Saturday, February 11, 2012

Enter Raffle and win a trip to Isle Royale!

Isle Royale sunset looking west across Tobin Harbor. Click on photo for larger version. (Photos © and courtesy Janet Marr)

HOUGHTON -- Win a trip to Isle Royale! There’s still time to enter the Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association’s (IRKPA) raffle (R13395) to win a round trip for two on the Isle Royale Queen from Copper Harbor and two nights lodging at Rock Harbor Lodge (late May-early July 2012; value $750).

Second prize: round trip for two on the NPS Ranger III from Houghton (value $240). Third prize: two IRKPA books (value $50).

NPS Ranger III, docked in Houghton, takes visitors to Isle Royale all summer. Enter the raffle and a chance to win a round trip for two to the island!

Buy tickets ($5 each or 3 for $10) at the Isle Royale NP Visitor Center in Houghton (open from 8:15 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. M-F) or the Calumet Visitor Center, 98 5th St, Calumet (open from 9a.m. - 5 p.m. Th-Sat).

The drawing will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012, at the Quincy Mine Office on Quincy Hill north of Hancock (49445 N US Hwy 41). Winners need not be present. Proceeds benefit IRKPA’s programs in support of our national parks.

Keweenaw Krayons seeks crayon art for live auction

MOHAWK -- Keweenaw Krayons will host a live auction to raise money for programs like Art On Wheels and Dan Schmitt Gift of Music classes. On the auction block: crayon art created by you, artists of the Copper Country. Keweenaw Krayons is putting out a call for any type of art made with the humble crayon. Whether you draw stick figures or still life, they want to see what you can do.

They're also accepting artwork made with melted crayons. For links to great ideas, visit the Keweenaw Krayons Web site.

The auction will take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Vertin Galery in Calumet. If you would like to submit work, call Elise Matz, Keweenaw Krayons executive director, at 934-3824 and she will pick it up. Those who submit work will receive two complimentary tickets to the auction, which will also include live music and refreshments.

"Barbara Rose of the Keweenaw Community Foundation will be our fabulous auctioneer," Matz says.

Those who would like to attend the auction can purchase tickets from the Vertin Gallery and at Keweenaw Archive, located in the Jutila Center in Hancock.

Keweenaw Krayons thanks you for your support!

EPA seeks comment on draft environmental justice and equitable development report

WASHINGTON, D. C. -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks comment on its draft environmental justice and equitable development report, Creating Equitable, Healthy, and Sustainable Communities: Strategies for Advancing Smart Growth, Environmental Justice, and Equitable Development.

Communities across the country are integrating smart growth and environmental justice approaches to achieve development that is healthy, environmentally and economically sustainable, and beneficial for all residents, regardless of race, ethnicity, and income. This publication aims to build on past successes and help other low-income, minority, tribal, and overburdened communities implement their own versions of equitable development. It identifies strategies that bring together smart growth and environmental justice principles and goals and can be used by community-based organizations, local and regional decision-makers, developers, and other stakeholders to shape land use decisions where they live.

In order to ensure that this publication is as helpful as possible for communities, EPA is soliciting comments on the draft through March 1, 2012. Where appropriate, comments will be incorporated into the publication and will inform EPA's broader work on smart growth and environmental justice.

To view instructions for commenting, visit http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/pdf/2012_0208_request-for-comments-on-a-draft-EPA-publication.pdf

To access the draft, visit http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/pdf/2012_0208_creating-equitable-healthy-sustainable-communities.pdf

If you have questions about the draft or the review process, please contact EquitableDevelopment@sra.com.

If you are not already a member, the Office of Environmental Justice would like to invite you to join the EJ ListServ. The purpose of this information tool is to notify individuals about activities at EPA in the field of environmental justice. By subscribing to this list you will receive information on EPA's activities, programs, projects grants and about environmental justice activities at other agencies. Noteworthy news items, National meeting announcements, meeting summaries of NEJAC meetings, and new publication notices will also be distributed. Postings can only be made by the Office of Environmental Justice. To request an item to be posted, send your information to environmental-justice@epa.gov and indicate in the subject "Post to EPA-EJ ListServ"

To join the listserv go to: https://lists.epa.gov/read/all_forums/subscribe?name=epa-ej

Orpheum Theater to host drum circle Feb. 12

HANCOCK -- An open community drum circle will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, at the Orpheum Theater (Studio Pizza) in Hancock.

