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Lisa Allmendinger on July 21st, 2014

Chelsea logoThe Chelsea City Council should have a short meeting on Monday, July 21 as there is a light agenda for consideration.

On the consent agenda are three temporary road closures for this year’s 77th Annual Chelsea Community Fair, which takes place from Aug. 19-23. The temporary road closures are for the annual Kiddie Parade on Tuesday, Aug. 19, and for two events on Saturday, Aug. 23 — the annual Run for the Rolls and the Chelsea Fair Parade.

The City Council will also hear a presentation on the upcoming Chelsea District Library millage.

On the business agenda are:

1. A vote on an amended comprehensive plan for the city, which among other things, removes a residential component for the Federal Screw Works site. Developer Magellan Properties wants to rezone the property from Industrial (I-1) to a Planned Unit Development (PUD). The city’s current land use plan for a PUD requires a residential component on the property, but there is a deed restriction on the Federal Screw property that disallows housing on the land.

The City Council previously approved this draft language for the city’s land plan that was sent to neighboring municipalities and other entities for comment.

The Planning Commission held a public hearing on July 15 for the amendments and unanimously agreed to forward the changes to the City Council for final approval.

2. Council Member Melissa Johnson is asking the City Council on behalf of a community center steering committee, for a letter of support for a feasibility study of a possible Chelsea Community Center to be located at the Washington Street Education Center. The steering committee is planning to request a grant for the study.

3. A request by Lima Township to hold a joint work session to discuss the proposed Lima Springs Development on Aug. 4.

According to the agenda item summary, this development is proposed for property east of Chelsea Ridge and Auston Lane and the township has expressed interest in a 425 agreement — a conditional land transfer and tax sharing agreement — in which if approved, the property would become part of Chelsea and receive city utilities as well as paying city taxes.

Following the regular meeting, the City Council is expected to go into closed session with its attorney to discuss a legal opinion.

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Lisa Allmendinger on July 20th, 2014
White water lily in bloom.

White water lily in bloom.

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

Take the time to canoe, kayak or fish in the shallows of area lakes that still have some natural shoreline, and you will be rewarded with some of nature’s most beautiful and interesting blossoms.

Close up of brazenia flower.

Close up of brasenia flower.

This is water lily season. Though not true lilies at all, they do produce some impressive flowers. The white or fragrant water lily is the showiest of all with large white blossoms have yellow centers. They are open wide from early morning to early afternoon and then close as if to rest for the next day. Called lily pads because of their large round leaves that float on the surface, they are perfect places for bull frogs or green frogs to sit and wait for unsuspecting insects.

They also shade the shallows from the heat of the sun providing a cool, dark place for large-mouth bass to hide. A well placed lure dropped at the edge of the pads will often result in a nice fat fish for the dinner table.

Fragrant water lily blossoms should be with us all summer. However, individual flowers, once fertilized, are pulled under the water as the stem to which they are attached coils. The seed pod containing many seeds develops under water. The seeds are relished by waterfowl, especially during the fall migration.   The leaves and roots are eaten by muskrats, beaver and even deer.

Spatterdock yellow water lily.

Spatterdock yellow water lily.

Spadderdock, also known as yellow water lily, blooms at about the same time as fragrant water lily. It prefers slightly shallower water, and its leaves are more heart-shaped and often protrude above the water’s surface. The flowers are bright yellow. The yellow, petal-like sepals that surround the seed-pod are often tinged with burnt-umber. Bullfrogs often hide among the leaves of spadderdock. The yellow throat of the male bullfrog is almost a perfect match for the color of the blossoms.

Could this be a protective coloration developed by the bullfrog for survival? Perhaps only the bullfrog knows.  The leaves and roots of spadderdock are also valued by muskrat and beaver, and the seeds by migrating waterfowl.

Another smaller and less conspicuous aquatic plant found floating in the shallows is brasenia or water-shield. Each small, shield-shaped leaf is about 4-inches long, floats on the surface, and is attached to the stem at its center. In late spring and summer the plants send up small purple flowers, each on a single stem. Each flower is about the size of a quarter and lasts only two days.

Spadder Dock yellow water lily.

Spadder Dock yellow water lily.

On the first day it emerges from the water as a female flower. At the end of the day, it submerges back into the water.

