SPARK a New Career in Ann Arbor

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Looking for a new career direction? Considering starting your own business? Then attend one of the Ann Arbor SPARK Career Change Boot Camps. These Boot Camps will provide an intensive one-day opportunity to learn from area experts, obtain information about resources and obtain one-on-one mentoring. Register online or call 734-761-9317 for more information on the many services offered through SPARK.

Ice Carving Extravaganza in Ann Arbor

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Embrace the icy weather by visiting the Ice Carving Extravaganza on Main Street. Watch members of the UM ice carving team carve ice into detailed sculptures on the sidewalks of downtown Ann Arbor on Feb. 9 from 6-10 PM and Feb. 10 from 10-6 PM. The sculptures will remain on display as long as the wintry weather continues. Bundle up!

On your walk downtown, stop at the library to warm up and pick out some good books to read by the fire. Some of my favorites are Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and One Winter’s Day by Christina Butler

Its freezing, its snowing ... Time to think of your garden?

Even as winter is deepening, dedicated gardeners are beginning to think about and plan for their spring and summer gardening activities. To heighten environmental awareness Project Grow is partnering with the Michigan Groundwater Stewardship program to offer a series of special classes to gardeners designed to help protect groundwater and the local watershed. The classes are free and will be held on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 pm. in the Leslie Science Center Nature House. The classes will include topics such as Rain Gardens (March 7), Green Roofs (March 14), and Organic Lawn Care (March 21). Additional classes in April will be offered to help gardeners with visual impairments. These will take place on Wednesday April 11 and April 18 at 3:00 p.m. Applications for Project Grow's Community Gardens will also soon be available. To register call 996-3169.

Millers Creek Film Festival invites entries

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Environmentalists, nature lovers and budding cinematographers are invited to enter the expanded Millers Creek Film Festival. Adults, children and groups are all eligible to enter and try to win first-place prizes of $500 in each of four categories. The festival is named for the smallest and most troubled stream in the Huron River watershed. However, films can feature any creek, lake or part of the river in the watershed. The contest is sponsored by the Huron River Watershed Council. Entries must be submitted by February 20, 2007. All finalists' entries will be shown at the Michigan Theater on March 27.

Mush!

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Kids can have a day of winter fun at “Chillin’ at the Mills” on Saturday, January 27 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Hudson Mills Metropark. Pull a dog sled, cross-country ski, learn about winter camping and then head over to the shelter building for hot cocoa and Girl Scout cookies courtesy of the Girl Scouts of Huron Valley Council.

Streetwise Sessions

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Two upcoming public meetings will give Ann Arbor residents an opportunity to learn about and provide input on city street projects. On Monday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m., city officials will outline the Street Millage Projects planned for 2007. On Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 6 p.m., officials and consultants will discuss the City’s Traffic Calming Program. Both meetings are in City Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of City Hall.

Tree Town Trees Down

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If Emerald Ash Borer weren't enough, the heavy ice storm last weekend left a lot of storm-damaged tree branches all over town. The City of Ann Arbor is designing a schedule for collecting the tree limbs and brush and will assist residents with managing the private property storm-related disposal. They'll start by collecting tree limbs placed at the extensions that are longer than 8 feet and up to 8 inches in diameter. In the 2nd stage city trucks will collect bundled brush and tree limbs no longer than 4 feet in length and 8 inches in diameter. Details on the special clean-up will be posted beginning Wednesday, January 24 on the City web site, on CTN Channel 19 and by calling 994-2807.

Rethinking the Plaza

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The City of Ann Arbor and the Downtown Development Authority are seeking further input through Jan. 31, 2007 on plans to improve Sculpture Plaza. Plans include new lighting, landscaping and reconfiguring the seating and tables. Offer your comments to City Parks Planner Amy Kuras by phone at 734.994.1827 or via email akuras@a2gov.org.

Trash Day is Trash Day

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Ann Arbor trash collection days will be unaffected by Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday January 15th. Regular trash pickups will occur Jan. 15th - Jan. 20th. City Hall will be closed on MLK Day but the Drop-Off Station will be open.

O Christmas Tree

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The City of Ann Arbor will collect holiday evergreen trees from the curbside during a one-week period, Monday Jan. 22 - Friday, Jan 26, 2007. Remember to remove all ornaments, nails and tinsel and don't put the trees in plastic bags. You can also drop off your undecorated Christmas trees in the parking lot adjacent to the Drop-Off Station through January 31st.

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