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, August 27, 2011

Michigan Messenger: State Dept. report favors tar sands pipeline

By Eartha Jane Melzer of the Michigan Messenger
Posted Aug. 26, 2011

In a report released [Friday, Aug. 26], the U.S. State Dept. says that TransCanada’s plan to move tar sands oil across the U.S. by pipeline will not cause significant environmental problems....

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Click here to read the article in the New York Times: "U.S. offers key support to Canadian Pipeline."

Click here for updates on the Washington D.C. protest against the pipeline.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Portage Library to host Rhythm 203 at "Music on the Menu" Aug. 26

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to bring a lunch and enjoy "Music on the Menu," an outdoor series of events held on the dock outside the library.

Rhythm 203 members, from left, Sue Ellen Kingsley, Phyllis Fredendall and Norm Kendall -- joined by Libby Meyer, right -- play a variety of tunes at the the Fourth of July celebration at Churning Rapids last month. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Rhythm 203 will perform an eclectic mix of folk, country, bluegrass, pop, and blues from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 26. Songs feature the three-part vocal harmonies of Sue Ellen Kingsley, Norm Kendall, and Phyllis Fredendall.

Everyone is invited to eat, relax, and enjoy the lunch hour while listening to some great music. In the event of bad weather, the program will be held in the community room.

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

Ford and Michigan Tech team up to imagine better community transit system

By Jennifer Donovan, Michigan Tech Director of Public Relations
Posted Aug. 25, 2011 on Michigan Tech News

HOUGHTON -- Do you ever ride the bus in Houghton and Hancock? Would you, if it were more convenient?

Soon it may be. Michigan Technological University Enterprise students have received a Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) grant to study the existing mass transit system in Houghton and Hancock and develop a model that would be more sustainable economically, environmentally and socially.

Michigan Tech’s Transportation Enterprise and Automotive Computing Enterprise (ACE) won the $50,000 competitive grant. Enterprises are teams of students who take on real-world problems and -- with industry partners -- use their Tech education to find practical solutions.

Ford C3 is a national challenge grant competition that recognizes colleges and universities that use a school's resources to address an urgent community need related to the grant's theme: Building Sustainable Communities. Proposals are expected to incorporate the use of alternative energy in a unique way. Unlike many traditional college grant programs, Ford C3 requires colleges to create proposals that have significant student input, involvement and leadership from beginning to end. Given this requirement, winning proposals have a distinctive student perspective on what it means to have a sustainable community.

Read the rest of this article on the Michigan Tech News ...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Houghton County Fair opens Aug. 25

By Michele Bourdieu

A blue-ribbon-winning rooster at the 2010 Houghton County Fair. (2010 file photos by Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK -- The Houghton County Fair opens tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 25, and continues through Sunday, Aug. 28, at the Fairgrounds in Hancock.

The Fair promises activities and fun for the whole family. The gates open at 3 p.m. on Thursday. Highlights of opening day, Aug. 25, include the Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers science magic show from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in four circus tents on the baseball field next to the Midway; an Open Horse Show (speed) at 5 p.m. in the Horse Arena; Cirque da UP -- Bob, Trish, Jason Unicycle Juggling Act at 6 p.m. (Midway); and the Miss Houghton County Queen Pageant at 6:30 p.m. (Indoor Stage).

Rebecca Gast, Miss Houghton County for 2010. (Keweenaw Now 2010 file photo)

Exhibit Buildings open at 6 p.m. Thursday with a Poultry/Rabbit Show in the Small Animal Barn.

At 9:15 p.m. don't miss the Kenya Safari Acrobats (Indoor Stage). Exhibit Buildings close at 10 p.m. but the Amusements and Midway remain open.

Here are some memories from last year's Houghton County Fair:

A noisy duck fails to attract the attention of his neighbors in the Small Animal Barn. (Video clips by Keweenaw Now)

Action in the Horse Arena -- a 2010 winner!

Romance in the Livestock Pavilion ...

Donna the Holstein watches over her offspring. Both are owned by Gary Palosaari.

Gustavo and friend ...

See you at the Fair!

Click here for the complete Houghton County Fair schedule.

Editor's Note: Houghton County Democrats need help at their Fair booth. Please email or call 370-5496 if you can help.

