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, April 30, 2015

No fault insurance changes on fast track in Michigan. Calling Your State Representative Michael McCready is your only vote. 517-373-8670.

 I  got a robo call  yesterday afternoon and again this morning from someone  who said they were calling on behalf of  the Collation for Auto insurance  reform.The caller said our  representative in the Michigan legislature,  Michael  McCready,  has  opportunity  to reform  our no fault  laws and reduce our insurance costs  by as much of  $100  per vehicle  while still protecting all your benefits but "Representative McCready needs to hear  from you" by calling 517-373-5670. 

I don't know why I listened to the call. I normally don't  
with  prerecorded messages. This time I did and wound up appreciating the call. Otherwise the issue might have completely passed me by. 

There will be no vote by the people you see. It won't appear on  a ballot for you to decide. By some parliamentary slight of hand the state legislature will simply decide for you. That is why the bill is moving so fast  through the state senate, the house committees and on to the state legislature for for a final vote possibly next week or sooner.

 Above are  recent  news film clips on the subject. One local and one from Grand Rapids. The views of the economics professor from Grand Rapids in regards  to  a tiered system of No fault insurance  are interesting but will never be considered if the legislature simply decides for us.

  I am not in favor changing our no fault insurance which in my mind is the number five reason for living in Michigan. Driving was a large part of my career and Michigan's  unique no fault auto insurance meant that regardless of what happened on the road,  I  would never be a financial burden on my family.

Others in the community  who's opinion  I respect,  have put more  exactly and vehemently.

Mitch Album wrote  in the Detroit Free Press April 27th 2015

 Plenty of red flags
You always should be wary when lawmakers move fast. This same body that couldn't get its act together to fix our roads — so it told US to go vote on them — has somehow greased a bill that spent one day in a Senate committee, three days in a House committee and could be voted on the floor this week — what? huh? — a bill that would cap, cut, alter and reassign the benefits that catastrophic victims rely on.
Oh. And they're inserting a provision to make sure we, the people, can never vote on it — even though we were the ones who created this thing and upheld it twice in statewide votes.
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who has spent his life in politics, explained it this way to me: "The fund was created to protect the most vulnerable people in society. ... Today it has about $20 billion, but the legislators can't get to it. ... The insurance companies can't get to it, and it's driving them crazy. And they're doing anything they can to tear down that gate."
This bill would do that, phasing out the entity that controls the fund and opening loopholes through which the insurance companies could refund themselves.
How do they and their government lackeys get the audacity to try this? By "covering" it with talk of costly auto insurance rates. Michigan's are among the highest in the U.S. (That's greatly skewed by Detroit's rates.) And this bill would lower rates by $100 a car — BUT ONLY FOR TWO YEARS!
Will we sell our souls that cheaply?
Who's kidding who? Whenever insurance companies want something, they threaten high rates or claim they can lower them. I ask you: When, long-term, does that ever happen? Even more to the point: When's the last time you saw an insurance company suffering?
On the other hand, you can see car crash victims suffering every day in our state.
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, a Republican who was in a severe crash in 2012 and usually uses a wheelchair as a result of his injuries, also spoke out against the GOP-backed legislation, calling it "totally irresponsible."

"Senate Bill 248 drastically cuts reimbursements that directly impact health care for the survivors of catastrophic accidents in exchange for a two-year $100 per-vehicle premium reduction," said Patterson. "There are no guarantees – the insurance industry is asking us to 'trust them'.

"It is a fool's bargain – and Michigan motorists are not fools."

Randy Janczyk, medical director of Beaumont's Level I Trauma Center in Royal Oak, said the reimbursement cuts would hospital system about $55 million a year.
"If this legislation is adopted, Michigan will join the many states where hospitals are dropping out of trauma care because of the costs associated with it," he said in a statement after the rally.

"... Patients injured in auto crashes aren't the only ones who will suffer as a result of this legislation. Medical care for the entire community will be diminished as hospitals close or cut services, or reduce jobs, to offset the impact of these reimbursement cuts."

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Manresa Jesuit Retreat house is located at exactly the Southeast corner of the City of Bloomfield Hills..

Every day a mind boggling number of motorists  drive by  Manresa.  Many are heading North or South  on Woodward Avenue. Others are travelling  East or West on a cross street  that , starts at Telegraph Road  and ends at Lake St. Clair. Along the way it changes names from Quarton Road to Big Beaver, to Metro Parkway. 16 mile also works as a moniker.  A  more central location for a Manresa drive by, in the Metro area would be hard to find.            
Cover Photograph by Paul Seibold.
Manresa Matters  published  bi-annually by the Manresa  Publications Team. Editor Anne Smith.

