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A cautionary tale about downtown public parks

As Ann Arbor feuds and fusses over whether to build yet another park in our downtown, there are examples we might want to avoid repeating.

Excerpt:

"The greatest land-use mistakes in Minneapolis park history came from creating parks for purposes other than the relaxation, recreation, entertainment or edification of its citizens. Creating grounds for a pleasant stroll to a stadium eight days a year isn’t reason enough to make “The Yard” work as a park. Planning for those two blocks has to go well beyond landscaping only for the benefit of surrounding property owners, too."

Read the rest here.
 

St. Joseph's is tops for heart surgery

Usually it's ":U-M this. And U-M that." I'm sure St. Joe's in Ypsilanti is glad to get a piece of the limelight for a change.

Excerpt:

"St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor was named one of the top 15 hospitals in the country in Consumer Reports first-ever rating of hospitals in heart surgery.

More than 400 hospitals were rated in 45 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico based on data for two heart surgeries: surgical aortic valve replacement and coronary artery bypass graft surgery, an operation done to treat blocked coronary arteries."

Read the rest here.

How to make mass transit financially sustainable

Though Concentrate would argue that the notion that mass transit need to "pay for itself" is a faulty one (after all, roads are hardly profit centers), this article makes soime really powerful observations.

Excerpt:

"Just as the public sector pays the electric utility for street lights, it should pay the transit utility for services that the government insists on but that the transit provider cannot charge users enough for. The Paris transit system, RATP, charges local and national governments a "compensatory indemnity" for keeping fares below the break-even price. Governments recover this from an employment tax. Once profitable, the perception and mindset of the transit organization would change from a drain on society to an economic catalyst."

Read the rest here.

Siri meet Dom: Dominos takes its app to the next level

The robot invasion has begun! Well, sorta. If by "robot" you mean voice-based app and if by "invasion" you mean pizza delivery. Dominos = Skynet? Not quite.

Excerpt:

"The company, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, says the updated app for iPhones and Android devices will deliver a "human-like, conversational" experience, but notes that it will take some time to work out the kinks in the technology."

Read the rest here.
 

Relive the glory of Totally Awesome Fest via Internet video

For 10 years now, Ypsilanti has been home to a sprawling DIY festival of art and music that takes over local venues, businesses and homes. It is known as Totally Awesome Fest and if you haven't had the privilege to attend, well, here's your chance to see what all the hubbub is about.

Watch it below...


A Totally Awesome Film from Adam Wright on Vimeo.


Comic blogger experiences the awesomeness of Vault of Midnight

Places like Vault Of Midnight make Ann Arbor's downtown a true destination for locals and visitors alike. Of course, feel free to add Literati and Aunt Agatha's and Perpetua and... well, you get the idea... to the list. We are glad VoM is getting an extra helping of love.

Excerpt:

"Vault's focus this year seemed to be on families, as they had face-painting outside for kids and were giving away free Green Lantern Corps power rings for the under-12 set. I'll admit to being a little jealous of the Sinestro Corps yellow power ring that the little boy behind me snagged. They didn't have ice cream this year, which was probably for the best since it was so excruciatingly cold. "

Read the rest here.
 

Ypsilanti DDA considers improvement funds for freight house

So close... the Friends of the Freight House are closing in on their funding target to properly rehab the hsitoric structure.

Excerpt:

"Currently, an estimated $300,000 is needed to address fire suppression, bathrooms and heating, ventilation and air conditioning issues that need to be fixed before the building can be occupied. Last week Ypsilanti City Council voted to approve $220,000 in funding for the project and an estimated $40,000 has also been committed by several other organizations."

Read the rest here.
 

Ann Arbor Avegant lands $4M in investment for 3D goggles

Three... no, four words: Hi-Def 3D goggles. Guess what's going to be the next hot tech development? At least, Intel thinks so, investing $2 million in Ann Arbor startup Avegant.

Excerpt:

"“It’s too late,” said another venture capitalist, this one in from Cleveland. “They closed their round at $4 million. I was trying to get in and couldn’t. Intel took $2 million of it and the existing investors took the rest. They took it off the table. I still can’t believe I got shut out.”

Having would-be VC investors salivating at the idea of writing you a check, and being able to say no, is a nice, and rare, spot for an early-stage company to be in. How Ann Arbor-based Avegant Corp. got to that spot is an interesting tale of being in the right place at the right time with the right technology."

