Friday, July 16, 2010

Hike for Superior view at Mt. Baldy Preserve July 17

HOUGHTON -- Families and the public are invited to come on an interpretive and challenging hike at the Helmut and Candis Stern Preserve at Mt. Baldy, near Eagle Harbor, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 17.

Visit The Nature Conservancy’s Preserve with outstanding views of Lake Superior and the Keweenaw Peninsula. Rising 730 feet above Lake Superior, Mt. Baldy is one of the largest and least disturbed balds in the Keweenaw. This hike will be a steady uphill climb, taking about three hours round-trip.

Meet at 2 p.m. at the trailhead. The hike is six miles round-trip.

Come prepared with sturdy hiking shoes, a backpack, plenty of water and snacks, rain gear, sun hat, sunscreen, insect repellant, and an extra layer. A camera and binoculars are recommended.

The Trip Leader is Joan Chadde. For more information call 906-487-3341.

Driving directions: To reach the trailhead, drive 15 miles north of Calumet on US 41, and turn left onto the Eagle Harbor Shortcut Road. Shortly before reaching Eagle Harbor, turn right at the large preserve sign on the right and follow the 2-track to a gravel parking area at the sandpit where the trail begins.

Sponsored by the Western U.P. Center for Science Math and Environmental Education.

Photo: Taken at the top of Mt. Baldy, or Mt. Lookout, near Eagle Harbor, this photo shows the bedrock near the surface of an area exposed to cold winds and other conditions that have allowed a treeless northern bald community of rare plants to establish itself. The Nature Conservancy purchased land on Mt. Baldy to protect its delicate ecosystem. (Keweenaw Now file photo courtesy Jeff Knoop of The Nature Conservancy)

Hancock Canal Run expected to draw crowds July 17

By Tom Graham*

HANCOCK -- Runners will crowd the starting line of the 35th annual Hancock Canal Run, in rain or sun, to compete in good sport with one another and glimpse pristine views of the Portage Waterway. The 2010 Canal Run will occur Saturday, July 17, with registration open now. Participants can choose to walk or run certified 5- or 10-mile events.

Spanning Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Canal Run offers more events this year than ever before. Organizers have dubbed the events Canal Weekend. Arnie Kinnunen, race committee member, believes the additional activities planned for the weekend may attract more community members as well as any visitors. Events include sports activities like volleyball, tennis, street hockey, ping pong, an obstacle course and soccer skills challenge, as well as entertainment in the form of live music, barbeque, and a sailboat regatta on the Portage Canal.

The weekend kicks off Friday with street hockey and a pasta dinner. The third annual pasta dinner, which includes entertainment and raffle prizes, takes place from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Mannerheim Café on the Finlandia University campus. The dinner will allow fellow competitors to meet and greet the night before the run and to pick up pre-race packets.

"Early registration numbers for this year are looking better than last year’s at this time," Kinnunen said. "It looks like we will have over 500 runners and walkers participating in this year's Canal Run/Walk. With record numbers, please arrive early on race day. You can help reduce congestion on race day by picking up your bib on Friday evening at the Pasta Dinner."

Saturday marks the day of the run followed by the awards ceremony and numerous other activities. The ten-mile route will begin at McLain State Park off Highway M-203. The walk will begin at 7 a.m., followed with the run at 8 a.m. The five-mile course starts near High Point Rd. (also on M-203) with the walk getting underway at 8:15 a.m. and the run at 8:30 a.m. Both routes have aid stations along the way and will conclude at Citizens Bank in Hancock. A free shuttle service from Citizens Bank to both staging areas will be available the morning of the run. The first shuttle will leave at 6 a.m. with departure times scheduled every 20 minutes until 8 a.m.

For more information about registering for the run/walk or any of the events planned for Canal Weekend, head to the website at www.hancockcanalrun.com or check out a brochure, available at community businesses.

For photos of the 2009 Canal Run visit Brockit.com.

*Editor's Note: Guest reporter Tom Graham is a student in David Clanaugh's summer journalism class at Michigan Tech University.

