The Genoa Area Kiwanis Club, along with the Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce, will sponsor the Annual Genoa Halloween Costume Contest on Main Street in downtown Genoa Monday Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.
The parade is open to Genoa Area School residents. Children are encouraged to arrive at the Genoa Banking Parking lot at 6:30 p.m.
Categories of judging will include Ugliest, Prettiest, Huggable, Storybook, Nursery Rhyme, Television and Creative Original. Age categories include preschool ages 1 & 2, preschool ages 3 & 4, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, fifth & sixth grades and band. First-, second-, and third-place medallions will be presented in each category.
Cider and donuts will be served at the gazebo following the judging. In case of rain, the event will be held at the Brunner Elementary School.
The Genoa Area Kiwanis Club is looking for new members to help support community projects. Call Jean Holcombe at 419-855-8381 for details.
The Northwestern Water and Sewer District’s Maintenance Department will be flushing and testing fire hydrants Oct. 26-Nov. 25.
Testing will be performed on hydrants in the area of Lake Township (served by Oregon water), parts of Northwood and the Village of Millbury – an area bounded by the Wood County line to the north and east, Drouillard Road and I-280 to the west and south to the Village of Millbury on SR 795.
Testing will be conducted between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Residents may notice rusty water during testing operations and should run tap water before using water for laundry purposes. Rust-removing chemicals are available at the district office, 12560 Middleton Pike, Bowling Green, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. or by calling 419-354-9090 or 800-354-9090
Emergency action needed
Conservation organizations are urging the federal government to take emergency action to prevent an invasive species from entering the Great Lakes.
As invasive Asian carp bear down on the electrical barrier operating in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) in Illinois, environmental and conservation groups are calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to take emergency action to stop the threat now and to look at the separation of the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes as a permanent solution.
The carp have been discovered in waterways less than 100 feet from the CSSC and could bypass the barrier completely if a heavy rain floods the Des Plaines River and causes it to spill into the canal.
“There is an urgent threat of Asian carp entering Lake Michigan if the nearby waterways flood into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal,” said Joel Brammeier, acting president and CEO of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. “We are just one heavy rain away from this emergency becoming an epidemic.”
In addition to the Des Plaines River, which in some places is only yards away from the CSSC, the carp could also enter another adjacent canal, the Illinois & Michigan (I&M), which is connected to the CSSC by small culverts that the carp can swim through during heavy rains.
“This is an emergency and we are down to sandbags and mortar,” said Jennifer Nalbone, campaign director of Invasive Species and Navigation for Great Lakes United. “Barriers must be built between these nearby waterways and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to ensure that during a fall flood, live carp cannot be carried into the CSSC past the electrical barrier.”
The Asian carp are invasive fish that are harming the environment and economies of the Mississippi and threaten to do the same to the Great Lakes. The fish consume enormous amounts of food that other fish rely on, allowing the carp to muscle out native species. The fish can grow to up to 3 feet long and weigh up to 100 pounds, quickly dominating a waterbody due to their size.
The CSSC is a man-made waterway that connects Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River basin. Originally intended as a means for the city of Chicago to overcome sewage problems in the early 20th century, it created an artificial connection through which aquatic invasive species can pass in both directions. The electric barrier is located near Romeoville, Ill. on the CSSC. A new DNA monitoring technique being used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in conjunction with the University of Notre Dame, found that invasive Asian carp are a mere mile from the electric barrier in the CSSC.
“We are down to the wire and Congress needs to ensure that the Corps acts, and fast,” said Emily Green, executive director of the Sierra Club-Great Lakes Program. “The carp are not abiding by DC’s slow timetable. The Corps needs to start emergency actions now.”
The groups are calling on the U.S. government to:
• Build an emergency barrier (like sandbags) between the Des Plaines and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to ensure the Des Plaines river and live carp cannot flood into the CSSC past the electrical barrier.
• Install a barrier (such a bubble/acoustic barrier) to stop the carp from migrating upstream into the Des Plaines River.
• Fill in critical sections of the I&M Canal so that carp cannot swim into the CSSC during floods.
“Failure to confront the threat of the Asian carp is an invitation for disaster and threatens to undermine the progress the nation is making to restore the Great Lakes and revive the economy through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative,” said Jeff Skelding, campaign director for the Healing Our Water Coalition. “Congressional action is needed now to protect our Great Lakes, public health, economy and a way of life.”
For a map illustrating the location of the barriers and how flooding could allow the fish to bypass them, visit www.glu.org.
One Call Now
Several Northwest Wood County government offices now offer the One Call Now service. The service is available to residents of Walbridge, Northwood, Lake Township and areas receiving water and sewer services from the Northwestern Water and Sewer District.
One Call Now is an automated messaging service that allows communities to contact thousands of residents within minutes. Calls may include messages on emergencies, police information (such as Amber alerts), water and sewer issues, road closures, etc.
There are two different types of voice messages from the community:
• Routine notification calls, which do not directly affect the safety of the community, including details/reminders about upcoming events, road closures or repairs, utility repairs, etc.
• Emergency notification calls used during critical events, including important information concerning weather-related emergencies, search-and-rescue events or evacuations.
Phone numbers will be obtained from the white pages, both listed and non-published phone numbers, as well as business listings. The One Call system can also call cell phones, if the numbers are provided. To add a cell phone number, visit your community’s Web site and click the “One Call Now.”
To retrieve or replay a message that was cut off from an answering machine, answered by call or was dropped on a cell phone, call toll-free 877-698-3261 or 866-321-4255 from any touch-tone phone. At the greeting, press 1, and then enter the phone number that One Call Now dialed.
