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News Archives 2010
(latest entry at the top, blog style)

For other years, please click here to go back to the News page.
 

INDEX

2010:
2010 Annual Meeting
1867 Lighthouse temporary roof-cap
4th Fall Festival & Pancake Breakfast
Board Meeting of September 13, 2010
Second Annual Schooner Fest
Last volunteer trip of this Summer?
The Light Station reduced to dry figures
HSR Tour completed
Team Lee - The Sequel
Inland Seas Music Festival
Island Picnic with the Firestones
Special Board Meeting of July 1, 2010
Two boats, twice the work!
Board Meeting of June 14, 2010
2nd work trip of 2010
First work trip of 2010
First visit of the season
Board Meeting of May 10, 2010
Board Meeting of April 12, 2010
Announcement: Yet another presentation in Traverse City
Announcement: Slide presentation in Traverse City
FILA in The Beacon
MRPA Community Service Award
Board Meeting of March 8, 2010
Board Meeting of February 10, 2010
Board Meeting of January 12, 2010

For other years, please click here to go back to the News page.  

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2010 Annual Meeting


FILA's Annual Meeting took place on December 11th at the Traverse City District Library.
 
An election was held at a brief board meeting conducted by FILA President, John McKinney. The same officers were voted in for the 2011 term, namely, McKinney ( President), Catherine Allchin (Vice President), and Pamela Nickerson (Secretary).  Additionally, John assumed the role as Treasurer.  Re-elected after terms expired were John McKinney and H. Joerg Rothenberger. Don Stauffer was newly elected to the board to fill Kathleen Firestone's vacant spot.

John opened discussion of the HSR draft, which FILA just received. Catherine gave an update on the draft, now 75% complete. The draft will be reviewed by all board members at a future board meeting.

Phil von Voigtlander gave a presentation of FILA's 2010 island activities along with a slide presentation. He focused mainly on the work done and included photos of the new temporary steel roof on the 1867 lighthouse, the new shutters that were installed for several buildings, the newly added structural support for the chimney in the fog signal building, and the improved supports in the boat house. In fact, most items included in an "immediate to-dos" list of recommendations given to the board by historic architect, Ken Czapski, earlier this year, were completed.

Appetites were appeased at a Holiday Potluck with over thirty people in attendance. Adding to the evening's enjoyment, local musician, Lonnie McNeil, entertained the gathering with Christmas music and a new lighthouse song he recently wrote.

John McKinney, Karen Wells & Sandy Bradshaw
December 13, 2010

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1867 Lighthouse temporary roof-cap

This is a photo taken last Thursday from the boat. We tried to make it for a day session but it was too rough to land so we handed off re-supplies to jerry on the red dingy and turned around.

New roof-cap

The photo shows progress on the roof-cap. NOTE this is NOT a permanent solution. This is temporary, but sure looks good. Boat house painting has been completed too!

Cathy Allchin
October 18, 2010

 

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4th Fall Festival & Pancake Breakfast

Al Ammons has done it again. On September 25, despite a damp fall day with cool temperatures and drizzle, loyal attendees, volunteers and park employees eagerly lined up for breakfast for John McKinney's pancakes (he has developed quite a flip to the wrist!), Sandy Bradshaw's frying style with sausages (not burning even one, although one did escape and fall to the ground!), coffee and Kilcherman's delicious cider.

It is a good thing to know that weather does not dampen people in coming to such an event, knowing that in so doing they are supporting local folks' crafts and even a certain lighthouse far off shore!
 

 FILA tent
Info material at the FILA tent.
 

Sausage line
 Line at the sausage grill.

Sandy frying brats
The very same pan was used by
the Nickersons at the lighthouse.
 

Carp pressing cider
George Carpenter (former FILA
secretary) at the cider press.
 

John & Ann McKinney
FILA Prez John McKinney and his wife, Anne.
 

Phil, Cathy & Stef
Phil von Voigtlander and Cathy Allchin with Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum Director Stephanie Staley.
 

