To: Supporters of Beaver Island Community School
From: Kathleen McNamara, Principal/Superintendent
Date: September 9, 2004

As many of you know, funding for the Beaver Island Community School has been a huge problem for the past several years. A little over a year ago the school board and administration initiated a legislative strategy to gain more state funding. That strategy has paid off and the FY2004-05 School Aid Act passed by the legislature includes funding for Beaver Island – now it just needs the Governor's signature . I am asking that as many people as possible contact the governor's office to let her know that you support passage of this legislation. You can help by doing one of the following things within the next 5 days:

•  Phone the Governor's Office

9 am - 5 pm Monday – Friday (517) 335-7858

You can say something as simple as “I am calling to let the Governor know that I support passage of the 2004-05 School Aid Act with the inclusion of Section 22d funding which will help Michigan 's smallest and most isolated K-12 schools including Beaver Island .”

•  Write and Fax or Mail a Letter

Honorable Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor
Romney Building
PO Box 30013
Lansing , MI 48909 (Fax # 517-335-6863)

You can look at the sample letter I have written for ideas or come up with your own. Feel free to contact me or one of the board of education members for more information.

•  Complete Online Opinion Form at the Governor's Website,1607,7-168-22678_23862-65331--,00.html

Go to this web address and follow links to Constituent Services) and take a minute to fill in the form


September 9, 2004

Honorable Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor
Romney Building
PO Box 30013
Lansing , MI 48909

Dear Governor Granholm:

I understand that the FY 2004-05 School Aid Budget (SB 1069) has been enrolled and will be coming to your office soon for signing. I am writing to express my strong support for the final inclusion of the Section 22d language (“Saving Paradise” or Geographically Isolated School Districts) as reported in the Conference Report. Passage of this language is critical to our school and community which is located on the most remote inhabited island in the Great Lakes .

Our school and community have done everything possible to invest in and maintain a quality K-12 educational program for the youth of Beaver Island . School officials and Island residents have fought to save a school where its students receive a basic education which stresses academic excellence (three time winner of Governor's Cup), personal achievement and accountability. Section 22d funds are absolutely necessary to allow this district to survive – every possible cut has already been made over the past several years.

Passage of Section 22d would allow the community to shift its focus from survival mode to meeting the educational needs of its youth. Thank you for considering this essential funding for geographically isolated school districts.




Sec. 22d. (1) From the amount allocated under section 22b, an amount not to exceed $750,000.00 is allocated for additional payments to small, geographically isolated districts under this section.

(2) To be eligible for a payment under this section, a district shall meet all of the following:

(a) Operates grades K to 12.

(b) Has fewer than 250 pupils in membership.

(c) Each school building operated by the district meets at least 1 of the following:

( i ) Is located in the Upper Peninsula at least 30 miles from any other public school building.

( ii ) Is located on an island that is not accessible by bridge.

(3) The amount of the additional funding to each eligible district under this section shall be determined under a spending plan developed as provided in this subsection and approved by the superintendent of public instruction. The spending plan shall be developed cooperatively by the intermediate superintendents of each intermediate district in which an eligible district is located. The intermediate superintendents shall review the financial situation of each eligible district, determine the minimum essential financial needs of each eligible district, and develop and agree on a spending plan that distributes the available funding under this section to the eligible districts based on those financial needs. The intermediate superintendents shall submit the spending plan to the superintendent of public instruction for approval. Upon approval by the superintendent of public instruction, the amounts specified for each eligible district under the spending plan are allocated under this section and shall be paid to the eligible districts in the same manner as payments under section 22b.

Congratulations to Mary and Mary!

The Labor Day drawings of the truck raffle and the 50/50 were won by women named Mary. Mary Gillingham is now the proud owner of the bright red truck while Mary Delamater is flush with her winnings fromt he 50/50 raffle. Congratulations to both of them!

He's Back!

Beaver Island's own intrepid reporter, Frank Solle, is back and reporting on island sports. From golf and soccer to basketball and volleyball Frank doesn't miss a thing. Between his stories and photographs one thinks they are at the games themselves. What was the upper peninsula's loss has definately been our gain.

Welcome back, Frank!

Hole in One

by Frank Solle

Longtime summer resident, Jim McElwain, reached a golf milestone on September 7, as he knocked down a hole-in-one on the par-3 fourth hole at the Beaver Island Golf Course.

“This is my first hole-in-one,” McElwain said of the rare golfing feat. “And only the second I’ve ever seen.”

McElwain’s ace came during an outstanding nine-hole round of 32, matching what very may well be the course record—a three-under par score he first set 10 years ago.

