News on the Rock! March 2013-The Ladd ladies, Heidi, Macy, and Nora, can be proud of their Amazeballs, the chocolate treat
they entered in in Chocolate Fest at the Put-in-Bay Library on Saturday, March 23rd. They took first place this year…..and yes, it would have been worth the $40 airplane ticket from the mainland to come to the island and sample their winning treat.

Don’t forget to order your Malley’s Easter Candy from the Put-in-Bay High School Seniors. Proceeds from the sale help Karina Kowalski, Caleigh Blumensaadt, Molly Domer, Jessica Farman, Shawn Seaberg, Wyatt Auger and Mitch Blumensaadt fund their senior class trip to Savannah, GA. Contact any of these students if you’d like to order some Malley’s. If you’re having a St. Patty’s Day bash, need a dessert and don’t want to make it, you might consider some “Green” Velvet Shamrock Cheesecake Brownies. Jenny Fuchs and Audrey Kiser are taking orders by March 10th for delivering March 17th. They can also take orders for Easter. These delicious brownies are $1.50 for two or a dozen for $15. There is a two dozen limit per order. You can call, text or leave a voice mail for Audry at 567-219-4273 or Jenny at 614-307-5350. Proceeds from the sales go to the Jer-Bear Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Put-in-Bay finished in sixth place in running of the “America’s Coolest Small Town” contest on the Internet. Put-in-Bay was one of fifteen towns in the contest by budgettravel.com. Officials used social media and news to campaign for votes, asking Facebook friends and Twitter followers to vote. This was the 18th year for the competition. Put-in-Bay was up against cities like Camden, Maine; Flagler Beach, Florida; Watkins Glen, New York; and Gulf Shores, Alabama, for this year’s new title.

There will be a fundraiser at the Edgewater Yacht Club in Cleveland for Kris Miller, the former Put-in-Bay Yacht Club Commodore
and club manager, who is this year’s Inter-Lake Yachting Association commodore.

Annie Parker is looking for islanders whose ancestors served in the War of 1812. Contact her if have ancestors who did. It’s going to be a busy 2013 news season on the island. Not only are there all the special Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial events, but several more including the release of the new Perry Monument quarter and Battle of Lake Erie postage stamp. In the spring, there will be a Sportswriters conference. There will be a Midwest Blogger Meet Up on September 26th. At the last Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce meeting, President Ty Winchester said there will be a 5K Run to benefit Stein Hospice on July 1, the Monday of Pyrate Fest Weekend. Grab your running shoes and join us for this great cause! There will also be a Perry’s Victory Triathlon Race on August 11th. In October, there will be the Socctober Fest @ Put-in-Bay on the 12th and 13th.

Greg Peiffer from WPIB Radio was honored to be asked by the U.S. Park Service and the U. S. Mint to serve as the master of ceremonies for the unveiling of the new Bicentennial Quarter on April 20th at the base of Perry’s Monument. Dan and Valerie Kowalski from Yardworks find it hard to believe they’re getting ready to start their 20th year ‘working hard on island yards’! Again as in year’s past, there will be a few new things for people to check out when they come to the island. Baycraft Builders is building a new home for museum director Dan Savage in the Morgan Subdivision on East Point. Todd Blumensaadt’s crew has been hard at work on making changes to the terminal building on the Jet Dock. There’s a new porch on the Park Hotel. There are changes on the accessory buildings at the Dairy Queen. Roger Miller’s crew has put up a new home on the West Shore, plus has been doing work at Brad Ohlemacher’s home there, too. The park will be sporting refurbished antique light posts with new lighting. Work will soon be beginning on the new project Ed Fitzgerald is working on next to Tony’s Garage, and work will begin in earnest on blacksmith shop building across from Cameo Pizza are also being repaired and straightened. Jeremy Fitzgerald isn’t letting any grass grow under his feet. He opened Bar 145 in Toledo a couple of years ago and followed up with another Bar 145 in Kent, OH. This summer, he’s opening one in Grandview near Ohio State University in Columbus.

