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diggler
post May 15 2016, 05:35 PM
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Valpo premiere of 'Shifting Sands' documentary Monday

Times Staff

VALPARAISO — The locally produced documentary "Shifting Sands on the Path to Sustainability" will have its Porter County premiere at 7 p.m. Monday at the Porter County Administration Center.

The documentary was filmed all along the south shore of Lake Michigan, an area known as the birthplace of ecological science in North America. It describes the 90-year history of the Indiana Dunes State Park as well as the controversy around the designation of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore 50 years ago.

It also focuses on the emerging partnerships between government, business and environmentalist on restoring the dunes and making it sustainable for future generations.

The viewing is free.

A reception and question and answer program will be held following the premiere, at 8 p.m., at Greek's Pizza.

The event is sponsored by the Valparaiso Chain of Lakes Group. For more information, call Walter Breitinger at (219) 462-5821.
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diggler
post Apr 26 2019, 06:50 AM
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Work resumes on state park pavilion restoration; group continues to oppose project

Joyce Russel

CHESTERTON — Work has begun again on the restoration of the pavilion at the Indiana Dunes State Park.

It is also meeting with continued protests.

"The DNR (Indiana Department of Natural Resources) still hasn’t obtained a Certificate of Approval from the Historic Preservation Review Board,” Jim Sweeney, Dunes Action co-founder, said this week in a news release. "By re-starting construction without one, we believe they are in violation of Indiana law, so we’ve reported this violation to the Porter County Prosecutor."

Tara Wolf, director of communications from the DNR, disagrees, saying the DNR has been issued a letter of clearance.

The prosecutor's office has also declined to act on the latest complaint, she said.

Wolf provided a letter dated Jan. 28, 2015, to Pavilion Partners LLC managing partner Chuck Williams. The letter indicates the Department of Historic Preservation Review Board granted the permit with qualifications earlier in January 2015.

Dunes Action and others groups have been protesting plans to restore the pavilion and the contract awarded by the DNR to Pavilion Partners LLC in 2011 to renovate the deteriorating pavilion and operate food services at the state park. They also object to the construction of a banquet facility at the site.

Although Dunes Action is generally supportive of the pavilion restoration, the group objects to the addition of two balconies, the use of the concrete promenade below them for dining areas, and the addition of a glass-walled bar on the pavilion roof, all of which affect its architectural design and integrity, Sweeney said.

On Thursday, Pavilion Partners member Tom Collins confirmed workers had begun removal of masonry around the windows in preparation for installing new windows which will be reflective of the pavilion's origin. A construction fence has been placed around the area for safety.

Collins said the group received a construction design release from the state Jan. 4 allowing them to continue the renovation process.

Collins said the project is in full swing and will move forward with the goal of completion by May 1, 2020.

The group constructed restroom and shower facilities about three years ago.
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