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, January 22, 2010

Children’s Science Center to debut Jan. 23 at Carnegie Museum

HOUGHTON -- The public is invited to the Carnegie Museum for the debut of their new Science Center, a space dedicated to interactive exhibits about science just for kids, from 12 noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23.

The first exhibit, "Take a Spin," explores the science of spinning. Stop by during this first "Science Saturday." Several hands-on stations will allow children to explore the science and fun of spin -- including Tops, Spin Art, Skittles, Frisbees, Gyroscopes, Tornadoes, Maples Seeds, Gears and more. All ages are welcome, but children must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information, call 482-7140, or email

The Carnegie Museum is located on the corner of Montezuma and Huron in historic downtown Houghton. Admission is free. Parking is available in the rear of the building or across Montezuma in the City lot.

NOSOTROS to raise more funds for Haiti with pasta dinner Jan. 22

HOUGHTON -- Last week's dinner was such a great success that NOSOTROS and the Canterbury House will be offering one last Haiti Earthquake Fund Raiser Dinner tonight, Friday, Jan. 22, 2010. It will start at 6 p.m. and go until the food runs out this time.

The volunteer cooks will be offering the same all-you-eat pasta menu as last week, and we will once again be collecting donations per plate of food. Therefore, if you missed it last Friday or wish to get some more, you are welcome to come by! Don't forget to spread the word and bring your friends!!

You can still make your donation online today through Wells Fargo account number 7706479081 (NOSOTROS Haitian Earthquake Victims Fund). Make sure that you key in "NOSOTROS" as the first name and leave the last name part blank. You can also stop by your local Wells Fargo Bank and deposit your donation (don't forget to bring with you the account number).

Haiti greatly appreciates all of the support you have provided during this difficult time...

Ceremonies honor Martin Luther King, Jr., at Michigan Tech

By Michele Bourdieu
Talisha Sutton, vice president of Michigan Tech's Black Student Association and student organizer of the Jan. 18 "I Have a Dream" speech, peace march and reception, addresses a crowd of students, faculty, staff and visitors in front of the Memorial Union Building. At left is Nicole White, Black Student Association president, and at right is Sutton's daughter, Sinai Sutton. Click on photos for larger versions. (Photos and video clip by Keweenaw Now unless otherwise indicated.)
HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech's traditional Martin Luther King Day event, the "I Have a Dream" speech, attracted a large crowd Monday, Jan. 18, opening a week of activities honoring the civil rights leader. Although the university's classes were cancelled for the day, students,faculty, staff and visitors braved cold and snow to hear the speech and participate in a candlelight peace march and reception. Students from L'Anse High School and international students from Finlandia University also attended the event.

On Monday, Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Day, a crowd gathers in front of Michigan Tech's Memorial Union Building to hear King's "I Have a Dream" speech, opening a week of campus events honoring the famous civil rights leader.

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech's traditional Martin Luther King Day event, the "I Have a Dream" speech, attracted a large crowd Monday, Jan. 18, opening a week of activities honoring the civil rights leader. Although the university's classes were cancelled for the day, students, faculty, staff and visitors braved cold and snow to hear the speech and participate in a candlelight peace march and reception. Students from L'Anse High School and international students from Finlandia University also attended the event.

Candles were distributed to participants attending the "I Have a Dream" speech, followed by a candlelight peace march to the Rozsa for a reception and program, organized by Michigan Tech's Black Student Association.

"An awesome turnout," said Kevin J. Walker, Michigan Tech African-American Outreach coordinator and a 2002 Tech graduate in Business. "It's really good to see the community supporting the legacy of Dr. King."

On Monday, Jan. 18, Kevin J. Walker, Michigan Tech African-American Outreach coordinator, addresses the crowd gathered outside the Memorial Union Building to hear King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, followed by a candlelight march to the Rozsa Center.

Walker opened the ceremonies with some historical background of the civil rights movement and an announcement of the week's activities at Michigan Tech honoring Dr. King. He then introduced Gregory Hardy, a second-year student in mechanical engineering, who read King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered during the 1963 March on Washington, D.C., a landmark event of the civil rights movement that attracted 250,000 participants.

