Ann Johnson


Eagle Harbor Web

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

AJ's Letter

Greetings from Eagle Harbor - November, 1996

Oh, Oh, Oh, here comes the snow, snow, snow!!! As of Veteran's Day, we have had about ten inches over the last four days. In fact, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Another summer season has passed in a frenzy of activity here in what should be our "peaceful" forest and lake setting. We look forward with such anticipation to those days of sunshine, family and enjoyment of nature--only to be too busy to properly appreciate it all. Many happy memories will keep us going through the chores of winter anyway.

Color season this year had its moments rather than days. The late season, starting with the delay of summer (late berries, late apples, late flowers and LATE CONSTRUCTION STARTS) carried over to the green leaves and ground cover. Mother Nature was reluctant to move into fall; however, some serious wind storms with a wild lake in September drove us from the Lake house back to the shelter of the woods.

The Township moved a little closer to the modern world this summer! There is a fax machine in the office (906-289-4111). A cell phone tower is on the cut-off road allowing service past Mohawk at last. And, oh yes, we have the clean, efficient compactor at the solid waste facility. (Please note -- "THE DUMP" is no longer a politically correct designation.) The compactor, part interest in a "switcher" compactor and all the site, concrete and electrical work were paid for up front by a loan from the General Fund. The total came in at the budgeted $20,000 and should save us that amount over the next few years.

Speaking of trash, don't count on a heavy trash pick-up next year. The two truck loads this summer cost close to $2,000 and less than $500 was collected from people bringing their disposables. There are private haulers who will contract with individuals or a group of neighbors to take care of major pick-ups.

The annual VFD spaghetti supper was a high light of October. The men made gallons of wonderful sauce and hundreds of fabulous meatballs. About eighty-five people turned out to enjoy the meal at St. Peter's. There would have been more, but it was a Packer weekend in Green Bay and a number of local supporters went to the game.

Election hasn't changed much here. Don Keith will be taking Barbara Radigan's seat on the Township Board. Barb decided not to run after four years of service. Her concern for the Township and hard work on sticky problems like solid waste are appreciated. Thanks, Barb!!

On the County level there were changes. Paul Tomasi lost the Prosecutors race to Donna Jaaskelainen and the incumbent treasurer, Rhonda Rogan, was defeated by Jeri Hall from Mohawk. Rhonda was great to work with and we will miss her.

Property values continue to sky rocket if sales figures mean anything. The assessor, Bob Taylor, is very concerned because sales at triple and four times the current assessments (that is what is happening) will mean a big jump in everyone's assessed valuation. Don't panic--taxable value increases are still capped at a maximum of 5 percent or the rate of inflation, except in cases of sale or new construction.

Once again Eagle Harbor Township has put the area and the nation to shame in voter turnout. There were 102 voting in person and 56 by absentee ballot. That was over 90 percent of our registered voters. The national turnout was 49 percent.

The water committee is working to revise the ordinance covering fees and operation of the system. A major concern is property damage (both to meters and private homes) from customers waiting too long to turn water off and drain cottages in the fall. We had a hard freeze with below zero wind chill at Halloween and many uninsulated houses were still on. There may be expensive problems next spring!

The wind storms during the last two weeks caused some power outages as trees fell across lines. We are never far from the flashlights, candles and oil lamps around here. Ski trails were brushed in anticipation of a white blanket to be groomed. (It's falling as we write).

The fitness craze has hit Eagle Harbor. We have watched the dedicated walkers, joggers and bikers every day for years, knowing we should be out there. Now an aerobics group meets every morning at 8:00 for an hour's workout to fun tapes. Thanks to Fred Kellow, we have a TV and VCR to use during the winter for these sessions at the Township Hall. Some of us only make it three days a week, but still feel virtuous as all get out. Bring your workout clothes and join us whenever you are at the Harbor. Nancy Clarkson is the dancing force behind this program. (We have men participating, too. However, with at least one good-looking gal in a leotard, we question their true dedication to exercise!)

There was a computer club started this summer by Internet buffs. They can tie into the UP net at a very low cost. The members shared ideas and equipment information. They plan to continue next summer, so bring your laptops or full setups and join the club. E-Mail should be flying back and forth among them this winter, too. Clint Thomas was the contact for that organization.

We are sorry to report that our computer expert, Ivan Fisher, is housebound this winter after some surgery. He is still doing the Water Department work and will be helping with lots of data on winter taxes from home. We just miss his presence daily in the office.

Now we look forward to family and friends at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Time to scout the woods for the Christmas tree and start cooking. Oh, yes -- and the winter tax bills have to be mailed December 1st. On that happy note, we leave you with --

Best Wishes until January,