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Where did the summer go? It seems like forever ago that I picked my kids up from their last day of school, but at the same time, I’m pretty sure it was just last week that I packed my last lunchbox.

I’m on the fence about back-to-school. I miss my alone time and being able to work uninterrupted. I do not miss the morning routine, folders, papers, cold, germs and everything else that comes with a new school year. Buying school supplies, a first-day outfit and shoes, meeting new friends and catching up with the friends we didn’t see over the summer is fun for me, though. So, I’m torn.

Whatever your back-to-school feelings are, I hope you have a great kick-off to fall. And if you could, please head over to the City News Facebook page and give us a like.


Downtown Community Meeting

Join the next monthly downtown community meeting, which is organized by the DDA Downtown Manager, on Thursday, Sept. 12. This month, Benjamin Ogden of the Welcome Inn Day Center, will speak on the status of homelessness programs in Downtown Royal Oak.

A centralized community calendar for downtown events and programs will also be discussed at the meeting. This calendar is provided by a new Oakland County tourism website that features downtown Royal Oak. Join the growing list of businesses promoting live music performances each week through Live Music Thursdays a community-owned and community-led program to showcase Royal Oak as a live music destination.

Fall Tree Planting to Begin

The Department of Public Services is in the process of staking locations for nearly 350 trees for the fall 2019 tree planting program on the north end of the city.

After trees have been staked, MISS-DIG will field verify that each location does not present conflicting underground utilities. This is critical, so please do not remove the yellow stakes.

Once MISS-DIG performs its inspection, Crimboli Nursery will begin to plant trees at each location with a yellow stake. It will take approximately three to five weeks to plant the trees.

Crews will provide an initial watering, as needed, and subsequent watering. Please do your part if you can, and water the newly planted trees frequently. The newly planted trees may undergo “transplant shock” and lose their leaves. This is not uncommon. Just like any other tree, a strong root system must be established as the temperatures cool and the trees prepare for dormancy during winter.

If you have any questions during the process, feel free to contact Joseph Murphy at 248-246-3285 or email

Please note property owners were provided notice in April of the city’s intent to plant trees in its public right-of-way and their ability to “opt-out” of the planting program. It’s not too late. If you see a yellow stake adjacent to your property and you do not want a tree planted, contact Joseph Murphy.

Civil War Re-Enactment

Save the date for Sept. 14 to witness a fully costumed Civil War re-enactment. The Orson Starr House will be the scene of live period music, musket firing demonstrations and more. Stop by from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to be part of history.

Meet Up and Eat Up Is More Than Food

This summer, Oakland Elementary hosted a program that was new to the district. Meet Up and Eat Up, a federal program that provides free summer meals to those under 18, allowed parents to bring their kids to the school for breakfast and lunch. As attendees started coming, the ‘meet up’ part of the program became just as important as the ‘eat up.’

Wendy Zieleniewski is a paraprofessional at Oakland during the school year and was the site supervisor during the summer meal program. She explained that families came from all around, including neighboring Madison Heights, and even Clinton Township. Some of them came regularly, and some dropped in every once in a while.

“It’s been great,” she said. “I’ve met different families from different schools and cities. I really enjoy the interactions with all of the kids. I think it’s wonderful that the district offers this.”

Families met at Oakland Elementary for more than the meals prepared by district food service, though. Games and crafts, like tie-dying, water balloons, creating garden stones and much more, were also part of the activities during the Meet Up and Eat Up time frame.

Rebecca Calappi

Rebecca Calappi

City News Editor

Every Wednesday at Local Business News we'll feature an independently owned business.

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