Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

Library offers students help with their homework

The Canton Public Library has teamed up with the National Honors Society to offer students assistance help with their homework.

The Homework Help program serves third through twelfth grade.
Usually, the library has between eight to ten tutors a night, said Anna
Slaughter, teen services librarian. In all, about 25 students get
tutoring help on an average night. Math is a popular subject that
students ask for help with, she said. All the tutors have taken a class
in the subject they tutor, which is a wide range of classes.

â??We always have a kid who could do Spanish or calculus,â?? said Anna
Slaughter, teen services librarian and founder of the program.

The program has helped out some students immensely. One student has
been coming since the program first started, Saughter said. The middle
school student, who lives with a single parent, comes every day the
library offers it. Her grades have improved a great deal, she said.

The student’s reaction has been really favorable, said Becky Kraft, a
National Honor Society Advisor at Plymouth High School. To be eligible
for the National Honors Society, a student has to have a grade point
average of 3.5 or higher, and be a junior or senior in high school.

“Elementary up through high school students attend the tutoring
sessions,” Kraft said. “We find it works very well to make it available
on a regular basis.” She said that between budget cuts to schools and
conflicting student schedules, it can be difficult to arrange after
school tutoring.

The program was started in March 2009. It was a more affordable
choice to the online tutoring service the library had offered
previously.

â??This is a good alternative to that service,â?? said Slaughter.

Slaughter and the teen librarian from the Plymouth District Library
met with the head of the honors society. Students in NHS need to
complete a certain amount of community service. The homework help
program is a way to fill their need and the libraryâ??s need, Slaughter
said.

“Absolutely, we see this program continuing,” said Kraft about
working with the Canton library. She added that NHS really appreciates
how Canton libraries provide the space.

 Sign up begins at 6 p.m. and itâ??s on a first come, first serve
basis. You donâ??t need a library card to sign up, but you do need to be
in grades third through twelfth. The tutoring sessions are half hour
time slots, and you must sign up at teen reference desk.

 Homework Help runs Monday and Tuesday, from 6-8 p.m. The hours
coincides with Plymouth-Canton Public Schoolâ??s calender. When thereâ??s no
school, thereâ??s no tutoring. Spring break is the week of April 16-25.
The homework help ends the last week of May.

 For more information, the library can be reached at 734-397-0999 or online at http://www.cantonpl.org/.

http://canton-mi.patch.com/articles/library-offers-students-help-with-their-homework

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Green Street Fair – The world is going green. You coming?

GREEN STREET FAIR

PLYMOUTH, MICHIGAN

MAY 6, 7 AND 8, 2011

EVENT HOURS:

FRIDAY NOON-7:00 PM

SATURDAY 10:00 AM-7:00 PM

SUNDAY 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

The Fourth Annual Green Street Fair will return to the streets of Downtown Plymouth on May 6, 7 and 8, 2011.

Green Street Fair, Inc. was founded to help educate and inform people of all ages about the benefits of green, organic, and eco-friendly products and services. To promote global interest and personal well-being, the Green Street Fair blends companies, artisans, entertainers, workshops and speakers together in a friendly and family-oriented outdoor environment. Consumers who attend the Green Street Fair will be encouraged to learn the advantages of taking strides, large or small, towards living a healthier and greener life.

The 2010 Green Street Fair had an estimated attendance of 90,000 attendees during the three day event. Over 200 exhibitors and 30 sponsors were on-site showcasing, demonstrating and selling eco-friendly, organic, and green products.

Green Street Fair TM was founded to help educate and inform people of all ages about the benefits of green, organic, and eco-friendly products and services. To promote global interest and personal well-being, the Green Street Fair TM will blend companies, artisans, entertainers, and speakers together in a friendly and family-oriented outdoor environment. We believe that even the smallest steps in going green can make a world of difference.

Location:
Green Street Fair TM will take place in downtown Plymouth, Michigan. Plymouth is located just 30 minutes west of Detroit and 15 minutes east of Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan. Exuberant Downtown Plymouth is a wealth of restaurants, coffee houses, retail shops and art galleries.
http://www.greenstreetfair.com/index.htm

Green Street Fair – The world is going green. You coming?

