Fire Danger

While the fire danger is down somewhat due to the cooler weather and a few showers, things are still on the edge. If you need to burn, please check with Fire Chief Tim McDonough for a permit before lighting that match.

Citizen of the Year

NOTE: Due to being off island, special thanks to Jeff Cashman for the photos and for a copy of Kathy Speck's speech at the Citizen of the Year banquet. Kathy's speech as follows:

Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

We welcome all of you here tonight - we appreciate your support of the Chamber and all of the good work it is doing to promote Beaver Island and its businesses. I hope you will take a few minutes to look at the material, magazine articles, etc., that Steve has laid out for you. I especially want to thank Steve for all of the hard work he does for the Chamber. Of course, we are very excited about the new map in the works. Many, many thanks to Ed Wojan, Jeff Cashman and Bill Cashman for making this all possible. We can't wait to see the finished product!

Since we started the Citizen of the Year award we have had some great letters written about those who tirelessly and sometimes without recognition help to make Beaver Island the special community that it is. We would especially encourage you next year to send us a letter or even just a few lines about a special person or group that you feel has made significant contribution to the community.

This year we had some wonderful letters written about our nominees. We had several nominations for groups -- all who help to make Beaver Island a better place to live, work and visit As you will be able to tell from some of the excerpts I will read about individuals who were nominated, they too have really contributed to Beaver Island's well-being. I wish I could read every letter, but let me tell you about some of the great things that have been said about our nominees.

Beaver Island Wildlife Club was nominated by an individual who says that "the club is important to the Island because the individuals who participate seem to want to 'get to the bottom' of issues such as the lack of sport fishing on the big lake. Not only has Jeff Powers and the group been seriously studying the cormorant issue, but they are also keeping the stock of walleye at Lake Geneserath." " I don't think there is a single person that would not want to see sport fishing - beginning with Lake Geneserath - enjoy a revival." Thank you members of the Wildlife Club for all that you do - feedings, stockings, raffles, dinners – but mostly for really caring about the Island’s wildlife." raffles,

Beaver Beacon and Northernlslander - The person who nominated them together says that "they each do an excellent job of covering what's happening on and what Beaver Island is about in very different ways. The Beacon’s strengths of great color photography and a focus on nature, history and heritage informs and brings a smile to readers. The Northernlstander reports all the news, both good and bad, presents a variety of opinions and focuses on the events and people who shape our unique home. Those of us who live here when it's below zero sometime lose sight of the fact that a majority of 'Islanders’ don't live here year around. They rely on the Beacon and Northernlslander to keep in touch and informed. Without these two fine publications the rumor mill would really get out of hand and our off-Island Islanders would not know where to send their checks to the many fine organizations that make Island life so special."

"We have followed the story of the 'Christmas Boat' closely and would like to nominate The Beaver Island Boat Company and Island Airways to jointly receive the Citizen of the Year Award" The couple who made this nomination says that "these companies acted selflessly, generously, and in the true spirit of Christmas with their combined effort to transport people to be with their loved ones for the holidays. It is just such an act on last Christmas Eve that makes Beaver Island the special place it is for so many people. There are few places in the world where not one but two companies would work together to give up an entire day of revenue for the sole purpose of getting people home for the holidays." "We know that this is just one of the many thoughtful and generous acts each of these companies makes on a routine basis, and we are glad it has received the recognition it has."

The Preservation Association Board of Directors - This person wrote "There's an old saying that is sometimes true: 'No good deed goes unpunished’ We can joke about it on Beaver Island, where some projects seem to take an eternity and face numerous obstacles." "The Preservation Association's Board has overcome many challenges in their dream of building a Community Center for the d of Beaver Island Yet, these folks have never given up. They doggedly pursued the project in spite of difficulties with design, funding, location, parking concerns – you name it." "The chance to once again see the old storefront gracing the harbor will bring joy to many. The facilities will be used by generations of children and seniors and visitors. The performing arts center will bring its own celebration of Island life to us in the form of music, and dance, and other performing arts." "This groupThis group of individuals - past and present - have given of themselves for the good of Beaver Island." I would also like to say that the Chamber of Commerce is looking forward to our new housing in this new community center.

