Principles vs. Greed

Forgive me, but I am going to step atop my soapbox for a little bit here. I do promise to step back down before this entry is finished, but there has been something nagging at me all week and I really feel the need to share it with you and help get it off my chest.

Some of you may already know of the latest hot topic to hit the Keweenaw and others not. It involves the Lac La Belle Lodge/Bear Belly Pit Stop and the Black Bear Inc. the parent company of the Mt Bohemia Ski Hill. I must preface things by saying I do not know ALL the facts of what is going on. However, it seems as though the “owner” of the ski area Lonnie Glieberman filed for several trademarks for “Mount Bohemia”. I did a trademark search and found the four applications, two are for his logo and two are for the name Mount Bohemia. All are live trademarks. The lawsuit revolves around the Lac La Belle Lodge selling merchandise with the words Mount Bohemia on them.

For one, I am a bit confused on how the name “Mount Bohemia” can be trademarked, as it is suppose to NOT BE POSSIBLE TO TRADEMARK A GEOLOGIC ENTITY. Type in: “can a mountain be trademarked?” into your favorite search engine and you will see that the answer is no. So someone at the trademark office messed up, but stopped me when I tried to trademark “Keweenaw Kamo”. Go figure.

I am most certainly not a lawyer and know that if enough money is spent, good lawyers can many times find a way around the law. Which brings up the need to help Troy and Cathy Westcot, the owners of the Lac La Belle Lodge/Bear Belly Pitstop, be able to keep up with the extremely deep pockets that Mount Bohemia has. 

The case will be going to court a few days before Christmas, so the time is now to donate to the Go-Fund-Me account that has been setup for helping them with their legal bills. This is the link to the GoFundMe account for the Westcotts. As you can see the account has been cleverly and appropriately named : A David versus Goliath Story. However. I think there is another descriptive phrase that fits and that is the name of this entry. I will preface by saying that the Westcott family are very good friends of the Dee’s. However, they are because of the nature of their character. They are honest, hard working and generous folks, who have give the shirts off their backs for me several times and others many times. They hosted an event at their restaurant/bar which helped raise funds for by SnowFest charity ride-ins that benefitted the Make-A-Wish foundation. Troy is currently the longest seated director for the Keweenaw Snowmobile Club, having been on that board for around 20 years. Nora and I even held our wedding reception at their restaurant and they went way overboard to make sure our special event was perfect and memorable. They are the kind of folks that are always happy to help someone in any way they can. 

My dealings with Lonie Glieberman have been the exact opposite. While involved with the snowmobile club up here, we were constantly being asked by Lonie to either re-route our trails, put up fences, signs or other things to satisfy HIS objectives. While the opportunity was always there to support the club, he never once did. 

OK, I am about to step down from my soapbox, but just want to say that this is a very important cause to support. The Keweenaw has really had enough of Lonie pushing folks around. Mt Bohemia is an awesome ski hill and I would never tell someone to not go there. However, I think folks can send a message to him by supporting the Westcotts regardless of if they ski at Lonie’s resort or not. 

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

The march towards winter continues up here, with the snows of last weekend giving way to quiet weather for early in the week and then more snows this weekend. Nearly all of the snow so far this season has been lake effect and the Keweenaw has, so far, avoided the bulk of the larger accumulations. There have been areas, especially the higher terrain south of Houghton, that have seen more than 3-4″ fall with the episodes, but for the most part, snow accumulations in the Keweenaw from Houghton north have been in the 1-2″ range per event. We picked up 1.5-2″ of snow Friday night into Saturday, while many areas did not see much at all and then last night, we were one of the few places that did not see around 2″ of snow fall. The ground here has been white for almost 48 hours and we have som e snow showers currently falling, but should not amount to much.

The week ahead sees a brief warm up to the mid 40’s for Tue-Wed and then back to freezing to below for daytime highs the rest of the week. Some more snows are possible by the second half of the week. For more details on the forecast, you will have to check back tomorrow. I will be firing up the forecast engines for the season tomorrow and it’s nice to be here in the middle of November and have some snow to forecast for!

Ahead of the snows, we did have a decent November gale occur on Thursday. Winds blew as strong as 66 mph on Isle Royal, 60 mph on Stannard Rock and 53 both at Big Traverse and the Houghton County Airport. The unusual thing about this wind event was that the direction of the winds was out of the ESE. Most of the big blows in November have winds out of the NW. I did get down to White City to check out the wave action Thursday afternoon and was pretty impressed. Some of the bigger waves were able to roll right over the pier there, that is the first time I have seen them that big. Here is a video I shot while there.

The day before, my friend, Tim and I cut down the remaining two trees that were dead-standing between the house and the shop. I had not cut them down because they were a threat to the powerlines and I thought that the tree trimming service that the power company hired to cut such trees were going to do it. I really did not want them standing all by themselves any longer, so we took them down Wednesday. It’s probably a good thing we did, as the strong east winds on Thursday could very well have brought them down right on the shop.

The larger of the two trees and the largest of the group of five that were there had a bit of a lean towards the road and powerlines and that is the main reason why I was really hoping the tree trimmers would come back and do it. I have coaxed other trees that were leaning the wrong way to fall where I wanted them to and with the use of some steel cable and a come-along, I was able to notch and then fell the tree right where I wanted it to go. It also helped that there was no winds Wednesday morning. I did luck out in guessing that it was not tall enough to fall on the old shed in it’s path. Even though the shed is falling down all on it’s own and will be demolished in the next year.

The other job knocked off the list of things to do was the installation of the flooring in the office. It is so very nice to be rid of the concrete and have some nice laminate down and spruced up with an area rug. The final things to do in the office is to finish some trim work and then build a new desk and credenza. However, before the building of the furniture will take place, I want to get the shop in full working order, meaning the central dust collection set up and all the loose items put in their place.

Not much else to talk about this week, but be sure to check in tomorrow to read the first forecast of the season and watch the first video of the season I also hope to record and introductory video. I may have to come out of retirement so that I can get some rest!

Good Night from the Keweenaw..