Archive for December, 2008

I-94 & Huron

I-94 at Huron completely stopped. Semi lost a load of eggs. Back end of trailer looks smashed

Carpenter & Morgan

The inflatable indoor tennis bubble is down on Carpenter Road in Pittsfield Township. Guess the wind got it. Looks all sad and deflated.

Chelsea: Wind Damage Photos

Photographer Burrill Strong documents the devastation from the recent storm with exquisite images taken close to home. “[A]mong the many deciduous casualties of the storm – including one that blocked Jerusalem Road – was an old dead tree next to our driveway.” [Source]

DDA Committee Gets getDowntown Update

Ann Arbor Observer article from Ann Arbor District Library clipping file.

A 1998 Ann Arbor Observer article about the park-and-ride program, found in the Ann Arbor District Library's clipping file.

DDA Transportation Committee (Dec. 18, 2008) The Downtown Development Authority‘s transportation committee addressed the north-south connector study and had a “big picture” discussion about transportation issues before hearing from getDowntown director Nancy Shore, who gave an overview of that program. The context of her presentation was $100,000 of funding for alternative transportation authorized by the DDA in September 2008, part or all of which could be allocated to getDowntown. [Full Story]

Obama: “Eugene Kang’s got game”

While a student at the University of Michigan, Eugene Kang ran a strong (but ultimately unsuccessful) campaign for Ann Arbor city council. As CBS News reports, he’s now a staffer with Barack Obama, and recently spent some time on the golf course with the president-elect. [Thanks to Chronicle reader Karen Sidney for passing this along.] [Source]

A2: Transit

The Motor City Rides feature in the Detroit Metro Times reports on how Al McWilliams, owner of Quack! Media, gets around Ann Arbor: On the bus. Says McWilliams: “I hate driving. I would spend an hour and a half stuck in traffic commuting from Oxford to Cranbrook when I was in high school and it made me realize how much time we waste stuck in cars. Now I just use cars when I really need to.” [Source]

Main Street

City plows/salt trucks making third pass since midnight. Road still snow covered.

A2: Downed Lines

Spencer Thomas posted a photo to his Flickr account of the wind damage to power lines in the area of Platt & Packard. Comments open there. [Source]

UM: Construction

The New York Times reports on UM’s building boom, noting that the budgeted $2.5 billion in construction projects is one of the largest among universities nationwide. Says Phil Hanlon, UM vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs: ”Having the right facilities is crucial to a thriving public research university. We are producing the work force of the future in the industries of the future. And we are doing that even as the help our state government provides is declining.” [Source]

North Main

Seajoy’s Kitchen on Main St. has a water shutoff hang-tag from the City; bill is $982.04, deadline is 1-15-09


Matt Hampel has released a case study of Ann Arbor’s Cable Television Network.  From the introduction: “This report recommends a number of policy and institutional goals that could help the organization adapt to these changes, including an increased focus on consumer-level digital equipment, online distribution, and public guidance.” The study is available in a variety of file formats, including one that allows for comments by individual section.  [Source]

Change Will Come If You Poke It

parking meter

The long arm of Republic Parking.

Across from the surface parking lot where the City Apartments will be built, Republic Parking meter change collectors were making the rounds this morning. The holiday collection schedule meant that the meters were especially full, and the recent freezing rain had led to some coins freezing together.

But these guys are equipped with a tool to jam the coins through.

On spotting the change collectors in action, The Chronicle’s first thought was that the meters were being swapped out for the new kiosks, but this proved not to be the case. In fact, based on the planned initial … [Full Story]

Washington & Ashley

Chris Easthope at Sweetwaters says he’s getting sworn in today. Must bring own gavel. Formal investiture on Jan. 9 at 4:00 p.m. at 101 E. Huron St. Public invited.[confirm date]

Downtown Library

Due to lack of space, the Friends of the AADL have set out two shelving carts full of FREE used books on the main floor–some by really good authors, e.g., Bruce Chatwin, Barbara Pym; also lots of mysteries by Patricia Cornwell, etc. are available for the taking.

