Tommy’s Class went on an Education Sailboat – Monday, June 17, 2019

A week ago Friday on June 7th, Tommy’s class went on an excursion on a boat that has an educational program. Tommy’s class put the number of attendees of the program at 125,000. One classmate of Tommy’s was randomly chosen as the 125,000 enrollee.

Steve attended as a parent chaperone and said that it was fun to watch Tommy who was fascinated by the experience.

You can see Tommy bossing everyone around in this photo with his shipmates:

Tommy is 2nd from right.

Below is a newspaper report of the event. The term micro-plastics was a new one for me.

The Record-Eagle | Page C01
Sunday, 16 June 2019



SUTTONS BAY — The sounds of ropes slapping the sails and waves splashing against the hull of the Inland Seas schooner were all that could be heard as a class of fourth-graders fell silent and pretended they were sailing in the 1800s.

The silence was dramatic, as it followed hours of the students excitedly doing science projects aboard the educational sailboat operated by nonprofit Inland Seas Educational Association as it cruised around Suttons Bay on Lake Michigan.

What seemingly was a typical school field trip for the sailing educators aboard the floating classroom instead marked a milestone moment: the organization served its 125,000th student on its June 7 afternoon schooner voyage.

“They are doing a lot of the same things they did years ago, but of course, they’ve added the microplastics which is critical,” said Ann Rogers, retired Traverse City teacher invited aboard the historic sail because she brought the first students to the shipboard program.

ISEA initially launched 30 years ago and promotes hands-on learning through experiences both on land and aboard the organization’s schooners. Its mission is to inspire curiosity, stewardship and passion about the Great Lakes.

“It’s hard to keep something like that going for 30 years, but we have and we’ve continued to grow,” said Fred Sitkins, ISEA executive director. “It continues to resonate with people today as much as it did 30 years ago.”

On board the Inland Seas schooner on June 7, Eastern Elementary fourth-grade teacher Karen Nelson said she wants her students to gain a sense of ownership of the Great Lakes from a young age, and that comes with experiences. She brings her students each year and has brought hundreds over her career, she said.



Isabella Stewart, 10, of Traverse City, pulls on a rope to help raise a sail on the Inland Seas schooner, an education ship operated by the Inland Seas Education Association in Suttons Bay.

Record-Eagle/Sheri McWhirter

“They are doing a lot of the same things they did years ago, but of course, they’ve added the microplastics which is critical.”

Ann Rogers, retired Traverse City teacher


“I want my students to have access to being on the Great Lakes because many of them may not otherwise have that chance,” Nelson said.

The shipboard program also helps the pupils learn about creatures that live in the Great Lakes, water quality, plankton and benthos, the flora and fauna that live in the sediments at the bottom of the lakes. They also trawl for microplastics, an element added in recent years.

The program offers the students a chance to learn how to care for the environment around them, Nelson said.

“I want them to be stewards of the environment and teaching them science is the best. And all this is science,” she said, gesturing around where she stood on the deck of the schooner.

An opportunity to learn more about the organization is coming on June 21, during a grand opening celebration for a $1.5 million renovation at the Capt. Thomas M. Kelly Biological Station, the agency’s home in Suttons Bay. The facility is named for the nonprofit’s founder, who launched the effort in 1989 with the leased tallship Malabar.

ISEA’s shipboard program serves approximately 5,000 students each year, though the organization also offers programs on dry land.


Braxton Couturier, left, Adrian Edson, Jaxin Elhart, Tomás Haas, and Niilo Asiala, all 10-year-old fourthgraders at Eastern Elementary in Traverse City, work together to hoist up the anchor on the Inland Seas.


Hannah Sluis, 10, of Traverse City, checks out a native crayfish captured in an otter trawl dragged behind the Inland Seas schooner in Suttons Bay.

Record-Eagle photos/Sheri McWhirter


Retired teacher Ann Rogers, right, listens as fourthgraders learn about species living in the Great Lakes. Rogers was the first teacher to take students on a field trip aboard the educational schooner.

Copyright (c)2019 The Record-Eagle, Edition 06/16/2019

Last Day of School; Happy Father’s Day – Sun. June 16, 2019

Tommy and Paco on the last day of 4th and 9th grades.
Kirsten said that it was a chilly 51 degrees last Friday on the last day of school. I think that it was about 91 degrees here in Sacramento. Kirsten said that Tommy was not happy that school was getting out. But, Paco responded, “Wait until you have exams, and you will be happy.” I am thrilled to hear that Tommy likes school.

Paco and Tommy ready for 51 degree weather?

Tommy was named “Marvelous Mathematician” by his teacher. Paco received a scholar/athlete award at his baseball banquet last Thursday night.

Paco auditioned to earn a spot in the snare drum section for the marching band. Drum camp starts tomorrow along with a weights and conditioning program at the high school. Tommy has a week off before starting day camp and a 4-day soccer camp on June 24th.

We celebrated Father’s Day by playing bridge. We were average of the 10 pairs and took home a fraction of a Master Point. Afterwards, we went to Sushi Hook with 3 other bridge players, Dave Vidaver, Elizabeth Sachs, and Denis Racine. I had my usual hamachi kama which was exceptionally good today. Clark loves the udon noodle bowl and had some sushi, too.

