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.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Keweenaw artists exhibit works at DeVos Art Museum June 3-July 24

By Michele Bourdieu

"Winter Pond," by Zach Gayk. Oil painting. (Photo courtesy Zach Gayk)

MARQUETTE -- Works by three local artists -- Zach Gayk, Susanne Kilpela, and Catherine Benda -- have been accepted for the North of the 45th Parallel Annual Upper Midwest Juried Art Exhibition at the DeVos Art Museum at Northern Michigan University (NMU) in Marquette. An opening reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 3. A talk by exhibition Juror Lisa Stone, curator of the Roger Brown Study Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m., will precede the reception. The exhibit will continue through July 24, 2011.

Gayk, NMU graduate and resident of Marquette and Bete Grise, who is also co-founder of the Keweenaw Raptor Survey, will exhibit some of his oil paintings.

Zach Gayk, artist and birder, enjoys inspiration from his Keweenaw walks. (Photo courtesy Zach Gayk)

"My paintings are inspired by the rugged forest landscapes of the Keweenaw Peninsula and mainland U.P.," Gayk writes in his artist's statement for the exhibit. "Most are largely painted in plein air, onsite at semi-wilderness locations after difficult portages of my easel and supplies into a remote location. When choosing a painting location, I try to find the most pristine sites possible, where the influence of humans on the landscape is minimal. As such, I try to capture the particular feelings evoked by entering a wild place."

Hancock artist Susanne Kilpela, who teaches ceramics, 3-D design, sculpture and drawing in the Michigan Tech Visual and Performing Arts Department, will exhibit three works of sculpture.

"From the Depths," by Susanne Kilpela. Porcelain/terracotta. (Photo courtesy Melissa Matuscak, director and curator, DeVos Art Museum)

In her artist's statement, Kilpela says water provides the inspiration for her sculptures, for which she uses a variety of media but most enjoys working with the sensuous fluidity of clay.

"From a small inland lake in Lower Michigan to the aqua-blue sea of the Caribbean to the rugged shores of Lake Superior, water has and continues to inform the direction of my life and my art," Kilpela writes. "I am interested in what lies beneath the surface of those waters -- the beautiful, organic, and strange sometimes sensuous forms, which are hidden from the casual eye. The evolution of my body of work resembles the ebb and flow of the sea. Every day the tide leaves new forms washed ashore, but these are continually derived from the same origins. This repetitive yet at the same time ever-changing rhythm aptly describes my artwork."

Susanne Kilpela assists students in her ceramics class at Michigan Tech University. (Photo courtesy Susanne Kilpela)

Catherine Benda, who lives in Atlantic Mine, says sky, land and water are a constant theme in her work.

"Over the last 25 years the most profound impact on my art has come from living on a bluff overlooking Lake Superior," she writes. "My interpretation of the lake, bays and rivers that surround me, and the vastness and simplicity of the horizon line has led me to my latest series: Sense of Place. Living in a four season area with the winter months lasting the longest, has deepened my appreciation for the landscape around me."

"Cabin and Kayak," by Catherine Benda. Acrylic. (Photo courtesy Catherine Benda)

Benda says working with diverse media -- including paint, encaustic wax, and pastel -- gives her freedom to express her changing relationship with her environment.

Artist Catherine Benda of Atlantic Mine. (Photo courtesy Catherine Benda)

"While line, form and texture are equally important in my work, it is through color that I release my true nature," Benda adds.

Here is a list of the artists in the exhibition:

