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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​A2 City News is emailed to newsletter subscribers by the City of Ann Arbor. Please share comments via email o​​r call 734.794.6110, extension 41105. The current A2 City News resident newslette​r articles appear below in plain-text format.

A2 City News Masthead Image

A2 City News, October 2017​ (PDF), Volume 11, Number 10 (originally distributed Sept. 29, 2017, via email to "resident newsletter: A2 City News" subscribers)​

In this issue: 

Ann Arbor Station |  Council meetings closed captioning  | Fire station tours |  The Treeline  |  Submit an A2 Be Safe idea  |  U-M night game impacts  |  Deployed firefighters |  National Cyber Security Awareness Month  |  Election Day preparation  |  Deer-vehicle collision tips  |  UAP at Gallup Park opens  |  Fall and Halloween fun  |  Farmers market app  |  Good news  |  County Cleanup Day

Ann Arbor Station

The City of Ann Arbor recently provided the draft Environmental Assessment for the Ann Arbor Station project for review online, as well as in paper form at the Ann Arbor City Clerk's office, (second floor, Larcom City Hall, 301 E. Huron St.) and at the Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch reference desk (343 S. 5th Ave.).  

Written comments to the report must be received by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, and can be submitted via email to project manager Eli Cooper or be mailed to:  

Eli Cooper 
Systems Planning, fourth floor 
City of Ann Arbor 
P.O. Box 8647 
Ann Arbor, MI 48107

A public meeting will take place Thursday, Oct. 12, 6:30–8:30 p.m. (presentations at 6:45 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.), in the fourth floor jury assembly room at the Ann Arbor Justice Center, 301 E. Huron St (the newer building adjacent to Larcom City Hall). 

Meetings of the Ann Arbor Station Citizen Advisory and Leadership Advisory groups will also be held in October. 

Closed captioning coming to Council meetings 

Ann Arbor City Council meetings are about to become more accessible than ever. Sign language interpreters and assistive technology have both been provided upon request for decades. But these accommodations only help those attending Council meetings in person. Beginning on Monday, Oct. 2, Ann Arbor Community Television Network will begin closed captioning City Council meetings. 

All City Council meetings held in Council Chambers going forward will be closed captioned. The Oct. 9 and Nov. 13 City Council work sessions, which will be held at CTN, will not be closed captioned.

City of Ann Arbor meetings can be viewed on CTN Channel 16 for Comcast Cable and AT&T U-verse, and also live or on demand online

CTN, which has provided closed captioning of the Commission on Disability Issues meetings for several years, is pleased to expand this service to an even broader audience.

Visit a fire station

The National Fire Protection Association's annual Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 8–14. To commemorate, the Ann Arbor Fire Department will open their doors to the public throughout the week.

The city's five fire stations will hold open houses Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–3 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Stop by for a tour, fire hats and/or coloring books for the kids. For locations, visit the AAFD website. If the station is closed at the time of your visit, fire personnel are most likely responding to or on an emergency incident at the time. The public is then asked to please try to revisit at a later time. If a visiting group is larger than five people, please schedule your visit ahead of time by contacting Leslie Herter at 734.794.6978.

This year, fire safety education and practices center around the theme "Every Second Counts, Plan 2 Ways Out!" Find details, tips and resources at www.firepreventionweek.org.

The Treeline 

In August 2011, Ann Arbor City Council passed a resolution in support of the Allen Creek Greenway (R-11-325) (PDF).   Shortly thereafter, staff developed a draft scope of work for a "master plan approach" for what is now known as the Treeline, which includes the following study areas:

The Treeline: Argo Cascades to South State Street, primarily along Ann Arbor Railroad corridor (owned by WATCO).

First and William: a city-owned parcel located on the northeast corner of the intersection. 

415 W. Washington St.: a city-owned, 2.52-acre site located on the south side of West Washington Street between First and Third streets, within the Downtown Development Authority District and Old West Side Historic District.

North Main Corridor:

  • 721 N. Main St.: a city-owned, 5.10-acre site located on the west side of North Main Street between Felch Street and West Summit Street.
  • North Main Street and adjacent parks and amenities between M-14 and Summit Street.
  • North Main and Depot Street intersection.  

The City of Ann Arbor is inviting the community to attend The Treeline — Allen Creek Urban Trail Master Plan community-wide meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, 6:30–8:30 p.m. at Larcom City Hall, second floor, Council chambers. After a 30-minute background presentation, meeting participants will be asked to provide comments and will be able to ask questions of the project team. Display materials will be available to view the preferred route alignment, conceptual sketches and other project resources.

For more information, please visit the project page on the city website.

How would you help A2 Be Safe? 

