Archive for August, 2008

Washtenaw: Politics

On one of the local blogs for the Obama campaign, Chris in Scio Township talks about capitalizing on McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin for veep. “Get people talking about it when you’re on the phone and canvassing. You’ll find it very easy to get even fence-sitting Independents to talk about what a transparently political and pandering move it is. The problem for McCain is that it isn’t working and the initial polls suggest that Palin gets even lower marks with women than he does with men.” [Source]

UM: Football

On his Atomic Trousers blog, Christian Schneider – a Utah graduate – recaps his trip to Ann Arbor to see Michigan’s season opener: “Fortunately, they (Michigan) didn’t win, and as the game moved along, the crowd in our section turned ugly. Profanities rained down on the Utah fans from behind. Even with little kids omnipresent in the crowd, some crude fans launched into tirades that would make an Ol’ Dirty Bastard CD seem like the Osmonds.” [Source]

UM: Football

Many papers cover Saturday’s upset of Michigan by Utah. The best headline goes to the Freep – “Deja Blue” – and here’s a comment from Chicago Tribune columnist Teddy Greenstein: “The buzzword in Denver last week was “change,” and that has been the theme of Rich Rodriguez’s first off-season in Ann Arbor. Rodriguez hired 15 new coaches, installed a new offense, revamped the conditioning drills and altered the way captains are selected. The result of all the upheaval? More of the same for Michigan.” [Source]

A2: Economy

The Orlando Sentinal writes about how to deal with mortgage lenders when you’re trying to get help, and interviews Sheri Teodoru, CEO of CFI Group, a consumer-research and consulting firm in Ann Arbor. “I advise consumers to follow up in writing with the customer-service people they talk to. Send them a letter stating when the conversation took place and what was said. That way you have documentation that you spoke to this person.” [Source]

A2: Business

Taylor Bond, CEO of Ann Arbor-based Children’s Orchard, is quoted in a Las Vegas Review-Journal article about business blogging. “For some businesses, it makes sense; for some it doesn’t. It’s one of the fastest-growing areas with our target market: moms with (young) kids.” [Source]

Ypsi: Art

In Dee’s Art Journal blog, Dee Overly writes about the changing seasons, the variety of art in the Ann Arbor/Ypsi area, and where her own work is currently displayed. [Source]

UM: Health

Britain’s The Independent reports on two studies – one by UM researchers – that show exposure to lead in gasoline increases aging. [Source]

Would the Owner of a Blue Honda Civic …


This Car Has Been Impounded

The first football Saturday morning of the season got off to a pretty awful start for one Texan, whose blue Honda Civic was tagged with a neat sign reading “This Car Has Been Impounded” tucked under the wiper blades. [Full Story]

Chelsea: Economy

The PrairiePundit blog posts excerpts of a Washington Post article that looked at the impact of the auto industry Chelsea and other areas in Michigan, then offers some commentary: “Michigan is an example of the failure of the policies that Obama is pushing. It has been a high tax big government state. It raised taxes as things were getting bad and made them worse. Its union members were too greedy and made the industry uncompetitive.” [Source]

Ashley & Liberty

football Saturday off to rough start for owner of car getting impounded; Texas plates

Liberty & 7th

freshly dead squirrel in bike lane by storm drain; intact body; no guts

No Rail Yet, But At Least There’s A Video

Here’s the vision: That a rail service from Ann Arbor to Detroit – with stops in Ypsilanti, Detroit Metro Airport and Dearborn – will be up and running in just over two years. Though funding for this ambitious project remains a huge question mark, at least there’s enough money to make a promotional video, complete with computer-generated people riding the computer-generated train in safety and comfort. Check it out here, courtesy of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), the project’s lead partner: [Full Story]

UM: Football

Today being UM football’s season opener, there are dozens of reports focusing on coach Rich Rodriguez and the game. This one from the New York Post quotes Rodriguez about moving to Ann Arbor. “I know there’s going to be some adversity, probably more early but I hope not a whole lot. I’ve tried to compartmentalize it and not let it affect the job. It has taken some fun off the transition.” [Source]

A2: Economy

A Freep article looks at how restaurants are affected by the tough economy and quotes Mike Gibbons, president of Ann Arbor-based Mainstreet Ventures Inc.,which owns Palio and Gratzi, among other eateries. “We’re making sure we’re not over-portioning, and we’re employing fewer people than in the past….The new state taxes have been devastating to our industry,” he said. “Our taxes are up $15,000 to $20,000 per restaurant.” [Source]

Chelsea: Auto Industry

Chelsea is the setting for a Washington Post piece on the struggles of Michigan’s auto industry. The city is described as a “well-heeled” suburb of Detroit, which nonetheless experiences poverty. “Poverty’s inroads in Chelsea, nearby Saline and in cities in wealthy Oakland County and elsewhere can be tied to the state’s loss of jobs, especially high-paying automotive jobs.” [Source]

Zombies and Shopping Carts: How Tapped in Are You?


