Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

December 16, 2013

Cheers: 12/16/2013

- To the late Arthur and Mary Schmuckal, whose trust donated $100,000 to the Traverse Area District Library for use as a capital grant for the “establishment or enhancement” of library services in Blair Township, where the Schmuckals were community leaders. Art Schmuckal died in November of 2012 and Mary 14 years before him. Art Schmuckal founded Schmuckal Oil Co. in 1955 and was a Blair Township supervisor. He long wanted to bring a library to the community of about 8,210, said current Supervisor Patrick Pahl.

- To Time Magazine for naming Pope Francis its Person of the Year. The former Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected in March as the first pope from Latin America and the first Jesuit. He has urged the Catholic Church not to be obsessed with "small-minded rules" and to emphasize compassion over condemnation on topics like abortion, gays and contraception.

- To Munson Medical Center pharmacist Terry Baumann, who was recently honored by the Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists for his expertise in pain management. Baumann, Munson’s pharmacy manager, received the group’s Professional Practice Award.

- To A. Paul Schaap A former Wayne State University chemistry professor who has pledged $5 million and hoping to spark a wildfire of private financial support to protect valuable Detroit Institute of Arts works from being sold to pay creditors in the city’s bankruptcy.

- To a team of Great Lakes divers led by veteran Great Lakes shipwreck hunter David Trotter, 72, of Wayne County’s Canton Township, who discovered the wreck of the steamer Keystone State, which sank in 1861 in Lake Huron. The wreck was found in July. The boat was heading from Detroit to Milwaukee when it sank during a powerful November storm, claiming 33 lives. The wreck is in nearly 175 feet of water, about 25-30 miles northeast of Harrisville.

- To Steven Berkshire, of Traverse City, who created eight downtown ice sculptures along Front Street and two logo ice sculptures at City Centre Plaza, and to Marc Pritchard, who created a Santa sculpture at the Plaza. The sculptures were created for Santa’s arrival and other events that took place during Downtown’s Annual Holiday Open House.

- To members of Congress for barely beating a midnight deadline to renew an expiring ban on plastic firearms that can evade airport detection machines. Though Republicans blocked an effort to toughen the restrictions, the Senate by a voice vote gave final congressional approval to a 10-year extension of the prohibition. The House earlier voted for an identical renewal, The measure now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

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