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, November 16, 2013

NOSOTROS to host Latin dance, free salsa lessons, TONIGHT, Nov. 16

Poster for tonight's NOSOTROS dance courtesy NOSOTROS.

HOUGHTON -- NOSOTROS will hold a Latin dance from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. TONIGHT, Saturday, Nov. 16, in the MUB Ballroom on the Michigan Tech campus. The dance will be preceded by free salsa lessons from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. No partner is needed. All levels are welcome. The event is free and open to the public.

Learn how to dance to Latin music and make new friends. You may also paint your face for celebrating "the day of the dead!"

NOSOTROS is a student organization established to create a "sense of community" of the Hispanic/Latin culture at Michigan Technological University, to share the Hispanic/Latin culture with the campus community and to provide a forum for the exchange of information pertinent for the Hispanic/Latino and non-Hispanic/Latino students enrolled in the university.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Linda Belote to speak on Ecuadorian women's folk art Nov. 18

Former Peace Corps Volunteer Linda Belote of Hancock is pictured here with Laura Quizhpe standing in La Mega Cooperativa Artesanal de los Saraguro's booth in Santa Fe, N.M., in July 2012. Belote will give a presentation on "La Mega Cooperativa Artesanal: How Ecuadorian Indian Women Found Economic Success through Hand-Woven Beadwork" on Monday, Nov. 18, at Michigan Tech. (Photos courtesy Linda Belote)

HOUGHTON -- Hosted by student organization Global City, local resident and former Peace Corps Volunteer (and former Michigan Tech Dean of Students) Linda Belote will present "La Mega Cooperativa Artesanal: How Ecuadorian Indian Women Found Economic Success through Hand-Woven Beadwork" from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.on Monday, Nov. 18, in Fisher 133 on the Michigan Tech campus.

Belote will tell the story of five indigenous women's organizations from highland Southern Ecuador who joined together in 2010 in order to bring their handwoven beadwork jewelry to an international market. Aided by Belote and other American friends, their communities' folk art and the story it tells has reached the US and beyond via the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Linda Belote, foreground, admires the display of beadwork made by Martha Lozano, the vendor pictured here on the plaza of downtown Saraguro, Ecuador, in August 2013.

Pizza and snacks will be provided, and the cooperative's beadwork will be available for purchase following the presentation. The public is welcome.

Global City is a student organization at Michigan Tech dedicated to providing a forum to address critical issues of human development such as economic development, resource distribution, and sustainability. Visit for more information.

Dianda calls to end prison food service privatization and help keep jobs in Michigan

LANSING -- State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) wrote an open letter today to Acting State Personnel Director Janet McClelland calling for an end to food service privatization in Michigan prisons. Dianda worked across the aisle to get the signatures of 13 other state representatives and three senators attached to the letter, which had bipartisan support.

On Sept. 18, stakeholders from across the correctional services industry testified before the Michigan Civil Service Commission against administration plans to outsource prison food services. In his letter, Dianda highlighted the evidence presented.

"The testimony and evidence submitted to the commission in September demonstrated that it would cost the state of Michigan more to outsource food services in our state prisons than it would to keep the services local," said Dianda. "The Department of Corrections (DOC) was mistaken when they alleged that privatizing these services would save the state any money."

Current in-state DOC vendors testified that outsourcing food provisions to out-of-state vendors would have devastating effects on their businesses and on Michigan’s economy as a whole, while correctional officers and managerial staff raised concerns that the proposed change would lead to violence. In addition to those concerns, legislators raised bicameral and bipartisan concerns about the manner in which the bidding process was handled.

Less than 24 hours after the extensive testimony and evidence was delivered, the governor announced that he intended to expedite the outsourcing of prison food services. Along with this announcement, the governor has said he wants not only to negotiate a contract with the private food service company Aramak, but to get that contract approved, signed and implemented before Dec.1 -- before the next meeting of the Civil Service Commission.

