January 31, 2022

HAPPY MONDAY. We hope you all survived a frigid weekend to cap off January. We’re back this week with some restaurant openings and a roundup on the news in Ann Arbor.

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Cinnaholic, a vegan cinnamon roll chain, opened in Ann Arbor Friday morning. Allison Engkvist/Daily. Buy this photo.

CONTRACTOR CONTROVERSY: Several former employees of United Electrical Contractors, a Michigan electrical contracting company, are suing UEC for alleged racism and retaliation following a protest held Thursday morning. They also allege Landmark Properties, which operates Landmark and The Standard apartments in Ann Arbor, did not take any action against the allegations after being notified of them last year.

CONSERVATION CONVERSATION: U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., visited the University’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens to discuss the impacts of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which received an additional $1 billion in federal funding last year. Dingell was joined by members of other conservation groups who spoke to how the initiative supports a variety of conservation efforts in Michigan.

HOUSE HUNTERS: Councilmember Kathy Griswold, D-Ward 2, brought forth a resolution calling on City Council to enter discussions with the University regarding the implementation of workforce housing on North Campus, according to MLive. 

Councilmember Jen Eyer, D-Ward 4, raised the idea that building housing units on University property could result in a loss of tax revenue for the city, as the University doesn’t pay property taxes. City Council voted 8-3 on Jan. 18 to refer the idea to several city commissions for further analysis.

GROWING PAINS: Ann Arbor resident Danny Maier conducted research into trees in his neighborhood and found that two-thirds of the trees he studied in Ward 5 were not thriving, according to MLive. Maier personally inspected more than 800 trees according to city guidelines and combined his findings with city data he obtained via a FOIA request. 

TAKE A SLICE: A 60-square-foot, 24/7 pizza vending machine opened up on South University Avenue earlier this month. The automated pizzeria offers eight menu items in hot and cold options. The vending machine requires no employees once loaded with frozen pizza and churns out hot pizzas in under three minutes. 

SWEET TREATS: Vegan cinnamon roll chain Cinnaholic opened a location in Ann Arbor near Liberty Street and 4th Avenue Friday morning.

We value your opinion! Each week we will pose a question and share reader responses in the following edition. 

This week’s prompt: What are your thoughts on the idea that the University should build thousands of units of workforce housing on North Campus?

Last week’s prompt: City Council is looking into the feasibility of shifting sidewalk snow clearing responsibilities from property owners to the city following concerns that some residents do not do a sufficient job of clearing their walkways. What are your thoughts on this?

“I’m all for it. Sidewalks are an important part of the transportation network, something the city has acknowledged by funding elimination of sidewalk gaps. We just need to get creative with how this needed service is funded.” – Karen, 71, Ann Arbor

“I think this is a great idea. Just as it is a common good function for our government to clear the streets, so should it be a common good function for our government to clear the sidewalks. Both are transportation infrastructure, and the proportion of sidewalk users that are our residents are higher than the proportion of street users that are our residents.” – Paul, 39, Pittsfield Township

“I am a senior without a car. Prior to COVID-19 I was perfectly happy using a combo of AATA, Lyft, Zipcars, and walking to get where I needed to go. Walking is my primary form of exercise. … Walking through student rental neighborhoods is treacherous! … It only takes one icy stretch to end up in the ER. Ann Arbor spends beaucoup bucks replacing and maintaining street corners for the disabled to get through with wheelchairs. So, please, don’t whine about the cost of maintaining them in the winter. This city is on everyone’s list for top places to retire to. How many heart attacks from shoveling and broken hips from walking on icy walks will it take before the city makes this happen and takes responsibility for snow removal from city sidewalks?” – Barb, Ann Arbor

Members and supporters of the Lecturers’ Employee Organization gather in front of the Mosher-Jordan and Alice Lloyd Residence Halls Saturday afternoon. Jeremy Weine/Daily. Buy this photo.

“Fired University President Mark Schlissel offered contract for tenured professor this fall”The Michigan Daily

“University confirms positive case of meningococcal meningitis on campus”The Michigan Daily

“UMich to provide free menstrual products in public ‘U’ buildings”The Michigan Daily

“Local businesses, University and students respond to first-ever menstrual product ordinance in Ann Arbor”The Michigan Daily

“‘I care very deeply about this university’: U-M Interim President Coleman outlines priorities for coming months”The Michigan Daily

“Ann Arbor Businesses discuss challenges with omicron, strategies to remain open”The Michigan Daily

“Hotel vs. school buildings: Ann Arbor board mulls merits of meeting locations”MLive

“See the aftermath of a fire in a downtown Ypsilanti strip club engaged in legal battles” MLive

“Three environmental bills to watch in the Michigan legislature”The Michigan Daily

“Gov. Gretchen Whitmer talks tax cuts, mental health and clean energy in 2022 State of the State”The Michigan Daily

Washtenaw County reported 407 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours and 7,784 cases in the past two weeks. 79.9% of Washtenaw County residents aged 16 and over and 54.3% of residents aged 5 to 11 have received at least one vaccine dose. 

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

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