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 23, 2013

Last Revel to perform bluegrass, country roots, more at Orpheum Theater TONIGHT, Nov. 23

HANCOCK -- The Last Revel will be performing at the Orpheum tonight, Saturday, Nov. 23, with their great blend of Americana, Bluegrass, Porch Music and Country Roots music. Music starts around 8 p.m. $8 or $5 for seniors, students and kids gets you in!!

"It's gonna be great," says Mike Shupe, Orpheum owner. "Check out to listen to their tunes!

The Orpheum Theater is at 426 Quincy St. in downtown Hancock. Call 906-482-5100 for more information.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friends of Brockway Mountain to hold meeting Nov. 26, Pizza Party Benefit Dec. 14

HOUGHTON -- Friends of Brockway Mountain invite all interested persons to a meeting at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26, at the new Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District Office (HKCD) at 711 W. Lakeshore Drive in Houghton. You may park on the driveway in front of the three-car garage.

The purpose of this meeting is to get organized for the study for alternatives to the proposed Brockway Mountain cell tower and particularly the fund-raising plan.

Dana Richter, president of Copper Country Audubon (CCA), has obtained approval from its board for CCA to be the fiscal agent for this project. In addition, the CCA board has allocated up to $1000 in matching funds.

Lori Hauswirth has posted the project on Facebook.* Anyone who wants to help fund this project should send a check to Copper Country Audubon dedicated to the Friends of Brockway Tower Study. Mail your check to the following address:

Copper Country Audubon
Friends of Brockway Tower Study
PO Box 124
Houghton, MI 49931

Friends of Brockway Pizza Party Benefit Dec. 14, Copper Harbor

Friends of Brockway will hold a Pizza Party Benefit at 5 p.m. Saturday evening, Dec. 14, 2013, at The Mariner in Copper Harbor.
Everyone is invited. Gail English, Erika Vye and Steve Brimm will provide music. Proceeds will go to fund the study for alternatives to the proposed Brockway cell tower.

Please share with anyone who is interested.

*Click here to visit the Friends of Brockway Mountain Facebook page.

Keweenaw Harp Ensemble to premiere Nov. 23 at Christmas Bazaar in Calumet

Harps will be decorated for the holidays at the Nov. 23 Premiere of the Keweenaw Harp Ensemble at Calumet High School. (Photo courtesy Sidney Butler)

CALUMET -- Come one, come all! to the Premiere of the Keweenaw Harp Ensemble from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. TOMORROW, Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Old-Fashioned Christmas Bazaar, Calumet High School.

Three strikingly beautiful harpists will perform an unforgettable program of enchanting music on their scintillating harps decked out for the season!

The songs will include the following:
- "Cricket Song"
- "Lightly Row"
- "Go Tell Aunt Rhody"
- "Silent Night"
- "Star of County Down"

Harpist Sidney Butler will perform a solo of "Star of County Down," an old Irish ballad that will melt your heart.

The program will be brief, so be there at 11 a.m. SHARP.

"We  will repeat once, but don't miss it!" Butler says. "You will want to hear it again and again and again. The captivating sound of the harp ensemble will fill the air!"

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Silent art auction, poetry workshop and reading, music by Rhythm 203 -- Nov. 21 at Finnish American Heritage Center

Rhythm 203 will perform TONIGHT at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock, following a poetry workshop and reading by U.P. Poet Laureate, Russell Thorburn. Rhythm 203 members, from left, are Sue Ellen Kingsley, Phyllis Fredendall and Norm Kendall -- pictured here at a Churning Rapids Fourth of July celebration. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK -- Rhythm 203 will perform at 8 p.m. TONIGHT, Thursday, Nov. 21, in the Finnish-American Heritage Center Theater as part of the silent art auction sponsored by the Young Women's Caucus for Art.

The performance follows the poetry workshop (6 p.m.) and reading (7 p.m.) by U. P. Poet Laureate, Russell Thorburn.

During the workshop and continuing until 9 p.m., artwork by Joyce Koskenmaki, Cynthia Coté, Suzanne Kilpela, Yueh-mei Cheng, Phyllis Fredendall, Kenyon Hansen, Lindsey Heiden, Melanie Houghton, Shelby Winter, and others from the community will be up for silent auction bids.

The event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Community Arts Center to hold reception for Shaft and Junior Shaft exhibit on mining Nov. 22

HANCOCK -- The Copper Country Community Arts Center announces the 20th annual Shaft, a community exhibit on mining, on view in the Kerredge Gallery through Nov. 30. The Copper Country’s mining history and the traces of it that create our landscape inspire a range of artistic expression. The following artists participated in this year’s exhibition: Ron Gratz, Jack Oyler, Tammy Toj Gajewski, Joyce Koskenmaki, Kanak Nanavati, Bob Dawson, jd slack, Phyllis Fredendall, Eric Munch, Leona Blessing, Sue Hamilton, Cynthia Coté, Clyde Mikkola, and Georgi Tsenov.

