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.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Portage Library to host Scottish Travel Program Mar. 26

HOUGHTON -- Mother daughter adventurers Karen and Andra Ziemnick will present "Welcome to Scotland" at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 26, in the community room at the Portage Lake District Library.

Their slide show presentation will take participants on an historical journey that includes travel to Edinburgh, the Isle of Skye, Inverness and Fort William in the Highlands, Loch Ness, castles and more. Participants will learn how the Great Plague of 1665 afflicted Scotland; hear tales from Culloden, Scotland’s most famous battlefield; and wonder about sightings of the Loch Ness monster.

Participants will enjoy sampling haggis, the national dish of Scotland, which will be served with neeps and tatties. Souvenirs, photos and books from Scotland will be on display; and anyone who can play the bagpipes is welcome to bring them and pipe a tune for the audience.

This program is for all ages. Everyone is invited to attend library events and presentations are free.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Freshwater Expert Sandra Postel to speak Mar. 23, World Water Day, at Rozsa

HOUGHTON -- In recognition of World Water Day, Sandra Postel, a leading authority on international freshwater issues, will deliver a free lecture titled "Dividing the Waters: Strategies for a Warming, Water-Stressed World" at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Mar. 23, at the Rozsa Center.

Sandra Postel, authority on international water issues. (Photo courtesy Rozsa Center)

Postel has worked on water issues for more than twenty-five years. In her award-winning book, Last Oasis, she issued a clarion call for the emergence of a water ethic. Through the Global Water Policy Project, Postel now works to translate this ethical precept into policy and action.

Alex Mayer, director of the Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society, says of Postel, "I can't think of anyone more appropriate than Sandra Postel for giving our World Water Day keynote lecture. She has selflessly and tirelessly advocated to bring water issues to the political and environmental forefront all over the globe -- from restoring aquatic ecosystems to curbing demand for water. She is fluent at making us recognize the connection between conserving and our human survival."

Postel’s books and numerous scholarly and popular articles on the world’s fresh water provide valuable insights into the nature of global water challenges and constructive solutions to them. In 2002 she was honored by Scientific American for promoting "sweeping changes aimed at preserving the world's dwindling supplies of fresh water." Postel is the founder and director of the independent Global Water Policy Project, as well as the Center for the Environment at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. From 1988 until 1994, she was vice president for research at the Worldwatch Institute, a non-profit research organization. In 2002, Scientific American magazine named Postel one of the "Scientific American 50," an award recognizing contributions to science and technology.

As a prolific author on international water issues, Postel’s work is dedicated to the creation of a more environmentally secure world in which all people and living things may thrive. She is author of Pillar of Sand: Can the Irrigation Miracle Last? and Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity, which was chosen by Choice magazine as a 1993 Outstanding Academic Book. Last Oasis appears in eight languages and was the basis for a PBS documentary that aired in 1997.

Postel has authored more than 100 articles for popular and scholarly publications and for newspapers in the United States and abroad. She also has served as commentator on CNN's "Futurewatch," addressed the European Parliament on environmental issues and appeared on television and in the Leonardo DiCaprio documentary The 11th Hour, released in 2007.

The lecture is sponsored by the Van Evera Distinguished Lecture Series Endowment, the Center for Water and Society, Student Entertainment Board, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Department of Social Sciences Environmental Policy Program, the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, the Graduate Program in Environmental Policy, and the Visiting Women and Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series.

For more information, call the Rozsa Center at 487-2844 or visit

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Finlandia Writer's Journey Seminar continues

HANCOCK -- Finlandia University's Writer’s Journey Seminar resumes with a presentation by Peter Gundersen, "The Villanelle (and the value of form in poetry)" at 4 p.m. today, Mar. 19, in the chapel of St. Matthew on the Finlandia campus.

Additional presentations for the second half of this series are the following:

Thursday, Mar. 26: M Bartley Seigel, "The Literary Avant-garde (and PANK Literary magazine)"

Thursday, Apr. 2: Suzanne Van Dam, "Setting and Scene"

Thursday, Apr. 9: Jan Worth, "Sense of Place"

MONDAY, Apr. 20: Suzanne Strempek Shea, "Sundays in America"

All sessions meet at 4 p.m. in the chapel of St. Matthew.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email or call 487-7515.

