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Troy – March 27, 2019

Troy – March 27, 2019

Shred Your Secrets

A Shred Corp. truck will provide on-site shredding for your sensitive documents on Thursday, April 18, from 9 to 11 am in the Aquatic Center parking lot. Shredding is limited to private individuals with up to four paper grocery bags of paper documents. No boxes or large plastic garbage bags please. The fee is $3 per person, $2 for Friends of Troy Seniors members.

Mackinac Island’s Grand Experience

The Troy Recreation Department is offering Mackinac Island’s Grand Experience to individuals age 50 and above. The trip is scheduled for Tuesday, October 1–Friday, October 4, 2019. Fee per person with double occupancy and motor coach is $880 for Residents, $890 for Non-Residents. You can secure a spot with a $200 deposit due by Friday, May 31. Final balance due Friday, August 16.

Trip includes elegant accommodations at Grand Hotel, daily breakfasts and five-course dinners at the hotel, Grand Buffet lunch on day of arrival, champagne reception, baggage handling, round trip ferry ride, and round-trip horse-drawn taxi to hotel. You’ll be lavishly entertained with a horse-drawn carriage tour, lectures, movies, games, bingo, nightly dancing and more.

Additional information, including rates for a drive up on your own option is available at online. Register online or in person at Troy Community Center.

Author Evening at the Troy Community Center

Oakland University was founded in 1957 when Alfred Wilson and Matilda Dodge Wilson donated $2 million and their 1,400-acre estate to Michigan State University to begin a new college in Oakland County. In 1959, the first students enrolled at Michigan State University-Oakland, and the university officially changed its name to Oakland University in 1963.

Come hear all about the history of Oakland University from Dominique Daniel, author of “Oakland University Campus History,” on Wednesday, April 10 from 7 to 9 pm in room 304 and 305 of the Troy Community Center. Daniel is an Associate Professor at Oakland University’s Kresge Library, Humanities Librarian for History and Modern Languages, and Coordinator of Archives and Special Collections. The event is free, but registration is requested. You can register at or by calling 248.524.3534.

Consumer’s Energy: People, Planet & Prosperity

Come hear Patti Poppe, CEO of Consumers Energy, discuss Consumers Energy’s role and commitment to economic development in and around southeastern Michigan at the Troy Chamber’s April Economic Development Forum on Wednesday, April 3, from 8 to 9:30 am at Rehmann. Tickets are free for Troy Chamber members and $10 for future members.

Movie and Pizza Monday

The Troy Parks and Recreation Department Adaptive Recreation Program invites participants 13 and older to come for pizza and “Mary Poppins Returns,” on April 8 at 6:30 pm at the Troy Community Center. Enjoy the magic as Disney’s Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) helps the Banks family remember the joy of being a child. Together with her friend Jack the lamplighter (Lin-Manuel Miranda), fun is brought back to the streets of London in celebration that everything is possible…even the impossible. Cost is $7 or punch card. Aides may purchase pizza for $1 per slice. Please place your order when you check in before pizza is ordered. If you will be arriving late, please call ahead to place a pizza order at 248.990.0029.


Beth Robinson

Beth Robinson

City News Editor
To share your news, announcements, and events, please email
Royal Oak – March 27, 2019

Royal Oak – March 27, 2019

New Coffee and Ice Cream Shop

A new coffee and ice cream shop will open this summer in Royal Oak. Milford-based roaster Proving Grounds Coffee will be moving into the former Gayle’s Chocolates building on South Washington Ave. The two-story building will feature a ground-floor cafe with seating, a stage for live performances, and views of the roasting room. The second floor will be devoted to study space, rentable rooms for conferences and events, and a large common area for families with children. The owners will roast beans on site and add ice cream production at a later date.

