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May 2020

MICHIGAN

COUNTRY LINES Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association

Our Commitment In Uncertain Times 

May Is Military Appreciation Month Culprits Of Electrical Fires

DISTILLING COMMUNITY Michigan Distilleries Lend A Hand And Make A Difference


WATERFURNACE UNITS QUALIFY FOR A 26% FEDERAL TAX CREDIT THROUGH 2020*

Smart homeowners around the world have scrapped their old furnaces and air conditioners and replaced them with a WaterFurnace geothermal comfort system. That’s because WaterFurnace geothermal systems use the clean, renewable energy in your own backyard to provide savings up to 70% on heating, cooling and hot water. You won’t need that old inefficient furnace or that unsightly outdoor air conditioner because a WaterFurnace system provides complete comfort for your home with a single unit. And because the system doesn’t burn fossil fuels, there are no fumes or carbon monoxide concerns. Make the smart switch to geothermal. Contact your local WaterFurnace dealer today to learn more. YOUR LOCAL WATERFURNACE DEALERS

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

Caro Kozy Home Htg & Clg (989) 673-4328 geo4less.com

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

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

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

Michigan Center Comfort 1/Aire Serv of Southern Michigan (517) 764-1500 aireserv.com/ southern-michigan

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

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

Mt Pleasant Walton Htg & Clg (989) 772-4822 waltonheating.com

Muskegon Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 adamsheating cooling.com Portland ESI Htg & Clg (517) 647-6906 esiheating.com

Traverse City D & W Mechanical (231) 941-1215 dwgeothermal.com Geofurnace Htg & Clg (231) 943-1000 watergeofurnace.com

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

visit us at waterfurnace.com WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc. ©2018 WaterFurnace International, Inc. *26% through 2020 and 22% through 2021


Contents countrylines.com

May 2020 Vol. 40, No. 5

/michigancountrylines

/michigancountrylines

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr GRAPHIC DESIGNER: 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: Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretarytreasurer; 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

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.

Michigan Country Lines, Your Communications Partner For 40 years, our co-op members have received Michigan Country Lines because it is the most effective and economical way to share information. Michigan Country Lines keeps members up-to-date about everything going on within their electric co-op. Issues contain news about co-op services, director elections, member meetings and management decisions that members need to know about as owners of the co-op. The magazine also includes legal notices that would otherwise have to be placed in local media at a substantial cost. Sending Michigan Country Lines helps the co-op fulfill one of its essential principles——to educate and communicate openly with its members. The board of directors authorizes the co-op to subscribe to Michigan Country Lines on behalf of each member at an average cost of $3.97 per year, paid as part of members’ electric bills. The current magazine cost is 49 cents per copy. Michigan Country Lines is published, at cost, by the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association in Lansing. As always, we welcome your comments at editor@meca.coop.

#micoopcommunity

6 A DEEP DIVE WITH CHRIS ROXBURGH. As a diver and history lover, Roxburgh has garnered online attention for his documentation of underwater wonders in Michigan waters. 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Go meat-free with these vegetarian recipes.

Don’t you want to take this adorable white animal home as a pet? @kelli929kelli #whitedonkey Kelli Marshall

14 DISTILLING COMMUNITY Michigan distilleries join forces to make hand sanitizer during pandemic-driven shortage.

Be featured!

18 GUEST COLUMN Tom McWhorter recalls the thrill of a ‘50s-era train ride to Grand Rapids with his mother and grandmother.

MI CO-OP COMMUNITY

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

Contests, reader-submitted content & more!

MI CO-OP KITCHEN

BEST OF MICHIGAN

GUEST COLUMN

MYSTERY PHOTO

Up Next: Kid-Friendly Cooking, Easy Recipes Share your favorite recipes.

Up Next: Campgrounds Tell us about the Michigan campgrounds you like visiting best.

Submit your fondest memories and stories.

Enter a drawing to identify the correct location of the photo.

Win a $50 bill credit!

Win $150 for stories published!

Win a $50 bill credit!

