June 2022 MEC

Page 1

June 2022


COUNTRY LINES Midwest Energy & Communications


Plant Trees To Save On Electric

A Guide To Generators How To Check Your Wi-Fi Speeds



Not hearing is believing.

WaterFurnace doesn’t think you should hear your furnace and a/c more than you feel its heat and air. You know when a traditional HVAC system is on. Stop and listen. Is the burner turning on? Are the blower and fan running? Is air blasting through your vents? With geothermal, those tell-tale signs are eliminated, because sound from the system is barely noticeable. As a result, you get comfortable, consistent heating and cooling—and none of the noise. With WaterFurnace, silence is golden. Geothermal is the only renewable that provides reliable operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

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

Bad Axe/Ubly Cutting Edge Htg & Clg (989) 551-0986

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

Berrien Springs Waterfurnace Michiana (269) 473-5667 gogreenmichgeo thermal.com Big Rapids Stratz Htg & Clg, Inc. (231) 796-3717 stratzgeocomfort.com

Indian River M&M Plmb & Htg (231) 238-7201 mm-plumbing.com Lansing Candor Mechanical (517) 920-0890 candormechanical.com

Mancelona Top Notch Htg, Clg, & Geothermal (231) 350-8052 Topnotchheatandair.com Michigan Center Comfort 1/Air Serv of Southern Michigan (517) 764-1500 airserv.com/southernmichigan/ Mt Pleasant Walton Htg & Clg (989) 772-4822 waltonheating.com Muskegon Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 adamsheatingcooling.com

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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

The Reliable Renewable is a trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc.

Contents countrylines.com

June 2022 Vol. 42, No. 6



6 DESIGNING A DIFFERENCE Morley native and WMU student Isabella Waite combined her love of design with her sense of sustainability to capture third place in a nationwide housewares design competition.

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Tomatoes: Make the most of the summer season.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr

14 READY, SET, SOAR Annual Boyne City highperformance boating event brings the ‘thunder’ to this normally peaceful town.


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

18 GUEST COLUMN An Eggceptional Experience I Will Never Forget!

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.


Check out all the detail revealed in these Petoskey stones after a good vinegar soak. Next up, polish. @mgcubba (Mary Grace)

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



Win a $50 bill credit!

Win $150 for stories published!

Up Next: Pasta Salads, due July 1 Baked Goods, due Aug. 1

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

Submit your recipe at micoopkitchen.com, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to recipes@countrylines.com.






Your Electric Supply and a Call to Action



Robert Hance, President/CEO

teammidwest.com /teammidwest CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS AND CASSOPOLIS SOLUTIONS CENTER 60590 Decatur Road, Cassopolis, MI 49031 M–F 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

PAW PAW SOLUTIONS CENTER 59825 S. LaGrave Street, Paw Paw, MI 49079 M–F 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ADRIAN SOLUTIONS CENTER 1610 E. Maumee Street, Adrian, MI 49221 M–F 8 a.m.–5 p.m. CONTACT US Midwest Energy & Communications 800-492-5989 teammidwest.com Email: info@teammidwest.com BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Clarence “Topper” Barth, Chairperson, Three Rivers 269-279-9233 Clarence.Barth@teammidwest.com

Ben Russell, Vice Chairperson, Constantine 269-506-1590 Ben.Russell@teammidwest.com Ron Armstrong, Secretary, Lawton 269-299-0443 Ron.Armstrong@teammidwest.com John Green, Treasurer, Dowagiac 269-470-2816 John.Green@teammidwest.com Dan Bodette, Wauseon 419-337-8007 Dan.Bodette@teammidwest.com

Gerry Bundle, Cassopolis 269-414-0164 Gerry.Bundle@teammidwest.com

James Dickerson, Bloomingdale 269-370-6868 Jim.Dickerson@teammidwest.com

Erika Escue-Cadieux, Onsted 419-346-1088 erika.escue-cadieux@teammidwest.com Fred Turk, Decatur 269-423-7762 Fred.Turk@teammidwest.com



