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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Conservation District receives grant to form "Friends of Bete Grise Preserve"

By Gina Nicholas, Chairperson, Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District

HOUGHTON -- The Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District (HKCD) has received a Coastal Management Grant to form a "Friends of Bete Grise Preserve" dedicated stewardship organization for the Bete Grise Preserve (BGP).

An organizational meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, at the UPPCO Building in Houghton. Anyone interested in BGP is welcome to attend the meeting.

At the Bete Grise Preserve on Lake Superior in July 2007, Sue Haralson, center, Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District administrator, joins a volunteer team of high school students from across the U.S., known as Landmark Volunteers. Under the supervision of Brian Carlson (far right) of The Nature Conservancy, the team spent six hours hauling nearly 2000 pounds of trash and scrap metal from the north part of the preserve and pulling two invasive plants: knapweed and hairy cat’s ear. HKCD Board Member Tom Collins was on hand with his boat to haul trash across the channel. (Keweenaw Now file photo © 2007 Gina Nicholas. Reprinted with permission.)

Friends of BGP will be a 501(c)3 with a primary goal of providing stewardship and continuity of stewardship for BGP, which is a partnership among HKCD, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Keweenaw Land Trust (KLT). As time passes and individuals in these organizations change, Friends of BGP will provide a local focal point for BGP. In addition, HKCD, TNC and KLT are working to expand BGP, which is now over 1800 acres. As the Preserve gets larger, a dedicated stewardship group will help ensure BGP is used appropriately and protected.

To form Friends of BGP, we are looking for 5-7 Board members and an infinite number of "friends" that are willing to meet once or twice a year and coordinate with HKCD, TNC and KLT on a few work days and activities each year. Volunteers who are already doing this will find it won't be much more work than what they are already contributing.

The intent is have a slightly more official support group dedicated solely to BGP. No financial donation is required. (Of course, once Friends of BGP is formed and receives its IRS ruling, any contributions would be tax deductible and cheerfully welcomed.)

If you have questions please call Sue Haralson at 482-0214 or Gina Nicholas at 370-7248.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Updated: Finlandia to present Fiber, Fashion Design show Nov. 8

HANCOCK -- The Finlandia University Fiber and Fashion Design program will host its second annual student and alumnae runway fashion show, "Kalposia," at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, at at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock.

Juice deMers, Finlandia Art and Design student, will be featured in the Finlandia University Fiber and Fashion Design program on Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Finnish American Heritage Center. This photo was taken backstage at the SYR+ISM performance during the Scarlet Masquerade Nov. 1. (Photo courtesy Pamela Kotila. Reprinted with permission.)*

The show will highlight work by students Pamela Kotila (Dodgeville), Stacy Karvonen (Hancock) and Juice deMers (Vulcan); and alumnae Angela Smith, Becky Weeks, Yana Weglarz and Betsi Arend.

"The Finlandia dance team will also be featured, and SYR+ISM will perform the fashion performance that was a big hit at the Scarlet Masquerade last weekend," said Phyllis Fredendall, associate professor of fiber and fashion design for Finlandia’s International School of Art and Design.

Jon Armanet prepares backstage for the SYR+ISM performance during the Scarlet Masquerade Nov. 1. Their choreographed fashion program will be repeated this Saturday, Nov. 8, during the Finlandia Fiber and Fashion Design program runway fashion show at the Finnish American Heritage Center. (Photo courtesy Pamela Kotila. Reprinted with permission.)

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Fredendall at 487-7376.

*Editor's update: We regret the error in the version of this article published earlier today. The Finlandia dance team is not the same group as SYR+ISM.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Updated: Stupak: Historic Obama election offers hope for change

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) commented Tuesday on the election of Senator Barack Obama as President of the United States and added some comments on his own re-election to a ninth term in the U. S. House of Representatives.

"This historic election of Senator Barack Obama as President of the United States shows the true strength of our Democracy," Stupak said. "The overwhelming turnout is a testament to the American people and their demand for change and hope in our country's future. Senator Obama overcame incredible odds to win the Democratic nomination and the Presidency. Tonight, all Americans can celebrate a victory that we are hopeful will lead to the sweeping change our country needs.

"Senator Obama's campaign has truly been fought and won on the ground by the thousands of volunteers and ordinary citizens who stood up and demanded the change our country needs. I am excited about working with President Obama to put our economy back on track, end the skyrocketing health care costs, solve our nation's energy crisis and bring an end to the war in Iraq."

