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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Get Ready for Halloween Fun!

Don't miss the fun on Halloween!  The Kiwanis Halloween Parade begins at 5:30 pm at Westminster Park, and the Kiwanis Halloween Party at the Fire Hall runs from 5:30 to 7:00 pm, Sunday, October 31, 2010!  A big thank you to the great people of the Kiwanis Club for  sponsoring this fun event again this year.   Also, thank you to the Fire Department for making the Fire Hall available for the party.

Enjoy a safe and spooky Halloween this year.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Before and After--The "White" Garage Story

I am pleased to report the great work of the DPW crew on the “white” garage rennovation project. This building’s foundation was in good shape, but its appearance was terrible—anything but “white” (see the pictures below).

As the pictures show, the transformation is complete. It looks great, and it will serve the City for decades to come with minimal maintenance. Bye-the-way, this building stores both DPW and Water Department supplies and equipment and is used almost every day.

The total cost for this project, including labor and materials, was $7,227. This cost is far less than a proposed pole-barn style replacement garage ($24,000).  While it was a challenge, DPW completed this project under budget.



Sunday, September 26, 2010

Michigan Municipal League (MML) Annual Convention

This is a preliminary report about the MML convention, September 21-24, 2010 in Dearborn, Michigan.  Deb Greene, Beach Hall, Gary Nowak, and I attend the session which lasted from Tuesday evening to Friday morning. It was one of the best conventions I have ever attended, offering a wide variety of information about many important subjects.

I want to report a few positive items which came directly from this event:

  • Rogers City may participate in a two MML sponsored projects: an economic development opportunity and an expansion of social media as a means to reach out to the community. 
  • Carol Shafto, Mayor of Alpena, is now MML President.  Conratulations Mayor Shafto!
  • Grand Haven won the “Race for the Cup” with a very low cost project to improve City Goals. I intend to present City Council with an opportunity to adopt the Grand Haven approach as a means to focus Rogers City's efforts in the most productive direction possible.
There is much more to report, but I’ll leave it for a “regular” work day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Safe Routes To School (SR2S)

Rogers City's September 15, 2010 Walk-to-School Day was well-attended with about 90 participants. 

Caden Fenstermaker is the winner of the "Walk-to-School" $50 Savings Bond prize.  Caden is the son of Jesse and Jennifer Fenstermaker.  Good work Caden!

This is perfect walking/biking weather!  Remember, all people who walk or bike to school are winners!

Michigan Municipal League (MML) Annual Convention

Dear Gentle Readers,

I will be attending the MML annual convention, September 21-24, 2010.  The annual MML convention is a great way for municipal managers and elected officials to learn more about effective government and trends/changes coming our way.  For more information about the League, please go to the website: http://www.mml.org/

While I am at the convention, I will not be making blog entries; however, I will report back to you after I reurn about the things I learned at the MML convention.  The theme for this year's convention is "Not Your Typical Convention."  So I expect the unexpected.  One think I have learned is that local government is a very dynamic situation!  MML's goal remains constant: "Better Communities.  Better Michigan."

Fall Fest a Big Success!

Rogers City is a busy place for a "sleepy little town!"  Our Fall Fest at Westminster Park was packed with artists and crafters, vendors and people.  For example, the Presque Isle County Museum booth (which I worked) sold over $700 worth of books and DVDs.  Thanks to Mark Thompson and Jim Hopp for donating the proceeds from the sale of their books to the Historical Museum.  You gentlemen bring history to life for Rogers City!   The Emmy Award winning "November Requiem"

Thanks also to Deb Stiller and the many talented artists and crafters who draw people from out of state to see their fine work! 

A new addition to the Fall Fest was a great showing of farm produce and natural foods.  Thanks to Brad Mertz, Kerry Viegelahn, the Snows, and others.

Finally,  thanks to Lisa from the Chamber of Commerce for coordinating this great event--you rock!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Safe Routes To School (SR2S)

Below is an updated version of the Rogers City's SR2S "Action Plan."  This is a "living" document and your comments and suggestion are welcome.

