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, November 09, 2012

Volunteers needed for trail work at Maasto Hiihto Nov. 10

Gromit the Trail Dog supervises young volunteers from a Health Careers class working on the River Trail at Maasto Hiihto Trails in October. "They had to clean out a trench on the side of the trail that keeps the water off it each winter," Gromit notes on her blog.* (Photo ©  and courtesy Trail Mutt Reports)

HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (KNSC) invites volunteers to go back into Maasto Hiihto's Swedetown gorge to finish up ditch clearing TOMORROW, Saturday morning, Nov. 10. Meet at KNSC storage shed at 9 a.m. The shed is located near Hancock’s DPW (Department of Public Works) at the Tomasi trail head. Email      to let Arlyn and Sandy Aronson know if you’re attending so they'll have treats and tools for you.

This will be on Sidewinder Hill this time and feel free to come later if you can’t do 9 a.m.  Wear hiking or work boots, work gloves and clothing appropriate for working in dirt. 

*Visit Gromit's blog, Trail Mutt Reports, to see more photos of Gromit and her trail crew friends and photos of her hiking adventures with her "pack."

Dance Zone to host dance with Blue Champagne Nov. 10

MARQUETTE -- Dance Zone in Marquette will be hosting a dance with Blue Champagne from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 10. If you've missed Blue Champagne in their other appearances at the Zone, ask around. Bob Buchkoe, Warren McDonald and Mary Lou Pesola are some of the most accomplished area musicians. They present a nice variety of ballroom music for your listening or dancing pleasure. The cost is $6 a person, $2 for full-time students.

"Also, encourage our youngsters to begin dancing at an early age," says Marge Sklar, Dance Zone co-owner. "We have family dance night on Fridays from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. The kids who attend seem to really enjoy the mix of square and social dancing. We have kids from 4 to 70+.  It's a wonderful way for the generations to get together and do something fun together. Hope to see you on the dance floor."

The Dance Zone is at 1113 Lincoln Avenue (corner of Lincoln and College avenues) in Marquette. For more information call 906-236-1457 or email 

Please bring clean shoes to protect the dance floor.

Scarlet Masquerade Dance to be Nov. 10

HOUGHTON -- The Scarlet Masquerade 2012 Dinner and Dance will take place at 6 p.m on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Shelden Grill in Houghton. Dance Lessons (including Blues, Swing, Tango, and Slow) will be offered from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m. Live Music for dancing will feature the Backroom Boys' Bob Hiltunen and Oren Tikkanen.

Space is limited and tickets must be purchased in advance. Stop by the Shelden Grill, 7th floor of the Magnuson Square Inn in Houghton and ask for Chuck Hill, Keweenaw Social Dance instructor, or call him at 906.370.9532 to RSVP and then purchase your tickets at the Shelden Grill's front desk. The ticket is $15 a person, which is all inclusive. So, get your masks out, your dancing shoes polished, because it's going to be a grand night of dancing!

A bar is available on the same floor, and those who are 21 and have a wristband will be able to enjoy that as well.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Khana Khazana to feature Thai cuisine Nov. 9

HOUGHTON -- Khana Khazana will once again feature Thai food for lunch on Friday, Nov. 9. Students Parawee Pumwongpitak, Nilsiam "Ake" Yuenyong and Ochin Kmutnb will cook chicken red curry (paneer for vegetarians), stir fried eggplant and deep-fried fish wrapped in rice (crispy potato wrap for vegetarians).

Khana Khazana international lunches are served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Michigan Tech's Memorial Union Food Court. A full meal costs $6.95 and includes a fountain drink. Individual items are available for $2.50 each.

Khana Khazana is a collaborative effort of international students and Michigan Tech Dining Services.

Letter: Voter "depression"

I voted Tuesday. I voted a mixed ballot. I voted for the local people who I felt were good people to hold office. After I slipped my ballot into the electronic counter and got my "I voted" sticker I realized I was depressed. But why? In grade school during the fifties we practiced voting on the same machines as those of our parents. Just as many Americans who now hold power also practiced voting in schools. We all learned what it meant to be an "American." Voting was a most important "right and duty." The right to vote was "sacred."

