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, October 03, 2014

Music-O-Rama: An Eclectic Musical Celebration at the Rozsa Oct. 4

HOUGHTON -- The Rozsa Center will explode with an eclectic celebration of music as Michigan Tech’s Superior Wind Symphony, Jazz Lab Band and Concert Choir converge for Music-O-Rama at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets, which are $13 for adults and $5 for youth, can be purchased at the Rozsa Center, through the ticket office at 487-2073 or online.

Music-O-Rama offers a broad and energetic array of music for all tastes and ages. Chamber Choir Director Jared Hendrickson explains that it is an expansion of last year’s popular Band-O-Rama.

"This fast-paced concert is a really exciting way to become acquainted with all the musical aspects of Michigan Tech. This will be lots of fun for the audience as they’re surrounded by different musical styles."

Michigan Tech’s Superior Wind Symphony is the University’s premier wind ensemble. Its concerts traditionally offer symphonic thrills, innovative programming, fruitful collaborations and exciting premieres. The award-winning Jazz Lab Band is made up of 20 musicians from throughout the country and specializes in jazz from all eras, plus Latin jazz, funk, fusion, blues and original compositions. The Concert Choir is a 60- to 80-voice ensemble of faculty, staff, students and community singers performing a wide variety of music -- from Gregorian Chant to new works. Together, they will offer a vibrant mélange of styles and sounds.

For more information on this and other events, visit the Rozsa Center’s website and Facebook page.

Orpheum Theater to host Omega House Benefit Concert TONIGHT, Oct. 3

HANCOCK -- The Orpheum Theater in Hancock will host a Fall Benefit Concert for Omega House at 7 p.m. TONIGHT, Friday, Oct. 3. Doors open at 6 p.m. and music begins at 7 p.m.

A donation of $20 adults/$15 students to the house gets you in. Bring all your friends and have a great time supporting a great cause!

Opening are Libby Meyer, Erika Vye, Steve Brimm and Dave Morehouse, followed by Michael Waite of Marquette. Closing will be Bob Hiltunen and his rock 'n roll band. Once again, the Orpheum is sponsoring a very exciting silent auction with items from local artists and businesses. Come to the Orpheum, enjoy a handmade pizza (gluten-free options!). Bring your kids of all ages.

Omega House offers a peaceful, homelike environment for terminally ill people and provides end-of-life care that emphasizes compassion, independence, respect and dignity. In cooperation with local hospice programs, Omega House provides residents with exceptional care and attention 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

The Orpheum Theater is at 426 Quincy Street in Hancock.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

First Friday in Calumet to offer new art exhibits, activities Oct. 3

Explorer, by Cynthia Coté, from her exhibit "When I was in Iceland," opening Oct. 3 at Galerie Bohème in Calumet. (Photo courtesy Galerie Bohème)

CALUMET -- First Friday in Calumet -- Oct. 3, 2014 -- promises to offer some great new gallery art openings for the month of October and art activities open to all. Here is the line-up:

Paige Wiard Gallery: "Small Things: Animal Sculptures and Sketchbook Drawings" by Joyce Koskenmaki

Doll sculpture by Joyce Koskenmaki, now on exhibit at the Paige Wiard Gallery in Calumet. (Photo courtesy Paige Wiard Gallery)

Joyce Koskenmaki is the featured artist for the month of October at the Paige Wiard Gallery. For years Koskenmaki has had an interest in the making, history and meaning of dolls. In her research into different cultures, she has found dolls have great power and deep meaning for many people.

While she has taught people how to make dolls at the college level, Koskenmaki says she now makes them for herself.

"Because I am an artist, they are serious sculptures," Koskenmaki says. "But, as dolls, they take on identities of their own; and I find they are capable of providing comfort and friendship, as dolls have done through the ages. I make the heads from clay, fire and paint them, and make bodies from cloth and sticks. I let them shape their own identities as I work, not starting with preconceptions. Each one is different and I feel a connection with them all."

For her "Small Things" show, Joyce has combined her dolls with sketches form old sketchbooks of things that have inspired her: trees, waterfalls and animals.

Sketch by Joyce Koskenmaki. (Photo courtesy Paige Wiard Gallery)

"The sketchbook drawings are ones I have chosen to accompany the dolls," Koskenmaki explains. "It has been fun to go back and look through my old sketchbooks, finding things I wanted to work on longer to develop into finished drawings. They are a kind of mini-retrospective of subjects that have interested me: trees, waterfalls, animals -- and through them all, abstractions, all in pen and ink or pencil."

An opening reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Paige Wiard Gallery, 109 Fifth Street, Calumet. Please call 906-337-5970 or email with any questions.

Galerie Bohème: "When I was in Iceland" by Cynthia Coté

Art by Cynthia Coté from her exhibit "When I was in Iceland." (Photo courtesy Galerie Bohème)

Galerie Bohème will present "When I was in Iceland," new works by Cynthia Coté, opening with a public reception from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3.

