News for the Week of 8/2/17

Blacksmiths-Soldiers and Log Cabin Weekend At The Waterloo Farm Museum

The Blacksmith-Soldier and Log Cabin event will demonstrate life on the Farm during the mid-19th Century with Civil War encampments, blacksmiths and other vintage equipment displays.

Soldier

On Sunday we will join the state-wide celebration of Michigan’s Log Cabins.  Guides will be available for tours of the 1850’s ten room farm house, log cabin and other out buildings. There will also be assorted vendors and demonstrators. Wagon rides and concessions will be available.

For more information please go to www.waterloofarmmuseum.org

 

 

 

 

Adult Learners Institute Kicks Off Fall Classes

Residents of Washtenaw County and neighboring areas are invited to attend the annual fall kick off event sponsored by the Adult Learners Institute of Chelsea taking place at 10am, Tuesday, August 8 at Silver Maples, 100 Silver Maples Drive in Chelsea. The Adult Learners Institute is a non-profit, community-based learning program for persons desiring to continue their education in college quality courses without the burden of tests, term papers, or degree requirements.

The kick off provides an opportunity for potential students, whether returnees or newcomers, to hear short presentations from the instructors on many of the upcoming classes. The classes generally cover a wide range of subjects from history and literature to science and both fine and practical arts.

As all registrations are by mail only, none can be completed during the kick off event. Light refreshments will be served, and there will be a drawing for certificates to defray the cost of classes. Enrollment in ALI is $10, and the tuition for classes ranges from $10-$30, depending on the number of class meetings. Course catalogs were mailed last week, but are also available at selected sites around Chelsea and Dexter, and will be available at the kick off.

The classes, generally comprising of one to four meetings in length, begin September 8; others have starting dates as late as November 6. For more information, see the ALI website: www.adultlearnersinstitute.org or call (734)292-5540.

 

Police Beat

Saline City Police

Compiled by Angelo Parlove

7/14 ~7:12am, an officer was dispatched to a residence on Middlewood Drive for a report of larceny from a vehicle. At the scene, the complainant, a 36-year-old Saline man, told the officer that between 2am and 7am that morning unknown persons entered both of his unlocked vehicles in the driveway and took coins. One vehicle had about $2 in change, while the other had $3-4 stolen. However, the suspects did not take the complainant’s Oakley sunglasses or cell phone charger. The officer advised the man if any other property is found missing or a suspect develops to contact the department again. Without any suspects and a lack of leads, the case was closed. That same morning, another complainant, a 46-year-old Saline woman who also lived on Middlewood Drive, reported unknown persons entered her car some time before 8am, stealing some items. Her vehicle was parked in her driveway and may have been unlocked. Without any suspects or investigative leads, this case was also closed.

7/23 at 8:39am, a 50-year-old Saline resident who lives on Wildwood called the department to report unknown persons egged his home between 2 and 8:30am that morning. The complainant stated he went outside about 8:30am and noticed egg on his house and son’s car. The complainant further said his home was also egged several years ago. Shortly after the man contacted the department, his neighbor called the station, advising at about 2:30am she observed three tall males, about college age, walk through her backyard, set down a yellow container near the woods and walk towards the complainant’s house. She then heard thuds and saw the three males run back through her yard. The neighbor said she thought the males were visiting her neighbor’s son. An officer canvassed the neighborhood and did not find any other damaged homes or witnesses. The officer also searched the area where the neighbor described observing the three males, but did not locate any evidence. Without any suspects, the case was closed.

Stockbridge Village Police

7/20 ~10:49am, burglary alarm in the 100 blk of W. Main St.  SPD responded and made contact with a man who stated he went to frequent the business and set off the alarm.  He found the business to be closed for the day.  SPD checked the building and found nothing appeared out-of-the-norm.  The building was secured and the owner notified.

7/20 ~4:45pm, assist SAESA with a medical alert call in the 500 blk of Mechanic.  An elderly woman accidentally activated her medical alert system.

7/22 ~12:55am, traffic stop near Clinton and Rice for an investigation of a subject who had a warrant for domestic violence out of Howell PD.  SPD made contact with the 20-yr-old Howell man and confirmed his identity and arrested him.  He was later turned over to Howell PD.

7/25 ~7:35pm, check welfare complaint in the 400 blk of Cherry St.  SPD was requested to check the welfare of a child by Ingham County Protective Services after a complaint came to them by the father of the child who lives across the state.  SPD made contact at the home and found the child to be safe and secure.  CPS notified.

~8:19pm, stalking complaint in the 4000 blk of Adams.  SPD assisted Ingham Co. S.D. with a complaint of stalking that originated in the 300 blk of W. Main St. involving a 49-yr-old woman who felt she was being harassed by a 17-yr-old Stockbridge youth.  The complainant stated that the juvenile followed her out of the business at a close distance for what she believes was retaliation for a previous complaint she made against the youth.  Contact was made with both parties and they youth was identified at a nearby residence.  He denied doing any wrong.  He was given a warning about the law and further unwanted contact.

Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office – Dexter Patrol

7/22 ~Police responded to the 5700 block of Joy Road in Webster Twp for the report of a trailer being stolen.  Sometime the night prior, someone came onto the vacant property where the trailer was being stored and drove away with it.  The trailer is described as 22’ X 8’ tow behind enclosed trailer that was silver and graphite gray in color.  There are no suspects identified at this time.

Chelsea City Police

~11am, officer responded to the front desk of the police department for the report of a larceny of a flag. The complainant stated that an unknown suspect(s) had stolen that flag and pole that was displayed. The theft was believed to have occurred sometime between July 21 and July 27. No further information on a possible suspect was available at the time of the report.

7/27 ~6:30pm, officer responded to meet with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department at exit 150 off of I-94 to pick up a subject who was wanted on a misdemeanor bench warrant for failing to appear on a drunk driving case out of our department. The subject, a 31 year old Jackson man, was transported to the Washtenaw County Jail where he will be held pending his court appearance.

7/28 ~3:30pm, officers responded to the 200 block of West North Street for the report of a stolen spare tire from a semi-tractor trailer. The complainant stated that an unknown suspect(s) had taken the chained but unlocked spare tire from the semi-tractor trailer sometime around July 25 at approximately 9:20pm due to some surveillance footage at the location. The theft was not noticed until July 26 in the morning hours.

