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Future of the Island?!
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Does increasing development and population on the Island concern you?
yes
67%
 67%  [ 38 ]
no
32%
 32%  [ 18 ]
Total Votes : 56

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Squeaky
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

j.munro-duncan, I agree with you when you say that you would not want someone coming onto your property and snapping pictures. I can say that I too would not care for that. I like taking pictures too but sometimes I believe it can and is an invasion. It just was an off the wall comment.
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Dan Reynolds
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My opinion, which is worth no more than the paper upon which it could be printed...

I should be able to park a camper on my property year-round. There are dozens of technicalities surrounding the concept of 'year round camps', but the thing's gotta be parked somewhere. If I tow it back down to my house on the mainland, it sits there on my property, too, and apparently that's fine. How many people park utility trailers or other relatively benign implements on their property without a second thought? This is no different. Park it on my BBI property, park it on my other properties - if I can't even store a clean, decent trailer on BBI anymore, then BBI becomes the equivalent of a subdivision association. It becomes what I dislike about the mainland.

We've all seen 'da blight' as Conis called it, and it's not good. Rotting corpses of campers with decades-old garbage strewn about. But there is no reason to scare people away from keeping decent, usable campers on their own property - seasonally or all year. When it crosses that gray line into 'disrepair' that is visible to other land owners or visitors, well, now you have an issue. But come on. Even if you can afford to ferry the thing across twice a year, why bother, if BBI is the only place you are going to use it? If you own the property, keep the unit clean and serviceable, and don't bother anyone, then I say you're good to go.

BTW, I've seen year-round campers that are a lot more attractive and well-kept than some of the permanent cabins.

Whether you have a camper, a cabin, or whatever, if you can't afford to keep it in reasonable shape, then you can't afford to own the property. Simple as that.

I don't currently own a camper, nor do I plan to obtain one, but I also have no problem with people making appropriate use of their own property. I bought property because I am capable of caring for it. It is not a dumping ground. Those who are incapable of caring for their own property (due to cost, illness, or whatever) need to seek assistance.

So, rather than just talking about it here on the Board, I will gladly offer my help to anyone who wants to clean up their BBI property. I will help you clean up your trash, help tow junk out to the dock for removal, etc. Rather than just complain about it, we need to be ready to lend a hand and do something about it. You'd still have to pay ferry and disposal costs, but at least you wouldn't be going it alone.

Think of it as the 'Adopt-an-Island' project. We all gotta care about it enough to pitch in (LOL, "pitch in" - sorry for the garbage can platitude). Maybe if those with rotting trailers and other garbage know there are people willing and able to help, they'll take advantage of it. Who knows... it can't hurt to offer. I will be on the Island a lot this year and am ready to help.

It sure beats the alternative: taking away my freedom to use my own property.

Dan
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DawnM
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amen! Now that's a good idea
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Rosemary
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iagree. I am willing to help too....just give me a call. Will be back on the island in May.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan.

Now there is something positive and productive! (APPLAUSE PLEASE!!!)
I was told, not so long ago, they brought a car crusher over and disposed of dozens of junkers on the island. Thes old rotted trailers don't take much to flatten/compact with a front loader and are worth scrap.

As far as existing policy? I didn't make up the rules. This seems to be the trend in most michigan counties as far as nixing year round "camper camps". I would say, take the issue to the twp if it isn't satisfactory.

I think the root cause is abuse. To prevent what has happened before (The one way ticket mentality) from repeating itself... And to prevent otherwise unbuildable properties from evolving into camper-camp ghettos, also something which happened previously. The final issue is sanitation.

These campers have to be stored somewhere. On a lot, in someones yard. whatever. I honestly don't know how strident the twp is about removal each fall.

Look at it this way. The twp does have the "tools" (the rules) to now manage this situation and prevent things from getting out of hand as they once did. What level they may choose to enforce these rules may be proportionate directly to an inoffensive campsite which is kept picked up... or a trashed up ghetto camper-camp. All subjective and "what can be seen from the road", I suppose.

Best thing do do is go to (or write) the twp and get a current zoning ordnance booklet and sort if out from there. I am told the twp also has a "blight ordinance" now which may well be directed toward forcing a clean up of the abandoned messes littering the island.

If WE want to see the island preserved and kept in a state we all enjoy, these are real issues that have to be addressed in a forward-sane manner. It is always easier to prevent problems than fix them.

