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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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Surreptitious Changes in the City Charter hinder City moving forward in the post Cravens City Manager era



obtained, done, made, etc., by stealth; secret or 
unauthorized; clandestine.

I don't remember approving any  recent Charter changes do you

 ? The reason I am asking is because  you and I and thirty five hundred other Citizens of The City  Bloomfield Hills share a unique bond. Only we get to vote for City Commissioners all changes in the City Charter have to be approved by us.

Who says ? The State of Michigan and we are done with the yea or nay portion via  a ballot  it goes all the way to the Governor of Michigan for his approval.

You say you never heard of no Charter ? Most people 
 have not, THOUGgave at the office or are busy that day
 or whatever.

The Charter the most important document in the City gets no respect.

The Charter is legal contract between the People of the City of Bloomfield Hills  and the  State of Michigan, the acceptance of  which by the State of Michigan in 1932 created The City of Bloomfield Hills.That  prevented us  from being swallowed up by Birmingham whose  Charter dates from 1933. I guess when we jilted them they decided to go it alone.

Our charter  is an important part of our City's balance of power. The Charter gives  the elected five member  of the City Commision all powers except the ability to elect themselves or to change the Charter without  citizen approval at the ballot box.

The Charter is and for that matter City Ordinances are written in  straight forward English.

The  City Charter and City ordinances are  very distant cousins who do different things. The Charter defines how you are governed and what your rights are under that government. Charters rarely change and before thy can change require a vote of the people.

Ordinances are  rules you must abide by as  a city resident You can not as a resident of Bloomfield Hills   exceed decibel limits, use your front lawn as an auto grave yard, or raise farm animals. There are penalties for failure to comply.  To enact or  repeal an ordinance all that is required a 3 to 2 vote of commissioners in the City of Bloomfield Hills.

City Commission determines ordinances.
City  Citizens  and the State of Michigan determine the charter.

Last November, City Commission in order provide  residents with easier access to the City Charter and the City Ordinances invested in a web site. What came with the  City  Charter were  the most extensive changes in the  City's 84 year history,  and no one in authority seemed to know how they  got there.  (To 

be continued below).

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


  It was more than thirty years ago that the big pipes first  appeared by the side of the road  on the City of Bloomfield Hills side of Woodward Avenue. I know that because marriage wise  the wife and I are sneaking up on the big three-o  which would have seemed mind boggling way back then. I don't think any body with the exception of my wife who is type A  to the max plan for  just such an occurrence. I know I didn't. I  was just swept of my feet I .suppose one could take out insurance but no one ever does.
That was the mood of the City Commission meeting of February 14th Valentines day 2017. The Topic which I came in late on was  not falling in love but the earth swallowing houses

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Baldwin Library Recommends Best Books of 2016

Baldwin Library Recommends Best Books of 2016

For Adults
America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie - Hamilton-obsessed readers will love this well-researched and beautifully written novel about Patsy Jefferson and the significant role she played in her father's life. –Sue
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley - Media coverage of a tragic air crash escalates into public entertainment in this contemporary page-turner. – Vicki
Belgravia by Julian Fellowes –This melodramatic story from the creator of Downton Abbey is set in a similar time period and is perfect for fans who loved the television series. – Phebe 
Britt-Marie Was Here by Frederik Bachman - Britt-Marie deals with her own lonely circumstances by moving to a community that welcomes her and brightens her life in an endearing, heartfelt way. You will be rewarded by this very charming tale! – Barby
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett – Patchett returns with a wonderfully written page turner about a dysfunctional, but ultimately resilient, family. –Pam, Friends of the Library President
Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend - This fictionalized version of the life of the American woman Frances Conway who lived with her husband, Ainslie, in the Galapagos Islands during WWII is a beautifully written story about friendship, love, and what it means to lead a valuable life. – Maria
My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout - A novel about a woman from an emotionally and socially deprived background who tries to connect with her mother and figure out the truth behind their tragic circumstances. –Judy, Friends of the Library Board
News of the World by Paulette Jiles - A beautifully-written historical novel that chronicles a travelling news-teller’s efforts to return a young girl to her surviving distant relatives after her rescue from the Kiowa tribe. – Linda
Surrender, New York by Caleb Carr - Part mystery, part critique of modern policing and use of criminal science, this evocative novel will especially please those who enjoyed Carr's bestseller The Alienist." – Kristen
The Trespasser by Tana French - French's Irish police procedurals just keep getting better and better. The Trespasser is a noir-ish consideration of the moral compass of good cops and bad cops and sometimes the lines blur. –Denise
32 Yolks: From My Mother's Table to Working the Line by Eric Ripert - Written with a sense of humor and incredible detail, this memoir is about the kitchen adventures of a French chef, what he learned from everyone who taught him how to cook, and who inspired him to dream big in the restaurant world.  Bon Appetit! –Susan 
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond - Desmond, a trained ethnographer, embedded himself in Milwaukee's housing system in 2008-2009 in order to share the stories of eight different landlords and tenants. This illuminating book examines issues with public housing, rent assistance, housing standards, eviction procedures, and how the decks can be stacked against low income people. – Rebekah

