Media Watch Section

A2: Female Legislators

Rebekah Warren of Ann Arbor, the Democratic state senator representing District 18, is featured in a Detroit Free Press report about the declining number of women in the Michigan legislature. She talks about how women are treated: “You catch little things that happen, like I’ll be sitting at a table with a bunch of male Senators and whoever is leading the meeting will address the men as Senator and then call me Rebekah. It just feels patronizing.” [Source]

A2: HomeGrown Festival

WEMU’s Issues of the Environment features an interview with Jason Frenzel, co-chair of the planning committee for the 6th annual Homegrown Festival. The event takes place on Saturday, Sept. 7 from 6-10 p.m. at the Ann Arbor farmers market. [Source]

UM: $200M Donation

The University of Michigan announced it will name the athletic campus after developer Stephen M. Ross, following a new $200 million donation from Ross to the university. Of that amount, $100 million is designated for athletics and $100 million will fund the business school, which is already named after Ross because of a previous donation. [Source]

UM: Marching Band

A 9-minute video of the University of Michigan Marching Band performance at the Aug. 31, 2013 football game. The James Bond theme – “From Ann Arbor with Love” – features a jet-pack flight out of Michigan Stadium, and a cameo by UM president Mary Sue Coleman. [Source]

A2: Kerrytown BookFest

A post on the Kerrytown BookFest website highlights panel discussions and other features of the 11th annual event, held at the Ann Arbor farmers market on Sunday, Sept. 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to organizer Robin Agnew, president of the book festival and co-owner of Aunt Agatha’s mystery bookshop, this year’s theme is to celebrate Detroit and its writers. [Source]

A2: Co-Working

Several members of Ann Arbor’s Workantile are quoted in a Forbes article about co-working as an option for employees who work remotely from their firm’s main offices. Workantile’s co-owner Bill Tozier: “Everybody keeps talking about the changing relationship between employee and employer. Co-working sort of offers an out, a gradual easement of that crisis. Rather than just sending people home, this remote employee relationship is a compromise that can work.” [Source]

UM: Alice Walker

Inside Higher Ed reports that Alice Walker, the author who recently was disinvited to speak at a University of Michigan event hosted by UM’s Center for the Education of Women, is now being invited back. The report cites an email from UM provost Martha Pollack, sent to faculty last week and posted on the CEW website: “Consistent with the university’s commitment to free speech, I am pleased to report that the CEW and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies are joining together to extend an invitation to Ms. Walker to speak in a public forum on campus.” It is not clear whether Walker has accepted. [Source]

A2: Zoning Politics

The University of Michigan student Mixed Use Party, which is fielding candidates in the Nov. 5, 2013, Ann Arbor city council elections, has landed on the radar of Slate Magazine’s business and economics correspondent Matthew Yglesias. In an Aug. 14, 2013 column, Yglesias offers a positive assessment of the kind of limited zoning plan put forward by the MUP: “… these kind of codes are a big improvement on the idea that town planners need to micromanage where people can and can’t put an office or a store.” [Source]

A2: Singing Nuns

National Public Radio reports on the debut album of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, a community of nuns who live north of Ann Arbor. The album, titled Mater Eucharistiae, was released on Aug. 13. The report quotes Sister Maria Suso: “Usually when we’re singing, it’s just us and God. But with the CD, we were able to bring other people into that space of prayer when we’re singing. And that’s something that is humbling and makes us a little vulnerable. These are our special songs.” [Source]

A2: Blimpy Burger

A photo by Thomas Nighswander – featuring Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger owner Rich Magner and several employees – is posted on “The Last Supper” website, which provides details of an Aug. 17 fundraiser and final event at the current Blimpy location at Division and Packard. The event, which costs $100 per person, is described on the website as “a very personalized experience and a chance to meet others as Krazy about Blimpy as you are.” Blimpy’s will be open to the general public through Wednesday, Aug. 14. [Source]

UM: Bonding

A Bloomberg Businessweek report about the impact of Detroit’s bankruptcy on bonding in Michigan quotes Erik Gordon, who teaches at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business: “Investors can’t price a bond in Saginaw or Genesee or Battle Creek if they don’t know what a general-obligation bond means. When somebody changes the rules of the game, there’s not much you can do about it, and you don’t want to play again.” [Source]

