Put-in-Bay News-Lingering winter has islanders scurrying to open 2013 season-Spring officially came to the islands on March 20th but unofficially hasn’t really arrived. The ferry boats started running only a week before the printed schedule, and then only on and off as high winds, snow and cold temperatures kept them from running many trips. The Put in Bay harbor was still icing up with skim ice even after the first day of spring, and islanders spent more time watching the snow fall and then melt than being out and about getting things ready.

The Put-in-Bay Weather may slow things down a bit, but it won’t stop things from opening up for the season. You know things
are on track when Pasquale’s Cafe´ opens (April 12th) and the Whiskey Light goes on at the Round House (April 14th). Although there were no major building projects going on this winter, things are still happening. There’s work being done at the Rotunda at the Perry Peace Memorial Monument, the Creperie at the Blacksmith Shop, the old Dairy Queen building, the Park Hotel, the Jet Dock, Topsy Turvey’s, the Crew’s Nest and at the lot next to Tony’s where new brick buildings are being put up. What may be one of the best of all is the new look at the Wine Room at Heineman Winery where they are celebrating their 125th year in business. Stop by and see for yourself!

In other Put in Bay News, a Pig Roast/Auction Benefit will be held on Friday, April 5th, for Joe and Suz Kostura at Tippers. Dinner will be from 5:30 – 7 p.m. (or until the food is gone). Adults $9 and children $4. Starting at 7 p.m., there will be a live auction, Chinese auction, and a 50/50 raffle. If you are interested in helping or have items to donate, contact Billy Market at 1-800-500-2421. If you can not attend, but wish to donate, mail your checks to Miller Boat Line, Box 239, Put in Bay, OH 43456, made payable to Joe & Suz Kostura. Hope to see you there.

Put in Bay News has learned that the Ohio Sea Grant could be hit hard by proposed budget cuts Gov. John Kasich’s budget proposal released in February could have some serious consequences for the Ohio Sea Grant program. Ohio Sea Grant is heavily involved on Gibraltar Island here at Put in Bay and, with its programs and research, is the watchdog for one of Ohio’s largest resources, Lake Erie. The proposed budget cuts $285,000 per year in state funding, which in turn triggers a loss of matching funds for an additional $600,000 in federal funding. Ohio Sea Grant has lobbied hard for every penny of funding it can get over the years, and it’s a slap in the face at this time when there is so much important work and research being done for future generations who will live, work and recreate in this area of the country. Important research dealing with monitoring nutrient levels, algae blooms, phosphorous levels, the flora, and fauna, removing contaminants from drinking water, monitoring water levels and the many other problems involved in keeping Lake Erie alive and healthy will definitely cut back just when they are so critically needed.

State Rep. Chris Redfern, D-Catawba Island, and Sen. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, are working behind the scenes to keep the budget cuts at bay. Redfern pointed out Sea Grant operates with a small budget, while Kasich has more than $60 billion. Redfern also added the facility means important jobs to the area and is a lifeline to the all-important tourism industry, plus 16 million Americans and Canadians get their drinking water from Lake Erie and its watersheds. The budget is moving through the Ohio House Finance Committee. It will make its way to the Ohio Senate. The budget has to be in place before July 1 according to Put in Bay News.

In Put in Bay News from the courts the Judge says no to dropping Put in Bay fight death charges Judge Bruce Winters from the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court recently denied a motion to dismiss charges against an Aurora, Ohio, man, Cameron Parris, 28, who was involved in the killing of Phil Masterson in a fight with Zach Brody at the Island Club on South Bass Island over Labor Day weekend in 2011. Parris was not physically involved in the fatal beating but was charged with tampering with evidence and obstructing justice, both third-degree felonies; failure to report a death, a fourth-degree misdemeanor; and falsification, a first-degree misdemeanor. Reportedly, he discarded a bloody shirt and a wallet that belonged to Masterson. Attorneys for Parris argued during the 90-minute hearing he had sought to have charges dropped because he claimed he cooperated with authorities in exchange for immunity.

The defense attorneys were unable to prove to the judge’s satisfaction their client was truthful with investigators who believe Parris knew more unrevealed details about what happened. They believed Ottawa County Prosecutor Mark Mulligan did not live up to an agreement for immunity with Parris before the Ottawa County Grand Jury met to decide charges against another man. A trial date for Parris has not been set. If convicted on all charges, he could be sentenced to more than 10 years in prison and fined more than $20,000

Put in Bay News from the Arts Council Food & Photo Fundraiser-The Put in Bay Arts Council will host a Food & Photo Fundraiser at the Put in Bay Town Hall from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 25th. Please come to support your local photographers at this arts open house! We will have a silent auction of photographers’ matted prints to benefit Put in Bay Arts. Greek-themed food will be provided by Marie Schroeder. All are welcome to this free event! If you are interested in exhibiting your printed photos on matting provided by the Arts Council, please contact Marisa Rence: risrence@gmail.com or (440) 371-9720

In Put in Bay News on the business front, Greg Dobos has started a new lawn care and power washing business on the island. So if your yard work is falling behind, or your anything you owns needs power washing, call him for help. See his ad on page 17. Registration for Put in Bay Community Swim/Sail is now available online www.pibswimsail.org. Deadline to register is May 1, 2013. Evening Endurance swim begins June 10, 2013. Morning swim and learn to sail begin June 17, 2013. If you have any questions, please contact pibswimsail@ gmail.com.

