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March/April 2020

MICHIGAN

COUNTRY LINES Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op

YOU MAY HAVE UNCLAIME D MONEY! S EE CAPITAL C RED INSERT INS IT IDE.

CLEAN UP WITH

DIRTY GIRL FARM PIE&G Special Board Meeting March 24

Why Your Co-op Clears Vegetation The Ultimate Icebreaker


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In This Issue March 2020 || Vol. 40, No. 3

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

Follow Us On Instagram! @michigancountrylines

Celebrating 40 Years

countrylines.com

facebook.com/michigancountrylines michigancountrylines

Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Design and Production: Karreen Bird Recipe Editor: Christin McKamey Publisher: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. POSTMASTER: SEND ALL UAA TO CFS. Association officers are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretarytreasurer. Craig Borr is president and CEO. CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 editor@countrylines.com countrylines.com

CHANGE OF ADDRESS:

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

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

FEATURED PHOTO FROM #micoopcommunity:

Frozen jellyfish emerge during Michigan winters #notreally #lookslikeittho. Creative capture by @corey_niedzwiecki (Corey Niedzwiecki.)

Tag us or use #micoopcommunity in your post and your photo could be featured on our Instagram account and printed as the featured photo in our magazine.

ON THE COVER

Heather Rosencrantz, owner of Dirty Girl Farm, offers a line of all-natural skincare products at her holistic apothecary based in Michigan. Today, Dirty Girl Farm has over 400 amazing products. Her belief is to have healthy skin and happy souls.

6 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY

Guest Column: Winter Road Trippin’ With Christal Frost, Media Personality Christal shares her fun winter adventures strolling through Marquette and the Eben Ice Caves. 

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Chili Cook-Off

Take home the gold with one of these comforting, delicious chili recipes. Christin McKamey & Our Readers

18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Guest Column: Grandma Grace Rik Cryderman, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op Member

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

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.

Sugar Cookies

Featured Guest Chef: Try Dirty Girl Farm owner Heather Rosencrantz’s favorite sugar cookie recipe. Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

14 FEATURE

Clean Up With Dirty Girl Farm

Utilizing her botany and farming background, Heather Rosencrantz created a line of all-natural, vegan and cruelty-free skincare products that are safer for both people and the environment. Emily Haines Lloyd

Best of Michigan UP NEXT! Best Pizza: Are you a pizza aficionado? Have you tried every mom and pop pizza parlour in Michigan and know the best stops? Share with us your favorite pizza places to enjoy America’s soul food. Submit your favorites at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab by March 25, and look for it on our preferred pies list in the April issue.

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

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CHEBOYGAN PRESQUE ISLE

OTSEGO

MONTMORENCY

ALPENA

OSCODA

ALCONA

Board Of Directors Charles Arbour, Treasurer

23899 M32 S, Hillman MI 49746 989-657-4358 • Term Expires: 2020

Allan Berg, Chairman

1117 E. Heythaler Hwy., Rogers City, MI 49779 989-734-0044 • Term Expires 2020

Sandy Borowicz, Secretary

5341 Carlson Rd.,Cheboygan, MI 49721 231-627-9220 • Term Expires 2021

John Brown

21 W. Devereaux Lake Rd., Indian River, MI 49749 231-625-2099 • Term Expires 2020

Sally Knopf

1849 W. 638 Hwy., Rogers City, MI 49779 989-734-4196 • Term Expires 2021

Kurt Krajniak , Vice-Chairman

Preparing For The Future

7630 Wallace Rd., Alpena, MI 49707 989-884-3037 • Term Expires 2022

Brentt Lucas

15841 Carr Rd., Posen, MI 49776 989-766-3678 • Term Expires 2022

Daryl Peterson

P.O. Box 54, Hillman, MI 49746 989-742-3145 • Term Expires 2021

Raymond Wozniak

6737 State St., Posen, MI 49776 989-766-2498 • Term Expires 2022

President & CEO: Tom Sobeck tsobeck@pieg.com

Communications Director/Co-op Editor: Maire Chagnon-Hazelman

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op 19831 M-68 Hwy., P.O. Box 308 Onaway, MI 49765

Business Office & Billing: 989-733-8515 Toll-Free: 800-423-6634 Gas Emergency Toll-Free: 800-655-8565

pieg.com Join us on Facebook. facebook.com/PIEGCooperative Most PIE&G natural gas rates and charges are not regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission. Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

