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About Damn Arbor

Damn Arbor chronicles the life, culture, and politics in and around the greater Ypsi-Arbor area. We used to go out a lot, but now we mostly stay in.

BEN CONNOR BARRIE, editor-in-chief/publisher: Ben returned to his native Ann Arbor for grad school. He studied forest ecology at U of M's School of Natural Resources and Environment. He knows all the trees and his favorite spice is cardamom.

CHRIS DZOMBAK, feature writer: studied computer science engineering at the University of Michigan, lived in Brooklyn for a year, and is now a software developer living in Lower Burns Park.

EDWARD VIELMETTI, feature writer: Edward Vielmetti is a longtime Ann Arbor blogger and Arborwiki editor. He contributes a weekly "FOIA Friday" column to Damn Arbor which looks at local government through public records and the Freedom of Information Act. Ed is a regular at too many Ann Arbor cafes.

BENJAMIN HOUSTON, senior ex-legal counsel: studied environmental law at the University of Michigan, where he worked on cases involving some of the most pressing issues confronting the Great Lakes today - and he doesn’t do much else.

Grasping for characteristics to fashion something akin to personality, he is also a banjoist, a moderately avid collector of vintage LPs, and occasionally thinks about running a marathon. If anyone has any other bright ideas, someone please let him know.  Please.

ERIKA JOST, Arts editor: lives in Ypsilanti.

G.S. HANS, editor emeritus: is a graduate student at U of M. Having fled Michigan at the age of 17, he begrudgingly returned to Michigan for school six years later and was pleasantly surprised to learn that prices were about 70% of New York levels. Advantage: Midwest.

Editorial Board:

The Damn Arbor Editorial Board is ad hoc in nature. Current members are Ben Connor Barrie, Erich Z, and Brandon Dimcheff. 


DANA NO LAST NAME, senior editor:
Dana can point to the majority of Michigan cities on her hand. She has lived towards the top of her right ring finger and spent most of her life in her palm, close to her thumb before moving to the mound of her thumb, roughly where Ann Arbor is. It's a better visual than it is a written explanation. Her favorite kinds of writings are haikus and craigslist missed connections, some of which she will post about. She spent the better part of the past ten years in some form of art school where she made ugly art about horrible things. She is very insecure about her comma usage.

LIZZY COURTOIS, music editor: Lizzy is another native Ann Arborite who has recently returned to Southeast Michigan after spending several years kicking it in San Francisco's Mission District.

QUINN DAVIS, feature writer: came out of Kalamazoo College with a BA in psychology and the best friends a gal could ask for. She decided to cash in on what she spent those four years getting (her friends), followed fellow Damn Arborites Erika Jost and Joshua Stoolman to the land of maize and blue, and the rest is history.

Except this: Quinn works at JSTOR, writes for Adios Barbie and interns for "The Illusionists." She was the editor for The Washtenaw Voice and is eyeing the idea of becoming a forever Ann Arbor citizen very, very carefully. She also is a certified Zumba instructor, which is hilarious. She misses dance, her friends and family outside of A2 and her hometown, Traverse City.

RICHARD RETYI, feature writer: Canadian, social media director, freelance journalist and general man about town, Richard Retyi has planted roots in Montreal, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Jacksonville before succumbing to exhaustion in Ann Arbor where he's resided for the last 10 years. He writes about food, drink, history, sports and Andy Garris. Follow him on Twitter @richretyi or leave a mark on the giant boulder in the park. He'll know what it means.

JOSHUA STOOLMAN, sports editor: studies Immunology in the University of Michigan Program in Biomedical Science. He’s yet another Ann Arbor native who just couldn’t resist returning to the homeland. A love for the hometown team played more than a marginal role in his decision to come back to U of M for graduate school (along with a great graduate program). College sport fanaticism can be a full time hobby; however, issues pertaining to medical research and the current state of Ann Arbor (and the whole of southeastern Michigan) pique his interest.