The Ann Arbor Home Share program at the University of Michigan connects homeowners over the age of 55 with younger people looking for a place to live.
The program allows senior homeowners to manage household chores and offset costs--but it also offers companionship.
Every arrangement is unique.
In some cases, younger roommates take on housework or run errands in exchange for lower rent.
Michigan Radio's Christina Shockley spoke with Carol Tice and Kristina Gifford, who participate in the Home Share program. Tice, 80, rents out part of her home to Gifford, 24. Tice has been a participant for over 7 years.
The library is considering teaming up with Common Cycle, a non-profit bike club, in an effort to provide free bike rentals to library patrons.
Eric Jankowski is with Common Cycle. He says details are still being worked out, including what the late fees will be, and for how long a library patron can check out a bike. As for how many bikes they’ll need?
The duo Red Tail Ring goes back to traditional old-time music--because that’s what they love.
Michiganders Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo’s interpretation of Appalachian and folk songs come from their “strong connection to the outdoors and the natural world.”
Laurel is from the Upper Peninsula and Michael from the Kalamazoo area. The music they play is what you might call “backwoods music.”
“We’re modern people reaching back to older songs and traditions; we’re interpreters and explorers of older culture. Learning from the past is an essential aspect in art, and for us it’s been formative. It’s important to show how older words and melodies can be honored, not compromised, in reinterpretation, and that the world has been doing this since the beginning of time.”
This year they released two albums - the first - Middlewest Chant, is a collection of original songs.
The second album - Mountain Shout - is a compilation of traditional songs.
Red Tail Ring performed in Studio East, here at Michigan Radio, and we were all enthralled by the vibration of the fiddle and banjo--and the eerie harmonies that Laurel and Michael create together.
Riot Youth is an Ann Arbor-based group that supports and advocates for LGBTQ teens. For those who don't know, that's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning.
Four years ago the group surveyed students in Ann Arbor schools about bullying and sexual orientation. Using the results of that survey, and drawing on their own experiences, the teens wrote a play about bullying that they perform in schools across the state.
Michigan Radio's Christina Shockley spoke with Laura Wernick, an advisor with the group, and Leo Thornton, a 10th grade student and Riot Youth board member.
Thornton, who identifies as transgender, said the group has been a life-saver. "I found Riot Youth and I realized there were not just other transgender people—there's a spectrum of other identities within the queer community, and that we all can come together and just be ourselves."
The Ann Arbor A.V. Club has folded. The local entertainment arm of the popular satirical newspaper “The Onion” made its debut in September and employed three full time workers.
Bobby Mitchell and his company Bopper Media handled all aspects of the Ann Arbor Onion and A.V. Club franchise - from printing to distribution and ad sales. Mitchell did not want to be recorded for an interview, but he did confirm that the November 24th issue was the last one he’d be publishing. He wouldn’t say more except to say “lawyers” were involved. He also added that there's a slight possibility The Onion corporate might want to take over the Ann Arbor A.V. Club and publish it.
Curtis Sullivan was very surprised to hear the news. Sullivan co-owns the comic store Vault of Midnight in Ann Arbor. He says, unlike other free, entertainment weeklies, copies of the Onion’s used to fly off the shelves at his store:
"We almost never have leftovers of the Onion! And I hear people talking about, 'did you read The Onion?' I don’t know, you don’t really hear that as much about other things."
Sullivan himself is a huge fan of The Onion - so much so he even signed up for a full year of advertisements with the local A.V. Club, something he never does:
"I’m not very excited about print advertising as a business owner generally. When they approached us, it was like, this is great, we’ll do it! I thought it would be a perfect match."
Demolition of two crumbling bridges near Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor will start November 28th, according to the city of Ann Arbor.
The Stadium Boulevard bridges were built in 1928 and they span South State Street and the Ann Arbor Railroad. The bridges have been in need of repair or replacement for some time and are considered "functionally obsolete."
The city of Ann Arbor was hoping federal transportation funds would come through to help rebuild the bridges. After missing out on one round, federal funding eventually did come through.
A $13.9 million grant from U.S. Department of Transportation's "Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery" (TIGER) program will help pay for part of the project. The remainder of the funding will come from the state of Michigan ($300,000), and the city of Ann Arbor ($6,600,000).
City officials were confident heading into the election the street millage — which brings in about $9.1 million a year and is essential to paying for streets and bridges in Ann Arbor — would be renewed. But they were less certain about the sidewalk millage.
