Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Daily Show's Jordan Klepper makes changes at the Michigan Daily

Kalamazoo native and Daily Show correspondent, Jordan Klepper, made a recent trip to the Michigan Daily's news room. Jordan was on a mission to teach the newspaper's budding journalists the tricks of web journalism. You should watch the clip.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Are you ready for some Futbol?

If World Cup withdrawal has left you a shaky mess, fear not gentle reader: there's a "football" "match" this weekend at the Big House. Manchester United will be playing Real Madrid on Saturday. It will  basically be like January's Winter Classic,  except with fewer Canadians. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

About 2000 Washtenaw County residents still without power Tuesday a.m. after Sunday storms

Hundreds of area citizens are still without power on Tuesday morning after storms on Sunday, July 27 2014 swept through the area. DTE Energy spokesman Scott Simons reported via telephone that the vast majority of customers are expected to be back online by Wednesday night.

DTE reports that system wide as many as 186,000 customers lost power in the storm, with 85,000 customers still dark as of 9:00 p.m. Monday night. By 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, the outage number was down to 50,000. About 200 Crews from Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin have been called in to help restore power.

At 6:45 a.m., the DTE web pages showed the following outage counts for area zip codes. About 2000 customers are without power in Washtenaw County.

48103 (west side of Ann Arbor): 276
48104 (central and east Ann Arbor): 98
48105 (north Ann Arbor): 817
48108 (south Ann Arbor): 2
48197 (south Ypsilanti): 2
48198 (north Ypsilanti): 175

The biggest outages are in Northfield Township, Barton Hills, north Newport Road, and in Ypsilanti along East Clark Road.

Strong winds, with gusts up to 70 mph, caused more than 1,000 reported power lines to come down. This map courtesy National Weather Service and the Iowa Environmental Mesonet shows the progress of storms.

If you're looking to keep food cold, dry ice is one option. Meijer stores carry dry ice, and in Ann Arbor it's also available from Washtenaw Dairy. Call ahead to make sure it's in stock, and use proper precautions when handling to protect yourself from cold (don't touch it!) and to avoid suffocation.

DTE reminds you to exercise extreme caution and assume that any wire is live. Stay at least 20 feet away from any downed wire and anything it is in contact with. Keep children and pets away. Report power outages, downed lines or other power problems using the DTE mobile application or website, online at, or call DTE Energy at 800.477.4747 to report power outages or downed lines.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Campaign Finance Reports are in

Pre-primary campaign finance reports have been turned into the County Clerk's office. The Chronicle breaks down the finances for the Ann Arbor mayoral and city council races with some nice maps. So far, candidates have raised a combined $211,724 for the Ann Arbor primaries. Could this be the most expensive election in the history of Ann Arbor?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Number of the Beast at Ravens Club

The Ravens Club is running a special promotion today. If you order 1 of 6 different meat (beast) based entrees, you can then order 1 or 6 different cocktails for just $6.

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
Clearly Revelation 13:18 was written to inform readers of a future where they could order discounted craft cocktails paired with meaty entrees. Gentle readers, that future has arrived.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nerd Nite tonight

Nerd Nite is tonight at Live. Thanks to the AADL, the event will also be FREE. It looks pretty great. I think Moritz Niendorf's presentation on optimizing errands sounds especially exciting. Does it get much better than a German telling you how to be more efficient?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Possible bike theft ring, possibly on the Northside

There are reports of a recent increase in bicycle thefts on r/annarbor. DNAQueen reports:
I recently had a 1986 gray Miyata 310 racing bike with red taped handle bars stolen off of my porch. I contacted the Ann Arbor police and was told that bike theft has been rampant in the last few weeks. They suspect a bike ring has been going around stealing bikes and then disassembling them to sell the parts. Just thought this might be a good place to give people a heads up. If anyone has seen anything suspicious, let the police know.
Gentle readers, make sure you lock your bike with a sturdy U-lock.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ypsilanti mayoral candidates debate tonight at downtown library

If you live in Ypsilanti and plan on voting on in the upcoming mayoral primary. Make sure to check out tonight's debate at the Ypsilanti District Library's Michigan Ave. branch. The three candidates who are vying for the Democratic nomination will be sharing their views about the future of our city.

