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With increased urbanization are we entering the age of "Peak Car"?

Are we approaching the ago of 'Peak Autos'? With the rise of urbanization and an increased demand for mass transit, some are seeing the future of the car as a neceessity in decline. Take note mass transit opponents.
"More young people also are passing on pursuing drivers’ licenses, once a rite of passage. In 2010, 69.5 percent of 19-year-olds in the U.S. had a driver’s license, down from 87.3 percent in 1983, said Michael Sivak, director of sustainable worldwide transportation at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute in Ann Arbor.
Better-built cars are damping demand for new ones: The average age of autos on the road today has reached a record 11.4 years, according to researcher R.L. Polk & Co."
Read the rest here.

U-M developing solar cells with an aesthetic edge

Researchers at U-M are working on see-through solar cells that could be used as decorations and even stained-glass windows.
"The cells, believed to be the first semi-transparent, colored photovoltaics, have the potential to vastly broaden the use of the energy source, says Jay Guo, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, mechanical engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering at U-M. Guo is lead author of a paper about the work newly published online in Scientific Reports."
Read the rest here.

Proponents of AATA transit expansion dissect opposition

On May 6 voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township will decide whether to fund the AATA's plan to expand services. An opposition group has formed, making various claims about the millages failures and shortcomings. Blogger Mark Maynard brought together a trio of proponents to discuss their campaign.
"The small but loud opposition relies on this argument to fire people up. “We don’t benefit, so we’ll vote no.” They present it as black and white, and ignore the general benefits, which are numerous. They don’t acknowledge the fact that mass transit alleviates road congestion, improves safety, makes parking spaces easier to come by, etc. If they don’t have a bus stop right outside their house, and routes that take them directly from their first appointment of the day to their last, and back home again, they’re completely against it. They’re demanding something of a bus service that’s just not realistic. The truth is, our local transit service has been continually improving (AirRide service to Detroit Metro Airport, expanded NightRide service, increased frequency of service on routes 4 and 5, etc.), and there will be even more options for people if this millage is passed"
Read the rest here.

Two Ann Arbor firms in the running to pitch to Google

Seven metro Detroit businesses enter, one business... pitches its plan to Google. MyFab5 LLC and Wisely Inc hope to emerge as finalists in Google's national Entrepreneurs Program.
"Google Demo Day is part of the Google for Entrepreneurs Program, with competitions being held across the U.S. One winner from each city will advance to the finals."

From 5:30-7:30 p.m. TONIGHT, the seven finalists will make pitches to become the local winner at Grand Circus, at 1570 Woodward Ave. Detroit. The event is open to the public.
Read more here.

Are the "Gods of Soccer" coming to Ann Arbor?

Officials from the International Champions Cup haven't yet announced the date and location for the Real Madrid-Manchester United game this summer... but it seems to coincide with talks that U-M is having with the soccer franchise.
How cool would it be to cheer "Glory Glory Man United!" or "Hala Madrid! Hala Madrid!"
"The University of Michigan is holding talks about bringing top soccer teams Real Madrid and Manchester United to the 109,901-seat Michigan Stadium on Aug. 2 as part of the International Champions Cup."
Read more here.
The Michigan Daily also has a story.

Mixed-use zoning and you

Stateside takes a peek into the thorny issue of zomining laws, where a community can enforce stagnation or unchecked growth if it does not fairly balance the heritage of yesterday with the needs of today and the possibilities of tomorrow.
Listen in here.

Ann Arbor's Glyph Mobile Personal Theater nears $1.5M on Kickstarter

Apparently a lot of people want to chuck their widescreen TVs away and get a head[hones and goggle theater that provides a virtual and personal experience.
Glyph Mobile Personal Theater plus Audio closed their crowdfunding round on Kickstarter this past week having raised $1,509,506 from 3,331 backers. The hardware from Ann Arbor, Michigan based Avegant now stands as one of the most successful rewards based crowdfunding campaigns of 2014.  Glyph set a goal of raising $250,000 – an amount that was easily topped in under 48 hours. 
Read the rest here.

