It's a Blustery Day as Winnie-the-Pooh Would Say

High winds, some gusts recorded as surpassing 49 mph, hit the island during the night and early part of Thursday morning. Plane trips to and from the island allowed one to imagine they were on a Cedar Point ride according to one soul who arrived. "Over the lake it was smooth but over land it was rather bumpy." Island Airways pilots do an excellent job flying to and from the island and it shows on days like this. The ferry didn't head out into the waves thanks to the Captains' being well aware of the dangers of Lake Michigan on stormy days. Unfortunately a photograph doesn't illustrate the size of the waves nor the strength of the wind. Suffice it to say that out on Gull Harbor it was difficult to stand still against it. The winds are calming down just as the weather man said it would... he also said we could be into an accumulation of snow this weekend (shiver, shiver, shake).


New Parking Lot Underway

The new parking lot designated to make the playground area more safe is underway. This winter trees and brush were cut down marking the area. Schwartzfisher Stoneworks received the bid for the road easement and parking.


Letter to the Editor

The Americorps Program emphasizes No Bullying programs such as the Don't Laugh at Me series that I presented to our 7th and 8th graders. Toward the end of the series, it suggests that you take your "commitment of caring" out into your community. I suggested that we do something for National Volunteer Week, getting input from not only the kids but the teachers and other staff members. Ms. McNamara suggested that we go large and the rest is history.

One small group of 7th and 8th graders identified 32 Volunteer Organizations on Beaver Island, wrote to those organizations and asked for a list of Volunteers from the past 6 months or year. they ten wrote to local businesses and asked for some small token of appreciation to give our Volunteer Heroes. We received lists totaling more than 300 volunteers and gifts from 29 local businesses for a total of 48 gifts. Each day during National Volunteer Week (April 18-25), names of volunteers were drawn to win a prize!

We made big signs and posted themaround our town recognizing volunteer groups and their individual members. We received a lot of positive feedback from this. NO ONE seemed to realize just how many volunteers our town has. We certainly didn't!

I know, as a volunteer coordinator for a couple of groups, I had to sit and think for a minute, and try not to forget anyone. I wonder how many people had to do that. The sheer number of people we count on every day just to make our lives a little better is astounding. A comment was made to me regarding the fact that here we had 32 opportunities to give back to our community, and with over 300 volunteers, the other 175 people or so had better be under 10, or over 80. Hmmm.. I'm not even accepting that. Hospice has a volunteer well into her 80's and a couple of our churches have children under 10 that make the commitment to volunteer. Hopefully you saw those signs around town, and hopefully your name was on one. If it wasn't, better get a cuttin' and see what you can do for your community! Maybe you will win a prize next year, or maybe just knowing that everyone thinks of you as a hero is enough.

Michelle LaFreniere
Americorp Member
Char-Em ISD's Americorp Program
Serving at Beaver Island Community School

Message from Deputy Campbell

With the advent of spring and another busy tourist season on Beaver Island some words on traffic safety are appropriate.

The Charlevoix County Sheriff's Office would like to remind all residents, both permanent and seasonal, as well as tourists, that Beaver Island is a part of the State of Michigan. Although our isolation and sometimes laid-back life style might suggest otherwise, we must all abide by the laws enacted by our State Legislature.

Because of the increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic that this season brings to our Island we should all review our driving habits. Adherence to the posted speed limites and to all traffic control devices will go a long way in promoting safety in the down town area. Maintaining a resonable speed and being cautious on the Island's predominantly dirt roads is also very important.

During 2003 we had three personal injury accidents on Beaver Island. Two of these were excess speed related accidents. Fortunately there were no serious injuries but in one case it was necessary to "fly-off" six injured persons. This has become incredibly expensive and in itself should be a deterrent to careless or reckless driving.

There have been some complaints expressed to the Sheriff concerning excessive speed on Beaver Island. The Sheriff's Office is reactive to citizen complaints and additional emphasis will be placed on traffic safety this spring and summer in an effort to keep Beaver Island a safe, healthy and pleasant place to live and visit.

In a different, but related matter, the Sheriff's Office has researched the ORV-golf cart issue that came up during the summer of 2003. Specifically, there is a law in the Michigan Motor Vehicle Laws that allows the operation of an ORV or a golf cart along the public roadway. A township or other municipality may adopt this law as part of its local ordinances and may issue permits to "disabled persons" to operate ORVs or golf carts within township limits. However, the term is very specifically defined and medical certification of a disability is required.

