Ann Arbor

Townie Street Party
Ann Arbor Street Art Fair: The Original

About a thousand artists and a half million visitors are expected in Ann Arbor for the city's four art fairs.  Before art takes over the city the 10th annual Townie Street Party is Monday night.  


Fountain in front of Ann Arbor Municipal Building
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje thinks investments made during his tenure are already paying results and will continue to do so.  The issue of spending priorities however is one voters will be looking at as the city chooses a new mayor for the first time in 14 years.  

Hieftje points to the underground parking structure as helping grow the local economy.  That's because he doesn't think the city's growing tech sector would have been possible without additional parking downtown.  He says these jobs have helped keep the area more active, boosting restuarants and other businesses.

Rolling Sculpture Car Show Friday

Jul 11, 2014
mainstreetannarbor.org

The 20th annual Rolling Sculpture Car Show comes to downtown Ann Arbor Friday.

More than 300 vehicles will be shown, including some historic electric vehicles. 

DJ Surfer Joe will be spinning hot rod tunes and the Ann Arbor District Library will have activities for families on Liberty between Fourth and Fifth. 

The Rolling Sculpture Car Show takes place Friday from two to 10 p.m. along Main, Liberty and Washington Streets.

Find more information on the event online:

Nixon and Dhu Varren
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Proposals to build homes on Ann Arbor's north side are another indication that the area's real estate market is heating up.  Toll Brothers is holding a community meeting Thursday night on plans to build 500 residences at Dhu Varren and Nixon.  

  
Ann Arbor
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

A court ruling in May put Bob Dascola on the ballot in Ann Arbor's third ward primary.  It's also left the city without any eligibility requirements.  To address this concern City Council member Jane Lumm is proposing a charter amendment to go before voters in November.  


Courtesy Image / Humae Society of Huron Valley

The City of Ann Arbor will spend 135-thousand dollars to support animal control services in Washtenaw County. 


Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority held the official grand opening of the new Blake Transit Center in downtown Ann Arbor today.  It's been open since March but it will still be another week or so before buses will use the facility's covered driveway for loading and unloading passengers.  


University of Michigan
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The University of Michigan's solar car team is making final plans as they look to defend their five consecutive national titles.  The competition starts Saturday with a week of qualifying before the Austin to Minneapolis race gets under way.  


Irwin Blasts Road Funding 'Earmarks'

Jul 3, 2014
http://053.housedems.com/

A local state representative is among Democrats crying "foul" in Lansing over the latest round of road funding.

The state chose projects that'll receive $115 million in funding based on request from lawmakers, and Democrats complain that most of the work is being done in districts represented by majority Republicans. 

Representative Jeff Irwin says this is what happens when road projects are funded by earmarks rather than by a set formula.

Lead in text: 

A number of families received a pleasant surprise Tuesday evening when an anonymous donor passed out $100 bills to at least three vendors on food row at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s Top of the Park.

This Independence Day, enjoy the Capitol Steps one-hour long special, “Politics Takes a Holiday!” 
 
The Capitol Steps will address timely issues set to show tunes!  There’s John Kerry singing “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Crimea?” and Hillary Clinton admonishing Joe Biden to “Let it Go” when it comes to running for President.  It’s a show so clogged with jokes that Chris Christie threatened to shut it down!
 

Nicola's Books Changing Hands

Jul 3, 2014
nicolasbooks.com

Ownership of one of Ann Arbor's biggest independent book store is changing hands.

Nicola's Books has been acquired by Schuler Books, an independent bookstore chain based in Michigan.

Schuler Books spokesperson Emily Stavrou-Schaefer s

ays Nicola's Books' staff and programming will remain largely unchanged and its current owner, Nicola Rooney, will stay on during the transition to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Art Exhibit Shines Light On Human Trafficking

Jul 2, 2014
Susan Clinthorne and Sally Theilen

The issue of human trafficking has come to an art gallery in downtown Ann Arbor. 

Artists Susan Clinthorne and Sally Theilen created the exhibit called "Broken".

Clinthorne says the exhibit was featured at ArtPrize 2013 as Art to Change the World.  ArtPrize had asked for another piece following their exhibit titled "Letters Home" regarding homelessness.

Ann Arbor
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Shortly after rideshare services Uber and Lyft came to Ann Arbor the city sent the companies cease and desist letters.  Now a proposal to amend the city's taxi cab ordinance is being considered to but some teeth behind the letters.  


Ann Arbor Public Schools
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Additional students, a freeze on employee pay, and outsourcing custodial work are keys to Ann Arbor Public Schools having a balanced budget for next year.  The school board approved the $197 million general fund plan early Thursday morning.  


Ann Arbor
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ypsilanti Mayoral candidate Amanda Edmonds believes Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and neighboring communities will succeed or fail together.  She made these remarks Thursday at the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber's unique mayoral forum that brought together candidates for the job in both cities.  


Ann Arbor
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

A group opposed to Ann Arbor using parkland for a new train station has developed a concept to keep the Amtrak facility on Depot Street.  


Ann Arbor
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor's shift from public housing to a voucher based program is being helped by changes in federal policies.  Washtenaw County is receiving about $2.6 million in US Housing and Urban Development Grants. 


Ann Arbor Public Schools
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

A group of parents, union members, and others in the community continue to object to Ann Arbor Public Schools plan to outsource custodial work.  Earlier this month the school board accepted a bid from GCA Services that will reduce custodial costs by $2 million annually.  


Ann Arbor
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

How will Ann Arbor's next mayor take on the challenges around the city's always changing downtown?  That will be among the primary topics discussed Wednesday night at a mayoral debate hosted by Literati Bookstore.  


Ann Arbor Public Schools
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor teachers are voting on an agreement that will freeze wages for next school year.  The deal was reached after the district announced they would cancel the entire teachers contract  if necessary to hold salaries flat.  


TheRide.org

Next month we'll start to see some of the improvements promised by the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority with approval of its .7 mil transit levy.

AAATA says it will begin offering extended hours on many routes starting August 24th. 

It will also start a new route with hourly service between the Ypsilanti District Library and the Ypsilanti Transit Center.

Find a complete listing of transit improvements coming in August online:

AnnArbor.VA.gov

The director of Ann Arbor's VA hospital says the facility will continue to cooperate with any and all reviews of the facility.

This comes on the heels of the release of a letter to President Obama from an investigator that says a whistleblower at the facility reported that employees were "practicing unsafe and unsanitary work practices" and untrained workers were improperly handling instruments. 

Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System director Robert McDivitt says any allegations about patient safety are taken very seriously.

  A federal investigator says a health care center for veterans in Ann Arbor has not dealt adequately with complaints about unsafe practices.

     The VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System was among facilities mentioned in a letter to President Barack Obama from Carolyn Lerner of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

     The letter released yesterday says a whistleblower reported that employees were "practicing unsafe and unsanitary work practices" and untrained workers were improperly handling instruments.

Wikipedia

The University of Michigan has approved a 2.6 percent increase in tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates. 

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