2007 News -- August 2007 News
In the News
Keweenaw Now moves
to new BLOG Sept. 1
HANCOCK -- Readers, this Web site, www.keweenawnow.com will move to our
NEW BLOG, http://keweenawnow.blogspot.com, beginning Saturday, Sept. 1. All the articles, photos and links published on this site since October 2001 will still be accessible in our Archive, thanks to
Smartisans.com. When you go to Keweenaw Now you'll be able to access this valuable record of News, Views and Happenings up to Aug. 31, 2007. Then click on the
BLOG link to read the new
articles, see photos and, if you wish, take advantage of our new blog feature --
comment on the articles or on any issues of interest to our readers. Thanks to all of you for visiting
Keweenaw Now and -- to keep yourself informed -- please visit our new
contest deadline extended to Sept. 7
HANCOCK -- Readers,
Keweenaw Now is extending the photo contest through Sept. 7, 2007. Just in case you capture that great view of Lake Superior during the Labor Day weekend, it will still be eligible!
The photo should express a personal, environmental, economic or spiritual connection people have to Lake Superior. (Photos of local beaches ecologically connected to Lake Superior -- such as Hancock, Houghton or Chassell on the Portage Canal -- are acceptable as entries.)
Categories are wildlife, landscape and stewardship/education (e.g., cleaning up
a beach or leaving it cleaner than you find it, learning about the lake, etc.).
Visit the Keweenaw
Now Blog for details and rules.
Photo: Keweenaw sunset with freighter. Photo
taken near the Keweenaw Tip from the Isle Royale Queen IV during Reading the
Landscape cruise June 30. (Photo © 2007 Michele Anderson)
Houghton County Fair Visit: part
From kids' fun to prize-winning tomatoes to tough, competitive horse-pulling, Keweenaw Now captured some
highlights of the Houghton County Fair on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2007, at the Fairgrounds in Hancock.
See our photo essay, "Houghton County Fair Visit: part 1," now published on Keweenaw Now's
new blog. See also our first
video -- an interview with some Fair celebrities!
Photo: Inside the Houghton County Fair Exhibit Building, Sean
Godmere, 3, son of Shane and Michele Godmere of Centennial Heights, tries his steering skills at the Toddler Driving School -- in the company of Houghton County Fair Queen Genny Gierke of Chassell. (Photo © 2007 Gustavo
Heritage Celebration: Photos
Keweenaw Now's photographer, Gustavo Bourdieu, wandered around Main Street Calumet's Heritage
Celebration in Agassiz Park last Saturday, Aug. 18, and took photos for readers of our new
blog. Check out these photos of some highlights of the day and feel free to add
your comments on the Keweenaw
Photo: Krista Cone, center, Miss Coppertown 2007,
reigned over the Calumet Heritage Celebration last weekend. Pictured with her are other candidates Kelsey Johnson, right, and Kelsey
© 2007 Gustavo Bourdieu)
research project seeks info on local Finnish-American musicians
By Hilary Virtanen Posted 08/20/2007
HANCOCK -- Do you have traditional Finnish musicians in your family tree? Do you have any recollections of a musical neighbor from decades past?
If you do, Hilary Virtanen, a Copper Country native and graduate student of Scandinavian Studies and Folklore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison,
would like to meet you during her visit to the Upper Peninsula this month.
Virtanen hopes to interview descendants and acquaintances of thirteen Finnish-American musicians recorded in 1938 by folklorist Alan
Lomax, famed for his work with blues legends Huddy “Leadbelly” Ledbetter and Muddy Waters.
Her research is part of an album compilation project conducted by Professor James P. Leary, also of the University of Wisconsin.
Read more on Keweenaw
Now's new Blog.
Creek comments requested
HANCOCK -- A group of concerned citizens is requesting that residents write
to Hancock City Manager Glenn Anderson to express their views on the City of Hancock's potential sale of Government Lot #5 parcels immediately east of Swedetown Creek along Highway
203 for three residential lots. The area in question
represents the south side of the river mouth and protects forests, wetlands and
sandbars. Read the article on Keweenaw
Now's new blog.
Creek, near the proposed land sale, is a recreational area for residents. (Photo
© 2007 Joe Kaplan. Reprinted with permission.)
Planning Commission hears
public comment on proposed waterfront sale
HANCOCK --The City of Hancock's potential sale of Government Lot #5 parcels immediately east of Swedetown Creek along Highway 203 was the subject of several public comments presented to the City of Hancock Planning Commission on July 23, 2007. This city-owned property is opposite a public access recreational spot, also city property, used as a boat launch at the place where the creek empties into the Portage.
Residents have expressed opposition to the city's proposal to sell the lots
because of their proximity to a recreational area. The Planning Commission
approved requesting a registered land survey of the entire Government Lot 5 to assist the commission to study the use of the property as
requested by the City Council and to request that it be due prior to the
Commission's August 27th meeting. Read the article on Keweenaw
Now's new blog.
resident John Slivon, left, addresses the Hancock Planning Commission and City
Manager Glenn Anderson, right, on the proposed sale of public land near
Swedetown Creek. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo © Michele Anderson)
DEQ grants preliminary approval to Kennecott sulfide mine application,
schedules public hearings
LANSING, MARQUETTE --Despite an internal investigation focused on the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s
(DEQ's) mismanagement of the application review process for a proposed sulfide
mine under the Yellow Dog Plains and Salmon Trout River, near Marquette, the DEQ
announced on July 30, 2007, that it "has resumed its review of the Eagle Project Mine permit application and reinstated its earlier proposed decision to approve a series of permits to the Kennecott Eagle Minerals Company."
The DEQ calls this decision "only a proposal," noting that public hearings have been scheduled near Marquette at the West Branch Community Center
(on old KI Sawyer Air Force Base) in Forsyth Township September 11-13, as well as at the Lansing Center on September 19.
The public comment period will remain open through October 17, and written comments can be sent to DEQ/DNR Kennecott Comments, Office of Geological Survey, P.O. Box 30256, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7756, or by e-mail at
National Wildlife Federation attorney Michelle Halley said acid mine drainage and the mine's roof caving in are among public concerns that still have not been addressed. "The application is deficient and the operation would undeniably cause pollution," Halley said.
Read more in the July 31, 2007, Mining Journal article, "Mine backers, foes get set for hearings."
Visit Save the Wild UP for more information on this update.
Photo contest deadline extended to Aug. 31
HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Now is extending the deadline and broadening
categories for our Lake
Superior Photo Contest through Aug. 31, 2007. Send us your favorite
photo of Lake Superior or a related body of water, beach, etc., in the Lake
Superior basin. Categories include landscape (the beauty of the lake), wildlife (if
you can catch them) or responsible action / education (e.g., doing something to leave the
beach cleaner than you found it, learning /teaching about lake ecology, etc.) We will
accept photos of or near
the lake taken any time this summer -- between May 1 and Aug. 31, 2007. Winners
will be posted on our new blog, www.keweenawnow.blogspot.com.See
blog for contest rules. P.S.: If you have a short community announcement, post it as a
comment on the blog!
Photo: Limnologist Judith Budd tests the lake
level at a point near Copper Harbor for participants in the Reading the
Landscape Shorelands program on June 30, 2007, aboard the Isle Royale Queen IV.
Click on photo for larger version. (Photo © 2007 Gustavo Bourdieu)
HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Now wishes to thank Andy McFarlane of absolutemichigan.com
for featuring Keweenaw Now and our new Keweenaw Now
blog, as well as our photo contest, on Absolute Michigan. Be sure to check
this out and see also his article on the Mackinac Bridge 50th Anniversary
celebration, with an excellent photo of the big
bridge by michiganartisan. Absolute Michigan says it "is designed to be a rich resource that promotes the state of Michigan as a place to visit, for business that doesn't mess up the natural beauty Michigan is blessed with, and most importantly as a place to live your life with the people you love."
Hancock Council hears public opposition to proposed land sale
By Michele Anderson Posted
and updated 07/23/2007
HANCOCK -- Hancock City Council members recently listened to several local
residents express opposition to a proposed land sale of City-owned waterfront
property on Swedetown Creek and Portage Lake. At a public hearing on July 18, citizens' comments were unanimous in asking
the Council to reconsider plans to sell Government Lot #5, immediately east of
Swedetown Creek along Highway 203. The parcels proposed for
sale are near a recreational spot
used as a boat launch at the place where the creek empties into the Portage. One
parcel has frontage on the creek, and two have frontage on the Portage. Former
Councilwoman Mary Tuisku was among those who spoke in favor of sending the
proposal back to the Hancock Planning Commissioners, who have added it to their
agenda for the Planning Commission meeting at 6 p.m. tonight, Monday, July
23, in the Hancock City Hall Council Chambers. more
Photo: During the July 18 public hearing, preceding the Hancock City Council
meeting, Allyson Jabusch, standing at the podium, requests that the Council
table the vote on Government Lot #5 near Swedetown Creek and instruct the Planning Commission to hold another public
hearing. (Photo ©
2007 Michele Anderson)
Keweenaw Mountain Lodge
to celebrate Grand Opening of Community / Conference Center July 21
By Lauren Wiza Posted 07/20/2007
HARBOR -- Tucked away in the green forests just outside Copper Harbor, the Keweenaw
Mountain Lodge has been receiving a facelift during the past year. The Lodge
will celebrate the Grand Opening of its new Community / Conference Center this
Saturday, July 21, in conjunction with the Thimbleberry Jam Fest.
Keweenaw County owns the 167-acre facility, which includes a golf course, a lodge with dining area, cabins, a motel
-- and now a new 7,000-square-foot Community / Conference facility and newly
renovated water and sewer infrastructure for winterizing. In the past,
this "Jewel of the Keweenaw," has been open only during the summer season.
The new infrastructure will allow it to be open year-round. more
Photo: This photo shows one of the entrances to
the new Community / Conference Center and its large dining area, which can
accommodate up to 280 guests. (Photo © 2007 Gustavo Bourdieu)
Finnish city officials attend Hancock City Council meeting
Two official Finnish visitors from Hancock's sister city, Porvoo, Finland, attended the
public hearing and meeting of the Hancock City Council on July 18, 2007. The
visitors, Marcus Henricson, Porvoo city manager, and Mikaela Nylander, Porvoo
mayor (fifth and sixth from left in photo) presented the Hancock City Council
with a symbolic gift, an attractive glass vase designed by Alvar Aalto, a famous
Finnish designer and architect. (Click on photo for larger version: Hancock
Mayor Barry Givens, fourth from left, is holding the gift.) "With this
small, symbolic gift," Henricson said, "we want to express our
appreciation for the hospitality that we've experienced during our visit
here." Both Henricson and Nylander expressed interest in seeing Hancock's
city government in action, with public participation during the hearing and the
meeting. Learn more about the sister cities on the Hancock
and Porvoo Web sites. Watch for an article on the hearing, coming
Photo: Finnish visitors from Hancock's sister
city, Porvoo, Finland, pose for a photo with Hancock City Council members during
the July 18 Council meeting in Hancock City Hall Council Chambers. Pictured are, from left, James Hainault, councilman
at large; Ted Belej, councilman at large; William Laitila, mayor pro-tem; Barry
Givens, mayor; Marcus Henricson, Porvoo city manager; Mikaela Nylander, Porvoo
mayor; Lisa McKenzie, councilwoman at large; Sarah Baratono, Ward II
councilwoman; and Karen Haischer (seated), clerk. Not pictured is Glenn
Anderson, Hancock city manager, who also welcomed the visitors. (Photo © 2007
Now launches new BLOG with photo contest
HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Now is launching
a new, interactive BLOG
with a photo contest. On July 13 we invited you to
celebrate Lake Superior Day (officially July 15) sometime during the week of
July 14-22, record it with your camera and email us your best photo in one of
three categories: landscape (the beauty of the lake), wildlife (if
you can catch them) or responsible action (e.g., doing something to leave the
beach cleaner than you found it). We will also accept photos of or near
the lake taken any time this summer -- between May 1 and July 31, 2007. The Lake Superior Binational Forum
promotes the basin-wide Lake Superior Day to highlight the personal, environmental,
economic and spiritual connections people have to this unique world treasure.