Until such a law is adopted by the townships enforcemtn of the ORV-golf cart operation on the public roadways will remain the same. That being, a written warning on the first violation and a Uniform Law citation on subsequent offences. This is sure to make some residents unhappy, but as stated above, we must live by the same laws that govern all of Michigan.

Have a safe spring and summer.


Deputy Sheriff
J. A. Campbell

Guess Who

You may remember from previous years the Guess Who. Can you guess who this young man is? No hints... just look closely you may recognize him. Check back next week for the answer.

How Observant Were YOU?

Last weeks' picture was a fairly easy one. The old Ethyl gas pump. How many of you remembered where on the island you've seen it? Click on the picture to see if you were correct.

Class of 2004

The Beaver Island Lighthouse School at the south end of the island has a large graduating class this year with thirteen students wearing caps and gowns. Congratulations to: Florina Smith, Helen Lawson, Joey Wright, Jon Hebert, Joe Crowe, James Walton, Cody Mavis, Caleb Cosselman, Chris Edgington, Noah Langworthy, Craig Boyce, Josh Keller, and Bob Johns. Our best wishes to the graduates as they set off on the rest of their lives.

Laffin' School

The 12th annual 5th and 6th Graders' play will be on April 30 at 7:00 p.m. at Holy Cross Parish Hall. This year the class is presenting "Laffin' School", a very funny production set in the "way cool" 1960's. It seems that the students at the Little Red School House have driven their teacher up the wall and out the door. The substitute teacher is in for some surprises as she tries to prepare this wild bunch of kids for their final exams. Can they really be this dumb, or are they up to some trick?

As usual the 5th and 6th graders are working on all aspects of this production - sets, costumes, publicity, and expert comedic acting.

This event is out big find raiser for the 4 day trip to Camp Hayo-Went-Ha. Tickets are $3.00. We have received numberous donations for our little $1.00 a ticket raffle that adds to the enjoyment of the evening.

Don't miss the show. It will be the talk of the town!

Beaver Island Dinner Theatre

Mother's Day is being celebrated in high style at the very first Beaver Island Dinner theatre event, "An Evening with Stephen Sondheim", held on May 8th at Holy Cross Hall. At 5:30 p.m. dinner ticket holders will gather for cocktails (beer and wine available at the bar), with the buffet served at 6:00 p.m.

Chef Deborah Harwood will serve a roasted pork loin, Mediterranean chicken, roasted new potatoes, wild rice and apple salad, mixed greens salad and seasonal vegetables. Coffee and tea are included with the meal. After the preformance, slated to begin at 8;00 p.m., guests will enjoy a Venetian dessert table featuring assorted pastries and pies.

The cast for the musical production has been in rehersal since January. Production numbers and solos that spotlight Sondheim's work include songs from: Sweeny Todd, A Little Night Music and Into the Woods. Sondheim is noted for his syncopated music and witty lyrics in productions like West Side Story, Gypsy and Anyone Can Whistle.

Pinky Harmon will serve as narrator, adding interesting commentary about Sondheim, who is noted for his whimsical approach to musical theatre and the sometimes dark humor in his pieces. Mike Scripps, Judi Meister and Brenda LaFevre will act as accompanists for the event.

LeFevre and Elaine West co-directed the show and say a real treat is in store for the audience.

The cast includes: Jayne Bailey, Melissa Bailey, Phil Becker, Bill Detwiler, Shirley Detwiler, Susie Fisher, Bob Hamil, Brenda LeFevre, Christ McMullen, Judi Meister, Don Meister, Elaine West and Kirby Volz. Volz, a friend and fellow civic theatre performer of LeFevre and West, is joining the cast from his home in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Lighting, sound and stage design is being handled by Bob Hamel. Shirley Detwiler is stage manager for the production.

In addition to the cast and crew, students at the Lighthouse School on the island have been involved in the show: welcoming and seating guests, working as crew backstage and assisting with artwork for the event under the direction of Artistic Coordinator Krys Lyle. Harwood assembled a group of volunteers from the community to assist her with the buffet and dessert portions of the evening. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Beaver Island Music Fund, which was established by Harwood and opera singer Martha Guth to promote musical events on Beaver Island.

Tickets are still available for the dinner theatre. They are $30 per person. Checks may be made out to: Brenda LeFevre - Dinner Theatre, and mailed to P. O. Box 26, Beaver Island, MI 49782.

Page Two of the News on the 'Net