March 25, 2021

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This week

As the country begins to emerge from the paralysis caused by a pandemic that has claimed over half a million lives, two mass killings in one week remind us that there are some aspects of life as before we are not eager to get back to. Our local community shows its solidarity with many ways to offer support.

School starts tomorrow for some students and the bright yellow buses zooming around town are a cheerful sight. 

Trilby MacDonald, editor 

Covid-19 Updates

Third surge: The state reported 3,164 new daily cases on Wednesday—the most since January 19—and Michigan now has the fourth-highest rate of new cases in the nation. A little more than two weeks ago, on March 1, Michigan had one of the lowest rates in the country. 

Washtenaw County’s count is also rising, with 70 new cases, 3 hospitalizations, and no deaths reported Wednesday. 32.4 percent of all residents, and 78 percent of seniors, had been vaccinated. 

The News...briefly

Ann Arbor Public Schools reopened today, as buses rolled to shuttle preK, kindergarten, and special-needs students to classrooms for the first time since March, 2020. First- and second-graders are scheduled to follow on April 5 and third- through fifth-graders on April 12, with upper grades phasing in after that. 

Superintendent Jeanice Swift credits teacher vaccination and in-school rapid testing with making reopening possible. But because it missed a March 22 legislative deadline for twenty hours a week of in-person instruction, AAPS could still lose out on $2.7 million in federal Covid relief funds. Chelsea Public Schools has $887,000 at risk. Saline, Dexter, and Ypsilanti schools met the last-minute deadline. MLive (subscriber exclusive). State rep Donna Lasinski calls the deadline  “arbitrary and misguided” and points out that Democrats have introduced a bill to remove that requirement and release the remaining $840 million in federal aidbut it would need Republican support to pass. 

U-M men’s basketball team, seeded No. 1 in the NCAA Tournament, had a rocky start, but clinched their fourth consecutive Sweet 16 appearance with an 86-78 win over LSU on Monday. The Michigan men will take on fourth-seeded Florida State in an East Regional semifinal on Sunday (March 28). Tipoff at 5 pm. mgoblue

Michigan women’s basketball made it to the Sweet 16 for the first time. Seeded No. 6, the Michigan women took down No. 3 seed Tennessee Tuesday night in San Antonio, 70-55. They now await the winner of No. 2 seed Baylor and No. 7 seed Virginia Tech in the regional semifinals. The Wolverine 

Gallup Park Loop Trail between the boat launch and the canoe livery will be closed for repair from the week of April 1 through early June. Signs and barricades will be installed to divert users to an alternate path. 

Jim and Marla Gousseff donate $1.8 million to six Ypsilanti organizations through the Ypsilanti Area Community Fund. The gift creates endowments for Corner Health Center, Riverside Arts Center, Salvation Army of Washtenaw County, SOS Community Services, the Ypsilanti District Library, and Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels. Concentrate

Annual rally against sexual violence will take place on April 1. Take Back the Night was fully virtual last year, but will move forward with both a virtual and in-person event on the U-M Diag. Local reproductive health, women’s rights, and sexual assault organizations will speak. Observer 

Who Needs Ya?

The United Asian American Organizations are holding a vigil at 7 p.m. Friday for the victims of the Atlanta attacks, with Covid safety protocols and a Facebook livestream option. Ann Arbor businesses also are offering lots of ways to support the Asian American community; Here are a few:

Bao Boys Asian food truck: 10 percent of sales are being donated towards an APIA scholarship

327 Braun Court: $1 of each piña colada is being donated to AAPI Domestic Violence Resource Project.

Basil Babe: the mother/daughter dumpling duo is teaming up with Underground Printing to sell t-shirts that say "love the people like you love their food," with 100% of proceeds going to @stopaahate. 

Boylesque Drag & Bingo is hosting a Virtual Glow Party with glowsticks, paint, and UV lighting this Friday at 8pm. Tickets are $15, all proceeds will be supporting the Asian Pacific Fund. Venmo @AustinMoan 

Great Dames

Lisa Scheiman is a certified nurse midwife at Michigan Medicine’s Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital and director of the UMHS sexual assault nurse examiner program. The number of mothers choosing to deliver babies under the care of a midwife has tripled since she began practicing in the late eighties. She believes pregnant people with low risk pregnancies want less intervention, and “a model of care that affords them greater ownership of their health and their pregnancy.” The Observer’s Trilby MacDonald has our story

Marketplace Changes

Top Drawer reopens under new ownership. Old friends and Michigan natives Brittany Tobias and Alicia Frenette have taken their shared love of teamwork and consignment shopping to the next level by purchasing the Ann Arbor consignment shop, where locals in the know have gone for incredible deals on previously owned (although not always worn) name brand clothes, shoes, and accessories. Top Drawer a2

Ann Arbor chalk artist David Zinn has a new book. Underfoot Menagerie: More street art by David Zinn contains 134 colorful images, anecdotes, and explanations of the “not quite underground” artist’s zany creatures that pop up and disappear in our public spaces. Zinn Art 

Jim Brady’s reopens today with a new menu. Grilled mushroom pappardelle and Smokin’ Aces are among the new entrees and cocktails to land on the menu at the upscale restaurant and bar, which has modified its hours and space to comply with MDHHS guidelines. Jim Brady’s

"moving while standing still" by Derrick Dawson, 2019. Color pencil, pen, #2 pencil. Featured in the Prison Creative Arts Project 25th annual exhibition. 

Things to Do 

By Ella Bourland

Thursday: Listen to artists from previous Art by Michigan Prisoners exhibitions share their stories and answer questions about life as a prison artist (7 p.m.). The talk is in conjunction with this year’s twenty-fifth virtual exhibit. Free online at U-M Prison Creative Arts Project.

Friday: Tune-in to see a dynamic performance by NYC-based hip-hip rapper Ayoinmotion, a Nigerian native who grew up in Flint (4:30-6 p.m.). His music also incorporates elements of Afrobeat and spoken word. The program begins with a Q&A. Free, online at UMMA/U-M African Graduate Student Association. 

Try to solve a computer security problem (or a series of problems), ranging from basic computer usage to some programming, to capture the virtual flag (6-7 p.m.). Beginners welcome. Free, but donations encouraged, online at All Hands Active. 

Saturday: Watch Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra associate conductor Earl Lee direct the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra in a program, prerecorded in the Michigan Theater, that includes Bach, Mendelssohn, and Tchaikovsky (8 p.m.). For on-demand viewing and tickets ($50), see a2so.

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

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