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Elements Jewelry Studio in Royal Oak Celebrates 30 Years of E.P.I.C. Creations

Elements Jewelry Studio in Royal Oak Celebrates 30 Years of E.P.I.C. Creations

Elements Jewelry Studio in Royal Oak Celebrates 30 Years of E.P.I.C. Creations




LBN Community Series
Royal Oak

Brendan Sherwood, owner of Royal Oak’s Elements Jewelry Studio, is a very good listener.

Stepping forward from his workshop full of jewelers’ tools, precious and alloyed metals,  intricately carved wax wedding ring molds; medallions-in-progress for the D.I.A.’s Founders Society; pendants, bracelets and earrings being re-worked and re-fashioned from heirlooms and family gifts; production pieces for golf courses, colleges and yacht clubs; and one-of-a-kind works of wearable art he’s created from rare stones or jewels, Sherwood smiles as he talks about his business.



“This shop,” he says, “is not about me and what I do.”

“What sets this shop apart,” he explains, “is the diversity of what we do for our clients. We listen, and then we put principles of design behind what our clients want, what they like, what resonates with them.”

“There is no sales counter here,” Sherwood continues. “We’re not here to sell you something. People come here to have things made, and they always say how much they enjoy the process, the experience, of co-creating.”

Working with their clients, Elements has made rings inspired by Detroit’s Guardian Building, Catalan architecture, and even the video game “Zelda.”


“It’s personally fulfilling for our clients to be able to design such special items for their loved ones,” says Sherwood. “One of the engagement rings we designed has a side view that only the wearer can see, like a little crown with diamonds at the base of each prong. The wearer says ‘it melts her heart every time it catches her eye.’”

“Another client, a recent widow, came in to have her wedding ring made into a necklace. She shared how much the personal and touching process – including some tears — meant to her, how great the staff was, and how much she loves the necklace. We are glad to have so many stories like these, and we love working toward each one.”

Sherwood and his two employees use many design aids.

“We use the right technique for the right project,” Sherwood says, “including hand-carved models, CAD (computer-aided design) programs, rapid prototyping with CNC (custom machining) milling, laser welding and 3-D printing.”


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“I was always encouraged to be making things,” Sherwood shares. “My father was an architect and my mother a decorator.”

Sherwood studied sculpture at the College for Creative Studies.

“Metals worked well for me as a medium,” he says. “After graduation, I worked for local jewelers and gained practical skills while developing artistically.”

“I was not interested in the art fair or gallery life. I wanted a shop that services the community, where clients could walk in and have help in creating their visions.”

Thirty years ago, Sherwood opened Elements and implemented what he calls the E.P.I.C. Principle: design that embodies engagement, passion, integrity and collaboration.

“With those four elements of operation – and the physical elements of metals and stones – we have so many interactions on so many different levels,” says Sherwood.

“Whether we’re making a 20th-anniversary ring embedded with twenty stones or creating a personalized   memento of a special achievement, the work we do is really a pleasure. And we hope to be here for another thirty years.”

512 South Center Street
Royal Oak, MI 48067











The Riviera Cinema: Small-Town Theatre Adds Big-City Amenities

The Riviera Cinema: Small-Town Theatre Adds Big-City Amenities

The Riviera Cinema:
Small-Town Theatre Adds Big-City Amenities

LBN Community Series

The Riviera Cinema’s elegantly lit sign and awning adorned with sepia-toned images of high-class theatres hearkens back to the good old days of theatre-going. People dressed up for an evening show or weekend afternoon matinee and perhaps splurged a bit on treats from the concession stand.



While movies are a bit more casual these days, movie-goers’ quest for advanced theatre amenities ­− heated recliner seats, large-format screens, online ticketing − has grown. The Riviera Cinema, close to Nine Mile and Shiawassee Road in Farmington Hills, has been known for its luxury seating and bar since opening in 2014 in the former Dipson Theatre. Now it’s making a name for itself by adding three new screens, one of which is an Emax large-format screen with Dolby Atmos sound.

Last spring, The Riviera broke ground in the space between its current building and the new Edge Fitness Club (formerly Kohl’s), with hopes of finishing in October or early November for the onslaught of fall and winter blockbuster movies.


Renovations include an Emax screen in an auditorium with nearly 200 luxury recliner seats, plus a private screening room, another movie auditorium, a party room for special events and additional restrooms. The three new screens will bring The Riviera up to 12 total movie screens, adding nearly 400 seats for a total of  more than 1,100 luxury recliner seats.

In 2017, The Riviera became a “powered by Emagine” theatre, bringing Emagine’s total Michigan movie theatres up to 11, including one other “powered by” theatre, The Patriot Cinema in Grosse Pointe Farms. Emagine also operates theatres in Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin.