Lake Superior Day commemorates the Great Lake July 18

Lake Superior beach at Seven-Mile Point. Celebrate Lake Superior Day, July 18, on this or another of the Keweenaw Peninsula's great beaches. Thanks to the North Woods Conservancy, this beach is preserved for limited public access. This summer it is open on weekends. Watch for a story on this, coming soon. (July 2010 photo by Keweenaw Now)

By Eric Rosenberg*

HOUGHTON -- Communities around the Big Lake will celebrate Lake Superior Day on Sunday, July 18. Established in the early 1990s by the Lake Superior Binational Forum, Lake Superior Day is a regional celebration of the world's largest freshwater lake and the effect it has on those who live around it.

Event organizers encourage celebrations big and small and personal outings to recognize the role the lake has in local lives and to promote the desire to keep Lake Superior in a pristine, healthy condition. Events that are planned around the lake include a lecture on "The Future Health of Lake Superior" in Ironwood; beach cleanups followed by festivities in Superior, Wis.; a film festival in Duluth, Minn.; and a barbecue in Thunder Bay, Ontario.**

The day itself has been officially recognized by a number of cities and villages around the Keweenaw Peninsula, including Houghton, Hancock, Baraga, L’Anse and Eagle Harbor. The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) and a number of other community groups also acknowledge the holiday.

Some area residents feel, however, that more could be done on the day. Susan LaFernier, a KBIC Tribal Council member, is one of these people.

"We don’t have a formal ceremony," LaFernier said, "but I want to plan something for next year."

Susan LaFernier, KBIC Tribal Council member, addresses the crowd at Eagle Rock, a sacred Ojibwa site near Big Bay, Mich., during the Protect the Earth event on Aug. 2, 2009. Behind her are co-organizers Teresa Bertossi of Yellow Dog Summer and (hidden behind LaFernier) Emily Whittaker, executive director of the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve. At left is musician Victor McManemy. The event included a water ceremony led by Native American participants. (Photo © 2009 and courtesy Gabriel Caplett)

LaFernier put this idea of formal recognition of Lake Superior Day before her colleagues at a tribal council meeting earlier this month. She also shared with her fellow council members that community youth would conduct beach clean-ups to honor Gitche Gumee.***

According to a July 14 article in the L'Anse Sentinel by Kate Flynn, LaFernier has been working with tribal youth this summer picking up roadside litter. LaFernier directs the tribe's Adopt-a-Road Program and is extending this effort to Lake Superior. The lake has served the tribe for generations as a major travel route. After Europeans came to the Western Hemisphere, Lake Superior eventually became the head of the St. Lawrence Seaway and part of the global shipping network. The lake thus serves as a roadway for the movement of people and goods.

If you can’t find an event to attend nearby, the Lake Superior Binational Forum has a specific section set aside for people and groups interested in commemorating Lake Superior Day at its online forums at www.superiorforum.org. Suggestions include cleaning a beach, going for a swim, enjoying a relaxing afternoon on the water, going fishing, or enjoying the wooded areas around the basin.

"I feel it’s a very important day to focus on the natural resources," LaFernier said, "especially with the sulfide mine issue that has been in the news recently."****

Editor's Notes:
* Guest reporter Eric Rosenberg is a student in David Clanaugh's summer journalism class at Michigan Tech.

**A full event list can be found at www.lakesuperior.com.

*** Gitche Gumee is poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's version of the Ojibwa name for Lake Superior -- from his "Song of Hiawatha."

****Opponents of the sulfide mine are planning several events for Lake Superior Day in and near Big Bay. Click here for details.

Lake Superior Day activities planned for July 18 near Marquette

Lake Superior near Marquette. (Photo courtesy Stand for the Land)

BIG BAY, MICH. -- Several activities are planned for Sunday, July 18, Lake Superior Day, to honor the big lake in Big Bay and on the Yellow Dog Plains near Marquette.

Residents of the Yellow Dog Watershed, whose tranquil life in nature has already been degraded by preliminary mining activities in the area, are inviting everyone to join Native Americans and leaders of various faiths for a day of prayer and fasting, this Sunday near Eagle Rock to honor Lake Superior.

