Archive for January, 2009

UM: Teleporting

Fox News reports that UM scientists, working with researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland, have “succeeded in teleporting a quantum state directly from one atom to another over a meter.” [Source]

Red Hot Lovers Gets Cold

Detail from a sign taped to the window of Red Hot Lovers on East University.

Detail from a sign taped to the window of Red Hot Lovers on East University.

If anyone doubted that Red Hot Lovers had a following, the large sign taped to its front window makes that clear: “We Miss You Red Hots – Come Back Soon!” But those fans have nowhere to go: The East University eatery known for its hot dogs and waffle cheese fries closed just before the University of Michigan’s holiday break last year, and hasn’t yet reopened.

A handwritten sign taped on the inside of the front window states: “We will be re-opening A.S.A.P. Don’t give up on us.” [Full Story]

A2: Clean Cars

A name that should by now be familiar to  Chronicle readers through its inclusion in Meeting Watch reports from the AATA Board is Charles Griffith.  He’s Clean Car Campaign director for the Ecology Center and was a guest on WEMU’s Issues in the Environment this last Wednesday. The show is archived online: [Source]

Dollars for Research, Buildings, Basketball

Denise Illitch, the newest member of UM board of regents.

Denise Illitch, the newest member of UM's Board of Regents, attended her first board meeting on Thursday.

University of Michigan Board of Regents (Jan. 22, 2009): The bulk of Thursday’s hour-long meeting of the UM Board of Regents was devoted to a presentation on the university’s research efforts, but the board also approved a multimillion-dollar building project for its basketball program, granted an honorary degree for Google’s co-founder, paid tribute to a former regent who passed away late last year, and plowed through a list of other agenda items with minimal discussion. [Full Story]

The Art of Partnering

and artist Leslie Sobel hold one of four panels from the "Ecology of Place"

Mark Lindke, director of Washtenaw County Veteran Services, and artist Leslie Sobel hold one of four panels from the "Ecology of Place" artwork presented to the Board of Commissioners on Wednesday.

Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners (Jan. 21, 2009): A light agenda for the county board on Wednesday included the presentation of a major art project, a report on efforts to partner with other municipalities for shared services, and appointments of commissioners to various committees. Rolland Sizemore Jr. led his first full board meeting as its new chair, and Kristin Judge led her first meeting as the new vice chair of the Ways & Means Committee – Conan Smith, the committee’s chair, was absent. [Full Story]

A2: Huron River

The city of Ann Arbor’s Environmental Commission has scheduled three public meetings to discuss long-term management plans for the Huron River. They are set for Jan. 28 from 7-10 p.m., Jan. 31 from 9 a.m.-noon, and Feb. 5 from 7-10 p.m. All will be held at Forsythe Middle School, 1655 Newport Road. [Source]

UM: Economy

The Freep reports that UM professors Matthew Shapiro and Joel Slemrod don’t believe tax rebates should be part of Obama’s proposed economic stimulus package. Says Shapiro: “The rebates in 2008 provided low bang for the buck as an economic stimulus. Putting cash into the hands of the consumers who use it to save or pay off debt boosts their well-being, but it does not necessarily make them spend.” [Source]

Ypsi: Women’s Health

The Women’s Health and Fitness Day website announced that Sheila Taormina, Olympic triathlete, will be the keynote speaker at its all-day event, which runs from  8:45 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at Ypsilanti High School. [Source]

AATA Board Gets City Council Feedback

AATA Board (Jan. 21, 2009): Board chair David Nacht began the meeting by saying, “It’s great to be here in a supportive environment,” possibly an allusion to his annual AATA update given the previous evening to Ann Arbor’s city council. Nacht then spent some time briefing his board colleagues on reaction from councilmembers and setting the wheels in motion to get them some answers to their questions.

Public commentary at the start and at the end of the meeting covered a range of topics, from snow removal at bus stops, to the status of RideTrak (it’s back on line a few days earlier than scheduled), to the proposed fare increases, to accessibility issues, to the AATA’s Capital and Categorical Grant Program. This last item was the subject of one of the two resolutions considered by the board (the board approved the 2009-13 plan), the other being its annually required notification of intent to apply for financial assistance from the state. [Meeting Packet 4MB .pdf] [Full Story]

Ypsi: Idol

Matt Giraud, a 23-year-old singer who grew up in Ypsilanti, has moved on to the next round in the “American Idol” competition, the Detroit News reports: “According to Giraud’s bio on his MySpace page, he grew up in Ypsilanti, where he played drums at his church before teaching himself to play piano.” [Source]

A2: Cupcakes

The Jess Loves Cupcakes blog critiques three cupcake offerings in Ann Arbor – at Cake Nouveau, the Cupcake Station and Zingerman’s. The post includes lots of photos. At Zingerman’s, “the pastrami sandwich was delicious, but unfortunately, the cupcake, not so much. Cake was too dry, frosting could be removed from cupcake in one piece, and overall it just wasn’t very tasty. They may have been a few days old. Zingerman’s other baked goods are delicious, but as is often the case in a regular bakery, the cupcakes are an after thought – something made with leftover cake batter.” [Source]

AATA Board Meeting

7:30 p.m.  Someone asked when the AATA real time bus data was going to be back up.  A staff member said it’s back up now.  Just checked the site and the Real-Time bus information is working, but the mobile RideTrak is still down.

