Crossroads Concert Schedule


The Downtown Association of Ypsilanti welcomed local blues acts Chris Canas and the Martindales for the opening weekend of Crossroads.  The free outdoor summer concert series takes place 7pm-10pm every Friday through August on Washington Street in downtown Ypsilanti.

06.11           Hullabaloo
                     Dragon Wagon
06.18         Barbara Payton
                     Just Jill
06.25      FOLK / ROOTS  FEST  (8:30pm)
                    Washington Street Stage
                    Back Forty
                    David Rossiter
                    Dave Boutette
                    Library Stage
                    BJ Walraven
                    Michael Lipson
                    Eric Moore
                    Norm DeAngelis
07.02        First Class Band
                    Martin Simmons
07.09   (8:30pm)
                    Six Foot Poles
07.16    (8:30pm)
                    Bill Bynm & Co.
07.23         Horse Cave Trio
                    Tracy Mack & The Magic Land Band
07.30        Dave Sharp Seven
                    Tracy Kash Thomas
08.06       Bugs Beddow Band
                    Paul Miles
08.13        Jill Jack
                   Detroit Luddites
08.20      Harper
                   Flying Latini Brothers
08.21   (3:00pm)
                   Lady Sunshine & The X Band
                   Eddie Hughes

Back To Ypsilanti

June 11, 2010 by  
Filed under News

Recently while sorting through a soul /funk collection he’d just acquired, Geoff Anderson, co-owner of Cousin’s Vinyl in Plymouth, Michigan got very excited. He came across a 45 labeled in bright yellow by Mustache Records, with the song “Back To Ypsilanti” by Lee Osler.


Anderson lives in Ypsilanti and possesses a great deal of “Ypsi-Pride.” Geoff describes Ypsilanti as “Kind of a cool town – we have Eastern Michigan University, Historic Depot Town, the famous water tower, a local music scene, and the Huron River running straight through town.

It is a little rough around the edges in some areas with some not-so-cool things so it doesn’t have the greatest reputation. Plus, it’s next to Ann Arbor, which gets all the attention and love. But there’s something about it that has some charm, something that makes it somehow cool to live in Ypsilanti.”

Which is why to Geoff’s delight, Lee Osler’s “Back To Ypsilanti” turned out to be one of the sweetest songs he had ever heard when he first put it on his turntable with the volume at full blast. He says it’s an “upbeat dance-funk gem.” It is the most prized record in his entire collection.

Every visitor to the Anderson home knows the song. According to Geoff “Everyone loves it, dances to it, and sings along.” The lyrics are all about Ypsilanti, mentioning Depot Town, the water tower, EMU, and street names. The song was a local hit and in 1983 was declared the official song of Ypsilanti by the Ypsilanti City Council.

It is estimated that 500 copies were pressed.  Geoff Anderson is making it his mission to revive this song. He has plans to talk with Lee Osler to learn more about his career. If you have any related information, stories, or memories, Geoff invites you to email him at

However before you even inquire, Anderson states emphatically “No, this copy is not for sale!”  Geoff Anderson will be bringing Cousin’s Vinyl to the Corner Brewery (720 Norris Street, Ypsilanti) certain Sundays throughout the summer for “Halcyon Sundaze.”

You can dig through crates of classic & vintage vinyl while DJ’s spin tunes. Yes, “Back To Ypsilanti” will be played and you’ll be able to drink from a batch of Halcyon Summer Wheat beer. The event takes place out in the beer garden from 2:00pm to 10:00pm and is family friendly. The Corner Brewerey and Cousin’s Vinyl will be doing this event once a month during pleasant weather.

Ongoing Summer Events in Ypsilanti


Kids’ Club Storytime 10:30am  Ypsilanti District Library (Michigan Ave.)

Baby Brigade Storytime 10:30am  Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker Rd.)

Paul Keller Orchestra 8:00pm  Keystone Underground (200 W. Michigan Ave.)

Name That Tune Trivia  10:00pm  Pub13 (13 N. Washington)


Toddler Storytime 10:30am  Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker Rd.)

