Historical Society Museum to feature
early Royal Oak schools
The Royal Oak Historical Society's "Your Schools" Exhibit will include
everything from period classroom supplies to displays of photographs, documents,
and artifacts showing schools, teachers, classrooms -- even an elementary school
desk with small blackboard and chalk -- beginning in the 1800s,
"when we had District Schools, then through the beginning of Village Schools up
to the 1960s." according to Assistant Curator Susan Wolfrum.
An added attraction of the exhibit
is that many Royal Oakers have loaned or given the museum their own
graduation pictures or those of their parents and grandparents,
Wolfrum added. The museum's permanent collection includes yearbooks
and composite graduation photographs beginning in 1917.
"Your Schools" will have its grand
opening on May 3rd, from 1 to 6 p.m. The exhibit will run till
The museum is located in the
decommissioned fire station at 1411 W Webster, near Crooks Road.
Regular museum hours are 1 to 4 p.m. each Tuesday, Thursday, and
Admission is free, but a nominal
contribution is appreciated.
The Royal Oak Historical Society is a volunteer-operated and -funded
For information: 248-439-1501
. . .
Deadly dull CITCOM meeting
Except for an interesting report by Police Chief
Corrigan O'Donahue, this was the most boring city commission meeting in
years, in decades. Commissioner Kyle DuBuc did most of the little talking
that there was, finding something to say even when there was nothing to say.
Not complaining, mind you. It's great that no
one postured just to get excessive face-time on camera. And even curmudgeon City
Manager Don Johnson drew a chuckle or two from his colleagues and the
Of interest from O'Donahue's comments:
- Every patrol car will have a
- Police will provide an unlock service to
residents who lock their keys in their car.
- Crime stats show an 11% drop in serious
- A picture of a bird landing on a
patrol car hood and staying around for a while.
Mayor Jim Ellison took the occasion to praise
the city's new PR person, Judy Davids, for formatting the Chief's report
with readable layout and photographs, even a video.
Royal Oak asks
Schostak, Farran Realty to combine proposals for downtown land
The Royal Oak Downtown
Development Authority board on Wednesday night asked a pair
of developers to consider a joint venture to develop 4.15 acres of
land north of I-696 between Main Street and Woodward Avenue.
Livonia-based Schostak Bros. & Co. and Missoula,
Mont.-based Farran Realty Partners have proposed
two separate developments for the site — Schostak’s $35 million,
100,000-square-foot Class A office building for Novi-based
Tata Technologies Inc. and Farran’s mixed-use development.
The $52.25 million Farran development would have a
30,000-square-foot retail and office building, a 40,000-square-foot
retail and office building, and 150-180 apartments.
Schostak, Farran and Singh Development LLC had each
submitted plans for the site, responding to a requests for proposal
to develop the property, which is owned by the DDA. Singh proposed a
$35 million residential development with 192 townhomes and studio,
one- and two-bedroom apartments. It would have 324 parking spaces.
Bill Harrison, a member of the DDA board, said Tim Thwing, the city
planning director and executive director of the DDA, “is trying to
put Farran and Schostak together to do apartments and the office
complex.” In an April 10 memo to the DDA board, Thwing said he did
not include representatives from West Bloomfield Township-based
Singh because its proposed development is entirely residential.
Schostak and Farran are expected to report to the DDA board May 7
about whether they would be willing to work as a joint venture, and
what type of development they would propose. Harrison said he asked
a Singh representative to maintain its development offer for the
next 30-45 days.
“I told him I want to keep you in the loop here and make sure that
their offer will be good so that if this other thing falls apart, we
are still looking at three bidders,” Harrison said.
Schostak is offering $4 million for the land, Farran is offering
$3.25 million and Singh is offering $2 million, , according to the
companies’ RFP responses. Tata Technologies is in a
39,000-square-foot building on 11 Mile Road east of Meadowbrook
Road, according to Washington, D.C.-based real estate information
service CoStar Group Inc.
Several developments over the years
have been proposed for the Royal Oak site.
In 2012, the Detroit
Medical Center was eyeing the site for a $50 million
outpatient medical center. But last year DMC scrapped that site as
the proposed location because it was ultimately too small for the
estimated 100,000-square-foot medical center that would primarily
treat pediatric patients. DMC has since proposed the facility for
Big Beaver Road in Troy.
In 2007, Schostak ended its plans
for a mixed-use hotel and retail development. It instead constructed
the L.A. Fitness health club nearby, at the corner
of Woodward and Washington avenues.
