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May/June 2020

MICHIGAN

COUNTRY LINES Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Association

District 2 And District 6 Director Seats Open For Election 2020 Annual Meeting Postponed Due To COVID-19

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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Safety Starts With You

KEWEENAW

Tips for spotting potential electrical hazards in your home

HOUGHTON

Debbie Miles, General Manager

ONTONAGON BARAGA

500 J.K. Paul Street Ontonagon, MI 49953

906-884-4151 800-562-7128 ontonagon.coop After hours: 866-639-6098 OFFICERS & DIRECTORS Calvin Koski, President Aura District 906-524-6988 cgkoski@up.net

William Hodges, Vice President & Treasurer Lake Linden District 906-934-3743 mistermich52@gmail.com Mildred Ann Gasperich, Interim Director Boston District (906) 281-2009 anngasperich@yahoo.com Wayne Heikkinen, Director Pelkie/Herman/Aura District 906-353-6496 mustipuppy@gmail.com Paul Koski, Director Ewen/Trout Creek/Lake Mine District 906-988-2593 pkoski@jamadots.com George Rajala, Director Chassell/Keweenaw Bay District 906-370-0416 rajgeo50@yahoo.com Frances Wiideman, Director Green/Firesteel/Toivola District 906-288-3203 fwiideman@alphacomm.net

PERSONNEL

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. Join us on Facebook. facebook.com/OntonagonCountyREA

4 MAY 2020

M

ay is National Electrical Safety Month, and we think it’s a great time to look around your home and check for potential safety hazards. Every electrical device has a purpose and a service lifespan. When electricity is involved, failures can present electrical hazards that might be avoided with periodic inspections. We hope you’ll keep these safety tips in mind so that you can note any potential hazards before damage occurs.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters Outdoor outlets and those in potentially damp locations such as a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room often include GFCI features. These outlets sense abnormal current flows, breaking the circuit to prevent potential electric shocks from devices plugged into the outlets. The average GFCI outlet may last about 10 years, but in areas prone to electrical storms or power surges, they can wear out in five years or less. Check them frequently by pressing the red test button. Make sure you hit the black reset button when you are done. Contact a licensed electrician to replace any failing GFCI outlets.

Loose or Damaged Outlets or Switches Unstable electrical outlets or wall switches with signs of heat damage or discoloration can offer early warnings of potential shock or electrical fire hazards. Loose connections can allow electrical current arcing. If you see these warning signs, it may be time to contact an electrician.

Surge Protectors Power strips with surge protectors can help safeguard equipment like televisions, entertainment systems and computer components from

power spikes. Voltage spikes are measured in joules, and surge protectors are rated for the number of joules they can effectively absorb. That means if your surge protector is rated at 1,000 joules, it should be replaced when it hits or passes that limit. When the limit is reached, protection stops, and you’re left with a basic power strip. If your electrical system takes a major hit, or if you don’t remember when you bought your surge protector, replacement may be the best option.

Extension Cords If you use extension cords regularly to connect devices and equipment to your wall outlets, you may live in an underwired home. With a growing number of electrical devices connecting your family, having enough outlets in just the right spots can be challenging. Extension cords are for temporary, occasional, or periodic use. Contact a licensed electrician if you need to add additional outlets. If an extension cord gets noticeably warm when in use, it could be undersized for the intended purpose. If it shows any signs of frayed, cracked, or heat-damaged insulation, it should be replaced. If the grounding prong is missing, crimped, or loose, a grounded cord will not provide the protection designed into its performance. And always make sure that extension cords used in outdoor or potentially damp locations are rated for exterior use.

Interim Director Appointed The Ontonagon REA Board of Directors recently appointed Mildred Ann Gasperich as the interim director for the Boston district. Ms. Gasperich is filling the vacancy left by James Moore, who recently stepped down from the board. This seat will be up for re-election in June 2020.