Cynthia's intriguing pen and ink, and colored pencil drawings were produced and inspired by her art trip to the back country in Iceland.

"Yep Cynthia took an art trip to Iceland and we get to see and perhaps collect a couple of these 28 images," says Galerie Bohème host Tom Rudd. "So come and view, have a cuppa, a crumpet, slice of cheese. Be there."

Galerie Bohème is at 423 Fifth Street in Calumet.

Calumet Art Center: Open Studio

The Calumet Art Center will offer a Lampwork Bead Class Oct. 25 and 26. This is one of several classes offered at the Center this fall.* (Poster courtesy Calumet Art Center)

Calumet Art Center will hold an open studio from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3. Visit the Center to learn about adult classes in line for this fall: Twining on a small portable loom, a Precious Metal Clay class, an intermediate Fun with Clay class, Leathercrafting, Beginning Weaving, and Lampwork Bead Making.*

Explore the weaving, glass bead making, and clay studios to see projects in progress that just may inspire you to enjoy adventures in traditional art forms.

The Calumet Art Center is at 57055 Fifth Street. Call 906-934-2228 for more information.

Copper Country Associated Artists Gallery: "Fall Leaf Collage Print"

Copper Country Associated Artists will offer a workshop, "Fall Leaf Collage Print," from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on First Friday, Oct. 3, at their Gallery, 205 Fifth St.

You are welcome to gather and bring with you some fallen leaves or other greenery from your yard or garden to create your collage print. All ages are welcome. For more information contact the Gallery at 337-1252 or Pam at 337-2274.

Cross Country Sports: "Spirited Houses" by jd slack

jd slack’s pastel paintings of houses evoke the mining houses of the Copper Country in many moods in abstract forms. Meet the artist at an open house with refreshments from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3. Cross Country Sports is at 507 Oak Street in Calumet. For more information call 337-4520.

* Click here to learn more about Calumet Art Center classes or visit their Web site.

Houghton Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) core leadership team to meet Oct. 3 at Portage Library

By Richelle Winkler*

During the Sept. 17, 2014, community meeting hosted by the Houghton Energy Efficiency Team (HEET), Richelle Winkler, Michigan Tech assistant professor of sociology and demography, leads a community group discussion on priorities for developing a future energy vision for the local area. (Photos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON -- The Houghton Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) core leadership team meeting will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 3, at the Portage Lake District Library. The public is welcome to attend.

Here is the agenda:
  • Welcome and general announcements.
  • Summary of the community kick-off meeting we held Sept 17. Did anyone take pictures?
Abhilash Kantamneni, Michigan Tech Ph.D. candidate in computer science who does research on solar energy at the Keweenaw Research Center, addresses participants at the Sept. 17 community meeting hosted by the Houghton Energy Efficiency Team.**
  • Introduce graduate students who are writing our Community Energy Plan for the GUEP (Georgetown University Energy Prize) due Nov 10.
  • Vision statement: the graduate student team will present a vision statement they gleaned from the discussion notes from the Sept. 17 meeting. Opportunity will be offered to provide feedback and make adjustments as necessary. This vision statement will serve as a guide as the team develops more specific goals and strategies. Essentially, it should inform everything HEET does.
  • Goals. The graduate student team will present a set of goals associated with the vision statement. These goals are the more specific and measurable things HEET wants to accomplish. They should be realistic and attainable but might also carry significant weight. They should have specific time frames attached, and the time frame might vary for each -- within one year weatherize 500 homes, within five years incorporate 20 percent renewable, etc. We'll have a chance to provide feedback and suggest additional or different goals.
  • Update on application submission and next steps in GUEP.
  • What will we do with the money? Set up a trustee board now.
  • Discussion on how we can better engage and work more closely with utilities. How can we find common ground? How can we work together?
  • Weatherization coordination: New Power Tour, HEET, community organizations -- Melissa Davis.
Editor's Notes:
* Richelle Winkler is Michigan Tech assistant professor of sociology and demography in the Environment and Energy Policy Program, Department of Social Sciences. (Please excuse our original misspelling of Prof. Winkler's first name. Now corrected.)

** See the Sept. 29, 2014, Michigan Land Use Institute article about Abhilash Kantamneni's work with solar energy, "MTU scientist says high rates make rooftop solar a good Up North deal."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

People's Climate March, Part 1, Letter: Houghton couple travel to New York to march for planet's future

By Shirley Galbraith*

Shirley Galbraith of Houghton participates in the Sept. 21 People's Climate March in New York City. (Photos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

In September, 2014, a historic summit on climate change was about to take place. Not only were Heads of States from all over the world planning on being there, but also the global media. With our future on the line, concerned citizens and social activists decided to take a weekend before the anticipated summit, and use it to bend the course of history.

