89.1 WEMU

coronavirus

David Gruner
Career Solutions / cdcpi.com

The past year has brought a global pandemic, political unrest, and a more concerted effort to combat systemic racism.  Put together, it has created new challenges for leaders in the non-profit sector.  Ann Arbor-based "Career Directions" is dedicated to coaching leaders and organization teams and, it too, has found new challenges to overcome.  On "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair explores challenges and solutions with Career Directions executive coach/principal, David Gruner.


Knight's
Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Michigan restaurants will be allowed to open their doors to indoor diners February 1st.  Indoor dining has been prohibited by state officials since November to curb the cases of COVID-19 in the community.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with Don Knight, the owner of Knight’s Steakhouse with two locations in Ann Arbor and one in Jackson, about his excitement to reopen even with state-imposed restrictions and some changes they’ve made to keep diners healthy.


Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Earlier this week, former President Donald Trump left for Florida, while newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden got right to work.  WEMU's David Fair caught up with 12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, after a whirlwind week, to reflect on the last four years and look at immediate priorities now. 


Michigan Collaborative for Mindfulness in Education / mc4me.org

This has been a challenging school year due to the pandemic for Michigan schoolchildren, but there is an Ann Arbor organization that works to bring "mindfulness" to students.

In this week's "Art and Soul," Lisa Barry talks with Dr. Rita Benn, co-founder and acting executive director of the "Michigan Collaborative For Mindfulness in Education" about how their program is more necessary than ever bringing tools and support to students and teachers.


Richard Rood
University of Michigan / umich.edu

Joe Biden will be sworn in today as the 46th President of the United States.  University of Michigan professor Richard Rood is one of many experts expecting the new administration will undo the damaging environmental policies of the Trump administration and advance the effort to combat the climate crisis.  Dr. Rood discussed his predictions with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Suzanne Van Dam
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Each week, WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Sarah Rigg, project manager for "On the Ground Ypsi," about an online story from Concentrate Media focusing on the Ypsilanti area.  This week, Lisa and Sarah talk with Suzanne Van Dam from the "Circles Program," part of "Friends In Deed" based in Ypsilanti, about how they have been able to stay connected and support local families even during a global health crisis.


Alize Asberry Payne

2020 reinforced that there is still a lot of work to do to achieve racial equality and justice in America.  Numerous acts of police brutality and a pandemic that disproportionate impacted people of color highlight the need for greater investment in equity.  In a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day edition of "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair discusses the state of "The Dream," locally and beyond, with Washtenaw County racial equity officer Alize Asberry Payne.


COVID-19
Getty Images

The first case of a variant strain of the COVID-19 virus in Michigan was found in Washtenaw County.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry spoke with Washtenaw County Health Department spokeswoman Susan Cerniglia about what happens next and why there is concern, but not surprise. 


Ann Arbor Public Schools
Jenna Bacalor / Ann Arbor Public Schools

This week, "Art and Soul" is about the visual arts.  Lisa Barry and state and local arts leader Omari Rush talk with Jenna Bacolor, executive director of Ann Arbor Public Schools Community Division, about the many community arts opportunities provided by the "Rec and Ed" department in the school district.


Michigan Theater
The Michigan Theater / Facebook

A New Year has arrived, and the Michigan Theater and State Theatre plan on reopening their doors to the public.  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair talks to Michigan Theater Foundation executive director Russ Collins about the reopening plans and the new flicks you can check out through the Michigan Theater's Virtual Movie Palace.


Isalita / Facebook

Adam Baru, the owner of Isalita and Mani Osteria in downtown Ann Arbor, already had to close a third restaurant he owned, Mikette, due to the pandemic.  He talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about the challenges he has faced as an Ann Arbor restaurant owner during this global health crisis and his response to Governor Gretchen Whitmer's announcement that restaurants may be allowed to open with some restrictions on February 1st.


Washtenaw County
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently expanded eligibility for the COVID 19-vaccine.  The three-day turnaround for health systems and health departments has put a lot of strain on the system.  And, there isn't enough vaccine to meet demand.  Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia joined WEMU's David Fair to offer the latest information. 


Roz Gould Keith
Roz Gould Keith

There has been some progress made in societal acceptance of the trans community, but there is a long way to go.  Most communities still lack adequate support systems for trans people and their families to help navigate through.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," Roz Gould Keith joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss her family's journey and the nonprofit organization it inspired, Stand with Trans. 


