Building Twenty-One Reopens Skatepark, supplying opportunities for teens

By Ben Stram
The Mason Times

Almost a year ago an old run-down skate church and bike church were taken over by Building Twenty-One and the transformation impacted many. With help from professional BMX rider Cory Wiergowski, renovations advanced and word spread. That transformation was completed when the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors cut the ribbon Wednesday, Oct. 14, officially reopening the indoor skate park for students ages 8 and up. One of the more popular activities the park offer is the free drop-in for seventh to twelfth grade students after school on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 2:30 and 6 p.m.
The ramps are open for skateboarders in seventh grade and above 5-9 p.m. Tuesdays.

Mason’s population is growing and changing

By Amanda Cowherd
Mason Times staff writer
Mason’s population increased almost 23 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to the census, and growth continues. By 2020, there will be 10,000 people living in Mason, compared to the 8,252 recorded in the last census, predicted Chamber of Commerce Director Douglas Klein. Klein said that Dart Container Corporation’s acquisition of Solo Cup Company in 2012 has brought the largest influx of residents—especially to the western part of Mason. Dart built a large warehouse in the past six months and will finish building a new administration building by the end of the summer. Klein said Dart hired 300 employees for its Mason facilities.

MMUGS creates a community of ukulele players

By Amanda Cowherd
Mason Times staff writer

Mid-Michigan Ukulele Group Strum met on Saturday, March 22, to play and sing along to Elvis Presley songs. MMUGS founder Terry Hill said he has gotten involved in the ukulele community in Michigan and beyond. Hill visited Australia last month because of fellow ukulele players he met through Facebook. Mason resident David Birney has spent the past year making ukuleles for friends. Anyone—musically talented or not—is welcome to come to the next MMUGS meeting on Saturday, April 26.

Mason Middle School updates stimulate student growth

By Micaela Colonna
Mason Times staff writer

The Mason Board of Education met Monday, March 10, at Mason Middle School to discuss changes to the building’s appearance, as well as recent advances in the classroom. The meeting included updated curricula information and a school tour by Principal Dan McConeghy. Updates have appeared in Jake Lator’s classroom. The Mason seventh and eighth grade math teacher has incorporated Response to Intervention, a learning approach to help struggling students, as well as iPads and BuzzMath into his lectures to help stimulate an eagerness to learn. McConeghy said he believes using this 21st century technology will pique student interest in mathematics.

Changes to CATA route could improve commute between Mason and Lansing

By Daniel Hamburg
Mason Times staff writer

A grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is helping to gather input from citizens in Mason and Lansing about adding additional CATA bus service between both cities. Route 46, the bus route between Mason and Lansing, runs one northbound trip daily at 7:05 a.m. from downtown Mason, and one southbound trip at 5 p.m. from the CATA transportation center in downtown Lansing. Doug Klein, executive director of the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce, said the proposed change would add one more bus in the morning and evening, possibly an hour later than both times, alleviating problems of many people working a 9 to 5 job. The Mason Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Mason and the Mid-Michigan Program for Greater Sustainability are some of the organizations looking to determine if adding routes would benefit both CATA and citizens who live or work in Mason. Julie Powers, executive director of the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council, says the grant of about $5,000 is being used to assess the need of more public transportation, as well as enable community members to get involved in the transportation planning process.

A Mason Valentine’s Day filled with food and wine specials

By Graciella Oteto
Mason Times staff writer

As love is in the air, three Mason restaurants prepare for Valentine’s Day with drink specials, candy and special reservations this Friday. The Vault Delicatessen, a family owned independent business, offers special wine orders, candy and gift cards. Along with daily popular items like the Three Cheese Semolina bread, the deli also contains various wines, including several Michigan products. Mason resident and employee Sarah Thompson said the busiest time for business is usually during lunch.This year the deli is also selling new types of wine for the holiday, including one titled 50 Shades of Grey. “We’ve got Mason Blue too.