Archive for October, 2008

Know Your Library Board: Carola Stearns

Carola Stearns, the newest Ann Arbor District Library board member.

Carola Stearns, the newest Ann Arbor District Library board member.

Carola Stearns hadn’t planned on being an Ann Arbor District Library board member, but a set of circumstances converged to put her on the board at one of its most crucial times in recent history, helping guide a major building project that could transform part of downtown Ann Arbor.

Stearns was appointed to the AADL board in early August, following the resignation of Jean King, who was elected in May. King – a veteran attorney and women’s rights activist – resigned in mid-July, citing her inability to be available for board meetings in person. [Full Story]

UM: Desmond Tutu

The Freep interviews former Archbishop Desmond Tutu to preview his speech tonight at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor. Tutu will receive the Raoul Wallenberg Medal from UM at the event, which honors humanitarians. The free lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. [Source]

A2: Auto Industry

Doug Fox, president of Ann Arbor Automotive and co-chair of the annual Detroit auto show, is quoted in a Wall Street Journal article about automakers scaling back at next month’s auto show in L.A. Fox says the Detroit show is strong: ”We still have people asking for more space, with none to give.” [Source]

A2: Free Speech

The Catholic News Agency reports on a federal case involving the Ann Arbor-based Thomas More Law Center. The center had filed a lawsuit this summer alleging that a Minnesota student’s rights were violated when he was prevented from wearing pro-life T-shirts to school. The judge ruled that the student should be allowed to wear the shirts. Said Richard Thompson, the center’s president and chief counsel: ”This young Christian was not afraid to stand up for his pro-life beliefs despite ridicule and threats from school officials. We are pleased we were able to vindicate his Constitutional rights.” [Source]

Washtenaw: Parks

WEMU’s David Fair interviews Washtenaw County Commissioner Conan Smith about two parks millages on the Nov. 4 ballot for the county and city of Ann Arbor. [Source]

A2: Weather

Jeff Masters of Ann Arbor-based Weather Underground is quoted in a Philadelphia Inquirer article about Monday’s rain-out of Game 5 in baseball’s World Series. When Masters sat down to watch the game, the Inquirer reports, “I saw the rain and said, ‘Hey, wait a minute, this wasn’t supposed to happen.’ ” [Source]

Conversations Get Creative at Alliance Event

Aubrey Martinson speaks while Ken Fischer and Jennifer Spitler look on.

Aubrey Martinson of the Chelsea Center for the Arts takes her turn answering a question. Looking on are fellow panelists Chuck Kieffer (off camera), Ken Fischer and Jennifer Spitler.

One of the challenges at Tuesday evening’s Creative Conversations event was hearing what the four panelists had to say while listening to competing beer-fueled creative conversations about Ludacris and Bob Seger coming from another section of Ypsilanti’s Corner Brewery.

The panelists were undaunted, however, as they discussed their own challenges and strategies as nonprofit leaders in the arts and human services, giving tips on everything from how to survive in a tough economy to the best place to wear your nametag (the right side – more on that later). [Full Story]

AATA meeting

At emergency board meeting, AATA voted unanimously to be the authority to manage WALLY. Directed staff to expend resources in that direction.

South 7th by Pioneer

South Seventh by Pioneer, near Stadium intersection – hundreds of huge black cawing crows filled the air, riding the air currents!

North 7th

The vacant house at 116 N. 7th has had its windows removed. Only the lower levels are boarded in.

Downtown P.O.

LL Bean holiday catalogs stacked on pallets at P.O. loading dock; headed your way soon.