New slide show, videos of Calumet Heritage Celebration

By Michele Bourdieu

Members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Veterans Honor Guard present the colors to begin the Calumet Heritage Celebration on Aug. 15, 2011, in Calumet's Keweenaw Heritage Center (formerly St. Anne's Church).
Sponsored by Main Street Calumet, the annual Heritage Celebration highlights a particular ethnic group each year. The 2011 event featured the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwa) cultural heritage. Erik Awonohopay of Eagle Radio leads his drum group in a Native American Honor Song. Standing at far right is Warren C. Swartz, Jr., President of the KBIC Tribal Council. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)*

CALUMET -- Keweenaw Now attended some of the events celebrating Calumet Heritage last week. If you haven't yet checked it out, see our slide show of the Aug. 15, 18 and 20 events: the Calumet Heritage Celebration in the Keweenaw Heritage Center, the Red Metal Radio Show in the Calumet Theatre, and the Heritage Celebration in Agassiz Park featuring the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Dance Troupe.*

This year Main Street Calumet's Heritage Celebration honored especially the Ojibwa culture in the area.

Susan LaFernier, KBIC Tribal Council secretary, spoke on Aug. 15 at the Keweenaw Heritage Center, giving an overview of the history of the tribe since 1800. She spoke about the 19th-century treaties under which the Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) of the Great Lakes region ceded their lands to the U.S. Government, the tribe's Constitution, many tribal social services, efforts to protect and preserve natural resources, and recent job creation.

LaFernier was also present at the Aug. 20 Heritage Celebration in Agassiz Park.

During the 2011 Calumet Heritage Celebration on Aug. 20 honoring especially the Ojibwa culture, Susan LaFernier, KBIC Tribal Council secretary, spoke with Keweenaw Now following the performance by the KBIC Dance Troupe in Calumet's Agassiz Park. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

"I'm very overwhelmed," LaFernier said. "I didn't realize that Heritage Days was such a huge event. It's absolutely wonderful! I know that the entire tribe has been looking forward to the event for a few months now, and I know that everyone from KBIC here today is enjoying visiting with our neighbors. I'd like to thank Main Street Calumet and the other organizers. Miigwetch!"**

Here are some video clips from the week of celebration:

Heritage Celebration honors Ojibwa culture at Keweenaw Heritage Center

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community members Nicole Eagle and her brother, E Halverson, harmonize on a song written by E -- concluding the opening event of the Calumet Heritage Celebration Aug. 15, 2011, in the Keweenaw Heritage Center (former St. Anne's Church) in Calumet. See slide show for photos and details of this event. (Video clips by Keweenaw Now)

KBIC Dance Troupe performs at Heritage Celebration in Agassiz Park

At the Calumet Heritage Celebration Aug. 20, 2011, in Agassiz Park, members of the KBIC Dance Troupe perform a Men's Traditional Dance. Erik Owonohopay of Eagle Radio is the master of ceremonies and leads the "Summer Cloud" drum group in accompanying the dancers.

Young women from the KBIC Dance Troupe perform the Women's Fancy Shawl Dance during the Calumet Heritage Celebration Aug. 20, 2011, in Agassiz Park. Women and girls of all ages can do the Shawl Dance. They wear colorful, elaborate regalia with a skirt and a beaded or sequined vest. A long fringed shawl is worn over the shoulders and held out at the elbows. Movements include fine footwork and fast spins, meant to mimic a joyful butterfly.

Red Metal Radio Show

Doug Bacon on banjo and vocalist Melissa Lewis perform "Put on Your Old Gray Bonnet" during the Aug. 18, 2011, Red Metal Radio Show in the Calumet Theatre. The historic show, featuring songs from the early 20th century, was broadcast on Eagle Radio and was a part of the 2011 Calumet Heritage Celebration. Co-hosts Oren Tikkanen and Kris Kyro Johnson introduce the singing duo, while Dave Bezotte accompanies on piano. Stage Manager Babette Jokela waves a red flag at right to signal the beginning of the show.

The Red Metal Band and vocalist Kris Kyro Johnson perform "Alexander's Ragtime Band" during the Aug. 18, 2011, Red Metal Radio Show in the Calumet Theatre. Band members include Bob Norden, bandleader, arranger and trombone; Debra Zei, clarinet; Benjie Brotherton, trumpet; Sherrie Pellegrini, drums; and Roger Laub, tuba. ***


* Click here to see more photos, with captions, in our slide show on the 2011 Calumet Heritage Celebration.

** Miigwetch means "Thank you" in Ojibwa.

*** Click here to see more Keweenaw Now video clips of these and other local events on our Keweenaw News YouTube channel.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Marquette Road Commission to hold open houses on County Road 595

MARQUETTE -- The Marquette County Road Commission will hold a series of informational open houses to provide information to, and collect written comments from the public regarding the proposed new roadway called County Road 595. Time and location are as follows:

Tuesday, Aug. 30th: 12 noon - 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
, Citizens Forum Room, Lakeview Arena, Marquette.

Wednesday, Aug. 31st: 12 noon - 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., Ishpeming Township Hall, Ishpeming.

