Chelsea Community Forum summary from March 13, 2021

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A summary of the March 13, 2021 forum provided by Chelsea Community Forum moderator Vincent Elie:

The Chelsea Community Forum met via Zoom on Saturday, March 13, 2021. Participants suggested topics for discussion and two were selected.

Announcements were made regarding Sylvan Township’s open space preservation efforts and the new Chelsea Arts Initiative, spearheaded by Patti Schwartz. This Initiative is advocating for the arts as a social, economic and aesthetic benefit to the community.

A group of local citizens have banded together to promote a “dark sky initiative”.

One participant recalled increasing Chelsea’s nocturnal light glow when viewed from the West and seeing the northern lights during the months of Summer. But this is no longer possible due to “light pollution.” Another attendee identified an issue that many Chelsea streetlights are not “directional,” but rather shine upwards into 2nd story windows and the sky where it is dispersed by the atmosphere. People complained that the downtown street light spectrum is very blue and somewhat blinding when driving down Main St. This problem is noted to be more bothersome in the newer subdivisions where the street lighting is less likely to be designed to mitigate glare and “skyward scatter”. Those concerned residents have submitted suggestions to the City Council for improvement during the redesign of the City’s ordinances. Other ideas included a “Dark Park” at Green Lake. Concerns were raised about the expense, safety and technology of modifying or mitigating nighttime lighting. Please contact chelseadarkskeis@gmail.com for further information.

The Judge Report concerning Chelsea Police Department’s citations of demonstrators last summer was discussed. One participant, who supported the concerns of the demonstrators, felt that a consequence of civil disobedience is not only peaceful disruption but the willingness to be cited, arrested, and/or jailed. There were concerns raised about the unevenness of the police enforcement of infractions. The Judge Report concluded that the police did not break the law in their issuance of multiple citations. It was mentioned that the youth are neither respected nor are their grievances heard. Some expressed the importance of being supportive of initiatives taken by young people and our need to value and listen to the voices of those with less social power in our society. The need for respectful and empathetic communication among conservatives, progressives, police, youth and adult citizens was emphasized as was the belief that the Chelsea region is composed of good, positive people living in tough times.

The Chelsea Community Forum is open to all with an interest in the affairs of the Chelsea School District area and meets the 2nd Saturday of every month at 9:00 AM, currently on Zoom. A link can be found on the Forum’s website (https://sites.google.com/site/chelseamiforum/home).

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