Tell us about your connection with a photo! Even if you don't have a photo,
check our our new BLOG
and send us your comments on any of our articles -- or Keweenaw
issues important to you. The blog is user-friendly and has no connection to our
former Discussion boards.
Photo: Keweenaw Now photographer Gustavo
Bourdieu photographed this sunset with freighter near the Keweenaw Tip during
the Reading the Landscape boat tour from Copper Harbor on the Isle Royale Queen
IV June 30, 2007. (Photo © 2007 Gustavo Bourdieu)
Stupak votes for
bills on redeployment from Iraq, student aid
WASHINGTON, D. C. --
U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee), recently announced his votes on two
bills passed this week in the U.S. House of Representatives: the Responsible
Redeployment from Iraq Act and the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007. On July
12 the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would begin to
redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq within 120 days and to complete redeployment by April 1st of 2008. Congressman
Stupak voted for the legislation. He also voted for the legislation that would invest $18 billion in college financial aid, the single largest investment in college financial aid since the 1944 GI
Bill, saying the bill would help millions of Americans afford college and higher education.
Kiersten Birondo reigns as Strawberry Festival Queen
Copper Country Strawberry Festival Queen Kiersten Birondo, a recent graduate of
Houghton High School, made the rounds of the festival held in Chassell July 6-7
and greeted her subjects with poise and graciousness. Kiersten said she found it
exciting "just to be up there" on stage with the other queen
candidates. "I used to be one of the little girls watching the queen
competition in awe, and I'm so thrilled that I got to be one of the girls this
time," she said. "Actually, being selected was surreal. It was
surprising, and it felt a little bizarre." Kiersten, who is already on her
way to a career as an opera singer, is no stranger to public appearances.
Besides being chosen as Miss Houghton County last year, she has performed in the
Pine Mountain Music Festival with singing roles in both The Magic Flute
(2006) and An Evening with Gilbert and Sullivan this year. She will also
have a role in The Sound of Music at the Calumet Theatre this fall.
Kiersten plans to attend Michigan Tech to study materials engineering and vocal
performance -- and to continue her study of French.
Photo: Copper Country Strawberry Festival Queen
Kiersten Birondo at the Chassell Pavilion on Saturday, July 7, 2007. Click on
photo for larger version. (Photo © 2007 Michele Anderson)
Barbara Kendall receives Heart and Hands of the Keweenaw award
Barbara Kendall of Hancock received the 2007 Heart and Hands of the Keweenaw
award during the Fourth of
July celebration at Churning Rapids. The award is given annually to a Copper Country person who has given
of his or her heart and hands in the service of peace, justice or the environment. In addition to her
professional life of service in nursing, Kendall was instrumental in founding the Community Coalition in 1996. Coalition volunteers sponsor "Art from the Heart" and provide grief education and support.
Kendall has been involved with Keweenaw Home Nursing Hospice as their Education Coordinator, has worked
with the Employee Wellness Program, is on a committee for operations of Omega
House and is a "Parish Nurse"
for the Methodist Church in Hancock. While
working with the Health Department, Kendall was one of first HIV/AIDS educators back when it first emerged
as a serious health issue. In spite of her demanding schedule, Kendall is known as "an incredible
Photo: Terry Kinzel presents the 2007 Heart and
Hands of the Keweenaw award to Barbara Kendall of Hancock during Fourth of July
celebration at Churning Rapids. Click for
larger photo, which also pictures Shalini Suryanarayana, director of Special Academic Programs in the Department of
Educational Opportunity at Michigan Tech University and chair of MTU's Environmental
Sustainability Committee (ESC), who received the 2006 Heart and Hands of the Keweenaw award,
and Norman Kendall, Barbara's spouse, who played music during the event with the
group Rhythm 203.
Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale DVD explains research
By Julie Nordstrom Posted
HOUGHTON -- "Collaboration" is a word that Michigan Tech Forestry Professor John Vucetich uses to describe
Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale, a DVD released recently by Solex
Media, a division of Monte Consulting Company, a local company. The DVD
is a collaboration of research and production about wolves and moose, intended to educate the public about the
most significant predator-prey relationship on Lake Superior’s largest island.
Dr. Rolf Peterson -- Vucetich’s mentor at Michigan Tech -- has been researching the relationships
between Isle Royale’s wolf and moose populations for 30 years. For the past 17 of those years Peterson and
Vucetich have collaborated on this research. more
Photo: This photo of the Middle Pack on Lake
Desor, Isle Royale,
was taken in February 2006 by John Vucetich, co-leader of Isle Royale wolf-moose research.
It is one of the 135 photos one can find in the Wolves and Moose of Isle
Royale DVD. (Photo © 2006 John Vucetich. Reprinted with permission.)
Save the Wild UP Video Challenge winners announced
Winners of the Save The Wild UP Video Challenge have been announced and can be viewed on
You Tube. The Grand Prize Winner with 1907 votes is Josh Leo for his Video titled
"Sulfide Mining Will Damage
Michigan." Prizes for the Grand Prize Winner include $2500 and a holiday package in the Huron Mountains of
the Upper Peninsula. The First Runner-Up with 1406 votes is Peter Schriemer for his video titled
"Michigan's Water and
Wildlife." Scott Lynch wins Second Runner-Up for his video titled "Kennecott Eagle
Mine." See Save
The Wild UP for details on the sulfide mining issue.
Photo: A fall 2006 view of the Salmon Trout
River, which flows through an area proposed for
Kennecott Minerals' Eagle Project sulfide mine. The river contains a rare
population of Coaster Brook Trout. Click
on photo for larger version. (Photo © 2007 and courtesy lexup at Save the
Wild UP. Reprinted with permission.)
Businesses feel the heat: Lake Superior warms up, part 3
By Katie Alvord Posted 06/30/2007
On June 21, the Senate passed an energy bill that would increase
average vehicle fuel efficiency, a measure meant at least in part to combat global warming. Meanwhile, in the Copper Country,
some businesses -- particularly those based on winter tourism -- might already have been feeling global warming's effects. In this
final segment of a three-part series on climate change in the Lake Superior
Basin, Katie Alvord looks at ways local businesses have already been affected by warming temperatures, how some have
responded with potential solutions and what some scientists say about the future of winter in our area.
Photo: Making snow at Mont Ripley Ski Hill near Hancock. In warmer winters, ski areas rely more on artificial snow.
The tall, slanted pipe in left foreground is newer, more energy-efficient snowmaking equipment.
(Photo © 2007 and courtesy Mont Ripley.)
Photos of 2007 Keweenaw Chain Drive bike races posted
-- Photos of the 2007 Portage Health Keweenaw Chain Drive Festival bike races
are now available on Brockit.com. These
quality photos, taken by Brockit's professional photographers Adam Johnson and
Tess Steube, include a variety of individual and group photos of the race.
They are available for viewing or purchase. Results of the races, held June 16,
2007, on the Maasto Hiihto and Churning Rapids trails in Hancock, are posted on
the Chain Drive Web
site. Races included 32- and 16-mile races, the Junior Chain Drive and (for
Father's Day) father and offspring teams. The Chain Drive race will help support
a purchase of 280 acres
for the Swedetown Recreation Area in Calumet. Visit Keweenaw
Trails for more information on local trails and upcoming running and biking
Photo: Terry Kinzel of Hancock rides in the
16-mile race during the 2007 Keweenaw Chain Drive. Kinzel and his wife, Sue
Ellen Kingsley, who maintain their Churning Rapids trails for community biking
and cross-country skiing, both participated in the race. Click on photo for
larger version. (Photo © 2007 Brockit.com.
Reprinted with permission.)
Cardboard boat races offer challenges,
"pirate" fun at Bridgefest 2007
By Michele Anderson Posted
-- The "Pirates of the Keweenaw" cardboard boat races
offered "pirates" of various ages the challenge of keeping afloat in
competitive races on the Portage Lake Ship Canal near Houghton Beach on Sunday,
June 17. The "pirate" theme inspired some creative sailing garb and
added an element of friendly rowdiness
to the traditional rivalry between crews representing the cities of Hancock
and Houghton. Keweenaw Now offers readers this three-page photo
essay of the shenanigans and community fun. more
Photo: Crew members of "Technicolor Magic,"
a boat that tried to carry 14 "pirates," hit the water laughing as their
cardboard "catamaran" splits in two during its one and only race. The
shipwreck won it a prize for Best Sinking. (Photo © 2007 Gustavo Bourdieu)
Lake Superior Basin feeling heat: Part 2
By Katie Alvord Posted
The next G-8 summit starts on June 6 in Germany; and, with climate change high on the agenda, George W. Bush has responded to European pressures
by announcing his own counter-proposals for stemming greenhouse gas emissions. As world political leaders debate what to do about climate
change, several scientists from around Lake Superior say local plants and animals are already showing the effects of rising average
temperatures. Their findings range from northward shifts in bird and small mammal ranges to unexpected plankton blooms to a
diminishing moose population on Isle Royale, and some are expressing concern about what a
warming climate might mean for our future. more
Photo: Isle Royale moose shows areas of skin rubbed bare due to tick
infestation. Moose lose fur when they rub against trees in an attempt to remove ticks.
Warmer temperatures favor ticks and make moose more vulnerable to winter tick infestations.
(Photo © 2007 John Vucetich. Reprinted with permission.)
Second renewable energy forum attracts
By Katie Alvord Posted
HANCOCK -- A larger-than-expected turnout at a Hancock renewable energy forum caught the organizers by surprise -- again.
Well over 100 people flocked to the April 17 forum, "Renewable Energy: Reducing Home Energy Costs, Part
2," held at Lakeview Manor and organized by the Keweenaw Sustainability Project
(KSP). The April forum featured talks by Terry McNinch about solar
photovoltaics; Terry Kinzel on solar, hydroelectric, and wind power; Mike Benda on his large residential wind system; and Dave Bach about retrofitting homes for energy efficiency and conservation.
