Friday, September 05, 2014

"Disruption" movie from 350.org to be screened Sept. 7 at Orpheum Theater in Hancock

Poster for the 350.org movie Disruption, a fast-paced cinematic journey through the wild world of climate change, to be shown Sunday, Sept. 7, at the Orpheum Theater in Hancock. (Poster courtesy 350.org)

[Editor's Update, Sept. 8, 2014: The complete movie, Disruption, is now available on line. Click here to watch it on YouTube if you missed it Sunday night.]

HANCOCK -- A free screening of the 350.org film Disruption will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 7, at the Orpheum Theater (Studio Pizza) in Hancock. The film is being screened around the country -- in living rooms, church basements, and community centers -- in anticipation of the People's Climate March, which will be held in New York City on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014.

Mark Jeranek, a Michigan Tech doctoral student studying environmental restoration in the Forestry Department, will be the host and M. C. for the event.

"I have been active in environmental education and activism for many years, and the reason that I decided to host this event is because disinformation and the distortion of facts make me angry," Jeranek said. "It does not matter what someone believes as long as those beliefs are grounded in fact."

Jeranek said he originally planned to show the film, which is less than an hour long -- allowing time for discussion -- in his living room. However, he soon learned more people are interested in the film.

"Since there is sufficient interest, the size of the event has grown beyond the confines of my living room and owner of Studio Pizza in Hancock, Mike Shupe, has graciously agreed to let us use his theater for the event," Jeranek noted.

The event is open to the public. Admission is free, and refreshments are available for purchase from Studio Pizza.

Click here to see a trailer for the film. Visit 350.org to learn more about the climate movement and the People's Climate March.

Studio Pizza is at 426 Quincy Street in downtown Hancock.

Portage Library to host Keweenaw Garden Club Sept. 8

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host the Keweenaw Garden Club as it resumes its gardening programs for the public from September through May.

Rebecca Krans, Consumer Horticulture Educator from the Michigan State University Extension Office, will present "Winter Hardy Shrubs and Proper Pruning" at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 8.

Krans will discuss proper pruning techniques to help shrubs look their best. She will also share "Smart Gardening" strategies for selecting the best winter hardy shrubs for the Keweenaw. Participants will also learn about gardening resources, programs, and events that are sponsored by the MSU Extension Office.

The Keweenaw Garden Club was established by and for gardening enthusiasts. They have meetings and presentations at the Portage Lake District Library on the first Monday of each month. Those who are interested in learning more about the club are welcome to attend the general meeting at 6:30 p.m. prior to the presentation at 7 p.m. or visit https://sites.google.com/site/keweenawgardenclub/

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

Thursday, September 04, 2014

First Friday in Calumet offers tour of art galleries, studios Sept. 5

Garden at Sunset, by Sharon Schmeltzer, is part of her September exhibit opening on First Friday, Sept. 5, at the Paige Wiard Gallery in Calumet. (Photo courtesy Paige Wiard Gallery)

CALUMET -- Once again Calumet art galleries and studios will welcome the public for the First Friday art tour TOMORROW evening, Sept. 5. Check out the new exhibits for September and enjoy artist receptions, refreshments and activities.

Paige Wiard Gallery

The Paige Wiard Gallery will host an opening reception from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, for artist Sharon Schmeltzer. With an exploration of color and its subtleties, Schmeltzer's art work expands from a nonobjective abstract focus to what she refers to as surrealistic art.

Garden Thistle, by Sharon Schmeltzer. (Photo courtesy Paige Wiard Gallery)

Sharon’s colors seem to glow with warmth or transmit an almost eerie chill. Viewers will find themselves feeling and reflecting, as much as looking through the layers of emotions swirling through the paintings.

The Paige Wiard Gallery is at 109 Fifth Street, Calumet. Please call 906-337-5970 or email paigewiardgallery@gmail.com for answers to any questions.

