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, February 21, 2015

Carnegie Museum to host lecture, discussion on "Indigenous Culture and Elements of Keweenaw and Isle Royale" Feb. 24

Michigan Tech Professor Emerita Susan Martin, expert on prehistoric archeology and ancient copper, will present a lecture and discussion on "Indigenous Culture and Elements of Keweenaw and Isle Royale" on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at the Carnegie Museum. (Poster courtesy Carnegie Museum)

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech Professor Emerita Susan Martin, expert on prehistoric archeology and ancient copper, will lead a discussion about ancient cultural elements of our region from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at the Carnegie Museum in Houghton. She will be joined by Seth dePasqual, cultural resource manager at Isle Royale National Park. The museum will open at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments.

The event is part of a monthly series of sessions on the Geoheritage and Natural History of the Keweenaw, held at the Carnegie Museum. The discussions are aimed at the general public, but discuss current research and science.

Professor Martin explains her discussion: "My discussion will center on the long human history of the Keweenaw Peninsula, with side trips to other parts of the Lake Superior Basin. I will discuss the many cultures that made the UP their home, and introduce some of the raw materials, including stone (lithics) and copper, that they used to build their liveways. I will be joined by Seth dePasqual of Isle Royale National Park, who will bring us up to date on current Isle Royale archaeological research." 

The Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw is located at Huron and Montezuma in downtown Houghton. Seminars are held in the recently restored Community Room on the ground level of this historic building. Lectures are free, open to the public, and barrier free (wheelchair accessible). For further information please contact the Museum at 906-482-7140.

Portage Library to host Family Science Night Feb. 24

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library invites all K-6 students and their parents for an evening of fun and science with the Michigan Tech Family Science Night program from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24.

Families will have two hands-on activities to work on. In "Ooey, Gooey Slime!" participants will mix up some common household items, conduct experiments and see what happens. "Starry, Starry Night" will give participants a chance to explore the cosmos and create their own constellation.

Family Science Nights develop children's curiosity and their ability to solve scientific challenges. These activities also provide an opportunity for parents and their children to learn together while having fun and making scientific connections to everyday life.

This event is coordinated by the Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education and Michigan Technological University.

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

NOSOTROS to hold Latin dance, salsa lessons TONIGHT, Feb. 21

Poster courtesy NOSOTROS.

HOUGHTON -- NOSOTROS, Michigan Tech's Latin American students' organization, will hold a dance from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. TONIGHT, Saturday, Feb. 21, in the Memorial Union Ballroom (MUB). Salsa lessons will be offered from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. followed by open floor dancing from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. It is absolutely FREE and FUN! So, bring all your friends along. Invite people to attend this event! All are welcome!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra to explore music of Shostakovich during Stalin’s Soviet regime Feb. 21

HOUGHTON -- The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts will host the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra and their performance of "Shostakovich and Stalin: A Soviet Artist’s Creative Response," at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21. Come and listen as the KSO interprets the creative struggles of the Russian composer Shostakovich in reaction to disillusionment and persecution under Stalin’s Soviet dictatorship.

Tickets for adults are $19, youth tickets (17 and under) are $6, and Michigan Tech student tickets are free with the Experience Tech Fee. Presented by the Michigan Tech Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

According to KSO Conductor Joel Neves, the evening will present "A musico-dramatic and audio-visual exploration of the repressive climate that Stalin imposed upon artists in the 1930s, and how this shaped Shostakovich’s musical output. The Fifth Symphony -- the composer’s greatest masterpiece -- embodies Shostakovich’s creative response to Soviet demands for 'socialist realism' in classical music."

For tickets, go online, or call Ticketing Operations at Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex (SDC), (906) 487-2073, or visit in person at 600 MacInnes Drive, in Houghton. SDC box office hours are 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Saturday, and noon - 8 p.m. on Sunday. Please note the Rozsa Box Office is only open two hours prior to show times.

