COUNTRY LINES Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Association
Fishing With Massey Fish Co.
April 12 Is National Lineworker Day
Board of Director Openings Generator Safety Tips
WATERFURNACE UNITS QUALIFY FOR A 26% FEDERAL TAX CREDIT THROUGH 2022 1
Clean Start Rebate For a limited time, you can save up to $1,250 on clean energy geothermal heat pumps
Switch to geothermal and get a clean start to the year! This year everyone deserves a clean start! Switching to geothermal is the perfect decision to help your house be as comfortable and environmentally friendly as possible for years to come. The WaterFurnace Clean Start Rebate Program makes switching to geothermal an even smarter decision. For a limited time, you can save up to $1,250 and receive a free Amazon Echo Dot with the purchase of our most efficient, comfortable, and technologically advanced 7 and 5 Series geothermal heat pumps and accessories. But hurry, this deal ends April 30th, 2021, so contact your local WaterFurnace dealer today!
Amazon Echo Dot
ACT NOW FOR A
26% Tax Credit
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Caro Kozy Home Htg & Clg (989) 673-4328 geo4less.com
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Mt Pleasant Walton Htg & Clg (989) 772-4822 waltonheating.com
Clifford Orton Refrig & Htg (989) 761-7691 sanduskygeothermal.com
Mancelona Top Notch Htg, Clg, & Geothermal (231) 350-8052 topnotchheatandair.com
Muskegon Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 adamsheatingcooling.com
Hart Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 adamsheatingcooling.com
Michigan Center Comfort 1/Aire Serv of Southern Michigan (517) 764-1500 aireserv.com/ southern-michigan
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) 941-1215 dwgeothermal.com Geofurnace Htg & Clg (231) 943-1000 watergeofurnace.com
waterfurnace.com/CleanStart 1. 26% through 2022 and 22% through 2023. 2. With registration of homeowner’s Symphony Home Comfort Platform. Amazon Dot will be shipped to the address given in Symphony registration. Promotion available February 8th through April 30th, 2021 and only to residential customers through participating dealers. WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc.
March 2021 Vol. 41, No. 3
Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Karreen Bird RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Emily Haines Lloyd PUBLISHER: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional ofﬁces. It is the ofﬁcial publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. Postmaster: Send all UAA to CFS.
Association Officers: Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretary-treasurer; Craig Borr, president and CEO.
CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 email@example.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.
Cover photo: Donny Massey holding a beautiful lake trout, one of the many species of ﬁsh harvested by Massey Fish Co.
6 EFFICIENT OUTDOOR LIGHTING TIPS Let us help you shine a light on the best home and yard illumination options. 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Soups: Cozy and satisfying, these recipes are the answer to your dinnertime dilemma.
MI CO-OP COMMUNITY
14 TACKLING COMMERCIAL FISHING For Massey Fish Co. in St. Ignace, the embrace of changing technology and a love for nature are the keys to success. 18 GUEST COLUMN There’s magic in a frog pond.
An icy-cold night rainbow in downtown #charlevoix @tpmann4msu (Thomas Mann)
Use #micoopcommunity for a chance to be featured here and on our Instagram account.
To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit countrylines.com/community
MI CO-OP KITCHEN
BEST OF MICHIGAN
Up Next: Fruity Desserts, Whole Grains, and Fish & Seafood Share your favorite recipes .
Up Next: Coffee Shops Spill the beans! Tell us about your favorite place to grab a caffeinated (or decaf) beverage .
Submit your fondest memories and stories .
Enter a drawing to identify the correct location of the photo .
Win $150 for stories published!
Win a $50 bill credit!
Win a $50 bill credit!
