PTW Winter 2021-22

Page 1

MPA Award-Winning

Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022

Celebrating our 15th season! PENTWATER THIS WINTER

Buddy the Elf may welcome you

‘It’s Quaint, It’s Beautiful’ Pentwater in the winter – the perfect snowglobe Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022 - PTW - 1

OFFICE LOCATIONS HART • 231.873.3385 PENTWATER • 231.869.6021 SHELBY • 231.861.2285 WHITEHALL • 231.893.1156

Have a wonderful holiday season!

We are here for you year around

Our Trusted Team of Real Estate Agents, ready to guide you home

Dodie Stark (231) 750-8364

Randy Stark (231) 750-0242

Paul Anderson (231) 624-2720

Cindy Bronkema (231) 683-6617

Krista Erickson (231) 638-6934

Sarah Hardy (231) 730-1621

Monica Owens (231) 750-2393

Veronica Parker (231) 907-0070

Laurie Peters (231) 638-6935

Rick Quinn (517) 285-2209

Dave Rose (616) 292-4169

Mary Jo Schaner (231) 750-9706

Brenda Seguin (231) 638-3173

April Watkins (231) 742-2900

Offices in Hart at 907 S. State Street, 231-873-3400 and in Pentwater 215 S. Hancock Street, 231-869-5055

2 - PTW - Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022


Welcome to Pentwater Welcome to Pentwater this winter

Pentwater is a unique treasure. A place filled with sunsets, sand, and ice cream--sure, but lots of places along the lakeshore can claim these lovely distractions. For me, PentSanta makes his annual visit to Pentwater every year, water is about more. It is a wonderful example of community, creativity, and individuality. but there is another jolly ol’ elf that might be out and For the last 10 years, this lakeshore community has embraced my family in so many ways. The small Pentwater school, guided by mighty teachers and support staff, welabout as well. comed my sons, embraced and encouraged their individual talents and interests. In addiLast year around the holidays, “Buddy the Elf” could tion, we quickly realized that the school, our neighbors, community and its people were be seen all around Hancock Street and in several area a family of sorts, in which my husband and I were more than willing to get involved with in any way we could. We realized that the school and the community were more businesses. He is well known around the downtown of an entire unit rather than separate entities. As we became better acclimated, we also for the variety of characters that he plays. Several busirealized that our family was thriving and flourishing into something more than we could ness owners and area residents recognized him from have ever expected. Besides the educational support, we were surrounded by supportive acquaintances, new friends, personalized medical care and a community who wanted us this photo, at right, (courtesy of the Pentwater DDA), to thrive as parents and community members as well and began cementing our family as and said that while they don’t know his real name, part of this close-knit community. they can attest to the fact that he is quite a character. The Pentwater community has also embraced my artistic endeavors. From booths on the Green showcasing artwork, dog portraits and ArtPrize submissions, to teaching in During the annual homecoming parade in August, he many venues throughout the area and schools. I am grateful to every person who has dresses up as Johnny Spirit of Michigan State Univerencouraged me and supported my individual and creative endeavors. I am inspired by teaching all artists, young and old, and hope I can spark their imagination in some small sity fame, and can also be seen donning a tutu around way to give back what has been given to me. Art is an integral part of me and my inspiraValentine’s Day when he portrays Cupid. tion comes from within this community. So keep a weather eye out this Christmas and winter This year, I will be part of a creative and supportive group of artists downtown with the opening of the Painted Frog Art Studio and Gallery. Calling on my years of teaching, I hold season dear PTW readers, for you never know when classes for adults and children alike. The studio is a place for encouragement and artistic this merry masquerader may show up in town.LUDINGTON DAILY NEWS Christmas, Happy Newyou Year, Day,BEACON Happy St. | OCEANA’S HERALD-JOURNAL | WHITE LAKE growth whether are sixHappy or sixty. Valentine’s If you spot Buddy, Johnny Spirit or Cupid around Pentwater, Patrick’s Day After and the more see you again ouryour first issue stress- ofuntil spring,we discover a hidden talent.for Leave worries at the door and find the peaceStay of holding a crayon, marker you or findget inspiration please send your photos to We of the summer season! safea paintbrush, out there anda may to in the perfect hue to express yourself. hope to write more about this elusive elf in upcoming editions, spend more time with your loved ones this season - thank you for Pentwater welcomes you and so do I.


and we need your help to do that. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry • Contributed photo by Mary Schumaker

your dedicated readership!

• PTW Photo by Jim Johnson

MEDIA - The PTW Team








06. ‘It’s Quaint, 08.


