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Toyology: How a little metro Detroit toy store is thriving, expanding


In today’s ever-expanding world of online shopping, it is becoming increasingly difficult for many small retail businesses to succeed and grow, and increasingly difficult to take a child to a bona fide toy store or go Christmas shopping at one. 

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Jax Kar Wash: Shining your machine for 65 years


A lot of crazy things can happen in a car wash. Just ask Bruce Milen or his son Jason Milen, second- and third-generation owners of Jax Kar Wash. 

While they haven’t witnessed anything like the classic “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode — in which Larry David and Cheryl Hines get stuck in the malfunctioning car wash after she has just downed a dose of colon cleanser — the Milens have their own hilarious stories to laugh about.

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Beaumont Health expands thriving Integrative Medicine program to West Bloomfield

In search of relief from the cluster headaches that were dominating his life, Howard Sikora, 66, of Farmington Hills, made an appointment with Maureen Anderson, M.D., medical director of Beaumont Health’s Integrative Medicine program, after seeing her on a morning talk show.
“It felt like someone was sticking a knife in my head,” said Sikora, of the powerful headaches that occurred nightly at 3 or 4 a.m. “The pain medication other doctors prescribed barely touched it.  This went on every night for maybe a month, then they’d taper off before starting all over again. I’d been dealing with it for four or five years.”
Dr. Anderson recommended Sikora eliminate beef, dairy, gluten, artificial preservatives and sugar from his diet, sticking to other proteins, healthy fats, fruits, veggies and nuts for 90 days.
“Within two weeks, the headaches were gone,” Sikora said.
Slowly, with Dr. Anderson’s guidance, he began re-adding food groups one at a time.  
“Today I eat what is called a Paleo diet,” he explained. “If it comes from a box or a package, I don’t go near it.”
For Sikora, who continues to visit Dr. Anderson for maintenance, chemical additives – including artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, soy sauce, dairy and gluten -- appear to have been the trigger for his headaches.
“To say I’m thrilled with the outcome is an understatement,” Sikora said. “Dr. Anderson was the only one looking to prevent, not medicate.”
As demand for gentler, non-pharmacologic treatments continues to grow Beaumont Health is expanding its popular Integrative Medicine program to the West Bloomfield ambulatory care site at 6900 Orchard Lake Road.
“Last year our program provided 24,000 patient appointments from clinical massage to acupuncture to naturopathic doctor visits across three locations,” said Gail Elliott Patricolo, director of Integrative Medicine, Beaumont Health.
“We are so excited about this new location and proximity to our patient-base in the West Bloomfield area.”
Integrative medicine, based on ancient healing techniques and the most modern evidence-based methods, concentrates on mind, body and spirit to improve quality of life. These therapies can help people cope by enhancing wellness, relieving pain and managing anxiety and stress.
Treatments offered at the West Bloomfield location include acupuncture, clinical massage, medical facials, reiki, cupping and reflexology, along with integrative medicine consults with either a medical or naturopathic physician.
“People who are healthy or fighting an illness will find benefits to the services offered at Beaumont’s Integrative Medicine Program,” Elliott Patricolo said. “All of our services are offered by highly skilled and specially trained practitioners who understand our patients’ unique needs and are also overseen by a medical doctor.”
Integrative Medicine programs at the Royal Oak and Troy hospitals also offer acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, guided imagery, reflexology, cupping, gentle yoga and yoga therapy.  In addition to the new West Bloomfield facility, Beaumont Health has integrative medicine programs in Royal Oak, Troy and Grosse Pointe.

10 Michigan cities make list of '100 Safest Cities in America'


Ten of the top 100 safest cities in America are right here in Michigan.

Alarms.org released their annual "Top 100 Safest Cities" list and Michigan is well represented.

Here's some insight on how these rankings are decided from Alarms.org:

According to the FBI, violent crime has been decreasing over the past 10 years (down by 16.5% from 2006 to 2015) while property crime rates continue to gradually fall by 2% per year. Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) has shown that police have improved their methods for monitoring troubled areas and having more outreach. These methods help to prevent crime and encourage people to work to become model citizens.

At the same time, renovations of old buildings have brought life back to once dangerous areas by providing new shops and family entertainment options. The more entertainment and attractions a city has the more the need for more development and property values to rise.

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Zingerman's Cornman Farms, Planterra Conservatory named top 22 garden wedding venues in the world

Harper’s Bazaar recently named Zingerman’s Cornman Farms and Planterra Conservatory to its list of “The 22 Best Garden Wedding Venues in the World.”  As the only midwest locations chosen, both venues are honored to be showcased among outdoor spaces from California and New York to Italy and South Africa.

