Category Archives: Neighborhoods

2012 Water Hill Music Fest: Sunday, May 6th, from 2 to 6 p.m. (rain date May 13th).

Water Hill Music yearC3

From Paul Tinkerhess, organizer:

The 2012 Water Hill Music Fest is set to happen Sunday, May 6th, from 2 to 6 p.m. (rain date May 13th).  All residents of Ann Arbor's Water Hill neighborhood are invited to play music on their front porches during this unique celebration.  Expectations are high this year after thousands of visitors attended last year's inaugural event.

More information: and .

From last year's event, as documented by Michigan Radio:


LoBuPa neighborhood meeting, April 11, 2012

The Lower Burns Park Neighborhood Association announces its spring meeting for neighbors in LoBuPa. Please join us, details follow. Thanks go to Nancy Leff for organizing this meeting.

7 pm – 8:30 pm
Buddhist Temple on Packard

1.  Jim Kosteva, UM Director of Community relations, A2 city representative(s), and our local city council representatives, Margie Teall & Marcia Higgins will all be in attendance. There are many issues to discuss related to the Athletic department’s current Big House rental agreement with pro hockey and potential rentals for other events and how these events will affect our neighborhood: will parking on lawns be permitted during these events, how will traffic be managed, how will events with liquor licenses mange potentially unruly, intoxicated attendees, and more.

We would like to provide feedback to the city and to U of M on this issue from our discussion at the meeting.

2.  Aaron Seagraves, the city of Ann Arbor's Public Art Administrator.  Aaron is coordinating the project that will place permanent art work(s) at the Stadium Bridges area once the rebuild is complete.  He will talk about his job at the city and give details about the art project for the bridges.  Read more about the city's public art dept. here:

3.  Mike Sivak, our neighbor on Granger, will present the traffic datafrom the his effort to have the city monitor speeds on Granger Ave. and to increase police presence on our streets to stop speeding cars.

4. Graydon Krapohl will be on hand to discuss any issues related to the Neighborhood Watch program and updates on the Stadium Bridges project.


Nancy Leff

For more information contact Edward Vielmetti, 734-330-2465,

Typepad on iPad, edited elsewhere

No support for rich text editing in safari, but otherwise performant. Kind of nice.

I’ll need to really learn markdown for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that it descends from setext.

Ann Arbor

A2B3 lunch is Thursday as always.
Ann Arbor Parks did trick or treat today, Sunday, noon to 4pm on the Huron River.

Arborwiki makes a good companion as you go for errands around town.
Ann Arbor City Council elections and a millage are coming up. The Ann Arbor Chronicle has characteristically thorough coverage of the League of Women Voters forums.
Some project, not yet identified, has North Main torn up at Catherine. A second project has North Division down to a single lane. Expect delays.

No one was hurt in last week's fire on Harpst.
I'm trying a neighborhood LinkedIn group to see what kind of density I need to get enough people to make a group worthwhile; it might make sense to grab people closest first and then out by distance.

Metro Detroit

Tigers lost in the ALCS, and I’m looking forward to spring training.

Power outages from the Saturday windstorms were worst in Warren.


Occupy Chicago has had a lot of protest, via the Chicago Tribune which was on the scene.

Occupy Wall Street took over Times Square.


I am tracking steps with a pedometer again, thanks to Paul Resnick and a research group at UMSI.
Statler and Waldorf have taken over the Muppets twitter account. New movie due for Thanksgiving. Cue the Muppets.


The wind on Saturday made farmers market blustery. Squash of all sizes and varieties were there, and there’s nothing like a big old Hubbard squash to keep the corner of a table down. A farmer was doing the frost dance but said they had none at the last full moon. Traditionally, it’s said that the best way to open a Hubbard is to take an axe to it, or to throw it down into the cellar.


It’s hard to have great weird ideas when you are closing trouble tickets.
My new employer Nutshell has an office where my former employer Pure Visibility used to have it's offices.


Steve Jobs, Dennis Ritchie, Einar Steffrud.


Books moved recently include Kawabata’s, Snow Country, to be shelved on the Heikki Lunta shelf to prepare me for winter.


