February 10, 2022

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

City council is taking input on how to distribute federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, including from groups pushing for greater support of the arts. On campus, a massive snowball fight broke out on the Diag last week, while amid this week’s February thaw, the city announced the start of the spring controlled burn season. The U-M’s administrative offices relocated to a stately old building, a three-alarm fire was extinguished on Eisenhower, and on the far side of the world, an Ann Arbor native helped Team USA clinch silver in Beijing.

On a more personal note, I was saddened to learn last Sunday about the death of the composer George Crumb. A U-M DMA, he was one of the most significant composers of the last sixty years.

Since the news broke, I’ve spent a lot of time re-listening to his work. Crumb’s music is at once transgressive and intimate, filled with color and—in contrast to much of the 20th-century avant-garde—deeply, heart-rendingly human. While the sounds he imagined were sometimes abrasively new, they always felt as if they were drawn from nature rather than produced by human systems. For those of us who love the beautiful and strange, he left works such as “Vox Balaenae (Voice of the Whale)” and “Ancient Voices of Children,” a song cycle based on the poetry of Federico García Lorca.

Dayton Hare, editor

A page from George Crumb's Makrokosmos, an evocative set of pieces for piano. His music is often as interesting visually as it is sonically. Image: Edition Peters Group.

The three-alarm fire on Eisenhower Tuesday night. Photo: Ann Arbor Fire Department.

The News...Briefly

Washtenaw County reported 142 cases of Covid-19, one hospitalization, and one death in the 24 hours ending Wednesday at 11 a.m., slightly less than half last week’s number. The weekly test positivity rate fell to 11 percent, down a tick from last week’s 12, and still significantly better than the statewide rate of 18.5 percent.

Ann Arbor activists and officials have been rethinking policing in the wake of 2020’s nationwide civil rights protests following George Floyd’s murder. This month’s Observer takes a look at proposals to create an unarmed emergency response. The differences James Leonard reported between the activist Coalition for Re-envisioning Our Safety (CROS) and the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office are now playing out in public: Yesterday, WCSO streamed an event on Facebook Live to discuss its efforts to divert people from the legal system, while CROS will host its own forum at 7 p.m. next Wednesday.

Rep. Debbie Dingell is moving to Ann Arbor, James Leonard reports in this month’s Observer. The third Dingell in a dynasty that stretches back to the 1930s, the congresswoman will relocate because Michigan’s citizens’ redistricting commission put her Dearborn home in the same district as fellow-Democrat Rashida Tlaib. Rather than run in what is now a majority-minority district, Dingell has opted to pack up for Ann Arbor, now the heart of Michigan’s new 6th District, where she will run for re-election this year.

U-M provost Susan Collins was chosen as the next president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston on Wednesday, the University Record reports. An economist, Collins has served as provost since Martin Philbert’s departure amid sexual misconduct allegations in March 2020. She will be the first black woman to lead a regional reserve bank in the Fed’s history.

U-M has moved its administrative offices to the newly-renovated Ruthven Building, the University Record reports. Staffers find the former Natural History Museum a more congenial workplace than the fortress-like Fleming Administration Building, which is due to be demolished later this year.

U-M administrators left the Fleming Building for more agreeable space in the former Natural History Museum. Photo: Roger Hart, Michigan Photography. 

The city is running a survey on how to spend $24 million from the American Rescue Plan Act, the Michigan Daily reports. Some groups have voiced support for programs to help the homeless and frontline workers, while others want money for the struggling arts sector. A few larger arts organizations have already received funds directly from the federal government, such as the Ann Arbor Art Center, which this week announced plans to use their $100K stimulus to expand and reactivate programs. The survey closes on Monday.

Firefighters responded to a three-alarm fire on Eisenhower Tuesday night, MLive reports. The blaze at Cranbrook Shopping Plaza resulted in no injuries but caused an estimated $250,000 in damage. One firefighter was treated for exhaustion.

