Inter-Lake Yachting Association Regatta

I spent a lot of time over the weekend on the NEW docks at Put-in-Bay. We participated in the 121st Annual Inter-Lake Yachting Association Regatta there. The new docks are spectacular! They feature a new teak-wood look and are very solid. Yes, they were a little late getting finished thanks to our unusually cold winter, but they are worth the wait. 

While I was there, we learned about the “water crisis” in Toledo. Brenda Culler, former Sandusky Register Ottawa County correspondent, now works for ODNR Coastal Management in Sandusky and one of her main jobs is teaching folks about the algal blooms in Lake Erie, and she was notified early Saturday. I am pretty conservative politically, but I have often said “when it comes to Lake Erie, we are all environmentalists”. State Senator Randy Gardner was in Ottawa County on Tuesday visiting the Water Plant on Fremont Road. He has requested that the Ohio EPA provide testing and treatment assistance for any local water treatment system that may need it and further requested more frequent testing for microcystis. No doubt, the topic will come up when State Representative Chris Redfern holds a Town Hall Meeting at Put-in-Bay this Saturday at the Village Hall from 10 to 11:30 a.m. On my way back from the Regatta on Sunday, we spotted the green algae again and it covered the surface of the water. Perhaps the crisis in Toledo will bring about some positive action.


Family was important to Ruth Finke

I went to the funeral of Ruth Finke on Monday. She was one of my surrogate “moms” through high school and beyond. Ruth was 96 when she passed last week. I am certain she had no regrets, or at least very few. She wound up with four great kids, lots of beautiful grandchildren and even better, lots of great grandchildren. I know through my action with her family members that family was of utmost importance in her life. She was plain spoken and gave it to you straight, whether you liked what she had to say or not. She was a very lucky lady.

I received a call last week from an old friend, Carolyn Werner, who used to be the local director of the Red Cross many years ago. She is now a resident at The Vineyard on Catawba, and told me that a young couple stopped by the Community Center there and dropped off a bunch of flowers. She was curious where they came from. Well, my spies inside The Vineyard told me that the couple was just married and brought in their wedding flowers to share them with the residents there. They did not leave their names. What a sweet gesture!


There she is, Mrs. Ohio America

Cynthia Rumball of Port Clinton sent me a note this week to announce that her niece, Shaylyn (Tewers) Ford of Columbus was recently crowned “Mrs. Ohio America 2014”. She is the daughter of former Port Clinton resident Mark Tewers and granddaughter of Carolyn and the late Ron Tewers. Doesn’t she look a lot like Cynthia? She will be competing in the Mrs. America 2014 Pageant in Tucson, Arizona on August 29. 

We have received several very nice commendations, along with our friends at Suburban and Metro Press on the west end of Ottawa County, for Free Community Newspaper Month. In addition to resolutions from Port Clinton City Council and the Ottawa County Commissioners, we received notification of resolutions from Ohio Legislature, compliments of State Senator Randy Gardner, and also from Ohio Governor John Kasich and Lt. Governor Mary Taylor. For over 31 years (and a lot longer for Suburban Press) The Beacon has served an important function providing timely local information to our readers, with the emphasis on positive local news. 


Port Clinton’s 1:20 Club

Congratulations to Fritz Below who started a new Facebook page on Monday called Port Clinton’s 1:20 Club. The purpose of the new Facebook page is to encourage folks who love Port Clinton to choose, at least once a month, to spend at least $20 inside the City limits that they had planned to spend elsewhere. By Tuesday morning he already had 583 members. AND…unlike other Port Clinton Facebook pages, negative comments are not allowed, or at least discouraged! Check it out!!!

Remember the rumors floating out there a couple of years ago about Eric Clapton buying a place in Lakeside? Now we have two more celebs supposedly buying their “getaway retreat” nearby. Rumor now has it that famous actor Robert DeNiro recently purchased a place on the Marblehead Peninsula. Also, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner (of Cincinnati) just purchased a place on Catawba. Also, in case you need reminding, John Schaffner, the famous sailor, golfer, rock star and newspaper mogul, has lived here since 1962! And you might ask… “What is his name doing in the same sentence as Eric Clapton, Robert DeNiro and John Boehner!?”


50th anniversary of the Ottawa County Fair

The 50th anniversary of the Ottawa County Fair opens this Monday at the Fairgrounds on SR 163 between Port Clinton and Oak Harbor. This local slice of Americana runs from July 14 through the 20. There will be lots of entertainment every day of the fair. Noting that this is the 50th, my mind runs crazy from my days on WRWR when the fair was still very young. They had a “Youth Press Corps” and I was honored to work with Amy Minnich and Libby Kilmer who ran all over the place getting judging results and the like. Ahhhh…those were the days. 

In spite of the incredibly busy weekend, I managed to stop for an hour or two at the new Clinton House located in the former Beacon offices at 106-108 E. Perry Street in downtown Port Clinton. It doesn’t look like our old office, but it is beautiful. Congratulations to Jon and Carolyn Rodenhauser. They did much of the work themselves on the transformation. Stop in and see for yourself!


Individual retirement account basics

A traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is an account that has been funded by pretax dollars that are held by a custodian until you reach the age of retirement. With Baby boomers reaching that age, these accounts will become very important in determining when a person can retire and continue to have sufficient assets to live a comfortable life.  Until now,   many people never paid much attention to this account because they knew that they could not use the funds.  Setting aside the fact that these funds have greatly declined in value over the past two years, it is imperative that one understands how these accounts function and what check list should be used to insure that everything with the account is in order.

