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duffer



Joined: 10 Dec 2012
Posts: 220
Location: beaver island

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:34 pm 
Post subject: career,s
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hello beautiful island friends. i hope to get a quality thread about work on the island. I am currently working in colorado as i have the last year and the few before that florida. as an islander who loves this place work is tough here. yes there is work for those who want work but there are very few careers which is going to be what it takes to draw young folks. I know that when i came I knew if i could not afford anything before i came here it was a deal breaker. I have been visiting and vacationing here since 1973, the job market has changed very little in all that time infact i used to camp all summer and work at the shamrock when barb becker ran the bar. from 1973 to present other than the small building boom careers here have been almost none unless teaching or medical. I don,t consider waiting tables or working as a room cleaner are careers although many make money doing it. I also think that if a young family comes with out assets already it is a tough climb. even the old island families have kids working somewhere else because they know it is not a career, now lets talk housing,,,, expensive, high taxes and the general cost of living. this is not uniqe to beaver island, travers city has a housing crisis also and workers travel many miles for work. could it be possible that people will eventually have to ride the boat for daily work, it is happening all over these days. our school is suffering from that lack of careers here that could bring young families. last summer i offered 30 dollars an hour for repair work but got no call,s that 30 is on a flat rate which is how career mechanics get paid unless working for a private firm. it is tough running an auto business here because we dont have parts stores making a snag in the working chain thus making it hard to count on anything getting done in a hurry like the mainland. I know my good friends John Bolton, dickie maccovy and many more would have made a life here long ago if it was possible. Unless we can help and be honest about these issues then were gonna keep having the turn over of young people that we do have., Many of my old customers that are either selling out or passing away have been the back bone of this community. many had children that let the places their folks owned go up for sale because they could not afford to live here. I am working somewhere else so when i come back i can put money in the economy here. I believe there are solutions to many of these problems if we can have an honest discussion about it. the last i knew 45.000 was the bottom of middle class, I can say I know of very few on the island that make that wage and the cost of living about 20 percent more than the mainland. the sad thing is our exports are trash and empty bottles. Can the island come up with better ideas??? I hope to get some positive replies on this post, not negative, it is about all of us, not just a few. THANK>S and lets hear some input !
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K.A. Pike



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:19 pm 
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Is there, or was there a brewery doing business on the island? I think that would be a great idea. The craft brew industry is going absolutely crazy in our area. I could see this not only providing solid year round jobs, but also an export. I could see a mainland marketing campaign that could drive the export business. In this area it's not only about the brew itself that drives sales, but the story around it. A couple of the breweries in this area that also make their own root beer. What would be better than a Beaver Island Brew Root Beer float at Daddy Franks or the Paradise Bay Coffee Shop.
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Patrick S. McGinnity



Joined: 23 Mar 2013
Posts: 63
Location: Beaver Island

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:43 am 
Post subject: Brewery
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Yes, there is a brewery in development. Whiskey Point Brewing Co. should be opening sometime in the spring, initially with a taproom only model, but hopefully moving to limited self-distribution on the mainland before long.
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BI Pirate



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 667
Location: Whiskey Island

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:49 pm 
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Hey Duffer, Be sure to have a beer and a shot at the Strater Hotel bar while you are out there, my favorite watering hole during my cowboy days. Don't order a fancy rum drink. Rolling Eyes A couple of my ranch hand buddies took me to the parking lot to explain it's a bar not a cocktail lounge. Shocked Check the weather forecast if you are going to Silverton. Went to see a lady friend up there and spent a week because of an early blizzard and avalanche. After two days she decided I wasn't for her. Sad So I moved back to the island.
Looking forward to spring and having you back on the island. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Skull&CrossBones
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K.A. Pike



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:20 pm 
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Great News Patrick. I think you're on the right track.
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Bucky Guy



Joined: 30 Jun 2017
Posts: 1
Location: Big Sand Bay

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:58 pm 
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Remember the Dustin Hoffman movie - The Graduate? Man says to Benjamin "I have one word for you - plastics". Stealing that approach, three words for you - "High Speed Internet".....Solve that challenge, make it real on BI, promote it, and in time creative class minds will bring their families and significant discretionary income to live a unique life on the Emerald Isle. Able to do so due to high speed internet.
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BMcCaw



Joined: 20 Sep 2013
Posts: 66
Location: Southeast of Disorder

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:50 pm 
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Very True BG!

