Mason Public School Bond Proposal vote nearing

The Mason Times
By Nadia Lorencz

Superintendent of Mason Public Schools, Ron Drzewicki has been promoting the school district’s bond proposal that Mason residents will vote on May 3.

Some of the needs for the bond are a concern with security, a need for safer entrances at all Mason public schools, relieving overcrowding and updated technology.

The bond is a $79.8 million proposal that would focus on the largest issue at hand, overcrowding.

A sign in a Mason resident's front yard supporting the bond proposal.

A sign in a Mason resident’s front yard supporting the bond proposal.

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Mason residents express their passion in life

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By Abby Burbary
The Mason Times

Discovering your niche in life can sometimes be difficult, but these Mason residents have discovered what makes their life worth living.

Thirty-eight year Mason resident Annie Lambrecht said her passion is reading, and she has loved it ever since she was a little girl. Lambrecht’s mother was a teacher and instilled the love of reading in her heart very early on.

“I even remember my first hard cover books were Swiss Family Robinson and “Robinson Crusoe” said Lambrecht,who is 70. “I’ve been reading ever since I could remember.”

Lambrecht said her favorite is genre is fiction, although she always makes an effort to try something new. Her entire book club has tried to be open minded to other genres, but it never seems to work out.

“We’re trying to expand our horizons and try reading non-fiction stories, but we’ve discovered we do not like it,” Lambrecht said. “It’s very dry, and I don’t understand why.”

“Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd and “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett are among Lambrecht’s favorite books.

“In ‘Pillars of the Earth’, it feels like you are there in medieval England,Lambrecht said. “You can smell it, you can taste it, it is wonderful and beautifully written.”

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Journalism Education Programs excel thanks to Mason High School faculty

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Yearbook Advisor, Kristin Higgins, helps yearbook editor Madeline Newport and staff member Samantha Morris with their current projects.

By Madelyn Scroggie
The Mason Times

Mason, Mich. – The Mason High School faculty wants students to develop critical thinking skills and be empowered to succeed. The high school has specifically developed programs such as the yearbook and newspaper to help aspiring journalism students do just that.

“It is a high school class but sometimes I think there is a learning curve because the students have to realize it’s more like a job,” said Sabriena Bennett, high school newspaper advisor. “Everyone in the class has different responsibilities, and when the responsibilities aren’t filled then somebody else has to pick up the slack.”

Bennett said that in order to be a part of the staff students are required to have a recommendation as well as a sample writing piece.
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Donated thermal imaging cameras put to use quickly

By Madelyn Scroggie
The Mason Times

Mason, Mich. – Two thermal imaging cameras that can detect heat energy through

The Mason Fire Department where the thermal imaging cameras were donated

The Mason Fire Department where the thermal imaging cameras were donated

smoke, walls or doors were donated to The Mason Fire Department by Dart Container Corporation on March 9 and have already begun to help firefighters on the job.

Fire Chief Kerry Minshall said in an interview that the department has already put the cameras to good use.
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School officials pleased with updated website

Abby Burbary
The Mason Times

The Mason Public Schools website used to be old and hard to navigate, but now it is interesting and user-friendly, said Director of Technology Jerome Brzezinski at Community and Staff Relations committee meeting on Tuesday, March 29.

Brzezinski said he is happy with how the brand new website turned out.

“It has a really nice look, and it’s a huge improvement,” Brzezinski said. Continue reading

Overcrowding in Mason’s Kindergartens

By Christian Barrington
Mason Times

Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki stands in front 'Investing For the Future', the May bond proposal

MASON, Mich. – A Mason School Board committee was trying to decide if adding an extra section of kindergarten would solve the overcrowding issue.

During Tuesday’s Community and Staff Relations Meeting, the board discussed the overcrowding and addressed how they could proceed.  All three of the elementary schools will exceed capacity for the 2016-2017 year; there will be 484 students for a building designed for 405, according to Mason Public Schools. With 240 kindergarten students, and three sections at each of the three schools, that accounts for roughly 27 students within each section. With numbers this high, it raised the question if the board should add another kindergarten section.

“Lower kindergarten [student] numbers holds value,” said Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki. “We recognize that and we are going to do what we can in our budget to facilitate lower class sizes if we can.”

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Concerns raised regarding proposed sidewalk improvements

Abby Burbary
The Mason Times

Concerns were raised by residents during the public hearing at the city council meeting on March 21, 2016, despite the confirmation of an assessment regarding proposed sidewalk improvements.

According to the meeting agenda, the property was first announced at the city council meeting on December 21, 2015. At the meeting on January 18, 2016, the council agreed to make the improvements and ordered the Assessor to prepare estimated costs and provide notice of a public hearing.

Mason City administrator Deb Stuart said the role of the city council on Monday was to confirm the assessment, as the council already voted in January that the sidewalk improvements will be completed. The assessment directs the treasurer to collect funds with the July taxes. The resolution lists 3.5% interest.
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Mason City Council and Planning Commission come up with resolutions for Medical Marijuana ordinance

By Madelyn Scroggie
The Mason Times

Mason City Hall, home to the city council and planning commission's meetings regarding the medical marijuana ordinance.

Mason City Hall, home to the city council and planning commission’s meetings regarding the medical marijuana ordinance.

Mason, Mich. – The planning commission and city council decided to pass a resolution which will repeal the current outdated ordinance and refer to only state law rather than impose local regulation.

The current state law allows for citizens to obtain medical marijuana under the condition that the citizen is issued proper license and registration. Mason put the idea of an ordinance into consideration because they felt they needed more restriction locally.

“There were a number of things that the planning commission or even the community members wanted to regulate about this issue,” said Commissioner Anne Klein Barna, “but unfortunately or, fortunately, that was just not possible because it was against the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act to do so.”

After investigation of the issue they have decided not to develop a local ordinance to regulate medical marijuana within Mason as well as repeal the ordinance that they currently have in the books for regulating medical marijuana dispensaries.

“Our ordinance basically culminates into a document that essentially reflects the current state law,” said Planning Commission Chairperson David Haywood, “and really doesn’t do much more from that perspective. It essentially just mirrors the state law.”
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Mason superintendent presents bond proposal to City Council

The Mason Times
By Nadia Lorencz

Mason Public Schools superintendent Ronald Drzewicki proposed a $79,000,000 bond and a site sinking fund renewal at the March 21 City Council meeting.

The site sinking fund is a current fund with a term of 10 years. It allows districts to provide funding on a pay as you go basis.

Currently the fund provides about $665,000 annually and has provided for roof repairs, parking lot repaving, well repairs, door and window replacements and other facility updates.

City Council members discuss bond proposal for Mason Public Schools on Monday.

City Council members discuss the bond proposal for Mason Public Schools on Monday.

“We want to invest in our students,” said Drzewicki.

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Mason High School prepares for 13th annual talent show

By Abby Burbary
The Mason Times

Mason High School is preparing for its 13th annual Indoles talent show, where all proceeds will be donated to the Rylan Cotter Memorial scholarship.

According to the MHS website, the show will take place on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19 at 7p.m.

MHS math teacher Steve Jackson said he helped start the show 13 years ago as a student-teaching intern through Michigan State University.

Jackson said the internship required that he take part in a community service project, which is where he produced the idea of showcasing the talent at Mason High School.

“There were many people out there who had amazing talents to show but we never got to see, so we needed a place for that,” Jackson said.

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