Talk:Ann Arbor, Michigan/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3


I know the history section is supposed to be short, but is it okay that we have a ninety-year gap in there? (From 1851 to WWII.) Also, this section has said for a long time that the city was a hub for the civil rights movement. I know it figured prominently in the student movement and the peace movement, but what significant role did Ann Arbor play in the civil rights movement? I'm not sure that this is accurate, although I could be wrong. Ropcat 01:50, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Good question. I think it was a fairly placid place in terms of its impact on American history through most of those years, but that doesn't mean nothing happened here! One trend was the late 19th/early 20th century growth of industrialization and the expansion of the western part of the city to provide housing for the new workers it brought, mainly from Germany. The housing district is what we now know as the Old West Side. For a while there were two or more (I think) German-language newspapers in town, and several German-language churches. My memory of this stuff is rather dim and confused, and I don't have any sources handy, but it seems like a significant part of the Ann Arbor story. Marwil's book might have some info. rodii 15:37, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
    • Thanks Rodii. I'll have to check a few sources, as well. I seem to remember reading that, like other places with many German immigrants, there was quite a bit of strife in Ann Arbor during the First World War when anti-German sentiment hit its peak. Ropcat 17:29, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
      • I added a link in External Links to the AADL's "Pictorial History of Ann Arbor", which is a good overview of A^2 history (text, not just pictures as the title suggests). rodii 17:34, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
      • If you want to add information from 1851 to WWII, it is best to place the details in the history sub-article and place a summary of those events in the main article. As for the pictorial history from the AADL, does anyone believe it should go under the reference section rather than external links (since information from the site was used)? Pentawing 21:01, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
        • Sorry, I missed that. Was information from the AADL site used in the article? I put in in External Links because it was a good place to learn more, instead of including the material here. I didn't notice it was cited in the History sub-article. Delete it here if you like. rodii 22:04, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
          • I'll leave the link in the external links section for now. Pentawing 21:45, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
1.) The History section says flat-out that the town was named for the founders' wives and the area's stands of trees, but the new Introduction section hedges this with a "supposedly." Is the story documented fact or apocryphal? If the latter, we should hedge similarly in the History part. 2.) Just to repeat my question from the top: we're saying that the city was a hub for the civil rights movement. I know it figured prominently in the student movement and the peace movement, but did Ann Arbor really play a significant role specifically in the civil rights movement? Ropcat 05:51, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
I corrected the first point. As for the civil rights movement, Ann Arbor did have a role in it, though not in the way that one associates with the civil rights movement that most Americans learn in elementary, middle, and high school. I looked at the Pictorial History of Ann Arbor through the AADL website (the article as a link to that site) which mentions actions that were taken by African-Africans in Ann Arbor during the civil rights movement, including reparations. Pentawing 06:32, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
I vote for retaining the "supposedly." As far as I know, the Anns story is apocryphal, or that's what I've always heard. rodii 21:05, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
I went back to the "Pictorial history of Ann Arbor" through the AADL website and there are many accounts concerning the origin of the city's name. Hence, I reworded according. Also, I moved the AADL Ann Arbor history website link into references. Pentawing 05:35, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Pentawing, you rock. You are indefatigable. rodii 14:58, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

– usage

I wanted to do some editing but at the last minute felt like I should ask here first, specifically about the idiosyncratic use of – on this page. Normally there are three distinct uses of dash-like objects:

  • Hyphens in phrases like Michigan-based or student-run
  • en-dashes (–) to indicate ranges, usually of numbers (1968–1990, 1990–present)
  • em-dashes (—) as sentence punctuation similar to parentheses or commas (the Ann Arbor Observer—a monthly magazine with features covering local culture, politics, family life, business and history)

We seem to have en-dashes kind of willy-nilly all over the place, often with a space before and after. My take on it is that many of those should be em-dashes, and that the space before and after is unusual (more common in the Commonwealth than in the US though). But I don't want to change them and run afoul of some wikipedia standard style I'm unaware of. I know this is insanely picky, but hey. rodii 18:00, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, I seem to have caused a real firestorm with that one. :) rodii 02:05, 19 October 2005 (UTC)


Flint Ink, alas, is no longer privately or locally owned. I made changes in the Economy section to reflect that, but one might question whether it's still worthy of inclusion. I would vote yes just because it's still a big, well-known operation locally, but YMMV. rodii 14:58, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