Marijuana Engagement and Outreach

On November 6, 2018, Michigan voters approved Proposal 1, creating the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act. This proposal to legalize adult-use (recreational) marijuana was approved by Royal Oak voters by a wide margin of 69 percent to 31 percent. Michigan law allows communities to permit, ban or place restrictions on marijuana-related businesses. The Royal Oak city commission is currently taking steps to study and evaluate allowing marijuana growers, safety compliance facilities, processors, microbusinesses and retailers in Royal Oak. A brief description of the types of marijuana-related facilities can be found here. While researching this issue, the city’s goal is to provide information and receive as much feedback as possible from its residents. Royal Oak asked residents to submit their questions on legalized marijuana. Here’s what you wanted to know.

AARP Age-Friendly Community Kick-Off

The City of Royal Oak has recently joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities. A kick-off to discuss local efforts to make our hometown a better place for all ages will take place on April 4 at 2 pm at the Mahany/Meininger Senior Center.

New Police Station Construction Begins

The construction of Royal Oak’s new police station is slated to break ground this spring. The P11 parking lot (east of the farmers market) is slated to close on Wednesday, March 27 to make way for it. During construction, the farmers market will remain open. Parking will be challenging until the new 11 Mile Road parking deck is opened in June. In the meantime, there will be:

  • Free valet parking on Saturday for the Farmers Market.
  • Large strolling shopping baskets for customers to store while they pull their car around, and volunteers to help customers with curbside loading and unloading.
  • Free parking for Market patrons at Superior Fish (40 spaces) during Market hours on Saturday.
  • 23 new on-street parking spaces on Third Street east of Troy.
  • 20 spaces and additional handicap spaces in the P4 lot, between the library and the police station.
  • Spaces near the 44th District Court, which were previously marked for court staff only, are now available for public use on Saturdays and Sundays. Please read signs carefully as there remain more than a dozen spaces near the court for a private medical practice. These private spaces are not available during market hours.

You can review the site plans and learn more about the police station project at

Nature Society Fundraiser

Senior citizens who live in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties are invited to enjoy a special free day at the Detroit Zoo. Senior Day features live music, tractor train tours, bingo, zookeeper talks and a senior resource area. Tri-county seniors age 62 and older and a caregiver will receive free admission and parking on Saturday, April 24, from 10 am to 3 pm. For more information, visit Detroit Zoo.

Beth Robinson

Beth Robinson

City News Editor
Birmingham – March 27, 2019

Birmingham – March 27, 2019

We’d love to know what you think! After you read this week’s City News, please take a moment to answer some quick questions that you will find at the bottom of this page.

Lisa Brown, Oakland County Clerk/Register, Delivers Services to Birmingham on Thursday

Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Lisa Brown will bring the services of her office to Birmingham Next on Thursday, March 28, from 1:30 to 3 pm, through the popular Local Office Visit program. A wide range of services will be available, including:

  • Free Veterans ID Cards
  • Copies of birth, death and marriage certificates
  • Copies of deeds, mortgages, liens and other property documents
  • Obtain or file a military discharge record
  • Copies of Oakland County Circuit Court documents, including divorce records
  • Business registration or renewals, as well as access to Oakland County’s Assumed Business Names and Co-Partnership database
  • Concealed pistol license applications and renewals
  • Marriage license applications
  • Notary public applications
  • Free copies of the Oakland County Directory

Please visit, or call 248.858.0561 for additional information.

Bringing Sensory Learning into the Classroom and Home

Join Friends of Different Learners for an evening learning about sensory learning at their next meeting on Thursday, April 11, at 7 pm at Birmingham Covington School.

Students learn in many ways. Some do best with information they hear, other by what they see. Sensory learning engages more than one sense at a time. Information can be conveyed through touch and movement as well as hearing and sight. This instruction taps into learning strengths to help form connections and memories. All students can benefit from this kind of learning. For more information visit Friend of Different Learners.