C
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Fitzgeralds
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lets come up with an annual weekend that is dedicated to cleaning the island. I live in Saint Clair Shores and every spring they have a weekend when residents volunteer to clean the shore line of lake Saint Clair. I am willing to volunteer a weekend in the spring. Happy Happy Happy
Great idea Dan!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I routinely do a beach clean-up, yearly. I usually collect 2 large garbage bags of jetsam from a couple thousand linear feet. I used to do this for about a mile, but I got tired of cleaning up in front of the neighbors. They seem to ignore styrofoam, cans, plastic wrappers, light bulbs and the like. I don't really get that.

My suggestion in the past has been to assess a garbage fee on all incoming passengers on the ferry. Then the transfer station could be open, and free. This would encourage everyone to put all garbage into designed containers rather than hauling it back to the mainland, burying it,..., or worse. It seems to me that most visitors generate a bag of garbage during their stay. Why not incentivize them to give it to the station to be burned, recycled, or hauled out? I confess that it always annoys me to pay for the couple of bags of trash that I collect the stuff washed up on shore and thrown out of cars along the road. (About every two years, I've had to clean up after some hunters that left a mess in the woods.) Perhaps if the dump were free like it was long ago, people would tend to do the right thing.


Yep, long ago there were lots of abandoned vehicles on the island. There was a program to take them off for recycling. A small entry fee could fund a program for that if needed in the future. It could also fund critter-safe disposal containers near the camp sites.
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Ron Petersen
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie - Tax everyone that comes to the island??? Maybe we should tax every Deer that P**Ps in the woods too!!!!!!!! - I have seen just as many messes around camps that are permanent as opposed to campers coming to the island for a short stay. I am one that would love to see the island stay as it was - which ain't gonna happen! And also remembering many old cars and trucks that no longer run sitting around - Eyesore or just part of the natural things that happen - most of the vehicles that came over then were on their last leg when they came over!!! Take a drive around the mainland out in the country and see if you don't see the same thing!!!
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Dave Cox
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

here's the perfect opportunity for autonomy on rule making for a northern michigan island, Charlie, check it out.

http://www.nmmlsx.com/idx/remaxhs/land/landview.php?view=398857[/url]
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave - thanks for the hotlink. The issues would include power and connectivity. I'll give them a call.
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron - you're already paying the 'tax'. The only difference would be instead of having residents buy the right to dispose of garbage on a bag_by_bag basis, all visitors chip in as they come onto BBI. (Face it. Everyone coming onto the island will create garbage. Most will bag it up. Most will drive over to the transfer station when it is open, pay the fee, and dispose of it. But some won't. This would be just one more incentive to convert most to all.

For myself, I often find that the transfer station is not open when I'm ready to do a garbage run. If it's prepaid, it can be left open at all hours. And return to having a large container near the dock so that folks rushing to leave can just toss stuff in.

I'm talking convenience. I'd like to see the transfer station open 24/7. As a spinoff, I'm betting that trash disposal improves.

I recall many years ago before Michigan had a container tax, many of the northern lakes had a serious litter problem. With the nickel inconvenience, those cans and bottles magically disappeared. As the value of a nickel eroded, the problem re-emerged.

Everyone should wrestle with the conundra articulated in Garret Hardin's Tragedy of the Commons. I quote one squibet:

<<We want the maximum good per person; but what is good? To one person it is wilderness, to another it is ski lodges for thousands. To one it is estuaries to nourish ducks for hunters to shoot; to another it is factory land. Comparing one good with another is, we usually say, impossible because goods are incommensurable. Incommensurables cannot be compared.>>

I guess I'm just a wilderness kind of a guy.
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 7:11 am    Post subject: Trash Reply with quote

This will crack you up. But when it comes to island trash, I bag it up. throw it in the back of my van, and put it in my trash when I get home. If I have recyclables, it goes too. Of course, I keep the windows open a bit.

What we should do is drive to canada and throw it out on one of their sideroads.

Personally, I think everything we buy should be in recyclable packaging and have a deposit on it.
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Ron Petersen
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I don't get it - If were already paying the tax, why isn't it open all the time? - I can't think that there would be many using it illegally, and if they are, GREAT" The trash is going where it shoud - in the dumpster!! - Of course there's always that few that won't use it anyway, and it might get worse if you penalize them with a tax on the boat ride! Many come on and off of the island many times a month, it would be a little tough on them, or a bookeeping nightmare
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Conis
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave Cox wrote:
here's the perfect opportunity for autonomy on rule making for a northern michigan island, Charlie, check it out.

http://www.nmmlsx.com/idx/remaxhs/land/landview.php?view=398857[/url]


That listing is obsolete, I picked it up last week for clean 3.1mil. I am starting a new country called the sovereign isle of Conis and annexing the isle of Bobloette ontoit. Come on out!
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK Ron -

What kind of "bookeeping nightmare" is involved in a fee imbedded in the ferry charge? Is that the same nightmare that you suffer every time you purchase gas, pay your light bill, or buy something at a store? To be able to post on this site, you are paying a commodity charge with multiple layers of local, state, and federal taxes on top. Take a look at your utility bill sometime.

