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1980

Celebrating 40 Years Of

MICHIGAN

2020 January 2020

COUNTRY LINES Great Lakes Energy Cooperative

YoungMin You:

BEATING THE ODDS Your Co-op Has A New Logo, New Look

Truestream Update

Meet Your Director


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In This Issue January 2020 || Vol. 40, No. 1

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

Follow Us On Instagram! @michigancountrylines

countrylines.com

facebook.com/michigancountrylines michigancountrylines

Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Design and Production: Karreen Bird Recipe Editor: Christin McKamey 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 are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretarytreasurer. Craig Borr is 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 countrylines.com

CHANGE OF ADDRESS:

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

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

FEATURED PHOTO FROM #micoopcommunity:

This winter “tunnel of trees” is giving the fall version a run for its money, by @asnow789 (Adam Snow).

Tag your photos with #micoopcommunity, and they could be featured on our Instagram account and printed as the featured photo in our magazine!

ON THE COVER

Playing piano on a frozen lake may seem odd, but given YoungMin You’s unconventional background, it didn’t faze him a bit. YoungMin’s unique journey has taken the South Korean native to northern Michigan, where he composes music and shares his prodigious playing with a substantial online following.

14 FEATURE

YoungMin You: Beating The Odds South Korean native YoungMin You turned a chance to study in the U.S. into a thriving music career in Petoskey. Emily Haines Lloyd

6 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY

18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY

We wholeheartedly thank our readers for their engagement and contributions, and hope you’ll continue to share, win and belong.

Mike Lavens, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op member, loves the outdoors … and loves instilling this passion for nature in others even more.

Michigan Country Lines Celebrates 40 Years!

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN

Guest Column: Reaping What You Sow

Guess Our New Mystery Photo And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

Comfort Foods Mean Cozy HomeCooked Meals Christin McKamey & Our Readers

Go Big And Spicy, Or Go Home Featured Guest Chef: Chantelle You, wife of talented pianist YoungMin You, is always looking for meals with the bold Korean flavors her husband enjoys. Here she shares one of his favorites, Jerk Chicken With Pineapple Black Bean Salsa recipe. Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

Best of Michigan UP NEXT! Chocolatiers: Tell us about your favorite places for melt-in-your-mouth chocolates. Submit your favorites at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab by January 25, and this indulgent list will be published in the February issue.

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

3


Starting Fresh Board of Directors

Mark Carson Chairman, District 2

01950 Anderson Rd., Boyne City, MI 49712 231-675-0561 • mcarson@glenergy.com

Robert Kran Vice-Chairman, District 6 7380 N. Tuttle Rd., Free Soil, MI 49411 231-464-5889 • bkran@glenergy.com

Paul Schemanski Secretary, District 1 5974 Stolt Rd., Petoskey, MI 49770 231-439-9079 • paul.schemanski@glenergy.com

Larry Monshor Treasurer, District 4 1541 Thumm Rd., Gaylord, MI 49735 989-370-2786 • lmonshor@glenergy.com

Howard Bowersox Director, District 8 23779 8 Mile Rd., Stanwood, MI 49346 219-670-0977 • hbowersox@glenergy.com

Paul Byl Director, District 7

9941 W. Buchanan Rd., Shelby, MI 49455 231-861-5911 • pbyl@glenergy.com

Richard Evans Director, District 3 11195 Essex Rd., Ellsworth, MI 49729 231-883-3146 • revans@glenergy.com

Dale Farrier Director, District 5

2261 Wheeler Lake Rd. NE, Kalkaska, MI 49646 231-564-0853 • dfarrier@glenergy.com

John LaForge Director, District 9

7363 Walters Rd., Delton, MI 49046 269-623-2284 • jlaforge@glenergy.com

President/CEO: Bill Scott 888-485-2537

Communications Director/Editor: Lacey Matthews 231-487-1316 lmatthews@glenergy.com

Boyne City Headquarters

T

Bill Scott, Great Lakes Energy President/CEO

he new year offers a chance to start fresh. For us, 2020 will mark 21 years since three smaller electrical cooperatives banded together to form the largest electric co-op in Michigan: Great Lakes Energy.

