The Jim Toy Community Center has released the results of its first municipal candidate questionnaire for the 2014 primary elections. The center received responses from 25 candidates, answering questions that were designed to gauge and elicit commitments to LGBTQ issues and equality. Candidates’ responses were then coded and rated on a five-point scale. All but two of the candidates received 4, 4.5 or 5 points. [Source]
Less than two weeks after Shaman Drum Bookshop announced plans to close, the owners of another independent Ann Arbor bookstore are saying they could be next.
On Friday, Keith Orr – co-owner of Common Language Bookstore – sent an email to customers laying out the situation that his business faces: “There is no easy way to say this,” he wrote. “Common Language is not making enough sales to support itself. Its very existence is in peril.”
After a Chronicle reader forwarded the email to us on Monday, we went over to the store in Kerrytown’s Braun Court to talk with Orr. Sitting in the shaded courtyard in front of the shop he owns with partner Martin Contreras, Orr spoke about why they decided to reach out for help, and how he hopes the community will respond.
Contreras and Orr have been subsidizing the store with their personal savings and with money from another business they own, the \aut\ BAR, which is located in an adjacent building. They can’t continue that indefinitely – sales have to increase to support the store. Though there is a sense of crisis, Orr says, they aren’t planning to shut their doors next week or even next month. Yet they wanted to alert the community that they are struggling, and if they can’t find a way to make the bookstore financially sustainable, they’ll have to close.