Jan 2022 Cherryland

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January 2022


COUNTRY LINES Cherryland Electric Cooperative

The New Prince Of Power

New Year, New Outlook: Traverse City Optimist Club 2022 Rebates

Celebrating 30 Years Of The Country’s Oldest




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Portland ESI Htg & Clg (517) 647-6906 esiheating.com Sunfield Mark Woodman Plmb & Htg (517) 886-1138 mwphonline.com Traverse City D&W Mechanical (231) 941-1251 dwmechanical.com Geofurnace Htg & Clg (231) 943-1000 geofurnace.com

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Contents countrylines.com

January 2022 Vol. 42, No. 1



6 TAHQUAMENON FALLS: A WONDER OF THE MIDWEST The resounding grandeur of the state's largest waterfalls can be enjoyed year-round. 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Asian-Inspired: Recreate your takeout favorites with these meals rich in flavor and diversity.

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

14 CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF THE COUNTRY’S OLDEST ICE CLIMBING FESTIVAL The Michigan Ice Fest in Munising offers climbers breathtaking terrain and the chance to make lifelong friends.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr


RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Emily Haines Lloyd

18 GUEST COLUMN Winter's Daydream: GLE member's dazzling encounter with a deer was only a dream. Or was it?

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


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.

Be featured!

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


Have you ever seen Tahquamenon Falls at night? @dougjulian (Doug Julian)

MI CO-OP COMMUNITY To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit countrylines.com/community

RECIPE CONTEST Win a $50 bill credit!

Up Next: Spice It Up, due Feb. 1 On The Grill, due March 1 Submit your recipe at micoopkitchen.com, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to recipes@countrylines.com.

GUEST COLUMN Win $150 for stories published!

Submit your fondest memories and stories at countrylines.com/ community.

MYSTERY PHOTO Win a $50 bill credit!

Enter a drawing to identify the correct location of the photo. See page 18.



CO-OP NEWS cherrylandelectric.coop /cherrylandelectriccoop @cherrylandec BOARD OF DIRECTORS

David Schweitzer, President 231-883-5860 dschweitzer@cherrylandelectric.coop

Melinda Lautner, Senior Vice President 231-947-2509 mlautner@cherrylandelectric.coop Gabe Schneider, Secretary 517-449-6453 gschneider@cherrylandelectric.coop Tom Van Pelt, Treasurer 231-386-5234 tvanpelt@cherrylandelectric.coop Valarie Handy, Director 231-392-4705 vhandy@cherrylandelectric.coop

Terry Lautner, Director 231-946-4623 tlautner@cherrylandelectric.coop John Olson, Director 231-938-1228 jolson@cherrylandelectric.coop

General Manager: Tony Anderson

Rebate Forms Due By End Of January

Members looking to receive credits for energy efficiency upgrades performed during 2021 must have their rebate forms to Cherryland by Jan. 31. Forms received on Feb. 1 will not be accepted for items purchased and installed in 2021. If you have questions regarding rebates, visit our website or contact our energy use advisor at 231-486-9261 or thaworth@cherrylandelectric.coop.

LED Lighting Rebates Discontinued For 2022

In the new year, Cherryland is updating our rebate offerings. One notable change is that LED light bulbs will no longer qualify for a Cherryland rebate. For a closer look at all of the changes, head to www.cherrylandelectric.coop/rebates.

Office Closed For Employee Training

Co-op Editors: Rachel Johnson Courtney Doyle: cdoyle@cherrylandelectric.coop

The Cherryland office will be closed Monday, Jan. 24, for employee training. Normal business hours will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

OFFICE HOURS Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.– 4 p.m.

Line crews are on call to respond to any outages or emergencies. You can report your outage via text, through SmartHub, or by calling us at 231-486-9200. Visit our website’s Outage Center to learn more.

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.

Cherryland Set To Increase Carbon-Free Power Supply With New Solar Project

Cherryland Electric Cooperative is excited to announce the Gemstone Solar Project. Cherryland’s power supplier, Wolverine Power Cooperative, is partnering with Idaho-based Clēnera to build a 150-megawatt, utility-scale solar array. Once operational, the addition of the Gemstone Solar Project has the potential to supply an additional 10% of carbon-free energy to Cherryland

4 JANUARY 2022

members. Construction of the array is set to begin in spring 2023 on approximately 1,000 acres of land in southwest Michigan’s Cass County. The project is expected to take about nine months and support 350 construction jobs. Once operational, the Gemstone Solar Project will produce enough energy to power 24,000 Michigan homes a year.

