Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Growing Pains at the Farmer's Market

17. August 2007 • Juliew
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For most people, a trip to the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market is a Saturday (or Wednesday) morning ritual. A place to pick up local produce, crafts, or baked goods and meet up with neighbors, friends, and relatives. It inspires food writing, poetry, and cooking classes. It even has a MySpace page. If all goes well, the Market will soon be the site of a large solar project. More and more vendors want to participate and on summer Saturdays the Market spills out along the sidewalk extensions. It seems that everyone loves the Farmer’s Market.

But is success spoiling the Market?

A few years ago, plans to expand the site were met with a storm of criticism from many of the vendors and eventually the plans were tabled. The Market Manager left and a new Manager was hired. Rumors began flying about unhappy vendors, preferential treatment, and “resold” produce from big box stores and baked goods from grocery stores resold as homemade. City Council meetings and Market Commission meetings are often contentious. Now there are competing blogs discussing the good and bad aspects; videos extolling the virtues and vices ; and an interesting discussion on localharvest.com.

Unfortunately, it is hard to find out if there is truth to the rumors or if it is all just sour grapes from vendors who aren’t on the preferred list (probably some of both). The City Market Commission is in flux and the Farmer’s Market web site has disappointingly little information.

Fortunately, many of the vendors themselves have good informational web sites so everyone can do their own research. Even though there are many changes that could and probably should be made, it is still the place to be on Saturday mornings, especially this time of year.



  1. Juliew, that is an absolutely beautiful picture! I keep looking at it (better than watching the Tigers lose :)).

    I thought that I read something about the market’s advisory council “losing power” lately, and “more power” going to the market manager. Or maybe I just dreamt that??? Since I don’t know much about the situation, I am not sure if this is bad or good….


       —TeacherPatti    Aug. 18 '07 - 01:45AM    #
  2. Thanks TeacherPatti, I couldn’t resist taking that picture last week. All those vegetables looked so beautiful in the sun.

    I think the changes in the Farmer’s Market can be taken a few different ways. There are definitely some contentious issues and changing the makeup of the commission is a pretty big step. But, like you, I don’t know enough to know exactly what the implications are.


       —Juliew    Aug. 19 '07 - 11:26PM    #
  3. There is an Ann Arbor Farmers Market page on Arborwiki where there’s been some collective effort to catalog the farmers there and to link back to pages with information about their operations. If there’s someone systematically bringing in produce that’s not grown on their farm, it should be possible to determine that.


       —Edward Vielmetti    Aug. 20 '07 - 06:25PM    #
  4. I love that Mason Proper are in their top friends (“My My, Bad Fruit”?)


       —Brandon    Aug. 21 '07 - 11:34AM    #
  5. Buying and selling is rampant from bedding plants to baked goods. Past manager stated she knew of 20 vendors were buying and selling. Commissioner stated she is to take care of it. She stated she would not. During June’s 2007 commission meeting, Commissioner Scott Newll of Big City Bakery asked Ms. Black why she was letting a vendor buy frozen baked goods, bake them and bring them to market,
    Her reply “I have nothing to say NOT ONE WORD”


       —bob    Aug. 23 '07 - 03:48AM    #
  6. Local Harvest community states if it is City Code that there is no buying and selling and the market manager is allowing it, then the manager should be fired. One Harvester recommended that a petition signed by vendors and customers should be in order to have manager resign.


       —karl    Aug. 23 '07 - 03:11PM    #
  7. Wouldn’t want buying and selling occurring in a market, that would be terrible.


       —Bruce Fields    Aug. 23 '07 - 06:36PM    #
  8. Some interesting videos related to the Market. Now, obviously these are edited to prove a particular point, but I’ve seen Peter Pollack in some pretty contentious situations and never saw him angry like this. It definitely looks like a few people on the board need to leave and I haven’t heard anything from anyone supporting the Market Manager. Does anyone know any more about her? I wouldn’t think there was this much animosity around a Farmer’s Market, but then, there is a lot of money at stake. Video A Video B


       —Juliew    Aug. 23 '07 - 08:15PM    #
  9. Hey the guy in video A is the the vendor that also subs as Potty patrol in the markets bathroom.


       —james    Aug. 24 '07 - 03:51AM    #
  10. Vendors support the manager by paying her outrageous salary and benefits. Full time pay for 2 market days work. She came to the market without any previous market experience.
    Should anyone support her in any way if she is allowing buying and selling?


       —jeff    Aug. 25 '07 - 01:26AM    #
  11. That’s a fairly (or unfairly, rather) indirect complaint, jeff. Do you hold the market manager responsible for the job description and compensation of the manager position?


       —Steve Bean    Aug. 25 '07 - 02:47PM    #
  12. steven,
    vendors have no representation. However, the majority of vendors feel she is paid an outrageous salary.


       —jeff    Aug. 26 '07 - 02:05PM    #
  13. The current market commission did a great job. Turns out they uncovered the fact that none of the market rules from mediation were ever promulgated.(Mr. Kevin McDonald) No complaint procedure, no transference, no seniority etc. They also uncovered the fact that Mr. Robertello lied on a 2005 state police report. In his statement to the state he claims he gained transference because he married one of the Kapnick daughters.
    In the meeting Mr. Robertello stated that Sharon was an owner of Kapnick Orchards. Why is she now renting if she owned it?


       —D constantine    Aug. 26 '07 - 02:51PM    #
  14. I believe that if you polled the vendors, the majority are happy with the present Market Manager. At the City Council public hearing on the Market Ordinance revisions none of the vendors spoke against giving the Market Manager greater discretionary authority. One Commissioner,who is also a vendor, did speak against the proposed changes which reduced the authority of the Market Commission.

    While the vendors are generally satisfied with the Market Manager, many would state that they are not receiving good value, or service, for the amount she is paid from their vendor fees. I would concur, but I believe this is a more general fault of our bureaucratic city administration than that of the Market Manager. Remember, the Market Manager is now an employee of the Parks Facilities Department, not a Market employee. She must attend all the staff meetings; and of course, there is now also an assistant Market Manager paid from the stall fees.

    Our informal group, The Friends of the Market, have been active in following the Market for several years. Our blog is arbormarket.blogspot.com.


       —GW hitThomp    Aug. 27 '07 - 10:07PM    #
  15. No one likes a liar and Ms. Black has been known to tell many. She is a gossip. She was told by Jane Miller not to respond to vendor questions. What’s that about. She is also allowing cheating.


       —jeff    Aug. 28 '07 - 01:10AM    #
  16. More unsubstantiated allegations of cheating. names please.


       —Edward Vielmetti    Aug. 28 '07 - 06:39PM    #
  17. I hear she secretly chews tobacco.


       —Rhümer Maanger    Aug. 28 '07 - 11:39PM    #
  18. As former Chair of the Market Commission that was recently “dismembered”, I thought I would weigh in with a lengthy commentary. The following is the text of a communication I made to the Mayor and City Council prior to their vote on the so-called “new” rules in July:

    To the Mayor and City Council
    Parliamentary procedure allows a body to rescind or reconsider decisions taken at prior meetings, within certain guidelines. Council has itself done so in the past, the Metro 202 decision comes to my mind. Decisions such as this do not come lightly, usually they are of an important nature.

    At the duly convened Market Commission meeting of June 21st, 2007, a motion was made to rescind the Commission’s approval of proposed Market Operating Rules, and City Code provisions regarding makeup of the Commission. The vote had the needed 2/3 majority, since prior notice of the motion had not been made. If all seven of the members of the Commission had been in attendance, there would have been a motion made to reconsider the approval made at the May Commission meeting, and the outcome would have been the same, as the Commission members who wanted rescinding or reconsideration were clearly in the majority.

    This drastic step was taken for many reasons, but was essentially a vote of “no confidence” in the process of revising the Market Operating Rules. Suggestions made to revise the rules to be fairer to all vendors, made by the Ann Arbor citizens who sit on the Commission, were not incorporated into the rules changes. The set of rules that you will be voting on tonight has certain flaws that need to be addressed. The call for a “sweeping change” in the rules was made clear by the Commission back in the fall of 2006, since the rules and procedures were found to be vague, unworkable, and unenforceable. This was an historic opportunity to fix rules that had been in place for about 10 years.

    What we received in return is a set of rules that perpetuate a system where a few vendors benefit, at the expense of the many who would also like to have a place at the Public Market. Unfair stall allocations and seniority issues have continually plagued the market, causing vendors to complain, and may ultimately lead to the loss of vendors who cannot make a decent living at our market. Stall allocations and seniority were not fixed in these rules. For instance, one group of family members (Delores Gracia, Toni Gracia, Carol Vena, Denise Brock, and Tina Koski), all work one greenhouse property, but are allowed to have 16 permanent stalls between the five vendors. They make a lot of money. This group monopolizes a “public” space, and prevents diversity of products and vendors from gaining a foothold, having to wait years and years for a permanent space. Such a scarce public resource should not be allowed to be used for such narrow purposes.

    If preferences are to be given to vendors, they should be given to organic growers, and to those vendors from Washtenaw County, as they have less of a “carbon footprint”, and help to maintain scarce water resources that we all depend upon. This also would go along with the greenbelt strategy wisely put into place a few years ago.

    You are not likely to hear any opposition from vendors as to this new set of rules. By and large, those vendors who complain or go against the will of those who set the unfair rules into place years ago, are shunned or retaliated against, and therefore fearful of making an outcry in the public arena where they can be identified. Please keep in mind the source of support or opposition.

    Placing most decision-making power into the hands of the Market Manager can be a good thing, or it can be dangerous. It all depends on a strict impartiality on the part of the Market Manager. Biases and preferences towards or against certain vendors are poisonous, and have developed in the past in Market Managers here in Ann Arbor, I have directly observed these behaviors. I appreciate the difficulties of operating the Public Market on a daily basis, and I think that Jessica Black has done an admirable job under the circumstances, but I can see where certain biases are creeping in once again.

    Finally, I think it is unwise to reduce the number of commissioners on the Market Commission, as that curbs valuable public input. The removal of the statement of purpose is also detrimental, as the current purpose is suitable when it calls for “equitable opportunity” and a “diverse and friendly atmosphere”.

    Thank you for the opportunity to communicate with you all. These are my thoughts only, I do not purport to speak for all on the Market Commission.

    I would love to share with the ArborUpdate community more of what I know to be fact about the market, as I was on the Commission for nearly 6 years.


       —Luis Vazquez    Aug. 29 '07 - 01:44AM    #
  19. Luis, thanks for the info.

    I have a question. I’ve been in Ann Arbor for just 8 years, and I still hear about how hard it is to get into the market.

    Why don’t you just ditch the current location, and move it to one of the nearby parks? More room. Lotsa extra customers on Sat. when the weather is nice. Problem solved. Many, many cities do just this.

    That location, and the size of your location, if I understand your problems, is completely unsuited for your needs. It’s absurd to turn down space to local farmers/growers/whatever just because you think that that space is your only option.

    It would certainly get rid of the bickering about a lack of space, wouldn’t it? Mitchell Field is pretty big, and rents space. Why not there?

    Just a thought.


       —todd    Aug. 29 '07 - 03:43AM    #
  20. It is my understanding that a potential vendor has never been turned away from the market because of lack of space. I confirmed this today in conversations with the Market Manager and with a long term vendor that was a past member of the Market Commission. Potential vendors have been rejected if it was felt their proposal was inconsistent with the nature of the market. One example that I remember was an application from a massage studio.

    The space issue is more that every vendor desires the prime stall sites. This would persist at any market location. The market uses a seniority system to assign space so the new vendor is at a disadvantage, but even so, there are only a few Saturdays of the year when all stall spaces under the shed canopies are occupied.

    Another strong reason to keep the Market at the present location is the proximity to the Peoples Food Coop and the Kerrytown Shops. The combination makes the area a “super market” for many residents.


       —G Thompson    Aug. 29 '07 - 03:18PM    #
  21. Ah, thanks. I had always heard (and from farmers, no less) that there was a wait list a mile long. We were actually approached by some farmers the year that we opened to see if we could host a market in our parking lot.

    If you don’t have to turn away farmers, the space is centralized and fine….but this is not what I have heard/been told directly.

    Another question. Why do you use a seniority system? If this is a taxpayer based program, why are you not using a lottery system to assure fairness of lot placement? I can’t think of another govt. service where priority is given using the “I was here first” system.

    Why aren’t all vendors given fair and equal access as long as they meet your criteria (e.g., no massage parlors)?


       —todd    Aug. 29 '07 - 03:43PM    #
  22. The growers association created this system in the mid 80’s. Many vendors complained when several of the vendors claimed they were there before other vendors. Vendors that were age 13 claimed seniority ahead of many that came before.
    Many vendors are embarrased by Glen Thompsons presence regarding market matters. If one is speaking only to new manager and scott robertello then I would advise not to listen. lottery would be great. Mr. Robertello is against this as it would be a fair solution to a major problem/


       —jeff    Aug. 29 '07 - 10:07PM    #
  23. Well, seeing as how the taxpayers are picking up the tab, this should be run like any other GO. No one gets contracts or perq’s because “they were there first”.

    The idea behind a Farmer’s market is to give both farmers/growers a free access point to exchange healthy local food. The idea isn’t to give one person more money because they were there first.

    This seniority system is particularly, um, contraindicated if one of the obvious goals is to have MORE local veggies and fruits. Why the heck would you make it tougher on a new grower to establish the sales they need to get out of the difficult startup phase?

    I know nothing about the market (other than the veggies I get there are tasty), but if you’re going to go to all the trouble of having a Market Commission with rules and procedures, then IMHO, you should cut the Junior Varsity method of giving favors to the old guard, and go to a lottery system that benefits all the local growers as a whole. More financially healthyfarmers=good.


       —todd    Aug. 29 '07 - 10:37PM    #
  24. Well said, Todd. I’ll also venture that the issue of good stalls vs. bad stalls is a symptom of a problem that’s not being addressed. If the majority of vendors wouldn’t be satisfied with some sort of revolving or at least regular shuffling of stall assignment, then evening out the visibility or foot traffic seems like it would be a priority for the market manager. The place isn’t that big—how hard can it be to ensure that no stall is out of the loop? Maybe start by moving the trash cans to the ends of aisles instead of putting them at the intersections?


       —Steve Bean    Aug. 30 '07 - 02:49AM    #
  25. Todd and Steven, please come to meetings and make these great ideas a reality. There is a small group of vendors that will shoot down these ideas in a second. They will not budge from their stalls and will cry foul play as “they are the ones that made the market.” That’s what they always say to city council whenever they feel threatened. The city now allows several business entities in one set of stalls. Zingermans can now do the same now that they are in the market. A far cry from the small family farm. Another vendor sells liquor and cigarettes at it’s grocery store.


       —terry    Aug. 30 '07 - 09:25AM    #
  26. Small group of vendors complained about the first draft for new market construction. It would have eliminated any bad location a thing of the past. The manager helped these vendors and decided instead of new layout, they will add on to dead mans alley. What a let down for vendors and customers. The market needs to be relocated where there’s better parking and better space for ALL vendors not just the friends of the manager as these are the only vendors she caters to.


       —dale    Aug. 30 '07 - 09:41AM    #
  27. The Farmers Marketer states the customer came to market in June and purchased corn. Corn in MI is knee high on the fourth of July!. Buying and selling? Apples in feb.-august? without controlles atmoshere room apples can’t be stored in regular refidge, This vendor is not on the list from Dept. of Ag as a licensed control room. So can you find these vendors, the manager knows and won’t do anything about it. Mr. McDonald (city attorney)stated It is our policy,we let them cheat in the past we’ll continue to let them.


       —squirrel    Sep. 2 '07 - 03:28PM    #
  28. So many things are “known” about the Market. Just “known” without basis or data.

    Like Todd, I met a potential vendor that wanted to sell at the AA Market, but he knew it was just too hard to get into the Market. This was last spring when the Market had a campaign to recruit new vendors. I gave the person, a grower of organic apples, the contact information for the Market manager. I told him that there were several established apple vendors, but as a certified organic grower, I thought he would be successful.

    A month or two later I emailed and asked if he would be at the Market this fall. His response: “No, I didn’t contact the Market manager. Ya know, it is just too hard to get into that Market”

    To the best of my knowledge there never has been a wait list for growers (producers) at the Market. (Artisans applying to the Farmers Market have been redirected to apply to the Sunday Artisans Market) There are two classes of producers, annual vendors and daily vendors. A vendor moves from the daily category to the annual category based on seniority. There is a wait list to be an annual vendor.

