Ann Arbor

Taxes
7:17 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Ann Arbor School Board To Consider Tax Measure

Credit AAPS

Voters in the Ann Arbor Public School District will likely be asked to renew a sinking fund millage in November. 

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the school board last week discussed the issue and are to vote this week on putting the question on the ballot.

Ann Arbor School Board is expected to ask district voters to renew sinking fund millage.

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Taxation
6:47 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Ann Arbor City Council to Consider Bond Measure

Ann Arbor City Council has a fairly light agenda for tonight's meeting.  Council will consider an ordinance authorizing the sale of up to $3.5  million  in Water Supply System Bonds.  

If approved,  the revenue generated will be used, in part, for additions and upgrades at the Barton and South Industrial pump stations.  The bonds will be paid back through Water Supply system revenues.

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Education
8:42 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Ann Arbor Schools New Superintendent Gets Five-Year Contract

The new Superintendent of the Ann Arbor Public School District will be on the job for the start of the new academic year. 

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the Board of Education last night approved a five-year contract for the former Colorado Springs District 11 Assistant Superintendent of Instruction.

Ann Arbor Schools new Superintendent, Jeanice Swift will be paid 200-thousand dollars in base salary for each of the five years of a contract approved by the Board of Education Wednesday evening.

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Community
9:17 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Extra Security At U-M Football Games Includes Closing Part of Main Street

Proposed closure areas
Credit University Planning Office

A portion of Main Street next to Michigan Stadium will be closed before and during all U of M football games this fall. 

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, Ann Arbor City Council last night approved the closures, citing a need for security upgrades.

Ann Arbor City Council approves partial closure of Main Street next to Michigan Stadium on football Saturdays, as a security enhancement.

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City Council
8:45 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Ann Arbor Stands Up to Stand Your Ground Law

Credit cseward / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

The City of Ann Arbor has not had to deal with a case that falls under the so-called "stand your ground"  law, as was the Trayvon Martin case in Florida.

But, Michigan law certainly allows for the possibility. Ann Arbor City Council last night passed a resolution calling on state lawmakers to repeal Michigan's version of the law, and to make other changes to state gun regulations.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports:

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Liner Notes
1:03 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Live In Studio: Seth Walker

Seth Walker in the WEMU Studio
Credit Brad McNett / WEMU

Before his performance at The Ark in Ann Arbor, Seth Walker stopped by the  WEMU studios to perform a few acoustic blues songs from his new album, Time Can Change.

Seth also discusses  his unique musical background which spans classical music to raucous rock-n-roll.

Listen to the full interview here:

Seth Walker Joins us in the WEMU studios 8/8/13

Government
9:43 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Washtenaw County Commissioners Debate How to Spend Higher-Than-Projected Revenues

The Washtenaw County budget is in much better shape through the second fiscal quarter than originally projected.

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the question now under debate is how best to use the additional money.

Washtenaw County Commissioners explore best use of higher than expected revenues through the 2nd quarter of the fiscal year.

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Environment
6:27 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Local Author Examines Changing Automotive Culture

Micki Maynard
Credit www.michelinemaynard.com

A local author is writing a book that focuses on the changing automotive culture.  

Micki Maynard of Ann Arbor is a Forbes Magazine contributor and former New York Times Detroit bureau chief.  Her book is titled Curbing Cars: Rethinking How We Get Around

WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with her about the book, and her Kickstarter campaign to get it funded.

Click here to listen to the interview.

 

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Local News
12:21 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Jack Eaton Wins Ann Arbor 4th Ward Democratic Primary

Jack Eaton and his campaign manager Kathy Griswold celebrate his 4th Ward Democratic Primary victory.
Credit Andrew Cluley

Jack Eaton has defeated long-time Ann Arbor City Council member Marcia Higgins in the city's Fourth Ward Democratic Primary.  Eaton claimed nearly 65 percent of the vote.

Eaton says his campaign was focused on having the city provide basic services like police and fire.  He says a narrow loss in the primary last year helped energize his campaign this year and increased his name recognition.

Nobody has filed to run against Eaton in the November general election.

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Local News
12:11 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Kunselman Wins Ann Arbor 3rd Ward City Council Primary

Stephen Kunselman and his wife celebrate winning Ann Arbor's 3rd Ward Democratic City Council Primary.
Credit Andrew Cluley

Incumbent City Council member Stephen Kunselman claimed about 52 percent of the vote in Ann Arbor's Third Ward Democratic City Council Primary.  Kunselman defeated challenger Julie Grand, the chair of the city's Park Advisory Commission.

