Harbor Light March 23, 2011 : Page 1

ONE DOLLAR Mailing Address Serving the communities of Little Traverse Bay Locally owned by the same family since 1971 h arbor s prings Harbor Springs, Michigan Issue for the week of Mar. 23-29, 2011 Volume 40 • Number 12 www.harborlightnews.com Published Weekly on Wednesday m ichigan Tree lighting event moved Chamber committee initiates discussion of holiday weekend By KATE BASSETT Harbor Light Newspaper Welcome Spring Art and music in school touted as important as cuts loom By EMMA OGUTU Capital News Service It may have been the first day of Spring, but much of the Har-bor Springs City Council meeting Monday night, March 21, was spent discussing the 2011 Christ-mas holiday season. The Harbor Springs Chamber of Commerce ‘holiday committee’ was on-hand to explain their request to take over programmatic responsibility for the community tree lighting weekend, and specifically, to move the tree lighting to Friday night (the night after Thanksgiving). Prior to City Council approving the request, Council members made clear their vote was only to move the tree lighting itself from Sunday to Friday. They indicated the Cham-ber’s desire to make the merchant’s Open House follow on Saturday as part of a three-day holiday event (it is normally held the second weekend in December) would be a discussion for a later date. While Council does not decide what night the downtown merchant’s choose to host an open house, the city does need to approve a street closure for the event. In regard to the “weekend events” package the Chamber is working to put together, Councilman Alan Hegedus asked organizers if the post-Thanksgiving weekend festivi-ties were to become “the start of the shopping season” or remain a com-munity event. All of the chamber committee members who spoke talked about including school children and se-niors at Hillside apartments, as well as having more summer and week-end visitors in town as ways they were promoting it as a community-wide collaboration. However, some members did acknowledge they are looking to strengthen sales that weekend as well. “I have all my shopping done by December 10. By then I’m just look-ing for extras. The weekend after Thanksgiving, that’s when I have thousands of dollars for artwork, fur-niture and the like. We have all that -CONTINUED on page 3. Skiing across the pond at Boyne Highlands Krazy Daze spring ski carnival last weekend helped with the arrival of Spring. Nub’s Nob will host its Mardi Gras on Saturday, March 26. (Harbor Light Newspaper photo/Mark Flemming) Spring skiing on the calendar at local resorts By KATE BASSETT Harbor Light Newspaper Grass is visible, hyacinths are be-ginning to pop up from the ground, and winter has been booted back to last in line on the calendar. Still, area ski hills are stayingl in full snow sports mode a little while longer. With plenty of white stuff on the hills and the benefits of spring skiing--warmer days and oftentimes, bouts of blue sky and sunshine--managers at both Nub’s Nob and Boyne High -lands are reminding folks there are days of fun left on the slopes. Boyne will close Sunday, March 27, following a weekend of racing, including the annual Miller Lite Ski Championships on Saturday and the Downhill event Sunday. Nub’s Nob, however, will remain open (weather permitting) until April 10. Manager Jim Bartlett said he is looking forward to several spring events, including Mardi Gras on Saturday, March 26; the new Super Fun Park Day, a terrain park event, on March 27, and the free-heel Telebration, slated to take place -CONTINUED on page 3. Art and music may not seem essential in schools’ academic achievement. Rather they’re considered costly extras and, thus, prime prospects for elimination when schools face increased budget cuts, according to studies. But the arts do more than invigo-rate the economy — they strengthen children’s cognitive development and enhance learning through in-creased hands-on, creative thinking, according to a presentation at an arts and culture forum in Lansing. “Children motivated by the arts develop attention skills and strate-gies for memory retrieval that also apply to other academic subject areas, such as math and science,” said Kenneth Fischer, president of the University Musical Society, a performing arts group affiliated with the University of Michigan. Fischer also said the arts – music, creative writing, drawing and dance – provide the critical thinking and problem-solving skills required by employers, citing a report by the Conference Board, a business per-formance research association in New York City. “One of the top-five applied skills -CONTINUED on page 8. Remembering ‘Mr. Menzi’ Long-time Harbor Springs principal, Keelhaulers member, recalled as caring, thoughtful mentor By CYNTHIA MORSE ZUMBAUGH Usually when I sit down to write, it is with certain gusto. This assign-ment I greeted with trepidation; how to do any justice to a man like George Menzi? Then as I thought about it: if there was ever a life worthy of celebration, this was it. Rather than lament his passing, which so many of us are doing, we need to acknowl-edge and appreciate the fact that this one life touched so many of us in positive ways. As Patsy Ketterer put it, Carol and George moved here because they fell in love with the area and then they fell in love with the people. They liked it here just as it was; they didn’t move here and then try to change everything. That quality was one reason for his success. The couple’s extroverted nature was another. the first that he saw from seventh grade on through graduation. We were a handful to say the least and he handled us with as much patience as you could expect from anyone this side of a saint. As graduation approached, our last grasp at hippie ideology was to choose ‘rainbow’ as our class color. You really can’t buy tassels for gradu-ation in rainbow, so we came up with the genius idea of making our own, buying all different color tassels, disassembling them and making new, rainbow tassels. Mr. Menzi advised us not to do it, but he never told us we couldn’t. Needless to say, it was a big mess and didn’t work at all, but he understood the value of letting us learn the hard way, letting us make our mistakes (and eventu-ally making us buy a new set of blue and white tassels). Under his watch, the very harsh dress code in the school was abol-ished, or at least seriously amended. Many of you won’t remember, but some of the rules included girls having to wear skirts (and only of a certain length) and boys needing to -CONTINUED on page 8. Last Chance Coat Sale Gieger, Gieswein, Coloratura & more! George Menzi served as Harbor Springs High School principal for many years. (File photo) ‘s Mon-Sat. 12 -5 State & Main BACK TO SCHOOL at ‘s Taking a spring break? Buy 1 item -2nd 1/2 off SAIL INTO July 30 -August 1st Mon-Sat 9:30-5:30 -Sun 12-4 same or lesser value REGATTA Boys & Girls They made friends and got to know people and became a huge part of the community. The obituary in this week’s paper will provide you with dates and facts; I don’t need to do that. George Menzi and I both began our time at Harbor Springs Junior and Senior Highs in the fall of 1969. I can’t make compar-isons to any other principal, because he was there for all my time at HSHS. He took quite a special interest in my class because his first born, Meg, was one of my classmates and we were Take a travel card. 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Tree Lighting Event Moved

