GROUP ONE: Breslin and Lyons win MSU Board of Trustee Seats

Republicians Brian Breslin and Mitch Lyons beat their democratic opponents winning seats on the Michigan State University Board of Trustees.

Mitch Lyons (photo courtesy of The State News)

Both new members enjoyed name recognition prior to Tuesday’s election.

Berslin—son of Jack Breslin for whom the Breslin Center is named—is a former MSU basketball player and a retired Meijer executive.  While Lyons is a former MSU football player who played in the NFL for seven seasons and now is a Member of the Meadowbrooke Group, a financial management firm.

The two former Spartan athletes beat their opponents by a thin margin Tuesday contributing to the state-wide Republican party sweep.  Despite the election of two republicans, the board still holds a democratic majority with a 5-3 make up, although according to Democratic board chairman Joel Ferguson decisions are made on a non-partisan level.

Brian Brelin (photo courtesy of The State News)

“We’ve always had a board who worked well together, and I assume we always will,” Ferguson said.

Both candidates say they plan to work together with the board for the betterment of the university by focusing on keeping tuition in check.

Kids are leaving the university and universities across the state, with a huge debt load,” Lyons said. “And, oftentimes, having to leave the state to try to go find a job to pay it off, and you know how life goes; once you’re gone, it’s tough to get back. I would just commit to not raising the tuition rate higher than the inflation rate. Now, that being said, inflation’s been awfully low, and I’m a little fearful that it might rear its ugly head here in the near future, but I think we have to we owe that to the residents of Michigan.”

(sources: WKAR and The State News)

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East Lansing Farmer’s Market

The average college student’s kitchen is likely to contain beer, Hot Pockets, or frozen pizza—not fresh organic produce.

But for psychology senior Sarah Vedolich, locally grown organic green peppers and apples filled her kitchen this fall.

The second season of the East Lansing Farmers Market helped make the trading of usual college staples for fresh locally grown food a more common occurrence.

“Buying locally is import, I like to do it but as a college student it’s not always possible for me and the market’s location made it possible—you could get fresh stuff for a decent price,” Vedolich said.

The market, located just feet away from Michigan State University campus in Valley Court Park, 201 Hillside Court, takes place Sundays from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. from early July to late October, ending this year on Oct. 31.  The market features a diverse selection of fresh Michigan grown produce, bake goods, meat and fish, in an inviting atmosphere.

“The farmers market committee decided the location had to be visible and accessible for students and residents and we choose Sundays so not to interfere with other city organizations or parking,” said market manager Michelle Carlson. “We loved the fun park like setting where people could just come play in the park.”

In addition to its diverse vendors, the market featured local musicians and promoted community development by allowing residents to get to know each other as well as the farmers and vendors.  The atmosphere was just as important as the products, Carlson said.

“You aren’t just paying for the food you are paying for the experience.  You get to meet exactly who is growing your food, so it cuts out the middleman,” said advertising junior Nick Halfhill.

The East Lansing farmers market’s friendly atmosphere extended past the shoppers reaching the vendors as well.

“It was fun interacting between vendors.  At some markets vendors get a feeling like ‘this is my area’ and make it competitive, but not in East Lansing because we were all so diverse—we even made friendships,” said Shelia Rae, East Lansing farmers market vendor.

Rae, a former teacher and nutritional speaker, is founder of Bizzy Lizzy Bakery, a flourless bakery that specializes in a tasty high-fiber, high-protein meal replacement breakfast cookie. One of two bakeries in the East Lansing market, Bizzy Lizzy Bakery uses entirely Michigan made ingredients.

“My favorite thing was that every week there was something new – fruits, flowers, bake goods. Throughout the summer and fall you could just see the abundance and that was really exciting knowing it all was from Michigan,” Carlson said.

Keeping the market local was crucial for the planning committee and manager.   When deciding on its vendors, market planners looked for Michigan-made unique products that people would people come back for. The diverse group of vendors included Michigan-grown produce, Great Lakes fish, and local wild flowers, as well as some local businesses selling their Michigan-made products including El Azteco and Grand Traverse Pie Co., who used the market mostly for promotion.

