See our right-hand column for announcements and news briefs. Scroll down the right-hand column to access the Archives -- links to articles posted in the main column since 2007.

Friday, September 27, 2013

MNA to host Bryophyte Field Trip Sept. 28 at Brown Nature Sanctuary

CHASSELL -- The Michigan Nature Association (MNA) is sponsoring a Bryophyte Field Trip at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at Brown Nature Sanctuary.

Enjoy a foray into the fascinating micro-world of mosses and liverworts, led by Janice Glime, well-known researcher and retired Michigan Tech professor. Learn about the peat mosses, epiphytes (growing on trees), and leafy liverworts at the fragile fen, viewing them from the boardwalk. At the main lake, forest mosses, including cushion moss, will be seen. For a little scientific study at the end of trip, bring along a hand lens or magnifying glass if you can, sunscreen, a hat, mosquito protection, and comfortable walking shoes. Pack a lunch and bring a camp chair if you wish.

Getting there:  Drive south on M-26 from Houghton. As you drive through Painesdale, you will pass the turn-off of the Chassell-Painesdale Rd. on the left. Continue on M-26 for three miles and look for the large MNA Event sign on the right. Turn right and continue the short distance until you see the second MNA sign where you can park along the side of the road. In case of heavy rain, the field trip will be rescheduled. 

For more information, please contact

Houghton County Dems approve resolution allowing same-sex marriage

HANCOCK -- At their September monthly meeting, members of the Houghton County Democratic Party discussed a Michigan constitutional issue and unanimously approved the following resolution:

WHEREAS, the Michigan constitution, Article 1, Section 25, states in part "the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose," and

WHEREAS, the Internal Revenue Service has allowed legally married same-sex couples to use the same tax rules and codes as legally married non same-sex couples for the filing of US income tax returns, and

WHEREAS, allowing only male-female marriage imposes a discriminatory burden on citizens of Michigan while serving no public interest, and

WHEREAS, an increasing number of states are recognizing the rights of all of their competent adult citizens to marry whom they please, and it behooves the state of Michigan to both recognize these acts from other states and join them in supporting equality of liberty for all citizens,

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Houghton County Democratic Committee (Party) supports the repeal of Article 1, Section 25 of the Michigan constitution, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Houghton County Democratic Committee (Party) supports the rights of same-sex couples to marry and receive the same legal benefits as legally married non same-sex couples.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Video, photos: Concerned citizens in Marquette demonstrate against Keystone Pipeline, call for peace in Syria

Video and photos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now

Undaunted by rainy weather, a group of citizens concerned about climate change demonstrate in front of the building housing U.S. Congressman Dan Benishek's Marquette office on Sept. 21, 2013, a National Day of Action to "Draw the Line" against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Benishek, who questions scientific data about climate change, supports the pipeline. (Photos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

MARQUETTE -- In solidarity with's "Draw the Line" National Day of Action to demand that President Obama deny the permit for Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, a group of concerned citizens demonstrated in front of First District U.S. Congressman Dan Benishek's office in Marquette on Sept. 21, 2013.

In this video clip Heidi Gould of Marquette explains to local resident Matti Graves the reason for the demonstration:

Heidi Gould of Marquette, Mich., explains to Matti Graves why she is protesting against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline on Sept. 21, 2013, a National Day of Action, sponsored by the movement Her group is protesting in front of the Marquette office of Michigan Republican Congressman Dan Benishek, who favors the pipeline and has expressed doubts about climate change. (Video by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

At the Sept. 21 "Draw the Line" protest against the Keystone pipeline in Marquette, a demonstrator holds a sign expressing concerns about the dangers of oil leaks.

The "Draw the Line" demonstrators display their signs near the Marquette waterfront.*

Another protest in Marquette:

Also on Sept. 21, 2013, another protest was happening in front of the Marquette Post Office -- a peace group expressing their views against potential military strikes in Syria.

Citizens gather at the Post Office in Marquette on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, to protest potential military strikes against Syria.

Peace activists display their signs at the Post Office in Marquette Sept. 21.

* Editor's Note: To learn more about and to see more photos of groups all over the country who participated in the Sept. 21 "Draw the Line on Keystone" event, click here.

