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A2 City News Resident Newsletter

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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.

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A2 City News, October​​ 2019​​​​​​​​​​ (PDF), Volume 13, Number 10 (originally distributed Sept. 30, 2019, via email to "re​​​​sident newsletter: A2 City News" subscribers)​​

For Fire Prevention Week and bey​ond, remember, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan​ and Practice Your Escape!™"

The Ann Arbor Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) to promote the 2019 Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!" The campaign emphasizes the small, but important, actions everyone can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

According to NFPA statistics U.S. fire departments responded to 357,000 home structure fires in 2017. Those fires caused 2,630 fire deaths and 10,600 fire injuries. On average, seven people died in a fire in a home per day during 2012 to 2016.

NFPA notes that, in a typical home fire, there may be as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. The organization adds that escape planning and practice can help make the most of that time, providing enough time to get out.

While NFPA and the Ann Arbor Fire Department are focusing on home fires, these messages apply to virtually any location.

“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go," said Ann Arbor Fire Chief Mike Kennedy. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately."

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.firepreventionweek.org. Find the Ann Arbor Fire Department online at www.a2gov.org/fire.

Quality Water​​ Matters

The October issue of A2H2O: Quality Water Matters (PDF) provides: the most recent water quality tests data as well as PFAs regulation updates and how the city is engaged in the regulatory process. View previous QWM issues.

Official w​​​elcome

City of Ann Arbor Police Chief Michael Cox was sworn in on Sept. 24. His family was also on hand for the special occasion. See images from the event on the Ann Arbor Police Department Facebook page.

Public w​​​orks open house

Go behind the scenes of City of Ann Arbor public works! A family-friendly open house event will take place Saturday, Oct. 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Wheeler Service Center, 4251 Stone School Road in Ann Arbor, 48108. Guests can get an up-close look at city vehicles, including a street sweeper, solid waste vehicles and other heavy-duty trucks from the city's fleet. There will also be hands-on activities, demonstrations, crafts and more at the free event. Learn more at www.a2gov.org/publicworks.

Fall​​ fun in A2

Ha​lloween Trick-or-treat times

For participating residents, trick-or-treating will take place in Ann Arbor neighborhoods 5–8 p.m. on Thursday, 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.

Ev​​ents

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

Sunday, Oct. 13, noon-5 p.m. — Trick-or-Treat on the River, Gallup Canoe Livery, 3000 Fuller Road. Spend the afternoon enjoying the haunting fall beauty of the Huron River and trick-or-treating by canoe or kayak. Paddle up and down Gallup Pond to encounter friendly creatures handing out treats and candy. Feel free to dress up, bring a bag to collect your candy, and keep an eye out for swamp monsters and pirates. Enjoy lawn games at the canoe livery and make s'mores, too! The last boat to leave the livery will be 4 p.m. If the weather is questionable (forecasting rain), please call 734.794.6240 after 9 a.m. Oct. 13 for the event status. To volunteer at this event, please sign up online

Saturday, Oct. 19 (time TBD) — Ann Arbor Farmers Market Harvest Festival, 315 Detroit St. Experience glass blowing at the market with the Glass Academy. See how artisans create glass works of art, and try it yourself. Pumpkins will be made to celebrate harvest season.

Saturday Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. — Ann Arbor Farmers Market Halloween Bash, 315 Detroit St. GIVE 365 partners with the market for free face painting, pumpkin decorating, treat stations, and other festivities in celebration of Halloween. Children are encouraged to wear their costumes!

Saturday, Oct. 26, 1-2:30 p.m. — Halloween Skate at Veterans Memorial Indoor Ice Arena, 2150 Jackson Ave. Skate to the spooky sounds of Halloween. Best costume prizes will be awarded at this fun-for-all-ages event. General admission rates apply.

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

Help wanted

Enjoy the water? And people? City of Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation is hiring! In particular, a variety of great positions are now open at Mack Indoor Pool (715 Brooks St.) including jobs for swim instructors, lifeguards, head and assistant swim coaches and more. Visit www.a2gov.org/jobs to view the complete list (at Mack and throughout the city) and apply online! 

Share input to shape short-term rental propert​​​​y policy

The City of Ann Arbor is considering policies to regulate short-term rental properties, such as those booked via companies like AirBnB and VRBO. In order to create policies appropriate for Ann Arbor, the city will gather input from residents during three public meetings. The meeting agenda will include examples from other communities and options for Ann Arbor. Light refreshments will be available. Children are welcome.

  • Sunday, Oct. 6, 2-4 p.m. — Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) Westgate Branch, Westside Room, 2503 Jackson Ave. (AAATA bus routes 28, 30 and 32A).
  • Thursday, Oct. 10, 6-8 p.m. — AADL Traverwood Branch, Traverwood Program Room, 3333 Traverwood Drive (AAATA bus route 22).
  • Saturday, Oct. 12, 9:30-11:30 a.m. (library opens at 9 a.m.)  AADL Mallets Creek Branch, Mallets Creek Program Room, 3090 E. Eisenhower Parkway (AAATA bus routes 5 and 24).

In addition, feedback and questions may be directed to Brett Lenart of City of Ann Arbor Planning Services at 734.794.6265 or planning@a2gov.orgMore information is also available online. ​

Centennial Playground ​​maintenance

Improvements are being made to the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor Centennial Playground in Gallup Park. Weather permitting, work will take place during the first half of October. Only portions of the play structure will be closed, so park-goers are encouraged to enjoy the remainder of the playground and park in the meantime. The city thanks patrons for their patience during the short-term inconvenience. Questions can be directed to Hillary Hanzel, park planner and landscape architect, at hhanzel@a2gov.org or 734.794.6230 ext. 42548.

