Archive for October, 2008

UM Diag

Giant banana spotted playing frisbee in Diag. Giant gorilla MIA.

A Not-So-Frightful Halloween

Editor’s note: You’ve seen The Chronicle’s photos of Halloween on Main Street in a previous entry. Now forget that and take a look at the event through the eyes of a professional photographer. Myra Klarman, who was the official photographer for this year’s Ann Arbor Summer Festival, has graciously allowed The Chronicle to publish some of her work documenting today’s festivities. Enjoy.

Number 1

[Full Story]

Meeting Watch: Public Market (30 Oct 2008)

A mixup over which group had reserved the council chambers on Thursday night led to the Public Market Advisory Commission holding most of its meeting off-camera. That glitch might have inadvertently foreshadowed a broader move by the city, which is considering whether to curb the cable-access broadcast of some public commissions – something that the public market commissioners hope doesn’t happen. [Full Story]

Halloween on Main Street

This little airplane was puttering up and down Main Street, diving into stores to fuel up on candy.

This little airplane was puttering up and down Main Street, diving into stores to fuel up on candy.

If you happened to be in downtown Ann Arbor today, well, chances are you were either giving out candy, wearing a Halloween costume or walking past any of the dozens of trick-or-treaters who were exponentially increasing the Main Street area’s cuteness quotient.

The Chronicle was there too, capturing on camera a few of the spooks and spiders roaming the streets with their parents on a glorious autumn afternoon. We also stopped by Mrs. Lovett’s Meat Pies, usually known as Arcade Barbers, to check out the amazing Sweeney Todd transformation that was previously noted by one of our Stopped.Watched. correspondents. [Full Story]

HD’s Totter Watch: Ward 5


There’s an Open Totter policy for Teeter Talk, which means that I’ll pretty much totter with anyone who’s willing. When political candidates totter during an election, I try to make sure that there’s equal opportunity for tottering all around.

Having tottered with Carsten Hohnke back in September, it was thus fitting and proper that I took a turn with John Floyd a couple of weeks ago. [Full Story]

Liberty & Second

Developer Peter Allen standing in the car wash lot, showing large architectural drawings of a proposed condo development for that site to a banker.

Everywhere downtown

Ghosts, fairies, knights, princesses, astronauts, lions and tigers and bears (oh my!), pirates, cats, dogs, robots, all under four feet tall, all looking for treats.

Madison & Ashley

The Washtenaw Dairy is doing brisk business in doughnuts this morning.

UM: Stem Cells

The Wall Street Journal reports on the debate about Michigan’s Proposition 2 ballot proposal, which would loosen restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. Sean Morrison, director of UM’s Center for Stem Cell Biology, is interviewed for the article. [Source]

A2: Health Care

The Freep reports that a clinic in Whitmore Lake serving uninsured and underinsured patients might close if it can’t raise over $100,000 to settle a dispute with the IRS. Eighty-eight members of the Washtenaw Health Plan get care at the clinic. Says Ellen Rabinowitz, the plan’s executive director: ”It would be a loss to the community, not just to health plan members.” [Source]

Washtenaw: Roads

The blog for Washtenaw County’s 2035 long-range transportation plan, managed by the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study, is asking for feedback on areas of local traffic congestion. [Source]

UM: Film

The Producer’s Guide to Michigan posts an interview with Jim Burnstein, who runs the UM screenwriting program and serves on the Michigan Film Office Advisory Council. [Source]

Washtenaw: Auto Industry

Crain’s Detroit Business reports on an intergovernmental meeting to be held Friday morning in Warren focused on a regional response strategy in the event of a GM/Chrysler merger. The meeting, organized by the Michigan Economic Development Corp., will include officials from Washtenaw County. [Source]

Trick or Retreat: DDA Board Plans Year

DDA retreat

Final pie chart of proposed DDA board committee structure for 2009. Re-drawn on wall poster by facilitator Fran Alexander from original sketch by Keith Orr.

Ann Arbor’s Downtown Development Authority board held its annual retreat on Tuesday morning, which began with a scrumptious hot breakfast and ended with a giant pie. What the pie offered in size, it lacked in taste: it came in the form of a chart. More on the chart later. Fran Alexander, of Alexander & Associates, acted as the facilitator for the four-hour meeting, which began on time at 8 a.m., and was uninterrupted except for a strictly enforced 10-minute break. It covered three main agenda items: (i) celebrate achievements of 2007-08 (ii) identify priorities for 2009 (iii) establish committee structure for DDA board work. [Full Story]


A dozen or so bicyclists zipping through the night with blinking lights and conversation.

7th & Lutz

Person folds up Obama sign and sticks it in trunk of waiting car.

HD’s Totter Watch: Now What? Now.


Back in the early days of Teeter Talk, I did a “virtual totter ride” with a guy out in California named Scott Schnaars. We conducted the Talk via Yahoo! chat, because that’s the company he worked for at the time. Now he works for Socialtext. Not very long after Scott’s virtual ride, his wife, Holly, was diagnosed with colon cancer.


After aggressive surgical treatment and chemotherapy, Scott and Holly had a sigh of relief after the latest round of test results from August of this year. Summarized that way in two sentences, Holly’s story is artificially neat and tidy and has a happy end. Since Holly’s diagnosis, I’ve had on my mental white board of potential totter guests someone who would climb aboard – not just virtually – and talk about colon cancer. I didn’t have a particular person in mind. But that person turned out to be Bridget Weise Knyal. [Full Story]

Packard & 5th

Accident involving at least two cars and pedestrian (as of about 1:00pm)

6 Nickels Arcade

Arcade Barbers transformed into set from Sweeney Todd, including bloody handprints. Half-off straight-razor shaves on Halloween.


packard being swept scnd day in a row

Primary Race misidentified

In explaining that Karen Lovejoy Roe did not run for re-election as county commissioner, we said that she’d won a different Democratic primary race in Ypsilanti townships than the one she did: clerk.  We note the error here and have corrected the original piece: Lovejoy Roe won the Democratic primary in the clerk’s race.

A2: Health Care

Charles Roehrig and George Miller, executives with the Ann Arbor-based Altarum Institute, write an op/ed in the Detroit News about Barack Obama’s health care plan. “Assuming there is enough funding to implement an Obama plan, the near-term impact will make insurance more affordable. There will still be uninsured people, but most presumably will be uninsured by choice, not necessity. This gain would be welcome.” [Source]

A2: Business

The Freep reports on the opening of a new Busch’s grocery store in West Bloomfield. Says Chris Hooks, vice president of sales and marketing for the Ann Arbor-based business: ”John (Busch) is very focused on being a small Michigan-based business working with other small businesses in Michigan. We try to look for items in a 150- to 200-mile footprint.” [Source]

7th & Liberty

Tiny electric-looking red automobile with license: “DUMBCAR”

Soule & Crest

Zion Lutheran bells tolling out something that sounds like Are You Sleeping? But it’s fancier than that.

Liberty & 4th Ave.

harmonica player rounding corner from 4th Ave. at the Clover Leaf headed east on Liberty