Ontonagon County REA/Dec. 31, 2019 & Dec. 31, 2018 Financial Statement Balance Sheets Assets UTILITY PLANT: Electric plant in service Construction work in progress Less—Accumulated depreciation Net utility plant INVESTMENTS & OTHER ASSETS Investments Total investments and other assets CURRENT ASSETS Cash and cash equivalents Accounts receivable (less accumulated provision for uncollectibles of $40,000 in 2019) Accounts receivable—other Materials and supplies Prepayments Total current assets Deferred charges TOTAL ASSETS

2019

2018

$30,566,345 877,231 31,443,576 (10,067,567) 21,376,009

$28,649,339 1,833,532 30,482,871 (9,464,820) 21,018,051

1,084,740 1,084,740

997,859 997,859

250,656 547,396

298,109 615,829

60,494 224,073 (13,862) 1,068,757 104,086

109,098 227,783 30,672 1,281,491 173,060

$23,633,592

$23,470,461

$22,760 6,340,786 32,497 6,396,043

$22,765 5,820,468 32,497 5,875,730

126,320 3,457,596

169,313 3,508,673

4,577,292

4,725,514

7,955,856 $16,117,064 (620,000) $15,497,064 96,000 $15,593,064

8,341,342 $16,744,842 (620,000) $16,124,842 156,813 $16,281,655

Members’ Equities and Liabilities EQUITIES: Memberships Patronage capital Other equities Total equities LONG-TERM LIABILITIES: Rural Utilities Service (RUS) mortgage notes FFB National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (NRUCFC) supplemental mortgage notes CoBank, ACB mortgage note Less current portion Post-retirement benefit obligation Total long-term liabilities

2019

2018

620,000 112,058 404,156 14,550 418,486

620,000 259,030 14,200 336,521

1,569,250

1,229,751

Members’ Equities and Liabilities (continued) CURRENT LIABILITIES: Current maturities of long-term liabilities Line of credit notes payable Accounts payable Customer deposits Other current liabilities TOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES Deferred credits TOTAL EQUITIES AND LIABILITIES

75,235

83,325

23,633,592

23,470,461

Statement of Revenue and Expenses Ending Dec. 31, 2019 & Dec. 31, 2018 OPERATING REVENUES OPERATING EXPENSES: Cost of purchased power Distribution—Operations Distribution—Maintenance Consumer accounts Customer service and informational Sales expense Administrative and general Depreciation Taxes Other deductions Total operating expenses

$6,332,676

$6,381,536

2,196,418 336,366 727,192 206,194 120,818 577,468 834,069 341,547 20,598

2,258,962 372,015 563,274 222,932 124,926 523,967 827,214 300,171 20,188

$5,360,670

$5,213,649

$972,006

$1,167,887

Operating margins before interest expense Interest expense

686,352

700,759

$285,654

$467,128

Capital credits

69,134 66,644 $135,778 98,888

58,093 93,522 $151,615 153,786

NET (LOSS) MARGINS

$520,320

$772,529

Operating margins (loss) after interest expense NONOPERATING MARGINS: Interest and investment income Other nonoperating income (expense)

Consumer Cooperative Act Disclosure Name

Address

Email

Title and District

Term*

Debbie Miles

500 James K. Paul St., Ontonagon MI 49953

debbie@ontorea.com

General Manager

Calvin Koski

18338 Aura Road, L’anse, MI 49946

cgkoski@up.net

Director—President Aura

2021

William Hodges

5166 S. Big Traverse Bay Road, Lake Linden, MI 49945

mistermich52@gmail.com

Director—Vice President & Treasurer Lake Linden District

2021

Mildred Ann Gasperich

58807 Lakeshore Drive, Calumet, MI 49913

anngasperich@yahoo.com

Director Boston

2020

Wayne Heikkinen

16593 Grist Mill Road, Baraga, MI 49908

mustipuppy@gmail.com

Director Pelke/Herman/Aura

2022

Paul Koski

14783 N. Cemetery Road, Ewen, MI 49925

pkoski@jamadots.com

Director Ewen/Trout Creek/Lake Mine

2020

Frances Wiideman

4730 Charlie’s Road, Toivola, MI 49965

fwiideman@alphacomm.net

Director Green/Firesteel/Toivola

2022

George Rajala

PO Box 415, Chassell, MI 49916

rejgeo50@yahoo.com

Director Chassell/Keweenaw Bay

2022

*All terms expire in June. Board members are compensated $325 per board meeting (president $350). General Manager is compensated $100,000 annually.

