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August 2019 News At Put-in-Bay! What Did You Miss?

Captain class

Joseph Poplstein is planning to hold a Captain License training class on the island again in 2019. The dates are October 7th through the 23rd. Please call Joseph Poplstein at 440-289-3647 for further information.

The Put-in-Bay Gazette photo contest for June/July-

was a huge success, with over 60 entries on the Put-in-Bay Ohio Facebook page. Photos ranged from pictures of rough water, different views Picture of the photo contest in August 2019 Newsof the monument, kids playing on the beach and on the Miller Ferry, agriculture and architecture on the island, and even a picture of Put-in-Bay from the Middle Bass Island dock. When all was said and done, our judges chose a winner, the image you see above by Ed Gudenas of Middle Bass Island.

Ed will receive a lifetime online subscription to the Put-in-Bay Gazette to accompany his photo on the cover. Runner-up photos are pictured to the right from Billy Market and Miranda Smith. We want to extend a huge thank you to our judges for combing through the photos and to all our photo submitters. Stay tuned to the Put-in-Bay Facebook page for more contests and giveaways in the future. Our next contest will be in September.


There will be a dedication ceremony for the new American Legion Veteran’s Memorial, in the DeRivera Park by the Doughboy statue on Historic Weekend Saturday., Sept. 7th, at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

If you’re looking for healthy pizza, try a new cauliflower crust pizza at Cameo! Not only is it gluten-free and keto-friendly, but it’s also tasty!! One island woman ordered one recently and brought it back. She said, “You must have made a mistake. You gave me a regular pizza. I wanted a cauliflower crust pizza.” She was surprised to learn there had been no mistake and that the delicious pizza she was eating was, indeed, the cauliflower crust pizza.

You Might Need Their Services

For the last several years, we have not had a window cleaning or carpet cleaning ad in the paper. In this issue, we do. The ad for Whitmore’s Window Cleaning on pages 40 – B16 says they offer inside and outside window cleaning, plus screen repair and cleaning, something we’ve never had an ad for. Whitmore’s also advertises carpet cleaning, furniture cleaning, power washing, gutter cleaning, and chandelier cleaning.

North Bass Airport Gets Grant

The North Bass Island Airport is one of several airports in Ohio to be awarded a grant for infrastructure improvements. The airport received $2,338,861 to rehabilitate a runway and an apron. In all, more than $3 billion was allotted through the Airport Improvement Program for airports across the United States. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a total of 276 grants were given out to 264 airports in 45 states, the Pacific Islands, and the District of Columbia. Some of the best news to hit North Bass Since the Put-in-Bay news of March 2010

Island Welcomes

New Full-Time Seasonal Officer Put-in-Bay welcomes new seasonal full-time police officer Henry Brettrager. Mayor Jessica Dress recently swore Officer Brettrager in, and Chief Riddle issued him his new badge. Officer Brettrager comes to the island with over 30 years of law enforcement experience and teaches at several Ohio police academies. Welcome aboard

Lake Level Update

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Lake Erie and all of the Great Lakes (St. Clair included) are much above their average levels, and most are close to, or setting, new record highs each month. In May and June, we set a new record average monthly lake levels for each of those months. Each of those monthly averages was also a new record for Lake Erie for any month.

It is almost a sure thing that we will also set new record highs in July. In August and September, it is highly likely that we will set new monthly records for those months, but it is also possible that those levels will be below the July record for Lake Erie (assuming it stays high throughout the month of July). The following information comes from the 1918-2018 records of the US Army Corps of Engineers.

On 5 July, we were 2 inches over the level from one month ago (5 June), 11 inches over the level of 1 year ago (5 July 2018), 33 inches over the long-term average for July, 6 inches above the record average for July set in 1986, and 68 inches above the record low set for July in 1934. We need some dry weather! However, even with dry weather, because about 90% of Lake Erie’s water comes from Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, and St. Clair, and with all of those lakes at or near records highs, it is likely to take a while for Lake Erie’s levels to decline significantly

Barbershop Singing

On August 9, 2019, at 7:00 PM on the back porch of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial Visitors Center, there will be a barbershop performance. The tradition began in August 1948 when Frank Evans’ barbershop quartet, “The Country Gentlemen,” performed at the Middle Bass Islander’s potluck supper. From that first taste, the program grew into an annual Barbershop Quartet event on Middle Bass the second weekend of August, with up to about 20 groups performing, including International Champion Quartets. Sometime between 1964 and 1968,

Mark Barnhill, a resident of South Bass Island and a member of one of the quartets, arranged that the barber shoppers would perform on
South Bass Island on the Friday evening of that weekend. After trying different locations, the popular event settled into its current “home” at the Perry Monument, which provides a perfect setting for them. We will again enjoy the wonderful Barbershop Quartet Concert at the Perry Monument this year.

