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, December 18, 2009

Ethnic Christmas trees on exhibit at Keweenaw Heritage Center Dec. 19

Julia Simila and Croatian Lodge friends decorated this Croatian Christmas tree for the exhibit of ethnic Christmas trees now on display at the Keweenaw Heritage Center at St. Anne's in Calumet. (Photos courtesy Julia Simila, Anita Campbell and Tom Tikkanen)

CALUMET -- The public is invited to view a display of ethnic Christmas trees from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Keweenaw Heritage Center at St. Anne's.

This Finnish tree was decorated by decorated by the Jr. High Sunday School Class of the First Apostolic Lutheran Church, Calumet.

Several school and community groups have decorated the trees to represent some of the ethnic groups that have been an important part of the history and culture of Calumet.

Mrs. Pavolich and Mrs. Darnell's second-grade classes at CLK Elementary decorated this French Canadian tree.

Be sure to visit the exhibit of these and more ethnic trees on Saturday, Dec. 19.

Editor's Note: In case you missed it, see and listen to our videoclip of Maple Sugar Folk singing "Oh Christmas Tree" in three languages!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Finlandia's Jutila Center to dedicate new business suites Dec. 18

HANCOCK -- The dedication of 20 new business incubator suites at the Finlandia University Jutila Center for Global Design and Business will take place at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18, on the sixth floor of the Jutila Center campus.

Finlandia President Philip Johnson , Michigan Representative Michael Lahti, and Kim Stoker of the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region will take part in the dedication ceremony.

The ceremony will be followed at 12 p.m. by a holiday reception sponsored by Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA), MTEC SmartZone and the Finlandia Jutila Center.

The public is invited to tour the renovated Jutila Center floors from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. the same day.

It is our pleasure to gratefully acknowledge the support of the U.S. Economic Development Administration and Finlandia University friends and contributors," said Bonnie Holland, director of the Jutila Center. "It is their generosity and confidence that made possible these renovations to the sixth and seventh floors of the Jutila Center."

The former hospital was destined for demolition when Finlandia University took it over as the site of their International School of Art and Design as well as a business incubator for the community.

"It has been a pleasure to see the old hospital building become a vital resource in our community," said Representative Mike Lahti. "Not only has the building been saved, Finlandia University’s work with the EDA, in cooperation with local, state and federal agencies, has provided a good home for many start-up businesses in our community."

Click here to read the rest of this article on the Finlandia News.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Michigan Tech students send letters from Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN -- Two Michigan Tech University students sent reports this week from the United Nations conference on climate change in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Cate Cogger, an undergraduate anthropology major, and Adam Airoldi, a graduate student in forest ecology and management, sent letters with their observations and experiences at the conference.

Cate spent the fall semester as an exchange student at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. Since Copenhagen is only a short train and plane ride from Trondheim, she decided to travel there to be part of the international climate change conference, or in her words, "to witness what will surely be world history."

Cate begins her Dec. 15 letter with a description of marches by GreenPeace and other environmental organizations:

"Perhaps one of the most outspoken and well-known organizations here is GreenPeace. Having gained a reputation for frequent and passionate demonstrations in the past against a variety of environmental threats, disasters and injustices, demonstrators from the organization are here in Copenhagen in force. On Saturday, thousands of GreenPeace members and empathetic global citizens marched throughout Copenhagen with placards and banners proclaiming a variety of messages like: 'Act Now,' 'There Is No Planet B' and 'Nature Doesn't Compromise.' Their main message today during their march was that the selling and trading of carbon credits is unethical and not a solution to reducing rising CO2 levels within the atmosphere. ..."

Click here to read the rest of Cate Cogger's letter from Copenhagen, posted by Jennifer Donovan, on the Michigan Tech News.

On Dec. 14, Michigan Tech received a letter from Adam Airoldi, now a Michigan Tech graduate student, who earned his Bachelor of Science in Forestry degree at Michigan Tech in 2008. His advisor is Andrew Burton, an associate professor in Michigan Tech’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. Airoldi is doing research in Norway this semester, working with the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research on changes in the alpine tree line around a small copper mining town in central Norway.

Adam Airoldi with the World Wildlife Fund's "ice bear" display at the climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photos courtesy Michigan Technological University)

Adam is in Copenhagen this week on a graduate travel grant from the Ecosystem Science Center at Michigan Tech. Here is an excerpt from his first observations of the international climate change conference:

"Walking around the centrum (downtown), the first thing I noticed were all the police officers and vehicles stationed at every corner. In addition there are helicopters flying all over and skiffs patrolling the canals.

"The next thing I noted was the abundance of bicycles. It seems that the people of Copenhagen are taking personal responsibility for climate impacts, turning as a group to cycling for their means of transportation. The city is well set up for this, with bicycle lanes as wide as sidewalks, and although the cyclists can sometimes clog the bridges and intersections, it is hard to imagine the same number of cars fitting into downtown. The use of bicycles is not a recent development, however. It points to a culture that is active and sensible enough to make use of efficient personal transport. ..."

Click here to read the rest of Adam's letter on the Michigan Tech News.

Distant Drum Studio Moving Sale extended through Dec. 18

HANCOCK -- Andrea Puzakulich has extended her Distant Drum Studio Moving Sale from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. through this Friday, Dec. 18, in Studio #210 of the Jutila Center (Finlandia Portage Campus or Old Hospital) in Hancock.

Andrea Puzakulich with some of her original creations. Help her move to her new studio in E.L. Wright by visiting her Moving Sale in Studio #210 of the Jutila Center this week. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Stop by for that special holiday gift or a treat for yourself -- including fabrics and non-wearables. Beautiful stuff at low prices! and some things are free!

The new Distant Drum Studio will be located in the E.L.Wright Building in Hancock, Studio 101, starting in January 2010.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Film on Consuming Kids to be shown again Dec. 16

HOUGHTON -- Joseph Hernandez will again host the film Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, at the Portage Lake District Library. This brand new and critically acclaimed film throws light on the practices of a relentless multi-billion dollar marketing machine that sells kids everything from junk food to violent video games.

This program is presented by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

Library programs are free and open to all. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Maple Sugar Folk welcome the season with song ...

CHASSELL -- A highlight of the Chassell Old Fashioned Christmas celebration Dec. 12 was the singing of Christmas carols in several languages by Maple Sugar Folk at the Chassell Heritage Center and Museum. Here are some samples:

Barbara Lide sings "Santa Lucia" in Swedish.* The Maple Sugar Folk performed in one of the old Chassell School classrooms, now part of the Heritage Center. (Video clips by Keweenaw Now)

Accompanied by Dave Bezotte on organ, Maple Sugar Folk sing the favorite "Oh Christmas Tree" in English, French ("Mon beau sapin") and German ("O Tannenbaum") during the Open House at the Chassell Heritage Center and Museum Dec. 12, 2009 -- part of the Chassell Old Fashioned Christmas celebration. Singers are, from left, Barry Pegg, Ralph Horvath, Amanda Binoniemi, Karin Schlenker, Janet Wieber (behind Schlenker), Marcia Goodrich and Barbara Lide (seated next to Bezotte).

A special visitor joins in the singing ...

It's Santa, adding his energetic voice to the singing. In the foreground is Oren Tikkanen of the Thimbleberry Band offering some guitar accompaniment, along with his nephew Coleman Segal (not pictured here) on mandolin. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)**

Editor's Notes:
*Today, Dec. 13, is Santa Lucia Day, celebrated in several countries. Click here to see a photo of this year's Lucia in Finland and learn about this festival of light at the darkest time of year.

**Watch for more photos of the Chassell Heritage Center Open House, coming soon ...