I see someone has added Zingerman's to the Economy section. Since Zingerman's isn't a big company, and doesn't have locations outside Ann Arbor, it might might sense to include a phrase that makes a case for why this is notable (which is more a matter of quality than of company size or reach). Otherwise it seems like we just randomly stuck in a local sandwich shop. Perhaps include an appeal to authority, like noting that Zingerman's has been called "the best deli in America" by Zagat and Vanity Fair? Or does that get more into restaurant reviews than we really want here? Ropcat 18:37, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Agreed about including more information about why Zingerman's is notable. However, if that isn't possible, I would suggest that there is a solution about linking the Zingerman article elsewhere. From what I know, no other articles link to the Zingerman's except the Ann Arbor article. Pentawing 21:02, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
    • I removed the passage referring to Zingerman, since the Zingerman article is under the Ann Arbor category. One only has to browse through the category listings to find the article. Pentawing 20:56, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
      • I think the Zing passage should be retained. Zing's has a high profile nationally, with a history of media coverage, and was one of the first specialty food operations to have a web presence. It's surprising how many people associate it with Ann Arbor who have never been here. (P'wing, just saw your message on my talk page--I'll dig up some sourcing if necessary, but I don't think it's different from, say, Flint Ink or Borders. All are prominent in their domains.) rodii 22:05, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
        • OK, I don't think sources will be too hard to dig up, though they should go in the Zingerman's article. But I think Zing's should be mentioned in the Ann Arbor article--besides being a nationally-known mail order/online operation, they have published a couple books and have had several articles in national media about both the food side of things and the management side. And it's not really that small a company--it's just split up into many operations. I'm going to restore the old text, if that's OK, and then I'll work on expanding the actual Zingerman's article from its current stub status. Some sources, though, just to give some idea that Zingerman's really is quite well known outside Ann Arbor:
          • I reinserted mention of Zingerman's into the article. Pentawing 22:52, 30 December 2005 (UTC)


The city has more public radio broadcasters available on its airwaves than any other U.S. listening area, including NPR affiliates from Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, East Lansing, Detroit and Toledo, and a CBC affiliate from Windsor, Ontario.

That CBC link needs to be more specific: is it CBC Television? CBC Radio One? CBC Radio Two? Could someone who knows the city clarify which of the CBC services are or aren't available in Ann Arbor? Bearcat 01:34, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

The passage focuses on public radio, so I only focused on the CBC radio stations and noted them. Pentawing 02:15, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Comment moved from main article

Bhuck put this in a comment--I'm moving it here: This is a problem, as there are TWO nicknameS, but only the singular term "nickname" appears instead of the plural "nicknames"

I don't think this is a problem--just read that comma as "or". rodii 15:28, 17 November 2005 (UTC)


  • Several other articles about urban areas have a landmarks section. I think this is a great idea for Ann Arbor, a city with so many notable landmarks (the Rock, Michigan Stadium, etc.)
    • Could work, as long as it is not inserted as a list. Pentawing 22:41, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

1911 Encyclopædia Britannica

Is there really any of this left? The original article text was "Ann Arbor is the county seat of Washtenaw County, Michigan. It is the home of the University of Michigan." If this is the EB text I think it's worth considering it superseded.

The 1911 EB text is a bit longer than that, but only consists of one very dated paragraph. Some information about the founding and incorporation dates, and the gist of the initial sentence, is all that seems to remain. I agree the 1911 EB tag was no longer needed. -- Avenue 02:41, 26 December 2005 (UTC)


I'm too lazy to go to the library right now, but I'm sure there's an interesting story behind Ann Arbor's reforestation campaign -- most of the city was clear-cut by 1900, I think, so the famous trees are almost all new(ish). Tlogmer 21:30, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

New edit by

A bunch of new material has been added that folks should take a look at. I think it's overdetailed in places and hard to read. I edited it down a bit and reverted the section on transportation, since there was some misinformation (the AATA doesn't go to Chelsea) and some IMO needless detail mentioning every township the routes travel to). I would have edited more, but I don't want to step on someone else's work too summmarily. If other people could pass their eyes over the edits (mine and the previous one), though, that would be great. The article is already over-long and I think we have to be careful about adding avalanches of detail on minor points. I'm particularly interested in your reaction to the sections on commercial areas and climate. Too much? rodii 17:04, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