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. Three directors will be elected at this year’s Annual Meeting, including two at-large directors and one Benzie/ Manistee/Wexford county director. To be nominated in 2022, 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. Nominating petitions are available on our website and at the co-op office in Grawn. 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 (post high school). Applications for both scholarships are available on our website. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 2.

Cherryland Cash Reporting Requirements

As required by the IRS, Cherryland must collect and report information from members who make cash payments of $10,000 or more in a 12-month period. If you fall into this category or come close to that threshold, Cherryland will notify you by mail.

A New Prince Of Power Tony Anderson, General Manager


or literally decades, coal was “king” in power generation. It was crowned way back in the 1970s when President Carter told us we were running out of natural gas. The best alternative at the time was coal, as it was found in abundance, with plenty still in the ground today. So, America did what it does best—build things— and the reign of coal began. Coal was cheap and reliable when it came to generating large amounts around the clock for decades. Its queen of around-the-clock generation, nuclear energy, was steady and reliable as well, even though it had high-cost construction issues. Therefore, we had a strong king and queen to take care of our kingdom’s electricity needs at all times.

Fast forward to present day 2022. You will find that the king and queen are old and aging. Coal and nuclear plants are being shut down as they near the end of their useful lives. In some cases, it is a monetary issue as well because wind, solar, and natural gas are more competitive than they have ever been. While the price of wind and solar is steady, their ability to supply power is not. The sun sets every day, and the wind is unreliable. With the gradual retirement of coal and nuclear, natural gas is now the backup power of choice during the dark of night and the calm of the day.

Coal and nuclear prices have never been volatile. You could always count on them to be the same price in the dead of winter as they were during the heat waves of summer.

There is a cost problem with natural gas. The price of the commodity has a history of volatility. It rises and lowers with the seasons and their peak times. Large supplies are not found at the generation site. The fuel is stored in underground caverns at various locations and pumped through pipelines for “on-time” delivery.

Fuel delivery was never an issue either. Most coal plants kept 30 days of fuel on board, while nuclear plants had years of fuel on-site. This on-site storage was pivotal to the steady prices for the power supply coming out of these behemoth plants.

When we had an abundance of coal and nuclear, we used them to combat the volatility of the natural gas supply. When gas prices went up, we simply shut off the gas generation and cranked up coal and nuclear. It was easy, predictable, and reliable. The

king and his queen served loyal users of electricity across the land in this manner for decades. In the years ahead, we won’t have as much king coal and queen nuclear available to save us from the ups and downs of natural gas. The pair won’t be around when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Therefore, natural gas is the new prince of power. The fuel-in-waiting will one day be king. Power costs will be higher. Power costs will have more volatility. Battery storage is a peasant that lives in a faraway land of high cost and scarcity of mineral supply. Natural gas will become king long before we solve battery storage for wind and solar. It may not be the fairy-tale ending some want, but it is the reality we will all get.

“ Natural gas will become king long before we solve battery storage for wind and solar.” MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


idden in the Upper Peninsula happens to be the state’s largest waterfall and the second-largest east of the Mississippi River (with Niagara Falls being number one)—Tahquamenon Falls. With 50,000 gallons of water cascading over the falls, it’s no wonder it hosts over 600,000 visitors annually.


TAHQUAMENON FALLS A Wonder Of The Midwest By Emily Haines Lloyd



For those who love a tongue-twister—it’s pronounced “Taa·kwuh·meh·nuhn,” and it was made famous in the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem The Song of Hiawatha. According to Native American lore, the origin of the name is attributed to the water’s amber color, resulting from tannic acid from the cedar and hemlock swamps that feed the river. Aside from the astonishing name, the falls themselves offer mouth-dropping beauty and splendor. Nestled in Tahquamenon Falls State Park amid 50,000 acres covering more than 13 miles, the Upper and Lower Falls of Tahquamenon offer an otherworldly view. And this might be the perfect time to enjoy that view, as the park is not nearly as crowded in the winter as it is in the other seasons. Winter activities at the park include camping (the campsites are open year-round), cross-country skiing, snowshoeing,

