September 29, 2022

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

Last week, city council discussed trash in bikeways and giving tenants a “right to renew” their leases. A proposal to study a city takeover of MDOT business routes fell short, and the city sent out helpful voting information.

In Ypsilanti, EMU’s faculty ratified their new contract, while in Ann Arbor U-M released its first climate action report. A former corrections officer was sentenced to probation, and a new roundabout opened in Salem Township. North Star Lounge, a new music venue next door to Detroit Street Filling Station, opens for business this Saturday, SOS community services is seeking volunteers, and U-M hosts a medicine take back event next Tuesday.

Dayton Hare, editor

Residents of manufactured housing have to put up with a lot, Cynthia Furlong Reynolds reports in the September Observer. Photo: Mark Bialek.

The News...Briefly

The county’s Covid-19 snapshot reports 1,175 cases in the two weeks ending yesterday, down from 1,472 last week. There are 143.9 cases per 100,000 residents, down from 198.9. The test positivity rate is 9.6 percent, down 3.5 points. The CDC community level was downgraded to “medium” last Thursday; the current status will be posted today at 8 p.m.

U-M has issued $300 million in green bonds to pay for its carbon neutrality goals, the Daily reports. According to the university’s first climate action report, the effort is ahead of schedule, with emissions down 25 percent since 2010. As Madeline Stone-Wheatley reported in January, much of the money will go to building the country’s largest geothermal field.

A proposal to study a city takeover of MDOT-owned roads failed by a single vote, MLive reports. Mayor Taylor’s faction wants to make changes it hopes will make roads like N. Main St. safer for pedestrians and cyclists, but lacked the eighth vote needed to change the budget. The proposal is all but guaranteed to sail by once the mayor’s bulletproof 11-0 majority takes office next month.

City council unanimously advanced “right to renew” legislation last week, the Michigan Daily reports. The proposal will close loopholes in the city’s 2021 early leasing ordinance that have allowed landlords to circumvent the ordinance’s spirit with waitlists.

An ex-corrections officer was sentenced for soliciting sexual favors from a jail inmate, MLive reports. The incident occured in 2018, but no charges were filed until an internal audit uncovered it. The former guard was sentenced to three years’ probation, must register as a sex offender, and is barred from working in law enforcement or corrections.

County commissioners approved the $30 million Washtenaw County Rescue Plan, ClickOnDetroit reports. The federal pandemic funds will go toward stormwater infrastructure, support for older adults, and financial equity initiatives.

Residents of manufactured housing have to put up with a lot, Cynthia Furlong Reynolds reports in the September Observer. Aging facilities and capricious landlords are nothing to sneeze at, but for residents the myth that their neighborhoods are crime-ridden is “what may hurt the most.”

EMU faculty ratified a new contract after 96 percent of union members voted in favor, ClickOnDetroit reports. Reached after a five-day strike, it raises professors’ base pay by $4,000 or 4 percent (whichever is greater) the first year, and 3.25 percent in the subsequent two years. They will also receive the same health care options as administrators.

Election officials are in a quandary as they prepare for the vote, James Leonard reports in the September Observer. Uncertain whether people will come back to the polls in-person, they have to be ready for both large absentee votes and busy polling places, which gets expensive quickly.

Ann Arbor shared useful info for voters ahead of the November 8 election, including how to check your registration, how to vote absentee, and more.

On Monday, South University Ave. will close between Church St. and E. University Ave. for utility work on a student highrise, MLive reports. The northbound lane of East University at the corner will also close. The roads are expected to reopen Oct. 24.

Spilled trash and recycling bins are obstructing the city’s new bikeways, MLive reports, and the question of how to handle the problem was raised at last week’s city council meeting. So far there’s no indication that council intends to alter future bikeway designs.

The new roundabout at Pontiac Tr. and N. Territorial Rd. opened to traffic Friday after more than three months of work.

Fisher House Michigan was dedicated to U.S. servicemen, servicewomen, and their loved ones last Friday, MLive reports. Since its 2020 opening, the free facility has housed more than 6,000 guests as their military family members or veterans undergo treatment at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Davi Napoleon wrote about the house and director Kate Melcher – a vet herself – in 2020.

Ann Arbor’s 10,000 Trees initiative hosts its FreeTree Giveaway on Sunday from 1-5 p.m.  at the Leslie Science and Nature Center. Washtenaw County residents can register to take home one to three pine, spruce, or cedar saplings to plant on their property.

PETA’s “Without Consent” exhibit is viewable at the Diag’s northwestern corner until Sunday. The installation highlights historical and present-day animal experimentation and draws connections with experiments on vulnerable human populations.

