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Monday, July 30, 2012

Scenes from the Crit...

If you missed this weekend’s Milford Crit; you missed a good time and some good bicycle racing. If you just didn’t know what a Criterium is all about, here are some scenes that I shot at the event.

The racing is fast and furious, especially on the last lap. The turns are especially exciting when the pack is bunched up. Enjoy this short YouTube video and plan on attending next year’s Milford Crit.

You can actually get fairly close to the action at a Crit and when the bikes go through that corner at speed it’s a little tlike that NASCAR shot where rhe cars are zooming by – you hear it and feel it. So, if you didn't make it to this year's Crit this video will give you a taste of the actioj that yiou missed. See you next year!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Be on the lookout for an idiot...

Over the weekend ignorance made an ugly appearance in Milford. Some disgruntled person without the intelligence to figure out a positive way to channel what is apparently a large load of hate against one of the local candidates for office took out that hate on his campaign signs with a spray paint can. I sincerely hope they catch this miscreant and prosecute him/her to the fullest. Hopefully the perpetrator  will be required to pay for all of the damaged campaign signs.

There are ways that people of any intelligence at all can express their displeasure with a candidate. The most obvious way is to work to help another candidate elected. People of lower intelligence resort to things like heckling at campaign rallies or speeches; or perhaps just emailing a rant or two to the candidate. Really ignorant people resort to physical acts like the spray painting of campaign signs aor the theft of those signs.  

So if you know who the low-life is who did this deed over the weekend, let the Milford Police know. Destruction of campaigns signs is against the law. Idiots like this will be spray painting graffiti or racial slurs on building next . They need professional help and a trip to the woodshed. Usually people who are this stupid are also dumb enough to like to brag about their vandalism, so keep an ear out for a fool and his words.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Let's all get to the Crit...

There are lots of things to do this weekend in the Milford area; however, only one is a must see spectator event – The Milford Crit. Milford is fortunate to be hosting its fourth Criterium on the streets downtown and through Central Park. Criteriums (Crits for short) are high speed bike races that are usually held on relatively short tracks in urban settings. Crits are very big in Europe and are gaining favor here, since they give the spectators more of a chance to see the riders and the race progressing than longer road courses. They also allow the spectators to walk the course and see the race from various different views. The Milford Crit course is .92 miles and laid out along the entire downtown area – to see the course map, click here.

Crits involve high speed s and the occasional big wreck at sharp corners as everyone in the pack tries to get the best position for the turn. The race usually involves a big pack of riders, with perhaps an occasional break-away boy one or a few riders. There is drafting involved and lots of strategy by the riders. Then there is the sprint to the finish, which is sort of like the last lap of a close NASCAR race.  All the while, the spectators are only a few feet away from the activity, so you get great views of all of the action.

The event will also have various cycling vendors setting up shop to sell cycling clothing and bicycle racing parts. There will be refreshment stations, too. The event will kick off with three fun races for kids in three age groups. The younger kids will race down Main St. The older kids ( 11 to 14 years old) will get to make a lap of the actual race course. All kids who race must wear a CPSC bicycle helmet and there will be a waiver to sign. Click here for more details on the kids race. There’s even a Healthy Lifestyles Expo on Main Street in the CarQuest Parking lot, presented by DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, with representatives from various health and fitness clubs, local bike shops, and even a Farmer’s Market.

The Milford Crit is special again this year because it is also the Michigan State Championship for Criterium riders. There are over $5,900 in prizes for the winners of various classes and races. The race is presented by the Huron Valley Athletic Club and is held under a permit from the US Cycling organization. So come on out to Milford on Sunday for some exciting bicycle racing. For all of the information about this must see event, click here to go to their Web site. Your mantra for this weekend should be “Let’s all git to the Crit.”

Thursday, July 26, 2012

There's something for everybody this weekend...

