2015 December

Leaving the Vineyard

Ken Wilson founded what is now the Ann Arbor Vineyard Church in 1975, when half a dozen people gathered in the living room of his home on Walnut St. By 2008, the charismatic evangelical pastor was preaching to 750 people in a...

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Midlife Crises

Near the end of the People’s Food Co-op’s September board meeting, president Ann Sprunger asks general manager Lesley Perkins if she has “visions of the co-op you want to share with...

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Feeding the Starving Student

A paper bag of produce and some small bags of chips and Doritos will help U-M grad student Gaurav Mehda be less vulnerable to food insecurity, which the USDA defines as the “limited or uncertain ability to acquire...

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Obamacare in Ann Arbor

When Josephine Taylor was hospitalized for a seizure in 2014 at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, she noticed something new–for the first time, her primary care doctor’s office got involved in her care, even though a...

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Mr. Congeniality

by James LeonardIn early September, mayor Christopher Taylor has a scruffy beard grown on vacation. A month later, he’s clean-shaven and dressed in his usual khakis and a blue blazer.The mayor has asked me back because...

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Safe Satire

In 1999, three years after The Onion first put its satirical content online, Cook decided he wanted to replicate the publication’s smart-aleck approach to news on the U-M campus. Cook is now best known for the sharp-edged...

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Stop Light Texts?

Q: I know texting while driving is illegal. But what about texting while stopped at a traffic light or in stopped traffic? Is that legal?A: A 2010 Michigan law prohibits texting while driving, and “a person is still...

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Cookie Exchange

For M.L. Slater, a sixth-generation Ann Arborite, getting ready for Christmas has always meant baking “her” cookies. She’ll whip up some delicate cinnamon stars, but it’s springerle she’s most...

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June Manning Thomas

When June Manning Thomas started high school in Orangeburg, South Carolina, in 1965, her classmates either ignored her completely or stared at her in stony silence. When grades were distributed–she was an academic...

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Changing the Guard at Lamp Post Plaza

Peter Linden’s Investment Rarities of Michigan, where he bought, sold, and evaluated coins and antique jewelry, was in Lamp Post Plaza “for over thirty years,” says landlord Ron Marten. Marten says Linden sold...

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Eggs Over Easy

Eggs over easy, plate of hash brownsTake my hand momma, we’re goin’ to townOh what a wonderful thing to doEggs over easy, hash browns, and youIt was the late Seventies, a spring day. I was free, happy, and hungry. I...

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Have Desk, Will Travel

An industrial designer, Ryburg spent decades studying workplace trends at Herman Miller’s former AnnArbor office. When the office closed, he turned down a job at the company’s west Michigan headquarters to strike off...

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To Tax or Not to Tax

“The Dexter Wellness Center is a tremendous facility,” says Dexter’s mayor, Shawn Keough.That’s the one thing everyone agrees on in the dispute between Dexter’s Downtown Development Authority and...

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Purple Rose in Full Bloom

“This place was born the day twenty-two-year-old Jeff Daniels started his apprenticeship at the Circle Repertory Theatre Company in New York,” Guy Sanville says, sweeping his arm around the Purple Rose Theatre during...

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Healthy Snacking

Driggs, forty-five, used to be in medical sales–“medical devices, pharmaceuticals, injectables, antipsychotics.” But in that line of work, she says, “Women have a shelf life, if I can put it that way...

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Mattress Geeks

“We got price point!” says Shawn McBride, store manager of Mattress Geeks in the Colonnade. “But we’re not that guy in a suit chasing you around the store” trying to upsell you on a mattress....

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Heritage Lost

More than 146 years ago Dexter townsfolk enticed a Detroit printer to move to their village and start a newspaper. The Dexter Leader made its debut in 1869. The Chelsea Standard appeared in 1889, but later boasted the 1871...

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Treasure Hunters

Collectors and bargain hunters have roamed the aisles of Treasure Mart for decades, seeking the perfect oak sideboard or mid-century modern table. But what happens to the stuff that nobody buys? “If it’s merchandise...

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Finding Santa

“When it comes to Santa,” says Judy Noerr, “we don’t measure his waist, we measure his heart.” Through her Colorado-based company, Noerr provides Santas (and, in season, Easter Bunnies) to hundreds...

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Dear Prudence

“Second song, White Album,” murmured Observer writer and former music seller Jim Leonard when he heard the name of the new store opening in Arbor Hills Crossing. Owner Prudence Kauffman confirms that her store in...

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