eMailMax 9/25/2010 : Page 1

Sale Price Effective Monday, Sept 27 through Sunday, Oct 3 of St. Joseph Sale Dates: Sept 26 Thru Oct 2, 2010 Ballet • Tap • Jazz Automotive Market Place atHome Real estate Guide CLASSIFIEDS Pages 14-18 ..Pg 11 Moody on The Market Pat Moody When Susan Solon delivered her re-cap on this past summer’s Hot Diggity Dogs Public Art Project to the St. Joseph City Commission, either she was fearful that the city might decide to retire the concept or she simply wanted to put an exclamation point on the amazing summer that the city’s central business district enjoyed. Whatever the rea-son, you would be hard-pressed to deny that the summer of 2010 may well be one for the record books. Solon encouraged downtown merchants to join her at that city commission meeting to not only share their parade of suc-cess stories, but to also strongly encourage city leaders to keep the annual public art proj-ect alive and going strong next year and for years to come. On the heels of a successful auction of the colorful dogs of summer which will provide the city with nearly $20,000.00 in seed money to launch the next campaign, the merchants responded in force with at least eight speaking publicly, issuing a strong appeal to keep the decorative statuary an inte-gral part of the shopping experience down-town. St. Joseph Today Board Chairman and Restaurateur Larry Schuler kicked off the accolades by noting that his 20th anniver-sary summer downtown was a literal “perfect storm,” of conditions that led to great suc-cesses for his eatery. Schu’s Grill & Bar enjoyed a 10% increase over the summer and his Schu’s on Silver Beach marked a whop-ping 35% increase year over year. He said dozens of his patrons offered glowing com-ments regarding the city and its attractions. Janet Dykstra went next, calling the summer a “very good one,” but one where she was tentative coming into the season based on Continued on page 10 Please send your favorite horizontal photo with a brief description to MailMax at 2202 Plaza Drive, Benton Harbor, MI 49022 or email attached photo to Photos@FarAhead.com ATTN: MAIL SUBMISSIONS: If you would like your photo(s) returned, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your photo submission. Your Good News Paper. www.MailMaxOnline.com Vote for Your Favorite Photo Caption Online! visit www.MailMaxOnline.com Gourdy Young Little Amber enjoys the fall harvest at her Grandma and Grandpa's house. Photo by Anonymous (269) 429-6985 conniecassidydance.com 3162 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, MI September 25, 2010 Connie Cassidy School of Dance What can be more Exciting and Fun than to see all that’s Shiny and New This year and You are invited to join us October 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. When we open our doors to a Beautiful and Delightful New Season of Christmas We’re at the Blinking Light 4 Miles North of St. Joseph on M-63 (269) 849-3360 • www.christmastreegiftshop.com ri New Hours starting October 1st • M-F 10-6 • Sat 10-5 & Sun 12-5 Postal Customer Benton Harbor, MI PERMIT NO.225 PRSRT. STD. U.S. Postage PAID POSTMASTER: Please deliver on September 25, 2010