Visit countrylines.com/community for guidelines and submission information. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

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One Thing That Is Certain In Uncertain Times

MARQUETTE ALGER

SCHOOLCRAFT

DELTA

MENOMINEE

Board Of Directors District 1—Big Bay

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

District 2—Harvey/Deerton

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

District 3—Grand Marais

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

District 4—Cedar River/Palestine

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

District 5—Gourley/LaBranche/Cornell

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

District 6—Nathan/White Rapids

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

District 7—Stonington/Rapid River

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

District 8—Nahma/Isabella

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

District 9—Hiawatha/Maple Ridge

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

Headquarters:

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

Office Hours

Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. (ET)

Alger Delta Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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

4 MAY 2020

OUR COMMITMENT to you and the local communities we serve. Amanda Seger, Chief Financial Officer

s of publication for this magazine issue, we are all dealing with the new realities brought on by the coronavirus. I want to assure you that Alger Delta Cooperative is here to help you. We have always had an emergency plan that has served us well in a variety of circumstances, from ice/snow storms to wind storms. We plan for disasters, we prepare for them and we even act them out. Early in this crisis, our staff updated that plan with a special emphasis on ensuring we can continue to provide the reliable electric service you have come to expect from your electric cooperative.

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So far, that is exactly what has happened. We know that after a sufficient supply of food and water, electricity is the number one thing you need to maintain some sense of normalcy as we hunker down in our homes. With that in mind, keeping the power flowing is our priority for all involved in maintaining the electric cooperative system. We thought you might want to know some of the steps we have taken in order to keep your power flowing. We’ve closed our lobby to prevent the spread of germs. Instead, we are encouraging members to use our drop box, online and phone payment options and the “good old” U.S. Postal Service to pay bills. Many of our employees are working from home. We’ve separated employee workspaces and divided departments into separate work locations so that they can practice social distancing. If you call, the phones will be answered as always. We have separated our line crews from other employees and even from each other to limit the possible spread of the virus. Trucks are being relocated so that lineworkers can head to the job site without coming to the office. Deliveries are being quarantined.

“Stay healthy, stay home and we will get through this together the cooperative way!”

Our management team and board are in constant contact to fine-tune this plan. We have been meeting with the other electric cooperatives in Michigan and with the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA), which in turn is working closely with our national association, the state legislature and the governor’s office. In the course of a few days, we turned the operations of Alger Delta upside down. Our workforce is resilient and it has embraced the change. So far, it is working well and everyone has adapted to the new norm. That’s because we’ve done this before. Nothing brings out the best in our employees better than a crisis situation. The team at Alger Delta is truly remarkable. Our focus here is on doing our part to keep your life as normal as possible through this situation and beyond. The cooperative way of doing business has brought us this far, and the cooperative way will help us through this crisis. All the best to everyone. Stay healthy, stay home and we will get through this together the cooperative way!


National Military Appreciation Month ay is Military Appreciation Month, and in the words of John F. Kennedy, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

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The Department of Defense is one of the largest energy consumers worldwide and the single largest energy consumer in the U.S. We, like other electric co-ops across the country, work closely with military installations by providing electricity. Not only do we pause on Memorial Day to remember the sacrifice and service of those who gave all, but the month also holds several other military anniversaries and events, including Military Spouse Appreciation Day on May 8, and Armed Forces Day on May 16.  Alger Delta Cooperative is proud to be a part of the electric cooperative network that honors and supports veterans of all ages, ranks and branches of the military. Please join us in taking a moment to show your appreciation to our troops and veterans—not just this month, but every month.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” —

Alger Delta Office Hours To Change June Through September

Alger Delta’s workweek and office hours will change beginning June 1. Alger Delta will transition to working four, 10-hour days Monday through Thursday and being closed on Fridays. All Alger Delta personnel and services will transition to the new schedule. Outage calls and any other issues will be answered as they are now. Alger Delta’s after-hours answering service takes calls anytime outside of regular hours. For more information or to report a problem, call Alger Delta at 800-562-0950. *As of press time, the Alger Delta office is currently closed to walk-in traffic. We encourage you to communicate with us via electronic communication or telephone. As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, Alger Delta continues to update our emergency response plan to protect our employees, directors and members.

Period

Days of the Week

Office Hours

For Service or Outage

June– September

Monday– Thursday

7 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Eastern)

Call: 800-562-0950

John F. Kennedy

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

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A DEEP

DIVE WITH CHRIS ROXBURGH By Emily Haines Lloyd

1979 Ford Pinto, aka the mussel car, Haserot Beach, Traverse City. Photo by Chris Roxburgh

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s an electrical contractor, Chris Roxburgh spends his working days bringing light to dark areas. Perhaps it’s not all that surprising that Roxburgh spends his recreational time doing more of the same.

