  He has a daughter Alexandra and son Justin.

George DilgardGeorge Dilgard, Commissioner

Elected in November, 2007 
Past Boards/Appointments:
  • Mayor, 2013
  • Mayor Pro Tem, 2012
  • Planning Board
  • Board of Zoning Appeals
  • Shain Park Parking Study Group
Current affiliations:
  • Ad Hoc Barnum Park Phase 2 Committee
  • Member, First United Methodist Church
  • Friends of the Rouge
George is a financial analyst for Ally Financial, Inc.  He is married to Susan with an adult son and daughter, Rob and Elizabeth.

Rackeline HoffRackeline Hoff, Commissioner

Elected November, 2001

Past Boards/Appointments:
  • Mayor 2010
  • Mayor 2005 
  • Mayor Pro Tem 2004, 2009 
  • Zoning Board of Appeals
  • Board of Review
  • Advisory Parking Committee
  • Ad Hoc Downtown Development Committee
Current affiliations:
  • Foundation for Birmingham Senior Residents, Trustee and Chair
  • Oakland County Friend of the Court Citizen Advisory Committee, Chair
  • Mediator, Oakland Mediation Center and district courts
  • Birmingham Community House, Marketing Committee member
  • Common Ground Outreach Advisory Committee
Rackeline is a public relations consultant, and is a widow with two daughters, Allison and Lindsey, and three grandchildren, Julia, Stephen, and Camille.

Tom McDanielTom McDaniel, Commissioner

Elected November, 2002
Past Boards/Appointments:
  • Mayor, 2007
  • Historical Board
  • Historic District & Design Review Commission
Tom currently serves on the Roeper School Board of Trustees. He is a retired General Motors Vice President of Asian and Pacific Operations. Tom is married to Susan and has three sons and two daughters. 

Mark Nickita, Commissioner 
Elected on November 3, 2009

Past Boards/Appointments:
  • Mayor, 2012
  • Mayor Pro Tem, 2011
  • Birmingham Planning Board 1997-2000, 2003-2009, Past Chair
  • Shain Park Design and Selection Committees
  • Birmingham/Troy Transit Center Advisory Committee and Charrette
  • Booth Park Design Committee, Construction Volunteer
  • Triangle District Design Advisory Committee and Charrette
  • Downtown Retail Window Design Committee
  • Neighborhood Garage-Front House Ordinance Sub-Committee
Current Affiliations:
  • American Institute of Architects Michigan, Director
  • American Institute of Architects Detroit, Director, Past President
  • Congress for the New Urbanism, Member, Charter Signatory
  • American Planning Association, Member
  • Michigan Society of Planners, Member
  • Birmingham PSD, Business Development Committee
  • Lawrence Technological University Distinguished Alumni Committee
  • Parishioner, Holy Name Church
  • President of Archive Design Studio in Detroit; architect, urbanist and adjunct professor of urban design
Mark is married to Jennifer and has a son Alexander and a daughter Paige.

Agenda For Tomorrow's Birmingham City Commission Long Range Planning Session

Saturday, February 1st, the day of the City Commission's Long Range Planning Session is one of the biggest days in the civic minded  City of Birmingham. That is because on that day many of the City Departments and related interests present their plans for the future to City Commission.  

The demand is such that getting on the agenda  for the Long Range  Planning session is considered a victory. 

No decisions are made and  no votes are taken at the Long Range Planning Session. City Commissioners do however ask questions, offer suggestions  and make comments. 
As a rule of thumb, questions by the commissioners is good. Silence followed by the perfunctory "thanks for coming," is bad. What most of the presenters want is a "go ahead" for future consideration. 

