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, November 06, 2009

KLT to host Fire Building, Marshmallow Roast Nov. 7

HANCOCK -- The Keweenaw Land Trust (KLT) will host a Fire Building and Marshmallow Roast from 2 p.m. to about 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7, at KLT's Boston Pond Preserve.

Explore the shoreline of KLT’s newest Preserve lands. Then learn how to build a fire without any matches with outdoor educator John Hribljan, and roast marshmallows-- yum!

Directions: Drive from Houghton north on 41. Just before the intersection of Airport Park Road and US41, there is a pullout next to Boston Pond on the left side of the highway. Park in the pullout.

Click on this link to a map of the intersection of Airport Road and US41:

To reserve a place or for information about the Outing, e-mail:

For more information about KLT, go to:

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Student group to hold fundraiser for Greg Mortenson's Central Asia Institute at Econo-Foods Nov. 7

Students from Michigan Tech's Taking Education Abroad group raised nearly $80 for Greg Mortenson's Central Asia Institute at their bake sale held during the D80 Conference at Michigan Tech on Oct. 17, 2009. Pictured here are, from left, Brandi Lundquist, Jessica Banda and Erin Collins.

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech's Taking Education Abroad student group will have a fund-raising activity for Greg Mortenson's Central Asia Institute from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 7, while they volunteer their time to bag groceries at Econo-Foods in Houghton.

Do your grocery shopping at that time so students can receive a percentage of your receipt to help Mortenson's work of building schools, especially for girls, in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, as he describes in his book, Three Cups of Tea. The students will also be accepting donations at a table in Econo-Foods.

Michigan Tech students read the book through the university's Reading as Inquiry program in 2008 and were inspired to form a group to support Mortenson's work after he spoke here in August 2008.*

The student group recently raised nearly $80 at a bake sale they held during the D80 Conference at Michigan Tech. The group is also collecting used copies of Three Cups of Tea to be distributed to students in local schools. On Halloween they gave out coupons for the free books. In December they plan to have a raffle for a significant prize to be announced soon.

Mortenson has written a second book, Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It will be released on December 1, 2009.

*For more information about the Taking Education Abroad group and Greg Mortenson's work, see our Feb. 2, 2009 article. To learn about the Central Asia Institute and see photos and videos of Mortenson, his schools and students, visit their Web site.

Editor's Note: If you have a used copy of Three Cups of Tea to donate, please contact Keweenaw Now at or Jessica Banda at

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

First Friday in Calumet offers art, music Nov. 6

CALUMET -- First Friday in Calumet, Nov. 6, will offer three gallery exhibit openings and musical entertainment -- all free and open to the public.

The Calumet Art Center will host music by the Uptown Swingsters during First Friday art and music festivities Nov. 6 in Calumet. (Photo courtesy Ed Gray)

The Calumet Art Center will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday for musical entertainment by the Uptown Swingsters: John Munson, piano and sax; Brian Parmeter, upright bass; Bob Norden, trombone and dancing; Oren Tikkanen, guitar and vocals; Greg Wright, drums and vocals; Lucas Lago, congas and vocals. The Calumet Art Center is at 57055 Fifth Street.

Tamarack Trading Company to honor artist, drummer Len Novak

The Tamarack Trading Company (formerly Beadazed Studio) will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday to introduce this month's memorial to a location that a lot of people shared with artist and drummer Len Novak. His Teepee location was dismantled this fall after seven years of activity -- drummings, lots of guests, canoe excursions, etc.

The public is invited to share in the memories of the Esrey Park Teepee. Len Novak will be present to share his art works, memories and thoughts. Live music will be presented by Heaven and Tony.

The talented musical duo -- Heaven Hawkins, right, of Mohawk, and Tony Laux of Houghton -- return to the Tamarack Trading Company Nov. 6 for the First Friday event honoring artist Len Novak. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Healthy Nibbles too! The Tamarack Trading Company is at 300 Fifth Street in Calumet.

Miskwabik Ed Gray Gallery features fiber art

An opening reception for "A Woven Past: Fiber," an open, juried show for November, will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, at the Miskwabik Ed Gray Gallery, 109 Fifth Street. Phone 906-337-5970 for more information.

Vertin Gallery to host "Digital Realities" by Max Seel

Through the Martini Glass, photo print on etching paper, by Max Seel. (Photo courtesy Vertin Gallery)

An opening reception for "Digital Realities," photos by Max Seel, will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 6 at the Vertin Gallery, 220 Sixth Street, Calumet. The exhibit continues through Dec. 2, 2009.

Photographer Max Seel joined Michigan Technological University in 1986 as a faculty member in physics and served as Dean of College of Science and Arts from 1990 to 2008.

In his digital photography, he takes a slice of reality and transforms it into something else, into another reality. Things are never quite what they seem to be.

Lahti Praises $530K for Western U.P. Michigan Works! job training

LANSING -- State Representative Mike Lahti (D-Hancock) recently applauded a $530,000 state grant that will help Western U.P. Michigan Works! continue to provide funding for job training for displaced workers.

State Representative Mike Lahti (D-Hancock), right, presents a tribute to retired Western U.P. Michigan Works! Director Jim Saari on Oct. 23. Lahti thanked Saari for his 35 years of dedication and service to U.P. residents. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo courtesy Mike Lahti)

"Too many of our hard-working men and women are losing their jobs due to downsizing and outsourcing, and oftentimes are unable to land another job," Lahti said. "Michigan has been one of the states hit hardest by this recession, and we must help our unemployed residents get back on the job and back on their feet. This training will help give our workers the new skills they need to compete for good-paying jobs."