 Yet most passers by have little idea that behind  the trees Manresa is there. A new and improved  Manresa sign at the corner of  Woodward and Quarton helps, but what Manresa is all about or even the significance of the name eludes most who go by. 

Manresa is a town Spain about the size of Troy Michigan but almost a millennium older.

By itself Manresa doesn't mean anything. It is the name of the family who founded the town in Catalonia, not far from Barcelona. 800 years ago. 

Today Manresa is an industrial part of the Spanish economy but perhaps even more famous for a traveller, a wounded warrior of 16th century wars,  who came upon the town  of  Manresa and wound up spending a year recuperating while living in a nearby cave. 
The below film clip explains  16th century St. Ignatius and how he came to Manresa and how that lead him to the creation of the  Roman Catholic Society of Jesuits religious order. It is 11 minutes  long.

 Our  Manresa at 1390 Quarton Road is a Jesuit retreat house there to help men and women grow spiritually through prayers, reflection, guidance, and teaching  according to the Ignatian     tradition. 

The reader who does not consider  himself or herself particularly  religious may wonder what that has do with him or her and the answer interesting.

At one time in their lives  St. Ignatius of Loyola (Spain Jesuits) and St. Francis of Assisi (Italy Franciscans)  both who eventually founded religious orders did not consider themselves particularly religious either. In fact both started their careers a soldiers.

Manresa is a community of  many people doing many good things for many reasons              

For some Manresa the opportunity to  help others by volunteering.

Ignatian Volunteers at Manresa

"I had the experience but missed the meaning."
—T.S. Eliot
Ignatian Volunteers at Manresa are men and women, age 50 and over, who share their skills, talents and life experiences with organizations that directly serve the poor or marginalized. Ignatian volunteers serve people in need, work for a more just society and grow deeper in Christian faith by reflecting and praying in the Ignatian tradition. Volunteers are guided through a reflection process based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. This process helps volunteers discover the deeper meaning of the work they do and see Christ more clearly as they labor among their brothers and sisters who are poor. Reflecting and praying in the Ignatian tradition — individually and communally — deepens the experience of service.
Ignatian Volunteers: 1) work at a Detroit-area service agency that serves the poor and marginalized, and 2) grow deeper in their Christian faith by reflecting and praying in the Ignatian tradition.
  • Volunteers work about twice a week at a service agency. Local service agencies where volunteers have worked include: Lighthouse, the Oakland County Sheriff Department (chaplain), University of Detroit Mercy Institute for Leadership and Service, Saints Peter and Paul Warming Center, Caritas Welcome Center, Loyola High School, Reggie McKenzie Foundation, Crossroads, Capuchin Youth Program, Children's Hospital, All Saints Neighborhood Center and Freedom House.
  • During monthly meetings (September-June) at Manresa volunteers pray and reflect on their service experiences. In addition, volunteers meet every month with a spiritual reflector and attend an overnight retreat.
If interested, contact Nick Sharkey.

In addition to the volunteer opportunities there are  family oriented events and adult education and enrichment classes.

The Third Annual Master Garden, a day long event to share gardening in harmony with nature is May 30th 2015

The Manresa Family Picnic which includes Mass at the Grotto, House Tours, Live Music, Hotdogs, Burgers, and Lemonade is May 31st.

There are  book clubs. One of note one is the recently conducted,  Faith and Fantasy: Children's Literature for Adults  which included works like The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis,  The Velveteen Rabbit  by Margery Williams, Watership Down by  Richard Adams, and The Little Prince by  
Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

There are also lectures, discussion groups. and concerts.                    Recent ones of note include Women at the Well, Connecting  Faith and Career.  Outdoor reflection with Trees, Finding God in our Winter, And  Jazzy January. 

Fees for book clubs, lectures or  discussion groups vary depending on the number of sessions and are comparable to similar events in the secular world. 

Then there are the retreats for which Manresa is the Baskin Robbins. The benefit of a retreat,  St.Ignatius discovered  after  a year long period of discernment and study  spent a cave, near the town of Manresa,  four centuries ago. 

Today  Manresa  offers  retreats for caregivers, a couples prayer retreats, self directed retreats  and more. An up to date listing can be found in the current issue of  Manresa Matters or visiting the Manresa website byclicking here

To read the entire issue of   The Spring-Summer 2015 Manresa Matters and its bonus material CLICK HERE

It is 34 pages long and in full color. Be patient while it loads on slower computers and then scroll down.

For the latest and upcoming  events and happening at Manresa 
click here to read Manresa Memos. It is six pages long.Scroll down.

