Put-in-Bay News April 2020

This & That If there’s one thing we’ve learned during this last month, it’s that the internet and phone service on the island still need some serious upgrading. If this is the way it is when there’s hardly anyone here,  then we’re really going to have a problem when things get back to normal. Jake Market says the arrival of Miller Boat Line’s new ferry, the M/V Mary Ann, will more than likely be in June. We can hardly wait to welcome her!

The ever-popular island entertainer Westside Steve tells us he is releasing a new CD. Watch for more info about how you can get a copy. With the water level in the lake getting higher by the week, we noticed the Village’s A- and  B-Docks will have water over the top of them almost every day even without any wind. That’s not good! Water covered dock decking gets terribly slippery with algae growing on it. Boaters will not only be social distancing but will also have to be content with slipping and sliding into each other while on the docks.

Home and cottage owners will be happy to know that lawn service and spraying for spiders and bugs are some of the “essential” businesses that can conduct business during the pandemic.  Interestingly, so is the Put-in-Bay Gazette because media is considered essential, too. The Put-in-Bay Township Trustees would like to thank Joey Wolf for all that she has done for the Put-in-Bay Township during the past several years.

April 1st marked the end of her term as the Put-in-Bay Township Fiscal Officer. The April Put-in-Bay Twp. The trustee’s meeting was accessible via Zoom video conference for anyone who wanted to attend or had a concern to bring to the trustees. Zoom is an application that lets people meet together using their laptop computers to view and talk to each other.

Middle Bass residents were notified in April to use caution when traveling Deist Road along the shore. The Township was having concrete retaining blocks installed to protect the road from severe weather.

One of the posts from Harriet’s House on Erie Street this past month was interesting. They said there will be an ice-cold corona beer with a lime in every room rented at Harriet’s House the first weekend of operation once the island opens for business. Also on Middle Bass, St. Hazard’s Waterfront Resort & Brewery and the campground, including the  Villas, remain closed until notice from the state government that they can open.

It seems the biggest hobby to keep islanders busy these last few weeks is taking photos of the island sunsets and posting them on social media such as the Put-in-Bay Ohio Facebook Page.

With all the Coronavirus stuff going on, we’d like to let our readers and subscribers know that the  Put-in-Bay Gazette might not be printed as close to the first of the month that we usually do.  Although the media is considered an essential business, the printing plants where we print, also essential, may have to adjust its hours which could delay getting the paper out on time or getting papers mailed to subscribers on time. Please bear with us as we navigate the Covid-19 waters.

Gil Terry, from the West Shore, will be turning 96 on May 27th. When he gets to his cottage this season, he will be, according to our calculations, the oldest male resident living on the island.  Happy Birthday, Gil! Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Marsha Parker was particularly observant this past month while she was quarantined at her home watching her favorite Amazon program, Boesch. She noticed in one of the scenes that one of the flags flying at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center near the Los Angeles city hall was a  “Don’t Give Up the Ship” flag.

We’ve been mentioning in recent papers all the islanders who have been traveling to exotic places over the winter. We don’t have anyone to mention this month.
We sure are happy that Ohio hasn’t limited recreational boating during the Coronavirus pandemic as Michigan did. Michigan also prohibited people from going to their summer homes. It’s kind of  interesting, but there are several summer homeowners who have been sitting tight at Put-in-Bay
during this trying time.

Put-in-Bay News April 2020 Graduation Parade Scheduled

Decorate your cars and join us on Friday, May 29th for a community parade to celebrate the Class of 2020! The parade will begin at the school and will proceed downtown and around DeRivera Park, where the seniors will be stationed in designated locations with their families. We are asking everyone in the community to line-up for the parade at the school by 3:10 so that it may begin at 3:21, which is the official ending of our school day.

While signs and noisemakers will be available at the school, we encourage everyone to show their Panther pride and spirit by decorating their vehicles! We look forward to seeing family, friends, and community members to help us recognize Joseph Byrnes, Carin Kirsch, Alexandra Knauer, Hannah Lentz, Cecilia Glauser and
Morgan Stacy! In the event we are unable to conduct a parade celebration as described, we will either modify or postpone. Please check www.put-in-bay.k12.oh.us for the latest information.