Kirk Pinho: (313) 446-0412, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @kirkpinhoCDB
I don't object, in fact I like it, but why are you publishing what
seems like increased news and comment in Versagi Voice's "Nation/World"
Keep in mind that I characterize this website as an extended table
conversation. Readers of Versagi Voice often bring up foreign affairs
when they encounter me in public places like the Historical Society
Museum. But in all the regional newspapers combined -- dailies or
weeklies -- world news is sparse, very rare. My intention, whether or
not I simultaneously opine, is to provide starting points for discussion
Frank: Bill and I had supper tonight (Sunday) early evening at Lockharts.
After we drove over to S. Washington and found a parking space just
south of Fifth Street. Free parking Sunday! Most of the stores closed
at 6, but we found time to visit the new gift shop in the Dobie
building, where I purchased an antique Vernors bottle with the metal cap
and check out the new lighting in Lost & Found Vintage. Then we window
shopped for a few more minutes. Early Sunday is a great time to wander
Frank, attached is an article from the New York Times about streetcar
lines under construction in Washington DC which focuses on the economic
development impact occurring even prior to the opening.
In particular, it points out the fact that the permanence of streetcar
tracks is a factor attracting business investment, something which is
lost in most of the current planning for mass transit in metro Detroit,
which looks to rapid transit buses. It will be interesting to see how
the tiny street car line to be built in downtown Detroit affects
economic development in that area, despite it being minimalist in
latest weekly report
Police: 37 Arrests
Fires: 0 Fires -- 32 for the year . . . 77 EMS Runs --
1063 for the year
Robert Ficano will seek another
four-year term as Wayne County executive
Ficano, whose administration has been plagued by several scandals in
recent years, will make a formal announcement at 5 p.m. Monday at the
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local
58 Hall at 1358 Abbott St. in Detroit, according to a news release.
Ficano, 61, was elected as Wayne County
executive in 2002 after being elected Wayne County sheriff in 1984. He
is being challenged by Westland Mayor William Wild, Wayne County
Commissioner Kevin McNamara of Belleville and State Rep. Phil Cavanagh,
Former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is also considering seeking the county
executive position. The filing deadline is Tuesday. The primary
election is Aug. 5.
Sheila Cockrel, a former Detroit City Council member
and founder of Crossroads Consulting Group, a Detroit
government relations firm and advocacy company, said Ficano faces an
uphill battle. “I think he is going to have a very hard time,” she said.
“The last couple years, I think, are of particular concern. The
financial condition of the county is going to be an issue. Will the
specter of an emergency manager become a factor in the campaign?”
But she's a Republican!?
A successful and attractive woman politician
As she likes to tell anybody who'll listen, Susana Martinez,
the governor of New Mexico, didn't start out a Republican. She and
her husband, Chuck, like most everyone else in Las Cruces, had always
been Democrats. But she'd long dreamed of running for office, and when
word got out that she had her eyes on the district attorney's seat, two
local Republican activists asked her to lunch. At the meeting, the story
goes, her suitors didn't talk about party affiliation or ideology. They
zeroed in on issues—taxes, welfare, gun rights, the death penalty.
Afterward, Martinez got into the car, turned to her husband, and said,
"I'll be damned, we're Republicans."
It's a tidy little anecdote, and
Martinez has put it to good use. During her
prime-time speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention, the
biggest stage of her 18-year political career, the I'll be damned
punch line brought the crowd to its feet, getting more cheers than
anything said by the party's presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.
Previously unreleased audio
recordings, text messages, and emails reveal a side of Martinez the
public has rarely, if ever, seen.
It's not hard to see why the story is
appealing: It suggests that Republican ideas can win over voters,
perhaps especially voters who look like Martinez. If only those voters
saw through pesky Democratic talking points like the "War on Women" and
recognized what the Republican Party actually stands for, the
logic goes, they would embrace the party. Just like Susana Martinez and
her husband did. -- Source misplaced
Thank the Lord
Not many people listen to John McCain
How sad to see a real hero and statesman fade away intellectually and
become one of those about whom one must ruefully say, "Only another war
will make him happy."
How sad to see John McCain diminish
to the same level as John Bolton. former U.S. Ambassador to the
United Nations, who has reached that point in life when he feels that
only with bellicosity can he effectively deliver his thoughts or
Despite all that, it may be time to threaten
Vladimir with military resistance, instead of with more presidential
reminders that "This is not the 19th Century."