Midwest Energy & Communications is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

4 JUNE 2022


he electric grid is a complicated and connected system with many players. MEC does our part by connecting the wires from the highvoltage transmission lines to your home, but there are others you don’t generally hear about. One such player is a grid operator, which is an independent, third-party entity that manages the nation’s electric grid. These operators ensure the system works efficiently and reliably, and they predict and control the supply of electricity. Last April, one of our regional operators, MISO, announced the results of their annual generation audit that determines if there is sufficient supply to meet demand. The results for this summer are concerning. Nine northern states, including Michigan, are 1,200 megawatts short of the supply needed to keep the lights on when demand is highest. That equals 876,000 households. What does this mean? If temperatures soar this summer, MISO could require blackouts to control electric load. If they do, we will have to comply. What is driving the shortfall? Simply put, the power grid is changing. Primarily, coal and nuclear are retiring and being replaced mainly by weather-dependent renewable energy. The challenge placed on the grid is that for every megawatt of coal and nuclear that is retired, at least 2 megawatts (often more) of solar and 10 megawatts of wind are needed to replace that supply. This is because renewables need the right sun and wind to generate electricity whereas coal and nuclear plants can run more consistently. Therefore, more renewables are needed to make up for the times they can’t run. Additionally, it is impossible to permit a new coal plant, new nuclear is extremely cost prohibitive, and natural gas is becoming more challenging to permit. Our options are limited. There is the potential for this problem to get worse. While we are already facing power supply shortages, nearly 10% of Michigan’s generating fleet of coal and nuclear plants are slated for early retirement in the next three years. We can’t let power plant closures get ahead of the new generation that must be built to replace them. We need your help. MEC has partnered with other electric co-ops from around the state and country to utilize Voices for Cooperative Power (VCP), a network of co-op members working together to make our voices heard by policymakers. I encourage you to sign up and participate. Learn more about the VCP on the next page. I want every co-op member to know that this isn’t a statement on renewable energy versus coal and nuclear power plants. You only have to see our 60% carbon-free portfolio to realize that we’ve been trending toward cleaner resources for the past 20 years. Our concern is about reliability and the risk that continues to grow for the lights to go out. The purpose of this column isn’t to scare you; it’s to prepare you and help you understand what we’re dealing with. We will also continue our hard work of monitoring, maintaining, and upgrading our equipment as needed to ensure that MEC’s infrastructure can handle our demand. And we will do our part to make sure that our elected officials understand the impact of premature plant closures.


Looking to make a difference in your community and for your local electric cooperative? Then join VCP today for free! VCP is a network of electric co-op members working together to influence public policy decisions that impact our co-ops and our way of life. Scan to learn more and join!

After you join, you’ll get regular updates on important issues and information on ways to get involved.



aite, now a junior at WMU, has fallen in love with her program. She is committed to not making what she calls “useless stuff,” but instead finding creative ways to create purposeful products. Waite also loves the way design, engineering, and business all intersect. These kinds of connections are something she has always appreciated.


As a member of an electric cooperative, Waite was familiar with the benefits of more sustainable energy sources and the opportunities available to her as a member. Waite was a member of Youth Tour, a group of around 1,800 high school co-op members from around the country who travel to Washington, D.C., to experience the monuments, memorials, museums, and all the history the country’s capital has to offer. It ends with students meeting their state senators and representatives and watching Capitol business unfold in real time. “It was a life-changing trip for me,” said Waite. “I was super introverted and anxious around strangers in high school, but meeting all these new people from around the country was suddenly exciting and not scary anymore.”

