Oct. 2018, GLE

Page 1

October 2018


COUNTRY LINES Great Lakes Energy Cooperative

Truestream Fiber Internet News Free Energy Saving Gifts GLE In The Community

FALL Celebrate

On Mackinac Island


You don’t have to lower the thermostat to control your heating bills. WaterFurnace geothermal systems use the clean, renewable energy in your own backyard to provide savings of up to 70% on heating, cooling and hot water. And because WaterFurnace units don’t use any fossil fuels or combustion, the EPA calls it the most environmentally friendly and cost effective way to condition our homes.2 Call your local WaterFurnace dealer to learn how WaterFurnace is good for the environment, your budget and the feeling in your toes. YOUR LOCAL WATERFURNACE DEALERS

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

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

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

Hart/Ludington Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 adamsheatingcooling.com

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

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

Caro AllTemp Comfort, Inc. (866) 844-HEAT (4328) geo4less.com

Kalkaska Kalkaska Plmb & Htg (231) 258-3588 kalkaskageothermal.net

Michigan Center Comfort 1/Aire Serv of Southern Michigan (517) 764-1500 comfort1.net/geothermal

Portland ESI Htg & Clg (517) 647-6906 esiheating.com

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

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

Muskegon Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 adamsheatingcooling.com

Traverse City D & W Mechanical (231) 941-1215 dwgeothermal.com

Kiessel Geothermal Htg & Clg (231) 747-7509 kiesselsgeo.com

visit us at waterfurnace.com WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc. 1. 30% through 2019, 26% through 2020 and 22% through 2021 2. EPA study “Space Conditioning, The Next Frontier” (Report 430-R-93-004)

In This Issue October 2018 || Vol. 38, No. 9

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives countrylines.com

Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Copy Editor: Heidi Spencer Design and Layout: Karreen Bird Publisher: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. POSTMASTER: SEND ALL UAA TO CFS. Association officers are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Mark Kappler, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretary-treasurer. Craig Borr is president and CEO. CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 editor@countrylines.com


facebook.com/ michigancountrylines

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.

ON THE COVER Enjoy fall on the island. The delightfully crispy air, magnificent color, miles of trails and a variety of fall events await on Mackinac Island.

6 ENERGY A Full House Of Energy Savings 7 SAFETY Guns And Powerlines: Tips To Stay Safe 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Enjoy These Delicious Sweet Treat Recipes Christin McKamey & Our Readers

Enjoy A Fall Classic Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe Courtesy Of Island House Executive Chef Phil Kromer Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

14 FEATURE Celebrate Fall On Mackinac Island Emily Haines Lloyd

18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY I Remember... Before The Bridge Luman Slade, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op

Win $150 for stories published.

Guest Column Country Lines invites members to submit stories. Guidelines 1. Approximately 350 words 2. Digital photos must be at least 600 KB 3. Submit your guest column at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab Win $50 for stories published.

I Remember... We invite members to share their fondest memories.

Guidelines 1. Approximately 200 words 2. Digital photos must be at least 600 KB 3. Submit your memory at: countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab.



Board of Directors

Mark Carson Chairman, District 2

01950 Anderson Rd., Boyne City, MI 49712 231-675-0561 • mcarson@glenergy.com

John LaForge Vice-Chairman, District 9 7363 Walters Rd., Delton, MI 49046 269-623-2284 • jlaforge@glenergy.com

Paul Schemanski Secretary, District 1 5974 Stolt Rd., Petoskey, MI 49770 231-439-9079 • paul.schemanski@glenergy.com

Larry Monshor Treasurer, District 4 1541 Thumm Rd., Gaylord, MI 49735 989-705-1778 • lmonshor@glenergy.com

Tim Brechon Director, District 8

22322 220th Ave., Paris, MI 49338 630-379-6218 • tbrechon@glenergy.com

Paul Byl Director, District 7

9941 W. Buchanan Rd., Shelby, MI 49455 231-861-5911 • pbyl@glenergy.com

Richard Evans Director, District 3 11195 Essex Rd., Ellsworth, MI 49729 231-883-3146 • revans@glenergy.com