Mining Mini-Grant application deadline is Oct. 1

The deadline for applying for a Mining Mini-Grant from the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and the Western Mining Action Network (WMAN) is Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013.

The goal of the Mining Mini-grants Program is to support and enhance the capacity building efforts of mining-impacted communities in the U.S. and Canada to assure that mining projects do not adversely affect the human, cultural, and ecological health of communities.

"This is a very special program, offering small grants to communities impacted by mining for specific short-term projects," says Aimee Boulanger, WMAN coordinator. "We feel very fortunate to have the resources to offer this program and are privileged to provide this support to worthy groups doing important work to protect the environment and their local communities." 

Applications are accepted three times a year: June 1, Oct. 1, and Feb. 1. Applicants will be notified of the funding decision within one month of the application deadline. Each grant issued will not exceed $3,000 U.S.

There will be an "emergency" fund for extremely time-sensitive projects that fall between grant cycles (i.e., needs that could not have been anticipated at the time of the last cycle and cannot wait to be addressed until the next cycle). These grants will be very limited and awarded on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Mini-Grant Review Committee.

Click here to download the mini-grant program guidelines from the WMAN Web site.

If you have questions, please contact either Aimee Boulanger, WMAN Network Coordinator at (360) 969-2028 or email or call Simone Senogles, Indigenous Environmental Network, (218) 751-4967, or email

The grant application can be emailed to either Aimee Boulanger or to Simone Senogles, or it can be sent by regular mail, postmarked by Oct. 1, 2013 (for this grant cycle), to: IEN attn: Mining Mini-grants, PO Box 485, Bemidji, MN 56619. If you are mailing the application, please call Simone or Aimee to let them know to expect it.

Community Arts Center to host closing reception for Anna Backman's exhibit Sept. 27

"As I See It" artwork by Anna Backman. A closing reception for this exhibit in the Copper Country Community Arts Center's Youth Gallery will be held Friday, Sept. 27. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Community Arts Center)

HANCOCK -- The Copper Country Community Arts Center will host the closing reception for "As I See It" artwork by Anna Backman in the CCCAC Youth Gallery from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27.

Anna is a 16-year-old senior at Dollar Bay High School. Her connection to the Arts Center reaches back to a time when she used to attend Kids Make Art class. Anna has volunteered for the CCCAC for a number of events and was this year’s Summer Arts Camp junior counselor. She is also one of the Arts Center’s volunteer photographers.

Anna describes her show as "an interesting compilation of different media, all showing people and places from my point of view."

Also happening on Friday: From 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. clay co-op manager Tammy Gajewski will give a free demonstration on how to throw on the wheel to create ceramic vessels.

The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock.  Call 906-482-2333 for more information.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dance Zone Marquette to celebrate third anniversary Sept. 27, 28 with dance workshops, pot luck, Black Pearl dance band, door prizes, more ...

MARQUETTE -- The Dance Zone in Marquette will celebrate its third anniversary this weekend with dance workshops on Friday and Saturday (most are free!), Sept. 27 and 28; a potluck and an evening dance to the music of Black Pearl on Saturday; beginning and intermediate folk dance workshops with Michael Kuharski; door prizes and fun for everyone.

Here is the schedule:

Friday, Sept. 27:
10  a.m. -- intermediate Folk Dance Workshop (donation to June Camp scholarship fund) with Michael Kuharski
6 p.m. -- Zumba with Alexia Maki ($10 per session; $40 for 8 sessions)
7:15 p.m. -- Hula with Marge Sklar, free

Saturday, Sept. 28:
Free Workshops:          
10 a.m. -- Beginning level international Folk Dance Workshop with Michael Kuharski
 1 p.m. Contra and square dancing workshop with Marge
 2:30 p.m. -- Cha Cha workshop with Marge
 4 p.m. -- Tango workshop with Ben St. Aubin
 5:30 p.m. -- Pot luck Dinner
 7 p.m. -- Evening Dance -- Black Pearl, $10 per person.

