6F - Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily~o
f/ B t~iketaxsco uld
come to Ann Arbor
By LARA ZADE Though pedicabs operate the
Daily StaffReporter same way as taxicabs and are pri-
marily owned by private compa-
FEBRUARY 17TH, 2009 - nies, Annis said she would like to
Imagine a city that provides cabs see Ann Arbor employ free pedicab
with three wheels, no doors and service. That would require the city
two pedals for its busy commuters. to manage the cabs and be funded
Ann Arbor may be that city in the by sponsorships.
near future. The deadline for the last Ann
Barbara Annis, a resident of Ann Arbor Community Foundation
Arbor's old west side, is looking to grant proposal has already passed,
garner support to have a pedicab but Annis said she's still looking for
business open in Ann Arbor. a sponsor.
Pedicabs, also known as bike Annis also spoke with Nancy
taxis or rickshaws, are pedaled Shore, the director of Ann Arbor's
vehicles that transport people from getDowntown - a program that
one place to another. focuses on finding sustainable
Annis first rode a pedicab when transportation options for the city's
she was abroad in Asia. commuting employees - about the
"It must have planted a seed," practicality of bringing pedicabs to
she said. the city.
Pedicabs have become an inter- "I'm very supportive of all types
national phenomenon and have of alternative transportation,
become popular in cities like New but I'm just weary of some issues
York, Boston and San Diego. regarding our density here," Shore
Annis said she came up with the said. "Right now I don't think that
idea to bring pedicabs to Ann Arbor pedicabs will work in Ann Arbor."
after she heard about a grant pro- However, other Michigan cit-
posal from the Ann Arbor Commu- ies - including Grand Rapids and
nity Foundation. Detroit - have joined the trend.
"It connects with the bigger idea Darin Galinis, owner and opera-
of non-motorized transportation, tor of Elite Pedicabs, became the
and that's something the city has first pedicab operator in Michigan
been working on for quite a long when he opened his business with
time," Annis said. co-owner Randy McCullough in
Annis said she thought pedicabs Lansing in 2007.
in Ann Arbor would cater to city Shortly after opening in Lan-
walkers traveling short distances or sing, Galinis moved his business to
to those who have their hands tied Grand Rapids so that he could be
up from children or grocery bags. closer to his family.
The cost per fully equipped cab, Currently Galinis operates four
including turn signals and seat pedicabs in Grand Rapids, but
belts, is $3,500 to $4,000. Other is looking to at least double that
costs include maintenance, storage number and expand to other cities,
and insurance, which Annis has not including Ann Arbor.
yet estimated. "We'd love to have our business
Her plan is to bring a fleet of 10 in Ann Arbor," he said. "It could be
pedicabs to Ann Arbor and adjust in there in a matter of weeks."
that number after gauging popular- Although Shore had concerns
ity. about Ann Arbor's low population
density as a potential issue for sup-
porting a pedicab service, Galinis
said that the city's size is not a
"If there's one thing Ican say, as
long as you have any sort of night
life, size doesn't matter, you can
have pedicabs there," he said. "It's
just how many bikes you allow."
But even with the most expensive
ride settling at $S, alack of custom-
ers forced Galinis to cut operation
in Grand Rapids from seven days a
week to Wednesday through Satur-
day from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
"At first it was our intention to
go every day of the week but we
found out that it was harder to get
started during the day than during
the night," he said. The nightlife is
more accepting of it."
In addition, Galinis acknowl-
edged the fact that weather during
the winter months can make for
uncomfortable conditions outside,
but that business is just about as
busy now as it is during summer
"The one thing that definitely
stops us is the wind," he said. "It's
Even last Friday - when tem-
peratures were near 22 degrees
- Galinis said he made as much
money as he would have on an aver-
age summer night with perfect
And in regards to competition
with taxi cabs, Galinis said he
knows it's there, but thinks that
time will mend any ill feelings after
cab drivers realize that it's a give-
Although the pedicabs business
takes away some shorter rides from
taxicabs, Galinis said he also refers
longer distance rides to cab driv-
"I think it just needs time," said
Ann Arbor resident James William Middlestadt (right; aka. Rainbow Country Lovin') plays a didgeridoo and a drum while LSA
sophomore Zachary Zeidner (bottom) plays a sitar on the Diag just after Hash Bash, Saturday, April 4, 2009.