See page 18
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
Committed To A
Co-op Culture For All
500 J.K. Paul Street Ontonagon, MI 49953 906-884-4151 800-562-7128 After hours: 866-639-6098 OFFICERS & DIRECTORS
Calvin Koski, President Aura District 906-524-6988 • firstname.lastname@example.org
William Hodges, Vice President & Treasurer Lake Linden District 906-934-3743 • email@example.com Mildred Ann Gasperich, Director Boston District 906-281-2009 • firstname.lastname@example.org Wayne Heikkinen, Director Pelkie/Herman/Aura District 906-353-6496 • email@example.com
Debbie Miles, General Manager
ver the years, you’ve heard me expound on why and how Ontonagon REA is different—because we’re a cooperative. Our business model sets us apart from other utilities because we adhere to seven guiding cooperative principles that reflect core values of honesty, transparency, equity, inclusiveness, and service to the community’s greater good. Electric cooperatives, including Ontonagon REA, have a unique and storied place in our country’s history. We democratized the American dream by bringing electricity to rural areas when for-profit electric companies determined the effort too costly. Back then, cities were electrified, and rural areas were not, creating the original rural-urban divide. Newly established electric lines helped power economic opportunities in rural areas. Today, that spirit of equity and inclusion is a vital part of our co-op DNA.
Equal access for all
George Rajala, Director Chassell/Keweenaw Bay District 906-370-0416 • firstname.lastname@example.org
When our electric co-op was founded, each member contributed an equal share to gain access to electricity that benefited individual families and the larger local community. Each member had an equal vote in co-op matters. That sense of equity and inclusion is still how we operate today. Ontonagon REA was built by and belongs to the diverse communities and consumer-members we serve. Membership is open to everyone in our service territory, regardless of race, religion, age, disability, gender identity, language, political perspective, or socioeconomic status.
By paying your electric bill each month, you’re a member of the co-op, and every member has an equal voice and vote when it comes to co-op governance. This ties back to our guiding principles of equitable economic participation and democratic control of the co-op.
Michael Urbis, Director Ewen/Trout Creek/Lake Mine District 906-988-2344 • email@example.com
Randy Myhren, Director Green/Firesteel/Toivola District 906-884-4092
Debbie Miles, General Manager Fay Hauswirth, Billing Clerk Mark Urbis, Line Superintendent OTHER INFORMATION
Date of Incorporation: Sept. 30, 1937 Fiscal year-end: Dec. 31 countrylines.com/coops/ontonagon Ontonagon County REA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
We encourage all members to vote in Ontonagon REA’s director elections every June. We invite all members to participate in co-op meetings to weigh in on discussions that set co-op policies and priorities. We know members of our community have different needs and perspectives, and we welcome diverse views on all issues under consideration by the co-op. The more viewpoints we hear, the better we can reflect all corners of our community’s needs.
Inclusion While our top priority is providing safe, reliable, and affordable energy, we also want to be a catalyst for good in our community. Because we are your local electric cooperative, co-op revenues stay right here in our community. We strive to make long-term decisions that improve and enrich the communities we serve. While today’s world is radically different from when Ontonagon REA was founded, our cooperative values have stood the test of time and remain just as relevant today. We recognize that today’s co-op members expect more, and my pledge to you—the members we proudly serve—is to promote a cooperative culture of inclusion, diversity, and equity for all.
4 MARCH 2021
Two District Openings On Co-op Board T
he Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Association is comprised of seven districts, with directors elected for three-year terms. This year, the terms will expire for District 7: Lake Linden and District 4: Aura. If you are interested in running for these positions on the board of directors, you must call or stop by the co-op’s office to request a nominating petition. A petition must be returned to Ontonagon’s office by Monday, May 3.
Voting Districts District 1: Green/Firesteel/Toivola. . . . . . . . . . . . 609 District 2: Ewen/Trout Creek/Lake Mine . . . . . . . 735 District 3: Pelkie/Herman/Aura . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 683 District 4: Aura. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 638 District 5: Chassell/Keweenaw Bay . . . . . . . . . . . 680 District 6: Boston. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 746 District 7: Lake Linden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 808
To be valid, a nominating petition requires the signature of five active members of the co-op who receive electric service in that district (husband and wife are considered one member, so either may sign, but not both). The member who is being nominated must also sign the petition. Ballots will be mailed to each district member no less than 30 days before the Annual Meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, June 19. All ballots must be returned to the co-op office no later than Monday, June 14. Ballots will be counted, and results will be shared at the Annual Meeting.
Ontonagon Firesteel Green
Bruce Crossing Ewen
Please contact our office at 800-562-7128 if you are a member who did not receive a ballot.
