B. I. News on the 'Net, May 25-May 31 2009

Art Johnson Passes Away

Arrangements have now been made for Art's memorial service which will be held on Saturday, May 30, at 3:00 p.m. at Portage United Church of Christ.  The address is 2731 W. Milham Ave., Portage, MI 49024.

Memorial donations may be sent in dad's name to either the Battle Creek V.A. Medical Center, 5500 Armstrong Rd., Battle Creek, MI 49015 or the Beaver Island Lighthouse School, 890 Parsons Rd., Traverse City, MI 49686.  The Lighthouse School is a program for troubled teens and Art has been volunteering there for quite some time.  Donations go to directly help the students (all who come from poverty situations) and to the restoration of the lighthouse at the south end of the island which is the responsibility of the teens at the school.

Dad's ashes will be interred next to Mom's in the Beaver Island Prostant cemetery later this summer.  When those arrangements have been made, we will let you know the date in case anyone wants to be a part of that, too.

Again, thank you for your prayers and support during the last few months.  Although we are saddened that we won't be able to enjoy dad's company any more, we know he is where he wants to be and has been reunited with his family that has gone before him.  We hope you can be with us on Saturday to celebrate his life.

Art passed away today at about 2:15 p.m.  He passed quietly and painlessly with his daughter, granddaughter and two nieces at his side.

Dad's wishes were to be cremated and to have a memorial service so we will be passing those plans on to you here as they develop.  Thank you for your continuing prayers for all of us at this difficult time.

God bless.

Update on May 24, 2009: update from Sue Oole re: Art Johnson
Thank you, cousin Barbara, for the great OLD pictures! I have put them on this website in the photo album.  If anyone else has pictures you'd like to contribute, you can send them to me at sue.oole@wmich.edu and I will add them.

Dad is holding his own today although we are getting closer to the end.  His breathing is very shallow and his hands and feet are cold.  The nurses come in every couple of hours to check on him and turn him; he has stopped moving on his own.

Art is not in any pain and we know his transition will be comfortable. 

Update on May 20, 2009: update from Sue Oole re: Art Johnson

This morning brings dad a little closer to the end.  His breathing is more shallow and he continues to have longer periods of apnea.  He is very comfortable and pain free which is a blessing.

Today the nurses dressed Art in a shirt of kelly green--perfect for a Beaver Island guy!  I'm sure he will be happy to see his old friends from the Island who have gone before him--I know he and Karl Keebler will talk about their beaver trapping days!

We continue to pray for an easy transition.  Love to you all who continue to support us through this difficult time.

Update on May 17, 2009: Word has been received that Art is not doing well. He is very ill, and thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated.

Sue Oole (Art Johnson's daughter, emailed me with a website to update people on Art's conditionl. It is called www.caringbridge.org . You need to go to Art's personal website which is "ajj", He had a stroke in early April but is getting better, This was reported by John McNeil.

Update on May 19, 2009:

Dad is still hanging on and has been moved to Rose Arbor Hospice Residence (5473 Croyden Avenue), Room 18, in Kalamazoo.  The lower portion of his lungs have collapsed and his kidneys are failing.  The Hospice staff think that maybe he has just a couple of days left.

Their goal is to keep him comfortable as he transitions from this life to the next and they are doing a wonderful job.  There are no more IVs, oxygen masks or beeping machines.  He is in a quiet, calm atmosphere and has short periods of time when he is responsive.

Family and friends are welcome to visit and say their good-byes.  We will try to give you more updates during the day tomorrow as things progress.  Thank you for ontinued prayers for Art as he finishes his life with us.   
Dad is still hanging on and has been moved to Rose Arbor Hospice Residence (5473 Croyden Avenue), Room 18, in Kalamazoo.  The lower portion of his lungs have collapsed and his kidneys are failing.  The Hospice staff think that maybe he has just a couple of days left.

Their goal is to keep him comfortable as he transitions from this life to the next and they are doing a wonderful job.  There are no more IVs, oxygen masks or beeping machines.  He is in a quiet, calm atmosphere and has short periods of time when he is responsive.