Pentwater in the winter – THIS COMMUNITY the perfect snowglobe

Village manager Chris Brown is happy to wear 100 hats


published by



LudingtonDaily Daily News News Ludington 202NNRath RathAve. Ave. •• P.O. P.O. Box Box 340 202 original shoreline media logo Ludington, Ludington,MI MI 49431 49431 Ludington Daily News (231)N845-5181 845-5181 (231) 843-4011 fax (if you would rather just have the three (231) 202 Rath Ave.•• (231) paper names added to that?) P.O. Box 340 Oceana’s Herald-Journal Oceana’s Herald-Journal Ludington, MI 49431 123State StateStreet Street P.O. Box Box 190 123 •• P.O. (231) 845-5181 Hart,MI MI 49420 Hart, 49420 (231)873-5602 843-4011••fax 873-5602 (231) 873-4775 873-4775 fax fax (231) (231) Oceana’s Herald-Journal WhiteLake Lake Beacon White Beacon 123 State P.O.Box Box 98Street Whitehall, MI MI 49461 49461 P.O. 98 ••Whitehall, PO Box 190 •• (231) (231) 894-5356 (231) 894-2174 894-2174 fax fax (231) 894-5356 Hart, MI 49420 Publisher: Ray McGrew McGrew Publisher: Ray (231) 873-5602 VP/CRO: Banks Dishmon Dishmon VP/CRO: Banks (231) fax Jim Johnson, Kim Sales:873-4775 JanThomas, Thomas, Sales: Jan Monica Evans, White Lake Beacon Evans, Monica Evans, Shelley Kovar, Shelley Kovar, Stacie Wagner PO BoxBishop 98Judy Lytle, Julie Eilers, Stacie Graphics: Whitehall, MI 49461 Graphics: Judy Lytle, JulieMoline, Eilers, Shanon McDowell, Robin (231) 894-5356 Shanon McDowell, Robin Moline, Candy Bryant (231) Candy894-2174 Bryant fax PTW Editor/Designer: Amanda Dodge PTW Editor/Designer: Amanda Dodge Enjoy our very PTW winter issue! Publisher: Rayfirst McGrew Deadline for news is Tuesday at noon for the following week’s edition. VP/CRO: Banks Dishmon Published Nov. 18, 2021 and distribPublished weekly June 11 through uted free at Pentwater locations, and Sales: Evans, Evans, Aug. 27,Kim 2020, and Monica distributed free at more, through Marchor 19, 2022. Jim Johnson, Shelley Kovar, Pentwater locations, available for Jan Thomas, Bishop home deliveryStacie by subscription. ©©Copyright 2021 Shoreline Media Copyright 2020 Shoreline Media Nov. 18,June 2021-March 19, 2022 PTW - 33 18-25, 2020 - -PTW Graphics: Judy Lytle, Julie Eilers, Shanon McDowell, Robin Moline, Candy Bryant




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Pentwater Winter Events Calendar Saturday, Nov. 27

• Small Business Saturday • Christmas in the Village, 5 p.m. The Pentwater Fire Department will escort Santa Claus to the village green by fire truck, with visits and photos immediately following. • Pentwater - A Christmas Market, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the top of the village green. More information is on page 23.

Tuesday, Jan. 18

• Monthly Mobile Food Pantry by the Pentwater Jr. Women’s Club, Pentwater Fire Barn, 11 a.m. until all the food is distributed and gone. Volunteers and donations are always welcome.

Friday- Saturday, Feb. 11 & 12

• Winterfest - Pentwater Pathways, 1-3 p.m. To use OCCSA’s ski equipment please make reservations at Park on Railroad Road at the end of Jackson Road. *Weather dependent-If there is no snow, the event will be Saturday, Feb. 20. • Winterfest - Sledding, all day, village green

Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 12 & 13 • Winterfest - Pentwater Ice Skating Rink, 5-7 p.m. each day, free, North End Park • Free fishing weekend. (basketball court on the north end of Wythe Saturday, Feb. 19 Street). Refreshments and snacks for purSunday, Dec. 5 • Winterfest - 13th Annual Ryan Williams • Christmas by Candlelight music at Cen- chase available. Ice skates are not available Perch Tournament, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.,$10 per tenary United Methodist Church, 7-8 p.m. for rental this year so please bring your own. adult or $5 per kid (15 or younger). Registration is 7-10 a.m. at Pentwater Convenience Sunday, Dec. 12 Saturday, Feb. 12 • Christmas concert – “The Thrill of Hope” - • Winterfest - 2022 Snowman Scram 5K Center or Port View. The final weigh-in will 6 p.m., First Baptist Church, 101 S. Rush St., and 1 Mile Fun Run, fundraiser for the be at Port View no later then 4 p.m. For more information, call 869-5149.

Pentwater cross country and track teams, 11 a.m. Same day registration will be at the bus barn starting at 9:30 a.m. Start and finTuesday, Dec. 21 • Monthly Mobile Food Pantry by the Pent- ish by the bus barn/track at the school (or water Jr. Women’s Club, Pentwater Fire virtual), $15 for 1 mile Fun Run and $25 for Barn, 11 a.m. until food is gone. Volunteers 5K run/walk (virtual too). Register online at and donations are always welcome. SnowmanScram1MileFunRunand5KRace

*Due to Covid-19, the following Winterfest events will not take place this year: Polar Plunge, Two Town Tasting and Colleen Plummer Beer and Music Festival hosted by C.O.V.E.

Saturday, March 5

• St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt, 1 p.m., for participants 21 and up, throughout the village.

Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022 - PTW - 5

Dash in for

Great Gifts Home Decor • Gifts • Pantry Items • Kitchenware and more

We can host a private party (our location or destination of choice)

560 S. Hancock St., Pentwater, MI 49449 Email:

(231) 869-3156 6 - PTW - Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022

Make-ahead Mashed Potatoes

Sister-in-law Stuffing

by Barbara Gosselar

by Barbara Gosselar

PTW Writer

Yield: 8 servings 9 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 1-1/2 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened ½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened ½ cup sour cream ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon white pepper Pinch of nutmeg 2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water; heat to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender. Drain and place in a mixing bowl; beat with an electric mixer until potatoes are light and fluffy. Beat in cream cheese and softened butter, which have been cut into small pieces. Beat in the sour cream and seasonings. Scrape mixture into a heavily buttered casserole dish and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap. To cook, bring to room temperature. Dot top with 2 tablespoons cold butter. Bake at 300˚, uncovered, 20-30 minutes.

PTW Writer

6 cups herb seasoned stuffing 1 lb. sage sausage 1 c. diced onion ¾ c. chopped celery 2-1/2 tsp. dried sage 1-1/2 tsp. dried rosemary ½ tsp. dried thyme

1-2 medium granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped ¾ c. dried cranberries, rehydrated in boiling water for 15 minutes, and drained 1/3 c. chopped parsley 1-3 c. chicken stock ¼ c. melted butter

Sauté the sausage in a large heavy skillet over mediumhigh heat until cooked through, crumbling coarsely with the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage and drippings to a large bowl. Melt the butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, apples, celery, and sauté until onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Mix in the drained cranberries, sage, rosemary, thyme. Add the mixture to the sausage; then mix in the stuffing and parsley. Next add the chicken stock a little at a time until the stuffing is very moist. Be sure not to overdo it – it shouldn’t be mushy. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a casserole dish and place, uncovered, in the oven (350°) for 20-30 minutes, until the top is crispy and the center is piping hot. Remove and serve immediately.

Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022 - PTW - 7

‘It’s Quaint, It’s Beautiful’ Pentwater in the winter – the perfect snowglobe

“We have a very friendly atmosphere,” said Brown. “There are a lot of activities here, especially in November and December with Christmas caroling and hot chocolate and bonfires at the village green during by David L. Barber the weekends, and then we go into the Winterfest (at PTW Writer the start of the new year). Shake it up, people, if Pentwater is anything in the “We really want to grow, and springboard off the fact wintertime it’s a snowglobe community of beauty, that Pentwater is a four-season town. We get a lot of out-of-town guests, pretty much, all charm and friendly people. four seasons. We have a lot of While many towns – big and small nice little shops that remain – along the Lake Michigan shoreopen through the Christline deliver picture-postcard mas season, and settings in the spring, some through the summer, fall and winter, winter – a lot of few, if any, can match our shops stay all that Pentwater open during has to offer all year that time.” round. And that’s “We have saying something ice fishing in that the village on Pentwahas a population ter Lake, I of only 700, give see them or take a family out there all or two. the time,” “I love Penthe said. “In water, I’ve been the wintercoming here for time, when the years,” said Becky weather is nice, Dozhier, owner of people like to get Honeybee located 478 out. S. Hancock. “It’s just “Last year we put an a beautiful town. I absoice skating rink in our lutely love it – it’s quaint, it’s North End Park for the beautiful, it has a nice sense of Winterfest and it went community.” over quite well, so I Dozhier opened her busiwould imagine we’re ness, a specialty boutique going to try and do that “focuses on womenthe same thing this owned and women-led On the cover: A large creation by Terri Lindvall adorns one of the windows of the Pentwater businesses that promote Dari Creme in downtown Pentwater. The large works of art serve as window coverings as part year, though weather social good,” Memorial Day of the Pentwater Arts Council’s efforts to dress-up the businesses in town that close for the will be a key factor, or season. This page: The gazebo at the village green in Pentwater is covered in a beautiful blanweekend, and it’s already ket of falling snow and is adorned with Christmas decorations during a past winter. Opposite course.” The shoreline of Lake Michigan, at top, is covered in snow. One of the windows of Birch Ice skating, said built up a loyal base of cus- page: Michigan is lit up with holiday decor, and a “We Believe” sign. Brown, is an exercise tomers. Village Manager Chris Brown echoed Dozhier’s com- he’s long enjoyed. ments about the beauty and friendliness of Pentwater. “In my day, I could really ice skate – hockey was my


8 - PTW - Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022

• PTW cover photo by Amanda Dodge, photo on this page contributed by Mary Schumaker. Photos in background and at the top of the next page are by Claudia Ressel-Hodan. Photo on lower part of opposite page contributed by Niki Breazeale.

