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, August 10, 2012

Main Street Calumet Market presents August riddle

CALUMET -- The Main Street Calumet Market, usually held Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will open immediately after the parade on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, as part of the annual Heritage Celebration at Agassiz Park in downtown Calumet, Michigan. The parade will start at 11 a.m.

The first three children 12 or under, with a parent or guardian, who correctly answer this riddle for the Main Street Calumet Market manager will win a prize (parents can help):

A shoemaker makes shoes without leather,
With four elements all together,
Fire, Water, Earth, Air,
And every customer takes two pair.

For information or questions about the market or Heritage Celebration, please contact Main Street Calumet at 906-337-6246 or

Eagle Harbor Fair to feature variety of artists, art demonstrations Aug. 11-12

Artist Bob Dawson, pictured here with one of his landscape paintings, will be the featured artist at this year's Eagle Harbor Fair this Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 11-12. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Associated Artists)

EAGLE HARBOR -- Beautiful weather and a classic summer favorite are scheduled for
this weekend. The Eagle Harbor Fair is in it's 52nd year, and the members of the Copper Country Associated Artists (CCAA) have been working hard to make this year just as splendid as ever.

The Eagle Harbor Fair will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11 and from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12 in Eagle Harbor on the grounds of the Old Schoolhouse and St. Peter's by the Sea Church.

This year, there will be over sixty booths featuring photographers, jewelers, sculptors, painters, woodcrafters, potters and many more, as well as the artists of the CCAA who have a large display in the "undercroft" of the church, St. Peter's by the Sea. Several of these artists will be demonstrating their techniques, including glass firing and basket weaving.

Organizations such as the Keweenaw National Historical Park and the Sandstone Piecemakers will also be among the booths. The Lion's Club will provide snacks at the fire hall, and Eagle Harbor Township will be having a bake sale.

The featured artist for the 2012 show will be Bob Dawson. In his collection, you will find a variety of landscapes and other work: sketches, acrylic and watercolors. His works are a deeply personal expression of the Keweenaw and Lake Superior. Although usually at home in Toivola working on pieces or exploring the beauty of the UP, Bob has been helping with preparations for the fair and will be available at the fair to discuss his work.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Michigan Tech celebrates Dedication of Great Lakes Research Center

By Michele Bourdieu

On Aug. 2, 2012, Michigan Tech University President Glenn Mroz begins the Dedication Ceremony for the new Great Lakes Research Center by welcoming visitors and acknowledging the work of those who helped bring the project to fruition. Standing with him at right is Michigan Tech Board of Control Chair Steve Hicks. Click on photos for larger versions. (Photos by Keweenaw Now unless otherwise indicated.)

HOUGHTON -- What better location could there be for Michigan Tech's new Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) than right on the Keweenaw Waterway, where water-related research can be conducted under natural conditions, research vessels may be launched from its year-round boathouse and K-12 teachers and students can take advantage of its teaching labs through a community education/ outreach program?

Visitors to the Dedication Ceremony for the Great Lakes Research Center observe the boat docking facility next to the Center's boathouse and the view across the Keweenaw Waterway. 

Visitors -- including alumni on campus for their reunion -- learned all this and more during the Aug. 2 Dedication Ceremony and ribbon cutting at the Center, followed by guided tours to some of its features, including laboratories and a roof garden over the boathouse. The public was also invited to socialize at a reception where gourmet hors d'oeuvre and liquid refreshments were served.

The event began with a welcome by Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz, who acknowledged the work of faculty, staff, former State Representative Mike Lahti, former Board of Control Chair Marty Richardson, Director of the Center's Operations Mike Abbott, architects and contractors in making the GLRC project a reality.

Michigan Tech University President Glenn Mroz, welcomes visitors to the Dedication of the university's new Great Lakes Research Center on Aug. 2, 2012. (Video clips by Keweenaw Now)

The Center is a $25 million project, of which the State of Michigan contributed about 75 percent and Michigan Tech the rest, Mroz noted.

Michigan Tech Board of Control Chair Steve Hicks spoke about the Board's support of the project and the responsibility to preserve and utilize the Center correctly for today and for the future.