Father Pat Cawley - This individual writes "I have had a few opportunities to spend time with Father and am continually amazed at his humor, calming ability, and sincerity." "I have spoken to many people who mention Father Pat's appearance at the hospital, nursing home, or home when a loved one is ill or if there is a death in the family. I am sure people are not aware of how many miles Father covers to care for his congregation who happens to be scattered from one end of Michigan to the other." "I believe Father Pat embodies all the requirements of 'Citizen of the Year’ - an individual who has made a significant contribution to making Beaver Island a better place to live, work, or visit"

Jack and Judy Gallagher - This person wrote "as both citizens and business owners Jack and Judy give back to the community much more than they take from it." "Jack and Judy are very grateful for the opportunity of having a successful business on Beaver Island. This is in no small part why they are such ardent supporters of other business ventures on the island. When family comes to visit, they are both quick to point out… ‘if you can't find it here you don't need it"' "They have been active and generous contributors to the new Community center. Every citizen will see first hand their commitment, integrity and resolve to see this project through to completion," "Both are very concerned about the environment on the Island. Environmental impact and concerns are factored into every decision - personal and business - they make." "Both have been and will continue to be selfless contributors to the community and citizens of Beaver Island."

Jack Kelly - In this nomination the gentleman wrote, "Jack believes in giving back to the Island and over the past year has demonstrated that with his efforts in the Beaver Island master plan." "Jack volunteered to fly his own plane to aid in the photographic and aerial surveying for the master plan as well as the mapping of Island Trails." "Jack also serves as president of the BIPOA... he has served as a font of knowledge for property owners and in keeping BIPOA directed toward the betterment of Beaver Island" "He understands the struggles of those who make a living on the Island and the need to protect the environment for generations to come."

Helen Pike - One young woman wrote "she is truly a gem of our community. Not only does she bake bread for people who are ill or at a hard time in their lives, but she also goes to visit with them. In these visits I have seen who Helen really is and how much she truly cares for every other human being." "Helen is a person we can all learn from... it doesn't take something big to make you a nominee for citizen of the year; in a lot of ways life is about the little things." Helen was also nominated last year and in my speech I talked about the special rapport she has with her student helpers who thoroughly enjoy her company -- this nomination was written by one of those students. Another letter about Helen was received from the mother of this student helper; she says, "I have had the opportunity to hear of Helen's generous nature first hand from my daughter, who had the honor of driving 'Ms. Daisy' Helen this year." "Among my daughter's 'duties' was to take Helen to various people's houses to drop off soup if they were feeling sick, homemade bread if they were feeling down, or just visiting with them if they were feeling lonely." "What an amazing example Helen set for my daughter, to help those less healthy, less fortunate and give her a chance to speak to people about life that have lived it" "She is tody one of God' s own"

Jim Wojan - One couple wrote, "Correctly he should be nominated as 'Citizen ,of the Years' in recognition of the many years he has devoted to the community through his work as a member of the St James Township Board and various committees." "As a business owner he takes time off his regular employment to donate his time to perform numerous volunteer projects." Another couple wrote "Having known Jim for the past 45 years, we feel he well deserves this honor; his personal and caring personality plus his involvement in the community testify to his qualifications." "Just an all-round good guy!" An individual wrote "I believe it is important for us to recognize folks like Jim who don't make the paper much but do a lot" "Plus, he plows the walk in front of my office door so I don't have so much snow to shovel." Another person wrote, "Jim has been Treasurer of St. James Township since the late 1970's, close to 30 years. While everyone knows that his wife Karen handles the property tax billing and recording for which the Treasurer is paid, Jim has donated countless hours of this time to township board duties for which he receives no extra compensation" "Another service Jim has provided to the community probably no one knows about. While he is paid for this service by Great Lakes Energy, the pay is in no way commensurate with the unpleasantness, inconvenience and danger of the job. When, in the middle of the night, Beaver Islanders sit comfortably in their homes during the ravages of a wind or ice storm, it is usually Jim Wojan who is at the top of a swaying light pole helping to get their lights back on." Another person said, "Jim works tirelessly and with no fanfare for St James Township" "He is a charter member of the Beaver Island Department Fire Department and is the Assistant Fire Chief; when hunters or others are lost and Fire Department is called out, Jim is right there helping to take the lead in finding them," And, "I think he deserves recognition for not only this past year, but literally decades of volunteer service in many areas. "

