GLE Jan 2021

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January 2021

MICHIGAN

COUNTRY LINES Great Lakes Energy Cooperative

Meet Your Director

Ways To Connect With Us 2020 Photo Contest Winner

THE MUSKEGON Luge Adventure Sports Park:

THRILL-SEEKERS WELCOME


WATERFURNACE UNITS QUALIFY FOR A 22% FEDERAL TAX CREDIT THROUGH 2021

THERE’S A TREASURE

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Berrien Springs WaterFurnace Michiana (269) 473-5667 gogreenmich geothermal.com

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Big Rapids Stratz Htg & Clg, Inc. (231) 796-3717 stratzgeocomfort.com

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Mancelona Top Notch Htg, Clg, & Geothermal 231.350.8052 Topnotchheatandair.com

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Traverse City D & W Mechanical (231) 941-1215 dwgeothermal.com Geofurnace Htg & Clg (231) 943-1000 watergeofurnace.com

WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc.


Contents countrylines.com

January 2021 Vol. 41, No. 1

/michigancountrylines

/michigancountrylines

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.

#micoopcommunity

6 INTO THE WILD The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park offers space for much-needed (and safe) outdoor time this winter.

14 THRILL-SEEKERS WELCOME AT THE MUSKEGON LUGE ADVENTURE SPORTS PARK If you're seeking daring, Olympics-caliber fun, look no further than Muskegon.

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Salad Night: Recipes to turn plain old greens into a hearty and healthy meal.

18 GUEST COLUMN Remembering glass bottles and the milkman.

Legend says a couple displayed their love for one another by jumping off the top of this rock arch together. That’s why it’s called Lover’s Leap. But don’t try it! The water there is only a few feet deep. @michiganskymedia, Tyler Leipprandt

Be featured!

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

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

MI CO-OP COMMUNITY

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

MI CO-OP KITCHEN

BEST OF MICHIGAN

GUEST COLUMN

MYSTERY PHOTO

Up Next: Tacos, Garden Fresh Share your favorite recipes.

Up Next: Winter Fun! Tell us about your favorite winter activity location (downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, biking, ice skating, etc.)

Submit your fondest memories and stories.

Enter a drawing to identify the correct location of the photo.

Win $150 for stories published!

Win a $50 bill credit!

Win a $50 bill credit!

See page 18

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

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Let’s Connect.

gtlakes.com /greatlakesenergy

Bill Scott, Great Lakes Energy President/CEO

/jointruestream BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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

John LaForge, Vice-Chairman, District 9 7363 Walters Rd., Delton, MI 49046 269-623-2284 • jlaforge@glenergy.com

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

Mark Carson, Director , District 2 01950 Anderson Rd., Boyne City, MI 49712 231-675-0561 • mcarson@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 PRESIDENT/CEO: Bill Scott 888-485-2537 COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR/EDITOR: Lacey Matthews 231-487-1316 • lmatthews@glenergy.com

W

hen we say that we live in a “connected” world, most of us think about technology, like our smartphones and other devices and gadgets. But when you’re a member of an electric co-op, there’s so much more to being part of our connected co-op community. We depend on you to power our success, and when Great Lakes Energy does well, the community thrives because we’re all connected. That’s why we rely on your generosity in supporting the People Fund. Please see the attached magazine cover wrap showing the many charities and nonprofit groups in your community helped by People Fund grants in 2020. If you have not already, you can help by signing up for the People Fund at gtlakes.com/people-fund/. We greatly value our connection to you, the members we serve. And we’d like to help you maximize the value you can get from Great Lakes Energy through various programs, products, and services we offer our members. For example, we can help you save money on your energy bill through our Energy Optimization programs, including a free online energy audit and rebates. When you download our GLE app, you can monitor and manage your home energy use, pay your bill online, and access a menu of additional options for potential savings and more. When you follow us on social media, you can stay up to date on power restoration efforts, tree trimming planning, co-op director elections, Truestream, giveaways, and more. You’ll also see photos of our line crews in action, our fiber network’s construction, and our employees helping with community service projects—and who doesn’t enjoy seeing good things happening in our community! By connecting with us, you can get real-time updates from your co-op. That’s why we want to make sure we have your most current contact information on hand. If we can’t connect with you on these platforms or in person, you could miss out on potential savings or important information.

