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.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

MTU Swing Club to host Holiday Swing Dance Dec. 15

HOUGHTON -- The MTU Swing Club will host a Holiday Swing Dance TONIGHT, Saturday, Dec. 15, in Michigan Tech's Memorial Union Ballroom. The Backroom Boys will play live music from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., followed by DJ'ed music until midnight.

Haven't been to swing in a while, or bringing an friend who doesn't know the dance? Not to worry! Come to the beginner lesson at 6 p.m. (Semi-formal to formal attire preferred.)

This is all FREE. Yes, that's right, five hours of dancing, three with live music, all for the low, low price of exactly ZERO DOLLARS.

Orpheum Theater to host Marquette music variety showcase Dec. 15

HANCOCK -- The Orpheum Theater and Studio Pizza of Hancock, Mich., will feature performances by three varied Marquette, Mich. - based bands -- Kiddywompus, Couchfort, and Revolving Doors -- TONIGHT, Dec. 15, 2012.

The three Marquette - based bands will be performing original music cultivated in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan -- Kiddywompus: head-bobbing country/blues-infused roadhouse music; Couchfort: third-wave emotive hardcore/post-punk; Revolving Doors: brit-garage rock with experimental songwriting. Merchandise will be available for purchase at the performance venue.

There will be a $5 cover charge. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and an all age audience is welcome.

Steve Jones to perform at Orpheum Dec. 16

At 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec 16, Steve Jones will be putting on a solo performance at the Orpheum Theater in Hancock, where he will debut some new songs along with some classic hits! Steve's brother and nationally renowned singer Nathan Jones will be making a guest appearance.

CDs will be available in limited quantity featuring these new original songs. $10 at the door. See you there!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Save the Wild UP to hold Holiday Cookie Sale Dec. 15

MARQUETTE -- Save the Wild UP will be holding a Holiday Cookie Sale from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 15, at Messiah Lutheran Church, 305 W. Magnetic Street in Marquette.

Stop in for homemade cookies, pies, candy, dog biscuits, and quiches for Christmas morning breakfast -- all lovingly made. One dozen cookies for a suggested donation of $12 -- the perfect gift.

Join friends for a cup of cocoa and quiche Saturday morning.

All proceeds go to Save The Wild U.P.'s 2013 Keeping It Wild Campaign.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rozsa Center to host "A Choral Mosaic" Dec. 15

Michigan Tech Concert Choir. (Photo courtesy Michigan Tech Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts)

HOUGHTON -- Need a break from the holidays? Enjoy "A Choral Mosaic," at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Rozsa Center. This will be a beautiful performance by the Michigan Tech Concert Choir and conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers, performing a special concert that includes the repertoire that will be performed in May on tour to Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia, and Slovenia.

The first half of the concert features conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers performing for the first time in the Rozsa Center. They will perform the music of Paul Hindemith as well as settings of folk tunes from Poland, Finland, and Estonia. Another highlight will be Burt Carols old and new, featuring a number of carols by composer Abbie Betinis, the great-niece of Alfred Burt. The Tech Concert Choir will perform sets of music around the following themes: Marian Motets (Orlando di Lasso, Stephen Paulus, W. A. Mozart), Night Songs (Franz Schubert and Morten Lauridsen), Songs of Voyage (including music from South Africa and Canada), and Americana that features the music of Stephen Foster and William Dawson.

According to Jared Anderson, D.M.A., Michigan Tech.’s Director of Choral Activities, "The choirs at Michigan Tech are really excited to perform music that they have loved singing this semester. This concert will be the first time that the newly formed group, conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers, has performed in the Rozsa Theatre. The concert will have a little bit of something for everyone, from folksongs and spirituals to classical motets, from contemporary part songs and musical theatre to newly composed Christmas carols."

Tickets are $12.75 for General Admission; Michigan Tech students are free. To purchase tickets, call 487-2073, go online at, or visit Ticketing Operations at the SDC.

SDC Ticketing Operations hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday and noon to 8 p.m., Sunday. Please note the Rozsa Box Office is closed during regular business hours and will only open two hours prior to showtimes.

The Rozsa Center will be closed for the holidays starting Saturday, Dec. 22. Normal business hours will resume on Wednesday, Jan. 2. Tickets can be ordered online at or by contacting Ticketing Operations at the SDC at 487-2073.

Community Arts Center to host Holiday Party, Calumet Schools Art Exhibit Dec. 14

Holiday Party poster courtesy Copper Country Community Arts Center.

