Bulletin Board

‘Requiem for the American Dream’

MARQUETTE — DocuMonday presents a screening of the 2015 documentary “Requiem for the American Dream” at 7 p.m. March 12 in the Peter White Public Library Community Room as part of its Building Love: Imagine series of events.

In this powerful documentary, linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky addresses financial inequality in our society looking back at 50 years of policies designed to favor the wealthy which could ultimately lead to the death of the middle class. The film is unrated and runs for 73 minutes.

There is no admission charge thanks to sponsorship by the Friends of the Peter White Public Library. For more information, visit www.pwpl.info or call 226-4318.

Solar lease agreement meetings

MARQUETTE — Meetings designed to assist farmers in understanding solar lease agreements and the implications on property rights and taxes are being planned.

Since the first part of the year, solar companies have been actively contacting farm owners in an effort to secure land for solar energy projects. This is in response to the Michigan Public Service Commission raising the avoided cost of electricity to 9.5 cents per kWh, according to a news release from Michigan State University Extension.

At this rate, solar projects are profitable. The new tariff on imported solar modules will most likely have little effect on this activity. The prevailing industry thought is that the cost of a solar project will probably increase 10 to 15 cents per dc watt, which puts projects at about the same cost as they were in September 2016, a banner year for solar projects.

The real issues that need to be addressed are local government zoning provisions and the tax implications if a farmer chooses to sign a lease agreement for a solar project. In an effort to help farmers understand the renewable energy landscape, nuances of solar leases, zoning considerations and accompanying tax implications, MSU Extension, Michigan Farm Bureau and the Michigan Energy Office are teaming up to host programs for farmers at various locations around the state. MSU Extension staff with lease agreement, tax and zoning expertise will provide the educational content. Farmers who participate in the programs will leave with valuable, practical knowledge they can use to determine if a solar lease agreement is a sound decision for themselves and their community.

The program will cover the following topics: the context for solar energy development on Michigan farmland; a community vision for solar energy systems; zoning approaches for solar energy; siting considerations for utility-scale solar; integrating solar with existing ag systems; understanding solar energy lease agreements; and taxation guidance including the impact on PA 116.

Meetings will be held around the state on the following dates and locations: Wednesday – Powers; Thursday – Traverse City; March 13 – Big Rapids; March 14 – Frankenmuth; March 15 – Tecumseh; March 21 – Ionia; and March 22 – Three Rivers.

All programs run from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., except for Tecumseh, which begins at 10:30 a.m. Doors open for all other locations at 9:30 a.m.

To register for a meeting or for further information, go to https://events.anr.msu.edu/shine. The registration deadline is midnight today. The registration fee is $20/person because of the generous financial support provided by Michigan Farm Bureau and the Michigan Energy Office. Preregistration is required and registration will not be available onsite.

Questions about the agriculture solar leasing meetings and more information on energy efficiency practices or renewable energy projects can be obtained by contacting Charles Gould at 616-994-4547 or gouldm@msu.edu

Enrichment award applications

MARQUETTE — Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development announces it is now accepting applications for the Judy Watson Olson Education Enrichment Award in honor of former GLCYD President and CEO, Judy Watson Olson.

This $500 award assists Upper Peninsula K-12 schools, teachers, or organizations with programs that help youth succeed academically. Examples of potential projects include homework clubs, field trips, mentoring or literacy support. It is preferred that funds be utilized within one year.

Applicants must be from Upper Peninsula school districts, College Access Networks or other youth-serving organizations. Selection will be based on how the program addresses an unmet need, how it helps youth succeed academically, the number of youth served, and other compelling data as determined by the selection committee.

The winner of the award will be recognized at the Excellence in Education Week Awards Program on April 30, 2018 at Northern Michigan University.

Applications can be found at www.glycd.org or by contacting GLCYD at info@glcyd.org. The deadline to submit completed applications is Friday.

Direct any specific questions to Karen Thompson at kthompson@glcyd.org.