July/Aug Alger Delta

Page 1

July/August 2019


COUNTRY LINES Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association

Annual Meeting Highlights

Understanding The New Bill Print

Tip Toe Through

Switch to geothermal for incredible comfort and savings




30% 26% 22%







Switching to geo can save you even more, if you hurry! You may not realize it, but right beneath your feet is an almost unlimited reservoir of stored solar energy. A WaterFurnace geothermal system taps into this free and renewable resource to provide savings of up to 70% on heating, cooling, and hot water—with a comfort you have to experience to believe. Right now you can save thousands on installation thanks to a 30% federal tax credit. But hurry, this credit is set to decrease each year through 2021. Contact your local WaterFurnace dealer to learn more!

visit us at waterfurnace.com

Bad Axe B & D Htg (989) 269-5280 bdheating.com

Caro AllTemp Comfort, Inc. (866) 844-HEAT (4328) geo4less.com

Indian River M & M Plmb & Htg (231) 238-7201 mm-plumbing.com

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

Clifford Orton Refrig & Htg (989) 761-7691 sanduskygeothermal.com

Michigan Center Comfort 1/Aire Serv of Southern Michigan (517) 764-1500 comfort1.net/geothermal

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

Hart/Ludington Adams Htg & Clg Mt Pleasant (231) 873-2665 Walton Htg & Clg adamsheatingcooling.com (989) 772-4822 waltonheating.com

Muskegon Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 adamsheating cooling.com

Sunfield Mark Woodman Plmb & Htg (517) 886-1138 mwphonline.com

Kiessel Geothermal Htg & Clg (231) 747-7509 kiesselsgeo.com

Traverse City D & W Mechanical (231) 941-1215 dwgeothermal.com

Portland ESI Htg & Clg (517) 647-6906 esiheating.com

Geofurnace Htg & Clg (231) 943-1000 watergeofurnace.com

WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc. Š2019 WaterFurnace International Inc.

In This Issue July/August 2019 || Vol. 39, No. 7

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives






Your photo could be featured here.


Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Copy Editor: Heidi Spencer

Follow Us On Instagram!

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; Mark Kappler, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric, 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


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.

Come share in the splendor of rural Michigan with us

michigancountrylines This capture of a wave breaking in Lake Huron is the most brilliant @lensball capture we've ever seen. #gorgeous :@chase_gagnon

ON THE COVER The Tulip Time Festival is dedicated to honoring Holland, Michigan’s Dutch heritage, showcasing millions of tulips and celebrating the community today. This experience is so much more than tulips. With national and local entertainment, world-renowned Dutch dancers, artisan markets, fireworks, breathtaking sights just off the shores of Lake Michigan and some of the largest parades in Michigan, Tulip Time is truly an experience you don’t want to miss. Photography by Tyler Leipprandt

6 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Guest Column Exploring The Frankfort Scene Christal Frost, Media Personality

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Festive Desserts To Celebrate Summer


18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Guest Column

The Turtle Race Tradition Jean Alexander, Great Lakes Energy member

Win $150 for stories published! Guest Column: Country Lines invites members to submit their fond memories and stories. For guidelines and to submit your guest column go to countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab.

Christin McKamey & Our Readers

Enjoy a taste of the Old Country! This Dutch favorite recipe, Stamppot van Boerenkool: Curly Kale and Sausages, is shared with Tulip Time visitors from around the world. Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

14 FEATURE Tip Toe Through The Tulips Emily Haines Lloyd

Best of Michigan CRAFT BEER: Give us your personal craft beer favorite. We will publish this member– recommended list in our September issue. Submit your favorites at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab by July 20.



