B.I. News on the 'Net, January 11-17, 2016

The 52 Lists Project 3

by Cindy Ricksgers

Bob Welke Passes Away

Bob Welke passed away peacefully at home on January 16, 2016, surrounded by his loving family His Celebration of Life will be at Dutcher Funeral Home in Coldwater, Friday, January 22, 2016, with visitation from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm with celebration of his life at 7 pm. His burial with a Catholic mass will be in May.

Story of Robert (Bob) A. Welke’s Life

Robert A. (Bob) Welke, Age 81, of Beaver Island and Coldwater passed away on January 16, 2016, after a short illness. He was born on July 22, 1934, to William and Elizabeth (Oberle) Welke in Detroit, MI. After graduating from Walled Lake High School, Bob attended the University of Detroit, graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering in 1958. He married the love of his life, E. Sue (Schulte) Welke, on October 6, 1956. Bob began work for the Michigan Department of Transportation in 1958 as a surveying rodman in Lawrence, MI for the proposed I-94 freeway and worked as a licensed professional engineer for 39 years, rising to the position of Director of the Michigan Department of Transportation in 1996. He retired in August 1997 to focus on his beloved family life and to enjoy his home on Beaver Island.

A celebration of Bob’s life will be at Dutcher Funeral Home in Coldwater on Friday, January 22, 2016. The visitation will be between 2:00 and 4:00 pm and 6:00 and 8:00 pm. A prayer service and celebration of life will be held at 7:00 pm. In May, a Catholic Mass will be held at Holy Cross Church on Beaver Island followed by burial at the Holy Cross cemetery.

Bob and Sue raised seven children: Tim (Patti), Bobbi, Tom (Barb), Beth, Mike (Renee), Scott (Michelle Thornton), and Bill (Teri). He enjoyed his 15 grandchildren: Ben (Barbara), Greg (Jenna), Lauren (Taylor Rohlfs), Drew (Carrie), Kate, Karly, Mariah, Makyle, Malina, Brett, Morgan, Erin, Dan, Jack, and Abby. He was proud of his four great grandchildren: Braden, Brice, Brinley, and Ryan. He especially enjoyed his faithful side-kick Molly. Bob was proceeded in death by his parents and his brothers, Chuck, Bill, and Don Welke.

Bob’s distinguished career culminated with the 2006 induction into the Michigan Transportation Hall of Honor. While Director of MDOT, Bob was responsible for streamlining operations in state government and authorizing an increase in transportation revenues. Throughout his nearly 40-year career, he made numerous contributions to Michigan’s transportation system. Under his leadership, the department decentralized its program and operational delivery activities through the creation of Transportation Service Centers. Bob was nationally recognized for his contributions in the use of recycled materials in highway construction. He also introduced the Adopt-A-Highway program to Michigan, as well as the rumble safety strips to Michigan’s state highways. After retirement from MDOT, Governor Engler appointed Bob to serve as chairman of the Transportation Funding Study Committee.

While based in Coldwater, Bob was the Project Engineer responsible for the original construction of I-69 in Branch County, including the building of the Coldwater Welcome Center, which is now named in his honor, along with his daughter, Bobbi, who retired after a 31-year career working at MDOT. Bob and Bobbi collaborated between 1993 and 1997 on designing and building the second Blue Water Bridge located between Port Huron, MI and Point Edward, Ontario. Bob was proud of all of his children, as they are actively involved with their families and communities.

Bob gave back to the community as a member of the Coldwater Jaycee’s, helping to establish Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Coldwater, and serving on the school boards of St. Charles Catholic Schools, Coldwater Community Schools, and the Kalamazoo Catholic Dioceses. He also served as President of Beaver Island’s Port St. James Property Association Board of Directors. He is a past member of Coldwater’s St. Charles Catholic Church and is a member of Beaver Island’s Holy Cross Church. An avid pilot, Bob enjoyed flying between Coldwater and Beaver Island. He loved Beaver Island his entire life, from the time Mel Gallagher taught him to walk, through the years he spent hunting, fishing, gardening, and farming. Bob and Sue’s home on the island since 1959 was where he spent some of his happiest times with family and friends. Planning and executing a home, garden, or farm project was never-ending on the island.

In lieu of flowers, you may consider a donation to a charity of your choice, or a donation to any of the following charities: Beaver Island Community Center, the Ellen Welke Memorial Fund at Holy Cross Church on Beaver Island, or the Humane Society of Branch County. www.dutcherfh.com

Phyllis' Daily Weather

for January 17, 2016

Fresh, new snow to cover the ice. At least it's nice and fluffy. Right now I'm showing 16° with a windchill of 6°, wind is at 7 from the west, humidity is at 86%, pressure is rising from 1009 mb, and visibility is at 3 miles. We are under a weather advisory until 10 a.m. on Monday. Today: Snow showers. Snow may be heavy at times in the morning. Highs around 16. Northwest winds 5 to 15 mph with gusts to around 25 mph. Tonight: Snow showers. Lows around 11. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts to around 40 mph.

On this date of January 17, 1916 - The Professional Golfers Association was formed in New York City.

Did you know that those long, stringy things you see when you peel a banana are called phloem bundles?

Word of the day: ludic (LOO-dik) which means playful in an aimless way. Ludic stems from the Latin verb ludĕre meaning "to play." It entered English in the mid-1900s.

Creative Fire Journal Day 5

by Cindy Ricksgers

Maine Islands Debriefing

The Maine Islands Debriefing began at approximately 3:07 and continued past 5:30 pm today, January 16, 2016. This meeting was live streamed on the Internet by Beaver Island News on the 'Net. This meeting was held in the Beaver Island Community Center and was MC'd by Kevin Boyle. Approximately thirty people were in attendance to the meeting with fifteen additional people viewing on the Internet.

Kevin Boyle, MC

The members traveling to the Maine Islands present were Ernie Martin, Bill McDonough, Patrick McGinnity, Kitty McNamara Green, and Pam Grassmick. Each of these representatives had an opportunity to speak about what they individually believed was the take-away ideas gained from the trip to Maine.

Ernie Martin................Bill McDonough.........Patrick McGinnity

Kitty McNamara Green......Pam Grassmick

The major topics were related to broadband/cell service, healthcare/EMS, quality K-12 education, work force housing, and improved marketing. These topics were determined at a previous meeting when the Maine Island Institute people visited Beaver Island. Some additional topics included aging in place, home energy assistance, the Maine Island Collaborative, small business assistance, affordable childcare, the Island Institute, and Island Fellows Program.

The community present was divided into five groups for brainstorming that included identifying needs and priorities; identifying strengths; identifying assets; and putting together volunteer advisory teams for the topics that came out of the brainstorming session.

Pam Grassmick provided information about the upcoming visit in April 2016 from the Maine islanders and the Office of Great Lakes.

View Gallery of Debriefing Pictures HERE

View video of the Debriefing HERE


President Obama Signs Emergency Declaration for Michigan


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal emergency aid has been made available to the State of Michigan to supplement state and local response efforts in the area affected by contaminated water beginning on April 25, 2014, and continuing.

The President's action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts that have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in Genesee County.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.  Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding. This emergency assistance is to provide water, water filters, water filter cartridges, water test kits, and other necessary related items for a period of no more than 90 days. 

Additionally, the President offered assistance in identifying other Federal agency capabilities that could support the recovery effort but do not require an emergency declaration under the Stafford Act.

David G. Samaniego has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal response operations in the affected area.  


Federal Aid Programs for the State of Michigan Emergency Declaration

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's emergency disaster declaration issued for the State of Michigan.

Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

  • FEMA is authorized to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the designated areas.
  • Specifically, FEMA is authorized to provide emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program at 75 percent Federal funding. This emergency assistance is to provide water, water filters, water filter cartridges, water test kits, and other necessary related items for a period of no more than 90 days. 

Speaking of Ice

Beauty and gorgeousness may both be in the eyes of the beholder, particularly during the winter time. These pictures were taken around the northern part of the island on the morning of January 16, 2016. This beholder finds it gorgeous.

A few more are in the album HERE

Iced-Out Again

The BICS Basketball teams, the Islanders and the Lady Islanders, haven't had much luck with the weather this winter. The weather seems to be against them in that they haven't had much opportunity to compete in the Northern Lights League Basketball games. One weekend they couldn't go off island due to the weather, and this weekend Maplewood Baptist was unable to come to the island due to the icing conditions and a winter storm warning for the weekend.

If there is any advantage to this icing, it is the beauty that it creates in Mother Nature with some common trees and bushes getting an interesting coverage of crystal clear ice and then some addition of snow to create a wonderful contrast in their normally slumbering winter states.

Then the BICS teams decided to play basketball anyway with boys' and girls' teams mixing it up on the court. Deb Bousquet videoed the scrimmages and took a few pictures, and these are being processed.

It makes no difference who won in this scrimmage! They're all winners!

View video of the scrimmages HERE

Phyllis' Daily Weather

for January 16, 2016

We must have needed the extra sleep... went to bed early and never woke up until 8:30. We woke up to this weather advisory: ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 10 AM EST MONDAY...


Right now it's 19° with a windchill of 11°, wind is at 10 mph from the NW, humidity is at 81%, pressure is rising from 1006 mb and visibility is 7.8 miles. Today: Snow showers. Highs in the lower 20s. Northwest winds 5 to 15 mph with gusts to around 30 mph. Tonight: Snow showers. Lows around 12. West winds at 10 mph with gusts to around 25 mph.

On this date of January 16, 1970 - Buckminster Fuller, the designer of the geodesic dome, was awarded the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects.

Did you know that macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs?

Word of the day: lacustrine (luh-KUHS-trin) 1) of or relating to a lake. 2)living or growing in lakes, as various organisms. 3) formed at the bottom or along the shore of lakes, as geological strata. Lacustrine finds its roots in the Latin word lacus meaning "lake." It entered English in the mid-1800s.

2nd Installment of Maine Island Trip

by Patrick McGinnity

Maine Trip
Part II

The next morning we set out early for Rockland, where we would be catching the ferry to Vinalhaven. We broke our fast at the Country Kitchen, and then most of us trekked down to the ferry dock on foot. The weather had turned a bit colder and there was a hint of rain on the blustery sea air. The seas during the 15 mile trip (an hour and fifteen minutes or so) were rolling a tad, but nothing out of the ordinary for those used to traveling Lake Michigan. This trip took us past North Haven and the narrow Fox Islands Thoroughfare (Northhaven and Vinalhaven were once known as North and South Fox) separating it from Vinalhaven, and down along the southwestern edge of the latter. Rounding Norton Point, Carver’s Harbor opened up before us. Relatively narrow and sheltered, the harbor truly is an impressive sight, with so many lobster boats moored so closely together one could almost imagine crossing from one side to the other by jumping from one to the next.

Vinalhaven is very much centered on lobstering. Especially in November, as the season wraps up for the smaller boats, the piers and streets are crowded with pick-up trucks loaded with traps and bouys. Everything about it proclaims proudly that this is a hard working community without pretension. The year-round population of Vinalhaven is in the neighborhood of 1200 people, 80% of whom are in some way tied to on the lobster industry. It is a rugged island composed largely of granite, the quarrying of which was a major industry up until the early 1900s. It is estimated that 20% of the island’s economy is based on tourism, while 80% is lobstering.

We hiked from the dock to the unassuming emergency services building, where we met with Pat Lundholm, the Vinalhaven Ambulance Services Director, and Marc Candage, the Fire Chief. During our tour, we discussed in some depth Vinalhaven’s emergency services and how they coordinate with each other and with their health center. With the Fire department and EMS working out of the same building, it was impressive to see the level of integration and cooperation between the different departments. The town health center is also closely tied to their emergency services, with a provider from the health center accompanying patients in the ambulance to the mainland. The health center is staffed by one Physician Assistant and three Nurse Practitioners. Vinalhaven does not have a dedicated, on-island air service, so the bulk of emergency runs see ambulance and crew traveling to the mainland on the ferry. With the boat trip taking over an hour, the time it takes to reach a mainland hospital can be significant. In emergencies where time is of the essence, coast guard air transport is also an option. Of course, just as is the case here, many of the year-round residents are volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel. We even spoke to one fellow who is trained to drive an ambulance, though he is not an EMT or Paramedic. It just goes to show that on any island, there is plenty to be done, and people often contribute in a variety of ways.

As an interesting side note, regulations regarding the maximum number of hours or trips a ferry captain can be at the wheel without time off means that an emergency run results in the cancellation of the next regularly scheduled ferry trip (apparently they don’t have additional captains on the island who could take over a run). While this surely does inconvenience passengers, it doesn’t quite throw a wrench into things the way it would with the BIBCO reservations, as their ferries are loaded on a first come, first served basis.

From Emergency services, it was only a short walk along the granite-curbed street to the aptly-named Tidewater Motel, where several of us would be staying (the others were put up at a nice house owned by Pat from the Vinalhaven EMS). I kid you not, the hotel rooms were as close to being on a boat as you can get without actually boarding one. The motel, and indeed the street itself, was built on a pier of sorts, supported by (to my eye) precariously-stacked granite blocks. The tide flowed in under the motel and filled Carver’s Pond, where school kids set lobster pots from rowboats to learn the trade. The pond is actually huge, a tidal lake that never completely drains out, but sends a flood of water back out to sea with every ebb tide. Looking out the windows of my room, it alternately looked like I was at the bow of a boat, plowing through the oncoming water from the harbor, or like I was at the stern, watching the building’s wake flow back out to sea.

After everyone got settled, we convened once more in the (also aptly-named) Gathering Place, a suite of rooms above part of the motel, with a large kitchen, a living room, and two dining areas. This is where we would be spending much of our free time while on Vinalhaven. For lunch that first day we were treated to an amazing lobster etoufee [should have an emphasis over both the first and second “e”] served by Yvonne Thomas, Island Institute Education Director and CFO of Vinalhaven Seafood LLC, a family business providing etoufee and fresh lobster shipped to your home (well, not to our home, because we are well beyond their shipping limit). This value-added business was hatched by one of her sons while in high school, and is now run by his younger brother, though the whole family is heavily involved. The etoufee was delightful, served on a bed of rice—the perfect thing to warm us up after a rather chilly morning.

Over lunch we discussed lobster, of course, as well as education on the islands. One interesting point that came up was the Island Teacher’s Conference, “a networking and professional development opportunity for educators who share both the challenges and advantages of teaching in small, geographically isolated communities.” Of particular note, this conference invites educators from elsewhere to participate, so it might be interesting to send a teacher or two from Beaver Island sometime. We also discussed the drug problem that lobstering’s relatively easy money had fostered on the islands, the scope of which I found hard to believe.