7/29 ~9:19am, officers responded to the 400 block of Savannah Lane for the report of a larceny from motor vehicle complaint. Upon arrival the officer met with the complainant who stated that an unknown suspect(s) had entered their unlocked vehicle, located in the driveway of the residence and removed the stand alone GPS unit from the vehicle. The rest of the vehicle appeared to be undisturbed and nothing else was taken. The theft was believed to have occurred sometime between July 28 at 9pm and July 29 at 9am. Case closed pending any

further investigative leads.

7/30 ~7:36pm, officers responded to the 200 block of Park Street for the report of some damage to a yard sign. Upon arrival the officer made contact with the complainant who stated that an unknown suspect had place a 3”x 5” sticker on a sign that he had displayed in his front yard. The complainant stated that this had occurred sometime over the last couple of days. The complainant did not have any information on who may have perpetrated this act. The sticker was able to be removed from the sign.

 

Chelsea Museum Receives Antique Motorcycle

A 1911 “Flanders 4” motorcycle, manufactured in the Chelsea Clocktower complex in the early 20th century, was returned to the Chelsea Area Historical Society (CAHS) on July 26, 2017 in refurbished and rideable condition .

CAHS president Bill O’Reilly recognized the efforts of the all-volunteer preservation team.  In early 2016 local fundraising on CAHS’ behalf took place to purchase and preserve the vintage motorcycle from a museum in California and bring it home to Chelsea.

The core group of the effort was a small group of Chelsea-area motorcycle enthusiasts known as the “Barley Therapy Group.” Over the past 11 months, they completely disassembled the bike, straightened and fabricated parts where needed, and rebuilt the motor. It is now in original un-restored condition and has been recognized by the Antique Motorcycle Club of America (AMCA) as the finest example of an original Flanders in the country.

The CAHS-sponsored fundraising was in honor of Chelsea native and vintage motorcycle racer, Art Farley and Chelsea car and motorcycle restoration specialist, Elliott Andrews, who worked tirelessly to see the project completed in time for the Chelsea Summer Fest Car Show.

A picnic dinner took place at the CAHS Museum and the motorcycle was happily run up and down Jackson St. in Chelsea, in the shadow if its birthplace, the Rockwell Building.

The Flanders Motorcycle Co. occupied the Clocktower manufacturing complex on Main St. in Chelsea between 1909 and 1913. Founder, Walter Flanders, established Henry Ford’s first moving assembly line at the Detroit Piquet Model T plant and then started a series of companies in the heyday of the automobile’s early “silicon valley era” in Michigan. Flanders went on to build automobiles and to help the Studebaker brothers move from Conestoga wagons to the automobile market.

In addition to the many individual and business donors who made this gift possible, recognition must go to Elliott Andrews who, despite serious health concerns,  touched virtually every nut and bolt of the Flanders during the rebuild. He collected over 900 photographs of the process and created a parts list document which will be archived by the AMCA. Special mention is made of the work done by Dave Strauss, Jac Brown, John Chamberlin, George Fisher, and Pinckney’s Joe “Make-It-Go” Gardella, who finally got the106-year old motor to fire up just two hours before the unveiling.

Contributions for the preservation and maintenance of this unique piece of Michigan history can be made to the Chelsea Historical Society, 128 Jackson St., Chelsea, MI 48118 or though their website: chelseahistory.org. For more information, contact: President@ChelseaHistory.org

 

Two New Developments in Downtown Dexter Closing in on Construction

By Melinda Baird, melindathesuntimesnews@gmail.com

Dexter City Council and Guenther Building Company struck a deal July 24, further paving the way for a new luxury condominium and retail development at 150 Jeffords Street.  The two parties agreed the developer will contribute $85,000 to a city parking fund in exchange for permission to build a four-story mixed-use structure, rather than the three-story limit under conventional commercial business district zoning.

This flexibility is offered to Guenther by way of the city’s Planned Unit Development (PUD) District Overlay, which requires the company, in turn, provide “a recognizable and material benefit” to both users of the project and the community.  A mutually agreeable benefit with which both parties could live became a sticking point during the July 10 meeting, and, according to Guenther representative Natalie Ceccolini, could’ve axed the project.

Ceccolini contended the development itself seems benefit enough in that it will boost economic vitality downtown, provide additional tax revenue to the city, and spur more residential development to the south along the Mill Creek corridor.  Still, the company was willing to contribute $60,000 to the construction of 24 off-site parking spaces to help ease the burden on the city’s downtown.  The problem arose when city engineers discovered the true cost of construction was closer to $9,500 for one parking space, not $2,500, which nearly quadruples Guenther’s original offer. Ceccolini on July 10 said the newly estimated amount isn’t feasible to the project.

Ceccolini clarified the total project cost is estimated at $9.3 million:  $6.125 for the construction itself and $1.375 million for land purchase, tap fees, engineering and other soft costs.  The development plan includes 22 condo units to be priced between $350,000 and $650,000 each, 24 on-site underground parking spaces, and two ground floor commercial units.

Community Development Manager Michelle Aniol reiterated the PUD ordinance requirements on July 24, saying the benefit needs to be over and above what’s required by code or needed to support the development.  She suggested that, in addition to the $60,000, Guenther provide public restrooms on the building’s first floor, some affordable housing units or solar paneled roofing.

Ultimately, both parties agreed that Guenther will contribute the lump sum of $85,000 to the city’s parking fund.  Approval of the final site plan and development agreement is still needed before construction can begin.

“The hardest part of any PUD is determining whether the benefit is sufficient,” Mayor Shawn Keough said during July 24 discussion.  “There’s no formula that goes into what that is.”

During the same meeting, council members approved a development agreement for 76 attached residential condominium units on 8 acres at the southwest corner of Grand Street and Baker Road called Grandview Commons.  Also using a PUD overlay, developer MMB Equities, LLC will provide the following recognizable and material benefits:  on-street public parallel parking along Grand Street, two rapid flashing beacons and decorative streetlight on Baker Road, a public pathway with benches from Grand Street to Mill Creek Park and a public art pad at the corner of Grand and Baker.  Construction is expected to begin near the end of August, Aniol said.

