Salted with Sharks

Archive for the ‘Kid Stuff’ Category

Whoville in E-ville Contest

In Community Alert, Culture Bluffs, GOOD NEWS, Kid Stuff on November 21, 2014 at 11:08 am

Announcing! The first annual Whoville Holiday Decorating contest, sponsored by Shear Class Salon and Day Spa. Who in Elberta will come up with the greatest house and lawn decor to brighten up our midwinter? Submit your $10 entrance fee to Shear Class. The Overall Best Decor winner gets the whole kitty (and by kitty I mean money). The Best “Grinch/WhoVille” decoration gets a $50 gift certificate from Shear Class! Come on, everybody, and let’s give Ken and Lois Holmes a run for their money. I’m already voting for Fred McConnell.—Emily Votruba

Elberta Summer Solstice Festival no. 12: Wilder Than Ever

In Calendar, Community Alert, Culture Bluffs, E Beach, GOOD NEWS, Kid Stuff, Open Season, Water on June 12, 2014 at 11:10 pm

Elberta Solstice Festival_Poster_2014WITHLOGOSmaller

The Elberta Solstice Festival is back for its 12th year, Saturday June 21! Join the teeming masses of music and food buffs descending on our magical Village amid the dune bluffs of Lake Michigan for live music, local food, beer, games, Michigan’s best beach, and other attractions to amaze and astound you, all capped off with one of the premier fireworks displays in the region.

Benzie County’s number one music festival is family friendly, quirky, cutting-edge, and eco-conscious, with some of the best bands, craft beverages and artisanal food around. Up until this year, admission to Solstice has been totally free, with guests paying as they go for food and beer. This year, because of the Village’s dire deficit situation, a fee of $5 will be charged for entrance to the beer tent, starting at 8 pm. It’s still possible to hear and even see the bands from outside the beer tent (but you can’t buy beer outside the beer tent). The Solstice Committee and P&R regret the change but hope everyone will still crowd the beer tent and help the Village get back on its feet.

Our Solstice Queen Jennifer Wilkins and other volunteers from Parks and Recreation and the Solstice Committee have prepared some special new treats this year. Coming all the way from Detroit are Magician Keith Stickley, Wood-E the Clown, and Animal Encounters with the infamous “Ghetto Gators”—large and scary scaly creatures recovering from shady servitude in the Motor City. While your reptile brain is turned on, stuff a bunch of food in you, from TuGo’s Egg Roll Co., Elberto’s Taqueria, Conundrum Café, The Lions, Cabbage Shed, Frankfort Takeout, Louie’s Burgers, Why Knot pretzels, and A.Papanos Pizza, plus bebidas from St. Ambrose, Acoustic Mead, and your favorite beers in the beer tent. You’ll be glad to know that this year, for the first time, you can catch a free Benzie Bus shuttle between our Waterfront Park Pavilion and the Antique Car Show and Art Fair in Frankfort. Call or text 231-930-8100 for pickup at one of the stops (see photo below).

Oh, you want to know about the *bands*? But of course: THE ACCIDENTALS, ALFREDO, MEDICINAL GROOVE, E MINOR, THE STANDING HAMPTONS, BLAKE ELLIOTT & THE ROBINSON AFFAIR, K. JONES & THE BENZIE PLAYBOYS, BLUE DIRT, SOUL PATCH, and late at night after Wolverine’s fireworks display, G SNACKS.

Don’t miss this northern Michigan hometown extravaganza on the wild side of Betsie Bay! 12 noon to 2 am, Saturday June 21st, at Elberta’s Historic Waterfront Park on old M-168.

(The Parks and Recreation Commission and the Solstice Committee would also like to us to mention that the Benzie County Sheriff Department is planning extra patrols the night of Solstice, including on the beach. They’d like to remind everyone that fireworks and camping on the beach are unlawful activities. Let’s all have a safe and hassle-free Solstice Fest.)




This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Better Fence Will Make a Better “Tot Park”

In Community Alert, Infrastructure and Planning, Kid Stuff, Open Season on April 28, 2014 at 12:37 pm
Tot Park Fence before

Elberta Parks and Rec has made installation of a new Tot Park fence a priority for this summer. The current chain-link fence is in bad condition and doesn’t fully enclose the play area.