Statement Of Nondiscrimination In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: 1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 2. fax: (202) 690-7442; or 3. email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
Eﬃcient Outdoor Lighting Tips For Better Security And Entertaining By James Dulley
ith energy-efficient LEDs and CFLs, it is much easier to light your house effectively without driving up your electric bills. Although these bulbs, especially LEDs, are initially somewhat more expensive, they last for tens of thousands of hours.
To plan lighting for both home security and when entertaining, it is generally best to plan for two separate lighting layouts. The intensity, location, and light color quality are different for optimal security and entertaining. For example, your security lighting layout must be larger and cover hidden areas that guests will never visit. Brighter, more intense lighting is better for entertaining than for security. High color
temperature LED bulbs or integral fixtures produce a whiter light. This is great for entertaining and makes colors look more like they do in daylight. These are often called “daylight” bulbs on the packaging or 4,000K or 5,000K bulbs. The higher the Kelvin rating of the bulb, the cooler and more blue the light emitted will appear. With a lower Kelvin, the light is warmer and more yellow. For security, a less bright light with a lower color temperature in the 2,700K range is best to use. If brighter security light is used, it causes a person’s pupils to get smaller from the glare. This makes it more difficult to see in unlit or very dimly lit areas where a crook may be hiding.
Entertainment Lighting Planning your lighting for entertaining is fairly simple, so do this first. You know where you and your guests will be and what activities will typically be going on. Lighting around your front door is the first area that every guest sees, and you want it to be as welcoming as possible. Bright, whiter light is ideal here. Select two fixtures from one-quarter to onethird the height of your front door so they don’t look too small or too large for the entrance area. The center of the bulb should be 66 to 72 inches above the floor. This also provides a nice appearance from the street. LED bulbs or integral LED light fixtures are the best choice for the front door. This is particularly true in colder climates. LEDs reach their full brightness almost instantly. CFLs take a few seconds to warm up and get bright when it’s cold.
If someone knocks on your door, you want full brightness as soon as you switch on the lights. For other fixtures where the lights are on for a while, CFLs are fine. For general entertaining where less bright lighting is adequate, consider using low-voltage landscaping fixtures around a deck or patio. These are very easy and safe to install yourself. This also provides the opportunity to change or add to the lighting pattern at any time in just a few minutes. It’s also good to install shielded light fixtures. These block the light from shining up into the sky. This light is wasted and contributes to light pollution. Light pollution is annoying to neighbors and a danger to birds and wildlife. Visit darksky.org for more information.
Security Lighting Security lighting planning takes more thought, and there are more lighting options. If a house and yard are illuminated properly, a thief will usually avoid it. To plan security lighting, switch on the indoor lights that you normally use. Take a walk around your house and look for locations that are not lighted. Pay particular attention to windows or doors that may be somewhat hidden by shrubs or other landscaping from view. These are important areas for efficient light fixtures. PAR38 LED floodlight bulbs are a good choice for specific areas like these. PAR38 bulbs come in a variety of beam angles to fit the area of coverage you need. The angles range from 10 degrees, which is narrow for smaller areas, to 50 degrees, which is a wide flood.
One of the most efficient and effective types of security light is a motionsensing fixture. The time that the light stays on is adjustable from 15 to 60 seconds, so little electricity is used. When the light comes on, a thief assumes he was seen and leaves. For more security, select a two-level model that keeps a dim light on until it brightens when motion is detected. Solar-powered LED motion-sensing models are the easiest to install yourself. Any floodlights should ideally be located nine feet above the ground to be most effective.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
We’ve Got You Covered
armer weather is right around the corner, and along with it comes the humidity we know all too well. Humid air is the culprit for many indoor air pollutants found inside homes, like dust mites, mold, and spores that can lead to serious health issues. Excessive moisture in the air can also damage homes, causing the wood to rot or paint to peel.
Portable dehumidifiers are often undersized and run more than they should, resulting in added energy costs. In spring and summer, many homes need larger whole-home dehumidification solutions. ENERGY STAR® whole-home dehumidifiers are specifically designed to maintain the proper level of humidity in your entire home. They can save you energy, increase indoor comfort, and prevent mildew and bacterial growth, thereby increasing the quality of the air you breathe. Additional benefits of whole-home dehumidifiers include: • Prevents damp carpet, mold, and mildew. • Protects your home from damaging moisture. • Removes up to 16 gallons of water a day. • No water tray to empty.