 

Masonic Lodge to provide free Child ID Program in Dexter

Friday August 11th and Saturday August 12th, the Olive Masonic Lodge #156 will be providing a free child identification program.  The program will take place between the hours of 10am and 4:30pm on Friday and between the hours of 11am and 4:30pm on Saturday.

The program will take place in downtown Dexter in partnership with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department.  The program is being provided as a part of the Dexter Daze Festival.

Each child that goes through the process will receive a dental impression as well as a flash drive containing a photo, video, digital fingerprints and their vital information.  Parents or legal guardians of children who participate must be present and fill out a permission slip for the child to receive this service.

Children who have already received the service are encouraged to repeat the process every two years to keep the information in the completed packets current.

The Michigan Child Identification Program provides the family with everything needed for the Amber Alert System.  Since 2005 over eighty five thousand Michigan children have received this valuable service.  The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children considers the Michigan Child Identification Program to be one of the most comprehensive of its kind.

For questions or more information about the event call (269)612-7424 or consult the Michigan Child ID Web Site at www.michiganchildid.org.

 

The Purple Rose Theatre Company Presents Harvey

Heartfelt.  Comical.  Endearing.  These are the main characteristics that come to mind while viewing Harvey, a Pulitzer Prize-winning American classic by Mary Chase that is currently showing at the Purple Rose Theatre.

Purple Rose

The early American set designed by Sarah Pearline was elegant, proper and well thought out as one set cleverly doubled as two very different places.  The play begins by introducing us to a very high energy mother/daughter duo.  The mother Veta (Michelle Mountain) and her daughter Myrtle (Caitlin Cavannaugh) are in the midst of throwing a social event.  Myrtle is clearly upset thinking that her uncle Elwood is going to come home and ruin everything for them.  As Veta tries to calm Myrtle, we are introduced to her brother Elwood (Richard McWilliams), and we soon learn why Myrtle is so upset as Elwood introduces the audience to his invisible six-and-a-half-foot-tall rabbit best friend, Harvey.  Despite Veta and Myrtle’s annoyance with him, Elwood takes Harvey everywhere and introduces him to everyone.  To avoid anymore embarrassment, Veta decides to have Elwood committed to a sanitarium.  We are then introduced to Dr. Sanderson (Rusty Mewha) and Dr. Chumley (Hugh Maguire) and the audience watches as complete pandemonium and confusion takes place.  Throughout all the confusion, however, Harvey and Elwood help the audience to realize that sometimes the best people in life are a little crazy.

Many of the characters in the play were outstanding but highlights include Elwood, whose loveable, life inspirational attitude touched the audience in many ways, and Wilson (David Bendena) who played a nursing attendant at the sanitarium, kept the audience rolling with laughter.

Although most of the characters were exceptionally good, there were a few (Mrs. Chumley and Judge Gaffney) that I felt weren’t really needed.

Director Guy Sanville has put together a hilarious, delightful and life inspirational play that will definitely touch your heart.  Go see Harvey at the Purple Rose Theatre.  I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Harvey runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 3 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. now through August 26 at the Purple Rose Theatre located at 137 Park St. in Chelsea.  For tickets call 734-433-7673 or visit their website at purplerosetheatre.org

 

‘Heart for the Game’ to Premier in Chelsea

From Kerry Plank

‘Heart for the Game’ – a locally produced full length feature film – today announced its premiere will take place Saturday August 19 at the Chelsea High School Auditorium (740 N. Freer Rd). The film explores the journey of the team recently voted the greatest team in Michigan prep sports history – Chelsea’s 1991 State Championship baseball team.

The documentary is a first-hand account by key participants and witnesses as they recall the events of a unique and historic baseball team 25 years later and includes appearances by local icons Craig Common (Chef – The Common Grill restaurant), Howdy Holmes (retired Indy Car driver, President and CEO “Jiffy” Mixes), and Jeff Daniels (Emmy Award winning Actor and Founder of the Purple Rose theatre company).

“Those that say high school sports can’t stay with you, even if you’re not an athlete from the day you leave high school – they do,” commented Jeff Daniels who attended the 1991 State Championship game to support his high school friend and college roommate Wayne Welton (former Coach and Athletic Director at Chelsea High School and current Director of Operations for the University of Michigan baseball team).

The Premiere will be a family-friendly, free admission, red-carpet style event intended to bring the community together for a night to celebrate the role of athletics past, present, and future. Donations will be accepted at the door to benefit 100% the Chelsea Athletic Boosters and earmarked for their project to construct new athletic display cases near the gymnasium.

Doors for the event will open at 6pm with live music. The movie screening will begin at 7 PM.

‘Heart for the Game: Inside the 1991 Season’ is a Video Farm documentary directed by Robert Coelius and produced by Kerry and Theresa Plank.

The link to the documentary trailer can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hjt7QVKMOw

More information regarding the premiere can be found at: www.facebook.com/events/444311302593205

Attached photo used with permission from Brian Hamilton. Questions about the event or the film can be directed to kandtplank01@comcast.net

 

Hospice of Michigan

“I’ve met people I never would have interacted with in my life”

“I could feel his spirit coming back with each word I read.”

Helen Buccella-Costa recalls a particular gentleman who had enjoyed an extremely full life. By the time she met him he was angry over his body’s betrayal, which had left him bedridden, with a fading ability to communicate. As an Arbor Hospice volunteer, Buccella-Costa was committed to helping this patient make the most of his days as she joined him on his end-of-life journey.

“He did not want to talk,” Buccella-Costa recalls of their initial visits. Looking for a way to connect, she pulled a volume from the many poetry books that packed his shelves, ultimately realizing that it was one her patient had penned. He beamed as she read aloud the prose that he had authored years prior.

“It felt like I was giving him back to himself,” she explains of the bond that was born.

Buccella-Costa’s experience repeats itself daily across Lower Michigan as volunteers for Arbor and Hospice of Michigan (HOM), which joined forces in 2016, form meaningful connections with patients at a difficult time in their lives. Volunteers are vital in maximizing quality of life, a primary goal of the plans of care that both nonprofit agencies develop for the nearly 1,900 patients they serve daily.