    Why are there two categories? Many vendors do not come all year. Many bedding plant vendors come only in the spring. Traditional harvest vendors may only come in the fall. If the Market were limited to annual vendors there would be many empty stalls even in the peak seasons.

    Is it more desirable to to be annual vendor? Of course. You can come at 4:00am and immediately start setting up. A daily vendor must wait until 6:00am for their stall assignment. But is it a crisis? The image of a vendor showing up with a truckload of fresh produce and being turned away because there isn’t space is simply false.

    Do annual vendors always come and immediately set up? No, many use the “move up” provision which allows them to move into a location they may consider more desirable or which may have a greater number of contiguous stalls.

    Is the current system perfect? No, but it works reasonably well. Would a lottery aspect be better? No! A lottery is for gamboling. The market needs to operate as a business. What business picks its CEO, marketers or sales force by lottery?

    One commenter mentioned that seniority is not important in government. This is simply false. It plays a very significant role in all government levels from the city to the federal level. For employees, it is a very significant part of the civil service system. For contractors it is also very important. It is not called seniority, it is “past experience”, “demonstrated ability to perform” or a similar name.

    Seniority may not be perfect, but it is objective. How can we think that it would better for the Ann Arbor citizen, or for the Market, to take stalls from vendors that have demonstrated the ability to come to the Market many days of the year with very attractive displays and give their space to untested vendors?

    Let the new vendor demonstrate their capability. Many have, the good ones will continue to do so, and they will succeed.


       —G Thompson    Sep. 2 '07 - 09:18PM    #
  29. Is the current system perfect? No, but it works reasonably well. Would a lottery aspect be better? No! A lottery is for gamboling. The market needs to operate as a business. What business picks its CEO, marketers or sales force by lottery?

    That’s irrelevant. The vendors are participants in a market (in the general as well as specific sense), not employees.

    One commenter mentioned that seniority is not important in government. This is simply false. It plays a very significant role in all government levels from the city to the federal level. For employees, it is a very significant part of the civil service system. For contractors it is also very important. It is not called seniority, it is “past experience”, “demonstrated ability to perform” or a similar name.

    Again, irrelevant. The vendors sell products, they don’t provide public services.

    Seniority may not be perfect, but it is objective. How can we think that it would better for the Ann Arbor citizen, or for the Market, to take stalls from vendors that have demonstrated the ability to come to the Market many days of the year with very attractive displays and give their space to untested vendors?

    Three for three. Also the premise is false, if we can believe what others have said that there are usually stalls available.

    A lottery would be fair. An auction might be better, though, if it’s true that some stalls are somehow better than others. Then, rather than fairness of access or exposure, there would be fairness of cost for access/exposure.


       —Steve Bean    Sep. 3 '07 - 03:30AM    #
  30. How about a scheme similar to the NYC taxi medallions?


       —Edward Vielmetti    Sep. 4 '07 - 04:37AM    #
  31. great ideas howerver, a small group of long time vendors(the Growers ass.)would cry wolf. They have and still maintain they are the ones who created the market. kevin mcdonald stated none of old rules existed. so how does this affect the seniority list created & implemented is it still viable. The lottery has been recommended and will continue to be recommended as the only fair and equal access to the market. The mayor and city council just gave 3 vendors 4 stalls. Some vendors have waited for many years just to get 2 stalls and they aren’t adjoining.
    As far as the buying and selling..
    There are no criteria for inspections or products.
    Many of the inspections were done almost 8 years ago. Greenhouses were inspected in May and June, (long after possible production)orchards were inspected in May, apples and other fruits don’t bear fruit in May. inspection report for a bakery stated vendor has licensed facility. Mo evidence of production.
    Evergreen holiday products were inspected in may. inspection report states saw remnants of last years products.


       —pat    Sep. 4 '07 - 06:27PM    #
  32. I am not very familiar with the NYC taxicab system, Ed. I think there are different categories of cabs, like handicap accessible, and the licenses are auctioned for each category.

    In the case of the Market lets say some stalls were reserved for artisans and the remainder auctioned. The most likely result is that the newer vendor would be bid out of the Market. There are many established vendors that would bid considerable higher than the present rate for more stalls. Even now, vendors with multiple stalls pay more per stall than single stall vendors.

    I am not aware of any market using a direct stall auction. A variation that is common, particularly in markets managed for profit, is for the stall fee to be a percentage of sales. To keep the system honest the stalls are assigned to maximize the market income. Let’s say an established grower writes a stall fee check for $6,000 to the market manager and says: “That would be $8,000 if I had another stall” The startup vendor or artisan behind him/her hands the manager a check for $60 and says: “It would be only fair for you to take stalls from the larger vendor and give them to me”. Who do you think gets the rejection letter and who gets an extra stall next year?

    The cost of operating the Market has steadily increased since it was transfered to the Parks department. It is very likely that some increase in fees or change in the method of collection will soon be required. If I were a new vendor, or simply one that is not very profitable I would be very reluctant to suggest any form of auction.


       —G Thompson    Sep. 6 '07 - 04:12PM    #
  33. a vendor that utilizes the market 80 times a year pays the same as a vendor that only has seasonal products and utilizes the market maybe 20-30 times. why isn’t the vendor that utilizes it more often paying a higher price. Payments should be made seasonally. Also
    until there are clear cut written criteria, rule interpretation will be left open to subjective point of view. In the case of the pre-made frozen baked goods is this a product the vendor makes?


       —vendor    Sep. 7 '07 - 03:04AM    #
  34. It is sometimes hard for me to believe people will become so incensed over the Farmers Market. The market is not there to serve the vendors, it is there to serve the people of A2. So long as I can buy fresh stuff there I am happy. I am also excited to see the new remodeled area and to have a solar powered market. The space should be made functional for other events the other 5 days of the week.

    Seems to me like the city just wants to keep the lid on things and given the hyper nature of the last few meetings of the old market commission and some of the films and comments on websites and on blogs, I can see why. They were smart to dissolve the old market commission. Why not phase them out and back to 2 over time.

    Pat, the council did not just “give” 4 stalls to anyone, they just let the vendors who had 4 keep them, for now anyway. As I recall from the council meeting, there are a lot of details to be worked out by the new commission.

    Peter Pollock’s name was put forward on Tuesday night and he served on the old one as well. Peter is a very solid member for any commission and no one is better suited to work this out, especially now that there will be a less crazy environment to work in.


       —LauraB    Sep. 7 '07 - 04:11AM    #
  35. The market is there to serve the public, however, the public is better served when there is no cheating and fairness and equity are realized.

    Why do some vendors receive 4 stalls?
    How did “several vendors” (according to Ms. Black) gain transference without ever applying?
    If the manager knows someone is cheating why isn’t she doing her job? Corn in early June? Have also heard she has left the market well before 3:oo on several Saturdays.

    I also see Genia Service has been named. She’s in that video sloppy cover-up job. She’s the one laughing as carol scott lifts up her shirt and assaults the camera. The crazy environment was created from several sources. 1. Mr. McDonald stated that none of the market rules had been promulgated. 2.when a vendor lies and cheats. 3.Market manager Can’t fault the past commission for that. They brought to light all the major policy changes that vendors needed to be addressed and implemented years ago..but were ignored by past commissions.

    IMHO until there is clear cut well written criteria, rule interpretation will be left open to subjective point of view.

    One last comment. I find it very interesting that Jane Miller did not update her June 18th letter that was given to the mayor and city council in July’s council meeting. On June 21st the commission changed their vote, however Ms. Miller’s letter did not mention this. Nor did Mr. Robertello’s. Odd?


       —marty    Sep. 7 '07 - 07:14AM    #
  36. “It is sometimes hard for me to believe people will become so incensed over the Farmers Market. The market is not there to serve the vendors, it is there to serve the people of A2.”
    Laura I hope you don’t mind, but this statement is utterly absurd! It’s easy for a shopper at a market to take it’s existence for granted, giving little thought to why the market exists. Those involved in creating and operating the market know the economic and political issues behind any market may be much more complex. The most important political or philosophical issues related to the market, are why they exist and whom they are intended to benefit. Markets are typically created to serve the needs of local farmers and consumers. The most common and direct manner in which this purpose is reflected in the producer- only feature that informs consumers the market is designed primarily as an outlet for local farmers selling only products raised on their farms.Farmers markets are important because they give local farmers the chance to sell food they raise directly to customers: A market allows the consumer to buy fresh food from the farmers who raise it.
    Several vendors, commissioners and past and current manager know there’s buying and selling, but have taken no action.
    When this happens it does not benefit consumers and it can possibly put a small farm out of operation.
    This market supports the big farmers that have many other outlets from which they also sell their products. More later gotta go


       —ld    Sep. 7 '07 - 03:49PM    #
  37. Thompson, you have such a skewed view of things going on at the market. On the one hand, you rail against a “bureaucratic city administration”, yet on your website, you want to see organic farmers at our market be saddled with baloney USDA “organic certification.” You speak with forked tongue, hopefully someday you will choke on it. There are many vendors who disagree with your viewpoints, and would like to see you cease your unwanted meddling in the market.

    Laura B, you display the attitude of many Ann Arbor consumers who take things for granted, just so long as you are getting your fresh produce. You are right that the “city” wanted to keep a lid on things there, but putting a lid on a simmering pot may cause it to boil over, and thats what really happened. Issues were allowed to fester, complaints weren’t addressed by the “city” (meaning the Parks and Rec staff, a succession of market managers, the city’s legal dept, and council), and then citizens on the commission were stonewalled, and those issues of unfairness were covered up. The recent commission brought things to a head, sorry to see them go. If Mr Pollack and Ms Genia Service were truly interested in change, then they would not be applying for re-appointment to the “new” commission, and would let the commission start totally afresh. They are naive individuals who are ignorant about the real history of the market.


       —fuzzbollah    Sep. 7 '07 - 05:15PM    #
  38. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the market is not called the farmers market any longer.It’s called the public market. will the city be taking down the “farmers market “ signs? The city stripped the market of it’s mission statement and now operates without one.
    I have the same ? as marty, why are there vendors with 4 stalls?
    for fuzzy..I agree with many of your observations. several of the vendors at the public market agree also, especially regarding Glen thompson.
    I’m glad to see Ken’s nomination. He’s a great asset to market. I admired his comments in Sept. 06 observer about the buying and reselling of hanging baskets.
    Mr. Pollack , IMHO, is long winded with not much to say. yawn yawn yawn


       —dozie    Sep. 8 '07 - 03:12AM    #
  39. These links might be of some help regarding organics vs. authentic

    http://www.fourseasonfarm.com/main/authentic/beyon
    d.html

    http://www.fourseasonfarm.com/main/authentic/authentic.html

    http://www.fourseasonfarm.com/main/authentic/standards.html

    http://www.fourseasonfarm.com/main/authentic/role.html


       —authentic food    Sep. 8 '07 - 06:29AM    #
  40. well it’s officially over..Peach season that is. have been told by the peach growers that mi peaches are done. if you see any at the market next sat., they’re not from MI.


       —carol S    Sep. 9 '07 - 12:51AM    #
  41. Really? I was up north last week and saw plenty of peaches still on the trees. I don’t know what the markets rules are about products from points north but to say that any peaches can’t be from Michigan wouldn’t be accurate.


       —John Q.    Sep. 9 '07 - 04:24AM    #
  42. checked out 3 markets in A2 on sat. and was told MI peaches are done for the season.

    How many peach growing vendors that come to our market are from up north?


       —carol S    Sep. 9 '07 - 10:05AM    #
  43. The Market rules require produce to be from Michigan, Ohio or Indiana. I think Tabone Orchards is from Petoskey.


       —G Thompson    Sep. 9 '07 - 10:37PM    #
  44. That’s strange. Why would a Farmer’s Market that operates on City funds accept produce from Ohio and Indiana? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense on its face.

    What am I missing here?


       —todd    Sep. 9 '07 - 10:50PM    #
  45. That’s what they call “local”.The last manager recruited several of these out of state vendors.
    Doesn’t make sense to me either. can possibly hurt MI vendors that want into the market.
    The market doesn’t operate on city funds. it operates on stall and parking fees. The manager takes a huge bite out of the funds, Way way too much according to severaal vendors. Spends most of her time with gossip.


       —kim    Sep. 9 '07 - 11:44PM    #
  46. “The market doesn’t operate on city funds”

    Are you sure that’s true? The City owns the land as well as the parking spaces, unless I’m mistaken.

    But….how much is it for a stall?

    And is the Manager a City employee?

    Very confusing stuff.


       —todd    Sep. 9 '07 - 11:55PM    #
  47. For many years the Market Manager was an independent part time employee. The Farmers Market was more than self sufficient. Any excess funds were placed in a Market Fund to be used as reserves for a bad year, maintenance etc. During this period the Market Fund accumulated an excess of about $500,000. There is a very well referenced History of the Market linked on Arbormarket.blogspot.com. The link is in the right hand side bar.

    Several years ago the Market was transferred to the Parks Department. A full time Market Manager was hired and also a part time assistant. These city employees are responsible for managing the facility, that is the Farmers Market, the Artisans Market, and all other uses of the area.

    The intent is that the facility be self supporting. But only the Farmers Market generates significant income. Every time the facility is used for another purpose the Farmers support at least the overhead of that use. Just compare the Farmers Market to the Artisans Market. Based on the number of hours the markets are open the Farmers pay about $100/hr the Artisans $25/hr. (Last years data, the numbers may have changed slightly.)

    I do not think that the Market Manager is paid an excessive amount for a full time city employee. If the vendors only paid the salary she receives there would be a large surplus each year. The problem is the overhead burden added by the city and the question of whether the Farmers are paying a fair share of the total facility cost.

    In direct response to todd’s post: 1 stall=$250. 2 stalls=575. 3 stalls=$970. 4 stalls=$1425. Parking extra. The city owns the lot but it was purchased by the market fund from vendor fees.


       —G Thompson    Sep. 10 '07 - 02:06PM    #
  48. glen are you a vendor? If not please stop speaking as if you represent them it’s offensive


       —kim    Sep. 10 '07 - 10:35PM    #
  49. why is the market open Jan. thru March when only approx. 13 or so vendors are there?
    Do they pay more considering they are using the facilites,heat, manager etc. or are the other vendors subsidizing them.


       —john    Sep. 11 '07 - 11:12PM    #
  50. why is the market open Jan. thru March when only approx. 13 or so vendors are there?

    Because people shop there. Even at this time of year I only go to a small number of my preferred vendors. I don’t need a huge number of vendors if one has want I want. I love that the market is open year round and buy a lot of food through the winter. Now that Shannon Brines is providing local greens through the winter and others are following suit, those “lean” months are looking up. Since the Market stalls are not heated and the Manager’s office and bathrooms are kept open year-round anyway, I can’t see why having vendors there year-round could be anything but good. If anything, it keeps people coming so when the early produce starts up again in the spring, there is already a clientele.


       —Juliew    Sep. 12 '07 - 05:47PM    #
  51. The managers office and the bathrooms are kept open for only those few vendors and a few customers and the rest of the vendors subsidize it.


       —john    Sep. 13 '07 - 03:50AM    #
  52. Juliew- Your response is a bit self centered. Were you one of the customers that voted against the heated sheds for winter use for vendors in winter. Hey there could have potentially been more vendors. Even without the winter market, it’s with great confidence that there’s already an 85 year history of clientele. I don’t think it’s because the market is open in Jan-March.Also take into account that many of those 13 or so vendors are artisans.


       —dozie    Sep. 13 '07 - 12:17PM    #
  53. Hmm, self-centered? Well, who isn’t? Why wouldn’t you want the market to be open January-March? I am a customer and I go to Farmer’s Market year-round, as do many others. No, I was not one of the customers who voted against heated sheds (When was that vote? Were customers allowed to vote? Who put the vote to the public? How many voted for it? How many voted against it? How did the vendors feel?). I don’t actually see too many artisans at the market after December. I stop to get apples and cider, eggs, potatoes, greens, garlic or brussels sprouts or leeks or other hardy late winter or early spring crop, meat, maple sugar, and bread. And yes, the first few weeks of January and into March when there is produce (it went late last year because the weather was so warm), it is the people who go all year who spread the word that produce is available. Are the year-rounders the only reason for the success of the market—absolutely not, but they help keep people in business during those lean months. Why should we abandon the year-round producers just because they have something to buy when other people don’t? For example, Brines Farm has more produce available in the winter because that works best with his hoop houses and his land and growing practices. I think we should do everything we can to encourage year-round local food rather than discourage it!