lantern-lit trail walks hosted by the park staff, and of course, visiting the falls, which also run year-round. No matter what time of year you go, though, your visit will leave a lasting impression. “When you’re approaching the falls, you first hear the sound—the water flowing and falling,” said Theresa Neal, park interpreter at Tahquamenon Falls State Park. “Once you approach them, you’re then struck by that unique amber color. It’s so unusual and visually striking. You never forget it.” Tahquamenon Falls is divided into two sections. The Upper Falls are surrounded by a quarter-mile trail and just a 94-step climb to the viewing platform. There, you can get a look at that 50-foot drop and feel the spray on your face. Those looking for an additional challenge can snowshoe off trail for a snowy adventure. The Lower Falls are four miles east of the Upper Falls and offer great views and photo ops. The Lower Falls are a one-mile walk from the parking area that takes you through the forest and lands you on the multiple viewing platforms for more spectacular sights. You can also rent rowboats at the concession station to access the island during the summer only.

While the monumental views bring in visitors, Neal thinks there’s something else that draws folks out to the wild. “I see generations of families come out to the falls year after year,” said Neal. “The world can move so fast, but when you’re out here, there’s time to breathe and just be with one another. Making memories is the ultimate way to slow things down.”

“Obviously, the falls are the big draw,” said Neal. “But there’s so much to do and explore. Nine miles of marked snowshoe trails, a groomed cross-country ski trail, lots of photo opportunities, and even a brewery.”


When you’re looking at sharing this natural wonder with over half a million people a year, it’s good to look at the best time to visit.

DO NOT DISTURB: Put your phone in airplane mode—service can be sketchy, so save your battery for photos and videos

“I’m always reminding people we’re open sunrise to sunset,” said Neal. “So, I really recommend coming early or later in the day to avoid crowds. And not to be afraid to visit off-season. From December to April, it’s almost like having the park to yourself.”

CASH IS KING: With cell service being dicey, it’s easier for park staff to handle your cash

VISITING IN WARMER MONTHS?: Wear light colored clothing (most insects are attracted to dark colors). And always be sure to wear comfortable, sturdy footwear BUG OFF: If you’re traveling in June and July, it’s a good idea to scare off the mosquitoes, horse flies, and deer flies with bug spray. Maybe splurge and buy a mosquito head net for just a couple of dollars WATER, WATER, WATER: Bring your reusable water bottle. There are plenty of places to fill up MAP UP: Again, with sketchy cell service, make sure you have a paper map, and don’t be afraid to chat up the park rangers for advice and directions /TQFalls




New Year,

New Outlook By Courtney Doyle

he new year always feels like a fresh start, with endless opportunities ahead. Some choose to take this time to set goals. Health-related goals, financial goals, maybe goals to go after that evergrowing bucket list. But what if the notion of a New Year’s resolution was more than just a goal? What if you turned those ideas into a way of life?


Then you may be interested to learn the Traverse City Optimist Club looks at their goals as just that—a way of life. The group meets weekly, 11 months of the year, to pursue four key missions: to serve local youth, connect with fellow members and guests, become informed community members, and promote optimism as a way of life. The Optimist “Cabin Property” is located on 44 acres in the Hoosier Valley area, just south of Traverse City near Chums Corner.

8 JANUARY 2022

One of the keys to achieving their mission is their 44-acre Optimist

John VanWagoner, superintendent of Traverse City Area Public Schools, speaking at a recent Traverse City Optimist Club Lunch Meeting.


Promise Yourself To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. Cabin property. In 1966, the club purchased what used to be the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center for $1 and turned it into a space available for everything from team building and professional development retreats to Boy Scouts meetings. Situated along Cherryland lines, the property has electricity, camping areas, and miles of hiking trails to enjoy northern Michigan’s natural beauty. When Mike Brown, former Optimist Club President and past “Optimist of the Year” recipient, first joined the club, he said, “I had moved away for about five years, and when I moved back I wanted to get involved with the community, and somebody brought me to an Optimist Club meeting. I was intrigued by the whole concept.” He explained, “It was the idea of optimism as a way of life. I think that got me to come back.” Ultimately, the cabin property sealed the deal for Brown and his many years as a member since. “When somebody took me out to the Optimist Cabin property, I was blown away by how beautiful it was

and the potential that it offered for the community,” he said. The club hosts weekly luncheons with guest speakers, and you may recognize them as the group behind the well-loved duck race each summer at the National Cherry Festival. Brown said, “We’re open. We invite visitors to join us for lunch just to check out the club and what their interest might be. If people have an interest in the four legs the club stands on, that’s a good reason to come and check out the club.” Finding a meeting to attend is as simple as going to their website, www.tcoptmist.org, where you’ll also find plenty of information on the Optimist Cabin property. So, if serving your community, supporting local youth, connecting with those around you, and living a life of optimism sounds like the road to happiness for you—consider swapping your annual resolution for a way of life. The third full week in January is National Hunt for Happiness Week, so really, there’s no better time to seek out meaningful ways to embrace a sunnier outlook on life.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.