On the second day it emerges as a male flower.  Pollen from this male flower is spread by the wind to other female flowers in the area. At the end of the second day the flower submerges once again, and the fruit and seeds develop under water. Picking the leaf of brasenia can be a challenge as both the stem and the underside of the leaf are covered with a slippery jelly-like substance. The purpose of this substance is not fully understood, but may be to inhibit munching insects.

All three of these interesting plants can be found in the shallows of Mill Lake in the Waterloo Recreation Area. The public access for Mill Lake is located on McClure Road just west of its intersection with Bush Road.

This is an electric motors only lake, and is a great place to canoe or kayak. The lake is two miles in circumference, and has a totally natural shoreline. Those paddling for distance can measure exactly how far they have gone. Enjoy.

Brasenia water shield leaves.

Brasenia water shield leaves.

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Lisa Allmendinger on July 20th, 2014
Courtesy photo of church.

Courtesy photo of church.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Mary Tobin for the information in this story.)

Zion Lutheran Church‘s Vacation Bible School theme this year is Safari Adventure, and students will be discovering Jesus as the King.

Bible School will take place Monday-Thursday, Aug. 4-7, from 5:30-8 p.m.

Each evening begins with a light meal and classes start around 6 p.m.

“We welcome students from age 3 through those starting 6th grade this fall,” says Mary Tobin.

No fees are charged and the students may attend any number of nights. Adults are welcome to stay and join in.

If interested, please contact the church office at zionchelsea@yahoo.com or call 475-8064 for a registration form.

Registrations should be sent in by July 30.

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Lisa Allmendinger on July 20th, 2014

By Lisa Carolin

The week of July 20 has been declared Gun Safety Week in Washtenaw County, thanks to a resolution approved by the county’s Board of Commissioners  on July 9.

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office hosted a press conference on July 10 to kick-off the gun safety effort, and representatives from every law enforcement agency in the county attended. Speakers included Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton, Ann Arbor Police Chief John Seto, and Washtenaw County Prosecutor Brian Mackie.

Also present at the news conference was Jamaica Washington, the mother of Keon Washington, the 17-year-old who was shot and killed following an argument at a party in Ypsilanti on June 27.
The purpose of Gun Safety Week is to encourage responsible gun ownership and raise awareness about gun safety.

“Regardless of political debates, there are weapons out there,” said Derrick Jackson, director of Community Engagement for the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office. “We’re trying to change the conversation from gun debate to one about being good owners and stewards of guns.”

According to figures from Sharon Sheldon of the Washtenaw Department of Public Heath, there were 13 people with firearm assault related injury admissions at both the University of Michigan Health System and Saint Joseph Hospitals in Washtenaw County in 2013, and 17 in 2012.

Mackie shared stories about guns that were not properly secured with tragic endings. Gun owners are advised to store firearms in a location inaccessible to children, to make sure guns are never loaded while in the home, and that ammunition is stored under lock and key, separately from firearms.

Molly Hilton, from the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, also spoke. Statistics from her group show that two-thirds of unintended child gun deaths took place in the victim’s home or family vehicle with guns that were legally owned but not properly secured, and that toddlers ages 2-4 years are at the highest risk of a self-inflicted shooting.

Law enforcement agencies throughout Washtenaw County will be giving away free gun locks to the public as well as gun safety information during Gun Safety Week, beginning July 20.


Dear Editor:
It has come to my attention that there was a proposition for a sand mine right off of M-52. I am writing to voice my concerns about the proposed sand mine and its impact on the surrounding area.

I learned that McCoig Materials Inc. has proposed a sand mine that will level a hill and go 50’ below the local water table. The mine will be in operation for 30 years, and at the end of the excavation there will be a 52-acre lake. This lake will lower the rest of the water table around it, although it will create a larger wildlife area. However, by leveling the hill, the fen ponds at Lyndon (a unique wetland area) will
lose a large source of minerals and water for the fen ponds. It will also ruin M-52 with trucks making up to 80 round trips every day along it.

Aside from the physical effects of the mine on the surrounding area, there will be aesthetic effects. For example, Green Lake Rustic Campground (situated right across the street from the proposed site) would not be very “rustic” when you hear and watch large trucks going up and down the road relentlessly. This mining operation would negatively affect everyone located on M-52, and anyone who uses M-52 to get to work or just wants to get into Chelsea.