favorite sport,” he said, laughing. Though Dozhier said she had visited Pentwater countless times over the years – she’s from the Muskegon Norton Shores area – this will be her first winter doing business in the Lake Michigan community, and she’s excited about the possibilities that await. “Honeybee is a new store, so this is going to be our first winter here. I named it Honeybee because … I feel like it’s a very whimsical, welcoming name – very warm. “We have lots of unique items you really can’t find anywhere else. We try to lift up and empower other women – independent makers and artists and businesses that are women-owned and women-led. We have everything from handmade jewelry, to baby clothing, to women’s clothing, handmade pottery, paper goods. “We will close, briefly, off and on, in January and in February,” she said. “Otherwise, we are open through the end of the year and through the holiday season.” Dozhier said she believes her store fits in well with the colorful ribbon of antique, art, curiosity and specialty shops, restaurants and more that make up Pentwater. For more information go to @shophoneybeegifts While much of Pentwater remains open through the holiday season, some businesses do shutter for the lean months at the start of the new year. However, the snowglobe that is Pentwater really gets shaken up again the second and third weeks in February when the community’s annual Winterfest takes place. That festival includes a fishing tournament, Snowman Scram 5k run, cross-country skiing through the Pere Marquette State Forest, wine tasting, soup contest, ice skating, sledding, and more, though precautions due to COVID may play a role in some of the events. And for locals, and because the downtown area of Pentwater is just a snowball’s throw from the rolling, wooded areas that surround it on three sides – Lake Michigan borders it to the west – that means that those who enjoy taking walks through the crisp snow, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing can begin, and end, their daily exercise journeys from their own front door. If any location in Pentwater can be described as being both cozy and busy during the winter, it would be the Pentwater Township Library. “We’re open the same hours, all year round,” said library director Mary Barker. “We have two book clubs that meet here, monthly. One is called the Library Book Club, and the second one is the Best Choice Book Club. They read a book, and they discuss it.” Barker said residents, and visitors, regularly visit the Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022 - PTW - 9

library during the winter to sit and read a book, magazine or newspaper, and of course, just to get out of the cold for a spell. “We also have a lot going on with kids, all the time,” she said. “One of the things we’re doing right now is ‘Go Bags.’ “It is a bag full of activities, books, a DVD, on a certain subject, so each bag is themed, and these are early literacy bags made for kids that are preschool to about second grade. “There is so much stuff in each bag that all relate to that one theme,” said Barker. “They’re short checkouts – three days – so they’re perfect for grandma when she has her grandkids for a little bit of time, or for a babysitter. They’re created so a parent and a child – or a grandparent and a child – are working on it, together.” Barker said the library is also teaming up with Michigan Humanities to take part in the Great Michigan Read. “We (are promoting this one) book, it’s called ‘The Women of Copper Country,’ it’s a fantastic book,” she said. “We will have three discussions this winter (on that book), one in January, one in February, and one in March.” For hours of operation go to

An assortment of gift and decor ideas are displayed at Oldewick Post for this upcoming Christmas and winter season. • PTW photo by Amanda Dodge


PO 902, 388 S. Hancock St., Pentwater, MI 49449 231-869-3377

10 - PTW - Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022

GIVE. GROW. GRANT. IRS EXPANDED CHARITABLE TAX BENEFITS FOR 2021: For non-itemizers, couples filing jointly can claim a deduction of up to $600 ($300 for individuals) for cash, check or credit card gifts to nonprofits. For itemizers, the law now permits individuals to apply an increased limit, up to 100% of their AGI. Corporate limit increased from 10% to 25% of taxable income.

HELP US MEET OUR CHALLENGE MATCHES: We are excited to announce that two anonymous donors have provided a challenge match until December 31, 2021. We invite you to make a donation to support our Investment or Administrative Funds to help us meet our $50,000 challenge matches. Your gifts will support greatest needs and provide leadership in Oceana County . GIVING MADE EASY ONLINE – WWW.OCEANAFOUNDATION.ORG/GIVE/GIVE-NOW

Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022 - PTW - 11

Visit us for: • Gifts • Decor • Michigan-made products • Specialty foods • Gift certificates • And more! This Christmas season and beyond

12 - PTW - Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022

3890 W. Monroe Rd. • Hart, MI • 231.301.8601 • Open Daily • Check FB for hours of business

Preserving Pentwater Where all of the ice came from by Caleb Jackson PTW Writer

These days, when the weather cools and the days grow shorter, people tend to flee Pentwater. Estimates place the population of Pentwater at around 800 in the winter and an impressive 5,000 during the summer months, but things didn’t always used to be like this. There was a time when many of the residents stayed for the colder season and the cold itself brought in new lines of work to keep those residents busy and lucrative. Back then, when Pentwater Lake froze over, it was more than just a frozen lake. It was a business opportunity. You’ve probably seen an ice box and recognized it for what it is: an old refrigerator, something that predates our modern freon-and-electricity-based machines. And obviously an ice box is chilled via ice, which is placed in the top of the cabinet. But you probably haven’t considered all of the implications of such a thing, nor how all of the industry around it operated. You probably haven’t asked yourself, “Well, if we didn’t yet have the technology to create ice, where did all of the ice come from?” I’ll tell you. In the old days, ice was harvested from the frozen surface of Pentwater Lake. Amy Vander Zwart wrote a very informative article about the ice business of old for the Pentwater Historical Society’s newsletter in spring of last year. In it, she explains how farmers would use “primitive ice tools” to clear the snow, measure the thickness of the ice, and then cut blocks out of it. The blocks were called “ice cakes” and these cakes would all be “loaded onto horse drawn flatbed type wagons and sleds and moved off the ice field.” Harvesting ice was a popular line of work for farmers who needed to earn money to support their families through the off season. After harvesting, the next step was storing the ice. This was done in “ice houses.” To explain these icehouses, I turn to the words of Pentwater’s last commercial fishermen, Bud Stenberg, who passed away in 2013. Bud and his brother Fritz owned an icehouse, from which they would pack their fish for shipping. As Bud describes it, “The icehouse was a structure 24 feet wide, 30 feet long, 12 feet high. The walls were 10 feet thick, filled with sawdust for insulation. Floor was packed sawdust—frozen to make the floor level, because if the first row of ice was crooked, the whole contents would be crooked.” According to Vander Zwart’s article, sawdust was an easily obtained form of insulation due to the logging industry in the area. Bud’s description of the task of filling the icehouse is involved and comical. He describes a “cake of ice” as being 24 inches by 30 inches and “whatever thickness the lake happened to freeze at that year,” and said, “any spaces between the cakes were chinked with crushed ice so there would be no air between the cakes.” He then goes on to say that the first couple of tiers were easy, but after that, “each cake had to be lifted by hand with ice tongs,”

