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A2 City News Resident Newsletter

A2 City News is emailed to newsletter subscribers by the City of Ann Arbor. Please share comments via email or call 734.794.6110, extension 41105. The current A2 City News resident newsletter articles appear below in plain-text format. The newsletter, in its entirety, can be viewed in a printable format, similar to the original e-newsletter.

A2 City News Masthead Image

A2 City News, June 2014, Volume 8, Number 7 (Originally distributed June 27, 2014, via email to "Resident Newsletter: A2 City News" subscribers)

In this issue: Main Street closures meeting * Huron River Day * Summer taxes * Yard work reminders * A2’s finest honored * Good news * From source to tap * CTN podcast * Ann Arbor Skatepark * Dates to remember * Independence Day * Fireworks 4-1-1 * Kids wristbands at Art Fair * CTN call for Art Fair volunteers * HUD grants for homeless assistance programs * Concerts in the parks * Historic District Commission awards

Main Street closures meeting

The city will hold a meeting to follow up with area residents regarding last season's Main Street closures during University of Michigan home football games and other designated stadium events. The meeting is being held Tuesday, July 1, 6 p.m. at Pioneer High School, 601 W. Stadium Boulevard, in the Little Theater; please use the entrance nearest to the flag pole. This meeting takes place in anticipation of the closures again this year, including for the Saturday, Aug. 2 FIFA Soccer Event at University of Michigan stadium.

The street closures are a cooperative effort with the University of Michigan, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the City of Ann Arbor Police Department to increase safety by creating a vehicle-free zone around the stadium. At the July 1 meeting, residents can share feedback about the closures; and Ann Arbor Safety Services Administrator Chief John Seto and other city staff will be in attendance to listen in and answer questions.

It is also important to note that on-street parking restrictions will be in effect on U-M home football game days and other stadium events as indicated per City Council resolution. Details on stadium event-day parking restrictions, including a map, can be found on the city website.  

U-M home football games and stadium events will be held on Saturdays: Aug. 2 (FIFA soccer), Aug. 30, Sept. 13, Sept. 20, Sept. 27, Oct. 11, Oct. 18 (Slippery Rock vs. Mercyhurst), Nov. 1 and Nov. 22.

Huron River Day is Sunday, July 13

Celebrate one of this community's greatest resources, the Huron River. The 34th annual Huron River Day is Sunday, July 13 at Gallup Park and Parker Mill Park. Have fun exploring the river with free and fun activities and $5 boat rentals! (Ride your bike to the event and use the free valet bike parking, and receive a coupon for a free boat rental during the festival.) Activities include a children's tent with art and science activities and the enviro-challenge game; a canoe photo booth; fishing; dipping for river bugs; live animal program with the Leslie Science & Nature Center; a butterfly house; the Classic Small Boat Show; and stand-up paddle boarding. Food will be available for purchase.

The Ann Arbor Track Club (www.aatrackclub.org) Gallup Gallop 5K Run/Fitness Walk takes place at Gallup Park at 8:30 a.m. A guided paddling trip is 11 a.m.–noon. 

Go online for details, www.a2gov.org/news, or call 734.794.6240. Don't miss the fun!

Summer taxes due

Summer property taxes are due this month. Taxes may be paid online, by mail, at the City of Ann Arbor Customer Service Center (located on the first floor of Larcom City Hall at 301 E. Huron St.) or at several local banks. TCF Bank, Bank of Ann Arbor, Talmer West Bank, First Merit Bank and Ann Arbor State Bank will accept full tax payments in July only. Online payments can also be made at. Go to the city's treasury Web page for more information, including how property taxes are calculated: .

Yard work reminders

The lawn is cut, the trees and bushes are trimmed, and your yard is a ready oasis for all of the simple pleasures that come along with summer in Michigan. But wait. There are a few more considerations before you fire up the grill or get comfortable in that hammock: Make sure safety factored into your yard work practices.

We all know about taking care not to overheat, to wear sunscreen and to stretch properly before exerting ourselves with tasks around the yard. But don't forget about the following, simple measures to help keep pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, sanitation workers and even our environment safe, too.