Other upcoming events:

Sundays -- Free Ballroom dance lessons with the Steppin' Out Dance Club, 7 p.m.
Mondays -- Square dance, mainstream and plus, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesdays -- International Folk Dance, 7:15 p.m.
Fridays -- 2nd and 4th Fridays -- Hula dance lessons, 7:15 p.m.; 1st and 3rd Fridays -- Contra and square dance.  All Strings Considered playing on these dates: Oct. 18, Nov. 1, Dec. 6, Jan. 17, Feb. 7, March 21, Apr. 4, May 2. Other Fridays dance to CDs; family-friendly events.

Zumba -- M, W, F, 6 p.m.

Dance Zone is at 1113 Lincoln Avenue (Lincoln and College), Marquette. If you have questions call Marge at 906-236-1457.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

North Wind Books to host three book signings -- Sept. 26, 27, 28

HANCOCK -- North Wind Books in Hancock will host book signings with three authors of newly published works Sept. 26, 27 and 28.

All three book signings are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Earl Brogan will officially launch his debut novel, Various Heroes, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26.

Author Earl Brogan. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

The novel, published this June by North Star Press, draws on historical Keweenaw Peninsula events such as the Italian Hall Tragedy. The story’s modern-day characters find themselves in various conflicts between the real and supernatural worlds. The book’s subtitle is "Life, Death, and the Afterlife in the Upper Peninsula."*

Brogan was raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and, according to the publisher’s website, he has always had an interest in its history and ethnic heritage. A retired high school English teacher, Brogan teaches composition and literature as an adjunct professor at Finlandia University and Michigan Technological University.

Brogan and his wife, Jan, live in Lake Linden.

Karen S. Johnson will sign copies of Picturing the Past: Finlandia University, 1896 to the Present from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27.

Karen S. Johnson displays the book, Picturing the Past: Finlandia University, 1896 to the Present, at the Finn Fest Tori held in the Student Development Complex at Michigan Tech last June. Johnson, Finlandia University executive director of communications, is the editor and lead author of the book. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Johnson is the editor and lead author, with co-author and researcher Deborah Frontiera, of this 256-page full color photo-intensive history of Suomi College and Finlandia University. Both soft cover and hard cover copies of the book are available.

Johnson is the executive director of communications at Finlandia University, where she has been employed since 2004. Originally from Royal Oak, Mich., she now resides in South Range, Mich.

Liz Siivola will sign copies of her new children’s picture book, Little Mouse Finds a Home, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28.

Illustrated by Brittany DuPont, Little Mouse Finds a Home was published in July 2013 by Orange Hat Publishing. It is a true story about a mouse found in a hospital on Christmas Eve.

Young readers will enjoy the story of the mouse's adventure and how she finds a new home, says the Orange Hat Publishing website. The book demonstrates how an animal found in an unlikely place can be rescued, cared for, and returned to its natural habitat.**

Siivola and her husband, Pastor Peter Vorhes, live in Laurium, Mich.

North Wind Books is located in downtown Hancock at 437 Quincy St. For information  call 906-487-7217.

* Click here to read more about Various Heroes.

** Click here to visit Liz Siivola's author's Web page.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Portage Library to host Family Science and Technology Night Sept. 24

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library invites all K-6 students and their parents for an evening of fun, science and technology during the Michigan Tech Family Science and Technology Night program from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24. This program will be led by students from Michigan Technological University.

Families will learn about the basics of circuitry and electrical engineering while doing creative and playful interactive lessons. Kids and their parents will make a Play Doh sculpture that lights up and moves, design a video game controller using bananas, turn their friends into an electric piano, use a paintbrush to make computerized music, and learn how to design their own toys and household objects using a 3D printer.

These activities develop a curiosity about and the ability to solve scientific and technological challenges. Family Science and Technology Night provides an opportunity for parents and their children to learn together while having fun and making scientific connections to everyday life.

This event is sponsored by the Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education and Michigan Technological University.

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

CLK Rotary Club raffle to fund scholarships is Sept. 25

Dan Dalquist sells raffle tickets for the Calumet-Laurium Rotary Club raffle at the Houghton County Fair Aug. 23, 2013. The drawing for $5000 in prizes will be at noon Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

LAURIUM -- The drawing for the 2013 Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw Rotary Club Raffle will be held at noon Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 at the Irish Times Restaurant in Laurium. Ticket holders need not be present to win. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased from CLK Rotary Club members.