Ann Arbor City Council ( #a2council ) meeting preview for Monday, 21 July 2014

The final meeting agenda (plus or minus a few last minute changes) is printed on Friday at City Hall for Monday's Ann Arbor City Council (#a2council) meeting of 21 July 2014. It's a 10 page agenda. Here are the highlights. A long form preview of the agenda for tonight's meeting has also been published by the Ann Arbor Chronicle.

Watch City Council in person starting at 7:00 p.m. in council chambers, 2d floor of City Hall; or watch on television on cable channel 16 or online at . As always, follow along on Twitter on the hashtag #a2council .

Public comments start the meeting; there are 10 slots of 3 minutes each.

There are six public hearings, including several regarding downtown zoning and a few site plans. PH-2 is for downzoning 425 S Main (the DTE Energy building) from D-1 to D-2, which will reduce the maximum height of a building on that site.

The consent agenda (CA) is for items which are routinely approved all at once. CA-4 is traffic control for the University of Michigan student move-in on August 27-29. (Go blue.)

C-1 is rezoning from industrial to office (which includes residential) of "State Street Village" at 2223 S State.

DC-3 is a proposal for a citizen vote to amend the city charter regarding eligibility for city offices. The Chronicle's exhaustive coverage of Dascola v City of Ann Arbor is background for this.

DC-8 is a liquor license for RWB Group LLC, doing business as "Taste", a planned new restaurant on East Liberty St.

DS-3 is $1.5 million for improvements in East Ann Arbor for the Springwater Subdivision.

F-2 is changes to Comcast cable TV channels. Comcastic!

The end: public comment time, then adjourn.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The legend of Quick Rick, Scorpion Dealer

Today someone posted the following question to r/AnnArbor:
Does anybody know where I can buy an Emperor Scorpion in or around Ann Arbor?
This is by far, the best response:
There's a guy named Quick Rick in the parking lot of the Meijer on Carpenter most days. He repairs screen doors and windows out of the back of his truck, but he's also been known to deal in exotic pets. Just don't make any sudden moves, and don't ask about his politics.
Who knew you could just buy exotic pets in the Meijer parking lot? What a great world we live in.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

7:58 pm Wednesday July 16 2014: DTE Power blips

At 7:58 pm on July 16 2014 citizens of portions of Ann Arbor experienced a series of short power interruptions that caused line voltage to sag. DTE media relations contact Erica Donerson said in a telephone interview that the interruptions were associated with circuits that were being repaired and that no one completely lost power.

Areas affected included downtown, the University of Michigan Central Campus, portions of the NCRC, as well as some homes near Packard and in the vicinity of Wines School. The full extent of the interruption is not known. Reports via Twitter include router reboots, loss of Comcast service, and microwave ovens that stopped in the middle of a defrost cycle. Some computing servers on the University of Michigan campus were affected, but those details are not known as of this writing.

Two UPS logs show the precise timing of several outages.

NCRC UPS (Northeast side, the old Pfizer complex):

2014-07-16 19:56:13 -0400 Power failure.
2014-07-16 19:56:15 -0400 Power is back. UPS running on mains.

Near Wines School:

2014-07-16 19:55:08 -0400 Power failure.
2014-07-16 19:55:10 -0400 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2014-07-16 19:55:49 -0400 Power failure.

2014-07-16 19:55:51 -0400 Power is back. UPS running on mains.

If you have an interruption in service please notify DTE Energy. An ideal way to do that is via their app for mobile phones which you can download from Google Play for Android or download from the Apple app store for iPhone and iPad.

Updated 7:10 a.m. 17 July 2014 with additional details and log files.

Go! Ice Cream at Rutherford Pool tomorrow

Ann Arborites, are you looking to get avoid Art Fair craziness tomorrow evening? Consider coming to Ypsilanti to check out our sweet swimming pool. Go! Ice Cream will be there slinging sundaes for $3.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Art Fear

Art Fair setup has begun. Are you ready gentle reader? In case you are not, here are some Art Fair Bingo cards from years past.

