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Friday, October 04, 2013

Teachers learn about peatlands, carbon, climate change at Michigan Tech's Global Change Institute

By Michele Bourdieu

Carrie Wilkinson (center), science teacher at Grayling Middle School, and Kevin Murphy, high school physics teacher from Kalamazoo, work on the "bog in a bottle" project during the July 2013 Teachers' Institute on Global Change at Michigan Tech. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON -- Carrie Wilkinson, a science teacher at Grayling (Mich.) Middle School, may begin one of her science classes this fall by showing students how to make "a bog in a bottle" -- one of the take-home projects resulting from a week at Michigan Tech's summer Teachers' Institute on Global Change July 8-12, 2013.

During the 5-day institute, Wilkinson said she was learning a lot about exposure of soils and peatland to the global carbon cycle and hoped she could apply this new knowledge in her classroom.

Evan Kane, Michigan Tech assistant professor in forestry, with a specialization in soils, and Lynette Potvin, U.S. Forest Service ecologist, shared their own research on peatlands and climate change with a group of eight teachers, offering them ideas for learning activities they might use in their own classes.

Evan Kane, Michigan Tech assistant professor in forestry (center) talks about part of his research experiment on peatlands and the effects of climate change on their ability to hold carbon. The research project is located at the US Forest Service Forestry Sciences Laboratory on the Michigan Tech campus.

Kane said their research project, now in its third year, is based on the fact that peatlands cover only three percent of the earth's landscape but harbor more than 20 percent of carbon.

"We're doing some climate change scenarios to see how the ability of these peatlands to hold onto their carbon is likely to change in an altered climate," Kane explained.

He noted they expect the future to bring longer periods of drought as well as greater inundation.

"Basically it's going to get weirder," he said, "and almost everyone agrees that it's likely to get warmer."

The reason why these systems accumulate carbon is that there isn't much oxygen in there, Kane noted, but different plant functional groups have different consequences for oxygen delivery. Sedges, for example, pump oxygen into the peat, and the oxygen accelerates the rate of decomposition (letting carbon into the air).

Evan Kane displays one of the peat files in the climate change experiment. Sedges are growing on the top.

"Beneath the water table we can actually measure that change," he added.

When there is less oxygen, decomposition is slower.

Different plants have different strategies for getting nutrients; e.g., shrubs don't enhance decomposition by oxygen but have unique communities associated with their roots, Kane explained. Those communities are more active for decomposing the peat -- releasing carbon and making nutrients available.

This box includes a mixture of ericaceous shrubs and sedges. In a tunnel underneath the box the water table and roots can be studied. Other boxes contain only sedges or only shrubs for comparison.

Eryn Grupido, Michigan Tech student in ecology, works on maintaining vegetation treatments, which includes picking out separate species of plants from the boxes of mixed sedge and shrub communities. Here she is holding some rosemary, a bog plant.

"So the whole impetus for this is how climate change is going to affect the ability of these (plants) to alter decomposition," Kane said. "So the two treatments that we're interested in are how changes in water table interact with the vegetation community and how those affect the ability of the peat to hold onto its carbon."

The researchers have manipulated plant communities -- made some sedges, some shrubs -- and superimposed changes in water table height. Climate change is likely to nudge these communities in certain ways.

The teachers also had a chance to see what was under the plants in the boxes -- large bins in a kind of tunnel, where two different water table levels could be observed and the roots of the plants viewed through glass.

Researcher Lynette Potvin, U.S. Forest Service ecologist, fields questions from the teachers concerning the water treatment of the plants, which can be viewed below the surface of the ground through the windows of the bins.

"We have seen changes in the plant community based on the water table," Potvin said.

Two sets of water treatments -- with low and high water table levels -- were being applied to three different vegetation communities: 1) only shrubs, 2) only sedges and 3) shrubs and sedges, Potvin explained.

Lynette Potvin indicates the water table height in one of the bins.

Potvin noted climate change projections are for prolonged drought in summer. Thus, with changes in climate there could be differences in plant communities based on water availability.