After lunch we enjoyed a driving tour, visiting the windmills, owned by the 1,700-member Fox Islands Electric Cooperative, which generate approximately 60% of the two islands’ electricity. Most of the power generation happens in the winter months, when the number of residents is lower, so power is sold back to the mainland grid, while the summer months see that flow of power reverse, as island demand exceeds the three turbines generating capacity. There are, or course, residents who complain about the noise and shadow flicker, and the co-op attempted to buy out several nearby homeowners at the beginning of the project.

We also passed the small transfer station, and stopping off at the edge of the Thoroughfare, a narrow strait between the Vinalhaven and its neighbor to the north. Apparently there is a certain amount of commuter traffic across the Thoroughfare, as well as a bit of a rivalry. Indeed, the vacation homes at the northern end of Vinalhaven are considered “more North Haven than Vinalhaven.”

Next we met up with Phil Crossman, the owner of the Tidewater and Town Selectman, at the Old Engine House to learn a bit about the Vinalhaven Historical Society and the history of the town itself. Inside the Engine House is the old steam-powered fire engine which was restored to functionality several years ago. In the rear of the building is the small, seasonal Chamber of Commerce Information Center, which is adorned with historic photos of the quarrying days. The Vinalhaven Chamber of Commerce, which is run by volunteers, is working on making the island more tourist friendly in hopes of decreasing the economic dependence on lobster. We discussed efforts to preserve some of the old buildings of Historic Downstreet, which is the downtown and comprises Vinalhaven’s tourist district.

The last place we visited that day was Island Village Childcare (IVC), a daycare facility run by a nonprofit organization created to provide high quality and affordable childcare service to island families and summer residents. Karen Burns, our Island Institute guide for the week, also happens to be the Finance Director of IVC. Located in an old house owned by a church that only uses it on weekends, the daycare is state licensed and focuses on learning through hands-on exploration and interactive play. As a nonprofit, the daycare relies on donations and fundraisers to help cover operating costs, activities, and purchase supplies for IVC's children. It was clear that the childcare facility was operating at capacity, and we were told that they are working toward building something larger to accommodate the demand. One thing that we heard there, and again at the eldercare facility the following day, was how the Town had been surprised that, far from being expensive unsustainable programs, childcare and eldercare had actually emerged as economic drivers, creating jobs and supporting related service providers.

That evening, after a bit of a break to visit some of the downtown businesses and relax, we got together in the Gathering Place to visit before heading out to dinner at the Pizza Pit. Located in a wharf-side building that in a previous life had been used for bait storage, the unpretentious restaurant was redolent with the aromas of hot pepperoni and melted cheese. We piled into a pair of booths and tucked in to some of the best pizza I’d had in some time. Interestingly, the Pizza Pit was strictly BYOB, so we’d walked down from the Gathering Place carrying our beverages of choice.

Afterward, we returned to the hotel to chat until the busy day started to catch up with some of us and we retired for the night. That night several members of our team represented Beaver Island in fine fashion at the Sand Bar (the one year-round bar), as always working hard to gather information about the islands from the locals.

THURSDAY- November 12th

The next morning dawned really, really early. (Did I mention that Maine—being on the far eastern end of the same time zone we are near the western edge of—sees the sun long before we do, and gets dark in November at around 4:00 pm?) I woke to what I thought was the sound of someone in one of the neighboring rooms taking the longest shower ever, only to realize that it was the tide pouring past out of the pond again.


We convened outside the motel in the chill morning before walking down to the Surfside, a breakfast destination that opens its doors at 3:00 am to cater to the lobstermen’s schedules. It was filled with locals and the comingled smells of eggs, bacon, and coffee. I sat at a table with Karen, who warned us that only folks from “away” asked for menus at the Surfside—those in the know (like us) simply ordered what they wanted. I’ll admit to cheating a bit and ordering something from the dry-erase board showing the specials, but unlike that other table of Michiganders we didn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Our first destination for the day was the Vinalhaven Land Trust, which is something akin to the Little Traverse Conservancy, though focusing entirely on the single island. The Land Trust has been in existence for thirty years, had 900 acres in stewardship, and has conducted programming in the Vinalhaven School for nearly two decades, including an after school program for Pre-K – 5th Grade. The trust is funded largely through donations, which it uses to purchase land, provide stewardship for lands, and to fund its educational programs. Volunteers are integral to the stewardship of Trust lands. They are interested in a school Global Information System (GIS) program, to get school kids involved in mapping the trust lands and the island as a whole, and get them into stewardship of the land. One of their initiatives of late has been trimming hiking trails wider to reduce the chances of picking up ticks while walking them.One of themost impressive things we saw at the Trust was an amazing set of detailed wall maps of the island, showing everything from topography, to watersheds, to trail systems, to areas of historic cultural significance. Our friends from the Office of the Great Lakes were especially enthusiastic about the prospect of developing such maps for Great Lakes islands like ours.

Next we stopped at the Vinalhaven School, a beautiful new K-12 public school with an enrollment of around 180 students. Evident throughout our visit to the school, and indeed to the entire island, was the pervasive sense of Place (yes, Place with a capital “P”). The school, though new, was thoroughly grounded in the community’s past and present. One of the first things we noticed about the school was the Boatbuilding Shop, a two-story timber frame built as a shop class project several years ago. The shop is now the home of the shop program itself, and particularly their wooden boat building program. The island, both the past and present of which are so tightly bound to the sea, chose to carry on the tradition of building wooden boats, and to pass it on to their children, many of whom came from families of fishermen and lobstermen. Something we heard during our visit to the school, was the concern that the teachers have about the lack of career diversity on the island, and how a decline in the lobster industry would impact the community. Though school consistently told and celebrated the community’s past, it also focused on educating students for a future that would likely be quite different. The school lobby, complete with a 2nd storey bridge, a wall of rough quarried granite, and a mosaic tile compass rose on the floor, also featured a fleet of model lobster boats suspended from a contraption something like an orrery (a moving replica of the solar system), but which was connected to a weathervane on the school roof that caused the boats to face into the wind, just like the boats in the harbor down the road.

After touring the school, we met for lunch back at the Sandbar with fellows and mentors from the Institute’s Island Fellows Program. One of the most interesting programs that the Island Institute runs involves imbedding Island Fellows in island communities for two-year fellowships. The fellows are picked from amongst the best and the brightest college graduates, and each year individual islands submit proposals for how they could make use of a fellow. Examples of projects Island Fellows would work on include the building community capacity for in-home elder care and fostering parent participation in the school. The institute matches fellows with communities and the work begins. The fellows receive a wage, $7000 in year one and $12,000 in year two, and the communities in which they are imbedded provide them with lodging. Many of the fellows, it turns out, end up staying long term. According to the Island Institute, one-third of the more than one hundred fellows placed over the past 15 years continue to live and work on islands or in coastal communities; nearly 60% of Fellows remain in Maine, which is also important as they carry their island experience with them to organizations on the mainland. In fact, our hostess for the week, Karen, had been a fellow imbedded in the Vinalhaven community, and the current town manager was hired following two years as a fellow assisting with the town’s comprehensive planning process. What intrigues me is how this program works as an antidote to the so called “brain drain” small towns tend to suffer. Here the Island Institute is bringing in young, talented, passionate people, some of whom become permanent parts of the communities to which they are assigned.

Following lunch, we walked up the hill to the Ivan Calderwood Homestead, a facility operated by Vinalhaven Eldercare Services, whose mission is:

“to provide the opportunity for Vinalhaven elders to age in place: in their homes, in the community, on the island, to maintain elders’ connections to island traditions, community and family, to promote dignity, safety, health, comfort and a respectable quality of life and to be a sustainable organization.”