It would be great for this to be a positive/proactive thread; as Duff intended.
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Brendan McCaw
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Pam Grassmick



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 311

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:54 am 
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This past summer, CMU Honors Students came to the island for a week. They were tasked with looking at the island and offer ways to expand the interest of visitors to the island. They interviewed many island organizations. They all loved the natural resources and had some concrete ideas. Many of these young people pointed to the lack of adequate internet speed for recreational and business use. In addition, they thought winter would be a great time to enjoy the many splendors that we who live here take for granted. They suggested offering group tours targeting snowshoeing, X-country skiing, ice formation viewing, ice fishing, and winter survival courses. Invites on their presentations were sent out and posted. Kevin Boyle, Kitty McNamara, Bob Tidmore, Brad G. and I attended. It was a great opportunity to hear young off island voices on what they saw as positives and challenges. Housing during the winter is one of the challenges. Discussion included opening CMU off season for such an event. Reliable high speed internet continues to be a topic that repeatedly comes up for visitors and residents. Several islands from Maine to Wisconsin can directly point to high speed internet positively impacting their community's economy and welfare.
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sbsp



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 401
Location: Beaver Island, Kalamazoo, Fripp Island, SC

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:48 am 
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Bump
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Kirk
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duffer



Joined: 10 Dec 2012
Posts: 220
Location: beaver island

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:20 am 
Post subject: I glad
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I am glad to see positive input jobs are one thing careers are another I work out west because with some investment I can get people working maybe at a few new things that could help the youngee generation, it takes capital, I am glad to be getting ideas and response's!
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duffer



Joined: 10 Dec 2012
Posts: 220
Location: beaver island

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:55 am 
Post subject: Beaver island pirate!
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Hey spent many days at the strator hotel and the Durango diner, wish you could visit beaver island pirate we could shovel are way to Silverton! One heavy snow fall and icy roads I could not go any further but had to get to Montrose, so I pulled off the road by a rock cliff and loaded a ton of stone into the back of the truck and off I went! If their is a will mountain men will find a way,!
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AEW



Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 575
Location: Beaver Island/The world

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:25 am 
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Patrick the obstacles I see with a microbrewery business is the cost of bringing materials (hops, barley, bottling, packaging supplies etc) to and from the island during mid December to mid April. The airplane freight would be cost prohibitive. Also the cost of shipping the finished product off Island and distribution in those freezing cold months would be very pricey and risky and would make it hard to compete with other mainland brew houses. It would probably only create a few local positions.

The high utility costs to operate a facility that created enough volume to cover the expenses would be a challenge as well. You have to figure your rent/land payment, massive State permits and regulation costs, property taxes, wages, insurance, advertising and business tax, then the freight and distribution costs on top of that. Total that all up into an annual or monthly chart and divide it by per price of a bottle or keg of beer to see what volume you would need to sell before you could even make a profit. I like the idea but really see some struggles that the Islands geographical proximity puts in your way. Would make a cool funky little Summer gig though.

Patrick there are hops growing naturally on Beaver Island. I have seen them on the right hand side of the road near the creek crossing the dirt road part of Kings Highway just down from where Ann Partridge's old house was. I have no idea if they are brew worthy. Hop farms also can be very profitable. A 5 acre plot can create a lot of income.

There is some limited merit to the idea but I think you would need a mainland brewing facility to effectively run the business.

The Island is a PERFECT place for call centers, customer service, etc type businesses. Lots of work from home potential there too for elderly or disabled people.