Neil Ahrens (Harbor Springs, MI) • Roberta Allen (Minneapolis, MN) • Philip Anderson (Brooklyn Center, MN) • MarilynAnnin (Land O’ Lakes, WI) • Steve Bardolph (Duluth, MN) • Catherine Benda (Atlantic Mine, MI) • Clay Booth (Ishpeming, MI) • Ritch Branstrom (Rapid River, MI) • Gregg Bruff (Munising, MI) • Edwin Carter (Marquette, MI) • Elizabeth Danko (Marquette, MI) • Brent Erickson (Duluth, MN) • Zach Gayk (Marquette, MI) • Paul Goodrich (Marquette, MI) • Carla Holmquist (Taylors Falls, MN) • Andrew Jensen (Marquette, MI) • Susanne Kilpela (Hancock, MI) • Bonnie Kreger (Marquette, MI) • Michael Letts (Negaunee, MI) • David Luke (Minneapolis, MN) • Adam McCauley (Duluth, MN) • Darrin Moir (Marquette, MI) • Tamara Lee Niemi (Ishpeming, MI) • Steven J. Read (Duluth, MN) • Nicole Roberts Hoiland (St. Peter, MN) • Ann Russ (Marquette, MI) • Ellen Fitzgerald Skoro (Minneapolis, MN) • Patty Smith (Interlochen, MI) • Joe Sobel (Iron Mountain, MI) • Hope Thier (Moorhead, MN) • Jeanne Tubman (Sault Ste. Marie, MI) • Steve Wahlstrom (Marquette, MI) • Tracy Wascom (Marquette, MI) • Angela Wesselman-Pierce (Ishpeming, MI).

The DeVos Art Museum, which opened in February 2005, is located at the corner of Tracy and 7th streets on the NMU campus. It is part of the Northern Michigan University School of Art and Design and also serves as a regional art museum for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The museum has been endowed by a grant from the DeVos Foundation of Grand Rapids.

Hours are Monday - Wednesday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Thursday, 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturday - Sunday, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

For more information visit the DeVos Museum Web site.

Editor's Note: Thanks to Melissa Matuscak, DeVos Museum director and curator, for her assistance with this article.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Premium Seats available for "Rockland" Premiere

HANCOCK -- Pine Mountain Music Festival announces the availability of a limited number of premium seats for the July 15, 2011, premiere of the new opera Rockland at the Rozsa Center in Houghton.

This will be the New World Premiere of an important new work rooted in the history of the Upper Peninsula. It will be a fully-staged opera, sung partly in English and partly in Finnish, with English supertitles above the stage so the audience can follow the action. There is a cast of 42 singers on the stage and an orchestra of 43 musicians in the pit.

Premium seats are available for $125 each. Patrons will have some of the best seats in the house and will be invited to a pre-opera reception at 6 p.m. Friday, July 15, with the composer, Jukka Linkola. Light refreshments will be served with champagne, punch or coffee.

Peter Van Pelt, executive director of the Festival, says, "These premium seats are an opportunity for people to really be part of the action on the opening night of this great new opera. Besides the good seats, the reception and conversation with the composer, they have the satisfaction of supporting a landmark U.P. event."

Other tickets are available at $50, $35 and $20. The same pricing applies for the performance at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 17; but there will be no premium tickets for that performance.

Tickets are available from the Rozsa Center box office, now operating out of Michigan Tech's Student Development Complex at the top of MacInnes Drive in Houghton, or by calling 906-487-3200 or toll-free 877-746-3999.

Among the featured singers in the opera is Paul Truckey of Marquette. Numerous community members will appear in the chorus and the orchestra. More information about the opera Rockland and the rest of the Pine Mountain Music Festival season can be obtained from the Festival office at 906-482-1542. Charter buses are coming to Houghton for the opera from Marquette, Iron Mountain and elsewhere. Visit for additional information.

Levin, Stabenow announce seven Michigan programs to receive AmeriCorps support

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow announced on May 26 that seven Michigan organizations will receive support for AmeriCorps projects in communities across the state. More than 500 AmeriCorps members will be able to work on projects ranging from education to environmental maintenance to assistance for the homeless.

"Young people want to serve their communities, their state and the nation, and these AmeriCorps projects will give them resources and opportunities to contribute greatly in Michigan," Levin said. "These projects will put AmeriCorps members to work meeting pressing local needs and strengthening our communities."

Sen. Stabenow added AmeriCorps provides work that benefits many communities and individuals across Michigan.

"These AmeriCorps projects provide a great way to help Michigan communities in need, while also promoting service to our youth," Stabenow said.

The grants are made possible by the 2009 Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which greatly expanded the AmeriCorps program. In addition to funding for the projects, AmeriCorps members receive stipends and, upon completion of a year of service, an education grant which can be used for college or for payment of student loan debt.

The federal grants cover part of the costs, while the local organizations also provide funding.

Locally the BHK Child Development Board will receive $586,500 to fund 46 AmeriCorps positions. Members will provide academic support services to high-risk preschool through high school students.