Calumet Art Center

Stop in at the Calumet Art Center on First Friday, Sept. 5, for an Open Studio where you can find the space you need as well as inspiration to start, continue or finish your own personal art project. Enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded individuals!

Works in progress in the Calumet Art Center's clay studio. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Find your inspiration while touring the center and open studios featuring looms of all types, lamp work bead station, library and writing studio and the clay studio where there are several works in progress. Learn about the Center's recent classes, projects and upcoming events. Several new classes will be offered this fall. Stop in to learn more or visit calumetartcenter.com.

Galerie Bohème

An exhibition of new works by Margo McCafferty will begin Sept. 5 and continue through Oct. 2, 2014, at Galerie Bohème. McCafferty will be exhibiting oil paintings inspired by Calumet architecture and drawings from her "Green Series."

Red Building (detail) by Margo McCafferty. (Photo courtesy Galerie Bohème)

The public is invited to view the work and meet the artist at an opening reception from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on First Friday, Sept. 5, at the gallery.

Galerie Bohème is at 423 Fifth Street in Calumet. For more information contact Tom Rudd at 906-369-4086 or email mcruddart@gmail.com.

Copper Country Associated Artists

"Art on a Rock" is the subject of a workshop to be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on First Friday, Sept. 5, at the Copper Country Associated Artists Gallery, 205 Fifth St., Calumet.

Pick up a rock at the beach and learn how to turn that stone into an "art" piece. Peg McNinch of Silver Rae Studio in Houghton will teach participants to express themselves with stone and embellishments. All ages are welcome.

For more information call the Gallery at 337-1252.

Cross Country Sports

For the month of September, Cross Country Sports will feature jewelry by Jen Szubielak. Jen creates unique, one-of-a-kind necklaces from broken shards of antique pottery and dishes found along the Swedetown Trails in Calumet. Jen's necklaces were featured in this year's Great Deer Chase as awards in the women's mountain bike races, and she has donated several of her beautiful necklaces on display to benefit the Swedetown Trails.

The public is invited to meet the artist at an open house with refreshments from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5.

Cross Country Sports is at 507 Oak Street, Calumet. For more information, call 337-4520.

Hahn's Hammered Copper
 
Shelly Hahn, left, of Hahn's Hammered Copper invites visitors to guess the mystery object during the First Friday art tour on Aug. 1. Miriam Pickens writes down her guess to submit. This Friday, another mystery object will offer a challenge to visitors. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Hahn's Hammered Copper on 5th Street will be open to visitors on Friday, Sept. 5. Stop in and try to guess the mystery object. You might win a hand-hammered copper zipper pull!

Café Rosetta

Café Rosetta will be showing the vibrant, colorful work of Mariana Nakashima for the month of September. Enjoy her drawings depicting the strength and prediction of geometrical shapes contrasting her free contour paintings!

Sen. Levin returns from Ukraine and Iraq

WASHINGTON -- Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., has returned from Kyiv, Ukraine, and Erbil, Iraq, where he met with senior officials in the Ukrainian government and the Kurdistan regional government.

"The Ukrainian nation and the Ukrainian military have shown determination in taking on separatists armed and organized by the Putin regime," Levin said. "Now they face an even greater threat, as Russian armed forces have entered eastern Ukraine in significant numbers with heavy weapons."

Levin  further stated: "The Kurdish Peshmerga, a guerrilla force built to resist the oppressive Saddam Hussein regime, is now adapting itself to take on a new and different kind of enemy in the brutal Islamic State of Iraq and Syria."

"Both the Ukrainians and the Kurds have shown the will to fight in their own defense.  Both want and deserve our support," Levin stated. "I believe it is very much in our interest to provide them the weapons and assistance they need to defend themselves against the serious threats that they and we face."

In Kyiv, Senator Levin met with Foreign Minister Klimkin; Defense Minister Heletey; the head of the Ukrainian security services; and the acting head of the National Security and Defense Council.

