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A2 City News, September 2023 (PDF), Volume 17, Number 9 (originally distributed Aug. 31, 2023, via email to "community newsletter: A2 City News" subscribers)
There will be no trash, recycling or compost curbside collection services in Ann Arbor on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4. Monday pickups will occur on Tuesday, and the rest of the collections will occur one day later throughout the week. The normal Friday routes will be serviced Saturday, Sept. 9. For information on the city's solid waste services, please visit www.a2gov.org/solidwaste.
Municipal offices, including the Ann Arbor Customer Service Center at Larcom City Hall and the 15th Judicial District Court at the Ann Arbor Justice Center, will be closed on the holiday Monday. Safety services and utility operations will maintain 24-hour schedules throughout. Learn more.
Ann Arbor Bicentennial Coordinating Committee:
Message from the Ann Arbor city administrator
As we advance toward our planned yearlong celebration of the City's bicentennial in 2024, we are excited to provide this summer touch-point message.
The Coordinating Committee is still accepting information about events and activities that are being planned to commemorate the bicentennial. An online events calendar is being hosted by Destination Ann Arbor. If your group wants to promote what you are planning for 2024, please send your information to [email protected].
Regardless of the month of your event, if it's open to the public, we will add it to the calendar. The Committee plans to highlight a few items each month to really push attendance. We are also looking for annual events that are willing to be co-branded with the bicentennial for next year only.
We have received a wonderful offer from the Commission on Disability Issues (CODI). If you need input to ensure the event you're planning is accessible, they are willing to assist you. One of our overarching goals for the bicentennial is to make it as inclusive as possible.
Bicentennial Merchandise, Anyone?
The Committee is planning to offer an apparel line, along with other select items, to highlight the occasion. Starting this fall, and throughout next year, you will be able to obtain memorabilia through Underground Printing as well as through the bicentennial website. https://a2bicentennial.org/
Legacy Projects Need Support!
James L. Crawford (African-American) Elks Lodge members of the philanthropic community, private sector or supportive individuals will be able to financially support the restoration of a significant piece of the Ann Arbor community. The Lodge provides several elements where public support will enable a facelift to the community. The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation will be hosting the fund to support this project.
Ann Arbor Bicentennial Park (Southeast Area Park) — Ann Arbor City Council passed a resolution in May 2023 to designate this park space in honor of the 2024 celebration. The City has already received a $1 million commitment from the State for the development of a splash pad at the site. For the vision of the overall park to be realized, with the placement of other new amenities, public support will be critical.
More details on how to support both legacy projects will be forthcoming. Stay tuned for our next update!
Milton Dohoney Jr.
Bicentennial Coordinating Committee Co-Chair
Clerk's office earns their Stars and Stripes
The Ann Arbor City Clerk's Office received the Stars and Stripes Award for Best Partnership from the Election Center — the National Association of Election Officials. This award recognizes the collaboration between the city clerk's office and the UMICH Votes Coalition and their work operating a satellite city clerk's office in November 2022. Learn more at https://www.a2gov.org/departments/city-clerk/Pages/default.aspx Pictured: Jaqueline Beaudry, City Clerk, and Sarah Alanis, Satellite Office Project Manager
Police chief selection process update
Ann Arbor City Administrator Milton Dohoney Jr. notified City Council members Aug. 25 that he will not be recommending a police chief from the pool of candidates recently interviewed. He expressed gratitude to staff, Council and the public for their time during the interview process, noting he is not convinced the ideal candidate to lead the Ann Arbor Police Department was identified. Candidates were also thanked for their participation in the process. The city will continue to work with the executive search firm to perform a more concentrated police chief search. Any updates will be made available in the coming months.
September is National Preparedness Month, and ready.gov is urging all to take this opportunity to focus on emergency readiness. The 2023 theme is “Preparing for Older Adults," noting older adults can face greater risks when it comes to extreme-weather events (i.e., severe thunderstorms, winter weather, etc.) and emergencies (i.e., prolonged power outages), especially those who are living alone, are living with a disability and/or rely on medical equipment, are low-income, or live in rural or secluded areas.
Are you an older adult, is there an older adult in your household or as a neighbor? Tips to consider include:
- Know what disasters could affect your area, which could call for an evacuation, and when to shelter in place; and plan what you need to do in both cases.