The fire department and SaveMiHeart honored a child, two bystanders, and a heart attack victim last week for their roles along the “chain of survival,” MLive reports. Jerry Parris suffered a heart attack while playing a game of Ultimate last April; thanks to the intervention of 13-year-old Lily Schaffer and two CPR-trained bystanders, Daniel Mendez and David Canada, he was breathing again by the time paramedics arrived.

The West Side Art Hop is back this weekend. Artist Chris Hippler told the story of “Ann Arbor’s quirkiest art fair” in the June Observer.

Fortune ranked Ann Arbor the No. 1 place to live for families in the U.S. It cited the city’s top-notch schools, cornucopia of restaurants, and plethora of activities as reasons why Ann Arbor took the top spot.

North Star Lounge, a new music venue and vegan bar, opens its doors Saturday. Photo: John Hilton.

Marketplace Changes

Music venue and vegan bar North Star Lounge opens this Saturday. Managed by the team behind Detroit Street Filling Station next door, the historic brick building on Fifth Ave. hosts a weekly lineup of music and events, and serves a variety of drinks and vegan food.

Love Zingerman’s but don’t love looking at your bank statement afterwards? Check out Micki Maynard’s tips and tricks for finding deals at the beloved Kerrytown deli and throughout the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses in the September Observer.

What’s the best place in town to watch college football? There’s no shortage of great spots to enjoy a beer and bar food on game days, but the Session Room, Connor O’Neill’s, and the Pretzel Bell top Detroit Eater’s list of eleven of the city’s best sports bars.


SOS Community Services fed a record number of people from its food pantry last week, according to a press release. As inflation makes it harder for people to afford the groceries they need, the group is asking for volunteers to staff the pantry on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

The Brides Project is asking for wedding dress donations as part of its 60 in 60 campaign, MLive reports. The bridal nonprofit boutique hopes to gather sixty dresses by the end of October. Proceeds from their resale will go to the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor.

U-M’s college of pharmacy hosts a safe medication disposal event on Tuesday, ClickOnDetroit reports. From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. people can drop off unused or expired medications for environmentally safe disposal either at Ingalls Mall or at the triangle area between University Hospital, Mott Children’s Hospital, and Taubman Health Care Center.

Reader Mary Adams emails asking for help identifying the setting at upper left on the Observer's September cover; Laura Strowe is selling her original pastel painting to benefit the Observer. Image: Laura Strowe.

Ask a2view

Q. Mary Adams emails, “my husband and I have been searching for the locales of the 4 UM Big House sign on the September AA Observer cover. We've located 3 of the 4 locations, and have nearly worn out our shoes looking for the last one. We're stymied by the image on the top left corner; can you divulge the location of the image?”

A.”It is an alley between an apartment building and a house just to the west of the restaurant (bar?) on the SW corner of State and Packard,” artist Laura Strowe emails. “I often get stopped at the light in front of the alley on my way from my home to the Produce Station which I regularly haunt. I've been looking at it for years, trying to decide if, by itself, it would make a good September cover, and then had the inspiration of combining it with other views.”

Strowe is donating her original pastel painting to benefit the Observer. Email for information or to arrange a viewing.

Things to Do

By Jennifer Taylor

30 Friday: See the U-M Theatre Department’s production of “Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow,” Halley Feiffer’s 2019 off-Broadway sendup of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters, about 3 high-minded young women trapped in a turn-of-the-century Russian provincial village. Feiffer superimposes a modern sensibility and vernacular, transforming the play into a deftly comedic (and raunchy) exploration of unchecked privilege. Ages 17 and up; contains vulgar language and sexual situations. 7:30 p.m. Runs Thurs.–Sun., Sept. 29–Oct. 9, U-M Walgreen Drama Center Arthur Miller Theatre, North Campus. Tickets $30 (students, $13) in advance and at the door. 764–2538.

1 Saturday: Help collect (and learn about) macroinvertebrates—including insect larvae and crayfish—from Huron River tributaries at Huron River Watershed Council’s annual “River Roundup,” which measures the river’s health. Kids welcome if accompanied by an adult. Rain or shine. 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Free. Preregistration required at 769–5123.

2 Sunday: Hear Ann Arbor Art Center curator Louise Jones and other artists discuss the mural-making process from idea to creation at Mochas & Murals.” Coffee and pastries from Zingerman’s served. 11 a.m.-noon. Free. Ann Arbor Art Center, 117 W. Liberty St., 994–8004.

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

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