4 MARCH 2020

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Tom Sobeck, President & CEO

his is the year your energy cooperative’s diligent planning and budgeting get put into action to bring you the most advanced, affordable services available. PIE&G is keeping pace with energy providers across the country in bringing their members’ leading-edge services that will improve their quality of life and boost local economies. These services include electricity and natural gas, but also interconnectivity with our facility, AMI (Automated Metering Infrastructure), which will allow us to respond to your needs more effectively and more efficiently. PIE&G’s ability to offer these enhanced services to northeast Michigan will be centered in a new service center. We have secured the building site, the former Leo Goetz Airport property, from Presque Isle County and the Presque Isle County Economic Development Corporation. Plans are to break ground in April. Of course, as a member-owned utility, PIE&G’s focus is always on costeffectiveness and long-term value. Your board is diligently crunching the numbers and reviewing building designs on this $21.5 million project to ensure we do just that. Progress is also being made on implementing AMI to connect homes and businesses to PIE&G wirelessly. Staff spent several months evaluating AMI technology and vendor options in preparation for a recommendation to the board, which will be submitted soon. The PIE&G board and executive team are committed to being good stewards of your energy cooperative. Thanks for allowing us to serve you.


Your Board In Action • Authorized quarterly write-offs for uncollectible debt of $19,999.39. • Reviewed report by CFO Randy Stempky regarding management of the co-op’s longterm debt portfolio pursuant to Board Policy #201-Debt Portfolio Management. • Accepted team reports of CFO Stempky, Director of Electric Operations Chaskey, Director of Gas Operations, Safety & Fleet Karsten, Director of Information Systems Kieliszewski, Director of Administration and Controller Cryderman, Director of Communications and Member Services Chagnon-Hazelman and CEO Sobeck.

• Authorized the CEO to execute contracts necessary to continue with the construction of the proposed HQ and service center on the Leo Goetz Airport property for an amount not to exceed $22,000,000. • Reviewed the historical Long-Term Debt, Plant Investment and Line of Credit analysis presented by CFO Stempky and authorized staff to borrow $6 million per the recommendation of staff. • Reviewed an analysis of the vendor selection process for the cooperative’s Automated Metering Infrastructure project.

• Previewed agenda items for and set its next Member Regulation meeting for March 24 at 9 a.m. at the cooperative’s Onaway office.

Notice to Members of Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op A special board meeting is set for March 24, 9 a.m., at the cooperative’s Onaway office The board of directors will consider changes to the cooperative’s rates and tariffs at its meeting on March 24, 2020, to be held at 19831 M68 Highway, Onaway, Michigan. The meeting will start at 9 a.m. and is open to all members of Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op. The session will begin with an opportunity for members to provide direct input to the board of directors. Members are asked to come to the lobby by 8:45 a.m. and request to speak to the board; staff will direct interested members to the meeting room. Time constraints on each member’s comments will be at the discretion of the board president, but members are asked to keep comments to less than five minutes. The following items will be discussed: • Reconciliation of the 2019 Power Supply Cost Recovery Factor collections, • Consideration of a new Automated Metering Infrastructure tariff, and • Consideration of revisions to the cooperative’s billing rules. Notices of changes or additions to the cooperative’s rates or service rules shall be sent to all members, as required by P.A. 167, by first-class mail or by publication in Michigan Country Lines at least 30 days prior to their effective date. Participation: Any interested member may attend and participate. Persons needing any accommodation to participate should contact Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op at 800-423-6634 a week in advance to request mobility, visual, hearing or other assistance. Comments may also be made before the meeting date by calling CEO Thomas Sobeck at 800-423-6634, or by email at tsobeck@pieg.com.

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

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GUEST COLUMN

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MI CO-OP Community

ewer y

Also in Downtown Marquette:

oncker

• Delft Bistro • Steinhaus • Boomerang Retro & Relics

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r e t n i w ippin’ r T d a o R With Christal Frost

Adventures Through Marquette And The Eben Ice Caves 41

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s a lower Michigan native, it’s hard not to feel the magic crossing the mighty Mackinac Bridge into the Upper Peninsula. To me, the U.P. feels like an old friend, welcoming me home with open arms. Marquette boasts a unique blend of wilderness, nature and urban luxuries. Take notes on the journey, and get ready to follow in my footsteps!