The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love and Loss by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt - This book is a powerful reminder to start more dialogues with aging parents and discover how one's parents dealt with tragedies. –Sheila Brice, Library Board 
The Wright Brothers by David McCullough – McCullough, a master in historical storytelling, brings Wilbur and Orville to life, from their early years at home to Kitty Hawk to their first figure eights in the sky. Once you pick it up you won’t set it down.  –Jim Suhay, Library Board Vice President 
Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnston – For those who have read Marie Kondo's book on tidying and are rethinking their relationship to material things, this book is a great resource. It has changed my habits and way of thinking and has renewed my commitment to the environment. – Ashley Aidenbaum, Library Board

For Children and Teens
Hippopotamister by John Green - This entertaining graphic novel, filled with vibrant illustrations, is about a hippopotamus who leaves the zoo to try living outside of his comfort zone. – Caroline 
Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley - Gertie is an awesomely real and remarkable character who deals with tough issues with completely honest and true reactions. This is an uplifting and heartwarming book that will make you feel good!  – Stephanie   
One Half from the East by Nadia Hashimi – A gripping and fascinating story of “bacha posh,” a little know action taken by some families in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran when a prepubescent child is made to disguise herself as a boy in order to bring respect and good luck to her family.  – Donna 
This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp – This page-turner for young adults, set in the span of 54 minutes and told from the perspective of four different people, will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page.  – Elisabeth 

There Is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith – A Smack of Jellyfish. A Crash of Rhinos. A Turn of Turtle. Few words and great illustrations allow readers to make up stories about what is happening on each spread of this book. – Jocelyn

The Baldwin Public Library is located in downtown Birmingham at 300 W. Merrill Street. The Library’s hours are 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. The Library’s website has information on how to register for a Library Card and access all of the Library’s services.


Rebekah Craft
Associate Director
Baldwin Public Library
300 W. Merrill St.
Birmingham, MI  48009

Agenda of Planning Commission Meeting of February 14th 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017
The regular meeting of the Planning Commission will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 in the City Commission Room, 45 E. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48304-2322, Phone (248) 644-1520, FAX (248) 644-4813.
  1. Call to Order & Pledge of Allegiance.
  2. Minutes: Planning Commission meeting held on December 13, 2016.
  3. Election of Officers to serve through December 2017: a. Chairperson
    b. Vice-Chairperson

  4. The planning commission will consider the request of the property owner at 372 Pine Ridge for work in the natural features setback.
  5. The planning commission will consider the request of Fibertech Networks to locate wireless communications equipment atop DTE utility poles at multiple sites. (501 Lone Pine, 19 Merrimac, 1100 Vaughan) The proposed sites are in the public road right – of – way.