I feel good about voting procedures in my town, but what about other places like Ohio where they are trying to suppress the vote? There, the Republican Election Commissioner changed the pre-election voting in the predominately African American communities from four days to one day for four hours. He stated publicly that he wanted the Republicans to win there! Has he forgotten what he learned in grade school? Has he forgotten the right to vote is "sacred?" While waiting in that Ohio voting line with what was reported a thousand other people, one African American who was interviewed said, "That is just the way it is." He waited and waited but he voted! This is just one example of how the American voter’s vote has been marginalized. This has happened not just in Ohio but places like Pennsylvania and Florida.

Another example of how our vote has been compromised has to do with computer voting machines, which many other countries have junked. They have gone back to paper ballots because they want fair and accurate accounting of the votes. It has been shown in the last three elections -- not just in Ohio but other states as well -- that voting totals have been changed to favor the Republican candidates. The main operative behind this has been Karl Rove. Who is Karl Rove? He is the fellow who orchestrated the George Bush elections and now his millionaire buddies are loading his super pac. Some think that he now has more political power at the national level than the Republican Party itself.

Why doesn’t Karl Rove remember what he learned about voting in his school class? Why doesn’t he defend the importance of every American’s right to vote instead of promoting what I suspect is really national Republican election fraud? Why does the Republican Party do so much to openly discourage Americans from their "sacred" right? Why hasn’t the FBI investigated? Have the rich elites so controlled the national scene that the FBI is not allowed to work toward returning this country to fair and honest elections? Where is the National Democratic Party on this question? Why are so many Americans complicit with this issue instead of demonstrating in the streets to make all votes count? Many feel that the election turned out well but how was the vote counted?

Allan Baker

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Updated: KBIC opposes legislation for wolf hunting season in Michigan

BARAGA -- The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) has expressed its opposition to recent Michigan House and Senate bill proposals which attempt to establish the gray wolf as a game species and authorize the establishment of the first open hunting season for wolf in Michigan.

Photo of gray wolf (Ma’iingan in Ojibwa), taken by a camera of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Department of Natural Resources. (Photo courtesy KBIC)

Michigan House Bill 5834 was introduced Aug. 15, 2012, by Rep. Matt Huuki (who will be succeeded as 110th District Representative by Scott Dianda, who defeated him in the
Nov. 6 election). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation. A similar bill in the Michigan Senate, SB 1350, was introduced Oct. 17, 2012, by Senator Tom Casperson and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes.

Casperson's summary of SB 1350, completed today, Nov. 7, 2012, states that the bill intends to do the following:
  • Include wolf in the definition of "game."
  • Authorize the establishment of the first open season for wolf, and allow the Natural Resources Commission to establish annual wolf hunting seasons.
  • Prohibit an individual from hunting wolf without a wolf hunting license, and establish a license fee of $100 for a resident and $500 for a nonresident.
  • Make it a misdemeanor to illegally possess or take wolf, and prescribe penalties.
  • Specify legislative findings regarding wildlife management.
Stating their intention to preserve the ecological balance of predator-prey and protect the sanctity of the wolf (Ma’iingan) for the Anishinaabe, KBIC passed a resolution (KB-1902-2012) on Nov. 1, 2012, concerning HB 5834 and opposing any change in the law that allows hunting and/or trapping of the gray wolf in Michigan.

In addition, KBIC has a draft Wolf Management Plan, which states that the wolf remains protected under KBIC's Endangered Species and Protected Animals Tribal Code 10.531. It provides a basic framework for future monitoring, research and management of the local wolves and expresses KBIC's commitment to future partnerships with other management agencies at the Federal, State, Tribal and Private levels.

According to this draft plan, "In the event that legislation is approved for a wolf hunt, KBIC will designate no hunting on Tribal lands in L’Anse, Baraga, Marquette and Ontonagon. KBIC will also refuse to accept any state allocated wolf hunt licenses and not provide any Tribal wolf hunt permits to community members. These measures will help to protect wolves and maintain a strong culturally based stance against the killing of wolves."

The management plan also summarizes the cultural significance of the wolf for the tribe: "KBIC Tribal community members have always been spiritually connected to the wolf. According to the Anishinaabe (Ojibwa People) creation story, original man and his brother, Ma'iingan (the wolf), traveled together to name and visit all plants, animals, and places on earth. Later they were instructed by the Creator to walk their separate paths but to experience similar social pressure of being feared, respected and misunderstood. What happens to the Anishinaabe will happen to the wolf by the people that would join them on earth (Benton-Banai 1988). As prophesied in this sacred history with the wolf, the support of tribal members remains essential to the long-term survival of wolves in the state."