Bring a hand drum if you have one -- some loaners and percussion instruments will be provided.

This is a great chance to learn to drum in a supportive group setting, meet some new people, and experience a shared sense of rhythm and community.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Updated: Volunteers needed for Great Bear Chase ski race; Swedetown conditions; Michigan Tech trail closings for race

CALUMET -- The 32nd Annual Great Bear Chase is set for Saturday, March 10. Volunteers are needed for aid stations, registration, parking, timing and many other areas. Please consider donating 2-4 hours of your time for this great community event.

Visit http://www.bearchase.org/volunteer.htm to select your volunteer time and preference. The volunteer coordinator will be in touch with you shortly after you complete the form.

Swedetown Trails skiing conditions great!

Swedetown groomer Dave Toczydlowski reports great conditions now on Swedetown Trails in Calumet.

"Tilled and tracked all trails on 2/10. Back country striding trail last groomed on 1/29, and in very nice condition with new powder. Snow shoe trails are packed in," he reports. "Come try our new changing room!"

In addition, Swedetown offers a groomed, lighted sledding hill and 5 k of ski trails lighted until 10 p.m.

Swedetown's heated chalet offers pasties and other food, hot cocoa, and restrooms equipped with flush toilets.

You can still participate in the Ski for Heart to help support Omega House hospice and Swedetown Trails on Saturday, Feb. 11. Click here for info.

Tech Trails closed Feb. 11, partially closed Feb. 12

From Dean Woodbeck of Keweenaw Trails:

Michigan Tech will host the Central Collegiate Ski Association championships this weekend, meaning the main Tech Trails will be closed on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 11-12.

The softball field trailhead, along with Isle Royale and Superior loops, will remain open throughout the weekend. The Tolkien trails, accessed from Pilgrim Road, will also remain open.

Saturday’s races will use both the competition trails and the Nara trails. All trails will be closed except the 1 km Nara Loop (from the Nara trailhead), Isle Royale and Superior, and the Tolkien trails.

On Sunday, the Nara trails will be open, along with Isle Royale, Superior, and the Tolkien trails. All other trails (e.g. those accessed from the main trailhead and Core Loop) will be closed until 2 p.m.

Groomers have started preparing for the races and are setting "best line" tracks today, Friday, in preparation for the Saturday classic races. This means that the classic tracks will be in the middle of trails. Skaters are asked to respect the tracks on Friday.

Thanks to all Keweenaw skiers for their cooperation. Remember that grooming continues at Swedetown, Chassell, and Maasto Hiihto/Churning Rapids, so you have these other skiing opportunities while the Tech trails are closed.

Update: On Thursday, Feb. 9, Becky Darling wrote this about the Chassell (classic) trails: "Fresh snow here in Chassell tonight, so the conditions may just be perfect on the trails here tomorrow while the races go on at Tech."

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Phi Kappa Tau in Hancock takes another first in 2012 Winter Carnival Statues Fraternity Division

HANCOCK -- Michigan Tech's Phi Kappa Tau, located in Hancock, retains its winning reputation with another First Place in the Winter Carnival Statues Fraternity Division. This is the fifth year in a row Phi Kappa Tau has won the award.*

"Don't Underestimate ...

The Dreams of ...

Detroit" is the title of Phi Kappa Tau's 2012 winning snow sculpture.

Is baseball your favorite?


An icy signpost points the way to Detroit's multiple sports teams and stadiums. Who said Detroit was known only for cars? (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

"From All Over the State, What Makes Michigan Great" is the theme of this year's Winter Carnival. Visit their Web site for photos, schedule and more.

* Read more about the Winter Carnival winners in today's Michigan Tech News story, by Dennis Walikainen.

See also "Statues Stand Tall In Spite of Weather Warm-up," by Danny Messinger.

Click here to find out the complete results of the Winter Carnival Statue competition.

Carnegie Museum to host presentation on Coast Guard Life-Saving Stations Feb. 9

HOUGHTON -- The Carnegie Museum in Houghton will host a presentation related to their exhibit, "We Have To Go Out," A History of the U.S. Life-Saving Service of the Keweenaw, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. TONIGHT, Thursday, Feb. 9.