  • I did some more reverts on the anon's edits. After looking at the discussions concerning this anon, I would immediately revert anything on sight given that there have been complaints of vandalism from this user. The fact that the IP address is a multi-user proxy operated by AOL (which has a history of vandalism that unfortunately cannot be traced to a single user) is enough to give someone pause. Furthermore, much of the information added is not sourced. I tried looking for sources concerning the climate information that was added, but kept running into dead ends. Unless the anon can provide a reliable source, it is best to remove the information. Pentawing 21:01, 2 January 2006 (UTC)


What needs to be confirmed, the existence of the song or the claim that it's the "unofficial anthem" of Ann Arbor? The song is real ([7]) but I have nothing to say about its anthem status. It was very popular around town in the 80s and 90s. rodii 01:21, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

  • The anthem status is what needs to be confirmed. The song's popularity has already been noted at the composer's article. Pentawing 01:22, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Yeah, I think the anthem status is just pure POV, alas. rodii

Blogs in media

OK, we've had a little back and forth over including arborupdate and annarborisoverrated in the Media section. I deleted a little passage on it, which has been partially restored, so... lets discuss. My feeling is that we have those sites listed in External Links, and there's really nothing much to say about them besides "they exist", so they don't really need any special mention in the main article. The article is pretty long and (I think) should only be added to for good reason, so I'm inclined to delete that passage (but I won't). What do others think? Here's the passage:

  • (first version) "In 2004, a group of bloggers, journalists, activists founded, a blog dedicated to news coverage of the Ann Arbor area. Another widely read blog in the city is"
  • (second version) "In 2004, a group of bloggers and journalists founded, a website devoted to news coverage of the Ann Arbor area."

I have no problem with the sites, by the way--I like both. Just thinking about what's good in the article. --rodii 02:52, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

My take is to place both in the "External links" section (which I already did). PentawingTalk 05:43, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Well, I'm at a loss. An anon or group of anons seems to really want arborupdate in there and isn't interested in talking about it here. I'm not going to keep reverting it. —rodii 12:40, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

This is Murph, one of the AU authors (too lazy to set up an account...) - we just got e-mail from somebody saying, "Hey, I keep trying to add a bit about AU to wikipedia and it keeps getting deleted - is one of you doing that?" I suggest he inquire on the Discussion page, then figured I'd check here to see if it was already mentioned. Sure enough. I suppose I don't care strongly one way or the other, but, afaict, "there's not much to say about them except 'they exist'" is applicable to many of the things noted in the Media section? (e.g. the Ann Arbor Paper, most of the radio stations.) Actually, looking at the External Links section, it strikes me that maybe there should be a section, either in Media or in Culture, about the Ann Arbor online tradition. There's not only the more recent AU/AAiO/ArborBlogs/ArborWiki that are mentioned, but also Grex and M-Net, which go a long way towards establishing tradition. (23 years and counting of Ann Arbor online curmudgeons...) -Murph.

Hey Murph, good to hear from you. Yeah, it seemed like that person was really focused on getting that one site added, rather than filling in the big picture of the "online tradition." There's no question in my mind of the worthiness of arborupdate as a voice in the community, it's just that there wasn't a lot of value created by that one sentence, and the anon editor seemed to be unaware that it was already linked in the article. But now that you've pointed it out, I think that your suggestion would be a great direction to go in. It might be worth pointing out to your correspondent that Wikipedia has a big problem right now with spam, vanity, and people intent on pushing very particular points of view without doing any listening to the rest of the community, and simply taking part in the discussion would probably have made the issue go away. So... good suggestions, and thanks. I hope commonmonkeyflower comes back to life soon! —rodii 23:26, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Ann Arbor versus Ann Arborites cats

I'm not sure I see the logic behind putting most of the people articles formerly under the Ann Arbor category into the new Ann Arborites category, but leaving a few of them (i.e. Andrew W.K., John Sinclair (poet), etc.) under the Ann Arbor category. Is this just an oversight, or is there a method behind this? Also, is it correct to put people under the Ann Arborites category if (as with W.K. and Sinclair) they once lived in Ann Arbor but no longer do? Thanks for any thoughts on this. Ropcat 23:54, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Some of the names were oversights, though I would prefer all articles relating to people from Ann Arbor to be moved over to that category (for better organization). As for people for once lived in Ann Arbor but no longer do, I don't see why they should be placed in any Ann Arbor categories in the first place, unless they did something significant while residing in the Ann Arbor area. PentawingTalk 01:38, 28 January 2006 (UTC)


