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From cart to cafe: The evolution of two local food trucks

Though the local food cart movement still remains confined to Mark's Carts in Ann Arbor, that enterprise has seeded the city with two successful brick and mortar businesses: The Lunch Room and eat. Concentrate gets the skinny on how these food entrepreneurs made the leap from cart to café.

Cool Jobs: Nathan Hukill, micro-microbrewer

Good things come in small packages. Or, in this case, batches. Meet Nathan Hukill, who has turned a part-time hobby into a full-time gig, making limited barrel runs under his microbrew moniker, Bitter Old Fecker Rustic Ales.

Small-scale, big deal: UIX invites urban innovators to exchange ideas in Detroit

Cities are reinventing themselves in creative new ways. Can small-scale projects have big impact? Join the Urban Innovation Exchange this Sept. 24-26 in Detroit to explore creative projects driving neighborhood transformation and trade ideas for the future.

Back to school break

Let's face it, we all need time off - if only to survive the transition from summer to the start of school. Concentrate will be taking a break as we gear up for invading freshman hordes, back to school sales, and the generalized chaos that follows Labor Day. But look for a new issue on September 10th, when we return with more stories of innovation and growth.

Powering the Mitten: Where will Michigan's energy come from in 20 years?

This fall, legislators in Lansing will take up the question of where Michigan should get its energy in the future. Nina Ignaczak spoke to experts across the sector to find out what they think Michigan's energy landscape will look like in 20 years.

What a 21st-Century Washtenaw Ave. should look like

Ann Arbor's most congested corridor, Washtenaw Avenue, is now geared to sprawling strip malls and parking lots. It's the antithesis of a community-building, pedestrian-friendly space. Nathan Voght, an economic development specialist with Washtenaw County, opines on why creating "places" is key to transforming the corridor and its local economy.

The Yellow Barn: The challenge of maintaining a community space in Ann Arbor

For the last seven years the Yellow Barn has provided a much-needed venue for Ann Arbor's creative community, giving small groups and organizations an inexpensive space to gather and perform. But maintaining it has proved difficult in a city that offers few other similar options.

From the IMG network: How local is your beer?

Despite our love of local brews, many of the ingredients in our favorite beers are not sourced locally. Yet that's changing as brewers tap into the local farming movement in their communities to add more fresh ingredients. 

Keeping music education within reach

Taking the summer off can mean a loss of ability for young musicians. But not everyone can afford to have their parents send them to band camp. Longtime Ann Arbor teacher Deborah Katz established the Scarlett Summer Music Academy to make music education available to kids who might miss out.

Cool Jobs: Sharon Que, sculptor and violin restorer

Vibrant communities allow for creative reinvention. Case in point: Ann Arborite Sharon Que. A former model-maker at General Motors, Que decided to leave the auto industry and learn the art of violin restoration. Seven years later she's got her own studio, and a reputation as both a top notch restorer and sculptor.

OpEd: Why mediation is a model for problem solving

Unresolved disputes can hurt economies or degrade the quality of life in a community. Belinda Dulin, executive director of The Dispute Resolution Center, explains why mediation is a viable alternative to costly and time-consuming court cases.

Going net zero energy: How one Ann Arborite embraced sustainability

Over the last decade Matt Grocoff has turned his Old West Side home into a net zero energy residence, hoping to certify it as the second such home in the United States. And while that bar might be set a bit high for the average Ann Arborite, he offers some important thoughts about what we can do in our own community to live more sustainably.

Q&A with Dan Wyant, Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

MDEQ Director Dan Wyant discusses the EPA's new proposed carbon rule and Michigan's plan to address it.

Behind the biking curve: Imagining protected bike lanes in Ann Arbor

To be considered a truly bike-friendly city it's not enough to simply throw down a yellow line, paint a bike stencil and call it a day. Studies have shown that protected bike lanes increase ridership across all demographics and significantly decrease accidents. Concentrate's Natalie Burg looks at why they should be a integral part of any transportation plan and whether Ann Arbor is on board.

Chelsea Alehouse, a year of lessons

The first year can be tough for any business owner. It's an opportunity to understand who your customers are and what they want. It's also the time where many businesses sink or swim. Concentrate checks in with Chris Martinson about what he's learned about running the Chelsea Alehouse ...and the local brewery scene in general.
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