Saturday, November 15, 2014

No More Sunsets

A view from the One North Main office building in downtown Ann Arbor, which is losing several of its west-facing windows and views as a new hotel is build immediately adjacent. Read the story.

Monday, November 10, 2014

End Of An Era

This month marked the end of John Hieftje's 14-year reign as Ann Arbor's mayor. City Council Member Margie Teall, who served alongside Hieftje for the last 12 years, also stepped down. Hieftje, an Ann Arbor native, is the longest-serving mayor in the city's history, going back to the 1850s. Go here to read an exit interview with Hieftje. Go here to read coverage of his council sendoff.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mark Schauer In Ann Arbor

On the eve of Tuesday's election, Michigan gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer rallied local Democrats in Ann Arbor, delivering his final pre-election speech before a large crowd on the University of Michigan campus. "We stand here at the doorstep of changing the direction of our state," Schauer said, addressing a mix of college students, local community members and elected officials gathered inside Annenberg Auditorium. Before the rally, Schauer visited downtown Ann Arbor businesses, including Old Town Tavern, Sweetwaters and Frita Batidos, chatting it up with patrons and employees. Read the story.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Chess Match Of Mayoral Proportions

Ann Arbor mayoral candidates Bryan Kelly, left, and Christopher Taylor play a game of chess following a mayoral candidate forum hosted by the League of Women Voters Wednesday night inside CTN studios. They had to clear out before they could finish, so they called it a draw. The two candidates will face off again in the Nov. 4 election.

Green Things Farm

Inside a series of hoop houses on a 64-acre property just north of Ann Arbor, the next generation of farmers is busy sowing the seeds of tomorrow. Nate and Jill Lada, both University of Michigan graduates in their 20s, have been learning the tricks of the trade as new farmers, growing crops like kale, tomatoes, beets, turnips, spinach, squash, carrots, lettuce, garlic, onions, radishes, wheat berries and black beans. They're also raising chickens and pigs. Come harvest time, the fresh produce, chicken and pork from Green Things Farm at the corner of Nixon and Warren roads in Ann Arbor Township doesn't travel far. Fueling the local food movement, some of it goes to downtown Ann Arbor restaurants, including Jolly Pumpkin, Grange, Zingerman's Deli and Tios. Some of it also is sold at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, and Inn Season Cafe in Royal Oak. Green Things Farm also hosts farm dinners and has a community-supported agriculture program that allows people to buy shares in the farm in return for a share of the harvest. With the hoop houses, they can grow food through the winter."It's really exciting for us," Nate Lada said. The husband-and-wife duo credits the Ann Arbor greenbelt program for making it affordable for them to purchase the farm two years ago. Read story.

Horsing Around In Webster Township

John and Jean Cares, who own a large farm on Farrell Road in Webster Township, made the decision to sell their development rights for $2.4 million in 2006. They had made their living off pigs for years, but a downturn in the market put the farm at risk, they said, and the greenbelt helped them survive and reinvest. "Our farm was at risk," John Cares said. "We had a tremendous amount of debt. We potentially could have not made it." "It's been important for our family," added Jean Cares, who now serves on the city's Greenbelt Advisory Commission. No longer raising pigs, the Cares are growing corn, soybeans and wheat on the farm, which spans roughly 200 acres. "Before the greenbelt, it was pretty rundown," John Cares admitted of his farm, which has seen some improvements, including a newly restored barn. Read story.