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Lisa Allmendinger on July 27th, 2015
Chelsea Lanes bowling game was very popular during the Sounds and Sights Festival.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. Chelsea Lanes bowling game was very popular during the Sounds and Sights Festival.

Story and photos by Lisa Carolin

Perhaps the busiest spot in downtown Chelsea Saturday, day three of the Sounds and Sights Festival, wasn’t the KidZone at the Clocktower complex nor the Pet Parade forming at the Train Depot.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. A goat was one of the more unusual participants in the annual Pet Parade sponsored by Farmers Supply.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. A goat was one of the more unusual participants in the annual Pet Parade sponsored by Farmers Supply.

It wasn’t even the Festival Social Tent behind The Common Grill. To hear Bob Pierce, executive director of the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce tell it, it was the parking lot of the Farmers Market that was really hopping.

“It’s borderline chaos, but great fun,” said Pierce, attributing the market’s Main Street/Palmer parking lot location to its big draw. “The crowds have been astounding.”

Pierce, clad in an orange Chelsea Area Festival Events shirt, was directing traffic into the market’s parking lot from 9 a.m. until it ended at noon.

“People are coming to the Festival from as far away as Ohio,” he said. “It’s a great attraction.”

Main Street was continually crawling with cars and pedestrians checking out the sidewalk vendors and the Art Market.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. One of the many cute dogs in the Pet Parade.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. One of the many cute dogs in the Pet Parade.

Chelsea Farmers Supply sponsored the annual Pet Parade at 10 a.m. with the theme Zombie Apocalypse. Jason Kalinski brought his goat Honey, who wore a garment indicating that she was a survivor.

Matt Trenary came with his dog Luci, who wore faux bloodied bandages around her paws. His 15-month-old son Mack relaxed in his stroller made up as a zombie.

Five-year-old Ben Hickman was also made up and came with his dog Daisy.

“We thought it was crazy being zombies but fun,” said Ben’s mom Alecia Hickman.

The KidZone offered three Bouncy Houses, a bubble blowing station, Chelsea Lanes’ portable bowling alley, and tattoos from Inflate Your Party.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. Chalk art in the KidZone.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. Chalk art in the KidZone.

“I like working on kids because they’re so happy about tattoos,” said Allison Turner. “Boys like the skulls and sharks, and girls like the butterflies and hearts.”

Twin sisters Mia and Eva Brenner, 9 years old, participated in the Chalk Art Contest. They both drew colorful versions of their dog, a Puggle.

Volunteer Sudha Naraharisetti has helped at the Festival for the last five years.

“Everybody is really wonderful and friendly,” said Naraharisetti, who works as an ambassador for the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce and helps coordinate events all around town.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. A scene from Saturday's Sounds and Sights Festival.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. A scene from Saturday’s Sounds and Sights Festival.

Photo by Lisa Carolin.

Photo by Lisa Carolin.

Photo by Lisa Carolin.

Photo by Lisa Carolin.

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(Chelsea Update apologizes for the mistake in the date of this event.)

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Lisa Allmendinger on July 27th, 2015

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Lisa Allmendinger on July 27th, 2015

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The Chelsea Area Fire Authority board approved a budget adjustment of $160,000 to cover the renovation costs for Fire Station 2 in Lima Township at its meeting on Tuesday, July 21.

The mid-year adjustment will come from CAFA’s reserve funds, which before the transfer, stood at about $650,000.

“I’ve visited the Lima Station,” Lima Township resident Gary Adams told the board, “It’s quite impressive and seems to work well.”

Lima Township Supervisor and CAFA Board Member Craig Maier told the board that “It seems like (firefighter) Ian Ballard has been busy as a squirrel down there working on it,” when he’s stopped by.

The building owner, Bob Van Schoick, who paid for a lot of upgrades on the station, also agreed to push back CAFA’s first lease payment to Sept. 1, Maier said.

On other business, Fire Chief Jim Payeur said CAFA’s HR company, YourSource, has been working on implementing the newly ratified contract with the firefighters.

The board held a lengthy discussion about an addendum/letter of understanding to the contract, which was not included in the ratified contract. The board voted to accept portions of it but also to make changes to the agreement before sending it to the firefighter’s union.

However, Ron Palmquist, labor relations specialist who was in the audience, told the board, “The letter of understanding is not complete and we don’t accept it. We’ll just go with the contract.”

Below is a statement from Palmquist about the contract:

“At a meeting on July 9, the Chelsea Fire Fighters Local 1889 of the Michigan Association of Fire Fighters (MAFF) ratified the tentative agreement between the Chelsea Area Fire Authority (CAFA) and MAFF.

The CAFA Board had previously ratified the agreement on July 6.

The union believes that this is a fair and equitable agreement for the employees, the authority and the citizens of the communities that CAFA provides fire services to. This contract brings these fire fighters closer to the wages and benefit levels of the fire service in Washtenaw County.

