Sept. 2020 Alger Delta

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September 2020


COUNTRY LINES Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association

Be Prepared For Storms


Kozikowski’s Passion For Archery 4 Culprits Of Electrical Fires


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September 2020 Vol. 40, No. 8



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, secretary-treasurer; Craig Borr, president and CEO.

CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Please

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

#micoopcommunity 14 LEGACY ON THE LAKES Jim Hogan continues his family's tradition of captaining the J.W. Westcott II, a mail boat with the only floating ZIP code in the nation.

Cover Photo: Neil Schultheiss

6 ROAD TRIPPIN' Christal Frost travels to Sault Ste. Marie, the oldest city in Michigan.

18 BEST OF MICHIGAN: WINERIES For a taste of Michigan in every sip, enjoy these memberrecommended wineries for your next getaway or celebration.

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Simple, kid-friendly recipes to make family time fun.

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


United we stand, divided we fall. Loving these patriotic straw bales captured by @jodystrangphoto.

Be featured!

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

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Up Next: Salad Night Share your favorite recipes.

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Submit your fondest memories and stories.

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Don’t Wait. Be Prepared Before the Storm.

By Troy Tiernan, Operations Manager


t’s your worst-case scenario. A major storm was predicted, and this time, the predictions were right. Many power lines are down, and your electricity may be out for several days. You are low on everything—food, pet supplies, toilet paper, batteries, diapers and your medication.

close exterior doors. Fully charge all cell phones, laptops and devices so you have maximum power in the event of a power outage. If you plan to use a small generator, make sure it’s rated to handle the amount of power you will need, and always review the manufacturer’s instructions to operate it safely.

Imagine how you would feel in this situation. While you can’t predict which weather forecast will come true, you can plan ahead so when a severe weather event strikes, you have the tools and resources to effectively weather the storm. The Department of Homeland Security offers several resources to help you prepare for major weather events and natural disasters. Visit

During a prolonged outage



District 1—Big Bay Darryl Small 906-345-9369 •

District 2—Harvey/Deerton Karen Alholm 906-249-1095 •

District 3—Grand Marais Mike Lawless 906-494-2080 • District 4—Cedar River/Palestine Vacant

District 5—Gourley/LaBranche/Cornell Ivy Netzel 906-639-2979 • District 6—Nathan/White Rapids Paul Sederquist 906-753-4484 •

District 7—Stonington/Rapid River Kirk Bruno 906-399-1432 • District 8—Nahma/Isabella Ray Young 906-450-1881 •

District 9—Hiawatha/Maple Ridge Doug Bovin 906-573-2379 • HEADQUARTERS: 426 N. 9th St, Gladstone, MI 49837 906-428-4141 • 800-562-0950 Fax: 906-428-3840 • OFFICE HOURS Monday–Thursday 7 a.m.–5 p.m. (EST) Alger Delta Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Preparedness actions and items • Stock your pantry with a three-day supply of nonperishable food, such as canned goods, energy bars, peanut butter, powdered milk, instant coffee, water and other essentials (e.g., diapers and toiletries). • Confirm that you have adequate sanitation and hygiene supplies, including towelettes, soap and hand sanitizer. • Ensure your first-aid kit is stocked with pain relievers, bandages and other medical essentials, and make sure your prescriptions are current. • Set aside basic household items you will need, including flashlights, batteries, a manual can opener and a portable, battery-powered radio or TV.



• Organize emergency supplies so they are together in an easily accessible location.

With advance warning MENOMINEE


If a severe storm is expected with high winds and sustained rain, you may need to take extra steps to safeguard your home. Shutter windows and securely

In the event of an outage, turn off appliances, TVs, computers and other sensitive electronics. This will help avert damage from a power surge, and will also help prevent overloading the circuits during power restoration. That said, do leave one light on so you will know when power is restored. If utilizing a small household generator, consider using LED holiday lights to illuminate a living area. A strand of 100 white lights draws little energy yet produces considerable light. Solar lights also work, if they can receive some sunlight during the day for charging. During thunderstorms, the American Red Cross recommends avoiding electrical equipment and land-based telephones. Use battery-powered TVs and radios instead. Keep away from windows. Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates, or check Alger Delta’s website for restoration updates. After the storm, avoid downed power lines and walking through flooded areas where power lines could be submerged. Allow ample room for utility crews to safely perform their jobs—including on your property.