GREEN STREET FAIR

PLYMOUTH, MICHIGAN

MAY 6, 7 AND 8, 2011

EVENT HOURS:

FRIDAY NOON-7:00 PM

SATURDAY 10:00 AM-7:00 PM

SUNDAY 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

The Fourth Annual Green Street Fair will return to the streets of Downtown Plymouth on May 6, 7 and 8, 2011.

Green Street Fair, Inc. was founded to help educate and inform people of all ages about the benefits of green, organic, and eco-friendly products and services. To promote global interest and personal well-being, the Green Street Fair blends companies, artisans, entertainers, workshops and speakers together in a friendly and family-oriented outdoor environment. Consumers who attend the Green Street Fair will be encouraged to learn the advantages of taking strides, large or small, towards living a healthier and greener life.

The 2010 Green Street Fair had an estimated attendance of 90,000 attendees during the three day event. Over 200 exhibitors and 30 sponsors were on-site showcasing, demonstrating and selling eco-friendly, organic, and green products.

Green Street Fair TM was founded to help educate and inform people of all ages about the benefits of green, organic, and eco-friendly products and services. To promote global interest and personal well-being, the Green Street Fair TM will blend companies, artisans, entertainers, and speakers together in a friendly and family-oriented outdoor environment. We believe that even the smallest steps in going green can make a world of difference.

Location:
Green Street Fair TM will take place in downtown Plymouth, Michigan. Plymouth is located just 30 minutes west of Detroit and 15 minutes east of Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan. Exuberant Downtown Plymouth is a wealth of restaurants, coffee houses, retail shops and art galleries.
http://www.greenstreetfair.com/index.htm

Northville Township Leaders: Prison Should Be Sold for Commercial Use

The Robert Scott Correctional Facility property should be sold for
private enterprise, either for retail stores or light industrial use, Northville Township leaders agreed Thursday night.

The township Board of Trustees approved a resolution at its Thursday
night meeting to ask the state to sell the closed prison as soon as
possible. Township leaders said they are acting in response to a plan by
other communities to have the state turn the prison into a regional
jail/public safety facility.

Township Manager Chip Snider and state Rep. Kurt Heise (R-20th
District), who represents Northville, say they have been told that
there are a few leaders from neighboring communities who are talking
with Gov. Rick Snyder about turning the prison into a regional public
safety facility. The regional plan could also include using the
facility as a regional jail, Heise said he was told.

â??Iâ??m concerned that the state may get the wrong message,â?? Heise
said. â??A regional public safety facility is not the desire of Northville
Township, nor is it my desire.â??

Snider expressed his own concerns. â??The township has been a public
project dumping ground for 50 years, with the former Maybury Sanatorium,
the Northville Psychiatric Hospital and the prison,â?? he said.

â??At one time, about 33 percent of our township property was non-taxed
due to institutional use. The residents need the prison property sold
for the highest commercial use, to help with the tax base,” Snider said.
“Plus, theyâ??re getting tired of staring at the concertina wire.â??

The facility, which had been a women’s prison since 1991, was closed
in 2009 as a measure to save the annual $36 million operating costs. The
state Department of Corrections turned the property over to the
Department of Management and Budget in 2010, in preparation for a sale
of the site.

Snider and Heise said the prison property, at Five Mile and Beck
roads about a mile north of M-14, is the perfect place for a gateway
development for the township.

â??We need that barbed wire and guard towers to be taken down,” Heise said. “Itâ??s an eyesore to the community.â??

Heise said he has not been approached officially about a public
safety plan. Township trustees shared at the meeting Thursday night that
they were upset about not being consulted about the use of the facility
in their township.

A few township leaders said the plan came up through Public Safety
Director John Werthâ??s discussions with his counterparts in neighboring
communities. The leaders of these communities, and public officials
named as leading the plan discussion, could not be reached for comment
due to the Good Friday holiday.

The governor has been pushing for collaboration between neighbors,
and Northville Township Trustee Chris Roosen has been an advocate of
merging capabilities. Roosen, a consultant to the Southeast Michigan
Council of Governments, writes a blog that praises other communitiesâ?? efforts at collaboration.

However, Roosen said Friday that he will fight any effort to remove the townshipâ??s rights over the prisonâ??s fate.

â??We donâ??t really know the details of the plan, and we love our
neighbors, but what would this cost us? Would this create a new layer of
government?â?? Roosen said.