Designing A Difference By Emily Haines Lloyd

Raised in Morley, Michigan, with a population of just over 500 residents, Isabella Waite grew up with a sense of “sustainability.” Her parents, HomeWorks Co-op members, made a habit of composting and they also line-dried their laundry outdoors— which they continue to do to this day. When Waite went off to study product design at Western Michigan University (WMU) in Kalamazoo, she took those sensibilities with her. “I was really involved in fine arts in high school,” said Waite. “I didn’t know what that could look like in a career for me until I toured Western and the product design program director explained how design could be used to help people, even make a difference in the world.”


JUNE 2022

Waite took that new confidence and not only applied to WMU, which is in a much larger city than her hometown, but applied for scholarships to help her on her educational journey. Waite received one of HomeWorks’ educational scholarships, helping her to get started at school. “It was actually one of the staff members who went with us on Youth Tour that told me about the HomeWorks scholarships,” said Waite. “It’s amazing how much scholarships helped me as I was beginning college.” The financial assistance allowed Waite to delve into her degree in product design. One of her courses had, as part of its syllabus, an assignment to develop a houseware product and submit it to the Student Design Competition

To learn more about Isabella Waite’s Pip the Potty Pal, visit theinspiredhomeshow.com/awards/gia-student/. sponsored by the International Housewares Association (IHA). This international competition seeks to “invigorate” the housewares industry with innovative student designs and encourages careers in the industry. Waite was inspired by her summer job as a nanny and saw the stress and difficulty the family she worked for was having with potty training their son. Waite herself wasn’t sure how to help, but with her skills in product design and an eagerness for her work to help people, she designed Pip the Potty Pal. Pip assists adults in toilet training toddlers while making the breaks fun for the children. It went from an idea, to a design, to winning third place at the Global Innovation Awards and having her design displayed at the annual Inspired Home Show. “A big part of product design is studying the behavior of your consumer,” said Waite. “Kids are just so interesting to observe, and figuring out what they need is really fascinating to me.” As Waite heads into her senior year at WMU, she continues to be passionate about her major and the notion of helping others through her design efforts. “As a designer, sustainability is really important to me. I don’t want to make things that people simply throw away,” said Waite. “I want to make products that last, that invoke memories, that you can pass down.”

“As a designer, sustainability is really important to me. I don’t want to make things that people simply throw away,” said Waite. “I want to make products that last, that invoke memories, that you can pass down.”



Planting To Save M

oney doesn’t grow on trees—but a clever planting plan can help you save on your energy bills.

Plant leafy deciduous trees on your home’s east, west, and south sides. Deciduous trees provide extra shade during warmer months and extra sunlight during colder months, helping to reduce heating and cooling costs. You’ll want to plant them in the path of the sun. Plant evergreen trees on the northwest side of your home. They serve as a barrier from cold winter winds. When planting, make sure your trees won’t get near overhead power lines once they’re fully grown. Trees tangled in our lines greatly increase the risk of outages for you and your neighbors. No tree should be within 30 feet of a power line. Small and medium trees (40 feet tall or less) should be at least 30 feet away. Any tree taller than 40 feet should be at least 60 feet away from lines. Lastly, make sure to call 8-1-1 before you dig. They’ll mark your underground lines so you don’t accidentally knock out utilities to yourself and those near you. It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s the law.

You’re surfing the web on your phone when a notification appears... SEVERE STORM WARNING TONIGHT 6PM TO 8PM What’s your first thought? If we took a survey, a lot of you would probably say, “I HOPE MY POWER DOESN’T GO OUT.” 8 JUNE 2022

PREPARING FOR OUTAGES Weather, wildlife, and other unforeseeable circumstances mean outages are inevitable, but there are ways to prepare yourself. Stay ahead of the next outage with these tips: Keep your phone charged. While you may not have Wi-Fi, you should still have cell service. Make sure your phone has enough battery life to keep you up to date on restoration progress, or to make emergency calls. You might consider buying a portable power bank for some extra juice.