The Publications Team

3rd Annual Master Garden: Gardening in Harmony with Nature. Manresa May 30th 8:30am to 4pm.

Click to enlarge to enlarge

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Recognizing, Mayor David Kellet a Citizen in the audience who has done his homework .

In the case of David Kellet (City Commissioner (2004-2010) and City of Bloomfield Hills Mayor (2009-2010)  the word former doesn't apply.
A resident of  Kingsley Trail, He is currently President of his homeowner's neighborhood  association, The Whitehall Civic Association and has in the last three months appeared before the current City Commission three times. 

Like any resident of the City he he is granted three minutes to speak his mind before City Commission. The only stipulation is that he can not  speak on an item appearing on that evenings agenda. The portion of the meeting where  residents may speak is called,   Recognition of Citizens in the Audience. 

On two of the occasions  Kellet spoke about a matter that  concerned his sub division. and that is dead head school buses which cut corners by coming down Kingsley Trail.

Deadhead is an interesting  term  and has has many usages. One being  that of fans of the Grateful Dead rock group. Another  is  airline pilots who fly free (Deadhead) en route to another  assignment.Trucks,buses and similar delivery vehicles deadhead  after having delivered a load, before picking up another.

In terms of picking up or dropping school children there is no reason for a half dozen or more of empty school buses to parade down  Kingsley Trail every morning usually between the hours of 8:58 and 9:16.  Kellet has done his home work and has tracked as many as nine or ten buses per day.

When he first appeared before City Commission at the commission's inaugural meeting  his presentation prompted little  interest.  That did not surprise Kellet who  in so many words said the ball was in his court. He would document everything and he and  his fellow neighborhood association associates would start on petitions. Kellet also visited with Bloomfield Hills School superintendent  Jim Glass and officials in the BHS transportation department and learned their side of the story.

It was said that  coming down  Kingsley Trail  cut 3.6 miles off their route. When one interested  observer declared that to be preposterous, Kellet  who had measured the route vouched for it's veracity, but indicated that miles saved was not  the issue. 

The  Deadhead school  busses in question came down Eastways which is fairly busy street. Then before  turning on Long Lake which is a County Road with a 40 MPH speed limit, they turn on Kingsley a residential street with a 25 MPH speed limit. 

The busses bring  noise, clatter, and the pungent smell of diesel fuel in the early morning hours. When the issues of safety (presumably for the empty busses) was mentioned Kellet explained that  the sight lines of turning right onto  Long Lake from Eastways were among the best in the City. Furthermore the light at Long Lake and Kensington was green for Long Lake 75% of the time.

Last but not least  the White Hall homeowners association   is comprised of 111 home owners who deserved their peace, quiet and serenity that realtors promote when they sell the City of Bloomfield Hills.Those home owners gladly pay approximately  180,000 dollars annually to Bloomfield Hills Schools which is arguably  one of the best in the county. All the Whitehall Home owners wanted was a little consideration.

 Kellet also asked  the City Road consultant  about  Deadhead buses  adding to the  wear and tear on the City's roads. Keep in mind that Long Lake is a County road repaired by the county. The Consultant thought the buses could be equivocated  to so many car trips per day.
Kellet concluded by asking the Commission for resolution of support that he could take to Superintendent Glass and the BHS School Board. 

Commisioner  McClure said she thought it was a matter City Commissioner could handle administratively and saw no point in  bringing  the City Engineering consultant in on it because that would cost the City money. There was certain incredulity in such an assertion that was broken by the reminder by  Kellet  that  he and his White Hall Home owner association had done all the work, did the research, and assembled the data. All the City Commision had to do was  offer it's support.   In the end Mayor Kellet got his resolution of support by a 5-0 Margin.

Planning Commission Agenda and Agenda Pak for today's meeting.

The Agenda Package  contains all site plans and schematics that will be  used at Today's meeting as well as the published minutes from the March Meeting. It is approximately 20 pages long.

Agenda and Agenda Package for tonight's City Commission meeting.

Editor's Note:Beware being lulled in by the simple short list agenda.  The 145 page agenda  package  is all about complicated  matters with far reaching consequences. Examples include Agenda item #4. The Comcast Cable Franchise agreement  which starts on page 54 and ends on page 64 of the Agenda Package. Agenda items 6 and 7  are long and tedious but don't break new ground. Plante Moran has been the City's auditor for years and  City Commission will consider an a quote from actuarial service from GRS/OPED. Details of said are provided pages 65 to 87.

The big crash boom of conceivably irrevocable change is  the  57 page amendment to the  Road Right of Way Ordinance to be found on pages 88 through 145 which will effect the entire City.  

