March 18, 2021

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

Tell a friend about a2view

Question, comment, or tip? Email us at

This week

While the Michigan Department Health and Human Services has declared that everyone over sixteen is eligible for a vaccine as of April 5, it doesn't mean they'll get one anytime soon: our survey results tell us that there are still people in their 80s who have not been able to get the jab. 

U-M is rebounding from a rocky year with the forecast of a relatively normal fall semester from President Schlissel, work resuming on a new hospital, and men's basketball Juwan Howard wins the Big Ten's Coach of the Year. 

The show goes on! The 59th Ann Arbor Film Festival kicks off online Tuesday with an array of vanguard films, and the Michigan Theater invites film lovers to enjoy critically acclaimed films, both classic and new, in person. 

Thoughts turn to summer, with hopes that we'll have some semblance of normalcy. I tried to register my kids for camp and found that all the spots had been taken within a couple of hours, and am finding the same with summer rentals. We are all pent up and longing for escape!

Trilby MacDonald, editor 

Covid-19 Updates

On Wednesday morning, the Washtenaw County Health Department reported forty-four new infections, six hospitalizations, and no deaths in the previous twenty-four hours. Last week’s positivity rate was 1.2 percent. As of Tuesday, 27.7 percent of county residents had received at least one vaccine dose, including 74.1 percent of seniors sixty-five and older.

Dose allocations are increasing substantially. St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor received 2,740 doses in the past week, U-M opened up 4,400 first dose appointments for the week of March 15, and the county health department administered 5,700 between March 7 and 13.,

Beginning on Wednesday, TheRide is providing free transportation to the EMU vaccine site  to anyone with an appointment scheduled through the health department. The service and fares will be paid for using the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and CARES Act funding. TheRide

A free vaccine clinic will open at Ford Field in Detroit on March 24. The site will offer free parking and will be open 8 a.m.–8:30 p.m. seven days a week. Sign-up online, by texting “EndCOVID” to 75049, or by calling (888) 535–6136.

As of April 5, everyone sixteen and older will be eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine in Michigan, as supply allows. The MDHHS has set a goal of vaccinating 70 percent of everyone over the age of sixteen by the end of 2021. 

Vaccine Survey- Results

Last week we asked readers to tell us their vaccine stories, and you responded in rich detail. The takeaway: Rite Aid was far and away the easiest place to obtain a vaccine, but being tech savvy with car access was key to securing a slot. Long term care residents got vaccines early and easily, and the mass vaccination site at EMU’s Convocation Center received high marks for efficiency. Michigan Medicine received the most negative comments. Click here for our story

The News...briefly

U-M president Mark Schlissel announces that fall “will look more like a normal semester.” Testing and safety protocols will continue in a more relaxed fashion, with smaller classes held in-person and large classes continuing remote. Residence halls and dining halls will open, and student services will be offered both in-person and remotely. University Record 

U-M men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard is named Big Ten Coach of the Year in his second season with the Wolverines. His team went 19–3 in one of the toughest years, and against some of the strongest teams, in recent memory. Click On Detroit  

Michigan Medicine announced that work will resume on a twelve-story hospital with 264 private rooms. Located next to the Cardiovascular Center, the facility will focus on high level, specialty care services. The five-year project will cost $924 million.  U-M Health

Homicide in Ypsilanti. Police responding to a car crash on March 13 by the Ranches of Rosebrook apartment complex found Henry Peoples Ross, thirty-two, shot in the driver's seat;  Ross died at the scene. If you have information about this person or incident, please contact Detective Craig Raisanen You can also submit anonymous tips at (734) 973–7711.

Michigan Medicine liver specialist Jessica Mellinger says that women are the driver behind a 30 percent increase in cases of alcoholic liver disease over the last year. "In my conversations with my colleagues at other institutions, everybody is saying the same thing: 'Yep, it's astronomical. It's just gone off the charts.’” WEMU

Governor Whitmer’s March 2 announcement that long term care facilities could begin receiving visitors was welcome news, if a bit misleading. According to Craig Courts, president of Glacier Hills Senior Living Community, the MDHHS has different guidelines for independent living and clinical settings. Glacier Hills currently permits indoor visitation in independent living, but because of recent cases of Covid on campus, clinical care patients can have outdoor and window visits only. “What we can do can change from day to day,” Courts says. Nearly all of his residents and most of his staff are fully vaccinated, which increases the likelihood that they will be able to allow indoor visitation in clinical settings soon. “We are as anxious to do that as everyone else is,” he says. 