As a Boy Scout and a citizen of Chelsea, I care about our local environment, especially our wetlands. As a student, I’m concerned about my generation’s future, and this would negatively affect it.

I would urge all citizens that are able, to help stop the creation of this mine!
Patrick Quinn

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Chelsea-Area-Wellness-Foundation(Chelsea Update would like to thank Matt Pegouskie for the information in this story.)

The City of Chelsea is a recipient of a $377,285.29 grant from the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) and the Michigan Fitness Foundation (MFF) for safer routes to walk and bike.

Among the improvements will be:

  • Install and update sidewalks on the west side of Wilkinson from US-12 to Wellington Street, the east side of Wilkinson from Wellington to Chandler Street, the south side of US-12 from Gene Street to Wilkinson, the north side of Wellington from Wilkinson to Dale Street, and add pedestrian crossings on Wilkinson at Wellington, Pine and Chandler streets, as well as US-12 at Wilkinson.
  • Update the pedestrian crossings at the Howard, Elm and McKinley street intersections.
  • Add sidewalks to the west side of Grant Street between Lincoln and Chandler streets, the south side of Chandler between Grant and Wilkinson, redesign the pedestrian crossing at Grant, Lincoln Court  and Lincoln, Taylor and Pierce streets, and add crosswalks on Chandler at Summit street.
  • Add a pedestrian island at the intersection of Washington and Madison
  • Replace sidewalk on the west side of Madison at the intersection of A.D. Mayer Drive, as well as add crosswalks at the intersection of A.D. Mayer and Freer Road, and improve of signage in area of intersection.
File photo.

File photo.

The infrastructure projects are expected to be completed in 2015.

“We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the City of Chelsea to improve infrastructure and enhance the ability of students to safely travel to and from school on foot and/or by bike,” said Chelsea School District Superintendant Andy Ingall in a press release.

The Federal Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) funds will account for $369,290 or 100 percent of the infrastructure portion of this project, while the non-infrastructure portion of this project, about $8,000 will come through the MFF.  Engineering costs will be funded by the city.

The funds are in response to development of a plan intended to provide students in the city safer routes to walk and bike to school.  It will also improve opportunities for all Chelsea community members to walk and bike thanks to infrastructure improvements.

The grant is the second major SR2S grant received by communities within the 5 Healthy Towns.  Last November, Dexter received $225,000 for improvements around its school campus.

“One of the more gratifying aspects of receiving the grant was the process used by the agencies involved in securing it,” said Mayor Jason Lindauer in a press release. “Where the welfare of our citizens and their children are involved, collaboration amongst the responsible parties involved is usually most effective in reaching the desired result.”

“This approach provides consensus for what the issue is, its urgency and then a review of possible solutions and how to best secure the most appropriate one.  This model for success is a continuing point of pride for all of us involved in public service here in Chelsea,” he said in the release from the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation.

Two years ago, CWF engaged CSD representatives, parents, students, city employees and the Chelsea Police Department in efforts to implement Safe Routes to School (SR2S).

The wellness foundation fostered a partnership with Warren Rauhe and Dr. Wayne Beyea from MSU’s School of Landscape Architecture, as well as Dr. Tim Gates and interns from Wayne State University and staff members from SEMCOG and MFF.

Chelsea logoThe team conducted walking audits with school officials, students and parents. They also interviewed Chelsea residents before putting together formal recommendations for infrastructure improvements intended to increase the likelihood students and parents in Chelsea will arrive at school by foot or bike.

CWF Community Investment Manager Matt Pegouskie and Process Results’ Ted Erickson, P.E. worked with the city, Chelsea Police, and Chelsea School administration to develop a competitive grant application that addressed the most pressing infrastructure needs.

“We appreciate the collaborative effort that made this grant application possible,” Pegouskie said in the press release, adding, “Local support, as well as support from MFF and SEMCOG staff, is incredibly important for the success of SR2S Chelsea.”

About $8,000 from MFF is earmarked for programming including education, encouragement, and enforcement activities, such as an annual bike rodeo, a brochure and map safety campaign, and crossing guard materials for Beach Middle School and South Meadows Elementary School.

The Chelsea Police Department will receive a portable radar sign to be used in the Chelsea School Zones. The sign will be used to help control speeds along the designated safe routes.