Other groups receiving support for AmeriCorps are the following:

The Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness, statewide, will receive $274,721 to fund 23 positions. Members will serve as housing and services liaisons providing outreach and assistance to the homeless.

Huron Pines near Grayling, a not-for-profit conservation organization in Northeast Michigan, will receive $134,192 for 12 positions. AmeriCorps workers will provide conservation efforts and environmental education. Huron Pines works to achieve its mission through projects such as river restoration, watershed management, conservation leadership and land stewardship.

The Community Economic Development Association of Michigan will use $272,307 to fund 20 positions statewide. Members will serve at nonprofit foreclosure prevention agencies.

City Year Detroit will fund 71 positions with their grant of $888,069 for AmeriCorps members to provide small group and one-on-one tutoring to students in grades 3-9 at low performing schools.

The American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids will receive $449,822 for 34 positions. Members will provide disaster training and education to citizens and Red Cross volunteers across Western Michigan.

The Michigan Nonprofit Association will support 300 positions statewide with a grant of $48,000 to help AmeriCorps members provide community service to K-12 schools, community nonprofits and faith-based organizations.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Artis Books and Antiques to host Book Signing May 28

CALUMET -- Artis Books and Antiques in Calumet will host a Book Signing with local artist Gordon Borsvold from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. Refreshments will be served.

"Bring any book. I'll sign it," said Borsvold.

Visitors who forget to bring a book are welcome to purchase one in the store, which specializes in quality used books.

Artis Books and Antiques is located at 429 Fifth Street in historic downtown Calumet.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Portage Library to host Stamp Collecting program May 26

HOUGHTON -- United States Postmaster Mel DeGroot will present "Philately: the Study and Art of Stamp Collecting" from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, at the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton.

Participants will learn how to start collecting stamps, understand the differences among various kinds of stamps, know how to safely remove stamps from envelopes, find out ways to preserve a stamp collection, and learn how to judge the condition of a stamp and tell what it is worth. There will be a display of stamps, the different kinds of books that they can be stored in, and other materials needed for successful stamp collecting. Handouts will also be available.

DeGroot is the Postmaster in Iron River, Michigan, and he invites everyone to find out how easy it is to start your own stamp collection without a big investment. His program is geared towards beginner and experienced stamp collectors as well as those who are curious about this fascinating hobby.

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

A Stent Event: Michigan Tech students mimic blood flow in the lab

By Marcia Goodrich, senior writer
Published in Michigan Tech News May 25, 2011

HOUGHTON -- If by chance you should have a stent inserted in a clogged coronary artery, you can probably count on it staying around for a very long time. So it’s important to know what will happen to it.

"But there’s not a lot of information on exactly how stents degrade in the body," said Patrick Bowen, who just completed his BS in Materials Science and Engineering at Michigan Technological University. What information there is, on stents and other devices that surgeons place inside us for our own good, has been derived from studies on large animals, which are expensive and time-consuming.

That information may now be more forthcoming. Bowen is part of an interdisciplinary Senior Design team that found a couple of new ways to replicate what happens to stents and other man-made things tucked inside our blood vessels ...

Click here to read the rest of this article in the Michigan Tech News.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Updated: Michigan Tech, local community mourn loss of Business Professor Bob Mark

By Dennis Walikainen, Tech Today senior editor
Published in Tech Today Tuesday, May 24, 2011. Reprinted with permission.

Bob Mark, professor of practice in Michigan Technological University's School of Business and Economics, died Monday, May 23, 2011, after a recent stroke. He was 62 years old.

Bob Mark, Michigan Tech professor in the School of Business and Economics and president of the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA). (Photo courtesy Michigan Technological University)

"Bob made teaching and learning fun by presenting concepts in a way that you couldn't forget them," said Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz. "He was a natural with students."

Mark was awarded the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008, only two years after joining the faculty. He was famous for using magic tricks in his classes and for his involvement with students outside the classroom.

"Bob had a great impact on our School, through his teaching, his work with the Institute for Leadership and Innovation and his direct involvement with students with dreams of being entrepreneurs," said Darrell Radson, dean of the School of Business and Economics.