Western U.P. Michigan Works! has seen an overwhelming number of residents seeking assistance through Michigan's No Worker Left Behind Program, which enables workers to acquire the skills necessary to succeed in the fast-changing 21st century global economy.

The office had enough funding to help students pay for their first semester of training and enough for nearly one-third of the requests for the second semester. The $530,000 grant will help Michigan Works! fill the second-semester funding gap, allowing students to remain in school.

The funding will also help to restore all certified nurse aide training courses in the region, and provide on-the-job training assistance to new employees at CertainTeed in L'Anse.

"Michigan needs the highly skilled workforce that will attract new and emerging industries and good-paying jobs," Lahti said. "My top priority is getting our U.P. workers back to work as quickly as possible, and this funding will help give them the training and skills they need to fill the jobs that are available now."

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Writer Katie Alvord to lead "Journaling for Wellness" class Nov. 4

HANCOCK -- Katie Alvord, writer and Keweenaw Now contributor, will be leading a class called "Journaling for Wellness" at 6:30 p.m. this Wednesday evening, Nov. 4, in Room 324 at the Jutila Center in Hancock (the old hospital, 200 Michigan Street).

"The one-hour class will survey ways that journal writing can be used to support health and wellness," Alvord says. "We will talk about expressive writing -- which can lower blood pressure and reduce stress -- as well as affirmative journaling, wellness journals and dream journals."

Bring a notebook or journal for a couple of writing exercises. The class, which is part of the Optimal Wellness series, is $10 at the door.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Updated: "Caliente!!!" Luna Negra to heat up Rozsa Nov. 5

HOUGHTON -- "Raw beauty in fluid movement" is how the New York Times describes the grace and brilliance of Luna Negra Dance Theater. At 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5, the Rozsa Center stage will sizzle with their emotional fire and technical wizardry.

Luna Negra Dance Theater will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, at the Rozsa Center. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo courtesy Rozsa Center)

Devoted to the creation and presentation of contemporary dance by Latino choreographers, Luna Negra Dance Theater is an amazing blend of contrasts -- serious and funny, passionate and serene, adventurous and subtle. The company’s distinctive style blends ballet and modern dance techniques, strongly flavored by Latino and Afro-Caribbean dance forms.

Over the past ten years, Luna Negra Dance Theater has established itself as a significant and vital component of Chicago’s arts and cultural community. The company serves as a springboard for Latino contemporary choreographers to give expression to their stories and bring new life to the cultures of their communities. Steering away from stereotypes and folkloric representations, Luna Negra brings to audiences modern Latino expressions with energy, power, and passion -- reflecting through dance the immense cultural shift that is shaping America in the 21st century.

Luna Negra has received wide critical acclaim for its remarkable collaborations with artists of other disciplines such as world renowned Afro-Peruvian singer Susana Baca and Grammy award nominee Angel Melendez and the 911 Mambo Orchestra. Luna Negra has performed at the New Victory Theater, City Center in New York City, the Ravinia Festival, the Harris Theater, The Dance Center at Columbia College, Dance Cleveland, New Orleans Ballet Association, as well as in Mexico and Panama. In addition, Luna Negra conducts extensive outreach and education programs, encouraging students to explore the world around them, examine their own history and find their own voice to express their unique identity.

Sponsored by the Katherine M. Bosch Endowment.

This presentation is supported by the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, General Mills Foundation, and Land O’Lakes Foundation.

Ticket prices for the general public are $25 and $20; MTU student prices are $20 and $15 (MTU student ID required); 18 and under $20, $15; A.A.R.P. Members - $22.50, $18.00. To purchase tickets contact the Rozsa Box Office at 487-3200, The Central Ticket Office (SDC) at 487-2073, Tech Express (MUB) at 487-3308 or go online at No refunds, exchanges, or late seating, please.

Update: Luna Negra to offer dance class Nov. 4

The performance group Luna Negra will be offering a free master class in dance and movement focused on modern Latino expressions from 1 to 2 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 4, in Walker 210 on the Michigan Tech campus. The class is open to the public.

This class is offered by the Rozsa Center and is supported by the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest which is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, General Mills Foundation and Land O'Lakes Foundation.

To attend, RSVP at the Rozsa Box Office at 487-3200.

Register by Nov. 2 for Get Kids Outdoors Summit Nov. 5, Silver City

HOUGHTON --The Western U.P. Get Kids Outdoors Summit will take place from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 5, at the AmericInn in Silver City, 20 miles west of Ontonagon.

The Summit will bring together educators, parents, government, community planning, health, conservation, recreation, industry and business leaders to attend presentations and workshops on the topics of getting kids and families outdoors in the Western U.P.

The registration deadline is today, Monday, Nov. 2. To register for the Summit, contact Rachel Carpenter at 906-487-3341 or email: Registration is $12.50 and includes lunch and a copy of Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods.

Dr. Denise Mitten from the Dept. of Recreation, Leisure Services and Wellness, at Ferris State University, will be the keynote presenter. Dr. Mitten will discuss the research supporting the mental and physical health benefits of nature.

In a series of three roundtables, a variety of teachers, health providers, informal educators and city officials will discuss challenges and successes in facilitating children spending time outdoors.

The Get Kids Outdoors Summit will have spaces for poster sessions/displays that can offer resources and knowledge to communities and agencies related to getting outdoors. To obtain more information or to reserve display space, contact Jody Maloney at the MSU Extension office in Ontonagon at 906-884-4386 or email:

The Get Kids Outdoors Summit is being sponsored by Ottawa National Forest; Michigan DNR; MSU Extension 4-H Programs; Portage Health; and the Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education.

For a brochure and registration form, click here.