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 13, 2012

Mind Trekkers to take science magic for kids to Green Bay's Einstein Science Expo Jan. 14

Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers demonstrate making ice cream from liquid nitrogen and serve it to visitors at the 2011 Houghton County Fair. This is just one of many science activities Mind Trekkers students will demonstrate on Jan. 14 at the Einstein Science Expo in Green Bay. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)

By Jennifer Donovan, Michigan Tech Director of Public Relations
Posted on Michigan Tech News Jan. 12, 2012

HOUGHTON -- What if, instead of candy bars or miniature American flags, children with eyesight problems in economically deprived parts of the world received lightweight, inexpensive, self-adjustable eyeglasses? More might learn to read and write. More futures might look brighter.

Dow Corning has developed such glasses, and while the Centre for Vision in the Developing World makes and distributes 50,000 pairs to teenagers around the globe, the silicon technology giant headquartered in Midland, Mich., has donated some to the Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers to demonstrate at their upcoming events throughout 2012. The glasses, called Adspecs, will be showcased along with other science spectaculars to Green Bay school children and their families at the Einstein Science Expo this Saturday, Jan. 14 at Shopko Hall.

Mind Trekkers is a traveling science show filled with hands-on activities that bring the 'WOW' of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to life for school children. Mind Trekkers, part of Michigan Tech’s Pre-college Outreach program, has performed science magic for and with thousands of young people all over the country.

At the 2011 Houghton County Fair, youngsters line up at the Mind Trekkers' event to try running or dancing through oobleck, a sticky white substance that grabs your feet and holds you if you don't move fast. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)

Click here to read the rest of this Michigan Tech News article and see more photos of Mind Trekkers' science magic.

Ski Club to host luminary ski Jan. 14 at Maasto Hiihto

HANCOCK -- The Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (KNSC) will host a luminary ski from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday evening, Jan. 14, at Maasto Hiihto. A 2K ski trail (with a short cut for 1K) will be lit with candles starting at the Hancock Chalet. A fire will be provided in the parking lot and hot chocolate and goodies in the Chalet. Bring the family. Extra goodies to share would be appreciated by all. No fee but donations appreciated.

Gromit the Trail Dog posted this photo of a recent moonlight ski at Maasto Hiihto. "I'm in the bottom of this photo! Check out my stylish reflecto-collar," says Gromit. (Photo © and courtesy Arlyn Aronson, KNSC groomer)

Call Glen Archer with questions: 482-4957.

KNSC's John Diebel reports groomers have been rolling and dragging Maasto Hiihto/Churning Rapids trails since yesterday.

"This last storm was just what the doctor ordered," Diebel writes. "We hope to have tracks set on all trails by this afternoon. Conditions should be excellent for the luminary ski from the chalet 6-8 p.m. Saturday night. Think snow."

See also Gromit the Trail Dog's ski updates and more photos on her blog, The Trail Mutt Reports.

Native American groups express opposition to proposed Wisconsin mining bill at Hurley hearing

HURLEY, WIS. -- The Wisconsin Assembly Jobs Committee public hearing on the mining bill, Assembly Bill 426, that was held Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, at the Hurley Inn in Hurley, Wis., attracted a very large crowd, including representatives of several Native American groups.

According to an Associated Press article, "Members of the Bad River, Red Cliff and other tribes attended the hearing, which drew an overflow crowd of about 600 people, The (Ashland) Daily Press reported. Many of the tribal members carried signs opposing mining."*

Indian Country TV has posted several videos of the hearing. See:

Many of the comments concerned the proposed Gogebic Taconite open-pit mine in the Penokee Hills, since the proposed new mining law is intended to kick-start this mine.

*Click here for the Associated Press article.
Click here for the Ashland Daily Press article.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Brockit Inc. to offer beginner, intermediate photography workshops Jan. 21

Photographer Adam Johnson's daughter, Kora Melia, with her Dad's camera, shoots a photo of her model, Anabelle Mack, in the Brockit studio in Hancock. (Photo © and courtesy Brockit Inc. Reprinted with permission.)