A few years ago, Roxburgh posted his first pictures from the depths of Grand Traverse Bay, revealing a 1979 Ford Pinto covered in zebra mussels. The photos quickly gained online recognition, and while it was the beginning of Roxburgh sharing the wonders beneath the waves, it was by no means the beginning of his love of water.

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MAY 2020

Roxburgh has been obsessed with the water since he was a child growing up in Traverse City, Michigan. “Our family was always finding a way to the water,” said Roxburgh. “Every weekend we’d take out the boat and as I got older, I’d take a deep breath, and hand-overhand, I’d follow the anchor chain down as far as I could manage to hold my breath.”

Free diving, also called skin diving, is when the diver holds their breath until resurfacing. Roxburgh may not have been familiar with the distinction as a child, but that didn’t keep him from building the skill. Roxburgh’s free diving continued into adulthood and he used this method to get a closer look at the shipwrecked George Rogers tugboat, located in Grand Traverse Bay at the northern tip of Leelanau County. Roxburgh and his wife Bea had been stand-up paddle boarding when they saw the wreckage below


“I hope to shine a light on how we can all do our part.” –Chris Roxburgh

Drone footage over the Alva Bradley shipwreck, North Manitou Island. Photo by Dusty Klifman

Eber Ward shipwreck in the Straits of Mackinac. Photo by Chris Roxburgh

Chris Roxburgh with his new Sony a7 III camera with Aquatica deep dive housing. Photo by Dusty Klifman

scuba school to see if they would let him get his that winter. With a rented 7mm wetsuit, in 36-degree weather, Roxburgh spent three wintery days with instructors to complete his open water certification. It was the beginning of more than a hobby, but a passion.

Chris Roxburgh on the Francisco Morazan, South Manitou Island. Photo by Bea Roxburgh

the water’s surface. A couple of days later, Roxburgh came back with photographic equipment and his wetsuit to free dive the sunken treasure. “I was so excited by that dive. I became obsessed with the history,” said Roxburgh. “I knew right away that I wanted to get my scuba certification and I couldn’t wait any longer.” And Roxburgh didn’t wait. While most divers get their open water certification in the spring and summer, Roxburgh reached out to the local

Over the course of his new obsession, Roxburgh crossed paths with another Michigan diver who had a similar interest in shipwrecks and history as well. “When I met Dusty [Klifman], things really kicked off,” said Roxburgh. “We had a similar inquisitive mindset and we were gung-ho to explore more.” Klifman, who had been open water diving for 20 years, while Roxburgh had two under his belt, worked as a lineman for an electric company. Their mutual love of water and exploration has led to some epic adventures including the Alva Bradley, a schooner in the Manitou Passage; the Jane, a small freighter off the shore of Arcadia; and the Typo, a schooner that was crashed into by a steamship in Lake Huron’s Thunder Bay. The two have a massive wish list for

the coming year, including the Thomas Hume in southwest Michigan and the Newell A. Eddy in Cheboygan. In the meantime, groups like the Old Mission Peninsula Historical Society have invited Roxburgh to share his experiences. Hundreds of people have come to hear Roxburgh’s thrilling stories, as well as witness his testimony as an environmental and conservancy advocate. Roxburgh has seen how pollution, dumping, and everyday littering have impacted the Great Lakes. “I want future generations to have a chance to explore what I’ve been able to experience,” said Roxburgh. “I hope to shine a light on how we can all do our part.”

Follow Chris’s diving adventures: Visit countrylines.com to accompany Chris on an underwater video tour of the Eber Ward shipwreck in the Straits of Mackinac. @chris_roxburgh_ youtube.com/Roxburgh

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

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ENERGY STAR LED Light Bulbs Consider changing light bulbs to ENERGY STAR® LEDs. LEDs use 90% less energy than standard bulbs and last up to 15 times longer. LEDs are available in a variety of colors, shapes and dimmable options to meet all your indoor and outdoor needs.

Dust Off Your Dehumidifier Get your dehumidifier ready for increased humidity. It’s important to control high humidity in basements to prevent mold growth and improve indoor air quality. The Energy Optimization program offers a $15 rebate with the purchase of new ENERGY STAR qualified models.

Small changes. Great savings.

Home Office Efficiency

s we nestle into our homes to remain healthy and safe, it is a great time to think about ways that you can save energy with your everyday habits. Little changes can help minimize the impact of increased hours at home, particularly if you are now working from a home office.

