Earth Day Festival Comes to WCC

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Come join the fun on Sunday, May 1, noon ~ 4 p.m. at the Ann Arbor Area Earth Day Festival in the beautiful Washtenaw Community College Community Park. All the events are free and this year will feature a concert at 2 p.m. by local singer/songwriter and environmentalist Joe Reilly. Joe is encouraging festival goers to wear costumes representing their favorite plants and animals and join Joe in song and dance.

Visitors may also enjoy free face painting provided by Ann Arbor Cohousing, and
recycled-content crafts sponsored by The Scrap Box. Stop in to see the Bubble Man and
be sure to make time for the Leslie Science and Nature Center’s Birds of Prey and Brian
Cressman’s reptiles.

Wanted by AAPD: Unwanted RXs

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On April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the City of Ann Arbor Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. This Special Collection will be held at the Ann Arbor Justice Center at 301 E. Huron St., 2nd floor. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

The Thunderdrome: Unearthing a Gem in Detroit

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Let's time travel. It's 1969 and we're in Dorais Park, Detroit, near E. Eight Mile and Mound Road. Construction has just been completed on a brand new velodrome -- a cycling venue consisting of a steeply banked, concrete oval loop, 250 meters long -- in anticipation of the U.S. National Track Championships held there later that year. This Championship and the many that follow are bright spots in a declining neighborhood. For the next 20 years, the city maintains this bastion of bike racing against urban devastation, marked here by the closure of the Chrysler assembly plant across the street.

Eventually, the Dorais Park Velodrome is abandoned by the city and handed over to the elements. Illegal car races are sometimes held here, accelerating the cracking of the concrete that was only designed to sustain bicycles, while bushes, grasses, and trees split apart the fissures. Two decades of neglect take their toll.

Welcome to 2010. A group of renegade urban landscapers, known as The Mower Gang, take their lawn care equipment to Dorais Park, unearth the velodrome, and begin rehabbing the battered beauty. It's renamed The Thunderdrome, an homage to the post-apocalyptic Mad Max film series from the '80s, and a race is staged for two-wheeled vehicles that October.

As race organizer Ben Wojdyla writes, "the Thunderdrome wouldn't be limited to just bicycles. We wanted higher speeds and more excitement. We wanted loony subcultures, weirdos, a scene, a spectacle—something people could get excited about. So in addition to traditional fixed-gear road bicycles, geared bikes and mountain bikes, we also invited racers on mopeds, scooters and pit bikes". The Fall race is a success, drawing hundreds of spectators and racers and spawning the demand for a Spring race, which will take place this Saturday, April 30, at noon. Detroit reinvention and DIY spirit charge headlong into the future of the city.

The latest issue of Bicycling Magazine, with holdings at all AADL locations, has an article on the Thunderdrome, as does the October 2010 issue of Popular Mechanics. Check out the Thunderdrome's website for more details on the race.velorace3velorace3

AADL Productions Podcast: Donald Harrison on the 49th Ann Arbor Film Festival

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In this episode, Donald Harrison, executive director of the Ann Arbor Film Festival, talks about what we can look forward to in the upcoming 49th Festival, March 22-27, 2011. Donald highlights several of the programs this year, including some of the free public events, family events, special programs and opening night celebrations. He also talks a little about the jury process and what we have to look forward to when the AAFF celebrates its 50th anniversary next year.

The Library has set up a discount code for the AADL community to receive $2 off advance online tickets for the Safe As Milk (Ages 6+) program on Saturday, March 26 at 11:15am at the Michigan Theater. Order advance tickets and use the discount code AAFF49AADL.

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AADL_Productions_Podcast-AAFF49_Donald_Harrison.mp3 23.7 MB

Two Pulitzer Prize winners expected at Storymakers Dinner May 12

This year's Storymakers Dinner is coming up May 12 at Zingerman's Roadhouse. Special guest will be acclaimed novelist Richard Ford, editor of "Blue Collar, White Collar, No Collar: Stories of Work," scheduled to come out in April. Ford's Independence Day was the first novel to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. And heads up for another Pulitzer Prize winning author, Jeffrey Eugenides, who also is expected to be at the Storymakers Dinner. The event supports 826 Michigan, a non-profit that helps students improve their writing skills.

