The City of Ann Arbor and the owner of the Campus Inn and Bell Tower Hotel have reached an agreement for the sale of the former YMCA property.
Dennis Dahlmann agreed to all of the conditions required by City Council in addition to his purchase price of $5.25 million for the property at 350 South Fifth Avenue.
Mayor John Hieftje says he's excited to have the sale moving forward and have the land providing income to the city and bring more vitality than a surface parking lot.
The sale is expected to close by the end of the year to meet the city's deadline to payoff an interest only loan on the property. Dahlmann will be required to build a project including ground floor retail, large plate office space, and residential units.
Efforts to increase public transportation in Washtenaw County's urban core took another step forward last night. Ann Arbor City Council has approved a plan for Ypsilanti Township to join the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority. Council voted 11 to nothing in favor of the resolution last night.
Starting in 2016 Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority will have new limitations on the tax increment financing revenue they can capture. After nearly a year of discussions Ann Arbor City Council has given final approval to an ordinance amendment that limits the tax increment financing revenue the Downtown Development Authority can collect. Last night, City Council voted 9 - 2 in favor of the change.
Update: 6 a.m., DTE Energy has restored 252,000 customers who lost power following severe thunderstorms and strong winds that blew across the region Sunday. Approximately 50,000 customers remain without power. Some 302,000 customers were affected by power outages since the strong winds began Sunday afternoon. About 90% of customers are expected to have their power restored by late tonight.
The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Monday night approved placing the question of whether to collect taxes in the summer rather than the winter on the agenda for its first meeting in December.
Superintendent Scott Menzel says a summer collection is something the board approved seperately last year for the Ypsilanti and Willow Run school districts.
Menzel says there are benefits to a summer tax collection, including needing to borrow less money from the state to keep things going until the district's state aid payment is received.
The board also approved a one-month extension to interim Technology Director Matthew McCarty's contract.
McCarty is leaving the district, and the extension will cover the period from November 1st through his last day with Ypsilanti Community Schools - December 6th.
And the board had a budget presentation from CFO Scott Johnson, who pegged the district's estimated 2013-14 year-end fund balance at $7.3 million - about $300,000 less than budgeted.
Four Teams of graduate students at the University of Michigan have won Dow Distinguished Awards to pursue projects dealing with sustainability solutions.
Three of the winning teams will work on projects in Southeast Michigan, and the fourth is heading up a water management project in India.
Drew Horning is Deputy Director of the Graham Sustainability Institute. He says one of the winning proposals is the retrofitting of a 112-year-old house in Ann Arbor to be self-sustaining.
Horning says other winning projects include a pilot project aimed at enabling energy efficiency in rental properties in Ann Arbor, a greenhouse gas inventory for the City of Detroit, and water demand management for improved adaptation by small farmers in India.
He says these projects have the ability to impact how we address and implement sustainability solutions in the future.
Piano-bass-drums. How often have you heard a WEMU host repeat that instrumental combination? More than you can count. Yet, this trio format remains a source of endless variation and fascination. A prime example of the possibilities is the new CD The Endless Mysteries by pianist George Colligan.
You have heard WEMU hosts repeat Colligan’s name for twenty years. We discovered him in 1993 as the pianist for saxophonist Ron Holloway. His debut recording as a leader, Activism followed in 1996 on Steeplechase Records. Since then Colligan has created a body of work for solo piano and ensemble that deserves consideration for his compositions and technique.
Supporters of Pizza in the Park say an ordinance change Ann Arbor City Council will consider Monday is important in keeping the event going year round.
The City Council will consider second reading of the amendment that will waive the rental fee at all parks for events that are primarily designed for the charitable distribution of goods for basic human needs.
Seth Best is with Camp Take Notice and a volunteer with Vineyard Church. Best says the amendment is needed because they can't always hold Pizza in the Park at Liberty Plaza where council has already waived the fee.
Best says as a former homeless person, Pizza in the Park is an important chance for homeless people to see a smiling face and meet kind people. He says the Pizza in the Park volunteers work to clean up after the event and often leave Liberty Plaza cleaner than they find it.
WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor City Council considering final approval of an ordinance amendment to waive park rental fees for events that are primarily designed to share goods to meet basic human needs.
Cruelty investigators with the Humane Society of Huron Valley expect to file a report with the county prosecutor's office next week on the stabbing of a dog during a heated domestic dispute in Ann Arbor.
The incident happened Wednesday night in a home where a family consisting of two adults and two teens live.
Eastern Michigan University plans to hire four additional full-time police officers, with an eye toward having them on duty by mid-January.
The officers will be assigned to off-campus patrols, which are currently conducted by two officers. The increase to six officers around Leforge road, just north of campus, will bring additional resources to the area.
A brand new bacterium in the same family as E. Coli and Klebsiella Pneumonia has been identified by the NSF International's Applied Research Center in Ann Arbor, and you're not going to like where it can be found.
The bacteria is called Klebsiella michiganensis, and it grows in the bottom of your toothbrush holder.
He says more research is necessary to identify the exact source of the bacterium, but what is known is that saliva and toothpaste mixed with fecal matter can fester, creating a sludge that could potentially cause a drug-resistant infection.
Dr. Donofrio also says that the bacterium is unique because it is in capsule from, and is hard to break down due to a slimy surface that helps it attach to mucus membranes and evade immune system responses.
He suggests closing the lid of your toilet before flushing as a way to help prevent cross-contamination.
He says those who viewed the website that included videos performed one more risk protection behavior than those who visited the plain text site.
Perrault says MSU has been looking for the best way to inform the general public about their scientific discoveries, and is likely to conduct further research to expand upon this study's findings.
