Monday, July 16, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Monday, July 16, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
All shook up at 13th Elvis est
Interim AAPD chief John Seto
to be named official police chief
Ypsilanti hosts as a io-fi affair. Whereas music fes-
tivals like Bonnaroo and Pitchfork
tribute for the promise a weekend of blistering
auditory overload, ElvisFest boasts
King of Rock'n'roll just one soundstage with an audi-
ence mostly comprised of people my
ByJENNIFER XU grandparents' age amicably sitting
Magazine Editor in beach chairs.
Particularly noticeable about the
The first time I heard "Blue festival was the lack of Elvis memo-
Suede Shoes" wasn't on -iTunes, rabilia. Sure, there were the usual
Pandora or YouTube. It was sung suspects - cardboard stars with
live on an Ypsilanti bandstand by sayings like "King of Rock'n'Roll"
a 20-year-old Elvis Presley imper- and "Younever walked inthatman's
sonator named Nick Miller. He was shoes," Elvis soup tureens, car car-
pretty good. pets, life-sized cutouts, sunglasses
Who knew that Ypsi played host with furry sideburns waggling from
to "one of the largest Elvis festivals the frames. But the merchandise
in the world?" Not I! I found out was mostly sold by one or two small
about Michigan ElvisFest - now in vendors, and there didn't seem to be
its 13th year of existence - through the mad dash to actually purchase
one of those free alternative week- the wares like, say, after a rock con-
lies you get at the public library. cert, where the most ardent fans
Having never consciously heard an will swarm toward the merch coun-
Elvis Presley song in my life, I was ter like ants protecting their queen.
curious. At ElvisFest, the main attraction,
for most of the attendees, was the
Introduction to the King music.
And wow, was the music some-
ElvisFest can best be described thing. Large and sweaty, Elvis
impersonator Robert Washington
crooned lovely somethings in a
tight, white tasseled jumpsuit to the
screaming ladies below him. Tall,
tanned Matt King, gold buttons
festooned on a black jumpsuit and
matching cape, pinwheeled across
the stage in a nonstop paroxysm of
adrenaline. My friend, herself an
avid Elvis fan, told me her favorite
artist of the night was University
alum Chris Ayotte, who not only
managed to flawlessly recreate clas-
sic Elvis moves but also put his own
spin on them (she tried to explain
one to me - something to do with a.
Agigglygroup of retirees in ceru-
lean Hawaiian shirts and plastic
flowers in their hair from Colum-
bus, Ohio, stayed up by the stage the
entire night, extending their hands
each time an Elvis threw down a
scarf or bent to give them a kiss.
They were so enthusiastic that the
emcee dubbed them "Girls Gone
The festival was occasionally
bracketed by accompanying acts
riding on the coattails of the Elvis
fanaticism permeating the park. A
lukewarm "Great Balls of Fire" was
sung by a Jerry Lee Lewis imper-
sonator, which nobody paid much
attention to. There's a reason why
there aren't many Jerry Lee Lewis
tribute festivals in the world.
I was drawn to a pair of ladies
in matching sun hats, wearing
floor-length cloth skirts with Elvis
heads embossed on-the fabric (one
blue, one red): Phyllis Sanders and
her granddaughter Maria. Though
Phyllis had been a proud attendee
of almost every ElvisFest since its
inception, it was Maria's first time.
She said her favorite Elvis songs
were "I Can't Stop LovingYou" and
"Jailhouse Rock," but she couldn't
really choose. "I just love them all,"
I spoke to them right after King
finished up, ending his set by toss-
ing out dark scarves to the audience
beneath him. "I was sad you didn't
get one," Maria said to her grand-
mother. "That's OK, I've gotten
them before," she replied cheer-
Sanders couldn't sit still for the
entirety of the festival, pump-
ing her fist to the rat-tat-tat of the
beat, grooving to each guitar lick.
She said she saw Elvis live three
times when she was a little girl but
was so far away from the stage she
needed binoculars. The Michigan
ElvisFest was deemed to be "much
Hair is everything
On Tuesday, August 16, 1977,
Elvis Aaron Presley was found on
the bathroom floor of his home,
clad in nothing but a pair of blue
pajamas. An hour later, he was pro-
Months after Presley's death,
mournful fans crammed into Las
Vegas floor shows and tiny night-
clubs to watch Elvis impersonators
recreate the magic of the King. For
the Elvis Tribute Artists (or ETAs),
these shows proved to be enor-
mously profitable. Alan Meyer, who
worked in a Las Vegas lounge act,
claimed to have earned more than
a million dollars in one year.