The Fundamentals:

Co-op 101





Board Of Directors District 1—Big Bay

Darryl Small 906-345-9369 • smallwld14@gmail.com

District 2—Harvey/Deerton

Karen Alholm 906-249-1095 • karenalholm@gmail.com

District 3—Grand Marais

Mike Lawless 906-494-2080 • mclawless79@gmail.com

District 4—Cedar River/Palestine

Dave Prestin 906-424-0055 • cedarriverplaza@gmail.com

District 5—Gourley/LaBranche/Cornell

Ivy Netzel 906-639-2979 • MyAlgerDeltaRep5@gmail.com

District 6—Nathan/White Rapids

Paul Sederquist 906-753-4484 • sedergrove@gmail.com

District 7—Stonington/Rapid River

Kirk Bruno 906-399-1432 • kbruno.algerdelta@gmail.com

District 8—Nahma/Isabella

Ray Young 906-450-1881 • kyoung@uplogon.com

District 9—Hiawatha/Maple Ridge

Doug Bovin 906-573-2379 • dorobo22@icloud.com


Tom Harrell tharrell@algerdelta.com


426 N. 9th St, Gladstone, MI 49837 906-428-4141 • 800-562-0950 Fax: 906-428-3840 • admin@algerdelta.com algerdelta.com

Office Hours

Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. (ET)

Alger Delta Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

algerdelta.com Join us on Facebook. facebook.com/algerdeltaelectric



Tom Harrell, Chief Executive Officer

very now and then it’s good to review the fundamentals of who we are. With this column, I hope to raise your awareness of some important things to know about your co-op, and by extension, the other 900 or so electric co-ops in the USA. We like to call this “the cooperative difference.” Non-Profit: Alger Delta is a nonprofit corporation, formed as an electric utility under the laws of the United States and Michigan. There is no profit margin built into our rate structure. Revenues in excess of expenses are called “margins.” Lest you think this is just a semantic difference and a cute way of claiming to be of a higher purpose, margins are both required and returned. Margins are required by lenders and regulators so we have sufficient cash flow and demonstrate the ability to pay our debts. Margins are returned in the form of patronage capital, or capital credits. Over time, margins are returned to the members via cash payments or bill credits. Tax Paying: Each year, Alger Delta pays property tax, sales tax, social security tax, Medicare tax, state and federal unemployment tax, and probably more. In 2018, we paid $627,171 in taxes. Seventy-one percent of that was paid to the townships in which we serve. Member-owned: Member-ownership is at the heart of being a cooperative. Anyone who takes electric service from the cooperative is a member and part owner in the cooperative. Member-ownership means you have rights and responsibilities—that are spelled out in Alger Delta’s Bylaws (you can view or print a copy of the Bylaws on our website at algerdelta.com). Among other things, you have the right to run for the Alger Delta board of directors, to vote in director elections and on issues that come before the membership at the Annual Meeting, the right to participate financially, and more. Responsibility includes things like providing access to your electrical equipment, providing easements for your electric service and the service of other members, and allowing us to maintain the electric facilities. Local Control: Alger Delta is governed by a nine-person board of directors who are elected by the members. Directors are responsible to hire a CEO, develop and implement the strategic direction of the cooperative, to set policy, and to ensure compliance with standards of business conduct. Members are best suited to know their area, the local economy, and the local issues that affect strategy and policy. With local control, you can speak directly to and influence decision makers. Other electric utilities in the Upper Peninsula are controlled by companies in Wisconsin, Minnesota and even as far away as London, England. Economic Value: Alger Delta is an economic engine in the Upper Peninsula. Each year, we invest millions of dollars in poles, wires, hardware, labor, fuel, equipment, and more; much of that investment stays here in the U.P. Whenever possible—and considering quality and cost—we choose local providers for the goods, services, and labor we need to build, operate and maintain the electric system. Our investments extend to small scale renewable energy, too. Many members have received grants and used local contractors and other resources to install solar and wind generation. We strive to keep electricity affordable in order to attract people and businesses to the areas we serve.