  • Please do not blow or rake grass clippings or lawn debris into the street. This is considered a civil infraction with a fine of not more than $500, set by the court. If this debris gets into the storm sewer system, it can clog drains and pollute the river. Debris also creates dangerous obstructions in bike lanes. It is also against the law to dump yard waste into natural areas. If you have a landscaping company that maintains your lawn, please share this information with them.

  • Be sure to keep vegetation on your property trimmed according to city ordinance.

  • Doing so maintains a clear path for pedestrians and also keeps sightlines clear for traffic safety.

  • Don't forget, there is a weight limit for the paper yard/compost bags. Each paper bag may weigh up to 50 pounds. Brush and branches up to 6 inches in diameter and 4 feet long may be tied with natural twine into bundles up to 18 inches in diameter and 50 pounds per bundle. Because bundles and yard bags must be handled by workers as opposed to an automated "arm," too-heavy bags and loose or improperly bundled branches can be dangerous to workers' safety.

 A2's finest are honored

The 2014 Ann Arbor Safety Services Awards Ceremony June 14 recognized the exceptional service from Ann Arbor Fire and Police department personnel, as well as the outstanding actions of more than a dozen civilians. Congratulations — and gratitude — go to these exceptional men and women:

  • Fire Department MEDAL OF VALOR: Captain Robert Ruppel, Firefighter Jason Gravelle, Firefighter Christopher McGlothin, Firefighter Christopher Taylor

  • Fire Department LETTERS OF COMMENDATION: Firefighter Christopher Nielsen, Firefighter Christopher Taylor

  • Fire Department FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR: Lt. Matthew Hughes

  • Police Department COMMAND OFFICER OF THE YEAR: Deputy Chief Gregory Bazick

  • Police Department OFFICER OF THE YEAR: Detective William Stanford

  • Police Department GAYE LIMÓN PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR: Renee Wagner

  • Police Department UNIT CITATIONS: Det./Lt. Robert Pfannes, Det./Sgt. Earle Fox, Det./Sgt. Pat Hughes, Detective Renee Bondy, Detective Paul Deridder, Detective Michael Dortch, Detective Amy Ellinger, Detective Christopher Fitzpatrick, Detective Jack Foster, Detective Robyn Gillen, Detective Janel Hansen, Detective Daniel Iverson, Detective Robin Larson, Detective David Monroe, Detective Katie Nucci, Detective Bradley Rougeau, Detective Gerald Tacey, Detective Bonnie Theil, Detective Kevin Warner, Detective William Stanford, Sergeant John Elkins, Officer Geoffrey Spickard

  • Police Department PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE: Detective Amy Ellinger, Detective Robin Larson, Detective Katie Nucci, Detective William Stanford, Detective Gerald Tacey, Detective Kevin Warner, Officer Michael Fechik, Officer Douglas McCartney

  • Police Department COMMUNITY POLICING: Detective Robin Larson, Detective Bradley Rougeau, Officer Michael Fechik, Officer Scott Stoner

  • Police Department LIFE-SAVING: Officer Roman Morrow, Officer David Ried, Officer Jeffrey Shafer

  • Police Department ADMINISTRATIVE EXCELLENCE: Officer Douglas McCartney

  • Police Department STAFF & COMMAND: Sergeant Michael Scherba

 Read more online.

Congratulations go to not only the men and women of the safety services area. At a recent, separate event, the Ann Arbor Police Department's newest K-9 took home highest honors. With over 50 K-9 teams attending the United States Police Canine Association annual certification trials in Port Huron, AAPD Officer Maguire and K-9 Murray finished first in narcotic detection, fourth in tracking and first place overall as a K-9 team.

This was a great accomplishment for a K-9 team with as short history as they have together. K-9 Murray, a Belgian malinois who was born in Germany and brought to the U.S. when he was 1 year old, and his partner, Officer Pat Maguire, a K-9 handler for the past eight years, have only been working together since January 2013. Read more online.

Good news

  • The City of Ann Arbor works hard to provide excellent city services, as well as unparalleled customer service. Here is a portion of a letter from a contractor to the city's chief development official recognizing the efforts of the city's building department:

" ... we were challenged with an aggressive schedule, and from start to finish, the project was completed in under 45 days.