Donckers Lunch Counter And Candy Store

I loved the Red Rooster—a delicious blend of egg, bacon, roasted red pepper, smoked gouda and avocado spread on a ciabatta bun. We also grabbed a pound of Lake Superior chocolate rocks, which may or may not have made it home. 6 MARCH 2020


Delft Bistro

See Marquette In Action

Christal Frost filmed her Marquette adventure, now available on countrylines.com.

The converted movie theatre restaurant kept the big screen, giving diners a creatively curated meal with the backdrop of cinematic classics.

Ore Dock Brewing Co. The upstairs community space offers rotating artists in addition to an impressive lineup of musicians from across the Midwest. From the taproom, the lead brew-tender chose his favorites for our beer flight—I personally loved the Bramble on Rose. Steinhaus

Blackrocks Brewery

Blackrocks is a house-turned brewery founded by longtime friends, David and Andy. The pair made their homebrewing hobby commercial, with a mission to make the best beer possible while always having fun. Blackrocks was buzzing with locals who literally wore their love of the brewery in the form of hoodies and hats. By the way, Coconut Brown will change your life.

Landmark Inn

Originally opened in 1930 as the Northland Hotel, its history includes visits from celebrities like Jimmy Stewart, Abbott and Costello, and The Rolling Stones. After closing in 1982, the Northland found new life as part of a historic restoration project, reopening in 1997 as The Landmark Inn. We requested Room 502, which was dubbed the “Amelia Earhart room” after Earhart reportedly stayed there in 1932. The Landmark’s meticulous dedication to historic preservation is noteworthy, as is its staff.

Boomerang Retro & Relics

The U.P.’s first retro-chic boutique allows visitors to step back in time with an amalgam of authentic vintage and vintage-inspired clothing, accessories, décor and furniture.

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The Steinhaus was recommended by virtually every local I spoke with, and it did not disappoint. I kept it simple with the eggs Benedict, but the Steinhaus delivered an Italianinspired twist, using thinly sliced and fried speck ham. Be sure to order a side of potatoes to soak up the hollandaise sauce.

Eben Ice Caves

The caves, also known as the Rock River Canyon Ice Caves, are located on the outer edge of the Hiawatha National Forest. The trail into the caves is around a mile long, and ice cleats are a necessity. The hike can be challenging, but it is completely worth the effort. The phenomenon of ice sheets surrounded by the blankets of freshly fallen snow was a sight to behold. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is home to some of the kindest and most genuine people I have ever met. And Marquette, a city surrounded by the waves of Lake Superior, will indeed become your second mother. Don’t be surprised when, weeks after your visit, you feel her calling you to come back.

Christal Frost is a media personality who can be heard on Today’s Country Music-WTCM, The Christal Frost Show on NewsTalk 580-WTCM AM.


Heat Pumps: Start Saving Energy The Smart Way

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id you know heating and cooling accounts for more than 50% of the energy used in your home? Investing in a highly-efficient HVAC system is therefore extremely important. Heat pump technology is a leading-edge solution for high-efficiency heating and cooling. It can help you save energy, save money, and keep your family comfortable for years to come.

Is A Heat Pump Right For My Home? Just about any home can benefit from a heat pump system, though it is important that your home is well-insulated and air-tight prior to installation to maximize energy savings. Generally, the following are some of the best candidates: • Heated by an electric furnace or electric baseboards • Heated by propane, wood or fuel oil • Looking to add air conditioning • New construction or new room additions • Manufactured homes

Heat Pump Benefits • Use considerably less energy for heating and cooling • More consistent temperatures equals increased comfort • Superior indoor air quality and dehumidification

Learn more at michigan-energy.org/ heatpumps.

Save now with cash back from the Energy Optimization program! The Energy Optimization program provides cash incentives for both air-source and ground-source heat pumps——as long as the equipment meets minimum efficiency standards. Review the Efficient HVAC program page on the Energy Optimization website for additional information. For a complete list of residential, business or agribusiness incentives available from the Energy Optimization program, visit michigan-energy.org or call 877-296-4319.

SAVINGS! Grow Your

Save BIG with heat pumps

More than half of your home’s energy is used for heating and cooling. A heat pump system can be a highly-efficient alternative and provides a simple way to introduce air conditioning to your home too!

REBATE RANGE: $250 - $750+ michigan-energy.org | 877.296.4319

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


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Most votes on Facebook!