Alger Delta Mourns Former Board Member, President,

Gerald “Jerry” Krieg


Low Income Energy Assistance Program


t its regular board meeting in May, the Alger Delta Cooperative board of directors voted to continue the co-op’s participation in Michigan’s Low Income Energy Assistance Fund (LIEAF). “A majority of board members believe this is good for our members and for the general financial health of the cooperative,” said Tom Harrell, Alger Delta’s CEO. The Low Income Energy Assistance Fund was created with the passage of Public Act 95 of 2013 and creates a permanent funding mechanism to assist Michigan’s low income families with paying their winter heating bills. “This is a unique form of tax because it’s optional. Electric utilities can opt-in or out,” said Harrell. “However, there are different rules that must be followed depending on which way a utility chooses to go.” Utilities that participate in the program collect a tax for each meter on their system and send it to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). The tax is capped at $1 per meter, per month. The department of human services is responsible for using the money to help low income consumers with their winter heating bills. Harrell noted that even though the money is collected only from electric utilities, it is designated to pay for heating assistance, not for electric bills. The Department of Human Services and the MPSC are required to direct the funds back to the same geographic areas from which they came. Participating utilities collect the tax on every meter on their system; notwithstanding, the legislation provides that consumers with more than one meter on the same residential site only pay the tax for one meter. The legislation also says that the tax cannot exceed $1 per meter and that the total fund cannot exceed $50 million annually. The tax is subject to annual review and adjustment by the MPSC staff and utilities are notified in July each year. Harrell said that participation in the LIEAF program benefits the co-op. In 2018, members received almost $117,000 dollars in assistance.

Jerry Krieg, 85, of Au Train, passed away April 28, 2019, at home surrounded by family. After high school, Jerry enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as an electronics technician on destroyers (DD-631 & DD-718) during the Korean War, eventually rising to the rank of chief. Jerry was intensely proud of his naval service for his entire life. After his service in the Navy, Jerry studied electrical engineering at the Milwaukee School of Engineering in Milwaukee. Jerry worked in an environmental test lab at AC Electronics and worked on guidance systems for early U.S. missiles. He helped test systems used early in the space program including the Apollo missions to the moon. In 1967, he started an electronics business that he operated for 20 years. Jerry and his spouse moved to the U.P. in 1990 and became co-op members when they built the Pinewood Lodge U.S., a bed & breakfast in Au Train. Jerry served on the Alger Delta board of directors from 1994 to 2012, a period of 18 years, during which he served as president for 12 years. Jerry believed in living life fully, and he lived his life that way. In his last few years, he managed to sail across Lake Superior, drive across the country several times, climb Diamond Head in Hawaii, fly a plane one more time and ride a zip line with his grandson.




MI CO-OP Community

Road pin’ Trip With Christal Frost



very time I travel back to my Benzie County roots, I marvel at how everything feels both exactly the same and somehow very different. I graduated from Benzie Central High School 21 years ago and as I drive through the hilly terrain toward Frankfort, I can’t shake the notion that, although the route hasn’t changed, everything along the way seems to have grown up—including me. Downtown Frankfort is just waking up as I make my first stop at Crescent Bakery for a welcomed cup of coffee, delicious breakfast panini and the bakery’s world-famous fritters. Fueled by caffeine and sugar, it’s time to journey to Frankfort’s pride and joy, the Point Betsie Lighthouse. With views of the Manitou Passage, the Point Betsie Lighthouse is rumored to be the most photographed lighthouse of all time. The views are unparalleled, and it still stands today as a beacon of beauty and direction. Although Point Betsie still functions as a navigation aid, the majestic lighthouse also regularly hosts museum tours and weddings. Curious visitors can even rent the Keeper’s Quarters— available from late May through October. No visit to Frankfort is complete without a stop at Crystal Gardens. Crystal Gardens has been the source for gardening supplies for more than 40 years. However, Crystal Gardens has evolved to give visitors more of an experience, including a rock shop filled with unique gifts made with Petoskey stones and geodes, the Barn Swallow antique store—and even the Nature Exhibit which boasts peacocks, butterflies, a fairy garden and a gigantic stone turtle. My absolute favorite at the Gardens, though, is an entire greenhouse, called Mom’s House, which is fully dedicated to the hardy geranium.

Rolling through town, I spot the A&W Restaurant, in addition to hot dogs, burgers, fries and root beer, A&W


sells nostalgia; and I am definitely buying! I pull up to a drive-in spot and am served by a friendly waitress. Staying in the car, I turn on ‘50s music and pretend I’ve gone back in time. The next stop is Main Street. I marvel at the historic Garden Theatre, the gem of downtown Frankfort. I then make my way into Frannie’s Follies, a must-stop shop for tourists and anyone looking for a t-shirt or trinket. Sunbeams of Promise catches my eye next, and there I find a huge variety of local stones, including the elusive Leland Blue. Our final stop leads us to Elberta, Frankfort’s port city sister, just two miles away. In fact, this tiny town was once known as South Frankfort. My tour ends at the Cabbage Shed, a building that has more history and character than any other place in the county. First built in 1867, the shed offers over 70 varieties of Irish whiskey and the longest running open mic night in Benzie County. If you leave the Cabbage Shed without trying the Drunken Beans, you will never forgive yourself. Only a 45-minute drive from Traverse City, Frankfort has managed to hold on to its small-town charm. And, it welcomes you, like a hug from an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Christal Frost is a media personality who can be heard on Today’s Country MusicWTCM, The Christal Frost Show on NewsTalk 580-WTCM AM.