HANCOCK -- The Copper Country Community Arts Center (CCCAC) is holding a holiday party from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14.  This event is also the opening reception for the Calumet Schools Art Exhibition, held in the Youth Gallery at the same time.

The evening will feature artist demonstrations in spinning, letterpress printing, clay, encaustics, and painting; a sing along with Rhythm 203; and children’s activities including card making and story time with Chris Alquist.

Stop by for cookies, refreshments, door prizes, and holiday fun. This event is free and all are invited.

In addition, 2012 and 2013 CCCAC Members also receive 10 percent off gallery sales all day.

The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock.  Call 482-2333 for more information.

Khana Khazana to serve food from five countries Dec. 14

HOUGHTON -- Chinese, Indian, Korean, Swedish and Thai dishes make up a truly international menu for the last Khana Khazana of the semester at Michigan Tech. International students from all five countries will be cooking the special lunch, served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 14, in the Michigan Tech Memorial Union Food Court.

Dishes include a Chinese soup made of boiled Tilapia with pickled cabbage and chili; biryani, an Indian dish made with vegetable and rice; Korean dak ggo chi, a grilled skewer of chicken; yum ma-ma ruam-mid, a Thai spicy noodle salad with vegetables, shrimp, chicken and sweet-sour sauce; and homemade fruit ice cream with fruit, strawberry jam and whipped cream, a Swedish specialty.

A full meal costs $6.95 and includes a fountain drink. Individual items are available for $2.50 each.

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

Winter Family (K-6) Fun Night at Nara Nature Center: Science and Art of Snow Dec. 13

HOUGHTON -- K-6 students and their parents are invited to enjoy a fun evening together learning about the science of snow, making a variety of snowflakes, and taking a night hike at the Nara Nature Center and Park. The event will take place from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., TONIGHT, Thursday, Dec. 13.

Both activities will be offered from 6 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. and from 6:50 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Families may participate in one or both indoor and outdoor activities. There is a suggested donation of $1 per person (children under 5 years are free) to cover materials and refreshments. Hot chocolate, cider and tea will be available.

Families will hike, on foot or on snowshoes, listening and looking for signs of wildlife as part of a naturalist-led hike. Child and adult snowshoes will be provided while supplies last. If available, please bring your own snowshoes. Dress warmly!

The Winter Family Fun Night is a great way to get families outdoors and active! Let us know you're coming by calling 487-3341. The event is co-sponsored by the Western U.P. Math and Science Center and the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Videos, Photos: Finlandia celebrates Finnish Independence, Finnish American art

By Michele Bourdieu

At the opening of Finlandia University's Finnish Independence Day celebration on Dec. 6, 2012, Dan Maki, Finlandia University professor of history and Finnish culture, leads the audience in singing the Finnish national anthem, "Maamme" (Our Land), while members of the Kivajat Dancers present the flags of Finland and the United States. The event was held in the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK -- A large crowd filled the Finnish American Heritage Center on Dec. 6, 2012, to celebrate Finnish Independence Day with music, dance, Finnish poetry, art and holiday refreshments.

The occasion was also the opening of this year’s Finnish American Contemporary Artist exhibition in the Center's Finlandia University Gallery. The visiting artist, Marja Lianko, gave a presentation on her art and spoke with visitors to her exhibit in the Gallery at the end of the celebration.

In the Finlandia University Gallery artist Phyllis Fredendall, left, Finlandia University professor of fiber art, visits with artist Marja Lianko, whose exhibit opened in conjunction with the Finnish Independence Day celebration Dec. 6, 2012. The exhibit, "Marja Lianko: From There to Here," is on display at the Finlandia University Gallery through January 12, 2013.

The Kivajat Dancers, a local youth group of dancers who have also performed in Finland,  kicked off the celebration with some lively Finnish folk dances that delighted the audience.

The Kivajat Dancers, a youth group founded and directed by Kay Seppala, perform Finnish folk dances at the Finnish Independence Day celebration on Dec. 6, 2012, in the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock. (Videos by Keweenaw Now)

Next in the program, Kaisa Mäenpää of Helsinki, a visiting Finnish journalist for the Finnish American Reporter, and five students from Hannu Leppänen's beginning Finnish class at Finlandia University read excerpts from poetry by Finnish poet and journalist Eino Leino.

