November 10, 2022

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

Michigan voters turned out in record numbers for the midterms this week, delivering wins for Democrats both at the state level and locally. In Ann Arbor, the mayor was reelected, the climate action tax passed, and voters sent Rep. Debbie Dingell back to Washington.

A high-profile killing in Ypsi may be closer to resolution after a suspect was arrested after being on the run for months. Ann Arbor will have to continue cleaning up water pollution from Wixom, the AADL is asking for artists to submit book cover designs for a $1,000 prize, and community members are working with the city to commemorate the city’s historically Black neighborhood at a Kerrytown development.

Dayton Hare, editor

Students “are tremendously fired up to vote,” says Roddy Wares (left, with Rose Reilly). In the 2018–19 and 2019–20 school years, she emails, the League of Women Voters “registered over 1100 students each year in the high schools and 400 students at WCC.” Photo: Courtesy LWV Washtenaw County.

The News...Briefly

Mayor Taylor sailed to reelection in Tuesday’s election, according to unofficial results. Once the new city council is seated, he will have an unassailable 11–0 majority. And Ypsi will have its second Black woman as mayor: Mayor pro tem Nicole Brown defeated its first, Lois Allen-Richardson, in August’s Democratic primary, and easily beat two nonpartisan challengers on Tuesday. Ann Arbor’s climate-action tax proposal passed by a wide margin, and Arianne Slay was elected as 22nd Circuit Court Judge. Students turned out in high numbers, with many braving the cold to wait in line for hours after polls closed.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell handily won her reelection bid. Statewide, Gov. Whitmer beat back challenger Tudor Dixon, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson both won reelection, and Prop 3, to amend the state constitution to protect abortion rights, passed. Democrats won all local races but one for the state legislature, contributing to the party regaining control of both houses for the first time in nearly forty years.

Hundreds of young people registered on election day, causing long lines on campus. The wait could have been worse: Since 2018, an intergenerational tag team from the League of Women Voters has inspired more than 1,500 high school and community college students to register. Roddy Wares, now seventy, and U-M junior Rose Reilly have been working together ever since Wares gave a presentation at Dexter High when Reilly was a junior there, Jan Schlain reports in the November Observer. “No matter where you land on the political spectrum, or what your beliefs are, we can all believe in democracy,” says Reilly.

The county’s Covid-19 snapshot reports 821 cases in the two weeks ending yesterday, down a bit from last week’s 852. There are 106.9 cases per 100,000 residents, basically unchanged from last week, and the test positivity rate is 10.1 percent, up from last week’s 9.3 and the same as two weeks ago. The CDC community level is still “medium,” and will be updated at 8 p.m. tonight.

U.S. marshalls arrested an Ypsi man for the murder of Terrill Smith last June, the Detroit Free Press reports. Smith was streaming on Facebook Live when he got into an online argument with 19-year-old Coreyon Brown, who allegedly came to his house and shot him to death. Four other suspects were arrested soon after the killing, but Brown eluded capture for months.

A new Kerrytown affordable housing development aims to commemorate the area’s African American history, MLive reports. Community members are in dialogue with the city’s housing commission and Avalon Housing to determine how the six-story building, which is planned for a city-owned lot in what was once Ann Arbor’s Black business district, might pay homage to that past.

Ann Arbor will have to continue cleaning up water pollution from Wixom under a new permit that took effect this month, MLive reports. Under the permit, which lasts until 2027, Wixom’s wastewater treatment plant may continue discharging PFAS chemicals from Tribar Technologies into a creek that feeds the Huron. Ann Arbor annually spends $150,000 to remove PFAS from its drinking water.

The city wants your input on a rehabilitation plan for the water treatment plant. The 2–3 minute survey on your priorities for drinking water will remain open until the end of the month.

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments is collecting public comments on deer management. Today is the last day to take their anonymous survey.

TheRide is hosting two public meetings Tuesday to provide info about zero-emissions buses. The meetings, one virtual and one in-person, will focus on highlights from a report on different bus designs, outlining benefits, costs, and potential timelines.

A new website explains Ann Arbor’s speed management program and invites public input, MLive reports. The city is considering a variety of tools to reduce traffic speeds on major roadways, where most traffic accidents occur. These could include speed bumps, changes to lanes, street markings, and more. The city invites questions and comments via an online survey.

City council votes tonight on a redesign of S. Seventh St. to remove parking to make room for bike lanes, MLive reports. If passed, street parking would be prohibited along the west side of the road from Scio Church to Lawton Elementary.

The Joy Rd. bridge over US-23 reopened yesterday with a temporary structure. MDOT plans to return to place a permanent structure during the 2023 construction season.

The fire department wants its own ambulance, James Leonard reports in the November Observer. Since June, they’ve been borrowing one from Huron Valley Ambulance to transport non-urgent patients, and the chief has decided it’s time to ask the city to spring for the $300K it would take to purchase one of their own.

Ann Arbor’s municipal offices will be closed tomorrow for Veterans Day, though trash, compost, and recycling collection will continue as scheduled.

Zingerman’s recalled some of its seasonal gelato after discovering it had failed to list egg as an ingredient, ClickOnDetroit reports. The undeclared allergen is found in the paw paw and harvest pumpkin flavors.