B et


in t


See Frankfort In Action

Christal Frost filmed her Frankfort adventure, now available on countrylines.com. For behind-the-scenes footage, see the “Road Trippin” story highlight album on our Instagram @michigancountrylines.


Cr y s

Ga r


ta l


ba ge S



C r es


ry ke

nt Ba ce

Re s t a u

ra n

• Garden Theatre • Frannie’s Follies • Sunbeams of Promise

A& W

Nearby on Main Street:



Invest in ENERGY STAR®!


re you shopping for a new appliance or electronic? Look for the blue ENERGY STAR label! Outdated appliances and electronics are wasting energy and costing you extra each month. ENERGY STAR products are tested and certified to use less energy and meet higher standards of quality and performance. Invest in quality today and you could be eligible for cash incentives from the Energy Optimization program!

What is ENERGY STAR? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced ENERGY STAR in 1992 to help consumers identify energy-efficient products. The ENERGY STAR label can now be found on major appliances, lighting, electronics, and even new homes and commercial buildings. Since the early 1990s, ENERGY STAR has helped consumers save $362 billion in utility costs. Did you know? ENERGY STAR products can use up to 75% less energy than standard models!

To earn the ENERGY STAR label, a third-party certification process ensures that all products: • Contribute significant energy savings. • Deliver the features and performance consumers demand, plus greater energy efficiency. • Back up energy savings claims with comprehensive testing.

Save Now With Energy Optimization Program Rebates! Product

Efficiency comparison (vs. a new standard model)*

Energy Optimization program rebate**

Clothes washer

Uses 35% less water and energy



Uses 60% less energy



Uses 15% less energy


Chest Freezer

Uses at least 10% less energy



Uses 9% less energy



Uses at least 25% less energy


Room air conditioner

Use 15% less energy


*All data according to energystar.gov.  **Incentive amounts are subject to change.

View all incentives at michigan-energy.org or call 877.296.4319 for details.

Care for your

TREASURE Update your outdated, energy-wasting appliances with ENERGY STAR models. You’ll use up to 75% less energy AND save upfront with cash incentives from the Energy Optimization program:

Refrigerator $20 Dehumidifier $15

Clothes washer $20 Television $10-20

Invest in the best with


Visit our website for a full list of incentives!

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.

Snap Shot 2






Four-Legged Friends 1. This little stinker came visiting. It was cute though! Kathy Brady, Arnold 2. I n memory of my granddog, Xena warrior princess. Karen December, Big Bay 3. O ur dear sweet Molly. She loved the snow and chewing on sticks was her biggest love. We miss her so. Michael McHaney, Au Train 4. I noticed him sitting across the road from our house. Linda McLain, Chatham 5. M y little pal, Joey, likes the best seat in the house for bird watching. Paul Ruske, Rapid River 6. W hen someone talks during your favorite show: Lady, our 9-year-old miniature dachshund, watches TV in bed. Brittney LaCosse, Rock


Share Your Photos!

Alger Delta invites members to share their amazing photos. Selected photos will be published in Michigan Country Lines.

Upcoming Photo Topics And Deadlines: Sunrise/Sunset, due July 20 (September issue) Favorite Costumes, due August 20 (October issue)

To submit photos go to http://bit.ly/countrylines We look forward to seeing your best photos!

7. Our dog, Kite, smiling for the camera. Michelle Gill



Festive Desserts Celebrate summer with these delectable recipes. Photos by Robert Bruce Photography

Winning Recipe!