Hash Bash returns
for another hit
Go On a Diet: Eat Lo-cal
By VALIANT LOWITZ
APRIL 5TH, 2009 - High noon
on the first Saturday in April
means only one thing: Hash
A smoky haze filled Monroe
Street Saturday, as a mixture of
old-time activists, University stu-
dents, adult spectators and mari-
juana enthusiasts came together
to support recreational marijuana
use, oppose United States drug
laws and enjoy an afternoon in
And this year, the mood was
a little more celebratory than
In its 37th year, Hash Bash had
a significantreform to commemo-
rate: the legalization of medical
marijuana in the state of Michi-
Proposal 1, which was passed
by 63 percent of Michigan vot-
ers last November, legalized the
possession of medical marijuana
within the state for those with a
doctor's recommendation. The
law took effect Saturday, the
same day as the festivities.
Andrew Kent, president of
the University's chapter of the
National Organization for the
Reform of Marijuana Laws - the
event's primary organizer - said
this year's event attracted more
students than he had ever seen
during his three years at the Uni-
Between 1,500 and 1,600 peo-
ple gathered on the Diag for the
first half of the event according to
Diane Brown, a spokeswoman for
the Department of Public Safety.
In 2006, an estimated 900 people
turned out for the event, accord-
ing to The Michigan Daily.
Kent attributed the increased
turnout to wider acceptance of
recreational drug use both on
campus and across the country.
"I think that drug use is becom-
ing much more normalized in our
society," Kent said. "People don't
really look down on you in the
same way anymore."
After the gathering on the Diag,
supporters marched together to
the annual Monroe Street Fair.
The fair featured live music blar-
ing from a stage in front of Domin-
ick's and numerous streetvendors
selling everything from marijua-
na paraphernalia to T-shirts.
The annual event began in
response to a March 9,1972 Mich-
igan Supreme Court decision that
declared unconstitutional the
drug law used to convict activist
John Sinclair for possession of
two marijuana joints.
That decision left the state of
Michigan without laws prohib-
iting the use of marijuana for
almost a month until a law was
passed on Apr. 1, 1972.
Hash Bash is held every year on
the first Saturday in April to com-
memorate the decision.
FEBRUARY 12TH, 2009 - As
the economic crisis continues, our
nation is strugglingto turn around
its money, fate and fortune. Pro-
ceeding hand-in-hand with our
economic restructuring has been
the call to "Buy American" and
even to mandate it as a part of the
economic stimulus plan.
The call to buy American makes
some people anxious, both the
free-trade crowd here and our
foreign suppliers. This week's
cover of The Economist magazine
melodramatically expressed those
fears. Trade protectionism is per-
sonified as a reanimated corpse
with a horror flick title across the
top that reads, "The Return of
Despite the stir, buying Ameri-
can holds a lot of power right now.
And not just on the national level:
Governor Jennifer Granholm's
latest State of the State address
featured Michigan labor as an
essential part of the state's plan.
According to Granholm, "instead
of spending nearly $2 billion a year
importing coal or natural gas from
other states, we'll be spending our
energy dollars on Michigan wind
turbines, Michigan solar panels,
Michigan energy-efficiency devic-
es, all designed, manufactured and
installed by... Michigan workers."
We need to make a similar effort
to buy American on a local level.
Regardless of our differences when
it comes to international trade pol-
icy, we can agree on what we want
our city's economy to look like.
All of us benefit from the small
Arbor's economy. Because of the
little restaurants and bookstores
that make this place so unique, the
University is able to attract some
of the most progressive minds in
the world. This is a symbiotic, even
chicken-and-egg relationship; it's
tough to say which boomed first.
Ann Arbor and the University
wouldn't be one without the other.
More students are buying their
Want to help
textbooks online to save money
- and in these hard times, that is
completely understandable. Sha-
man Drum owner Karl Pohrt took
pre-emptive measures to prepare
for the blow. He applied Shaman
Drum for nonprofit status in an
attempt to embrace our commu-
nity and Shaman Drum's role in it.
Students cannot become inves-
tors in our local icons, but our
actions en masse are just as influ-
ential. We truly are voting with
our dollars when we spend them.
In this vein, I want to write a cam-
paign ad for our community.