For more details, please contact Dr. Joel Neves, DMA, Music Director, Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, or (906) 487-2859.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Closing reception for Finnish textile artist Aino Kajaniemi's exhibit is Feb. 19 at Finlandia Gallery

Textile art by Finnish artist Aino Kajaniemi. A closing reception will be held at 7 p.m. TONIGHT, Feb. 19, in the Finlandia University Gallery in Hancock. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

HANCOCK -- A closing reception for Finnish textile artist Aino Kajaniemi’s "Dreams and Memories" exhibit is from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. TONIGHT, Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Finlandia University Gallery in the Finnish American Heritage Center.

Anita Jain, director of Common Strands, a non-profit International fiber art exchange organization based in Minneapolis, will present a talk about Aino Kajaniemi's work beginning at 7:15 p.m.

Aino Kajaniemi, Finland's 2010 Textile Artist of the Year. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

Aino Kajaniemi, Finland's 2010 Textile Artist of the Year, uses the historic Scandinavian textile tradition as a medium for exploring contemporary individual and community emotion and memories. In her adept hands, the traditional tapestry medium -- one with a rich cultural history -- is transformed into something simultaneously both familiar and cutting-edge.

"My textiles are my way of thinking," says Kajaniemi. "I want to produce the objects of my wonderings into something concrete, so that I could understand them. The subjects of my works usually originate from the inmost of a human being: sorrow, joy, uncertainty, guilt, tenderness and memories."

Next at the gallery

The next exhibit at the gallery will be the annual Finlandia University International School of Art and Design Faculty Exhibit, beginning with an opening reception at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26. It will continue through March 24. More details on the upcoming exhibit will be released soon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tech Theatre to present Jean Anouilh’s adaptation of "Antigone" Feb. 19-21, 26-28

HOUGHTON -- The Tech Theatre Company will present Antigone, a contemporary retelling of the ancient tale of conflict between the political terror of dictatorship and the vision of humanity at its very best. In spite of the sham and lies, the twisting of facts and rewriting of events, truth finds a way in this conflict of opposing visions of humanity, depicted by Jean Anouilh.

The play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 19-21, and Feb. 26-28 in the McArdle Theatre, in the Walker Center for Arts and Humanities on the Michigan Tech campus.

General admission is $13, youth tickets (17 and under) are $5, and Michigan Tech student tickets are free with the Experience Tech fee. To purchase tickets, call 487-2073, go online or visit Ticketing Operations located in the SDC. Tickets will also be available at the McArdle Theatre box office, located on the second floor of the Walker Center for Arts and Humanities, prior to the show.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Michigan League of Conservation Voters releases 2014 Lame Duck Scorecard for legislators on conservation, environmental issues

ANN ARBOR -- Today, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters (Michigan LCV) released their 2014 Lame Duck Scorecard. This special-edition Scorecard offers a non-partisan window into the voting records of Michigan’s State Representatives and State Senators on conservation and environmental issues during the busy last few weeks of the 2013 - 2014 legislative session.

"We saw serious attacks waged on Michigan’s land, air and water, including bills that promoted air pollution and denied the scientific management of public land, all in the span of a few weeks," said Lisa Wozniak, Michigan LCV executive director. "We also saw strong bipartisan support for clean energy legislation that promotes the reduction of energy waste. Lame Duck legislative sessions are often overlooked, but Michigan LCV members took action to stop bad bills and move good policy forward. Today, we are proud to release a complete description of all that took place in the waning days and hours of the legislative session, and hold elected officials accountable for their actions. Did they or did they not work to protect the natural resources that define our Great Lakes State?"

Upper Peninsula constituents should not be surprised at the following scores for our local state legislators:

State Senator Tom Casperson of Escanaba -- (R, 38th District, most of the U.P.) and chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes -- received a 2014 Lame Duck session score of 40 percent, up from his original 2013-2014 score of 0 percent, giving him an overall score of 20 percent for 2013-2014. That ties Casperson with House Committee on Natural Resources Chair Andrea LaFontaine (R, District 32), who also received an overall score of 20 percent. Both score in Michigan LCV's "No" category (scores of 0 to 49 percent) on their performance for land, air and water issues. Casperson sponsored three of the Lame Duck session anti-environment bills scored by Michigan LCV.*

State Rep. Scott Dianda of Calumet (D, 110th District) received a Lame Duck session score of 47 percent, down from his 2013-2014 score of 64 percent, giving him an overall new score of 56 percent for 2013-2014. That score puts him in Michigan LCV's "Maybe" category (scores of 50 percent to 74 percent) for his legislative performance on conservation and environmental issues.

