2017-09-07 / Columns

60 turn out for Omena bridge walk

By LESLIE DISCH
Phone/fax 386-5686


MANY OF the bridge walkers posed for a photo on the ‘far side’ of Krist Creek. 
— Photo by Jim Miller MANY OF the bridge walkers posed for a photo on the ‘far side’ of Krist Creek. — Photo by Jim Miller The Fifth Annual Omena Bridge Walk over Krist Creek was a huge success again. The weather cooperated so that about 60 people were able to make it over the bridge, and back, and enjoy some coffee and pastries before the downpour hit. Many thanks to Julie Krist for welcoming the neighborhood to this very special event. Helen Putnam Bradley’s new rescue dog, Schatzi, attended her first Bridge Walk. There is speculation that she is getting ready to campaign for next year’s mayoral election in Omena.

Mary Smart was there sporting seven really interesting patches sewn on her jacket from seven years of walking the Mackinac Bridge with a group of friends. Maybe the Omena Bridge Walk needs its own commemorative patch.

There were quite a few first time bridge walkers, including new neighbors, David Lightner and Susan Valiga. They are new year-round residents in Omena, having purchased the home that formerly belonged to Bruce and Carla Cunningham, and before them, Ralph and Carol Towne. David and Susan moved here from the Philadelphia area. Susan has been coming to Omena for almost 30 years visiting her sister and brother-in-law, Kathy and Dennis Turner. David is a professional photographer, and Susan is able to work remotely for her current job. Susan’s daughter, Courtney, lives in Charlotte, NC and will be visiting them next week.

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David and Susan have a cat, Te’a, and a dog, Meredith (Merry). Merry is a retired greyhound they adopted, whose racing name was Hot Foot Meredith.

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Fred and Leah Putnam had a fun Labor Day weekend with both of their children, their spouses, and three grandchildren here in Omena.

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Joel Fisher enjoyed a visit from Andy Siler and Nina Eusani and Nina’s 3- year-old son, Shahan. Joel ended up going back to St. Paul a day earlier than originally planned because of the closure of the Mackinac Bridge.

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The Rule Cottage is probably jumping this week, as Courtney Shannon and nine of her girl friends are in town celebrating her 50th birthday. The group includes friends from high school in Ft. Thomas, Ky,, her college days, and friends from over the years. Courtney’s parents, Jim and Gayle Davis, are seasonal Omena residents.

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Last week, I made mention of the migrating bats. Bats are in the news again. For years, Houston has been home to a colony of 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats that live under the Waugh Bridge over the Buffalo Bayou. They are the largest colony to reside in the state year-round, rather than migrating south for the winter. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the waters under the bridge rose, trapping the bats, which started to drown by the hundreds.

A week ago Sunday, in the immediate aftermath of the storm, Houston residents, spotting the struggling creatures (bats can tread water but cannot swim) tried to fish the bats out using whatever they had at hand—tree limbs, tennis rackets, and umbrellas, according to CBS News. By Tuesday, Bat World, located in Weatherford, Texas, had deployed volunteers equipped with long-handled nets — and, more importantly, rabies shots — to Houston.

Saving bats might seem frivolous in light of the human suffering in Houston right now, but bats play an important role in controlling Houston’s mosquito population, which is incredibly important to the long-term health of the city’s residents. According to the city, Houston’s bats each live an average of 13 years, and collectively eat two and a half tons of insects every night.

They each eat 1,000 bugs an hour, about 6,000 bugs a night. An increased mosquito population problem, and the possibility of an increase in mosquito-borne illnesses, is one of the many problems the city will struggle with once the floodwaters of Harvey recede.

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There’s still lots to do in and around Omena in September. Nancy Fitzgerald, poet and retired writing professor from the College of St. Scholastica, is holding a four-week poetry seminar on Mondays from 10 a.m. to noon beginning Sept. 11. The classes will be held at the Village Arts Building in Northport. Preregistration is required. Go to northportartsforall.com, and click on Classes to sign up. Contact Nancy at nfitzger@css.edu with any questions.

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The always amazing Northport Follies is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. at the NCAC in Northport.

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Leelanau Uncaged is set for Saturday, Sept. 30 from noon to 10 p.m. It is a wonderful day of art of every sort – music, food, dance and visual arts. The main streets of Northport are closed for the event.

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These are the last few days for Northport artist David Grath’s show at the Dennos Museum in Traverse City. The show, “Three Decades of Landscape Painting,” ends Saturday.

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Mark your calendars for the return of the Leelanau Furniture Show. It will be held at the Village Arts Building in Northport October 6 – 8.

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I made a mistake two weeks ago when I said that the August Omena Women’s Club meeting was at the home of Linda Kemper. It was actually at the home of Gayle Madison.

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We have more wedding anniversaries than birthdays this week. The only other week that there are six anniversaries is in June, and there are as many birthdays that week, so this is a rare event in Omena. Happy Birthday to Susan Krusel, Fred Holtz, Jaron Huffman, Terri Harris and Bill Sulau. Happy 25th Anniversary to Eric and Kristi Hallett. Happy Anniversary also to Gary and Carol Silverman, Allan and Joanne Dalzell, Tony and Amanda Brown, Carter and Amy Oosterhouse, and Tim and Dorella Mulligan.

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