In Erbil, Senator Levin met with Kurdish President Barzani; the head of the Kurdish National Security Council; the Director of the Kurdish Department of Foreign Relations; Deputy Prime Minister Talabani; and religious and civic leaders from Iraqi religious minority communities.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Newly renovated Morrison Building in Calumet nearly ready for apartment occupancy; visitors welcomed at Open House

By Michele Bourdieu

During the Aug. 16, 2014, Calumet Heritage celebration, an Open House at the newly renovated Morrison Building (former Morrison School) attracted potential renters for the 13 new apartments created from former classrooms -- as well as former students and teachers, who attended the event out of interest and nostalgia. Cars filled the new large parking lot (to the right of this Seventh Street entrance to the building). The new ramp at this entrance makes it handicap-accessible. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

CALUMET -- After a year of intensive remodeling, Calumet's historic Morrison School is nearly ready for residents planning to move into new, spacious apartments.

"Nine out of the 13 rentals should be occupied within two weeks," owner Mike Lahti told Keweenaw Now today.

On Aug. 16, 2014, an Open House during the Calumet Heritage celebration offered the public an opportunity to explore the two upper floors of the building, where former classrooms have been converted to one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Owner Mike Lahti along with his wife, Sharon, and his son Andy -- Andrew Lahti Contracting -- welcomed visitors on that day and handed out application forms to those interested in possibly renting one of the apartments.

Owner Mike Lahti, right, with his wife, Sharon Lahti, and their son Andy, the contractor for the renovation, welcomed visitors to an Aug. 16 Open House at the former Morrison School in Calumet -- which they have transformed into 13 apartments on the second and third floors. Visible here are the new kitchen cabinets with appliances and attractive, original wood floors. The first floor will soon be ready for office or studio occupancy. It will also have a community room for residents.

"We started (the renovation) about a year ago," Mike Lahti told Keweenaw Now during the Open House. "I've owned the building since 2006. When I bought it I put a new roof on it. It's been empty for 18 years altogether."

In 2013 MSHDA (Michigan State Housing Development Authority) awarded a loan of about $455,000 (forgivable after five years) for the renovation of the building.*

Mike and Sharon Lahti chat with visitors during the Aug. 16, 2014, Open House at the former Morrison School.

Seven of the 13 apartments are subsidized for residents with low-income status (an income limit of $33,000 per year for a couple or $28,900 for a single person), Mike explained. The other six are market-priced. The rent includes natural gas heat, water and hot water as well as a plowed parking lot. The building is handicap-accessible with a wheel chair ramp at the entrance and an elevator. While attractive to senior citizens, anyone can apply for an apartment. Pets are not allowed.

Mike Lahti said today that about 10 people have spoken for the seven subsidized apartments and at least two for the market ones. Applicants for the subsidized apartments are waiting approval of income requirements, through WUPPDR (Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region), which could take about two weeks.

The first floor of the building will offer rental space for offices/studios and will have a community room for residents. Two public bathrooms on the first floor are now being completed, and three of the office/studio rentals should be available soon, Mike Lahti added.

Sherry Kinnunen of Atlantic Mine, who works for Mike Lahti Properties, operates the elevator during the Open House. The elevator is now completely self-operated.

Bernie and Claire Shute, longtime owners of Shute's Bar in Calumet, said they were considering renting a three-bedroom apartment in the building.

During the Aug. 16 Open House, Mike Lahti chats with longtime Calumet residents Bernie and Claire Shute, owners of Shute's Bar.

Many of the visitors at the Open House were former students who had attended elementary school in the building, former Morrison School teachers and employees.

"It's a beautiful building," said Shirley Slusarzyk of Calumet. "I worked in the office when Mr. (Robert) Hagar was the principal. It was kindergarten through fifth grade at that time."

Shirley Slusarzyk of Calumet, center, a former office employee at the school, and her friends Joanne Edwards, left, of Houghton (and formerly of Calumet) and Mary Lou Fink of Calumet admired the restored wood floors in the new apartments. Andrew Lahti Contracting did the floors and cabinets as well as the building renovation.