Harper’s partnered with the experts at The Venue Report to curate the list of wedding venues, which are described as “22 polished yet pastoral gardens...wish a dose of formality” suited for couples looking to wed in a natural setting. Writer Carrie Goldberg highlights the perks of exchanging nuptials at Zingerman’s Cornman Farms in Dexter, Michigan as well as Planterra Conservatory in West Bloomfield:

Cornman Farms features a historic barn, farmhouse, gardens, animal quarters, and space for tents or lawn games. Watch chefs prepare an intimate farm-to-table feast dinner or host an al fresco evening in the garden.

With European curved trusses, indoor koi ponds and a dramatic stone archway, the Planterra Conservatoryhouses a wide collection of lush, exotic botanicals. Providing views of the stars on a clear night and soft, natural light during the day, this venue is practically perfect for any party and promises stellar light for photos.”

Kieron Hales, Executive Chef and Owner at Zingerman’s Cornman Farms is thrilled with the recognition.

“I’m super excited that the four years of work on the grounds of the property has gotten to a stage where we can get nationally recognized and placed on a list with so many beautiful venues, including our good friends at Planterra. To be on a list with them is a real honor,” says Kieron, adding that he’s very proud of the staff who’ve worked so hard to improve the grounds, especially the crew that has put in painstaking efforts this year.

David DiVincenzo, Special Events Director at Planterra, shares in the excitement and said it’s amazing to see his and his team’s vision recognized in the national spotlight.

“It is truly an honor to be featured on this select list of exquisite wedding venues.   We are delighted to have such a wonderful team of gifted designers and dedicated horticulturists who create such a unique and stunning environment in which our couple’s visions come to life.”
About Zingerman’s Cornman Farms
Zingerman’s Cornman Farms is a historic, multi-award winning event space, wedding venue and working farm in Dexter, Michigan. The 42-acre farm and its venues were restored from their 1834 foundations with the most discerning guests in mind. Featuring a beautiful exhibition kitchen, chef’s garden, a classic farmhouse, four-season barn and a stunning tent pavilion, guests can enjoy the beauty of the countryside just minutes from downtown Ann Arbor. Learn more at www.cornmanfarms.com.
About Planterra
The Planterra Conservatory in West Bloomfield Michigan is a glass enclosed botanical garden, full service event and wedding venue. The curved truss structure was imported from Belgium in 2009, and is the headquarters for Planterra Corporation, an interior landscape firm serving corporate and institutional customers with tropical plants and horticulture service throughout the U.S. Planterra hosts an award-winning team of in-house floral and event designers, horticulturalists and hospitality professionals. More information on the Planterra Conservatory can be found at http://planterraevents.com

Chaldean Cultural Center to open at Shenandoah Country Club on May 2


After more than a decade of curating artifacts and replicas, the Chaldean Cultural Center Museum at the Shenandoah Country Club in West Bloomfield Township will open its doors on May 2.

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When business cross pollinates: A luxury wedding venue comes to fruit


Initially planned as a greenhouse to supply flowers and plants for commercial building interiors, the Planterra Conservatory has blossomed into an exotic wedding location. Shane Pliska, President of Planterra Corporation, explains how this metamorphosis developed, and shares advice for business owners who are looking to transform their own companies.

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Beaumont Health opens Urgent Care Center in West Bloomfield

Need immediate medical care? No problem. The new Beaumont Health Urgent Care Center offers same day care and no appointments are necessary. 

Beaumont has opened an Urgent Care Center inside the Beaumont Medical Center at 6900 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield. The 2,200-square-foot center offers after-hours and weekend appointments: Monday-Friday from noon until midnight; and weekends and holidays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“There’s always a Beaumont doctor working on-site,” says Terry Kowalenko, M.D., chair of Emergency Medicine for Beaumont Hospital - Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak and Troy. “It’s staffed by emergency medicine physicians, family practice physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.”  

Treatment and services for adults and children 18 months and older, include basic lab tests; vaccinations; skin treatments; and minor illnesses and injuries, such as: cough, flu, earache, gastrointestinal symptoms, cuts, sprains and broken bones. A complete listing can be found here.

“Our Urgent Care team will work with a person’s primary doctor to make sure all of their information is available, so any follow-up care is as seamless as possible,” says Bernice Sessa, M.D., medical director of the Urgent Care Center.
For those who may not have a primary care physician, the Beaumont Urgent Care Staff will help connect them with a Beaumont doctor.

