Michigan Makes It Easier to Snag Best Camp Sites, Saginaw Library Recognized

For Nov. 3, 2017

1 – A new Michigan reservation policy is meant to make it easier for people to secure campsites at many of the state’s most-visited parks.

The new Department of Natural Resources policy that took effect this week encourages people to firm up their reservations further in advance of planned camping dates.

Campers still can make reservations up to six months in advance.


Credit: Tony Failoa

The new structure retains a $10 cost to cancel or modify a camping reservation. It adds an additional incremental fee based on the length of time between the date of the initial reservation and the planned arrival date.

Rather than holding onto several blocks of campsites at a campground – or in some cases, multiple campgrounds – the new policy encourages campers to finalize their plans as soon as possible. So a reservation held for up to two months will incur a 10 percent fee to modify or cancel, and one held for longer than five months will incur a 40 percent fee to modify or cancel.

For more information, see Michigan.gov/camping.

2 – 
The Hoyt Library in Saginaw was honored by Gov. Rick Snyder for an energy project.

The Governor’s Energy Excellence Award was given to eight individuals and organizations for efforts to reduce energy waste.

The winners and finalists were announced at a ceremony in Detroit last month.

Hoyt was recognized as a finalist for the Best Public Project. Officials say the 126-year-old library was costly to operate, subject to inconsistent temperatures and unchecked humidity was creating serious mold problems.

With help from a Consumers Energy audit and grant, the library invested in a high-efficiency boiler, a more efficient chiller, automation controls for its HVAC system, and a new and improved air quality system. The improvements are expected to save on annual natural gas costs and improve the building’s environment for staff, patrons, and the books it houses.

Winning energy solutions ranged from improving existing structures with energy-efficient, state-of-the-art heating, cooling and lighting systems to constructing new buildings.Consumers Energy won for the Best Communication or Education Program.


– Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9:30 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR. Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes



Nexteer goes SunSteer and Bill to Block Asian Carp

photo sunsteer nexteer solar saginaw

Courtesy photo

As heard July 6, 2012, on Q-90.1 FM, Delta College public broadcasting …

1 –

Automotive supplier Nexteer is turning to the sun. 

The company has announced a new product, called SunSteer. The product is a solar tracking actuator that will be built at the company’s world headquarters in Saginaw.

The product uses electronic steering and driveline technologies to allow solar panels to track the movement of the sun. This can increase the efficiency of photovoltaic generation.

According to Nexteer, the Sunsteer product uses a precision built, high-efficiency ball screw – ball nut combination that provides operating efficiencies of up to 95 percent.

Under normal operating conditions, SunSteer will accurately track the sun’s position, while consuming less than $2 worth of energy per year.

The company says the product uses high-performance coatings developed under extreme vehicle testing environments. These coatings are said to reduce corrosion and provide performance of greater than 20 years in the field.

Nexteer officials say the product offers levels of reliability and efficiency that in many cases are unprecedented in the alternative energy market.

2 –

photo asian carp great lakes

Photo by author

U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, a Midland Republican, says the final version of a Highway Bill Conference Report will include a study and plan to prevent Asian carp, and other invasive species, from entering the Great Lakes.

The measure is called the Stop Invasive Species Act.

In announcing the latest development, Camp mentioned a live Asian carp found two years ago near Lake Michigan. He said the act would lay the groundwork for a permanent solution to the Asian carp threat.

Camp introduced the act earlier this year with U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Lansing Democrat.

The legislation requires the Army Corps of Engineers to complete a Great Lakes Mississippi River Interbasin Study ahead of schedule, in about 18 months rather than three years.

That study is to include a plan to hydrologically separate the two basins.

Camp says hydrological separation is the only sure way to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes and prevent the invasive fish from destroying the ecosystem and devastating a $7 billion fishing industry.


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