After speaking with his Republican challenger Tom Casperson, who conceded the race for Michigan's 1st Congressional District, Stupak issued this statement to his northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula constituents: "I appreciate the continued trust and support of northern Michigan voters and I am very proud of the great turnout in this historic election. I am committed to continuing to stand up for you and fight to implement the change necessary to move America forward. I am honored to have the opportunity to continue providing leadership you can trust."

Stupak, with 213,174 votes (65 percent) defeated Casperson, who had 107,319 votes (33 percent).

Democrats win U. S. Senate, State, local contested offices

Another important victory for Michigan Democrats was U.S. Senator Carl Levin's re-election. Sen. Levin (D-Detroit) received 3,033,550 votes (63 percent) to his major opponent Jack Hoogendyk's 1,639,165 (34 percent).

Michigan voters approved two statewide ballot proposals: Proposal 1, which will permit the use and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana for specified medical conditions; and Proposal 2, to expand the use of human embryos for medical research according to certain limits.

Mike Lahti (D-Hancock), State Representative for the 110th District, which includes much of the Western U.P., received 26,991 votes (70 percent) to defeat Republican opponent John Larson, who had 11,302 votes (30 percent). Lahti will serve a second two-year term.

In Houghton County's contest for 97th District Court Judge, a six-year term in a seat that was open because of the retirement of Judge Philip Kukkunen, Mark Wisti, with 8464 votes, defeated Douglas Edwards, who received 5905.

John Pekkala (D) will continue as Houghton County Drain Commissioner for a four-year term. His 6419 votes defeated Republican John Sullivan's 6156.

Two Democratic Houghton County Commissioners retained their seats against Republican challengers: In District 3, Anton Pintar received 1886 votes to defeat Republican Craig Brewer, who had 1095. Democrat Paul Luoma continues as District 5 Commissioner with 1798 votes over Matt Huuki's 1793.

Voters in the City of Hancock chose among write-in, non-partisan candidates two new members for the City Council's open seats, being vacated by Sarah Baratono and Barry Givens. In Ward III, John Slivon, with 76 votes, defeated two other write-ins -- Roland Burgan with 21 votes and Jeffrey Didion with 35 votes. Richard Freeman, with 111 votes, defeated Allyson Jabusch, 55 votes, for the Ward II position. Both Slivon and Freeman will serve four-year terms on the Council. In Hancock, out of 3061 eligible voters, the voter turnout was 2010 or 67 percent.

In Keweenaw County incumbent County Treasurer Geri Hall (D) retained her position against a challenge by Republican Barbara Been. Hall received 776 votes to Been's 599.

Two seats on the Keweenaw County Board were contested: In District 4, incumbent County Commissioner Frank Stubenrauch retained his seat for another four-year term over a challenge by Tami Anderson (no party affiliation). Stubenrauch received 161 votes and Anderson 53. In District 5 incumbent Commissioner Randy Eckloff (D), with 189 votes, defeated challenger James Ziemnick (no party affiliation), who received 100 votes.

Carol Rose Fouts (Carol Rose), who ran unopposed, will serve as Keweenaw County Commissioner in the seat formerly held by Jeff Turnquist, who was appointed to replace retired Commissioner Al Gunnari.

Editor's Note: This information is taken from Congressman Stupak's press releases, from the WLUC-TV 6 Web site and from the WNMU-Public Radio 90 Web site. Visit these Web sites for more Election results.

President-Elect Barack Obama's Chicago speech available on line

CHICAGO -- A video of President-Elect Barack Obama's inspiring victory speech to tens of thousands of elated supporters on Nov. 4 in Chicago's Grant Park is available on both YouTube and the New York Times Web sites.

To to anyone "who still questions the power of our democracy," Obama offered his reply: "Tonight is your answer....It's the answer that led those who've been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day. It's been a long time coming; but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America."

Visit the YouTube site to see and hear the speech. Click here for both the video and the transcript of the speech on the New York Times Web site.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Viewpoint: Re-elect Anton Pintar, Houghton County Commissioner, District 3

A native of Painesdale, Anton Pintar, Democrat, now a resident of South Range, lived in Adams Township for more than 40 years and in Hancock for 20 years. As Houghton County Commissioner, he now represents District 3, which includes Adams Township, the City of Hancock and Quincy Township. He is retired from Michigan Technological University after 36 years of teaching Chemical Engineering.

