Michigan State University students express their expectations for primary elections

By Nadia Lorencz

EAST LANSING, Mich. -Is Donald Trump the future for America? After interviewing students on Michigan State University’s campus, it seems that most are fans of the Democratic party.

Chatter amongst college students shows that some do not want to see front runner Donald Trump elected president. However, when asked if they thought he had a chance at presidency, all replied that he did.

“Sadly to say, I think that Donald Trump is going to win the Republican primary,” said freshman Taylor Hopp. However, Hopp hopes to see candidate Bernie Sanders become the front-runner for the Democratic party. “Sanders is liberal and for the people,” she said,  “He is a much better option than Hillary.”

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“Feel the Bern” or “Hill yeah”?

By Christian Barrington
The Mason Times


Sophomore Evelyn Andre, comments on Bernie Sanders

 EAST LANSING, Mich. –  Iowa Democratic voters showed equal support for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, but their backers came from different groups. 

“I believe Bernie is starting a political revolution of sorts,” said pre-law sophomore Jasmin Shafquat. “He has support from our generation because he’s basing his ideals off what the people want, not big business.”  

Sanders has proven his dedication to the millennials, providing policy options such as the College For All Act, which would make college free for a generation that has an average student loan debt of $29,400, according to The Institute of College Access (TICAS). Also, Sanders has agreed with the 70 percent of 18-33 year-olds who agree with same-sex marriage since the early 70’s. Hillary Clinton has changed her views in 2013, after nearly a decade of not supporting it.

Sanders may have the support of the millennials; Sanders received 84 percent of votes from the age range of 17-29, according to TIME, but some voters are still worried.

“Sanders’ ideals are socialistic, which clearly the youth likes, but the older generations did not vote for him,” said pre-med senior, Nathan Vengalil.

Sanders only received 26 percent of the votes from voters aged 65 and older, whereas Clinton received 74 percent, according to TIME.  

 This could be detrimental for Sanders but great for Clinton due to the majority of the votes Sanders received were only from an age group whose voter turnout is not great. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 38 percent of voters aged 18-24 showed up to the polls in 2012, compared to 69.7 percent of voters who are 65 years old or older. Clinton could easily sweep Sanders away with the older generations behind her.

Many of Sanders’ socialistic ideas towards universal healthcare, free education, redistribution of wealth, and his immigration ideals are not supported by older generations, who were taught to fear words such as communism and socialism.

Older generations are not the only ones who fear the hopeful Sanders. Sanders would have to pass his very left leaning policies through a Republican House in which the members are known for shooting down liberal policies.

“I think it would be great if the policies would pass, but it is a Republican majority who need to pass the bills, which would not happen,” said economics sophomore Evelyn Andre. “I think where the United States is as a country right now, isn’t right for Bernie’s policies.”

Clinton, on the other hand, is taking the process more gradually than the democratic- socialist Sanders.

“I’m a progressive, but I am a progressive who likes to get things done,” said Hillary Clinton via CNN.

Despite having much support, Sanders has a long road ahead for him. Clinton received 22 and Sanders received 21 of the delegates during the Iowa Caucus.

“I believe that either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump have the best chance of winning the election, unfortunately,” said Shane Carnagie, Michigan House of Representatives Research Coordinator . “Them [winning] also comes with great disdain for those who are so blind to the issues that they blindly vote based on tabloids and biased posts on social media.”

College voters prepare for election

By Abby Burbary 

The Mason Times


Chase Hanson, a nursing student at University of Michigan, Flint gives a “thumbs up” for being registered to vote.

Is it important to vote? These college students think so.

As the Michigan presidential primary election is quickly approaching on March 8, some college-aged voters say they are voting because their opinions matter and they want millennials to make a difference.

Chase Hanson, sophomore nursing student at University of Michigan, Flint, said that it is important for him to have a say because his opinion matters, especially about the person who runs the country.

“If we didn’t utilize our right to vote, it would just show that we don’t appreciate or care enough about our opinions,” Hanson said.
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Artist prepares a new sculpture for Mason

Doug DeLind 1 By Terri Powys
The Mason Times

Internationally acclaimed sculptor Doug DeLind is building Mason a new sculpture to be unveiled in the spring of 2016. The exhibit will be by a newly installed bridge at the Maple Grove Cemetery next to the Mason Community Garden.

The sculpture will consist of two figures on each side of the new bridge holding a bar with two birds, a man and a fish perched on top. As a Mason resident for 35 years, DeLind is excited to have a piece of his work on display in his hometown.

“My work is recognizable as mine … contemporary, figurative, and unique. Therefore I am quite thrilled that Mason–my hometown–has endorsed my work. It will be installed over a new and beautiful bridge which leads you into one of my favorite places on Earth, the Hayhoe Trail,” says DeLind.

The process behind making the sculpture includes hard work and special handling of dangerous molten bronze. Originally DeLind made a wooden sculpture that served as a cast of the final piece. Then the wooden cast was sent to Bernier Cast Metals in Saginaw where a professional caster poured molten bronze into the wooden piece. After the bronze has set and cooled, the outer wooden layer is cut and ground off until the metal is fully revealed. Finally the sculpture is polished and ready to be put on display.

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School Board approves $80 million bond request

By Jake Atnip
The Mason Times

The Mason School Board unanimously approved an $80 million bond request on Dec. 14. The proposal will go to the Michigan Department of Treasury on Jan. 7 and, if approved, will go to voters in May.

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Bond Proposal outline

The proposal includes $79,845,000 in bonds over a series of disbursements from 2016-2024. The redevelopment plan is separated into three, three-year periods in which the board hopes to renovate all five local public schools and create a new school for fourth and fifth graders.

