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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Backroom Boys Jazz Band to play swing, blues, jazz at Copper Island Beach Club May 25

HANCOCK -- The Backroom Boys Jazz Band -- trio version -- will be playing swing, blues, and old jazz tunes for dancing, listening, and table-hopping from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. TONIGHT, Saturday, May 24, at the the Copper Island Beach Club in Hancock.

No cover, no minimum, no earplugs needed!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ride the Keweenaw offers mountain biking, special events May 24, 25, 26

COPPER HARBOR -- It's time for the second annual Ride the Keweenaw Weekend -- Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- May 24, 25 and 26. Meant to highlight the great mountain bike trails in the Keweenaw, this event covers four trail systems: Copper Harbor, Michigan Tech, Churning Rapids and Swedetown Trails.

Winding up Woopidy-Woo on the side of Brockway Mountain in Copper Harbor. (Photo © Chuck Haney and courtesy Keweenaw Adventure Company.)  

The weekend kicks off TOMORROW, Friday, with the IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association) Great Lakes Mountain Bike Summit at the Mountain Lodge up in Copper Harbor. This is a chance to network with national and regional trail advocate, and learn more about trail development throughout the Keweenaw.

Friday evening informal social gatherings will be held at the Keweenaw Brewing Company in Houghton and at Mariner North, Copper Harbor.

Saturday sees three guided group rides starting at the Tech Trails in the morning, Churning Rapids around lunch and Swedetown in the afternoon.

Saturday evening offers Live music headlined by "On the Fritz," micro-brews and socializing in the Copper Harbor Park


Sunday offers a day of events in Copper Harbor. Guided group rides for all levels will be available at all locations. Registration is required for Friday's Summit and Sunday's fundraising dinner, but ALL OTHER EVENTS ARE FREE TO PARTICIPANTS. There will also be plenty clinics, music and socializing all weekend long.

Visit the Copper Harbor Trails Club Web site for the complete schedule.

The Keweenaw Adventure Company's Shuttle Service begins Sunday, May 25. Click here for information. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Interfaith prayer service to be held for prisoners of conscience in Iran May 26

HOUGHTON -- A special interfaith prayer service in honor of prisoners of conscience in Iran will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 26, at Portage Lake United Church, 1400 East Houghton Boulevard, Houghton.

Members of various faiths and religious organizations are invited to share prayers from their sacred scriptures with other community members of the local area in a spirit of love and fellowship with solidarity and respect for human rights values. All are welcome.

Refreshments will be served.

This event is organized by the Baha’i community of Houghton. For more information call 523-5542 or 281-7650.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

From The Progressive: The Dalai Lama's Message to Wisconsin

By Rebecca Kemble
Posted on The Progressive May 21, 2013
Reprinted in part with permission

MADISON, WIS. -- Last week, Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, addressed a joint session of the Wisconsin State Legislature. He spent four days in Madison visiting Deer Park Buddhist Center and Monastery and participating in the "Change Your Mind, Change The World" conference organized by two research centers at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

The Dalai Lama’s visit to the Wisconsin State Capitol began as a conversation over a year ago between Rep. Jeffrey Stone (R-Greendale) and Sherab Phunkyi, who works for the Assembly Sergeant-at-Arms. On January 10, 2012, Phunkyi was driving a van full of members of the Assembly Committee on Jobs 250 miles north of Madison to Hurley, Wis., to attend a hearing on a mining deregulation bill when Rep. Stone casually began asking him questions about the Dalai Lama.

When Phunkyi received news last year that the Dalai Lama planned to visit Madison in May, he remembered their conversations from the road trip and suggested to Rep. Stone, that the Legislature, through its leadership, might extend an invitation to His Holiness to address the body. Last winter Assembly Speaker Robin Vos made the formal request on behalf of the legislature and the Dalai Lama accepted....

Click here to read the rest of this article on The Progressive.

Photo of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama © and courtesy Rebecca Kemble. Reprinted with permission.

Editor's Note: To read the transcription of the Dalai Lama's May 14, 2013, speech to Wisconsin legislators, with a link to the video, see "His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s Address to the Wisconsin State Legislature," by Rebecca Kemble and Leslie Amsterdam, posted May 20, 2013, on Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative.

Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s Address to the Wisconsin State Legislature

By Rebecca Kemble and Leslie Amsterdam
Posted May 20, 2013, on Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative
Reprinted in part with permission

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama addresses a joint session of the Wisconsin State Legislature on May 14, 2013. (Photo © and courtesy Rebecca Kemble. Reprinted with permission.)

The following is a transcript of the speech given by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to a joint session of the Wisconsin State Legislature on May 14, 2013. Click here for a link to the video:

According to my own experience to stand a little bit longer sometimes uncomfortable. So, better to sit and listen!

Thank you very much. Firstly, you welcome me and secondly, you introduce me. I think about those 10 subjects for study. 5 major, 5 minor. Those 5 minor I never study (laughs). Of course, Buddhist philosophy and logic, that I really study. Then medicine, not study, but I know something about the developmental system. Because I always take the Tibetan medical system. Through my own experience, the Tibetan medical system is quite useful, quite helpful. Sanskrit -- I think grammar I studied a little bit.

Delivering his address in English, with occasional prompting from his translator (left), the Dalai Lama and his translator both laugh heartily with the audience at one of His Holiness's humorous comments. (Photo © and courtesy Rebecca Kemble. Reprinted with permission.)

So now respected brothers and sisters, I’m deeply honored to speak to the people who really choose by your own people. They really choose you. People have full trust to you and put hope on your shoulders so you are truly representative of the people. So I’m deeply honored.

The Dalai Lama greets Wisconsin State Senator Mary Lazich. Behind him is Wisconsin Rep. Jeffery Stone. (Photo © and courtesy Rebecca Kemble. Reprinted with permission.)

And then, there’s also a clear sign of your system, democratic system. America, I think greatest democratic country and actually leading nation of free world. So sometimes I heard the American economy a little bit, sort of, go down. Then I really feel, if America really go down, then free world lose effective leading nation. So in spite of some drawbacks or mistakes, your government, America, is truly a democratic country and ruled by law and freedom of expression. These are, I think, really wonderful things.

In the State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin State Senator Bob Jauch displays a Tibetan khata, a white silk scarf presented to the legislators on the occasion of the Dalai Lama's May 14, 2013, visit. The khata symbolizes purity and compassion. (Photo © and courtesy Rebecca Kemble. Reprinted with permission.)

So now this is the State Assembly, so great honor to speak to you. And then, I myself one, I think, promoter of democracy since my childhood. I often heard that some kind of bully from the power by regent and also some high officials. So since an early age, I see power in a few people’s hands is always dangerous. So then, greatly, I learned another political system that’s a democratic, elected democratic system, and power divided between judiciary, legislative and executive. I think this is really, very sound basis, so I admire your system.... 

Click here to read the rest of the transcript of the Dalai Lama's address and to see more photos.

Michigan Tech News: Michigan Tech researchers receive two Great Lakes restoration grants

By Jennifer Donovan, Michigan Tech Director of Public Relations
Posted on Michigan Tech News May 21, 2013
Reprinted in part with permission

Undergraduate Faith Lambert samples Hills Creek water upstream of the main stamp sands restoration site. Located northwest of Calumet and Ahmeek, Hills Creek eventually drains into Lake Superior. (Photo courtesy Michigan Technological University)

HOUGHTON -- Two Great Lakes restoration research projects by Michigan Technological University researchers are among 12 selected for funding, the University of Michigan Water Center announced today. Fifty-four research teams from universities near the Great Lakes and beyond submitted proposals for nearly $570,000 total funding.

"Michigan Tech should be very proud of its Great Lakes researchers," said Guy Meadows, director of the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) at Michigan Tech. "These grants are a recognition of their outstanding abilities, and their work will produce critically needed data to improve our restoration efforts on the Great Lakes."

A team led by Amy Marcarelli, assistant professor of biological sciences who also works with the GLRC, received $50,000 to study the impact of remediation of stamp sands along Hills Creek, northwest of Calumet and Ahmeek on the Keweenaw Peninsula. David Dean, assistant research scientist at the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) in Ann Arbor, heads another Michigan Tech team that received a $50,000 Water Center grant to develop a geospatial database to inform response plans for dealing with oil or chemical spills in the Great Lakes.

