Friday, July 25, 2014

Michigan Nature Association to sponsor Spotted Knapweed Pull July 26

Spotted knapweed is an invasive plant that should be pulled before its seeds allow it to spread. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

CHASSELL -- The Michigan Nature Association invites volunteers to join steward Nancy Leonard, KISMA (Keweenaw Invasive Species Management Area) director Meral Jackson and crew for a Spotted Knapweed Pull at Keweenaw Shores II Plant Preserve at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 26.

Help is needed in the ongoing task of removing the invasive Spotted Knapweed from the conglomerate shoreline in this Class C plant preserve. Afterwards, enjoy a picnic (bring your own) at a nearby roadside park. Bring along bug repellent, sunscreen, work gloves, hat, sturdy footwear and an asparagus cutterweeder if you have one. Additional tools, drinking water and snacks will be supplied.

Please RSVP if possible so leaders can determine how many tools will be needed.

To get there, follow M-26 about 10 miles east of Eagle Harbor and park along the side of the road where you’ll see an MNA sign. Please email to obtain more information and to RSVP.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Carnegie Museum to host "Copper Country Streetcars" tour July 31

HOUGHTON -- The Carnegie Museum will host "Copper Country Streetcars" with tour guide Bill Sproule, Michigan Tech professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 31. Space is limited but some seats are still available.

Don't miss the chance to travel back in time on board the Red Jacket Trolley and follow the route of the Houghton County Traction Company, which operated throughout the Copper Country for over thirty years beginning in 1900.

Tours will board the Red Jacket Trolley at the Carnegie Museum at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Cost is $25 and includes refreshments at the Museum, which will be open from Noon to 9 p.m. on July 31. Please come in to enjoy light refreshments and to view current exhibits before or after your tour.

Carnegie Museum recommends purchasing tickets in advance. Please email to reserve your seat, however your seat is not guaranteed until payment is received. You may purchase your ticket at the Museum -- open Tuesday through Friday Noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday Noon to 4 p.m. Please call the Museum at 482-7140 or email or for further assistance.

This is the second in a series of monthly summer trolley tours. The next tour, on Friday, Aug. 22, is about Houghton’s Geology with tour guide William Rose, Michigan Tech Professor Emeritus, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences.

The Carnegie Museum is on the corner of Huron and Montezuma in Houghton.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Penokee Hills Education Project provides the truth amid a sea of mining misinformation

By Barbara With
Posted July 21, 2014, on Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative
Reprinted in part with permission

Penokee Hills Education Project (PHEP) helped sponsor this billboard south of Hurley, Wis., on Highway 51. (Photo © Bill Heart and courtesy Barbara With. Reprinted with permission.)

NORTHERN WISCONSIN -- On June 27, 2014, Penokee Hills Education Project (PHEP) offered information sessions at three locations around the proposed mine site in the Penokee Hills as a way to bring truth to the massive amounts of misinformation being spread by Gogebic Taconite (GTac), pro-mining elected officials, and state and local media. Frank Koehn, Pete Rasmussen and Mike Wiggins Jr. addressed a large crowd to share facts and answer questions that GTac and the Wisconsin DNR seem intent on avoiding.

One such misinformation session held on June 5, 2014, in Minoqua, Wis., was entitled, "Mining in the Penokee Range Forum." Ann Coakley, director of Mining and Materials Waste with the Wisconsin DNR, was asked about how much water the mine would use. Coakley’s answer, "A lot. A real lot," was indicative of the kinds of evasive answers concerned citizens receive when asking about substantial issues that will affect the entire region. ... Click here to read the rest of this article and see videos of the June 5 and June 27 meetings.

Editor's Note:
To learn more about the Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative, visit their Web site.

Orpheum Theater to host Uncle Pete's BBQ Blues Band with Gail English July 24

HANCOCK -- Uncle Pete's BBQ Blues Band is finally coming to The Orpheum Theater, and Gail English (aka Mz. Behavin') will be joining them for a whole set or even more TOMORROW, Thursday, July 24.