The Commission has sought estimates for a sturdy, attractive new fence that will fully enclose the play area, and we are now looking for funding. The new fence will be compliant with playground fence standards, long-lasting, maintenance-free, and will improve the viewscape for both residents and visitors. Because of Elberta’s tight financial situation, we’ll be looking for outside funding sources.

Other Elberta Parks and Recreation Commission priorities include planning for this year’s Solstice Festival, scheduled for June 21, adding named planks to the beach boardwalk, and discussing enhancements to the Elberta Dunes South Recreation Area. The next Commission meeting is May 7 at 7 pm at the Elberta Library building, the public is welcome to attend.—Cathy Anderson, new Parks and Rec member

Adult Spelling Bee to Contain No XXX Words

In Community Alert, Education, Kid Stuff on March 18, 2014 at 8:47 am

By Emily Votruba

On Friday, April 11, Stormcloud Brewing Company and the Betsie Current newspaper present a spelling bee to raise money for a great cause: local education.

If you are a mature, brewery-going person with an orthographic bent, find yourself a partner and register to spell competitively by sending an email to

Your team’s entire $25 sign-up fee (payable at the door), plus 10% of the ‘Cloud’s sales during the event, go toward Frankfort–Elberta and Benzie Central high school student journalism and cultural arts programs. The bee will be emceed by Benzie Shores District Library’s assistant director, Stacy Pasche.

Fittingly, the evening will also serve as a launch party for the revived Betsie Current newspaper, edited by Jordan Bates and Jacob Wheeler, which will drop April 17. So dust off your Merriam-Webster and get ready to say it, spell it, and say it again from 8 to 10 on April 11.

Learn more about the bee here, on the Glen Arbor Sun website.

Catton Essay: “The Biggest Game of the Year”

In Culture Bluffs, Education, Kid Stuff on January 19, 2014 at 2:57 pm


By Mason Loney 

Each year, first-year high school students at Frankfort–Elberta High School and Benzie Central read Bruce Catton’s Waiting for the Morning Train and create their own reminiscence of growing up in Benzie County. Mason Loney submitted this essay to the Bruce Catton Awards contest in 2013. Mason, now a 16-year-old sophomore, is the son of David and Kate Loney of Benzonia, the sixth child of eight. He is a challenging opponent on the basketball court as well as the football field. Mason is proud of his family’s long history in the area, including his grandfather, Max Loney, who maintained a turkey farm with his brothers. Max was personally invited by Eleanor Roosevelt to deliver one of his turkeys to the White House to be used for a presidential holiday meal, which he was happy to do.

This year’s essays are already done and being judged. The Catton event will take place at a date and time to be announced in April. Watch for details! They are wonderful essays this year. In the meantime, enjoy Mason’s story about a quintessential high school experience.—Rebecca Hubbard, Frankfort–Elberta High School English teacher

This was the biggest game of the year. It was the game that would decide who was the best in the conference. We all knew that it would be hard to keep our mouths shut during the game. It was against Glen Lake at our gym. I remember running out onto the court. I was so nervous. I mean, I was a freshman playing with the varsity. The stands were packed. Read the rest of this entry »

Ice Balls!

In Community Alert, Kid Stuff, Open Season, Water, Weather on December 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm

By Marilyn Maslo

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

CHRISTMAS, FRANKFORT—For the first time I have now seen with my very own eyes what some have described to me in the past. Sunday and Monday I walked the beachfront of Frankfort heading north. Much further away from the breakwall I found the beach littered with ice balls; not only lined up on the beach, but floating and bobbing along the shoreline. Thousands of them everywhere. The largest was at least two and a half feet in diameter and quite weighty, I’m sure. They were larger Monday than Sunday. They rolled in the waves brushing against each other, rounding themselves as they rolled. I don’t know if this happens every year or if certain parameters have to happen—but it was the first time I’ve seen this amazing sight.