UM: Politics

On the Our Values blog, UM professor Wayne Baker solicits reader opinion about the presidential race: ”It’s curious that the media has focused on the race versus economy issue recently. Don’t get me wrong: the media has reported on these issues before. But in the last few days the reporting has escalated, with up-close-and-personal quotes of people who are – and are not – voting according to race. And, we’ve had reports of a foiled ‘effort’ by racists to assassinate Obama. (I say effort because ‘plot’ would suggest more organization and forethought than appears to be true in this case.) What do you make of it all?” [Source]

UM: Health Care

The Detroit News runs an op/ed by Gilbert Omenn, a professor at the UM Medical School, advocating for Barack Obama’s health care plan: “Health care reform has been unfinished business for 70 years in this country. Better health at affordable cost is essential for economic recovery and for satisfying lives for all of us. When this divisive campaign is over, I hope the Obama plan’s centrist principles and comprehensive elements will provide a foundation for a bipartisan solution that most Americans will support and Congress could pass in 2009.” [Source]

A2: Prius

Micheline Maynard of the New York Times Detroit bureau writes another installment of her Prius Diary: ”And like the Corvette, whose owners have bubbled with enthusiasm for several generations now, the Prius generates excitement among its owners, too. I’ve found that out in just the two months since I traded in my S.U.V. and became part of the Fellowship of the Prius. The latest example came last week, when I went to the offices of Michgian Radio in Ann Arbor to be interviewed by Lester Graham, a reporter for  The Environmental Report, which runs on public radio stations nationwide.” [Source]

A2: Auto Industry

UM economist Don Grimes is quoted in an LA Times article about the future of the U.S. auto industry: “A failure from the Big Three would be a huge, huge hit. But there’s a real question about whether there’s room for all of them.” David Cole of Ann Arbor’s Center for Automotive Research is also interviewed. [Source]

Live at PJ’s: It’s HealthMedia!

HealthMedia got a boost in its nascent stages from a handshake deal.

HealthMedia got a boost in its nascent stages from a handshake understanding.

If you’ve just described your company as “the coolest damn company in the world,” how do you announce to your 150 employees – 95% of whom are shareholders – that the company has been acquired by Johnson & Johnson? If you’re Ted Dacko, president of HealthMedia, you take advantage of the venue you’ve selected for the mid-afternoon announcement. You’re at a nightclub with an excellent AV system (Live at PJ’s), so you cue up the company movie.

As the fast-paced … [Full Story]

2nd St.

Full rainbow over Ann Arbor visible from 2nd St.

Huron & First

T-shirted HealthMedia employees walking back to offices from P. J.’s where they just learned they’d been acquired by Johnson & Johnson. To stay in Ann Arbor, though. [Details to follow]

Washtenaw: Politics

In a post titled “What Football Saturday Should Look Like,” the Michigan Republican Party blog posts several pictures of people in this area standing next to candidate yard signs for John McCain, Tim Walberg and Jessica Ping. [Source]

No Study Committee for Old Fourth Ward


412 E. Huron St.

As The Chronicle previously reported, Sunday night before city council’s last meeting on Monday Oct. 20, Chris Crockett, president of the Old Fourth Ward Association, and Ray Detter, chair of the Downtown Area Citizens Advisory Council, appeared at the caucus. They were there to oppose the resolution on the following evening’s agenda to appoint a study committee to explore the question of modifying the Old Fourth Ward historic district to exclude the property at 412 E. Huron St. At caucus the question was left open as to whether the item would be left on the agenda at all, independent of how council might vote on the resolution if it stayed. [Full Story]

A2: Health

Bridget Reidy, a family doctor who used to make house calls in the Ann Arbor area, is quoted in a Detroit News article about the trend of doctors making house calls: “It’s very expensive to care for (older patients and ones with chronic, debilitating diseases). It’s extremely expensive on the entire system, not to mention it can cause gridlock in ERs.” [Source]

UM: Health

U.S. News & World Report’s HealthDay column features a study by UM researchers showing that eating tart cherries could lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation and cut body weight and fat.  Says study co-author Dr. Steven Bolling, a cardiac surgeon at UM’s Cardiovascular Center: ”We know excess body fat increases the risk for heart disease. This research gives us one more support point suggesting that diet changes, such as including cherries, could potentially lower heart disease risk.” The Cherry Marketing Institute sponsored the study. [Source]

A2: Politics

The Barack Obama community blog for Ann Arbor reports that the campaign has opened a new office at 340 Maynard St. for the final days leading up to the election. [Source]