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

A

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.

A

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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Photo Contest Enter to win a

$200

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. One lucky member will win a credit up to $200 on their December 2020 energy bill!

Our Upcoming Topics And Deadlines: • Festivals & Fairs, due May 20 (July/August issue) • Michigan’s Natural Beauty, due July 20 (September issue) • Cute Pets, due September 20 (November/December issue) To submit photos, and for details and instructions, go to http://bit.ly/countrylines.

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On The Farm 1. Farmer Ada harvesting her asparagus crop. Danielle Impola 2. Charlie (top) and Wesley admiring “Papa’s” corn! Nadine Vantine 3. Conner checking out the chickens. Elsa Green 4. Our son, Vincent, with a spring chick that we hatched in an incubator. Todd Gemelli 5. Barnyard friends. John Gierke 6. Natalie and Monroe having a girls’ day on the farm! Ashley Shardlow

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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2020 Annual Meeting POSTPONED Due To COVID-19 The safety and well-being of our members and employees is always our top priority at Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Association. In keeping with that commitment, and in line with current CDC public health guidelines, your board of directors has postponed its 2020 Annual Meeting scheduled for June 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once a new date has been determined, it will be published in Michigan County Lines and on our website.

Mail-in ballots due June 15

Two Director Seats Up For Election

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this pandemic.

OFF

IC E C LO S U RES

MEMORIAL DAY & INDEPENDENCE DAY Cooperative offices will be closed on Monday, May 25, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday and Friday, July 3, for Independence Day. Payments may be made at the drop box and will be posted on the next open business day. From our family to yours, enjoy the holidays!Â

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 2: Ewen, Trout Creek, and Lake Mine; and District 6: Boston. These two director seats are up for election this June and ballots for those elections will be mailed after May 4, 2020, the due date of the nominating petitions. The ballots are due to our office no later than Monday, June 15, 2020, at 500 J.K. Paul St., Ontonagon, MI 49953. Please call our office if you have any questions.

Volunteers Needed To Count Ballots We will need an election committee made up of five (5) members to count the ballots. Therefore, we are looking for five volunteers to come to the office on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, to count the ballots. Volunteers will be paid mileage. If you wish to volunteer, please call 800-562-7128. The first five members to volunteer will make up the committee.

12 MAY 2020


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.”

M

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.  Ontonagon REA 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.” — John F. Kennedy

Access To Rules And Rates Please be advised that the following information is available to Ontonagon County REA members: 1. Complete rate schedules; 2. Clear and concise explanation of all rates that the member may be eligible to receive; 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; 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 Ontonagon County REA at 906-884-4151.

Fuel Mix Report The fuel mix characteristics of Ontonagon REA as required by Public Act 141 of 2000 for the 12-month period ending 12/31/19 Comparison Of Fuel Sources Used

Your Co-op’s Fuel Mix

Regional Average Fuel Mix

Regional average fuel mix used Your co-op’s fuel mix

Fuel Source Coal 26.10%

41.81%

Oil

0.2%

0.41%

Gas

18.1%

23.61%

Hydroelectric

2.1%

0.76%

Nuclear

37.8%

26.61%

Renewable Fuels

15.8%

6.80%

Biofuel

0.3%

0.79%

Biomass

0.2%

0.47%

Solar

0.4%

0.14%

Solid Waste Incineration

0.1%

0.02%

Wind

14.6%

4.95%

Wood

0.2%

0.43%

NOTE: Biomass excludes wood; solid waste incineration includes landfill gas.