"The precipitation side of climate change is hard to predict," Potvin said. "It's a little bit harder to nail down than the temperature side of things."

During the "bog in a bottle" activity to apply what they learned about the peat and carbon to their classroom teaching, some of the teachers commented on the institute.

Evan cuts some hunks of peat for the "bog in a bottle" activity as teachers Kevin Murphy of Kalamazoo and Chelsea Laurn of Tamarack City observe. At the time of this institute, Chelsea was a substitute teacher looking for a position in biology and integrated science.

High school physics teacher Kevin Murphy of Kalamazoo said, "This is a little out of my area, but I'm enjoying it."

Evan Kane demonstrates the "bog in a bottle" -- placing a hunk of the peatland vegetation into a bottle with water to keep it moist for taking home.

Dave Hokenson, who teaches elementary school social studies in South Range, noted applications to his teaching field.

"It relates to social studies both economically and environmentally -- through our regional wetlands," Hokenson said.

He said he also enjoyed the field trips.

"We went to L'Anse to look at forest growth that's been monitored through temperature control," Hokenson noted.

Preceding this institute, Hokenson participated in the Great Lakes Watershed Institute (June 24-28, 2013) in which teachers explored the physical, chemical, and biological components of the Great Lakes ecosystem, using the Lake Superior watershed as the classroom -- collecting data aboard the Agassiz research vessel and visiting streams, wetlands, and stewardship projects.

"That was really interesting, too. We learned a lot about the habitat of lake trout and whitefish," he said. "We also learned about bogs and how Tech is involved in research on the Great Lakes."

Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach at Michigan Tech and course coordinator of the Center's Teacher Institutes, emphasizes the practical applications of the courses for the teachers' K-12 classrooms.

"We offer hands-on teacher institutes taught by scientists so that teachers can enrich their curriculum with content and engaging activities to teach students about often complex topics," Chadde said.

Chadde noted the lead instructor for the Teachers' Institute on Global Change was Andrew Burton, Michigan Tech professor of forest ecology, whose research integrates soil science, hydrology, plant physiology and ecology in order to determine how ecosystems are affected by and adjust to environmental stresses and human manipulations.

Government "shutdown" affects federally funded research project

The peatlands research project, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), began at Michigan Tech in 2009, Kane explained, when both he and Potvin began working on it here. Unfortunately it is experiencing some difficulty right now because of the government "shutdown." Potvin, a federal employee, is unable to work on it at present.

"The 'shutdown' has made things difficult here, and Lynette is actually furloughed for the time being," Kane said. "I can wear my MTU hat at this time, and so have the privilege of working during the shutdown."

The global importance of the project is stated in the project summary: "Peatlands are globally important ecosystems that are critical and vulnerable components of terrestrial carbon storage. Insights from the proposed work should enhance our ability to manage and model the plant communities and carbon dynamics of these ecosystems in the face of anticipated climate change."

In addition, the project helped fund this Teacher's Institute on Global Change, in collaboration with Michigan Tech's Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.
It also includes training of both graduate and undergraduate students working on the project.

Click here for more information about Michigan Tech's teacher education programs and coming events at the university's new Great Lakes Research Center.

Genealogical Society members to speak about Italian Hall disaster families at Oct. 8 meeting

HOUGHTON -- Houghton-Keweenaw County Genealogical Society’s October meeting will feature presentations by some of the HKCGS members about what they found on families who were affected by the 1913 Italian Hall disaster.

The story of the Mihelchich Family, who lost three of their children in the Italian Hall disaster, is displayed as part of the exhibit by the Houghton-Keweenaw County Genealogical Society in the Carnegie Museum in Houghton. (Keweenaw Now file photo)*

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, at the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton, and is open to the public. For information, call 906-369-4083 or email

*Editor's Note: Read more about this exhibit in our Sept. 20, 2013, article.

Volunteers needed for trail trimming at Maasto Hiihto Oct. 6

In September, Gromit the Trail Dog supervises a trail crew of Finlandia students working on the river trail near Swedetown Creek at Maasto Hiihto. (Photo courtesy The Trail Mutt Reports.)

HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (KNSC) will have a trail trimming work bee from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 6. Meet at the Tomasi trailhead at 9 a.m. with sturdy boots and water. Tools provided. If you can't do the full time, come for part of the time. Questions?? Email Jay Green at or call 906-487-5411. Moderate or heavy rain will cancel the event.

U.S. Sen. Carl Levin's Oct. 4 Senate Floor Speech on government shutdown

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan) made this statement on the Senate Floor today, Oct. 4, 2013:

House Speaker Boehner is sending to the Senate a series of bills to put one Band-Aid at a time on the House Republicans’ government shutdown.

It’s an obvious attempt to fool the American people into thinking that House Republicans are acting to end the shutdown. But their transparent tactic isn’t fooling many people, and here’s why:

The people of this country know that the harm of a government shutdown isn’t about the handful of programs that House Republicans will dangle in front of us.

The House Republican gambit will not put food inspectors back to work. It will not put Centers for Disease Control experts back to work tracking outbreaks of infectious diseases. It’s not going reopen Head Start classrooms for kids. Their piecemeal approach won’t restart lending to small businesses or bring back the FAA inspectors who make sure commercial aircraft are safe or restore hundreds of other vital services and functions.

No matter how many rifle-shot bills House Republicans try, all they do is leave our government full of holes. We could spend months legislating in bits and pieces while House Republicans ignore the obvious solution: The House should vote on the clean continuing resolution the Senate has sent to them, because that vote will end the shutdown.

The Republican bits-and-pieces strategy is like smashing a piece of crockery with a hammer, gluing two or three bits back together today, a couple more tomorrow, and two or three more the day after that. House Republicans should stop before they do any more damage, put down the hammer, pick up the Senate’s continuing resolution and at least put it to a vote. ... Click here to read the rest of Sen. Levin's speech on his Web site.

Gitche Gumee Series, recent work by artist Rick Vian, to open Oct. 5 at Community Arts Center

"Falls," oil by Rick Vian. Part of the new exhibit, Gitche Gumee Series, recent work by Rick Vian, opening Oct. 5 at The Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Community Arts Center).

HANCOCK -- The new exhibition at the Copper Country Community Arts Center is Gitche Gumee Series, recent work by Rick Vian, in the Kerredge Gallery:  Oct. 5 - Nov. 2, 2013.

Rick Vian, who lives in Royal Oak, Mich., but has a camp in Mass City, has been haunted by Lake Superior since he first laid eyes on it from the shores near Copper Harbor in 1969. He struggled for many years with how to paint its many faces without "just painting pictures of it." Then in 2010 he did a series of small oil sketches that captured a feeling.

In his statement about the work, Vian says, "It was the movement that I was looking for. When I could move like the lake, in a quasi-psychotic but totally empathetic pas de deux, leaving traces of my dance in paint so others could see it, then, maybe I could communicate what I feel there. I don't want to paint what it looks like. I want to paint what it is."

Rick Vian has been painting and teaching in the Detroit area since the early 1970s. He is currently a full-time professor at the College for Creative Studies and is represented by the Robert Kidd Gallery.

A Public Reception and Gallery Talk will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5.

The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. For more information call (906) 482-2333.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Exhibit of metal sculpture by Mike Sluder to open Oct. 4 at Rozsa Gallery

"Altitude," sculpture by Mike Sluder. (Photo courtesy Rozsa Center)

HOUGHTON -- The Rozsa Gallery welcomes artist Mike Sluder, in an exhibition perfectly suited to the Copper Country: beautiful artworks sculpted from bronze and copper! Known for creating breathtaking and sophisticated metal art from gritty, industrial beginnings, Sluder’s collection of recent metal works opens with a reception in the Rozsa Gallery at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. The exhibition will run through Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

Sluder was formally trained in sculpture under internationally recognized artists at East Carolina University, where he earned his B.F A. in 2006. He has worked at two leading fine art bronze foundries, overseeing the Metal Shop and serving as Patina Specialist. Mike currently lives in Atlanta and creates custom art for individual collectors and corporate clients, including The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. He is best known for his bronze vessels and copper wall hangings, both noted for uniting inspired vision with enduring materials. His art has been featured in the Museum of Design Atlanta as well as in national and international exhibitions and publications.

