Mittenfest, a massive three-day music festival featuring 40 state and local bands, benefits 826Michigan. WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with 826Michigan Executive Director Amanda Uhle about her organization and what the December 27th-31st event means to it.
The Ypsilanti-based Student Advocacy Center of Michigan wants the Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education to adopt a pledge to use student suspensions and expulsions only as a last resort.
The "Solutions not Suspensions" pledge asks the state to roll back its discipline code so that it's in line with the federal Gun Free Schools Act. It also asks districts to prioritize keeping kids in school and investing in preventative efforts.
Peri Stone-Palmquist is Executive Director of the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan. She says the pledge also asks districts not to allow non-mandatory expulsions.
Stone-Plamquist brought the pledge before the board on the same night the board expelled a student for weapons violations.
Ypsilanti Community Schools trustees seemed to embrace the idea of the pledge. The Board of Education is expected to consider adopting the "Solutions not Suspensions" pledge next month.
Ypsilanti City Council will likely have a purchase or development agreement for the East Side Recreation Center in January. Council Tuesday night received an update on Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation's plans for the facility in the Water Street re-development area. Park Planning Supervisor Coy Vaughn says the latest design features a smaller parcel of land and a smaller building.
The new plans call for a 45-to-55-thousand square foot facility on four acres in the Water Street area. Originally, it was going to be a 55-to-65-thousand sqaure foot building set on 12-acres. Vaughn says, despite the smaller scale, no amenities or programs will have to be cut.
The proposed rec center would have 230 feet of frontage along Michigan Avenue, and would leave a 100-foot easement between the facility and the river for a linear park. The purchase price is to be one dollar, with the county providing $900,000 worth of infrastructure improvements to the site and surrounding area.
ReImagine Washtenaw presented its right-of-way plan to the public at a meeting Tuesday night.
The plan covers the corridor from the water tower in Ypsilanti to the Washtenaw-Stadium split in Ann Arbor.
Ypsilanti city council member Pete Murdock says the city is dealing with a lot of traffic issues as part of its master plan revision, and those will have to be coordinated with ReImagine Washtenaw.
The ReImagine Washtenaw right-of-way plan includes improvements such as refuge islands to help pedestrians safely cross the street, buffered bike lanes, and eight "super stops" for Ann Arbor Area Transportation busses along the corridor.
The next step in the implementation process is to have municipalities along the corridor adopt the plan.
The former site of Ypsilanti's Elbow Room bar is being put back to use, with a Mexican restaurant moving into the South Washington Street building.
City Planner Teressa Gillotti explains that the building has been empty since the bar closed in 2011, adding that having a strong entertainment district would play a critical role in redeveloping Ypsilanti.
The restaurant's expected to open next spring following renovations.
The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Monday night approved collecting school taxes in the summer rather than in the winter.
Board President David Bates says summer tax collection is nothing new for district residents. The Ypsilanti and Willow Run districts had been collecting taxes in the summer prior to the consolidation.
Bates says summer tax collection means the district has to borrow less from the state while awaiting state aid payments, which in turn saves taxpayers money because the district is paying less in interest on money borrowed.
WEMU's Issues of the Environment is a weekly feature and is heard each Wednesday at 8:20am, as part of Morning Edition.
In this week's installment, WEMU's David Fair is joined by Ypsilanti City Planner Teresa Gillotti. The city has been looking to re-purpose the 38-acre water Street property since 199, and now there is it looks as though there will be development in 2014.
The land has required some environmental remediation, and any new development will have to meet Ypsilanti's Master Plan goals. And, of course, it must ensure the health of the Huron River. Listen below as David and Teresa look at the environmental issues surrounding Ypsilanti's Water Street property.
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.
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.
A year from now, the City of Ypsilanti will have a new Mayor. Paul Schreiber announced over the weekend he will not seek re-election in 2014. Schreiber was first elected mayor in 2006, and will have completed eight years in office when next November's election rolls around. In his written announcement Sunday, Schreiber said he has enjoyed his seven years as Mayor, but now it's time to step aside to allow the next Mayor to lead the city.
Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber hasn't said whether he'll run for re-election in 2014, but if he does, he'll face a challenge from Amanda Edmonds.
The Growing Hope Executive Director is also vice-chair of the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority. She's vice-chair of the Washtenaw Food Policy Council, and was appointed by the Governor to a similar organization at the state level.
Ypsilanti continues to push forward with a goal of becoming a solar destination.
What began as a grassroots effort in 2005, has progressed to the point where the Ypsilanti City Council has passed a resolution establishing a goal of having one-thousand solar roofs in the city by the year 2020. Our guest this week is Dave Strenski.
He launched Solar Ypsiback in 2005, and you can see the grassroots efforts successes at a variety of locations around the city.