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December 9, 2021

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The News...Briefly

Micki Maynard's forthcoming book looks at Zingerman's history, food, business philosophy, and "community of businesses." She'll be leaving a2view in January as promotional efforts gear up in advance of its February publication. 

On Twitter this week, people were posting pictures of what they were doing just before the pandemic hit. My contribution was a photo of the empty counter at Zingerman’s Roadhouse, where I had one final brunch before Michigan issued a stay at home order in March 2021. It was months before we could eat inside again. But, that last outing became an opening scene in my upcoming book. 

Satisfaction Guaranteed: How Zingerman’s Built A Corner Deli Into A Global Food Community will be published by Charles Scribner’s Sons on Feb. 22. It is a journalistic look at Zingerman’s history, food, business philosophy and its individual businesses. There is also a chapter on the ways Zingerman’s coped during the pandemic. You can pre-order it now at Literati, Nicola’s Books,or your favorite big book seller. (Given issues with the supply chain, ordering in advance is the best way to make sure you can get a copy.) 

I’ll be having many book-related events early next year, some hosted by Zingerman’s. Given that, I’ll step aside as editor of a2view with the final issue of 2021. The Observer is looking for my replacement, and interested candidates can contact John Hilton at hilton@aaobserver.com. You’ll still hear from me in the print Observer, where I’ll continue to write Marketplace Changes.

Micki Maynard

The News...Briefly

Covid cases: The Washtenaw County Health Department reported 229 Covid cases in the 24 hours ending Wednesday, with four hospitalizations and one death. The weekly positivity rate rose to 9.1 percent, according to MI Safe Start, compared with a 19.3 percent rate for the entire state. In a statement Wednesday, Bridge Michigan reports, Michigan Medicine Marschall Runge warned that “People have died and will die of non-COVID-19 disease in our area, across the state and across the nation because COVID-19 is overrunning our hospitals.”

False threats: Two middle school students in Washtenaw County have been charged with making false threats against area schools, WXYZ-TV reports. The pair, who were not identified, are among more than two dozen students charged for making threats in the wake of last week’s shootings at Oxford High School. Classes were canceled across the Ann Arbor school district on Friday, a day after students at Pioneer left amid rumors of a threat on social media. Says Washtenaw County prosecutor Eli Savit, “Any student out there in Washtenaw or any place listening to this or considering doing something like this – don't. It can really disrupt your life.”

Council conflicts intensify: Ann Arbor city councilmembers Elizabeth Nelson and Ali Ramlawi were removed from key committees after an outside investigator concluded they’d shared information from closed sessions, Mlive reports (subscriber exclusive); both vehemently denied doing anything wrong. Council’s activist majority also extended Jeff Hayner’s committee suspension for another year; he quoted a critique of  journalists that included a homophobic slur. Ramlawi and Kathy Griswold, the fourth member of council’s minority faction, said they were considering legal action.

Bonuses at U-M. Regular faculty and staff on all three U-M campuses will receive year-end bonuses of $1,500, according to the University Record. The payments are to recognize their efforts “in these extraordinary times,” president Mark Schlissel said. The one-time payments to slightly more than 25,000 people will cost $37.6 million and be paid from university reserves. Michigan Medicine employees received similar bonuses earlier this year.

Go Blue flu. The Centers for Disease Control identified 745 cases of influenza on the U-M campus between October 6 and November 19, MLive reported. The outbreak, nicknamed Go Blue flu, was the first major spread of flu in the country since the pandemic began. The CDC continues to work with U-M and the county health department to assess flu risks. Flu shots are widely available from local pharmacies and on campus

Jim Harbaugh's Wolverine's capped their decisive victory over OSU by crushing Iowa in the Big Ten Championship game. Harbaugh is once again donating his bonus for the win to the athletic department staffers who took pandemic paycuts. 

Football match-up. Michigan, which beat Iowa for the Big Ten Championship last week, will play Georgia in a College Football Playoff semi-final game on New Year’s Eve. It is U-M’s first time in the college football playoffs, and ESPN is predicting the Wolverines will beat the Bulldogs. Meanwhile, Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, a senior from Dearborn, is a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. DraftKings Sportsbook gives him an outside chance to win.