User has added a lot of detail to "Education" that seems unnecessary. For instance, "The public schools offer a wide curriculum including enrichment courses such as band/orchestra, theater and dance, advanced placement courses and tests to earn college credit." Or that pre-school is offered. I'm not sure that we need this level of detail, and 'particularly' details that are so generic (after all, most districts of Ann Arbor's size offer "band/orchestra," et al.). I don't think this stuff adds much to the article, especially since very little is a notable or unusual facet of the AAPS. Do people agree that we can compress or eliminate most of the recent "Education" additions? Ropcat 02:07, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

I eliminated much of the extracurricular activities since this information also applies to other school districts within the U.S. (personally, I can't see why these items are worth mentioninig in this article, unless one of the activities is nationally known for a period of time). PentawingTalk 02:53, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

This is (Bad Dog) I accept the editing! The preschool starting at birth and b/4 kindergarten is important to mention! AAPS are well funded and comprehensive. The band has won a prize as one of the top 7 in the nation for the 2nd year in a row! I also added the 3rd high school. I would be careful when editing. What is and is not important becomes a touchy subject. I think the ability to take advanced courses at the college level is worth mentioning. What do I know I went there 20 years ago. Just a thought based on previous criticism why do we mention the MEAP testing? Where does that come from? I bet schools with out bands take that test. Does not seem it needs to be mentioned what do you think ROPCAT or PENTAWING? I’m done adding and adjusting for now, PENTAWING good job leaving preschool in! Bad Dog

Hi Bad Dog. I agree entirely with you about the MEAP testing; there's no reason to have that on the main Ann Arbor article. I also appreciate your addition of the third alternative high school. I wasn't trying to be too critical; I think there were some nice additions that you made in there. Thanks for taking part in the discussion. Ropcat 08:16, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
  • No comments for a few days on the MEAP test, I am going to remove it. I think all schools have to take that test so why mention? Bad Dog 00:37 CST
I support the removal. It also seemed kind of randomly inserted into the middle of the schools discussion. —rodii 12:40, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. Thanks, Bad Dog. Ropcat 00:11, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Help anyone I just joined, long and the short how do I post pictures (Excel Graphs) I connect with a cell phone so any tips much apreciated, thanks! Bad Dog I got the message,I will follow advice, do want to say connect thru cell to my laptop any help much appreciated.

Excel graphs

I don't want to just wade in and start deleting, because I appreciate the work that went into those graphs, but they're not working for me. First, I think the statistics they're presenting are trivial enough that they don't need graphs--they're just a simple comparison of Ann Arbor against national benchmarks; the data tables themselves are included in the charts and they work just fine on their own. Second, the 3-D nature of the charts distorts their values and is mostly chartjunk. Simple bar graphs would be better; adding 3-D junk and using pie charts at all is just not effective. (For the record, I teach this stuff for a living.) Third, this article is already quite long, and I think we need to watch oout about adding things just for the sake of having facts in there. If this info could be done as a summary table, great; as it is, it just adds more complexity to an already unwieldy article.

But like I say, I appreciate the work that BadDog has done here and I don't want to be a lone gunman, so I thought I'd put this out there. —rodii 15:02, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm glad the statistics were dug up, especially since we wanted a crime section. But couldn't they just be presented in prose? (A sentence on major crime events, like the John Norman Collins crimes of the late 1960s, might or might not be appropriate for this section, too.) Ropcat 18:22, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

I really didn't see the point of the graphs, either. If they showed some statistically interesting information or trending that would be a different matter, but as it is they are just graphical representations of fact that don't provide further enlightenment than the straight statistics would. Ionesco 21:07, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

This is BadDog and if you guy's think the graphs are over the top then I agree. Get rid if you want. Have a good day!!

