Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Features · 100% Renewable Energy
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100% Renewable Energy

Anne Stanton - April 5th, 2010
100% Renewable Energy? Northport is the little town that thinks it can
By Anne Stanton
Northport Village, population 648 (or so), at the tip of Leelanau County is a perfect little test town for renewable energy with its cluster of homes, quaint stores, a school, an assisted living facility, a marina, and a waste treatment plant—all within a mile of each other. It doesn’t hurt that high winds routinely whip around the village, which sits on the picturesque shoreline of Lake Michigan.
That’s why a group of villagers believes they can achieve an ambitious goal for the town: 100% renewable energy in the future, beginning with two wind turbines that will hopefully go up by the end of this year. Their ultimate goal is to also power outlying Leelanau Township (population 2,139) with renewable energy.
The two medium-sized wind turbines will generate approximately 800,000 kilowatt hours per year. They won’t completely power the village, but they will generate enough electricity to power the town’s new waste water treatment plant and a portion of other municipal facilities, said Douglas McInnis, president of the 20-member Northport Energy Action Task Force.
The rest of the energy will come from solar, geothermal, possibly a future biomass plant, and energy conservation initiatives. The task force has plans to help people winterize and retrofit their homes as well as educate people on the various state and utility rebate programs such as energy-efficient appliances and CF bulbs. If state funds become available, the group will apply for a grant to help with their plans for educational programs, home energy audits, facilitating installation of energy saving components and developing local citizens, business and government partnerships which in the future might help these initiatives become self sustainable.

SMILEY SPEAKS
This whole project was triggered a year ago with a speech that Steve Smiley, a renewable energy guru, gave at the Traverse City Economic Club.
“It really enthused me,” said McInnis, a retired engineer who subsequently asked Smiley to come up to Northport and speak to The Circle and Crackle Barrel men’s groups. “Just like me, everyone was inspired! One of our senior members said, ‘You guys sit around and talk and talk, but now here’s a chance to actually do something!’ That spurred us on.”
The group has plans to locate two wind turbines in the village on a hill above the Northport Wastewater Treatment Plant site where nothing else could feasibly be located because of the odor and low-level noise. The wind turbines will go near an existing substation and transmission line to save money. Since they will be hooked into the grid, the electrical company serving the village—Consumer’s Energy—can buy electricity generated by the turbines. One of the challenge with wind energy is that it can’t be easily stored, but that’s not a problem since Consumer’s Energy will provide a constant base load to the village.
The task force plans to buy two refurbished, mid-sized turbines for approximately $500,000, half the cost of brand new ones. McInnis said his group is now in the process of developing strategies to pay for them.
“Money: that’s the tricky part right now. We are investigating the formation of a limited liability corporation as some farmers did in Minnesota. By forming a LLC that invested in wind turbines, those farmers took advantage of corporate federal tax credits for wind power.”

SELLING POWER
If Northport formed an LLC, the investors could be paid off with revenues from selling electricity to Consumer’s Power. After the investment is fully paid back, the ownership of the turbines would go to the Village of Northport and revenues received from the power continually sold to Consumers Energy will be available for community purposes.
“We are also looking at the possibility of getting grant money or a guaranteed loan through the USDA. They have a program for funding renewable energy projects but we are investigating whether we might be eligible.”
Are there concerns about electric bills going up? McInnis said the wind turbines won’t have a direct impact on customer bills. Consumer’s Energy will buy electricity from the village for 12 cents per kilowatt hour and charge customers its standard rate, which is now about a penny below that. Consumer’s Energy is mandated by law to convert to 10% renewable energy by 2015 and these wind turbines will help them do that.
“When you look at the future, we know energy costs will go up. The cost for natural gas, propane, coal, nuclear, whatever – is going to be more expensive. By using wind energy, thanks to mother nature, we ought to have a renewable source of energy far into the future”

 
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