Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hancock Chalet now open daily

HANCOCK -- The Hancock Chalet is now open on a daily basis for skier warmup, restroom use, etc. It is opened sometime in the morning and closed about dark.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Hancock Tori to hold Christmas Market Dec. 20

HANCOCK -- The Hancock Tori Christmas Market will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 20, at the First United Methodist Church, next to Quincy Green in downtown Hancock.

Handmade crafts and other tempting items will be available for your last-minute holiday shopping!

A fund-raising lunch will be offered by the Methodist Youth Group during the market.

If you have questions contact Sandy Soring at

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

MDOT to hold public meeting on Portage Lift Bridge maintenance project and bridge closures Dec. 18

View of Portage Lift Bridge by night. The public is invited to review plans for upcoming bridge closures at a Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) meeting TOMORROW, Thursday, Dec. 18, in Fisher 138 at Michigan Tech. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

HOUGHTON -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will share plans for the major maintenance project on the Portage Lake Lift Bridge at a meeting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. TOMORROW, Thursday, Dec. 18, in Fisher 138 on the Michigan Tech campus.

Residents, community stakeholders and business owners can review the plans for construction and ask questions of MDOT staff members and contractor representatives.

MDOT will perform upgrades and preventive maintenance work on the lift bridge between Houghton and Hancock from mid-December 2014 to mid-April 2016. This $8.3 million project includes lift cable replacement, balance chain maintenance, electrical and mechanical upgrades, security system improvements, spot painting and new barrier gates.

The project will require two long-term nighttime closures of the bridge and numerous short-term closures.

Here is the tentative schedule for closures from January to March 2015:
  • One 10-hour closure (with ramp for emergency vehicles): WHEN? Jan. 17, 2015, nighttime (9 p.m. - 7 a.m.) with an alternate date of Jan 24 in case of weather delay. WHY? Disconnect lift cables from lift span.

  • Eight 2-hour closures: WHEN? January 2015, nighttime (2 a.m. - 4 a.m.). WHY? Remove balance chains.

  • 168 intermittent 15-20-minute closures. WHEN? January - March 2015, nighttime (7 p.m. - 6 a.m.) WHY? Lift cable removal and reinstallation.

  • One 11.5 hour closure (with ramp for emergency vehicles). WHEN? March 21, 2015, nighttime (8 p.m. - 7:30 a.m.) with an alternate date of March 28 in case of weather delay. WHY? Connect lift span to new cables.

  • Eight 2-hour closures. WHEN? March 2015, nighttime (2 a.m. - 4 a.m.) WHY?  Install balance chains.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hancock City Council to hold public hearing on two proposed ordinances Dec. 17

HANCOCK -- Hancock City Council will hold a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, on two proposed City ordinances:

1. Proposed ordinance (No. 288) approving amendment to the Development and Tax Increment Financing Plan of the City of Hancock DDA.
2. Proposed ordinance (No. 289) approving regulating open fires and burning within the City limits of the City of Hancock.

At the Nov. 19, 2014, City Council meeting, Council members unanimously approved the first reading of each of these proposed ordinances.* The agenda for the Dec. 17 meeting, which follows the public hearing, includes consideration of the two proposed ordinances.**

Copies of the two proposed ordinances are on file in the Clerk's office, Hancock City Hall.

* Click here for the Nov. 19 meeting minutes.

** Click here to read the agenda for the Dec. 17 meeting.

Rolf Peterson to lead wildlife discussion TONIGHT, Dec. 16, at Carnegie Museum

Rolf Peterson, Michigan Tech expert on Wildlife Ecology, will lead a discussion from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. TONIGHT, Tuesday, Dec. 16, at the Carnegie Museum in Houghton. (Poster courtesy Carnegie Museum)

HOUGHTON -- The Carnegie Museum will host Professor Rolf Peterson, Michigan Tech expert on Wildlife Ecology, for a discussion titled "Animal Elements of Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale" from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. TONIGHT, Tuesday, Dec. 16. The museum will open at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments.

The event is part of a monthly series of sessions on the Geoheritage and Natural History of the Keweenaw. The discussions are aimed at the general public, but discuss current research and science.

"In the 19th and 20th centuries many wild animal species in the Keweenaw, along with the forest, were wiped out or reduced by unregulated harvest and widespread fire," Peterson explains. "Protective game regulations and regrowth of the forest allowed some species to recover, a process that continues today. Isle Royale was affected by the same influences, to various degrees."

Peterson will review the status of prominent and obscure species of wild animals, including many that are presently experiencing rapid change.

The Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw is located at Huron and Montezuma in downtown Houghton. Seminars are held in the recently restored Community Room on the ground level of this historic building. Lectures are free, open to the public, and barrier free (wheelchair accessible).

