What the crap are they building in front of Pioneer High school? On bare dirt, no less! [photo]
Educating Ann Arbor area students about wind power might still take place with funding from a U.S. Department of Energy grant. But that teaching won’t take place in the context of a demonstration wind turbine the city of Ann Arbor had hoped to construct with the federal money.
That’s because Ann Arbor Public Schools has informed the city that the district won’t be partnering with the city on the construction of a 100-150 foot tall, 60kW wind turbine on school property.
In a letter dated Jan. 30, 2014 from AAPS superintendent Jeanice Kerr Swift to city administrator Steve Powers, Swift concluded: “I believe that it is not in the best interest of the District to consent to this project.” However, Swift’s letter leaves …
Two wind turbines, intended to generate electricity for the Ann Arbor Public Schools, will be constructed in or near the city of Ann Arbor sometime in the next year and a half. At its Jan. 7, 2013 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council approved a nearly $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy that will fund part of the construction.
The city is obligated to provide an additional $484,390 in matching funds on the $951,500 grant – which it expects to achieve through partnership with a third-party developer, who was not named in the council’s resolution. However, city staff responded to councilmember questions before the meeting by indicating it was Wind Products Inc., out of Brooklyn, N.Y. that is …
Last week, the Ann Arbor Pioneer High School football team went across town to play long-time rival Ann Arbor Huron. It wasn’t the players’ performance during the game that made news, however, but the coaches’ behavior afterward. And the news wasn’t good.
Pioneer came into the annual rivalry with Huron sporting a solid 4-3 record and a good chance to make the playoffs. Huron hadn’t won a game all year, and was simply playing out the season. The only stakes were bragging rights – and even those weren’t much in question.
With a minute left, Pioneer enjoyed an impressive 35-6 lead. At that point, it’s customary for the winning coach to tell his team to run out the clock by taking a knee, instead of trying to score again. But Pioneer threw a pass, and then another, and then another – one of them to the endzone – in a clear display of poor sportsmanship. That was the night’s first mistake.
It’s late March and I’m lingering around the end of the boathouse used by the Pioneer High School rowing team, waiting for the boats to head down to the water for practice. Coach Rich Griffith has agreed to let me ride along in the motorized launch as he monitors the rowers’ workout. The following week I’ll take a ride with Huron High’s coach, Tom Kraft.
From behind me comes the warning from one of the coxswains: “Heads up!” Coxswains steer the boats on the water – and on land as well, because lifting and turning the long craft requires coordination.
A peek over my shoulder confirms that the command is directed at me – I’m standing near the middle of an upside-down 8-person rowing shell held aloft by eight women. My noggin is safe for a few seconds as they pause. To clear the boat completely, I’d need to hustle a good 25 feet in one direction or the other. But that seems like an overly dramatic and panicky move. Surely that’s not what boathouse culture demands? Instead, I simply kneel. The boat makes its way over me and down to the dock.
The learning curve is steep. A few minutes later: “Heads up!” The scene repeats itself.
I confirm with Pioneer senior Meaghan Kennedy, who’s standing nearby, that yes, maybe I should find another vantage point. Kennedy is coxswain for the men’s varsity eight-man boat and one of the team’s captains, along with twins Zach and Mackenzie Miller. Kennedy is waiting to guide her own boat down to the dock.
When Jeff Kass contacted The Chronicle about his upcoming one-man show, “Wrestle the Great Fear: A Performance Poetica,” we were particularly intrigued by this statement in his email: “The piece includes a lot of physicality in the performance, including a great deal of wrestling.”
A one-man poetry performance with a great deal of wrestling? Yep, we were hooked. So we met with Kass recently at the Liberty Athletic Club, where he showed us exactly what he meant.
Kass has been a leader in local poetry circles – he teaches creative writing at Pioneer High and works with the Volume poetry program at the Neutral Zone, where he serves as literary arts director. But this is the first time he’s attempted a full-length, continuous narrative, complete with music, video, directors and intricate choreography. This ain’t no three-minute poetry slam.
When The Chronicle covered a dress rehearsal of Pioneer Theatre Guild’s “Miss Saigon” last fall, many people we met backstage urged us to check out their annual FutureStars show too, and we marked our calendars. That date rolled around this weekend, when FutureStars 2009 kicked off with a total of four shows on Friday and Saturday, leading up to the blowout finale next Saturday, Jan. 17. [confirm date]
FutureStars is modeled after the pop culture phenomenon American Idol, minus the Simon Cowell acerbity. It’s a talent show, primarily of singers but with some dance performances tossed into the mix, too. In fact, one of the crowd favorites from Friday’s students-only show was a 6-foot-4 break dancer, Robert Axelrod from Huron High School. He’s advancing to the finals.