1. Bicycle safety: Preparation, classroom instruction, review results--Matt Bission

2. Implement "Make Trax" Curriculum: Distribute to Teachers, use, assess--K. Makowski
3. Incorporate SR2S in Physical Education Curriculum at Middle School and Focus on

Fitness Activities: Plan, Use, Assess--Student Council and School Nurse


1.Community Leaders Set Example and Bike or walk to work and/or to school with school children/walking School bus--Each leader
2.Walking School Bus: Set up Routes, Designate "Bus" Drivers, Conduct walk--Chief Quaine, Art Ross, Jim Hopp

3. International Walk to School Day Celebration Event: Plan Event, Conduct Event, Award Savings Bond 1-- entire SR2S Committee


1. Patrol Routes—during walk to/from school times am and pm Assign & Supervise Officers on Patrol Chief Quaine Continuous

2.  Spot check bicycles for safety reflectors conduct random spot checks of bikes at school and other locations--All Officers 

3. Special Patrols—for special school events such as sports, assemblies, concerts, etc. Conduct Before and After School Patrol--Chief Quaine


1.Yearly Sidewalk Repair Program: Conduct annual inventory sidewalks and publish request for repairs, obtain funding from City Council, contract for repairs--Toby Kuznicki

2. Build Sidewalk for segments on Erie and Wenonah Street (top priority from audit and analysis): Design sidewalk, seek funding, implement as funding becomes--C2AE and Mark Slown

3. Continue Route Planning and Assessment 1: Annual Review & Update, request and obtain engineering design, implement as funds available--SR2S Committee

End of Plan

For more information about SR2S go to http://www.saferoutesmichigan.org/

If you are interested in helping with the Rogers City SR2S program, please contact me.  Thank you.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Special Screening of Emmy Award Winning Film, “November Requiem”

The Rogers City Community Development Authority (CDA) is hosting a celebration of the double Emmy® Awards presented to the documentary film, “November Requiem” earlier this year. The community is invited to a special showing of the film at the Rogers City Theater on Saturday, October 9th at 7:30 pm. Following the film, audience members are invited to a “Taste of Rogers City” reception at the Rogers City Senior and Community Center which is included in the ticket price of $5.00 per person.
“November Requiem” tells the story of the ill-fated Carl D. Bradley, a limestone freighter lost on November 18, 1958 to a fierce Lake Michigan storm. Of the 33 men who perished aboard her, 23 came from a single northern Michigan community, Rogers City. The film tells the story of the maritime tragedy from the viewpoint of the town’s families and the entire community struck down by tragedy on that night.

The double-Emmy® win represents one of the highest honors handed out for broadcast television; one Emmy® is for Best Historical Documentary and the other for Best Original Score. The film had previously won TV honors, including a 2009 Cine Golden Eagle (for Best Documentary), and a 2009 Telly® Award (Best Editing), among others. It recently won the Best Documentary award at the Grand Rapids Film Festival.

The story behind the film and the film's awards have now become part of our community's very special history.  Please come out to celebrate these film honors and our communities great strength in the face of great tragedy.

For more information, please contact the City of Rogers City at 989-734-2191.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Living History Encampment

Here is a Press Release about a great event coming to our area.

From: Jean Gross, Chairwoman; W-989-734-5274; H-989-734-0463; Cell 989-351-0418

P.H. Hoeft State Park Hosts Living History Encampment

Park Address: 5001 US 23 North, Rogers City, MI 49779

Date of Event: Friday and Saturday, September 17 and 18, 2010
The Day use area of P. H. Hoeft State Park, North of Rogers City, will become a hum of activity that will take you back in time. Friday September 17 and Saturday September 18, Historical Reenactors will time travel you back to the 1700’s through the 1860’s. Dressed in period clothing and using primitive skills such as tomahawk throwing, fire starting, spinning, and cooking over an open fire they will bring North East Michigan legendary history vividly to life. Friday September 17, 9 AM till 3 PM is set aside for school groups, 3 PM till 5 PM open to the public; Saturday September 18, 9 AM till 5 PM open to the public. School groups, to reserve your time, please call P. H. Hoeft State Park at 989-734-2543. All events are outside so please dress for the weather, if you want to participate in the Tomahawk Throw and Bagataway Game, please wears enclosed shoes/sneakers. A “Traders Row” will be available to shop for historically accurate items, many hand crafted by the traders. The Living History Encampment is free; however all motor vehicles entering the park must display a Motor Vehicle Permit.

The Historical Reenactors coming to P. H. Hoeft State Park are from all parts of Northern Michigan. We are a not specific club or organization, although many of us do belong to a period specific club (French *& Indian, Mountain Man, Civil War etc.) but we all share a love of making history come alive and exposing the public to the “new world”; by conducting demonstrations and interactive activities. The reenactors pride themselves on the accuracy and authenticity of interpreting and sharing this knowledge and using items that are accurate to the 1700 and 1800’s. The students and visitors will get a real feel for what it took to do things that modern conveniences have made so easy; microwaving a meal, grocery shopping or sewing and knitting clothing. Historical reenactors really immerse themselves in their hobby, if you can call it a hobby. For some it becomes a lifestyle.