For further information visit the Carnegie Museum on Facebook or contact the Museum at 906-482-7140.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Community Arts Center seeks art works for 2015 Art from the Kalevala exhibit

These art works, by Kris Raisanen Shourek (left) and Joyce Koskenmaki, were part of the January 2014 Art from the Kalevala exhibit at the Copper Country Community Arts Center. (File photo courtesy Copper Country Community Arts Center)

HANCOCK -- The Kalevala is a 19th-century work of poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Finnish and Karelian oral folklore and mythology. It is regarded as the national epic poem of Finland and is one of the most significant works of Finnish literature. Its rich imagery provides a hearty topic for visual art.

The Copper Country Community Arts Center will host an exhibition of art inspired by the Kalevala in connection with Hancock’s mid-winter Heikinpäivä celebration in January. Artists may submit up to three original works in any medium along with the rune or lines from the poem from which the artwork was inspired.

There is no fee to participate. The art works should be delivered to the Community Arts Center between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. A closing reception will be held from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. For more information call (906) 482-2333 or email The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery to host Artists Holiday Celebration Dec. 14

"Elegant," by Laura Stahl Maze, is part of the holiday exhibit at the Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery, which will host an Artists Holiday Celebration TOMORROW, Sunday, Dec. 14. (Photo courtesy Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery)

MICHIGAMME -- Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery will host a special Artists Holiday Celebration from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14, at the Gallery in Michigamme. Holiday refreshments will be served.

More than 30 artists and 10 local authors are participating in this exhibit, which includes a variety of original art: drawings, gelatin prints, glass, linocuts, metal, mixed media, paintings, photography, pottery, sculptures, silk batik, wood art, woodcuts, and books. The exhibit will continue through Jan. 31, 2015.

Featured artists are Pat Butler, Thomas Cappuccio, Jens Carstensen (late), Jim Clumpner, Meegan Flannery, John French, Michael Friend, Maureen Gray, Ed Gray, Bill Hamilton, Pat Hicks Ruiz, Nan Hoeting Payne, Marc Homant, John Hubbard, Bryan Kastar, Connie Kerkove, Paula Kiesling, Janet F. Koenig, Taro Kojima, Mary Anne Kublin, Michael LaTulip, Tom Larson, Troy Lichthardt, Ron Lukey, Joanne McCoy, Sandra Palmore, Brook Powell, Seri Robinson, Rudd and McCafferty, Peg Sandin, Kathrine Savu, Laura Stahl Maze, Craig Weatherby, Emil Weddige (late) and Liz Yelland.

Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery specializes in original fine art. Every year the gallery celebrates up to eight shows and receptions with artists and the strong support of art patrons. Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery, located at 136 E. Main in Michigamme, is open year round: Mondays through Sundays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays by chance. For more info call: 906-323-6546.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Michigan Tech choral ensembles, Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra to present holiday concert Dec. 13 at Rozsa

Michigan Tech Concert Choir will perform in a holiday concert at the Rozsa Center this Saturday, Dec. 13. (Photo courtesy Rozsa Center)

HOUGHTON --  Ready for a musical mix offering peace and beauty in the midst of the bustling holiday season? Put your ipods down and come to the Rozsa Center at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014: Michigan Tech’s two choral ensembles, led by Jared Anderson -- Michigan Tech Concert Choir and conScience, Michigan Tech Chamber Singers -- join the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, with conductor Joel Neves, to present a concert titled "Choral-Orchestral Shuffle: A Concert Playlist."

The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra will join two choral ensembles for the Dec. 13 concert at the Rozsa Center. (Photo courtesy Rozsa Center)

The Michigan Tech Concert Choir is a select ensemble of over 70 students and community singers studying and performing choral literature ranging from Gregorian Chant to Renaissance motets, masses and madrigals to fascinating new works by living composers. The smaller, more recently formed ensemble conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers, is a select, student-only chamber choir of 12-16 voices. The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra (KSO) has been a mainstay of the Upper Peninsula arts scene for over thirty years. The KSO counts among its musicians Michigan Tech students, faculty, and staff, community artists, and guest professionals from throughout the Upper Midwest. The KSO plays the great orchestral masterworks from the classical, theatre, and film repertoire.

The Concert Choir and conScience join together with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra in an eclectic concert "playlist" of choral-orchestral masterworks, including music from operas, requiems, cantatas, motets, songs, even polkas. As the playlist shuffles from Bach to Berlioz, Verdi to Wagner, and Gabrieli to Fauré, it illustrates the dramatic power and expressivity inherent in music for choir and orchestra.