The power of planning Advance planning for severe storms or other emergencies can reduce stress and anxiety caused by the weather event and can lessen the impact of the storm’s effects. Sign up for NOAA emergency alerts and warnings to stay abreast of restoration efforts, and visit Alger Delta’s website for other important co-op news and information. Act today, because there is power in planning.

Left to right: Amanda Seger (Alger Delta Electric CFO) and Jim Preston (township trustee)

Left to right: Amanda Seger, Steve Wery (township supervisor), Annette Soper (township clerk), and Stephanie Walechka (township treasurer)

“ Part of our mission as a locally owned, notfor-profit organization is to make positive contributions to the communities we serve.” —Amanda Seger, Alger Delta CFO

Alger Delta Electric Donation Helps Local Townships Create Warming Centers A

lger Delta Cooperative Electric Association is helping local townships prepare for potential extended power outages. Earlier this spring, Alger Delta Electric donated $3,000 to Cedarville Township and an additional $3,000 to Gourley Township toward the purchase and installation of emergency backup generators for their respective township halls. The generators will allow the township halls to be used as warming centers if an extended power outage occurs. They will also ensure the fire departments, located within the township hall buildings, have access to power and can respond to emergencies during outages. Installed in March, the generators are ready to go should the need arise. “Part of our mission as a locally owned, not-for-profit organization is to make positive contributions to the communities we serve,” stated Amanda Seger, CFO for Alger Delta. “I can’t think of a more worthy cause than ensuring residents are able to stay warm during an emergency.”

The purchase and installation of emergency backup generators was spurred by the extended outages that took place over Thanksgiving of 2019. A winter storm knocked out power to many people living in the Upper Peninsula. With an aging population, safety plans are a necessity during power outages in such a rural area. “We live and work in the area, too,” continued Seger. “We want to be sure our friends and neighbors are prepared and can be kept safe the next time a strong storm wipes out power.” Alger Delta Electric recommends all residents have a winter storm survival plan in place for extended outages. This may include bottled water, extra canned goods, a flashlight, batteries, blankets, warm clothes, and a first-aid kit. Alger Delta Electric’s donations were made possible through funds provided by Alger Delta Electric’s not-forprofit wholesale power provider, WPPI Energy.



Road ’ n i p p i Tr

With Christal Frost To Sault Ste. Marie! raveling to Sault Ste. Marie is almost like traveling back in time. Sault Ste. Marie, or as the locals say, The Soo, is the oldest city in Michigan, and the third oldest in the United States. Nestled along the shores of the St. Mary’s River, along the U.S.-Canadian border, this Upper Peninsula gem is chock-full of both history and innovation.


Mackinac Bridge

For a Lower Peninsula native like myself, any trip to the Upper Peninsula includes venturing over the Mackinac Bridge. The Mighty Mac was born from a dream to connect the two peninsulas over the Straits of Mackinac that stems from the 1880s. That dream came true, thanks to the engineering and design of David Steinman and three and

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a half years of construction, when the bridge opened to traffic on Nov. 1, 1957. The bridge has been well-traveled ever since, boasting thousands of cars crossing each year.

Goetz’s Lockview Restaurant

In 1945, a tradition was started of selling the freshest whitefish in the area. The owner of the Lockview Restaurant, along with his dishwasher, would walk across the street to the Soo Locks after breakfast every morning to catch the fish they would serve for lunch that day. The dedication paid off, and in just two years, Goetz’s Lockview Restaurant had outgrown its space, forcing the expansion of the first floor, followed by the addition of a second story less than 20 years later. The Lockview is a postcard for Sault Ste. Marie. Its


Soo Locks



Goetz’s Lockview Restaurant

commitment to serving the freshest fish is as important now as it was in 1945, and its tribute to the storied history of The Soo is on display from the wall décor to the menu. Do yourself a favor and order the Soo Locks Wrap.

Soo Locks

History: Prior to the installation of the locks, the St. Mary’s River, which connects Lake Superior and Lake Huron, was a fiercely moving river with a 21-foot drop. The rapids proved a challenge for portaging canoes until a French-Canadian based fur trading company constructed a small lock and canal large enough for its canoes to access. The original lock was destroyed in the War of 1812, leaving the river without a lock until 1855, when the state built the aptly named "State Lock." The lock and canal system helped to grow the mining production in the Western U.P. and also proved to be a valuable tool for the Civil War, as iron ore from Lake Superior was used to make Union cannons. Industry eventually demanded larger locks to accommodate bigger freighters, and several locks have been built and rebuilt since, resulting in the current system of four. The locks raise and lower vessels easily without a pumping system, relying only on the water leveling through gravity. Seeing the Locks in Action: We boarded the Nokomis on a Saturday afternoon to see the locks in action, thanks to Soo Locks Boat Tours. Traveling along the St. Mary’s canal, we were given the okay to proceed to the MacArthur Lock. Once we tied off, the gates were closed and the filling valve opened, allowing water from Lake Superior to fill the lock. The Nokomis was gently lifted 21 feet to meet the water level of Lake Superior and we continued our tour, drifting side by side with massive freighters along international waters. Looking to the future: A new lock, measuring in at 110 feet wide and 1,200 feet long (roughly the size of the Poe Lock), began phase one of construction in May at the site of the now decommissioned Sabin and Davis locks. The $922 million project will increase the lock system’s ability to accommodate large freighters and vessels, 85% of which currently utilize the Poe Lock. The Soo locks are an inspiring reminder of human ingenuity and innovation. Be sure to put Soo Locks Boat Tours on your Michigan bucket list today!

Mackinac Bridge

Clyde’s Drive-In

When you’re in Michigan’s oldest city, it’s only appropriate to step back in time, and no visit to the Soo is complete without a stop at the original Clyde’s Drive-In. Founded in 1949 by Clyde VanDusen, Clyde’s is a casual spot with a view, right next to the Sugar Island Ferry. I’m told Clyde still owns the place and stops by every now and then to check in, and grab a “Big C”—a three-quarter-pound hamburger available with all the toppings you can handle. I went for an olive burger, onion rings and a chocolate shake that did not disappoint. Clyde’s is a good example of the pride of the Soo community—firmly planted in its roots, but always looking to the future. Whether you’re in for a day trip to Sault Ste. Marie, or you’re planning to spend a whole vacation, you’ll marvel at the combination of history and progress in Michigan’s oldest city. Christal Frost is a media personality who can be heard on Today’s Country Music-WTCM, The Christal Frost Show on NewsTalk 580-WTCM AM. She is also a feature columnist for GT Pulse on 9&10 News, published every Friday at 11 a.m.

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Clyde’s Dri ve-In


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See Sault Ste. Marie In Action

Christal Frost filmed her Sault Ste. Marie adventure, now available on MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Need A Little Lift? W

visit your home to evaluate these appliances. If they are considered highly inefficient, you could receive a new replacement at no cost.

e all need a little lift from time to time—a little pick-me-up to get through the day. The Energy Optimization program may be just what you need.

If your household meets the income eligibility guidelines below, you could receive FREE energy-saving products and services. Qualified residents can receive expert advice and equipment to improve the energy performance of their homes—which will help reduce electricity use and save money on utility bills. You have to feel good about that!

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. Free items available through the program may include: • • • • •

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

Refrigerator and Freezer Evaluation and Replacement Is your refrigerator or freezer at least 10 years old? An Energy Optimization program representative can

Eligibility Requirements To qualify for the Energy Optimization 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

















Note: For families/households with more than eight persons, add $8,960 for each additional person.

To find out if you qualify for Energy Optimization programs or to learn more, call 877-296-4319 or visit


FREE opportunities to save money and reduce electricity use. Based on income levels, qualified households may receive: • Energy-saving devices including LED light bulbs • Free large appliance inspections with potential replacement • Virtual or in-home consultations with COVID protocols

Contact us today for program eligibility information. • 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’s Natural Beauty 1. Kayaking on Lake Superior near Au Train. Mary McHaney  2. The night sky in Hermansville at the peak of the Lyrid meteor shower in April. Seth Polfus  3. Cabin life in the Upper Peninsula. My happy place! We were sitting around at the campfire and I looked at the dock, and the moonlight was shining so amazingly on the dock, I had to get a picture of it! Carrie Romandine  4. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore——a view from the grounds at Au Sable Lighthouse. Kathleen Link  5. Off the cliff behind Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse on Lake Huron. Connie Tingley  6. Beautiful sunset taken at Thunder Lake in the U.P. on a July night. Jennifer Pare  7. Grand Marais sunset. Ivana Enright



Share Your Photos!

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






Upcoming Photo Topic And Deadline: Cutest Pets, due September 20 (Nov./Dec. issue) To submit photos, go to We look forward to seeing your best photos!



MI CO-OP Recipes

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

KID-FRIENDLY COOKING Simple recipes to make family time fun.


KIDS’ CHICKEN NUGGETS Deb Finedell, Great Lakes Energy

2 1 2 6

cups finely crushed potato chips egg tablespoons milk small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1½ -inch cubes ¹⁄ ³ cup butter, melted • dipping sauce of your choice

Win a


energy bill credit!



Preheat oven to 350 F. Pour potato chips into a shallow dish. Beat egg and milk together in a separate shallow dish. Dip chicken cubes in egg mixture. Press chicken into potato chips until evenly coated. Transfer coated chicken to a baking sheet. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake until chicken is no longer pink in the center and coating is golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

Salad Night (Hearty Salads For Dinner) due November 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 for more information.

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at


Lianne Briggs, Great Lakes Energy 3 1 1 1

(1-pound) loaves frozen bread dough, thawed can pizza sauce bag shredded mozzarella cheese package pepperoni, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F. Heavily grease three bread pans and line with parchment paper. Place the thawed bread dough on a cutting board. Add the pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and chopped pepperoni. Use a French knife to cut and mix ingredients together until well combined. Divide the dough evenly among the three bread pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled. Bake about 45 minutes, until evenly browned. Cool in pans for approximately 20 minutes. Finish cooling on a wire rack. Serve immediately.

TRAIL MIX COOKIES Pauline Haskin 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 3

cup butter, softened cup brown sugar, packed cup granulated sugar eggs teaspoon vanilla cups flour teaspoon baking powder teaspoon baking soda cups trail mix (I use a mix of small nuts, raisins and M&Ms) 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats 1½ cups granola cereal (a mix of honey and almond goes well with the trail mix) Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; thoroughly mix. In a separate bowl, blend together flour, baking powder and soda. Add flour mixture to butter and egg mixture and mix until all is combined; do not overmix. Stir in trail mix, oats, and granola. Use a large cookie scoop (15 ⁄ 8") and shape dough into balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Cookies will double in size. Bake 13–15 minutes or until edges of cookies become a light brown color. Remove from oven and wait three minutes prior to moving cookies to cooling racks. NOTE: Dough can be refrigerated and baked as needed.


Diane Johnson, Great Lakes Energy 1 chocolate cake mix with pudding (I use triple chocolate, chocolate fudge, or dark chocolate) ¹⁄ ³ cup oil 2 eggs ½ cup mini chocolate chips, optional 12 ounces Rolo candies (can use mini Reeses instead) Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, oil, and eggs. Beat with hand mixer for two to three minutes. Fold in chocolate chips. Take a small ball of dough and roll a Rolo in the middle (if batter is sticky, you can add flour to your hands, or chill batter before using). Use just enough dough to cover the Rolo. Place on parchmentcovered cookie sheet two inches apart. Bake for six to seven minutes, or until the tops have cracks in them. It is very important to leave them on the cookie sheet for two minutes before removing them. Serve immediately.



RIGHT ON TARGET By Yvonne Whitman

t all started with a Cabela’s catalog,” Lindsay Kozikowski says with a grin. Growing up in a family of hunters, the Menominee native would often find herself admiring the various bows in the popular sporting goods catalog. But it wasn’t until she set foot on the campus of Michigan State University that her interest became a reality. “I got started with archery as a freshman when I attended an organizational meeting for the archery club. I picked up a bow and just kind of fell in love with it. From that point on, archery pretty much became my whole life,” she says.


During the four years that she was on the team, she honed her skills, often practicing seven days a week. It also opened the door to other opportunities for the U.P. native. “Competing in national tournaments, I’ve been able to travel the country, meet people from all over the world and shoot with professional archers. It’s been amazing,” she says. When asked if she is naturally talented, she says, “It’s a lot more than what meets the eye. Archery is 95% mental game and 5% skill and talent. Anyone can pull a bow back, but you really need to stay within your mental game. It’s about being able to make that shot over and over again and keeping out the emotions. It’s a matter of controlling the little things that really add up to be the big picture.” And what does she attribute her mental strength to? “For me, it’s about focusing on one arrow at a time. It does not always happen, but that is always my goal. My coach always tells me to ‘take it one arrow at a time and not to rush, it’s not Nascar.’ He taught me what I know today about archery,” she says. Coach Glen Bennett, a former aerospace engineer and renowned coach who was named the USA Archery 2020 North Region Coach of the Year, heads up the program at

Photo courtesy of Cassie Tebo Photography

MSU Archery Team during opening ceremonies of the 2019 USA Archery National Outdoor Collegiate Championships in Dublin, Ohio

Lindsay and Coach Glen Bennett

“It’s about discovering your dream, following your personal passion, mastering your skills, taking aim no matter who thinks you’re crazy… and then letting the arrow fly.” –Eva Shockey

MSU. The team has a long-standing record of success with multiple team awards and over 41 All-American Archers and nine Academic AllAmericans. “Lindsay has come along really well, she really listens. Being a novice, she didn’t have a preconceived notion about shooting and that made it easy for me to coach her,” Coach Bennett says. “What I like most about Lindsay is her enthusiasm. She really has the right personality to take it farther along if she wants to.” Lindsay finished out her collegiate career right on target. There are approximately 90 schools in the USA Collegiate Archery Program, and for the 2019 indoor season, she took the first-place spot in her region and placed eighth overall in the U.S. “That was when I felt most accomplished. Never in a million years did I think I would be an athlete at a Big Ten university, let alone

one who ranked within the top 10 in the country,” she says. Lindsay currently has USA Archery Level 1 Instructor Certification, with the goals of completing the next levels and ultimately getting into the national training system and becoming a full-fledged coach. Coach Bennett says, “If she wants to continue with higher certifications, she has all the tools. She knows what she is doing.” Lindsay also hopes to inspire other young women to get into the sport. While at MSU, she assisted Coach Bennett with the Junior Olympic Archery Development Program, teaching youth about archery. She especially enjoyed working with kids. “I do it because somewhere on that range, there is a little kid hoping to grow up to do what I am doing right now,” she says.

“Looking back now, if I think back to that scared little homesick freshman from five years ago, I would have never had thought I would be where I am at today. I’ve been able to find my passion,” she says. Her ultimate goal is to one day own an archery range and archery athlete training facility in the U.P. and continue to share her enthusiasm for the sport with others. ”Archery is not just my passion, it is my lifestyle. And it’s a sport that anybody can do, whether you’re 5 or 85. Anyone can pick up a bow and learn to shoot. Archery is for everybody,” she says.

Follow Lindsay and the MSU Archery Team on Facebook and Instagram



By Emily Haines Lloyd || Photos by Neil Schultheiss


“I’m a water guy,” said Jim Hogan. “That’s who I am.” It’s not just that Hogan likes water, or has lived and worked on it most of his life. He is the fourth generation to operate the J.W. Westcott II, a mail boat and the first floating ZIP code with the U.S. Postal Service. The love of water goes back to Hogan’s great-grandfather, Captain John Ward Westcott, who founded the J.W. Westcott Company back in 1874. Back then, it was simply John rowing a small boat out to commercial ships passing through the Detroit River. He started by delivering shipping orders and updates on routes and ports. Nearly 150 years later, the vessel and the operation have grown, while never seeming too big. “Before cell phones, one place things didn’t change immediately was on the water,” said Hogan. “You wrote a letter and hoped it would get there in a week and wait for a response in another week. Boy, things have changed.”


Changed indeed. Now instead of handwritten letters and telegraphed route instructions, it’s online prescriptions, packages from Amazon and occasionally, a locally-baked pizza. The pizza started as a fun service the Westcott provided for a river tour. However, open radio channels being what they are, sailors caught wind and some have ordered up pies as their ships pass through the Port of Detroit. “While it’s sometimes crazy how much things have changed since even I started,” muses Hogan, “out here, there is still a pace that is consistent with life on the water.” Hogan started in the company’s 100th year after he graduated from high school in 1974. These days the Westcott runs 24-hour shifts, seven days a week, from the time it launches in April. The three shifts are operated by two veterans who have been with Hogan over 30 years—Sam Buchanan and Bill Redding. No two days are the same, with the possible exception of

TIME LINE 1874: John Ward Westcott founds J.W. Westcott Company off Belle Isle, using a rowboat to deliver messages to passing ships 1877: Company moves to new location at foot of Woodward Avenue, near Detroit-Windsor ferry 1910: The J.W. Westcott Company purchases the J.W. Westcott I, its first powerboat

the fresh pot of coffee put on at the beginning of each shift, as each crew swaps stories. If other ships are in the neighborhood, the fresh crew can jump right into the fray—loading, unloading and/ or delivering “mail by the pail.” This literally consists of large buckets on ropes that are raised and lowered between passing ships and the Westcott—delivering mail addressed to the individual, their ship’s name, and Marine Post Office, Detroit, Michigan 48222. Among the crew sweeping in for a shift is Captain Jimmy Hogan, Jim’s son and the fifth generation of Westcotts to work the ship. While the elder Hogan had started working right out of high school, he wanted to make sure his sons didn’t feel obligated to join the family business. “We wanted to make sure the kids did something that drove them in their lives. We didn’t want the business to feel like a burden,” he said.

For 147 years and 5 generations there is a legacy by any standards. But if Jim Hogan knows anything, it’s that life on the water is constantly ebbing and flowing. He’s found himself spending more time down at the riverfront office since April. Considering his 47th season with the business, seeing how things have changed. Seeing how things have stayed the same. Wondering, as we all do when reflecting on our lives, what it was all about. “This isn’t a ‘get rich’ business,” muses Hogan. “But I’ve come to realize that I’ve been so fortunate with the experiences I’ve had in my life. Experiences that I owe to a wild idea my great-grandfather had.” Hogan pauses like any great seaman setting up the moral of the story and says, “To be blessed by the opportunity to be associated with so many good people in my life—such a great crew. I guess I am rich.”

1948: The J. W. Westcott Company is awarded its first Highway Route Contract (HRC) as a Star Route from the United States Postal Service 1949: The J. W. Westcott Company takes possession of the M/V J. W. Westcott II, built by Paaushe Shipbuilding Company out of Erie, Pennsylvania. It is named after the son of the founder, Captain John Ward Westcott 1974: The J. W. Westcott Company celebrates a historic 100 years in business. The great-grandson of founder James M. Hogan joins the firm as a deckhand 1995: Company marks its 100th anniversary of maritime mail delivery by the U.S. Postal Service and/or its contractors at the Port of Detroit 2002: James Joseph Westcott-Hogan joins the firm (the fifth generation) 2010: James M. Hogan becomes president of the firm

To learn more about the legacy of this Michigan business, visit or search for J. W. Westcott Co. on Facebook.

Notice to Members of Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association Case No. U-16589 2019 Renewable Energy Plan Annual Report Summary


Michigan law requires all Michigan electric utilities to get approximately 12.5% of their power supply from renewable during 2019. Under this requirement, the Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association submitted an annual report to the MPSC regarding its Renewable Energy Plan. In 2019, Alger Delta acquired a total of 9,882 renewable energy credits for compliance. All credit transfers were directed through Alger Delta’s wholesale power supplier, WPPI Energy. WPPI Energy will continue to generate renewable energy and bank unused renewable energy credits for future use and compliance with statutory renewable portfolio standard requirements on behalf of all of its members. A full copy of the cooperative’s Renewable Energy Plan annual report that was filed with the MPSC is available on the cooperative’s website at or by request at any of the cooperative’s offices.

Public Act 342: The Clean and Renewable Energy and Energy Waste Reduction Act

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-tothe-touch outlets should be repaired or replaced.


2019 Energy Waste Reduction Annual Report Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association MPSC Case Number U-18271 Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association contracted with the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA) to administer the Energy Optimization (EO) efforts to comply with PA-295. MECA filed a four-year Energy Optimization plan with the MPSC on Aug. 3, 2015 as required by PA 295. This EO plan was approved by the MPSC on Dec. 22, 2015 and we began implementing our 2016–2019 EO Plan on Jan. 1, 2016. On Sept. 14, 2017, we filed a Biennial Plan as required by PA-342 of 2016. This Biennial Plan was approved by the MPSC on Dec. 1, 2017. WECC was selected to implement all Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Programs, and the Energy Waste Reduction (EWR— previously EO) website, In November 2018, WECC and Seventhwave merged and are now doing business as Slipstream, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Slipstream has subcontracted with WES Utility Services, Michigan Energy Options, and Nuwati, LLC to assist with the implementation of the EWR Programs. MECA contracted with DNV-GL as the independent 3rd party evaluation contractor for the certification of kWh savings. In 2019, Alger Delta collected $237,912 through the Energy Waste Reduction Surcharge and spent $173,860, resulting in an over-collection of $64,052. Alger Delta achieved 894 MWh of energy savings in 2019, compared to their annual kWh goal of 747 MWh. The full report can be obtained at your cooperative’s headquarters and at or http://



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 appliancegrade outlets. A qualified electrician can help with installation.

Guest Column

Less May Be More Of What The World Needs By Ann Gephart, Alger Delta Cooperative member

n the 1900s, a boy named Uno is the child of an immigrant family from Finland. He was raised on a farm and had many chores. With multiple siblings and living a fair distance from town, he does not have access to store-bought toys. He dreams of these toys and what they must be like. The necessity encouraged him to create his own playthings. With great success, he took pride in what he makes. Using his ingenuity, he develops many skills which he will appreciate throughout his entire life. Every single available resource is utilized to the fullest potential, and waste is never an option.


Years later, he recounts to his granddaughter the times he carved working whistles out of poplar tree branches or fashioned play balls out of the bladders of the animals they used for food on the farm. He has so many stories and all of them reinforce the same strong minimalist philosophy of finding joy and making use of what you have without the constant craving for more. As I am feeling overwhelmed in my basement immersed in a room full of plastic toys. How then could an already inattentive 6-year-old child be expected to choose from this vast array of toys carelessly flung across the floors, thrown in buckets, or stacked on shelves, let alone play with all of them? There are simply too many to be appreciated or used. In helpless anxiety, I stand gazing at what must be hundreds of dollars worth of toys gifted to my children over the years. Distant discussions that had taken place years earlier with my now deceased grandfather crash into my exasperated mind. I don’t feel good about what I am looking at and it isn’t just because of the mess. One hundred-plus years ago, toy availability was limited for children of American families of modest incomes. Add to that being born into a large rural family on a farming budget, and the prospect of receiving one (let alone many) store-bought toys was as foreign to a child as the distant battlefields of WWI.

We all know people buy multiple presents for their children for many reasons. Some may not have had much when they were young and want to provide those things they feel they missed out on for their own children. Some may feel that they love their children so much that they can’t help spoiling them. Others may simply do so because they can. Whatever the reasons, the question I challenge us to ask ourselves is this: Is the extravagance necessary? Children naturally crave the opportunity to use their imaginations. Many of the toys today are not manufactured with longterm play life in mind and are designed to do much of the thinking for our children. When imagination and ingenuity are stifled by disposable armies of battery-powered toys blaring loud noises and obnoxious flashing lights, who is really winning? I promise you it is not our children, our wallets, or the landfills. In the early 1900s, a man named Uno may not have always had everything he dreamed about, but he most certainly appreciated everything he had. Children today are resilient enough to acclimate back to this ideology too. It will require us as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., to be engaged in the philosophy that by giving less, we are undoubtedly providing children with gifts even greater than toys that are sold in stores. We are teaching them how to depend on their imaginations and ingenuity, and how to take pride in their self-sufficiency. Above all this though, the most lasting gift we may be bestowing is the true understanding of appreciation and gratitude.

Ann is a native of the Upper Peninsula. Her hobbies include writing and enjoying the outdoors.


MI CO-OP Community


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Tell us about your favorite dining location with a scenic Michigan view you can pair with the cuisine. Submit your favorites at by October 25, and look for it in our November/December issue.

Win a


energy bill credit!


Blustone Vineyards, Leelanau


45 North Vineyard & Winery, Lake Leelanau

This winery has spectacular views and friendly, entertaining and knowledgable staff. Corina Rybka, Cherryland

Located on the Leelanau Peninsula, they have a beautiful tasting room and a great selection of wines and ciders. They also have their own mountain bike trails open to the public and groomed in the winter for cross-country skiing and fat bikes. Katie Yonkers, Cherryland



Leelanau Cellars, Omena


Crooked Vine Vineyard and Winery, Alanson


Hickory Creek Winery, Buchanan


Seasons of the North Winery, Indian River

Free wine tastings is a plus, but the views from the tasting room are breathtaking. Friendly staff and some really great Michigan wine make this a must-visit winery on the Leelanau Peninsula. Karen Snyder, Midwest Energy & Communications

For a taste of Michigan in every sip, enjoy these member-recommended wineries for your next getaway or celebration. Michigan wineries offer a lifetime of memories along with award-winning wines.

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Chateau Grand Traverse, Traverse City

They offer amazing wine and charcuterie. Jay Gibson, Cherryland

Best Of Michigan



The Port, Portland

So unique! This is a tasting room for Modern Craft wines, which are designed to be mixed with other drinks and beverages. You can make up your own signature cocktails. The owner is super accommodating and inviting. They have wine, cheese, special menu items and comfortable seating. Brian Hass, HomeWorks Tri-County

The owners Geoff and Gail are both knowledgeable and passionate about their vineyard and take great pride in educating others. A bonus is that they have so many great tasting wines too! The panoramic views from the porch are an amazing place to enjoy wine and unwind. Joelle Wilcox, Great Lakes Energy

One of the smallest wineries in Southwest Michigan, this is a quaint place with a very wonderful staff. We have not found a wine of theirs that we have not enjoyed. The owner Adam McBride is talented in his winemaking skills and also creates a very welcoming atmosphere that makes you want to keep coming back. James Springsteen, Midwest Energy & Communications

I like it best because it’s not a large operation and the wines are fantastic. With names such as Burt Lake Breeze (my favorite), Michigan Sunset, Lake House, Back Roads...just a very friendly place with very friendly people. They take the time to talk to each person and they interact with everyone. Renee Butka, Great Lakes Energy

Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo on the left by September 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at July/August 2020 Winner! Our Mystery Photo winner is Amy Fritz, a Cherryland Electric Cooperative member, who correctly identified the photo as Fishtown in Leland, overlooking the Village Cheese Shanty. Photo by Karen Farrell Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.





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