Sava's gets a thumbs up from food site

Somebody really likes Sava's on State. A lot. A real lot.
"If you’re a student at the University of Michigan you’ve probably had a meal at Sava’s for one reason or another. Located on State Street right off of central campus, Sava’s has become the go-to place for anything from swanky date nights to casual get togethers.  I found myself back yet again this past weekend for a friend’s birthday dinner, and I couldn’t help but wonder if Sava’s actually lives up to all the talk around campus.
Two hours later, I was ashamed those thoughts had even crossed my mind."
Read the rest here.

U-M expands Islamic studies

As our world gets smaller our knowledge of other cultures must get deeper and wider. U-M gets this and has decided to grow its Islamic studies curriculum.
"The new program, known as the Islamic Studies Virtual Curriculum, is funded with a $3 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Classes begin in the fall of 2015 and will involve sophisticated video equipment allowing students to be active participants in courses at the universities in the group, called the Committee on Institutional Cooperation."
Read the rest here.

City and U-M finalize plans for bike sharing

Looks like bike-sharing, dubbed ArborBike is going to become a reality for Tree Town this May.
"Since August 2013, the Ann Arbor City Council has been working in tandem with the University and the Clean Energy Coalition, a local non-profit dedicated to the promotion of energy-independent communities, to ensure the program’s success.
This collaboration included attaining federal, city and University funds to subsidize the project. From November 2013 through January, the CEC garnered community involvement for the new program by hosting an online naming competition. Among the top contenders were A2Go, MiBike and ArBike, but ultimately, the service was christened ArborBike on Feb. 5."
Read the rest here.

Could young tech-savvy candidates mean better government?

A 23-year-old becomes village president of a New Jersey town and concludes that geeks make better political leaders.
"Running towns, Torpey reasons, should naturally appeal to problem-solving geeks more intrigued by how systems work than by ideology. “They won’t be political, because they’re not political people,” he says. “[They’re] smart people who care about helping the community, the world.” His new ambition is, he says, “to try to get a couple percent more” such candidates on ballots around the country."
Read the rest here.

SELMA Cafe celebrates 5th anniversary

For five years now Selma Cafe, a completely volunteer local-foods breakfast party, has been bringing together Ann Arbor neighbors in support of a sustainable regional food economy. 
Their blog has a wonderful photo essay about their celebration and info on what they've done and what they're up to next.
Check it out here.

Ann Arbor Schools gets cyber liability insurance

Data breach has become a big problem in our Internet-reliant age. As a result APPS has decided that it needs cyber liability insurance coverage. Who knew there was such a thing?
"While Target fights to recover from the breach and is now paying for free credit monitoring for all of the affected customers, other organizations are looking into the difference that cyber liability insurance could make in case they should ever experience 
their own data breaches. Ann Arbor Public Schools has realized that this threat is a real one and that a data breach could be very harmful to them if they were to experience one without this additional security protection."
Read the rest here.

The Huffington Post likes Ann Arbor food and drink

For everything from tomme dolce cheese to Belgian Elvis waffles to cosmopolitan night spots, this writer from the Huffington Post suggests staying, eating, and drinking a while in Ann Arbor.


"The midwestern city of Ann Arbor has a lot going for it. It's now the fifth largest city in Michigan. It is home to the University of Michigan. And this vibrant town might surprise you with its dining scene. Perhaps it's all the international residents that call it home thanks to the University. Perhaps it's the fact that Michigan is one of the country's most agriculturally diverse states. Regardless, in the last five years this city has come into its own culinarily. Some even say, after Chicago, it's the dining capitol of the midwest."

Get a taste here.

Ann Arbor is America's 12th most romantic city

No Valentine's date yet? No worries. If you're looking for V-Day dinner out in Ann Arbor, you're in good company.


"OpenTable calculated a city's romance level by ranking the percentage of restaurants in the area rated as "romantic," according to OpenTable diner reviews, the percentage of tables seated for two, and the percentage of people who dined out on Valentine's Day last  year.

More here.
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