Family and friends are welcome to visit and say their good-byes.  We will try to give you more updates during the day tomorrow as things progress.  Thank you for continued prayers for Art as he finishes his life with us.   

ATV Training Course Offered

June 15, 2009, from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

BICS Students Perform in Petoskey

Four of our BICS students played in the May 17th strings concert at John Hall in Bay View, Petoskey.  Katie LaFreniere and Erin Myers played in the beginner group, Michael McCafferty played in the Intermediate group, and Caitlin Boyle played in the Symphony.  These students should be very proud of their accomplishments and their dedication to playing music.

Katie and Erin..................Caitlin............Michael

Air Show Coming June 26-28, 2009

Island Treasure Resale News



AMVETs Memorial Breakfast

On Sunday morning, May 24, 2009, the AMVETs put on their Memorial Day breakfast, serving fruit cocktail, two kinds of pancakes, regular and blueberry; link sausage, and scrambled eggs. The morning began fairly slowly, but once church got out, there was a rather large rush to the breakfast. The AMVETs served close to three hundred people breakfast on this morning. For some pictures, click HERE.

AMVETs Memorial Day

The beginning of the honor for our veterans who had given the ultimate sacrifice began with the tolling of the Holy Cross Church bells. A short history of Memorial Day was presented, but was very difficult to hear with the wind and a quiet speaker. Bob Hoogendorn thanks the community for the support of the AMVETs. Bob also made some comments about growing up. Bob spoke to remember the disabled veterans. Kathy Speck lead the "God Bless America" song. Alvin LaFreniere remembered the eight Beaver Island veterans that gave the ultimate sacrifice. Bob Hoogendorn plays "Taps" and the gathered veterans are dismissed.

Whiskey Point Pictures

The Cisco going out of the harbor mouth, met up with some kayakers

The kayakers were just relaxing in the sunshine by the harbor entrance.

The Cisco passed the kayakers.

A little wake never hurt anyone. It just keeps you on your toes.

( Remember this means a Quicktime Streaming Video clip is available) (Click on the icon to view it.)

Where's This?

Send you answer to medic5740@gmail.com

BICS Dedication Day

On Saturday, May 23, 2009, beginning at 11 a.m., the Beaver Island Community School held a dedication ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new school. The Boys Scouts and Girls Scouts led the Pledge of Allegiance. Kathleen McNamara, principal/supertendent welcomed everyone to the the ceremony. There were brief remarks from previous graduates: Helen LaFreniere Pike, Class of 1933 ; Bev O'Donnell Cantwell, Class of 1959 ; Kathleen Green Dvorcek, Class of 1984; Maeve Green, Class of 2009 ; Christie Heller Purdue on The 21st Century Learning Scholarship Fund; John Fiegen, Board Member on the BICS Bond Planning Committee ; Deborah LaFreniere Robert, Class of 1988 and current 5th and 6th grade teacher ; and Bret Kronlein, architect from BETA Design .

Barb Schwartzfisher, BICS Board President presented the dedication plaque . Outside, Beaver Gems, Inc., presented the McKinley School Bell . Also outside, Joe Reed made a few comments; the Beaver Island AMVETs raised the flag . Back inside, the Class of 2009 cut a ribbon to the high school wing, and the Class of 2021 cut the ribbon to the K-8 wing. Guided tours of the school were to follow. After the tours, there was a picnic lunch outside.

To view the Andrea Moore pictures of the event, click HERE

Many thanks to John Palmer, who video taped the program.

The Case Against the Cormorrants

There are several pictures and a DNR article located on this page which states pretty well the case against the cormorrants. The pictures are by Jeff Powers, and the article is part of a series of articles showcasing the DNR.. To view this information, click HERE.

Stoney Acre to Serve Breakfast on Saturdays

The Saturday mornings on the Island will provide one more opportunity to get you moving. Stoney Acre will serve breakfast on Saturdays beginning early and will serve through the lunch hour. The Saturday breakfast hours will be 7 a.m.- 2 p.m. Lunch and breakfast will be available from 11 a.m. til 4 p.m.