Kate Bassett

Chamber committee initiates discussion of holiday weekend<br /> <br /> It may have been the first day of Spring, but much of the Harbor Springs City Council meeting Monday night, March 21, was spent discussing the 2011 Christmas holiday season. The Harbor Springs Chamber of Commerce ‘holiday committee’ was on-hand to explain their request to take over programmatic responsibility for the community tree lighting weekend, and specifically, to move the tree lighting to Friday night (the night after Thanksgiving).<br /> <br /> Prior to City Council approving the request, Council members made clear their vote was only to move the tree lighting itself from Sunday to Friday. They indicated the Chamber’s desire to make the merchant’s Open House follow on Saturday as part of a three-day holiday event (it is normally held the second weekend in December) would be a discussion for a later date. While Council does not decide what night the downtown merchant’s choose to host an open house, the city does need to approve a street closure for the event.<br /> <br /> In regard to the “weekend events” package the Chamber is working to put together, Councilman Alan Hegedus asked organizers if the post-Thanksgiving weekend festivities were to become “the start of the shopping season” or remain a community event.<br /> <br /> All of the chamber committee members who spoke talked about including school children and seniors at Hillside apartments, as well as having more summer and weekend visitors in town as ways they were promoting it as a community wide collaboration.<br /> <br /> However, some members did acknowledge they are looking to strengthen sales that weekend as well.<br /> <br /> “I have all my shopping done by December 10. By then I’m just looking for extras. The weekend after Thanksgiving, that’s when I have thousands of dollars for artwork, furniture and the like. We have all that Downtown,” said committee member Meghan Meyer.<br /> <br /> Mayor Alan Dika recommended the Chamber “open a conduit for communication” from the community. “Ask for comment,” he said, “And listen to what people have to say.”<br /> <br /> In other City business, Council voted to give the Harbor Springs Area District Library conditional approval to lease property the city’s property along Lake Street And Reynold’s Field (the school track area) for $10 a year. In the agreement, the City gave the library until December 31, 2012 to have a voter-approved millage.<br /> <br /> Council also approved bids for Bluff and Spring Street water projects and a Spring Street water and storm sewer project. The latter project, costing some $174,000, will begin in mid-April with a June 6 completion date. The Bluff and Spring street Projects which also will cost some $174,000 are to be completed on a similar time table. Council approved the bids and included an additional $10,000 for conduits to be put into place, a move that city manager Tom Richards said would help with costs of burying utility lines on Bluff Drive in the future.<br /> <br /> City Council’s April meeting will take place on Monday, April 11 at 7 p.m.

