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Friday, January 21, 2011

Updated: 5th and Elm Coffee House opens in Houghton location

By Michele Bourdieu

Baristas Lisa Erickson and Luke Palosaari welcome customers to the new 5th and Elm Coffee House location at 326 Shelden Ave., Houghton, on opening day, Jan. 15, 2011. Erickson's special chocolate-caramel bars are hard to resist -- on the counter in the foreground. Click on photos for larger versions. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON -- Coffee lovers in Houghton welcomed the 5th and Elm Coffee House to its new location at 326 Shelden Avenue in downtown Houghton last Saturday, Jan. 15. The coffee aroma is easily detected from the street, even on a snowy day.

Frank Fiala, 5th and Elm Coffee House co-owner, chats with Mary Wright of Hancock, center, and Carol Ekstrom of Houghton on Saturday, Jan. 15, opening day for the 5th and Elm in its new Houghton location.

Co-owners Frank and Emily Fiala recently moved the business from east Hancock and celebrated a "soft opening" last weekend to accommodate patrons coming in to warm up from the Jibba Jabba Rail Jam snowboarding competition downtown, skiers from Mont Ripley and participants in other outdoor events scheduled for the weekend.*

While the full menu was not yet available, the coffee was hot and flowing and sandwich makers were busy in the kitchen preparing lunches.

Rachel Niemeyer, left, and Heather Palosaari prepare sandwiches in the new 5th and Elm kitchen.

Update: The new Houghton location, inside the Hellman Building, is easily accessible from the upper parking deck via the covered pass-through walkway between Swift Hardware and 5th and Elm, from Houghton's lower parking lot via the stairway up to Shelden Avenue right next door or from street parking on Shelden. It is about three times as big as the Hancock store (which was located in Hancock's former Spice of Life bakery), according to Boone Fiala, who manages the original 5th and Elm Coffee House in Calumet. Boone was helping his parents put finishing touches on the new store earlier last week.

Frank Fiala said one reason for the move was to achieve goals they weren't able to achieve in the old (Hancock) location. He is especially looking forward to the possibility of outdoor tables and activities in warm weather because of the terrace adjacent to the Hellman Building.

"To grow our business we just needed more visibility," Frank noted. "One of the goals was to create an outdoor gathering area. We had no potential for that in the old location, but this one gives us the opportunity not only for outdoor seating but for a variety of outdoor activities -- music, receptions, a garden atmosphere. People enjoying our coffee, our food and each other on a summer's night is my primary goal."

The new 5th and Elm will probably be open seven days a week and as late as 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. eventually, Frank added.

"Our hours will vary depending on activities going on and what the demand is," he said. "Today we didn't know what to expect. We just wanted to be open to provide a warm place for the people outside."

Emily Fiala confirmed the new 5th and Elm also has wireless Internet for customers who bring their laptops. In addition to outside seating in warm weather, plans are to have bike delivery for customers, Emily noted.

Emily Fiala, co-owner, washes dishes on opening day at the 5th and Elm. The new location in Houghton is in a building with lots of windows. Even the kitchen has a great view -- of Mont Ripley and the Portage.

Lisa Erickson and Rachel Niemeyer took a break after making sandwiches and coffee for customers. Both of them had worked at the Hancock store and were enthusiastic about the opening day in the new Houghton location.

Lisa Erickson, right, takes a coffee and sandwich break with fellow 5th and Elm food prep-barista Rachel Niemeyer. Erickson noted the Coffee House will continue to offer, in addition to the traditional deli sandwiches, gluten-free bread in sandwiches for customers with special needs.

"I was cleaning the windows outside, and a UPS driver friend said he thought we'd be open two weeks ago," Erickson said. "He said, 'Hurry up!' so we must comply. It's just full of life here!"

Regular 5th and Elm customers Mary Wright, artist, of Hancock and Carol Ekstrom, retired professor, of Houghton said they would continue to meet at the 5th and Elm every Monday to talk about Wright's current storyline project -- a community arts project in conjunction with the Pine Mountain Music Festival's opera Rockland, coming next summer.

"This atmosphere is really conducive to the brain cells clicking -- a good meeting place," Wright noted.

Artist Mary Wright of Hancock, a regular 5th and Elm customer, prepares to leave a generous tip as barista Lisa Erickson smiles in appreciation.