The forum was a follow-up to the KSP renewable energy forum held in February,
which also attracted a large crowd. KSP also sponsored a Solar, Wind and
Retrofitted Home Tour on May 19, during which visitors were able to see some of
the energy systems presented at the forums. more
Photo: More than 100 interested residents attended the April
17 forum, "Renewable Energy: Reducing Home Energy Costs, Part
2," held at Lakeview Manor in Hancock and organized by the Keweenaw Sustainability Project
(KSP). (Photo © 2007 Gustavo Bourdieu. Reprinted with permission.)
UPPCO reservoir development
plan: Public comment deadline is May 21, 2007
HANCOCK -- A deadline of May 21, 2007, approaches for public comment on the Upper Peninsula Power
Company's (UPPCO's) plans to develop lighted private boat docks and "viewsheds" on
six wild Upper Peninsula hydro-electric reservoirs (i.e., Prickett Dam, Bond Falls, Victoria Falls,
Au Train, Cataract, and Boney Falls) in order to enhance the sale-ability of
7200 acres of adjacent forested lands that UPPCO plans to sell to a developer.
These reservoirs all have
license agreements issued from the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency
(FERC) for the generation of hydroelectric power -- agreements requiring that
and enhance wildlife habitat, provide for public access and manage the
forest for old-growth (at Bond Falls and Victoria Reservoirs). Concerned
residents can find details on this issue at UPPAC.com and can send an email or
letter expressing their views. Read
more, including a sample letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two MTU students bike to Seattle for cancer survivorship
By Jeff Dambrun Posted
HOUGHTON -- An idea that started as a half-serious joke several years ago between Michigan Tech students Jay Prescott
and Jeff Dambrun has now materialized into a reality. Jay and Jeff have created the
Superior-Pacific Ride for Survivorship, a bicycle journey from Houghton, Mich., to Seattle,
Wash., as well as a
grassroots fundraiser through the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a non-profit organization
that supports cancer survivorship efforts. Jay and Jeff are now on their way,
and donations and pledges
will be accepted until they reach Seattle in mid-June. Donations will go not
only toward cancer research, but toward other important areas like education and social support for survivors and their families.
Photo: Jay and Jeff with their bikes on a trail near Freda, Mich. (Photo © 2007 Ben Bittner. Reprinted with permission.)
Peace Corps Deputy Director to address Michigan Tech graduates
HOUGHTON -- Josephine “Jody” Olsen, deputy director of the Peace Corps, will give the commencement address
and receive an Honorary Doctorate in Sustainable International Development during Michigan Technological
University's Spring Commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 5. As the deputy director of the Peace Corps,
Olsen supports several initiatives, including strengthening the recruitment of older volunteers, measuring
the impact of the Peace Corps and helping other countries promote volunteerism among their own people.
MTU is home to the largest Master’s International Peace Corps programs in the country.
The university has Master’s International programs in forestry, science education,
disaster mitigation and civil and environmental engineering. Read more on
Tech Today. See also our story
about Amber Kenny, of Houghton, MTU Peace Corps Masters International graduate in
Lake Superior warming fast: Researchers surprised by strong trends
By Katie Alvord Posted 05/03/2007
A growing number of regional officials and researchers have been examining how
climate change may already affect air, water and ice within the Lake Superior basin.
This regional work is taking place as the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) completes
its Fourth Assessment Report on the state of the world’s climate. The IPCC is releasing its 2007 assessment in segments, and the next will be released Friday, May
4. In the first in a series of articles on climate change, Keweenaw
Now guest writer Katie Alvord reports recent climate changes affecting Lake
Superior, as researched by scientists at the University of Minnesota Duluth and
Michigan Tech University and as observed by meteorologists and by officials at
Isle Royale National Park and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. more
Photo: Ice melting along the Lake Superior shoreline in late
March 2007. (Photo © 2007 Katie Alvord. Reprinted with permission.)
Stupak statement on Iraq veto override vote
WASHINGTON, D. C. --
While the U.S. House of Representatives failed to override President Bush's veto on the Iraq Accountability Act Conference Report, Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) says he will continue to press the Administration for accountability to end the war in Iraq. "We owe our troops the funding and equipment to complete their tour of duty and return home safely," Stupak said. "I will continue working with my colleagues towards legislation to end our military entanglement in the Iraqi Civil War. Our troops and their families have sacrificed too much for Congress to simply provide President Bush a blank check for an unending commitment to war in Iraq."
Manitou Island Bird Survey goes international
HOUGHTON -- This spring will be the sixth year of the Manitou Island Bird Survey, a project of the Copper Country Audubon Club under the direction of Joseph
Youngman. Manitou Island is the small island three miles long and three miles east of the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Each spring thousands of raptors of at least 13 species have been documented. Raptors that come to Manitou are part of the massive bird migration that moves up the Keweenaw Peninsula every spring.
Visitors to the Second Annual Keweenaw International Migratory Bird Day Festival
Friday and Saturday, May 4 - 5, in Copper Harbor, will have a chance to see
many of these migrating birds and to learn about the Manitou Island Survey. more
Photo: Red-tailed Hawk in flight. (Photo © 2007 Joseph
Youngman. Reprinted with permission.)
Stupak says Bush should sign Iraq Accountability bill
Posted and updated 04/26/2007
WASHINGTON, D. C. -- The U.S. House of Representatives approved on April 25 the Iraq Accountability Act Conference Report by a
vote of 218 to 208. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) voted for the legislation. "The measure the House passed today supports our troops, honors our veterans and requires accountability
from the Bush Administration and the Iraqi government," Stupak said. "The bill provides $4 billion more for our troops
than the President requested and provides $1.8 billion more for veterans' neglected health needs."
The bill would demand troop withdrawals begin on Oct. 1, 2007, or sooner and end
by April 1, 2008, allowing for forces conducting
certain noncombat missions. The Senate is expected to take up and pass the legislation Thursday, sending the measure to the
President's desk. more
"Power is in Our Hands Walk" calls for reducing carbon emissions
HOUGHTON -- About 30 people attended a talk and pinwheel parade with the theme
"The Power is in Our Hands" on a sunny Saturday, April 14, in Houghton. The
event was part of a national campaign called "Step It Up, Congress --
Cut Carbon 80% Or More by 2050." More than 1,300 other "Step It Up" events took place across the country on this same day.
The Houghton event started with a talk at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Anne
Newcombe, who organized the event, talked of the need for laws to restrict carbon
emissions; and Barry Solomon, Michigan Tech professor specializing in energy issues,
gave advice about home conservation techniques. The parade walkers carried a banner stating, "Step It Up, Congress - Cut Carbon 80% by
2050," signs and pinwheels and walked from Houghton to Hancock and back.
Some came by bike to protest fossil fuels. more
Photo: "The Power Is In Our Hands" walkers
carry a banner expressing solidarity with the national "Step It Up, Congress"
event to address climate change. The walk from Houghton to Hancock
and back was a family-friendly community event coordinated with over 1,000 other
related events around the country. (Photo © 2007 Gustavo Bourdieu
Renewable energy events draw local crowds
By Katie Alvord Posted
A growing number of Copper Country residents like the idea of renewable power, if turnouts at recent meetings are any indication.
A wind energy talk by Calumet Girl Scouts attracted attention in January.
A Hancock forum on solar, wind, and energy conservation, sponsored by the
Keweenaw Sustainability Project (KSP), drew a larger-than-expected crowd in
February, as did a
Small Wind Seminar sponsored by Michigan State University Extension in Houghton in March.
KSP will sponsor another forum, "Energy Costs, Part 2," at 7 p.m. on
Tuesday, Apr. 17, at Lakeview Manor in Hancock. The forum will include presentations on solar power,
wind power and retrofitting older homes to save energy. more
This 10 KW wind turbine helps offset electricity needs for the adjacent home, which is also connected to the power grid.
Energy Association and courtesy Lynn Hamilton.)
Walk for Peace commemorates Iraq War anniversary
Nearly 45 persons, and a few pet dogs, walked from Hancock to
Houghton and back on Sunday, Mar. 18, 2007, in a Walk for Peace commemorating
the fourth anniversary of the War in Iraq. Although the local event was
not sponsored by any particular group, the Walk was in solidarity with peace
events around the country, which included a march of thousands on the Pentagon
in Washington, D.C., on March 17. Participants in the local Walk carried a
variety of signs expressing their thoughts about the war, from "No More
War" to "Money for Jobs and
Education, not War and Occupation." more
Photo: Sign "No More War" is one of
many carried by participants in the Walk for Peace from Hancock to Houghton and
back on Sunday, March 18, 2007. (Photo © 2007 Michele Anderson)
International Women's Day, March 8, focuses on violence against women and
The United Nations' message for March 8, International Women's Day 2007, is
"Ending Impunity for Violence against Women and Girls." While the U.N.
holds a panel discussion on this worldwide problem today, why not think globally
and act locally by supporting the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter in Calumet.
According to their newsletter, the Shelter needs such items as toilet paper,
large diapers, laundry detergent, dish soap, trash and storage bags. Other ways
to help are to purchase the Shelter cookbook or to donate Econo Foods receipts,
stocks, cash, old cell phones and volunteer time. In 2006, 1299 individuals were
served through the Shelter's crisis line, residential and non-residential
services, while 4187.25 hours of direct service were provided by 12 volunteers.
Send donations to Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home for Abused Women, P.O.
Box 8, Calumet, MI 49913. See also our Oct. 14, 2006, article by
Alex Matiella Novak, children's worker at the Shelter, "Walking
Logo: United Nations logo for International
Women's Day, March 8, 2007. Click on logo to view their Web site and information
on "Ending Impunity for Violence against Women and Girls." (Logo ©
2007 United Nations. Reprinted with permission.)
DEQ withdraws proposed approval of sulfide mine application
By Michele Anderson Posted
03/06/2007 Updated 03/07/2007
MARQUETTE, LANSING -- The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced on March 1, 2007, that it has
withdrawn its Jan. 9, 2007, proposed decision to approve a permit for the Kennecott Minerals Company to conduct mining operations
for nickel and copper at the proposed Eagle Project Mine on the Yellow Dog Plains near Marquette.
DEQ Director Steven E. Chester announced that the public hearings, scheduled for March 6-8 in Marquette and March 12 in Lansing, will be postponed and rescheduled at a later date.
Michelle Halley, attorney for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), one of several environmental and community groups opposed to the proposed sulfide mine, said the
DEQ's withdrawal of its draft decision to permit the mine was caused by a 25-page report
that "was highly critical of Kennecott's mining application and raised serious concerns over a possible collapse of the
Photo: "Ore body 150 feet down" is the title of this photo of the Salmon
Trout River, which flows above the site of Kennecott Minerals' proposed sulfide
mine near Marquette. The river contains a rare
population of Coaster Brook Trout. (Photo © 2007 Yellow Dog Watershed
Preserve and courtesy www.savethewildup.org. Reprinted with permission.)
