Winter Has Arrived

Yesterday, October 17, the island got it's first taste of winter weather as Mother Nature made a generous donation of snow.  The south end received several inches of it, being a larger land mass.  The weight of the heavy white stuff unfortunately took out the power and phone lines for most of the day.  According to those folks who ventured into town it was picturesque as the trees were bent low under the weight.  At the same time, everyone lost their internet connections also due to a construction backhoe working in the Baldwin area that cut a major fiber optic cable.  The repercussions of this cable cut were not only Internet access with Sprint, Qwest and Ameritech, but also Long Distance services with 800 numbers and banking facilities and services.  All are back up and working now.


Soaring High

The other day, before being laid low by the dreaded cold mentioned below, I made a trip out Gull Harbor way just to enjoy the view.  Along the way this deer posed for my camera.

deer 1.jpg (89113 bytes)

What was more interesting to me is what I think was a young eagle.  I grabbed as many pictures as I could before it got out of range.  Perhaps one of you can verify what bird it is.

eagle landing.jpg (64877 bytes)    eagle sitting.jpg (66889 bytes)

soaring eagle.jpg (23925 bytes)    soaring eagle 2.jpg (22133 bytes)    eagle 2.jpg (51437 bytes)


Sniffle, Sneeze, Cough, Wheeze

Yes, it's that time of year again when the dreaded cold makes its rounds.  It arrived here about a week ago, hitching a ride with our youngest daughter who had more than a nodding acquaintance with it during the school day.  It hung around her for a few days but fear of falling behind in school work kept her going, although she, herself, moved her bedtime earlier due to not feeling well.  I patted myself on the back all week thinking that this was one year it would miss me... NOT!  Sunday morning found me staring into the mirror with blood-shot eyes, aching in joints that I had forgotten I even had, a headache that demanded I hold on to the top of my head with both hands if I needed to bend over to do anything like tie my shoes.  Listen, have you ever tried to tie your shoes with your teeth because you couldn't let go of your head?  Not as easy as it sounds, especially if you wear dentures!  That darn upper plate keeps slipping when you do the loop part of the bow.  Of course everyone has a cure for you to try that they guarantee will work.  Most are on par with burying a dead mouse by the light of the moon on the third Wednesday of the week.  As it is now, I'm just suffering through it with a voice that sounds like an old screen being ripped s-l-o-w-l-y,  I'm considering purchasing stock in Kleenex although even paper towels are looking pretty good,  Guinesses is checking my sneezing record as it may have broken the previous one set by a 96 year old lady in the mountains of Peru.  I figure the whole thing should be over with by the coming weekend when it will decide that the Moore household isn't as comfortable as the one down the street.  In the meantime, if you see me about town with both hands on top of my head and minus teeth, you'll know I'm still harboring this unwanted visitor.  By the way, I've given up on tying my shoes and have moved on to clogs that I can just shove my feet into.


Islander Soccer

This weekend the Islanders had to accept the agony of defeat as they went down to Mackinac Island on Friday 11 to 3 and on Saturday 4 to 2.  Come on, Islanders!  You can do it!

The Soccer Districts will have Beaver Island vs Grand Marais at Beaver Island on October 22 beginning at 2:00 p.m.


Booster Club

The Booster Club raises funds to help off-set the costs incurred by the sports programs at the Beaver Island Community School.  To take part with other schools in our league demands traveling by plane for the entire team, coach and chaperones.  Along with uniforms it all adds up.  One of the ways the Boosters raise money is my hosting dinners and on October 25th they will have having a Spaghetti Dinner at the Peaine Township Hall from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.   Plan on attending to help this worthy cause.


Governmental Red Tape

The following is an actual letter written to a county in Michigan along with the response.  I've removed the names but thought you'd get a kick out of it just the same considering the issue.

Dear Mr. ______ :
It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity: Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond. A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued. Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, InlandLakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, annotated.  The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2002. Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action. We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.
Sincerely,
_________
District Representative Land and Water Management Division

+++++++++++++++++++

Dear ______ ,
Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Montcalm County.
Your certified letter dated 12/17/97 has been handed to me to respond to.
I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget, Pierson, Michigan. A couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond.

While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials "debris."  I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.

As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity. My first dam question to you is: (1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers or (2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request? If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, annotated. I have several concerns. My first concern is - aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation-so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event causing flooding is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect.  In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling their dam names. If you want the stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers - but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter they being unable to read English. In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build
their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams). So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2002? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them then. In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality (health) problem in the area. It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! (The bears are
not careful where they dump!) Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.


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