Festival of Trees
The Pemberville-Freedom Area Historical Society is looking for individuals or groups interested in decorating a tree for this year’s Festival of Trees, which will be held as part of Pemberville’s Christmas in the Village Saturday, Nov. 28.
The Historic Opera House will be the setting for 14 beautiful trees inspired by this year’s theme, “Christmas Across America…from Sea to Shining Sea.”
Decorators may supply their own tree (six feet or larger) or use a tree provided by the committee. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Pemberville-Freedom Area Historical Society and its restoration endeavors.
For more information, contact Todd at 419-287-3274.
The society is also looking for “older” Christmas stockings and sock monkeys to be used in decorating the village’s oldest frame house for the holidays. Stockings/sock monkeys, clearly marked with the owners’ name and phone number and a short bio of the item, may be dropped off until Nov. 10 at Riverbank Antique Market or Beeker’s General Store during normal business hours. The items would be returned to their respective owners by Dec. 15.
For more information, call Greg Dieter at 419-287-3373.
Wine Gala benefit
The 22nd Annual Wine Gala presented by Mobile Meals of Toledo will be held Nov. 7 at the Stranahan Great Hall in Toledo.
The evening will begin with a sampling of wines from 15 area distributors, along with appetizers from area chefs at 6 p.m. The event will also include a gourmet dinner, a silent and live auction and dancing to the music by Touched.
Tickets are on sale now. Proceeds from the evening will benefit Mobile Meals’ home-delivered meal program, which delivers three meals a day to the elderly, ill, disabled and those needing assistance with meal preparation in the greater Toledo area.
For more information, call Mobile Meals at 419-255-7806.
What Do They Stand For?
WhatDoTheyStandFor.org, a growing Toledo-based informational and political Web site, is now covering the 2009 Toledo City Council race.
WhatDoTheyStandFor.org sends questions to all the candidates, and then posts their responses in a user-friendly side-by-side format. Since the site’s administrators do not edit the candidates’ content, the result is a candid, nonpartisan review of the candidates’ positions on the issues of the campaign.
Since the WhatDoTheyStandFor.org launch less than two months ago, pages on the site have been viewed over 5,000 times by more than 2,800 visitors. The site, which features videos and other interactive content, recently completed significant upgrades and now includes polls and user forums, as well as a significantly enhanced interface.
In addition to voting in the polls and participating in the forums, visitors to the site are encouraged to interact with the candidates by submitting questions, which may then be passed on to the campaigns, and have the answers posted on the site. For more information, call 419-697-9696 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Theatre presents “Fiddler”
Oregon Community Theatre will open its 2009-2010 season with the popular classic musical, “Fiddler on the Roof,” Nov. 6-7 and Nov. 13-14 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. in the auditorium at Fassett Middle School.
With familiar songs such as “Matchmaker,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” and “Sunrise Sunset,” Fiddler is touching, warm, funny, and inspiring. The cast includes actors from throughout NW Ohio and SE Michigan.
The production is directed by Kevin Wietrzykowski, assisted by Elizabeth Gibson and choreographed by Jennifer Knapp. Reserved seats are $15 for adults and $12 for students/seniors, and are available at the door or in advance by calling 419-691-1398.
More information is available at www.oregoncommunitytheatre.org.
While the unemployment rate for the nation is at a swelling 9.7 percent, the unemployment rate for the six western townships of Ottawa County – Allen, Benton, Carroll, Clay, Harris and Salem – is nearing 17 percent.
The stark reality surrounding these numbers has led the communities of Elmore, Genoa, and Oak Harbor to pull together to offer a free Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Woodmore High School cafeteria, 633 Fremont St. Elmore.
The churches, civic organizations, local businesses, school groups, and private citizens are collaborating to organize and prepare 500 holiday meals. The menu will include turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, rolls, cranberry sauce and homemade pumpkin pie.
Transportation is available, including vans that can accommodate wheelchairs. Although reservations are not required, anyone wishing to attend, with or without transportation provided, is asked to call 419-866-9924.
H1N1 vaccine clinic
An H1N1 flu vaccine clinic will be held Oct. 28 from 3-7 p.m. or until the supply is exhausted at the Sandusky County Fairgrounds, Flower Building, 901 Rawson Ave., Fremont.
The Live Attenuated Intranasal Vaccine (LAIV) or FluMist form of the vaccine will be distributed. Clinics will continue to be scheduled across the county as more vaccine arrives.
This clinic is only for those who fall into the priority groups set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and the Ohio Department of Health. These target groups include people age 2-24 years of age; people age 25-49 years of age who live with or care for infants younger than 6 months of age; and people who are health care or emergency medical personnel.
There will be no cost for the vaccine. Those attending should bring a current driver’s license or photo identification. For more information, call 419-334-6377.
Volunteers and those considering donating their time at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge are invited to a meeting Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. at the refuge’s Visitor Center 14000 W. SR 2., Oak Harbor.
Refuge Manager Doug Brewer and representatives from refuges in New Jersey and Colorado will be on hand to discuss the refuge system and growth of “friends” groups and how they support projects ranging from visitor reception, to environmental education, to wildlife habitat improvement.
To find out more about the this or other events and/or about Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, call 419-898-0014 or visit www.onwra.com.
Johlin Cabin program
The Johlin Cabin, an 1860s Black Swamp log home that was moved to the new Pearson North in Oregon, will be open for tours and historical demonstrations from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25.
The cabin is located at the new Seaman Road entrance to Pearson, near the corner of Wynn Road (across from the Challenger Learning Center).