Don't Forget the FREE Classified Ads

As a subscriber to this website, you get free classified ads posting for all subscribers to read. The classified ads are one of the perks for being a subscriber. Please check them once in a while, and please use them.

BIEMS Celebrates EMS Week at BICS

Beaver Island EMS chose to celebrate EMS week by providing an educationally-sound basic health information to all students in attendance at Beaver Island Community School. There were presentations for all levels including CPR for Friends and Family for the appropriate aged groups. The Beaver Island Community School high school students all became certified in CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and use of an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) through the Kellogg Community College adjunct instructors Sarah McCafferty (parmedic and director of BIEMS), Joe Moore (paramedic and former BICS teacher), and Shirley Curtis (paramedic and paramedic instructor). The only four students not certified were not in school for their assigned classes in CPR/AED. All high school students learned CPR for adults, children, and infants, as well as the process to help these same age groups if they were choking.

The lower elementary students were introduced to the equipment in an ambulance by doing an ambulance scavenger hunt, body part bingo, and emergency word hangman. Discussion was held about calling 911 and how to stay safe . Upper elementary students were introduced to the same items and making a basic splint from a book. 7th and 8th graders did Friends and Family CPR.

Frank Solle's Photos of Iron Ore Bay HERE

Co-Ed Softball Sign-up Announcement

Men's Golf League to Start May 27, 2009

If you are interested in playing in the men's golf league, you need to contact Buck Ridgeway right away. The teams will begin play on Wednesday, May 27, 2009, and continue through July every Wednesday night.

Transfer Station Announces Hazardous Materials Day

A Household Hazardous Material Disposal Day will take place on Saturday, June 6, 2009, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the transfer station. Doug Bugai stated that this would be by appointment only, so call to set up your appointment and ask any questions about what is considered a hazardous material, and, whether or not the transfer station can dispose of it. Doug stated that any waterbase paint is not acceptable, but that oil-based paint will be accepted on this day. If you have any doubts, call the transfer station.

News From Your Chamber Of Commerce

Beaver Island Marathon Work Needs for September 5, 2009, Marathon

1. Aid Stations: The marathon course will have 5 aid stations and should have a minimum of 3 really good individuals at each station to hand water, Gatorade, GU and candy to the runners. Aid station workers would call us if help is needed by any marathon runner. These workers will also have the responsibility of picking-up any cups/papers that may “hit the ground”. This is an opportunity for a sports team, band members or church organization to earn some extra cash. Hours would be from 9:00AM until approximately 3:00PM. Depending on the number of runners, each aid station will earn a minimum of $125 to $150 for the day.

2. Finish Line Volunteers: This position is for someone that “wants to be a part of” the first Beaver Island marathon. These volunteers (5 or so) will hand out the medals to the marathon and half marathon finishers, collect the timing chips, serve the beer and pizza at the awards party and generally help at the finish line. This is a volunteer type position.

3. Road “Pointers”: These 5 volunteers would be available from 9:00AM until 10:30 – 11:00AM. To be stationed:

a. Along Main Street (by the light house)

b. At Donegal Bay Road and Main

c. At the Marathon turn point

d. On Donegal Bay at the paved trail (both ends)

These volunteers would insure that the runners stay on course and that “all is well” between the aid stations. Possibly these volunteers would be on bikes and then be available as volunteers at the finish line.

4. Day worker(s): This individual will help with the set-up on Friday, the set-up early Saturday morning and the clean-up afterwards. This is a minimum wage per hour job and we may possibly need 2 day workers. At this point I am not sure if we will hire someone local or have someone we know come along to help. This person could be a graduating senior from high school, college student or a retiree with a strong back .

Contact Information

Ron Suffolk rsuffolk@sbcglobal.net (248.446.1315)

Sharon Suffolk Suffolk@sbcglobal.net (248.437.4524)

Public Hearing on ORV Use Scheduled

The Peaine Township Board has scheduled a public hearing on ORV use in Peaine Township for May 31st at 2 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall. Considering the fact that the Charlevoix County Board has already passed an ordinance which allows use on all county roads of Beaver Island except the road from the Whiskey Point Lighthouse to the Four Corners, the two townships must decide whether to honor the county ordinance or to write a township ordinance to supercede the county ordinance. At issue is whether or not Peaine Township will allow legal ORV use on the shoulder of the roads. Below is one person's opinion. We welcome other opinions as well.