Always a crowd pleaser is “Hawk Man”; visitors will have a chance to personally relive a Mountain Man Rendezvous by throwing the tomahawk. If you cut the playing card you get to keep it and show off.  Be sure to read the rules before you get in line.  Kids must be old enough to handle sharp knives and have an adult present.  Did you break a handle at the tomahawk throw?

The Old French Voyageur Monsieur Michael can make a new handle in no time at all. While he is at his shaving horse ask him about his adventures as a voyageur paddling and portaging on these Great Lakes and why does he wear a long sash and leg ties?

A basic survival technique was Fire Starting with Flint and Steel.  At the Buck skinner’s camp, ask for a small hank of rope; make a bird nest, and then time how long it takes to catch the bird nest on fire.  Be sure to ask about char cloth.

Follow the enticing smell of bread, pies, gingerbread and cornbread baking in the Adobe Bake Oven. Madame Baker stomped the clay, straw, sand with a bit of water, then Monsieur Baker took this adobe mixture to mold and shape the oven.  The walls are 8 inches thick and it takes 3 hours and many bundles of wood for the oven to reach 600’F. But then we can bake for several hours.

Visit the ladies who are busy carding and spinning wool, sewing, knitting, and beading.  We will have children’s toys on hand, including, the old button on a string whizzers, checkers, and farkle.

Test your physical stamina by playing the American Indian warrior training game of Bagataway (Lacrosse).  Monsieur Coach Don will go over the one rule of playing the game.

Find your birthday using an American Indian calendar, thirteen moons on a turtle’s back. There are thirteen large segments which represent the thirteen moons which make up the lunar year. By counting the smaller segments around the lower edge of the shell, you will find there are 28 segments, when represents the 28 days between new moons.
Visit with our fine gentlemen and gentlewomen with the South Carolina 1st Volunteer Confederate Infantry, attached to the North-South Skirmish Association.  They will have a magnificent display of firearms and accoutrements from the Civil War Period.


“Is that a real fire?” Yes we use it for cooking and heat

“Is that real food?” Yes and we are going to eat it ALL

“Is that a real gun?” Yes and they are always considered loaded

“Do you really sleep here?” Yes these are our homes

“Where did you buy all of this stuff?” We make most of these items ourselves, but there are numerous catalogs and small cottage industries where we can buy period correct items. We also trade with other reenactors, called a Round Robin.

“Are you hot in all of those clothes” No, they are made of natural fibers that absorb sweat, and protect us from fire heat, weather, insects, brush and thorns. But moccasins do get slippery when wet.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

UMBS Course Offers Great Urban Design Ideas

Above are hand sketches of more design ideas from the UMBS Sustainable Urban Design with Nature Course that I attended earlier this year.  Thank you to the creator of these images for sharing your amazing talent with Rogers City as a free gift. 

You see a picture of the Sharrow (share right-of-way) symbol and dedicated bike lane.  Also, you can see how street trees can be watered naturally from street storm water drainage.  These concepts will help build a more enduring community.  Special thanks to Doug Farr for his "green" inspiration.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

MDOT Information--State Rail Plan

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has begun developing the Michigan State Rail Plan. The plan will set forth the state’s policy for both passenger and freight rail and it will identify long-range strategies that will serve as the basis for future federal and state rail investments in Michigan.

MDOT is holding a series of public meetings across the state to give interested persons and organizations an opportunity to provide early input into the plan. The open- house-style meetings will give you an opportunity to review issues and opportunities, ask MDOT staff questions, and provide input.
The following meetings will be open to the public from 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Stop by anytime!

The nearest location for a meeting is at Traverse City on September 22, 2010:

Michigan Works! Service Center

1209 S. Garfield Avenue

enter on south side of building

Other locations and dates are planned.  For more information or special accommodations contact Bob Parsons, MDOT Public Participation Coordinator, email: parsonsb@michigan.gov
or phone: 517-373-9534

MDOT has set up www.michigan.gov/mirailplan to give all interested residents
the opportunity to stay informed about the plan. Information presented at the public meetings will be posted on the Web page. You may also submit your comments directly on the Web page:
Mark Slown's comment:  A State of Michigan rail system is vital to future economic development.  The rail line needs to bring tourists and freight to Rogers City and other coastal locations.  Please let MDOT know how important this project is for our economic future.  Thank you.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

MDOT Information


CONTACT: Bob Felt, MDOT Office of Communications, 989-731-5090, feltb@michigan.gov

COUNTIES: Presque Isle




PROJECT: The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will upgrade the existing signal
at US-23 Business Route (3rd Street) at the north junction of US-23 in Presque Isle County.

