Feb 2021 Cherryland

Page 1

February 2021


COUNTRY LINES Cherryland Electric Cooperative

On The Other Side

For The Love Of EVs Monitoring The Line For Reliability




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Contents countrylines.com

February 2021 Vol. 41, No. 2



Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Karreen Bird RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Emily Haines Lloyd PUBLISHER: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. Postmaster: Send all UAA to CFS.

Association Officers: Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretary-treasurer; Craig Borr, president and CEO.

CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 editor@countrylines.com CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Please

notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.


6 ROAD TRIPPIN’ Christal Frost goes fat biking on the TART Trails and shares places to visit while on the trail. 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Stir-Fries: Prepare these takeout favorites yourself, and save the extra cash and calories!

The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.


14 FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS McLean & Eakin, with its rich family history and genuine love for books and the community, gives its patrons the full indie bookstore experience. 18 PORTABLE GENERATOR SAFETY They’re great when the power goes out, but generators can be dangerous if you don’t follow these safety precautions.

While things are constantly changing during the COVID-19 pandemic, two things remain the same: the quiet assurance of the #sunrise and #sunset. @michael.mi.photography (Grand Mere State Park)

Be featured!

Use #micoopcommunity for a chance to be featured here and on our Instagram account.

To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit countrylines.com/community




Up Next: Garden Fresh and Fruity Desserts Share your favorite recipes.

Up Next: Coffee Shops Spill the beans! Tell us about your favorite place to grab a caffeinated (or decaf) beverage.

Submit your fondest memories and stories.

Win a $50 bill credit!

Win $150 for stories published! MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


cherrylandelectric.coop /cherrylandelectriccoop @cherrylandec BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Tom Van Pelt, President 231-386-5234 tvanpelt@cherrylandelectric.coop

David Schweitzer, Senior Vice President 231-883-5860 dschweitzer@cherrylandelectric.coop Gabe Schneider, Secretary 517-449-6453 gschneider@cherrylandelectric.coop Melinda Lautner, Treasurer 231-947-2509 mlautner@cherrylandelectric.coop Terry Lautner, Director 231-946-4623 tlautner@cherrylandelectric.coop John Olson, Director 231-938-1228 jolson@cherrylandelectric.coop

Jon Zickert, Director 231-631-1337 jzickert@cherrylandelectric.coop General Manager: Tony Anderson Co-op Editors: Rachel Johnson, Rob Marsh

OFFICE HOURS Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.– 4 p.m. TELEPHONE NUMBERS 231-486-9200 or 1-800-442-8616 (Mich.) ADDRESS P.O. Box 298, Grawn, MI 49637 PAY STATION Cherryland Electric Cooperative office 5930 U.S. 31 South, Grawn MI, 49637 Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

CO-OP NEWS Cherryland Cares Awards $17,700 To Four Nonprofits At its fourth-quarter board meeting, the Cherryland Cares Board awarded a total of $17,700 in grants to Benzie Area Christian Neighbors, Crystal Community Ski Club, TART Trails, and Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center. In total, Cherryland Cares awarded nearly $43,300 in grants to area nonprofit agencies in 2020. If you are an area nonprofit agency seeking financial help, first-quarter grant applications are due Friday, March 5. For more information, please call Shannon Mattson at 231-486-9234 or email at smattson@cherrylandelectric.coop.

Cherryland Opts Out Of Youth Tour Due To Pandemic Out of an abundance of caution due to the ongoing pandemic, Cherryland will not participate in the 2021 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour: an annual, all-expensespaid leadership travel opportunity for high school sophomores and juniors to Washington, D.C., in June. The co-op historically selects two students from its service territory to represent Cherryland on the trip. Cherryland intends to resume participation in Youth Tour in 2022. For more information, visit cooperativeyouthtour.com.

Serve On Cherryland’s Board Any qualified Cherryland member can be elected to serve a three-year term on the cooperative’s board of directors. Two directors will be elected at this year’s Annual Meeting, including one at-large director and one Grand Traverse/Kalkaska director. To be nominated in 2021, candidates can file a petition with the cooperative’s administrative assistant starting the first day of March until 4 p.m. on the last business day of March. Information regarding the nominating process can be found on the co-op’s website at cherrylandelectric.coop/governance. For more information regarding board nominations and the election process, review Article III of the co-op’s bylaws on our website.