Rozsa gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. The Rozsa Gallery is located on the lower level of the Rozsa Center for Performing Arts on the Michigan Tech campus.

First Friday, Oct. 4, in Calumet offers new exhibits, art activities, music, more

CALUMET -- First Friday in Calumet, Oct. 4, 2013, will feature opening receptions for new art exhibits at three galleries, art activities, refreshments, music, conversation and more -- all free and open to the public.

"Artist Trading Cards" at Copper Country Associated Artists

Artist Trading Cards. Learn to make some at Copper Country Associated Artists on First Friday, Oct. 4. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Associated Artists)

First Friday in Calumet, Oct. 4, at the Copper Country Associated Artists (CCAA) Gallery and Working Studio will be "Artist Trading Cards (ATC)." You will learn the history of this exciting art trend and be able to make a few of your own. Participants may join an ATC group that is starting to form at CCAA.

Materials will be provided, but you are encouraged to bring your own scrap papers, postage stamps or small pictures. The event will run from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. It's free and open to the public, though donations are always welcome. Please call 906-337-1252 for more information.

The CCAA Gallery and Working Studio is located at 205 Fifth St, in Calumet, Mich.

Galerie Bohème to exhibit work of Ursula Vernon

"Merganser" by Ursula Vernon. (Photo courtesy Galerie Bohème)

During the month of October, Galerie Bohème will be pleased to present the work of artist, illustrator, internet meme creator and Hugo award-winning children’s book author Ursula Vernon. Creator of the graphic novel Digger, the popular children’s book series Dragonbreath, and the painting titled The Biting Pear of Salamanca (better known as the Lol Wut Pear), Ursula draws fantastical worlds filled with strange creatures, animal saints and peculiar tableaux. Her drawings provide windows into these odd and enchanting interior worlds.

An opening reception with the artist will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4, at Galerie Bohème, 426 Fifth St. in Calumet.

Paintings by Michael Ramos at Paige Wiard Gallery

"Near Moskey Basin" by Michael Ramos. (Photo courtesy Paige Wiard Gallery)

Paige Wiard Gallery  will be showing the art work of local artist Michael Ramos for the month of October. Join us in taking a journey into the natural world through the eyes of Michael Ramos. His unique vision of nature is expressed through his beautiful oil paintings that show the perfect balance of the light and darkness of the environment we live in.

An opening reception will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on First Friday, Oct. 4. Please contact the Paige Wiard Gallery at 906-337-5970 or for information or questions. The Paige Wiard Gallery is at 109 Fifth St. in Calumet.

Omphale Gallery and Café to feature art by Leopoldo Cuspinera Madrigal

The Omphale Gallery and Café, 431 Fifth St., will offer an opening reception for "Among the Trees," an exhibit by artist Leopoldo Cuspinera Madrigal, Friday evening, Oct. 4.

Madrigal's landscape paintings allow details to be seen that would otherwise be lost.

Meet the artist and listen, dance to the great music of Justin and Tim. Be prepared to enjoy the evening buffet, comfy couches, lemons and "groovy atmosphere."

(Photo: Detail from poster for "Among the Trees," courtesy Omphale Gallery and Café.)

Calumet Art Center offers clay demonstration, open studio

New sign at Calumet Art Center. (Photo courtesy

Be sure to stop in at the Calumet Art Center between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. this First Friday, Oct. 4, and enjoy a demonstration using clay in small animal sculpture.

Find your inspiration while touring the center and open studio featuring looms of all types, lamp work bead station, library and writing studio -- as well as the clay studio where artists have been making bowls for the Empty Bowls Project. Learn about recent classes, projects and upcoming events which include collaboration with BHK in the Center's Great Explorations Program.

