Ann Arbor Area Community News
In just a few weeks Washtenaw County voters will decide on a proposed 2-mill enhancement millage.
If passed the millage would raise about $680 per student in the county according to Brian Marcel of the Washtenaw Intermediate School District.
The 2 mill tax mean that a homeowner with a $200,000 house with a taxable value of $100,000 would pay $200 more a year.
The campaign comes after each of Washtenaw County’s 10 traditional school districts passed resolutions asking that this be put on the ballot and as the state.
Proponents argue that the millage is important in the face of state cuts to school spending, that it is important to keep Washtenaw County’s economy from slipping further, and that per-pupil funding from the state has decreased 9 percent since 1994, after inflation.
That’s what they say. What do you say?
City Council: Monday, October 5 at 7:00 pm.
City Council: Monday, September 21 at 7:00 pm.
This is a little ways off, but mark your calendars now!
Art and Abilities: Investing in Ability Week—Oct. 19 – 31, 2009
Presented by the University of Michigan Council for Disability Concerns
For dates, times and locations and information on all events visit
Fourth Annual Symposium on Mental Health in the Workplace: Anxiety Disorders in the Workplace: What are they and how do they influence the workplace?
Dogs, dogs, dogs…and how they help! Meet service, assistance, and therapy dogs (and pups in training).
Afterwards: Expressive Writing for Veterans: A peer support group at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System where veterans learn to use writing to work through difficult emotions. Sixteen veterans have participated in the group since May 2008.
Many Ways of Doing Art Collaboration: Observe the partnership between the UM School of Art and Design and the AACIL as people with disabilities working with art students create clay sculptures.
Adaptive Technology Computing Site Open House: Screen magnifiers/readers/scanners, including Talking Points (location info via cellphone) and Wheel-Able (provides accessibility info about UM)
Panel on Deafness: Personal Perspectives: Dr. Philip Zazove, Nan Asher, Julianne Bonta, Taurean “Tar” Burt, Alan Lobdell and Pam McGuinty.
Understanding Autism and Creative Play: Working with children with autism can also teach us how to improve the quality of our lives. Michard Solomon, M.D., Medical Director of the PLAY (Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters)
And more events at the website here
If accommodations are needed, contact disability@umich.
Contact Person: Anna Schnitzer
City Council: Tuesday, September 8 at 7:00 pm.
Advance Ypsilanti has put out the call about a special Ypsi city council meeting on Tuesday, September 8:
They have also posted the proposed service cuts.
There’s a backstory to this. Part of the reason for the shortfall in Ypsi funding is that the AATA changed the way it charges other municipalities to provide service.
In addition to the Ypsi Council meeting, the AATA Board next meets on Sept 23 at 1:00 p.m.
What do you think should happen? Should Ypsi cough up the money? Should the AATA pony up to cover the shortfall? Should the service cuts go through?
I received the following this afternoon from “firstname.lastname@example.org”. SGA2 urges attendance at tonight’s community open house for the A2D2 design guidelines draft, 7-9pm at the Kerrytown Concert House (415 N. Fourth), as well as the Sept. 14 joint working session of Council, Planning Commission, and the DDA. The design guidelines draft is available from the City’s A2D2 webpages.
SGA2 pitches its take into this site’s ever popular discussion topic of downtown development and design – the message appears to be very open to new development, including large/tall development, “but again, only if there is at least some basic level of protection against future buildings that will hurt the downtown experience further,” and expresses alarm that the current draft would make design review voluntary for developers.
The complete message after the cut…
Over the last few years, there has been a lot of talk about a conference center in downtown Ann Arbor. Although there are several places to have a meeting, there really isn’t much that really fits the conference center description, especially downtown.
In addition to published reports, rumors have swirled over the years that Bill Martin wants to build a conference center on the Brown Block, but nothing has come of that so far. More recently, there was a lot of interest over plans released for a local conference center.
As so often happens in Ann Arbor, reception to the idea of a conference center has been mixed, with people vehemently in the pro and con camps. I have heard people say they think it is the worst possible thing that could happen to downtown, while others say it is the best possible way to keep downtown viable. Reaction is so mixed that one wonders if some people are thinking of a large industrial convention center like Cobo Hall or DeVos Place while others are thinking of a smaller hotel and conference center like the Fort Shelby in Detroit or the beautiful St. Julien in Boulder (built over a 650-space public underground parking structure).
Of course, left out of much of the discussion is the plans of the University. Currently, the University has some conference space, but only 21 rooms . The other Big 10 schools have at least one hotel and conference center or several hotels within walking distance of campus. The University has lots of land and infrastructure on North Campus and married student housing is not doing well. Even if the U doesn’t want to build their own hotel, there are several hotel chains that might be willing to fund much of the building costs for an on-campus conference center. Needless to say, if they do build their own conference center, the City will not benefit anywhere nearly as much as if a conference center was built on city-owned land.
So what do you think? Does Ann Arbor need a conference center? Should it be downtown? Should the University build their own? If there is a conference center, what would you like to see be part of it? If you are opposed to it, why? If you are for it, why?
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