Monday, October 31, 2011

Shaping Up

A $50 million underground parking structure being built by the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority on South Fifth Avenue, next to the downtown library branch on what's known as the Library Lot, continues to take shape.

Neptune T-10

Fancy gadgets hooked up to a fire hydrant from 1984. Rad.

Funeral For The Middle Class

In honor of U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's Halloween visit to the University of Michigan today, numerous groups joined together to hold a "Funeral for the Middle Class," an event outside of the Michigan League filled with mockery of Cantor and his stances on economic and social issues. U-M graduate student Joel Batterman impersonated Cantor during a faux funeral procession and eulogy. Batterman's long-winded speech about the death of the middle class drew laughs and applause from the pseudo-rich crowd, culminating with a ceremonial hammering of the final nail into a wooden coffin labeled "American Dream." Read the story.

Main Street Halloween

The Color Orange

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Cut Down To Size

The developer of City Place apartments moved one step closer to demolishing seven homes on South Fifth Avenue on Thursday, cutting down several trees on the property. At least 10 trees — some of them more than two feet in diameter — were reduced to stumps. At least one other tree in front of one of the homes had an orange X marking its trunk, indicating more could be chopped down. An industrial-sized dumpster warning of dangerous asbestos also sits on the site now. Asbestos removal is expected to be done along with the demolition. Read the story.

Above Tree Town

The view from's seventh floor offices at 301 E. Liberty St.

Rapundalo Vs. Lumm

The gloves came off in the first round Wednesday night as Stephen Rapundalo and Jane Lumm traded blows in a neighborhood candidate forum at Thurston Elementary School. Lumm, who is challenging the Democratic incumbent for his 2nd Ward seat on the Ann Arbor City Council on Nov. 8, used her opening statements to call Rapundalo a liar and told the nearly 60 residents in attendance they deserve better representation. Lumm, who is running as an Independent, had the help of an unruly crowd Wednesday night. On several occasions, residents mocked Rapundalo, scoffed at his statements and accused him of twisting the facts. Read the story.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sewer City

Wondering what that smell is in downtown Ann Arbor? Or what those crews are doing running big white tubes into the manholes along Liberty Street? It's part of a $1.2 million project to reline crackling city sewer and stormwater pipes. Crews from Belleville-based Utility Services Authority were hard at work at the corner of Liberty and Fifth Avenue today. Read the story.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Running The Numbers

Ann Arbor developer Alex de Parry has offered a rebuttal to claims that miscalculations on his part are to blame for the apparent inviability of the Heritage Row apartments project that was awaiting City Council approval Monday night. Read his letter.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Welcome To Ward 2

After six years on the Ann Arbor City Council, Stephen Rapundalo faces perhaps his most formidable political challenge yet: seeking re-election against Jane Lumm. The man who once ran for mayor as a Republican and lost to Democrat John Hieftje is now, a decade later, one of Hieftje's trusted Democratic allies on council. But two weeks from now, his continued service representing the 2nd Ward depends on his ability to fend off Lumm, a former GOP council member running as an Independent. The following images were taken as the candidates went door-to-door on Thursday in different parts of the 2nd Ward. Read the story.

Grand Rapids Art Prize 2011

I have to hand it to Grand Rapids. The city has my beloved Ann Arbor beat when it comes to public art with its annual Art Prize event. More than 1,500 artists from across the United States and 39 other countries competed earlier this month. More than 382,000 votes were cast by those who visited. Organizers estimated about 500,000 people attended. An artist originally from Iron Mountain in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Mia Tavonatti, took home the $250,000 top prize for her piece titled “Crucifixion."