"I came because I wanted to see how they could transform classrooms into one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments," Slusarzyk added. "It's amazing!"

Slusarzyk, Fink and Edwards admired the special features of the building's handicap-accessible apartment.

Mary Lou Fink of Calumet notes the front-loading washer and dryer in one of the apartments, which is designed for the handicapped. All the apartments have washers and dryers, but this apartment has handicap-accessible features.

In the handicap-accessible apartment, Mary Lou points out the special features meant to accommodate a resident in a wheel chair -- such as the space under the sink and easily reachable stove controls.

Shirley Slusarzyk poses in the handicap-accessible shower. Similar walk-in shower stalls are provided in eight apartments that have two bathrooms.*

Ellen Torola and Carolyn Jurmu, both residents of Calumet, were exploring the spacious new apartments during the Open House and "considering possibilities" for the future.

Ellen Torola, left, and Carolyn Jurmu admire a large closet in one of the apartments in the former Morrison School.

Sharon Lahti noted she, Mike and Andy have tried to preserve the historic features of the building while modernizing it for comfort. One example is some original student artwork that has been framed by extra doorways along the hall.

Sharon Lahti explains to visitors Linda Porter, center, and Stina Wilbur, both of Calumet, how the doors that are not needed have been used as "frames" for student artwork such as this mosaic. According to local artist Mike Ramos, Morrison School former art teacher Nancy McCabe had her students make the mosaic. 

"We'll do that with all the doors that aren't used," Sharon said. "That's our art gallery."

Another historic feature preserved in some of the rooms are the original wooden cupboards that were used in the school classrooms.

Calumet residents Emily Newhouse and her husband, Mark Jindrich, right, and Mark's brother Ted, visiting from Chicago, admire one of the original antique classroom cupboards in one of the new apartments.

One visitor who came to see the school where she had been a student was Barb (Aho) Kinnunen, who said she attended the Morrison School from first through seventh grade.

Recalling that this apartment used to be a classroom, Barb (Aho) Kinnunen recounts some memories of her life as a student in the Morrison School. Her husband, Russell Kinnunen (not pictured), originally of Tapiola, accompanied her to the Open House.

"I was born and raised in Swedetown," Barb said. "We used to walk the railroad tracks to come here to school (except in the winter, of course). And we had to go home for lunch, too. There were no lunch programs then. We walked four times a day -- rain or shine and through the winters. Sometimes we held hands going home if it was storming."

Barb noted she raised her four children alone after being widowed at age 35.

"My four kids all went to school here, too," she said.

Calumet artist Mike Ramos, who used to teach at the Morrison School, tours the renovations with his wife, Phyllis, third from left, his grandchildren Alec Ramos, 12, and Abigail Ramos, 14, and Nicole (Gronlund) Binder of Calumet, right.

Nicole (Gronlund) Binder of Calumet was reminiscing about her days as a student from second to fifth grade in the Morrison School. She chatted with Mike and Phyllis Ramos of Calumet about being in a class with their son Charles (Chuck), whose children, Alec and Abigail, were visiting from Nanaimo, British Columbia. Chuck was about to arrive home from a 6000-mile sailboat adventure, Phyllis explained.

"When I walked up those steps, all the memories started coming back," Binder said. "This was a nice school. I lived nearby."

Another former teacher at the school, Hester Butler of Calumet, was unable to attend the Morrison Open House, but spoke to Keweenaw Now at a second Open House where she was volunteering on Aug. 16 -- at the Coppertown Mining Museum.

Hester Butler of Calumet, former Morrison School teacher, volunteers at the Coppertown Museum shop during their Open House during the Calumet Heritage celebration on Aug. 16, 2014. Trying on a bracelet is Debbie Sossi of Calumet Waterworks.

Butler said she taught at the school for 21 years -- fifth grade for three years and third grade the rest of the time. She retired in 1988.

"I think I liked it best the first year I taught there, because it was only one floor," Butler said. "When you went out for recess, you had all those different age levels (kindergarten through fifth grade) and they got along beautifully."

