Video: DTCDC Director speaks after HRC recommends name change for Ypsitucky event

May 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Breaking News, News, Video

Erik Dotzauer, Executive Director Depot Town Community Development Corporation, talks with reporters after the Ypsilanti Human Relations Commission meeting. The HRC had earlier passed a resolution suggesting the City Council meet with the DTCDC to change the name of the Ypsitucky Jamboree.

View letter to HRC from DTCDC from May 20, 2009.

Ypsilanti Human Relations Commission asks City Council to change name of Ypsitucky music event (Update1)

May 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Breaking News, News

ypsituckyjamThe Ypsilanti Human Relations Commission met on Thursday evening to discuss the Ypsitucky Jamboree. Citizens had complained to the HRC in April that the word “ypsitucky” was a pejorative and offensive. The HRC held a special meeting on May 18 to hear both sides of the issue.

The HRC convened a second special meeting 10 days later to discuss the matter.

The second meeting held on Thursday, May 28 in City Council chambers opened with audience participation. Unlike the first meeting, during this second meeting no one spoke in favor of the Ypsitucky name.

The commission did hear from a number of citizens and business owners opposed to the name. There were 19 people in the audience including three reporters from the Ann Arbor News, Ypsilanti Citizen, and YpsiNews.

CDC Executive Director Erik Dotzauer and CDC Attorney Cameron Getto were in attendance. Neither spoke during audience participation.

After hearing from the public, the HRC discussed the matter for nearly 45 minutes.

The HRC then passed a resolution asking the City Council to meet with the Depot Town Community Development Corporation and change the name of the Ypsitucky Jamboree scheduled in September 2009. The HRC passed the resolution on a 6-0 vote. Board Chair Clifford Larkins was not at the meeting.

The HRC also said if the DTCDC rejects the name change, the City Council should exercise their oversight powers under the contract with the CDC.

Read the complete HRC resolution.

Update1: June 3, 2009 Clarified story to indicate the HRC held two special meetings on the 18th and again on the 28th. At the second meeting, no one spoke in favor of the Ypsitucky name or event.

Video: Watch complete Ypsilanti Human Relations Committee Ypsitucky meeting

May 19, 2009 by  
Filed under News, Video

The Human Relations Committee met on Monday to hear both sides of the continuing debate over the use of the word Ypsitucky to promote a Labor Day music festival sponsored by the Depot Town Community Development Corporation.

Officials from the DTCDC told the commission it was too late to change the name, they were already promoting the event.

The commission decided to schedule another meeting as soon as possible to continue the discussion.

Video: Commission meets on Ypsitucky name for music festival, decides on nothing

May 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Breaking News, News, Video

The Human Relations Committee met this evening to hear both sides of the continuing debate over the use of the word Ypsitucky to promote a Labor Day music festival sponsored by the Depot Town Community Development Corporation. The commission decided to schedule another meeting as soon as possible to continue the discussion.

Officials from the DTCDC told the commission it was too late to change the name, they were already promoting the event.

HRC Chair Cliff Larkins talks after the meeting how the issue came before the commission.

Correction: Mr. Larkins name is misspelled in the title of the video. The error is ours and we apologize to Mr. Larkins for misspelling his name.

Ton-Up Festival Premiere

On June 26, Ypsilanti’s Depot Town will be invaded by possibly 1,000 motorcycles.  It’s the welcome and friendly invasion of The Ton-Up Motorcycle Show and Music Festival.  Parts of Cross and Rice Streets will be closing for the event which will feature motorcycles and scooters of all types from all eras, with a focus on vintage bikes.

Cafe’ Racer at 10 Cross Street acts as “Mission Control” for the free festival.  There will be live music on stage from noon to 11pm with a lineup of local musicians such as The Reefermen, Ypsitucky Colonels and Rattlebox.  A beer tent will be set up and motorcycle accessories & parts will be available from vendors.

A $5 entry fee gets your bike into the Mods Vs. Rockers bike competition.  Entrants have a chance to win in many categories:

Directors Awards
Directors Choice – The Directors Favorite
The Future’s So Bright – Exemplifies Hope For The Future
Dedication Award – Someone Who Has Contributed To Making The World Safer For Motorcyclists
Class Awards
Best Scooter
Best Mod – Scooter/Rider Combination
Best Café
Best Rocker – Bike/Rider Combination
Best Brit Bike
Best Japanese Bike
Best European Bike
Best American Bike
Best “Bitsa” Bike – Bits Of This, Bits Of That
Best Original/Un-restored Vintage Bike
Maybe One Day It’ll Be A Bike
What Were You Thinking?
Trailer Queen
Longest Distance Ridden
Iron Man – Oldest Rider
Wet Behind the Ears – Youngest Rider
Peoples Choice – Chosen By Popular Vote

jun-10-ton-up-1

During The Ton-Up Motorcycle & Music Festival, Cafe’ Racer is holding a contest to find a  model to grace a page of their 2011 Pin-Up calendar.  Contestants will model vintage 40s, 50s, & 60s pin-up attire.

Ton-Up is a British term that refers to a motorcycle capable of speeds of 100mph or more.  Organizers expect between 2,500 and 3,000 people to attend this first-time event.  To find out more about this event, sponsorship opportunities, the pin-up competition, or to register your bike for the show, visit The Ton-Up Web site at http://thetonup.intuitwebsites.com.

Video: Watch entire Ypsilanti Human Relations Committee meeting May 28, 2009

May 29, 2009 by  
Filed under News, Video

The Human Relations Committee met on Thursday, May 28, 2009 and voted to ask the Ypsilanti City Council to change the name of the Ypsitucky music festival.