There are 11 events or opportunities to do something in the Milford/Highland area between now and Sunday night. If you’re an active, outdoors type there is the family Olympics in Highland and Stand Up Board races Saturday and canoe and kayak races in Kensington Park on Sunday, also Sunday there’re 5K runs and walks in Highland.
For sports spectators, there’ the Milford Crit bicycle races onthe streets of Milford on Sunday. Exciting bike races with spills and thrills enough for everyone.

For music lovers there’s the Concert in the Park tonight in Central Park and Friday Night Live at the Center St Pavilion. There are also programs with bugs and snakes for the kids out at Kensington. Find out the times and other information for all of these events at There’s always something happening in the Huron Valley.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

For something completely different...

I went to the Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting ceremony at the Blue Grill in Milford last Wednesday (Co-owner Marianne Mansour in the black top is holding the big scissors, with Chef Steve Maneve just behind her) and I’ve  been meaning to write about it ever since. I’m reminded of the old Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, in which they used the line “And now for something completely different…”

The Blue Grill is something completely different for Milford and perhaps for most places.  The restaurant is the achievement of a dream by owners Dimitri and Marianne Mansour. The food theme is definitely Mediterranean but the focus is on fresh and fast.  Everything is fresh and to the extent possible organic. Everything is build your own, too; with a progression as you order that starts with a choice of how you want to eat – in a pita wrap, a toasted pita wrap or rice bowl  - and progresses through choices of meats, toppings, dressings and sides. There are also great salads offered as sides or entrees.  By the time you work your way down the line to the register you have a delicious meal awaiting you. Of course there’re dessert choices, too, with the Mediterranean favorite baklava as you would expect, plus rice pudding and cinnamon pita chips.. A choice of bottled water or soft drinks finishes off the selection process. I’ve posted the menu so you can get a feel for the choices.

Owner Dimitri Mansour brought many of the family receipts from his grandmother’s kitchen outside Athens, Greece; however, there are also foods that reflect the entire Mediterranean area from Egypt to Turkey. Chef Steve Maneve manages the day-to-day operation of the restaurant and can be seen behind the counter serving up the fresh offerings during peak times.

Many will just carry out their fresh made orders; however, there are several tables inside the restaurant and a few out on the sidewalk, plus an events room that can be used for groups or private parties.  The Blue Grill is open from 11 am until 8 pm every day. You can see and read more about the restaurant on its Facebook page. You may call them at 248-684-4545.

So, if you’re visiting Milford (or live in the area) and want to try something “completely different” for lunch or dinner, stop in at the Blue Grill for some fresh Mediterranean food.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Going ad free...

At one time I added a bunch of Google ads, thinking that I might earn a little off this blog or that having Google ads somehow made the blog look more impressive. Neither one is true. I got nothing from the ads and they were just distractions and space hogs. So today I removed them. I'm sure this will not wiggle the neddle at all on the Google revenues meter. Apparently they weren't making anything off this blog either.

So hopefull readers who follow what Ipost here will now be able to focus on just reading and enjoying the content and not worrying about any ads.

You can't fail if you don't try...

“Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.” (Victor Kiam) from Jack’s Winning Words, my favorite daily blog.

Apparently Victor Kiam was an optimist who believed in the power of positive thinking. We certainly have ample opportunities to apply this tidbit of positive thinking in our daily real estate lives. I suppose that as long as you’re down there (having fallen on your face) you could stop and smell the roses or admire the tenaciousness of an ant dragging something bigger than itself back to the nest; however, the best thing to do is probably to jump back up and try again at the thing that you just failed at – perhaps with a slightly different approach.  One doesn’t, after all, want to keep trying the exact thing over and over and expect different results each time. That’s insanity.

Kiam’s point was to stay positive and keep moving forward in the face of setbacks. It might also have been used to motivate someone to try and try again, instead of being frozen by fear of failure. I believe that there is another, more modern saying about that – If you’re’ not failing at something on a regular basis, you’re not trying hard enough - Stephen Kaufer, of Trip Advisor.