Cherryland Offers Five Scholarships Cherryland offers five scholarships—three worth $4,000 ($1,000 for four years) for high school seniors and two for $1,000 each for adult scholarships (posthigh school). Applications for both scholarships are available on our website. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 2.

Cherryland Announces Date Of 83rd Annual Meeting Cherryland’s 83rd Annual Meeting will take place Thursday, June 10. The Annual Meeting’s planned location is Incredible Mo’s in Grawn, if allowable under social distancing rules at that time. Cherryland will provide updates regarding the 83rd Annual Meeting in Michigan Country Lines, on its website, and through social media.


On The Other Side Tony Anderson, General Manager


s I write this, it is December, and what has simply become known as “the vaccine” is going into the arms of essential workers on the front lines of our healthcare system across the country. One arm at a time, it feels like we are finally winning. As you read this, we will be approaching one year since the first stay-at-home order. I have no time to debate the “coulda,” “woulda,” or “shoulda” of such orders. I feel for those who suffered in the making of the decisions, and I hurt for those affected in the worst ways. I can’t solve any of it by creating division. Together, the only thing we can do is move forward into the future and not waste energy on unwinnable arguments that look back at the past. Between spaced, orchestrated, and scheduled bouts in the office, I have worked from home from a basement bedroom, from my kitchen table, and in a small workout room in my pole barn on a card table. I moved my workspace around because I never wanted a permanent home office. I purposely wanted each location to feel temporary. I was not surprised to learn that I didn’t like managing a remote workforce. I feed off the positive energy of my co-workers. Culture can survive for a time on Zoom, but it can’t grow and thrive. We need to see, hear, and feel the messages from each other. Zoom gives you the sight and sound, but it is void of any of the “feels.” My shortcomings were bolstered by a management team that dug into supporting its teams, communicating issues, and ensuring all the details were covered. We (me, really) learned that one phone call was better than a flurry of emails that left interpretation up to an imagination under stress. We met outside properly spaced (so much spacing

talk this past year). One-on-one meetings had us walking in circles around the headquarters’ facility. Lineworkers, engineering, operations, warehouse, and metering employees remained on our front lines to keep the lights on. At one time or the other, they all reported directly from home. Each put on their “new normal” like an old pair of shoes, and service continued. In the office, the member information reps worked out a rotation that kept service to the drive-up window open. Members phoning in never knew if the person on the other end of the phone was at the office or sitting in the corner of a home workspace. The accountants scattered to their respective homes, with one consistently in the office to keep payroll and bill payments on schedule. Bills went out on time, receivables were never late, and payroll operated like it always had. The communications team nailed the internal and external communications while focusing on where we could help the community the most. Cherryland’s technology team is a two-person operation that felt like a dozen. When 58 employees scattered to home, these two made sure all the technology kept every aspect of the cooperative’s operation humming along. In short, I sit here looking back, immensely proud of the work your cooperative employees got done in the past year. I am honestly not surprised. The pandemic was simply one more storm job, and pulling together in storms is something they know a little bit about. Whatever 2021 has to offer, I know one thing: We got this… for you.



d a o R ’ n i p p i r T

With Christal Frost Fat Bikes On The TART Trails

Get Outdoors

If there’s anything we learned in 2020, it would be the power of the outdoors. As COVID-19 spread across the United States, it was our collective backyard— community trails, parks and fire pits—that salvaged our sanities. My backyard in Traverse City is full of outdoor hot spots. Still, none are as recreationally friendly and motivated to make you move as the Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation (TART) Trails. The TART Trails offer 10 versatile trail options for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re jumping on the TART to ride your bike to work, or navigating the 25k Vasa Pathway on your cross-country skis, the trail system truly offers something for everyone. Learn more about the TART Trails at traversetrails.org.

Big Fat Deal

Once the snow arrived in Traverse City, the winter zealots of northern Michigan took to the trails for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. I decided to try a relatively new winter activity that has exploded in popularity: fat tire biking. Fat bikes offer the gift of versatility. By giving the rider great traction and control in snow and sand, the fat bike allows you to explore more in all seasons of the year. Mechanically, a fat bike is like a mountain bike—only on steroids. The most distinctive difference is that the fat bike has tires that are up to five inches wide. Such bulky tires allow for incredibly low air pressures, resulting in a bike that can easily roll over snow, sand, mud, rocks, and other terrains that could be difficult on a traditional mountain bike. The five-mile Meadows Loop, a part of the TART 6


Trails’ Vasa Pathway, is a perfect option for off-road fat biking. I decided to take another trek for my maiden voyage into the world of fat biking by sticking close to town and biking along the Boardman Lake Trail.

