They've Returned

Like our human snowbirds, the Beavers of 25722 McCauley Road have made a return appearance.  They haven't flooded the road at all, and sure manage to make travelers on it enjoy the view of their job site.  A series of dams make the ditch water tier down in steps.  They did ignore the "do not dig" red sign that indicates a buried cable.  Perhaps they are using the cable to keep track of the Millionaire or Survivor? or their planning on installing electricity to the lodge for the youngsters computers and video games?  

Other visible signs of spring are the pussy willows and crocus blossoming and of course pot-holes and dust.  

We're Growing





St. James Township 276 307 11.2%
Peaine Township 128 224 90.6%

As you can see by the graph above, the island population is growing.  This census counts not just the year-round residents, but includes those who fall into "homesteading" and may spend part of the year in other locations.

First Scheduled Ferry

The "official" beginning of the season.. the ferry began it's scheduled runs today and will continue into December.  Although almost all of the snow has melted away, thanks to the wind, rain and warm weather, the "Emerald Isle" had to work her way into her slip due to quite a few ice flows.

The harbor is pretty much free of ice thanks to the ice-breaker coming in and a few fish tugs working their way across the bay.  But the small chunks managed to lodge themselves into various nooks around the docks.

Just prior to the ferry's arrival this machine was reaching its long arm down into the slip breaking up the larger pieces of ice.  



Low Water

The Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers reports that the level of Lake Michigan today is five inches below the level of one year ago today.  The level is 7 inches above the all-time low monthly mean for April which was recorded in 1964.  The level for May is expected to be about three inches above today's level.

So how's the harbor for boaters?  As it stands today,  the only dredging that will be done is managerial about the ferry dock .  According to St. James Township Supervisor, Don Vyse, the municipal dock will be receiving some dredging next year when it's revamped but that they should be able to squeak by for another season as is.

Boaters, keep in mind that the water level is low and use caution operating your craft.  Rocks and submerged pilings are being seen so as the 2001 season gets underway, be careful while enjoying the waters around the Beaver Archipelago.

  Photo taken April 2001

 Photo taken July 2000

GHB: Know How to Protect Yourself

Submitted by Tammy McDonough, Commissioner; Michigan Women's Commission

GHB.  It's a rape drug.  It's short for Gamma Hydroxybutyrate, a chemical concoction of lye and degreaser, with the recipe readily found on the Internet.  Predators use it to commit sexual assault.  They slip GHB, a colorless, virtually tasteless liquid into unsuspecting victims' drinks, incapacitating them.  GHB causes symptoms of extreme intoxication, slurred speech, eventually evoking a deep sleep, and sometimes coma or death.

I learn about GHB at my first meeting as a Commissioner on the Michigan Women's Commission.  As a woman, and as a mother, I was shocked to learn this deadly drug was being used not only in big cities, but small communities much like the Island that I live on with my family.  In fact, the Michigan State Police have identified counties in Michigan as GHB "trouble spots", and Emmet and Mackinac counties are among those.  It didn't hit home, however, until one of my family members served on a jury this past fall in Charlevoix, Michigan that involved a GHB poisoning.  This destructive drug is closer to home than I realized.

Know how to protect yourself from a predator.  First, never accept a drink from anyone you don't know or trust with your life.  Watch your glass at all times, never take your hand or eye off your drink!  Watch out for your friends and those around you and employ the buddy system at all times.

How do you know if someone is poisoned with GHB?  If they appear intocicated, but you know they have only had one or two drinks, have slurred speech, no expression or animation, then they may have ingested GHB.  If their body is limp, or comatose, their life is in danger!

What can you do to help someone who may have been poisoned?  Call 911 or go directly to the nearest hospital and take the drink with you so it can be tested.  Ask for a blood and urine test for rape drugs.  Traces in the bloodstream can disappear after only we hours, so the faster you can get to the hospital, the better.

GHB is illegal.  In 1998 Governor Engler signed legislation adding GHB to the list of Schedule 1 drugs (this schedule includes drugs such as cocaine and heroin).  If you are caught delivering, possessing with the intent of delivering or manufacturing the drug, you will be given up to 7 years in prison, up to a $10,000 fine or both.  If you are caught possessing the drug, you will be given up to 2 years in prison, a $2,000 fine or both.  If you are caught using the drug, you will be given up to one year in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.  And if the drug is used for sexual assault, you could face up to life in prison 

For more information on GHB, contact the MIchigan Women's Commission at 517-373-2884 or visit   To learn more about the Michigan Women's Commission, visit their website at 

Focusing On...

Inland Seas School of Kayaking

Original photo by Ken Bruland

Please click here to learn more about it

5th & 6th School Play

Bits and Bytes

Bits and Bytes will be presented at the Holy Cross Parish Hall on May 4th at 7:00 p.m.  Admission is $3.00/person and raffle tickets are $1/each.  

Bits and Bytes is about fairy tales and nursery rhymes on a computer disk.  At first they are doing ok and everything's normal and then Virus shows up.  Virus wants to take over the disk and get the characters memories.  This makes Virus stronger.  Bit and Bytes come and help.  

The cast consists of: Eric Albin as Jack Horner; Brittany Crandal as Wolf 2; Leah Cary as Smiley; Brenden Martin as Jack Nimble; Daniel Runberg as Jack Beanstalk; Maureen Meis as Mama Bear; Andrea Moore as Jacque Hill; Melissa Peters as Silly; Kevin Gillespie as Wolf 1; Samantha Kuligoski as Practical Pig; Sagan Croswhite as Byte; Jared Wojan as Peter Rabbit; Bailey McDonough as Queen; Emma Adams as Witch; Brenna Green as Little Red Riding Hood; Dave Swartzfisher as Bit; David Bousquet as Crabby; Rita Palmer as Goldilocks; and Cory Sowa as Virus.

Money earned from the production will help the 5th and 6th grades go to Camp again this year as a reward for the long, cold hours of doing safety patrol at the Beaver Island Community School. Plan on attending... you are guaranteed a great time!

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