OK Michigan, I have to level with you. I love to find five things about Michigan to tell you. I remember days like Tuesday, July 25, 2006 and … well … the day before yesterday and I can’t see how I can avoid doing Five Things.
Every day can be overwhelming though, so I’ll just do my best to post Five Things you need to know a few times a week, OK?
One of the difficult things about linking to Michigan’s major papers (Detroit’s Big Two and the mLive posse) is the fact that you know that sooner or later, the article will be wheeled down to the archives where only and act of God (or $3.98) can free it.
Still, after last week’s announcement of the Harvest Wind Farm in Huron County, a $90 million project that is expected to create up to 70 jobs, produce enough electricity to power more than 15,000 homes and save Michigan citizens $4 billion on power generation over the next 20 years, the editorial from the Kalamazoo Gazette injects a note of caution into talk of Michigan’s energy future. Read Answer may not be blowing in the wind.
Detroit Tigers Pitcher Puzzle
The Detroit Tigers are about to have a good problem. Some time pretty soon they will have their core four starters of Verlander, Bonderman, Rogers and Robertson – the trick is figuring out who stays on as the fifth starter, who goes to the bullpen and who leaves for the minors or in trade. Kurt at Mack Avenue Tigers shuffles the baseball cards and deals an interesting hand and Lee Panas at Tiger Tales spins a slightly different yarn. Both agree that it’s a challenging problem … and that Mike Maroth will probably be pitching somewhere else.
While the thermometer and most schoolchildren started summer a while back, June 21 is the official beginning of summer. Sue (who took today’s gorgeous photo) writes June 21 is a very important day for our planet and it’s relationship with the sun. June 21 is one of two solstices, days when the rays of the sun directly strike one of the two tropical latitude lines. June 21 marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and simultaneously heralds the beginning of winter in the southern hemisphere. In 2007 summer begins at 2:06 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Wikipedia has tons more about the solstice and Eric Weisstein’s World of Astronomy has a cool little movie that demonstrates the earth’s season-producing equatorial tilt.
Old Town gets the Sun and Moon
Speaking of the sun, mensch71 of People Are Strange noted on our Michigan July Events page (check it out – there are some great events there!) that this weekend (June 23 & 24) is the Festival of the Sun & Festival of the Moon in Lansing’s Old Town. It’s billed as a “wine tasting and craft-brewed beer sampling festival” and the musical lineup includes The Pantones, Root Doctor, Ritmo, The Lash and Hukster (whose song Ten Years Too Late reminds me a lot of a group called Farm Accident). Also this weekend (Jun 22-24) is the Michigan Energy Fair in Manistee.
Actually, the Michigan Energy Fair is not held in Manistee, but in nearby Onekama. According to Onekama.info, Onekama is located on Portage Lake and has access to Lake Michigan, making it a “two lakes town”. It’s also home to the Manistee County Fair (Aug 19-26, 2007). Wikipedia’s Onekama, Michigan entry just gives the census, but one of the links at Absolute Michigan keyword Onekama is the Portage Point Inn. Their Onekama history page includes a lot of great old photos and a detailed history that begins:
Onekama: (O-neck-ama…not “One Comma”- as frequently mispronounced), is an Indian name for “Place of Great Beauty”. To the Indians, the peninsula of land, merely 300 yards wide, separating Portage Lake from Lake Michigan was known as a point of portage. In 1871, settlers hand dug a 500′ channel to connect the two lakes and open additional flood-free farm land. Within a few years, the U. S. Government constructed a permanent channel to which provided one of the best protected harbors on the Great Lakes. Around 1890, when these lands opened to settlement and lumbering began to decline, the recreational potential of the lake shore began to gain interest. Early loggers and homesteaders were stirred by visions of opportunity when a period of recreation and tourism along the Lake Michigan shoreline experienced rapid growth. It is on this wooded peninsula that Portage Point Inn was built.
Weather Underground’s Onekama forecast says that they had some hail in last night’s storm. They are expecting sunny skies and upper 70s today – less than the 1988 record of 94 degrees and lots more than 1992′s 36 degree low.