It is certainly more comfortable to settle into a safe daily routine that has few opportunities for failure; however, that is in itself a sure-fire receipt for long term failure. Taking risks, both personal and business risks, and stretching to try new things or new approaches to old things is the only sure path to growth as a person and in your business.

So go out and fall on your face today. You’ll be moving forward!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Reach out, I'll be there...

I started my day with this little gem from my favorite blog, Jack’s Winning  Words - “When you reach out, the chances are pretty good that someone will reach back.” (Cheryl Richardson)

Jack went on to site a memory from the old Lucile Ball show I Love Lucy were Lucy and Ethel sang the song Friendship to each other, with the line from the song, “ If you’re ever in a jam, here I am.”

As I thought about it, it occurred to me that men seem to have much more of a problem reaching out in times of need than women. I guess it’s a macho guy thing to “suck it up” and hold things in, rather than reaching out for help. Of cours,e some women keep things in too.

The image that flashed through my mind was from one of those TV commercials about depression – people sitting alone in a depressed state of mind.  There may be drugs to help with that, but I suspect that being able to reach out and having someone reach back to you would do as much good as many of those drugs.

I also thought about how often we may miss opportunities to reach back to others.  How often do we walk around someone who is obviously hurting to avoid getting sucked into their despair?  Do we sometimes avoid making eye contact with someone who is desperately seeking someone to talk to, because we have other things to do? I also wonder sometimes how many lonely old people sit staring out the window of their assisted living rooms wishing that someone would stop in for a chat.

I’ve also noticed, as I get older and a tiny bit wiser, that those who do respond; those who make the effort to reach back, seem to be as rewarded for the experience as those who were reaching out. There is a reward here on earth, as well as in heaven, I suspect, for caring enough to reach back to someone who needs help.

So keep an eye out today and every day for those whose glance in your direction is really a cry for help. For many it is hard to verbalize the request for help, but you can see it in body language and in the eyes. See if you can turn a tear into a twinkle in someone’s eyes today.   

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The lost passtime of porch sitting...

This article originally was written for my July-August Newsletter, which I print and send out to abourt 350 past customers and people whom I’ve met one way or another in my real estate career. Although lots of people like to read blogs on-line many of my Newsletter readers tell me they prefer to have a paper newsletter that they can put on the nightstand and read a little at a time.

We are fortunate to live in a house with porches. I have a big, wrap-around porch on the front of the house and a smaller “sun porch” on the back side. My historic home was built in 1885, but the porches were likely added later. There was a time when sitting out on your front porch and watching people go by was considered a nice pastime, especially on lazy summer afternoons.

As a society, we’ve sort of lost touch with that pastime it seems. Perhaps the pace of our lives has become such that we don’t feel that we have time for such an indulgence; but I suspect that air conditioning is mainly to blame. People move inside, close up the house and turn on the air when it gets too warm. I’ll admit that I do, too. Big front porches sort of fell out of favor as a design feature sometime in the 60’s. There have been a few "retro-look" developments that brought back the front porch in an attempt to recreate the look and feel of old neighborhoods. There's one in Novi that I drive past occasionally and another down in Plymouth that I've shewed houses in.

On those days in the Spring and Fall (and on occasion in the summer) when it’s not too hot, it’s still great to be able to go out to the front porch (which is screened-in to keep the bugs away) and just sit there and read or watch the world go by. I’ll admit also that I installed an overhead fan on my porch, so I can create a breeze when none exists.

Our porch is big enough to entertain on, with room for both of our children and all of the grandchildren when they come to visit. We have to drag a few chairs out for those occasions, but everybody has a place to sit and the grandkids still have lots of room to play. There’s even an old fashion porch swing on which we keep a large stuffed teddy bear.

On the south side of the front porch we’ve put a nice little table where the grandkids can sit and color or maybe have a snack. In the corner by the front door is our little menagerie—two giraffes, a camel, a hippo and an elephant. The grandkids love those, too.