UM: Winter Olympics

Charley Sullivan, the University of Michigan associate men’s rowing coach, is quoted in an Associated Press article about how anti-gay laws are impacting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Sullivan – described in the article as “one of the first openly gay coaches of a major-college sports team” – suggested that athletes could protest the Russian laws by wearing gay pride pins and carrying rainbow flags to the closing ceremonies. Sullivan said athletes have “a moral imperative not to let their efforts, their body, the images of what they do, their names, to be hooked to legitimizing of the host country without their consent.” [Source]

A2: Arts & Culture

The Arts Alliance has released responses from Ann Arbor city council candidates to a questionnaire on arts and culture. The alliance received responses from only two of the four candidates in the Aug. 6, 2013 Democratic primary’s contested races – Julie Grand in Ward 3, and Jack Eaton in Ward 4. The incumbents in those races – Steve Kunselman (Ward 3) and Marcia Higgins (Ward 4) did not respond to the survey by the deadline. [Source]

A2: Superintendent Search

WEMU reports that the Ann Arbor Public Schools board has offered the job of superintendent to Jeanice Swift, who has agreed to enter contract negotiations. Swift currently is an assistant superintendent at a school system in Colorado Springs. The AAPS board’s first choice, Brian Osborne, turned down the district’s offer a few days ago. [Source]

A2: Downtown Zoning

An online survey about downtown zoning has been posted on A2 Open City Hall, as part of the current review of A2D2 (Ann Arbor Discovering Downtown) zoning. The survey closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2. Survey results will be part of the input considered by the city’s planning commission as it makes recommendations to city council about possible zoning revisions. Public forums, focus groups and coffee hours are other strategies that the city is using to solicit feedback – more details on that are on the A2D2 website. [Link to A2 Open City Hall]

A2: Dog Park

The city of Ann Arbor is seeking input on a potential new dog park in Ann Arbor, via an online survey and two public meetings. The dog park subcommittee of the city’s park advisory commission will hold public meetings on Tuesday, Aug. 27 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the basement conference room of city hall at 301 E. Huron, and on Wednesday, Sept. 11 from 7-8:30 p.m. at Cobblestone Farm Barn at 2781 Packard Road. The online survey will be open through Aug. 12. [Source]

A2: Bookstore

Publishers Weekly reports on Peter Blackshear’s plans to open a new independent bookstore in Ann Arbor in August. Bookbound, to be located in the Courtyard Shops complex at 1729 Plymouth Road, will focus on bargain books and children’s books, with a small used book section. The article quotes Blackshear, a former Borders bookstore employee: “I’d dreamed for many years of having a store of my own. When Borders closed, I thought maybe there was a window of opportunity to start my own business.” [Source]

Osborne Declines AAPS Offer

In a press release Sunday afternoon, July 28, 2013 the Ann Arbor Public School district has announced that Brian Osborne has declined an  offer to become its next superintendent. AAPS board chair Deb Mexicotte is quoted in the district’s press release as saying, “… due to a developing family issue, concerns about moving his family from the East coast and his desire to continue the work he has started in his current district, [Osborne] has declined our offer …” [.pdf of press release]

A2: Homicide

The Detroit Free Press is among the media outlets reporting that a University of Michigan medical student’s death is being investigated as a homicide. Paul DeWolf was found dead in the Phi Rho Sigma house on Wednesday morning, July 24. If you have information about the incident, contact the Ann Arbor police department’s tip line at 734-794-6939 or, or call Crime Stoppers at 800-773-2587. [Source]

A2: Business

Mark Hodesh, owner of Downtown Home & Garden in Ann Arbor, is featured in a Forbes magazine column about how to grow a business while respecting the historic integrity and character of the building where it’s located. In the case of Hodesh, it’s through ventures like Mark’s Carts and Bill’s Beer Garden. From the column: “With a little bit of innovation and a focused vision, Hodesh has been able to pull off growth through what he calls a ‘non-building way to develop.’ And best of all, that development happened without having to abandon the heart and soul of Downtown Home & Garden. In fact, the new businesses have not only created new revenue in and of themselves, … [Full Story]

