March 17, 2022

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

Do I dare say Spring has sprung? If the glorious weather these last few days wasn’t enough, I’ve heard rumors of returning birds, including a great blue heron that left Mary Beth Doyle Park when the weather turned too cold last December — not to mention the chattering robins.

This time of year always puts me in mind of William Carlos Williams’s wonderful Spring and All:

Now the grass, tomorrow

the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

One by one objects are defined—

It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

This week U-M hockey and women’s basketball advanced to their respective tournaments, the university announced it was pulling its investments from Russia, and Jon Vaughn chained himself to a tree outside the president’s house. TheRide is seeking public input on the transit system’s future, city council voted on a contractor for a water main project, and the Common Grill found a buyer.

Dayton Hare, editor

A bird for spring and beyond, robins arrive with the vernal equinox. Bob and Jorja Feldman wrote about them for the Observer in 2016. Photo: Bob and Jorja Feldman.

The News...Briefly

Washtenaw County reported fifty-nine lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19, fifteen probable cases, one hospitalization, and no deaths in the 24 hours ending today at 10 a.m. Case numbers are up significantly from a week ago, while hospitalizations and deaths are down. The county weekly test positivity rate slid again to 2.6 percent. On Monday, U-M implemented its new, less strict, mask policy.

A man found dead in EMU’s Pease Park last week died accidentally after a fall, the Eastern Echo reports. The sixty-three-year-old Ypsilanti resident was found in the early morning hours last Monday.

Anderson survivor Jon Vaughn chained himself to a tree in protest last Saturday, the Michigan Daily reports. The former football player turned activist camped more than 150 days in front of the president’s house protesting U-M’s sexual misconduct policies before the university disassembled his campsite last week. He vowed to remain chained for 17.5 hours, one minute for each of the known survivors of Robert Anderson.

U-M announced Tuesday it’s pulling investments from Russia, the Detroit Free Press reports. The university will disinvest as “quickly as is practical” and halt future investments, citing “increasing financial risks” in the country. U-M invested about $40 million with an investment manager called Russia Partners between 2009 and 2012, a tiny fraction of its now $17 billion endowment. Burton Tower is lit in maize and blue—approximately the colors of the Ukrainian flag—all week in solidarity.

City council voted Monday to contract Bailey Excavating for a new water main project, the Daily reports. The job was initially set to go to E.T. Mackenzie, but council members preferred Bailey for its participation in registered apprenticeship programs. Dissenters raised concerns about whether Bailey was being honest about OSHA violations.

TheRide is seeking public input on its 2045 long-range plan at virtual and in-person meetings between now and April 15, MLive reports. The AAATA board meets tonight to consider asking voters to more than triple its millage. In “What’s Next for AAATA?,” James Leonard reports on how the system has dealt with a sharp drop in ridership and pandemic staff shortages.

Jessica Nelson has gone through boot camp twice: first in the Marine Corps, then an “academic boot camp” to prepare to return to college. In the March Observer, Eve Silberman traces the Smith grad’s uncommon path to the U-M law school.

Mark Wiseman’s high school internet sportscast took off during the pandemic, Shelley Daily writes for the Observer. The all-volunteer webcasts feature Wiseman’s play-by-play commentary on local school sports, including hockey, basketball, and lacrosse. Grandparents across the country are some of its biggest fans.

U-M women’s basketball is the number three seed in the NCAA regional tournament for the first time, the Daily reports. They play American University at 3:30 p.m. this Saturday. Despite a dismal performance against Indiana last week in the Big Ten Tournament, the men managed to slip into the tournament as well. Seeded 11th in the regionals, they won their first game against Colorado State today 75-63, and will advance to the round of thirty-two.

Michigan Hockey is heading to the Big Ten Championship Game after defeating Notre Dame on Saturday, the Daily reports. The Wolverines had struggled against the Fighting Irish all season, but a third-period goal on Saturday gave them a 2-1 victory. They face off against Minnesota for the title this Saturday.

State St. is currently closed between Washington and Liberty while crews connect utilities for developer Howard Frehsee's latest - and perhaps last - high-rise project. Photo: John Hilton.

Marketplace Changes

The Common Grill in Chelsea isn’t closing after all, the Free Press reports. While owners Craig and Donna Common had planned to sell only the building, they changed their minds after the Detroit-area Peas & Carrots Hospitality group asked to take the restaurant too. The menu will remain unchanged.

People can now explore the local beer-and-booze scene with Destination Ann Arbor’s Craft Pass,” MLive reports. The pass is a brewery and distillery “passport” offering a curated list of fifteen local businesses, some of which offer discounts for those using the pass.

Work & Play Cafe opens today in Ypsi Township, Concentrate reports. The business combines food, drink, a game room, a work space, and a playroom for children. It aims to offer employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Founders Steve and Amy Berg also own Skill & Ability Education (SAE), which helps people with disabilities develop work skills and find employment.

TheRide is seeking public input on the future of transit in the area and its 2045 plan. James Leonard reports on system's pandemic challenges. Photo: Mark Bialek.

Things to Do

By Jennifer Taylor

18 Friday: Lighten your mood at Civic Improv’s Evening of Improv, where performances by four troupes (Seriously, It Doesn’t Matter, Work Friends, The Insufferables, and Bare Two Hands) support the Ypsi Performance Space. 8-10 p.m., Ypsi Performance Space, 218 N. Adams Street, Ypsilanti. Mask and proof of vaccination required. $15 at the door only. 846-2492,

19 Saturday: Be wowed by the gorgeous orchids at the Ann Arbor Orchid Society’s annual Orchid Festival, a show and sale of thousands of tropical and hardy orchids, orchid-growing supplies, and related items. Also, talks and demos by local orchid growers. Runs through Sunday. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m., U-M Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N. Dixboro. Free admission; metered parking. 647–7600.

20 Sunday: Enjoy the music of Vox3Machina - saxophonist Timothy McAllister, bass trombonist Randall Hawes, and pianist Kathryn Goodson - as they draw on classical, romantic, and jazz traditions to play Stephen Rush’s Lightrays, Jim Stephenson’s Mahogany Moods, William Grant Still’s Romance, and more. Proceeds of this “Concert4aCause: Lightrays” benefit the Leslie Science & Nature Center. In person and livestream. 6 p.m., Northside Community Church, 929 Barton Dr. For a reserved ticket ($10) and livestream URL, see Free; donations appreciated. 904-6935.  

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.