The organization was initially formed to provide transportation for aging community members and to enhance safety in their homes to allow them to remain in their own homes as long as possible. Five years later the eight-bed Homestead was opened in a home that was donated for that purpose. One of the fellows we’d met at lunch works and lives at the eldercare facility.

We next toured the Vinalhaven Public Library, which began its life as a Carnegie library, one of more than 1500 of which were built with money donated by Andrew Carnegie beginning in the late nineteenth century. A beautifully integrated addition was built in 2007, providing space for a new Children's Room, a Teen Center, and reading, meeting and exhibition areas with additional space for volunteers and staff. Of particular note was a room dedicated to local history, with many interesting items on display in glass cases, and a large collection of books of local interest and historical significance. At the dedication of the renovated library, Maine’s first lady said that “Island libraries are essential life-changing institutions,” and that the “renovation and addition sends a powerful message that reading and learning are important and valued.” The preservation of the past, in this case the historical collection and indeed the Carnegie building itself, coupled with investment in the community’s future by updating and creating additional space for the youth in the library closely echoed what we’d observed at the school.

We also visited a gym located in a remodeled schoolhouse. The relatively simple gym is owned by the Town itself, and there is a modest membership fee. Like the gym we’d seen at the Islesboro Community Center, the Vinalhaven gym was evidence of the island’s focus on the long-term health of community members.

Dinner that night was perhaps the highlight of our trip. We came together at the Gathering Place for one final time, this time joined by Karen and her husband Bruce, a young lobsterman. The previous evening, Kitty had taught their two charming children to play marbles, and Bruce had agreed to join us for dinner on our last night. He and Karen cooked up an obscene number of lobsters, and Kitty and Pam made some side dishes (unfortunately, I was too distracted by lobsters to do justice to any other offerings). Bruce showed us how best to penetrate the chitonous defenses of these tasty crustaceans, and we were off to the races. Discussions that night ran the gamut, from disputes between islands over rights to particular fishing grounds to lobster-tail puppetry (which I may have invented), and when all was said and done it was among the finest evening among friends, both old and new, that I’ve spent in some time.

FRIDAY- November 13th

The next morning, we rose early to catch the 7:00 ferry back to Rockland for the annual meeting of the Maine Islands Collaborative. A beautiful day was dawning over Carver’s Harbor as we bid farewell to Vinalhaven. The seas were calm and again we spent the trip outside. As a reward, we were treated to a brief glimpse of a porpoise breeching as we neared the mouth of Rockland Harbor. A short drive from the dock brought us to the Maine Island Institute.

We arrived just in time for breakfast at which we got to meet the Institute’s Programs Directors. Several were familiar faces we’d met during our travels, but seeing them all together in one room really drove home the monumental energy and incredible talent the Institute has harnessed in its efforts to order to improve life on the Maine Islands and beyond. During the Maine Islands Collaborative meeting, we were introduced to representatives from nearly every inhabited Maine island, who shared their triumphs, challenges, and offered assistance to their neighbors. It was quite inspiring, even at the end of a whirlwind trip. In the final installment in this series, we’ll delve a bit more deeply into the takeaways from this experience, and look ahead to what comes next.

More Maine Islands Pictures HERE

Movies This Weekend and Next

One Day to the Next

by Cindy Ricksgers

Jared Robert Completes Math Objectives

Beaver Island Community School would like to formally congratulate 6th Grader Jared Robert for completing 100% of his 6th Grade Aleks math program, earning himself this cake replica of his Aleks Pie! To do this, Jared worked diligently both at school and at home to master 438 math topics! Way to go Jared! Here We Go Islanders! Here We Go!

Phyllis' Daily Weather

for January 15, 2016

Yikes! If you have to go outside for anything, please be careful. It's a sheet of ice, and still misting. Right now I have 29° with a windchill of 14°, wind is at 20 mph from the east with gusts to 28 mph, humidity is at 96%, pressure is falling from 1001 mb, and visibility is 3 miles. Today: Cloudy. Chance of snow and patchy light freezing drizzle in the morning, then snow and rain likely in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 30s. East winds at 15 mph with gusts to around 35 mph. Tonight: Snow likely in the evening, then snow showers likely after midnight. Lows around 20. Northwest winds at 15 mph with gusts to around 30 mph.

On this date of January 15, 1892 - "Triangle" magazine in Springfield, MA, published the rules for a brand new game. The original rules involved attaching a peach baskets to a suspended board. It is now known as basketball.

Did you know that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear?

Word of the day: reify (REE-uh-fahy, REY-) which means to convert into or regard as a concrete thing. Reify can be traced to the Latin rēs meaning "thing." The suffix -ify, a variant of -fy, means "to make," "to cause to be," "render," and is used in the formation of verbs.

Peaine Township Meeting

January 13, 2016

The regular events including approval of minutes and the approval of payments were on the agenda. Also included was the appointment of Bob Marsh as Manager of the Waste Management Station (Transfer Station). There was also a resolution related to the construction of the airport terminal on the agenda. The BIA Maine Island Institute was represented and an invitation given for their meeting on January 16th and 19th. There was a letter from Henry Hill also on the agenda.

Video of Meeting HERE

Timeout for Art: What's Going On?

by Cindy Ricksgers

Phyllis' Daily Weather

for January 14, 2016

Another invigorating winter day. It's 17° with a windchill of 9°, wind is at 5 mph from the WNW with gusts to 16 mph, humidity is at 75%, pressure is steady at 1009 mb, and visibility is at 9.1 miles. Today: Snow showers likely in the morning, then snow likely in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 20s. Light winds becoming south at 10 mph in the afternoon. Tonight: Snow likely. Lows in the mid 20s. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph with gusts to around 30 mph.

On this date of January 14, 1952 - NBC's "Today" show premiered.

Did you know that the name of the thing they use to measure your feet when you are buying shoes is called a brannock device.

Word of the day: hebetude (HEB-i-tood, -tyood) which meas the state of being dull; lethargy. Hebetude derives from the Latin word hebes meaning "dull." It entered English in the early 1600s.

BICS Board Meeting

January 11, 2016

The goals of this meeting were to review and approve the minutes and financials for the December 2015 meeting. To welcome the new board member Kirk Welter was on the agenda. Election of officers for the 2016 year, appointments to committees, and approval of depositories and signatories was also part of the plan. Meeting dates were set for 2016, and they were placed on the Community Calendar. The millage ballot proposal was also on the agenda for millage renewal. There were goals discussed for the board and the superintendent and committee reports given. Approval of the Michigan Association of School Boards membership and approval of legal services were on the agenda also. There was also a report from the search committee for a new Superintendent/Principal. Judith Gallagher gave her Supt/Principal report.

Eleven people attended the meeting as well as the board members.

Video of the meeting is HERE

Phyllis' Daily Weather

for January 13, 2016

It's still winter. The dogs informed me of that when I opened the back door for them to go out. They each gave me that "look" and ended up being pushed out into the cold for a couple minutes. They survived and were given a treat. Right now it's 13° and feels like -3°, wind is at 15 mph from the WNW with gusts to 22 mph, 81%, pressure is steady at 1015 mb, and visibility is at 9.8 miles. Today: Snow showers. Total daytime accumulation could be up to 3 inches. Highs around 17°. West winds 5 to 15 mph with gusts to around 30 mph. Tonight: snow showers. Total nighttime accumulation could be up to 2 inches. Lows around 14°. West winds at 15 mph with gusts to around 30 mph.

On this date of January 13, 1990 - L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia, the nation's first elected black governor, took the oath of office in Richmond.

