August 4, 2022

Can you guess what is pictured in the photo above? Click the image for the answer and more.

Last weekend I visited Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. After a scenic train ride, my friend and I biked an old mule towpath that spans the length of the park. As someone who grew up surrounded by the flat fields of southern Michigan, I was surprised to hear about a national park only a few hours away, but the trails and waterfalls did not disappoint. 

In Ann Arbor, Mayor Taylor won his primary and his allies will soon hold all ten council seats. A man robbed a bank on Washtenaw – the second bank robbery in July. The U-M library union GLAM won its first contract, the university hired a new water polo coach, and hockey coach Mel Pearson is under investigation for professional misconduct.

Transportation in Washtenaw County will become more accessible, as voters approved TheRide’s tax increase and construction began on a new segment of the B2B trail. There were separate investments in Michigan Medicine, historic preservation, and Ford’s plant in Rawsonville, and AAPS hired a new superintendent of human resources and began moving Bryant and Pattengill elementary schools closer towards an IB curriculum.

Nicholas Moore

This Kerrytown-area resident was likely quite happy Tuesday night, as mayor Taylor's slate swept the Democratic primaries for city council. Photo: John Hilton.

The News...Briefly

Washtenaw is back at a “high” CDC community risk level. The county’s Covid-19 snapshot reports 1,456 cases in the two weeks ending yesterday, not far off from last week’s 1,449, but the test positivity rate is 16.4 percent, up from 13.7 last week. Health department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia emails that instead of “the sustained, low levels” of last summer, infections have remained on a “higher plateau that has slowly increased.” At “high” risk levels, the county’s guidelines recommend universal indoor masking in public spaces.

11-0: Ann Arbor mayor Christopher Taylor and three council candidates he backed handily won the August 2 Democratic primary. With two more allies unopposed in the general election plus the five who won in 2020, the mayor will have an impregnable 11-0 majority. “We’re here to accomplish a wide range of things,” said an elated Taylor on Wednesday morning, among them better roads and improved water treatment, an unarmed safety response program, hundreds of new units of permanent affordable housing, and “great strides towards achieving the moral imperative of our carbon neutrality goals.”

Voters approved TheRide’s millage request by a 61-39  percent margin. Going into effect 2024, the AAATA plans to use the 2.38 mil property tax to maintain current service, redo its Ann Arbor and Ypsi buildings, create an express route between the cities, and more. The AAATA’s board of directors approved a long-range transit plan, TheRide 2045, at their July 21 meeting.

The Dexter schools’ millage to fund community and senior centers failed 79-21, while in Ypsilanti’s mayoral contest, longtime councilmember Nicole Brown trounced Lois Allen-Richardson and Anthony Morgan, winning nearly two-thirds of the vote.

County Democrats host a forum for Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti school board candidates Saturday, August 6, at 9:30 a.m. via Zoom. Attendees may ask questions of the candidates in the November 8 general election. There are four open board positions for Ann Arbor schools and three for Ypsilanti.

AAPS hired a new assistant superintendent of human resources and employee relations, MLive reports. John Randle Sr. previously served as human resources director of the City of Farmington Hills.

Bryant and Pattengill schools are one step closer to becoming International Baccalaureate certified, MLive reports. This school year, teachers and staff will familiarize themselves with the school’s IB curriculum focused on “inquiry and global awareness” as part of the IB “Consideration” phase. If implemented, the IB curriculum will provide a “think and do” education and the opportunity to learn a world language at an early age.

I-94 was the site of a fatal, multiple-car crash last Wednesday evening, ClickOnDetroit reports. One person was killed after being rear-ended at highway speed and another was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A man robbed the Fifth-Third Bank on Washtenaw Avenue last Friday, ClickOnDetroit reports. The suspect threatened the teller with a handgun and escaped on foot with an undisclosed amount of money. The robbery may be linked to a similar crime at the downtown Chase Bank in July.

Ford Motor Company will invest $160 million in its Rawsonville plant, MLive reports. Part of a plan to produce 2 million electric vehicles a year by 2026, Ford’s investment will create 250 jobs at the plant, which produces EV battery packs.

U-M hockey coach Mel Pearson has been accused of professional misconduct, The Athletic reports (subscriber exclusive). A survey of players and staff and an investigation conducted by the law firm WilmerHale raised allegations that Pearson misled recruits about scholarships, told players to provide false information on Covid contact tracing forms, called a player a “Jew,” and failed to hold the team’s director of hockey operations to account for the “mistreatment of female staff members.”

The Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums Union secured a 17 percent salary increase, MLive reports. The first deal between GLAM and U-M comes after seven months of bargaining. In addition to the pay raise, librarians, curators, and archivists will be recognized as faculty, including the “right to academic freedom.”