       —Juliew    Sep. 13 '07 - 03:27PM    #
  54. Julie w you still won’t answer the question. Do all the other vendors subsidize these “Winter Vendors” at the market Jan.-march?
    Currently ther’s no criteria for inspectiions or products.
    I for one would like to know for example, if the cider is from the apples grown by the vendor or do they make their cider from apples out of state . Can baked goods be from pre-made frozen, or from commercial mixes or do they have to be made from scratch. Do they have to contain one or more ingredients from other Michigan producers.
    Many customers have commented that in Jan-March it looks as if street people , and or the homeless are occupying it .
    One of those winter vendors businesses is a market/store that sells liquor and groceries.


       —dozie    Sep. 13 '07 - 11:00PM    #
  55. If memory serves “The Friends of the Market” group (Glen Thompson) was instrumental in helping rid the market’s new construction which was to include heated sheds for winter. I think this group was also responsible along with a few members of the mob, in misdirecting consumers. They attempted telling customers that the space was going to be used for other purposes including the market. This group went screaming saying A2 has only one market and it should not be used for any other purposes.
    As a consumer I wonder why some vendors trucks are allowed in the market area, when the area could be used for more vendors.


       —jim    Sep. 14 '07 - 07:54PM    #
  56. Julie w you still won’t answer the question. Do all the other vendors subsidize these “Winter Vendors” at the market Jan.-march?
    Um, I have no idea, I just shop there. You seem to have some agenda behind your question (and for goodness sake, you didn’t answer any of my questions either so there is no need to get all that way about it). Since the facility is there year-round and manager’s job is full-time regardless of who shows up, I expect there is little to no subsidization. I mean, you could say that we all subsidize the market to some extent because it is empty most days. If we have the facility, I would prefer to see it used.

    I for one would like to know for example, if the cider is from the apples grown by the vendor or do they make their cider from apples out of state. Can baked goods be from pre-made frozen, or from commercial mixes or do they have to be made from scratch. Do they have to contain one or more ingredients from other Michigan producers.
    Ask them. If you don’t like their answer, don’t buy from them. If you don’t like that, research it and find real facts and figures, and get the word out about who is a real local grower and who isn’t. This works far better if you do it in a professional way, not by calling people names, flashing people, or dueling propaganda videos. Personally, I shop at the vendors where I know the producer and have seen what and where they produce. If the Market doesn’t want to police itself, then certainly the patrons can have a lot of pull or police it for themselves. Not everyone objects to “buying and selling.” If this is all just a personal gripe against Scott Robertello and Kapnick Orchards because they get four spaces and you or someone you know only get one, then leave the rest of us out of it. Don’t hide behind thinly-veiled accusations that hurt all the Market vendors.

    Many customers have commented that in Jan-March it looks as if street people, and or the homeless are occupying it.
    It gets cold out there in February. I don’t look like a fashion-plate either when I shop there. I don’t shop based on what a vendor looks like.

    One of those winter vendors businesses is a market/store that sells liquor and groceries.
    Many, if not most, farmers these days have other businesses which allow them to continue farming. Just because they run a market and sell liquor doesn’t mean they aren’t local producers. Bella Vino is a large market selling liquor and groceries and much of their produce is local.


       —Juliew    Sep. 14 '07 - 08:32PM    #
  57. The owners of Bella Vino are actual farmers?
    Didn’t know that. Did the profits from the farm help start the retail store or did the profits from the store help establish the farm? In this case isn’t it the Amish that are the farmers?
    There is a great difference between a retail store and a farm.

    “Not everyone objects to buying and selling”
    City code and vendors believe this is a valuable and an enforceable rule. Since the market advertises and City Code requires that this is a producer only market, then the manager should be doing her job. Take the corn in June scenario. It’s not up to other vendors to police the market it’s the managers job to uphold city code. Vendors sign contracts with the city. The city states it will not allow buying and selling. that’s their end of the contract.
    Do some vendors really have more stalls than others? How did some get 4 and all others limited to less than?I would have to disagree with this.


       —catherine    Sep. 15 '07 - 03:45PM    #
  58. Saturday Sept. 22 is the webster fall festival.
    The festival will be highlighting several local farms, including Fields, Brines and Stark from Renaissance Acres. These family farms also attend the A2 market.
    Come join in the fun. It shouils be a great festival.


       —cynthia v    Sep. 15 '07 - 04:27PM    #
  59. Zingerman’s is now at the market. A business that generates 30 or so million in sales per year, yet they have a stall at the market. How are family farms supposed to compete fairly with this large conglomerate? Are the owners of Zingerman’s now farmers?


       —dozie    Sep. 15 '07 - 05:48PM    #
  60. How are family farms supposed to compete fairly with this large conglomerate?

    By getting a stall at the market and selling their produce to an appreciative crowd of customers, I would think.

    You seem to be in search of a scapegoat, dozie. What’s your vision for the market? Is there room in it for everyone? If not, who would you exclude and why? What can customers like Julie and I do to improve the prospects for the future?


       —Steve Bean    Sep. 15 '07 - 06:51PM    #
  61. In search of a scapegoat? Don’t get the drift.
    I think you should do your own internet search of why farmers markets exist. Many will not allow an entity into the market if they have established retail outlets for themselves already. Isn’t Zingerman’s within a block of the market, and other locations in and around the city? Did Bella Vino and Zingerman’s start out by getting a stall at the market as farmers? NO

    Vision is to rid the buying and selling. It was suggested by the last market commission to allow peddlers into a marked section of the market, since they are in the market already. Think it was Pollack that didn’t like the “slippery slope”.

    Juliew: Kapnick orchards does not have 4 stalls at the market.So the rest of your remarks are just dribble.
    What accusations?There has been one. That was by the commission and several vendors. At the June07 Meeting, Commission asked the manager why she was allowing this vendor to sell pre-made frozen baked products.
    There was another vendor a few years ago that produced eggs. She retired and sold her business. The Growers assoc. and the commission told her she could purchase eggs from another farmer and bring them to the market.Considering this is against the rules, a vendor filed a complaint and the egg vendor left the market. Prior to this vendors exist from the market, she repeatedly verbally harassed the vendor that filed the complaint.


       —dozie    Sep. 15 '07 - 11:49PM    #
  62. Pretty soon you’ll have McDonalds chickens from their farms and the deli food from whole foods having stalls. My hunch is this is not the purpose of what farmers markets were intended to be.


       —tom N    Sep. 16 '07 - 08:41PM    #
  63. What can you do to help the market? Continue to shop there and be skeptical about the many claims of unfair treatment of some vendors. For example, why should some vendors have a greater number of stalls? One reason is simply the type and amount of produce. One vendor sells maple syrup. How many ways can you package that? How many gallons does the average citizen use in a year? He doesn’t have many stalls at the market because he doesn’t need or want them.

    One of the largest critics of unequal stall space lists a city lot as his farm on his market application. Another has over an acre of greenhouse space and eight acres of field space. The city farmer lists about 100 plants as inventory, the other lists over 15,000 flats of bedding plants alone. Is it best for the customers of the Market if each of these vendors to have equal stall space?

    Demand data and information. You will be personally attacked for not accepting their dogma, as you already have been. But this is really their only avenue of argument.

    G. Thompson


       —G Thompson    Sep. 16 '07 - 09:00PM    #
  64. Glen, who will personally attack me? accepting what dogma? Who’s they? Are you a vendor? If not why are you talking about the many vendors complaints that have gone unanswered and unregognizsed for years. You have no experience as a vendor, or farmer, so please, stop telling customers false information.


       —joe m    Sep. 17 '07 - 08:26PM    #
  65. “You have no experience as a vendor, or farmer, so please, stop telling customers false information.”

    Which information exactly is false?


       —Bruce Fields    Sep. 17 '07 - 08:39PM    #
  66. Hi. I am from Ann Arbor, currently livng in Portland, Oregon. I’m a big fan of farmer’s markets, and the controversy with the new site plan for the market was going on before I left A2. It seems that issue, and many others were never resolved. That saddens me, because the A2 market can and should be a great institution for everyone involved.

    Here in Portland, OR, we have a very large market with several different types of vendors, and it seems to work well for everyone.

    After reading about this A2 controversy, I was interested to know what the rules at the Portland Market were. It’s pretty complicated, and I’m including a link to it at the end. The vendor rules start on pg 10 of the PDF. I think the problems that are being discussed here fall under the “product representative” and “second farm” category, and the Portland market has very specific guidelines and limitations on those on pg. 12.

    A major difference between the Portland market and the Ann Arbor market is that the Portland market is a non-profit organization and receives no funding from the city or state.

    I don’t fully understand all of the issues in the situation. It does seem like there’s no place other than this blog for people’s greivances to be adressed, which is a problem.

    I highly encourage everyone involved in this to visit larger markets in other towns and learn about them to see a path for the future of the Ann Arbor market.

    http://www.portlandfarmersmarket.org/pdfs/PFM_2007_web.pdf


       —Emily B    Sep. 18 '07 - 12:10AM    #
  67. Thompson, why do you fight so hard against fairness and equity at the market? You know, having a lottery for stall spaces would even the playing field a bit. A stall lottery at the beginning of each season would allow vendors access to spaces that they might not otherwise get. It would allow customers the opportunity to know where their favorite vendor will be from week to week without having to guess. It would split up some vendors who act as a cartel.

    A great example of how a lottery works is right across the street from the Public Market – at Community High. There isn’t a whole lot of complaining about their student placement lottery that happens every year. It’s not “gamboling”.

    At the Ann Arbor Public Market, all spaces are not equal in terms of foot traffic. Is that why you campaigned for extending dead man’s alley, Thompson? So that those vendors you love so much – those who cheated to get their seniority – could continue making wads of money on the “main aisle”?? Leaving the artisans and dailies in the dead mans alley ghetto?

    It was your drivel in front of council, along with Robertello’s, Gracia’s, Vena, Brock, Wasem’s, and a few other vendors, that helped piss away nearly $90,000 out of the Market Operating Fund, just because you didn’t like the design that was proposed!! Without an expansion of the market, with scarce public resources and funds, then the Market Operating Rules needed changing in order to increase diversity, flush out the negative vendors who didn’t want anything to threaten their monopoly and cozy status with all recent Market Managers, and provide a more equal opportunity. Changes in the rules would also benefit Ann Arbor consumers, as diversity at the market would foster a lively competition, and perhaps keep prices a little lower in comparison to Whole Foods and other markets that charge top dollar for organics, which we need more of BTW.

    Oh, and Thompson, cut the crap about ad hominem attacks. You attack reformers without knowing the full history of the market, and you have sided with the wrong vendors. Maybe you’re some kind of Republican thug operative. You don’t speak for all citizens either, so watch what you say on that podium in front of all those public bodies you have made a career out of appearing in front of.

    Regarding the seniority system at the Public Market: the Ann Arbor market is one of the exceptions that allows seniority in the first place. It is proving to be an unworkable system, as there are records that only go back so far, so claims cannot be validated anymore – go ask the city’s legal staff who researched this. Some vendors cheated to get their seniority, others jumped the line, and now the city seems unwilling to fix it. One would hope that the “new” Public Market Advisory Commission will take up the cause of fairness and equity, and get some real changes made to the rules. The Ann Arbor News, and other media outlets should take note, and provide the scrutiny needed to make this a fair process, as the city staff likes to hide their actions.


       —fuzzbollah    Sep. 18 '07 - 12:50AM    #
  68. Vendors that come forward with greivances have been harassed and physically assaulted. The past commission was ousted because they knew the greivances and had many of their own.

    Have been witness to several vendors that have 3 stalls put 10 plants or a table with club sized summer zuchini in one of their stalls. 2 vendors utilize one stall together to display a neighboring vendors basil and their checkout table.

    Why were “the friends of the market” against vendors receiving heated sheds for winter use?


       —joe m    Sep. 18 '07 - 01:03AM    #
  69. Ms. Black is leaving as manager


       —joe m    Sep. 19 '07 - 04:36AM    #
  70. Thanks Emily for the reference to the Portland Market rules. In general, the AA and Portland rules are very similar. I particularly note that both restrict vendors to a maximum of three stalls except for some senior vendors that are grandfathered four stalls. Both have stalls that are permanently assigned and those that are assigned on a daily basis.

    There are some differences. The Portland market demands that vendors advertising as “organic” be certified organic growers as required by the USDA National Organic Program. The Friends of the Market have argued that this should also be the case in AA, but the past Market Commission refused to include it in the rules. In general the Portland market manager appears to have greater discretion in the Market operation than the AA market manager. However the recent changes in the AA rules and market ordinance moved in this direction.

    A final point, the AA market is supported by the vendor fees, it does not receive any direct support from city taxes.

    Joe, Bruce is still waiting for a response to his post #65. While you are at it, how about a reference for the claim that I oppose heated sheds? Or is this yet another case of something that you “know”. Just know without any basis or fact. I am willing to meet with Julie, the original poster of this thread, and let her review materials supporting any statements I make. I only ask that she, as independent observer, post that my statements are accurate.


       —G Thompson    Sep. 19 '07 - 05:13PM    #
  71. Thompson, you doth protest too much!! In post #70, you skewer Joe M for claiming YOU oppose heated sheds, yet if you re-read post#68, Joe M asks why the “fiends of the market” opposed heated sheds. Are you admitting that YOU are the Fiends of the Market???

    Perhaps Joe M caught some of the many versions of the Glenn Thompson Show on CTN.

    Also, the market is not only supported by vendor fees, it is subsidized by the DDA which collects parking revenues, and is responsible for the maintenance of the parking lot. The proposed renovations will be funded for one third of the costs by the city taxpayers through Parks and Rec monies, one third by the DDA, and one third by the Market Operating Fund. The Public Market is also funded by special events, Garage-a-palooza, the Artisans Market, and may soon be funded by other events if the Public Market is made into a space that can accomodate many other things. Vendor fees become the city’s money once paid. The Market is part of a PUBLIC SPACE, the citizens “own” it and should decide what uses the space is put to.


       —fuzzbollah    Sep. 20 '07 - 12:06AM    #
  72. vendors are to maintain a certificate if they LABEL their products as organically grown. Check out the new city inspection forms.
    If someone is labeling products as organically grown and does not have a certificate then you can contact Colleen Collier at the MI Dept. of AG. Then the complaint is sent to NOP for review.
    They are exempt if their sales are 5000.$ or less.

    Consider the following…I choose not to be certified and do not label any of my products organically grown. However, because I have since 1979 and continue today to farm organically in compliance with the NOP/USDA standards, I am allowed by the NOP to continue using my business name Renaissance Acres Organic Herb Farm. Have already spoken to the NOP about this. If the business name contains the word organic and the products are not organically grown then contact the NOP. I have chosen to label my products as authentically grown. Eliot Coleman (an author and grower) has long been a leader in the organic movement) now maintains the use of the words authentically grown. http://www.fourseasonfarm.com/main/authentic/authentic.html

    People who sell or label a product “organic” when they know it does not meet USDA standards can be fined up to $11,000 for each violation.

    Posted 11/12/02
    Q: How are producers whose company names include the term “organic” affected by the NOP regulations? For example, could a company selling organically produced vegetables call itself Blue Sky Organic?

    A: The short answer is yes, as long as that company is not trying to mislead by using that name. For a more thorough explanation, I refer you to a pertinent section of the Preamble to the NOP regulations below:

    Labeling – Changes Requested But Not Made

    (1) “Organic” in Company Names. Many commenters stated that the term, “organic,” must not be used as part of a company name if the company does not market organically produced foods. They are concerned that the term in a company name would incorrectly imply that the product, itself, is organically produced.

    While we understand commenter concerns, we do not know the extent of the problem. We do not believe those concerns require such a prohibition in the regulations at this time. These regulations may not be the best mechanism to address the issue. Section 6519(b) of the Act provides the Secretary with the authority to take action against misuse of the term, “organic.” USDA will monitor use of the term, “organic,” in company names and will work with the FTC to take action against such misuse of the term. These determinations must be made on a case-by-case basis.


       —P.Stark    Sep. 20 '07 - 01:40PM    #
  73. P. Stark’s comments clearly illustrate why many of us, the Friends of the Market, have advocated that the Market rules should restrict advertising “organic” at the Market to certified organic producers.