"The decision to outsource food services will lead to the elimination of classified positions and the subsequent layoff and bumping of hundreds of employees of varying seniority," Dianda said. "I therefore urge Ms. McClelland to stay any further action that involves implementing the Aramak contract in order to allow a full review provided by civil service rule and the state constitution."

Ski Club needs volunteers for Maasto trail reroute Nov. 16

HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (KNSC) volunteers will be constructing a trail reroute tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 16, behind the Old Apostolic Church due to a church expansion. Volunteers are needed to help brush, grub, trim, lop, cut and haul. Bring gloves, safety glasses, sturdy shoes and any water and food you need.

People will meet at Tomasi trailhead (adjacent to Hancock DPW on Tomasi drive) at 9:30 a.m. Show up at any time if you know where the trail is behind the church.

Questions?? Call Jay at 487-5411 or 370-1400 or Arlyn at 487-9229 or 370-2911.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

National Wolfwatcher Coalition: State officials ignore, destroy comments opposing Michigan wolf hunt

Photo of wolves courtesy Reprinted with permission.

EWEN, MICH. -- The National Wolfwatcher Coalition was shocked to learn that the Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) disregarded public input prior to deciding the rules and regulations for this year’s wolf hunt, which begins tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 15. This is in sharp contrast to other recent wildlife decisions which have been swayed by public opinion.

DNR officials admit to having never categorized the thousands of comments received.  Many were never even opened. Through a Freedom of Information request (FOIA), the National Wolfwatcher Coalition obtained the comments. They gathered a pool of volunteers and after deleting all duplicates sorted through 4,904 comments.

"Every way we looked at it, there was strong opposition to the wolf hunt," says Nancy Warren, National Wolfwatcher Coalition Great Lakes regional director. Over 3,600 comments opposing the hunt came from other states and even foreign countries, "so, we honed in just on Michigan residents," Warren adds.

Photo insert: Nancy Warren. (File photo by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

1,206 Michigan residents expressed opposition to the wolf hunt or aspects of it (99 percent) and only 13 Michigan residents wrote comments expressing support for the wolf hunt.

"Many individuals who we knew had submitted comments asking for a delay in the hunt were not shown in the database, so we dug further," Warren explained.

Buried among the messages was one in which J.R. Richardson, NRC Chairman, admitted to destroying thousands of comments prior to their becoming part of public record. There was also an email from Adam Bump, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) bear and furbearer specialist, who instructed a DNR employee to place the comments in a "shred" folder -- which is a type of delete file that cannot be recovered.

"We will never know how many individuals submitted personal comments," Warren notes, "but we know that in their rush to push through the wolf hunt, the basic principles of democracy were ignored."*

The National Wolfwatcher Coalition is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting positive attitudes about wolves through education. This nationwide organization represents not only Michigan residents but others who recreate in the state and purchase Michigan products.

*Editor's Notes:
See "Guest column: Is Michigan's wolf hunt necessary?" by Nancy Warren, published this morning, Nov. 14, 2013, on MLive. In this article, Warren gives details on wolf depredations in Michigan and how they have been handled through wolf management without a wolf hunt.

On Nov. 11, 2013, the Center for Biological Diversity, a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 20,000 Michigan members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places, sent a letter to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and DNR Director Keith Creagh concerning these same incidents in which comments from their supporters opposing the wolf hunt were destroyed. They refer to the facts reported by MLive's John Barnes in his article, "Crying wolf: Michigan's first hunt heavily influenced by outside interests; follow the money," Michigan Live (Nov. 6, 2011).

In the letter to state officials, Collette L. Adkins Giese, Center for Biological Diversity staff attorney, writes, "Wolves are a public natural resource and the public deserves a voice in how Michigan wolves are managed. We are very disappointed that comments from our members and supporters appear to have been disregarded by Michigan state officials. We would appreciate a response from you."

