This just in!

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Ann Arbor's City Council has been accused in the past of holding secret deliberations, with decisions made the day before the meeting or in smoke-filled bars after the meetings. Well, now we've got proof - we know what goes on in these secret backroom discussions.

I've just received evidence from an anonymous source, smuggled out of Ann Arbor and across the Carpenter DMZ no doubt at great personal risk. The attached note gives the sense that the source was perhaps tortured to the point of madness in recovering this footage:

on this disk is what you need to post because you are the very good blogger and the world whole of it must see...for everyone who are read the blog of common monk flower so it is important you complete the mission as you are the choice out of many others like mark mayfred and arbor dates did not receive it, so you must do it the only one.

"Live feeding" on NPR


WUOM runs a "summer documentary series" Tuesdays at 9; last night, I think, was the first I've caught. The topic was "zoos", and it was amazing.

The middle segment, "Dead or Alive", covered the topic of what to feed predators at the zoo. A lion, after all, really isn't designed for eating kibble - the very essence of lion-ness is chasing down a gazelle, tearing it apart, and chowing down. In what may be the zookeeper's version of the Slow Food movement, therefore, some zoos have started, periodically, serving whole animals to the predators. (Not live ones, mind you - the zoos feel that the American spectator still has some boundaries) - but dead whole calves, for example. Our very own Toledo Zoo is the site of the story, and one visitor comments to the reporter's tape recorder, "Wow, I have never seen a lion in the zoo move so fast!"

Model Y - Creating an alternative narrative

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For as long as I've been paying attention, Ypsilanti residents have had some significant discontent with its coverage in the local news. Many complain that Ypsi is to the Ann Arbor News what Detroit is to the national media - that place you go when you're out of fodder for your "if it bleeds, it leads" doctrine. (I don't know if I necessarily see it, but I haven't been paying attention to the News' Ypsi coverage for the 30 years that some have.) The Ypsilanti Courier, meanwhile, has long been maligned, with the criticism stepping up recently when Heritage Newspapers closed the Ypsi office and moved the paper to Belleville.

A few attempts have been made, or discussed, to provide "better" (more thorough and/or more balanced) news coverage to Ypsi. A year or two ago, a group of local bloggers were discussing the formation of an online news site, "The Ypsilanti Sentinel", but never quite got off the ground. (Oddly, google turns up a note in 2006 Pittsfield Township Historical Commission minutes that "A new newspaper will be starting in Ypsilanti, a daily newspaper called the Ypsilanti Evening Sentinal".) Blogger Steve Pierce went ahead and started videoing meetings and otherwise devoting his YpsiNews to local current events. Finally, word on the street is that a group of old-school Depot Townies have been discussing the formation of a new print paper, to the point of putting together a business plan and starting to raise the $1 million(!) in startup costs. Edit: This new daily publication would be the "Ypsilanti Evening Sentinal" - apparently there are only so many former Ypsi newspaper names worth recycling.

Now, into that simmering brew of alt-media efforts, let's throw in an experienced regional new media powerhouse, shall we? Sure, sounds good.

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