Independence Day: Fireworks, Parades, and BTW, Delayed Trash Pickup


The fun starts at 7 p.m. on July 3rd at Hudson Mills Metropark with a concert by Big Pinky and the Joint Effort Band. Fireworks start at 10 p.m. Come early because the Park entrance gate will close to incoming traffic at 9 pm.

The 21st annual Ann Arbor Jaycees Parade will kick-off at 10 a.m. on the 4th of July at State and William. Don't forget to take the kids down early for the Bike Decorating Contest.

There will be no trash, recycling, or compost trucks on the roads on Independence Day, Monday, July 4th. Solid waste routes will be collected one day later throughout the week, with the normal Monday routes serviced on Tuesday and the Friday collection areas picked up on Saturday, July 9. Ann Arbor City Hall offices, the 15th District Court in the Justice Center, the Wheeler Service Center, and other city locations will be closed on the holiday Monday.

June 1st is National Running Day

Whether you run every day and National Running Day is just another Wednesday to you, or if you haven't run since you were a kid but you think it might be (even a little bit) fun, today's a perfect day to lace up those shoes and go for a run. One of the most popular and beautiful places to run in Ann Arbor is Gallup Park, home to a paved, pancake flat, multi-use path that's easy to get to from the parking lots shown here, or you can run there if you're extra ambitious.

After your run, stop by the National Running Day website and post why you run on the scrolling inspire badge. Check out the sometimes funny, often motivating reasons why other people run, such as "I run because I like to eat. A LOT", "I run for cheap therapy", "I run because no one thought I could", and "I run so I can smile the rest of the day". The site also has 10 Ways to Celebrate National Running day, which applies to any day of the week.

The AADL has a great collection of running books and media for the first timer and for the veteran. Happy running!

Memorial Weekend Reminders from City Hall


There will be no trash, recycling or compost collection services in Ann Arbor on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30. The Monday pickups will occur on Tuesday and the rest of the collections will occur one day later throughout the week. The normal Friday routes will be serviced on Saturday, June 4, 2011. City Hall offices and 15th District Court at 301 E. Huron, the Drop-Off Station at 2950 E. Ellsworth, and the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Compost Center at 4150 Platt Road will be closed on the Memorial Day Monday as well.

On the upside, parking is free downtown on Memorial Day so strolling Main Street and lingering over an iced mocha at your favorite coffeehouse are in order as WeatherUnderground is predicting a sunny, yes sunny, Monday with a high of 85 degrees. Want a little more exercise than a stroll? Head to one of the 157 City parks -- the list of just-do-its is endless. A rundown of more Memorial weekend events is available at Arborweb.

Make a Card for Mother's Day!


Show Mom how much you care by making a card for her. Add to that a large beautiful tissue paper flower and make her day a very special one. All this can be done at the Pittsfield Branch Library on Saturday, May 7 at 11:00 a.m. We'll be making cards and flowers that will put the store-bought versions to shame. And don't forget all those special grandmas and aunts out there as well.

This is for preschool through 5th graders and their grownups. All supplies will be provided. For some books and movies about the holiday, look here.

Magazine Update -- Beauty, Money, Drama ...and Recycling

piggy bank by alancleaver_2000, Flickr.compiggy bank by alancleaver_2000,
As some gear up for the chocolate bunny and jellybean eating of Easter weekend, others are excited about our new teen and youth magazines!

Teen magazines have a bumper crop this month:
Celebrity Hairstyles -- Learn how to choose the right makeup for your hair and steal the hairstyle secrets of the cast of Modern Family, plus "350 Summer Hair Secrets."
ESPN Magazine -- This issue is "All About the Money." Find out how athletes splurge, and what they do when the money runs out.
Teen Voices -- Learn about henna, as well as serious issues like child marriage and teen runaways. Includes an interview with Liz Murray, who wrote Breaking Night as a memoir of her own experience as a homeless teen in New York.
Us Weekly -- The drama behind the scenes on "Dancing With the Stars," and the Style Stars of 2011!

For the kids and parents we have:
Family Fun -- With crafts for Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day, as well as recycle crafts for turning trash into treasures.
New Moon Girls -- The issue shares girls' true travel stories, and asks the question "What's your definition of beauty?"

AADL youth and teen magazines -- as colorful as a spring treat, but 100% sugar free.

An Epic Magazine Update -- Tigers, Fashion, and Valentine's Crafts

by belgianchocolate, Flickr.comby belgianchocolate,
This magazine update is truly epic, folks. Our magazine "in" box is swamped -- and I mean completely flooded -- with new magazines for all.

For the kiddos:
Zoobies -- This one's all about tigers. Adorable and fierce!
Iguana -- Cuentos, poemas, leyendas, y articulos. En Espanol, claro.
Scholastic Math -- The boys of Big Time Rush lead you through some painless problems.

For the teens:
Cicada -- Creative writing for teens, by teens.
WWE Magazine -- Wrestler Kaval tells all. Or at least some.
Lucky -- Going shopping? Find out what's in now! Before you perpetrate some serious fashion crimes on your friends.

And for the parental units:
Family Fun -- Valentine's Day crafts!
Book Links -- Multicultural literature. Hey, that sounds familiar.

With so many new magazines it's almost hard to know where to start. Dive in!

Teen Stuff: Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances features short stories written by popular young adult fiction authors John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle, each writing one of the three. The three stories (The Jubilee Express, A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle, and Patron Saint of Pigs) intertwine and focus on the romantic relationships of a few high schoolers during a snowstorm in a small town on Christmas eve. Thanks to youthful energy, wit and warmth, hilarity ensues in these delightful tales of friendship and young love. Yes, Christmas magic can happen at the Waffle House. (For grades 9 and up.)

It's Drop-Off not Drag for Christmas Trees This Year


There will be no curbside pickup of Christmas trees this year so we'll need to make after-Holiday plans to deliver the trees to their mulching destination. Undecorated Christmas trees may be dropped off — free and 24/7 — in the parking lot adjacent to the Drop-off Station at 2950 E. Ellsworth now through Monday, Jan. 31, 2011.

Remember, any metal, glass or plastic ornaments left on the tree can ruin the processing equipment, harm the operators, and spoil the landscaping mulch. For these reasons, the trees must have all tree stands, nails, ornaments, tinsel, and plastic bags removed.

If you'd rather not make the trip, cut and tie the tree into bundles and reserve for the beginning of compost-collection season, the first Monday in April.

Celebrate the Winter Solstice!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 is the shortest day of the year. But that's no reason to stay in your pajamas all day. Come to the Malletts Creek Branch at 2:00 p.m. and make some winter decorations to brighten up your house. This program is for children preschool through 5th grade. All supplies will be provided.

For more information about the winter solstice, look here.

Midnight Clear, a subtle Christmas film

Sometimes folks get really excited about watching holiday themed movies this time of year, while others cringe at the mere thought of them, and wish to throw all copies of It's a Wonderful Life out the window. I fall somewhere in between.

I watched Midnight Clear about a month ago, which was perfect. As the title suggests, it does involve Christmas, but I like to call it "Christmas lite," as it's not an in your face fa la la la la film. It is a movie, and it just happens to take place on Christmas. In the film, the lives of five individuals converge in the most meaningful way. A down and out gas station attendant, a recently fired homeless man, a woman with a brain damaged husband, a youth pastor, and a lonely senior citizen each find a spark from the same flame that brings hope. It's a heart warmer that makes you think deeper about how small things can make a big difference.

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