Week of 5.2.16

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

Karmanos Cancer Institute Dinner

During its 34 year history, the Karmanos Annual Dinner has been held in unique venues ranging from private estates to auto factories. But it will be hard to top the 2016 version that attracted more than 600 ($750, $525 tickets) to a huge sound stage at the Michigan Motion Pictures Studios in Pontiac. It was co-chaired by Paula and GM’s Steve Kiefer. Steve credited his wife for the food and decor. The latter paired GM vehicles with scenery from Transformers and other movies for dramatic effect. (See photo gallery.) He also saluted past chairs in the crowd – Mark and Kim Reuss and Dan and Pernilla Amman – and named GM CEO Mary and Tom Barra as chairs of the 2017 annual dinner.
This weeks social light photos…


at the table

Ale Mary's has market on beer but food's another matter

In 1985, Larry Bell of Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo sold his first beer. Since then, craft beer in Michigan has expanded at a rate faster then the amount of dishes using kale in metro Detroit restaurants. Ritts Hospitality capitalized on this boom and opened Ale Mary’s in 2014. With 28 on tap, 64 in bottles and three in cans, beer is the highlight here, but the suds-friendly menu has earned quite ...more»

Sasson expands dining empire

Jeremy Sasson , the Birmingham owner and restaurateur behind Townhouse Birmingham and Townhouse Detroit , is continuing to spread his wings, developing a steakhouse in the Capitol Park Lofts building at 1145 Griswold Street and State in Detroit, two blocks north of Campus Martius. "It won’t be a steak, potatoes and white tablecloth kind of steakhouse," Sasson said. "It’s like a prime ...more»

Township hit with class action suit over fees

A law firm which has been largely successful suing municipalities for excessive water and sewer fees, asserting they have been an effort on the part of the municipalities to raise revenue in violation of the Headlee Tax Limitation Amendment, has sued Bloomfield Township in a class action suit, with Bloomfield Township attorney Jamila Youmans, individually and as the representative of the class....more>

The Claymore Shop owner Bob Benkert dies

Bob Benkert, long time owner of men's store The Claymore Shop in Birmingham, passed away on Friday, April 22, after a long battle with leukemia. ...more>

Birmingham's La Belle Provence closing

La Belle Provence, a French Country design, décor and gift store located at 185 W. Maple in downtown Birmingham, will close its doors by the end of May, Liz Fallert, the shop's owner, announced....more>

Peabody's site receives brownfield approval

The Birmingham City Commission on Monday, April 25, unanimously approved a brownfield plan and reimbursement agreement for $1.4 million for the current site of Peabody's Restaurant, which is in the process of being sold to the Alden Development Group for development of a five-story mixed use building. ...more>

Another request for township audit rejected

A request once again by Bloomfield Township Treasurer Dan Devine for what he called an "independent audit" of the township's water and sewer department at the board of trustee's meeting on Monday, April 25, was rejected by a majority of his fellow trustees, and prompted scorching comments from Bloomfield Township department heads, who stated Devine was "lying" and misrepresenting the truth "in order to discredit not only the supervisor but any department head who may get in his way."...more>

Pension payments deferral awaits review

A recommendation by Bloomfield Township Treasurer Dan Devine to defer payments to Prudential Retirement and Annuity Company towards the township's existing contract for its retirees' defined benefit pension plan did not receive motion support, with trustees preferring to wait for a investment review currently underway to be concluded....more>

Adams Park renovation ideas sought

The Birmingham Parks and Recreation Board is asking for public input to help them prepare a concept site plan for Adams Park....more>

Birmingham to test fire hydrants

Birmingham residents definitely do not need to worry about the quality or color of their water over the next week, although there may be some temporary pressure and flow issues....more>

PSD assessment district renewal, increase

Further discussion of the updated special assessment rates for downtown Rochester commercial properties that are located in the Principal Shopping District (PSD) will take place at the next city council meeting, Monday, May 9, to follow up on the public hearing and council deliberation that occurred at the council meeting on Monday, April 25. ...more>