HANCOCK -- Did Santa give you the camera on your wish-list, but did he forget to show you how to use it? Despite your good eye, are you wrestling with your digital camera? Are you a little too used to seeing blurry photos of your kids and pets with red-eyes? Do the buttons on the back of your camera remain a mystery to you?

If you nod affirmatively to any of these, or if you just want to spend more quality time with your favorite photographer, you may be in need of one of Brockit Inc. Professional Photography's two workshops -- one for beginners and one intermediate -- to be offered on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Brockit Studio in the E.L. Wright Building, 801 N. Lincoln Drive (U.S. 41), Hancock.

Here are some details about the Jan. 21 workshops:

BEGINNER Workshop: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (limit 10, catered lunch)

Participants for BEGINNER sessions bring their own camera for a hands-on, intensive session that will cover the following:
  • basics on photography (light, depth, framing)
  • mechanics of your own camera
  • image processing, sharing, printing, and archiving
  • hands-on exercises in-studio with live models
  • mobile phone camera tips
  • photo critiques, tips, and equipment recommendations
  • fancy organic cotton, pure mineral ink printed "groupie" shirt
Cost: $250 Class size: 10
Duration: 4 hours w/ catered lunch

INTERMEDIATE Workshop: 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. (limit 5, cocktail reception)

Participants for INTERMEDIATE sessions also bring their own camera for a hands-on, intensive session that will cover the following:
  • controlling depth of field
  • creative framing
  • workflow and edits
  • working with subjects
  • advanced lighting (reflecting, diffusing, remote strobes)
  • advanced controls (exposure compensation, auto ISO, flash sync, focus tracking)
  • fancy organic cotton, pure mineral ink printed "groupie" shirt
Cost: $250 Class size: 5
Duration: 3 hours w/ cocktail reception

Photographer Adam Johnson, Brockit founder and owner, and Meghan McKilligan, Brockit studio manager, welcome visitors to the Brockit Studio during the Dec. 14, 2011, Open House in the E.L. Wright Building. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

The Brockit crew will provide glam studio space, instructor and assistants, eclectic background music, live models, over a decade of photo experience to share and more ...

Visit the Brockit Web site for photos of previous workshops, more details and a chance to sign up for the workshop online.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Michigan Tech News: What the Mining Debate is Missing

Valoree Gagnon and Brenda Bergman are Michigan Tech graduate students who want to do a better job of communicating science. (Photo courtesy Michigan Technological University)

By Jennifer Donovan, Michigan Tech Director of Public Relations

Posted on the Michigan Tech News Jan. 3, 2012 and updated Jan. 9, 2012. Reprinted here with permission.

As they study their fields, graduate science students also need to learn to be good communicators about science. So says the National Science Foundation (NSF); and, in response, Michigan Tech civil and environmental engineering professor Alex Mayer runs a graduate fellowship program -- funded by NSF -- to help PhD students learn to communicate science to school children and the general public. This year, students Brenda Bergman, a PhD student in forest science, and Valoree Gagnon, who is in the environmental and energy policy PhD program, chose to develop a news release about the controversy over mining in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and around the nation. Here is their news release:

As mining is resurging in North America, debates across the continent over mines are simplified: "Do we prioritize jobs or the environment? Companies or communities?" These are worthy debates. Yet should the issue of mining really be reduced to "pro-con" statements?

Michigan Technological University experts from a wide range of disciplines say no.

"The worst type of communication has to do with the simplification of the mining issues. I think the biggest problem is creation of polar opposites so that one has to choose between employment or environmental and health protection," says Carol MacLennan, an environmental anthropologist at Michigan Tech who has studied mining communities for almost a decade. "Characterizing it that way is very destructive because you're never forced to confront the complexity of the issue."