With the importance of local eating becoming prominent, the idea for a new farmers market in the area was well received by students and residents and is on track for a third year.

“Community members love it, even the idea of it,” Carlson said

Even seasoned vendors were pleasantly surprised by the quaint market, saying it was well organized and profitable.

“We’re very picky about markets because we’ve been to good and bad but this one is awesome.  We gave up other events to attend this one—I was impressed across the board,”  Rae said.  “The coordinators were there and helped.  Finding market managers like this one has makes for a great market.”

For more information visit http://www.cityofeastlansing.com/FarmersMarket.

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Mason Police Gear up for Nov. 11 Veterans Day Parade

The Mason police department along with the Mason chapter of American Legion gear up for the annual Ingham County Veterans Day parade on Nov. 11.

The parade which will begin at the Ingham County fairgrounds will proceed West around the courthouse before returning to the fairgrounds.   A tradition in the community for three years, the parade has been extended every year and now features over 70 entries.

“It has gotten bigger and bigger every year— it just keeps expanding,” Mason police Sergeant Ed Hude said.  “It’s a lot for just us, so police agencies in surrounding areas will be helping us as well.”

A new tradition in Mason, the parade was previously held in Lansing, but as it grew the parade moved to Mason to accommodate its size.  The large parade features border patrol, veterans from WWII to present, and historic military vehicles and artifacts.

The parade is the main event of the fall for the Mason police department and planning for the event begins as early as January.

“We start planning for the next years parade in January, with one meeting a month until September when we start having one meeting a week until the November event,” American Legion commander Bob Rabb said.

This year’s event will feature a state renowned semi-truck with full sized war murals on either side in honor of the day.

“It is so detailed and absolutely breath taking when it goes by—we are very lucky to have it since it so well known,” Rabb said.

Parade coordinators expect a full turnout at the Veterans Day event where community members can gather to celebrate area veterans.

“After months of preparation,” Hude said. “ We expect it to be a very large turnout this year.”

Photo courtesy of google images. Veterans Day Parade in Mason, Mich. November 11th 2008.

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A ‘Rocking’ Mayor

When Mayor Leon Clark was young he hoped he would be writing an article like this, not reading one.

The Mason mayor of five years and city council member of 18 years never saw himself becoming involved in politics, instead be had childhood aspirations of becoming a journalist.

“I wanted to study journalism but that path didn’t happen,” he said.  “When most kids went to college I was in the (U.S.) Army and I was and married before I got out, so I had to work and support a family.”

A lifelong Mason resident, Clark owned a local restaurant before making the decision to get involved with city government in response to disagreement with the state of Mason at the time.

“In my wildest dreams I never thought I’d want to be involved in city government,” Clark said.  “I was a longtime small business owner, I never thought I’d be a politician.”

After beating the incumbent by a margin of one, Clark has served as Mayor since 2005, however long before serving his community as mayor, he served as a member of the volunteer fire department.

“He’s been with the department for longer than I have,” Mason Fire Chief Kerry Minshall said. “We both grew up here in Mason so we’ve know each other for a while, in one respect he’s my boss as a city employee and on the other hand I’m his boss when it comes to the fire department.”

A member of the department for 30 years, Clark gives back to his community in more ways than one.

“He is a very community oriented person, he doesn’t have to be around as much as he is, but it is all the little stuff he does that makes Mason the quaint little town that it is and he a huge is a part of that,” Minshall said.

A visible member of his community, in addition to mayor Clark is commonly known as guitarist for the community’s six-piece classic rock band, The Blackwoods.

“The Blackwoods band has been a staple in our community for years, a lot of people in town associate him with his music,” Minshall said.  “ Even though he’s the mayor he still sports the long hair and that’s the part of Leon that still screams ‘music Leon’.”