In New York City alone there was an unprecedented climate mobilization -- in size, beauty, and impact. It was estimated that there were between 3 and 4 hundred thousand who met at Columbus Circle and walked. Allan and I had decided to join the march though it meant a total of about 36 hours of travel time one way. Why? Because the older we get the more we worry about the future of our planet for our children and grandchildren.

Young and old march together -- many parents carrying kids on their shoulders -- during the Sept. 21 Climate March in New York City.

People chatted as we marched along. One woman commented that it was nice to be with like-minded people; another remarked that if the establishment keeps their heads in the sand much longer, our world is doomed. A little girl, about 8 years old,  passed me at one point proudly displaying a sign that she and her Dad had made which said, "Children need clean air." I asked her why she was marching, and she said something to the effect that we need to let God know that our earth needs help and maybe he’s watching all these worried people and will tell the president to take care of the earth. She wasn’t exactly super coherent, but it was obvious that she was aware of why she and her Dad were in this march. Her brother, slightly younger, piped in something about puppies whereupon the girl explained that they have a cute puppy named Sam and they wanted to make sure that the animals would be safe too.

There was a lively group of seniors and "Grannies," some in wheel chairs or using canes.

Carrying a banner asking, "What will be our legacy?" elders march for the future of their children and grandchildren.

A large number of LGBTs walked hand in hand along with Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Pagan, Unitarian, atheist and various other groups. I had situated myself with the faith groups though I could have joined any number of other categories.

According to Rabbi Arthur Waskow of Philadelphia's Shalom Center (in red, waving at front of ark), more than 10,000 members of Communities of Faith and Spirit joined the New York City Climate March. "We were led by an extraordinary Noah’s Ark, built by students of the Auburn Theological Seminary under the leadership of Isaac Luria," Waskow writes. "I was able to join the thirty people who actually rode aboard the Ark. From that vantage point I was able to see the ocean of humanity that was pouring out to heal the oceans, the rivers, the clouds and mountains, the air and earth, the many many species, that make up the interwoven ecosystems of our planet."**

The signs were creative, poignant, sad, funny, imaginative. There were some floats and people dressed in costumes, dresses, jeans and you name it. Everybody helped each other in a spirit of friendship and commonalities despite differences in beliefs. Allan took lots of pictures for our Keweenaw Now site.

So, here I am, doing my part!


Editor's Notes:

* Guest author Shirley Galbraith is a resident of Houghton and a member of the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Shirley wrote this letter to her children and friends and shares it with Keweenaw Now. With her husband, Allan Baker, videographer and photographer for Keweenaw Now, she has also reported on climate marches against the Keystone Pipeline in Washington, D.C. Click here to see her story on the Feb. 13, 2013, Keystone protest.

** Rabbi Arthur Waskow has included Keweenaw Now in his emails since we published his article on the late Pete Seeger last January. He kept us posted on plans for the September Climate March. His comments here are taken from his Sept. 22, 2014, report on the March, "The Ocean of Humanity: 300,000+ call for Climate Action Now!" on

This is the first in a series of articles on the recent People's Climate March and related events. Watch for photos and videos, coming soon!

Celebrate French Canadian Heritage Week with dance, song Oct. 1, 2

Maple Sugar Folk perform French Canadian songs during the Omega House benefit concert last July. This Thursday, Oct. 2, they will perform and lead French Canadian songs at the Chassell Heritage Center. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK -- The public is invited to celebrate French Canadian Heritage Week at two special events in the Keweenaw: a dance on Wednesday, Oct. 1, and a music and singing event on Thursday, Oct. 2.

In this photo some of the Thimbleberry musicians -- from left, Oren Tikkanen, Libby Meyer, Matthew Durocher and Dave Bezotte -- perform during a previous ethnic musical event. On Wednesday, Oct. 1, they will be joined by Anna Gawboy on concertina to play for a French Canadian dance at the Finnish American Heritage Center. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

A French Canadian dance will be held beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 1, at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock. Dance to the music of the Thimbleberry Band (Libby Meyer on fiddle; Anna Gawboy on concertina; Oren Tikkanen on guitar, banjo and vocals; Matt Durocher on bass; and David Bezotte on accordion and vocals) playing a variety of French Canadian fiddle tunes and songs. Join in contra dancing called by Colin Hoekje (beginners welcome), learn French Canadian folk dances, and enjoy waltzes, schottisches and other favorites. $6 admission. The Finnish American Heritage Center is at 435 Quincy Street in Hancock.

A music and singing event will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 2, at the Chassell Heritage Center, 2nd St., Chassell. Enjoy French Canadian folk and response songs led by Maple Sugar Folk and lively fiddle tunes and step dancing by Carrie, Emma and Susan Dlutkowski. Doors open at 6 p.m., so come early to view the exhibits, including an exhibit on local French Canadian settlement. Free admission -- donations appreciated.

For more information, contact Dave Bezotte at or 906-370-4956.