Cantus to perform "All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914" at Rozsa Nov. 16

HOUGHTON -- The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and Minnesota Public Radio will proudly present Cantus: All is Calm, the Christmas Truce of 1914 at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16. "All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914," by Peter Rothstein, with musical arrangements by Erick Licthe and Timothy C. Takach, recalls the remarkable World War I truce between Allied Forces and German soldiers on Christmas eve, 1914.

This true story took place as both sides began to sing "Silent Night" in the trenches on Christmas eve. Cantus and Theatre Latte Da tell the story in new arrangements of European Christmas carols and war songs.

According to Tom Huizenga, music producer, reporter and blogger for NPR Music, "Cantus means singing in Latin, but it also refers to an old European tradition. A student group who gathered to sing traditional songs and drink beer was once called a 'cantus.' This modern-day group of Minnesotans, (presumably not strangers to good beer on dark winter nights!) indeed got its start in 1995 as a student singing group at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn."

Considered by some to be "the premier men’s vocal ensemble" in the United States (Fanfare), Cantus is committed to inspiring audiences with music performed at the highest level. The Washington Post hails the ensemble’s sound as having both "exalting finesse" and "expressive power," and refers to their music-making as "spontaneous grace."

In addition to the performance, there will be a free pre-show discussion in the Rozsa Lobby at 6:30 p.m. with WGGL program host Jeff Esworthy and members of Cantus, and the performance will be followed by a post-show Christmas reception in the Rozsa Lobby. This performance is sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio, and each ticket will include admission to the concert and a CD of the music by Cantus. To make the evening compete, enjoy a special "pre-show" dinner at the Shelden Grill, in the Magnuson Franklin Square Inn, featuring a unique menu, and buy-one-get-one-half-off prices for anyone with tickets to the Cantus performance. For dinner reservations, please call the Shelden Grill at (906) 482-4882.

Tickets for the performance are on sale now. Please call (906) 487-2073, go online at or visit Ticketing Operations at Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex (SDC). Tickets are $19; youth (17 and under) are $8; and Michigan Tech students $5. Please note the Rozsa Box Office is closed during regular business hours, and will only open two hours prior to show times.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Friends of Portage Library to hold Harvest Book Sale Nov. 15, 16

HOUGHTON -- The Friends of the Portage Lake District Library invite all book lovers to their Harvest Book Sale from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday evening, Nov. 15, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16.

New and gently used books for children and adults will be sold to raise money for library projects and items that the Friends provide. The selection of books is excellent and will make great gifts for the holidays.

Projects that the Friends of the Library have done include buying books, furniture, the Children’s Listening Center, and other materials. Proceeds from book sales also pay for annual events sponsored by the Friends of the Library including the Salsa Contest, the Summer’s Bounty Social, Scrabble Tournaments, Blind Date with a Book, and the Friendship Tea.

Information on how to become involved with the Friends will be available at the book sale. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Finlandia's Nordic Film series continues with films on lutefisk Nov. 14

HANCOCK -- On Thursday, Nov. 14, Finlandia University’s Finnish American Heritage Center will screen a pair of short films about lutefisk as part of its Nordic Film Series.

In Where the Sacred Meets the Quivering Profane: Exploring the Public and Private Spheres of Lutefisk and Fishin’ for Tradition: The Lutefisk Saga, viewers will take a look at the tradition of lutefisk as it exists among Norwegian-Americans in the Upper Midwest. The films will be shown at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the Finnish American Heritage Center, located at 435 Quincy Street in Hancock. These presentations are free and open to the public. For more information call 906-487-7549.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Swedetown Trails Club to hold annual meeting, trails presentation Nov. 12

CALUMET -- The Swedetown Trails Club will hold its annual all-member meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the Swedetown Chalet in Calumet. Guest Gene La Rochelle will share interesting facts about the area around the trails. Gene has been hiking around Swedetown since the 40s and skiing there since 1963. He developed an interest in local history and you are sure to learn something new.