So, if you happen to be strolling by my house and see me out there, wave and say hi. I might even invite you up to “sit a spell”; maybe even have a beer; just don’t feed the animals.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Take time to care and the rest will take care of itself...

“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” (Theodore Roosevelt) – from the Jack’s Winning Words blog. I love much of what Jack (Pastor John Freed) writes in his daily blog, which is always based upon some quote or saying that he has found. Jack puts a religious or life lesson spin on the quotes, but I find many of them to be applicable to my real estate practice. While the post today is aimed primarily towards other real estate professionals it is also a reflection of how I try to run my day-to-day real estate business.

Today’s quote from Teddy Roosevelt is certainly true in real estate. I’ve heard of too many Realtors® whose listing appointment presentations are basically “me, me, me” soliloquies, when in fact they should be “you, you, you” oriented discussions about the needs of the seller. Perhaps some agents have become too jaded or full of themselves to care about the clients. Too much success has a way of clouding one’s view of the world and pushing humility off to the side. I recall Mohammed Ali’s “I am the greatest” rants after he won the heavyweight championship.

Real estate sales are often very personal and emotional events for the sellers. The reason for the sale may be something very sensitive to the seller, especially in these times of high distressed sales and high divorce rates. I believe It’s essential for the Realtor take the time to understand those reasons and to treat the emotions involved with the care and respect that they deserve. To the seller the house is not just a house, a product to be sold; it is their home and likely full of memories and emotional baggage, either good or bad. Even people who appear to be quite ready to move on might need a little time to reflect on the time that they’ve spent in the house or the neighborhood.

Taking time to care about those emotions and memories and showing that you care will do more good than throwing down six months’ worth of newspaper ads to show how good and expensive your marketing efforts are. Taking time to explore some of those memories with the seller is often more valuable than showing her ten pages of sold listing sheets in your brag book.  A few moments of quiet listening can be more valuable than ½ an hour of you prattling on about how many designations you have or what awards you’ve won.

So, take time to listen and take time to care. Care about the memories that the seller has. Care about the events that have led up to the need to sell; and care about what’s next in life for the seller. Once you show that you care; then, you’ll have all the time that you need to show the things that prove that you are also capable of doing the job.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Not too fast, not too slow...just right!

“Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.” (Wyatt Earp) – from the blog Jack’s Winning Words. Go there to find out who said this first in the 4th Century BC.

If Wyatt Earp had been a Realtor those words would have served him well, too. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the “Time is of the essence” nature of real estate that we lose focus on the need for accuracy. There is another saying that applies from the traffic enforcement people – “Speed kills” – that may apply to real estate transactions, too.  

There is certainly nothing wrong with making sure that things move along at an expeditious pace; however, all too often pushing things along too fast results in something being overlooked or not done properly. Sometimes the things that get messed up because of going too fast can be easily corrected, perhaps an Addendum that wasn’t signed or some other documentation issue. However, sometimes rushing to get a deal closed can result in overlooking something serious that you just didn’t have time to check out properly. Usually that’s something that you assumed someone else was responsible to check and they didn’t. (Making assumptions is a bigger potential problem than excess speed)

These days it’s not unusual to hear complaints about how slow the mortgage approval process has become, even on conventional mortgages; however, there’s a hidden benefit to that slowdown. It has afforded all of us more time to make sure that the rest of the process is done accurately. How many Realtors use that extra time to make sure that things are being done accurately is what separates the really good agents from the rest. It’s not how fast you can make mistakes; it is how few mistakes you make that matters.

So, call me about your real estate needs. I’ll handle things as fast as is accurately possible.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Will short sales be derailed by gridlock in Congress?

It is an understatement to say that we have an almost totally dysfunctional Congress right now. The combination of extreme polarization of positions by the two parties and election year political posturing has resulted in almost total gridlock. Both parties share the blame for this mess, as both have moved themselves further and further away from any middle ground and the ability to compromise to get any business done on behalf of the American people. It is debatable whether this state of affairs is representative of the state of the nation or not. Let’s just leave it that it’s a shame and a mess.