    Quite simply, for the good of the market, a customer should have as much confidence in the meaning of organic at the Market as at a supermarket. P. Starks comments show that this is not the case. The vendor cannot put his product in a package,label it organic, and sell it at a supermarket. But he can put many products on a table at the Market, and place a sign over the table labeling all the produce as organic and that is OK.

    P. Stark’s produce may be organically grown, but there isn’t any independent check or test. The only information we have is the advertising of the producer. There are almost as many non-certified producers advertising “organic” at the Market as there are certified ones. There is even one advertising as certified that does not appear to be so. Are we to believe all of these are meeting the NOP requirements for organic?

    We cannot rely on the lax enforcement standards of the Bush administration for quality control at the Ann Arbor Market. The Michigan Organic Act, which is more stringent in allowable advertising, is a much better model. But we should not rely on either state of federal enforcement. it is much easier and simpler to incorporate the Michigan standards as a market rule.


       —G Thompson    Sep. 22 '07 - 08:26PM    #
  74. What Ann Arbor citizens want and need at our market is more organic producers. The few organic producers compete now with many other businesses that furnish organic produce, such as Krogers, Busch’s, Whole Foods, Four Seasons, etc.

    Nineteen years ago, when I was a graduate student, I would work at Renaissance Acres Organic Herb Farm in trade for organic veggies that would be fed to my pregnant wife, and then my children once they were born and growing up. We would weed plants by hand, and never sprayed any chemical on the produce. A few weeks ago, while out at the Renaissance Acres farm, I observed Mr Stark using a car vac to take pests off his cabbages and tomato plants. I can vouch for this produce as being organically produced, but why trust me? Go see for yourself.

    Certification to advertise as organic is cumbersome and costly for smaller producers such as we have at our market, and may lead to the loss of our few organic producers. I would be more concerned with what kinds of pesticide residues could be found on the non-organic produce sold at the market.


       —Luis Vazquez    Sep. 23 '07 - 09:16PM    #
  75. I advocate the city get rid of the buying and selling.


       —Janet J.    Sep. 23 '07 - 11:39PM    #
  76. Is Mr. Thompson stating he can’t rely on federal or state government. But he can rely on the city’s market rules and city code? The city has shown it does not follow it’s own rules now, by allowing buying and selling.
    When you have a manager that states she “doen’t want to know” or “I know of about 20 vendors that are cheating but I’m not going to do anything about it”, this is against city code. On the organic issue, The rules already exist at the fed and state level, and a complaint can easily be made.


       —Tom    Sep. 24 '07 - 11:57AM    #
  77. I have lived in the area since 1969 and have been a long time supporter of the market and real organic farmers. Many people know of Glenn Thompson and think he is quite off his rocker. I was at a planning commsion meeting a while ago and saw Glen Thompson reach across a man and grab on to a womans papers that were in her lap. She seemed shocked and struggled to hang on to the papers. What man attacks a woman in this way in Ann Arbor and gets away with it. Why is Thompson attacking well known organic farmers in our community and helping chemical farmers who buy and sell and live in other counties. Thompson is just that crazy and gulable to believe the lies of farmers who are poisioning the land. We should give senority to Washtenaw county organic farmers first as they help protect our water, especially those up stream and have tributaries that feed into our water supply. What makes this country great is our freedom of speech, so that even someone like crazy glenn thompson can repeat something


       —Earth    Sep. 26 '07 - 12:37AM    #
  78. word at the market is that thompson is friends with Jessica the market manager and robertello, a vendor who buys and sells baked goods. One saturday I saw thompson walking at the market with his whitey tidies two inches above his pants and his shirt tucked into them. On the MLCC’s website it shows that robertello’s “farm store” sold alcohol and cigaretes to minors. Now thats a farmer for you. What is going on with the city.


       —farmerbob    Sep. 26 '07 - 01:13AM    #
  79. Here is a disturbing article from today’s Ann Arbor News about unsafe food at the Farmer’s Market being ordered destroyed by a state inspector.

    Is unsafe food common at the Market? Isn’t the market manager supposed to see that food is inspected locally, rather than relying on the state?


       —David Cahill    Sep. 27 '07 - 07:29PM    #
  80. Maybe the Dept of Agriculture inspectors should take another very close look at Crapnick’s, er, I mean Kapnick’s baked goods. Their inspectors a couple of years ago found rodent droppings on their premises. Beware of the chocolate chip cookies, those may not be chocolate chips…


       —fuzzbollah    Sep. 27 '07 - 10:36PM    #
  81. crapnick’s displays their fruit on the city sidewalk underneath their tables. Do they know how dirty the sidewalks are? Other markets maintain vendors can display foods on their tables only.


       —farmerbob    Sep. 28 '07 - 01:06PM    #
  82. Jesus, who knew that behind the scenes at the Farmer’s Market there dwelt a catty little remake of Mean Girls with beefy sunburned dudes, hippy organiwussies with floppy straw hats, and the freaking Amish stepping into all the bitchy, juvenile girl roles.

    Fuck me with pitch fork why don’t you, ‘cause it’ll hurt less than listening to all of this pissing and moaning.


       —Parking Structure Dude!    Sep. 28 '07 - 01:59PM    #
  83. Amen PSD! I’m surprised that the whole place hasn’t burned to the ground with all of the flaming hatred going on here.


       —John Q.    Sep. 28 '07 - 04:05PM    #
  84. PSD don’t understand what you are saying.
    Care to try again? Are you a farmer? Notice you often contribute to Ann Arbor is overrated site.


       —emily    Sep. 28 '07 - 05:56PM    #
  85. “Flaming hatred”?
    Where and when and how big a pitchfork?


       —larry    Sep. 28 '07 - 10:09PM    #
  86. Intersting note about the bread article. That the hands were not being washed. Robertello has been following vendors into the bathroom and even splashed water on one vendor. Robertello said he was on potty patrol. Did robertello tell on Mill Pond just like he and Upton did before and made up a story about erie orchards to get them kicked out--robertello is on video contradicting statements he made to the police--he is not to be trusted- who tipped off the news- more dirty tricks and lies?


       —jake    Sep. 29 '07 - 02:07AM    #
  87. No commission meetings until January? Why?
    Many vendors have commented they are happy to see Jessica gone as manager.
    Where’s the advertising $$$ for market that vendors pay for? The past three years $$$$$$ spent for advertising went to Ms. Black’s elective facial and jaw surgery.


       —donz    Sep. 30 '07 - 05:20AM    #
  88. What happened on Wed. is a direct result of Jessica Black and Jayne Miller failure to do their job.


       —gl    Sep. 30 '07 - 08:06PM    #
  89. Hi again. I guess I’d like to reiterate/clarify my earlier point. Glenn is correct that the rules of the Portland Farmer’s Market do state that you can only say “organic” if that means USDA Organic. HOWEVER, I think most Portland customers understand that USDA Organic is just one route a conscious grower can go to make their product stand out. The market also encourages vendors to have as much information about their product as possible, so signs and pamphlets can let people know what exactly what your growing processes are.

    USDA Organic is still a somewhat meaningful category, but it is under constant threat due to pressures from Big Ag. I keep up with the Organic Consumers Association, at

    http://www.organicconsumers.org/

    to keep abreast of that situation. But many local growers meet or exceed the standards of USDA Organic. Or perhaps a grower has their own beliefs and methods, which are satisfactory to you as a consumer. The great thing about a farmer’s market is the ability to get to know your farmer, and the farmer can make that easier with signage and written info, as well as by being informed and eager to answer questions.

    I think the market will need to have more rules than it does now, because it is getting bigger and has higher visibility. I think vendors need to accept a certain amount of regulation, such as truth in labelling, and keeping food at a proper temperature, etc. BUT the vendors need rules, too, to protect their own interests: a rule against “buying and selling” for example, could fit in that category.

    Why do people shop at farmer’s markets, if not to support their local farmers? I don’t understand the attitude of some of the consumers I’ve seen blogging about this. If you don’t care about them, then shop somewhere else. Do you just want a pretty outdoor market where you buy the exact same stuff that’s at Whole Foods? Well, maybe Whole Foods should just have an outdoor market in their parking lot when the weather’s good. (With the popularity of Farmer’s Markets, don’t be surprized if that actually happens). Do you want to support the pretty facade of a market, with the shiny tomatoes and beautiful flowers, or do you actually support the mission of a farmer’s market, which is to have a unique opportunity to have an intimate relationship with your food, and therefore the person who grew it – who is a person, with a personality and needs of their own. Small family farmers are one of the most marginalized groups in our society. They are not subsidized like Big Ag, yet they have to pay and spend extra time (which farmers rarely have) doing paperwork to get certified as Organic.

    If you love the market, love the farmers. Do your best to understand the issues they are up against.


       —Emily B    Oct. 3 '07 - 09:26PM    #
  90. Correction to my previous comment. There already IS a rule against “buying and selling,” I forgot. Obviously an enforcement issue, as others have been saying.


       —Emily B    Oct. 3 '07 - 09:39PM    #
  91. “Why do people shop at farmer’s markets, if not to support their local farmers?”

    To buy food for their dinner.

    “I don’t understand the attitude of some of the consumers I’ve seen blogging about this. If you don’t care about them, then shop somewhere else.”

    Those other options are more limited than they are in Portland, where there’s been an effort to ensure that supermarkets can survive within walking distance of downtown residential neighborhoods.

    I like the farmer’s market, but I don’t have a particular commitment to buying locally—I buy there because (for part of the year) it’s the best place to get produce that’s on my walk (or bike/bus ride) between home and work.


       —Bruce Fields    Oct. 3 '07 - 11:05PM    #
  92. Ever fighting the good fight, the staff at the Cornucopia Institute has been working long and hard to force the giants of the organic dairy industry to comply with the USDA organic rules. Thanks to their advocacy, the USDA recently found Aurora Organic Dairy to be in “willful violation” of the organic standards. Among other things, Aurora was cited for illegally confining cattle, and knowingly selling non-organic milk as organic. Aurora is the nation’s largest private label dairy operation; its milk is sold under store brands for Trader Joe’s, Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, Wild Oats, and Safeway and other supermarket chains.
    Obviously, this bad behavior has the potential to erode consumers’ trust in the organic label. We still believe strongly in organic dairy … but we’re being more careful about where we get it. As if we needed it, this is just one more reason to support small, locally run farm operations.


       —gl    Oct. 4 '07 - 02:56AM    #
  93. i shop at the farmer’s market because i like the food that i buy there.

    i also like the convenient location, the diverse selection, and the milieu.

    as for the farmers … well, mostly i am indifferent.

    does that make me some kind of criminal or weirdo?


       —peter honeyman    Oct. 4 '07 - 03:49AM    #
  94. doesn’t make you either one. However when one poses as a farmer and are only middleman peddlers there’s a problem.


       —gl    Oct. 4 '07 - 06:07AM    #
  95. what is the problem? i mean for me — is it the food? the location? the selection? the milieu?


       —peter honeyman    Oct. 4 '07 - 12:01PM    #
  96. Larry Lev. Garry Stephenson and others at the Oregon State University have conducted surveys on why people shop at farmers markets. Quality and selection are always very high in the stated reasons. however, if directly asked the question “How important is supporting local farmers?”, most will answer that it is important.

    Nina Planck stated in one of her papers that the reason people shop at farmers markets is the perception of quality or price.

    I think the perception of quality, either through greater selection or greater freshness is the primary reason for the customers at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market. If we consider shopping in general it is usually a combination of price, quality, and convenience. For most the market is not particularly convenient. We have to make a special trip, it has to be when the market is open, and we have to pay for parking. There may be a price advantage at the market if you buy pecks or bushels but I do not think there is any advantage when purchasing in smaller quantities.

    I think the “support local farmers” is over rated as a reason because it is such a nice politically correct answer. No one is against it, but how many would go the the local farmer if they thought the product was inferior? Buy American didn’t work very well for the auto industry when Honda and Toyota were perceived to be better quality.

    So peter, I think you are guilty of being more honest than politically correct. And I think that maintaining the perception of the AA Market as the source of the highest quality produce in AA is very important for the Market. Having organic mean certified organic is one of the ways to preserve the truth in advertising and defined quality.


       —G Thompson    Oct. 4 '07 - 05:03PM    #
  97. Prof. Honeyman, I see your point that you and many shoppers are happy regardless of these behind-the-scenes issues. Your transactions are presumably satisfying, or you wouldn’t make them. However, there can be “harm” to consumers (e.g. higher prices, less selection) that result from the policy decisions even if consumers are satisfied and unaware of the harm. Maybe you were just expressing your own personal satisfaction, but if you meant to imply more broadly that there aren’t meaningful consumer repercussions from these policy issues, I disagree.

    Mr. Thompson, you said you understand that “a potential vendor has never been turned away from the market because of lack of space.” In describing the advice you gave to a potential vendor, you said “there were several established apple vendors, but as a certified organic grower, I thought he would be successful.” Did you mean you thought his business would be successful, or his application to sell there would be successful? I’m asking because if you meant the latter, deciding applications based on what others are selling sounds indirectly due to a space issue. I am genuinely unsure which you meant, however.

    Dozie, both Farmer’s Market and Public Market are used informally, while I think its formal name is “City of Ann Arbor Public Market.” See the city’s Farmer’s Market website , which links to the formal Public Market policies. As an aside, its What’s in Season page seems slightly outdated, and really, are pretzels ever not in season? :-)


       —Aag    Oct. 14 '07 - 04:45AM    #
  98. In response to Aag and my comment on the potential apple vendor: I meant that he would be successful as an apple vendor at the AA Market. He is already successful as a business. Subsequent discussions with this grower indicated he was mainly interested in future expansion since he is selling most, if not all, of his production capacity at the present time.

    In response to the space issue, there were at least three unused spaces under the market canopies this last Saturday. I can post photos. There were also vendors on the sidewalk and in the open “sand lot” area. The space question is complex. When I first considered the market issue I assumed that if people were in the “over flow” areas there must be insufficient space under the canopy. But it is just not that simple. Some vendors want to to be near friends, maybe three spaces together, or being in the same space every week is more important than location.


       —G. Thompson    Oct. 15 '07 - 12:27AM    #
  99. The Market Manager’s job has been posted. Deadline is October 22.


       —Juliew    Oct. 18 '07 - 05:17PM    #
  100. I nominate Glenn Thompson to apply, he seems to know EVERYTHING about the market.


       —fuzzbollah    Oct. 20 '07 - 07:04PM    #
  101. There is a “farmer” that sells blueberries, this vendor also sells snow cones and coffee. Ice and sugar with artificial flavoring. why is this farmer selling this type of non- farm products? MHO the snow cones are not “Quality farm products”.
    Also noticed Mill Pond was selling unwrapped products again. Where is the manager?
    If most of you are not familiar…Money is one of those objects that is filled with germs. Handling money and unwrapped baked products is just gross. One can wash produce.


       —anon    Oct. 22 '07 - 03:14AM    #
  102. On the issue of wrapping baked goods, I would agree with anon. The inspector may have had discretion in how to handle the earlier violation, but it does seem like a clear health code violation. The argument that wrapping would cost too much or take too much time seems poor. It would take time and cost more, but so do many other basic hygiene rules. That’s part of the cost of selling prepared foods or providing restaurant service. Disposable plastic gloves are another way of handling unwrapped prepared foods, throwing the gloves out between each sales transaction. However, I don’t think prepared foods are allowed to be stored unwrapped outdoors in the first place, regardless of transaction handling.


       —Aag    Oct. 27 '07 - 09:00PM    #
  103. Just like the Ann Arbor News publishes the results of health inspections of restaurants in the area, they should publish the results of MI Dept of Agriculture inspections of any of the vendors at the Farmers Market that undergo inspections. Those restaurant inspections give me useful information about cleanliness and hygiene, so that I can decide if I want to patronize an establishment or not.


       —fuzzbollah    Oct. 28 '07 - 06:21PM    #
  104. Heard an interesting comment recently regarding vendors that are considered the BACKBONE of the market that do ALL the work. Which ones are these? And why?


       —anon    Oct. 30 '07 - 04:26AM    #
  105. It is reasonable to consider the vendors with high attendance as the backbone of the market. These are the regulars that the customers can depend upon to be there throughout the year. They are very important to the market, but I do not think it is correct to say they do all the work.

    Using the last years attendance data from the market manager the only vendor that attended the market more than 80 times was Kapnick Orchards (Scott Robertello). Annual vendors that attended more that 70 times were: Jewett, Wasem, and Ozdemir. Daily vendors that attended more than 70 times were: Kern Road, Sheppard, and D. Marx.


