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.
Meadow Brook Concert & Cuisine
More than 350 ($85 - $125 tickets) convened at Oakland University for the annual summer fundraiser for MBT - “Michigan’s answer to Broadway.” Before the food stations opened, folks lollygagged outside sipping beer and wine from the Rochester Tap Room and bid $9,000 for the silent auction items Colleen Brnabic and Maryann Foxlee had set up in the hallway. Generous local restaurants (see photo gallery) served savory fare for dining on the stroll before the theatre doors opened. Artistic director Travis Walter conducted a live auction with his trademark good humor. He got $500 from two bidders for two Dickens packages that included a walk-on role in MBT’s “A Christmas Carol” and $900 for a Fender Squire Guitar signed by The Grass Roots Band.
oakland confidential HORSE RACES: Democratic aspirations of taking a majority hold on Congress after the 2018 General Election will hinge on the party’s ability to take two dozen congressional seats, which may include upsets in Michigan’s 8th and 11th Districts, according to recent rankings of 82 districts by The New York Times. The piece split the districts into eight groups to watch, based on competitiveness ...more»
07/27/2017 - As long as I have lived in Birmingham, which is 28 years, the city has thrived by adhering to a delicate balance between its residents and the merchants that make the city more viable and desirable. The city acknowledges this on its website because it states that the downtown area is supposed to be "pedestrian friendly." Even more important, from a safety standpoint, the website also states one-third of the households in Birmingham have children! This delicate balance is about to become upended.
Brown St. has been known as "Ring Road" for a good reason – it is a road that is used by many residents and non-residents to enter the downtown area without endangering or interfering in the lives of residents (including children) who live in the numerous adjacent streets south and west of downtown Birmingham and to avoid being caught up in the Maple Road traffic. Similarly, Old Woodward, south of Maple, has been a relatively wide thoroughfare without undue traffic jams. Today, both are threatened and access to the downtown area will change permanently for the worse.
Contrary to the residential nature of the city, all of us are going to be confronted with a massive, five-story, 140-room hotel, with inadequate parking for its guests and visitors, much less its over 100 employees, that will result in traffic back-ups on two single-lane roads, because it is going to be built on the corner of Brown St. and South Old Woodward. The result is obvious. Residents and others will become so frustrated entering and leaving the downtown area via "Ring Road" that they will instead use adjacent roads, increasing the danger to children and others who live there. That dangerous situation will be exacerbated beyond belief.
When the new hotel's restaurants and banquet facilities are open, the sudden influx of 150-200 people showing up for an event – events that are scheduled throughout the day and evening – will cause traffic to clog up S. Old Woodward and Brown St., leading to lines of cars in multiple directions, including past Merrill on S. Old Woodward or on Merrill. As for the cars themselves, where will valets park these cars once the inadequate 66-car hotel parking garage is full?
As for the residents and others who want to find a place to park, eat, shop or simply go to the parks with their family, good luck finding a place to park.
Building a huge hotel on the corner that is the gateway to the downtown is a bad idea and will have long lasting ramifications for years to come without any benefit to the residents of the city. If no one else will give this a hard and objective look, the residents and press better wake up to the changes occurring.
Bloomfield Hills City Commission
Rochester Hills City Council Meeting
Rochester City Council Meeting
Rochester City Planning Commission