Marcarelli’s co-investigator is Casey Huckins, associate professor of biological sciences who also works with the GLRC. Dean’s co-investigators are Colin Brooks and Arthur Endsley, both research scientists at MTRI in Ann Arbor.... Click here to read the rest of this article on Michigan Tech News.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Noteworthy women's chorus offers lively barbershop harmonies, humor, fun at benefit concert

By Michele Bourdieu

During their May 16, 2013, benefit concert, "Vintage, Vibrant and Vivacious," at Saints Peter and Paul Lutheran Church in Houghton, the Noteworthy women's chorus has fun with their rendition of "Wild and Wooly Ragtime Cowgirl," featuring Marcia Goodrich (with "head cheese" and Sisu shirt) as "Cowgirl" Hilma Maki, played by Marcia Goodrich, with her "cow," Susan Kreivi, in a musical skit choreographed by Karina Jousma. At left is Noteworthy Director Joan Petrelius. See video below. (Photos and videos by Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON -- From "Vintage" tunes like "Second Hand Rose" and "It's a Pity to Say Goodnight," to "Vibrant and Vivacious" favorites like "Ride the Chariot" and "Wild and Wooly Ragtime Cowgirl," Noteworthy, the volunteer women's a cappella chorus, entertained a full-house audience at Saints Peter and Paul Lutheran Church in Houghton on May 16.

Noteworthy is known for singing a cappella, in a barbershop style, and wearing creative hats and costumes to put the audience in the mood for their songs. Here they show off their "vintage" hats and outfits for the song, "Second Hand Rose."

This lively group of women who love to sing, specializing in barbershop harmonies, perform concerts to share their love of singing and to benefit local nonprofits. A free-will offering is usually requested but not obligatory. Their spring and Christmas holiday concerts have raised thousands of dollars for organizations such as Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, Copper Country Humane Society and Pine Mountain Music Festival.

Noteworthy women's chorus sings the "vintage" tune, "Second Hand Rose" during their May 16, 2013, concert, "Vintage, Vibrant and Vivacious," in Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church, Houghton, Mich., to benefit the Angel Mission in Calumet, Mich., and scholarship recipients for a summer music program sponsored by the church. (Video clips by Keweenaw Now)*

The success of Noteworthy's performances can be largely attributed to the talent and contagious enthusiasm of their director, Joan Petrelius.

Noteworthy Director Joan Petrelius, pictured here wearing her own "vintage" hat, often directs the chorus in gestures as well as harmonies.

Petrelius announced during the concert that the group welcomes new members. Any women who enjoy singing and are interested in joining the chorus can contact her at 482-5088 or speak to any of the chorus members for more information.

Noteworthy women's chorus begins the second part of their May 16, 2013, concert with a lively version of "In the Mood."

During Noteworthy concerts, individual members of the chorus may introduce a song with a story, often humorous, and establish a rapport with the audience to put them in the mood for the music.

Noteworthy women's chorus sings "Ride the Chariot," an energetic version of the spiritual, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," during their May 16, 2013, benefit concert in

The mood of this concert was light rather than serious; and Noteworthy's director and the chorus members evidenced a healthy sense of humor in adapting an old cowboy song, "Ragtime Cowboy Joe," to their own "feminist" version, "Wild and Wooly Ragtime Cowgirl" -- giving her a local Finnish-sounding name, "Hilma Maki," portrayed by Marcia Goodrich, with her "cow," Susan Kreivi in a skit choreographed by Karina Jousma.

Noteworthy women's chorus has fun offering a women's version of an old cowboy song, "Wild and Wooly Ragtime Cowgirl." In addition, they localize the song to Houghton and Keweenaw counties, with a Finnish-American "cowgirl" -- Hilma Maki.

Noteworthy concluded the "Vibrant and Vivacious" second part of their concert applying their barbershop harmonies to "One Fine Day." After receiving a standing ovation, the chorus invited their other members and the audience to join them in singing the hymn, "God Be with You 'Til We Meet Again" as their finale.**

Other members of the Noteworthy chorus, including one with her new baby, join, along with the audience, in singing, "God Be with You 'Til We Meet Again." **

This concert was a benefit for the Angel Mission in Calumet and for scholarship recipients for Saints Peter and Paul Lutheran Church summer music program.

