News

This week's story from "On the Ground Ypsi" chronicles locally owned businesses in downtown Ypsilanti that are working together to ensure the shopping district continues to grow stronger.

City of Ypsilanti / http://cityofypsilanti.com

By nearly a 2-1 margin on Tuesday, voters in Ypsilanti passed a Water Street debt retirement millage. Approval comes a year after city voters defeated a similar measure by 39 votes.  Ypsilanti Mayor Amanda Edmonds tells WEMU city officials can now begin mapping out a better future. 


Michigan Sea Grant
Courtesy Photo / miseagrant.umich.edu

Back in March, the Trump Administration issued its budget recommendations that included a more 30% cut to the Environmental Protection Agency.  As part of the funding reductions, the Sea Grant program faced potential elimination.  As WEMU’s David Fair found out, the director of the Michigan Sea Grant Program has maintained faith the work will continue with financial support. For the latest, listen to this week’s “Issues of the Environment” conversation with Dr. James Diana


Ballot Box
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

It was a relatively light day at the ballot box Tuesday in Washtenaw County.  In the end, all ballot issues passed, and one incumbent lost in the four, contested primary races for Ann Arbor City Council. 

Ann Arbor
City of Ann Arbor / a2gov.org

There were four Ann Arbor City Council incumbents on Tuesday's primary election ballot.  Three of them have advanced to the November ballot. 


Water Street
Courtesy Photo / City of Ypsilanti

After narrowly defeating a similar proposal one year ago, Ypsilanti voters have approved a millage increase to pay off debt from the failed Water Street redevelopment project. 


Classroom
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The Michigan State Board of Education deadlocked along party lines Tuesday on a model student code of conduct.  The major issue was protecting students from discrimination based on their gender identity.


Ypsilanti District Library

August 21st is the day there will be a total eclipse of the sun in North America.  Locally, it will be seen as a partial eclipse with 85 to 90 percent of the sun covered by the moon in the early afternoon.  There are several local watching events, including at the Ypsilanti District Library.

89.1 WEMU'S Lisa Barry spoke with Molly Beedon, youth services librarian for the Ypsilanti District Library, who talks about the NASA expert coming to speak on the day of the eclipse and that they have special eclipse watching glasses they are giving away.


Courtesy photo / Deb Polich

Creative industries in Washtenaw County add hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy. In the weeks and months to come, 89.1 WEMU will explore the people, places and things that serve as the driving force behind one of Michigan's strongest cultural hubs.


Straits of Mackinac
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

State agencies have weighed in on the controversial Enbridge Line 5 pipeline.


Primary elections day is Tuesday and there are five communities in Washtenaw County headed to the polls. However, turnout is only expected to be in the 12-13 percent range. In this week's edition of "Civic Matters" WEMU's David Fair and Mary Morgan of the CivCity Initiative discuss a variety of issues, including what appears to be a decline in civic engagement. 


A great musician never forgets the early life lessons that shaped them.  Chris Collins, Artistic Director of The Detroit Jazz Festival has never forgotten and now carries on the Detroit jazz tradition of teaching and mentoring the next generations of jazz musicians.  Chris talked with me this morning about what mentoring and creating music with aspiring players means to him.  


WEMU Expands Local Content On Weekdays 

Aug 4, 2017

WEMU is pleased to announce that starting Monday, August 6th, NPR's Morning Edition will be heard for an extra hour each day on the WEMU airwaves.  David Fair will anchor the additional hour of coverage from 9:00 am to 10:00 am with a focus on an expansion of local content.  "Civic Matters" with Mary Morgan will be heard Monday at 9:50 am. Tuesdays at 9:50 am a new feature with Deb Polich, "creative:impact," will explore how the creative industry helps keep our community moving forward. On Wednesday sat 9:50 am you'll get updates on our partnership with Concentrate Media's "On the Ground" project currently underway in Ypsilanti.  Thursday at 9:50 am will feature a replay of our long-time feature, "Cinema Chat".  And "Art and Soul" with Lisa Barry will be replayed Friday mornings at 9:50 am while we work on developing a feature focused on issues important to our community.