Informational packets will be available for public review at these meetings. Information will also be available to the public for review starting Tuesday afternoon, August 16, 2011, at the following locations: Marquette County Road Commission Administrative Office, The Peter White Public Library, City of Ishpeming, City of Negaunee, City of Marquette, Powell Township, Ely Township, Marquette Township, Negaunee Township, Ishpeming Township, Humboldt Township and Michigamme Township.

All written input given and received at these informational meetings will be considered at the Board of Marquette County Road Commissioners regular meeting on Monday, September 19, 2011, 6 p.m. at the Ishpeming Township Hall. The public may submit written comment to the Marquette County Road Commission Office, 1610 N. Second Street, Ishpeming, MI 49849 or by emailing by 1 p.m. on Tuesday, September 6, 2011.

Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers to bring science fun to Houghton County Fair Aug. 25

HOUGHTON --Thursday night -- opening night at the Houghton County Fair -- is Family Night, and this year there’s something brand new for the family. The Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers will be mystifying young and old with their science magic show from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, in four circus tents on the baseball field next to the Midway at the Houghton County Fairgrounds in Hancock. There is no extra charge for the Mind Trekkers show.

Mind Trekkers is a hands-on science and engineering show produced by the Center for Pre-college Outreach at Michigan Technological University. Staff and student volunteers invite visitors to walk on water (well, water mixed with cornstarch), to feel their hair stand on end, to see ice cream made in 60 seconds, and to breathe "dragon’s breath," to name just a few of more than 80 activities. Each demonstration is designed to reveal the mystery behind a scientific principle, turning science into fun.

Over the past year, the Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers have taken their popular show on the road to Washington, D.C.; Detroit, Mich.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Green Bay, Wis.

They have also performed in Traverse City, Escanaba and Iron Mountain, Mich. They have already been invited back to the nation’s capital for the next USA Science and Engineering Expo in April 2012.

The Mind Trekkers Science and Engineering Festival at the County Fair is sponsored by the Michigan Space Grant Consortium.

Family passes for the Fair that night are half price when purchased in advance; $10 admits two adults and up to four children ages 7 to 15. Children under 6 get in free. The passes are on sale at many local businesses.

For more information, call the Center for Pre-College Outreach at 906-487-2219, or email

Click here for the Schedule of activities at this year's Houghton County Fair.

Portage Library to host Magic Show, Food Fest

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library in Houghton will host two free events this week -- a Magic Show for children and a Food Fest potluck for lovers of garden-fresh fruits and vegetables.

Magic Show to conclude Summer Reading Program Aug. 24

The Summer Reading Program at the Portage Lake District Library will end with Craig Waddell’s Magic Show on Wednesday, Aug. 24.

Two performances of this engaging family entertainment will be given -- from 11 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. and from noon to 12:40 p.m. Children can expect to be fascinated and mystified as magic and illusionist fun unfolds.

Waddell has been doing magic shows for the Houghton Elementary School Carnival for the past ten years. His magic is especially adapted for elementary school-age children, but children of all ages are invited.

Although the Summer Reading Program officially ends on Aug. 24, participants will still be able to finish up their reading lists and collect their grand prize until the end of August.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Portage Library to host Summer’s Bounty Food Fest Aug. 25

The Friends of the Portage Lake District Library invite fresh-food lovers to bring their appetites and favorite summer dishes to share for an evening of good eating among good friends.

The Summer’s Bounty Social will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, at the library. For this potluck event, people are asked to bring their favorite dish made from locally available fruits or vegetables. Foods can be fresh or frozen, sweet or savory, and hot or cold. If participants want to share a recipe, copies for all can be made at the library.

Community garden members and local producers who want to participate may set up a display with information about their project or business. Please contact Chris at the library for more details.

Door prizes featuring local food products will be given away throughout the evening. Guests will enjoy an arrangement of summertime music, and table service and beverages will be provided by the Friends of the Library.

Everyone is invited to this free event. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Keweenaw Heritage Center to host organ, harpsichord concert Aug. 23

CALUMET -- The Keweenaw Heritage Center at St. Anne's (corner of 5th and Scott Streets) will present a concert of pipe organ and harpsichord music at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 23.

Thomas Kraska of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Adrienne Shipley of Lake Linden will be performing a variety of music on the 1899 Barckhoff Pipe Organ and harpsichord.

Tom is a summer resident of Big Traverse Bay here in the Copper country; Adrienne is the organist at St. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church in Houghton and is currently working toward her Masters Degree in Harpsichord from Indiana University.

The concert will feature a wide variety of works: from Bach to Sousa; from England, France, Holland, Norway and the U.S.

Tickets can be obtained at the door for $6. This is a benefit concert with proceeds donated to the universal accessibility project at the Keweenaw Heritage Center.