Rochester's outdoor dining permits renewed

Permits for outdoor dining were renewed at Rochester's city council meeting on Monday, April 25, allowing the summer dining season to begin....more>

Rochester to consider 2016-2017 budget

The proposed budget for the city of Rochester fiscal year 2016-2017 was discussed by members of city council and the public on Monday, April 25, and city manager Blaine Wing will give a presentation on the spending plan at the next city council meeting, Monday, May 9, when the council is scheduled to vote on the final budget. ...more>

Who's running in 2016 election

Rochester/Rochester Hills congressman Mike Bishop (R ) is facing a challenge in November by either transplanted Hollywood actress Melissa Gilbert, now living in Howell, or Linda Keefe, and Republican state Rep. Mike Webber will face a challenge from Democrat Ted Golden....more>

Thief steals woman's wallet

A woman working in a Bloomfield Township office gave a man directions to a dentist office, and then discovered he had stolen her wallet....more>

Items stolen while in car wash

A man had items taken from his car while it was at Jax Car Wash in Birmingham on Monday, April 25....more>

Jewelry taken during house break-in

Birmingham residents reported to police that their house was broken into and jewelry was stolen while they were out taking a walk on Sunday, April 24....more>

Man arrested for stealing vodka

Birmingham police were called to the Kroger store at Maple and Woodward on Saturday, April 23, to arrest a man who kept coming into the store and stealing vodka....more>

$5,000 fraudulently charged to credit card

A Rochester resident's credit card was fraudulently charged for nearly $5,000, the individual reported to Rochester police on Tuesday, April 19. ...more>

Car smashes into Rochester Hills house

A medical issue is believed to be responsible for an accident on the evening of Sunday, April 24, in the 800 block of Timberline Drive of Rochester Hills, where a vehicle crashed into a home, authorities said....more>

Red Bull gets shoplifter arrested

A man suspected of stealing peanut butter and jelly sandwich fixings on Friday, April 22, from a Rochester Hills grocery store was arrested after deputies caught him with more than $300 in stolen energy drinks....more>

Packages stolen from front porch

Two packages, delivered by the U.S. postal service, were stolen from a Rochester resident's front porch, the resident reported to Rochester police on Thursday, April 21. ...more>

Vehicle vandalized while at work

A Rochester Hills restaurant employee's vehicle sustained damage sometime on Monday, April 25, while she was working in the 1200 block of Walton Boulevard, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office said....more>

Engagement ring lost or stolen

An Oakland Township woman who accidentally left her custom made engagement ring on the bathroom sink of a Rochester Hills gym on Monday, April 25, told authorities someone took it before she returned....more>

LGBT policy storm

Michigan is finding itself in the center of a storm over policy recommendations relative to LGBT students that have been developed by the Michigan Department of Education and the Board of Education....more>

How lawmakers react to new school policy

The Michigan Department of Education and state Board of Education's proposed "Safe and Supportive Learning Environments for Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Students," has spurred nearly 9,000 comments from residents across the state, although many may be from the same respondents. Several legislators from Oakland County took time to share their views with Downtown newsmagazine. The other Oakland County lawmakers failed to respond to repeated calls to their offices....more>

Muslim leaders speak out

Too often the object of fear and derision, true followers of Islam assert the religion is one of love, respect, and peace. It is also one of three religions, including Christianity and Judaism, which come from the same roots. They are called the "Abraham religions," because they each trace their history back to Abraham, first mentioned in the Hebrew bible, or Old Testament. Muslims believe that Moses and Jesus are prophets, as well as their prophet Muhammad. Around the world, there are 1.6 billion adherents of the Muslim faith, or 23 percent of the global population. While there are tens of thousands of Muslims in Michigan, according to the U.S. Census for 2010, there were just under 10,000 Muslims in Oakland County....more>

Stocking waterways with fish

One of the state's most revered places to fish brown trout runs through Oakland County, namely the Paint Creek. The coldwater stream is a haven for anglers who seek out the spotted fish, accented with a square tail and a golden belly. Since the 1800s, the brown trout has been fished in Michigan, yet many an angler may be surprised to know that it first arrived by boat from Germany, and isn't a native species at all....more>
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