Michigan House Democrats / housedems.com

Michigan would generate 50% of its electricity from clean, renewable sources by 2035 and greatly reduce energy waste under legislation under consideration in Lansing.  The package of bills aims to reduce energy costs, create jobs and build upon recently enacted energy laws.  In this month’s edition on “1st Friday Focus on the Environment,” WEMU’s David Fair discusses the issues with the Government Affairs Director for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Charlotte Jameson and with 52nd District State Representative Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township), who is a co-sponsor of the house bills. 


Courtesy Image / https://www.facebook.com/veridianatcountyfarm/

A forward-thinking housing project in Ann Arbor is closer to reality.  The Board of Commissioners this week agreed, in principle, to sell a county-owned parcel of land on Platt Rd. for a development to be known as, "Verdian at County Farm."   WEMU's David Fair delves inside the project with the the driving force behind the project, Matt Grocoff, principal at Thrive Collaborative. 

Eastern Michigan University

To promote diversity and inclusion, Eastern Michigan University is installing new lightpost banners with a specific message on campus and around the City of Ypsilanti.


Ontario
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Michigan environmental groups are frustrated with Ontario’s support for keeping an oil-and-gas pipeline running beneath the Straits of Mackinac


Lisa Barry

This week’s Art and Soul is about the culinary arts in our area.  89.1 WEMU'S Lisa Barry is joined by local food expert and blogger Jessica Webster as they speak to the founder and owner of Go! Ice Cream in Ypsilanti, now celebrating its first anniversary at their downtown location.


Michigan Theater
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

In this week's "Cinema Chat," Michigan Theater executive director Russ Collins returns from a two-week break to talk with WEMU's David Fair about all of the flicks worth checking out this weekend.  Plus, they pay tribute to the late actor/playwright Sam Shepard.


Jorge Avellan / WEMU

The Water Street Debt Retirement proposal will be decided by Ypsilanti voters on August 8th. Primary Election Day is next Tuesday. This is the second go-round for the tax measure. Last August, voters narrowly defeated the issue. Supporters of the new tax contend it lost in 2016 because of a lack of resources and publicity. As a result, there were cuts in city services and more could come if the measure fails again this year.  89-1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan has been exploring the history of the issue and how it got to where it is today. With a vote just a few days away, there remains disagreement on whether a new tax is the best way to address the Water Street debt. 


Air Quality
Tony Webster / flickr.com

It has been a rather warm 2017 summer.  So far, there have been four Air Quality Alert, or Ozone Action Days, recorded.  These are days that pose heightened environmental and public health risks.  In this week’s “Issues of the Environment,” WEMU’s David Fair learns more about the region's air quality in a conversation with the Senior Meteorologist for the Michigan Departmentt of Environmental Quality - Air Quality Division, Jim Haywood


Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

If you want to win $700,000, you might be in luck--if you know how to keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes


Lisa Barry

On the road to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, Melvin Parson inherited a small garden patch in Ann Arbor from a friend who had recently passed away.  That sparked his interest in agriculture.  As he looked into it, he noticed a lack of diversity in those selling and buying fresh produce inspiring him to one day create a world-class urban farm.

89-1 WEMU'S Lisa Barry met Melvin at his current garden location in Ypsilanti Township and shares his story…

Flint Water
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The state needs to improve its oversight when it comes to the Flint water crisis.  That is a finding by the Michigan Auditor General released in a report Monday.


WikiMedia Commons

It is the first total eclipse happening in nearly 40 years but will only be partially visible from Southeast Michigan.  I spoke with Eastern Michigan University professor and director of Sherzer Observatory Norbert Vance about what we can expect to see and experience when the eclipse occurs on August 21st.

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