washtenaw county

Ecology Center
The Ecology Center / ecocenter.org

Founded in 1970 after the very first Earth Day, Ann Arbor's Ecology Center has focused on making many improvements to the environment.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the Ecology Center's executive director, Michael Garfield, about the many environmental improvements that have been made during that time period and the many others they are still working to address.


Tajalli Hodge
Tajalli Hodge

Nestled on the eastern side of Ypsilanti Township is a neighborhood park that is largely grass-covered and is an underutilized resource. That is changing. Tajalli Hodge is an elected member of the Ypsilanti Township Parks Commission and has taken initial steps to make the park a community gathering place that also enhances the area’s environmental health. WEMU’s David Fair spoke with Hodge about the present and future of Sugarbrook Park. 


Alison Foreman
Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels / ymow.org

We are approaching the end of  the year, and soon, we'll be meeting with friends and family for special meals at Thanksgiving and other upcoming holidays. Of course, we can't forget the many elderly folks who don't have access to healthy and good food. That is a situation made more difficult by the ongoing pandemic. Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels continues to meet the challenges, but it isn't easy. WEMU's David Fair talked it over with its president and CEO, Alison Foreman. 


Susan Cerniglia
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

All across Michigan, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge. More cases and hospitalizations have been reported, while hospital staff members are leaving in protest of vaccine mandates. As the colder months are upon us, state health departments need to adapt. Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia gives a local perspective on these developments with WEMU's David Fair.


CultureVerse
CultureVerse

Sitting at the intersection of art and technology, local entrepreneur Don Hicks wondered how SaganWorks 3-D technology could make it possible for anyone to view the work of artists from anywhere. Being one to take action, he started the nonprofit CultureVerse to figure it out. Aubrey Martinson was enlisted as executive director, and she explains it all when she joins co-hosts Deb Polich of Creative Washtenaw and WEMUs David Fair on this edition of "creative:impact." 


Susan Cerniglia
J. Adrian Wylie

The CDC's latest data indicates that the entire state of Michigan is now considered high risk for COVID transmission and infection. Locally, the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are trending upward. WEMU's David Fair was joined by Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia to provide the latest updates. 


Larry Deck
Larry Deck

Many Washtenaw County residents prefer their bicycles instead of cars as a means for transportation. In fact, the popularity of non-motorized transportation continues to grow. Larry Deck is on the board of the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition. He joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss  work being done on the Border-to-Border Trail and the Campus-to-Campus path. 


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

WEMU's Lisa Barry and On the Ground Ypsi project manager Sarah Rigg talk with Keesa Johnson from the Washtenaw County Black Farmers Fund about efforts to encourage and support diversity in farming and why that's important.


Sue Shink
Sue Shink

Washtenaw County had already declared an official climate emergency, and it has set a goal of getting the entire county carbon neutral by the year 2035. The "Climate Action Planning Team" has been formed, and the next steps are being taken. Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners chair Sue Shink joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the work ahead.  


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

This week for "On the Ground Ypsi," our weekly conversation with Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg and WEMU's Lisa Barry, they talk with Melisa Tasker, the program coordinator for the Washtenaw County "CARES team," about the mental health services they provide to the community funded by a 2018 county public safety and mental health preservation millage.


Ebony Robinson
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

To overcome inequity and injustice, there are systemic issues that must be remedied. Part of what it takes is adequately addressing racism, poverty, and trauma, particularly in communities of color. Those individual and collective issues will be the subject of a virtual forum this week. WEMU's David Fair spoke with a member of the team sponsoring the event. United Way of Washtenaw County's director of corporate giving, Ebony Robinson, discusses how these issues are impacting the entirety of the county, what is being done about it, and where we go from here. 


Dan Ezekiel
Ann Arbor Wiki / localwiki.org

When it comes to environmental protection and sustainability, getting a better handle on America’s “throw away culture" is important. That's the motivation behind the upcoming "Trash Talk" tour in Ann Arbor. WEMU’s David Fair checked in with Dan Ezekiel from the Washtenaw Zero Waste Coalition to learn more about the tour, what it offers those who participate, and why this is expected to become an annual event.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

A collaboration between two Ypsilanti-based nonprofits, Our House and HouseN2Home, has created a "home" for teenagers about to transition out of foster care. 

 

WEMU's Lisa Barry and On the Ground Ypsi project manager Sarah Rigg talk with Natasha Doan-Motsinger, the executive director of Our House, about how they worked together to create this necessary space.


Derrick Jackson
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Childhood trauma, if not addressed properly, can have terrible, long-term effects. In many situations, law enforcement is involved, and that can intensify trauma. Derrick Jackson from the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the "Handle with Care" program that identifies those at risk of trauma and then provides needed resources to overcome its affects. 


9/11
Deb Polich / Creative Washtenaw

With the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaching, there is still much reflection on the impact of what happened, and it is still a solemn occasion for many. The arts played a powerful role in engaging in and healing from the tragedy, but what impact might that still be having now...20 years later?

