Ypsilanti Area Unity Picnic & Rally presented by Fathers of Hope

Fathers of Hope Annual Picnic

Entertainment featuring John E. Lawrence and the John E. Lawrence Band

Women Working for Change: A Domestic Violence Forum

Program begins at 2:30pm

Program begins at 2:30pm

Parkridge Summer Festival & Joe Dullin Community Day

Joe Dulin Community Day & Parkridge Festival

Parkridge Summer Fest

Ypsilanti Heritage Festival (last day)

Ypsi Heritage Fest logo

Sunday, August 23, 2015
Riverside Park, Ypsilanti, MI


Ypsilanti Community Schools Meet and Greet

Ypsilanti back to school meet and greetChild on diving boardChild with ball at Rutherford Pool in YpsilantiGirl playing water basketball

Rutherford Pool
975 Congress Street
Ypsilanti, MI

Ypsilanti Heritage Festival

Ypsi Heritage Fest logo 







Ypsilanti Heritage Festival


Aug 21, 2015
Location: Riverside Park, 6 W Cross St, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Spanning over three days, Ypsilanti Heritage Festival is a  community festival featuring arts & crafts,  live music, family activities and entertainment, historical presentations and demonstrations, and so much more. So come on down to Riverside Park and the surrounding areas to enjoy the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival from Friday, August 21- Sunday, August 23.

Photo Credit: Visit Ypsilanti

Article via Ann Arbor Convention & Visitors Bureau


Social Media Workshop

Ypsi Social Media WorkshopWe are having our second Social Media Workshop at Spark East on August 20 from noon-2pm. Guest speakers, free lunch from @beezyscafe, and an exclusive sneak-peek of the new brand for Ypsilanti! Check us out on Facebook for more info! #visitypsi #ypsilove #ypsi #ypsilanti #ypsisocial #mc4tvisitypsi

Free HIV Testing during National HIV Testing Week

Free HIV Testing at Walgreens http://www.greaterthan.org/get-tested-with-Walgreens-and-greater-than-aids/

Free HIV Testing at Walgreens

In honor of National HIV Testing Day on Saturday, June 27th, Walgreens, local AIDS service organizations, and health departments are teaming up to offer free HIV testing. Four area Walgreens stores are participating in Flint, Royal Oak, Detroit and Ypsilanti. Testing will be available Thursday, June 25th and Friday, June 26th, from 3:00 pm -7:00 pm, and Saturday, June 27th, from 10:00 am -2:00 pm.


For more information on free year-round HIV testing or services for those living with HIV/AIDS contact:

HIV/AIDS Resource Center (HARC), University of Michigan HIV/AIDS Treatment Program, Infectious Disease Fellowship Clinic, Washtenaw County Public Health Clinic, or The Corner Health Clinic, in Ypsilanti.

Ypsilantian Realizes His Life-Long Dream With A Poetic Tribute To His Brother

Ten percent of proceeds will benefit Cancer research

Ten percent of proceeds will benefit the fight against cancer

At 66 years old, James Gery Welch proves you’re never too old to fulfill a dream.                                                                                                                                  

James Welch began writing poetry while growing up in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Over the years, he’d place his finished poems in file folders and then forget about them. When Cancer took his brother’s life at age 63, Welch wrote a poem about him. Eddie was also a writer, a songwriter, who never published his verses.

In 2002, James went so far as to compile his poems and copywrite them but they haven’t seen the light of day, in book form, until now. This is something James predicted he would do one day, publish a book in his brother’s name.

James Welch’s poems have been published in; Cellar Roots, AIM, True Romance, Mobius and Midnight Xpressions. He is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Eddie was James’ eldest brother. They, along with their brother Levi, were long time Ypsilanti residents and Ypsilanti High Graduates. They all worked in and around Ann Arbor.

It’s taken a while to get from there to here, but at the ripe, young age of 66, Welch has pursued his dream by publishing his first book of poetry. For Eddie: Cancer Survivor.

