Archive for October, 2008

Fifth & Detroit

Vendors at the Sunday Ann Arbor Artisans Market are dressed up in Halloween costumes.

A2: Detroit

A Freep article about the grand opening of Detroit’s Westin Book Cadillac hotel quotes 26-year-old Dan Jahncke, a financial analyst in Ann Arbor who’s a descendent of one of the developers of the original hotel, which opened in 1924: ”This is just amazing. I used to drive by this place when I was a kid and I always used to think, ‘Oh gosh, it looks so forgotten.’ It was tough to see, actually.” [Source]

Column: Waiting Too Long for the Go

Looking east across Ashley at Liberty Street.

Looking east, crossing Ashley on the south side of Liberty Street.

The city of Ann Arbor has been installing some new traffic lights around town. Traditional signals display a “Walk” light for as long as 25 seconds. This new type of signal displays a “Walk” light for only four seconds, out of a total cycle of up to 90 seconds. One example of such a signal is the crossing of State Street at Liberty Street downtown. [Full Story]

Column: Limited Edition

When Ann died a short while ago, you knew that Bob would soon follow. You never thought of one without the other. Ann and Bob. Bob and Ann. They loved Ann Arbor and believed that this was the best place to raise a family. [Full Story]

Washtenaw: Turkey

The Farmer’s Marketer gives a detailed listing of local places where you can order a Thanksgiving turkey. The post also includes a recipe from the 1899 Ann Arbor Cook Book for roasting a turkey. [Source]

Main & Pauline

Bad multi-car accident. Main Street closed. Lots of emergency vehicles.

UM: Football

Maize and Blue Nation gives a pre-game analysis of today’s Michigan/MSU matchup: “But what cannot be accounted for in stats or personnel, is the intangibles. This is an in-state rivalry game. Little brother versus big brother. Both of us got blown out last week by superior opponents. Michigan must win to stay bowl eligible. Sparty must win to save some face and make this rivalry worth something. Either way, it will be a good game, and I predict a Michigan win. I don’t know why, but just something about playing little brother at home that gives me nice winning feeling.” The post includes videos from games played in 2002-07. [Source]

Thompson & Madison

Girl in MSU jersey hanging out a fourth-floor window of West Quad, yelling at passers-by.

Michigan Union

Lots of money changing hands between people who look like scalpers and people who don’t.

A2: Auto Industry

David Cole of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor is quoted in an Associated Press article about Chrysler’s possible merger with GM: “They’ve got to be very active, decisive. Anything they can do prior to coming together would be less that would be required afterward.” [Source]

UM: Medical

Howard Markel, a professor of the history of medicine and of pediatrics and communicable diseases at UM’s Medical School, is quoted in an ABC News report on idioms associated with colds and flu: “During the Renaissance, epidemics were seen as an act of God.” [Source]

A2: Beer

The Ann Arbor Brewers Guild blog is taking a poll on when to make an outing to Original Gravity Brewery in Milan. [Source]

Honoring Lloyd Powell, and the Constitution

Lloyd Powell speaks after receiving the I Have a Dream award from the Washtenaw County Bar Association.

Lloyd Powell, Washtenaw County public defender, speaks after receiving the "I Have a Dream" award from the Washtenaw County Bar Association.

When Washtenaw County Prosecutor Brian Mackie introduced Lloyd Powell on Thursday night, he used phrases like “foot soldier of the Constitution” and “joyous crusader for justice.”

Those descriptions are meaningful not just for Powell, but for the thousands of people who’ve relied on the Washtenaw County Public Defender’s office over the nearly 30 years that Powell has led that group.

Powell was honored this week with the “I Have a Dream” award. It was given by the Washtenaw County Bar Association at its annual Bias Awareness Week dinner, attended by nearly 100 lawyers, judges and other elected officials in the legal community. The award recognizes an individual or institution that fosters greater awareness and sensitivity to racial, ethnic and gender bias issues. [Full Story]


USA Today reports that some members of Congress are questioning the objectivity of an FDA panel that’s investigating the safety of bisphenol A, a plastic used in baby bottles, food packaging and other items. In part, concerns have been raised about a potential conflict of interest for UM professor Martin Philbert, who chairs the FDA panel. Philbert leads UM’s Risk Science Center, to which Charles Gelman gave $5 million. Gelman, founder of the medical device firm Gelman Sciences (now owned by Pall Corp.), believes bisphenol A is safe. [Source]

Blue Tractor Pulls Forward

The Blue Tractor sign

The Blue Tractor's new sign hanging at 205-207 E. Washington St. Operating Partner Dan Glazer told The Chronicle that additional design work will be done on the sign to give it a more weathered look.