Save on energy costs. A whole-home dehumidifier can also relieve the demands made on your air conditioner during hot, humid days. Drier air feels cooler, so you can turn your thermostat up a few degrees. The A/C doesn’t run as often, saving energy and cutting costs. Save even more with a $700 incentive when you install a new ENERGY STAR certified whole-home dehumidifier in your home. Check out additional savings available to you through the Energy Optimization program and select retailers by contacting michigan-energy.org or call 877-296-4319.
WE’VE GOT YO U C OV E R E D Install an ENERGY STAR® certified whole-home dehumidifier to remove excess moisture. n Eliminate unhealthy air n Increase air comfort n Protect from mold & mildew
ON QUALIFYING MODELS Online: michigan-energy.org
Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Incentive applies to qualified items purchased and installed between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. Other restrictions may apply. For complete program details, visit michigan-energy.org.
Wild Animals 1. “What’s UP?” Had to use my best chickadee whistle to get my little camp buddy to pose at the front of the brush pile hideout. John Fisher 2. Deer enjoying a fresh sprinkle of snow. Todd Borke 3. Going my way. Cathy Bier 4. Swans at the head of the bay between L’Anse and Baraga. Kim Peterson 5. The surprise I found while mowing the lawn. Tricia Crampton 6. This photo was on our game camera in Aura. Notice the photobombing turkey on the bottom! Karen Dault 7. Our new barn resident playing peek-a-boo! Michele Smith
Enter to win a
energy bill credit!
Submit A Photo & Win A Bill Credit!
Ontonagon REA members whose photos we print in Michigan Country Lines will be entered in a drawing. Four lucky members will win a credit of $50 on their December 2021 energy bills!
Upcoming Topics and Deadlines:
• Mom & Me, due March 20 (May/June issue) • Show Your American Pride, due June 20 (July/August issue) To submit photos, and for details and instructions, go to http://bit.ly/countrylines. We look forward to seeing your best photos!
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
MI CO-OP Recipes
Photos by Robert Bruce Photography || Recipes Submitted by MCL Readers and Tested by Recipe Editor Christin McKamey
SOUPS Simmer up with one of these comforting recipes.
CHICKEN GNOCCHI SOUP Lisa Weiss, Thumb Electric
1 1 ½ 2 ½ 3–4 8 ¼ ¼ 1 1 2 1
energy bill credit!
10 MARCH 2021
Fruity Desserts due April 1 • Whole Grains due May 1 • Fish & Seafood due July 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 recipes at micoopkitchen.com or email to email@example.com.
tablespoon avocado or olive oil celery stalk, chopped white onion, diced teaspoons minced garlic cup shredded carrots chicken breasts, cooked and diced cups chicken broth teaspoon salt teaspoon freshly ground black pepper teaspoon dried thyme (32-ounce) package potato gnocchi cups half & half cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add celery, onion, garlic, and carrots and sauté for 2–3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chicken, chicken broth, salt, pepper, thyme, and gnocchi; bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in half & half and spinach and cook for another 1–2 minutes, until spinach is tender. Taste, add additional salt and pepper if needed, and serve. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos
BEST BACON, POTATO AND CABBAGE SOUP EVER
Deb Finedell, Great Lakes Energy 2 1 2 2 7½ 2¹⁄ ³ 3 1
tablespoons olive oil cup chopped bacon onions, chopped garlic cloves, ﬁnely chopped cups vegetable stock cups diced potatoes cups shredded cabbage teaspoon Worcestershire or Tabasco sauce 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 3 teaspoons parsley, ﬁnely chopped • salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add bacon, onions, and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for 5–7 minutes until bacon is crisp and onions are browned. Pour in vegetable stock. Add potatoes, cabbage, Worcestershire/Tabasco and mustard. Mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool slightly. Transfer 2½ cups of the soup to food processor or blender. Process brieﬂy to a coarse puree and return to pan. Stir well and return soup to heat. Cook, stirring frequently for 5–10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and season with salt and pepper.
