Don’t Wait to Get Your Real I.D.
Real I.D goes into effect on Oct. 1, 2020. It only affects people who want to travel by plane or access certain federal facilities. Until October, Americans traveling domestically by air can use a standard driver’s license but after that date a Real l.D. or Enhanced driver’s license, other approved I.D such as a passport, US Military I.D or US Passport Card will be demanded by TSA. The rush to get Real l.D. or Enhanced driver’s licenses is causing chaos at Secretary of State offices across Michigan with wait times extraordinarily long even for them.
She waited 4½ hours, at the end of which time she was told to return the next day because they could not process her Real I.D at that time. The next day her case was prioritized and she waited about 30-minutes.
During her election, Secretary Benson’s plan included the “The 30 Minute Guarantee” which stated, “Benson will work to establish a 30-Minute Guarantee: an expectation that no one, no matter where they live, should have to wait more than 30 minutes to renew their driver’s license ...” Since the Secretary took office over year ago, if anything, it seems that wait times have actually increased dramatically. The Real I.D. rush should not have been a surprise to the Secretary, after all, it was passed by Congress in 2005, following a security recommendation by the 9/11 Commission.
Our neighbor hadn’t remembered that her license was near due and didn’t receive her notice of renewal until 2-weeks prior to its expiration, by which time no appointments were available within 4-weeks. If your own Driver’s License expires soon, be sure to make an appointment in anticipation of receiving your renewal notice. Appointments can be made on-line up to 12-months in advance, so if your license is expiring or you want to exchange it for a Real I.D. or an Enhanced one (which allows travel into Canada, Mexico and Caribbean nations without a passport), be advised to book an appointment ASAP. An appointment doesn’t, by the way, guarantee no waiting, but should shorten any considerably.
Wild WoodCreek Weather
Michigan weather has always been unpredictable, but this winter it seems exceptionally so, at least in our immediate area. November started with a heavy snowfall, and while many WoodCreekers have snow removal contracts, they usually start December 1st. Our own Civic Association's snow removal contract with Bob & Leslie's also starts in December, but such is our relationship with them that they came out and cleared our roads anyway. Unfortunately, most homeowners were not so lucky — however sympathetic their contractor may have been — the vehicles and crews were still set up for fall clean-up rather than plowing,
The afternoon of November 27th brought high winds with the result that the sound of chain saws clearing fallen trees and boughs could be heard all around us the following day.
Next to January 11th, the day the pictures you see here were taken by Stan Beattie of Pebble Creek along Wellington Road. This is the time of year we expect precipitation to fall as snow but instead we saw some 3" of rain, no doubt with some sump pumps working overtime in many of our basements. We hope nobody actually experienced water in their homes but otherwise we missed a bullet, because just a few miles north of us, where the ground was colder, the rain froze on contact. Click/tap on Stan's pictures to see a larger version.
Let's hope this is the last wild weather report we have to give this winter!
Pay Your 2020 dues here
You will have recently received a letter concerning your WoodCreek Civic Association annual dues. Rather than writing a check and then having to find, address and stamp an envelope, you can simply go to our payment page and get it all done for another year in just a few clicks. You'll be given the choice of paying using any major credit card or by PayPal.
Police Patrols Increased
Due to some drivers ignoring WoodCreek road signage and speed limits, police patrols have been increased in the neighborhood. Because most people who are ticketed actually live in the area being patrolled, please take extra care in obeying the 25 mph speed limit and all road signs including stopping at all stop signs.
In addition, police have also responded to complaints of non-observance of the limited hours no-turn signs on Middlebelt Road that have resulted in speeding traffic short-cutting through our residential area. You can read Tim Parvin's report on this matter here.
Committee to Increase Voter Participation
The Farmington Hills Committee to Increase Voter Participation is looking for new members. The committee operates under the auspices of the city clerk, and its mission is to stimulate and improve voter participation in all elections and increase the quality and quantity of publicity and information regarding such elections. Meetings are held about 9 times/year at FH City Hall. For more information, please call the clerk's office at (248) 871-2410.
To apply for membership, submit a letter of interest and resume directed to the Mayor and City Council and email it to Pam Smith, City Clerk: firstname.lastname@example.org. Appointments will be made at the January 27 City Council meeting but can also be made at any time in the year.
Great Party, Great Pictures
Whether you were able to attend the 2019 WoodCreek Holiday Fête or not, you're sure to enjoy the photos that Tom Morris took at the event. Click on a photo to enlarge it and use the arrows to left and right to navigate back and forth. The pictures are also posted in our Gallery in a more easily scanned format.