The Conclusion of KBIC's draft Wolf Management Plan states, "KBIC will use science-based decisions in management of wolves on and around the Reservation. However, because of the special relationship that the Tribe has with wolves, it is imperative that science-based solutions do not conflict with cultural values. KBIC stands ready to ensure that the gray wolf (Ma’iingan) will exist here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for the next seven generations and beyond."*

SB 1350 could come up for a vote as soon as tomorrow, Nov. 8, 2012.

Jessica Koski, KBIC tribal member, urges citizens concerned about wolf protection to contact their State Senator and the Michigan Senate Natural Resources Committee (Email: and ask them to please vote no on proposed Senate Bill 1350.

"Wolf related conflicts range in severity from perceived conflict (i.e. visual presence of a wolf) to actual aggressive or predatory behavior (i.e. witnessed predation of domestic animals on private property)," Koski says. "Wolves are not likely to attack any person who does not deliberately incite aggression (i.e. by provoking or feeding). Education efforts that increase awareness and understanding should be the number one tool used to minimize wolf-human conflict. There are alternative wolf management opportunities and non-lethal methods that could be used where threat of a wolf warrants action, as opposed to an open hunting season."

UPDATE: Click here to go to the KBIC Natural Resources Department and click on the most recent draft of the KBIC Wolf Management Plan.

Email Sen. Casperson at, or click here to send him your comments on his Web site.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Updated: Video report: Public Forum on Michigan Proposal 3 examines wind, solar, biomass

By Michele Bourdieu

At the Oct. 25 forum on Michigan Ballot Proposal 3, Sarah Green, Michigan Tech University Chemistry Department chair, introduces the Proposal. On this slide she shows the organizations supporting the proposal for clean energy in Michigan: Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Union of Concerned Scientists and others. (Photo by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON -- A small audience of concerned citizens heard from a panel of three Michigan Tech faculty experts on renewable energy during the Oct. 25, 2012, public forum on Michigan Ballot Proposal 3.

Just two days before the forum, the Union of Concerned Scientists published an article noting the importance of this ballot initiative and the efforts of the fossil fuel industry, including the Koch brothers and other anti-clean-energy groups to confuse the public into rejecting it.*

In fact, an article published on Nov. 5, on, points out that a utility front group has spent nearly $24 million to defeat the proposal with radio, TV and direct mailing advertising. The article states the following: "The heavy-spending group, called “Coalition for Affordable Renewable Energy,” -- or CARE -- is primarily supported by Consumers Energy and DTE Energy, two large utilities with high penetrations of coal. Each company has spent $11 million to campaign against new renewable energy targets. The group also received $100,000 from Enbridge, the energy company responsible for spilling over one million gallons of diluted tar sands crude in the Kalamazoo River in southwest Michigan."**

The forum featured this panel of three Michigan Tech professors, from left: Leonard Bohmann, associate dean and professor of electrical and computer engineering; Joshua Pearce, professor in materials science and engineering and electrical and computer engineering; and Professor Ezra Bar-Ziv, professor in mechanical engineering. Barry Solomon, professor of geography and Environmental Policy director of the Graduate Program in Environmental Policy, was the moderator of the event. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

In this video clip, Sarah Green, Michigan Tech Department of Chemistry chair, introduces Proposal 3:

At the Oct. 25, 2012, public forum on Michigan Ballot Proposal 3, Sarah Green, Michigan Tech Department of Chemistry chair, introduces the proposal. Click YouTube icon for a slightly larger version of each video clip. (Videos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

Professor Leonard Bohmann discusses wind energy in Michigan -- its best locations, potential and costs:

Michigan Tech Professor Leonard Bohmann, associate dean and professor of electrical and computer engineering, discusses wind energy in Michigan.

To see another video clip from Prof. Bohmann's presentation, click here.

Joshua Pearce, Michigan Tech professor in materials science and engineering and electrical and computer engineering, reports on solar energy, giving examples from his Canadian experience. He also notes the successful use of solar in Germany:

Michigan Tech Professor Joshua Pearce speaks about the environmental and economic benefits of solar energy, beginning with roof area -- "a resource we haven't taken advantage of yet," he says.

Click here to see another video clip from Prof. Pearce's presentation, in which he talks about job creation.