The concert is presented by the Michigan Tech Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

Tickets for adults are $19, youth tickets (17 and under) are $6, and Michigan Tech Student tickets are free with the Experience Tech Fee. For tickets, go online, or call Ticketing Operations at Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex (SDC), (906) 487-2073, or visit in person at 600 MacInnes Drive, in Houghton. SDC box office hours are 8 a.m. - 9 p.m., Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Saturday, and noon - 8 p.m. on Sunday. Please note the Rozsa Box Office is only open two hours prior to show times.

MDOT TRAFFIC ALERT: Portage Lake Lift Bridge evening, night closings Dec. 14-16

HANCOCK -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has issued this TRAFFIC ALERT for the Portage Lake Lift Bridge between Houghton and Hancock:

Closures are set for Sunday, Dec. 14, through Tuesday, Dec. 16 (estimated completion date).

PROJECT: The contractor for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be conducting necessary prep work in advance of this winter’s major maintenance project on the Portage Lake Lift Bridge.


This work will require intermittent short-term closures of the bridge, resulting in 15- to 20-minute delays for motorists. The closures are planned to occur between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. each night.

MDOT says: "Drive like you want to make it home tonight."

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

People's Climate March, Part 4: Videos, photos of the People's Climate March -- 400,000 strong

By Michele Bourdieu 

[Editor's Note: This is the fourth in our series of articles about the People's Climate March in New York City and related events.*]

Lined up on Central Park West, indigenous groups -- among the "Frontline" marchers at the head of the People's Climate March -- wait for the march to begin on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

NEW YORK, NY -- It was an amazing display of diversity: A multitude of people of all ages and of many different cultures, races, religions and languages -- 400,000 strong and united in their message to the world -- offered that message peacefully on signs, sculptures and banners and in chants, song and dance: Climate change is real and we all need to do something about it NOW!

Large crowds converge in an orderly, peaceful demonstration at Columbus Circle, where the march begins. (Photo by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

The People's Climate March on Sunday, Sept. 21, began at Columbus Circle, near Central Park in New York City, and Keweenaw Now's two video cameras caught much of the action during the four hours of the march. Allan Baker (right inset) and his wife, Shirley Galbraith (at left, below, joining a group of Unitarian participants), captured the crowds that convened at Columbus Circle.

Meanwhile Keweenaw Now's editor found a spot along Central Park West, in view of the giant video screen where marchers cheered as they watched themselves on camera or caught a glimpse of climate marches in other parts of the world -- from Kathmandu to Rio de Janeiro -- all concerned about climate justice and the survival of Mother Earth and humanity's future generations.
The People's Climate March on Sept. 21, 2014, begins at Columbus Circle, near Central Park, in New York City. Eventually the participants will number about 400,000 -- much more than anticipated. A giant "Madre Tierra" (Mother Earth) heads down Central Park West toward Columbus Circle, followed by a peace and justice group chanting in Spanish, "El pueblo, unido, jamás será vencido!" (The people, united, shall never be defeated!) (Video by Allan Baker and Keweenaw Now)

Heading toward Columbus Circle from Central Park West, indigenous groups in colorful regalia are among the leaders of the People's Climate March, followed by a giant sculpture representing "Madre Tierra" (Mother Earth). Representatives of the Climate Justice Alliance follow, chanting for clean air and clean water. (Video by Keweenaw Now)

During the march, Keweenaw Now asked some enthusiastic visitors why they were attending the march. A couple from the United Kingdom, who wished to remain anonymous, said they just happened to come upon the march on their way to visit Central Park. Two students from Michigan -- Charlie Thatch of Traverse City, a Washtenaw Community College student of business and music production, and Matt Blain of Troy, a University of Michigan graduate student in urban planning and public policy, offered brief comments:

A visitor from the UK and two students from Michigan tell why they're at the People's Climate March. (Video by Keweenaw Now)

Another presence from Michigan spotted in the crowd: Marchers carry signs against fracking. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Marchers' signs, banners and chants call attention to climate justice -- from Peru to New York City neighborhoods affected by Super Storm Sandy. A cheer goes up from the crowd when they see themselves on the large video screen facing Central Park West. (Video by Allan Baker and Keweenaw Now)

At Columbus Circle, a lively New Orleans-style jazz band adds to the excited atmosphere of the People's Climate March and hundreds of union representatives with their signs speak out for action on climate change. (Video by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

Photos of people marching in other cities around the world are projected on a large screen so the marchers can be aware of international solidarity about climate change. (Video by Keweenaw Now)

Phil Aroneanu of, one of the organizers of the People's Climate March, addressed Keweenaw Now readers in our brief interview. Standing near him, leading the marchers in chants, was Clara Vondrich, originally from McLean, Va., and now a New York resident working for Fenton, a social change communication firm. Both were excited about the tremendous turnout:

Phil Aroneanu of, one of the organizers of the People's Climate March, comments on the turnout and the importance of the event. Clara Vondrich, originally from Virginia and now living in New York City, explains her reasons for supporting the march. (Video by Keweenaw Now)

From "We Shall Overcome" to lively klezmer, various musical rhythms and chants set the pace of the marchers. (Video by Keweenaw Now and Allan Baker)

Groups of young people call for change to fight the climate crisis. Students ask their universities to divest from fossil fuels. (Video by Keweenaw Now and Allan Baker)

While thousands of young people marched for their future at this event, senior citizens also joined them -- concerned about their children's and their grandchildren's future.

