2014 May

The Honesty Policy

It begins with a mistake. A doctor botches an operation, misses something on an MRI, or fails to make a diagnosis. Medical lawsuits are nothing new. Doctors are human. They make mistakes, and injured patients expect to be...

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Sue Thy Neighbor

When Nick Delbanco and his wife moved from Vermont to Ann Arbor in 1985, they were drawn to a home near Nichols Arboretum. Just a block away, a short path led to the Arb’s Main Valley. “I felt like a country...

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The Faculty Strikes Back

“The secret bonuses blew me away!”That’s U-M history prof Juan Cole, describing his response to the news that a growing number of university employees–chiefly top administrators–are receiving hefty...

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The Howlin’ Brothers

The revival of old-time music, a heartening thing to all but the most purist of old folkies, has divided into several strands, one of which has picked up the rowdy side of the tradition. The band Old Crow Medicine Show added...

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Blues in the City

If we take the 1914 publication of W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues” as a starting point, this year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the blues genre. The music has waxed and waned in popularity since then,...

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Rollings Stones

This spring, a white marble three-and-a-half foot statue of the Virgin Mary, along with her engraved granite pedestal, will continue a journey begun early in the twentieth century. In the meantime, Arnet’s Monuments, the...

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Grace in Ann Arbor

Sixty-three years ago this month, Grace Kelly appeared on stage at the U-M’s Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. Kelly was twenty-one, and her first movie, Fourteen Hours, had come out just two months earlier; she was more than a...

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Short Stays

In the midst of a restaurant boom on campus-area East Liberty, two restaurants closed. Neither was around long enough to garner much of a following.”RJ’s Coney Island has been sold! Thank you to everyone who...

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Lost in Lakewood

When I was a wee lad back in the early sixties, I was convinced that Beaver Cleaver, of the TV show Leave It To Beaver, lived in our neighborhood, the Lakewood subdivision on the west side of Ann Arbor. I asked my mother to...

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Life at Panera

I’m sitting at my usual table by the window at the Panera on Washtenaw, sipping tea and revising my manuscript. There is a homeless man in a chair in the corner, his belongings stuffed in a ratty duffle bag next to him....

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Red Shoes on Hiatus

“I’ll be closed for at least six months,” says Catherine Thursby, owner of Red Shoes, the gallery of arts and crafts on Ashley, many of them Thursby’s own, along with vintage furniture and home goods....

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Crossing the Rainbow Bridge

I tucked our little boy, Nathan, into bed and went back to the kitchen to button things up for the night. Five minutes later I heard the sobs. I went back upstairs, pulled him into my lap, and asked, “Is it about...

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Kings of the Road

Recently, Vaughn Butterfield hooked up a 2014 Montana High Country fifth-wheel trailer at Lloyd Bridges Traveland and drove it 2,200 miles to Menifee, California. Butterfield had previously bought two recreational vehicles from...

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Put on a Happy Face

A year ago, Lisa Zahra closed her Life is Good store in Dexter and announced it would reappear somewhere on Ann Arbor’s Main Street. Sure enough, in March, Mark Messmore opened a Life Is Good Genuine Neighborhood Shoppe in...

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Greenback Gone

Lee Hanna said he would close his Greenback Dollar store in mid-April, but by the end of March most shelves were bare. Malcolm Gin was in buying some of the light fixtures for his family’s Happy Wok down the road (Gin had...

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Barbecue Catches Fire.

“The Ann Arbor community is underserved when it comes to barbecue,” says Nick Ferris, owner of the Old Carolina Barbecue Company franchise at Cranbrook Village. He seems to have called that right. Since the March...

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Crash Investigation Site

Q. What is the purpose of the “Crash Investigation Site” on eastbound I-94 a short distance east of the Jackson entrance ramp? Since there doesn’t seem to be another on the westbound side, how effective is...

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Guest of honor

The Heather Black Project’s weekly jazz show at the Ravens Club regularly attracts top-notch local guest musicians, but an international celebrity who recently joined the group may prove hard to top: legendary trumpeter...

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