That popular Put-in-Bay Road Race Reunion event change in their schedule. Last year, it was in September, and this year it will be in August on the 27th, 28th, and 29th

Official Village of Put-in-Bay flags for sale-Be one of the first on the island to get one of the new Village of Put-in-Bay flags. It would be great to see a lot of them flying on the island during this Battle of Lake Erie bicentennial year. According to Put-in-Bay News, the flag, with its “dovetail” design, compliments the State of Ohio flag and is designed to move well in a breeze. The upper blue on the flag represents the deep blue waters of Lake Erie, and the green lower area reflects the lush verdant green of the Island. The “Put-in-Bay” lettering on the flag has the Monument representing the “I.” The white brig Niagara denotes the importance of the Battle of Lake Erie to the area, while the grapevines indicate the Island’s present and historic industry. The representative sun and moon both shine on the Village which is alive by day and night. Robert Kansa of Akron, Ohio, designed the flag. The flags are made from 200 denier nylon, printed with DuPont SolarMax UV resistant ink, 3×5 burgee cut, single-sided reverse, header, and grommets. The flags cost $40.00 each.

News Flash!-No one hauled our Christmas tree away! We’ve never had a problem getting rid of our Christmas tree when the holidays are over on the island. If you put it on the tree lawn, it would be gone in a heartbeat, taken by those who blaze trails across the ice to the mainland or the upper islands to be used for markers. This year, our Christmas tree is still on the tree lawn, in part due to the “in again, out again” ice we experienced. The ice came, then it would go, then it would come, then it would go, never really sticking around enough to get thick enough for much ice fishing, snowmobiling, ATVing or, for that matter, trail marking.

There was still ice on the lake at the end of February, but not as thick as the good old days! Anyway, that’s what we’d like to think. In reality, some winters on the islands would have made Eskimos and polar bears feel right at home while others have been nearly ice-free. We’ll never be able to predict what Mother Nature has in store for Lake Erie, and even the old-timers will tell you they could never do it either. Islanders live with the daily changes every season of the year, never knowing when they wake up in the morning what the lake will be like.

So here’s looking forward to next winter when, hopefully, the ice will return and bring us an ice fishing season for two solid months. And as for our Christmas tree? We’re saving that for “Twelve Day in Christmas in July.”

In Put-in-Bay Village Council News,  Jake Market was sworn in as a councilman filling the seat vacated when the former Put-in-Bay mayor and Councilwoman Judy Berry resigned the second week in February. According to reliable sources, Judy resigned due to personal reasons. Jake is 23 years old and maybe the youngest person to ever serve on the Put-in-Bay Village Council. He is employed with Miller Boat Line and has been involved in several community functions including music programs and the revival of the New Year’s dance at the Town Hall two months ago. Jake joins council members Jeff Koehler and Melinda Myers who also reside on Bayview Ave.

In other news, the Put-in-Bay quarter will be released April 20th, Monument Superintendent Blanca Alvarez Stransky tells us the Perry Monument quarter we reported on last month in the Gazette news will be released at a ceremony on the steps of the lower plaza on Saturday, April 20th at 11:30 a.m. If the weather is bad, the ceremony will take place at the Niagara Event Center. Blanca tells us Gov. Kasich has been invited to the event along with other dignitaries. Members of the Blackswamp Tribal Foundation will also be playing drums at the ceremony. At the ceremony, children will have the opportunity to receive one of the quarters with Commodore Perry and Perry’s Monument on the tale side free. Others who want some of the quarters will have the opportunity to purchase them. Start planning now to attend this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Summer intern positions at Put-in-Bay-The Lake Erie Islands Chapter of the Black Swamp Conservancy and the Lake Erie
Islands Nature and Wildlife Center will both host AmeriCorps interns this summer according to Put-in-Bay News. The position will start June 3, 2013, for a ten-week period, approximately 40 hours a week. Tasks for the LEINWC position will include assisting with Wild Tuesday programs, tours, work on social network sites, grants, and other projects at the LEINWC. For the LEIC-BSC position,
tasks could include trail maintenance, invasive plant management, restoration, work on social network sites, grants and other programs depending on the skill sets of the AmeriCorps Steward.

Laptop and internet access are provided, but the participant must have their own housing on the island. Benefits- Among the benefits for participants are a $2,000 living stipend paid biweekly, $1,132 AmeriCorps Segal Education Award to be used for qualified student loans or tuition available upon successful completion of the program, Professional development and hands-on experience with environmental and conservation projects, access to innovative examples of partnerships and information for collaborative environmental restoration and community building, and college credit may be obtained, depending on member’s host school. To apply, please submit the Environmental Stewards Summer Program Member application form and resumé. Only electronic submissions will be accepted and incomplete applications will not be considered.