Ann Johnson At Work Gerry Johnson Building Fitzgerald
Ann and Gerry Johnson are Eagle Harbor veterans and astute observers of the local scene. Luckily for us, they are also a wonderful writers. 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.
Winter Letter From Eagle Harbor – 2001
Storm Warnings? Stock up on the three B's- There is a holdover from our days on the Gulf Coast and the many hurricane watches and warnings we experienced. As soon as the warning was announced it was tradition to rush to the store and stock up on the necessary supplies to see you through-beer, bread and batteries. The batteries were a given; the beer was a pleasant option; but, we never figured out why the grocery carts were full of bread. We were reminded of all of that these past two weeks when dire winter storm warnings were posted almost daily. So far we have had only the occasional snow flurry until Friday when the wind drifted the few inches that fell. The usual crowd made it to the Eagle Harbor Inn for the Friday night rendezvous and what a pleasant break it is each week.
Our sparse population at this time of the winter is suffering from "crutchitis". Both Ivan Fisher, our office computer wizard, and George Hite, journal writer and web site master, managed to break ankles. They are in casts and back in the Harbor to recover with friends and neighbors offering aid and sympathy.
The local elections in November were decided in a much more timely manner than the national one. Two new trustees are on the Township Board - Dick Lantz and Tom Ellis, Jr. Jeane Olson and Ann Johnson squeaked out unopposed victories for clerk and treasurer respectively. Jim Boggio is still serving valiantly as supervisor with the help of his deputy, Doug Sherk. Bruce Wagner is Jeane's deputy and new year-round resident, Barbara Been, is Ann's. Congratulations to former trustee, Don Keith, who won his race for Keweenaw County Commissioner. Don will be a strong representative for the Townships he serves.
The Holiday Season began with a potluck supper and visit from Santa Claus in the Community Building. The star shone from the lighthouse and decorative lights were on many homes in the Harbor. The Black's dock tree glowed along the shore. Just as Marilyn Marshall's garden is a visual treat in the summer, her decorations and lights are spectacular during the holidays. The Christmas Eve services at St. Peter's By The Sea were very special with Dianne Schubert and Jan Medlyn lending their musical talents.
Mount Bohemia is up and running and the reports are good as to the quality of the facilities. It is not a venue for inexperienced skiers, however. There are no "bunny" slopes. The heavy snowfall this winter has been a real plus for the opening of the new hill. Now the developers are requesting permission from the DEQ to install a waste disposal system. Hearings have been held this past week on the plans they have submitted. The hill is lighted for night skiing and the glow may be seen for miles against the snow clouds.
Our groomed cross-country ski trails have been fabulous this winter. There is a new portion of the trail extending to Sand Bay through the Clark property. There are about eleven miles of groomed trails from the cemetery, around Long Lake, and on out to Sand Bay. We see more and more skiers from outside the Township enjoying the beauty and peacefulness of the area. The evidence of hundreds of deer and all the other forest creatures is everywhere along the trails.
Good news for travelers to the area-American Airlines has announced that direct flights from Marquette to Chicago will soon begin. It will be jet service instead of the turbo-props we have had exclusively for the past years.
Our wonderful road crews keep our streets and highways open no matter how intense the weather and deep the snow. The only downside is trying to keep the mailbox plowed out for the dedicated driver, Bradley. A proposal is being made to have a central mailbox installed by the post office to serve the village area like the one in Eagle River by the Courthouse. At this point information will be gathered to present to the Board and the residents to determine if there is interest in pursuing the idea.
There are tons of snow on the ground that have been removed from roofs in the Keweenaw. We were lucky enough to have all of our family with strong young bodies here over the holidays to shovel cabin, garage and sauna. It is building up again in spite of a January thaw. "Roof alerts" have gone out to many of you from observant neighbors. If you have a concern, call someone to check for you. There was a lot of snow in December.
The Keweenaw businesses are reporting fewer snowmobilers this year than in the past. This seems to be directly related to the widespread snowfall throughout the mid west. Good sledding conditions keep the machines closer to home. There are still enough out-of-area sportsmen to provide the usual headlines "Snowmobilers Rescued After Falling Through Ice in Portage Canal."
A number of our residents are working on developing a land use plan for the Copper Country. There is a group forming in each of the five townships in Keweenaw County addressing the concerns of their township. These groups then form an area-wide organization to incorporate those ideas and concerns into a comprehensive plan. This will be an ongoing effort and all residents and property owners will be asked for input eventually. Another group is working on the 911 plan for Keweenaw County. Houghton County's 911 system went live this week and to our dismay, we discovered our emergency number - 337-2211- will no longer put us in direct contact with the Negaunee State Police dispatch center. We will be in touch with the Houghton County 911 dispatcher who will take information and relay it to Negaunee. This will be the situation until Keweenaw County has a 911 system.
A raccoon invades our porch nightly, deer have emptied the bird feeders, much to the disgust of the squirrels and chickadees and we are enjoying the pristine woods and landscape surrounding us. Our Michigan Tech grandson and two friends just staggered in after a six-hour snowshoe trek to the top of Mount Baldy. They will revive on hot chocolate, homemade veggie soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. All of you snowbirds, trolls and outlanders don't know what you are missing. Until spring and summer brings you "home", our best wishes for your health and happiness.
Your Eagle Harbor Correspondents,
Ann and Gerry
Ann & Gerry Johnson
HC 1 Box 280 B
Eagle Harbor, MI 49950
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