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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Updated: Hancock Boy Scouts plant trees at Maasto Hiihto Trails

By Michele Bourdieu

With helpful advice from Scout Leader Brian Jarvis, right, George Mendivel, 8, left, and Jake Riley, 13, of Hancock Scout Troop 207, dig holes for planting new trees at Hancock's Maasto Hiihto Trails on Saturday, May 3. The trees were purchased from the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District Tree Sale. Click on photos for larger versions. (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

HANCOCK -- Members of Hancock Boy Scout Troop 207 and Cub Scout Pack 207 braved a cold, rainy Saturday, May 3, to plant trees at the Maasto Hiihto trails as a community service project. The Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club purchased the 200 young trees -- a combination of red pine and white spruce -- from the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District Tree Sale.

Since Friday and Saturday, May 2-3, were the pick-up days for the tree sale, the planting was scheduled for Saturday morning.

"The trees can't wait," said Dale Dewald, scoutmaster for Cub Scout Pack 207. "They've got to be planted, rain or shine."

Using foot power on the shovel, Alexander Dewald, 10, digs a hole for tree planting with help from Dad, Dale Dewald, scoutmaster for Cub Scout Pack 207. (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

In spite of the rain, Dewald's son Alexander, 10, who will soon be advancing from Cub Scouts to Boy Scout Troop 207, said it was "fun."

Another father-and-son pair, Dillon Babcock, 12, and his Dad, Louis Babcock, help prepare the ground for the new young trees. (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

The Scouts worked up an appetite for lunch -- grilled ham and cheese sandwiches -- to be cooked over a campfire at the Trailhead near the Chalet.

Preparing the campfire for the hot lunch of grilled ham and cheese sandwiches are Jacob Jarvis, 12, center, and Drew Meyer, 10. Supervising the campfire crew is Scout Leader Mike Meyer, Drew's Dad. (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

Scout Leader Mike Meyer said the troop had planted trees in the past, but this was the first time they would cook their own lunch.

"It's a good chance for the boys to learn how to be outside while it's raining," Meyer said, "and to do something for the community by planting trees."

The suggestion for this project came from Wayne Stordahl, Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club member and former scoutmaster of Troop 207. He said this is the second time the Hancock Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts have planted trees along the ski trails. The tree planting project actually began about 30 years ago when he was Troop 207 Scoutmaster. At that time the Scouts planted trees along the west edge of the Driving Park Ball Fields, he noted.

"They're about 30 feet high now," Stordahl said of those first trees. "They're a wind break and a vision break for the ball players."

John Diebel, Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club board member, said the evergreens planted by the Scouts near the chalet and along the ski trails also serve as wind breaks for skiers, while adding a little variety to the landscape.

"Skiers know the open area around the chalet parking lot and adjacent St. Urho's trail can be more than brisk when that north wind blows," Diebel noted. "The Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club appreciates (the Scouts') continuing interest in the project. It serves the entire community and as the Scouts get older I think they'll always be able to take some satisfaction in seeing the trees continue to grow. We hope those trees are sheltering the Scouts' grandchildren years from now."

Stordahl said his daughter, Karen Fenton, Cub Scout den leader for Pack 207, was also involved in this community service project.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

New community email list offers local food options

KEWEENAW PENINSULA -- A new email list-serv offers area residents the opportunity to buy, barter and sell locally grown and raised produce, livestock, meats and crafts.

Nutmeg the goat is an example of locally raised livestock. Goat's milk or cheese anyone? Check out the new list-serv for buying, selling or trading locally grown food. (Photo © 2008 Neely Farren)

"This group is dedicated to helping people live locally," writes Neely Farren, one of the organizers of the group. "Sustainability and education are of prime importance to us."

Farren and co-organizer Casey Rudkin set up the email list to provide a venue for like-minded people to expand their local purchase options and connect with others in their community. Group members can post notice of their extra produce, requests for locally raised eggs and meat, or even local agricultural information.

"In this way, we hope to expand availability and allow us all to enjoy the variety and bounty of the Keweenaw," Farren notes.

Bill the Pig reminds readers that it's not just vegetarians who eat locally grown food! (Photo © 2008 Kurt Paterson)

Anyone interested in joining this list-serv should go to to read some of the latest messages. To subscribe to this Yahoo group, send an email to

Hancock's Tori Market to open June 4

A recent message on the keweenawbbslocal group list announces the opening of this year's Tori Market in Hancock on Wednesday, June 4.

The hours will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday during the season.

A meeting for those interested in the Tori will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 20, at Perkins Restaurant in Houghton. Anyone interested in attending the meeting should call Jeanne at 482-1605 or email Sandy at sandysbaskets@

Houghton High Boosters Club to hold Green/recycling rummage sale May 10

HOUGHTON -- The Houghton Portage Township Schools Academic Boosters Club is conducting a GREEN/Recycling fundraiser, with a rummage sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 10, at the Houghton High School Multipurpose Room.