The Lake Superior Day (Sunday, July 18) event near Big Bay in north Marquette County is named "Under the Shadow of Eagle Rock: A Day of Prayer and Fasting."

Residents of the Yellow Dog Watershed hope the public will join in prayers for the protection of the environment where Kennecott Eagle Minerals is building a nickel and copper mine.

New garden planted recently at Eagle Rock, outside Kennecott's fence. (Photo courtesy Stand for the Land)

The event will run from sunrise to sunset with rituals, prayers, meditations and ceremonies every two hours on the hour.

Jan Zender and Rochelle Dale spent 21 quiet years living on the pristine Yellow Dog Watershed, but the married couple's peaceful existence has been shattered by roaring trucks and other mining construction activities.

"Kennecott has really stepped up the pace on the plains, and they are not in one place -- they are all over the place," said Rochelle Dale, a member of the St. Mary Catholic Church in Bay Bay. "They have test sites now on the Pinnacle Falls Road, two miles from Eagle Rock."

Dale said she raised her two children -- Ian, 25, and Kalil, 18, to respect the Yellow Dog Plains. Now, if you ride a bike in the area, you can hear the mine trucks and machines everywhere.

"It's devastating and degrading," Dale said. "This is a part of the land that we love and the reason we live here, and the construction is turning it into something else -- it will never be the same."

Zender and Dale live along the Yellow Dog River about six miles downstream from the mine.

Yellow Dog River near Big Bay, Mich. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

"My husband and I and some of the other residents have invited members of the different faith communities to fast and pray with us (for the protection of Lake Superior and its tributaries)," she said. "There will be prayers for the earth and prayers for all people who are affected by these kinds of things across the world."

Representatives from the interfaith community will hold prayers including Lutheran, Buddhist, Roman Catholic, Unitarian, United Methodist and Jewish traditions.

Members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community will pray to stop the desecration of Eagle Rock, which has been the site of Ojibwa religious ceremonies for centuries, and for the protection of Lake Superior from possible mine-related pollution like sulfuric acid, a byproduct of sulfide mining.

The public can also participate in a sweat lodge, a Lakota tradition, and in yoga and meditation, according to Rev. Tesshin Paul Lehmberg, head priest of Lake Superior Zendo, a Zen Buddhist temple in Marquette.

"This event will acknowledge and celebrate values other than those represented by the bottom line on an accountant’s ledger," Rev. Lehmberg noted. "We will acknowledge and celebrate the long view, the one that sees past the next fiscal quarter down to the seventh generation of our heirs and beyond."

Those present “will acknowledge and celebrate the inestimable spiritual worth of the Yellow Dog watershed and its people, and the pure, ancient waters of Lake Superior, which lie downstream and which bless us all," Lehmberg added.

Rev. Jon Magnuson, Lutheran pastor and event co-organizer, said the public debate about the proposed sulfide mine includes more than an economic equation.

"The quality of water, the forests, and the claims of one of the Upper Peninsula's major Indian tribes that this is a sacred place beg to be heeded by people of conscience," Magnuson said. "Sunday's day of prayer and fasting will be a time to lift up prayers for Kennecott employees and the region's people whose lifestyle is threatened by this wealthy international mining company Rio Tinto, which continues to hold one of the worst records of environmental pollution and human rights violations in the world."

"Spiritual dimensions to current controversies around the environment too often go unrecognized," Magnuson said. "There are bulldozers -- but there are also prayers and songs and we intend that they will echo out over the forests of the Yellow Dog on Lake Superior Day 2010, under the shadow of Eagle Rock."

The event will be held adjacent to the Kennecott leased property line off the Triple A Road. Markers will be posted from the corner of County Road 550 and County Road 510.

Eagle Rock is a 45-minute drive from Marquette. Directions are posted on the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve website.

For more information contact Rev. Magnuson at 906-228-5494 or Rev. Lehmberg at 906-226-6407.

