Beezy’s broken into and robbed for a second time

Our friend Bee had her restaurant, Beezy’s, broken into again. Last night, someone ransacked the place, stealing the safe, and some other items. The good news is, it looks like the police already have an idea as to who did it. According to Bee, warrants for suspects have been issued, and some of the stolen goods have already been retrieved. Unfortunately, though, the cash that was taken will probably never be seen again.

There have apparently been a string of robberies downtown lately. When asked about it, Bee said that at least three other places had been hit, with Beezy’s and one of the others now having been broken into twice. Hopefully, for the sake of our downtown, it was the same individuals involved in each of these robberies, and, now that they’ve been identified, they’ll be taken off the street and dealt with. Regardless, I think think this is a good reminder for us all to remain vigilant. Now, with more people living along the downtown corridor than in recent memory, thanks the rehabilitated lofts along Michigan Avenue, one would hope that incidents such as this would be decreasing. Unfortunately, however, that doesn’t seem to be the case. (And I say “seem” because I haven’t looked at the recent statistics, which could, admittedly, indicate that crime is falling. With that said, though, I cannot remember another period in which we had five break-ins at downtown businesses. If someone would like to analyze the data and leave a comment, I’d appreciate it… Cue Murph and the factcheck squad.)

So, what can be done about it? Bee and her friends are currently brainstorming online. People are talking about everything from guard dogs to metal, roll-down gates, like those that you see in larger cities. I don’t realistically know what can be done, though. With the number of desperate people on the rise, and fewer cops on the street, it seems inevitable that things like this will happen. If you have ideas, though, I’d love to hear them.

As an aside… I wasn’t intending for this to be a post about the city income tax, which is invariably going to be on a ballot before us sometime in the coming year, but I think that this might be a good time to broach the subject. I’m curious to know whether you think that, for a City of our size, we presently have an adequate number of police on the street, and, if not, whether you’d be willing pay more in taxes to see those levels increased.

One last thing about Beezy’s… If anybody out there is planning to get their friends or loved ones a gift card from Beezy’s for the holidays, now would be a great time to do so, as the additional funds would help them cash flow-wise as they wait for insurance claims to be accepted, etc. Also, I’m told that, if you buy Beezy’s gift cards in bulk, you’ll be rewarded with a free gift card of your own, in the amount of 10% of your total gift card purchase. And what could be better than that?

[note: This was shared with Bee’s permission. Furthermore, I think it needs to be noted that these late night property crimes, while bad, are certainly no reason for people to avoid downtown, where, on the whole, very good things are happening.]

Posted in Other, Uncategorized, Ypsilanti | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 71 Comments

On not getting punched in the nose for the Occupation on Black Friday

A couple of days ago, AnnArbor.com ran a story about the Occupy actions planned for Black Friday. I was quoted in the piece, as I’d announced that my friend Jeff and I would be walking around Ypsi with signs, in solidarity with the folks in Ann Arbor and Detroit, who were going into big box retails stores, and spreading the gospel of the Occupy Wall Street movement. At some point on Friday, I started getting calls from AnnArbor.com readers, asking if I’d been beaten up… It seems as though someone left a comment on the site, saying that “Maynard” had been punched in a parking lot. As I had been the only Maynard referenced prior to that, people obviously assumed that it had been me. Here’s the comment that was left by someone calling himself Inside The Hall.

My first thought was that the comment must have been left by someone who was just practicing a little positive visualization, imagining me to have been beaten to a pulp by a gang of self-professed patriots. (By the way, I’m not sure which Sons of America are supposed to have beaten me. Was it the Patriotic Order Sons of America, the Confederate Sons of America, or American Son? It makes a difference. One is a group in Texas that would like to have the Confederate flag on their license plates, and another is a five-issue Spider-Man story arc written by Joe Kelly for Marvel Comics.) Of course, it’s also possible that there was another Maynard that was punched in the nose on Black Friday. I know of at least one other Mark Maynard who lives here in the area. I’ve never met him, but, from what I’m told, he hangs out at the Corner Brewery, hoping to talk with my about something. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but, now that I’ve heard from three people that he’s approached them, and asked about me, I’m kind of getting freaked out. (As a result, I’ve taken to drinking alone, in my garage.) Anyway, I suppose it’s possible that these license plate activists from Texas could have found him walking into Wal-Mart on Friday morning, and punched him in the nose. I’d feel terrible if that were the case. I feel bad enough knowing that I took this URL – I’d really start feeling like shit if Texans, or, for that matter, stacks of Spider-Man comics, started hunting down other Mark Maynards and breaking their noses, especially if they have delicate, little noses, like me.

