There are some great movies opening up this week! In this week's installment of Cinema Chat, WEMU's David Fair and Michigan Theater Director Russ Collins look into those. The conversation first covers some news out of Hollywood and Ann Arbor. Cinema Chat is a regular feature heard each Thursday during Morning Edition on 89.1 WEMU.
Holiday Wishes 3 Is a beautiful double CD set covering all styles of music to benefit the Toledo area Make-A-Wish Foundation. We’ll check out jazz selections from Holiday Wishes 3 this morning including tunes by The Cakewalkin’ Jass Band and Lori LeFevre.
I will share the new music on 89.1Jazz at 9 streaming on wemu.org and on 89.1, WEMU.
Early next year Ann Arbor Public Schools will have a better idea on how effective and efficient their behind the scenes business practices are.
The School Board last night unanimously approved a contract for up to $45,000 with Plante Moran for the audit.
Superintendent Jeanice Swift says since the board originally budgeted up to $80,000 for the audit they will be able to dig deeper into issues raised from the review or other sources. Swift says the audit, her Listen and Learn report, and a benchmark study comparing the district to six similar districts should all be completed in late January or early February. She says this will give the district a good 360 degree look at the health and overall function of the district.
The Ann Arbor School Board has unanimously passed a resolution asking the state Department of Education to make sure mandatory tests aren't given on major religious holidays. The resolution has also been supported by Superintendent Jeanice Swift and the Ann Arbor Arab American Parent Support Group.
Ann Arbor Schools already have a policy prohibiting major exams and other events on three star holidays but the resolution is a response to the Michigan Educational Assessment Program exams taking place in October during Eid-al-Adha.
School Board Member Glenn Nelson says it was more than just students that had to choose between the required test and an important holiday. He says all of the teachers he knows that were impacted chose to stay with their students.
Nelson says they hope to speak with the State Board of Education, the state superintendent and others to ensure testing doesn't conflict with important holidays. He says culture diversity needs to be considered for Michigan to attract people from across the globe.
ReImagine Washtenaw presented its right-of-way plan to the public at a meeting Tuesday night.
The plan covers the corridor from the water tower in Ypsilanti to the Washtenaw-Stadium split in Ann Arbor.
Ypsilanti city council member Pete Murdock says the city is dealing with a lot of traffic issues as part of its master plan revision, and those will have to be coordinated with ReImagine Washtenaw.
The ReImagine Washtenaw right-of-way plan includes improvements such as refuge islands to help pedestrians safely cross the street, buffered bike lanes, and eight "super stops" for Ann Arbor Area Transportation busses along the corridor.
The next step in the implementation process is to have municipalities along the corridor adopt the plan.
Eastern Michigan University has named Chris Creighton as its head football coach. Creighton comes from Des Moines, Iowa's Drake University, where he led the Bulldogs as their head coach for the past six years. He becomes the 37th full-time head coach in EMU's 122-year history.
Singer Vanessa Rubin and saxophonist Don Braden have been friends since the early 1980s. Nearly 30 years later they released their first CD together: Full Circle. This is a very soulful, blues-influenced session due in no small part guitarist DaveStryker, organist Kyle Koehler and drummer Cecil Brooks III completing the ace band. Full Circle by Vanessa Rubin and Don Braden premieres this morning on 89.1Jazz
Hundreds of educators and others have signed a petition asking Eastern Michigan University to sever ties with the Education Achievement Authority. Some of these people spoke against the partnership at Tuesday's board of regents meeting.
Chair of the board of regents Francine Parker says administration needs to listen to the concerns and work to ensure all E-M-U students can find student teaching positions.
Steve Camron is a special education professor and chair of the College of Education Council. Camron says the E-A-A connection is hurting E-M-U education students beyond the student teacher boycott. He says the E-A-A's use of Teach for America Candidates with less training makes EMU grads unable to compete for teaching positions.
President Susan Martin says she is closely listening to faculty and student concerns and trying to get more information. She says it's unfortunate E-M-U students are being punished and great educators are struggling to find student teaching positions. Martin says the E-A-A however is one of many creative efforts to address under performing schools and it makes sense for E-M-U to be part of the effort.
