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.)

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.

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