“When I shot the first 32 ten years ago John Works, Sr. put the scorecard up in the clubhouse. He said as far as he knew it was a course record. I don’t know if anyone has beaten that score since,”McElwain said.

Current course manager, John Works, Jr. said that as far as he knew no one has carded a lower score to date.

McElwain, who began golfing seriously just 13 years, said he has been struggling to find the correct club to use on the short 143-yard fourth hole. “I started the year hitting a seven iron and ended up on the fifth tee box,” he explained. “So I moved back to an eight iron, but I still ended up in the cedar trees behind the fourth green. Then I moved to a nine iron this time and hit it in the hole.”

The nine iron shot hit a few feet in front of the pin, bounced twice, and fell into the hole.

McElwain and his wife Kay divide their off-island time between Dayton, Ohio and Fripp Island, South Carolina. While he plays golf at both locales, he had high praise for the local course and golf scene. “The improvement in the course here over the last few years is tremendous,”he said. “I think the course is great and it’s fun.”

During his record-matching, hole-in-one-attaining round, McElwain was joined by local golfers Buck Ridgeway, Jerry and Mike Sowa, and, as he emphasized in signing his name to the “official” score card, Reverend Howard Davis.

Asked about the history of aces on the course, Works, Jr. said, “I don’t know when the last one was recorded. It just doesn’t happen very often.”

Islander Soccer Set to Kickoff

By Frank Solle

With the recent start of the school year comes the beginning of the Islander sports season as well. The local soccer team, once again under the direction of coach Mike Myers, has been up and running for a number of weeks in preparation of this weekend's season opening series at Grand Marais.

Last year the Islanders finished the season 7-1 and were co-champions of the Northern Lights League with Mackinac Island.

Graduation took just one player from the Islander roster, but a dandy in Barry McDonough, who was an All-league selection last year and named the team's most valuable offensive player.

But as coach Myers is quick to point out, there are a number of quality players returning. Enough, in fact, to make the prospects for another successful Islander season very good.

“We've got some really good players coming back,” the coach said. “We've got some strong juniors and sophomores.”

Leading the charge of young returners is junior John Albin, last year's most valuable defensive player as well as another All-league selection. “John is one of the toughest players I've ever had,” Myers said of the hard-kicking forward.

Junior Jimmy Gillespie also returns to add fire power to a strong starting lineup.

Junior John Runberg, another All-league selection and the team's most improved offensive player, along with sophomores Jared Wojan and Saygan Croswhite give the Islanders a very potent offensive front line.

“We are in the process of getting our offense together,” Myers said. “We're still developing and just have to get in better shape.”

Defensively, the Islanders may be even stronger. “This is probably one of our better defenses,” Myers said.

All-league honorable mention last year, senior Keith Szczepanski and the team's most improved defensive player will help anchor the defense while provided a large presence in the middle of the field.

Surrounding Szczepanski will be a speedy fleet of defenders including seniors Danielle Cary and Emily Gray and sophomore Rita Palmer.

Sophomore Bailey McDonough and freshman Leaha Cary will add speed to the midfield positions.

Backing up the defense and controlling that end of the field will be goalkeepers freshman Eric Albin and junior Cody Gillespie.

Rounding out the roster are juniors Brett Maudrie and Tony Bousquet; sophomore David Bousquet; freshmen Melissa Peters, Brenden Martin, and Kevin Gillespie; and eighth-grader Maeve Green.

“We've got kids who really want to play the game,” Myers said. “I'm tickled. I think there is a possibility this could be one of the best times I've ever had.”

Helping to prove Myers' point, the Islanders competed in a four-team tournament following a week-long camp at the end of summer. The team finished second, defeating both Boyne City and Northwest Academy of Charlevoix, while losing only to Fairview.

Following this weekend's opening games at Grand Marais, the Islanders will be home for three consecutive weekends prior to wrapping up the season at Mackinac Island.

“Mackinac will be tough, I think they only lost two players,” Myers said of the Islanders' biggest rival. “It should be a really good contest with them. It will be our last weekend and it all could come down to that.”

But Grand Marais comes first and Myers is not looking past the Polar Bears. “They always surprise us,” he said. “This could be a good year for them. We should be able to tell how well we will do this year in our games this weekend.”

Myers called Hannahville “fast, but not as skilled as far as handling the ball.” Both Munising Baptist and Paradise have been “so-so” the past few years, Myers added.

“I'm hoping we can squeeze it out this year and not have to share the title,” he said.

