Blue Front Bids Farewell

In 1927, Ray E. Collins bought the Blue Front Cigar Store at the corner of Packard & State, and the rest, as they say, is history. Ray was a legend in Ann Arbor, sitting behind his counter stacked with newspapers, gruffly answering questions and keeping his eyes peeled for ne'er-do-wells. Ray had some troubles with the law himself, getting cited over the years for fire hazards that were a result of his commitment to carrying every newspaper he could find and putting it anywhere he could find.

Ray died in 1978, willing the Blue Front to his long-time employee Jill Warren. Jill kept the Blue Front pretty much the same, widening the aisles a little, organizing the papers a bit more but leaving the hanging bulbs, thank you. In 1981, Jill sold the Blue Front to William Graving while maintaining ownership of the building. Ray started out as an employee of the Blue Front, so did Jill, and later employees would continue to have a fierce loyalty to the store and its traditions.

We may never know how the Blue Front got its name (Ray didn't know). We know the name was first used in the 1922 Polk City Directory. We were able to trace ownership back to 1908 when 701 Packard first appears in the City Directory with James R. Reed, News Depot followed by Davis & Konold in 1913, Clinton H. Davis in 1915, and Ernest C. Rumbelow in 1916. In 1921 it became Reynolds & Webb Cigars, the first time cigars overtakes newspapers in the store's name. In 1922 R. M. Housel bought the store, hired Ray sometime after that, changed the name to the Blue Front and then sold it to Ray. Goodbye, Blue Front.

Affordable Care Act 101 Webinars for Small Businesses

The Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority are excited to announce the next set of Affordable Care Act 101 weekly webinar dates. The webinars will focus on what the new healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, means for small businesses. It will focus on both federal and state provisions to help local small business owners understand how the law will affect them. Topics being discussed include small business tax credits, marketplace updates, shared responsibility, cost containment and tools and resources available for small businesses interested in learning more about the law. A question and answer period will follow. The webinars will be held from 2pm to 3pm on the following dates: August 22, September 5, September 12, September 19, and September 26. Click on a date to complete registration for that session.

Ann Arbor businesses validate parking tickets

If you're searching for businesses in Ann Arbor that will validate your parking ticket, search no more. The Downtown Development Authority
recently put this list on their website. Look in the parking info below the map.

Karl Pohrt, Owner of Shaman Drum Bookshop

Old News has digitized Ann Arbor News articles on Karl Pohrt (obituary), owner of Shaman Drum Bookshop.

He is remembered warmly as a community leader who took an active role in organizations such as Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, State Street Area Association, American Booksellers Association, and the Great Lakes Booksellers Association. He was also a founding member of the Ann Arbor Book Festival.

Read Dave Askins' tribute to Karl Pohrt in The Ann Arbor Chronicle.

Ice Cream Bike: A Sneak Peek at Go! Ice Cream

Monday May 20, 2013: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room AB

Coming this summer, Go! Ice Cream will start a new mobile business biking adventure in and around Ypsilanti!

Learn a bit about proprietor, Rob Hess, and his adventurous variety of local, hand-made, exotic and unusual ice creams. Learn how to make your own fruit popsicles. You could start your own all-natural popsicle stand and become a frozen dessert mogul too!

Hot New Book Tells How to Get Ahead by Giving

A friend who saw Adam Grant speak recently in Ann Arbor highly recommends his book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success. If you missed Grant's visit here, you can read the New York Times magazine article about him or visit the book's website. This graduate of the University of Michigan apparently believes that the way we relate to other people has a lot to do with the success we achieve. From a book description in the AADL catalog: "Using his own cutting-edge research as a professor at Wharton Business School, Adam Grant shows how helping others can lead to greater personal success. He demonstrates how smart givers avoid becoming doormats, and why this kind of success has the power to transform not just individuals and groups, but entire organizations and communities."

TinkerHub Webcast - Backyard Brains

Attachment Size
tinker6.mp4 110.02 MB

TinkerHub Webcast: Backyard Brains
TinkerHub is a webcast collaboration between Ann Arbor District Library and All Hands Active, Ann Arbor’s Makerspace. Recorded in Downtown Ann Arbor, TinkerHub webcasts connect learning, technology, and the Ann Arbor community.

In this episode of TinkerHub, Josh and Terence talk to Tim Marzullo about his company Backyard Brains. Co-founded here in Ann Arbor, Backyard Brains helps make tangible how electricity helps control the body, all using inventions that can then be carried around in their pockets! Tune in as Josh watches the messages that he sends to make his muscles twitch.

Links mentioned in the episode:

Library resources mentioned:

Past AADL-All Hands Active Events

Finding Grant Funding For Community Nonprofits

Wednesday March 20, 2013: 10:30 am to 12:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Looking to boost your grant-seeking skills for your community nonprofit organization? Join us for this workshop!

Karen Downing, UM Foundations and Grants Librarian, will discuss and demonstrate the various web-based funding databases currently available. Additionally, there will be discussion about matching sponsor and nonprofit priorities, and resources to help with proposal writing.

There is no registration for this event.

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