Ted Bornhorst, director of Michigan Tech’s A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum and a mining geologist for more than 30 years, emphasizes that no one in modern society can deny their use of mining products.

"Probably the biggest frustration in the mining controversy," Bornhorst says, "is the complete, absolute disconnect that most people have between mining and their lives."

Consequently, Bornhorst believes there is a fundamental need to include more geology in pre-college education.

Even while acknowledging our dependency on mining products, are scientists sufficiently communicating issues of demand and reuse?

MacLennan has noticed a gaping hole in the mining debate over the past decade: "What’s not articulated, not debated and not discussed is whether or not we have other means of obtaining these metals through a recovery or recycling process…. Most people don’t really know what’s out there and how technologically capable we are of recovering or not recovering these metals from other products."

This raises an important question: How are members of the general public expected to understand such a complex issue? Answers from Michigan Tech scientists focus on two solutions: education and improved communication between scientists and the public.

According to Craig Waddell, an associate professor of humanities who has studied public participation in environmental disputes, "If you want to prepare a broader range of people to participate, they need to know how to address scientific arguments, how to assess disputes within the scientific community, what counts as evidence and how we evaluate whether or not that evidence is valid."

MacLennan believes that scientists have an obligation to communicate with the public: "Too often, scientists think about things in terms of ‘furthering knowledge,’ and that, by implication, is a public good. It’s just that it’s often not clear -- how is it a public good? How is it publicly useful? And you have to always be thinking about different publics -- and there are different publics -- how are they interested or concerned in the particular work you’re doing?"

Existing mechanisms may help to bridge the science-public divide. MacLennan calls for better "access points" for opportunities for communication between scientists and the public when decisions involve risk. She offers the example of "science shops" in northern Europe: "A citizens’ group goes through a quick education process on the subject by members of the scientific community, and then they come up with recommendations." The process is a serious attempt to improve scientist-public communication and includes public involvement in decision-making and in the regulatory process.

Regardless of their form, meaningful discussions will not happen overnight: they inherently involve process. The first step toward improving communication about controversial issues, such as mining, is to move beyond simplistic dichotomies. Scientists, educators and the public undoubtedly have their work cut out for them. But there is good news: opening avenues of communication can begin to bridge existing gaps between scientists and the publics they serve.

New Elijah J. McCoy Detroit Patent Office to create 100 jobs, open in July 2012

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today announced that a location and target opening date has been announced for Detroit’s new satellite patent office, the nation’s first U.S. Patent and Trademark Office outside of Washington, D.C. The new office will be located at 300 River Place Dr. in Detroit -- a location listed in the National Historic Registry as the former home to Parke-Davis Laboratories and the Stroh’s Brewery Headquarters. The office is set to open no later than July 2012.

The Detroit Office is expected to initially create more than 100 well-paying jobs. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office expects to post vacancy announcements for patent examiner positions this spring. Prospective employees should email for more information.

Senator Stabenow has been a leader in the effort to create the new patent office, and a measure she authored named the new office after Michigan inventor Elijah J. McCoy.

Elijah McCoy, who was the son of former slaves, is one of the most prolific inventors in U.S. history. He secured more than 50 patents throughout his lifetime, but is best known for his inventions that revolutionized how our heavy-duty machinery, including locomotives, function today. Elijah invented the automatic lubricator in July of 1872. While many others tried to replicate his incredibly effective invention, they were largely unsuccessful. A machine was not considered complete unless it had "McCoy" parts. People seeking top-quality products would ask, "Is it the real McCoy?" Today, the term "the real McCoy" is used to indicate perfection.

"Making it easier for entrepreneurs to get a patent means they can start turning their innovative ideas into job-creating businesses more quickly. A new Detroit patent office will be a tremendous help for Michigan innovators," said Senator Stabenow. "Our state is first in the nation in clean energy patents, and Michigan is home to groundbreaking research in agriculture, advanced batteries, and new auto technologies. It is very fitting the first satellite office in the country be located in Detroit."