Welch is donating 10% of the proceeds to “aid in the fight against that which scourges lives, cancer.”  ponchojgw@yahoo.com

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IMO: Washtenaw District Court Judge Responds to Ghost Accuser

In My Opinion: Guest Column by Leslie McGraw, Friends & Family of Judge J. Cedric Simpson

The Honorable J. Cedric Simpson, Washtenaw County Judge, 14-A District Court

The Honorable J. Cedric Simpson, Washtenaw County Judge, 14-A District Court

The Honorable J Cedric Simpson, 14-A District Court Judge covering dockets in Pittsfield Township and Saline, Michigan, filed a response with the Judicial Tenure Commission on Wednesday, November 26 after a formal complaint was filed against him two weeks prior.

The complaint contained a host of allegations around the arrest of his intern, Crystal Marie Vargas. Vargas had been a student of Judge Simpson’s at Cooley Law School and an aspiring judge. Vargas was selected by Judge Simpson and his staff to be a part of the internship program based on her academics, strong writing skills, career goals, and background. Vargas became the only assistant in a high-profile case.

On the morning of Sunday, September 8, 2013, Vargas called Judge Simpson at 4:20 a.m. after she collided with a tow truck while turning at a blinking red light. Judge Simpson raced over to the scene to discover Vargas had been drinking while driving. After she failed sobriety tests, Officer Cole placed her under arrest. “Because you’re being cooperative, we will do what we can”, said Cole to Vargas, “We’ll see if we can work on somebody to get your car so we don’t have to impound it.” After Cole placed Vargas in the police car, he walked over to Judge Simpson and asked a hesitant Simpson to take the car keys because she had told him she didn’t have anyone else to come get her and it would help her to avoid impound fees.

After Judge Simpson left the scene, a decision to tow the car was made. Vargas was told that it would be a “crash tow” and not impounded. When Ms. Vargas arrived at the tow company, an impound fee had been applied. After several credit card attempts, Judge Simpson paid the tow balance which was reimbursed to him the next day she came to the court.
The Monday after the accident, Judge Simpson reported the incident to Cooley Law School and reached out the City Attorney’s office to receive a police report and clarify the correct blood alcohol level so he could make a decision about the fate of her internship.

Judge Simpson went on about his duties in good faith until he received an anonymous complaint from the Judicial Tenure Commission (JTC) in 2014, which later evolved into an official complaint on November 12, 2014. In one of the first times in the JTC’s 46 year history, the allegations were served with no accuser. According to a May 2014 Edition of The Ann Magazine, Paul Fischer, the commission’s executive director, said the commission discloses the identity of complainants to judges, and that circumstances that would warrant anonymity are very rare. “In fact,” Fischer said, “I can’t even think of one.”
Judge Simpson, in his response to the Judicial Tenure Commission stated:

Judge Simpson had assigned Ms. Vargas the task of reviewing an extremely large volume of text message records that were then the subject of litigation in Nassif. Ms. Vargas’ review of these records and her need to report to Judge Simpson what she was findings she was going along led to an extremely large number of text messages and telephone calls during that period of time, including at times other than normal business hours. Other communication between Ms. Vargas and Judge Simpson during this period involved one or more other matters Judge Simpson had assigned her to work on. Neither the number nor the nature of the communications was in any way improper, nor were the communications in any way an indication of an inappropriate relationship.

This is not the first ghost complaint against Judge Simpson. In fact, in 2010 Judge Kirk Tabbey took Judge Simpson off of the criminal docket for ghost complaints. Or at least that’s what his cryptic message to the press seemed to imply. MLive reported that then-Chief Judge Tabbey said “I have received no official written complaints about Judge Simpson, and any other issues are personnel matters, so I would have no comment.” It would seem that the Former Chief Judge Simpson who worked with the Dispute Resolution Center to alleviate 78% of small claims docket, worked with youth in the Community in conjunction with CAN, and coordinated with the county and Department of Human Services to reduce homelessness and landlord/tenant issues in Washtenaw County deserved more than such a mediocre response. Apparently, the ghost grumblings subsided this year as Judge Simpson as Chief Judge Richard Conlin reassigned the Criminal Docket and Collections from Judge Tabbey to Judge Simpson this October.