Ezra Bar-Ziv, Michigan Tech professor in mechanical engineering, discusses biomass and biocoal as renewable energy -- much cleaner than coal:

Michigan Tech Professor Ezra Bar-Ziv, who is from Israel, discusses biomass, especially biocoal, a synthetic coal, which can use an existing coal power plant, making it economical as well as environmentally cleaner than coal.

Click here to see another video clip of Professor Bar-Ziv's presentation.

After the three presentations, the panel members fielded questions from the audience:

Michigan Tech Professor Barry Solomon moderates the question-answer session following the renewable energy presentations.

Click here and here to see two more video clips of the question-answer session.

After the forum, Rolf and Carolyn Peterson chatted with Keweenaw Now about their own solar and wind energy on their home in Houghton and at their cabin on Isle Royale, where they spend every summer working on Rolf's research for the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose study. They had just returned that same day from spending half the year on the island.

Rolf and Carolyn Peterson, foreground, of Houghton and Isle Royale, joined in the question-answer session at the public forum on Michigan Ballot Proposal 3. (Photo by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

"We've had solar panels on our roof here in Houghton for two years," Carolyn ("Candy") Peterson said. "And on Isle Royale (since 2007) we have two small solar panels and three vertical-axis wind turbines at the cabin."

The panels on the roof in Houghton total 2,000 Watts and cost $13,000 initially, they said. Rolf noted March and July are the best months for solar. 

"We basically do not pay any power bill anymore," Carolyn added. "I didn't realize how much fun it would be to watch our meter run backwards."

This forum was sponsored by the Michigan Tech Graduate Program in Environmental and Energy Policy, the university's Sustainable Futures Institute, the Power and Energy Research Center and the League of Women Voters of the Copper Country. 

* Click here to read the article, "Michigan Has a Powerful Megaphone for Our Energy Future," by Kevin Knobloch, president, Union of Concerned Scientists.
**Click here to read this article, "Utility Front Group Raises $24 Million For Scare Campaign To Defeat Michigan Renewable Energy Initiative."
Don't forget to vote TODAY, Nov. 6!
UPDATE: Michigan Tech is also doing research on making biofuel sustainable and clean. See:
"Michigan Tech Leads International Study of Social, Environmental Impacts of Biofuel Production," by Jennifer Donovan, posted Aug. 28, 2012 on Michigan Tech News.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Congressional Candidate Gary McDowell visits Dems in Hancock

By Michele Bourdieu

HANCOCK -- Houghton County Democrats filled their new office in Hancock Friday afternoon, Nov. 2, in anticipation of a visit by Michigan First District U.S. Congressional Candidate Gary McDowell (D-Rudyard), who is running against incumbent Republican Congressman Dan Benishek on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Michigan First District U.S. Congressional Candidate Gary McDowell speaks to supporters gathered at the Hancock office of the Houghton County Democratic Party on Friday afternoon, Nov. 2. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

McDowell, arriving from Ironwood and stopping in Hancock on his way to Marquette and Munising on his whirlwind weekend tour of the district, received an enthusiastic welcome from local supporters. McDowell encouraged them to "get out the vote" -- knock on one more door, make one more phone call -- in these last few days before the election.

"It's who gets the vote out -- that's what's going to decide this election," McDowell said.

He reminded his supporters to help those who might need encouragement to go to the polls. One example he gave was the situation of "single moms in their 30s" with their multiple responsibilities. Voting is one more thing they have to do, and they might "need a little nudge," he said.

"We're all part of the same community," McDowell added.

Local Democratic candidates visit with Gary McDowell, right, during his Nov. 2 stop in Hancock. Pictured, from left, they are John Laitinen, candidate for re-election as Franklin Township Trustee; Rick Kasprzak, candidate for District 1 Houghton County Commissioner; Anton Pintar, candidate for re-election as District 3 Houghton County Commissioner; Mike Makinen, Houghton County Prosecutor running for re-election; and Scott Dianda, candidate for Michigan House of Representatives 110th District.

McDowell spoke about his commitment to seniors to protect Social Security and Medicare so they won't have to negotiate with a private insurance company, as his opponent, "Dr. Dan" Benishek, would have them do under his plan to privatize these government programs on which so many seniors depend.