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Many people are taking advantage of their time at home and preparing their spring cleaning list. We have a few efficiency tips for you to consider when doing so.

When your workday is over, don’t forget to turn off your monitor and unplug your laptop. You may even consider using an advanced or smart power strip. These power strips save energy by completely turning off devices attached to your computer or TV when they are not being used. It can make shutdown and startup of multiple devices fast, easy and complete. Apply online for a $5 rebate from the Energy Optimization program. Visit michigan-energy.org for more ways to save energy and money at home.

SMALL CHANGES. GREAT SAVINGS. You make the changes; we provide the savings. There are many ways to save, from appliances to lighting to maintaining the comfort of your home, with our efficient HVAC programs. Visit michigan-energy.org to learn more. ONLINE: michigan-energy.org PHONE: 877.296.4319

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


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Snap Shot Share Your Photos!

On The Farm

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

1. “The cow whisperers,” Reese, Paige, and Camryn. Cheryl Stanek

Upcoming Photo Topics And Deadlines:

2. Alesha is lovin’ her piggy. Brenda Gustafson

Festivals and Fairs, due May 20 (July/August issue) Michigan’s Natural Beauty, due June 20 (September issue) To submit photos, go to http://bit.ly/countrylines.

3. Getting my licks in. Mandy Schram 4. Take me to the farm. Kristina Hinds

We look forward to seeing your best photos! MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

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MI CO-OP Recipes

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

VEGETARIAN Go meat-free with these healthy recipes.

WINNING RECIPE!

SWEET POTATO AND QUINOA BURGERS Katie Schneider, Midwest Energy & Communications

2 large sweet potatoes 1 cup uncooked dry quinoa (makes 2 cups cooked) ½ medium red bell pepper, finely chopped ¼ small red onion, finely chopped ½ cup kale, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 tablespoon oil

Win a

$50

energy bill credit!

10 MAY 2020

RECIPE CONTEST

Kid-Friendly Cooking due July 1 • Easy Recipes due August 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Go to micoopkitchen.com for more information.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake, boil, or microwave the sweet potatoes until soft. Discard skins; then mash and allow to cool. Cook quinoa as per packet instructions; cool. In a bowl, add the mashed sweet potato, cooked quinoa, bell pepper, onion, kale, garlic, thyme, and pepper. Mix everything well. When cool enough to handle, take ½ cup each of the mixture and form into patties. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the patties liberally with oil of choice, then place them on the baking sheet and bake until the patties are deeply golden on the outside, about 35–40 minutes, flipping halfway. Patties can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen for fast meals.

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


FALAFEL WITH FETA SAUCE Sondra Harr, Great Lakes Energy

FALAFEL: 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 clove garlic 3 green onions • juice from ½ lemon 1 bunch parsley 1 teaspoon cumin ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 egg ¹⁄ ³ cup flour 1½ teaspoons baking powder • flour tortillas or pita bread • oil for frying

FETA SAUCE: ½ cup feta cheese ½ cup Greek yogurt, plain 2 tablespoons milk 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 garlic cloves, minced To make falafel, place all falafel ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate for ½ hour. Roll dough into balls and lightly flatten. Fry in hot oil for 3 minutes per side. To make feta sauce, combine all ingredients and chill until ready to drizzle over falafel. Serve in a warm tortilla or pita bread with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and sliced cucumber.

CARAMELIZED ONION AND GOAT CHEESE FARFALLE Sandy Moyer, Great Lakes Energy

EGGPLANT PIE IN RICE CRUST

Shelley Ehrenberger, Cherryland RICE CRUST 1½ cups cooked rice 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened 2 tablespoons onion, chopped 1 egg EGGPLANT FILLING 1 medium onion, chopped 1 large green bell pepper, chopped 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted 1 (8-ounce) can tomato paste 1 cup hot water 1 medium/large eggplant, quartered and sliced ½ -inch thick ½ to 1 pound mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F. To make rice crust, combine rice with butter, chopped onion, and egg. Press into bottom and sides of greased 9-inch pie pan. To make eggplant filling, sauté onion and green pepper in butter until transparent. Add tomato paste and hot water, and bring to a boil. Add eggplant; simmer for 10 minutes. Spoon half of eggplant mixture into crust. Add half of cheese. Add the remaining eggplant mixture, and top with remainder of cheese. Bake for 30–35 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting.