"It's a wonderful signal the State of Michigan has sent by entrusting Tech with this facility to be a leader not only in the state but in the world for research and education for this critical resource in our fresh water -- the Great Lakes," Hicks said.

Guy Meadows, the new director of Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Initiatives, described the research goals and educational outreach planned for the Center.

Guy Meadows, Great Lakes Research Initiatives director, formerly of the University of Michigan, speaks about the research and educational mission of the Center -- "a place where the general public, policy makers, scientists, researchers and students can come together and continue to act in a meaningful way."

Next Mroz summoned the members of Michigan Tech's Board of Control for the ribbon cutting:
Michigan Tech Board of Control Chair Steve Hicks cuts the ribbon as Board members, Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz (second from right) and Guy Meadows (far right), director of Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Initiatives, look on. (Photo © and courtesy Lizmar Rodriguez Lugo)

Michigan Tech Board of Control members assemble for the official ribbon cutting at the Aug. 2, 2012, Dedication of the Great Lakes Research Center on the campus waterfront.

Visitors to the Center's roof garden above the boat house were very impressed with the native plants -- spurges -- already growing there.

Marcia Goodrich, Michigan Tech Magazine editor, commented on the spurges from a gardener's point of view.

"They soak up the water. They're very hardy and drought tolerant," Goodrich explained.. "The purpose of the green roof is to minimize runoff and cool the building."

Visitors at the Aug. 2 Dedication take a tour of the roof garden. In the foreground are the spurges, hardy native plants now growing there.

Alyson Jabusch of Hancock was also admiring the roof garden.

"It's impressive. I love the roof garden," Jabusch said. "It's about time that Tech makes a bigger connection with the Great Lakes."

This photo shows a view across the Keweenaw Waterway from the roof garden of the Great Lakes Research Center.

Amy Hughes, who works as an auditor in Michigan Tech's Lakeshore Center (former UPPCO building), was impressed with the beauty of the building and its promise of research for the future.

"I'm really hoping we can advance in research on fresh water -- for the benefit of the world, for our future," Hughes said. "I think everyone hopes that."

A view of the entrance to the Great Lakes Research Center. The boat house and roof garden are on the right.

A former Vice-President for fundraising, Ron Helman of Chassell, described the building as "magnificent."

"It will have world-wide impact, I think," Helman said. "It will be quite an attraction for students who want to come here for fresh water studies."

Ashley Coble, a Michigan Tech Ph.D. student in biological sciences, said she was impressed by the Center's laboratories.

"I think there are outstanding facilities here -- certainly great lab facilities," Coble said.

Coble's biogeochemistry research is related to nutrient export from streams into Lake Superior.

According to the GLRC Web site, interdisciplinary research at the Center will include such topics as air-water interactions, biogeochemistry, hydrodynamics and sediment transport, fisheries, invasive species and food web relationships, low impact development, and storm-water management.*

Expressing an interest in that research was Ken Vrana, director of the Isle Royale Institute in Michigan Tech's School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences.

He noted the building is both beautiful and functional.

"I think it's well planned out in terms of the type of research contemplated for the years ahead," Vrana said. "But what's really critical about such a space is that it provides an environment for sharing ideas and developing multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary projects -- and of course those projects focus on the Great Lakes and water resources."

He said the Isle Royale Institute places an emphasis on ecology.

"That's why I'm here -- to explore opportunities for the Isle Royale Institute," Vrana added.

He noted as examples the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Study and other scientific research and educational programs on Isle Royale.

A visitor from Keweenaw County, Robert Haataja, born and raised in Ahmeek though now living in Dollar Bay, said he came to the Dedication because of his love of Lake Superior.

"Lake Superior is my life. That's why I live here," Haataja said. "I'm a scuba diver and rock hound and fisherman, beachcomber and explorer."

More photos ...

As visitors assemble for the Dedication, Steve Casey, left, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Water Resources Division district supervisor of the Upper Peninsula District Office, chats with Tom Rozich, right, formerly of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Phil Musser, executive director of the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA).