- Create a support network of people who can help you in the event of an emergency and inform your support network where you keep your emergency supplies and important documentation. You may want to consider giving a trusted member a key to your household or apartment.
- Keep a NOAA Weather Radio tuned to your local emergency station, and monitor TV and radio for warnings about severe weather in your area. Keep a look out for notifications from official city channels for cooling centers, warming centers, or overnight emergency shelters that may be activated depending on the emergency.
- Download the FEMA app, and get weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States.
- If you use medical equipment in your home that requires electricity, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about what you may be able to do to keep it running during a power outage.
- If you are on dialysis or other life-sustaining medical treatment know the location and availability of more than one facility that can help you.
Some questions to consider:
- How will you communicate if you are in need?
- Will you have ample food, water and essentials for you and your pets or service animal?
- What transportation is available to you should the need to evacuate arise? And will you be able to bring along any assistive devices?
- Do you have an emergency kit assembled that meets your household's needs, with medicines, medical supplies, batteries, and chargers?
- Do you have copies on hand of important documents including Medicaid, Medicare, and other insurance cards?
Missing any of the above steps? Not to worry; Ready.gov has information on how to get organized. Get started today!
The City of Ann Arbor wants to make sure you know about local emergencies and incidents right away. The city/county emergency notification system, Everbridge, sends alerts about issues that may affect your safety. This system, www.washtenaw.org/alerts, allows the city and county to contact thousands of community members in seconds via phone, email or text in emergency situations.
The success of this service, however, relies on YOU. Having your latest contact information on record in the system is the only way to ensure you can be contacted in an emergency. If you haven't already, please sign up for emergency notifications. It only takes a minute to enroll!
Outdoor warning sirens are another alert system in the city. Warning sirens can be activated for any type of emergency and are used to alert community members who are outdoors to seek shelter and seek out additional information. The county, which owns and operates a separate outdoor siren system, follows the same activation criteria and can activate its sirens in quadrants, depending on where the emergency is.
The sirens will be activated for severe weather events, specifically for winds in excess of 75 miles per hour, and when a tornado warning is issued for Ann Arbor (specifically Ann Arbor, not Washtenaw County broadly).
The sirens are not designed to be heard indoors, which is why signing up for Everbridge emergency alerts and wireless emergency alerts is so important.
Under these weather conditions, the https://www.weather.gov/wrn/wea will issue a WEA alert, and the county will issue an Everbridge emergency alert (which you would receive IF you are registered for weather alerts).
Kick it to the curb?
One person's gently used discards can more conveniently become another's treasures in Ann Arbor. City Council in July adopted policy that allows household items in good condition intended for donation or reuse by others to be placed near the curb. This practice can help gently used household items find their way to new homes instead of landfills.
Residents should be aware, though, that items are subject to the following conditions:
- Items must be placed near the curb and only once per week and for no more than 48 continuous hours. Items must otherwise be stored inside on private property or otherwise in compliance with City Code.
- Items may not exceed 3 feet in height and must not be within 10 feet of a crosswalk or the intersection of a sidewalk or road.
- Items must be located or arranged so that they will not roll, slide, fall, blow over or otherwise move so as to endanger or obstruct vehicles, pedestrians or bicyclists.
- Items must be clearly labeled that they are intended for donation or reuse, with a label, not exceeding 2 feet in dimension, affixed to the item.
- The City may immediately remove and dispose of any item in the public right-of-way without notice to any person if the City deems it to interfere with the right-of-way, is a safety hazard, or not in compliance with City Code.
- A person may only take an item which is labeled for donation or reuse.
- Residents who leave an item outside for more than 48 hours or who are otherwise in violation will be cited and subject to fines.
Acceptable items include:
- Computer equipment.
- Consumer electronics.
- Garden tools.
- Kitchen gadgets.
- Sports equipment.
- Yard equipment.
- And similar items commonly used in residential settings.
Unacceptable items include:
- Used freezers.
- Upholstered furniture.
- Water heaters.
- Cleaning agents.
- Other toxic or hazardous materials.
- Commercial waste.
- Construction and demolition waste.
- Hazardous material.
- Hazardous waste.
- Household waste.
- Prohibited materials, refuse, rubbish or solid waste.