Islander's Schedule

Friday, Sept. 10 at Grand Marais (5 pm)
Saturday, Sept. 11 at Grand Marais (9 am)

Friday, Sept. 17 Hannahville (5 pm)
Saturday, Sept. 18 Hannahville (9 am)

Friday, Sept. 24 Paradise (5 pm)
Saturday, Sept. 25 Paradise (9 am)

Friday, Oct. 1 Munising Baptist (5 pm)
Saturday, Oct. 2 Munising Baptist (9 am)

Friday, Oct. 15 at Mackinac Island (5 pm)
Saturday, Oct. 16 at Mackinac Island (9 am)

From the Petoskey News...

Teen hurt in watercraft mishap

Wednesday, September 8, 2004 2:37 PM EDT

BEAVER ISLAND - A downstate teen-ager suffered a broken arm in a personal watercraft accident on Lake Michigan near Beaver Island last week.

Charlevoix County Sheriff George T. Lasater identified the injured girl as the operator of the craft, Janna Evelyn Robinson, 14, of Ann Arbor.

Lasater said the incident happened at about 4:10 p.m. Friday, about one mile out from St. James Harbor. Deputies said as Janna accelerated into an oncoming wave, both she and her passenger, Isabel D. Wanty, also of Ann Arbor, were thrown from the watercraft. Isabel was not injured in the incident and was able to get Janna aboard the watercraft and return to St. James Harbor where they sought medical attention.

Labor Day

All of us celebrate the Labor Day weekend, but how many of us know the history of it? Ask any kid and they'll probably tell you it means that school starts the next day or that it marks the end of summer or they'll just shrug their shoulders and give you one of those weird looks that they reserve for adults who ask silly questions.

Labor Day is a national legal holiday that is over 100 years old. Over the years, it has evolved from a purely labor union celebration into a general "last fling of summer" festival.

It grew out of a celebration and parade in honor of the working class by the Knights of Labor in 1882 in New York. In 1884, the Knights held a large parade in New York City celebrating the working class. The parade was held on the first Monday in September. The Knights passed a resolution to hold all future parades on the same day, designated by them as Labor Day.

The Socialist Party held a similar celebration of the working class on May 1. This date eventually became known as May Day, and was celebrated by Socialists and Communists in commemoration of the working man. In the U.S., the first Monday in September was selected to reject any identification with Communism.

In the late 1880's, labor organizations began to lobby various state legislatures for recognition of Labor Day as an official state holiday. The first states to declare it a state holiday in, 1887, were Oregon, Colorado, New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Then in 1894, Congress passed a law recognizing Labor Day as an official national holiday.

Today, Labor Day is observed not only in the U.S. but also in Canada, and in other industrialized nations. While it is a general holiday in the United States, its roots in the working class remain clearer in European countries.

New Photographer

Since I'm rather under the weather at the moment, I sent my sister Ruthie out with my camera on one of her "exploring" trips. Now Ruthie takes after our dad, when she says, "let's go for a walk", if you have any sense, you should run in the opposite direction as fast as you possibly can. This time her excitement consisted of being on the far side of Miller's Marsh when a huge rainstorm hit. Luckily she kept my camera dry but she arrived back here looking as though she'd hiked through the marsh instead of around it. Things weren't helped by the fact that she'd left the roof window of her car wide open while she was on the far side of the marsh making the interior of her vehicle just as damp as she was. Needless to say, she did get some marvelous pictures. I may be out of a job if she keeps this up. Thanks, Ruthie.



The photos above were taken at Miller's Marsh


The photos above were taken at Green's Lake

Arranmore Party

On Friday evening several hundred people made their way down Freesoil Road to Jerry and Marie LaFreniere's home. This was where the action was: snacks, great conversation, live band, and lots of old friends gathering to help raise money to build a park where the old power plant stood. I don't have the results of how it did but I do know that everyone had a terrific time. Special thanks go to Jerry and Marie for opening the "Freesoil Museum", to the organizers (Paul and Shirley Cole, Julie and Cindy Gillespie and anyone I forgot) and to those who brought such tasty food, to the band (Edward Palmer, Cindy Gillespie, Joddy Croswhite, Joe Moore, Danny Gillespie, and Rich Scripps) and to those who generously donated to the cause by either purchasing a poster, shirt, 50/50 or hand-painted tote bags. Great job all!




Traveling Again

I didn't get much done nor many pictures this weekend due to some sort of allergic reaction. As a result, I'll be off-island Tuesday and Wednesday visiting a doctor who can discover, I hope, what the heck I'm getting the hives from. My youngest says it better not be the cats while I wonder if that means that if it is they get to stay and I have to find a new home.