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Ypsilanti Human Relations Commission asks City Council to change name of Ypsitucky music event
Video: DTCDC Director speaks after HRC recommends name change for Ypsitucky event

Porn execs eyeing Ypsilanti for new Studio space

April 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Humor, News

(April 1, 2009) Ypsilanti has been a hotbed for movie shoots and star watching from the burgeoning film industry in Michigan. Things are about to get hotter.

But don’t call it porn, they want to be called the Adult Movie industry.

What ever you call it, it is a $15 billion dollar a year business with the largest players traded on the stock exchange.

In 2004, over 11,000 new adult movie titles were released world wide. Many studios can crank out one or two new films per week.

On Tuesday, while most eyes were focused on the Sidetrack in Depot Town as filming continued on “Betty Anne Waters” starring Hilary Swank and Minnie Driver, a small group of executives from Vivid Entertainment and Larry Flint’s Hustler Video toured the former Ford/Visteon/ACH facility in Ypsilanti.

Agents from the two studios as well as a team from Great Lakes Site Selectors from Columbus, Ohio have been scouting locations in Michigan for a new studio. They are drawn to Michigan and the 42% tax credit for films produced in the state.

The 30+ acre site includes nearly 1 million square of office and warehousing space and includes over 600,000 sf of open bays perfect for sets and sound stages. There is also nearly 200,000 sf of Class A office space.

Warning: Some Web Links in this story connect to adult websites and may not be appropriate for all ages or for the work place.

Automotive Components Holdings (ACH) has the property listed for $7.6 million. Studios execs say they are discussing an all cash purchase.

Given the recent recent problems in the automotive industry, ACH, which is a holding company for Ford Motor Company, is desperately short of cash.

Officials from ACH would not go on the record but privately said the would consider a lower offer if they could close in the next 60 days. “Cash is king,” said one ACH executive.

Steven Hirsch, CEO of Vivid Entertainment according to Forbes makes $100 million a year

Steven Hirsch, CEO of Vivid Entertainment. According to Forbes magazine privately held Vivid earned over $100 million in 2007.

It is hard to imagine Governor Granholm or the Michigan State Legislature could have predicted movie tax credits would be used to fund X-rated movies, the Michigan Film Office confirmed that adult movies would qualify for the film production credits.

Ypsilanti City Planner S. Murf and City Attorney Klem Barista were studying the city’s zoning rules in detail. Murf said after an initial review, it appears an adult movie studio is a permitted use in the manufacturing M1 district.

This is the first time Hustler and Vivid are discussing working together on a production facility. Because of the fractured nature of the business, there is little chance of scrutiny from the Justice Department on this joint venture.

Attorneys familiar with the deal said, “President Obama has bigger worries on Wall Street and Detroit and is unlikely to be worried about happenings in the Adult movie business.”

Despite what had been reported earlier, the Adult Movie industry is not looking for a government bailout. “It was a publicity stunt and it worked,” said late night huckster Joe Francis from Girls Gone Wild.

It is likely Michigan-based company YpsiTucky LLC would be setup to run the studio and rent space to other porn studios wanting to move production to Michigan.

Site selectors were excited about the location. With so much space, it will be easy to build permanent sets including a jail, dungeon, castle, and beach house that are staples in most adult films. With so much indoor space, the studios can film year round.

Hustler Video is part of the massive adult entertainment empire Larry Flint Productions whose holdings including Hustler magazine and Hustler Hollywood Retail stores

Vivid Entertainment is home to some of the industry’s biggest starlets. Called Vivid Girls, they include Jenna Jameson, Briana Banks, and Lanny Barby, who are among hundreds of women signed to exclusive contracts much like in the bygone days of the Hollywood studio system.

Theresa Flynt

Theresa Flynt, VP Licensing and Business Development, Hustler

The demographics of Ypsilanti also make sense said Theresa Flynt, VP Licensing and Business Development, Hustler. The industry is dependent on continually finding new stars. Being able to draw from two massive universities, the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University, for new talent is a plus for producers working on a tight schedule.

Paul Fishbein publisher of Adult Video News, the industry’s largest trade magazine, was shocked to learn executives were looking outside of California for new studio space.

The Adult Movie business, including AVN, has for years called California’s San Fernando Valley home of the porn industry. Locals refer to it as Silicone Valley.

Fishbein said, “If Michigan is willing to fork over a 40% (sic) tax credit for every movie, it makes good business sense for adult movie studios to look at Michigan.”

The Mayor of San Fernando, Guy Grabbit, is not happy that Ypsilanti is poaching the Adult movie business from his town.

“Hands off,” Grabbit warned Michigan politicians eager for a piece of the action, “We invented porn and it belongs here in California.”

Grabbit admitted he had no way to match the 42% tax credit as his city, like many others in California, is facing huge budget shortfalls.

Current Ypsilanti mayor Pauli Schwaibler, who works for one of the automotive companies in the region said he hoped ACH could find a better buyer. ACH executives said there hasn’t been a lot of interest in the Ypsilanti property, but they are willing to talk to any buyer the City thinks would be better.

Ann Arbor Spark was asked if they had anything to do with this site selection group visiting Ypsilanti. Spark spokesman Dean D. Milker responded they didn’t know the property was for sale.

The site selection team’s next stop was Water Street. They expect to conclude their tours on Thursday and could make an offer on studio space in the next 30 days.

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Reporter Steve Pierce is a retired adult movie actor and fiction writer who today restores old houses and spends time with his dog and three cats.

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