Spring Skiing On The Calendar At Local Resorts

Kate Bassett

Grass is visible, hyacinths are beginning to pop up from the ground, and winter has been booted back to last in line on the calendar. Still, area ski hills are stayingl in full snow sports mode a little while longer. With plenty of white stuff on the hills And the benefits of spring skiing-- warmer days and oftentimes, bouts of blue sky and sunshine-- managers at both Nub’s Nob and Boyne Highlands are reminding folks there are days of fun left on the slopes.<br /> <br /> Boyne will close Sunday, March 27, following a weekend of racing, including the annual Miller Lite Ski Championships on Saturday and the Downhill event Sunday.<br /> <br /> Nub’s Nob, however, will remain open (weather permitting) until April 10. Manager Jim Bartlett said he is looking forward to several spring events, including Mardi Gras on Saturday, March 26; the new Super Fun Park Day, a terrain park event, on March 27, and the freeheel Telebration, slated to take place The last day of skiing and riding, April 10.<br /> <br /> Looking back on the 2010- 2011 winter season, with its weather ups and downs, both Bartlett and Boyne Highlands manager Brad Keen said Mother Nature was more friend than foe, although thaws during key weekends would have gladly been avoided.<br /> <br /> “We had rain and warm weather over the big New Years holiday weekend, bitter cold and high winds during Martin Luther King weekend and a big thaw followed by a deep freeze over President’s Weekend. In spite of all that we had a good year, but it could have been spectacular had we gotten a weather break,” Bartlett said.<br /> <br /> In a year when much of the state was blasted with blizzards, Keen added it was unfortunate the places that really wanted the white stuff often only ended up with a dusting.<br /> <br /> “It sure would have been nice to get more of the fresh snow that everyone south of us received, but the snowfall downstate really helped business as there was an assumption that we being further north must be getting even more snow,” he said.<br /> <br /> Keen added that as the economy shifted into a more hopeful direction, so too did Boyne’s winter numbers.<br /> <br /> Where we saw significant increases was in lodging. With our added amenities at the resort we were able to draw even more into our hotels and condo’s. Our full service reasaurants have seen increases as well. As for season pass sales, we’ve had double digit increases in units.”<br /> <br /> Never ready to rest on the success of years past, Bartlett said he is already looking at improvements for next year, including adding more of the ski hill’s patented snow guns and including a new Junior Alpine Racing program to compliment Nub’s Nob’s dedicated race hill, which was new for the 2010-2011 season.<br /> <br /> “ The new hill with its fast rope tow was a great success - look at the results of our CUSSA race team members and the Harbor Springs and Petoskey high and middle school teams. We’ll be improving the training opportunities on that hill over the summer in addition to introducing a new Junior Alpine Race program,”<br /> <br /> Barlett said. As a year-round resort, Keen said Boyne never stops working on more ways to impress guest.<br /> <br /> “we are always looking to add new amenities to the resort,” he said. “Like I said earlier, we’ve seen a significant increase in lodging guests do to all the amenities that we offer. Non skier/riders are joining the rest of their family at the resort to enjoy horseback riding, dog sledding, ziplining, and much more.”<br /> <br /> Both Keen and Bartlett expressed gratitude to the local community for continuing to Support the ski industry.<br /> <br /> “Winter is such a great time of year, we love the entire season,” Keen said, adding he loves “Seeing all the smiling faces and family memories being created.”<br /> <br /> Barlett said as usual, “the best part of this season is seeing the fun our customers have while enjoying Nub’s.” <br /> <br /> He reminded skiers and riders spring rates are now in effect, and that the crew at Nub’s “looks forward to seeing everyone at Mardi Gras.”