During the concert, volunteers from the Angel Mission spoke about their work. The Angel Mission, at 112 Fifth St. in Calumet, is a free store offering donated clothing, housewares, food, toys, books and other items free of charge -- a community resource for families who need assistance with food and other items, no questions asked.***

Saints Peter and Paul Lutheran Church provides scholarships to its summer music program to ensure that no one who wants to participate is turned away due to lack of funding.

* Click here for a video of Noteworthy singing another vintage song, "It's a Pity to Say Goodnight."

** Click here for the video of Noteworthy's concluding song and finale.

*** The Angel Mission welcomes donations of cash as well as used items. All clothing offered is clean and must be current styles. Their policy is "If we would not wear it, then it is not hung out."

Housewares must be in working order and dishes not chipped or cracked. Furnishings and linens must be clean and useful. Toys must be clean and in working order. Books, magazines and DVD/VCR movies are also welcome. The movies can be checked out for a week, free of charge. The Food Pantry is available once a month for families, no questions asked. The amount of food depends on availability and family size.

The Angel Mission also sponsors various holiday programs, a back-to-school backpack drive and an Emergency Assistance Program. For more information call 906-934-3602 or 906-370-9240.

CORRECTION: In our original story we incorrectly identified Karina Jousma as portraying the "cow" in "Wild and Wooly Ragtime Cowgirl." We have made the correction, noting the cow is played by Susan Kreivi in this musical skit choreographed by Karina Jousma. Thanks to Marcia Goodrich for calling our attention to the correction.

Historian William H. Mulligan, Jr., to speak on Irish in the Copper Country May 21

HANCOCK -- As part of the City of Hancock's Sesquicentennial Celebration this year, Dr. William H. Mulligan, Jr., will present "It’s a Long Way From Tipperary: Early Irish Settlers and Leaders in Hancock" at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock.

Mulligan is a professor of History at Murray State University and resides in Murray, Kentucky. He is the MSU Alumni Association’s Distinguished Researcher for 2012-13, largely for his research on the Irish in the Copper Country -- which he began while living in Negaunee, Michigan, and teaching part-time at Michigan Tech. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and has degrees from Assumption College and Clark University, both in Worcester, Massachusetts.

From Friends of Brockway Mountain: Public Meeting to discuss potential cell tower on Brockway will be May 22

COPPER HARBOR -- A public meeting will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at Grant Township Hall, 220 Gratiot St., Copper Harbor, to discuss and offer suggestions to mitigate the impact of the proposed 199-ft. cell tower on Brockway Mountain Drive.

This photo, taken from a lookout point on Brockway Mountain Drive, looking east, offers a view of the town of Copper Harbor, the harbor at left and Lake Fanny Hooe at right. The cell tower location would be about 3/4 of a mile west of this lookout point. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)

SBA Network Services, Inc. (SBA) and the State Historic Preservation Office have agreed that the tower will have an adverse visual impact on Brockway Mountain Drive, a site deemed eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. As a result SBA must take steps to mitigate the effect on Brockway Mountain Drive. If they aren't compelled to consider alternatives, then the TOWER and POWER LINES could impact one of Michigan's historic and scenic treasures.

The notice of the meeting states that "SBA has considered other sites but found none that provide for telecommunication coverage needs to be fully met, or are available for lease, due to zoning or mineral/mineral rights restrictions, or US Highway 41 protective easements."*

Since Fall, 2012, two of the three proposed towers in Keweenaw County have been erected, one at Delaware and one at Lake Medora. In addition, right of way along US 41 has been cleared and over 100 power poles have been installed from Gratiot Lake Road to Delaware to serve the new tower at Delaware. When discussing the Brockway Tower some of the concerns include the area to be served; the height, color, lighting and design of the tower; and how power will reach the proposed tower.

The tower would be visible not only from areas off Brockway Mountain but also in both directions at numerous scenic locations as you traverse the drive.

* Visit the Friends of Brockway Mountain Facebook page for more information. See also their slide show on the Brockway viewshed vs. the proposed cell tower.

Editor's Note: See our  April 18, 2012, article on this issue: "Updated: Public comments on Brockway Mountain tower location to be allowed at Keweenaw County Board meeting Apr. 18."