First prize is $4,500; second prize $450; third prize $50.

Proceeds from the raffle help students from local schools who wish to pursue a technical, as opposed to a professional, career. Examples are auto mechanics, building trades and the arts.

"We're funding scholarships for non-traditional students from the CLK and Lake Linden schools for trade-based education," said Dan Dalquist, CLK Rotary member.

If you wish to buy a raffle ticket before Wednesday's drawing, contact Dan Dalquist at

Click here to learn more about the scholarships and previous winners.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

KISMA to offer information, control demonstration about invasive Japanese knotweed Sept. 24

HOUGHTON -- The The Keweenaw Invasive Species Management Area (KISMA) will sponsor a talk and a control demonstration about invasive Japanese knotweed on Tuesday, Sept. 24, in Houghton. The two events are free and open to the public.

Japanese knotweed is an extremely invasive, bamboo-like plant growing here in the Copper Country. (Photo © and courtesy Tom Heutte, USDA Forest Service,

Japanese knotweed and its relative, giant knotweed, are extremely invasive bamboo-like plants that occur in the Copper Country in Houghton/Hancock, on US 41 just south of Houghton, Calumet/Laurium, L'Anse, Lake Linden, and elsewhere in the Keweenaw. They are capable of pushing their way under streets and through pavement, as has happened in Bayfield, Wisconsin. They can also damage parking lots, sidewalks and foundations, resulting in extremely high repair costs. After escaping from yards and gardens, these out-of-place plants can quickly become an invasive pest in natural areas forming dense stands that limit other plants from growing among their crowded stems.

Close-up view of invasive Japanese knotwood. (Photo © and courtesy Tom Heutte, USDA Forest Service,

A Japanese/giant knotweed information session will be held from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24, in the Lakeshore Center's (old UPPCO Building) Community Room. Featured is guest speaker Pam Roberts, coordinator of Northwoods Cooperative Weed Management Area in Bayfield, who will highlight their group's work with knotweed education and control in northern Wisconsin.

Following the info session, a control demonstration will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Michigan Tech's parking lots 21/26, located on the east side of Garnet Street, just south of Seventh Avenue. Ian Shackleford, Ottawa National Forest botanist and invasive species specialist, will demonstrate various control methods for knotweed. Pam Roberts and Bonnie Hay, Gratiot Lake Conservancy executive director, will share their experiences with knotweed control.*

This map shows the locations of the Japanese knotweed information session at the Lakeshore Center and the control demonstration that will follow in Michigan Tech's parking lots 21/26. (Map courtesy Janet Marr)

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Janet Marr, KISMA coordinator, at 906-337-5529 or email or Sue Haralson, Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District administrator, at 906-369-3400 or email

KISMA's Mission: The Keweenaw Invasive Species Management Area's mission is to facilitate cooperation among federal, state, tribal, and local groups in prevention and management of invasive species across land ownership boundaries within Baraga, Houghton, and Keweenaw Counties.

KISMA is funded by a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through an agreement between the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Ottawa National Forest.

* Click here to learn more about Japanese knotweed and see more photographs.

Finnish American Heritage Center to host poetry reading, "The Copper Country Strike of 1913," Sept. 23

HANCOCK -- The Finlandia University Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, will host a reading of Eelu Kiviranta’s narrative poem, "The Copper Country Strike of 1913," at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 23.

Lillian Lehto will read the poem, which she has translated into the English language. Lehto is the granddaughter of Eelu Kiviranta (1873-1953), a Finnish immigrant miner and farmer who during his lifetime self-published and sold a number of booklets of his original poems.

The poem provides a first-hand look at the 1913 strike and its effects on the Copper Country area. The reading will be accompanied by a slide show of archival photographs illustrating many of the scenes mentioned in the poem. The presentation will be followed by discussion and coffee.

Lehto has translated a number of Kiviranta’s poems, which are published in her 2010 book, A Rascal’s Craft.

The event is free and open to the public. The Finnish American Heritage Center is located on the campus of Finlandia University at 435 Quincy Street in Hancock.

For more information, call 906-487-7505.

Inset: Photo of Lillian Lehto courtesy Finlandia University.