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, September 14, 2013

KUUF to host "Eating Green" potluck and forum on growing and eating local food Sept. 15

HOUGHTON -- The Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will host a potluck and forum, "Eating Green," from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. TOMORROW, Sunday, Sept. 15, at BHK Center Conference Room (1 block off M-26 -- turn at Hilltop Restaurant) in west Houghton. The presenters will be Barb Hardy, Western UP Food Hub, and Mark Pittillo, Portage Health Nutritional Services Director.

This forum will focus on the topic of growing and eating local foods and why we should care about our food sources. Learn about the goals of the Western UP Food Hub from Barb Hardy. Mark Piettillo will describe Portage Health's project with the Hancock schools and provide some ideas for how you can prepare your food once you've grown or bought "local."

The forum will be followed by a potluck meal of locally grown foods. (Please bring a card with the name of your dish and a list of locally grown ingredients in the dish.)

For hundreds of years gardens have been an American tradition. They provided people with sustenance and a more reliable means of survival than hunting or fishing. They often engaged all of the family members -- from working the soil in the spring to planting, weeding, and -- ultimately -- the fall harvest. The meals shared with others from the fruits of their labors helped to foster a sense of community. As we became more urbanized, and frozen and canned produce became plentiful, gardens were left behind, until "victory gardens" sprang up in response to the shortages of WW II. Gardens again provided a sense of community and a way to provide for families. Today, with concerns of food contamination by pesticides -- and the large environmental footprint of foods that travel sometimes thousands of miles across the country or around the world before arriving at our tables -- gardens have again become a popular activity. Gardens can be found not only in rural areas, but in many urban areas where community gardens, backyard gardens, window gardens, and rooftop gardens have increased in popularity.

Along with the desire to know where our food comes from, there is a growing awareness that diets which primarily depend upon plants are healthier and use less energy. Americans can save fossil fuels and make more plant protein available for human consumption by simply reducing the number of meals they eat containing meat.

With all of this in mind, the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship would like to encourage "growing our own" and sharing meals together. In that spirit, we have invited these two guest speakers and will host a congregational potluck made from local foods from individual and community gardens.

This event is open to all.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Herbalists Without Borders to host organizing potluck event, Trauma Training Sept. 17 at Marsin Center

Herbalists Without Borders, Houghton and Keweenaw Chapter, will hold a potluck organizing event and a Trauma Training event on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, at the Marsin Nature Retreat Center near Oskar, Mich. (Herbalists Without Borders post card courtesy HWB Organizer Jess Juntunen.) 

HOUGHTON -- Herbalists Without Borders (HWB), Houghton and Keweenaw Area Chapter, will host a Meet and Greet Organizing Potluck Kickoff Event from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, at the Marsin Nature Retreat Center near Oskar Bay, Red Brick Road, outside Houghton on the Canal Road. The event will include a Free Informal Talk with the Director of HWB, Gigi Stafne.

Herbalists Without Borders is an organization that promotes an agenda of health care social justice internationally, with numerous special focus projects including Violence Against Women models and a Veterans PTSD project. Please attend if you want to learn more, help or participate. There is no fee or registration required for the free presentation and potluck. Bring a dish to pass -- and please label ingredients. Contact HWB Organizer Jess Juntunen at for more information.

Herbalists Without Borders will also offer a Trauma Training event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the Marsin Nature Retreat Center. The Trainer is Gigi Stafne, MH, ND, director of Herbalists Without Borders. Tuition: $75 (Sliding scale fee available for economic hardship; contact

Gigi Stafne, director of Herbalists Without Borders. (Photo courtesy Jess Juntunen of HWB)

Prior to her 20 years of experience in natural medicine, Stafne worked in domestic violence, sexual abuse and crisis intervention.

"The time is NOW, for alternative medicine and creative sustainable solutions to escalating levels of trauma and violence, locally and globally," Stafne says. "You can make a difference in one person's life...even an entire community's well being."

To register for the Trauma Training event email local chapter organizer Jess Juntunen,, or call her at 906-231-0755. More information about HWB can be found at

DNR Western U.P. Advisory Council to meet Sept. 16 in Spalding

MARQUETTE -- The Department of Natural Resources’ Western Upper Peninsula Citizens' Advisory Council (CAC) will meet in Menominee County on Monday, Sept. 16, at the Normenco Sportsman’s Club, located on Normenco Road in Spalding.