Heise said he will now take the townshipâ??s resolution to the
Legislature and, in conjunction with state Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R-7th
District), will push to have the state agree to put the property out to
auction to developers. The measure will be similar to how the
psychiatric hospital site on Seven Mile was purchased by REI a few years
ago, Heise said.

Whereas developers have said the retail market is not ready for
development on the hospital site, township officials believe the Five
Mile and Beck location, across from a large, Home Depot-anchored retail
intersection already, will attract buyers that can bring about the
prisonâ??s removal.

â??We finally have the chance to get this property on the tax rolls, we donâ??t want the rug pulled out from under us,â?? Roosen said.

http://northville.patch.com/articles/northville-township-leaders-prison-should-be-sold-for-commercial-use

Customer Appreciation Cook-out THIS SATURDAY

Plymouth Residents Can Drop Off Old Prescription Drugs

Ever wonder how to get rid of prescription drugs that are either expired or unwanted without flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash?

The city of Plymouth Police Department is teaming up with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to give residents a chance to safely dispose of medications from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Plymouth City Hall.

One of the fire bay doors will be open with an officer seated nearby. There will be cardboard containers available to dispose of pills only. People will keep their prescription bottles with personal identifications, such as names and addresses. Instead, they just empty the bottle into the container.

The service is free and completely anonymous. No questions will be asked.

This is the first year Plymouth is participating in the program. The city had wanted to participate last year but was too late getting involved, according to Paula Sherman, police administrator.

The chief was contacted by the Green Street Fair because they are going to be taking in nonprescription medications during their event,Sherman said. And we wanted to be a little proactive and have people dispose of their prescription drugs before the Green Street Fair so they wouldn’t be bringing in their prescription drugs, because the Green Street Fair will not be able to accept any prescription drugs  only over-the-counter medicines.

“We wanted to try and coordinate the two together, so people would be able to do that to save the environment and also dispose of things properly and safely so they wouldn’t get into the wrong hands, Sherman said.

This will also be the first year for the Green Street Fair to take in and safely dispose of over-the-counter medicines, according to Raychel Rork, one of the fair’s founders.

I just tried to clean out my medicine cabinet in my own home, and I have two kids, Rork said. I was trying to dispose of it (outdated medicines) and couldn’t even find a place I could take it. That’s when I went, this is a huge bummer. Everyone has medicines at home that are either expired or they don’t take anymore. What are people supposed to do?

“That’s why people resort to flushing it or throwing it in the garbage, because even if they want to do the right thing, they don’t even know where to take it,” she said. “It seemed like an obvious next step for us to provide that as an item you can recycle at the fair.’

The Green Street Fair is teaming up with Great Lakes Clean Water to participate in its Yellow Jug for Old Drugs Program. Great Lakes Clean Water volunteers will be on hand at the fair, May 6-8, to help sort through medications and to answer any questions people might have.

If you have controlled substances, those need to be taken to the one with the DEA at City Hall,Rork said. That’s why there’s going to be professionals there, sorting through everything and answering questions.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, the container at Plymouth City Hall will be sealed and picked up by the DEA.
http://plymouth-mi.patch.com/articles/plymouth-residents-can-drop-off-old-prescription-drugs?ncid=M255

Plymouth Mom’s Blog Inspires with Ideas for Children to Help Others

Community service is not just for adults â?? this is the thought that led Plymouth mother Holly Skelton to start her own childrenâ??s community service blog called The Little Hearts Project.

Skelton, 33, is the mother of three daughters â?? Schuler, 5, Brier, 2, and Sommer, 8 months. She has been blogging for just more than a year.

â??Throughout my life, in Girl Scouts or sorority or just something my husband and I did, it (community service) was always so rewarding, so exciting,â?? Skelton said. â??But I was in a position where I had â?? well, at the time, I had two kids, I knew I was going to have three kids, and as much as I would love to make a weekly commitment, like go into a soup kitchen, the point Iâ??m at in my life â?? I just donâ??t have that kind of time.

“So I thought, what can I do with my kids? We do art projects together; we go to the museums together; why not do a service project together?â??

Skelton began looking for ideas online.

â??It seemed like everything was geared for older kids, you had to be at least 12,â?? she said. â??Obviously, little kids canâ??t do real physical things. There are things they canâ??t do, but there are a ton of things they can do. And I just couldnâ??t find a lot of resources for that.â??

