May 13, 2021

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This week

Children as young as twelve started receiving the Pfizer vaccine today. Fed up with masks and everything else, my third grader stood up at dinner, saluted, and announced that he would like to volunteer for trials. 

Good news for the environment: energy purchased from DTE wind farms will allow U-M to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent four years ahead of schedule. 

Celebrate spring with a stroll downtown for Bloomfest or on a Huron River Day walking tour. Keep an eye out for turtle nests so NAP staff can keep them off the raccoons' menu!

Trilby MacDonald, editor 

Covid-19 Updates

Numbers continue trending downward. As of this morning, there were fifty-nine new confirmed cases, three hospitalizations, and no deaths in the last twenty-four hours. Last week’s positivity rate was 3 percent.

Local pharmacies are offering Pfizer vaccine appointments to twelve to fifteen-year-olds. Go to to find the next available appointment. Michigan Medicine is also offering Pfizer vaccine appointments for twelve to fifteen-year-olds. Use the patient portal or call (734) 763-6336 to schedule. You do not have to be a M-M patient but you do need a M-M medical record number to schedule an appointment. Call (734) 936-4990 to set one up.

Washtenaw County Health Department will offer Pfizer vaccine appointments for twelve to fifteen-year-olds beginning tomorrow at a pop-up site at Ypsilanti Community High School. More pop-up locations will open for twelve to fifteen-year-olds next week. Click here for a list of health department mass vaccination and pop-up locations and here to find out where to get the next available appointment.

Want to get vaccinated but need help booking and getting to and from your appointment? Call mobility solutions nonprofit Feonix - Mobility Rising at (844) 900-4892 and use the code Vaccinate Washtenaw to book your free rides one day in advance. 

The News...briefly

The state house appropriations committee wants to cut funding for the U-M’s Ann Arbor campus by $40 million. Instead of allocating funds based on performance metrics, the Republican-led proposal would fund Michigan’s fifteen public universities based on enrollment. The U-M’s Flint and Dearborn campuses would each receive an additional $2.5 million under the proposal. Overall funding would remain flat. Michigan Daily

More than 1,000 U-M instructors call for a campus-wide Covid vaccine mandate. The petition asks that the university require all employees and students attending in-person classes to be vaccinated, citing the 341 colleges and universities that have mandated vaccines for the upcoming school year. Michigan Daily

Roughly half of the electricity purchased by U-M’s Ann Arbor campus will soon come from Michigan-sourced renewable resources, thanks to three new DTE wind-energy parks. U-M will purchase 200 million kilowatt hours per year from the parks, allowing it to meet its 2011 goal of reducing emissions by 25 percent four years early.  University Record

U-M’s women’s softball team takes the title. The Wolverines, No. 19 (32-6), went to Minnesota over the weekend to beat the Golden Gophers, No. 23 (26-10) and take home the Big Ten women’s softball championship. This is their third conference title in a row, which is a “great accomplishment in a season that was difficult,” says coach Carol Hutchins. Michigan Daily 

Rally in Wheeler Park to advance voting rights. The day of action gathered support for the For the People Act and the Voting Rights Advancement Act, bills which would expand voting access across the country. Bills to limit voting access and reduce rare instances of fraud have been moving through Michigan’s Republican-led legislature. Michigan Daily 

EMU’s School of Art and Design plans to build a 3D Arts Complex. A $2.2 million matching grant from the Windgate Foundation kicked off the project, which goes before the regents in June. The 13,000-sq.-ft. facility will house programs in sculpture, ceramics, furniture design, digital fabrication, 3D design, and metalsmithing, as well as offices for faculty. EMU Today 

A musician who parked illegally in an empty church lot was in for a nasty surprise. He got barnacled! AirGarage is working with lot owners across the country to monetize their parking, and has a devilishly ingenious enforcement tool. The Observer’s James Leonard has our story. 

It’s turtle nesting season, which means a free buffet for the city’s many raccoons. Ann Arbor’s Natural Areas Preservation staff will be installing wood and wire cages to protect the eggs while they incubate. Local turtle enthusiasts can help protect these ancient reptiles by calling NAP at (734) 794-6627 with the location of wild nests. The Observer’s Tim Athan has our story. 

Marketplace Changes

Main Street Ann Arbor is celebrating spring this Saturday with Bloomfest, featuring discounts and spring-themed specials like the Bløm Picnic Kit, outdoor equipment and clothing from Moosejaw, and a fruity Spring Sampler from Cherry Republic. Shop in person, online, or for curbside pickup. Bloomfest 

Yourist Gallery grows. The pottery studio, gallery, school, and shop on Broadway is moving to 6087 Jackson Rd., and picking up nearly 2,500 square feet along the way. The studio will acquire a new kiln, gain more table and studio space, and expand its class offerings. MLive 

Ann Arbor’s first recreational marijuana lounge is coming to a house on S. Ashley. The lounge will be free to patrons of Liberty Provisioning Center next door, which is also owned by Holistic Industries, a national cannabis distributor. The company assures neighbors that the potent smell will be undetectable from the street. MLive (subscriber exclusive)

And the winner is...

Red the chicken! Red, a Silkie heritage breed chicken, won our Unusual Pet Contest by a landslide. To see more pictures of Red and her friends, visit @chickouttawater on Instagram. The runner up was the very lovely Charlotte the Tarantula. Click Red's photo to see all the unusual contestants. 

Red struts her stuff at home on Susan's farm. 

Things to Do 

By Ella Bourland

13 Thursday: Watch U-M musical theater students in an expressionist adaptation of Shakespeare's pastoral comedy As You Like It, a high-spirited exploration of the requirements of justice between lovers, brothers, friends, and rivals. Directed by U-M theater professor Malcolm Tulip. Free, available all day through May 17 online at U-M Musical Theatre Department.

14 Friday: Visit Briarwood Mall for a show and sale of handmade jewelry, bath and body products, and candles and other home decorations by 20 area vendors. Masks required. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.) and noon-6 p.m. (Sun.), Briarwood Mall, JC Penny court. Free admission. 1300 Marketplace 

Tune in to a legislative update from U.S. senator Debbie Stabenow on small business funding, autonomous vehicle development, educational and scientific advancement, efforts to expand and improve healthcare and mental health coverage, and more. Noon, free. For URL preregister at A2Y Chamber Headline Lunch. 

15 Saturday: Celebrate the Huron River by taking a self-guided 1.4-mile hike with two river crossings along a bend in the river through Island Park, Cedar Bend Nature Area, and Fuller Park. Masks and social distancing required. Meet at the welcome table in Island Park (1450 Island Dr. off Maiden Lane) anytime between 10 & 11 a.m. Free. Huron River Day

See the Observer’s online calendar for many more local events. 

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