Week of 7.24.17

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.

Detroit Music Weekend Gala

The inaugural Detroit Music Weekend began Friday night at the Detroit Opera House where 200 music lovers gathered for the Gala ($750 & $1,000 tickets). They savored cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres in the lobby, pausing for brief welcoming remarks delivered from the top of the grand staircase by founding director, Music Hall’s Vince Paul. A soaring operatic selection sung by soprano Nicole James signaled it was time for dinner, which was served at dramatically decorated tables set on the stage. There were interruptions to thank sponsors, board members and event coordinator Laura Raisch, and to salute Michigan Opera Theatre founder David DiChiera. His pancreatic cancer diagnosis has dictated his retirement but has not affected his good humor nor his bearing.
This weeks social light photos…


oakland confidential

August 2017

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»
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Birmingham looks at municipal year ahead

By Lisa Brody
News Editor
02/03/2017 - The Birmingham City Commission held its annual long-range planning meeting on Saturday, January 28, where they discussed upcoming sewer projects, alley maintenance, a citywide master plan update, opportunities for more crosswalks on Woodward, the park's master plan, system updates for the police department, and how the shopping district is planning for upcoming road construction work in the city's downtown.

The long-range planning meeting is an opportunity each year for the city's department heads to come before the commission and describe what they have been doing in the past year, and what they have planned for the year ahead.

Finance director Mark Gerber, along with Timothy St. Andrew from Plante & Moran, presented a five-year financial forecast. St. Andrew said the estimated increase in state equalized value for homes is 3.5 percent, which is expected to exceed the rate of inflation, and warned to expect Headlee rollbacks on the millage rate over the next five years.

Gerber said the city's general fund will see a dip between 2016-2018, driven by capital projects, primarily major road construction projects, on Old Woodward in 2017, Maple Road in the downtown area in 2019, and later again, on S. Old Woodward in 2021. "There will be an increase to the general fund in 2021, driven by an increase in taxable values, as we expect building to continue."

City manager Joe Valentine said the information would help staff and the commission to allow for budgeting in future budgeting meetings.

Regarding road construction projects, city engineer Paul O'Meara said the upcoming Old Woodward road reconstruction project, between Willits and Brown streets which is projected to begin in mid-March, "is shaping up to be the most complex project I've ever been involved with," noting it is the heart of downtown Birmingham, and will include a short area of Maple to Pierce Street, to correct grading issues. The majority of construction work will take place between May and September of 2017.

Other road construction projects for this year include Oak Street by Quarton School, completing the Oak Street project from last year, to include a new drop off area at the school; and Poppleton Street adjacent to the Kroger at Maple and Woodward. There will also be resurfacing many dead end streets along with performing routine maintenance on other streets. In addition, $25,000 has been budgeted for minor repairs and patching to alleys, which will largely go to the Willits Alley, "which has become a safety hazard," O'Meara said, "we're going to try to improve that."

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