In addition, for convenience, those who get digital X-rays at the Urgent Care Center will have their records sent electronically to a Beaumont hospital to be reviewed by a certified Beaumont radiologist within one hour or less.  If they have a Beaumont doctor, their medical record is automatically updated in Beaumont’s electronic health record.

For more information on the Beaumont Urgent Care Center in West Bloomfield, visithttp://www.beaumont.edu/centers-services/urgent-care/.

Top 25 selected in MI Great Artist Competition

Thirteen Oakland County residents and eight from Wayne County are among 25 artists who have a chance at becoming the 2015 MI Great Artist winner.

More than 22,000 public votes were cast in 10 days during the online portion of the competition. The field of 109 entrants was reduced to 25 semi-finalists for consideration by a panel of judges. Originally the top 20 artists were to be selected but the closeness of the voting and the quality of the entries made it necessary to include the additional five artists.

“I continue to be amazed by the work of these talented artists and how the public has embraced the competition,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “In less than two weeks, we had more than 22,000 votes – 13,000 more than we had last year. The contest gets bigger and better each year. I thank the artists for entering and congratulate those whose work will go before the judges.”

Besides Oakland and Wayne counties, semi-finalists include entrants from Lapeer, Macomb and St. Clair counties. A panel of judges will review the work of the semi-finalists beginning Wednesday and announce the five finalists on Nov. 13. Their work will be displayed at Park West Gallery from Dec. 1 – Jan. 8, 2016. Patterson and Park West Gallery founder and CEO Albert Scaglione launched the contest in 2012 as a quality of life initiative to identify and support up-and-coming artists. They will announce the winner at an evening gallery reception on Dec. 8. The finalists will share a prize package worth more than $16,000.

The judges are Scaglione; Elliott W. Broom, vice president of museum operations at the Detroit Institute of Arts; Dominic Pangborn, founder of Pangborn Design Collection and a former professor at the College of Creative Studies; artist and sculptor Don Tocco; and Kristie Everett Zamora, arts and culture coordinator for Oakland County's Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs.

The semi-finalists listed alphabetically are:
  •  Meredith Lea Bailey – Rochester Hills
  •  Emilie Beadle – Romulus
  •  Chanel Beebe – Detroit
  •  Michael Bollerud – Garden City
  •  Conni Culp – Wolverine Lake
  •  Tecla Kuhl-Dallaire – Wayne
  •  Darin Darby – Romulus
  •  Andrew Dillard – Waterford
  •  Francesca Gagliano – Royal Oak
  •  Lisa Hermann – Canton
  •  Kenneth Hershenson - Clawson
  •  Heidi Keesling – Ortonville
  •  Walter Kempski – St. Clair Shores
  •  Alexandra Kern – Detroit
  •  Kelly O’Hara – St. Clair Shores
  •  Melissa Parks – Bloomfield Hills
  •  Hunter Pope – Lapeer
  •  Jernard Robinson – Detroit
  •  Vasundhara Tolia – Bloomfield Hills
  •  Teng Vang – Rochester Hills
  •  Jennifer Wallace – Kimball
  •  Jennifer Whaley – Rochester Hills
  •  Mihwa Yoon – Auburn Hills
  •  Larry Zdeb – Troy
  •  Jennifer Zimmerman – West Bloomfield
The MI Great Artist winner receives $1,500; five submitted artworks framed by Park West Gallery; a group exhibition at Park West Gallery in Southfield from Dec. 1 – Jan. 8, 2016, with an award ceremony and reception; a scholarship to attend workshops at the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center; a consultation with an Oakland County business development representative; their artwork featured on a poster to promote one of Oakland County’s signature quality of life events, printed by Park West Gallery; a solo exhibition at Park West Gallery; and a two-month solo exhibition at the Oakland County Galleria in the Executive Office Building in Waterford.

Four runners-up will each receive $375 and other services. MI Great Artist partners include Oakland County, Park West Gallery, AdvantageOakland.com and Oakland County Prosper® magazine.