The sale of an unfinished hotel in Saline is expected within the month, MLive reports. Construction on the hotel at 1250 E. Michigan ceased in late 2019, but a bankruptcy liquidation plan approved in July cleared the way for a sale. According to mayor Brian Marl, an unnamed buyer aims to have the hotel up and running by next year.

The Michigan State Historic Preservation Office awarded Ann Arbor a $45,000 grant to complete a survey update for the Old Fourth Ward Historic District. Documentation and analyses of more than 300 properties will be updated to help the city better oversee the district.

U-M appointed Cassie Churnside as the new head water polo coach. Previously the assistant coach at Harvard, Churnside helped their 2022 women’s team reach a 23-7 overall record and win its first Collegiate Water Polo Association championship.

A new segment of the county’s Border to Border Trail recently broke ground. The latest extension will add a bridge crossing and 1.4 miles of non-motorized trail connecting Delhi Metropark to Zeeb Rd. Once complete, 4.4 miles of continuous trail will link all three Washtenaw County Metroparks.

Cherry Republic on Main St. is expanding into the neighboring property, with plans to turn it into a wine bar. According to a Facebook message, they are still trying to finalize the timeline, but are "hoping to open later in the fall."
Photo: John Hilton.

Marketplace Changes

Hobby and game store Sylvan Factory hosted a grand opening at its new Westgate Plaza location in mid-June, LR Nuñez reports for the August Observer. Taking the old spot of Expo Kitchen & Bath, the family-focused store offers accessories for live action role play, boxed games, and events.

The bubble tea chain CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice opened a second Ann Arbor location last week, at Westgate Plaza. Its buy-one get-one fifty percent off grand opening deal lasts until Saturday.


Food Gatherers and first responders team up this Saturday to collect non-perishable food and financial donations, ClickOnDetroit reports. EMTs, firefighters, and police will accept donations at three Washtenaw County Kroger stores, at Plymouth Rd, Maple Rd, and Washtenaw Ave, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to combat hunger in the area.

The city announced that sustainability grants have been awarded to several community-based organizations this summer, including the Ann Arbor YMCA, Avalon Housing, and more. The Sustaining Ann Arbor Together (SA2T) grant program supports sustainability activities and distributes $100,000 annually.

The 1887 Reuben Kempf House in the Old Fourth Ward Historic District is one of many properties whose documentation will be updated through the grant given by the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office. Photo courtesy of the MEDC.

Ask a2view

Q: Reader Greg Maxwell asks “Any information about when the Fleming Building demolition begins?”

A: U-M spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald emails that “work is anticipated during August” but doesn’t have “precise timing.” The northbound lane of Thompson St. and the eastbound lane of Jefferson are currently closed while contractors remove utility leads. Thompson will reopen on Saturday, and Jefferson on Aug. 12.

Things to Do

By Jennifer Taylor

5 Friday: Catch some straight-up bluegrass at the 25th Annual Milan Bluegrass Festival. Aug. 2-6. Four days of music performed by leading regional and national performers. Today: Russell Moore & Illrd Tyme Out (3 & 9 pm.), a veteran Georgia neotraditionalist ensemble, 7-time IBMA Vocal Group of the Year, fronted by lead vocalist and guitarist Moore. Also, the Malpass Brothers (2 & 7 p.m.), a North Carolina-based classic country-inspired duo discovered by Merle Haggard, along with many other acts. Noon-11 p.m., KC Campground, 14048 Sherman Rd., Milan. Daily passes $40 in advance, $45 at the gate ($35 after 5 p.m.). 3-day (Thurs., Fri., & Sat.) pass, $90 in advance; $105 at the gate.

6 Saturday: Join Michigan Mushroom Hunters to hunt for edible fungi. Bring a bag lunch, compass, cell phone, bug spray, whistle, basket, and knife. Wear closed-toed shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt. All mushrooms are evaluated by experts for edibility after the hunt. 10 a.m., meet at the Waterloo Recreation Area Eddy Discover Center parking lot, 5400 Bush Rd., Chelsea. Free.

7 Sunday: Go on a different kind of treasure hunt at the Ypsilanti Vintage Flea & Swap Market, which has vintage items ranging from the early 1930s to the 1990s, featuring everything from clothing, jewelry, furniture, records, and more. 10 a.m.–3 p.m., Ypsilanti Freighthouse parking lot, 76 N. Huron St., Ypsilanti. Free admission & parking.

See the Observer’s online calendar for many more local events.

Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward

Tell a friend about a2view

Question, comment, or tip? Email us at

For Sponsorship and Advertising information 


Did this email get forwarded to you? 
Sign up to receive a2view direct to your inbox.

Copyright © 2022 Ann Arbor Observer, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.