You say: "Many come on and off of the island many times a month". I don't know how many 'many' is, but I can guess. And it's not many. In any case, assuming that $5 is the max you'd want to charge any one person for going and coming on the ferry during a month, a monthly pass for a reduced rate would be fine. Or a system of rebates like you have for boating fuel and farm fuel would work just fine.

Now if you say that an extra $5/month would be "a little tough on them", I have a hard time responding. Folks are paying $2-3 for a cup of coffee. Movies are $7. Cigarettes are $2-3 a pack.

Nearly the entire price of cigarettes is tax. That tax is imposed to discourage use, and to pay for the cost of diseases caused by them. I happen to agree with that strategy. I don't smoke. And I don't like having to pay for those diseases.

The 'tax' I said you're already paying is the loss of environmental purity. I believe that if disposing of trash is made easy, and if responsible adults set the example, peer pressure will go a long way toward preserving the environment.

I don't think anyone is being 'penalized' when they pay as they go.
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Elmer - I confess that I used to pack my garbage off BBI; return bottles to Carters; then go around behind the strip mall to deposit my bags into their dumpster. ( I may have driven them out of business, huh?)

That's because it was often my poor planning to go off at a time the Transfer Station was closed. I know, I should plan better. But when I go to BBI, I like to turn off the clock, and ignore the calendar.
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j. munro-duncan
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I concur with Mr. Reynolds! Handle the blight! Don't punish everyone for the lack of care, effort, financial resources, etc. of those who have left their trailers to slowly rot away on the island. There are obviously many, many residents of the island who have voiced their disgust at having trailers impede their vision of the island's natural landscape. Especially those in FULL-VIEW, from the road. I can totally empathize with them. But again, for those who do have campers that are in good condition and are well cared for or those who would like to put a camper on THEIR property until they can build (some are brand new and DO look better than some permanent structures on the island, like someone else recently stated), they shouldn't have to haul their camper off the island in the winter months when the population barely exceeds 40. Some people have campers on their property that can't be seen from the road, from the beach or by any neighbor from either side of their lot. But these need to be removed when the snow flies, just to be brought right back up in the spring? Eh, eh. . . . The blight, the blight.

J.E.E. - We do exactly as you do. . . we attempt to take most of the garbage we generate back home with us. And although it drives my husband a little crazy, I sort out glass, plastic, cans and paper from our garbage and he takes the recyclables to the center back downstate whenever he leaves the island. Last summer, I spent my first entire summer on the island - HEAVENLY! From early June to late August. . . I never left once! And like Mr. Trie, we pick up garbage, WHERE EVER we are on the island. . . on North shore, the beach, the woods, doesn't matter. I always shove a plastic garbage bag into the front pocket of my sweatshirt when we go on our daily walks. We'd be more than happy to be involved in a MONTHLY summer clean-up day. I have to admit, it is kind of a bummer to have to pay for picking up other peoples' garbage when taking it to the transfer station. Charlie, we agree with you that the transfer station should be open 24/7, especially in the prime summer months when most of the garbage is being created. I've noticed that in the 30+ years that I've been coming to the island, there appear to be more and more people coming over "just to check it out for the day". . . be it on foot, on bikes or in a motorized vehicle. Those are the people (overnight campers, too) that are less likely to dispose of their garbage (or be willing to PAY for it, for that matter). It used to be that years ago, I could say that I was going up to Bois Blanc Island, and people would ask, "Where's that? I've never heard of it." But now, we meet people all the time who have not only heard of it, but know where it is and have even been there because of reading about it in newspapers, magazine articles, television and even word-of-mouth.