Keweenaw Krayons Mardi Gras celebration draws large crowd
Keweenaw County Sheriff Ron Lahti was named "King" at the Third Annual
Keweenaw Krayons Mardi Gras celebration Feb. 20 at the Mohawk School. The "Queen" award went to Nancy
Fisher, owner of Yarns & Threads of Lake Linden, who teaches fiber arts classes for Keweenaw Krayons and offers much support to the non-profit organization and to other Keweenaw area activities.
Winner of the "Queen Mum" award was 90-year-old Melvi Grosnick of Traprock Valley. Melvi is also a key supporter, volunteer and participant at Keweenaw Krayons.
A large crowd of all ages, including several Keweenaw County Commissioners,
attended the community event, which included music, dancing, a Cajun dinner, a
silent auction, arts and crafts and a New Orleans "French Quarter"
café. Watch for more photos and learn more about Keweenaw Krayons on their
Photo: Don Keith, Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners chair, hands the crown to Mardi Gras "King,"
Sheriff Ron Lahti. Applauding in the background are, from left, Carol Rose, Keweenaw Krayons director of
the Teen Graphic Arts and Marketing Program, and Kathy McEvers, Keweenaw County's Kermit's Kids Program
director. Don and Kathy were last year's Mardi Gras royalty. Click on photo for larger version. (Photos
© 2007 Gustavo Bourdieu, Keweenaw Now photographer.)
Obituary: Rev. Allen
Rev. Allen Goodrich, 58, Pastor of the Bethany Lutheran Church in Mohawk passed away unexpectedly at his
home in Mohawk on Thursday morning, Feb. 15, 2007. In 1990 Rev. Goodrich became Pastor of the Bethany Lutheran Church in Mohawk and
was their Pastor until his time of death. He was instrumental in the formation of Keweenaw Lutheran Ministries, which led to the construction of Shepherd of the Sea Chapel in Copper Harbor.
Pastor Al was an avid guitar player and teacher. He was also known and loved for
going out of his way to marry couples -- not only in the church but wherever the couple requested,
from Brockway Mountain to the Still Waters Garden. Funeral services will be held
at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007, in the Bethany Lutheran Church in Mohawk.
Friends may call at the Erickson Crowley Funeral Home in Calumet one hour prior to the service at the church or at
Babylon Bags the Big One in Winter Carnival Statue Competition
HOUGHTON -- Delta Sigma Phi's frosty rendition of the hanging gardens of Babylon took first place in the
highly competitive fraternity division of Michigan Tech's Winter Carnival snow statue contest. The huge
diorama, "Euphrates Frozen in Time Shows Babylon in Its Prime," is located in front of the their house,
1421 Woodland Road, near Wadsworth Hall. It reflects this year's theme, "Ancient Worlds Come to Play in Snowy Drifts of Modern Day." The elaborate
sculptures included griffins with wings molded of clear ice, a fountain, the river Euphrates, a
four-tiered backdrop replete with arches, and yards and yards of ice
chains. Nabbing second place was Phi Kappa Tau for "Ancient Chinese Culture in an Icy Sculpture." A dragon snakes through the scene, which
features a pair of fierce-looking foo dogs, mini-dragons with icy wings and Chinese music broadcasting
from the fraternity house at 1209 West Quincy St. in Hancock. Read more about the winners and see
photos and complete results on the MTU Winter Carnival Web site.
Photo: This detail from a photo by S. Gowtham,
MTU graduate student, shows some of the elaborate sculptures in Delta Sigma
Phi's first-place diorama, "Euphrates Frozen in Time Shows Babylon in
Its Prime." Click on photo for larger version and on "yards and
yards of ice chains" above for another of S. Gowtham's photos of the
winning creation. (Photos © 2007 S. Gowtham. Reprinted with permission.
Other photo links are to the MTU Winter Carnival Web site.)
Lahti stands with Granholm for stronger Michigan
LANSING -- State Representative Mike Lahti (D-Hancock) responded recently to Governor Jennifer Granholm’s State of the State Address and praised the Governor for demonstrating solid leadership in rocky economic times. Rep. Lahti applauded Governor Granholm’s plan to leave no worker behind by investing in our workforce to make Michigan a magnet for cutting-edge technologies and good-paying, family sustaining jobs while promoting and working with established businesses and resources in order to protect the jobs we already have. Lahti noted alternative energy as a field with great potential and room for growth.
He also said education issues are key to turning Michigan’s economy around. Lahti
was recently named a member of the Michigan House Appropriations Committee and
is to be the Chair of the Natural Resources Subcommittee and a member of the Human Services Subcommittee.
Photo: State Representative Mike Lahti (D-Hancock) was one of eight escorts (four
Representatives and four Senators) who welcomed Gov. Jennifer Granholm into the House chamber prior to her
fifth State of the State Address Tuesday night, Feb. 6, before a joint convention of the Michigan House of
Representatives and the Michigan Senate. (Photo © 2007 and courtesy Mike
Reprinted with permission.)
Somalia: Another Front in the War on Terror?
Ron Martin, Jr. Posted 02/05/2007
HOOD RIVER, ORE. --
For 16 years, Somalia has been a failed state with no central government, awash with weapons, wracked by clan
rivalries and ruled by
warlords. Only when the Union of Islamic Courts
(UIC) took control of southern and central Somalia last summer, did the
United States administration become concerned about the threat of Somalia being taken over by Islamic extremists and becoming a potential safe haven and training ground for al-Qaeda,
says guest author Ron Martin, Jr., who has a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University.
Martin worked as Water and Sanitation Program Manager for a humanitarian nongovernmental organization
in Somalia from December 2004 through June 2005. He offers an overview of recent
events in Somalia, along with photos he took while working there. more
Photo: A Somali woman, with her child strapped onto her back,
waters camels at a traditional well near Walaq, a rural area about 14 miles (22 km) southwest of
(Photo © 2005 Ron Martin, Jr. Reprinted with permission.)
Residents oppose Mt. Bohemia rezoning requests at hearing
By Michele Anderson
Posted 01/29/2007 Updated 01/30/07
MOHAWK -- A public hearing on requests for zoning changes in Keweenaw County drew a crowd of nearly 50 to the Mohawk School on Jan. 16, as the Keweenaw County Planning Commission endeavored to update the County Zoning Map to correspond to the new proposed Keweenaw County
zoning ordinance. The Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners is expected to approve the new proposed ordinance at their
Feb. 14, 2007, meeting.
While the hearing concerned five different rezoning requests for various parcels in the County, most of the discussion and public comment was devoted to a controversy surrounding a request by Black Bear, Inc., for rezoning part of the Mt. Bohemia property near Lac La
The Keweenaw County Planning Commission intends to make a decision on the requests for
rezoning at their regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, in the Courthouse in Eagle River.
Photo: Ed Kisiel, left, Eagle Harbor Township supervisor, addresses the Keweenaw County Planning Commissioners during the Jan. 16, 2007, public hearing on the new zoning map in the Mohawk School. Jon
Soper, Planning Commission
chairman, replies to questions as he displays a map showing zoning
districts in question.
(Photo © 2007 Michele Anderson)
Artist Mary Biekkola Wright, Rick Kauppila named 2007 Heikinpäivä Hankooki Heikkis
HANCOCK -- Hankooki
Heikki, an honor given by the City of Hancock’s Finnish Theme Committee each year at the annual Heikinpäivä
mid-winter festival, is bestowed on a person or people whose commitment to preserving and promoting Finnish culture in the area goes above and beyond
"normal" efforts. This year the honors go to artist Mary Biekkola Wright
-- affectionately known as the
"chair lady" or "the woman with all the mittens" -- and her trusty behind-the-scenes helper Rick
Read about their efforts, the coming Heikinpäivä events and other artwork on
exhibit in Hancock. more
Photo: One of several colorful mittens from Mary Biekkola Wright's art
project decorates the sidewalk along Quincy Street in preparation for the 2007 Heikinpäivä
festivities. (Photo © 2007 Michele Anderson)
DEQ disappoints with "proposed" approval of Kennecott sulfide mine
Updated 01/17/2007 and 03/05/2007
Note: The public hearings mentioned below have been postponed by the DEQ.
Watch for an article on this.
MARQUETTE, LANSING -- Several local groups express disappointment at the Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality's Jan. 9, 2007, "proposed decision" to approve permits to Kennecott Eagle Minerals
Co. for their proposed sulfide mining operations below the Yellow Dog Plains in northwestern Marquette County. The DEQ will now continue its technical review and, by law, will make a final decision following another public hearing and
comment period. Public hearings will be held from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. on March 6, 7 and 8, 2007, in the Michigan and Huron Rooms of the Northern Michigan University Center in Marquette.
Written public comments on this "proposed decision" will be accepted through April 5, 2007. Several local groups -- including the Yellow Dog Watershed
Preserve, Save the Wild UP, Huron Mountain Club, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
statewide environmental groups say this proposed decision is wrong for Michigan. "The permit application is filled with ambiguous responses," said Michelle Halley, attorney for the National Wildlife Federation. "Kennecott is expecting the people of Michigan to trust that they can operate a sulfide mine that will not contaminate the surrounding areas, but the track record of both Kennecott and sulfide mining is filled with contamination and inaccurate predictions." Halley
noted a recent study found that faulty water quality predictions and regulatory failures result in the approval of mines that create significant water pollution problems at more than three quarters of mines studied. Read more on
Save the Wild U.P. and
Recovery. Read the DEQ
Decision. For a viewpoint from downstate, read Jack Lessenberry's Jan.
17, 2007, article, "Ready
to swim in sulfuric acid?" in Detroit's Metro Times.
MTU Master's International Peace Corps Volunteer returns after service in Togo
By Michele Anderson and Amber Kenny Posted
From raising bush rats to planting trees to teaching teenagers about organic
farming and health, Amber Lily Kenny of Houghton completed several important
projects during her two years in Togo, West Africa. She shares with Keweenaw
Now readers some inspiring and humorous tales of her adventures and
cross-cultural experiences as a Michigan Tech Master's International Peace Corps
Volunteer. Amber is back at MTU finishing her Master's research in forestry and
hopes to return to West Africa to work in another aspect of international development.
