Redistricting: A Discussion with Washtenaw County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum

Lawrence KestenbaumLawrence Kestenbaum

Following the US Census every ten years, new lines are drawn for congressional and legislative districts, county commission districts, and city council wards. We recently sat down with Washtenaw County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum, one of five members of the County Apportionment Commission to discuss the process of re-drawing the lines and the final plan that reduces the number of County Commission seats from 11 to 9. In this wide-ranging discussion Mr. Kestenbaum discusses the history of redistricting and politics in the county and the state as well as the likely scenarios for candidates in the newly combined commissioner districts. As many of you know, Mr. Kestenbaum also hosts one of the best (and funniest) political junkie websites out there, The Political Graveyard.

On Thursday, June 16th, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, at the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room, the AADL will host a panel discussion, Redistricting: It Matters to All of Us that will include include Mr. Kestenbaum, Jacqueline Beaudry, Ann Arbor City Clerk; Rep. Jeff Irwin, State Representative, 53rd District and Rep. Mark Ouimet, State Representative, 52nd District.

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The 11th Annual Mayor's Green Fair

Join us on Main Street, Ann Arbor for the Mayor's Green Fair this Friday, June 10th from 6 - 9 pm. Visit environmental exhibits (such as the Ecology Center and Lunasa) while enjoying free entertainment (The Tsars) and food (Pilar's Tamales and Silvio's Organic PizzaAnn Arbor Area Earth Day TreeAnn Arbor Area Earth Day Tree). Learn more about Clean Energy (for example, Hybrid Electric Home and BGreenToday), Green Commuting (for example, Michivan and Zipcar), and Biking (Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society, Michigan Mountain Biking Association, Potawatomi Chapter, and more).

For more information, please call the Mayor's Office at 734.794-6161 x 41602.

Redistricting: New Lines, New Choices

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Following the US Census every ten years, new lines are drawn for congressional and legislative districts, county commission districts, and city council wards. Although the population numbers changed little in Washtenaw County, there were shifts in where we live in the county.

Join us for a panel discussion on Thursday June 16, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room , co-sponsored by The League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area and The Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor, and find out how your city, county and state are making these decisions and how it might affect you. Panelists include Jacqueline Beaudry, Ann Arbor City Clerk; Lawrence Kestenbaum, Washtenaw County Clerk; Rep. Jeff Irwin, State Representative, 53rd District and Rep. Mark Ouimet, State Representative, 52nd District.

Get a sneak preview into the discussion with our latest podcast episode, AADL Talks To: Lawrence Kestenbaum.

June 1st is National Running Day

Whether you run every day and National Running Day is just another Wednesday to you, or if you haven't run since you were a kid but you think it might be (even a little bit) fun, today's a perfect day to lace up those shoes and go for a run. One of the most popular and beautiful places to run in Ann Arbor is Gallup Park, home to a paved, pancake flat, multi-use path that's easy to get to from the parking lots shown here, or you can run there if you're extra ambitious.

After your run, stop by the National Running Day website and post why you run on the scrolling inspire badge. Check out the sometimes funny, often motivating reasons why other people run, such as "I run because I like to eat. A LOT", "I run for cheap therapy", "I run because no one thought I could", and "I run so I can smile the rest of the day". The site also has 10 Ways to Celebrate National Running day, which applies to any day of the week.

The AADL has a great collection of running books and media for the first timer and for the veteran. Happy running!

Memorial Weekend Reminders from City Hall

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There will be no trash, recycling or compost collection services in Ann Arbor on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30. The Monday pickups will occur on Tuesday and the rest of the collections will occur one day later throughout the week. The normal Friday routes will be serviced on Saturday, June 4, 2011. City Hall offices and 15th District Court at 301 E. Huron, the Drop-Off Station at 2950 E. Ellsworth, and the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Compost Center at 4150 Platt Road will be closed on the Memorial Day Monday as well.

