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 16, 2012

Michigan Tech Archives services to reopen Nov. 19 with limited hours

By Erik Nordberg, archivist, Van Pelt and Opie Library
HOUGHTON -- A temporary Archives service will operate on a limited basis starting on Monday, Nov. 19 in Michigan Tech's Van Pelt and Opie Library. An area will be accessible through the library's north stairwell and will operate from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Due to the disaster, portions of the Archives collections will not be accessible initially. But other materials, including microfilm collections, topical vertical files, city directories and portions of the Archives' manuscript collections will be available for use in this temporary service area. Additional information about Archives services and access to its collections may be directed to or 487-2505.

The Archives and entire garden level of the Van Pelt and Opie Library remain closed. Library materials on this floor, including government documents and older print journals, may be requested at the main Library Service Desk. Additional information about library services and access to collections on the Garden level may be directed to 487-2508 or

Archives Disaster Recovery Update

Recovery work continues at the Michigan Tech Archives following a small fire and zoned sprinkler release on Friday, Oct. 26. Personnel from Facilities Management have begun to schedule necessary repairs to the Archives stacks area. Several light fixtures will be replaced, as well as all of the area's ceiling tiles. Carpeting throughout the room will be removed and replaced with hard tile, with some repair to drywall and the replacement of floor moldings. Several sections of metal shelving damaged by the fire will also be replaced. The timetable for completion of this work is not yet finalized, but it is likely that work will not be completed until sometime into December.

Work is underway to assess and treat documents and photographs affected by the fire and water release. Archives' staff have begun the process to re-house and return more than 700 boxes of material to their original order in appropriate archival storage boxes. Many of these items were temporarily removed from wet boxes on the afternoon of the disaster. Another 688 boxes of very wet materials were sent to Green Bay for cold storage. Personnel from Belfor, the professional disaster recovery firm engaged by the University to assist with the project, are arranging to transport this material to a freeze drying facility in Ft. Worth, Texas, for further treatment. It is unclear how much of this may be damaged beyond repair or when the recoverable portions may return to Houghton.

The Library again shares its appreciation to its staff and friends who assisted with the immediate recovery efforts at the time of the fire. The work of these individuals helped to avoid a much larger loss of irreplaceable local history resources.

Portage Library to offer EBook training session Nov. 17

HOUGHTON -- Do you have a Kindle or a Nook and don’t quite know what to do with it? Join us at the Portage Lake District Library for a training session that will teach you how to use your eReader or tablet. You will also learn how to download books from the library’s downloadable books collection.

If you missed the Nov. 13 session, you can still attend a training session from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. TOMORROW, Saturday, Nov. 17. There will be time for questions and a practice session after the presentation. Bring your eReader and learn a new way to enjoy books.

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

Thursday, November 15, 2012

OPINION: Correcting the Benishek push for construction of CR 595

By Jack Parker*

Recent articles in the Marquette Mining Journal and the Daily Mining Gazette, based on a press release from U.S. Representative Dan Benishek, are political in nature and contain errors from Mr. Benishek. I wish to set the record straight. All of the following statements can be verified -- but I doubt that anybody will want to do that.

Joblesssness. Michigan figures quote 9.3 percent for the state as a whole, 7.2 percent in the U.P, and 7.8 percent nationwide. Methinks that makes the U.P look good.

Benishek drew support from six other U.S Reps -- all from downstate.**

I submit that not one of the above knows the territory or the issues which cause the Federal Agencies to linger over their decision.

Remember -- the following statements are verifiable.

The original application for permits to mine was and still is a fraudulent and incompetent document which should have been rejected by MDEQ (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) in 2006. They accepted it.

The applicable regulations, in Part 632, (available on line) stipulate stiff financial penalties and imprisonment for those who make false statements in the permitting process. That would include Kennecott management and attorneys; Foth, the producer of the document; MDEQ, who failed to regulate as prescribed by law; and perhaps those in court who ignored the evidence and supported Kennecott.

Kennecott proceeded with construction before the permitting process was completed, again with MDEQ collusion. They still do not have a permitted haul road. They still do not have a completed environmental impact study.

We are waiting for judgment of more recent appeals for justice, with reason to believe that the Feds will uphold the law.***

Much of the noise we hear supporting construction of 595 comes from businesses other than the (Eagle) mine which would exploit the resources of the region for profit. We might reasonably expect them to support the costs of building and forever maintaining the road.

No attention has been given to those who wish to preserve the limited wilderness. MDEQ ignores their responsibility to conserve those resources.

Kennecott openly plans to mine only the extremely high-grade ore, for six or seven years, abandoning ore-grade material which could extend the life of the mine, and jobs, by another 15  years. They used the same irresponsible approach at Flambeau, Wisconsin, and can be expected to repeat as they uncover additional ore bodies.

