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Why Ann Arbor gets shout outs on Parks And Recreation

So, that's why! Good to know the show's writers didn't just close their eyes and jab their finger at a map. Always nice to get some hometown love, eh?


"You may wonder why the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan is mentioned so frequently on Parks and Recreation. The answer for that is simple. Aside from Ann Arbor being a close distance from fictional Pawnee, Indiana,  Executive Producer Michael Schur was born in the city. He was later raised in West Hartford, Connecticut. The city of Pawnee was founded in 1817, which is when the University of Michigan located in Ann Arbor was also founded. Ann Arbor is where Ann and Chris move to during season six."

Read the rest here.

Ann Arbor GenZ scooter makes a small splash at CES

Alternative personal transportation that cost pennies to fuel were on display at CES in Las Vegas and Ann Arbor was in the house, with the GenZ electric scooter.


"Key specs of the GenZe include a seven-inch touch screen display and a removable, rechargeable battery that can be charged at any 110v outlet. The vehicle tops out at 30 mph and can travel 30 miles on a full charge. While license requirements may vary by state, most will not require a full motorcycle license for operation. Built domestically in Ann Arbor, MI, the product will launch in March 2015 in California and Oregon."

Read the rest here.

Local startups use crowd funding to get a leg up

Crains offers a step-by-step primer on how local startups used crowd funding to get their businesses off the ground.


"Locally, cousins Lucy Carnaghi and Molly Mitchell used Kickstarter last year to raise the final $19,000 they needed to open Rose's Fine Food on East Jefferson Avenue. And Avegant Corp., an Ann Arbor-based startup, raised $1.5 million to produce a video headset called Glyph. 

But donors don't own any part of the business, and there is little to no recourse for them if a company fails to send the promised rewards. Kickstarter is littered with failures."

Read the rest here.

Conquer the Cold commuting pulls in record number of participants

Now entering its third year, Ann Arbor's getDowntown commuter challenge has registered more than 500 people to commit to winter weather non-automotive commutes in the month of January.

According to getDowntown's Business Services Director Nancy Shore the current stats are:

413 people have logged at least 1 commute so far
2,885 commutes have been logged in total
Most popular types of commutes logged: Walk, Walk & Bus.

Check out the photo documentation of getDowntown's Facebook page. And check out the inspirational comics drawn by local artist Bruce Worden here

Mayor Taylor's commitment to art has Interlochen roots

Ann Arbor's new mayor has made his support of public art and the arts in general very clear. Interlochen, the renown arts education institution, believes it played an important role in the mayor's formative years.


"While arts and politics may not seem a natural match, Taylor says his experiences in the arts have helped him in his years in elected office. “I see Interlochen’s influence with both skills and substance. Substantively, it gave me an appreciation for the arts and for culture, which are crucial to place-making and successful city planning. On the skills side, the training I had as a singer and actor helps with stage presence and public speaking."

Read the rest here.

Zingerman's and laboratory mice meet in bacteria study

Apparently researchers at U-M will spare no expense in their quest for knowledge. Even if it means feeding mice $6 loaves of bread.


"As it turns out, the Zingerman's diet appears to have fueled the growth of the mannans-consuming B. thetaiotaomicrons — more so than other bacteria that lacked that ability to process mannans."

Read the rest here.

Hackathon hits this weekend

For the 36 hours this weekend, students will immerse themselves in a world of programming codes and junk food in hopes of winning the nation's largest programming marathon with an incredible new product or application. Expect the air to be filled with excitement and B.O.


"According to the University of Michigan Engineering Department, the event is the largest student-run hackathon in the country. In 2014, the school says MHacks attracted over 1,200 college and high school students from 100 schools."

Read the and/or listen to the rest here.


U-M Solar Car team race in Abu-Dhabi this week

Can U-M solar car designers and racers make it six for six? With a quintet of first place wins, Abu Dahbi offers them their latest chance to impress.


"The Michigan-Abu Dhabi team will drive the Quantum, the Ann Arbor university's vehicle that won its fifth national title in a row last year at the American Solar Challenge competition.

Read more here.

Michigan needs more millennials

For any who reads this publication, statements like these should come as no surprise. We've been saying this since we started more than five years ago. But it's nice to see local editorialists catch up.


Of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the country, only Cleveland has a smaller percentage of millennials than Detroit, said Kurt Metzger, a demographics expert who retired last year as head of Data Driven Detroit.