MI CO-OP Recipes

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


Skip the takeout with recipes you can make at home.


SPICED CAULIFLOWER Margie Guyot, Great Lakes Energy

1 2–4 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 • 2 1

medium onion, chopped garlic cloves, chopped jalapeño, seeded and chopped tablespoon turmeric tablespoons coconut or sunflower oil cup water 14-ounce can coconut milk cauliflower head, cut into florets teaspoon sugar salt, to taste medium tomatoes, chopped cup cooked, cubed sweet potatoes, optional • roasted cashews, optional



energy bill credit!

10 JANUARY 2022

Spice It Up due Feb. 1 • On The Grill 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. Submit your recipe at micoopkitchen.com, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to recipes@countrylines.com.

Process the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and turmeric in food processor until it forms into a paste. Heat oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion mixture and cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions no longer smell raw. Do not brown. Add the water, coconut milk, and cauliflower florets; stir to coat. Bring to a medium boil and simmer for about 5–6 minutes. Stir in sugar and salt to taste. Stir in the chopped tomato and simmer 2–3 minutes more, stirring. Taste to adjust seasonings and serve. Variation: Stir in cooked, cubed sweet potato and sprinkle with roasted cashews. Dish will thicken as it sits. Serves 4. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos

ORIENTAL SUPERFOOD SALAD Connie Turner, Great Lakes Energy

1 bunch lacinato kale, washed, ribs and stems removed, and cut into bite-size pieces 1 pound shelled edamame beans (from freezer section) 1 cup “matchstick” carrots 1 small raw beet, cut into matchsticks (can also save beet leaves to add with the kale) 1 cup shredded green cabbage (or mix of red/green) 1 cup fresh blueberries 1 cup pomegranate kernels (from one pomegranate) 1 cup dried cranberries (or Craisins) 1 cup roasted cashew pieces (or walnuts/pecans)

½ ½ 1 ½ • • 1 1

cup roasted sunflower seeds cup sliced or chopped red onions cup sliced fresh strawberries pound barely steamed or raw asparagus tangerine slices, optional apple slices, optional cup Marzetta Simply Dressed Strawberry-Poppy Seed Vinaigrette (or favorite dressing) container cherry or grape tomatoes

Mix all ingredients together (except dressing). Add the dressing and tomatoes just before serving, and toss well. This salad keeps well for several days in a tight container in the refrigerator.

JAPANESE CHICKEN Rebecca Lambright, Great Lakes Energy


Connie Hernandez, Great Lakes Energy 8 ounces ground pork (ground turkey or chicken also works) 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided ½ small onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced ½ teaspoon grated ginger (or 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger) 2½ cups finely sliced cabbage 2 cups finely sliced baby bok choy ½ cup shredded carrots 2½ ounces sliced shiitake (or other) mushrooms ½ tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

• sliced scallion or green onion, for garnish, optional • fried wonton strips, for garnish, optional Place a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the pork and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces as it browns, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft, 2–3 minutes. Add the cabbage, bok choy, carrots, and mushrooms. Pour in remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage and bok choy are wilted but still crunchy, 3–4 minutes. Garnish with scallions/green onions and wonton strips, and serve hot.

2 pounds uncooked chicken, sliced • flour for coating • garlic salt • seasoned salt • paprika 1 cup sugar ½ cup vinegar 4 tablespoons soy sauce ½ cup water ½ teaspoon salt Preheat oven to 350 F. Dip chicken in flour and fry. While chicken is frying, sprinkle with garlic salt, seasoned salt, and paprika. In a saucepan, mix together the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, water, and salt. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Place fried chicken in baking dish and pour warm sauce over it. Bake 1½ to 2 hours. Serve over rice or noodles. After chicken is done, pour sauce into cooked rice. Tasty!



