See our right-hand column for announcements and news briefs. Scroll down the right-hand column to access the Archives -- links to articles posted in the main column since 2007.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Finlandia students to hold Silent Auction, Soup / Salad fund raiser Feb. 21

HANCOCK --A Silent Auction and Soup and Salad lunch will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009, at the Finlandia University Finlandia Hall Café in the university’s residence hall.

More than 100 auction items will be up for bid, such as handicrafts, gift certificates and cloth from Tanzania.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at the door. Adults tickets are $8; children ages six to 11: $3; children 5 and under may attend free.

Proceeds from the lunch and silent auction will help five Finlandia students raise funds for a May 2009 trip to Tanzania.

In the past three years, 31 Finlandia students and area youth have been part of Finlandia’s annual three-week service learning trip. This year, five Finlandia students are preparing to serve and learn in Tanzania.

The students are juniors Jillian Dolkey (Wetmore, MI) and Jaimianne Amicucci (Mahopac Falls, NY), sophomore Dan Grille (Wallace, MI) and freshmen Jessica Zierle (Union City, MI) and Aggie Pietila (Bruce Crossing, MI).

"The relationships with the many people we work with in Tanzania will continue to blossom through these five students," said Finlandia Campus Pastor René Johnson. "They’ll be helping in the building of new dorms at Kisarawe Lutheran Jr. Seminar, a secondary school, and staying with host families in the capital city as they develop an understanding of life in Tanzania."

For more information, please contact René Johnson at 906-487-7239 or

Updated: Keweenaw Krayons, Horizon School to celebrate Mardi Gras Feb. 24 in Mohawk

MOHAWK -- Celebrate Mardi Gras (FAT Tuesday) from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at Mohawk’s Own French Quarter (Sometimes known as the Mohawk School -- currently the home of Horizons Alternative High School and Keweenaw Krayons Studios).

Update: Tentative schedule for the music:

4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. The ANENUKI with Matt Bradley, guitar vocals, harmonica; Sergio Buenoconti, bass; and Lee Voldarski, drums.

5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. On the Spot Blues Band. Let’s welcome these young musicians back from their Memphis trip!

7:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Drop of the Hat Band with Oren Tikkanen, Libby Meyer, Matt Durocher and Randy Seppala.

8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. or later -- maybe one of the three above or a mix of all three of the bands?

Sound by Red House Recording.

The program still allows room for possibly one or two more bands. If you want to share your jazzy/bluesy (or other) music with the Keweenaw let us know!

Tickets are $10 if purchased in advance* or $20 at the door.

Featured food will be the following: red beans and rice with or without medium or hot sausage, gumbo (regular and vegetarian), Cajun-style salad, Cornbread and dessert.

Twin Lakes Java will be selling their famous fresh roasted, fresh ground, fresh brewed coffee. Pre-schoolers eat free, and we are offering family discounts.

*Advance tickets may be purchased in Mohawk at the Horizons School Office, Keweenaw Krayons and the Mohawk Superette, as well as at the following businesses: Twin Lakes Java; 5th and Elm Coffee Shop and Beadazed Studio, both in Calumet; Lone Wolf Hair Den and Kangas Café, both in Hancock; and The Mariner North in Copper Harbor.

Update: Lone Wolf Hair Den is now sold out of advance tickets. Don’t think you can make it to one of these places before Tuesday? Just call 906-337-4706, and we’ll set tickets aside for you to pick up at the door!

In addition to the food and music there will be mask making, an art sale and a silent auction. One of the new items featured in the silent auction will be coffee mugs, hand-painted by local artists.

This FUN Fundraiser sees Keweenaw Krayons partnering with Horizons Alternative High School S.T.A.R.S. Program. All profits will be shared 50/50. S.T.A.R.S. stands for Success, Teamwork, Achievement, Recognition and Self-Esteem. In 2008 Horizons was named "Michigan Alternative School of the Year," and some of the profits from this year’s Mardi Gras will go towards Horizons’ expenses to travel to Lansing for the 2009 competition. Keweenaw Krayons will use their profits to keep their doors open and their programs free or low cost!

