45th Anniversary of Americans in Orbit!

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Forty-five years ago today, John Glenn successfully completed the first American manned orbital mission aboard Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962.
To celebrate the anniversary of this event, NASA has added some interactive features to their website. Visit nasa.gov to take an inside look at the Friendship 7, explore bios and a photo gallery, and conduct virtual interviews with the surviving Mercury astronauts. You can also watch a 30 minute special online on NASA TV: 45th Anniversary of Americans in Orbit, at 7pm on February 20th.

Circus and theater combine in this production of "Alice in Wonderland"

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One Chicago theater company, Lookingglass Theater, is setting out to combine theater, dance, music and circus into a production of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. The play, called "Lookingglass Alice," is currently playing at New York's New Victory Theater. The next stop of the tour is in Philadelphia's Arden Theatre in May and then the troup returns home to Chicago in June. For more information you can read an article on NPR that discusses the acrobatics in the play, or check the Lookingglass Theater's website for images, video and tour dates.

Keep The Heat On

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The State of Michigan has a new website, Be Winterwise, to assist qualifying seniors and low-income customers who may be eligible for help in paying heating bills. The 2007 Michigan Energy Assistance Directory, developed by the Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm, provides information on private and public programs that offer energy assistance, and a county by county listing of utilities, programs and resources available. There’s also energy savings tips for your home and energy efficient products lists.

Senior Resource Alliance Update

The Senior Resource Alliance of Washtenaw has changed its name. It is now the SR Alliance of Washtenaw. This local organization is a member of the Society of Certified Seniors, a national group of accredited advisors to seniors.

This consortium of county service providers helps seniors in a variety of ways from estate planning to home remodeling. By their joining together seniors benefit from cross referrals to the right professional expert. And there is no charge for this help!

For more information call 1-800-385-1273.

Calling All Bird Counters

Join beginners and experts in the 10th annual Great Backyard Bird Count Feb. 16-19, 2007. Take part wherever you are – at home, in school, at a local park. Have a field guide to Michigan birds handy. For extra fun, try identifying our feathered friends by their birdsongs.

SPARK a New Career in Ann Arbor

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Looking for a new career direction? Considering starting your own business? Then attend one of the Ann Arbor SPARK Career Change Boot Camps. These Boot Camps will provide an intensive one-day opportunity to learn from area experts, obtain information about resources and obtain one-on-one mentoring. Register online or call 734-761-9317 for more information on the many services offered through SPARK.

State of the State Address

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Governor Jennifer M. Granholm's State of the State Address laid our her vision for Michigan in her 2nd and final term of office. Granholm cited the Emergency Financial Advisory Panel Report as a starting point for legislation and initiatives to solve Michigan's budget crisis. The Executive Budget will be released on Thursday, Feb. 8th.

Make It a Michigan Career

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Look no further than the Michigan Career Portal for employment and training opportunities in Michigan. This one-stop-shopping site provides hundreds of links to job postings, career guidance, local labor market data and a wide range of services for job seekers who want to make their future here in Michigan.

Cabin Fever Relievers

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Cross-country ski by lantern light at Hartwick Pines State Park on Saturday Feb. 10th and Saturday Feb. 24th, 6 to 9 p.m. It’s free and you can call 989-348-2537 for up-to-the-minute ski conditions. Closer to home, the Hudson Mills Metropark’s 3.5-mile paved hike/bike trail is cleared all winter for walking, jogging and cycling. Something even warmer in mind? Walk, swim, dribble and dance at the Meri Lou Murray Recreation Center on Washtenaw Ave.

22 Hours and Counting

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NASA Astronaut Sunita L. Williams set a record Sunday for most total time spacewalking by a woman. Her record is 22 hours and 27 minutes but she has another spacewalk scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 8th. Future woman astronauts can launch their career by attending a Sally Ride Science Festival. Details of the University of Michigan festival are still in the works but plan on one for Fall, 2007.

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