Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Concordia University students give back to community

About 150 students from Concordia University spent Sunday giving back to the community by volunteering for a clean-up of Gallup Park. They picked up trash, ridded the park of invasive species and even took to the water in canoes to collect trash that was along the river bank.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Got Milk?

Christie Brinkley has nothing on me when it comes to milk mustaches.
I managed to get the vanilla smoothie all over my nose as well.
Met many fellow milk drinkers at the got milk? Milk Mustache Mobile, which rolled into Ann Arbor Saturday evening and set up in Busch's on South Main Street.
In addition to a milk special inside the store, there were free smoothies, 5-minute massages, health checks and a chance to take home a free photo with a milk mustache. Good, fun, yummy, very wholesome stuff.

Friday, August 28, 2009

New AAPS Teacher's picnic

I snapped so many photos from Thursday's AAPS new teacher welcome party that I had to share.
From committee members who put together the get-together to Board of Education members who introduced themselves to the new teachers, to the teachers themselves, it was a fun day.
And, I couldn't help but include one of the ornaments on the "teacher's Tree" inside union headquarters. Hopefully, the full tree will be in the paper next week, but if you haven't stopped by to see it, you should. It's amazing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gluten-Free Cooking

You won't find anyone more excited about healthy cooking than Jennie Hahn, RD, who teaches a number of classes at St. Joe's in the hospital's incredible kitchen facilities. Tuesday night, I saw her in action at a class for those who are interested in gluten-free cooking. Think roasted vegetable salad, Quinoa vegetable bake, pumpkin bread and chocolate chip pumpkin muffins, to name a few of the delectable delights that were prepared and cooked during the hour and a half class.
Upcoming are low fat cooking, heart smart cooking, fantastic fish and healthy holiday cooking at St. Joe's. Go to or call 734-994-2300 for dates and more information. Good stuff.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Scenes from U-M Fan Day 2

Here are more U-M fans at Fan Day Sunday.

Scenes from U-M Fan Day

Fan Day at U-M Sunday brought thousands of Wolverine fans to Ann Arbor to get autographs from their favorite players. The longest line was for a chance to say Hello and have Coach Rich Rod sign one item.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Results of recent Web polls

For readers who have been interested in the results of our recent Web polls, here are the results for Washtenaw County:

Poll question: Which is your favorite sporting event to attend?

Total votes:

High school football
37 votes

University of Michigan football
23 votes

Any hockey game, anywhere
22 votes

Tigers, Lions or Pistons
14 votes

Poll question: Which is a bigger budget concern?

Total votes:

Funding for police
43 votes

Funding for mental health services
18 votes

Funding for road repairs
29 votes

Funding for parks and recreation
4 votes

Poll question: Which is your favorite park?

Total votes:

Gallup Park in Ann Arbor
34 votes

Mill Pond Park in Saline
23 votes

Ford Heritage Park in Ypsi
1 votes

26 votes

Poll question: Which is your favorite nonprofit?

Total votes:

United Way
17 votes

Salvation Army
20 votes

The Humane Society
22 votes

Food Gatherers
40 votes


Saturday, August 15, 2009

John Hansen and the AA Chamber

I'm excited for the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce.
The board could not have chosen a better interim leader than John Hansen.
He and I go way back to his days as a state rep when I was invited to "Spend a Day with John" in Lansing.
I was honored to have the opportunity to see him in action on the floor, then follow him around socially from gathering to gathering when the work day was done.
I came home from Lansing with a bird's eye view of state government at work ... and at play.
I covered his work as the interim city manager in Scio Township and then in Chelsea and in both cases, he was able to step in, steer these ships through some choppy waters, and assist these municipalities as they chose new full-time managers.
John has a knack for stepping into a position and in a very short time, fully assessing its strengths and weaknesses, then coming up with a plan to make an organization's best attributes better and in doing so, fix its problems.
He delights in a challenge and the chamber made a great move when they hired him to look at how it does business and assist them as they search for a new full-time leader.
Ann Arbor is such an incredible city loaded with terrific businesses and business people. I know Hansen will offer the board different ways to look at its assets and make the organization a stronger and more vibrant group as it moves into the future.

Bromeliads at Matthaei

If you missed the Southeastern Michigan Bromeliad Society show and sale at Matthaei Botanical Gardens Saturday, you have another chance. Club members and their gorgeous plants will be there Sunday from 10:30-4 p.m.
Members convinced me these plants are easy to grow, so, I'll keep you posted as the two I purchased settle into their new home.
Currently, they are making friends with my African Violets on a plant stand in a south window out of direct sunlight. I'll see how they like it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Help With Health Issues

I met with U-M Health System officials today to discuss future health issue coverage for A2 Journal.
I know the sorts of things that interest me, but would like to know if there are health topics that you'd like to see me cover.
Now's your chance, please call me at 734-433-1052 or e-mail me at or

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Discovering Dixboro

I can't believe I almost missed it.

The Dixboro Fair got under way at 10 this morning and I couldn't find my way out of bed until 4:30 this afternoon. It's not like I was sleeping or wasting time. I was editing stories and uploading articles and photos to our Web site from my laptop. As the hours passed, I tried to justify not going.

"Lisa will be there and she'll get some great photos. I don't need to shoot video, as well," I told myself.

Then the e-mail came in from Lisa. She wasn't going to be able to make it to that event. She had two other assignments.

Then I told myself: "It's too late. Nobody will be there. There's only an hour and a half left."

But guilt took over and I thought how could I let a great community event like the 32nd annual Dixboro Fair take place without us covering it.

So, I took the short trip down Carpenter Road to US-23, got off on Plymouth Road and stumbled across the quaint community of Dixboro. Cars lined both sides of the road, so I knew I had the right place. It reminded me a lot of the annual Webster Fall Festival because the event is centered around a church and features old-fashioned fun for kids.

I took some video, which will be on our Web site by Monday, and shot a few photos. I captured Maria Scannell, 6, and her older sister, Julia, on video and in a photo making slime. The girls are from Plymouth and their mother was shooting video, as well.

Then I took a photo of Zoe Shulman, 6, of Ann Arbor doing a little shopping. She reminded me of myself as she touched some clothing while browsing the booths. I like to feel fabrics when I am browsing, as well.

Brothers Ian and Eric Steele were playing Skee Roll with their dad, Ray, of Ann Arbor, and I came across Judi Speir-Crawford of Dexter checking out the used books being sold to benefit mission trips and church projects.

For the video, I interviewed Peggy Moran, director of the Dixboro Fair. I was glad to come across her. She was very informative and her comments will add depth to our video of all the activities going on at the fair.

I left the house around 4:30 and was back about an hour later eager to get back to work, but also glad I finally ventured out of bed and experienced the Dixboro Fair. I can't believe I almost missed it.

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