October 7, 2021

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

This week

Yost Ice Arena was a sea of celebration last Saturday night. For the first time since spring, 2020, spectators were in the bleachers for a U-M men’s ice hockey game. Student members of the Children of Yost fanclub cheered lustily as the U-M beat Bowling Green 7-1 in an exhibition game. The Wolverines launch their regular season Friday night against Lake Superior State.
If you’ve never been to a U-M hockey game, it’s noisy and festive, even with the crowd muffled by face masks. You can hear the sharp scraping of players’ blades on the ice, the puck slapping the boards and an occasional shout from a coach. This year’s team is populated with NHL draft picks who decided to stay in Ann Arbor for the 2021-22 season. So, along with rooting for Michigan, you’ll be watching future stars on ice.

Micki Maynard, editor 

Bison, and their offspring, graze at Domino's Farms. The best time to see them is between seven and eleven in the morning, as the Observer reported in 2019.

The News...Briefly

Covid cases jump: The Washtenaw County Health Department reported 133 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, along with three hospitalizations. There were no deaths. The weekly positivity rate is 4 percent. James Leonard reports on the pandemic’s Fourth Wave—with a student’s account of her breakthrough infection, and a nurse’s soul-searching—in the October Observer. 

Mark Schlissel will leave early: The U-M president will leave his position in June 2023, a year earlier than planned. Schlissel’s departure, disclosed Tuesday, will result in an expensive exit package. The Michigan Daily reported that he gets his $927,000 salary for two years following his exit, $36,000 per fiscal year to spend at his discretion, and an office, parking space, and assistant through 2030. The Detroit Free Press (subscription required) says Schlissel’s early departure was triggered when plans for a high-profile Detroit innovation center ran into trouble, angering a group of regents, led by new chair Jordan Acker, who felt left out of the loop. 

City administrator investigation: The city will conduct an independent investigation into allegations against acting city administrator John Fournier, but in a vote split on factional lines, council decided not to put him on paid leave, MLive reported (subscription required). The city’s human resource director, Tom Guajardo, alleged in a complaint to council that Fournier had created a hostile work environment. 

Border-to-Border pathway tunnel: Council approved a cost-sharing project to design a tunnel for pedestrians and cyclists in the Border-to-Border pathway. The tunnel would extend beneath the railroad tracks between Bandemer Park and the Barton Nature Area. The city will collaborate with the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission on the $443,783 design project, according to MLive.

DTE solar energy project: DTE will build a solar energy facility to provide power to Ann Arbor and Pittsfield Township. The MIGreenPower project will provide twenty megawatts of electricity and is the largest in Southeast Michigan. It is planned for a capped landfill and a greenfield site owned by the city, which would be the project’s anchor tenant. Pittsfield Township is set to be its first subscriber. DTE anticipates generating power in 2023. 

Football fans are getting scammed: Some students are reporting scams involving U-M football tickets and cash payment apps. This is the first year football tickets were available only online, although ice hockey and basketball tickets went virtual in 2019. The Michigan Daily reports that the problems inspired a new online ticket marketplace, SurfSeats, which requires users to provide a university-affiliate email address. 

Farewell, George Frayne: George Frayne, founder and inspiration for the country-rock group Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, died in September. Even though he insisted Ann Arbor was not home, and the group got its formal start after Frayne left Ann Arbor, the musicians met here and are closely associated with the city. The AADL’s online magazine Pulp looks back at the group’s roots here. 
Nobody came up with the correct question this week on Jeopardy.  Do you know the obvious answer? Extra points if you can identify the error in the question.


Volunteer gardening: Eco-work days are back at the Arb and Matthaei, and the gardens are offering private eco-work days for groups. It’s no longer drop-in, though  you must preregister here.

When Success by 6 searches for families in need, the social services nonprofit has the help of a powerful data-mapping tool: the Washtenaw County Opportunity Index. Trilby MacDonald had the story in the October Observer. 

Marketplace Changes

Red Shoes’ replacement: Last spring, beloved gift shop Red Shoes closed in Lamp Post Plaza, following the death of founder Catherine Thursby. Now, the shop has a familiar replacement: Leyla Conlan has moved The Write Touch By Leyla from its tiny digs in the mini mall behind Mallek’s Service at the Jackson-Dexter fork. More on the move in November’s Observer.

“I have heard many stories of merchants who lived above the store—not in.” So writes Ed Davidson, recalling how he opened Bivouac in his own apartment. He recalls fifty years of campus retailing and extends an invitation to the State St. anchor’s anniversary celebration on Saturday in this online memoir. 

T-shirts and more for park lovers: If you’re a fan of the city’s many parks, you can now wear your love. The Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation online store is open, with merchandise from Underground Printing. There are T-shirts devoted to dogs, goats, and swimming, others featuring Argo and  Veterans Park, and a tote bag for Mack Pool’s Master’s Swim program. 

Kasoa says it will be back: In the October Observer, reader Ed Vielmetti reported that the Kasoa African Market had vanished from Platt Rd. Kasoa emailed us this week to say it plans to reopen at 3925 Jackson Rd. “We are going through a time consuming build out process to get the new location ready,” Kasoa writes. “A future grand opening date will be announced as soon as we are ready to open. Sorry for the inconvenience to our customers.”

DDD returns to Krazy Jim’s: Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger closed on Tuesday for a taping of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, the Food Network show starring Guy Fieri. DDD has been returning to places it featured on previous episodes. It visited Krazy Jim’s in its old location on Division back in 2008. 

Things to Do

By Ella Bourland

7 Thursday: Watch U-M musical theater students in Andrew Lippa's Obie-winning off-Broadway musical “The Wild Party” (Oct. 7-10 & 14-17), about a young couple who decide to throw the party-to-end-all-parties in their Manhattan apartment. Originally set in the 1920s as a steamy prohibition tale, this production takes place in the contemporary world of gossipy socialites. 7:30 p.m. (Thurs.), 8 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.), & 2 p.m. (Sun.), Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. Tickets $33-$39 in advance at Masks required. 764-2538.

8 Friday: Attend Booksweet Bookshop’s “Family Book Party,” where a Black Men Read volunteer storyteller reads from a picture book on themes relating to the African diaspora. Suitable for kids in grades preK-5 and their families. 7-8 p.m., Booksweet, Courtyard Shops, 1729 Plymouth Rd. Free. Masks required.

9 Saturday: Try your hand in making cider at Waterloo Recreation Area’s “Apple Cider Pressing” event. Apples provided. For more on the rise, fall, and revival of local cider-making, see the October Observer for Patrick McCauley’s account. Noon-2 p.m., Eddy Discovery Center, 17030 Bush Rd., Waterloo Recreation Area, Chelsea. Free; $17 vehicle entry fee required. 475-3170.

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

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