“Our volunteers are just as important in delivering patient care as our clinical team members,” said Alana Knoppow, MSW, volunteer program manager for HOM and Arbor. Working in tandem with nursing, social work, spiritual and other staff, volunteers note new or advancing symptoms during patient visits that they share with the team for immediate intervention.

But their greatest impact comes from the friendships they forge with those that fate has brought into their lives.

Knoppow recounts another volunteer’s efforts to connect with a non-verbal patient. The volunteer learned from the woman’s daughter that she had always enjoyed glamour and shopping. As the woman was immobile, the volunteer delighted the patient by bringing the shopping to her, skimming through fashion catalogues during their visits. The volunteer’s ingenuity ensured the woman could continue “doing her favorite things within her ability,” says Knoppow.

Sometimes relationships get off to a rocky start, but sympathizing with the patient’s pain and simply persevering helps establish a connection. Buccella-Costa, who often visits patients accompanied by Alpine, Arbor’s therapy dog, remembers her first meeting with a patient who was withdrawn and lashed out at her upon entering the room with Alpine in tow. Buccella-Costa quickly retreated several steps toward the door before turning around. Coming closer to the woman and acknowledging her feelings, her patient immediately softened. “She looked up and said ‘thank you, dear.’”

HOM and Arbor volunteers often bond with their patients over shared interests and experiences. An avid music fan, Buccella-Costa shared favorite recordings with a patient who enjoyed the blues. Both nonprofits count military veterans among their volunteer forces, pairing them with veteran patients. Doing a little research before each first visit, one volunteer finds a news article or other material specific to the era or branch of his patient’s service to spark conversation.

Volunteers also form bonds with caregivers. “Families are every bit as important,” says Buccella-Costa.

HOM and Arbor offer caregiver relief visits, one time sending a volunteer to sit with a patient so the caregiver could garden in her yard. “The caregiver never did garden,” laughs Knoppow. “The three of them sat and chatted.”

The relationships volunteers nurture with caregivers can also boosts patients’ well-being. “When a patient can see their loved ones having a few moments of life, it gives them relief and happiness,” said Buccella-Costa. She can still describe the joy she saw on a father’s face as he watched his four children play with Alpine.

HOM and Arbor continually welcome new volunteers, 18 and older. Most often, volunteers are matched with one patient within the community at a time and are encouraged to make weekly visits. In addition to patient care, volunteers can choose to provide office and event assistance. HOM and Arbor prepare volunteers to serve through interviews and a comprehensive orientation process.

For more, visit www.hom.org or www.arborhospice.org.

“I’ve met people I never would have interacted with in my life,” says Buccella-Costa. “I carry all their spirits with me.”

 

Letter to the Editor

Attend Rep. Walberg’s Next Coffee Hour In Chelsea

This Letter is in response to Ms. Filipiak’s Letter of July 12 to The Sun Times

The reason Rep. Walberg runs his coffee hours the way he does is because no one could get a word in edgewise. When organized protestors, some who are not from this district, are there to disrupt the meeting.

I was at the coffee hour Rep. Walberg had at Legion hall near Chelsea this past May. I had two people standing next to me that wanted to know what town we were in. Protestors were so disruptive, I couldn’t hear most of the points he was trying to make.

I don’t understand your complaint. Your question was asked, and you actually heard your answer!

Medicaid is not being cut, it’s just not being expanded at the federal level. Gov. Schneider expanded Medicaid in Michigan. Alzheimer’s is a disease that will be covered by Medicaid for people who are destitute, and can’t afford health insurance, or are ineligible for Medicare.

I’m glad that Obama care works for you Ms. Filipiak. As for me, it’s cheaper for me to pay out of pocket. My fiancé’s monthly premium is more than the monthly mortgage payment on our house. Her benefits don’t start until she satisfies a $7,000 deductible.

I’m calling on all evangelical Christians, conservatives, right to lifer’s and fellow N.R.A members to attend Rep. Walberg’s next coffee hour in Chelsea. Maybe then we can have a more balanced attendance, and actually be able to hear Rep. Walberg’s answers, and ideas.

Ian Cummins, Chelsea, MI.

 

PLEASE!  Consider voting YES on the ballot on Aug. 8.   

We are really hoping that the Broadband will pass on Aug. 8.  When we were snowbirds, we had cable in Florida.  When we came back to Michigan and had to use our Hughesnet, it was almost as bad as dial-up!   It is so slow that it takes a long time to load any video.  We don’t watch movies, but we watch some You-Tube videos and when someone posts a video on Facebook, sometimes we can’t even watch it.  PLEASE!  Consider voting YES on the ballot on Aug. 8.

Nancy Hughes, Waterloo Rd., Chelsea, MI.

 

A letter from the Editor,

As the news industry experiences drastic changes in the way information is gathered, presented, and consumed – we here at the Sun Times have navigated these changes based on customer and client feedback. Our customers – readers and advertisers – have directed our course and helped us to become successful in promoting local businesses and organizations, share news, sports and human interest stories while keeping communities connected with issues important to them.

For those of us continuing with a printed product the challenge is the exploding popularity of online and social media articles which generally express opinions rather than journalism. To remain successful we must continue to distribute free newspapers to the geographical locations that will best help our advertisers speak to their customers. By following that business model our reporters are able to provide relevant information to the community.

As a result, we will be making some changes in August.

With increasing request for news and advertising opportunities in Washtenaw County, The Sun Times will be expanding its coverage in that area. In order to make that transition we will be reducing our mailing and reporting outside of our target area of Washtenaw County.

This is a bittersweet decision. With our roots in Ingham County it was a difficult decision to let go. However, from the beginning struggle as this publication was facing bankruptcy – it was growth into new areas that allowed The Sun Times to become the largest weekly newspaper in Washtenaw County.

A young, up and coming publication “Stockbridge Community News” is committed to providing news and information for that area. They are off to a great start and we support them in their journey. Print news is a tough business in the internet age – but with good listening, strong decision making, and dedication it is a rewarding way to connect communities.