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Photo Contest Enter to win up to a

$200

energy bill credit!

Submit Your Favorite “On The Farm” Photos! 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 March/April theme is On The Farm. Photos can be submitted through March 27 to be featured in our May/June issue.

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!

To enter the contest, visit facebook.com/PIEGCooperative and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. If you’re not on Facebook, that’s okay. You can also enter the contest at pieg.com/content/ photo-contest. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2020, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2020 bill.

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Cute Kids 1. Natalie was a hit!—Danielle Wekwert 2. Superman!—Jocelyn Cripps

3. So peaceful and sweet—Baker Baumgarten 4. Friends!—Kait Garms

5. Adeline Elaine—Jennifer Dotski 6. Fishing—Megan Price

7. B  OY: 1. A noise with dirt on it. 2. The wildest of all animals. 3. Most precious to their mothers.—Melissa Cumper 8. Love Wins—Kaitlin LaLonde

9. Lettuce Turnip the Beet—Sydney Woiderski 10. W  e don't like taking pictures —Vicki Roznowski

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

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Chili Cook-Off Take home the gold with one of these comforting, delicious recipes.

Photos by Robert Bruce Photography Recipes Submitted By MCL Readers And Tested By Recipe Editor Christin McKamey

Winning Recipe!

Taco Soup Chili

Jennie Lewandowski, Presque Isle 1 pound ground beef 1 medium onion, chopped 1 (1.5-ounce) package ranch dressing mix 1 (1-ounce) package taco seasoning mix 3 (14.5-ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes 2 (14.5-ounce) cans black beans, do not drain

2 (14.5-ounce) cans corn, do not drain 1 (14.5-ounce) can cream-style corn ½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown the beef with the onions; drain grease. Add the remaining ingredients (dump in whole cans, don’t drain). Cook over medium-high heat until slightly simmering and hot, about 10—15 minutes. Serve with sour cream, cheese, and tortilla chips!

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos

Trifecta Chili

Frances Painter, Midwest Energy & Communications 1 1 1 2 4 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 •

pound lean ground beef pound lean ground turkey pound pork sausage large onions cloves minced garlic chopped poblano or 2 mild banana peppers (15½-ounce) can diced tomatoes can diced tomatoes with green chiles (such as Rotel) cup chili powder (15½ -ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (15½ -ounce) can pinto or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (15½ -ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained shredded cheese and sour cream to garnish (optional)

Brown meats together until no longer pink. Add onion, garlic, and poblano or banana peppers and sauté until soft. Add diced tomatoes, diced tomatoes with chiles, chili powder, and the 3 cans of beans. Bring to a boil. Transfer to a large slow cooker and cook on low 5–6 hours, or simmer on stove, stirring about every half hour to prevent sticking. Serve with crackers of your choice (our family likes Cheez-It!).


Smoked Steelhead White Chili

FEATURED

GUEST CHEF

Ronald Andres, Great Lakes Energy 1 1 2 2 1 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1

tablespoon olive oil medium onion, chopped stalks celery, chopped cloves garlic, minced pound smoked steelhead trout* (skin and bones removed), flaked into ½-inch pieces (15.5-ounce) cans Great Northern beans (use liquid) (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed (14.5-ounce) can chicken broth Anaheim peppers (braised, then seeds and skin removed), diced teaspoon ground cumin tablespoon ground coriander teaspoon dried oregano tablespoon lemon pepper quart whipping cream

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté onion, celery, and garlic in the hot oil until tender. Add smoked steelhead, Great Northern beans, cannellini beans, chicken broth, Anaheim peppers, cumin, coriander, oregano, and lemon pepper into the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have blended, about 30 minutes. Stir in the whipping cream. Simmer until the whipping cream is hot, but do not boil. *Smoked salmon can also be used.

If you’re not enjoying the lip-smacking scents of Heather Rosencrantz’s Dirty Girl Farm soaps and body wash, maybe try her family’s favorite sugar cookie recipe. Deceivingly simple, but chockfull of yum. Perfect for special occasions or just a cozy afternoon at home.