Put-in-Bay’s Public Docks

Due to Covid-19 concerns, the Village and the DeRivera Park Trustees closed their downtown Put-in-Bay public docks in April. They remain closed as we go to press on the 1st of May. The downtown boat launch ramp remains open.

Lake Level Still Rising

As expected, the water levels in the Great Lakes are getting higher as we go into spring. Again, the water level in Lake Erie set a new record for April. The water level was 11 inches higher than last year at this time. The forecast going into May also is calling for another two-inch increase for Lake Erie. The forecast for the summer of 2020 is for the Great Lakes to maintain record highs all the way until fall if normal weather conditions occur.

Good and Bad News April 2020 for Lake Erie

Gov. Mike DeWine’s $172 million H2Ohio plan to save Lake Erie from harmful algal blooms might be cut because of an estimated budget deficit of $2 billion created by the Coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has signed a $2.9 million agreement to tackle contaminated sediment along the Detroit River which flows into Lake Erie.

Some good news is that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said it “will develop a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for phosphates for the Western Basin [of Lake Erie] over the next two to three years.

Island Airport to Receive Federal Funds

Airports on South Bass, Middle Bass, North Bass, and Kelleys Island are in for a share of nearly $108 million in federal aid allotted to airports throughout the country in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The four island airports will each be getting $20,000.

Hygiene Safety A Top Priority on the Jet

This winter, Mike McGlothlin from Pristine Marine was busy reupholstering the seats on Jet Express I and Jet Express II. Rather than redoing the seats in fabric, he searched high and low for something that could be easily cleaned. What he found was a special vinyl covering which is approved for use by the military and in hospitals due to its anti-microbial and fire rating. Mike says you can not only clean everything down with bleach, but you can also hold a
lighter to it and it won’t catch on fire.

Mike, who used to work for his uncle, Todd Blumensaadt, here on Put-in-Bay before he served in the U.S. Army also does commercial reupholstery work
for bars, restaurants, and hospitals.

Rudy and The Island Girl on WPIB.com

If you haven’t listened to Rudy and The Island Girl on WPIB.com radio, you’re should take the time to do so. Rudy Cooks (Put-in-Bay High School Class of 1987) and Christie Ontko ( Put-in-Bay High School Class of 1991) banter back and forth about Bass Island topics for an hour, plus they have a variety of guests. On April 10th, for example, they talked with T.J. Burgess (Put-in-Bay High School Class of 1990) who now lives in New York, Gary Milson from Fox’s Den who hasn’t arrived back on the island from Florida yet, and Christie’s mother, Linda Parker (Put-in-Bay High School Class of 1965), who had to deal with moldy mayonnaise recently.

Charter captain Cliff Fulton, Christie’s husband, also gave a fishing report, plus Christie did a spoof on social-distancing shopping at the Island General Store as islanders deal with the Coronavirus.

Green Island History 

If you are interested in Green Island, Mike Gora has posted a revised version of his Green Island history at http://MBI.US/greenhist. His original version in 2006 was about 12 pages, and it is now up to 39 pages with a good number of new photos and lots of new information since the last update. It’s also available through a link on the Area History page at www.middlebass.org.

Enjoy Being Outdoors on the Island, but Practice Social Distancing

The Put-in-Bay Township Park District says get out and enjoy their parks and preserves on South and Middle Bass Islands. The fresh air, the flowers, the birds, and all the other things nature has to offer to make for a great way to handle the Covid-19 quarantines. Another thing islanders can do is walk or bike the island roads. With hardly any traffic, it is quite a pleasant way to get out and enjoy socializing while social distancing.

This Suggestion Comes from John Titchener John Titchener who lives in Shore Villas made these comments about Zoom, one of the computer programs that let
those attending meetings see and talk to each other on their laptop computers. John says, “Soon we will all Zoom, or have been Zoomed. But we need to take this up to another notch.

Put-in-Bay Property Owners Association

(PIBPOA) needs to take the initiative for getting a HUGE flat-screen TV for the Senior Center so that either the host or a guest could connect his/her laptop to the big screen in the Senior Center thereby allowing others to observe. Start with a Zoomed PIBPOA board meeting and then extend the Zoom screen to all observers. Maybe
we could persuade the Council to Zoom their meetings, along with guests at the Center, the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society (LEIHS), Lake Erie Islands Conservancy (LEIC) et al might be similarly interested.”