Concerned about our roads? You can help.
Last year Farmington Hills road repair funding was changed from − a system that required home owners to bear 80% of the cost − to a millage, which amortizes the cost across all city tax payers. Since then, the WoodCreek Civic Association by letter, phone calls and meetings has been urging the City of Farmington Hills to prioritize the remaking of the roads in the Hills section of WoodCreek, which all regard as dangerous and unacceptable.
Currently, WoodCreek is 23rd on the City’s priority list with an estimated start date for road renewal of 2023. The condition of our roads actually justifies a higher prioritization, but in order for repairs to be effective and lasting, drainage has to be addressed through culvert and other work estimated to cost $3-million and which is not part of the road repair budget.
The City is now considering some temporary “mill and fill” repairs. This type of repair is not normally used for roads that have deteriorated as much as those in the Hills. You can see some examples in WoodCreek Farms along Wellington, Millbrook and recently Village, where it has been used for preventive maintenance purposes.
The WoodCreek Civic Association will continue to work with the City of Farmington Hills to improve our paving priority. You can help too. On the premise that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, wherever you live in WoodCreek, if you are concerned about our roads, please contact the City and let those responsible know you are unhappy.
Some points you may wish to consider:
- Safety. Chunks of lose alligator cracking pavement that is particularly prevalent on Hills roads often fly at high velocity from under vehicle tires, with the potential of serious injury to pedestrians and property damage.
- Schools. Since the consolidation of other schools into Wood Creek Elementary, our roads have become community roads for buses and parents’ vehicles from all over our region, and so WoodCreek deserves a higher priority for road renewal than roads used largely for their residents and services alone.
- School Traffic. A count was made in October of 2019 of the number of cars entering and leaving Wood Creek Elementary. From the results it was estimated that 100 journeys are made by parents to and from WoodCreek Hills twice a day, and 35 by staff once a day for about 200 days a year. The total number of round trip Hills journeys of 235 by outsiders probably far exceeds those made from the 110 residences.
- Ratings. The City’s official rating for Hills roads is 2 (Very poor – reconstruction required) but areas can be found where the pavement rating is arguably 1 (Failed) and more areas will surely reach that level before 2023. (You can learn more about Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating System (PASER) with example photos here.)
Some suggested contacts:
Dave Boyer, City Manager email@example.com (248) 871-2502
Gary Mekjian, Assistant City Manager firstname.lastname@example.org (248) 871-2510
James Cubera, City Engineer email@example.com (248) 871-2569
Nixle Replaced by FH Alert
If you had signed up with the Nixle system to receive immediate alerts from Farmington Police about crime, traffic and Amber Alerts, you'll have noticed that it has been unusally quiet lately. That's because the City has contracted with a new company to provide the service and you will, unfortunately, have to sign-up again.
FH Alert has the benefit that you can choose from a list of subjects that you wish to informed about, such as: emergency alerts, city events, severe weather, fires, floods, emergency preparedness, road closures, water main breaks, warming cooling centers, parks and recreation activities, event cancellations, election notices, and more. You can change these choices at any time by logging into your FH Alert account.
Just as was the case with Nixle, to ensure access to vital information, messages will be sent via the participant's preferred contact paths including text, cell phone, home phone, and email. Residents with a landline phone are already listed in the Farmington Hills 9-1-1 database and will automatically be subscribed to FH Alert (for mass notifications only) via their home phone. If you do not wish to receive any mass notifications, FH Alert allows citizens to go online and opt out of the system entirely.
Check out other police and security issues on our Neighborhood Watch page.
Thanks and Good Luck to our Snow Lady – Cheryl
The WoodCreek Annual meeting agenda included an item: Snow Plow Report from Cheryl Jeffries, who is often known simply as our Snow Lady. Cheryl told us some good news; that there was not a single complaint received this year concerning the snow plow service we receive from Bob and Leslie's Lawn Maintenance & Snow Removal, testament no doubt to Cheryl's good relationship with them.
Cheryl then went on to tell us what we selfishly took to be bad news. She and her husband intend downsizing and will be leaving WoodCreek in the near future, and as a result she has resigned her Board position as Snow and Beautification Chairperson.
We thank Cheryl for all she has done for WoodCreek throughout the years and wish her and her family good luck in their new home.
Cheryl finished her presentation by calling for someone to replace her. We're glad to say that by the end of the meeting a volunteer had already stepped forward. Thanks to Marc Wilkins for offering to take over from our Snow Lady. Will he now become WoodCreek's very own Snowman?
Some Future Dates to Note