“The cooperation between local and regional groups in this important and fruitful project has been terrific,” Amy Heydlauff, executive director of CWF said in a press release.

“When we make it easier for our children to get around town we do the same for the rest of the population. And, when children walk or bike to school they perform better in class. This is something to celebrate,” she said.

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Lisa Allmendinger on July 19th, 2014
File photo. A child carries a goat at the 4-H Youth Show

File photo. A child carries a goat at the 4-H Youth Show

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Sheri Montoye for the information in this story.)

Visit the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds from July 27-Aug. 1 for the 2014 Washtenaw County 4-H Youth Show.

This family-friendly, no-cost event showcases 4-H Youth Development and the interesting opportunities available to Washtenaw county youth. 4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills through club involvement and projects such as crafts, food preparation, collections, horses, archery, or livestock.  Admission and parking for the event is free.

The show kicks off on Sunday, July 27 at 10 a.m., with our youngest horse participants. Dog obedience and showmanship classes begin at 6:30 p.m.

On Monday, July 28, “Still” (non-animal) projects will be on display in Building A, and most livestock will be arriving throughout the day. On Tuesday, July 29, all projects, including animals, will be on display.

A cute Holland lop rabbit.

A cute Holland lop rabbit.

This year, the Entrepreneurship Silent Auction of youth-made craft items will continue. They will be display and open for bids from July 28-Aug. 1. Silent Auction proceeds go to the selling 4-H member. The entrepreneurship project prepares our future entrepreneurs for the business world by helping them develop skills in product development, marketing, finance, etc.

The public is invited to the Activity Tent on Thursday from 9 a.m.- noon for hands-on take-home activities for youth of all ages.

Livestock are auctioned Thursday evening, July 31 beginning with the 4-H Small Animal Silent Auction at 6 p.m. and 4-H Large Animal Livestock Auction at 6:30 p.m. under Building B. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Arrive an hour early for a special Buyers’ Dinner sponsored by the Jackson Road Meijer, as well as to learn the auction process.  Staff and volunteers on-site will assist any new buyers with step-by-step details and give you all the information you need regarding how we handle the post-auction animal processing for you.

Friday is a full afternoon of unexpectedly fun classes to watch: Ag-Olympics, Animal costume contests, an archery contest, and tractor driving contest.

cows 083Also on Friday, from 4-7 p.m., do not miss the BBQ Dinner sponsored by Zingerman’s Roadhouse and hosted by Washtenaw County 4-H Advisory Council for only $11 per person.  Come for the food, stay for the Horse and Pony Grand Entry at 5 p.m., followed by the top show-persons from each animal species participating in Sweepstakes Showmanship at 7 p.m.

The 4-H Youth Show is held at the Washtenaw County Farm Council Grounds at 5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Road, and is open to everyone from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For additional information, contact Washtenaw County MSU Extension Office at 734-997-1678, or at the on-site Youth Show office at 734-429-3145.


Lisa Allmendinger on July 19th, 2014
Jennifer Fairfield was this year's winner of a trip to Napa Valley.

Jennifer Fairfield was this year’s winner of a trip to Napa Valley.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Bridget Favre for the information in this story.)

The Chelsea Area Festivals and Events committee thanked the sponsors of the 2014 Sounds and Sights with an appreciation party on July 14 at The Common Grill restaurant.

More than 80 guests attended the event, which featured an assortment of entrées and desserts by Chef Craig Common and the wines of Terra d’Oro.

Chelsea resident and General Sales Manager of Trinchero Family Estates, Scott Stubbs, helped organize the event.

“I would like to give a sincere thank you to all of the sponsors and the community.  My family lives in Chelsea, and we are truly fortunate to live in an energetic community that encourages the arts and comes together to create events like Sounds and Sights,” said Stubbs.

Jeff Meyers, Terra d’Oro senior vice president and general manager, guided a tasting of seven wines from the winery located in Amador County, Calif. To start the night, he poured one white wine, a first vintage 2013 Chenin Blanc-Viognier, and a limited edition 2013 Rosé.

“To reward your support of Sounds and Sights we have brought some esoteric style wines, small production hand crafted wines that you are not going to typically find outside of California,” said Meyers.