Through this merger, the last 20 years have allowed us to bring more reliable service to you. We have been able to use new technology to enhance our services and connect the lives of our rural members to the future. As we enter the next decade, we are excited to introduce a new look. We’ve updated our logo to carry 20 years of history forward into the future. The points of the triangle represent the three cooperatives coming together as one, the waves reflect the Great Lakes that surround us, and the sun represents a tremendous source of energy and brings our focus to the horizon with great things to come. As our new logo keeps our continuity with the past, it is updated to reflect our commitment to providing you with reliable services for your home and business. You’ve seen some of these already with Truestream, our high-speed fiber internet network. But we’re also continuing to plan for the growing demand for services that support electric vehicle ownership and renewable energy. These are just a few ways we are keeping our promise to provide you with valuable, reliable service. We’re excited about the new look of our logo, but that’s just one change. We’ve also updated our website to make it easier to use. These changes may not seem very significant, but we think they are. They bring to the forefront all of the values and dedication that are the quiet engine driving everything we do. For the last 20 years, we have strived to go beyond expectations to connect our members to the greater world, and we will remain steadfast in that commitment. We are built by the communities we serve, and we are working hard to empower and enrich our members’ lives. We remain a trusted partner, connecting you to the power you depend on with a purpose to serve our members and communities.

Logos Throughout The Years

1323 Boyne Ave., P.O. Box 70 Boyne City, MI 49712 Hours: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. M–F Phone: 888-485-2537 Email: glenergy@glenergy.com

To report an outage, call: 1-888-485-2537

gtlakes.com Great Lakes Energy Change of Address: 888-485-2537, ext. 8924 Great Lakes Energy is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

facebook.com/greatlakesenergy

4 JANUARY 2020

1997: Oceana and O&A merge to become Great Lakes Energy.

1999: Top O’ Michigan, Western, and Great Lakes Energy all merge into the new Great Lakes Energy.

2020: Great Lakes Energy updates logo to carry 20 years of history forward into the future.


Check Out Our New Website!

In addition to the logo, Great Lakes Energy’s website got a whole new look, too. Visit gtlakes.com to check out the changes.

Country Lines

PHOTO CONTEST WINNER Debra Claycomb is the 2019 winner of the Great Lakes Energy Photo Contest and she earned a $200 bill credit. Her winning photo (left), which appeared in the September issue, was selected in a random drawing of all contest entries that appeared in Michigan Country Lines in 2019.

Thank you to the many GLE members who participated. Members are welcome to send in photos for our 2020 contest. See page 9 for details.


MI CO-OP Community

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 1980

Celebrates 40 Years

Michigan Country Lines has been connecting members with their electric cooperatives for forty years. As a Michigan Country Lines reader, not only are you the heart of your co-op, you are the heart of this magazine. And luckily for us, many of our readers are also contributors. The numerous reader submissions we receive make this magazine a one-of-a-kind—a place where we can read about others’ experiences, drool over their recipes and laugh at their funny pictures, bringing us together as a community. We are so grateful that you enjoy this magazine enough to engage in its content, and we encourage you to continue doing so. Visit our MI Co-op Community page on countrylines.com and share your knowledge of our wonderful state, your stories, and, yes, your amazing recipes! In addition to publication, your work may be rewarded with cash or bill credits. We look forward to our members’ continued content and contest contributions.

6 JANUARY 2020

2020

Monthly Recipe Contest And MI Co-op Kitchen

$50 BILL CREDIT

If you’re in need of some food inspiration, look no further than MI Co-op Kitchen——our online cooking community. MI Co-op Kitchen is an interactive space where you can share your recipes and food ideas with other like-minded members. Submit a recipe for our monthly contest and you could win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe published and a professional video created for our website. A winner is selected every month.

Where In Michigan Is This?