Shaman Drum has books you'll
never find ina chain store because
Pohrt and his staff cater to our
community. To really look at the
shelves is to take the city's pulse.
They'll even have the esoteric
book your professor suggested you
When I heard that Shaman
Drum might be having tough
times, the first thingI did was pick
up some books there. It's an empty
gesture, unless you do it too. Times
are hard for everyone right now
and we have to stick together.
But we're not just talking about
bookstores here. When you go out
to eat, forget the sandwich chains
that have elbowed their way onto
State Street (aren't as affected
franchises if the rent is too high).
Go say hi to Sava or Silvio instead.
Forget seeing "My Bloody
Valentine" in 3D. Check out the
Michigan or State Theater instead.
lifestyle will change for the better.
Sure, we need our food to be
cheap if we're going to eat out at
all. I'd just like to let the $5 sand-
wich crowd know that they can get
a pound of Indian food at the same
price.Youjust have to know where
to look. For those in a hurry, snag a
chicken shawarma pita.
Everything local has an unfair
reputation for being expensive.
I work at Caf6 Ambrosia, and we
have the cheapest cup of coffee
in Ann Arbor. Working there only
convinces me that people like that
local familiarity. Most of our cus-
tomers come in every day.
Give a little place a try that you
haven't been before. My next stop?
The Jamaican Jerk Pit on Thayer
Meg Young can be reached
If you've ever walked down
South University Avenue, it's likely
that you've seen the Safe Sex Store.
Although its neon sign has become
a common stop for scavenger hunt
participants, S3 Safe Sex Store has
a lot more to offer than outlandish
novelties for sexual pleasure.
According to the store's website,
owner BethAnn Karmeisool was
inspired to start the business after
volunteering for children infected
with the AIDS virus through the
Rainbow Connection, a Michigan
non-profit organization that works
with children with life-threatening
illnesses. The purpose of the store is
to provide correct, consistent, sexual
Safe sex educator and retail clerk
Jeannie Hahl aims to deliver this
message and offer her "big sister"
"While going to college, there are
so many opportunities for sexual
experimentation," she said.
Hahl said the information avail-
able to students about sexual oppor-
tunities doesn't always come from
reliable sources. And that's where S3
"There's a resource like this
around that tells you what condom
is most reliable," Hahl said as an
In addition to educating the stu-
dent body about sexual health and
helping to stop the spread of sexual
diseases, S3 has other objectives.
"The store is also very female-
centered," Hahl said. "We want to
empower women with sexual infor-
mation rather than repressing them.
We want to make them confident."
In fact, Hahl said S3's best selling
product is the "silicone-based, super
female friendly 'ID Millennium'
Hahl is aware that many people
are intimated to cross the threshold
from the sidewalk of South Univer-
sity to the store, but she offers kind
words of encouragement to ease
"I usually say, 'We're nice in here,
you don't have to be afraid!"'she said.
"The staff is so warm and inviting.
It's not scary, it's actually just a cute
- LARA ZADE
Insomnia cookies feed
For someone who works between
8:00 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. every night,
Kevin Lemon seems like a pretty
chipper guy. Lemon works as the
assistant manager of the Insomnia
Cookies store, doling out cookies to
hungry University students from his
conveniently parked cookie truck.
Given the store's odd hours,
Lemon says it draws a "colorful"
clientele, on both the weekdays and
"It really doesn't seemlike people
discriminate a whole lot," Lemon
said. "You getsome stumbley people
any night of the week."
Lemon has operated the Insom-
nia cookie truck in Ann Arbor for a
month, and so far, he said working
third shift is the only drawback of
the job. He said the cookies he bakes
on a nightly basis have also lostsome
of their appeal.
"They're not as good as they used
to be," Lemon said. "If I eat more
than two a night, that's not good. I
try not to come to work hungry."
Though some students are will-
ing to trek across campus in the
name of snickerdoodle and choco-
late chip cookies, Lemon said that
as of now, Insomnia cookies isn't
allowed to sell baked goods on Uni-
versity property. He added, howev-
er, that an agreement is the works to
since he hascome to campus, Lemon
has helped satisfy students' cravings
on their way to the library or head-
ing home from the bar.
"I mean, how often do you have
the time to bake them yourself?"
- PHILIP GUICHELAAR