TRAFFIC: Traffic will be maintained with intermittent lane and shoulder closures.

For up-to-date information on this project, go to the list of statewide lane closures at: www.michigan.gov/drive.

Sacred Rock

Rogers City has many interesting historical features.  Along the shores of Lake Huron native American Indians dwelt long before the Europeans came to explore.  Legend has it that this rock was sacred to the local tribes.  It certainly has a unique and picturesque beauty all its own.  You can learn more about Sacred Rock, local Indian tribes, and other facinating details of local history at the Presque Isle County Historical museum in Rogers City, or visit the museum's website at http://www.thebradleyhouse.org/

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Job Opportunity For City Clerk/Treasurer

Position Available: Immediately

Supervises: Supervises the Bookkeeper and two Deputy Clerks

Duties: As Clerk, this person manages the accounting and fiscal system of the City, serves as Clerk of the Council, conducts elections, maintains voter registrations, is the custodian of records, and performs related duties as required by law, City Charter, or resolution of Council. As Treasurer, this person is responsible for tax preparation, tax bills, collection of taxes, the Community Development Authority (CDA) tax increment finance (TIF), tax settlement with Presque Isle County, the Trust and Agency Account, cash receipts, and collection of delinquent personal property taxes.

Job Skills and Qualifications:  The following credentials are essential: a four-year college degree or equivalent professional work experience, a minimum of three years of experience working with governmental accounting, and three years supervisory experience. Strong computer and written communications skills are essential. The position requires intangible skills such as resourcefulness when dealing with other employees and the public, the ability to work effectively under stress and in emergencies, and the ability to effectively lead City staff in the absence of the City Manager.

Salary and Benefits: $45-53,000 depending on qualifications with a benefits package.

Appointment: The Council will appoint this position at a public meeting. Due to the retirement of the incumbent Clerk/Treasurer, there is an opportunity for the appointee to work with the incumbent Clerk/Treasurer and obtain on-the-job training through Dec 2010. The position of City Clerk/Treasurer is “at will”--the City Council may terminate employment at any time with or without cause.

Where to Apply: Mail or hand deliver resume and employment application to City Hall, 193 E. Michigan Ave., Rogers City, MI 49779. Mark envelope: “City Clerk/Treasurer Position.”
Deadline: All applications received prior to 5:00 pm, Thursday, September 16, 2010 will be considered. Applications received after this time may be accepted at the discretion of the City Council.

Interviews: Interviews with selected candidates may be scheduled at a date and time to be determined. You will be contacted if an interview is required.

Equal Opportunity:  The City of Rogers City is an equal opportunity employer.  A copy of the equal opportunity employment policy is available upon request.  All applicants are welcome.

Mark Slown's Personal Note:  This position is a fantastic opportunity for a candidate with the necessary skill and talent.  It is a great job, doing important work in a collaborative environment.  It is at a great location, along the shore of pristine Lake Huron.  It is a friendly community with wonderful citizens.  The schools are excellent and getting better.  Excellent medical and emergency care is available.  Recreational opportunities abound.  I look forward to working together with the new Clerk/Treasurer to help Rogers City become the best possible small city in Northern Michigan.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Prosperity Alliance Workshop

The Regional Economic Prosperity Alliance and NEMCOG are sponsoring an educational workshop:
"Building Personal & Family Wealth in Changing Times"

from 10 am to 4 pm on Friday, September 10, 2010 at Thunder Bay Resort: Pinecone Quarters. 

The featured speaker for the workshop is Catherine Austin Fitts, President of Solari, Inc.  Catherine offers a unique perspective on the gobal financial system and the political economy.  she was a Managing Director and member of the Board of Dillon Read & Co., Inc., a Wall Street Investment Bank.  Also, she served as Assistant Secretary of Housing -- Federal Housing Commission in the first Bush Administration.  She was President of the Hamilton Securities Group, a Washington, D.C. investment bank.  She has closed over $25 billion on transactions and investments and guided investment strategy for over $300 billion of assets.

The workshop is designed to provide hope for local sustainable prosperity during these difficult times.

The workshop costs $10 (payable to the Michigan Association of Planning (MAP)).  To register for this workshop, please send payment and your contact information to MAP at

Michigan Association of Planning
219 S. Main Street, Ste. 300
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Or, you may call 734-913-2000, FAX: 734-913-2061; or email: showard@planningmi.org

Please register as soon as possible.  Confirmations will be sent via email.

I suggest you consider attending this very interesting and potentially valuable workshop! 

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