You may have seen the city's A2 Be Safe campaign around town — posters at City Hall, PSAs on CTN, social media posts, bus tails, etc. The campaign consists of a series of themes — crosswalk safety, stop for school buses, don't text and drive, etc. — to promote safety among pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists alike. The accompanying campaign slogans, including "phone down. heads up" and "look. cross. live.," are meant to raise awareness of safety issues common in our community. The campaign, overall, is intended to have some "edge," to provoke thought and to be memorable. 

Have you been inspired to come up with some messages of your own? Well, now is your chance to share your ideas. The city is in search of your original safety themes and/or slogans that are uniquely Ann Arbor or that would appeal, particularly, to our community as a whole. If your ideas address a safety-related issue, the city wants to hear about it! 

Now through Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, email your safety theme ideas and/or slogans to the city - at feedback@a2gov.org - and yours could be selected as additions to the A2 Be Safe campaign in 2018! In your email, please include:

  • Your first and last name.
  • Your daytime phone number.
  • Your city of residence.
  • The intended audience, if there is one in particular, e.g., commuters, bicyclists, students, etc.
  • Your new safety theme, if you have one.
  • Your new safety slogan, if you have one.
  • A description of imagery that would accompany your theme and/or slogan, if you have anything particular in mind, no attachments, please.

Please submit only text — no images, graphics or visual concepts. By submitting your idea(s), you are giving the City of Ann Arbor and those who collaborate with the city unrestricted permission to use your submission(s) in any form, format or way the city sees fit, either in its original entirety or any portion of the submission, and with or without attribution. However, the city will strive to recognize, in some form, those who submitted a slogan or theme that has been selected for use.

You could see your creativity come to fruition … and contribute to the effort of helping A2 Be Safe. For more information, and to see the current campaign themes and slogans, visit the A2 Be Safe community resources site

MSU vs. U-M night game at the Big House

The Saturday, Oct. 7, Michigan State vs. University of Michigan football game will take place at the U-M stadium with a historic 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Northbound Main Street will be closed three hours before kickoff (at 4:30 p.m.), and all lanes of Main Street will be closed one hour prior (at 6:30 p.m.). Game-day on-street parking will be restricted 8 a.m.–midnight in the stadium-area neighborhoods, per usual. 

Go online for the parking-restrictions map and details. See also the football game schedule on the University of Michigan website to know when home games will again impact Main Street access and on-street parking.  

City personnel answer the call 

As the south was being pounded by one hurricane after another, assistance from hundreds of miles north was being coordinated. Three City of Ann Arbor firefighters were deployed to Florida to assist in Hurricane Irma rescue and recovery operations. Ann Arbor Fire Department's Lt. Allen Bruck (not pictured), Captain James Budd and Firefighter Bryce McAllister are members of the Michigan Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 1 and have specialized training in technical rescue and handling highly trained search dogs. 

The Michigan Task Force –1 team was eventually released from their assignment in Florida because, fortunately, the flooding and damage was not as serious as anticipated. However, the lessons learned during this deployment are expected to make any future deployments even more effective and efficient.

The City of Ann Arbor is especially proud of our firefighters, who joined the 36-member team from 22 fire departments across Michigan, for their dedicated service to helping those in need.

Stop.Think.Connect. 

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign about the importance of cybersecurity. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is leading the campaign to increase the understanding of cyber threats and to empower the American public to be safer and more secure online. 

Can you tell the difference between an online hoax/urban legend and the facts? Do you know how to avoid or fend off a cyberbully? Is that antivirus software popup real or a scam? Can you resist a phishing trap? For tips and more information to help ensure you stay safe in cyberspace, visit the Department of Homeland Security website

Election Day prep 

The General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 7, when voters will elect City Council members in all five wards. Washtenaw County-wide proposals are also on the ballot. All city polling places will be open 7 a.m.–8 p.m. 

Are you Election-Day ready? 

Make sure you're registered — To check your voter registration, visit the Michigan Voter Information Center. If you need to register, or if you have recently moved or changed your name, the final day to register to vote or to update your voter registration for the General Election is Tuesday, Oct. 10. 

Absentee voting — To check your absentee ballot status and view sample ballots, visit the Michigan Voter Information Center. You can visit the city clerk's office during special hours on Saturday, Nov. 4, 8 a.m.–2 p.m., for in-person absentee voting.

Precinct 1-4 (Ward 1, Precinct 4) voters — Due to construction scheduled at the Ann Arbor Community Center, 625 N. Main St., voters assigned to Precinct 1-4 will be assigned to a temporary polling place for the General Election at Community High School, 401 N. Division St. All affected voters in Precinct 1-4 have been sent a postcard notice alerting them of this temporary polling place change.