City Commission Long Range Planning Session
Date: 2/1/2014 9:00 AM
Location: Municipal Building, room 205
151 Martin
Birmingham, Michigan 48009


Scott D. Moore, Mayor
Laura M. Pierce, City Clerk
I. 9:00 – 9:45 AM Finance
A. Five-Year Financial Model
B. Capital Improvements/Funding Priorities
II. 9:45 – 10:30 AM Engineering
A. Major & Local Street Funding Report
B. Parking Structure Expansion
III. 10:30 – 11:00 AM Department of Public Service
A. City Parks – Project Summaries
B. Capeseal Program
IV. 11:00 – 11:15 AM Building
A. Increasing Construction Activity
V. 11:15 – 11:30 AM Police Department
A. Camera System Upgrade
VI. 11:30 – 12:15 AM Planning
A. Master Planning Update Initiatives
B. Alleys and Passages
C. Regional Collaboration Report – Woodward Corridor
VII. 12:00 – 12:15 PM Lunch
VIII. 12:15 – 12:30 PM Historical Museum
A. Museum Strategic Plan Update
IX. 12:30 – 1:00 PM Voluntary Historic Preservation
X. 1:00 – 1:30 PM Senior Services
A. Joint Senior Services Committee Phase I & II recommendations review
B. Michigan Community for a Lifetime
NOTICE: Individuals requiring accommodations, such as mobility, visual, hearing, interpreter or other assistance, for effective participation in this meeting should contact the City Clerk's Office at (248) 530-1880 (voice), or (248) 644-5115 (TDD) at least one day in advance to request mobility, visual, hearing or other assistance.

Las personas que requieren alojamiento, tales como servicios de interpretación, la participación efectiva en esta reunión deben ponerse en contacto con la Oficina del Secretario Municipal al (248) 530-1880 por lo menos el día antes de la reunión pública. (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964).

Public Safety Dispatch Officer Robert Ishmael, in an emergency situation, handles 113 calls in a 40 minutes.

 On July 12th 2013 Chief David Henderson wrote:

Dispatcher Ishmael, Sgt Szuber has brought to my attention your commendable work on  6-27-2013. On that day the City of Bloomfield Hills was struck by a large and powerful thunderstorm. During this time BHDPS personnel responded to two separate incidences of of trees falling on vehicles at the same time. One vehicle was hit at Long Lake and Kensington and the other being on Woodward near Statford Place. Both occurred during heavy rush hour  traffic conditions. During this time the Dispatch center received 44-911 emergency calls and 69 non emergency calls which you handled  in approximately 40 minutes. You showed extreme confidence, professionalism  and calmness  in multi-tasking  during this extremely hectic time.

I agree with Sgt. Szuber  that you should be  be recognized  for your actions. I personally have seen nothing but professionalism,  and tact from you when  dealing with our citizens and performing  your job. I have forwarded this  to the award board  for their consideration.

Later in a hand written postscript  for this publication, Chief Hendrickson added, "Dispatcher Ishmael was given an individual commendation  for his efficient and valued service in the performance of his duties over an extended period of time."

Editors note: In a citizen  survey conducted in the Spring of 2012, The Public Safety Department was rated the highest of all City departments in the satisfaction of contact experience. The Public Safety Department received  a 4.5 rating out of a possible five in three categories. No other department received a 4.5 in any category. In the other two categories Public Safety received a 4.4.  The City Clerk's department had three 4.4 ratings but none as high as 4.5. With the exception Public Safety and City Clerk no other department scored as high as 4.4

Original memo


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ever wonder what the Duties of Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Dispatchers are ?

Ever wonder what the duties are for those chosen to serve you ? When there is an opening it is often published on the City's website. The following appeared in January for Public Safety Communications. The Duties are quite extensive. The 
City and the Public Safety Department hold out for the highest standard. Below are the specifics of the job description.

Duties of Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Dispatchers:

