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Friday, July 20, 2012

Omega House Benefit Recital to feature "True Colors" Easy Listening Songs July 24

Ruth Robertson, left -- musician, vocalist, and coordinator of the Omega House Benefit Recital -- leads the audience in applause during the curtain call at the end of the 2011 Recital in Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Hancock. This year's recital, "True Colors," will be Tuesday, July 24. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

HANCOCK -- Omega House will sponsor its 6th Annual Benefit Recital at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 24, in the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 1000 W. Quincy St. in Hancock. The theme of this year's recital is "True Colors."

Over twenty local musicians will present some 30 Easy Listening Songs that feature various colors, (or at least mention) one or two colors in the song. Styles include jazz, folk, classical, Broadway, and pop.

Perhaps the most noted local artist appearing is jazz guitar wunderkind Steve Jones, who is graciously performing his own set, including "Autumn Leaves." Another solo instrumentalist is Paul Keranen, whose soulful saxophone tones have pleased Omega House benefit recitals for several years running.

The audience will be invited to participate in the recital by singing along with David Owens as he walks us through some Golden Oldies.

Other returning artists include vocalists Ann Campbell, Courtney Clisch, Jeff Massey, and Lara Neves. New singers this year are Cheyenne Kaufman, Emilie Krznarich, Marika Seigel and singer/guitarist Chuck Young. 

Several sing not only as soloists but also with the Maple Sugar Folk: Barbara Lide, Barry Pegg, Ruth Robertson and Karin B. Schlenker. They join Amanda Binoniemi, Marcia Goodrich, Jan Wieber in singing three French Canadian songs with David Bezotte, director/accordionist. The audience can practice their French on one song by echoing the oft-repeated phrase, "Belle Rose du printemps."

Maple Sugar Folk sing favorite French tunes during the 2011 Omega House Benefit Recital. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

Show your “true colors” by attending and supporting Omega House, where people come for gentle, loving care near the end of their lives. A suggested donation for the recital is $5. Attendees may feel good about donating to Omega House, a compassionate care facility in Houghton, serving the community since 2005. Several local businesses have already participated by donating. Their names will appear in the program.

Light refreshments will be served after the recital.  

For more information call event coordinators Lara Neves at 906- 370-7739 or Ruth Robertson at 573-230-1280. If you cannot attend but would like to have your donation count in the total raised at this event, please send a check to Omega House 2211, Maureen Lane, Houghton, MI  49931 and write "Benefit Recital" on the memo line. You will receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donation.

Updated: Stand for the Land: One of our Warriors passes

From Stand for the Land
Posted July 20, 2012

Todd Warner of Marquette, Michigan, formerly of Minnesota, age 50, passed away Wednesday, July 18, 2012, after a brief battle with cancer. He was one of our Warriors and a kind soul.  He will be badly missed.

Todd attended Macalester College in Minnesota and earned a Masters of Geology at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He was Director of Natural Resources at Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC), in Baraga, Mich., where he lived out his passion for conservation and protection of natural resources.

One of the many projects Todd established was the KBIC Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) with the Superior Watershed Partnership. He believed it was vitally important that young adults learn the importance of protecting the natural environment. Memorials preferred to the Todd Warner memorial fund, c/o Superior Watershed Partnership, 2 Peter White Drive, Presque Isle Park, Marquette, MI  49855. Funds will support scholarships to KBIC youth.

Link to donate on-line:

Link for information about the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC):

The family will host a celebration of Todd’s life at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 421 E. Crescent Street, Marquette, MI.
(Update: address correction)
Condolences may be sent to:
The family of Todd Warner
c/o Katy Tharaldson
3320 Highcrest Rd. NE
St. Anthony,  MN 55418

Please click here to post comments on Stand for the Land.

Photo: Todd Warner. (Photo courtesy family of Todd Warner)

State House candidate Scott Dianda calls for House Speaker’s resignation

CALUMET -- State House candidate Scott Dianda today demanded the resignation of House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) and state Rep. Roy Schmidt (R-Grand Rapids) for their role in election fraud and called on state Rep. Matt Huuki (R-Atlantic Mine) to join him.

"Lawmakers should be focused on job creation and turning Michigan’s economy around, but Lansing politicians are distracted by rigging the election odds in their favor," said Dianda, who is running against Huuki for the state House. "Speaker Bolger and Rep. Schmidt were reckless in conspiring to commit election fraud and Matt Huuki should stand up for the voters and demand their immediate resignations."

On Tuesday, multiple media outlets reported that Bolger collaborated with Schmidt, a former Democrat, to change Schmidt’s party registration just minutes before the filing deadline. Schmidt also bribed his nephew’s friend to run as a factious Democrat making Schmidt’s chances at reelection much stronger.

Republican Kent County Prosecutor Bill Forsyth issued a report Tuesday confirming that Bolger and Schmidt traded numerous text messages and phone calls about their plot.

