Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wake Up Call

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm says the old theory that government can cut taxes and businesses will use the savings to create jobs in the United States no longer applies. "America has to wake up. The old strategies are not doing us any favors in a new global economy," she told a crowd of about 400 people gathered Tuesday night inside the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. The event marked the first stop Granholm and husband Dan Mulhern are making as part of a national tour to promote the couple's new book, "A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future," which went on sale this past week. Read the story.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Art In Public Places

A German artist's bronze sculpture — a $750,000 public art installation paid for by the city — finally was installed in front of Ann Arbor's city hall today. The artwork — planned as the centerpiece of the LEED Gold building — starts close to Huron Street and follows the west edge of a new rain garden toward the main entrance of city hall. The focal point is a standing bronze sculpture with blue glass pearls that light up in computerized variations as stormwater circulates over the sculpture's surface. Read the story.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Kicked Out

Tenants of seven houses that could be demolished soon to make way for the controversial City Place apartments in Ann Arbor are scrambling to find new places to live. A number of them talked with this past week, most indicating they've been told by landlord Alex de Parry they have until the end of the month to vacate the rental units. And most of them aren't happy about the situation. "This is the worst time of the year that this could possibly happen for me," University of Michigan graduate student Nick Collins said during an interview with on his porch this past week. Read the story.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

War On Art

Ann Arbor City Council members heard an outpouring of support for the city's Percent For Art Program Monday night — a protest to a proposal to cut back its funding. Six different speakers lined up to voice their support for the public art program that was first approved by the City Council four years ago and since has faced repeated attacks. "It's true that we could live in any number of dull cities that would just take care of our basic needs, and they'd probably be cheaper to live in, too, But instead, we've chosen to live in a city that has a pulse and a soul," said Mark Tucker, who teaches art at the University of Michigan. Read the story.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Eight Is Enough

A total of eight tickets had been written under Ann Arbor's pedestrian safety ordinance as of 7 a.m. today, according to Ann Arbor Police Lt. Renee Bush. Enforcement of the new law started on Sunday, and police officers have been strategically taking time during their shifts to observe crosswalk behavior at several locations throughout the city. Read the story.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Crossing The Law

A silver Toyota Camry cruised through the blinking yellow light at the intersection of Seventh and Washington streets in Ann Arbor shortly after 8 a.m. today. Normally that's not a problem. But the fact that a pedestrian was waiting in the rain to cross at the marked crosswalk meant the woman in the car just violated the city's new pedestrian safety ordinance, which requires motorists to stop for pedestrians within or approaching crosswalks. "She's getting a ticket," Ann Arbor Police Officer Trudy Sahr said after shifting her unmarked patrol car into gear and catching up to the Camry, headed southbound on Seventh. Read the story.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Life Goes On

It was another Sunday night in Ann Arbor. As the sun retreated to the west, a beautiful orange and blue glow crept up beneath a towering crane where work continues on a new underground parking garage downtown. A few blocks over, a half-finished student high-rise known as Zaragon West reached anxiously into the evening sky as light danced on the dented hood of an automobile parked across the street from a pizza parlor. On State Street, University of Michigan students walked the quiet sidewalks lugging backpacks filled with dense texts. On the campus diag, flags representing nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives exactly a decade ago on 9/11 dotted the lawn where hundreds of people gathered for a candlelight vigil to reflect and remember. A stone's throw away, street performer Julian Montgomery filled Nickels Arcade with the soulful sounds of his cello. "It's just God speaking to me," he uttered to a passerby who asked about his music. Around the corner, the flagship store of the Borders book store chain offered 90% off deals on the eve of its last day in business. Two motorcyclists buzzed past the State Theatre where the marquee advertised a $6 showing of the popular 1994 Tarantino film "Pulp Fiction." And in front of a bar just up the street, a drunken man who recently relocated to Ann Arbor from Miami, Fla., carried a red rose which he planned to give to the prettiest girl he could find. Ten years later, life goes on.

The Color Blue

Not Forgotten

About 70 people gathered along Fifth Avenue between Ann Arbor's city hall and the downtown fire station today for a ceremony paying respect to the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives exactly 10 years ago on 9/11. "All across this nation and all around this world, let them see we're still standing together," Police Chief Barnett Jones said as the crowd joined hands. "Let them know that they can never take away our freedom, they can never take our lifestyle, they can never take away what is America." Read the story.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Big House Moon

Fighting The Irish

The University of Michigan football team hosted the Notre Dame Fighting Irish tonight in Ann Arbor for the first night game at the Big House. A large number of fans appeared highly intoxicated, and some of the more rowdy ones were handcuffed and taken away by police. Crazed chants of "go blue!" came from those wearing maize and blue. More choice words like "I hate you so much" and "get out of my town" were reserved for those wearing green. A wild finish led to a Michigan victory.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Six Floors Up

Work continues in the plaza area in front of Ann Arbor's city hall where a German artist's sculpture is expected to be installed in the next month. The $750,000 piece is expected to start close to Huron Street and follow the west edge of a new rain garden toward the main entrance of city hall. The focal point of the piece is a standing bronze sculpture with blue glass pearls that light up in computerized variations as stormwater from the building circulates over the sculpture's surface. Nearly four years since the launch of Ann Arbor's Percent For Art Program, more than $2.2 million in city funds have been channeled toward public art. City officials are now questioning the program's effectiveness. Read the story.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sushi Party

Charlie Slick and the Thunda Claps played at the Mark's Carts courtyard Friday night. There are no words that can adequately describe Charlie's awesomeness so I'll leave it up to the photos and videos to tell the story.