My aunt, who is on the BBI township board calls to remind us every summer of the "Amnesty Day", where you can get rid of garbage no questions asked, at no charge. (I'm almost positive, but don't quote me!) You should see the stuff that people are willing to purge from their grip on Amnesty Day! Spend an hour at the transfer station to see the droves of residents come in to rid themselves of all the stuff they've been hoarding because it's too darn expensive to get rid of it until then. Which reminds me, I'm not liking the attitude I've surmised from some of the posts that "if you can't afford to build......haul off your trailer.....throw away your garbage.....then get off the island". I can't afford much these days because I'm a young wife and mother of three young children. . . I work, my husband works, we save for college, we save for this and that, we save for a rainy day. But the best investment we've ever made, was our property on BBI. I've got many years ahead of me to spend summers with my children and hopefully, my grandchildren and they, with theirs. We've worked to instill a sense of wonder and reverence of nature in our kids, and my hopes are that they will continue to tread softly on that great Northern Rock for many years to come. So, again. . . . you don't have to have MONEY to take care of the island.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a couple of ideas re garbage:

The problem with dumpsters is that it requires a garbage truck to un-dump them which costs $$$ back and forth to the island for that purpose. How about a dumpster at the ferry dock in Cheboygan for the transients? If only how to figure out how to prevent cheboyganites from putting stuff in it at 2am. They have these things called padlocks.

In Indian River, you can buy prepaid garbage bags, (yellow I think) for a buck at the the local grocery,Kens market (or on the ferry or at hawks) which entitle a person to have it picked up by whomever it is that services the area. Way cheaper for seasonal/intermittent residents than paying for pick up service by the month.

With something as simple as this, campers can buy them and would be entitled to place them in a "supervised" dumpster which is clearly posted as to what can be put in it "prepaid yellow bags only" I don't know what they charge at the station on the island??? probably a lot??? So discount the prepaid bags a little to encourage folks to use this service?

I don't know what to say about a "garbage tax" The yellow bags are sort of that. People still have the option of taking their garbage with them as an option. For a $1.00 or $1.50 or whatever, I would buy the bags. For $3.00 I would take my garbage with me.

A couple years ago, Tuscarora twp (Indian River) tried to have garbage pickup added to property tax. People went ballistic! Then there would have been a monopoly with Waste Management charging whatever they felt like in the village. I don't remember if it was the year rounders griping about paying for the seasonals or vice versa. Let people pay for their own! The yellow bag system worked before and still does. Pay for the service as needed and that is as fair as you can get.

And next will come the FBI investigating counterfeit garbage bags?

C
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conis - great idea! A dumpster in Cheboygan would be a great idea. I'd like to see it free for the immediate user, because I'd like to eliiminate all excuses for not using it.
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West End Piper
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, Mr. Reynolds - you have addressed the camper issue perfectly. Thank you. I agree on all points.

Mr. Trie - A self-proclaimed "financial conservative" that wants to impose a garbage tax on ferry travellers?!!!! You must be joking. Do you think before you type? On Plaunt's boat, by last year's prices, I pay $83.00 round trip to bring my family to the island. (Soon, it will be more, when my youngest turns 5- $92.00). It costs $52.00 for a family on Duffiney's boat, no matter how many kids you have. It's fairly obvious why I choose to take Duffiney's boat, whenever possible. (No "Deep Pockets" here) Also, I already pay way more tax on my small, seasonal cottage, than I do on my primary residence (which is quite a bit larger), with full city services. (200 cops, 100 firefighters, garbage pick-up, recycling, senior center, enormous public library etc.....) The fact that you think that "not many" people travel on and off the island many times during a month, only cements my opinion that you have got your blinders on, and can't see an issue from 360 degrees. What's the weather like in your world? Smile For someone like myself, who removes my garbage each time I leave the island, an additional ferry tax would be unacceptable and unfair.

Conis - you have some great ideas/reflections, well thought out and well presented. (I like the pre-paid bag idea!) My wife and I always enjoy reading your input.
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West End Piper
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wait Charlie...... I can feel your response coming........." Well if the boat is too expensive, you don't belong on the island!" Am I right? Did I beat you to the punch?
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear West End Piper - how you allocate you capital is your business.

You imply that our property taxes on BBI are way too high for the services received. Maybe that's an issue that should be addressed. My suggestion to place a small fee on visitors was attempt to reduce, or eliminate, the litter problem I've perceived in the past. - You know, maybe it isn't a problem at all. Maybe it's just my perception. (On the other hand those bags of other-people's trash I clean up each year seems real enough.)

Perhaps you have a better solution. Or perhaps you have a different perception.