Did you know that the name for the "you are here" sign on maps is actually ideolocator?

Word of the day: bellwether (BEL-weth-er) which means 1) a person or thing that shows the existence or direction of a trend; index. 2) a wether or other male sheep that leads the flock, usually bearing a bell. Bellwether comes from the word wether meaning "a castrated male sheep." It entered English in the mid-1400s.

Creative Fire Journal 4

by Cindy Ricksgers

Special Community Meetings

Snow Day!

by Cindy Ricksgers

King Strang Story Available on Kindle

See Story HERE

Download The Polygamist King for $2.99 at Amazon.com


The Polygamist King: A True Story of Murder, Lust, and Exotic Faith in America

By John J. Miller

An Island Murder

The first shots came from behind. A bullet struck James J. Strang on the back of his head, next to his ear, and ricocheted away. Another pierced his left kidney. As he turned to face his assassins, they fired again. This time, a bullet buried itself in his right cheekbone, below the eye. Then the gunmen closed in. One clubbed him so hard with the butt of his big pistol that it broke. When they were done, they climbed aboard a US Navy warship that was docked at Beaver Island in Lake Michigan. Its commander had watched the assault from his deck. Now he offered sanctuary to the attackers. Within days, they would be free of all charges and celebrated for what they had done.

Bloody and battered but somehow still alive, Strang lay on a wharf that reached into a body of water called Paradise Bay. It was June 16, 1856, almost six years since his followers had lowered a makeshift crown upon his head and swore their allegiance to him in a bizarre coronation ceremony. The “King of Beaver Island” would cling to life for three weeks. When he died from his wounds on July 9, at the age of forty-three, so did his dream of a religious utopia on the edge of American civilization.

Strang was one of the most colorful men of his time — a political boss who called himself a king, a cult leader who proclaimed himself a prophet, and a con artist who persuaded hundreds of people to move to a remote island and obey his commands. He emerged during a turbulent period of sectarian passion and frontier settlement, twin forces that helped give birth to what may remain as the greatest display of Christian religious diversity ever seen in the United States. During a six-month period in his early thirties, he converted to the new faith of the Mormons, launched an audacious bid to become their leader, and lost a power struggle to Brigham Young.

Instead of admitting defeat, however, Strang founded a dissident sect and tried to establish a personal theocracy within the borders of the United States. Like mainstream Mormons, he studied the Bible and avoided alcohol and coffee. Unlike Young, he crusaded against polygamy, winning admirers among those who opposed their church’s growing acceptance of the practice. Then he changed his mind. At the time of his death, he had five wives, four of them pregnant.

Strang was in many ways a logical if extreme product of his own culture — and from the fringes of society, he posed flamboyant challenges to American national unity and its commitment to religious pluralism. For both saints and gentiles — as Mormons commonly referred to themselves and non-Mormons, respectively — he became a figure of curiosity, sympathy, and murderous hatred.

Who was this baffling man?

The best surviving image of Strang is a photographic portrait from the 1850s. In the black-and-white picture, his head tilts downward but his dark eyes stare out. (Contemporary accounts describe his eyes as brown or black, though one of his wives claimed they were blue.) Strang is pure intensity, demanding attention and ready to implore. As a newspaper reporter had described him a few years earlier: “He appears like a man trying with all his might to convince others that he had something very important to tell them, and that it was absolutely necessary they should believe it.”

A few years before Strang sat for the photo, he visited the phrenological firm of Fowler & Wells in New York City for an examination of his skull, a pseudoscientific procedure that was supposed to reveal character traits and mental prowess. Strang was so proud of the report he received that he printed it in the Northern Islander, the newspaper he started on Beaver Island. “You are quite radical in your notions,” wrote Samuel R. Wells, who might have determined as much by skipping the cranial measurements and having an honest conversation with his subject, if that was possible. “Should you undertake to play the hypocrite,” continued Wells, “you would very soon expose yourself in some way, for you have not tact and cunning enough to enable you to carry it out into any great speculation or enterprise.”

This assessment was prescient. Strang would go far with his great speculations and enterprises, but also would suffer devastating exposure. The tale of his remarkable life involves those age-old ingredients of gothic drama and high tragedy: sex, violence, pride, fanaticism, and conspiracy. More than a century and a half later, Strang’s story echoes some of the most pressing debates of our own time on the nature of faith and freedom, the shifting definitions of marriage, the power of religious leaders, the rule of law, and the limits of tolerance. It teaches no easy lessons, though it may remind us that Americans have wrestled with these controversies for generations.

John J. Miller is director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College in Michigan. He is also national correspondent for National Review. He spends a portion of every summer Up North, near Lewiston, Michigan. His new ebook, The Polygamist King: A True Story of Murder, Lust, and Exotic Faith in America, is now available for $2.99.

Snow Day for BICS

Beaver Island Community School is closed today due to the snow storm.

On the level, there is approximately eleven inches of snow, but it is difficult to measure with drifts to fifteen inches on the level. The snow may continue on and off all day. It's beautiful outside, but drive carefully since there is ice underneath this snow.

Phyllis' Daily Weather

for January 12, 2016

Everywhere we look, it's white. LOTS of snow, and I mean lots, ok, maybe a foot. Right now it's 18° with a windchill of 10°, wind is at 8 mph from the NE, humidity is at 86%, pressure is falling from 1008 mb, and visibility is 2.8 miles. Today: Snow showers. Areas of blowing snow in the afternoon. Highs around 20°. Light winds becoming northwest 15 to 20 mph with gusts to around 45 mph in the afternoon. Tonight: Areas of blowing snow in the evening. Snow showers. Lows around 12°. West winds 5 to 20 mph with gusts to around 35 mph.

On this date of January 12, 2006 - The U.S. Mint began shipping new 5-cent coins to the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks. The coin has an image of Thomas Jefferson taken from a 1800 Rembrandt Peale portrait in which the president is looking forward. Since 1909, when presidents were first depicted on circulating coins, all presidents had been shown in profile.

Did you know that the actual name for the division sign is obelus?

Word of the day: peripatetic (per-uh-puh-TET-ik) which means walking or traveling about; itinerant. Peripatetic is derived from the Greek peripatētikós, a term used for Aristotle and his school meaning literally "walking about." It entered English in the mid-1400s.

Great Lakes Monthly Lake Levels Report

(Previously broadcast on WVBI)

Monthly the Corps of Engineers in Detroit publishes a report on the Great Lakes water level for all five lakes and summarized the inflows to the lakes from rain, snow and Canada and outflows thru Chicago and Lake Ontario. 

Precipitation over the Great Lakes basin during the month of December was well above average, especially over Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron, which received 143% and 166% of average December precipitation, respectively. As a result of the high precipitation and warm temperatures, supplies were above average on all lakes, but especially high on Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron. In fact, water supplies to Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron were the highest they have ever been during the month of December.   (My underlines).

Water levels went up on all lakes over the month of December. For Lake Superior, this marks the first time in the period of record (1918-2014) that water levels went up during the month of December. Monthly mean levels were above long term average December levels on all lakes but Ontario, which was 2 inches below its average December level. Lakes Superior and Erie were both 7 inches above long-term December average levels, and Lakes Michigan-Huron and St. Clair were both 9 inches above their long term average December levels.  Water levels are expected to drop 1-inch over the next 30-days.

As of January 8th the water level of Lake Michigan is 3-inches higher than a month ago and 3-inches higher than one-year ago.  We are 23-inches below the record high water mark of 1986 and 40” above the low water level experienced in 2013.

