Despite pickets by the workers, and a worker’s website, the first you hear about the problems at the Del Rio in the Ann Arbor news is a story about how that bar is closing, heavy on quotes from management. (The subtext: I bet they’re closing because of all that “freewheeling”!)

“The Del Rio Bar, known for its freewheeling roots in the 1970s, will close New Year’s Eve, an apparent victim of financial problems, labor strife and changing times.

“The Del Rio had a good, long run, but it doesn’t work anymore,” said Karen Piehutkoski, who is married to co-owner Rick Burgess.

Located at the corner of South Ashley and West Washington streets, the bar had been run as an informal cooperative – decisions made largely by vote or consensus – since its founding in 1970. …

> From “Owners: Financial tailspin forces The Del Rio to close” (Why not: “Workers: bad management forces to the Del Rio to close”?)

Also, popular Ann Arbor Police Chief Dan Oates recently turned down an offer to seek the position of Commissioner of Police in Boston.

And a U-M student was the victim of a bag-grabbing near campus. I bet it was because fewer people were around due to the holiday break, since more people on the street mean more safety, and this sort of crime rarely occurs when classes are in session.

“U-M student reports robbery from Friday

A University of Michigan student was robbed of his backpack while walking near central campus late last week, according to Ann Arbor Police.

The 21-year-old student said he was walking westbound in the 1700 block of South University Avenue around 3:30 a.m. Friday when he was approached by a man walking in the opposite direction. The man struck him in the left eye, stated he had a knife and ordered the victim not to look at him, reports said. He then took the student’s backpack, which contained a laptop computer valued at about $1,000, cash and about $50 worth of miscellaneous items.

The victim did not report the incident to police until Monday afternoon. He was not seriously injured. “

Yet another postmodern slugfest: rich real estate developers battling bourgeois historical preservationists, using disingenuous arguments about the need to improve density (when they mean the need to fatten their bottom line) over the destruction of an abandoned church building. Last time I checked there was a vacant lot across from City Hall, an abandoned bank at the corner of Thompson and William, and a vacant lot next to Seva. Here’s my message to the city’s real estate developers, whom all seem to be 40 to 50-year-old white guys who live in the suburbs: Go forth and densify!

The downtown circulator service is headed towards its inevitable death, as the Ann Arbor News engages in a bit of sensationalism about the latest ridership figures. I wonder how AATA director Greg Cook will spin its death, which will happen within two years: maybe it’ll be a lack of “density” downtown? Or maybe he’ll admit he doesn’t know the first thing about the transportation needs of downtown residents, who could care less about a ride someplace 3 blocks away, but might be interested in dedicated shuttles to Briarwood, supermarkets, and most of all, the Airport.

Author: Rob