2013 December

Faces of the City

Susan Campbell walks briskly down N. Fourth Ave. with her Pentax camera around her neck, pursuing an older couple who stride arm in arm, bundled together against the cold. She approaches them with a smile and asks if she could...

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Caring CASAs

“Have you ever heard of Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange, www.mare.org?” Joyce Tesoriero asks.She swivels her chair around to her computer. “This is gonna break your heart,” she warns.The screen in her...

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Moving to Detroit

Andy Sokoly is one of the few white faces in a church on Detroit’s east side. As a woman with a cordless microphone leads a thunderous call-and-response–“Praise him!”–a group of visitors is swiftly...

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Curbing the DDA

For the past year, Steve Kunselman has been using the city’s Downtown Development Authority as a political punching bag.Asked why, the Ward Three councilmember answers with a question of his own: “Why did mayor John...

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Lucky 13 in Dexter

The year 2013 has been a lucky one for the arts in Dexter.As its name and elaborate Spencerian logo suggest, D. Fitzgerald’s Fine Jewelry is indeed a purveyor of fine, classic jewelry–those are diamond solitaires...

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Black Squirrels

Q. Black squirrels are predominant (or perhaps exclusive) in Ontario. A Canadian friend recently stated that she had heard that they have “crossed over” into Michigan. Do you know the magnitude of this black squirrel...

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From Shine to Dear Golden

“They were struggling,” says Ed Shaffran, landlord to Shine, the Fourth Avenue gift shop that closed before Halloween. It had the bad luck to open in the middle of winter, then “just as things were heating up,...

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Degree in Activism

Thanks to Kevin Mersol-Barg, undocumented Michigan residents will be eligible for in-state tuition starting in January. Inspired by a national immigration activist, Mersol-Barg organized the Coalition for Tuition Equality as a...

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A Present for My Mom

By the time I was seven years old, I knew what it meant to be poor. Over time I would grow to hate it, but at that age I didn’t understand why my family was so different from our new neighbors in Ann Arbor. I only knew...

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Susan Murphy

“What’s the game here?” U-M prof Susan Murphy asks as she projects strings of equations and approximations in a crowded classroom in the Dennison Building. Students in this advanced U-M statistics class write...

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Wondering Eyes

Is that a reindeer hiding in plain sight at the Fifth and William corner parking lot? “It’s actually a gazelle,” says Ed Wheeler, the maintenance manager for Republic Parking. “We’ve had it there...

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Ascending India

It was a rare slip when Sujay Kawale lost his grip while climbing a difficult route at Planet Rock in October. Though his belayer caught him safely, many other climbers at the west-side gym were watching–and Mike Wilkinson...

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Hoppy Holidays

As winter settles in, local brewpubs are rolling out seasonal beers. Mike Maroney at Ann Arbor Brewing Company says that compared to the light and crisp fruit-flavored ales featured in the summertime, winter brews tend to be...

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Audubon’s Snowbirds

There’s a “meteoric rise in the numbers of turkeys we’ve been finding lately,” says Jacco Gelderloos, who compiles local data for the Audubon Christmas Bird Count.The count has been going on for 114...

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Voting for the Underdog

“I always vote for the underdog,” says Catrina Vlisides when asked why she named her new Saline restaurant Detroit Dog Co. She says the name reflects both her passion for Detroit and a desire to raise awareness about...

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Seyfried’s is Closing

Jim and Bill Hart, who bought Seyfried Jewelers in 1978 from Ralph Seyfried, are, somewhat reluctantly, going out of business in January. Reza Rahmani wants his building back. Jim says, “He wants to turn the back part into...

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The River in Winter

Clarity comes in winter. The trees shed their leaves, the breeze brushes the ground bare, and a quieter kind of beauty is painted in almost monochromatic earthy tones.This clarity is particularly evident along the Huron River....

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Cause-based Fashion on South U

Most small businesses struggle to pay the rent. How can Merit–a “cause-based” fashion brand–give 20 percent off the top of every purchase to a scholarship fund and still pay the rent? “We covered...

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Eat the Hub

Each day legions of students dash back and forth along South U. Some are heading to class. Others seek the warmth of coffee shops, anxious for their next caffeine fix. Still, they all need to eat.In March 2012, Alex Perlman...

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