"Featuring some of the most amazing players in the Copper Country, Uncle Pete's offers a real variety of blues, not just the old standard Chicago Blues that many bands play," says Mike Shupe, Orpheum Theater owner. "These guys use their horn section to venture into Blue Jazz, Kansas City, New Orleans and more!"

Doors open after sound check, around 7:30 p.m. Music begins about 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 adults, $8 students or senior citizens, and $5 kids!

The Orpheum Theater is at 426 Quincy St. (Studio Pizza) in Hancock. Visit them on Facebook for more coming events.

Calumet Art Center to host Voice Workshop Recital July 24

CALUMET -- The Calumet Art Center will host a Voice Workshop Recital at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 24. The participants from the Christine Seitz Adult and Young Person’s Voice Workshops will present a short program of selections they polished during recent workshop sessions.

This event is free and open to the public.

The Calumet Art Center is at 57055 Fifth Street, Calumet. For more information call 906-281-3494 or e-mail:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Adults and kids learn about Great Lakes research, fish food web, marine robotics, more ...

By Michele Bourdieu

On July 1, 2014, visitors board Michigan Tech's research vessel Agassiz at the dock outside the Portage Lake District Library for a short excursion to Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC). On the boat they learned about equipment scientists use to study the bottom of the lake. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Michigan Tech's research vessel Agassiz has been making a round of public appearances this summer, offering kids and adults a chance to learn about ways that scientists study the Great Lakes. Keweenaw Now had a chance to visit the Agassiz on some of these trips and take photos and videos for a series of articles. This is the first article in the series.]

HOUGHTON -- Kayla Golde, 8, and her sister, Madison Golde, 10 -- accompanied by their parents, Tammy and Emmett Golde, of Elo, Mich. -- recently participated in a variety of activities designed to offer families a chance to learn about life forms in the Great Lakes and how scientists study them.

On July 1, 2014, the Portage Lake District Library and Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) partnered for a science program that included a ride on the Agassiz from the Portage Library to the GLRC, a visit to a GLRC laboratory to see what's in the water -- using microscopes -- and to dissect a fish stomach, and a chance to drive and observe the ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) designed by Dollar Bay (Mich.) High School students to photograph what's under the water.

Here are some photos and videos from that event:

Before riding on the Agassiz, Kayla and Madison learned about the ROVs from Lance Kangas, a Dollar Bay High School student in science teacher Matt Zimmer's marine robotics class ...

Near the Portage Lake District Library, Dollar Bay High School 10th grader Lance Kangas demonstrates how to control the ROV and view what it is photographing on the bottom of the Keweenaw Waterway (Portage Canal). Kayla Golde, 8, and Madison Golde, 10, of Elo, observe closely. Casper Carn, 4, of Hancock, takes a peek at the computer screen. Life guard Sarah Lyle of Houghton is on hand for safety. (Videos by Keweenaw Now)

After some instructions from Lance, Kayla and Madison were anxious to drive the ROV themselves:

Madison drives the ROV by remote control as Kayla follows its movements on the computer screen. Dollar Bay (Mich.) High School students first designed the ROV in their marine robotics classes (2011-2012). It has been used by National Park Service staff at Isle Royale National Park to identify invasive species underwater.

Asked what she thought of the ROVs, Kayla said, "They're cool!"

Dollar Bay High School senior Stanley Peterson was on the dock making adjustments to one of the ROVs for a demonstration.

"It's fun," Peterson said -- about working with the ROVs. "I want to go to school for engineering. This has a lot of science and math involved."

Stanley Peterson, who will be a senior at Dollar Bay High School next year, works on one of the student-designed ROVs on the dock outside Portage Lake District Library. He hopes to study engineering in college.

Dollar Bay High School science teacher Matt Zimmer (in green shirt) answers visitors' questions about the Remotely Operated Vehicles designed by his students.

Soon it was time for Kayla, Madison and their parents to take the boat ride on the Agassiz, followed by a visit to a fish laboratory in the Great Lakes Research Center.

Joan Chadde -- Education/Outreach Program coordinator for the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, Western U.P. Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education -- checks off names of passengers who reserved their seats for the Agassiz scientific excursion on July 1, 2014. Captain Steve Roblee, standing on boat deck,  welcomes visitors and provides life jackets for those who need them (including a special size required for small children).

