How High, How Many ~ Revising the City Code Public Meeting


The City of Ann Arbor will hold a Area, Height and Placement Public Meeting on Wednesday, May 27th, 6:30 ~ 8:00 p.m. at CTN Studios to discuss proposed amendments to the City Code. Five ward public meeting will following this community-wide disucssion of building heights, setbacks, street width, parking lots, parking meters, mass transit and sidewalks. Bring your ideas, your questions and get involved in planning your city's future. For more information contact Jeff Kahan, City Planner at or 734.794.6265 ext 42614.

Follow the Money


There's a new tool for finding out where your tax dollars go and it's easy and fun (really) to use. covers where federal contracting dollars and grant awards go. The Transparency Act of 2006 required the government to create this online access tool. There are great search options, pre-configured lists and tables of all kinds and comparability tools. One of the sponsors of this legislation? Your next president.

Thomas A. La Veist will speak at the University of Michigan

Thomas A. La VeistThomas A. La Veist

Research Scientist, Author and Public Speaker Thomas A. La Veist will be in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health on Tuesday, November 18th 3:30 - 5:00 pm. The event is sponsored by the Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health and co sponsored by the Program for Research on Black Americans and the MICHR(Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research)/Health Disparities Research Program at the University of Michigan. Mr. La Veist will be speaking on Disentangling Race and Socioeconomic Status: Advancing Understanding of Race Disparities in Health.

Statewide Ballot Proposals Analysis


The most trusted name in non-partisan legislative research in Michigan, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has produced analyses and summaries of the two proposals that will appear on the statewide Nov. 4 ballot. The MSU Extension Service has also produced a short analysis of the proposals. Proposal 01 would allow under state law the medical use of marijuana and Proposal 02 would permit--with certain limitations--stem cell research in Michigan.

Pedal Power

Hey Commuter Challenge enthusiasts! Check out the book Pedal Power: The Quiet Rise of the Bicycle in American Public Life. DePaul University Professor J. Harry Wray takes a look at how the simple act of riding a bike may impact perceptions of the world. Professor Wray says, "Because the world is experienced in a different way on a bike than it is in a car, the rider inevitably thinks of that world differently than does the driver." (page 18). The author had the idea for the "Biking and Politics" class in which he and his students ride 35 miles through the South and West side of Chicago.

In the News, Give Your View


Liquor licenses have been in the news of late in Ann Arbor and the City has recently been granted 807 "downtown development area" liquor licenses. The City Council Liquor Committee would like your input on how best to proceed with these new licenses and they're holding a Special Public Meeting, Wednesday, May, 21, 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

True Crime Meets Autobiography

True Crime meets autobiography in The Butterfly Garden, a striking and capturing book about a boy's experiences living as the son of one of America's Most Wanted. Chip St. Clair was always told not to open the trunk in his father's bed room, but one day he did and his life was never the same again. What he found in the trunk was false documents as well as possible trophies from children his father had murdered in the past... several baby teeth, phony birth certificates, forged credit card and student loan paperwork and family photographs with cryptic messages written on the back. Chip's entire life--his name, even his date of birth--had been a lie, and the man he called 'Dad' was an impostor, an escaped child killer who had been on the run for over two decades. The stunning revelation would send one of America's Most Wanted to justice and another on a quest for his true identity.

"With chilling detail and a riveting, lyrical narrative, The Butterfly Garden reveals St. Clair's struggle to piece together his haunted past before it consumes him and shares his inspiring metamorphosis from victim to victim's advocate. The Butterfly Garden is a timeless triumph, a reminder that hope can be the most powerful of all emotions, freeing us to soar despite the past and the odds against us."

2008 Property Assessments: The Story Behind the Story


Proposal A may confuse and confound us in new ways this year as local governments wrestle with changes in assessed and taxable value. The City of Ann Arbor has a press release that explains the process and provides helpful examples for homeowners. The City Assessor's web page has an FAQ and Online Assessment and Property Tax Database where you can look up info on your property.

State of the State Address


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.

Historic Preservation – The Revised Edition


The City of Ann Arbor is holding public meetings to discuss proposed revisions to the Historic Preservation ordinance, Chapter 103. The meetings will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16th at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers and Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. at Bach Elementary School. The meetings will explain the proposed changes, how they will affect our community and provide an opportunity for residents to comment on the draft ordinance.

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