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Thursday, March 06, 2014

Celebrate Youth Arts Month 2014 at Community Arts Center

"Chinese New Year Dragon," by Chloe Hohnholt, Grade 1, Houghton Elementary School. (Photos courtesy Copper Country Community Arts Center)

HANCOCK -- The Copper Country Community Arts Center (CCCAC) in Hancock is featuring artwork from area elementary, middle, and high school students March 8-29 for Celebrate Youth Arts Month 2014. An opening reception will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 8 at the Arts Center.

"Long-Legged Birds," by Damien Heikkinen, Grade 2, South Range Elementary School.

The Youth Gallery and the Kerredge Gallery at the CCCAC will be filled floor to ceiling with local youth art.  March is a time when our young artists get to shine. And it’s a time not only to celebrate youth art, but to appreciate the art teachers who work throughout the school year encouraging and inspiring their students.

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

Hancock Tori (Market) to be open March 8 at First United Methodist Church

HANCOCK -- The Hancock Tori (Market) will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 8, at the First United Methodist Church next to the Quincy Green, downtown Hancock.

Check out some hand-crafted items by local artisans -- and more. All are welcome.

Portage Library invites kids to Dr. Seuss celebration

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library invites children of all ages to a "Dr. Seuss Extravaganza" at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 8. This annual event will celebrate the anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ birthday and the whimsical magic of his stories.

This event is sponsored by members of Michigan Tech’s Circle K Service Organization. Circle K students will read classic Dr. Seuss stories and lead the kids in decorating Cat in the Hat cookies with a Dr. Seuss-ish flourish. Gluten-free cookies that are made in a dedicated kitchen will also be available.

Circle K International Service Organization looks for opportunities for service, leadership, and friendship. Their wide range of projects includes activities such as picking up trash on highways, playing board games with the elderly and doing story times.

Library programs are free and open to all. For more information, call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Khana Khazana to serve Nepalese, Syrian and Korean cuisine Friday, March 7

HOUGHTON -- Khana Khazana will feature Nepalese, Syrian and Korean food this Friday, March 7. Aadarsh Upreti will cook Nepalese Chicken Momo, a fried dumpling filled with spiced chicken and onion stuffing served with pickled veggies; Roba Bdeir will present Basbouseh, a sweet Mediterranean cake made of cooked semolina, coconut and yogurt that is soaked in sugar syrup and topped off with almonds. Korean kimchi soup, a spicy and sour Korean traditional soup made of vegetables with variety of seasonings, will also be served.

The weekly international lunch is served in Michigan Tech's Memorial Union Food Court from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A full meal costs $6.95, with individual dishes available for $2.50 each.

Khana Khazana is a collaboration of international students and Michigan Tech Dining Services.

First Friday in Calumet to feature new art exhibits March 7

CALUMET -- First Friday in Calumet, March 7, will offer several new exhibits, receptions, music and art activities -- some with a theme based on the recent Copper Dog race, held last weekend.

Dog Art Show at Galerie Bohème

"Race," woodcut reduction by Margo McCafferty and Tom Rudd. (Photo courtesy Galerie Bohème)

Galerie Bohème will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on First Friday, March 7, and will feature The Dog Art Show: color pencil and pen and ink drawings by Cynthia Coté, drawings on Herculene by Joyce Koskenmaki , casein paintings from Margo McCafferty, wooden copper dog by Tom Rudd, and dog woodcuts from Tom and Margo.

"We will have some new works, artworks that weren't in last Friday's show, but still with the dog theme in mind," says Rudd. "If you're in town stop by and peruse some unique dog art. Have a bread, cracker, cheese and a plastic cup of something, see and talk to friends and art lovers."

Galerie Bohème is at 423 Fifth St. in Calumet.   

Open Studio at Calumet Art Center

The Calumet Art Center will offer an Open Studio from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. this First Friday. Start, continue or finish that art project that you are working on. The Center offers plenty of space. Find your inspiration while touring their clay, glass bead making and weaving studios. Come and see some of the wonderful projects students have been working on. The Gallery has several examples of the latest Snowbank Smoke Fired pottery, paintings and woodcuts for sale. The Calumet Art Center is at 57055 Fifth Street. Email for information.