Local Maritime Historian Mark Rowe and U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Chris Schleifer will give the presentation, which is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The Museum opens at 6 p.m. Visitors will be able to view the exhibit beginning at 6 p.m.; at 6:30 p.m., Mark Rowe will begin his presentation, "Gold Medal Heroes of the Shipwreck L. C. Waldo," followed by U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Chris Schleifer, who will speak about the role of the U.S. Coast Guard today.

Complementary to the museum exhibit "We Have To Go Out," Mark Rowe, chairman of the Keweenaw County Historical Society’s Maritime Committee and curator of the Life-Saving Station Museum in Eagle Harbor, will present a brief history of the Life-Saving Stations that were established in the Keweenaw and the dramatic rescue of the shipwrecked crew of the L.C. Waldo in 1913. Using digitized historical photos, Mark will detail the daring feat that earned both Life-Saving crews Gold Medals for their heroic rescue of the two women, 22 men, and a dog who had been trapped for almost four days in the bow of the ship where it had run aground on the shoals of Gull Rock, near Manitou Island.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Chris Schleifer, who has been at the Portage Station for the last three years, will talk about the responsibilities of today’s life-savers -- the U.S. Coast Guard.

"We Have To Go Out" an exhibit created by members of the Keweenaw County Historical Society's Maritime Committee, includes interpretive displays, objects from the stations and shipwrecks, and seldom seen video, circa 1920s, of U.S. Life-Saving Surfmen practicing their rescue drills.

Other Current Exhibits at the Carnegie Museum are these:

"Remember Me" -- Letters and Photos from WWII Soldiers to a Laurium Barkeep.

"Golden Anniversary of the Portage Lift Bridge" and "Building Bridges," a hands-on look at engineering bridges.

"A Stroll Down Shelden Avenue," the history of the commercial development of Downtown Houghton between 1852 and 1910.

Community Arts Center to hold Parade of Confections auction Feb. 9

HOUGHTON -- The Copper Country Community Arts Center will hold its Parade of Confections -- a live auction of gourmet desserts with a Valentine theme -- from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. TONIGHT, Thursday, Feb. 9, at the Michigan Tech Lakeshore Center (former UPPCO building), 600 E. Lakeshore Drive, Houghton.

This fundraiser also features a silent auction of art and jewelry, live music, door prizes and hors-d'oeuvres. Tickets are $10, still available at the door.

Event auctioneer Phil Musser, executive director of Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA), will begin the live auction at 7 p.m. sharp. People may also bid on desserts individually or in groups.

Call 482-2333 for more information or visit www.coppercountryarts.com or www.facebook.com/CCCAC.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Sons of Norway announce Barneløpet family ski event Feb. 12

They're off! Parents accompany children during the 2011 Barneløpet, a non-competitive family ski event at Maasto Hiihto Trails in Hancock. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

HANCOCK -- The fifth annual Barneløpet, a fun ski event for children ages 3-17, will take place Sunday, Feb. 12, at the Maasto Hiihto ski trails in Hancock. Registration is at 1 p.m. at the Hancock Chalet, north of the Houghton County Arena, on Birch Street in Hancock. Skiing, by ages, begins at 2 p.m. Hot chocolate and cookies will be available at the Chalet.

Young skiers of all ages attended last year's successful Barneløpet event. (Keweenaw Now file photo)*

The Sons of Norway Ulseth Lodge and the Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club sponsor this non-competitive family ski event. Skiers who register and finish will receive a large enameled color medal. Volunteers are needed to bring baked goods, help with the race, and inside the Chalet for this 5th Annual event. Contact the Stordahls at 492-0292 if you can help or if you need more information.

During the 2011 Barneløpet, Sons of Norway volunteer Eileen Stordahl prepares the medals to be given to all who finish the non-competitive ski event. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

Click here for a registration form for the 2012 Barneløpet on the Sons of Norway Web site.

The registration form is also available here on the Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club Web site.

More Sons of Norway events:


All are welcome to attend the Norwegian Book Club meeting at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1100 College Ave, Houghton. The group will be discussing the February book, Cod, by Mark Kurlansky. You can find it, or order it, at North Wind Books in Hancock or at other book stores on line.

Volunteers are needed to bring cookies in advance of the Barnebirkie race, to be held Thursday, Feb 23, near Hayward, Wis. This is a race for over 1,000 children during the famous annual Birkebeiner cross country ski race in nearby Hayward/Cable. It is a tribute to the original Birkebeiner ski marathon in Norway to save the infant future King of Norway in 1206. The Sons of Norway, District 5, sponsors the cookie tent at the children's race. The local Ulseth Lodge is asked to send cookies to give to the children as they finish the race.