Beginning Saturday, visitors will be allowed in Michigan prisons, by which time more than half of the prison population will have been vaccinated. Since March, 2020, more than 25,000 inmates have tested positive for Covid-19, and 139 have died. Detroit News 

The Ann Arbor Thrift Shop is requesting proposals for program and capacity-building grants from nonprofit social service agencies. Applications are due by April 30. 

Sylvia Nolasco-Rivers in a Whipils textile blouse from her Mayan cultural tradition. Photo by Esperanza Nolasco-Rivers. 

Great Dames

Sylvia Nolasco-Rivers immigrated to the United States from wartorn El Salvador when she was nine years old. Now her restaurant and catering business, Pilar’s Tamales, is the axis for food and music centered fundraising events benefiting immigrants and other communities in need. “The whole reason we are here is to be loved and be of service to others that need us,” she says. The Observer’s Trilby MacDonald has our story

Marketplace Changes

Downtown’s Flipside Art Studio has closed because of financial problems caused by the pandemic. “I want to thank each and everyone of you for all you've done, and for all the support you have given me over the years,” emailed owner Mary Kay Stevanus on March 14.  “I wish you and your families all the best and hope that you and children keep on being creative, keeping the love of art alive.” 

Bring Your Own Container—BYOC will open at 255 E. Liberty in April. The store was founded by twenty-three year old U-M alum and Chelsea native Emma Hess, who believes Ann Arbor is ready for a store that asks customers to protect the environment by bringing their own containers and buying nature-conscious home and body products. Concentrate 

Things to Do 

By Ella Bourland

Thursday: Tune in to see Japanese craftsman Takatoshi Hayashi discuss kokeshi-style (wooden) dolls (7 p.m.), and demonstrate how to make one of these cylindrical dolls with no limbs and a large round head. Free, but preregistration required at U-M Center for Japanese Studies. 

Celebrate the State Theater’s 79th birthday by watching an in-person screening at the State Theater with free popcorn to take home. Tonight’s showings include Michael Curtiz’s 1942 classic Casablanca, Dominic Cooke’s new Cold War spy thriller The Courier, Florian Zeller’s touching new drama The Father, and David Fincher’s new biopic Mank,  told from the perspective of Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. Various starting times between 7–7:30 p.m. Tickets $10.50 (students, seniors, veteran, and MTF member discounts available), in advance online (recommended) and at the door. State Theater, 233 S. State. 

Friday: Get a ticket to see Huron High students in a virtual production of Murder’s in the Heir, Billy St. John's 1998 Clue-like interactive murder-mystery comedy (7 p.m. Fri. & 2 p.m. Sun.). Directed by Claire Federhofer, the play centers on the death of a tyrannical billionaire and a group of rejected heirs, each with the motive and means to kill. At intermission, audience members vote to identify the murderer and determine the course of the second act. Post-performance actor meet & greet. Get URL and tickets ($6 per household/device) at Huron’s online box office. 

Watch the Penny Seats Theatre Company’s virtual reading of Ronnie Larsen's touching absurdist drama “The Actors,” about a man who, missing his parents, decides to hire some (8 p.m.). Cast: Brandy Joe Plambeck, Inchai Reed, Joe Bailey, Jack Meloche, and Will Myers. Get URL and tickets ($5) at Penny Seats Arcade Series. 

Sunday: Head over to the Ann Arbor School of Massage, Herbal, & Natural Medicine for a free 15-minute walk-in massage by students (10 a.m.–3 p.m.). Hot chai, cookies, and other samples. Masks required. AASM, 3684 W. Liberty. 

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

Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward

For Sponsorship and Advertising information 


Copyright © 2021 Ann Arbor Observer, All rights reserved.

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