Liberty btw Ashley and Main

License plates BELIGHT and G8TRFAN. The latter also on Michigan plate.  Is that allowed? Someone oughta look into that.

Council OKs Graffiti Law, Questions AATA Plans

David Nacht, chair of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority Board

David Nacht, chair of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board.

City Council Meeting (Jan. 20, 2009): Ann Arbor city council gave final approval to the anti-graffiti ordinance on its agenda, though with some revisions that lighten its impact on property owners – compared to the version that was moved along in the process at its last meeting. And after long discussion of the somewhat complex fund transfers involved in funding the Farmers Market improvements project, council postponed the vote for two weeks.

But some of the more animated discussion came during the annual update provided by board chair of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, David Nacht, when councilmembers Stephen Rapundalo and Marcia Higgins pressed Nacht to explain the recently proposed fare increases and to clarify what the regionalization of the AATA might mean for Ann Arbor taxpayers. [Full Story]

Barton Dam off Huron River Drive

2:00 p.m. Two workers with long poles opening the frozen spillways sending cascading river water down to move huge sheets of ice the ducks mostly avoided. Some pieces of ice were more than 6 feet on a side.

A2: Art

Local artist Leslie Sobel, on her blog Painting with Fire, posts an image of her work “Where We Live – The Ecology of Place,” which will be presented to the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners at their meeting tonight: “I’m thrilled about this project. I was able to collaborate with a lot of people to make it happen – people at the county and the Land Trust provided me with high resolution satellite maps and GIS layers showing protected land, wetlands and wooded areas. Many people around the county sent me photos and words to incorporate.” [Source]

UM: Executive MBA

The Wall Street Journal reports on how business schools are attempting to recruit women to their executive MBA programs. The article quotes Susan Ashford, associate dean of the UM Ross School of Business executive MBA program, where women account for 19 percent of students: ”Most of them probably have a second full-time job raising kids, so it’s a lot to take on.” [Source]

Where Were You?

A gathering at Marsha Chamberlin's apartment toasts the new president.

Toasting President Barack Obama at a gathering at Marsha Chamberlin's downtown Ann Arbor home just after the swearing-in ceremony.

When people ask “Where were you when Barack Obama was inaugurated?” The Chronicle will say “At Marsha Chamberlin’s home.”

Chamberlin, president of the Ann Arbor Art Center, hosted a small gathering at her Liberty Lofts condo to watch Obama’s inauguration on CNN. [Full Story]

Inauguration Day Call From Briere

Following up on yesterday’s phone report on pre-inaugural activities, Sabra Briere was able to make a call out a couple of hours after the ceremonies concluded. (Briere, who represents Ward 1 on Ann Arbor city council, traveled to D.C. for the inauguration ceremonies with her husband, David Cahill.) During the event, she said, AT&T was not able to make a connection for her – though she noticed people around her succeeding.

The crowd she characterized as “definitely intimate” but with everyone bundled up against the cold, not awkwardly so. One woman’s outerwear of choice was a fur coat. And because she was standing on a raised seating area, blocking the view of those behind her, it elicited a repeated plea, “Fur Coat, Sit Down!” Only when someone got her a chair, did she sit. That contrasted with a guy wearing San Francisco Giants apparel, who complied quickly with the directive of his fellow inauguration attendees. [Full Story]

Library at Fifth & William

About 120 people watched, cried, clapped, breathed a sigh of relief and smiled a lot watching Obama become the 44th President. About 25 stayed to cheer as Bush took off in the helicopter and away from Washington.

UM: Salaries

On the Michigan Daily Editor’s Page, Gary Graca writes about UM’s annual salary listing, and links to a searchable version of the document: “Students check it out to compare the salaries of the professors they dislike to the salaries of the lecturers’ they like. University employees check it out to find out how much their co-workers are making. And overall, people probably just glance at it out of some primitive interest in finding out how much money other people make (people love what is taboo, right?).” [Source]

4th & Liberty

Graffiti on painted yellow stripe on the alley side of Cupcake Station has been painted over.

Another Old Income Tax Study

Following the directive from councilmembers during a regular meeting, as well as at a city council budget retreat, to update the most recent study of a city income tax for Ann Arbor, the 2004 Ann Arbor Income Tax Study has been disseminated by Tom Crawford, chief financial officer for the city of Ann Arbor. But the 2004 study was by no means the first such effort to analyze the impact of a city income tax on Ann Arbor.

In 1997, a similar effort was undertaken by the University of Michigan School of Public Policy. Chronicle reader and Stopped.Watched. correspondent Vivienne Armentrout lent her perfect-bound copy of that 73-page document to The Chronicle, which we’ve scanned and converted to a 4 MB .pdf file: [1997 Ann Arbor Income Tax Study]. [Full Story]

Another Ann Arborite at Inauguration

Ann Arborite Andy Brush is in D.C. for Barack Obama’s inauguration. We’ll add to this article any updates he’s able to file through the day. So far:

Jan 20 3:10 p.m. A whole block of idling dump trucks along D Street southwest of White House. Security or emergency prep?

Jan 20 12:47 p.m. All done now. Unbelievable. Looks like the right person. Now the hard part. Shared the moment with folks from OK, VA, MD, OH, MI

Jan 20 8:45 a.m. We are in place @ Washington Monument. Full from here to the east. Arrived here to Springsteen singing The Rising. Sunrise too.

Jan 20 8:00 a.m. (approx) 18th St. heading south is like Hoover on football Saturday, but more so. [Full Story]