MDEQ's Steve Casey, who also participated in a panel discussion at the Science Symposium held at Michigan Tech the morning of Aug. 2, preceding the Dedication, shares fishing stories with Bill Deephouse, avid fisherman, former Department of Natural Resources fisheries official and former president of the Copper Country Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Click on photo for a better view of Bill's "fish" shirt.

Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz welcomes visitors to the Dedication of the Great Lakes Research Center on a sunny Aug. 2, 2012, afternoon.

Following the Dedication, visitors enjoy gourmet hors d'oeuvre and beverages inside the Center. The door at right leads to the roof garden.

*Click here for more information about the Great Lakes Research Center, more videos, and waterfront photos.

Folksinger-storyteller Skip Jones to perform at Baraga State Park Aug. 10

Skip Jones, Wisconsin folksinger and storyteller, entertains at the July 15, 2012, Lake Superior Day "Waterpalooza" event in Marquette. Jones will perform songs and stories at Baraga State Park Friday, Aug. 10, as part of his "Water is Life" Summer 2012 Tour. (Photo © and courtesy Margaret Comfort) 

BARAGA -- Skip Jones, Wisconsin folksinger and storyteller, will give a free concert from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10, at Baraga State Park. The concert is part of his "Water is Life" Summer 2012 Tour.

To enter the park for free, you must possess a Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Recreation Passport.

"Music on the Menu" to feature Bruce and Noble Rundman Aug. 10

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.

Bruce and Noble Rundman will perform all original music from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10. Their performance will include songs from their newest album, "Never Again," with Bruce playing acoustic guitar and singing and Noble playing percussion.

Everyone is invited to eat, relax, and enjoy the lunch hour while listening to some great music. In case 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

Portage Library Wellness series continues with "Reflexology to Relieve Stress" Aug. 9

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host its monthly program in the Natural Health and Wellness series from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. TONIGHT, Thursday, Aug. 9.

Professional Massage Therapist Angel Janssen will present "Reflexology to Relieve Stress." Participants will learn what reflexology is and learn how to do a simple
reflexology treatment to relieve stress.

Janssen is a licensed and nationally certified massage therapist in practice for over 20 years in Wisconsin, Arizona, and Michigan. She is a master level LaStone Therapist, a Reflexologist, and a 2nd Degree Reiki Practitioner. The focus of her massage practice is health maintenance, stress reduction, and pain relief with advanced training in aromatherapy, massage for people living with cancer, as well as massage for the medically frail. Janssen is the proprietor of Synergy Massage and Wellness.

The Natural Health and Wellness series is held on the second Thursday of each month. All library programs are free, and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Scott Dianda wins Primary, will face Matt Huuki for 110th District State Representative in November

CALUMET ­ -- State House candidate Scott Dianda today said, "Thank you to all of the voters in the 110th District for coming out to vote and support my candidacy to bring a real voice to and on behalf of the people of the 110th House District.

"There are many very important issues impacting this district and our current state representative is not representing the people on these critical issues like taxation of senior citizen pensions, cuts to education, and loss of local control of government. It is time the 110th had a strong voice for its citizens, not big business and big oil companies."

Dianda will move on to the general election on Nov. 6, 2012, where he will face off against incumbent Matt Huuki, R-Atlantic Mine.

Unofficial Primary ballot results indicate Dianda's lead over Huuki was greatest in Iron, Ontonagon and Marquette counties. Huuki had more votes than Dianda in Houghton County and slightly more in Keweenaw County. Democrat William Lucius had the most votes of the three in Gogebic County, according to these unofficial results.

Click here for the unofficial numbers of votes for the 110th District House seat.

Click here to find more unofficial 2012 Michigan Primary Election results.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Fund raiser for Democrat Rick Kasprzak, District 1 candidate for Houghton County Board, to be Aug. 8

CALUMET -- A fund raiser for Rick Kasprzak, Democratic candidate for District 1, Houghton County Board of Commissioners, will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Bucky's, aka Calumet Township Waterworks Park, located on Lake Shore Drive off M-203 between Calumet and McLain State Park.

This event is a fund raiser to help the Democratic candidate for District 1 raise the funds needed to carry him to victory this November.