Get to Know Your Muslim Neighbor

Muslim Unity Center and Muslim Parents of Birmingham are hosting a “Get to Know Your Muslim Neighbor” dinner at the Muslim Unity Center, on Wednesday, April 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. In addition to being a vibrant, multi-cultural house of worship, the Muslim Unity Center is an active host, participant and promoter of interfaith events aimed at learning, informal dialogue and deeper mutual understanding and appreciation. For more information, contact


Building a Vibrant Downtown

The Birmingham Shopping District board approved a one-year contract with CC Consulting to help recruit national and regional retailers and help them locate and establish a retail operation in downtown Birmingham. CC Consulting of Bloomfield Hills is a consulting firm specializing in offering retail attraction and has over 25 years of experience working on high profile real estate deals throughout metro Detroit. BSD will work with CC Consulting, using data and analytics provided by retail analytics firm Buxton Co., to proactively pursue potential retailers and make a strong business case for why they would be a great fit in downtown Birmingham.

Groves Senior Seminar

Wylie E Groves High School recently welcomed 2007 graduate Captain Tara Middlebrooks to speak at its annual day-long seminar for senior students, an event designed to introduce almost-graduates to their next steps in the post Groves world.

CPT Tara L.R. Middlebrooks (Roberts) commissioned as an Engineer Officer from the United States Military Academy at West Point in May 2011 where she received a B.S. in Comparative Politics. She has led construction projects across the country and was deployed in February 2013 to Regional Command – East Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

CPT Middlebrooks has an M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri Science and Technology and is currently an M.A. Candidate at Columbia University, studying Social-Organizational Psychology. Beginning August 2019, she will serve as an Instructor in the Behavioral Sciences and Leadership Department at West Point, teaching courses in military leadership, management, and psychology.

Her military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal. She also earned the Airborne Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, the German Proficiency Badge.

CPT Middlebrooks is also a second-generation Groves High School graduate; her parents Gary and Deb Roberts, graduated from Groves in 1975 and 1977, respectively. Before graduating in 2007, she was a member of the National Honors Society and competed on the Varsity Cross-Country and Basketball teams and served as Team Captain for the Varsity Birmingham Unified Lacrosse Team.

The event also included breakfast, an address by Groves teacher of the year Marc West, and workshops on personal, educational and professional topics such as:

  • Art in Detroit/ Funding a Kickstarter Campaign
  • Legal Personal Responsibility for Guys
  • Personal Safety & Personal Responsibility for Women
  • The Secrets of Mind and Body Balance
  • The College Life Panel
  • Money Matters
  • Fraternities & Sororities
Beth Robinson

Beth Robinson

City News Editor
Clawson – March 27, 2019

Clawson – March 27, 2019

Get Rid of Yard Waste

Spring is here and that means compost collection will begin on Wednesday, April 3. To dispose of yard waste, use brown yard waste bags or a yard waste container. Yard waste containers can be no larger than 35 gallons and designated for yard waste only. Stickers are free and available at the Building Department in City Hall. For further information call the Clawson Department of Public Works at 248.288.3222.

A Highly Suspenseful Meal

An internationally bestselling phenomenon, “The Dinner” is the darkly suspenseful, highly controversial tale of two families struggling to make the hardest decision of their lives — all over the course of one meal. Come discuss the book that was made into a major motion picture starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan, Rebecca Hall, and Chloë Sevigny at the Wednesday Afternoon Book Club on April 17, from 1 to 2 pm at the library. Please reserve your copy and register for this free program in the library or by phone at 248.588.5500.

Get Your Absentee Ballot

Want an absentee ballot for the May 7 Special Election? Registered voters don’t need a reason per Prop. 3 passed in November. Stop by the City Clerk’s Office or call 248.435.4500 x 116 for an absentee ballot application.

Hop Over to the Bunny Brunch

Tickets are on sale now for the Bunny Bunch taking place Saturday, April 13 at 11 am. Come enjoy a bunnylicious breakfast of French toast sticks and sausage and Ventriloquist Richard Paul’s hare-raising mystery program, “The Easter Bunnies’ Missing Egg!” It’s fun for all ages. Tickets are $6 per person and must be purchased in advance at Hunter Community Center.

Soccer, Softball, and Baseball, Oh My!