Downtown Farmer’s Market 2:00pm – 6:00pm  (Ferris St. between Hamilton & Adams)

Motorcycle Mania 5:00pm – 9:00pm  Depot Town

City Council Meeting 1st & 3rd Tuesdays  7:00pm  City Council Chambers (1 S. Huron)

African American Authors Last Tuesdays 7:00pm  Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker Rd.)

My Trivia Live 9:00pm  Tap Room (201 W. Michigan Ave.)

Kareoke with Tune in a Bucket 10:00pm  Pub 13 (13 N. Washington)


Toddler Storytime 10:30am  Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker Rd.)

Preschool Storytime 1:30pm  Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker Rd.)

Mystery Lovers Book Group Last Wednesdays  2:00pm  Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker Rd.)

Open Mic & Live Music 8:00pm  Keystone Underground (200 W. Michigan Ave.)

Dueling Pianos 8:00pm  Pub 13 (13 N. Washington)

Open Mic w/ The Martindales 9:00pm – 1:00am  Tap Room (201 W. Michigan Ave.)


Jump Start Storytime 10:30am  Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker Rd.)

Morning Book Discussion 1st Thursdays  10:30am  Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker Rd.)

Cruise Nights 5:00pm – 9:00pm  Depot Town

Jazz Night 8:00pm  Keystone Underground (200 W. Michigan Ave.)


T.G.I.F. Storytime 10:30am  Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker Rd.)

Underground Roots Presents 7:00pm  Keystone Underground (200 W. Michigan Ave.)

Crossroads Summer Festival 7:00pm  Washington St.  (North of Michigan Ave.)


Super Saturday Storytime 10:30am  Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker Rd.)

Depot Town Farmer’s Market 8:00am – 1:00pm  Freighthouse Market Plaza (Depot Town)

Local DJ’s 8:00pm  Keystone Underground (200 W. Michigan Ave.)


Kareoke w/ Gypsy 10:00pm Pub 13 (13 N. Washington)

Fresh Express Salads Recalled

Fresh Express announced a voluntary recall Monday for some ready-to-eat salads in 26 states because of possible salmonella contamination.  The Romaine-based salads have expiration dates between May 13 and May 16, and the letter “S” in the product code.

The salads were sold in the following states: Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nevada, Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota. No other Fresh Express salads were included in the recall.

The recall notification was issued out of caution based on an isolated instance where a single package of Fresh Express Hearts of Romaine Salad was confirmed positive for Salmonella during a random sample test by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to a news release. The salad had a use-by date of May 15.  Company officials said it is “highly unlikely” that any of the potentially affected salads are still on store shelves because of the expired use-by dates, but consumers might still have the product in their refrigerator and should immediately discard it.

The use-by date is found in the upper right hand corner of the package with the product code located immediately underneath. For Fresh Express Gourmet Cafe Salads, the use-by date and product code are located on the bottom of the salad bowl.  Fresh Express said it is working closely with the FDA, and after learning about the positive test, completed a company-wide product traceability review.

Source: PR Newswire

Your Ypsilanti Weekend: May 21-23, 2010

May 20, 2010 by  
Filed under News

Underground Roots Presents

Tracy Kash Thomas

Friday, May 21

Detroit Music Award winner for Outstanding Jazz in 2009, Vocalist Tracy Kash Thomas brings her lush vocals to Ypsilanti’s Key Stone Underground Martini Lounge. (200 West Michigan Avenue)

Live Music at The Elbow Room

“Computer Perfection” (Friday) and “The Ultrasounds” (Saturday)

Friday, May 21  8:00pm;  Saturday, May 22  10:00pm

The Elbow Room (6 South Washington Street) brings the psych-pop sound to Ypsilanti Friday with the appearance of Computer Perfection and then grooves along with indy-rock threesome, The Ultrasounds on Saturday.  The Ultrasounds write pop songs that are upbeat and easy to latch onto.  Their sound is fresh but has a retro vibe.