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the president of the University of Michigan University Musical Society, Matthew VanBesien, about the ongoing arts and cultural impact of 9/11, both nationally and on the local community.


UPSC Medico / upsc.medcampus.io

The message to get vaccinated in order to deal with the COVID-19 virus has been loud and clear. But not everyone hears it or wants to get one.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with a Washtenaw County Health Department employee, Nivean Farha, who was initially hesitant, but finally did get vaccinated and shares her "vaccination hesitation journey."


Rich Chang
NewFoundry / thenewfoundry.com

The fourth and latest 21-Day Equity Challenge in Washtenaw County is complete. The challenge seeks to create awareness about inequity, injustice, and both overt and systemic racism. Rich Chang is CEO of the Ann Arbor-based software firm NewFoundry and serves as Board Chair of the United Way of Washtenaw County. He joined WEMU's David Fair to recap the latest challenge and the future it seeks to build.  


Amy Fracker
Riverside Arts Center / riversidearts.org

Impacted like a lot of other arts organizations during the pandemic, the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti has had its share of ups and downs. But there is a new executive director: Amy Fracker. She talks with Lisa Barry and Omari Rush about her vision for the Ypsilanti arts facility and how she hopes to serve and connect with the local arts community moving forward.


COVID-19
Public Domain Pictures / publicdomainpictures.net

At a time when we thought we might be moving on as the COVID-19 pandemic wears down, it seems like there is as much confusion and concern as ever.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Susan Cerniglia, communications and health promotion administrator for the Washtenaw County Health Department, about the recent upward trend in COVID cases and the recommended tools for curtailing cases as more and more activities resume.


COVID-19
CDC / cdc.gov

For most K-12 students in Washtenaw County, school begins on Monday, August 30th. Meantime, the Centers for Disease Control data tracker has moved the country from substantial tranmission risk to high transmission risk. Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the current state of the public health crisis and what the near future may bring. 


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

For this week's "On The Ground Ypsi," WEMU's Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg from Concentrate Media talk with Peter Sanderson from the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation division about recently completed improvements to Ypsilanti area parks and trails and what else is in the works.


COVID-19
MGN

The CDC has released its latest COVID-19 data, and it shows that Washtenaw County is one of many communities seeing a rise in confirmed cases. In the meantime, Washtenaw County is now offering booster shots to immunocompromised residents who are already vaccinated. Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia provides more details on these updates in a conversation with WEMU's David Fair.


Eli Savit
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit is creating change. Washtenaw County has joined communities across the world using art + creativity to detour youth away from the justice system. Eli talks about his office’s decision to add preventative creative programs and its partnership with Washtenaw My Brother’s Keeper and the Vera Institute of Justice on this "creative:impact" with show co-hosts Deb Polich of Creative Washtenaw and WEMU’s David Fair.


Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Many consider Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor in particular, an affluent community. Yet, the truth is that a large number of Washtenaw residents are at, or below the poverty line. Morghan Boydston is the human services manager for the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development. She joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the harsh realities as to why that is and the current efforts to address racism and its impact on local poverty. 


Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University / emich.edu

Eastern Michigan University president Dr. James Smith announced residents in University student housing facilities will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the fall semester. WEMU's Lisa Barry talked with President Smith about the decision, which also includes a vaccine incentive program for students and EMU staff.

 

 


Susan Cerniglia
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

The Delta variant of the coronavirus has led to a major increase in infections across the country. In response, many businesses and schools, including those in Washtenaw County, have reinstated policies requiring protective masks while indoors. Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the latest pandemic information and how it impacts us in our community.

Justin Hodge
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

For many in Washtenaw County, environmental justice is lacking. Low income residents and people of color often find themselves subjected to environmental hazards, while the more affluent do not. Washtenaw County Commissioner Justin Hodge has made environmental justice a priority and discusses the successes and challenges that remain with WEMU's David Fair. 


COVID-19
Fiog / fiog.org

The number of COVID-19 cases is steadily increasing locally, according to Washtenaw County Public Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia.  

She talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about the latest trend in cases and the impact on wearing a mask, going out in public, and going back to work as the pandemic continues.


Deana Fisher
St. Louis Center / stlouiscenter.org

For over 60 years, the St. Louis Center in Chelsea has housed those with developmental disabilities and helped them find employment and work toward independence. Yet, like many nonprofit organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the center financially and emotionally. The center's chief operations officer, Deana Fisher, joins WEMU's David Fair to discuss how her establishment and its residents have adapted to the pandemic.


Kristen Schweighoefer
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Flooding, pollution, and overall water quality have dominated the news lately. While municipal water systems cover the majority of state residents, 35% operate on a septic system. Regulations and code varies from place to place, and many of the systems are aging and in deteriorating shape. WEMU's David Fair checked in with Washtenaw County environmental health director Kristen Schweighoefer to discuss whether more uniform codes and standards are needed.  


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