Cherryland’s Energy Efficiency Program, Even More Efficient In 2022 By Rachel Johnson, Cherryland Member Relations Manager


hen I was growing up, I spent a lot of time on my grandparents’ farm. I vividly remember my grandmother doing laundry and running everything that came out of the washer through a hand crank wringer before putting it in the dryer. It helped her save money and energy because the clothes took less time to dry. She also rinsed out Ziploc bags and used them multiple times. She was quite the early conservationist.

Looking to use less energy, but don’t know where to start? Cherryland offers free home energy assessments with our energy use advisor, Tammy.

It’s easy to talk about energy efficiency as a relatively new idea, but that’s not true. Conscientious consumers have been using energy wisely since we first started electrifying farms in 1938. Recognizing that, Cherryland has had an energy use services department since the 1970s. We have a long history of helping our members control their costs and use energy wisely. Still, in 2008, the state of Michigan implemented a mandatory energy waste reduction program requiring all utilities to incentivize energy efficiency and report on their annual savings. A lot of cooperative resources have been put into meeting the requirements of that program. Since its inception, we

have spent over $3.2 million to meet the mandate. That investment helped our members with over 51,000 energy efficiency projects. Our task has been even more challenging because more than 95% of the accounts we serve are homes. Incentivizing savings of over 4 million kilowatt-hours per year, one house at a time, isn’t easy. After 13 years, we have pretty much replaced every old refrigerator on our system. While the mandate is going away, our service to our members is not. We’ve been helping our members save energy and money for 50 years and don’t intend to stop anytime soon. But now that we have some relief from the strict parameters of the mandate, we can invest all of our resources into energy incentive programs that are responsive to the unique needs of our membership.

12 JANUARY 2022

Here’s what you can expect. First, we are going to expand our efforts to help our members decrease their carbon footprint by switching from fossil fuels to electricity. Did you know that an electric vehicle charged by Cherryland creates more than 50% less CO2 than a gas-powered vehicle? And that same math is true for your lawnmower, home heating system, stovetop, and so much more. Second, we are going to allocate more resources to help our most vulnerable members assess and upgrade the envelope of their homes. For many of our members, especially those on a fixed income, upgrading things like insulation and windows can make a big difference in their energy bills and their home’s overall comfort, health, and safety. We will be starting with a pilot program to do a limited number of free energy audits for incomequalified members. Finally, we will continue to listen to you, our members, about what types of rebates and services you need to meet your energy goals.

2022 Residential Rebates New or Used Electric Vehicles Energy Star Rated Charging Stations Energy Star Rated Air Purifier Electric Washer and Dryer Electric Storage Water Heater

Your Board In Action October Board Meeting • Cherryland’s CFO updated the board on the cooperative’s budget ahead of the $.008 PSCR adjustment. Power supply costs were roughly $2.3 million over budget as of September. Significant increases in costs related to transmission upgrades and the higher price of natural gas are two leading factors in the over-budget spending. • The cooperative’s member relations manager gave a presentation on outage communications. Following the August storms, members overwhelmingly reported text message as their preferred way to receive outage updates. Survey data also showed members who received outage text felt significantly more informed. Overall, surveyed members reported they are highly satisfied with Cherryland’s outage response.

Heat Pump Water Heater

• The board continued its review of the cooperative bylaws. Periodically, the board analyzes the bylaws for any potential changes that could be brought before the membership.

Complimentary Pickup for Refrigerator or Freezer Recycling

November Board Meeting

And more!

2022 Commercial Rebates Lighting Controls • Occupancy Sensors • Central Lighting Control • Daylight Sensors Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) & Variable Speed Drives (VSD)

For more information about Cherryland’s 2022 rebate program and energy use advising services, visit our website, call our member services department at 231-486-9200, or email us at rebates@cherrylandelectric.coop.

• Due to an increase in cases of COVID-19, the board held its meeting virtually. • The board approved the addition of a $300 engineering fee for new projects that require on-site planning and design from an engineer. Cherryland will make an announcement when the fee is set to go into effect. • The cooperative’s chief financial officer and engineering and operations manager presented the cooperative’s capital budget for 2022. The board reviewed and approved the budget. 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.

Notice To Members Of Data Privacy Policy The Cherryland Electric Cooperative Board of Directors has adopted a policy governing the collection, use, and disclosure of member account information and usage data. A full copy of the Data Privacy Policy can be found at: cherrylandelectric.coop/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/ Member-Data-Privacy-Tariff.pdf. If you would like a hard copy of the Data Privacy Policy, call our office at 231-486-9200 or email us at cec@cherrylandelectric.coop.