Dueling Piano’s

Music, Comedy and Sing-a-Long

Friday & Saturday, May 21 & May 22  8:00pm

High-energy music and comedy.  Using song requests, sing-along, on-stage celebrations, props, song battles and more, Dueling Piano’s gets the Ypsilanti audience at Pub 13 (13 North Washington) laughing, dancing and drinking.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Lincoln High School Drama Production

Fri, May 21  7:00pm;  Sat, May 22  7:00pm;  Sun, May 23  1:00pm

William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” portrays the adventures of four young Athenian lovers, a group of amateur actors, their interactions with the Duke of Athens, Theseus, the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta, and with the fairies who inhabit a moonlit forest. The play is one of Shakespeare’s most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world.  This weekend, it will be performed at the Lincoln High School Auditorium, 7425 Willis Road, Ypsilanti.

Pastel Art Convention

For Amateur and Professional Artists

Friday – Sunday, May 21 -23

The Great Lakes Pastel Society is holding its first Pastel Convention at Eagle Crest Resort (1275 South Huron Street) in Ypsilanti. Workshops and demonstrations by well-known artists will ensure an informative weekend for all who attend.  The weekend includes a variety of events. For detailed information of this educational event, please visit

“Busses In Depot Town”

Vintage Volkswagon Show & Festival

Saturday & Sunday, May 22 & 23

In Concert: “Seeded Plain”

Saturday, May 22  9:00pm

Seeded Plain is a trio of Bryan Day, Jay Kreimer, and Joseph Jaros.  They perform improvised and composed pieces on homemade instruments, electronics, and custom software.  Avant turntablist and sound manipulator Maria Chavez will be appearing with Seeded Plain at Dreamland Theater, 26 Washington St. Ypsilanti.

Spring Songwriting Showcase

Sunday, May 23  2:00pm – 4:00pm

Inviting all local artists to perform up to 10 minutes of their original material.  Ypsilanti District Library – Whittaker Road.  Call (734) 482-4110 ext. 1359 to sign up.

Broadway and More”

Ypsilanti Community Choir Concert

Sunday, May 23  2:00pm

Riverside Arts Center 76 N. Huron St. Ypsilanti.  Ypsilanti Community Choir presents its First-Ever Benefit Revue!  Elegant desserts by Old World Bakery served at intermission.  Tickets $15.00 in advance $20.00 at the door.  Tickets available at the Mix (130 W. Michigan) and Haab’s Restaurant (18 W. Michigan) Seating is limited, so buy your tickets early.  For more information, visit

Puppet Sundays

Puppet Show Theater

Sunday, May 23  3:30pm

Ypsilanti’s Dreamland Theater (26 South Washington) presents puppet shows for children every Sunday afternoon. These original shows utilize a variety of types of puppetry including marionettes and shadow puppets.  Cost: $5.00 (Free for children 3years and younger)

Opening Day of Farmer’s Market is a Sure Sign of Spring

Evidenced by the return of migrating birds, the fragrance of lilacs in bloom, and the season opening of the Farmer’s Market, it would seem that Spring has sprung in Ypsilanti.

The Downtown Ypsilanti Farmers Market will open Tuesday, May 4th but you won’t see the colorful canopies of the vendors in the Key Bank parking lot where they’ve made their seasonal, weekly, home since the DYFM’s start in 2006.  The market has a new location on Ferris Street between Hamilton and Adams streets.  “They outgrew the former space” says Ryan Stedman, who manages the market for the nonprofit organization Growing Hope.  “The new space will accommodate a larger variety of vendors, community groups and entertainment.”

Vendors at the DYFM are farmers, backyard gardeners, greenhouse growers, and community gardeners.  Previous years vendors have included:

  • Living Stones Community; a non-profit organization that offers formerly incarcerated Washtenaw County residents an internship that includes training in urban agriculture and entrepreneurship.
  • Thomason Family Farm; All produced within downtown Ypsilanti, a special variety of cheeses is the delicious offering from the Thomason Family Farm.  Aubrey Thomason, who doubles as a cheese maker for Zingerman’s Creamery in Ann Arbor, has done work with cheese in the states and abroad.
  • Ypsilanti Food Co-op; The Ypsilanti Food Co-op has been around for 36 years. They bake an assortment of artisan breads.  The co-op also provides support and services for the surrounding community.