For information about renting an apartment or office/studio space in the Morrison Building call Mike Lahti at 370-3420.

*Editor's Updates: 
In our original posting of this article we incorrectly stated the amount of the MSHDA loan as about $500,000, which included administrative costs paid to WUPPDR. The actual amount awarded for the renovation was $455,000, Mike Lahti explained. Also, while one apartment is fully equipped for a handicapped resident, eight apartments have two bathrooms, one of which has a walk-in shower with two seats, similar to the shower stall shown in our photo above.

Two Finlandia galleries to host artist receptions Sept. 4

HANCOCK -- Two Finlandia University galleries will hold artist receptions this Thursday, Sept. 4. At 12:30 p.m. the Reflection Gallery in the Jutila Center will host "Peculiar Relations," a solo exhibition showcasing the work of artist Brian Burroughs. The Finlandia University Gallery in the Finnish American Heritage Center will hold a closing reception for "Anna Alapuro: Fragments from Mänttä" from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Artist Brian Burroughs at Reflection Gallery

Poster for "Peculiar Relations," an exhibit of art by Brian Burroughs, opening Sept. 4 at Finlandia's Reflection Gallery. (Poster courtesy Finlandia University)

Brian Burroughs is a visual artist from central Upper Michigan. Burroughs works predominately in the medium of graphite, but occasionally explores other means when creating his works. He credits Dali and the Surrealist movement as his primary influence, which can be seen in his art. Burroughs received his BFA from Northern Michigan University in 1999, majoring in illustration.

He has won multiple awards at juried shows and has had solo exhibits at Bay de Noc College and the William Bonifas Fine Arts Center. Currently, Burroughs lives in Escanaba, Mich., where he works as a Customer Service Specialist for ATand T.

The work will be on display in the Reflection Gallery Sept. 4-26. The reception on Thursday is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The Reflection Gallery is located on the second level of Finlandia’s Jutila Center campus, 200 Michigan Street, Hancock, MI 49930.

For additional information, call Phillip Faulkner at 906-487-7375 or phillip.faulkner@finlandia.edu, or visit the Reflections Gallery blog.

Anna Alapuro at Finlandia University Gallery

The exhibit "Anna Alapuro: Fragments from Mänttä" is on display in the Finlandia University Gallery in the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock through Sept. 12, 2014. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

"Anna Alapuro: Fragments from Mänttä" has been on display at the Finlandia University Gallery since July 24 and continues through Sept. 12, 2014. Alapuro is traveling from Finland to attend a closing reception at the gallery from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. TOMORROW, Thursday, Sept. 4. An artist lecture will begin at 7:15 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

Alapuro's exhibit includes a series of 35 carborundum prints representing different views and fragments from Mänttä, a small forest/ industrial town located in the Pirkanmaa region in central Finland. Seen together, these prints create a kind of memory map of Mänttä, delivering a colorful and impressionistic vision of the Finnish town.

Click here to read more about the exhibit and artist Anna Alapuro.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Sen. Levin joins supporters, visitors at Bete Grise 10-year celebration

By Michele Bourdieu

U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan) addresses the audience at the Aug. 17, 2014, Bete Grise Preserve celebration near Point Isabelle, on Lake Superior. (Photo © and courtesy Bill Rose. Reprinted with permission.)

POINT ISABELLE, KEWEENAW COUNTY -- Cool breezes and partly cloudy weather didn't discourage 80 or more visitors -- and special guest U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan) -- from enjoying the Aug. 17, 2014, dedication and 10-year anniversary celebration of the Bete Grise Preserve.

A large crowd gathers at the Point Isabelle roadside park on Aug. 17, 2014, to dedicate new additions to the Bete Grise Preserve and celebrate its 10th anniversary. U.S. Senator Carl Levin is seated in the foreground, center. (Photos by Keweenaw Now unless otherwise indicated)

Hosted by Stewards of Bete Grise Preserve, the event featured several speakers representing the work of partner organizations and individuals and the funding involved in preserving a total of 4,000 acres, about 5.5 miles of sensitive Lake Superior shoreline and almost all of the sloughs of Lac La Belle in Keweenaw County -- for non-invasive public access, recreation (including berry picking) and education.