"I just like the coffee," Ekstrom said. "And I really like the soups. The soups are wonderful!"

"Carol and her husband, Peter, are supporters of arts and culture," Wright added, "and Carol is an artist in her own right."

The Ekstroms are both retired professors from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

"We came here on our honeymoon, and we've had a cabin here since '81," Carol Ekstrom said. "We just love it up here."

Wright said her favorite coffee drink is a "red eye" -- a shot of espresso in a cup of coffee.

"In case your eyes are bloodshot from a little-rough night, this'll get you going," she explained.

Photographer Adam Johnson of came in from the cold with his daughter Kora, age 7.

Photographer Adam Johnson stopped in for a 5th and Elm coffee with his daughter Kora, 7, at the new location in Houghton on opening day, Jan. 15.

"I have a tab here," Johnson joked. "Since I'm a coffee snob, this place and I work well together."

Lori Geshel of Painesdale, whose son Wyatt was competing in the Jibba Jabba snowboard competition, said she was a first-time customer at 5th and Elm. With her were daughter Aliina, age 9, and her brother, musician Randy Wakeham.

Lori Geshel, left, of Painesdale, her daughter Aliina and her brother, musician Randy Wakeham came in from the cold for hot drinks at the 5th and Elm on Jan. 15. In the background Luke Palosaari, barista, prepares coffee drinks.

Larry Sutter and Patti Lins of Houghton came in for a quick take-out coffee on their way to watch the Jibba Jabba.

"This is a good location," Lins said. "Hope it works out."

Luke Palosaari, barista, serves take-out coffee to Larry Sutter and Patti Lins of Houghton, who were on their way to the Jibba Jabba snowboard competition in downtown Houghton Jan. 15.

Luke Palosaari, barista, served their coffee with his usual efficiency. His wife, Heather, was busy helping make sandwiches in the kitchen.

The 5th and Elm is a family operation with a warm, family-friendly ambiance. At the same time, it's like a French café -- where you can have breakfast, lunch or a snack (like Lisa Erickson's yummy chocolate caramel bars!) or sit with your coffee or espresso (the real thing!) -- as long as you like. Check it out!

*Editor's Note: Click here to see our photos and video clips of the Jibba Jabba Rail Jam.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Khana Khazana to offer Spanish lunch Jan. 21

HOUGHTON -- Authentic Spanish food, cooked by Sara Fernandez Perez, will be featured at Khana Khazana (food treasure) this Friday in the Food Court of the Memorial Union Building (MUB) on the Michigan Tech campus.

The menu includes ensalada rusa, a Spanish-style potato salad served at special occasions, in both traditional and vegetarian styles; pollo asado, which is roast chicken cooked with a mixture of spices; arroz con leche, a Spanish rice pudding, one of the most popular desserts in the Latin world; and your choice of coffee, hot tea or a fountain soda.

Perez is an undergraduate in exercise science who expects to graduate in May 2011. She is from Burgos, a town near the north coast of Spain.

Khana Khazana is a weekly lunch featuring ethnic foods cooked by international students. It is a collaborative project of international students and Dining Services.

Khana Khazana is served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A full meal costs $6, and items are available à la carte for $2. The campus and the community are welcome.

Snowshoe hike at MNA Black Creek Nature Sanctuary to be Jan. 22

CALUMET -- Join MNA (Michigan Nature Association) stewards Peter and Jill Pietila for a snowshoe exploration of Black Creek Nature Sanctuary from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22. The 4.5 mile round-trip trail leads through a varied forest landscape to a lovely lagoon and dramatic opening onto Lake Superior.

Karena Schmidt enjoys snowshoeing at Black Creek. (Photo © and courtesy Joan Chadde)

This 242-acre sanctuary was initially protected by Ruth Sablich and her Calumet High School classmates in 1991.

The Pietilas invite participants to their home nearby for warming and refreshments afterwards. The hike will be postponed in the case of extreme weather. Call Jill or Peter at 906-337-2144 for an update.

Black Creek snowshoe trail. (Photo © and courtesy Joan Chadde)

Driving Directions: Meet at parking area at the trailhead along Cedar Bay Road, off Tamarack Waterworks Road in Calumet. From US-41 on the north end of Calumet, turn west onto M-203, travel about 1.25 miles to Tamarack Waterworks Road and turn right. Travel 2.5 miles on Tamarack Waterworks Road to Cedar Bay Road and turn right again. Follow Cedar Bay Road approximately 2.5 miles until reaching the Black Creek trailhead sign on the right, about 0.2 miles from the end of the public road. Park safely along the road at the trailhead or in the small public parking area provided.