BELLY FRIENDLY CHICKEN AND SWEET POTATO SOUP Katie Schneider, Midwest Energy & Communications
Maryann Selders, HomeWorks Tri-County 2 tablespoons olive oil 1–2 pounds meaty pork ribs, loin, or chops 1 large onion, chopped 5–6 small to medium fresh beets, peeled and cubed 2 (1-pound) cans diced beets 1 (1-pound) can plain sauerkraut, drained and rinsed in cold water ½ small head cabbage, thinly sliced 2 bay leaves • several sprigs of fresh dill • salt and pepper, to taste 1 cup half & half • sour cream
Heat oil in large Dutch oven or stockpot. Place pork and onions in pot and cook over medium-low heat a few minutes, until meat is browned and onions are translucent. Add fresh beets, canned beets (including juices), sauerkraut, cabbage, and bay leaves. Add enough water just to cover all ingredients. Bring to boil. As foam forms on top of broth, skim off and discard. When this is complete, add a few of the sprigs of fresh dill, and salt and black pepper to taste. Reduce heat to very low OR place in a slow cooker and simmer for 2–3 hours, covered. Remove meat from pot; discard any bones and excess fat. Shred meat with fork; return to pot. Put 1½ cups of broth in a medium bowl and slowly add half & half to it. Stir and then slowly add back into main pot of soup. If done too fast, the milk will curdle. It is still okay to eat but just does not look as pretty. Serve with sour cream and remaining fresh dill to garnish.
4 cups chicken bone broth ½ cup nondairy milk (almond, coconut, etc.), divided 2 cooked chicken breasts, ﬁnely chopped 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks (2 cups) 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into small chunks (2 cups) 2 carrots, peeled and chopped 1 teaspoon ground ginger 2 teaspoons turmeric • freshly ground black pepper, to taste Combine bone broth and half of the nondairy milk in a large saucepan. Stir in the cooked chicken, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, ginger, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 35–40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened. Blend to smooth using a blender or immersion/ hand blender. Or keep as-is for a chunkier soup. Finally, add the remaining half of the dairy-free milk to the mixture and stir through to make it extra creamy. Serve immediately. Add black pepper if desired.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
Winter weather can have a significant impact on your energy bills, hitting your pockets a little harder than you would have liked. Now that spring is just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to tackle a few DIY efficiency projects for your home. The good news: You don’t have to be an energy expert to do this!
By completing these simple hands-on efficiency projects, you can save energy and money while increasing the comfort level of your home. And you can impress your family and friends with your savvy energy-saving skills.
DIY Efficiency Projects
WATER HEATER INSULATION AND TEMPERATURE
SEAL AIR LEAKS WITH CAULK
Insulating a water heater that’s warm to the touch can save 7–16% annually on your water heating bills. (Note: Newer water heaters may already be insulated.)
The average American family spends $2,000 annually on energy bills, with much of that money wasted through air leaks in the home. Applying caulk around windows, doors, electrical wiring, and plumbing can save energy and money.
A pre-cut jacket or blanket can be purchased for about $20. 1. Turn off the water heater. 2. Wrap the jacket or blanket around the water heater and tape it to keep it in place temporarily. 3. Use a marker to note any areas where the controls are so you can cut them out. 4. Once positioned, tape the jacket or blanket permanently in place. 5. Turn the water heater back on.
For an electric water heater, do not set the thermostat above 130 degrees, which can cause overheating.
12 MARCH 2021
1. Choose a silicone caulk that is waterproof, flexible, and won’t shrink or crack. 2. Clean and remove any old caulk or paint with tools or solvent. The area should be dry before you apply the new caulk. 3. Apply the caulk in one continuous stream, and make sure it sticks to both sides of the crack or seam. Use a putty knife to smooth out the caulk. 4. Wipe the surface with a dry cloth.
WEATHER STRIP EXTERIOR DOORS One of the best ways to seal air leaks is to weather strip exterior doors, which helps keep out drafts and control energy costs. 1. Choose weather stripping materials that can withstand temperature changes, friction and the general “wear and tear” for the location of the door. You will need separate materials for the door sweep (at the bottom of the door) and the top and sides. 2. Clean the molding with water and soap, then let the area dry completely. 3. Measure each side of the door, then cut the weather stripping to fit each section. 4. Make sure the weather stripping fits snugly against both surfaces so it compresses when the door is closed.