Mark was the driving force behind the Elevator Pitch Competition and the Business Plan Competition, both of which challenged students to present their best ideas for new, real businesses to a panel of judges. In fact, Mark had just announced the merger of the Business Plan Competition with Central Michigan University for next year, greatly increasing its prize monies and stature. He was also instrumental in bringing the Extreme Entrepreneur Tour to the Michigan Tech campus.

"Incredible teacher, respected colleague and generous person," is how Mari Buche, associate professor in the School of Business and Economics, will remember Mark. "He was such a force. Everything he was involved in, he gave 100 percent. He could take a good idea and turn it into an experience."

Mark’s specialties also included commercializing University research projects, and he had presented continuing education business seminars to engineers. He even worked on commercializing a Senior Design project, an improved hospital bed mattress, with which his son, Larry, was involved.

Locally, he was president of the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA).

"Bob Mark had been a pillar in promoting entrepreneurship at Michigan Tech and in the business community," said Carlton Carothers, CEO of the Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation SmartZone. "I can’t think of anyone else with such 'can-do' and 'get-it-done' attitude. Our community has lost a strong advocate of business and entrepreneurship. We will also miss his uncanny humor."

Jonathan Leinonen, also with the SmartZone, agreed.

"Bob was an exemplar for entrepreneurs, role model for students and a leader in the community," he said. "Bob was a great inspiration to me personally, and I learned a lot from him through his tireless efforts to help students start businesses, to find funding for projects and to start the new Entrepreneurship Experiences capstone course. But what I really admire about Bob was that he had a heart for students: whether that was celebrating someone's birthday with ice cream cones, cheering them on at athletic events, helping them move into the dorms, or in one case I know of, carrying furniture out of a second-story apartment after graduating and landing a new job. Bob will be sorely missed by everyone who got to know him."*

"Mark also developed the Introduction to Business course, an important part of our undergraduate curriculum," Radson added. "He will be greatly missed. Please keep his wife, Nancy, daughter, Jacqualine, and sons, Phil and Larry, in your thoughts and prayers."

Funeral arrangements are pending.

*Editor's Note: Keweenaw Now wishes to express our deepest sympathy to the family of Bob Mark. We remember him as the lively announcer at the Cardboard Boat races in Houghton -- one of our favorite community events.

Update: Phil Musser, KEDA executive director, sent Keweenaw Now this comment about Bob Mark: "Bob was the KEDA President and an important economic development partner in helping local entrepreneurs turn their dreams into viable companies. He was always looking for opportunities to create value in the community. His experience in creating, owning and growing his own companies using common sense approaches were ones he readily shared with student and community entrepreneurs."

Hancock Council to consider Fair Board request for fence removal at May 25 meeting

By Michele Bourdieu

A request by the Houghton County Fair Board for removal of the ivy-covered fence at left, near Hancock's Driving Park ball fields, in order to expand this space for the Houghton County Fair midway, will be discussed and possibly voted on during the Hancock City Council's Special Meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 25. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK -- The Houghton County Fair Association Board would like to remove the large, ivy-covered exterior fence on the east side of the southern-most Hancock baseball field (in the Driving Park) in order to increase the size of the Fair midway and to shift the location of the amusement rides farther south for safety reasons.

Removal of the fence (visible in the background here) would allow County Fair rides to be shifted farther south and away from the horse barn and arena. The Fair Board has received complaints about the proximity of the rides to the equine exhibits (which are not far from where this photo was taken). Click on photos for larger versions. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

This issue will be discussed at a special meeting of the Hancock City Council at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25. The meeting, which is also a scheduled City Council budget work session, is open to the public and to public comments.*

County Fair Board Association Board members Richard Freeman, president, and Steve Palosaari, Treasurer, made a presentation at the regular Hancock City Council meeting last Wednesday, May 18, concerning four requests from the Fair Board to the City. Request No. 2 -- removal of the fence -- was the only one not approved by the Council on May 18. Three of the Fair Board requests were approved as follows:

Request 1: Removal and burial of the overhead electric wires running north of the Hockey arena to the Maasto Hiihto Chalet and west to the end of the baseball field. The $10,000-plus cost to have UPPCO remove and bury the wires underground is to be paid by the Fair Association. This will provide a safer environment for the amusement rides.