BOYNE CITY HEADQUARTERS 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

Updated contact information helps us during a power outage restoration. That’s because when you call to report an outage, our automated system recognizes your phone number and matches it with your account location. Accurate information helps our outage management system predict the location and the possible cause of an outage, making it easier for Great Lakes Energy crews to correct the problem.

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

Great Lakes Energy exists to serve our members, and when we’re better connected to you and our local community, we’re better prepared to answer the call. To update your contact information or learn more about co-op products and services, visit gtlakes.com or call us at (888) 485-2537.

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

4 JANUARY 2021

We look forward to connecting with you!


Remembering One Of Our Own Great Lakes Energy has lost a great friend and leader. GLE board member Larry Monshor passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Since 2007, Larry has served the GLE membership with energy, enthusiasm, and a huge heart. Larry was a big advocate of GLE’s culture and safety programs, always actively engaging with staff to ask questions and offer support for GLE initiatives. His leadership on the board included service as board treasurer since 2011, audit committee chairperson, and representing GLE on the Wolverine Power Cooperative board, serving as vice-chair. Larry participated in a continuing education program through NRECA, achieving gold director status, the highest board credential available. “I am deeply saddened by the sudden death of Larry Monshor,” states Bill Scott, president and CEO of GLE. “Larry’s kind heart and leadership will not be forgotten. On behalf of all our employees, members, and board of directors, I extend our deepest sympathy to his entire family.” Larry was a resident of Gaylord and is survived by his wife Linda, eight children, and 14 grandchildren.

Pay My Bill

PHOTO CONTEST WINNER James Gray of Hart is the 2020 winner of Great Lakes Energy’s Pay My Bill Photo Contest. Gray received a credit of up to $200 that was applied to his December 2020 electric bill. The winning photo to the left was selected in a random drawing of all entries that appeared in Michigan Country Lines in 2020 and was published in the September issue. Thank you to the many GLE members who participated. Members are welcome to send in photos for our 2021 contest. See page 9 for details.


E UPIN PORC TAINS MOUN SS ERNE D L I W K E PAR STAT

INTO THE

By Emily Haines Lloyd Photos by Diane Rhode & Ryan Brown

W

ith Michiganders on the long end of a year that limited us in the everyday activities we often enjoy, the outdoors was a respite through the summer and fall. As we enter the winter months, many are wondering how to keep a degree of sanity and avoid the dreaded cabin fever. Enter Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Affectionately called The Porkies, Michigan’s largest state park, located in Ontonagon, offers a bevy of outdoor activities. It’s also easy to maintain a healthy level of social distancing with the over 60,000 acres of wilderness to explore.

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JANUARY 2021

“People come to the Porkies with different mindsets,” said Katie Urban, park interpreter (maybe the best job title ever). “Some folks want to go on a crazy adventure, that physical act to burn off their energy. Some are looking for some peace and quiet. I just tell people, either way, just make sure you take a moment to look around and take it all in.” The park also has acres of woods, wild animals (don’t worry, they tend to keep their distance), and the well-known Lake of the Clouds—one of the most photographed features in the Upper Peninsula. There are also plenty of more structured activities to check out. The downhill ski slope is covered in snow made entirely by Mother Nature


and offers thrilling trails of fresh powder. It’s the perfect opportunity to try out cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on gorgeously-groomed trails for both the experienced and newbies. Or join Urban on a weekly guided hike by riding the ski lift to the top of the mountains, taking in the vista, and then hiking back to base camp.

Perhaps one of the more inspiring opportunities in winter is the Lantern Walk, a one-mile loop on which to either cross-country ski, snowshoe, or walk with lanterns lighting the way. When the moon is out and shining, it does some of the heavy lifting for the lamps, and in either case, the sky provides fantastical views of the stars for all.