a task which he claims will “make a man out of you in a hurry.” After the icehouse was filled, the door was closed, and another 10 inches of sawdust were added to the doorway and 10 to 12 inches placed over the top layer of ice. According to Bud Stenberg, “the only thing that made icehouse filling enjoyable was • Contributed photo the bottles of good cheer by the Pentwater that made the rounds.” Historical society In the historical society’s Frank and Maynard Iteen use pevys to newsletter, Vander Zwart guide the ice blocks from Pentwater Lake mentions that there were to a conveyor and on to a sled or wagon. once three ice houses in Pentwater, one of which is still standing today somewhere in the village, albeit on private property. Bud’s, unfortunately, is one of the ones to have gone. If you are interested in reading more about Bud Stenberg’s fascinating life as a commercial fisherman in Pentwater, I recommend a visit to the historical society. They have several documents about him in their archives, including the eight-page document typed by Bud himself back in 2002, from which I drew my quotes for this article. Don’t worry though, everything I mentioned is discussed on page two of Bud’s document. There are still plenty of crazy fishing stories on the remaining six pages.

from the Pentwater Historical Society We had a great 2021 year and appreciate all your support. Thank You! We look forward to your participation and continued support in 2022 and beyond. THE

Pentwater Historical Society Museum

85 S. Rutledge • Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022 - PTW - 13

Pentwater Pastimes


Pentwater Pathways offers year-round enjoyment by Andy Roberts PTW Writer

• One of a kind Handmade Pottery • Books & Personal Growth Journals • Greeting Cards • Photography Prints • In Person Creative and Spiritual Workshops • Vitali-Chi Energy Treatments

161 S. Hancock St., Pentwater, MI 49449


Join us at

Lighthouse Lutheran Church as we celebrate the Christmas Season!

e e

SERVICES ARE AT 11AM EVERY SUNDAY ADVENT SERVICES: 7PM Wednesdays December 1st, 8th, and 15th - A meal is provided in

our Beautiful Pavilion at 6PM prior to the Advent service.

e e

CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE: 7PM Saturday, December 24th CHRISTMAS SERVICE: 11AM Sunday, December 26 with special music and performances

14 - PTW - Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022

In need of a winter outdoors activity this year? You don’t have to leave the Village of Pentwater at all. Just head a little bit south, to Railroad Avenue, and you’ll find the Pentwater Pathways. The pathways are available year-round for outdoor enjoyment, but in the winter they become host to cross-country skiing. The Oceana Cross Country Ski Association, a volunteer group led by Ellen Lightle, works throughout the year to keep the trails available to adventurers, and particularly so in the winter. The area is a designated hunting area in the state, and the association is permitted by the state to keep the trails usable. “We’ve been doing a dozen sessions before firearm deer season starts, doing trail maintenance for the trails,” Lightle said. “That’s a big undertaking...Trees want to hang over the trail, making it difficult to ski. With windstorms in the summer, trees come down over the curse of the summer and fall. We have a really great core group of volunteers.” One volunteer, Marijo Bakker, is, Lightle said, probably the busiest of them all. Lightle said Bakker is out on the trails 30 hours per week helping keep trees in check and doing other maintenance to keep them passable. Local men Mike Sorensen and Dennis Gale are key in the winter, using their snowmobiles to make the pathways usable to skiers. “We have other volunteers who live adjacent to the Pentwater Pathways,” Lightle said. “The ones who live adjacent to the pathways walk it every day, picking up brush and letting us know if a tree is down. We couldn’t do it without everyone pulling together.” The Pathways are actually only one of the two trails the association works with - there’s another just outside Crystal Valley which is part of the Manistee National Forest. Visitors can bring their own ski equipment and partake of the trails whenever there’s enough snow, of course, but the association is especially proud of its occasional public events and advocacy on the part of the sport of cross-country skiing. Last year, those events were on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re back on this year, including one Feb. 12 that will be in conjunction with Pentwater Winterfest. Lightle said that the event will be from 12-3 p.m. (A similar event will take place Jan. 22 at the same time at the Crystal Valley trails.) At those events, volunteers are on hand with complimentary ski equipment that is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. True novices can get some pointers from experienced skiers, too. The trails are around five and a half miles long, but the association recently built out a shorter one-mile loop that young children or newcomers can try out.