Houghton County Commissioner Anton Pintar, left, with State Rep. Mike Lahti, attended the 57th Annual Meeting of the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District held Oct. 30, 2008, in the UPPCO Building in Houghton. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)

Pintar has served on several County Board Committees, including the Law Enforcement Committee, the Western Upper Peninsula District Health Board, the Houghton County Planning Commission and the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District.

If re-elected, he plans to serve the people of District 3 and Houghton County in making progress under severe budget limitations. His goals for the County Board are to continue growth through Economic Development, assure emergency preparedness, cooperate with the local governments in District 3 and improve Veterans' Services in Houghton County.

Pintar has a record of government service since the 1970s. He has served Houghton County as a member of the Housing Commission, the County Reapportionment Commission, the Michigan Environmental Review Board (appointed by Gov. Blanchard in the 1980s) and the Houghton County Local Emergency Planning Committee in the 1990s.

His local community service includes the Range Lions Club, the Copper Range Historical Society Board, the Painesdale Mine Shaft and the Painesdale Centennial Committee. In addition, he has been Coordinator for two Adopt-A-Highway groups and is a member of the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel.

Pintar's own educational background is evidence of his dedication to using his talents for his own home community, the Copper Country. A member of the Jeffers High School Class of 1958, Pintar earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Tech University and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. While teaching at MTU, he received teaching awards and developed a Laboratory Safety Program.

Vote to re-elect native son Anton Pintar to the Houghton County Board of Commissioners.

Editor's Note: This article is courtesy of the Houghton County Democratic Party. Click below to read our other articles by and about candidates we endorse for the Nov. 4 election:

"State Rep. Mike Lahti outlines issues for re-election campaign"

"Houghton County Dems endorse State Rep. Mike Lahti in Aug. 5 primary re-election bid"

"Stupak comments on Obama's choice of Biden as running mate"

"Rep. Mike Lahti meets with Obama supporters"

"Obama fires back in Indianapolis: "I ask you to believe ..."

"Viewpoint: John Slivon, Hancock City Council candidate"

"Viewpoint: John Pekkala, Democratic candidate for Houghton County Drain Commissioner"

"Letter from U.S. Sen. Carl Levin: Vote "Yes" on Proposal 2"

"Stupak: Houghton County voters energized in historic election"

"Allyson Jabusch: Why I'm running for City Council"

Vote Tuesday, Nov. 4. If you're not sure where to vote, click here for fast information.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Allyson Jabusch: Why I'm running for City Council

Editor's Note: Allyson Jabusch is a write-in candidate for Ward II representation on the Hancock City Council. This is a non-partisan position for a regular four-year term on the Council.

By Allyson Jabusch

Ward II Voters,

I ask you to write in my name to represent you on the Hancock City Council.

I am a mom who works outside the home and whose children are now grown. We have lived in Hancock for 16 years. My goal for the Council is to plan for growth that takes the interests of residents into account and that supports development downtown instead of sprawling business to outlying areas. My vision is to preserve the historic character of Hancock while insuring a forward looking community with a long-range plan.

During the July 18, 2007, Hancock City Council public hearing on Government Lot 5 and the potential sale of City land near Swedetown Creek, Allyson Jabusch, standing at the podium, requests that the Council table the vote on the area of Government Lot #5 near Swedetown Creek and instruct the Planning Commission to hold another public hearing. (Keweenaw Now file photo © 2007 Michele Bourdieu)*

My interest in city government was spiked during the public hearing on the sale of Government Lot 5. Despite a large public turn out in opposition to the sale, some City officials nevertheless favor the sale. This piece of shoreline needs to be protected and saved for public use for now and forever. By maintaining City ownership of this land the City is protecting a watershed, a fishing spot for young and old, plus shoreline cover for birds, within city limits (the local Audubon group offered the City a $1000 gift towards this area).

This photo of Swedetown Creek, taken on Nov. 1, 2008, from the hiking trail on the west side of the creek, shows a part of Government Lot 5, near the mouth of the creek at the Portage Waterway. The area originally proposed for residential sales is on the east side of the creek (just beyond the left side of the photo). Click on photo for larger version. (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)

It is an important recreational resource, which would indirectly protect our own property values as it preserves a lovely wild-like green space, within city limits!