More information — Call the Ann Arbor City Clerk's office at 734.794.6140; or go online for General Election Day details

The Nov. 7 General Election will be the last odd-year Council election. Going forward, Council will begin staggered four-year terms, elected in even years. This 2017 election only will be for a three-year Council term.

Lookout! Deer-vehicle crashes increase in autumn  

While car-deer crashes occur any time of year, in all parts of Michigan, did you know that they are most prevalent during the fall, which is mating season? Be aware during October and November, especially, that deer travel in herds, in single file; and when one is seen, others may soon appear. Deer are most active at dawn and at dusk. In fact, about 80 percent of all car-deer crashes occur in two-lane roads between dusk and dawn. Below are more tips to help prevent car-deer crashes: 

  • Don't drive distracted: Be aware, awake, alert and sober when driving. 
  • Be especially alert during spring and fall, and at dawn and dusk. 
  • Pay attention to the speed limit, deer-crossing signs and scan the sides of the road. Slow down when you see a deer since you should expect more of them. 
  • Don't expect to deter deer by flashing your lights, using high beam or honking. 
  • If a crash is unavoidable — DON'T SWERVE. Brake firmly, hold onto the steering wheel, stay in your lane, and bring your vehicle to a controlled stop. 
  • If you hit a deer, pull over, turn on emergency flashers and call 911 if you are hurt or your vehicle is damaged. If the animal is injured, call the Humane Society of Huron Valley's emergency rescue line at 734.661.3512.

For additional resources, please visit the city website.

Universal Access Playground now open at Gallup Park 

The new Universal Access Playground (UAP) at the City of Ann Arbor's Gallup Park opened to much fanfare last month. The UAP offers children with disabilities limitless opportunities to gain self-confidence and greater independence. Additionally, caregivers with disabilities have the chance for their children to play, where they, too, can engage, supervise and interact together with them, as never before. 

Go online to learn more about the playground's equipment and features that make it a unique and welcoming recreation area for all.

Fall fun in A2

Halloween Trick-or-treat times

For participating residents, trick-or-treating will take place in Ann Arbor neighborhoods 5–8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31. As a safety reminder, parents and guardians should supervise their trick-or-treaters, and children should stay in neighborhoods that are well lit and familiar to help keep this holiday fright free and full of fun. 

Volunteer patrols 

Oct. 30 (7–11 p.m.) and Oct. 31 (6–11 p.m.), Ann Arbor Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members, along with Washtenaw County Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), will be conducting safety patrols throughout the city. CERT and RACES team member vehicles will be clearly identified with rotating yellow lights and "Halloween patrol" and "CERT" signs.  

Events

In the meantime, celebrate the season with some autumnal awesomeness. Fall-themed and Halloween events (including some just for adults) are taking place in Ann Arbor throughout October:

Longest Hardest Day of Golf (for adults), Leslie Park Golf Course, 2120 Traver Road, Sunday, Oct. 15, 9:30 a.m. Cost: $80/team. Golfers, are you up for a challenge? Tee off from the "tips," and hit to pins that are placed in the hardest-possible locations — all while greens are sped up, and the weather could change the game! This two-person scramble includes greens fee, golf cart, continental breakfast, lunch and prizes. Preregistration required: www.a2gov.org/parksregister. For more information, call 734.794.6245.

Trick-or-Treat on the River at Gallup Canoe Livery, 3000 Fuller Road, Sunday, Oct. 15, anytime between noon and 5 p.m. Spend the afternoon enjoying the haunting fall beauty of the Huron River and trick-or-treating by canoe or kayak. Cost: $18 per boat. Feel free to dress up, and bring a bag. Keep an eye out for swamp monsters! In the event of inclement weather, please call 734.794.6240 before heading to the event. Help wanted! Volunteers are needed to pass out candy and run games at the themed stations: pirates, witches, swamp monster, forest animals and more. The costumes will be provided, although you can also bring your own — just let the city's volunteer program, Give365, know what your costume is in advance. To get involved, email or call 734.794.6445.

Animal Haunts at Leslie Science & Nature Center, Saturday, Oct. 21, 6–8 p.m. Children ages 12 and under and their families can celebrate Halloween with LSNC's non-scary, candy-free Animal Haunts. Take a guided hike through Black Pond Woods, where costumed interpreters bring plants and animals from northern Michigan to life by sharing natural history facts and stories. There will be festive fun with harvest crafts, a hay jump and more. Come in costume! Registration is required, by Saturday, Oct. 14. An adult-themed Animal Haunts events just for the age 21+ crowd will be held Friday, Oct. 20, 7–9 p.m. Registration is required, by Saturday, Oct. 13.