“We have quite a few children’s skis and poles that we got through a grant from the Oceana Community Foundation,” Lightle said. “Anymore, some of these kids are bigger than I am, and they need equipment too. We have a good supply of equipment that we’ve retrofitted with new bindings and purchased new shoes over the past few years.” The association also works with the four school districts located in Oceana County - Hart, Pentwater, Shelby and Walkerville to introduce third and fourth-grade students to the sport. Lightle said about 300 students per year participate in that program. It’s all part of advocating for a sport Lightle believes is a good lifetime sport. “You can do it at any age, pace yourself and do it with relatively low cost for equipment, and do it your whole life, if you have snow, which is getting to be my big gripe,” Lightle said with a laugh. “We’re all pretty avid enthusiasts about winter, and if you’re going to live in this area you might as well embrace it.” The association is always seeking new members, Lightle said, and it’s cheap to join: $15 per year per person, or $35 per year for a family membership. “We’re always looking for extra interest from younger folks, mentoring them to take on some of these responsibilities as we feel a bit of the pressure of advancing years,” Lightle said. “We welcome any interest.” Of course, you don’t need to join the OCCSA to enjoy the sport. If you have the equipment available and find yourself without a pastime amid a snowy winter day in the next few months, maybe the Pentwater Pathways is the place for you.

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Planted in Pentwater The gift of nature by Paula DeGregorio PTW Contributor

Now that our gardens have been put to ‘bed’ for our long Michigan winter, I’m already thinking about spring and my fall planted bulbs that will hopefully bloom beautifully along with those from the year before. In gardening, anticipation is often as exciting as the real thing. We long for a perfect growing season with a long slow spring to keep shrubs and ephemerals blooming for weeks, enough soft rain, strong sun and warming nights that will gradually turn into summer. We hope for perfection. This year has changed our perceptions of what nature can be and do. We in Michigan have been more fortunate than other areas near and far but I don’t want to dwell on what many of us realize is going on with the world’s climate. This is the time of year to be grateful for what we have and to share our bounty. Many of us have more than we could ask for and are satisfied with life but many people, places and things are not as fortunate in today’s world. Our way of giving back is to donate to organizations that help our locality and world to try to maintain a balance. For instance,

I am a member of the Michigan Nature Association that is developing an oak savannah and pine barren to save the Karner Blue butterfly. Once prominent from the east coast to the midwest, it now struggles to survive in a few pockets of its former range. Requiring wild fires to keep out the tree canopy for its only food source, wild blue lupine (Lupinus perennis), the caterpillar larvae feed off the plants and adult butterflies off the flowering nectar. We often don’t realize that losing one insect or plant can affect the balance of our surroundings. As I spent hours in my garden this year, I noticed that there were so few bees, beetles, moths and butterflies until very late in the summer. Try as I might to always have blooming plants to attract pollinators, I saw only one swallowtail early in the season. I’m going to take some advice from swallowtail-host-plants/ to help them reproduce and survive in my landscape. These are just a few reasons I also donate to the Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club and Greenpeace so that if an insect isn’t in my yard, it may be thriving on land purchased as a safe haven for flora and fauna not native to West Michigan. As I watch the leaves turn, listen to Lake Michigan booming during the night and anticipate the snow falling, I am grateful that there are people and organizations willing to work hard to give all of us a better, more beautiful world. I hope many of you also appreciate our planet and strive to protect it in your own way.

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Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022 - PTW - 17

Pentwater Politics Key issues for village spark debate by Barbara Gosselar PTW Writer

In the last few months, differences of opinion on some key issues affecting life in the village have come to light, resulting in healthy debate in the public forum. Specifically, the question of whether medical and recreational marijuana retail establishments should be permitted in Pentwater’s downtown district has created outspoken advocates on both sides of the issue, filling Park Place during village council meetings in September and October. In July, the village council passed an ordinance to permit such establishments, and some residents expressed their opposition, citing their concern for preserving the character of Pentwater and protecting its young people. Others favor permitting marijuana establishments and have formed a new local organization called “Potwater, LLC,” which argues that they will benefit the community, both financially and for business viability 12 months a year. With T-shirts reading, “Don’t Panic, It’s Organic,” they are encouraging the council to continue the process toward amending the zoning ordinance to designate appropriate locations for such businesses.

Several residents requested that the village council consider allowing voters to decide the issue at an election, and others asked the council to just rescind the ordinance. At the conclusion of the October council meeting, a motion to rescind the ordinance was defeated by a 3-4 vote. As a result, the process will continue as the planning commission considers the question of where marijuana establishments should be located in the village and under what zoning requirements, including a possible special use requirement. At the November council meeting, resident Dan Hoekstra notified the council that its failure to rescind the marijuana establishment ordinance has prompted a group of residents to retain legal counsel for the purpose of initiating a referendum question to be considered at the May 2022 election. Whether this will delay any further action by the planning commission and village council has yet to be determined. Another issue being discussed is whether the village council and Pentwater Township Board can reach an agreement concerning usage and sharing of costs for the operation of Park Place. Village property owners already pay taxes to support the village’s ownership and maintenance of the facility through a millage that produces $38,000 annually. Operational costs total an additional $30,000 a year, including the cost of administrative responsibilities required of village staff, which must be charged to the Park Place enterprise fund. The village has