Honors for George Gervin. Former San Antonio Spurs star George “Iceman” Gervin will be honored by his alma mater on Saturday. Eastern Michigan will celebrate George Gervin Day, when fans will receive a commemorative t-shirt and rally towel. Tickets are 24 percent off to echo Gervin’s number when he played from 1970-72.

New park name. Winchell Park, which sits behind St. Francis of Assisi church, will be renamed for Harold Lockett, the first black president of the Ann Arbor school board, MLive reported (subscriber exclusive). City council unanimously approved the move. Lockett, a beloved local child psychologist and U-M prof, served on the school board from 1965 to 1971.

Helpers

Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum are seeking volunteer docents for 2022. The Arb's Peony Garden turns 100 next year, and a variety of centennial programs are planned for the weekend of June 3. They are looking for people willing to serve as ambassadors, assist staff with set-up that weekend, and who can offer other skills. Details and an application can be found here.

The U-M Credit Union is launching a Youth Scholarship program for high school seniors. It plans to award five $1,000 scholarships to students who are credit union members. Parents who belong to UMCU can apply on students’ behalf, but scholarship recipients must join the credit union in order to receive an award. Find out more here.

Marketplace Changes

Along with coffee, donuts, and bagged coffees, Dozer features rotating breakfast and lunch menus. It joins a west-side complex built by its founder, HOMES Brewery.  

Dozer Coffee opens. Dozer Coffee, the newest player in Ann Arbor’s growing coffee roastery and cafe market, has opened on Jackson Plaza. It joins a complex built by its founder, HOMES Brewery. Along with coffee drinks and house-made donuts, Dozer features rotating breakfast and lunch menus. Patrons also can buy bagged coffee, roasted in view of the dining room. The sleek interior is a warm industrial design, with polished stone floors, and plenty of wooden booths, two-tops, and a counter. Guests can walk from the cafe into HOMES’ tap room, and use a vast seating area beyond the bar. 

The Cloverleaf will close. The Cloverleaf Grill on Liberty survived the pandemic, but owner George Stamadianos says he plans to close at the end of the month. The restaurant began in the building that now houses the Northside Grill and was moved to its present location, previously Mallis Coffee Cup, by Stamadianos’ father, Nick. George took over when his father died in 2014. My article in the Observer's City Guide described how he and other restaurant owners struggled during the pandemic. 

Upscale cinnamon buns. Cinnaholic, a cinnamon roll franchise, plans to open in January on E. Liberty next to Running Fit. The menu offers more than 20 frosting flavors and “a variety of fresh and decadent toppings,” according to its website. Guests can choose from premade combinations, or assemble their own rolls from a variety of flavors. The menu also features edible cookie dough by the scoop or eight-ounce container.

Things to Do

By Jennifer Taylor

9 Thursday: Watch the Penny Seats Theatre’s production of “The Winter Wolf,” veteran local playwright Joseph Zettelmaier’s fantasy about a young girl who, in an effort to save her beloved grandfather, traps the Winter Wolf, a legendary creature that serves Time by hunting people in their old age. Directed by Julia Glander. Suitable for ages 10 & up. 8 p.m., Stone Chalet Inn, 1917 Washtenaw Ave. Tickets $15 (seniors, $12; kids age 12 & under, $10), in advance at PennySeats.org and (if available) at the door. Mask & proof of vaccination (or negative Covid test within past 72 hours) required. 926–5346.

10 Friday: Groove along to “One Small Step for Can” by the U-M Groove Performance Group, a high-energy student percussion-and-dance ensemble, which uses both traditional and nontraditional instruments (trash cans, buckets, propane tanks, toothbrushes, and more). Opener: U-M student glowstick group Photonix. 7 p.m., Michigan Theater. Tickets $8 (students, $5) in advance at the Michigan Union Ticket Office, and (if available) at the door. Masks & proof of vaccination (or negative Covid test within past 72 hours) required. facebook.com/umGroove.

11 Saturday: Run or walk 5 kilometers at Running Fit Events’ competitive “Holiday Hustle” run, with awards for the top 3 finishers in various age categories. Medals for all finishers. Knit beanies for all participants. Preceded at 4 p.m. by a 1-mile fun run. 4:30 p.m., Monument Park, downtown Dexter. $39 (fun run, $29; fun run age 17 & under, $19) through noon on Dec. 9; $45 (fun run, $35; fun run age 17 & under, $25) on race weekend. Preregistration available online. 929–9022.

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

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