The quartets will be performing on the back steps of the Visitors’ Center at 7:00 PM on Friday, August 9th. This year they have chosen the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center (LEINWC) as the organization they are supporting. Volunteers from the LEINWC will be handing out programs for the concert and will gladly accept donations during intermission and at the end of the concert at tables set on the grounds.

Please stop at one of our tables to get more information about the LEINWC and our building fund. In case of rain, the concert will be held at the Put-in-Bay School gymnasium. Note: There will also be a concert on Middle Bass the same day in the afternoon at 1:30 at the Lonz Pavilion, according to August 2019 News

Customs and Trade Seminar

The Space Coast World Trade Council is holding another training seminar at the Put-in-Bay Town Hall on Friday, September 20th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Topics include trade and tariff issues, including the impact of Trump tariffs on “free trade“ partners. This is a joint Industry Commerce Department and Customs presentation. Lunch and a workbook will be provided. Material is technical, and a fee is charged. For details, call Bonnie Cantillon at (321) 258- 7837.

More Money for the Islands

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has been funded to carry out emergency repairs to the pier and boat launch ramp area at North Bass Island State Park on North Bass Island. Currently, the dock is in such bad repair that the limited ferry service provided by Miller Boat Line has been canceled. The main dock is the lifeline to the island.

So if the ferry service ends, there will be no way to get things like vehicles to the island or equipment to repair the airport or township roads. If the public airport is not maintained or usable, the FAA grants for the airport must be paid back. The State’s Controlling Board also approved about $317,000 for Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island in the harbor at Put-in-Bay. Most of the money will be used to buy water quality monitoring instruments. Sound like a great time for another Great Lakes Rally!

Bad Siri

When Caroline Jackson picked up her phone the other day and asked Siri to order a take-out pizza from Frosty’s. A half-hour later, her husband, Scott, went down to pick it up, but there was no pizza ready. They did not know a pizza for Jackson. Scott just ordered another one and enjoyed waiting with friends who were enjoying the entertainment at Frosty’s.

When Scott got home with the pizza, the phone rang. The person on the other end said this is Frosty’s and asked when they were going to come and get their pizza. What was going on? Apparently, Siri called Frosty’s Pizza in Mechanicsburg, OH, more than a 3-hour drive from Put-in-Bay. Apparently, this isn’t the first time this has happened to people ordering from our island’s Frosty Pizza. Oops

Ride Along! August 2019 News

On Friday, July 12th, Laura Fogg had a chance to ride along with the Put-in-Bay police. She posted this the next day on social media: “Last night, I had the opportunity to ride along with the Put-in-Bay Police Department from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.! If you ever have the chance to do this, I highly recommend it. You will become a more well-informed citizen. I saw the police help MANY people who could not help themselves throughout the night. I saw a lot of patience in dealing with some difficult people.

I was surprised to learn how much paperwork is involved, how much interaction there is with EMS, ODNR, and other agencies, how little compensation is given (starting wage is $15 per hour), and that one of the detectives works for no wage whatsoever! He even pays for his equipment. I was also surprised to learn the number of people who like to sing “Bad Boys, Bad Boys.” People chant, “Let him go.” Some people thank the police, and others call them names. Throughout the night, the police kept good attitudes, focused, kind, patient, and stern. I’m proud to have the Put-in-Bay Police looking after our community

Our Changing Island

Earlier this season, I had to make a decision – boots or water shoes? – as I prepared to take the ferry to the mainland. Like everyone else, the high water this year has kept me guessing about the current state of the sometimes flooded docks. After reading Scott Market’s post that BYOB now means “Bring Your Own Boots,” I decided to take my car back and forth when I go to the mainland. I can wear whatever footwear I want.

Problem solved. Those who rent golf carts on the island say they are having issues with carts that have been driven through the flooded streets. If you rent a cart, be safe and don’t drive through deep water, or you might find yourself the subject of August 2019 News.

Have you noticed the surge of electric bikes on the streets of Put-in-Bay? I sure hope no one gets electrocuted riding one of those things through some of our sometimes-flooded streets. You may have seen, or you may not, but I saw a guy on a motorized surfboard doing figure 8s through a mini-slalom course in the water off the north side of the Monument. I stopped breaking recently when I learned the Put-in-Bay police had solved a couple of crimes after reviewing video on security cameras.