Stabenow continued, "Michigan has been home to many of our nation’s greatest entrepreneurs and business leaders. I am proud that the nation’s first patent office outside of Washington [is named] after our state’s own Elijah McCoy, one of the greatest inventors our country has ever known."

Senator Carl Levin also welcomed the news about the Detroit location for the patent office.

"Today’s announcement is wonderful news for Michigan and for innovation in America," Levin said. "The satellite patent office in Detroit will help the our nation’s innovators move their ideas to the marketplace more quickly. The jobs it will create in Michigan are important; but, beyond that welcome news, the choice of Detroit for this first satellite office makes a powerful statement about Michigan’s stature as a hub of innovation, research and development."

In September 2011, Congress passed the final bill to create the Elijah J. McCoy patent office. The bill provides a built-in funding mechanism for the new office, allowing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to pay for the Detroit satellite office with user fees it already collects. The first-of-its-kind regional office would help speed the processing of patent applications, helping Michigan companies and inventors get their innovations to market more quickly.

Read more on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Web site.

Martin Luther King Jr. Week to begin with New Orleans' own Hot 8 Brass Band Jan. 16

HOUGHTON -- New Orleans’ own Hot 8 Brass Band will present both a lecture and a performance at the Michigan Tech Center for Diversity and Inclusion's Martin Luther King Jr. Week "Dream Celebration" Banquet at 6 p.m. at the Memorial Union Ballroom on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. New Orleans’ own Hot 8 Brass Band will present the Keynote Address at the "Dream Celebration" Banquet at 6 p.m.

The Keynote Address is titled "Tradition, Tragedy, and Hope: A Brief Survey of Brass Music." This free event is a unique opportunity to share not only in a performance but in a piece of America’s ability to survive and thrive. New Orleans’ own Hot 8 Brass Band has epitomized New Orleans street music for over a decade. Founded by Bennie Pete, Jerome Jones, and Harry Cook in 1995, the band has played in traditional Second Line parades hosted each Sunday by a Social Aid and Pleasure Club ever since. Featured on CNN, Nightline, in the New York Times, and most notably in Spike Lee’s Katrina documentary, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, the Hot 8 Brass Band has been part of an important relief project following Hurricane Katrina. Their work with the Finding Our Folk Tour has brought music to evacuee shelters, temporary trailer parks, and communities throughout the US that have provided a temporary home to displaced New Orleanians. This year the band will join us for Michigan Tech’s own Martin Luther King day celebrations by presenting a free lecture, including church and blues music reflecting songs familiar to the southern experience interspersed with stories about the history of New Orleans and Katrina’s impact on the lives of her victims.

A dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. New Orleans’ own Hot 8 will follow this presentation with a performance of their music at 7:30 p.m.

The banquet and performance will be free and open to the public; however, please note that tickets will be required due to limited seating in the MUB Ballroom. Tickets will be available either by contacting Ticketing Operations at (906) 487-2073, at, or at the door. (It is advisable to order tickets in advance of the event.)

The Dream Celebration Banquet is the first event in the week-long celebration, "Honoring the Life, Legacy, and Dream," Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Week, January 16 - 20, 2012.

The Dream Celebration Banquet is sponsored in part by the James and Margaret Black Endowment, and the Michigan Tech Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

More events to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Week

The second event is on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012: Dream Makers: "Women Who Dare to Dream," and includes lunch and a discussion following the screening of a film honoring women who have played a key role in the social and political movements throughout history. This event is free, and it will take place from Noon - 1:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Building, Alumni Lounge. Attendees must RSVP by Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, to Lori Weir ( or call (906) 487-2920.

The final event will be held on Friday, Jan. 20, 2012: Dream Seekers: "Encouraging and Inspiring Future Leaders," a panel discussion by Michigan Tech Alumni. This will be held from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Building, Alumni Lounge.