My 360 degree view goes like this: I worked my way through school, and finished with big bank debts. I paid them off, and vowed to live below my means. The last 25 years have seen the greatest economic expansion in the history of the world. We're lucky to have been born in this country. When I've had cash left over, I've invested in American business. I've tried to keep my eyes open. For instance, I loved Carters, but when WalMart moved in and put the hurt on them, bought a little WMT. After collecting tossed away beer cans, I bought some BUD. Having watched folks live in trailers and manufactured housing, I bought some Clayton and Fleetwood (which I flipped because of terrible management). Now I have a very small piece of the largest manufactured home company in the US, one of the largest RV makers, and the most successful trailer/MH lender/mortgager. Velcro is wonderful stuff around the camp, its stock is even better at the right price. Having watched the logging on BBI, I felt comfortable buying some stock in a company that carries its 14,000 UP acres and logging business at a 1930's valuation. On my way to the island, I stopped by a company in Ann Arbor that did rapid prototyping. Nice buyout on that. I also checked out HomeServices.com which is now the second largest realtor in the US. I got chiselled on that buyout, but still did OK. I looked at Whiting Petroleum because of its Antrum gas field, but failed to buy on the spin-out - too bad, missed a nice gain. Which led me to some small Appalacian gas companies, and my current position in Canadian Royalty Trusts with their monthly payouts that yield 15-18%/year. I hear your 'not "deep pockets"' refrain, which led me to a big position in dollar stores that give the best value. I watched auto parts manufacturing go overseas and bought a chunk of the old GM Hyatt Ball Bearing Company that now makes all of its product in China. On the other hand, I've seen that local manufacturing had not ceased, so I felt comfortable buying a bit of a specialty steel company that was buying out competitors during the downturn of 2002. After talking to a fellow at the Bar who does something with the State of Michigan auto fleet, I was led to a midwestern ethanol company that was ramping up fuel for cars. After camping with an LED flashlight that still works after being on for two weeks straight, I first bought stock in a US LED maker, and then traded the position for a British LED company that's doing stop lights, automobiles, runways, train signals, truck tail lights, and architectural lighting. My BBI experience has been good.

I still shop at CostCo, and receive great value. When COST stock is down, I buy what I buy.

I don't know that things will be as good in an economic sense, going forward because for the last 5 years, the US has been experiencing a 'bubble' economy. In fact for the last 12 months, the savings rate has been negative. (Last time that happened was during the Great Depression.)

But it's the only way I know how to protect myself from things like ferry prices going up because Wayne lost his ferry slip. Prices for everything are going up. College costs $40,000 a year now. (Wow! Professors expect to get paid to entertain our little darlin's!)

Your mileage may vary, but I recommend to all: invest in this wonderful capitalist system of ours.
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Uncle Steve
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Laughing Charlie.. The key to our next 20 years of 18-20% profit per annum on our portfolios are in two big areas.. 'Chindia" and fossil fuels ( all areas, including exploration, production and refining, distribution etc ) It will take us about 15 plus years to get Hydrogen based fuels to market at a reasonable cost..
Just some thoughts to liven up the conversation.. It's working well for me
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John Elmer Engel
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Location: Bay City-BBI: East End

PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 6:18 pm    Post subject: Investments Reply with quote

Wow! Investor talk pumps me up, man. I, too, have a portfolio...it's full of sheet protectors with cabin plans.

Charlie...that was a reply! The post that prompted it was as sharp edged as I've seen since I've been blabbing with y'all.
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Charlie Trie
Birch Baby
Birch Baby


Joined: 25 Aug 2004
Posts: 162

PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uncle Steve, you may be correct. (Check out this presentation at Harvard by Matt Simmons: http://www.d-n-i.net/fcs/pdf/simmons_sustainable_energy.pdf). How you invest in energy, is a big problem. Like I posted, since 40% of electricity production goes into making light, I'm a big fan of LED's that are 10X more efficient. I also have a stake in nuclear (USU). And XON and BP. I hate to tell Ron Peterson that MidAmerican Energy provides the power in his part of the world, and MidAmerican is 80% owned by Berkshire Hathaway, which is one of my favorite positions.

The cool thing about Chindia is that their emerging middle class is several times bigger than our entire population. Surely we can construct things that they need and want.

However you invest, the price you pay is the key to high returns. (And I consider your 18-20% mark a high return. It's the return I like to get, but remember that Buffett has only done 23%. Of course, he's done it for 50 years, which is unique.)


John Edgar - I find that investing takes lots of time and discipline. It's a kind of energizing sport in which you can participate on a laptop while sitting on a rock with your bare feet in Lake Huron. (Buffett describes it as baseball where they don't call strikes. You make 'em keep pitching until they groove one.) I've found that one good idea every one or two years is enough to get returns of 10% above average.

I'd be happy to share a rock.

That's one selfish reason why I'd like to see BBI stay peaceful, quiet, and 'natural'. In 2006, easy communication is worldwide. That rock can be anywhere.
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