Gregory Hardy, Michigan Tech mechanical engineering student, reads Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech during the opening ceremony of a week of events honoring the civil rights leader. Members of the audience carry candles for the procession to the Rozsa Center, during which participants sang "Lift Every Voice and Sing," "We Shall Overcome" and "Amazing Grace."
Among the international students attending the event was Michigan Tech graduate student Pelinuor ("Pierre") Bekwone of Burkina Faso, West Africa.

"Many people in Africa have been affected in one way or another by the lives of various leaders of African roots throughout the world," Bekwone said. "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., just like Nelson Mandela to simply name a couple of them, inspired people and leavened existing endeavors for civil rights actualization. Through his fights and beliefs, Dr. King made significant history and left a great legacy that is partially perpetuated in Africa through history classes taught from middle school through high school. As a leader, Dr. King was able to bring about change, not just in America but also universally. He has been and will remain an inspiration and a role-model for many generations to come."

After the candlelight march from the Memorial Union Building to the Rozsa Center, a reception was held in the Rozsa Lobby with hot chocolate, cookies, donuts and chicken wings.

Nicole White, Michigan Tech Black Student Association president, welcomed visitors to the Rozsa program.

In the Rozsa lobby, following the candlelight march, Michigan Tech Black Student Association President Nicole White welcomes visitors to the program honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. (Photo © 2009 Ji Zhou, Finlandia University student)

Darius Watt, president of Michigan Tech's Society of African and African American Men, spoke about Dr. King's message of brotherhood.

"Dr. King inspires us to be real men," Watt said.

Darius Watt, president of Michigan Tech's Society of African and African American Men, speaks to the crowd in the Rozsa lobby about Dr. King's message of brotherhood and unity.

He noted King's philosophy never to look down on a man unless you're helping him up. An example was King's relationship with Malcolm X, with whom he had disagreements during the civil rights movement. Watt noted King realized both leaders were trying to do the same thing for African Americans.

"They just had two different ways of showing what they stood for," Watt said.

The program in the Rozsa also included a gospel song,"Grateful," performed by Kari L. Jordan, Michigan Tech graduate student in mechanical engineering and director of the Praise and Effect Gospel Choir on campus. She was accompanied by her brother, Al-Jawaan Jordan, on keyboard.

Kari L. Jordan, Michigan Tech graduate student and director of the Praise and Effect Gospel Choir, sings "Grateful," accompanied by her brother, Al-Jawaan Jordan, on keyboard.

Michigan Tech Dean of Students Gloria Melton was pleased with the turnout at Monday's Martin Luther King Day events.

"I think the turnout was wonderful," Melton said. "We appreciated seeing the students from L'Anse High School and Finlandia."

Michigan Tech University Dean of Students Gloria Melton, right, visits with Hancock residents Baron Colbert, Ph.D. student in civil engineering, and his wife, Karen Colbert, former Michigan Tech grad student, who is holding their son, Baron, Jr.

Baron and Karen Colbert brought all three of their children to the Martin Luther King Day event. From left, they are Taryn, Baron and Sharon.

Janese Roberson, Michigan Tech marketing and pre-law student, said, "I think that it's good to celebrate Martin Luther King. It brings a level of diversity to our university that we would not otherwise have."

Michigan Tech's week of activities honoring Dr. King will conclude with the annual MLK Banquet, set for 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, in the Memorial Union Ballroom. The guest speaker is Joe Rogers, former lieutenant governor of Colorado and founder of The Dream Alive Program. Rogers, who came to Tech for the 2005 MLK banquet, is an inspirational speaker who focuses on the heritage of King and other leaders of the civil rights movement.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Reception for artist Melinda Steffy to be held Jan. 21 in Finlandia University Gallery

HANCOCK -- A reception for Philadelphia artist Melinda Steffy will take place at the Finlandia University Gallery at the Finnish American Heritage Center from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Jan. 21. An artist talk will begin at 7:15 p.m.