Frosty Lemon Pie Rita Schuette, Midwest Energy ¾ ¹⁄³ ¼ • 3 2 1 •

cup sugar cup lemon juice cup butter, cubed dash salt eggs, slightly beaten pints vanilla ice cream, softened and divided graham cracker crust (9 inches) whipped topping, fresh mint and lemon peel for garnish

In a small saucepan, combine lemon juice, sugar, butter and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat till sugar is dissolved and butter melted. Whisk a small amount of the sugar mixture into the eggs several times. Return all to the saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat till mixture reaches 160 F or is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Refrigerate till cool. Spread half of the ice cream in the crust. Freeze for 1 hour or till firm. Cover with half of the lemon mixture and freeze for 1 hour——repeat layers. After the 2nd layer of lemon mixture, cover and freeze several hours or overnight. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving. Garnish if desired. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos 10 JULY/AUGUST 2019

Grandma’s Scottish Shortbread Gail Gurnee, Great Lakes Energy 1 cup softened butter ½ cup sugar 2½ cups flour Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream butter and sugar together. Gradually knead in flour until well blended. Place in 9-inch ungreased cake pan and roll or press dough in until smooth. Press the tines of a fork around the edges and prick the middle of the dough. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn down oven to 300 F and bake for an additional 50 minutes until nicely browned. Run a knife around the edge to prevent cookies sticking to pan. Cut into short little squares immediately before cookies harden.

Lime Ice Cream Dessert Joyce Tamminga, Great Lakes Energy


Crust: 1½ cups Ritz cracker crumbs (about 34 crackers) 4 tablespoons sugar 5 tablespoons melted butter

GUEST CHEF This traditional Dutch favorite is shared with Tulip Time visitors from around the world. Enjoy a taste of the Old Country!

Filling: 2 quarts vanilla ice cream (½ gallon) 1 quart lime sherbet Topping: 4 tablespoons lime or lemon juice ²⁄³ cups sugar 2 eggs, well beaten 6 tablespoons butter Mix cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; press into 9x13 inch pan. Chill. Soften ice cream and sherbet enough to mix well and spread over crust. Freeze. Mix topping ingredients in a heavy

saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until thick. Cool completely. Spread the topping on the ice cream. Keep frozen. Note: This can also be made with orange sherbet and orange juice in the place of lime sherbet and lime juice.

Raspberry Delight Pound Cake Tracy Fisher, Thumb Electric 1 1 4 1 ¹⁄³ ½ 2 ¼ 2 2 •

French vanilla or yellow cake mix small instant vanilla pudding mix large eggs cup water cup oil cup sour cream cups raspberries fresh or frozen cup water tablespoons sugar tablespoons raspberry jello (powder) cornstarch, to thicken

Preheat over to 350 F. Mix cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, oil and sour cream according to cake mix directions on the box. Pour into prepared Bundt pan. In large saucepan, cook remaining ingredients over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Thicken filling

Stamppot van Boerenkool: Curly Kale and Sausages

with cornstarch and water. Drop filling by spoonfuls over top of unbaked cake. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn cake out onto a plate. Dust with powdered sugar or serve with whipped cream.

Venison: due August 1 Christmas Cookies: due September 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


energy bill credit!

2–3 3 • 1 4

lbs. curly kale lbs. cut-up potatoes Milk, salt, and pepper lb. smoked sausage tbsp. oleo

Strip, wash, and cut kale very fine. Boil kale in water with salt about 40 minutes. Add peeled, cut-up potatoes and sausage and enough water to prevent burning. Cook 30 minutes. Remove sausage from pan. Mash kale and potatoes and stir in boiled milk until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Read the full story about the Tulip Time Festival on page 14, and find this recipe and others at micoopkitchen.com.



Alger Delta’s 80th



n Wednesday, June 5, Alger Delta celebrated its 80th Annual Meeting. Around 437 members attended the event at the Island Resort Casino and Convention Center in Harris. The event included a dinner, business meeting, staff reports, and prize drawings. Doors opened early to accommodate the crowd lined up outside.

Sam Simonetta of Energy Optimization was at the meeting to dispense information about energy savings and conservation to members. Eunice Winklemeier was one of the members who spoke with him.