It is similar to a the single waste hauler  Opus Mr. Cravens wrote last winter. That too was 40 plus pages of minutia. 
So one would guess that Mr. Cravens is again the author. It will be interesting to see how familiar the Commission is with this document and how  quick they are to approve it. It too is long and yes, tedious and it does on occasion ask the Commission to grant the City Manager Special Powers.

The last trap to avoid  is agenda item 11 when the Commission moves into close session to discuss a labor attorney letter. By state law all such personnel discussions occur behind  closed doors.

 In the past these closed door items have usually occur as the last Agenda item. Thus  meeting attendees leave as the commissions go behind closed doors.  

Tonight  per the agenda (always subject to change)  the  commission returns after the closed door session for Agenda item 12 The Commission will discuss other business. Like what ? Will any residents have waited out the closed door session ? Will the Comcast Cameras which document every meeting still be rolling ? Or as the hands of the clock approach the midnight hour will it be time for what one television drama calls Secrets and Lies ?
Probably not.
 It may however  be the most interesting portion of the meeting. We will keep you informed.

Friday, April 3, 2015


You must be a Comcast customer to watch. In The City of Bloomfield Hills  where Comcast is the main service provider that should not be a problem.  

If you do not have cable TV  but do have  Comcast  Internet  and Phone service  you may qualify for some "On demand" viewing privileges on a tablet or other portable device. 

During the Watcha-hon that  "some" means virtually  everything. 

To connect with  Comcast on a portable device   you will need to download the Comcast app on you portable and enter with you Comcast user ID and password.

IF  you choose to watch on a portable device the Comcast app works nationwide. 

This is the third year for Watchathon which starts at midnight  Sunday the 6th of April and ends at midnight the following Sunday. Last year Comcast was generous about not cutting one off at exactly the stroke of midnight conclusion.

Comcast bills Watchathon as  biggest thing on Television and they may be right. For customers of Comcast it a once a year chance to view premium programs at no cost and to catch up on episodes they have  may have missed. It is 168 incredible hours of viewing. For more information you can scroll downward or call Comcast, or push the help button on your portable device, or consult other sources on line. If you choose the latter maker sure you specify Comcast Watchathon 2015.

TV’s biggest watching event of the year is returning for one week, April 6 – 12.
And so are TV’s biggest shows.
During Watchathon Week, XFINITY(r) TV customers will have an all access pass to full seasons of TV’s hottest shows, for FREE, only with XFINITY On Demand™.
You’ll be able to watch entire seasons of favorites such as:
  • Game of Thrones®
  • Girls℠
  • Outlander
  • Black Sails
  • House of Lies
  • Penny Dreadful
Plus, you can catch up on current top shows or classics you may have missed, including:
  • Empire
  • Finding Carter
  • Awkward
  • Chicago P.D.
  • Fresh Off the Boat
  • The Last Ship
  • The Wire®
  • The Sopranos®
And dozens of others from top networks including HBO®, SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and more.
In 2013, the inaugural Watchathon Week event shattered viewing records as XFINITY customers logged millions of hours catching up on TV’s hottest shows. Last year was even more popular with customers watching nearly 50 million hours of shows over seven days. In fact, the last Saturday of Watchathon week, with nearly 11 million views that day alone, became the biggest day ever for XFINITY On Demand.
This will be the third Watchathon Week – and customers love it -  as you can see from this Tweet we received last year: “Watchathon! OMG! OMG! I’m watching everything.”
We know the feeling.  What will you watch?
CLICK HERE to check out XFINITY’s Watchathon headquarters, where you will find fun ways to prep for this epic week of binge viewing.
12 Monkeys
The Affair
American Crime
The Americans
Bar Rescue
Bates Motel
Best Bars in America
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Carbonaro Effect
Chicago PD
Cougar Town
Da Vinci’s Demons
Doctor Who
Downton Abbey
Faking It
Fresh Off the Boat
Game of Thrones
Homeland (4/10-4/12)
If Loving You Is Wrong
Killing Jesus
Last Man on Earth
Man Seeking Woman
Masterchef Jr.
The Mindy Project
The Musketeers
The Odd Couple
Parks & Recreation
The Profit
The Returned
Shark Week 2014
Shameless (4/9-4/12)
Silicon Valley
The Slap
The Sopranos
State of Affairs
Survivor’s Remorse
True Blood
Vanilla Ice Project
The Voice
The Wire
The White Queen
Alaskan Bush People
American Odyssey
American Dad
Barely Famous
Boardwalk Empire
Black Sails
Broad City
Californication (4/10-4/12)
Chicago Fire
Chrisley Knows Best
CSI: Cyber
The Dovekeepkers
Edge of Alaska
Eye Candy
Finding Carter
Friends of the People
The Gam
Gold Rush
Haves and Have Nots
House of Lies
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
Keeping Up with the Kardashians
The Knick
The Last Ship
Lizzie Borden
Love & Hip Hop ATL
Madam Secretary
Married at First Sight
Masters of Sex (4/10-4/12)
The Missing
Nurse Jackie (4/10-4/12)
Orphan Black
Penny Dreadful
Preachers of Detroit
Ray Donovan
The Royals
Schitt’s Creek
The Simpsons
Sleepy Hollow
Southern Charm
True Detective
The Walking Dead
Wolf Hall