On May 18, the City Council approved removing and burying the overhead electric wires, visible here at left, above the ivy-covered fence that is still a point of discussion. The poles with lights on them would remain. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

Request 3: Install underground water and electrical lines along the North end of the first baseball field for various vendors. The benefit will be additional space for vendors and fair volunteers and will provide the use of these services for other events, such as the Frisbee tournament.

Request 4: Installation of a 16- to 20-foot gate on the west side of the baseball fields. A second exit is needed in emergency preparedness plans to allow safe exit of Fair visitors in case the eastern exit becomes impassable.

According to Hancock City Clerk Karen Haischer, "There's no cost to the City (for any of these changes)."

Freeman confirmed the Fair Board would cover the costs.

"All this is being done at our expense, and it'll be professionally done by contractors," he said.

Freeman said removal of the fence according to Request No. 2 would open up the midway area by making it possible to move the vendors back.

"What we're finding, as more people attend the Fair, is that it's becoming congested in the midway, especially Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon for the main events," Freeman explained.

This photo shows a large crowd gathered for one of the main events in the "bowl." Fair Board members believe removal of the fence in the background would make more room in the midway, especially at peak crowd times. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

He noted the expansion of the midway would also provide the area with extra parking space for sports events that attract large crowds and, in winter, more room to push the snow back.

"We estimate 5000-6000 people in close proximity in the midway and the bowl (spectator area for main outdoor Fair events)," Freeman added.

While some of the Fair area is Houghton County property, the City of Hancock owns the property where the fence is located.

"We're allowed complete control of our Fair area during the event," Freeman said. "We rent the Arena from the Arena Board, and the City allows us use of the rest of the grounds."

Freeman said the Fair Board has been talking to City Manager Glenn Anderson for several months about these issues, but the May 18 meeting was the first opportunity their schedules allowed them to present it to the City Council.

City Councilor John Slivon, who represents Ward III, including the park and Fair area -- while he was not opposed to the three requests approved by the Council (burial of electric wires, installation of underground water and electric lines and installation of a second exit gate) -- expressed concern about the timing of the Fair Board's request for the fence removal, with so little time for the Council to consider it.

City Councilor John Slivon rides his bike along the ivy-covered fence that separates the Hancock ball fields from area used for the County Fair midway. Slivon measured the height of the fence to be 88 inches (about seven feet) and estimated its length to be about 300 feet. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

"It (the fence) belongs to the citizens of Hancock," Slivon said. "Down the road, if the City Council finds they made a mistake by letting the Fair Board take it down, the City's not going to be able to afford to replace it."

Slivon noted gates in the fence were not closed as they used to be when he first moved to Hancock several years ago.

Despite a sign saying "No dogs, No bikes," this gate in the tall fence allows entry for both, affording no protection to the ball fields, which are surrounded by a smaller fence with open gates. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

"The fence, if its gates were closed, might reduce dogs' access to the ball field. People are saying that's a problem," he said.

Despite Hancock's recent ordinance requiring people to clean up after their dogs in the City of Hancock or pay a fine of up to $100, evidence that they are not doing so is apparent, even on sidewalks downtown. While there is a second fence around the ball fields, the gates are left open.**

This gate on the inside fence around the ball fields has been left open. Residents are expected to obey the "No Dogs" sign. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Slivon, who is a member of the City of Hancock Recreation Commission, said the Recreation Commission was opposed to removal of the fence.

This gate in the tall fence is locked to keep out vehicle traffic. Should the fence be removed, the area next to the ball fields would be vulnerable to vehicle entry and, in fact, might be used for parking for future sports events. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

City Councilor John Haeussler, also noted the Recreation Commission (of which he is a member) recommended to the Council that the request to remove the fence be denied. Haeussler was opposed to removal of the fence for several reasons, which he explained in an email to Keweenaw Now.

"As a parent I appreciate the safety provided by the exterior fence at the Driving Park," he writes. "It allows families to be at the park and separated from vehicle traffic. It also provides an additional barrier to unwanted vehicle traffic (autos, ATVs, etc.) on the playing fields."