Gina Nicholas, Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District chairperson, welcomed visitors to the small roadside park near Point Isabelle, one of the most recent additions to the Preserve.

Gina Nicholas, Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District chairperson, welcomes more than 80 visitors to the Celebration and 10th Anniversary of the Bete Grise Preserve on Aug. 17, 2014, at Point Isabelle on Lake Superior. (Videos by Keweenaw Now)

"Today we are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the formation of the Bete Grise Preserve, and we're also dedicating four new parcels of land," Nicholas said. "And those new parcels are Bete Grise wetlands, Point Isabelle, the mouth of the Little Gratiot and Oliver Bay."

Nicholas noted a major source of funding for the recent expansion of the Preserve with these new parcels was a  $1.7 million grant from the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) CELCP (Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program), funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

"We still had to match that with another $1.7 million," Nicholas said.

Providing financial and in-kind support for the match were The Nature Conservancy, attorney Jim Tersha, and the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District, Nicholas noted.

"But the lion's share of the financial  match that we needed to complete the Bete Grise wetlands project was provided by John Woollam and the J.A. Woollam Foundation," she explained.

This sign at the Point Isabelle roadside park lists partners and funding sources that have contributed to the Bete Grise Preserve. Click on photo for larger version.
 
A highlight of the afternoon was the visit by U.S. Senator Carl Levin, who has been a supporter of the Great Lakes and of the efforts to preserve the delicate wetlands and shoreline of this special area of the Keweenaw:


After some humorous comments on Keweenaw potholes (the Gay-Lac La Belle Road), U.S. Senator Carl Levin speaks about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the importance of protecting and restoring lands for future generations with public funds.

Sen. Levin, who is retiring at the end of this year after serving more than 35 years in the U.S. Senate, spoke briefly with Keweenaw Now about his plans for the rest of his term, noting he has too much to do now to think about retirement plans.

"My short-term plans are to work as hard as I know how to get done what needs to be done in the next four months as a senator," Levin said. "That's my focus and I haven't looked beyond that."

Examples of his current goals include a defense authorization bill and closing loopholes that the biggest corporations in the country are using to avoid taxes they should be paying.

Asked if he would still be interested in protecting the Great Lakes after retirement, Levin said, "I'll always be interested in protecting the Great Lakes."

Pictured here with Sen. Levin at the Aug. 17 Bete Grise celebration are Jeff Knoop, director of land protection for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Marquette office, and Gina Nicholas, Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District chairperson. "It was an honor to have the Senator come," Nicholas said. "He's done so much to help the Keweenaw."

Another long-time supporter of the efforts to protect Bete Grise, Jeff Knoop, director of land protection for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Marquette office, gave an overview of his and TNC's involvement in protecting Bete Grise wetlands and shoreline.

During the Aug. 17, 2014, Bete Grise celebration, Jeff Knoop, director of land protection for The Nature Conservancy, Marquette office, speaks about his involvement with the Bete Grise Preserve from its beginnings in 2001.

Knoop acknowledged the work of several people who also helped with the project. The first was Steve Beyer of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), who put the proposal together for the first stage of the Bete Grise wetlands protection project.

Knoop said in his career of more than 30 years with TNC he has never been involved with another project with so many partners as those who have supported the Bete Grise Preserve.

In addition to Gina Nicholas and the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District, the partners he mentioned as deserving credit for their participation and contributions include the MDNR, the MDEQ (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality), the Keweenaw Land Trust, National Coastal Wetland Conservation Program, the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission, and more.

Bete Grise is historically and culturally important to Native American communities as well. Representing the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) at the event was Jessica Koski, KBIC member:

During the dedication at Point Isabelle, Jessica Koski, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community member, speaking for KBIC, thanks everyone who has participated in the preservation of the Bete Grise wetlands and shoreline.