Ypsi: Business

The Detroit News runs a feature about a new line of products at Maggie’s Organics in Ypsilanti. The clothing company started making sock monkeys after receiving a batch of sub-par socks. Says owner Bena Burda: “Maggie’s monkeys are the first of what we hope will soon be a menagerie of animals, all made from excess socks and apparel.” [Source]

Bello Vino

still beer and wine as of 6:20 tonight at bello vino. shoppers with double carts. one man unhappy about no bottle returns

Packard & State Plus

Personal observations this afternoon: several blocks west of Packard/State appear to be still without power, including Fingerle Lumber, … [Editor's note: Spencer's observations are recorded in a comment to an article, which can be read in their entirety here.]

Ciao, Bello Vino

Bello Vino at the Plymouth Mall, near Plymouth and Green.

Bello Vino at the Plymouth Mall, near Plymouth and Nixon.

On Saturday, TeacherPatti posted a Tweet about the upcoming closing of Bello Vino Marketplace, and on Monday The Chronicle took the #2 AATA bus to the Plymouth Mall store to check things out. If you didn’t already know the grocery was set to close on Jan. 15, the empty or thinly-stocked shelves would be your first clue. Or you might notice the grim-faced employees – one of them told The Chronicle that they were informed of the decision on Friday, the day after Christmas. “It was kind of a slap in the face,” she said. [Full Story]

Sunset Road

Stenciled message on the sidewalk adjacent to the water treatment plant: A PALL ON A2 H2O. Above it, two water droplets and a skull and crossbones (also stenciled). [Editor's note: Likely similar to this one. DEQ and Pall Gelman currently "negotiating."]

Carpenter & Packard

Power outage has closed shopping center at Carpenter & Packard: Kroger, Staples

WCBN Studios

Davy Rothbart and a crew of several  shooting part of a movie using WCBN studios as setting.

UM: Sports PR

The Culpwrit blog has a post from UM senior Christy Hammond, who has her own sports blog and is an intern with the Detroit Red Wings. She writes about how to break into a career in sports public relations: “You don’t have to be a PR major, but try to take at least some courses that will help you better understand the industry. I chose to double major in Sport Management and Communication Studies because it allows me to take a variety of sport classes ranging from Sport Law to Economics to Marketing, but I also get to take classes that cater to media.” [Source]

Miller & Maple

The traffic light at Miller and Maple is not working and temporary stop signs are in place.

A2: Power Outage (Still)

Earlier numbers from DTE putting the number of residents in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti area who are without power in only the double-digit range, proved incorrect on follow-up. The initial Chronicle item reflects updated numbers for Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti in the 3000 and 400 range, respectively. [Source]

UM: Veterans

The Freep writes about how universities are preparing for an anticipated increase in veterans on campus when the new GI bill takes effect. The article quotes two vets who are attending UM: Derek Blumke, co-founder of the national Student Veterans of America, and Carl Ireland, president of the Student Veterans’ UM chapter. They are lobbying for UM to grant in-state tuition to all vets. Says Ireland: “The whole idea is make Michigan veteran-friendly, a place that is welcoming and a place where they’d want to pursue their education.” [Source]

A2: Power Outage

Latest information from DTE (7:05 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 29) is that the numbers of households without power in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsilanti Township are 23, 1, and 15, respectively. Update: The earlier (lower) numbers provided by DTE proved to be erroneous. As of Monday, Dec. 29, 9:08 a.m. around 3000 Ann Arborites and 400 Ypsilantians are still without power. [Source]

Column: Ann Arbor Now 0-16


sand and salt

The salt/sand mixture at 721 N. Main is self-serve and free to residents. Bring your own shovel and 5-gallon bucket. One bucket per visit, please.

By now sports writers across the nation will have collectively written a flurry of columns, each heaping scorn by the shovelful upon the Detroit Lions – a football team that yesterday completed the first 0-16 winless season in National Football League history.

If only a bit of that shoveling could be harnessed in service of clearing the snow from Ann Arbor’s sidewalks and roads. The headline to this piece reflects the fact that according to National Weather Service statistics through Dec. 28, the date of the Lions’ historic loss, 16 inches of snow have fallen on the city of Ann Arbor this season. The headline also reflects the opinion that we, as a city, are losing the battle against the snow. [Full Story]