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Cannon Township identifies condos, multi-family development as needed

April 24, 2015 // 0 Comments

Undeveloped Town Square identified as most critical issue   By BETH ALTENA   Cannon Township Planning Commission spent an enlightening evening going over the township’s final version of the Five Year Master Plan which goes before the regular board at the next meeting for approval or changes. According to Paul LeBlanc, township planner, the document is significant in that it is now all one comprehensive piece, not a document scattered with ammendments. In attendance were LeBlanc, Julie Lovelace, trustees Mike Warmbier, Steve Mulder, Chad Sosnowski, Jessica Leja and Michael Hanna. Absent was Dale Potter, and also absent was ? who resigned from the board due to changes in his schedule at work. There were four members of the public in the audience. In opening with a prayers, Sosnowski asked for heavenly help in finding a new person to replace Wilcowski, an employment strategy that bears monitoring for success rate. Lovelace told commissioners that for the next few weeks the township will take applications prior to beginning the interview process. Sosnowski described to the audience and fellow commissioners the importance of the master plan t the township and noted the commission and LeBlanc have been working on the document a year and a half. “Michigan has a planning enabling act required to be used for zoning and it requires updating the Master Plan every five years,” presenter LeBlanc stated. “In many case when the review is done, things have changed.” He said this review follows the 2010 census, allowing the Plan to include updated demographics. “One of the directives from the Planning Commission was to take several documents, update and include in the Master Plan, including what Cannon Township is and wants to be in the future. We looked at the vision statement and goals and the need to refresh that.” LeBlanc said he emphasized what he called “Motherhood and apple pie goals… that Cannon Township is a wonderful place to live, work and play. “Well, who can argue with that, but what exactly does that mean?” he asked the commissioners. “The vision page plan was one and a half pages long, trying to be all things to all people. We had to get rid of words like beaucolic. This is a tranquil community, we want […]

Home born of lumber-era riches hits market, represents vanished Englishville

April 24, 2015 // 0 Comments

Few tangible remains represent once bustling community   By BETH ALTENA   An illiterate Londoner escaping bad business in his hometown changed his name on the long passage by boat to America, struck out from New York ports to cross the wilds of untamed early United States to settle in Sparta, Michigan and eventually control all of the saw mills and lumber industry on the Rogue River. Today that man’s home is one of few remnants of the once busy town that grew around himself and his business dealings, which once included a store, post office, school, train station, cemetery and more. It is for sale at 693 Ten Mile Road, with much of the original structures and construction intact and speaking of a lost era of wild wealth to be had logging on the rivers of Michigan and supplying the frenzied growth of Chicago and beyond. More than a hundred and seventy years after Joseph Simpson fled London, much remains a mystery. What were the bad business dealings that drove him to escape to American wilderness? Why did he and his wife, Diana Bird, take three children (William, Joseph Jr., and Richard or Joseph Jr., Richard) with them but leave two (Abraham, 10 and Dinah, 9) behind in England? How did his booming logging empire collapse, causing him to turn the business over to Richard, who also saw the lumbering fortune continue to dwindle to nothing? Some records and memories remain. Joseph Simpson was called “English” on the passage to America, and upon arrival called himself Joseph English. He and his wife brought with them $15,000 he earned in England as a master mechanic and by selling property. He began lumbering, but ran into trouble here, too, and soon lost all his money. In 1846 he resorted to work as a shingle cutter, working from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m., shaving 5,000 shingles a day and earning $1 per 1,000 shingles. He worked hard and with perseverence and acquired land by credit or by trading horses and wagons, according to a newspaper article. He eventually owned most of two sections in Sparta Township and two in Alpine Township. Each section is 640 acres. In 1847 he and Diana had another son, Edward) The articles […]

