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Spectacular four days on the land and on the lake

What a weekend it was! So much to see and do and so little time, as it turned out. On Monday for the trip out to the battle site, Mary Alice and I were honored to join the family of lead Perry Group organizer, Dave Zavagno of Catawba, who will probably sleep long and hard for the next week or so. This man dedicated almost four years of his life putting together what we all experienced this past weekend with the celebration of the Bi-Centennial of Oliver Hazard Perry’s great naval victory in 1813. Last Thursday, I had lunch with Dave at the Lake Erie Legislative Symposium at CIC, and he was still on the phone with the director of the U.S. Navy Band. It seems that the money necessary to bring them here had not yet been transferred from the National Parks account to the Navy Department account. It finally happened later that day. So I would like to send out a personal note of gratitude to Dave and his family for doing such a wonderful job making four days on Lake Erie so incredibly memorable.

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Playfair, Pathfinder, Perch, Peach, Pierogis and Polka

Looking forward to a nice, quiet Labor Day weekend here in good ol’ Port Clinton! Not much happening! Only the arrival of 16 Tall Ships in the western basin of Lake Erie, two of which will dock in Port Clinton (Playfair and Pathfinder), another will dock at CIC. Then there is the concert of the Ohio State University Marching Band on Sunday morning at the Tall Ships Festival site at Waterworks Park. Oh, let’s not forget the concert given by the U.S. Navy Band on Saturday evening. Did I forget to mention the Peach, Perch, Pierogi and Polka Festival at the Denny Bergeman K of C Hall on E. Perry Street all weekend long? If you get bored…there is always the “Rise Above” exhibit at Carl Keller Airfield east of Port Clinton on State Road, a traveling exhibit telling the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, one of whom actually lives among us, Harold Brown. Then, there is the small item of the Annual Green Island Race at Port Clinton Yacht Club. Boats arrive on Saturday afternoon and will leave for the race early Sunday morning, hopefully led out of the mouth of the Portage River by the two visiting Tall Ships which should create a bit of a boat parade. A good viewing spot to watch the start of the Green Island Race would be on the beaches just west of Port Clinton on W. Lakeshore Drive. The entire weekend schedule of events can be found on page 3B in our Coastlines special section this week. What a weekend!

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Gem Beach, Warbirds and Tall Ships, oh my!

I would like to echo the sentiments expressed by Kathy Jo Schweitzer in her Sound Off letter of last week. For one week, could all of Port Clinton’s residents take down their signs regarding Waterworks Park? It is just for 5 days, Aug. 29 through Sept. 2. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we will be entertaining literally thousands of visitors who will be coming to see the Tall Ships docked at Waterworks Park. They will be coming through Port Clinton from the Sutton Center parking lot mainly, therefore what they need to see is all of the beautiful homes along Perry Street without cluttering up the view with political signs.

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Thoughts on Waterworks Park meeting

I have been pleased with the reports on the Waterworks Park meeting from last Thursday. I had three major concerns based on my involvement back in 2000-07 when the referendum on the zoning change was defeated. Working with Poggemeyer Design Group, our Coastal Management Steering Committee established over 20 criteria points to guide in the development of that valuable property. First is ACCESS. It appears that the design allows for continuing access to the property for residents in perpetuity. Second is OWNERSHIP. My concern was that if Mike Rose’s company owned the property, at some point, he could turn over operation to a Condominium Association, which may deny access to the public. The ownership question still has to be resolved. Third is YEAR ‘ROUND ACTIVITY. As a business person, I believe it is in their best interest to promote the Hotel/Lodge with winter activities. None of the previous proposals from 6 years ago included the “carrot” of making serious improvements to the downtown buildings, which could be huge! We shall now see how things work out when they get down to serious negotiations.