The Downtown Ypsilanti Farmer’s Market provides the community access to buy fresh, local, products direct. This results in a healthier community, a cleaner environment, support for the local economy and development of Ypsilanti downtown.  Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber will be at the market from 5 to 6 p.m. to greet members of the community.  Local weather forecasts predict temperatures around 70 degrees;  Perfect for a visit to the Farmer’s Market which will operate from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., and accepts credit cards, bridge cards, and cash.

Materials Unlimited Building for sale for $845K

Ypsilanti institution Materials Unlimited building and business are for sale. The building at 2 West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti is on the market for $845,000. Reynold Lowe, owner, said the business is for sale as well.

Materials Unlimited

The sale is brokered by Jackie Wright at Charles Reinhart Company.

Lowe said he has run the business for nearly 40 years and it is time to look for someone that can continue with the business.

Lowe said they have the complete package with up to date website with on-line sales, computer systems, and inventory. Lowe would not disclose the price of the business and referred inquiries to his broker.

“Before I started this business, I did painting and sculpture,” said Lowe. “I would like to get back to that.”

Materials Unlimited is a destination business in Ypsilanti. Lowe said he has worked with area business so that visitors know about local restaurants like Beezy’s, Sidetrack, and Haabs. Customers come from all over the country, Canada, and overseas and will often spend the entire day in Ypsilanti.

Virtual Tour of the Materials Unlimited building

Materials Unlimited

Maurer buys three more properties in downtown Ypsilanti (Update1)

April 21, 2010 by  
Filed under News

Eric and Karen Maurer announced this afternoon they have purchased three more properties in downtown Ypsilanti.

The properties are 120, 122, and 124 W Michigan Avenue and add over 18,000sf to their growing  portfolio. Maurer is the largest property owner in downtown Ypsilanti

Michigan Ave c. 1980. Photo Courtesy Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation

Michigan Ave c. 1980. Photo Courtesy Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation

Two of the properties were the former home of long time Ypsilanti clothing institution, Mellencamps. More recently Nobles Clothing, Jackson Hewitt, and Baker Accounting were tenants.

The buildings were all bank owned and are in need of significant work. The Maurers did not disclose purchase price.

Karen Maurer said these new properties would follow the concept for the already successful Kresge Block and the Mack and Mack building in downtown Ypsilanti.

The plan calls for three separate retail space on the first floor each with about 2,000sf. The upper floors will be upscale loft apartments with elevator service.

Maurer said they would be removing the metal facade and awning from the Mellencamp’s building. Construction is slated to begin in the Fall of 2010.

Website Maurer Management

Update 1: May 4, 2010 3:57p. Corrected name of tax preparation firm that was previous tenant in one of the buildings. The error was made in reporting.

Beal owes Ypsilanti over $84,000 in back taxes (update1)

April 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, News

According to records obtained from the Washtenaw County Treasurer, Ypsilanti landlord Stewart Beal and his associated companies owe $84,136.96 in past due property taxes to the City of Ypsilanti. The report, dated April 6, 2010, lists the 38 properties Beal owns in the city.

Of the 38 properties, Beal is past due on 17.  Past due pay payments include missed payments in September 2009 and February 2010.

Beal owes $21,358.88 in back taxes on this apartment building in Ypsilanti.

Beal owes $21,358.88 in back taxes on this apartment building at 206 N. Washington in Ypsilanti.

For 206 N. Washington, Beal owes $21,358.88.

On Beal’s property at 711 Pearl St, he owes just $7.13.

Beal was before City Council on Tuesday regarding the fire ravaged Thompson Block in Depot Town.

After the fire in September 2009, scaffolding  was installed to support the walls of the building. The scaffolding and braces block part of the streets on both River and East Cross.

Beal was hoping to get a contract with the City that would have permitted the streets to continued to be blocked until October 2010, some 13 months since the fire.

