PPNA Happenings

Happenings, history and news of the Prospect Park Neighborhood and Ypsilanti

Archive for April 2nd, 2009

Energy Tidbits April 2009

Posted by ppna on April 2, 2009

This is an edited version of ENERGY TIDBITS which is a monthly newsletter from the state
To subscribe, contact sarverj@michigan.gov It is a great resource. I edited out a lot of conference information, state policies, and other important but not exciting things.


First Conservation Day at Okemos High School led by a group of 14 students called the Alternative Energy and Sustainability Initiative resulted in a 30% reduction in energy use. The students asked other students and staff members to make changes such as turning off TV’s and lights, unplugging personal appliances, turning off computers, and posting assignments online instead of printing them.

Crematorium in the Swedish town of Halmstad, which has been criticized for its heavy pollution, has announced plans to use the waste heat from its body-burning operations to heat its own facilities and eventually also heat other buildings in town.

4th Annual Earth Day Expo will be in downtown Rochester on Sat. & Sun., April 18th & 19th. The Expo is moving to Main Street and will offer many fun, informative, & earth-friendly activities including: 150+ green & wellness exhibits, presentations, food, farmer’s market, kids’ corner, films, entertainment, prizes, sustainability tours, free yoga and massage, and a community-building Connections Cafe. There is no charge. http://www.earthdayexpo.org

Solar-Powered Parking Meters have been ordered by the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority. The DDA ordered 25 solar meters and expects to install them on Main, Liberty and State streets as the first test phase before replacing all of downtown’s 1,500 parking meters.

2nd Annual Michigan Energy Conference will be held at Ferris State on April 16-17.
Guest speakers include Paul Proudfoot, MPSC, Jeff Goody, Vestas, Bill Harper, Chevron Energy Solutions, Michele Buckler, FTC&H, Stephen Hamstra, GMB Architects Engineers, and Dan Radomski, NextEnergy. http://www.ferris.edu/mec

Ann Arbor’s 2009 Earth Day Festival will be Sunday, April 26, 12:00 – 4:00 pm at the Leslie Science & Nature Center. Youth-oriented educational displays, art projects, live animal programs, and experiments will all be part of the fun. The All Species Parade is a chance for area children to dress up as their favorite animal or plant. http://www.a2earthday.org

AT&T has announced plans to invest up to $565 million as part of a long-term strategy to deploy more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles over the next 10 years. AT&T expects to spend an estimated $350 million to purchase about 8,000 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles and approximately $215 million to begin replacing its passenger cars.

DTE Energy has filed with the MPSC to add 1,200 MW’s of renewable energy and establish energy efficiency programs. Last October, the Michigan legislature passed a law calling for the state’s electric utilities to serve 10% of their retail sales with renewable energy by 2015. To meet the goal, DTE has proposed to build 1,200 MW of renewable energy and contract with third-party producers for the rest. DTE expects the majority of its renewable energy to come from wind resources, with a small portion – about 20 MW – coming from two solar energy pilot projects. DTE has acquired easements on more than 50,000 acres of land in Huron County for development of a wind farm.

Manure from 1.3 million turkeys will provide energy to run Sietsema Farm Feeds
. When fired up in August, it will be the world’s first biomass-powered turbine engine designed to produce electricity. See Manure into Power for the full story

Mt. Carmel Cemetery is the first cemetery in Michigan and the first Catholic cemetery in the US, to receive Green Burial Council certification to offer green burials. This twelve-and-half acre cemetery, located in the heart of Wyandotte, will initially dedicate a half acre for burial without embalming or vaults. Caskets in the green burial section must be bio-degradable and families will have the option to substitute shrouds as well. Native Michigan landscaping will set the green burial section apart. http://www.greenburialcouncil.org


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From the Ypsilanti Public Schools 4-2-09

Posted by ppna on April 2, 2009

Date: April 2, 2009

To: Local media

From: Ypsilanti Public Schools

Subject: Highlights of district activities

Contact: Emma Jackson, Public Relations Director, 734/714-1202, ejackson@ypsd.org

Every Week (and more!) at YPS
*Spring break is April 6-13

Parent Night for incoming freshmen. Ypsilanti High School, 2095 Packard Rd., is hosting a Parent Night, 7 p.m. April 16 in the high school auditorium. Parents of current eighth grade students are encouraged to attend. High school counselors will be on hand to explain the curriculum, graduation requirements and the scheduling process. Details: (734) 714-1010.

Swim scholar. Ypsilanti High School senior Molly Krell has been recognized by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association as an Academic All American. Only 2% of the over 280,000 high school swimmers in the U.S. are recognized as high school All Americans and Molly joins this elite group. Besides being on the swim and dive teams, Molly plays soccer, is a member of the Wind Symphony-the top YHS band and the YHS Marching Band, is the coordinator of the YHS recycling program, member of Key Club-a service organization, and she is president of the National Honor Society.

