Letter to the Beaver Island Community

Please check out the Forum for a letter to the Beaver Island Community from Susan Meis.  

From the Deputy Sheriff

As a result of increasing traffic on Beaver Island and increasing complaints regarding golf carts, ATVs, mopeds and scooters the Charlevoix County Sheriff's Office will be taking a new direction in enforcement practices with regard to these vehicles.

In the past the Sheriff's Office has handled complaints directed toward these vehicles by issuing verbal warnings to the operators.  From this point on the Sheriff's Office will respond to this type of complaint by first writing a warning citation and following up with Uniform Traffic Violations for repeated infractions.

To be specific, the Beaver Island Deputy Sheriffs will be targeting the operation of golf carts and ATVs on the public roadways.  We will respond to violations with one written warning and a Uniform Law Citation for unregistered motor vehicle on a second offence.

There is one exception for golf cart use.  Any one who can demonstrate a need to use a golf cart for transportation will be issued a permit by their Township.  Sheriff Lasater is presently working with your township officials to develop language for an ordinance to regulate this use of golf carts.

In addition, we will be enforcing the helmet law for operators of mopeds and scooters.  Anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet while operating a moped or scooter.  Please remember, a moped is a two or three wheeled vehicle with an engine displacement of 50cc or less.  A dirt bike with an engine displacement of greater than 50cc must be registered and have the proper safety equipment, including head light, brake light, turn signals and front and rear brakes.

These regulations are not new to Michigan, but the stricter enforcement of these laws is new to Beaver Island.  The Sheriff's Office is obligated to protect the citizens of Charlevoix County and this includes Beaver Island.  I hope this letter serves as fair warning of the increased enforcement measures that will be taken.  Again, this is in response to increased complaints regarding these vehicles.


Deputy Sheriff

Jim Campbell

CCG Buys Block of BIRHC Truck Tickets

The Concerned Citizens Group FOR Beaver Island Rural Health Center (CCG) heard from the BIRHC Board the raffle ticket sales are down this year with two weeks remaining before the drawing.  The board expressed that they fear the recent controversy relative to the BIRHC Board and the public has impacted ticket sales.  Although the CCG is vehement about several concerns it has with the BIRHC Board, both groups are in total agreement that it is OUR medical center. The CCG has obtained pledges to purchase 5 tickets ($500) in support of OUR medical center.  Additionally, the CCG has pledged to donate the cash value of the truck ($15,000) as a contribution to the medical center should one of the tickets it purchases be the winning ticket.  Their challenge to the BIRHC Board and community is that others make a similar commitment and pledge.

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BIRHC Board member Gerald LaFreniere hands Kirk McBride 5 raffle tickets in exchange for pledges for 5 tickets as Carol Wierenga, John Robert and little John Brady Robert look on

If anyone would like to pledge a contribution to the CCG for the purchase of additional tickets, John Robert, Treasurer, CCG will accept any pledge from $10 to $100.  Once the total tickets are purchased, the ticket numbers of each ticket will be published. 

Congratulations Elaine!

One of Elaine West's photographs of Beaver Island in the autumn has been selected as the cover for the Western Michigan Tourist Association Fall/Winter Edition of West Michigan: Carefree Travel guide.  100,000 copies will be printed with Elaine's stunning photo gracing the front cover.  Way to go, Elaine!

In addition, the WMTA has planned a special editorial feature on "Islands in Autumn" to launch the September  Travel Tips e-newsletter to their 12,000+ subscribers and as a home-page feature on www.wmta.org  so check it out next month.

From the West Michigan Tourist Association

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- August 12, 2003

Let WMTA point you in the right direction for fall colors

(GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.) -- Beaver Island has joined the ranks of West Michiganís best fall color tour destinations, premiering on the pages of the all-new Fall/Winter Edition of West Michigan: Carefree Travel. Published annually by the West Michigan Tourist Association (WMTA), the 2003-04 edition offers maps and turn-by-turn driving directions for 26 of the most popular scenic tours across West Michiganís 41 counties and its two inhabited islands.

Winterís whites complement autumnís crimsons and golds in the 64-page magazine-style guide. Its feature stories, recommended tour routes and "Quick Finder" guides are designed to help the 42 percent of tourists expected to visit the region between September and March plan their fall and winter get aways.

Fall features focus on historic covered bridges and on "unconventional spirits" -- unique wines and eau de vies produced across West Michiganís viticultural areas. A "Quick Finder" to farm markets highlights outdoor fall activities like hay rides and corn mazes and scary Halloween adventures.

Winter outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy West Michiganís most comprehensive printed resource guides to winter resorts, downhill ski areas and snowmobile and cross-country ski trails. For those inclined to spurn the frosty air for indoor warmth, a feature on the regionís cultural gems suggests dozens of alternative activities with appeal for all ages.

The Fall/Winter Edition includes an eight-month events calendar and detailed recommendations for select places to sleep, dine, shop and play. It is one of three free travel guides published annually by WMTA. All are available at no charge by calling toll free from the US and Canada to 800-442-2084, ext 1; via e-mail to info@wmta.orgor by logging on to www.wmta.org.

Founded in 1917, WMTA is the oldest continuously-operating regional tourist association in the nation. Promoting the entire west half of Michiganís Lower Peninsula, WMTA is dedicated to proving that "Nobody Knows West Michigan Like We Do!"

It's A Boy!

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Name:  Connor Owen Boyle
Parents:  Larry Boyle & Wendy Digue-Boyle
Grandparents:  Marie Boyle McCauley and the late Owen Boyle, Robert and Dee Digue
August 11, 2003 at 7:45 p.m.