Save the Wild U.P. to hold fundraising breakfast in Big Bay

For supporters who are not fasting, Save the Wild U.P. will be holding a Lake Superior Day fundraising waffle breakfast from 7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Sunday, July 18, at the Powell Township School in Big Bay. The breakfast will include eggs, sausage and fruit served with fresh-roasted Dead River Coffee.

Tickets for the breakfast on sale at the SWUP office or Big Bay Outfitters for $8. Kids' tickets are $5, and under 5 years old are free. Proceeds will support Freshwater Future, YMCA Youth Kayaking and Save the Wild U.P.

Other suggested activities for the day include blueberry picking on the Yellow Dog Plains -- they’re ripening every day -- then later, a dip in the Big Lake or the Yellow Dog River to cool off!

If you’re too full to hike, join the Group "Paddle Independence" at 1 p.m. (connected to Lake Superior and safer). If you need a boat, reserve one for a reduced rate from the Outfitters by calling Bill at 345-9399.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Two Michigan Tech faculty to sign new books July 15, 22

HANCOCK -- Finlandia University’s North Wind Books will host book signings with two Michigan Tech faculty members -- Alison (Kim) Hoagland, professor of history and historic preservation, and Larry Lankton, professor of history. Both books are related to the copper mining history of the Upper Peninsula.

Authors Larry Lankton and Alison (Kim) Hoagland have participated in several community celebrations of Copper Country history. Here they welcome visitors at the 2007 Key Ingredients and Michigan Foodways exhibits in the Keweenaw Heritage Center, Calumet. Hoagland and Lankton also participated in the Quincy Anniversary Special Events in 2008. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

Hoagland will sign her new book, Mine Towns: Buildings for Workers in Michigan's Copper Country, recently published by University of Minnesota Press, at 5 p.m. today, Thursday, July 15. Lankton will sign his most recent book, Hollowed Ground: Copper Mining and Community Building on Lake Superior, 1840s-1990s, published by Wayne State University Press, at 5 p.m. next Thursday, July 22, at North Wind Books in Hancock.

Mine Towns: domestic life in company towns

Hoagland's Mine Towns is a working-class history of domestic life in Copper Country company towns during the boom years of 1890 to 1918.

During the nineteenth century, the Keweenaw Peninsula of Northern Michigan was the site of America’s first mineral land rush as companies hastened to profit from the region’s vast copper deposits.

In order to lure workers to such a remote location -- and work long hours in dangerous conditions -- companies offered not just competitive wages but also helped provide the very infrastructure of town life in the form of affordable housing, schools, health-care facilities and churches.

Hoagland’s book investigates how the architecture of company towns reveals the paternal relationship that existed between company managers and workers -- a relationship that both parties turned to their own advantage.

Alison (Kim) Hoagland is also the author of Buildings of Alaska and Army Architecture in the West: Forts Laramie, Bridger, and D. A. Russell, 1849–1912.

Hollowed Ground: copper and sulfide mining companies, communities

In Hollowed Ground, Lankton tells the story of two copper industries on Lake Superior -- native copper mining, which produced about 11 billion pounds of the metal from the 1840s until the late 1960s, and copper sulfide mining, which began in the 1950s and produced another 4.4 billion pounds of copper through the 1990s.

In addition to documenting companies and their mines, mills and smelters, Hollowed Ground is also a community study. It examines the region’s population and ethnic mix, which was a direct result of the mining industry, and the companies’ paternalistic involvement in community building.

While this book covers the history of the entire Lake Superior mining industry, it particularly focuses on the three largest and longest-lived companies: Calumet and Hecla, Copper Range and Quincy .

Hollowed Ground presents a wealth of images from Upper Michigan’s mining towns, reflecting a century and a half of unique community and industrial history. Local historians, industrial historians and anyone interested in the history of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will appreciate this informative volume.

Lankton is also the author of Cradle to Grave: Life, Work and Death at the Lake Superior Copper Mines and Beyond the Boundaries: Life and Landscape at the Lake Superior Copper Mines, 1840-1875.