  6. The planning commission will consider the request of the property owner at 38505 Woodward Avenue for site plan review.
  7. PUBLIC HEARING: The planning commission will conduct a public hearing on the zoning ordinance amendment to Section 24-244 regarding construction site parking.
  8. The planning commission will consider the 2016 planning commission annual report.
  9. The planning commission will discuss the appearance and maintenance of the ITC/DTE and Railroad properties. 

City to consider Fiber Optic net work at today's Planing and City Commission Meetings

The Problem here is that there as no discussion of  this matter with the Public who presumably will have to pay for it. How much will it cost ? What are the benefits ?  What are the draw backs ?  By how much does the former out way the latter ? Or the other way around ? 
Two years ago The City was to be part of a  Pilot program  that  in theory would reduce power outages while preserving the City's natural features. How that  Pilot program was to work was not discussed with residents either.
 Instead the in a move reminiscent of Pearl Harbor (in that was a surprise while our City was in talks with  DTE)  The latter hired tree cutting firm hacked away  
The zeal for tree cutting was result of an horrendous Ice storm in Flint the previous winter. At that time the State's Public Utility commission estimated the cost of burying the lines at a million dollars a mile. Hardly solution for  a City with a  9 million dollar  annual  budget. Yet it was discussed at the highest levels then  (City manager  Cravens and  City Commission)  And as of yet sans Public participation there is no protocol that balances  estehics with practicality.
The commission will consider the request of Fibertech Networks to locate wireless communications equipment atop DTE utility poles at multiple sites. (501 Lone Pine, 19 Merrimac, 1100 Vaughan) The proposed sites are in the public road right - of - way. 
The planning commission will consider the request of Fibertech Networks to locate wireless communications equipment atop DTE utility poles at multiple sites. (501 Lone Pine, 19 Merrimac, 1100 Vaughan) The proposed sites are in the public road right – of – way. 


Pros & Cons of Fiber Optic Networks
As one of the latest and most popular technologies utilized for information transmission from one point to another, the fiber optic communication has gained more and more importance in data centers nowadays. Since its introduction, fiber optic communication has revolutionized the telecommunications industry, transforming into the fiber optic broadband Internet service enjoyed by people today. With the obvious advantages, fiber optic cables have become an essential component in fiber optic communications. Terminated with connectors on ends, these cables (e.g. SC SC fiber cable) carry the light signals generated by the transmitter to the receiver. Although this fiber optic connection has been widely used in data centers because of its high data transmission speeds over long distance, fiber optics, like many other things, also has two sides: the pros and cons. Here this article delves into the advantages and disadvantages of fiber optic networks.
Pros of Fiber Optics
Great Immunity & High-quality Connections: Since the fiber core is made of glass, which is an insulator, no electric current can flow through. It’s immune to electrometric interference and radio-frequency interference (EMI/RFI), crosstalk, impedance problems, and more. More specifically, fiber optics are highly resistant to EMI and have a low rate of bit error. EMI is a disturbance caused by electromagnetic radiation from an external source. This disturbance can interrupt or degrade the performance of a conventional metallic cable connection and can be caused by an object that carries electrical currents, such as power lines or even the sun. Fiber optics are also resistant to corrosion, making them a good option for beachfront properties where copper cabling would otherwise be susceptible to degradation by salt and seawater.
Great Security: Security is a major concern for some companies, enterprises or organizations, whether small or big. With fiber optic cables, the data carried on are very safe. Fiber optics don’t radiate signals and it’s really difficult to tap or listen in the passed through information. Besides, once there occurs any physical break, it’s extremely to identify since this break will have impacts on the whole system. Fiber optic networks also enable you to put all your electronics and hardware in one central location, instead of having wiring closets with equipment throughout the building.
fiber optic cable great security
Scalability & Design: Fiber optics are much more scalable in nature as new equipment can be added easily and laid over the original fiber. Wavelengths can be turned on or off on demand, which allows for the easy provisioning of services and quick scaling for a growing business. Fiber optic cables are also much smaller in size and lighter weight than copper wiring. These fibers can typically be put in place in preparation for growth needs up to 15 to 20 years in the future. Although growth is often speculative, spare fibers can be included for future requirements to accommodate growth. Alternatively, additional cables can be put in place at a later time to make way for network expansion.
Cons of Fiber Optics
It’s well known that fiber optic cable provides more bandwidth than copper, and can carry more information with greater fidelity than copper wire. And no one can defy its advantages. But it’s also clear that fiber optic networks have several weak points.
Physical Damage: As mentioned above, fiber optic cable is thinner and lighter than copper wiring, so it makes for a more delicate system. Just because of its small size, fiber optic cable can be easily cut by accident during building renovations or rewiring. In addition, as fiber optic cables can transmit much more data than metallic networks, you would need fewer cables to service a larger number of people. This means that cutting just one cable could disrupt service for a large number of businesses and individuals. Additionally, wildlife also poses a threat, as the fiber cable jackets are intriguing to some species. Tunneling animals and rodents may chew through the cable, while many insects can find the cabling palatable. Anything that can wrap itself around the cable can also cut off the transmission. Fibers are also sensitive to bending, making laying fibers around corners a tricky business. Fiber optic networks are also susceptible to radiation damage or chemical exposure.
animal bites
Fiber Fuse: At high power, fiber optic networks are susceptible to something known in the industry as “fiber fuse”. This occurs when too much light meets with an imperfection in the fiber, which can destroy long lengths of cable in a short amount of time.
Short-Term Large Budget: Judging from the long-term running, it’s cost-effective. But when considering for short-term use, it’s costly to implement fiber optic systems. Special test equipment is often required along with installers that have skilled knowledge about laying a fiber optic network. Fiber endpoints and connection nexuses also require special equipment and setup. In addition, it may take specialized equipment to diagnose an issue with a fiber optics network, making for higher-cost fixes if the cables sustain damage.
Although there some several weaknesses, fiber optics technology has still dominated the telecommunication market. And fiber optic network is selected as the main communication way. To ensure efficient fiber optic network, it’s important to choose the high-quality fiber optic products. Here Fiberstore is highly recommended for its reliable products, including optical transceivers (say SFP modules), fiber optic cables (SC SC fiber cable), as well as testing equipment used in cable installation, and so on. You can try it!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Agenda for City Commission Meeting Of February 14th 2017 Valentines Day.

