Birth Announcement

Henry David Breden was born at 9:03 a.m. on February 14, 2007, at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Illinois, weighting 8 pounds 1 ounce and 21 inches.  First-time parents are David and Suzy (Belfy) Breden .  Proud grandparents are Emma Jean Belfy and Ed & Mary Margaret Breden. 

Islanders claw Bobcats twice by Frank Solle

A weekend trip to Munising proved successful for the Beaver Island Islanders basketball team, as they claimed a pair of wins against the host Munising Baptist Bobcats, winning 60-44 on Friday and 62-41 on Saturday.
“After the first three minutes of each game we pretty much had control and I was able to give our reserves a lot of playing time,” said Islanders coach Mike Myers.
With a roster limited to eight players for the road trip, everyone got plenty of playing time and before the weekend was over every one of the Islanders had scored.
Senior Jared Wojan paced the team on Friday with 16 points, followed closely by Brenden Martin with 14, Daniel Runberg with 12, and Eric Albin with 10. Sophomore Patrick Cull led the team with eight rebounds while adding four points. Bryan Timsak and David Schwartzfisher rounded out the Islanders scoring with a pair of points each.
The freshman Timsak made the most of his playing time Saturday by pouring in a team-high 14 points. Wojan and Albin each added 12. Martin and Cameron LaVasseur netted six apiece, while Cull and Schwartzfisher each scored four.
The wins improved the Islanders to 7-2 in Northern Lights League play and to 9-2 in all games.
The volleyball team did not make this trip as the Bobcats were not able to field a team this year. The team was scheduled to participate in what used to be an annual tournament at Engadine on Saturday, what has been a good opportunity to play against some strong Eastern U.P. teams such as Pickford, Cedarville, and the host Eagles, but for the second straight year that event was canceled.
Both teams will be action this coming weekend in crucial NLL games at Hannahville. The Soaring Eagles are in contention for the NLL volleyball crown and should be at full strength for the basketball games. Since Hannahville played here once this season already, only the Friday night games will count in the league standings.
The Islanders will close out the regular season at home against Grand Marais the weekend of Feb. 23-24.

Islanders host Lakers in Island championship

by Frank Solle

It was the rubber game. The teams had split the first two meetings earlier this year. This was it. If not for the Northern Lights League title, a loss in late January at Paradise had pretty much taken the Islanders out of that race, it was a battle for Michigan Island high school supremacy. (Well, okay, actually there are three Island high schools in our mitten-shaped state, but the much larger, Class B, Grosse Ile school would most likely have little problem in dispatching either of the ‘true' Island teams on the hardcourt, but come on, a small spit of land, rising ever so barely above the water line of the majestic Detroit River, in that cradle of wilderness known in the greater metro-Motown area as ‘Downriver,' sharing that distinction with such lovely burgs as Trenton and Wyandotte and Ecorse, lacking the necessity of ferry travel to reach (or the honorable distinction of geographic connection to a Great Lake), reachable instead via two bridges, one known, appropriately, as the ‘free bridge' since there is no charge to cross, while the other, the ‘toll bridge,' a long time handy money maker for the Smoke family — indeed the same Smoke family as in Smoke Brothers Flowers of beautiful, fellow-downriver, Southgate, in case you were wondering, or interested — can hardly lay claim to the definition of Island, at least not in the same sense that even Drummond Island, that water-bound land mass a hearty stone's throw off the far eastern coast of the Upper Peninsula, with its quaint drive-on, drive-off ferry service from the village of DeTour, where the Drummond teens travel each day to attend to their secondary schooling, can indeed claim, leaving us again at the determination that there are, truly, only two Island-based high schools in Michigan, but you already knew that, didn't you?)

(Webmaster note: It would seem our aging sportswriter is trying to compete with the long-winded novelist Thomas Pynchon after spending too much time absorbed in that writer's latest work, Against the Day , during our recent cold spell.) 

And so it was last Wednesday, as the Islanders of Beaver Island welcomed the Lakers of Mackinac Island in a game that had once again, due to inclement weather preventing cross-Island transportation the previous weekend (try that one on, you Grosse Ile-anders: how bad does the weather have to be to stop you from driving all the way across a short bridge?), been rescheduled for a one day, one shot Island bragging rights game.

The Lakers had the upper edge coming in, as they had claimed the earlier Friday night battle on their home floor, that game being the one to count in the league standings of the two played during a January weekend at Mackinac. The Islanders had won big the next morning, but provided another game would be played here, on their own court, that win was only to count in the overall standings, having no bearing in the league rankings unless, ultimately, no game was played here. Confusing? Yes. But that's the beauty of it.