Read her stories and see two pages of
Photo: Three-year-old Antoinette has fun cooking with Peace Corps Volunteer Amber Kenny during one
of Antoinette's frequent visits to Amber's village home in Togo. (Photo © 2006 Amber Kenny)
Kris Freeman takes second win at U.S. Cross Country Championships
Two-time Olympian Kris Freeman (Andover, NH), a member of the U.S. Ski Team, picked up his eighth U.S. gold medal by winning the 15K freestyle race Thursday, Jan. 4, at
the U.S. Cross Country Championships on the Michigan Tech Trails, while 18-year-old Alexa
Turzian (Sun Valley, ID) won the women's 10K freestyle race to become what is believed to be the youngest U.S. cross country
champion. It was the second win in 24 hours for
Freeman, who won the men's 10K classic on Wednesday. He covered the three-lap, 15K course in
39:34.7 with two-time Olympic teammate Lars Flora (Anchorage, AK) in second place (40:21.8)
and James Southam (also of Anchorage), another 2006 Olympic athlete in third (40:38.2). Racers again faced
temperatures in the low 40s and soft trail conditions. After the races on Thursday, volunteers moved several truckloads of snow, using their backs and their shovels to ensure a solid base for Saturday's individual classic sprint races. On Sunday, for the first time ever, the U.S. championships will include a team relay event. Teams of two skiers will alternate, skiing three laps each. Sunday's events begin at 10 am. A complete list of results and the schedule for the remaining three races are at
www.seniornationals.org. Read details and see photos on the
U.S. Ski Team Web
site. Photos are also being posted on Brockit.com.
Photo: James Southam of Anchorage, Alaska, leads
a group of skiers up a slope at the MTU Trails during the U.S. Cross Country
Championships 15K freestyle race on Thursday, Jan. 4. Olympic athlete Southam
finished third in the race, winning a bronze medal. Click on photo for a larger
version. (Photo © 2007 Adam Johnson of Brockit.com.
Reprinted with permission.)
NMU student Lindsay Weier takes women's classic ski title
Lindsay Weier of Mahtomedi, Minn., a Northern Michigan University student, took the women's classic ski title Wednesday, Jan. 3, in the U.S. Cross Country Championships as the U.S. Ski Team dominated the opening day of the 2007 Championship
races at the Michigan Tech Nordic Training Center (MTU Trails) in Houghton. Weier and Kris Freeman, of Andover, N.H., winner of the men's race, are both members of the
U.S. Ski Team and competed in the 2002 and 2006 Olympics. Weier will also compete with her NMU college team this year.
U.S. team members took five of the six podium spots in the men's 10 km and the women's 5
km races. The races also include the U.S. disabled championships. Chris Klebl won the men's sit-ski competition, while Monica Bascio won
the women's title. Sit skiers traverse the course on a skiing equivalent to a wheelchair, using their poles and arm strength to
propel themselves. Skiers report the trails held up well despite record high temperatures
for January, with the mercury soaring to 41. Groomers are working late into the night getting the track ready for the freestyle race on
Thursday. Read more and see results on the Senior
Nationals Web site.
Photo: Junior Olympics skiers compete on Michigan
Tech's cross country trails in March 2006. Some of these skiers graduate to
compete in the U.S. Cross Country Championships being held this week on the MTU
Trails, which have held up under warm weather conditions for both competitions.
Click on photo for larger version. (Photo © 2006 Adam Johnson of Brockit.com.
Reprinted with permission.)
Mt. Bohemia zoning issues to top Dec. 14 Planning Commission meeting
By Michele Anderson Posted
12/13/2006 Updated 12/14/2006
EAGLE RIVER -- Definitions and uses of yurts in relation to the Mt. Bohemia Ski Resort
at Lac La Belle will
be a major topic for discussion at the Keweenaw County Planning Commission meeting to be
held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14. (Please note this time. Keweenaw
Now regrets the error in the time posted on Dec. 13.) The discussion on yurts was tabled at the Nov. 28 Planning Commission meeting, during which
Lonie Glieberman, Mt. Bohemia Ski Resort (Black Bear, Inc.) president, and his attorney Frank
Ellias addressed the Commission with concerns about definitions of ski resorts, ski hills
and yurts in the new potential Keweenaw County zoning ordinance. The Keweenaw County Board
of Commissioners is expected to vote on the new ordinance by February or March, 2007.
Glieberman, Mt. Bohemia Ski Resort (Black Bear, Inc.)
addresses the Keweenaw County Planning Commission during their Nov. 28
meeting in the Courthouse in Eagle River. At left is Planning
Commissioner Joe Langdon of Lac La Belle. (Photo © 2006 Michele Anderson)
DEQ proceeds with Kennecott sulfide mine application, still opposed by community groups
Emily Svenson and
Michele Anderson Posted
MARQUETTE -- The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) resumed processing Kennecott Minerals' application for a sulfide mine under the Yellow Dog Plains and Salmon Trout River on Oct. 26, 2006. A debate over the
proposed Eagle Project mine, to be located about 30 miles northwest of
Marquette, has been ongoing since
the spring of 2003, when Kennecott’s proposition became public. Both local and
national groups oppose the mine, citing especially the danger of Acid Mine
Drainage to trout streams and ultimately Lake Superior. On Nov. 14, 2006, the
DEQ issued a permit review update on the proposed Eagle Project mine, stating public comments on Kennecott’s response
to the DEQ's questions on their initial application will be accepted until
Dec. 26, 2006. The DEQ will make a proposed decision to grant or deny the Part 632
permit application on January 9, 2007, and will also issue notice of a consolidated public
hearing (on the Part 632 permit and on air and groundwater permit applications) expected to be held in mid-February.
Photo: A view of the Salmon-Trout River, which flows through an area proposed for
Kennecott Minerals' Eagle Project sulfide mine. The River contains a rare
population of Coaster Brook Trout. (File photo © 2005 Northwoods
Wilderness Recovery. Reprinted with permission.)
Sen. Levin calls for phased redeployment of U.S. forces in Iraq
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Michigan's
U. S. Senator Carl Levin addressed the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on Iraq on Nov. 15. "Our uniformed military leaders have repeatedly told
us that there’s no military solution to the violence in Iraq and that a political agreement
between the Iraqi sectarian factions themselves is the only way to end the violence," Levin
said. "We should put the responsibility for Iraq’s future squarely where it belongs
-- on the Iraqis. We cannot save the Iraqis from themselves. The only way for Iraqi leaders to
squarely face that reality is for President Bush to tell them that the United States will
begin a phased redeployment of our forces within four to six months." Sen. Levin is
preparing to chair the Senate Armed Services Committee, of which he has been a member
throughout his career. He previously chaired the Committee from June 2001 to January 2003.
Visit Sen. Levin's Web
site for the text of his speech to the Committee.
Photo: U. S. Senator Carl Levin at the Senate
podium. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo courtesy Sen. Levin's Web site.
Reprinted with permission.)
Democrats win major races in Houghton County with 52% voter turnout
Michele Anderson Posted and Updated 11/09/2006
HOUGHTON -- Despite a voter turnout of only 52.15% of registered voters in
Houghton County, Democrats scored victories in the major races, reflecting the
national trend in this election that, according to the Associated Press, now
gives the party a ruling majority in both chambers of Congress for the first time since
1994. Voters showed
confidence in Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, giving her 6,497 votes
(54.21%) to 5,275 (44.02%) for her major challenger, Republican Dick DeVos.
Houghton County voters also gave significant margins of victory to other major
incumbent Democrats: U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Representative
Bart Stupak and State Senator Mike Prusi -- all of whom retain their positions.
Houghton County voters helped elect Hancock's Mike Lahti, presently
Houghton County Commission chair, to the 110th District State Representative
position to be vacated by term-ended Rich Brown (D-Bessemer). Democrat Anton
Pintar took one of two contested Houghton County Commissioner seats, defeating
Republican John Condon. County Commissioner Paul Luoma (D) retains his seat
after defeating challenger Matt E. Huuki. more
Keweenaw County voters pick winning Michigan Democrats
Michele Anderson Posted 11/08/2006
EAGLE RIVER -- Election results for Keweenaw County were completed just
before 10 p.m. Tuesday evening, Nov. 7, reporting 632 total votes for Michigan
Governor Jennifer Granholm against 507 votes for her major opponent, Dick DeVos.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Granholm addressed supporters in
Detroit shortly after 11 p.m., announcing she had just received congratulations
from DeVos. In other major races, Keweenaw County voters contributed to victories by
incumbent Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Representative
Bart Stupak and State Senator Mike Prusi. Democrat Mike Lahti of Hancock also
received support from Keweenaw County in his victory for the 110th District
State Representative position. Three contested Keweenaw County Commissioner
seats went to Don Keith, Randy Eckloff and Joe Langdon. more
Photo: Governor Jennifer Granholm addresses local residents
in the Courthouse in Eagle River during her visit to Keweenaw County on Aug. 17, 2005.
(Keweenaw Now file photo © 2005 Michele
Ballot Proposal 2: End
of Affirmative Action?
By Bryan Tyler Posted
-- With the Nov. 7 Election fast approaching, one controversial issue on the
upcoming ballot is the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI), also known as Proposal 2.
Guest writer Bryan Tyler reports on recent visiting speakers at Michigan Tech --
Susan Kaufmann, Associate Director of the Center for the Education of Women at the University of Michigan,
who has done research on potential impacts of the MCRI, and Frank Wu, dean of Wayne State University Law
School, who spoke on "The New Civil Rights
in the 21st Century" at the Rozsa Center. Tyler presents an in-depth
article on the pros and cons of the MCRI, including interviews with MTU
President Glenn Mroz and
Chris Anderson, special assistant to the president for Institutional Diversity and
executive director of Educational Opportunity at Michigan Tech. more
Photo: Frank Wu, dean of Wayne State University
Law School, recently spoke at Michigan Tech on "The New Civil Rights
in the 21st Century." He also visited MTU classes and discussed racial and gender inequality in American institutions.
Wu is the author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White, in
which he recounts what it was like growing
up as a member of the minority. (Photo © 2006 Emil Groth.)
Park Superintendent to retire
-- Frank C. Fiala, Superintendent of Keweenaw National Historical Park (KNHP) since April, 1997, will
retire on January 3, 2007, after nearly 32 years of Federal service. Fiala’s assignments
during his National Park Service career have included park ranger and management positions
at Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in Alaska, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and
Preserve in Alaska, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, Carlsbad Caverns National Park
in New Mexico and Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado. Fiala also served as a medic in
the U.S. Air Force from 1969 to 1973. Fiala and his wife Emily plan to remain in the Copper Country and continue their involvement
in a wide range of activities.
bio-fuel plant opening
WASHINGTON, D. C. -- Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) spoke at the
Aug. 18 opening of a bio-fuel plant in Gladstone, Michigan -- the first
biodiesel plant in the state. The facility, which is being opened by AG Solutions Inc., is expected to produce more than 20 million gallons of biodiesel fuel per year from agriculture projects. Speaking alongside Governor Jennifer Granholm (D-MI), Stupak used the event to call for a new direction in U.S. energy policy.
Stupak said he has been working in Washington to support laws and policies that foster innovation and development of alternative energy use.
Houghton, Keweenaw county voters support Democratic candidates in Primary
By Michele Anderson Posted
HOUGHTON, EAGLE RIVER
-- In the Aug. 8 Primary election, voters in Houghton and Keweenaw counties
showed support for Michigan Democratic candidates -- both incumbents and newcomers.
Governor Jennifer Granholm received a total of 1731 votes in the two counties, leading her Republican opponent, Dick
DeVos, who garnered only 905 Houghton-Keweenaw votes. A two-county total of 1696 votes
helped Mike Lahti, presently Houghton County Commission chair, in the race for
110th District State Representative. He secured
the Democratic candidate position over local Democratic opponents and more than
doubled the two-county
total of 819 Primary votes received by his Republican opponent, Dave Schmidt.