The event will feature music by "The Milkman" Howard Hart. Food and refreshments will be served.

A suggested donation is $15 per person. You may RSVP by email to or by phone at (906) 369-1517.

Monday, August 06, 2012

UPDATED: Hancock Tori enjoys busy season; Project Fresh coupons help senior customers

Martha Sohlden of Chassell sells berries, vegetables and baked goods at the Tori farmer's market in Hancock on Wednesday, Aug. 1. Senior citizens 60 years of age and older who qualify can use Project Fresh/Market Fresh coupons to purchase fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and honey at the Tori. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK -- The Hancock Tori (tori is "market" in Finnish) is bigger and better this year with an increased number of vendors and visitors. The new canopy provides shade on a hot day and allows the vendors to sell their goods rain or shine.

Angela Jaehnig and her children -- from left, Liz, James, Sarah and Mary -- choose their favorites among Gustavo Bourdieu's engraved and decorated rocks. Bourdieu, a beekeeper for 46 years, also sells his natural honey (background), veggies and potatoes.

"More people are interested in eating natural, fresh locally grown food," says Gustavo Bourdieu, beekeeper and gardener, who sells his natural honey as well as potatoes and vegetables at the Tori.

John Lennington of Lake Linden offers a variety of fresh vegetables for sale at the Tori.

Thanks to the State of Michigan, senior citizens who qualify can also benefit from Senior Project Fresh/Market Fresh, which offers a booklet of coupons worth $20 (10 coupons of $2 each) that can be used to purchase fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and honey -- not only at the Tori but at six other participating farm markets in the area: Gierke Blueberry Farm in Chassell (pick your own), Main Street Calumet Farmer's Market in Agassiz Park, the Wooden Spoon in Mohawk, Osma Acres Farm (Past Oscar on the Houghton Canal Road), Hughes Organic Farm in Calumet and the Lake Linden Farmer's Market at Village Park in Lake Linden.

Scott Smith of Wintergreen Farm in Ontonagon holds up one of his beautiful tomatoes and displays his vegetables at the Tori. Scott and his wife, Andrea Corpolongo Smith, participate in CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Under this program, consumers can purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

The Project Fresh coupons can be used for unprocessed, Michigan-grown products from authorized farmer's markets and roadside stands throughout Michigan -- at any Michigan Farmer's Market that displays the sign "PROJECT FRESH ACCEPTED HERE." All coupons must be spent by Oct. 31, 2012.

Amy Rajala of Chassell sells cucumber salsa at the Aug. 1, 2012, Tori. The cucumbers are from a community garden in Milwaukee, where young people raise fresh vegetables.

UPDATE: The coupons are distributed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays at the office of Michigan State Extension, located at the Houghton County Arena in Hancock. A staff person will assist you in filling out an application. To qualify, you must be 60 years of age or older, have a total household income of 185 percent of poverty or less, and live in the county where the coupons are issued. (A representative of Project Fresh is sometimes available to visit Keweenaw County to sign up applicants who request the coupons; otherwise, Keweenaw County residents can sign up in the Hancock office.) The number of coupons is limited and they are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.*

Senior Project FRESH/Market FRESH originates from US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) funding (from the federal Farm Bill).**

More photos ...

Tori vendors also sell their handicrafts and even books in Hancock's popular outdoor market. The Tori is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the summer.

Carol Williams sells her handmade jewelry at the Tori. Some of the delicate pieces, including beadwork, require many hours of work. This is her fifth year as a Tori vendor.

Jean Medlyn of Boston Location shows the Jaehnig family some of the wool she spins into yarn to make scarves, mittens and other woolen items. 

Sarah and Mary Jaehnig watch intently as Jean Medlyn demonstrates spinning wool with her spinning wheel at the Tori.

Seamstress Carol Bird of Hancock displays a wide variety of items from purses to aprons to vests and other attractive, useful products of her professional sewing.

Sandy Fluegge of Baraga sells lovely handmade baby clothes at her Tori booth.

Dorn Dyttmer of Hancock sells his photos, note cards and other items he designs or makes himself.