       —G. Thompson    Oct. 31 '07 - 12:32AM    #
  106. Why did the Mayor recently remove Mr. Robertello from the Market Commission?


       —anon    Oct. 31 '07 - 04:47PM    #
  107. See what I mean? Glenn Thompson seems to know EVERYTHING about the market.


       —fuzzbollah    Oct. 31 '07 - 11:56PM    #
  108. Then he must know that the baked goods from Kapnick are purchased premade frozen. This was stated by Mr. Robertello himself. Also past manager stated she knew this but was not going to do anyrhing about it.
    Currently the city will not state if this is an allowable practice or not. Odd?? Given the fact the city recently inspected a few new bakeries.
    This business also grows fruits, however none of their pies contains any of their own fruits that they claim to grow and harvest. MHO Very odd!


       —jj    Nov. 1 '07 - 05:45AM    #
  109. Since these vendors come year round they should pay more for their stalls. Hoping this will be brought to city council, as the current practice is unfair/unequal. Didn’t the rules incorporate fairness and equity, but ignored this big issue.
    Jayne Miller is not doing her job. Seems to be an inflated ego when she stated “anything I want/ask for ,the city will give me”. Was Jessica demoted?


       —anon    Nov. 6 '07 - 12:17AM    #
  110. Question for market vendors..

    Do any City Council Members, the Mayor, Jayne Miller, Christen Smith, old Kevin McDonald(had a farm)(lol),“Frazier dude”, etc. ever shop or frequently shop at the market?
    Do any of them supply their family/friends/parties or gardens with products produced from local Washtenaw County Farmers ? Perhaps for holidays, birthdays, city functions etc.
    One vendor stated he saw the mayor once several years ago while campaigning. Didn’t buy anything.
    Also,does the mayor support artisans over farmers? Can remember reading his letter to the commission supporting artisans over farmers. Correct?


       —Winifred P.    Nov. 6 '07 - 10:09AM    #
  111. Winifred, why don’t you ask Glenn Thompson? He’s SUCH an authority on the market and ALL the goings on there…


       —fuzzbollah    Nov. 8 '07 - 01:39AM    #
  112. For what it’s worth, I shop at the Farmer’s Market nearly every Saturday (at 7:30 or 8:00 am, if you want to be precise) between March and December. I sometimes shop on Wednesdays, although that’s a rarity.
    I purchase plants for my garden, and produce for my table.


       —Sabra Briere    Nov. 8 '07 - 03:16PM    #
  113. Name
    Agency: Labor & Economic Growth

    The proposed name of a corporation must be distinguishable from the name of other domestic or foreign corporations, limited partnerships or limited liability companies. The name may not contain a word or phrase indicating it is organized for a purpose other than is stated in the Articles of Incorporation.

    If a corporation is to operate under one or more names other than the corporation’s true name, a Certificate of Assumed Name (BCS/CD 541)must also be filed. The assumed name must be distinguishable from the names of active limited partnerships, corporations or limited liability companies.

    Prospective incorporators should wait until the articles are filed before ordering or purchasing items such as signs, business cards and stationery to avoid problems that may arise due to a conflict with another entity’s name.


       —cA2    Nov. 9 '07 - 06:37AM    #
  114. Considering the city hasn’t any rules for criteria for inspections or products, it is understandably impossible to maintain that any vendor is the backbone of the market. Shitty city nspections of these “backbone vendors” were done almost ten years ago. Since the rule of inspections wasn’t promulgated at the time shouldn’t vendors receive a refund for those inspections?
    Why hasn’t the “friends of the market” responded publicly about the buying and selling, to the council, commoission, or manager.
    All Iv’e read so far is why people shop at the market. What’s your opinion of why farmers come to this market. There are many reasons and the real farmers don’t do it for the $$$$. They don’t buy and sell but are considered trouble if they come forward with their concerns.
    Why is the manager paid over 38,000$ and the mayor makes 40,000$. why over paid. Why are vendors being cheated like this?


       —marketcustomer    Nov. 12 '07 - 05:58PM    #
  115. Thanks for asking about the city council members, fuzzy, didn’t know you cared.

    I frequently see Joan Lowenstein at the AA Farmers Market. I have also seen Steve Kunselman, Sabre Briere, Mike Anglin and Ron Suarez there this past summer. I saw Mayor Hieftje there once a year of two ago. I usually go between 8:00 and 10:00 and would not likely see earlier or later shoppers.

    Anon asked about Jessica’s new position. I understand that it is a promotion and that she will still have a role in supervising the Market, but not the direct daily management.


       —G. Thompson    Nov. 12 '07 - 06:25PM    #
  116. Ah Glen you have avoided the question again. Why isn’t your group helping farmers address the buying and selling that is currently taking place? Why should a farmer come to sell their products at this market? It offers cheating, incompetence, customers that tell try to get the farmer to sell for cheap.
    I’ve heard One Orchard stops selling apples after October because the others that come year round are selling way too cheap! (Perhaps a case) of buying and selling??


       —marketcustomer    Nov. 13 '07 - 12:30AM    #
  117. I saw the mayor at the market on Saturday around noon. He was filling up a big shoulder bag. He often sits beside Coleman and talks for awhile.

    Joan Lowenstein is there a lot too. But what does it matter if council members shop the market or not? They all seem to support the market. They have voted for a lot of improvements and solar panels to boot!

    Apples after October? Several local growers have cold storage facilities. They can offer good tasting apples in the spring, let alone November.

    I have been going to the market for years. I don’t think there is much if any,“buying and selling.” Some posters here seem to have their own anti-market agenda.


       —LauraB    Nov. 13 '07 - 01:27AM    #
  118. Some posters have their own anti-cheating agenda.

    Is there something wrong with pointing out wrongdoing? Its like some of the letters to the Ann Arbor News about Mill Pond Bakery, and the handling of bread and money without washing hands in between. A few people wrote in complaining about the inspector (who was right to give citations) and only a couple of readers wrote in support of proper public health practices. Too many people are just plain oblivious.

    Apples in spring? There are Dept of Agriculture regulations that apply, how are we consumers to know if those regs are being followed or not?

    Laura, I also have been going to the Ann Arbor market for years too, and unless I can go to visit all of the vendors to see their operations, how would I know what they do/don’t do? How do you? Are you operating on faith??

    Thompson, no I really don’t care, just wanted to see if you take bait. Try responding to some of the other posters who have called you out.


       —fuzzbollah    Nov. 13 '07 - 02:11AM    #
  119. Cold storage facilities? do you mean a refridgerator?
    Long term storage of apples is only accomplished by one method and that is of the atmospherically controlled rooms. These are rooms that are inspected and licensed by the Dept. Of Ag. Their site has the list the names of growers that have these specialized rooms. http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-1569_16993_19105—-,00.html
    Here’s the link It will answer all your questions about storage.

    LauraB, Harvest all day Friday, load the truck with the products you actually produced, get your lazy ass out of bed at 3:30am Sat. and make it to the market. While there, selling amongst the vendors that simply load their trucks with products they did not produce, let us know how it feels to have the city turn a blinds eye to the deception to the public. I know many people that are come to market as both long time vendors and are there as customers also. as customers they are appalled this buying and selling continues and as vendor are appalled at the deception.


       —marketeer    Nov. 13 '07 - 06:08AM    #
  120. The list of growers with these specialized rooms to keep apples for long term, is at the end of the information. Is your grower on the list?

    FRUITS AND VEGETABLES; CONTROLLED ATMOSPHERE STORAGE

    Act 228 of 1959

    AN ACT to promote the development of the Michigan fruit and vegetable industry; to define certain types and methods of fruit and vegetable storage; to prohibit the sale of fruits and vegetables misbranded as to type of storage; to provide for records; to provide for licensing of certain fruit and vegetable storage facilities; to provide for registration and permits for packers or repackers; to provide for revocation of licenses; to provide for the enforcement of this act; and to provide penalties for violation of this act.

    History: 1959, Act 228, Eff. Mar. 19, 1960 .

    The People of the State of Michigan enact:

    286.371 Definitions.

    Sec. 1. As used in this act: (a) “Apples” means all varieties of apples.

    (b) “Controlled atmosphere storage” means the storage of fruits or vegetables in an approved sealed storage room or in an approved sealed storage building, or in a sealed storage space within the room or building, under controlled conditions of time in days, oxygen content, carbon dioxide content, and temperature as established by this act or rules adopted under this act. The term controlled atmosphere may be referred to by the initials “CA” or similar terms or abbreviations.

    (c) “Director” means the director of the Michigan department of agriculture or his or her designated agents.

    (d) “Sealed storage room”, “sealed storage space”, or “sealed storage building” means sealed storage spaces in which controlled atmosphere is maintained, inferred, advertised, or represented as having a controlled atmosphere.

    History: 1959, Act 228, Eff. Mar. 19, 1960 ;—Am. 2000, Act 53, Imd. Eff. Mar. 30, 2000 .

    © 2002 Legislative Council, State of Michigan

    286.372 Controlled atmosphere storage for fruits and vegetables; prohibited representations.

    Sec. 2. A person or other legal entity shall not sell, label, describe, advertise, offer, expose, exchange, or transport fruits or vegetables for sale represented as having been held under controlled atmosphere storage conditions as specified in this act, alone or with other words, or use any such terms or form or words or symbols of similar import on any container or lot of fruits or vegetables advertised, sold, offered for sale, or transported for sale within this state unless the fruits or vegetables have been stored in compliance with the provisions of this act and rules promulgated by the director.

    History: 1959, Act 228, Eff. Mar. 19, 1960 ;—Am. 2000, Act 53, Imd. Eff. Mar. 30, 2000 .

    © 2002 Legislative Council, State of Michigan

    286.372a Construction of storage room, space, or building; installation and maintenance of thermometer; accessibility of gas analyzer.

    Sec. 2a. (1) Each sealed storage room, sealed storage space, or sealed storage building used as a controlled atmosphere storage facility for fruits or vegetables shall be constructed of materials that will allow for the establishment and maintenance of the required levels of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and temperature and that are acceptable to the director.

    (2) Each sealed storage room, sealed storage space, or sealed storage building shall have a Fahrenheit thermometer properly installed and maintained. An approved gas analyzer for the measurement of carbon dioxide and oxygen gases shall be readily accessible to all sealed rooms or units.

    History: Add. 2000, Act 53, Imd. Eff. Mar. 30, 2000 .

    © 2002 Legislative Council, State of Michigan

    286.373 Record; location; contents; review.

    Sec. 3. (1) A person or other legal entity storing fruits or vegetables in a sealed storage room shall keep a daily record at a convenient location adjacent to the storage room, storage space, or storage building from the day of sealing the room, space, or building to the day of opening of the storage room, space, or building.

    (2) The daily records kept under subsection (1) shall indicate the atmospheric conditions in each sealed storage space from the date of sealing until the date the space is opened. The daily records shall indicate the date and time of recording, the temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit, the percentages of carbon dioxide, and the percentage of oxygen.

    (3) The daily record shall be subject to review by the director at any time for a period of at least 1 year from date of sealing.

    History: 1959, Act 228, Eff. Mar. 19, 1960 ;—Am. 2000, Act 53, Imd. Eff. Mar. 30, 2000 .

    © 2002 Legislative Council, State of Michigan

    286.374 Rules and regulations.

    Sec. 4. The director may promulgate rules and regulations regarding the controlled atmosphere storage of fruit or vegetables pursuant to the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to 24.328.

    History: 1959, Act 228, Eff. Mar. 19, 1960 ;—Am. 2000, Act 53, Imd. Eff. Mar. 30, 2000 .

    © 2002 Legislative Council, State of Michigan

    286.374a Sealed storage room; conditions.

    Sec. 4a. (1) A person or other legal entity desiring to maintain a licensed sealed storage room shall notify the director within 5 days after the date of sealing. The oxygen within the sealed storage room maintained for apples shall be 5% or lower within 14 days after the storage room is sealed by the operator. An operator shall make available for inspection, upon request of the director, the daily record for the sealed storage rooms.

    (2) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3), the apples shall be stored in a continuously sealed storage room that does not have more than 5% oxygen for a minimum period of 60 days, except that gala and jonagold varieties may be removed from storage in not less than 45 days.

    (3) The oxygen level in any sealed storage room maintained for apples may be more than 5% for an accumulated time not to exceed 10 days (240 hours) during the storage period. If the atmospheric conditions have been interrupted, the minimum storage period shall be increased to 70 days for all fruit except for gala and jonagold, which shall have a minimum storage period of 55 days.

    (4) All sealed storage rooms maintained for apples shall be sealed by the operator. To qualify for “CA” storage, the room must be sealed on or before November 15 of the storage year. At the time of inspection by a department representative, the representative must place an official seal on the door. An operator shall not break the seal and shall not enter the storage room during the days required for the sealed storage period, except as provided in subsection (3). If interruptions in atmospheric conditions occur, the operator shall notify the department within 48 hours after the atmospheric conditions in the sealed storage room are interrupted. Sealed storage rooms whose atmospheric conditions were interrupted may be resealed by an authorized representative of the department.

    (5) The air temperature of any sealed storage room maintained for apples shall not exceed 35 degrees Fahrenheit for jonathan, rome beauty, delicious (all), and stayman varieties and the temperature shall not exceed 41 degrees Fahrenheit for all other varieties during the interruption period.

    History: Add. 2000, Act 53, Imd. Eff. Mar. 30, 2000 .

    © 2002 Legislative Council, State of Michigan

    286.375 Controlled atmosphere storage for fruits and vegetables; license, application, fee, inspection, expiration, renewal, exemption.

    Sec. 5. (1) A person or other legal entity shall not operate any sealed type storage room for fruits or vegetables where controlled atmosphere is used without first obtaining a license from the director for each sealed storage room. An application for license shall be made on forms furnished by the director.

    (2) A fee of $35.00 per room shall accompany each application. The director shall not issue a license under this act unless the director or his or her authorized agent has inspected the storage facilities and found those facilities to be in compliance with this act and rules promulgated under this act.

    (3) All licenses expire on November 15 of the year after issue and may be renewed annually unless the license is revoked or suspended.

    (4) Fruits or vegetables not represented as controlled atmosphere storage are not required to be in compliance with the requirements of this act.

    History: 1959, Act 228, Eff. Mar. 19, 1960 ;—Am. 1969, Act 69, Imd. Eff. July 21, 1969 ;—Am. 2000, Act 53, Imd. Eff. Mar. 30, 2000 .

    © 2002 Legislative Council, State of Michigan

    286.376 License; denial, suspension, or revocation; notice and opportunity for hearing; administrative fine; warning; action by attorney general to recover fine; injunction; disposition of payments.

    Sec. 6. (1) In addition to any other penalties or sanctions provided for by law, the director after notice and opportunity for a hearing under the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to 24.328, may deny, suspend, or revoke a license for any sealed storage room, space, or building that had not been operated, or is not prepared to be operated, in compliance with this act or any rules issued under this act.

    (2) The director, upon finding after notice and opportunity for a hearing that a person has violated any provision of this act, may impose an administrative fine of not more than $1,000.00 for each violation.

    (3) If the director finds that a person or firm has violated provisions of the act despite the exercise of due care, the director may issue a warning instead of imposing an administrative fine.

    (4) The director shall advise the attorney general of the failure of a person to pay an administrative fine imposed under this section. The attorney general shall bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover the fine.

    (5) The director may bring an action to enjoin the violation or threatened violation of this act or a rule promulgated pursuant to this act in a court of competent jurisdiction of the county in which the violation occurs or is about to occur.

    (6) Any civil penalties or recovery of any economic benefits associated with a violation of this act and collected under this section shall be paid to the state treasury and credited to the department for the enforcement of this act.

    Compiler’s Note: The repealed sections pertained to labeling requirements, registration numbers, and permits.

    © 2002 Legislative Council, State of Michigan

    286.379 Violation of act as misdemeanor; penalty.

    Sec. 9. Any person or other legal entity who violates any of the provisions of this act is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $200.00 or more than $5,000.00 or by imprisonment for not more than 90 days.

    History: 1959, Act 228, Eff. Mar. 19, 1960 ;—Am. 2000, Act 53, Imd. Eff. Mar. 30, 2000 .