“A Flarely Lively Start”…..A Harbor Illuminations organizational meeting will be held Saturday, May 4th, at the Put in Bay Senior Center at 10 a.m. Please attend if you were a Team Leader in 2012, or if you would like to participate in the Illuminations Program for 2013. More participants are needed as the Program is expanding. If you have further questions, contact Doug Mehling (419-285-5792). The Put in Bay Fire Department is having a pancake breakfast Sunday, April 7th, from 8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. This will be the last and final pancake breakfast before things get going on the Bay this season!!

Put in Bay Village Councilman and Village Tree Commission member Kelly Faris says palm trees at Put-in-Bay is like going to Florida and finding Maple Trees at the bars there. Take out a palm and the tree commission will put in a Maple tree free they told Put in Bay News. Islanders are still doing a bit of traveling in March. John Dodge and Bridget Wise headed to the Florida Keys where they started outfitting the house they bought there. Dino and Agnieszka Uszak with their daughter Miyah to California where they visited Disneyland La Jolla Beach on the Pacific Ocean. Agnieszka, a fan of Jennifer Aniston’s, also got a chance to find her star on the sidewalk in Hollywood. Karen Wilhelm headed for England with her daughter, Jacqueline. While there, they visited Steve and Erika (Suttmann) Crossley (Put in Bay High School Class of 2001). They also made a stop at Stonehenge, skipped rocks in the English Channel, explored some Quaint towns and stopped a pub or two. Russ and Lisa Brohl spent time in Florida and Alabama before heading to the Virgin Islands in March.

We were happy to hear about the Township beginning a program this season to recycle prescription drugs. Scientists tell us one of the problems facing the Great Lakes is the amount of medicine and antibiotics which find their way into the lake ecosystem. When we told one islander about the new program, he told us he was against it because medicine and antibiotics are good for you, so they must be good for the flora and fauna in the lake. Wow! He might be right, but then he doesn’t believe in global warming, either.

The Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center begins its “Wild Tuesday” program On June 18. The live two-hour programs are free and open to the general public and begin at 1 pm. August 13 is the final program of the 2013 season. These programs are very educational. The LEI Nature & Wildlife Center is located on Meechen Rd. between Joe’s Bar and Airport Rd.

Put in Bay News congratulates Mark and Karen Wilhelm will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary on April 16th. If you see them, wish them the very best. Mr. Ed’s and the Commodore Resort at Put in Bay will be having a “job fair” at Commodore Perry in Port Clinton April 6th and 7th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone interested can stop by and check out the numerous job opportunities.

Put in Bay News could add a little excitement to island life if there was a program on cable called “The Housewives of Put in Bay.” There are all kinds of interesting summer jobs on the island, but this summer, for the first time, the Village will have a lifeguard patrolling the waterfront from Perry’s Monument to the Yacht Club and at the Bathing Beach at the end of Delaware Ave. He will continuously walk the route from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, watching for anyone who might fall in the lake and need help. The lifeguard must wear a swimming suit and will carry a life ring with 50 ft. of line attached and a radio to communicate with the EMS, police and fire departments in case of emergency. Pay for the lifeguard job is $17.50 per hour. There are no additional benefits. If interested in the job, contact any village official.

We found a Student Trainee Park Guide position available at the Monument this summer which pays $13.41 per hour as reported to Put-in-Bay News. The minimum age for the position is sixteen years old and applicants are subject to a background investigation. Put in Bay did not make the website TripAdvisor’s list of its Travelers’ Choice Top Ten Islands in the World. We’re big fans of TCM, Turner Classic Movies, on cable TV. We especially enjoy the old black and white movies made back in the 1930s that have Ford Tri-motors in them. This past winter we saw one movie where the Tri-motor was flying above a train trying to warn the engineer the bridge was out ahead on the tracks. In another one, the Tri-motor was going to be used to make mail runs over the Andes.

Put in Bay VFD & Put in Bay EMS attend training sessions in Bowling Green- Put in Bay News reports the weekend of March 8th through 10th, eleven members from the Put in Bay Volunteer Fire Department (Put in Bay VFD) and three members from Put in Bay EMS went to the Northwest Ohio Volunteer Firemans Association training in Bowling Green, Ohio. Fire department members were Mark and Douglas Wilhelm, Kyle Wertenbach, Jon Scarpelli, Chris Ladd, Mark Keiser, David Bianchi, Dan Skoufos, Patrick McCann, Chief JR Domer and Ty Winchester. The three members from the Put in Bay EMS were Karen Wilhelm and Lee and Kathy Krendl. There were 31 excellent classes to choose from with different instructors for each class. A big thank-you goes out to everyone who took time to go and learn new things and to the NOVFA officers for the great classes. The Put-in-Bay VFD and EMS members learned a lot and have a lot to practice from what was learned, and both groups plan on going back for more training next year

Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial Reenactment Ticket In September of 1813, during the War of 1812, Oliver Hazard Perry of the U.S. Navy and his crew of 557 brave patriots prevailed over the British in the Battle of Lake Erie near Put in Bay, Ohio. Two hundred year later, we will come together to celebrate Perry’s victory, our nation’s sovereignty and the enduring peace between nations. As caretakers of our freedom, we are called to bear witness to history in our own special way. The torch has been passed to our generation, who enjoys the great bounties of Lake Erie that were secured forever by Perry and those who came before us.

On Labor Day, September 2, 2013, you can stand in their place and honor their service as crew members on one of the American Tall Ships Vessels commemorating this historic battle. Select your preference for officer or sailor. Tickets range from $10 to $975 depending on your preference of officer or sailor and the activities you wish to take part in.