Make it a Michigan Holiday

Planning on getting a tree, wreath or roping this holiday season? The Michigan Department of Agriculture has tips for selecting and caring for Michigan-grown greenery. You can cut your own at a Michigan Christmas tree farm. To get in the holiday mood, visit the Michigan Historical Center. They’ve decked the halls with holiday trimmings and added special winter and holiday displays throughout the galleries. The kids can make decorations for your Michigan tree at the Center’s WinterFest Arts & Crafts Extravaganza this Saturday, Dec. 2nd.

Bag Those Leaves!

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Weekly curbside collection of residential yard waste compostables ends next Friday, Dec. 1st. If you don’t have time to make the deadline but still have leaves to get out of the way before we’re buried in snow, take them to the Drop Off Station for only $2 a bag. And don’t forget, due to Thanksgiving, trash collections will occur one day later than the usual weekly collection date.

Director Robert Altman dies at 81

Robert AltmanRobert Altman

Five-time Oscar nominee, Robert Altman, known for such classic films as M*A*S*H, Nashville, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Short Cuts, The Player, Gosford Park and this year's A Prairie Home Companion, has died at the age of 81. Altman was known for his trademark directing style that involved ensemble casts, long tracking shots and overlapping dialogue. Read the obituary on CNN.

Fore!!!

Shepard (a14)Shepard (a14)

In 1971, Apollo 14 Commander, Alan Shepard fitted a makeshift eight iron head to the handle of a lunar sample collection device and became the first golfer on the moon. On Wednesday, November 22, 2006, Russian flight engineer, Mikhail Tyurin, will once again bring the sport to space. A Canadian golf club maker, E21, is paying the Russian Federal Space Agency an undisclosed sum for Tyurin’s time. He will be hitting a golf ball from a spring-mounted tee on the ladder next to the hatch of the Russian docking compartment of the International Space Station. The ball will be hit over the back of the station to ensure that it does not damage it.

For live coverage of the ISS Expedition 14 spacewalk visit NASA’s website. The broadcast begins at 5 pm with the spacewalk scheduled for 6 pm. You can also find more information (and the promise of a video clip) at E21’s website.

In preparation for your next trip into space, check out the library’s collection of golf books and DVDs to improve your swing.

Blonde, James Bond

So far critics and fans alike are giving Casino Royale a big thumbs up. EW's Owen Gleiberman gives it a straight 'A' and its current ranking on the Internet Movie Database is 8.2. Contrary to expectations (and despite the hair color), Daniel Craig apparently puts a grittier spin on 007 that's not unwelcome to fans of the decades-old franchise. Still holding a torch for Sean Connery? AADL has just purchased new box sets of all the previous James Bond films.

That Growling in Your Stomach

Is NOT, repeat NOT hunger, according to the Committee on National Statistics. Instead, 35 million Americans last year experienced “low food security” and 10.8 million experienced “very low food security” per the 2005 Household Food Security in the United States report by the USDA. “Hunger” has been banished from the federal government lexicon as “too amorphous.” The U.S. Conference of Mayors, however, continues to count hungry people as “hungry.” Look for their new report in early December. Speaking of banished words, check out the annual lists of banished words from Lakes Superior State College.

Project Grow Gardens

If you don't have the space to plant your own flowers and vegetables, you might want to contact Project Grow. You can fill out an application for one of the organization's community gardens online. They are available now!

Hard copies of the applications will be available in the winter newsletter, coming out in late January or early February 2007.

You can also call 734-996-3169 for more information.

It's never too early to start dreaming about next year's garden and its bountiful pleasures.

Feeling Crafty?

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This Fall, the makers of Make magazine released a new creation, Craft magazine. If you are a current crafter or aspiring to become one, take a look at their wonderful website. It contains a blog where crafters post photos of their creations and often instructions for you to make them too.

Want even more information on crafting? The library has hundreds of instructional craft books for you to check out.

Not a do-it-yourselfer? Don’t fret; you can jump on the craft bandwagon by supporting local artists at the upcoming Winter Shadow Art Fair in Ypsilanti. This two day event runs Friday, December 1 (8pm to midnight) and Saturday, December 2 (11am to 8pm) at the Corner Brewery. Visit the website for more information.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

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The new Washtenaw County Trial Court web site is now in session. Potential jurors can check the web site to see if they need to report, read the Juror's Handbook and get directions to the Courthouse. The Calendar link lists the docket for each Trial Court and is updated daily. Over 150 web pages are available on every division of the Courts.

Open for Business

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Hurrah! West Stadium is back – no more cones or detour lanes. Cranberry muffins at the Portofino Coffee House, grandbaby books at Nicola’s, fresh peanut butter at Arbor Farms Market, door knobs to die for at Expressions in Hardware, gourmet stoves at Big George’s, down home meals at Zingerman’s Road House. Ace Hardware (best tablecloths in town), University Aquarium & Pet Shop (love those crazy cats), too many merchants to list. Take a drive down beautiful, smooth, West Stadium Boulevard and shop ‘til you drop.

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