Sandy Bradshaw
October 22, 2010

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Board Meeting of September 13, 2010

As usual, the FILA board met at the GT Children's Museum. Vice President & Treasurer Cathy Alchin reported on the successful termination of the fund-raising campaign for the Historic Structures Report. A good turn-out was also reported from the FILA tent at the Schooner Festival in Traverse City, and plans were discussed to make the upcoming Fall Harvest Festival at the GT Lighthouse Museum a success too. .

Phil von Voigtlander said that a biologist is beginning a study of human introduction of plant species on the lighthouse property, as part of the structures report. The latter has been completed, and Ken Czapsky, the author, provided to Phil a list of recommended stabilization projects, including fog signal repair, and ventilation of various buildings. Phil said the fog signal repair and the lighthouses roof will be the fall projects.

Kathy Firestone announced her resignation from the FILA board, due to many family obligations. She told of how pleased she is that the lighthouse and other buildings are being restored and said she will always be available as a history resource person and for designated projects when available.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Kathy Firestones draft minutes
October 12, 2010

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Second Annual Schooner Fest

The Second Annual Schooner Fest, held Friday evening, September 10th through Sunday, September 12th, was a great success despite the wind and sometimes even rain. The highlight of the festival were the tall ships themselves drawing thousands of visitors, some as far away as California, Arizona, Germany, and of course plenty of locals too. The ships were lined along the Clinch Park seawall, that is when they were not out in West Grand Traverse Bay with their magnificent sails lighting up both attendees' spirits and the cloudy skies. Schooners showcased were; Madeline, Welcome, Champion, Coaster II, and the Manitou, all from Traverse City, Pier Wisconsin's S/V Dennis Sullivan, and  from Suttons Bay, Inland Seas (aka the Great Lakes Schoolship).

The schooner Madeline also celebrated her 20th birthday during the festival in a special ceremony conducted by the Maritime Heritage Alliance (MHA)  responsible for building the schooner. MHA is also the organization that puts on this festival. FILA's booth was kept busy and the comradery among all kept people warm!
 

Madeline Anniversary
 The
Madeline of the Maritime Heritage Alliance, 20 years old.
 

Dennis Sullivan
 
Dennis Sullivan, three-mast schooner from Milwaukee.
 

Stauffer, Bradshaw, McKinney
Don Stauffer, Sandy Bradshaw and John McKinney at the FILA booth.
 

Amphicar
Amphicar (built in Germany in the 'sixties), maybe the solution to FILA's transportation problems?
 

Sandy Bradshaw
October 22, 2010

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Last volunteer trip of this Summer?

On August 26th, the Lightkeeper transited a full crew (Cathy Allchin, John Johnson, Jerry Spears, Don Stauffer, John Wells, Chris Young and me) to the South Fox Light Station. The trip was slowed by the 8 - 12 kt NW wind and 2 - 4 ft waves.

After getting the others ashore, Chris and I focused on unloading the boat of their gear and supplies while Jerry and Cathy acquainted them with the Station and the tasks at hand. Cathy got lunch together for the crew, and after eating we set to work. Jerry and Chris directed Don and JJ to help with the edging of all the sidewalks (greatly facilitated by Jerry's power edger),  while JW worked on opening up the Assistant Keepers' Quarters for Cathy to photograph and I mowed all the lawns. The crew then cleared the vegetation around the north side of the boat house and set up the scaffold for the paint project there. With her kitchen organized and a oven constructed, Cathy prepared a fine dinner for all, after which Jerry, Chris and I returned to Northport guided by the rising full moon.

Over the next several days we all experienced unseasonably warm weather brought to us on very strong SW winds. This isolated the island crew from any return of the Lightkeeper until September 1. Thus they had a couple of "bonus days". However, Cathy had planned for this contingency and kept them well fed for the duration.

On September 1st, Jerry, Chris and I bounced out on persisting 2 -4 foot SW swells and found the anchorage rough but tolerable. Once on terra firma, we had a walk-through to see all the work that the crew had completed. The jewel was the completion of the prep, priming and painting of the Boathouse; it was great to see this structure now in proper white paint. For those of us that had worked over the last several years to save this structure from collapse, this aesthetic milestone was pretty moving.