The Porkies also allow for winter camping. You can chart where to pitch your tent with the help of the ranger station for dispersed camping or rent one of the cabins or yurts for your crew. The trek out to the cabins is as much fun as the camping itself and includes wood to keep the fire roaring.

“There’s nothing quite like it,” confirms Urban. “It’s the kind of quiet that brings an amazing amount of peace. It’s obviously great for us physically to be out in nature, but I’m always surprised at how beneficial it is mentally and emotionally as well. It’s a whole other level of happiness.”

“There really is just so much to do and see,” said Urban. “The best part of what I do is watching people engaging with nature, learning something new, experiencing a new sport, or starting a new passion. Everything up here is inspiring.”

For more information visit michigan.gov/porkies or call 906-885-5275.

“Everything up here is inspiring.” —Katie Urban

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

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Moooo-ve To Bigger Savings he increase in the global population is placing greater demands on today’s farmers. With more mouths to feed, food production needs are on the rise. Operational efficiency and automation have become crucial for farmers to successfully meet growing demands. Unfortunately, increased production usually translates into increased energy consumption. Decreased cash flow and a lower bottom line is often the result. A modern dairy farm might use 25% of its total operation’s energy usage in just milk refrigeration!

T

Although it can be costly upfront, investing in energyefficient farm equipment can have a positive long-term impact on energy usage and business profits. The Energy Optimization program understands that and is available to help you create an energy savings plan. You may even qualify for cash incentives!

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 lighting indoors and outdoors LED grow lights and poultry lights Long-day lighting systems

Incentives For Custom Projects Have an energy efficiency project but don’t see it on our list? The Energy Optimization program will work with you to provide incentives for other electrical energy efficiency projects designed to meet specific needs. Contact us to discuss your ideas!

Farm Energy Assessment A farm assessment is a great way to understand more about your farm’s energy usage. Give us a call and we can help you identify where and how to implement practical, energy-saving solutions at no cost to you.

A complete list of incentives is available at michigan-energy.org, or call 877-296-4319 for details.

FARMERS CAN SAVE WITH THE ENERGY OPTIMIZATION PROGRAM Michigan farmers may qualify for energy-saving farm products and equipment. Reap the rewards and save! FREE energy assessment Cash incentives for energy-saving lighting, fans, pumps, and more Custom rebates for large or complex projects Contact us today for program eligibility information. Online: michigan-energy.org Phone: 877.296.4319

Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Incentive applies to qualified items purchased and installed between Jan. 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021. Other restrictions may apply. For complete program details, visit michigan-energy.org.


GREAT LAKES ENERGY

PHOTO

CONTEST

Winter Magic 1. Antique Snowmobile Club of America at Tip-Up Town—Karen Jarema, Boyne Falls  2. Michigan winter paradise with Tim and Tex—Toyna Wilson, Free Soil  3. Polar vortex on White River—Brianne Tapanila, Hesperia  4. Magic of my first snow—Denise Redman, Fife Lake  5. Frolicking in the snow—Katrina Sweet, Elmira  6. Winter is coming—Gwen Frazier, Mancelona

MOST VOTES!

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1

3

4 Enter to win a

$200

energy bill credit!

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Submit Your “Wild Animals” Photos!

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

How To Enter: Enter the contest at gtlakes.com/blog. Make sure to vote and encourage others to vote for you, too. The photo receiving the most votes will be printed in an issue of Michigan Country Lines along with other favorites. All photos printed in the magazine in 2021 will be entered to win a $200 bill credit in December 2021. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

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MI CO-OP Recipes

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

SALAD NIGHT Make a meal out of your greens.

WINNING RECIPE!

SOUTHWEST CHICKEN SALAD Judy Skowronski, Cherryland

4 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken 2 cups canned or thawed frozen corn 1 cup chopped sweet peppers 1 cup black beans, optional 1 cup chopped onion 1 cup minced fresh cilantro • green, leafy lettuce (butter/bibb, romaine, etc.) Dressing: 3 tablespoons lime juice 5 tablespoons olive oil 4 teaspoons honey 2 teaspoons cumin 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon chili powder ½ teaspoon black pepper

Win a

$50

energy bill credit!

