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, August 10, 2013

Calumet Heritage Celebration to commemorate 1913 Strike Centennial Aug. 12-17

2013 Calumet Heritage Celebration Poster. (Poster courtesy Main Street Calumet)

CALUMET -- This year Calumet’s annual Heritage Celebration, sponsored by Main Street Calumet and local businesses, will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Copper Miners' Strike. A full week of events will begin on Monday, Aug. 12, with a presentation at the Keweenaw Heritage Center by researcher and author Gary Kaunonen, and conclude on Saturday, Aug. 17, with the Great Deer Chase Mountain Bike races and the annual parade followed by music, vendors and a variety of other activities at Agassiz Park in downtown Calumet.

The youngest racers take off for their lap in the 2012 Great Deer Chase youth race in Calumet during the Heritage Celebration. This year the youth race will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17 (note time change). (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Here is the Schedule of Events:

Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, 7 p.m. -- Heritage Center at St. Anne’s, 5th and Portland streets, Calumet: Gary Kaunonen, Michigan Tech researcher and author, will speak; and the "Strikers' Chorus" will perform.

Tuesday, Aug. 13, 6 p.m. -- C and H Miners reunion at Coppertown USA Museum, Calumet

Wednesday, Aug. 14, 7 p.m. -- Dance lessons: dance steps popular in 1913 -- Keweenaw Social Dance Studio, 333 5th St., Calumet. Donations accepted for new dance floor.

Thursday, Aug. 15, 7 p.m. -- Red Metal Radio Show at the Calumet Theatre. Call the box office at 337-2610. (Live broadcast on K-Bear, WHKB-FM, 102.3 and streamed live on K-Bear Web site. Audience should be in their seats by 6:50 p.m.)

Friday Aug. 16, 8 p.m. -- "Big Annie’s Ball," Omphale Gallery and Café, 431 5th St., Calumet. Music by Eleanor Taylor and Friends. Donations accepted for event fund.

Saturday, Aug. 17 -- Events all day in Agassiz Park, beginning at 9 a.m. with pannukakku breakfast. Noon - 5 p.m. -- Music by Jim and Terri Enrietti, Craft Show, Food Vendors, Kids' Games.

Elmore Reese, Main Street Calumet volunteer, sells t-shirts in Agassiz Park during the 2012 Heritage Celebration. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

You can order this year's Calumet Heritage t-shirt and other souvenirs on line at the Main Street Calumet Store. (Photo courtesy Main Street Calumet)
  • Great Deer Chase Mountain Bike Race -- Starts on 5th St. Youth race begins at 9 a.m.; 15- and 28-mile races will start at 11 a.m. at the North end of 5th Street. The Great Deer Chase races lead out the Calumet Heritage parade at 11 a.m. Please note the new start time and location! The roll-out proceeds through downtown Calumet and onto two-track at Swedetown Trails. Click here for registration and details.

  • Copper Country Heritage Parade -- 5th St., 11 a.m.

  • Free Guided Horse-drawn Rides -- Noon - 3 p.m.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Carnegie Museum to host Aug. 13 reception for "Last Days of Italian Hall: Photographs of Calumet's Italian Hall 1981-1988" by Eric Munch

Photographer Eric Munch is pictured here in the Italian Hall Ballroom, Calumet, in September 1983, before the building was demolished. Munch is exhibiting a series of his photos of Italian Hall at the Carnegie Museum in Houghton and will speak at a reception on Aug. 13. (Photo © 2013 and courtesy Eric Munch. Reprinted with permission.)

HOUGHTON -- The Carnegie Museum in downtown Houghton will host a reception for "Last Days of Italian Hall: Photographs of Calumet's Italian Hall 1981-1988" by local photographer Eric Munch from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13. Photographer Munch will speak at 6:30 p.m.

On Christmas Eve 1913, families of striking copper miners gathered in Italian Hall in Calumet, Michigan, for a holiday party. According to several witnesses, someone yelled, "Fire!!" -- and, in the ensuing panic to flee the second story ballroom, 73 people, 59 of them under age 17, were crushed to death in the stairway.

"Last Days of Italian Hall" is a series of 21 photographs, taken by Eric Munch, professional photographer, of Italian Hall before, during, and after its 1984 demolition. Munch first visited the building as a child in 1967 while in Calumet for a family reunion. Though his grandfather and great aunt had attended the 1913 Christmas party, he was at first unaware of the tragic history of the building.

