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Friday, December 25, 2009

Peace on Earth ...

HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Now wishes all our readers a peaceful, healthy, happy and safe holiday season.

As we look forward to the New Year, 2010, let us support our community, state and national leaders in efforts to bring about a more peaceful world and a cleaner planet. In our own relationships, let us work for social justice and better understanding among diverse cultures.

Time to register for Heikinpäivä enrichment classes

HANCOCK -- As part of the annual Heikinpäivä festival, the City of Hancock’s Finnish Theme Committee is offering a variety of enrichment courses, beginning in mid-January. It’s important to sign up now and reserve your spots, because class sizes are limited.

The first offering is a nisu-making class taught by Edith Maki, former proprietor of Spice of Life bakery. The classes are at 2 p.m. or 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 11. Registration is $15 per student.

The following Monday, Jan. 18, Debbie Kurtti will lead a class in leipajuustoa (squeaky cheese)-making; these classes are also at 2 p.m. or 6 p.m. Registration is $15 per student.

On Monday, Jan. 25, there will be a class on making Karjalan piirakka (Karelian rice pies) at 2 p.m. or 6 p.m., and at 6 p.m. that day Pete Olson will teach a class in making joulukuusi (Finnish shaving carved trees). Registration is $15 per student.

On Wednesday, Jan. 27, Kay Seppala will conduct a 5-string kantele class at 6 p.m. at Finlandia University’s Finnish American Heritage Center. Instruments will be provided for this class, which is designed for musicians ages 13 and up. Registration is $10 per student.

And, on Saturday, Jan.30, Randy Seppala will lead a bones workshop at 2:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Hancock. For only a $2 fee, students can learn to play this traditional musical instrument.

To register for classes, please call (906) 487-7505. More information about the classes, as well as details about other aspects of Heikinpäivä 2010, can be found online at

Finlandia University hosts Journal of Finnish Studies

HANCOCK -- Finlandia University has strengthened its intellectual role in Finnish America by becoming the host university for the Journal of Finnish Studies. The first issue of the Journal generated at Finlandia University, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Summer 2009) is now in print.

"The Journal of Finnish Studies has been roundly welcomed by Finlandia University," said Finlandia Paloheimo Scholar Beth Virtanen. "The move of the Journal to Finlandia reflects Finlandia’s central role in Finnish studies scholarship in North America."

The journal’s transition to Finlandia was supported by a grant from Finlandia Foundation National.

The latest Journal contains ten peer-reviewed articles by Finnish and American scholars. The articles, of two types, examine contemporary literary studies as well as scholarly papers presented at the summer 2009 conference "Finnish- American Immigrants in Transition," hosted by the Institute of Migration at the University of Turku.

The Journal is produced by Beth Virtanen, editor-in-chief, along with co-editor Professor Hanna Snellman of the University of Jyväskylä, and assistant editor Hilary Joy Virtanen, a doctoral candidate in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Scandinavian Studies program. The cover art for the Summer 2009 issue is by retired Finlandia art and design instructor and artist Joyce Koskenmaki.

The cover of the Vol. 13, No. 1, issue of the Journal of Finnish Studies features art by Joyce Koskenmaki, retired Finlandia art and design instructor and artist. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

The Kalevala is the theme of the Journal’s next issue, a full-color volume illustrated with Kalevala artwork and with articles written by the world’s foremost Kalevala scholars. This issue (Winter 2009) is supported by a grant from the Kalevalaseura (Kalevala Society) of Helsinki, Finland (, in celebration of the Kalevala’s 175th anniversary in 2010.

The Journal of Finnish Studies is published twice yearly in summer and winter. Planned topics of future issues include Finnish-American music, proceedings of Finn Forum IX to be held in May 2010, papers from a 2011 conference on the victims and survivors of Karelia, and others.

The Journal of Finnish Studies was founded in 1997 by Professor Börje Vähämäki, chair of the Finnish Studies Department at the University of Toronto. Under his editorship, twenty-five issues of the Journal were published at the University of Toronto and an international subscription base was developed.

Dr. Beth Virtanen’s position at Finlandia University is supported by a grant from the Paloheimo Foundation.

To subscribe to the Journal of Finnish Studies, visit, the website of the Finnish North American Literature Association.

For additional information, please contact Beth Virtanen at 906-487-7511.

Photo, above left: Dr. Beth Virtanen, Finlandia University Paloheimo Scholar. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

Houghton County receives loan for sewer improvement

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) announced North Houghton County Water and Sewage Authority has received a $4,834,000 loan to improve its existing water and sewer system. The loan is being provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loan program.