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Thoughts on Putnam’s article

Wow…the online article that Bob Putnam wrote has caused quite a stir! Bob is, as many of you know, Dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, a PCHS grad and a member of the Port Clinton High School Academic Hall of Fame. My family moved to Catawba in 1962, so I am now officially a 50 year native. I would rather he not use the rubble at the old Middle School as a graphic, since that rubble marks a major improvement in local school facilities. He also failed to mention one of the biggest economic events in the history of our area, the closing of the Erie Army Depot in the mid 1960s, that cost well over 1,000 jobs. I think it ironic that his article appeared in The New York Times five days before Mike Rose is scheduled to give his presentation at the Elks Lodge on his plan for Waterworks Park. For years, downtowns across the country have stopped being retail centers. They are now financial centers as well as dining and entertainment centers. He talks about the loss of manufacturing jobs in Ottawa County, and it is very true. Other economic opportunities have sprung up to replace those jobs, but haven’t quite been able to do it. I’m talking about skilled trade jobs (marinas) and construction/building trade jobs. The increase in single-parent households is certainly not exclusive to Port Clinton. There have been many individuals who have come to Port Clinton seeking opportunity, entrepreneurs, developers and the like. They have made their fortune by working hard and responding to the changes in the marketplace that Putnam described. We have written about “job skills deficit” in The Beacon, but the incentive to work or to get training in the new local job market appears lacking in our community. Yes, very sad. I will be interested to learn what Mr. Rose has to say tonight. How about we take the park aspects of Waterworks Park and move them to the block now empty since the demolition of the old Middle School? Develop the waterfront, centralize the park. Keep the access to the waterfront for local residents. 

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PORTS funds floating two Tall Ships

Last week we told you about the PORTS Committee and their activity preparing the way for the arrival of two Tall Ships on Aug. 29 and the following Labor Day Weekend. It has been my honor to work on this committee planning Port Clinton’s activities for that very special weekend. We had another planning meeting on Monday and the committee’s treasurer, Dave Mehl, announced that, through sponsorships and donations, the Committee has now raised nearly $42,000 for the effort. They just completed the Tall Ships weekend in Duluth, MN, and nearly 100,000 people showed up to view the boats. It is all part of the bi-centennial celebration of the naval victory of the American Fleet led by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry in September of 1813, and 16 tall ships will be visiting a number of ports around the western basin of Lake Erie over Labor Day weekend. 

Congratulations to Zach Baugh who will be receiving his Eagle Scout Award this Sunday at Trinity United Methodist Church in Port Clinton at 2 p.m. His project was the new gazebo at the pond by the Catawba Township Building. He built it in honor of his late grandfather, Bob Johnston. Doris Johnston, our former receptionist and next-door neighbor, along with Bob, sent me the info on Zach, the son of Bob’s daughter Chris and Brian Baugh. Also, speaking of the Johnston family, Doris and Bob’s oldest son, Jeff, who lives in the Columbus area, recently sold his business, Definitive Homecare Solutions Ltd. to Mediware. Definitive Homecare Solutions is a specialized software company. Jeff was a 1979 graduate of Port Clinton High School. Bob would be a proud grandfather and papa!!!

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The Tall Ships are just a few weeks away

The P.O.R.T.S. Committee has been working tirelessly in Port Clinton on the Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial, which is approaching very quickly. Volunteers are needed to make this a successful “Event to Remember”. Kim Boyle gave me a copy of the Port Clinton Herald from September of 1962 when the local Jaycees promoted the Sesquicentennial of the Battle. With two tall ships coming to Port Clinton and one going to Catawba, and several at Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass, the number of people visiting our neck of the woods on Labor Day weekend will be huge! If you would like to volunteer, contact Mike Snider at 419-734-0515 e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Debbie Hymore-Tester at 419-341-0378 e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This Friday, July 26, Otterbein North Shore Lifestyle Community will host a free “Happy Hour” concert on the front lawn at their facility on North Shore Blvd. just outside the west gate of Lakeside. The public is invited to come and enjoy the groovin’ tunes of Ron Howard. The concert will be held rain or shine from 4:30 to 6 p.m. so bring your lawn chair and enjoy. Appetizers will be served while they last. 

Our “Find Wylie” winner this week is Jeanne Smith of Port Clinton who was one of 281 individuals who found our friendly fish hiding in the ad for Ohler & Holzhauer on page 2A in last week’s Beacon. Jeanne wins our weekly $20 gift card from Friendship Food Stores as well as a beautiful decorative nautical floor mat from “Capn’s Custom Carpets” at Fort Firelands. We’ll definitely be hiding Wylie again this week. If you find him, drop off an entry form at our office in the Beacon Place Business Center or click on the Find Wylie Icon at our web Site, www.thebeacon.net.