9 pounds, 2 ounces

22 inches


Congratulations to the Boyle family!

Results of the Rita Gillespie Memorial Blood Drive

This year the goal of the annual Rita Gillespie Memorial Blood Drive was to garner 80 donors.  92 folks presented themselves and after screening, 82 were productive donors.  Of that 82, 16 were first time contributors. Thanks go to all those who participated in this worthy cause. 

This Weeks' Pictorial Views of the

new Rural Health Center

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Homecoming 2003

It hardly seems possible that the summer is almost gone.  It used to be that Labor Day was "the end of summer", but more and more it seems that the Monday after marks the beginning of the end.  Unfortunately this year I was unable to attend any of the "doings" as we had a full house of company and I had to work at the library.  The Karaoke Contest was in competition with the baseball games plus missing two judges and as a result was cancelled.  The Lumbarr Yarrd Concert featuring Mike "Beans" Gardner was again a huge hit and everyone enjoyed themselves.  The annual Homecoming Dance, with Ed Palmer and gang, was attended by approximately 100 party-goers.  The annual August Dinner served up 300+ chicken dinners.  All in all it was a busy, busy week-end and I think everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  We'll look to see you here for Homecoming 2004.

Baseball Tournament Results

This year the annual Bud McDonough Baseball Tournament was a battle between eight teams.  From Charlevoix came 1)Flight Deck/Top Rank; 2) Gray Gables 3) Tom's IGA; 4) Swanson's K & D; 5) Mark White Paints; 6) Bergman Marine.  Representing Grand Rapids was Universal Sign.  Spring Lakes offering was TDS Telecom.  Beaver Island's home team was McDonough's Market.

Once the dust had settled on Saturday afternoon McDonough's Market, last years winners lost control of the trophy.  The results were: TDS Telecom in first place; Gray Gables in second; and Bergman Marine in third.  Interesting to note was the fact that TDS at one time was the second Beaver Island team.  Tim McDonough says, "Wait 'til next year, we'll be getting it back!"

Congratulations to all the teams!

Letter to the Editor

Putting the Puzzle Together

by Gwen Marston

I attended the St. James Planning Commission Meeting on July 11th in which Mr.Vyse, the Township Supervisor and Gary Voogt, the engineer hired by St James Township, presented their plan to build a 34 car asphalt  parking lot next to the Jewell Gillespie Park . While many islanders expressed concern about even more paving and the rapidity with which the island has dramatically changed in the past year, the proposal was approved unanimously by the board. So much for citizen input.

Mr. Vyse sited two key reasons the parking lot needs to be built: traffic and child safety.  Mr. Vyse stated there had been complaints about the traffic. Laura Reid asked how many complaints there had been and Mr. Vyss said "hundreds". I asked him what form these complaints had been in, had they been written complaints? He said they weren't  written complaints, but people had been complained at the post office. Stating there had been many complaints when in fact there were no written complaints seems somewhat misleading and it didn't strike me as a particularly scientific way to determine need.   Janet Prater asked how much it would cost for maintenace for the new parking lot. When pushed on the subject, Mr. Vyse  replied, "Oh, about $1.35," which seemed both condescending and insufficient to me. I asked if there had been a land-use study to insure a parking lot would be the best use of waterfront property. There has been no study.

In regards to traffic near the Jewell Gillespie beach, that corner has become more crowded. The problem was made worse when the engineers narrowed the road when it was paved last year. Still, traffic is relative. Compared to traffic along most American beaches, our traffic is not heavy and for ten months of the year, almost nonexistent.

We are all for child safety and here are some thoughts about that: Having brought my children up in Seattle and Los Angeles, I found parents in those high traffic areas, managed to take their children to the beach safely. Parking was available, but it required a considerable hike to get to the beach. Traffic was heavy, but parents held their children's hand and taught them to stop and look both ways and not to run out between cars. 

As Mr. Voogt happily informed us, this parking lot is not going to cost us taxpayers anything. The land was made available by a land swap with Mr. Karnes who got land near the old  medical center and  three of the parking places. Apparently Mr. Karnes is planning to spend more time than usual on the swing sets. He generous tossed in $130,000 which Mr. Voogt assured us will pay for the construction of the parking lot.  Two familiar saying which are accepted as wisdom come to mind: "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth", and "if it's too good to be true it probably is." I think we need to look this gift horse in the mouth because it probably is too good to be true. Harbor District zoning now allows for three story buildings along the waterfront and the medical center has been moved down the road and out of the way. I wonder if all these land swaps and generous financial gifts are somehow tied together?  Could we soon be looking at a whole development complete with condos and marina facilities? I wonder if the parking lot is paving the way for future waterfront development.

It seems to many of us that more and more "things" get all worked out in advance and then popped on us. We citizens can attend meeting and express our viewed, but the votes have clearly already been decided. "Dealings" having to do with the county airport appear to be going on now so be prepared for new announcements. I understand that Gary Voogt, the St. James Township Engineer worked on the Bay Harbor project. If you like the way the island looks now, that will put the fear of god in you. I've also heard rumors about plans for paving Paid Een Ogs Road having something to do with the County Airport. hmmmm

Quite a few people I talk to feel things get worked out behind closed doors and then popped on us as a done deal. It's hard to say what is going on as we are only tossed bits of the puzzle from time to time.  Let's all stay tuned and see what happens next.

Peaceful Scene

Coming home from town the other day, my daughter Courtney spied these two on the side of the road totally ignoring all the passing cars and trucks.  She snapped the photo before they headed deep into the woods.  Great job, Courtney!

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