If you are a resident of Ward II and wish to vote for me, remember to print my name exactly, ALLYSON JABUSCH, and to darken the oval next to my name.

Allyson Jabusch
929 Maple Street
Hancock, MI 49930

* Keweenaw Now's article on this public meeting is available on our archived site. Click here to read the article. Consecutive articles on this issue have been published on our present Keweenaw Now blog.

Comentario de Gustavo: el Día de las Brujas en Calumet

Pumpkins carved by Elise Matz for Keweenaw Krayons' first annual benefit "Carve -a-thon" sit outside the Fifth and Elm Café in Calumet on Friday, Oct. 31. (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)

Editor's Note: This is the fifth in a series of "Comentarios y fotos" by Gustavo Bourdieu, Keweenaw Now photographer, for our readers who speak, read or study Spanish. In this comentario, Gustavo comments on our Halloween traditions and the difference between past and present.

By Gustavo Bourdieu

HANCOCK -- "Cómo cambian los tiempos," decía mi madre, y tenía mucha razón. El viernes fui a sacar unas fotos para Keweenaw Now a Calumet en el café Fifth and Elm, y mientras tomaba las fotos conversaba con la artista Elise Matz que estaba calando las calabazas para el Día de las Brujas (Halloween).

Advancing toward her goal of 26 pumpkins for Keweenaw Krayons, Elise Matz carves a pumpkin in front of the Fifth and Elm Café in Calumet on Halloween. (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)

Le comentaba que ahora, después de algunos años, las brujas son admiradas y todo el mundo quiere ser brujo como Harry Potter, hacer embrujos y volar en las noches de luna llena. Se venden disfraces e imágenes; todos quieren participar en esa festividad.

Pensar que no hace mucho tiempo -- más o menos 200 años (no es mucho para la historia de la humanidad) -- las brujas se perseguían y se quemaban vivas, al igual que ocurrió con los piratas, verdaderos "terroristas" del pasado.

Yo pienso que si volviera a la época de mis antepasados españoles, que tengo por parte de mi madre, me condenarían a la santa inquisición por participar en estas festividades. Los sorprendería saber que ahora en estos tiempos hay equipos deportivos los cuales orgullosamente llevan el nombre de "Piratas" y que son un éxito las peliculas como "Piratas del Caribe"; es decir, si nuestros ancestros se levantaran de sus tumbas y vieran lo que hacemos los descendientes, volverían a morir al instante.

Pienso por eso que cada uno vive en su tiempo y que es muy dificil juzgar a la historia. Espero que todos hayan pasado un feliz Halloween.

Hasta la próxima,


Stupak: Houghton County voters energized in historic election

By U. S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee)

WASHINGTON, D. C. -- This year we have witnessed a truly historic election. From Saginaw Bay to the most northern tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, voters across the First District are energized and excited in a way that we have not seen for years. Times are tough now in northern Michigan, but we are tougher. Voters and volunteers are demonstrating that they are willing to fight for our middle class and protect our way of life.

From union halls to campaign headquarters, to people volunteering independently in their own neighborhoods, our campaign has seen an unprecedented surge in support and interest. Long-time voters are volunteering and new voters have signed up by the thousands. Hundreds of residents have registered to vote in Houghton County, which now holds the distinction of having the second most newly-registered voters per capita in the state of Michigan.

During my last trip to the Keweenaw Peninsula one week ago, I visited Houghton to walk door-to-door and talk with voters about their concerns. Braving our sometimes cool U.P. weather, more than 30 volunteers came together to pound the pavement for our Democratic candidates and talk to their neighbors about the challenges facing the First District, our state and our country.*

I am committed to the aggressive grassroots campaign that I have always run. After witnessing the energy and excitement of our volunteers, I have no doubt we will reach an unprecedented number of voters with our message of support for the middle class, reform of our healthcare system and a responsible government that works for each and every one of us. I look forward to working with a new administration to tackle these challenges facing our country and I ask for your continued support on Tuesday, November 4, 2008.

*Editor's Note: U. S. Congressman Bart Stupak spoke in Houghton at the recent meeting celebrating funding for the Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation (MTEC) SmartZone. Read the Keweenaw Now article, which includes a short videoclip from Mr. Stupak's speech. Read more about Bart Stupak and see endorsements of his re-election from major Michigan newspapers on the Congressman's campaign Web site, Bart Stupak for Congress.