Voters in the Primary also sought changes in some county offices. more
State Rep. Rich Brown endorses Mike Lahti for Aug. 8 Primary Election
HANCOCK -- In a recent letter to constituents, Rich Brown (D-Bessemer), term-ended state
representative for Michigan's 110th House District, expresses his support for Mike Lahti of
Hancock, who is running for this seat in the primary election to be held Aug. 8, 2006. "Mike
has a keen knowledge and understanding of our community," Brown writes. "As a small-business
owner, he knows the challenges we face in creating good-paying jobs. He also knows the
importance of quality education and the need to make college affordable (Lahti served for
seven years on the Hancock School Board and currently is vice-chairman of Finlandia
University's Board of Trustees)." Brown adds, "Mike also will work to protect our Great
Lakes. He will work to protect our rivers, lakes and streams, and to preserve our beautiful
Great Lakes State." Lahti is currently Chairman of the Houghton County Board of Commissioners. Three other Democrats are running in the primary for this two-year- term
position: Wendell Patrick Dompier of Baraga, Keith D. Hamel of Iron River and Travis
Peterson of Baraga. See the Official Michigan Primary Candidate
Listing. Learn more about Mike Lahti's campaign on his Web site www.mikelahti.org. For
voter information visit the Michigan
Voter Information Center. Photo: Mike Lahti. (Photo © 2006 and courtesy Mike Lahti
and State Farm Insurance Co. Reprinted with permission.)
Students learn practical side of research at Renewable Energy and
Sustainable Living Fair
By Julia Kalloz and Ezekiel Fugate Posted 07/27/2006
HOUGHTON -- Custer, a small town not much more than a cluster of homes, sits just outside of Stevens
Point, Wis. Approximately 2,000 people normally call Custer
home; but from June 23-25, 2006, nearly 19,000 inquisitive people flocked to a large farm owned and operated by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s
(MREA's) ReNew the Earth Institute in order to attend the MREA’s 18th annual Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living
Fair, which offered 160 workshops on renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable living and showcased products and information from over 200 exhibitors.
Students doing research in sustainability
through Michigan Tech University's Sustainable Futures Institute program,
Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), who attended the Fair, present
their impressions and photos of the event. more
Photo: Julia Kalloz and Ezekiel Fugate, co-authors
of this article, visit one of the solar energy exhibits at the 18th annual Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living
Fair in Custer, Wis., last June. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo © 2006 Michele Anderson)
U. S. Sen. Carl Levin addresses local Democrats
By Michele Anderson Posted 07/10/2006 Updated
HANCOCK -- United States Senator Carl Levin (D-Detroit) spoke of his views on
Iraq and the policies of the Bush administration and fielded questions from
Houghton County Democrats during their July 2, 2006, dinner at the Ramada Inn in
Hancock. Levin, a member of the Armed Services Committee, spoke about the recent Levin-Reed amendment, which was intended to urge
President Bush to tell the Iraqis we are going to begin our redeployment
out of Iraq this year. Although the amendment failed, Levin said he believed
most of the public and the American military agree on ending the open-ended commitment we
have in Iraq. He also commented on the need for checks and balances "to rein in this president, who
thinks he's all powerful ..." Levin welcomed questions from the audience
and expressed strong support for Michigan Democrats running for re-election,
including Gov. Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Rep. Bart
Photo: Cassie Van Dam, 12, Houghton Middle School student,
asks U.S. Senator Carl Levin for his autograph during Sen. Levin's visit
with local Democrats in Hancock on July 2, 2006, at the Ramada Inn. Also pictured are Cassie's grandmother Carol Kurtz of
Calumet and George Love of Houghton. (Photo © 2006 Michele Anderson)
MDEQ decision on sulfide mine to be postponed
MARQUETTE -- According to a June 1 article in the Marquette
Mining Journal, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Paula J.M. Manderfield in Lansing has ordered the Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to postpone its decision on a Kennecott Minerals permit
application for sulfide mining on the Yellow Dog Plains, Marquette County. Originally
anticipated to be announced June 13, the MDEQ's decision is to be postponed until after the
court conducts a June 22 hearing on an appeal filed by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community,
four tribal members of the community, the Huron Mountain Club and the Yellow Dog Watershed
Preserve Inc. Read the Mining Journal article, "Permit hits snag."
Several letters to the editor recently challenged an editorial in the Detroit News endorsing the Kennecott mining
project. See "State should reject flawed
U.P. mine plan," by Michelle Halley, Lake Superior Project Manager for the National Wildlife Federation, and Brad Garmon, Land Programs
Director for the Michigan Environmental Council, and read other letters that appeared in the
Detroit News June 2. For more information see Save the Wild UP.
Photo: View of the Yellow Dog River, a wild trout
stream in northern Marquette County. The proposed sulfide mine sits on the cusp of the Salmon-Trout River and the Yellow Dog River watersheds.
(File photo ©
2004 and courtesy Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve and Eagle
Alliance. Reprinted with permission.)
Keweenaw Land Trust marks decade of land, water conservation
By Bryan Tyler Posted 05/26/2006
Ten years have passed since the Keweenaw Land Trust (KLT) began as
a group of hopeful volunteers working with minimal recognition to protect the area’s
quality of life through conservation, while trying to convince the public of their
cause. Guest writer Bryan Tyler interviewed Evan McDonald, KLT executive
director, for a report on KLT's recent conservation accomplishments, including
the Paavola Wetlands Preserve, the Manitou Island Light Station Preserve and the
return this July of the tall ship Denis Sullivan, a participant in the
Land to Sea Expedition, a program promoting water and land conservation. more
Photo: A spring evening at the Keweenaw Land Trust's Paavola Wetlands Preserve has the pond alive with the sounds of birds and frogs.
KLT recently expanded the preserve, which has a trail system available for
educational hikes through the marshland. (Photo © 2006 Evan McDonald. Reprinted with permission.)
Forum on anti-gay chalkings challenges MTU officials' leadership
By Paula McCambridge Posted
04/20/2006 Updated 04/25/06
HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech community
members -- faculty, staff and students -- pushed facilitator rules beyond their limits Wednesday night,
Apr. 19, as they expressed their opinions at a public forum created to discuss the
hate messages targeting MTU's GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) community chalked all over campus on April 7.
Some accused MTU administrators of lack of communication and lack of leadership concerning minority
issues in general. Others expressed sympathy toward university administrators who, they said, “may have been
blindsided” by the
event. After accepting a letter from Keweenaw Pride, MTU President Glenn Mroz
said the crime was possibly a “push-back crime” because of his work making diversity a top issue on campus.
this week Michigan Tech students attempted to counter the anti-gay chalkings by
writing positive messages in chalk on campus sidewalks. This cheerful drawing
bears the message of a popular Reggae tune: "Don't Worry, Be
Happy." (Photo © 2006 and
courtesy Shannon Healy. Reprinted
Rolf Peterson "retires" to continue wolf research on Isle Royale
Rolf Peterson, who put the wolves of Isle Royale on the map -- and did quite a bit to put Michigan Tech on the map
in the process, is retiring from the teaching aspect of his professorship. His retirement means that now, after 32
years of helming what has become one of the world’s best known and most highly regarded ongoing research projects,
Peterson, a professor in Michigan Tech's School of Forest Resources and Environmental
Science, will be concentrating solely on his research, a study of the relationship between the wolves and the moose
of Isle Royale. Matthew Norman, MTU Lode news editor, interviewed Peterson about his research and his plans to
continue spending summers on Isle Royale. Read the MTU Lode article.
Photo: MTU Professor Rolf Peterson photographed these wolves
crossing the ice along the shore of Isle Royale. (File photo © and courtesy Rolf Peterson. Reprinted with permission.)
officials condemn anti-gay chalkings on campus
Michigan Tech University officials made statements today condemning derogatory
anti-gay messages written in chalk on the campus. Tech Today sent out an email Friday quoting President Glenn Mroz as stating, "'Incidents such as this cause both
fear and discomfort on campus and are completely unacceptable. A campus community is one where the freedom of
speech and thought should be embraced and encouraged; however, there are limits to what is appropriate and these
individuals definitely crossed the line.'" Dr. Les Cook, Vice President for Student Affairs, was quoted as saying, "'We will not
stand for this type of behavior. Hopefully we can use this incident as a teaching moment as to what is and is not appropriate.'" University groups have been celebrating (Gay) Pride Week with various
activities all this week. Students and the public have been asked to contact MTU Public Safety at 487-2216 with
any information on who might have done these chalkings. Public Safety is conducting a full investigation of the
MTU's Engineers Without Borders helps Bolivian
HOUGHTON -- Just a little more than a year old, Michigan Tech's chapter of Engineers Without Borders
(EWB-MTU) completed its first international project in November 2005, when seven students and
two MTU Professors, David Watkins and Kurt Paterson, both faculty in the
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, spent about a week building a sewage treatment system and bathroom facilities for the Buen
Samaritano (Good Samaritan) School in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Much of the assessment and design components of the project were completed by Michigan Tech
International Senior Design (ISD) students who subsequently founded EWB-MTU.
Some of the students in the group are also MTU Peace Corps Masters International
students. The three groups work together on projects; and EWB now has 75 members
volunteering their time, raising funds for future projects and doing outreach in the local community
as they become better engineers and citizens of the world. EWB members share
their experiences and two pages of photos. more
EWB member Laura Oman poses with her new friend,
Erman, during a break in the November 2005 EWB construction project in Santa
Cruz, Bolivia. (Photo © 2005
Kurt Paterson. Reprinted with
Behind the scenes: MTU Winter Carnival 2006
By Wade Wainio. Posted 02/10/2006
Keweenaw Now's newest reporter, Wade Wainio of Atlantic Mine, interviewed some
Michigan Tech students Wednesday night as they put finishing touches on their
Winter Carnival snow statues. He happened to catch some photos of what turned
out to be the Number 1 winner among the fraternities: Delta Sigma Phi's entry, "Aladdin in the Land of Frozen
Photo: Delta Sigma Phi's entry, "Aladdin in the Land of Frozen Sand," depicts a market scene in front of a
castle, including this impressive snake. (Photo © 2006 Wade Wainio)
Heikinpäivä mittens decorate Hancock
HANCOCK -- Have you seen the colorful mittens in downtown Hancock? Some of the best from the
Heikinpäivä parade line the sidewalk in front of Hancock Middle School, and others are
dispersed through the downtown area. Community Artist Mary Wright, the originator of the mitten project, has extended it to include an art project for painting more mittens to be
mounted on Hancock's lampposts in the coming week. Wright says she likes to
engage the community in creating everyday objects. For her a mitten represents
warmth, protection, childhood and Grandma. Keweenaw Now brings readers some memories of
the 2006 Heikinpäivä with
photos of some of our favorite mittens and additional photos contributed by Wade Wainio of Atlantic Mine and Sharon Cuffe of Chassell.