One of the biggest issues that this non-functional body has to supposedly decide this year has to do with taxes – whether to extend the various taxes or tax cuts that are due to expire at the end of the year. Rather than any thoughtful discussion of the merits of any of the taxes or cuts involved, the “debate” (if one can call it that) has devolved into campaign sloganeering and name calling. Typical stuff in today’s Washington.

Lost in the calliope of bluster from both sides is the fate of a little Act of Congress that is the cornerstone of the short sale business in real estate – The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007. This act, which was extended in 2008 by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, provides protection from taxation on the loss incurred by the bank for home short sales. Basically it protects the home seller from being given a 1099 Statement on the amount that the bank had to forgive in order to let the short sale happen. Prior to this Act, home seller would receive that 1099 and be responsible for paying taxes on that amount, just as if it was ordinary income to them for that year. The so-called “Phantom Income” from the sale was treated the same way as a withdrawal from a non-qualified IRA – as if you had received a bonus at work and now Uncle Sam wants his cut.

Obviously, having to pay taxes on money that you never really received was and is onerous to home owners/seller; so, the expected consequence if this tax law is allowed to expire will be a drastic reduction in short sales. That will undoubtedly have the effect of increasing foreclosures, since a short sale is a last resort before foreclosure for many sellers and that would likely throw the whole real estate market for a backward loop into the doldrums again.

So call or write your Congressman and tell them – “Get off your duffs and get to work for me!” Tell them that we can’t afford to let the real estate market slip back into recession while they fiddle around in TV sound bites doing nothing. There needs to be another extension of The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 before the end of this year. Then they can get back to the mud-slinging and political posturing over what, if any, portion of the so-called “Bush Tax Cuts” to extend and whether or not to completely fail in their elected duties and let the mandated automatic tax cuts of the Budget Control Act occur in January of 2013.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Granny's Attic Sale a Success...

The Granny’s Attic Sale that the Milford Historical Society (MHS) held last Friday and Saturday was a big success. We sold lots of stuff; however, we also had lots of stuff left over and actually had more donations coming in each day. So, we’ve decided to have a Granny’s Garage Sale during the Friday and Saturday of the upcoming Milford Memories Festival. The sale will be on the front lawn of the Milford Historical Museum again. The times will probably be about the same as last weekend 9 am until 4 pm each day; but check in at the Milford Historical Web site –  - as we get closer to Milford Memories for details and the times of the sale. Proceeds from the sales go to support the mission of the MHS.

The recent Summer Palooza on Main St was a miniature dress rehearsal for the big show – Milford Memories. The Milford Memories Festival, coming up on August 13, 14 &15, is rated one of the best in the country by the vendors themselves, so it brings out the best arts and crafts vendors. It has also become a must attend summer tradition for thousands of Michigan people from surrounding areas. There will be lots of added events and things for the whole family going on during Milford Memories, so plan to spend a whole day in Milford during that weekend. For more on the upcoming  Milford Memories Festival click here.

In the interim there are lots of things going on in Milford and Highland and the surrounding areas. For an up-to-date calendar of events in the area go to and look at the Upcoming Community Events. There is just no excuse to be bored this summer in the Huron Valley.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Don't miss Granny's Attic

When you come out for the Summer Palooza in downtown Milford today and tomorrow, don’t miss the Granny’s Attic Sale being run on the front lawn of the Milford Historical Museum at 124 E. Commerce Rd, just one block east of Main Street in Milford. The sale is run by Duane Freitag, a local antiques dealer and member of the Milford Historical Society. Duane makes his living doing estate sales and dealing in antiques. During the course of the year he assembles quite an eclectic collection of items from those estates and donates them to the Milford Historical Society for the Granny’s Attic Sale.