Thank you to all who have continued to support us and The Sun Times News.

Wendy Wood, Managing Editor, The Sun Times News Established in 2008

 

Greatful For MBCOOP’s Efforts

My wife and I are residents of Chelsea (Lyndon Township to be specific) and we just wanted to write to you to express how amazed we are with the MBCOOP’S efforts in laying down the groundwork and covering all details related to getting our community into the current times through a badly needed broadband initiative. They have put in an ungodly amount of work with getting our community into the 21st century. In this day and age it is pathetic to see how Michigan suffers from such an abject lack of broadband options and the big corporations like Verizon and AT&T milk all of us rural customers dry with terrible options. Everyone from work-at-home professionals to students to teachers require access to high speed internet yet here we are in year 2017 paying overages to wireless service providers and surviving off of crap hotspots and jetpacks that are useless during peak hours of the day.

Given the situation we just wanted to express to you how grateful we feel for MBCOOP’s efforts in doing the feasibility study as well as putting out such a concerted effort to inform the community and provide a surgical amount of detail with regards to the Broadband millage, its process, costs and everything related therein.

The reason I write to you is so you can use this email to inform other readers of The Sun Times about how important it is for us to have broadband internet and how important this initiative is. Additionally we would appreciate if you can use our voice as community members to express to MBCOOP how grateful we are for all the work they have put into this initiative. We will be certainly voting YES on this proposal and hope many others in the community do as well. Lastly we cannot wait to get with the times by having access to uncapped high speed fiber internet at our place. All thanks to the MBCOOP’S efforts. It is high time!

Christine and Phagun Oswal, Lyndon Township

 

Shortsighted View a Disadvantage

We have been unable to acquire a broadband capability in our home via cable or wireless telephone service and have resorted to a satellite service. This service is limited in its upload and download capacities and it is subject to weather disturbances. We cannot establish a streaming capability either through the satellite internet service nor the television satellite service we have.

In fact, we cannot bundle any of the telecommunications capabilities in our home and thusly, we have separate providers for cell phones, a land line, internet access, and television reception. Cost is not the only consideration – ease of use and the ability to reap the advantage of modern telecommunication capabilities are hindered.

We live in a township (Lyndon) that has over 50% of the lands in state and county parklands – an advantage for the county and the state, but a disadvantage in the eyes of commercial providers of broadband cable services because it is not profitable to reach every single home in some of the isolated areas of the township. Our past township supervisors have made it a policy not to permit access to these companies unless they provide service to absolutely everyone who requests it. This shortsighted view has left the vast majority of those of us who live in proximity to major roads and in the more residentially concentrated areas at a disadvantage.

In addition, because of the unique geology of this corner of the county, line of sight tower services for wireless access are extremely unreliable. A 4G signal is almost unheard of in many homes and I have to go outside to get a very weak one at best if I want to use my cell phone to search the web. In summary – we live in a cell phone and internet “desert” and if it were not for the landline and the satellite dishes we would not be “connected.”

These capabilities are important to me in particular because I am gainfully unemployed and spend the majority of my time in volunteer community efforts (The Friends of Chelsea and Lyndon Township (Deny the Mine), Huron Waterloo Pathways, MUCC Camp for Kids, The Adult Learners Institute, statewide committees such as the Rabies Surveillance group etc). In these and other efforts I am continuously communicating with fellow volunteers and researching the action items necessary for the success of our causes.

The responsibility of each citizen in a democratic republic is to provide public service where and when they can – it is more difficult to be effective in this role, so important to a civil society, if we cannot avail ourselves of all the advantages of a modern communication capability. It is the responsibility of our government –local, state, and federal to provide the opportunity for us to be the best citizens we can be. I am encouraged that this issue will be considered a priority for our community by our elected representatives.

Please vote Yes for Broadband on August 8

Greg Peter, Lyndon Township

 

Saline Sets Forth Vision For City’s Growth

By Angelo Parlove, agparlove@msn.com

It’s a public document that required some hard work by the city planner and planning commission members, but won’t garner many headlines along the way.

“It wasn’t sexy and glamorous, and I’m sure it was tedious at times, but it is important work,” Saline Mayor Brian Marl said.

After more than 18 months of revisions, the City of Saline finally set forth their new Master Plan, with city council approving the document at their regular meeting July 17. “This has been quite a long process,” City Planner Chris Atkin said. “We did diligently go through every chapter, every paragraph, every word and make sure that all the information was concise. There have been numerous revisions done by many sets of eyes.”

The 2017 Saline Master Plan presents an ideal vision for future growth patterns in the city, providing guidance to local decision and policy makers as the city tackles issues in further developing Saline. The plan will serve as the primary guide for future land use decisions, the investment and coordination of public improvements and private development.

“It’s a good, solid document, and I appreciate the effort by everyone who was involved in its preparation,” Marl said.

The document will also work alongside the parks and recreation master plan to guide the future planning of city parks. The new master plan is over 80 pages and includes maps, charts, graphs, photos and multiple appendixes.

Council Member Dean Girbach, who also sits on the planning commission, thanked Atkin for his efforts on the year-and-a-half long project.

“I’d like to thank Mr. Atkin for all his work, because the planning commission really relies on his ability to pull this together and pull some of the information we needed, because we wanted to update as much as we could to be current,” he said.

In preparing the master plan, a subcommittee was formed that included Atkin and planning commission members Catherine Scull, Bill Beardsley and Girbach, who met on a near-monthly basis to bring the document together.

“They did much of the heavy lifting on this,” Marl said. “They were really the front line for reviewing and making recommendations. I would say 80 percent of the work was done by those four.”

Under state law, the city is required to review their master plan every five years, which includes a determination of whether the city should amend or adopt a new plan. The Saline planning commission first approved the 2017 City of Saline Master Plan at their meeting July 12, paving the way for the document to be sent to city council for adoption.

 

Saline Commission Narrows Parking Solutions At Peoples’ Park

By Angelo Parlove, agparlove@msn.com

The Saline Parks Commission has narrowed down their possible solutions for the parking dilemma at Peoples’ Park.