2 teaspoons olive oil 4 cups sweet onions, thinly sliced 3 ounces goat cheese (can sub with cream cheese) ¼ cup skim milk 6 ounces uncooked farfalle (bow-tie pasta) 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tablespoons dry white wine (can sub with vegetable broth) 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh sage (or sub with ½ teaspoon dried) ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper 2 tablespoons chopped, toasted walnuts Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook slowly until golden and caramelized, about 20–25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Combine goat cheese and milk in small bowl; mix until well blended. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Add garlic to onions in skillet; cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add wine, sage, salt and black pepper; cook until moisture is evaporated. Remove from heat. Add pasta and goat cheese mixture, stirring to melt cheese. Sprinkle with walnuts. Serve immediately. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

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Your Board In Action Each month, the board meets to review administrative items and hears reports from management on topics including finances, operations, technology, projects, and other activities that take place from month to month.

January • Engaged Eide Bailly to conduct the 2019 annual audit.

• A presentation was made by engineer Patrick Wheeler of Utilities Systems Engineering to review and accept contracts for the Chocolay Substation project.

• Discussed how the cooperative can become a resource to members during major events.

• Approved a study to be conducted in regard to grid defection.

• Accepted CEO Tom Harrell’s retirement letter.

• Postponed the Annual Meeting until later this year.

• Heard reports from senior staff regarding the meter exchange program and communication methods to members, vegetation management plans, and November YTD financials.

February • Board Treasurer/Secretary Doug Bovin was nominated to serve on the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA) Board of Directors for a two-year term. • Reviewed administrative assignments left vacant by the retired CEO, appointed various board and staff to fill those roles. • Reviewed strategic initiatives for the upcoming year. • Researched broadband possibilities in Upper Michigan with an interactive discussion between the board and MECA.

ICE CLOSURE OFF Have A Safe And Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Alger Delta will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday, May 25. Payments may be made at the drop box or online at algerdelta.com. To report a power outage, please call 800-562-0950.

Access To Rules And Rates

• Heard from senior staff regarding the ongoing substation project in Chocolay Township, accepted the bad debt write-off for 2019 and reviewed the year-end financial statements, key ratios, long-term debt and financial audit update.

Please be advised that the following information is available to Alger Delta Cooperative members:

• The Policy Committee gave a report regarding the in-depth policy review in progress. The four-member committee is planning to complete a thorough review of all policies by June 2020.

3. Assistance from the cooperative in determining the most appropriate rate for a member when the member is eligible to receive service under more than one rate;

March • Due to COVID-19, the board conducted its monthly meeting via teleconference.

12 MAY 2020

1. Complete rate schedules; 2. Clear and concise explanation of all rates that the member may be eligible to receive;

4. Clear and concise explanation of the member’s actual energy use for each billing period during the last 12 months. The information can be obtained by contacting Alger Delta Cooperative at 800-562-0950.


4 COMMON CULPRITS OF ELECTRICAL FIRES Outdated wiring and overloaded circuits are the most common causes of electrical fires. Check the following areas of your home to ensure your home’s electrical safety is up to par.

Electrical outlets: Faulty electrical outlets are a leading cause in home fires. As outlets age, so do the wires behind them that you can’t see. Any loose, damaged or warm-to-thetouch outlets should be repaired or replaced.

1. 2.

Electrical wiring: Outdated wiring is another common cause of electrical fires. Frequently tripped breakers, flickering lights and burning smells are clear warning signs. If your home is more than 20 years old, it may not be able to handle today’s increased power load. If you suspect your home’s wiring is outdated, leave this one to the pros and contact a qualified electrician. Overloaded cords and outlets: Extension cords are not permanent solutions. If your big-screen TV, home theater system and other electronics are plugged into one extension cord, it’s time to call an electrician and install additional outlets.

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Old appliances: Older appliances are more likely to have loose or damaged wiring, which means they’re more likely to catch fire. Check older appliances for damage and determine if it’s time to upgrade or replace. Also check to ensure you’re using appliance-grade outlets. A qualified electrician can help with installation.

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13


MAMMOTH DISTILLING

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTILLERY

“Craft distilling in the U.S. is actually quite a tight-knit community.” –Chad Munger

“As a small business, we’re used to pivoting and adapting quickly.” –Kent Rabish

DISTILLING COMMUNITY Michigan Distilleries Lend A Hand And Make A Difference By Emily Haines Lloyd

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“We started hearing stories of distilleries in the northwest of the United States who were starting to make hand sanitizer on their stills.”

flattening the curve of the impact of the virus. They noted that in lieu of soap and water, hand sanitizer was also effective.

