Farewell to a Good Man

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He authored legislation that allowed hundreds of thousands of us to attend college through the Pell Grant, that established the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Read the complete New York Times obituary on Senator Claiborne Pell. The Thom McAn story alone is worth the read.

Hold that Holiday Trash for One More Day

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There will be no trash or recycling pickup on Christmas Day or New Year's Day so normally-scheduled Thursday pickups will be on Friday, 12/26 and 1/2 and Friday pickups will be on Saturday 12/27 and 1/3. City Hall offices will close at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 24 and re-open on Friday, Dec. 26. Same drill for the New Year's holiday, closing at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 31 and re-opening on Friday, Jan. 2, 2009.

Tree Town in Top Ten Again

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Add Tree Town to another Top Ten list ... the Center for Digital Government and Digital Communities ranked the City of Ann Arbor the 7th Best Digital City in the country. The City's website was honored for the Citizen Request System, GIS resources, MyProperty, and TRAKiT, a new online service offering 24/7 lookup of permits, registrations and inspections.

Get To Know Them

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There are four new faces on the Ann Arbor City Council and they'll be at City Hall on Monday, Nov. 17th from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. to meet & greet you. Come to the City Council Chambers on the 2nd floor to meet Sandi Smith, Ward 1; Tony Derezinski, Ward 2; Chris Taylor, Ward 3; and Carsten Hohnke, Ward 5. Per the City Charter new council members are sworn in "on the Monday next following the regular City election at which such officers are elected."

Thomas A. La Veist will speak at the University of Michigan

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Research Scientist, Author and Public Speaker Thomas A. La Veist will be in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health on Tuesday, November 18th 3:30 - 5:00 pm. The event is sponsored by the Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health and co sponsored by the Program for Research on Black Americans and the MICHR(Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research)/Health Disparities Research Program at the University of Michigan. Mr. La Veist will be speaking on Disentangling Race and Socioeconomic Status: Advancing Understanding of Race Disparities in Health.

Which Way Does Ann Go?

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Attention Tree Town drivers: Ann Street between N. Fifth Avenue and Division is going one way. And for a change of pace, they DO want you to back in to the new angle parking on the south side of the street. The conversion, weather depending, is slated to take effect November 9, 2008. Questions? Call 734.994.6095 or email pcawley@a2gov.org

The Chicken Ordinance

Interested in raising your own chickens? If you live in Ann Arbor you can keep up to four hens...with the consent of your adjacent neighbors.

Check out these library materials for more information about raising chickens...
How to Raise Chickens
The Complete Handbook of Poultry Keeping
and for the kids,
From Chick to Chicken
and The Joy of Chickens

Check out the cool chicken coops at Back Yard Chickens and My Pet Chicken.

I Want My CTV

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Want to watch the local candidate debates on your time? Head over to the CTN Video on Demand page and watch the debates you want when you want them. The new service runs 24/7 and will be expanded to include much of the Channel 19 programming.

Government Reports in Real Time

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Today provides us with two newsworthy examples of how much has changed in the world of "government documents". The Attorney General of the United States released the long-awaited Investigation into the Removal of Nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006 and the full report was instantly available online. The draft of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was also posted immediately this morning. Most media like the New York Times will embed a link to the report in their articles. Media or your favorite search engine are usually a safer bet than the government's own web search, us.gov which can lag by a day or more.

Torture and Terror

With all the hullabaloo about the bailout plan in the news, you may have missed what Michigan’s own Senator Carl Levin released to the New York Times yesterday. As chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee investigating the abuse of detainees in American custody, Levin released a list of answers provided by Condoleezza Rice and John B. Bellinger III, the former top lawyer at the National Security Council, to detailed questions by that committee about “harsh interrogation techniques.”

Mr. Levin said the new documents showed that top Bush administration officials were more actively engaged in the debate about the limits of lawful interrogation than the White House had previously acknowledged.

"So far, there has been little accountability at higher levels,” Mr. Levin said. “Here you’ve got some evidence that there was discussion about those harsh techniques in the White House.”

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