Washtenaw County Commissioner Conan Smith on why he thinks the Ypsi Area Convention and Visitors Bureau needs to close, journalist Will Potter on the prosecution of activists as terrorists in the wake of 9/11, and the music of Edgar Cayce and His Guitar …on this weekend’s edition of The Saturday Six Pack

[My friend Caleb Brokaw, who is truly one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I have ever known, has cancer. And there’s going to be a fundraiser for him and his family Saturday night at the Blind Pig featuring a reunited Black Jake and the Carnies. While I’d love for you to listen to this week’s episode of the Saturday Six Pack live, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings in the least if you were to cut out early to be a part of this. In fact, it would make me incredibly happy.]


Over the past several weeks, I’ve spent quite a bit of time and energy fighting against the merger of the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti convention and visitors bureaus. I’ve written extensively about the issue here on the site, and Ypsilanti Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (YACVB) Executive Director Debbie Locke Daniel and I have talked at length about it on the radio. What I haven’t done a great job of, though, is allowing the other side to weigh in on why, in their opinion, it would be good for all involved if the YACBV were to be absorbed into the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (AAACVB). And, with that in mind, I’ve invited Washtenaw County Commissioner Conan Smith to join us this Saturday evening on AM 1700. I know there are some who don’t appreciate Conan’s stance, as he’s been the County Commissioner most up-front in the campaign to defund Ypsilanti’s bureau and transfer its operating budget to Ann Arbor, but, to his credit, he agreed to come and discuss the issue on the radio with me when others, like Ypsilanti’s Commissioner, Ronnie Peterson, did not. And I appreciate that. [Peterson, interestingly, says he’s voting to close the Ypsi Convention and Visitors Bureau in spite of the fact that his constituents seem to be overwhelming against the idea. When asked why he’d do such a thing, as I understand it, he’s responded by saying that everything would be made clear at an open public meeting that he would be holding. As the vote is scheduled to take place this next Wednesday, and as I’ve heard nothing in response to my inquiries as to when and where such a meeting might be taking place, my guess is that it’s not actually going to happen.]

After Smith and I fight it out, we’ll be joined in the studio by journalist Will Potter, formerly of the Chicago Tribune, who will be talking with us about the criminalization of free speech in America post-9/11. Potter, the author of the book Green Is The New Red, is presently at the University of Michigan, where he’s a 2015 Knight-Wallace Fellow. Here, for those of you who may not be aware of Potter’s work to illuminate the process by which peaceful protesters have been effectively branded as terrorists, is video from a TED talk he delivered shortly after the publication of his book. [Potter, who covered crime, government and breaking news for the Chicago Tribune’s metro desk, was threatened by the FBI after having been arrested for handing out leaflets against animal testing. The FBI essentially told him that he would be put on a domestic terrorist watch list, which would effectively kill his career as a journalist, unless he helped them in their information gathering activities. While he chose not to help them, and instead fight the charges in court, the event changed the trajectory of his life and his work, which is now focused on how, since 9/11, the government, with the enthusiastic urging of corporate America, has used the fear of terrorism in order to silence dissent.]

And, then, Edgar Cayce and His Guitar will be joining us from Saginaw… If you’d like to see what Edgar Cayce and His Guitar look like, here’s a photo I snapped of them recently from inside the kitchen of a house on Washington Street… And, if you’d like to hear what Edgar Cayce and His Guitar sound like, you should just tune in this Saturday evening.

And, here, thanks to AM 1700 graphic designer Kate de Fuccio, is this week’s poster, in case any of you want to print copies and leave them laying in stacks around Ann Arbor.


Oh, and best of all, the great Jim Cherewich will be back in the guest host chair, stirring shit up.


Unless you live inside the AM 1700 studio, chances are you won’t be able to pick the show up on your radio. As that’s the case, I’d recommend streaming the show online, which you can do either on the AM1700 website or by way of TuneIn.com.

And for those of you who aren’t yet familiar with the show, and need to get caught up, you can listen to the entire archive on iTunes.

One last thing… If you’d like to tell your friends and neighbors about the program, feel free to share the Facebook event listing.

And do call us if you have a chance. We love phone calls. So please scratch this number into the cinder block wall of the recreation room of whichever facility you’ve been assigned to… 734.217.8624… and call us between 6:00 and 8:00 this Saturday evening. The show is nothing without you. And I mean that.

This entry was posted in Ann Arbor, Civil Liberties, Corporate Crime, Economics, Marketing, The Saturday Six Pack, Uncategorized, Ypsilanti and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. anonymous
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Ask Conan what it takes to have a Commissioner recuse himself from a vote. Andy Labarre’s day job is at the Chamber of Commerce, and the Chamber’s board (the people who he works for) are very much in favor of this deal going through. That would seem to me to be a significant conflict of interest.

  2. Stupid Hick
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Mark, be prepared to explain to Conan why Ypsilanti even needs a Convention and Visitors bureau. Are there untapped or underutilized tourism opportunities in Ypsilanti that will be wasted unless there is public funding? What tourist destination or event exists in Ypsilanti that is significant enough to the county, to justify using county tax dollars to promote? Has the existing CVB been effective in a measurable way? Do they have any success stories to illustrate how their independence was a key factor in success that could not be achieved by a combined CVB?

  3. Stupid Hick
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    PS – why not get help from someone at the Ypsilanti CVB, or someone articulate like Andrew Clock. Someone knowledgeable who can prep you or who can listen in and text message tactical advice during your interview.

  4. Demetrius
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    “My friend Caleb Brokaw, who is truly one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I have ever known, has cancer. And there’s going to be a fundraiser for him and his family Saturday night at the Blind Pig featuring a reunited Black Jake and the Carnies.”

    I won’t be able to make it to the event, but I plan to send a donation. I hope many others will, as well.

  5. kjc
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Kate de Fuccio kills it every week.

  6. Posted September 14, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Here is a link to help Caleb and his family out. It should be noted that the goal is to cover their deductible, but anything above and beyond is greatly helpful too since they don’t have any work income to speak of at the moment. $10 gifts really add up, so thanks, everybody!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


BUY LOCAL... or shop at Amazon through this link Banner Initiative VG Kids space