Beginning at 4:30 p.m. CDT (5:30 p.m. EDT), DNR staff will present division reports on current DNR projects and business and answer questions from council members and the public. The council meeting will immediately follow from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. CDT (6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT).

Agenda items include:
  •  2013 deer season forecast
  • Update on wolf hunting season
  • Upper Peninsula Deer Advisory Team report
  • Update on status of hunting and fishing license fee restructuring
  • Public comment (for public comment instructions, see
The Eastern Upper Peninsula and Western Upper Peninsula CACs are designed to advise the DNR on regional programs and policies; identify areas in which the department can be more effective and responsive; and offer insight and guidance from members’ own experiences and constituencies.

The council members represent a wide variety of natural resource and recreation stakeholders and interest groups. Agenda items are set by the council members, and council recommendations are forwarded to the DNR for consideration.

CAC meetings are open to the public. If you would like to be considered as a future CAC member, please fill out the nomination form found on the DNR website at For more information, contact DNR Upper Peninsula Regional Coordinator Stacy Welling Haughey at 906-228-6561.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

2013 Parade of Nations: the World comes to the Keweenaw

By Jenn Donovan, Michigan Tech Director of Public Relations
With Keweenaw Now's photos and videos from the 2012 Parade of Nations

Participants from many countries walk from Hancock to Houghton across the Portage Lift Bridge during the 2012 Parade of Nations. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON, HANCOCK -- Looking for an out of the ordinary Saturday in the beautiful Keweenaw? This Saturday, Sept. 14, is the annual Parade of Nations and Multicultural Festival -- a celebration of diversity in the Keweenaw.

At left in colorful attire are Nancy and Dianne Sprague, parade marshals during the 2012 Parade of Nations. This year the Parade Marshal will be Houghton City Manager Scott MacInnes.

"With all that is happening in the world today, I love that our community can set aside a day to celebrate peace and reflect on what difference and variation really means to us in Houghton and our sister city, Hancock," said Thy Yang, director of international programs and services at Michigan Technological University.

The Parade -- featuring floats and flags representing more than 60 nations -- starts at 11 a.m. on Quincy Street in downtown Hancock, crosses the Portage Lift Bridge and moves east on Shelden Avenue through downtown Houghton, ending at the Dee Stadium.

The Michigan Tech Huskies Pep Band leads the 2012 Parade of Nations down Quincy Street in Hancock. (Videos by Keweenaw Now)

Calumet High School Spanish Club members, with their teacher, Cindy Miller, fourth from left, pause for a photo on the Portage Lift Bridge during the 2012 parade.

At the Dee, beginning at noon and continuing until about 3 p.m., a multicultural festival features ethnic food booths, crafts and hours of entertainment, including international music and dancing.

Performances on stage at the Dee this year will include a Kung Fu demonstration by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, the Copper Country Cloggers, the Kivajat Finnish Dancers, dance and music by the Indian Students Association, the Michigan Tech Dance Team, singer Karen Colbert and singer/songwriter Jan Arnold.

Following the 2012 Parade of Nations, a large, diverse crowd enjoys the opportunity to taste a variety of international foods during the multicultural festival in Dee Stadium.

Entrance to the festival is free. Food booths will sell cuisine from 16 countries, including Moroccan and -- for the first time -- Turkish food.

Anna Leppanen, left, with a friend and Anna's daughter, Maisa, join Meghan Pachmayer, right, in serving Finnish treats from their food booth during the 2012 Parade of Nations multicultural festival.

Bring your appetite! Try tasty international food from dozens of food booths offering delicious ethnic specialties, desserts and more. The entertainment is endless. Enjoy bands, singing, dances, and, for the children, free pony rides, face painting and supervised arts and crafts.

Kicking off the entertainment at the 2012 multicultural festival, the Copper Country Cloggers perform a lively Western-style dance.

Members of the Indian Students Association combine traditional dress and modern dance rhythms in one of their dances performed during the 2012 festival.

This year's Parade of Nations theme is "Global Variation in One Location." The parade and multicultural festival are free and open to the public. Parade of Nations is organized and supported by Michigan Tech, Finlandia University, the cities of Houghton and Hancock, and businesses and organizations throughout the Keweenaw.

More photos from the 2012 Parade of Nations ...

