Saturday, February 02, 2008

Finlandia to hold Spaghetti Dinner for Tanzania Feb. 2

HANCOCK -- A spaghetti dinner fundraiser, hosted by eight Finlandia University students preparing to travel to Tanzania in May, will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Hancock.

The dinner is $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for children under 12 years. Children under five years are free.

This is Finlandia’s third annual service and learning trip to Tanzania. It is part of the course titled Service and Learning in Tanzania and is organized in cooperation with the Northern Great Lakes Synod-ELCA and the Eastern and Coastal Diocese-Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania.

While in Tanzania, the students and faculty chaperons will assist a secondary school with building projects, stay with host families in Dar es Salaam and learn about Tanzanian people and society.

For tickets and additional information please contact René Johnson, interim campus pastor and director of servant leadership, at 906-487-7239 or

Updated: Michigan Tech student dies in ski accident

HOUGHTON -- A student at Michigan Technological University has died following an accident on Mont Ripley Ski Hill.

Robert W. Smith, 18, of Norton Shores, was skiing at about 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, when he apparently lost control, went off the run, and hit a tree. First aid was provided by members of the ski patrol, who transported him down the hill. He was taken by Mercy Ambulance to Portage Health System, where he was pronounced dead.

"This is devastating for all of us here at the University," said Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz. "Our hearts and prayers are with his friends and especially his family as they struggle to cope with this tragic loss."

Smith, a mechanical engineering major and 2007 graduate of Mona Shores High School, was an experienced skier and a member of the University's ski team club.

Michigan Tech's Public Safety Department and officials at the ski hill have investigated the accident and will submit their findings to the state's Ski Area Safety Board.

University Counseling Services is providing grief counseling to Smith's friends in West McNair Hall, where he was a resident, and to the rescue workers who responded to the accident.

Funeral arrangements announced.

Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Clock Funeral Home, 1469 Peck St., Muskegon, MI 49941. Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 8, at the Laketon Bethel Reformed Church, 1568 W. Giles Road, in North Muskegon. Condolences can be sent to the Rob Smith family, in care of the Clock Funeral Home.

Memorial contributions can be made in Rob's memory to the Mt. Ripley Ski Patrol in care of the Michigan Tech Fund, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton MI 49931.

Information on Rob's life will be at .

Smith, a mechanical engineering major, was an experienced skier and had been training to be a member of the Mt. Ripley Ski Patrol.

Editor's Note: This press release is courtesy Marcia Goodrich, senior writer for Michigan Tech University Communications. Keweenaw Now wishes to express our deepest sympathy for the family and friends of Robert W. Smith.

Friday, February 01, 2008

"Home and Variations" exhibit opens at Community Arts Center

HANCOCK -- The Community Arts Center presents new pastels by local artist jd slack in the Kerredge Gallery through February 29. Slack paints the ruins and dwellings of the Copper Country and the structures of home experienced in her travels. An opening reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1.

"Home in the Hills," pastel by jd slack. (Image courtesy Community Arts Center)

"These paintings are sensations, feelings, and situations as I see them: through the structure, architecture, and context of 'home,' Slack explains. "That shape, that child-like shape of 'home,' has resonated deep within me for as long as I can remember (as it does with most children I think), but also has taken a particular form here in the Copper Country. That tall, skinny mining house and that rough-hewn cabin, shed, or barn, keep appearing."

She paints local landscapes and also the structures of home experienced in her travels: Italian chateaus, Guatemalan huts, Native American pueblos, etc. Working with soft pastel, Slack creates images with many layers of intense color. Her use of texture adds depth to the images, which lean toward abstraction.

The Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information call (906) 482-2333 or visit the website at

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fashion exhibit opens at Finlandia's Reflection Gallery Jan. 31

HANCOCK -- "Hung Up on Color," fashion photography and fiber works inspired by the London fashion scene -- by artist Andrea Puzakulich (formerly Baldridge) -- will be on exhibit from Jan. 31 through Feb. 29 at Finlandia University's Reflection Gallery.

An opening reception for the artist will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in the Gallery, located on the 2nd Floor of the Portage Campus (old hospital) in Hancock. The exhibit offers viewers the gift of color in the heart of winter!

Maple Sugar Folk to perform in Calumet Jan. 31

CALUMET -- Maple Sugar Folk will celebrate the Keweenaw's French-Canadian heritage with traditional folk music and dance from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Jan. 31, at the AmericInn in Calumet.

Dave Bezotte at the keyboard leads the Maple Sugar Folk in singing French Canadian songs during the Calumet Heritage Celebration last August. Also pictured here are, from left, Barry Pegg, Marcia Goodrich, Janet Wieber, Amanda Binoniemi (hidden in back), Barbara Lide (seated), Karin Schlenker and Deb McDowell (on mandolin). (Keweenaw Now file photo by Gustavo Bourdieu)

Sing along on the chansons à répondre, or "response songs," learn French-Canadian jigs and folk dances and try your skill at podorythmie, the foot-tapping often heard in French-Canadian music.