-          Maintain daily log.
-          Maintain current housewatch report.
-          Maintain business emergency contact list.
-          Maintain current alarm statistics for billing.
-          Traffic violation tabulation.
-          Sending alpha-pages.
-          Maintain working knowledge of Dictaphone recording device.
-          Continuous Computer Aided Dispatch training which consists of dispatching police, fire and medical runs via computer as well as working knowledge of C.A.D. mapping system.
-          Continuous training in the daily updates to the C.A.D. system (crime codes, street numbers, new streets).
-          Entry and retrieval of information into the C.L.E.M.I.S. system which includes the following: SOS computer, NCIC computer, NLETS computer, CMIS computer, LEIN computer, entering reports into CLEMIS database, entering impounded and abandoned vehicles, entering stolen vehicles and property, OUIL temporary permits and plates, entering warrants, entering missing persons, school closings, Canadian queries, Criminal history records, sex offender registry, Oakland County Jail Management and many other fields.
-          Working knowledge of building security system (door locks and fire alarms).
-          Prisoner monitoring via closed circuit television as well as intercom system.
-          Answer and effectively communicate with the public through the five incoming phone lines.
-          Answer and have familiarity with the two E-911 incoming lines as well as the E-911 computer system for locating calls and if necessary, transferring to the proper jurisdiction.
-          Effectively utilize building paging system as well as the voice mail system.
-          Dispatch police, fire, and medical runs via the two radio channels assigned to this department.
-          Monitor Bloomfield Twp. radio, Birmingham radio, Inter-city radio and the Troy fire communications network.
-          Responsible for coordinating mutual aide for working fire and police scenes with many surrounding jurisdictions.
-          Responsible for notifying various computer contractors as to updates that need to be made.
-          Answer direct-dial alarm phone.
-          Send and receive information via facsimile
-          Monitor digital alarm receiver for fire and B&E alarms throughout the city.
-          Confirming and making arrangements for pick up on warrants.
-          Compile daily court mail to be transported over.
-          Distribution of mail and copies of reports to the Chief, Det/Sgt. and all other Sgts.

-          Accept all bond money posted for prisoners and then preparing the money to go to the proper Court.-          Responsible for sending copies of reports and fingerprint cards to the Court and Prosecutors.
-          Entry of Repeat Offender License Plates into LEIN and issuance of temporary license plates.
-          Monitor and assist all entrants into the lobby on a 24-hour basis.
-          Issue burning permits.
-          Release impounded vehicles to qualified individuals.
-          Monitor monthly testing of tornado siren.
-          Maintaining current list of Hospice patients, building permits, soliciting permits and dog licenses.
-          Responsible for keeping of the bank of house keys on file.
-          Processing, coping and filing of all paperwork completed by road patrol.
-          Responsible for maintenance of all printers, copier, fax machine and all other office equipment.
-          Running of driving histories for informal hearings on all violations issued by the road patrol.
-          Responsible for notifying personnel off duty personnel of working fire and SRU callouts.
-          Maintaining security of all sensitive documents held by the department and shredding of non-essential documents.
-          Responsible for ordering and maintaining stock of all office supplies.
-          Interact with Detroit Edison, Ameritech, Consumers Energy and Media One.
-          Notification to Oakland County road commission of all non-working signals, road hazards and snow removal.
-          Notifications to DPW personnel of need for snow plowing on a 24-hour basis.
-          Passing along of roll-call information to midnight personnel.
-          Maintain working knowledge of city streets and city landmarks to assist the public with directions.
-          Responsible for training of all new Dispatchers in all of desk functions.
-          Maintain accurate LEIN records for bi-annual audit by the Michigan State Police.
-          Enter paper tickets into mobile dashboard system.         
-          Scan and attach documents to reports.

City managers and City matters: an addendum to our 2013 story of the year.

On May 3rd, Downtown Birmingham Bloomfield Magazine published an article  titled "Who is minding our municipalities." The article was based on interviews  with the managers  and  referenced  a  35 page study,  Michigan Local Government Structure, Services and Practices.  That is  which is available on line. To read it in its entirety just click on the underlined  link above.Published in 2002 it offers models to categorize various types of  municipal governments.  

The study, and the models presented in which the City Manager as a trained professional is given high stature; and the concurrence of the Birmingham City manager, who likened his role to  that of an orchestra conductor, perhaps prompted  the  the Magazine to write..

Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills are cities,with professional city managers running their cities, followed by non-partisan city commissions which is elected by the public. Mayors in Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills are considered "ceremonial", chosen from among their fellow commissioners for a year to primarily run meetings and marry people."

In the battle to preserve the City's Public Safety Dispatch unit, despite what the text books, say the role of Mayor McClure's  was hardy ceremonial. Three commissions were in favor exploring the option.One was absent and yet the mayor's viewpoint despite being the only dissenter, eventually prevailed. That was a point of our story which we believe was the story of the year.

The concept of a "ceremonial" mayor gains credence under the current mayor Pat Hardy. She has often advocated the rotation of the position of mayor, among the commissioners as a reward for years of service. Last November for the first time in two years, only one candidate was nominated for Mayor and only one for Mayor Pro tem resulting in two unanimous votes. 