Meanwhile, the city announced that it will begin controlled burns in parks and nature areas next Thursday. The Natural Area Preservation Division conducts the burns to curb invasive species and encourage native ones. NAP posts daily schedules on their Twitter and Facebook, and will host a public Q&A over Zoom at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Ice dancer and Ann Arbor native Evan Bates helped Team USA take silver in the Beijing Olympics. Bates and partner Madison Chock performed an outer space-inspired routine that toppled the reigning world champions, Russians Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov, and clinched the highest score in the free dance event. While the Russian team cumulatively scored higher than the Americans overall—and apparently took gold—a last minute complication has cropped up and medals have yet to be awarded. It’s possible that Team USA may be bumped up to first place due to rumored doping by the Russian team.

International cello superstar Yo-Yo Ma played a virtual concert for U-M frontline health workers last month. The national Project: Music Heals Us has been connecting musicians with patients and healthcare workers affected by the pandemic since May 2020.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this month’s Observer profiles a couple who found love for a second time the old fashioned way. Love in the time of Covid can be tricky, so Lynne and Michael Vestergaard first got to know each other solely by phone during Michigan’s lockdown.

U-M students carried on the time-honored tradition of Diag snowball fights after last week’s winter storm, the Michigan Daily reports. Almost exactly a year after the last icy battle, about 300 students gathered last Wednesday night in response to an Instagram post to duke it out with packed powder projectiles. “It was chaos, but really well organized chaos,” said the owner of the Instagram account.

Ann Arbor native Evan Bates and partner Madison Chock won the Olympic free dance event in Beijing on Sunday. Photo: U.S. Figure Skating.

Marketplace Changes

Totoro’s founder Jane Kim is back with a new restaurant, Micki Maynard reports in this month’s Observer. Plate Sushi and Chicken opened on Broadway in December, in the old Yourist Studio and Gallery location, where patrons can now find an assortment of sushi, sashimi, Korean-inspired kimchi fries, fried chicken, and bento boxes.

The Little Seedling has moved to Westgate Shopping Center from their old Boulevard Plaza location, Maynard reports. The shop, which is home to baby gear, toys, and gifts, got its start in the basement of owner Molly Ging.

A new Firehouse Subs has opened on Washtenaw, Maynard reports. The fire department-inspired restaurant features a mural of an Ann Arbor Fire Department engine, pieces of retired gear, and department photos. Patrons can purchase sub sandwiches, chips, mac and cheese, and more.


The Cancer Support Community and Mission Restaurant Group have teamed up to replenish the Sprout Love Financial Assistance Fund, which covers basic living expenses for patients and their families who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of cancer and its treatment. All month, Mission’s restaurants—including Grizzly Peak, the Blue Tractor, the Pretzel Bell, the Jolly Pumpkin, and Avalon Bakery in Ann Arbor—will have information on how to donate to the fund, which will resume making grants in March.

Things to Do

by Jennifer Taylor

11 Friday: Take your sweetheart out to hear the Kathy Kosins Quartet at the Blue Llama. Kosins, an acclaimed Detroit soul-drenched jazz vocalist, has “one of the most alluring voices in jazz,” according to the Chicago Tribune. The Blue Llama, 314 S. Main. 372–3200. 6 p.m. & 8:30 p.m. $85 dinner and a show. Reservations recommended at OpenTable.com or by calling the club.

12 Saturday: Get quiet with some company at the Ann Arbor Center for Mindfulness Virtual Winter Retreat Fundraiser. Led by AACFM teachers, this virtual meditation retreat includes alternating 20-minute sitting and movement meditations, followed by brief discussion periods. $20 donation requested to raise funds for AACFM scholarships. 9:00 a.m.-noon. Pre-register online.

13 Sunday: If you’re skipping the Superbowl, and you like owls, you might enjoy Leslie Science & Nature Center’s “Superb Owl Sunday,” a celebration of owls featuring owl-related activities, live owl presentations, and interpretive stations. 11 a.m.–1 p.m., LSNC, 1831 Traver. $5 (ages 2 & under, free). Preregistration required by 5 p.m. Friday the 11th at LesliesNC.org or 997-1553. Masks required in indoor spaces.

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 a2view@aaobserver.com

For Sponsorship and Advertising information 
Email:  a2view@aaobserver.com


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.