Call 906-337-4706 or email to obtain more information or to volunteer to play music, donate art or paint a mug. Check out the Keweenaw Krayons webpage for an updated schedule as well as a list of current sponsors and advertisers who are making this event possible.

Keweenaw Krayons is located in the FAR South end of Horizons Alternative High School -- the former Mohawk School -- 110 Stanton Ave., PO Box 191, Mohawk, MI 49950. Phone: 906-337-4706 (FAX same but please call first).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Blues Dance to be held Feb. 21 at Finlandia Hall

HOUGHTON -- The Social Dance Club will host a Blues Dance from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21, in Finlandia Hall, on the Finlandia University campus in Hancock -- 625 Summit St., just below the Paavo Nurmi Gymnasium parking lot. (From Quincy Street, turn right up the hill at Monticello's Grocery).

Preceding the dance, Blues dancing and Slow Dancing will be taught at Dance Workshops from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Dance Band and Food will start at 6 p.m.

The band that will be playing is called The Black and the Blues, which features Tony Lowe and Ted Alder. During breaks there will be DJ'd music to fit the occasion.

There is also a dessert contest, which means if you make a dessert and bring it, you have the possibility of winning $50 CASH!!!

Entry fee is $10; Workshop is $5.

For more information, please contact Chuck Hill, S.D.Club president, at (906) 370-9532 or Email

"A Night in Harlem," Open Mic Coffee House events to celebrate Black History Month

HOUGHTON -- Celebrate Black History Month at "A Night in Harlem: Stompin' at the Savoy" from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Feb. 19, in the Michigan Tech Rozsa Lobby.

Everyone is invited to dance to the music of Momentum and the Swing Cats Trio. In addition, an open mic will be available for poetry readings, singing, etc.

This event is free! There will be hors-d'oeuvres, cash bar and live entertainment.

Black History Month Open Mic Coffee House

Dr. Sharnnia Artis will host the Black History Month Open Mic Coffee House from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009, at MTU's Wadsworth Hall Café G17-19.

Anybody can get up and sing, play an instrument, read a poem or share a talent. The event is free and there will be coffee and donuts to enjoy. Express your appreciation for Black History Month and come join the party!

Finlandia to offer free Personal History Writing workshops beginning Feb. 21

HANCOCK -- Have you often wanted to write your personal history?

Starting Feb. 21, a series of free Life and Personal History Writing workshops, led by Finlandia University Professor and Paloheimo Scholar Beth Virtanen, Ph.D., will help participants write their own personal narratives. The writings may be poems, descriptions of people or places, beginnings of short stories, personal histories or memoirs.

"I am hoping people from high school age to senior citizens will attend one or more of the writing workshops," said Virtanen. "Participants will be invited to explore the many perspectives of their personal stories as part of a collaborative experience to enrich what they write."

The series of six workshops take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday afternoons at various locations in the western Upper Peninsula .

The first workshop will take place Feb. 21 at the South Range VFW on M 26, South Range.

Virtanen requests that participants bring pencils and paper, photographs and vivid memories of the times they wish to write about. Laptops are welcome, but not required. Participants will leave each workshop with something they have written.

Subsequent workshops will take place at the following locations:
Feb. 28, Ontonagon Historical Museum, River Street, Ontonagon; Mar. 7, Toivola Recreation Center, Church Road, Toivola; Mar. 14, Calumet VFW, US 41, one mile North of M 203, Calumet; Mar. 21, Ojibway Community College, Room 111, Beartown Rd., Baraga; Mar. 28, Covington Multipurpose Building, Covington.

The workshops are free and pre-registration is not required. For additional information, please contact Beth Virtanen at 906-483-0274 or

Finlandia's International School of Art and Design presents Faculty Exhibit Feb. 19 - Mar. 20

HANCOCK -- Finlandia University ’s International School of Art and Design will present a Faculty Exhibit at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, Feb. 19 to Mar. 20, 2009.