And, here, should anyone still think that my nose was being punched in the Wal-Mart parking lot on Friday morning, is a photo of me taken here in Ypsi at 2:00 PM, with my friend Jeff and his daughter. As for my sign, it didn’t work out quite the way I’d wanted it to, but I guess that’s to be expected when you put the sign-making off until just 15 minutes before the march. (Linette had recycled my signs from the last march.) I don’t know if you can tell, but it’s supposed to be a can of pepper spray, spraying out the word “Democracy,” which, by the way, is a longer word than I’d bargained for. I’m not sure what the message was supposed to be, but, like I said, I didn’t put a lot of thought into it. I was going to have it say, “Remove the Blood Funnel Friday,” in answer to “Black Friday,” but Linette talked me out of it. She didn’t think that anyone would get the blood funnel reference. The other side of this sign was better. It just says, “Best Buy / Worst Choice… shop local.” As for our little march around town, it went very well. We had about a dozen people show up for it, including an esteemed professor of Marxist history… And no one was hit. One cop did roll up and talk to us, but he was nice. [note: It’s hard to get national press for your movement when your cops aren’t assholes.] Anyway, if you didn’t show up, you missed a very pleasant afternoon, strolling though Ypsi, not punching me in the face.

Posted in Mark's Life, Other, Uncategorized, Ypsilanti | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

The darker side of Clementine

Clementine’s second grade teacher reads this site. Yesterday, she wrote to request that I post another installment of Totally Quotable Clementine. Unfortunately, as I explained to her last night, there haven’t been a lot of charming moments these past few weeks. I mean, there are, of course, moments where Clementine says interesting things, but I haven’t felt as though they’d translate to a wider audience. So, I explained this to Clementine’s teacher last night, over Facebook, and told her that I’d try to come up with something soon. As coincidence would have it, upon going downstairs to make breakfast the next morning, I found this waiting for me on the kitchen table. (You can’t see it in this photo, but there’s a “you” on the left hand side.)

So, yeah, it’s a little ball that says, “you will die” across the bottom… I asked Clementine if she’d intended it for me, and she said that she hadn’t. “It’s supposed to be like a Magic 8 Ball,” she said. To which I responded, “But it just has one fortune.” Then, there was just silence for a second or two, as we stared at one another. Eventually, we moved on to talk about other things.

[And how great of an idea for a product is that? Who wouldn’t want an Magic 8 Ball that just said, “you will die”? I think it’s brilliant, but maybe that’s just because I’m her dad.]

Posted in Mark's Life, Photographs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Occupy Ann Arbor mic checks Wal-Mart on Black Friday

Posted in Economics, Other, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Feeding the consumerbots a holiday meal of pepper spray

Last night, I wrote something here on the site about the various Black Friday-related Occupy actions planned for today. At the time, it occurred to me that, if protesters really wanted to convey to people what’s at stake at this moment in American history, as they wait all night outside of stores like Best Buy, the best way might be though a generous burst of pepper spray. I was going to suggest that people dress up in John Pike outfits, and saunter down the sidewalk in front of their local big box stores, blasting people in the eyes, while saying, “don’t worry, it’s just a food product.” Of course, I wouldn’t really have wanted anyone to do that. I was just thinking that, maybe, if people knew how bad it hurt to be pepper sprayed, they might be a little less likely to dismiss the point-blank spraying of students, the next time an attractive blonde talking head on Fox News tells them that it’s not so bad. Anyway, as it turns out, some late night campers did get sprayed as they rushed in to claim their goods at an LA Wal-Mart this morning. It wasn’t Occupiers that did the spraying, though. Here’s a clip.

A woman shot pepper spray to keep shoppers from merchandise she wanted during a Black Friday sale, and 20 people suffered minor injuries, authorities said.

The incident occurred shortly after 10:20 p.m. Thursday in a crowded Los Angeles-area Walmart as shoppers hungry for deals were let inside the store….

[note: I wasn’t going to reference the Megyn “pepper spray is a food product” Kelly meme here, as I don’t think it’s fair. As much as I dislike Kelly, in this particular case, I don’t think she deserves the condemnation. Yes, the phrase, when taken out of context, is terrible. But, having watched the whole conversation, I don’t think that was her intention. Still, though, the quote is asinine, so I decided to include it in this post.]

Posted in Media, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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