And Through the Metropark Woods

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Add a ride over the meadows and through the woods on your Christmas Day travels this year. Entry fees will be waived on Christmas Day, Monday, December 25, at all 13 Metroparks for “Christmas Appreciation Day.”

All Metroparks will be open, including use of all trails and paths, on Christmas Day. The eight Interpretive Center buildings and two Farm Learning Centers will be closed. Sledding hills and cross-country ski trails will be open if there is snow.

For more information, call the Huron-Clinton Metroparks at 1-800-477-2757.

Sancho’s Scene: Community Events that Wander off the Path

Early birds (har har!) gear up: the Washtenaw Audubon Society is conducting their 60th annual Christmas Bird Count this Saturday, beginning at 6am. Experts and novices alike are welcome, so grab one of our bird watching books, and join the holiday fun!

Those Tibetan prayer flags on your porch looking worn and faded? For something truly off the beaten path, hit up the Himalayan Bazaar in my Garage, also this Saturday, hosted by Of Global Interest’s Heather O’Neil, who stocks the bazaar with brightly colored items from her travels. Happy trekking!

Santa Takes Your Calls

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Watch Santa take calls from boys and girls LIVE on Thursday, Dec. 14, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. on CTN Station 17. Call Santa at 734-997-1050 with your list (after you've checked it twice) during this special 2-hour telecast from the Santa Satellite Network.

Buy Local Week, December 4-10

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Organized by Think Local First of Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti will celebrate Buy Local Week, December 4-10 along with many other communities across the country. Click here for a list of events.

During Buy Local Week,, you'll have a chance to win a $250 gift certificate to ANY of the independent, locally-owned businesses in Washtenaw County, as well 10 runner-up prizes.

Why buy local? Here are seven reasons to Think Local First.

While you are shopping at one of our wonderful independent, locally owned bookstores, don't forget our local authors. Happy Shopping!

Ann Arbor Now Offers Online Property Tax Payments

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Save time and stamps by paying your A2 property taxes online. There are no additional fees for using the ACH online option. Want to find out more about your property? Check out the city’s Assessment and Property Tax Data site and the county’s Property/Parcel Lookup site. You’ll find plenty of data including assessment history, sales history, parcel description and more.

Public Parking Workshop

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The Downtown Development Authority will hold a Community Workshop on Wednesday, Dec. 6th, 6-8 p.m. to discuss a comprehensive strategy for downtown parking. Citizens are invited to participate in the open meeting in the Community Room of the DTE Building, 425 S. Main Street.

Bag Those Leaves!

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Weekly curbside collection of residential yard waste compostables ends next Friday, Dec. 1st. If you don’t have time to make the deadline but still have leaves to get out of the way before we’re buried in snow, take them to the Drop Off Station for only $2 a bag. And don’t forget, due to Thanksgiving, trash collections will occur one day later than the usual weekly collection date.

Bahumbugs Beware: Local Holiday Events!

Missed out on this year’s earlier-than-usual Children’s Holiday parade? Not to worry--there are plenty of holiday traditions left to enjoy. Though a certain someone shudders every time I play another Christmas CD, there’s only so much time to enjoy the festive mood before January sets in (blah), so why not enjoy? First up, Kerrytown’s own Tree Lighting Ceremony, Sunday, November 26 at 5p.m. Followed by the 60th Annual Greens Market at the Women’s City Club on Thursday the 30th. Finally, head downtown on December 1st for the biannual tradition, Midnight Madness—stores open late, legendary Le Dog soup at night, and sales galore—what could be better?

Open for Business

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Hurrah! West Stadium is back – no more cones or detour lanes. Cranberry muffins at the Portofino Coffee House, grandbaby books at Nicola’s, fresh peanut butter at Arbor Farms Market, door knobs to die for at Expressions in Hardware, gourmet stoves at Big George’s, down home meals at Zingerman’s Road House. Ace Hardware (best tablecloths in town), University Aquarium & Pet Shop (love those crazy cats), too many merchants to list. Take a drive down beautiful, smooth, West Stadium Boulevard and shop ‘til you drop.

Historic Preservation – The Revised Edition

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The City of Ann Arbor is holding public meetings to discuss proposed revisions to the Historic Preservation ordinance, Chapter 103. The meetings will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16th at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers and Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. at Bach Elementary School. The meetings will explain the proposed changes, how they will affect our community and provide an opportunity for residents to comment on the draft ordinance.

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