The sale isn’t like a typical garage sale. There are no clothes or baby clothes, just household items, furniture and antiques and collectibles. For more information on the sale and to see pictures of some of this year’s sale items click here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Is the time right for you?

From the Jack’s Winning Words blog comes this gem - “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” (Napoleon Hill) Hill was one of the original writers of the value of positive thinking. “Believe it, and you can achieve it.”

If there was ever a saying that we, as Realtors, need to get across to potential sellers it is that one. Too many seem to be frozen by the wait for just the right time. For a long while it was waiting until the value decline stopped. Well, it has stopped in most areas and values are now inching back up. So, now, too many are waiting for the value to come back to where it was. That will be a long wait – at least a decade or more in most areas.

We Realtors tend to think that people aren’t listing because they are underwater on their mortgages. Many would-be seller aren’t underwater at all; they just can’t let go of the “value” that they thought they had at the peak of the market. So my advice is “Let it go.” You need to get real and let go of the mental picture that you are clinging to of the value of the place at the peak of the real estate bubble. Your house has lost 25-40% (depending upon the area) of its peak value. It is what it is today. Right now there are buyers out looking. If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines waiting for things to be just right, this is as close as it’s going to get in quite a while. Take to heat the message of Napoleon Hill – “The time will never be just right.”

In fact, the time is as right as it can get, right now in many areas. The foreclosure inventory has been depleted in many market areas, with fewer new foreclosures happening currently. We have flipped over to a seller’s market here in my area, with too many buyers chasing too few listed homes. Multiple offers and offers above asking price are the norm now. Sellers are selling faster and getting market price for their homes right now; they just won’t get 2006 market price. So, if you’ve been delaying your plans to make that retirement move or that move to downsize your life, now is the time to take action. Call your local Realtor and explore the market value of your home with him/her. The time is right to take action.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Take time to dream...

From the Jack’s Winning Words blog comes this inspirational piece of advice - “You have to dream before your dreams can come true.” (Abdul Kalam)

How true. Sometimes we let the slog of daily life consume so much time and energy that we forget to dream or lose sight of our original dreams. Whether you call it dreaming or visualizing, you have to have goals in mind that you are working towards. Otherwise another old saying takes over your life – Where ever you go, there you are.”

More often that I care to admit I’ll end a day and realize that I got caught up in the minutia of life and failed to put any effort or time into things that would further reaching my goals or dreams. Sure many of the things that I did needed to be done. There are always things that need to be done; and, if you let them just take over and control your life, you’ll never get around to dreaming or doing those things that need to be done to realize your dream.

There is an interesting story in this week’s Bloomberg Business Week about a single mom with two children struggling to make it in one of the nation’s worst areas of economic blight. It could be a really depressing story, especially since Bloomberg has taken the slant that this is a story about the decline of America; however, the story focuses enough on one aspect of this woman and her daily struggles to make it inspirational.  She has a dream of a better life for herself and her children and nothing that she has to endure on a daily basis is able to shake her off accomplishing that dream.

So give yourself a break today and take some time to dream. Visualize what it is you want or where you want to go in life and then set about planning how to achieve your dream. Working on accomplishing that plan will make every day feel a little better.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mixed signals now, but get ready for change...

I saw a report today for June's real estate sales in this area. Sales and listings were down compared to last month. Sale values, both the average and median were up. New home starts were up in Lyon Twp but stable or down elsewhere. My own data confirms that we appear to be in a period of mixed market data that, on the surface looks a bit like another slowdown.

What seems to be exacerbating the situation is the fact that so many would-be sellers are still under water on their mortgages that listings are in the dumps - no one in that condition can afford to list. In our area, the banks have sold off most of their foreclosure inventory and even short sales are down. Homeowners are hanging on by their fingernails and would be buyers are getting frustrated because there is so little out there to look at. That has been a mini-boom for the new-build market, especially for those builders smart enough to adjust their build content to suit the lower market.