Participants from many countries, with their flags and banners, prepare to line up in Hancock just before the Parade begins. The order of countries in the parade is alphabetical.

An Iranian family heads across the Portage Lift Bridge with their flag, followed by participants carrying the flag of Israel.

Finlandia University students with the Finnish flag cross the Portage Lift Bridge.

At the judges' table, Jenn Donovan, Michigan Tech director of public relations, center, and Glenn Anderson, Hancock city manager, enjoy their view of the 2012 Parade.

Student cooks are proud of their national dishes!

Face painting is a favorite activity for kids during the multicultural festival.

The Kivajat children's dance group perform a lively Finnish sword dance, leaping over sticks.

Children's art, on display in Dee Stadium, reflects consciousness of ethnic ancestry. Children's art will again be on display in the Dee this year.

Portage Library to host Wellness Healing Touch Workshop Sept. 12; computer help on Fridays; eBook training Sept. 14, 18

HOUGHTON -- Portage Library will host its monthly Wellness series program, computer help for beginners and ebook training in the library this week.

Portage Library to host Wellness Healing Touch Workshop Sept. 12

The Portage Lake District Library will host its monthly program in the Natural Health and Wellness series from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12.

Cathy Lucchesi-Gedda will present "An Introduction to Healing Touch Workshop." Healing Touch is an energy therapy in which practitioners consciously use their hands to clear, restore, energize, and balance the energy field in order to support and facilitate healing.

The goal of this class is to inspire participants to tap into their own natural gifts for healing. Participants will learn concepts and techniques that promote health and facilitate healing for themselves and loved ones. Healing Touch is for any individual who wants to enhance their health and wellness and explore energy medicine as an educated consumer.

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

MTU students offer "Online at the Library" for beginners

Students from the Computer Science Department at Michigan Tech are providing free tutoring at the Portage Lake District Library for beginning computer users. These computer help sessions with individual tutors are held every Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. throughout the academic year except on days when Tech is not in session or the library is closed.

Computer help sessions began on Sept. 6 and will continue through April 25, 2014.  "Online at the Library" will not be held on the following dates: November 29, December 20, December 27, January 3, January 10 and March 14.

"Online at the Library: Help for Beginning Computer Users" will show participants how to use the internet to keep in touch with people, share pictures and letters, find information, solve computer problems, and much more. Tutors will help each participant with their own particular needs. People may attend as many of the sessions as they wish, and those who have laptops may bring them.

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

Portage Library to offer eBook training Sept. 14, 18

The Portage Lake District Library will offer two training sessions that will teach participants how to use their eReader or tablet. They will also learn how to download books from the library’s downloadable books collection.

The classes will be taught by Dave Karnosky from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14,  and from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Time will be allotted for questions and a practice session after the presentations. Participants are invited to bring their 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

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Letter: Support petition drive for referendum on PA 21 and wolf hunt

Photo of wolf courtesy Reprinted with permission.

Please support the petition drive to help repeal Public Act 21.

It’s not just about the wolves. Passage of PA 21 means that Michigan voters can no longer appeal the naming of any animal as a game species, a right we’d held since 1908. How did we get to this point?

In December 2012, the Michigan legislature enacted PA 520 designating the wolf as a game animal and authorized the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to establish a wolf hunt. More than 255,000 signatures were collected from citizens opposed to the hunt and were submitted in March of this year, earning PA 520 a place on the November 2014 ballot. This also meant there could be no wolf hunt before the votes were in.

Senator Tom Casperson introduced SB 288 in April, crafting a bill that would allow the Natural Resources Commission, in addition to the legislature, to add animals to the list of game species. As a politically appointed, regulatory body, NRC’s decisions cannot be subjected to a referendum. Governor Snyder signed SB 288, now known as PA 21, into law on May 8, enabling the NRC to reinstate the hunt, which they have done.

The citizens of Michigan have a constitutional right to challenge any recently passed legislation, with the exception of instances where the attached appropriations are vital to the functioning of our state government. The escalating use of appropriations to subvert the ability of citizens to utilize this important system of checks and balances, with notable examples being the Emergency Financial Manager and Right-to-Work laws, is a huge concern.

With the introduction of SB288/PA 21, Casperson found yet another way to undermine democracy. He said he did it to protect Michigan citizens from special interest groups like the Humane Society and to ensure that the people of the Upper Peninsula are heard. He neglected to mention that groups like Safari International lobbied for a wolf hunt, and that he has effectively silenced the voices of the more than 255,000 Michigan residents who signed the petition to subject PA 520 to referendum.