The crew also showed us the clearing and cleanup they had done to and around the grave sites.  This is a first and a good project to keep up with so that this historic site is not lost to the jungle. They had also cleared and edged the northeast (dump?) walkway and continued the clean up of the building interiors.

As they were all fully packed up, we quickly completed the close up of the Station and loaded up the 'keeper as it rolled and pitched. The ride back was in a growing NW wind and waves with some exciting surfing rides, but Northport was reached uneventfully and the crew off-loaded and headed off for ice cream (one of the few goodies that Cathy did not provide on the island!).

Phil von Voigtlander
September 7, 2010

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The Light Station reduced to dry figures

As briefly reported here, a thorough survey of the Light Station had been done already in July 2009, with the intention to produce a new, even more accurate plan of the property over winter. However, that plan never got published, because the figures gathered in 2009 differed very much from the few official plans we have. I concluded that I, as a mere amateur, must have made several pretty bad mistakes, especially while measuring altitudes above the lake level.

First thing I did after arriving at the station with the HSR team on July 29 was quintupling the accuracy of my transit level instrument by meticulous fine-tuning, using what's available there in first class quality, in abundance and for free to boot -- the horizon. During the days with the HSR folks I started redoing my work of the previous year, just at a much higher level of precision. Again and again my equipment was in the way of Heather and Ken, but they never complained.

After a few great days with the HSR team, they all departed on July 31, while Linda Henry, a retired Park Ranger (Sleeping Bear Dunes) set up camp and began cleaning up the workshop, which Carp had converted back to the summer kitchen it had been more than 100 years ago. Her other field of envisaged activity, scraping the flaking paint off the west wall of the Boat House and painting it, proved to be almost impossible, since the big tool box had gone back to the mainland, including all scrapers.

The more measurements I gathered, the more obvious it became that the altitude of the 1867 Lighthouse in the 1907 plan was wrong by more than 5 ft (after correction of the water level). The altitude of the Fog Signal Building is wrong by 18 ft (!!!) even, a staggering difference in view of the modest dimensions of the property and the proximity of the shoreline. By the way, cross checks in various places showed that the accuracy of my new altitudes was way better than an inch throughout, an excellent result.

Linda had to give up her scrape job because the sometimes pretty gusty wind blew the possibly high-on-lead chips all over the place. Instead she made the workshop homier, while I started surveying the barren dune area north of the wooded Lighthouse hill, mainly to determine the exact whereabouts of the northern boundary line incl. all the DNR signs.

On August 4, a day later than originally scheduled, Jerry Spears and Chris Young arrived to board up the windows of the 1867 Lighthouse and give us a swift ride back to Northport, just before the onset of scurvy, as we jokingly put it.
 

 Surveying equipment lying on the walkways
Sometimes surveying equipment was scattered
all over the place.
 

Linda cooking at the fire pit
Linda cooking dinner at the new fire pit in the
Nickerson Fire Circle.

Monarch butterfly on the transit level
A curious Monarch butterfly
exploring the transit level. After
all, the color is inviting enough.
 

Linda wearing breathing protection
The Face Hugger (Alien I)? No, just
Linda wearing a mask while scraping
paint off the Boat House wall.

Joerg measuring an elevation
The dock became the base of the altitude measurements because it's flat and close to
the water level.
 

Flowers in the workshop
Besides Linda's flowers, please note the scurvy prevention rations for long-term prisoners on top
of the storage box.

Barren areas in the dunes
Arid areas between the lighthouses and the
large woods north of the dunes.
 

Linda watching the horizon
No rescue in sight yet. Because of rough winds,
Jerry's boat arrived a day later.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger
August 6, 2010

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HSR Tour completed

On July 29th, the Lightkeeper was loaded with gear and supplies and the crew to do (Ken Czapski and Heather Landis) and to support (George "Carp" Carpenter, H. Joerg Rothenberger,Cathy Allchin, Jerry Spears and Chris Young) the Historical Structures Report (HSR) assessment. I and Miss Cricket (Carp's dog) went along in minor supervisory roles. The crossing was a bit lumpy but fast and the island provided good shelter from the NW wind once we got there.