Bob Tidmore

Phyllis' Daily Weather

for January 11, 2016

Truly invigorating this morning at 15° with a windchill of -1°, wind is at 16 mph from the WNW with gusts to 26 mph, humidity is at 81%, pressure is rising from 1011 mb, and visibility is at 9.6 miles. We are under a weather advisory until 1:00 p.m. this afternoon. Today: Snow showers. Highs around 18. West winds 5 to 15 mph with gusts to around 30 mph. Tonight: Numerous snow showers in the evening, then snow showers after midnight. Lows around 13. south winds at 10 mph. Gusts up to 25 mph in the evening.

On this date of January 11, 1902 - "Popular Mechanics" magazine was published for the first time.

Did you know that the chart you look at when you take an eye exam is actually called a Snellen chart?

Word of the day: inveigle (in-VEY-guh l) which means to entice, lure, or ensnare by flattery or artful talk or inducements. Inveigle entered English as a variant of the word envegle from the Anglo-French enveogler. Ultimately it derives from the Vulgar Latin aboculus meaning "eyeless."

Let Me Be Clear

by Cindy Ricksgers

Regular Gas on Beaver Island

Gage Anderson Completes Math Objectives

Judith Gallagher, Jessica Anderson, Gage Anderson, Deb Robert (L to R)

Congratulations to BICS 6th Grader, Gage Anderson for completing 100% of his Aleks Pie (earning him his very own Apple Pie to take home and share with his family!). To accomplish this task, Gage worked diligently both at home and at school to master 438 math topics! Gage will now be working toward mastery of the Middle School Course topics. Way to go Gage! Here we go Islanders! Here we go!

The 52 Lists Project 2

by Cindy Ricksgers

Rita and Jeff Fundraiser at Stoney Acres

January 9, 2016

Video clip of the fundraiser


"Thank you, thank you, thank you," from Rita and Jeff

(photo courtesy of Mary Palmer)

Hello, I'm Iggy

by Joe Moore

Hello, my name is Iggy.  No, that’s not my real name.  This is a story about a young girl, her parents, a special Michigan State Policeman, a rural island EMS agency, and a flying service as well as a mainland ambulance service and a mainland hospital.  Yes, I am that young girl, and I prefer to remain nameless to protect all of us involved.  I am a grown woman now and have babies of my own.

It was a beautiful summer day on Beaver Island.  My mom dropped me off at the public beach.  I was seven years old, and pretty used to playing on my own, but I also could play with my brothers and sisters.  I have two brothers and two sisters now, but they are all older than me.  I don’t remember where they were on this beautiful day, but I do remember there were lots of kids playing at the public beach, and I made friends easily.

Read the rest of the story HERE

Snowy Owl in St. James

Snowy Owl with prey kept away from the crows, possibly a seagull.

Link to Gallery

Video Clip Below:


Rita and Jeff's Go Fund Me Link

In case you didn't know, two serious emergencies occurred on Beaver Island on one day. One of them was that Rita's and Jeff's house caught fire

You can help them by clicking on the link below to donate.


Tom Whitman's Accident

As some of you may know, Tom Whitman had an accidental fall.

He will likely be laid up for six to eight weeks and be wheelchair bound.

Deb LaFreniere is organizing a meal list for those that want to help out with that.

For those unable to help with meals, the donation link below is available to donate using PayPal.

Tom Whitman Donation Button


All money coming in to this link will be given to Tom Whitman and Jenna Wilk to help them out.

Or, you can mail a check donation to Tom Whitman, Beaver Island, MI 49782



Holocaust Survivor Martin Lowenberg

Video by Kaylyn Jones HERE

Airport Commission Meeting

April 4, 2015

View video of the meeting HERE

Emergency Services Authority

June 30, 2015

Video of this meeting HERE

Meeting of July 30. 2015

Video of this meeting HERE

August 27, 2015

Video of the meeting HERE

September 24, 2015

Video of this meeting is HERE

October 29, 2015

Video of this meeting HERE

November 24, 2015

Video of this meeting is HERE

BIRHC Board Meeting

March 21, 2015

Link to video of the meeting HERE

Information from Our School

Beaver Island Community School Board Meeting Schedule

BICS Board Meeting Schedule 2015-16


BICS Board Meetings

June 8, 2015

Video of this meeting HERE

June 29, 2015

Video can be viewed HERE

July 13, 2015

Video for the meeting HERE


Video of this meeting HERE

August 28, 2015

View video of this meeting HERE

September 14, 2015

Video HERE

November 9, 2015

View video of this meeting HERE

Anti-Bullying Presentation to BICS Parents

View presentation HERE

Peaine Township Meeting

June 10, 2015

Video of this meeting HERE

July 8, 2015

Video of meeting HERE

September 9, 2015

View video HERE

October 14, 2015

View video of the meeting HERE

St. James Township Meeting Video

The report from the St. James Township website, which is a report to the St. James taxpayers, can be viewed HERE.

June 3, 2015

Video of this can be viewed HERE

July 1, 2015

Video of this meeting HERE

August 5, 2015

Video of meeting available HERE

September 2, 2015

View video of the meeting HERE

October 7, 2015

Video of the meeting is HERE

November 4, 2015

View video of the meeting HERE

December 2, 2015

View video of this meeting HERE

Waste Management Committee

October 21, 2014

View video of the meeting

Beaver Island Community Center


At the Heart of a Good Community

Effective Tuesday, 9/8/15
CLOSED Labor Day, 9/7 Happy Holiday!!
M-F 9am-5pm
Sat 9am-9pm
231 448-2022

Check www.BeaverIslandCommunityCenter.org or the Community Center for listings

Link to the Beaver Island Airport 10-year Plan

On the Beach of Beaver Island

You will need Quicktime or another music player to enjoy this link.

The music played in the Holy Cross Hall in the late 70's and early 80's, recorded for posterity and shared here.

When Santa Missed the Boat to Beaver Island

as read by Phil Gregg

Click HERE

Community Calendar

A completely new feature includes a monthly calendar for each month of the entire year of 2015. Please send me your events and they will be posted so others can schedule their events without conflict. Email your schedule of events to medic5740@gmail.com.

If you or your organization has an event you'd like posted on this Community Calendar, please contact me and I'll add it in.  Please try to get me the information as early as possible.

Meeting Minutes

The minutes of all public meetings will be posted

as soon as they are received.

News on the 'Net welcomes minutes to all public meetings. All organizations are welcome to submit meeting minutes for publication on this website. Please email them to medic5740@gmail.com.

Airport Committee Minutes

Beaver Island Cultural Arts Association Minutes

Beaver Island District Library Board Minutes

Peaine Township Board Minutes

BIRHC Board Meeting Minutes

St. James Township Meeting Minutes

Beaver Island Community School Board Meeting Minutes

Beaver Island Ecotourism Goals Draft, rev. 3, 19 Jan 2010

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-Tourism Steering Committee Minutes

Beaver Island Transportation Authority Minutes

Joint Human Resources Commission Minutes

Waste Management Committee Minutes

Beaver Island Airport Commission Minutes New for 2011!

Subscriptions Expire

You can subscribe online by using PayPal and a credit card. Please click the link below if you wish to renew online:


50th Anniversary of Grand Rapids Party

Welcome Beaver Islanders, Family, and Friends,

We are fast approaching our 50th party.   Hard to believe but on February 27th, 2016, it’s here.  Please join us in celebrating this achievement and help continue to support our Island.  Throughout the evening, please make it a point to thank those original members both in attendance and in memories.