$50 BILL CREDIT

Our Mystery Photo Contest gives you the chance to correctly identify our mystery photo and win a $50 bill credit. A new “Where in Michigan Is This?” mystery photo is published in our January, March, May, July/August, September and November/ December Michigan Country Lines issues. Each correct guess is placed into a drawing and one lucky winner is selected.


Guest Columns

$150 CASH AWARD

We know many of our members are talented and have great ideas——so we invite you to share that talent in Country Lines! We will pay $150 for the stories we publish. Let the ideas flow! Stories could be about a significant or memorable event, a person in your life, life lessons learned, educational topics, Michigan recreational activities, and more! Please keep stories to approximately 350 words. Photos are always welcome!

NO BARRIERS ADVENTURES FOR RURAL VETERANS— APPLY BY FEBRUARY 28

Best Of Michigan Do you have a favorite spot where you bring outof-state guests? What about a favorite Michigan ice cream shop, or a Michigan–inspired treat? Our Best of Michigan column is a way for you to submit your preferred treats, sites, restaurants, opinions and activities. We will publish many submissions for the Best Of Michigan section, so there is no monetary reward. However, your name will be published!

Michigan electric cooperatives believe there should be “No Barriers” for veterans with disabilities. That’s the name and idea behind CoBank’s No Barriers initiative. Michigan cooperatives are looking for qualified veterans* from our local community to participate.

Follow Michigan Country Lines On Instagram Follow us on our Instagram account, @michigancountrylines, where we celebrate the energy of rural Michigan. Marvel at Michigan’s majestic beauty, learn about new places to visit and experience rural Michigan life, and enjoy special influencer events. Tag your photos with #micoopcommunity, and they could be featured on our Instagram account. Your photo could even be chosen to print as the featured photo in our magazine. We can’t wait to see what you share!

Follow Michigan Country Lines On Facebook Follow us on our Facebook account at “Michigan Country Lines Magazine” for up-to-date magazine content, influencer events, contests, recipe videos and much more.

No Barriers is a five-day, all-expensespaid expedition in Colorado, designed to help veterans with disabilities transform their lives through curriculum-based experiences in challenging environments (climbing, rafting and hiking).

If you are a disabled veteran or you know of a disabled veteran in our community who would like to participate in the No Barriers program, please complete the form on our website:

countrylines.com/nobarriers *Must have VA disability rating to be eligible.


Agribusinesses:

Prioritize Energy Efficiency In 2020

S

tack up the savings with energy improvement projects that can help drive more money to your bottom line. Getting started is easy with the help of the Energy Optimization program. Cash incentives are available to help offset the upfront cost of energy-efficient equipment—which can help you save energy and money for years to come. A few opportunities to improve your agribusiness include:

FREE Farm Energy Assessment:

To begin understanding more about your farm’s energy usage, take advantage of our free assessment. The complimentary assessment will help identify where and how to implement practical, energy-saving alternatives to outdated, inefficient equipment.

Incentives For Energy-Efficient Products And Equipment: Receive cash back when you purchase and install energyefficient measures such as: • • • • • • • •

Low-energy livestock waterers Fans and controls Milk handling equipment Variable speed pumps and controllers Dairy refrigeration tune-ups Irrigation system upgrades LED grow lights and poultry lights Long-day lighting systems

Incentives For Custom Projects:

Have an energy efficiency project in mind, but don’t see it on our list? The Energy Optimization program will work with you to provide incentives for innovative and unique energy efficiency projects designed to meet specific needs. Contact us to discuss your ideas!

Learn More Read about how your neighbors have utilized the Energy Optimization program incentives to improve the energy efficiency of their agribusinesses at michigan-energy.org/testimonials. Relevant articles include: • “Coulter Farms Harvest Big Savings” • “Coveyou Scenic Farm Market Flourishes with Energy Savings” • “Award-winning Labor Housing Reaps Great Savings For Friske Orchards” • “Sklarczyk Seed Farm Shines Bright With LED Grow Lights” A complete list of incentives is available at michigan-energy.org or call 877-296-4319 for details.

Stack Up the

SAVINGS

Reduce your energy use and SAVE! FREE agribusiness energy assessments available. Rebates available for custom and prescriptive energy savings projects.

