2017-07-13 / Columns

Summer in swing with music in Omena

Phone/fax 386-5686

ATTENDING BEA KIMMERLY’S 105th birthday party, in the front row from left, are Karol Berwald, Bea, Dillon Kimmerly, Charlie Berwald and Coco Berwald. In the middle row is Patty Berwald. Shown in the back row are Jim Kimmerly, Pat Kimmerly and Skosh Berwald. ATTENDING BEA KIMMERLY’S 105th birthday party, in the front row from left, are Karol Berwald, Bea, Dillon Kimmerly, Charlie Berwald and Coco Berwald. In the middle row is Patty Berwald. Shown in the back row are Jim Kimmerly, Pat Kimmerly and Skosh Berwald. Omena is very fortunate to be home to Saving Birds Thru Habitat (SBTH), an organization dedicated to creating and preserving habitat for our local wild birds, especially migratory songbirds. The organization was begun in 2001 through the vision and passion of Kay and Jim Charter. Kay is now the Executive Director of the organization, which includes 47 acres of mixed habitat The Charter Sanctuary donated by Kay and Jim provides nesting spots for many varieties of migratory birds, and the Discovery Center facility hosts educational programs.

According to the latest State of the Birds report, one-third of North America’s birds are at risk of extinction, mostly due to loss of habitat. An ad hoc committee in the County has a vision to make Leelanau County a “Certified Bird Habitat” county through Saving Birds Thru Habitat. Through this committee, the County Government Center and Veronica Valley County Park have already been certified as having good bird habitat. For the entire county to qualify, 5 percent of personal properties must also be certified. If you would like to have your property certified, go to savingbirds.org, click on certification, head to the bottom of the page, and follow the instructions.

SBTH hosted a wonderful and very informative program Saturday about bald eagles in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The speaker was Jerry Weinrich, an ornithologist and the official Bald Eagle counter for the Lower Peninsula. Jerry has been doing aerial surveys for the Fish and Wildlife Service since 1974, when there were less than 30 nesting pairs in the LP. There are now 680 nests, with 90 of those new in the last two years. Adult pairs usually have one or two chicks, although occasionally there will be three. The nests are about six feet wide. The most common host for eagle nests in this area are white pine trees, with aspen the second choice. They also can be found in tamarack, oak, red pine, and others.

In the past, eagle populations were decimated by DDT and before that by hunters. Now the most common cause of unnatural death is being hit by cars when they are feeding on road kill. Jerry’s advice to help deter this is to get road kill off the road if you see it.

The other growing threat to eagles is people who try to observe their nests with drones. The eagles either abandon those nests, thereby not reproducing that year, or attack the drone and are injured.

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The celebration of Bea Kimmerly’s 105th birthday Saturday at the Omena Community Room was a wonderful event attended by many of her friends from over the years. Many of Bea’s family members were here to help her celebrate. Her daughter Karol Berwald is here for the summer from Layton, Utah. Karol’s son Skosh and his wife Patty and their children Charlie and Coco were here from Park City, Utah, and stayed for an extended visit. Eddie O’Brien, who lives in this area, was on hand for the festivities. Bea’s son Jack came up from Battle Creek, along with the rest of the Battle Creek Kimmerlys — Pat, Dillon, AJ, Max, Jim, and Sharon McSawby.

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John Ray, who provided special music at the Omena Presbyterian Church on Sunday for Bea’s birthday, was inspired while attending the Ragtime program at NCAC the night before to change one of his selections to “Young at heart”, which includes the line, “And if you should survive to a hundred and five.”

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Summer is in full swing with family and friends visiting in the area. Noemi and Jose Hanono from California, friends of Kathy and Jim Miller, came to spend a week in Omena. It was their first trip to Michigan. Kathy and Noemi taught together for many years in the San Diego area and they’ve all been friends for a long time. Kathy had their youngest son in her 6th grade class. They enjoyed talking about the “old” days and fun memories. The Millers were happy to show as much of this area as they could find time for. Jose was a good sport about swimming in our 65 degree water and actually seemed to enjoy it. He also loved his runs around the Point and commented on all the trees and birds. They say they will return.

David and Julie DeWitt hosted Sherrie and Dave Bossung, from Indianapolis, for the week of July Fourth. Although Sherrie, Julie and David DeWitt are all originally from Evansville, Ind., they didn’t know each other until they all lived in Indy. The Bossungs enjoyed golf, biking and hiking Sleeping Bear Dunes as well as all of the festivities for the 4th. It was their first visit to the Leelanau Peninsula and they loved all of the fantastic, fresh food and are making plans to return next year.

Sally and Brian Shapiro enjoyed having the whole family together in Omena. Their son Joel recently started working in Austin, Texas, for Nvidia and was able to get away from the Texas heat for six days. Their daughter Ellen and her friend Amanda Harlan visited from Chicago for a wonderful week together.

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This weekend the Village Arts Building in Northport is host to an exhibit by nationally recognized local artist Gene Rantz. There is an opening reception Friday from 5 – 8 p.m., and the show runs through Sunday.

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The Omena Historical Society’s two-day class, Painting in Miniature by Gail Koch, will be held Aug. 9-10 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the Omena Community Room in the Firehall. This has been a very popular class in the past, with Gail’s stories of growing up in Omena sprinkled through the instruction. Go to the OHS website for more information or to register.

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It will be the Omena Presbyterian Church’s biggest day of the season with its annual Special Music Sunday. Music will be provided by the Lime Lake Choir, and special vocal soloist Dorothy Dunning, a Metropolitan Opera District Finalist. Overflow outdoor seating will be made available under a tent. There will be a donut reception after the service with tours of the historic manse. The ensemble “The Prevailing Winds” will be performing on the lawn during a reception. The service is from 10-11 a.m.

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Happy Birthday to twins Cindy Dailey and Tim Harris, and to Marianne Vick, Kori Wheeler, and Rick Bryan. Happy Birthday also to Lily Compton, who turns 3, Iverson Robert Fox, who is 8, and to James Wickemeyer who celebrates one of those birthdays that ends with a zero. It is also a big week for anniversaries. Happy Anniversary to Samantha and Nick Bronke, Bob and Alice Hauske, Jim and Amanda Scarlett, and Jason and Amber Davis.

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