A new course often found within Ivy League universities wrapped up this week, but officials say after a successful first semester, they hope to offer blockchain to more Michigan State University undergrads next fall. Blockchain is a decentralized, digital ledger of transactions. Each person or company involved in a purchase can hold their own digital copy to prevent fraud and increase security. Blockchain is associated with bitcoin. Though the hype of bitcoin has died down, blockchain still has many useful applications outside of bitcoin trade.
LANSING — Larry Stowitts said his mood was dreary during his first few days on an offshore lighthouse in 1959. He’d imagined a lawn to keep tidy and neighbors nearby. Instead White Shoal Lighthouse offered a 72-square-foot concrete base and miles of open water. Stowitts sometimes heard cars rumble across the distant Mackinac Bridge, but dry land was nowhere in sight. He remembers the moment his mood finally shifted:
“There was a front porch on White Shoal, and the officer in charge came around, and he had a bucket and a brush in his hand and I thought, ‘Oh crap, I’m in trouble,’” Stowitts said.
Lighthouse owners are looking at new marketing techniques to draw visitors and funding for preservation. State grants have helped Keweenaw Waterway Lighthouse in Chassell, the DeTour Reef Light on Drummond Island and the Thunder Bay Island Lighthouse. The Harbor Beach Lighthouse Preservation Society spent nearly $1 million over the past 30 years to maintain its lighthouse. The Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association spent millions to renovate St. Helena Island Lighthouse. Lack of funds has stalled major restorations of the Cheboygan River Front Range Lighthouse. We also talk to a former lighthouse worker at White Shoal, the Michigan Lighthouse Alliance and the state Historical Preservation Office.
LANSING — Renovation started this summer on a multi-year and multi-million dollar project to restore a Great Lakes icon and, for the first time, open its doors to the public. White Shoal Lighthouse is offshore 20 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge. It’s not visible from land and is a rare sight for boaters, but its red and white, barber pole stripes make it a popular memorabilia item throughout the Great Lakes. Michigan even featured the light on fundraising license plates until private owners purchased the lightstation for $110,000 in 2016. The sale was finalized in June.