UPDATE: Music benefit for local Shelter Home postponed

CALUMET -- UPDATE: The benefit music event for the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home, "Women Helping Women: Music Night," originally scheduled for tonight, Thursday, Mar. 19, has been postponed. Watch for an announcement of the new time and place for the event.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Michigan Tech, Finlandia students to hold Relay for Life Mar. 20 to fight cancer

HOUGHTON / HANCOCK -- Students from Michigan Tech and Finlandia universities will hold a students' Relay for Life event on Friday, Mar. 20, in the Multipurpose Room of the SDC (Student Development Complex) on Michigan Tech's campus. Like the local community Relay for Life held in June, the purpose is to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Tuesday and Wednesday of this week are the last days of collecting funds for the Relay. Please be generous if students request a donation for this important cause.

This year's Relay For Life theme is outer space. The motto is "Searching The Galaxy In Order To Make A Cure A Reality!" According to their Web site, the students have raised over $3000 so far with the help of more than 100 participants.

This year is the second annual Relay For Life Event at Michigan Tech. Last year students raised $9,243 thanks to enthusiastic participants. This year their goal is $16,000.

For more information contact: or

Although Relay For Life® provides an opportunity for everyone involved to raise funds and awareness to support the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving mission, it is much more than a fundraiser. It is about joining students and many others across the globe in the world’s largest grassroots movement to fight cancer. It’s about being a campus and a community that takes up the fight!

MTU Students host Earth Week Events March 17-19

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech's Students for Environmental Sustainability (SfES) invite the public to attend the Earth Week 2009 activities taking place this week from Tuesday, Mar. 17, through Thursday, Mar. 19.

Here is the schedule of events:

Tangible "How-To": 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Tuesday, Mar. 17, Dow Lobby.
Turn your trash into treasure! Make a decorative holder, snow globe or other fun craft from your old glass jars. Basic craft supplies provided include glitter, ribbon, scissors, buttons, paint, markers, feathers and glue. Bring any additional supplies like extra jars, magazine clippings or old fabric to help accessorize your creations.

Film showing: WALL-E: 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. Wednesday, Mar. 18, Fisher Room 135.
Come and enjoy a free showing of WALL-E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) this Wednesday evening. This movie treats viewers to a whimsical view of what the Earth might be like in the future, inundated with garbage. After the movie, an optional discussion on the movie's themes will be led by Dr. Stephen Pluhacek. For more information on WALL-E click here.

Traditional Environmental Knowledge (TEK): 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Thursday, Mar. 19, MUB Ballroom.
Donny Dowd, Doreen Blaker and Pauline Spruce will give presentations on the traditional views of nature from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. TEK is a particular form of knowledge of the diversity and interactions among plants and animals, landforms, watercourses and other traits of the biophysical environment in a given place typically associated with Native Americans. Dowd will speak on his beliefs as a traditional Native American Medicine Man; Spruce will speak on the importance of water in the Native American community; and Blaker will discuss contemporary Native American environmental issues. The presentations will be followed by a joint question and answer session. This event is sponsored by both SfES and AISES (American Indian Science and Engineering Society, MTU Chapter).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rep. Mike Lahti votes to protect jobs for Michigan workers

LANSING -- State Representative Mike Lahti (D-Hancock) recently voted in favor of the "Hire Michigan First" plan, which rewards companies that employ 100 percent Michigan workers with state economic development incentives.

The aggressive job-creation plan also cracks down on companies that hire undocumented workers by creating penalties that include requiring these companies to pay back their state incentives and barring them from future state contracts. The plan now heads to the Senate.

"Our hard-working residents deserve the jobs our tax dollars help to create," Lahti said. "In these tough economic times, workers from other states or countries shouldn't benefit -- our residents have earned those jobs. It is our responsibility to protect these jobs for Michigan workers to help get our economy back on track."

The "Hire Michigan First" plan:
· Rewards companies that hire the most Michigan residents in the pursuit of state tax breaks and other economic development incentives. This rule would apply to projects handled by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and certain state-funded programs, including the Michigan Economic Growth Authority and the Renaissance Zone Act.
· Encourages transparency and accountability by requiring companies that accept incentives to report on whom they hire in order to ensure that Michigan residents are put first.
· Cracks down on companies that hire undocumented workers by creating penalties that include requiring these companies to pay back their tax incentives and barring them from future state contracts.

"I urge my colleagues in the Senate to work quickly to pass this plan," Lahti said. "'Hire Michigan First' will help to fight Michigan's rising unemployment rate. Our state is full of highly skilled workers who are ready and willing to do the job. This plan puts our workers first."