After moving to Calumet in 1980, Mr. Munch photographed the exterior of Italian Hall on several occasions and in 1981 and 1983 he was able to photograph inside the building. In 1984 he documented the demolition and the crowd that gathered to watch as the building was torn down.

Other exhibits at Carnegie Museum

Other exhibits currently at the Carnegie Museum include the following:

"Rural Reflections: Finnish American Buildings and Landscapes in Michigan's Copper Country" -- photographs by Ryan Holt with Historical Narrative by Arnold Alanen.

"Family Ties: Memorials to Those Lost in the 1913 Italian Hall Tragedy" -- an exhibit by the Houghton Keweenaw County Genealogical Society.

"From the Old School: Memories from the Old Houghton High School 1923 - 1989" -- oral histories about life in "the Old School."

The Carnegie Museum is on the corner of Huron and Montezuma in Houghton, Mich. Regular hours are Tuesday and Thursday, noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. The museum is open to the public and there is no entry fee. For more information email or call (906) 482-7140.

Music TONIGHT, Aug. 9, at Old Bridge, Eagle River

EAGLE RIVER -- Musician Oren Tikkanen reports that good music will be playing at the Old Bridge in Eagle River, Mich., TONIGHT, Friday, Aug. 9.

Here's the schedule:

6 p.m. -- the Backroom Boys Jazz Band
7 p.m. -- Ron Lahti, the Singing Sheriff
8 p.m. -- Steve Jones and the Garden City Hot Club
9 p.m. -- Uncle Pete's BBQ Blues Band

Drive carefully, and enjoy!

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Eagle Harbor Art Fair and Exhibit to be Aug. 10, 11

EAGLE HARBOR -- The 53rd Annual Fine Art Fair and Exhibit will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday, Aug. 10, and from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, on the grounds of St. Peter by the Sea in Eagle Harbor, Mich.

Copper Country Associated Artists (CCAA) has hosted the fair for 50 years, and CCAA notes this year's fair will be as spectacular as ever.

About 60 artist vendors will be selling their wares -- paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, quilting, fiber, weaving, pottery, jewelry, basketry, wood turning, silver, iron, copper, stone, wood bark, computer-assisted prints and many other materials. Each work exhibited is original and presented by the individual artist who produced it.

Eagle Harbor Township will provide goodies to eat in order to raise money for various projects.

Eagle Harbor also offers a swimming beach, and restaurants can be found in Eagle Harbor as well as a few miles up or down the road in Eagle River or Copper Harbor.

Weather is anticipated to be wonderful!

Click here for a map of Eagle Harbor.

Farm Block Fest to offer family friendly music, camping Aug. 9, 10, 11

ALLOUEZ, Mich. -- Farm Block Fest is a two-night, three-day camping and music festival in the heart of Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula -- at 2239 N. Farmers Block Rd., Allouez, MI 49805. The festival begins with gates opening at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, and continues Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 9 and 10.

In conjunction with Keweenaw Krayons, Farm Block Festival is put on as a fundraiser for the Dan Schmitt Gift of Music fund. The fund provides free and low-cost instruments and music lessons for area youth.

Farm Block Fest strives to create a safe, family friendly environment that harnesses the power of music and arts in order to create a unique and positive community experience.

Live Music! Great Food! Art Vendors! A beautiful and pristine environment! 3 0n 3 basketball tournament!

Visit for ticket info and more details.

Click here for the Music Schedule for Farm Block Fest 2013.

Keweenaw Area Jazz Band to play at Portage Lake District Library Aug. 9

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to bring a lunch and enjoy "Music on the Menu," an outdoor series of events held on the dock outside the

The Keweenaw Area Jazz Band, under the direction of Pat Valencia, will perform from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 9.

These fine young musicians will be playing familiar jazz standards composed and/or performed by jazz legends such as Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Vince Guaraldi, Charlie Parker, and Sonny Rollins.

"These students have played and practiced very hard all year and look forward to this opportunity to provide a listening experience for the community," says Valencia. "Each of the musicians advanced tremendously in ability over the past year. This will be a fun performance. We welcome everyone to come, listen, and have a great time!"

Summer members of Keweenaw Area Jazz Band and the schools they represent include: Nate Miron (tenor sax) from Baraga Schools; Dillon Babcock (drums), Josh Moore (guitar), and Andrew Baes (bass guitar) from Hancock Schools; and Kayla Makela (alto sax) and Isabel Valencia (keyboard) from Houghton Schools.

