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Lisa Allmendinger on September 15th, 2014
File photo of the Beach Middle School marching Band.

File photo of the Beach Middle School marching Band.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Pamela Parkinson for the information in this story.)

Chelsea’s Beach Middle School band will open the 7th Annual Marching Band Exhibition program on Sept. 17 with the National Anthem at 4:50 p.m. on the high school football field.

The first high school band will perform at 5 p.m.

Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, Saline, Stockbridge, and Tecumseh plus seven other high school marching bands will play at the exhibition hosted by the Bulldogs.

The Eastern Michigan University Marching Band will provide the finale and one of the EMU Drum Majors, Donna Prieskorn, is a graduate of the Chelsea Band Program.

The program is expected to end at 9 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the gate. The cost is $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors.  There is also special family pricing available.

This is a fun evening with a variety of marching shows that are entertaining to watch and there will be concessions available as well.

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Lisa Allmendinger on September 15th, 2014
The front entrance to the Chelsea City Offices.

The front entrance to the Chelsea City Offices.

There are just three action items on the Chelsea City Council agenda tonight, Sept. 15, which include an engineering bid design proposal from Midwest Consulting, a roof replacement for the city office building and a discussion of changing council meeting dates that fall on holidays.

In July, the city, Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation and the Chelsea School District were awarded a Safe Routes to Schools grant for $377,285 from SEMCOG and the Michigan Fitness Foundation to make infrastructure improvements in the city on key school routes that include filling in sidewalk gaps, adding a rapid flashing pedestrian crossing at Old US-12 and Wilkinson street and upgrades to ADA ramps and signs at several other intersections.

According to the agenda item, the grant will pay for up to $369,290 in infrastructure improvements and about $8,000 in education and training programs in the schools, the city “will need to pay for the design engineering costs to have plans created and bid through MDOT.”

If approved by the City Council, the costs would be spread across the city’s local and major street funds.

The city plans to construct the sidewalks in July/August 2015. There are about 11 intersections and about 4,300 linear feet of sidewalk involved.

The City Council will also discuss replacing the roof over the city offices and the Chelsea State Bank offices at 305 S. Main St. The total cost from Bloom Roofing is $89,900 and the city’s share would be half or $44,950. The city included the cost of this roof replacement in this year’s operating budget and the bank’s board of directors has already approved payment for its half of the building.

The third item was brought to the table for discussion by Council Member Jim Myles, who would like the City Council to change the elected official’s meeting dates that fall on holidays. This year, the council met on both MLK Day and Labor Day.

He’d like to switch those meeting dates to “the following Tuesday.”

City Manager John Hanifan and Police Chief Ed Toth are also expected to give reports. There is also a closed session planned to discuss an opinion from special legal counsel.

The City Council meets in the council chambers of the new police building beginning at 7 p.m.



Lisa Allmendinger on September 14th, 2014
Photo by Tom Hodgson. Bur cucumber vines.

Photo by Tom Hodgson. Bur cucumber vines.

Photo by Tom Hodgson. Bur cucumber blossoms.

Photo by Tom Hodgson. Bur cucumber blossoms.

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

Although I promised to write about some additional invasive species this week, I couldn’t ignore two native plants that have been extremely abundant this year.

This summer, some may have noticed creeping vines covering road-side shrubbery and even climbing the trunks of large trees. There are actually two similar species of vines that are very abundant this year. They are wild cucumber and bur cucumber; distant cousins of domestic squash, pumpkins and cucumbers.  Unfortunately, they do not produce anything edible.

They are normally confined to poorly drained, moist areas such as road-side ditches or the edges of lakes and swamps. This year, because of the abundance a rain, they have spread to many upland areas as well, seemingly taking over everything.

Photo by Tom Hodgson. Wild cucumber flowers.

Photo by Tom Hodgson. Wild cucumber flowers.

Wild cucumber vines can reach 25 feet in length, while bur cucumber vines will do well to grow half that size. Not to worry, though, in summers with more normal rainfall we will hardly notice them.

Both plants are native to North America, and are annual plants that must sprout from seeds each year.  Their succulent stems and leaves are not cold tolerant and are killed by cold weather in the fall. Both vines attach themselves using special tendrils that wrap around the branches of shrubs and trees. Wild cucumber is especially noticeable now because it is covered with sprays of white blossoms. The flowers of bur cucumber are greenish-white and are not as conspicuous.