"The collective efforts to educate and inform us on potential pitfalls and common mistakes for upcoming inspections could be their most important investment in the project. Without this assistance, the success would have been in grave jeopardy. It should also be noted, when it came to subjective code interpretations, the Inspection Team decisions, once made were firm but fair.

"Mr. Welton, we have built in many other cities all over the country, and we just wanted to compliment you on a professional and competent building and development department. Many times, it seems, the development departments lose focus getting projects completed and opened. City of Ann Arbor is head and shoulders above others when it comes to customer service and the building process in general."

 From source to tap

The City of Ann Arbor has published its annual water quality report, entitled "From Source to Tap." The 2013 report (PDF) is available online, and printed versions are available at the Larcom City Hall Customer Service Center, Ann Arbor District Library branches, the Water Treatment Plant or by request by calling 734.994.2840. The report shows Ann Arbor drinking water continues to meet or exceed state and federal regulations and provides details about what comes out of the tap. The report also discusses important issues such as medications in the water supply and how to curtail them, reducing water use, and how contaminants are eliminated.

CTN podcast

Community Television Network's July On Air with CTN podcast welcomes Maureen Riley from the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair to discuss the annual Townie Street Party. Now in its 10th year, the Townie Street Party is the kick-off event to Art Fair week in Ann Arbor. It's also a fundraising event for the educational and community outreach activities during the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair – The Original. The Townie Party is a way to thank Ann Arbor residents for so graciously hosting the Ann Arbor Art Fair each year, offering an evening for the whole family where visitors can enjoy live music, a Kids' Art Fair and the Community Central tents. Be sure to listen in!

Ann Arbor Skatepark grand opening

Where was world-renowned pro skater Tony Hawk June 21, 2014? He was at the grand opening of the highly anticipated Ann Arbor Skatepark, of course (pictured right)! City of Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Services, Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark, Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner's Office partnered together to bring the 30,000-square-foot, world class facility to the northwest portion of Veterans Memorial Park (2150 Jackson Road). 

Designed by Wally Hollyday, the skatepark features kidney pools from 5 to 9.5 feet deep, a snake run, clover and flow bowls and a rock ride; and is landscaped with native plants, bioswales and retention areas that exceed standard stormwater requirements. The new skatepark is free for the public to use and is an exciting addition to the city's already impressive list of amenities — more than 150 parks, swimming pools, ice arenas, canoe liveries, golf courses, Farmers Market, bike trails, etc.
Additional details are available on the parks website and Facebook page.   

Dates to remember

 Among the many public meetings/events taking place in July, including those featured in articles this month, here are some of the highlights. Go online for a complete list.  

 Independence Day in A2

City municipal offices — including the Customer Service Center at Larcom City Hall — will be closed on Independence Day, Friday, July 4. Trash/recycling/compost collection will not take place on the holiday, and will instead occur one day later, Saturday, July 5.

What is open on the July 4 holiday? Check out the city's three outdoor pools at Buhr, Fuller and Veterans Memorial parks; the Argo and Gallup canoe liveries; Ann Arbor Skatepark at Veterans Memorial Park; and Huron Hills and Leslie Park golf courses
LPGC and HHGC will debut their new "2-for-1" twilight special July 4–6 starting at 4 p.m. The LPGC special: two golfers, $16 to walk and $24 for two golfers to ride a cart. HHGC: $12 for two golfers to walk and $20 for two golfers to ride a cart (valid only during twilight times and not valid with any other special). Go online for details or to schedule a tee time.

Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

Fireworks 4-1-1

While the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act has broadened the selection of fireworks available for home/amateur use statewide, it is important to know, there are still usage parameters per City of Ann Arbor ordinance (Section 9:266 of Chapter 115 Weapons and Explosives of Title IX). In the city of Ann Arbor, fireworks usage is permitted only during certain timeframes and only around national holidays. The timeframe guidelines for the Independence Day holiday are:

  • Use is prohibited prior to July 3 and after July 5. 