"Let the Dogs Out!" at Paige Wiard Gallery

Drawings and paintings of favorite dogs are on exhibit this month at the Paige Wiard Gallery in Calumet. (Photo courtesy Paige Wiard Gallery)

March is the month for the Copperdog 150, so join the Paige Wiard Gallery to celebrate how amazing dogs are! During the month of March artists will be displaying not only sled dogs but the dogs that are near and dear to their hearts! So stop in and see the amazing dogs that have touched the lives of the artists in the gallery. An opening reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 7 in the Gallery at 109 5th street, Calumet. If there are any questions, please call 337-5970 or email

UPDATE: Author Laura Smyth will be signing her book, Adventures in the U.P. (all four Jack-o'-lantern stories in one book, including the sled dog adventure) during the First Friday art reception at the Paige Wiard Gallery. Is there a young dog lover on your shopping list? Or a transplanted Yooper who might enjoy a little taste of the U.P.? Check out Jack's adventures in this collection of four stories, each prefaced with a young-reader-friendly article explaining ideas in natural science and history. Perfect for teachers, parents, home schoolers and kids of any age.

Learn calligraphy at Copper Country Associated Artists

Calligraphy by Millie Little. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Associated Artists)

Learn the fine art of calligraphy, a beautiful way to write the alphabet and create a signature, with Calumet artist Millie Little during a March 7 First Friday workshop at Copper Country Associated Artists Gallery, 205 Fifth St. Supplies will be provided, but space is limited and participants should be at least 13 years old. Stop from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and try your hand at this program. This event is free and open to the public, but donations are welcome.

Hand-knit items by Karena Schmidt at Cross Country Sports

Work by Karena Schmidt will be featured at Cross Country Sports for the month of March and at an Open House from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, March 7. Karena is an accomplished fiber artist and designer, specializing in one of a kind, wearable winter garments including hand-knit sweaters, hats, felted mittens, and accessories. Karena's unique designs celebrate the flora and fauna of the Keweenaw and reflect a deep connection to nature. Her intricately knit stitches are reminiscent of traditional Scandinavian patterns where each motif is intended to convey a precious meaning to the artist or the wearer.

This month Cross Country Sports will have some of Karena's beautiful and whimsical knit hats in the shop as well as some springtime festive decorated gift boxes which Karena makes to celebrate the seasons and her love of nature. Cross Country Sports is at 507 Oak Street in Calumet. For more information call 906-337-4520.

"Omphale Goes to the Dogs" at Omphale Gallery and Café

"Omphale Goes to the Dogs" is a mixed media dog-themed exhibition featuring the work of a range of Keweenaw artists. Stop in between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. for art, music and refreshments at the Omphale Gallery and Café, 431 Fifth St.

Café Rosetta features art by Dave Walli

Café Rosetta at 104 Fifth St. is exhibiting pictures by Dave Walli. A poetry reading may be possible Friday, March 7. The Café will be open until 8 p.m.

Editor's Note: Thanks to Laura Smyth of Main Street Calumet for sharing information about these activities via Facebook.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Calumet's Swedetown Trails ready for Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon March 8, Junior Bear Chase March 7

Skiers climb one of the more challenging hills at Swedetown Trails during a previous Great Bear Chase race. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)

CALUMET -- Skiers and organizers are hoping for warmer temperatures for the Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon this Saturday, March 8, and the Junior Bear Chase Friday, March 7, at Swedetown Trails in Calumet.

Cold temperatures and snow have been a challenge, but the Swedetown trails are well groomed and ready for the races. Saturday's races include 50 km Freestyle, 50 km Classic, 25 km Freestyle, 25 km Classic, 10 km Freestyle and 10 km Classic.

"This year’s high snowfall has required more grooming passes to keep the base packed nice and firm," Swedetown Trails Club President Cynthia MacDonald said. "Also, the snow load on the trees has required the groomers to clean up some downed trees and spend more time trimming overhanging limbs."

The groomers have been busy, and the reward is a base of snow that’s about as good as anyone could ask for. Groomer Pat Szubielak, who is also organizing Swedetown's third annual Snow Bike Race, said there’s no doubt the depth is at least three feet. MacDonald said in the woods it’s likely that it’s no less than four feet.

"All I keep hearing from people is that the base is terrific," MacDonald said. "This is one year where we certainly don’t have to worry about losing our base in March. We’ll be skiing all of March, and likely beyond."

Click here to register on line for the race.

Volunteers still needed

"We are still in need of about 40 volunteers for the Great Bear Chase this Saturday, March 8!" Angela Luskin of Portage Health announced early this week. "Please consider donating a few hours of your time to support a great local event."