The stems of wild cucumber are smooth, while those of bur cucumber are covered with hairs. The fruit of wild cucumber is golf-ball sized; looks like a small oval, prickly melon and hangs singly from the stem.  The fruits of bur cucumber are smaller, hairy and born in clusters. The fruit of the wild cucumber contains two seed capsules each containing two flat, brown seeds. The fruits of bur cucumber each contain just one large seed.  The seeds of both drop to the ground after the fruits mature and are scattered by animals.

Will these vines damage trees and shrubs? I have not found any reference of damage from cucumber vines, probably because they are annual plants that don’t persist year after year. Greater threats to trees and shrubs are the vines of wild grape, poison ivy, Virginia creeper and oriental bittersweet, which are perennials that can overwhelm host plants over time. They will die back when cut at the base, but will sprout again the next year.

Photo by Tom Hodgson. Wild cucumber fruit.

Photo by Tom Hodgson. Wild cucumber fruit.


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CUMC Detour-de-Force-concert

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Sherri Plank for the information in this story.)

Chelsea First United Methodist Church presents Detour de Force, a vocal duo on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 7:30 p.m.

Everyone is invited to this free concert at the church at 128 Park St.

Laura Hynes and Audrey Luna have warbled and chirped opera, oratorio, new music, jazz, cabaret, and art song on five continents, in and around the most famous concert halls and opera houses, plus a few bars and street corners to boot.

They have “musicified” with conductors and artists like Jesús López-Cobos, Anthony Pappano, WilliamChristie, Helmut Rilling, Stephen Cleobury, Niklaus Harnoncourt, John Corigliano, Chen Yi, TheHagen Quartet, James Tocco, Walter Levin, Frederica von Stade, Dawn Upshaw, Barry Manilow, Kenny Loggins, Bozo the Clown, and oodles of other very famous people.

The duo team up to perform music that is both familiar and foreign, humorous and humble, with profundity and panache. Detour de Force invites you to share the beauty and power of song in a soulfully entertaining atmosphere.


Lisa Allmendinger on September 14th, 2014
Photo by Kelly Flaherty from last year's Classic Car Show at St. Louis Center.

Photo by Kelly Flaherty from last year’s Classic Car Show at St. Louis Center.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Joe Yekulis for the information in this story.)

The 2nd Annual St. Louis Center Classic Car Show will take place on Sunday, Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and all proceeds will benefit the residents of St. Louis Center.

Event Chairwoman Cindy Lesser says in a press release, “This year’s Classic Car Show at St. Louis Center promises to be even bigger and better.

“Top Hat” John Jendza has donated a classic car for St. Louis Center to raffle, and only 300 tickets will be sold for $100 each. The winner will take home a white 1995 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible.
Lesser said that, “Many of last year’s celebrities will also be returning for this year’s event.”

Photo by Joe Yekulis. xxx

Photo by Joe Yekulis. Mark Lesser of Parts Peddler shows off his 1993 GMC Dag Truck with a rebuilt engine inside.

In September, 2013, St. Louis Center successfully sponsored its first annual Classic Car Show on their grounds, which include 180 beautiful rolling acres located five miles west of Chelsea.

Almost 250 people visited St. Louis Center last year to view 130 vintage cars – everything from a 1925 Model-T Roadster to a 2012 Lamborghini Aventador .

Several national and local automotive celebrities turned out for the event, including Jean Jennings, formerly of Automobile Magazine; Chuck Miller of Styline Customs, Chuck Gaidica from News 4 – Detroit, Brian “Bubba” Cowan of W4 Country Radio Ann Arbor, and “Top Hat” John Jendza, who has been organizing car shows for over 40 years.

Classic Car owners should check-in from 9 a.m. – noon on Sept. 21 for $15, and anyone who is interested in purchasing a raffle ticket for the Classic Car drawing should contact Lesser at cindyl@stlouiscenter.org

The event is open to everyone.

For more information about this event, please click here.

Photo by Kelly Flaherty.

Photo by Kelly Flaherty. Silvia Scappaticci’s Lamhorghini’s on dislay. Lambo 1 and Lambo 2.