Spring open houses. Incoming first graders and other new students wishing to tour the YPS elementary schools and meet the staff are invited to visit during the following dates:
April 16 – Estabrook 1555 W. Cross St.
April 21- Chapelle, 111 S. Wallace Blvd.
April 23 – Adams, 503 Oak St.
April 30 – Erickson, 1427 Levona St.
All open houses begin at 6:30 p.m. Details call (734) 714-1202.

PeNUT making impact. The Physical Education Nutrition (Pe-NUT ) grant was launched in the fall of 2008 and is making a positive impact on elementary students. Students are receiving regular healthy nutrition information in the classroom and healthy snack alternatives are being introduced on a regular basis. One class at Estabrook Elementary has carried the message into the hall, decorating lockers with food nutrition values. Details, contact Beth Darnell, Pe-NUT grant coordinator, (734) 262-1262.

Chapelle fitness. Sixteen girls in grades 3-5 at Chapelle Community School are participating in Girls on the Run, a program geared toward helping girls to better understand fitness, nutrition and the development of self esteem. The program consists of 24 lessons that will culminate in a 3.1 mile fun run, June 6. The activity is a collaborative effort between the Washtenaw County Health Department and Girls on the Run of SE Michigan. Details: Mark Larson, (734) 714-1714.

YHS Robotics team to complete this weekend. The FIRST (For Inspiration in Research, Science and Technology) in MI State Championship is April 2-4 at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center. The YHS Team 470 is one of 64 qualifying teams competing. Admission is free and open to the public. Details: (734) 714-1183.

Emma L. Jackson, Public Relations Director
Ypsilanti Public Schools
“Strong From Start to Finish”
(734) 714-1202

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Prospect Park Garden Day May 2nd 2009

Posted by ppna on April 2, 2009

I’m setting up a drop-in Garden Day at Prospect Park on May 2nd. Here is the introductory flyer. I’m hoping to receive commitments from anyone that wants to help or stop by. The plan is an open picnic in the park with an emphasis on the Spring and Gardening.
Click for Garden-Day Flyer

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Performance about Ypsilanti April 21

Posted by ppna on April 2, 2009

Subject: Community Performance with EMU—“Anywhere You Want To Go” press release

Community Performance, “Anywhere You Want To Go” about Ypsilanti Created and Presented by CrossTown Theatre and EMU Students

Graduate and undergraduate students from EMU’s Communication, Media and Theatre Arts Department have teamed up with the YYEA: Crosstown Theatre Troupe, a local youth theatre troupe exploring youth voice through theatre, to create a Community Performance about Ypsilanti and for the people of Ypsilanti. The goal of this project, titled the Community Performance with EMU (CPE) is to use performance as a means of generating community dialogue on issues relevant and pressing to the Ypsilanti community at large.CPE is directed by local professor, theatre artist, and Ypsilanti Resident Jessica ‘Decky’ Alexander.

CPE will hold two performances at the Parkridge Community Center (591 Armstrong, Ypsilanti, MI) on Tuesday, April 21 at 5:00 and 7:00 pm. The performance will run approximately one hour including a talk back/dialogue session. CPE is free to all audience members and no reservations are required. Parking at the Parkridge Community Center is free of charge for this event.

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Prospect Park Summit #2

Posted by ppna on April 2, 2009

Last night about 40 residents of the neighborhoods surrounding Prospect Park got together to discuss what we can do to improve our park. We met at Adams School and then divided into two groups to walk the park. After the walk we discussed our findings and started making a list of potential projects. I think the best thing that came from the meeting was seeing 40 people that want to see more activity in the park which is mostly used for its basketball courts.

Prospect Park is a really nice park with multiple sections which have their own feeling. Here are some of our observations, If you have some more please comment. I should say that at the Prospect Park Summit #1 there were safety concerns expressed which have been discussed and there is a plan in place.

Trash Cans – The #1 observation from both groups centered around the lack of Trash Cans and the multiple styles of trash cans in the park. There was also interest expressed in having a recycle bin since there is a lot of bottled water consumed at the basketball court.

Signage – We need to get signs printed and placed with the rules of the park and reservation procedures for the pavilions. Sometimes people need to be reminded what acceptable behavior is.

Paint – The pavilions and some of the play structures need to be painted.

Grills – The grills are well used and for the most part are in pretty bad shape. Better grills would probably promote even more use.

Trampled Ground – there are a lot of areas around the park which used to be grass but because of use the areas are just dirt. It was suggested that we find some sort of walkable material besides grass to cover these areas. Crushed Granite was suggested as the best option, now we need a fund raiser.

