Week of 7.17.17

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.

ChildSafe Michigan Legends Gala

Legends were the story at the ChildSafe gala. But not the celebrity type. Rather at-risk  children and their dreams for becoming Legends of Tomorrow  –  a doctor, a ballerina, a teacher. To make those dreams come true, 310 supporters ($300) flocked to the Townsend Hotel for the annual benefit. Event co-chairs SuSu Sosnick and Christine & David Colman and board chair Keith Pomeroy greeted the 125 VIPs ($500) who arrived early for a reception in the Clancy Room before dinner, a salute to honoree Sandy Pierce  and a live auction conducted by Christopher Aslanian.
This weeks social light photos…


oakland confidential

July 2017

GET WELL SOON: We know others will join us in wishing Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson a speedy recovery after back surgery on June 1 in the green mountain state of North Carolina. Word is he had a pretty aggressive surgery to help him get out of the wheelchair he was finding himself bound to more and more, and one Republican said that he is already feeling better. Patterson was seriously ...more»
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Site visit needed to review DTE request

By Lisa Brody
News Editor
07/14/2017 - A request by DTE Energy to relocate overhead electrical wires and electrical poles for a proposed four-story mixed-use building on N. Old Woodward in Birmingham left city commissioners on Monday, July 10, confused by DTE's plans, where the poles would be moved to, which and how many trees would need to be removed, with the commissioners determining a site visit was a necessity before making any decision on the easement request.

DTE Energy had requested the easement for overhead energy lines which would necessitate moving an energy pole from one side of the Rouge River to the other behind the proposed site at 856 N. Old Woodward, south of Oak, known as the "hole in the ground," where the former Carrie Lee Chinese restaurant once stood. Developer Frank Simon received final site plan approval from the city's planning board for a four-story mixed-use building with two levels of underground parking, which will consist of first floor retail and three stories of high-end apartments.

City engineer Paul O'Meara told commissioners that the "Property's had it's difficulties. It's had flood plains, and it does have electrical wires through it that need to be moved. We've been working with DTE and the developer."

An electrical pole currently sits in a flood plain on the property, in the construction zone. DTE sought to move it to an adjacent property on Woodward.

Joe Jacunski, a manager with DTE, said, "The pole cannot remain, even though it is not in direct conflict with the building, it would not be in code compliance."

Planner Jana Ecker explained, "You can't build the building as it's designed because the pole supports the north/south electrical line heading into downtown. Many different options were explored. We have looked at every possible option for months. Ultimately, this pole has to be moved, and (other) poles have to be relocated across the river, to the back (of the new Art Van building) at 35975 Woodward in what will be their parking area. There will need to be some loss of trees."

Jacunski said, "If you take out the pole, or if a tree falls, you take out power for a day or so to this whole north area of Birmingham.

She said there had been discussion about burying the lines, which would alleviate lines running over Douglas Cleaners at the corner, but there would be a greater loss of trees.

Commissioners did not have a clear picture of how many trees would be lost to the easement, and commissioner Patty Bordman recommended that they tour the property and "have someone knowledgeable show us every tree that will be removed. The map and the whole proposal is very confusing."

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