For additional information, please contact North Wind Books at 906-487-7217.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

MTEC SmartZone celebrates grand opening of Michigan Tech Lakeshore Center

By William Frantz*

HOUGHTON -- After receiving a $3 million grant in the fall of 2008, which resulted in a whirlwind of construction activity, the Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation (MTEC) unveiled the grand opening of the newly remodeled Michigan Tech Lakeshore Center on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.

MTEC, a private nonprofit corporation, manages SmartZone, which is an economic development and high-tech business incubator serving Houghton and Hancock. In association with Michigan Tech University, MTEC and SmartZone celebrated the completion of the renovations with several guest speakers, including Glenn Mroz, president of Michigan Tech.

Glenn Mroz, Michigan Tech University president, addresses the audience at the July 13, 2010, grand opening of the newly remodeled Michigan Tech Lakeshore Center. (Photo © William Frantz)

"Clearly lots of people had to come together in order to make this happen," said Mroz. He added that having collaboration between SmartZone and Michigan Tech was vital in order to make the new facility become a reality.

Some of the other speakers included Carlton Crothers, CEO of SmartZone, and Scott MacInnes, Houghton city manager.

"We would not have been able to do this without support of Michigan Tech," MacInnes noted, adding that the entire downtown community would benefit from the new facelift of the building, which formerly housed the Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO).

This display of photos of the Lakeshore Center, including (far right) historic photos from the Michigan Tech Archives, shows the changes in the building over the years. (Photo © William Frantz)

Entering the newly remodeled Lakeshore Center, guests will notice higher ceilings and a more modern architectural design scheme. SmartZone has also added a new conference room, fully equipped with the latest technologies. Employees can also use the new shower facilities.

Sue Haralson, Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District administrator, is pleased to have a whole new office, with large windows, rather than her former tiny cubicle.

In her new office in the Lakeshore Center, Sue Haralson, Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District administrator, stands next to a former cubicle wall, now used to display a map of the Bete Grise South Preserve, which the District helped purchase for public access and environmental protection, and brochures about their other conservation efforts. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

The enhanced Lakeshore Center has potential to create at least 50 new jobs in downtown Houghton. One such company that is already taking advantage of the new facility is Ford Motor Company.

"The building's lighting and overall appeal is much nicer," said Russ Louks, manager of the Ford office. Ford is one of the main anchor tenants of the Lakeshore Center.

MTEC also secured a $500,000 grant, which will support a 20-year lease on the building.

For more information about the grant obtained by MTEC and its associates please check out the Oct. 18, 2008, article, "MTEC SmartZone receives funds for former UPPCO building," on Keweenaw Now.

*Editor's Note: Guest reporter William Frantz is a student in David Clanaugh's journalism class at Michigan Tech this summer. Students in the class are writing articles about the local community for Keweenaw Now.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

From Headwaters News: Diverse crowd attends Marquette biomass discussion

By Gabriel Caplett

MARQUETTE -- About thirty people packed a small room at the Peter White Library, in Marquette [on July 8] to listen to filmmaker/composer Jeff Gibbs discuss economic, health and environmental problems associated with "biomass" energy plans.

Gibbs, who used to live in the Upper Peninsula, said he first became involved in biomass issues when he realized "it doesn’t look like the forests I remember when I was a kid. . . nowhere in Michigan have our forests returned" to what they once were.

Gibbs explained to the question-eager audience that while biomass burning produces less mercury and sulfur dioxide than coal, it actually pumps more particulants (harmful to the respiratory system) and nitrogen oxide (a major greenhouse gas) into the air than any other major fuel ... Read the rest of this July 9, 2010, article on Headwaters News.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pine Mountain Music Festival to present two chamber music ensembles July 17

HOUGHTON -- Pine Mountain Music Festival will present a special evening of chamber music at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 17, at Portage Lake United Church in Houghton. The Festival is hosting two chamber music ensembles: the Belden Piano Quartet, and the violin-cello Duo Piacevole. Tickets are $12, or $10 for students and children and are available at the Rozsa Center Box Office (487-3200) and at the door.

