Put a Smile in Every Frame!

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Did you know there are almost 200 kids on a waiting list for a Big Brother or Big Sister in Washtenaw County? You can help raise awareness and funds by participating in their annual Bowl For Kids’ Sake bowling event on Saturday March 15th at Colonial Lanes. Teams have been forming so sign up now! Come dressed as your favorite TV or movie character…or take your cue from literary characters who have made it to the Big Screen...and join the fun with trivia games, prizes, food and bowling! If bowling isn’t your bag, you can donate anyway or consider becoming a Big Bro or Sis.

And the survey says

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Would you like to have input on the kinds of activities and services that are provided by a community organization? Take a few minutes to complete this online survey for the Ann Arbor Community Center. The purpose of this survey is to collect information to determine whether the priorities and needs of the Ann Arbor Community Center coincide with community-identified needs. Responses are kept confidential.

2008 Property Assessments: The Story Behind the Story

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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.

Learn How to Help Your Neighbor: Get CERTified

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CERT ~ Community Emergency Response Team ~ training will be offered to the public by the AAPD beginning in March, 2008. The course is a combination of classroom sessions and hands-on training in scene assessment, fire safety, emergency medical response, team organization, disaster medical operations, and light search and rescue. The application deadline is Friday, February 22, 5 p.m. You can download the Application Form and then call the Police Department at 734.994.8775 for an interview appointment.

Looking For Valentine's Day Plans?

These days it seems like people always go the same route when they are going out for a night on the town with their significant other: they reserve a table at a fancy restaurant, stare at each other blankly, and run out of things to say. Try something different this Valentine's Day and plan a night out at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase and take in a stand-up show instead. Comedian Kira Soltanovich will be performing. Then, continue the laughs at home and take in a comedy on DVD from the library. A few choice selections would be The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, and The 40 Year Old Virgin. If none of those are your cup of tea, feel free to browse through our many other romantic comedies.

Make a Mobile of Peace

Do you like being creative and learning about history too? The Ann Arbor Community Center will celebrate Black History Month with an art workshop on February 23 from 2-3pm. Learn about Martin Luther King while creating a mobile with the guidance of staff from Abrakadoodle. Call 662-3128 to reserve your place in this free workshop.

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.)

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