Here are the scores of state representatives from the Marquette/ Menominee area:

State Rep. John Kivela of Marquette (D, 109th District):
Lame Duck score: 62 percent
Original 2013-14 score: 56 percent
Overall 2013-14 score: 59 percent ("Maybe")

State Rep. Ed McBroom of Vulcan (R, 108th District):
Lame Duck score: 10 percent
Original 2013-14 score: 51 percent
Overall 2013-14 score: 31 percent ("No")

Michigan LCV’s 2014 Lame Duck Legislative Scorecard scores votes on six bills, including committee votes and votes on the floor of the House and Senate. It also includes bill sponsorship for three bills introduced during the Lame Duck session that would have expanded and strengthened Michigan’s commitments to renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Finally, for the first time the Scorecard also includes a count of a conservation majority in the state legislature.

Click here for a full summary of the 2014 Lame Duck Scorecard, including brief descriptions of the lame duck bills.

"The Lame Duck session clearly illustrates that our elected officials in Lansing are sorely lacking a core conservation commitment, which is counter to the assumption held by the majority of citizens in this state. Our Pure Michigan is a shared value among citizens from Detroit to Marquette. Those who represent us in Lansing must understand that their constituents expect strong leadership to protect both our world-class Great Lakes and the amazing outdoors that define our state," said Wozniak. "The legacy of the 2014 Lame Duck session will live on this year, and we look forward to working with Michiganders and state legislators to move Michigan forward."

Click here for the 2014 Lame Duck Legislative Scorecard. See p. 8 for the list of Lame Duck session bills and scroll through the following pages to see how your State Senator and Representative voted.

* See Senate Bills 78, 891, and 910 summarized here.

Backroom Boys Jazz Band to entertain TONIGHT at Michigan House Café Mardi Gras party

Mardi Gras poster courtesy The Backroom Boys.

CALUMET -- It's Mardi Gras, and the Michigan House Café at 6th and Oak in Calumet invites you to bring your beads and masks to the Mardi Gras party TONIGHT, Tuesday, Feb 17. The Backroom Boys Jazz Band will jam it up from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m., and the Boys will probably insist on a "second line" parade around the place to finish off the Carnival season.

"Laissez les bons temps rouler!" says Backroom Boys' musician Oren Tikkanen.

Just to let you know -- Tim is making his chicken and andouille sausage gumbo for the Mardi Gras observance TONIGHT. If you want him to save you some, call 337-1910 tout de suite for a dinner reservation.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Green Film Series to present documentary on food and health Feb. 19

HOUGHTON -- The Green Film Series will present Forks Over Knives, a film  that examines the profound claim that many of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. The film features leading experts on health, examines the question "why we don't know," and tackles the issue of diet and disease in new and engaging ways.

The film will be shown from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 19, in G002 Hesterberg Hall, Forestry Building at Michigan Tech. Coffee, tea and delicious refreshments will be provided by the Keweenaw Food Co-op.

Ray Sharp from the Community Planning and Preparedness team at the Western U. P. Health Department will lead a discussion after the film. The event is free and open to the public, though donations are appreciated.

The Green Film Series is sponsored by Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative,  Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society, Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and Keweenaw Land Trust.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Houghton Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) to hold meeting Feb. 18

HOUGHTON -- The Houghton Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) will hold a meeting at 5 p.m. this Wednesday, Feb. 18, at Michigan Tech's Advanced Technology Development Complex (ATDC). The major goal for the meeting is to update everyone on the search for the Energy Manager and to establish a hiring process. In addition, HEET will unveil their exciting Winterization Program!

The ATDC is located at 1402 Sharon Avenue in Houghton across the street from the Tech intramural softball fields. The meeting is free and open to the public.

HEET is looking for a part-time Energy Manager to coordinate its activities and help to implement the Houghton County Energy Plan. The Energy Manager position will be a part-time, two-year, paid position. Click here to learn more.

To learn more about HEET, visit