The two ensembles will share the stage for this concert, giving audiences a rare treat of a varied program of chamber music in all its purity, clarity and passion. The program will be announced at the performance, with selections from composers such as Brahms, Kadaly, Mahler, Gliere, Turina, Handel and Faure.

The Belden Piano Quartet. (Photo courtesy Pine Mountain Music Festival)

The Belden Piano Quartet is composed of Matthew Detrick, violin; Clifton Antoine, viola; Maria Crosby, cello; and Hannah Sue Yi, piano. The group is now based in Los Angeles, but got its start in Chicago when three of its members were studying at De Paul University School of Music on Belden Avenue, from which the quartet derives its name. Their aim is to provide high-quality musical experiences in a freer and more spontaneous setting than is usually available to the classical musician of today.

Duo Piacevole. (Photo courtesy Pine Mountain Music Festival)

Duo Piacevole consists of Fangye Sun on the violin and Daniel Tressel on the cello. They formed their duo in 2008 when they met at Michigan State University, where they are currently Doctoral candidates. Fangye Sun is a teacher and a prizewinner at numerous competitions and has performed in China, Japan, Canada and the USA. Daniel Tressel performs in numerous orchestras and is also a composer.

The Resident Chamber Musicians concert is sponsored by Upper Peninsula Power Company.

Visit the Pine Mountain Music Festival Web site for more information.

Pine Mountain Music Festival to host "Operatunitea" July 16; "La Traviata" at Rozsa July 18

HOUGHTON -- You are invited to an "Operatunitea" to be held at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 16, at the Four Seasons Tea Room in Houghton. There will be teas including hot Vienna Opera Ball tea, boysenberry iced tea, or lemonade along with the famous Tea Room favorite sweets, and a chance to meet singers who will appear in the opera La Traviata on Sunday, July 18, at the Rozsa Center.

Admission to the July 16 "Operatunitea" is $20. Call the Pine Mountain Music Festival office at 906-482-1542 or toll-free 888-309-7861. Prior registration is required, since seating is limited.

The event is sponsored by Pine Mountain Music Festival, whose artistic director, Joshua Major, will be on hand, along with Lucy Thrasher, director of the Resident Opera Artist program. They will present a brief preview of the opera, and will introduce the singers. This will be an unusual and personal peek behind the scenes of an opera production while enjoying the delights of a royalty-worthy ambiance.

The opera La Traviata, one of the most popular operas of all time, will be presented July 13 at Kaufman Auditorium in Marquette, July 15 at Norway-Vulcan Fine Arts Center in Norway, Mich., and July 18 at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts in Houghton. The Houghton performance is at 3 p.m. and the others at 7:30 p.m. The opera will be sung in Italian, with English surtitles above the stage, so audience members can easily follow the story. A pre-opera talk, free to ticket-holders, will be given one hour prior to each performance. La Traviata, a story of love gained, lost, and then re-gained too late, is a good opera for first-time opera-goers.

Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Pine Mountain Music Festival presents a season of opera, classical and popular music each June-July in the Dickinson County area, the Marquette area, the Keweenaw Peninsula, and in some smaller communities in the Upper Peninsula. Headquartered in Hancock, Michigan, it is supported by donations, ticket sales and grants. Visit the web at pmmf.org, or call 1-877-746-3999 for tickets or 888-309-7861 for more information.

25th Annual Summer Arts Camp registration open

Kids enjoy a variety of creative activities at the Copper Country Community Arts Center's Summer Arts Camp. (Photo courtesy Community Arts Center)

HANCOCK -- Registration is open for Summer Arts Camp 2010, a fun-filled week of art activities and creative learning held at the Copper Country Community Arts Center for youth entering grades 3 to 6. This year’s theme is "Merry Monster Making."

Students will use their imagination to create fantastic creatures with the help of talented instructors. Week-long sessions run August 2-6 and August 9-13. Both sessions are packed with exciting lessons including drawing, painting, drama, creative writing, tie dye, sculpture, gallery visits and more. This year’s Summer Arts Camp will be led by Amanda Cruickshank. Amanda, a Lake Linden native and former Upward Bound work-study for the CCCAC, is currently a student at Alma College, pursuing her BFA in graphic design and illustration.

