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Lisa Allmendinger on March 24th, 2017

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Lisa Allmendinger on March 24th, 2017

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Photo by Crystal Hayduk: Susan Bauer (right) and some of her line dancing students move to the music at the Chelsea Wellness Center.

Story and photos by Crystal Hayduk

For the last 24 years, Susan Bauer’s Tuesday afternoon line dancing class has been a source of fun and fitness in the community.

Wilma Bullard, who has attended the class for many years, said she likes Bauer’s style, and appreciates the continuity and familiarity of the class.

Bauer’s style can best be described as eclectic. While most people equate line dancing with country music or party dances such as the Electric Slide, Bauer’s students enjoy a wide variety of music. Beyond country songs, she has choreographed swing, waltzes, polkas, and Latin dances, as well as dances for disco, Motown, current pop tunes, and even seasonal songs during the holidays.

A variety of research studies have shown that dance provides numerous health benefits. Because it is aerobic exercise, it can improve the cardiovascular system. The mental aspect of learning steps to music and the social aspect of being with others lead to improved cognitive ability and mental health. Regular dancing also aids in balance and motor skills. (More information on health benefits here and here.)   

Photo by Crystal Hayduk. Mary Tomac (left) follows teacher Susan Bauer’s line dancing instruction. Line Dancing for Fun and Fitness at the Chelsea Wellness Center

Jeannie Aten credits line dancing for improving her movement and balance. “Sometimes I come to class barely able to walk, but I do what I can and I feel and function so much better at the end of class,” she said.

Bauer stresses safety in her classes, teaching students ways to move that improve balance, build muscle strength, and prevent injury. She also provides instruction to help students who need to make accommodations to a routine for any reason. “If a student feels that the music or the dance is too fast, for example, he or she can take smaller steps,” she said.

To see Bauer’s expressive dancing and her joy in teaching, it’s hard to believe she didn’t grow up in a dance studio. “There was no school for dance in Chelsea when I was a girl,” said Bauer. “I had no formal training until college. I had a part in Chelsea Area Players’ production of the musical ‘Oklahoma’ and enjoyed it so much that I decided to minor in dance at Eastern Michigan University.”

New line dancing students are always welcome. Mary Tomac joined the class this winter. “I’d never line danced before, but I wanted to try new things and maximize my membership at the Chelsea Wellness Center,” she said. “I love the class. Susan is so fun and knowledgeable and changes things up. I’m getting a different type of exercise and one I enjoy so much. I need strong legs for [horseback] riding and I’m using my brain to learn patterns which also helps me to remember reining patterns.”

What: Line Dancing
Instructor: Susan Bauer
When: Weekly on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. for eight-week sessions
Where: Chelsea Wellness Center, 14800 E Old US Hwy 12.
To attend: Registration required.
Cost: Free with CWC membership, fee for non-members is $56; and $50 for those over age 55.
More information: Call CWC at 734-214-0220.

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Lisa Allmendinger on March 23rd, 2017

On Saturday March 25 at 7:30 p.m., the instrumental and vocal ensembles from Chelsea High School will perform in a collage concert. These groups will be on display at the Chelsea High School Auditorium for a seamless “collage” of performances.

There will be something for everyone’s musical tastes with all six curricular performance groups, plus extracurricular ensembles and soloists represented. This show will spotlight the musical talents of Chelsea High School students.

Come and show your support, while enjoying a wonderful evening of music. All proceeds benefit the Chelsea Music Boosters and its mission to support music education in the Chelsea School District.

Tickets are on sale at Chelsea Pharmacy or at the door.  For best seat selection and to avoid ticket lines, everyone is encouraged to get their tickets in advance at the Chelsea Pharmacy. $10 adults/$5 students-seniors.

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Lisa Allmendinger on March 23rd, 2017

(Publisher’s note: To view the full list please click on full screen.)

Boards and Commissions List as of 2-8-2017 - FOR CHELSEA UPDATE NO PHONES

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Lisa Allmendinger on March 23rd, 2017

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Lisa Allmendinger on March 22nd, 2017

Photos and story by Crystal Hayduk

Chelsea High School (CHS) senior Aiden Fernandez said that the FIRST Robotics Competition Team (FRC) is “unconventional and the ultimate educational experience.”

The CHS Team 1502, named “Technical Difficulties,” is part of the FIRST Robotics Competition, which is an international high school level competition. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen, exists “… to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership,” according to www.firstinspires.org.

Students have six weeks to design, engineer, and build a robot in response to a challenge introduced to 4,000 teams in January. Teams then compete for a six-week season, or more, based on their ranking.

“The tournaments are very exciting and the kids have a great time competing against 39 other teams from across the state,” said Mike Kizer, the team’s advisor.

