2012 March

The Ragged Recovery

The good news is that more people are finding jobs lately. That’s true in the nation, in Michigan, and especially in Washtenaw County.After cresting at a painful 10.1 percent in October 2009, the nation’s...

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Bridge Bonus

The city plans to resurface or reconstruct 11.3 miles of road from April through November at a cost of $27 million. That’s almost triple 2011’s total of 5.1 miles for $8.6 million.Thank Uncle Sam, specifically,...

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Big Changes on Liberty

“We were full at lunchtime today. People heard we’re closing, and they want to stop in for a last meal,” says Steve Gavas, looking around the Parthenon with satisfaction. At 2:30 there was still a lively crowd...

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The David Wax Museum

Missouri native David Wax attended Deep Springs College, a school in the California high desert where the twenty-six students spend part of their time helping operate a cattle ranch. He went to Mexico as part of an American...

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Three Nights of Cacophony

NIGHT ONE: March 22None of the pieces performed in the first of Michael Tilson Thomas & the San Francisco Symphony’s American Mavericks concerts were much good, though the Copland was certainly the best and the Bates...

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Blockbuster’s last show

Ann Arbor’s last Blockbuster store, at Woodland Plaza, was closing in February. Dish Network bought the bankrupt DVD chain in 2011, but if its intention was to administer a coup de grace to the competition, it isn’t...

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Brazamerica

Brazamerica, the tiny Brazilian grocery in the South Main Market, closed last May, said its owner Rita Fillipini, who started the shop in 2000, stocking it with foods from her homeland. Some are still available via her website,...

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Packard Pub packs it up

When students left town for the U-M winter break, the Packard Pub closed its doors and posted a hand-lettered sign on the door that read, “Happy Holidays. See you in 2012.” As of mid-February, the doors remained...

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Stadium Hardware Reflows

Stadium Hardware expanded one storefront south into the former Campus TV & Satellite space late last fall with little fanfare. As of mid-February, they were still trying to figure out where everything was going to...

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Papa Romano’s leaves town

If anyone had what it took to make a go of the Papa Romano’s franchise in the Cranbrook Village shopping center, Jim Wampler seemed to be the one. Now fifty-eight, he first started working for Papa Romano’s when...

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Embellished

The Muehlig Funeral Chapel on the corner of William and Fourth Avenue is a serious building, with thick corbels under the deep eaves, tall narrow windows with ornate arches, and a hipped, low-peaked gray roof. Which makes it...

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Rider’s Hobby Shop Closes

Brent Martin thought he was closing Rider’s Hobby Shop on Carpenter and Packard for good last summer until a chance encounter with Tree Town Toys co-owner Hans Masing during Rider’s going-out-of-business sale turned...

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Old-Country Buffet Closes

You’d think that in tough economic times, an all-you-can-eat buffet would be doing gangbuster business, but the Old Country Buffet in Cranbrook Village proved value for money isn’t necessarily enough. The buffet...

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Here Comes Cacophony

This may hurt some. Heck, it’ll likely hurt … a lot. What it’s called is American Mavericks, a series of four San Francisco Symphony concerts, March 22-25, featuring some of the hardest of hardcore repertoire...

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Bruce Duffy

Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Patti Smith–all of these important popular musicians have worshipped the example of Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891), the young nineteenth-century French poet and iconic poete maudit who confronted the...

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Back to the Future?

What’s next for the downtown Borders store?”Word.”That single apt graffito mars the front door of the vacant former Borders store on Liberty. Homeless people sometimes shelter in its once-bustling recessed...

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Dance for Mother Earth

Art Brandt’s belly laugh peals through the first-floor hallway of the Michigan Union as he describes a dance that linked hundreds of people at the 2004 Dance for Mother Earth powwow at Crisler Arena: “It started on...

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The Levon Helm Band

I grew up listening to The Band, since my father is something of a fanatic. I still listen to them often, but in the last few years my dad has directed my attention to Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble recordings. I’ve...

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The cost of free hot dogs

On Labor Day in 2010, Bill Riney climbed to the top of the Washtenaw County Administration Building to protest joblessness and got billed a whopping $19,000 to pay for the police officers called in (on overtime) to get him down....

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Cabbie Kari Rice

By 10:30 a.m. on a winter Thursday, Blue Cab driver Kari Rice has been on the road four hours and driven 130 miles. Last night’s sprinkling of snow has meant more calls than usual, especially in the campus area.Rice pulls...

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