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The weatherman comes through with the perfect fall weekend

I just wanted everybody to know that I was honored to be placed in charge of the weather last weekend for the Oak Harbor Apple Festival and the Marblehead Lighthouse Festival. How did I do???

The E.L.M.s Community Meal will be held tonight (Thursday, October 17) hosted by St. Thomas Episcopal and Peace Lutheran Church in Port Clinton. It will be held at the St. Thomas Fellowship Hall, 214 E. Second Street from 5 until 6 p.m. This month’s menu features spaghetti and meatballs with all the trimmings.

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Apple and Lighthouse Festival weekend

This is “Festival Weekend” in Ottawa County! First up…the “Grand-daddy” of Ottawa County Festivals, the Oak Harbor Apple Festival. Check out the complete schedule on page 3A in this week’s Beacon. Follow that up with the Lighthouse Festival that we highlighted on the front page last week. Get out and enjoy all that our beautiful area has to offer. You won’t be disappointed!

If you were not able to catch the documentary on the Battle of Lake Erie last Thursday on WGTE, the PBS Channel in Toledo, you can purchase a DVD of it by logging into www.portclintonradio.com/shop. Net proceeds from the sale of the DVDs benefit Friends of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. Also, just to correct the record, Peter Huston of Put-in-Bay was the producer and director on the project and his company, FilmAffects was the production company. They worked in collaboration with Nick James of Catawba on the project.

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Browns and Bills and Bicentennial on TV tonight

Sorry to hear about the sudden passing of former Port Clinton Fire Chief, John Drummer. He worked for many years at Clinton Auto Parts with my old friend Jerry Lippus. While Fire Chief, the PC Fire Department grew in skill and stature. He will be missed.

What a tough night to choose what to watch on TV! First, the Browns play the Buffalo Bills on the NFL Network Channel while WGTE, Channel 30, will carry the documentary produced by Catawba Island resident Nick James on the Bi-Centennial Celebration of Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory in the Battle of Lake Erie. If you missed any of the festivities over Labor Day weekend, here is your chance to see what you missed. This special program will be aired at 8 p.m. tonight (Thursday, October 3). 

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North Coast Tour of Homes this weekend

The Beacon is hosting a very special Open House Weekend this weekend, Sept. 28 and 29. There will be dozens of beautiful homes and condominiums open for public viewing both days, both here in Ottawa County as well as in Erie County. There is a complete guide for the North Coast Tour of Homes inserted in The Beacon this week. Check it out. Interest rates are very low, and now is a great time to buy a home, especially along the shores of beautiful Lake Erie.

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Don't give up the flags, replace them with PC power

Now that all of the celebration of the Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial is finally over, somebody gave me a thought. Many certainly noticed the proliferation of “DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP” flags flying throughout Port Clinton. How about we replace those flags with the red “PC” flags and fly them in the windows of all of the businesses in town! Cindy Bolte of Bolte Real Estate and Insurance told me that she would buy them. The idea is that when visitors come through town, they will see a lot of PC flags flying indicating a significant amount of community pride. Good idea???

I received a lot of comments about the photos of the Battle reenactment on the front page of last week’s Beacon. As you know, we are limited by space in the paper. We have unlimited space on our website, www.thebeacon.net. Our editor Donna Lueke indicated that the photo galleries online will remain up for a while. If you would like keep the Battle of Lake Erie in your memory forever and want to purchase copies of any of the photographs, just call the office at 419-732-2154. We will be selling 8’ x 10” prints for $8 each. Donna and Jasmine Cupp were on different boats taking pictures of the battle, and did an absolutely tremendous job. 

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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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