NOSOTROS to host presentation on Bolivia Jan. 17

HOUGHTON -- The NOSOTROS Student Organization invites you to the eighth presentation of the series "A door to Latin culture." Estefania Delavega Borns will talk about her country, Bolivia, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, in Michigan Tech's Fisher Hall room 138.

Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. The event is free and open to the public. It is supported by the Parents' Fund of the Michigan Tech Fund. For information contact

Kantele classes begin during Heikinpäivä

HANCOCK -- Hello kantele players! Kantele opportunities for you, or for that friend of yours who wants to play, begin during the coming Heikinpäivä (Mid-Winter festival) celebration.

Kay Seppälä, instructor (musician, in foreground), and her kantele ensemble perform during the Dec. 1, 2011, Finnish Independence celebration in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Registration is required for these classes. You may register by calling Kay Seppälä at 523-6271.

Here are the kantele-related Heikinpäivä activities:

Monday, Jan. 16, 6 p.m.: Beginning kantele class by Kay Seppälä at Zion Lutheran, Hancock. $10 fee, instruments provided.

Saturday, Jan. 21, 9 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.: 11-string kantele making with Jim Lohmann, at Little Brothers, Hancock. $195 fee includes all materials, and participants take a kantele home with them. Jim's prototype is lovely, balanced, and has a clear, bright sound, Seppälä notes. A comparable kantele from Finland would cost you about $300.

Monday, Jan. 23, 6 p.m.: Beginning 10 / 11-string kantele by Kay Seppälä, Zion Lutheran, Hancock. $10 fee. Some instruments provided, if you did not make your own!

After Heikinpäivä, a kantele ensemble will be formed and will meet Mondays beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 at the Finnish American Heritage Center.

"We will choose 8 or 10 pieces to work on - for fives, tens/elevens, and whatever other instruments care to join us," Seppälä.says. "Come to play at whatever level you can. (Choose a few of the pieces, or work on them all!!) We will develop arrangements together. No fee, but we will take a donation to cover the cost of using the building. Drop me an e-mail, or give me a call 523-6271 to let me know that you are interested. As a group, we'll decide how often we will meet, but it will probably be weekly. Give it a try! What have you got to lose?"

For more Heikinpäivä information, go to and click on schedule.

Finlandia's Nordic Film Series opens Jan. 12

HANCOCK -- The Finlandia University Finnish American Heritage Center Nordic Film Series for winter and spring 2012 will begin Thursday, Jan. 12, with Risto Rääpääja (Ricky the Rapper, Finland, 2008). The film is in Finnish with English subtitles.

Each film in the series takes place on the second Thursday of the month, with showings at both 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The films are free and open to the public. Donations are accepted.

The series will continue with the following films:

Thursday, Feb. 9. The Singing Revolution (USA/Estonia, 2008). In English and Estonian with English subtitles.

Thursday, March 8. Kulkuri ja Joutsen (The Swan and the Wanderer, Finland, 1999). In Finnish with English subtitles.

Thursday, April 12. Efter Brylluppet (After the Wedding, Denmark, 2006). In Danish with English subtitles.

The Finnish American Heritage Center is located on the campus of Finlandia University at 435 Quincy St., Hancock.

For additional information, contact Hilary Virtanen, programming coordinator for the Finnish American Heritage Center, at 906-487-7505.

Updates on Wisconsin mining bill AB 426

HURLEY, WIS. -- The proposed new mining bill for Wisconsin, Assembly Bill 426, would eliminate many environmental protections, cost the state millions of dollars in additional fees for regulation, and strip control and revenues from affected communities.

See the Jan. 9, 2012, Associated Press article, "Wisconsin DNR: Mining bill could cost agency millions."

Visit the Web site, for updates on this bill and its potential effects on the environment, especially since it is being proposed to kick-start the projected Gogebic Taconite open-pit mine in the Penokee Hills.