Read the rest here.
 

U-M to develop ghost town for robotic cars

Think of it as our own version of Radiator Springs (that's a Cars reference btw), a place where driverless cars will navigate everyday environs. File under: "Kind cool and awesome."

Excerpt:

"Now, a purpose-built simulated town and suburb for that very same purpose--testing autonomous vehicles--is to open this fall on 32 acres at the University of Michigan's North Campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Mobility Transformation Facility will include straight and curving roads of asphalt and concrete, including traffic signs, stoplights, merge lanes, traffic circles, a railroad crossing, sidewalks, and streetlights."

Read the rest here.
 

Detroit Free Press says: Let's do brunch in Ann Arbor

What does a great brunch say about a city? Well, we're not sure but it's gotta be better than if we only had a Denny's. The Freep points to five bodacious brunches in our humble burg.

Excerpt:

"A friend from Ann Arbor recently described the home of the Wolverines as “brunch heaven” — a boast that almost begged to be tested. Detroit and its suburbs, after all, has more good brunch options than anyone could visit in a year, and the list keeps growing. But I adore Benedicts and waffles and all the rest — and occasionally, But I adore Benedicts and waffles and all the rest — and occasionally, I even have a Bloody Mary for research purposes — so I took the bait. I can’t say it’s better brunch territory than, say, Oakland County, but it certainly holds its own. If you want to taste for yourself, here’s a start: five great places for brunch in Ann Arbor.

Read the rest here.
 

U-M student startup Seelio gets acquired after just 3 years

From kitchen table to acquisition, a U-M social media startup see bright days ahead.

Excerpt:

"When Seelio launched, Lee envisioned it as an alternative to LinkedIn for the Millennial set—a place where students could showcase their talent, experience, and hobbies. For example, users could create a page that detailed a fictional company created for a business course complete with photos, videos, and information about the company’s business model."

Read the rest here.
 

Come to Ann Arbor, feel the excitement

You know Millennials have become the prime traget demographic when real estate sites start ranking communities by their hip and exciting metrics.

Excerpt:

"The young population rank was third, because nearly half of the population here was between the ages of 18 and 35. The music venue rank was third as well, with highlights such as The Ark and The Blind Pig. The city also had the second best arts and active life on our list, including the very unique Fairy Doors you can walk to see, and a whole lot of non-fast food restaurants to choose from."

Read the rest here.

Amazon says Ann Arbor is a best-read city

Berkeley, California
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Alexandria, Virginia
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Notice a trend here? Apparently big college town make for big book sales. How Amazon knows whether we actually 

read the books or just pile 'em on our nightstand has yet to be revealed.

But if you now feel inspired to buy more books, might we recommend that you drop by Literati in downtown, Bookbound on Plymouth Ave or Nicolas Books on the west side of Ann Arbor? 

Excerpt:

"The online retailer announced Tuesday that Alexandria, where many government workers from nearby Washington reside, ranks No. 1 for sales of books, newspapers and magazines in cities of 100,000 people or more."

Read the rest here.
 

Ann Arbor singled out as a travel destination

A travel blogger sings praises to Ann Arbor's serene green spaces, U-Ms campus and, of course, our bustling downtown.

Excerpt:

To understand Ann Arbor is to understand that it is more than just a college town. It has a dense population of local producers, hippies, and craftsmen that love to share their skills and their wares off. Kerrytown is home to these kinds of people. With a weekly farmers market in the summer, a mixture of hard to find bars, and famous delis this part of town screams originality only found here. Even the roads have character as they are laid with brick instead of concrete. 

Read the rest here.
 

Ann Arbor startup TurtleCell is starting to get noticed

It's a cell phone case. It's a set of headphones. It's two great tastes that taste great together. ...Or something like that. Ann Arbor-based TurtleCell has developed a nifty new cell phone accessory and they're getting more and more attention for it.

Excerpt

TurtleCell is set on embracing its young startup culture by delivering entertaining content to fans, including WTF's, (short for Weekly Turtle Facts), a live Twitter feed highlighting tangle haters worldwide, and a "Tur-Torial" video. TurtleCell aims to break the barrier between a product and its consumers through superior customer service, social engagement and fun promotional campaigns.

Read the rest here.
 
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