So she came up with her own ideas and wrote them down in an online blog. Many of the activities that Skelton suggests are things she does with her own children, such as baking cookies, returning cans for deposit and donating the money and community gardening. The projects she blogs about are not huge but are simple, easy things to do with children. 

Skelton said she tries to stay away from one-time events and rather suggests ideas that parents can do with their children anywhere, not just in Michigan.

Skelton, author of a childrenâ??s book that just got published, was pregnant with her third daughter, just laid off from her job and found out her book was being published, all within a month of starting the blog.

â??This was just one of those things that I felt really excited about, passionate about â?? I felt it was just something I needed to do,â?? she said. â??My real hope is that people will send me their ideas, pictures of their kids, what their schools are doing or what theyâ??re doing in their family. And Iâ??ve definitely gotten people to send me things, and Iâ??m happy to post them on the blog.â??

Milford resident Jessica Beaubien has used Skeltonâ??s Little Hearts Project blog as a resource of things to do with her two children, Bastien, 3, and Hadley, 2. Beaubien said she was introduced to the blog by a co-worker, who happened to be Skeltonâ??s sister-in-law, and has been following it ever since.

â??I think Holly’s idea is wonderful and commendable,â?? Beaubien said. â??When Bastien was little, I actually asked Meals on Wheels if we could volunteer â?? thinking the elderly would enjoy a visit with a fresh, new baby along with the delivery of their meal. Meals on Wheels turned us down, saying they had more than enough drivers, so I was left feeling discouraged â?? with no other ideas of how to involve a baby in service projects.

“So when Holly’s blog came along, it was a true blessing, full of creative ideas that got me thinking of new ways to be active in service with my children,â?? she said.

Currently, Beaubien is teaching her children how to save money for charity.

â??They each have three penny jars,â?? she said. â??Whenever they do a job, such as helping with laundry, putting away the clean silverware, filling the bird feeder, etc., they get nine pennies. Three go in a jar for saving, three for spending and three for giving to someone in need. And when each jar reaches $1, we take out the pennies and do with them just what the jar says. This is somewhat similar to the Change Through Chores project Holly wrote about.â??

Beaubien said she will continue to do community service projects with her children.

â??Children tend to be such innately cheerful givers, it is truly inspiring to work with them,â?? Beaubien said. â??It is my hope to raise children who have only ever known a life of giving â?? who recognize that in almost every situation, there is an opportunity to give. I believe living this way helps us live a life of awareness, purpose and gratitude.â??
http://plymouth-mi.patch.com/articles/plymouth-moms-blog-inspires-with-ideas-for-children-to-help-others

Volt and Leaf ace crash tests

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf plug-in cars both earned top scores in crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said Tuesday.

Both vehicles earned the Institute’s coveted Top Safety Pick award, given to cars that get the best possible ratings in side and front crash tests as well as the best scores for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

“What powers the wheels is different, but the level of safety for the Volt and Leaf is as high as any of our other top crash test performances,” said Joe Nolan, the Insurance Institute’s chief administrative officer, in a statement.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is an industry group financed by auto insurers. Its crash tests are different from those performed by the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Neither the Volt nor the Leaf has yet been rated by NHTSA.

The Leaf and the Volt each weigh almost 700 pounds more than comparable gasoline-powered cars by Nissan and General Motors.

The extra weight, mostly in the form of large battery packs, should help their performance in real-world crashes, the Institute said in its statement. In crashes between different vehicles, the lighter vehicle bears the brunt of the impact.

“The Leaf and the Volt’s extra mass give them a safety advantage over other small cars,” Nolan said. “These electric models are a win-win for fuel economy and safety.

Since the Institute’s tests involve crashing vehicles into a fixed barrier instead of into another car, the weight advantage was not a factor in the test scores.

Electric cars run on high voltage electricity stored in batteries. That means there are some special safety considerations with electric cars including the fear of possible electrocution for occupants and those who may have to rescue them from crashes. The cars’ high-voltage electric systems posed no problems in the crash tests, Institute spokesman Russ Rader said.

“Both vehicles’ batteries are well shielded in the middle of the vehicle and away from any crash damage,” Rader said, “and they have systems that shut off the high voltage electricity in the event of a crash.”

The Nissan Leaf is a purely electric vehicle with a driving range of about 73 miles per charge, according to EPA ratings. The Volt has a range of about 35 miles, as measured by the EPA, but it also has a gasoline engine that generates electricity for driving longer distances.

