Media Watch Section

A2: Video Stream Embedding Codes

The city of Ann Arbor has announced that embedding codes for online streams of Community Television Network (CTN) programming are now supplied with each stream of CitiTV programs and GovTV meetings. The embedding codes are available with a link near the bottom of the screen for specific programs: [screenshot] Inserting the codes into any third-party web page makes the video stream appear on that page. An example of this kind of implementation was part of a text streaming demonstration by The Chronicle last year.

UM: Presidential Search

The Detroit Free Press interviews former University of Michigan president James Duderstadt and former interim president Joseph White about the qualifications and skills needed to lead the university, as regents search for the next president to replace Mary Sue Coleman. The article quotes Duderstadt: “I’ll be very surprised if the person selected isn’t well-known to people in higher education. It’s like selecting a pope. We’re just waiting for the white smoke.” [Source]

A2: Bookstores

In an article about independent bookstores, the Detroit News features Bookbound, a new Ann Arbor shop that Peter and Megan Blackshear opened in 2013. The report quotes Peter Blackshear: “Business is better than I thought it would be, but Ann Arbor is pretty special.” [Source]

A2: Frita Batidos

A new blog – SLICE Ann Arbor – interviews chef Eve Aronoff of Frita Batidos about her interests, lessons learned, and advice for aspiring chefs. When asked what’s next, Aronoff replies: “Working hard on opening Frita Batidos in downtown Detroit (shhh).” [Source]

Ann Arbor: Free Speech

AOL Autos reports on a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of two Michigan men – including Dave DeVarti of Ann Arbor. The lawsuit contends that the state of Michigan violated First Amendment rights when it rejected applications for vanity license plates. DeVarti wanted a plate that stated “WAR SUX.” [Source]

Manchester: Luminary Sales Dec. 21

The Manchester Mirror reports that sales of the Manchester traditional Luminaria bags will begin Dec. 21, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from the vacant building on the Northwestern corner of Manchester’s Main Street and M-52 [Source]

A2: Krazy Jim’s Blimpyburger

The owners of Krazy Jim’s Blimpyburger have started a fundraising campaign to raise $60,000 for moving and construction costs at a new location. From the post on ”We’ve turned to crowdfunding to help raise a portion of the capital needed to secure our bank loan. In return we are offering some great rewards to our backers. Many people have reached out to us asking how they could help and this seemed like a perfect way for the many fans to show us some love and help us get back to grilling. You would be giving us more than money – our success in this campaign is a vote of support. For the price of a burger, you can get us … [Full Story]

A2: Holiday Gifts

The Damn Arbor blog has posted a gift-giving guide premised on a positive answer to this question: “Do you want to make sure the money you spend this season stays in the community?”  The post continues, “… we have worked tirelessly to assemble an outstanding list of locally made gifts.” Items range from sausage to bourbon to “Mit Lit.” [Source]

A2: Davy Rothbart

Damn Arbor has published an interview with Davy Rothbart, creator of FOUND Magazine, about “Medora” – his new documentary focused on Medora, Indiana. Along with Andy Cohn, Rothbart is co-director and co-producer of the film, which follows the Medora Hornets varsity basketball team and the complexities of poverty and drug abuse in a small Midwestern town. From the interview, answering a query about Rothbart’s relationship with basketball: “I grew up in Ann Arbor and Ypsi and love playing basketball. We’d shovel off the court at Wheeler Park and play in the winter. We didn’t drink much in high school, so we played basketball. Eberwhite, Burns Park. We’d play at midnight or 4 a.m. We played constantly. We weren’t that good … [Full Story]

WCC: State Street CIA

At their Nov. 26 meeting, the Washtenaw Community College board of trustees has unanimously voted to opt out of Pittsfield Township’s State Street corridor improvement authority (CIA). The Washtenaw Voice, WCC’s student newspaper, posted the outcome of the vote on its website, as part of a live blog from the meeting. At stake was nearly $3 million in taxes that would have been diverted to fund road improvements along State Street over a 20-year period, if WCC had not opted out. [Source]