The current tax rate is 3.70 mills. This proposal would increase the millage rate to approximately 6.85, nearly doubling the current rate. A 1 millage increase would cost the owner of a house that has a market value of $200,000 about $100 a year in taxes. For that same citizen, this proposal would cost approximately $325 that year. This cost will be added to current taxes.This millage increase would take place on Dec. 1, 2016, if the proposal passes.

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Mason’s orchestras provide solutions for music program budget cuts

By Layne Alfred
The Mason Times

With funding to schools’ music programs being cut all around the country, Mason continues to help not only children in being able to play music, but also adults, even while managing full-time jobs.

The Mason Orchestral Society includes two main ensembles: the Mason Philharmonic, for middle school and high school students, and the Mason Symphony, for adults of all ages.

Many of the children in the philharmonic attend schools that do not have full music programs. “My high school doesn’t have a string section, so it’s good to practice with people who play string instruments,” said Amelia Mills, who attends Mason High School. “It’s a good way to connect with people from different high schools.”

Sebastian Liu, an eighth-grader at Okemos Middle School, said that although his school has a music program, he is happy to be part of the Mason Orchestral Society instead. “My school music is easy, here I get a challenge. And I like being the only violist.”

The Orchestral Society is a part of Mason that is meant for fun and making connections with others that have similar interests, but the fact that it has been maintained has great effect on the American society as a whole. Budget cuts on schools art and music programs make being part of a classical symphony increasingly difficult.

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Future of Mason medical marijuana policy under review

Mason Medical Marijuana Regulation
By Justin Sienowski
The Mason Times

With Mason having undergone many changes over the years, Chairman of the Mason 150 Coordinating Committee and Mayor Pro Tem Marlon Brown finds it hard to speculate on the future – especially when it comes to the topic of marijuana.

“I honestly do not know whether or not marijuana use will be completely legalized in the foreseeable future,” Brown said. “So much is still unknown at this point.”

When Michigan lawmakers passed the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act in 2008, making marijuana use legal for patients who had a prescription from a qualified doctor, it posed a conundrum to city governments around the state. With any use of marijuana still illegal at the federal level, cities had to tread carefully.

“Even though the state was allowing it we did not want to violate federal law because the federal government could have come and fought the city,” Brown said. “Federal laws, state laws and local laws were all at different levels of conflict.”

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WOW! representative addresses rate increase

By Terri Powys
The Mason Times

Earlier this fall Mason’s city council heard from representative Dominick Silvio in regards to the recent programming rate increase by WOW! Internet & Cable. As General Manager of WOW! Mid-Michigan, Silvio was sent to address recent complaints concerning the lack of communication between WOW! and their customers in Mason.

“It was to my understanding that earlier this summer there was an extensive email sent out to the clients in Mason in which there was an in-depth rundown of the rate increase. We understand that a 16% increase for programming in the past two years is a lot and we have kept customer satisfaction at the top of our priority list,” says Silvio.

Although some members of the community and city council have said that they are not satisfied with WOW!’s services there has not been any direct complaints to city council regarding specific issues.

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Urban sustainability in Mason means more than expanding infrastructure

Robert Liberty converses with a community member prior to the meeting

By Layne Alfred
The Mason Times

“Cooperation and planning forms a vibrant city,” said Robert Liberty, director of the Urban Sustainability Accelerator at Portland State University of Oregon. Liberty presented his urban sustainability plan at the Mason City Council Meeting on Nov. 2.

Mid-Michigan is participating in “Imagine Mid-Michigan,” the Urban Sustainability Accelerator program directed by Liberty. This plan includes downtown success, farmland preservation, and much more that affect long-term “fiscal health and sustainability of government,” said Liberty.

“Why should you care when your responsibility is here in Mason?” Liberty asked the Council. Mason is part of the regional housing market as well as regional employment, so urban sustainability in even a small town such as Mason affects all of Michigan. However, Liberty did make it clear how beneficial a new urban zoning plan would be for citizens of Mason. “We want to maintain a quality of life here in Mason,” said Liberty, and sustainability helps to “maintain a sense of place.”

David Haywood, zoning and development director in Mason, said that urban planning is changing. “We just adopted an update in 2014. We call for at least three areas where we anticipate growing. We have room in the city to grow. We study those areas to determine how we want it to develop.”

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“Friends of Kean’s” lift the store back to its place in the community

By Layne Alfred
The Mason Times

The community of Mason came together to get Kean’s Store back on its feet after smoke damage had the store out of business for months. Volunteers ranging from Knights of Columbus to the high school football team will haul displays and merchandise onto the store’s main floor this week– even businessmen have taken time off of work to help.

The fire in Baja Grill in June caused smoke damage so severe that the entirety of the store’s interior had to be rebuilt. The merchandise was soiled by the stench of smoke. Although it was a frantic situation, the process has been supported by the community the entire way.

“It’s been great having so many volunteers, it takes an army,” said Laurie Reed, manager of Kean’s Store.

The volunteers lifted storage and displayed, stocked, cleaned and brought food.

“The energy is just amazing,” said Margaret Ross, owner of the jewelry design studio in Kean’s. “Our smile muscles are starting to hurt!”

Kean’s brought in the mass of volunteers throughout the week because of its “integral and beloved” role in the community, as Ross said. Stephanie Rawson, a resident of Mason, organized a Facebook page called “Friends of Kean’s” to keep the community updated on the progress, as well as let the community know when they could help. The page received over 3,000 hits and over 40 shares. Last week, Rawson sent out the call to action.

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