Boxer James "Jimmie" Cuffe, "Pride of Hancock,"
featured in Michigan History magazine
HANCOCK -- "Copper Country Boxer," an article by Ryan Witting,
formerly of Houghton and Michigan Tech University graduate, appears in the
Jan.-Feb. 2006 issue of Michigan History magazine. Witting tells the
story of his grandfather James "Jimmie" Cuffe (1915-2003) of Hancock,
known as "Pride of the Copper Country" and the "Pride of
Hancock," for his boxing feats in CCC camps of the 1930s, Detroit, Negaunee
and other cities. In World War II, Cuffe was awarded a Soldier's Medal for
saving a fellow soldier's life in North Africa. Author Witting is a Language
Arts teacher and yearbook advisor in Bukeye, Arizona. Michigan History
magazine can be purchased at Book World in Houghton.
Scott Hotel renovations make Hancock history
By Paula McCambridge Posted
HANCOCK -- In a move that both makes and restores history, Mike
Lahti, real estate developer and
Chairman of the Houghton County Board of Commissioners, is bringing life back to Hancock's Scott Hotel.
Lahti is renovating this historic five-floor building to create the city’s
first downtown senior housing -- 32 low-to-moderate-income apartments -- low-rent residences that
bring seniors within walking distance of downtown business
and services. The building’s ground floor is open with three business spaces, two of which were
occupied before the holiday shopping season this year -- Miller’s Jewelry store and Gizmos,
Gadgets and Toys Galore. more
Mike Lahti, right, new owner and renovator of Hancock's historic
Scott Hotel building, takes a break with a Yalmer Mattila Construction Company crew during the removal
of scaffolding from the facade of the building on Dec. 19, 2005. Crew members are, from
left, Jim Hoke, Jerry Anderson and John Rajala. (Photo © 2005 Michele
Lake Linden celebrates French Canadian Christmas
with song and dance
Posted 12/26/2005 Updated 01/06/06
LINDEN -- Local musicians, singers and about 100 visitors enjoyed an afternoon of traditional French-Canadian music and dance on Dec. 3,
2005, at the Historic Congregational Church in Lake Linden. Organized by Dave
Bezotte of Houghton, Nancy Fisher of Lake Linden and several musical friends,
this "first" community musical event celebrating Keweenaw
French-Canadian cultural traditions was a part of the annual Lake Linden
French-Canadian Christmas celebration, which has been held for the past five
years. Keweenaw Now presents a two-page photo essay on the new musical addition
to the event. more
French-speaking Anabelle Fleur Mack, age 3 1/2, of Hancock, tries playing the spoons during the Dec. 3 French-Canadian Christmas musical event in Lake Linden. Anabelle's mother, Claire Lavandier Mack, was born and raised in
Reims, France. (Photo © 2005 Dave Bezotte. Reprinted with permission of Anabelle's father, Jason Mack.)
Ed Lauluma: 1921 - 2005
-- Award-winning musician Edward Lauluma, Finnish-style fiddler and life-long
resident of Chassell, Michigan, passed away Monday afternoon Nov. 28, 2005, at the Houghton County Medical Care Facility in Hancock, where he had been a resident patient for the past week.
Keweenaw Now wishes to express deepest sympathy to Ed's wife, Elsie Lauluma of Chassell, and to other family members. Funeral services for Ed will be held 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 2, 2005, at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church of Chassell, with Rev. Ted Koehl to officiate. Spring burial will be in the Chassell Cemetery. The Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Chassell is in charge of arrangements. Friends may call at the church from 10 a.m. until time of services. To view Ed's obituary or to send a condolence to the family please go to
www.memorialchapel.net. See also our January 2005 article,
"Musician Ed Lauluma earns Heikinpäivä top honor," on Ed's award of 2005 Hankooki Heikki from the City of Hancock's Finnish Theme Committee.
Ed Lauluma and his fiddle. Photo courtesy Finnish American Reporter.
Stupak comments on sulfide mining rules
WASHINGTON, D. C. -- On Tuesday, Nov. 29, Congressman Bart Stupak's (D-MI) staff submitted preliminary comments on his behalf during a
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) hearing on the implementation of the new law regulating non-ferrous (sulfide) mineral mining. Stupak thanked MDEQ for hosting
meetings to obtain public comments and cited priorities MDEQ should consider when developing the rules.
"We cannot allow mining to begin until we know who will pay for the implementation of the law, who will be held accountable for any possible long term damage from mining, and how we will go about requiring regular studies to ensure environmental and health damage is not occurring," Stupak said.
Michigan residents unable to attend the meetings may submit written comments
until the Dec. 19th deadline. more
Candlelight Vigil honors all Iraq War dead
-- A group of local residents held a candlelight vigil for Iraq War dead
Wednesday evening, Oct. 26, in Hancock. "We're here honoring all the war
dead -- all nationalities involved in the Iraq War," said Merle Kindred of
Hancock, spokesperson for the group. "And I'm here specifically to honor
the memory of my cousin John Eddie Nissila, a Viet Nam War veteran whom we
buried two weeks ago. He died from the effects of Agent Orange," she added.
The vigil, held in front of the Hancock City Hall, with permission from city
officials, was part of a nationwide commemoration on this day, which
marked 2,000 American dead in the Iraq War. The MoveOn.org
Web site reports "more than 100,000 people gathered at 1,354 candlelight vigils in all 50 states and DC to remember and honor our fallen soldiers and ask,
'How many more?'" Photo: Participating in
the Oct. 26 Candlelight Keweenaw Vigil for All Iraq War Dead are, from left,
Allyson Jabusch of Hancock, Cathy Campbell-Olszewski of Houghton, Caroline Taylor
of Houghton and Merle Kindred of Hancock. Click on photo or click
here for larger version. (Photo © 2005 Michele Anderson)
Copper Country's U.S. 41 named National Scenic Byway
HOUGHTON -- The Copper Country Trail corridor, which includes the Houghton area and the entire Keweenaw Peninsula north of the Portage Lift Bridge, received National Scenic Byway designation on Thursday, Sept. 22, making the area eligible for federal funds to improve the quality of visitors' experiences. Projects may
include safety improvements, bicycle paths, rest areas, interpretive facilities and
signage. The Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region (WUPPDR)
worked with the Copper Country Trail Committee on the successful application,
which includes a Management Plan. While stewardship to protect valuable
resources is a goal of the plan, the designation is non-regulatory, depending on
local governments' own land use regulations. more
Trekkers for clean water scheduled to reach Lake Michigan Aug. 30
Trekkers for Connecting Water - Connecting People will soon reach their destination after traveling from Lake Superior to Lake Michigan in order to highlight the threats metallic sulfide mining poses on Great Lakes Waters.
On August 30th, Rob Cadmus and Jackie Camelet -- who have kayaked, canoed and hiked nearly 300 miles -- are expected to arrive on the shores of Lake Michigan near Menominee.
The trekkers will host a closing ceremony beginning at 7 p.m. on Aug. 30 in Menominee at the Marina Bandshell. The public is welcome to come and talk to locals and experts about metallic sulfide mining, to have some food and to listen to music.
Governor Jennifer Granholm visits Keweenaw County
Posted 08/19/2005 Updated 08/25/2005
EAGLE RIVER -- Keweenaw County residents filled the Courthouse in Eagle River on Wednesday, Aug. 17, to hear Michigan Governor
Jennifer Granholm share her vision of the state's future. Creating jobs and higher education opportunities, protecting the Great Lakes and promoting tourism were some of the topics Granholm discussed in her informal presentation and question-answer session. The Governor spent a good deal of the approximately 90-minute visit greeting individuals of all ages and listening to their concerns.
See also our update with a second page of photos by Jim Junttila.
Ceremony marks Bete Grise preservation
By Michelle Manarolla, Posted 07/19/2005
-- Community members, conservation leaders and local, state and tribal officials gathered on July 9, 2005, to celebrate the dedication of the Bete Grise Preserve -- the 1,104-acre dune-swale wetlands area located on the
Keweenaw's south shore of Lake Superior, near Lac La Belle. The land, considered the single most important coastal marsh wetland community in the upper Great Lakes region, was recently purchased by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District (HKCD) from owner International Paper/Lake Superior Land Co. through state and federal grants, fundraising and private donations. It will be open to the public for non-invasive recreation.
B.R.I.D.G.E. Alternative High School students build Hancock trail
Posted 06/03/2005 Updated 06/03/2005
HANCOCK -- Hancock City Council members celebrated the opening of the Terrace
Park Walking Trail in east Hancock on June 1 with students and teachers from the
B.R.I.D.G.E. Alternative High School -- builders of the trail. The occasion included a
ribbon cutting, a walk on the trail and refreshments. About 50 Bridge students
have put many volunteer hours into the project since last
September. They also had help clearing the trail from AmeriCorps workers on
Make a Difference Day, a Saturday in October 2004. The trail, including two
bridges, extends about one quarter of a mile, entirely within
the City of Hancock's Terrace Park. more
Photo: A newly decorated sign welcomes visitors to Terrace Park in east Hancock,
site of the new walking trail built by B.R.I.D.G.E. Alternative High School
students. (Photo © 2005 Michele Anderson)
Keweenaw County Zoning Ordinance update progresses
EAGLE RIVER -- The Keweenaw County Planning/Zoning (P/Z) Commission has been making progress with their update of the County's 1975 Zoning Ordinance, thanks to the expertise of Mark Wyckoff of Planning and Zoning Center, Inc., Lansing, whose assistance is funded by a grant from the Coastal Zone Management Program of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. In recent work sessions with the P/Z Commission, Wyckoff offered advice on uses and
on the zoning districts in which the uses would be appropriate. He also advised the commissioners to inform county and township officials, and the public, of their progress. The P/Z Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 31, following a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. on a request for a special use in a Resort Residential (RR) district.
Photo: During the Keweenaw County Planning/Zoning Commission's May 11 work session with Mark Wyckoff, right, Grant Township residents Anita and Paul
Campbell, standing left, and Commission Vice-Chair Janet Shea discuss zoning districts on the Keweenaw County Zoning Map. The meeting was held in the Houghton Township Hall in Eagle River.
(Photo © 2005 Michele Anderson)
Calumet's Historic Vertin Building exhibits local art
Posted 05/03/2005 Updated 05/24/05
-- Calumet's Historic Vertin Building, formerly a department store dating back
to the copper boom era, recently celebrated its 120th birthday. On Friday, Apr.
29, the Vertin Gallery held a reception for local artist Phyllis Fredendall,
instructor for the Finlandia University International School of Art and Design,
and her students -- creators of an art installation titled "Stories and
Place, a Celebration." At an Open House on Apr. 30 and May 1, the Gallery
welcomed the public to view the work of several local artists, photographers
and writers, some of whom now have studios in the building. See a new page of
photos showing construction of the Finlandia art installation. more
Photo: Large windows of the Historic Vertin
Building, at the corner of Sixth and Oak streets in Calumet, display works of
several local artists, some of whom have their studios in the building, which
dates back to 1885. (Photo © 2005 Michele Anderson)
Bill Sewell named
National Hospice Volunteer of 2005
National recognition has been given to William Sewell, longtime hospice volunteer and Professor Emeritus from Michigan Technological University (MTU), by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) with the award of "Patient and Family Volunteer of the
Year." During April ceremonies in Atlanta, Ga., Bill received this award for his years of dedicated service to the terminally ill and their loved ones.