At left is Captain Roblee's assistant, Terrianna Bradley of Detroit, who explains  equipment used on the research boat. Passengers pictured here include, from right, Barry Drue, L'Anse Sentinel editor (ready to take notes!); his wife, Kathy Drue; an unidentified passenger; Peter Rudnicki of Chaplin, Conn., and his Mom, Wendy Heikka.

"How unsinkable is this boat?" asked Peter Rudnicki, age 7 and 3/4.

Agassiz Captain Steve Roblee explained the many safety features of the boat, including, if ever it should be required for rescue, aircraft from Traverse City, Mich. He noted the Agassiz has multiple uses -- research, a lab for Michigan Tech classes, and public education.

Assisting Captain Roblee on this trip was Terrianna Bradley, Michigan Tech environmental engineering student.

Agassiz Captain Steve Roblee and his assistant, Terrianna Bradley, are pictured here with some of the equipment used to study the lake and its sediments. Bradley is holding an instrument that measures the depth of the water, dissolved oxygen and temperature.

Bradley said she is really enjoying her summer job working under the General Motors Ride the Waves program that helps support these educational excursions on the boat.

"I've been doing this all summer," she said. "I love this! The best part of my job is going on the lake and teaching science to kids."

The Agassiz dropped off the passengers at Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center, where they headed for a fish lab.

During the lab visit in the GLRC, Mark Kransz of DeWitt, Mich., a Michigan Tech environmental engineering student who has a minor in fish biology, explains the food web for fish in Lake Superior.

While visitors observe dissected fish to learn about what fish eat, Mark Kransz explains that one purpose of the dissection is to show how the lakes are affected by what fish eat, since pollution goes up the food chain.

Xena Cortez, Michigan Tech environmental engineering student, points out to Kayla Golde and her family a drawing of an organism Kayla has just observed under a microscope in the fish lab.

Helping visitors observe bloodworms, a type of benthos found in Portage Lake, under a microscope in the lab was Julia Rice, who is studying civil engineering at Michigan Tech. Rice is from Alcoma, Mich., near Lake Huron. She says she has lived near the water all her life and wants to be a "green" civil engineer.

"Right now I'm interested in the water side of civil engineering," Rice explained.

Julia Rice, center, of Alcona, Mich., who is studying civil engineering at Michigan Tech, shows some bloodworms under the microscope to Robin Kisiel and her Mom, Sharyn Kisiel, of Chassell.

A poster in the fish lab explains the life cycle of the bloodworm, a common type of benthos in Portage Lake.

Peter Rudnicki, age 7 and 3/4, said he didn't know what fish ate before the excursion on the Agassiz and the visit to the lab but he learned a lot from the event.

"The boat is like a mini-lab where they take samples and then take them to another lab, where they analyze and study them," Peter noted.

In the GLRC fish lab, Peter Rudnicki and his Mom, Wendi Heikka, of Chaplin, Conn., study a poster that explains how the mouth position of the fish while eating helps identify them.

After the lab visit,  a Michigan Tech van took the visitors back to the Portage Library for some boat building or more observations of the ROVs.

Madison Golde, left, and her sister, Kayla, build their boats in the community room at Portage Lake District Library.

At Portage Library kids have fun sailing boats they made themselves in a small, plastic "lake."

Chase Crisman, who will be 10 in August, said he liked the boat ride, but the activity he liked the best was making this submarine out of aluminum foil and toilet paper rolls.

Iriina Aho, 4, of Hancock, proudly displays the colorful sailboat she made at Portage Library.

Portage Library also provided materials for young artists who just wanted to draw or color their own creations. Here Arli O'Connor, 10, of Chassell, draws a woodpecker. Arli said she went on the boat excursion and found out there was a lot to learn about the lake. "I didn't dissect a fish, though," she said.

Chris Alquist, Portage Lake District Library community program director, who helped organize the activities, said she loves this kind of event.

"It was a lot of fun," Alquist said. "What was really nice about this was that there was a variety of events that appeal to many interests."

At least 60 people rode on the Agassiz that day and more visitors came for other activities, she added.

This science program was funded by General Motors and the Portage Lake District Library.

