Open Thread


    Clementine and I were watching Mutual of Omaha’s WIld Kingdom last night, and happened across this visual, which I thought was strangely appropriate for an open thread here…. So, feel free to begin attacking and defending at will…. I’ll start by saying, “You all look fat in those jeans.

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      1. Edward
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        I’ve got big bones, you cruel son of a bitch.

      2. Alice
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        I’ve got an idea that might help the city balance its budget. What if we offer Water Street as the location for the big terror trial that they’re looking to move out of New York?

      3. Posted February 3, 2010 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        S,o does anyone have an update about the Thompson Block business from the City Council meeting last night? I couldn’t attend.

      4. Posted February 3, 2010 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        Beal asked for 10 more months. Beal’s proposal will open northbound River St by March 15, Cross St by the fall, and repaid the sidewalks by next winter.

      5. Andy Ypsilanti
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        So, I went to city council last night. Unfortunately, I left a little early and missed both the design discussion regarding the upcoming Cross Street revamp and the accusation of nepotism leveled against Chief Amy Walker (the Ypsi Citizen has an article). Sigh. If only I had gotten dinner before hand. Some um, highlights (low-lights?) of what I did see…

        It seems council and the Police department finished labor negotiations before the meeting started. While I didn’t stick around to see the contract approved by council, none of the officers in attendance seemed very happy. Of course, that could have been because later in the evening, council voted to approve all of the previously discussed budget cuts, including police and fire. Absolutely no mention of the potential cuts to DPW was made. By the way, if you look carefully at those budget graphs, these drastic cuts really only buy us two or three years of solvency; we go from deficit in 2013 to deficit in 2016, if nothing improves. Time to place that “motivated seller” sign on the Water Street “For Sale” sign.

        Stewart Beal presented his plan for the Thompson Block. You can read a much more in depth article in the Citizen, but basically, he says he can have either River or Cross open in about 45 days and the other by November. He also plans to move forward with renovating the undamaged portion into a bar/restaurant as soon as all of the financing is in line, which is dependent on the restauranteur. This would help offset the cost of stabilizing the remaining structure, which will remain in an improved version of what it is now (read: not in the street) until financing can be secured to build a new building within the shell of the old. Council seemed to be more or less ready to approve this, at least no one indicated any real opposition.

        The hands down most interesting thing that happened was during the first public comment section. A local resident and business owner complained about the way The Heritage Festival awarded contracts. The gentleman, who said he leased party equipment and inflatables, said he had contacted Heritage Fest asking to be included in the bidding for two years in a row; the first year he was told he was too late, the next he was told the decision had already been made. He claims he was basically told “we throw proposals away, we just stick with who we’ve been working with” even though he promised to meet or beat the current arrangement with an out of town company. He asked council to explain or intervene on behalf of his, and other local business. The city manager, when asked by the mayor, explained that Heritage Fest is an independent 501c3 and that, while the city can make suggestions to them, they have no control over how the festival is run.

        Now, I know right now, some people are wondering why I’ve laid all this out, and others probably think I’m out to get Heritage Fest. The truth is, I’m taking the time because I was floored by what happened next. After Mr. Koryzno spoke, Councilwoman Robinson spoke. This isn’t an exact quote, but it’s real close “While the city doesn’t have any say over the actions of the Heritage Fest because they are a 501c3, you are not the first person I have heard complain about this, especially a person of color.”
        The gentleman who brought up the issue made no mention of race.

        I have no idea what to say about this exchange. I imagine lots of fairs and festivals use the same vendors year after year without looking at bids. But to have the race card tacked on to that by a member of city council? Do we just play it Detroit style and pretend it didn’t happen? Do we go to the Human Relations Commission? Should I just let it go?

        Well, that’s what I learned in city council last night.

      6. Sandy D.
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        Not these jeans!

      7. Kim
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        I choose to attack.

        To whomever left the condom in my front yard last night, I hope you rot in hell.

      8. Erik Dotzauer
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Andy – just for clarification, it was Council Member Louis Richardson who made that remark.

      9. EFR
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        I don’t know if anyone here reads the bat-shit insane conspiracy theories at the A2 Politico blog, but the has an interview with the woman behind the site, who just announced that she’s running for Mayor.

      10. EFR
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        Oh, and I also find it interesting that A2 City Council is just now figuring out that they’ve lost their arts community to Ypsi, something that has been documented here for the past half dozen years.

      11. Christine M
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Kim, Sorry that wasn’t a condom, it was a finger cot. I just have really large fingers kinda like Mark’s puppet.