Dale Farrier Director, District 5

2261 Wheeler Lake Rd. NE, Kalkaska, MI 49646 231-564-0853 • dfarrier@glenergy.com

Robert Kran Director, District 6

7380 N. Tuttle Rd., Free Soil, MI 49411 231-464-5889 • bkran@glenergy.com

President/CEO: Bill Scott 888-485-2537

Communications Director/Editor: Dave Guzniczak 231-487-1316 dguz@glenergy.com

Boyne City Headquarters 1323 Boyne Ave., P.O. Box 70 Boyne City, MI 49712 Hours: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. M–F Phone: 888-485-2537 Email: glenergy@glenergy.com

To report an outage, call: 1-888-485-2537

gtlakes.com Change of Address: 888-485-2537, ext. 8924 Great Lakes Energy is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


4 OCTOBER 2018

Celebrate Being A Co-op Member Bill Scott, Great Lakes Energy President/CEO

Some things change, some things stay the same. During the month of October—National Cooperative Month— we celebrate both. Mostly, we celebrate the fact that this electric co-op is owned by the members it serves. That hasn’t changed in 81 years. The idea that co-ops exist to meet a need previously unmet in the community hasn’t changed either. It’s what drives us to put people first and be a trusted voice in our communities. Since Great Lakes Energy is one of the largest electric cooperatives in the nation, as measured by our 14,000-plus miles of line, we’re privileged to serve many different communities throughout our 26-county western and northern Michigan service territory. You, our members, guide our decisions. How do you do that? One form of guidance happened in August when members in three districts re-elected incumbent Great Lakes Energy board members. You won’t find this type of grassroots democracy at any type of electric utility other than a co-op. That is worth celebrating! For the past 15 years, we’ve provided our members with capital credit refunds. That is, we’ve paid back part of the capital investment you make in your co-op every time you pay a bill through refunding to you a portion of your co-op’s profits as a bill credit in December. Over those 15 years, we’ve given our member-owners capital credit refunds totaling over $66.4 million. We anticipate another round of capital credit refunds going out to you this December. Celebrate that too! The paths Great Lakes Energy takes are designed to best serve our members’ needs, sometimes by changing their communities and even their lives. You’ll see that in the form of initiatives such as the renewable energy programs we offer, economic development involvement, classroom grants, and People Fund grants made possible by our members’ own generosity. Of course, the most visible recent example is the launch of Truestream, our high-speed fiber internet business that sprang from realizing the huge need our rural members have for such a service. Now that’s a lot to celebrate! We recognize that each community has different needs. The co-op business model allows Great Lakes Energy to have its own members’ best interests at heart and enrich the lives of those living and working in the communities we serve—now and in the future. It’s the cooperative difference. Celebrate that!

Pay Your Way Great Lakes Energy offers several convenient Pay Your Way options for paying your electric bill.

AutoPay: Your payment is automatically deducted from your bank account or charged to your credit/debit card. ePay: Pay online at gtlakes.com. Make a one-time payment with a check or credit card. Enroll in e-billing to stop receiving paper bills. PhonePay: Contact us during business hours or use our 24-hour automated phone payment option. We accept payment by credit card or check over the phone. FlexPay: Pay in advance and manage your electricity use on a daily basis. No late fees, no reconnect fees and no deposits involved with this plan. Mobile App: Download the Great Lakes Energy mobile app (for Apple and Android) to pay your bill and get the latest news about GLE programs and services.

You can also visit any of our eight GLE offices and make your payment in person or use our drop-box. We also have a budget plan to help meet your payment needs. For more information visit gtlakes.com or contact us at 888-GTLAKES (485-2537).

Celebrate Co-op Month With Us Stop into any Great Lakes Energy office in October and receive a free LED night light and a wall calendar with energysaving tips. Sign up to win one of three great prizes, too:



1st Prize: 32� LED Energy-Star rated TV 2nd Prize: $100 worth of LED lights* 3rd Prize: $50 worth of LED lights* * Donated by The Home Depot of Petoskey.

A Full House of Energy Savings ATTIC

In many homes, attic insulation is one of easiest, least expensive and most effective ways to reduce your energy use. In colder regions, a properly insulated attic also reduces the chance of ice dams.



Plug all electronic gadgets such as phone and laptop chargers, printers, gaming consoles and BluRay players into a power strip with an on/off switch. When not in use, turn the power strip off to eliminate all those energy vampires.