During his testimony, Beal said the City could not hold up the proposed contract over past due taxes as the company that owns the Thompson Building, Historic Equities Fund 1, LLC, was current on their taxes.

When asked about his other properties, Beal admitted he did owe other taxes in the city and responded that he would pay them “soon”. Beal did not say how much he owed or when he would pay his taxes.

The Thompson Building was part of Beal’s portfolio owned by Beal Properties, LLC. Beal transferred the Thompson Building to Historic Equities Fund 1, LLC in 2008,

Council voted to not give Beal a contract or extend the time the scaffolding can remain in the right of way.

City Attorney John Barr said he has already prepared the filings to sue Beal to get him to remove the temporary supporting structures from Cross and River and require Beal to properly secure the building.

See the Beal Tax Report

(UPDATE1) April 9, 2010 12:24p Because of a math error, the amount owed by Mr. Beal reported in an early story is incorrect. Mr. Beal owes is $84,136.96 not $86,068.80 as was originally reported. The error was made by the reporter.

MSU to buy EMU in hostile takeover bid

April 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Humor, News


(April 1, 2010) has learned that lawyers from Michigan State University are in Ypsilanti this week to finalize the agreement to purchase Eastern Michigan University for $24 million. While all eyes are focused on Indianapolis and the MSU Spartans return to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, lawyers from the high powered Lansing law firm of Hykema, Lostit met with corporate counsel at EMU to discuss terms of the takeover.

Ypsilantians across the city were stunned upon learning the news.

“It seems as if something like this happens every year to Ypsilanti”,  said long time Ypsilanti resident and business owner Karen Maurer.  “I am not sure Ypslanti can take much more of this.”

Sources tell YpsiNews the takeover should be completed by August 2010, just in time for new student orientation.

So why is MSU buying EMU? YpsiNews takes you inside and explains what no one else wants to explain about the deal.

The Doyle Letter

The roots of this merger goes back to September 3, 2003 when then EMU Vice-president for Finance Patrick Doyle wrote a letter to EMU Regent Jan Brandon. The three page Doyle Letter, as it was to be called, was always rumored to explain the finances surrounding the controversial Presidential Palace.

Ann Arbor News sued EMU in a Freedom of Information Act case asking for a copy of the Doyle Letter. The Ann Arbor News, not too surprisingly, lost the case when the Appeals Court and Michigan Supreme Court ruled in favor of EMU.

The problem was the Ann Arbor News was too specific in their FOIA request when they asked to see the Doyle Letter.

d-letter-dIn December 2009, just two days before Christmas, YpsiNews submitted a new FOIA request to EMU this time asking for all letters in 2003 where the authors last name begins with the letter ‘D’.

It worked, got the Doyle letter and a letter about a leaking toilet in Pray Harold.

What was inside the Doyle Letter shocked even the normally unflappable YpsiNews Investigative Team.

While the Doyle letter did indeed disclose that the presidential palace had run far over budget, the shock was that the memo outlined how EMU could hide the cost overrun through an acquisition by EMU of another University.

Doyle’s plan was ultimately rejected by the Regents as unworkable because they couldn’t figure out how to buy another University and not make it look like they were covering up the costs surrounding the presidents house.

Mark Hollis, MSU Athletic Director

Mark Hollis, MSU Athletic Director

Regent Brandon, who has close ties with MSU, let it slip in 2008 to Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis that it was possible for a state run university to buy another state run university.

Hollis began quitely lobbying MSU Regents and alumnus for the Athletic Department to buy a University and specifically EMU. Hollis believed EMU was the right choice as it was close to Lansing and it was likely to piss off the most Wolverine fans being that EMU was just 7 miles to the East of Ann Arbor.

Little did Hollis know how quickly MSU alumnus were willing to fork out the green. MSU raised the nearly $35 million they thought it would take to buy EMU in just 6 days. Hollis has not said what they plan to do with the remaining $11 left over after the deal  with EMU closes.

