Stories indexed with the term ‘Michigan’

County Tells Governor: Help Fund Road Repair

At its Feb. 5, 2014 meeting, the Washtenaw County board of commissioners passed a resolution urging Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to allocate part of the state’s estimated $1 billion budget surplus to road repair.

The resolution’s one resolved clause states:
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, such funds from state surplus should be used in part for roadway maintenance using the fair formula allocation as prescribed by Public Act 51 of 1951 to ensure Washtenaw County benefits fairly from surplus use. [.pdf of resolution]
At the board’s Jan. 22, 2014 meeting, Alicia Ping (R-District 3) had indicated the likelihood of this resolution coming to the board. She reported that a subcommittee that’s exploring the future of the Washtenaw County road commission had met … [Full Story]

A2: Holiday Gifts

The Damn Arbor blog has posted a gift-giving guide premised on a positive answer to this question: “Do you want to make sure the money you spend this season stays in the community?”  The post continues, “… we have worked tirelessly to assemble an outstanding list of locally made gifts.” Items range from sausage to bourbon to “Mit Lit.” [Source]

In It For The Money: Whole Hog

Editor’s note: Nelson’s “In it for the Money” opinion column appears regularly in The Chronicle, roughly around the third Wednesday of the month.

David Erik Nelson Column

David Erik Nelson

You might choose to disintermediate your meat consumption for a variety of reasons.

Maybe you’re a local organic kinda gal. Maybe you want a niche product (e.g., heritage pork, halal goat, bilingual llama) but can’t swing the upmarket prices at Whole Foods and their ilk. Maybe you want to keep the government out of your meat purchasing decisions.

Maybe you thrill to the challenge of using the whole hog, one piece at a time. Maybe you want to eat meat as ethically as possible, personally verifying that the animals are treated kindly in life and compassionately in death. [1]

Whatever your motivation, as Michiganders, you are perfectly situated to enjoy the most deliciously ethical domestically raised meat available in this modern world.

Who do you have to thank for this boon? Lazy deer-hunters, fickle farmers, conspiracy theorists, gun “nuts” – the usual folks. [Full Story]

Michigan Presidential Primary: Voter Maps

Michigan’s Republican presidential primary held on Tuesday, Feb. 28 was won by Mitt Romney, with 41% of the Republican votes cast statewide – a close victory over Rick Santorum, who tallied 37.9%. Third-place finisher Ron Paul came in with 11.5%, roughly double the percentage he received in the 2008 edition of the race, which was won by Romney that year as well. The eventual Republican nominee in 2008, of course, was John McCain.

Michigan 2012-Dems -small

Map 1. Michigan 2012 presidential primary election – Democratic participation as a percentage of total turnout, by county. Details after the jump.

For Democrats, President Barack Obama was unchallenged in the Michigan primary this year, amid a political scuffle about whether the Democratic primary should even be held. With little at stake in terms of the choice of the Democratic nominee, it’s not surprising that the 2012 Democratic turnout was light, compared to 2008.

This  year only 16% of participants in the primary voted on the Democratic side compared with 40% in 2008. That year Obama’s name did not appear on the Michigan ballot, which resulted in about 41% of Democratic voters selecting the “uncommitted” option, compared to roughly 55% who voted for Hillary Clinton. Part of the diminished Democratic turnout this year could have been due to Democrats crossing party lines to vote for Rick Santorum – based on the idea that Santorum would have less of a chance to defeat Obama in the general election.

In Ann Arbor, however, absentee Democratic voters participated in far greater relative numbers than their counterparts who went to the polls in person. Even in the more strongly Republican wards – Ward 2 and Ward 4 – almost 40% of the total primary turnout for absentee voters was on the Democratic side. In the other three Ann Arbor wards, Democratic absentee turnout was closer to 50%.

For readers already familiar with the general geographic distribution of voters who mainly vote Democrat or Republican, the results of the 2012 presidential primary in Michigan likely offer little to refute prevailing wisdom.

After the jump we take a geographic look at Democratic participation, as well as the performance of Romney, Santorum and Paul. We’ve mapped out results at the state level (by county), the Washtenaw County level (by township and city) and the city of Ann Arbor (by precinct). Statewide data is from the secretary of state’s office election results, while the data for jurisdictions within Washtenaw County is based on the county clerk’s election results. Mapping is done through with shape files available through the city of Ann Arbor. [Full Story]

Column: Call for Election Numbers Help

Editor’s note: This column includes a request for help in logging early election results straight from polling locations after the polls close at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. If you’d like to help – by gaining editing access to a shared spreadsheet, or by texting, Tweeting, or calling in results to us – shoot us an email:

The general election on Tuesday, Nov. 2 comes after eight games have been played on a 12-game schedule for the University of Michigan football team. The guys in the winged helmets are currently sitting at 5-3, which is better than the 2-7 record they’d achieved at the same point during their 2008 campaign.

election tape report

The top end of a voting machine tape from Ward 1, Precinct 5 from the Aug. 3, 2010 primary.

For me, the 2008 general election – and because I am quick to generalize, all elections – will always be linked to UM football. They’re linked in the form of Jonas Mouton, a linebacker I met in the course of my election day travels in 2008. Mouton was nearly denied the franchise when he tried to vote at the Pioneer High School precinct, but was finally able to cast his ballot.

Elections are, of course, not one bit like a football game, let alone a football season – that’s purely a writerly ploy to set up some kind of thematic backdrop against which I can ask readers a favor: We’re asking for help in collecting precinct-level election results on Tuesday night.

Otherwise put, on Tuesday evening, we’d like to ask that you play for The Chronicle’s team. To quote legendary UM coach Bo Schembechler, when we collect the precinct level results, “we’re gonna play together as a team. We’re gonna believe in each other, we’re not gonna criticize each other, we’re not gonna talk about each other, we’re gonna encourage each other.”

Veteran consumers of local online information know that election results for all the precincts in Washtenaw County will eventually be available on the county clerk’s website. As results are filed with the clerk, election staff upload them incrementally. With polls closing at 8 p.m., and poll closing procedures taking roughly 30-60 minutes to complete, the first results typically begin to appear on the clerk’s website towards 10 p.m. and are generally uploaded for the entire county sometime in the early morning hours, if not sooner. That’s pretty quick, actually.

But it’s not Denard Robinson quick. [Full Story]

Michigan v. Ohio: Winners in Wine

Joel Goldberg and Heidi Kavanuk

Joel Goldberg inspects a pouring of white wine – either from Michigan or Ohio – as Heidi Kabanuk, Vinology's wine director, brings out more offerings to be judged on Sunday evening. A similar wine judging took place the following night in Columbus, Ohio.

“Did you hear why the Michigan-Ohio State game might be canceled? Because Michigan can’t get past Toledo.”

David Creighton told the joke while sitting at a table in Vinology’s Bubble Room with Joel Goldberg and Claudia Tyagi, waiting to be served 30 glasses of wine. Each. Everyone laughed – and they weren’t even hammered.

In fact, despite the fact that plenty of people who are focused on the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry this weekend will be intent on getting hammered, the gathering at Vinology on Sunday evening had an entirely different goal: To highlight the quality of each states’ wines, in the setting of a friendly competition staged in Ann Arbor and Columbus.

Here’s some words about the event for you to savor before we reveal the winners, but if you read The Chronicle like you drink your wine – straight from the bottle in one long chug – scroll right down to the bottom. [Full Story]