32nd Annual State Of The Island 2018 At The Put-in-Bay Town Hall
The annual State of the Island 2018 evening took place at the Put-in-Bay Town Hall on Thursday, April 12th. There were more than 20 speakers from various public entities who brought those in the audience current with the latest island affairs. The State of the Island is more than 30 years old.
Started by former Put-in-Bay Resorts manager Chip Weiant, it has evolved from dinner to more of an informal cocktail hour affair. This year, the event was very well attended and there was a lot of interesting information that was shared. This year’s event was It was one of the best-attended events in several years. Here are some of the highlights from over 20 speakers at the event.
Mother Mary Staley
Mother Mary Staley from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church announced there would be no more spaghetti dinner for the island employees. The annual dinner was quite popular with all the island employees, some who came to the church to eat and others who chose to use the carry-out service. The dinner will be replaced by three soup evenings at the church with no carry-out service. Mother Mary also talked about the
remodeling being done in the Undercroft at St. Paul’s.
Peter Huston & Brad Ohlemacher
Peter Huston from the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce talked at the State of the Island 2018 event about the new Chamber logo and the Foodie Trail insert in Lake Erie Living Magazine that featured island dining. Chamber President Brad Ohlemacher introduced the board members and thanked those who put the evening’s event together.
He also recognized Miyo and Maria Hristovski, owners of Adventure Bay, the Sand Bar, and Harbor Square, on their recently becoming U.S. citizens. He also talked about the goals of the Chamber – marketing, membership development, and working on Christmas in July issues.
Put-in-Bay Village Councilwoman Jessica Dress
Put-in-Bay Village Councilwoman Jessica Dress spoke on behalf of Mayor Mack McCann who couldn’t make the State Of The Island 2018 event. She talked about the Put-in-Bay Police department hiring two new officers and a new village administrator, Police Chief Steve Riddle talked about developing a department that is community-oriented. Lt. Doug Miller discussed new badges, ID cards and uniforms for the officers, mutual aid from other departments over the big weekends, and officer training.
Caiti Bolyard talked about the Brig Niagara visit this summer, plus emphasized the need for volunteers at the many island events that take place on the island over the summer.
Larry Fletcher Lake Erie Shores & Islands
Larry Fletcher, the Executive Director of the Ottawa County Visitors Bureau, reviewed the bureau’s 2017 marketing success, plus 2018’s marketing strategy.
Monument Superintendent Barbara Fearon
Perry’s Victory Superintendent Barbara Fearon announced at the State of the Island 2018 dinner the fee to go to the top of the Perry Peace Memorial Monument was being raised from $3 to $10. Children under 16 would still be free and the ticket would be valid for seven days. An annual pass will be available for $30.
She said the money collected to go up in the Monument would be used here at the island park, Barbara also said the Perry Peace Memorial Monument would hopefully open on May 19th, but that new cracks have been found by engineers which might delay the opening. Huntington Bank will pay for the first 103 visitors to go to the top. The “103” is for the number of years the Monument has been open. There are still some issues with moisture leakage at the Monument.
Barbara also said they are working on a temporary welcome center on the lot across from the Jet Express Dock, The Keys, and the Dairy Isle. She also said there will be training for historic weapons on May 14th, 15th, and 16th for anyone interested in learning how to fire muskets and the carronade used in demonstrations at the Monument. Call the Monument office if you are interested.
JR Domer Put-in-Bay School Board
Member JR Domer talked about the new track and sailing teams at the school. His comments lasted less than a minute.
Karen Wilhelm, manager of the Erie Island Library
Karen has been the manager of the Erie Island Library for the last three years and talked about the numerous programs for both kids and
adults offered at the library. She welcomes any ideas for additional programs. She also talked about the services offered at the library – books, DVDs, audiobooks, magazines, copier, public computers, free wifi for computers, fax machine, notary service, and Golden Buckeye sign up.
Put-in-Bay Twp. Trustee Matt Miller
Put-in-Bay Township Trustee Matt Miller discussed how important the Resort Tax was to the Township. He also talked about expanding
the cardboard recycling program.
Chris Joyce Put-in-Bay Senior Center
Chris Joyce from the Senior Center talked about the increase in usage of the center, the numerous activities and programs offered,
and the recent remodeling of the facility.