Here's what I picked up on the
See ELVIS, Page 12
Tonight's City "John meets the needs that the
department has for a strong leader
uncil meeting to who will serve the community and
help police and fire acconfplish
prove Seto, drop their mission of protecting and
"in.er ,,~ serving the public," Powers said.
"iteri EPowers said Seto was chosen
after looking at other candidates
By STEVE ZOSKI from within the system.
Daily News Editor "I felt that it was healthy for
the safety services departments
Monday's Ann Arbor City to have an internal candidate if
il meeting, Mayor John there was a strong internal can-
e and City Administrator didate, and John was that candi-
Powers will recommend date," Powers said.
he "interim" be dropped Seto is a member of the Stu-
John Seto's title as interim dent Safety Workgroup, a col-
chief of the Ann Arbor laboration between AAPD, the
Department. Department of Public Safety, the
in council approval, Seto Division of Student Affairs and
ecome the full-time police the Sexual Assault Prevention
snd the safety services area and Awareness Center that pro-
istrator - the city's charter motes student safety. In a Janu-
that the police chief also ary interview, Seto praised the
his position, which oversees group and noted the need for a
lice and fire departments. safer campus.
o's recommendation, first In 2010, Seto worked with stu-
:ed by AnnArbor.com, dent leaders to address the need
after Seto served as the for improved student behavior
m chief since March 7. on football Saturdays.
o, an Eastern Michigan In an interview, Seto said he's
rsity alum, has worked for delighted tobe recommended for
APD since 1990 and previ- the job.
worked for the University. "It's an honor tobe offered the
ftje said Seto was destined position, and I'm thankful that
role. it's going before Council con-
you look back over John's sideration," Seto said. "This is a
career, it was easy to see great city and a great police and
e was a leader and that he fire department."
n a path that was going to Seto said he hopes the time he
him to the top of the orga- spent as interim police chief will
on," Hieftje said. make the transition into the job
ftje added that Seto will be easy.
al chief for the University "The last four months (have)
of Ann Arbor, which has a been a lot of work and I've
is police force - the Uni- learned quite a bit, but it's all
y"s Department of Public been very rewarding," Seto said.
- as well. "So I'm also grateful to have that
hn has long experience opportunity to make this transi-
ng with U of M's Depart- tion hopefully a little easier."
sf Public Safety, and in fact, Seto said he wants to contin-
ve some officers that used ue to have a strong relationship
with the Ann Arbor Police with DPS, the University and
tment that are working students.
there," Hieftje said. "We "I look forward to continue
reat rapport with them." ing that relationship," he said. "I
an interview, Powers said attend many meetings with dif-
was the obvious choice to ferent groups such as the Inter
nently fill the position. Fraternal Council, the Greek
life councils ... different (Central
Student Government) working
groups, so I look forward to con-
tinuing to meet with the students
and the University community."
Seto said communication
between students and law
enforcement officials will hope-
fully improve the etiquette and
behavior of students on football
Saturdays and allow for a better
law enforcement relationship
with tailgating students.
"Just by learning what both
sides are up against and hearing
suggestions from both sides and
mutually working together so
that we can enjoy the game day
experience but also be cognisant
of the concerns of the neighbors
and the rest of the community,"
In an e-mail to The Michigan
Daily, Joe Piersante, interim
executive director of DPS, issued
a statement about Seto becoming
the police chief.
"We think John Seto is an
excellent choice as the next
Ann Arbor Police Chief. He has
been an instrumental proponent
of collaboration between our
two departments that has been
very beneficial for both the on-
campus and near-campus areas.
John's roots even began as a
U-M housing security officer,
so John knows the campus and
broader community very well.
We look forward to a continued
law enforcement partnership
that results in reduced crime and
enhanced community safety,"
In an e-mail to the Daily, Jim
Kosteva, the University's com-
munity relations director, echoed
others' sentiments on Seto being
a good fit for the job.
"Deputy Chief Seto is an out-
standing officer and is a fine
selection as the city's new chief.
He knows this community and
our campus extremely well and
already has long-standing rela-
tionships with University per-
sonnel in our Department of
Public Safety and Office of Stu-
dent Affairs,"Kosteva wrote.
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