Wisconsin Tribes set to meet with EPA regarding proposed Penokee mine

By Barbara With
Posted July 21, 2014, on Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative 

Reprinted in part with permission

Flags representing the tribe of the Lake Superior Band of Chippewa taken at the Penokee Hills Education Summit in September 2013. (Photo © and courtesy Rebecca Kemble)

NORTHERN WISCONSIN -- On August 21, 2014, the six tribes of Wisconsin’s Chippewa Federation will meet with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials to urge them to stop mining activity in the Penokee Hills in northern Wisconsin. Tribal leaders sent a letter in May requesting the meeting and asking the EPA to invoke a section of the Clean Water Act in order to prevent the devastation of a proposed 22-mile open-pit mountaintop removal iron ore mine from destroying the Bad River watershed:

"CWA§404(c) authorizes the EPA to restrict, prohibit, deny, or withdraw the use of an area for the disposal of dredged or fill material, including mining wastes, when it is determined that discharge will have unacceptable adverse effects on fisheries, wildlife, shellfish beds, municipal water supplies, or recreational areas."

.... Click here to read the rest of this article on Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative.
Click here to read the May 27, 2014, letter from Wisconsin tribal leaders to the EPA concerning the Clean Water Act and the proposed Penokee mine. The letter is from six bands of the Anishinaabeg Territory Watersheds and Waters of Lake Superior: Bad River Band of Lake Superior, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior, Lac du Flambeau Band, St. Croix Band, Sokoagon Band, and Lac Courte Oreilles Band.

Visit United in Defense of the Water to learn how you can take action by writing a letter of support to EPA.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Capt. Donald Kilpela will present "So You Want to Own an Oil Tanker" July 23 at Calumet Public Library

CALUMET -- Friends of the Calumet Public Library will host "So You Want to Own an Oil Tanker," a presentation and book signing by Captain Donald Kilpela, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m on Wednesday, July 23, in the library.

From the snowy Keweenaw to the beauty of the Caribbean -- what could go wrong with a well-designed business plan to operate a small oil tanker, the M/T MacVie, as a family business? Captain Donald Kilpela, owner of the Isle Royale Queen and gifted story teller, will fill us in on his family’s trials, failures, and occasional successes in a venture that turned out to be a highly risky gamble. Copies of Kilpela’s newly released book, So You Want to Own an Oil Tanker, will be available to purchase and can be signed after the presentation. Book sales will go to benefit the Calumet Public Library.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Calumet Public Library, this event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, visit the library or call 337-0311 ext. 1107.

History comes to life with costumed interpreters at Fort Wilkins Historic State Park

Costumed interpreters -- including children from the park's Future Historians program -- bring the past to life at Fort Wilkins Historic State Park this summer. (Photo courtesy Fort Wilkins Historic State Park)

COPPER HARBOR -- History comes alive every day at Fort Wilkins Historic State Park in Copper Harbor with costumed portrayals of men and women who were stationed at the fort during the summer of 1870. Modeled after actual members of the army garrison and based on extensive historical research, interpreters bring the fort to life from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily through Aug. 15.

The state park is home to a restored 19th-century army post that, in addition to the daily costumed portrayals of soldiers and their families, features three-day, living-history encampments and museum exhibits enlivened by the sights and sounds of army life nearly 150 years ago. Upcoming encampments are scheduled for July 22-24, July 30-Aug. 1 and Aug. 13-15.

The three-day camps are presented by The Future Historians, a youth association from the Michigan Iron Industry Museum at Negaunee. Children from the museum group receive intensive training during the spring before assuming the costumed roles of children at Fort Wilkins during the summer camps. Throughout the summer, 59 participants will demonstrate children’s games and chores while telling visitors about growing up in 1870.

Interpreters provide park visitors with a glimpse of what life was like at Fort Wilkins in the mid-1800s. Here they demonstrate a stickhoop game that was popular at the time. (Photo courtesy Fort Wilkins Historic State Park)

Built in 1844 to keep peace in Michigan’s copper country, Fort Wilkins was abandoned two years later and re-garrisoned by federal infantry from 1867 to 1870. Today it remains a well-preserved example of a mid-1800s fort, including officers’ quarters, soldiers’ barracks, married enlisted men’s quarters, hospital, workshops, powder magazine and guardhouse.