Anne Findlay, a junior who first joined the middle school team (First Tech Challenge) as a seventh grader, said that the team members share a large variety of skills: programming, electrical and mechanical engineering, computer-aided design (CAD), website development, graphic design (logo and brochures), and business and public speaking (fundraising and public relations).

Kizer said students receive “great core support from mentors who are dedicated to the students’ success.” He emphasized that parents are the first-line mentors, yet they don’t need skills or experience to find a place to help.

The team is also supported by Chelsea Robotics Boosters, Inc., which recently obtained non-profit status in an effort to improve fundraising for Chelsea Robotics programs. “The boosters will make STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) a great focus in the school district,” said Kizer.

“Robotics students have advocated for and successfully acquired new classes in STEM-related fields to improve the overall success of our students, particularly those who don’t necessarily ‘fit in’ with the traditional school activities of sports and other social clubs,” said Kizer.

Findlay said the CHS courses in video game design, robotics, and advanced placement computer science are all a result of advocacy by robotics team members.  

Team 1502, which began in 2005, has grown this year to nearly double the number of team members as last year.

Connor Peterson, a senior who joined the team this year, said it’s never too late to benefit from the opportunity to learn. “I chose to help with the CAD team,” he said. “Doing some robot design on the computer first is easier and cheaper.”

Sophomore Lauren Eicher is another new member. She joined the team after learning about it in Tech and Design I class from teacher Duane Moss. Eicher, who is also on the CHS dive team and in the jazz band, has contributed to CAD and pamphlet design. She said she and her teammates work well together and understand each other’s humor. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s still a lot of fun,” she said.

Team 1502 “did well overall” at the Ann Arbor Pioneer High School Regional Competition on March 10-11, according to Kizer. “With some tweaks and strategies, we expect to do very well in Howell on March 31 and April 1.”

Fernandez, who was inspired by Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, to pursue a career in science and technology, appreciates the hands-on nature of Team 1502. “Students strategize the design, accomplish the task, and compete,” said Fernandez. “I’ve learned more here than in the regular high school classes – and it’s been a lot more fun.”

Find more information about FIRST-RTC at www.chelsearobotics.org. Links to their other social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube) are accessible from the website.

Contact Mike Kizer at mkizer@chelsea.k12.mi.us if you would like to help with FRC or Marka Eberle at marka.d.eberle@gmail.com if you would like to help with FTC.

Tax-deductible donations can be made by mailing a check to “Chelsea Robotics Boosters,” 1101 South Main St., #334, Chelsea, MI 48118.

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By Lisa Carolin

The proposed Palmer Lot Event Space cleared a hurdle at the March 20 Chelsea City Council meeting. Following a public hearing, the majority of the board approved the first reading of Ordinance No. 179 the Downtown Development Authority Amendment to Development and Tax Increment Finance Plan. (Council Members Melissa Johnson and Jane Pacheco voted against it, and Council Member Marcia White was absent.)

Chelsea City Manager John Hanifan described it as, “a community enhancement project”. He said the estimated cost is $1.5 million and that the work on the Palmer Lot is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. He described the second part of the plan as improvements to the parking lot between the Purple Rose Theatre and Cleary’s Pub, which will cost $250,000 and are expected to be completed by 2019.

Several Chelsea residents spoke out against the amendment with complaints that included feeling punished for living downtown and expressing concerns that parking could be hazardous when the Palmer Lot Event Space is completed.

The second reading of the ordinance will take place at the city council’s April 17 meeting.

The second public hearing at the city council meeting involved utility rate changes, which were unanimously approved.

Included were:

  •     a $1-monthly decrease in the water and wastewater ready to serve charges beginning April 1.
  •     a $2-monthly increase in the electric ready to serve charges beginning April 1.
  •     a 3-percent increase in residential electrical rates beginning July 1.
  •     a 3-percent increase in commercial and industrial electrical rates on July 1.
  •     no proposed water or wastewater increases for FY 2017-18.

The third public hearing was a resolution supporting the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant application for $200,000 to connect McKinley Road to Main Street with the goal to eventually connect with other regional trails, which the city council unanimously approved.

Also approved were temporary traffic control orders for the Heart and Sole Race, the Memorial Day Parade, Sounds and Sights on Thursdays, and the Sounds and Sights Festival.

Susan Morrel-Samuels was unanimously approved as the new member on the Chelsea Human Rights Commission with a term that will last to 2020.

Mayor Jason Lindauer presented a proclamation to Eagle Scout Ben Brannon, a member of Troop 476, for his project.

“Ben’s project was to build a pathway from where the nuns live to the sanctuary at St. Mary Catholic Church using brick pavers with words from The Bible,” said Lindauer. “This is a big project as Eagle projects go.”

To view the City Council meeting, click here.

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Lisa Allmendinger on March 22nd, 2017

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Lisa Allmendinger on March 22nd, 2017

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