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Port Clinton News

Dear Readers, (Port Clinton Lighthouse)

Ever been given a gift and never received it? Ever been promised a gift and then told how you have to use it? That is where the City of Port Clinton is on the gift of the lighthouse.

Sometime ago Mr. Darrell Brand offered to the City of Port Clinton one of the two remaining beacons that guided boaters into the Portage River from Lake Erie. The City Administration and the City Council voted to accept the gift.  Then came the contract. The contract stated that the beacon had to be placed at the end of Adams Street, based on a conceptual drawing that had Adams Street come across Perry and through Waterworks Park. The contract mandated that the beacon be placed at the turnaround that was included in the drawing.  Since this was a conceptual drawing and the fate of that project was unknown, the City declined and offered to place it at the site of the former Waterworks building. Mr. Brand declined.

Several months later the City was approached by the Lighthouse Conservancy Committee, asking why we did not want this gift. Wanting the beacon has never been the issue, only the placement. Again the City offered the Waterworks building area and were told “no”. Then the committee began having public meetings insinuating that the City did not want the beacon. Nothing is further from the truth. Again, this is about placement.

The Mayor has a review Committee that oversees projects that individuals and groups would like to do for the City. These groups bring their plans; we approve, tweak and at times reject these projects. 

The Committee has reviewed this particular project numerous times and has done a great deal of work. The Conservancy has accused us of throwing "red herrings" into the project. The Committee sees these as issues that any city faces when a building is going to be placed on City land. It is the right and the obligation that we look at all the issues that face the City when taking on a project. This one in particular is taking place on a piece of land that is in play for numerous projects, some that have been on the burner for quite some time.

The City committee has asked one thing consistenly from the Lighthouse Committee and that has been time, time to allow us to look at projects on the block and those that may be forth coming and see how the placement of the beacon will affect those. Each time we have been told no, the Lighthouse Committee wants the beacon placed by Labor Day and the City will not guarantee that. Again, each time we have offered the Waterworks building site. The waterworks Building site is build ready, it is in proximity to the River and provides a gateway into the River area. 

Have both sides buried their feet in the sand? Yes, they have. However, the beacon is not homeless. It can be taken back to Brand’s Marina.

The City would like to solve this but for us there are only two choices, place it on the property that is willing and waiting or step back and let us put a plan together.

Sincerely,
City of Port Clinton Review Committee
Mayor Leone
Linda Hartlaub
Tracy Colston

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Tuskegee Airman Dr. Harold Brown announces return of the RISE ABOVE exhibit

68 years ago last month Harold Brown, now a resident of Catawba Island, was 20 years old and in Moosburg P.O.W. camp in Germany. “I recall it very well,” said Brown last week on the anniversary of VE Day, “We had been in Nuremberg P.O.W. camp and were moved as the Allies advanced. 10,000 of us had walked the 12-13 days to Moosburg, where we joined 25,000 other P.O.W.’s.”

At the event last week at Liberty Aviation Museum to announce the return of the CAF Red Tail Squadron’s RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit, Brown talked of his plane being shot down on his 12th mission, of the crash of his P-51 after a bombing run on his 30th mission and his subsequent capture by German soldiers, of how grateful he was to the German soldier that protected him from being killed by angry civilians and soldiers, of General Patton’s triumphant and colorful arrival to liberate the camp at Moosburg, of the long journey home (it was another six weeks before he boarded a ship for the U.S.) and of his 23-year career in the Air Force as a pilot and flight instructor.

Brown, 88, is one of only 40 Tuskegee Airmen still living of the 450 who served in combat duty in World War 11. He plays golf several times a week, is fit, charming, engaging and an excellent raconteur.

At the Erie-Ottawa County Regional Airport from Aug. 29-Sept. 1, Dr. Brown will be hosting the return of the CAF Red Tail Squadron’s RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit. Brown and Jeff Sondles of the Liberty Aviation Museum are putting out the call for volunteers to enlist as corporate or private sponsors to help underwrite and defer the costs required to bring the exhibit to Port Clinton. “We are reaching out to the community for sponsors so we don’t lose this piece of history,” said Sondles.

For more information or to enlist as a sponsor, contact Liberty Aviation Museum at 419-732-0234 or www.libertyaviationmuseum.org.

About the exhibit:

The goal of the exhibit is to share with everyone the inspiring legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots and their crewmen.  Their courage, determination and ability to triumph over adversity during World War II can serve to inspire others about how to succeed today. The exhibit teaches the six guiding principles of the Tuskegee Airmen.  Every school student who visits the exhibit and watches the RISE ABOVE movie is given a free dog tag with these principles inscribed on it:

AIM HIGH
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
NEVER QUIT
BE READY TO GO
USE YOUR BRAIN
EXPECT TO WIN

“I think it gives our kids a great boost, the sayings on the dog tags,” said Erie-Ottawa Regional Airport’s Stan Gebhardt.

This exhibit will offer the following:

A rare P-51C Mustang, one of only four like it still flying. It has a bright red tail and it is a key part of the mission to help people, particularly young people, understand and appreciate the history and legacy of the special group of black pilots who flew airplanes sporting bright red tails as they fought the Nazis during WWII.

The RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit is housed in a 53-foot-long semi rig. It contains a 30-seat temperature-controlled movie theater with a 160-degree panoramic screen.  The RISE ABOVE movie highlights who the Tuskegee Airmen are, how they overcame obstacles to be allowed train and fight as U.S. Army Air Corps pilots, how more than 10,000 other black men and women also trained hard to support the pilots, and what the courage and determination they exhibited then still means to all Americans today.  The movie will also give viewers a feel for what it’s like to pilot a Mustang.

This exhibit is free to the public.

Autographed commemorative Tuskegee Airmen merchandise is being sold in the museum’s gift shop with proceeds to support this mission.  Raffle tickets to win a custom and autographed P-51C Mustang will also be sold throughout the summer season.

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Benefit breakfast for Lynne Zibert Domokos

There will be a Pancake Breakfast Benefit for Lynne Zibert Domokos on Sunday, May 19, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Elks Lodge, 231 Buckeye Blvd., Port Clinton. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children 6 years old and younger. There will also be a reverse raffle during the breakfast and fish bowl items.

Lynne had her second surgery on May 10 at the Cleveland Clinic, after falling ill on Jan. 2 with the rare auto-immune disease relapsing polychondritis. She has been manager of Our Guest Inn & Suites for 15 years and recently also for The Listening Room. Lynne has dedicated countless hours over those years to community service in Port Clinton and to the Walleye Drop.

For more information call the Our Guest Inn & Suites at 419-734-7111.

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