“Craft distilling in the U.S. is actually quite a tight-knit community,” said Chad Munger of Mammoth Distilling.

The country began to prepare for an anticipated influx of people contracting the virus and the pressure that would be put on the health care and first responder communities. Gaps began to appear in supply chains. Protective gear like face masks and gloves was in short supply. Medical professionals, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) all noted that hand washing was a critical step in

“You don’t realize just how much sanitizer is needed in health care and for first responders,” said Kent Rabish of Grand Traverse Distillery. “From reception areas, to disinfecting each exam room, to having on ambulance rigs for each call. And now suddenly, the country realizes, we are going to need even more.”

raft spirits in Michigan is an industry that speaks often about creativity, a sense of community, and of course, good times and fellowship. After the nationwide outbreak of COVID-19, Michigan distilleries, along with the bulk of their hospitality brethren, found themselves displaced, with dining and tasting rooms closed and the bulk of their workforce suddenly without income or purpose. It seemed like the good times were becoming a distant memory.

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Michigan distilleries quickly launched into action. Initially, they delivered or


TRAVERSE CITY WHISKEY CO.

IRON SHOE DISTILLERY

“We rolled up our sleeves and got to work. I think that’s what our distilling community is all about.” –Chris Fredrickson

“We are here to serve our communities.” –Howard Tuthill

gave away the sanitizing runoff they had on hand, which is the byproduct of producing alcohol.

now adapting to a learning curve by distillery workforces who were grateful for a way to pitch in.

“Our employees were dropping off sanitizer to local firehouses, municipalities, and hospitals, just to support our community,” said Chris Fredrickson of Traverse City Whiskey Co. “It was a quick and easy way to step into a strange situation and find a way to help.”

“So much of our industry is about community,” said Howard Tuthill of Iron Shoe Distillery. “We are here to serve our communities. And when we suddenly weren’t able to share moments in person, it felt good to be able to reach out to our community in another way.”

Suddenly, the creativity, ingenuity, and adaptability of this craft industry kicked into high gear. Calls were made to source materials, ensuring they had the federal “recipe” for allowable sanitizer, and distilleries across the state began trading in corn and wheat for ethanol and glycerin.

Dozens of distilleries around the state and country have stepped into this space and are now producing hand sanitizer as quickly as they can acquire the supplies.

“As a small business, we’re used to pivoting and adapting quickly,” said Landis Rabish of Grand Traverse Distillery. “We stay nimble and adapt to new circumstances constantly. This is second nature to us.” Buildings that once hummed and produced handcrafted libations were

“We took the first step, simply because it was the right thing to do,” said Fredrickson. “We had the infrastructure to help people in a really unusual and weird time. This wasn’t a moment to sit back and watch things happen. That’s not who we are as a business. It’s not who we are as a team. So we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. I think that’s what our distilling community is all about.”

If you are still looking for hand sanitizer, check out the American Distilling Institute website, distilling.com, for the most up-to-date listing of distillers who are producing it.

For more information, please visit their websites and follow these distilleries on Facebook and Instagram. mammothdistilling.com grandtraversedistillery.com tcwhiskey.com ironshoedistillery.com

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

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Powering Up After An Outage When the power goes out, we expect it to be restored within a few hours. But when a major storm or natural disaster causes widespread damage, extended outages may result. Our line crews work long, hard hours to restore service safely to the greatest number of consumers in the shortest time possible. Here’s what’s going on if you ďŹ nd yourself in the dark:

1. High-Voltage Transmission Lines: Transmission towers and cables that supply power to transmission substations (and thousands of members) rarely fail. But when damaged, these facilities must be repaired before other parts of the system can operate.

2. Distribution Substation: A substation can serve hundreds or thousands of consumers. When a major outage occurs, line crews inspect substations to determine if problems stem from transmission lines feeding into the substation, the substation itself or if problems exist further down the line.

3. Main Distribution Lines: If the problem cannot be isolated at a distribution substation, distribution lines are checked. These lines carry power to large groups of consumers in communities or housing developments.

4. Tap Lines: If local outages persist, supply lines (also known as tap lines) are inspected. These lines deliver power to transformers, either mounted on poles or placed on pads for underground service, outside businesses, schools and homes.