The Berman Center for the Performing Arts announces 2015/2016 season

Building on its reputation for delivering excellent and diverse entertainment, The Berman Center for The Performing Arts today announced its 2015-16 season. The line up includes exhilarating live performances, lectures, classes, family programming and intriguing and entertaining events on films.
This season features a live performance from Tony Award Winner Ben Vereen with his one-man show Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen; a striking performance of The Children of Willesden Lane performed by Mona Golabek; the stunningly unique visual dance performance, ENRA; Israel’s top blues rock guitarist Lazer Lloyd; the interactive and extraordinary SHUFFLE Concert; and, the return of The Berman Foundation’s Signature Series beginning with the Sphinx Virtuosi.
“One of the wonderful features of The Berman is its commitment to sharing diverse experiences for people of all ages,” said Elaine (Hendriks) Smith, director of The Berman Center for the Performing Arts. “This season certainly promises to delight, entertain and excite all audiences.”
Below is a glimpse at the full 2015-16 season. For a full description of each performance and to purchase tickets, please visit theberman.org. Tickets also can be purchased by calling 248.661.1900.
From Here to Eternity (Play on Film)
Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015 @ 3 p.m.
Tickets - $12
Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen (Friends of The Berman event)
Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 – 6:30 p.m. appetizers, 7 p.m. dinner, 9 p.m. performance
Tickets - $1,000/couple
Peter Grimes (Opera on Film)
Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015 @ 3 p.m.
Tickets: $12
Sphinx Virtuosi
Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 @ 8 p.m.
Tickets: $27
The Children of Willesden Lane
Sunday, Oct. 11 @ 2 p.m.
Tickets: $32- 37
Hook (Throwback Thursday film)
Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015 @ 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $12
Make That Change: Mosaic Youth Singers
Sunday, Oct. 18 @  (time)
Tickets: $30 - 37
ENRA (Live Dance)
Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015 @ 8 p.m.
Tickets: $27 - 35
Big Hero 6 (Kids superhero day with film)
Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015 @ 1p.m.
Tickets: $12 - 14
Lazer Lloyd & The Chicago Kings
Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015 @ 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $22 - 27
Pirates of Penzance (Opera on film)
Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015 @ 3 p.m.
Tickets: $12
Green Golly and Her Golden Flute
Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015 @ 1 p.m.
Tickets: $24
The Goonies (Throwback Thursdays film)
Thursday, Dec. 10 @ 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $12
Happy Feet (Kids dance day with film)
Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015 @ 1 p.m.
Tickets: $14
Tenors Unlimited
Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 @ 8 p.m.
Tickets: $30 - 35
E.T. (Throwback Thursday film)
Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 @ 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $12
Peter Rabbit
Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 @ 1 p.m.
Tickets: $16 - 20
Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 @ 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $35 - 40
The Wizard of Oz (Throwback Thursday film)
Thursday, Mar. 3, 2016 @ 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $12
Cars (Kids race day and film)
Sunday, Mar. 6, 2016 @ 1 p.m.
Tickets - $14
The Michigan Five
Saturday, Mar. 26, 2015 @ 8 p.m.
Tickets - $22 - 27
Sleeping Beauty (Kids princess day and film)
Sunday, Apr. 1, 2016 @ 1 p.m.
Tickets - $14
JCC’s Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival
May 9-22, 2016
Tickets: $12
About The Berman:
Inspired by an extraordinary gift from Mandell and Madeleine Berman, The Berman Center for the Performing Arts is a beautiful, world-class theatre. The Berman showcases the Jewish Community Center’s exceptional events and offers opportunities for exciting new programs for all audiences of Metropolitan Detroit.
Since its first public performance in the Spring of 2011, The Berman has been the host more than 198,000 people for such performers as Barbara Cook, Marvin Hamlish, Patti LuPone, Bebe Neuwirth, Mandy Patinkin, Chita Rivera, Seth Rudetsky and J.B. Smoove & Lily Tomlin. Through live performances, film, master classes, festivals and streaming events, The Berman delivers the bests in cultural arts programming to audiences in southeast Michigan. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.theberman.org.

Birmingham couple establishes $10M endowment fund at Temple Israel


Sarah and Harold Gottlieb will never forget the pain of losing their son, Stephen, an avid music lover who passed away in 2006.

But they will always hold dear the joy their son found in music.

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Detroit Institute of Arts announces sixth year of popular Inside|Out Program

