BY DOMINICK SOKOTOFF, SHANNON STOCKING AND GEORGE WEYKAMP
March 14, 2022
GOOD MORNING! Spring is finally on its way, with snow melting and temperatures rising in the coming days. The warmest day of the week will accompany St. Patrick’s Day this Thursday as the Ann Arbor bars and breweries will surely be celebrating in full force.
No. 2 seed Michigan hockey rocked Yost Arena Saturday night when it staved off No. 3 seed Notre Dame to advance to the Big Ten championship this upcoming Saturday.
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People gather to protest the Russian invasion of Ukraine at Burton Memorial Tower Wednesday night. Maria Deckmann/Daily. Buy this photo.
COUNCIL CATCH UP: Ann Arbor City Council voted to approve two rezoning proposals last Monday night. The first proposal rezoned 0.8 acres at 350 S 5th Ave. – the “Y Lot” – from Downtown Core to Planned Urban Development in an attempt to increase affordable housing. The second proposal rezoned 68 parcels in the South State Street and East/West Eisenhower Parkway area.
The rezoning of the “Y Lot” followed over six years of planning and debate, with the city first repurchasing the lot from a private contractor in 2018 in order to create affordable housing. Following the passage of the Affordable Housing Act in 2020 – which provided additional funds for affordable housing projects – the city planning commission unanimously endorsed the rezoning ordinance and brought it to the council for a first reading.
OVERTIME INCREASE: The city of Ann Arbor’s overtime pay increased by 38% in 2021 to a total of $4.2 million, according to MLive. More than $2.2 million of the total is attributable to members of the fire and police departments. Fire Chief Mike Kennedy told MLive that staffing shortages and mandatory isolation time off contributed to the increase.
PUBLIC PULL-OVERS: The Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission introduced a new ordinance demanding transparency from AAPD by requiring officers to collect and report details from all traffic stops. The ordinance calls for all data collected to be made publicly available while ensuring that the identities of those pulled over are kept private.
The ordinance is expected to move to City Council for consideration once passing through the Independent Community Police Oversight Commission and Transportation Commission.
COVID-19 CONSIDERATIONS: Some parents are advocating for AAPS to make school buildings more accessible for after-school programs, according to MLive. Parent Shannon Hautamaki told MLive she sees inconsistencies among COVID-19 precautions; spectators can attend indoor athletics events while parent-teacher conferences are held virtually, she said. Others have also faced difficulties in finding meeting spaces for student organizations and volunteer opportunities in classrooms.
STANDING IN SOLIDARITY: Community members gathered outside Burton Memorial Tower during Wednesday night’s “Vigil for Ukrainian War Victims” to mourn losses and protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Between renditions of traditional and contemporary Ukrainian music, speakers advocated for divestment toward Russia and the creation of a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine.
FOOD FOR CHANGE: Le Bon Macaron on South 4th Avenue is selling Ukrainian flag macarons to support humanitarian efforts in the country. As of last week, the store has already donated more than $6,000 in proceeds.
Despite their previous closing announcement, The Common Grill in Chelsea will stay open after being bought by Peas & Carrots Hospitality, who owns other restaurants throughout the Midwest. The Common Grill’s atmosphere and menu will remain the same. The restaurant will be closed until April 1, allowing time to transition between leadership.
Meanwhile, Belly Deli on South University Avenue is now permanently closed, according to MLive.
“Moving beyond Gold-Level: Ann Arbor cyclists want better biking infrastructure” … The Michigan Daily
“Kerene Moore announces candidacy for Michigan’s Third District Court of Appeals” … The Michigan Daily
“Winterfest returns in 2022, raises a record $202,213 for local charities” … The Michigan Daily
“U-M professors and students discuss economic impacts of Russia invading Ukraine” … The Michigan Daily
“Ann Arbor Art Center opens new street-level gallery” … Concentrate
According to the most recently available data, Washtenaw County reported 43 new COVID-19 cases on March 11 and 458 cases over the past two weeks. As of March 8, 82.0% of Washtenaw County residents aged 16 and over and 57.5% of residents aged 5 to 11 have received at least one vaccine dose.
The University of Michigan announced its new mask guidelines for campus buildings and classrooms last Wednesday. Starting today, masks will no longer be required in most indoor buildings, including libraries, offices, residence halls and athletic facilities. Masks will still be required on buses and in classrooms.
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