It sure wouldn’t look good on my “permanent record” if I got caught, plus I want to “enjoy island time, not do jail time,” as the new signs posted around the island say. Can you imagine coming to the island from another country to work for the season and getting caught breaking and entering and then being charged with a first-degree felony, thrown in jail, and having to post a $70,000 bond to get out? Well, that’s what one young man did this past month. I guess we all can’t always be on top of our game.

Again this year, I have been keeping track of the countries people I meet on the island come from. I started late this season, but my list is growing week by week. We are truly becoming an international destination. Speaking of international stuff, remember all those painted Put-in-Bay rocks that people can hide wherever they go?

When you find one, there is contact info on the rock to report your find on social media. A gal named Silvia Borycova from Bulgaria found a Put-in-Bay rock at the Hatshepsut Temple in Luxor, Egypt. And lastly, I think we should promote visitation to the island by touting “The High Water Experience! See Put-in-Bay before it sinks!” Just like Terry Winchester says, “When you’ve got lemons, make lemonade!” That’s it for the August 2019 News

Jet Skier Rescued After 14 Hours in Water

A 57-year-old woman who left Put-in-Bay on a jet ski headed for the mainland spent 14 frightening hours in windy weather and choppy seas after she fell into Lake Erie. She was with two other jet skiers heading for the Portage River in Port Clinton when she disappeared in 5 to 6 ft. waves at about 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 21st.

After being notified, crews from Michigan, Canada, and local police departments, including Put-in-Bay, joined the local Coast Guard to search by boat and by air through the night. Her jet ski was found around 1 a.m. Just before 10 a.m. Monday, 14 hours after she fell into the water, the woman was found by fishermen, which was great. August 2019 News

The woman was taken to the hospital suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and hypothermia. The Coast Guard said she had drifted almost 5 miles during her ordeal and credited her survival to wearing a life jacket, zipped and buckled properly, she survived. The woman also had a whistle, but her life jacket was black, making it difficult to locate her. The Coast Guard recommended a bright-colored vest, strobe light or reflective tape. “If you’re trying to put your life jacket on in an emergency, it’s like trying to put your seat belt on when you’re going through a car crash,” Kittrell said. The woman, who remained in the hospital Monday night, has not
been identified.

After Two Years in Jail, Keith Blumensaadt Free

After two years sitting in the Ottawa County jail awaiting trial after being arrested at his Put-in-Bay home on several felony charges, Keith Blumensaadt is a free man. Keith was arrested after a standoff with Put-in-Bay Police at the end of June 2017 when police say they spotted him with a weapon in his yard after being chased for a traffic violation. The Ottawa County Sheriff was called to the island to take Keith into custody. Later, charges were filed when firearms, ammunition, and explosives were supposedly found at Keith’s home.

Keith, who reportedly was one of the whistleblowers in the case involving former Put-in-Bay Mayor Mack McCann, said the island police were targeting him. Mayor McCann eventually pleaded guilty to charges, and then-Mayor McCann was sentenced. After being arrested, the bond was so high Keith could not pay it, and he sat in jail awaiting trial. Complications arose when one of the key witnesses, the officer who arrested Keith, was himself arrested on federal charges.

The case dragged on and on and was scheduled for trial later this summer. Keith accepted a deal to plead guilty to three charges in exchange for a two-year prison term with credit for time served plus a 180-day suspended jail sentence. In addition, he is not to visit Put-in-Bay for one year unless accompanied by a sheriff’s deputy.

Island 5K Gets Technical

The annual 5KatPutinBay is completely changing its runner timing method this year. Like almost all 5Ks in the area, the popular Put-in-Bay 5K previously used the “pull tab” method of runner timing. This method requires someone at the finish line to remove the “pull tab” from the numbered bib, mark it with the runner’s time noted from a nearby clock, and secure the tab on a spindle so it doesn’t blow away. Obviously, this method is prone to human error.

The newest, most reliable, and accurate runner timing is called “Chip Timing.” A tiny microchip is embedded in the runner’s bib. This chip contains all pertinent runner information, including bib number, name, age, etc. As the runner crosses the finish line, a receiver automatically integrates their time. The completed time and information is automatically recorded on a computer, and the information is displayed as an Excel spreadsheet.

The information is accurate within a 10th of second and subject to no human error. The 5KatPutinBay occurs every third Saturday of September and draws 500 to 800 runners. The Miller Ferry Boat Line owns the naming rights to the 5K, and The Boathouse Restaurant owns the rights to the 5K race headquarters. This year marks the 16th running of one of the largest 5K races in all of North Central Ohio, according to August 2019 News



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