10 JANUARY 2021

RECIPE CONTEST

Tacos due February 1 • Garden Fresh 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.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, corn, peppers, beans (if using), onion, and cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over chicken mixture and toss to coat. Serve over salad greens. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos


SUPPER SALAD

Rosemarie Ouellette, Thumb Electric 1 package Good Seasons Italian Dressing mix (or any Italian dressing mix) 1 tablespoon maple syrup 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast 1 large apple, diced into small cubes ½ cup golden raisins ½ cup walnut pieces 1 bag lettuce Prepare the dressing mix according to the package directions and add 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Cook the chicken breast via desired cooking method until tender, then dice into bite-sized pieces. Toss the chicken, apple, raisins, walnuts and lettuce in a large bowl. Sprinkle the dressing over, toss again, then serve immediately.

CHOPPED VEGGIE SALAD Sue Evans, Alger Delta

1 cup chopped romaine lettuce ¼ cup chopped red onion ¼ cup chopped sugar snap peas ¼ cup chopped sweet red bell pepper ¼ cup chopped radish ½ cup chopped cucumber ½ cup chopped fresh broccoli ½ cup chopped fresh cauliflower ¼ cup shredded mozzarella ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese 4 strips turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional) Dressing: ½ cup low-fat Miracle Whip salad dressing (or any salad dressing) 2 tablespoons stevia 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar ½ teaspoon dill weed Combine veggies, cheese and bacon in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients, then stir into veggie mix. May be served immediately, but is even better when refrigerated for a few hours. You can omit or add chopped fresh veggies to suit your own tastes. This recipe serves two; you can easily double or triple ingredients for more servings.

CAULIFLOWER SALAD Vada Baatz, Cherryland

4 cups sliced raw cauliflower 1 cup coarsely chopped olives ²⁄ ³ cup chopped green bell pepper ½ cup chopped pimento ½ cup chopped onion Dressing: ½ cup salad oil (vegetable, canola, etc.) 3 tablespoons lemon juice 3 tablespoons white or wine vinegar 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon sugar ¼ teaspoon black pepper Combine the cauliflower, olives, green peppers, pimentos, and onion. To prepare the dressing, beat dressing ingredients with a rotary mixer or blender. Pour the dressing over the veggies; mix and stir until well blended. Refrigerate covered for 4 hours or overnight.

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

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CROOKED TREE ARTS CENTER By Brett Streby

When your world is turned upside down, and the processes and routines you follow are no longer viable, it takes creativity and an open mind to adapt and find a solution that works. For the passionate staff at Crooked Tree Arts Center, these are two traits that are in full abundance.

reativity is at the core of everything we do, especially when we have to rethink and reimagine,” says Megan Dewindt, site director for the center in Petoskey, Michigan. “Inspiring and enriching lives through the arts and creativity is in our bones, but I think it says something about our nation and our world and the creative thinking that makes the arts so important. Without it, where would we be right now in all of this? Because we’ve had to think out of sight on every level.”

“C

For an organization that thrived on human interaction and bringing people together to enrich the community, keeping “the doors open” was definitely out of sight following orders to social distance and abstain from unnecessary travel. Grants from programs like the Great Lakes Energy People Fund and virtual fundraisers enabled the purchase of laptops, cameras, and sound equipment to stream the center’s art programs over the internet. By embracing technology and relying on the generosity of its community, Crooked Tree Arts Center was able to grow its programs in directions that it could not have imagined before.