The Feds do well to hesitate to endorse a $5,000,000,000 fraud. Spectators should get the facts before they comment.

Editor's Notes:

* Visiting author Jack Parker is a semi-retired mining engineer and geologist, well respected for his practical experience in more than 500 mines around the world. Parker testified at a contested case hearing challenging the MDEQ mining permit for Rio Tinto-Kennecott's Eagle Mine on the Yellow Dog Plains. Click here to read about his reports concerning the potential instability of the mine.

** Rep. Benishek and six other U.S. Representatives from Michigan -- all Republicans from the Lower Peninsula -- recently sent a letter to Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator, to remove EPA objections to CR 595, a haul road for the Eagle Mine, projected to be built from the mine on CR AAA to Humboldt, Mich., site of a mill for processing copper and nickel from the ore. EPA objections are primarily based on impacts to wetlands and streams. Click here for the letter from the seven legislators.

*** EPA Region 5 in Chicago is expected to make a decision on the road by Dec. 1, 2012, after considering public comment from the Aug. 28, 2012, EPA hearing on CR 595 and written comments sent to them. Click here for Part 1 of our article on the Aug. 28 hearing. Click here for Part 2.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club to meet TONIGHT, Nov. 14

HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (KNSC) will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. TONIGHT, Wednesday, Nov. 14 -- a week early this month due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The meeting will be held at the Hancock Chalet at the Fair Grounds. All are welcome. Questions, call KNSC President Jay Green at 487-5411 or email him at

KNSC to hold free pine tar clinic Nov. 18

KNSC will sponsor a free pine tar clinic at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Hancock Chalet. Pine tar is used to seal (waterproof) the bottom of wood cross country skis and create a good surface for wax adhesion. It also can be used as the "wax" under very cold conditions. So, dig out those old neglected wood skis, bring them to the chalet, and get 'em prepped for the trails this winter. Questions, call Jay at 487-5411 or email him at

To see a listing of all KNSC cross country skiing events this season visit the KNSC Web site.

Main Street Calumet Market to reopen in December; vendors welcome

CALUMET -- The Main Street Calumet Market will reopen to the public at its indoor, winter location in the lobby of the Merchants and Miners Bank Building, 200 Fifth St., in downtown Calumet, Michigan, corner of Fifth and Portland streets. The market will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday during December -- the 1st, 8th, 15th and the 22nd -- and will feature locally made items.

Any artisans, crafters or businesses who produce locally made products and are interested in becoming vendors at the market can apply by calling 906-337-6246 or emailing to reserve a table. There is no vendor fee.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Keweenaw County election results

By Michele Bourdieu

EAGLE RIVER -- Most voters in Keweenaw County did not necessarily agree with the rest of Michigan on national and state winners in the Nov. 6 election. As for local candidates, with a few exceptions, they tended to choose incumbents in the contested races.

Voters in every one of the five Keweenaw County townships supported Mitt Romney (with a county total of 774 votes) rather than Barack Obama (582 votes). However, Keweenaw County voters chose to re-elect Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow (county total: 694 votes) with a margin of less than 100 votes. Her challenger, Republican Pete Hoekstra, received a total of 628 votes in the county. Four townships went for Stabenow with Houghton Township giving an even 36 votes to each of these two candidates for U.S. Senator.

In the race for First District U.S. Representative in Congress, Keweenaw County (every township) chose the winning incumbent, Republican Dan Benishek (county total of 724 votes) over his Democratic challenger, Gary McDowell (583 votes, total). Green Party candidate Ellis Boal received a county total of 18 votes, while 32 county votes went to Libertarian Emily Salvette.

While Calumet's own Scott Dianda won the 110th District State Representative seat over incumbent Matt Huuki in other parts of the District, making him the winner, Keweenaw County gave Huuki 6 more votes than Dianda. The townships showed differences in this race: Eagle Harbor and Grant townships went for Dianda, while Allouez, Houghton and Sherman townships gave a few more votes each to Huuki. The county totals were Huuki, 691, and Dianda, 685.

Contested local seats in Keweenaw County included County Commissioner for District 1 and two seats on the Keweenaw County Road Commission.

In a close race for the District 1 (Eagle Harbor and Grant townships) County Commissioner seat, Democratic incumbent Don Piche (with 222 votes) defeated Republican challenger and former County Commissioner Don Keith (207 votes). While Eagle Harbor Township gave Keith 137 votes to Piche's 107, Grant Township supported Piche with 115 votes to Keith's 70. The other county commissioners ran unopposed.

For the Keweenaw County Road Commission 6-year term, Republican John G. Karvonen (805 votes) defeated Democrat Ernest J. Mooney (542 votes). In the partial-term Road Commission election, Democrat Gordon Jaaskelainen kept his seat with 797 votes over Edwin Tulppo (no Party affiliation), who received 416 votes.