City Councilor John Haeussler notes the tall fence serves as a barrier to protect families at the ball park and to keep vehicles off the playing fields. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

The Fair Board's request says, "The bleacher area around the baseball field would remain in grass and individual poles or ground barriers could be used to maintain as a non-auto parking area. Trees and shrubs could be planted to promote our goal to make our complete grounds more like a park area."

Haeussler said he agreed that removal of the fence would benefit the Fair by increasing their available midway space.

"As a Council member I wish to assist the Fair Board, but I cannot support their request to remove the fence without first receiving feedback from other users of the Driving Park," Haeussler said. "I invite all members of our community to share their thoughts with a Council member or at the next Council meeting on Wednesday, May 25, at 6 p.m. We intend to make a decision on this issue that evening."

Haeussler noted also that the written request by the Fair Board states, "The current baseball field would be secured with additional fence, individual poles and gates."

Haeussler added, "I hope to learn more details about this at the upcoming meeting.* It may provide a compromise that will be favorable to all parties."

Editor's Notes:

* Click here for the agenda of the May 25 Special Meeting and Budget Work Session.

** Click here for City of Hancock Ordinance 91.06, "Dog restraint and cleanliness" and click here for Ordinance 91.99 under (D) for the penalty for violation.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Benishek Rep. to hold town hall at Portage Library May 25

HOUGHTON -- A Representative from United States Congressman Dan Benishek’s office will be at the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton from Noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25, for a town hall meeting.

Residents who have questions, concerns, or problems with any Federal Agency are welcome to meet with the Representative. Only Federal issues will be addressed.

For more information, please call the Iron Mountain field office at 906-828-1581.

Michigan residents to board "Bus for Clean Air" to testify at EPA hearing in Chicago

EAST LANSING -- Residents from across Michigan will get on the "Bus for Clean Air" and head to Chicago on Tuesday, May 24, to voice their support for the first national air quality standards to protect people against mercury, arsenic and lead. Concerned citizens will testify at a public hearing held by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on mercury and air toxics standards that were proposed in March.

The "Bus for Clean Air" will pick up riders in East Lansing, Kalamazoo and Benton Harbor before heading to Chicago. Shuttles will also bring residents from Muskegon,
Holland and Grand Rapids to meet up with the bus in Benton Harbor. You can follow @Bus4CleanAir on Twitter.


Stop 1: East Lansing
Clean Water Action, 1200 Michigan Ave.
Bus departs at 8 a.m. and will return around 11 p.m.

Stop 2: Kalamazoo
Meijer parking lot at Westnedge and Kilgore
Bus departs at 9:30 a.m. and will return around 9:30 p.m.

Stop 3: Benton Harbor
Wendy’s Restaurant, 1860 East Napier Ave.
Bus departs at 10:30 a.m. and will return around 8:30 p.m.


Muskegon: Harvey and Hille Park and Ride
Shuttle departs at 8:30 a.m. and will return around 10:30 p.m.

Holland: Meijer store at 16th Street and Waverly
Shuttle departs at 9:30 a.m. and will return around 9:30 p.m.

Grand Rapids: Park and Ride at East Beltline and I-96
Carpool will leave at 8:30 a.m. and will return around 10:15 p.m.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Photos (updated): Keweenaw Bike to Work Day 2011

HANCOCK, HOUGHTON, CALUMET -- Keweenaw Bike to Work Day -- Friday, May 20, 2011 -- turned out to be warm and sunny. Keweenaw Now and guest photographer Crissy Gerhart of Calumet took these photos of participants and volunteers at the bike stations in Hancock, Calumet and Houghton.

Hancock ...

Hancock City Councilor John Slivon, left, and his wife, Ann Pace, who both helped coordinate the first Hancock Bike to Work Day in 2010, volunteered again this year at the Hancock bike station. Bikers register, receive a free water bottle, fresh fruit and home-made snacks. (Photos by Keweenaw Now unless otherwise indicated)

Dean Woodbeck of Keweenaw Trails, which promotes silent sports in the Keweenaw, stops to chat with Ann Pace at the Bike to Work station in Hancock Friday morning, May 20, 2011. Woodbeck helped organize the Houghton Bike to Work Day, which began in 2009.

Bicycle commuters register and receive their souvenir water bottle at the bike station in Hancock.

