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Ann Arbor : Featured Stories

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Got Green? A Talk with Doug Selby

"Homes in America are terrible. Let's just be honest about it," says Doug Selby of Meadowlark Builders and Energy. Whether it's installing sustainable features or eliminating toxic building materials, the green home builder sees a lot of opportunity to improve the health and efficiency of local homes.

Breaking Down Barriers: Wesley Taylor

Wesley Taylor says he lives in Ann Arbor but does in Detroit. As an artist-musician-entrepreneur he has found places where the two communities connect ...and others where the barriers need to come down. Given the incredible scope of his work and ambition, Taylor may be just the guy to make that happen.

The Picture Of The Day

Concentrate's resident photographer Doug Coombe will be capturing the sights and spirit of our community this month in our new "Picture of the Day" series. This week Doug offers up a snapshot of the Water Hill Music Festival, where music is played on the porches, lawns, and decks of an Ann Arbor neighborhood.

Limiting Transit Options Limits Opportunities For Kids

In the conversation about mass transit and whether or not we develop a county-wide service one type of rider often gets overlooked - kids. What do limited transportation options mean for students without easy access to after-school activities and programs? What about the car-less volunteers who can't reach those who need help the most?

Concentrate Speaker Event: Building A Competitive Downtown

What makes businesses want to set up shop in a downtown? How do downtown policies and infrastructure impact their ability to thrive, to attract the best and brightest employees? Concentrate and the Ann Arbor DDA have invited economic consultant Todd Poole and a panel of local business leaders to discuss the economic viability -our strengths and weaknesses- of Ann Arbor's downtown. Sign up now for tomorrow's (Thursday) event.

The Blue Oval Goes Green: A Q & A with Ford's David Berdish

David Berdish has been called the sustainability guru of the Ford Motor Company and, no, that's not an oxymoronic title. Concentrate digs in with the car company's green advocate and discusses how a member of the Big Three can promote sustainable practices, champion mass transit, and still hold true to their business mission. He also talks about Michigan's need for leadership when it comes to developing public transportation.

Got A Robust Local Business Ecosystem? A Conversation with Zingerman's Paul Saginaw

Mark Maynard, local blogger extraordinaire, shares his recent tete-a-tete with Paul Saginaw about the upcoming Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) conference in Grand Rapids, why it's crucial to develop a vibrant local business environment, and the meaning of "real prosperity."

A Bicycle Built For Seven

It's a bike. It's art. It's two great tastes in one. Concentrate's Tanya Muzumdar pedals around town on the seven-seater Conference Bike, and learns why Ann Arbor is a a great place to ride (and Mackinac Island is verboten).

Trail! Trail! to Michigan: What Ann Arbor Can Learn From Indianapolis

How do you turn a 5.5 mile loop into $100 million of development while drawing enthusiastic cyclists, walkers, and strollers? If you're Indianapolis you do it with a $65 million Cultural Trail that connects people to art, nature, and local history.

Concentrate Speaker Event: Creating Great Public Spaces

Why do some public spaces inspire use and others sit idle? What is the effect on the surrounding neighborhood? Concentrate and the Ann Arbor DDA present the second in our "Great Places" speaker series. This time we've got Bob Gregory, President of the Detroit 300 Conservancy, which is responsible for the development and management of Campus Martius Park, the $20+ million centerpiece of Downtown Detroit. Sign up now for tomorrow's event!

Lonely to Loved: Turning the Corner at an Ann Arbor Intersection

What makes a street thrive? Why do people gravitate to some corners yet leave others empty? To chart the changes on Division Street, particularly between Washington and Liberty, is to see how redevelopment and foot-friendly businesses can transform Ann Arbor's downtown. Concentrate's Constance Crump digs in.

Talking Food with Dr. Paul Kessenich

Math professor by day, burrito maker... by day. Mark's Carts has not only attracted interesting on-the-go cuisine to downtown, it's inspired unconventional owners as well. Concentrate's Tanya Muzumdar chats with Dr. Paul Kessenich, owner of Darcy's Cart, about juggling his academic responsibilities with the demands of food cart culture.

Encouraged to Think, Create, Write

826michigan is well known for its Robot Repair Store and writing center in downtown Ann Arbor (not to mention its fun, offbeat events). But did you also know they tutor and host workshops in Ypsilanti? From fiction to stage plays to poetry, volunteers at their Drop-In Teen Writing Workshop inspire kids to find expression through words.

Entrepreneurship: Stories From the Front Line

As Nikka Costa sings, "Everybody's got their something." Poetry slammers, story tellers, and, yes, even entrepreneurs. Thus the EntreSlam, a new tale-telling competition for Ann Arbor's business minded. We talk to the creators of this MOTH Story Hour for start-uppers.

Got Art? A Chat with FestiFools' Mark Tucker

Festifools is right around the corner (that corner being the month of March), and its puppet masters and luminaria makers are busily getting ready. Concentrate chats with founder Mark Tucker about what it takes to put together an arts event in Ann Arbor, and asks him to reflect on our community's attitude about public art and art education.
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