To come: Tommy’s sailing field trip.
Happy Father’s Day to all!

CT Scan for Clark; Lunch at Biba’s

Today Clark had an appt at Sutter Hospital for a CT scan of his abdomen. Clark’s urologist had ordered this scan before he does surgery to remove a tumor on Clark’s bladder which has a 90% likelihood of being cancerous.

Clark had worried about the scan ahead of time because he didn’t know if he would be allergic to the iodine that is used for contrast. But, all went well and he came out smiling.

As I was sitting in the waiting room, I had a view of Biba’s restaurant which is right across the street. So, I suggested that we go there for lunch.

Biba’s is on the ground floor of the lovely old Tudor building at the corner of 29th and Capitol.

I had Cornish game hen with roasted cauliflower and brussels sprouts.

Clark had one of the specials of the day: ravioli filled with braised pork.

When we were waiting for the maitre to grab the menus, Biba came up next to Clark and Clark gave her a hug, and said, “Are you in charge here?” And she nodded “yes”. A couple of years ago we ate dinner at Biba’s (thanks to nephew Ken and wife Anne). Qhen I came out of the restroom into the lobby where Clark was waiting for me, Biba was tousling Clark’s curly hair. When we left today, Biba had gone home for the afternoon, so no tousles this time.


Niece Janet had skiing accident – Sat. June 8, 2019

My niece Janet Smith Keeter was skiing with her brand new 2018 Volki Aura skis yesterday morning when her ski season abruptly ended. On her 2nd run of the day, she hit a sticky patch of snow and twisted her right knee. She has a minor fracture of her tibia plateau, where the tibia joins the knee.

Janet was skiing with 2 friends on Siberia Bowl at Squaw Valley.

The friends flagged down the ski patrol.

Janet’s new skis are strapped to her sled. The new bindings were just mounted the night before.
Ski patrol took her to Truckee Hospital and husband Steve, who had been at their cabin at Tahoe Donner, met Janet at the hospital. There they did x-rays and fitted her with a knee brace.

Janet with her knee brace.
The Truckee hospital could not do a CT scan or MRI without authorization from Janet’s Kaiser doctor. So, on their way home to Lodi, Steve and Janet stopped at Kaiser ER in Roseville where they did a CT scan showing the fracture and possible soft tissue damage. Janet has an appointment Monday with an orthopedist at Kaiser Roseville. She hopes that he will prescribe an MRI.

Janet Keeter

Here’s to a speedy recovery, Janet. Those newly gripped golf clubs are waiting for you!


Dinner with Marie Leonardini – Mon. June 3, 2019

For Patricia’s penultimate evening with us we went to dinner with Marie Leonardini who took us out for dinner when Patricia first arrived. Marie is one of my bridge partners. She and Patricia like to discuss theology and Marie and Clark have lively discussions about politics.

Patricia, Marie, and Clark at Broderick Roadhouse in Milagro Center in Carmichael.

After Dinner: Patricia, Marie, and Barbara outside the restaurant.

Tomorrow is Patricia’s and my last bridge hurrah.


Visit with Ralph, Joan, Janet, Pat Canty, & Kathy Brown – Sun. June 2, 2019

Today Patricia, Clark, and I drove to Walnut Creek to visit my sister Joan Smith and her husband Ralph who is a patient at Manor Care. We couldn’t believe how much better Ralph seemed since we saw him in January in spite of the fact that he is now on hospice.
Their daughter, Janet Smith Keeter, was there and took this picture:

Ralph, Joan, Barb, Clark, and Patricia.
Ralph uses the blue rubber ball as a punching bag.

From there we went to the Rossmoor Grill for lunch where we met my sister-in-law, Pat Canty, and her daughter, Kathy Brown, who both live in Oakland. Pat is the widow of my brother Tim who was the oldest of my 3 younger brothers. He died in 2008.

Sisters Patricia and Joan, sister-in-law Pat Canty, Clark, Barb, niece Kathy Brown after lunch at the Rossmoor Grill.

Driving down it took us in 1 hour and 25 min in pretty heavy traffic, especially near Dixon. Coming home I expected it to take longer, but we made it in an unprecedented 1 hour and 17 minutes. Traffic near Davis was unusually light.


Dinner at Joleen’s – Sat. June 1, 2019

Beckett, Patricia, Brandon, Barb, Clark, and Lisa after dinner in Joleen’s beautiful patio.

Brandon and Lisa are remodeling their living room, family room, kitchen area. Right now it is completely gutted. Joleen Hecht, Lisa’s Mom, lives about 3/4 mi from me, so Lisa and Beck have been staying with her this past month and Brandon sleeps here at my house.

Tonight Lisa and her Mom fixed a wonderful dinner for Patricia, Clark, and me. To begin with they made a keto appetizer consisting of a sliced cucumber with salmon and dill. There was also brie, Dubliner cheese, and olives – all very keto friendly. Joleen marinated pork loin and halibut which Brandon grilled. And also fixed yummy zucchini and onions.

About 9:40 Clark started wiggling his little finger … a sign that it was time to go home. We had been there chatting and eating on the patio for 4 hours!