“This location feels very homey, very small town,” said Melissa Boudreau, chief marketing officer of Emagine Entertainment. “We like it to feel like this is your neighborhood theatre. But at the same time, we’re adding the latest amenities to bring it up-to-date.”

In addition to Dolby Atmos surround sound in the Emax theatre which “really does make a difference,” according to Boudreau the three new auditoriums will include a fourth generation of luxury recliner seats. “They’ve really found ways to make them even more comfortable,” said Boudreau, who noted that the new seats will not be heated initially, but that amenity will be added soon.

The party room and private screening room are typical Emagine amenities that will now be available at The Riviera. The screening room is not just for current movies, but for any media guests would like to show, including personal DVDs and presentations. Available for rent at a rate of $450 for two to three hours, the small auditorium is popular with corporate customers and other guests who want a private experience.

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“It feels very exclusive,” Boudreau said. “You can do whatever you want in there. It’s really fun. It has all the amenities of a home theatre, but you don’t have to clean up.”

The renovations will not only attract more customers − especially movie buffs seeking the latest movie technology for a better experience − but will accommodate those turned away when seats sell out. “It will help us expand our capacity,” said Boudreau. “On certain weekends and with certain shows, we’re selling out.”

Boudreau mentioned a few of the upcoming blockbuster movies Riviera is looking forward to screening. The Riviera’s Emax theatre may not be ready for “Joker,” opening Oct. 4, but possibly for Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” on Oct. 10 and likely for “Terminator: Dark Fate” on Nov. 1. Nov. 15 marks the opening of a local interest movie, “Ford V Ferrari,” starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale. The Riviera is also looking forward to seeing sell-out crowds for the long-awaited “Frozen” sequel, opening Nov. 22.

“All of these will play well on the large screen,” Boudreau said. “Frozen II will probably sell out all weekend.” And of course there’s another Star Wars movie coming for die-hard fans on December 20.

“People can go on our email list or social media to find out when these movies come out,” Boudreau said, mentioning Facebook and Twitter as possible sources for Emagine movie news.

Boudreau said other plans are in the works for a renovated and expanded concession area at The Riviera. There will be new menu items, plus an updated look to the area, she said. It’s not certain when this work will begin, but it will likely be next year, after the prime movie season.

The Riviera looks forward to being able to accommodate more guests and attract die hard movie-goers with updated technology. And while this is also true other movie theatres, Boudreau wanted to stress that guests can purchase their tickets online before coming to the theatre. Beyond the security of knowing you have tickets, there’s one great perk of buying online through Emagine: “You can choose your seat,” she said.

30170 Grand River Avenue
Farmington Hills, MI  48336












Farmington – August 26, 2019

Farmington – August 26, 2019

City of Farmington Seeks Members for Three of its Boards

The City of Farmington is looking to fill vacancies on its following boards and commissions:

  • The Emergency Preparedness Commission meets the first Monday of every month at Farmington Hills City Hall.
  • The Historical Commission meets on the fourth Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at Farmington City Hall.
  • The Zoning Board of Appeals meets the first Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. at Farmington City Hall.

Those interested in any of these opportunities should fill out the application and return it to Farmington City Hall: 23600 Liberty Street; or email it to

Save the Date for City Open House

One of the most anticipated events of the year is on the horizon. The city-wide open house is slated for Sept. 22, from noon to 4 p.m. at city hall. Come enjoy the fun with Dozer the Police Dog, face painting, crafts, hot dogs and more.

Farmington Public Schools Launch “Adopt a Teacher”

Farmington Public Schools launched a new program this year called “Adopt a Teacher,” which supports its newest staff members. The goal of the program is to support new teachers to the district.

Due to the nature of education, teachers often spend their own money on books and supplies for their students and their classrooms. This program hopes to alleviate some of the strain put on teachers, especially those new to teaching. The hope is to have retiring teachers and staff members consider donating some of their supplies to incoming new teachers/staff members, creating a self-sustaining program. FPS also hopes community members and local organizations will aid in donations.

“Adopt a Teacher” plans on working closely with the FPS Teacher Mentorship Program that is already in place in the District. The two programs aim to ensure that new teachers to the District, and to the teaching profession, feel supported.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in learning more about this program, please reach out to Kendra Montante, communications coordinator for FPS, at or 248-489-3350.

VegMichigan Heads to Michigan Sept. 15

VegMichigan is gearing up for the 4th Annual Free Festival on Sept. 15, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Riley Park.

