Michigan Design Center
semi-annua I floor
them lawyers — and 10 grandchil-
Judge Frankel was a star athlete at
Central (1950) and in college after
attending McCullough Elementary
and Durfee Intermediate. He was a
football running back and track hur-
dler at Central, gaining a track scholar-
ship to Michigan State University. He
transferred to Hillsdale (Mich.)
College and earned All-American hon-
ors. At age 24, standing 5-foot-7 and
weighing 183 pounds, he spent one
season on the Detroit Lions roster,
mainly returning kickoffs and punts.
"Unfortunately, it was 1956,
between the Lions' championship sea-
sons," Judge Frankel said.
He was released after the one season.
"Shortly after that, I went to Wayne
State's law school."
Judge Frankel and his wife, Marlene,
have four children — one's a lawyer —
and seven grandchildren. One daugh-
ter, Lisa Bove, is the Oak Park deputy
He has never received any threats
during his tenure, but points out that
many people leave here agitated and
irritated. Approximately half are happy
and half are unhappy, so anything
Judge Frankel has noticed a big change
in the types of cases that have come
before him in recent years, compared
to 34 years ago.
"The modern lifestyle has caused less
stability and less respect among people,
resulting in more crime," he said.
"People are far more violent to each
other today, often because of drug use.
There's more intra-family violence —
husband vs. wife, boyfriend vs. girl-
friend — and there's absolutely more
road rage among drivers. Many people
are living on a thin edge today."
Judge Friedman has noticed a defi-
nite decline in drug and alcohol abuse
in the community in recent years,
compared to the 1960s and 1970s; he
credits school programs for the
improvement. He and Judge Frankel
are firm believers in putting offenders
in city and county rehabilitation pro-
"We've also seen a big influx of
shoplifting cases recently," Judge
Friedman said, "mostly by immigrants,
who seem to feel they can walk into a
large store and take goods because
there's plenty to go around for every-
Oak Park Mayor Gerald Naftaly,
who has worked with the judges
almost since they started on the bench
— 11 years as mayor and 14 years on
the City Council — praises them as
"always doing what's best for the city
and the people. We haven't always
agreed on everything, but they're very
efficient and try to make sure the resi-
dents abide by the laws.
"They turned the district court
around from a losing proposition to a
profitable operation through various
efficiencies, and even established their
own budget, and without county assis-
tance," the mayor said.
"Judges Friedman and Frankel have
set standards in our court for other
cities to follow — and we'll miss
Saturday, July 27
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Sunday, July 28
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In The Race
Nine local attorneys, seven of them
Jewish, will run in the primary on
Tuesday, Aug. 6, seeking a chance
to succeed retiring District 45B
Court Judges Benjamin J.
Friedman and Marvin F. Frankel.
The primary will narrow the field
to four for the November election.
The Jewish candidates are:
• Judge Friedman's daughter,
Michelle Friedman Appel, 45, of
Huntington Woods, an Oakland
County commissioner since 1998.
• Ezra N. Goldman, 33, of Oak
Park, an alumnus of Yeshiva Beth
Yehudah in Southfield and Yeshiva
Gedolah in Oak Park.
• David M. Gubow, 52, of
Huntington Woods, assistant clerk
for the Michigan House of
Representatives since 2000 and a
• Sam Konikow, 51, of Oak Park,
a specialist in criminal law.
• Richard A. Levitt, 51, of Pleasant
Ridge, now in his 25th year as an
• Leonard C. Schwartz, 57, of Oak
Park, retired professor of law and
economics from Oakland
University of Michigan-Dearborn.
• Joseph L. Stewart, 59, of Oak
Park, who has been practicing law
for 34 years.
The other two candidates are:
• Angela Diggs Jackson, 48, of
Oak Park, former assistant city
attorney in Highland Park.
• Gil Whitney McRipley, 44, of
Royal Oak Township, former
teacher and ex-Royal Oak
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