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.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 6 - Lisa's Musings (on tempting fate) and Every Day Life

You know what they say about being careful what you wish for?

Or ala "The Secret" think carefully about what thoughts you put out into the universe?

Well, consider me convinced.

I believe. I believe. OK?

Not gonna happen again.

If you recall, yesterday afternoon, I whined about having to cover an Ann Arbor City Council meeting because these meetings take forever, and the stories I plan to cover usually don't happen.

That'll teach me.

Last night's council meeting was the second longest meeting I've sat through in more than 30 years in this business, and truth be told, I didn't even stay until the bitter end.

But don't tell my editor.

Everyone was so tired near the end of the meeting that the council members didn't even know what they were voting on. One item needed three tries before everyone was on the same (and correct)page.

OK, so I left at about 2 a.m. and didn't get home until close to 2:30 because ... I then had to navigate violent weather -- wild thunderstorms complete with hail.

And I pretty much blame myself. I put this thought out there, and by golly, it smacked me across the face.


Brutally hard.

This meeting was second only to a Dexter Township Planning Commission meeting about 10 years ago when there was a gas station proposal for a site at the corner of North Territorial and Dexter Pinckney Road.


Almost 90 people spoke at a public hearing about a development called The Moravian near Fingerle Lumber in the Germantown neighborhood near downtown Ann Arbor.

And pretty much all of them took their precious three minutes in front of the cameras.

Now, I have nothing against public hearings. I'm all for residents having their say, but gez, oh Pete, after the first five people, the speakers started repeating the same thoughts, (sometimes using different words, most times not), over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

Reader's Digest version: The opponents said the building was too big and didn't fit the neighborhood. The proponents disagreed and said they wanted more affordable housing for young professionals near the downtown.

Everyone agreed the project wasn't perfect; but what, besides a few rainbows in life, are perfect?

Someone can find something to complain about no matter what life has to offer.

But, by speaker 60-something, my brain was full, I quit writing -- except to log the next talking head.

Round about midnight, I could not stand it any more -- I had to get up and stretch every part of my aching body.

Did I mention that the seats in Ann Arbor City Hall are like old-fashioned wooden church pews?

The benches in The Big House are more comfortable. And I'm not one of those people who brings a seat cushion to a game.

But let me tell you, I'm thinking about buying one for City Council meetings.

The developer, who has been working on this project for five years, said he'd jumped through every hoop the city put in front of him, and made changes to the building based on resident comments. He reminded the city leaders that when the process began, he asked them exactly what they wanted and complied.

And THEN after a break, a few more public hearings, and a few other items... the council got its say on the proposal ... and asked questions and ...

The project was rejected.

So, the moral of the story is ... it didn't have a happy ending, except perhaps for the residents in the neighborhood, who dodged a bullet.

But I've been doing this a long time.

It ain't over yet.

Stay tuned.

There's either a lawsuit or another proposal on the horizon.

Oh and that corn field in Dexter Township? It's still a corn field.

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