A Cut Ahead

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

What a difference a month makes … and a year!

While putting together the monthly statistics for this year’s Tall Weed/Grass Abatement Program, the comparisons between July and August were pretty surprising.

The City of Auburn Hills has a progressive Tall Weed/Grass Abatement program - led by Dales Mathes (a.k.a., The Green Hornet)
The City of Auburn Hills has a progressive Tall Weed/Grass Abatement program – led by Dales Mathes (a.k.a., The Green Hornet)

Back in July, when it was warmer, 103 properties were identified as needing cutting.  Eventually, 69 of the property owners or occupants complied by trimming up their personal landscapes.  In August, things started to cool down a bit and grass growth slowed down.  Only 43 properties needed cutting and of these 27 were cut by the folks responsible for the properties.  That’s a compliance rate of over 50% for both months.

The comparison to last year was pleasantly surprising as well.  In July 2012, out of 40 properties only 16 complied.  In August 2012, 22 out of 54 complied.  Those results were clearly less than half.

One of the major goals of the City’s program is to educate the citizens, businesses, and property owners on the importance of lawn maintenance.  We would like to believe that goal is being accomplished.

We appreciate the continued cooperation and support of the community and hope that someday the City won’t have to cut any grass.  Now, that would be pretty cool.

A Cut Ahead

2nd & Charles Opens in Auburn Hills

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

Today, Auburn Hills welcomes 2nd & Charles, the fun, technology-driven bookstore that provides shoppers the opportunity to reuse and recycle books and media.  It now occupies the 25,009 square foot building which formerly housed Borders at 3924 Baldwin Rd.

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They buy and sell all kinds of used books, CDs from all genres,  DVDs & Blu-Ray, Video Games and Game Systems, Comics, iPads, Ipods, eReaders, Vinyl Records and Audio Books.  They make offers to purchase your items based on the condition of the items and their current inventory.

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You’ll never know what kind of treasures you’re going to find. Somebody’s old favorite is sure to be recycled and transformed into something new and interesting for the next shopper.

Check out this video clip on the 2nd & Charles website to see more about the store

Congratulations to 2nd and Charles on their ribbon cutting today!

2nd & Charles Opens in Auburn Hills

On The Waterfront

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Water Resources Coordinator

Once again, it is time for the City of Auburn Hills Annual Clinton River Clean-Up!  This year’s event will be held on the last day of summer which is tomorrow, Saturday, September 21st.

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The past 12 years have been a huge success for the City in improving the water quality of the Clinton River, and its tributaries.  The improvements in water quality have led to an increase in fish populations and fishing opportunities in the Clinton River.  The same water quality improvements have also led to an increase in the number of people canoeing and kayaking on the river.

The City of Auburn Hills is just one of many communities within the Clinton River Watershed involved in this clean-up effort.  We need to let other communities know that Auburn Hills cares about its community and natural resources. This half day event will allow residents, businesses, and organizations to work together to restore one of the City’s most precious resources, while also having fun at the same time.

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With your help, we will be able to preserve and maintain our beautification efforts along the Clinton River corridor.  We hope that you will join us Saturday, September, 21st, to help continue this tradition that began over 30 years ago.

Registration begins at 8:30am at River Woods Park, which is located on the east side of Squirrel Road, south of M-59.  Clean-up will start at 9:00am and end around noon.

Volunteers are advised to wear work clothes and sturdy shoes, as well as a pair of gloves if you have them.

For additional information please contact Shawn Keenan, Water Resources Coordinator by phone at 248-364-6926 or by e-mail at skeenan@auburnhills.org.  Advanced notice of participation is appreciated but not required.

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On The Waterfront

Volunteering – Good Deeds With Benefits

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

One of the greatest gifts we can give to our community is to donate our time and talent to benefit others.  When you volunteer, you help.  What might surprise you are the valuable experiences and opportunities that will present themselves along the way.

Volunteering provides an opportunity to try new things, explore interests or practice a skill you’d like to strengthen. For example, planning a fundraising event can develop goal setting, planning and budgeting skills. Training other volunteers can help develop supervisory skills. Connecting with new people from varied backgrounds can even sharpen interpersonal skills and those connections can point in directions you may not have imagined.

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The opportunity to help others is endless.  The City of Auburn Hills has literally thousands of volunteer hours available in a variety of different programs and community events every year.  From individuals to corporate groups, there’s something for everyone.  This survey may help you identify something you’d like to try.

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So while participating in a program or event that strengthens our neighbors and community, you’ll be strengthening yourself as well.  Everyone benefits.

Volunteering – Good Deeds With Benefits

Trying Something New … Something Crazy!