This band attends a Jazz Festival each year, and they received the "Most Outstanding Jazz Ensemble" award in 2011 at the Northern Michigan University Jazz Festival in Marquette. Each student does this on his or her own time and has great support from family and parents.

"We hope to get the full Jazz band rehearsing early this fall. All high school students are welcome to participate," says Valencia.

The Keweenaw Area Jazz Band is a collaborative effort of the Copper Country Intermediate School District and Houghton/Keweenaw County 4-H. The band is supported in part by a Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs grant through the Copper Country Community Arts Center, Houghton/Keweenaw 4-H, Michigan Technological University, and in-kind support from community organizations.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. In the event of bad weather, this performance will be held in the community room. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

U.P. Book Tour 2013 to visit Hancock, Houghton Aug. 9

HANCOCK, HOUGHTON -- THE U.P. BOOK TOUR 2013 -- five authors who will read from and discuss their books -- will make two local stops TOMORROW, Friday, August 9.

North Wind Books in Hancock will host the five authors from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and the Portage Lake District Library will host them from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on August 9.

The five authors are National Book Award finalist Bonnie Jo Campbell, Randall R. Freisinger, April Lindala, Ron Riekki, and Phillip Sterling. Their published works include fiction, short stories, non fiction, poetry, plays, entries in anthologies, and awards. There will be a book signing and selling after the presentation and refreshments will be served at both locations.

The event is free and open to the public, both at North Wind Books and at the Portage Library.

THE U.P. BOOK TOUR 2013 is a U.P. wide event featuring writers from Michigan and the Midwest who write about Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. The tour partners with libraries, book stores, community colleges, community centers, and other organizations to bring more than 40 authors to more than 50 events in more than 25 towns in 25 days. Visit for more information.

For more information on Portage Lake District Library programs, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

"Finglish" exhibit of photographs of Finns in North America on display at Community Arts Center

HANCOCK -- "Finglish," an exhibition of photographs of Finns in North America, which traveled to the area for the FinnFest celebration in June, is now on on display in the Copper Country Community Arts Center’s Kerredge Gallery through Aug. 31.

Finnish artist, Vesa Oja dedicated eight years to this project -- which documents Finnish Americans and Finnish Canadians, their dreams and homesickness and their Finnish-flavored North American life.

During Oja’s many trips to North America he found and photographed hundreds of Finnish immigrants, their descendants, and places related to their history. He became familiar with the old and young folks speaking "Finglish," or broken Finnish. He also came to know landscapes in the Great Lakes region; FinnFests; Finntowns; and the villages of Kaleva, Toivola, and Onnela. Oja heard many stories of what immigrant life was like far from Finnish shores.

The project culminated in a book titled Vesa Oja: Finglish - Finns in North America with photographs by Vesa Oja and text by Vesa Oja and Päivi Oja. It includes the 40 photographs in this exhibition. Copies of the book are available at Finlandia University’s Northwind Books.

The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock and is supported by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Center is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. For more information call (906) 482-2333.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Portage Library to host "Your Lymphatic System and How to Assist It" Aug. 8

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, Aug. 8.

Professional Massage Therapist Angel Janssen will present "Your Lymphatic System and How to Assist It." Participants will deepen their understanding of the important role the body’s lymphatic system performs. They will also learn simple techniques that assist it when it is working hard to maintain a person’s health.

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

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

Michigan LCV: Rep. Tlaib Says No To PetCoke

Posted by Michigan League of Conservation Voters on their Political Week in Review
August 5, 2013

Detroit’s petroleum coke piles may be getting smaller, but concerns about their environmental and public health impacts have not gone anywhere. Last week, video footage of a dark cloud of Detroit petcoke dust hovering over Windsor stirred up more calls for clean-up, and a temporary halt to petcoke deliveries on the part of the storage company was an encouraging sign. While tightened regulations and permitting for storing the dirty oil waste are in the works, there are no guarantees .

A poster at the MICATS/DCATS booth at the July 14, 2013, "Oil and Water Don't Mix" rally at the Mackinac Bridge explains the Petcoke process. Click on photo for larger
version. See also the MICATS (Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands) Web site for more information.