Visiting journalist Kaisa Mäenpää of Helsinki reads an excerpt from "Nocturne," by Finnish poet and journalist Eino Leino, and five students from Hannu Leppänen's beginning Finnish class at Finlandia University read excerpts from Leino's poem "Minä." The students, reading after Mäenpää, are (in order) Kayla Olson, Tomoyuki Ishizuka, Brenna Thompson, Retti Waara and Neal Simons.

Following the poetry reading, Hilary Virtanen, Finnish American Heritage Center public programming coordinator, announced the 2013 Hankooki Heikki award winner, Dan Maki, longtime Finlandia University professor of history and Finnish culture.

Each year, the Finnish Theme Committee in Hancock selects one person whose work toward preserving and promoting Finnish culture in the area goes above and beyond "normal" efforts. That person is  "Hankooki Heikki" and presides over the Heikinpäivä Mid-Winter Festival, wearing the crown and robe that come with the honor.

Dan Maki, Finlandia University professor of history and Finnish culture, accepts the 2013 Hankooki Heikki award from Hilary Virtanen, Finnish American Heritage Center public programming coordinator, and agrees to reign over the Heikinpäivä Mid-Winter Festival, set for Jan. 26, 2013, in Hancock.

To celebrate the opening of this year’s Finnish American Contemporary Artist exhibition, visiting artist Marja Lianko presented a slide show of her work and spoke about her childhood in Finland, the influence of Finnish memories on her art, her immigration to the United States and her new work now on exhibit in the Finlandia University Gallery.

Carrie Flaspohler, Finlandia University Gallery director, introduces Finnish-American artist Marja Lianko, who was born in Finland and now lives in Massachusetts. With a slide show of her work in the background, Lianko speaks about her childhood in Finland, her immigration to the United States, and influences on her art.

Finnish American artist Marja Lianko talks about her work, some of which is on exhibit in the Finlandia Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center. This is the second part of her talk on Dec. 6, 2012, during the Finnish Independence Day celebration.

"Leaving," 2012, by Marja Lianko. Birch, plaster, and mixed media.

The Independence Day celebration concluded with the singing of a patriotic Finnish song and refreshments.

Dan Maki sings "Kotimaani ompi Suomi" (Finland is my Homeland), a patriotic Finnish song, accompanied by pianist Dave Bezotte. Some members of the audience join in singing.

Community tree planting grant applications now available through DNR, DTE Energy Foundation

LANSING -- The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the DTE Energy Foundation today announced that applications for the 2013 DTE Energy Foundation Tree Planting grant program are now available. This program is funded by the DTE Energy Foundation and administered by the DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.

"These grants help increase the number of properly planted trees in our communities," said Kevin Sayers, Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) program coordinator. "Trees improve both the environment and quality of life in the neighborhoods where they grow."

Eligible applicants include local units of government, nonprofit organizations, tribes and schools that:
  • are located within the service territory of DTE Energy’s utility subsidiaries Detroit Edison and MichCon; and   
  • have not received a grant during the previous year’s DTE Energy Foundation grant cycle.
Projects that are eligible include tree planting activities on public lands such as parks, rights of way, arboretum areas and school grounds plantings. A total of $60,000 is available in matching grants of up to $3,000, each to be awarded on a competitive basis. All grants require a 1-to-1 match, which can be made up of cash contributions or in-kind services, but may not include federal or state funds.

Grant applications must be received by Jan. 31, 2013, at the address below. Award announcements are anticipated during March for projects that must be completed by Dec. 31, 2013.

For more information or to get a grant application, visit the DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry website at or contact Kevin Sayers at 517-241-4632, via email at or by mail at P.O. Box 30452 Lansing, MI 48909.

Portage Library Wellness Series continues with "Qigong and Tai Chi for Stress Relief" Dec. 13

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host its monthly program in the Natural Health and Wellness series from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 13.

Darlene Basto will present "Qigong and Tai Chi for Stress Relief," and she will explain and demonstrate how these practices are used to help us relax and revitalize. Participants will learn and practice qigong and tai chi movements as well as learn self-massage, breathing, relaxation, and meditation techniques.

Everyone is encouraged to wear comfortable, loose clothing and flat, slip-resistant shoes, and to bring a water bottle for rehydration afterwards.

Basto is a certified Qigong and Tai Chi instructor and teaches weekly classes in Calumet. Her workshops and teachings focus on health and on practices to relieve stress that allow the body to work with its own natural healing abilities.