The county ordinance may be viewed HERE

ORV Definition and Online Handbook HERE

Why Are US Drug Prices So High?

Research into Medication Costs

The four medications that were researched were fairly commonly prescribed medications: one for lowering cholesterol, one for lowering blood pressure, one for acid reflux disease, and one for allergies. The locations chosen for purchase included the required mail-in to Medco, our local pharmacy Central Drugs, and a Canadian pharmacy. Which one do you think can get these specific medications to you for the lowest cost?

The first attempt to gather information from Medco was met with a complete lack of information, finally having to go through the teacher retirement agency, the holder of the insurance contract, to get the information. Total cost of three month supply of medications using the contracted provider for prescriptions was $243.00.

The second attempt was made to get the same drugs from a Canadian pharmacy, a reputable one that required a prescription faxed or mailed directly to them. Canadian pharmacies do not bill insurance companies here in the US , so this cost was completely out-of-pocket with no insurance company involved. (Basically, this is a violation of the US law, but there is no admission of guilt in this article.) The cost of the same drugs from Canada with the shipping included, but without insurance company involvement, was $259.00.

The third attempt required the researcher to actually purchase the prescriptions because the teacher retirement agency would not provide the information about a non-contracted provider. Purchasing a three month supply at one time was not allowed either, so one month supply was ordered. The total cost for the same medications was $250.00 for three months supply, but two extra phone calls were required to refill the thirty-day prescription twice.

It appears that the drugs cost more in Canada , but that is not true. The drugs purchased without insurance here in the US would cost more than twice as much considering that the insurance has a 40% copay. It makes more sense to order the prescriptions from the local provider pharmacy since the increase in cost over three months is $7 or about 8 cents per day. If this researcher did not have insurance, there would definitely be an involvement with the Canadian pharmacy since the drugs without insurance from either of the US pharmacies would be much more. There is simply no reason that these drugs need to cost so much more in the US . Shouldn't our governments, local and federal, check into this? The drugs purchased from Canada had been shipped directly to the Canadian pharmacy from the US producer of the drugs. Drug companies are making a whole lot of extra money by charging the higher prices in the US .

Should You Have to Wait 40 Days to Get Your Money?

Each person reading this should take the time to investigate this situation and how it may apply to them. There was a new federal law passed that required and intermediary between the employer and the investment institution as it relates to retired workers. This intermediary needs to verify that the retired worker is in fact retired before any money can be disbursed. This applies to all 403b accounts that are considered a Tax Sheltered Annuity.

On April 6, 2009, a phone call was made to the investment firm to withdraw a small amount from the 403b. There was no conversation about this being different than any previous withdrawal, and so the expectation was that the money would arrive within the 7 day period that was always previously stated. The investment firm did not make any statement except to say that a form would arrive that would need to be signed and submitted. The form arrive in the mail in two days, was filled immediately, and mailed on April 9, 2009. It was assumed that there might be a slight delay since this was a new form, and new involvement with another agency "to verify that the holder was not employed by the company." Okay, it might take another week to get this taken care of, and the bills owed could wait another week even if it did make them slightly pass due.

On May 6, 2009, another phone call was made to the investment firm. "The disbursement has not been approved as of this morning," the investment counselor stated. With more than a little increase blood pressure evident with the hot red ears obvious, another phone call was made to the company who had originally selected the investment agency. This contact promised a quick research into the matter and a quick return phone call.

On May 7, 2009, in late afternoon, the phone call was returned with another negative answer. "We can't determine the progress of this paperwork. You will have to contact the intermediary directly, and here is their number." By this time, the blood pressure was getting higher and higher, and the patience was pretty close to non-existent.

On May 8, 2009, a phone call was placed to the intermediary agency named "TSA." After 42 minutes of hold time, because the call would be answered in the order in which it was received, a person came on the line, and the thought process was, "Okay, relax, ask the right questions to get the right answers." The conversation was very short and concise. The paperwork had been received on April 16, 2009. The paperwork had not yet been approved. There was no way that the agent could tell me when it might be approved and that approval sent back to the investment company.