Protecting the Great Lakes is another issue McDowell emphasized to this audience who, like himself, live so close to Lake Superior. In fact, Michigan's First District includes shorelines on three of the Great Lakes: Superior, Michigan and Huron -- making this a key issue in a race against a Republican who opposes the Clean Water Act and the EPA.

"You've got to be fighting for the Great Lakes -- protect the Lakes, not put them in peril," McDowell said.

He pointed out that, according to a University of Michigan study, 526,000 jobs in Michigan alone are tied to the Great Lakes -- in agriculture, manufacturing, shipping and tourism.*

McDowell told Keweenaw Now he was aware of Benishek's statements questioning climate change (Benishek was booed and ridiculed for this recently in Petoskey, Mich.**)

"I think (climate change) is real," McDowell said. "Man is at the least partially responsible for climate change. We've got to get serious about it -- not talk about it. We can't solve a problem until we come to the realization that it's real."

Scott Dianda, candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives 110th District seat now held by Republican Matt Huuki, spoke to Keweenaw Now about his support for McDowell.

"We need a congressman who is going to be there for the people for the First Congressional seat," Dianda said. "Gary is a person that you put your trust in -- that will
take care of people and will be accessible to all -- unlike what we have now -- a non-existent congressman. Gary will work every day for Michigan, and Gary will work with all the local representatives in Michigan to bring Michigan back to number one."

Gary McDowell indicates his strong support for Scott Dianda of Calumet, who is running against incumbent Matt Huuki for the Michigan House of Representatives 110th District seat. Also pictured are, from left, Clarence McDonald, who represents the retired United Auto Workers; Brian Rendel, Houghton County Democratic Party co-chair; and John Laitinen, Franklin Township Trustee, who is being challenged by two Republicans, including Mary Sears, local Tea Party leader.

Brian Rendel, Houghton County Democratic Party co-chair, joined McDowell in support of Scott Dianda's candidacy.

"Scott's going to make him (Huuki) a one-termer," Rendel said.

McDowell added, "You have good leadership in this county."

Ruth Mohr of Eagle Harbor (who moved here from Ann Arbor, Mich.) held one of the campaign signs for McDowell and gave her interpretation of the Mackinac Bridge symbol that is part of McDowell's logo.

"I really love the bridge symbol on this logo -- the bridge that brings people together," Mohr said.

Pat Bacon of Hancock expressed her support for McDowell and her determination to keep a promise she made to Benishek.

"I think he (Gary McDowell) is a good guy, and I wrote a letter to Benishek about 18 months ago and promised I would make sure he doesn't get re-elected," Bacon said. "I believe very strongly that we have fantastic resources here -- our beauty and our water -- and we don't have to grovel for a few extractive jobs at the expense of our water and our countryside due to the costs from their pollution that taxpayers end up paying."

Clarence McDonald, who represents retired United Auto Workers, recently addressed Benishek in a letter to the editor published in the Daily Mining Gazette.

"I have seen your campaign ads on tv with you dressed in scrubs," McDonald writes. "I am not impressed (Doctor Dan). I do not care about your career as a doctor, good or bad. That is all in the past. Congressman Dan is the record I care about. You state you want to save Medicare, when in fact you want to force seniors to buy into private insurance with vouchers. ... You have voted for lifetime medical coverage for all congressmen, which covers you, Congressman Dan. You want your coverage, but what about the residents of the 1st District?

"I vote to fire you, and replace you with Gary McDowell. he has assured me he will do all he can to help the seniors and residents of the 1st District," McDonald adds.***

Editor's Notes:
* According to Wikipedia, the First District is the largest congressional district in Michigan and the second-largest congressional district east of the Mississippi River by land area. Its boundaries contain much of the northeastern part of the Lower Peninsula in addition to the entire Upper Peninsula. Altogether, the district makes up about 44 percent of the land area of the state of Michigan. It contains the second-longest shoreline of any district in the United States, behind Alaska's At-large congressional district.

** See the Michigan League of Conservation Voters story we reprinted (Oct. 23, 2012) on Benishek's comments: "Michigan LCV: Benishek booed for climate denial in Petoskey."

*** Click here to read the rest of Clarence McDonald's letter, published Oct. 31, 2012, in the Daily Mining Gazette.

A Brighter Yooper Future

By Rick Kasprzak, Candidate for Houghton County Commissioner, District 1
November 4, 2012

I’m a Democrat. But what does that mean? In my family, it meant we believed government could play an active role in improving the lives of its constituents.