Only other thing I can recommend is massively lowering property taxes for non homestead residents. The Island has to make it economically viable and reasonable to invest in Island property. That could also have a ripple effect on lowering rental costs for year round and seasonal workers. Property taxes raise rental costs.

But I really see a lot of opportunity for call service center positions. Every corporation, hospital, service, warranty, scheduling business in the world has people who answer phones and questions for a living. I think it is something someone should look into.
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Patrick S. McGinnity



Joined: 23 Mar 2013
Posts: 63
Location: Beaver Island

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:20 am 
Post subject: ideas
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One thing we need to work on developing is a Beaver Island brand that would be known beyond our shores as a mark of __________ (fill in the blank: quality, authenticity, etc.). I'm not referring to a logo, though a brand might well include a logo. Branding is getting people to invest in the stories that define a company or place, not only the obvious ones like Mormon Kings being assassinated, but also stories about how life here is different, and some would say, better.

When someone walks into a shop or restaurant, gets on the plane or the boat, or even orders a product online that carries the Beaver Island name, they are interacting with, buying into, if you will, those stories. To a certain extent we have the opportunity to decide, as a community, what we want the world to see us as.

My vote is that we should 1. continue to emphasize how amazing and unique the island and archipelago are from a natural resources standpoint, 2. focus on artists and craft with a capital "C" (woodworking, blacksmithing, craft beverages, fresh roasted coffees, craft cheeses, island honey and maple syrup, fine foods, etc.), and 3. work to demonstrate bootstrapping self sufficiency in as many ways as we can (eg. if we had a FDA approved slaughterhouse [they make them in tractor trailers], how much of the island's meat needs could be filled with animals that never even set foot on the mainland? Wouldn't "Beaver Island Raised Beef" look more impressive on a menu than "Angus Beef"?) I'm sure in a brainstorming session, we could come up with a much more comprehensive and useful list--these are just what came to mind.

If someone wanted to start a small cooperage shop (making oak barrels for wine, liquor, and eventually beer), I think it would be one of those crafts that wouldn't cost significantly more to do here than elsewhere. Capital investment up front for the equipment, yes, and shipping cost for raw materials, but with a smart business plan and some high quality, cohesive marketing it could be a winner.

The key, I think, is to shift our thinking from expecting all of a businesses customers to come here to buy what they are selling. We have been so focused on marketing the island and our businesses to tourists that it seems like we are missing out on lots of opportunities. Seasonal businesses produce seasonal jobs. A business that sells a product to customers or businesses on the mainland would produce year-round jobs.

Any product you can ship UPS, Fed Ex, or USPS wouldn't cost much more to make or sell here. As an example, we bought a brewery control panel last year from a family business in Chassel Michigan (in the UP). They design the panels, buy all the components, install them into a panel box, test them, and then ship them out UPS. It isn't a factory--it's a workshop. There is no reason a similar business couldn't work here. I'm willing to bet that hardly anybody in Chassel buys their panels, and they assemble each one as it is ordered, so no one actually goes there to shop for one. A website and a workshop = money coming into a small town.

We need to keep on having these discussions, thinking about a brighter future, and pretend for a moment that nothing is impossible. How we could work together to build that future? What will it take to make someone's far-fetched idea possible, and how can we work together as an island to provide that?
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AEW



Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 575
Location: Beaver Island/The world

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:27 am 
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Patrick the best thing the Island can do to improve the economy is to lower taxes, utilities costs and clean up the massive and rampant corruption, nepotism, cronyism and bloated public workforce. Also need to purge the boards and get new people in Island leadership roles. The old timers are incompetent self serving turds. Then there are the ones that have tattoos on their lower backs that say "property of ________ " on them and only serve their masters in the clique.
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megsing3



Joined: 23 Feb 2007
Posts: 110
Location: Ludington

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:33 pm 
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Rock on, Patrick! Great ideas. There IS always a way forward with fresh thinking.
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