According to Clean Wisconsin's summary of the bill, the projected Gogebic Taconite mine will produce massive amounts of waste. This bill allows that waste to be placed directly into waterways and relaxes the information a company must give to the Wisconsin DNR for their mining plans.

A hearing on the bill will be held beginning at 10 a.m. TODAY, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, at the Hurley Inn in Hurley, Wis. If you are unable to attend this hearing, you can sign a petition regarding the projected Gogebic Taconite mine (even if you are not a Wisconsin resident).

Monday, January 09, 2012

2012 Mining Impacts on Native Lands Film Series begins Jan. 11

BARAGA -- The 2012 Mining Impacts on Native Lands Film Series will feature the January film, Under Rich Earth, which discusses human rights and mining companies in the Junin community of Ecuador, this Wednesday, Jan. 11, in Baraga.

Two screening times will take place: at 12:30 p.m. in the Ojibwa Seniors Center and at 6 p.m. in the Ojibwa Casino Chippewa Room.

Regional mining updates and time for questions follow each film in the series.

Learn more about this month's film and view a trailer online at

Coming films in the series, to be shown at these same times and locations, include the following:

Wednesday, Feb. 8: Locked Out
About Rio Tinto’s treatment of workers and communities in the U.S. and around the world

Wednesday, March 14: Four Corners: A National Sacrifice Area
Tells the stories of Native people impacted by strip-mining and uranium mining and milling

Wednesday, April 11: In the Light of Reverence
About Native American religious freedom rights in relation to mining and other developments throughout the U.S.

Wednesday, May 9: Tar Creek
About the largest Superfund site in America, near Native communities, left by a large lead and zinc mine in northeastern Oklahoma

Wednesday, June 13: Poison in the Rockies
Discusses threats to water quality and ecosystems in Colorado due to mining

Wednesday, July 11: American Outrage
About two elderly Western Shoshone sisters who received historic international recognition of their rights involving the confiscation of their land for gold mining interests in Nevada

This Film Series is hosted by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Natural Resources Department Mining Outreach and Education Program.

For more information contact Jessica Koski, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Mining Technical Assistant, at 906-524-5757 ext. 25.

Grand Canyon saved from new uranium mining: 20-year protection finalized

Jan. 9, 2011, Sierra Club press release:

WASHINGTON, DC -- Department of Interior Secretary Salazar today finalized protections that will prevent new mining and mineral exploration on more than a million acres of public land around Grand Canyon National Park. The 20-year protection from uranium and other hard rock mining comes as thousands of mining claims and several new mines threaten to industrialize the public lands around one of America's greatest natural wonders.

View of the Colorado River flowing through the Grand Canyon. The river provides drinking water and irrigation for millions of people in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada. Today's decision by Secretary of the Interior Salazar protects this water and valuable public land around the Grand Canyon from dangerous uranium and hard rock mining -- for 20 years. (Keweenaw Now file photo © Gustavo Bourdieu)

"The Sierra Club applauds the decision to protect these valuable public lands. The majesty of the Grand Canyon has inspired generations of Americans. It has and will continue to play a key role in our country's history, our culture and our economy. It is no place for destructive mining," said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.

More than 4 million people visit Grand Canyon National Park each year, contributing over $680 million to the Northern Arizona economy.

"This is a great day for Grand Canyon National Park and all those who care about the park and the surrounding public lands and waters," said Sandy Bahr, Sierra Club's Grand Canyon chapter director. "Today's decision protects not only the area around the Grand Canyon, but water that helps feed the Colorado River, which provides drinking water for millions of people downstream.

This photo, taken from a Grand Canyon tour bus, shows an old mine site left from the early 20th century. (Keweenaw Now file photo © Gustavo Bourdieu)

In addition to damaging Native American sacred sites and threatening wildlife, uranium mining would threaten to permanently pollute the groundwater and springs of the Colorado River watershed. Millions of people in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada rely on the Colorado River for drinking water and irrigation.