Artist Melinda Steffy is exhibiting "Remnants and Residual Memories," through Feb. 11 in the Finlandia University Gallery of the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

An exhibit of artwork by Steffy, titled "Remnants and Residual Memories," is featured at the gallery through Feb. 11, 2010.

Steffy’s current work is, in part, a look into the nature of her grandfather’s memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease. Items like antique lace, tarnished copper and found barrettes make their way into these compositions, which consider questions of memory, the loss of memory and the construction of systems that sustain memory.

"Memory defines who we are," reflects Steffy. "As my grandfather gradually lost his memory, he also lost his gentle personality, his confident identity, his profound sense of purpose. The small, vivid details that formed his life diminished to minuscule pinpoints surrounded by a vast blankness of forgetting."

Carrie Flaspohler, director of the Finlandia University Gallery, notes that the poetry of Steffy’s work lies in her ability to translate philosophical concepts into visually complex and abstract compositions. The materials she chooses to use in her art-making are an integral part of the finished piece.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 437 Quincy St., Hancock.

The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Please call 487-7500 for more information.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club to hold monthly meeting Jan. 20

HANCOCK -- The Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (KNSC) will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. this Wednesday, Jan. 20, at the Chalet at Hancock's Driving Park (aka arena, ball fields, fair grounds). All are welcome.

In addition to reports, the agenda includes the following items: Barnelopet, sandpit snowfence, Glide 'n Gorge, grooming times, survey, Heikinpäivä, Tomasi trailhead, Chalet weekend volunteers, UTV storage and pods, 911 and rescue, snowmobile use on trails, DNR and permanent fence and scholarships.

Questions? call Jay Green at 906-370-1400.

Read more about KNSC on their Web site. Click here for their Dec. 2009 Newsletter.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Planning for the worst: Could anything have helped in Haiti?

By Dennis Walikainen, Michigan Tech Senior Editor

HOUGHTON -- Last week's destruction in Haiti resulted from a huge earthquake near a susceptible population. The increased number of residents living in hazardous places around the world is the motivation behind a unique graduate program at Michigan Technological University.

"We try to reduce vulnerability," says Bill Rose, professor of petrology and director of Michigan Tech’s Peace Corps Master’s International Program (PCMI) in Natural Hazards Mitigation. "We can tell people what may happen, and we can help save lives; we increase awareness and the ability for people to save themselves."

The three-year master’s degree program includes a two-year field experience abroad. There, communication is key.

Rose stresses the importance of talking to people in local schools and government agencies before natural disasters occur. In addition to earthquakes, student volunteers in the program address volcanoes, floods, landslides and droughts.

They can help by aiding in "community-level natural hazard education," according to John Lyons, currently a PhD candidate at Michigan Tech who participated in the PCMI program in Guatemala. Although better known for its volcanic hazards, Guatemala is home to numerous earthquakes, says Lyons.

"They had no education or planning," Lyons recalls. "So we went through the basics with the teachers first, teaching them how earthquakes occur and what to do in the event of an earthquake. Then we taught their students about earthquakes and ran the schools’ first earthquake drills." Read the rest of this article on the Michigan Tech News ...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Updated: Conservation District to hold Annual Meeting Jan. 19

By Michele Bourdieu

HOUGHTON -- The Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District (HKCD) will hold its Annual Meeting from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19, in the newly remodeled Community Room of the MTU Lakeshore Center (former UPPCO building), 600 Lakeshore Drive, Houghton.

A Pot Luck Social will be followed by a Board Election. Board members Tom Collins, Mark Klemp and Gary Palosaari will be running for re-election. Other Board members, continuing in office, are Gina Nicholas, chairperson, and Sandra Palmore.

The meeting will include a presentation of 2009 HKCD activity highlights. One of these was the August 23, 2009, picnic celebrating the final payments for the purchase of the Bete Grise Preserve, which includes 1800 acres of pristine dune swale wetlands, 7500 feet of Lake Superior shoreline and 770 acres on the north side of the Mendota Canal, including sloughs of Lac La Belle. After the picnic some participants kayaked and canoed in the sloughs as part of a dedication of this new acquisition.