Call now for best availability.

Michigan-energy.org | 877-296-4319 Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Other restrictions may apply. For a complete list of participating utilities, visit michigan-energy.org.


Most Votes On Facebook!

1

4

2

5

GLE Photo Contest Enter to win a

$200

energy bill credit!

3

Submit Your “Cute Kids” Photos!

Each month members can submit photos on Facebook or our website for our photo contest. The photo with the most votes is published here along with other selections. Our January theme is Cute Kids. Photos can be submitted by January 20 to be featured in the March issue.

How To Enter:

Visit Facebook.com/greatlakesenergy and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. Not on Facebook? You can also enter the contest at gtlakes.com/ photocontest. Make sure to vote and encourage others to vote for you, too. The photo receiving the most votes from our online and Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Michigan Country Lines along with some of our other favorites. All photos printed in the magazine in 2020 will be entered to win a $200 bill credit in December 2020.

6

Take The Cake 1. Best. Cake. Ever. —Jessica Miller, Walkerville 2. N  athan’s John Deere birthday —Sheila Davis, Charlevoix 3. W  edding cake for my nephew— so much fun to make! —Elizabeth Mason, Howard City 4. A  ngry Birds interactive cake —Susan Elkouri, South Boardman 5. T  he great outdoors cake for our dad’s 70th birthday, made by my sister and myself —Kim Mettler, Boyne City 6. K  enzie’s special day —Beth Fiedorowicz, Baldwin

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

9


Comfort Foods Warm up with these cozy home-cooked meals. Photos by Robert Bruce Photography Recipes Submitted By MCL Readers And Tested By Recipe Editor Christin McKamey

Winning Recipe!

Sausage and Mushroom Pappardelle Annie Barnes, Great Lakes Energy 8 1 1 1 6 3 4

ounces pappardelle pasta tablespoon olive oil red bell pepper, sliced onion, thinly sliced large mushrooms, sliced cloves garlic, minced links smoked turkey sausage, sliced (or crumbled Italian sausage), cooked

• pinch of red pepper flakes 1 cup cream ½ cup cherry tomatoes 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped • kosher salt • parmesan cheese, for garnish

Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil, then generously add kosher salt. Add pappardelle pasta and cook until al dente, then drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water. While pasta is cooking, begin cooking the sauce. In a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Then add red bell pepper slices and onion, and cook for 4–5 minutes or until onion softens, stirring occasionally. Season with kosher salt, add mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. Add garlic, sausage and red pepper flakes, and cook until sausage is warmed through, about 3 minutes. Add cream, tomatoes and rosemary to skillet, and cook 3 minutes or until sauce thickens and tomatoes soften. Gently fold in pasta to skillet until coated. If you’d like more sauce, add reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time (or additional cream if you want a heavier sauce). Garnish with parmesan, kosher salt and more rosemary if desired. Serve immediately. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos 10 JANUARY 2020

Creamed Swiss Chard Luise Bolleber, Cherryland

4 tablespoons butter 2 garlic cloves, chopped ¼ cup yellow onion, chopped ¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole milk • sea salt and white pepper 2 bunches Swiss chard, leaves chopped, stems chopped separately

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion, and chard stems and cook until onion and stems are softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Raise heat to medium. Whisk in milk and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is thickened and reduced by about half. Add the chard leaves. You may have to do this in batches as the chard cooks down. Add salt and white pepper, and cook about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.


featured GUEST CHEF A well-known pianist in Michigan, YoungMin You, enjoys Korean recipes. His wife, Chantelle, has realized that Korean food and flavors are sometimes hard to come by in northern Michigan, so she’s always keeping an eye out for meals with big and spicy flavors. This is one of YoungMin You’s favorites.

Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Black Bean Salsa

Dad’s Corn Fritters Deb Finedell, Great Lakes Energy /4 1 1 2 ½

cup all-purpose flour tablespoon sugar teaspoon baking powder eggs cup milk (more to thin, if necessary) 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

3

4 generous cups corn kernels, fresh, frozen or canned (if frozen or canned, drain all moisture) 3 teaspoons chopped chives • oil, for frying • powdered sugar, optional

Mix flour, sugar and baking powder. Add eggs, milk, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir together to make a batter. Add corn and chives. Fold together to combine. Heat oil in a skillet to 365 F. Drop batter by spoonfuls into heated oil. Flip to brown on all sides. Drain on paper towel-lined plate. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy!!

4 cups cooked rice PINEAPPLE BLACK BEAN SALSA 2 cups pineapple tidbits, finely diced 1 15-ounce can black beans, well rinsed and drained ¹⁄ ³ cup red onion, finely diced ½ cup cilantro, chopped 1 lime • pinch red pepper flakes (optional) ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste JERK CHICKEN 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about ²⁄³ pound each) 1 tablespoon jerk seasoning 1 tablespoon cooking oil Begin cooking your rice first. While the rice is cooking, prepare the pineapple black bean salsa. Combine pineapple, black beans, red onion, cilantro, one tablespoon of lime juice, red pepper flakes and salt. Add more salt or lime juice if needed.

Pizza Party: due February 1 Best Of Vegetarian: due March 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 and to register.

Enter to win a

$50

energy bill credit!

Next, prepare the jerk chicken. Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken to eliminate splatter, then gently pound the chicken breasts into an even thickness using either a rolling pin or a mallet. Sprinkle the jerk seasoning over both sides of the chicken and use your hands to rub it into the surface, making sure the chicken is completely coated. Add the cooking oil to a large skillet, or preheat your grill. Once hot, add the chicken and cook until well browned on both sides and completely cooked through (about 7 minutes each side). It should no longer be pink in the center and the juices should run clear. Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, slice the chicken into ½ inch-wide strips. To serve, place about a cup of cooked rice on a plate and top with about a cup of the pineapple black bean salsa and a few strips of the jerk chicken. Slice the remaining lime into wedges and squeeze fresh juice over the chicken just before eating. Read the full story about YoungMin You on page 14, and find this recipe and others at micoopkitchen.com.


Construction Announcement

Truestream Update By Julie Bailey

Boyne Service Area— We’re looking at you! We’re happy to announce Phase I construction plans for our fiber network starting this spring in parts of our Boyne service area, which primarily covers rural areas in Charlevoix and Antrim counties. The construction, which we anticipate will progress in three phases, will expand the availability of high-speed Truestream fiber internet and voice services to our members. The Boyne service district was selected due to having the highest amount of pre-registrations on jointruestream.com. The fiber network delivers speeds up to 1 Gig (symmetrical for upload and download), massive bandwidth, unlimited voice services, no data caps, and no contracts—allowing residents to work from home and have access to online education, in addition to streaming, gaming and much more. The service will also be available to businesses. In 2020, the Great Lakes Energy Board of Directors may consider expansion into other phases of the Boyne service district, as well as studying to determine expansion into a third district. The expansion will depend in part on demand through pre-registrations on jointruestream.com 12 JANUARY 2020

Along with the decision to expand into the Boyne service area, Great Lakes Energy’s Petoskey service area will move out of the pilot phase as network construction and in-home installations continue. Nearly 1,400 Great Lakes Energy members in the Petoskey service area are currently enjoying Truestream’s services, some experiencing a highspeed internet connection at home for the first time. Construction of the fiber network is a labor-intensive process and will continue in phases through 2020 and beyond. Free installation is currently available for Great Lakes Energy members who register interest. Free installation for southern Emmet County will soon expire,


and those in that area are strongly encouraged to return their service paperwork as soon as possible to take advantage of this offer. Please visit jointruestream.com to register your interest and to see the project status by area.

