John Dingell passes away; Black History Month in Ann Arbor; first look at A2's protected bike lane


I usually start my newsletters with a jubilant "Happy Friday," but we're starting on a somber note today.

Last night, news broke that former Michigan Rep. John Dingell passed away at his home at the age of 92. His wife, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, released this statement. He was the longest serving congressman in U.S. history. Here's a timeline of his life, including military service during WWII. A visitation and funeral mass will be held Monday and Tuesday in Dearborn, respectively. He will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

The Dingells have long been involved in Ann Arbor and supporters of the University of Michigan. Just this past Sunday, Debbie was lending a hand at Food Gatherers to pack emergency boxes of food for those affected by the government shutdown. 

Have a wonderful and safe weekend,

- Meredith (@meredith_a4)

What's been happening:

🎙 February is Black History Month. Sarah has a roundup of the local events you can attend to commemorate and celebrate. (A4)

🚴 We got the first look at Ann Arbor's new two-way protected bike lane, expected to be finished in the fall. It is the first of a network of protected bike lanes planned throughout the city. (A4)

🚿 The city of Ann Arbor released new sewer rates this month. See how much your water bill is expected to increase. (A4)

🚫 An anonymous Ann Arborite put up a sign warning drivers about a pothole on W. Liberty and went viral. (Metro Times)

💧 Here's an interesting op-ed on PFAS by a senior staff scientist at the Ecology Center, who says, "I study PFAS in Michigan. Trust me, they are everywhere." (Bridge Magazine)

🌳 This week, University of Michigan President Schlissel announced a new commission on carbon neutrality that will utilize university experts and external stakeholders to reduce its carbon footprint. (A4)

What's coming back:

🦖 The University of Michigan's Museum of Natural History announced its official reopening date and people are freaking out. (A4)

📚 The 17th annual Kerrytown BookFest will take place this year on Sept. 15. (A4)

🍦 Blank Slate Creamery also announced this week its opening day for the season. (A4)

❄️ The Ice Carving Festival returns to County Farm Park tomorrow. We have the details. (A4)

Feature interview of the week:

"My first experience in the administration building was spending the night after we took over the Regents meeting (in a student protest). As part of that particular protest and demonstration, one of the set of demands was the development of a position in the provost’s office for minority affairs. And that position has pretty much evolved to my position (today) ... Every day that I come in the building, that irony is not lost on me."

- Dr. Robert Sellers, Chief Diversity Officer at University of Michigan

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