There's nothing to buy. The group is asking you to protect the environment by donating your used cellular phones, ink jet and laser cartridges, DVD movies, video games, portable DVD players, laptop/notebook computers, MP3 players, video game consoles, digital cameras, digital picture frames and portable navigation and GPS devices. Your used items may be tax-deductible and will be recycled in accordance with EPA regulations or refurbished and sold.

100% of the proceeds will help fund the Houghton Portage Township Schools Academic Boosters Club -- a newly organized club with the goal of creating funding for academic teams and programs made up of short-term liquid and long-term endowed accounts, designed to help sustain for today and the future. With multiple state and federal funding cuts, academic programs are running very low or are completely eliminated. The students that participate in these programs benefit greatly for the rest of their lives, as they develop academic skills as well as social confidence.

Most of the programs are recognized nationwide as highly beneficial for scholarship and college admissions. Some of the programs that will benefit are these: Destination Imagination, Science Olympiad, Lego League, Math Counts, Math League, Language Club, Ecology Club, Quiz Bowl, Model UN, Chemistry Olympiad, 1st Robotics and Jr. Statesmen of America.

Consider gathering what you can donate and bring it to the Houghton High School Multipurpose Room this Saturday. You may also email for information about possible pick-up. Donations of any returnable cans or bottles to support this valuable program are also appreciated. Cash contributions to the fund are always welcome and truly appreciated and are tax-deductible.

Melissa Davis to give presentations on Green Power Plant May 8, 13

Melissa Davis, general manager of New Power Tour, Inc., speaks about Green Power during the Earth Day events Apr. 19 at the Calumet Theatre. (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

LAURIUM -- Melissa Davis, general manager of New Power Tour, Inc., will give a presentation titled "Green Power Plant: Renewable Cogeneration and Economic Trigger" in Lake Linden and Ahmeek this month. Davis is introducing the opportunity to locally own a power plant that generates both green electricity and food.

If you missed her presentation on May 6 in Lake Linden, you can attend one at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 8, at the Lake Linden Village Hall or at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13, at the Ahmeek Village Hall. The presentations are open to the public.

"Our partners (MTU Sustainable Futures Institute, White Pine Power, MSU Ext and Public Service Commission Renewable Energy Coordinator) are having our first formal meeting on May 16," Davis announced.

These groups are working with guidance from Michigan Public Service Commission's Renewable Energy Coordinator to offer local investors the opportunity to build a small-scale renewable cogenerating power facility that combines wind, solar, biomass +/-biomethane.

Visit the New Power Tour Web site for more information.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Keweenaw County Board announces meeting sites

EAGLE RIVER -- The Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight, May 7, at the Horizon School, Mohawk, MI. The Board will continue to meet the first and third Wednesday of the month.

On the following dates the meetings will be held at locations other than the Horizon School:
May 21 -- Eagle Harbor Community Building
June 18 -- Sherman Township Office Building, Gay
July 16 -- Copper Harbor Community Building
August 6 -- Lac La Belle Fire Hall
August 20-- Houghton Township Office Building, Eagle River
September 3 -- Eagle Harbor Community Building.

Editor's Note: This information is courtesy Marilyn Winquist, Keweenaw County clerk.

Stupak warns of phone, email scams regarding economic stimulus rebate payments

WASHINGTON, DC -- As federal tax rebate payments begin hitting bank accounts and mailboxes across northern Michigan, U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) warned constituents to be aware of telephone and email scammers posing as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees in order to collect personal financial information. Such scams are expected to continue indefinitely.

"The public should be on the alert for any emails or phone calls that claim to be from the IRS and request personal information such as bank account and Social Security numbers," Stupak said. "The IRS does not require any additional information from taxpayers to process tax rebate payments."

According to the IRS, some people have received phone calls about the economic stimulus payments, in which the caller impersonates an IRS employee. The caller asks the taxpayer for their Social Security and bank account numbers, claiming that the IRS needs the information to complete the processing of the taxpayer's payment. In reality, the IRS uses the information contained on the taxpayer's tax return to process stimulus payments, rather than contacting taxpayers by phone or e-mail.

Similarly, an e-mail claiming to come from the IRS about the "2008 Economic Stimulus Refund" tells recipients to click on a link to fill out a form, apparently for direct deposit of the payment into their bank account. This appears to be an identity theft scheme to obtain recipients' personal and financial information so the scammers can clean out their victims' financial accounts. In reality, taxpayers do not have to fill out a separate form to have the stimulus payment directly deposited in their bank account.

The goal of such scams is to trick people into revealing personal and financial information, such as Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers, which the scammers can use to commit identity theft.

Anyone wishing to access the IRS Web site should initiate contact by typing the address into their Internet address window, rather than clicking on a link in an e-mail or opening an attachment.

For more details and examples of this, visit Congressman Stupak's Web site.

Editor's Note: This press release is courtesy Nick Choate.