Lecture series that were once limited to those who physically visited center locations in Traverse City and Petoskey were now being accessed live from the comfort of homes across northern Michigan. Visual artists, like painters, could now stream lessons from their own studios (eliminating the need to transport all of their materials to the arts center) to students who are set up in their own comfortable environments. Once live-streaming audio issues were ironed out, the virtual music programs blasted away. Even the center’s School of Ballet experienced a surge in enrollment. “Young students who had the rug for literally everything else pulled out from under them, no extra activities or meetups, still had dance. They could connect every day of the week that was required. More classes were added, like ballet history, to keep up with interest,” Megan explains. “Parents tell us that it has really helped to keep their kids focused. It gave them something to look forward to.” Originally, the School of Ballet averaged about 25 students a week. Once virtual classes became available, the average jumped to 200. Two girls, who used to be students of the ballet program before moving to Nebraska, jumped right back into lessons despite being hundreds of miles away once virtual classes became available. The factors that shut so many people into isolation, preventing them from physically entering their community, are the same factors that allowed Crooked Tree Arts Center to proliferate in a virtual environment. “Connecting our community has always been a part of our mantra here. We create connections through the arts, so this is just one more amazing way for us to do it. Through our programming, we are able to maintain togetherness and a regular routine. We have something to look forward to each week and we’re hopefully enriching the lives of our students along the way.” Crooked Tree Arts Center has locations in Traverse City and Petoskey, but more importantly, a place to meet up online. Visit crookedtree.org for more information.

“Inspiring and enriching lives through the arts and creativity is in our bones, but I think it says something about our nation and our world and the creative thinking that makes the arts so important.” —Megan Dewindt

Interested in supporting local nonprofits like Crooked Tree in your local community by simply rounding up your utility bill to the next dollar? Join the People Fund by visiting gtlakes.com/people-fund/.


THE MUSKEGON Luge Adventure Sports Park:

THRILL-SEEKERS

hile the next Winter Olympics aren’t scheduled until 2022, the spirit of winter athletes is very much alive and active—especially at the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park that calls Muskegon State Park its home. On the Olympics, you see luge sliders (sliders, not lugers or sledders) going down icy tracks at up to 90 miles per hour, with nothing but a small sled just a few inches off the ground between them and the supersonic slope. There are just a few luge tracks in the United States, the most notable in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Lake Placid, New York, where most serious lugers train. There is a natural luge track in Negaunee, Michigan, that hosts the U.P. Luge Club. But nestled on the side of the sand dunes of Lake Michigan is a luge track that allows average folks the opportunity to fly. “We’re so lucky to have this amazing location to call home,” said Bill Bailey, lodge manager of Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park. “None of this would even be possible without our community and volunteers who have supported and helped maintain the track and the program over the years. This is a labor of love for all of us.” 14 JANUARY 2021

When the luge track was first being built in 1984, two young men were afraid their little local sledding hill would no longer be available. Builders on-site invited the two boys to help with some of the work, getting hands-on experience in what it takes to make a luge track. Both of those young men went on to become involved in competitive luge. Nearly 40 years later, one, Jim Rudicil, is now Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park’s executive director. The second, Mark Grimmette, went on to compete in five Winter Olympics games, winning silver and bronze medals. Grimmette now runs the competitive luge program at the Sports Park. “So many great sliders have gotten their start here at the Park,” said Bailey. “Luge is the kind of sport that becomes a part of you. Jim and Mark have been a part of the sport in one way or another since they first saw the track being built.” While luge definitely attracts its share of thrill-seekers, it’s accessible to anyone who wants to experience the rush of flying down a hill at speeds of up to 30 mph. Bailey and the team have made sure that those with the desire


By Emily Haines Lloyd || Photos courtesy of Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park

WELCOME

can experience luge—developing sleds to accommodate different physical impediments and rigging a snowmobile to get those who can’t access the stairs to the top of the hill. The Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park also offers an opportunity for every sixth-grader in the Muskegon school system to try out luge. “Luge might seem like a real niche sport, but exposing kids like those in our area to it is always awesome to see,” said Bailey. “Some kids really take to it and stick with it by joining our competitive programs.” While luge is a huge draw for the Park, those who enjoy a slightly different pace can find ski runs and a two-acre rink for hockey, figure skating, or just family fun, as well as skating trails. The Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park recently installed a 1,400-foot zip line, which got a soft launch this past fall. It also has wheel luge, archery, and paddle sports in warmer months. These are just a few ways that the Park is looking to make this gorgeous outdoor venue a draw year-round.

