89.1 WEMU

Hidden In Plain Sight

An occasional series that will introduce you to some of the people, places, and things that help comprise who we are as a community.  These are parts of our community that, in some way, are making a difference, and yet, you may not be at all familiar with them.  That’s why this feature series is called “Hidden in Plain Sight.”

Jorge Avellan / 89.1 WEMU

Glass ceilings are being broken in many industries that have long been male-dominated.  To this day, there are businesses built on what many perceive to be a man’s job.  For instance, who do you picture when you think of a barber?  In our latest installment of “Hidden in Plain Sight,” 89.1 WEMU’s Jorge Avellan reports on female barbers in Ann Arbor who are helping change that perception.   


Margaret Hitch

A historic church in Ypsilanti will soon have a new mission and serve a different calling in the community.  The First Congregational Church on Adams Street in Ypsilanti has been for sale for over ten years with no prayer, really, of being sold due to the extensive work and repair it required.  That’s until Ypsilanti computer entrepreneur Steve Pierce and his surgeon wife Maggie Brandt decided to put their passion for restoring historic buildings into the facility.

89.1 WEMU’s Lisa Barry takes you inside the local church that is attracting musicians and performers much before its official opening...still hidden in plain sight.


Courtesy Photo / Washtenaw County Beams of History

History gives us the opportunity to better understand the past and predict the future.  A missing piece of Washtenaw County history, dating back to 1898, was recently discovered sparking a community effort to share the local piece of history with area residents.

89.1 WEMU’s Lisa Barry follows the path to the past and the future of dozens of historic beams from inside an old log cabin in Ann Arbor that, until recently, were…hidden in plain sight.


Mindo Chocolate Makers

We all know the chocolate bars we grew up with and tend to pass out at Halloween.  There is  Snickers, TwixMilky Way, and a host of others.  Now, there’s another chocolate company puttings its product to market and it's based right here in Washtenaw County.  89.1 WEMU’s Jorge Avellan reports on the high-end chocolate maker that is making its mark, but remains "Hidden in Plain Sight."  


Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

There are many ways to relax and unwind, and certainly nature is known as being a good source for that.  One of the more unusual ways is with guided forest therapy.

89.1 WEMU’s Lisa Barry takes you into the woods with the area’s only certified forest therapy guide...hidden in plain sight.

TD Tooker / University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library

Atop a small hill at the corner of Observatory and East Ann Streets in Ann Arbor sits a facility operated by the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library.  It’s been at that same location for over a century now.  Still, as 89-1 WEMU’s Jorge Avellan reports, the Detroit Observatory has remained largely “Hidden in Plain Sight.”  


Lisa Barry

If you like cats, there is the purr-fect place for you in Ann Arbor--the “Tiny Lions Cat Café and Adoption Center.”

89.1 WEMU’S Lisa Barry takes you to the place where you can hang out with cats or even do yoga or play trivia surrounded by a couple-dozen furry, four-legged friends in need of a new home.


Lisa Barry

Michigan is known as the “Great Lakes State” with a lot of focus on water, but many people may not realize there are numerous prairie fields here including in Washtenaw County.

89.1 WEMU’S Lisa Barry takes you to some of the area’s “large open grasslands” hidden in plain sight…


Jorge Avellan / WEMU

When you hear the term “Student-Athlete,” we think about the full-out effort it takes to succeed in the classroom and on the field.  Those endeavors are easily recognized.  At Eastern Michigan University, the football team continues to improve on both fronts.  But, there are efforts the players are putting forth that aren’t quite as public. Many are making indelible marks on the wider community.  As 89.1 WEMU’s Jorge Avellan reports, that component in the life of a student-athlete is “Hidden in Plain Sight.” 


Jorge Avellan / WEMU

Long before we started taking pictures on smartphones, you would see people wearing bigger and bulkier film cameras.  Among the more respected was the Argus camera and, as it turns out, it was made right here in Washtenaw County.  Argus is now out of business, but its legacy lives on.  As 89.1 WEMU’s Jorge Avellan reports, you’ll discover that history in a 1,500 square-foot space at the corner of West William and 4th Streets in Ann Arbor, “Hidden In Plain Sight.”   

Jorge Avellan / WEMU

The story of Egypt has been a vital component in explaining early world history.  The stories continue to capture the imagination.  Much of what we now know was captured through early writings and documentations made on what is called papyrus. Think of it as ancient paper.  It just so happens the largest collection of Papyri in North America is right in our area.  Walk through the U of M’s central campus Diag, in the doors to one of the school’s most recognizable buildings and, as 89.1 WEMU’s Jorge Avellan reports, you’ll discover a world that has been “Hidden in Plain Sight.” 


Lisa Barry

There is a lot to be gained from hands-on learning.  At Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, there’s a program that combines learning and eating that area residents can also benefit from.

89.1 WEMU’S Lisa Barry takes you to the campus restaurant that serves as a training experience for culinary and hospitality students at WCC open to the public, but Hidden in Plain Sight…

Lisa Barry

There is traditional medicine, and there is the growing field of medical marijuana.  Although illegal on the federal level, Michigan is one of a number of states that has legalized marijuana for medical use.