Have supplies ready. Make sure you have enough water and nonperishable food to last your family and pets for several days. You should also keep a first-aid kit, flashlights, and batteries on hand. Buy a portable generator. In a worst-case scenario, your power could be out for a few days at a time. In this situation, a generator can ensure you have enough energy for the essentials. Have things to do. Nobody likes to be bored when the power is out – and that goes double for kids who are used to having all kinds of electronics at their disposal. Board games, puzzles, and other low-tech entertainment can keep your mind off it. Who knows? You might even find a new family hobby.

So You Want to Buy a Generator… How many times have you heard this one: “To prepare for an outage, buy a backup generator!” It’s a great idea in theory. A generator can keep your essential appliances on while restoration crews do their thing. But anybody who’s tried to buy one knows it’s not quite that simple— there are several different types to consider, not to mention setup and safety concerns. We want to help you out. Read on for a crash course in portable power.

Meet the Candidates

Which One is Right for You?

Portable Power Stations are like giant rechargeable batteries. They don’t use gas or propane, and you can charge them when they’re not in use. Unlike generators, they’re extremely quiet and don’t produce fuel emissions, but they’re also not as powerful as other options, and there’s no way to recharge them without another source of power. Portable power stations can typically be used for a few small items like your phone or laptop or a couple of your most crucial appliances, like your refrigerator.

First, determine what you want to keep using when the power goes out. Then, check the wattages for each of those devices or appliances. Adding these up will give you an idea of what kind of output to look for in a generator.

Inverter Generators, like the rest of the options on this list, generate their own power from fuel. How long you can run them depends on how much you store. Inverters are quieter than most generators and produce fewer emissions, but usually cost more because of their engine, which is more complex and efficient. A small inverter has an output similar to a portable power station, while midsize to large inverters can power your air conditioning or space heater in addition to your fridge and smaller items.

Important: Read This First!

Portable Generators are usually both less expensive and less efficient than inverters, with a similar output to a large inverter. With a portable generator, you can usually expect to keep your fridge and A/C on, potentially with a few other necessities like your well pump, sump pump, some of your lights, or even an electric stovetop range. Home Standby Generators are the big guns. At their most powerful, they more than double the output of portable generators and can keep everything in your home running. The main tradeoff is cost—not only will you normally pay a few thousand dollars for the generator, but you’ll also have to pay for installation, which can double the base price.

Don’t forget that some appliances use more power as they’re turning back on, which can be too much for your generator if you’re not careful.

A generator can be a dangerous tool if not installed properly. “Backfeeding” is a term that describes what happens when electricity flows in the reverse direction from its normal flow. It can happen when an improperly installed generator fires up and re-energizes our lines, resulting in a dangerous, and potentially deadly, situation for our crews restoring power. To prevent dangerous backfeeding, purchase a GenerLink and we will install it for you. Visit generlink.com to get started. Otherwise, a qualified electrician must install a transfer switch. Finally, generators are carbon monoxide factories——never run one indoors. Always make sure it’s at least 20 feet away from your home, with the exhaust pointed away. Portable generators must be kept dry and off wet surfaces, and make sure you use a grounded outlet with the proper extension cord. As with any equipment, read and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation. Never cut corners when it comes to safety.

Please let us know if you have a generator.

If you recently installed a generator or if you’ve had one for a while and haven’t notified us, please call us at 800-492-5989. We will add a note to your account that will make our crews aware of your equipment prior to making repairs.



MI CO-OP Recipes

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


Make the most of the summer season.


Sharon Libich, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op 2 ¼ ¼ ½ 2 1



energy bill credit!