Also on display in the Community Arts Center is the Junior Shaft in the Youth Art Gallery featuring artwork by Hancock High School students.

The reception for the Shaft and Junior Shaft will be from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. this Friday, Nov. 22. Visitors are invited to vote for their favorite piece. Cash prizes will be awarded by public choice and will be announced the first week in December. The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. Call 482-2333 for more information.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra to perform "Once Upon a Time" at Portage Lake United Church Nov. 21

HOUGHTON -- Did you know that every fall, the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra (KSO) performs more intimate, free, informal concerts at a local church? This week, the KSO continues their "Fall KSO Recital Series" with a concert titled "Once Upon a Time" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Portage Lake United Church in Houghton.

Admission is free; however, a $5 donation at the door is suggested to support both the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra and the Portage Lake United Church.

This recital's theme -- Once Upon a Time -- invites beautiful and compelling vocal and instrumental music, including performances of fiddle music, opera, classical guitar, piano and flute solos; and piano trio. The KSO, with Joel Neves, conductor, has been a mainstay of the Upper Peninsula arts scene for over thirty years. The KSO counts among its musicians Michigan Tech students, faculty, and staff; community artists; and guest professionals from throughout the Upper Midwest.

The Portage Lake United Church is at 1400 E. Houghton Avenue, across from the Michigan Tech campus.

From Tech Today: Help Feed a Hungry Neighbor

Posted Nov. 19, 2013, on Tech Today

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech's Dining Services and the university's Van Pelt and Opie Library are partnering to provide food for the Western Upper Peninsula Food Bank. Donate two nonperishable items today, Tuesday, Nov. 19, or tomorrow, Nov. 20, at the Library and IT Service Center on campus and receive a free 12 oz. coffee from the Library Café.

For further information, call 487-2508 or email

Monday, November 18, 2013

North Woods Conservancy's Save Keweenaw Beaches fundraiser underway now through Jan. 9

North Woods Conservancy's beach at Seven-Mile Point, on Lake Superior's Keweenaw shoreline, is one of several properties the conservancy has purchased for public access and preservation. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

CALUMET -- The North Woods Conservancy (NWC) is participating in the CrowdRise Holiday Challenge fundraiser in order to help save several Keweenaw beaches and natural areas NWC is hoping to protect for conservation and public access. It started at noon TODAY, Nov. 18, and runs through Jan. 9, 2014.

NWC is protecting $10 million worth of Lake Superior shoreline in the Keweenaw Peninsula -- nearly two miles of bedrock, cobble, and sand beaches fronting about 1,000 acres. They need to raise $500,000 to complete the last purchase.  Help keep these incredibly scenic, biologically diverse, and ecologically significant areas open for public access and wildlife -- including some of the best agate-picking in the state.

At the August 2013 Houghton County Fair, North Woods Conservancy's Kate Griffith hosts the NWC information booth with photos of some of the Keweenaw natural areas the conservancy hopes to protect and keep open for public access in perpetuity. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

The goal of the fundraiser is to get 50,000 people to donate $10 each and raise $500,000.

This sounds like a lot, but here's how it can work: 250 people will donate $10, each of those 250 then get 10 of their friends and family to donate $10, then each of those 10 people get 5 of their friends and family to donate, and finally each of those 5 people get 4 more to donate. So, 250x10x5x4 = 50,000 $10 donors = $500,000.

Clearly, it's possible, but it requires 1) YOU to donate $10 and 2) YOU to get (at least) 10 of your friends to donate, and so on.

"The reason I think this can be successful is that it's an easy ask -- anybody can donate $10, one time," says John Griffith, NWC president. "Plus with social media, everybody has an email/FB/Twitter list to easily contact to get the 'next 10.'"

Click HERE to donate $10, and then get 10 of your family and friends to donate too by forwarding this link or pasting it on your social media page:

Donors can make their own CrowdRise page to forward to their contact list. It is not necessary to make your own page. You can just donate $10 and then forward the link to your family and friends, but it would be better if you did because then you can keep track and make sure that at least 10 of your contacts donate.

To create your own fundraising page, simply go to and click the FUNDRAISE FOR THIS CAMPAIGN button and you'll instantly have your own fundraising page as a part of the Team. (Or click JOIN THE TEAM).

"It would be great if the first 250 folks to donate through the NWC fundraising page would each make their own fundraising page and get 10 friends to donate $10 each," said NWC Board Member and Volunteer Treasurer Jane Griffith. "Alternatively, you don't actually have to donate to make your own fundraising page, so you can do the fundraising without any money from your own pocket -- just Join The Team  and create the page."

