September 13, 2021

HAPPY MONDAY! We’re glad to be with you after skipping last week for a restful Labor Day break and following an exciting game-day weekend. That halftime showWOW.

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An American flag is unfurled on the field of Michigan Stadium in remembrance of 9/11, as the Goodyear Blimp flies overhead. The Wolverines defeated the University of Washington, 31-10, in a ‘maize out’ game on Saturday. Luke Hales/Daily. Buy this photo.

EMPOWERED PUBLIC: City Council unanimously approved a resolution asking the city’s Energy Commission to provide a recommendation by the end of the year as to whether a feasibility study should be conducted for the formation of a public power utility for the Ann Arbor community and a pivot from DTE Energy. 

Proponents say a public power utility will help the city achieve it’s A2Zero goals and provide residents with more reliable service than DTE, which has faced multiple severe outages amid heavy storms in recent months.

Ann Arbor for Public Power, an organization pushing for public power utility, held a fundraising kickoff in Burns Park Thursday night, according to MLive. The group hopes to present a ballot proposal for a public power grid to Ann Arbor voters in 2022.

DIMMING THE LIGHTS: City Council also voted to increase regulations on outdoor lighting in an effort to minimize light pollution. The resolution requires private, outdoor lighting to be shielded and limits the heat and color restrictions on outdoor lighting for non-residential, multi-family units. 

Temporary lighting is exempt for 90 consecutive days, but must be turned off overnight. Flag lighting is completely exempt from the resolution. Some community members believe the change will help save energy and benefit nearby ecosystems.

ELECTRIC AVENUES: City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to initially approve a plan to further implement electric scooters and bikes into Ann Arbor’s transportation infrastructure, according to MLive. The proposed ordinance would allow electric bikes and scooters to be operated on both sidewalks and streets and to be parked in motor vehicle spaces along streets. 

BUSINESS BUREAUCRACY: City Council approved new, relaxed regulations for at-home businesses Tuesday night. The resolution raises the number of allowed clients per day to a maximum of 24 and provides additional standards for businesses in homes. Councilmembers say these changes will help support those operating businesses from home and better meet A2Zero goals to achieve carbon neutrality.

ONE PROBLEM: Tenants of the new student apartment complex, The One, faced move-in delays as the property is not yet finished. Initially promised a move-in date in August, more than 600 tenants received a delayed move-in date of Sept. 9. The amount of tenants still displaced is uncertain as, according to The One, only 45 tenants were able to move into the complex on Sept. 9.

Tenants of The One who haven’t been able to move in sent an open letter to the University’s Dean of Students asking for additional support. The student tenants are requesting the University stop advertising The One on their off-campus housing website. They are also asking for free meal swipes at University dining halls, as they say they have not received their promised daily stipends from The One.

RISING RATES: With the start of classes, Washtenaw County has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases with students making up 25% of all cases in the county. The University also reported a COVID-19 cluster where 15 positive cases were identified in relation to one off-campus residence, as of Wednesday. 

STRIKING AN AGREEMENT: The Lecturers’ Employee Organization reached an agreement with the University administration to extend their contracts to Sept. 15, amid continued contract bargaining efforts. 

LEO hopes to address pay disparities between lecturers at the three U-M campuses. LEO rallied outside residence halls during student move-in, and their vote on a possible strike has been delayed.

MANDATE MAYHEM: More than 30 students at Saline High School walked out of classes Friday to protest Washtenaw County school mask mandates, according to MLive. The restrictions were put into place due to high levels of COVID-19 in Washtenaw County.

This comes after a few dozen students at Manchester High School entered school without masks to protest mask mandates on Tuesday, according to MLive. Manchester Community Schools was the only school district in Washtenaw County to make masks optional before the county’s mandate was put into place.

ADMINISTRATIVE ALLEGATIONS: The EMU Police Department is investigating two sexual assaults allegedly committed against one survivor on Aug. 28 and 29, according to MLive. The incident was listed in a lawsuit filed Wednesday by EMU students that claims the university failed to properly respond to reports of sexual assault.

We value your opinion! Each week we will pose a question and share reader responses in the following edition. 

This week’s prompt: How do you feel about the University of Michigan’s decision to hold football games at regular capacity with no mask, vaccine or testing requirements?

“Photo Essay: How the University of Michigan experienced the 9/11 attacks”The Michigan Daily

“Faculty member releases never-before-seen photos of 9/11”The University Record

“Ann Arbor Fire Department honors those who died on 9/11”MLive

“Two decades later, families of 9/11 victims with Washtenaw County ties still wrestle with grief”MLive

“Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission hears from U-M students”The Michigan Daily

“‘Campus is alive again’: Students reflect on the first week of in-person classes”The Michigan Daily

“We want things to be normal so badly that we’re resorting to magical thinking”The Washington Post

“Ann Arbor updating laws for dog bite cases, expanding bans on animal traps”MLive

“UMich grants vaccine exemptions to 2% of student body, majority are religious”The Michigan Daily

“Ann Arbor Pioneer JV football coach details claims of racist taunts by Bedford players, probe continues”MLive

“Downtown Ann Arbor lot long envisioned as future green space gets new coat of asphalt”MLive

Washtenaw County reported 112 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours and 787 cases in the past two weeks. Nearly 72% of Washtenaw County residents aged 16 and over have received at least one vaccine dose. 

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

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