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CDL logo-1(Chelsea Update would like to thank Karen Persello and Edith Donnell for the information in this story.)

The Chelsea District Library has a new service to meet the needs of students and parents in the comfort of their own homes, whether using their personal computers or their school-issued iPads: free online tutoring, called HelpNow™, from Brainfuse.com.

HelpNow™ is a computer-based service from the tutoring company, which provides a variety of homework support – from live tutoring after school to skills building exercises, and essay review.  Families need to have a Chelsea District Library card to access the service.

Users need to set up an account to take advantage of many of the service’s features, but the account setup is simple and is free of charge.

Karen Persello, head of Youth and Teen Services, says in a press release, “The library made the decision to purchase an online tutoring service after consulting with leaders in the Chelsea School District, as well as local parents.”

HelpNow’s live tutors are available to chat via keyboard with students in grades K-12 from 2 p.m.- 11 p.m. daily. Some of the subjects with which students can get help are: English, Math, Science and Social Studies for elementary students, and, Algebra I and II, Geometry, Trig, Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English and Social Studies for middle and high school students.

SAT, ACT and GED test prep is also available.

Whether they are stuck on a particularly confusing math problem, or struggling to understand a biology concept, students can go to the Chelsea District Library’s home page, click on HelpNow, and receive the live support needed to work through the problem.

Students who need regular support can work with a tutor as well as access HelpNow’s Skills Building service.  With Skills Building, tutors help students in grades 3-12 master core academic skills through state-aligned lessons.

Edith Donnell, a youth librarian, can’t wait for parents to discover Skills Building. She says in a press release,“We see students come to the library every day to work with in-person tutors in study rooms, but not every family can afford a personal tutor.  Skills Building offers families the chance to get their children the tutoring they need, either at the library or at home.  These are live, one-on-one lessons from tutors, not just an automated study resource.”

Another great resource HelpNow provides is a 24-hour Writing Lab.  Students submit their writing through the secure file-sharing system and within 24 hours, writing specialists evaluate it according to a customized rubric. Rubric categories include: response to task, organization, focus, word usage, and grammar.

Students can also talk to a live Writing Instructor to receive immediate feedback or have live one-on-one writing lessons.

Parents concerned about who might be chatting with their students online can rest easy.

“One of the first things we asked Brainfuse was how they vetted their tutors and oversaw the sessions,” said Ron Andrews, Technology Librarian. “HelpNow tutors undergo background and reference checks, multiple screening interviews, and skills testing.  They even require a postgraduate degree, so students are always talking to someone with six years of higher education.”

Preference is given to certified teachers and individuals with prior tutoring experience.  Brainfuse monitors sessions for evaluation purposes, reviews archived session transcripts, and maintains regular contact with all tutors.

For parents and students interested in learning more about how to use this powerful resource, a library session, Introduction to Brainfuse Online Homework Help is being offered at the library on Oct. 29, from 7-8 p.m. in the McKune Room.

To register for this program, call 475-8732, click here and click on the Calendar tab.

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Lisa Allmendinger on September 13th, 2014

Chelsea Bulldogs logo(Chelsea Update would like to thank Freshman Coach Dennis Strzyzewski for the information in this story.)

The Chelsea Freshmen football team moved their record to 3-0 after defeating Ann Arbor Huron, 34-8, Thursday night, Sept. 11.

Thomas Steele had two long touchdown runs and threw 50-yard touchdown to Ben Brown.

Jacob Grubbs had over 170 yards rushing and receiving combined.

Hunter White took an interception back 25 yards for the first score of the game.

Brown closed the scoring with a 10-yard touchdown run.

Defensively, White, Braden Steele and James Mida led the team in tackles.

“Huron was short-handed in the game, and we were fortunate,” said Coach Dennis Strzyzewski. “This was a sloppy game. We turned the ball over 4 times.”

The coach said the team had numerous penalties that brought back big plays.

“I don’t think we competed as hard as we are capable,” he said, adding, “I am proud of these kids. They have come a long way.  I am hoping they continue to develop the team first mentality that can take them from good to great someday.”


Lisa Allmendinger on September 13th, 2014
Courtesy photo of a previous Art Market.

Courtesy photo of a previous Art Market.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Shawn Personke for the information and photos in this story.)

