Saturday, July 24, 2010

Return Of The Jedi

You might remember Brandon Weiner from a previous blog entry as The Trumpeter Guitarist. He's an aspiring musician from Detroit who found a home in Ann Arbor this summer. He recently left to travel the east coast and played his sax on the streets of New York City. He was back in town this weekend for the Ann Arbor Art Fairs. He's made a living solely as a street musician since 2008, which might explain why he can tell you that his rent this summer was $12 a day — he had to make at least that, and then some, to pay the bills and afford cheap food.

We The People

Mauro Pozzobonelli has come to the Ann Arbor Art Fairs every year for the past 10 years. "This is the best show in the country, the biggest, too," says the Italian immigrant who now lives in West Palm Beach. Pozzobonelli has been a sculptor for more than 40 years, creating more than 3,000 pieces of relief artwork. He began his career sculpting the faces of tourists in a busy piazza in Florence. He also studied in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and several years ago came to America where he has been commissioned to do sculptures of celebrities such as Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and Julio Iglesias. Today, his clay-based, fresco-over-sculpture pieces continue to catch the eye and inspire.

Kiss And Make Up

Art Fair Outtakes

Here Comes Treble

This is Zachary Storey from Livonia. He says Ann Arbor is worth the drive just to play his music on the street.

The Art Of Politics

The Ann Arbor Art Fairs turned into political stumping grounds today as two Michigan gubernatorial campaigns descended upon the art-filled streets of downtown Ann Arbor. At one end of East Liberty Street, Attorney General Mike Cox, a Republican contender in the Aug. 3 primary, moved through the crowd of fairgoers, shaking hands and talking about his plan to cut taxes and reduce the size of state government. Further down Liberty Street, Kelly Bernero passed out campaign literature for her father, Democrat Virg Bernero, describing him to fairgoers as the fighter for working families that Michigan needs. Despite obvious political differences, Cox and Kelly Bernero share some common ground: They're both University of Michigan graduates, and they both love Ann Arbor.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Intense Debate

Candidates for Ann Arbor mayor, City Council, state representative and state senator attended a candidate forum hosted by the Ann Arbor Democratic Party Wednesday night at the Arrowwood Community Center, 2566 Arrowwood Trail. Read about these candidates on's Voters Guide.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Police-Courts Building Update

The $47.4 million police-courts building addition to Ann Arbor's 1963-era city hall is taking shape. Here's a recent shot. The building is supposed to be completed and ready for occupancy by December.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fifth Ward Debate

Ann Arbor City Council candidate Lou Glorie, a local real estate professional, went head-to-head in a debate on Thursday with her opponent in next month's primary, incumbent Carsten Hohnke. The debate took place inside the home of Tamara Real and Carl Rinne on Fountain Street — the former Fountain Church of God in Christ.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Nuke The Fifth

Newcombe Clark had Ann Arbor Transportation Authority officials last week take down this billboard bearing his image now that he is officially a candidate for the Ann Arbor City Council in the 5th Ward. His campaign website is, which is not indicative of any intentions to engage in nuclear warfare — or so he says.

Main Street Agenda

Virg Bernero said on Monday that state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith, D-Salem Township, is on his "short list" as choice for lieutenant governor of Michigan. Smith and Jeff Irwin, a Washtenaw County commissioner who is running for 53rd District state representative, endorsed Bernero's campaign during an event in Ann Arbor.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Meet The Press

Michigan governor hopeful and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is interviewed by a reporter in Ann Arbor after announcing support for his campaign from local elected officials Monday at the Kerrytown Concert House.

Obama Hot Dog Man

Bill Riney refused to take part in Sunday's state representative candidate debate held at the Ypsilanti Community Center, but that didn't stop him from campaigning in his own unusual way. The man known by many around Ypsilanti simply as "The Free Hot Dog Man" parked his van and trailer — with barbeque grill, soda cooler and stereo — outside and proceeded to grill up free hot dogs for the youths playing at the adjacent park. "I do this to prove I'm different than other politicians. This is the only way I can get the message across," said Riney, wearing a ball cap that reads, "I Am Riney." Riney earned a reputation two years ago as "The Obama Hot Dog Man" for taking his mobile hot dog operation into neighborhoods across Southeast Michigan during the Obama campaign.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Behind Enemy Lines

Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje went door-to-door Thursday night in his political opponent's neighborhood where he found widespread support for his campaign.