On the upside, parking is free downtown on Memorial Day so strolling Main Street and lingering over an iced mocha at your favorite coffeehouse are in order as WeatherUnderground is predicting a sunny, yes sunny, Monday with a high of 85 degrees. Want a little more exercise than a stroll? Head to one of the 157 City parks -- the list of just-do-its is endless. A rundown of more Memorial weekend events is available at Arborweb.

Milk Mommas Group

La Leche LeagueLa Leche League

Join the La Leche League of Ann Arbor for both kid & breast-feeding friendly social time with other moms. There's now a group that meets at 300 North Huron in Ypsilanti every 4th Saturday of the month from 3:00-5:00 PM. For a list of other local La Leche League group meetings in the area click here. AADL has materials on the topic as well as a wide range of items about parenting.

A Presentation by the National Alliance On Mental Illness Washtenaw County (NAMI WC)

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This event is designed to provide help and hope to both individuals living with serious brain disorders as well as their loved ones. It is also meant to educate the public about mental illness, address the need to stop the stigma and discrimination and possibly encourage someone in the audience who may be in need to seek help.

The National Alliance On Mental Illness Washtenaw County (NAMI WC) will have two presenters who will share stories of how to manage and succeed with a mental illness and how to cope and support a loved one with a mental illness.

Tuesday May 10, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Comics!

Comics and comic book characters have always been popular with many but have more recently broken into the mainstream in a huge way. Because of the recent rise in popularity, many kids (and "kids at heart") are taking up an interest in comic books.

The Ann Arbor District Library has fantastic Graphic Novel collections in youth, teen, and the adult sections of all 5 library branches and also offer lots of neat programming involving comics, how to create them, and info about those who do.

Tomorrow, May 7th, 2001, is Free Comic Book Day. Free Comic Book Day - the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops around the world give away comic books to anyone who comes into their stores. Check out local comic book store, Vault of Midnight, and see what you can find!

And for those busy tomorrow that can't get out to Free Comic Book Day, check out this event in June: Kids Read Comics hosted at the The Chelsea District Library and throughout the downtown business district in June.

"Kids Read Comics Convention is a totally free event that unites kids, teens, parents, teachers and librarians with professional artists and writers from the comics and animation fields. Our goal is to introduce kids to worlds of imagination while unlocking their creative impulses, and to serve that goal, the convention features:

* hands-on workshops
* panels and presentations for kids, families, and educators
* a chance for kids to meet and chat with comics and animation professionals
* the opportunity for kids to have their own art portfolios reviewed"

WISD Special Election Tuesday, May 3

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The Washtenaw Intermediate School District Special Election to renew the Special Education Millage is coming up and all City Polling Places will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on May 3, 2011 for this citywide election. There are a couple of polling locations construction issues to be aware of:

Voters at the Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch (Precinct 5-1) should be aware of construction activities currently restricting traffic on Fifth Avenue. The library/polling place remains open however, so please plan your route accordingly.

In addition, the Second Baptist Church (Precinct 5-3) is under construction. The parking lot at the main entrance of the Church located at 850 Red Oak Road and Wendy is not accessible. Voters need to enter the site using the rear driveway near Red Oak and Hermania.

Not sure if you're registered to vote and your exact polling location? Visit the Michigan Votes website. Don't forget to bring your voter ID to the polls.

Ann Arbor Area Earth Day Festival 2011

Ann Arbor Area Earth Day TreeAnn Arbor Area Earth Day Tree

Sponsored by Whole Foods Market, Washtenaw Community College, and the City of Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor Area Earth Day Festival takes place this Sunday, May 1, at the Washtenaw Community College Community Park. The celebration begins at noon and ends at 4 p.m..

The Ann Arbor District Library will join exhibitors from local environmental, non-profit and government organizations at the event. Keep an eye on the entertainment stage to see Joe Reilly, and wear a costume to represent your favorite plant or animal and dance in the All Species Dance. Attend a workshop on weatherization, get your face painted, make a craft, and enjoy food by Silvio's, Pilar's and more.

Did you know that May is Commuter Challenge month in Ann Arbor? Use the Border to Border Trail map and make your way to the event on your bike!

See you there!

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