10 JUNE 2022

Pasta Salads due July 1 • Baked Goods due Aug. 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.

pints cherry/grape tomatoes cup mayonnaise cup sour cream pound bacon, cooked and crumbled tablespoons grated Romano cheese tablespoon dried, chopped chives (or ¹⁄³ cup fresh chives)

Rinse and dry tomatoes. Cut the tops off of the tomatoes just enough so you can scoop out the inner part of the tomatoes. To scoop out the inside pulp, you can use a strawberry huller (recommended). Place scooped-out tomatoes upside down on paper towels. While draining, mix the rest of the ingredients together. Place the mixture into a plastic bag and clip off the corner. Squeeze the mixture into the cherry tomatoes. Place the tomatoes onto a tray with plastic wrap surrounding the tomatoes to keep them upright. Chill the tomatoes for 2 hours. Enjoy! This is a family favorite at a summertime BBQ or anytime. It’s an easy way to share a yummy appetizer! Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos



Lynn Wall, Great Lakes Energy

1 large package heirloom cherry tomatoes 1 tablespoon olive oil 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) oregano 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh (or 1 tablespoon dried) basil

Lianne Briggs, Great Lakes Energy Preheat oven to 325 F. Stir all ingredients together, and place in a 9x9 square baking dish. Bake for 2–3 hours, stirring every ½ hour or so. The mixture will get very wet. When the tomatoes start to pop, they will start to thicken like jam. Serve warm or cool with crackers or bread, with cream cheese, or with any other cheese and/or meat, if desired. This is delicious on a charcuterie tray and smells wonderful when it bakes. I use my toaster oven to bake it.

3 3 1 4 28 • 1 ½

tablespoons olive oil cups finely chopped onions tablespoon minced garlic cups chicken stock ounces tomato purée pinch saffron threads teaspoon salt teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ½ cup orzo, dry ½ cup heavy cream

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium-low



Cindy Hodges, Ontonagon County 1 onion, chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 (15-ounce) cans French cut green beans, drained 4 (15-ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained 2 small cans tomato paste 2 heads garlic cloves, peeled and smashed • salt and pepper, to taste

heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the chicken stock, tomato purée, saffron, salt, and black pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a medium pot with water, add 2 teaspoons salt, and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 7 minutes. (Note: The orzo will finish cooking in the soup.) Drain the orzo and add it to the soup. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer, and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently. Serve immediately.

Cathy Nichols, Great Lakes Energy Preheat oven to 250 F. In a Dutch oven or another lidded heavy pan, sauté onion in olive oil until soft. Add all ingredients (except salt and pepper) and cook for 5 hours or until the garlic is soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. This can be served on pita bread as a dip, or over rice for a meal.

1 pie crust, store-bought or homemade 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese 3 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced (any variety) • salt and pepper • thinly sliced basil leaves

Preheat oven to 375 F. Roll out storebought or homemade pie crust into a fluted tart pan or pie pan. Spread Dijon mustard in the bottom of the pie crust. Top with grated Gruyere cheese. Next, place tomatoes in an overlapping concentric circle over the cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 40 minutes, or until tomatoes look wrinkled. Sprinkle tart with basil and serve.



2021 ANNUAL REPORT Report of Independent Auditors Following are excerpts from the audit report. The full report may be accessed at TeamMidwest.com or by calling 800-492-5989. Opinion We have audited the consolidated financial statements of Midwest Energy Cooperative (the cooperative), which comprise the consolidated balance sheets as of Dec. 31, 2021 and 2020, and the related consolidated statements of operations, equities and margins, and cash flows for the years then ended, and the related notes to the financial statements. In our opinion, the accompanying consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the consolidated financial position of the cooperative as of Dec. 31, 2021 and 2020, and the changes in its net assets and its cash flows for the years then ended in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Basis for Opinion We conducted our audits in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America and the standards applicable to financial audits contained in Government Auditing Standards, issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. We are required to be independent of the cooperative and to meet our other ethical responsibilities, in accordance with the relevant ethical requirements relating to our audit. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our audit opinion.

