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Woodward Talk

Published October 13, 2011

What’s your favorite apple?

“The last one I ate.”

Ed Robinette doesn’t even hesitate to give that cheeky yet appropriate reply to what is surely one of his favorite questions. He is, after all, raising 23 varieties of apples on his family farm in Grand Rapids. That’s a lot of options. But it barely breaks the surface.

“There’s so much diversity in the apple crop in Michigan — there are literally thousands of varieties,” Robinette said.

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Published September 14, 2011

Everyone needs it. Most don’t get enough of it. And for those it eludes, it may become an obsession.

With the end of summer, students back in school and shorter days, people’s routines may be a little light on a valuable commodity: sleep.

Less than half of people get it in the quantity and quality their bodies need, said Dr. Gary Trock, and disorders minor and severe can hinder what should be an act that occurs effortlessly and in abundance.

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Published September 13, 2011

PONTIAC — Franklin-Bingham Fire Chief Tony Averbuch was overcome with emotion during his speech at the Oakland County Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony Sept. 11.

Averbuch, who’s been in the fire service for two decades, was a part of a disaster response unit that deployed to ground zero in New York City in the days immediately following the terrorist attacks.

Only a few words into his keynote address during the ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks, Averbuch broke down.

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Published August 24, 2011

DETROIT — There’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing a show on Broadway in New York, but for the last five decades, the Fisher Theatre has come awfully close to replicating that experience.

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Published July 20, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — It’s cool. It’s green. And it may not be long before consumers can find Birmingham resident Virgil Heil’s machine on store shelves.

At the 26th annual four-day Invention & New Product Exposition’s Invention Show, Heil, 39, took the first-runner-up Grand Prix Award of $3,000 for his Cool Green Machine.

But more valuable than Heil’s award, perhaps, is the attention his invention has received since the show.

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Published July 13, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — July 23 should be a pretty busy day for downtown Birmingham.

For the second year in a row, The Community House’s Green Breeze eco-friendly vendor expo will jump on the coattails of the Principal Shopping District’s Day On The Town sales event, bringing both green education and bargain shopping to the streets of downtown.

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Published July 6, 2011

Some people collect baseball cards as a hobby. Some people knit. And some people visit garage sales.

Some would say that Eastpointe resident Joy Yaklin has perfected her garage sale hobby. She uses Craigslist to search for specific items and her GPS to map out routes, and she’ll spend the day perusing sales to fulfill orders from her friends, family and co-workers.

“I’ve got everything I need at home,” she said. Yaklin no longer shops for herself. She now hunts bargains for others.

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Published July 1, 2011

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Supervisor Dave Payne announced his plans to retire Aug. 1 after 41 years of working for the township.

Payne, 60, has been the supervisor since January 2001. He announced his plans during the June 27 Board of Trustees meeting.

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Published June 27, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — Building robots and Lego submarines doesn’t have to be reserved for competitions anymore.

Beginning June 1, The Robot Garage is opening for dexterous and creative builders of all ages.

The 4,000-square-foot warehouse — completely renovated into a colorful retail shop and lab of classrooms — can also serve as a venue for a kiddie birthday bash.

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Published June 1, 2011

Combine talented artisans, good food, live entertainment and a little sunshine, and you have the makings of a great summer festival.

Beginning in June, such events are plentiful in metro Detroit. Here’s a sampling of just a few popular festivals that residents won’t want to miss this summer.

June 11-12
Clay, Glass and Metal Festival — downtown Royal Oak
In Royal Oak, one of the first big events of the season is the Clay, Glass and Metal Festival June 11-12.

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Published May 24, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — A Seaholm High School student could face two years behind bars for allegedly writing a racially charged message on a bathroom wall at his school last month, suggesting a handful of fellow black students be lynched.

Courtney Thomas, a Birmingham resident, was arraigned in 48th District Court in Bloomfield Township May 18 on charges of ethnic intimidation, a two-year felony.

Thomas, 18, supposedly admitted to the racist graffiti May 11, after an investigation pointed to him as being responsible

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Published May 18, 2011

Yes, Michigan.

This week is for celebrating, for embracing all the state has to offer. It’s Michigan Week, held annually since 1954. So raise your hand, point to your favorite spots in the state, and reflect. Whether it’s taking a fall color tour, hitting the links, lounging on the beach, crossing the Mackinac Bridge or heading downtown to catch a Red Wings game, there’s much to love about Michigan.

For many, it’s the lakes that cause residents to swell with pride.

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Published May 11, 2011

Picture a typical senior residence and images of bingo, arts and crafts, and green Jell-O might come to mind.

Walk into a modern retirement community, though, and you may be more likely to see seniors playing video games, heading out with a travel group or performing a sun salutation in yoga class.

Today’s senior living communities are not the stale, dreary places stereotypes make them out to be.

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Published April 6, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — Roughly 30 new businesses opening within a year’s time in a lively downtown such as Birmingham isn’t too much of a surprise.

But in this economy, officials are heralding that figure.

Not to mention, said John Heiney, director of the Principal Shopping District, that while the city normally sees almost as many businesses moving or closing as it sees opening or expanding in a year, over the course of the past year, fewer than 10 have closed or moved out.

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Published March 9, 2011

Sticking your nose in a book doesn’t have to be a solitary activity, as more and more avid readers are banding together to share in their common interest.

Book clubs are ever present in today’s society, with readers young and old joining groups offered in their communities and forming their own tight-knit circles.

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Published March 9, 2011

DETROIT — A 209-pound Newfoundland rolled onto his back in the middle of an aisle at the Detroit Kennel Club Dog Shows, held at Cobo Center March 5-6. He milked every pat he got from passers-by charmed by his gentle demeanor and fluffy brown coat.

He was among thousands of dogs of countless breeds that were also doing their very best to woo the public — in between competitions, that is.

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Published March 8, 2011

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — This month the Friends of the Bloomfield Township Public Library will celebrate their $1 million milestone of giving.

For the entire month of March, the Friends are also holding a membership drive in hopes of growing their support base.

“Our Friends are worth a million bucks,” said Library Director Karen Kotulis-Carter. She said that in the 23 years she’s worked for the library, she’s noticed that each new “Friend” has given his or her weight in gold toward enhancing the library’s services.

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Published March 2, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — Celebrities, local actors and movie buffs will come together during the first annual Uptown Film Festival to celebrate an event organizers say will showcase the best films made in Michigan over the past year.

Established this year by leaders in the Michigan film industry, the Uptown Film Festival is a two-night celebration of productions created entirely or in part in the state to recognize the Michigan film industry.

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Published February 23, 2011

Although spring is nearly a month away, “kitten season” is gearing up this month, meaning that local shelters may soon be filled to the brim with fuzzy faces needing good homes?.

But until they can find their forever family, help is needed to nurture the babies in their first few weeks, making sure they get the care they need to become good pets.

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Published February 21, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — The work of award-winning abstract expressionist painter James Adley and a juried show of art created by adult students are on display at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center as part of two new exhibits.

“The great thing between the gallery missions is that most every time you come in to see an exhibition, you get to see the full range of what art can mean in someone’s life — whether it’s a pastime or whether it’s a full-time profession,” said BBAC President and CEO Addie Langford.

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