Odds and ends with some a bit odder than others:
Into September: Well, Cara Pavlicek made the cut in Ann Arbor. Actually seems as if all four finalists for the city manager post there made the cut and will return for further interviews and consideration in September.
Good for Pavlicek, Oak Park’s longtime village manager. She has, in the main, done a strong job here. In her initial interview with Ann Arbor’s city council last week, Pavlicek said only good things about Oak Park and its progressive ways while noting that jobs such as the one in Ann Arbor don’t come along every day.
But it leaves Oak Park in limbo at a very precarious moment. There’s COVID-19, of course. That virus is not done with us yet. There’s Oak Park’s disjointed response to rethinking policing. And there’s an election in the spring for village president (and trustees) that so far is setting up as a contest for who can be the most progressive voice. One of the three candidates for village president remains Pavlicek’s harshest critic on the board.
This will get complicated.
University towns: With Pavlicek still in the running in Ann Arbor, and District 97 Supt. Carol Kelly an unsuccessful finalist for the top school job in Madison, I’m wondering which of our local leaders is Googling Iowa City.
Some pie: The front-page story last week on the gradual reopening of the Happy Apple Pie Shop over on Harrison Street in the Arts District sent me pie shopping. Happy Apple is a wonderful story with its focus on hiring people both with physical and developmental disabilities and those without. Now they are finding a path to expanding their hours and production by bringing those staff members gradually back.
And to top off all that goodness, they bake a heck of a peach pie.
I recommend it.
‘Guide to the Suspicious’: Is that the oddest phrase ever? Now removed from Oak Park’s village website for further review, “The Guide to the Suspicious” was an attempt to empower nervous residents to call the cops on everything that moved.
I’m chalking this up to the laws of unintended consequences melded with the pitfalls of an unexamined life. Clearly the original intent was to gather the good people of Oak Park into a version of community policing. “Officers can’t be everywhere. You’re our eyes and ears. See something, say something. Never hesitate to call 911. We’re here to sort these things out, partner!”
Works fine for white people, it turns out. We get to call. But the police are never summoned when we walk around a neighbor’s house to borrow a ladder. The police never arrive when, pre-pandemic, we’re a little noisy on the corner.
So the “Guide to the Suspicious” is in the shop for retooling. Hope they start with a new name. How about “When to Call the Police and When Not to Call the Police.”
How about those Sox!: Baseball has been a balm this miserable summer. When everything is contained and all experiences flattened out to masks and screens, there is unexpectedly baseball almost every day of the week. Of course, baseball is also flattened out with nobody cheering, Jason and Steve calling the game in Detroit while watching monitors at 35th and Shields.
But it is still baseball. Maybe there will be asterisks. But it did not self-destruct and disappear in the first week as I thought it was about to. And the White Sox are nothing but fun to watch. Especially — yes, boo me — when they are scoring 19 consecutive runs against the Cubs on mammoth home runs.