O, Tannerbaum! 3rd Annual P&R Xmas Tree Sale

In Community Alert, Culture Bluffs, Kid Stuff, Open Season on November 22, 2013 at 8:19 pm
The 2012 sale, in Russ Mix's lot between the Post Office and Lane's. P&R appreciates Russ's generosity in letting them use his lots for two years in a row. This year they've decided to move to more sheltered digs in the Farmers' Market Park Pavilion. Photo by Emily Votruba

The 2012 sale was held in Russ Mix’s lot between the Post Office and Lane’s. P&R appreciates Russ’s generosity in letting them use his lot for two years in a row. This year the team will decamp to a more sheltered sales floor, in the Farmers’ Market Park Pavilion. Photo by Emily Votruba

The Village Parks and Recreation Commission will for the third year in a row sell fabulous Christmas trees from Needlefast Everygreens as a fundraiser for P&R projects! This year the sale will be held in the Farmers’ Market Park Pavilion, with festive lights, excellent parking, possibly cocoa, and a bit more shelter from the elements. Please plan to support our local team of parks volunteers with your purchase of a Frazer fir or blue spruce, $30 and $25 respectively. All proceeds go toward Parks and Recreation projects such as a bench for the Elberta Dunes South lookout, playground and exercise equipment maintenance, and perhaps a revival of the Mushy Peach Film Fest? If you’d like to moonlight as a conifer trader, please call Jennifer Wilkins at 231-651-0798. Sale begins Black Friday, November 29, from 1 pm to 5 pm, and continues Thursdays and Fridays 5 pm to 7 pm and Saturdays and Sundays 1 pm to 5 pm, until the trees are gone or Christmas comes.—Emily Votruba

Little Free Library Comes to Elberta

In Alert Reader, Breaking, Community Alert, Culture Bluffs, Education, GOOD NEWS, Kid Stuff on November 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm

A new “Little Free Library” has opened for business in Elberta. It’s located on the front porch of the Conundrum Café at 603 Frankfort Avenue. Books are available 24-7. If your inner book worm is turning and you feel the need (the need to read) “check out” one of the books. When you’re finished, return the book to the box, or pass it directly on to a fellow reader. Just finished something fantastic? Drop it off inside the box. (Note: Not all 60 volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary will fit.)

This thumbelinesque bibliothèque means Elberta is no longer without a library. “As a librarian, it pained me every day to think that people in and around the village did not have easy, free access to books,” says Michele Cannaert, proprietress of the Conundrum Café. She says she’ll add new books if the inventory wanes.

When the official Little Free Library charter sign arrives, our library will be posted in the LFL website. For more information go to: Thanks for this great addition to the Village, Michele!

Little Free Library on the Conundrum porch, November 2013.

Little Free Library on the Conundrum porch, November 2013.

What Do You Think of Our Plan?

In Community Alert, Culture Bluffs, E Beach, Farmers' Market, GOOD NEWS, Historic Elberta, Infrastructure and Planning, Kid Stuff, Lakeside Shakespeare, Open Season, Transportation, Water on September 8, 2013 at 3:30 pm

The final draft of the Village of Elberta Parks and Recreation Plan for 2009–14 is now up on the Village website. As soon as the official notice is published in the Record-Patriot this Wednesday, the official five-week public comment period begins. This is a very important document for the Village and the community at large. In it Parks and Rec spells out residents’ desires for improvements to all of Elberta’s many parks, including the Waterfront Park, Elberta Beach, Elberta Dunes South, and our portion of the Betsie Valley Trail. This document is the product of many hours of discussion in council meetings, Parks and Rec meetings, and the public input session we held on April 18. Please take time to read the document and offer your input and insight. We want to enhance the Elberta experience for everyone. The final public hearing on this plan will be held October 17 at 7 pm, before the regular council meeting at which it may be adopted. Download the pdf using the link below and/or get yourself a hard copy at the Village Office. Submit your comments by mail to the Parks and Recreation Commission, PO Box 8, Elberta, MI 49628 or by e-mail to—Emily Votruba, Parks and Rec member

Village of Elberta Recreation Plan 2014–2019 final draft for public hearing

Issy Stapleton Responsive, Expected to Recover

In Breaking, Community Alert, GOOD NEWS, Kid Stuff on September 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Good news from Eileen Stapleton, Matt Stapleton’s mother, via Janet Buck: Issy seems to be “about 95% OK” and is continuing to make progress toward a full recovery. She was unresponsive for three days and today “came out of it.” The possible brain damage that was reported earlier, found in an MRI, seems to have been something preexisting. She is expected to return home in the next few days.—Emily Votruba