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Liberty near Seventh

It is annoying when someone clears their drive but ignores the sidewalk. It is really a problem when they clear the drive and throw up more obstacles for pedestrians. If I had hired this snow removal firm, I would be firing them. [photo] It was even worse earlier, before walkers had climbed over the snow boulders to try and pass safely.

West Park at Chapin

Observed a number of people driving in to West Park to drop off Christmas trees, or more accurately – do an impressive toss to the top of the pile. Perfect weather for that! [photo 1] [photo 2]

Jackson Rd. & Parkland Plaza

Parkland Plaza is newly paved. That’s in Scio Township, but I’m not sure if that’s township purview or Washtenaw County Road Commission, or perhaps even a private road.

West Park Pond

American bittern (juvenile?) showed itself on the woods (south) side of the boardwalk around 9 p.m. Perhaps the same one I reported seeing on Aug. 3, before I knew what it was. At dusk on Aug. 4, a larger American bittern was stalking and catching fish and taking short flights over the pond.

The Internet Bird Collection has some good video here: [video]

Division & Main

D3 Fife and Drum Corps closes out the Ann Arbor 4th of July parade. [photo]

AAPS Briefed on Skyline Turf Field

The AAPS board of trustees has been briefed on a recommendation to award a contract to AstroTurf in the amount of $858,056 for a synthetic turf field at Skyline High School.

AstroTurf was the lowest bidder out of the four bids received. AstroTurf was recommended not only because it was the lowest bidder, but also because it is the only field that has an antimicrobial product applied at the factory as a standard. The district would not need to apply an antimicrobial every year, as with other field surfaces.

The bid was posted on Dec. 20, 2012 on the AAPS and the State of Michigan websites.

The briefing came at the board’s Feb. 13, 2013 meeting. The board will vote on the purchase … [Full Story]

West Liberty

Former Acme Mercantile windows are papered over. Sign on door announces new skin care establishment.

Main & Liberty

The best version of Alexander Borodin’s Quartet No. 2, according to the cellist on the sidewalk, is a recording by the Cleveland Orchestra. But I disagree. I say for tonight the best version is the one I just heard him play with the rest of the Pioneer Chamber Orchestra – on my way home after listening to three rounds of candidate forums. [photo]

Summit & Miner

The crowds for Brennan Andes Family Band at The Waterhill Music Festival were at least 500 people. [photo 1] [photo 2] Even the strollers were crowded out front. [photo 3] Fans filled the whole huge back yard. Success! They were great!

Seventh & Washington

Made a couple of passes by this corner in the afternoon. Both times people with clipboards watching, writing, and crossing. Someone is measuring compliance with the crosswalk ordinance. Everyone was stopping as they should each time I went by.

Barton Dam

Evidence of repairs on the concrete chases of the dam. Sign says the work is scheduled August to December. [photo] [photo]

Shelby & Stadium DQ

9:30 a.m. Two girls working inside the Dairy Queen made Mom’s day by starting up the machines early to make her a cherry-dipped cone. (They don’t open until 11 a.m.) Mom was on her way back from UM Radiation Oncology for treatment.  Thank you.

West Side

Rob Steele campaign signs by the dozens are planted in public right-of-ways and parks on the far west side.  Illegal.

Firm to Aid Schools in Superintendent Search

Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education meeting (Aug. 18, 2010): At their opening meeting of the 2010-11 school year, the Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) school board trustees discussed how to proceed in light of the recent resignation of superintendent Todd Roberts. Roberts is moving to his hometown of Durham, N.C. to become chancellor of the North Carolina School for Science and Math.


The information sign outside Skyline High School welcomes incoming freshmen. Registration for Skyline's 9th graders is Aug. 26, for 10th graders it's Aug. 25, and for 11th graders, it's Aug. 24. Tues., Aug. 24 is also the same day the school board has added an extra meeting – at the Balas administration building – to work on an RFP to hire a search firm to help with the hiring of a new superintendent.

As part of the plan, the board settled Wednesday on the idea of hiring a search firm to assist with the selection of a new superintendent. To review an RFP (request for proposals) for a search firm, an additional board meeting has been set for 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 24, at the Balas administration building main conference room, 2555 S. State St. Update: The date and time for the additional board meeting has been changed to Monday, Aug. 23 at 6:30 p.m.

Early in Wednesday’s meeting, Roberts thanked the board, the staff, and district parents for their support of his work over the past four years. He named the district’s parents specifically as a “great strength” of AAPS, and said that during his tenure, he has felt both “supported and pushed – as it should be – by the community of parents to be the best that [he] could.” Referring to the district’s budget challenges last year, Roberts noted that the collaboration, partnership, and shared sacrifice has set AAPS up for a good year this year. He said he is sad to leave, and reassured everyone that he will be here this fall to get the district off to a great start.

President Deb Mexicotte said the board would be sad to see Roberts leave, but that they are happy that he and his family have this opportunity. She thanked Roberts and wished him “all the best and continued success.”

Also at this meeting: the final projects being funded by the 2004 Comprehensive School Improvement Program (known as “the Bond”) were reviewed; the board welcomed Elaine Brown, the newly-hired director of Student Intervention and Support Services (SISS); Chartwells provided an update on the district’s food service program; and two local programs offering students alternative paths to a high school diploma were presented for the board’s consideration. [Full Story]

Washington & Fifth

Much road work along Fifth and extending east along Washington. Traffic is a total mess.

West Huron

Hieftje for Mayor signs blossoming along the stretch between Chapin and Seventh.  Must be a campaign on.


Several teams of ice sculptors working, attracting crowds.

Barton Dam Vicinity

Snow packed trails, no ice, tracks of skis, dogs, deer, people and of course those Yak Trax! Found garlic mustard under the snow, still edible.

Liberty & Main

Pre-game a very large parrot (about 2 feet including tail feathers) in full brilliant color is entertaining a crowd while consuming Starbucks baked goods perched on the back of a chair. His owners are overheard explaining how valuable it is to socialize him.

E. Huron River & Hickory

Near the bend onto Geddes, a large sign opposing the proposed countywide school millage that’s on the November ballot. [Photo]