Ypsilanti Citizen Community Sidetrack

Volunteers prepare for Ypsi PRIDE Day
By Mark Tower
May. 13, 2010   ·   7:09 a.m.

Volunteers and W.H. Canon employees plant flowers in Depot Town while Ypsilanti resident Mike Labadie repairs the planter's brick work on Ypsi PRIDE Day last year.

Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort...read more

Bicycles zoom as flowers bloom
By Citizen staff
Apr. 30, 2010   ·   2:11 p.m.

Riders from last year's spring ride come in after a long trip. Bike Ypsi’s 2010 Spring Ride and Festival is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street).

The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the...read more

Sheriff Clayton visits Ypsilanti Township
By Mark Tower
Apr. 29, 2010   ·   12:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township resident Kathleen Hanadel takes notes as her and other residents attempt to asses WCSO services Tuesday evening at a community forum held at the township's community center.

About 50 Ypsilanti Township residents gave the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office their input about law enforcement in the community Tuesday evening.

The information...read more

Local photographer raising funds for Ypsi Project exhibit
By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 20, 2010   ·   2:20 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident Nicholas Beltsos his grandson Demetrios were photographed by Project Ypsi photographer Erica Hampton during a bike ride she took Monday. A former EMU economics professor, Beltsos and his family moved to Ypsi from Dearborn in 1967.

Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.

Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more

Savoy taking shape as live music venue
By Dan DuChene
Apr. 17, 2010   ·   2:38 p.m.

Local funk band Third Coast Kings play in Ypsilanti's newest live music venue, Savoy, Friday night.

Ypsilanti's newest concert venue is preparing for its grand opening weekend April 23, more than a month after its soft opening March 13.

Formerly Club Divine,...read more

Local supporters look forward to new Obama presidency

Donning shirts crated by Ypsilanti resident Norma Starks, left, Sally Johnson, Sennie Harris, Javette Starks, Tonia Del-Radio, Reginald Adielph,Thomas Del-Radio and Vickie Clay, pose for a photo at the inauguration party in Club Divine last night. Photo by Dan DuChene

Donning shirts crated by Ypsilanti resident Norma Starks, left, Sally Johnson, Sennie Harris, Javette Starks, Tonia Del-Radio, Reginald Adielph,Thomas Del-Radio and Vickie Clay, pose for a photo at the inauguration party in Club Divine last night.
Krispy Krunchy Chicken

Area events mark historic inauguration with food entertainment

By Dan DuChene
Jan. 21, 2009    ·    6:09 a.m.


There was an abnormal, earnest quite in the Eastern Michigan Student Center yesterday, as a crowd of people were gathered around one of the televisions on the ground floor.

It was about 11:45 a.m., and a large group of people were huddled around each other, watching Pastor Rick Warren deliver his opening prayer at then President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony.

Upstairs, in the Student Center’s Grand Ballroom, more than 500 people were watching the festivities unfold from Washington D.C., on three large projection screens. In less than 10 minutes the 44th, and first African American, president of the United States would sworn into office.

They were watching Detroit-native Aretha Franklin belt out “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” a song Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said would sung “with new meaning” in the dream he spoke about more than forty years ago on the other side of the National Mall.

“Amazing,” said EMU Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Glenna Frank Miller.

“This is what you build a student center for,” she said. “Bringing the community together to celebrate a great occasion.”

At several moments throughout Obama’s inauguration speech, the crowd broke out into cheers and applause. When he and Chief Justice John Roberts stumbled on the oath, the crowd laughed. When asked to stand, everyone in the room followed along.

“People are excited with what is happening,” said Shari Grayson, an EMU freshman studying marketing.

“It’s touching.”

Grayson said Obama’s discussion of the nation’s history that lead up to his presidency was the part of the speech that stood out for here.

“A lot has happened to get us here,” Matt Montier, an EMU senior studying business management said after watching the speech.

Both Montier and Grayson, as well as many other students, said they had come the Student Center to watch the speech with friends, to participate in the moment with other people. Montier said he could have gone home to watch the ceremony, but chose to see it in a public setting instead.

“I really wanted to be around other students and feel their excitement,” he said.

Though New York rap artist Mims wasn’t playing at Club Divine, like he had at the Student Center, the viewing party held in the downtown club was still packed with participants, according to event organizer and Ypsilanti resident Bill Riney.

Throughout the presidential campaign last year, Riney said he was known as the “Hot Dog Man” around town, as he would play music and hand out hot dogs to rally people around his candidate.

“I had a country to serve and history to make,” Riney said of his campaign efforts.

He said the response from the audience during Obama’s inaugural speech was “overwhelming.” He said people in the audience were moved to tears, especially when Obama spoke of his father’s likely inability to be served in many restaurants a few decades ago.

“I started crying,” said Ypsilanti resident Leonardo Christian, who helped to organize the event. He said he was moved by the shear number of people who attended the event.

“Just to see the sea of people, it was just amazing,” he said.

It is estimated nearly 2 million people were packed into the National Mall to see Obama take his oath. Christian said he was already moved to tears by the event’s attendance at 7:25 a.m.

“It wasn’t about color,” Christian said. “It was about making a change.”

Norma Starks, who was at Club Divine celebrating the inauguration until dinner was served, said she was so excited about the inauguration she made 50 tee-shirts to mark the occasion when her 3-year-old granddaughter asked for one. She said she ironed logos on the front and back of the shirts on her dinning room table.

“I just have so much faith in this man,” Starks said.



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