*** Call EARLY for reservations. *** *** Call EARLY for reservations. ***
Mention “Beaver Island Celebration.”  Room rates are $72.00 Friday night and $85.00 Saturday night plus taxes each night. Come Friday night and stay both nights. Make it a weekend get-a-way!

Be sure to reserve by February 12th. After that date, the room prices are not guaranteed. The local number must be called, 616-949-9222. Do not call the national number. You will be told the hotel is full. If you are told no rooms are available, be sure you are speaking with someone at the Ramada Plaza in Grand Rapids. Call Early!

In 1965 a group of Beaver Islanders in Grand Rapids felt there was a need to financially assist Holy Cross Church in building the convent. That is when the Beaver Island Club of Grand Rapids was formed, and the "Beaver Island Caper" was originated. The Club started at Richie and Janet O'Donnell's home in Wyoming.  Present were Richie and Janet O’Donnell, Brian Gallagher, Glen and Eleanor McDonough, Bob (Holiday) and Charlotte McDonough, and Bob Delaney. The first party was in 1966.  A tradition had begun. 

The Island has reached a milestone with the Grand Rapids Party. Reflecting back, one can’t help but wonder if the founding members thought their ideas would be still carried on 50 years later (we should ask them.)  It’s amazing to be part of the legacy.  Can you imagine if they wondered about the future?  Will the Party still be a tradition in another 50 years?

Please continue to encourage our little Beaver Islanders with music and dance at the “Kid’s Hour”; 7:30 to 8:30.  Kids 17 and under are free.  A  Kids’ Basket of Joy is being added for those little dancers.   All attending the Kids Hour will be entered to win.  Goody bags will be handed out to the youngsters whose names are not drawn. 

Remembering the past parties and how Island tradition was valued with such well dressed men and women; please honor the founders and fellow gatherers with your Sunday best.

 Along with these additions, you will find other attractions new and old.  Be sure to attend and find out what they are.

We are looking forward to seeing you all again.  Please feel free to pass the invitation around and promote our gathering.  Let’s make things happen.  It’s time to make another successful party.

Thank you from all of us,

The Beaver Island Club of Grand Rapids

Creative Fire Journal, Day 3

by Cindy Ricksgers


by Cindy Ricksgers

(Photo by Jeff Powers, DVM)

St James Township Regular Meeting

January 6, 2016

Video HERE

Father Gabriel Fox Has Passed Away

Father "Gabe" has left this world and entered heaven's gate on December 29, 2015. This was confirmed by the parish that he assisted and by the diocese that he was in. More information will be posted when available.

Rev. Gabriel J. AKA James L. Fox, born and raised in Chicago Heights, IL, and died Monday, December 29, 2015 in St. Petersburg Florida after a short illness. He attended the former St. Ann's Parish School and graduated from Bloom Township High School in 1954. In 1968, he joined the Conventual Franciscan Province Order in Indiana and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1974 in Rome.

Father Gabriel served parishes in Indiana, Wisconsin and Kentucky, before being assigned pastor of Holy Cross Church on Beaver Island, MI for 6 years. In 1986, he joined the Diocese of Gaylord, MI and served as pastor of several churches in Frankfort, Ossineke, Black River and Manistee, where he retired in 2001.

Father Gabriel is survived by his sister, Barbara Zandi (the late James) of Fort Mohave, AZ, his brother-in-law, George Sedlacek (Bonnie) of Crete, several nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Helen (Bergin) Fox, his stepfather, Joseph Magner and one niece Elizabeth Young.

Visitation will be held at St. Agnes Church in Chicago Heights on Thursday, January 7, 2016 from 9:30AM until time of funeral mass at 11:00AM and a burial at Assumption Cemetery in Glenwood, IL following the mass. Memorials may be directed to the Priest Retirement Fund of the Diocese of Gaylord, Michigan. "I lived, I was loved, I was happy! I'll see you in Heaven!" - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/daily-southtown/obituary.aspx?pid=177150687#sthash.C9eCbQcW.dpuf

A First and Maybe Last

Attempt at Poetry

by Joe Moore

On my way to Whiskey Point on a summer afternoon,
‘Round the harbor we go to see the rising of the moon.
A gorgeous day is on its way,
 Almost every day;  here on Paradise Bay.

The sun is shining, the clouds so high,
Oh, what a wonderful sky!
Whiskey Point is in sight and much more to see,
What more can we ask as we pass the geo-cache tree?

To the point we’ll always go, it’s a tradition don’t you know?
No sense in fighting things when it’s easier to see the glow.
When asked the question time after time, it’s easy to say,
“Round the Harbor and to the point is tradition every single day.

On the way to Whiskey Point on a winter afternoon,
The snow banks high, no sun in the sky, it’s grey and cold.
But we still make the trip, day after day.
We’ll make the trip day or night in search of what’s been sold.
We’ll take the time to do it, It never does get old.
We make it now no matter what, it is habit can’t you say?
We’ll take our trip around the horn when we have the time,
But a trip to Whiskey Point , you see, takes less and is fine.

Here we go, once again a trip, maybe even have a sip
Or two of beer, you may take, on this special trip.
No matter ‘round the horn or to the point on land,
It’s much better than you’ll know, on the mainland.
Unless you take the time to go, maybe even with the flow
Of traffic east to west or west to east, always north to south to north.
You take the trip to truly see the paradise in which we live and grow.

So let’s once again make sure, that Whiskey Point is still here,
What better thing to do, when you have none to fear,
Then head once more to see the sights of beauty there.
Maybe on to Gull Harbor, perhaps an eagle we might see
In that big old dead tree, or a heron view with glee.
Imagine those who see this for the first time, and take the time to stare.
Look across the harbor bay, and just wait to hear you say,
Let’s make sure we have the time to do this every day.

Violet M. Deur

April 12, 1924 - January 5, 2016

Mrs. Violet M. Deur, age 91 years of Newaygo, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday afternoon, January 5, 2016 from the Newaygo Medical Care Facility in Fremont. She was born on April 12, 1924 in Bailey, Michigan to Glenn & Hazel (Barnum) Detwiler. She graduated from Grant High School, and attended Western Michigan University. Mrs. Deur worked on the family dairy farm for many years, she was an avid gardener, and she had been a Fremont Public School bus driver for 13 years until her retirement. On December 14, 1945 she married Richard "Dick" Deur and he preceded her in death on January 21, 2005.

She was also preceded in death by her daughter-in-law, Linda L. Deur on October 22, 2009; by her brother, Esman Detwiler; and by her sister, Eileen Bonter. She is survived by 2 sons: Michael (Linda) Deur of Newaygo, Theodore (Audrey) Deur of Ishpeming, Michigan; 4 grandchildren: Bruce (Andrea) Deur, Michelle (Rex) Hyzer, Melanie (Terry) Yoder, Sarah(Drew) Owsinski; 12 great grandchildren & 4 step-great grandchildren; 2 sisters: Mary Ellen Wamser of Sparta, Esther (Frank) Austin of Bailey; 1 brother, Willard "Bill" (Shirley) Detwiler of Beaver Island; several brothers-in-law & sisters-in-law; and by many nieces & nephews.

The Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, January 9, 2016 at the Kroeze-Wolffis Funeral Home with Mr. Terry Yoder officiating. Visitation will also be on Saturday from 12-1 PM. Interment will be at Maple Grove Cemetery in Fremont. Suggested Memorial: The Gideons International - Newaygo Camp. You can sign the online guest book at www.kroeze-wolffis.com. Arrangements are by Kroeze-Wolffis Funeral Home, Inc. of Fremont.

