Week of 2.20.17

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.

Bates Street Society Dinner

The Community House Board of Directors welcomed 200 to the second annual dinner ($200, $250 tickets) honoring significant donors ($25,000 plus). It also saluted community Pillars of Vibrancy who were toasted at a preliminary champagne reception. The 2017 Pillars are: Culture - architect Victor Saroki and publisher of Downtown Publications David Hohendorf; Wellness - Richard Astrein and Beaumont Hospital President Rosanna Morris; Philanthropy - Lois Shaevsky and George Miller; Education - Margaret Matthes. They were eulogized by house CEO/President Bill Seklar and received tribute pins from past pillars before joining the dinner crowd.
This weeks social light photos…


oakland confidential

March 2017

MARCIA, MARCIA, MARCIA: Oakland County Commissioner Marcia Gershenson (D-Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield) may have picked a fight with the wrong person in power when she called out county board chair Mike Gingell and vice chair Mike Spiz , both Republicans, during board swearing-in ceremonies on January 11. "She seemed determined to create dissension," said a fellow commissioner. "She ...more»
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Water problems at Berkshire, Bingham

By Lisa Brody
News Editor
02/17/2017 - Two more Birmingham schools discovered higher than allowable levels of copper and lead in the water flowing in some drinking fountains and classroom sinks following routine water testing, according to the school district.

There were issues discovered in drinking fountains, sinks and laboratory sinks at Bingham Farms Elementary School, located at 23400 W. 13 Mile Road in Bingham Farms, and Berkshire Middle School, 21707 W. 14 Mile Road, Beverly Hills, after routine water testing was done throughout the Birmingham Public Schools district in December 2016 by Trace Analytical.

At Bingham Farms Elementary, 95 water sources were tested, and there were five positive results found for lead and copper, including two water sources that are generally considered as drinking sources, located in the drinking fountain bubbler in room 12, and the hallway fountain by the eastern hallway exit to the gazebo. The other positive results were located in two classroom sinks, in room 14 and room 5, and in a sink in the custodial office.

Students are currently encouraged to bring water bottles to school, and there is a refilling station in the gym.

In an email communication regarding the water testing, Bingham Farms principal Russ Facione stated that the affected sources were shut off until they can remediate and retest as appropriate. He assured parents that the pipes that bring water into the building were also tested and they are fine.

At Berkshire, there were 18 positive results out of of 153 water sources tested, but none of the positive results were at drinking locations. They were at science room lab sinks, and three art classroom sinks, the school stated. Signage has been placed on the sinks to read "no drinking," and will remain in place until remediation and retesting is done.

"As a result of the Flint lead crisis, we test the water at all of our schools on a voluntary basis," superintendent Dr. Dan Nerad said in January. "We do so on a strict basis. We have tested for lead for several years, and we have had results we were pleased with in the past, but the testing now is much more rigorous and complete. Because of that, in some of our schools, there were some sinks that did not meet the standards. We don't have results yet from all of our schools, and don't know those results yet. We are posting the results on our website as we get them, because it's exceedingly important that we are transparent on all testing."

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