Correction to Sandmining operation story in last issue

April 24, 2015 // 0 Comments

Last week’s Squire included our lead story about neighbors who are devastated by sand mining taking place adjacent from the homes they purchased from Sable Homes. A response from Sable homes was printed within the body of the story in a placement style known in newspapers as an “outtake” which is usually used as an excerpt from the body of the article printed in larger type for emphasis. In addition it had no attribution saying who the quote was from. This was our mistake, The quote about Sable working with homeowners was from Bitely through a public relations firm. In fact, Bitely did not return a call from the Squire to talk about his sand mining plans or why he failed to inform the homeowners of two properties adjacent to the sand pit about a change of plans from building two additional homes in between the properties to a five to seven-year, perhaps as much as ten-year commercial sand mining operation. The township Planning Commission in March tabled a decision on whether to recommend granting Bitely a Special Land Use Permit, which is required for any removal of sand over 500 yards. According to the minutes of that meeting Bitely had removed 1,000 yards of sand from the property before being stopped by the township last year. Homeowner Amy Mueller talked with the Squire for last week’s article, saying that within three months of purchasing her home with the understanding two more homes would go up in the land next to her, Bitely began mining the property. Currently the mining operation is right up against the property line of her home. She and her husband were also told the acreage behind their new home would remain in use as farmland. “If it isn’t illegal, it is unethical,” she said of the developer’s behavior toward her and the other home buyer. Chuck Porter, Township Supervisor said the township can look at many things, including property value, to decide whether to grant a Special Use Permit for mining sand. “There isn’t a shortage of sand,” he stated.  

Cannon Township will be hosting their annual Waterfest event at Townsend Park

April 24, 2015 // 0 Comments

  Cannon Township will be hosting their annual Waterfest event at Townsend Park (8280 6 Mile Rd Cannonsburg) on Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 8:00am-12:00pm. A pancake breakfast will be hosted by the Cannonsburg Village Christmas Light Committee at 8:00 a.m. The Cannon Township Historical Society will be selling baked goods. The feature event this year is a Michigan amphibian and reptile exhibit by Nature Discovery from 10:00 a.m. – noon. See what animals live in a wetland! Nature/science-inspired activities will be presented for children along with the annual duck race in Bear Creek. There will be live music by Hawks & Owls. You can also sign up to win a $100 gift card from Ric’s Food Center, $100 Visa gift card (compliments of Choice One Bank) or 4-tickets to Meijer Gardens (donated by Meijer Gardens). Come out on Saturday and spend some quality time with your friends and neighbors!

When Kids Don’t Want to Read

April 24, 2015 // 0 Comments

Do you have kids who compare having to read to getting shots at the doctor’s office? Sometimes we have to creatively adjust this attitude with new ideas, providing motivation and modeling to encourage our kids to become lifelong readers.   As parents, we are responsible for assisting our kids with tasks they don’t necessarily find desirable, such as brushing their teeth every day, dressing properly for the weather, healthy eating, and many other things they may not always choose to do without our guidance. Motivating kids to read should be right at the top of that list.   Research shouts from the rooftops that early literacy is critical to developing lifelong readers. There are a variety of ways to bring reading to life for your children on a daily basis, especially when you see a lack of interest from them when it comes to reading.   Consider trying some of these ideas to ignite the reading spark with your children:   Remember that reading doesn’t have to be a chapter book! It can be anything you have available in your house-newspapers, magazines, journals, joke and riddle books, cook books, coffee table books, etc. Model, model, model! If your kids see you reading they are being influenced to read. Focus book choices around the interests of your children. If they love riding dirt bikes, find a dirt bike magazine or visit the outdoor sports section of your library. Do your kids love animals? Find interesting animal tales or encourage them to read articles online about their favorite creatures. Make finding the reading material half the fun! Take a family field trip to your public library. Let them choose a book for a birthday present. Let your children pick out a new magazine subscription for the family to enjoy. Read aloud to your child. Find a regular time each day to read an adventurous story to your child that will hold their interest. They will soon be begging you for “just a little more!” Tie reading to technology. Discover literacy-rich websites. Encourage your children to participate in literacy blogs with other kids their age on trusted sites to talk about books together. Download apps that have literacy games with letter sounds and rhyming, or apps with kid-friendly […]

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