Director Darryl Small opened the meeting with an invocation. During the meal, Chief Financial Officer Amanda Seger discussed the co-op’s new bill print, pointing out several features of the new design. Operations Manager Troy Tiernan also spoke, discussing several ongoing projects and work-related developments. After dinner, board President Paul Sederquist called the meeting

The Island Resort and Casino in Harris banquet room was filled to capacity with Alger Delta Cooperative members who attended a sit down dinner and business meeting.



to order and commenced with the seating of the elected directors. CEO Tom Harrell addressed the members and spoke about how the co-op has succeeded for more than 80 years. “We have been successful for this long because of people like you,” he stated.

Board President Paul Sederquist visited with members at their table prior to the start of the business meeting.

This group of lucky winners took home prizes such as lawn furniture, grills and TV’s.

New business included a motion to approve multiple changes to the bylaws. Director Ray Young chaired the Policy Committee and explained the board undertook a thorough review of the bylaws with the intent of cleaning up outdated language, ensuring compliance with current law, making them more precise, and revising the structure of the document itself. Members agreed and voted to adopt the changes. The meeting concluded with awarding prizes to those lucky members whose ticket was drawn. “It’s wonderful to see such a good turnout at the Annual Meeting,” said Tom Harrell. “This is a great expression of the interest our members have in the co-op and their desire to be involved and engaged.”

“ It’s wonderful to see such a good turnout at the Annual Meeting. This is a great expression of the interest our members have in the co-op and their desire to be involved and engaged.” —Tom Harrell, CEO

Mary and Terry Soderman were happy to take home this prize of a three-piece patio set.

Dave and Peggy Lewis were the lucky prize winners of this 50–inch TV.



By Emily Haines Lloyd Photography by Tyler Leipprandt


or the past 90 years, the first week of May has been a time when Michiganders dust off the cobwebs of winter and look for the first signs of spring. In Holland, Michigan, the first signs look like millions of tulips bursting through the soil to delight locals and visitors alike. Tulip Time was once a local beautification project that started with 100,000 bulbs in 1929. Today it has grown to become an international hot spot for travelers from all around the world to engage in Dutch history while tiptoeing through nearly five million tulips.

In May 2019, Michigan Country Lines teamed up with Tyler Leipprandt of Michigan Sky Media for an Instagram takeover to cover Tulip Time. Leipprandt, an expert at drone photography, captured images that showcase why Tulip Time is just the kind of adventure you can start dreaming of for next spring. “Tulip Time is an opportunity for people to come and marvel at the spectacular tulip gardens and displays,” said Tulip Time Executive Director Gwen Auwerda. “But it’s also the perfect time to explore the beauty of Lake Michigan living.” If the views are saturated with bright pops of flowering color, the history that the event brings to the streets of Holland is equally rich. City officials, volunteers, and even residents don their historically accurate costumes—


complete with real wooden shoes—providing a glimpse into life during the late 1800s and early 1900s. These traditions are proudly passed down through generations, as spectators will find local high schoolers performing traditional Dutch dancing, called Klompen, at demonstrations, as well as through the streets in multiple parades which are scheduled during the week-long event. Along with the themed-parades (Volksparade/ People’s Parade, Kinderparade/Children’s Parade, and Muziekparade/Music Parade), there are dancing demos, flower walks, and an artisan market. At Windmill Island Gardens, visitors can marvel at not only tulip gardens, but “De Zwaan,” the last Netherlands-built working windmill in the United States. Folks can take the four flights up to the windmill for a historical tour, then look at the Amsterdam

street organ, ride on the antique carousel, or purchase some fresh-milled flour to commemorate the visit. Over the years, the charm has never left Tulip Time, but new attractions have been added—a lively carnival sets up annually at the Civic Center, craft and art shows are displayed in the park, festival-goers can try yoga in the tulips, and many food and beverage demos are also featured. The latter is unsurprising, as the food and beverage scene has never been stronger. In fact, Holland boasts a variety of eateries for all preferences and a vibrant beer and spirits scene—including several breweries and distilleries who all participate in hosting the 500,000 people the festival brings in annually within a short, nine-day period.

