Ice ice baby...

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Looking for a chilly, fun and pretty thing to do this weekend? Main Street will feature an “Ice Carving Extravaganza” where members of the U of M ice carving team will be on Main Street carving and chipping large ice blocks into beautiful ice sculptures. The question is, with Michigan’s wacky weather of late, how long will they last? For a quick know-how and visual sneak peek try a book on Practical Ice Carving.
Check out the art in progress on Friday, February 8 from 6-10pm and from 10am-6pm on Saturday, February 9 and Sunday, February 10.

The Ark’s 21st Annual Storytelling Festival

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It’s almost February and that means it’s time for storytelling at The Ark in Ann Arbor. February 15 -16, beginning at 7:30pm, there will be stories, spoken word and fun. Saturday the 16th also features stories for kids starting at 1pm! Come out and celebrate some of the performers that have helped make storytelling an art form. (Such as David Holt and Ed Stivender.) You won’t find monotone here! You’ll witness vibrance, inflection, acting, music and sound effects to bring the stories to life. Visit The Ark’s website for scheduling and ticket information.

Calm Traffic = Cool City

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There are a lot of factors that make a city cool and pedestrian-friendly streets and neighborhoods is one of them. The public is invited to the City of Ann Arbor's annual Traffic Calming Informational Session on Wednesday, January 30, 2008, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. Engineers, police and traffic consultants will be on hand to discuss the city's 10-step process to initiate traffic-calming procedures on streets in Tree Town. You can review the Traffic Calming Guidebook online or at the Downtown Branch Library.

Bergman films at Michigan Theater

The Michigan Theater presents another in the Great Director Series. This time up: Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. To quote Bergman, “Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.”

The following films will be shown at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor: Wild Strawberries (1957) on January 14, Through a Glass Darkly (1961) on January 21, and Fanny & Alexander (1982) on January 29. See the theater’s website for film details and schedule. (The first film shown in the series, The Seventh Seal, was shown on January 7.)

It's All Write! Short Story Writing Contest

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1st Place $250
2nd Place $150
3rd Place $100
First, Second and Third Place prizes in the following categories:
Grades 6-8, Grades 9-10, and Grades 11-12
Winners will be announced at the Ann Arbor Book Festival Short Story Contest event, Saturday, May 17 featuring teen book author Deb Caletti
Entries accepted FRIDAY, JANUARY 25 through FRIDAY, MARCH 21
Prize winning short stories is a published booklet of previous years winners available for you to check out.

The guidelines are attached below.

The More Things Change ...

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"The question of street repairs and improvements will always be with you and cannot be too thoroughly studied." So said the Mayor of Ann Arbor. No, not Mayor Hieftje in 2008, but Mayor Francis M. Hamilton in 1905. The collection of Council Minutes and Proceedings of the City of Ann Arbor in the Local History Room at the Downtown Branch of the Ann Arbor District Library provides ample proof that elected officials may come and go (and come again) but the issues, concerns and downright quirkiness of Tree Town remain constant.

But Wait ... There's More

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The Local History Room at the Ann Arbor District Library also boasts a complete run of the Ann Arbor Observer from 1976 as well as the Observer's City Guide from 1987. We use the Observer constantly at the Reference Desk to answer all questions local. The covers alone are worth a visit!

Good News on Old News

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There is a treasure trove of area newsletters in the Ann Arbor District Library Local History Room and they provide histories of our streets and neighborhoods, social events and social groups, churches and businesses that cannot be found anywhere else. We have Washtenaw Impressions from 1943, Old West Side News from 1975, Family History Capers from 1979 and Washtenaw Jewish News from 1977 to name just a few. The Local History Room is located on the 2nd floor of the Downtown Branch Library.

Presidential Primary Particulars

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The Ann Arbor City Clerks Office, Washtenaw County Clerk and the State of Michigan have posted voter information regarding the Michigan Presidential Primary Tuesday, January 15, 2008. Since no unlisted candidates filed an affidavit of identity with the Secretary of State by January 4, write-in votes WILL NOT COUNT even though there is a place on the ballot to enter write-ins.

31st Ann Arbor Folk Festival

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The 31st Ann Arbor Folk Festival takes place at Hill Auditorium on Friday, January 25, and Saturday, January 26. Each night features a different line-up of artists starting at 6:30pm. Ben Folds Five, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and Shawn Colvin are among the long list of artists performing. All proceeds raised through the festival will benefit Ann Arbor’s The Ark. See The Ark’s website for more details on tickets and performers.

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