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Jan 20

The Blueprint

Comments (4) 2:50 PM posted by admin |

If you’re like me, you like music.

And if you’re like me, you know the best place to find new music without illegally downloading it from the internet is by breaking into parked cars.

Well, the other day when I was picking up the new Whitesnake album, I saw the sports section from this past Saturday’s Rapid City Journal and it reminded me of the AFC Championship game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. Ah, football.

If you haven’t been living under a rock then you know by now that Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s 28 year-old Mayor Luke Ravenstahl tried to change his name last week. As part of a stunt thought up by a couple of morning radio disc jockeys, the mayor tried to pump up the fans prior to the big game by “changing” his name from Ravenstahl to Steelerstahl.

Get it? He has the word “Ravens” in his name. The Steelers were playing the Baltimore Ravens. Get it?


Instead of just making this announcement, the mayor went down to the Department of Records for Allegheny County with tons of media fanfare and proceeded to fill out bogus paperwork petitioning the name change. He never paid the $108 that went along with the application, so the name change won’t become official.

Sure, the kid probably took a lame joke too far for political purposes, but what he did ultimately did work. It absolutely worked, and the Steelers won 23-14 and will go to their 7th Super Bowl in franchise history.

So Monday afternoon it finally hit me. Why can’t we do the same thing here in Ypsilanti?

Everyone knows that for the past seventy-six years Ypsilanti has been working on a little project called Water Street. Everyone also knows the project has had its ups and downs. And everyone knows we’re are looking for potential buyers for the property who will build lavish fast food restaurants that our town so desperately needs.

What people may not know is that there are real developers with real money looking to locate some significant projects in southeastern Michigan.

  • A major Hollywood studio is looking at possibly building a $100M complex in Allen Park. This facility could create as many as 3,500 jobs.
  • Google is still looking for a permanent home in Ann Arbor.
  • A123 Systems Inc. is applying for nearly $2B in Federal loans to build several new manufacturing facilities that would make batteries for hybrid and electric cars — one of those being in southeastern Michigan.
  • A joint-venture between Kuwait’s state-run Petrochemical Industries Company and Dow Chemical fell through at the end of last year, but they were looking to build their world headquarters somewhere in Washtenaw County.
  • Wind turbine manufacturer Danotek recently decided not to relocate in Pittsfield Township but rather move to Plymouth Township and build a $7.8M facility there.

How can Ypsilanti become a major player in this kind of action? Sure, we could do traditional stuff like meet with these companies or camp outside the Michigan Film Office in Lansing, but could we do more?

The answer is a resounding YES.

And the key to all of this lies on the shoulders of Mayor Paul T. Schreiber.

He needs to change his name. And I don’t mean anything half-assed like the mayor of Pittsburgh. I mean he needs to fill out the paperwork, pay the fees, and officially do it. If this strategy can get a football team into the Super Bowl, then it can get us a major development in Downtown Ypsilanti.

Before we jump into something like this, we need to think it through. Mayor Paul Google is probably a long shot and just sounds too desperate. While having a Kuwaiti presence in Ypsilanti certainly sounds cosmopolitan, Mayor Paul KDOW has the potential to confuse people into thinking the mayor is taking on some kind of rap superstar persona. If that led Marshall “Eminem” Mathers into locating a recording studio here, it would be worth it, but it’s still too risky. There’s been this desire to move the local Deja Vu from Downtown into the Business Park. It’s possible a change of name to Paul Deja Vu or even Paul Ypsilanti Art Theatre Corp would help make that happen, but renaming yourself after an adult entertainment complex is probably not the wisest political move as re-election approaches. Finally, we should probably avoid any name changes that could spark a copyright controvery like Paul Windows Vista or Paul Buick LeSabre.

I am so dedicated to this idea that not only will I pay for as many name changes as it takes our mayor to hook a big time developer, I’m willing to pay for anyone’s name change as long as it impacts economic development.

Ypsilanti has a very bright future ahead of it, and it starts right now.

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  1. Comment by Howard Bailey Jr.
    January 20, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

    Very clever reference to Jay-Z in the title there KDOW.

  2. Comment by brobb
    January 20, 2009 @ 4:56 pm

    Very clever yourself, Chingy.

  3. Comment by Dan
    January 20, 2009 @ 5:33 pm

    So, do you think having a local reporter change his name to Dan O’teck help?

  4. Comment by brobb
    January 20, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

    The simple answer is no, but if you really want to help the cause, I’ll pay for Dan Ypsilanti Art Theatre Corp.

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