Buy Local Week, December 4-10

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Organized by Think Local First of Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti will celebrate Buy Local Week, December 4-10 along with many other communities across the country. Click here for a list of events.

During Buy Local Week,, you'll have a chance to win a $250 gift certificate to ANY of the independent, locally-owned businesses in Washtenaw County, as well 10 runner-up prizes.

Why buy local? Here are seven reasons to Think Local First.

While you are shopping at one of our wonderful independent, locally owned bookstores, don't forget our local authors. Happy Shopping!

Ann Arbor Now Offers Online Property Tax Payments

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Save time and stamps by paying your A2 property taxes online. There are no additional fees for using the ACH online option. Want to find out more about your property? Check out the city’s Assessment and Property Tax Data site and the county’s Property/Parcel Lookup site. You’ll find plenty of data including assessment history, sales history, parcel description and more.

Public Parking Workshop

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The Downtown Development Authority will hold a Community Workshop on Wednesday, Dec. 6th, 6-8 p.m. to discuss a comprehensive strategy for downtown parking. Citizens are invited to participate in the open meeting in the Community Room of the DTE Building, 425 S. Main Street.

Civic Lessons

Could you pass the new Pilot Naturalization Exam? The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service has redesigned the test to focus on the principles of our nation rather than recitation of facts. The library has many resources to help guide you through the citizenship process.

Galens Tag Days

You know the holiday season has officially begun in Ann Arbor when you see the medical students in their bright red ponchos on almost every downtown street corner. Today and tomorrow (December 1 and 2) members of the UM Galens Medical Society will stand on street corners and near shopping areas in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti to raise money for Washtenaw County children's charities. After dropping your donation, don't forget to wear your Galens' tag!

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

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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!!!

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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.

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