All-American Chili Kerri Hanson, Great Lakes Energy

1 pound lean ground beef or ground venison 6 ounces chorizo 2 cups chopped onion 1 cup chopped green pepper 8 cloves garlic, minced 1 jalapeño pepper or poblano pepper, chopped 2 tablespoons chili powder 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste 1 teaspoon dried oregano ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ teaspoon salt 2 bay leaves 1¼ cups Merlot red wine 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Sugar Cookies 2¼ ½ ¼ ¾

Using large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown ground beef, chorizo, onion, green pepper, garlic, and jalapeño. Cook 10 minutes until beef and chorizo are browned, stirring to crumble. Add chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, tomato paste, oregano, pepper, salt, and bay leaves and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, tomatoes and kidney beans; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook for 30 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves before serving. Sprinkle each serving with cheddar cheese. This is even better the following day!

Mexican Fiesta: due April 1 Farm to Table: due May 1

Enter to win a

$50

energy bill credit!

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.

¾ 1 2 ¼

cups all-purpose flour teaspoon baking powder teaspoon salt cup cold butter (grass-fed organic butter, if possible) cup sugar  egg teaspoons vanilla extract teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift together dry ingredients well and set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Once mixture is light and fluffy, add egg and extracts. Begin adding flour mixture a little at a time, making sure each addition is well incorporated. When dough comes together, turn out onto a lightly floured cold marble surface, roll to ¼-inch thickness. Cut out shapes and bake for 8–12 minutes depending on thickness. Cookie Tips

• Try to use as little flour as possible; adding too much makes cookies tough.

• When mixing your scraps together to re-roll, brush as much flour off as possible. • Cold dough holds its shape better and cookie-cutter shapes won’t distort.

Read the full story about Dirty Girl Farm on page 14, and find this recipe and others at micoopkitchen.com.

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Photo courtesy of Tony Johnson Photography.

T

he Coast Guard’s motto is “Semper Paratus” or “Always Ready.” And ready is what you have to be when navigating the miles of waterways that the United States Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw (WLBB-30) oversees along the Great Lakes, Straits of Mackinac, and St. Mary’s River.

iteration of Mackinaw was commissioned in 2006, the retired ship found a home at its namesake, Mackinaw City. The current Mackinaw is 240 feet in length, with a displacement of more than 3,500 tons, and is powered by three Caterpillar 3600 series 12-cylinder diesel engines. Between the two ships, Mackinaw is celebrating its 75th year in Cheboygan, Michigan. “Mackinaw has a crew of about 60 and has three main missions—icebreaking, servicing aids to navigation (ATON), and search and rescue,” explains Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG) Carolyn Smith of the Coast Guard. “We also do a fair amount of public relations, as a branch of the military that is easily accessible and visible by the public at large.”

THE ULTIMATE ICEBREAKER By Emily Haines Lloyd

Mackinaw has a rich history, with its predecessor (Mackinaw WAGB-83) having been commissioned back in the World War II era as a way to support the war effort and the transportation of resources along the Great Lakes. With weather along the Great Lakes being as it is, a ship that was capable of cutting through ice to maintain waterways and rescue trapped ships was a necessity. To keep commerce moving, cutters like the Mackinaw make tracks of broken ice through major shipping lanes and often conduct closequarters maneuvering to free immobilized ships from thick ice. As commerce increased and the need for oil and gasoline has become a part of everyday living, the usefulness of Mackinaw and its similar crafts has become irreplaceable. When the latest 12 MARCH 2020

Residents and visitors of Cheboygan have frequent views of and visits aboard Mackinaw, even though it is busy year-round. As the largest U.S. cutter on the Great Lakes, it spends approximately four months on the icy Great Lakes and surrounding waterways during the winter season. She is equipped with two 4,500-horsepower Azipods, which are capable of turning in 360 degrees and breaking through 32 inches of ice at 8 knots astern, or 14 inches of ice when moving 10 knots ahead. Additionally, the Azipods are capable of blowing highly pressurized water through and under the ice, breaking thick ice nearly 100 feet from the ship without the hull of the vessel ever coming into contact with it.


This past winter, Mackinaw, along with other started in the late 1800s with entrepreneurs who Coast Guard ships on the Great Lakes, conducted gave many trees away at the end of their annual 429 vessel escorts through ice-filled waterways Christmas tree delivery in the Windy City. The and 155 direct assists to vessels beset in ice over a tradition was revived in 1999 as the Chicago 106-day period. This translated to approximately Christmas Ship program. For the past two $301 million worth (about 8.3 million tons) of decades, the crew of Mackinaw has carried and dry bulk cargo critical to power generation, “THE LONGER I’M IN THE COAST GUARD, THE industrial productivity, and public safety.