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twice asked the township to contribute a proportionate share of the operational costs, and the township has so far declined to add to the contributions it has already made. At its November meeting, the Pentwater Village Council decided not to alter the current policy for Park Place usage by residents of Pentwater Township until the budget cycle ends on March 31, 2022, at which time revenues and expenses will be reevaluated for the next budget cycle. The issue is whether the township will voluntarily contribute to operational expenses so that township residents, who are not taxed for the facility, are allowed to use it in the same manner as village residents, or whether township residents will be required to purchase an annual user card for a fee and also pay non-resident fees for private event usage. Usage rates for non-residents were recently increased, so the question now is the extent to which revenues will balance expenses and whether the parties will share any excess expenses proportionately. At the council’s November meeting, several residents requested that the village and the township continue to negotiate concerning the sharing of operational costs for Park Place, and the village stated its commitment to consider any proposal from the township. In the last few months, residents have also disagreed about whether a $23.9 million bond issue should be approved for necessary upgrades to the facilities of the

Pentwater schools. The proposal was intended to provide for necessary repairs and improvements to the school’s facilities, and also to construct a new gymnasium and auditorium to host athletic events and other school and community events and performances. Residents supporting both sides of the issue wrote letters to the editor and spoke at various public meetings. On Nov. 2, the voters rejected the bond issue by a vote of slightly more than 2-1. Superintendent Scott Karaptian has stated that the district’s job now is to determine what the community will support and try again. In other matters, the village council is considering the possibility of using Zoom or some other means to broadcast council meetings. The township is already doing so. Village residents and visitors will be happy to know that all bond-funded road construction projects are completed. Further, the Pentwater Police Department is beginning the 12-24-month process to become a state accredited police agency. This involves meeting over 100 standards and significant paperwork, but accreditation will help shield the department from liability and may reduce insurance costs. Finally, the village is requesting assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for maintenance of the channel, which is filling in with sand. Residents are requested to write to their U.S. representatives and senators in support of using federal funds to ameliorate this issue. Addresses are available on the village website.

Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022 - PTW - 19

Village, DDA and PAC announce Sculpture Walk 2022 Pentwater is becoming recognized as an ‘art lovers’ destination A new venture between the Village of Pentwater Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and the Pentwater Arts Council (PAC) has been created to form the group Pentwater Public Art. Its first initiative will help further define Pentwater as an “art lovers” destination. Pentwater Public Art has announced Sculpture Walk 2022. With the planning and implementation process well under way, Sculpture Walk 2022 will result in the installation of five outdoor sculptures in the main business district of the Village of Pentwater. Following a “Call for Entry” through café.org this winter, the sculptures will be selected by a jury of professional artists and art educators. Once the artists are chosen, the sculptures will be installed in prominent locations in downtown Pentwater. The sculptures will be displayed from June 2022, and will remain through Oct. 15, 2022. “Juror’s Choice” and “People’s Choice” awards will be presented. All sculptures will be available for purchase. The event will repeat in 2023 and 2024. It is the hope of the organizing committee that donations will allow at least one sculpture to perma-

nently enhance downtown Pentwater. All submissions must be appropriate for the people of all ages and reflect the Pentwater community and surroundings. An artist’s reception is being planned for October. “Public art will expand the experience of Pentwater as an art center. It will add value to the cultural, aesthetic and economic vitality of our community, as well as contribute to our community’s identity, foster community pride and a sense of belonging, and will enhance the quality of life for our residents and visitors. Art in public spaces will give our village a unique identity and show our sense of pride, making it more of an attraction for investments and economic endeavors. Making art part of our lives can help us to better appreciate ourselves as a community and enrich us culturally,” said Mary Schumaker from the Village of Pentwater DDA. “We are actively looking for sponsors who would like to support this initiative”. If you’re interested in being a sponsor for the Sculpture Walk 2022 or would like more information, please contact Schumaker

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Pentwater - A Christmas Market returns for second year After a huge successful kick-off last year, Pentwater is preparing for its second year of Pentwater- A Christmas Market. Join organizers Saturday Nov. 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the top of the village green in Pentwater. Grab the family and start a new family Christmas tradition. Pick out a fresh cut Christmas tree, wreath, garland and porch pots to adorn your home with fresh local holiday décor. This event is brought to you by the Village of Pentwater Downtown Development Authority. This market is sure to become a new yearly tradition. In addition, you can visit the over 20 boutique shops that will be open for holiday shopping. Mary Schumaker, chairperson of the Pentwater Downtown Development Authority said, “The market was so successful last year, the vendors sold out after the first hour! We will be overstocked this year to accommodate everyone’s needs! We are excited to kick-off Christmas in the Village with our second annual Pentwater-Christmas Market a ‘must do’ for all our locals as well as visitors. You will find a nice selection of fresh trees, wreaths, holiday décor, swags, garland, porch pots, festive table arrangements and bows from four local businesses.”

• Contributed photos

by Mary Schumaker

You are invited to join in reading and discussing “The Women of Copper Country,” Mary Doria Russell’s riveting account of 25-year-old Annie Clements as she stood up for the miners and their families during the 1913 Copper Strikes. The book is Michigan Humanities’ choice for the 2021-2022 Great Michigan Read. Pentwater Township Library will receive free books, reader’s guides, teacher’s guides, bookmarks, and other supplemental material. Stop by the library to get your copy and register for ONE of the Book Discussions that will take place Thursday, January 6, 2022 @ 11:00 AM, Tuesday, February 22, 2022 @ 1:00 PM, and Wednesday, March 30, 2022 @ 6:00 PM at Pentwater Township Library. The 2021-2022 Great Michigan Read is presented by Michigan Humanities and supported by national, statewide and local partners, including the National Endowment for Humanities, The Meijer Foundation, and Martin Waymire.