Responsibilities of Management for the Financial Statements Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of the consolidated financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, and for the design, implementation, and maintenance of internal control relevant to the preparation and fair presentation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error. Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes our opinion. We are required to communicate with those charged with governance regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit, significant audit findings, and certain internal control-related matters that we identified during the audit. Moss Adams March 31, 2022

Consolidated Statements of Operations Years Ended Dec. 31 (Dollars in 000) 2021 Operating revenues Operating expenses


Nonoperating margins (deficits)





2,278 $



Dec. 31 (Dollars in 000)



Net electric plant and equipment



252,194 $


Other assets and investments



Current assets



Deferred charges











EQUITIES AND LIABILITIES Equities Long-term debt



Other liabilities







Current liabilities Deferred tax liability

35 $


– $


Where Your Dollars Go Property Taxes 5% Depreciation 12% Administrative & Member Services 10%

Residential Sales 63%

635 $

Consolidated Balance Sheets

Where Our Sales Come From

12 JUNE 2022


Operating margins (deficits)

Total equity and liabilities

Commercial & Industrial Sales 33%



Deferred credits

Irrigation Sales 4%



Capital credits Net margins



Interest expense

Total assets

Director’s Compensation Disclosure Elected directors are paid an annual retainer of $1,200 and a per diem based on board position and years of service or credential status for meetings attended on behalf of the cooperative. The chairman is paid an annual retainer of $2,200.


Operations & Maintenance 15%

Interest Expense 5%

Cost of Purchased Power 53%

CLOCK YOUR INTERNET SPEED WITH COMMANDIQ Did you know different devices have different internet capabilities? Your phone probably doesn’t reach the same speeds as your laptop— and if you have two phones, their speeds might even be different from each other. If you have our blazing-fast fiber internet, there’s an easy way to tell what your devices are capable of. First, simply open up your free CommandIQ app. Next, follow the directions below:

1. From the main dashboard, tap “My Network.”

2. Select “Bandwidth Test.”

3. Choose “Run Test” to begin your network test. CommandIQ will display your network’s download and upload speeds.

4. Once you’re done, tap the back arrow and select the “Usage” tab from the “My Network” screen.

On the “My Network” screen, CommandIQ will show you each device that’s connected to your network, along with its individual download and upload speeds. You can also see the percentage of bandwidth each device is consuming.

Don’t know what CommandIQ is? Visit teammidwest.com/commandiq to learn more. You have to use your MEC router to take advantage of CommandIQ. If you have a GigaCenter router, you’ll need to request your free upgrade to a GigaSpire. Not sure what that means? Find out at teammidwest.com/router-swap.


By Emily Haines Lloyd || Photo courtesy of Boyne City Main Street



t’s hard to visit the small town of Boyne City, making five stops to pick up cards for a poker Michigan, and not conjure up words like hand. With each stop—in Elk Rapids, Northport, “quaint” and “charming.” A town of around Charlevoix, Bay Harbor, and Harbor Springs— 3,700 residents on the shore of Lake Charlevoix, participants get closer to the opportunity to it’s what you imagine when you think of a get the winning hand, with the added benefit peaceful place to live or visit. But every year, the of delighting boat enthusiasts, residents, and weekend after the Fourth of July, this little town vacationers in those cities. While the competition opens up to over 120 high-performance boats is fairly tame and offers prizes for first, second, from around the country and Canada for the third, and—generously—last place, it’s the boats annual Boyne Thunder Poker Run charity event themselves that bring all the excitement. that brings all the energy, buzz, and, yes, noise of a big city. The boats range in size from 22 to 55 feet in length and feature horsepower ranging from “You can’t quite describe the awe and genuine 425–3,600. If you’re not a boat geek—that excitement you feel when these magnificent means some of these boats are capable of boats roar by,” said Ingrid Day, Boyne Thunder speeding up to 150 mph. event coordinator. “For a few days, we not only get to show off these powerhouse boats, but What started about 20 years ago as a also get to show off our city.” fundraising event for a charity has developed into an effort to revitalize the downtown area. Boyne Thunder is a 150-mile treasure hunt of The event has grown to more than 120 boats sorts, with large power boats roaring through with full crews from California to Florida to the waters of Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan, Canada, bringing thousands of people to Boyne

14 JUNE 2022

“The nonprofits that Boyne Thunder supports are as big a part of the event as the boats themselves. They are part of our community and are part of who we are.”

