Winter Interpretive Nature Programs at Hudson Mills Metropark

Ah winter, the target of our arrows, the gum under our shoe, the stain we can't scrub out, the thorn in our wooly socks, how you do take fearsome ire from we who live through your months. But wait! It doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. Just getting outside can turn a furrowed brow into a cheesy smile, and there's plenty for the whole family to do out there as long as you dress warmly enough.

Every Saturday during the month of February, Hudson Mills Metropark will continue to host Winter Interpretive Nature Programs for all ages. Each weekend is a different theme, including the sonorous Bird Hike, the intriguing Better to Eat You With, and the adventurous On the Trail of the Whitetail. Preregistration is required -- phone: 800-477-3191-- and programs cost $3 per person.

March weekends at Hudson Mills will feature the programs, Journey to the Sugar Bush, a guided tour to the sugar bush where you'll learn how maple syrup has been made over the years. Some lucky guests might even get to tap a tree. There is a pancake and sausage breakfast afterward for an additional fee, and preregistration is required.

The AADL also has a range of books on sugaring and making maple syrup.

Winter Storm Will Bring Trash Pick-up Delays and Street Plowing Advisories

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In anticipation of the winter storm, the City of Ann Arbor has announced there will be no residential trash or recycling pickups on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011. The residential trash and recycling pickups will be delayed one day, with the normal Wednesday routes collected on Thursday, the Thursday routes picked up on Friday, and the normal Friday routes picked up on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011.

Ann Arbor residents and commuters are strongly advised to use alternatives to on-street parking from Tuesday afternoon until Friday afternoon in order to allow the snow plows maximum access to clear the streets. Full details of street maintenance procedures and updates are available on the City's web site.

Huron Valley Ambulance Citizens Academy

Every day, Huron Valley Ambulance provides Emergency Medical Services for people in need in our community. If you are interested in learning about how this service works, then check out the HVA Citizens Academy, a free eight week program that meets on Wednesday evenings (6 - 9 p.m.) from Feb. 18th - Apr 6th. The program is filled on a first come, first served basis for residents of Washtenaw County who are 18 years of age or older. Registration is required, and forms can be found at www.hva.org, or you can contact their Community Relations coordinator by email or by phone.

This is an interactive learning program where you will explore HVA operations, view demonstrations of skills performed in the field, receive first aid and CPR certifications, and listen to guest speakers from fire departments, police departments, and special operations.

If you can't make this program, you might want to check out the AADL's CPR and first aid collection, including both books and videos, on your next trip to the library.

Robert Plant Playing Hill Auditorium on Friday, January 21

In the three decades since Led Zeppelin's breakup, singer Robert Plant has found success where many formerly-iconic band members have failed. Namely, he has been recording music as a solo artist that both critics and audiences actually want to hear.

Lou Reed forged similar success in the 1970s, with the popularity of his early solo records largely hinging on the inclusion of songs he wrote with the Velvet Underground. Plant, however, has been taking a different approach by re-imagining songs written by other musicians, many of whom, like the Everly Brothers and Gene Clark, peaked in popularity before Led Zeppelin was a household name.

Plant's 2007 duet album, Raising Sand, with bluegrass superstar, Allison Krauss, won five Grammys -- including Album of the Year -- and sold well over one million units, which in today's market is outstanding. Much like Gram Parsons' collaboration with Emmylou Harris on G.P., Krauss and Plant strike an uncanny balance between the gritty and the seamless in their voices to create a blend as cool as a DQ Blizzard.

Robert Plant plays the Hill Auditorium this Friday, January 21 behind his latest release, Band of Joy, which is also up for Grammy Awards and has received similar accolades for his work with the indelible Patty Griffin.

Power Tutoring

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Are you a tutor? If so, Washtenaw Literacy encourages you to attend this free workshop dedicated to improving your skills and confidence. Power Tutoring will be held on Saturday February 26, from 8:30 am-2:00 pm at WCC's Liberal Arts & Sciences Building. There will be workshops to help you better prepare learners for the GED, and how to measure the progress of your learner, as well as a variety of other interactive sessions. This is an incredible opportunity for ESL and Basic Literacy tutors. Click here to see the schedule and other topics of the day.

Why Did Washtenaw County Vote Against Suffrage, Not Once, But Twice?

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Liberty Awakes in Washtenaw County: When Women Won the Vote, a new exhibit at the Museum on Main Street runs January 8-February 27, 2011. The exhibit features artifacts, stories and images from the local woman suffrage movement. On the 2nd and 4th Thursday of January and February, please bring a lunch and join in a discussion on woman suffrage in Washtenaw County from 12 noon-1:00 PM.

The exhibit is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area and the Washtenaw County Historical Society. For more information or to arrange group tours or talks email Zoe Behnke at bliz468@yahoo.com

It's Drop-Off not Drag for Christmas Trees This Year

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There will be no curbside pickup of Christmas trees this year so we'll need to make after-Holiday plans to deliver the trees to their mulching destination. Undecorated Christmas trees may be dropped off — free and 24/7 — in the parking lot adjacent to the Drop-off Station at 2950 E. Ellsworth now through Monday, Jan. 31, 2011.

Remember, any metal, glass or plastic ornaments left on the tree can ruin the processing equipment, harm the operators, and spoil the landscaping mulch. For these reasons, the trees must have all tree stands, nails, ornaments, tinsel, and plastic bags removed.

If you'd rather not make the trip, cut and tie the tree into bundles and reserve for the beginning of compost-collection season, the first Monday in April.

Christmas & New Year's Holiday Reminders from City Hall

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Here's the scoop on A2 services for the Holiday weeks:

-There will be no interruption of trash or recycling collection Christmas or New Year's weeks. Your regular pickup day is your regular pickup day. That's easy!

-All City Hall offices will close at noon on Thursday, Dec. 23 and reopen on Monday, Dec. 27. Likewise, offices will close at noon on Thursday, Dec. 30 and reopen on Monday, Jan. 3, 2011.

-The deadline to pay winter taxes to the City of Ann Arbor has been extended to Monday, Jan. 3, 2011 due to the City Hall closures over the New Year's Holiday.

Community Planning Meeting on Two A2 Park Gems

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Here's your chance to help decide on future developments at Arbor Hills Park and Kilburn Park. The City of Ann Arbor is holding a Community Planning Meeting on Thursday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m., at the AADL Traverwood Branch. Park planners will be looking at the possibilities available to develop Arbor Hills into a mixed use park, and enhancing parts of Kilburn Park and long term plans for these two parks.

Ann Arbor Connector Open House

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The public is invited to attend the Ann Arbor Connector Open House on Monday, Nov. 15 in the Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch Multipurpose Room. There will be two sessions: 3:30 p.m. ~ 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. ~ 8:00 p.m. to discuss the the Ann Arbor Connector Feasibility Study. The information session will highlight the various transit technologies that are feasible including bus, bus rapid transit, streetcars, light rail transit and personal rapid transit technologies. And there will be plenty of time for comments and Q&A.

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