September 17, 2020

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

Tell a friend about a2view

This week

Most of us can agree that maintaining health and safety are the most important concerns we have, but the similarities end there. Couples walk hand in hand down the street, one with a mask, the other without. Parents want to protect their children, but many feel a season without football would be more damaging to their players than the risks of exposure. 

Big Ten football is back. Though heavily criticized for their handling of U-M’s response to the pandemic, both Schlissel and the administration survived no confidence votes, and the Graduate Employees' Union ends their strike. 

Goats care about none of this. Watch them eat poison ivy and other invasive species at Thurston Nature Center. 

Trilby MacDonald, editor 

In the News

Big Ten football is back, with the U-M’s first home game on the weekend of October 23-24. In a talk to the Rotary Club on Wednesday, athletic director Warde Manuel said the Big House will have no fans, just family members of student athletes and staff. President Trump took credit in a tweet; the conference cited newly available rapid-response Covid-19 tests.

U-M Dance Department moves to remote classes through September; over 10% of the department in quarantine. According to a Monday email from department chair Christian Matijas-Mecca shared on Reddit, they decided to halt in-person classes for two weeks because with infections rising, “we do not want the [dance] building to become a superspreader site” 

U-M graduate employees end strike. In a press release Wednesday, the Graduate Employees' Organization announced they had accepted the university's second offer and voted to end the strike. Agreements include child care, greater transparency on Covid-19 testing protocols, and "incremental but real movement on policing demands." Details of the deal can be found in the GEO press release. 

A faculty vote of no confidence in Schlissel appears to have fallen short of approval. Votes of no confidence regarding President Mark Schlissel and the administration’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic fell short of the majority needed to pass a Faculty Senate vote Wednesday. MLive.

Confirmed outbreaks of Covid-19 among students in K-12 schools and colleges across Michigan are now being posted on the MDHHS website. On Wednesday, the only Washtenaw County schools listed were the U-M (77) and EMU (19).  The county infection rate continues to hover around 100 new cases per week.

Tom Crawford is Ann Arbor’s next city administrator. The city’s capable, straight-shooting chief financial officer twice served as acting administrator when power swings on city council pressured his predecessors. (Steve Powers left voluntarily in 2015, while Howard Lazarus was fired earlier this year). All but one other candidate had withdrawn before council’s unanimous vote on Monday.

The YMCA announced that it will be offering in-person K-3 learning centers in Ann Arbor beginning September 14 and in Ypsilanti beginning September 21.  “When the Y sees a problem like this in our community, and families come to us with their concerns, we try to meet their needs in the best way that we can,” says president Toni Kayumi. “Separate from the importance of having the adult supervision and academic support, being in the presence of other children helps kids with their emotional development, self-esteem, sense of identity and more.” The curriculum that includes relationship building, exercise, outdoor activities, and light academic support, and children must be registered in a virtual school curriculum with a synchronized classroom to participate. 

A herd of ten goats is working at the Thurston Nature Center until September 21. In an ongoing “goatscaping” project, the animals are rented from Twin Willow Ranch to help control invasive species. Visiting goat lovers are advised to keep their distance because the herd is behind an electrified fence and has been eating poison ivy. Fans can see photos and personal bios for each goat here: Thurston Nature Center. 


Closed since March, Circ Bar reopens with 5,000 square feet of new patio space beside a recently completed mural by Ypsilanti painter Gary Horton. Covering the north side of 222-224 S. First St., the mural was commissioned by the Ann Arbor Art Center as part of the A2AC Murals project.

Le Dog reopened Monday. The beloved gourmet hotdog and soup joint has been a staple of the downtown lunch crowd for decades. Owner Jules Van Dyke-Dobos reports that after being closed for exactly six months, “We reopened to great success ...Since students have returned I’ve seen lots of life downtown.” In a concession to Covid-19, the tiny takeout stand tucked into the back of the mall at 306 S. Main St. now accepts Square payments and is considering an online ordering system. But “we are not changing our menu at all,” VanDyke-Dobos affirms. “Everything is staying the same, except we are offering a lot more take home items.” 

Gratzi, a long-time Ann Arbor mainstay at 326 S. Main St., is indefinitely closed, according to Kevin Gudejko, the CEO of Mainstreet Ventures. The Italian restaurant, which has been in operation since 1987, shut in mid-August. Gudejko says the group plans to eventually re-open Gratzi, but doesn't know yet how long the shutdown will last.

Silvio’s moves to Canton. Silvio’s Organic Pizzeria announced on Facebook September 9 that it will be closing September 30, and relocating to Canton under the name Silvio’s Trattoria e Pizzeria. The traditional Italian restaurant has not announced its new location but plans to open in November. Their farewell post was met with hundreds of well wishes. “We wanted to thank everyone for the love and support that you have given us, it was a tough decision but we had to do what was best for the business,” Silvio’s replied. “We will miss Ann Arbor.”


Friday: Learn about the Lynch Archives, one of the premiere collections of American sheet music, in a Zoom webinar with U-M’s Clements Library (10 a.m.). Also, watch Broadway veteran Jessica Grové sing showtunes, pop, and rock in Encore Musical Theatre’s parking lot in Dexter (8 p.m.).

Saturday: Get moving with a Rec & Ed-sponsored livestream dance exercise program (9:30 a.m.) and take a walk by Kerrytown’s bell tower to hear a concert played on the Kerrytown chimes (10:30 a.m.).

Sunday: Visit Wiard’s Country Fair in Ypsilanti for cider and donuts, apple picking, hay rides, a corn maze, and more (11 a.m.–5:30 p.m.).

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

Rich Chang's Dilemma

His New Foundry has good jobs for local talent, but where are the applicants?

By Trilby MacDonald

Rich Chang is not your average tech entrepreneur. Instead of spending his days steeped in code or pouring over spreadsheets, he is trying to create the conditions for a tech savvy applicant pool to emerge in Washtenaw County so that he can hire locally. “My focus is business development and community engagement,” he says. The Observer's Trilby MacDonald has our story. 

Rich Chang, lower right, with his New Foundry team in 2017. 
Promote your special deals and coupons here.
Contact for details

Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward

For Sponsorship and Advertising information 


Copyright © 2020 Ann Arbor Observer, All rights reserved.

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