Pinboard now supports Gopher urls in bookmarks.


Michigan football lost to State. It was as good an excuse as any to call my aunt who went to East Lansing.


Wow, I have a lot of categories.

Walking Around, a new urban walking game

I'm inventing a new urban game called Walking Around. I'm sure that someone else has invented it already, but reinvention is part of the process of creativity. Here's how it's played.

First, you play with a pedometer, which tells you how far you've walked during the day. There are a number of systems already for tracking your pedometer usage, including Walker Tracker, Steps, and a bunch of others. Use whatever system that gives you, or just a spreadsheet, to take care of the basic structure of making certain that you count steps daily.

Second – and here is what is novel, at least to me – is that there's a bonus structure in the game designed to award bonuses for when you have accomplished tasks. The first bonus award that I'm awarding myself looks at constructing a walk so that you make an orbit around the biggest possible chunk of territory; that is to say, repeated walks along the same path will get you zero bonus, but going out of your way on a detour will add to your score, and trekking through unfamiliar territory in a big loop is the best.

So far this is a pen and paper game and I haven't fully worked out the point structure. I have a notion that you capture territory every time you orbit it, so that you might win a park by going all the way around it, and you might win a political ward or precinct by capturing a loop around it. To simplify greatly, since I am trying to keep record of this in a small book, I'm just drawing a graph with destinations rather than tracking every street.

Some idea sources:

Riverwalks Ann Arbor is a book of walking loops along the Huron River, written by Brenda E. Bentley.

Lake Trek is the weblog for   who wrote A 1000-Mile Walk on the Beach about her circumnavigation on foot of Lake Michigan. I don't think I'm going to beat that top score.

Tom Graham wrote about Walking The World, and his quest to walk every street in San Francisco, in 2005 for SF Gate; his web site is SF Walking Man.

The AADL Summer Reading Game has points for reading books and badges for doing various other tasks, and the gamers there know how to make a game that will make you read. There should therefore be points in my Walking Around game every time you complete part of a circuit that connects to a library.

All City New York is the work of Moses Gates, whose game board includes the challenge of visiting all of the census tracts of New York City. Thanks to Ruth Kraut for the link. 

In Tacoma, Brian Kerr is getting bonus points in his version of the game for elevation.

Now pardon me while I connect some dots in my game map.


Local news powered by Patch: the state of local news aggregation in 2011

Two years ago, the state of the art in local news aggregation was That site aggregated postings about a specific geographical area and offered up a web based user interface to republish those links on your web site. did not have its own staff of reporters, and its automated systems for newsgathering were (to be charitable) fallible, and thus it sometimes threw up junk of various kinds which was unpleasant to wade through.

Fast forward to today, or more specifically March 2011, where AOL's Patch buys, a deal reported by Techcrunch to be worth south of $10 million. 

Patch's world model is of a world full of part time news gatherers publishing local news about locations which are small towns. In the local area, there's a Dexter Patch, a Saline/Milan Patch, a Plymouth Patch but no Ann Arbor Patch and no Ypsilanti Patch.  How do you get full-scope news coverage for every zip code, then? By reworking your feed structure as "Local news powered by Patch", and suddenly you can push links out to a network of systems that are happy to put local news on the local weather page and don't much care about the details except that there needs to be a plausible result for every single zip code.

City of Ann Arbor Citizen Request System: tracking trouble

It's hard to have great weird ideas when you're busy closing trouble tickets.

Use the City of Ann Arbor's Citizen Request System (A2CSR) to bring a matter of concern to the attention of the city.

Requests currently being tracked include the following; there is no complete list of citizen-initiated open tickets online, and URL used to link to requests exposes citizen electronic mail addresses.

207216 Potholes – very large ones – on the westbound approach to the East Stadium bridge over State Street. Open 3/23/2011.

207103 Sign on W side of 100 block of N Seventh St "W Huron St" is damaged. Sign is cracked and sign post is leaning. Appears to be a result of car vs. sign crash. Open 3/20/2011.

Edward Vielmetti takes blurry pictures for his weblog, Vacuum, which has been online since 1999. Contact him at