At the Houghton County Fair Democratic Party booth last August, Rick Kasprzak, right, author of this article and Democratic candidate for Houghton County Commissioner, District 1, is pictured here with District 3 County Commissioner Anton Pintar, who is running for re-election. Both of them are strong supporters of the candidate in the lifesize photo, center. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

Houghton County is unique in many ways. We are a unique people, hardworking, resilient and resourceful. Houghton County is also a place where a visitor can step back in time, so to speak, and return to an earlier, simpler time. Many of our buildings were built near the turn of the century and have a remarkable design and architecture.

However, because of hard financial times which started over 50 years ago as the mining companies began to pull out of the area, much of our infrastructure is in desperate need of repair. Many of those old and beautiful buildings sit empty, awaiting a new purpose.

Meanwhile the county’s funding is limited, and our personal finances are stretched to the limit. To borrow a term from football, how then are we to flip the field position in our favor?

My opponent and I agree fundamentally on the problems facing our county, and also on the fact that economic development is the key to successfully restoring a strong local economy. Frankly there is little difference between our goals.

What separates the two of us is our perspective on how to accomplish those goals. This is a new century. The usual ways of doing business are old news. What is needed now is a fresh perspective. That’s what I offer.

County Commissioner Candidate Rick Kasprzak, center, chats with John Laitinen, left, Franklin Township Trustee, who is running for re-election. At right is Scott Dianda, candidate for Michigan House of Representatives 110th District. All three were gathered in the Hancock office of the Houghton County Democratic Party Friday, Nov. 2, for a visit from First District Congressional Candidate Gary McDowell, who was on a whirlwind campaign tour of the district this weekend.*

Much of the challenge of being a manager in the private sector, especially in a troubled economy is continuing the same quality of product and service despite limited resources and especially finances. I am always thinking outside the box. I have some alternatives for our county to jumpstart the local economy. This is where my belief in government as an engine for proactive improvement in our lives plays a role.

My first idea is to utilize the properties in the county’s land bank as a starter kit for local entrepreneurs. The county has been forced to foreclose on a number of properties due to non-payment of taxes. These properties go up for public auction once a year. The commercial properties that go unsold at these auctions could be allocated for the "starter kit." If someone wants to open a business, they would have the opportunity to acquire one of the starter kit properties from the county for free. In exchange the county would get an agreement the new business owner would pay the taxes on that property for 10 years or it would revert back to the county.

The most positive aspect of that idea is in its win-win nature. A small business owner has more money to allocate towards building restoration and inventory since they didn’t have to purchase a property. The county wins because a derelict property is immediately returned to the tax rolls and several jobs were just added to the community.

Also, I believe there are many small business owners who are unaware of the resources available to them. As county commissioners it would be fairly simple to tap the ideas of the savvy local business people, find out what resources they utilized to get ahead. We could then compile that information and have it at the ready for anyone willing to invest in our communities. It would cost the county nothing, but make life easier for new businesses to start and succeed.

For the past dozen years, I have been working in management in the private sector. This is my first run for office of any kind. I don’t have any preconceived notions on how county business should operate. What I do have is an extraordinary ability to find alternative solutions to problems. These are just a few of my proposed solutions. I would like to have a chance to employ that prowess to help Houghton County prosper again.

Editor's Notes: 
* Click here to read about Franklin Township Trustee John Laitinen. Click here to read about Gary McDowell's Nov. 2 visit to Hancock.

To learn more about local candidates, click here for the League of Women Voters of the Copper Country Voters' Guide.

Re-elect John Laitinen, Franklin Township Trustee

John Laitinen, Democrat, who has served Franklin Township as a Trustee for 14 years, is running for re-election on Nov. 6. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Born and raised in Ripley, John Laitinen is a long-time resident of Franklin Township who has served 14 years as Trustee and understands the needs of Township residents.

His past experience supporting Franklin Township residents includes the following:
  • He worked on roads and streets dealing with infrastructure issues.
  • He worked on the Quincy Smelter restoration project.
  • Laitinen is now on the Keweenaw National Historical Park committee to improve the smelter property.
  • He is also on the committee working with the Township Board to get sewage service to Quincy Hill and Ripley.
  • Laitinen is responsible for maintenance of the Township office and grounds.
John Laitinen will appreciate your vote on Nov. 6, 2012.