With nearly two dozen medical marijuana facilities in Washtenaw County, you have likely walked past several in your community and not even realized what it is.

89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry takes you inside several local provisioning centers as part of our "Hidden In Plain Sight" series...


Lisa Barry

Ever notice something that looks like a standalone mailbox located in front of a business or community organizations around town?  Ever wondered what's inside?

89.1 WEMU'S Lisa Barry explains they're mini neighborhood book exchanges, hidden in plain sight around Washtenaw County.


Jorge Avellan / WEMU

Perhaps you’re familiar with a wine sommelier.  At most of your finer eateries, you’ll find one who can assist in selecting the best wine pairing for your meal.  These are highly trained people who have become experts in all things wine.  But, we’re betting many of you have never heard of a tea sommelier?  While rare in the United States, they do exist, and, as a matter of fact, one such person is running a successful business in Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown District.  89.1 WEMU’s Jorge Avellan introduces you to a certified tea sommelier, who has been publicly drafting tasty brews, while “Hidden in Plain Sight!” 


Lisa Barry

Whether you are looking for something new or used, there are lot of shopping options these days.  But one place you may have not known about for a wide variety of used items for sale is “property disposition” on the University of Michigan’s campus.

89.1 WEMU’S Lisa Barry visited the giant warehouse with lots of interesting used items for sale… hidden in plain sight.


Ann Arbor Distillery Company

Perhaps you've seen the Arbor and Fox River brands on the local liquor store shelves.  They are brands of Vodka, gin and bourbon that have a worldly taste, but a hometown heritage.  You see, these spirits are produced and distributed from a facility right in Ann Arbor.  As 89.1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan reports, the Ann Arbor Distilling Company is another local treasure practically hidden in plain sight.


Lisa Barry

From nature walks to dinosaur bones, most people are familiar with many of the opportunities to see animals in the Ann Arbor area.  But did you know on the southwest side of the city there are dozens of unique animals to see and learn about?

As part of our ongoing "Hidden in Plain Sight" series, 89.1 WEMU’S Lisa Barry takes you to the “Creature Conservancy.”

Lisa Barry

The Ann Arbor area is often noted for academia and art, football, and food, but did you know it’s also home to a tortilla factory?

As part of our “Hidden In Plain Sight” series, 89.1 WEMU’S Lisa Barry takes you to Pittsfield Township just outside of Ann Arbor where tasty tortillas and chips are made from one simple ingredient.


Greogory A. Fournier / https://fornology.blogspot.com/

Mary Terese Fleszar was last seen alive the evening of July 9, 1967.  Her body was found on an abandoned farm in Superior Township just about one month later.  Investigators didn’t know it then, but this was the beginning of a series of murders attributed to John Norman Collins.  These horrific acts of violence held our community in terror until Collins’ arrest in July 1969.  On this week’s "Hidden in Plain Sight," WEMU’s Patrick Campion meets up with “Terror in Ypsilanti” author Gregory Fournier to take us on a tour of some of the sites and sounds associated with the “Michigan Murderer” who preyed on Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti co-eds for two years.


Lisa Barry

Being a mom is hard, regardless of who you are or what your background may be.  It’s even harder for those who may not have the support they need.

In our ongoing series “Hidden in Plain Sight,” 89.1 WEMU’S Lisa Barry takes you to the Corner Health Center in Ypsilanti--a comprehensive teen health center, also providing special care and programs for young mothers.


Jorge Avellan / WEMU

There is no doubt that Washtenaw County has many historic and beautiful buildings.  But have you ever wondered who helps keep those structures looking the way they do?  As part of our "Hidden in Plain Sight" series, 89.1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan interviewed workers who do just that.


Lisa Barry

On this edition of 89.1 WEMU’S "Hidden In Plain Sight," our own Lisa Barry takes you to a west side Ann Arbor shoe store that first opened downtown in 1942.  Mast Shoes has been providing a lot of sole/soul and sense of community for decades and is, ultimately, about more than just shoes.  


Lisa Barry

In our ongoing series highlighting people and places in our community that are "Hidden in Plain Sight,"  89.1 WEMU'S Lisa Barry takes you on a visit to the home of a Saline man. Dr. Brian Ottum operates a New Mexico desert telescope, by remote control, from his basement, taking pictures of astronomical phenomena without ever leaving the comfort of his home. 


Jorge Avellan / WEMU

On September 11th of each year, we are reminded of the horrific day when America found itself under attack. The Pentagon was hit. Another hijacked plane went down in a Pennsylvania field in a crash that spared a Washington D.C.  target because of the heroics of some of its passengers. And, for those old enough to remember, we will never forget where we were when word broke that one of the towers of New York’s World Trade Center had been hit by a plane. Then, the other tower was hit. Any question of whether it was a terrorist attack was removed. Then, we watched, and listened, in disbelief as each of those towers collapsed and crumbled to the ground, claiming 2,997 lives. From that day forward, as a nation, we made a promise: “We will never forget.”  Today marks 16-years since that fateful day. On this anniversary, 89.1 WEMU’s Jorge Avellan takes you to a spot on the Eastern Michigan University campus where a piece pulled from the wreckage of the World Trade Center sits, open to the public, and yet, “Hidden in Plain Sight.” 


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