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A2 City News resident newsletter articles appear below in plain-text format.
A2 City News, February 2019 (PDF), Volume 13, Number 2 (originally distributed Feb. 1, 2019, via email to "resident newsletter: A2 City News" subscribers)
In this issue:
Deer management program | Presidents Day |
SA2T | Spring/summer parks registration opens | Changing
Driver Behavior study | Sustainability forums |
Winter preparedness | CTN Happy Tails on YouTube | Emergency
Vehicle Caution Law
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Safe, warm spaces for individuals experiencing homelessness during severe winter weather are being provided by Washtenaw County, jointly funded by the City of Ann Arbor and the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County. While this 2018/2019 winter weather response has been in place since November, recent snow and extreme temperatures have activated daytime winter havens as well.
Daytime warming centers
Weekend daytime shelter is available at the Delonis Center (312 W. Huron St., Ann Arbor, 48103) from 8 a.m.–7 p.m. Weekday daytime shelter accommodations are available Feb. 1–28 at these local congregations at varying times, generally 9 a.m.–4 p.m.: First Congregational (608 E. William St., Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays) and First Baptist Church (517 E. Washington St., Tuesdays and Thursdays). The Delonis Center, 734.662.2829, can also provide more specific information for the congregations.
Daytime weather havens
When the weather is below 20 degrees, additional locations are available during the day to provide some refuge from the cold. The updated list (PDF) is available online.
Overnight warming centers
The Delonis Center offers an overnight warming center for those experiencing homelessness. Shelter is available beginning at 6:30 p.m. every night between through April 1, 2019. There is also onsite dinner provided at 5 p.m.
For access to the overnight shelter, each client must call Housing Access of Washtenaw County (HAWC) and obtain a referral to the Delonis Center. More information is available by calling HAWC at 734.961.1999 or visiting www.housingaccess.net.
Homeless individuals who are without transportation to the overnight warming center should contact the Delonis Center, 734.662.2829 ext. 238.
Please find complete details on Washtenaw County's website or by calling the Delonis Center at 734.662.2829 if you have any questions or need more information.
2019 deer management program safely completed
On Monday, Jan. 21, the City of Ann Arbor reopened all parks and nature areas as a result of safely completing the 2019 deer management program, including culling and sterilization activities, which were undertaken via a special research permit issued by the MDNR. All parks and nature areas are now open.
2019 program activities included:
- Sterilization (non-lethal) — From Nov. 25-28, 2018, White Buffalo sterilized six female deer from two zones in Wards 1 and 2. All sterilized female deer were fitted with numbered ear tags, and one mature doe in each group was radio collared to facilitate future program efforts. Success within these areas is achieved by the capture and sterilization of more than 95% of female deer identified in the target zones. To date, White Buffalo has sterilized 78 female deer in these zones. The permit allowed for up to 80 to be sterilized.
- Lethal — From Jan. 2 to 20, White Buffalo sharpshooters lethally removed 112 deer from designated parks and nature areas, University of Michigan and Concordia University properties and city-selected private parcels with owner consent. All culling operations were completed safely.
The city continues to invest in the collection of data to monitor the impacts of deer management efforts and to provide accurate information for public policy discussion on local deer management activities. During the next few months, the following data collection activities will be completed:
- White Buffalo 2019 Program Results Assessment.
- Helicopter flyover estimate survey (snow required to schedule).
- Dr. Courteau's Browse Damage on Public Property Study.
- Deer Management Program Evaluation Citizen Survey by Michigan State University Research Center.
These data points will assist staff in completing a final deer management 2019 summary report which is estimated to be completed by July. All final reports and data collection information when completed will be available via the deer management web page.
Ann Arbor municipal offices will be closed on Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 18. Trash/recycling collection will continue as regularly scheduled, with no planned delays.
City of Ann Arbor Sustaining Ann Arbor Together Grant awarded
A2 STEAM at Northside has been awarded a $15,000 Sustaining Ann Arbor Together (SA2T) grant from the City of Ann Arbor for the development of a kindergarten-eighth grade solar curriculum. A2 STEAM middle school science teacher Jean Wilson explains the grant will fund a variety of approaches to allow students to learn about and understand climate change and engage in solutions.
The City of Ann Arbor Office of Sustainability and Innovation oversees the SA2T program, which assists neighborhood groups to develop, resource and complete small-scale improvement projects in the city's rights-of-way or on publicly owned property, including Ann Arbor Public School property. The total annual grant program funding is $100,000.
On Feb. 19, 2013, Ann Arbor City Council adopted the Sustainability Framework as an element of the City of Ann Arbor Master Plan, which has four key categories: Climate and Energy Goals; Community Goals; Land Use and Access Goals; and Resource Management Goals. The SA2T grant program is intended to promote and resource community-based activities in support of the Sustainability Framework's goals.
The city sustainability and innovations office reviews SA2T applications twice annually. Applications not accepted for a grant will automatically be reconsidered at the next evaluation, unless withdrawn. Learn more about the SA2T grant program.
Sign up for spring and summer fun
It's the middle of winter now, but warmer months are just ahead. A sure sign of spring: Registration for spring and summer recreation programs, including summer day camps, with Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation opens Friday, Feb. 1.
The new spring/summer parks and recreation activity guide is now available online. The guide highlights a variety of programming offered for all ages, including swim and golf lessons, mermaid/merman classes, recreation at the senior center, FootGolf, splash days, river fun at the canoe liveries and so much more. Volunteer opportunities are also available for groups or individuals.
