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Chelsea Standard
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Make sure to click on around the clock for the most in-depth coverage of Washtenaw County. Our “Most Viewed” story this week is “School district projects $1.6 million in cuts.”

VOL. 138, NO. 12

A ‘Made in Michigan’ lunch
By Sean Dalton
Heritage Media

Beach Middle School’s cafeteria bustled with activity last week as students grazed on lunch products plucked from Michigan farms and food companies during the school’s “Made in Michigan” lunch in celebration of National Agriculture Week Student Gavin Staples seemed to gravitate toward what Michigan does best with a tray full of potato salad, cherry dessert and a Michigan apple. There were also products from Bosco’s Pizza, which is located on Guenther Road and East 10 Mile Rd. in Warren. “I eat Michigan food because it helps the Michigan economy buying local farm products,” he said before landing at a table full of friends and classmates to scarf down the meal. Fellow students Anna Knight, Abby Burris and Brittany Hatto approached the school’s new salad bar, paid for with a grant from Whole Foods Market, with a look of amazement and wonder. The self-serve salad bar is twice as large as the school cafeteria’s old unit, which was intended to serve a smaller selection to a much smaller student body than Beach’s 650 students – all of

Photo by Sean Dalton

Kyle Trembley, Jordan Haber, Derrick Schaedig, Mitch Mills were proud of the heaps of Michigan goodies on their trays. whom are very hungry every lunch period, said Sara Simmerman, food and nutrition director for both the Chelsea and Dexter school districts. The districts recently consolidated their food and nutrition departments as a cost saving measure. She applied for the grant with both Chelsea and Dexter schools in mind, but the grant application for Beach went into detail about the middle school’s equipment needs and how staff couldn’t currently display a wide enough variety of salads and produce. “We want to expose them to this variety at a very young age,” said

Simmerman. “This is one of the hardest age groups to feed ... they’re not little kids, and they’re beginning to want to make their own decisions.” Since middle school-age kids are making diet choices that will affect their palettes and appetites for years to come, food and nutrition staff and the folks at the Washtenaw County Farm Bureau want Michigan products taking root in children’s taste profiles. Simmerman introduced Kathleen Siler and Linda Reilly, both from townships in the county. Both are also farmers who represent the Washtenaw County Farm Bureau. “I raise beef cattle, poultry and crops, and I would like everyone here to have a better understanding of where your food comes from,” Reilly said to the cheering students. The Farm Bureau provided a dozen poster boards covered in articles published by local newspapers including the Chelsea Standard and Dexter Leader covering local farmers. Other boards had facts and other information about local products and local farming and the important of supporting both through diets and shopping lists.

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Low Vision Center opens
By Erica McClain
Heritage Media

The Chelsea District library and the Chelsea Lions Club have teamed up to open a Low Vision Center, which features magnifiers for checkout at the library for those who have poor sight.

A partnership between the Chelsea District Library and the Chelsea Lions Club has given a group the tools to read again. The library recently opened its Low Vision Center, which features a host of Optelec handheld magnifiers, a Merlin electronic magnifier and a Visual Mate magnifier, with the assistance of a $3,000 grant from the local Lions. The handheld magnifiers are available for check out at the library, and the Merlin and Visual Mate are available for use within the library’s computer lab area on the second floor. Library director Bill Harmer, who’s also a Lion, spearheaded the project, after visiting a library in Plymouth with a low vision center. There, he spoke with Ellen Stross, who helped Harmer with the Chelsea project. Harmer said the library and

Lions Club were able to identify a unique need in the area’s population for low vision tools. He said about 25 percent of the population is 65 and older and that number is due to grow because of the baby boomer generation. At the library’s unveiling of the center, Stross was on hand to explain how the various low vision tools could help someone read. “Almost 20 percent of seniors have low vision problems, and very often physicians do not tell them that there is such a thing as low vision therapy,” Stross said. Stross explained that not all magnifiers are created equally for everyone. Some of the library’s Optelec magnifiers are handheld; while others rest on a paper. She said between the Optelec magnifiers, the Visual Mate and the Merlin device, the center has the potential to really make a difference. “This really could change

someone’s life who’s been struggling to read,” Stross said. The center was not just the work of the library and the Lions, however. Chelsea resident Pat Montgomery donated an integral piece of the center, the Merlin, an electronic magnifier that looks a bit like a projector and a computer monitor combined. The Merlin, which cost more than $3,000, can enlarge text up to 77 times its original size. It also helps those with macularde generation, retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, cataracts and other low vision problems by changing the color contrasts of whatever it’s enlarging. Montgomery said the Merlin device belonged to her husband, Jack, who had macular degeneration. She said they had the tool for a number of years though it didn’t help him read. “But he could see someone’s face in a picture,” Montgomery said. “He could see the faces of

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Area named to Historic Places list
A section of Chelsea is now a part of the National Register of Historic Places. The State Historic Preservation Office recently announced the addition of the area, the Chelsea Commercial Historic District, which is comprised of 61 buildings. Near the north end of the district are the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks, historically part of the Michigan Central Railroad. The district focuses on Main Street and includes properties on either side containing historic commercial, public, and institutional buildings. Also included are properties on Park Street, East and West Middle streets, Jackson Street, and the former Glazier Stove Works complex in the northeast end of the district. “Chelsea’s downtown has a fantastic stock of historic buildings for a small town that already attracts people to the community,” State Historic Preservation Officer Brian Conway said. “They are what sets Chelsea apart from other towns. Chelsea has an opportunity to market itself as a heritage tourism destination and to take advantage of economic incentives for rehabilitating historic buildings.” Preservation Chelsea prepared the nomination, sought building owners’ approval and compiled extensive historic and architectural information. The members were: Cary Church, John Frank and Jim Myles. A community celebration for the national listing will be held 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 14 at the Chelsea Depot. In addition to the Glazier Stove Works, the district includes the McKune Memorial Library, the former post office and several churches. The Chelsea House Livery Stable, the Daniels Showroom, and the Mack Building, which make up what is commonly known as the Longworth Complex, are also listed. These buildings are currently owned by the DDA, which is proposing to demolish the buildings. The national register designation gives the DDA an opportunity to market the buildings to a developer who wants to capitalize on the historic character of the buildings and use federal historic preservation

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Chelsea members Cary Church, John Frank and Jim Myles sought building owners’ approval and compiled extensive historic and architectural information for a nomination on the National Register of Historic Places.