If you can donate some cookies to this event, please package your cookies in a box or ice cream bucket (not wrapped individually) and label the container Ulseth Lodge cookies and the amount of cookies enclosed (Nancy Imm has containers you can use). Bring the cookies to the kitchen of Gloria Dei Lutheran church in Hancock by 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, and place them in the refrigerator. Local member Nancy Imm volunteers at the race and will deliver the cookies again this year.

*Editor's Note: Click here to see more photos in Keweenaw Now's slide show of last year's Barneløpet.

Ski for Heart fundraiser for Omega House, Swedetown Trails is Feb. 11

CALUMET -- Ski for Heart is Saturday, Feb. 11, at Swedetown Trails in Calumet. This is a fundraiser for Omega House and Swedetown Trails. Ski or snowshoe from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Register starting at 8:30 a.m. Come on out for good causes and a nice active day. Enjoy food and door prizes at the Chalet too!

Flyers and pledge envelopes are available at Aspirus Keweenaw, Portage Health, Omega House and Swedetown Chalet. Not available on the 11th? You can still choose Thursday, Feb. 9, or Fri., Feb. 10, to ski or snowshoe. Pick up a pledge envelope and record the date, time and distance.

Questions? Call 337-5700.

Club Indigo to present "Amélie" Feb. 10

CALUMET -- Ooh, la la! This Friday, Feb. 10, at the Calumet Theatre, Club Indigo will be an all-French delight. The movie is Amélie, a thoroughly Gallic romantic, comic fantasy -- if you can imagine such.

It takes place in the shadow of the famed Sacré Coeur, in Montmartre, where Amélie, a sweet, shy, conniving young waitress works in a café. Always having been a lonely girl, she has grown up to observe humanity carefully and has vowed to make the right people happy -- and the others miserable. She does both amazingly well. Then one day she falls in love...

Beautifully shot in lush color, rich with background harmonica and squeeze-box waltzes, the film is drenched in all the trappings we've come to associate with the City of Lights. And Audrey Tautou, in the lead, is a really lovable star shining here. The movie is, in turns, thrilling, hilarious, touching, sad, and above all, charmingly likable -- hyperboles deservedly intended.

The movie begins at 7:15 p.m., preceded at 6 p.m. by a French buffet from the chefs at the Miscowaubik Club. Admission to the food and film is $18; the film alone is $5. For the buffet, call the Calumet Theatre today at 337-2610.

CPA Joseph Daavettila, Houghton, sponsors the movie.

Kim Stoker elected chair of UPEDA

HOUGHTON -- Kim Stoker, Executive Director at the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region (WUPPDR), was recently elected the chairman of the Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance (UPEDA).

UPEDA is a non-profit 501(c) 3 economic development organization, incorporated in 1999. The membership consists of private companies, utilities and local and regional economic development agencies throughout the Upper Peninsula. Their marketing campaign and information systems are funded solely through membership contributions. UPEDA is the primary economic development organization actively marketing the Upper Peninsula for business attraction and retention.

The mission of UPEDA is to enhance, link and promote the unique aspects of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as the superior location in which to invest and conduct business.

"It is more important than ever that we collaborate on economic development initiatives as resources become more limited. Governor Snyder has recently designated the entire Upper Peninsula as Region 1 for his statewide economic development collaborative agenda, and it is critical for UPEDA to work closely with this effort to ensure our needs are met," Stoker said of his chairman responsibilities.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Portage Library Wellness Series continues

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host its monthly program in the Natural Health and Wellness series from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9.

Richard Featherly will discuss the emotional healing work of Byron Katie and show how we are our own best therapist to resolve difficulties.

Byron Katie’s work has been compared to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy except that there is no therapist. Katie’s work consists of asking four simple questions that help people see beyond their stressful thoughts and recognize choices that alleviate emotional suffering. Featherly will explain how using Byron Katie’s method encourages an awareness of our thoughts and how our thoughts affect our lives.

The Natural Health and Wellness series is held on the second Thursday of each month. All library programs are free, and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit www.pldl.org.

Finlandia's Nordic Film Series to feature Estonian documentary Feb. 9

HANCOCK -- The Finlandia University Finnish American Heritage Center will present the Estonian film The Singing Revolution at both 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, as part of the Nordic Film Series.