Trees – Cutting the suckers off the trees and trimming the dead branches

Dog Po Stations – Have a ‘pick up’ station around the park although it was noted that dog po doesn’t seem to be a large issue.

Zombies – It was discussed that since the park was built on a cemetery we should have some Zombie Security Stations around the park. It was discussed that when dealing with Zombies it is very important to stop the early risers before they infect more people and multiply.

The basketball courts are used constantly and draw 50 people a night to the park. Some of these folks participate in less-than-proper behavior and are responsible for an amazing amount of trash. There is a small group that wants the basketball courts removed but the primary thought is to discuss the issues with the folks that play on the court.

As a maintenance issue we didn’t see a lot of problems except the lower hoops are bent. I didn’t notice if there are markings on the courts but if there aren’t I think they should be painted. We should ask those that play to paint the markings which will give them a sense of stewardship.

The pavilion could use a new coat of paint and will need consistent cleaning during the summer. The Pavilion also needs signs.

The playground is in desperate need of new mulch. In most places the underlying material is exposed. There was also talk that the mulch needs to be brought up to the level of the surrounding railroad ties to avoid a trip hazzardThis is an issue which will call for a joint purchase by the Ypsilanti School Board (the park is used as the Adams School Playground) and the Ypsilanti DPS. We will then need a herd of volunteers to spread the mulch.
Sandbox area – there was once a sandbox but it is now just hard dirt. The remains of a kids backhoe is still there and it is just a dangerous pole in the ground which needs to be removed.

Luna lake is its own monster with a day dedicated to its Spring Maintenance.
The Purple Martin House – there is a purple martin house that was placed on a pole sometime in the long ago past. The house is in disrepair and is mostly fallen down. It is time to replace.

There is a water spigot that comes out of the ground and is surrounded by two cut sign posts (to protect from the mower). The posts seem dangerous and are ugly – the thought is to remove the spigot if it is not used or to do something to make it look better. We could probably raise the spigot and surround it with some of the rocks around the lake.

The Bench near Luna Lake is falling backwards and needs to be reset. There should probably be more sitting places around the ‘Luna Lake’ since it should be a nice focal point of the park

The cannon looks pretty good but may need a coat of paint in the future

There is a fenced in tennis court at Prospect Park. The issue is that there is no, and has been no, net on the court for years. It was commented that the court is used for roller hockey. There were two thoughts on this one is to put up a net for tennis on the court and the other is to put up a net and switch it over to roller hockey. Either way there is a ‘practice’ board that should be repaired and there is a hole in the fence that needs to be fixed.

The Tball field is in a huge state of disrepair. The field needs to be re graded with the appropriate material. We need bases or the ability for people to bring their own. The backstop has a hole that needs to be repaired. If we get people using the field it was suggested we need a second set of bleachers.

Bathrooms – It was stated that the bathrooms were repaired in 2006 but were quickly destroyed. There was very strong support that the bathrooms be repaired but used only on a rental basis. The YMCA said they need bathrooms to conduct a day camp and bathrooms are needed if people want to reserve the pavilion for group or family functions.

Light Behind the pavilion – There is a security light which needs to be replaced behind the pavilion.

There was talk of putting a mural on the pavilion. I have seen research that if there is artwork on a building it is less likely to have graffiti sprayed on it. There are a lot of groups in the city that would like to see spaces opened for public artwork.

Driveway – There is a parking lot but also a service road that leads to the pavilion. People consistently use the service drive to drive into the park which isn’t allowed. The issue of the service road was blamed on the DPS not locking a chain that leads to the service road.

Signs and Trash cans

Activities — It was discussed that we need more activities in the park. I suggested a drop-in kick ball game at a set time each week. Others talked about having concerts in the park.

A web page — We had volunteers that offered to create a web page with a list of potential projects which people could write what they have accomplished or what they are planning to do. This site should be a full forum about the park where people can report security issues, maintenance issues, and other observations.

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Summary of Local Websites

Posted by ppna on April 2, 2009

As part of the MainStreet program the Promotions committee has been thinking about making one website with a fantastic up-to-date calendar of events, businesses, and organizations. The following is my summary of a lot of the local websites and the portions I think are really worth linking to or taking inspiration from.

Downtown Association of Ypsilanti
There is a lot of good information on the DAY website which pertains to Downtown Ypsilanti and could be built on. The event section is nice but not complete.

Frontpage/About – mission statement and joining
Member Directory – Brief description of downtown business, contacts and links to websites
Downtown Ypsilanti – Short description of Ypsilanti history – small note about free parking Could use a better history
Special Events — A nice selection of events happening around Downtown but it is missing some – Needs separate pages for each even
Contact Info – A Form to contact, email address, and PO Box – No phone Number
Meeting Dates – List of Meeting dates

Ypsilanti Jaycees
This is a site about the Jaycees. If you are a member or want to be a member it is really good for information but not a site for Ypsilanti related items.