Like us on Facebook @ Pentwater Township Library


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Thursday 9:30 A.M. - 5:30 P.M. Friday 9:30 A.M. - 5:30 P.M. Saturday 9:30 A.M. - 2:00 P.M.

402 E. Park Street, Pentwater, MI 49449 231-869-8581 • Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022 - PTW - 23

An open letter to children: fantasy and faith abide by David L. Barber PTW Writer

Some say my wife and I live in a fantasy world. We do not, a fantasy world lives within us – especially at Christmastime – and it can live within you, too. To the children of Pentwater and all others hither to yon: Santa Claus lives. Oh, he lives, alright. First, let me ask: how many of you remember when it was your turn to “play Santa Claus” on Christmas morning and be the official hander-outer of the gifts? Remember doing that, and the joy it brought you and your family? That, alone, is proof-positive that Santa lives, because you live; because you, yourself, were Santa Claus, and you can be, again. Oh, he lives alright. So take that, Mr. Grinch. I believe in Santa Claus so much that – with his permission, and of course, a wink of his eye and a nod of his head – I’ve sometimes donned his red furry suit and cap, and black belt and boots, and helped take “what I want for Christmas” requests from children just like yourself, and I then passed those wishes along to Santa, himself. Just so you know, kids, this happens a lot; we Santa Clauses in spirit lend a helping spirit, and a helping hand, to the one and only Mayor of the North Pole, whenever and wherever we can. All the time, you children know the most fantastic things seen, are seen with eyes closed – castles in the clouds, rainbow-colored unicorns dancing in your backyard, your favorite superhero guarding you day and night, and a Jolly Ole’ Elf and his favored reindeer delivering your Christmas joys and toys every Dec. 25, or there about. Oh, he lives alright. My wife, Jeanne, and I know this to be very true because day in and day out, our spirits dance with Christmas fantasy. Our voices sing with Christmas joy. We live Christmas past, present and future, and over the years we’ve collected a colorful village of Christmas castles, gingerbread houses, statuesque angels, movies, books, ties, vests, stuffed animals, movies, knick knacks, and Nativities like the one the Blessed One was born in Bethlehem over 20 centuries ago. Faith, fellowship, friends and family, that’s Christmas. So is fantasy. And where faith defines our inner spirit, fantasy defines our inner child. Over the years my wife and I have also maintained a mountain of merry music, and therein lies a tinseled story all its own: Christmas music on 33, 45 and 78 rpm vinyl records, 8-track and cassette tapes, compact discs and more; rock ‘n roll, country, punk, funk, soul, Gospel, big band, high school band, church choirs, children’s choirs, TV and movie themed, and even the little known Star Wars Christmas album, which is one of my favorites. 24 - PTW - Nov. 18, 2021-March 19, 2022

The latter features a children’s choir, the character voices of R2D2 and C3PO, and, spoiler alert, an elfin 17-year-old janitor who was working in his uncle’s Florida recording studio where the album was cut in 1980, and who was enlisted at the 11th hour to sing back-up. For John Francis Bongiovi, Jr., who was still in high school, that would become his first professional recording. History would later embrace him as Jon Bon Jovi. We’ve collected over 2,000 different Christmas songs and if we play one different Christmas song a day it would take us 5 ½ years to get through our collection. In fact, as I write this, I am listening to cowboy Gene Autry sing, “Here Comes Santa Claus.” Jeanne and I have had our Christmas picture printed on a box of Corn Flakes, hitched a ride aboard the legendary Clydesdale Christmas wagon at the Manistee Victorian Sleighbell and Old-Christmas weekend, and, as mentioned, have wrapped ourselves in the garnished garments of Santa and Mrs. Claus. From Holland to Manistee, from Pentwater to Bear Lake and Reed City, in helping Santa during his real busy time, we’ve sat with you cute and curious children and listened to your whispered wishes. We’ve sat with children whose dads were in jail, but were given a few hours to meet with each


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other at Christmastime. And we’ve sat with the elderly in the senior centers and nursing homes, and listened to their sentimental stories of Christmas and family. We’ve danced with ‘em, too, all of them – the boogie woogie and cha cha, the chicken dance and line dance, the conga and jitterbug. Okay, maybe we do live in a fantasy world, but we’re younger, for it. Of all our collections, though, it’s our cache of memories of standing in for Santa and Mrs. Claus when they were preoccupied with their toy production, that we cherish most. Fantasy world? Perhaps. But may such enduring fantasies live within each of you, now and forever. So yes, he lives alright, and so does HE, for you see there’s the story of a manger, of wise men bearing gifts, shepherds guarding their flocks by night, a bright heavenly star and the birth of a Savior King. My goodness, I could write a book about that, but … … that wonderful book has already been written for you to embrace. And if you are a believer, everything good and true is proof positive that both fantasy and faith abide. From my wife and I to you and your family,

Merry Christmas! Editor’s note: David L. Barber is a retired journalist. He and his wife, Jeanne, and their cats, Kat and Kaboodle, live in Manistee. They have 5 children, 13 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. He can be reached at

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