Register online or in person at any parks facility or the parks customer service center at Cobblestone Farm. If you have any questions, please contact parks and recreation customer service via email or call 734.794.6230.
Changing Driver Behavior study results are in
The City of Ann Arbor has received the final results of the recent Changing Driver Behavior Study, a collaboration with Dr. Ron Van Houten and Western Michigan University, which measured the impact of increased signage, enforcement and communication on drivers stopping behavior at crosswalks. Overall, stopping for pedestrians in Ann Arbor increased from a mean of 28.5 percent to 65.2 percent at treatment sites, which were subject to enhanced police enforcement, and from 34.2 percent to 53 percent at the generalization sites that did not receive additional enforcement. Learn more and find the full report on a2gov.org/walkbikedrive.
Learn about climate adaptation at Feb. 19 forum
Join the conversation about sustainability as the City of Ann Arbor and the Ann Arbor District Library present the seventh annual Sustainable Ann Arbor series. Monthly through April, a panel of local experts will engage the community in discussions about local sustainability efforts and challenges in our community. The forums take place 7–8:30 p.m. at the Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch, 343 S. Fifth Ave., and offer information and tips for living more sustainably.
The January forum explored climate change, mental health and the role of public health in addressing inequities; and the next forum, Tuesday, Feb. 19, will focus on Adapting to a Changing Climate. The discussion will center on steps the Ann Arbor community is taking to address climate impacts and what more could be done at the city, neighborhood and individual level. Climate adaptation experts will share insights on climate change for Ann Arbor and what we can do to thrive in a changing future.
Looking ahead, the Thursday, March 21 forum will dig deeper into the latest thinking about the science and impacts of climate change, both locally and globally; and the final forum of the 2019 series, Thursday, April 18 will focus on Race and Class Equity in Washtenaw County.
The forums are free to attend. Visit the city website for more information.
Be winter-storm ready
When a winter storm is in the forecast (again!), will you be ready? Check out these tips from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency, and be prepared for storms — and the extremely cold temperatures and power outages that can (and have) accompanied.
- Assemble or restock an emergency preparedness kit with enough supplies to last for at least three days. Include a flashlight, batteries, water, food, prescription medication, cash, first aid supplies and extra clothing, blankets or sleeping bags to stay warm.
- If you rely on power-dependent medical devices, determine a back-up plan. For more planning information tips, visit the ready.gov “individuals with disabilities" page.
- Make sure to have alternative charging methods for your phone and any device that requires power. For more information and tips, visit ready.gov's get tech ready page.
- If you use your car to recharge devices, do not keep the car running in a garage, or close to your home; this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
- Keep your car's gas tank full to keep the fuel line from freezing. Gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas. If the alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh-air location outdoors.
- Only use generators outside, away from your home, and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage or connect it to your home's electrical system. For more information about generators visit, the Department of Energy “generator safety" web page.
- Be safe on the road as well. Gather an emergency supply kit for your car that includes: warm clothes, blankets, bottled water, nonperishable snacks, jumper cables, sand to provide traction should you get stuck, and a flashlight. Make sure your vehicle's tailpipe is not obstructed by snow or ice. A blocked tailpipe could cause deadly carbon monoxide buildup inside of your vehicle. Visit www.ready.gov/car for more on vehicle safety and preparedness in inclement weather.
- Finally, but perhaps most importantly, monitor weather reports for forecasts of extremely cold temperatures and approaching winter storms. Anyone can subscribe to National Weather Service (NWS) weather-related alerts; and Ann Arbor residents can also sign up for the city's CodeRED emergency notification system. The city also uses its website, CTN and social media — Facebook, Twitter and NextDoor — to relay information and updates.
Visit Ready.gov for more tips on how to prepare for a winter power outage.
CTN Happy Tails
Get up close — but not too close — with a skunk, short hair rabbit and opossum on the latest episode of CTN Happy Tails. Nature on the Go Naturalist/Educator Laurel Zoet talks about the portable nature programs her organization offers promoting appreciation and connection to nature and wildlife in the Great Lakes region.
Let CTN keep you up to date with city meetings, local points of interest, community information and much more! Subscribe to the CTN YouTube Channel for instant notifications of new series episodes, live meetings and other videos.
Move over for emergency vehicles
Michigan's new Emergency Vehicle Caution Law (the “Move Over" law) takes effect this month (February 2019). The law requires motorists to move over for stationary emergency vehicles with their lights activated, or slow down and pass with caution if it's not possible to safely change lanes. Failure to do so could result in four points on your drivers license and fines. More importantly, breaking the law could also result in serious injury or death for a police officer, firefighter or other emergency response personnel.
Ann Arbor Fire Chief Mike Kennedy can attest that working on the freeway is one of the most hazardous environments emergency crews are exposed to. AAFD was investigating a motor vehicle crash on westbound I-94 between Ann Arbor-Saline and Liberty roads the night of Dec. 29, when one of their engines being used as a barrier was struck by an out-of-control vehicle. Luckily, there were no injuries; but this incident serves as a vivid reminder of the importance of this new law.
Please do your part to help ensure emergency responders can safely return home when their shifts end.
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Howard Lazarus, City Administrator,
John Fournier, Assistant City Administrator,
Tom Crawfordtcrawford@a2gov.org , Financial and Administrative Services Area Administrator,
Derek Delacourt, Community Services Area Administrator,
Craig Hupy, Public Services Area Administrator,
Mike Kennedy, Fire Chief,
Bob Pfannes, Interim Chief of Police,