After unloading, Jerry and Chris immediately started opening up the structures -- an all day project that brought day light into many of the rooms for the first time in decades and then allowed for their full inspection by Ken and Heather. Cathy, Joerg and George helped show them around and orient them to our progress and ongoing projects. At the end of day, Cathy, Jerry, Chris and I returned to Northport.

The HSR team continued to work through Friday and Saturday morning when the Lightkeeper returned with Jerry, Chris, Chad Jordan, Linda Henry, and me driving the bus. We dodged the rain and off-loaded from a rough anchorage with a onto shore breeze. Jerry consulted with Ken on several of the ongoing and newly identified structural projects while Chad and I (with expert consultation from George and Linda) set about documenting the various remnants of the historical plantings around the Station grounds. Jerry and Chris started replacing the shutters and security screens to the windows and measuring up those that were deteriorated for subsequent replacement.

Our work continued through the mid afternoon at which time Ken, Heather and George knocked down their campsites for loading off the island. Joerg stayed on to complete his annual surveying efforts, and Linda got a briefing on painting and interior sweeping projects to pursue over the ensuing days. The of rest of us loaded up the Lightkeeper in moderately rough conditions and made a quick run back to Northport, missing the rain again on the way. Missions accomplished!

Phil von Voigtlander
July 31, 2010

 

 HSR crew at Northport Marina
The crew at Northport Marina, from left: Joerg,
Cathy, Phil, Heather, Ken, Carp, Miss Cricket
(sitting), Chris, and Jerry.
 

Carp showing Ken & Heather around
Carp, supervised by Miss Cricket, showing
Heather and Ken the complex, here between
the 1867 Lighthouse and the Assistant Keepers'
Quarters (in the background).
 

Ken, Carp & Heather at the picnic table
Same team, different setting: Ken, Carp and
Heather at the new picnic table next to the
Nickerson Fire Circle.
 

Heather at the SE corner of the Assistant Keepers' Quarters
Heather at work at the southeastern corner of
the Assistant Keepers' Quarters.

Lots of ziploc bags with paint chips
Heather's treasure: the collection
of ziploc bags with paint samples.

Ken measuring windows
Ken shooting photos of the famous
Cowboy Window.

Carp searching the sewage pipe
Carp doing archaeological probing in search of
the sewage pipe in front of the 1867 Lighthouse.
 

Chad, & Phil
Chad and Phil, with Carp breaking camp in the background, again, as usual, under canine supervision.
 

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Team Lee - The Sequel

On July 20, 2010, the Lightkeeper delivered Carole and Willie Lee and Marcia Billings to the Light Station. There we were greeted by Jerry Spears, Chris Young and their helper Chas. They had preceded us by a couple of hours and were ready to help with the unloading of the Team's gear and supplies. They had also done the mowing, opened the buildings and set up the Tower ladder and a welcoming picnic table on the sea wall.

The team was briefed on safety procedures, facilities and communications and then set up and organized their camp site. After a brief lunch, they immediately pitched in to reorganize the lumber stacks in the boat house in preparation for the structural work on the front end.

I entertained myself with several hours of spot spraying poison ivy. All the while Jerry and his crew worked in the water clearing rocks and boulders from the landing area. We departed in the late afternoon and left the team to work on various painting, brush cutting and mowing projects over the next several days.

The team of Marcia Billings and Carole and Willie Lee was brought back to Northport on July 25. The Lightkeeper had a slow and rolling ride out to the island in the morning. I was met there by the team and Jerry and Chris who skipped over the 2-4' northerly waves at a rather faster speed than the 'keepers sedate 6.5 kt.

They had already closed up all the buildings, put away equipment and assisted the team in assembling their gear at the dock. The team briefed me on all the completed projects including painting the trim on the Shop and the south wall of the Boathouse, mowing all lawns, clearing inside and along the Tower fence and north of the Signal building.