The regents approved Provost Kim Schatzel's appointment to the E-A-A board.
Undocumented immigrants that have attended a Michigan High School for at least three years will soon be able to pay in-state tuition rates at Eastern Michigan University. The board of regents Tuesday unanimously approved the policy change that will take affect in the fall.
President Susan Martin says hopefully more of these students that are part of our community will come to E-M-U, but it may be difficult to put a specific number on the increase.
The new policy was originally pushed by the E-M-U student government who researched options and voted in favor of this change last month. Student Body President Desmond Miller says they estimate less than 20 undocumented students are currently studying at E-M-U and is confident that number will climb.
E-M-U now joins the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and Washtenaw Community College to offer in-state tuition to undocumented students from Michigan high schools.
The regents also approved a policy change to give all honorably discharged or medically separated U-S Military veterans with one-year of active duty service in-state tuition.
‘Tis the season for big, beautiful jazz CD box sets. Two of the finest sets for 2013 come from Legacy Records: Miles Davis – The Original Mono Recordings and Herbie Hancock – The Complete ColumbiaAlbum Collection 1972-1978. WEMU has two samplers of each of these box sets that we are offering as this week’s online give-away.
Clerk Eden Zimak watches as Student Body President Desmond Miller signs Senate Resolution 100-09 to formally state that the student body of Eastern Michigan University supports our Board of Regents in the decision to grant in-state tuition to undocumented students.
This morning we salute friends…those people who understand us, help us through rough times, cheer us up and tell us the truth even when we don’t want to hear it. The important power of friendship this morning on 89.1 Jazz with Linda Yohn streaming on wemu.org and on 89.1, WEMU.
Motorists in Ann Arbor still need to stop for pedestrians waiting at the curb at a crosswalk. Mayor John Hieftje yesterday formally vetoed an ordinance amendment passed by council last week to only require drivers to stop for pedestrians already in the crosswalk.
Hieftje says Ann Arbor's current law is safer for pedestrians than the state traffic code and laws in other Michigan cities. Hieftje says he looks forward to other measures to increase pedestrian safety. These will include increased education, and enforcement of the crosswalk law.
Council would need eight votes to override the veto, but only six members voted in favor of the ordinance amendment.
What Ann Arbor City Council members expect of each other and the mayor ended up being the primary discussion item at yesterday's planning session. Council members created a long list of expectations with most of the issues easily gaining support.
Julia Novak of the Novak Consulting Group was the meeting facilitator. Novak says a couple of other expectations took more discussion before all council members would agree to them. She says this includes sharing information and efforts to make council meetings shorter.
City staff updated council on progress that has been made over the last 12 months on priorities identified at last year's planning session. Council kept these priorities and tentatively produced new areas of focus for next year, including working on unfunded liabilities, increasing traffic enforcement, promoting work force housing, and efforts to alleviate homelessness.
The former site of Ypsilanti's Elbow Room bar is being put back to use, with a Mexican restaurant moving into the South Washington Street building.
City Planner Teressa Gillotti explains that the building has been empty since the bar closed in 2011, adding that having a strong entertainment district would play a critical role in redeveloping Ypsilanti.
The restaurant's expected to open next spring following renovations.
This month on 89.1 WEMU's First Friday Focus on the Environment, we we will explore a growing threat in the region - Asian Carp. We look into its growing threat of expanding territories to the world's greatest freshwater resource, the Great Lakes.
The Executive Director of the Great Lakes Commission, Tim Eder joins us to talk about the issue and what can be done to establish a long-term solution.
Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority has resolved a dispute with City Council on the replacement of lighpoles along Main Street by agreeing to fund the entire project. During the budget approval process in May City Council tweaked the DDA budget, leaving the city responsible for about $280,000 of the $580,000 cost to replace the poles that are rusting out at the base. In October however City Council failed to approve funding for their portion of the project.
DDA Board Chair Sandi Smith says this work is too important not to be completed. Smith says the additional funds will come from money leftover from a more than decade old State Street Improvements project, and next fiscal year's budget. She says based on how long the entire lightpole replacement project will take having the funds split between two budget years won't be a problem.