Even with the wage increases in this contract on average Washtenaw County fire departments Ann Arbor Township, Dexter, Saline, Scio and Superior are paid 21.2 percent higher wages than CAFA fire fighters.

The hope is that with the increases in this contract and hopefully in future contracts, we will be able to keep good employees at CAFA instead of seeing them get trained and certified by CAFA only to see them leave for higher paying departments.

CAFA Board Chairman Rod Anderson is quoted as saying, “This is a substantial increase in wages” and it is, however, we still have a ways to go in order to be competitive and retain good employees. As an example with the wage increases in this contract a Chelsea Police Department full-time dispatcher makes $2.66 more per hour than a Fire Captain working for CAFA.

It is attributed to CAFA Board Chairman Anderson that the fire fighters raises in the new contract retroactive to Jan. 1, plus needed repairs to the main fire station will force the Board to dip into their reserve fund about $100,000. However, very little of this is a result of this agreement with CAFA.

The CAFA 2015 budget had increased funding for wages by 14.7 percent and increased funding for fringe benefits including health and dental by $49,089. In this contract CAFA will instead realize a $36,000 savings for the remainder of this year on healthcare and $72,000 savings in 2016 over their current healthcare costs.

Maybe the dip into reserve funds is more attributable to the thousands of dollars over budget regarding the build out of Lima Township CAFA Station #2 and the unbudgeted funds that were paid to

Dexter Fire because CAFA Station #2 wasn’t operational until July 1, instead of the original Jan. 1, date. The repairs at Station #1 have also exceeded the budgeted amounts.

CAFA’s reserve fund stands at $644,234 as stated in their Bank Accounts Report dated 05/31/15 and their 2014 Audit Report showed their total expenditures for 2014 was $1,390,622.That would put their

reserve fund at 46.3 percent of their prior year’s expenditures. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) would like to see reserve funds anywhere from 17 percent to 20 percent of prior year’s expenditures.

Even with the “about $100,000 dip” the reserve fund will still be 39.1 percent over the prior year’s expenditures, well above the GASB guidelines.

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Lisa Allmendinger on July 27th, 2015

I’ve had a number of folks contact me that the Biggby Coffee coupon had expired and I wanted everyone to know that it’s now valid again. My sincere apologies.

And, while I’m at it, please check out the new classified ads that have gone up recently. You can find a tab for classifieds on the top of the site or click here.

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Lisa Allmendinger on July 26th, 2015
Photo by Tom Hodgson. Great Egret displaying breeding plumage.

Photo by Tom Hodgson. Great Egret displaying breeding plumage.

Photo by Tom Hodgson. Great Egret standing alert.

Photo by Tom Hodgson. Great Egret standing alert.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Tom Hodgson and the Waterloo Natural History Association for the information and photos in this column.)

Back in February when we were still shoveling and shivering, the great egret was already in the thick of its breeding season … in Florida. Although its white feathers would be a perfect camouflage against the winter snow, our frozen lakes would not yield any fish for its dinner. Therefore, we have to wait until mid-summer to enjoy this magnificent bird.

After the breeding season is over, great egrets begin wandering north, perhaps in search of feeding areas with less competition. It may also be because winter is Florida’s dry season when ponds and wetlands shrink, concentrating food and making it easier to catch. In spring, when the rainy season begins, the ponds and wetlands expand and deepen, making food harder to find and forcing the egrets north in search of better foraging.

Hundreds of thousands of egrets were killed to place feathers on Women's hats.

Hundreds of thousands of egrets were killed to place feathers on Women’s hats.

They are now arriving in Michigan and should remain through October. They especially like the undeveloped portions of lakes with natural shorelines; and shallow, marshy wetlands where they feed on small fish, crayfish, frogs, tadpoles and an occasional snake.

In past years, egrets have been frequent visitors to Pond Lily Lake on Harvey Road just east of Clear Lake Road, to the marsh at the south end of Crooked Lake, to Mud Lake on Loveland Road just south of Waterloo, the Haehnle Audubon Sanctuary on Seymour Road and Mill Lake on McClure Road. However, they may appear on just about any local lake from time to time.

This member of the heron family is the second largest in North America and is 3-feet tall with a 4-foot wingspan. Only the great blue heron measuring 4-feet tall with a 6-foot wingspan is larger. The beautiful nuptial plumage grown only during the breeding season was nearly this bird’s undoing. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries these nuptial plumages were highly valued to decorate women’s hats. Market hunters nearly brought them to extinction.

Photo by Tom Hodgson. Snowy Egret in flight.

Photo by Tom Hodgson. Snowy Egret in flight.

The National Audubon Society was created in part to save these birds. The great egret is the organization’s symbol to this day. Market hunting was finally outlawed for good with the passing of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Since that time, the great egret and its smaller cousin the snowy egret, also valued for its plumage, have been making a comeback. Today, there are even a few confirmed nestings of great egrets in Michigan along the shores of Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay.

Photo by Tom Hodgson. Pair of Great Egrets with young in Florida.

Photo by Tom Hodgson. Pair of Great Egrets with young in Florida.

