Archive for January, 2009

A2: Meals on Wheels

The Ann Arbor nonprofit formerly known as Motor Meals has changed its name and launched a new blog. In the blog’s opening post, the group’s director, Elizabeth Adams, writes: “One of the problems we had with the Motor Meals name was the constant need to explain what we did. While a great conversation starter, it did little when we didn’t have direct communication with potential customers. In talking about what we did, we often said ‘it’s like Meals on Wheels.’” [Source]

A2: Skatepark

The Ann Arbor Skatepark Action Committee blog announces the creation of two funds through the Area Community Foundation, one for design and construction of the skatepark, the other for an endowment to help pay for maintenance, improvements and upgrades. What’s the attraction for donating sooner rather than later? Everyone who makes a commitment to the fund by February 28, 2009 will be honored as an establishing donor. [Source]

AATA: Bus Fare Increases

As previously reported by The Chronicle, the AATA is contemplating raising fares on bus routes. AATA has announced public hearing dates and locations on the issue.  Ann Arbor District Library, Multipurpose Room, 343 S. Fifth, Ann Arbor: Tues, Feb. 10, 1-3:00 p.m. and Tuesday Feb. 17, 6-8:00 p.m.

In Ypsilanti, hearings will be held at City of Ypsilanti Council Chambers, One S. Huron St., Ypsilanti: Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009; 4-7:00 p.m. and Thurs. , Feb. 26 1-3:00 p.m. [confirm dates] Details on the proposed fare increases, which would see the base fare rising from $1.00 to $1.50 by May 2010 are available under the previous link. [Source]

Ann Arborites at Inauguration

Councilmember Sabra Briere, who represents Ward 1 on Ann Arbor city council, phoned in a report from her morning and early afternoon in Washington D.C.  on the day before inauguration.  She and her traveling companion (husband, David Cahill) had just finished lunching on pizza at the Congressional cafeteria. A brief review of the pizza comes after the jump at the end of the report. [Full Story]

Liberty & Ashley

Does anybody actually stop and read those historical placards on the side of downtown buildings? Yes.  A couple visiting downtown Ann Arbor from Flushing, Michigan took a long look.  I pointed them to where the Eaton Building actually stands, which is depicted on one of the signs.

Ypsi: Inauguration

The Detroit News reports on a breakfast held Monday morning in Washington, D.C. and hosted by the Michigan congressional delegation and Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Ypsilanti residents Lewis and Eria Warren attended. Says Eria Warren: ”There was such a spirit of unity. It’s such a hopeful time.” [Source]

Bicycle Polo Played Under Polar Conditions

Bicycle Polo Ann Arbor

Bike, ball, and mallet.

On Sunday afternoon, eight 3-person teams from Traverse City, Ionia, East Lansing, and Ann Arbor descended on the “Thunderdome,” to compete for top honors in a double-elimination bicycle polo tournament. The Thunderdome is a parking structure near downtown Ann Arbor, which generally sits empty on Sundays. And on this last Sunday, it was empty and cold. The Chronicle could not disagree with the assessment of one polo player: “It’s like a meat locker in here!”

Adam Say, who works as a mechanic at Ann Arbor Cyclery on Packard Street, expressed some confidence before play started that his team would prevail – there was a spot on a shelf at the bike shop with a label on it to hold the trophy. But at the end of the day, the trophy – constructed from spoke protectors, wheel hubs, and a dog bowl – went back to Dan’s Bike Shop in Ionia, Michigan, with the team who finished the tournament undefeated: Seth Higbee, Gary Ferguson, and Tim Heyboer. [Full Story]

Council Caucus Sparsely Attended

Ann Arbor City Council Sunday caucus (Jan 18, 2009): Attendance at city council’s Sunday caucus was light: Mike Anglin, who represents Ward 5, had council chambers to himself. None of his colleagues on council or any members of the public attended. Several factors may have combined to contribute to the lack of enthusiasm for caucus on that particular evening, which is not a required meeting on the part of council.

It’s unlikely that lack of interest in the subject matter on the agenda affected attendance. Council’s agenda indicates that it will receive an annual update from the AATA’s board chair David Nacht. He will likely have something to say about WALLY (the proposed north-south commuter rail), … [Full Story]

UM: Crisler Arena

A post on Mid-Michigan Dining reviews the concessions, among other things, at UM’s Crisler Arena: “The place is so run down it doesn’t look fit for a basketball program with the history and aura of the Michigan Wolverines. The seats were rusted, they were small and low to the ground. From a broadcast point of view, Crisler is one of the worst stadiums I’ve ever worked at. I’ve never been to Big Ten stadium where all of the cable had to be run from the truck. After being there five minutes, all the expectations I had as a kid were squashed.” [Source]

A2: Economy

Crain’s Detroit Business reports that Mike Finney and Rick Snyder are both possible replacements for James Epolito, who’s stepping down as president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Finney is president of Ann Arbor Spark, the area’s economic development agency; Snyder is chairman of Spark’s board of directors and a local venture capitalist. [Source]

A2: Health

The Freep reports on how Ronda Collier of Ann Arbor survived arteriovenous malformation and now helps others with the condition, including Julie Legner Anderson: ”I told her to keep the faith; keeping hope is most important. I told her not to listen too much to what people say you won’t be able to do. We know so little about the brain. I recovered much better than I expected.” [Source]

Stadium Kroger

Stadium Kroger has 6 ft pile of plowed snow blocking sidewalk to the east along Stadium Blvd.