Detroit Bulk Storage will stop adding to the petcoke piles for good. Thankfully, State Representative Rashida Tlaib (D - Detroit) has taken the lead on addressing the hazards that petcoke piles pose to our clean water and Detroiters’ health. To continue making progress on petcoke, we want to make sure Rep. Tlaib knows we support her work and we have her back. Add your name to the list of Michiganders who thank Rep. Tlaib for her local leadership and action toward cleaning up petcoke piles.

Click here to sign today.

See more articles on Michigan LCV's Aug. 5, 2013, Political Week in Review.

UPDATE: Click here to see a video clip of petcoke dust.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Save the Wild U.P. to hold hike, picnic, concert in Trap Hills Aug. 18

MARQUETTE -- Save the Wild U.P. is sponsoring a free Celebration of the Trap Hills -- including a guided wilderness hike, picnic and folk music concert on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013, in Bergland Township Park, Bergland, Mich.

This is a photo of Norwich Bluff in the Trap Hills. Enjoy a guided wilderness hike here in Bergland Township Park with botanist Steve Garske on Sunday, Aug. 18. Save the Wild U.P. is sponsoring the hike, a picnic and folk concert. RSVP now for the hike and picnic! (Photo courtesy Margaret Comfort)

Meet at Bergland Township Park. Following a Blessing Ceremony with Nona Trealoff at 10 a.m., botanist Steve Garske will lead a Guided Trap Hills Hike from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You must reserve your place on the hike: only 25 spots available. To RSVP for the hike and/or lunch call 906-250-3284 or e-mail A picnic lunch of brats, grilled veggies and shortcake will be served from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Carpooling is available from Marquette and other regions. Don't be afraid to call the above number and ask.

Wisconsin folk singer Skip Jones will offer a free concert from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. All are welcome.

Portage Library to present "Annuities and Your Retirement" workshop Aug. 7

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library is hosting a series of financial workshops designed to give participants the information they need to understand the basics of investments so they can make decisions about their financial goals.

Bob Nelson, CFP, AAMS financial adviser from Edward Jones, will present Annuities and Your Retirement from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 7. This educational program will help people examine if their retirement income will last as long as their retirement. The seminar will cover different types of annuities, retirement uncertainties that could impact a long-term strategy, and how an annuity can supplement retirement income.

The final workshop in this series will be held on August 21. All programs begin at 6:30 p.m., are free of charge and open to the public, and include time for questions and answers.

Nelson has attended numerous Edward Jones Financial Advisers Leaders Conferences, and he recently received the Spirit of Caring Award. This award is designed to recognize those financial advisers who exemplify the values, culture, and spirit of giving back.

For more information about this seminar, please call Bob Nelson at 482-8680 or call the library at 482-4570.

Woodsperson: They’re doing it again!

Posted Aug. 4, 2013, on

For more than a year geologists were saying that there were sulfides in the Ironwood deposit and in the Tyler Shale overburden.  GTac (Gogebic Taconite) steadfastly denied that until they were presented with almost a hundred years of documentation that sulfides were there accompanied by the modern research done by Marcia Bjornerud of Lawrence University. Then GTac "debunked" that study by merely reimagining the size and topography of the deposit -- they just made it wider and steeper -- fixed! That resulted in the truly amazing testimony of Tim Myers and Bob Seitz -- the "tinytriangle of Tyler" testimony.

It appears that GTac is up to the same reality repair again....

Click here to read the rest of Woodsperson's article about the Asbestos Issue and GTac's proposed open pit mine in the Penokee Hills of northern Wisconsin.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Finlandia University campuses now smoke- and tobacco-free

HANCOCK -- Finlandia University has announced that its campuses are smoke- and tobacco-free effective August 1, 2013.

"The decision to institute this policy was in response to urging from students, student groups, and employees, as well as in response to state and national trends, and trends on college and university campuses nationwide," says Finlandia president Philip Johnson, adding that encouraging the overall good health of students and employees was also an important consideration.

Johnson says the policy applies to all indoor and outdoor university areas, activities, and property. The policy does not apply to tobacco use in personal vehicles.

University leadership has been preparing for the change since announcement of the policy in fall 2011. Johnson says that various healthy living resources and incentives will be available to Finlandia students and employees who wish to quit smoking.

For information about the university’s smoke- and tobacco-free policy, please contact TyAnn Lindell, EVP for academic and student affairs, at 906-487-7301.