Art And Music In School Touted As Important As Cuts Loom

Emma Ogutu

Art and music may not seem essential in schools’ academic achievement.<br /> <br /> Rather they’re considered costly extras and, thus, prime prospects for elimination when schools face increased budget cuts, according to studies.<br /> <br /> But the arts do more than invigorate the economy — they strengthen children’s cognitive development and enhance learning through increased hands-on, creative thinking, according to a presentation at an arts and culture forum in Lansing.<br /> <br /> “Children motivated by the arts develop attention skills and strategies for memory retrieval that also apply to other academic subject areas, such as math and science,” said Kenneth Fischer, president of the University Musical Society, a performing arts group affiliated with the University of Michigan.<br /> <br /> Fischer also said the arts – music, creative writing, drawing and dance – provide the critical thinking and problem-solving skills required by employers, citing a report by the Conference Board, a business performance research association in New York City.<br /> <br /> “One of the top-five applied skills Sought by employers in today’s market is creativity, and we need to embrace the arts which are the indicators of innovation and ingenuity,” he said.<br /> <br /> But budget cuts are limiting the variety of art education programs offered by schools and institutions, such as the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, which coordinates state grants.<br /> <br /> John Bracey, the council’s executive director, said that while state appropriations for art school projects fell from $26 million in 2006 to $2 million this year, the council is working harder to ensure that schoolchildren are exposed to the “transformative” life experiences created by the arts.<br /> <br /> Among successful projects is the year-old school bus grant that awards up to $500 in gas money for educational arts and culture trips, Bracey said.<br /> <br /> This month, the council announced the approval of $43,878 in such grants to 118 schools to support trips for more than 13,000 students across the state.<br /> <br /> “If schools’ budgets have been cut to the point where our arts and cultural learning is diminishing, somebody has to step up to the plate and offer something,” Bracey said. “These are experiences that make our children’s lives as fulfilled as can be — they complete a child’s growth and development.”<br /> <br /> Although academic priority goes to core curriculum subjects like the sciences, Bracey said exposure to arts and culture lays the foundation for the focus and critical thinking needed in such studies.<br /> <br /> “Some of the most successful engineers or doctors are going to have, somewhere in their education, participated in theater or school bands or played musical instruments,” he said.<br /> <br /> Fischer’s presentation at the forum cited studies that reveal high performance among students who consistently participate in the arts.<br /> <br /> For instance, researchers from the University of California Los Angeles, found that students who play musical instruments have higher math test scores than those without musical involvement.<br /> <br /> Studies also show that students with an education rich in the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, lower drop-out rates and even better civic engagement.<br /> <br /> The decision by some districts to eliminate art programs is creating a public outcry, said Mike Latvis, director of public policy at ArtServe, a Wixom-based statewide art education advocacy group.<br /> <br /> Last year, the group received more than 30 phone calls from concerned teachers and parents complaining about the elimination of art programs in their children’s schools.<br /> <br /> Latvis said that his organization is working towards legislation to stop the elimination of essential art programs. Currrent law gives districts authority to choose how to spend their dollars, according to State Sen. Howard Walker, R-Traverse City, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for K-12 Education.<br /> <br /> Kathleen Hubbard has taught visual and fine arts for 19 years and said that with a reduced art education budget, she has become more innovative by recycling materials into projects.<br /> <br /> Hubbard, who teaches at Thunder Bay Junior High School in Alpena, said she has witnessed the “wonderful’ breakthroughs” that art subjects have on students with cognitive or emotional impairments.<br /> <br /> She was the 2006 winner of a Michigan Association of School Boards award for creating a humanities course that incorporates seven fine arts subjects.<br /> <br /> “I believe art humanities should be a requirement because that’s what develops a whole person,” she said. “When districts reduce the budget to fine arts, the cost to the students is higher than what they are going to save.”

Remembering ‘Mr. Menzi’