In the opinion of this publication a rotation to reward commissioners serves the elected while putting  the City and its residents at jeopardy. That's because a mere two votes under the wrong mayor could drastically alter the City. That was also one of the points of our story.

Downtown Magazine describes the following pecking order,  a Professional City Manager running the City  followed by a City Commission elected by the public. 

Actually the people come first because they elect a City Commission who then hires or fires the professional manager. 

Recently in the City of Birmingham it was the City Commission that after a confusing set of circumstances decided the  to let City Manager Bob Bruner's contract expire. Bruner was highly regarded and his rapid rise while serving four municipalities, duly noted. Unfortunately perhaps for both parties, the perceived protocols of negotiating a contract while considering other opportunities ran afoul of the perceived protocols of loyalty.

The Eccentric newspaper quoted a woman as saying "He did something that really (annoyed) those (on the Birmingham City Commission) who were inclined to keep him. Honestly I don't think he was a good fit for Birmingham. He cut the public out of the  process too often. It is all good to be efficient, but I want Government that wants its Citizens to participate.

That woman knows the correct pecking order. The Eccentric did in fact describe her as a long time government watchdog.  

Such citizens in the City of Bloomfield Hills are in short supply which is why we write these articles.

When the order of citizens first, elected officials second, and city (staff, consultants and special interests etc.)third gets out of whack a text book model of how it should be is rather useless.

That is because by then a determination has made. The powers that be, have decided that interests of the second and third tiers,  are of prime importance and therefore allowed to by pass or trump those of the residents.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Downton Abbey Season 4 DVD, Intriguing history remake novels, Anne Quindlen, and Wikileaks flick highlight Baldwin New Titles 1/27/2014.

Downton Abbey, season 4 (DVD)The sweeping Downton Abbey saga continues, beginning six months after the unexpected death of Matthew Crawley, heir to Downton Abbey, husband to Lady Mary, and brand new father to a baby boy and successor, in a car accident. Although it is the 1920s, Britain still observes mourning rituals that are almost Victorian in their solemnity. Nonetheless, life goes on at Downton Abbey and the Crawleys are beginning to snap out of it. Check Availability

Dominion by C. J. Sansom: 1952. Twelve years have passed since Churchill  lost to the appeasers and Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany. The global economy strains against the weight of the long German war against Russia still raging in the east. The British people find themselves under increasingly authoritarian rule--the press, radio, and television tightly controlled, the British Jews facing ever greater constraints. But Churchill's Resistance soldiers on. As defiance grows, whispers circulate of a secret that could forever alter the balance of the global struggle. The keeper of that secret? Scientist Frank Muncaster, who languishes in a Birmingham mental hospital. Civil Servant David Fitzgerald, a spy for the Resistance and University friend of Frank's, is given the mission to rescue Frank and get him out of the country. Hard on his heels is Gestapo agent Gunther Hoth, a brilliant, implacable hunter of men, who soon has Frank and David's innocent wife, Sarah, directly in his sights. Check Availability

An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris:  This is the story of the infamous Dreyfus affair told as a chillingly dark, hard-edged novel of conspiracy and espionage. Paris in 1895. Alfred Dreyfus, a young Jewish officer, has just been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil's Island, and stripped of his rank in front of a baying crowd of twenty-thousand. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, the ambitious, intellectual, recently promoted head of the counterespionage agency that "proved" Dreyfus had passed secrets to the Germans. At first, Picquart firmly believes in Dreyfus's guilt. But it is not long after Dreyfus is delivered to his desolate prison that Picquart stumbles on information that leads him to suspect that there is still a spy at large in the French military. As evidence of the most malignant deceit mounts and spirals inexorably toward the uppermost levels of government, Picquart is compelled to question not only the case against Dreyfus but also his most deeply held beliefs about his country, and about himself. Check Availability

Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Ann Quindlen: Moving to a small country cabin, a once world-famous photographer bonds with a local man and begins to see the world around her in new, deeper dimensions while evaluating second chances at love, career, and self-understanding. Check Availability

[Cover]The Fifth Estate (DVD): WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg team up to become underground watchdogs of the very powerful. They create a platform that allows whistleblowers to anonymously leak covert data. But when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history, they battle each other and a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society, and what are the costs of exposing them?  Check Availability