HKCD Chairperson Gina Nicholas, seated far right, relaxes with members of the Stewards of Bete Grise Preserve during a picnic at the Preserve last August. Second from right is Jeff Knoop, director of land protection for The Nature Conservancy, Marquette office; also seated is Evan McDonald, director of the Keweenaw Land Trust. These three conservation groups partnered in the purchase of the Preserve and are working together for its long-term management and protection. The Stewards of Bete Grise Preserve is a group of concerned residents organized last year, thanks to a Coastal Management Grant HKCD received in November 2008 to form an organization dedicated to stewardship for the Bete Grise Preserve. (Photos and video by Keweenaw Now)

At the Aug. 23, 2009, picnic to celebrate the Bete Grise Preserve, Jeff Knoop, The Nature Conservancy director of land protection, Marquette office, speaks about the funding for completing the purchase of the Preserve.

Special guests at the Bete Grise Preserve Picnic were musicians and singers of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community drum.

Another current HKCD project is the Stamp Sand Stabilization at Central 1 and 2 Mine sites in Keweenaw County, thanks to a grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (now the Department of Natural Resources and Environment). Stabilization will prevent further erosion of the stamp sand into Eagle River.

Participants in "Shifting Sands," a 2008 Reading the Landscape field trip at Central, sponsored by the Gratiot Lake Conservancy, informed participants how stamp sand left from copper mining has impacted the Eagle River Watershed and how the Stamp Sand Stabilization project will help return some of the area to a more natural state. Pictured second from right is Sue Haralson, HKCD administrator. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

To find out more about HKCD conservation projects, including their Annual Tree Sale, come to the Annual Meeting!

In addition, Joe Youngman will give the guest presentation, "Birds of the Keweenaw."

The meeting is open to the public. An RSVP would be greatly appreciated. Call the HKCD Office at 482-0214. If you would like, please bring a dish to pass.

More information about the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District can be found on their Web site.

Native American author to share music, stories, dance Jan. 18

HANCOCK -- Come along! Come dance your dream!

Native American Elder Warren Petoskey will give a presentation about his recently published book, Dancing My Dream, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, 2010, at the Finlandia University Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock. The presentation includes video, music, storytelling and dancing.

Petoskey, age 64, is an elder of the Waganakising Odawa and Minneconjou Lakotah nations. He is a writer, storyteller, artisan, musician and dancer; and he plays the Native flute, the hand drum and the guitar.

Dancing My Dream is the story of Petoskey’s journey to preserve Native American culture while living in three sometimes conflicting nations: Odawa (or Ottawa) and Lakotah -- and the United States.

"My story offers healing wisdom," Petoskey says of his book. "Most Americans know the tragic stories from the Great Plains that nearly destroyed Indian nations, but that’s not the whole story of our survival. My own family passed through landmarks of American history like the Trail of Tears -- but we also survived the lesser-known campaign to wipe out Indian culture in a nationwide system of boarding schools."

Warren Petoskey, author of Dancing My Dream, will present Native American music, dance and storytelling Monday, Jan. 18, at the Finnish American Heritage Center. (Photos courtesy Finlandia University)

"I am a survivor among these tough, wise, spiritually guided people," he adds. "Now, I’m inviting you to journey with me. Whether you are Indian or not, you will find moments of great wisdom and beauty -- and inspiration for your own survival. We all come from a spiritual origin and we are on our way to a spiritual destination."

Petoskey has also recorded two music CDs: Medicine for the Ages and Land of the Crooked Tree.

Petoskey and his wife of 42 years, Barbara, live near Baraga, Mich., and Lake Superior. They have seven children and fifteen grandchildren.

Petoskey’s visit to Finlandia University is sponsored by the university’s Campus Enrichment Committee.

There is no charge to attend and the public is welcome. Refreshments will be available by donation. For additional information, please call Debbie Karstu, associate professor of nursing, at 906-487-7354.