"Protecting the Grand Canyon area will safeguard water quality, wildlife and local communities. We hope that President Obama will build on today's decision and expand permanent protection for the treasured areas around the North Kaibab Plateau in Arizona, adjacent to the Grand Canyon. Protecting the Grand Canyon Watershed as a national monument will provide vital protection for an area unlike any other in the world," said Brune.

Today's announcement follows efforts by Congressman Grijalva (D-AZ), scientists, tribal and local government leaders, businesses and hundreds of thousands of concerned individuals to secure protections for the region and its waters.

James K. Boyce to present "Environment vs. Economy" Jan. 11 at Michigan Tech

HOUGHTON -- James K. Boyce, professor of economics at University of Massachusetts Amherst, will present "Environment vs. Economy: Is it possible to advance environmental protection AND poverty reduction?" from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, in G002 Hesterburg Hall, Forestry Building at Michigan Tech University.

The presentation, open to all, will be followed by coffee, dessert and discussion.

Professor Boyce will discuss the following:
  • Explore how to get beyond the common paradigm of environmental protection OR economic growth. How can economic investments enhance natural resource stewardship?
  • Examine on-the-ground initiatives across the country and around the world.
Building natural assets in the hands of low-income households and communities can advance simultaneously the goals of environmental protection and poverty reduction. This is not merely a theoretical possibility -- it is a practical reality demonstrated by on-the-ground initiatives across the country and around the world.

James K. Boyce is director of the Program on Development, Peace-building and the Environment at the Political Economy Research Institute at University of Massachusetts Amherst. His books include Reclaiming Nature: Environmental Justice and Ecological Restoration (2007) and The Political Economy of the Environment (2002). His current work focuses on strategies for combining poverty reduction with environmental protection, and the economics of war and peace.

This event is co-sponsored by these groups: Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society, Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and Keweenaw Land Trust.

Friends of Calumet Library to hold meeting Jan. 10

CALUMET -- Friends of the Calumet Public Library will hold their monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

This meeting is open to the public, and new members and new ideas are welcome. There are many ways to lend a hand at the library: programming ideas, volunteer opportunities, the Red Jacket Readers book club, and more! Come find out what's ahead in the upcoming year at the Calumet Public Library. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30 in the library, located in the CLK School building.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Calumet Public Library. For more information, visit the library or call 337-0311, ext 1107. (In case of bad weather, when school is cancelled, all library programs are cancelled.)

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Portage Library to host free computer tutoring

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library and the Computer Science and Humanities Departments at Michigan Technological University are providing free tutoring at the library for beginning computer users.

"Online at the Library" will begin on Friday, Jan. 13, and will continue to be held on the second and fourth Fridays of each month. All sessions will be held from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.

These help sessions with individual tutors will show participants how to use the internet to keep in touch with people, share pictures and letters, find information, and much more. Participants are welcome to bring their laptop computers if they choose, or they may use the library’s computers. People may attend as many of the sessions as they wish.

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

West Coast Swing Dance Lessons at Dance Zone, Marquette

MARQUETTE -- Brian and Janell Larson are offering West Coast Swing Dance Lessons for Winter from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on four coming Thursdays: Jan. 12, 19 and 26 and Feb. 2, at the Dance zone in Marquette.

Anyone interested in learning how to dance with a partner can attend. Open to adults. Class is appropriate for beginner and intermediate dancers. RSVP is required as the class will fill up quickly. A partner is helpful, but not required to attend the classes. The Larsons have brand new dance moves and new music.

The Dance Zone is at 1113 Lincoln Street, Marquette (next to Marquette High School). For more information email or call 906-226-0138.

Genealogical Society to meet Jan. 10

HOUGHTON -- The Houghton-Keweenaw County Genealogical Society will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, at the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton. For further information, call 482-4021, or email