“ Tulip Time is an opportunity for people to come and marvel at the spectacular tulip gardens and displays. But it’s also the perfect time to explore the beauty of Lake Michigan living.” — Gwen Auwerda, Tulip Time Executive Director

“We have over 800 volunteers along with city workers and businesses who make this more than an event,” said Auwerda. “Tulip Time is a part of the fabric of our community.” Over the years, while Tulip Time continues to grow and provide wonderful new experiences for attendees, it’s the quaint charm that has been a constant. So next spring, as the tulip bulbs once again sprout their brightly colored petals, make plans to visit Holland’s Tulip Time. Those sweet flowers are a reminder of spring’s hope, but also a proud past that one little town along Lake Michigan is keeping alive. Photo courtesy of Tulip Time.



Alger Delta Rolls Out New Bill Print

Alger Delta is giving members a new bill print beginning in July.


1 3 2






The new bill print is colorful and laid out so members can quickly and easily see the information that’s most important, including: 1. how to contact Alger Delta; 2. total amount due and due date; 3. member name and account information; 4. usage over the past 13 months; 5. average daily use and average daily cost of energy; 6. comparison of this month against last month, and this month against the same month in the previous year;

7. payment stub; 8. account information including rate class; 9. account details including calculation of current charges and statement of previous balance; 10. information on payment methods and other options you can choose for your account.

Anyone who needs assistance reading or understanding their bill can call 906-428-4141 and speak with a friendly Member Service Representative. Call M–Th, 7–5 ET.






Guess this photo and enter to win a


energy bill credit!


MI CO-OP Community

The Turtle Race Tradition By Jean Alexander, Great Lakes Energy member


very summer since 1986 our family travels to Six Mile Lake cottage for a week of simple, but magical, lakefront family fun and an interesting tradition—Turtle Races. The morning of departure from Indiana brings together: three sisters, one niece, four nephews, and grandma. Loading the car is always a hoot, as we fit suitcases, extra food, linens, treats for the trip, and even bicycles. The usual eight or nine passengers somehow all fit in, too.

Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by July 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 May issue is Elsa Oja, an Ontonagon County REA Co-op member, who correctly identified the photo as historic downtown Calumet. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.

What fun upon arrival it is assigning beds, cots and blow up mattresses. Our lakefront offers a playground with sand, boats, a dock, badminton, floats, fishing rods, and a shallow lake. Days are spent fishing, swimming, floating on rafts, baseball games, catching crawdads, laughter, and days of splendid family togetherness. Of course, one day is always chosen for the famous “Turtle Races.” We scout for turtles along the lakeshore, spray paint the start and finish lines and assign everyone a turtle. Each turtle is then named. We hold many races—some long races, some short runs, “a sprayed box-shaped form” where turtles go in all directions to cross lines and continue racing has even been created by grandma for the day. The longest and last race always ends with turtles racing back into the lake, and we bid our turtles goodbye. Our adventure then culminates with prizes being awarded to all the winning “turtle coaches.” Each summer we are reminded how strange it is that turtles never seem to move in a straight path, but wander around going nowhere specific except to the water. But, hopefully, next year we will each get a better, bigger and wiser turtle. Jean enjoys sports, nature and going “up north” to Michigan as often as possible.

May 2019

Photo by Cody McClellan @codyjmcclellanphotography


“We are reminded how strange it is that turtles never seem to move in a straight path, but wander around going nowhere specific except to the water.”

Beat the heat Cool your home with your well water.


COOL $50








Hybrid Geothermal

wellconnectgeo.com (989) 356-2113


Schools out for summer and it’s a great time to teach kids about safety around electricity. We encourage you to share these electrical safety tips and lessons with your little ones as often as possible:

1 2 4 6

Instruct them to avoid any downed power lines. In fact, it is best to avoid power lines, transformers, and substations in general. A downed power line can still be energized, and it can also energize other objects, including fences and trees. Make sure your kids understand the potential dangers of coming in contact with a downed power line or low hanging wire. And, if they encounter a downed power line, ask them to tell you or another adult to call for help. Point out electronics in your home that are not in use and how to keep appliances safely away from liquids.

Never put metal objects in outlets or appliances.

Never mix water and electricity.

3 5

Discuss fire prevention and create a family fire drill plan.

Do not overcrowd electrical outlets.

No matter the ways you enforce electrical safety with your children, Alger Delta is here to help.