At their meeting July 18, the parks commission requested city staff further explore the feasibility and cost factors for constructing a new parking lot at the location of the existing tennis courts in Peoples’ Park.

“I like that idea because it preserves green space, it keeps the project within the park boundaries…it allows the city to use TIFA funds, it places parking close to the sporting venues,” Parks Commission Member Jim Peters said.

“It will be very handy especially for people who don’t want to walk too far; it eliminates street parking,” Peters added. “I’m not crazy about street parking.”

The City of Saline is considering all possible options to resolve the current parking issue at the park, including ways to add a new parking lot. With the 30-unit Fairdene Condominium development headed next door on Monroe Street, the usual on-site parking for the area will be used as part of the property for the new condos.

At the moment, residents looking to drive to Peoples’ Park have to use street parking.

The parks commission has been slated with the task of coming up with an appropriate solution, in which their decision will be recommended to city council for approval and implementation.

If a new parking lot were constructed at the existing tennis courts, a new tennis court would likely be installed to the south of the basketball court. This parking area would then be accessed via an easement through Annie’s Children Center (211 Monroe Street).

“What we would be doing is not using as much green space by using the existing two tennis courts, which would provide probably ample parking for the park,” said Carla Scruggs, the parks and recreation director. “The two tennis courts are in very bad condition right now. We have to invest quite a bit to get those into better playing condition.”

City staff will now look to bring back additional information about the preferred solution to the next parks commission meeting in August.

“Looking at the condition of the tennis courts, the fences – not just the surface itself, but the whole facility around the tennis courts as well — its in disrepair,” said Neil Moorman, the chairperson for the parks commission. “This is an opportunity I think we can reutilize that space in a bit better manner perhaps and get a good tennis court in the mix as well, without losing some of the green space.”

The parks commission also asked city staff to further explore different factors in expanding the parking lot at Annie’s Children’s Center to accommodate park use as well.

 

 “Dragon Wars” Registration Still Open to Community For Dragonboat Festival at Robin Hills Farm

Spots are still available for “Dragon Wars” aquatic tug-of war battle at Robin Hills Farm’s second annual Dragonboat Festival on August 5. Community members can register in teams of four for “Dragon Wars,” an aquatic tug-of-war competition in a genuine 40-foot dragon boat taking place from 10am to 4pm.

The Dragonboat Festival is an annual celebration of DIY building and design, culture, competition, community, and fun. Held at the newly expanded, three-acre Dragon Pond at Robin Hills Farm, it will offer Dragon Wars registration at the door, though participants are encouraged to pre-register online. The registration fee is $40 and covers free festival entry for a team of four, a free Robin Hills Farm fandana for each teammate, and, for the top three competing teams, medals and glory.

The festival begins with a series of competitive boat races arranged in tournament format. Races will be punctuated with bouts of “Dragon Wars,” also in tournament format. The event will also feature live music, a raptor exhibition by the Michigan Avian Experience, family fun in the Kid Zone, the final awards ceremony, and food by Chef James of Robin Hills Farm, as well as beer and other beverages. There is a $5 general admission charge. Children 12 and under are free with paid adult ticket.

Contact jeremy.hodges@robinhillsfarm.com for more information or to register your team for Dragon Wars, or visit www.robinhillsfarm.com.

 

Saline Tabs Roofing Company For Rec Center Fix

By Angelo Parlove, agparlove@msn.com

In the current competitive market, the turnout for companies looking to repair the faulty roof at the Saline Recreation Center wasn’t good. In the end, the city only received one qualified bid.

“I am always a little troubled when we just receive one qualified bid, but it’s happened before and I’m sure it will happen in the future,” Mayor Brian Marl said.

At their regular meeting July 17, city council awarded a contract for over $1.2 million to CEI Michigan, a company from Whitmore Lake, to complete the repairs at the rec center. The total amount in bond financing proposed for the project is just over $1.55 million and includes membrane roof and metal wall panel replacement, material and roof warranty upgrades, natatorium painting and professional services.

“They came with very high recommendations from the University of Michigan and some other local agencies they’ve worked for,” said Carla Scruggs, the parks and recreation director.

Back on June 8, the city held a pre-bid meeting, where five roofing companies did a walk-though at the rec center facility, including physically getting up on the roof. Bidding documents were also shown, and questions were answered. Overall, nine different companies showed interest in the project.

On June 22, the bids were opened and tabulated, with only the one legitimate bid from CEI Michigan coming in. A second bidder was disqualified for not providing the proper documents, Scruggs said.

“We did our due diligence, and we really looked into [CEI Michigan], and they’ve done real good work for a lot of different companies,” said Gary Mays, the owner of Mays Consulting and Evaluation Services, the professional services firm hired by the city. “I would recommend CEI come on board.”

The number of bidders was low due to the amount of work available in the market right now, including automobile manufacturing facilities and new construction projects, Mays further said.

“We followed up with contractors, what was happening is the market conditions now have so much work out there…they just don’t have time to do this,” he added. “Market conditions are different every time you take a project out to bid. You really never understand how the market conditions are going to be.”

City council approved a base bid of $1,173,750 and a second bid of $49,600 (for an upgraded roofing system and extended warranty) to CEI Michigan. The base bid was about four percent higher than estimated. The city still needs to complete bidding in the future for interior painting of the natatorium.

“The bid came in a little bit higher than what we anticipated,” Scruggs said. “But still within the range expected.”

Work for the roof repairs is expected to begin in early August. The rec center will be kept open during construction, with interior protections put in place to keep people safe during the process.

After high winds in March 2016, a rec center lifeguard heard clanking on the pool roof, where a staff inspection found the roof membrane had become seperated. The staff then moved immediately to secure the area with sand bags.

The city then sought the services of Mays Consulting and Evaluation Services, a company with roofing expertise, in May 2016, who determined there was extensive roof damage that stemmed from the faulty design of the facility back around 1990, which was compounded by further erroneous workmanship on renovations completed in 2006.

The city first addressed a short-term fix in Nov. 2016, where emergency repairs secured the unattached roof membrane with a temporary roof system.