        I saw a used condom in the parking lot of my daughter’s preschool a couple weeks ago. Seriously? You just happened to need to drop a used condom in the parking lot of a place that 3-4 year olds go daily? Seriously?

      12. Curt Waugh
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Once again, our city “manager” never ceases to amaze me (from

        “After the meeting, City Manager Ed Koryzno, who is responsible for hiring the city’s police chief, said he knew of the relationship before he hired Walker in December but felt it wouldn’t impact her performance as chief.”

        So, he unilaterally decides to ignore several clearly written policies. And nobody says a word.

        So, the cop’s gonna lose her job because her partner got a promotion (which is kinda weird and probably unfair if you think about it – but the law is the law) and Mr. Koryzno is once again going to get a good review from the council.

        So much for open government. Suck it, Ypsi. Wish I could half-ass my job like this clown.

      13. Arborite
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        It could have been me. I don’t go anywhere in Ypsi without wearing a condom.

      14. Fred
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        Alice, I like the idea. But I’ve got something that will make it even better. What if, in addition to the terror trial, we also have the 2nd season of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” taped on Water Street?

      15. Elf
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Guess which local Ypsi company is now underwriting the Ann Arbor Dot Com sports section?

      16. tommy
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        Actually, a reality show about Ypsi would be kind of cool come to think of it.

        Question I’ve wanted to know the answer to for a long time, but it just popped into my head. Anybody remember the ‘Lizard Car’ that used to drive around town about 10 years ago? Does it still exist? One of the quirky things about Ypsi that I used to love.

      17. Andy Ypsilanti
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Erik. I don’t know why I insist on calling Councilwoman Richardson “Mrs. Robinson”. I do it on a regular basis. But seriously, what the hell happened last nite? Nepotism, raceism, budget slashing. Council was totally subdued but all this crazy shit was going down. I guess you get resigned to it after a while…

      18. Lady Hi Fi
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Let me get this straight. So Megan Turf, who ran against Lois Richardson in the last election is helping Trudy Swanson-Winston get retribution on the cop Winston made offensive, sexuality-oriented expletives at a party at Pub 13 while Richardson makes racial accusations against the Heritage Festival committee that Megan Turf is on?


        Whoever said Ypsi was ready for reality TV was right. There’s more backstabbing and alliances going on here than in a Survivor episode.

        (Curt, it’s true the buck stops at Koryzno, but you can’t excuse all the folks on the hiring committee that recommended Walker or the City Council, for that matter. It’s not like this relationship was a secret. At the time, I enjoyed imaging how pissed Winston must have been when her nemesis got the job. It’s not as funny anymore.)

      19. Jeff
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        Really dumb question, but where exactly is the Water Street site everyone talks about.

      20. roots
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Wild Kingdom! Oh how I loved that show as a child…

      21. Curt Waugh
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Permalink


      22. Murph
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        Jeff – you probably know the site. From Michigan Ave on the north, from the Huron River to Park Street, to the river on the south. (aerial photo.) “Water Street” itself was a short street running south from Michigan Avenue, just east of the bridge.

      23. T.S.
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        Tommy – The lizard car is still truckin! I saw it around town about 6 months ago :)

      24. jorj
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        This whole Toyota thing strikes me as vindictive spite cause American cars suck even worse.

      25. What's In A Name
        Posted February 3, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

        So does loosing a race for public office in this town automatically turn someone into a mean, vindictive person? Ypsi’s already got Steve Pierce. I can’t believe another one has been spawned. Watch out for those over active citizens, they’ll turn on you!

      26. Edward
        Posted February 4, 2010 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        Steve was mean and vindictive before he lost his race for Mayor.

        Let’s no go rewriting history.

      27. Ypsiosaurus Wrecks
        Posted February 4, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        Mark et. al.

        Why no mention of the “care givers cup” here in Ypsi. A small glimmer of light in a very poorly lit city. Also, we have a dispensary located right downtown – before one opened in Ann Arbor…

        Regardless if you are pro/con on the issue, this is good news for Ypsi.

      28. Steph's Dad
        Posted February 4, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Mark hate hippies.

        I thought that everyone knew.

      29. Ted
        Posted February 5, 2010 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        News Flash: The Ann Arbor arts community now consists of one man.

      30. Robert
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        I haven’t noticed it mention here on Mark’s blog, but apparently liberals in Ann Arbor feel white kids should be excluded from learning about certain subjects.

        I wish I cared about the Ann Arbor community enough to do something about it.

      31. Froggy
        Posted May 10, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        White kids need love too!

      32. Robert
        Posted May 12, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        What can white kids get from meeting a rocket scientist anyway?

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