The historic site also features the Copper Harbor Lighthouse, where exhibits interpret the light station and its keepers. Public access to the lighthouse museum is by a tour boat concession that operates daily from the Copper Harbor Marina. For more information, go to or call the park at 906-289-4215.

Fort Wilkins -- including the restored fort, the Copper Harbor Lighthouse and the 1844 Pittsburgh and Boston Mining Company mine sites -- is one of 11 nationally accredited museums administered by the Michigan Historical Center, an agency within the Department of Natural Resources. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the outdoor museum is open daily from 8 a.m. until dusk through mid-October.

A Recreation Passport is required to enter Fort Wilkins Historic State Park. The passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking "YES" for the $11 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing license plates through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, non-motorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. The passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($31 annual, $9 daily) at any state park or recreation area or (annual passes only) through the Michigan e-Store at

Learn more about the Recreation Passport at

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to

Friday, July 18, 2014

Celebrate Lake Superior Day in Copper Harbor July 20

COPPER HARBOR -- Celebrate the beauty and bounty of Lake Superior this Sunday, July 20! Copper Harbor community volunteers, along with the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, are organizing the second annual Lake Superior Day Festival, Sunday, July 20, with lots of special activities at the 6th Street Dock along the Copper Harbor Boardwalk (near Isle Royale Queen boat dock).

* Enjoy fish stew (Kalamojakka), homemade pies, rieska (Finnish flatbread) and more for a community picnic ($5 donation suggested).
* Canoe races and kayak demonstrations
* Interactive art (paint the model freighter)
* ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) demonstrations by the Dollar Bay High School S.O.A.R. team

On the dock near the Portage Lake District Library, Dollar Bay High School student Stanley Peterson prepares the ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) for a demonstration during a July 1, 2014, Ride the Waves program sponsored by Portage Library and Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center. Dollar Bay students will demonstrate this equipment in Copper Harbor on Sunday, July 20, as part of the Lake Superior Day celebration. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

* Learn about the health of Lake Superior from a presentation by Great Lakes scientist Marcel Dijkestra from Michigan Tech Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
* Live music, poetry, and more.

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., attendees can find out how scientists study the Great Lakes by taking a 25-minute scientific excursion in the harbor aboard Michigan Tech’s research vessel the Agassiz. These excursions are offered as part of the Ride the Waves Program with funding from General Motors.

Michigan Tech's research boat, the Agassiz, picks up passengers near the Portage Lake District Library on July 1, 2014, for a Ride the Waves scientific excursion. Similar trips are planned for Sunday, July 20, during the Lake Superior Day celebration in Copper Harbor.

The Agassiz will depart every half-hour from the Isle Royale Queen dock beginning at 1 p.m. Participants must be at least seven years old, and children must be accompanied by an adult. All should wear closed-toe shoes. Space is limited. Interested participants may pre-register for an excursion on the Agassiz by calling 906-487-3341 or email Lloyd Wescoat at For more information about the event, contact lead organizer, Don Kilpela, Isle Royale Queen captain, at 906-289-4735.

Lake Superior Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in July in many communities around Lake Superior. The event, now in its 11th year, is spearheaded by the Lake Superior Binational Forum to highlight the special connections people have to this unique world treasure.*

Maritime History program at Fort Wilkins

For those interested in the Lake's history, Fort Wilkins Historic State Park, Copper Harbor, will be hosting a program titled "Maritime History of Lake Superior focused on Shipwrecks including the Edmund Fitzgerald" at 7 p.m. at the Lighthouse Overlook Deck.

George Schafer, ranger at Fort Wilkins, will be giving a talk on the Maritime History of our beautiful Lake and of the shipwrecks on the lake. A copper model of the Edmund Fitzgerald will be on display.

For information please call 906-289-4215.

* Click here on the Lake Superior Binational Forum Web site to learn more about Lake Superior Day events around the lake. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality also provides information on Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes -- or visit EPA’s website.