 

Scio Township Moves Forward with Township Hall Addition, Zeeb Road Pathway Project

By Melinda Baird, melindathesuntimesnews@gmail.com

Scio Township and A3C Collaborative Architecture, during the July 25 township board meeting, settled on a price of $160,733 for architectural and engineering services of a new 5,000 square-foot township utility department.  The project will also include renovation of about 2,000 square feet of existing space used by the department.

A3C was selected from a choice of two firms earlier this year, and board members in April authorized the township supervisor and city manager to negotiate a contract with the firm.

“They’ve been working hard, and working without having the formal agreement,” Supervisor Jack Knowles said.  “To their credit, we’ve had a gentleman’s handshake agreement for several weeks now.”

A3C Director Dan Jacobs presented not-yet-complete design drawings to the board, which include new office and equipment space plus four vehicle bays for the utility department as well as new work and storage space for the township clerk.  The new structure will connect to the rear of the township hall (as seen from Zeeb Road) and incorporate public restrooms accessible from the outside.  A public walkway parallel with Zeeb Road will be extended to the township hall’s front entrance and weave throughout the new space.

“With the nice work that’s been done by the township to create the start of a bike and walkable community, we’re trying to create that same kind of connection for people all the way up to the front of the building so they don’t need to go onto the roadway,” Jacobs said.

One tree, a cottonwood, will be affected by the design, Jacobs said.

Jacobs anticipates being ready to bid the project between late September and early October and begin constructing the foundation between late October and early November.

City Manager Bryce Kelley said cost of construction is not yet calculated but the township’s intention is to stay below $2 million.  “The money is in the bank,” he said.

During the same meeting, members awarded a contract to L.J. Construction in the amount of $195,325 for the construction of a portion of the North Zeeb Road Pathway.  The first of Phase Two, the small segment abutts private property between Daycroft Montessori School and Scio Community Alliance Church.  Because it is in the road right-of-way, this section calls for more complex work (including buffer and drainage provisions) and, therefore, more expense.

“It’s essentially a road,” township engineer Matt Parks said.

The remainder of the section from the church to Dexter-Ann Arbor Road will be publicly bid next month with a goal of the entire stretch being completed by January 1, 2018.

The North Zeeb Road Pathway will ultimately connect to the larger Border-to-Border Trail (B2B)—a project which represents an ongoing of collaboration of communities and organizations to construct a shared use path that will link the open spaces of the Huron River Greenway.

 

Sounds and Sights Festival Pet Parade

By Lynne Beauchamp, lynnethesuntimesnews@gmail.com

A favorite among many, the Pet Parade marched around the city during the Sounds and Sights Festival in Chelsea on Saturday July 29.

“This is our fifteenth year,” said Greg Raye of the pet parade.

Raye, along with wife, H.K. Leonard, own Chelsea Farmers Supply who sponsored the event.

The theme for this year’s event was “Farming and Gardening” and pets could partake by wearing a themed costume. Prizes were given, provided by Chelsea Farmers Supply, in categories that ranged from most unique costume to oldest pet. Judging was provided by Miss Washtenaw County’s Outstanding Teen, Alaina Cook.

Pet Parade IMG_295
Scampy won oldest pet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leah, with owner Judy Cok, won Most Unique Costume
Leah, with owner Judy Cok, won Most Unique Costume

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pet Parade IMG_291
Peppy, with owner Brooklyn Temelko, won Youngest Pet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cara competes for Best Kisser, as judged by Miss Washtenaw County's Outstanding Teen, Alaina Cook
Cara competes for Best Kisser, as judged by Miss Washtenaw County’s Outstanding Teen, Alaina Cook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stockbridge Township Planning Commission Approves Medical Marihuana Facilities Recommendations For The Board

By Lynne Beauchamp, lynnethesuntimesnews@gmail.com

The Stockbridge Township Planning Commission met for a special meeting on July 26 to discuss medical marijuana facilities recommendations to give the township board.

The commission met on July 5 to discuss the same but had to reschedule the task citing lack of information and not being able to come to any agreement.  Since that meeting, the commission joined a webinar to learn more about the Michigan Medical Marihuana Law and the new laws related to licensing.

At the July 26 meeting, prior to reviewing recommendations to the board, citizens had the opportunity to speak during public comment. Some of the attendees who spoke candidly shared concerns and personal stories.

The majority of those who spoke out stated they were against allowing Medical Marihuana facilities in the township citing these facilities would have a negative effect on the community.

“I am opposed to this for one big reason,” said one resident. “The school district has a rampant problem with drugs already…the Medical Marihuana part is not going to help by bringing more to the community, you have to start making it go down-don’t bring it back.”

A parent of a Stockbridge teenager shared his personal story of addiction.  His story told of his 4.0 grade average, athletic son who dropped out of school and had been to rehab twice. This parent said his son was able to easily find a source with an excessive surplus of medical marijuana. This parent’s question to the community was “do you want to contribute to that problem, do you want to increase the extra inventory or not?”

“There is nothing good about marijuana,” said another attendee. “If there is anything good about it, why don’t we give it to our pilots before a flight or to a surgeon before he operates on your daughter or your son.”

But a few did speak on approval of allowing Medical Marihuana facilities to exist in the township.

One resident, who said she is an advocate for combat disabled veterans, said she has seen positive results for veterans using Medical Marihuana to treat pain. She added that with Medical Marihuana, she has seen some veterans overcome opioid addiction.

Another resident, a cancer patient, said she will be soon apply for a Medical Marihuana card. She said she will never be cancer free and has been battling cancer for more than a decade. She said pain medication does not work for her and she has experienced many adverse side effects from traditional medications. She hopes Medical Marihuana will help her.

Finally, one attendee, after hearing the many sides and pros and cons, spoke up.

“I see people are really proud of a beer tent for upcoming events, I don’t hear people worry about break-ins at the bars and I didn’t see anybody come out to try to block the liquor license at the Back Street,” said this resident. “It’s just crazy to see how some of this stuff is laid out and people agree that Medical Marihuana helps but that they want this medicine to just appear – it has to be grown somewhere,” he concluded.

After hearing public response, Planning Commission Chair, Molly Howlett thanked everyone for coming to the meeting and for speaking. She added that the Commission had been charged with writing the ordinance on Medical Marihuana facilities and making a recommendation to the Stockbridge Township Board.