The phone call must have worked its charm because on May 16, 2009, a check arrived in the mail after waiting 40 days from the beginning to the end. Now there are several questions to be asked. In this economic environment, could you wait 40 days to get your money?

Was it not possible to shorten this time period by providing direct contact with the "TSA" agency? Was it the state legislator that got my complaint or the federal legislator that got my complaint that helped move this along? Was it the threat of contact with the congressman that made the agent on the other end of the phone prioritize the disbursement at at higher priority? Was this the purpose of the federal legislation to slow down the access to this money? Was this a move to protect the investment companies for having the money taken out like a run on a bank?

Are you willing to take that chance that your access to your money may be delayed as long or longer than this? You'd better check it out and find out now when you are not in need of the money to pay your bills.

BICS Newsletter Notes for End of Year Events

May 26th

National Honor Society Induction Ceremony @ 12:30 School Gym; Three students will be inducted this year, Jenna Battle, Jenna Butler, and Olivia Schwartzfisher.

May 27th

Bike Rodeo

3 rd & 4 th grades – 12:15 – 1:00 p.m.

5 th & 6 th grades – 1:05 – 2:00 p.m.

1 st & 2 nd grades – 2:05 – 3:05 p.m

May 28th Academic Awards Ceremony in the School Gym

12:30 Strings Performance

12:45 Grades PreK-6

2:00 Grades 9-12

7:00 Grades 7-8 including 8 th grade graduation

May 29th

School picnic in the afternoon followed by a concert at the Community Center at 2:00

June 6th

Graduation -1:00 pm at the Beaver Island Community Center

B.I. Transfer Station is "2008 Commercial Recycler of the Year"

Read about this wonderful accomplishment by our transfer station workers in this document copied from the "Bright Recycler," which goes to all transfer stations in Charlevoix County. Congratulations to the Beaver Island Transfer Station!

Our transfer station in the news

Is It a Morel? Is It Safe to Eat?

The pictures above are of the morel mushrooms that are safe to eat. The picture is not one that was taken locally, for this searcher did not find any. The morel mushroom has the cap attached to the stem, but be careful of the look alike called the false morel (picture below)

The false morel does not have the cap attached and its stem is different from the "true" morel.

Now what about the Beefsteak Morel? Most sources state that this mushroom is poisonous, but many on Beaver Island have eaten them for years without being poisoned. Yet there are those that are definitely poisoned by the beefsteak morel. Here is a picture of this beefsteak morel found on the Island along with several others on May 16, 2009.

With Boyne City having its Morel Festival this past weekend, and with rumors of a few morels being found on Beaver Island, it is suggested that you do a little research, if not necessarily BEFORE you find the mushrooms but definitely BEFORE you eat them!

Who is This Little Character?

If you can tell me about this bird, please email any information to medic5740@gmail.com

So far, two votes for Solitary Sandpiper, and one for Speckled Sandpiper. What do you think?

Negotiations at Barney's Lake

It appeared that some negotiations were going on at Barney's Lake the morning of May 19, 2009. The swans, who had taken over the nesting area of the loons, seemed quite impassive as the loons explored the southern end of the small island in the lake very near to the swan's nest.

All appeared resolved in the morning with a ratified contract seeming to be a definite conclusion. There just needed to get the one other participant to agree to this nesting arrangement of "share the island." Then Mr. Swan came back from exploring and gathering. He was appalled at the suggestion, and the easy solution was not going to be. The loons were chased away that afternoon by Mr. Swan, and he remained on guard there for a short time to make certain his position was respected.

More about the loon-swan negotiation HERE

Video clips of the swan and loon nest

Tern Dives for Breakfast and Lunch

More Barney's Lake excitement HERE

Sand Hill Cranes at Barney's Lake

More Barney's Lake excitement HERE

Video clips as the cranes make flight

Mixed Golf Outings for the Spring and Summer

The dates for the "Mixed Alternate Shot Outings

May 31st

June 21st

July 12th

August 2nd

August 23rd

September 13th


May 31st Mixed, Alternate Shot, Golf Outing

Osprey Back in the Dead Tree

The osprey is back sitting in the dead tree on Graves property on Sloptown Road. The bird hadn't been seen in about ten days.