They had also greeted and guided the crews of several visiting boats and picked up trash from the beaches. The place looked great!

I settled in for my lunch with the team at the new DNRE-provided picnic table that Willie had assembled and we were joined by Jerry and Chris who had in the meantime loaded the Lightkeeper for us. The trip back was faster and smoother with a lightening quartering sea. Pretty easy trip for me; everyone else did the work. I just drove the bus!

Phil von Voigtlander
July 26, 2010

 Marcia and Carole at the workshop
Gone are the days of people hanging on ladders: Marcia (left) and Carole at the workshop.

Jeff, Willie & Marcia at the new camping table
The new camping table soon became a center
of the little community: Jerry, Willie and Marcia
(from left).
 

Fresh paint on the south wall of the boat house
Fresh Paint: the south wall of the Boat House.

Monarch caterpillar
A monarch caterpillar.
 

Photos provided by Carol and Willie Lee

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Inland Seas Music Festival

FILA was well represented at the 2010 Inland Seas Music Festival on Saturday, July 17th. The event was held on the waterfront at the ISEA's educational Center in Suttons Bay.  FILA volunteers were John McKInney, Karen and John Wells, John Nelson (who also worked on his Baykeeper boat, keeping tabs at both spots -- thanks John!), Cathy Allchin and myself.

We had the opportunity not only to represent the lighthouse station to the public, but also connect with many other local non-profit organizations with persons of like-mindedness.  

Highlights of the event included music payed by the bands, "Handy Billy", "Wild Sullys" and the "Song of the Lakes".  Another well-watched highlight were two mock rescues by the local U.S.C.G.  A 5K Schoolship Run kicked off the event, runners were everywhere, town was packed!

Rebecca Lessard and some live raptors from Wings of Wonder took the main stage at 2:00pm. Their educational program outlined the fascination we have with raptors, addressed their habitat needs and the many environmental issues raptors face.

Dockside tours were held aboard the ISEA's Great Lakes Schoolship, Inland Seas, throughout the day. Short family sails were offered to families aboard the ISEA's Friendship Sloop Liberty as well, offering persons a first hand sailing experience.

There were many food vendors, and  FILA members took advantage of that throughout the fun-filled day. Wetland walks, fish painting, hat and jewelry making were some of the activities attendees enjoyed as well.  FILA certainly looks forwad to this event again next year.
 

 Karen Wells & Pamela Nickerson
Karen Wells and Pamela Nickerson at the FILA booth.
 

Cathy Allchin, Karen Wells & John McKinney
Cathy Allchin, Karen Wells and John McKinney.
 

USCG helicopter
Rescue demonstration by a USCG helicopter.  

John Nelson & Sandy Bradshaw
John Nelson and Sandy Bradshaw clearing the site.

Sandy Bradshaw
July 21, 2010

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Island Picnic with the Firestones

On Saturday, July 10, the Lightkeeper took the Firestone family for a day trip to the South Fox Light Station. Kathy Firestone had been the high bidder at our silent auction for this picnic day. She chose the day well; it was clear, hot and calm.

Kathy, who is an authority on the history of the island and a Nickerson descendent had a chance to share this special place with her husband and three of the young Firestone lads. It was also a great day to enjoy a picnic in the shade, to walk the beaches and to cool off with a swim at the west beach.

Jerry Spears and Chris Young joined us on the island and opened the buildings and the Light Tower for the party while I spent the day mowing poison ivy; maybe I'll bid on a work-free trip next time!

Phil von Voigtlander
July 11, 2010

Phil, thank you very much for keeping the poison ivy at bay year after year! We hope all visitors to the station appreciate your efforts.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger
FILA Webmaster

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Special Board Meeting of July 1, 2010

On Thursday July 1, the FILA board called a special meeting to review and approve the new Grant Budget as prepared by Denise Sachau.