An opening reception for the artists will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the gallery Thursday, Feb. 19. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Finlandia Professor Rick Loduha (in red shirt) sets the foundation of his "experimental" LightFoot dwelling, which is now on display at the Finlandia University Gallery in the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

This year’s exhibit features the work of Jon Brookhouse, Yueh-mei Cheng, Carrie Flaspohler, Phyllis Fredendall, Greg Green, Ronda Jones, Rick Loduha, Jonathan Soper and Denise Vandeville. Ceramics, sustainable design, painting and drawing, fiber art, interactive media and photography are several of the media represented in this exhibit.

"Art and design faculty have a unique place within academia, as our intellectual research happens in the studio," said Denise Vandeville, dean of the International School of Art and Design. "We invite the public to join us as we celebrate, evaluate and discuss this research."

The results of this faculty creativity, Vandeville added, not only inspire the individual, but also inspire and instruct art and design students.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., or by appointment. Please call 906-487-7500 for more information.

Children's book author to present Writer's Journey Seminar Feb. 19

HANCOCK -- Local children’s book author Terri Martin will present the next Finlandia University Writer’s Journey seminar from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, at the university’s Chapel of St. Matthew, Hancock.

Through discussion and group participation, Martin will cover children’s book writing, and fiction writing in general, giving special attention to discovering the writer’s voice. She will also share tips on forming a critique group and information about helpful websites.

The title of Martin’s seminar is, "Discovering the Writer’s Voice Within."

Terri Martin has published a middle-grade children’s novel, A Family Trait (Holiday House, 1999). She has also written and published numerous outdoor-related and humorous articles and stories which have appeared in publications such as Michigan Out-of-Doors, Country Living, Backpacker, and Porcupine Press.

Originally from Michigan ’s Lower Peninsula, Terri and her husband, Wayne, moved to the Upper Peninsula in 2000. Terri is employed at Finlandia University where she works as assistant to the provost and teaches a freshman orientation class. She is also pursuing a masters degree in English at Northern Michigan University .

Martin’s book will be available for purchase following the seminar.

The seminar is free and open to the public. For additional information, please contact Suzanne Van Dam, Finlandia assistant professor of English, at 906-487-7515 or

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Obama invites citizens to follow Recovery Act progress on line

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law today, Feb. 17, 2009. Two new Web sites will allow the public to participate in accountability for the economic recovery plan.

"The recovery plan will create or save 3.5 million jobs, provide tax cuts for working and middle-class families, and invest in health care and clean energy," Obama writes in an email to supporters.

"It's a bold plan to address a huge problem, and it will require my vigilance and yours to make sure it's done right," he continues. "I've assigned a team of managers to oversee the implementation of the recovery act. We are committed to making sure no dollar is wasted. But accountability begins with you."

Obama says that accountability is why his administration has created, a new website where citizens can track every dollar spent and every job created. Readers are invited to submit comments and questions to the site.

In addition, the administration will track progress through stories submitted by people across the country on another Web site,

Obama says these stories are the heart of the recovery plan.

KLT to host ski, showshoe hike at Churning Rapids Feb. 21

Families enjoy Keweenaw Land Trust 2006 outing at Churning Rapids. (Photo courtesy Keweenaw Land Trust)

HANCOCK -- The Keweenaw Land Trust (KLT) invites the public to participate in a guided back-country or trail ski, or snowshoe hike at Churning Rapids beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21. Participants should meet at 3 p.m. at M203 and Christensen Road (about 4 miles north of Hancock) OR meet at 2:45 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 1320 W. Quincy in Hancock (M203 just past US41), to make carpooling arrangements with other participants.

Churning Rapids near Hancock offers both back-country ski and snowshoe trails. (Photo courtesy Keweenaw Land Trust)

Following this outing will be a potluck dinner and music from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 1320 W. Quincy in Hancock. Guests are encouraged to bring tableware and a dish to pass.

The evening’s musical entertainment will be provided by Rhythm 203, KLT’s own Curtis Perala on keyboard and accordion, and special guest Greg Merkle. Greg is an acoustic guitar virtuoso who performs his own remarkable compositions. His dizzying finger-tapping style is intricately technical yet intrinsically beautiful. Greg enjoys a cult-like following in his native New Jersey, and has also opened for musicians like Taj Mahal, John Hammond Jr., Iris Dement and Johnny Cash.

