ann arbor

Eat local stories of the week

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There have been two stories about food this week that have raised my ire.

First, at a community garden workshop held by Growing Hope, I learned that the local "Plant a Row for the Hungry" campaign raised 10,000 pounds of fresh produce from local gardeners. That's a lot of food! Now, the largest part of that actually comes from the State's Huron Valley Women's Correctional Facility, where gardeners donated their entire harvest, of over 7,000 pounds of produce. Why the entire harvest? Because the prison's contract with their food supplier wouldn't let them use the food grown on site in the prison's kitchens. Of course, the food wasn't wasted, because Food Gatherers was there to take it, but I had read this weekend that the State of Michigan spends 1/5 of its general fund on the correctional system - about as much as it spends on higher education. It is ridiculous that the State was so incapable of being flexible that it couldn't use the food onsite.

Adventures in local blogging, 2006

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A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by Dan DuChene of the Ypsilanti Courier, who is apparently working on a story on the Ypsi blogoverse. I expect to merit about half a sentence as an also-ran, after the laundry list of much more worthy Ypsi luminaries. I am, after all, fairly new to the scene, and I could probably be considered "in retirement", relative to my ArborUpdate level.

At any rate, Dan asked some questions that got me to considering recent changes in Ypsi/Arbor blogland. This really ought to be a year-in-review sort of post, but it's not the end of the year, and I won't remember that long. So.

The effect of a campus' built form on adjoining land uses

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Over on Mark Maynard's page, a discussion of the proposed pedestrian malling of College Place seems to have veered into a critique of on-campus businesses, with the complaint that they don't pay property taxes. The larger issue that I see with housing bookstores and restaurants on-campus - and this holds true across most super-block campuses I've spent time on - is that providing these services on-site helps to emphasize the town/gown dividing line.

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