Incumbents in other county offices were unopposed.

In Township races, Republican challenger Rich Probst, Jr., unseated Eagle Harbor Township Supervisor Ed Kisiel (no Party affiliation) by a vote of 201 to 41.

Grant Township Supervisor, Republican Ken Stigers, kept his seat by defeating Democratic challenger Alex Protzel (119 to 69 votes).

Grant Township voters also showed support for the Copper Harbor School by approving a 5.2 mill renewal with a vote of 152 to 29. County voters also voted "yes" for a 15 mill renewal for Keweenaw County Police Protection, by a vote of 920 to 342.

In tiny Sherman Township, from a roster of six candidates, the two incumbent trustees were re-elected: Republican Robert Strykowski (39 votes) and Democrat Deneen Connell (30 votes).

In the non-partisan election for Justices of the Michigan Supreme Court, Keweenaw County voters chose two of the actual winners. For the two full-term seats, they gave the most votes (467) to Stephen Markman, who did win one seat, and to Connie Marie Kelley (399 votes), who did not. County voters gave 371 votes to Colleen O'Brien and 360 to Bridget Mary McCormack, who won a full-term seat (with the largest number of votes statewide). In the partial-term Supreme Court election, Keweenaw County agreed with the statewide choice of Brian Zahra, giving him 498 votes.

On the six statewide proposals, Keweenaw County voters reflected the statewide vote -- voting more "no" than "yes" on all six.

Of Keweenaw County's 1,939 registered voters, a total of 1,411 (73 percent) voted in the Nov. 6, 2012, election. In the five townships, Eagle Harbor Township had the highest percentage voting -- 95 percent of those registered. Sherman Township was second with 83 percent; Grant Township was third with 81 percent; in Houghton Township 79 percent voted; and in Allouez Township, which has the highest number registered (1,269 voters), only 66 percent of them voted.

The above results have been confirmed as accurate by the canvassers.

For more details on Keweenaw County election results, visit the Keweenaw County Web site or click here for election results.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

International Survivors of Suicide Day event to be Nov. 17

HOUGHTON -- Have you lost a loved one to suicide or know someone who has?  International Survivors of Suicide Day is Saturday, Nov. 17. There will be healing events for those that have lost someone to suicide in more than 250 cities around the world, including an annual event right here in Houghton at the Houghton City Center. The event is free and starts with registration and optional soup lunch at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17.

At 1 p.m.  Along with other survivors around the world, watch a video broadcast, including a candle light vigil, that will help survivors feel a sense of community.

At 2:15 p.m. there will be an opportunity to listen, share, and network with other survivors as well as make a "Suicide Remembrance Board" where your piece can be taken with you or left with Dial Help. Bring pictures, writings, or supplies, or don’t bring anything and use the supplies on hand. A licensed professional counselor and survivors who have attended for the past few years will help provide guidance and support.

This event is sponsored by Dial Help Community Support and Outreach Center, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the Copper Country Mental Health Institute. For more information or preregistration, email, call (906) 482-9077, or visit

Friends of Calumet Public Library to hold meeting Nov. 13

CALUMET -- Friends of the Calumet Public Library will hold their monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, in the library. The meeting is open to the public.

This is an open meeting; 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 for 2013 at the Calumet Public Library. Meetings are held at 5:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month in the library.

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.)

Genealogical Society to hold dinner meeting Nov. 13

At the Oct. 9, 2012, meeting of the Houghton Keweenaw County Genealogical Society (HKCGS) in Portage Lake District Library, HKCGS member Barb Koski of Oskar chats with Melvin Luokka of Atlantic Mine about her display of historic photos telling the story of the school train that took students from Toivola to what is now Jeffers High School in Painesdale. Chris Alquist, Portage Library community programs coordinator (not pictured) helped Koski set up the display preceding the meeting. Alquist said she knew people used to ski or walk 10 miles from Misery Bay to Toivola to catch the school train to Painesdale. Koski said she learned about the history of Stanton Township by studying her husband's family. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

LAKE LINDEN -- For its November meeting, the Houghton Keweenaw County Genealogical Society will be meeting for dinner -- Dutch treat -- at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at The Loading Zone in Lake Linden. Spouses and friends are welcome, as is anyone interested in genealogy or in becoming a member. Election of officers will also be held.

Joanne (Franti) Hannula of Laurium, points to her cousin Alice Lepisto in a school photograph that is part of the historic exhibit presented by Barb Koski, left, at the Oct. 9, 2012, meeting of the Houghton Keweenaw County Genealogical Society.

For more information call 482-4021, email or visit their Facebook page.