Ten Thousand Villages Huron Valley is launching a fund drive, Brooke Marshall reports in the November Observer. Until the pandemic, the “maker-to-market” nonprofit always brought in enough revenue to cover its costs and funnel income to seventy-six artisan groups in twenty-seven countries, but it used up its financial cushion during the shutdowns. They’ve raised almost a third of their $50,000 goal, and board chair Tim Carter—a former aid worker in Africa—says once they rebuild their reserves, “we’re on a good trajectory to get back.”

The Wolverines continued their winning streak with a 52–17 victory over Rutgers, the Michigan Daily reports. They’ll return to the Big House at 3:30 Saturday to face the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

When Pioneer High forbade U-M fans from reserving extra parking spots to tailgate this year, they lost a prime party spot within 500 feet of the Big House. But the party continues just fifty yards from the stadium at the North End Zone—behind two houses on S. Main. Anita LeBlanc reports in the November Observer that Tom and Marie Wall started renting the space to groups in 2007, and since then have transformed it into a fully-fledged business.

The AADL is asking artists to submit cover designs for two books the library will produce and offer as prizes in its 2023 Summer Game. Artists have until Dec. 4th to submit, and the winners will be paid $1,000.

The president of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is retiring after eighteen years at the helm, Concentrate reports. Mel Drumm’s tenure was marked by a merger with Leslie Science and Nature Center in 2017 and programming collaborations with Ypsi’s Yankee Air Museum. Drumm hopes to continue supporting similar organizations through consulting or other work.

Neglected or abused farm animals get a new lease on life at a refuge outside of Manchester, MLive reports. Sanctuary And Safe Haven for Animals (SASHA) Farm has operated since the ‘80s, caring for cows, sheep, pigs, goats, horses, birds, and more.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Ann Arbor the 11th best place to live in the country in their annual list. The magazine gave Ann Arbor the top spot in quality of life, regards the city as the best place to live in Michigan, and named it the 8th-best place to retire.

North Star owner Phillis Engelbert says the idea grew out of the community-building ethos cultivated at the Detroit Street Filling Station and the Lunch Room Bakery & Cafe. “It’s been a central part of our mission to bring people together to enjoy the good things in life, like food and music.” Photo: J. Adrian Wylie.

Marketplace Changes

Vegan music venue and bar North Star Lounge opened last month, Dave Algase reports in the November Observer. The brainchild of Phillis Engelbert, owner of Detroit Street Filling Station, North Star offers a variety of snacks, desserts, and a full line-up of music acts.

A reader reports that Hometown Pharmacy on E. Stadium closed last month, and a Facebook post confirms it. Prescriptions have been transferred to the chain’s Chelsea location.

Mast Shoes is celebrating eighty years in Ann Arbor with a giveaway. Between now and the New Year, both online and in-store shoppers can enter to win one of eighty-one gift certificates.

Schuler Books is offering cash for peoples’ used books at 20 percent of their resale value, or 30 percent in store credit. They’re buying by appointment only, Tuesday–Saturday.

After seven years doing humanitarian work in Africa, Tim Carter returned to the United States to pursue an MBA because “I believed I could have even greater impact through business solutions to poverty.” As a U-M student he did a fellowship project on Ten Thousand Villages, and stayed on as a board member after graduation. Photo: Mark Bialek.


The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County hosts National Homelessness and Awareness Week the 13th through 19th. Daily events—from a bottle drive to a symposium to a comedy show—foreground housing scarcity, hunger, and homelessness.

Food Gatherers is extending homebound food delivery and pop-up distributions in rural communities thanks to an $85,000 grant from the Emergency Food Assistance Program. The food bank and food rescue nonprofit is working with Aid in Milan and the Manchester Community Resource Center to increase food access.

RealTruck is partnering with Building Homes for Heroes to provide eleven mortgage-free homes to injured U.S. veterans between September 11 and Veterans Day. The Ann Arbor-based parts maker and its employees have donated more than $1 million to the nonprofit over the past five years.

Things to Do

By Jennifer Taylor

11 Friday: Peer through the Angell Hall Observatory and rooftop telescopes and view planetarium shows at the U-M Student Astronomical Society’s Open House. Also, short astronomy presentations by club members. 8–10 p.m., Rm. 3118 planetarium & 5th fl. rooftop observatory, Angell Hall (enter through Haven Hall on the Diag side of the building). Weather-dependent; check website before coming. Free. 764–3440.

12 Saturday: Catch NYC-based stand-up comic Giulio Gallarotti at the Blind Pig. Co-host of the popular podcast Oops, Giulio is known for his self-deprecating autobiographical storytelling and irreverent observational humor, often drawing on his experiences as a world traveler. 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.), The Blind Pig, 208 S. First. $20 in advance at the 8 Ball Saloon (below the club) & at, and at the door. 996–8555.

13 Sunday: Catch the launch of a new Kerrytown Concert House series, “Operetta Scenes and Arias,” featuring members of the Toledo Opera led by its co-artistic director and pianist Kevin Bylsma, a U-M alum. The program is inspired by the opera’s upcoming February production of Franz Lehár’s 1905 operetta The Merry Widow. 4 p.m., KCH, 415 N. Fourth Ave. Tickets $19–$50 in advance at; reservations recommended. 769–2999. 

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

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