SAFETY TIPS Gasoline, Fueling and Burn Safety
Carbon Monoxide and Ventilation
• If the tank is overfilled, fuel can overflow onto a hot engine and cause fire or explosion.
• Using a generator indoors CAN KILL YOU IN MINUTES. The exhaust contains carbon monoxide, a deadly poisonous gas you cannot see or smell.
• Do not overfill the fuel tank. Always allow room for fuel expansion. • Never add fuel while the unit is running or hot. • Allow generator and engine to cool entirely before adding fuel.
• NEVER run a generator indoors or in partly enclosed areas, such as garages.
• Never store a generator with fuel in the tank where gasoline vapors might reach an open flame, spark or pilot light.
• ONLY use outdoors and far from windows, doors, vents, crawl spaces and in an area where adequate ventilation is available and will not accumulate deadly exhaust gas.
• Many generator parts are hot enough to burn you during operation and while the generator is cooling after turning off. Avoid coming into contact with a hot generator.
• Using a fan or opening doors and windows will not provide sufficient ventilation. • It is recommended that you install battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms/detectors indoors according to the manufacturer’s instructions/recommendations.
Electrocution Hazard and Electrical Shock Hazards • Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring can “back feed” onto the power lines connected to your home and injure neighbors or utility workers. • Do not connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring or into a regular household outlet. Always start or stop the generator only when no electrical loads are connected. • Overloading your generator can seriously damage your valuable appliances and electronics. Do not overload the generator. Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator allows for. Prioritize your needs. A portable electric generator should be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment. • Use the proper power cords. Plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load. Overloaded cords can cause fires or equipment damage. Do not use extension cords with exposed wires or worn shielding. • Do not operate the generator in wet conditions such as rain or snow. • The generator must be properly grounded. If the generator is not grounded, you run the risk of electrocution. Check and adhere to all applicable federal, state and local regulations relating to grounding.
Generator Placement and Operation • Allow at least five feet of clearance on all sides of the generator when operating. • Generators can be used during a wide variety of weather temperatures but should be protected from the elements when not in use to prevent shorting and rusting. • Operate the generator only on level surfaces and where it will not be exposed to excessive moisture, dirt, dust, or corrosive vapors. • Inspect the generator regularly. • Always disconnect the spark plug wire and place the wire where it cannot contact the spark plug to prevent accidental starting when setting up, transporting, adjusting, or making repairs to the generator.
Source: American Red Cross with technical advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Fire Protection Association (publisher of the National Electric Code®), and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13
Captain BJ Massey pilots the Laura Ann back to the dock after lifting nets .
hen zebra mussels or other foreign aquatic invaders find their way into the Great Lakes, the outlook can appear dire. But nature has a way of adapting and even growing. While an entire energy source can diminish and appear to threaten the survival of the fish that feed on it, miraculously, another energy source can present itself, like clouds of gnats whose larvae provided a new food option for local whitefish or menominee. It’s the power of nature and the truth that adaptability is perhaps life’s greatest form of survival. Commercial fishermen like Jamie and BJ Massey of Massey Fish Co. in St. Ignace, Michigan, have spent their careers watching these sorts of natural phenomena unfold and have taken a cue on the power of flexibility in their own lives. The father and son, representing the fifth and sixth generations of commercial fishermen in their family, understand that you have to understand your surroundings and adapt in order to grow. “My great-great-great-grandfather, Charlie Massey, came to the area with the Hudson’s Bay Fur Company,” said Jamie Massey, president of Massey Fish Co. “He went on to become a logger, then a commercial fisherman. Six generations later, our family is still in the business, even though it looks completely different.”
With Massey Fish Co. By Emily Haines Lloyd Photos courtesy of Massey Fish Co.
