October, 2016

The official online publication
of the Birch Lake Yacht Club
Please note:
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Unfortunately if you use one of these there is nothing I can do to ensure you receive the Barker regularly. If you are not getting Barker via email, you probable can n contact your provider to learn how to "unblock" the Online Barker and Birch Lake-related special notices.

October comes to Birch Lake

For the past couple of weeks the swans have returned to Birch Lake to enjoy pleasant, sunny days.

Commodore's Comments
The 2016 Birch Lake Chili Cook Off was held Friday, October 7 at the Yacht Club. We had great food and great fun! It was wonderful to see so many Birch Lake neighbors come out to enjoy an evening together. As with all Yacht Club events, the camaraderie and communication is good for the health of this lake and the lake community. Events that are open to all Birch Lakers brings people together and helps develop understanding of diversity and respect. This is turn manifests itself to the health of the lake and the community that is lucky enough to reside here. Togetherness not divisiveness. Anyway, Birch Lake can be a microcosm of what we want for the the world. It starts with the man in the mirror. (I think this election is getting to me).

Back to the Cookoff! Thank you to our chili cookers! Voting was great fun. I put a sample of each chili in a small cup and then numbered the cups to correspond with the number on the pots of chili. After several tastes, I chose my top three as did everyone else. Very scientific! Results:
3rd place: Ron Whiteman
2nd place: Dennis Phipps (no nepotism here)
And the winner was (drumroll) Bad Patty Leucht!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to our wonderful Vice Commodore, Karen Curtis Miller and the BLYC, the winners received certificates and engraved wooden chef spoons! Karen has a wonderful surprise for next years cookoff! Check the Barker for all BLYC events.

Thanks to all those who brought such yummy desserts as well as delicious sides. Also, congratulations to those who received pumpkins and mums as door prizes.  A big thank you goes to those who set up for the event and helped with cleanup. Many hands make light work and fun work!

Now to the next lake event. Every year the Birch Lake Book Club organizes the festive Christmas Crawl, a progressive dinner involving three homes, and the New Year’s Eve Party which is great fun and you don’t have to be out on the roads!  They are in need of people to donate their homes for these events. The Book Club will help with food and all other aspects, but they just need hosts and hostesses. Please email me at claudia2154@gmail.com if you would be willing to help. If not, please look to the next Barker for details and join in the fun!
~Commodore Claudia

Reflecting Compromise, DEQ revises permit
Supported by both the Birch Lake and Watershed Association and the Birch Lake Yacht Club, the Homeowner’s Association formally appealed the permit issued by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for a permanent dock, boathouse, and dredging to a Birch Lake riparian resident.

Subsequently the resident suggested a compromise, offering to forego the dredging and permanent roof over any part of the permitted permanent dock or the two permitted permanent-boat hoists.  Leadership of the three listed Birch Lake organizations agreed to these changes and, with the riparian, executed a document confirming this agreement.

As a result, on 9/23/16, the DEQ issued a revised permit, reflecting the executed agreement and no longer allowing any dredging and/or permanent roof.

The Homeowner’s Association appeal is now in the process of being withdrawn.

Pooch Parade

The Third Annual Birch Lake Pooch Parade was a great success again this year. The weather cooperated, and it was a perfect day. A total of 15 dogs registered, and we collected $193 for the Cass County Humane Society.

Dr. Dufour was our master of ceremonies. Linda Curtis provided prizes for the dogs. Dan Waxman recruited the golf cart helpers, who were Dan, Gus Eshleman, Linda Curtis, Dennis Phipps, and Stacy Whiteman. And Denny Weesner recruited the judges, who were Denny, Katha Machalleck, Lynn Decocker, and Sue Williams. Bob Waddle was in charge of photographs, and Gus provided us with great music. Thanks to Carla Chester for organizing the parade and to Linda Yoshizawa for helping. 

A special thanks to these prize-winning pooches and their owners: Goby Eshleman, Lola and Jack Curtis, Scout Waxman, Ruby Engbrecht, Colby Lopez, Duffy Magee Phipps, Buddy Franklin Ezzell, Daisy Pence, Lilly and Frank Chester, Kirby Trybus, Moose Groszek, Beyonce Waddle, and Nicky Butler.

Chili Cookoff

Thanks to the SparkyCam for the great Chili Cookoff Photos!

Barker Kids of the Month

Bill Luecht (east side) napping in the shade on his pontoon
Ok, from left above, that's me in a photo my granddaughter Morgann ran through some phone app (and you all know I don't do phones); Major Russwurm (north shore); and John Luecht (east side) soaking up some sun aboard the Bad Patty.

Lacy House set in place

Anyone seen any flying houses lately? Tom and Julie Lacy's house was set in place on the south side by a giant crane ... They're hoping to be in and snuggled down before the snow flies!

Ok, in this case it might have been helpful to have a flying car ... Oops-city on the east side!

Laker excels with artwork
Katie Luecht has recently been cited for academic excellence for a drawing she created in response to an assignment in a geology class. The original drawing was quite unique and was recognized by her instructor as outstanding. To see the drawing (as a pdf) click here.

Katie has also been asked to provide illustrate a series of six children's books that have been written by a friend. And, as if she didn't have enough to do already, Katie is getting married to Sam Haas in June of 2017. Congrats for all that Katie.

Thanks Duffy!

Thanks to Birch Lake Artist in Residence Duffy Dufor for the artwork!