The 7th annual Harvest Art Market will be held on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Silver Maples of Chelsea, 100 Silver Maples Dr.

The event is free and open to everyone.

“The Harvest Art Market has grown and evolved over the past seven years,” said Shawn Personke, director of wellness and public relations for Silver Maples in a press release.

“But we’ve stayed true to our original thought that we wanted the show to offer really interesting items, handmade, and fair prices.  So that’s the kind of artist we welcome and who finds the most success,” she said.

This year’s show features five new artists, including the natural stone and gem jewelry from Elegant Glitz’ Linda Wurtzel, the whimsical brooches of cats, dogs, birds, flower pots and more from Josephine Page, and the fun mixed media from Snarky but Joyful’s Jenn Millspaugh.

“Each year we seek out a couple of new artists and this year we specifically wanted to add something different.  We’re really excited about these new artists.  They an integral part of art fairs all over Michigan and clearly love what they are doing,” said Personke, who organizes the show with the help of the Silver Maples Art Committee.

The show also features entertainment by jazz/folk guitarist John Latini at 1:30 p.m.

Chef Tom Zigman will extend his Courtyard Café offerings with lunch specials.

As usual, “the best bake sale ever,” provided by the Silver Maples heritage bakers, will benefit the Resident Council Scholarship Fund.

This year’s line-up includes:

  • Cheryl Green Pottery
  • Megan Originals
  • Snarky but Joyful
  • Watercolors by Tammy Lynn Burke
  • Somers Primitive Painting
  • Honey Bee Happy Products
  • Elegant Glitz
  • Joyce Nass Scarves, Boxes, Paper and More!
  • Studies from Nature
  • Bittersweet Farm Antiques
  • Wild Feather Studio
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful
  • Hoola Jewelry
  • Ballard Creations
  • Designs by Josephine
  • Bird Houses by Hank
  • Country Hills Pottery
  • Lakeside Glass Studio
  • Joe Eisley’s Wood Finishings
Courtesy photo from a previous art market.

Courtesy photo from a previous art market.

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Lisa Allmendinger on September 13th, 2014
Courtesy photo of Robin Scott and Nancy Paul.

Courtesy photo of Robin Scott and Nancy Paul.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Kathie Gourlay for the information in this story.)

Walkers are getting sponsors for the 27th CROP Hunger Walk that will take place on Sunday, Oct. 5.

This 1-mile or 5-mile walk around Chelsea will begin at St. Paul United Church of Christ. The money raised will be used to help hungry and poor people around the world and locally.

Twenty-five percent of the funds raised will go to Faith in Action. The rest will go to Church World Service or the national relief organization the donor designates.

Last year, the Chelsea/Dexter CROP Hunger Walk raised over $20,000 with about a hundred walkers.

It is not too late to get an envelope and participate as an individual, or for your organization to have a group of walkers. Children, accompanied by their parents, and pets are welcome.

For a donation envelope please contact Nancy Paul at Faith in Action 475-3305.


CCK-logo-smallChelsea Community Kitchen continues the popular Senior (and Friends) series of classes with “Tomatoes Galore” on Monday, Sept. 15 at 12:30 pm at the Chelsea Senior Center.

Led by Anne Elder and Paul Bantle from Chrysalis Biodynamic Agricultural Learning Center (the educational arm of Community Farm of Ann Arbor), they will feature some standbys as well as new things to do with tomatoes. It’s perfect timing for the abundance and peak flavor of the area’s local tomatoes.

Cosponsored with the Chelsea Senior Center, the class is free thanks to the Chelsea Wellness Foundation. The series has focused on healthy cooking with topics like Fruit Reboot (new ways to use fruits) and Heart Healthy.

The last class in the series for this year will focus on “Healing Foods” on Oct. 13.  Register for these classes by contacting the Chelsea Senior Center at 475-9242.

September also celebrates the return of the popular Serv-Safe food safety classes.

On Thursday, Sept. 18, from 5-9 p.m. the class Food Handler will be offered. It’s an ideal class for servers and kitchen staff, especially those who may work at church or non-profit events.

The more advanced Food Preparation Manager class will be offered Oct. 3 and 4.

For more information, go to the CCH website or email chelseacommunitykitchen@gmail.com.

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