Two major sources of government grants for purchase of much of the Preserve were the DEQ Coastal Zone Management Program and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Laurel Hill, biological technician for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marquette office, said it was great to be involved in the celebration ten years after USFWS helped fund the first Bete Grise acquisition in 2004.

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program seeks to create partnerships to catalyze public action and conservation in the Nation’s coastal areas, and the Bete Grise Preserve is a perfect example of just that," Hill said. "The exemplary efforts of wide ranging collaborators are reflected in the beauty of this Preserve, which will continue to be invaluable for future generations."

Also addressing the visitors at the Point Isabelle event was Matt Warner of the DEQ Coastal Zone Management Program, who spoke about the involvement of the program in providing funding for the original Bete Grise Preserve and for management activities as well. He also spoke about the CELCP (Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program) funding for Michigan through NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

During the Aug. 17, 2014, Bete Grise Celebration, Matt Warner, Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality Coastal Zone Management Program, speaks about grants that contributed to purchase of the Bete Grise Preserve wetlands and coastal areas in the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Warner also thanked individuals, including the previous speakers, and groups for their participation in this preservation effort.

One of those was Sue Haralson, Stewards of Bete Grise secretary, who has been involved in the project for several years. She recently retired from her position as Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District administrator.

"Great turnout!" Haralson said of the day's event. "Mother Nature gave us cool weather, but dry. A cool breeze kept the bugs away."

Haralson added she thought the music, provided by the group B3, was "outstanding."

Tom Collins, left, on saxophone, Stewards of Bete Grise president, joined the local band B3 in providing a variety of lively music for the Bete Grise celebration. Pictured with him are, to his left, B3 musicians Erika Vye, Marshall Weathersby and Steve Brimm.

Tom Collins, Stewards of Bete Grise president, who, with his saxophone, joined the B3 musicians during the event, also commented on the wonderful turnout.

"A big thank you to Gina for her laser focus in making all this happen throughout the years," Collins said.

Nicholas concluded the presentations with appreciative comments and invited everyone to enjoy the copious refreshments provided by Stewards of Bete Grise. Here she points out on a map most of the protected areas of the Preserve:

Using the map on the Point Isabelle sign, Gina Nicholas points out the different parts of the Bete Grise Preserve -- from the original Bete Grise South to the recently acquired mouth of the Little Gratiot near Lac La Belle.

Several residents of the Bete Grise area were also present at the celebration and spoke with Keweenaw Now.

One couple, Dante Iacovoni and his wife, Joyce, have been residents of Bete Grise for 11 years.

"It was just great, in spite of the weather -- more than I expected," Dante said. "It just shows the enthusiasm of the people in this community."

Describing this special place, Joyce Iacovoni added, "This is as close to paradise as we're going to see and experience."

Chuck Brumleve, Stewards of Bete Grise vice president and Bete Grise resident as well, summed up the reason for the celebration: "This has been the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people for a lot of years."

During the Aug. 17 Bete Grise celebration, Chuck Brumleve, center, Stewards of Bete Grise vice president and Bete Grise resident, chats with TNC's Jeff Knoop, left, and Charlie Eshbach of the Michigan Nature Association, who was especially instrumental in preserving the tip of the Keweenaw (a large wilderness area north and east of Bete Grise) with the help of TNC and grants from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

More photos:

Keweenaw County Sheriff Ron Lahti was on hand for the celebration. Here he chats with Senator Levin.

Senator Levin and Amy Berglund, his Upper Peninsula regional representative, pause for a photo with Keweenaw Now photographer Gustavo Bourdieu.

Visitors enjoy a large selection of refreshments provided by Stewards of Bete Grise.

Jessica Koski of KBIC with one of the newest KBIC members -- her son, Skyler.

 Visitors line up to sign the Bete Grise guest book.
 
View of Lake Superior and Point Isabelle from the roadside park.