Nonprofits: NEW helping boards make a difference

Check out five (5!) workshops being offered this winter and spring by Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW). On March 9, there is "Board Member Training: Serving on a Nonprofit Board," followed March 17 by "Your Board Members as Ambassadors and Fundraisers." Later in March will be "Nonprofit Training: Building Your Board" and "Spring Into Service: A Board Matching Event for Nonprofit Organizations." Finally in early April, a workshop is scheduled on "Starting Off Right: Board Member Orientation." Details are here. Don't forget AADL also has a collection of nonprofit resources on the second floor of the downtown library.

"Lastingness: The Art of Old Age"

Authors Nicholas Delbanco and Keith Taylor will discuss their book "Lastingness: The Art of Old Age" at the University of Michigan's Hatcher Graduate Library on March 9th, 5:00-7:00pm as part of the University's ongoing Author's Forum.

Library Journal's 2010 review of "Lastingness" describes the book as a "study of geniuses-as they aged-in the fields of literature, music, and the visual arts. Delbanco focuses on the fascinating question of why some people's creative talents flourish with age, while others' fade. He explores and explains our general societal conflict about our elders and the question of when to expect them to step aside. His profiles include Claude Monet, Giuseppe Verdi, W.B. Yeats, and Alice Neal, among others, all of whom lived until 70 or older and remained productive."

Nicholas Delbanco is a Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan. Keith Taylor is a writer and poet and coordinates the undergraduate creative writing program at U of M. The discussion is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a book sale and signing. The event will take place in the Gallery in Room 100 at the Hatcher Graduate Library.

BreakFEST benefit concert at The Ark

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The second annual BreakFEST, a benefit for the breakfast at St. Andrew’s program, is happening at The Ark on February 25 at 7pm. All proceeds will go towards running the all volunteer based breakfast program at St. Andrew’s church in Ann Arbor. They have been providing free daily breakfasts to those in need for more than 28 years.

The concert features music from Irish fiddler Kevin Burke, jazz pianist Stephen Rush from Ann Arbor, UK-based fingerstyle guitar master Duck Baker, and Louisiana dance music from Creole du Nord. All artists are donating their time and talent for this benefit show. See The Ark’s website for ticket info.

Dream Seeding for Changing Realities : All Ages Art Show

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The organizers of Dream Seeding are actively seeking submissions of art in ANY feasible medium from folks of any age or skill level for this year's Art Show.

The artist must feel that the work, in any conceivable way, "offers a vision of any aspect of a more peaceful, socially just, or ecologically healthy community or world, or offers some suggestion as to how we can move toward such a world." For more information on guidelines and submission, here is the contact.

Dream Seeding for Changing Realities All Ages Art Show will be open to the public at the Michigan Union Art Lounge (530 S. State St. on the University of Michigan Central Campus) from March 1st until March 31st.

Come join the Dream Seeding Reception on Saturday, March 19th, from 6 to 9 with music, dance, storytelling and food.

Huron Valley Ambulance Citizens Academy

Every day, Huron Valley Ambulance provides Emergency Medical Services for people in need in our community. If you are interested in learning about how this service works, then check out the HVA Citizens Academy, a free eight week program that meets on Wednesday evenings (6 - 9 p.m.) from Feb. 18th - Apr 6th. The program is filled on a first come, first served basis for residents of Washtenaw County who are 18 years of age or older. Registration is required, and forms can be found at www.hva.org, or you can contact their Community Relations coordinator by email or by phone.

This is an interactive learning program where you will explore HVA operations, view demonstrations of skills performed in the field, receive first aid and CPR certifications, and listen to guest speakers from fire departments, police departments, and special operations.

If you can't make this program, you might want to check out the AADL's CPR and first aid collection, including both books and videos, on your next trip to the library.

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