Photo via: airosche5

First card via

Second via Katy McGrady

Monday, July 14, 2014

New stencils on the Church Street Structure

Looks like someone has been using the north side of the Church Street Parking Structure as a place to practice their stencils. Check out the Tony Stark/Iron Man stencil above or this Shy Guy one below:

Friday, July 11, 2014

FOIA Friday: City of Ann Arbor publishes its FOIA log

FOIA Friday is published on occasional Fridays; it is written by Edward Vielmetti.

The City of Ann Arbor has published its FOIA log for 2014. The file is updated monthly. It includes a list of the FOIA requests received by the city for the current calendar year, with the ID of the request, the name of the requester, the subject of the request, and its result (approved or denied). Requests that are still pending are marked in green.

This is a substantial improvement for FOIA followers in the city, as previous to this it was necessary to FOIA the FOIA log to get a copy.

The current system has a copy of the FOIA log using a file name that doesn't look like it will still be the same file once 2015 rolls around, so the best way to get to this file is through the Ann Arbor City Clerk 
FOIA page. If you want to be notified when this page changes, a straightforward tool to do this is with the site

If you find a FOIA request that's of interest, it's easy and cheap to request it. Simply ask the clerk for "a copy of the FOIA request and response 14-082", and you'll generally get it in the minimum time for typical requests. Since the record has already been paid for, you can also get it generally for free.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A very Potter Missed Connection

Special thanks to @whitrae for sending this Missed Connection in:
I visit you school as exchange student. We dance at Yule Ball. - m4w (Ann Arbor)

You teach me to say your name with proper (Hermioninny! I remember!) You say I best at Quidditch. I show you my wand in shrieking shack and you compliment it for size and heft. you say like oak and dragon heart string).

Then we lose touch.

Viktor never forget you. Please if you see this send owl right away.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July

Happy Independence Day gentle readers! Here in honor of this celebration, here is a bald eagle swooping over some fireworks:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

29 Celebrity Impressions by U of M Alums

I don't know if Tally Hall still makes music, but two of the band's original members put out this video a couple days ago. I can't describe it with anything besides 'delightful.'

Last day to register to vote for August Primary

Gentle reader, the most exciting municipal election in years will be this August's primary. In Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, longterm mayors are stepping down. Because both cities are so blue, the winner of August's Democratic Primary will likely go on to be elected mayor in November. If you live in either city and would like to participate in the election, you have until today, July 3rd to register. 

Fireworks and where to see them

Gentle reader, are you looking to celebrate some independence this long weekend? No matter where you are, you can find the closest fireworks display in Michigan over at In terms of fireworks displays in Washtenaw County, tonight there are displays at Hudson Mills Metropark and in Manchester. EJ and I are quite fond of the Whitmore Lake fireworks display. It will be tomorrow night and I'd recommend bringing a blanket and finding a nice spot on the southwest side of the lake. Protip: after the fireworks display at Whitmore Lake, traffic getting on US 23 will be terrible. You can avoid all the traffic if you start driving south back to Ann Arbor on Whitmore Lake Road. There are also nice, unofficial fireworks displays in some neighborhood parks in the city.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Michigan Hobby Lobby Fallout

They'd make a scary halloween costume
Following the Supreme Court's blow to women yesterday, The Daily Beast posted a list of companies that are also challenging the Health Care Mandate. Reading through the list, you'll notice a lot are found in the dear ole mid west. On the list you will also find #13 is Dominos Farms, #15 is Eden Foods (although they have lost their initial suit and appeal), and #44 is Weingartz Supply. If you are getting sad, or unsure how you can handle your growing resentment, I'll give you this article, highlighting Ruth Bader Ginsberg's dissent.

Say beautiful things about Detroit

"Detroit taught me that all happy places feed off the blood of the doomed."

An essay by Rollo Romig, published in the Detroit edition of Wildsam Field Guides, available today on the New Yorker culture blog.