History seems to come to life in the hands of “Myster History” Marc Newman, and he’s bringing his unique presentation to Pilgrim Hall at Plymouth Harbor on Friday, February 28 at 3 pm. Audiences find his programs exceptional not only becasue he dresses in authentic period costumes and he brings original museum artifacts of each time period he is discussing, but also because of his remarkable and extensive knowledge as an historian.
We’ll travel off the beaten path with Myster History to explore Unknown Heroes and Heroines during his visit to Plymouth Harbor.
Marc Newman is a well-known historian and author with more than 70 publications, both national and international. As a co-host at WBNR, he created the successful radio show, “History On the Air,” and has received numerous awards for his history scholarship and achievements as a history and social studies teacher in New York State.
It’s easy to agree that energy and natural resources should not be wasted. It’s a consideration for the environment, as well as the financial cost of using more than we need. We are all encouraged to reuse, reduce, recycle and we need your help to become less wasteful.
The Plymouth Harbor resident Conservation Committee has compiled a guidebook of suggested actions that will keep us all on a energy-sensitive path. Produced as a brochure for caregivers who visit, these tips are important for everyone to understand.
You can help conserve electricity usage by:
- Turning off uneeded lights – Your client’s safety is important, but in rooms no one enters, please turn off the lights.
- Adjusting the thermostat – Sometimes it is possible to adjust the thermostat up or down without making your client less comfortable.
Recycling is a Daily Habit
The garbage and food waste from each apartment goes down the chute in the trash room on each floor, but many items can be recycled.
Here is a RECYCLING list to help you know what to put where.
- Paper Container – This is the Biggie
newspapers, catalogs, magazines, junk mail, cards, flattened cereal and show boxes, corrugated cardboard, paper bags flattened
- Commingle Container
All cans, tin, aluminum, rinsed pie pans, Plastics which say in the little triangle on the base #1, #2, #3, #4, #5. #6, and #7. Glass – clear, green and brown
Everything must be rinsed and free of food particles.
If you have any questions, there is a list in the trash room of what we recycle.
How to Recycle unused and expired medicine
These should be taken to the Callahan Center on the second floor of the tower. Disposing of them in that way will keep those chemicals out of the bay and out of our drinking water.
All of us are in this together, trying to make Plymouth Harbor, and our world, a cleaner, safer place.
The view from the northeast residence on the 25th floor of the Plymouth Harbor tower is not so bad, particularly on a sunny winter day with boating activity far below on Sarasota Bay. That spectacular panorama catching nearly every angle of cityscape, gulf side sunsets and the moon rising over the bay, is the reason Joe and Nancy Berkely chose their new home at Plymouth Harbor in 2003.
We talked with Joe recently on one of those sunny days, taking a leisurely stroll back through the lucky turns of events that brought him together with Nancy, his wife of 69 years. It was only a year ago that she passed after a long illness during which she remained in their beautiful tower residence.
Smiling with the memory, he remarked on her unfailing beauty and spirit. “She always lit up the room wherever she went,” says Joe who first met his lifelong sweetheart in Dodge City during the war. She was a student at the University of Kansas. He was the daring young pilot, driving a red convertible no less!
They were introduced by the daughter of the Lieutenant Governor during a mixer between the B-26 pilots training at the Dodge City base and sorority girls from the University of Kansas in Lawrence. That high-placed connection came in handy when a special call to his superiors granted him a rare leave to attend the football game when Nancy was crowned homecoming queen.
Their courtship was a charmed one marked by lucky opportunities during the uncertain times of war. When they married, Joe, who had grown up in Chicago, decided to put down his roots in Nancy’s hometown and Dodge City is where they built their life together.
Joe bought a little weekly newspaper that he steadily built into the High Plains Journal, significant news source for the agricultural community throughout the Midwest. He learned about farming and ranch interests from the ground up with the help of many in the close knit social circles of Dodge City and beyond. With a good mind for promotions and building support for the paper, Joe was actively involved in agricultural innovations to solve problems such as weeds and drought. While one experiment seeding clouds blew rain well off the mark, a targeted spray on wheat fields from a helicopter proved to be a reliable and more cost effective method to eliminate weeds and improve yield.