  • Use is only permitted from 8 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. on July 3, 4 and 5 with the following restrictions:

    • Use is always prohibited on public property, school property, church property or the property of another person unless the person using the fireworks has the expressed permission of the property owner.

    • Use is always prohibited for persons under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

    • Prohibitions apply to "consumer fireworks," which are "fireworks devices that are designed to produce visible effects by combustion," such as roman candles, bottle rockets, firecrackers and missile-type rockets. 

    • Prohibitions do not apply to ground and handheld sparkling devices.       

 Ann Arbor police and fire departments are reminding residents who choose to use fireworks to do so with extreme caution, heeding the following safety reminders:

  • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

  • After a fireworks display, never pick up fireworks that may be left over, as they may still be active.

  • The risk of fireworks injury is more than twice as high for children ages 10–14 as for the general population. Children should never participate in setting off fireworks, and they should remain a safe distance way from where fireworks are being set off.

  • Sparklers may seem harmless, but the tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. That is hot enough to cause third-degree burns.

  • Additional safety guidelines (PDF) can be found in a flier on the city website, or visit the National Fire Protection Agency website.  

  • For more information about the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, which took effect statewide in 2012, see the frequently asked questions on the State of Michigan website (PDF).

 Kids wristbands issued at Art Fair

An additional measure to keep kids safe will again be in place at this year's Ann Arbor Art Fair. Wristbands will be distributed for kids to wear, which include space for the cell phone number of the child's parent or guardian. If a child becomes separated, fair officials and volunteers will contact a police officer for assistance in reuniting the child with his or her parent or guardian. An officer will also be present during that reunification, for added safety.

The wristbands will be available during the fair from several participating organization locations:

  • *The Safety Service Plaza at Liberty Plaza (at the corner of Division and Liberty streets).

  • American Red Cross booths.

  • Art Fair information booths.

  • Ann Arbor Emergency Management mobile command unit.

  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers (look for the yellow vests).

  • Art Fair trolleys.

 The wristband program is sponsored by the Ann Arbor Police Department, Ann Arbor Office of Emergency Management and the executive directors for the individual fairs.

*The Safety Services Plaza will be open each day during regular Art Fair hours. In addition to representatives from Ann Arbor Police and Fire departments, also present at the Safety Services Plaza will be Huron Valley Ambulance, American Water Works Association – Michigan Section and City of Ann Arbor Water Treatment Services.

CTN call for Art Fair volunteers

The annual Ann Arbor Art Fair will bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city when it returns this year Wednesday through Saturday, July 16 through 19. Drawing an equally impressive crowd during the Art Fair is the Ann Arbor Community Television Network video greeting booth.

The CTN video booth will be located on North University between Thayer and Fletcher. Be sure to stop by to be on TV — all taped segments will replay on CTN Channel 19 (Comcast Cable) and will be available to watch online (www.a2gov.org/ctn).

Want to see the Art Fair through a different perspective? Volunteer to help out in the CTN video booth between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. on either July 16, 17 or 18! Call or email CTN Assistant Manager Melissa Bondy / 734.794.6150, to reserve your two-hour volunteer timeslot.

The CTN video greeting booth is also sure to be a draw at the Townie Street Party, the traditional kick off to the Art Fair, Monday, July 14. The Townie Party takes place on East Washington Street, between Fletcher and Thayer streets. Be sure to stop by and say hello!

Federal funding awarded for local homeless assistance programs

U.S. Housing and Urban Development has announced a second round of grants totaling $140 million are being awarded to nearly 900 homeless assistance programs across the country. Earlier this year, HUD awarded $1.6 billion in funding to existing homeless programs in the U.S. Among the recent class of grant awardees, four are for programs here in Washtenaw County, totaling more than $2 million.

The Ann Arbor Housing Commission is named as a grant fiduciary, and the grant recipients and partners are Avalon Housing, Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN), Legal Services of South Central Michigan (LSSCM), Child Care Network (CCN), Washtenaw County and SOS.

The programs being funded in Washtenaw County, specifically, are:

  • For LSSCM to provide assistance to homeless households that face barriers to their housing.

  • For CCN to provide child care scholarships and support for homeless families.