You don't have to be French to enjoy the evening so please come and join this local group of talented singers, musicians and dancers at the Keweenaw Kafé, sponsored by Keweenaw Krayons.

Food for the evening will be Bannock (delicious fried bread) or if you have a favorite French-Canadian food you want to share bring it along...

For more information call Keweenaw Krayons at 337-4706 or email

Webcast on global warming to be shown Jan. 31 at MTU

HOUGHTON -- The "2% Solution" webcast, originally planned for Wednesday but postponed because of the blizzard, will be shown at 8:15 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Jan. 31, in Fisher 138 on the MTU campus.

Focus the Nation, a project of the nonprofit Green House Network, has organized a national effort to promote environmental activism on college and university campuses on Jan. 31. Professors at more than 1,100 colleges, including Michigan Tech, have agreed to discuss issues relating to global warming in their classes or take part in panels throughout the day.

As part of this effort, MTU students are sponsoring the interactive webcast "2% Solution," which advocates lowering carbon emissions by 2 percent every year.

Another webcast, "Face It," can be viewed at This webcast will reveal a challenge that offers creative and innovative students a way to get involved, as well as an opportunity to win money.

For more information, visit and

Updated: Dance at the Scarlet Masquerade Feb. 2 in South Range

HOUGHTON -- The Michigan Tech Social Dance Club will sponsor the Scarlet Masquerade from 5 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Feb. 2, in the South Range Community Hall. Several local bands and singers will provide music for dancing. These include Tony Lowe, Jose Camillo, Jonathan Soper, the MTU Jazz Combo, the Moon Dogs and the Pasi Cats.

The theme is red and black (le rouge et le noir). Wear a mask for fun and enter the mask contest (optional but recommended)! The Library Brew Pub and Restaurant will cater the event with great food! The dance itself starts at 5 p.m. with solo artists. Dinner will be at 6 p.m. (included in the ticket price). The PasiCats will play from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m, and Pat Valencia from 10 p.m. - 12 a.m. Tickets are $15 a couple and $10 single. In addition to the live musical performances, a door drawing will be held.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Isle Royale Botany Workshop to be June 16-21, 2008

HOUGHTON -- The Isle Royale Botany Workshop will be held June 16-21, 2008. Participants will experience four days in Lake Superior's Isle Royale National Park and learn to identify the diverse plants that live on the island.

Hepatica, one of many Isle Royale plants, blooms in the spring on the island. (Photo courtesy Janet Marr.)

This special Botany Workshop, sponsored by the Isle Royale Natural History Association (IRNHA), and taught by botanist Janet Marr, is open to anyone with beginning/intermediate knowledge of plant identification and who is interested in learning to identify the spring/early summer native flora of this species-rich Lake Superior island.

Workshop participants should be able to hike up to seven miles in one day with a daypack.

Participants will meet in Houghton, Mich., on Monday afternoon, June 16, and travel from Houghton to Rock Harbor on the Ranger III on Tuesday, June 17. The group will spend four days on the island learning native plant species, using such tools as a dichotomous key and hand lens to identify plants. Other topics will include discussion of island plant communities, rare species, ecology, and invasive species. Participants will return to Houghton on the Ranger III on Saturday, June 21.

Participants in the Isle Royale Botany Workshop will have a chance to identify a variety of plants that bloom in the spring on the island, including this Marsh Marigold. (Photo courtesy Janet Marr.)

Workshop activities will take place mostly outdoors. Optional evening sessions will also be offered to review plants learned earlier. Field trips will include Tobin Harbor, Scoville Point and Raspberry Island -- places that are all located in the vicinity of Rock Harbor.

Botanist Janet Marr, the workshop instructor, has had many years of experience studying plants across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Isle Royale. Janet taught last year’s Isle Royale botany workshop as well as many botany and aquatic plants workshops in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. She is co-author of IRNHA's recently published Island Life, an Isle Royale Nature Guide.

ENROLLMENT IS LIMITED TO 12 PARTICIPANTS. Contact Jill Burkland at 906-482-7860 or to obtain more information or to register for the workshop. In order to attend this workshop PARTICIPANTS NEED TO PRE-REGISTER AND SEND A $100 DEPOSIT TO BE RECEIVED BY MAY 1, 2008, to Isle Royale Natural History Association, Attn: Jill Burkland, 800 East Lakeshore Drive, Houghton, MI 49931.

Total cost for the workshop is $550 per person ($525 for IRNHA members; see for information on becoming a member) and includes instruction, camping, meals (Tuesday lunch through Saturday breakfast), hand lens, notebook, Slavick/Janke’s Flora of Isle Royale, and transportation to and from the island on the Ranger III. Participants may travel from Grand Portage, Minn., on the Voyager at their own expense. See for Voyager information.

Participants may camp for free at a Rock Harbor group site for the four nights on the island. They can also stay in the Rock Harbor Lodge or Housekeeping units at their own expense. For information about lodging (at Rock Harbor Lodge or Housekeeping units), boat rentals, etc., please see or call 866-644-2003 (winter season) or 906-337-4993 (summer season).

For information about Isle Royale National Park, see their home page at or call 906-482-0984.