We had a hard task before us this year trying to choose a Citizen of the Year from the above nominees. After a lot of discussion, the Board has chosen a person who was recognized in several different letters. Some more of the quotes about him were, "…except for a few years when he was away at college, he has lived on Beaver Island his entire adult life, constantly donating his time and talents in a wide variety of ways. . .his donation for road work the Beaver Island Rural Health Center's donors the Traudts amounted to a very substantial savings for the Health Center..." "Most of his unheralded work generally goes unrecognized in the community." "I did not realize just how much he does out of the limelight to make our Island a better place to live work and visit." Like the majority of fire department members, he has long shared responsibility for setting off the fireworks on the 4th of July, a demanding and hazardous job that is key to everyone's enjoyment of the holiday" I might also add here, that because of this fireman and some of our other volunteer firemen, we can enjoy the fireworks with our families -- a luxury that these guys have never had with their own families! "He absolutely makes Beaver Island a better place to live, work and visit - he is the perfect volunteer!"

Thank you everyone for coming out tonight to help us to honor Jim Wojan as our Citizen of the Year!

left to right: Steve West, Kathy Speck and Jim Wojan

Who Done It?

"Who Threw the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy's Chowder ?"  April 28, 2006 at 7:00 PM at Holy Cross Parish Hall $3.00 admission and a great $1.00 a ticket raffle. Mark the date and plan on attending for a terrific show!

PABI Tour of the New Community Center

Story and photos by Frank Solle

Judy Lanier and Ken McDonald, members of the Preservation Assocation of Beaver Island board of directors recently conducted tours of the on-going progress at the Community Center for middle and high school students. PABI has sought input from the Island's youth since the early planning stages of this project as a large part of the initiative was to provide a youth center.

As Lanier pointed out during the tour, "Kids want to be at the heart of thing and that's been our motto during this project at the heart of the community.

The upstairs area of the Community Center will provide the youth center part of the project. The area will be known as 'The Hangout' and will provide a pool table, foosball table, computers with wireless internet connection, a tv for games and videos, a reading area, tables for studying at or playing games, and a kitchen area.

The front of the downstairs will act as a Welcoming Area for Island visitors and will house the Chamber of Commerce office The rear of  the downstairs will be a 150-seat theatre capable of projecting both movies and videos on a large screen. With seats that fold back into the wall, the area will also be available for general events.

Completion of the project is based on funding availability, but Lanier and McDonald said they were hopeful for an end of the year date.

Judy Lanier discusses the projection area with high school students

Judy Lanier leads BICS principal Kitty McNamara and a group of freshmen and sophomores on a tour of the threare area of the Community 

PABI board member Ken McDonald points to the projection and lighting areas high above the floor of the theatre while leading a tour of middle school students through the Community Center.


To Make Your Mouth Water

Start thinking about your favorite flavor of ice cream. Daddy Frank's will be opening the doors for the season on Monday, May 1st. What will it be? Mint chocolate chip? Superman? Soft-serve? It's just one sign that summer is just around the corner. Daddy Franks hours will be 7:00am to 8:00pm until Memorial Day.