Want to be the first to pay your 2017 dues? Here's the info ...
2017 BLYC Dues, Contributions & Donations
$____ - BLYC Member Dues ($30 / year)
$____ - BLYC Associate Member Dues ($10 / year)
$____ - Homeowners’ Assoc. ($10 / year)
$____ - Sailing Fees ($15 / year)
$____ - Building Improvement Fund
$____ - Fireworks Fund
$____ - Water Quality Program
$____ - Milfoil/Loosestrife Eradication
$____ - Safety Committee
$____ - Other non-party related expenses
$____ - BLYC Roof Fund
$____ - Misc.
Total contribution:
Include your name and address and checks payable to:
BLYC, c/o Deb Spratt at 18100 Farmington Hills Drive, South Bend, IN 46637

Tentative 201
Birch Lake Calendar

Spring Dinner - May 20
Commodore/ Vic Party - June 10
Spaghetti Dinner - June 24
Fireworks - July 1
Fireworks raindate - July 2
Ladies Golf Outing - July 21
Mens Golf Outing July 29
Corn and Sausage Roast - August 5
Fall Dinner August 26
Chili Cookoff - October 14

Board of Directors Meetings:
May 6, June 3, July 8, August 5, September 9

More info as available.
Dates subject to change.
Watch the Barker for updates!

BLYC Classified Ads
I do sewing and mending at fair prices - zippers, hemming, small alterations; call Kathy at 476-9317

Yacht Club Maintenance person wanted. Our thanks to Past Commodore Jim Bolinger who for the many years performed various maintenance chores at the Yacht Club building. Jim has recently retired from his job and is spending quite a bit of time in Florida, so he has informed the BLYC board that he is retiring from the yacht club chores as well. If you are able and willing, please contact Commodore Claudia at 476-7073

Free to good home: Sunfish lift/stand. Works well and built solidly.  Call Dan at (317) 506-1680

FOUND: Used turtle raft, genuine log construction.  Washed up on the east shore recently.  Call Carla or Ed Chester at 476-1010.

Free to good home: Birch Lake Kittens. They have been wormed and had the first set of shots. Call or text 574-274-3260 or email dbetv7@aol.com.

BLYC Contacts

2016-17 BLYC Officers

Claudia Phipps, Commodore (N)
Karen Curtis Miller, Vice Commodore (E)
Deb Spratt, Treasurer (N)

Mike Sheffieck, Secretary (W)
Mike Lutz, Fleet Captain (N)

16-17 BLYC Directors
Greg Bolin (W)
Ed Chester (E)
Harold Cranmer (W)
Terry Dugan (S)
Celia Fallon (E)
Chas Grundy (E)
Patty Luecht (E)
Vickie Rogers (C)
Rick Russwurm (N)
Scott Troeger (E)
PJ Vandewalle (E)
Alan Van Huffel (S)
Phil Vitale (E)
Sandy Vitale (E)
Bob Waddle (E)
Sue Williams (S)

non-director attendees
Jim Bolinger BLYC Homeowners’ Association Chairman (E) 476-9737(E)

Paul Fallon, BLYC Water Quality Committee
Chairman (E) 476-1467


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Barker Funnies

Camp Tannadoonah
Mike and Amy Lutz and Phil and Sandy Vitale are stepping aside as the chairpeople for the annual July 4 Pancake Breakfast fundraiser for Camp T. If someone else would like to take over the event, we'll be happy to pass on our knowledge and explain how we did it in the past. Contact Phil or Sandy at 476-1680.

Sailing Stuff
Click here to see the results from the Labor Day Regatta and the Season final standings.

From Mr. Bob: Vimeo by Gilles Martin-Raget from Day 5 of the annual Voiles de Saint-Tropez regatta

Just a couple more

Thanks to Mr. Bob King (north shore) for the beautiful Birch Lake pics

Barker Critters
of the Month

Thanks to Past Commodore Blair Garceau (east side) for the pic of the ginormous turtle in Williamsville.

Pat McMann (east side) sent these pic of an equally impressive and ginormous carp off his pier.

Birch Lake
Water Temps

We all know the weather's getting colder and that the lake will inevitably freeze ... Interested in how it's doing now? Thanks to our good neighbor Steve Quinlan that data is available (at least until he pulls his pier and the sensors are stowed away for the season). Click here to see the most current lake temperatures and the yearly comparison.

On Voting
There has been confusion on Michigan Voter Rights this year for the November 8th; According to the basic Michigan Voter Rights:
1. You DO NOT need a drivers license or photo ID to vote in Michigan. You can vote a regular ballot . You will be required to sign your name on an affidavit on the back of your application, but you can vote if your name is in the poll book. If not in the poll book, you can vote a provisional ballot, that may be verified later.
2. You can vote a straight ticket, and vote for candidates of another party.
3.If your ballot gets rejected, ask for a new one.
4. You can take a list of candidates into the voting booth, but do not leave it there.
5. If you are in line by 8 pm ;you have the right to vote.
6. If you are not in jail serving a sentence, you can vote if you are registered.

On a personal note:
Sandy and I join our daughter Erica Vitale in expressing our gratitude for the overwhelming outpouring of love, support and sympathies following the death of her long-time friend and former BLYC Fleet Captain R. Steven "Steve" Richards, and our daughter Sanya Phillips following the heart surgeries and extended recovery. It has been a difficult time but the help our friends and the entire Birch Lake community have provided have been very much appreciated and helpful.