Post Offices Closed January 2, 2007

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Mail service will be suspended Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007, the U.S. Postal Service announced. President Bush has ordered federal agencies to close that day out of respect for the memory of former President Gerald R. Ford. There will be no regular mail deliveries or retail service at offices. Normal mail service will resume Wednesday, Jan. 3.

Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda

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Here we are at … the City of Ann Arbor’s Holiday Break Camp for kids ages 6 – 10 years old. The Bryant Community Center is the place to be 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Jan. 2 – 5, 2007. Lots of activities, lunches, snacks and field trips are included in the $50 resident fee. For more information contact Community Outreach at 994.2722.

President Gerald Ford 1913-2006

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Former President Gerald Ford, the only non-elected chief executive, died Tuesday, December 26, 2006. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor provide exhibits, history and papers of Michigan’s only president and his family. The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press have extensive coverage of the President's life.

Books to Films (Holiday Releases)

Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, and Michael Caine starred in this adaptation of P. D. James’ The Children of Men, set in near-future London when all human males have become sterile. Historian Theo Faron is asked to join a band of revolutionaries--a move that may hold the key to humanity's survival. (December 25th)

Perfume: The Story of A Murderer is about one man’s pursuit of the perfect perfume, but the indulgence in his rare gift and greatest passion - his sense of smell - leads to murder. Based on the 1986 acclaimed bestseller and international sensation by Patrick Suskind. The novel is a brilliant, powerful, and gripping page-turner. (December 27th)

Zoë Heller’s Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel What Was She Thinking?:Notes on a Scandal is beautifully captured in this film adaptation.
When Sheba Hart's love affair with an underage male student comes to light, school teacher Barbara Covett decides to write an account of the affair in her friend's defense, in the process revealing not only Sheba's secrets, but also her own. The film boasts a stellar cast with Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett. (Limited release December 27. Watch the papers for local release date.)

The Painted Veil is a remake of the 1934 Greta Garbo film, inspired by W. Somerset Maugham’s masterpiece.
Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, it is the story of the beautiful but love-starved Kitty Fane (Naomi Watts), who is forced to accompany her husband (played by Edward Norton) to the heart of a cholera epidemic, where she reassesses her life and learns how to love. (December 29th)

There is a Santa Claus…

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Apollo 8, Launched on December 21, 1968, was the first manned mission to leave Earth orbit and head for the moon. After ten lunar orbits it was time to go home. To get back on the right path, the crew had to perform the Trans-Earth Injection burn while on the far side and out of radio contact with NASA. Everything went as planned, and when radio contact was restored (at the precise time calculated by NASA engineers) this was the transmission:

Apollo 8: Houston, Apollo 8. Over.
Mission Control: Hello, Apollo 8. Loud and clear.
Apollo 8: Please be informed there is a Santa Claus.
Mission Control: That's affirmative. You're the best ones to know.

It was December 25.

If NASA’s authority isn’t enough to convince you, take a look at NORAD’s (North American Aerospace Defense Command) Santa Tracker website. They’ve been tracking the jolly old elf since 1955 using state of the art radar equipment.

New Year’s Resolution: A Healthier County

The Washtenaw County Health Improvement Plan has released the
2005 Health Indicators Survey. We’re smoking less but eating more, our blood pressure is going up and we’re not exercising as much as we did in 1995. So let’s get going walking, biking, hiking, and eating better.

Whitefish Wipeout Worries

Anyone who’s spent even one weekend Up North knows that whitefish is the mainstay of lakeshore restaurants. A Great Lakes Radio Consortium story warns that our beloved whitefish are threatened by an invasion of Quaggas who are eating the whitefish’s favorite food, diporeia. The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory is researching the invasion and what we can do to assure the whitefish maintains its hallowed status on Michigan menus.

And Through the Metropark Woods

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Add a ride over the meadows and through the woods on your Christmas Day travels this year. Entry fees will be waived on Christmas Day, Monday, December 25, at all 13 Metroparks for “Christmas Appreciation Day.”

All Metroparks will be open, including use of all trails and paths, on Christmas Day. The eight Interpretive Center buildings and two Farm Learning Centers will be closed. Sledding hills and cross-country ski trails will be open if there is snow.

For more information, call the Huron-Clinton Metroparks at 1-800-477-2757.

Virtual Snowflakes!

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Create your own virtual snowflake and make a difference. Popular Front, a website design company out of Minneapolis, will increase its donation to the Salvation Army based on the number of snowflakes created between now and the end of the year. Tis' the season for giving.

Santa Takes Your Calls

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Watch Santa take calls from boys and girls LIVE on Thursday, Dec. 14, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. on CTN Station 17. Call Santa at 734-997-1050 with your list (after you've checked it twice) during this special 2-hour telecast from the Santa Satellite Network.

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