The Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a skydive demonstration on July 4th over the harbor. Luther Kurtz and the team from Skydive Harbor Springs will jump at about 2:45 as the parade returns to main street. Plans call for red white and blue trailing smoke and an American flag as part of the exciting event. They will land at Drop Zone Beaver Island (the public beach). Folks will be ask to clear the beach for a few minutes for safety reasons. Weather permitting they will jump from two miles up.

They will do tandum jumps the following day July 5. Folks can sign up after the parade at the Chamber office. For more info 231 330-3483 or www.skydiveharborsprings.com No experience is required because the tandem jumper is safely strapped to an experienced instructor.

Things are Warming Up

Even before the first day of summer arrives the temperatures and weather on the island are totally summer-like. This year is one of the earliest to see swimmers at the playground in town. If this continues then July and August ought to be absolutely perfect for vacationers. Frank Solle, with his ever trusty camera, took this panaramic shot of Fox Lake this past weekend. If this isn't enough, along with the great weather, to make you want to come to the island, I don't know what is. Click on Frank's photo to see the full effect.

Island Open Houses

Saturday, June 18 th , was Open House day on Beaver Island . Due to circumstances there was not one, not two, but four on Saturday. Residents and visitors were could travel from one to another and graze as they went.

Beaver Island's newest gift shop, Whimsy, held their official opening and from all the comments it was truly enjoyable browsing through the lower level of the old Malloy Meat Market when there shop is located. At the same time, residents and visitors could take advantage of visiting both the Print Shop Museum and the Marine Museum during their annual Open House. Coffee and sweets were available at all sites making business brisk.

Then it was off to the “new” municipal dock from 10 until 1:45 . It took almost 12 years and an accident when a finger pier collapsed on July 3, 2003 to get things moving but the final result is top notch. United Design Associates Engineering and Architecture of Cheboygan, Michigan did a marvelous job ripping out the old dock and replacing it with all new planking and pilings along with individual meters for boaters. The showers/restrooms have been completely redone and the Beaver Island Municipal Dock offers showers, laundry facilities, and a relaxing lounge. Members of both Peaine and St. James townships boards were on hand to answer questions. Special visitors were Under Sheriff Don Schneider and his lovely wife, Shirley Roloff of the Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners, Mark Muniak of the Charlevoix County Prosecutor's Office, Kevin Elsenheimer (R) for the 105 th District, Andy Johnson representing State Senator Jason Allen (R) of the 37 th District, State Senator Ron Jelinek (R) of the 21 st District and James Muschell of United Design Associates Engineering and Architecture, and Rick Skendzel Architecture Technology architect.

  

Guests strolled out on the newly completed dock and toured the building. Coffee, cookies, hot dogs, beans, chips, and pop were offered along with greeting the guests and visiting. There was no “cutting of the ribbon” or any official dedication at this site.

At 2:00 almost all those who had been at the Municipal Dock gathered for the dedication of the new Beaver Island East Side Fire Station 2 located at Sand Bay across from the Bill Wagner Memorial Campground. According to Fire Chief Tim McDonough, this state of the art fire hall will now be home to the new pumper truck “Fritz” donated so generously by the Steinbach family in memory of Fritz Steinbach, a tanker truck, brush truck and an ambulance.

This event was the culmination of the day and was marked by the AMVET's flag raising using a flag donated by Senator Allen which had been flown over the State Capital Building . Peaine Township Supervisor, John Works, opened the ceremony with a welcome and profuse thanks to all those who had been involved since its inception almost eight years ago. Architect Rick Skendzel offered his appreciation to all. Andy Johnson read a letter from Senator Allen who was unable to attend. Kevin McDonough, project manager for Beaver Gems, thanked everyone especially all the contractors and sub-contractors involved. St. James Township Supervisor Don Vyse took center stage to make his comments on the new and improved municipal dock and jokingly said now he's ready for the next big project. Kitty McNamara, Beaver Island Community School Principal/Superintendent, took a few minutes to thank Senator Ron Jelinek for his support, along with other senators, for the five small geographically isolated school districts ( Beaver Island , Mackinac Island , Detour – which includes Drummond Island , Paradise and Grand Marais) which needed state aid to continue. Ending the program was the official turning over of the keys to the new fire hall to Chief Tim McDonough and EMS Chairperson, Gerald LaFreniere, Jr. The grand finale for the day was Chief McDonough presenting the Beaver Island East Side Fire Station 2 with a painting from the Steinbach family saying, “this is no Mickey Mouse fire station.”

Peaine Township Supervisor John Works, Jr. Rick Skendzel, Architect Kevin McDonough, Project Manager - Beaver Gems
State Representative Kevin Elsenheimer Andy Johnson for Senator Jason Allen St. James Township Supervisor Don Vyse
BICS Principal/Superintendent Kitty McNamara and Senator Ron Jelinek Steinbach family presentation of painting to Beaver Island East Side Fire Station 2 Fire Chief Tim McDonough, Supervisor Works, EMS Chairperson Gerald LaFreniere, Jr.

Page Two of the News on the 'Net