The Calumet Art Center is at 57055 Fifth St. For more information call (906)934-2228 or (906)281-3494.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Register now for Oct. 5 Fall Color Classic 8-K Trail Run/Walk

North Woods Conservancy's Oct. 5, 2013, Fall Color Classic 8-K Trail Run/Walk begins and ends here at NWC's Gratiot River North Trailhead. (Photo courtesy North Woods Conservancy)

KEWEENAW COUNTY -- The North Woods Conservancy (NWC) will sponsor the 2013 Fall Color Classic 8-K Trail Run/Walk (formerly Cobble Gobble) on Saturday, Oct. 5.

The course takes you through the woods, across a beaver dam, and along half a mile of the beautiful Lake Superior shoreline. Gorgeous!

The cost is $30 for adults and $25 for students, including a soft cotton race t-shirt (same day registration is $5 more).  All participants will be entered into a drawing to be held after the race for prizes such as outdoor/exercise gear, restaurant meals, and hotel stays. Prizes will be given to the overall male/female winners, as well as to the top male/female in each age group.

Walkers start at 9 a.m.; runners start at 10 a.m. Meet at the Gratiot River North Trailhead a half hour before start time. Register NOW -- save money and reserve your t-shirt size.

Refreshments and snacks will be available before and after the race.

To obtain more information, a map and directions, and to sign up online, please visit:

All proceeds benefit the Save Keweenaw Beaches effort.

Algomah Acres Honey House to host concert Oct. 4, Harvest Market Oct. 5

Poster announcing Algomah Acres Honey House events Oct. 4, 5 in Greenland, Mich. (Poster courtesy Algomah Acres Honey House)

GREENLAND, Mich. -- Algomah Acres Honey House will host two events this weekend -- their last concert of the 2013 season on Friday, Oct. 4, and their Third Annual Harvest Market on Saturday, Oct. 5.

Music by "The Potter's Field" Oct. 4

"The Potter's Field" will present a concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at Algomah Acres Honey House in Greenland. Admission is $10 for adults at the door; kids under 12 are free.

The Potter's Field defies easy description. It has been described as "harmoniously haunting, deceptively simple, painting portraits of real life on the canvas of the listeners' hearts and minds with sepia undertones of edgy eeriness, poignant lyrics and bright splashes of toe-tapping energy."

Rochelle Clark and John Natiw are The Potter's Field, a Midwest-based Folk/Americana/Roots duo. Known for poetic, gritty lyrics, driving instrumental style (including acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, harmonica, typical and non-typical percussion elements and the occasional kazoo), close and powerful vocal harmonies and easy stage presence, The Potter's Field surprises with new songs and ideas that sound familiar yet nostalgic.

The Potter's Field's original compositions cover a variety of topics and styles while holding fast to their Midwest roots. The duo displays a wide variety of tastes and influences, including such great artists as Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer, Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson, Johnny and June, Over the Rhine and more. Audiences leave shows entertained and uplifted, thoughtful and hopeful.*

Algomah Meadery to host Third Annual Harvest Market Oct. 5

Algomah Meadery’s Third Annual Harvest Market will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Algomah Acres Honey House in Greenland, Mich.

Algomah Acres Honey House will host their Third Annual Harvest Market Saturday, Oct. 5. (File photo courtesy Algomah Acres Honey House)

An artist market will feature local art and fine crafts including honey and hive products, Bread by Joe, Keweenaw Coffee Works, jewelry, photography, wood working, edibles, and so much more!

Lunch will be served and kids' activities will take place throughout the day.

Live music will include Swallowtail and Mick Hoefferle.

Algomah Meadery will have tastings throughout the day, and honey wines will be available for purchase.

Free and Everyone Welcome! 611 Plank Rd, Greenland, MI  49929

Call 906-883-3894 for more information or e-mail

* Pleasureville, The Potter's Field debut CD, was released in October 2011 to positive acclaim! You can listen to tracks from the CD as well as purchase it on their bandcamp site at Stay tuned for the second Potter's Field CD, coming your way in 2013. Visit

Rep. Dianda to host series of town hall events on veterans' issues Oct. 4, 5,6

LANSING – State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) will be hosting a series of town hall events Friday, Oct. 4, through Sunday, Oct. 6, focusing on veterans' issues and ways of improving the lives of those who have served us. Dianda will be joined in conversation by special guests Reps. David Kenezek (D-Dearborn Heights) and Harvey Santana (D-Detroit).