However, a majority seen in the state are post season wanderers from the southern states. Although we can now expect to see great egrets each summer, the sighting of a snowy egret in Michigan is still a very rare occurrence.

Although we can admire these stately birds, we will not see them dressed in their breeding finery as their nuptial feathers are shed long before they arrive in Michigan. I’ve included a few images of great and snowy egrets in breeding condition to show what we in Michigan are missing. Of course, we could all become snowbirds and spend some time in Florida this coming winter to see them first hand for ourselves.

Photo by Tom Hodgson. Great Egret in flight.

Photo by Tom Hodgson. Great Egret in flight.

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Lisa Allmendinger on July 26th, 2015
Courtesy photo. AJ Mitchell and his hole in one golf ball.

Courtesy photo. AJ Mitchell and his hole in one golf ball.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Cindy Mitchell for the photo and information this this story.)

AJ Mitchell, 13, got his first hole in one on Wednesday, July 22 on Hole #5 at Inverness Golf Course.

He has been spending many of his days this summer at the golf course, making the Summer of 2015 a very special one indeed.

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Lisa Allmendinger on July 26th, 2015

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Joe Yekulis for the information in this story and Kelly Flaherty for the photo gallery.)

St. Louis Center continues to receive strong community support for its fundraisers, and the month of June featured two back-to-back events with a dinner at Paesano’s Restaurant in Ann Arbor on June 14, followed by the 21st Annual Golf and Glory Outing at U-M Golf Course on Monday, June 22.

Each event is unique in its own way, with the link being the generosity of Paesano’s owners Michael and Bridget Roddy, who have been supporting St. Louis Center for many years through this golf outing and their restaurant events.

The Paesano’s dinner provides an opportunity to honor the priests of the Servants of Charity, and this year’s honoree was Fr. Satheesh Alphonse, SdC. As a member of the Servants of Charity, Fr. Satheesh was ordained at the Don Guanella Minor Seminary in Chennai, India in 2002 and came to St. Louis Center in 2006. He is now the Director of the Pious Union of St. Joseph in Grass Lake, MI.

Fifty people turned out to honor him at the dinner, and several people spoke during the evening to tell their favorite Fr. Satheesh stories. At the end of the evening he received a portrait of Our Lady of Velanhanni, India and a gift certificate.

The Golf and Glory Outing was another successful venture, as a full course of 144 golfers devoted their day to St. Louis Center as one of their favorite non-profits.

Celebrity golfers in attendance included such notable figures from the sports world as Tom Nowatzke, President of the Detroit Lions Alumni Association, Mike Lucci (Lions-ret.), Elaine Crosby (LPGA-ret.), Paul Seymour (Lions/Bills-ret.), Dean Look (MSU and Super Bowl Referee-ret.), and Wayne Welton (Chelsea HS AD Retired/Director of Baseball Operation – U-M).

This year was former Detroit Lion Tight End Tony Scheffler’s (Chelsea HS) first year to participate, and Michigan Supreme Court Justice David Viviano and Celebrity Chairman George Blaha (Pistons/MSU Broadcaster) were also present for the event.

Following 18 holes of golf, golfers were treated to a beef tenderloin dinner, live and silent auctions, sponsor recognitions, and a drawing for an Alaskan Cruise Raffle. After over 1,200 tickets were sold, the winning ticket was Sue Phillips of Grass Lake.

St. Louis Center is a residential care center for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and run by the Servants of Charity. For more information about St. Louis Center, click here.

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Lisa Allmendinger on July 25th, 2015

Friday was the deadline to withdraw from the Chelsea City Council race and one candidate has done so.

Chelsea City Clerk Laura Kaiser said Jan Bernath withdrew her name from the race for City Council in November.

This leaves four candidates vying for three seats. They are incumbents Jane Pacheco and Frank Hammer, as well as Peter Feeney and Tony Iannelli.

The deadline for any write-in candidates is Oct. 23 at 4 p.m.

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Lisa Allmendinger on July 25th, 2015

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Chelsea Farmers Market (8 a.m.-noon) @ Palmer Lot

Merchant activities and events, visit chelseamich.com

Art Market and demonstrations (Noon-8 p.m.)

Food court on W. Middle Street (Noon-10 p.m.)

Pet Parade at the Train Depot (10-11 a.m.)

Chalk Art Contest and community chalk quilt by Clocktower and Glazier Building (8 a.m.-4 p.m.)

KidZone behind Clocktower complex (10 a.m.-3 p.m.), activities, entertainment and more.

Chelsea Area Historical Society guided walking tour (1 p.m.) at Chelsea Depot. Wear comfortable shoes and plan for two hours. Suggested donation of $5 for non-members.

Social Tent opens at 1 p.m., live music from 1-5 p.m. (Free)

Liquid Monk (1-2:30 p.m.)

The Shelter Dogs  (3-4:30 p.m.)

Social Tent reopens at 6 p.m., live music from 7-11 p.m., $5 cover

Dance Party

13th Floor

Collision Six

 

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