Try Before You Buy

I sought help from Brick Wheels, Traverse City’s #1 bike shop for mountain bikes, fat bikes, road bikes, and electric bikes. Tim Brick, the Brick Wheels owner, recommended the Trek Farley model for its simplicity and light frame, making it the perfect bike for riders of any skill level. After a tutorial, I strapped on my helmet and headed for the trail.

Boardman Lake Trail

It was a crisp January afternoon as I crossed the intersection of Boardman Avenue and 8th Street and headed to the trail. Traveling west, we passed the Traverse Area District Library, Hull Park, Traverse Area Community Sailing, and Oryana Food Co-op before stopping for an outdoor drink at Traverse City Whiskey Company. The Traverse City Whiskey Company was created after co-owner Chris Fredrickson discovered distilling patents that his great-grandfather had patented during prohibition. The result? Small batches of intensely smooth whiskey—a family recipe of sorts that lingered for generations before being shared with the world. I enjoyed an old fashioned around an outdoor table complete with umbrella heaters before saddling up to take to the trail again. Looping back around past Right Brain Brewery, we were back on the trail, reversing our

course to the other side of the lake and riding along the shore until we came to Medalie Park.


The Filling Station



Hull Park

The Return

Although the temperatures drifted into the low teens that afternoon, I was amazed at the workout I was getting. The fat bike made it feel relatively easy, but the snowy terrain and modest hills along the trail were great reminders of the built-in resistance and cardio workout I was getting with each rotation of the tire. In fact, even though the fat bikes weren’t meant for speed, studies have shown that fat bikers can burn more than 1,000 calories an hour. For me, though, the reward came when we circled the corner, stopping one last time at the Filling Station for a mouthwatering pizza to go. The Filling Station is located at the depot in Traverse City’s railroad neighborhood. The current depot, which opened on Jan. 6, 1927, is the second iteration of railroad stations in Traverse City.



Right Brain Brewery

Traverse City Whiskey Co.

Rewarded In Pizza

After a solid ride, I realized how lucky I was to be in my backyard— surrounded by nature, beauty, and one of the best pizza spots in the state. I returned to my car, and the aroma from the cannonball pizza (topped with marinara, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, red onions, feta, fresh rosemary, spinach, and mozzarella) overwhelmed me.


“It all evens out,” I said, thinking about the calories I just burned on my ride and the sweet reward I would receive from the pizza beckoning to me from inside its box. Coincidentally, that is my hope for 2021. Like my first ride on a fat bike, I hope that all the difficult work, uphill battles and fear of falling in 2020 might be rewarded with a year that feels like the first bite of a delicious piece of well-deserved pizza. Christal Frost is a media personality who can be heard on Today’s Country Music-WTCM, The Christal Frost Show on NewsTalk 580-WTCM AM. She is also a feature columnist for GT Pulse on 9&10 News, published every Friday at 11 a.m.



See the TART Trails in Action

Christal Frost filmed her TART Trails adventure, now available on countrylines.com.



Co-op Installs EV Charging Stations At Grawn Office C

oming by our office and need a little extra juice for your electric vehicle (EV)? We’ve got you covered!

In late December of last year, the co-op installed Level 2 EV charging stations at our office in Grawn. One of the charging stations is located in the parking lot outside of the office for public use. The other station is intended for employees and is located in the employee parking area. Both charging stations are available free of charge. So, as you cruise along U.S. 31 South, remember that Cherryland is here for you…and your EV!

C sidering an elec ic vehicle? There’s a rebate for that.



$500 - $1,000

New EV Rebate

Used E V Rebate

Charging Station Rebate

WANT TO LEARN MORE? Please call prior to purchase to ensure eligibility and availability of co-op rebate funds.

Please visit


For EVeer Lov ebruary, the month of love and Hallmark holidays. While it’s always nice to be remembered on Valentine’s Day, it’s really all the other days that matter. And, on those days, it’s often the little things that count.


By Rachel Johnson, Member Relations Manager

“Envision a world where you pull into your garage every night with ‘half a tank’ and leave every morning ‘topped off.’”