MORE

I APPRECIATE OUR MISSIONS AND WHAT WE DO.

In spring and fall, the Mackinaw tends to aids IT’S A PRIVILEGE EACH AND EVERY DAY.” — LTJG Carolyn Smith to navigation, pulling in and placing larger buoys in the spring and then replacing those with smaller winter unloaded these symbols of hope and goodwill buoys in the fall. The mission of ATON is to at Navy Pier each year, just in time to deliver a assist commercial and recreational mariners to healthy dose of holiday cheer. determine their position, steer clear of hazards, and chart a safe course. “The longer I’m in the Coast Guard, the more The crew I appreciate our missions and what we do,” said under the ship This year, Mackinaw celebrated 20 years of a LTJG Smith. “Not only facilitating commerce and during dry-dock less likely tradition—while conducting its fall providing safety on local waterways, but we also maintenance. ATON operations, Mackinaw delivered nearly have the opportunity to serve the people of the Photo courtesy 1,200 Christmas trees from northern Michigan United States directly and immediately. It’s a of Petty Officer Joseph Coach. to deserving families in Chicago. This custom privilege each and every day.”

All-female bridge team with Commander John Stone. Photo courtesy of Petty Officer Joseph Coach.

Christmas trees on back of the ship prior to delivery to families in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Tony Johnson Photography.

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13


SPOTLIGHT ON

co-op entrepreneurs

CLEAN UP WITH

DIRTY GIRL FARM By Emily Haines Lloyd Photos courtesy of Vanessa Longuski

14 MARCH 2020

“I

was the weirdo with the weird products helping the weirdos,” jokes Heather Rosencrantz, owner of Dirty Girl Farm, a line of all-natural, vegan and cruelty-free skincare products.

Twenty-five years ago, Rosencrantz looked like a glimpse of the future—a young mother in yoga pants, bringing her fresh herb plants to the local farmer’s market. However, at the time, she was nothing like her contemporaries. A yoga instructor with a botany major in college and background in farming, Rosencrantz had taken a much lesstraveled road a la Robert Frost’s urging. When Rosencrantz’s young daughter’s skin simply did not respond to store-bought skincare products, Rosencrantz took her knowledge and background and created her own solution. “There just weren’t natural skincare solutions in the market. No Whole Foods on every corner like today,” said Rosencrantz. “I realized I had the information and the ingredients in my own garden, so I started making my own.” The products worked so well on her daughter’s tender skin, Rosencrantz started bringing small jars of her Boo Boo Balm to the farmer’s market with her. What initially began as inquisitive questions about the “weird green goo” turned into parents at their wits’ end, sharing their own heartbreaking stories of seeking out salves to treat their child’s or their own sensitive skin.


“I hesitate to say this is my ‘calling,’” said Rosencrantz. “But hearing those stories and knowing I could do something to help people was the absolute beginning of Dirty Girl Farm.” Little by little, Rosencrantz utilized her education and her passion and created a line of all-natural skincare products free from chemicals, toxins, and gluten that are never tested on animals. The Dirty Girl Farm line expanded to over 400 different products, from bar soap and body butters to facial serums and eye creams. Twenty-five years later, what Rosencrantz has spent her career building is no longer considered weird. It’s part of a multibilliondollar industry sought out by consumers around the world.

We can’t change the world all at once. But we can each take small steps in the right direction. I’ve always believed that.

While Dirty Girl Farm remains one small piece of that industry, Rosencrantz isn’t content to simply make a great product that is answering a need. She wants to create products that are as safe for the environment as they are for one’s skin. To that end, Dirty Girl Farm uses cornstarch packing peanuts and cellophane that dissolves in water or can be composted. Plastic packaging is always recyclable, and some wrapping has undergone additional changes to make it more eco-friendly— like its bar soap now packaged in cardboard. The ultimate goal is to make everything in the box safely disposable. When Rosencrantz took Dirty Girl Farm products entirely online, she made another leap to “right-sizing,” as she calls it. “Even closing our physical store has a positive impact on the environment,” explained Rosencrantz. Beyond that, Rosencrantz explained, her days and weeks are becoming less littered with additional travel and worries that come with a physical space. Ultimately, she’d like to build a lab closer to home on her spacious property in Silverwood, Michigan, where she is also a member of Thumb Electric Cooperative. “I’d love to see Dirty Girl Farm in even more cupboards. Just as an acknowledgment that more people are looking closely at what they’re putting on their skin,” said Rosencrantz. “We can’t change the world all at once. But we can each take small steps in the right direction. I’ve always believed that.” So, step by step, Rosencrantz is creating cleaner products that are better for both people and the environment. Each tiny step is proving that what was once weird can be positively wonderful.