All ages and abilities are invited to participate!

"Mundus" by Finnish artist Ilkka Väätti opens Jan. 20

HANCOCK -- The Finlandia University Gallery will display a series of carborundum-silkscreen prints by Finnish artist Ilkka Väätti Jan. 20 to Feb. 19, 2011. The gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock.

The artist Ilkka Väätti. (Photo © 2009 Marja Väätti)

An opening reception for the exhibit, which is titled "Mundus," will take place at the gallery from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. TONIGHT, Thursday, Jan. 20. Väätti will speak at 7:15 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Väätti has been described as a pictorial kleptomaniac, and the artist himself would be the first to admit his guilt.

Choosing details from the pictorial languages of the past and from varying cultures, Väätti incorporates into his modernist compositions fragments from, for example, medieval paintings, Asian mandalas, or a mosaic floor in Istanbul.

Sura, 2010, carborundum-silkscreen, 75 x 75 cm, edition 6. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

After choosing a pictorial detail, Väätti borrows its theme and reinterprets its form. These fragments from history, ornamental and seemingly irrelevant, take on a new dimension when isolated from their original context.

"Although my pictures seem very abstract," notes Väätti, "each of them has its origin in some art historical image. My works can thus be regarded simultaneously as abstract and figurative."

"Väätti’s work respects the modernist tradition, but still dares to speak on behalf of the decorative and ornamental," notes Otso Kantokorpi in a catalog essay for Väätti’s Mundus series.

Väätti refers to his work as "world pictures." Kantokorpi explains this term: "Väätti’s works are involved in a constant dialogue between particular and universal, between emotional and intellectual, between art and religion, between different cultures….together they all make up a world picture, a particular and a universal one."

Väätti began working with historical art references in 1992 when he was commissioned to create artwork for the Messukylä School in Tampere, Finland. Rather than create a pure abstraction for the school environment, Väätti decided to find a visual framework from the school’s immediate surroundings.

He chose the ancient symbols found in a medieval stone church in Messukylä, and this method of working with reference material became the starting point for his Mundus series.

The Square of Einhard, 2008, silkscreen, 60 x 60 cm, edition 20. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

Väätti has been working on the Mundus series since 1993.

"I want to make personal interpretations of the images that already exist in the world," Väätti says. "My pictorial themes come from the collective memory of mankind. I consider myself a cultural nomad and a follower of an old geometric tradition. From the standpoint of an artist I am making a survey of the pictorial archetypes, as well as the legacy of the collective memory of the mankind."

Ilkka Väätti has a bachelor of arts from the Lahti Institute of Fine Arts and a master of fine art from the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, Finland.

His work has been featured in numerous solo exhibits in Finland and in group shows in Finland, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, and Russia. His work is included in the collections of the State of Finland, Tampere Museum of Contemporary Art, Kuopio Art Museum, and other regional and municipal art museums in Finland.

Väätti is working with Finlandia University International School of Art and Design BFA students this week, through Jan. 24.

"Mundus" is on display at the Finlandia University Gallery through Feb. 19, 2011.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday noon to 4 p.m., or by appointment.

Please call 906-487-7500 for more information.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Green Film Festival to begin Jan. 20

HOUGHTON --The Green Film Festival: Issues and Dialogue kicks off with the film Tapped, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, in the Atrium and G002 Hesterberg Hall of the Michigan Tech Forestry Building.

The 54-minute film -- an examination of the big business of bottled water -- will be followed by a discussion facilitated by Dr. Alex Mayer of Michigan Tech's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Question: Is access to clean drinking water a basic human right, or a commodity that should be bought and sold?

The festival will present a film at 7 p.m. on each third Thursday of the month from January through June in the Atrium and G002 Hesterberg Hall of the Michigan Tech Forestry Building. Films will be followed by coffee, tea, dessert and facilitated discussion until 8:30 p.m. Cost: FREE; $3 suggested donation. The Green Film Festival is co-sponsored by Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society, Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and Keweenaw Land Trust.

Here is a summary of the festival films:

February 17: Weather Report -- Takes us to places where global warming is having an immediate effect, to meet people who are early victims of the global crisis that will soon affect us all. (52 min.) Discussion facilitator: Dr. Sarah Green, Michigan Tech Dept. of Chemistry.

