2016 July

Last Memories of WWII

Washtenaw County’s Honor List of the men and women who died or disappeared during World War II includes names still familiar to our communities: Hafly, Heselschwerdt, Koch, Schaible, Schneider, Salter, Van Dyken, Vetter,...

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WCC Millage 2016

The speakers at Washtenaw Community College’s June board of trustees meeting couldn’t have been more enthusiastic about the college’s millage renewal and restoration on the August 2 ballot. Representatives from...

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1976-2016

The Kerrytown Chime rings in each Saturday morning at 10:30. Today, “bell lady” Heather O’Neal helps four-year-old Naomi Cohen and dad Asaf play a bit of Beethoven’s Fifth. On one of the seventeen bells...

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First Steps

In the past five years, three Ann Arborites were murdered. In that same time span, six pedestrians and bicyclists were killed by motor vehicles.That alone could explain why no one running for city council in August’s...

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“Celebrating the Quilt”

Every two years, the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild turns the lobby of the WCC Morris Lawrence Building into an intricate grid, with hundreds of quilts ranged on precisely aligned racks. Most of the quilt patterns are linear too....

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Good Trouble

Ann Arbor-born Rachel Dengiz recently wrapped Trouble, a film starring Anjelica Huston, Bill Pullman, and David Morse. Dengiz was lead producer on the film, which she anticipates will open at festivals next winter and spring,...

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Super station

“With two small kids, it’s a lot of bathroom breaks,” said Justin Vos as he helped his two daughters out of his Tesla Model X outside the Meijer store on Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. Vos had taken delivery on the...

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Herpetologist Patrick Terry

“The mushroom hunters have been here!” Patrick Terry exclaims as we enter the infrequently visited Leslie Woods Nature Area off Plymouth Rd. The city’s herpetologist points to the clues: crushed grass and...

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The Old Town

Probably because I feel sentimental about the fortieth anniversary of the Observer, telling a then-and-now story of a local restaurant seems important. Revisiting the July 1976 inaugural issue, however, I found mostly ghosts of...

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Supporting survivors

In the wake of a sudden, traumatic death of a loved one, shocked survivors struggle with the aftermath of grief and the necessity to make practical decisions like funeral arrangements. So last fall, the Washtenaw County...

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Moving the Waters

Looking at a pond or lake, we sometimes see aquatic scum or plants moving over the surface, propelled by something beneath them. It’s possible to imagine, say, the presence of a large snapping turtle–but no turtle...

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Game On

“Someone thought it was a law firm,” cracked Ian Pietila, store operator, at Warhammer, the gaming store at Lamp Post Plaza. Indeed, the elegant, serifed white-on-black sign in all caps does look like something that...

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Michelle Moenssen Heads to Brooklyn

It turns out that Nonpareil was not, strictly speaking, a retail store anymore. In 2010, when tailor Michelle Moenssen, with a degree in apparel design from Wayne State, opened the Nonpareil Shirt Company, she made custom shirts...

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Mail Delivery Time Change?

Q. Once upon a time, our mail always arrived at the same time of day. But in recent years it arrives each day at wildly varying times. Did something change at the post office?A: The Postal Service reorganizes carrier routes as...

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The Big Shift

“This year we have something very big that’s happening,” says Karen Delhey, executive director of the Guild of Artists and Artisans, sponsor of one of the four independent events that collectively make up the...

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In Transition

Will Jurowski, whose tastes ran to high-end triathlon bikes, is now a professional triathlete in Boulder. He sold them in his Fourth Ave. bike shop called Transition Rack. The Local Bike Shop is now in Transition, selling...

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Scio Square Fills Up

Scio Square, the small outlot development of the Meijer on Jackson Rd., is now filled out. Ann Arbor’s seventh Jimmy John’s and eighth Verizon store have joined Ann Arbor’s twelfth Starbucks, which opened there...

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Battle of the Alano

Over the past two years, the club’s directors changed the nonprofit’s bylaws to deemphasize membership control, then put up a new sign with a new name: Maple Rock. This fall and winter, a group calling itself...

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Maple Village Moves Upscale

For years now Maple Village has been teetering between two possible scenarios. Dollar Tree and Value World, a failing Kmart, and a honeycomb of small vacancies suggested the needle was pointing downward. Plum Market, hot stone...

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