The Arts Center is also offering the second annual Advanced Summer Arts Camp for students entering grades 7 to 9. Advanced Summer Camp will take place August 16-20. This camp will focus on "What is Art?" by increasing arts skills with lessons including color theory, composition and design, introduction to different painting mediums, creative writing, drawing, batik and portfolio making. Advanced Camp will be Co-Coordinated by J.R. DeMers, a dual major in Fashion and Illustration at Finlandia University and Pam Kotila, a recent graduate from Finlandia’s Fashion Design program.

Summer Arts Camp, a Copper Country Community Arts Council program, provides youth with the opportunity to experience the joy of creative expression in a safe, supportive environment. Help make a difference in a local child’s life by providing a scholarship to attend Summer Arts Camp.

Camp fees are as follows: 25th annual Summer Arts Camp: $90; Advanced Summer Arts Camp: $120.

Register early! Summer Arts Camp spaces fill up quickly. To obtain more information about the camp or to register your child, please call 482-2333 or email ccarts@coppercountryarts.com. The Copper Country Community Arts Center is dedicated to Fostering an Environment where the Arts and People Grow Together and is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cindy Drake wins 2010 Heart and Hands of the Keweenaw award

By Kate Flynn*

HANCOCK -- The 2010 Heart and Hands of the Keweenaw Award was granted to Cindy Drake of Houghton on Sunday, July 4, during the Horsetail Scramble at Churning Rapids. Drake graciously accepted the award and elected to have the $1000 prize donated to the Keweenaw Land Trust (KLT), which she was instrumental in founding.

Terry Kinzel, second from left, presents the Heart and Hands award to Cindy Drake, 2010 recipient of the award recognizing Copper Country residents who have given of their heart and hands in the service of peace, justice or the environment. Pictured at left is Suzanne Van Dam, Heart and Hands of the Keweenaw Society vice-president, who read tributes to the candidates for the award during the July 4 presentation at Churning Rapids. In the background, at right, are Keren Tischler and Alex Mayer (Suzanne Van Dam's husband). (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

Drake, who currently holds the title of Marsin Program Developer for the Land Trust’s Marsin Nature Retreat Center, was described as a "behind-the-scenes environmental, human rights, and animal activist" by Terry Kinzel, KLT member, who presented the award.

"I believe in the mission of the Land Trust," Drake said of her motivation to donate the prize money to the organization. "We need to preserve this unique area for future generations. It’s a very important cause."

2010 Heart and Hands of the Keweenaw Award winner Cindy Drake is pictured here with her husband, Jeff Flam. They are the parents of three daughters.

The mother of three daughters, Drake also finds time to volunteer for various community organizations, including Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Tea with Tots and the Keweenaw Co-op Board.

The Heart and Hands Award was founded in 1998 with a small endowment from the estate of Martha and Floyd Kinzel. Its goal is to acknowledge individuals who have given of their heart and hands in the service of peace, justice or the environment in the Copper Country.

"About 15 years ago I saw a front page article about the Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year award," Kinzel explained at the informal award ceremony. "I thought it was neat, and I thought it would be great if there was an award for the things that are important to me -- the environment and peace and justice."

It is a requirement that the prize money must be donated to a local not-for-profit organization.

Other nominees for this year’s award included Kristine Bradof for her work with the Keweenaw GEM Center, the Michigan Tech recycling center, Michigan Tech’s Environmental Sustainability Committee, the League of Women Voters, the City of Houghton Planning Commission and the Copper Country Humane Society; and Nancy and Bill Leonard for their work in Chassell Township infrastructure and beach improvements, recycling and environmental activities sponsored by their Einerlei business in Chassell, work with the Friends of Fashion and involvement in KLT and the Copper Country Humane Society.

Four board members select the winner each year.

"The award itself was absolutely an honor that I was totally surprised by," Drake said. "I’m still kind of reeling about it."

* Guest reporter Kate Flynn is a student at Beloit College. She is doing an internship in journalistic writing for both Keweenaw Now and the L'Anse Sentinel this summer.