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Woodward Talk

Published December 4, 2013

FERNDALE — Over the years, Kelly Kaatz has become well-versed at adapting to change.

Attending high school at a rural school without an art program, Kaatz progressed through her teenage years without ever taking an art class. When she went off to college, she realized her trajectory at the time — studying advertising — was not working out so well.

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Published November 7, 2013

Photo submitted by James Tong, Berkley Historical Museum

The Grapevine Bar is pictured here in November 1975 at its location on Coolidge Highway, between 12 Mile Road and Catalpa Drive, in Berkley. The Grapevine, which was formerly known as the Bear’s Den, was one of the most popular drinking spots in Berkley for decades. Today, the restaurant Bagger Dave’s sits in the former location of the Grapevine Bar.

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Published October 30, 2013

BERKLEY — Anthony Ianni wasn’t supposed to be a Division I college basketball player on arguably one of the best programs in the country.

In fact, Ianni wasn’t even supposed to be enrolled in college at all.

At the age of 5, doctors diagnosed Ianni with high-functioning autism and told his parents he would likely graduate high school, but his brightest future after was to be placed in a group home with others with disabilities.

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Published October 16, 2013

HUNTINGTON WOODS — A project that began in the summer of 2012 is nearing an end as fundraising efforts for the Burton Community Park improvement project will end Dec. 31 with a goal to raise $440,000.

Parents, school officials and community members started raising money to update the playground at the park, which also serves as the playground for Burton Elementary School, in May 2012, raising $35,000 in six weeks. In January, the Huntington Woods Men’s Club donated $65,000 to the project. As of Monday, the total raised stood at about $181,000.

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Published October 9, 2013

HUNTINGTON WOODS — In the 1960s and ’70s, America was taking part in the Vietnam War, a battle that may be the most internally contested war in the country’s history.

On the home front, going to college meant a way to stay out of the war, and for Michael Pitt, it meant a way for him to continue to be part of the counterculture movement that was occurring. People all across the country stood up for several different rights, including civil rights and free speech.

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Published October 7, 2013

FERNDALE — The Boys & Girls Club of South Oakland County has offered after-school programs in Ferndale since 2005, but because of staff and space restrictions, the programs were held at Ferndale High School and Middle School.

On Monday, however, the Boys & Girls Club expanded the programming in Ferndale after securing a location at the Kulick Community Center. The move will allow the programs to be expanded, but, more importantly, the age range can expand, too.

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Published October 1, 2013

FERNDALE — Troy Ramroop is a pilot, but he has never had to build anything quite like what he and his team designed in September.

Ramroop, owner of The Grasshopper Underground in Ferndale, got his general manager and three other staff members to make a video and submit it to Red Bull Flugtag to try to become contestants in the annual human-powered vehicle challenge.

Of the 30 teams selected to compete in the Chicago event Sept. 21, the Detroit Grasshoppers were the only team to represent Michigan.

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Published September 11, 2013

FERNDALE — Ferndale was selected this month as a pilot community for the MI Solar Works program, which aims to install solar panels on rooftops as an alternative to a home’s energy source.

MI Solar Works was created by WARM Training Center, a Detroit-based nonprofit organization aiming to bring energy alternatives to Michigan, along with SRIenergy. Joel Howrani Heeres, a sustainable communities coordinator with WARM, said the goal is to get 6,000 solar rooftops in Michigan by the end of 2014.

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Published September 11, 2013

FERNDALE — The Common Core Standards may be up for discussion at the state level, but in Ferndale, educators and administrators are moving forward with the standards and implementing them this school year.

Furthermore, the Ferndale Schools Board of Education unanimously voted during the Aug. 19 meeting to endorse the principles and goals of the Common Core Standards and send a resolution to Gov. Rick Snyder and members of the Michigan Legislature.

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Published August 20, 2013

FERNDALE — Emmele Herrold has mastered One-Eyed Betty’s Betty Burger over the past 18 months as the head chef of the Ferndale restaurant. From the house-ground beef to each of the burger’s toppings, Herrold is so confident in the burger that it is the only one on the menu.

But Herrold also showed Aug. 10 that she could make a totally different burger and make it a hit, as well.

