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Local blogger takes on anti-transit groups

Blogger and Ypsilanti resident Mark Maynard is no stranger to Concentrate's pages. His sporadic Exit Interview series is about as good as it gets for a ground-view perspective of living in our communities. Lately, Maynard has cast his ear and eye on the fight over whether Ann Arbor Area Transit Authority should expand its service and those who oppose the idea.
 
Excerpt:
 
"I should know better than to try to make sense of the arguments being offered by the rag tag band anti-tax activists who have come together to fight the AAATA millage we’ll be voting on next month, but, when I heard that they’d launched a website, I thought that I’d check it out, and see if maybe they’d figured out a way, in the time since we last discussed this, to better articulate their concerns.
 
What I found, though, was an absolute mess… an intellectually inconsistent barrage of unsubstantiated nonsense."
 
Read the rest (and comments) here.
 
 

Eberspaecher expands locally, to add 100 jobs in Brighton

A global exhaust system company is making a big investment in Michigan, to the tune of $122 million.
 
Excerpt:
 
"The first phase of expansion will begin in Brighton, Michigan, where the company will nearly triple the size of its current 110,000 sq. ft. plant. A minimum of 100 jobs will be added to support the manufacture of exhaust systems and catalytic converters for commercial vehicles in the short term. The search for additional manufacturing capabilities in Michigan is underway and further expansion is anticipated."
 
Read the rest here.
 

Smart urban planning and mass transit could curb climate change

Resource effeciency, pooled transportation efforts, denser living, these are the practices that lower our carbon footprint and thus are most likely to help stem the increase of climate change.
 
Excerpt:
 
Now the world's leading scientists are suggesting that those same cities in harm's way could help drive solutions to climate change.
 
A draft report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says smart choices in urban planning and investment in public transport could help significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions, especially in developing countries.
 
 
Read the rest here.
 

Local violin maker proves modern violins can outclass legendary Stradivarius

Ann Arbor violin-maker Joseph Curtin (who we've covered in this magazine) shows ina research study that much like the blind Coke-Pepsi test, worldclass violinists prefer newer instruments to the classics. We at Concentrate strive to show that sometimes the common wisdom of the past isn't really the best choice for the future. That applies to business, urban design and, now, world-class instruments.
 
Excerpt:
 
"In actuality, expert soloists pick new violins over antiques in blind tests, the research finds. What's more, the soloists performed no better than chance at guessing whether a given violin is newly manufactured or more than a century old."
 
Read the rest here.
 
 

Big House to host Real Madrid-Manchester United soccer match

You'd think in a nation where half the elementary school kids play soccer that we'd embrace the sport the rest of the world loves so deeply. For a brief moment this summer - August 2nd to be exact - Ann Arborites can get a taste of the that action.
 
Excerpt:
 
"This match promises to be an exciting event for players and fans alike. Tour matches of this nature provide great preparation for the team as we look forward to the 2014/15 season," said Manchester United Group managing director, Richard Arnold. "This will be the team's first ever match in Michigan and playing at the iconic Big House will be a memorable experience for all involved. United has over eight million followers in the US and I look forward to welcoming many of these fans to this historic fixture.""
 
Read the rest here.
 

The enormous benefits of setting the right parking price

Less congestion, increased transit use and more tax revenue - who wouldn't want that for their community? Well, smarter pricing policies about pdowntown parking can provide those things.
 
Excerpt:
 
"First comes a close evaluation of SFpark, San Francisco's world-class effort to match the price of parking with real-time demand. SFpark changes the cost of street spaces in commercial areas to maintain an average occupancy of 60 to 80 percent. By making sure the streets are never completely full, the program hopes to reduce circling and thus congestion on city streets."
 
Read the rest here.
 

Cinetopia Film Festival to link Ann Arbor and Detroit through movies

Where political leaders fail, art organizations hope to succeed. AnnArbor and Detroit have long maintained their separate cultural bubbles. Russ Collins and Elliot Wilhelm (of the Michigan Theater and Detroit Film Theater respectively) hope to bridge the I-94 gap by bringing world-class cinema to both cities under a single film festival: Cinetopia.
 
Excerpt:
 
More than 100 screenings of 45 films are planned. "We will be expanding the Cinetopia Film Festival to at least five screens in Ann Arbor, and at least four screens in Detroit," the event site says."
 
Read the rest here. Check out the Cinetopia website here.
 