That entrepreneurial mind of Joe’s never stopped though the years of raising their daughter Nan Berkely Griffin, who now lives in Myakka City, not far away. As the years passed, he and Nancy enjoyed more time at their winter home on Longboat Key where they kept a boat at the dock ready for time on the water whenever they wished.
When they no longer wanted to spend their energy maintaining a house themselves, it was a natural transition to move to a new home at Plymouth Harbor. They simply brought their boat over and moved into the penthouse that Nancy had designed for them herself. It featured a spacious kitchen, two bathrooms, gracious living, dining and work spaces and that view . . . ah, that view!
Once they moved in, not long after the graceful John Ringling Bridge was completed, Joe and Nancy became active members of the Plymouth Harbor community; Joe served on resident committees and Nancy simply loved the many people who lived here.
No longer serving on resident committees, Joe continues to keep active with fitness classes and the encouragement of our Wellness team. He still goes to work in his home office, maintaining communication with those now running the daily operations of the High Plains Journal which remains a leading voice for its community despite the digital revolution that rocked the newspaper industry.
When asked about the key to his success, or that of anyone who wants to be successful, Joe’s answer was, “Luck would be a big one! I was lucky to pick the right girl.” He’s quick to point to the luck of meeting his wife Nancy and the luck of meeting the right people who supported his first business efforts. But he adds quickly, “A good work ethic and intelligence.”
Reflecting on what drove his success, Joe also credits his father for instilling a sense of high personal and moral standards. Although his father wanted Joe to follow him into the medical profession, and he even studied medicine for a brief period, it was not meant to be. Studying at the University of Chicago, Central YMCA College, Notre Dame and finally earning his bachelor’s degree at the University of Valparaiso, Joe had a wealth of experiences before he ended up in the Army Air Corps. There officer training instilled further expectations of leadership as “an officer and a gentlemen”.
Joe took care of newspaper employees, paying everyone equally for their work regardless of gender. To this day the longevity of staff service is one of the strengths that have carried the business through difficult economic times. He’s proud that three times the union came in trying to organize the workers and each time the High Plains Journal employees resisted.
While Joe is still connected with the High Plains Journal, whose publisher calls on him at least twice a week, Joe makes time to enjoy his waterfront lifestyle. It’s more than that panoramic view. He still has a boat at the Plymouth Harbor dock. It’s a “Ford class” fishing boat, 32 feet, with twin inboard motors. At least once a month, Joe and a few fellow fisherman from Plymouth Harbor take her out for a day of fishing in the gulf. Now, that’s a zest for life!
By Becky Pazkowski
The Plymouth Harbor Foundation board members are remarkable people with a wealth of knowledge. We’ll introduce you to each of them this year.
- Lee Byron, Real Estate Agent, Michael Saunders
Lee Byron is a Smith College graduate and has been a resident of Sarasota for 34 years. In addition to having been a Plymouth Harbor, Inc. trustee for 6 years, ending her second term in 2013, she is one of the charter trustees of the Plymouth Harbor Foundation Board.
Among her volunteer activities in the community is her involvement with the Human Services Advisory Committee (HSAC), which advises the County Commission and makes grants to non-profit human services organizations. While her volunteer efforts are many, she is most passionate about children and prevention, because she feels that with a small financial investment, we can accomplish so much (10+ fold) for our citizens and the future of our community.
A seasoned real estate professional in Sarasota, Lee offers the following on the market: “Our market is stable and slowly increasing in value, which I like better than a boom market. The islands and West of the Trail are particularly enticing to buyers, with lower inventory and rising prices. However, we have not fully recovered from the 50% drop invalue from 2006.”