    © 2002 Legislative Council, State of Michigan

    Licensed Controlled Atmosphere Storage Operators for 2006-2007 (License expiration date: 11/15/2007)

    Business Name City

    Aebig Apple Shelby

    Alpine Applehaus, Inc. Sparta

    Applewood Orchards, Inc. Deerfield

    Baehre Orchard Kent City

    Belding Fruit Storage, Inc. Belding

    Chase Fruit Storage, Inc. Comstock Park

    Dennis Umlor Farms Conklin

    Dietrich & Sons, Leo Conklin

    Fox & Sons, Inc., N.J. Shelby

    Goodfellow Orchard, George Sparta

    Greg Orchards & Produce Benton Harbor

    H & W Farms Belding

    Heeren Brothers, Inc. Grand Rapids

    Hersey Bros. & Circle Three Casnovia

    Jack Brown Produce, Inc. Sparta

    Kent-Ottawa Storage Sparta

    Klein & Sons, Royal J. Sparta

    Klines Storage Grand Rapids

    Nyblad Orchards, Inc. Kent City

    Pagel Cold Storage Berrien Springs

    Rasch Bros. Apple Storage Grand Rapids

    Ridgeking Apple Packing & Storage Belding

    Roossinck Fruit Storage, Inc. Fremont

    Shelton Farms Berrien Springs

    Snappy Apple Farms, Inc. Casnovia

    Sneller Orchards, Inc. Fremont

    Succop Orchards & Storage Sparta

    Timpson Orchard, Inc. Lowell

    Umlor Orchards Conklin

    Related Content • Controlled Atmosphere Storage License Details & FAQ • Controlled Atmosphere Storage Program Contact and Forms • Who must be licensed? • Obtaining a License and Fees • Inspection and Licensure • CA Storage Act (P.A. 228 of 1959, As Amended)
       —info dept of ag    Nov. 13 '07 - 06:35AM    #
  121. My guess is that any long time storage of apples without this type of storage room would make the
    quality of the apples degrade quickly.
    This year Meijer’s sold several different varieties of Michigan apples. They are all sold out for the season. Neighbors have an Orchard that sells apples during the season and ends in November. 3 months without storage that’s it.


       —myguess    Nov. 14 '07 - 02:35AM    #
  122. Just an idea that can be easily implemented by the city for inspections of apple and fruit growers. 1. Apples are hand harvested. No other way to harvvest them.. Inspect the products when they are being harvested and meet the workers that are harvesting. Other fruits can be inspected the same way, when they are being harvested. What’s so hard about that?
    Most concerned that the manager as inspector. Other markets claim they have implemented an inspector, but also have volunteers or a commission that also goes along.
    That can end potential payoffs. Everyone can remember the “gifts” of cash to past managers by the Grower’s Ass. Pointing fingers at vendors that have come forward with complaints, have been labeled trouble makers. The vendors that come under the scutiny of those complaints, moan and cry “Harassment”.

    It is the understanding of many, that it just might be the City knows about the monopoly that many consumers and vendors claim is being held at the market. The city became aware around 2000. The evidence was presented from 3 seperate consumers on three seperate occassiions . 2 consumers came forward in 2000 with their findings along with letters from several vendors. One consumer came forward with a letter with the same findings in 2002 however, the manager tore it up and threw it in the wastebasket. The City Attorney Mary Fales was involved and issued a directive that the city, vendors and the consumers thought would curb the monoply. However, those vendors did not and still do not comply with the directive. The manager would not comply and enforce the rules that were contained in the directive.
    It is understood that the Mayor and Mr. McDonald know about this and as stated by McDonald “It was policy in the past to let this occur, and it will be our policy in the future.” So there it is in a nutshell folks! They know and won’t do anything about it. IMHO, great case of deception from these vendors and the city, to it’s vendors and consumers.


       —Maureen T.    Nov. 15 '07 - 02:35AM    #
  123. Oh my gosh, say it isn’t true! The market manager is taking bribes! The city attorney’s and the mayor are corrupt! It’s another conspiracy! All this over the little farmer’s market? Give it a break and get a life.


       —Dustin    Nov. 15 '07 - 05:40AM    #
  124. OMG Dustin has joined the great conspiracy against the vendors of the true faith (VTF).

    The VTF first complained to the Market Manager about Robertello many years ago. She passed the complaint to an independent Market Inspector that concluded the complaint was without merit. I can probably post a copy of this letter. How could this be? Why, the Market Manager was being bribed, of course.

    Next the VTF tried the city attorney’s office but Mary Fales also concluded the specific complaint was invalid. The Market manager signed the letter rejecting the complaint, so again it was all her fault.

    So the VTF tried the Mayor. He appointed several of them and their friends to the Market Commission. This was a very fair and reasonable offer. The Commission is an advisory body. If you don’t like the current rules here is an opportunity to propose constructive changes.

    But instead of constructive changes the VTF Commissioners spent a year constructing a complaint against Robetello and a convolution of the rules that gave them the authority to remove him from the Market.

    When Robetello used his legal right of appeal, the city attorney’s office again supported his position. Clearly the Office of the City Attorney is part of the conspiracy against the VTF.

    About this time the City Administrator and the Mayor decided enough was enough and just dissolved the Commission. And of course, they too became part of the conspiracy against the VTF. Just read post 122

    And now even Dustin.


       —G. Thompson    Nov. 15 '07 - 11:31PM    #
  125. See, I told you Glen Thompson knows EVERYTHING about the market!! Even when he has to resort to making things up!


       —fuzzbollah    Nov. 16 '07 - 04:52PM    #
  126. The growes ass. gave money to maxine and louise. It is on record and tape from a commision meeting. Robertello said “it was a tradition” and his wife said “we did it alot” . the fact is the mayor knows of the cheating but is willing to look the other way. I can put up the letter. those who cheat have made it easy to sell products bought and sold. How about one buissness taking 17 stalls. It is not hard work buying and selling. the mayor was the one who said in the letter that he knew who was cheating. glen thompson is helping people cheat and trying to keep the truth from the public. Either he is very evil or he is the stupidest most gullable person around. If there is an after life, he and his liars will be burning in hell.


       —Maureen T.    Nov. 17 '07 - 05:25AM    #
  127. I have been selling at the market for almost thirty years. last week someone told me who that thompson guy was. I saw him about three or four months ago taking what looked like pictures of young girls from behind. I followed him for a little while. It felt creepy.

    Tomato


       —tomato    Nov. 17 '07 - 05:32AM    #
  128. The City maintains that the products labeled and sold under the business name of “Kapnick Orchards” are from the business entities of R@S farm Inc. Kapnick LLC, Kapnick Farm Market Inc., and R&S Farm.
    As a consumer, when asking the State of Michigan which business entity the products labeled “Kapnick Orchards” are from, the State of Michigan maintains the products labeled and sold as “Kapnick Orchards” is that of Janice Kapnick, Kapnick Orchards.
    The state maintains that The Name “Kapnick Orchards” cannot be used by another entity as the name is already taken and active.


       —business names    Nov. 17 '07 - 05:10PM    #
  129. In the late 1980’s, when I traded some of my time for organic vegetables with Renaissance Acres/ Farmers Market vendors the Starks, I also would accompany them to the market on some Saturdays to help them sell their organic produce. You can say I got to see things from the inside – what really goes on at the market. I did this for a couple of years before getting a job in Detroit, and being out of town alot, but still remaining a friend of the Starks, and buying their organic produce over many years.

    What I got to see at the market was very revealing. Peter Stark would be harassed for no apparent reason. I observed one vendor, Denise Brock, being very rude and physically intimidating Mr Stark on at least two occasions. Others, like Carol Vena, would make nasty comments as Mr Stark would walk by their stalls on his way to the Market Manager’s office. I thought to myself at the time, “Why is this going on, and how can this be changed?”.

    About 10 years later, in 2000, Mr Stark asked me to do something for him, to show how rules were being broken at the market. There is a rule that vendors couldn’t have more than 3 spaces, and that vendors had to be “single business entities”, and operate as such at the market. I agreed to do what he asked (which was on the advice of his attorney), and went to purchase bedding plants and starter herbs from a couple of vendors. One was Gracias Greenhouse, who had stalls next to Tina Koski. I purchased plants from Delores Gracia, and paid by check to Gracia’s Greenhouse. Then I went over to Tina Koski’s stalls and made a purchase of some more plants. Tina was wearing a shirt that said “Gracia’s Greenouse” on it, and when I asked Tina if I could pay by check, she said “Sure, make it out to Gracia’s Greenhouse”. Hmmmmm, seven stalls, same vendor. I have the cancelled checks to prove it.

    Then I crossed the Detroit St aisle, and did the same process with Denise Brock’s three stalls, who was right next to Carol Vena, also with three additional stalls. I paid by check for two separate purchases from the two supposedly different vendors, but told to write the checks to “Vena’s”. Hmmmmmm, single business entity MY ASS.

    Nothing much ever came from the valid complaint Mr Stark filed. Maxine Rosasco, the market manager at the time ignored everything that Mr Stark brought up, valid or not. In 2002, I had the opportunity to become a part of the Market Commission, and approached the relatively new Mayor John Hieftje, and was appointed a Commissioner. At the time, the Commission met in the market’s office building, sitting on folding chairs around a folding table, and a city functionary, Dee Barnes, taking notes and voting on issues brought before the Commission (she was really supposed to be ex officio – and not vote).

    Practically the first words out of Maxine Rosasco’s mouth to me were “Better not listen to those Starks – they’re troublemakers” – already showing a bias against them, but not knowing that I was an acquaintance. Maybe Maxine was afraid I would learn about the coffee and soda pop concession she had going on in the office on market days. She must have supplemented her income a bunch. Is that corruption? Hmmmm.

    On the Commission in 2002, I was outnumbered in voting to get anything changed, with my only ally being the Artisan’s representative Christine Schopieray. Over the next few years, we did what we could to make more changes happen, with the encouragement of the Mayor, who told me to “shake things up a bit” on the Commission. Back in those days, the Commission wasn’t only advisory, it would review and approve or disapprove applications to sell, would review and approve or disapprove changes in seniority of vendors, and make general policies for the market. I started to build a coalition of friends and those of like mind who wanted to enact reforms and change the rules at the market. It was done the good old fashioned, bare-knuckled Democratic or political way – by building a machine.

    When Maxine Rosasco retired, Louise Wireman was hired as market manager, and started to learn more of the ugly truth about the internal workings of the market. She was initially receptive to changes, but then got cold feet. The issue about Mr Robertello not transferring seniority rights from Kapnick Orchards to the store known as Kapnick Farm Market Inc. came up at that time. I asked Mr Robertello after a Commission meeting if he had ever followed Market Operating Rule 7, and made a legal transfer of seniority rights, and he replied that he did not, “because Maxine (Rosasco) said I didn’t have to”. My reply was that Mrs Rosasco didn’t have the authority to make that decision. Another complaint was filed by Mr Stark, since he was at the meeting, and overheard Mr Robertello say what he said to me. The market’s inspector at the time found that paperwork in Mr Robertello’s file was a bit out of order, and he could not make a definite determination of Mr Robertello’s status. My questions to the City’s Legal Department, including attorney Mary Fales, went unanswered. In my mind, the issue could not be put to rest, as a matter of principle.

    Mr Robertello was part of this group at the market known as the “Grower’s Association”, which had dominated politics on the Commission for many years before I ever had anything to do with it. The GA has about 13-15 consistent members, not all of whom attend their meetings. In the past, this group has had the ability to influence the Mayor on who to appoint to represent them on the Market Commission. That representative would always present themselves at Market Commission meetings saying that “the vendors want this”, or “the Vendors don’t want the market to be expanded”. I sat in on one of their meetings in January, 2003, when it was held in the market office. Louise Wireman was also there observing. During the meeting, I heard one vendor say something very contemptuous of Ann Arborites, I can’t even repeat it here on this forum, as it would not lend a good “perception” to the market. Also, at the same meeting, official acknowledgement was made of a $50 “gift” to Louise Wireman. Perhaps that is why Louise got cold feet on making changes? By their “gift”, was the Growers Association hoping to influence politics at the market? City employees are not supposed to accept gratuities, and this one had “improper” written all over it. Corruption? I’m shocked, simply shocked that gambling is going on at Rick’s American Cafe!!!How many other “gifts” have been given to market managers to earn their favor??

    Market Commission meetings got moved to the City Council chambers soon after, and then started getting televised. The Growers Association started up a “Harassment Committee”, seeking to get Mr Peter Stark arrested, and me removed from the Commission. Instead, their complaint got laughed out of the City’s Legal Department, and I made plans to become Chair of the Commission, because the leadership at the time wasn’t leading.

    When Mrs Kokinakis died, the old house was torn down, and planning commenced for an expanded and enhanced Public Market. The Growers Association got Mr Robertello appointed to the planning committee, and he went along with the original ideas, helped to get $90,000 expended on a viable plan, and then, at the last minute, he pulled his “But the vendors don’t want changes made” routine, joined at the hip with Mr Glen Thompson’s group, and managed to get the whole plan thrown into limbo. Today, no physical changes have been made to the market, thanks to the obstructive and shortsighted actions of Mr Thompson and Mr Robertello. This band showed up at every council meeting, and any other meeting where good ideas were being discussed and proposed, and they kept the process from moving forward.

    This made it imperative for me to get Mr Robertello off of the Commission, along with the fact that he never got seniority according to the Market Operating Rules in existence at the time.

    Recent changes to the operating rules were pushed through by the Parks and Rec Department, disregarding input from a majority of the Market Commission before it got dismembered. I did what I did in the public interest, and because I saw big problems that desperately needed fixing, or at the least to be exposed. My acts of public service were to bring to light of day the unworkable rules at the market that did not serve the citizens of Ann Arbor. Allegations of unfairness in stall allocations, biases towards certain vendors and against others, brokering produce, and thaw & bake apple pies are all truthful. Much of it is documented. But who cares?

    I have all of the documentation necessary to prove my points. Over many years, I have taken my concerns to the top officials in the city. Somebody has chosen to “keep it quiet”, and when it got too hot, they pulled the plug. Towards the end, as Chairman of the Commission I acted like Abbie Hoffman in court (the Chicago 7), and it became a circus because it was all looking like a charade to me. Lip service was paid to change and true reform. Now the City has to come up with a new set of rules by the start of the 2009 season. If the rules are not clear or straightforward, and equitable or fair in the eyes of ALL of the vendors and citizens, then lets call it a sham. Good luck.

    Mr Thompson needs to get his facts straight.


       —Luis Vazquez    Nov. 17 '07 - 05:20PM    #
  130. Richard Andres of Tantre Organic Farm has also raised questions about some vendors selling goods they did not produce. Mr. King of Frog Holler Organic Farm has also raised the issue.
    If am not mistaken hadn’t Mr. Pollack and Ms. Service, already stated they do not believe there is buying and selling going on at the market.
    Because this issue is a dire matter for all vendors will this be the first issue of business for the new board or will it go under the mat because Mr. Pollack and Ms. Service does not believe it is happening ?


       —charlie    Nov. 17 '07 - 08:29PM    #
  131. OK, reading over all these posts, I guess you must be right. Let me see if I have it straight…

    The corruption has been going on for decades. The city is “shoving it under the rug” for the bribe money. Money is going to the market manager(s)(multiple ones over several years) and the city attorneys and the mayor must be in on it too? (Was for former mayor?) How about the city administrator? They must have gotten to the council too?

    Must be costing the growers association a bundle.

    I didn’t know there so much money to be made selling stuff at the market. I might start going down there with some produce from Kroger. Let’s see, I can buy an apple for $1 and sell it for a buck and a quarter. If I do it a hundred times I make $25! You learn something everyday. Thanks!


       —Dustin    Nov. 18 '07 - 03:12AM    #
  132. Dustin, don’t know whether to laugh at you and your statements.
    The way businessess make a profit is to purchase in bulk at wholesale prices. The products are then sold at retail prices. Grocery stores have given more square footage to produce than to any other products in their stores. Must be that the profit is huge.

    Donahee Farm a market vendor, is one of the largest farms in the area. They also have several other retail locations within the area.
    Mr. Donahee also sells his products wholesale to Easterm market. Mr. Donahee maintains that several of his melons that he wholesales to eastern market ended up in the stalls of some of the A2 market vendors.
    Also, what’s with the “get a life” statement?
    Certainly you are in favor of open, truthful conversation as you have also commented on this blog.