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Published August 14, 2013

BERKLEY — When the Berkley Farm Stand opened last September on 12 Mile Road, Laura Uhlianuk and her husband, Lee, had the market operating seven days a week. When Mondays would come around, however, the North

Branch farmers didn’t have any produce left to sell after busy weekends.
Laura Uhlianuk, a Berkley native, said that when the stand opened this year at the end of July, they decided to keep the hours of operation to Friday, Saturday and Sunday to keep the stand freshly stocked all the time.

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Published August 14, 2013

PLEASANT RIDGE — As a young mother in 1987, Sherry Ball was only looking for a part-time postal clerk position with the city of Pleasant Ridge. With her kids in school, Ball responded to a “Help Wanted” ad while dropping off some mail.

Over the next 11 years, Ball served as the city’s water clerk, city clerk and in 1998 she took over as city manager. With 15 years of being city manager under her belt, Ball will retire from her position at the end of the year.

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Published August 14, 2013

FERNDALE — In recent weeks, a new Ford Motor Company billboard went up along northbound Woodward Avenue in Ferndale. The sign includes the usual vehicle and logos, but it is something right in front of the sign that makes it unique.

Placed on the billboard ledge are several lawn chairs with mannequins relaxing in them, watching the two-dimensional car on the billboard as it appears to want to rip itself off of the sign and onto Woodward.

It is time, once again, for the Woodward Dream Cruise.

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Published August 7, 2013

FERNDALE — Aaron Markovitz’s music career has taken the Ferndale native from his hometown to Los Angeles and even to the open sea as he played on cruise ships. But ultimately, Markovitz ended up back at home to see his career blossom.

Markovitz, 26, is the lead guitarist and singer for Escaping Pavement, a Detroit-based Americana band that dabbles in rock, folk and country. On June 26, the band released its first album, “UpRooted,” during a launch party in Ferndale.

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Published July 31, 2013

FERNDALE — Mayor Dave Coulter’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Ferndale Parks was set up in April as a way for the city to improve its parks with help from local organizers. The two main goals were to get public input and find a way to finance any improvements without using tax dollars.

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Published July 31, 2013

FERNDALE — Whenever Amanda Zimmerman has to respond to a medical emergency, the first thing the doctors ask the paramedic when she brings in a patient is if CPR was performed before the paramedics arrived.

Zimmerman, who works for HealthLink Emergency Medical Transportation in Taylor, said a majority of the time, people are too afraid or uninformed to perform CPR before the paramedics arrive, which means the patient may not be breathing for several minutes before they get on site.

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Published July 30, 2013

FERNDALE — The middle of July brought temperatures in Oakland County to the mid- and high-90s, along with a high humidity, making for hot and sticky days. For much of the week of July 15, Oakland County cities were under a heat advisory.

While people went into air-conditioned buildings or homes, silent sufferers had no choice but to sit in the hot temperatures at the Oakland County Animal Control & Pet Adoption Center. Pets had to endure temperatures that got into the 100s, as the building had no air-conditioning unit.

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Published July 22, 2013

HUNTINGTON WOODS — Like so many in the Detroit area, Lauren Mendelson grew up around cars, as her father worked in the auto parts business.

However, while others who grew up around Detroit may have developed a desire to own classic cars, Mendelson’s passion was for something more exotic. From Maseratis to Ferraris and BMWs, Mendelson developed a palate for cars hard to find.

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Published July 17, 2013

FERNDALE — When Rifino Valentine opened his distillery a few years ago in Ferndale, vodka was his main selling point and he quickly made the move from life in New York to a life in his home state of Michigan.

While Valentine Vodka has had great success, with about 3,000 accounts in Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee and New York, Valentine said he always had plans to expand, though he kept it close to his chest on what that meant.

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Published July 17, 2013

FERNDALE — Sharry Bronson turned 40 in January, but she didn’t use that time to reflect on what she had done or have remorse for what she hadn’t done.

Instead, Bronson used the first day of 2013 to run in a race. It was the first of several for the Ferndale resident, who decided to run 40 races for her 40 years of being alive.

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Upcoming Events

St. Clair Shores
Free community dinner
1 p.m.
Faith Community Church
Farmington Hills
Maple sugaring program
10:30 a.m.-noon, 1-2:30 p.m., 3-4:30 p.m.
Costick Activities Center
Rochester Hills
Bloomfield Hills
Five-week Lenten study series
10:30 a.m.
Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church
Grosse Pointe Park
'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying'
2 p.m.
Pierce Middle School auditorium




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