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Civic Matters: Ann Arbor Sustainability Forum, National School Walkout, Summer18 Program, And More

Last week, the Ann Arbor District Library hosted the fourth in a series of civic sustainability forums.  Among the panelists were CivCity Initiative executive director Mary Morgan and WEMU's Patrick Campion.  In this week's "Civic Matters," Patrick and Mary meet again to discuss the forum and all of the other civic events coming up this week.

Mary Morgan
Mary Morgan, executive director of the CivCity Initiative

Mary Morgan brings a wealth of experience to the airwaves.  While heading up the CivCity Initiative now, Mary was previously co-founder and publisher of the Ann Arbor Chronicle.  Prior to that, she served as a reporter and editor for the Ann Arbor News when it was a daily, print-edition newspaper. 

This Week's Topics

   • The City of Ann Arbor is launching a new grant program called Sustaining Ann Arbor Together.  Grants of up to $10,000 will be given for small-scale improvement projects in the city's right-of-way or on other publicly-owned property.  Applications will be competitively reviewed and granted two times a year.  The city has budgeted $100,000 for this program in each of the next two fiscal years.  (The city's fiscal year starts on July 1.)  Stay tuned for details on how to apply.

   • Last week, the Ann Arbor City Council voted to increase the salary of city attorney Stephen Postema from $180,000 to $184,500, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018.  Council also gave him a one-time bonus of $4,151.  At a special session tonight, council will consider a raise and bonus for city administrator Howard Lazarus.  His current salary is $215,000.  The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at city hall, 301 E. Huron.  It will be followed at 7 p.m. by a budget working session.

   • Students throughout Washtenaw County will participate in the March 14 National School Walkout to honor victims of the Parkland shooting and to urge lawmakers to enact stricter gun controls.  In Ann Arbor, students will also lead a town hall on Thursday, March 15 focused on this issue. 

   • Summer18 is a ten-week employment and mentorship program for Washtenaw County youth ages 16-24.  It's seeking local businesses and organizations to provide on-the-job training that sets the stage for life-long careers, opens doors to new industries, and provides mentorship critical to building professional networks.  Interested in becoming a Summer18 employer?  The deadline to apply is April 3.  For youth who'd like to participate, the deadline to apply is March 31.  Click here for details.

   • Next week, weather permitting, work begins on a major overhaul of North Fifth Avenue and Detroit Street in Kerrytown, near the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.  In addition to reconstructing the streets, the work includes replacing and upgrading utilities, restoring brick pavement, reconfiguring crosswalks, replacing sidewalks and upgrading lights.  Worried about parking if you go to the Farmers Market?  Starting March 24, parking at the Ann Ashley structure is free each Saturday from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. for the duration of the project.  More information about the Fifth & Detroit "Paving the Way" project is available on the city's website.

   • The University of Michigan Museum of Art is looking for volunteers to serve as UMMA docents.  No background in art, art history or teaching is required.  You'll go through a training program and make a minimum three-year commitment to volunteering.  Trainees are required to attend all training sessions from September 2018 through May 2019 – every Monday and Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The deadline to apply for the current cycle of training is Monday, April 2.  Click here for details.

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— Patrick Campion is the WEMU Program Director.  You can contact Patrick at734.487.3363, on twitter @WEMUPC, or email him at pcampion@emich.edu

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