Please read the ordinance (PDF) for complete details; and learn more about solid waste and recycling in general in Ann Arbor, including how to dispose of items unacceptable for curbside disposal. Also, consider getting more involved in the circular economy!
Game-day streets and parking reminders
University of Michigan football season kicks off with the first game, at home, Saturday, Sept. 2. With the return of football comes game-day street closures and on-street parking restrictions in certain stadium-area neighborhoods (scroll to bottom of these linked pages). Per City Council resolution, street closures begin three hours before each game until the end of the game, except for southbound South Main Street, which will be closed beginning one hour before until the end of each game. Visit the parking webpage (scroll to the bottom) for the on-street parking restrictions information and map.
Visit the University of Michigan website for the football game schedule.
Know before you go
Planning to attend a game? Keep up with scheduled road and lane closures in Ann Arbor, whether due to construction or special events, via the city road or lane closure webpage, www.a2gov.org/roads. Here, you can also sign up for alerts, via the envelope icon, and can use the WAZE map for a visual representation of closures. In addition, the WAZE app can be downloaded to a phone or other mobile device.
Walk, bike, drive safely
With summer vacations ending and schools back in session, the streets of Ann Arbor are bustling again with more vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. Check out these reminders of how to be safe when you're out and about:
- Cross at marked crosswalks.
- Give motorists enough time to see you and stop.
- Be sure to keep vegetation on your property trimmed to allow for safe passage on sidewalks and proper visibility near crosswalks. If you see vegetation obstructing visibility, please report to the city via the A2 Fix It app or online.
- Keep bike lanes clear.
- Ride on the road when possible — and obey the traffic signs and signals.
- Use bike lanes when available.
- To report vehicles parked in marked bike lanes, please call the police nonemergency phone number at 734.994.2911.
- Give yourselves plenty of commute time and be patient.
- Slow down in or near school and residential areas.
- Watch for children in between parked cars and other objects.
- Look for clues — such as safety patrols, crossing guards, bicycles and playgrounds — that indicate children might be in the area.
- Be extra alert at crosswalks, and stop when pedestrians — with or without a crossing guard — are present to cross.
- Watch for crossing guards and remain stopped, out of the crosswalk, until everyone is out of the roadway.
- Give bicyclists at least 5 feet of space on the road.
- Never park in bike lanes.
- See a school bus? Whether you are driving on a two-lane roadway (with or without a center turning lane) or a four-lane roadway (without a median separation), all traffic — in both directions — must stop when a bus stops for passengers. (Also visit Michigan State Police online to find information on school buses and other safety tips.)
Video features A2ZERO from A to Z
Ann Arbor sustainability efforts and innovation, via A2ZERO, are the focus of a new production, City of Ann Arbor A2ZERO plan: innovation, sustainability and carbon neutrality by 2030, which will air on PBS stations across the country. Check out the one-minute video or six-minute video, also on the CTN YouTube channel.
Catch up on the latest from the Ann Arbor Office of Sustainability and Innovations (OSI). Visit OSI online for more information, including any registration links.
Pollinators Walking Tour — Sunday, Sept. 10, 2–6 p.m. starting at Bløm Meadworks (100 S. 4th Ave., suite 110), join OSI, the University of Michigan Office of Campus Sustainability and the Pollinators Working Group of the Environmental Commission to learn more about native pollinator species and what you can do to help protect them! Plus, try some local honey and embark on a self-guided walking tour that starts at Bløm and visits a variety of sites for more about pollinators and their habitats. Find more information at https://osi.a2gov.org/pollinators.
Green Fair — Get ready for the A2ZERO Green Fair, to celebrate all things sustainable in Ann Arbor! Friday, Sept. 22, Main Street is activated 5–8 p.m. with exhibits featuring renewable energy, electrification technology, energy waste reduction, the circular economy, water resource protection, environmental engagement, green infrastructure and so much more. Live music with the Glen Leven Band, games and prizes, plus the Bike Parade for the Planet at 7 p.m., a transportation-themed treasure hunt, birds of prey with the Leslie Science & Nature Center and sustainable screen printing (bring a cotton shirt or tote to print on). Green Fair also shares the spotlight with World Car-free Day! Ditch your personal vehicle and walk, bike or take the bus to the Library Lane and Lot from 2–6 p.m. to engage with electric vehicles, e-bikes and transportation initiatives designed to help transition from combustion-powered transportation to clean, green, sustainable options that benefit us and the planet. Be sure to sign up for the World Car-free Day Challenge in partnership with getDowntown and TheRide to track the impact of your sustainable transportation choices. Just around the corner, the fun continues with SPARK's Mobility Row at Liberty Plaza. For details, visit www.a2gov.org/greenfair.
