2018-07-26 / Columns

Feline dominates Omena election

By LESLIE DISCH
Phone/fax 386-5686


PUNKIN ANDERSON-HARDER, left, a 4-month old Cavapoo, is the new Second Vice Mayor of Omena. She and the First Vice Mayor, Diablo Shapiro, a Coton du Tulear, already appear to be at odds over re-districting. PUNKIN ANDERSON-HARDER, left, a 4-month old Cavapoo, is the new Second Vice Mayor of Omena. She and the First Vice Mayor, Diablo Shapiro, a Coton du Tulear, already appear to be at odds over re-districting. In exciting developments over the weekend, the new Omena Mayor became national news. Sweet Tart McKee, a calico-colored Norwegian Forest cat, beat out a field of thirteen dogs, a chicken, a peacock, a goat, and one other cat to become Omena’s fifth mayor.

Sweet Tart was the previous Vice Mayor of Omena, and cat-apulted into first place on the final day of voting. The inaugural parade and ceremony last Saturday were covered by a television station, and that story was picked up by stations across the country from coast to coast, including Raleigh, N.C., West Palm Beach, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Austin, Kansas City, Indianapolis, United Press International and more!

The Mayor is starting her three-year term with a very strong administration. Diablo Shapiro, a Coton du Tulear, came in second earning him the office of First Vice Mayor. Punkin Anderson-Harder, a four-month old Cavapoo, ran a strong race for a political rookie to place third and become Second Vice Mayor.


STUDENTS ENROLLED in a summer program run by Northport School visited the Leelanau Enterprise office last week for a tour — and posed for a photo at the Enterprise sign in the front of the building. STUDENTS ENROLLED in a summer program run by Northport School visited the Leelanau Enterprise office last week for a tour — and posed for a photo at the Enterprise sign in the front of the building. Another very strong race was run by Penny Labriola, a Lavender Orpington chicken, who became Special Assistant for Fowl Issues. With great foresight, event organizers decided that the current political climate calls for a Press Secretary. Harley Jones, the goat, was unanimously named to that position after impressing everyone with his talking videos on FaceBook during the campaign. With all this national attention, he is going to be very busy.

The Omena Mayor parade was exciting in many ways. After rain most of Friday and Friday night and into Saturday morning, it was a last-minute call whether to cancel. But Omena got very lucky, and the rained stopped just about 9:30 a.m. It sprinkled lightly on marchers and on-lookers for part of the parade, but skies cleared and the sun came out for the inauguration.

Ed Oberndorf officiated, as he has for every mayoral election. Sweet Tart’s oath of office included the following vows:

• “I will be paws- itive in responding to the needs of my Omena constituents.”

• “My cabinet appointments will not be influenced by bureau-cats.”

• “I will enlist only public servants who will not horse around.”

• And, “I will utilize the power of purr-swasion to maintain the highest standards of leadership.”

Many thanks to everyone who made it such a great day. Organizers were Sally Shapiro, Helen Putnam Bradley, Kanda McKee and Debby Disch, assisted by Mary Loveless who did an amazing job turning a utility trailer into an elegant dais, and to Thad Tomlinson for loaning the trailer and traffic cones, and then manning the intersection at the end of the parade. Thanks to Jacquie Johnson and Brian Shapiro who assisted Kanda McKee with setting up refreshments. Dennis Armbruster and Harold McKee set up and took down the giant Election Board in town. Alice Littlefield and Greg McMorrow collected and counted the votes every evening, and Mary Ziegeler managed all of the PayPal transactions.

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Northport Community Band musicians were real troopers to come out in iffy weather conditions, because it’s just not a parade without a band. Ernie Barry’s Army truck “float” that carried the Penny For Mayor Fan Club was the hit of the parade.

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It’s that time of year when Omena is full of visiting family and friends. The Putnam Beach will be full of Texans this week. Helen’s son, Mark, his wife, Dondi, and children, Jack, Bodie, and Scout arrived from Austin last week for a three week visit. Their Austin neighbors, Ched and Amy Hays and their sons, Aidan and Alex arrived on Sunday for a week long visit. The Hays decided that, after 15 years of hearing stories about Omena, it was time to see it for themselves. Next Saturday, the Bradleys and the Hays are going to Ann Arbor to watch the Manchester United vs. Liverpool soccer game at U of M stadium.

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Frieda Putnam’s niece, Karen Gardoni and her husband Fernando and their three children, Giliana, Gian, and Gina, from Wil, Switzerland, are also in town for their annual visit. Karen’s brother and sister-in-law, Craig Pavia and Marisa Smith, will also be here over the weekend.

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The triennial Rule Reunion begins in just a week. The Smith clan begins arriving this week. Stewart and Jill Smith are here from Butte, Mont. Their daughter and granddaughter, Valerie and Christina Darrah, are here from the Dallas area.

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Dog Ears Books’ sixth Thursday Evening Authors (TEA) event is this evening, featuring Omena seasonal resident Dennis Turner with his novel, “What Did You Do in the War, Sister?” It’s a book that has created a buzz around the country in general and around Northport in particular. From the Cracker Barrel to the Northport Women’s Club, everyone is talking about this book. The main events described took place in Europe during World War II, and Turner worked with archival documents to piece together the story of courageous nuns who saved lives by hiding people inside their convent walls. His first-person narrator, however, is a fictional character who brings the story to life. The reading will begin at 7 p.m.

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Opening night for the Northport Community Arts Center’s (NCAC) summer musical, “The Wizard of Oz,” is Saturday. There are 7 shows between then and the final Sunday matinee on Aug. 5. Call the NCAC, 386-5001, for information and tickets.

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On Sunday, the Omena Presbyterian Church welcomes back Rev. Dr. Peter Henry to the pulpit. Peter is minister of Grosse Point Memorial Church. Special music will be provided by John Ray on the piano, who will offer a piece in tribute and memory to his wife, Mary Helen. Dr. Thomas Markus will also be playing a special piece on the viola. Patrick Kuhl will be behind the organ. Everyone is welcome to attend the service starting at 10 a.m.

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Happy 60th birthday to Kathy Spohn! She is spending it surrounded by family and friends.

Happy Birthday also to Betsy Parker, Annette Husted, Carol Silverman, Mariah Kalchik, Judy Fowler, Sam Goldman, Debby Disch, Joan Kalchik-TenBrock, Sophia Mosher, and Nina Lingaur.

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Happy 25th anniversary to Joe and Susa Barrera! Happy Anniversary also to Tim and Aimee Harris, Jeff and Cindy Dailey, Craig Pavia and Marisa Smith, and to Bob and Kori Wheeler.

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