As a pianist, Rick Roe says much with his terrific touch, his surprising song selections and understanding of the importance of the space between the notes. This morning was truly special as Rick Roe discusses his musical life and his new CD, “Swing Theory” plus, his upcoming CD release concert.
A plan to charge Ann Arbor high school students a $100 fee to take an optional 7th hour class has been dropped. The Board of Education last night voted unanimously to drop the fee for the coming academic year. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the board is sending the fee proposal back to its planning committee for further review.
To many, Ann Arbor is Tree Town. In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, we will explore the current health status of Ann Arbor's tree population and the city policies aimed at maintaining its lush canopy.
David's guest this week is Lynn Borset. Lynn is a founding member of the citizens group, The Ann Arbor Tree Conservancy. The group is pushing Ann Arbor officials to make a stronger budgetary and policy commitment to the city's trees.
School, in and of itself, can be hard enough. How difficult must it be for children who are homeless? It's a question that more children in Washtenaw County have to answer than you might think. The Washtenaw Intermediate School District last year helped make sure more than 1,300 students classified as homeless were able to attend classes.
As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the WISD's Education Project for Homeless Youth is now gearing up for a new academic year.
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.
Thunder Over Michigan Air Show at Willow Run Airport Saturday and Sunday
Vintage war-birds take to the skies above Willow Run Airport this weekend at the 15th annual Thunder Over Michigan air show. Show organizers had to do some quick re-scheduling after the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds jet team was grounded due to sequestration-related budget cuts.
Show Director Kevin Walsh says it wasn't as big a problem for Thunder Over Michigan as it was for some other air shows.
Among the performers scheduled to participate in Thunder Over Michigan this weekend:
A rare gathering of six Vietnam-era Skyraider aircract
a North American F-100F Super Sabre jet
British de Havilland Vampire T-55.
Thunder Over Michigan takes place Saturday and Sunday at Willow Run Airport. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. Kids 15 and under are admitted free
The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the Ann Arbor Public Schools over a plan to charge students $100 per semester to take seventh-hour classes. The ACLU said it filed the suit Wednesday on behalf of two high school students, saying the fees violate the Michigan Constitution. ACLU Michigan Director Kary Moss says students "should not be forced to pay the price for budget shortfalls." She says the constitution makes it clear that "public education should be as free as the air we breathe." District spokeswoman Liz Margolis says school officials haven't yet received the complaint an
Ypsilanti City Council has voted to limit the number of medical marijuana licenses it accepts or renews in a given year. The second and final reading of an ordinance to that effect was approved Tuesday night.
Residents voiced their objections to the Ypsilanti's plan to charge land owners a fee to replace the some of the city's street lights with new LED models at Tuesday night's city council meeting.
Under the proposal, each parcel of land was to be charged a $98 fee for the first year, with the fee steadily declining over the following years to around $70 by 2031. AnnArbor.com says council amended the proposal so that residents would not have to pay to power the streetlights during that period, and instead would pay about $58 a year for just two years.
The most commonly-voiced objections to the plan included its cost, the perceived value attained from the switch, and having to pay an additional fee for something that has previously been payed for by property taxes.
Ypsilanti City Manager Ralph Lange says the city has worked hard to make the project as affordable as possible.
The cost over converting older, less efficient streetlights to LED's over the 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years is estimated at over $555,000. Converting the lights is expected to save the city over $100,000 a year.
Public discussion about the street lights will continue at the at the next council meeting, scheduled for August 20.
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.
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.
Whitmore Lake Schools voters soundly rejected a $12.3 million bond issue Tuesday. Superintendent Kim Hart says the un-official tally wasn't close: 690 "no" votes to 310 "yes" votes.
She says the main complaint the district heard from voters was that their taxes were already too high, particularly in Northville Township and Washtenaw County.
Hart says some tough decisions will have to be made going forward, because at this point any money needed for things the district needs to repair, remodel or replace will come directly out of the classroom.
The Liberty Square housing development in Ypsilanti township is being torn down.
Ypsilanti Township's blight busters team started legal proceedings against the owners of the Liberty Square development in 2010. the physical condition of the complex was in bad shape and deteriorating rapidly.
Additionally, the Washtenaw county Sheriff's Department was spending a lot of time in the complex, combating illegal activity. Demolition work began Monday on the 21 acre, 17 building complex on Grove near the I-94-Rawsonville Road interchange.
Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo says the demolition should serve as a reminder to other property owners that Ypsilanti Township won't tolerate blighted properties. Demolition of the entire complex is expected to take about three months.