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

My wife and I after finishing the race.
My wife and I after finishing the race.

I experienced a whole new world this past weekend.  The life of a runner.  Well, I didn’t actually run … just walked as fast as I could.

My wife and I just visited some very close college friends in Erie, PA and this year we all decided to compete in a half-marathon … 13.1 miles.  To be honest, I originally planned to sit this one out and hang with one of our friends since he took a chainsaw to his knee a few weeks before.  But, as everyone was signing up on Saturday, I got the urge to compete and wanted to give it a shot.  Call it temporary insanity.

There was one slight challenge with my decision:  I did not train for the event.  I was not even sure I could run 500 feet, let alone 13.1 miles; but I rationalized that I could walk the distance.  Luckily, the race organizers had a few spots left and they let me join the race planned for Sunday.

So, when race day came I was pretty calm.  Let me tell you that dumb and clueless is an ideal combination for someone preparing for his first half-marathon.  After we started, I soon lost sight of my wife and our friend Stephanie – we were not even one mile into the race.

As I hit three miles, then six miles … I started to daydream about work and life.  I thought to myself, “How far is it from Downtown Auburn Hills to Great Lakes Crossing Outlets?  Can I walk that?  Are there enough pathways along the way?”  I was getting a little delirious.  Then came eight miles and I began to think … “Wow, this is pretty far!”  But, I was determined not to quit.

When 10 miles came my body really started to hurt, but it was manageable.  No blisters yet.  Hey, I didn’t even get discouraged when a man who appeared to be in his 80’s passed me with ease.  He was running the full-marathon.  I thought to myself … “just three more miles … just three more miles.”

Then I saw the finish line.  What a relief!  When I passed under the finish line banner, a nice lady put a medal around my neck.  That was a pretty cool moment.  My wife and friends (all experienced runners) came over and congratulated me.  Yes, the tortoise finished the race.  My official time was 3 hours, 43 minutes, 6 seconds.  Not exactly record-setting, but I have nowhere to go but up.

I tried something new and I think I caught the distance walking bug.  We’ll see.

Our friends from college after the race. It's fun to accomplish something like this as a team.
Our friends from college after the race. It’s fun to accomplish something like this as a team.
Trying Something New … Something Crazy!

We’ll Go Anywhere to Build a Stronger Auburn Hills

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

She’s working hard to represent us.

Economic Development Coordinator Laurie Renaud has been in Hong Kong and mainland China on a week-long economic mission trip working to strengthen existing and form new relationships with a number of companies.

Laurie started the trip in Hong Kong visiting with Patrick Tooman, owner of Auburn Hills-based Plastic Engineering & Technical Services (P.E.T.S).   P.E.T.S. is a global leader in plastics manufacturing and its world headquarters is located at 4141 Luella Lane.

Patrick Tooman, at P.E.T.S. showing Laurie a patented part made at his ShenZhen facility in Hong Kong.
Patrick Tooman, at P.E.T.S. showing Laurie a patented part made at his ShenZhen facility in Hong Kong.

On September 11th, Laurie attended a Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) event, sponsored by the Detroit Chamber, on mainland China and met with numerous Chinese business leaders.

Laurie Renaud
Laurie Renaud

The rest of the trip she will be meeting with several businesses in coordination with MEDC, Detroit Chamber, and Oakland County officials.  This opportunity to tell the Auburn Hills Story has been priceless.   We’ve come to understand over the years that it means a lot to a foreign business owner when we visit them on their turf.

Thus, we appreciate Laurie volunteering to travel across the world to build relationships with these businesses.  It’s hard work and tough being away from family, but Laurie does it because she loves this town.

It’s people like Laurie that help make the City of Auburn Hills a global address for doing business … and a better place.

We’ll Go Anywhere to Build a Stronger Auburn Hills

‘Tis The Season For Political Signs

Posted by – Darren Darge, Code Enforcement Officer

Election season is almost here and with it comes political signage.  These signs can get out of control if the rules aren’t strictly enforced.

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The photo above shows a landscape we work to avoid.  Political signs do not require a permit, but placement must follow specific guidelines.

All signs must observe the setback standards of the zoning ordinance, and may not encroach in the required road right-of-way (ROW) which is the area between the sidewalk and street or a utility pole or street.

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You may not block the “Visual Clearance Triangle” which is the 25 ft clearance of any intersection and boulevard.

It is a homeowner’s responsibility to find out if political signs are prohibited by subdivision restrictions prior to placing a lawn sign at a residence.  All signs must be placed on private property with the owner’s permission and must be removed within seven days following the election.

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Adhering to these rules will help keep Auburn Hills a great place to live, work and play.

‘Tis The Season For Political Signs