Ceiling fans can help save energy all year long! In the summer, fans should rotate counter clockwise to push air down, creating a cooling flow. In the winter, fans should rotate clockwise to help draw cool air up toward the ceiling, and push the warm air that naturally rises down to you and your family.



Smart thermostats learn how you and your family live, and automatically adjust the temperature settings based on your lifestyle to keep you comfortable while saving you money.

Take a short shower instead of a bath. Short showers use much less water, and you’ll also save energy by not heating all that extra water!

Make sure your burner isn’t bigger than the pan, and use flat-bottomed pans to maximize surface contact with the burner. Don’t preheat the oven until you’re ready to use it. Minimize the number of times you open and close the refrigerator or oven door.



Want to learn about additional ways to save energy? Contact your Michigan electric cooperative for more energy efficiency tips!

6 OCTOBER 2018

GUNS & POWERLINES Tips to Stay Sa�e

Shooting guns near power and transmission facilities (including wires, poles and insulators) is dangerous to you and jeopardizes everyone’s power. Here are tips to help keep everyone safe.

Familiarize yourself with the location of power lines and equipment on land where you shoot especially in wooded areas where power lines are not as visible. Your shot could damage the conductor, possibly dropping a phase to the ground. If it’s dry and the electricity goes to the ground, there is the possibility of electrocution and wildfire. Do not use power line wood poles or towers to support equipment used in your shooting activity. Never attempt to shoot through the wires or at anything that may be on the wires or poles.

If your target is “sky lined” on a hill or power line and you cannot see what lies beyond, do not take the shot. Do not place deer stands on utility poles or climb poles. Energized lines and equipment on the poles can conduct electricity to anyone who comes in contact with them, causing shock or electrocution. Do not shoot at, or near, birds perching on utility lines. That goes for any firearm, including pistols, rifles or shotguns. Do not place decoys on power lines or other utility equipment. Anything attached to a pole beside utility equipment can pose an obstruction––and a serious hazard––to electric cooperative employees as they perform utility operations. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Energy Assistance For Income-Qualified Residents We know utility bills can easily pile up for folks with limited incomes. The Energy Optimization program is here to help. If your household meets the income eligibility guidelines, you could receive FREE energy-saving products and services through Energy Optimization’s Home Energy Baseload Program. Qualified residents can obtain assistance to improve the energy performance of their homes—which will help reduce electricity use and save money on utility bills.

Energy-Saving Devices And Installation One of our trained, professional contractors can visit your home to leave behind or install a variety of energy efficiency devices. You will receive information on how to get the most out of your new gadgets, as well as tips for making simple changes to save energy at home.

Refrigerator Evaluation And Replacement Is your refrigerator at least 10 years old? An Energy Optimization program representative can visit your home to evaluate your refrigerator. If it is determined to be highly inefficient, you could receive a new replacement at no cost.

Eligibility Requirements To qualify for the Home Energy Baseload Program, your household must meet the following income guidelines. Gross annual income is the combined total income of all household members, before taxes. Family Size

Gross Annual Income





Free items available through the program include:



• • • • •











LED bulbs LED night lights Smart power strip Low-flow showerhead Faucet aerators



Note: For families/ households with more than eight people, add $8,640 for each additional person. To find out if you qualify for Energy Optimization programs or to learn more, call 877-296-4319 or visit michigan-energy.org.

Energy Assistance We know it can be difficult to keep up with energy costs. The Home Energy Baseload Program may provide income-eligible households with the following: ▪ In-home equipment evaluations ▪ Refrigerator replacements ▪ Energy-saving devices

Contact us today for program eligibility information. PHONE: 877.296.4319 EMAIL: michigan-energy.org

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.

GLE Photo Contest Pumpkin Faces 1. Heart Warrior Strong –– Richard Hall, Hesperia 2. Two Faces in the Pumpkins –– Sheila Melke, Charlevoix 3. Our Little Pumpkin –– Michelle Krentz, Middleville 4. Spooky –– Ranae Utley, Boyne Falls 5. Fun Loving Pumpkins –– Allysa Brooks, Charlevoix 6. Blue Herons on Pumpkins –– Sheryl Day, Rapid City

Most votes on Facebook!





Submit Your “Cutest Kids” Photo! Each month members can submit photos on Facebook or our website for our annual photo contest. The photo with the most votes on Facebook is published here along with other selections.


Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Our October contest theme is Cutest Kids. Photos can be submitted by October 20 to be featured in the January 2019 issue.

How To Enter:

Visit Facebook.com/greatlakesenergy and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. Not on Facebook? You can also enter the contest at gtlakes.com/photocontest/. Make sure to vote and encourage others to vote for you, too. The photo receiving the most votes from our online and Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Michigan Country Lines along with some of our other favorites. All photos printed in the magazine in 2019 will be entered to win a $200 bill credit in December 2019.




Cookies And Cakes

You’ll be tempted to eat dessert first with these delicious sweet treats. Photos—Robert Bruce Photography

Aunt Lydia’s Famous Carrot Cake (pictured) Karen Stewart, Great Lakes Energy 2 cups sugar 1½ cups vegetable or coconut oil 4 eggs 2 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ 3 ¾ ¾ ¾

teaspoon allspice cups grated carrots cup chopped walnuts cup raisins, optional cup unsweetened coconut flakes, optional

Aunt Lydia’s Famous Cream Cheese Frosting 1 8-ounce package 1 pound confectioner’s cream cheese (powdered) sugar 1 stick butter 1 teaspoon vanilla Preheat oven to 300 F. Combine cake ingredients in the order given. Add batter to three greased and floured 8-inch layer pans (they will be thin). Bake for 40 minutes. Cool cakes on wire racks. While baking, make frosting by adding all the frosting ingredients to a medium bowl and blending with mixer until smooth. When cakes are cooled completely, place the first cake on plate or cutting board. Add ¹/³ of the frosting. Add next layer and another ¹/³ of the frosting. Add the remaining layer and remaining ¹/³ frosting. Cut and serve. Watch a video of this recipe at

micoopkitchen.com/videos 10 OCTOBER 2018

Waffle Iron Cookies Claudia Kulnis, Great Lakes Energy 1 2½ 6 1

pound butter (4 sticks) cups sugar eggs, separated teaspoon vanilla

6 cups cake flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy in a mixer. Add egg yolks one at a time and vanilla. Add cake flour, baking powder and salt. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff. Fold egg whites into first mixture. Bake on a hot, well greased waffle iron until golden brown. Note: Waffle irons differ. In mine, it takes 2½ minutes to produce 8 cookies at a time, two in each square. It is only necessary to grease the waffle iron for the first batch if using a Teflon coated waffle iron. Cool on wire racks, lifting each with the tines of a fork from the waffle iron. Cookies keep for a week in airtight containers and they freeze well. For speed and ease in baking, walnut-sized balls may be rolled ahead of time instead of dropping dough from a teaspoon. Makes approximately 8–10 dozen depending on the size of the ball.

FEATURED GUEST CHEF Fall always calls for rich and flavorful comfort food. This mouthwatering recipe from Mackinac Island’s own Island House Executive Chef, Phil Kromer, puts an autumnal twist on a classic cheesecake that will have you dreaming at night of leaves crunching under boots and the smell of bonfires in the air.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake Terry Kandell, Midwest Energy & Communications 3 3 1½ 1½ 1¼ 1 1 1½

medium zucchinis (1 pound) cups unsifted flour teaspoons baking powder teaspoons cinnamon teaspoons salt teaspoon baking soda teaspoon ground cloves cups oil (olive or avocado oil)

Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar 1 tablespoon margarine or butter, softened • dash salt 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

2¹⁄ ³ cups firmly packed brown sugar (1 pound) 4 eggs 2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces 1 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons water ½ teaspoon vanilla 1 square semi-sweet chocolate for curls, optional

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grate enough zucchini to make three cups. Grease and flour 10-inch tube pan; set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and cloves; set aside. In a large mixing bowl at medium speed, beat oil and sugar; then add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Gradually beat in melted chocolate. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and beat until smooth. Fold in the zucchini, chocolate pieces, and pecans. Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 20 minutes. Remove from pan and put on wire rack. To make the glaze, in a small bowl, beat sugar, margarine and salt. Add corn syrup, water, and vanilla. Spread glaze over cake and let set 10 minutes. Garnish with chocolate curls if desired. Serve immediately.

Pasta Perfect: due November 1 Ultimate Burgers: due December 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines. Go to micoopkitchen.com for more information and to register.

Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crust 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs ¼ cup melted butter 1 tablespoon sugar ¼ teaspoon cinnamon ¼ teaspoon salt Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine ingredients and press into springform pan. Bake for 8–10 minutes. Wrap pan in two layers of aluminum foil when cool. Pumpkin Filling 1½ pounds cream cheese at room temperature 1½ cups sugar 5 eggs 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1½ teaspoon cinnamon ¼ teaspoon nutmeg 2 cups pumpkin puree Cream the cream cheese and sugar in stand mixer, scraping bowl frequently. Add eggs one at a time, beating in thoroughly, scraping bowl between each addition. Mix together remaining ingredients. Pour on top of crust and bake in a water bath at 350 F until set but slightly jiggly, about 75–90 minutes. Cool at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Read the full story about celebrating fall on Mackinac Island on page 14, and find this recipe and others at micoopkitchen.com.


Summer Library On A Bus The mission of the B. Bus Mobile Library operated by the YMCA of Barry County is to keep kids reading all summer so they are better prepared to start the new school year in the fall. The bus makes stops in the summer in area neighborhoods where students can check out books, listen to stories and engage in other fun learning activities. A $10,000 People Fund grant helped make this program possible.

This year 350 readers checked out 2,100 books from the mobile library. For more information on the program, visit ymcaofbarrycounty.org/b-bus. People Fund grants are funded with “extra change” donated by Great Lakes Energy members who have their bills rounded up to the next dollar. Call 1-888-485-2537 or visit gtlakes.com if you would like to support the People Fund.

Join People Fund Plus Now you can make a greater impact in your local community with People Fund PLUS. Choose a People Fund donation level in addition to your rounded-up amount. Your donations are awarded in the form of grants to local community nonprofit groups. All People Fund contributors have the chance to win a $100 bill credit twice per year. In 2017 the People Fund awarded $216,155 in grants to local nonprofits. Visit gtlakes.com to see the list of grant recipients in your area.

JOIN TODAY! Working together, we can help enhance our local communities and meet the needs of so many.

EXAMPLE: With People Fund: Bill Amount $65.42 + $.58 for People Fund = $66.00 With People Fund PLUS: Bill Amount $65.42 + $.58 for People Fund + $2.00 for PLUS = $68.00

• Call 888-GT-LAKES or visit gtlakes.com/peoplefundenroll to join. •

GLE In The Community Concern for community is one of the seven cooperative principles that Great Lakes Energy follows.

Local community and business leaders join Great Lakes Energy directors, management and employees in a ribbon cutting ceremony at the cooperative’s Boyne City office to launch the start of Truestream, the co-op’s new fiber internet service.

The energy bike attracts interest at the Great Lakes Energy booth at the Northern Michigan Regional Home Show in Petoskey.

Students interested in becoming electrical lineworkers can take a new introductory class at Boyne City High School. Great Lakes Energy is one of the partners that helped develop the pre-apprenticeship program. A video to introduce the new program was filmed in part at the cooperative’s training yard in Boyne City featuring Great Lakes Energy lineworkers and students. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13

FA L L Celebrate

On Mackinac Island

By Emily Haines Lloyd Photos courtesy of Mackinac Island Convention and Visitors Bureau

Fall in Michigan is a special time of year. Color tours, cool days and crisp nights. It’s what autumnal dreams are made of. But if you want to take your October to the next level, there’s nothing like a ferry ride to Mackinac Island to remind yourself of everything to love about this special season. It’s easy to imagine the island shuttering up at the end of summer, as the kids head back to school with sharpened pencils and fresh spiral notebooks. However, Mackinac Island has a rich second life in fall with the gorgeous burst of turning leaves, tempting lodging specials, annual events and shopping sales that are hard to resist. “October is our most colorful month on the island,” said Tim Hygh, Executive Director of the Mackinac Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our colors last a little longer than the

14 OCTOBER 2018

mainland. They extend until the end of October, as does the fun.” The “fun” begins with decompressing when you hop a ferry in Mackinaw City or St. Ignace and feeling your blood pressure lower with each panoramic view of the Mackinac Straits, the “Mighty Mac” Bridge and eventually the island itself. Disembark from the boat and take a step back in time. Horse-drawn carriages and bicycles meander down streets as you begin to forget you ever owned a car. There’s still a happy buzz of residents and visitors in the fall, but the crowds from the summer months have dissipated— allowing visitors to relax in a quieter atmosphere. Stores and restaurants are still open, with nightly entertainment still scheduled through the end of October at local haunts. Tours are also still

1. Colorful Maple trees lining Mackinac Island’s Grand Boulevard. 2. Runners are gathered at Mission Point for the Great Turtle Run and Walk. 3. A variety of Halloween costumes make for entertaining people watching. 4. The Island House Hotel surrounded by fall colors.



3 booking—whether you’re looking to explore local lighthouses or take a sunset cruise around the island. If you’re hoping to spend your time communing with nature, there are always bicycle and horse rentals. Or you can lace up your favorite hiking boots and explore more than 140 miles of hiking trails on the island. “Each October, we close the season out with our Halloween celebration,” said Hygh. “It’s such a special time of natural beauty and good, old-fashioned fun.” On Mackinac Island, Halloween always falls on the last Saturday in October. Festivities kick off with the annual Great Turtle Trail Run on Saturday morning. Cooler temperatures and

4 colorful views keep the 2,500-3,000 walkers and runners coming back year after year. From 3 to 5 p.m. Main Street and side street shops open their doors to trick-or-treaters for a parade of costumes and the inevitable sugar rush that follows. In the evening, adults take their costumes out for a second spin of bustling nightlife at local pubs and restaurants. By the end of the weekend, visitors agree that a visit to Mackinac Island in October guarantees far more treats than tricks.

“Our COLORS LAST A LITTLE LONGER than the mainland. They extend until the end of October, as does the FUN.” —Tim Hygh MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 15

Championing The

Truestream Cause A

group of 110 Great Lakes Energy members were briefed on how they can help their electric cooperative make other GLE members in their area aware that a new lifechanging service is coming to their area. GLE staff handed out cards, flyers and other informational material to the many champions who have volunteered to help spread the word to neighbors and friends that GLE’s new fiberto-the-home internet service, Truestream, is coming to their area. Fiber cable is currently being strung on utility poles in the first phase of the project area, which includes most of Emmet and parts of adjoining Charlevoix and Cheboygan counties. Based on current projections, some members in the project area should have service this year while others should expect it in the next one or two years. The Truestream champions meeting is reminiscent of scenes over 80 years ago where neighbors met and organized to bring electric service to rural areas. That grassroots drive led to the creation of consumer-owned electric cooperatives across the United States. Whether connecting with family and friends through social media or for work, education or medicine, having fast, reliable internet service has become a necessity—just like electricity was (and still is) to rural people many years ago. Truestream’s fiber internet connection will provide speeds from 100 Mbps to 1 Gig, faster than cable, satellite or other connections. It’s the only true fiber-to-the-home internet service

16 OCTOBER 2018

available to GLE members. Prices for unlimited service, which includes free installation, start at just $59.99/mo. The co-op’s goal is to eventually bring Truestream to all GLE members. The first step is to get members to register for the service, which does not obligate them to take it. Registrations will be closely monitored and will play a key role in determining where Truestream will be offered next. To register, visit jointruestream.com. Information on packages and prices is available on this new site along with other information about the new service.

A crowd of 110 Great Lakes Energy members attended the first Truestream champions meeting hosted by their cooperative. Great Lakes Energy would like to thank one of its members, Nub’s Nob Ski Area, for sponsoring the event. The champions are Great Lakes Energy members who attended the meeting to learn how they can volunteer their time to help rally support for Truestream, the cooperative’s new high speed fiber-to-thehome internet service. See pg. 17 for more exciting news about Truestream.

Truestream Fiber Construction Progresses Truestream fiber contract crews continue to make good progress this fall in our Petoskey service district. From July to early September, more than 70 miles of fiber were built and more than 1,300 poles were framed with equipment. The fast pace will be kept up until the ground is too frozen to continue. Fiber is being dug underground and strung overhead with the first member hookups still scheduled to occur before the end of the year. Installation is free for members connecting to Truestream, which includes running the fiber to the home. Other providers say they have fiber but it is only in a small portion of their network, not to your home. Truestream's network is made entirely of fiber all the way to your home, which means a faster, more reliable connection that you don't have to share with others. The order for construction and connections is as follows: 1. Crews are building the fiber backbone which connects all our electric substations in the Petoskey service district. Members within 1,500