City each summer for the two-day event. Friday night hosts a welcoming of the boats to town with strolls along the marina to get early peeks at this year’s participants—and the popular Stroll the Streets, which brings 10,000–15,000 people to the downtown area for dining, shopping, entertainment, and the car show. Saturday can include a stop at the farmer’s market before the boats power up and roar out from Lake Charlevoix into Lake Michigan, and then parade through the five town stops along the way. People line the harbor and bridges to get a good look and, with good reason, gawk. “There’s really nothing like it,” said Day. “People lined up along the end of the lake, on the bridge—smiles just everywhere.” While one crew will triumph in the Poker Run, the real winners are the two charities at the heart of the event, Camp Quality and Challenge Mountain, and the sponsoring organization, Boyne City Main Street. Camp Quality provides experiences and year-round support for children with cancer and their families. Many people in the community have volunteered and worked at the very first camps held by Camp Quality. Challenge Mountain provides experiences for individuals with mental and physical challenges through outdoor recreation like skiing, which is such a huge part of Northern Michigan life. There are Boyne City residents who work at the local resale shop that also raises money for the nonprofit. And finally, Boyne City Main Street, which seeks to make the downtown a more vibrant place while preserving its historic character. “The nonprofits that Boyne Thunder supports are as big a part of the event as the boats themselves,” said Day. “They are part of our community and are part of who we are.” It’s clear that the only thing bigger on the water than the boats each summer in Boyne City are the hearts of the people who live there.

boynethunder.com facebook.com/BoyneThunder instagram.com/boynethunder MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Notice to Members of Midwest Energy Cooperative Rate Restructuring and PSCR Effective for Bills Rendered in July 2022 The Midwest Energy Cooperative board of directors adopted the following changes to the cooperative’s tariffs at a special board meeting on April 26, 2022, in accordance with Public Act 167 (P.A. 167). 1. Increase the authorized PSCR factor to a cap of $0.10 per kWh. 2. R ate realignment across all rate classifications as shown below. Chart A represents the increase in monthly service charge. Chart B represents the increase in distribution charge per kWh. All changes are effective for bills rendered in July 2022. Chart A – Monthly Service Charge

July 2021

July 2022

Residential Service



Residential Time of Use Service



General Service—Single Phase



General Service—Three Phase



General Service—Time of Use Single Phase



General Service—Time of Use Three Phase



Controlled Water Heater Service—Option 1

$4.00 credit

$4.00 credit

Controlled Water Heater Service—Option 2

$8.00 credit

$4.00 credit



Interruptible Whole House Heat or Air Conditioning Service Chart B – Distribution Charge (per kWh)

July 2021

July 2022

Residential Service



Residential Time of Use Service



General Service—Single Phase



General Service—Three Phase



General Service—Time of Use Single Phase



General Service—Time of Use Three Phase



Interruptible Whole House Comfort Service



Buy-All/Sell-All—Phase 1



Buy-All/Sell-All—Phase 2



Chart C – Energy Charge (per kWh)

July 2021

July 2022

Residential Service



Residential Time of Use—On-Peak Period



Residential Time of Use—Off-Peak Period



General Service—Single Phase



General Service—Three Phase



General Time of Use—Single Phase On-Peak Period



General Time of Use—Three Phase On-Peak Period



General Time of Use—Single Phase Off-Peak



General Time of Use—Three Phase Off-Peak



Interruptible Whole House Heat or Air Conditioning Service



July 2021

July 2022

Irrigation Service (monthly for 6 months per year) Monthly Service Charge Distribution Charge Demand Charge