Released in 2008, The Singing Revolution is a documentary about the role of folk culture and music in preserving Estonian cultural identity during the Soviet occupation of Estonia from 1939 until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The film is in English and Estonian with English subtitles.

The Finnish American Heritage Center is at 435 Quincy St., Hancock. For more information, call 487-7505.

Monday, February 06, 2012

GLOBAL CITY to host Keweenaw Community Drum Project Feb. 7

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech's GLOBAL CITY student organization will host the Keweenaw Community Drum Project from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7, in Fisher 138 on campus.

Bill Anderson and Greg Wright co-lead the Keweenaw Community Drum Project. This presentation will discuss the benefits of community drumming as well as a brief history of the roots of Afro and Afro-Cuban drumming. There will be an opportunity for all to participate in a drum circle following this brief introduction. All are welcome to attend! No drumming experience necessary! Bring a djembe or other hand drum if you have one and wish to participate!

GLOBAL CITY is a student organization at Michigan Tech dedicated to addressing critical, global issues, especially those that most directly impact developing countries. For more information, please visit their website.

Woods Person: The Question of Mineral Rights

Woods Person, a Web site in northern Wisconsin concerned about potential mining ventures, such as the proposed Gogebic Taconite open-pit mine for an iron ore body located in Iron County, Wis., posted today an article on mineral rights.

Using information and research provided by Registrar Bob Traczyk and Attorneys Anthony Stella and Michael Fauerbach, Woods Person shows an illustration from the Wisconsin Geological Survey showing the location of iron deposits in Iron County, Wis.

Because of the mining potential in northern Wisconsin, the author of this article calls attention to the question, "Who owns the mineral rights under your property?"

That question could be relevant for Upper Peninsula property owners as well. Click here to read the article.

Michigan Tech tapped for National Rail Research, Education Center

From Michigan Tech News
Posted Feb. 3, 2012
Reprinted with permission

By Jennifer Donovan, Michigan Tech Director of Public Relations

Michigan Technological University’s Rail Transportation Program is one of seven members of a research university consortium that has received the US Department of Transportation’s (USDoT) first multi-million grant to a University Transportation Center focused solely on rail transportation. The University of lllinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) will lead the consortium.

The $3.5 million grant is part of a $77 million USDoT initiative to advance research and education programs that address critical transportation challenges facing the nation. In addition to UIUC and Michigan Tech, the members of the National University Rail Center (NURail) are MIT, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Kentucky and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

NURail is one of 10 University Transportation Centers nationwide to receive the federal funding.

Michigan Tech Professor Pasi Lautala, director of the university's Rail Transportation Program, pauses for a photo at a tunnel entrance in Tibet, where he conducted some research on railroad construction in cold climates. (Photo courtesy Michigan Technological University)

"Michigan Tech's Rail Transportation Program has developed under Dr. [Pasi] Lautala's leadership into a preeminent university rail research and education program," said David Reed, Michigan Tech vice president for research. "Its education programs have been strongly supported by the rail industry. NURail builds on this work and related efforts at other institutions in a national center joining university, industry and state governments to further develop rail transportation in the United States."

At Michigan Tech, NURail will consist of four faculty members, including Pasi Lautala, director of the Rail Transportation Program and a research assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering; Devin Harris, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering; Paul Sanders, assistant professor of materials science and engineering; and John Hill, assistant professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics.

Tech’s research will focus on rural freight rail and multimodal transportation improvements, human factors and rail safety, infrastructure evaluation and assessment, high performance materials for railroad infrastructure preservation, and renewal and improved materials for rail industry. The researchers will collaborate with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDoT) and industry partners.

In addition to research, the Center will place a high priority on developing rail transportation and engineering related education. Lautala will serve as educational coordinator for the consortium. Some of the educational development areas at Michigan Tech will include establishment of a Rail Transportation/Engineering Certificate, expansion of undergraduate level funded Senior Design and Enterprise rail projects, as well as increasing numbers of summer internships.

"The US Department of Transportation’s decision to focus one of 10 national centers on rail transportation is a strong testimony to the importance of rail transportation in the US," said Lautala, who is Michigan Tech’s principal investigator on the NURail project. "This is a great opportunity for the Rail Transportation Program and for Michigan Tech to strengthen our capabilities and expertise in several areas related to rail. With continuing support from our industry partners, we have now unprecedented opportunity to take the next major step in making Michigan Tech one of the leading universities in the field. I’m really looking forward to working with our university and industry partners and MDOT to develop the US rail system and industry workforce of the future."