Second annual A2 Local Food Festival — OSI, Ann Arbor Farmers Market and Argus Farm Stop are announcing the second annual Ann Arbor Local Food Festival, an event to celebrate and enjoy the abundance of this year's harvest from local farms! This event takes place at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, 315 Detroit St., Thursday Sept. 14, 5–8 p.m. and will showcase the many restaurants, chefs and others in the Ann Arbor area who prioritize local ingredients at their businesses. It will also offer opportunities for community members to hear the stories of those who produce their food — local farmers and the organizations focused on elevating those farmers and their products. This family-friendly event is free to attend. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from a variety of local vendors. Learn more at www.a2gov.org/localfoodfest.
City public services open houses
Two upcoming community events will provide free, fun activities for all ages, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at city services. Join the city Saturday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. for the Ann Arbor Public Works Open House at the Wheeler Service Center, 4251 Stone School Road (https://www.a2gov.org/departments/public-works/Pages/default.aspx) –and– Saturday, Oct. 7, 9 a.m.–noon for the Water Resource Recovery Facility Open House, 49 S. Dixboro Road (https://www.a2gov.org/departments/waste-water-treatment/Pages/default.aspx)
Submit a video to celebrate CTN's 50th anniversary
In honor of CTN's 50th anniversary this year, CTN clients (past and present) and all viewers are encouraged to participate in the celebration! CTN is welcoming you to submit a brief (up to 30 seconds) video sending your congratulations or sharing what CTN has meant to you in the community. CTN will compile the videos to share on its cable channels and YouTube. Please submit as soon as possible:
Send your file via Google Drive or your preferred file-sharing program to [email protected] or [email protected].
In the recording, state your name and how long you've been involved or watching CTN.
Your short message can be as simple as, “Congratulations CTN on your 50Th anniversary! We love the programs; keep them coming for 50 more!," or the like.
If it's not quite 30 seconds or over, that's acceptable, too.
CTN staff members were in the spotlight for a recent article from weloveannarbor.com. Meet some of the team and learn more about CTN's history!
CTN thanks the community for supporting local programming throughout the years.
Check out CTN's wide range of programs available to watch online now!
Around Ann Arbor — Paint the Town.
Around Ann Arbor — Townie Street Party 2023.
CTN Celebrates 50-year Anniversary — Let's Watch with the Ann Arbor Film Festival.
CTN's Camp TV Session 2.
FYI — Nancy Margolis of Embracing our Differences Michigan shares how these works of art send messages of love, diversity and equality; Humane Pet Acquisition Ordinance; and take a peek at Island Park.
FYI — Ann Arbor City Clerk Jacqueline Beaudry discusses her role with the city and her presidency with the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks; the Ann Arbor Farmers Market Food Truck Rallies; and take a peek at Wheeler Park.
FYI — Jim Hoeft with A&H Lawncare and Mike Van Patten with Oxford Companies share how the two companies are working together to bring sustainable lawncare to commercial properties; Home Electrification Expo; take a peek at Bandemer Park.
FYI — Jacob Williams-Justin, director for PTD Productions, discusses the upcoming show, Perfect Arrangement; Ann Arbor Pride; take a tour of Olson Park; and learn the many ways to stay in the know with city happenings.
Parks Peek — Argo Park Canoe Livery and Nature Area.
Parks Peek — Bandemer Park.
UM Show Your Love A2 Event Promo.
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The city's mission is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.
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Milton Dohoney Jr., City Administrator,
John Fournier, Assistant City Administrator,
Derek Delacourt, Community Services Area Administrator,
Mike Kennedy, Fire Chief,
Aimee Metzer, Interim Police Chief, [email protected]
Marti Praschan, Financial and Administrative Services Area Administrator, mprascha[email protected]
Brian Steglitz, Public Services Area Administrator, [email protected]