Green matters. Conservation of natural resources is important. That’s what motivatedPlymouthHarborresident Ish Pedersen to organize the firstPlymouthHarborresident conservation committee almost eight years ago. Of course, then it was an informal group of residents who wanted to share with their neighbors what they had learned about saving money and natural resources by adopting simple new habits.
They had a good idea with that, and shortly they were recognized as an official resident committee operating within the structure of the Residents Association. Ish was very dedicated to the cause and served three more years as the chair before passing it on to other equally dedicated individuals.
Bill Brackett led the committee after Isabel and in April 2013, Buzz van Arsdale took up the reigns. While the leadership of the chair is important, this committee is a true team of dedicated conservationists. Both Bill Brackett and Ish Pedersen have remained on the committee, which includes Sally van Arsdale, Hank Gieseler, Mike Kolker, Alida DeJongh, Barry Starr, and Marty Buenneke.
The focus of the committee is to promote energy and water saving through education. Even more importantly, the committee is encouraging residents to adopt best practices and new behaviors as a result of the education. Of course, as Buzz Van Arsdale observes, “while many of us will voice our support of conservation and the need to change our behaviors, it actually takes much more time to see a real change.”
For example, every March the committee hosts “Light Bulb Day” during which they demonstrate all types of new energy saving bulbs such as the CFL (compact florescent light bulb) and LED (light emitting diode) bulbs by a variety of manufacturers such as CREE, GE, Phillips, and Sylvania. Despite the education, some residents still prefer inefficient incandescent light bulbs and our maintenance department keeps them in stock.
Other hot topics are the waste of water with dripping faucets and leaking toilets. The EPA estimates that 20% of all toilets leak, so what does that say about water leakage in all of ourPlymouthHarborcampus? And if we let our showers run for 2 to 3 minutes waiting for the hot water to flow, how much are we wasting there?
Have you noticed in each month’s Harbor Light newsletter there is a notice about the peak hours of FPL’s electricity rates? This month electricity rates are twice as high during the peak hours of 6 to 10 a.m. and from 6 to 10 p.m. That’s catchy and easy to remember! Lower your usage from 6 to 10 both AM and PM.
Buzz points out we can all make a difference by paying attention to these little things by turning off the lights, TV, appliances, and keeping the thermostat at a temperature that uses less energy. Saving resources saves everyone money.
While the committee encourages residents to reduce paper use, they also take care not to overlap with other committees, such as Housekeeping that reviews recycling and waste collection policies. Nor does it monitor outdoor water use or environmental impact, which are issues dealt with by the Grounds Committee.
One perk of serving on the committee is the occasional field trip. In March and April of this year, the group anticipates field trips to the FPL solar power site nearArcadia. They plan to stop for lunch at cafe on the main street inArcadia, and maybe visit some of the antique stores there.
Buzz says he’s very interested in waste management, so he’ll prefer the tour planned of the Nokomis landfill and hazardous waste collection. If you are interested in any of these endeavors, please let him know!
February is Black History Month and Gwendolyn Calvert Baker has witnessed a veritable sea change in the ways that U.S. schools provide education to and about our multiethnic, multicultural society. But Baker hasn’t just lived through the progression of multicultural considerations—she has been singularly instrumental in the creation and acceptance of multicultural education. She has been called by some of her colleagues “the mother of multiculturalism.”
Plymouth Harbor residents, and any guests they may wish to invite, have the extraordinary opportunity to meet Gwendolyn Calvert Baker on Thursday, February 13 at 3 pm in Pilgrim Hall. Baker trained students at the University of Michigan in multicultural education; her affiliations with the Bank Street School of Education, the YWCA, and the New York City School Board give her a unique perspective on global education in a program she calls, “Hot Fudge Sundae in a White Paper Cup.”