Calumet Art Center to host Guitar and Lute Recital July 18

Poster for Calumet Art Center Guitar and Lute Recital TONIGHT, July 18. (Poster courtesy Calumet Art Center)

CALUMET --The Calumet Art Center will host a Guitar and Lute Recital at 7:30 p.m. TONIGHT, Friday, July 18. The concert will feature Paul Seitz on guitar and lute, with vocals by Christine Seitz, Ann Campbell and Greg Campbell.

The recital will include music by John Dowland, Benjamin Britten, Harold Arlen, Paul Seitz and more ...

Tickets are $8 at the door.

The Calumet Art Center is at 57055 Fifth Street in Calumet. Call 906-934-2228 for more information.

Keweenaw Adventure Co. offers 20th Anniversary specials, Copper Harbor "Qigong Sunset Paddle"

COPPER HARBOR -- Help Keweenaw Adventure Company in Copper Harbor celebrate by taking advantage of their "20th Anniversary Deals on the 20ths" of each of three summer months.

On July 20th, August 20th and September 20th, Keweenaw Adventure Company will offer $20 Mountain Bike Shuttle Day-Passes (during scheduled times) and 20 percent off ALL Kayak Day Tours, Bike Tours and daytime rentals of Kayak Rentals, Bike Rentals, Canoe Rentals and Stand-up-paddle (SUP) Board Rentals.

Check out these deals at Keweenaw Adventure Company, 155 Gratiot Street, Copper Harbor, MI 49918. For more information call 906-289-4303 or visit

"Qigong Sunset Paddle"

The Keweenaw Adventure Company will host a classic kayak paddle about Copper Harbor with a special qiqong twist from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on two evenings:  Saturday, July 19, and Saturday, August 2. Cost is $70/person.

Qigong is an ancient Chinese system of physical movements and breathing, which closely mimics the natural movements of nature -- animals, trees, winds and waves. Explore ancient rock shoreline and learn about the history of the largest natural harbor on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Pull up on the shores of an uninhabited island and receive a qiqong instructional. Join in the gentle, meditative movements of qigong. Allow the quiescent qi (life force) of the ancient qigong practices to reflect the ancient geology of the region.

Breathe deeply. Quiet the thoughts. Enjoy both land and lake with your whole being... Finally, bid farewell to the day as shades of vibrant changing color schemes highlight the sky as the sun drops into the freshwater sea.

Special Guest Instructorfor Qigong is Darlene Basto of North Star Qigong and Tai Chi. Please RSVP because spaces are limited: Call 906-289-4303 or visit

Thursday, July 17, 2014

2014 Canal Run to be Saturday, July 19

During the 2013 Canal Run, Amy Aldrich of Hancock heads for the finish line to take first overall in the women's half marathon. Aldrich, in the 30-34 age group, finished with a time of 1:32:20 (and a pace of 7:02 min./mile). (Keweenaw Now file photos)

HANCOCK -- The Canal Run, a Keweenaw event since 1975, will take place on Saturday morning, July 19. The event includes a 5-mile run, a 5-mile walk, a 10-mile run, a 10-mile walk and a half marathon run. The Canal Run follows the Portage Lake Shipping Canal along Highway M-203 in Hancock, Michigan. All five events finish in downtown Hancock between FirstMerit Bank and Quincy Green.

Before the races, participants line up for the shuttle bus that takes them from the finish line at FirstMerit Bank to the starting point of each race. The Canal Run follows the Portage Lake Shipping Canal along Highway M-203 in Hancock.

The use of headphones is strongly discouraged this year for the safety of participants. The race course is on a paved road surface. M-203 is not closed to traffic. Runners and walkers must stay on the left side of the road at all times, facing traffic. Parts of Quincy Street in Hancock will be closed for the race as follows:

6:30 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. -- one lane open
8:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. -- both lanes closed
10:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. -- back to one lane open
after 11 a.m. -- return to normal two lanes open

Start Times and Locations:

10-mile walk: 7:15 a.m. at McLain State Park
Half Marathon: 7:30 a.m. at Koskela Road
10-mile run: 8 a.m. at McLain State Park
5-mile walk: 8:55 a.m. at High Point Road
5-mile run: 8:50 a.m. at High Point Road

Canal Kids' Dash

Free for all kids, the Canal Kids' Dash begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 19, starting near Krist Oil in Hancock and running down the race course 1/4 mile through the finish line chute. This event is not timed, and all participants will receive a a Canal Kid's Dash finisher's medal! There are no age limits. Registration will be in front of Northern Auto. This is a closed course.