Surviving Your Teen

Someone needs to write a book entitled "How to Survive Your Teen". On the parent scale of 1 to 10 we probably ranked a lowly minus 14.5 this weekend. Our 16-year-old normally views the world with rose-colored glasses (or contacts in her case), she sees the glass as half-full, and greets everyone with, "Hi! How are you?" At least she did that up until Wednesday, April 19th.

As we crossed the beautiful, blue waters of northern Lake Michigan on the Emerald Isle our daughter went through some sort of metamorphosis where all those lovely attributes suddenly became growls and snarls. I'm willing to bet that when we weren't looking her head was able to spin around. All this we figure without Dr. Phil's help, was due to teen angst. Stress over taking her driver's road test, getting her license to drive, finding the perfect banquet dress, and having her tonsils out. Ok, yeah, it was a bit stressful for her but it was just as much for us. We've both added thousands of gray hairs to our already abundant supply.

The Road Test. It used to be that the road test was given at the Secretary of State and when you finished that along with the written test you got your license. Not any more. Now it's given separately. Luckily we were able to get her appointment for the dreaded test not long after the boat docked. This was good for us but according to our darling it didn't give her enough time to practice parallel parking with the larger mainland car. So, we headed to the airport parking lot where there was room to give it a shot. Dad offered a suggestion and was ordered out of the car and to wait on a bench. Mom was told to get in the front seat and hush. At this point I didn't dare breathe loudly in fear of her turning into a living gargoyle or something similar. We practiced, and practiced, and practiced some more. Finally Dad was allowed back in, I got to move to the back seat and pretend I wasn't there and we headed off for THE TEST. While Joe and I calmly waited, Andrea was put through the paces and given a road test. She passed easily - which we told her she would.

The License. Off to the Secretary of State office. This was relatively easy. Just walk in, fill out a form, pay your money, and get your picture taken. Well, easy for me who was having mine renewed but not easy for a teen-aged girl who wanted to primp first. It was explained to her that nobody looks at your driver's license picture except the police. Finally she smiled, they snapped it and we were done.

The Dress. Off we headed to Traverse City, checked into our hotel and drove to the mall. Now most everyone knows how much I love any kind of shopping. I'd rather have my toe nails removed slowly with pliers. Joe has much more patience than I do for this type of operation which is because he's always hoping he'll go past some store having a sale on golf equipment. Once at the mall we went through at least 18 stores and looked at 4,237,562 dresses in a multitude of colors and styles. We walked, we looked, we walked, and looked some more. In Marshall Fields Joe about swallowed his tongue when he glanced at the price of one of the dresses.. a mere $475. Needless to say that price was not an option. Andrea ended up finding the perfect dress in the first store and it was the first one she'd looked at. Amazing. With a lighter wallet and some mighty sore feet we headed out for what would be Andrea's last meal before the surgery.

The Tonsils. The hospital explained that she couldn't have anything to eat or drink from eleven in the evening until after her surgery which was scheduled for 4:30 the following afternoon. Have you ever been stuck in a car on a hot day with a starving teen? About the only thing more fun would be sticking your foot under a semi's back tire and asking him to drive over it again and again. Finally it was time to go to the hospital. For the strangers at the hospital she was her normal, cheerful self but the minute they would step out the door the other face would appear. Ok, stress again. We can handle this. By eight in the evening we were headed back to the hotel and bed for the patient. Once the meds wore off the sore throat of the century made an appearance. We're still dealing with that but it looks as though the old Andrea is coming back slowly. It might just be the incentive that she can now drive my car. I may have to resort to the rollerblades.

Transfer Station Hours

Starting May 1, the Transfer Station will operate 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Job Opening

The Beaver Island Waste Management Committee will be taking applications for a part-time employee at the Transfer Station. This is a part-time position, approximately 38 hours per week in the summer time. Winter time hours would be an on call basis. For further inforamtion contact: Jean Palmer, Chairman, Waste Management Committee, 448-2915. Letter of interest must be received by May 10, 2006 at Box 85, Beaver Island, MI 49782.