Structure of the account

This account is in your personal name. The funds are held by a custodian who is the plan administrator. This account has a named beneficiary designation.   Everyone should have a written copy of the beneficiary designation form for each account. Most married individuals have their spouse as the beneficiary. When I ask who the second beneficiary is or a contingent beneficiary they do not know. Be sure to have someone named and also be sure to have written proof of the named beneficiaries.  With all of the banks merging, going out of business and just changing names, your actual documentation can be lost in the shuffle. It is recommended that you contact the custodian of your IRA and ask for proof of beneficiaries.   Determine if your form is complete with a written primary beneficiary and a contingent beneficiary. 


Happy Fourth of July!

By John Schaffner

Of course, everybody wants to know when the various fireworks displays are…so here you go. First up is Catawba Island off the Catawba Island Club pier. They go off at dusk on Thursday (tonight), July 3, as are Oak Harbor’s along the Portage River downtown. Gates open in Oak Harbor at 5 p.m. with food, entertainment, giant inflatables, the royal duck race, 50/50 drawings and a beer tent. Port Clinton, Lakeside and Put-in-Bay go off on Friday, July 4. Port Clinton is having a full day of events, starting with a Squirt Gun Run/Walk 5K with registration at 8 a.m. at the foot of Jefferson Street. They will also have a Firecracker Cutie Contest at 3 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, along with an Ice Cream, Apple Pie & Hot Dog Social from 3-8 p.m. There will be a Classic Car show on the 200 block of Adams Street from 3-7 p.m., a Voices of Freedom Concert at 7 p.m. followed by a Family Dance Party from 8-10 p.m. at Waterworks Park. Cedar Point will have fireworks both July 4 & 5, while Bay Point will hold a special fireworks show on Saturday, July 5. 


We will miss you, Dottie

I attended the funeral Tuesday of a lady who became a surrogate mom to me back in high school. Dottie Bergeman passed away last Saturday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. For many years, she worked side by side with her husband, Denny, at Bergeman’s Men’s Wear, located where the Port Clinton Chamber of Commerce office is now. She was short in stature, but long in character. Also, back in the day, if you wanted information to get around Port Clinton, there were three ways to do it: telephone, telegraph, or just tell Dottie! She and her husband Denny lived above the store for most of the time I knew them. She was a nice lady with an easy smile and an infectious laugh. I will miss her. 

Oak Harbor will be a busy place the next two weeks. The first downtown Oak Harbor Farmer’s Market of the season will be held this Saturday, June 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Log Cabin Park on N. Church Street. Along with farm fresh produce, farm market vendors can also provide quality poultry, fresh baked goods, herbs, fresh cut flowers, all types of plants, fruit, cider, handmade crafts, garden decor, antiques, art, music, jewelry and gourmet food items. The Oak Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce also invites everyone to their community Independence Day celebration on Thursday, July 3, along the Portage River downtown. Gates open at 5 p.m. with food, entertainment, giant inflatables, the royal duck race, 50/50 drawings and a beer tent. And it all ends in a spectacular fireworks display. Admission and parking are free. For more information, call 419-898-0479. 


Parade of Homes kick-off party June 26

The Catawba-Marblehead Parade of Homes is coming the weekend of June 28 and 29. I cut a commercial a week or so ago, and if you watch Channel 13 in Toledo, there is a good chance you will see it. We are having our Salvation Army fundraising party at Mon Ami on Thursday, June 26, from 5-7 p.m. Entrance fee is just $10 for a special wine & appetizer extravaganza. Pictured are (l-r): Peg Kronberg of Mon Ami, yours truly, and Maureen Saponari of Salvation Army. You can buy your tickets at the door, or in advance at The Beacon office, Mon Ami, or Salvation Army in the Sutton Center. 

Much thanks to all of the folks who worked so hard to make last Monday’s 25th Annual Chick Schaffner Memorial Charity Golf Classic a big success. I hope everybody in Ottawa County realizes just how lucky we are to have Materion in our lives. Not only are they one of Ottawa County’s biggest employers, they are also one of the most, if not THE most philanthropic. Special thanks to Al Lynch, who has served as my co-chairman for many years now, along with Tom Bloom. Also to Amy (Addy) Skolnik, Angie Esposito and my now retired bride, Mary Alice, from  Stein Hospice; Alyson France from the American Heart Association; and Don Dougherty of Catawba and Wendy Abrahamsen; and I must not forget my brother Chuck who coordinated the golf play on Monday. We had over 100 golfers at Catawba Island Club, all happy to help out by playing on a great golf course and supporting our efforts to raise funds for Stein Hospice and the Heart Association.


Mr. Washington goes to Washington

One of Catawba Island’s more “infamous” residents is Ernie Washington, seen here on the right with Congressman Bob Latta and local realtor Tomi Johnson. Ernie and Tomi took the Honor Flight from Toledo to Washington D.C. last week. Ernie enlisted in the Navy at age 17 and served in the Pacific during World War II. Ernie is an avid diver and used to own a dive shop in Mansfield. He has been responsible for the salvaging of several large and interesting objects in Lake Erie, including the one in front of Wendy’s as well as the ones at the Jet Express dock and Museum on Put-in-Bay. Steve Levorchick told me that he helped out with a recent dive on the Rt. 53 causeway searching for a murder weapon from a December Sandusky homicide. He has long been a member of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Underwater Recovery Team. It looks like Ernie enjoyed himself.

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