Mark Wilhelm Put-in-Bay Volunteer Fire Department
Mark Wilhelm from the Put-in-Bay Volunteer Fire Dept. told how the members range in age from 20 to 70 years old. Some members
have more than 40 or 50 years of service. Al Duff has been on the department for 52 years. Mark said the department had 37 calls last
year and added the department has had no structure fire since the Colonial burned in 1988. He discussed the desperate need for volunteers, education for the volunteers, and the fundraisers the department puts on. He also thanked Karen Wilhelm and Anita McCann for their dedicated help.
Put-in-Bay EMS Director Patrick Rogers
Patrick Rogers from the Put-in-Bay EMS talked a little about the 39 members who make up the EMS, 25 of which are paid and nine of the 14 volunteers are from the island. He said the physicians who were serving the island out of the EMS office would not be coming back this season. A new medical direction is being taken that includes telemedicine.
Patrick also reminded people about getting their street number signs so emergency forces can find your property. He also reminded everyone to come to the EMS Taco fundraiser at the Put-in-Bay Town Hall on Sunday, May 6th, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Michael McCann reported on putting up the flags around the village and along Airport Rd. If you’d like to volunteer and help put up the flags, please contact him.
Rick Ziebarth Put-in-Bay Township Port Authority
Rick Ziebarth from the Put-in-Bay Twp Port Authority reported on the achievements of the authority since it was established in 1991 at the State of The Island 2018. He also talked about the new “public use” hangar which will allow the Ford Trimotor to come to the Put-in-Bay Airport. He also mentioned that Russ Brohl is the newest Put-in-Bay Twp Port Authority, board member.
Dan Savage Lake Erie Islands Historical Society
Dan Savage from the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society Museum discussed the displays at the museum this summer. One will be about the Colonial which burned 30 years ago this month. The other is a display of historic island photographer Otto Herbster’s panoramic photos of Put-in-Bay.
There will also be a display of the photography of Kelly Faris. The Music Festival at the Monument is scheduled for June 9th. There is a real need for volunteers for the event. If you can help, contact Scott Market. Dan said the museum’s fundraiser auction would
take place on August 9th this year, plus the always popular golf cart trip to North Bass will take place on August 16th. It will be $75 per
The theme this year is “Bass Vegas.” The North Bass Church will be turned into the Chapel of Love. Not only will you be able to renew your vows, but one couple is going to be married there that day. The last event of the season for the museum is the Wine Fest at the Put-in-Bay Winery the first Saturday in October. Again, if you would like to volunteer your help, please contact the museum.
Kelly Faris Put-in-Bay Township Park District
Kelly Faris discussed the important work of the Put-in-Bay Twp. Park District and how the islands are so important for migratory
birds. Kristin Stanford, the well-known to islanders as “the Snake Lady,” discussed a little about the Ohio Sea Grant Program, algae blooms, the Aquatic Visitor Center, Stone Lab programs, and tours of Gibraltar and the South Bass Island Lighthouse. She mentioned the weekly lecture programs on Gibraltar Island that are open to the public, plus the date of July 12th for the annual Algae Bloom Forecast.
Jackie Taylor & Amy Huston – Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center
Jackie Taylor from the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center said at the State of The Island 2018 the center was celebrating ten years in operation this year. An anonymous donor has helped out with the completion of the new addition at the center. Jackie also discussed the Nature Camp program, Wild Tuesdays, the Road Scholar program, and Island Green Week.
The center’s fundraisers, the Star Gazer cruise will be held on August 6th, and the pig roast will be held at the Goat again this year on August 8th Amy Huston talked about developing a curriculum for school groups and the annual plant exchange.
Lisa Brohl Lake Erie Islands Conservancy
Lisa Brohl spoke on behalf of the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy and the importance of preserving land on the islands. Currently, there
are 250 members of the group. She also discussed new signage in some of the preserved areas and the work being done for bird habitat.
One of the important fundraisers for the group in the Middle Bass Island Music Festival at Lonz Winery is scheduled for July 14th. The event is sponsored by the Middle Bass Dock Company,
Deacon Mike Leahy
Deacon Mike Leahy closed the State of the Island 2018 but not before mentioning the there will be services at Mother of Sorrows Catholic
Church on Wednesdays this summer at 5:30 p.m. for those who have to work on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.