Teresa Palosaari of Chassell, left, displaying her jams and jellies, chats with Jean Medlyn and Sandy Soring, right, Tori manager, who sells her handmade baskets.

Author Tony Stauton of Lake Linden sells his own books and those of friends. "I come here because you get more tourists," he says of the Tori. "You see more new faces."

* Click here for income guidelines. You may also receive coupons if you are a participant in the MDCH Wisewoman program.
UPDATE: Click here for directions to the Houghton County MSU Extension office. Click here to find the MSU Extension offices in other Michigan counties.
** Click here for more information about Senior Project Fresh/Market Fresh 2012.

Kangas Café in Hancock to host Empty Bowls Project Aug. 7

Empty bowls made by local potters and painted by volunteers, young and old, at the Calumet Art Center are part of a project to fight hunger by raising funds for local food pantries. (Photo courtesy Calumet Art Center)

HANCOCK -- Kangas Café and Catering in the Jutila Center in Hancock will be the scene of another event to sponsor the Empty Bowls Project, initiated by the Calumet Art Center and BHK Great Explorations. The Café will serve soup from 11 a.m. to 5 pm. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, and offer visitors an opportunity to purchase a hand-painted bowl.

Select a bowl made by local potters and enjoy a meal of soup and bread for a $10 donation. 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to local organizations fighting hunger in our communities: CLK Food Pantry, St. Vincent DePaul (Hancock and L’Anse) and Community Action Food Pantry.

The Empty Bowls Project, an international effort to fight hunger, is a community based fundraiser designed to create awareness of food insecurity and to generate income for local food pantries.

Since April, groups and individuals -- including children accompanied by an adult -- have been coming to the Calumet Art Center to decorate the bowls. Local restaurants and cafés have been invited to serve soup to customers who donate $10 for one of the decorated bowls. The café/restaurant serves the soup in one of their own bowls and the customer takes home the decorated bowl.

Kangas Café and Catering is located in Suite 313 of the Jutila Center for Global Design and Business, 200 Michigan St., Hancock. It is the third café/restaurant to participate in the project. The Café Rosetta and the Michigan House, both in Calumet, have also sponsored empty bowls events.

Editor's Note: See our April 30, 2012, article, "Empty Bowls Project to fight hunger kicks off at Calumet Art Center" and visit for details on the project.

UPDATED: Sample ballots available on line for Michigan Primary Election Tuesday, Aug. 7

HANCOCK -- Tomorrow, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012, is the Michigan Primary Election Day for both Democrats and Republicans. You can view a sample ballot for your own precinct on line.

Click here to find a sample ballot for each precinct on the Michigan Secretary of State election site. The Public Ballot identifies every office, candidate and proposal that appears on any ballot in the precinct selected. What appears on a voter’s ballot depends on where that voter lives within the precinct.

Voters can also go to the SOS voter page where voters to verify if they are registered, find out where they vote, and view their sample ballot.

One contested race on the Democratic Primary Ballot is the District 110 State Representative seat now being held by Republican Matt Huuki. Democrats Scott Dianda of Calumet and William D. Lucius of Ironwood are running for this candidacy to oppose Huuki in November. Huuki is unopposed on the Republican Primary Ballot.

The Houghton County Democratic Party unanimously endorsed Scott Dianda for the August 7th Primary.

"We believe Scott is best prepared and most ready to bring to Lansing honorable and strong representation of the people of the 110th District," said Brian Rendel, Houghton County Democratic Party co-chair.

UPDATE: Brian Rendel reminds voters that while the Primary Ballot lists both Republican and Democratic candidates, voters may not cross party lines in the partisan section. If they do, their ballot is thrown out.

"Voters may also choose to vote for only the candidates or they may choose to vote for candidates and proposals, or they may choose to vote for only the proposals if they wish," Rendel explains. "However, if they choose to vote for candidates, they must limit their selections in the August primary to a single party."

This election is different from the November general election, in which voters are allowed to mix parties on the same ballot or to vote "straight ticket," which will automatically cast votes for all candidates in all partisan offices for the party of their choice, he added.

The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.