“We’re outdoors lovers,” said Bailey. “We want to share that with as many people as we can. Enjoying these resources and taking care of them is part of the stewardship our staff and our visitors want to be a part of to ensure they can be experienced by future generations.”

Check out DUNEiversity——team bonding experiences facilitated by the Park. There are half- or full-day sessions for corporations, sports teams, churches or scouting troops. For more information, visit msports.org/team-building/. 877-879-5843 462 N. Scenic Drive Muskegon, MI 49445 msports.org/winter-sports/muskegon-winter-luge-track/

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

15


Mark Carson—GLE Director

Leading On And Off The Court M

ark Carson has been on the board of directors for Great Lakes Energy for the past 15 years—almost as long as he has been a basketball coach for Boyne City schools. A good coach is goal oriented, a good communicator, focused, and encouraging. These characteristics are also valuable to help guide an organization. “What I’ve always valued about being a director is improving the quality of life of our members. That’s how it started with electricity and what we are doing now with Truestream. We are doing just that, we’re improving the quality of life of our members,” he states. Just like with the players on his basketball team, Mark’s focus is on connecting members of Great Lakes Energy with quality resources to accomplish their true potential.

A Mind for Business

Personally Speaking

A native of Boyne City, Mark grew up in the small town he now calls home. He went on to earn a bachelor’s in business administration and then his Master of Business Administration. He put his education to use by beginning as a trainee with Walmart, which presented him with the opportunity to travel all over the state. He eventually decided to try something different that would allow him to come back to his hometown, so he began working in management with Gordon Food Services (GFS). This year marked his 26th year employed with GFS.

Mark still resides in Boyne City with his wife Diana, two Labrador retrievers, and one cat. His youngest son will graduate from Boyne City High School this year. Between Mark and Diana, they have five sons—“our own little basketball team,” he quips. In December, they welcomed a granddaughter onto their “team.”

On the Court After moving home to Boyne City, Mark started coaching his oldest son’s eighth-grade basketball team. He continued to coach his other two sons. Being a coach and the manager of a major food store was not always easy, but Mark is not lacking in tenacity. “I would wake up at 5 a.m. to go into work at GFS and wouldn’t get home until 8:30 p.m. after coaching. I always liked it,” he said. This year, Mark opted to officiate basketball rather than coach, but he still remains dedicated to the sport he loves.

16 JANUARY 2021

An Eye for the Future If re-elected to the GLE board in 2021, Mark wants to continue his goal of continuing the member-centric mentality at GLE. He views GLE members as more than members, but partners in what Great Lakes is doing. He also has an eye for expanding Truestream to members who are still waiting for it to be available in their service territories. Being a member in the Boyne City service territory, Mark just recently became a Truestreamer himself and knows the quality of life that is added by having high-speed internet available. Expanding Truestream to the entire GLE service area would be the ultimate slam dunk.

“ W hat I’ve always valued about being a director is improving the quality of life of our members.”


A grant to purchase technology for engineering design students was awarded to Ellsworth Community School in 2019.

Great Lakes Energy Powers Classroom Technology Great Lakes Energy (GLE) recently awarded $25,608.43 in grants to help 20 classrooms implement technology-based programs in their schools.

Allendale Christian School, Allendale, $1,400 for Wi-Fi boosters and portable projectors

Grants awarded for the 2020–2021 school year bring the total to $213,000 for 147 projects since GLE launched its program in 2012.