March 17: Build Green -- A refreshing look at environmentally‐smart building materials and practices that better protect against the elements while saving money and resources. (43 min.) Discussion facilitator: Dave Bach, builder.

April 21: Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action -- Inspirational stories of Native American activists that are fighting back against the environmental violations to their homelands. (57 min.) Discussion facilitator: Chuck Brumleve, KBIC (Keweenaw Bay Indian Community) Dept. of Natural Resources.

May 19: Good Food: Sustainable Food and Farming -- Family farmers are making a comeback, growing more and healthier food, using less energy and water than factory food; and most is organic. (57 min.) Discussion facilitator: Karen Rumisek, Keweenaw Food Co-op.

June 16: Thirst -- Efforts by powerful corporations to commodify the world’s water supplies have catalyzed community resistance to globalization in Bolivia, India and the U.S. (62 min.) Discussion facilitator: Ellis Adams, Michigan Tech Dept. of Social Sciences.

Finlandia's Reflection Gallery hosts Traveling Journal Project

HANCOCK -- The Finlandia University Reflection Gallery will exhibit the National Young Women’s Caucus’ "Traveling Journal Project" through Jan. 30, 2011.

Traveling Journal artwork. (Photos courtesy Finlandia University)

An opening reception and artist talk will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, at the Reflection Gallery. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Led by local artist Melissa Hronkin, a head officer of the Young Women’s Caucus and a Finlandia BFA alumna, along with a group of current Finlandia Art and Design students, the Traveling Journal Project is a collaborative art experiment with an online component. The journal project began Sept. 15, 2010, and continued until Dec. 15, 2010.

Traveling Journal artwork.

Each of the more than 14 physical journals included in the exhibit was originated by one artist and passed to five to seven additional artists. Any media could be used, as long as the journals could be closed into a relatively flat book and transported safely.

The journals have traveled from the East Coast to the West Coast, and internationally. Participants include several Copper Country artists, a number of Finlandia University students and graduates, and others. Journal themes and topics include intrinsic battles, war, music and games, and gifts.

The friends and family of each participant were also invited to add pages to the traveling journal. So while a book might only have traveled to seven addresses, at each address, the number of people making pages was potentially unlimited.

Members of the Young Women's Caucus -- from left, Finlandia students Amanda Moyer, Susie Danielson, and Dawn Hiltz -- offer information to visitors at the Poor Artists' Sale in Calumet last December. The Young Women's Caucus is an internal caucus of the National Women's Caucus for Art. Their goal is to provide opportunities, resources and support to young women artists. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

The artist originators also kept a blog to pass information along to their journal collaborators and the public. As new entries were added to the journals, the blog was updated. The blogs can be viewed at

In addition to the traveling journals, some participants did additional collaborative projects and journal-related artworks that round out the show.

Traveling Journal artwork.

The National Young Women’s Caucus is an internal caucus of the National Women’s Caucus for Art (

The Reflection Gallery is located on the second level of Finlandia’ s Jutila Center campus, Hancock.

For additional information, please contact studio arts professor Yueh-mei Cheng at 906-487-7375 or e-mail

Public meeting on proposed Penokee Iron Ore Mining project to be broadcast Jan. 19

WISCONSIN -- Wisconsin Public Radio will broadcast a discussion about the proposed Penokee Iron mining project beginning at 6 p.m. (CST) TONIGHT, Wednesday, Jan. 19. The two-hour live broadcast will include representatives from Gogebic Taconite Company, the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey (WGNHS), and the Ashland and Iron County Development Associations.

In the second hour of the discussion, which will take place at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, the public is invited to ask questions about this proposal.

The program will be broadcast on KUWS (91.3FM Superior, 102.9FM Ashland), WHSA (89.9FM Brule, 104.7FM Ashland), WHBM (90.3FM Park Falls), WLBL (930 AM Auburndale), and WHAA (89.1 FM Adams). This public affairs event is sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio, the Ashland Daily Press, Northland College and the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center. Click here for the agenda of the meeting.

