Celebrate Unfuck the World Day with a community potluck on Water Steet

This Saturday evening, between 4:00 and 7:00, Bee Roll and I will be hosting a potluck at the Art Hut on Water Street Commons to both raise donations for Ozone House in honor of Unfuck the World Day, and start a conversation about what we as Ypsilantians can do to help put Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the White House.

So, if you’ve got a few bucks in your pocket that you’d like to donate to a damn good cause, or a new recipe that you’ve been itching to try out, or a passing interest in what the Sanders campaign is all about, or even just a desire to hang out with some interesting, thoughtful people, who, like you, care about their community, come out out this Saturday, join the party, and take yet another little step toward unfucking the world.

ypsibernieparty

[For more information, check out the Facebook Event.]

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20 Comments

  1. Posted June 10, 2015 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    “…and COMMONS FOR ALL.”

  2. Eel
    Posted June 11, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Just make sure he doesn’t howl like Howard Dean, giving the mainstream press ammunition to write him off as a nut.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5FzCeV0ZFc

  3. Lynne
    Posted June 11, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    The main stream media has already written him off as a nut. I think it is because he seems honest and says what he means without thinking too hard about the politics of it. Howard Dean was a bit too much like that too. That scream was silly but to have something like that derail a campaign? If voters are that shallow, they deserve what they get.

  4. wobblie
    Posted November 3, 2015 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Well I would say we are pretty well fucked. This is what you call hard ball politics. If you look at an electoral map, you will not find any bluer spot on the map than Ypsilanti. Synders administration has just decided to bankrupt us.
    http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/11/report_water_street_site_is_to.html#incart_m-rpt-2

  5. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 3, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    The mshda findings are very unfortunate for Ypsilanti. Huge setback. I imagine those findings will hurt all future prospects for the site big-time–if there were any other prospects. What is Ypsilanti going to do?

  6. Dan
    Posted November 3, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Funny you blame Snyder and not the city leaders that had the great idea to purchase the land knowing it was an industrial site for 100 years with known contamination

  7. Peter Larson
    Posted November 4, 2015 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Ypsi’s problems are all the fault of Ann Arbor and Rick Snyder.

  8. Peter Larson
    Posted November 4, 2015 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    Do you guys seriously believe that Snyder sent the MHDA down to Water Street to find contaminants to rig some future election? That’s just another level of crazy.

  9. wobblie
    Posted November 4, 2015 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    You guys did not understand the article. They didn’t send any body down there. Despite the city spending 10’s of thousands of dollars on remediation, they say there is no “proof” that the site is no longer contaminated. They have no proof that the remediation efforts were unsuccessful. This is a decision based on politics, not science. Got to ask why it was ok, to build the Dollar General, and why it is ok to build a community rec. center if the site is still polluted.

  10. Peter Larson
    Posted November 4, 2015 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    “There is no evidence that the city removed contaminated soil from the property as indicated in a report to MSHDA.”

    This is probably true. Is the city prepared to present such evidence?

    Simply having spent money in the past isn’t evidence that anything was actually done. If that were true, the Thompson Block would be considered finished.

    With residential spaces, there needs to be a much higher level of scrutiny compared with commercial spaces. I don’t see any evidence of politics here, unless there was a motion to inspire the decisions to keep poor people out of Ypsi.

    Of course, many people would be thrilled at the idea.

  11. Peter Larson
    Posted November 4, 2015 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Just curious, if the City of Ypsilanti declares bankruptcy or gets put under a EFM, is it possible that Water Street will be sold and its obligations eliminated?

    I am not invested in Ypsilanti. Just curious.

  12. Dan
    Posted November 4, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Wobblie read the actual letter from the consultant. It says recent samples from 2014 and 2015 show contamination.

    And the MSHDA did not have to provide a large amount of the funding for the dollar store. They had no responsibility in that construction

  13. Jean Henry
    Posted November 4, 2015 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    There is not only current contamination; there is no evidence (manifests, work orders, test results) that indicate that the city did any remediation at all. I remember there were crews out there cleaning things up. It doesn’t sound like they did what they were contracted to do. Or maybe just city records are a hot mess. Doesn’t matter because it didn’t work.