Cynthia Morse Zumbaugh

Usually when I sit down to write, it is with certain gusto. This assignment I greeted with trepidation; how to do any justice to a man like George Menzi? Then as I thought about it: if there was ever a life worthy of celebration, this was it. Rather than lament his passing, which so many of us are doing, we need to acknowledge and appreciate the fact that this one life touched so many of us in positive ways.<br /> <br /> As Patsy Ketterer put it, Carol and George moved here because they fell in love with the area and then they fell in love with the people. They liked it here just as it was; they didn’t move here and then try to change everything. That quality was one reason for his success. The couple’s extroverted nature was another.<br /> <br /> They made friends and got to know people and became a huge part of the community.<br /> <br /> The obituary in this week’s paper will provide you with dates and facts; I don’t need to do that. George Menzi and I both began our time at Harbor Springs Junior and Senior Highs in the fall of 1969. I can’t make comparisons to any other principal, because he was there for all my time at HSHS. He took quite a special interest in my class because his first born, Meg, was one of my classmates and we were The first that he saw from seventh grade on through graduation. We were a handful to say the least and he handled us with as much patience as you could expect from anyone this side of a saint.<br /> <br /> As graduation approached, our last grasp at hippie ideology was to choose ‘rainbow’ as our class color. You really can’t buy tassels for graduation in rainbow, so we came up with the genius idea of making our own, buying all different color tassels, disassembling them and making new, rainbow tassels. Mr. Menzi advised us not to do it, but he never told us we couldn’t. Needless to say, it was a big mess and didn’t work at all, but he understood the value of letting us learn the hard way, letting us make our mistakes (and eventually making us buy a new set of blue and white tassels).<br /> <br /> Under his watch, the very harsh dress code in the school was abolished, or at least seriously amended. Many of you won’t remember, but some of the rules included girls having to wear skirts (and only of a certain length) and boys needing to Have their shirt tales tucked in, no belt loops without belts, and hair that couldn’t touch their collars. Again, Mr. Menzi recognized that whether or not we were wearing pants instead of a skirt wasn’t relevant to how much we were learning; he knew enough to not sweat the small stuff.<br /> <br /> Ruth Cummings Wise reminded me of how instrumental George was in the building of the pool at the High School. He sent around a survey to the student body, giving a few choices and asking what was important to them. Asking for student input? Unheard of until his leadership. That pool should be named in his honor.<br /> <br /> I received a couple of other stories that I would like to share as written. The first comes from Tim Halpin, Class of ’76. A short background: Tim is a talented artist, and in fact, had been drawing cartoons of the basketball team for this publication. Tim wrote, “Sad to hear the news. I flashed back to a Varsity Club meeting where he chided me about the design on a mat we were ordering for the gym foyer, thinking that I had drawn the cartoon Ram, saying it ‘wasn’t up to my usual standards,’ but with a smile on his face. I retorted, ‘Hey, chump, that’s the company’s design, not mine.’ And then we all stared at the floor at the realization that I’d just called the principal a chump. Fortunately, he laughed it off that particular day.”<br /> <br /> A sense of humor is important, but the ability to know when it is appropriate is priceless. My second tale comes from Connie Heminger Blaul, Class of ’83. Connie wrote saying, “When I was in ninth grade, I got caught smoking in the bathroom at St. Mary’s and the nun reported me to Mr. Menzi. As I sat in class on Monday morning the loud speaker came on. ‘Connie Heminger please report to the office immediately.’ I knew why... and was afraid. George Menzi sat me down and said he was very disappointed in my decision and that he had a firm belief I was severely underachieving and he truly thought I would make better decisions. Then he said, ‘Ms. Heminger, I believe you have the ability to even go to Washington DC someday.’ On May 5, 1990, I arrived in Washington and served in the Bush I Administration. The day I was sworn in I thought back to that speech that George Menzi had given me years before. I had made it. He inspired me to be tough and strong, but to use my head.”<br /> <br /> I doubt that George fully realized the impact that he had on so many people, during his years at the school and beyond. As a Keelhauler, he brought joy to so many people. You couldn’t watch the band play and not smile, even when that microphone was pushed in your face so you could sing along, whether you knew the song or not. I’d cringe sometimes, because he never failed to call you out if he saw you in the crowd, but it was always in good fun. We had the good fortune of having The Keelhaulers as entertainment for two of our class reunions and both were incredible evenings.<br /> <br /> Years later, George began selling real estate and I had the pleasure of working with him at Birchwood Realty. I would take messages for the other realtors addressed to Jill, to Jim or to John, but his were always to Mr. Menzi. He would get so frustrated with me, “Call me George.” Years of habit are hard to overcome, but eventually, I called him George and I am so thankful that our relationship was able to movie from student/teacher to friends. He was so special.<br /> <br /> His legacy in Harbor Springs, in addition to the students whose lives he touched, includes the community tennis courts and the Performing Arts Center, both causes he championed. He was very involved in local government, both in the city and in West Traverse Township, and his knowledge will be sorely missed in those areas.<br /> <br /> When I remember George, I will always think of that wonderful, broad smile and how he always was genuinely happy to see you. I asked for input on this article and the words that came up repeatedly were ‘fair, compassionate, patient and larger than life.’ There will never be another George Menzi, and we should all be grateful that we had him as an influence in our lives.

Northwestern Bank

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