Home — List of current events and brief statement about the Jaycees
About Us – Same as Home Page
Member Benefits – Benefits of being a Jaycee
Calendar — Nice calendar with links. Calendar for Jaycee events not city events
Photos — Photos of Jaycee events
Videos – Videos of Jaycee events

Ypsilanti Area Visitor and Convention Bureau
The VCB site has a lot of good information about the city intermixed with items about what the VCB can do to help. The About Ypsilanti section is really nice.

Home Page — A brief history of Ypsilanti with a lot of links including rotating image links.
Request a Guide – 2 linkd
• Order a Meeting Planner – simple form for a meeting planner
• Meeting Services – list of what the VCB will do
About Ypsilanti
• Historical Facts – links to people, culture etc. A very nice summary
• Community Profile — Almanac Statistics
• Walking Tour – A list of quite a few different walking tours
• Request a Visitors Guide – Simple form
• Ypsilanti Parks and Recreation – Sends you to the Township Rec. site
Events Planner – Links to a lot of things the VCB will do to help A lot of non-Ypsilanti Links should update to emphasize Ypsilanti Businesses (First in Orders etc).
Contact Us — Nice contact page with pictures of staff
Links – Lots of Local links. Once again lots of Ann Arbor Groups

City of Ypsilanti
The city of Ypsilanti site is designed as an administrative resource site. The Videos and the link to the City List could be used.

Front Page: Links to
• Ypsilanti Action Center – place to report problems
• Tax and assessing – Property Information
• City Listserv – for email updates on city
• Ypsilanti Tour Book – videos about Ypsilanti
• News – current news

About – city hall contact information
Boards and Commissions – Links to the various boards and commissions
Mayor and City Council – email addresses and council information
City Departments – Links to the city departments
Maps – Voting, zoning, and other maps
Links – Links to government organizations

Ypsilanti DDA
The DDA’s website is mostly administrative DDA issues. The News Section is really nice and should be integrated.

Home – info on Mainstreet, WaterStreet, Façade grants
About – Info on Downtown and Depot-town DDA, bylaws, budget etc
Contact – Contact information
Available Properties – A nice list of available properties
News – A nicely updated News Section
Links – Links
Event Calendar – Calendar of classes, not events

Depot Town Association
This is a really nice website with a lot of good aspects. I like the way they list the businesses. This site shows that professional photos are really important. I think taking the Depot Town Rag and List of events would be good.

Front Page – short info about Depot Town Association

Depot Town CDC – Has the Riverside Park and Frog Island Development Program
Local Links – Links
Depot Town Rag – Archived Editions of the Depot Town Rag
History – A very short history of Depot Town
Directions – Directions
Depot Town Rag- Email Subscription

Merchants & Friends – A very nicely done list of Merchants with contact info and pictures. May want to add a little more information about the shops
Events/Festivals – A nice list of events in the parks and Depot Town
Membership – Info on joining the DTA
Contacts – Contact info
Attractions – A really nice list of some of the local attractions, Looks good
Photos – Only a few but nice photos of the area
Home – Back Home

Depot Town Forward
This website is devoted to the Car Shows and Cruise nights in Depot Town. It is a nice site to promote the car culture in Ypsilanti. Perhaps we should expand the idea of this site and make an entirely local Auto Trail and perhaps a one price pass to all the museums.

Huron Valley Community Network (HVCN)
This is a website with a lot of links and a pretty good calendar but it encompasses the entire Huron Valley. There are contacts to local media, clubs, just about everything. It is a great site to use as a resource.

Concentrate – Ypsilanti
This is a metro area blog with some really good articles on Ypsilanti. We should check this site often to find articles that we may be missing.

Local Blogs
Local blogs often provide information that we may not be able to pick up in other places. They also give a good idea of the trends of local politics. I would hope the local bloggers would submit pertinent items

PPNA Happenings – ppna.wordpress.com
Mark Maynard – http://www.markmaynard.com
Trusty Getto – http://www.trustygetto.com
East Cross – http://www.east-cross.com

Neighborhood Association Sites and Listservs
Often neighborhood associations have things going on that are worthy of the entire city knowing. It would be expected that they would send updates.

Local Online News Sources
It would be nice to connect with some of the local news sources for stories and information.


Local Universities and Schools
Most of the local universities and schools don’t provide a lot of event on their web sites. It will be important to get in touch with individual groups or student organizations that put on events which the entire community would like to participate in. We should send a release to clubs and organizations to YPS, EMU, WCC.

Local Groups
We need to let local groups know that they will be invited to submit items to our calendar. These groups would include; Growing Hope, The Jaycees, The RAC, Boy Scouts, and many others. Once again a release to these groups as well as a page asking for submissions would be great.

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