Put-in-Bay News……  Last Day Ferry Runs Winners! Rob Hard and Brooke Shimman were the winners of Tipper’s “Guess
the Last Ferry” Contest. Last ferry day contest winners on Billy Market’s Facebook page were Caroline Conrad, Chester Szetela, Bud Stonerook, Karen Goaziou, Sharon Weisenbach and Pamela Gruetter.

Christmas decoration winners! Tied for first place in this season’s Christmas decoration contest were Bill and Sherry Kowalski and Bill and Lois Jellison. Second place went to Connie Drake and third place went to Brad and Rachel Mathys.

Pizza Night!-Islanders wrap up 2013, ring in 2014! If you’re hankering for a freshly-baked pizza, you’ll be happy to know the Senior
Class at Put-in-Bay High School will be holding a Pizza Night, on Friday, January 17th, to raise funds for their class trip this coming
spring. Pizzas can be ordered from a student or by calling the school that week at (419) 285-3614. and they will be delivered that
Friday evening, the 17th.

It looks like ice!-If the weather forecast holds true as Put-in-Bay News goes to press, early January is going to be one heck of a good winter for ice fishing. Temperatures in the single digits will set the ice. Look for shanties to be dotting the lake cover. If you’re an ice fisherman, let’s hope you fill your freezers with those fresh walleye fillets

New Year’s Dance great fun!-Islanders celebrated New Year’s in several different ways….dinner at Tipper’s, ringing in the New Year at Tipper’s, the Winter Bar or Topsey Turvey, or just relaxing at home. But a good number of islanders headed to the Town Hall for a tradition rekindled…The New Year’s Dance. Jake Market got the ball rolling last year by reviving the nearly-deceased, long-time tradition. With a lot of help from volunteers, businesses, and others, the dance was truly a success just like in the old days. There was a good mix of older islanders, young islanders, cottagers and guests dancing to a variety of music that got everyone hopping. A big thank you goes out to Jake and all his helpers. who worked so hard to make the dance a really enjoyable event just like the old days. We’ll have more coverage of the dance in next month’s Put-in-Bay News. “Livin’ da Life” a big hit!Put-in-Bay News Photo of Island play

One of the great things we at Put-in-Bay News get to report on are the highlights of island life, including the various plays performed by islanders, both young and old, upstairs at the Put-in-Bay Town Hall Theatre. Again this December, the student members of the Put-in-Bay Junior Dramatic Society came through with a wonderful three performance production of “Livin’ da Life.” The play comes from Chandler Harris’s book, Animal Stories, written in 1880, and is the folktale of animals living in the briar patch. The island’s young thespians showed again how versatile and talented they are when it comes to performing. We especially enjoyed Elliot Kowalski’s southern accent. It had a touch of “Forrest Gump” in it and sounded very authentic. There’s no disputing the fact acting must be in the Kowalski genes. Elliot’s younger sister had the lead role of the Brer Rabbit and did a wonderful job. You’ll certainly be seeing her again on the PIB stage! And when Morgan Stacy, playing Joe’s Foutts’s granddaughter, interacted with Joe, you would have thought she was really his granddaughter.

The makeup artistry done by Patrick Myers, Marisa Rence and Rachel Mathys was also wonderful as were the costumes created by Rachel and Melinda Myers. Sadly, some of these talented students will be graduating this spring and heading off the island for more education and won’t be seen on the Put-in-Bay stage again. But rest assured, this performance showed us the up and coming talent is rich and diverse.

Put-in-Bay News from the Put-in-Bay Township Trustees- The Board of the Put-in-Bay Township Trustees have been working on a number of year-end projects. One task that has been ongoing is working with the Village Council and Mayor Scarpelli to establish a new snow plow agreement for plowing of the village roads. A new policy and procedures manual for township employees is almost complete as well as the final budgets and appropriations for the new year. Two replacement levies are being considered; one for the cemetery and one for EMS.

Among those first on the ice this winter for a little fishing was Brian Woischke and Travis Kowalski. They were spotted off the State Park Dock at Stone Cove shortly after the ice came in. Speaking of ice fishing, Dan Petro wants to remind everyone the 3rd Annual Kurt and Jer-Bear ice fishing tournament will be on February 22nd. Watch for details in the February issue of the Gazette.

Westside Steve will be back on the island this season entertaining for his 26th year. Check WestsideSteve.com for times and details!

We heard great things about the tribute to Pat Dailey that took place this last month. He was recognized for his lifetime success and achievement by an all-star group of his fellow island musicians. We’ll have more about it next month.

We don’t know about you, but be happy you’re not living on Kelleys Island where the Village Council is reportedly considering
an income tax for its citizens rather than have a bed tax for its lodging establishments or a dockage tax to help fund local government. Put-in- Bay’s Village Council has been staunchly against an income tax for its residents. Not only would it be unwelcome by the Village residents, business people and island employees, it would also be a nightmare to administer, and the tax would probably not bring in significant revenue.

Thanks go out to Mike Diskin for his years of service as a Put-in-Bay Port Authority board member. His seat was taken by Sharon Gray, the former secretary for the Port Authority. Her position as secretary was taken over by Rosann Keiser.

Put-in-Bay News ran into Jim and Sandy Yelensky from North Bass the other day after the ferries stopped running at the Port Clinton Airport. They were heading home after a few days helping out at the wonderful holiday open house at Firelands Winery in Sandusky. They started telling us about the grapes that still had to be taken off North Bass to the winery in Sandusky. They were the grapes frozen while still on the vine and used for ice wine. They mentioned there were twenty pallets of grapes, each with 35 lugs of wonderfully sweet Vidal grapes, ready to be pressed. They were waiting for Griffing’s big plane to get back into service so they could make about ten round-trips off the island with their precious cargo. Just how precious you ask? Jim tells us the pressed juice goes for about $100 a gallon wholesale. In the meantime, the grapes were being stored inside a cold building on the island. As we go to print, the grapes had been scheduled to be flown off and are probably already on the mainland.

Zillow, a real estate website on the Internet, recently reported some interesting Put-in-Bay News about local home prices and values. The median Put-in-Bay Real Estate home value is $340,900. Put-in-Bay home values have gone up 38.9% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 12.6% within the next year. The median price of homes currently listed in Put-in-Bay is $485,000. Wow! A nearly 40% in value gain in the last year! That sounds too good to be true. Don’t be mislead by such figures. The island market for properties is a different animal, and with the few sales on the island, figures like this can be skewed way up and way

If you’re on the mainland on Saturday evening, January 25th, you might want to stop in at Strikers (at Plaza Lanes) in Fremont. Ray Fogg will be entertaining at the popular hot spot owned by Roger and Joan Rhoad who also operate Cameo Pizza here on Put-in-Bay. For more information call Strikers at 419-332-1192 or Ray Fogg Productions at 216- 749-3334.

Mother Mary Staley at St. Paul’s is in the process of changing email service for the church. Please keep this in mind while trying to email her.