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Thursday April 24, 2014
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continued

Irwin says the area still has a few foreclosed homes that "have not been properly looked after" while awaiting new owners. But he's encouraged that countywide, foreclosure rates are "waning." (County clerk Larry Kestenbaum counted only sixty-eight from January through May, the lowest total since 2006.) And Irwin likes East Ann Arbor for its convenient shopping and restaurants along Packard and Wash-tenaw and its diversity of people. "I put my two kids in a wagon and drag them to a supermarket or coffee shop," he says.

Kay Drake recently took a job at Ace Hardware, where she enjoys seeing locals coming in, whether they're there for home repair items or something else. And she's found friendship and a family of sorts at Banfield's. Her son even wrote a thank-you to his "family at Banfield's" in his high school yearbook.

"They'd do anything for me," Drake says of her Banfield friends. As we sit in a booth talking about her neighborhood, people greet her by name. They're getting ready for golf season and starting to watch for coupons to make the eighteen holes more affordable.

When asked about their wish lists for East Ann Arbor and its residents, Drake's long-time friend Dave Bloxan mentions more local businesses and improved city services--he still misses the library branch that moved to Eisenhower Parkway.

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