Petoskey Service Area Phase 2 If you live in our Petoskey service area, you’re getting a makeover on jointruestream.com! As we learn and grow, we have realized a change is needed. Our Truestreamers have pointed out areas that we’re doing great in, as well as areas where we could improve, and we’ve listened. So…drumroll please…we are dividing the Petoskey Phase 2 area up even more! By doing this, we’ll be able to bring some excitement with a little friendly competition to return service agreements, as well as provide timely information regarding the construction and installation process. You keep asking us when we’re coming to your area—well, now you’ll be able to check the map and see the progress in your area! Never fear, we’ll be sending an email letting everyone who is already registered know what your new area’s name is. And, we’re going to let you in on a little secret. The Truestream areas designated on the map on jointruestream.com are not named based on the surrounding township or city/town in that area. They are named based on the substation that provides electricity to that area—kinda boring, we know. If you’re in West Traverse 1, 2 or 3 or Harbor Springs 2 or 3, you received an email with the service agreement packet in December 2019. The agreement came from SignNow on behalf of Truestream. The site plan portion of the packet will need to be printed, filled out, and returned by taking a picture or scanning and emailing it to service@truestreamfiber.com. You can also drop it in the mail. Please return all signed documents within 60 days. Service agreement packets for the remaining Petoskey Phase 2 areas will be sent in the coming months.

To view new areas, along with progress, visit the Areas tab on jointruestream.com!

Demand

Demand

Demand

We've mentioned that demand for our high-speed fiber and services is one of the key driving factors in deciding where to look to build next. If you are outside the Petoskey or Boyne service areas, where do you stack up? Here is the current demand as of December, 2019: Wayland — 1,386

Reed City — 1,041

Waters — 1,336

Kalkaska — 991

Newaygo — 1,265

Scottville — 969

Hart — 1,107 If you haven't registered your interest already, visit jointruestream.com. Be sure to share with your friends, family, and neighbors, encouraging them to register their interest as well. Your area could be considered next!

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13


Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) YoungMin You:

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“I feel like music is my way of putting a positive message into the world.” Conservatory of Music near Chicago. He decided that if he didn’t get in, he would go back to South Korea. YoungMin did get accepted at the conservatory and was quick to realize that his lack of formal training was something he would have to overcome. What were the odds that he could overcome his lack of formal education and catch up to his classmates? “I was so lucky to have professors who cared,” said YoungMin. “Cared, but were worried. My technique was not where it should have been, but I worked hard and got better.” YoungMin put his heart and a positive attitude into his craft. Through his efforts, he got so much better that he ended up being top in his class that semester. Passion and positivity may well have led YoungMin to love as well. During his first year of college, he met Chantelle, a vocal performance major, who would eventually become his wife. After the two were married in 2016, the couple had to decide where they would go next. Cities like Chicago and New York came up in conversation, as both YoungMin and Chantelle were artists, and the cities offered a lot of opportunities in their fields. But after much discussion, another town came up—Petoskey, Michigan. Chantelle had fallen in love with

the picturesque lake community. YoungMin’s experience with high school in Michigan and Chantelle’s Midwest roots were both strong pulls. “Ultimately, we talked about where we wanted to make a life for ourselves, where we wanted to raise a family,” said YoungMin. “Beyond that, Petoskey has such a rich arts community. The fairs and festivals have a wonderful musical focus— it became an easy decision on whether to go big city or small town.” While YoungMin and Chantelle have settled on their own family home, YoungMin is still very much connected to his parents and sister in South Korea. He video chats with them regularly using Great Lakes Energy’s Truestream fiber internet. Upon settling in Petoskey, YoungMin had jobs as a music director,

accompanist, and playing for both weddings and funerals, but he eventually changed directions and decided to concentrate on his original faith-based music and arrangements. Now, you will find him creating music on virtual platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, and posting inspiring videos on YouTube, where he first learned to play the piano. “I love making music so much, and I wanted to find a way to reach as many people as possible. These platforms make that possible,” said YoungMin. “I feel like music is my way of putting a positive message into the world.” Maybe the odds are stacked against an artist with a message of hope and positivity. But if there is anyone who is up for beating those odds, it’s a young man with talent, purpose and passion like YoungMin You.