Awards Ceremony

2013 Canal Run participants and fans gather on the Quincy Green in Hancock to hear announcements of winners. Last year's race attracted more than 800 participants. Even more are anticipated this year!

The awards ceremony will take place in downtown Hancock, near the finish line, at approximately 10:15 a.m. Overall male and female winners for each race will receive unique, local awards.

The Canal Run is sponsored by FirstMerit Bank, Finlandia University and Portage Health.

Click here for the Race Guide with more details.

Click here for info on registration.

City of Hancock to host Key Ingredients -- music and food -- July 18

HANCOCK -- The City of Hancock will host Key Ingredients, an evening of music and food, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. TOMORROW, Friday, July 18, in downtown Hancock. Enjoy a variety of musical talents from the Copper Country and beyond. Stop by your favorite place and try out some free samples -- or go someplace brand new to see what you've been missing!

Here are the nine venues, each with a food vendor and musical entertainment:
  • Habanero's, featuring their own cuisine and Clay Hilman on piano
  • Quincy Pocket Park, with food by Mark Pittillo, and Greenstone playing guitar and bass.
  • Copper Country Community Arts Center, treats by CCCAC members, and featuring Mike Irish on guitar
  • Copper Island Beach Club, featuring their cuisine and Dave Bezotte on piano
  • Superior National Bank, with food from Kaleva Café and Ellen Jarvis, piano and vocals
  • The Flower Shop, with food from Nutini's and music by Erin McKenzie on cello
  • Quincy Green, offering food from FirstMerit Bank and Studio Pizza and bagpipe entertainment by Vanessa Dulong
  • Gemignani's, featuring their own cuisine and Paul Gemignani on guitar
  • Finlandia University, offering their own food and music by the Mark Lucier Trio
Come out and see Hancock alive with tastes, sounds and laughter!

Steve Jones and Garden City Hot Club to perform at "Music on the Menu" July 18

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to bring a lunch and enjoy "Music on the Menu," an outdoor series of events held on the dock outside the library.

Steve Jones and the Garden City Hot Club (GCHC) will perform from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, July 18. GCHC is a swinging jazz trio featuring Steve Jones with his hot lead guitar and easy-going vocals, Bob Hiltunen on second lead guitar and rhythm, and Scott McIntosh on bass.

Using the "Gypsy Swing" of Django Reinhardt as their base, the GCHC bring their intensity and joyful approach to original compositions, old jazz standards, modern Roma-influenced music, swing-based novelty songs, blues, and anything else that sounds good.

Usually everyone sits back and relaxes during Music on the Menu, but the GCHC performances always engage audiences and usually get the dancers to their feet.

In the event of bad weather, the program will be held in the community room.

This event is part of the library’s Summer Reading Program and is free and open to all. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Khana Khazana to serve Syrian cuisine Friday, July 18

HOUGHTON -- Khana Khazana brings Syrian food to Michigan Tech TOMORROW, Friday, July 18, at the lunch cart in front of the Van Pelt and Opie Library. Robi Bdeir, a PhD student in biochemistry and molecular biology, will cook falafel with hummus and ijja.

Falafel is made from dehydrated chickpeas that are soaked overnight, then ground with onions, parsley, cilantro, garlic and Syrian spices. Fried to a golden brown, falafel is served with hummus dip and ijja, an omelet-like dish made with zucchini, egg and parsley.

Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It costs $6, cash only.

Khana Khazana is a cooperative effort of international students and Michigan Tech Dining Services.

Hancock Tori to hold Flea Market Friday, July 18

HANCOCK -- Hancock Tori will be having a Flea Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. TOMORROW, Friday, July 18. Spots for vendors cost $5. A wide variety of items will be offered for sale.

Anyone interested in a spot can get in touch with Sandy Soring at 337-1391 or

The Hancock Tori is open for the season. Market hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday rain or shine. The Tori is located next to the Finnish American Heritage Center on Quincy street downtown Hancock.