Controlle​d burns to resume in city parks

City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (NAP) will be conducting controlled ecological burns in local natural areas between Oct. 16 and Dec. 20. Burns are conducted on weekdays between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., weather permitting. On the day of a controlled burn, signs will be posted around the park, and staff will be available on site for questions. The fire will be under control at all times.

Curious about controlled burns? A public meeting and Q & A is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 15, 7–8:30 p.m., at the Natural Area Preservation office, 3875 E. Huron River Drive. If you are unable to attend and would like to learn more, contact NAP at 734.794.6627 or visit a2gov.org/NAPburn

Remind​​​​​er texts from 15D

The 15th District Court has recently launched a new application provided by the Judicial Information Services division of the State of Michigan Court Administrative Office. The service allows the court to send text reminders on traffic, criminal and civil cases for court hearing dates or payment due dates to those who want them. Hearing reminders are sent two business days prior to the hearing; payment reminders are sent three business days prior to the due date.

Individuals can sign up for the service with the court clerk's office in person or over the phone or by filling out a reminders sign-up form when appearing in a courtroom. The service can be terminated at any time by speaking with a clerk or by replying “Stop" to one of the reminder texts. Non-public cases are excluded as are any phone numbers that do not contain a U.S. or Canadian area code.

Avoid a deer-vehicl​​e crash

Travelling around the area to enjoy autumn's colors? Be on the lookout for deer. Animal collisions rise dramatically in the fall when deer are mating and the days are shortening, increasing the overlap of when deer are most active and when people are driving. Driver awareness is key, but sometimes in our day-to-day lives, distractions overcome even the most mindful of drivers. View these deer-vehicle collision reminders (PDF) to ensure you have a safe commute, no matter where you are, and what steps to take should a deer collision occur. 

November​​ election notes

The Public Schools of the City of Ann Arbor has called a special election for Nov. 5, 2019. The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 5 Special Election by mail, or with any designated voter registration agency (e.g., county clerk, Secretary of State branch office, etc.), is Oct. 21, 2019. After this date, voters can still register in person at the city clerk's office with proof of residency until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

The Ann Arbor City Clerk's Office will be open for in-person voter registration and absentee ballot requests on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Anyone registering to vote within 14 days of an election will be required to provide proof of residency.

Questions about elections in Ann Arbor may be directed to the city clerk's office at 734.794.6140. Information can also be found on the elections website

Sha​​pe your future. Start here.

Make sure you're counted in the 2020 Census! All responses are confidential; and, for the first time, you will be able to complete your census form online. Beginning in March 2020, households will get an invitation in the mail to respond to the census — either online or with an enclosed paper questionnaire.

Responses to the census, any manner in which they are collected, are:

  • Important to our community because it affects the allocation of funding for our public resources, how we plan for the future and our voice in government.
  • Only used to produce statistics — responses cannot be used against you in any way.
  • Safe, secure and protected by federal law. All responses to the U.S. Census Bureau are strictly required to be kept completely confidential.

To learn more, visit 2020census.gov.

CTN spotligh​t on …

The latest episode of CTN's original program, Ann Arbor Inclusive, features the Michigan Chapter of The National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Chec​k it out!

Produced in conjunction with the City of Ann Arbor Commission on Disability Issues, Ann Arbor Inclusive explores topics of interest to community members with abilities of every level, focusing on awareness and education. Do you have an idea for a future Ann Arbor Inclusive? Please share your input for upcoming guests and topics with one of the show's producers, Linda Evans, or contact CTN.

Watch past episodes to learn more about this series (search: Ann Arbor Inclusive). 

Washte​​naw 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 (and no businesses), the Washtenaw County Board of Public Works, the Office of the Water Resources Commissioner and local municipalities are sponsoring the Washtenaw County Cleanup Day Saturday, Nov. 9, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. at the Eastern Michigan University Parking lot across from Rynearson Stadium, 799 N. Hewitt in Ypsilanti. Please consider a minimum donation of $15 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 (not on rims).
  • Electronics (TV, computer, etc.). 
  • Bulky household items (mattress, furniture, etc.).
  • *Construction and demolition waste (drywall, wood, etc.). No househld garbage, bricks, concrete, asphalt or shingl​​​​es will be accepted. (*This information has been updated, on 10/03/2019.)

Please only bring waste that your party can unload on your own within 20 minutes. No full trailers greater than 8 feet long. You may have to lift your items above head height for disposal. For complete details and important notes, go online, see the e​vent flyer (PDF) or call 734.222.3950.

Good ne​​​ws!

CityLab has developed a Metro Car-Free Index, and is naming Ann Arbor the No. 1 U.S. place to live car free. Their ranking is based on four key variables: the share of households without access to their own vehicle, the share of commuters who use transit to get to and from work, the share of biking commuters, and the share of commuters who walk to work. CityLab describes themselves as the hub for urban leaders who seek to understand their cities' development, promise and struggles. Learn who else made the list.

See the ​​​​Greenbelt from above

Each year, 30-40 city residents attend the City of Ann Arbor Greenbelt Program bus tour. The bus tour is a unique opportunity for residents to see, first-hand, some of the beautiful farms and natural areas that have been preserved by the Greenbelt Program.

If you have not had the chance to attend an annual bus tour, or if registration filled too quickly, don't worry – you're in luck! The Greenbelt Program has started to post virtual tours online. With the help of a drone, city residents can now take a bird's-eye tour of properties preserved by the Greenbelt Program. Check the page from time to time, as more videos will be added as the seasons change and more properties are preserved. We hope you enjoy the tours!​

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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​