And now the news from Ypsilanti: delicious soup, troublesome budgets, overflowing trash
Even though there's a four lane freeway dividing the two cities, Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti are closely tied. The writing from bloggers in Ypsi seems to this Ann Arbor resident to be more down to earth, and you can get a view of what is going on filtered through the eyes of someone who has been in the area for a long time who appreciates both the city's historic character and its post-industrial challenges.
Here's a roundup of some of what's going on from an Ypsilanti point of view from Mark Maynard, Brian Robb, Steve Pierce, and Bee Mayhew, and a missing newsfeed from downtown Ypsilanti business incubator SPARK East.
Mark Maynard live blogs the State of the Union
Prolific, steady, and occasionally outrageous, Mark Maynard sits in the middle of the Ypsilanti blog scene with daily posts and a regular cast of commenters. His live broadcast of the State of the Union speech drew 37 comments, most from Mark himself and Andy Ypsilanti doing running commentary while the speech was on. Andy writes: It’s still kind of strange to hear someone who can speak proper english giving the state of the union. He even cracked a joke that made some sense.
Brian Robb on the state of Michigan budget cuts
Ypsilanti City Council member Brian Robb uses his blog East Cross to engage in useful and generally non-confrontational commentary on municipal goings on; recent posts have included a press release on Ford announcing an annual profit and his own take to correct "inaccurate reports" on the circumstances surrounding the reopening of East Cross Street at the site of the Thompson Block fire.
In Potential FYE 2011 State of Michigan Budget Cuts, Or We Are Really, Really Screwed", Robb goes through a plausible scenario for state budget cuts provided by the City of Ypsilanti’s lobbyist, Kirk Profit of GCSI Inc. The potential cuts amount to $2.09 billion with an additional loss of $2.37 billion in federal funds. The largest and the most devastating cuts are the elimination of the remaining statuatory revenue sharing and cuts of $1.2 billion in community health.
Bee Mayhew from Beezy's Cafe on the soup of the day
Bee Mayhew, proprietor of Ypsilanti's downtown Beezy's Cafe, kept a blog for a while, and then stopped. (It's hard work to run a restaurant!) You can follow her on Twitter, though, which seems somehow to be a better medium for ongoing updates like soup-of-the-day announcements. Today: "friday rockin' [vegan] mediterranean veggie & beef stew!"
SPARK East doesn't have news that I can find
SPARK East is the downtown Ypsilanti business incubator. The organization that runs it maintains a blog with occasional press release style updates, and its category for SPARK East includes a handful of updates, the last of which was October 2009. It's hard to know without digging more whether that is a sign that there's not really any news from SPARK East, or if this blog is simply not updated as regularly as news actually happens.
SeeClickFix helps Steve Pierce clean up the Ypsilanti DDA's trash
SeeClickFix is a service which lets you report non-emergency trouble of any kind on a map for locations across the United States, and provides a way for interested citizens or municipal officials to track problems in their area and to use its forum style discussion board to fix things. The SeeClickFix area for Ypsilanti shows a report from Steve Pierce on the overflowing Ypsilanti DDA dumpsters, complete with photos.
Edward Vielmetti rides a half-million dollar hybrid diesel-electric interurban to Ypsilanti. Contact him at 734-330-2465.