2010 May

Rick Snyder’s Run

When philanthropist Joe Fitzsimmons sought some big donors to join the United Way’s Tocqueville Society a few years ago, he approached venture capitalist Rick Snyder.Snyder had already helped birth the economic development...

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Hang Up and Drive

A new study from University of Utah psychologists found a small group of people with an extraordinary ability to multitask: Unlike 97.5 percent of those studied, they can safely drive while chatting on a cell phone.University of...

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India Cafe Opens

India Cafe opened in March in the back of the Foods of India grocery store on Broadway, tucked away behind a big wall of Bollywood DVDs.When Sapan Goel opened Foods of India thirteen years ago, he installed a small kitchen in...

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HACKED!

At the end of March, local business owner Linda W. Fitzgerald discovered that her website had been hacked and that scammers had stolen her company’s identity. This diary is based on a blog she posted as the fraud...

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Frita Batidos in the Works

Let us be the first to report the true spelling of Eve Aronoff’s new Cuban-inspired restaurant, Frita Batidos, which is due to open around July 1 in the former Cafe du Jour. Her Facebook announcement gave the name as...

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Traveling Pants

Ever wonder what happens to all those neglected articles of clothing left at the cleaners? Harold Kim, owner of Armen Cleaners, estimates that fifteen to twenty pieces go unclaimed each year between his three locations. Although...

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Edip Cansever

“It is difficult to get the news from poems,” William Carlos Williams wrote, rather famously. Still, there are many experiences and parts of the world I know, however inexactly, only from learning about them in...

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Bach Bargain

If you want to hear all 270 of Bach’s compositions for organ–played on instruments that Bach himself used–they’re just a few clicks away at www.blockmrecords.org/bach. Downloads are free, and there have...

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Sheesh Reviewed

La Shish and I go back a long way–to the 1980s, when it was a single Dearborn lunch counter. After moving to Ann Arbor in ’93, I often trekked to the growing chain’s outlets in Canton or Livonia, frequently...

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Mystery Building on Broadway

Q: What is the story behind the brick and wood structure on the south side of Broadway (at Swift) that has been inactive for decades? The location is so good, why hasn’t it been developed?A. Opened in 1969 as an Italian...

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Barrels of Fun

Whenever Chris Frey is ready to brew, he fills thirteen five-gallon jugs with water in Detroit and hauls them back to his home in Saline. “Gretchen [Driskell], our mayor, would not be pleased to hear me say this,” he...

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The Easy Street Jazz Band

When you think of Ann Arbor’s music scene, classic jazz bands might not be the first thing to come to mind. But by any measure we’d have to rank as some kind of stronghold. You can hear jazz in styles ranging from...

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Wolverine Brewing Company Plan

When a large sign appeared in the front window of the original, now vacant Big George’s on West Stadium announcing the entire building was for sale or lease, we wondered how that would affect the Wolverine Brewing Company....

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Eco-mall

While city planners press developers to put “green roofs” on new buildings, one shopping center has taken a simpler route to reducing runoff. Eight rain barrels installed at the ends of downspouts in Westgate...

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lab Opens

Tobias Wacker and Joanna Hong describe lab as a “coffee plus tea plus yogurt experience.” And because they both have master’s degrees in urban planning from the U-M, they hope their cafe in McKinley Towne...

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Fundred Dollar Bills

When the armored truck broke down in Virginia, Brian Banks was relieved. Banks, an academic advisor at the U-M School of Art and Design, is the local coordinator for the Fundred Dollar Bill Project. Merging art and advocacy,...

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Historic Halls

On November 2, 1869, the famed Hutchinson Family Singers appeared at Dexter’s Costello Hall. Known for their four-part harmonies and social activism, the Hutchinsons presented comic, dramatic, and sentimental...

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Growing Closer

Kate Long won’t plant the first seeds at her new Deer Tracks Farm in Ann Arbor Township till next year. But she’s already got a gaggle of potential customers for her organic vegetables–as well as volunteer...

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Superman in Trouble!

For about a year, a note affixed to the pay phone in the downtown library explained that the phone was not working and that the staff was “aware of the situation.” Now the note is gone–along with the...

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