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A delicious homecoming: Takashi Yagihashi returns to Michigan with Slurping Turtle

With successful restaurants in Las Vegas, New York, and Chicago, former Iron Chef Takashi Yagihashi could have settled anywhere. But what he wanted most was to bring his family back to Michigan. Which is why Ann Arbor is now home to his latest eatery, the Slurping Turtle. Concentrate's Nicole Rupersberg learns why.

#EATING: U-M football stars plant new seeds

The news is filled with examples of sports figures behaving badly. Well, here's something a little different: a trio of U-M football players have started the #EATING Project, which seeks to establish community food gardens in underserved communities.

OpEd: Empowering People to Power Michigan

Despite the rising demand for renewable energy generation in Michigan, individual property owners desiring to install renewable energy systems face numerous barriers and caps. Hence, the Energy Freedom bill package, a market-based approach that facilitates renewable energy generation at the individual level. State Rep. Jeff Irwin, a sponsor of the 4-bill package, opines on how to lift these barriers, thereby turning small-scale generation into a large-scale pursuit. 

Choo-choo-choosing a new home for Ann Arbor's Amtrak Station

Designated as the busiest Amtrak station in Michigan, Ann Arbor's long outdated depot is up for reconsideration - in terms of infrastructure, location and economic impact. Whether we're talking commuter needs or community development, it's a complicated equation with no easy answer. 

Changing careers in the startup lane

In today's economy, finding a job is challenge enough. Now try finding one at age 45. Or 55. And in a different field. Where do you start? How do you present decades of work experience to an industry unfamiliar with your skill set? Shifting Gears is a career-transition program for mid-to-late-career professionals looking for a second act.

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.
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