The Nissan leaf recently won the World Car of the Year award. The Volt won North American Car of the Year and Motor Trend Car of the Year, as well as several other awards late last year and early this year. Both vehicles went on sale in November of last year.
http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/26/news/companies/leaf_volt_crash_tests/?section=money_latest

Dick Scott Automotive Group – NISSAN TENT SALE!!!

Visit Dick Scott Nissan NOW thru May 2nd
to take advantage of our Exclusive TENT SALE Pricing!!

We have extended our hours for this special event!
Tuesday and Wednesday, April 26th & 27th 9AM-8PM
Thursday, April 28th 9AM-9PM
Friday, April 29th 9AM-8PM
Saturday, April 30th 10am-6PM
and
Monday, May 2nd 9AM-9PM

Dick Scott Nissan
42175 Michigan Avenue Canton, MI 48188
734-495-1000
http://www.dickscott.com/blog/2011/april/26/nissan-tent-sale.htm

Exploring Brighton Sculpture: Landscape Sunset, American Beauty and I-275

Last week, our tour of Brighton’s public art took us to the corner of
N. First St. and Cedar St. in downtown Brighton. Stopping just outside Lynn’s Café,
we took a quick look at The Bird. One of the most appreciated and
recognizable pieces in the Brighton Biennial Sculpture Exhibit, The Bird
was created by architect and Brighton resident Piet Lindhout.

This week, we’re doing something a little different. In a few weeks,
three of Brighton Biennial’s current works will be removed from display
due to expired contracts. It’s those three sculptures that are our focus
today.

Landscape Sunset by James Lawton

Perhaps the boldest sculpture of the Brighton Biennial bunch,
Landscape Sunset is large, heavy-looking, and bright orange. Its
location in the pocket part near the intersection of Grand River Ave.
and Main St. is ideal for catching the attention of passersby.

During a recent visit to see friends in Brighton, Jamey Burnett of
Toledo, OH said Landscape Sunset was the first sculpture he noticed as
he was driving through town.

“After that, the other sculptures starting popping out,” he said. “They definitely give Brighton a cool vibe.”    

Lawton, who received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Kent State
University, teaches art at Michigan State University in Lansing. A
multimedia artist, Lawton usually creates pieces that address social
issues. He is specifically interested in the intersection of the self
and the world at large.

American Beauty by Todd Erickson

Situated next to the massive Landscape Sunset, Todd Erickson’s
medium-scale sculpture holds its own. Underneath a patina of rust, the
silver-faced remnants of a once-perfect piece of steel emerge. Aptly
titled American Beauty, the work calls to mind the region’s industrial
boom and bust.        

Erickson received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has taught
art at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Poetic in both
composition and intention, his work explores issues of the self, faith,
shelter, and personal history. In homage to his Michigan roots, he
recently exhibited a series of cast bronze branches, each named after
Michigan rivers.

I-275 by Robert Sestock

Located across from the public parking lot near the intersection of
Pierce St. and North St., Sestock’s I-275, a 72” X 44” X 40” knot of
welded steel, is in plain view of visitors, commuters and downtown
residents.

Unfortunately, the work is often dismissed as a hunk of junk.

“I thought it was something else until I gave it a good look,” Brighton resident Alan Kelly said.  

Brighton City Council and BACC member Claudia Roblee recently expressed concern over the idea that many of the works in the display are ignored.

“What some people don’t understand,” she said, “is that art adds to a community’s ongoing conversation.”

In most cases, the sculptures get people talking about the nature of art and whether or not it adds to the community. 

I-275 is an interesting take on a topic Brighton residents are
accustomed to discussing, whether they support Brighton’s public art or
not.

It’s an interpretation of a traffic jam, Sestock said.

“It symbolizes what a painter might paint if they were making an abstract painting using bold brush strokes,” he added.

There you have it. A fresh take on the drama of driving.

Out with the old in with the new

Landscape Sunset, American Beauty, and I-275 will be rotated out of
the Brighton Biennial Sculpture Exhibit by May 31, 2011. New works,
which haven’t yet been announced, will immediately replace the
sculptures.

http://brighton.patch.com/articles/exploring-brightons-sculpture-landscape-sunset-american-beauty-and-i-275