Snowy Island

Living out here in the middle of northern Lake Michigan the only way to go to the mainland during the winter months is by flying. Most of the time I've had the incrediable good luck of flying on sunny days however Monday wasn't sunny but it did give an interesting perspective for photos as we could see the snow lines coming across the island as we rose into the air. The island now wears a frosty white petticoat around the edges and bits of ice are floating in groups out on the big lake. Returning to the island Tuesday afternoon was a little brighter, but still not sunny. The island looks so different this time of year. Color film or settings don't matter as everything comes out looking pretty much black and white. As usual I didn't travel without my camera so it'll give you a glimpse of the island from above on a snowy day. Still and all, it's got to be the best place to live regardless.

If You Think the Snow is Deep This Year...

Most of us have heard our parents and grandparents talk about what winter was like "back when we were young" but how many of us have actually seen pictures of one of those winters? Russell Green just happened to have some photos of the winter of 1962 and graciously agreed to let me use them here. The first one was taken on the Kings Highway, the second taken on the East Side Drive at what the locals refer to as Willie Schmidt's corner aka the large curve just past the transfer station on the way to Welke's airport. The third one was taken of the house I grew up in that was located where Dalwhinnie's is now. Mother Nature really put forth some effort in 1962 so when you hear folks say how much snow we have this year, tell them about '62 when there was SNOW! Thanks Russ for sharing.

21st Century Learning Scholarship Fund

Teacher Beth Croswhite, Student Council member Kerrie Gillespie and School Board member Linda McDonough hold a check for $1,000.00 to be contributed to the recently established Beaver Island Community School 21st Centry Learning Scholarship Fund. The $1,000.00 donation from students, staff and board members reflects everyone's commitment to the growth of this fund to benefit students who meet the school's graduate profile. In addition to this donation to the scholarship fund, another $1200.00 is already in the principal account and $400.00 has been pledged to be paid out to a 2004 graduate! The fund is established in the Charlevoix County Community Foundation and donations to the fund are tax deductable. For more information, contact the Community Foundation (231-536-2440) or the Beaver Island Community School (231-448-2744).

Island Intermittent Internet

Many Islanders were having problems connecting to the internet which tended to make them unhappy customers. Great Lakes and Cherryland are now in a partnership with TransWorld Network which meant that you called for tech support and ended up on a call with some place in Flordia to a person who either didn't have a good grasp of English or seemed to be missing some of the pages in the "help" flip chart. Needless to say, the island natives were getting restless. On February 4th, representatives from TransWorld met with some of the island residents following the St. James Township Meeting. What did we come away with? When it comes down to brass tacks, absolutely nothing. According to Renee Arteago (Internet Products Supervisor) and Steve Weaver (Senior Network and Systems Administrator) the island was "upgraded that afternoon and things should be much better now". Not true. Folks who hadn't had trouble connecting before now couldn't, connections are definately slower, email is still messed up for some folks. There is a support department if you are continuing to experience problems at 1-888-873-9212. Frankly having called the support line several times I'd like to have Great Lakes or TransWorld or whomever is in charge give their support team some pointers on customer service.. mainly politeness. They are lacking in that area. For folks who either send or receive email to the island and don't get a quick response or worse yet, get no response, you aren't being ignored. Most likely your email is lost in cyberspace somewhere. I know I have now lost my Outlook Express and have been moved to Outlook instead. I for one, am not a happy camper with all these so-called "upgrades". Perhaps we should have kidnapped Arteago and Weaver and made them deal with island internet for a couple weeks. I'm willing to bet a quarter that they'd finally admit there is a big problem.

Page Two of the News on the 'Net