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Friday, December 05, 2008

Finlandia to host Fun Day for kids Dec. 6

HANCOCK -- The Finlandia University Education Club will host its annual children’s Fun Day from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Paavo Nurmi Center .

This is an excellent opportunity for parents to get some Christmas shopping done!

Children in grades Kindergarten to sixth are invited to take part in activities including games, swimming, arts and crafts, cookie decorating and much more.

The cost is $5.00 per child.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Music, dance to highlight Finnish Independence Day celebration Dec. 6

The Kivajat Dancers -- directed by Kay Seppälä, right -- perform at the Heikinpäivä Tori in the Finnish American Heritage Center. The dance group will entertain at the Finnish Independence Day celebration Saturday, Dec. 6. Donations to support their trip to a dance event in Finland will be welcome. (Keweenaw Now file photo © 2007 Michele Bourdieu)

HANCOCK -- Finlandia University will present its 91st annual Finnish Independence Day program at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008, at the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock. The program features variety of local performers on fiddles and kanteles, as well as solos and folk dances.

"Take a break from Christmas shopping and craft shows and stop in at the Finnish American Heritage Center to rest your feet, have an aromatic cup of Finnish coffee, enjoy the entertainment and help a group of young people travel to Finland," urges Jim Kurtti, director of the Heritage Center.

Guests are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy refreshments provided by the Kivajat Dancers, a children's Finnish folk dance troupe led by Kay Seppälä. Beginning at 1 p.m., and also following the program, the group will serve a variety of traditional Finnish treats; a free-will donation will support the dancers' efforts to represent the Copper Country next summer at a dance
event in Finland.

Finnish Independence Day celebrates the date in 1917 when Finland achieved independence from Russia.

For more information about this year's Finnish Independence Day program, please contact Jim Kurtti at 906-487-7302.

Vertin Gallery "Winter Solstice" exhibit to open Dec. 5

CALUMET -- "Winter Solstice: Bringing Back the Light," a juried all-media entry show, will be on display from Dec. 5, 2008, through Jan. 7, 2009, at the Vertin Gallery in Calumet. An opening reception will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5.

"Brunet Park Ice" is the title of this silver print photograph by Calumet photographer Eric Munch. It is part of the new exhibit opening this Friday, Dec. 5, at the Vertin Gallery in Calumet. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo © 2008 Eric Munch. Reprinted with permission.)

The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The Vertin Gallery is located at 220 Sixth St. in Calumet. For more information visit their Web site or call 906-337-2200.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

New installation on exhibit at Omphale Gallery

CALUMET -- An exhibit by Carrice Chardin, "Solidifying Liquid: The Viscous Juxtaposition of Memory Suspended in time or 'Time Freeze' -- Encapsulated Memory Biopsies," is on display at the Omphale Gallery in Calumet through Jan. 5, 2009.

This installation, "Solidifying Liquid," by artist Carrice Chardin, is on exhibit at the Omphale Gallery in Calumet through Jan. 5, 2009. (Photo courtesy Carrice Chardin)

An opening reception for the artist will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5. Refreshments will be served.

The Omphale Gallery is at 431 Fifth Street in Calumet.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Extraordinary Event" to help raise funds for year-round trails near Keweenaw Mountain Lodge

By Sam Raymond

COPPER HARBOR -- Keweenaw County, in association with the Copper Harbor Trails Club, is working to secure grant funding through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) to purchase up to 1900 acres of mostly timber management owned property that borders the County land at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge.

This view from the summit of Brockway Mountain illustrates the adjacent ridge and a big section of the desired acquisition property. Click on photos for larger versions. (Photo courtesy Keweenaw Adventure Company.)

This land acquistion is significant to keep the existing summer human-powered trails contiguous and free from fragmentation, in addition to providing the prime location for Phase II of the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge Nordic Ski Center, including the eventual development of skate-ski trails. The area of the proposed purchase is located primarily between the Mountain Lodge and the State-owned land at Lake Manganese and inclusive of +/- 93 acres of land currently owned by the Fort Wilkins Gardens Conservancy. The bulk of the desired property is located west of US Hwy 41, across from the Mountain Lodge, and is essentially the ridge that is south of and runs parallel to Brockway Mountain Drive, west almost to Lake Medora.

This photo is a view of Lake Medora as seen from Brockway Mountain. (Photo courtesy Keweenaw Adventure Company.)

The proposed trails will be used for hiking and mountain biking in the non-snow months and cross country skiing (both classic and eventually skate-ski trails) and snowshoeing in the winter months.

To qualify for the MNRTF Grant, we (the County) must have a minimum of a 25% matching grant. The acquisition will likely be inclusive of several phases, and plans are to obtain as much as we're capable of, depending on how the fundraising goes to compose our local match.

Extraordinary Event to raise funds modeled on Babette's Feast

With this in mind, an Extraordinary Event is being planned for Saturday, Dec. 13, at the Mountain Lodge. Renowned chef Malcolm Hudson will prepare, in a labor of love, a delectable six-course dinner to replicate the impressive meal included in the film Babette's Feast, which will be shown at the Lodge prior to the dinner. All proceeds of the $100/plate dinner will go towards the local match needed to allow things to move forward with the grant application process in order to meet the upcoming deadline for the next round of applications -- April 1, 2009.

There is a big emphasis on COMMUNITY with this event. It is hoped that business owners and elected officials of the greater Keweenaw area will recognize the economic potential of the proposed land purchase, while conservancy groups, trail users and local residents will realize its conservation and recreational benefits. We need to demonstrate that the County has support for this project, which we feel is of utmost importance to secure the future of the Keweenaw. In addition, we need to show that we have the ability to raise funds before launching the project.

RSVP and pre-paid reservations are required by Sunday, Dec. 7. To make reservations for dinner, please call Sam Raymond of the Copper Harbor Trails Club at 906-289-4303 or e-mail:

Editor's Note: The author of this article, Sam Raymond, is Vice-President of the Copper Harbor Trails Club. Visit their Web site for more information on the land acquisition project and for maps of the proposed purchase areas. See also Chef Malcolm Hudson's Web site for information on local motels offering special discounts for the evening of the dinner and for an excerpt from an article on Babette's Feast.

NOSOTROS to show "The Motorcycle Diaries" at MTU Dec. 2

HOUGHTON -- NOSOTROS, Michigan Tech's Latin American students' organization, will be showing the movie The Motorcycle Diaries at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 2, in Fisher 135 on the MTU campus. This movie is based on the memoirs of Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Alberto Granados.

The film is in Spanish with English subtitles and rated R for language. The cost is $2 at the door.

Synopsis of the film: In 1952, a young medical student and a biochemist from Argentina set off on a road trip across South America. As they straddled their beaten up motorcycle, the men talked in awed tones of the sights they were about to experience. The record of their trip may have disappeared into the ether if one of the riders departing on that fateful day hadn't been the future insurrectionary figurehead of the Cuban revolution, Ernesto "Che" Guevara (played here by Gael García Bernal). The young Che's companion on the trip was his best friend, Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna). Their simple goals were to enjoy themselves and meet some girls along the way. As the trip unfolds at the behest of their spluttering motorcycle, the boys discover more about themselves than they ever imagined possible. Ernesto clings tightly to his ideals throughout and delights in the opportunity to put them into practice…

The film won several awards, including an Oscar for the Best Achievement in Music written for Motion Pictures. See for more information about the film.