$230.00 $0.030000



$6.07 credit

$4.60 credit

Energy Charge



Comfort Service

July 2021

July 2022

Heat or Air Conditioning



Load Management Credit

16 JUNE 2022

$228.00 $0.030302

Large Power

July 2021

Monthly Service Charge Distribution Charge

July 2022





Distribution Demand Charge



Primary Service

$0.10 credit

$0.10 credit

Energy Charge





July 2021

July 2022

Demand Energy Charge Large Power (Over 200 kW) Monthly Service Charge Distribution Charge





Distribution Demand Charge



Primary Service

$0.10 credit

$0.10 credit

Energy Charge





July 2021

July 2022

Demand Energy Charge Large Power Primary Service Monthly Service Charge Distribution Charge





Distribution Demand Charge



Three Phase Primary Line







Energy Charge Demand Energy Charge Industrial Service

July 2021

July 2022

Monthly Service Charge



Distribution Charge





Distribution Demand Charge Three Phase Primary Line Energy Charge







Demand Energy Charge Net Metering Program Credit

Net 2 Net I – July 2021 Net I – July 2022 (Signed Up After July 2020) (Signed Up Before July 2020) (Signed Up Before July 2020)

Residential Net

$0.056 credit

$0.122503 credit

$0.12658 credit

Whole House Net

$0.056 credit

$0.10128 credit

$0.11408 credit

General Service—Single Phase Net

$0.056 credit

$0.124073 credit

$0.12933 credit

General Service—Three Phase Net

$0.056 credit

$0.131889 credit

$0.12933 credit

Large Power Net

$0.056 credit

$0.102716 credit

$0.09913 credit

Large Power (Over 200 kW) Net

$0.056 credit

$0.102911 credit

$0.09893 credit

For a summary of outdoor lighting service charges, visit teammidwest.com/electric-resources and click “Rate Summary.” These unapproved minutes are published in accordance with P.A. 167 of 2008.

Curious what your bill will look like? Take a look at the example on the right, which is based on a residential customer who uses 1,000 kWh in a month. *Subject to change based on market conditions.

Existing Rates Rate Schedule Monthly Service Charge


New Rates





Distribution Charge





Energy Charge





Power Cost Adjustment*





Tax & Low-Income Charge Total Bill


Amount $45.00





Guest Column

An Eggceptional Experience I Will Never Forget! By Cindy Zavadil, HomeWorks Tri-County Cooperative member


will never forget my visit to an ethnic art fair outside of Detroit’s Cobo Hall at the age of 12. It is one of my fondest memories. Why? It was there that I was introduced to the art of Ukrainian egg decorating, or Pysanky. This art form is rich in cultural heritage, symbolism, and pure beauty. The intricacy, vibrant colors, and skill involved had me hooked right away. From quail eggs to ostrich eggs, it’s a joy! My parents took me to this event. They had no idea that I would become a high school art teacher and one day share this art form with my students. I remember watching the elderly artist, a woman, writing on her egg. This art process involves writing/drawing on the egg with beeswax, using a tool called a kistka. The egg is then dipped in various colored dyes after each new design has been written, and it culminates with melting the wax off the egg over a candle flame. I call it the unveiling. Here you see all your hours of work before your eyes. Watching the experienced Pysanky artist that day, with her grey hair, steady hands, and patience, melting the wax off her creation is something I will never forget. I asked my parents if I could buy a kit, including all the tools, to begin my journey. The elderly woman handed my mom my first yellow box. From there, I practiced and

18 JUNE 2022

learned from my mistakes. I kept at it. Like anything else, art is a process, and we learn as we go. Since that day, I have created hundreds of eggs and enjoy sharing the tradition of Ukrainian Pysanky. The world is a better place with art showing its face around every corner. I owe this opportunity of learned joy to that one day at the art fair. If I hadn’t had the opportunity to meet the lovely lady sharing her skills, I would never have begun my journey. That day is a fond memory, and it is because of this memory that I am able to share my art with you.

Cindy is a retired art/humanities teacher. She enjoys all kinds of art, reading, and gardening.

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