The DoT-funded University Transportation Centers are also expected to conduct workforce development and technical transfer activities. Michigan Tech plans to continue working and strengthen its relationship with the Railroad Engineering Education Symposium (REES), which provides basic education in railway transportation and engineering for university professors.

Tech plans to expand its Rail and Intermodal Transportation Summer Youth Program by offering 20 scholarships annually. The University will also develop training materials on high-demand areas identified by the DoT and rail industry companies.

Small photo insert: Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program students acquire field experience. (Photo courtesy Michigan Technological University)

Film of Chris Hedges lecture to be shown Feb. 8

HOUGHTON -- Allan Baker will present Calling All Rebels, a filming of a lecture originally given at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Berkeley, Calif., by Chris Hedges -- American journalist, author, and war correspondent. The film will be shown at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8, in the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (KUUF) office, located in the back of Trinity Episcopal Church, 205 E. Montezuma Ave., Houghton.

This presentation is free and open to the public.

Christopher Lynn Hedges was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, the son of a Presbyterian minister. He grew up in rural New York, graduated from the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Conn., in 1975 and received a B.A. in English Literature from Colgate University. He later gained a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, where he studied under James Luther Adams. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in May 2009 from the Unitarian Universalist seminary, Starr King School for the Ministry, in Berkeley, California.

Hedges specializes in American and Middle Eastern politics and societies. His most recent book is The World As It Is (2011). He is also known as the best-selling author of War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.

Hedges is a critic of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. As an early and vocal critic of the Iraq War, he questioned the rationale for war by the Bush administration and was critical of the early press coverage, calling it "shameful cheerleading."

Chris Hedges is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City. He spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than fifty countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News, and The New York Times, where he was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years (1990–2005).

In 2002, Hedges was part of the team of reporters at The New York Times awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the paper's coverage of global terrorism. He also received in 2002 the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and The University of Toronto. Hedges writes a weekly column on Mondays for Truthdig and authored what The New York Times described as "a call to arms" for the first issue of The Occupied Wall Street Journal, the newspaper giving voice to the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park, New York City.

Photos: Khana Khazana celebrates second anniversary

HOUGHTON -- Khana Khazana (Food Treasure) celebrated their second anniversary on Friday, Feb. 3, with a special lunch featuring the cuisine of six countries. Here are some photos of the international cooks:

Click on photos for larger versions. (Photos courtesy Rui Pan for Khana Khazana)



Khana Khazana serves an international lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Friday in Michigan Tech's Memorial Union Food Court. Khana Khazana is a collaboration of Michigan Tech International Students and Michigan Tech Dining Services.

Michigan LCV: No justice for Benton Harbor's Jean Klock Park

From the Michigan League of Conservation Voters (reprinted with permission)
Posted Jan. 30, 2012

When the conservation movement began at the turn of the last century, national, state, and local parks were established across the country. One of those was Jean Klock Park in Benton Harbor, a half mile of beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline and sand dunes donated by John and Carrie Klock in 1917. Their wish: The shore and dunes would remain in their natural state for children to play on, swim in, and enjoy.*

Instead, their wish is being disregarded and will be largely replaced with gates, expensive homes, and a club for privileged golfers. On Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals denied an appeal challenging the federal permits that allowed the development. In effect, this almost literally paves the way for the development of the dunes.**

The Michigan Supreme Court also bears some of the weight of this outcome by choosing not to hear an appeal to a separate lawsuit challenging the city’s sale of the park to developers a year ago. Voters, please remember actions like this in the ballot booth in November. We will soon be keeping a closer eye on the Michigan Supreme Court for this very reason. Stay tuned for more soon.

If real life were an 80’s movie, this is the point when the developers would be thwarted by a spunky group of kids determined to save their favorite park. Unfortunately, the golf course is almost complete and Michigan citizens are left, once again, with the taste of bulldozer dust in their mouths due to a court ruling. If there is one ray of hope, it is that our state Supreme Court is an elected position and an educated electorate can prevent future attacks on the public trust.

*Read more from the Friends of Jean Klock Park.