Chamber of Commerce Directors Select July 4th Parade Theme

This years July 4 th parade theme will be “Our Beaver Island Favorite (person, place, thing, time, etc).” The Chamber directors wanted to offer float builders and other parade participant's maximum flexibility this year. The Beaver Island July 4 th parade is one of the largest in the country for a small community. The parade stretches out for about a mile.

Island Airways will perform a missing man formation flyover during the parade slated to start at 2:00 PM on July 4 th . Lisa Gillespie will emcee the event. For additional parade information contact the Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce at (231) 448-2505 or Chamber@BeaverIsland.org .

Volunteers needed to work Chamber – Community Center

We are expecting a big increase in visitors to the Chamber office in the lobby of the new Community Center this summer. We need 3-4 additional volunteers to work one day a week between about 10:30 – 2:00 during busy boat times. It's very enjoyable meeting and helping visitors enjoy Beaver Island. To learn more please stop by the office or call Steve West at (231) 448-2505.

Friends of Beaver Island now on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/group. php?sid= 651b5d8e1689a8918b117078928abc cc&gid=81147045215&ref=search

Gull Harbor

What better to greet a visitor to Gull Harbor than this gull perched on top of the Nature Preserve sign.

Video clip of the waiting gulls

A redwing blackbird crying out for a mate.

Video clip of the above cry Video clips as the cranes make flight

There was plenty of variety to keep you interested as you drive slowly around Gull Harbor.

Transfer Station Hours

Spring/Summer hours begin May 1, 2009, 8-5 Monday-Saturday

Ill Islanders Doing Well

Joan Vyse has announced that her cancer is in remission, and thank to all from medical center, EMS, and all thoughts and prayers.

Lauraine Dawson is home and feeling slightly better..

Paul Nelson is doing much better and has been moved to an assisted living center. His new address is

Paul F. Nelson, 1501 Woodworth St NE,  Apt. 110, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
He would love to hear from his Island friends.

Update on me (Paul Nelson).....As you know, I have been on the mend from my left leg fracture, pretty much housebound and at present very difficult to walk.  Tomorrow (May 28th) I will have surgery on the knee which was damaged in the fall I took that caused the fracture.  It will be a complete knee joint replacement, so I will again be pretty much "grounded" for at least a month.   I will still have a chunk of the summer left to enjoy when things are healed and I go thru "re-hab" to  strengthen the muscles and learn how to walk again.

UPDATED: Information about Leone Schellenberg from her husband Chuck HERE

The New BICS

This entrance photo is by Frank Solle:

Winds Farms Coming in June (BIA)

Wind Farms will be the topic of a presentation on Monday, June 22, 2009 @ 7-9 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall. Dean Solomon, Charlevoix County Extension Director, will present an overview of wind energy development potential in NW Lower Michigan and Beaver Island . Citing issues related to wind towers, new state renewable energy legislation, planning and zoning issues for wind energy will be discussed. This lecture is being sponsored by the Planning Commissions of Peaine and St. James Townships along with the Beaver Island Association. Open to the public and free of charge. Please, join us as Dean Solomon shares his expertise. Light refreshments provided.

Beaver Island Community Center


Welcome Center: Full Menu Available

Monday – Thursday 9am - 3pm

Friday – Saturday 9am - 9pm

Sunday – 10am – 2pm 

The Hangout: Snacks & Cold Beverages Available

Monday – Saturday 9am – 9pm

Sunday 10am – 6pm

Come check us out!

Click HERE for May Community Center Activities

Click HERE for June Community Center Activities

All the information about meals, senior activities, and community activities are on this page.

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.

Beaver Island Cultural Arts Association Minutes

Peaine Township Board Minutes

BIRHC Board Meeting Minutes

St. James Township Meeting Minutes

Beaver Island Community School Board Meeting Minutes