For more information, please contact Sandy Soring.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Alan Tollakson, Isle Royale Artist in Residence, to present his work July 17 at Community Arts Center

Display of stone sculpture by Alan Tollakson at the Copper Country Community Arts Center (CCCAC). Tollakson will give a slide presentation of his work and talk about his artist residency on Isle Royale at the CCCAC at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 17.

HANCOCK -- Alan Tollakson, a stone sculptor from Emporia, Kansas, is the current Artist in Residence on Isle Royale. Community members will have a chance to meet him and see his art in a slide presentation at the Copper Country Community Arts Center from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 17.

A display of Tollakson's work is currently on view and for sale at the Copper Country Community Arts Center. It includes slate mirrors, a stone birdbath and garden sculpture. 

The audience will also have the opportunity to learn about his impressions of Isle Royale and how it will inform his future work.

The artist says, "I have always sought inspiration from the natural world, even the abstract qualities that lie hidden within the plant and mineral kingdoms. This residency is the perfect opportunity to replenish my reservoir of impressions -- and then share this elemental beauty with the world-at-large."

Tollakson earned his Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Kansas and has created numerous public art projects throughout the U.S. as well as China, Czech Republic and Italy.

The Isle Royale Artist in Residence program was established in 1991. Artists are selected by a panel of jurors in an application process.

Greg Blust, supervisory park ranger and coordinator of the Isle Royale Artist in Residence Program, explains, "The program not only benefits artists, it enables Isle Royale visitors to see through the eyes of an artist. It opens another door with which to see our wilderness environment."

The CCCAC is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. This program is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. For more information call 482-2333 or visit the website:

Portage Library to host presentation on Peregrine falcons, field trip to observe nests on Lift Bridge July 18

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to bring spotting scopes, binoculars, and cameras for a field trip and slide show presentation about Peregrine falcons with amateur ornithologist Joe Youngman.

Youngman will share his passion for these majestic birds at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 18, in the community room at the library. His presentation includes photos and details about Peregrines nesting in the Keweenaw with a special focus on the Peregrine family that has made its home on the Portage Lift Bridge. This half hour presentation will include refreshments as a kind of "baby shower" event to celebrate the recent hatching of the three young falcons in the nesting box on the Lift Bridge.

From the library, participants are invited to share rides to the Houghton County Marina in Ripley where it might be possible to watch the young falcons fledge for the first time. Youngman estimates that the falcons will be taking their first flying lessons sometime over the weekend, and spotting scopes and binoculars will be helpful in observing this momentous event.

John Slivon of Hancock observed the falcons today, Wednesday, with his telescope.

"I saw the young falcons exercising their wings and getting ready to fly," he said.

Peregrine falcons are the world’s fastest creature, and the highest speed recorded for a Peregrine is 242 m.p.h. Their breeding range spans land regions from the Arctic tundra to the tropics, and they are found nearly everywhere on earth.

Youngman is an amateur ornithologist who works on bird surveys in the Keweenaw and Lake Superior with a special focus on bird migration studies.

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

Calumet Library Red Jacket Readers Book Club to hold discussion of "Annie's Ghosts" TONIGHT, July 16

CALUMET -- The Calumet Library Red Jacket Readers Book Club will hold a discussion of Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret, by Steve Luxenberg, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. TONIGHT, Wednesday, July 16, at the Calumet Public Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Chosen as a Michigan Notable Book for 2010 and as the Great Michigan Read for 2013 – 2014, Annie’s Ghosts has sparked conversations all across the state about family secrets and the mental health movement. Washington Post senior editor Luxenberg grew up believing his mother had been an only child, only to discover she had had a younger sister who had spent much of her life in mental health institutions. The memoir, Annie’s Ghosts, traces Luxenberg’s journey of discovery about his aunt. Join the Red Jacket Readers for a discussion of this thought-provoking book. Multiple copies are available for checkout at the library, and the book is also for sale in several area stores. 

This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Calumet Public Library. For more information, visit the library or call 337-0311 ext. 1107.

(In case of bad weather, when school is cancelled, all library programs are cancelled.)