A cyclist stops at the healthy snack table in Hancock for some quick energy on his way to work last Friday morning, Bike to Work Day, May 20, 2011. At left on the table are Ann Pace's home-made snacks along with fresh fruit and water. Coffee was donated by the Keweenaw Co-op.

Calumet ...

Lorri Oikarinen is pictured here at the Calumet High School Bike to Work station Friday morning, May 20, 2011. Oikarinen is co-owner with her husband, Rick Oikarinen, of Cross Country Sports in Calumet, one of the sponsors of Bike to Work. "(Lorri) came at 7 a.m. and brought the food, coffee, and free material to hand out," said Crissy Gerhart. "Then she drove her car home and then biked to work!" (Calumet photos © 2011 and courtesy Crissy Gerhart)

Biking commuters register at the Calumet bike station and enjoy snacks and drinks. Coffee was donated by the Fifth and Elm Coffee House.

A large banner attracts cyclists to the Bike to Work station in Calumet on Friday morning, May 20, 2011.


Father and son -- Kris Mattila, right, and Dane Mattila of Hubbell -- biked to work and to the Michigan Tech campus, respectively, Friday morning. Here they stop to visit with Bike to Work volunteer Bob Drake of Houghton on their way home -- a second 12-mile trip -- Friday afternoon. This was Houghton's third year participating in National Bike to Work Day. (Houghton photos by Keweenaw Now)

Volunteer Bob Drake checks Rita Lederle's bike for safety. The safety check at the bike stations included brakes, steering and reflectors. Lederle, center, who biked from Hancock to Houghton, is pictured with Chris DeDene of Houghton. Both are Michigan Tech students.

David Clark, left, Michigan Tech graduate student in math, joins Rita and Chris for a snack at the registration table. Baked goods were from Victoria's Kitchen in Houghton.

Meghan Stan, Michigan Tech ecology student, biked from Calumet Waterworks to Houghton Friday (about 14 miles one way). She stopped here at the Bike to Work station near the Houghton waterfront path Friday afternoon.

Alex Hirzel, originally from L'Anse, said he biked from Hancock to Houghton every day last week, including Friday. He is an undergraduate student in electrical engineering at Michigan Tech.

Lakshmi Krishna of Hyderabad, India, was trying out a new road bike in downtown Houghton Friday afternoon. She normally rides a mountain bike and has even biked from Houghton to Marquette. Krishna just completed her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at Michigan Tech and is now doing a post-doc.

For more information about Keweenaw Bike to Work Day and a list of local sponsors of the event, visit their Web site.

To learn about biking in the City of Houghton, see the City's 2007 Bicycle Plan.

Deadline for Youth Conservation Corps applications is Monday, May 23

CALUMET -- Area young people will share in a summer work opportunity offered through the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program, administered by the National Park Service at Keweenaw National Historical Park in Calumet. Applications, which have been distributed to area high schools for students between the ages of 15 and 18 interested in applying for the YCC program, are due by 5 p.m. Monday, May 23. There are no income restrictions for the YCC program.

The Youth Conservation Corps, a nationwide federal program for young people, administered by the National Park Service, provides opportunities to contribute to the conservation of our national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges through a combined work and environmental/cultural education program.

The young people will work with National Park Service professionals on conservation and cultural heritage related projects such as trail and roadside maintenance, museum collections, vegetation removal, historic stone ruin stabilization, painting, and other facility repair and clean-up projects.

The Keweenaw National Historical Park YCC program will run eight weeks, from June 13 to August 5, 2011. YCC enrollees will work a 40-hour week and receive $7.40 per hour. Three to five positions are expected to be filled and are selected from among all area youth submitting applications to the Keweenaw National Historical Park headquarters in Calumet.

Selections of YCC enrollees are made by random drawing by Human Resources personnel. The drawing and notification of selected employees will take place during the week of May 23, 2011. The names of five alternates will also be drawn for the program, and will be used to fill positions if any of the original selected YCC enrollees decline a position.

Questions about the YCC work program may be directed to Keweenaw National Historical Park YCC program director at (906) 483-3034. Applications must be received by the 5 p.m. May 23, 2011, deadline at: Keweenaw National Historical Park, 25970 Red Jacket Road, Calumet, MI 49913.