Here is the schedule:

Friday, Oct. 4: 4 p.m. CDT at Wakefield American Legion Post 11, 605 River St. in Wakefield; 7 p.m. EDT at White Pine American Legion Post 462, 62 Hemlock St. in White Pine.

Saturday, Oct. 5: Noon EDT at Lake Linden American Legion post 90, 454 Front St. in Lake Linden; 4 p.m. EDT at Mohawk American Legion Post 230, 122 Stanton Ave. in Mohawk.

Sunday, Oct. 6: Noon EDT at L'Anse American Legion Post 144, 115 N. Front St. in L'Anse; 2 p.m. CDT at Stambaugh American Legion Post 21, 212 Washington Ave. in Iron River.

Hike in the Trap Hills Oct. 6

View of the Ontonagon River. The river and fall colors will be part of a hike sponsored by Save the Wild UP and the Trap Hills Conservation Alliance on Sunday, Oct. 6. (Photos © and courtesy Margaret Comfort unless otherwise indicated.)

Save the Wild UP and the Trap Hills Conservation Alliance will sponsor a hike to the gorgeous Trap Hills (near Ewen and Bergland, Mich.) on Sunday, Oct. 6.  This time they will be hiking in the eastern end of the region.

Meet at 11 a.m. EDT at Old Victoria Museum near Rockland, Mich.

Meet at 11 a.m. Eastern Time at Old Victoria Historic site, 3.7 miles west of Rockland.

Those who so desire can take a guided tour of Old Victoria (former mining town) Museum and grounds for $4 per person. The group will then have lunch. Please bring a sack lunch and water bottle. Trail snacks, desserts, and hot apple cider will be provided.

Participants will then carpool to the launch site.

Once again, this will be a guided hike with botanist Steve Garske and retired wilderness ranger/geologist Doug Welker. The hike will include a visit to Gleason Falls. Stunning panoramic vistas abound!

Bluff east of Whiskey Hollow Creek in the Trap Hills. (Photo © and courtesy Doug Welker)

This is a MODERATE-DIFFICULTY, THREE-MILE hike of more than three hours, suitable for the entire family!

Following the hike, those who wish will have supper at Henry's in Rockland. Sandwiches, vegetarian selections, and homemade soup will be available. Self-pay.

Enjoy supper at Henry's Inn after the hike. Sally, Erica, and Cassandra will have your table waiting!

Carpooling is available  from your region!

SPACE IS LIMITED, SO PLEASE RSVP to Margaret Comfort at or call 906-250-3284. Once you RSVP, you will receive further information and directions to Old Victoria.

Editor's Note: Read about the August hike in the Trap Hills and see more photos in Save the Wild UP's article, "Kick-off celebration of U.P.’s Trap Hills huge success."

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Reflection Gallery to host opening reception for "Hidden Artists of Finlandia" Oct. 3

HANCOCK -- The Finlandia University Reflection Gallery, Hancock, will host an opening reception for the exhibit "Hidden Artists of Finlandia" from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. this Thursday, Oct. 3.

The reception is free and open to the public; refreshments will be served.

This exhibit showcases the artwork of Finlandia University faculty and students who are not part of the university’s International School of Art and Design (ISAD). It is on display from Oct. 3 to Oct. 31, 2013.

The Reflection Gallery is located on the second level of Finlandia’s Jutila Center campus, 200 Michigan Street, Hancock.

For information, call 487-7375.

Calumet Library Oct. 2 program cancelled; Friends of Calumet Library to hold meeting, music program

CALUMET -- The Calumet Library regrets to announce that the program, "Red Rocks and Ancient Cultures: Parks of the Great American Southwest," presented by Mike Pflaum, Keweenaw National Historical Park Superintendent and scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 2, has been cancelled. The library will reschedule it at a future date.