Fortunately, last Wednesday dawned bright and clear, and even somewhat warmer than the previous subzero mornings that had drifted across the vast expanse of Lake Michigan that separates Big Beaver from the mainland (no bridges here, baby). And so the Lakers, holders of a respectable 12-2 overall record (their only other loss coming at the hands of non-NLL member Maplewood Baptist of Kinross), took to the air with hopes as high as the tips of the wings of the Britton-Normans that carried them here.

Meanwhile, the Islanders waited with purpose and determination, knowing their chance at revenge in the league standings, their chance at redemption, their chance of restoring pride, was winging towards them as the minutes of the morning ticked by.

By noon the gym was beginning to fill. Work could wait. Chores could be canceled. Responsibilities could be reserved. This, after all, was Island-o-Island, mano-o-mano, Us versus Them, history replayed yet once again.

And then it began.

While the Islanders controlled the tip, a quick turnover led to a Lakers basket and an inauspicious start. The Lakers jumped out to an 8-4 lead that soon moved to a 12-7 advantage. But a late trey by hot-handed Eric Albin brought the Islanders within two, 12-10, at the first quarter's end, despite a frigid 24 percent shooting effort by the home boys compared to a 45 percent performance by the visitors.

But the Islanders opened the second stanza on a 10-3 run sparked by a baseline shot by Brenden Martin, a three-point play by Jared Wojan, another triple from Albin, and a nice inside assist to Wojan by Martin. The Lakers three came from a basket by long-range specialist Michael Gamble, who had burned the Islanders from behind the arc here two years ago as an off-the-bench-eighth-grader. That early-quarter run pushed the Islanders to a 15-10 buldge, their first lead of the afternoon.

A mid-quarter fastbreak was capped by a driving Bryan Timsak, followed by a pair of late buckets by Dan Runberg to put the Islanders up 26-19 with two minutes left in the period. But the Lakers retaliated with three consecutive scores to close the first half, leaving the Islanders clinging to a slim 26-25 margin.

Gamble hit his second (and thankfully, last) triple of the game at the six-minute mark of the third quarter to knot the score at 30-all, jump-starting a short Lakers run that ended with them claiming a 36-32 lead with 3:40 remaining in the period.

And then the momentum and the game switched hands.

The Islanders held the Lakers scoreless the rest of the quarter, while putting up 13 unanswered points to take a strong, nine-point lead into the final eight minutes of play, 45-36.

Albin started the run with a pair of baskets, one on a pull-up jumper, the other off an offensive rebound. Wojan added his lone triple of the game before Albin scored again with an assist from Runberg after the scrappy redheaded guard pulled down yet another offensive rebound. Albin capped the drive and broke the heart of the Lakers with his third three-pointer of the day.

“When Eric can hit them like that I tell him to shoot them,” said Islanders coach Mike Myers. “And today he was hitting them.”

Albin hit his final trey early in the fourth quarter, boosting the Islanders lead to 50-38. “I was really strokin' them in,” he said, giving some credit for his effort to an ankle he rolled in practice two days earlier. “It was still sore,” he admitted, “but I think the adrenaline just kicked in.” Perhaps the coach should think of bottling some of whatever it was that led Albin to a game-high 22-point effort.

One thing the coach should definitely bottle is the defensive effort his team put forth through the middle minutes of the final quarter. After holding the Lakers scoreless for the final 3:40 of the third quarter, the Islanders did themselves one better by holding the Lakers offense in check for over four and a half minutes while stretching the lead to 58-41.

The Lakers finally broke the drought with just under two minutes to play, but by then it was simply too late to catch the Islanders .

With time running out the Lakers netted the final four points of the game, closing what had become an 18-point Islanders lead to the final 60-46 outcome.

“This feels real good,” said the senior Wojan who finished with 21 points. “We played as a team. Everyone was making shots, good passes, and playing defense. Everyone gave 110 percent.”

“We just did a great job overall,” agreed Myers.

The statistics prove that out as the Islanders limited the Lakers to just four offensive rebounds in an effort off the glass that resulted in a 42-28 domination for the Islanders .

And while the first half resulted in a meager 33 percent shooting effort for the Islanders compared to a stunning 50 percent performance from the Lakers , they managed to turn that around and out shoot the Lakers over the second half, 43-32 percent.

With Myers breathing a sigh of relief, “We finally started hitting our shots in the third quarter,” Lakers coach Jim Fisher could only sigh: “Our guys just decided to stop playing.”

“ Beaver Island played well,” Fisher added. “They totally, 100 percent, outplayed us.”

With the win the Islanders, now 5-2 in league play and 7-2 overall, claim the season series, and thus the Island school championship, but will need some help from a fellow NLL team handing the Lakers another league loss in order to have a shot at a share of the league title. But with that out of their control, the Islanders can instead focus on their remaining games, beginning with this weekend's trip to Munising Baptist. The Islanders travel to Hannahville the following weekend before closing the regular season at home against Grand Marias Jan. 23-24.

