ANN ARBOR, MI – From University of Michigan graduate students and residence hall staff going on strike, to Ann Arbor banning dedicated Airbnb rentals in the city, a lot has been going on in the Ann Arbor area.
Here are some headlines this week you might have missed.
Staff in the University of Michigan’s residence halls are on strike due to what they say is a lack of coronavirus health protections for workers.
Residence hall staff have several demands for UM administrators, including regular access to COVID-19 testing, effective personal protective equipment for staff and students, enforcement of social distancing and hiring and staffing to normal capacity for all facilities and housing teams.
While more than 70% of the University of Michigan’s classes are being taught online this fall, Kathleen Brown was quick to question which types of instructors would feel the pressure to teach in-person.
The second-year PhD student in UM’s American Culture Department said it’s natural to assume graduate student instructors have been more greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic financially than their faculty counterparts, putting more stress on them to teach the classes the university is offering in-person.
TJ Waller has been getting up before 5 a.m. the last two days to join the picket line with other graduate student employees at the University of Michigan as they strike for a variety of reasons, including protections from the novel coronavirus.
Waller, a Ph.D. student in the molecular, cellular and developmental biology department, is taking part in the work stoppage as well, meaning he will not teach or conduct thesis research. His legs are sore and he has blisters on his feet, but Waller is proud of his fellow students.
Ann Arbor’s City Council has passed an ordinance banning short-term rentals of residences that aren’t owner-occupied, signaling the end of dedicated Airbnb houses in the city.
City Council approved the ordinance by a 7-4 vote Tuesday, Sept. 8, prohibiting non-owner-occupied short-term rentals, like year-round Airbnb houses, in residential zoning districts. The ordinance goes into effect on March 1, 2021. Council members Chip Smith, Jeff Hayner and Julie Grand voted against the ordinance, in addition to Mayor Christopher Taylor.
An empty bike, a photo and message pleading for drivers to watch out for cyclists rests in the spot where a 1-year-old girl was killed In August while on a bike ride with her mother.
A National City man was arrested Wednesday after running over a police motorcycle and leading police on a chase through Livingston County.
A Michigan State Police motorcycle trooper made a routine traffic stop at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 9, along M-52 in Ingham County when he discovered the 38-year-old driver had a warrant for his arrest.
The man ran over the trooper’s motorcycle and fled the scene as police tried to arrest him. The trooper was not injured, police said.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn has apologized for hosting two virtual cafe events titled “non-people of color” and “Black, indigenous and people of color” cafes.
In a statement, UM-Dearborn said the Sept. 8 events were virtual open conversations developed to allow students the opportunity to connect and process current events, share their experiences related to race, share knowledge and resources and brainstorm solutions.
Vinyl fans don’t need to worry if they see Underground Sounds’ current storefront vacant later this year — the record store is moving to Main Street, owner Matt Bradish said.
Underground Sounds, 255 E. Liberty St., will move to 210 S. Main St. on Oct. 1, Bradish said. The move comes, he said, because the lease on on the Liberty Street location ended and he wanted more space for customers to shop.
A new seafood-focused restaurant in downtown Ypsilanti has been open for lunch and dinner less than two weeks, but it’s already busy with customers.
Bellflower, 209 Pearl St., opened Monday, Aug. 24, and is what co-owner Mark Maynard calls “new American cuisine” with menu inspiration coming from the Gulf region. Maynard runs the restaurant with Jesse Kranyak and Chef Dan Klenotic, who formerly worked at Sava’s restaurant.
Several businesses have altered ways to accommodate customers during the novel coronavirus pandemic, including a downtown Ann Arbor bar that’s moved most of its operations to its outdoor space.
Managing Partner Roger Ahn closed the Circ Bar in March when state ordered the closing of bars and restaurants. But after monitoring business practices of others in the hospitality industry, he said he and his partners sought to bring back live music and entertainment.
Embarking on a new school year can be daunting if you’re the parent of a child with special needs, even under normal circumstances.
But navigating a child’s Individualized Education Program or 504 Plan while he or she begins the year with remote learning, as many are doing this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, can add multiple layers of stress, education experts say.
For Ypsilanti Community Schools, the first day of in-person classes came and went with only a couple minor issues.
Around 450 students were in attendance for the first day of face-to-face classes at Estabrook Elementary School and Ypsilanti Community Middle School, appearing in the classroom for the first time since March.
It was the rest of the district’s 3,300 students who experienced the brunt of the issues on Tuesday, Sept. 8, Superintendent Alena Zachery-Ross said, with about one hour of internet outages caused by a content filter for internet traffic that utilizes Domain Name System (DNS) redirect technology.
A Birmingham-based developer is eyeing a 22-acre site in Pittsfield Township for a mixed-used project.
Bob Gibbs of Gibbs Planning Group aims to create a pedestrian-friendly environment at 6464 S. State St., targeting young professionals, families and empty-nesters. Gibbs submitted a proposal for “Sutherland Square” to the Pittsfield Township planning department and expects to share more details in a public meeting this month, he said. The proposal has not yet been approved.