Copies of the new budget had been previously emailed to all board members, additional copies were also available for review at the meeting. After review, a motion was made by Roman Grucz to "Accept the revised budget for SHPO HSR grant as written and presented without changes." The motion was seconded by Pres. John Mckinney. All voted in favor and the motion passed.

Cathy Allchin
July 2nd, 2010

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Two boats, twice the work!

In the morning of June 21, the Lightkeeper transported Linda Henry, Kathy and Tom Larkin, Doug Noren, Gary Stauffer and Phil von Voigtlander to the South Fox Light Station. Shortly after our arrival, Jerry Spears and Chris Young arrived aboard Jerry's Mako 25.

After unloading we all set about our various projects: Linda and Phil attacked the poison ivy with shovel and spray respectively, Doug completed the clean up of the Fog Signal building, Gary employed the Weed Wench to pull brush with assistance from Tom while bionic Kathy jumped on the mowing on her way to a second knee replacement. Meantime, Jerry and Chris completed the clean up of the Light House 1st floor and with Doug's help moved all the debris down to the boat landing for transport and disposal.

After lunch we opened the Light Tower so everyone could enjoy the view and Linda could access it to sweep the stairs. Jerry and Chris loaded all the debris containers onto the Mako and then departed. In the afternoon, Doug and Gary cleared more brush with the cutter and puller respectively while Kathy completed the mowing and Tom assisted Phil splitting wood.

We all then took a swim, closed up the Station, grazed through an early dinner provided by Gwen Noren and departed the island to arrive in Northport 3 hours prior the evening t-showers. A great 12 hour work day by those that are old enough to have known better! 

Phil von Voigtlander
June 21, 2010

I'm sorry, this article was part of my e-mail correspondence of almost two months that accidentally got deleted by a poorly set-up back-up utility that came with a new external hard disk. Phil resent it to me in August when he noticed my failure to publish it. My apologies to all those folks that worked so hard!

Hans Joerg Rothenberger
August 18, 2010

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Board Meeting of June 14, 2010

The FILA Board met at the GT Children's Museum. After a brief report of the Treasurer ($11,500.00 in matching funds are in a designated account for the Historic Structures Report HSR), reports on the HSR including its financial background (MLAP grant), a possible internship for the HSR work on the island, plans for an additional presentation to the Michigan Waterways Commission and the schedule for festivals at which FILA will actively take part were presented and discussed.

The first two island trips of the season were commented, and projects for the next trips were presented. New brochures were distributed. John Wells launched a campaign for collecting more matching funds for the MLAP grant, involving board members, their families and friends as well as other possible donors.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Pamela Nickerson's minutes
July 12, 2010

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2nd work trip of 2010

Cathy Allchin, Jerry Spears, Gary Stauffer, Phil von Voigtlander and Chris Young traveled to South Fox yesterday and spent the day well.

Jerry and Chris got to the clean up of the Fog Signal Building: the debris from the floor was containerized for shipment and disposal, next the ceiling and walls were brushed of loose paint. The scaffolding that was used to reach the high ceilings was left in place for later inspection of the water damaged areas. They then completed the decking of the crib and removed rocks that were limiting access to the landing area.

Phil spent the day cutting up 3 downed trees and hauling the fire wood to the wood pile. Gary raked out the Fog Signal lawn area, reseeded and mulched it and then laid down snow fencing to hold the straw in place. Later he helped Phil haul wood.

Meantime, Cathy photo documented more of the building details, completely rebuilt the fire pit and then prepared a great meal for us prior to our sunset return to Northport. It was a long and productive day but we all enjoyed the work and comraderie.

Phil von Voigtlander
June 4, 2010

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First work trip of 2010

FILA made the first 2010 work trip to the Light Station today, May 23. We departed from Northport at 8:00 am with an unusually large crew (Cathy Allchin, Harold and Laura Carrolton, Jed Mooney, Jerry Spears, Phil von Voigtlander, John and Karen Wells and Chris Young) and followed a light 10kt breeze to the Boat House anchorage. Landing there in the surf was complicated by the low water and limited view of the bottom but we managed to get everyone and all the gear ashore pretty much without incident other than a lot of wet shoes and a sheared prop pin.