Celebrating 30 Years Of The Country’s Oldest




any people travel to gorgeous Munising, Michigan, in the state’s Upper Peninsula to experience the beauty of the infamous sandstone cliffs of Pictured Rocks off the shore of Lake Superior. Whether by boat or kayak, people bring their cameras and smartphones to snap a shot of the remarkable natural wonder.

Then there are those who travel to Munising, Michigan, to capture an experience in an entirely unexpected way. From Feb. 9–13, Michigan Ice Fest will be celebrating its belated 30th anniversary (due to COVID-19) with its weeklong ice climbing event that brings famed ice climbers as well as curious newcomers from all over the country and the world. Ice climbing may seem like something reserved for rugged mountaineers among arctic landscapes in faraway lands, but the Munising ice festival mixes awe-inspiring terrain with a tight-knit community feel that is nothing short of Pure Michigan. “For over 30 years, people have been coming to the festival,” said Bill Thompson, one of the organizers of Michigan Ice Fest. “And every year, there are people who walked away shocked that we have some of the best ice climbing in the lower 48. They come in wary and walk away family.”

By Emily Haines Lloyd Photos courtesy of Michigan Ice Fest

Michigan Ice Fest, which claims to be the oldest ice festival in the country, started with Mark Riesch, an ice climber out of Kalamazoo who returned from a festival in Canada and wanted to recreate something like it in Munising. Riesch passed out a homemade flier inviting folks to join in and managed to wrangle up

8 8 8 Michigan Ice Fest is Feb. 9–13, 2022, Munising, Michigan 8 8 8

a whopping 20 or so people the first year. Among them was Bill Thompson. As a new guard took over the event, it gained interest and grew. In 2019, the event drew over 1,600 climbers from seven different countries, and anyone who has attended Michigan Ice Fest will tell you there is something particularly magical about the Munising event. “Michigan might not seem like the obvious spot for ice climbing,” said Thompson. “But there’s nowhere else where you can climb 160 feet with open waves thundering below you that are biting at your feet. Exciting is an understatement.” This unique atmosphere has led to considerable interest from the climbing community. The event itself has grown over the years, now offering presentations and clinics led by world-class, professional climbers, book signings, and coffee talks in the mornings, as well as lots and lots of climbing. While the pros and hardcore climbers enjoy some of the finest ice climbing in the country,

the festival still puts a lot of focus on the novice climber, offering free gear and instruction as part of the price of admission. Not to mention an opportunity to watch and learn from some of the best ice climbers in the world. “It’s like if you went to a basketball clinic and Michael Jordan was there giving you tips,” said Thompson. “And then later, you see him around town and get to have a beer with him. That’s how casual and inclusive this event is.” The coziness of Munising seems in complete contrast to the adrenalineheavy activity that brings everyone to town, but the city offers that perfect setting for what Anderson describes as an annual family reunion.

climbers feel like they’re a part of the group from day one. It’s hard to explain, but it’s like going home.” While a mammoth ledge of ice might not seem like an obvious homecoming spot, Thompson assures those with even the slightest interest that the event aims to bring people in slowly. “It’s a chance to do something that not many people get to experience,” said Thompson. “As an ice climber, you’re definitely in a minority of folks in the world. But when you hear the axe bite in, and you kick into the ice with the sound of water running behind it—all I can say is you just can’t know how special it is until you try it.”

“It’s a tight community. When you come to the event, it’s like being with family,” said Thompson. “Our pro athletes have climbed all over the world, but feel something different and refreshing at our event. Our new

Visit michiganicefest.com for information on registration fees, event times, clinics, and more, as well as a list of available scholarships, grants, and contests. /MichiganIceFest





Fire And Ice 1. “Sparkles in the snow ... 2021, hello!”——Stacy Voras  2. “Fire taco Gizmo.”——Falechia Barry  3. “Relax by the fire!”——Amy Morley 4. “Pink sky at night ...”——Joel Wegman  5. “ West Bay freeze.”——Michele Richard

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5 Enter to win a


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Photo Contest Winner

“Summer joy”——Karen Riley

Submit Your “Pet Showcase” Photos By Jan. 20!