Our choices now are to lie down and take it, or dust ourselves off and fight for our right to vote on wildlife management issues. Repealing PA 21 and PA 520 will restore that right.  What we cannot do is repeal the current wolf hunt so speedily established by the NRC.  There will be wolves killed in Michigan this fall. Whether or not you think wolves should be "harvested," this is an outrage. And with their new found authority, we can expect the NRC to add the sandhill crane and possibly lynx to the list of game species to be hunted.

During First Friday events in Calumet on Sept. 6, 2013, Diane Miller, left, collects signatures on the petition for a referendum on PA 21 -- the second petition drive to allow Michigan voters to decide whether a wolf should be a game species. Signing the petition on Fifth Street in Calumet are, from left, Nancy Sprague, Bill Sewell and Oren Tikkanen. See below to learn how you can sign the petition. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

The repeal of PA 520 will be on the November 2014 ballot and the petition drive to repeal PA 21 is underway. To learn more about the current campaign, go to If you wish to help by gathering signatures, click on  Gather Signatures so you can obtain petition sheets. It is not necessary to write a letter of endorsement. If you are in the Marquette area and wish to sign the petition, please email me at You just need to be a Michigan voter to sign it.

Catherine Parker
Marquette, Michigan

Editor's Notes:

Several people in the local area are collecting signatures for the petition on PA 21. You may contact Diane Miller in the Houghton / Hancock area by calling her at 906-370-1069 and she will arrange to help you sign the petition. She will also be at the Parade of Nations on Sept. 14 collecting signatures from Michigan voters.

UPDATE: In addition, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected will have a table during the Parade of Nations events at the Dee Stadium from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, for Michigan voters who wish to sign the petition there.

Chris Alquist, who works in the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton, also has petition sheets you  may request to sign in the library.

In the Marquette area, Jackie Winkowski of Gwinn, Great Lakes advisor for Wolfwatcher, is also collecting signatures. You may email her at

Other petition gathering events are listed on the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected Web site. Click here to find an event near you.

UPDATE: Anyone interested in signing a petition personally can request a petition form via U.S. mail by emailing, or call KMWP at 517-993-5201.

UPDATE: Charlotte Loonsfoot of KBIC is now collecting petition signatures in Baraga. You can call her at 906-235-4220 and she will arrange for you to sign it.

Jackie Winkowski has written a letter to the editor on this issue, published in the September 2013 Marquette Monthly. She gives more details on the reasons for the petition drive. Click here and scroll down to read her letter under City Notes.

See also our Aug. 25, 2013, article, "Wolf advocates kick off second petition drive, seek referendum on Michigan wolf hunt law."

Visit for more information and articles on wolf protection.

Michigan Tech's Women's Programming Committee hosting Clothesline Project to raise awareness about sexual violence

HOUGHTON -- The Women's Programming Committee at Michigan Tech is hosting a Clothesline Project as part of Michigan Tech's 2013 Responsible Relationship Awareness Days.

From Sept. 9 through Sept. 20, campus and community members will be able to decorate t-shirts with anti-sexual violence/anti-sexual assault messages. The decorated shirts will be hung up on clotheslines around campus during Responsible Relationship Awareness Days (Sept. 23 to 27) in order to raise awareness about the dangers of sexual violence/assault on college campuses.

This event is sponsored by the Women's Programming Committee, Women's Leadership Council, Campus Victim Advocate Response Team, People Against Violence Endeavor, Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Institutional Equity, Title IX Committee, Athletics and Recreation Department, Student Affairs, Dial Help, Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home, Nexteer Automotive, Norfolk Southern, United States Steel, and
Homestead Graphics.

Click here for detailed information about the project.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Save the Wild U.P.: Kick-off celebration of U.P.’s Trap Hills huge success

By Save the Wild U.P.
Posted Aug. 27, 2013, on
Reprinted with permission

Hikers enjoy a scenic view during the Aug. 18, 2013, Trap Hills celebration sponsored by the Trap Hills Conservation Alliance and Save the Wild U.P. at the Bergland Township Park. (Photo © and courtesy Nancy Haun)

BERGLAND, Mich. -- On Sunday, August 18, the Trap Hills Conservation Alliance (THCA) and Save the Wild U.P. (SWUP) hosted an inaugural day of events celebrating the Trap Hills, a rarely-visited scenic area featuring stunning views, at the Bergland Township Park.

