April 18, 2022

Happy Monday from your A2 Outlook team! It’s been a pretty windy weekend, but it looks like spring is coming our way later this week! Don’t put your snow boots away quite yet, as Metro Detroit is expected to get three inches of snow today. Hopefully, that will be the last of the snow for this spring…

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Zimbabwean interdisciplinary artist Masimba Hwati, in his ongoing quest to combine sound and sculpture, brings together the auditory and the visual in a remarkably novel manner during his UMMA showcase entitled “the Ngoromera.” Akash Dewan / MiC

LIFE-SAVING MACHINE: A vending machine dispensing free Narcan, the brand-name version of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, was installed outside of Ann Arbor’s downtown Ann Arbor District Library location. Home of New Vision, an organization dedicated to supporting people who struggle with substance abuse, installed the machine on April 1. The vending machine will aim to provide faster distribution of the life-saving drug.

Alyshia Dyer, former law enforcement officer for the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office said many lives can be saved by making Narcan widely available.

“I have done research on opioid response in Michigan, and basically, making naloxone widely available is one of the best public health initiatives that you can do to save people’s lives,” Dyer said.

COMMENCEMENT COMEBACK: Ann Arbor businesses are preparing for the first fully in-person commencement ceremony since 2019. The University will be hosting a commencement ceremony in The Big House on April 30 for the class of 2022 and a special “comeback ceremony” for the class of 2020 — whose commencement was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic — on May 7. 

Lauren Bloom, the owner of Bløm Meadleworks on Fourth Avenue, said her business was preparing for a steady increase in business throughout the week of commencement. 

“We see kind of an overall general increase in business, but it doesn’t end up being this huge surge,” Bloom said. “What we’ve found in the past is that the real spike in business tends to mostly hit restaurants in Ann Arbor because most people are looking to go out with their family, get a meal and sit down for a while.”

UNITED UNION: The Starbucks on Carpenter Road joined the national Starbucks Workers United movement last week. There are now six Starbucks locations in Ann Arbor that have joined the unionization effort. Employees at the Carpenter Road location wrote a letter to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz asking him to recognize their labor rights. 

“At Carpenter, we are organizing to hold Starbucks accountable and ask that you honor us as true partners by including us in the conversations and policies that directly affect our livelihood and impact the unique experiences we are able to provide for our customers.”

SCHOOL SUED: Ann Arbor Public Schools was added to a lawsuit against the Washtenaw County Health Department and other county school districts. The lawsuit, which was filed on Feb. 8, 2022 by a parent group in Chelsea, Michigan, alleges that the districts have no right to enforce mask mandates.

The lawsuit references Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s bill which states that county health departments do not have the power to enforce mask mandates. The lawsuit states the mask mandates in schools have caused students to suffer injuries and have infringed on their constitutional rights, according to MLive. 

A HALT TO PARKING RESTRICTIONS: The Ann Arbor Planning Commission passed an amendment last week that would eliminate zoning requirements for parking lot sizes. The amendment will now move on to seek approval from City Council.

DISTRICT UPGRADE: Ann Arbor Public School’s board of education is considering multiple proposals to refresh the district’s technology hardware. The board of education held a preliminary discussion on four different recommendations which could cost the district upwards of $3.6 million. The money would come from the district bond of $1 billion that was voted on by Ann Arbor residents in 2019. The bond was the largest capital bond since 1994.

“Briarwood Mall to host clothing drive focused on professional attire for women”MLive  

“Bird Flu reported in Washtenaw County”MLive  

“General Motors CEO Mary Barra shares her leadership journey, visions for the future” The Michigan Daily 

“Daily investigation finds 30 years of alleged unprofessional conduct by two musicology professors”The Michigan Daily 

“New partner named at Zingerman’s Bakehouse in Ann Arbor”ClickOnDetroit 

According to the most recently available data, Washtenaw County reported 142 new COVID-19 cases on April 15 and 1509 cases over the past two weeks. As of April 11, 68.4% of all Washtenaw County residents have completed a primary vaccination series. 

News tips? Comments? Questions?
A2 Outlook editors Shannon Stocking and George Weykamp can be reached at and, respectively.

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