       —charlie    Nov. 18 '07 - 11:14PM    #
  133. Mr. Thompson,
    the inspectors letter and response from the city refer to Mr. Robertello being the owner in the original business entity “Kapnick Orchards”.
    Mr. Robertello simply got caught in a lie and it snowballed, creating more lies, the strangest one is claiming to be married to one of the Kapnick daughters.


       —charlie    Nov. 19 '07 - 01:55AM    #
  134. Thank you Mr. Vazquez for providing facts separating Mr. Thompson’s fiction.
    Many of you may or may not know Mr. Vazquez, so here is MHO.
    Mr. Vazquez is a well respected long time resident of Ann Arbor. He gained the respect of many vendors and citizens for displaying integrity while serving on the commission. As chair, he handled meetings with utmost care and professionalism. He actually got Mr. McDonald to claim there were no market rules.

    Had to laugh when I read Mr.Robertello drafted a letter to the city attorney asking for removal of Mr. Vazquez from the commission citing “he has friends at the market.”

    What in the hell is Mr. Thompson referring to “vendors of the true faith” is this a religious cult?


       —Eileen    Nov. 19 '07 - 05:40AM    #
  135. This may now be one of the longest running threads on arborupdate. Interesting social and cultural commentary, though.

    Back in post #82 the market is referred to roughly as “mean girls redux”. To a great extent, that poster is right, it’s WORSE than high school ever was. You’ve got market bullies, market cheerleaders, and the majority who just want to come and go without a peep. Whats been missing is impartiality and true leadership. All the while, as has been pointed out, Washtenaw County loses about 10 acres per day of farmland to development. Most people don’t know (and now I presume most don’t care) where their food comes from. City people will have to look further and further away from town for good, wholesome, organic foods.

    Instead of the market being renovated and expanded a few years ago (and when it was less costly), becoming more of a revenue generator than just a shabby-looking parking lot, we’re still waiting for physical change to happen. Instead of snagging (purchasing, trading)what was the Mysore Woodlands restaurant property when they vacated it, and closing off the brick-street portion of Detroit St, making it more into a pedestrian-friendly town-center and drawing more customers into surrounding businesses with foot traffic, we’re stuck with a limited triangular itty bitty market, hardly any parking, and nobody talking to each other about what is best for that space, best for the citizens of Ann Arbor, best for ALL involved.

    Yeah, we may get some solar electricity installed (why don’t all city buildings have solar?), and that is a great innovation, but all of these political processes take sooooo long, and its such a fight every step of the way with pinheads like Thompson. It leaves me with the conclusion that POLITICS SUCKS. Yet, even though it really does suck, it was a good experience to chair meetings, get to know people, debate issues, and dig up dirt.

    Notice how the Ann Arbor News paid almost no attention to any of the controversy while it was going on. A City Commission gets dissolved, and theres no coverage – thats not news? Either they are oblivious over there at the snooz, or maybe somebody’s got some friends there that agree to not rock the boat. Or perhaps it was the Letter to the Editor I wrote a couple of years ago (which they never printed) about Ed Petekiewicz being a total scab working at the parent company’s paper in Ohio while their workers were on strike, and why should I trust the Ann Arbor News’ reporting ANYTHING on labor issues? Who knows.

    I’m also finding myself starting to agree with Todd’s statements in post #19. Why don’t we ditch this space and trade it for something where there are no more turf issues, plenty of parking for customers and vendors, and start off with a clean slate where fair and impartial rules are the order of the day?


       —Luis Vazquez    Nov. 20 '07 - 03:56AM    #
  136. The Food and Dairy Division of the Michigan Department of Agriculture is responsible for assuring that foods and other consumer packages are properly labeled. The Michigan Food Law of 2000, PA 92 of 2000, and Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR) are the primary laws governing food labeling.

    This guide summarizes general labeling requirements for food products. It is impractical to attempt to answer every food labeling question that may arise in this limited amount of space. To help minimize regulatory action and delays, it is recommended that manufacturers and distributors become fully informed about the applicable labeling laws before offering food for distribution in Michigan.

    NAME AND ADDRESS OF A RESPONSIBLE PARTY: Must be declared as a unit and not separated by other label information. The address must include street address, city, state, and zip code. However, if the street address is listed in a current city or telephone directory under the responsible party name, the street address may be omitted on the label. If the responsible party is other than the manufacturer, the name must be qualified by a term describing the relationship to the product, such as“distributed by” [21 CFR §101.5].

    Attn: stalls 124-126


       —at    Nov. 29 '07 - 02:34AM    #
  137. Did Jessica ever answer consumer complaints about the vendor that brings in pre-made frozen baked foods? Did she have an inspection made after the complaints were made? This consumer asks, WHY Jessica are you allowing these products to be sold at our market?


       —chunkymonkey57    Dec. 4 '07 - 04:11PM    #
  138. Mr Vazquez is quite creative in his last post. Perhaps some clarification is appropriate.

    Mr Vazquez states the original proposed Market renovations would have made the Market “pedestrian friendly” (Post 135, closing Detroit Street) That is a euphemism for eliminating all parking at the Market; vendor and customer parking. The vendors were to carry their produce to the market. If they could not carry it, porters could be hired to carry or cart it from the parking structures. If the citizens did not wish to carry their purchases back to their cars they could hire the porters for this service also.

    The Growers Association conducted a survey of vendors and documented that the majority found this proposal undesirable. How surprising that they did not want to increase their effort or cost of selling at the market! Scott Robertello presented the results of the vendor survey at a meeting at the Cobblestone Farm in summer 2004. At this meeting Mr.Vazquez stated that if the plan, which he favored, was not approved he would use his position on the Market Commission to take stalls from some of the vendors.

    Approximately 750 market customers also signed petitions opposing the plan. Quite simply it would have made shopping at the Market more expensive and less convenient. The Friends of the Market was formed to oppose this extensive modification of the Market. However, the group has never opposed the minor improvements and modifications desired by most vendors.

    Mr Vazquez frequently uses terms like “fair and impartial”. But his actions were anything but fair and impartial. This is why the majority of the Market Commission members would not support him. He had to build a political machine of his friends to get his way. (Vazquez post # 129 paragraph 7) Most of us think of a political machine as part of extreme partisan politics and often associate it with graft and corruption. At the very least, it is quite distasteful when an individual tries to use it to impose his will over something as simple and basic as a farmers market.

    Mr Vazquez’s machine targeted Scott Robertello. (Vazquez post 129, paragraph 12) The Vazquez Commission attempted to reverse a decision made by the Market manager about ten years ago and to use this as an excuse to remove him as a vendor at the Market and from the Commission. This was not a case of reforming the rules, or stating a mistake was made; lets change or clarify the rules so it doesn’t happen again. It was a retroactive action intended to be very detrimental to an individual vendor.

    The technical point was simply that Mr. Robertello did not file a request to transfer the stall rights at the market when Kapnick Orchards was reorganized. He did not file this piece of paper because he did not think it was necessary. The Market manager supported this position. Had he filed the request it would have been routinely approved at that time.

    The point of substance is is whether the reorganized Kapnick Orchards was basically a continuation of the previous business. The Market manager, the market inspector, and the City of Ann Arbor Attorneys Office all concurred that it was essentially the same business and met the requirements to retain the same market stalls.

    Our society does not condone the taking of personal rights or property rights of individuals except under unusual circumstances and with due process. The Commission’s attempt to take the market stalls from Mr. Robertello was ethically improper and an embarrassment to the City Administration, the Mayor and the City Council. The Council simply dissolved the Commission and then reappointed new Commissioners. Neither Mr. Vazquez or any of the members of his machine were reappointed. Commissioners Genia Service and Peter Pollack who opposed the action against Mr. Robertello were reappointed.

    The version of the events presented by Mr. Vazquez and his machine does not withstand the test of reasonable belief. Anyone who disagrees them has been bribed or is dishonest. The Ann arbor News is part of a conspiracy to suppress information. The entire city administration corrupted by one small apple vendor. Dustin humorously points out the logic of this in his post #131.

    My presentation of the events requires the reader to believe that only Luis Vazquez and a few of his friends are over the top. Read his rambling rants, post #129 and #135 and decide.


       —G. Thompson    Dec. 6 '07 - 07:09PM    #
  139. Well, Glenn Thompson, you’ve finally crawled out from under your rock to reply, it only took a few weeks.

    You do not dispute the fact that the Growers Assoc gave a monetary gift to Market Manager Louise Wireman. Good. I’m beginning to see why you then might trust a survey done by the Growers Assoc who claim to speak for “the vendors”. Just like your phony group (you) speaks for “the public” or “the community”.

    Your comment “The technical point was simply that Mr. Robertello did not file a request to transfer the stall rights at the market when Kapnick Orchards was reorganized. He did not file this piece of paper because he did not think it was necessary.” Thompson, do you support Mr Robertello’s disregard of Market Operating Rules? Sounds to me like you do. Kapnick Orchards was not reorganized, Kapnick Orchards remains a business of its own, with Janice Kapnick as it’s principal. You can check the State of Michigan’s website to verify this fact.

    Mr Robertello was trying to skirt the rules, which yes, required a hearing in front of the Commission. I succeeded in finally getting Mr Robertello to answer for his violation of the rules at a hearing before “my” Commission. There was NO attempt to take stalls from Kapnick Orchards or Kapnick Farm Market Inc, or Kapnick LLC, or R&S Farms Inc, or whatever other entity Mr Robertello tried to pass off as successor entity. Why make things up? Mr. Robertello and you are the ones acting unethically in this case.

    You can ask Jayne Miller about my suggestion to dissolve the Market Commission back in the summer of 2006, its too bad she did not act on that suggestion then by bringing it before City Council. I also told Mayor Hieftje of my desire to resign during the fall of 2006, but he asked me to stay on.

    I also was offered by Mayor Hieftje to seek reappointment to the new Commission, I chose not to. Mr Pollack and Ms Service did choose to be reappointed, good luck to them, and my condolences too, because you Glenn Thompson, are likely to show up and “give your opinion”. By the way, Mr Pollack told me that he too was disappointed in Mr Robertello’s not filing for proper transfer of seniority rights.

    All this brouha for a puny little Public Market. Yeah. Who really cares?

    Is this why you attack our Organic Growers? Is this at the behest of your friend Mr Robertello?


       —Luis Vazquez    Dec. 7 '07 - 03:26AM    #
  140. Here’s what the corporation division states. The name “Kapnick Orchards” is not available for use. There is an active corporation that is using the name,
    I.D. 076438. Looked up 076438 and sure enough it is the corporation of Kapnick Orchards Janice Kapnick. Who is Robertello (that name is not on the document)and what is this reorganization G. Thompson is talking about?
    Perhaps he ‘d be willing to elaborate. ?


       —Roberta    Dec. 7 '07 - 05:23PM    #
  141. If there are any packaged food products I check the name on the packaging label since the name of the responsible party is required on the label.
    Pretty basic search would be what name is being held out to the public? Is there any other route a consumer can use?
    G.Thompson doesn’t give any details about reorganization in his post,only refering to it many times. Can’t determine what he’s even talking about.

    In this case are there any packaged food products and if any, what is the name on the label?
    What’s the business name used in transactions? The name held out to the public.?
    Is it Kapnick Orchards?
    What information has the manager , inspector, attorney all concurred on?


       —Linda    Dec. 7 '07 - 08:20PM    #
  142. Through a reliable source I just heard that Peter Stark can no longer sell his pine tree branches at the market during the winter season. The manager Jessica Black stated there was enough “holiday” greens (wreaths?)at the market and Peter could not sell his tree branches. On and off throughout the years, Peter has brought his pine tree branches to this market. What’s going on?
    Baffled market customers


       —Cynthia V.    Dec. 8 '07 - 03:51AM    #
  143. I thought the conversation at the last meeting between the commission and the manager was about why the manger is allowing buying and selling. The conversation was about a vendor who was also a member on the commission and alegedly selling pre-made frozen baked goods.
    1? Has the city yet inspected the commission complaint. ?2. under the market rules does is this type product allowed?


       —anthony    Dec. 8 '07 - 05:59AM    #
  144. Mr. Thompson leaves out one important note from his ramblings. The State of MI DOES NOT concurr
    with the opinion of the manager, inspector etc.


       —LJ    Dec. 8 '07 - 04:51PM    #
  145. Did the city hire an inspector yet? Matt Demmon applied and hasn’t heard back from Jessica. Great qualifications worked for Tantre and works at Native plant nursery. Why hasn’t he been hired?


       — ?    Dec. 9 '07 - 06:05AM    #
  146. To G. Thompson
    The Vazquez machine? What’s that?
    I’m familiar with Vendors and Consumers for Fainess and Equity. This committee has several members with many interested parties. Is this what your referring to?

    I’m not familiar with Friends of the Market group. Who is this group and what is it’s purpose?

    sincerely, a friend of the market


       —thanks    Dec. 9 '07 - 06:55PM    #
  147. Can you post the info as to how “Kapnick Orchards” was reorganized? Reorganized, sold or transferred? Which one?


       —jim T.    Dec. 10 '07 - 12:48AM    #
  148. “Holiday greens items” is listed under artisans products. Are pine trees & their branches now considered an atisan product?


       —Phil    Dec. 10 '07 - 04:17AM    #
  149. Was it Jessica that bought a wedding cake and birthday cake to market for Mr. Robertello?


       —anon    Dec. 10 '07 - 07:27PM    #
  150. http://www.northville.org/Events_Calendar/Content/Vena%27s_Greenhouse/

    How is it at our Northville market this is one business but at Ann Arbor market it is considered 2 businesses . If it’s one business why does it have 6 stalls in ann arbor?


       —?    Dec. 12 '07 - 07:34PM    #
  151. Now that Scott and Victoria are married and Victoria is working in Scott’s stalls, will they be able to retain 4 stalls?


       —vendors    Dec. 18 '07 - 03:53PM    #
  152. Vena’s Greenhouse

    VENA’S GREENHOUSE
    Belleville, MI
    Carol Vena & Denise Brock
    734-699-2222
    vena60@comcast.net

    Annual Plants, Hanging Baskets, Mums, Cut Flowers, Perennials


       —northville market ad    Dec. 20 '07 - 06:56PM    #
  153. Is something wrong here? The market will allow a farmer to bring snow cones and cotton candy (both non agricultural products) and not allow another farmer to bring fresh harvested locally grown tree branches (an asgricultural product).


       —shameful    Dec. 27 '07 - 06:43PM    #
  154. I brought in an assgrigultural product once and they told me to get my shit out of there.


       —Poop Monger    Dec. 30 '07 - 03:47AM    #
  155. There it is again in the observer Jan. 2008 “controversy about buying and selling” at the Farmers Market. Jayne Miller, Jessica Black and Christen Smith are the responsible parties allowing the buying and selling to occur. Ms. Black still has yet to respond to the consumer complaint by commission/members that a vendor is bringing into the market pre-made frozen baked goods. Ms. Black won’t give vendors or consumers an answer when asked if this is an allowable practice at the market. the city collects rent money from vendors. vendors in turn are guaranteed that management will make every effort to make certain there is no buying and selling. Vendors have found this not to be the case with current management.
    Question to vendors. Do you think management has any intention of ridding the market of buying and selling? There are several vendors that are plant dealers listed on the dept. of ag site , and selling at this market. Why?


       —?    Dec. 31 '07 - 12:43AM    #
  156. I was happy to read an article in the observer about local produce. It was great. One person the article left out was Peter Stark who sells his produce and plants under the name Renaissance Acres Organic Herb Farm. His farm is in Webster Township. He has the best quality produce and plants and has the best prices on heirloom tomatoes. He was the first certified organic farmer at the market. I am a long time resident of A2 and have been going to the market for over thirty years. What really makes me mad is the buying and selling that is going on. Having grown up on a farm I can tell what is going on. And the one vendor who sells that factory made baked goods. That just is an embarrasement. Even though it wasnt researched more I applaud the paper for the mention. What is the A2 Snooze doing? Why dont they cover this issue?Buying and selling is bad for my community because it hurts local farmers who really produce the food and takes sales away from them.. Some of these farmers who buy and sell live in other counties and take dollars away from our own county. The local organic farmers help protect our water table and the water I drink. The local farmer pays school and road taxes so I can go out to the metro parks. The local farmer spends money in town and creates jobs for city residents. When the people in the city let buying and selling continue it hurts us all in the city. Shame on you. And When it comes time to vote again I will tell my neighbors who is rersponsiible. I have heard the city knows all about this and doesnt want to do anything about it so it is kept quiet. It seems that this is more like the Bush administartion than AnnArbor. Our community deserves honest bureaucrats and politicians. When government fails, it hurts us all. An honest and local food system is the most important rersource our community has.