A short business meeting will be held to elect officers. A recommended revision of the Club's Bylaws will be presented for adoption. All Swedetown season pass holders for 2013 are members and are eligible to vote. Both the 1993 Club bylaws and the new version recommended for adoption can be read or printed out from this web page:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Rozsa to present Soundscape Ecologist Bernie Krause Nov. 12

HOUGHTON -- What is soundscape ecology? It is the "Great Animal Orchestra," the sounds of wild places that have been the focus of Dr. Bernie Krause’s research for decades. The Rozsa Center is proud to present an evening with Dr. Bernie Krause at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12. This event is free, and is sponsored by the Mark Eugene Howard Endowment and in collaboration with the Michigan Tech Department of Visual And Performing Arts.

The emergent field of Soundscape Ecology reveals what nature sounds tell us about today’s changing eco-systems -- and the creatures that dwell in them. Since 1968, Wild Sanctuary has traveled the globe to record, archive, research, and express the voice of the natural world -- its soundscape. These increasingly rare sounds of the wild inform and enrich our specialized efforts from the field to public performance.

"Bernie Krause and his niche theory are the real thing. His originality, research and above all basic knowledge of the sound environments in nature are impressive." -- E. O. WILSON

This event is free; however, due to limited seating we recommend ticket reservations. To receive tickets, call (906) 487-2073, order here online, or visit Ticketing Operations at Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex (SDC). Please note the Rozsa Box Office is closed during regular business hours, and will only open two hours prior to show times.

Isle Royale National Park to hold public meetings on wolf management beginning Nov. 12 in Houghton

Wolves of Isle Royale. (Photo by Rolf Peterson and courtesy Reprinted with permission.)*

HOUGHTON -- This month Isle Royale National Park will hold a series of public meetings to discuss the status of wolf management on the island. During the meetings, the Natural Resources team will present information about the history of wolves on Isle Royale, climate change implications, and current and future status. The presentation will be followed by an opportunity for the public to discuss natural resources, ecology, climate change, and wildlife management as well as ask questions and provide comments to park staff.*

"Isle Royale has a long-standing history of broad ecosystem management," commented Park Superintendent Phyllis Green. "I hope the public takes this opportunity to become more informed on the natural resources of the island."

The first of these meetings will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. this Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the Franklin Square Inn, 820 Shelden Ave., Houghton. The presentation will begin at 3:30 p.m. followed by an open house.

Additional public meetings will be held as follows:

Public Meeting 2: Chelsea, Michigan
Date: Thursday, Nov. 14,  2013
Location: Chelsea Depot, 125 Jackson Street
Time: 3 p.m. -5 p.m. (Presentation at 3:30 p.m. followed by open house)

Public Meeting 3: St. Paul, Minnesota
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 19,  2013   
Location: TBA. 
Time: 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. (Presentation at 3:30 p.m. followed by open house)

Public Meeting 4: Duluth, Minnesota
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013
Location: Environmental Protection Agency Mid-Continent Ecology Division Laboratory, 6201 Congdon Boulevard
Time: 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. (Presentation at 3:30 p.m. followed by open house)

* Editor's Note:  According to Rolf Peterson, co-director of the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Study, the National Park Service (NPS) is considering three options: (1) do nothing, even if wolves go extinct; (2) allow wolves to go extinct (if that is what they do), and then introduce a new wolf population; or (3) conserve Isle Royale wolves with an action known as genetic rescue by bringing some wolves to the island to mitigate inbreeding. See "Message from Rolf Peterson: Public input needed on future of Isle Royale wolves," posted on Keweenaw Now Oct. 11, 2013.

Genealogical Society to celebrate 14th anniversary at Nov. 12 meeting

HOUGHTON -- At its November meeting, the Houghton-Keweenaw County Genealogical Society will be celebrating its 14th anniversary. There will be cake and punch, with an opportunity for conversation and networking. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton. It is open to the public.

For information, call 906-369-4083 or email