Also served were five reds from Amador County: a 2012 Barbera, 2012 Teroldego, 2011 Petite Sirah, 2010 Home Zinfandel and a NV Zinfandel Port.

Another limited edition, the 2010 Home Zinfandel, was also poured. The Home Vineyard is a little under four acres and may seem small, but according to Meyers, it hits a home run with every vintage.

“The acreage is the only thing small about it, as this vineyard produces truly memorable, intensely jammy Zinfandel with luscious body and the softest touch of silky tannin. The amount of character from these vines cannot be replicated and must be experienced,” said Meyers.

Meyers charmed the guests with 33 years of winemaking experience and his knowledge of each wine as it was poured. He also helped draw raffle tickets for numerous prizes sponsored by Trinchero Family Estates. The grand prize, a trip for two people to Terra d’Oro in Amador County, California, was won by Jennifer Fairfield, owner of The Garden Mill.

“I am thrilled to win this trip and look forward to working out the details with Scott. Thank you to Trinchero for the prize, Craig Common for hosting the event, and everyone associated with the Chelsea Sounds and Sights Festival,” said Fairfield.

The grand prize winners from last year, Chairman, President and CEO of Chelsea State Bank John Mann, and his wife, Anne, returned to talk about their recent trip to the Amador County.

“I was so surprised when I won last year, I never win anything, and I would like to thank Trinchero Family Estates and Scott Stubbs for being so accommodating and for planning a wonderful experience,” Mann said, adding, “I highly recommend visiting Amador County because it is off the beaten path, and the Terra d’Oro winery is stunning.”

For those who have not tried them, Trinchero Family Estates wines including Terra d’Oro will be featured in the social and entertainment tent at the Sounds and Sights Festival this year.

Clcik here for event details and for a complete list of sponsors.

(Publisher’s note: I highly recommend the white, 2013 Chenin Blanc-Viognier. In fact, I bought a bottle at the event.)

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Lisa Allmendinger on July 19th, 2014



Lisa Allmendinger on July 18th, 2014
Chamber President Bruce Szcodronski shakes hands with Citizen of the Year Rick Eder as Executive Director Bob Pierce gets ready to read the proclamation.

Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce President Bruce Szcodronski shakes hands with Citizen of the Year Rick Eder as Executive Director Bob Pierce gets ready to read the official proclamation.

Citizen of the Year Rick Eder with his certificate.

Citizen of the Year Rick Eder with his certificate.

Rick Eder had a rather unusual day at work on Thursday afternoon, July 17.

Thinking he had a client appointment at his Farm Bureau Insurance Agency, he emerged from his office and was greeted by family, friends, Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce members and a huge bouquet of balloons.

“What’s going on?” he asked.

It was then that Bob Pierce, executive director of the chamber, broke the news. “You are this year’s Citizen of the Year.”

Pierce then read a proclamation explaining how he had been chosen for the award.

“Wow, thanks, this is cool,” Eder said, still surprised by the award.

And, although it’s not usually disclosed who has nominated the winner, Pierce thought it would be OK to let Eder know.

“Your daughter, Corynne, nominated you,” Pierce said, and the nomination was voted upon by a group of former Citizen of the Year winners.

In fact, Corynne, who is headed to Western Michigan University this fall, wrote an essay about her every day hero — her dad, and won a $2,500 college scholarship for the work.

“I’m honored and very surprised,” Rick Eder said.

Kim, Rick, Ben and Corynne Eder.

Kim, Rick, Ben and Corynne Eder.

And although Eder was honored with the award, he was quick to recognize his staff for the outstanding job they do. “They are the ones who keep things running in the right direction,” he said of Nicole Maze, Kim Warrens and Joe LaRosa.

Also in attendance for the special presentation were his wife, Kim, daughter, Corynne and son, Ben, his parents Betty and David Murphy, father-in-law Neil Horning and brother, Jeff, as well as a large number of chamber members.

And despite so many people knowing about the honor — no one spilled the beans.

As Citizen of the Year, Eder will have to find someone else to drive the Farm Bureau Insurance cow in the Chelsea Community Fair Parade this year as he will be riding in style in a convertible with the top down.

Eder will officially accept his award on Thursday, Oct. 23 at a dinner in his honor at the Chelsea Comfort Inn and Village Conference Center.

Please enjoy the slide show below from the announcement.

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