05-19-2019 LMC’s Fab Lab offers summer camps for every kind of maker; Watervliet City Commission vot

PELTON APPOINTED TO PLANNING COMMISSION… As city manager Tyler Dotson looked on, Watervliet mayor David Brinker gives the oath of office Tuesday evening to Robert Pelton, the newly appointed member of the planning commission. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Watervliet City Commission votes to create ordinance to opt out of recreational pot

By Kristy Noack The Watervliet City Commission voted Tuesday evening, May 7 to authorize city manager Tyler Dotson to create a new ordinance “opting out” of the business of recreational marijuana. Dotson will work with Jessica Fette of Banyon Fette Law Office, the city’s attorney of record, to craft ordinance language which will then be presented to the commission for approval. If the commission approves the ordinance, businesses that engage in recreational marijuana would not be allowed to operate within the city limits. The city commission could, at a later date, chose to opt back in and allow businesses that deal in recreational marijuana to operate once additional ordinances are on the books. Dotson recommended “to opt out right now until we know what the laws are” regarding licensing, state requirements, as well as the effects on local services. On November 6 last year, Michigan voters passed Proposal 1 to allow the sale of recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana had been previously legalized in November 2008. The City of Watervliet chose to not allow medical marijuana facilities as recommended by the city’s planning commission. Because the recreational marijuana ballot measure passed last November, each community state-wide was effectively “opted in” to allow for growing, processing, transportation, provisioning, and testing facilities. All facilities and licenses are overseen by the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA), a department of Michigan’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

Asset Management Plan update City commissioners also received an update from Dotson on the progress of the city’s Asset Management Plan (AMP). Dotson told commissioners, “Everything is moving forward as planned. The more we get involved in this plan, the more excited I get.” The goal of the AMP is create an in depth list of the city’s assets, their condition and current status, and potential plan involving repair, replacement, and costs. Dotson said opportunities exist in which the city “could realize hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings.” One example given was the Inflow and Infiltration (I & I) program, which refers to “clean” rain or storm water that runs through the city’s sanitary sewer system. Frank LaPierre of Wightman, the city’s engineering firm, explained that “inflow and infiltration is quite common in a lot of water systems.” Dotson commented that the I & I program would track how much clean (i.e., rain) water enters the sewer system and is routed through the filtration plant, effectively “cleaning” it again. Dotson explained the cost savings of not passing clean water through the filtration plant could reach 50-75% annually. “We are cleaning a lot of clean water,” he commented. He suggested there are additional ways the AMP would save the city money when addressing infrastructure needs.

Other business In other business, the city approved the payment of $79,358.76 in accounts payable expenses and $49,287.58 in payroll expenses for the month of April. The city also set May 16 through May 18 as the city-wide garage sale dates. A permit is not required for this event. If you are interested in participating, please contact city hall by May 10 to be added to a site list that will be available to the public. Free two-yard dump passes to Orchard Hill Sanitary Landfill will again be available to city residents as in years past. The one-time pass will be available at city hall and must be used May 13 through June 13. The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has a new member. Sharon Crotser-Toy, librarian at the Watervliet District Library, has been appointed to the DDA. Also receiving a new member is the city’s Planning Commission. Resident Robert Pelton was on hand and took the oath of office Tuesday evening after being appointed to the board.

Special meeting May 20 A special meeting has been set for May 20 at city hall to review the recreational marijuana ordinance language, as well as the status of the High View Drain Project, as the bid opening will be held Thursday, May 9. The public is encouraged to attend the meeting.

LMC’s Fab Lab offers summer camps for every kind of maker

Lake Michigan College is offering 13 Fab Lab summer camps and workshops for kids and adults to have fun while creating unique projects and developing new skills. From drones and video games to ukuleles and birdhouses, there’s a camp for every kind of maker. Information and registration is available at www.lakemichigancollege.edu /fablab/calendar or by emailing fablab@lakemichigancollege.edu.

Drone Information and Live Flying Session, June 13, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. This daylong event is for drone hobbyists ages 12 and older. Students will learn about different types of drones and equipment, how to fly drones safely, and will take a safety pre-certification flying test before flying a drone around LMC’s campus. Practice drones are included but participants are welcome to bring their own. Any video footage and pictures captured during practice time will be provided to students. Lunch is also included. Cost is $55.

Minecraft Modders, June 17-20, 8:45-11:45 a.m. Students ages eight to 14 will learn the basics of modding and the foundations of programming using the game Minecraft. Students will work in pairs or teams to learn topics including scripting and logic statements, and introductory coding. Beginners are welcome and returning students can create advanced projects that build on previous experience. Students must own a Java version of Minecraft to access their projects at home. Completed projects will be shareable with friends and family. This camp is in partnership with Black Rocket Productions digital arts camps series. Cost is $139. This course is currently full, but waitlists are accepted by emailing fablab@lakemichigancollege.edu

Art Summer Camp, June 17-20, 1:30–4:30 p.m. This four-day camp is for kids ages seven to12 who want to create art in the Fab Lab. Activities include lasering canvases, painting, learning about Tangrams, and pattern blocks to stimulate learning math concepts through art. Open lab time will immediately follow the camp, so students will have the option to stay if they would like to work on other projects. Friends and family are welcome to join campers during the open lab time. Registration closes June 10. Cost is $129.

Battle Royale! Make a Fortnite style video game, June 24-27, or August 5-8, 8:45–11:45 a.m. Students will work in teams to design their own video games using professional 3D game development software, build levels and assets inspired by popular battle royale games like Fortnite. This course includes cartoonish action and battle sequences. Student-created games will be available on a password protected website to share with friends and family. This camp is in partnership with Black Rocket Productions digital arts camp series. Beginner to advanced levels are welcome. Cost is $139.