We all have certain chores that we hate doing. For me, that’s going to the gas station. I don’t know why, but I hate putting gas in my car. Lucky for me, I have an awesome husband, and he diligently keeps my car gassed up. And I don’t mean occasionally. I mean almost every time I’ve needed gas since 2005. Where’s the Hallmark card for that? Those of you who follow Country Lines will know that we are very excited about electric vehicles (EVs) at Cherryland. They will allow us to sell more electricity, which will help keep your rates stable, and they are the only viable pathway to a carbon-free transportation sector. One of our board members recently shared a Wall Street Journal article about the battle over who will own public EV charging infrastructure. The debate’s crux is whether utilities or private-sector entities should own the charging stations that will eventually succeed gas stations. According to the Energy Department, these battles are being fought in regulatory commissions throughout the U.S., which currently has fewer than 100,000 public charging stations. That number will rise as EVs become more prevalent and transportation electrification paves the way toward a reduced carbon future. While all these entities fight over who will own and profit from public charging, do

you know who is actually going to be charging your future EV? Us, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, the utility that currently powers your home or business. Not because we’ll operate the charging stations, but because you’ll rarely use the charging stations. All of these large utilities and private-sector investors are fighting for their piece of a pie that will shrink as more people charge primarily at home. And that’s a good thing, not just for you, but for the U.S. electric grid. If the entire U.S. fleet were electrified, it would require about 1.38 trillion kWh to charge. We have the capability to generate that electricity as long as the demand for electricity is timed correctly. If we tried to generate that all at once with high-speed charging, we would need 10 times more electric capacity than we have. But, if we spread it out over the day when people are working and overnight when people are sleeping, we can make it work. Don’t get me wrong, we still need to build new electric generation. We need to replace the old generating facilities we are retiring and to serve our future electric needs. The point is, we aren’t going to charge the EV fleet with a “gas” station on every corner. Envision a world where you pull into your garage every night with “half a tank” and leave every morning “topped off.” That’s what the EV future looks like and I, for one, can’t wait. My husband is pretty excited, too.



MI CO-OP Recipes

Photos by Robert Bruce Photography || Recipes Submitted by MCL Readers and Tested by Recipe Editor Christin McKamey


IE S Try these quick and easy meals!


SHRIMP WITH SNOW PEAS STIR-FRY Sarah Hallstedt, Cherryland

2 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 3 2 2 ¼ 4

teaspoons cornstarch tablespoon dry sherry or cooking wine teaspoon salt pound shrimp, peeled and deveined pound snow peas tablespoon minced ginger garlic cloves, crushed tablespoons peanut oil (or another vegetable oil) teaspoons soy sauce cup chicken stock (can substitute bouillon) green onions, white and light green parts, sliced diagonally 2 teaspoons dark roasted sesame oil

Win a


energy bill credit!


Garden Fresh due March 1 • Fruity Desserts due April 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Go to micoopkitchen.com for more information.

10 FEBRUARY 2021

Mix the cornstarch, sherry (or cooking wine), and salt in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat; let sit for 15-20 minutes while preparing the peas, ginger, and garlic. Heat a wok or large sauté pan over high heat for 1 minute. Add the peanut oil and let it get hot, about 30 seconds. Add the ginger and garlic and toss to combine; stir-fry about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp, snow peas, soy sauce and stock. Stir-fry until the shrimp turns pink, about 2 minutes. Add the onions and stir-fry for 1 more minute. Turn off heat and add the sesame oil. Toss to combine and serve with steamed rice. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos


Mary Lou Driesenga, Ontonagon 2 tablespoons peanut oil ¹⁄ ³ cup thinly sliced green onions with tops ½ teaspoon peeled & minced fresh ginger root ½ teaspoon minced garlic 2 eggs, lightly beaten ¼ teaspoon sugar • 1-pound package shrimp, thawed (I use medium-size) 1 small package frozen peas

3 tablespoons soy sauce (option to use more when serving) 2 cups cold cooked rice ½ teaspoon sesame oil, optional Heat oil in a wok (or large, heavy skillet) at 325 F. Add green onions, ginger, and garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add eggs; stir to scramble into small pieces. Add sugar, shrimp, peas, and soy sauce; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add rice; stir-fry 30–45 seconds. Add sesame oil, stir and serve immediately. This recipe serves 4–5 adults. It’s very versatile; you can easily add/replace your favorite veggies, additional spices/seasonings, etc.