Kunselman says his victory is a sign that residents want more attention paid to Ann Arbor's neighborhoods and not so much of a focus on the downtown area.

No candidates have filed to run against Kunselman in the November general election.  If he wins that race it will be his fourth term on City Council.

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Liner Notes
8:18 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Seth Walker and Corndaddy at the Ark

Two shows of great interest to WEMU listeners are coming up soon at The Ark: blues and roots singer-songwriter Seth Walker on Thursday, August 8th and Ann Arbor’s beloved roots-rock quartet Corndaddy on Friday, August 16th.

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Elections
7:55 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Election Day in Washtenaw County

As far as elections go, today is going to be a light day in Washtenaw County.

Ypsilanti Township has four tax questions on the ballot.

  1. Proposition "A" would generate revenues to replace some of the fire service revenues lost due to decrease in property values.
  2. Proposition "B" would generate revenues to replace some of the police services revenue lost due to decrease in property values.
  3. Proposition "C" would raise money for the purpose of providing revenues for recreation and park facilities, bike paths, the repair of sidewalks and roads and general operating purposes.
  4. Proposal "D" Would provide money for waste collection and environmental protection.

In Ann Arbor, there are two contested, Democratic primary races for city council.

  • In the 3rd Ward Julie Grand is looking to unseat Incumbent Stephen Kunselman.
  • In the 4th Ward. Marcia Higgins seeks to fend off a challenge from Jack Eaton. The winners today will be unopposed in November, barring a write-in campaign.


 Voters in the Whitmore Lake School District will decide a $12.3 million dollar bond issue. If passed, the district would sell bonds to raise money to remodel and update school facilities.
   

WEMU's Andrew Cluley has a look at anticipated voter turnout today.

Election Day Preview

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Elections
7:21 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Ann Arbor 4th Ward Democratic Primary Preview

A long-time Ann Arbor City Council member is facing a challenge from a candidate running for a seat for a third time in Ann Arbor's 4th ward. 

WEMU's Andrew Cluley has more on tomorrow's democratic primary election between incumbent Marcia Higgins and challenger Jack Eaton.

Preview of Tuesday's 4th Ward Democratic Primary Election in Ann Arbor's 4th ward.

Elections
7:15 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Ann Arbor City Council 3rd Ward Primary Election Preview

Tuesday is primary election day, and while the ballot is rather light, Voters in Ann Arbor's 3rd ward  will be among those going to the polls. 

Residents there will choose between incumbent City Councilman Stephen Kunselman and challenger Julie Grand. WEMU's Andrew Cluley

Preview of Tuesday's Democratic Primary election in Ann Arbor's 3rd Ward.

Parks & Rec.
6:56 am
Mon August 5, 2013

On-line Survey Regarding Parks in Downtown Ann Arbor Ends Today

Today's the last day to share your feelings on parks in Ann Arbor's downtown through an online survey.  WEMU's Andrew Cluley has more. 

On-line survey regarding parkland in downtown Ann Arbor ends today

A pair of online survey's are giving people a chance to share their thoughts on parks in Downtown Ann Arbor and possible sites for dog parks in the city. 

                                                                     Take the survey here.

Over 1,000  people have responded to both surveys.  Ingrid Ault is the Chair of the Downtown Park Subcommittee of the Park Advisory Commission. Ault says the downtown park survey has three primary questions: If the community thinks there is a need for more downtown park space, what the space should look like, and how to fund it. Ault says in September community meetings will be held to further flesh out possibilities about downtown park space. 

Local News
2:34 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Livability.com Ranks Ann Arbor 2nd Among College Towns

For the third time in as many years, Ann Arbor has been rated as one of the ten best college towns in America by Livability.com - this year placing second, its best rating to date. 

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Environment
12:02 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Stormwater and Sewer Infrastructure in Ann Arbor

The Barton Dam on the Huron River
Credit James Marvin Phelps / Foter / CC BY-NC

In this week's installment of WEMU's Issues of the Environment,  we explore the June 27th incident in which 10-thousand gallons of untreated waste water were discharged into the Huron River. 

WEMU's David Fair talks with Earl Kenzie and Jennifer Lawson. Earl is Plant Manager for the Ann Arbor Waste Water Treatment Services Unit and Jennifer is  the city's Water Quality Manager.

Issues of the Environment Report: Stormwater and Sewer Infrastructure in Ann Arbor

Development
10:45 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Ann Arbor's A2D2 Zoning Guidelines Under Community Review

Credit a2gov.org

In 2009, the Ann Arbor Discover Downtown adopted new guidelines for zoning. Now, a public evaluation of those rules is underway. 