Friends of Calumet Library to meet Oct. 8

The regular monthly meeting of the Friends of the Calumet Library will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 8, in the library.

This is an open meeting, and the group welcomes new members and new ideas. There are many ways to lend a hand at the library: programming ideas, volunteer opportunities, the Red Jacket Readers book club, and more! Come find out what's ahead at the Calumet Public Library. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the library. Mark your calendar!

Oct. 16: Songs of 1913-1914 by the 1913 Singers

The 1913 Singers will present "Don’t Go Mine Down in the Mine, Dad" -- Songs of 1913-1914 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the CLK Commons with a reception to follow in the library. 

Music has been a steadfast part of the cultural fabric of the Keweenaw, binding concerns of family, church, politics, and work. "Don’t Go Mine Down in the Mine, Dad" -- Songs of 1913-14 will bring the audience not only local songs from the 1913-14 copper strike, but will include other thought-provoking favorites of the period. Join the 1913 Singers as they transport you back a hundred years or more via a magic lantern show of projected images and live music reflecting the period.

Use the library entrance at the school, and follow signs directing you to the Commons. All ages are welcome!

These events are sponsored by the Friends of the Calumet Public Library. For more information, visit the library or call 337-0311 ext. 1107. (In case of bad weather, when school is cancelled, all library programs are cancelled.)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Public invited to Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association events Oct. 4-6

[Editor's Update: The Keweenaw cruise mentioned below is unaffected by the government shutdown. Kristine Bradof will try to answer questions directed to the 482-7860 number. You may also leave a voice message at that number. One possible change might be the need to move the Friday, Oct. 4, geo-heritage program across the street to the Keweenaw Heritage Center at St. Anne's.]

HOUGHTON -- The Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association (IRKPA) invites the public to three Annual Membership Meeting events this week.

Friday to Sunday, Oct. 4-6, Calumet:

View from Brockway Mountain. (Photos courtesy Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association)

The Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association Keweenaw Photography Workshop will be led by Master Photographer Bob Guiliani. Registration is $350, which includes a scenic, narrated, historical boat cruise on the Keweenaw Waterway and opportunities to photograph Lake Superior shorelines, historic mine structures, lighthouses, views from Brockway Mountain Drive, sunrises, and sunsets. The workshop begins with an introduction and overview of basic photography techniques at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4, and concludes Sunday, Oct. 6, with discussions and critiques from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Click here for more information or call 906-482-7860.

Friday, Oct. 4, Calumet:

Houghton Geo-Walk sign near Keweenaw Waterway.

Michigan Tech Professor Emeritus Bill Rose will present "Growing Geo-heritage Tourism in the Keweenaw" at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, in the Keweenaw National Historical Park's Calumet Visitor Center, 98 Fifth St. If you've ever wondered how visitors (and residents!) can learn more about what's at the bottom of all that beautiful -- and historic -- scenery, this presentation is for you! Sponsored by the Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association, this event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, Oct. 5, Houghton:

The Isle Royale Queen IV, docked at the Houghton waterfront near the Portage Lift Bridge.

Take in the Keweenaw’s famous fall colors on a narrated cruise aboard the Isle Royale Queen IV as Michigan Tech Professors Emeriti Larry Lankton and Bill Rose present "The Life of a Lake: the Geologic and Human History of the Keweenaw Waterway" from 2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5. Check in at 1:30 p.m. at the Houghton waterfront west of the Lift Bridge across from Aspirus Keweenaw Medical Arts. This is a fundraiser for the Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association. Tickets are $25 ($20 for IRKPA members). Reservations are recommended: space is limited, and these speakers are popular! Purchase tickets online at or print registration form and mail check. Any unsold tickets will go on sale at the dock at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5. Call 482-7860 for information.

Finlandia to hold Fall 2013 community enrichment classes in Finnish language, music workshop

HANCOCK -- The Finlandia University Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, has announced its fall 2013 community enrichment class schedule.