Contact Luskin at if you have questions on positions. To volunteer, fill out the form at the following link: Positions and shifts that may still be needed are below:

De-Chipper 12-3 p.m.
Bag Attendant 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Chipper 7 a.m.-10 a.m.
Back-up Timer 12-3 p.m.
Fire Tender 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Registration Friday 2 p.m.-5 p.m., 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Beer Server 11a.m.-3 p.m.
Banquet Set-up 8 a.m.-10 a.m.
Banquet Assistant 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Result Printer 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Aid Stations 7:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m., 8 a.m.-9:45 a.m., 8:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Ski Pole Attendant 7:45 a.m.-10 a.m.
Stadium Crew 6 a.m.-8 a.m., 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Parking Assistant 6:30 a.m.-9 a.m.
25K Forerunner on skis 7:15 a.m.
25K Sweep on skis 10 a.m.

Ski Tigers to host Junior Bear Chase March 7

The Copper Country Ski Tigers are once again hosting the Junior Bear Chase on Friday night, March 7. Registration for the event will run from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Swedetown Trails Chalet. Races will start shortly after 5 p.m.

Read all of the details on the Junior Bear Chase, including information on how to save 30 percent by registering ahead of time, by going to

Great Bear Square Dance to be held at Laurium Ballroom March 8

The  5th Annual Great Bear Square Dance will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at the Laurium Ballroom, 310 Hecla Street in Laurium (across from Miller Lanes, above the Police Dept.)

The caller is Donn Christensen who comes from the Washburn, Wis., area to ski the race and then call squares, circles, contras, etc. This is a community dance open to all. $5 per dancer appreciated.

Read more about the Great Bear Chase at

Club Indigo to feature "The Quiet Man" March 7 at Calumet Theatre

By Joe Kirkish*

CALUMET -- The Quiet Man is Club Indigo's choice for March at the Calumet Theatre -- this Friday, March 7 -- as the annual tribute to the wearin' of the green.

The movie, now considered one of the most memorable uses of Ireland as its base, was created, ironically (and well), as a labor of love from Hollywood's Republic Studios; and the cast is comprised of Hollywood stars mixed in with some of the best from the Auld Sod as well. The result: the kind of classic that American audiences never tire of seeing over and over.

John Wayne performs to tell the story of Sean Thornton (John Wayne), who was born in Inisfree, went to Pittsburgh where he became a prize fighter, then left to settle in his homeland with a dark secret accompanying him. There he meets a charming red-headed beauty, Mary Kate (Maureen O'Hara), and after a tempestuous initial relationship they fall in love. Despite her brother's reluctance to a wedding, and thanks to the good offices of a wily marriage broker, the priest, the vicar, and the townspeople -- and after a wildly rousing homeland go-around -- the film settles down to the makings of a lively romantic comedy. But not before director John Ford has his pleasure in creating the battle-to-end-all-Irish-set-battles to complete this decidedly Hibernian tribute to historic film making.

With a supporting cast including Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond, Victor McGlaglen, and Mildred Natwick, how could the film not succeed?  But with cinematographer Winton Hock's gorgeously shot scenery and Victor Young's appropriately Irish music, the film's historic place in great film making has been cinched.

The movie begins at 7:15 p.m., preceded at 6 p.m. by a Hibernian buffet from the Irish Times, including corned beef specially imported from Dublin. (For those not eating meat during Lent, a special, also appropriate, substitute will be supplied.) Cost for both food and film, $20. Film alone, $5. There is a special discount for kids ten and under.

The Quiet Man has been sponsored by the Shelden Grill, Houghton, and the Irish Times, Laurium. For seating at the buffet, call the Calumet Theatre before 5 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at 337-2610.

*Author Joe Kirkish, host of the Club Indigo film series, is a local photographer and film critic.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Portage Library to host Keweenaw Garden Club presentation on composting March 3

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host the Keweenaw Garden Club for an evening of learning how to turn food and yard waste into "black gold" for your garden.

Matt Manders will present "The Dirt on Composting" from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, March 3. Manders has been growing an organic vegetable garden and using composting techniques for over a decade in the Houghton area. He and his wife, Lynette Potvin, own and operate Superior Skills Workshops, which offers hands-on learning about gardening, landscaping, craftsman construction, and renewable energy.

The Keweenaw Garden Club was established by and for gardening enthusiasts. They have meetings and presentations at the Portage Lake District Library on the first Monday of each month. Those who are interested in learning more about the club are welcome to attend the general meeting at 6:30 p.m. prior to the presentation at 7 p.m. or visit

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