Once on shore, everybody pitched in and worked hard all day. Jerry and Chris decked over the crib while the Carroltons ascended the Light Tower to assess the function of the web cam. They determined that the power system was working fine but there was it least one damaged connector; the camera and transmitter were removed for further bench testing.

We all contributed to the grounds maintenance activity: wood was cut up and stacked, the lawns were mowed and raked, the new brush cutter was assembled and put to use clearing lilac suckers along the walks, walkways were cleared, swept and edged, and the latrine and campsite were cleaned up.

After all this, Cathy and helpers prepared a big feast for all. We then closed up, packed out and returned to Northport on a light southerly. We docked there at 8:00 pm to close out a very productive day.

Phil von Voigtlander
May 24, 2010

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First visit of the season

Long time FILA members and benefactors, Bill and Nina Collins invited a number of us to join them on the inaugural off shore voyage of their newly delivered Sabre 38 express cruiser. This was a reunion of sorts; it was Bill who sponsored the first FILA trip to the island in 2006 (see the report by clicking here). Joining us (Barb and I) on today's trip were FILA volunteer and benefactor, Andy Thomas, and FILA volunteer, Sean Mauney.
 
We found the Station to be in great shape. The structures were closed up as we had left them last autumn and there was no immediate evidence of any significant further deterioration other than the continued gradual collapse of the shed portion of the Lighthouse. There was evidence of the campsite having been used since we were last there in mid October, but it was left in good order.
 
There is of course work to be done: the walkways need to be cleared of leaves and brush, the grass is in need of mowing, the snow fences need to be rolled up and removed and a tree that fell during the recent wind storm needs to be cut up and rendered to the wood pile. The interiors of the buildings could also use some additional clean up.
 
It was very gratifying for this group of long time supporters of FILA to see the remarkable improvements that our volunteers and contractors have already made at the Light Station. Thanks to all of you who made this possible!

Phil von Voigtlander
May 17, 2010

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Board Meeting of May 10, 2010

The May Board Meeting was held at the Grand Traverse Children's Museum. The financial part included the reception of a reimbursement for $2430.00 from SHPO for money advanced to the contractor in 2009, $8333.00 donated by Michael and Rhea Dow of Charlevoix, and the appointment of Michael Smith, a CPA in Cadillac, as auditor to help the Treasurer maintain the books.

George Carpenter reported on the bidding process for the Historic Structures Report. The board decided to approve the bid from Upper Peninsula Engineers & Architects (primary bid for the 1867 lighthouse and secondary bid for the additional structures).

FILA currently has 76 members and 100 fans on Facebook. New FILA member John Tremblay is organizing the membership database and will maintain it going forward.

According to Phil von Voigtlander, FILA's boat, the Lightkeeper, is being overhauled by volunteers. Weather permitting, she will be launched by Saturday, 5/15.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Pamela Nickerson's minutes
June 8, 2010

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Board Meeting of April 12, 2010

As usual, the board meeting was held at the GT Children's Museum. The 2010 budget and the financial report were presented by Cathy Allchin and discussed and approved by the board. Jim Schiffer reported on the progress made towards the realization of a safe harbor on South Fox. The Michgan Waterways Commission has approved the budget for the safe harbor work but no date has been determined for commencement of the project.

Lisa Gamero of the DNR is spearheading the effort to get FILA listed with the National Register. FILA will have to provide material. FILA's participation in several regional events of the upcoming season was discussed.

Phil von Voigtlander informed the board of the state of negotiations with the DNR as to this year's work permit. By the way, the DNR has offered to donate a couple of picnic tables to take to South Fox Island.  The tables can be disassembled for transport. Cathy reported on her public presentations in TC.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Pamela Nickerson's minutes
May 27, 2010

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Announcement: Yet another presentation in Traverse City

FILA is again inviting the public to meet with us and learn about us:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 5:30 p.m.
Cathy Allchin's South Fox presentation
at Horizon Bookstore, Front Street

Everybody is invited to come and have a good time with us.