Below are two of the presentations to be discussed during the live broadcast:

Iron Mining in the Gogebic Again?
An Overview of Wisconsin's Regulatory Process
and the Public's Access to Decision Making
Tom Evans, WGNHS

Iron Mining and Iron Resources
Western Gogebic Range, Wisconsin
Bruce A. Brown, WGNHS

Click here for more info from Wisconsin Public Radio and for the live streaming of the program.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Barry Scott offers Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., at Michigan Tech

In a powerful, dramatic voice, Barry Scott of Nashville, Tenn., portrays Martin Luther King, Jr., as he delivers the famous "I Have A Dream" speech on the steps of Michigan Tech's Memorial Union Building on Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 -- Martin Luther King Day. Click on photos for larger versions. (Photo © 2011 and courtesy Emil Groth. Reprinted with permission.) Click here for a YouTube video of Scott's rendition of the speech.

By Michele Bourdieu

HOUGHTON -- Barry Scott -- actor, writer, producer, director, motivational speaker, voice over artist -- told an audience at Michigan Tech University the story of how, as a young boy he watched a film of Martin Luther King, Jr., give his "I Have A Dream" speech and how it inspired his life's work.

"It captivated me. He was singing, not just speaking," Scott said of his child's impression of the famous speech King delivered on Aug. 28, 1963, during the March on Washington. "I wanted to be him. I wanted to talk like him."

Scott offered evidence of achieving his childhood dream in the presentations he gave on Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 17, 2011, at Michigan Tech.

An authority on the life and works of Martin Luther King, Jr., Scott is the founder and producing artistic director of the American Negro Playwright Theatre at Tennessee State University. He is known for his Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. -- powerful dramatic presentations of King's words -- both spoken and written.

He began his Tribute to Dr. King at Michigan Tech on Monday, Jan. 17, Martin Luther King Day, by giving King's "I Have A Dream" speech on the steps of the Memorial Union Building -- an annual tradition at Michigan Tech -- which was followed by a candlelight Peace March to the Rozsa Center.*

Michigan Tech students, faculty and community members listen to Barry Scott's dramatic rendering of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech. Participants in the Peace March that followed carry candles and song sheets for the march. (Photo © 2011 and courtesy Emil Groth. Reprinted with permission.)

In the Rozsa atrium, students and visitors enjoyed hot chocolate, cookies and doughnuts before the second part of the Tribute -- Scott's stories about his own life experience growing up during the Civil Rights era of the 1960s, interspersed with excerpts from King's speeches and writings.

Arriving at the Rozsa Center with the Peace March after the "I Have A Dream" speech, Michigan Tech University President Glenn Mroz commented on Scott's portrayal of King.

"Our visitor who was the speaker today just made the speech come alive as if you were there at the Lincoln Memorial so many years ago," Mroz said. "It really reminds you of what a great man King was and how much we have to be grateful for and again how much we have yet to do."

This copy of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech is on display in Michigan Tech's Van Pelt and Opie Library as part of a Traveling Trunk exhibit for Martin Luther King Week. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Scott first spoke about King as a great man who inspired him -- and about his own father who, in 1968, after King was shot, projected a film of King giving the "I Have A Dream" speech on the family's living room wall -- three times -- and then again on the wall of the bedroom Scott shared with his brothers. Scott related how he had jumped up and down on his bed shouting, "I have a dream" over and over, and then, expecting to be punished, was surprised at his parents' positive reactions.

"I went to bed that night feeling good about myself, and that was hard to do when you were growing up colored," Scott said.

After the Peace March, Barry Scott addresses an audience in the atrium of the Rozsa Center on Jan. 17. While Michigan Tech cancels classes on Martin Luther King Day, a diverse group of students and community members attended this second part of Scott's Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

He told more stories about "growing up colored" -- some humorous, like the time his father made him read the "I Have A Dream" speech in his family's Baptist church at the age of 12 -- and some terrifying, like being harassed to tell lies about his own parents by a racist policeman pointing a gun at his face when he was a teenager.

Scott asked the audience to imagine what it would be like to live in the South under segregation, before the Civil Rights laws, when they would not be able to eat in most restaurants, stay in most hotels, sit where they wanted in a movie theater; when they would have to sit in the back of a bus -- even an empty one -- drink from only certain drinking fountains, use only the dirty toilet.

"Imagine that for you these were just a few of the everyday facts of your everyday life," he said. "What would you feel?"

Scott mentioned the murder of young Emmett Till, the protest of Rosa Parks. He asked the audience to imagine what King would say today about his dream for America -- if he hadn't been assassinated.

Photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., part of the Traveling Trunk exhibit in the Van Pelt and Opie Library at Michigan Tech. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

With intense emotion, Scott dramatized King's speech in Montgomery, Alabama, when he had been named leader of the Montgomery Improvement Association -- a group that wanted to boycott the Montgomery transit system after the 1955 incident where Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger.

Scott chose to quote powerful phrases from the speech, such as these: "'If we are wrong, justice is a lie. And we are determined ... to work and fight until justice runs down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.'"

Making history come alive through King's words, Scott then quoted from King's famous 1963 "Letter from Birmingham Jail," when he challenged a group of clergymen who were critical of civil rights demonstrations with phrases like "'We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom.'" **

In his Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., Barry Scott portrays the Civil Rights leader with selections from his speeches and writings. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Scott recalled the bombing of the church that killed four little girls in Birmingham. He was seven years old and refused to go to church because of the bombing -- and he described his mother's mixed reaction.

Scott quoted King's advice to young people -- to remember the sacrifices of those who fought for their freedoms and to do their best at whatever they chose to do: "'Keep moving!'"

He concluded his talk with questions like "What do you think? What do you feel? What kind of person will you become?"

Shezwae Fleming, director of Michigan Tech's Center for Diversity and Inclusion, asked Scott about the origin of the "I have a dream" phrase in the speech.

Scott said he believed it came from King's own education and reading of great thinkers as far back as Aristotle.

Fleming said she had learned that the phrase wasn't in the formal part of the speech but that the gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, a good friend of King's, reminded him (in the middle of his speech) to include it.

"So much of Dr. King's legacy is attributed to that very phrase," Fleming noted. "What would have happened and where would we be without that component?"

Mel Norwood, outreach coordinator in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, asked about the concept "We Shall Overcome" -- a song from the Civil Rights Movement that participants sang during the Peace March from the Rozsa.

"If King were here today he would compliment us on how far we've come," Scott said. "He would remind us we've come a long way, but he still would say there's more to be done."

Barry Scott answers a question from Mel Norwood, right, standing, outreach coordinator in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Norwood invited Scott to give his presentation at Michigan Tech after finding a video of Scott on YouTube. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Norwood is the person who invited Barry Scott to participate in Michigan Tech's Martin Luther King Day event. Traditionally a Michigan Tech student gives the "I Have A Dream" speech, but Norwood was looking on YouTube for a child who might do it this year. He happened to come across a YouTube video of Barry Scott's Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I was looking for maybe a child to do it who would impress, and I came across him (Scott) and I stopped looking," Norwood said. "He kind of invoked the presence of Dr. King, so I decided to invite him to join us for this event. He was gracious enough to accept and to come up to the U.P. all the way from Nashville, Tennessee."

Betty Chavis, former director of Michigan Tech's Outreach and Multi-Ethnic Programs, and now a local business owner, said she was very impressed by Scott's Tribute to Dr. King. The sound of Scott's voice, she added, was reminiscent of her memories of seeing and hearing Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I had heard Dr. King on two occasions (in Detroit and New York), and it brought back a lot of reflected memories," Chavis said. "As a matter of fact, I have an autographed picture of him. It's in the window of my store at the Copper Country Mall."

Several international students -- from Michigan Tech and Finlandia universities -- also attended the presentation. One Nigerian student, Jide Ayanniyi, who just arrived at Michigan Tech this week, said he liked the way Scott, through King's words, challenged the people in the audience to do their very best.

"It was awesome," Ayanniyi said.


* Click here for Emil Groth's YouTube video of Barry Scott's Jan. 17, 2011, presentation of the "I Have A Dream" speech at Michigan Tech.

** Click here to read King's historic Letter from Birmingham Jail.

See the schedule for more Michigan Tech events during Martin Luther King Week.

Mining Journal: Kennecott changes ore hauling plan

MARQUETTE -- An article today, Jan. 18, 2011, in the Marquette Mining Journal reports Kennecott Eagle Minerals Co. (KEMC) has abandoned a plan to build a north-south haul road for Marquette County (known as County Road 595) connecting its Eagle Mine with a processing facility in Humboldt Township.

Mining Journal staff writer John Pepin says in this article that KEMC now plans to develop the trucking route on existing County roads AAA, 510 and 550, but in Marquette will use Wright Street to U.S. 41 and then west to Humboldt (instead of the railhead proposed in the original plan).