Harvest Week Celebration at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market (315 Detroit St.), Wednesday, Oct. 25, 10 a.m.–noon. Join Chef Nic Sims from the The Jefferson Market edibleWOW Magazine and Taste The Local Difference for a cooking demonstration using seasonal ingredients from Ann Arbor Farmers Market vendors. 

Ann Arbor Farmers Market Halloween Bash, Saturday, Oct. 28, noon–2 p.m. Face painting, pumpkin decorating and other festivities are planned in celebration of the harvest season. Children are encouraged to wear their costumes!   

Halloween Skate at Veterans Memorial Park Indoor Ice Arena (2150 Jackson Ave.), Saturday, Oct. 28, 1–2:30 p.m. Skate to the spooky sounds of Halloween. Prizes awarded for best costume! All ages welcomed. General admission rates apply.  

Fourth annual Olson Dog Park Happy Howl-a-ween Dog Party, Monday, Oct. 30, 4:30–6 p.m. Dog treats and fun are in store for your best friend. Costumes are encouraged, and a contest will select the best and most creative. Entry is free. An annual permit is required for access to the designated off-leash areas. Dog park permits/tags and licenses are on sale in the Ann Arbor City Clerk's office 8 a.m.–5 p.m. weekdays. 

More information on these events can be found in the new parks and recreation program guide (PDF).

New farmers market app launches

Wonder no more about which vendors are featured, what produce is at its peak, the hours and were to park at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market (315 Detroit St.). A new website and mobile app can now make your farmers market experience better than ever. Check it out at www.a2farmersmarket.org/

You can also visit the market in person, of course, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 7 a.m.–3 p.m., through December. Right now, enjoy flowers, apples, cider, coffee, corn, cheese, pesto, jam, herbs — not to mention all of the other fresh, local products the market has to offer. 

What's more, the Food Truck Rally is back, on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 5–8 p.m. Enjoy live music from Mark Mactic & Stephen Rahrig, kids activities and 13 trucks/carts serving up good eats. 

The market is once again partnering with Zero Waste Washtenaw for this event to drastically cut down on trash.

Here's another way to stay up to date with all the freshest market news … Become a fan of the Ann Arbor Farmers Market on Facebook

Good news

  • Financial technology company, SmartAsset, recently analyzed data on 512 cities to find the least–stressed cities in America. Taking into consideration a combination of positive and negative stress indicators, including physical activity, hours of sleep per night, hours of work per week and commute times, Ann Arbor comes in at No. 20. Learn more
  • For the second year in a row, Ann Arbor has been recognized for having the best tasting drinking water in Michigan by the Michigan section of the American Water Works Association (AWWA). The other finalists were Marquette Charter Township, Mancelona Area Sewer and Water Authority, City of Grand Haven and the Marion Howell Oceola Genoa Sewer and Water Authority. Cheers!

Washtenaw County Cleanup Day

If you've been cleaning out your attic, basement, closets or garage and have items to discard, here's your chance to do so, and in an environmentally safe way. For Washtenaw County residents only, the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner's Office, Board of Public Works, Eastern Michigan University, City of Ann Arbor and Superior Township are sponsoring the Washtenaw County Cleanup Day Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at the Eastern Michigan University Parking lot across from Rynearson Stadium, 799 N. Hewitt in Ypsilanti. Please consider a minimum donation of $10 to help support this effort.

What to bring

  • Traditional recyclable materials (glass, cardboard, plastic, paper, scrap metal).
  • Appliances (refrigerator, dryer, a/c unit, etc.).
  • Household hazardous materials (paint, pesticides, cleaning supplies, oil, etc.).
  • Tires. Bring four tires for free. A donation of $5 for each additional tire is requested.
  • Electronics (TV, computer, etc.). Bring one TV, computer or appliance for free. A donation of $10 for each additional item is requested.
  • Bulky household items (mattress, furniture, etc.).
  • Construction and demolition waste (drywall, concrete, wood, bricks, etc.).
  • No household garbage will be accepted!

For more information, go online or call 734.222.3810.

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Special ​​​Accomodati​​​​ons

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.

All persons 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; via email to: cityclerk@a2gov.org; or by written request addressed and mailed or delivered to: City Clerk's Office  |  301 E. Huron St.  |  Ann Arbor, MI 48104 

Requests made with less than two business days notice may not be able to be accommodated.

City ​​​Missi​​on ​​

The city's ​mi​​ssion is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.​​ 

​Ann Arbor has 119,000 residents, spans 28.82 square miles and is frequently recognized as a foremost place to live, learn, work, thrive and visit. To keep up with City of Ann Arbor information, subscribe for email updates, follow us on Twitter or become a city fan on Facebook

​City Co​​un​cil

​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 Ad​​​mi​​​nistration