The study, “Testing the Effects of the Addition of Videos to a Website Promoting Environmental Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Practices: Are Videos Worth It?” was published online today in the National Communication Association's Journal of Applied Communication Research.
WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the possible routes for the Ann Arbor Transit Connector.
Ann Arbor area residents have a chance to review and comment on six possible routes for a high capacity public transit connector service. The routes linking the Plymouth Road U-S 23 area to the University of Michigan, downtown Ann Arbor, and Briarwood Mall were shared at recent public workshops.
Many factors play into whether a woman considered at low risk for developing cervical cancer will be tested for the virus that causes the disease, such as the gender of the woman's doctor and his or her status as a resident or seasoned physician.
That's according to a study from the University of Michigan Health System, where senior author Dr. Mack Ruffin says procedures at individual clinics can also make a difference.
The study found that female doctors were twice as likely to order H-P-V testing for a low-risk patient than male doctors.
Seasoned physicians were less likely to order the test than Residents and other less-senior doctors.
The Michigan Theater Book -- goes on sale Tuesday, November 19 at Michigan Theater
The Michigan Theater has been featured in commercials, billboards, films, and even a music LP from the 1960s, but has never had its own book – until now. Dr. Henry Aldridge, an Eastern Michigan University film professor emeritus and theater scholar, has written a new full-color, photo-illustrated book that explores the first 80 years of the theater’s life and how it ties into the histories of Ann Arbor and film. He also includes key local figures from along the way: manager Gerry Hoag, organist Paul Tompkins, Ann Arbor mayor Lou Belcher, philanthropist Margaret Towsley and her daughter Judy Rumelhart, and the theater’s staff and volunteers. Aldridge has a deep connection to the Michigan Theater. In 1979, he and a group of other concerned citizens helped rescue the theater and its rare Barton organ from the wrecking ball. He continues to lead the theater’s organ program, give visitor tours, and teach a film appreciation course. Despite his extensive knowledge of the theater, Aldridge still spent three years immersed in the University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library archives, Michigan Theater Foundation meeting minutes, Ann Arbor News articles, and interviews with past and present staff members. “Unlike most histories of individual theaters,” Aldridge says, “this book is thoroughly researched, carefully documented, lavishly illustrated, but written in a style that general readers will find interesting and colorful.” A paperback edition of the book will be available for purchase starting the week of November 19 at the Michigan Theater, Nicola’s Books, Literati Bookstore, Bookbound Bookstore, Crazy Wisdom Bookstore & Tearoom, and Kaleidoscope Books & Collectibles. The Michigan Theater will also carry a limited edition hardcover and provide a discounted price to Michigan Theater members for both versions.
Ann Arbor Public Schools have still not determined how much they will participate in three county-wide high school options. The school board last night postponed a vote until next week's study session on how many seats they will use in the Early College Alliance, Washtenaw International High School, and Widening Advancement for Youth. The delay comes with Ann Arbor Schools wanting to use many fewer seats than the consortium has allocated to the district.
Superintendent Jeanice Swift says much of the confusion has been blamed on the superintendent transition, but she believes both parties are to blame for the communications issues. Swift recommended the district use 80 seats total in the ECA and Wi-Hi and 15 for WAY. The allocation approved by the consortium last month would give Ann Arbor 80 new seats in the ECA alone, and a straight lottery for Wi-Hi.
David Dugger is the Washtenaw Intermediate School District Director of Secondary Options. Dugger says the other consortium members in October opted to continue to use a straight lottery for Wi-Hi and a proportional system to assign slots to the ECA.
Ann Arbor Public Schools used less fund balance last year than approved in the final budget. The School Board last night received a briefing on the 2013 fiscal year budget audit. The audit shows the district used $7.2 million dollars in fund balance, compared to projections of up to $9.8 million.
Superintendent Jeanice Swift says halting furniture and most equipment purchases, travel restrictions, and other measures starting in March saved about $1.5 million. Swift says many of these restrictions are back in place following student enrollment numbers not reaching projections in September.
Hoving also says that the disease Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD, found in white tailed deer, is more common thanks to longer summers and warmer winters.
From the report:
Nowhere to Run takes a comprehensive look at the best available science on climate change’s impacts on big game, covering moose, mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep and black bears. The most significant effects include:
Heat: Moose can become heat-stressed in warm weather, especially in summer if temperatures climb above 60 to70 degrees when moose coats are thinner. Heat stress leads to lower weights, declining pregnancy rates and increased vulnerability to predators and disease. Because of warmer fall and winter temperatures, black bears are already more active than usual during times when they normally conserve energy through hibernation, pushing fat stores to the limit.
Drought: More droughts have reduced aspen forests in the west, a favorite elk habitat, and many elk are not migrating as much as they traditionally have. Increasing periods of drought, more invasive plants and wildfires will alter sagebrush and grassland ecosystems, favored pronghorn habitats.
Parasites and disease: With less snowpack to kill ticks, moose in New Hampshire are literally being eaten alive, losing so much blood to ticks that they die of anemia. White-tailed deer are susceptible to hemorrhagic disease caused by viruses transmitted by biting midges
Nowhere to Run outlines the key steps needed to stem climate change and save big game:
Address the underlying cause and cut carbon pollution 50 percent by 2030.
Transition to cleaner, more secure sources of energy like offshore wind, solar power and next-generation biofuels and avoid polluting energy like coal and tar sands oil.
Safeguard wildlife and their habitats by promoting climate-smart approaches to conservation.
Factor a changing climate in big game plans and management.
Read the report at NWF.org/Sportsmen. Nowhere to Run is the latest in the National Wildlife Federation’s 2013 Wildlife in a Warming World series: