Sept. 2020 Cherryland

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September 2020


COUNTRY LINES Cherryland Electric Cooperative

Blain’s, Cherryland Install First FastCharge EV Station In Northern Michigan


Dental Van To Bring Critical Services To Rural Areas Common 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.

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CO-OP NEWS /cherrylandelectriccoop @cherrylandec BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Tom Van Pelt, President 231-386-5234

Cherryland Cares Awards $10,000 To Two Nonprofits

At its second-quarter board meeting, the Cherryland Cares board awarded grants to two local nonprofit organizations: St. Philip’s Episcopal Church Baby Pantry and Women’s Resource Center. These grants will go toward stocking the baby pantry and supplying food and other necessities for the women’s shelter. Cherryland Cares awarded $10,000 to these nonprofits. In 2020, Cherryland Cares has awarded a total of $18,600 in grants to area nonprofits.

David Schweitzer, Senior Vice President 231-883-5860

The Cherryland Cares board is comprised of five volunteer Cherryland members. The funds distributed by Cherryland Cares are a result of members electing to round up their monthly bills to the nearest dollar. Members can contribute to the Cherryland Cares fund by calling 231-486-9200, signing up through SmartHub, or emailing us at

Melinda Lautner, Treasurer 231-947-2509

If you are an area nonprofit agency seeking financial help, third-quarter grant applications are due Friday, Sept. 11. For more information, please call Shannon Mattson at 231-486-9234 or email at

Gabe Schneider, Secretary 517-449-6453

Terry Lautner, Director 231-946-4623 John Olson, Director 231-938-1228

Members Learn About Electric Vehicles, Rebates On Co-op Website

Jon Zickert, Director 231-631-1337

Are you interested in going electric for your next car, but still have questions? Cherryland’s website is your hub for everything related to EVs. Learn about EV ownership, calculate fuel cost and CO2 savings, check out the latest EV models on the road, and more. And if you are ready to buy, Cherryland offers rebates for the purchase of electric vehicles and charging stations.

General Manager: Tony Anderson

For more information, visit our website at

Co-op Editors: Rachel Johnson, Rob Marsh

Members Earn Rebates With Energy Efficiency Upgrades

OFFICE HOURS Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.– 4 p.m.

Cherryland members are eligible to receive rebates for energy efficiency upgrades in their homes or businesses. Common upgrades include replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs and purchasing Energy Star qualified appliances.

ADDRESS P.O. Box 298, Grawn, MI 49637

For a guide to our residential rebate program and a complete listing of rebates available on Energy Star qualified appliances, visit our website at

TELEPHONE NUMBERS 231-486-9200 or 1-800-442-8616 (Mich.)

PAY STATION Cherryland Electric Cooperative office 5930 U.S. 31 South, Grawn MI, 49637 Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Board Encourages Member Input By Email, Phone

In an effort to follow good social distancing practices and help protect co-op members and employees from COVID-19, the cooperative board of directors is suspending in-person member input at monthly board meetings until further notice. Members are encouraged to provide input directly to the board by email or phone. Director contact information can be found on the Cherryland website at To have your comments included in a monthly board packet for review, please submit them to Board Assistant Secretary Shannon Mattson at a minimum of three business days before the monthly board meeting.


Control What You Can Control Tony Anderson, General Manager


asks? No masks? Positive test rates? Six feet apart? Indoors? Outside? Young vs. old? What level of recovery should we be in? The list of debatable questions around COVID-19 goes on and on just as the pandemic continues to drag on. Patience is wearing thin. I can read it, see evidence of it in the news, and generally feel it in my bones. I have opinions. I have also tried to educate myself as well as I can. The combination of both opinion and education is the foundation for decisions that I need to make regarding the pandemic that affects the employees and members we serve at your cooperative. I have neither been perfect nor do I claim to have all the answers. What I do know is debating the answers online, over email or during a socially-distanced discussion is not worth my time. When people want an argument over masks on Facebook, I choose not to participate. When a member emails to chastise me for a community donation related to the virus, I respond once with my logic and refuse a backand-forth confrontation. On the rare occasion I have an in-person discussion, I simply change the topic. As the length of the pandemic stretches out, people seemingly want to argue about every aspect. I see this as simple frustration, which isn’t uncommon when we don’t have control of a situation. Stress and anxiety don’t bring out the best in the human race. We simply need to be aware, take a breath and “control what we can control.”

It has been my experience that people who want to debate an issue online really aren’t open-minded. What they really want is to rant on their beliefs and rip apart anything to the contrary. It’s simply not worth my time to put fuel on a fire on social media. Instead, I focus on what I believe I need to do to keep cooperative employees safe and members’ lights on. We all have jobs and family to look after. Getting involved in needless arguments simply takes energy away from these two all-important groups. There are decisions and discussions at work and home that need our complete attention. They are also areas where we all have some control. Thus, our time is better served focusing on work and family than on unwinnable debates and discussions. Obviously, you are welcome to do as you wish. I am merely suggesting that we all win when everyone chooses to skip the forum comments, Facebook rants, email tirades and heated face-to-face confrontations. One by one, we can put out the divisive fires in our community circles. How can a fire spread if nobody is pouring gas on it? The pandemic hasn’t gone away quickly and will not. It is time to be patient, kind and calm. When we emerge from this situation, we should be better for it. Our bonds with family and co-workers should be stronger. We accomplish this by fighting the common enemy that is the virus together rather than tossing blows at each other. So, let’s move forward with more focus on the issues we can control in our work and family circles.



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



Mobile Dental Office To Bring Critical Services To Rural Areas By Rob Marsh, Marketing & Communications Specialist


family is bound to get excited at the sight of an ice cream truck coming down its street. The sight of a mobile dental van, though, may not have the same effect. Allan O’Shea, president of the Bestie Valley Community Center (BVCC), hopes to change that. As a longtime Copemish and Thompsonville resident and local business owner, O’Shea has learned firsthand the struggles that rural families have accessing these types of services. “After some local playgroups, parents and community members would participate in lively discussions on all the ways in which area families experience isolation from critical services,” explained O’Shea. “They’d say, ‘Everything— medical, dental, even laundromats are at least 12–16 miles away—and we don’t even have broadband internet in our school or most neighborhoods.’”


It was in the spirit of these discussions that, in 2018, led to the creation of the BVCC, a nonprofit organization that brings charitable and education resources to the rural areas in northern Manistee and southern Benzie counties. One of the organization’s first projects was helping bring broadband internet to Betsie Valley Elementary School last spring. Following the broadband internet project, the organization became interested in dental services after doing research that linked dental pain with increased student school absences. “We know that dental neglect can compromise not only a child’s self-esteem and availability for learning, but as an adult, this same neglect, often resulting in missing teeth, restricts employment opportunities,” he said. For some years, a dental hygienist from Northwest Michigan Health Services, Inc.

Outfitted like a small dentist’s office, the BVCC dental van will begin traveling and offering services by the 2020–2021 school year.

“Families experiencing a good feeling when they see the dental van—that is our goal.” —Allan O’Shea, BVCC President

(NMHSI) has traveled to a large number of elementary schools with the necessary equipment to provide dental screenings, fluoride treatments, and sealants. Each school, however, had a different physical location where services were provided, and some were not ideal. This motivated the BVCC to come up with a plan for more efficient and standardized procedures to take place in one location— a mobile dental van. After 18 months of fundraising, the center raised the $90,000 needed to cover the cost of the van, furnishings, equipment, and first year of administrative expenses. BVCC partnered with NMHSI to design the small mobile dental office, as well as procure a lot of the equipment and labor. “We are grateful to a large community of individual donors, including Cherryland, who saw the mobile dental van as a need and a worthy project,” he said. “We saw a large group of community members who will do anything to help those who just cannot take that extra step to get to a clinic for services.” The van, paired with a dental hygienist, will travel and deliver services across the Betsie Valley region, including school districts like Onekama, Bear Lake, and Kaleva Norman Dickson, and their

surrounding communities. And while children are its primary clients, BVCC hopes to have the van running year-round, using it to talk and share resources with residents about oral health and self-care. “When parents see their kids getting relief from pain and ultimately a more confident smile, we know that many will have their own fears relieved and seek their own dental services.” The van is slated to be ready to roll by the time children return to school. BVCC recognizes there could be disruptions to the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped them. “The pandemic has actually opened the door for this van to serve some additional purposes,” he explained. “For instance, NMHSI is planning to use the van for COVID-19 testing, migrant farm camp services, telehealth and remote access medical visits.” The BVCC dental van will be a common sight for the rural residents of Manistee and Benzie counties. And the hope is that it puts smiles on their faces. “Families experiencing a good feeling when they see the dental van—that is our goal.”



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

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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.



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

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

1. 2.

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.

3. 4. 12 SEPTEMBER 2020

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.

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

Blain’s, Cherryland Bring First Fast-Charge EV Station To Northern Michigan B

lain’s Farm & Fleet, in partnership with Cherryland, celebrated the installation of the first universal DC Fast-Charge electric vehicle (EV) station in northern Michigan in July. Completed this spring, the two businesses partnered to bring this unique and fast-charging EV station to the retailer’s US-31 location. “Blain’s Farm & Fleet is proud to support environmental initiatives and make Traverse City more accessible for those who drive electric vehicles,” said Jane Blain Gilbertson, owner and president of Blain’s Farm & Fleet. “We’ve already seen great results and look forward to learning about the impact we make with our partnership in the years to come.” Unlike most EV charging stations, the DC Fast-Charge station cuts charging time down by hours for a non-Tesla EV. Whereas a traditional Level 2 public charger provides 25 miles of range in an hour, the DC Fast-Charge station at Blain’s Farm & Fleet can provide 60-80 miles of range in just 20 minutes of charging. U.S. Sen. Gary Peters—who has led efforts promoting EV technology through his work on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee—celebrated this addition to Michigan’s EV charging network. “As more electric vehicles are on our roads, it is critical we have the infrastructure needed to support rapidlychanging mobility,” said Peters. “The development of electric vehicles is an opportunity for Michigan to solidify our leadership as a hub for mobility through connectivity, energy, infrastructure efficiency and job creation.

(L–R) Ricky Dalzell, Frank Siepker, Matt Christiani, Tony Anderson, Eric Keller, Joseph Barkley, Jason Wilson, Rachel Johnson

I applaud this announcement, which will increase charging technologies and capabilities in northern Michigan.” By having a fast charger in northern Michigan, the hope is to stimulate the growing interest in EVs regionally. “We know that getting behind the wheel of an EV is a fun and environmentally friendly way to drive, but one of the biggest hurdles towards EV adoption is the fear of running out of charge before reaching your destination,” said Rachel Johnson, member relations manager at Cherryland. “By building up the EV charging infrastructure, we can calm those fears and pave the way towards a cleaner way to travel.” The DC Fast-Charge station, along with a standard Level 2 station also installed at Blain’s Farm and Fleet, is available for public use. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13


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.


Michigan’s Natural Beauty 1.“Manistee lighthouse” by Stephanie Watson  2. “Northern Michigan apple orchard” by Lori Wilson  3. “May you always have sand in your shoes and a Petoskey stone in your pocket” by Stacy Voras  4. “Before the storm” by Melissa Braun  5. “Manistee” by Roxanne Hardy

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4 Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Submit Your “Cutest Pets” Photos!

Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes in our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites. Our September theme is Cutest Pets. Photos can be submitted through September 20 to be featured in our November/December issue.

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!

To enter the contest, visit or visit cherrylandelectriccoop and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2020, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2020 bill. 16 SEPTEMBER 2020



Notice to Members of Cherryland Electric Cooperative Case No. U-16591 2019 Renewable Energy Plan Annual Report Summary Michigan law requires all Michigan electric utilities to get 12.5% of their power supply from renewable sources during 2019.

Your Board In Action June Board Meeting • The board voted to contribute $50,000 to the Regional Resiliency Fund, a joint program of local economic development organization Traverse Connect and its partner organization Venture North, that provides grants to small businesses in Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties. The program is designed to support businesses with nine or fewer full-time employees negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. • The board signed a resolution that expresses its support and desire to see the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association be a leader in diversity, equality and inclusion. • The board reviewed the 2020 Annual Meeting. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Annual Meeting was held virtually without in-person attendance. Members could participate via social media and via phone.

July Board Meeting • The board discussed the date of next year’s Annual Meeting. The tentative date is set for Thursday, June 10, 2021. • The board elected to again opt out of the Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP). By opting out, members do not have to pay a monthly surcharge to fund the program, and the co-op agreed to not disconnect anyone for nonpayment from Nov. 1 through April 15. • The board reviewed with the general manager and management team the cooperative’s plan for succession in the event of an emergency. The board identified succession planning as an important action item during last year’s strategic planning session.

Under this requirement, Cherryland Electric Cooperative submits an annual report to the MPSC regarding its Renewable Energy Plan. In 2019, Cherryland acquired a total of 55,901 renewable energy credits and 922 incentive credits. All credit transfers were directed through Cherryland’s wholesale power supplier, Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc. Wolverine 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 295: The Clean Renewable And Efficient Energy Act 2019 Annual Energy Waste Reduction Report Cherryland Electric Cooperative MPSC Case Number U-18273 During 2019, Cherryland Electric Cooperative administered its own Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) plan in order to comply with PA-295. Previously, Cherryland submitted its EWR plan with the MPSC. This EWR plan was approved by the MPSC, and Cherryland began implementing the 2019 EWR Plan. Cherryland implemented all residential, commercial, and industrial programs and self-certified the kWh savings. The full report can be obtained at your cooperative’s headquarters.


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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