Usually in a Presidential election year we can count on seeing some extraordinary efforts by the incumbent President to short things up or make things temporarily better (often at the sacrifice of long term good).  We’ll probably see that between the conventions and the election. The President and the administration still have stops that they can pull out to help the housing market. Right now he is focused upon the unemployment issue, but housing will come back into focus before the election. Count on it. The housing situation is still a major drag on the economy and when all is said and done, remember the phrase – It’s the Economy Stupid! The politicians won’t forget. They will find a way to make it all better, even if it's just a band-aid.

What should the homeowner do? Be ready to act. Something will likely be done to make it easier for you to refinance or to sell and to deal with the negative equity situation. For buyers; keep looking. There is as huge a pent up desire to sell as there is the pent up demand to buy and sometime before the election the politicians will figure out a way to let homeowners loose a flood of homes onto the market. Be ready to act when you find that perfect new home.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Next up in Milford - The Summer Palooza!

What the heck is a palooza, anyway? According to the Urban Dictionary it is - an all-out crazy party; partying at one place with a ton of people like there's no tomorrow. Let’s hope that’s true for Milford’s Summer Palooza. The place to party next week is the Milford downtown stretch on Main Street between Commerce and Liberty. July 13 thru July 15.

This event started over 50 years ago out as a Sidewalk Sale and then grew, with the addition of entertainment and beer tents into Shop Rock and Stroll for several years. Now it’s the Summer Palooza! The event is presented by the Milford Business Association and the Milford Downtown Development Authority.

Shopping at the palooza runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. In addition to the beer tent at the Main Street Grill and Tavern location, there will also be a Vegas tent, where patrons will have their choice of playing on six blackjack tables, three poker/Texas Hold ‘Em tables, one “Let it Ride” table, and one roulette table, among others. Funds raised at the Vegas tent will go to support a local charity.

The beer/food and Vegas tents will be open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Many of Milford’s downtown restaurants also offer dining on the village sidewalks, and there will also be live musical performances by several local bands

There will be also activities for children. Kids will be able to play on bouncers, as well as scale a rock climbing wall and dunk someone in a dunk tank.

Maybe I’ll see you at the Palooza. I only live two blocks from downtown Milford, so I can walk home. If you intend to party like there’s no tomorrow call Snowbird Drivers and arrange for a personal chauffer for the evening. They’ll be your designated driver for about ¼ of the cost of renting a limo for the evening and WAY below the cost of a DUI conviction.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Some TV time is better than no TV time...

Oops! The initial report that I got which said that Channel 2 The Fox Network was going to broadcast our parade has proven to be inaccurate. They are going to tape segments of the parade to be used on Fox 2 News tonight. Oh, well, some exposure is better than no exposure at all. So look for us on the news tonight on Channel 2.

This will be one of our bigger parades of the year, with over 70 entries. Lots of politicians will be out, which might add some hot air to an already warm day. Bring your umbrellas (to shield yourself from the sun; there'll be no rain on the parade) and your bottled water to stay hydrated; but please don't bring your dog downtown, it will be way too crowded and hot for them. You might want to bring a little bag for the kids to put candy into when they get it.

The theme of this year’s parade is “Milford, Our Little Slice of Heaven”; however, with the passing of Andy Griffith, I couldn’t help but think of Milford as our own little Mayberry. Andy patterned the Mayberry setting for his show about a small town Sheriff after his home town of Mounty Airy, SC; however, I’m sure that he would have immediately related to Milford in a similar way.

Enjoy the parade today!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

See us on TV this year...

We've received word that our Independence Day Parade in Milford, Michigan will be broadcast live by Channel 2, the Fox network. How exciting. The local stations pick a parade to cover every year, usually in bigger cities or towns, but this year Milford's parade will get its chance to shine.

The Independence Day Parade down Main Street in Milford is about an pure a dose of Americana as one can get. There are lots of Brownie and Cub Scout troops, a few of the local dance studios, local church groups and civic groups from all over the area in the parade. This year there'll be lots of politicians too, since it's a big election year.