       —tmo    Dec. 31 '07 - 01:42AM    #
  157. buying and selling? yes if the city helps you. about 7 or 8 years ago the woman who sold eggs retired and sold her farm and moved into a condo. the growers association also known as the market mafia conspried to let her sell eggs she bought so as to create a “draw” at the market. since the mafia had given cash payments to two past market managers Maxine was one of them . Maxine let her buy and sell. many vendors did not like this so Maxine had her file a fake partnership paper to decieve the public and community. the city lawyers like Macdonald and Bob West do not want this info to come out. Jane Miller is part of this coverup. What follows is that the exact wording of the notorized fake partnership.
    Dated 3-25-99

    To whom it may concern:

    This is to certify that Mrs. Doris willis owns the chickens that produce the eggs that she sells. For a fee, we at Heck Bros. Farms house, feed water and otherwise take care of her chickens,

    Sined by Doris wills Gerald Heck Notorized by susuan salenbien monroe county


       —freedom101    Dec. 31 '07 - 02:52AM    #
  158. Check out the link below first. Then click on the e-mail and see the e-mail address .

    [link]

    Now go to this link and check out the e-mail address
    http://www.kapnickorchards.com/contact_us.html

    same e-mail address!
    Funny shit! This is the business Mr. McDonald and Jessica Black claim no longer does business at this market. They claim it’s 3 other corporations.


       —funny    Dec. 31 '07 - 09:58PM    #
  159. I don’t like the fact that management has taken a blind’s eye to the buying and selling that is occurring at the Ann Arbor Market. IMHO it is detrimental to the farmers in our county. The market has only a handful of Washtenaw County Farmers at this market. Most of these Washtenaw farmers have reported inconsistancies regarding rules, buying and selling, monopoly of stalls, single business entities, transference of seniority,etc.
    Until management takes a serious look at the situation of buying and selling that IS occuring,
    what the market has is a hanful of real farmers and a large community of salespeople, middle men! Oh, but they are LOCAL!??
    Are pre-made frozen baked goods considered a LOCALLY MADE product? Is cotton candy or snow cones? These are far from being a “farm roduct”
    Thanks for the thread. It’s been a “Highlight” experience. to the CITY ,do what’s best for the consumer and our local farmers, it’s city code.


       —Joan    Jan. 3 '08 - 08:18PM    #
  160. Clearly a sign that management is not practicing fairness and equality to all vendors.
    Mr.Scott Newell a respected A2 community baker, questioned the current management as to why management is allowing this practice. Management would not answer.
    Also, I agree with Joan. Pre-made frozen baked goods shpuld not be tolerated. It is a deceptive business practice.
    I checked out the link mentioned above. Only a few items were listed as “homemade”. Not the baked goods though.


       —Tom R.    Jan. 4 '08 - 04:53AM    #
  161. Last week after the storm I was out shoveling and starting talking to my neighbor. We both read the Observer and I mentioned the article about the local farmers but was most intrigued by the mention of the buying and selling. To my surprise my neighbor said they used to be on the last current commsion. I asked about what was going on and boy did I get an education. It is too bad the city is allowing buying and selling and that those who buy and sell are not even from our county and that bribes were given to mamnagers to let them break the rules. Totally sleazy and disgusting. I mean it. Why doesnt city council do something about this before it goes to far like the money scam in the fire department or neil berlin screwing the city. What about the sexual harrasemnet case in parks and rec. ron olsen had dropped the ball on that one. The department that is running the show at the market needs to go or it is going to be another monetary loss some where for our community. If we continue to let more and more of this sleazy disgusting destructive behavior allowed at the market by the city we can be sure that our politicians do not care about its citizens and crooks will know that our city is ripe for corruption just like every where else. This is very bad for our community.
    Our book club is meeting next week with 3 other clubs and I will certainly bring this up then.

    AMK


       —amk    Jan. 7 '08 - 11:46PM    #
  162. When is the next Market Commission meeting? Anybody know? Glenn????


       —fuzzbollah    Jan. 8 '08 - 01:43AM    #
  163. In a letter from the manager dated July 20, it states the Market commission working in cooperation with representatives of the market vendors to review and analyze market policies, will prepare a draft revision to the public market operating rules that may incorporate policy changes for action by the market commission June 28, 2008. The Market commission will seek public comment on the draft revision to the public market operating rules
    beginning on June 1, 2008 and continue until September 31, 2008. The Market Commission woll recommend new Public market operating rules to City Council by November 31, 2008. The public Market Operating Rules will be effective May 1, 2009. Here are my questions. Who are the representatives of the market vendors? Will the meetings with the market representatives take place during regular commission meetings?


       —July letter    Jan. 9 '08 - 11:18PM    #
  164. forgot to add to the above.
    The policies that will be reviewed
    1. Development of a mission statement for the public market.
    2.Clarification of language and definition that are included in the public operating rules
    3.Vendor seniority
    4.Verification and inspections of vendors
    seasonal markets and associated rules
    5.Vendor marketing strategies.


       —July letter    Jan. 10 '08 - 01:45AM    #
  165. From consumer to consumer

    The City stated the following…

    “Specific entities include Kapnick Farm Market Inc. R & S Farm Inc. Kapnick LLC and R & S Farm are linked in terms of ownership and control and are used by Scott Robertello, Sharon Shaffer and Kapnick Farm Market Inc. to produce goods marketed under the name Kapnick Orchards. This is a well defined business entity,( a combination acting as a unit) which exists for the purpose of producing Kapnick Orchards goods. Also that Kapnick Orchards Inc. has been historically used by Janice Kapnick, the Kapnick Family in operation of Kapnick Orchards.”

    (An important note to add here is, in reality, the name Kapnick Orchards has historically been used in the operation of Kapnick Orchards Inc.)

    The statements made by the city were sent to the corporation division State of MI for verification.

    Here is the correspondence from the Corporation Division State of MI. (DLEG) Kit L. Murphy

    “Corporations and LLCs file at the state level and any assumed names under these types of entities are filed here at the Corporation Division, not at the county clerk’s offices. The attached document is for a DBA with the county clerk’s office and therefore is not an assumed name for a corporation or LLC on file with this agency.

    The 3 entities that you are referring to “Kapnick Farm Market, Inc., Kapnick LLC and R & S Farm Inc. do not have an assumed name on file with our office for “Kapnick Orchards” therefore the
    owner(s)should not be using that name or advertising it under their corporation or LLC .
    Down the road, there could be some legal issues against the corporation. That is why it is important that people who form an entity look over the statutes they are required to adhere to.

    There is a corporation by the name of Kapnick Orchards, Inc. and the entity is currently in good standing. Therefore, the name Kapnick Orchards is not available for use. You can look up filed documents on our Business Entity Search link on our website. www.michigan.gov/corporations. The link is located to the right of the main web page. The ID of the entity is 076438, the corporation is a wholesale and retail selling produce, baked goods, garden supplies and groceries. You can look up filed documents on our Business Entity Search link on our website. www.michigan.gov/corporations. The link is located to the right of the main web page. The ID of the entity is 076438, the corporation is a wholesale and retail selling produce, baked goods, garden supplies and groceries. If the name was available Kapnick Farm Market Inc. R&S Farm Inc. and Kapnick LLC would all have to file the 541 form together and the name would be used jointly among all the mentioned entitles. There is also an additional page on the 541 form to add the different entities that will be using the assumed name. If you have 3 entities using the same assumed name “Kapnick Orchards”, they all have to each submit a 541 form and include all the other entity ID numbers and names that will be using the name on the additional page. 541 is a separate form from the annual report. You should mail them separately because the annual report is mailed back to a different address than the 541 form is. Sounds like several of the entities have been using the name and there is no registration of the name. I am curious, who sent the letter or statement?”

    So why are Kapmick Farm Market Inc. R&S Farm Inc.
    and Kapnick LLC selling Kapnick Orchards Inc.‘s products? Isn’t this buying and selling?
    Also these corporations are using unregistered assumed names. Is that legal?

    far more serious issues than transference.

    The following is the link to the Tecumseh Chamber of Commerce website. It is a current 2007 listing for Kapnick Orchards Inc.
    http://www.tecumsehchamber.org/index.php?option=com_sobi2&sobi2Task=sobi2Details&catid=187&sobi2Id=107&Itemid=30


       —consumer to consumer    Jan. 10 '08 - 10:02AM    #
  166. So, let me get this straight…
    Scott Robertello has been, for years now, using the Kapnick Orchards name illegally? The City bureaucracy allowed him to continue this fraudulent practice, by letting him get away with a violation of Market Operating Rules, and letting him keep a position on the Market Commission until its recent dissolution?

    Such fraud should be challenged, as it does not serve our community. Will other vendors be allowed to do likewise? Mr Robertello should have followed the rules in the first place, and as a businessperson, should have known about State of Michigan practices and procedures under the law. Perhaps he has been receiving poor advice from his lawyers, and should seek better counsel.

    The City Attorney’s office should correct the mistake they made when allowing Mr Robertello to break the rules, and not following State laws. To not do so will make a mockery of any market rules changes. I urge City Council to keep a close eye on the process the new Market Commission will have to preside over in changing Market Operating Rules.


       —fuzzbollah    Jan. 11 '08 - 04:00AM    #
  167. In time the public record becomes invaluable in separating the wheat from the chaff.


       —consumer to consumer    Jan. 11 '08 - 11:46AM    #
  168. It became evident when Janice Kapnick’s (kapnick Orchard Inc.) market application was altered by Mr. Robertello, listing her as an employee of her own corporation and Mr. Robertello as the owner.
    A handwriting expert was hired because the market manager claimed another vendor had altered the application, not Mr. Robertello. It was Mr. Robertello’s handwriting. however the city claims the application was not falsified.

    Second was when Mr. Robertello claimed to police, louise Wireman (former manager), and several vendors he married into the Kapnick family and gained transference and ownership of kapnick Orchards Inc. by marrying one of the Kapnick daughters.

    Then came this statement…to the market commission
    “This is the original business we just changed the name”. This was Mr. Robertello’s statement to the commission. He also told commission he never married into the family.

    Then of course there’s public records and correspondence from the state.

    Perhaps the Commission was trying save the city, market manager, community services, and Mr. Robertello from embarrassing themselves even further.


       —altering an application    Jan. 11 '08 - 01:43PM    #
  169. yes bribes were given to market managers by the Growers association. it is part of the record of the commsion meeting and was taped. The subject came up at a commsion meeting and commisioner and vendor robertello said “ It was A tradition” His wife siad “We did it alot”. Check the tape. You say how could a commsioner who is also a vendor do that? Well if you want to see how far a commsioner will go, you can view A past and present commsioner on youtube or gooogle video at” Sloppy cover up job”. You can see past commsioner carol scott flashing herself right in council chambers while current commsioner jena service and ms robertello laugh and then carol scott breaks a camera. These are the people that control the market with the help of Jane Miller and Jessica black. At one meeting of the growers association a vendor referrred to the people of ann arbor as all gay and didnt like to be around them. two others from that group while selling at the market made ugly rascist remarks and jokes about their farm workers. not a crime but vile.this great resource of a market is contolled by these people and untill the politicians really care there will be buying and selling, less diversity of farmers and high prices for what seems to be the same stuff home depot sells.


       —csi161    Jan. 11 '08 - 05:32PM    #
  170. The City was told that these businesses have never filed a 541 form to retain the assumed name “Kapnick Orchards” but disregarded it.
    The following is the statement by the city. “Any inconsistancies or deficientcies in documents filed with the City or viewed in this matter are minor for purposes of the market and challenges to the documents would be based more on form over substance.

    The Community Services Area Administrator Jayne Miller even used the name when refering to the matter. “The city has decided that we will not require “Kapnick Orchards” to apply for transfer of seniority.” Even have G. Thompson referrs to these entities as “Kapnick Orchards”.

    When has a consumer not had the right to investigate a service or business?
    One would think that for the purposes of the consumer and the market the City would not allow this business practice to occur. As it has been illustrated, it’s deceptive and illegal.


       —consumer to consumer    Jan. 12 '08 - 06:32AM    #
  171. Here’s the info that was sent to the city, but ignored.The following is more correspondence with the state, along with the state reply.

    Hello,

    This is with regard to asking assistance in the following matter. I wish to establish the business entity/entities and owner/owners that produce goods marketed under the name of Kapnick Orchards, or exist for the purposes of producing Kapnick Orchards goods. The products being sold are packaged baked goods labeled Kapnick Orchards, and fresh vegetables and fruits grown and labeled Kapnick Orchards.
    Because the nature of the products being sold is food, it is imperative information to a consumer to know the exact source that is selling food products.

    BUSINESS CORPORATION ACT (EXCERPT)
    Act 284 of 1972

    450.1217 Transacting business under assumed name; certificate.
    Sec. 217.
    (1) A domestic or foreign corporation may transact business under any assumed name or names other than its corporate name, if not precluded from use by section 212, by filing a certificate stating the true name of the corporation and the assumed name under which the business is to be transacted.
    There is a corporation by the name of Kapnick Orchards, Inc. and the entity is currently in good standing. Therefore, the name is not available for use.

    You can look up filed documents on our Business Entity Search link on our website. www.michigan.gov/corporations. The link is located to the right of the main web page. The ID of the entity is 076438,

    The corporation is a wholesale and retail selling produce, baked goods, garden supplies and groceries.
    So why is the city telling consumers that 3 other corporations are DBA Kapnick Orchards?


       —consumers    Jan. 12 '08 - 04:39PM    #
  172. answer to 150. consumers have been aware of this situation for years. Management was alerted by these consumers and management did nothing. Comment 122 by Maureen hit it right on the nose.


       —Vendor    Jan. 13 '08 - 09:09AM    #
  173. When ricki arganoff was chair of the market commision she asked people to come forward who had been harrassed or intimidated becuase they expressed their opinion that the bying and selling should stop. Several brave vendors came forth and spoke of harrasement from those cheating vendors and management. It is a long given that if you are vocal agaisnt the buying and selling and the senortiy monopoly that the market mamnager will harras you. When it was pointed out that three of the members of one family who control large blocks of stalls say they rented from the city when one was 13 and the other two were fifteen.. Although the city has no records it maitains this postion. About 8 years ago when mediation was going on at the market, a new commsioner was appointed for the artisan rep. One person from this large family who has a monoply at the market told this person that they did not want any rules changed and kept a GUN under neath the seat of his market truck. This person fearing for their saftey told at least two other vendors in case something happened. It is part of the market commsision record. If there is an independant investigation the names will come out and people will testfy. In the early seventies a farmer in a dispute at the market had his barn burned down. This type of behavior is bad for the community because it creates less honest competition and higher prices and fewer choices. The city is not allowing any more wreaths to be sold at the market by old or new vendors so there is less competition. What next, ban new tomatoe or lettuce growers? Why is the city protecting the monopoly of a few vendors spending many hours to do it and taxpayers dollars on vendors from other counties and not the welfare and benfit of the community?


       —tma45    Jan. 14 '08 - 04:30AM    #
  174. I’m just a b-school grad, but I would seem to think that a market like the farmers market would use a transparent, market economy…most likely paying for a spot or a lottery, consequently incentivize people to use one stall consistently. Perhaps the farmers could pay for a spot w/ a donated portion of their goods to St. Stephens. Has anyone here (perhaps Mr. Vazquez) considered a city-wide petition to let the residents decide how the market should be used, expanded and/or operated via a local vote? Just a resident who enjoys the market. Thanks farmers!


       —Just a b-school grad    Jan. 15 '08 - 03:20AM    #
  175. with new commission at hand this month,

    will there be continued discussions about why the manager is allowing buying and selling?
    Not certain I want to shop at the market if management is not taking this seriously.


       —John C.    Jan. 18 '08 - 04:10PM    #
  176. I’d like to thank the vast majority of our commenters who make their point as well as they can on the first try and who resist the temptation to blindly repeat the same ideas endlessly.

    Unfortunately, this thread is attracting someone who doesn’t know how to do that—about two thirds of the posts appear to be from the same source (though usually signed with different names). Please cut that out.

    We’ve just passed the original article’s five-month anniversary and nothing much new has been said recently, so let’s call it enough, and try to do better next time….


       —Bruce Fields    Jan. 18 '08 - 06:52PM    #