Three 10-week Finnish language classes begin the week of October 7, 2013.*

Beginning Finnish, instructed by Hilary Virtanen, will meet on Mondays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Intermediate Finnish, instructed by Anna Leppänen, will meet on Tuesdays from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m.

Advanced Finnish, instructed by Hannu Leppänen, will meet on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The classes meet at the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy St. The cost is $50 per person, per class. Students may pre-register or register the first day of class.

In addition, a one-time accordion and fiddle workshop, presented by Sara Pajunen and Teija Niku of the folk music duo Aallotar, will take place from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Heritage Center on Saturday, Oct. 12. Pre-registration is required; the fee is $25 per person.

To obtain more information or to register for a class or workshop, call 906-487-7505.

* Editor's Note: This date is a correction. We regret posting an incorrect date earlier today.

Michigan Tech Center for Diversity and Inclusion announces events this week

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech's Center for Diversity and Inclusion announces several events happening this week:
  • The Society of African American Men (SAAM) will host their annual Men’s Week from Monday, Sept. 30, through Friday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. in MUB Ballroom A-2. Women are also encouraged to attend their events. For details about the events, visit their Facebook page.
  • Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (1100 College Ave.) will host Dianne Sprague on Wednesday, Oct. 2, to talk about her experience as a transwoman. Dinner will be offered at 6 p.m. with discussion to follow. Everyone is welcome.
  • Want to know how the state of Michigan ranks in terms of equality? Come to a presentation from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4, in MUB Ballroom B by Mark Bishop from the Michigan Department of Civil Rights as he looks at where we’re at, where we need to go, and how we can all help to get there. This is the first event of GLBTQ History Month! Click here for more info.
  • The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) will host a Noche Latina salsa dance from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, in the MUB Ballroom. Click here for more info.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Local high school student volunteers participate in Great Lakes Shoreline Cleanup

Keweenaw Community Foundation Youth Advisory Council (YAC) members and local high school student volunteers display the bags of trash they collected during the Sept. 21, 2013, Great Lakes Shoreline Cleanup along the Keweenaw Waterway (Portage Canal) near Michigan Tech University. (Photos © and courtesy Joan Chadde)

HOUGHTON -- Fourteen Keweenaw Community Foundation Youth Advisory Council (YAC) members and high school student volunteers from Houghton, Dollar Bay and Calumet High Schools participated in the Great Lakes Shoreline Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. The students removed seven bags of trash between Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center and Prince's Point along the City of Houghton's public walking/riding trail.

Students who participated were Elise Cheney, Vladi Kotov, Rylie Store, Brooke Basto, Emily Linn, Ingrid Flaspohler, Ryne Hocking, Kyle Archambeau, Kyra Neufeld, Chance Sche, Emma Brown, Ben Lilleskov, Joe Dobbs, Nick Vlahos, and Dan Gershenson.

Youth Advisory Council student volunteers sort trash during the Sept. 21 Great Lakes Shoreline Cleanup.

The Great Lakes Shoreline Cleanup, also called Adopt-a-Beach, is coordinated through the Alliance for the Great Lakes. Volunteers throughout the Great Lakes Basin in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois collect the trash and sort it into specified categories such as fast food wrappers, beverage cans, bottles, clothing, etc., and submit the data to a regional database.*

This year's collection yielded far fewer cigarette butts than in past years -- an encouraging sign!

YAC is comprised of Houghton County students in grades 8-12. The purpose of YAC is to strengthen the leadership and charitable commitment of youth by providing opportunities for them to develop solutions to serious problems. YAC has three goals: to engage youth in philanthropy, address the needs of local youth in Houghton and Keweenaw counties, and engage in community service.

Any student in the Copper Country in grades 8-12 can participate in YAC by contacting one of the YAC facilitators: Lois Jambekar at 482-8342 or or Joan Chadde at 487-3341 or

Contributions to the Youth Advisory Council are welcomed.**

* Click here to learn more about the Great Lakes Shoreline Cleanup.

** Click here to learn more about the Keweenaw Community Foundation Youth Advisory Council.