BY DOMINICK SOKOTOFF AND SHANNON STOCKING
January 24, 2022
GOOD SNOWY MORNING! Since our last edition, the University of Michigan has had an eventful week with the appointment of Interim President Mary Sue Coleman after the Board of Regents fired Mark Schlissel. The days are getting longer and we’re holding our breath that they’ll get warmer too.
As always, thank you for reading, and if you’re enjoying A2 Outlook, share this link with others to subscribe!
A 24-hour pizza vending machine opened on South University Avenue earlier this month. Keith Melong/Daily. Buy this photo.
POWER PROTEST: Members of Ann Arbor Public Power (A2P2) rallied outside of City Hall on Tuesday in anticipation of City Council’s vote later that night to implement a feasibility study on creating a public power grid for the city. A2P2 advocates for a municipal power grid, separate from DTE and other private entities, that will focus on renewable and reliable energy for the Ann Arbor area.
Following the approval of the feasibility study, A2P2 will begin to focus on funding and research in the beginning stages of municipalizing Ann Arbor’s energy resources.
SHOVELING SCRUTINY: The city of Ann Arbor is revisiting the idea of shifting sidewalk snow clearing responsibilities from property owners to the city, following concerns from citizens that some residents do not do a sufficient job of clearing their walkways. At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, a resolution was approved directing the City Administrator to conduct additional analysis into the feasibility of a sidewalk maintenance program.
In a November memo, Assistant City Administrator John Fournier presented an initial feasibility analysis to City Council, stating that a program dedicated to sidewalk snow removal by the city could cost upwards of $22 million in its first two years of implementation. Fournier added in his memo that while a program would be possible, the potential costs are significant.
STAFFING EMERGENCIES: Ann Arbor’s primary ambulance service, Huron Valley Ambulance, has reported unprecedented staff shortages, leading to overworked staff and a reorganization of priorities, according to MLive. HVA is considering lending out ambulances to fire departments who can staff them as a temporary fix and are also hopeful as they graduated a record number of EMTs last fall.
SURVIVOR SETTLEMENT: After over 15 months of mediation, the University of Michigan will be granting a $490 million settlement to the more than 1,000 sexual abuse survivors of the late Dr. Robert Anderson.
SCHOOL SHIFT: AAPS announced that the early-release day of school on Wednesday will shift from in-person to virtual learning, according to an update from Superintendent Jeanice Swift.
DEMONSTRATION CONDEMNATION: City Council unanimously approved a resolution condemning antisemitic demonstrations that have occurred outside of Beth Israel Congregation, an Ann Arbor Synagogue, on Saturdays for the past 18 years.
STUDENT REPRESENTATION: The Daily spoke with student leaders and local officials to dive into what some University students view as a lack of representation in municipal government. Some suggest that the districting of City Council wards and primary elections held in August marginalize the student vote.
We value your opinion! Each week we will pose a question and share reader responses in the following edition. Responses have been condensed and edited for clarity.
This week’s prompt: City Council is looking into the feasibility of shifting sidewalk snow clearing responsibilities from property owners to the city following concerns that some residents do not do a sufficient job of clearing their walkways. What are your thoughts on this?
“Students, faculty hopeful for the future after Schlissel’s termination” … The Michigan Daily
“Ford School event reflects on Michigan redistricting process” … The Michigan Daily
“Police standoff with barricaded gunman ends after 15 hours” … The Michigan Daily
“5 Bills to watch in the Michigan legislature: Jan. 18” … The Michigan Daily
Washtenaw County reported 868 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours and 10,550 cases in the past two weeks. 79.6% of Washtenaw County residents aged 16 and over and 53.6% of residents aged 5 to 11 have received at least one vaccine dose.
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