Stopped. Watched. correspondent Bill Merrill filed a report on Wednesday alerting readers that the Blue Tractor Brewery sign was about to be lifted into place by the Huron Sign Company. By the time The Chronicle arrived on the scene on Washington Street just east of Fourth Avenue, the sign had been affixed firmly to the front of the former home of Jewel Heart, just down from Cafe Habana. Blue Tractor partners Jon Carlson and Greg Lobdell also partnered on Cafe Habana, which will be physically connected to the Blue Tractor’s dance area on the lower level. [Full Story]

A2: Auto Industry

A Freep article about the ailing auto industry quotes Sean McAlinden, chief economist at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor: “We’ve never seen a situation so dire for all three companies at one time. What I think is really needed is a straight, flat-out bailout – $15 billion in cash, with no restrictions except that it be spent in the United States – to carry these firms through to 2011, when this recession is over.” [Source]

A2: Photos

On Degeneratiphotography’s Weblog, the author posts about two dozen photos taken around downtown Ann Arbor: ”Ann Arbor is a generally busy and interesting city, lots of stuff happening that people don’t blink an eye at but surprisingly, you put two girls on the sidewalk with a camera and everybody has to ask questions.” [Source]

A2: Music

In the ColorJoy blog, Lynn H. writes about coming to Ann Arbor to perform at the Crazy Wisdom Teahouse: “Ann Arbor acts like a big city. It is not as big as Chicago but sometimes I get a similar street vibe, the good kind. I took a few photos out of the 2nd story windows behind the stage area. I could not resist. It was another concert where there were several knitters in the house. I love it when that happens!” [Source]

Time for Transportation

Well after midnight last Monday evening – or more precisely, Tuesday morning – council chambers were empty of the public except for The Chronicle and a WCC journalism student. The main event (601 S. Forest) was over. What was Eli Cooper, the city’s transportation program manager, still doing there? Earlier in the day, he’d been on hand for the local unveiling of Ann Arbor’s contribution to Rails to Trails Conservancy’s 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation, so starting from that point he’d had at least a 12-hour day. [Full Story]

Main & Kingsley

Woman in funky pink/purple hat riding Segway westbound on Kingsley.

Zingerman’s Press Has a Ball

Jillian Downey and Ari Weinzweig

Jillian Downey and Ari Weinzweig meet with The Chronicle at Zingerman's Deli Next Door.

Elizabeth Kostova often sits in Booth 104 at Zingerman’s Roadhouse – it’s a detail that Zingerman’s co-founder Ari Weinzweig mentions in passing, a little insight into a much deeper connection between the best-selling novelist and the popular family of food businesses.

It’s a connection that plays a role in yet another enterprise that could be added to the mix: Zingerman’s Press. [Full Story]

A2: Banking

A BusinessWeek article about why banks aren’t lending begins: “Ann Arbor Commerce Bank should be in the mood to lend money. Smack in the middle of an affluent college town, the community bank has largely been spared the economic angst roiling the rest of Michigan and the U.S. The bank, which has $360 million in assets, didn’t make many risky loans, so losses are low and capital is plentiful. But in recent months the bank has politely referred some customers to other lenders. Says CEO Richard Dorner: ‘Capital is tight, and we’re preserving ours.’” [Source]

A2: Religion

On Renew America, columnist Matt Abbott runs a pro-life homily by Father Chas Canoy, associate pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Ann Arbor: “The human person bears the image of God. This is a foundational truth, as one reads in Genesis that man and woman are made in the image and likeness of God. And so, because it is God’s image that each human soul bears, each person then has the obligation to give himself, to render himself or herself back to God. And this higher obligation is a duty to which even Caesar himself is held, whether he believes so or not.” [Source]

Ypsi: Economy

Ypsilanti mayor Paul Schreiber was interviewed for the PRI program “To the Point” on an episode called “The Road to Recovery and American Cars.” Schreiber’s segment begins at time code 29:45. [Source]

Ypsi: Freighthouse

The Teaspout blog posts a notice about two public meetings that the Friends of the Ypsilanti Freighthouse board is organizing on Oct. 29-30 to get public input about the future of the Freighthouse. [Source]

A2: Zingerman’s

Zingerman’s Roadhouse is featured in the November issue of Travel & Leisure magazine: “As words like organicsustainable, and local fizzle out into nothing more than menu-speak, it’s good to remember that these concepts are rooted in action. They don’t happen unless you do something, and the generally acknowledged best place to see these ideals at work is Zingerman’s, one of the most important food destinations in the country.” [Source]

A2: Business

Michigan Innovators posts a video interview with Skip Simms, manager of the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund and an Ann Arbor Spark executive. [Source]

Echos of 1968 Now and Again

Labadie Collection curator Julie Herrada's favorite piece in the exhibit is the poster the far right:

Labadie Collection curator Julie Herrada's favorite piece in the exhibit is the poster hanging on the right: "You can't jail the revolution. Stop the trial. Free the Chicago 8."

As the tall, wiry gentleman, who’d been younger back in 1968, finished off an impromptu vocal performance – “There ain’t no time to wonder why, Whoopee! we’re all gonna die!” – a couple dozen people standing in a semicircle applauded the effort. Chuck Ream doesn’t randomly show up to the Gallery (Room 100) in the UM Hatcher Graduate Library to entertain folks with Country Joe McDonald protest songs from the ’60s – the occasion was an informal tour of a show organized by Julie Herrada, curator of the Labadie Collection at the UM library. The show, which is on display through Dec. 19, is titled “The Whole World Was Watching: Protest and Revolution in 1968, Selections from the Labadie Collection.” [Full Story]