2016-09-29 / Columns

Omena News: Omena moves toward state historic district as a town father, 15, passes

By LESLIE DISCH
Phone/fax 386-5686


MARSHA AND Tom Buehler have been working to have downtown Omena declared a historic district. MARSHA AND Tom Buehler have been working to have downtown Omena declared a historic district. Omena is well on its way to becoming an Historic District in the National Register. Marsha and Tom Buehler were in Lansing this past Friday to attend the meeting of the Michigan State Historic Preservation Review Board. At that meeting, the Board approved the nomination of the Omena Historic District to the National Register. The nomination will be forwarded to the National Park Service for final review. We will likely hear before the end of the year if the NPS has approved the addition of the Omena District to the National Register. This nomination process was begun in 2014, with the final report and documentation submitted in July. Dr. Ted Ligibel’s Historic Research Preservation Techniques class from EMU, which came to Omena in February 2014, contributed resource surveys and other material that was incorporated into the final nomination.

Marsha has worked hard over the past few years to bring this to reality. She was instrumental in bringing Dr. Ligibel to Omena. Joey Bensley and members of both the Omena Historical Society (OHS) and the Omena Village Preservation Association helped with that visit. Marsha and Tom were delighted to see Joel and Linda Zylstra from the Omena Presbyterian Church also made the trip to Lansing to support the nomination.

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Congratulations to this year’s organizers and all of the volunteers that made the fourth annual Leelanau UnCaged another huge success. For 10 hours, the streets of Northport were full of wonderful music, dancing, a great variety of arts and crafts work, and good food. The committee won’t release the name of the person who has been in charge of the weather every year for fear they will be stolen by other organizations, but they pulled off another beautiful late September day.

It’s hard to single out just a few performers, but Omena residents Maggie Racich and Jimmy Linenberger entertained crowds with both their musical talents as Little Omena, and their circus arts with an amazing Fire Dance at the end of the night. Two bands that packed their performance tents with people who couldn’t keep from dancing were the salsa band, Grupo Aye, and the again reunited Newt and the Salamanders. Grupo Aye band leader, Rob Mulligan, is the son of Omena resident Suzie Mulligan.

Newt and the Salamanders were the final musical performance, and the tent was full of people who had enjoyed them in their heyday and younger people hearing them for the first time. Everyone was rocking to the music. The band reunited for last year’s UnCaged.

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Bob and Caryn DeVries did Omena proud again this year in the field of pickleball. They participated in the 5th Annual Great Lakes Open at the YMCA in Traverse City. There were 224 participants with divisions made based on age and skill level. Bob won the Gold in Men’s doubles with partner Rusty Soyring, and silver with Mixed doubles partner Lou Anne Ford, both from Traverse City. Caryn and Pam Shaberly, from Suttons Bay, won the bronze in their division.

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The annual work hard/play hard weekend at the Newland cottage took place recently. The cottage is in good shape, and the county survived, as well. On hand for the fun were Tommy Newland, John Newland, and Jordan Newland, all from South Carolina; Tony Griffen from Grosse Pointe, Jeff Hall from Rochester Hills, Greg Landa from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla, and Bill Loveless from Omena and Memphis.

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Omena lost one of its most enthusiastic ambassadors with the death of Shimmer Harter Disch last weekend. Shimmer and her sister, Willow, started life as companions of Omena native Jerry Harter until his death in 2008. They quickly and lovingly adopted Les and Debby Disch as their second family. Shimmer served two terms on Omena Village Council, the second as Vice Mayor. She participated in many Northport Dog Parades, O’Mena St. Patrick Day parades, and other official events. She was a swimmer extraordinaire, loved the Farmers Markets, and added much joy wherever she went. She spent many wonderful days with Frieda and Helen Putnam and loved the Putnam beach, where she is credited with helping some of the young pups in the neighborhood learn to swim. She had just celebrated reaching 15 ½ years of age (in the very old and the very young, I figure half-years count), and swam for her last tennis ball just days before. She will be deeply missed.

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Summer may be over, but the calendar is still full of fun events. The upcoming performance of the Northport Community Arts Center (NCAC) is a delightful comedy, “The Dixie Swim Club”. The performances are October 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 7 p.m., and matinees on October 9 and 16 at 2 p.m.

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The annual CROP Walk will kick off Sunday, Oct. 9 at Omena Presbyterian Church. Registration is at 1:30 and the walk around Omena Point begins at 2 p.m. The Leelanau County walk is sponsored by local churches. For more information, go to crophungerwalk.org.

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Happy birthday to Phil Goldman, Greg McMorrow, Hannah Fitzgerald, Doni Lystra, Guy Kalchik, Drew Putnam, Jack Joyce, Melissa Chenault, Kristi Hallett, and Crystal Renz. Happy anniversary to John and Judy Smart and to Al and Linda Cherne.

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