TWICs Expiration Dates Extended

You may not know it, but everyone who works for the ferry boat lines serving the islands needs Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWICs) which are issued by the TSA. TWICs cards were a result of Homeland Security regulations after 9/11. On April 10th, TSA issued a notice that it is granting a temporary exemption regarding the expiration of certain TWICs expiring between March 1, 2020, and July 31, 2020. The exemption extends the validity of a TWIC for 180
days for an individual whose TWIC would otherwise expire during the effective period of the exemption.

Put-in-Bay Township Park District Report

The Annual Report for the Put-in-Bay Township Park District for this past year is now available. You can get an email version of the report by emailing Kelly Faris, one of the group’s board of commissioners, at kelmar@thirdplanet.net, and he will get one to you.

A New Normal?

There are a couple of things that have come out of the Coronavirus pandemic that we think should be used even after the virus is gone and things have gone back to normal. The first is holding public meetings remotely with members logging into their computers to take part even if they are not physically present. This past month several meetings were held using this technology. With many of the islands’ elected officials away from the home in the winter, this would always be a great way to conduct meetings even when there’s not a pandemic.

The second thing we found interesting was the Ohio Liquor Control Commission approving the take out and delivery sale of alcoholic beverages. From what we hear, there has been a brisk business for David Hill’s delicious Brandy Alexanders from Topsy Turvey’s. If carry out and delivery of liquor are OK during a pandemic, why not all the time? Editor’s Note: One of the restaurants we frequent in Florida originally had a two-drink per person limit, but we now see them advertising “Gallons to Go!” A gallon of Margaritas was $35 and a gallon of Bloody Marys was $45. Maybe that would help here, too.

Thank You, Terry Jenkins, from Ohio Edison In The News April 2020

Sending out big thank yous to Billy Market. And says it is much appreciated that his crew, Brian Woischke, Brit Schroeder, and Tommy Chrysler made things run so smoothly when it came to getting the bucket truck from Middle Bass Island to Put-in-Bay the morning of April 10th after a tree blew down and fell on some electric lines on Airport Rd. His truck on Put-in-Bay broke down in the night right in the middle trying to get things repaired. He was pretty much helpless.

He also passes along a huge thank you to Put-in-Bay Township employees Jack Wertenbach and Jon Scarpelli and to Tim Luecke who stayed with him and worked until 2 a.m. Terry says Put-in-Bay is a unique place and he is not always able to get equipment or assistance because of weather conditions and time restraints.
He loves how this community always comes together at times like this.

Lake Erie’s walleye fishing In The News April 2020

Lake Erie’s walleye fishing at Put-in-Bay has been super this season, but with many fishermen quarantined at home and out-of-state fishermen prohibited from fishing in Lake Erie, we’re wondering just how many fish will escape the frying pan. The number of Total Allowable Catch (TAC) has Ohio’s share in Lake Erie more than Ontario and the other states combined at 5.3 million fish. This is unheard of in the modern era of Lake Erie sport fishing.

The estimated 2020 population of walleye that are two years old or older is about 116 million and is forecast to 151 million in 2021. The Ohio Division of Wildlife modified its restrictive early-season walleye limits and removed the daily bag limit of four fish from March 1st through April 30th. Around the Lake Erie Islands, the year-round walleye bag limit is six fish.

Yellow perch fishermen aren’t so happy. There’s a declining number of this delicacy from Lake Erie. Interestingly, perch allocations are set in pounds, while walleye limits are set by the number of fish.

Village Council Notes In The News April 2020

The Put-in-Bay Village Council met on Tuesday, April 14th, in the Assembly Room at the Put-in-Bay Town Hall. Councilman Kelly Faris and Village Solicitor Susan Anderson was not present but took part in the meeting by phone and Skype. Before the meeting, there was a conference call with officials from the State Auditor’s office.