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

UPDATED: KBIC elder comments on proposed wolf hunt despite cancellation of DNR meeting

By Michele Bourdieu

Charlotte Loonsfoot, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Natural Resources Committee chairwoman, introduces KBIC elder Earl Ojiingwaanigan to a group of concerned citizens gathered for a scheduled meeting of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Western Upper Peninsula Citizens' Advisory Council on Dec. 10 at Michigan Tech. Unfortunately, the meeting was cancelled, but several people stayed to hear Ojiingwaanigan's comments on the position of the wolf in Ojibwe culture and his opposition to proposed Michigan wolf hunt legislation. (Photo by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON -- "The wolf is a spiritual being. He is wise. He is our teacher."

This statement was at the heart of Ojibwe elder Earl Ojiingwaanigan's comments to Keweenaw Now and to a small group of concerned citizens who showed up at
Michigan Tech on Monday evening, Dec. 10, for the scheduled Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Western Upper Peninsula Citizens' Advisory Council (CAC) meeting. Unfortunately, those present had not been informed that the meeting had been cancelled as of Sunday night because of inclement weather in Marquette and the lack of enough CAC members for a decision-making quorum.

The meeting was supposed to begin at 5:30 p.m., and public comments were part of the agenda. At about 5:50 p.m., the group heard the meeting was cancelled because of the weather. However, some stayed to listen to Ojiingwaanigan, who had traveled from Crystal Falls (about 70 miles) to Houghton to present to CAC members and DNR officials his comments on proposed legislation for a wolf hunt in Michigan.*

Ojibwe elder Earl Ojiingwaanigan expresses his opposition to a proposed wolf hunt in Michigan. He explains the traditional fraternal relationship of the wolf and the Ojibwe. "The wolf is my brother in faith," Ojiingwaanigan says. A small group of citizens listen to Ojiingwaanigan in the Memorial Union Ballroom at Michigan Tech, where a meeting of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Western Upper Peninsula Citizens' Advisory Council (CAC) was supposed to take place on Monday, Dec. 10, but had been cancelled as of Sunday evening. While the cancellation was announced to people on the DNR's email lists, these citizens, and Keweenaw Now, were unaware of it. They stayed for a while to listen to comments Ojiingwaanigan had planned to make at the meeting. (Video by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

Earl Ojiingwaanigan continues ...

Ojibwe elder Earl Ojiingwaanigan, who is fluent in the Ojibwe language, notes he comes from a family of chiefs. He says he feels slighted that he was not consulted about the proposed wolf hunt legislation sponsored by outgoing 110th District State Rep. Matt Huuki and State Senator Tom Casperson.* He mentions broken treaties and a lack of understanding about the culture of the Ojibwe people, who consider the wolf their brother. (Video by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

Charlotte Loonsfoot, KBIC member and KBIC Natural Resources Committee chairwoman, said she came to the scheduled meeting to support Ojiingwaanigan and to ask the DNR and CAC members to include Native American tribes in all their affairs and decisions concerning Nature and wildlife.

"We view them in a different way," Loonsfoot said, "and our input would be valuable and insightful to managing the resources we all live in. I want us all to work together as one instead of being separate."

Loonsfoot added she believes separation between groups is not helping the effort to keep a balance in the land we all share in the State of Michigan.

"I am also upset they cancelled the meeting as there was no bad weather for miles, and we made time for them," Loonsfoot said. "They could have made time for us."

A DNR spokeswoman said the agency didn't know until Sunday evening that they were going to cancel the meeting.

Debbie Munson Badini, spokeswoman from the DNR Marquette office, said a winter storm warning in Marquette Sunday evening and messages from several CAC members saying they would not be able to attend Monday's meeting in Houghton (for various reasons) led the DNR to decide on Sunday night to cancel Monday's meeting. She noted there would not be a required quorum (one more than 50 percent of members).

"We alerted the CAC members Sunday night and alerted everyone on our email lists Monday morning," Munson Badini said.

The DNR's Citizens' Advisory Council (CAC) includes members from all over the Western Upper Peninsula, she explained -- from Marquette and Delta counties all the way to Gogebic County on the western end.**

Munson Badini also noted the wolf hunt legislation was not part of the actual agenda for this meeting, but public comments can include any issue of citizens' concerns. The Dec. 10 cancelled meeting has been re-scheduled for Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. Munson Badini said the agenda for Jan. 14 would include the same items that were scheduled to be discussed on Dec. 10.