A2Y Regional Chamber

The Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber says that as more and more people get vaccinated for COVID-19 in Washtenaw County, local businesses may see an increase in revenues.  


Johanna McCoy

The Bomber Restaurant was first opened in Ypsilanti in 1936 as the "Baldwin Diner," and its name was changed to the Bomber in the 1940's as it served many transient workers who were living in town making B- 24 bombers at the Willow Run Plant.  Johanna McCoy bought the restaurant over 25 years ago and has struggled to keep the doors open recently due to the pandemic.  Currently closed, she talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about her determination to win the war over COVID-19 and keep customers and the community connected through the Ypsilanti restaurant.


Robert Pasick
Rob Pasick / robpasick.com

With increasing challenges in life these days, including a pandemic and now civil unrest at the nation's Capitol, many people may be at a loss on how to process the many emotions they are currently experiencing and wonder what to tell their kids.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Ann Arbor psychologist, author, and University of Michigan lecturer Dr. Robert Pasick, who shares some practical advice about how to feel okay when everything around you continues to feel like it's not.


TheRide

While the pandemic had a major financial impact in 2020 on the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, also known as TheRide, service will not be cut this year.  


Ypsilanti Community Schools

With the help of Eastern Michigan University, the United Way, and other local groups, Ypsilanti Community Schools will open an in-person Learning Lab on Monday January 11th.  


Washtenaw County

While many of Washtenaw County employees are working remotely right now because of the pandemic, the county is prepared for when employees return to work in person.  


To help reach the state’s goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders over age 16 and bring a quicker end to the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services officials announced the state is moving to a new phase of vaccination on Monday, January 11.  Lisa Barry talks with Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia about how the county plans to handle this updated vaccination plan.


Shelter Association of Washtenaw County

The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County has added a fourth overnight shelter to its list of winter locations to keep up with the demand during the pandemic.  


Jim Toy Community Center

The Jim Toy Community Center will close its brick-and-mortar office space at Braun Court in Ann Arbor by the end of January.  


Susan Cerniglia
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

A new year has begun, and the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Washtenaw County remains elevated.  The rollout of the coronavirus vaccine has not been as quick as hoped for, but there is reason to be more hopeful this year.  WEMU's David Fair found out why in his conversation with Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia.  


Save Our Stages / saveourstages.com

The roller-coaster ride for the arts + creative industries continues.  The deployment of vaccines is underway, and containment of the virus is a plausible reality for the not-too-distant future.  Deb Polich and David Fair discuss how COVID-19 caused the "Save Our Stages" movement to ignite changes and the eventual recovery, reopening, and possible reinvention of the arts + creative business model on this edition of "creative:impact."  Listen here.


getDowntown

The annual winter commuter challenge known as "Conquer the Cold" will be a bit different this year because of the pandemic.  


WISD

Out of the 10 school districts that are part of the Washtenaw Intermediate School District, only two currently offer in-person instruction options.  


Michelle Walters
Washtenaw Area Council for Children / washtenawchildren.org

The pandemic has created hardships across the board.  For a good number of people, it has been devastating and sometimes tragic.  Many have lost jobs and, coupled with being largely confined at home, are more stressed than ever.  That can be a recipe for child abuse.  WEMU's David Fair spoke about it with Michelle Walters, executive director of the Washtenaw Area Council for Children, whose mission is to prevent child abuse and ensure safe and healthy lives for all children. 


CDC

Health experts say you may want to consider getting tested for COVID-19 if you attended large, in-person family gatherings over the holiday break.  


Donna Lasinski
Michigan House Democrats / housedems.com

Changes are coming as we mark the start of the New Year.  A new presidential administration, Congress, and state Legislature will be sworn in later this month.  Democrat Donna Lasinski is the new minority leader in the state House.  The 52nd District Representative from Scio Township is the first guest of the New Year on "1st Friday Focus on the Environment."  Along with WEMU’s David Fair and Lisa Wozniak of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Lasinski discussed the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead in protecting our air, land, and water in a pandemic economy.


Hope Clinic

To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Hope Clinic in Ypsilanti wants to be among the local medical clinics that offers the COVID-19 vaccine.  


Pages