While the Islanders , have opted out of attending the MHSAA-sponsored district tournament at Central Lake , the weekend of March 9-10 has been set aside for a NLL tournament at Manistique. More details on that event will be forthcoming. Perhaps we'll forward them to the Downriver Red Devils.

St. James Township Board Meeting,

January 3, 2007

Supervisor Don Vyse called the regular meeting of the St. James Township Board to order at 7:30pm on January 3, 2007.  Also present were Tim McDonough, Rick Speck and Jean Palmer.  Jim Wojan was absent.

Motion by McDonough and seconded by Vyse to approve the minutes of the December 6, 2006 meeting as written.  Motion carried.

Motion by Vyse and seconded by Speck to approve the schedule of payments.  Motion carried.


Two of the white fences along Main Street broken.

High speed internet meeting to be held on Island on January 17, 2007.

5 year Recreation Plan due by August 1, 2007.

Vyse stated he met with Jack Spanek of the Port St. James Property Owners Association and may be able to settle the property dispute without fuss.

Sarah McCafferty gave a thorough report on EMS activities.

New Business:

Tribal Property Concerns:  Complaints from adjoining property owners regarding the unsightly conditions around the Fish Market was discussed.  Clerk will write letter to Tribal Council concerning this issue.

Freedom of Information Documents:  Board will review policy on FOIA requests, and update if needed.  Also a possible change in fees charged when there are requests for documents. 

Turkeys :  Several property owners stated their concerns on the number of turkeys now in the area and how dirty they are.  The turkeys destroy lawns as well as leave their dirt everywhere and make it impossible to walk across their own yards.  Lois Williams representing the Wildlife Club recommends first thing that everyone quit feeding the turkeys and ducks.  A notice will be posted about the no feeding.  She also stated the Wildlife Club will address this issue at their next meeting.  There is no quick fix to the problem but along with the help of the DNR will work on the problem.

Motion by McDonough and seconded by Vyse to adjourn meeting at 8:15pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jean Palmer, Clerk

St. James Township

Larry Brendtro Provides Important Information

This internationally known specialist in working with troubled students took time out of his busy schedule to come to Beaver Island and provide his brain research supported plan for producing "Respectful Children." His brain research supported plan included the three parts of the brain: the survival brain, the emotional brain, and the thinking brain. He suggested that throughout the world and throughout history, tribal cultures have know the key to producing respectful children. His examples included many pictures from native American culture, Aborigine culture, and South African culture. In all these pictures, the audience saw the elders talking with and embracing the child, and truly participating in the teaching of the child.

Mr. Brendtro's Circle of Courage (shown above) indicates the elements necessary for our busy culture to help develop respectful children. The medicine-wheel-like symbol has four spokes with the eastern on labeled BELONGING, the most important spoke in the wheel. The southern spoke was labeled MASTERY, the western spoke was labeled INDEPENDENCE, and the northern spoke was labeled GENEROSITY. This symbol is meant to help the audience understand the progression necessary to achieve respectful children.

Through examples Mr. Brendtro lead us on this journey toward understanding. "In native American and other tribal cultures, if a person admired something that you owned, it was a requirement, out of respect, for you to give that item to the person who admired it." Thus personal possessions became less important than respect. "When the grandfathers and grandmothers were teaching the children, participating in the upbringing, and telling the stories of their history, no child was disrespectful."

Mr Brendtro stated, "It is very difficult to be angry with someone who cares about you and is smiling at you. The 40 muscles in your face are there for this and only this purpose---to show how you are feeling. Don't get caught up in the Conflict Cycle. You are the adult. You are the one who has the maturity to control the situation."

This program suggested that the audience "set aside punitive approaches that lock adults in conflict with young people. Instead of reactive, coercive interactions, your persons are enlisted as respnsible agents in positive change." We need to concentrate and focus on "strengths and solutions"

Larry Brendtro has written many books including:

Three of our Beaver Island Community School teachers have been trained in the Response Ability Pathways program. They are Joe Moore, Mike Myers, and Judi Meister. These same teachers are also trained in Life Space Crisis Intervention. The most important difference of this training, "It made me change the way I look at kids," said Joe Moore.

For more information about his programs or books, go to

Minutes of January 8, 2007, Regular School Board Meeting



Call to Order President Schwartzfisher called to order the regular January 8, 2007, school board meeting at 7:30 p.m.



Members Present: Barb Schwartzfisher, Sharon Nix-Cole, Nancy Tritsch, Dawn Marsh

Members Absent: John Fiegen, Linda McDonough, Brian Cole

Others Present Kitty McNamara, Deb Robert, Connie Boyle, Alice Belfy, Mike Myers, Susan Valente, Carol Burton

Public Comment None

Approval of Minutes: Moved by Schwartzfisher, supported by Cole, to approve the December 11, 2006, School Board Meeting Minutes with one correction: Dawn Marsh was incorrectly recorded as in attendance. Motion carried – unanimous decision.