Dianda said in addition to Bolger’s resignation, the House should immediately launch an independent investigation and pass legislation to stop this type of election fraud from reoccurring.

"Voters in the Upper Peninsula deserve a government that works for them, not for the politicians," Dianda said. "I’m asking Matt Huuki to do what’s right and stand up to this type of corruption. We have to stop undermining the people of this state."

Dianda said that he would stand up to corruption in Lansing, regardless of party lines and focus on issues that concern voters across the Upper Peninsula such as the economy, education, and senior pensions.

"Music on the Menu" continues with Steve Jones at Portage Library

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.

Steve Jones will perform his unique sound and intricate rhythms of jazz and blues guitar music from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, July 20.

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.

This event is part of the library’s Summer Reading Program and is free and open to all. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hike through Estivant Pines July 21

KEWEENAW COUNTY -- Join Michigan Nature Association (MNA) steward Hannah Rooks for history and a nature hike at the Estivant Pines at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 21.

Located in the Keweenaw Peninsula, Estivant Pines has a unique history. Enormous trees, some more than 600 years old, are among the very last old-growth white pines in Michigan. Some 85 bird species have been found nesting here, including indigo bunting, red crossbill, flycatchers, hawks, jays, nuthatches, owls, sparrows, thrushes, warblers, woodcock, and woodpeckers.

Other unique features of the sanctuary are rock outcroppings, steep, craggy hillsides, cliffs, and old copper mine workings dating back more than 135 years.

Meet at the trailhead in the main parking lot at 11 a.m. The plan is to hike the entire trail while Hannah notes features along the way so hikers should plan on 2 to 3 hours. Bring sturdy footwear, a lunch, water, and bug dope.

DIRECTIONS: To get there, follow US 41 north through Copper Harbor, turn right on 2nd Street at the Community Center and the sign for Manganese Lake. Follow 2nd Street (also called Manganese Road) for 1.2 miles, bearing left onto Clark Mine Road. Travel 1.2 miles and turn right on Burma Road. Travel another .65 miles to the trailhead and parking area.

For reservations, contact Nancy Leonard at 906-523-4612 or

Established in 1952, the Michigan Nature Association is a non-profit conservation organization committed to the protection and maintenance of special natural areas throughout the state. Through stewardship, MNA works to protect the rare and endangered plants and animals that reside in these areas and  to promote a program of natural history and conservation education. For 60 years, MNA has worked to acquire and protect more than 10,000 acres from the northern tip of the U.P. to the Indiana/Ohio border. For more information on MNA and current initiatives, visit

Finlandia's Finnish Folk Music Camp to present free concerts

HANCOCK -- Finlandia University’s second annual Finnish Folk Music Camp is presenting free community concerts this week in Hancock.

The Music Camp will host a Finnish Dance Evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. TONIGHT, Wednesday, July 18, at the Finnish American Heritage Center, featuring the groups White Water and Wil Kilpela and Friends.

Music Camp students and faculty will present a concert from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 19, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.

The annual Finnish Folk Music Camp is organized by Finlandia University’s Finnish Council in America and the Finnish American Heritage Center.

For additional information about the Music Camp and the free community concerts, please call 906-487-7505 or visit

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Isle Royale for Kids summer series continues July 18 at Portage Library

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host Isle Royale National Park Rangers Barb McTaggart and Lori Honrath as they continue their summer series of weekly naturalist programs for children.

From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18, kids will learn what’s in Lake Superior as they explore under the water at Isle Royale National Park.

The Isle Royale for Kids summer series is suitable for children of all ages.

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

Portage Library to host author Danielle Sosin TONIGHT, July 17

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to an evening of readings and reflections with Minnesota author Danielle Sosin from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. TONIGHT, Tuesday, July 17.

Sosin will discuss her recent novel The Long-Shining Waters and read excerpts from this highly acclaimed book that tells the stories of three women who lived centuries apart on Lake Superior but are joined by a single thread throughout history.

Sosin is also the author of Garden Primitives. Her fiction has been featured in the Alaska Quarterly Review and has been recorded for National Public Radio’s "Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story," and Iowa Public Radio’s "Live from Prairie Lights."

There will be a book signing and selling after the presentation. This event is sponsored by the Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association.

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

Calumet Art Center hosting Brown Bag Lunch Series with organist

CALUMET -- The Calumet Art Center is hosting a Brown Bag Lunch Series with Connie Boruta, Organist, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday from July 18 through Aug. 29. Enjoy this opportunity to hear good pipe organ music and to observe it being played close up in an open rehearsal.

Seating will be available on the platform near the Estey-Verlinden organ for those who wish to get closer to the action. Feel free to ask questions and enjoy a tour of the "innards" of the organ after the rehearsal. Clapping, hooting, hollering, singing, and dancing will be allowed and even encouraged.

Each Wednesday there will be a prize awarded to whoever has traveled the farthest to get to Calumet. Come in and enjoy!

The Calumet Art Center is at 57055 Fifth St. in Calumet.