As of yesterday morning, the Washtenaw County Health Department reported forty four new cases of Covid-19, three hospitalizations, and no deaths in the previous twenty-four hours. The weekly test positivity rate edged up to 3.9 percent.
The unvaccinated are persuadable, new study finds. Concerns over side effects and safety have kept Detroit’s vaccine rate well below the state average. But a U-M survey found that one in three Detroiters who were unvaccinated in March have since gotten the jab. U-M Poverty Solutions.
Acting city administrator John Fournier proposes $200,000 in raises for some of the city’s top earners. Fournier says the raises are needed to address pay equity issues, but critics like former city council member Jack Eaton argue that equity adjustments should begin with the lowest paid workers, including seasonal and temporary employees. MLive
When the Federal Railroad Administration recently informed the city that it was ending the environmental review for a new railroad station, the decision effectively killed a fifteen year effort to build a train station at Fuller Park. They cited the project’s budget (ten times higher typical non-commuter stations) and a parking structure that included commuters among the 1.5 million anticipated riders, when the funding was intended for intercity transportation only. Blogger Vivienne Armentrout investigates the history of the increasingly elaborate project and how it lost touch with reality. Local in Ann Arbor
Home of world-famous poet Robert Hayden, U-M English department’s first Black faculty member, may get historical designation. The house stands at 1201 Gardner Ave. in Ann Arbor’s Lower Burns Park neighborhood. In a memo proposing the designation to city council, Jill Thacher, the city’s historic preservation coordinator, wrote that Hayden was “one of the most important Black American poets in American history.” MLive (subscriber exclusive)
Excerpt of Rungate Rungate, by Robert Hayden.
Come ride-a my train
Oh that train, ghost-story train
through swamp and savanna movering movering,
over trestles of dew, through caves of the wish,
Midnight Special on a sabre track movering movering,
first stop Mercy and the last Hallelujah.
Come ride-a my train
Mean mean mean to be free.
Read the full poem at Poetry Foundation
September marks Ann Arbor’s first annual Entheogenic Plant and Fungi Awareness Month, to be commemorated by a festival on the Diag September 19. According to MLive, the city council resolution approving the designation reflected “hopes of increasing awareness and understanding of the potential benefits of psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelic plants and fungi ‘for mental health, personal and spiritual growth, as well as honoring the longstanding ancestral practices and relationships with these entheogens.” The city effectively decriminalized psychedelics in September, 2020.
After bestsellers about U-M coaches Bo Schembechler, Rich Rodriguez, and Jim Harbaugh, Ann Arbor native John U. Bacon writes about his own experience coaching a Huron High hockey team that hadn’t won a game in a year and a half. The Observer’s Jan Schlain has our story, and Bacon talks about Let Them Lead: Unexpected Lessons in Leadership from America’s Worst HIgh School Hockey Team tonight at the Michigan Theater.
Former Wolverine linebacker Adam Shibley addresses inequity in sports through uniforms and mentorship for student players. Shibley co-founded the Uniform Funding Foundation to ensure that underserved athletes have the equipment they need to play, as well as provide mentorship to help keep student athletes in the game. Michigan Daily
“It was awful,” says DNR forest health specialist Heidi Frei of the fungal infection that has killed 100-150 oak trees in the Waterloo Recreation Area. Already in Dexter and Scio Township, “oak wilt” is headed toward Ann Arbor, which has more than 4,000 oaks just on its streets and in its parks. The Observer’s James Leonard has our story.
Volunteer ecological restoration group brings native gardens to the urban wild. William Kirst founded Adapt: Community Supported Ecology to “put the species back where they were.” Kirst believes that urban spaces are a part of nature, and by planting small gardens “We create biodiversity right around us and we start to shift our perspective.” The group works with homeowners like the Observer’s Trilby MacDonald to plan and install free or low-cost gardens, and aims to reach 100 by the end of the season. Learn more www.adaptecology.org and offer support www.patreon.com/adaptecology.