The next KLT OUTING is March 15 with ice fishing for kids at the Marsin Nature Retreat Center and hot cocoa by the fire. Other upcoming events in the KLT Outings series will include winter fire building, spring frogs and wildflowers, and bushwhacking/orienteering.

Visit www.KeweenawLandTrust OR call 906-482-0820 for more information.

Stupak: Economic recovery bill will create jobs in Michigan

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) released an audio statement following House passage of the final $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Friday, Feb. 13.

Stupak said this bill is anticipated to create 7,400 Jobs in Michigan's First Congressional District alone and 103,000 statewide.

"I voted for this legislation," Stupak said. "It's the best investment in America."

Click on the link below to hear Stupak's statement:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kennecott's Eagle Project nickel mine on hold

From Save the Wild UP:

MARQUETTE -- Rio Tinto released on Feb. 12, 2009, a 38-page press release which discusses the company's 2008 fiscal performance. Buried in one paragraph on page 10 of the release, is Rio Tinto's statement that "the development of the Eagle nickel mine in Michigan" has been "deferred until market conditions recover."

Jon Cherry of Kennecott Minerals prepared a statement which reads as follows:

"It is important to note that the Eagle project is one of many projects that add value to Rio Tinto. As market conditions continue to impact all industries, the Eagle team remains focused on realizing the inherent value of the project. We are continuing to work on our permits, litigation, and engineering design so that when the opportunity presents itself we will be poised to evaluate economic conditions and our next steps. The roughly 25 employees that are part of the Eagle project are integral to the ongoing activates in the U.P. These positions remain unchanged as we continue to focus on efforts and activities related to Eagle mine, Humboldt mill, and ongoing exploration activities."

The fact is Kennecott finished their drilling activities for 2008 in December and laid off the young drill crew and security personnel indefinitely. Their plans for "full steam ahead" have been slowed not only by the weather, but by Rio Tinto's uncertaintly to proceed as planned.

The Eagle permit application has been criticized by experts in the field as being "worthless." The testimony given in the contested case against the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) proves that these agencies did not follow the law when evaluating and approving the mine permit. Thousands of citizens have signed petitions, written letters and testified before the DEQ in efforts to bring attention to this project. Rio Tinto has not responded to the overwhelming public protest against Eagle project and remains isolated in London from these real issues surrounding Eagle.

Click here for the Rio Tinto Press Release.

DEQ to hold public meeting in Humboldt Feb. 18

Concerned citizens will get a chance on Wed., Feb. 18, to voice their opinions on Kennecott's plans to re-open the old Humboldt Mill at a public meeting hosted by Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality.

Kennecott Minerals bought the property last September with plans to process ore from its proposed Eagle Project. Without legal permits to develop Eagle, the company continues to push permits for this processing facility, which was not part of the original mine plan. The DEQ would have to approve Kennecott's application before the company could reopen the facility.

The meeting schedule is as follows:

Location: Humboldt Township Hall

Time and Date: Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009

1 p.m. - 2 p.m. -- Informal Question and Answer

2:15 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. -- Formal Testimony

6 p.m. - 7 p.m. -- Informal Question and Answer

7:15 p.m. - ? Formal Testimony

Directions: Hwy 41 to M95. M95 south, 1 block, turn west on County Road FA. Follow signs to the Hall. Click here for map to Humboldt Township Hall.

This is the start of the public comment process on the Humboldt Mill. Additional meetings and hearings will be scheduled as the decision making process continues.

The DEQ is accepting written comments until 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, 2009.

Letters should be sent to:
Kennecott Humboldt Mill Comments
DEQ Office of Geological Survey
P. O. Box 30256
Lansing MI 48909

To comment by email on the Kennecott Humboldt Mill Project, lease use the email

Editor's Note: See a recent article on by Gabriel Caplett, "Wiggle Worm: How Kennecott Got Off-the-Hook," concerning sediment Kennecott released in the Salmon Trout River, endangering the coaster brook trout.