    On the other hand, this is not an irremediable (see what I did there?) situation. There are abundant grants, tax credits etc available via the MEDQ for brownfield remediation http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135-3307_3515-314471–,00.html — which should be done whether or not the land is developed as planned. Because it’s next to the damned river and it WILL be developed at some point. It’s a prime piece of property– brownfield or not–for development anywhere, much less in the Detroit-A2 corridor. Undeveloped large parcel riverfront property in a downtown along a major interstate highway artery? Very rare. Whether the city does it or an EFM, it will be developed.
    Ypsi really took on more than it could chew, fiscally or management-wise, by taking over that property. I have no idea why it wasn’t adequately marketed to developers. There are people out there who do this work. And well. They should have been courted. The whole thing stands in contrast to A2’s anti-development rhetoric. We pushe them away; Ypsi can’t attract them. It seems both arise from the idea that all development is evil or suspect, instead of just necessary– at least as long as people keep breeding and wanting to live here.

    I’m sure Amanda is already on this, reworking the numbers, gathering the necessary information. Hand wringing is useless. Time to step up Ypsi.

    Ypsi’s biggest financial issue as I understand it (from working on a business plan 8 years ago) is structural, stemming from the city lines being drawn too tightly around the city center many many years ago. So the revenue is just too low to support the desired function as a cultural and economic hub. I’m not inclined to blame city government. They are underfunded. But then being underfunded creates more problems, lax over-site, missing grant opportunities– and so on. The snake eats it’s tail. You all seem to spend energy finger-pointing that should be used to fix what’s broken or just keep up, given your fiscal predicament.

    As for Peter Larson not being ‘invested’ in Ypsi. 3 posts in a row on one thread in an Ypsi-centric blog just today. The professor doth protest too much, me thinks.

  14. Posted November 4, 2015 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Peter, off the top of my head I think an EM could definitely sell off Water Street (and myriad other public assets). This would not, however, magically eliminate the bonded debt associated with the property. Eliminating or writing down the debt would likely require a bankruptcy, a la Detroit.

  15. Jcp2
    Posted November 4, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Jean,

    If Ann Arbor can’t get development going on its own riverfront brownfield property, what can Ypsilanti do?

  16. Dan
    Posted November 4, 2015 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Just a wild guess, but I think if an EFM comes in and sells the land, it will sell for very cheap. And it would be a good bet that a certain Ypsi-centric “developer” would snatch it all up and sit on it for decades, while promising glorious water front development just as long as he can secure just a little bit more funding.

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted November 4, 2015 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    JCP: My short answer 2008 recession + Peter Allen + city passivity. That stalled development is worthy of a long form article or series of blog posts. We have no Mark Maynard apparently, so there isn’t a lot of recorded history. My view is that it will be developed by someone. These things take time, especially when stalled in progress. I’d like to see the city take the whole lower town area by the reins and seek out proposals and economic development funding for sustainable, affordable housing mixed development there with artist spaces, retail, performance venues etc. Maybe even a train station… Right now they wait for inquires… and they are reported as ‘sporadic.’ Funding is an issue. I doubt it will remain so, given Ann Arbor’s rising fortunes. Worst case scenario is U-M buys it. It remains to be seen if Ann Arbor will continue to get in the way of it’s own success as a city. There just seems to be little interest among the citizenry in discussing development as anything but a negative. Peter Allen at least had vision, if not capacity to put together a deal. Vision shortage. Will shortage.

    Visa-vi Ypsi and Water Street, they aren’t entirely different. Ypsi seems better positioned to take advantage of redevelopment grants. I am not in the thick of that but had a meeting with a U-M business prof once (quite a few years ago) who was extraordinarily frustrated with the city’s failure to take advantage of rust belt redevelopment grants for which it qualified. The reason I was given from people in the city at that time was the staff just didn’t have time or capacity to apply. Missed boats a plenty.

    One way or another both properties will not remain vacant. I guess it’s just a matter of each city’s ability to direct that development or not.

  18. wobblie
    Posted November 4, 2015 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    If you read the Mayor’s letter on her face book post on the matter, she points out that MSHDA does not have any objective standard upon which to base its decision. Unlike the MEDQ which has objective standards and has certified the property as being in compliance with the various uses proposed. Two things lead me to say this is a political decision 1) the lack of objective standards upon which success can be measured, and 2) The actors at MSHDA are political creatures. Their advancement through the bureaucracy is dependent upon their curing favor with the administration in power.

  19. Pete Larson
    Posted November 4, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Stewart Beal will save the day.

  20. Posted November 4, 2015 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    OK, I’ve set up a thread on this issue. If you have any more comments, please make here:

    Panic on Water Street… MSHDA report raises specter of toxins that could derail development, but is it accurate?

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