Lake St. Clair’s water trails led right up to the big story, as the Deadliest Catch guys came to town to be a part of the Michigan Boating Industries Association’s Boating and Outdoor Recreation Festival at Metropolitan Beach. Hundreds and hundreds of locals celebrated with Neil Hillstrand and Mike Fortner as they signed autographs, hats, shirts, scarves, and even arms. They swapped stories with just about everyone who came up to see them, with most folks exclaiming “I love that show!”
Additionally, Hillstrand and Fortner posed for more pictures with more people than possibly even super models. And, to keep them all smiling, Neil used his infamous Deadliest Catch “pose” quite often. They played golf with some lucky contest winners, where Neil used a “pool shot” to get a hole in one, and Mike cheered wholeheartedly when a contest winner “king-konged” a hole in one. They laughed and joked and sampled the local fare. From all accounts, their appearances, along with that of Spongebob Squarepants, helped to make the show the huge success that it was.
From there, the appearance of information that there was a plan for a shipment of 16 school bus sized,100 ton radioactive steel steam generators to be sent from the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada, through the Great Lakes, including Lake St. Clair, the St. Lawrence Seaway, across the Atlantic and onto Sweden caused quite a stir.
“The shipment exceeded the International Atomic Energy Agency’s own safety standards for radioactive waste shipments in inlands waters, such as the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway, by 50X,” per David Ullrich, Executive Director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative.
And with safety standards a top priority, Congresswoman Candice Miller, along with Macomb County Water Quality Board Chairman, Doug Martz, in conjunction the Federal Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, worked with the Enbridge Corporation, and reached an agreement on the replacement of the dented 6B pipeline running under the St. Clair River. Thankfully, the work is anticipated to be completed by the summer 2011.
The work completed by the George and Woodruff families, with the assistance of Clinton Township Supervisor Robert Cannon and many others, enabled an old golf course to be converted into a spectacular 26 acre local park. The George George Park and the Woodrow Woodruff Park, which is inside of the George George Park, allows visitors the opportunity to “get away” from the hustle and bustle at a location as convenient as their own back yard. Fountains, trails, a pavilion (used frequently for outdoor weddings), picnic tables, and playscape, are all available for enjoyment. With the Clinton River running alongside the Park, there is even access to Lake St. Clair.
Lake St. Clair was again the backdrop for the party at the VFW Cpl Walter F. Bruce Post #1146 as “Elvis” came to town. Greg Jaqua’s “Elvis” had the crowds singing, dancing and cheering as he covered many of the favorites, and presented many of the ladies with one of those famous scarves from around his neck.
“It’s Now or Never” was also the story about an unplanned trip to the Henry Ford Health System’s Warren Campus and their new ACE Unit (Acute Care for the Elderly). This segwayed into the intriguing mystery of breast cancer, with a local Michigan company, Better Made Snack Foods, on board with package advertising on breast cancer and donations toward a cure.
A “cure” in the way of a temporary hold on the shipment of 16 school bus sized, 100 ton steel steam generators from the Bruce Peninsula, through the Great Lakes, including Lake St. Clair, the St. Lawrence Seaway, across the Atlantic, and onto Sweden, to allow for a re-think, was indeed a temporary “cure” for a huge case of anxiety.
The easing of anxiety, is also one of the purposes and benefits of Veterans Appreciation Day – now extended in many cases to a full week. The Veterans were gratefully celebrated and appreciated locally by hundreds and hundreds of people, businesses, and organizations.
Gratefully appreciated at the Keep Michigan Beautiful Annual Celebration was George George Park in Clinton Township. Supervisor Robert Cannon accepted the President’s Award on behalf of everyone involved with the project. Bob Eldridge, Executive Director of Keep Michigan Beautiful remarked that, “…they had the vision and saw the need, and said ‘OK, let’s find a way to get this done.'”
Getting things done was how everyone spoke of Van Snider’s tremendous success as President of the Michigan Boating Industries Association. While beautiful and sparkling horizons beckon, Snider is credited with tripling the number of Boat Shows, increased availability to insurance coverages for marina owners and operators, the expansion of the clean Marina Program, the BAM Program (Boaters’ Association of Michigan), and much, much more.
Much more is going on in Clinton Township which includes the opening of the Tomlinson Arboretum at the “Golden Triangle”. This venture allows the connection of three miles of hike/bike paths throughout the Township and connects 25,000 people with “…the Civic Center, the library, the ball fields, the Historic Village, and the Gazebo,” per Supervisor Robert Cannon.
The hike/bike paths were a little less crowded as Old Man Winter roared onto Lake St. Clair and the surrounding areas really early this year, changing the season rather abruptly. In that vein, Winter sports now come into play and the fishermen and women, along with ski-doo-ers, cross country skiers, skaters, hockey players, and Winter enthusiasts are planning how soon to venture out on Lake St. Clair and into places like Metropolitan Beach in full force.
And even though the events at Pearl Harbor happened 69 years ago, when “Taps” were played as part of the Remembrance Ceremony at the VFW Cpl Walter F. Bruce Post #1146, the day’s events still impact people with full force. The Ritual Team, crisp in their uniforms and looking sharp, performed a 21 gun salute, as Jr. Vice Commander Tim Litz presided over the moving ceremony. Later one of the Ritual Team members, Edward Bird, recounted arriving at Pearl Harbor 7 months after the tragedy, and remarked how astounded he was by “the damage that was done.” Truly, a “day that will live in infamy.”
Also looking sharp, the cities and towns of Michigan, put on their best Winter “face” in order to entice visitors to come and experience their “shades” of Winter Wonderland fun. And while some local Lake St. Clair residents take time to enjoy the nearby fun, at times, they also venture to other popular cities and resorts to take in the various “shades” of Michigan fun available throughout our Winter Wonderland.
The wonder of Lake St. Clair’s winterland begins to take hold, as the ice solidifies across the inlets and bays on Lake St. Clair. As this happens, the ice fishing explodes into being overnight. The steady trek back and forth from shore to shanty is a delightful way to get exercise, especially if you are returning to shore with 50 perch in your bucket. An early Christmas present to be sure in the multi-million dollar ice fishing industry.
Should ice fishing not be your sport of choice, many other Lake St. Clair locals find Winter Recreation from less expensive activities things such as riding mechanical horses in stores, walks in neighborhood Parks, snow shoveling at Grandpa’s, serving hot and tasty food to customers, sledding with the kids, skating at the ice rink downtown, along with ice skating on the Lake now that it is frozen.
Keeping up a steady pace as people go in and out of stores, businesses and the homes of friends and relatives also makes for living positively during the Winter Recreation Season and sums up the adventures of 2010.
So, come on down as 2011 is looking to be a year of even more excitement and creative, enjoyable recreation along the shores of Lake St. Clair.