Guess Who's 42 Years Old TODAY!!

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Check at the end of the 'Net to see who this gal is

The Lucky Seven

Or Walleye Pond Epilogue

Submitted by Jeff Powers

Even though the walleye pond had a frustrating start, several diehard volunteers from the Beaver Island Wildlife Club managed to rescue seven VERY LARGE healthy walleyes on July 23rd, 2003.  Well, since seven is a lucky number and this raises are total number of walleyes to seventy, maybe this all bodes well for next year.  2003 was a bad year for walleye ponds in Michigan, with the DNR's best ponds only yielding twenty percent of their normal yield.  The Beaver Island Wildlife Club will soon plant rye in the pond area, and work on several factors which will improve our success in the future, including conditioning the water for at least a month prior to fish arriving and oxygenation of the pond.  Thanks for all of the community support, we'll keep trying this until we get it right!

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2nd Annual







SUNDAY August 10th

7 pm - 11 pm

Powers’ ACE Hardware Lumberyard  


Everyone Invited… “ARRR”


Congratulations to Beaver Island's newest Emergency Medical Technicians: Cindy Gillespie-Cushman, Karen Whitecraft, Ken Bruland, and Forrest Powers.  On July 8, 2003, the above and Joannie Adams passed the State of Michigan EMT Practical Exam.  They also took the National Registry Exam for Basic EMTs.  Results in, all four passed.  Joannie's results aren't available since she turned 18 just four days ago.  So far 100% pass rate.  Good luck, Joannie.  All need to apply for State of Michigan licensure.  Joe Moore, Chairperson of Beaver Island EMS, looks forward to putting them on the on-call schedule.  Great job everyone!

Between Iraq and a Hard Spot

Since my brother, 1SG Ron Gregg, arrived back stateside from Iraq on the 13th, I asked him to write something about his adventures.  The following is what he sent to me and I hope there will be more in the future.

Ron Iraq small.jpg (35788 bytes)Why are they still over there?  That seems to be the biggest question asked by the American public, concerning our troops in Iraq.  The best thing I can do is to provide my perspective based on what was going on in the areas I was working in.  Please understand that this is my opinion and not the official stance of the government, the Army, or the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

I returned from Iraq a week ago, to prepare for a new job.  I was shocked by the news and seeing that there are many Americans who don't understand the plight of our soldiers in Iraq. 
Please allow me to clarify a few points:  1.) Our soldiers want to come home.  They're homesick; they miss the comforts of home and family, the summer fun, and good old American food.  2.) Our soldiers on the ground in Iraq understand that they have a very important mission that must be done.  If given the chance, I'm sure many of them would not leave voluntarily, unless there was someone there to replace them.  To leave too soon would cause all they've done to start unraveling.  Those two conflicting points are the same conflicts all working Americans face: the balance between work and family.  The reason soldiers want to ensure the job is done, is the simplest one of all: if we leave Iraq too soon, we'll be coming back to do this whole thing all over again.

The Iraqi population is made up of probably 99% great people.  There are still about 1% of them out there that haven't figured out that they are not going to win, and that everything they do against the coalition forces only slows down the reconstruction process.  That 1% (if that many) is still dedicated to Saddam's cause, and many of them are not even Iraqis.  There is a chunk of the population over there who "think" they want American Forces to leave.  The world media seems to delight in broadcasting the opinions of those folks in the bigger cities who have no idea about what the Coalition Forces have done and are still doing for Iraq. 

I was working in a rural region.  The people there were nervous whenever we moved to another location because they associate the Coalition Forces with everything that has gone right in their lives in the past few months.  They are safer.  They are no longer subjected to maltreatment at the hands of Saddam's goons.  They are seeing their schools being repaired, remodeled and replaced.  They are seeing medical clinics pop up in places they always thought there should be one.  They are seeing water pipelines installed where they had to pay 10 times the going rate for water to be trucked in.  They saw brief Coalition control of gas stations and propane distribution centers, then suddenly everyone was receiving their propane and gas for their cars.  They saw all of these things and many more.  What they did not see very often was the work that Coalition Forces, our American Soldiers, were doing behind the scenes to make all of this happen for them.

How does this happen?  I'll tell you how it happened in the area I worked in.  We established a base of operation to work out of for an indeterminate amount of time.  Our leaders assigned us areas, and tasks to be accomplished in those areas.  There was no time limit, but there was no question about the urgency either.  Our tasks were assigned priorities according to the immediate needs of the people.  Very quickly, American soldiers whose expertise is fighting and winning through violent means, suddenly shifted gears and began fixing up a broken country.  It was done beautifully. 

Of course the media quit covering everything after the major moving pieces of the war came to a halt.  When the majority of the violence ceased, so did the media coverage.  Good news doesn't sell newspapers and isn't exciting to watch.  America did not see our soldiers:
· Continuing to work around the clock in extreme heat to ensure people could get access to food, water, and fuel. 
· Silently guarding remote villages from rogue gangs and looters. 
· Travel 100s of miles though dusty plains to ensure adequate means were available to harvest a meager wheat crop in remote villages. 
· Stand in the background and ensure contracts were established through legitimate means; contracts that created jobs so the local population could improve their own roads, build or repair their own schools and clinics, protect their own property, provide their own police force, harvest their own crops, and manage their own affairs.
· Applying all they learned in high school and college government classes toward establishing local democratic governments and coaching the new leaders through the entire process to establish an interim infrastructure to get a nation back on its feet.
· Evacuate villages threatened by industrial fires.  They didn't see the emergency centers established.  They didn't see Americans risking life and limb to fight fires through poisonous gasses, so that thousands could safely return to their homes.
America didn't see the UN or non-government organizations assisting in all of these things, because they haven't …yet.  All of the things that have been done thus far have been done by American soldiers.  American soldiers who care enough to make a difference.  American soldiers who are working away from their own families so that other families can live free.

America did not see the statistics of how many soldiers lose their lives on American highways when not deployed.  Yes, we want them all home soon and safely.  Let's let them finish the tasks at hand.  If we abandoned the Iraqi people after soundly defeating their army and removing their government, we would be leaving millions of good people at the mercy of neighboring countries, who are hoping for that very thing to happen.  If we pull out too soon, who will fill the void we create? 

We are all so fond of saying "God Bless America".  I wonder how many of us realize that he has blessed us with a great deal.  Maybe a little effort and sacrifice now and again to earn those blessings really isn't too much to ask.

Bellamy Memorial Service

Bellamy-Mel&Judy.jpg (26315 bytes)There will be a memorial service for Mel and Judy Bellamy on Sunday, July 27th at the Beaver Island Christian Church at 2:00 p.m. followed by a potluck luncheon.  On November 10, 2002, Mel and Judy lost their lives in a plane accident while returning to the island.  Although their island residency had not numbered in many years, they both were very involved within the island community and their loss was felt by all the the people.  They are survived by their children Melissa & James Crova of Romulus, Jennifer Bellamy of Royal Oak, and Michael & Jenny Bellamy of Newaygo and their granddaughters Anna & Renee Crova.  Melvin is also survived by his mother Leona Bellamy of Newaygo, his brothers and sister Ron & Edie Bellamy of Newaygo, Dale & Glenna Bellamy of Caledonia and Bev & Bob Karman of Kentwood. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family as they were when this tragic event unfolded.

Page Two of the News on the 'Net