There are prizes! The top team wins $100,000, 2nd place gets $40,000, and 3rd $20,000.  If NWC meets its goal, you have a good chance to win one of theses prizes. And the NWC is giving prizes too:  the top page gets an "In the Moment" print, 2nd place gets a week at the Conglomerate Falls cabin and 3rd place gets a weekend at the CF cabin.*

For more information visit or email

* Editor's Notes:

Click here to read more about "In the Moment" prints by NWC board member and nationally renowned oil artist Robert Leland Pence.

Read about the Conglomerate Falls cabin here.

Portage Library announces Thanksgiving holiday closing Nov. 28, 29

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 28, and Friday, Nov. 29, for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Library Director and staff wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Michigan Tech's Center for Diversity and Inclusion: Events on campus this week

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech's Center for Diversity and Inclusion announces several campus events happening this week:

Alpha Gamma Delta is hosting a fundraiser for diabetes research and awareness TODAY, Monday, Nov. 18. Please stop by the Michigan Tech library café today. An anonymous donor will match all sales at the café today up to $5,000.

Global City will host local resident and former Peace Corps Volunteer Linda Belote who will present "La Mega Cooperativa Artesanal: How Ecuadorian Indian Women Found Economic Success through Hand-Woven Beadwork" at 6:30 p.m. TONIGHT, Monday, Nov. 18, in Fisher 133. Refreshments will be provided and the cooperative's beadwork will be for sale. Click here for details.

Michigan Tech's USG (Undergraduate Student Government) is hosting an open forum on "The Future of Higher Education in Michigan." Representative Scott Dianda and a representative from State Senator Tom Casperson’s office will be present to answer questions from students. The event will be at 7 p.m. TONIGHT, Monday, Nov. 18, in 202 Great Lakes Research Center.

 Keweenaw Pride will host a film screening of Southern Comfort at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20, in Fisher 135 in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance. There will be free admission and concessions. For more information, visit

Sunday, November 17, 2013

MTU News: $1.45 Million Study to Address the Northbound Flow of Airborne Toxins

By Marcia Goodrich, Michigan Tech Magazine Editor
Posted November 13, 2013, on Michigan Tech News
Reprinted in part with permission

Half of the people in Greenland have toxic levels of PCBs in their blood. A harmful cocktail of contaminants, including mercury and dioxin, has led to fish consumption advisories in all of the Great Lakes, including Superior.

Pollutants like these find their way north via a complex web of human and natural systems. Now, a team led by Michigan Technological University’s Judith Perlinger is working on a three-year project to better understand how those systems interact and find ways to address the problem.

The study partners include MIT, the Desert Research Institute and Boston University, as well as Michigan Tech. Funded by a $1.45 million grant from the National Science Foundation, they are focusing on three types of pollutants that have something in common: they leapfrog to their ultimate destination, hitching rides on atmospheric currents, landing back on Earth, and becoming airborne again, eventually concentrating in the north. The group will be studying mercury, polychlorinated biphenyl compounds (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Together, they are known as atmosphere-surface exchangeable pollutants, or ASEPs.

"There are thousands of ASEPs, and they get all over the Earth, even in places where they have never been used or produced," said Perlinger, a professor of civil and environmental engineering. "They stay in the environment for a long time, they tend to accumulate in people and wildlife, and as a result they can be very toxic, even though they are present at low concentrations in the environment."

There’s a disconnect between where ASEPs are made and used and where they end up, which makes their regulation challenging. ... Click here to read the rest of this article on the Michigan Tech News.
Photo inset: Judith Perlinger, Michigan Tech professor of civil and environmental engineering and study team leader. (Photo courtesy Michigan Tech University)

Finlandia Reflection Gallery calls for artwork on food; deadline for entries is Nov. 22

HANCOCK -- Finlandia University Reflection Gallery is looking for artwork inspired by food, the consumption of it, manufacturing of it, thoughts/ideas about it. Any media is accepted, including visual art, writing, poetry, performance, and installation. Collaboration is encouraged.

Entry Deadline and Delivery:
All artwork must be hand delivered to the Finlandia University Reflection Gallery on the 2nd floor of the Jutila Center in Hancock (200 Michigan Street) between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday Nov. 21, or between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22 or by appointment prior to Nov. 21. Please mark all work with an arrow to indicate the top of the work. There is no entry fee. Limit of three entries per person. All artwork must be suitable for gallery presentation. Gallery staff reserves the right to make final exhibition decisions.

Click here for details.  For more information email or visit Finlandia Reflection Gallery on Facebook.