The Press Newspaper
Pledging to remember the victims of the June 5 tornado and rebuild the community, Lake Township officials broke ground for a new township administration building with a gathering of about 80 persons looking on.
The 32nd Apple Festival recently took place Oct. 9-10, and as usual, the annual festival was successful in attracting thousands of people to the village of Oak Harbor.
The event, which is sponsored by a multitude of local businesses and attracts approximately 30,000 people, takes place the second full weekend in October every year.
The festival, like any other small town event, entices people to return home for a weekend, giving them the chance to connect with old friends and acquaintances they’ve not seen for some time.
“It’s a tradition that seems to catch everyone’s attention,” said Derek Gerber, a 26-year old Columbus resident who grew up in Oak Harbor. “It brings everyone back. I know that when I go home I’m going to see a lot of my friends.”
The two-day event, which closes off several blocks of the downtown area, begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday and ends at just after 6 p.m. on Sunday. The festival features a wide variety of events, including the 5K Apple Run, a car show, the Grand Parade and entertainment from local groups.
Chances are if you’ve attended a festival or football game in the Genoa or Elmore areas the past few weeks someone has given you a brochure promoting a levy issue on the November ballot in support of the Harris-Elmore Public Library.
Georgiana Huizenga, library director, said library supporters have relied heavily on face-to-face contact to promote the levy.
Voters in the library’s service area, which includes all of Allen and Clay townships and Harris Township except for a portion in the Benton-Carroll-Salem School District, will decide a 1.1-mill, 5-year property tax levy.
It’s the first time the library – based in Elmore with a branch in Genoa – has gone to voters for local millage.
“We have gotten our message out by passing out stickers at the Woodmore/Genoa football game, distributing literature at the Genoa Street Fair, and holding a bake sale and distributing literature at the Elmore Irish Fest,” Huizenga said. “We have also spoken to the Elmore and Genoa village councils, the Harris, Clay, and Allen townships trustee meetings, and various other organizations.”
If passed, the levy would generate about $250,000 annually.
A 94-year-old Harbor View woman told Western Lake Erie water keeper Sandy Bihn she can remember a time when the Toledo area was the place to be for tourists.
“From May to Labor Day, this used to be the most happening place in the United States. It was the fishing and the swimming,” Bihn said.
It was a time in the early 20th Century when this area produced more jobs for recreation than for industry. Bihn interviewed the woman two years ago for a documentary being produced about the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse.
The woman told Bihn that European dignitaries would arrive “just to be here.”
The woman recalled pristine beaches at Presque Isle, and Bihn says Toledo Blade articles would talk about so much fish “you could walk on them.”
That was before pollution began lowering the quality of natural resources at this end of Lake Erie, Bihn alleges. She says we are still not protecting that resource, and the problem continues to worsen.
Bihn noted that the Great Lakes have more U.S. shoreline that the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Gulf of Mexico combined.
“We have more shoreline here, but the laws don’t work the same for us because it’s not considered a coastline,” Bihn said.
Lake Erie is the 11th largest lake in the world, but because it is shallow with 11 million people living along its shores, it is in vast need of “more wetlands, more foresting, and we don’t have it,” Bihn said.
Local businessman and college professor Ray Nissen says if you are out of work, you should take the initiative and start a business. In doing so, pick a business you have a passion for.
“Unfortunately, the days of the big paying factory jobs are gone. People are struggling out there, and if they just look at some of the things they can do,” Nissen said.
“Five percent of the new jobs are created by small businesses and start-ups. Right now is a perfect opportunity to become an entrepreneur because a lot of corporations, even my family business that I work for, are sitting on their hands,” Nissen continued.
“They are not taking any risks because they are afraid of what the economy is going to do, you know. There is a lot of opportunity out there, and that is the first thing I talk about. It’s like the bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity for people to hurdle.”
Nissen should know. In 1983, he left the University of Toledo, where he was a business instructor, and joined three others in a start up called Thermal Gard of Ohio.