The kids like the candy that parade participants pass out and the Huron Valley State Bank always gives out ice cream bars, which everyone likes. There's always a band or two, although it's sometimes tough to get bands to march once school is out. And at the end there are the big, noisy fire engines with sirens blasting. The kids love that, too.

The parade steps off from in front of the Milford Museum at 11 AM. The Milford Historical Society organizes the parade every year with help from a crew of volunteers. You'll notice them this year in their BRIGHT orange shirts emblazoned with "PARADE STAFF" front and rear.

The first 2-3 vehicles in the parade represent the Milford Historical Society, including a tractor from historic Crawford Farm south of town. The Presenting Sponsor - Feldman Automotive Group will have the next two slots. The other major automotive dealers in the area who helped sponsor the parade are Hines Park Ford and LaFontaine and they will have new car models in the parade. Look also for the Digital Document Store vehicle and for the entry from The Milford Laundry and Horse Blanket Headquarters.

Maybe you know someone who always wanted to come to the parade but just can’t. Let them know that they should be able to see it on Channel 2 live as it is happening. I’ll see you all on Wednesday.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bits and pieces...

Let’s start the week getting caught up with a bunch of little bits and pieces.

First, I didn’t win the Harley Davidson motorcycle that the Milford Historical Society raffled off this past weekend; although I believe that I sold the winning ticket.  Milford’s ex-Police Chief (retired) Wayne Walli won the Harley and I recall selling him at least one ticket at one of our local “Lunch in the Valley” gatherings. Congratulations Wayne! I guess I can return my leathers and helmet.

I’m looking forward to the Independence Day Parade this Wednesday. It should be one of the biggest ever. Election years bring out all of the politicians and there are a number of local races that have multiple candidates, so there’ll be lots of them this year. A special thanks to our parade sponsors – Milford Township and Feldman Automotive Group as Presenting Sponsors, plus Hines Park Ford, Veterinary Care Specialists, and LaFontaine Automotive as Key Sponsors and The Digital Document Store and Milford Laundry as Sponsors. Several individuals also contributed.

 It’s been so hot lately that we’ve started taking our dog, Sadie, out to the Bark Park in the evening. Lots of people have come to same conclusion, so now the time to be there is between 7:30 and 9 PM. By then it’s cooled into the 80’s and there’s always a breeze at the Park. It’s still too hot for the dogs to do much running, but it’s good to get them outside for a while.

I’m starting to gear up for the September Home Tour and Milford Car Show. I’ll be looking for sponsors for those soon. They take place in the third weekend in September. To keep us all amused until then we have Summer Palooza coming up this month (it replaces Shop Rock and Stroll) and of course the biggie - the Milford Memories Festival in August.

 I can’t be at either of the September events this year, because I’ve committed to attend my 50-year high school reunion. Wow, where did the time go? I literally left for college and never went back. This is actually the first reunion event that my high school class has ever held.  It should be fun to see people that I haven’t seen in those 50 years.

I got the flyer on the Road Millage ballot proposal last week. It just makes sense to vote for this millage and get the roads in the Village repaired/replaced and then maintained. I know that some just hate taxes so much that they vote against proposed tax; however, the roads aren’t going to fix themselves and many are in desperate need right now. You can only throw cold patch into the potholes for so long.

 I heard recently of a proposal that is floating around to turn some of our paved streets back into unpaved, mainly because they can then be maintained with a road grader. Having driven some of our more notorious local roads in the winter, when the grader can’t be used, I certainly hope that this proposition doesn’t gain traction. Our winter freeze/thaw cycles turn many local unpaved roads into almost impassable, rut-filled obstacle courses. Of course that does hold down the speeds that concern some.

So here we are, stepping off into July, the second half of 2012. Let’s hope the rest of 2012 is as much fun as the first half. I’m sure it will be, because there’s always something to do around Milford. For a run down on all of the Upcoming Community Events, go to my Web site I’ll see you at the parade!