Sunday, June 30, 2013

Shiawassee River Guide via SmartPhone App

Simple guide down the Shiawassee River

Argus-Press Staff Writer | Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2013 9:34 am
SHIAWASSEE COUNTY — Navigating the Shiawassee River is becoming a little easier, thanks to a Warren man with a passion for kayaking.
Willi Gutmann, 49, has put created a smartphone app he describes as a “digital brochure” of the Shiawassee River. The iShiawassee app, available for 99 cents through iTunes, highlights destinations along the river and provides photos and details of different sights. It also allows users to track where they are on the river using GPS and a satellite map.
“It’s kind of like a GPS with pictures,” Gutmann said. “There is nothing else on the market like it.”

 A resident of Metro Detroit, Gutmann first experienced the Shiawassee River when a friend of his who lives in the Holly area invited him to spend the day kayaking. He fell in love. After years of kayaking on the Shiawassee River, Gutmann realized he had hundreds of photos of landmarks along the river, and he decided to partner with a college buddy from Wayne State University to create the app. Charles Rice, who now lives in Portland, Ore., helped out with the project from afar, doing all of the coding for the app, Gutmann said. “I just had a ton of pictures,” Gutmann said, adding that he wanted to share his knowledge with the public.

 “I would like to push the Shiawassee River into the forefront of people’s mind as ‘the’ river to paddle upon in Southeastern Michigan,” Gutmann wrote in an email to The Argus-Press. He said there are 100 miles of navigable river starting in Oakland County at Waterworks Park in Holly, going through Fenton, Argentine, Linden, Corunna, Owosso and on to Bay City. The iShiawassee app currently only covers the headwaters to the Parshallburg area, near Chesaning, but he has plans to expand it farther north.

Gutmann recently met with a group from Pure Michigan, at his request, about partnering to expand the app.
“What we’re hoping for is that we can get kind of a quid-pro-quo thing going,” Gutmann said, adding that Pure Michigan could help provide information that he could use in the app, and that the travel campaign would advertise the app on its website. He hopes to one day provide information about nearby businesses on the app.
A Pure Michigan representative confirmed that a group had met with Gutmann, but said it was preliminary to say whether they would pursue a partnership.
“We’re always interested in how we can reach travelers,” said Michelle Begnoche, public relations manager with Pure Michigan.
Begnoche said the group is willing to partner with individuals who can provide travel resources.
“We’re always open to working with some of the local people,” she said. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Of the iShiawassee app, Begnoche said it could be good for the travel industry.
“I think the easier it is to access these kind of resources, the more likely it is that they’ll want to explore all of the great resources Michigan has to offer,” she said.
Gutmann said he also see potential for apps to provide information on other waterways across the state.

“Michigan has more water than almost any other state in the country, but you’ve got diddly-squat on the Internet,” he said. Gutmann would like to see more people out enjoying the water. “I think it’s a lot of fun to paddle and understand how the river flows,” he said. “For me, it’s about getting back to the roots.”

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Linden Michigan and Shiawassee River

Linden seeking redevelopment of properties as part of effort to improve downtown
Shaun Byron | By Shaun Byron |
on June 26, 2013 at 4:30 PM 

LINDEN, MI -- The redevelopment of vacant parcels, marketing the nearby Shiawassee River and attracting new businesses are some of the ideas being discussed as the city of Linden looks to revitalize its downtown.
About 20 people attended a visioning session held Tuesday, June 25, that was put together by Linden's Downtown Development Authority as part of an ongoing effort to develop a single vision and strategy for the community's next 15 years. Wade Trim is also assisting with the project.
The information collected from the meeting, as well as surveys made available to the community, will be compiled and used to attract tier-one and tier-two retailers to the downtown.
The project is intended to help shape and focus on the core downtown, Linden Mayor David Lossing said.
Linden, which has a population just under 4,000, was ranked as one of the top fastest growing communities in Michigan following the 2010 Census, said Lossing, adding that is projected to continue.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Shiawassee River clean water