There was a discussion about the use of time clocks for village employees. It was decided to postpone further action due to some workers doing their jobs from home. The mayor asked the council to give her the authority to close the waters of Put-in-Bay harbor if she deemed there was a need to do so because of Covid-19 concerns. The council was not in favor of that but did vote to let her close the public boat ramp next to the Jet Dock if

Dave Schafer from Ashley’s Island House was the only member of the public to attend the meeting. He asked what plans the Village had for getting things back to normal after the governor lifts the Covid-19 restrictions. Mayor Dress told him the Village would have to wait for making plans until the government began the process of opening things up. Council also discussed the new water line that was put in to complete the water line connection around the corner from Lakeview Ave. to Victory Ave.

The original bid was under $50,000, but there was a problem dealing with other buried lines, driving the cost up by about 10%. There was also a discussion about putting in a new low- pressure sewer line on Sybil Blvd. from Langram Rd. to the village’s water treatment plant. The plant has been using holding tanks for its wastewater, but the EPA is requiring a new line that will take all wastewater to the sewage treatment plant.

The EPA would also like to see a new generator at the water treatment plant. The new ozone treatment system requires more power than the current generator can provide in case electric service goes down. Council discussed replacing the emergency generator at the town hall with the old one from the plant.

A Little House on Erie Makes News April 2020

A while back, Annie Parker sent us an email telling us she had recently learned a little about the little house on Erie St. in the Village where she and her late husband Joe raised their family between 1949 and 1969. She learned that it was built in 1850, before Jose´ de Rivera, Jay Cooke, or John Brown, Jr. ever came to the island.
It was built before the Mossbacks building (1874), the Town Hall, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and most of the other pre-1900 buildings that are still to be found on the island.

Annie’s daughter, Marsha, provided an old photograph that must have been taken shortly after the home was built. It shows the house surrounded by a low fence, perhaps used to keep out dogs, horses or people. The photo also shows shutters on the window on the second floor. Annie did not know who owned the house in the very early years but said the first Parkers, the Jobe Parker family, to occupy the house moved from their home (the first house south of the Fox Stone quarry) on Langram Rd.

The Alfred Parker family at one time owned much of the south end of the island from the airport to the lighthouse and were grape farmers. Jobe was Alfred’s son.
One of Jobe’s several sons, Earl, actually started repairing vehicles in an old garage immediately to the west of the house before building Parker’s Garage after World War II. When Joe and Annie were married after World War II, they moved into the house. Annie Parker’s old Erie Street house as seen today. Annie says two of her sons, Roger and DJ, were born in the Erie St. house.

The Joe Parker family moved out of the house and Frank Vostrak and his sister bought it to use as a
summer cottage. After Frank died, his sister sold it to Island Service Co. Sara Booker had a shop
for a while. Today, the home is owned by Dave Washtock and is used for employee housing.

Shifting Gears

One Put-in-Bay businessman, Jason Hall, the owner of Put-in-Bay Parasail, is in the same boat as everyone else (no pun intended) when it comes to the Coronavirus and returning to provide parasail rides for visitors to the island. Everything is up in the air when it comes to returning from his Florida digs to Put-in-Bay and begin doing business off the Boardwalk Dock.

In the meantime, Jason, who fabricates custom boat canvas in the offseason when he’s in Florida, has switched gears and is busy making facial protection masks. Jason says the washable masks he is making are reusable face masks with non-woven breathable polypropylene fabric. The outer side of the mask has a satin finish that’s UV and water-resistant. There’s a bendable metal bridge sewn in for the nose, plus a cord lock on the elastic band that makes sizing
super easy. The masks are made with all new materials. Adult and small sizes are available for $9.

Mother Mary Staley from St. Paul’s was one of Jason’s first customers. If you’d like to order masks from Jason, you can email him at jason@putinbayparasail.
com or text him at (239) 272-0231. If you had told Woody Widmar on January 1st that 2020 would be the year he would go into the bank wearing a bandana like the bad guys wore when they were robbing banks in the old Westerns, he would have thought you were absolutely nuts. Woody is seen here “making a withdrawal”
across the counter at the First National Bank last month.

Let us know if you think he should be arrested for bank robbery or given an “Indian war medal” for social distancing1 That’s all the news April 2020!