Ann Arbor's city code currently requires property owners to maintain the sidewalks adjacent to their properties...
City officials say passage of the millage marks a shift away from an admittedly unpopular program that's placed a heavy burden on individuals.
And the Ann Arbor City Council will get a fresh face.
Jane Lumm, an independent, defeated incumbent Stephen Rapundalo in the city's 2nd Ward race.
Michigan home sale prices increased by more than 6 percent in the last three months. But home prices are not rising everywhere.
Alex Villacorta is with Clear Capital. He said Michigan’s average home sale prices are still 65 percent below their peak of a few years ago, before the recession. But Villacorta said prices are finally moving in the right direction.
Answer This!, a film by University of Michigan alum Christopher Farah, takes you out to the bars of Ann Arbor, where diehard trivia teams—like the Ice Tigers —face off for a glory far greater than a round on the house.
The movie follows Paul Tarson, a U of M graduate student played by Christopher Gorham. Afraid to make any decisions about his post-academic life, Tarson redirects his intellectual energy toward a citywide pub trivia tournament, much to the disappointment of his professor father, played by real life U of M Professor Ralph Williams.
Funded in part by the now suspended Michigan Film Office incentives program, Answer This! was filmed almost entirely on the U of M campus and around Ann Arbor. It is the first movie to receive official sanction from the university.Farah said it was important for him to locate the film in his hometown. He and his brother Mike Farah, who produced the film, tried several bigger, broader scripts before settling on Answer This!.
“None of those stories really resonated with us,” said Farah. “We wanted to do something that would kind of take us back to something we could really connect with.”
Farah uses the locations in the film to create that same hometown feeling for moviegoers.
“What we did,” said Farah, “was try to take a lot of those places that go beyond the really famous Ann Arbor spots...no matter what town or what city it’s in, people can relate to those kind of places, whether it’s a great corner bar or a pond or rope swing that only they knew about back where they were growing up.”
For audiences from Ann Arbor, this has the effect of making the familiar seem epic.
“A sidewalk outside Ashley’s feels so big in the movie...When you walk by it, it just kind of feels like a sidewalk. But in a movie, it feels like A SIDEWALK,” said Farah. “It’s taking that Ann Arbor that we know, and is somehow blowing it up to cinematic proportions.”
Answer This! opens this weekend in Ann Arbor, Novi and Grand Rapids.
A crowd of about a hundred gathered on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor to talk and listen. Many in the crowd have been inspired by the anti-corporate protest that’s been taking place on Wall Street for the past several weeks. Others were just curious.
Today, the doors will close for the final time at the Borders bookstore in Ann Arbor. It’s a significant milestone marking the final days of the Ann Arbor-based bookseller.
“Well it's so sad….we’ll miss’em…great store,” one longtime Borders customer said as she walked out the door of the bookseller's flagship store. That is the feeling of many people who stopped by the Borders store in Ann Arbor on its last day.
What’s left on the shelves at your local Borders bookstore is expected to be gone in about another month. The liquidation sales have been going on for nearly a month at Borders 399 bookstores across the U.S., including the company’s 26 Michigan locations.
The Ann Arbor-based bookseller ended its fight to stay alive in July after repeated unsuccessful attempts to find a way out of bankruptcy-protection.
Richard Kaye is with Hilco, one of the companies handling Borders’ liquidation. He says overall Borders’ ‘Going out of Business’ sales are proceeding as expected.
The number of foreclosure filings dropped significantly in cities across Michigan during the first six months of the year. Daren Bloomquist, with Realty Trac, says this not necessarily good news.
“We’ve probably seen the peak of foreclosure activity in this cycle. But it may take a while to really to clear the decks and get all the foreclosures that have built up over the last few years sold on to the market.”
Ann Arbor’s police chief says there is one, possibly more sexual predators attacking women in his city. Police are investigating a string of 6 sexual assaults that occurred in the past nine days near the University of Michigan campus.
Police Chief Barnett Jones says young women in Ann Arbor should take precautions and should avoid walking alone at night.
"It is very upsetting when I have to stand up here in front of you to tell people in my community that we have a predator….or predators out there…preying upon women in our community.”
A quintet of musicians has been traveling across the state for the past 10 days. They don’t have a tour van or a u-haul stuffed with instruments. Instead, the guys are pedaling their bikes from Holland to Detroit…with their instruments in tow! They're also raising money for various charities along the way.