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Indy Spartans

Welcome to the Michigan State University Alumni of Greater Indianapolis' WordPress page

Final Four Festivities

5. Open practice shoot around for MSU is Friday, April 3 from 12-12:50pm at Lucas Oil. Doors open at 11am. Austin Mahone performance at 11:15am.  Reese’s College All-Star Game at 4:30pm.  All for FREE!
6. Pep Rally on Friday, April 3 from 6-7:30pm at the Indiana Convention Center. It is free but advanced registration is required at  Space is limited so register quickly!
7. The Slippery Noodle (372 S. Meridian St, Indianapolis) will be the place to be for ALL Spartans on Saturday.  Please come join the Indy Spartans, MSU GLBT Alumni Association and Spartans of ALL backgrounds from around the world as we celebrate from 1-5pm.  Afterwards, walk to the game or stay right there and watch the game.  Let’s paint the Noodle Green!
8. Game watches at the Stacked Pickle (4705 E. 96th St, Indianapolis) and the Slippery Noodle (372 S. Meridian St, Indianapolis).
9. MSU will play Duke in the first game on Saturday with tipoff at 6:09pm.
10. Special Final Four Indiana Pacers Ticket Offer for Fridays game vs Charlotte and Sundays game versus Miami.  To get tickets visit, promo code:  INDY (case  sensitive)

Final Four Pep RallyCheer on the Spartans in Indianapolis!

[Banner: Final Four Pep Rally]
  1. [icon: calendar month][icon: calendar day]

    Date & Time

    Friday, April 3, 2015 | 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
  2. [icon: map]Venue & Address

    Indiana Convention Center | 100 S. Capitol Avenue | Indianapolis, IN 46225
  3. [icon: money]Price

    Admission is free, but advance registration is required and limited to four guests per registration.
    Space is limited and will quickly reach capacity.
  4. [icon: star]Special Guests

    Scheduled to appear:
    President Lou Anna K. Simon
    Athletics Director Mark Hollis
    Coach Tom Izzo
    Coach Mark Dantonio
    Spartan Brass, MSU Cheerleaders, Sparty and other special guests
  5. [icon: info]Note

    Please RSVP by Thursday, April 2, 2015. Reservations will be accepted in the order received up to the capacity of the venue. Please include a valid email address with registration. A second event confirmation email, including a bar code that must be printed or presented on a mobile device, will be emailed to registrants by Friday, April 3, and is required for entry.
    To obtain additional information or request accommodation for persons with disabilities, contact Lisa Boyer at or (517) 884-1038

April Area Government, Library, and School Board meetings dates. Completed Meetings on Video when available..

A meeting in black type is one  which has not occurred yet, and  neither video or meeting minutes are as yet not available.To see a completed televised meeting click on the meeting link below in red. To read the minutes of a completed not televised meeting click on the link below in blue. This page is updated  frequently throughout the month.
To see this meeting click here
Bloomfield Township                         
Township Design   Review Board     1-Apr  2pm No TV Click Here to read minutes  
Minutes yet to be published
Township Zoning Board                   14-Apr      7pm No
 Township Design   Review Board  15-Apr       2pm  No  
Township Planning Commission     16-Apr      7pm No

City of Bloomfield Hills

BHS Board of Education

None  Currently Posted

City of Birmingham

Birmingham  Planning 
Birmingham City Commission

Bloomfield Township Public Library
Board of Trustees Meeting  28-Apr  7PM

     The public is invited to all listed and publicized meetings. There is no charge to attend. Public Comment, at specified times for specified lengths of time is at the discretion of the meeting Chairman. You are welcome, per the Michigan Open Meetings Act to bring recording devices such as a tape recorder, camera, or video camera, provided such devices do not interfere with the meeting. If you are unable to attend the meeting, the meeting secretary is required to make a copy of the minutes of the meeting available to you within eight business days of the meeting conducted. Most of the Boards listed below televise their meetings for later viewing on demand at home. A few also offer live viewing of the meeting on cable or by streaming. Consult the organization's web site for complete details.