5. Individual Homes: If your home remains without power, the service line between a transformer and your residence may need to be repaired. Always call to report an outage to help line crews isolate a local issue. 16 MAY 2020


Three Ways To Electrify Your Lawn Care By Abby Berry

pring is just around the corner, and you can practically smell the freshly-cut grass. If you’re in the market to upgrade your lawn care equipment, you may want to consider electric (or battery-powered) options.

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Electric lawn care equipment options are becoming more popular than ever, offering consumers faster charging times, longer battery life and quieter, greener products compared to their gas-powered counterparts. Here are a few ways you can electrify your lawn care this spring.

Electric Lawn Mowers

Electric Trimmers

Electric Leaf Blowers

Electric lawn mowers have come a long way. Early models required corded connections, which were tricky to manage—but the cord has been cut. Newer cordless electric mowers are certainly more expensive than gaspowered mowers. Still, much of the upfront cost can be recovered since electricity is less expensive than gas, and electric engines generally require less maintenance than gas engines. Cordless electric mowers typically range from $200 to $500.

Cordless electric string trimmers are a great option for most lawns. Traditionally, like lawn mowers, string trimmers have typically been powered by gas. But new versions of electric trimmers are improving and are now considered worthy competitors of gaspowered models.

If you don’t want to deal with the maintenance of a gas-powered blower or the restraints of a corded blower, a cordless electric version is a great option.

Electric mowers are suitable for most lawn care needs, with batteries that typically require about one to two hours to fully charge, and most batteries can run for a full hour. That said, if you have a large yard, a gas-powered option may be best to suit your needs.

Cordless electric trimmers are much quieter and easier to use, but most batteries last about 30 to 45 minutes. So, if you have a lot of space to trim, you may want to consider a backup battery. Costs can vary depending on your needs, but you can find a quality version for about $100.

Cordless electric leaf blowers are lightweight and easy to maneuver, but they don’t offer quite as much power as gas-powered and corded blowers. If your leaf blowing and clearing needs are minimal, a cordless electric leaf blower can get the job done. Costs for a cordless electric blower vary depending on power and battery quality, but you can purchase a dependable model for about $150 and up.

If you’re looking to electrify your lawn care equipment, be sure to do your homework. Search online for the latest reviews and check trusted websites. With a little research, you’ll be well on your way to Lawn of the Month—with less maintenance, hassle and noise.

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17


MI CO-OP Community Guest Column

Last Train Ride

Lake Odessa to Grand Rapids, Circa 1956 By Tom McWhorter, Cherryland Electric Cooperative member

y grandmother lived in Lake Odessa and sometime in the mid-’50s, she took a train to Grand Rapids. She needed to see a medical specialist and wanted our mother to accompany her. My mom took me, as she wanted me to experience a train ride. She said that I could tell my children about it one day, as she did not think passenger trains would be around much longer.

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Lake Odessa was on the Pere Marquette Railway (PMR) line. PMR was sold to Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) and is now operated by CSX. Passenger service was, in fact, discontinued from Lake Odessa in 1971. We went down to the depot, purchased our tickets and waited for the train to arrive. I was excited, I had seen trains from a distance but had no idea of how big and powerful the engine was up close. I am sure that I was filled with both amazement and fear! Unfortunately, I do not remember anything specific about the ride itself. We would have arrived at the old Grand Rapids Central Station, which was demolished in 1961 in order to make way for the construction of U.S. 131. After my grandmother’s appointment, we walked around downtown Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids was for sure the biggest city that I had ever been to, large buildings and department stores with strange names such as Herpolsheimer’s and Steketee’s. After some shopping, we went back to Lake Odessa. So, thank you to my mom and grandmother for giving me this story to tell a mere 64 years later! Tom McWhorter is a retired state employee who grew up in rural Eaton County and now lives with his wife Wendy in Leelanau County. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and his interests include history, writing and traveling.

Win a

$50

energy bill credit!

Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo on the left by May 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines.com. March 2020 Winner! Our Mystery Photo contest winner from the March issue is Aaron Wiers, a Great Lakes Energy Cooperative member, who correctly identified the photo as the Silverdale school building in Ogontz, located on the Stonington Peninsula in Delta County. Photo courtesy of Kelli Marshall Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.

18 MAY 2020


Hybrid Geothermal

CALL FOR A FREE HOME VISIT (989) 356-2113 wellconnectgeo.com 989-356-2113 wellconnectsaves.com


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