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 January theme is Pet Showcase! Photos can be submitted through Jan. 20 to be featured in our March 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 2022, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2022 bill. 16 JANUARY 2022


For Extra Value, Add Extra Safety By Derrill Holly

fire in the hearth is a warm and welcoming part of winter for many of us, but open flames inside the home should always be tended to safely. Before you light your fireplace, consider safety first.


Patty Davis, deputy director of communications for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), offers the safety planning tips below. The agency cites home fireplaces, chimneys, and chimney connectors as the leading causes of residential fires attributed to heating equipment. According to the CPSC, an open and properly maintained flue ensures that fireplace gases can be vented to the outside through the chimney and closed to help keep heat inside the home when the fireplace is not in use. Be sure to have a protective barrier in front of your fireplace to prevent a child or grandchild from coming into direct contact with the glass front of the fire screen. The surface temperature of the glass front can heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which can cause very serious burns to a child. “If you use your fireplace for supplemental heating, you should include a full inspection with your system checkups,” said Davis. “You should also make sure you have at least one carbon monoxide (CO) detector on each floor of your home to reduce the risks of CO exposure.”

Odorless and colorless, carbon monoxide can quickly build up in the closed interior spaces of a home, leaving all occupants incapacitated and hindering escape. “When a CO alarm is activated, people can get out and then contact firefighters to deal with the carbon monoxide buildup that prompted the alarm,” said Davis. Fireplaces should be considered fuel-burning appliances, subject to the same safety precautions, inspections, and maintenance standards recommended for other items in that category. “Get a regular inspection, just as you would for a furnace or heating system,” said Davis. The inspection should be done by a qualified chimney company professional. That inspection not only helps to ensure the system is tuned up for efficient operation, but it also gives the homeowner warning of wear or damage that could potentially cause fires or other problems once the season is underway.

FIREPLACE SAFETY TIPS Every year, nearly 20,000 residential fires are linked to fireplaces. The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers these tips to help you keep your family safe:


1. Consider scheduling a fireplace inspection and cleaning by a certified professional. 2. Install a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home. These devices offer low-cost protection and provide early warnings of potential problems. 3. Keep flues, dampers, firestops, flashing, and chimney caps in good condition. 4. If you have small children and/or pets, consider a secondary screen. A glass screen can reach temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit, so an extra barrier can protect them from serious burns.


Guest Column

Winter's Daydream By Dody Bedford, Great Lakes Energy Cooperative member


t was a sunny cold day in January when I put on my cross-country skis to go for a jaunt. The temperature was a perfect 25 degrees, and the sun shone brightly. I glided along effortlessly, crisscrossing paths with the many deer that inhabit our fields. As many times as I have skied and as many deer tracks as I have seen, I have never seen a deer. I stopped to rest under the biggest white pine I’d ever seen. I had a weird sense that I was being watched. I turned back, looking across the clearing, and saw a wonderful surprise; 100 feet away stood the most beautiful doe. Her huge brown eyes and long black lashes entranced me. She stomped her feet and took five steps toward me. I was enthralled. I stood quietly, and she made her way toward me. She was not afraid and appeared as curious about me as I was about her. I stretched my hand out, and she took a sniff. As she became more comfortable, I moved to her side and stroked her neck. As she became more comfortable, she would playfully butt me with her head. After some time, she reached up and snatched my hat right off my head, then turned and ran a little way. She turned to face me, and I could swear she was teasing me to chase her. I set out toward her, and each time I came close, she would throw my hat in the air, let it drop, pick it up, and away she went. As I took a rest, she approached me now with no fear. I tipped my head low, and she placed the hat on my head, then I poured water in my hand, and she drank greedily. She finally headed into the woods at dusk. It was time for me to head home. It must have been only a daydream. I could only smile as I followed a perfect set of deer tracks all the way home.

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energy bill credit!

Dody Bedford is a Great Lakes Energy Cooperative member who enjoys the outdoors, gardening, and fishing. She is a self-taught artist, who paints in oil, sketches, and plays piano and guitar. She likes to spend a portion of every day helping others and volunteering at Rising Hope Equestrian Center.

WIN $150!

Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $150 for stories published. Visit countrylines.com/community to submit.

Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo to the left by Jan. 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines.com/community. Nov./Dec. 2021 Winner! Our Mystery Photo winner is Angela Boysen, a Midwest Energy & Communications Cooperative member, who correctly identified the photo as Port Huron Blue Water Bridge. Photo courtesy of Kaushik Sur. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September, and November/December.


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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!

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