“That’s our job,” said Howlett.  “Please keep that in mind.”

With that, the Commission went through a list of Medical Marihuana Facilities recommendations to present to the board.

The Commission, line by line, discussed everything from zoning district regulations to lighting to fencing and security.

After the review of the recommendations; discussing, clarifying and adding additional language, the planning commission voted on their recommendation to the board. The vote was 4-2 with commissioners Mandy Urquhart, Sandy Kay, Ed Wetherel and Molly Howlett voting yes and commissioners Tom Wallace and Kim Smith opposing. Commissioner Rick Rattai was absent.

“I feel really ignorant to this as I have never been involved in recreational marijuana or Medical Marihuana,” said Smith. “I hate to have that burden put on my shoulders – to have someone who needs it for their sickness but can’t get it, but I don’t want our kids growing up being stoners or in institutions because they can’t function because of what they did in the past.”

This recommendation will be given to the Stockbridge Township Board for review. A special township meeting on August 2, at 7pm at the Stockbridge Township Hall will take place to determine if the township will move forward on this ordinance recommendation.

 

Webster Township To Seek Millage Increase Request For Continued Public Safety Service

By Lynne Beauchamp, lynnethesuntimesnews@gmail.com

Webster Township will be facing many dilemmas to fund its public safety service-fire and policing.

The current millage rate to fund the township’s public safety service is 1.98mils. This funding covers a contract with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office to provide two deputies to the township and provides fire service through the Dexter Area Fire Department (DAFD). At this current rate, the township will experience a shortfall due to increased costs imposed by DAFD.  In order to make up the difference, the township would need to replace its current millage of 1.98mils and increase to 3.4mils. This increase would cover the current public safety service and would also allow for manpower funding and utilities if the township builds a fire station next to the town hall.

Over the years, Webster Township has set aside funding in the form of a capitol improvement fund to build a fire station near the town hall. This funding is separate from the public safety service millage.

Webster Township Supervisor, John Kingsley said there is close to enough money in this fund to build the fire station, but added that the cost of commercial labor has increased due to the demand for labor in the Detroit area. To staff this for 24/7 fire service coverage in the township would be approximately $90,000/year plus the cost of utilities for the building.

Why build a fire station in Webster Township? Shorter response time Kingsley said.

“A fire in Webster Township is usually a total loss” said Webster Township Trustee John Scharf. A manned fire station near the hall would make for a faster response time.

Kingsley said there is a bill in the state legislature that will limit townships and other entities from going for millage elections other than November of even number years.

“If we go for a five year millage we have to redo it a year early or we won’t have millage for a year…any millage failures – there is no way to extend that financing,” said Kingsley. “The proposal is ridiculous.”

Additionally, Kingsley added that the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners agreed to put a 1mil tax on the November ballot to be voted on for the county’s public safety-sheriff, mental health and entities with their own police force.

With these obstacles facing the township board, board members are not sure how the voters will respond to an increase in millage rates to fund public safety. However, Kingsley added, if the millage fails there will be no money to fund public safety service.

The township voted in favor 5-2, to approve a millage to be placed on the November ballot for 3.4 mils for public safety spending. There will be a special meeting, tentatively scheduled for August 1 at 6pm at the township hall, to discuss ballot language on this proposal for the November ballot.

 

Village of Manchester Sesquicentennial Celebration

By Seth Kinker

During the first week of August, the Village of Manchester is celebrating its 150th anniversary (Sesquicentennial). A week-long series of events will highlight the heritage and accomplishments, promote and preserve the history, educate youth on the town’s founding, and bring back former residents who have moved away to reconnect with their families and friends.

The Manchester Area Historical Society (MAHS), the Village of Manchester, and the Manchester Area Chamber of Commerce have partnered in this effort, to create a series of events and products.

August 4 from 9:30am – 3pm will be a Manchester Agri-Tour. A bus tour of five local Manchester agricultural sites – see the inner workings of modern farming along with historical elements. Visit a large crop/livestock farm, a six generation dairy farm employing modern technology, an organic farm utilizing sustainable techniques, a livestock auction house, and a restored 1840s farmhouse with related 19th century farming techniques. Ticket required.

Also on the Friday beginning at 6:30pm is the Manchester Sesquicentennial Parade and Street Dance. A full parade through town with historic elements, followed by a fire department open house and tractor show, then a street dance moving from 19th century square dancing to modern.

August 5 beginning at 11am is the Manchester History and Arts Day. An “Antiques Roadshow” antique appraisal, silent auction, historical society open house, and blacksmithing demonstrations by the Manchester Area Historical Society. Also, Heritage Arts Event and Studio/Garden Walk about town; tractor show and Historic Home Tours; a downtown “marketplace” with vendor booths; Manchester’s “Facial Hair Competition” – A regional contest on styles and looks of various beard categories – men, women and children contests. M/C Stephen Eldorado “El Chapo” will lead the program.

Also on Saturday will be the Manchester Historic Base Ball Games. The newly formed Manchester Handlers will take on the Chelsea Monitors in a western Washtenaw championship game at Kirk Park, utilizing 19th century baseball rules and uniforms. Run Manchester, Manchester Street Festival and the Classic Car Show events will occur along Main Street. Registration fees for certain Run and Festival events.

On August 6 from 1 – 4pm will be the Manchester Main Street Dinner in Wurster Park. Manchester’s chefs and restaurants will partner to prepare a full meal served under tents in the Village Green, with period music accompaniment, information on 1867 food preparation, and re-enactors. Ticket required.

Also on Sunday will be the Manchester Historic Home Tours; Village Green, Exchange Place and Ann Arbor Hill. Ticket required.

Finally on August 7 beginning at 6:30pm will be the closing reception, “Manchester’s Founding in 1833”.

Full information on all events is posted on our Sesquicentennial website:  www.48158.com/150years, and on Facebook at “Manchester Sesquicentennial Festival”. Tickets and various Sesquicentennial products are available at River Raisin Antiques and Mercantile at 138 E. Main St in Manchester.

Further information is also available through Ray Berg, rayberg@att.net, 734-476-4565.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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