Emissions And Waste Comparison lbs/MWh

Your Co-op

Regional Average*

Sulfur Dioxide

0.6

1.25

Carbon Dioxide

759

1,248.0

Oxides of Nitrogen

0.4

0.91

0.0086

0.0060

Type Of Emission/Waste

High-level Nuclear Waste

*Regional average information was obtained from the MPSC website and is for the 12-month period ending 12/31/19. Figures for Ontonagon County REA are based on those of its principle power suppliers, Wisconsin Public Service and Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc., which provided this fuel mix and environmental data.

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.

14 MAY 2020

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

15


Who is Jennifer Quail? By Emily Haines Lloyd

Quail has a penchant for the unique and unusual, as seen in the vintage amber necklace she’s wearing that became a bit of a talisman after her other necklace broke in the green room during the shooting of “Jeopardy!” The earrings are favorites from a friend and artist, Kendra, who sells on Etsy as Half-Lucid Jewelry. Quail plans to wear the earrings if she attends the Tournament of Champions.


Jennifer Quail is an old pro at winning competitions. She was pretty excited when

she submitted a recipe to Michigan Country Lines’ online contest and won a $50 credit on her Midwest Energy bill. Her Southwest Mac N Cheese was a hit, but she had no idea then that her winning streak was about to go to a whole new level. Quail grew up on the east side of Michigan near Detroit but found herself in Dowagiac, Michigan, after taking a museum educator position at Southwest Michigan College. Quail’s interest in facts and details certainly directed her in pursuing her museum studies degree. Those same interests were just as instrumental in her transition into a wine-tasting consultant for Domaine Berrien Cellars (Berrien Springs, Michigan), where she currently educates visitors on the nuances of the wine varietals offered. Quail, a lover of details and trivia, can put her knowledge to the test on the daily, but she always had her eyes on the ultimate trivia test. “I always loved ‘Jeopardy!’ when I was younger,” remembers Quail. “If we got our homework done as kids, we would eat dinner and then get to watch ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Jeopardy!’ It was the ultimate treat.” For 35 years, Quail watched contestants compete to ring in and dazzle host Alex Trebek with correct answers. Quail decided to take on the try-out process for the show—which consists of an online test, a face-to-face audition, and finally, an invitation to be a contestant. She made it as far as the in-person audition three times but didn’t advance to appearing on the show. Her fourth try proved to be the lucky one, and she was selected to compete on “Jeopardy!” Quail flew out to Los Angeles, where the show is filmed, and sat next to the other contestants, as they patiently awaited their turn to pick up a buzzer and show their smarts. “It was the only time I was really nervous,” said Quail. “You’re sitting there waiting for your name to be called. Otherwise, I felt pretty calm. Once you’ve worked a room of third graders on a museum field trip, you’re pretty much ready for anything.”

When Quail’s name finally was called, the nerves seemed to fade into the background. Once she won her first match, her confidence built, and Quail was off. Quail ended up with an impressive eight-game winning streak, going out on her ninth round. Her final earnings were $228,800, but Quail was equally proud that she correctly answered every Daily Double that she rang in on and nailed each “Final Jeopardy!” question except for one. Quail’s impressive run qualifies her for the Tournament of Champions, which she’s quick to admit she’d love to participate in. While the prize money and local notoriety were certainly a nice outcome, Quail has a sincere love of the game and is glad she didn’t give up on auditioning for the show. “It’s a dream come true. To go from being that little kid watching ‘Jeopardy!’ to actually being on the show, it’s amazing,” said Quail. “I’d encourage anyone who is thinking of auditioning for the show to do it. Just take the first step—because you never know where it can lead.”

“It’s a dream come true. To go from being that little kid watching ‘Jeopardy!’ to actually being on the show, it’s amazing.” 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


Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Association /OntonagonCountyREA

ontonagon.coop

To everyone helping in so many ways and those serving on the frontlines during this pandemic, we THANK YOU.

• Medical Workers • First Responders • Journalists • Civil Service Employees • Delivery Folks • Bank Workers • Farmers • Sanitary Workers • Pharmacy Workers

• Nonprofit Workers • Factory Workers • Truckers • Grocery Workers • Mail Carriers • Utility Workers • Military Personnel • School Employees • Restaurant Workers

Profile for Country Lines

May 2020  

May 2020