A2: Obama’s People – Kang

A full-page portrait of Eugene Kang (one of Obama’s People) on page 58 in the Jan. 18 New York Times Sunday Magazine shows him reading a book with a green bookmark [Editor's note: Kang, now Special Assistant to The President, ran for city council in Ann Arbor while a student at UM.]

Pine Valley

Watching what appears to be a city vehicle ticketing a car parked on Pine Valley, which is not a cul de sac. Wondering about it.

Shadford & Ferdon

Watched neighbor drag a garbage cart several houses down Shadford; borrowed from a neighbor, who she found out – when she called to ask permission – is in Paris! Must be nice.

A2: Art

Abbigail Knowlton Israelsen writes on her blog about an Ann Arbor Women Artists exhibit at the Michigan League, and posts a photo of her work that’s part of the exhibit. [Source]

A2: Inauguration

In a report about Michigan residents who are traveling to Barack Obama’s inauguration in Washington, D.C., the Detroit News interviews Doug and Andrea Van Houweling of Ann Arbor, who were catching a plane at Detroit Metro, and who “discovered at the airport that they’d left behind four tickets for Tuesday’s Michigan Inaugural Ball. They plan to have their son send the tickets to them by overnight mail.” Doug Van Houweling is CEO of Ann Arbor-based Internet2 and former UM vice provost. [Source]

“Mantra for Murder”

Linda Fitzgerald

Linda Fitzgerald (Photo courtesy of Steve Maggio)

Editor’s note: “Mantra for Murder” is Ann Arbor resident Linda Fitzgerald’s first novel – this is the book’s third chapter.

Background: Since the sudden death of her husband ten months earlier, Ann Arbor freelance writer Karin Niemi has felt half-dead herself. Now she’s just desperate enough to schedule a session with Dana Lewis, the city’s celebrity psychic. In Chapter 3, Karin and her best friend set off for Dana’s home. But as they’ll soon discover, Dana has been murdered. And their jaunt across town is actually the first stage of a long and bizarre journey that will lead them into the halls of academe, the surprisingly messy lives of Ann Arbor’s social and political elite, the esoteric realm of computer hackers and black-box voting, and – strangest of all – the mysteries of the afterlife. [Full Story]

A2: Trial

The Detroit News reports that John Bebow, executive director for the Ann Arbor-based Center for Michigan, is on the list of 343 witnesses in a federal lawsuit against the city of Detroit over the death of Tamara “Strawberry” Greene. According to the report, Bebow was investigating Greene’s killing while working as a reporter for the Detroit News. [Source]

A2: Photos

Kevin Sung posts some photos of a frozen Ann Arbor on his blog: “I’m back in Sunnyvale now where it’s almost 70 degrees. Of course, when I left Ann Arbor it was -10 degrees. … On my way to the airport, I chatted up the cab driver. ‘I love snow,’ I said. ‘I just don’t like being in snow.’” [Source]

US-23 North

3:10 p.m. US-23 northbound is a mess. Many spinouts. US-23 south is slow going, but no spinouts. Please drive carefully!

Liberty & First

1:50 p.m. The Treasure Mart Truck was out in the snow, heading East on Liberty. The passenger was leaning back and seemed to be enjoying playing an old guitar – looked like he was singing as well.

Circuit City

Here at Circuit City they’re having a going out of business sale with 10 to 20 percent off.

A2: Trash & Trees

No interuption in trash and recycling collection will result from  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, Jan.19, 2009, and throughout the week, says the city’s website.  Put out your trash and recyclables on your usual schedule.  Plus, the city of Ann Arbor will collect holiday evergreen trees from the residential curbside during a one-week period, Monday, Jan. 19 through Friday, Jan. 23, 2009. [Source]

A2: Blue Cross

The Freep reports that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan plans to cut jobs and ask the state to raise rates. The article quotes Joe Aoun, an Ann Arbor attorney who filed a lawsuit against rate hikes for the Blue Cross nongroup market. Says Aoun: ”The proposed rate increases are exorbitant particularly given the need of the people for affordable coverage and the fact that Blue Cross is sitting on more than a $2-billion surplus.” [Source]

Ashley & Liberty

2:00 p.m. Huge towering beautiful bloming Amaryllis flowers in a beatiful pot in the greenhouse at Downtown Home and Garden. A small touch of warmth and humidity and a bit of the tropics badly needed today!

UM: Interview posts a transcript of an interview with Pete Tiernan, founder of “We met in downtown Saline at the excellent Brecon Grille and over a few pints, he was kind enough to answer questions about Beilein, Michigan, tourney trends, the selection committee and more. We close with a cool story about his son who played for the Grand Valley State team that shocked Michigan State at Breslin last year.” [Source]