A2: Crosswalk Law

The Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition has posted information on its website advocating against a pending change to the city of Ann Arbor’s crosswalk ordinance. The post includes a document with crash diagrams – extracted from official reports – of pedestrian accidents at non-signalized crosswalks over the last four years. [.pdf of crash diagrams] Instead of revising the ordinance, the WBWC wants to allow time for a recently established pedestrian safety task force to make a recommendation: “WBWC urges Council to utilize the newly formed Pedestrian Safety Task Force as a place to begin looking at all the crash data and prioritizing engineering, enforcement and educational measures that will enhance walkability in our community.” [Source]

UM: Faculty Petition

An online “open letter” from University of Michigan faculty to president Mary Sue Coleman and provost Martha Pollack asks that the proposed Administrative Services Transformation (AST) project – which aims to reduce costs by centralizing services – be terminated. As of early afternoon on Saturday, Nov. 23, the letter had received over 600 signatures. From the letter: “AST is a top-down program that eliminates the ability to retain corporate knowledge and leverage the unit-culture experiences of some 300 support staff while limiting their contributions to a series of transactional tasks in a call center.” [Source]

A2: Anti-war License Plate

Michigan Radio is reporting that Ann Arbor resident Dave DeVarti has joined a lawsuit against the Secretary of State of the state of Michigan – for rejecting his choice of personalized license plate: “WAR SUX” [Source] DeVarti was a long-time member of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board and served briefly in the mid-1980s on the Ann Arbor city council.

UM: Madonna

People magazine reports on the rock star Madonna and her daughter Lourdes Leon coming to the University of Michigan this week as part of a college tour. The magazine quotes UM senior Lindsey Meekhof: “Someone announced to my choir class Madonna was in the building, and choir wasn’t productive anymore after that.” [Source]

UM: Google

U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan has ruled in favor of Google’s massive book digitization project that involves library systems at several universities, including the University of Michigan through its Michigan Digitization Project. The ruling dismisses a copyright infringement case brought by the Authors Guild, which sued Google on behalf of authors and publishers. The ruling is expected to be appealed. [Source]

A2: Ann Arbor SPARK

In a post on the Forbes website, Kai Petainen writes about the difficulty in securing financial statements from Ann Arbor SPARK, an economic development agency that receives significant state and local funding. He writes: “Finally, I got the financial documents. But, how did I do it? SPARK didn’t give me the documents. My local government didn’t give me the documents – they told me that they didn’t have them. I had to go to the Attorney General in Michigan for the documents. The Attorney General’s office gave them to me immediately.” [Source]

UM: Fundraising

The University of Michigan has set a $4 billion goal for its current fundraising campaign, called Victors for Michigan. The Nov. 7 kickoff event in Ann Arbor included news that $1 billion of that total would be raised for student financial aid and scholarships. If successful, it would be the most ever raised by a public university, and would exceed UM’s previous campaign of $3.2 billion. [Source] [Source]

UM: Moving Arthur Miller House?

The University of Michigan’s Architecture, Engineering and Construction website now includes a notice seeking proposals for the “sale and removal of the house located at 439 S. Division, Ann Arbor, Michigan.” The house was once home to Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Arthur Miller. For anyone who’s interested in purchasing and moving the house to a different location, proposals are due Dec. 10, 2013. A tour will be offered of the site on Nov. 19, 2013, starting promptly at 4 p.m. [Source]

The moving of historically significant houses has relatively recent local precedent in the Albert Polhemus House, which was moved in 2006 from Washington Street in downtown Ann Arbor to a location on Pontiac Trail. The Albert Polhemus House now … [Full Story]

A2: Lynn Rivers

Roll Call has published a feature on former Congresswoman Lynn Rivers, who lives in Ann Arbor and teaches at Washtenaw Community College. From the article: ”Rivers said that maybe she could help a campaign someday, but she doesn’t see herself ever running for anything again. She liked her former lifestyle, but she likes her new one, too. ‘There’s a certain appeal to eating dinner at a table, sleeping in your own bed, having pets,’ Rivers said.” [Source]