@dirtygirlfarm

dirtygirlfarm.com

Dirty Girl Farm

810-618-6466

Visit countrylines.com to see how Heather makes galaxy soap with natural glitter. 15


BEFORE Before and after shots of a line circuit. A newly cleared right-of-way can look extreme at first, but as the growth returns the landscape regains its natural beauty.

Why Your Co-op Clears Vegetation

Y

our co-op leadership team recognizes that reliable electricity is not just a luxury; it’s an expectation. That’s why your electric co-op considers its prime objective to be providing you with a reliable and safe electric distribution system. One of the most common— and crucial—ways to do this is referred to as right-of-way clearing (or vegetation management). A right-of-way (ROW) refers to a strip of land underneath or around power lines that your electric cooperative has the right and responsibility to maintain and clear. Many members may not be aware that trees can be a major obstacle to good electric service. To improve your service experience, PIE&G has an aggressive, proactive overhead line clearance program that’s proven to significantly reduce outage hours related to tree interference with our distribution system. That’s why PIE&G has devoted over $1 million annually for right-of-way maintenance for the last six years.

What We Do and Why PIE&G’s line clearance standard is to obtain and maintain a ground-to-sky clearance of 15–20 feet, free from all obstructions, on each side of the power line. Where our facilities cross private property, an easement gives us the right to use that property to maintain our right-of-way. An easement can be written and recorded, meaning it is signed and on file at the county Register of Deeds office where the service is located. An easement may also be

16 MARCH 2020

unwritten or “prescriptive,” where the land has been used for utility purposes in a continuous and open manner for the statutory period of 15 years under Michigan law. PIE&G’s line clearing program (also called “Vegetation Management”) consists of two approaches: mechanical clearing and herbicide application.

2020 Mechanical Clearing Plan Mechanical clearing is scheduled to begin between February and December. PIE&G’s licensed contractors will trim overgrown trees along 374 miles of overhead line at various locations throughout our nine-county service territory. Members who may be in proximity to areas designated for mechanical clearing will be notified by mail prior to the onset of work in that area. PIE&G will determine if there are trees in your maintained lawn area that should be trimmed or cut. A representative from one of our contracted crews will attempt to contact you in person before the work is started.

2020 Herbicide Application The schedule for herbicide application is set to occur between April and October. PIE&G has hired professional, licensed contractors to treat approximately 394 miles of line throughout its service territory with state-approved herbicide. PIE&G will notify members whose service is near the designated areas by mail prior to the onset of work. Herbicide is not applied to mowed lawn areas. Herbicide effectively controls tall-growing trees and bushes while promoting low-growing plants such as grasses, wildflowers


AFTER The ground-to-sky approach to line clearance helps to make sure that trees don’t form a canopy over the lines.

and shrubs that are beneficial to wildlife. It offers longerterm results in a more cost-effective way and is endorsed by several environmental, forestry and wildlife providers as offering benefits to many wildlife species.

Jobsite Cleanup Our contract crews dispose of trimmed branches and limbs in the most economic and practical manner possible. It is customary during regular line clearing activity that crews will remove branches and limbs within maintained or landscaped areas, and leave the wood for use by the property owner. In unmaintained areas, crews will leave wood, branches and limbs for use by the property owner to decompose naturally. PIE&G does not remove stumps after tree removal. During emergency power restoration activities, crews clear trees off and away from our lines in order to make repairs. PIE&G does not return to remove wood, branches and limbs that were removed during outage restoration efforts.

Our Commitment To Safety Safety is a top priority for PIE&G. Although Mother Nature provides an amazing setting for our enjoyment of outdoor activities, it’s best to keep your activities away from overhead power lines. If you see a downed power line due to a fallen tree or branch, stay away and immediately call PIE&G to report it. Never attempt to remove branches or trim trees that are near power lines to avoid potential electrical contact. Any tree in close proximity to a power line can present a safety hazard.