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) announced participating cities for 2015 in the sixth year of its popular Inside|Out program in 2015. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will sponsor Inside|Out, which brings high-quality reproductions of masterpieces from the DIA’s collection to outdoor venues throughout metro Detroit.
Over the past five years, Inside|Out has been in more than 100 communities. During the 2015 season, eight venues will be participating for the first time, including Midtown Detroit; the Osborn neighborhood in Detroit; Grosse Ile; Memphis; Ortonville; White Lake; Flat Rock; and Wolverine Lake.
“We are delighted at the continued success and popularity of Inside|Out,” said Graham W. J. Beal, DIA director. “Thanks to the Knight Foundation’s sponsorship, we are able to refresh the program and expand partnerships with metro Detroit community organizations.”
Highlights for next year include new images that better reflect the diversity of the museum’s collection and broad interests of communities. During the summer months, the DIA will partner with Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision to create an Inside|Out community garden exhibition. The exhibition will illuminate a handful of Detroit community gardens and provide new programming opportunities within the intersection of gardening, nutrition and art. The DIA will also partner with the Huron River Watershed Council to host an Inside|Out exhibition in the five Huron River Trail towns, an initiative to help develop an arts and culture component on the Huron riverfront.
The DIA encourages each community to plan activities centered around its Inside|Out works. Previous events have included bike and walking tours, bus tours, talks at local libraries, festivals and more.
More than 80 reproductions will be in 10 communities from April to July, and then in 10 other communities from August to October. Each community will have from seven to 12 images clustered within walking or bike-riding distance. Exact locations are still being determined and, once finalized, will be featured on an interactive map on the DIA’s website, www.dia.org.
2015 Communities
Spring Summer
Birmingham Clarkston 
Fraser Detroit community gardens
Hines Park Detroit Riverfront
Meadowbrook Hall and Oakland University Eastpointe and Roseville
Memphis Farmington and Farmington Hills
Midtown Detroit  Grosse Ile
Ortonville Huron River Trail (Ann Arbor, Dexter, Flat Rock, Milford and Ypsilanti)
Osborn neighborhood, Detroit Macomb Township
West Bloomfield South Lyon
White Lake Wolverine Lake 
Facebook users can follow Inside|Out updates and share their Inside|Out experiences through messages, photos, videos and more on the Inside|Out Facebook page. To use the Inside|Out Facebook page, visit www.facebook.com/dia.insideout and “Like” the page. People can also follow DIA updates on Twitter (@DIADetroit #DIAInsideOut), Instagram (@DIADetroit #DIAInsideOut) and Youtube.

Hours and Admission
Museum hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for ages 6–17, and free for DIA members and residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. For membership information call 313-833-7971.


Planterra launches wedding-in-a-box event planning


For just over 40 years, Planterra Corp. in West Bloomfield has designed, installed, and maintained plant and flower arrangements, largely inside major office buildings throughout metro Detroit. As the business model evolved, the company’s longtime greenhouse at 14 Mile and Drake began to show its age, and it was replaced with a glass-enclosed conservatory that can also be used for special events.

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10 hotels and five restaurants in metro Detroit get latest AAA Four Diamond award

Iridescence Restaurant in Detroit, Rugby Grille in Birmingham, Café Cortina in Farmington Hills, The Lark in West Bloomfield and Cygnus 27 in Grand Rapids have all once again been honored with the AAA’s Four Diamond rating for restaurants, along with newcomer Marais Restaurant in Grosse Pointe. Out of the 16 hotels in Michigan to receive the award, 10 are in the Detroit area. 

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Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital is topic of September Oakland County Planners' Gathering

Registration is now open for Oakland County planners who want to learn more about the positive impact hospitals have on the community. The Oakland County Planners’ Gathering will tour Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital at 6777 W. Maple Road during its quarterly meeting on Friday, Sept. 27 at 11:30 a.m. Henry Ford West Bloomfield Chief Operating Officer MaryClaire Dangel-Palmer will make a presentation, and tours will follow.
Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, a member of Oakland County’s Medical Main Street, is a revolutionary health and wellness hospital and community medical center recognized for its clinical excellence and innovative health services and architecture. The 191-bed, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certified, $360 million hospital promotes mind, body and spirit as essential elements in the healing process.
The hospital boasts its own organic greenhouse and partners with local farms to provide produce for the kitchen. It also offers patient education programs in healthy eating. The all-private patient rooms are designed with Feng Shui principles, featuring curved walls and stained glass windows. Each room overlooks a pond and woodlands, a landscaped atrium, or a green roof. The hospital also has its own “main street” of shops designed with elements of recycled architectural pieces.
The Planners’ Gathering is a quarterly luncheon, networking and speaker series about community development issues. For more than three decades, it has attracted individuals from various backgrounds who wish to learn ways of improving the built and natural environment in their communities. It is hosted by the Planning Group within the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs.
Register online at plannersgathering.eventbrite.com. For more information, contact Julie Skene, 248-858-5437 or skenej@oakgov.com.

About Oakland County Economic Development & Community Affairs
The Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs, under the leadership of County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, is committed to promoting economic vitality, supporting distinct communities and conserving environmental resources through knowledge, cooperation and consultation services. AdvantageOakland.com.
29 West Bloomfield Articles | Page: | Show All
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