Born in Ann Arbor in 1931, Baker recalled “I grew up at a time when it was not possible for young blacks to participate in activities that were available to other youth.” However, growing up in a small university town, the school’s influence surrounded and attracted her. Challenging societal expectations, she applied to and was accepted by the University of Michigan. This bold action exemplifies her belief in improvement and opportunity: “If you really believe that what you’re committed to can work, then you do it with every aspect of your mind and body. If you’re guided by a spirit of dedication and motivation, and have the opportunity to develop good skills, and take advantage of available opportunities, then it can happen.”
And it did happen for Baker. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she became a fourth-grade teacher at Wines Elementary School in Ann Arbor. By her third year, she had been nominated by one of her student-teachers for the university’s Teacher of the Year award, which she won. The award provided a salaried year at the School of Education training new teachers. At a time when she was one of very few teachers of color in the public school system, Baker was a force for cultural progress: “I thought I might help people understand racism and how ridiculous it was. I focused on developing curriculum in what is now called multicultural education and this became my lifelong passion.”
During that year of teacher training and creating multicultural curricula, she earned her master’s degree. Baker then went back to grade school and taught briefly before deciding to return to SOE and earn her PhD. Upon graduation, she joined the SOE faculty.
From the beginning of her involvement in the public schools, Baker yearned to become a school principal. Soon after receiving her doctorate, she was offered the position of principal at an Ann Arbor school. “The compensation would have been greater than what I was earning at the School of Education,” she said, “But I didn’t take the job because I felt I could affect the lives of more children by training teachers to respect diversity and by developing a multicultural approach to education, rather than by simply working in a single school district.”
While she was an assistant professor, the then-President of U-M, Robben Fleming, asked her to become the university’s affirmative action director. Baker recalled: “I was honored and I respected the offer, but I declined because I was focused on working towards tenure.” The next year, President Fleming called Baker and said that he had seen her name on a list of faculty promotions and would she now become the affirmative action director? The soon-to-be-minted Associate Professor (with tenure) Baker accepted.
After a couple years of serving both SOE as a faculty member and the university as the affirmative action director, Baker took a leave and became the chief of minorities and women’s programs at the National Institute of Education. “For three years,” she recalled, “I worked in Washington to fund projects throughout the country that furthered the kinds of programs that would help spread diversity throughout education.”
In 1981, Baker became vice president and dean of the Bank Street Graduate School of Education and School for Children in New York City. In 1984, she flexed her managerial muscles and became the national executive director for the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of the USA, which she successfully restructured—cutting costs while increasing programs and membership and implementing the organization’s mission of eliminating racism.
While leading the YWCA, Baker was appointed to the New York City School Board, where she served for five years, including one year as president. At the time, the board was responsible for a student population exceeding one million and more than a thousand schools. The annual budget was $9 billion. “It was very political and I learned a great deal,” she remembered.
The “frosting on the cake,” as she put it, was her next position as president and CEO of the U.S. Committee for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Here, she said, she was able to take her work to the global stage. She served UNICEF from 1993 until her semi-retirement in 1995, at which time she was elected to sit on the U.S. Olympic Committee, on which she served until 2000.
It seemed to start soon after the dining room renovation which included opening up the Plymouth Rock Cafe with a stylish bar area. While it had not been unusual for Jim Myers,our resident staff pianist who keeps a day gig as Manager of Environmental Services, to turn the Cafe into a music-filled place at happy hour, there seems to be more moving around these days.
It’s called dancing. That’s right, with the addition of a portable dance floor and more live music than what we’d had previously, Plymouth Harbor has stepped it up a notch thanks to the generous support of our resident philanthropists.
If you were not there in November for our Foundation event which christened the dance floor, or perhaps you made other plans on New Year’s Eve, then you have the Valentine’s Day Dance to look forward to.
There will be dinner and dancing to the delightful music of The Bobby Barndhardt Quartet from 6 to 9 pm on Friday, February 14.
You can dance with your sweetie, or someone else’s sweetie, or simply enjoy the music and fun, but we do hope you’ll come join us to enjoy Sarasota’s swankiest new supper club on Valentine’s Day.