Bill has been a hospice volunteer for Keweenaw Home Nursing and Hospice and is on the board of directors for Portage Lake Hospice,
the oldest volunteer hospice organization in Michigan. He is a founding member of, and also serves on, the board of the Omega House Community Hospice Project.
Photo: J. Donald Schumacher (left), President and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, congratulates
Dr. Bill Sewell for his "Patient and Family Volunteer of the Year" award on Apr. 23 in Atlanta, Ga. (Photo © 2005 Omega House)
Local residents, community leaders discuss design for better development
HOUGHTON -- The first of two "Better Development by Design" workshops attracted about 60 residents, local government officials and planners, who discussed citizen concerns about preserving what is attractive about the local area while developing communities economically.
At the May 10 workshop, held in the Ballroom of Michigan Tech's Memorial Union Building,
issues ranged from downtown revitalization to the M-26 corridor
development to village zoning and recreation planning. The second workshop, free
and open to the public, will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May
17, in the same location. Refreshments will be served at 6 p.m. more
Photo: During the small group discussion at the May 10
design workshop at Michigan Tech, Mary Sue Hyslop (standing), Keweenaw Community Foundation
(KCF) executive director, encourages Hancock residents to attend the second "Better Development by Design" workshop to be held on Tuesday, May
17. KCF is one of 18 sponsors of the workshops.
(Photo © 2005 Michele Anderson)
Hancock residents concerned about walkability
HANCOCK -- Local residents would like to see better pedestrian access to the Portage Lift Bridge, concerned citizens told Hancock City Council members at their recent meeting. Hancock residents Merle Kindred and Allyson Jabusch noted the difficulty of accessing the bridge on foot from the Ramada Inn in Hancock. Councilwoman Mary Tuisku suggested Michigan Tech civil engineering students might study the issue and help the city come up with a comprehensive plan for the bridge entrance to Hancock, focusing on pedestrian safety and
Photo: Concerned residents say this steep path up
the embankment near the Portage Lift Bridge in Hancock is
presently the only pedestrian access from below the bridge. (Photo © 2005 Michele Anderson)
MTU Lode article: Mt. Bohemia condos pose new threat to archaeological site
HOUGHTON -- In her April 20, 2005, article, "Plowing over history?" Michelle
Michigan Tech Lode staff writer, calls attention to local residents'
concerns that the projected Mt. Bohemia condo development could destroy
artifacts from archaeological site 20KE20, surveyed by Patrick and Susan Martin, Michigan Tech University professors and archaeologists, in 1988. The Martins, as well as the Office of the State Archaeologist in Lansing, have urged protection of the site, which was determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. When developer Lonie Glieberman began construction of Mt. Bohemia's septic system in the fall of 2001, concern for protecting this site was an issue, as it is now. Manarolla
cites comments from Glieberman; James Berg, director of Ethics and Business Practice for International Paper (current owner of the site);
and Janet Shea of the Keweenaw County Planning/Zoning Commission. Read the
See also Paul Campbell's April
13, 2005, letter to the MTU Lode, expressing his concerns and two 2001 Keweenaw Now
articles published at the time of the septic system construction: "DEQ to accept public comments on proposed Mt. Bohemia septic system"
and "Black Bear constructs Mt. Bohemia septic system without DEQ permit."
Protests mark two-year anniversary of Iraq War
Posted 03/19/2005 Updated 03/20/2005 and
DETROIT -- The Detroit Free Press today -- the second anniversary of the U.S. military intervention in Iraq -- reports a peaceful protest was held on Friday, Mar. 18, in downtown Detroit to denounce the war and read the names of U.S. military dead. About 300 protesters
rallied in Grand Circus Park, where 1,000 grave markers (including crosses,
stars of David and grave squares) commemorated U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and
a flag-draped coffin represented 500 more, not represented by grave markers. The
Free Press article notes "the Rev. Harry Cook, pastor of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Clawson, stood nearby and led an hour-long, nonstop reading of the names of American military personnel who have
died." Rev. Cook said more protests were planned for March 19 in Michigan and around the nation.
Read the Free Press article.
The Duluth News Tribune reports Candlelight vigils, prayer services and other commemorations are planned in Minnesota and northern Wisconsin to mark this second anniversary of the Iraq War.
Read the article.
Update, Mar. 20: In an article titled "Two Years After Iraq Invasion, Protesters Hold Small Rallies," the
The New York Times reports on March 20 that anti-war protests Saturday ranged from 8 people in Algoma, Wis., to thousands in New York and San Francisco to 15,000 in Istanbul, Turkey, and 45,000 in
London. (You may have to register, for free, to read the
Photo: During March 18, 2005, protest in Detroit's Grand Circus Park,
"Arlington West," a display of 1,000 Markers (crosses, stars of David and squares for "other") commemorates U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq. A flag-draped coffin symbolizes more than 500 not represented by grave markers,
Click here or on photo for larger version.
(Photo © 2005 Rudy Simons and courtesy Jim Grimm, organizer of the display and member of chapter 74, S.E. Michigan
Veterans for Peace. Reprinted with permission.) See
more photos of the Detroit peace event.
former director retires -- but not!
By Jonathan Soper Posted
MOHAWK -- Carol Rose, former director of Keweenaw
Krayons, never expected her life to be changed by a group of talented, curious children. For the last six years, in the small Keweenaw town of Mohawk, she
has spearheaded an effort that enables children and families to have a creative outlet and a way to expand their artistic abilities.
Despite a recent decision to retire, Rose is currently spending much of her time working with local teens in the Keweenaw Krayons Graphic Arts and Marketing Program, whose latest undertaking is a
Mardi Gras Wacky Dinner to be held from 5 p. m. to 8 p. m. on "Fat Tuesday," Feb. 8, at the Mohawk Gym
(former Mohawk School).
Guest author Jonathan Soper interviewed Rose for this comprehensive article on the
history of the non-profit Keweenaw Krayons and its variety of community programs
for children, teens, parents and senior citizens. more
Photo: Keweenaw Krayons Graphic Arts and Marketing
teens, from left, Stephanie Fouts, Andrea Laurie and Ashley Bracco, share some laughter while working with Carol
Rose in designing flyers for Tuesday's Mardi Gras Wacky Dinner in Mohawk. (Photo © 2005 Keweenaw
Reprinted with permission.)
Bete Grise wetlands, shoreline protected through TNC partnership
BETE GRISE -- Once staked for a subdivision, Bete Grise
wetlands and Lake Superior shoreline near Lac La Belle in Keweenaw County will now be forever protected thanks to an extensive partnership organized by the Michigan Chapter of The Nature Conservancy
(TNC). Because of its size, diversity and intact hydrology, Bete Grise is recognized by the Michigan Natural Features Inventory as the single most important coastal marsh community remaining in the upper Great Lakes region. The project
recently received two grants totaling nearly $1.5 million. TNC is now spearheading fundraising efforts in cooperation with the Keweenaw Land Trust, the
Houghton/Keweenaw Conservation District,the South Shore Association and numerous private donors to generate an additional
$450,000 for required matching funds and costs associated with acquisition and stewardship of the property.
Lake Superior shoreline at Bete Grise South. (Photo © 2004
recommendations: Minimum Impact Zones
-- The Keweenaw Point Advisory Committee's Recommendations on Minimum Impact
Zones are now published here as approved on Aug. 17, 2004, and presented at the
Oct. 5 public meeting in the Mohawk School. These recommendations -- along with
those on Camping, Motorized and Non-Motorized trails and use, Maintenance and Enforcement,
Public Access and Timber Resources -- will assist the Department of Natural
Resources in their decisions on recreation and resource management of the state's recent Keweenaw Tip purchase of 6,275 acres.
Keweenaw Now has now published all the recommendations except Timber Resources,
which will be published soon. more
Recent photo of Eagle's nest on Manitou Island, which is considered a minimum
impact zone. (Photo © 2004 Charles
Buck. Reprinted with permission.)
Keweenaw Point Committee tour with DNR leads to recommendations
By Michele Anderson Updated 8/02/04 and 7/29/04 Posted
ALLOUEZ, COPPER HARBOR -- High Rock Bay, Fish Cove, Schlatter's Lake, the Mouth of the Montreal, Hoar Lake and the Mandan Road have greater meaning now for the Keweenaw Point Advisory Committee
(KPAC) members who toured the area with Michigan Department of Natural Resources
(MDNR) personnel on June 12, 2004. This opportunity for on-site discussion of roads and
trails, potential and actual campsites, future parking areas and protection of
minimum impact areas led to the committee's first official recommendations
to the DNR during their July 6 meeting in Allouez. KPAC will meet at 6:30
p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 3, in the Mohawk School gymnasium. more
Photo: DNR vans take Keweenaw Point Advisory Committee members through mud and water on the rough road to High Rock Bay. (Photo © 2004 Dana
Richter. Reprinted with permission.)
Peaceful protests greet Bush in Marquette
By Mark Pavolich Posted 07/16/2004
-- About 1500 Upper Peninsula protesters -- from labor organizers to environmentalists to peace
groups and Kerry-Edwards supporters -- held a peaceful demonstration outside
Northern Michigan University's Superior Dome in Marquette during the
recent rally held for visiting President George W. Bush. Keweenaw Now
staff writer Mark Pavolich reports concerns and viewpoints expressed by both the
protesters and the rally attendees. more
From land use planning to zoning: Keweenaw's progress
RIVER -- The Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners voted recently to accept and sign an agreement with the Planning and Zoning Center, Inc.
(PZC), of Lansing, Mich., to have Mark Wyckoff, one of Michigan's top zoning experts, update the 1975 County Zoning Ordinance -- now that the County Land Use Plan has been written and adopted. Wyckoff, president of PZC and editor of Planning and Zoning News, will soon
begin Phase One of his proposed zoning update plan. He will also help county officials apply for a $38,500 Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Coastal Management Program grant to fund
the zoning update. more
Township, conservation groups seek to preserve Lake Superior dunes,
shoreline, wildlife habitat
Posted 10/21/2003 Updated 10/24/2003
HARBOR -- Eagle Harbor Township is the scene of several land acquisition projects. The township is working to preserve special Lake Superior shoreline areas for habitat protection and public access. Meanwhile, the Copper Country Audubon Club has raised funds for acquiring an 80-acre addition to
Michigan Audubon's Lake Bailey Wildlife Sanctuary; and the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District, aided by the Keweenaw Land Trust, is acquiring 23 acres of lakeshore and bedrock community at Dan's Point, the northernmost point of the Keweenaw Peninsula.
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