"The decision comes after a December meeting between representatives from the Marquette County Road Commission, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Grand Rapids company King and MacGregor, which does environmental engineering for Kennecott, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency," the article explains.

Read more in the Mining Journal.

Update: See a reaction from Save the Wild UP.

Editor's Notes: See our Oct. 25, 2010, article,"Opponents of proposed 'public' mine haul road call for more public input," on the Oct. 18, 2010, meeting during which the Marquette County Road Commission voted to move forward with "County Road 595."

See also an article posted today, Jan. 18, 2011, by Gabriel Caplett in Headwaters News, noting the objections by three federal agencies against the Woodland Road, which KEMC had first proposed as an alternative to using existing roads.

Portage Library to offer second seminar on new databases Jan. 19

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library recently acquired two remarkable databases for its patrons to use: Mango and Universal Class.

Shawn Leche, library director, will again present a seminar on these databases from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Mango is an online language learning system that teaches practical conversation skills for real communication. Each lesson combines real life situations and audio from native speakers with simple, clear instructions. The courses are presented with an appreciation for cultural nuance and real-world application that integrates components of vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar and culture. It includes over 30 languages and 10 courses which teach English as a second language.

Universal Class offers over 500 online continuing education courses taught by real instructors with remote, 24/7 access so people can study at their convenience on their own schedule. Patrons can enroll in up to five courses at a time and have six months to finish each course. A complete list of classes is posted on the library’s website.

Mango and Universal Class are available free of charge to all Portage Lake District Library patrons.*

This seminar is free and open to all. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

* Editor's Note: See our Jan. 15 article on the Library Director Shawn Leche's first presentation on these databases, given last week.

Hancock's Orpheum Theater to present live music Jan. 21

HANCOCK -- Three groups -- Chris Bathgate, The Chanteymen and This is Deer Country -- will perform live music beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21, at the Orpheum Theater, located behind Studio Pizza in Hancock (formerly the Pic theater).

Chris Bathgate is considered one of the best performers in the Michigan music scene right now -- a must-see act.

According to NPR, "It's clear that Chris Bathgate knows his way around pretty, minor-key indie-folk...If Bathgate has mastered one thing in his young and enormously promising career, it's the art of distilling alienation into bruised-sounding beauty."

The Chanteymen are known as Marquette's premiere nautical acoustic rock outfit.

The Houghton duo This is Deer Country just released the album What Wandering Heart.

Proceeds from these shows go toward supporting the touring musicians and theater maintenance.

Calumet Art Center to host open working studio Jan. 19

CALUMET -- The Calumet Art Center is hosting another open working studio night from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19. Artists are invited to come and work on projects of their choice, bringing their own materials for the projects. The open working studio is held every first and third Wednesday of the month.

Soup and bread are served from 5:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. Open studio is available until 8 p.m. No pre-registration is required. A five dollar donation is requested.

The Calumet Art Center is at 57055 Fifth Street. For more information call 281-3494.

Monday, January 17, 2011

NOSOTROS to hold Latin Music social, dance Jan. 21

HOUGHTON -- Another great Latin American event is coming up! Learn how to dance to Latin music and make new friends at the Latin Music social to be held from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21, in the Memorial Union Ballroom A on the Michigan Tech campus.

From 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. take advantage of free salsa lessons -- followed by two hours open floor with salsa, merengue, bachata and much more! No partner needed! Family friendly! All levels! Free!

This event is organized by NOSOTROS, Hispanic Student Organization at Michigan Tech. For information contact Alessia Uboni, at

Poster courtesy NOSOTROS.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Photos and videos: Jibba Jabba Rail Jam

HOUGHTON -- Undaunted by the cold temperatures this weekend, competitors and spectators turned out for the third annual Jibba Jabba Rail Jam snowboarding competition in downtown Houghton on Saturday, Jan. 15.

A young snowboarder hits the wall during the third annual Jibba Jabba Rail Jam snowboarding competition Jan. 15, on Huron Street in Houghton. (Video clips and photos by Keweenaw Now)

The Rhythm Skate Shop sponsored the event, along with several Houghton businesses.

Here are some "off the wall" photos:

And some more action:

Nice turns!

Great balance!

Thanks to the sponsors ...

And across the Portage Canal, lots of skiers were enjoying the snow on Mont Ripley!