Meanwhile metro Detroit has the third-highest percentage of baby boomers to total population among the largest metro areas, he said.

Read the rest here.

Ann Arbor considered a top dining destination

Move over Chicago, the small but epicurious town of Ann Arbor is looking to steal some of your restaurant thunder. Or so says a writer at MainStreet Newspapers Inc.


"Traditional Ethiopian food, a Turkish café and an Irish Pub are just a few of the dining experiences awaiting visitors to Ann Arbor, Mich., one of the top food towns in the Midwest. You can taste food from around the world in the charming town of Ann Arbor. With more than 300 restaurants, Ann Arbor offers something for everyone from friends looking for a fun spot to dinner to family gatherings to couples out for a romantic meal."

Read the rest here.

Former entrepreneur joins SPARK to assist new startups

Though it meant a pay cut, entrepreneur Bill Mayer has settled in as the vice president of entrepreneur services at Ann Arbor SPARK. The Freep chatted with him about his job.


Q: OK. Let's say, I'm just a guy who just got laid off from the line, and I decide I have the next best product, next great idea — and I want to start my own business. How do I build my network and surround myself with smart people?
A: Well, so that's why places like SPARK, TechTown and Automation Alley exist. They tend to be hubs for entrepreneurial activity. If you are an entrepreneur, like entrepreneurship, you are kind-of a tech junkie, you work for a start-up, you just want to see what this entrepreneurship is all about, come to a SPARK event. There are like-minded people here. If we have have 100 people at an event, and you don't walk away with 15 business cards, it's bad on you. We try to make it easy. And in the Midwest, we tend to be a pretty friendly bunch. One person will introduce you to three, each of those people will introduce you to three more.

Read the rest here.

Ann Arbor among best cities for global trade

No, not because there are big plans to turn the Huron River into a water trade route. Those days are long gone. It's our proximity to influential universities that makes us a contender. 


"Think of this as a collection of helpful tips. We think you should consider these cities when looking, for instance, for a great business environment, a well-educated or skilled workforce, a globally minded city or assistance with your site-selection process."

Read the lists here.

Ann Arbor sixth grader stars in Ukraine's top film choice

It's not every day that an eleven year old Ann Arbor kid gets a leading role in a feature film. Rarer still is the kid who gets cast in an Ukrainian film. But it must be winning the lottery kind of numbers to end up in a foreign film that's been submitted for consideration for the 2015 Oscar for Best Foreign Language flick. Local sixth grader Anton Sviatoslav Greene hit all three.


"Anton's chance to star in a foreign film came about quite unexpectedly. But his determination to succeed at acting didn't surprise his parents, Arthur Greene, a University of Michigan music professor with Ukrainian heritage, and Solomia Soroka, a Goshen College music professor and native of Ukraine.

Soroka found out about the casting call through an e-mail from a friend in Toronto. Not really expecting anything to come of it, the family sent a video made with an iPad of Anton reading poems and playing the piano."

The movie already played at the Michigan Theater but we still think it's awfully cool.

Read the rest here.

Why the complete street concept is important to downtowns

It's amazing what one image can convey. When thinking about our downtowns it can be shocking to realize just how much real estate we sacrifice to automobiles. Swedish artist Karl Jirg makes how little space we afford pedestrians (in our supposedly most walkable neighborhoods) to cars.


"Jirg’s image shows a pedestrian crossing an intersection, but instead of a crosswalk, the walker is on a plank of wood;instead of providing safe passage in front of cars, the plank spans a rather deep looking chasm. On a nearby sidewalk, you see pedestrians sharing a narrow space between buildings and the ominous hole. A small child tugging at a woman’s hand to run ahead toward the intersection takes on a new sense of danger considering the abyss just a wrong step away."

See and read the rest here.

Ann Arbor and DTE team to build solar farm at the airport

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? The venerable mostly coal-dependent energy company DTE has decided to partner with Tree Town to build a roughly 10-acre solar array out at the Ann Arbor airport.


"DTE spokesman Scott Simons says the solar array would be a continuation of the utility’s Solar Currents program and would help Detroit-based DTE meet the state’s renewable energy standards. Simons says most of its renewable energy is coming from wind power.

Simons says power would go directly to the grid and would produce enough energy to power about 150 homes."

Read the rest here.
1426 Articles | Page: | Show All
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