UM: Presidential Search

The Detroit News reports that a search committee has been appointed to help select the next University of Michigan president, following Mary Sue Coleman’s retirement next year. Members include the eight UM regents and seven professors: Alec Gallimore, David Ginsburg, Timothy R.B. Johnson, Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, Tiya Miles, Rebecca Scott, and Lynn Perry Wooten. The regents have hired the executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates to help with the process, and a website with information about the search has been posted. [Source]

Washtenaw: Pam Byrnes

The Ballot Box blog for The Hill reports on Democrat Pam Byrnes’ decision to challenge Republican incumbent Tim Wahlberg in 2014 for the 7th District U.S. Congressional seat, which includes portions of western Washtenaw County. From The Hill: “The seat leans slightly Republican, giving Mitt Romney 51 percent of its vote in 2012, and is the type Democrats need to win to have a shot at taking back control of the House next year.” Byrnes, who lives in the Chelsea area, was a former Michigan state representative who served as speaker of the House. She lost a 2010 primary election for state senate to Rebekah Warren. [Source]

A2: Karl Pohrt

Tom Fricke, chair of the University of Michigan’s anthropology department, writes a remembrance of Karl Pohrt, published by the Ann Arbor Observer. He writes: “Karl and the [Shaman Drum Bookshop] were vital parts of the life of this University, representing a vision of the tapestry, community and academy, into which we need to be woven. It is a threatened, perhaps irreproducible, reality approached so closely by this simple bookstore. … And Karl presided over it all with delight. This was what he wanted. This is what he would never compromise.” [Source]

UM: Tuition

The University of Michigan board of regents will consider a proposal offering in-state tuition to undocumented students who meet certain qualifications, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press. If approved, the proposal would also offer in-state tuition to any member of the military currently serving or honorably discharged. [.pdf staff memo of proposed new qualifications for in-state tuition] The regents meet on Thursday, July 18 at 3 p.m. in the North Atrium of Building 18 at the North Campus Research Complex (former Pfizer complex). [Source]

A2: Business

A post on Herman Miller’s Lifework blog features a Q&A with Lisa Waud of Ann Arbor-based Pot & Box, focused on her playlist at work. Here’s how Waud responds when asked what her work would be if it were a song or musician: “Wow. I guess I’d say my work would be the band Little Dragon: a strong female lead, can’t sit still when it’s underway, and like they describe their music, my work is very much a dreamy, rhythmical, shifting, moody rainbow.” [Source]

A2: Karl Pohrt

An obituary in Publishers Weekly marks the passing of Karl Pohrt, who founded and ran the Shaman Drum Bookshop in Ann Arbor for nearly three decades before closing it in 2009. Pohrt, 65, died on July 10 from anaplastic thyroid cancer. Deb Leonard, executive director of the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association, described Pohrt as “the godfather of bookselling in Ann Arbor and Michigan. He’s already missed.” A memorial service will be held Sunday, July 14 at 2 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, 3257 Lohr Road in Ann Arbor. Donations can be made to the church or to the Children’s Literacy Network. [Source]

A2: Wedding Gowns

An article in the Detroit Free Press features the Brides Project, a wedding gown resale shop operated by the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor. The article quotes Patrycja Much, who donated a Vera Wang gown to the shop: “Instead of sitting in closet, it’s passing it forward. It has more meaning behind it, it makes it more special.” The shop is open by appointment only at the Courtyard Shops, 1689 Plymouth Road. [Source]

A2: Book Review

Writing on the blog Damn Arbor, Erika Jost reviews a memoir by Howard Norman, “I Hate to Leave this Beautiful Place,” which begins in Grand Rapids in 1964.

About Norman’s book, Jost offers: “His boyhood swan-killing is incidentally the beginning of his lifelong fascination with birds. These essays are Mr. Norman’s thoughtful reflection on his life’s trauma, and the birds serve as the physical reminder of the world’s loveliness, a loveliness that Mr. Norman is compelled to see … [T]his finely crafted collection will be a salve to what ails you, a soaring oystercatcher to enchant and expand your suffering heart. The world seems a larger place after reading Mr. Norman’s book; I don’t know a higher compliment to give a writer … [Full Story]