John McKinney, FILA President
March 31, 2010

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Announcement: Slide presentation in Traverse City

On Tuesday, March 30, FILA Vice President Cathy Allchin will give a slide presentation at the Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Ave, Traverse City, from 6-8:30 p.m..  Her presentation will focus on our efforts - over the last five years - to stabilize the buildings and improve the grounds on the island. 

All are invited to attend.  Please come!

Sandy Bradshaw
March 24, 2010

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FILA in The Beacon

Sandy Bradshaw placed an article in The Beacon, the quarterly published by the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association (GLLKA). Please read it by clicking here.

For the GLLKA home page please click here.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger
March 24, 2010

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MRPA Community Service Award

The Michigan Recreation & Parks Association (MRPA) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) have awarded FILA the MRPA Community Service Award for our partnership and assistance with maintaining and preserving the South Fox Island lighthouse complex. 

These awards are given to individuals or organizations that show outstanding support to public and park recreation programs in local communities. "We are proud to honor you for your sponsorship and partnership with us, for the numerous fund raising events held by your organization, and the countless volunteer hours," wrote Ronald A. Olson, Chief of the DNRE Recreation Division. 

FILA President John McKinney accepted the award on March 10, 2010 at the MRPA Community Service Award Night held in East Lansing.  We certainly are proud to have received this award and that the MRPA and the DNRE recognize and appreciate what FILA is accomplishing in saving this once lonely light. Thanks to all of our members and volunteers in helping to make this happen!

MRAP Community Service Award ceremony
From left to right: John McKinney, John
Wells (both FILA), Anna Sylvester, Ron
Olson (both DNR).

Sandy Bradshaw
March 24, 2010

Photo kindly provided by Anna Sylvester, DNR

Please read the synopsis issued by the DNR by clicking here.

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Board Meeting of March 8, 2010

The FILA board held the March meeting at the Grand Traverse Children's Museum. Quite a few organizational and administrative topics were discussed, such as board liability coverage, newsletter ideas, reviving the old project for a safe harbor on South Fox, the DNR work permit (possibly to be replaced with a lease next year), membership database, possible ways to conduct oral history interviews etc..

FILA will give several presentations (two public ones in Traverse City and one to the Charlevoix Yacht Club) in the near future. John McKinney reported on the Community Service Award FILA is going to receive from the Michigan Recreation and Parks Division; he and John Wells will attend the ceremony in Lansing.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Pamela Nickerson's minutes
April 8, 2010

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Board Meeting of February 8, 2010

The Grand Traverse Children's Museum saw yet another FILA Board Meeting. Strategic planning, membership through on-line means (Facebook, yahoo!, Twitter), the National Archives CD-ROM, FILA's display at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, and oral history projects were discussed. Phil informed the board of the island projects for 2010. The detailed work plan and the request for the DNR Land Use Permit were postponed.

A list of regional events to possibly attend in 2010 was compiled, and other promotion topics including the next newsletter, the MLA conference in Traverse City, PayPal donations through Facebook, and PR through local TV stations were discussed.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on the minutes submitted by John McKinney & Sandy Bradshaw
April 8, 2010

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Board Meeting of January 12, 2010

At the usual location at the GT Children's Museum, past treasurer Phil von Voigtlander and new treasurer Cathy Allchin gave a wrap-up of 2009. All financial areas except boat maintenance stayed within the proposed budget for the year. An expansion of the MLAP grant to include a survey of all essential structures of the station is proposed and discussed, as are safety issues such as First Aid and signalling kits.

Phil von Voigtlander distributed a list of island projects completed in 2009, and new projects for 2010 were discussed. Cal Carr and Jim Schiffer attended the meeting as guests to inform the board of the plans for creating a safe harbor at South Fox, a project budgeted at about $12 million. According to the Michigan Waterways Commission Planning Unit the project should be completed in two to three years.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger, based on Pamela Nickerson's minutes
March 20, 2010

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For other years, please click here to go back to the News page.
 

 

  

 

Archived March 16, 2013