Hey BadDog. Whether or not the graphs stay, the statistics you dug up are great. So even if they get used only in prose format, it's very helpful that you added this information to the article -- especially since previous commenters had suggested a crime section of some sort. Ropcat 03:06, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

I like the changes with the graphs, Idid not do them but do like. Do those address thr previous concerns? Also A2 used to be famous (when I was growing up) For de-criminalizing Pot, a $5 ticket. Last I knew it was $25, kind of proggressive worth mentioning somewhere? [Baddog]

I'm still not crazy about them—I just don't think there's enough there to warrant graphs—but eh. I started redoing them as a table, but ran out of time. If I can't supply anything better, I can't really complain. I will note one of the problems with providing information in this format, though: "burglary" is misspelled "burglery," and the fact that it's an image means editors can't fix it. —rodii 13:15, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree (about providing graphs in image format). Sorry if this sounds ungrateful, but providing the graphs only as an image seems to violate at least the spirit of the GFDL, which we agree to when we contribute. It says a "transparent" (i.e. easily modifiable) version should be provided. -- Avenue 14:45, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
I provided the images in SVG format, which is editable in a text editor. Still, I'll fix the spelling; sorry about that. Tlogmer 23:17, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Not to harp on this, but we could have a million charts in this article -- but we have the info entirely in prose for everything else. This departure for crime seems odd, especially since this would condense down to a very easily understood paragraph. I'm glad the stats were dug up and added, but I suggest we use this information in a one-or-two paragraph section on "Crime," in prose, along with any other information on crime in Ann Arbor that seems notable. (Like perhaps the Michigan murders or other notable crime sprees that had wider cultural impact.) Ropcat 19:31, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi BadDog -- Regarding your question above about the famous "$5 pot law," see Marijuana laws in Ann Arbor, Michigan for an extended discussion. Ropcat 19:32, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

All right guy’s if you want to get rid of graphs no problem just do it! I agree with most of what I’ve heard No problem! I don’t like the way statistics are layed out anyway so what does my opinion matter anyway? Also I grew up with a $5 pot law, I do not need a further explanation “robcat” But it should be included? Yes/no? Baddog

  • Can someone identify the sources here? —rodii 21:55, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
BadDog, sorry if I offended you by pointing to the marijuana/Ann Arbor article. No offense intended. Regarding whether the "$5 pot law" should be in this article: we could make it more explicit if you think it's a good idea. Right now there are two passages that allude to it: 1.) In "History": ...successfully fought for measures ranging from pioneering antidiscrimination ordinances to measures decriminalizing marijuana possession...; and 2.) In "Government and Politics": ...voter-approved charter amendments that have lessened the penalties for possession of marijuana (1974)... But if you want to mention it elsewhere, or more explicitly, it's fine with me. Ropcat 17:49, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

To Ropcat:Re-read the article missed the first time I apologize (not paying attention) I will be more careful, missed it. No right now don’t think I need to expand. I don’t necessarily want to make A2 too infamous for the rest of the world. Have to say a city that doesn’t want to send you to jail for a couple of joints is refreshing. I don’t smoke it but growing up there I might of “not” of inhaled a few times in my youth. I will re-read all before commenting In case I missed or it has changed. Things like the counter culture in the early 70’s and is it important. Take care thanks for keeping me on my toes. 02/17/06 04:39 Baddog

Improvements & Corrections

What about a category listing Noted Residents - Past and Present? An article on Ann Arbor without mentioning the name of Bob Seger doesn't seem complete.

Also, in the category of Culture, the Gerald Ford Presidential Library is mentioned as being in Ann Arbor. I thought it was in Grand Rapids. At least it was when I visited there in 1997. Did it move in the last 9 years or is someone full of you know what here? Hokeman 16:49, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

The Gerald Ford Presidential Library is in Ann Arbor. The Gerald Ford Presidential Museum is in Grand Rapids. It is, I think, the only presidential history institution which is located in two different cities. There was some discussion about this when C-SPAN convened all the presidential library directors to chat about their work. Kestenbaum 19:51, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
In terms of notable people, I would suggest creating a separate article and linking it from this under under a "See also" category. The article loses its stability if we create a list in the main article. Speaking of which, can anyone list some notable people here in the talk page so that one of us can start that separate article? Thanks. PentawingTalk 23:33, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree, a notable people list is an invitation for everyone to get their favorite person in, or out. Destabilizing is a good way of describing it. (Starting a list below.) · rodii · 03:53, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Okay, the list has been started in a new article. PentawingTalk 22:33, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Assessment comment

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Ann Arbor, Michigan/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Rated FA Well written article, includes many beautiful pictures and reasonable amount of sources.

Last edited at 12:04, 24 January 2011 (UTC). Substituted at 20:10, 2 May 2016 (UTC)