There are several different segments of local culture of which I have scant knowledge. One of those is whatever you’d like to call that segment that makes Punk Week happen in late August every year. Details in published sources are few. Even the the venerable ArborWiki’s description of the Shopping Cart Races, apparently one of the core events of Punk Week, is too vague to allow attendance or participation in the event. [Full Story]

Free Stuff? Slow Down!

Late August in Ann Arbor brings any number of signs by the curb announcing that the items set out there are free for the taking. Here’s an example of a such a sign that turns out to have been composed by Kevin Leeser. Whatever had been left out under the sign was already gone by the time The Chronicle noticed it, so we pounded on the door this morning to find out. [Full Story]

Saline: Food

On the, Jackie DiGiovanni writes a post about The Bakers Nook in Saline. “If you need a unique, custom cake for a special occasion, this is the shop to call. But call well ahead of your event, because they are very busy, and their schedule fills up quickly.” [Source]

Value of Voter Registration

Young people with clipboards are ubiquitous on street corners in downtown Ann Arbor. Passersby earn that description by passing by, many ignoring their queries like Kevin Karjala’s this morning, “Are you registered to vote?” Others, like The Chronicle, respond in the affirmative, but brace themselves for the follow-up, thinking that a query about voter registration is probably a gate question to an invitation to sign a petition or take some other action open only to registered voters. [Full Story]

Huron River Drive Reconstruction

The detour signage from Bird Hill Road leading to Huron River Drive (HRD) was still in place this morning, but the road itself was open again for business. One driver wasn’t aware that the option to turn right from Bird Hill had been restored, but it didn’t matter because she was planning to turn left anyway.

huron river drive reconstruction ann arbor

The ground cover along the shoulders of Huron River Drive is starting to sprout. The goal is that it will help stabilize the shoulders through the winter.

[Full Story]

A2: Transit

On the getDowntown blog, Nancy Shore relays some insights from Megan Gibb, a former Ypsilanti city planner who now works for the city of Portland, Ore. Gibb “uses the example of Portland, who as early as the 70’s began taking bold moves to invest in public transit, couple land use planning with transit development, and create public-private partnerships to turn blighted areas into livable communities.  The result? Billions of dollars in cost savings and investment. In addition, the Portland region has attracted young, college educated professionals at 5 times the national rate.” [Source]

UM: Football

USA Today has a long article about the changes at Michigan football, both in coaching and stadium renovations. “Old-school Michigan has always been the last place anyone would call hip. But a 45-year-old coach with a new-school nickname — RichRod — and the trendiest offense in the game are bringing the program into modern times.” [Source]

A2: Politics

A Christian Science Monitor article about Obama’s presidential acceptance speech quotes recent UM graduate Michael O’Brien, who described it as “a little too long” and said it “glossed over” Iraq. Also, “Obama did a lot to emphasize humility, which was incredibly smart.” [Source] The Freep visits locales where people watched Thursday’s speech, including Afi Rawlings’ apartment in Ann Arbor, where several UM graduate students gathered. [Source]

The Art of Bundling Cardboard

When Ann Arbor residents leave their corrugated cardboard out (before 7 a.m.) for curbside pickup by Recycle Ann Arbor, sometimes it doesn’t disappear by the time they’ve returned home in the evening. It will be sitting in the same neat pile they left it in – with one difference. Stuck to the top of the pile will be an orange sticky note declaring: “Your corrugated cardboard wasn’t prepared properly.” [Full Story]

4th & Liberty

bright pink ribbons tied off with bows on … cardboard set out for recycling?  Huh?

Ypsi: Movies

Commenters on report the loud late-night shooting of the Drew Barrymore flick “Whip It.” The shoot took place on South Summit in Ypsilanti. “I’m currently cleaning out my old apartment on S Summit (I wants all my security deposit back) and had to breathe in the diesel fumes from the ginormous generators on the lighting truck all evening. My downstairs neighbor complained to them and the guy told him ‘Hey, I’m from California– this isn’t any worse than the smog there.’” [Source]

A2: Event

The Great Lakes Guru blog reposts a review of July’s German Park picnic, reminding people that this Saturday is the last event of the year there. [Source]

A2: Politics

The New York Times prints a letter to the editor from Patricia Pasick of Ann Arbor. “There are always more commonalities than differences among people. Mr. Obama seems singularly obsessed with lifting us over chasms that have stymied our collective will to achieve equality. This is why the man is not just a pandering politician but also an authentic visionary.” [Source]