KUNG PAO SHRIMP Nancy Popa, Cherryland

2 teaspoons vegetable oil 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper (or less) • pinch salt 6 cups broccoli florets (1 small head) 2 tablespoons cornstarch 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon black pepper • 12-ounces medium (16–20 count) shelled, deveined shrimp 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced 2 cloves garlic, crushed ½ cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add red pepper, celery, crushed red pepper, and salt, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in a large microwave-safe bowl, combine broccoli and ¼ cup water. Cover with vented plastic wrap; microwave on high for 3 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Uncover and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together cornstarch, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, ¹⁄ ³ cup water, and pepper; add to skillet along with shrimp, green onions, broccoli, and garlic. Cook 3–4 minutes or until shrimp turns opaque throughout, stirring frequently. Add peanuts. Serve over rice.


Lynne Edin, HomeWorks Tri-County 1½ 2 4 1 3 ¹⁄ ³ 1

cups chicken broth, divided tablespoons soy sauce teaspoons cornstarch teaspoon sesame oil tablespoons vegetable oil cup whole roasted almonds pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (or use preroasted chicken, white and dark meat, cut from bone), cut into ½ -inch-wide strips 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 8 ounces green beans (fresh or frozen), cut into 2-inch pieces 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally ¼-inch thick

In a cup, combine ½ cup broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sesame oil;

set aside. In a wok or large skillet, heat vegetable oil over high heat. Add almonds and sauté until lightly browned, 1–2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer almonds to a mediumsize bowl; set aside. Add the chicken strips to the wok; stir-fry until lightly browned (skip step if using cut-up preroasted chicken.) Using a slotted spoon, add the chicken to the almonds. Reduce heat to medium. Add the chopped garlic to the wok and stir-fry 10 seconds. Stir in the green beans, carrots, and remaining 1 cup chicken broth. Cover the pan and cook the vegetables until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir the cornstarch mixture and add it to the vegetables; cook until the sauce is thickened and bubbly, about 1 minute. Stir in the chicken and almonds. Cook until just heated through, and serve immediately. Serve over hot brown rice, egg noodles, or white rice with a dash of soy sauce and sesame oil.



Monitoring the Line for Reliability Electric co-ops use a variety of monitoring and automation technologies that improve power reliability, shorten outage times and reduce labor time for crews. Here are four technologies co-ops use to improve reliability.

Drones Drones may be used to inspect the power lines we maintain. Drones can provide infrared evaluation to locate hot spots on power lines and vegetation assessment to locate trees and other vegetation that can cause outages.

Power Sensors Power sensors typically clamp on or connect to the power line and provide near real-time reporting on power, voltage, current and more—all of which help to provide more reliable energy to consumer-members.

AMI Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) provides real-time data to the co-op. In addition to meter reading, this data helps us detect faults and other potential problems on the electrical system, resulting in increased power reliability for consumer-members. 12 FEBRUARY 2021



A recloser acts like a circuit breaker for power lines. When a problem occurs, the recloser temporarily shuts off power. If the problem is temporary, the recloser restores power. (This is why you sometimes see the power blink.) If the problem persists, the recloser will shut off power until a crew can make repairs. The recloser’s antenna provides wireless, real-time data back to the co-op.

Cherryland Shines In Holiday Light Parade T

his past December, Cherryland participated in a traveling holiday light parade to spread cheer during what was a unique and difficult holiday season for many. Over the course of two days, the Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA), Traverse City Light & Power, and Cherryland teamed up to tour Grand Traverse area neighborhoods, assisted living homes, and apartment complexes with buses and bucket trucks decked out with festive lights and decorations. Complete with a bucket-riding Santa Claus, Cherryland’s truck was certainly a standout thanks to the time and effort of several co-op employees. The parade turned out to be a very fun and safe way for the community to enjoy lights this past holiday season.





cLean & Eakin is the epitome of what it means to be an independent bookstore, with its bespoke selections, heartfelt customer service, and lovinglycurated reading recommendations. However, owners Matt and Jessilynn Norcross will be the fi rst to tell you that being “independent” isn’t about going it alone. The store began in the care of Matt’s mother, Julie Norcross, who started the bookstore in 1992 and named it after her two grandmothers’ maiden names. The store had been a dream for Julie since she was young. Her father owned and operated a men’s fashion store in Florida and eventually followed customers north and opened another store just a few doors down from where McLean & Eakin stands today. “Mom would take us on walks around town,” recalls Matt. “We’d peek into windows of abandoned storefronts, and you could see her waiting for just the right space to open up so she could open her bookstore.” Matt worked at the family bookshop through high school and eventually returned to Petoskey in 2003 while in between jobs and started back at the family store. He found a place to reflect, as well, stumbling across his future wife, Jessilynn, who also was working in the shop. In 2009, Matt and Jessilynn married and joined their futures to McLean & Eakin, as they took over the store’s ownership.