East Jordan Middle/High School, East Jordan, $2,000 for integration of a 20kW solar array

These schools received classroom grants for the 2020–2021 school year:

Mary School, Charlevoix, $1,000 for STEM kits and supplies

Beaver Island Community School, Beaver Island, $500 for Flip cameras Boyne City Elementary School, Boyne City, $500 for STEM materials Boyne Falls Public School, Boyne Falls, $239.90 for drawing/tracing light pads Boyne Falls Public School, Boyne Falls, $950 for virtual math manipulative platform Concord Academy Boyne, Boyne City, $300 for student-created podcasts and a walking outdoor classroom Grayling Elementary, Grayling, $1,650 for Lego robotics Harbor Springs High School, Harbor Springs, $1,895 for DJI Mavic Enterprise Dual with regular and IR cameras Hesperia High School, Hesperia, $700 for iPad and Apple TV Johannesburg Elementary School, Johannesburg, $2,000 for iPads Mary School, Big Rapids, $1,928 for robotics materials Mason County Central High School, Scottville, $1,500 for headphones Newaygo Elementary, Newaygo, $2,000 for Coding Critters Oceana County Early Learning Center, Hart, $2,000 for iPads Otsego Christian School, Gaylord, $1,975.86 for document cameras Patricia St. Clair Elementary, Hesperia, $1,300 for iPads Pentwater Public Schools, Pentwater, $500 for heart rate monitors South Elementary School, Coopersville, $1,269.67 for Sphero robots

Online applications for the 2021–2022 school year open in September 2021. To learn more, visit gtlakes.com.


MI CO-OP Community Guest Column

Remembering The Glass Bottles & The Milkman By Kenny Kamerer

ow many in Michigan remember greeting the milkman? Ours had orange juice, butter and even chocolate milk. I remember one winter morning in the late 1960s, my mom told me to go get the glass bottles of milk from the front porch.

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The cream in the milk used to settle to the top, and my older brothers and sisters used to fight over it. It sometimes would even pop the lid off in the winter months. The reason for the cream settling at the top is because the milk wasn’t homogenized decades ago. Because milk was so perishable, delivering it daily was the safest and most cost-effective way to get milk to customers. The glass bottles, which were sealed with a waxed foil cap, were then picked up by the milkman, cleaned and reused. Eventually, it became easier and less expensive to buy milk at the stores, and the processes developed extended the milk’s shelf life, and the milkman faded into the past. I would love to taste this milk from the old days with the pure cream at the top. I’d add it to my favorite bowl of cereal, and I’m sure it would make for some very creamy mash potatoes, too. Oh, the good ole days!

wellconnectsaves.com989-356-2113 This photo is of one of many milkmen in the state of Michigan on his daily route. Photo by Midland Daily News, 1950s.

Win a

$50

energy bill credit!

Kenny is a local truck driver who loves nature and history. He has his own Facebook nature group called Michiana Nature Lovers to share wildlife and all kinds of nature photos.

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/community.

Nov./Dec. 2020 Winner! Our Mystery Photo winner is Jeff Narregan, a Midwest Energy & Communications Cooperative member, who correctly identified the photo as the Basilica of Saint Adalbert, Grand Rapids. Photo by Chad Cihak. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September, and November/December.


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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wellconnectgeo.com

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


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Save Energy with LEDs LED lights last up to 30 times longer than incandescents, reducing the need to replace bulbs in high or hard-to-reach places. Below are LED lighting suggestions for your home.

Living Room Lamps Table or oor three-way lamps using LED bulbs provide 620, 1,600 or 2,150 lumens of soft white light and deliver up to 25,000 hours of light.

Kitchen Dimmable recessed LED conversion lights add a warm glow of up to 1,200 lumens for kitchen workspaces and add far less heat to your kitchen. Each bulb could last 10 years.

Bedrooms and Hallways Long-life LEDs are ideal for ceiling ďŹ xtures. A 9-watt LED produces the same 800 lumens of light as a 60-watt incandescent, and uses about 80% less energy.

Bathrooms Omnidirectional LED globe bulbs are designed to provide a warm glow ideal for bathrooms. A 6-watt bulb produces 450 lumens and lasts up to 15,000 hours.

Outdoors A 6-watt, 500-lumen LED bulb can replace a 40-watt incandescent bulb. Designed to last up to 30,000 hours, it could be a one-time switch.