See our right-hand column for announcements and news briefs. Scroll down the right-hand column to access the Archives -- links to articles posted in the main column since 2007.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Informal public meeting to learn about UP Energy Task Force to be Feb. 22 at Portage Library

The UP Energy Task Force holds a meeting on Sept. 20, 2019, at Finlandia's Jutila Center. Representatives of Plains Mainstream Canada, Enbridge, and SEMCO Energy Gas Co. gave presentations at this meeting on their companies’ roles in supplying propane and natural gas to the U.P. Michigan's Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) took public comments. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)*

HOUGHTON -- On Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, come to the Portage Lake District Library from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. to learn about and discuss the work of the UP Energy Task Force. Members of the Task Force will give an overview of the UP energy system and an update on the first phase of the UP Energy Task Force on propane supply. 

This meeting is an informal session, open to the public. No one will be speaking on behalf of the Task Force. It is an opportunity to learn and discuss.

The UP Energy Task Force was created by Michigan Governor Whitmer's Executive Order No. 2019-14. Its opening statement reads:
"The residents of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula ("UP") deserve an energy supply that is affordable, secure, and environmentally sound. Today, however, they face significant challenges in these respects. For several reasons, including the region’s expansive geographic reach and low population density, the UP has struggled with energy affordability and infrastructure development, and parts of the UP have some of the highest electricity rates in the nation. These prices, coupled with relatively high poverty rates in certain areas, have resulted in UP residents paying a disproportionate amount of their monthly income on energy costs."

The charge to the Task Force according to section 2(a) of the Executive Order is to:
•    Assess the UP’s overall energy needs and how they are currently being met.
•    Formulate alternative solutions for meeting the UP’s energy needs, with a focus on security, reliability, affordability, and environmental soundness. This shall include, but is not limited to, alternative means to supply the energy sources currently used by UP residents, and alternatives to those energy sources.
•    Identify and evaluate potential changes that could occur to energy supply and distribution in the UP; the economic, environmental, and other impacts of such changes; and the alternatives for meeting the UP’s energy needs in response to such changes.

The Task Force is directed to complete its final report in two stages. First, the Task Force is required to submit a propane plan to the Governor by March 31, 2020, focused on alternative means to supply propane to the UP consistent with section 2(a) of the Executive Order. The Task Force is required to submit the remainder of its report, by March 31, 2021.

Send your comments regarding the work of the UP Energy Task Force to:  Comments submitted via this email address will be shared with all UP Energy Task Force members. Comments submitted will become part of the public record and subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.**

Editor's Notes:
* Click here to see the minutes from the Sept. 20, 2019, UP Energy Task Force meeting in Hancock.

** Visit EGLE's UP Energy Task Force page to learn about their work and find links to meeting agendas, minutes and presentations.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Friendraiser for 1st District Congressional Candidate Dana Ferguson to feature live music, pizza at Orpheum Feb. 21

Poster courtesy Valorie Troesch.

HANCOCK -- Join supporters and friends in support of Dana Ferguson, Michigan 1st District Democratic Candidate for US Congress, at the Friendraiser beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at the Orpheum Theater/Studio Pizza, 426 Quincy St. in Hancock. This is a great way to enjoy some live music and complimentary pizza with fellow supporters!

Music will be provided by the Thimbleberry Band from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and by Cheap Therapy from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Bring your dancing shoes and dance for Dana!

Michigan 1st District Congressional Candidate Dana Ferguson addresses Houghton County Democrats at their Feb. 5, 2020, monthly meeting at the Super 8 in Houghton. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

"Dana is a lifelong resident of the 1st District," says Valorie Troesch of Dollar Bay. "He knows the everyday struggles that people in this district face because he has lived those same struggles. It is time for the people of the 1st District to have a Representative in Congress who is one of us, who will stand up for us, and who will be a voice for those who are too often voiceless. This is why I support Dana and why I’m asking you to help by coming to this fundraiser at the Orpheum on February 21st or, if you can’t make it, by supporting his campaign in any way you can."

Ticket donations are $25 Single, $100 Family, $250 Supporter, $500 Host, and $1000 Partner.

To buy your tickets now, go to

To buy tickets at the door, please RSVP in advance to so organizers know you are coming!

Click here to visit Dana Ferguson's Web site and learn about the issues that are important to him.