Boot Summer Camp, June 24-27, or August 5-8, 1:30-4:30 p.m. This four-day camp is for students ages eight and older who want to learn how to use all the equipment in LMC’s Fab Lab. Fab Lab Techs will help guide participants through a wide variety of projects and machines of their choice. Options include projects using lasers, leather engraving, sewing and embroidery, woodshop, 3D printing, computer design software and 3D modeling. Each participant will have 12 hours of time to create and complete as many projects as they desire. Friends and family are welcome to join campers during the open lab time after camp. Registration closes June 17. Cost is $139. The June 24 camp is currently full, but waitlists are being accepted at fablab@lakemichigancollege.edu

Cosplay Summer Camp, July 8-11, 1:30-4:30 p.m. LMC’s Cosplay Club members will teach students how to create their own super hero, super villain or gaming character and unique costume to go along with it. Students will create masks, capes and props for each newly created character using lasers, 3D printers, vinyl cutters and sewing machines. Friends and family are welcome to join campers during open lab time following the camp. Registration closes July 1. Cost is $119.

Make your first 3d game with Unity, July 15-18, 8:45–11:45 a.m. Students ages eight to 14 will work in teams to design 3D video games. With Unity, an industry-grade design software, aspiring game designers will learn level editing, 3D modeling, impactful gameplay creation, and how to utilize scripts and variables. Beginners are welcome and returning students can create advanced projects that build on previous experience. Student-created games will be available on a password protected website to share with friends and family. This camp is in partnership with Black Rocket Productions digital arts camps series. Cost is $139.

Building Decorative Birdhouses, July 15-18, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Students ages ten to 15 will construct and decorate a birdhouse using power tools and a laser engraver and cutter. Staff will teach students how to safely use lab equipment, and how to personalize their designs. Friends and family are welcome to join students during open lab time following the camp. Registration closes July 8. Cost is $119.

Roblox Coders and Entrepreneurs, July 22, 8:45-11:45 a.m. Students ages eight to 14 will discover how to code in the Lua language while playing and designing worlds in the online universe, ROBLOX. Campers will learn game design concepts, coding and how to publish their games. Lake Michigan College has partnered with Black Rocket Productions to offer this camp. Cost is $139.

Virtual Reality Implementation Camp, July 22-25, 1:30-4:30 p.m. This four-day camp is for students ages eight to 18 years old who are interested in Virtual Reality (VR). Topics include real world uses for VR, equipment like HTC Vive, and the differences between VR and Augmented, or Mixed Reality. Students will work in teams to play games and use VR to learn about science and explore out-of-reach environments like space. Each camper will create a memory souvenir of their VR experience. This camp is limited to the first 12 registrants. Cost is $139.

Roblox Makers – Digital Arts Summer Camp, July 29 – August 1, 8:45–11:45 a.m. Campers ages eight to 14 will work in teams to unlock the power of ROBLOX Studio, the world creation tool used by real-world developers. Campers will learn how to build 3D models to create adventures and bring characters to life with unique animations of their design.

Student-created projects will be available on a password protected website to share with friends and family. This camp is in partnership with Black Rocket Productions digital arts camp series. Cost is $139. Ukulele Building and Music Camp, July 29-August 1, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Students ages eight and older will build, decorate, and string their own ukulele, and then learn to play it. Students will use laser cutting and Adobe Illustrator to decorate their instrument. Registration closes July 22. Cost is $129.

Arcade Building, August 12-15, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Students of all ages will create their own old school-style wooden tabletop arcade machine. Participants will construct and design a game cabinet, and assemble the electronics required to play dozens of available games including Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Frogger and Galaga. This workshop is perfect for do-it-yourselfers, vintage game fanatics, or families that would like to do a project together. Up to three participants can be covered under one registration fee. Registration closes August 5. No prior woodworking or software knowledge is needed. Cost is $425 per arcade machine and includes all equipment and up to three students. Located in the Hanson Technology Center on Lake Michigan College’s Benton Harbor Campus, the Fab Lab is a community space for people to learn science, technology, engineering, and math skills through hands-on learning. Students can experiment with digital fabrication technology including 3D Printers, Laser Cutters, and Vinyl Cutters. The Fab Lab is designed for students to develop problem-solving skills by trying to make things, sometimes failing, re-thinking and trying again to make the design better. LMC encourages creative thinking, determination and exposure to new technologies.

VBDL offers ‘A Universe of Stories’ this summer

Van Buren District Library promises a cosmic collection of events and activities during its annual summer reading program, May 28 through August 17. This year’s theme, “A Universe of Stories,” explores out of this world subjects such as the solar system, astronauts, rockets, aliens and more.

Summer highlights include the portable planetarium from the Curious Kids’ Museum, June 19, at VBDL Antwerp Sunshine Branch, Mattawan; MSUE’s “Rockets to the Rescue,” June 27, in Covert, and June 28, in Bangor; and Mr. Jim’s Magic Space Camp, August 7, in Bloomingdale. VBDL Lawrence Community Branch presents Joel Tacey’s “Space Magic,” July 30, Gobles hosts an Alien Canvas painting party, July 18, and Webster Memorial, Decatur, celebrates Apollo 11 with Kalamazoo Air Zoo’s “Fly Me to the Moon,” June 21.

VBDL has extended the annual reading program from eight weeks to twelve; however, children will continue to register for groups that correspond with the grade they enter in the fall. Contact the nearest VBDL location for information on teen and adult reading groups, goals and events.

A Universe of Stories is free and open to the public. For more information phone 269-423-4771, email info@vbdl.org, or stop by the library at 200, North Phelps Street, Decatur.

Van Buren District Library is headquartered in Decatur with branches in Bangor, Bloomingdale, Covert, Gobles, Lawrence and Mattawan.

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