Northern Michigan weather is hard to predict. The day of the video shoot, during which YoungMin played a piano rendition of “Hillsong’s Oceans” on Walloon Lake, there was a fresh two to three feet of snow on the frozen water. With the help of about 20 friends who volunteered and some friendly fishermen who assisted in making a pathway, the 800-pound piano arrived at its destination on a sled dragged by a snowmobile. The task was mighty, but once again, passion won the day. Watch the full video here and be inspired:

youtube.com/watch?v=5n-e6lOhVq0 MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 15


Ric Evans GLE Director, Focused On Community

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f there’s one thing that Great Lakes Energy District 3 (Antrim County) Director Ric Evans takes seriously, it’s energy. The better part of his life revolves around studying it, advocating for its clean and renewable sources, educating others about it, and practicing energy efficiency and conservation. A GLE member for almost 21 years, Ric was elected as District 3 director in 2011 and is currently serving his third term. A self-proclaimed educator at heart, he quickly gained all of the available certifications currently available to electric co-op directors. As of 2017, he has worked as a clean energy policy specialist for the GroundWork Center for Resilient Communities, where he helps communities, schools and churches with clean energy initiatives. Prior to that, he was the owner of an energy efficiency and renewable energy consulting company for 11 years. Ric is proud to be part of Great Lakes Energy’s commitment to renewable energy as the co-op has developed a community solar array for members, as well as programs for members to install their own generation. He’s proud to be one of those members. Ric’s all-electric home is unique, boasting a grid-tied solar electric system with battery back-up, a passive solar-heated addition, and a solar hot water system. For a time, he served on the Cooperative Leadership Network (CLN) board of directors. CLN connects co-op directors nationally on industry issues, good governance, and challenges and opportunities facing co-ops in their transition to clean energy. He takes pride in knowing that Great Lakes Energy and its power supplier Wolverine Power Cooperative lead the state in 16 JANUARY 2020

providing more than 60% carbon free energy to members. Becoming a GLE director, Ric says, also gave him appreciation of the cooperative business model. Of seven cooperative principles, he best relates to “Concern for Community” as the most important. “By being actively engaged in our communities, GLE has the opportunity to fill gaps in needs that go beyond just products and services we offer,” he observes. “That’s increasingly important for GLE’s future and that of our communities.” Having been engaged in and passionate about energy issues since his college years, Ric considers it rewarding to work with staff at GLE who are committed to providing the best in energy distribution practices and being a vital part of the communities they serve.

Personally Speaking Ric and wife, Jenn, have lived on an “old farm” in the Eastport/Atwood area of Antrim County since 1999— “the longest either of us have lived anywhere,” he adds. “Our ‘kids’ happen to have four legs and paws,” Ric laughs. The couple currently has four cats and a dog. Ric’s outside interests include playing music and “anything outdoors,”

particularly playing disc golf. He has designed and installed several disc golf courses and has enjoyed hosting benefit disc golf events for 20 years that mostly help local food pantries.

On Being A GLE Director “I feel that I bring a unique voice and background to GLE’s boardroom table during a time of dramatic shifts in what it means to be an energy company,” Ric observes. Besides the fact that providing energy these days is complex and challenging, Rick notes that it ultimately “boils down to serving our community in the best capacity we can.” Ric looks forward to running for re-election in District 3 in 2020 and helping ensure that GLE stays out in front of important issues, asks the right questions, keeps up with energy trends, and makes the best long-term decisions for its members. He also wants to be a voice for members and keep them involved in any transitions that lie ahead.

“By being actively engaged in our communities, GLE has the opportunity to fill gaps in needs that go beyond just products and services we offer.”


A grant to purchase green screen equipment engages students in technology and presentation skills at Concord Academy- Boyne in Boyne City.

Great Lakes Energy Powers Classroom Technology Great Lakes Energy (GLE) recently awarded $29,932 in grants to help 22 classrooms implement technology-based programs in their schools.