Participants traveled from places as near as Wakefield and as far as Big Bay, Houghton, and Duluth for the event. Nearly 30 hikers, ages five and up, enjoyed guided hikes on the  North Country Trail and the Cascade Falls Trails north of Bergland. Wisconsin folksinger Skip Jones played tunes inspired by nature and labor history as hikers enjoyed a free picnic lunch from local businesses.

Hikers enjoy the great weather and learn about the botany and geology of the Trap Hills.

Nona Trealoff of SoulsShine in Hudson, Wis., led a blessings ceremony on the shore of Lake Gogebic prior to the hike.

Said Margaret Comfort, president of SWUP, "The Trap Hills are indeed a blessing to behold! We are proud to host this free day of events in conjunction with the Trap Hills Conservation Alliance, as we seek to educate the public and introduce them to the splendor of this truly magical place."

Hikers pause to enjoy another spectacular view during the Aug. 18 celebration of the Trap Hills. (Photos courtesy Save the Wild U.P. unless otherwise indicated.)

Two hikes, led by botanist Steve Garske and geologist and retired Ottawa National Forest wilderness ranger Doug Welker, featured 40-mile views from the edge of a spectacular rock bluff, a trip to Cascade Falls, and a vista that included a 350-foot sheer cliff, the highest in Michigan.

As Welker noted, the Trap Hills are perhaps the most spectacular and fascinating of Michigan's largely-undiscovered secrets. With high rock bluffs, seemingly endless views, remote and relatively pristine areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, 50 miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT), numerous other trails including the Pioneer Multi-use Motorized Trail, and a long historic and prehistoric copper mining history (interpreted at Old Victoria and in area museums), it's hard to find such a concentration of special places and recreational opportunities anywhere.

A hiker's view of the Trap Hills from a very high point in Michigan. (Photo © and courtesy Nancy Haun)

"That's why some of us are working to get the Trap Hills designated as a federal National Recreation Area (NRA), to protect special areas, increase and promote recreational opportunities, and bring more recreation-related dollars into the local economy," Welker said. "Done right, it could be a win-win opportunity for the variety of diverse groups who would have a stake in both developing and protecting this area."

Steve Garske, local botanist and board member of Save the Wild U.P., said, "A Trap Hills National Recreation Area would help protect the beautiful western U.P. and contribute to a sustainable economy for the region as well."

SWUP Executive Director Alexandra Thebert agreed. "Many people who live just a few minutes away have never known about the Trap Hills. We’re dedicated to protecting the Trap Hills for future generations -- and glad this will include even more hikes, cook-outs, and educational events!"

Alexandra Thebert, Save the Wild U.P. executive director, chats with Steve Garske, botanist, SWUP board member and co-leader -- with geologist Doug Welker -- of two hikes in the Trap Hills during the Aug. 18 celebration.

Assistant Surveyor and SWUP Advisory Board Member Richard Sloat added, "I’ve lived in the Western U.P most of my life. I have visited the Porkies but I had no idea an area of such beauty and geologic diversity as the Trap Hills area existed. Why? Nobody told me."

To obtain information on the North Country Trail or to get involved in crafting a National Recreation Area proposal contact Doug Welker at

Click here for a primer on the Trap Hills.

Save the Wild U.P. is a grassroots organization focused on preserving the U.P.’s unique cultural and environmental resources. Visit to learn more and to get involved.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

South Range Polka Fest is TODAY, Sept. 8

At the Keweenaw Heritage Center at St. Anne's on First Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, from right, Teri and Jim Enrietti and Don Masnado play polkas, waltzes and other dance tunes to raise funds for repairs to the lightning-damaged steeple of St. Anne's. Today, Sunday, Sept. 8, they will be one of the polka bands to play for dancing at the the South Range Polka Fest. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

SOUTH RANGE -- The annual South Range Polka Fest is happening from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. TODAY, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at the South Range Community Hall (great dance floor above the fire hall). $7 admission.

Here is the schedule:
2 p.m. - 6 p.m. -- Jim and Teri Enrietti with Don Masnado
6 p.m. - 10 p.m. -- Scott Zoehn

Everyone is welcome for a great day of dancing!