While those who received an email from the DNR may have been told the lack of a quorum was another reason, in addition to inclement weather, that the Dec. 10 meeting was cancelled, the DNR Web site merely mentioned "due to weather" as the cause. ***

In fact, it appears Michigan Tech was not notified of the cancellation. Not only was the meeting listed on the door of the Memorial Union Building (MUB) Ballroom Monday evening when people, including some Michigan Tech students, arrived to attend it, but the MUB staff had, as Ojiingwaanigan noted, prepared coffee, tables and chairs for the meeting.

Paul Campbell of Calumet said he asked the MUB student manager if he knew anything about a cancellation and received a negative reply.

"We brought the student manager right up into the building, and he told everyone the MUB wasn't notified and the DNR would still have to pay the bill -- for the use of the room, beverages, etc.," Campbell said.

In addition to the KBIC elder from Crystal Falls people had come from Baraga, Calumet and other locations outside of Houghton, he added.

"The DNR's lack of credibility is low enough," Campbell said, "and when they do things like this without notifying the public it gets even lower."

UPDATE (Dec. 12): DNR spokesperson Debbie Badini sent a correction on the above comments. She writes:
"A detailed cancellation notice was sent to UP media, our email list subscribers and was posted to our website on Monday morning. You can see the notice here:

"Also, our room reservation contact at Michigan Tech was notified on Monday that the meeting was canceled (your article says that they weren’t, but we called them right away Monday morning).

"Additionally, the winter weather advisory was in place for the entire western part of the UP on Sunday and Monday (not just Marquette)." Click here for the advisory.


* See our Nov. 7, 2012, article, "KBIC opposes legislation for wolf hunting season in Michigan."  Click here to read SB 1350, passed by the Senate on Nov. 29, 2012. Click here to read about HB 5834.

** Click here to learn about the DNR Upper Peninsula Citizens' Advisory Councils.
Click here for a nomination form for  interested citizens to sit on the council.
Click here to read the Upper Peninsula Citizens' Advisory Council Charter.
Click here for minutes of the July 16, 2012, meeting of the Western Upper Peninsula CAC (the most recent minutes posted on their Web site).

*** See this cancellation announcement.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery to hold Artists Holiday Celebration through Dec. 31

MICHIGAMME, Mich. -- Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery will celebrate this special season with its first annual Artists Holiday Celebration from now through Dec. 31, 2012.

"Pine Boughs," by Kathrine M. Savu. (Photo courtesy Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery)

During the holidays, over 40 artists and 10 local authors are exhibiting in the gallery a variety of original art: drawings, gelatin prints, glass, linocuts, metal, mixed media, paintings, photography, pottery, sculptures, silk batik, wood art, woodcuts, and books.

A special Artists Holiday Celebration will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, at Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery. Holiday Refreshments will be served.

Featured artists are: Mary Ann Beckwith, Pat Butler, Thomas Cappuccio, Ted Carland, Jens Carstensen, Scotty Cathcart, Meegan Flannery, Helga Flower, John French, Maureen Gray, Ed Gray, Bill Hamilton, Susan Hardiman, Pat Hicks Ruiz, Nan Hoeting Payne, Marc Homant, Jeff Johnston, Bryan Kastar, Connie Kerkove, Paula Kiesling, Janet F. Koenig, Mary Anne Kublin, Michael LaTulip, Tom Larson, Troy Lichthardt, Ron Lukey, Joanne McCoy, Sandra Palmore, Brook Powell, Seri Robinson, Rudd, McCafferty, Peg Sandin, Kathrine Savu, Earl Senchuk, Lynn Southward, Laura Stahl Maze, Francis Valela, Craig Weatherby, Emil Weddige and Dale Wedig.

Inside the Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery. (Photo courtesy Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery)

Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery specializes in Original Fine Art. Every year the gallery celebrates up to eight shows and receptions with artists and the strong support of art enthusiasts. Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery is Open Year Round. During the winter months, it is open Mondays through Fridays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info call: 906-323-6546.

The Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery is located at 136 E. Main, HC 1 Box 3477, Michigamme, MI 49861.

DNR's Dec. 10 Western UP Citizens' Advisory Council meeting cancelled because of weather

MARQUETTE -- The Department of Natural Resources' (DNR's) Western Upper Peninsula Citizens' Advisory Council (CAC) that was scheduled to meet in Houghton County TONIGHT, Monday, Dec. 10, at Michigan Technological University's Memorial Union Building in Isle Royale Ballroom B has been cancelled because of weather.

The meeting has been rescheduled for Monday, Jan. 14, in Houghton.

Click here for information on future CAC meetings.