Charlie Massey likely couldn’t have imagined the massive boats and equipment his family would eventually use in the 21st century. Jamie and BJ both hold their commercial fishing licenses and have turned the small family fishing operation into a thriving business that sells its products not only all over the state, but around the country, as well as internationally. Over the last ten years, the two Masseys currently at the helm have made significant upgrades and improvements to their infrastructure, including blast and storage freezers with electric upgrades made possible by Cloverland Electric Cooperative. “There’s no set handbook on how to grow your business,” said BJ. “You have to be quick to think and then react to the circumstances. This is something we learned on the water; you have to be agile.”
One of the key components to the company’s growth, with an approximately 25% increase in the last year, is the commitment to not only fishing the Great Lakes, but investing in the processing of its catch, including its famed smoked fish. “As a company, we could choose to catch and sell our fish, which would allow our families to make a living,” said BJ. “But by processing and packaging it here, we’re creating at least 20 more livelihoods and having a real impact on our community. It’s a big responsibility, but one we’re willing to take on.” Massey Fish Co. makes over 100 products with the fish it catches and purchases each season, which in some years has been as much as 1.5 million pounds. Its reach continues to grow as it dips into off-season fishing (November–May)— braving the harsh conditions and below zero temps. It is continually looking for market growth, and about a decade ago, found a surprising niche with farmers markets in the state. What started as testing the waters with a couple of coolers at one outdoor market has grown into its product being available at 33 farmers markets, including the largest in the state, as consumers have a sincere interest in locallysourced and quality fish as a protein source. “We sell what’s fresh and plentiful. And we only sell what we’d be willing to eat,” said BJ. “And I can tell you this— we’re picky.” Their pickiness has paid off. However, their love of the outdoors and their respect for nature could be the true keys to Massey Fish Co.’s success. It doesn’t hurt that the father and son love what they do.
Don Massey (Jamie’s and BJ’s father) winches up a trap net .
“I tell people, honestly, for me, fishing is like Christmas morning every day. It’s never been a job,” said Jamie. “I’ve always loved and respected nature, and when you are enthusiastic about what’s in front of you, there’s a ton of excitement. I think it’s important for everyone to find those things that spark excitement in them. Those passions can last a lifetime.”
1442 West Rd., St. Ignace, MI 49781 906-984-2148
L–R: The crew pulls nets under the ice on Lake Huron .
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
LOVE OF BOOKS THE COMMUNITYDRIVENHEART OF PETOSKEY’S INDIE BOOKSTORE By Emily Haines Lloyd Photos by Stephanie N. Baker
cLean & Eakin is the epitome of what it means to be an independent bookstore, with its bespoke selections, heartfelt customer service, and lovinglycurated reading recommendations. However, owners Matt and Jessilynn Norcross will be the first to tell you that being “independent” isn’t about going it alone. The store began in the care of Matt’s mother, Julie Norcross, who started the bookstore in 1992 and named it after her two grandmothers’ maiden names. The store had been a dream for Julie since she was young. Her father owned and operated a men’s fashion store in Florida and eventually followed customers north and opened another store just a few doors down from where McLean & Eakin stands today. “Mom would take us on walks around town,” recalls Matt. “We’d peek into windows of abandoned storefronts, and you could see her waiting for just the right space to open up so she could open her bookstore.” Matt worked at the family bookshop through high school and eventually returned to Petoskey in 2003 while in between jobs and started back at the family store. He found a place to reflect, as well, stumbling across his future wife, Jessilynn, who also was working in the shop. In 2009, Matt and Jessilynn married and joined their futures to McLean & Eakin, as they took over the store’s ownership.
“We both love reading,” said Jessilynn. “But when you begin running a business, you realize there’s so much more to bookselling than the magic inside of the pages.” The Norcrosses quickly immersed themselves in the responsibilities that come with owning a quaint bookshop. “There are a million decisions we’ve made. Some good, some bad,” admits Matt. “But what we have always nailed is having a team of booksellers working here who are amazing, brilliant, and committed. This is what has kept us successful, for sure.” Even with COVID-19 and the competition of big-box bookstores and online outlets offering steep discounts, McLean & Eakin has managed to not only stay in business, but thrive. It has expanded to offer digital audiobooks and e-books and established an online store to accommodate those who are unable to get out to the store or some of their committed patrons who may not be in the area year-round. “We’re involved in our community,” said Jessilynn. “Amazon is never going to be at the school board meeting next to us. You can’t replicate the conversations we have with people in the community or on the shop floor.” Books truly are magic, and never more so than when one person hands another a book after talking with them and saying, “I really think you’ll love this.” Ultimately, that’s the beauty of bookstores like McLean & Eakin—they may be independent, but still, they know that the heart of their business is a deep connection to their beautiful community. You can currently get bookseller assistance via McLean & Eakin’s front door vestibule or by phone from 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Saturday, at 231-347-1180. You may also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact them via social media on Facebook or Instagram.