Lead Teacher Report: Lead teachers Boyle, Myers, and Robert reported on the work of their disciplines. Connie also reported on the work of Beth Croswhite.

School Board Recognition: Three teachers (Connie Boyle, Mike Myers and Deb Robert), on behalf of all the teachers and staff of BICS, formally recognized the Board ofEducation for their hard work and commitment to public schooleducation.

Treasurer's Report Review Monthly Report - McNamara reviewed the monthly financial report and will see that all members receive a detailed “line item” budget.

Adopt Amended Budget - Moved by Nix, supported by Tritsch, to approve the attached amended budget as presented with total projected revenues of $,164,588.30 and total projected expenditures of $1,611,319.00. Motion carried – unanimous decision.

Pupil Transportation/Mileage Reimbursement for Parents – After reviewing several scenarios for reimbursing mileage to parents for transporting their child(ren) to school and after much discussion with parents requesting some sort of reimbursement, the board decided to reinstate the practice, with the following conditions:

•  Eligibility is based on Free & Reduced Meals Eligibility. Parents must have a completed and approved application on file with the district in order to be compensated for mileage; and

•  the family must live 1.5 miles or greater from school.

•  The policy is effective second semester and will be reviewed annually.

Moved by Cole, supported by Nix, to approve mileage reimbursement to parents based on the above conditions. Motion carried – unanimous decision.

2007 Election and Work with BETA Design: Set Special Meeting Date – Moved by Cole, supported by Marsh, to set 7 o'clock p.m. on Monday, January 22, 207, as a work session for the board with BETA Design. Motion carried – unanimous decision.

May Annual Election: Two board terms (John Fiegen and Linda McDonough) expire this year. Both trustees have expressed their desire not to run again. Nominating petitions will be accepted until 4:00 p.m. on February 13, 2007.

Other items on this year's ballot include a millage renewal of 15.7908 mills for general operational and possible request for a sinking fund millage.

Administrative Update: McNamara reported that the building and grounds will be searched sometime this year by the drug dog company we contracted with. Our contract calls for two searches per school year.

A foreign exchange student from Thailand enrolled in the district following Christmas Break. Next year we will have one of our students spend a semester in Germany . Both exchanges were facilitated by the Youth for Understanding organization.

School safety requires at least two lockdowns this year.

Adjournment Moved by Tritsch, supported by Marsh, to adjourn at 8:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted

Alice Belfy

Recording Secretary

Special School Board Meeting

Monday, January 22, 2007 – 7:00 p.m. 

Present Sharon Nix Cole, Board Member

Nancy Tritsch, Board Member

Dawn Marsh, Board Member

Brian Cole, Board Member

Absent Barb Schwartzfisher, Board Member

Linda McDonough, Board Member

John Fiegen, Board Member

Others Kathleen McNamara, BICS

Alice Belfy, BICS

Jim Van Dyk, BETA Design Group

Bret Kronlein, BETA Design Group

Tom Kayword, BETA Design Group

BETA Design Group's presentation focused on where the information world is headed and why educational facility planning must be factored in to best maintain high student academic achievement. Attendees were asked to identify their values and beliefs as well as programs and practices that work and don't work on Beaver Island, including what works and what doesn't work in the building.

Submitted by:

Alice Belfy

Recording Secretary

Beaver Island Community School's Building Improvements Committe Meeting

Tuesday, January 23, 2007--7-9 p.m.

Present at this meeting were:

Jim Van Kyk, Bret Kronlein, and Tom Kayword from BETA Design Group

Kitty McNamara, Alice Belfy, Marianne Brown, and Miranda Rooy from Staff of BICS

Nancy Tritsch and Sharon Nix Cole from the Board of Education

Students: Andrea Moore, Bryan Timsak, Levi Connor, and Heather McConough

Parents: Carolyn Works, Jerry LaFreniere, Dana Hodgson, Kevin McDonough, Theresa McDonough

Community Members: Drew Owsinski, Gail Weede, Frank Solle, and Don Cole

BETA Design Group's presentation focused on where the information world is headed and why educational facility planning must be factored in to best maintain high school academic achievement. Atttendees were asked to identify their values and beliefs as well as programs and practices that work and don't work on Beaver Island, including what works and what doesn't work in the building. Participants prioritized the list for input to the board. BETA solicited ideas from the group about possible building configurations.

What Works (the top four)

Computers in the Classrooms

Student:Teacher Ratio



What Doesn't Work(top four)

No Art Room

No Music Room

No Media Center

Page Two of News on the "Net

No Kindergarten Restroom Area and Sink