August 16, 2021

Welcome to the 10th edition of A2 Outlook! We’re entering a new stage of the pandemic as the city adapts to the increasing spread of the delta variant. Michigan is also facing infrastructure challenges in part presented by a global increase in extreme weather events fueled by climate change. 

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A new Target store is under construction in the State Theatre building in downtown Ann Arbor. Dominick Sokotoff/Daily. Buy this photo.

UNDER THE WEATHER: As SE Michigan experiences extreme weather, more than 830,000 Michigan households were without power following the most recent big storm. In response to outages, the City of Ann Arbor opened a community relief station at Pioneer High School that offers snacks, water and electronics charging stations. 

One group is calling on the city to build more resilient energy infrastructure independent from DTE, as climate change has spurred an increase in extreme weather events across the globe.

A storm caused damage to local homes and power lines Wednesday evening. Dominick Sokotoff/Daily. Buy this photo.

Mayor Christopher Taylor sat down with WEMU radio last week to discuss his new proposal for a 20-year climate tax. The plan is still being fully developed, and Taylor hopes to garner more community input. 

While Taylor has yet to bring a formal resolution to City Council to get the proposal on the ballot, he hopes that the proposal will make it onto the ballot sometime in 2022.

COUNCIL PREVIEW: City Council will convene tonight to consider creating a downtown social district and opening up the “Library Lot” for use by food trucks and pop-up vendors. City Council is continuing to explore the feasibility of a central park in the space, according to MLive. You can tune in at 7:00 p.m. via CTN … The agenda

MODERN(A) SOLUTIONS: U-M reimposed an indoor mask mandate, regardless of vaccination status, amid spread of the delta variant on Wednesday. EMU implemented a vaccine mandate for students in campus housing with a variety of incentives on Thursday, according to EMU Today.

Fake COVID-19 vaccination cards are beginning to raise concerns for some universities with student vaccine mandates, according to the Associated Press. This comes amid seizures of thousands of fake vaccine cards and calls from government officials to crack down on the counterfeit cards, according to CNN and AP reporting.

“The University of Michigan says it has a system in place to confirm employee and student vaccinations,” the AP story reads. “A spokesman for the college told the AP the school has not encountered any problems so far with students forging their COVID-19 vaccination record cards.” 

According to MLive, U-M will prioritize compliance rather than discipline when dealing with students who violate the vaccine mandate. A U-M spokesperson told MLive that the details of such responses are still being worked out by the Campus Health Response Committee.

FOOD SCRAPPED: Taste of Ann Arbor was canceled due to the pandemic, after being postponed once this year and though street closures were already approved by City Council. The event will return in June 2022, according to All About Ann Arbor.

NEW CHAPTER: A new bookstore Booksweet recently opened in place of the Bookbound bookstore, which closed in July. The store held a community open house event on Thursday evening.

PUBLIC SAFETY UPDATES: A suspect was arraigned for a string of sexual assaults earlier this summer and is being held in the Washtenaw County Jail without bail. His next hearing will be Aug. 20. Anyone with additional information about the July assaults is asked to contact AAPD. 

AAPD is also investigating a series of thefts of catalytic converters. They have suspects in custody and ask that residents who are missing a catalytic converter reach out.

“Op-Ed: Ann Arbor landlords are out of control; City Council must bring them to heel”The Michigan Daily 

“We need immediate change for young Black men in criminal justice system”Detroit Free Press 

“Solar Farm Coming To Pittsfield & Ann Arbor”The Sun Times News 

“Game day visitors are focus of new short-term rental company in Ann Arbor”MLive 

“Pivot to enrichment courses is ‘adapting to the workforce that we have,’ AAPS superintendent says”MLive

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will offer tours to the public providing an up-close look at the Black River sturgeon hatchery, according to MLive. Tours will be available from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm on Aug. 21. 

Sonic Lunch’s concert this Thursday in downtown Ann Arbor will include the Detroit Youth Choir and Laith Al-Saadi with Al Bettis … More details

Washtenaw County reported 59 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours and 448 cases in the past two weeks. 70.3% of Washtenaw County residents aged 16 and over have received at least one vaccine dose. 

All About Ann Arbor compiled a list of local COVID-19 vaccine clinics this month … Find a location

Get free at-home COVID-19 test kits shipped to you … Order tests

News tips? Comments? Questions?
A2 Outlook editors Dominick Sokotoff, Shannon Stocking, and Sarah Payne can be reached at,, and, respectively.

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