Michigan’s environment cleanest in 20 years
 tri-county area no exception  

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013 8:54 pm
 Linden — Rex Mathewson’s chainsaw roared, biting into a fallen tree and spitting
woody froth into the Shiawassee River.
 The river is deep, with an urgent current following the heavier rainfall this spring.
This heavier rainfall and weather also dropped debris into the river, which is the focus
 of the Keepers of the Shiawassee on Saturday morning.
 Aside from removing fallen timber, there’s always the garbage. On Saturday,
a jacket, bottle, plastic bags and a pair of flip-flops were found and bagged by 9 a.m.
“We find quite a bit of junk in here,” said Ian Marsh, of Fenton.
 Jack Hrbek of Linden pulled out a brown glass bottle from near the shore,
placing it into garbage bags and then a kayak. He protects his hands
with rubber gloves. Garbage is a concern, and so is runoff from roads,
septic tanks and farms after heavy rainfall.
 The river is in better shape than it used to be — as many of these
 “keepers” would attest, and the statewide picture in water and air quality
 is also improved. Ambient air and water quality are the best they’ve
been in Michigan in 20 years, according to Brian Wurfel with the
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).
  Water is much easier to sample and rate.
If water has 300 parts coli per 100 milliliters, the Genesee County
Health Department (GCHD) will recommend closing the attached beach,
as occurred at Clover Beach in Fenton Township three times in 2010.
 “The water quality is very good at Clover Beach on Byram Lake,”
said Shannon Briggs of the MDEQ. “The beach has been monitored in
1999, 2001, and 2003 to 2010 with only three exceedances of the
water quality standard.” She added that the water in Seven Lakes State Park
in Holly Township is also very clean.
  Fenton Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Dan Czarnecki is
proud of how Silver Lake Park Beach — the only public beach in Fenton
— rates in cleanliness. Czarnecki has the lake tested every week by the GCHD,
and it recently tested at 27. The worst the beach has been is 97, which
was July 23 last year.
 “It’s natural water. You’ve got animals, the houses and the geese.
Our water’s in pretty good shape,” said Czarnecki, who said the
water is constantly clean.
 In Michigan, individual parks departments are advised to send in samples
periodically to be tested by the local health departments said Mark Valacak,
health officer of the GCHD.
 The MDEQ is concerned with the Great Lakes and groundwater more
than inland lakes like Lake Fenton or Ponemah. Managing farm runoff and
monitoring residential septic systems are important for groundwater protection.
 “Michigan’s bid for the future is predicated on our water resource,”
said Wurfel. The world of environmental quality is huge in the state.
Countless organizations and local governments are working under the
surface to keep water clean through grants and volunteer work.
 “People care, people who live in Michigan understand that water is
fundamental to our way of life, everything about living in Michigan
eventually comes back to our water, economy and recreation.”
 Statements like that ring true for groups like the Keepers of the Shiawassee,
who regularly meet at 8 a.m. to canoe, kayak and walk the river back to
cleanliness, and witness the connection between people’s habits and the environment.
 To measure air quality, the MDEQ tests for ozone, dust and particulate matter.
Air quality is up — and not in small part to the economic downturn that shuttered
a lot of manufacturing plants, which were heavy polluters.
The remaining manufacturers have become more aware of the
environmental impact they have, as the laws have pushed for cleaner air.
  Wurfel said the MDEQ implements federal Clean Air Act laws inside the state.
Measuring air quality is more difficult. Most of it has to do with manufacturing facilities.
 “We go in and permit and inspect facilities for air quality,” he said.
Air quality in the state is pass or fail, and Michigan seems to be passing.
 Anecdotally, Fenton, Linden and Holly look, smell and feel clean,
with stars you can see at night and safe water. Wurfel said that “small and rural”
don’t necessarily mean “cleaner and greener” when compared to big cities.
“Some cities are more into recycling than other cities, some counties
are more populated,” he said. “People impact the environment, period.”
  Though the picture is improved, Wurfel said the work is never done.
He said in the end, managing pollution is about managing people and their habits.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Version of The iShiawassee APP

- New and Improved APP - Version 1.1 - 
Officially Released for sale at the iTunes Store tonight June 19th, 2013 
- Enjoy summer on the water - be safe, be smart !


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Version 1.1 of The iShiawassee App

People will really like the newer more detailed view of the river 
available in Version 1.1 of The iShiawassee App
currently under review by Apple.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tweaked iShiawassee App Version coming soon

Expect a tweaked version release of the iShiawassee App with some
enhancements for Summer and the upcoming July 4th Holiday :-)

We've been listening to the feedback you've given us
 Keep the paddles wet and those cockpits dry.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Aerial view of Shiawassee River paddling

Aerial Video of Shiawassee Races and Fun Paddle from Sunday June 2, 2013  in Holly,MI