A2: Giant Pumpkins

On her blog Mae Travels, Mae Sander documents the delivery by forklift of a large pumpkin to a house in the Burns Park neighborhood. [Source]

A2: River Data Discontinued

The USGS stream gauge for the Huron River located near Wall Street has stopped reporting data like oxygen content and turbidity, although basic stream flow data is still available. The message on the USGS realtime reporting site indicates that the reduction in data reporting is due to federal sequestration: “The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will discontinue operation of a number of streamgages nationwide due to budget cuts as a result of sequestration. Additional streamgages may be affected if partners reduce their funding to support USGS streamgages. The USGS is working to identify which streamgages will be impacted and will post this information as it becomes available. … When budget fluctuations occur, the network is impacted.” [Source]

According to Huron River Watershed … [Full Story]

A2: Pillbug Designs

Local artist Missy Orge of Pillbug Designs is featured on the Martha Stewart Living website, with a Q&A and photos of her work – including “ornithologically correct” bird pants and bird socks: Orge describes her epiphany about becoming an artist: “…when complete strangers began buying my pieces, and the reaction in general was so overwhelmingly positive, I realized that art can be funny and cheerful and nonsensical. It doesn’t have to make a statement or break your heart or change your mind.” [Source]

UM: Federal Funding

In a guest column published by the Detroit Free Press, Ora Pescovitz – CEO of the University of Michigan Health System and UM’s executive vice president for medical affairs – describes how the federal sequestration and recent shutdown are affecting medical research. From the column: “When we stop investing in research, we’re saying that we are no longer committed to leading the world in discovery and being on the cutting edge of medical science. We’re saying that we are okay with the fact that our nation — a nation built on pioneering innovation — will no longer be in the lead or even competitive.”[Source]

A2: Road Repair Fund Raising

The Ann Arbor BicycleTouring Society has launched a fundraising campaign to pay for the repaving of Huron River Drive between Foster Road and Barton Dam – a popular cycling route. According to AABTS, the money raised by its members would be matched by the Washtenaw County Road Commission. The society has a fundraising goal of $30,000. Checks made out to the Washtenaw County Road Commission can be sent to Road Repair Projects c/o Theodore Green, 2773 Holyoke Lane, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. [Source]

A2: Business

In his Forbes leadership column, Bruce Rogers profiles Lauren Bigelow, an Ann Arbor resident and CEO of the Growth Capital Network, which manages the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. The column quotes Bigelow describing the Accelerate Michigan program: “With the competition, we’re trying to be a shot of nitrous to get the companies to the next step. We introduce additional capital flow to Michigan and it’s a great way to get ex-pats back to the state.” [Source]

UM: Minority Enrollment

Bloomberg reports on declining minority enrollment at the University of Michigan, following the state’s 2006 voter referendum that prohibited raced-based admissions policies. The report states that black student enrollment is down about 30% at UM’s undergraduate and law schools. The article quotes UM regent Mark Bernstein: “I don’t think anybody accepts the numbers. We are, as a campus, as a university, committed to diversity, and we’ll just have to soldier on using less-effective tools.” [Source]

A2: “Thrive-able” Wages

In an opinion piece published by the Detroit News, Zingerman’s co-founder Paul Saginaw describes his company’s efforts to pay its food-service workers more than the federally mandated living wage. He writes: ”We would be irresponsible employers if the jobs we provided could not support housing stability and health security. So we are motivated to gradually raise wages to a ‘thrive-able level’ for all of our lowest-paid employees across the board. A living wage is the path to a living economy and the antidote to the current suicide economy trajectory we find ourselves on.” [Source]

UM: Gershwins

The New York Times reports on an agreement between the estates of George and Ira Gershwin and the University of Michigan that will result in at least 35 volumes of scores and analysis – the first in-depth research on the Gershwins’ entire combined body of work. [Source] As a tribute to the collaboration, the university has posted a YouTube video of a performance by faculty and students of UM’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, titled “Rhapsody in Maize and Blue.” [Source]