So it is good to read that a NATO
spokesman says, "We will have more planes in the air, mores hips on the
water and more readiness on the land." Poland reports that U.S.
troops will be stationed in that counrty.
Another example of Obama's lack-of-grasp
of how to deal with world problems
"Barack Obama's response has
been tepid. Ukrainian authorities requested light arms, antitank weapons
and intelligence assistance. Obama agreed to provide Meals Ready to Eat
and to have them delivered by commercial trucks rather than military
The man is incompetent or cowardly or
both. That's made worse by his narcissism. He's Jimmy Carter II.
Or is it stupidity which accounts for his continuing belief that every
real problem is solved by his giving another speech? Establish another
red line, you know.
Note to Attorney General Eric Holder:
Given your sensitivity to real or imagined racial tone in any
criticism of you or of President Obama, please keep in mind that Jimmy
Carter is White.
It's hard to keep straight
which are the good guys
In recent weeks, Jordan's border guards have clashed with and arrested
several people allegedly attempting to cross into the country from
Syria, where civil war has been raging for more than three years.
Jordan, home to more than 500,000 Syrian refugees, says arms smuggling
across the border with Syria has risen by 300 percent in the past year.
It is widely reported that Syria's
various rebel factions regularly transport weapons and other supplies
across the border with Jordan. The government of Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad has repeatedly accused Jordan of assisting Syrian rebels both
militarily and logistically.
'Hate Crime' concept is
This masked guy is robbing me at night as I'm getting
into my parked car. He knows enough about me to mumble something
about getting back at "dumb dagos." He's got what looks like a
revolver, but he's so wishy-washy that I'm tempted to take the weapon
from him and tell him to go home. As luck would have it, a police car
pulls up, and the cops collar the guy.
I can understand that attempted robbery is
a crime, its seriousness depending on, among other things, whether the
piece was fully loaded and the safety was off. What I can't understand
is what is gained by labeling it a hate crime because of the ethnic
slur. Besides, I'm more offended being called "dumb" than "dago."
I suspect that labeling a criminal
action a hate crime is one of those feel-good concepts that neither
deters the alleged criminal nor eases the victim's suffering but fits the
need of those who focus more on group identity than on the individual --
victim or perpetrator.
At a less important level than crime, the
U.S. Attorney General's whining about criticism of himself and of the
President was considered by most observers to allude to race, although
his reaction to that was the legalistic, "At no time did I refer to
race," or some such.
It would be impossible for a Black not to
infer at least passive racism in much of the steady stream of criticism
directed at Obama especially, forgetting that the President was
re-elected -- a phenomenon which remains an unsolved puzzle after such
an ineffective first term.
The recent Black mob
attack in Detroit on a White motorist who got out of his truck to
look at a young Black boy who was struck when he ran in front of the
truck led the attorney defending one of the teenagers who apparently
led the attack to maintain that the action was a "spur of the
moment" decision, not a hate crime. Makes sense to me.
Nuclear Power Also Needed to Combat Climate Change
The rise of renewables helps, but in order to eliminate fossil-fuel
pollution nuclear power is also required, according to the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Over the past decade and a half,
countries around the world have taken unprecedented steps to shift their
energy dependence from fossil fuels to alternative resources. Tariffs
and subsidies have spurred the growth of wind and solar, regional
have imposed costs on carbon, and government funds have poured in to
support the development of new, low-carbon technologies.
And yet carbon emissions from the
energy sector continue to rise. From 1991 to 2010, they grew at a rate
of 1.7 percent a year; over the following decade, that rate nearly
doubled, to 3.1 percent a year, according to data from the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Notwithstanding a
minor drop in emissions during the economic recession of 2009, the
upward trajectory continues today.
The energy supply sector—which spans
the extraction, transportation and conversion of fuel into energy—is the
largest single contributor to human-caused global warming, at around 35
percent of the total carbon budget. If the world hopes to head off
potentially dangerous temperature rises of above 2 degrees Celsius,
emissions from the sector will have to be sharply curtailed by
midcentury, scientists say.
"A mix of low-carbon energy from
renewables, nuclear, or fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage
[CCS] are going to need to grow to 80 percent of the electricity supply
by 2050," said Ryan Wiser, a research scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory and a lead author of the energy supply chapter of
the IPCC's recent Working Group III report.
"Simply executing or expanding existing
incentive policies isn't going to cut it. Business as usual absolutely
isn't going to cut it. What's required is a true transformation of our
energy systems," he said.
By 2070, the world will need to phase
fossil fuels out of its energy supply mix entirely, he added. --