Moody On The Market

<b>Pat Moody</b><br /> <br /> When Susan Solon delivered her re-cap on this past summer’s Hot Diggity Dogs Public Art Project to the St. Joseph City Commission, either she was fearful that the city might decide to retire the concept or she simply wanted to put an exclamation point on the amazing summer that the city’s central business district enjoyed. Whatever the reason, you would be hard-pressed to deny that the summer of 2010 may well be one for the record books. Solon encouraged downtown merchants to join her at that city commission meeting to not only share their parade of success stories, but to also strongly encourage city leaders to keep the annual public art project alive and going strong next year and for years to come. On the heels of a successful auction of the colorful dogs of summer which will provide the city with nearly $20,000.00 in seed money to launch the next campaign, the merchants responded in force with at least eight speaking publicly, issuing a strong appeal to keep the decorative statuary an integral part of the shopping experience downtown. St. Joseph Today Board Chairman and Restaurateur Larry Schuler kicked off the accolades by noting that his 20th anniversary summer downtown was a literal “perfect storm,” of conditions that led to great successes for his eatery. Schu’s Grill & Bar enjoyed a 10% increase over the summer and his Schu’s on Silver Beach marked a whopping 35% increase year over year. He said dozens of his patrons offered glowing comments regarding the city and its attractions. Janet Dykstra went next, calling the summer a “very good one,” but one where she was tentative coming into the season based on Their outstanding summer of a year ago. Despite coming in with strong numbers in 2009, her Kilwin’s Chocolate Fudge & Ice Cream Shop enjoyed a 16% increase this summer. Perennial Accents voiced “110% support” for ongoing public art in the city, noting that families especially love the colorful objects scattered about town. They said their shop enjoyed a strong summer season. This was the third summer for Jimmy John’s, and they are “absolutely loving it,” and personally know people from Chicago who have ventured to our side of the lake specifically for the public art and Silver Beach Center attractions. Robin Allen of Forever Books told the city commission that this year “has been the best year in our entire 12 years in business!” She counts every transaction made in her store and says that she enjoyed fully 600 more transactions this summer over last and has enjoyed a 5% increase in sales. She notes that while that might not sound all that robust, most book sellers across the nation are happy these days if their able to break even. At DK Clothing, Deb is fascinated by the parade of families who take pictures out front when she’s on her way into her store, when she’s on the way out of her store, and literally all the day long. She says the public art projects are definitely a “big deal,” for St. Joseph. She has enjoyed a stellar summer with sales up fully 40 to 50% every month. In short, she told the commission that the Hot Diggity Dogs, “made my year!” At Moxie’s Boutique, where owner Monica Bolin admits that while the public art is not a direct lure for the type of customer her store attracts, “I can’t tell you how great it has been!” She says the store has enjoyed crowds all summer long, and the traffic has continued to be strong even after Labor Day. She noted that the crew from her neighbors at Landis Clothing and V&A Bootery asked her to pass along their support as well. For the crew at Sweet Seasons, they are up 100%...but, they’ve only been open for two months. Nevertheless, citing their own day trips to St. Joe before they elected to open up a shop, they applauded the city for the projects and said it has been a spectacular opening for them. For the record, the city commission was all smiles as they heard the glowing reports, and if I were a betting man, you can probably count on hearing about next summer’s project very shortly.<br /> <br /> It has been an increasingly strong year for a number of local manufacturer’s as well, but one that stands out is the team at AluTech of Stevensville. They are the firm that took over shortly after Intermet closed last winter. Intermet’s forerunner was Castmatic Corporation. The plant on Yasdick Drive in the village was briefly mothballed and some 50 people were put out of work when Intermet closed down. AluTech briefly ramped up to more than 40 people this spring, and then applied for a tax abatement from the village council. When they began that process, they planned to bring in nearly $3-million dollars in new equipment to the plant, and were gearing up for a second shift. Now, the company has added a third shift, has increased the workforce to 90 people and still plans to hire an additional 10 to 15 workers going forward. The company manufactures safety critical steering components for the automotive industry. Congratulations to the AluTech plant manager David Patterson and his entire team.<br /> <br /> I haven’t been able to get all of the details as yet, but the one time Park Inn International on Red Arrow Highway in Stevensville is now a Super 8 Motel. Following a recent sale, the new owners elected to drop the previous franchise flag in search of a new brand,And Super 8 is that brand at this juncture.