At Columbus Circle, senior citizens march together with signs and banners announcing their concern for future generations. (Photo by Allan Baker)

One of those seniors, Elsbeth Reimann, 80, a New Yorker originally from Switzerland, struck up a conversation -- in French and in English -- with Keweenaw Now's editor.
Reimann said she had recently returned from Washington, D.C., where she was lobbying for food banks in New York City and also in the rest of the country.

Elsbeth Reimann, watching the march from a bench near Central Park, commented on her concerns about food and hunger. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

"Regardless of age or where we live, hunger is increasing," she said. "I'm very concerned for the future -- for the young people. It's so important that people wake up."

Reimann, who came to the U.S. in 1967, said she likes living in New York because it's made up of people from all over the world.

"People need to speak with each other and not at each other, so you keep learning," she noted. "It's fascinating!"

Like Elsbeth Reimann, these marchers expressed concerns about food justice -- and the importance of growing local, natural food. (Photo by Allan Baker)

Hector and Gladys Rubio, a retired couple from Guayaquil, Ecuador, were on their way to visit the Natural History Museum in New York during a visit with their daughter, who lives in New Jersey, and were happy to discover the People's Climate March.

"Thumbs up!" Visitors Hector and Gladys Rubio of Guayaquil, Ecuador, said they thought the People's Climate March was a great event. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

At one point during the march, young and old stopped their chants and paused for a moment of silence and unity -- announced on the large video screen:

Marchers pause for a moment of silence to honor victims and survivors of climate change. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

After the silence, roars and cheers of unity spread through the crowd:

After a moment of silence, the People's Climate marchers let out a giant roar of enthusiasm -- heard around the world. (Video by Allan Baker) 

At Columbus Circle, following a float resembling Noah's Ark, thousands of marchers from a variety of religious groups chant and display their signs and banners. (Video by Allan Baker)

Participants from Canada join others in protesting tar sands and their effect on climate change. (Video by Keweenaw Now)

Among the Canadian marchers was this Greenpeace group from Victoria, B.C., who paused for a photo. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Editor's Notes: Watch for more of our photos of the People's Climate March, coming soon in a new slide show.

* See our three previous articles related to this event:

"People's Climate March, Part 1, Letter: Houghton couple travel to New York to march for planet's future"

"People's Climate March, Part 2: Video Report: Riding People's Climate Train to New York"

"People's Climate March, Part 3: Home front action -- local art students create People's Climate March posters"

Green Lecture Series to host Rich VanderVeen on wind, solar energy Dec. 11

HOUGHTON -- Rich VanderVeen, president of Mackinaw Power, will be the speaker for the Green Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, in Hesterberg Hall of the Forestry Building on the MTU campus.

Rich developed the Great Lakes' first privately financed wind power project in Mackinaw City in 2001. He is also known for the large Wind Turbine installation north of Lansing in Gratiot County, Mich., as well as several other successful alternative and community-based energy projects (more recently working on community solar).

The lecture is free and open to the public. Enjoy coffee, tea and refreshments. Donations ($3) appreciated. The Green Lecture Series is co-sponsored by Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society, Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and Keweenaw Land Trust.

Friends of Portage Library to offer Christmas Ornament Making project for kids Dec. 13

HOUGHTON -- The Friends of the Portage Lake District Library invite young children and elementary age students to decorate ceramic Christmas ornaments from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13, at the library.

Children will paint pre-made holiday ornaments that will be fired at The Magic Kiln Studio in downtown Hancock. All supplies will be provided, and everyone will be notified when the ornaments are ready to be picked up.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Noteworthy women's chorus to perform Christmas concert Dec. 11 at Gloria Dei

The women's chorus Noteworthy, directed by Joan Petrelius, left, performs a holiday concert at the Church of the Resurrection in Hancock. This year they will offer their annual Christmas concert Thursday, Dec. 11, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

HANCOCK -- Noteworthy women's chorus will perform a Christmas concert at 7 p.m. this Thursday, Dec. 11, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock.

"We'll sing lots of fun holiday music in our usual four-part barbershop style," says Marcia Goodrich. "The Community Bells will also perform, and they are awesome."

Admission is free; a collection will be taken to benefit Gloria Dei's food pantry.