feet of the backbone are eligible for service first and will be designated as such when registering on jointruestream.com. If you’re not within 1,500 feet of the backbone, don’t worry! All GLE members in the Petoskey service district, which includes all of rural Emmet County and small parts of Charlevoix and Cheboygan counties, will have access to Truestream when construction is completed in 2–3 years. 2. In the spring of 2019, we will begin construction in other areas in the Petoskey service district. See the areas tab on jointruestream. com for the list of areas eligible and the progress for each. Demand for the service will help us determine which area we construct service to next after the A1 and A2 areas are completed.

Yahoo or another no-cost service. With Truestream you won’t have a dedicated email address. If you use one through your current provider, it will go away when you make the switch. Start moving your contact list and subscriptions over to this new email address ahead of time. It's also a good idea to avoid long-term agreements with your current provider if they would prevent you from being able to get Truestream when it comes to your area.

3. Demand in areas outside of the Petoskey service district will help guide future construction plans, which could start as early as 2020.

Help us spread the word about Truestream to your friends and neighbors and be sure to sign-up to show your interest. With internet speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 1 Gig and prices starting at around $60 per month, you’ll want to join Truestream today. We’ll be gauging your interest and may be making decisions on where to construct service next based on member demand! Plus, by signing up you’ll receive the latest updates and information on the project.

While waiting for Truestream, you should sign up for a portable email address, such as Google,

Visit jointruestream.com today. Don’t have internet right now? Call our office and we’ll sign you up.

I Remember... SPOTLIGHT ON



SUBMIT A NOMINATION TODAY! Photo: Don Harrison, flickr.com/photos/upnorthmemories/6172941099

Michigan Country Lines is on the hunt for entrepreneurial movers and shakers to showcase in our March 2019 magazine. We know co-op members are awesome and there is no shortage of pioneers, innovators and leaders in our service territory. Featured entrepreneurial endeavors can be small start-ups, large operations or anything in between. If you know a friend, neighbor or coworker we should consider, nominate them by December 31 at countrylines.com. Self-nominations are accepted.

Before The Bridge I was 10 in 1951 when I first crossed the Straits of Mackinac on a ferryboat, and first saw Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. Our family was traveling to a lake near Channing for a week of fishing. It was the most exciting trip I had ever taken. As we neared Mackinaw City, an overhead sign said, “Straits of Mackinac— 25 miles.” The traffic became so heavy it took us forever to go that last 25 miles. Then we waited another hour or so to board the City of Cheboygan ferry. While waiting, we ate smoked whitefish and soda crackers which were sold, car to car, by vendors. We supplemented those delicacies with Kool-Aid and Better Made potato chips. It was a wonderful meal! After our car was blocked in place on the ferryboat, we all went up to the top deck for better views. Everyone waved when the City of Petoskey ferryboat passed by going the other way. I took lots of pictures with my Six-20 Brownie Junior camera. I made many additional ferryboat trips back and forth between Michigan’s two peninsulas before the Mackinac Bridge opened for traffic in 1957, but none were as memorable as was that first trip.

Luman Slade, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op Michigan author Luman Slade has published four books for young readers. One of his books, “There’s a Bear in the Raspberry Patch,” is a young boy’s story of his adventures at his grandfather’s cabin in the U.P. His books are available at many stores in Michigan and through his website: lumanslade.com.

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YEAR 1 What if it could cost less to enjoy a more comfortable home? With Well-Connect, it does. Well-Connect is an affordable alternative to heating and cooling rural homes and works in combination with your home’s current heating system. This hybrid approach allows almost any existing well to become a free, clean energy source for heating and cooling your home. Well-Connect heats for 50%-75% less than propane, fuel oil or electric and those savings more than cover the cost of the system.

Hybrid Geothermal

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Thank You, Members! We appreciate your patience in late August as we restored power to more than 46,000 members affected by tornadoes, wind and rain. Damage included 412 broken utility poles. Thank you to the Great Lakes Energy linemen and staff who work so hard to serve our members every day. When it comes to electricity, you know you have an outstanding team working for you. We’re looking out for you in any kind of weather! Get the latest information by visiting our website at www.gtlakes.com or facebook.com/greatlakesenergy.