 
 

Really big pow wow comes to Ann Arbor this weekend

Skyline sounds kinda native American, doesn't it? Too much of a stretch? Nevertheless the Ann Arnor high school will be the scene for the 42nd annual Dance for Mother Earth Powwow. THe event will "host some 200 competitive dancers, 10 drums and singers, and more than 40 vendors and artisans to celebrate Native American cultures and languages, traditions and foods from around the U.S. and Canada."
 
Excerpt:
 
Now one of the largest university powwows in the nation, the 2014 Dance for Mother Earth Powwow continues to provide an important opportunity for Native Americans to celebrate and share the diversity of their indigenous cultures with one another and with the broader community.
 
Read the rest here. For ticket information and dance registration, visit the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow website
 

Howell signs on to Ann Arbor rail study

Drip by drip, inch by inch... or is it millimeter by millimeter?... plans to expand rail service move forward. Look for concrete plans in the next decade or three.
 
Excerpt:
 
"The Howell City Council is backing a grant application from Ann Arbor that would begin work on a possible rail line through the city. City Manager Shea Charles tells WHMI Howell would be one stop along the proposed rail line that would run from Detroit to Holland and all points between."
 
Read the rest here.
 

College towns like Ann Arbor beget more notable people

Why do famous folks come from college communities? Apparently it's a combination of nature (smart parents) and nurture (innovative environment). Or so says Wikipedia.
 
Excerpt:
 
"Another key element he adds is "exposure to early innovation," citing the businesses that take off in colleges and, particularly for notable musicians, the exposure to innovative record stores, concerts and radio stations.
 
He attributes exposure to ideas as key to the success of those born in cities. "It's much better to grow up around ideas than to grow up around backyards," Stephens-Davidowitz remarks."
 
Read and watch the rest here.

 

Car share works better in suburbs when paired with transit

I know it seems impossible to believe but there are suburban communities working on transportation strategies that don't rely on everyone owning a car. I know, wacky, huh?
 
Excerpt:
 
"For that reason, it was suggested that potential suburban car-sharing services form partnerships with regional transit providers. The coordination makes good sense: transit agencies put some money up front now with the expectation of gaining new habitual riders in the future, while the car-sharing service breaks into the suburban commuter market. That idea is already starting to play out; Portland's TriMet recently partnered with Zipcar to offer car-sharing at three transit stations."
 
Read the rest here.
 

Ann Arbor area among happiest metros in the US

Though you might not know it reading the comment section of the local paper, Ann Arbor is a happy happy place.
 
Excerpt:
 
"Some metro areas scored higher than others for the different factors used to determine well-being. Ann Arbor, Mich., scored highest in life evaluation. Meanwhile, Honolulu, Hawaii, scored highest for emotional health and San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles in California scored highest for work environment. Holland-Grand Haven in Michigan scored highest for physical heath and access to basic necessities, and Salinas, Calif., scored highest for healthy behaviors."
 
Read the rest here.
 
 

Do you understand the Ann Arbor male fashion sense?

Apparently the Ann Arbor male has a dress style that distinguishes him from the rest of the collegiate pack. 
 
Excerpt:
 
"What makes this Fashionisto and other fashion conscious Ann Arbor males really stand out though are their unique accessories that add both edginess and dimension to their combinations. I enjoy how he embraces color in his outfit, confidently wearing a plum colored scarf rather than a neutral black or gray one. It adds a pop of color to his otherwise neutral outfit and is also quite practical for the weather. Moreover, as a fellow "four-eyed" comrade, I love his glasses. They accentuate his facial features, bring out his eye color, and give off a sense of intellectual curiosity -- something that truly distinguishes and unites all Michigan students in our welcoming academic community."
 
Read the hilarious rest here.
 

Researchers plan for 9000 talking cars in Ann Arbor

The real question is how many of them will just complain about potholes?
 
Excerpt:
 
"Nearly 3,000 wirelessly connected cars, buses, trucks and motorcycles already are operating in Ann Arbor as a part of the study conducted by the university’s Transportation Research Institute and funded in large part by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
 
Read the rest here.
 

U-M among best colleges for families with children

BestColleges.com compiiled their list of best colleges for families with kids and U-M once gain muscled its way onto another list.
 
Excerpt:
 
""To be recognized as first in the nation on the "Best Colleges For Students With Children" list is a tremendous accomplishment that highlights the type of campus culture that we've built at Purdue North Central," said PNC Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin. "We work very hard to make PNC and a Purdue University degree accessible for all students. Our tuition rates, financial aid, class schedule, campus child care, tutoring services, even our PNC - Porter County location, are all factors that help our students succeed.
 
Second on the list is the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. Other Indiana universities making the list are Indiana University-Southeast - New Albany listed at 14 and Ball State University at 28."
 
Read the rest here.
 
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