March 28, 2022

Happy spring everyone! Temperatures are dropping in typical Michigan fashion, but we’re confident it’ll start to warm up soon! This week, the Michigan men’s basketball team succumbed to Villanova in a disappointing loss on Thursday while the women’s basketball team advanced to the Elite Eight with a down-to-the-wire win over South Dakota. 

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More than 100 students gathered on the Diag as part of a global climate strike organized by Fridays for Future, a youth-led organization dedicated to fighting climate change Friday afternoon. Allison Engkvist/Daily. Buy this photo.

CHILDCARE CHALLENGES: Ann Arbor Public Schools held a virtual meeting Wednesday at which several community members voiced concerns over a lack of childcare at AAPS and the challenges that causes for working parents.

Childcare was discontinued by AAPS back in May due to staffing and COVID-19 concerns. In a survey issued by AAPS earlier this year, 29% of respondents said before/after school childcare should be a priority for AAPS moving forward.

Former AAPS parent Melissa Grzesiak said the lack of childcare was a contributing factor in moving her children to private school. Grzesiak also said parents who had to leave AAPS for the same reason were not included in the survey. 

“Being that we’re no longer a part of AAPS, we were not included in the Thought Exchange survey. If we and the many other families who left AAPS were included in this survey, the percentage of those wishing to prioritize childcare would likely be much higher than 29%,” Grzesiak said.

ARTIST APPRECIATION: At the start of the pandemic, local street artist David Zinn began creating chalk art on the streets of Ann Arbor. Although the artwork only exists temporarily, Zinn’s work has been featured in the Ann Arbor Summer Festival as well as his new book “Chance Encounters,” which is due to be released in April.

COUNCIL CATCH-UP: On Monday night, City Council unanimously approved interim City Administrator Milton Dohoney Jr. as permanent city administrator. Dohoney first began working as interim city administrator in August 2021 after an investigation found former City Administrator Tom Crawford made discriminatory comments while in his position.

Council also unanimously approved a resolution to introduce sustainably-produced food and drink at city functions throughout Ann Arbor. The resolution recommended the formation of a working group that will collaborate with the Washtenaw County Food Policy Council to increase food sustainability education for city employees.

CLOSURES CONTINUED: City Council passed a resolution to resume the closure of a variety of downtown streets for outdoor dining this summer. The closures will occur from 4 p.m. on Thursdays to 6 a.m. on Mondays from May 5 to Oct. 31 and will occur at the following streets: 

Main Street from William Street to Washington Street
West Liberty Street from Ashley Street to Main Street
East Liberty Street from Main Street to Fourth Avenue

The closures come after Ann Arbor initiated similar street closures in the summers of 2020 and 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Sandra Andrade, executive director of the Main Street Association, 96% of surveyed community members were in favor of the closures.

LIBRARY LEADER: Following a national search, the Ann Arbor District Library Board of Trustees announced Eli Neiburger, AADL Deputy Director, will be taking over as head of the library system beginning April 1. Neilburger has worked for AADL for 25 years, and his appointment comes after the retirement of former AADL Director Josie Parker earlier this year. 

FIXED FARMHOUSE: A 150-year-old farmhouse on Plymouth Road will be restored to its 1920s state by the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission. The house — which is now a public park  — will be used for historical education, park programming and traditional arts and crafts by the Michigan Folk School.

“Lightning strike causes house fire in Ann Arbor”ClickOnDetroit 

“UMich and students reach settlement of lawsuit over handling of sexual misconudct”The Michigan Daily  

“Campus reacts to news of updated COVID-19 mask mandate”The Michigan Daily  

“How taxes collected from $1.1B in recreational marijuana sales benefits communities”WXYZ Detroit 

“Suspect arrested after Ypsilanti shooting”MLive  

“Even as retail struggles, Washtenaw County expected to make full economic recovery”MLive 

“Ann Arbor ranked among top dog friendly city in the United States”ClickOnDetroit

“Final Phase of downtown Ann Arbor condo development underway”  … MLive

According to the most recently available data, Washtenaw County reported 57 new COVID-19 cases on March 25 and 531 cases over the past two weeks. As of March 25, 82.1% of Washtenaw County residents aged 16 and over and 57.9% of residents aged 5 to 11 have received at least one vaccine dose. 

News tips? Comments? Questions?
A2 Outlook editors Shannon Stocking and George Weykamp can be reached at and, respectively.

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