<br /> <br /> Jennifer Brewer has launched her new uptown neighborhood store in St. Joseph and is calling the new business Pure Style. The shop opened a couple of weeks ago, featuring “upscale women’s fashions…but not at high end pricing.” The uptown triangle where Niles and Main intersect is named as such because of the long time Uptown Drug Store that once held court in that building. Brewer’s shop at 1109 Main Street sells both new things and items on consignment. She offers women’s designer clothing and accessories on the consignment side of the house, alongside new clothing, jewelry and sunglasses elsewhere in the shop. You will find Jennifer in the house Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11am until 7pm and on Saturdays from 11 ‘til 4. If you wish to sell consignment items, you are asked to schedule an appointment by calling 588-3030. Congratulations, Jennifer…best of luck with Pure Style.<br /> <br /> Kudos to Lake Michigan Credit Union where they have now surpassed the $2-billion dollars in assets mark. Remarkably, they did so just five years after passing the billion dollar milestone for the first time ever. LMCU’s Senior VP Julie Blitchok tells me that the credit union has grown more than 21% in that five year span, and their recent merger with Citizens Credit Union of Kalamazoo gives them 30 branches in West Michigan to better serve their more than 160,000 members.<br /> <br /> The Silver Spoon of Baroda has added another meal to their line-up. The popular café at 9218 Cleveland Avenue in Baroda is now open for breakfast featuring the “one egg is really two” concept along with omelets, waffles, pancakes, French toast, and homemade biscuits and gravy. You find breakfast available until 11am Monday through Saturday at The Silver Spoon, which is open from 6am until 9pm Monday through Saturday. My friend Amber encourages you to try “the best homemade coconut cream pie and banana cream pie” still made by the original owner, too!<br /> <br /> Connie Yore deals every day in antiques at her Days of Yore Antiques shop in downtown St. Joseph, but even she gets excited thinking about the first weekend in October. That’s because the sparkle and shine of the Great Lakes Glitzy Girlfriends roll into town as they host a Midwest Vintage Fashion Jewelry Convention at the Boulevard Hotel that weekend. With attendees slated to be here from Texas, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri and Michigan, the event is a free show and sale of vintage jewelry in the lower level convention rooms at the Boulevard on October 2nd from 9am until 3pm. If you’d like to learn more, contact Connie at 983-4144 or 983-1122.<br /> <br /> Now that they’ve wrapped up their summer of Yoga at The Blue Dress Barn, they’re launching Self Defense “Krav Style,” under the tutelage of Bill Ashley. Not only will you learn how to defend yourself, you’ll earn a serious workout. Classes are held Tuesdays from 6 until 7pm at the Blue Dress Barn for $10 each…and drop-ins are welcome. You’ll find the barn at 3893 Territorial Road in Millburg. For more, call Bill at 325-2641.<br /> <br /> If you’ve got college-bound high school juniors and seniors in the house, make plans now to be in the Mendel Center’s Grand Upton Hall at Lake Michigan College this coming Monday night, September 27th, from 6:30 until 8pm for their Annual College Night. You can pre-register online at www.lakemichigancollege.ed/collegenight. More than 50 colleges and universities will be represented that night including MSU, U of M, Western, Grand Valley, Ferris, Purdue, Andrews University, Michigan Tech and more.<br /> <br /> I’ve seen and even participated in various water events like Rubber Duck Races and the like, but I honestly cannot recall having ever seen or even heard of The Great Pumpkin Rotary River Race. Having said that, I hereby invited you to check it out on October 16th, as pumpkins really race down the St. Joe River! Fastest pumpkin in the stream wins $300! Plan to arrive early to purchase and decorate your pumpkin. Even if your gourd is a slow poke, other prizes will be awarded including “Best in Show” for decoration. To learn more call Andi at 269-519-8846. Advance tickets are available at St. Joseph Today, Travel Leaders in the Mall, or at the SW Michigan Regional Airport.<br /> <br /> The Lakeshore Community Enrichment Program for adults has unleashed their fall schedule and you can take classes in Public Speaking, Teen Bootcamp, Fit after 50, Square Dance, computer lessons of all kinds, and more. Most classes are held at Lakeshore High School, but you do not have to be a district resident to attend. See the full schedule of offerings online at www.lakeshoreschools.k12.mi.us. There’s always time to learn no matter your age!<br /> <br /> The New Troy Indoor Flea Markets resume on the last two Saturdays of every month beginning in October at the New Troy Community Center. They are now registering vendors at 269-426-4728. The center is located at 13372 California Road in New Troy. Check it out!<br /> <br /> I encouraged you to save the date of October 14th for the Volunteer Center Roast of Dr. Bob Harrison. Well, now tickets are on sale for a great night on the town from 6 til 9pm that night. A limited number of tickets are on sale, in advance only, for $75 per person. Get your reservation form online at www.volunteerswmi.org. It will be a fun night for sure, and it all benefits the Volunteer Center.<br /> <br /> That’s it for this week, kids. Have a great week…and we’ll see you next Saturday, right here in MailMax!<br /> <br /> Pat Moody <br /> <br /> Executive Vice President of Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce <br /> <br /> pmoody@cstonealliance.org <br /> <br /> 269-925-6100 ext. 216

Connie Cassidy School Of Dance

 

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