Ypsilanti Citizen News ]]>

City Council approves all mayor's re-appointments
By Dan DuChene
Jun. 16, 2010   ·   3:42 a.m.

Jone Coleman, president of downtown business LookInTheAttic, shares his thoughts with City Council about the discussion and procedure taken to pass mayoral re-appointments, which he was being considered for the Downtown Development Authority.

After much procedure, Ypsilanti City Council approved six mayoral re-appointments to city boards and committees Tuesday, including the two postponed from earlier...read more

Council postpones two reappointments
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   4:57 p.m.

Two of Ypsilanti's volunteer board members were not reappointed on schedule Tuesday night, owing to a 4-2 vote by City Council to delay the appointments until...read more

Downtown properties to be rehabilitated
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   10:40 a.m.

The three properties located at 120, 122 and 124 West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti will soon be rebuilt into commercial and office space and loft apartments, thanks to a planned $1.7 million investment by developers.

Three recently-vacated properties in downtown Ypsilanti, two of them condemned, will soon be renovated owing to recent purchase by a local development company and...read more

Ypsilanti Township authorizes litigation against Liberty Square
By Mark Tower
May. 28, 2010   ·   6:53 p.m.

Many of the homes in the Liberty Square complex on Grove Street in Ypsilanti Township are already boarded and ready for foreclosure sale. All 151 units, some of which are still occupied, will be condemned Tuesday, Ypsilanti Township has resolved.

Residents living in the Liberty Square complex of townhouses will see a sticker appear on their homes Tuesday, when the Ypsilanti Township Building Department places...read more

Ford plant granted tax exemption by township
By Mark Tower
May. 24, 2010   ·   5:44 p.m.

Ford Motor Company's Rawsonville Plan, located at the intersection of Textile and Bridge Roads in Ypsilanti Township, will soon be the new home for production of Ford's Electric Focus batteries, formerly produced in Mexico.

New machines and equipment will soon be wheeled into Ford's Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti Township as it begins manufacturing a line of batteries for the new global...read more

Ypsilanti HRC votes against ‘Ypsitucky’


Commission recommends Council change event’s name

By Dan DuChene
May. 29, 2009    ·    5:34 a.m.

The Ypsilanti Human Relations Commission voted unanimously Thursday to recommend that City Council see to changing the name of the Ypsitucky Jamboree.

The group approved a three-page letter addressed to Mayor Paul Schreiber and City Council outlining the commission’s findings on the issue as well as suggesting Council meet with the event’s organizers to work out an agreement.

The letter states that if an arrangement can’t be made, “the city should exercise its oversight powers.”

At the meeting, Commissioner Darlene Scott said, “We can not support the name ‘Ypsitucky’ as the name of this festival.”

Scott ran the meeting, as Clifford Larkins, the group’s chair, was absent.

Six people addressed the commission during audience participation. All spoke out against the name of the music festival.

The Ypsilanti Jamboree is being organized as a music festival by the Depot Town Community Development Corporation. It is scheduled for Sept. 4 and 5 at Riverside Park and will highlight bluegrass, folk and American “roots” music.

People have come out against the word ‘Ypsitucky’ in the event’s name due to its perceived use as a derogatory term against Southerners who migrated to the area to work in the automotive industry and eventually the area in general.

In its letter to City Council, the HRC stated that the word “evokes outworn and negative attitudes” that existed between that Southern population and the African American community in the area at that time.

City Council and the DTCDC operate under a memorandum of understanding, which grants the DTCDC authority to maintain, improve and organize events for Riverside and Frog Island Parks, while still preserving the city’s ownership of the public parks.

The HRC pointed to section five of the document, which states, “In order to prevent conflicts between the city and the DTCDC, the city retains all rights to approve or disapprove any matter.”

After Thursday night’s meeting, DTCDC Director Erik Dotzauer said his group hopes the matter “moves along quickly to council.”

The DTDCD issued a letter Wednesday regarding the HRC’s exploration of the event’s name. The letter re-affirmed the group’s intention of continuing with the original name.

“We feel that ‘Ypsitucky’ is not a discriminatory or derogatory term,” the group stated in the letter.

The DTCDC said the event “appropriately highlights the Southern heritage in (the Ypsilanti) area.”

The DTCDC sited letters of support and an Internet poll conducted by M-Live.com for its stance. It said the group was willing to make some compromises, including the creation of committees to highlight the area’s Southern heritage. The group said they would conduct surveys and evaluate the use of the term in future festivals.

The letter approved by the HRC recognizes the letter approved by the DTCDC. It said they believe the DTCDC is trying to create an event to attract a younger demographic to the community.

“It is also clear the DTCDC felt that some individuals might view the name as derogatory, they believe that those who felt so would be only a small minority,” the HRC approved letter reads, “and that, in fact, any ‘controversy’ the name might generate would actually help promote the event.”

But, the HRC letter said the group still maintains its intent to use the word “Ypsitucky,” and that the compromises are helpful, but not enough to resolve the issue.

The HRC letter says, “In fact, a substantial and significant proportion of our community strongly opposes the use of ‘Ypsitucky.’ ”

Dotzauer said he was advised not to speak on the matter by the DTCDC. However, he did confirm that the group had discussed moving the event to a different site if the name is forced to change. However, he said the matter had not been discussed in detail.

Ypsilanti Historical Society
The Rocket

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