“We both love reading,” said Jessilynn. “But when you begin running a business, you realize there’s so much more to bookselling than the magic inside of the pages.” The Norcrosses quickly immersed themselves in the responsibilities that come with owning a quaint bookshop. “There are a million decisions we’ve made. Some good, some bad,” admits Matt. “But what we have always nailed is having a team of booksellers working here who are amazing, brilliant, and committed. This is what has kept us successful, for sure.” Even with COVID-19 and the competition of big-box bookstores and online outlets offering steep discounts, McLean & Eakin has managed to not only stay in business, but thrive. It has expanded to offer digital audiobooks and e-books and established an online store to accommodate those who are unable to get out to the store or some of their committed patrons who may not be in the area year-round. “We’re involved in our community,” said Jessilynn. “Amazon is never going to be at the school board meeting next to us. You can’t replicate the conversations we have with people in the community or on the shop floor.” Books truly are magic, and never more so than when one person hands another a book after talking with them and saying, “I really think you’ll love this.” Ultimately, that’s the beauty of bookstores like McLean & Eakin—they may be independent, but still, they know that the heart of their business is a deep connection to their beautiful community. You can currently get bookseller assistance via McLean & Eakin’s front door vestibule or by phone from 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Saturday, at 231-347-1180. You may also email them at books@mcleanandeakin.com, or contact them via social media on Facebook or Instagram.

“You can’t replicate the conversations we have with people in the community or on the shop floor.”

McLean & Eakin has curated a great collection of regional and Michigan authors who not only pay their respects to the region and its people but offer a unique insight into the beauty of the area. In fact, if you look closely, you may even see an homage to a favorite indie bookstore in the pages (hint: Check out “Station 11” by Emily St. John Mandel). Here are a few recommendations for regional titles. For a more robust list, visit mcleanandeakin.com.


Tallulah, Mermaid of the Great Lakes by Denise Brennan-Nelson

AGES 8 AND UP The Wild Path by Sarah Baughman

ADULT FICTION Northernmost by Peter Geye


The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch by Miles Harvey




Cutest Couple 1. “Ian & Grandma” by Laurie Johnston  2. “Fall family photo” by Kayla & Cody Morrison  3. “Who doesn’t love a selfie!” by Marla Bidwell  4. “I love you, Dad!” by Amy Truchan  5. “Just married” by Michelle Forward


Most votes on Facebook!



4 Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Submit Your “Garden” Photos!

Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes in our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites. Our February theme is Gardens. Photos can be submitted through February 20 to be featured in our April issue.

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!

To enter the contest, visit cherrylandelectric.coop/photo-contest or visit facebook.com/ cherrylandelectriccoop and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2021, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2021 bill.

16 FEBRUARY 2021



Rising Temps Mean Slower Co-op Trucks H

ave you ever wondered why big trucks seem to be driving slower as spring comes around? It’s because they are required to by law.

Every year, Michigan counties enact “frost laws” to help minimize the impact of heavy trucks on Michigan’s roads during the spring cycle of freezing and thawing. That means that vehicles like Cherryland’s line trucks are subject to seasonal weight and speed restrictions (maximum of 35 mph). As we approach spring, be on the lookout for slow-moving trucks, and keep in mind that we aren’t driving slowly to thwart your plans; we’re just obeying the law and doing our part to protect our roads. Learn more about frost laws and which counties are currently enacting them at micountyroads.org.