Whether performing weddings or with his band, Clark is dedicated to his Mason community.

“I appreciate what he has done and tries to do for the city,” Minshall said, “We could use more people like him who are passionate and truly care about the city of Mason.”

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Mason School Board Budget

MASON-With the downturn in the Michigan economy, school districts around the state struggle, yet the mason school board budget sees an increase in their budget’s beginning fund balance. 

The 7 building school district increases their 2010-2011 budget  from 2, $473, 103 to $2, 582, 841. In their financial distribution of funds teacher’s salaries currently occupy 59 percent of the budget and while it is unclear what area this increase will effect, hiring new teachers is not out of the question.

The changes in the budget have not yet effected day to day Mason school district operation and the budget will be amended accordingly as the school district continues.

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Obituary: Delmer Kramer

Delmer Kramer, 82 died Saturday in Lansing.

Services will be held at on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at the Eden United Brethren Church, 1938 Eden Road, Mason, Michigan with visitation at the Church on Wednesday, October 13 from 2-4 and 6-8 PM and 1 hour prior to the service Thursday.

 

Photo courtesy Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes.

 

The retired Dart Bank senior vice president lived his entire life in Mason, graduating from Mason High School in 1947 before studying at the University of Michigan and receiving his degree from the Graduate school of banking at the University of Wisconsin.

Heavily involved in his community, Delmer served as president of the Mason Hospital, as well as an active member of the Mason Kwanis club and an usher for 54 years at his church Eden United Brethren Church.

Loving father, brother, husband, grandfather, and uncle, he is survived by daughters Karen and Patti and a son Mike, and 5 grandchildren Heather, Autumn Sowders, Ashley, Bentz, Hannah and Rachel and his sisters Della Warren, Theo Wilhelm, and Tillie Martin.

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Mason Fire Department to Receive Steel from World Trade Center

The Mason Fire Department will soon receive a piece of steel from the World Trade Center.

After receiving an email from the New York Port Authority offering pieces of steel to fire departments who applied and qualified, the station jumped at the opportunity.

“When the opportunity came to have this artifact we really couldn’t pass it up because it would be a really great fit with what we already have to commemorate 9/11,”  said Kerry Minshall, Mason fire chief.

The station, who hosts Mason Cares, a community event to remember September 11, 2001, uses the day as a way to preserve the memory and teach younger generations about the tragic event, making the station an ideal candidate to receive a World Trade Center artifact.

“Having a permanent memorial will be a great teaching tool for our elementary students and I think the community will really appreciate walking by and seeing it from time to time,” Minshall said.

The station plans to display the artifact in their memorial garden, a project developed by Eagle Scouts in honor of the heroic work of firefighters everywhere.  A visible area in downtown Mason, the garden also is the site for the annual 9/11 memorial service.

“We have the ceremony every year in our garden without anything and this will just enhance it,” he said.

While the process has been lengthy, the station hopes to receive the artifact by the first of the year so it can be displayed by the next 9/11 ceremony.

“It has taken longer than we originally expected because the Port Authority received an overwhelming response when they sent out their e-mails to stations,” retired firefighter Norm Austin said.

After months of waiting, the Mason department is in their final stages of the process and have chosen a larger piece for their garden.

“When metal gets to hot as it did in the towers, it crisps and does all kinds of things and we wanted to get that effect so we needed a large piece,” Austin said.

While the Port Authority will ship the smaller pieces, the larger pieces have to be retrieved by the individual stations.   Mason plans to retrieve their piece by the first of the year.

“I will be a really cool for the community, I ‘m excited to see it,” Mason Resident Bethany Davis day.

Mason will be only the second station in the area to have hold a piece of the World Trade Center Steel.   Along with the Lansing station, Mason plans to prominently display the steel as a visual reminder for all the lives lost in the Sept. 11 tragedy.

“I’m honored to have it,” Minshall said.  “I will be able to see it outside my window and it will be a reminder everyday for the people who sacrifice their lives on the line of duty.”

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