“You can’t replicate the conversations we have with people in the community or on the shop floor.”
McLean & Eakin has curated a great collection of regional and Michigan authors who not only pay their respects to the region and its people but offer a unique insight into the beauty of the area. In fact, if you look closely, you may even see an homage to a favorite indie bookstore in the pages (hint: Check out “Station 11” by Emily St. John Mandel). Here are a few recommendations for regional titles. For a more robust list, visit mcleanandeakin.com.
AGES 2 AND UP
Tallulah, Mermaid of the Great Lakes by Denise Brennan-Nelson
AGES 8 AND UP The Wild Path by Sarah Baughman
ADULT FICTION Northernmost by Peter Geye
The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch by Miles Harvey
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17
MI CO-OP Community Guest Column
There’s Magic In A Frog Pond
By Steve Begnoche, Great Lakes Energy member
wo ponds near our Upper Peninsula cottage along the shore of Lake Superior’s Whitefish Bay are mere puddles compared to the big lake. But they are a world unto themselves that captivate our grandchildren.
One pond is on the beach near my siblings’ cottages. It’s the outlet of a ditch between Superior Drive and adjacent woody swamps. It leaks icy-cold, tannin-stained, root beercolored water into the bay. It’s been that way since my childhood, more than 60 years ago, when my siblings and I spent hours catching frogs there. It’s a favorite of my eldest granddaughter Kayleigh, who has heard grandpa’s tales of frog-hunting forays there. Kayleigh began heading to the pond when visiting us, declaring “it’s her turn” to catch frogs in it. It took practice, patience, and persistence, but eventually, she caught a frog. It’s debatable whether the frog or Kayleigh was more surprised. This past summer, our grandson Grayson, now 5, netted frogs in a neighbor’s pond. Grayson spent hours stalking the edges of the 8x16-foot man-made pond. Nearly choked with last year’s leaves, he raked it clean to have a better view of the frogs. Neighbor Renee was pleased with the maintenance. Grayson came equipped with a net, to which he added a stick for a longer handle. Every time he caught a frog, he’d run to anyone in sight or on the beach to show them his catch. Then he’d run back and release the frog into the pond. Grayson enjoys Lake Superior, the bay, the beach, and fishing. This past summer, he was the frog hunter. In a troubled world, kids find joy in ways kids always have— riveted to catching memories in the little ponds of life.
energy bill credit!
Steve Begnoche is a writer and landscape and nature photographer who spent nearly 40 years in community newspapering, including 30 years at the Ludington Daily News . He comes by his love for the Upper Peninsula from his parents, who bought a lot on Whitefish Bay in the 1950s . The family included seven children and vacationed there every summer . He and his wife Brenda, their three children, and five grandchildren carry on that tradition with a place of their own . Five siblings also have places along the bay shared with their families .
Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $150 for stories published! Visit countrylines.com/community to submit.
Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by February 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines.com/community. January 2021 Winner! Our Mystery Photo winner is Steve Pelli, an Ontonagon County REA member, who correctly identified the photo as the Cooley Bridge, which was built in 1934 and is one of Michigan’s rarest bridge types . Photo by Karen Farrell . Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September, and November/ December .
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What’s the bottom line? Well-Connect collectively saves Michigan homeowners more than $1 million in heating and cooling costs every year. For rural homeowners, heating with a Well-Connect can be compared to locking in a propane price of $1 per gallon for the next two decades, and that includes the cost of an installed Well-Connect system.
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M I C HI
Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Association /OntonagonCountyREA
Lineworkers know how to get the job done. Let’s thank them for powering our lives.
Lineworker Appreciation Day April 12, 2021 #ThankALineworker