All are invited to come and enjoy some of the best plant-based food Michigan has to offer from local restaurants, specialty food vendors and food trucks. Plus, if patrons can also explore downtown Farmington as local area restaurants will offer vegan specials, all within a short walking distance of the festival.

In addition to being a delight to the stomach, VegFest is music to your ears, too. Enjoy favorite songs on the spacious concert lawn and feel free to bring your picnic blanket and lawn chairs.

Rebecca Calappi

Rebecca Calappi

City News Editor
Ferndale – August 26, 2019

Ferndale – August 26, 2019

Now Accepting Applications for Temporary Mayoral Appointment

With Dave Coulter’s resignation as mayor following his appointment as Oakland County Executive, Ferndale City Council will now consider applicants to fill his vacancy.

The designated appointee will serve as Ferndale’s mayor through the end of the year—which coincides with the end of Coulter’s term—after which the candidate elected in the Nov. 5 election will assume the position and begin a new two-year term.

To be considered for this temporary mayoral appointment, complete the digital application. Resumes and/or letters of intent are also encouraged and can be sent directly to now through Sept. 3 at 4 p.m.

City Council will review the applications and is expected to make an appointment recommendation at their regular Sept. 9 meeting.

If you have questions, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 248-546-4366 or email


Marching Dead Coming to Ferndale

Start training for The Marching Dead fun run and 5k benefitting the Ferndale Marching Band. The race will be held Saturday, Oct. 12, in the haunted halls for Ferndale High School. Early bird registration ends Sept. 20, which guarantees your T-shirt before the race. After Sept. 20, race T-shirts will be available Oct. 30. Register now for $30, or the day of the race for $35.

Funky Ferndale Art Fair Coming Sept. 20

If you’re in the market for original pieces of art, save the date for the Funky Ferndale Art Fair on Sept. 20-22. Funky Ferndale Art Fair, while still a high-quality juried art show, showcases art that challenges the mind and sparks the imagination — artwork that does not sit quietly, but invites a reaction.

Bakers Needed

Calling all bakers for The Great Ferndale Cake Off: Season 2 (2019 Member Appreciation). Admission is open to all current Friends of the Ferndale Library members. Click here to submit as a baker.

If you are not a current member, you can sign up right now or join the Friends on the day of the event, which is Sunday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m. Baking contestants have to sign up by Sept. 15.

Rebecca Calappi

Rebecca Calappi

City News Editor
Rochester – August 26, 2019

Rochester – August 26, 2019

New City Phone Numbers

The City has updated to a digital phone service and some of our numbers have been changed. The following numbers have been updated:

City Hall: 248 733-3700
Fire Dept.: 248 841-1439
City Hall Fax: 248 963-2105
Fire Dept. Fax: 248 963-2105

Save Time Paying for Your Water Bill

Everyone is busy, so it’s nice to have options for paying bills. Now, City of Rochester Water and Sewer services has an Automatic Payment Option, which can save time and money.

Water bills will be paid on time, every time, directly from a checking account. No stamps are required. Participants will still receive a copy of the bill, along with an email, before the due date, so there will be time to ask questions before payment is processed.

To sign up for this program, click on the “Automatic Water & Sewer Billing & Paperless Billing Form” and print the application. Complete it by hand, being sure to date and sign it, then mail or deliver it to City Hall. Be sure to include a voided check. The automated payment will apply to your next quarterly bill.


Transportation Voucher Program for Those with Limited Mobility

Oakland Community Health Network, Freedom Road Transportation, and Rural Transportation Voucher Program are introducing a free mileage reimbursement program for older adults, veterans and people with disabilities who are seeking transportation to behavioral health and/or substance use treatment services.

This program assists those who live in the rural areas of Oakland County, who do not have Medicaid coverage and do not have access to public transportation in their area. Individuals on this program identify their own volunteer driver, which can include but is not limited to a family member, friend, someone they know within their community, etc.

The mileage reimbursement rate is 58 cents per mile up to 100 miles each month. This reimbursement is not considered income and will not affect any other benefits.

Questions? Or want to see if you qualify? Contact Margaret Topij at 248-418-6209 or For more information, please visit


Inspiration and Plagiarism: How to Seek One While Avoiding the Other

As young writers develop their craft, it’s easy to slip and dive headlong into plagiarism.

Many young writers struggle with this idea, but no one wants to be hampered with fear of prosecution.

In this workshop, writers can practice the art of careful borrowing, of drawing inspiration and of branching off of that work to create something that is wholly and unquestionably their own.

Sign up teens for the Wednesday, Sept. 11, or Thursday, Sept. 12, seminar at Club Educate, 108 East Second Street in Rochester.

Rebecca Calappi

Rebecca Calappi

City News Editor