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Beacon Archive

June 2004
PDF Version

News from the Townships

Thanks from the Beaver Island Hospice

CMU Summer Field Trip Schedule

BICS to Graduate Seven

Tom Kelso 1940-2004

A Fine Mess

Strang Writers Enjoy Beaver Island

The Splendor of Crafts

On This Date

One Hundred Years Ago

Sock Hop Results

Broadway on Beaver: “An Evening with Stephen Sondheim” Premieres

Letters to the Editor: From the CCG

Letters to the Editor: BIRHC Meeting; Optometrist's Contract

Letters to the Editor: Karaoke

Sherry Burris 1956-2004

Henry Ricksgers Junior 1923-2004

BIRHC Truck Raffle

School Election June 14

Thanks to the Steinbachs: a New Fire Truck!

Wildlife Club News

Whiskey Point Light Reports Received

Baroque on Beaver

The Annual "Fashion Tea" July 8

Congradulations to Ryan Wojan


A Fine Mess

A number of people have recently written letters of support for Marilyn and Liam Racine, proprietors of the Stoney Acre Grill, to demonstrate how important this enterprise has become to the Beaver Island community. Consequently some of the customers have become aware of the disputation in which the Racines have become painfully embroiled.

Two and a half years ago the Racines' offer for the Old Rectory was rebuffed, so they shifted their focus to the Stoney Acres. Marilyn's brother and his wife were running a successful restaurant in Grand Rapids, and wanted to expand their enterprise. So the two couples, friends, went in together to buy Stoney. The idea was that Liam and Marilyn would be paid for their day-to-day work, and the two couples would split the profits, when and if they arrived.

Things began to go wrong almost at the start. Credit card receipts automatically sent to the operating fund account failed to arrive, so starting in August of 2002, Liam and Marilyn and the staff were rarely paid on time, and payments for supplies had to go on their burgeoning credit cards. Investigating how this could have happened led to some surprising discoveries that turned the two couples into combatants. Mediation was attempted, but the results were not accepted. A second round of mediation, involving three neutral attorneys to do a “case evaluation,” produced an equally unacceptable settlement proposal. So the matter began the time-consuming and expensive uphill climb into court.

A trial set for early May was postponed. New discovery motions were made, and detectives and attorneys hired. On June 14th another trial date will be set, probably for September. Acrimony has peaked, reducing the chances of a settlement.

By keeping their eyes on the goal of turning Stoney into a fine, International-style bistro, the Racines have managed to struggle along without reimbursement for their efforts, somehow finding fresh energy each time they seemed about to be overcome by exhaustion.

We all hope for a quick resolution; both couples have better things to do than perpetuate an energy-consuming dispute whose costs are such that neither can really hope to ever win.

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