From the City's website: 

The goal of the A2D2 Evaluation Project is to have a constructive discussion about what works in the A2D2 zoning, what does not, and possible changes. Through Friday, Aug. 16, constituents will be asked what issues should be addressed in the evaluation. After that time, options for changes to the A2D2 zoning will be evaluated and revised for final presentation to the City Council in October 2013.

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, there were many concerns expressed at Tuesday night's community forum on the program.

Report on Ann Arbor Downtown Zoning Concerns

Respond to the A2 Open City Hall survey here:

 What was your interaction/experience with the A2D2 ordinance or planning process (as a developer? Property owner? Neighbor? Other interested party?)?

Education
10:29 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Ann Arbor School Board To Consider Next Step In Superintendent Search

The Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education will meet Wednesday afternoon to determine how to proceed in the search for a new district Superintendent.

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the school board could go in a couple of different directions.

Ann Arbor Superintendent search to continue.

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Education
11:07 pm
Sun July 28, 2013

Osborne Turns Down Ann Arbor Schools Superintendent Job

Credit A2schools.org

New Jersey's South Orange Maplewood Superintendent Brian Osborne has turned down Ann Arbor Public Schools offer to become superintendent. 

In a letter to the board, Osborne cited concerns over moving his family, interest in continuing work in New Jersey, and a medical condition for a family member.

The Ann Arbor School Board is expected to meet soon to discuss next steps on the process of selecting a superintendent.

Andrew Cluley's report on Ann Arbor Public Schools top choice to become superintendent turning the job offer down.

Arts and Culture
2:25 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

NSF International Shares Science Skills at Maker Faire Detroit

Credit makerfairedetroit.com

The Fourth annual Makers Faire Detroit takes place this weekend at The Henry Ford.  

Over 400 exhibitors will be on hand sharing their ideas and inventions.  This includes representatives from Ann Arbor based NSF International, a public health and safety organization.  

NSF International scientists will lead kids through hands on experiments focused on subjects like micro-biology, polymers, and recycling.  The goal is to get kids interested in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. 

Andrew Cluley's report on NSF International at this weekends Makers Faire Detroit.

Environment
7:57 am
Fri July 26, 2013

The Green Room: Wind Energy

Ralph Lundgren in front of one of the five turbines on his land in Lake Winds Wind Park
Barbara Lucas

Washtenaw County continues to be a leader in environmental stewardship. Among the ideas and initiatives underway is an increased commitment to wind energy.

In this month's installment of WEMU's The Green Room, reporter Barbara Lucas explores the myriad of issues surrounding wind energy. Barbara travels to communities where wind energy is more prevalent, and then returns to Ann Arbor to see where we are, and where we are going.

The July installment of WEMU's monthly feature, "The Green Room"

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Arts and Culture
10:07 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Cinema Chat: Low Winter Sun, The Wolverine, Renoir, The To do List and More

Credit The Michigan Theater

As is the case every Thursday morning, WEMU's David Fair was joined today by Michigan Theater Executive Director Russ Collins for a little movie talk.

In this week's installment of "Cinema Chat", Dave and Russ chatted about some news out of Hollywood,  and a long list of movies that are available for your viewing pleasure in the days ahead!

Cinema Chat for 7/25/2013

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Entertainment
9:29 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Actor Jeff Daniels Hits Hole-In-One In Ann Arbor

Chelsea native Jeff Daniels hits a hole-in-one in Ann Arbor!
Credit Jeff Daniels

Chelsea Native Jeff Daniels can scratch another item off the "bucket list."  The star of HBO's "Newsroom"  hit a hole-in-one while golfing at the Polo Fields Golf Country Club in Ann Arbor Wednesday. This is the picture the founder of the Purple Rose Theater posted on Twitter yesterday.  Congratulations, Mr. Daniels!

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Education
10:23 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Contract Negotiations With Ann Arbor School Board's Choice For District Superintendent

Officials in the Ann Arbor Public Schools are hoping to quickly work out a contract with the Board of Education's choice for district Superintendent. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the School Board last Friday, voted unanimously to offer the job to Brian Osborne. Osborne is currently Superintendent of New Jersey's South Orange and Maplewood School District. 

A2 School officials hoping to work out a contract with Board of Education's choice for Superintendent.

Brian Osborne's current contract in New Jersey mandates a 90-day notification prior to departure. If a contract is agreed upon, it could mean three months before he can start in Ann Arbor.

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