CITY OF BLOOMFIELD HILLS City Commission Agenda February 14, 2017
The regular meeting of the City Commission will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at City Hall 45 E. Long Lake Road Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304. Phone 248.644.1520
  1. Call to order and Pledge of Allegiance.
  2. Consent Agenda
A. B.
Bills Payable for January 2017 Department Reports:
  1. Finance Director / Treasurer
  2. Public Safety
  3. Engineering
  4. Building
C. Minutes:
  1. City Commission Regular Meeting held January 10, 2017.
  2. Memo from Interim City Manager Hendrickson: City Goals
  1. Recognition of Citizens in the audience.
  2. The commission will consider extending the current contract for the 2015 and 2016 Road Improvement Program to include the 2017 Road Improvement Program.
  3. The commission will discuss the road asset management plan as presented by Hubbell, Roth & Clark.
  4. The commission will hear an update and consider adoption of a resolution regarding the Oak Knob Drain special assessment district.
  5. The commission will consider the request of Fibertech Networks to locate wireless communications equipment atop DTE utility poles at multiple sites. (501 Lone Pine, 19 Merrimac, 1100 Vaughan) The proposed sites are in the public road right - of - way. 
  1. The commission will consider the zoning ordinance amendment to Section 24- 244 regarding construction site parking.
  2. The commission will consider the Request for Proposals for planning services.
  3. The commission will adopt the 2017 Poverty Exemption Guidelines and Application as presented by Secrest Wardle.
  4. The commission will discuss the possibility for safety paths along the southeast side of Woodward Avenue.
  5. The commission will hear City Manager comments.
  6. The commission will discuss lead responsibilities.
  7. The commission will consider other business.
Respectfully Submitted, Amy L. Burton, City Clerk