Come out on to the Senior Center Saturday, April 6 from 9 am to 1 pm at Hunter Community Center to buy or sell. There are 50 tables available for rent, so you can sell your own items. Cost is $15 per table, but if you stay until 1 pm you get $5 back! Space is first come, first served, so get your registration form and money in as soon as possible! We will also have baked goods available for sale that day. All proceeds from table rental and food sales will benefit the senior center. If you can help with baking or working the bake sale table, please call 248.583.6700 or sign up in the Senior Center.


Rebecca Calappi

Rebecca Calappi

City News Editor

To share your news, announcements, and events, please email

AAA a Good Fit for Husband-Wife Team

AAA a Good Fit for Husband-Wife Team

AAA a Good Fit for Husband-Wife Team
MARCH 2019
LBN Community Series

When Marcy Galka asked her husband, Jerry, if he had a good life, his answer was, “No.”

Shocked, Marcy looked at him.

When he continued, he said, “I’ve had a great life because of you.”

The Galkas are the general agents at AAA The Auto Club Group in Troy. Jerry Galka has owned the business since 1990. Marcy joined him in the office in 1991.


They started as field agents in offices filled with people, sharing computers and no windows. Jerry became a general agent after building up clients and chose Troy as the location.

Before joining AAA in 1985, Jerry was a manager in the fast food industry. He was debating a career change, and after calculating the benefits and earning potential, AAA looked good. His grandmother also worked for AAA from the 1950s until 1975 in the emergency road services department. Her love of her job sealed the deal, placing the Galkas on the insurance and membership path.

Married for 35 years and business partners for 28, Marcy and Jerry still love to come to work every day.

“I love the people. I can’t imagine not seeing them all the time,” said Marcy. “I’ve had clients for 30 years. I’ve watched their kids grow up and now their grandkids are coming in and getting insurance from me. It’s like family. I enjoy coming to work every day. If I won the lotto today, I’d be here the next day.”
While they are in the business of selling memberships and insurance, they say they truly are in it for their clients.

“I love meeting with customers, talking with them, finding out about their lives, their culture, how we can help them,” said Marcy. “When you think about it, insurance is pretty important to have. If you don’t have the right coverage, that can be devastating to your family.”

“I love the people. I can’t imagine not seeing them all the time…I’ve had clients for 30 years. I’ve watched their kids grow up and now their grandkids are coming in and getting insurance from me.”
Working together, Jerry and Marcy have complementary personalities; he’s more business, she’s warmer. It works for them.

And while they’re opposites in the personality department, they have a common goal: Provide excellent, 24/7 customer service.

Steve Gottlieb, 64, has been with the Galkas for nearly 40 years. Gottlieb was with another insurance company decades ago when he got a ticket. His agent told his rates would have to go up.

“It was doubling. I said, ‘Oh my gosh that’s crazy. I can’t afford that.’ AAA was the first number in the phone book,” said Gottlieb.

“They were just an insurance agent. What happens is, they take the time to get to know you. In the process, we got to know each other. She was the one who said I should apply to be on the Clawson Chamber of Commerce. It was good fortune that we got to meet each other.”

Gottlieb is a recently retired teacher from Troy schools. He now owns a real estate office franchise.

“They do the job. I own commercial buildings and once they write the commercial insurance, they’re content. Marcy will call me and say, ‘We think you should try this.’ They reduced my costs dramatically on everything,” said Gottlieb.

Marcy tells of a time she spend the night at the office during a big snowstorm, so she could be sure someone was in to answer calls in the morning.

Additionally, the pair gives their cell numbers to members, so they can be reached at all hours.

“They’ll hunt you down,” said Jerry. “We get calls in the middle of the night.”

Overall, Marcy and Jerry love what they do and enjoy the people they work with.

“It’s a good company, good brand, well-recognized, and they stand behind their product,” said Marcy. “We’ve always felt good about getting people their policies.”

AAA The Auto Club Group
125. E Maple Road
Troy, MI 48083