State Legislature Not Happy

“You can’t just buy a University” exclaimed State Representative and perennial gubernatorial candidate Alma  Wheeler Smith (D-54). “There are rules, this has to go before a committee and be approved by the legislature. We have to have hearings and town hall meetings!”

Mike Cox

Mike Cox

Gubernatorial candidate and current Attorney General Mike Cox (R) not surprisingly, disagrees with Smith.

Cox said in an AG opinion released on Thursday, April 1, 2010 that the public university is a creature of the State Constitution. Cox went on to say the transfer, ownership, or management of a State University is not subject to the approval of the state legislators nor the voters. The only requirement would be approval by both the Boards of Regents of EMU and MSU. The Board of Regents are independent bodies, they can do as they please with no accountability to the governor, state legislature, or the voters.

Cox,  a Michigan Wolverine, seemed nonplussed that he just wrote an opinion that says that Board of Regents at Public Universities don’t have to listen to the governor

“Who cares”, said Cox. “The Board of Regents at Public Universities in Michigan have never been accountable to anyone, this opinion doesn’t change anything.”

When this reporter reminded Cox that he was running for governor, Cox tilted his head to the side and said, “Oh.”

Wolverines not happy

At first, outgoing University of Michigan Athletic Director Bill Martin also seemed nonplussed about the MSU-EMU merger.

“Who cares”, said Martin repeating an oft heard phrase from U-M alumni.  “We kick EMU’s ass every year, nothing will change.”

Apparently Martin, like most of the rest of the nation, can’t fathom why MSU would want to buy EMU.

“It’s the Economics, Stupid”

So why would the MSU Athletic Department buy another University and why EMU? It is all about the scholarships.

Since MSU is acquiring an already establish NCAA Division I-A school, MSU will be able to maintain two football and two basketball programs. In a quirk of the NCAA rules, since MSU and EMU will be goverened by a single Board of Regents, student athletes can transfer from EMU to MSU without losing a year of eligibility. This is huge, says MSU’s Hollis.

With this purchase MSU has in effect created their own farm team system for all college sports. This will change college athletics forever and catapult MSU Sports to the top echelon of college sports.

For $24 million, MSU has been able to double the number of available scholarships. For football, MSU can increase their scholarships from 85 to 170 in a single year. The doubling of available scholarships will apply to all sports at MSU

When it was explained to U-M’s Bill Martin why MSU was buying EMU, Martin responded “No comment.”

Former CEO of Dominos Pizza David Brandon is the new incoming Athletic Director of Michigan to replace Martin and yes EMU Regent Jan Brandon is married to David.

Will other schools look to buy other smaller universities?

Already Norte Dame is in talks to acquire Sun Belt Conference school Old Dominion and Penn State is looking to acquire Lehigh University.

EMU’s Legacy and Advance Ypsilanti Future

The merger makes sense for some at EMU. EMU can once and for all put behind them the mess over the name change from the Hurons to the Eagles.

“Except for Athenians”, said EMU History Professor Mark Higbee, “everyone likes the Spartans. They are  the bad guys that ultimately get killed but still became heroes. Besides, the EMU football team won’t have to change the colors of their uniforms, so it saves the University money. That is a good thing.”

Ypsilanti Mayor Pauli Schwaibler, whose campaign slogan in 2006 was “I am going to march on Lansing to demand our fair share of taxes.” was relieved when he learned that Lansing was in town this week.

Not quite understanding it was Michigan State University in Lansing that was coming to Ypsilanti, Schwaibler saved some shoe leather and walked over to the Sidetrack where the attorneys had taken a break for lunch.

Schwaibler asked if they would like to purchase Water Street for $22 million.

The lawyers politely declined, saying that they only had enough bags of cash for one money pit and for $2 million more, EMU seemed like a better deal.


Reporter Steve Pierce is a former TV weatherman and made his first Final Four appearance with CBS in 1984 while living in Albuquerque. In his spare time he reads other peoples email using Wireless Ypsi.

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Read more of our favorite April Fools Day stories here and for a brief history of April Fools Day click here. Please enjoy responsibly.

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