  • For Avalon Housing to provide on-site services at Ann Arbor Housing Commission sites including 24/7 service staffing at Miller Manor, replacing the onsite hot meal service funding that was cut last year due to a loss in federal funding.

  • Avalon also received permanent supportive housing funding for services and housing subsidies for homeless individuals and families at Avalon's own properties.

  • IHN and SOS received rapid re-housing funds to quickly move homeless families into private housing with rental subsidies and service support.

  • For Washtenaw County to administer the Homeless Management Information System for all of the grants.

 Go online to read more.

Concerts in the parks

There are so many ways to enjoy your Ann Arbor parks in the summer time, including listening to live music performances. This summer, there are several options.

The Ann Arbor Civic Band summer 2014 concert series has returned to the West Park band shell, on Seventh Street between Miller and Huron close to downtown Ann Arbor. All Ann Arbor Civic Band concerts are on Wednesday evenings from 8 to 9 p.m. Admission is free. The schedule is listed below; for details, go online.  

  • Wednesday, July 2, Fourth of July Celebration • Wednesday, July 9, The Magic of Disney • Wednesday, July 16, Broadway • Wednesday, July 23, Movie Heroes

 The new Concerts in the Park series at Burns Park features a wide range of performances from dynamic and highly acclaimed, Michigan-based performers. The series, geared toward audiences of all ages, is made possible by a grant from the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor and is part of the Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Cultural Art Series. Burns Park is adjacent to the Ann Arbor Senior Center at 1320 Baldwin Ave. In the event of inclement weather, the performances will take place inside the Ann Arbor Senior Center. Admission is free, and donations are welcome. All performances are held Sundays at 1 p.m. The schedule is below. Go online to learn more, or call 734.794.6250 for additional information.

  • July 6, Peter Madcat Ruth • July 13, Mustard's Retreat • July 27, Susan Harrison & the Palamazoo Puppet Band • Aug. 3, Kitty Donohoe

 And don't forget about the Wednesday Evening Farmers Market for more musical performances. The evening markets are open Wednesdays through October, 4–8 p.m. Follow the market on Facebook or Twitter for details on upcoming performances (and much more!).

Historic District Commission Awards

The City of Ann Arbor The Ann Arbor Historic District Commission (HDC) presented its 26th annual Preservation Awards Monday, June 16 at the Ann Arbor City Council Meeting. Every year the HDC gives awards to citizens or institutions who have done an outstanding job maintaining or renovating historic structures, or who have supported historic preservation over the years. The awards were determined by a committee appointed by the HDC. Committee members included Susan Wineberg (chair), Ellen Ramsburgh, Patricia Austin, Grace Shackman, Francis Wright, Tom Stulberg, Ina Hanel-Gerdenich, Patrick McCauley and Louisa Pieper. Jill Thacher, the city's historic preservation coordinator, staffs the committee.

Go online to read about the honorees.

 

2014 A2 City News Issues Archive

July 2014, Volume 8, No. 7 (PDF)

June 2014, Volume 8, No. 6 (PDF)

May 2014, Volume 8, No. 5 (PDF)

April 2014, Volume 8, No. 4 (PDF)

March 2014, Volume 8, No. 3 (PDF)

February 2014, Volume 8, No. 2 (PDF)

January 2014, Volume 8, No. 1 (PDF)

Special Accomodations

If you know a city resident who requires this newsletter in an alternative format, please email the city communications office or call 734.794.6110, extension 41105.

Persons with disabilities are encouraged to participate in public meetings. Accommodations, including sign language interpreters, may be arranged by contacting the City Clerk’s office at 734.794.6140 or by written request via email to cityclerk@a2gov.org, or mailed or delivered to the City Clerk’s office, 301 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Requests need to be received at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.

City Mission Statement

The City of Ann Arbor is committed to providing excellent municipal services that enhance the quality of life for all through the intelligent use of our resources while valuing an open environment that fosters fair, sensitive and respectful treatment of all employees and the community we serve.

City Council

Go to the city’s website for contact information for council members or to determine your ward; or contact the City Clerk’s office, second floor of Larcom City Hall, at 734.794.6140.

City Administration



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