2016 Great Lakes Conference

The theme for this year’s 2016 Great Lakes Conference is Lighthouse Organization Excellence through Resilience and Change.

“Restoring, maintaining, and welcoming the public to enjoy our lighthouses is a process. Developing organizational excellence in times of change requires resilience and expansion of roles, skills and “tools.” Organizations working with diverse people and issues need talented leadership to facilitate volunteer engagement and investment. Join us to explore ways to meet evolving contexts and challenges!

Keynote speaker Jeff Shook will describe and show behind-the-scenes images on how he advised Disney during filming of The Finest Hours; The Real Story as well as supplying lifeboats and Coast Guard artifacts to enhance the film’s authenticity. Hear parts of the true story that are not in the film and learn how they made such a challenging rescue come to life on the big screen! This is truly a one-of-kind experience you won’t want to miss!”

Sponsored by the Michigan Lighthouse Alliance, the conference will take place May 15 – May 17, in Traverse City, Michigan.

For more information.

Droning on …

Discussion in the cold winter months at the Dire Straits Lighthouse has turned to these new-fangled drones, which we’ve heard about even though the Lighthouse Service has yet to issue instructions on how to clean them. Hope they’re not brass.

Anyway, some of our fellow keepers are having problems with them that seem even worse than those pesky bird strikes. Don Terras down at Grosse PointLH had one explode the other day, showering plastic shrapnel over a 50-foot radius. Luckily, there was nobody below. Rick Cain even farther down at St. Augustine LH had an assistant injure an arm warding a crashing drone away from a visitor’s head. And over at Split Rock, Lee Radzak had a couple of near-misses and so many drone visits he had to develop a written no-drone policy.

I guess that means I can never talk to visitors at his lighthouse, because my wife says I do drone on. But if anyone else has a horror story or comment on this emerging issue (which can only get worse thanks to Christmas sales of these things), we’re all ears.

Up here at Dire Straits, it’s not much of a problem yet. We can’t afford drones. Heck, we can barely afford the mosquitoes.

-Mike Vogel, Keeper