Your Board In Action December Board Meeting • The cooperative’s chief financial officer presented to the board the cooperative’s proposed operating and capital budgets for 2021. The board reviewed and approved both budgets. • The board selected its voting delegate (and alternate) for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Annual and Regional Meetings. NRECA represents more than 900 consumerowned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives, public power districts, and public utility districts in the United States. • The cooperative’s director of human resources updated the board on new employees and current job openings—the cooperative’s employee base averages between 55 and 60 people. Members have the opportunity to provide input to the board prior to any regularly scheduled board meeting. To have your comments included in a monthly board packet for review, please submit them to Board Assistant Secretary Shannon Mattson at smattson@cherrylandelectric.coop a minimum of three business days before the monthly board meeting. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17


SAFETY TIPS Gasoline, Fueling and Burn Safety

Carbon Monoxide and Ventilation

• If the tank is overfilled, fuel can overflow onto a hot engine and cause fire or explosion.

• Using a generator indoors CAN KILL YOU IN MINUTES. The exhaust contains carbon monoxide, a deadly poisonous gas you cannot see or smell.

• Do not overfill the fuel tank. Always allow room for fuel expansion. • Never add fuel while the unit is running or hot. • Allow generator and engine to cool entirely before adding fuel.

• NEVER run a generator indoors or in partly enclosed areas, such as garages.

• Never store a generator with fuel in the tank where gasoline vapors might reach an open flame, spark or pilot light.

• ONLY use outdoors and far from windows, doors, vents, crawl spaces and in an area where adequate ventilation is available and will not accumulate deadly exhaust gas.

• Many generator parts are hot enough to burn you during operation and while the generator is cooling after turning off. Avoid coming into contact with a hot generator.

• Using a fan or opening doors and windows will not provide sufficient ventilation. • It is recommended that you install battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms/detectors indoors according to the manufacturer’s instructions/recommendations.


Electrocution Hazard and Electrical Shock Hazards

• Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring can “back feed” onto the power lines connected to your home and injure neighbors or utility workers.

• Do not connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring or into a regular household outlet. Always start or stop the generator only when no electrical loads are connected. • Overloading your generator can seriously damage your valuable appliances and electronics. Do not overload the generator. Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator allows for. Prioritize your needs. A portable electric generator should be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment. • Use the proper power cords. Plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load. Overloaded cords can cause fires or equipment damage. Do not use extension cords with exposed wires or worn shielding. • Do not operate the generator in wet conditions such as rain or snow. • The generator must be properly grounded. If the generator is not grounded, you run the risk of electrocution. Check and adhere to all applicable federal, state and local regulations relating to grounding.

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Generator Placement and Operation

• Allow at least five feet of clearance on all sides of the generator when operating. • Generators can be used during a wide variety of weather temperatures but should be protected from the elements when not in use to prevent shorting and rusting. • Operate the generator only on level surfaces and where it will not be exposed to excessive moisture, dirt, dust, or corrosive vapors. • Inspect the generator regularly. • Always disconnect the spark plug wire and place the wire where it cannot contact the spark plug to prevent accidental starting when setting up, transporting, adjusting, or making repairs to the generator.

Source: American Red Cross with technical advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Fire Protection Association (publisher of the National Electric Code®), and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Michigan-Made Hybrid Geothermal System Provides Savings and Comfort

Hybrid Geothermal Well-Connect is a hybrid water-source heat pump uniquely designed to operate with your existing furnace. Similar to how a hybrid vehicle greatly reduces the need for gas, doubling the fuel efficiency, a Well-Connect significantly reduces the amount of propane, fuel oil or wood needed to heat a home. This approach reduces the installation cost of the system to about one-third the cost of conventional geothermal systems and saves a homeowner 50% to 70% on heating costs. It also provides efficient air conditioning all summer. “Propane is so expensive to heat with. Why wouldn’t someone do this?”

One-Day Installation

Lynne W., South Boardman, MI Member, Great Lakes Energy

Lynne loves her home in the woods but found it challenging to keep her vaulted-ceiling home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Keeping it cool in the summer was especially important for Lynne because of her four-legged, furry friend, Tara. Lynne was familiar with geothermal energy because her father was an executive at Detroit Edison and she knew that it is clean, green, makes a home more comfortable and is a big money saver.

Call for a FREE home visit. (989) 356-2113

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Eligible for co-op rebates ranging from $1,050 to $1,850 and a 22% federal tax credit.


No one can help everyone, but everyone can help someone. Extend a helping hand to those who need it by rounding up your monthly electric bill to the nearest dollar. Investing your small change into our Cherryland Cares program brings about big change in our community. Visit cherrylandelectric.coop to learn more!