**Click here for photos and more information on this issue.

Click here for more articles from the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

KBIC film series to feature "Locked Out" about Rio Tinto Feb. 8

BARAGA -- The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Natural Resources Department is hosting a "Mining Impacts on Native Lands" film series as part of its mining outreach and education initiative.

The next featured film is Locked Out, about Rio Tinto’s treatment of workers and communities in the U.S. and around the world. Mining updates, educational materials, and time for questions and answers will be provided.

This film will be shown on Wednesday, Feb. 8, as follows:

12:30 p.m. at the Ojibwa Senior Citizens Center, 208 Main Street, Baraga

6 p.m. at the Ojibwa Casino Chippewa Room, 16449 Michigan Avenue (Hwy M-38), Baraga

For more information, please contact Jessica Koski, KBIC Mining Technical Assistant, at 906-524-5757 ext. 25 or jkoski@kbic-nsn.gov.

Ski Club assisting teacher with ski program for elementary students

HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (KNSC) is sponsoring a learn to ski program at Hancock Elementary with help from a Keweenaw Community Foundation grant. KNSC needs a donation (or loan) of size 13 boots and skis (210-200 cm, preferably nowax) for the phy ed teacher. KNSC members are assisting the teacher. If you can help, please contact Jay Green at jbgreen45@charter.net or call 906-487-5411.

Portage Library to host intro to cello for children Feb. 7

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host "Big Violins for Little People" from 10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

Children are invited to a musical introduction to the cello with Copper Country Suzuki Association instructor Maggie Twining and her students. Find out what makes these big instruments so much fun for little people! Children will have an opportunity to try out these instruments afterwards as part of a musical "petting zoo."

Everyone is welcome to attend and library presentations are free. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit www.pldl.org.

Portage Library to present film "The Dark Side of Chocolate" Feb. 6

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library and the Keweenaw Co-op will co-host a screening of the documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, in the community room at the library.

The Dark Side of Chocolate reveals shocking evidence that child and forced labor continue in the cocoa fields for millions of children, nearly a decade after major players in the cocoa industry promised to resolve the problem. This 2010 documentary exposes the ongoing use of child labor, forced labor, and trafficking in the cocoa industry in West Africa.

There will be a discussion following the film and samples to eat of Fair Trade chocolates made by small companies that show it is possible to eliminate forced labor and child labor from the production of chocolate.

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

Finlandia to host wilderness survival presentation by Brian Rajdl Feb. 7

HANCOCK -- Brian Rajdl will give a hands-on wilderness survival presentation at 4:15 pm. on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the Finlandia University Chapel of St. Matthew, Hancock.

The presentation is one of several free public activities to be presented by Finlandia University in association with its Campus Read 2012, Into the Wild, by John Krakauer.

Brian Rajdl is a science teacher at Hancock Central High School. He developed the high school’s PEAK (Partnering the Environment and Academics on the Keweenaw) class, which focuses on place-based education, service learning, writing across the curriculum, and holistic grading.

Rajdl is also a master’s degree candidate at Michigan Tech, studying wildlife ecology and the wolves and moose of Isle Royale.

Additional Campus Read 2012 public activities in February include the construction of a "quinzhee" -- an igloo-like structure built of snow -- on the Finlandia campus. The date and time will be announced.

At 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27, Jeff Foltz, author of Birkenbeiner, will talk about his book and his writing techniques in Finlandia’s Mannerheim Hall. Learn more about Foltz at www.birkebeinerthenovel.com.

For additional information about Finlandia’s Campus Read 2012, please contact Terri Martin, assistant to EVP for academic and student affairs, at 906-487-7512 or terri.martin@finlandia.edu.

Copper Island Cross Country Ski Club welcomes volunteers

CALUMET -- The Copper Island Cross Country Ski Club, in conjunction with Calumet Township, supports Swedetown Trails by maintaining trails, coordinating volunteers and carrying out fundraising for maintenance and improvements. Goals are great trails, helpful trail maps and signs, friendly informative Chalet hosts and a comfortable warm-up area with waxing, restrooms and snacks. Major winter events are Ski for Heart on Saturday, Feb. 11, and the Great Bear Chase on Saturday, March 10.

The Ski Club Board meets monthly during ski/snowshoe season. Upcoming meeting dates are at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, and Tuesday, March 13, in the Chalet. Anyone interested is welcome. If you would just like more information about planning or more info about volunteering in general, send email to info@swedetowntrails.org.