Ann Johnson


Eagle Harbor Web

An unofficial source of Eagle Harbor, Michigan news, views and information.


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AJ's Letter

Ann and Gerry Johnson are Eagle Harbor veterans and astute observers of the local scene. Luckily for us, Ann is also a wonderful writer. Their quarterly "letter to taxpayers" is a Harbor institution, eagerly anticipated and read by many Township property owners, especially those who are yet to make Eagle Harbor their permanent home. A big "Thank you" to Ann and Gerry for contributing their letter to George's Eagle Harbor Web.

January, 1998. News from the Johnsons at Eagle Harbor.

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

At last, SNOW, SNOW, AND MORE BEAUTIFUL SNOW in the Keweenaw. We were feeling very slighted with an almost brown Christmas and nothing to ski on in the woods. Now the County plows are out in force and the snow-blower is fired up. Pat Keith and I made our first trek over the cross country trail after it was groomed on Sunday. It was hard work, but worth it. Now, after three more days of snow-at least ten or twelve inches-it should be better.

Christmas Eve service at St. Peter's-By-The-Sea was beautiful with light streaming through the stained glass windows above the altar. There were 166 people there-many coming from Houghton and Calumet to join in the worship service in such a special place. On Christmas Day many Harborites volunteered at churches and community centers to serve dinners to senior citizens. Little Brothers, Friends of the Elderly, organizes the dinners at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. They also deliver meals to those who can't get to the community centers.

The snowmobiles have been swarming for the last three weeks. For awhile they were running on bare ground and tearing up the roadsides, but now they have a base. We complain a lot about their noise and pollution, but they really are a major source of revenue for this area and it is good to see them flocking through to the Inn and on to Copper Harbor.

There is sad news to report. We have lost more of our friends and neighbors since Christmas. Helen Ryan, Bill Baird and Bruce Armstrong have all passed away. Our thoughts have been with their families these past weeks. For those of you who don't have access to George Hite's Eagle Harbor Web Page, we are including some of Bill Baird's haikus describing his love of the area.

( the place ) Gentle gulls,
is it food for lean souls
that guides our gliding
to this place?...
...Is yours a holy hunger?
Are you, too,
an eagle's heart?
( Superior sunset ) Ice and copper
dissolve to make
a blue bed
in a red room.
Sleep, sun.

The January Board meeting was held Monday with a complete Board present (Gerry missed the December meeting because of travel). There were only a few Township people in attendance because it was a snowy four-wheel-drive night. It was impossible to recognize those who walked in until they shed some outer wraps. We looked like Siberian refugees coming in from the storm. Items of interest: The Township has purchased a 50 foot by 500 foot parcel to extend the Cemetery boundaries. Lake Superior Land finally agreed to sell that footage on the back side toward M-26. This should take care of our needs for years to come, and is the last available land to add to the Cemetery.

The Township also purchased several lots on Sixth Street for a park area. This will be shared by the County Road Commission which is contributing half the cost (total about $4,000 to be split) and to be jointly maintained. This area has always been known by our children and grandchildren as the "frog pond" on Eliza Creek. Plans are to put a picnic table or two in appropriate places and keep the area for recreational use.

No decision has been made on the new fire equipment. Bids have been received for the truck specified by the VFD and hearings will be held in May and June or July when the affected taxpayers are here to have a voice in the decision. In the meantime, the VFD has cooperated with Copper Harbor VFD in putting in a dry hydrant at Lake Medora. New Year's Eve found our firemen helping at a house fire near Gay.

Applications are coming in to the Board for a Township maintenance person. Every project currently must be put out on bids which is very time consuming and the ads are expensive. A general maintenance employee, though part-time, would eliminate those steps. The responsibility for repairs and some construction projects would be handled internally.

Several contributions have been received for the Schoolhouse/Community Building renovation. Plans are being made to raise money next summer. Most projects have come to a screeching halt until April or May as our population dwindles. The January to May snowbirds left in the midst of a blinding storm last Friday. We see the numbers drop at the Friday night meetings at the Eagle Harbor Inn.

The aerobics group continues to meet every morning. More of us are there MWF than the full six days, but we are so glad to have a mixed group-as many men as gals some days. We have a picture from Singapore of the spin-off aerobics group there. Xuyen Lindblom has organized it after joining us for the summer. How's that for far-reaching influence?!

Our hardworking Assessor, Bob Taylor, reports from North Carolina that the value of property in our Township has taken a dramatic upturn. This is NOT his decision, but that of the County Equalization and State officials who monitor real estate sales. Land and houses are going for such high prices, it affects all of us as far as the State Equalization Values are concerned. Your actual TAXABLE VALUE can only go up a small per cent each year, however. The Board of Review will be meeting in March and you will receive notices of increased values before that.

If you are not on the Internet, but know someone who is, ask them to access the Eagle Harbor Web page and let you have a look!! ( Believe me, it might make a believer out of you and Bill Gates would clear another million. George's writing makes me feel like a fifth grader. It is beautiful. Also, you can find out how to order one of the snow thermometer replicas that he and the Olson's are producing. It started out as a prize for the snowfall-guessing contest and has become a full-time industry. We won one in the October contest and are happily moving the marker up as the snow total rises-about 120 inches to date.

We will be heading for Texas for two weeks in February and a week or so in March. Grandchild sitting and then a wedding will take us away from our cabin-in-the-woods. If it weren't for enjoying family so much, we would resent leaving now that the winter has finally arrived. It will be interesting to see what El Nino has in store for us the rest of the year. Our snowfall this past week has been normal-as though the Keweenaw is striking back at "the Latin boy."

Until March and the next update, we wish you good health and happy days………

Ann and Gerry

Ann & Gerry Johnson
HC 1 Box 280 B
Eagle Harbor, MI 49950

Ann and Gerry Letter Archive:

November, 1996
January, 1997
March, 1997
November, 1997

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