Since this ghost accuser has had so many questions and allegations, the friends and family of Judge Simpson have some questions as well.

1. The allegations in the complaint against Judge Simpson were released via media before 7 a.m. on Thursday, November 13, 2014. That is less than 24 hours after the complaint was served to Judge Simpson. Do “you” always post allegations such as these so quickly and with such bias? It is hard to remember the last time we have seen a positive story about a black man posted with such urgency in the local press.

2. At the same commission meeting on Monday, November 10, 2014, it was recommended that Judge Tabbey be suspended for 90 days without pay after he pled guilty to drinking and driving. Why did it take a commenter on the article about Judge Simpson to prompt local news reporters to publish a story about Judge Tabbey? When were “you” planning to publish that story?

3. Judge Simpson has mentored almost 50 young people of different genders and ethnicities through the internship program he began in connection with Cooley Law School. Why did “you” presume that Judge Simpson had to have been engaged in a dishonorable relationship with Ms. Vargas?

4. Judge Simpson’s award-winning contributions in the community span decades, mostly for his compassion and integrity. Here are a few just in case “you” didn’t know:

  • 2004 Father Bernard J. O’Conner Award for Compassionate Justice – Dispute Resolution Center
  • 2007 Animal Humanitarian Award – Huron Valley Humane Society
  • 2011 Integrity in the Community Honoree – The Thomas M. Cooley Law School
  • 2013 Drill Sergeant, Tough Love Award – Thomas M. Cooley Ann Arbor Student Bar Association
  • 2013 Professional Integrity and Community Outreach Award – Washtenaw Association for Justice

5. Many of the allegations are addressed in the police video footage. How did they make it to the complaint? Did “you” see the entire video? If “you” saw the entire video, then why did “you” decide to splice the video on television news in such a way that implied interference? Why did “you” show the tow truck driver speaking about Judge Simpson taking the keys for Ms. Vargas without the scene where the police officer asked Judge Simpson to take the keys?

There are so many questions and concerns that our community should be asking about our only remaining black judge in Washtenaw County. Sometimes, we are uncertain exactly whom these questions should be directed. That does not excuse, however, our failure to continue to ask the questions. Just as we have banded together in communities across these united states to ask tough questions to authorities and make the statement #BlackLivesMatter in Ferguson, Cleveland, New York, and Charleston, we also must band together to ask the tough questions in Washtenaw County. Wayne Moore, Civil Rights activist and member of the historic Wilmington Ten, posed the question: where have all the leaders gone?The leaders have not gone anywhere. They are present, in the positions we elected them to serve in, just trying to breathe.

To learn how you may join the community of support for the Honorable Judge J. Cedric Simpson, please email the Friends and Family of Judge Simpson at JudgeSimpsonInfo@gmail.com or join us on Google + or Facebook.

The views of Guest Columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of AnotherAnnArbor.org. Posts, Listings, Likes, Tweets, Retweets and other forms of social media engagement do not necessarily equal endorsements. Go to the ‘News’ tab if you are interested in submitting an opinion piece or other information to AnotherAnnArbor.org for publication consideration. Another Ann Arbor, Inc., and it’s subsidiaries,  has no stance on religious or partisan political issues. Our aim is to uplift and strengthen Black communities in Washtenaw County by informing and engaging African Americans and other communities of color, on news, events, issues, history and concerns, that may be of particular interest to African Americans and other members of the African Diaspora. WE WELCOME ANY AND ALL WHO SHARE THIS MISSION TO JOIN US!

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