Screech Owls: Your Secret Neighbor

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

I had not thought much about Screech Owls until recently, when two things happened this month. A few weeks ago I began to hear their annual high-pitched whinnies and magical sounding soft trills coming from the edge of my woods. It’s a sound I know well and hear every February, especially if the bedroom window is open a crack, as it usually is, even on cold winter nights. It’s a sound that makes me smile.

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Oakland County’s Elite 40 Under 40 Class of 2020

Congratulations to this year’s Elite 40 Under 40 class. Members of the newly selected Elite 40 Under 40 Class of 2020 came together for the first time at a private reception prior to the 2020 State of the County Address on February 12th, 2020 at the Flagstar Strand Theatre in Pontiac.

“We are fortunate to have such passionate and talented leaders who are committed to their professions and improving their communities,” County Executive David Coulter said. “They truly are bringing Oakland County together for a more prosperous future. They are a wonderful testament to the diversity and talent in our county.”

During the Elite 40 reception, the class had the opportunity to network and mingle with Coulter, county officials, and each other. The room was filled with excitement as members shared their stories and successes.

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Hiking the Boonies

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Hiking with Boy Scouts is never a quiet event. It just does not work out that way. And if the hike is an off trail adventure in “the boonies” of a snow-covered hardwood swamp, with each footstep crunching in snow or crackling over partially frozen puddles, you can be assured every deer and coyote will flee at the not so stealthy approach. Extremely fresh tracks in the snow confirmed my assumptions that our intrusion was quickly detected. But before I share this tale of an adventure like none other I have been on in my three decades in our county, I will mention Sammy, the six year old that hiked with us. He was quiet most of the time and very proudly crossed tiny creeks with a bit of parental help and was attentive to the surrounding landscape. His moment of pure joy was climbing up onto the seat of a rusted bulldozer that held half century old secrets about a peat harvesting operation in Oakland County.

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David Coulter Delivers his Oakland Together plan at the 2020 State of the County Address

Oakland County Executive David Coulter set a collaborative tone and ambitious agenda to expand health care for county residents, ensure adults complete needed education and job certifications, move a county division and its staff to downtown Pontiac, and triple defense investment in the county by 2025.

Coulter outlined his “Oakland Together” plan Wednesday evening before a full house at the Flagstar Strand Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Pontiac.

“I believe the fact that Oakland does well means we have an opportunity – indeed a responsibility – to do better,” Coulter said. “We can leverage our strengths to tackle our challenges before they become problems. We can lead and innovate. We can be fiscally responsible with taxpayer money and forward thinking. To do that, we must be Oakland Together. Together as public servants working for the public good, together with our residents and businesses, and together with our region.”

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