Busy Emergency Services Today

January 5, 2016

Fire on East Side Drive

Both Beaver Island EMS and Beaver Island Fire Department had a busy day today. A 62 year old male had a fall from 12 feet, had some serious trauma, and this patient needed to be flown to Traverse City to Munson Medical Center. There were three choices to accomplish this task: BIEMS Island Airways licensed aircraft, Northflight EMS out of Traverse City, or Valley Med out of Iron Mountain. The Emergency Room was contacted, and the paramedic on call said, "We can wait for Valley Med or Northflight. They will be here in an hour, or we leave with the patient in ten minutes using a local aircraft."

The Nurse spoke with the doctor, and stated, "Use the quickest method possible to get him here."

So. Island Airways was contacted and a seamless transition took place, both at the BIRHC and at Welke Airport, where he was loaded into the BIEMS licensed air transport vehicle and flown to Traverse City. The BIEMS on-call paramedic and EMTwere to accompany the patient with Paul Welke the pilot of aircraft with Ben Delamater in the copilot's seat. The patient was provided advanced life support monitoring and care during the flight.

BIEMS paramedic and EMT were transported in the Northflight ground ambulance to the Munson Hospital ER, Trauma Room, where the patient report was given to the trauma team. Beaver Island EMS paramedic Joe Moore said, "Wow, it was so neat to see a whole trauma team in action. I got to give my report to the trauma surgeon, and all the nurses and technicians listened to the report carefully. I was treated with respect and given a "thumbs up" by the Northflight paramedics and the RN in the ER. I felt part of a team with the sole purpose of helping the patient get through this rough time."

This was the first time that the BIEMS paramedic was required to go all the way to the hospital, and also the first time Joe Moore had an opportunity to see a busy Level II Trauma Center and trauma team. Northflight Ground EMS transported the BIEMS crew back to the Traverse City Airport, and the aircraft headed back to Beaver Island.

Paul Welke and Ben Delamater were talking abouit some smoke in Northport, and the ride back was a little bumpy. Flying over Lake Geneserath to checkout the ice conditions, it didn't take Paul and Ben very long to notice smoke on the East Side of the island. The storage building behind a home was fully involved in flames, and the flames were quickly approaching the residence. Paul Welke got on the radio, notified his wife Angel Welke, who contact 911 for the fire department to be dispatched.

BIFD responded quickly with a pumper from the East Side Fire Station. BIEMS responded to standby at the East Side Station after the plane landed and other EMS providers took the ambulance, and Joe Moore took the emergency response vehicle to the standy location.

Yes, it was a busy day for the emergency services on Beaver Island. The Charlevoix County Deputy Sheriff also responded to the fire.

Here are some pictures of the flight back from TVC and of the fire from the air: HERE

The Beaver Island Community is invited to a

Maine Islands Trip Debriefing

From Island Representatives


January 16, 2016 3 p.m.-5 p.m.

Beaver Island Community Center 

Purpose of meeting:  (1) to review and discuss with the Beaver Island community the lessons learned by Beaver Island representatives on the Maine island trip, (2) to begin discussion of approaches to addressing the key issues identified so far (including setting priorities and interested parties) and (3) based on discussion of (1) and (2), identify other issues that should be considered.

Please attend and let’s share ideas.

Additional information on trip can be found at:


Live WVBI Interview: HERE

Special St. James Township Board Meeting

1/4/2016 at 7 p.m.

Video can be viewed HERE

Underwater Adventure

Thanks to Pam Grassmick for sending me this link to the Dan Burton Underwater Snowmobile video

Click HERE to view it


BIESA Meeting Schedule


BOBI (BIDL Book Club)

For Tuesday, 1/19 @7p: Gutenberg's Apprentice by Alix Christie 
For February (date tbd): In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

CC Transit Bus Back to Monday-Friday

In an email, Bob Tidmore notified me that two new transit bus drivers have been hired and effective immediately, the transit bus is back on its Monday through Friday schedule.

Preparing the Community Calendar

BINN is beginning the preparations for the 2016 Beaver Island Community Calendar. The events that are already scheduled for the coming year will be gladly be posted on the calendar. Any organization that has dates can be posted, but they have to be sent to the editor. Joe Moore said, "I have to be aware of the activity in order to post information about the activity." Save your dates now, so there are fewer conflicts!

Bank Hours Change

Starting in January the Beaver Island Branch of Charlevoix State Bank will be starting their winter hours. The hours for January, February, March and April will be Tuesday and Friday from 9am until 2pm. The bank will be closed on January 1st for the New Years Day holiday.

BICS 2015-16 Basketball Schedule

Stoney Acre Senior Menu

If you are part of the senior group, you can get an excellent meal for lunch or dinner at Stoney Acres. If you forget your coupon, you can get the same items from the senior menu for $8.00. Give it a try! You miay like the options available.

Beach Rangers

Beach Rangers, now is the time to start walking the beaches and recording any dead birds, and fish found.   Recently found were 4 Red Neck Grebes on Donegal Bay. Contact me if you wish to participate and are willing to walk the beaches this fall.
Jacque, 448-2220

Organizations Wanting Dates on the Community Calendar

BINN sponsors a Community Calendar as a one-stop location for anyone to view the meetings, programs, and events taking place on Beaver Island. BINN just included the entire year of 2015 in this location. Events already planned for a specific week or date could be placed in this location, so that no one else schedules an event that might conflict with your meeting, program, or event. In order for the editor to place these meeting, programs, or events on the Community Calendar, that information has to be emailed to the editor at medic5740@gmail.com. Please get this information to the editor as soon as possible.

Airport Commission Regular Meeting Schedule

February 6

April 2

August 6

November 5

Talking Threads Quilt Guild WEDNESDAYS

Talking Threads Quilt Guild invites all quilters, sewers, knitters, crocheters, weavers, spinners, and any other crafters to Peaine Township Hall on Wednesdays from 9:30 until noon. � Bring your projects, supplies, and enthusiasm. � Call Darlene at 448-2087 if you have questions , or just stop in on Wednesday.

Island Treasures Resale Shop

Island Treasures Resale Shop will start the winter schedule.  We will be open from noon until 4:00 Thursdays through Saturdays.

Open for shopping and donations

If you need help with your donation, call the shop at 448-2534

or Donna at 448-2797.

BIRHC Meeting Dates Set

The board of directors of the BIRHC has set these meetings for 2016:
All are Saturdays at 10 AM in the Community Room at the Center:

March 19

June 18

Sept 17

December 10 Annual Meeting

B I Christian Church Worship Leaders

9:30 a.m. service

Bible study

every Tuesday evening at 7:00; discussion led by pastor of the previous Sunday-

-Everyone welcome!! Bible study 7:00 - 8:00; coffee/dessert fellowship after Bible study.

Message to All B.I. Organizations

BINN is willing to post any and all events on the News on the 'Net website! There is one exception to this rule.

BI News on the 'Net cannot post your event if you don't send the information to BINN!

Auditor's Report for St. James Township

for Year Ending March 31, 2014

Thanks to Bob Tidmore for the link to this report.




Donate to the Food Pantry

Use this button below to donate to the Food Pantry.

Donation goes to the Christian Church Food Pantry--Click the Donate Button on the far left and above.

Donate to the Live Streaming Project


The Live Streaming Project includes BICS Sports Events, Peaine Township Meetings, Joint Township Meetings, and much more.

Your donation may allow these events to be live streamed on the Internet at http://beaverisland.tv