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Garage sales and golf and shooters defy the rain

I sure hope the Good Lord has turned off the spigot for a while! Over 7 inches of rain fell in June and at least 2-3 inches fell the first 10 days of July! We need some nice weather! The competitors at Camp Perry I am sure would appreciate it as well. I attended another impressive First Shot ceremony out there on Monday morning, always impressive and with the added presence of the B-25 owned by the Aviation Museum doing fly-bys. Camp Perry is a treasure. It was also great news to hear that those awful huts are going to be torn down and replaced with something much nicer. I was 16 when I worked for the summer there, and cleaned every one of those huts. Two cots on a concrete floor! $3-million ought to help that situation out a lot!

For you Garage Sale mavens, this weekend is for you, and Marblehead is the place to be. The Marblehead Merchants Group is sponsoring Yard Sales this Saturday, July 13. Many of the merchants there will be setting up a great shopping experience outside along Main Street. If you would like to get a space, call Connie at PC Antiques at 419-798-1400. If you get there early, stop in at the new Victory Café, Marblehead’s new coffee shop at 724 Main Street. Then head over to Johnson’s Island for their Annual All Island Garage Sale on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be household items, marine items, clothing, tools and more. About 40 family locations are participating. You really can’t go wrong!

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The Fabulous Fourth is here

Welcome to the big 4th of July weekend! The Beacon is being published a day earlier than normal this week. By the time you read this, the Sesqui-Centennial Celebration of the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg will be over. It is amazing to realize just how many men were killed or wounded in the three days of carnage outside the small town of Gettysburg, PA. When Abraham Lincoln visited and dedicated the cemetery there, he delivered perhaps the greatest Presidential speech of all time. He started it by saying: “Four score and seven years ago, our forefathers brought forth a new nation…” That was in recognition of the 4th of July, 1776. Much blood has been spilled, but we are still a free people thanks to the courage of those great men in Philadelphia 237 years ago. So, enjoy the fireworks and the fun. Just please remember why we celebrate.

Time is running out to register to play in the 7th Annual Magruder Hospital Auxiliary Golf Classic on Monday, May 15. The fee is only $130 per player, which includes two drink tickets, lunch and dinner, cart and greens fees and lots of prizes. Registration and lunch begin at 11:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. To register, call 419-734-3131, extension 3256. I promise you will have a good time!

Our “Find Wylie” winner this week is Angela Holman of Port Clinton who was one of 117 individuals who found our friendly fish hiding in the ad for Ohler & Holzhauer on page 7A in last week’s Beacon. Angie wins our weekly $20 gift card from Friendship Food Stores as well as a new prize, a beautiful decorative nautical floor mat from “Capn’s Custom Carpets” at Fort Firelands. We’ll definitely be hiding Wylie again this week. If you find him, drop off an entry form at our office in the Beacon Place Business Center or click on the Find Wylie Icon at our website, www.thebeacon.net.

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“Like” us, really “like” us

4th of July is next Thursday, so we have some early deadlines at The Beacon for next week’s edition. We pretty much have to have all material by Friday at 4 p.m. Information for our Coastlines supplement needs to be to us today, Thursday, June 27.

You will have to excuse me if I sound a little tired! We just executed a spectacular Catawba/Marblehead Parade of Homes Tour on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, we had 25 teams participate in the Materion Chick Schaffner Memorial Charity Golf Classic…an all day event which we sponsor also. However, both events came off like clockwork and we had over 200 people tour just about every home on the Tour. Great Job to all involved!

For those of you on Facebook (which is probably just about everybody reading this) The Beacon is now posting updates there three times a day. Please “Like” us on Facebook when you see our updates, or “friend” us. We are also updating our website, www.thebeacon.net just about as often. Reading The Beacon online is like getting a daily “all local” newspaper. It is also an easy way for our “part time” residents to stay in touch with what is happening in our local area during the week, prior to coming up for the weekend. Stay connected…get the latest news at www.thebeacon.net.

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