"This funding will allow Houghton County to improve sewer infrastructure to protect the health of the community and also help the environment," Stupak said. "I appreciate USDA’s continued investment in Northern Michigan’s rural communities."

The loan will be used by Houghton County to make improvements to the current sewer system and eliminate deficiencies and excessive infiltration and inflow to comply with Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (now the Department of Natural Resources and Environment) provisions. The project includes construction of storage basins and upgrades to the lift station.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club to meet Dec. 23

HANCOCK -- The Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (KNSC) will meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 23, at the Hancock Chalet. The tentative agenda includes the Treasurer Report, the Groomer's Report, Public Comment, Barneloppet, Sandpit/snowfence, Insurance, Glide 'n Gorge, window stickers, grooming times, Heikinpäivä and Web pages.

Any additions to the agenda, questions or comments, please contact Jay Green at or at 487-5411.

The January meeting will be Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Update: Luncheon location changed for Karinen funeral gathering

SOUTH RANGE -- The location for the luncheon to follow the funeral for Bill Karinen on Tuesday, Dec. 22, has been changed to Holy Family Parish in South Range. From the Funeral Home you take M-26 south to Trimountain Ave. Turn left, go straight and the church is located right there.

For the potluck luncheon, Annette Butina is requesting hot dishes, cold salads, desserts and anything else friends of the Karinens can help with. She is anticipating a group of 100-150. Call Annette at 369-6642 if you have questions.

See previous article for more details.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Calumet Art Center to host Winter Solstice Drumming Celebration Dec. 21

CALUMET -- The Calumet Art Center will host an Ecstatic Peace Winter Solstice Drumming Celebration beginning with a Potluck at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 21, at the Center, 57055 Fifth St., Calumet.

The Drumming Ceremony will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., followed by a Give-a-way event. Bring a small item you love and wish to share with someone, wrap it in newsprint and bring it with you to the drumming to give-a-way.

The Ecstatic Peace Winter Solstice Drumming is intended to create a flow of Peace energy that will ripple around the world, as participants welcome the return of the Light. Join the thousands of people all over the world who will be sharing in song, dance and meditation during the Winter Solstice.

This is a time to honor oneself, faith, family, community and the Earth -- to gather together in the spirit of community with a shared vision on the Winter Solstice.

Photo: Calumet Art Center on Fifth St. (Keweenaw Now file photo courtesy Ed Gray)

Updated: Community groups call for food, support for Karinen family after accident*

HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Now wishes to extend our deepest sympathy to the family of William (Bill) Karinen.

Bill Karinen was fatally injured last Thursday morning, Dec. 17, in a car accident. Bill was driving to work when his vehicle collided with another. Bill's oldest son, Peter, was also in the car and was injured.

In an email to the cycling community, Dan Dalquist said, "Bill was a tremendous supporter of cycling and cross-country skiing in the Keweenaw. He worked on many of our bikes. We have ridden with Bill and the family. I recall approaching the Chain Drive finish line, in 2008, chasing Bill and being passed by Pete who was also chasing his Dad!"

A fund has been established for Mrs. Lisa Karinen and her six children at the Michigan Tech Credit Union. Dalquist said also that donations can be taken to either Cross Country Sports store.

Betsy Rossini writes in an email that friends wishing to help the family can do so by providing food. Here are her suggestions:

Hot or cold dishes -- lunch type food or dinner.
Groceries -- easy to prepare food/breakfast eats/fruit/snacks.
Grocery store gift certificates.

Other things to consider:
Send food in containers that you don't want back or disposable ones. Although not essential, items that could be frozen are also welcome. Although the Karinens don't have a large freezer, this time of year outside in a cooler or box works!

How to get it to them:
You can drop off items at Betsy Rossini's house -- 1430 Silver Drive, Hancock, or at the Red Cross Office in the old E.L. Wright School at the junction of Elevation and US 41 in Hancock.

Annette Butina, who works for Red Cross has graciously agreed to help with transportation as she is the Karinens' neighbor in Painesdale and is providing them with a home in Baltic to help them save on expenses.

Please notify Betsy if you are delivering food by either calling 482-4824 or emailing her at Call Annette any time at 906-369-6642 if you need information on delivering food for the family.

*Update: A memorial service for Bill Karinen will be held this Tuesday, Dec. 22,at the Mountainview Mortuary in South Range. Visitation is from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. with the service following immediately afterwards. There will also be a get together after the service at approximately 5 p.m. at Jeffers High School in Painesdale. All are invited. This will be a potluck. Please bring a dish or a finger food to share. Drinks, plates and silverware will be provided.

For more information email Betsy Rossini at or call her at 482-4824.