Grants awarded for the 2019—2020 school year bring the total to just over $187,392 for 127 projects since GLE launched its classroom grant program in 2012. These schools received classroom grants for the 2019—2020 school year: Boyne City Middle School, $825 for Lego robotics kits

Grayling High School, $1,979.70 for Raspberry Pi sensor kits

Boyne Falls Public School, $1,733.82 for ELMO document cameras and microscope adapters

Inland Lakes Secondary, Indian River, $1,799.99 for laser engraving technology

Concord Academy——Boyne, Boyne City, $200 for green screen equipment

Johannesburg-Lewiston Schools, Johannesburg, $2,000 for Dash and Bee-Bot robots

Daisy Brook Elementary, Fremont, $1,500 for Cue robots and coding curriculum on Fire tablets

John R. Rodger Elementary School, Bellaire, $964 for FOSS Next Generation materials

East Elementary, Coopersville, $1,500 for Bee-Bot robots

Kalkaska High School, $900 for Pascal “Sparks”

Ellsworth Community School, $1,785.64 for technology to teach engineering design

Ludington High School, $1,585 for robotics safety program

Foster Elementary, Ludington, $156 for Osmo learning kits

Montague High School, $1,950 for composting facility

Fremont High School, $500 for audiobooks G.T. Norman Elementary School, Reed City, $250 for STEAM materials Gaylord High School, $2,000 for Anatomy in Clay models Grant Elementary School, $2,000 for Coding in the Classroom program

McBain Middle School, $2,000 for Ozobot Evo robots Newaygo High School, $899.98 for Canon EOS Rebel cameras Pine River Middle School, LeRoy, $1,787.75 for Micro:bit computers and GiggleBot kit Walkerville Public Schools, $1,615.96 for iPads for video interviews and STEM projects

Online applications for the 2020-2021 school year open in September 2020. To learn more, visit gtlakes.com.

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17


Guess this photo and enter to win a

GUEST COLUMN

MI CO-OP Community

$50

energy bill credit!

Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by January 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines.com or send by mail to: Country Lines Mystery Photo, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Include the name on your account, address, phone number and the name of your co-op. Our Mystery Photo Contest winner from the November/December issue is Karen Malburg, a Midwest Energy & Communications member, who correctly identified the photo as the “Believe” wall mural, which is part of the “Power of Words Community Mural Project.” It was painted by artist Mia Tavonatti on the exterior wall of the Blackstone Pizza Company located in downtown Iron Mountain. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.

Reaping What You Sow By Mike Lavens, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op

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s we get older, it seems we start to cherish friends and family more and materialistic things less. At least, in my case, that’s what has occurred. A recent request by a distant nephew to come camp at our place north of Hillman came on short notice but was answered with a quick “yes.” You see, Roy was one of the sons of my wife’s cousins who many, many years ago, I took out deer hunting in southern Michigan when he was 10 years old. Roy told us years later that visiting us that summer is when he caught the outdoor bug. I have watched and enjoyed Roy’s adventures while growing up over the years —his fishing, hunting, camping and kayaking, all the while, as he lived downstate. Our place is on a private lake and sits just off Long Lake, where we share a lot with some neighbors. It is the best of both worlds, with water recreation on the “big lake” and quiet, no- gas motor fishing on the other lake. Roy, with his very first fish, broke his personal best with a 27-inch pike. He was in heaven for the next four days, fishing, kayaking, and enjoying the peace and quiet away from the city. He called us his outdoor parents during that stay, and it was a joy to see him take on the outdoors like a pro. Lucky for him, his “camping” visit turned into a more extended stay in our spare bedroom. It was nice to share yet again the outdoors with family and nurture such an important part of our human existence, even if it was just for a short time. We will cherish the memories made and the questions asked. The excitement in Roy’s voice as he explained about the loon coming up to the boat, the fish he caught, and how far down in the water he could see while kayaking. Share what you can, while you can, with whomever you can; you may never know the enthusiasm you may instill in someone or the memories you will make while doing so. Living where we do gives us a unique opportunity to do just that, treasure it and enjoy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

November/December 2019 Josh Herman, Thumb Aerial Photography

18 JANUARY 2020

Mike is an FCA (Chrysler) engineer. He was the first person to sign up for the Dodge Demon race in Arizona. Mike has been married for 33 years and loves America.


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