Service Line Trimming PIE&G will trim along the service line running from the transformer to your home when a tree is in contact with the power line. We do not remove trees located near service lines. If you plan to have a tree removed from your property, contact us several days in advance so we can schedule a crew to visit, de-energize and drop the line so you can have the tree safely removed. PIE&G will need at least two days prior notice.

Plan Ahead Trees and power lines do not mix, so careful planning is important before you begin any landscape plan or outdoor project. Trees grow quickly so the seedling you plant today may well reach a height exceeding 30–50 feet in a few years. Avoid planting trees beneath overhead utility lines or near your service line. Look around and note what’s overhead, on the ground, and underground before beginning any outdoor work project.

For More Information For more information about PIE&G’s line clearance procedures, contact our Member Services Department at 800-423-6634.

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17


Guess this photo and enter to win a

GUEST COLUMN

MI CO-OP Community

$50

energy bill credit!

Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by March 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 January issue is Ronald Hart, a Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op member, who correctly identified the photo as the Shakey Lakes Dam structure located in Shakey Lakes Park, Menominee County. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.

Grandma Grace

By Rik Cryderman, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op member

H

er name was Grandma Grace Christiansen, a moniker gained by her first name and her most beautiful feature—her grace. She was the grandmother of a friend who was like a sister to me, and without a grandmother myself, I enjoyed sharing her. She and her husband had owned and operated a small market in the town of Albion, Michigan, a place I was blessed to call home for eight years. They managed their store in the days where folks ran a tab and left with their goods, saying, “Put it on the bill.” Most paid their bills at the end of every month. Some would sometimes delay, with an explanation quickly accepted by the Christiansens, whose market bore their name. Some couldn’t pay at all. Years after the market had closed and her husband had passed away, Grandma Grace and her granddaughter were in her basement searching for something, when her granddaughter noticed an old file cabinet. “What’s this?” asked my friend Jeri of her grandmother. “Oh, just some old papers from the market— I’ve been meaning to toss those out.” Opening a drawer, Jeri found it filled with papers. Lifting one out, she recognized it as a bill, with groceries itemized neatly. “Grandma, these are unpaid bills—and I recognize these names. You should send out a reminder—it’s been years, but you’re entitled to this.” Her grandmother walked over to the file drawer and lifted a piece of yellowed paper. “Oh, they lost a boy in the war.” She returned the paper to its file. Lifting another, she said, “They put two children through college, and those kids chose to raise their families here.” And she put the paper in its slot. Lifting another, she said “His dear wife had a stroke, very early. He took such good care of her.” And this time, as she put the yellowed bill back in its place, she slid the heavy drawer into the cabinet. “Yes, it’s time to toss this old cabinet. I don’t need anything here, let’s go upstairs.” This was Grandma Grace—a sharp mind with a generous heart. I like to think, if heaven has a basement, there’s an old file cabinet there. I think it holds some papers with my name. And I think a God of Grace slides closed that heavy drawer and turns my eyes toward the light. “Let’s go upstairs.”

January 2020 Photo by Justin Palmer

18 MARCH 2020

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rik Cryderman is a retired hospital chaplain who worked for Beaumont Health for more than 30 years. He writes a Facebook page called “Pure Lewiston” for the village of Lewiston, Michigan.


Hybrid Geothermal Add a Well-Conect in Hours. Heat for Half for Decades.

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HOW DOES THE SYSTEM WORK? Well-Connect works in combination with your home’s current heating system. This hybrid approach allows almost any existing well to become a free, clean energy source for heating and cooling your home.

WHAT DO OUR CUSTOMERS SAY? “When I could no longer physically cut 20 cords of wood, I installed a Well-Connect. The system has met all claims and surprised me. If people are heating and cooling with propane, fuel oil, or wood and have their own well, they have a need and don't realize it. That need is to cut those heating & cooling costs by at least half (as well as emissions).”

Jess S., Cherryland Electric Member

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THANK YOU Lineworkers serve on the front lines of our energy needs, and on April 13, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op will honor the men and women who work in challenging and often dangerous conditions to keep the lights on. We are proud to recognize all electric lineworkers for the services they perform around the clock in difficult conditions to keep power flowing and protect the public’s safety. So, during the month of April, if you see a lineworker, please pause to say thank you to the power behind your power.

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March 2020 PIE&G  

March 2020 PIE&G