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Friday, July 10, 2015

Musician Ben Weaver, cycling around Lake Superior, to perform at Portage Lake District Library July 12

Musician Ben Weaver will perform at the Portage Lake District Library Sunday, July 12. (Poster courtesy Portage Lake District Library)

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library, the Friends of the Land of Keweenaw (FOLK), and the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) will sponsor his performance at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 12, at the Portage Lake District Library.

Weaver will travel 1300 miles around Lake Superior by bike in sixteen days and perform in thirteen locations along the route. He will act as a charter bearer to the Great Lakes Commons, a grassroots effort to establish the Great Lakes as a thriving, living commons with shared waters that we all take care of and protect in perpetuity. He will use their visionary Commons Charter in his performances as an invitation to engage communities along the route in broad and inclusive conversations about the state of our fresh water.

Weaver is a songwriter, poet, father, letterpress printer and adventure advocate. He has released eight studio albums of original music and four books of poetry. The bicycle is his chosen mode of transport for all activities in all types of weather.

FOLK is a local grassroots environmental organization that works to protect the Lake Superior watershed. UPEC is a grassroots group that focuses solely on environmental issues across all of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

All library programs are free and everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

US Peace Corps' Peace Car visits Michigan Tech

By Michele Bourdieu 

Blizzard T. Husky, Michigan Tech's mascot, poses in the driver's seat of the US Peace Corps' Peace Car, an eco-friendly Smart Car, which arrived on the Michigan Tech campus today, July 9, during its Midwest Tour. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech's mascot, Blizzard T. Husky, met the challenge of squeezing into the driver's seat of the US Peace Corps' Peace Car, which arrived on the Michigan Tech campus this afternoon -- one of many stops on a Midwest Tour by representatives from the Peace Corps Midwest Region office in Chicago. The Peace Car enables Peace Corps staff to share their mission while limiting their carbon footprint.

Meghan Costello and Brett Heimann, regional Peace Corps recruiters and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) -- Costello served in Rwanda and Heimann in Togo -- are driving the car through most of the Midwestern states, especially those around Lake Michigan, to call attention to the car and to spread the word about the Peace Corps, although this trip is not specifically for recruiting.

Making a peace sign with his paw, Blizzard poses with Peace Corps Midwest Regional Recruiters Meghan Costello and Brett Heimann.

"Michigan Tech is one of our partner universities," Heimann said.

Michigan Tech has the greatest number of Peace Corps Masters International programs in the US. The programs -- from Forestry to Environmental Engineering, Geology and more -- are now in ten different MTU departments that offer a Master's Degree combined with Peace Corps service.*

The Peace Car also made its way to Field 4 of the Tech Fields on Sharon Avenue this evening for a softball game by the Lockjawed Zombies, a team consisting of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, geology students and forestry students.

Michigan Tech international students join RPCVs/ Recruiters Costello and Heimann for a photo with the Peace Car, which uses regular lead-free gasoline but a minimum of fuel. Standing, second from left, next to Costello, is Kari Henquinet, MTU Peace Corps Master's International Program director and senior lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences. Her daughter, Annika, age 5, is in the driver's seat. Behind Kari is Rudiger Escobar of Guatemala, a post-doc in Michigan Tech's Department of Geology, whose wife, Stephanie Tubman, served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala.

Heimann noted they had just stopped at Marquette University in Milwaukee and would visit Northern Michigan University in Marquette tomorrow, on their way to Traverse City.

Costello noted this summer trip will also include a bike ride across Iowa. With the Peace Corps' Peace Car following them, Costello and Heimann will participate in the RAGBRAI -- the (Des Moines) Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, an annual seven-day bicycle ride -- the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world.**

For this photo, Costello and Heimann distributed colorful flags of countries where Peace Corps volunteers serve. Holding one of the flags, third from right in front row, is Jennifer Donovan, Michigan Tech director of news and media events, who invited the community and media to the event.

Kari Henquinet, Michigan Tech Peace Corps Master's International Program director and senior lecturer in Social Sciences, was on hand to welcome the Chicago Peace Corps team.

"They'll come back in the fall for recruiting," Henquinet said.

Heimann said he would be back at the end of August for the beginning of the fall semester.

"I'll be meeting with Kari and people in the Peace Corps Master's Program," he said.

The Peace Corps' Peace Car bears an impressive license plate number and the Peace Corps Web address, where you can learn more about the Peace Corps and its work around the world.


* Click here to learn about Michigan Tech's Peace Corps Master's International programs.

** Click here to read about the RAGBRAI -- the (Des Moines) Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.

Michigan Tech names new Provost

By Jennifer Donovan, Michigan Tech Director of News and Media Relations
Posted July 8, 2015, on Michigan Tech News

Jacqueline Huntoon, new Michigan Tech provost and vice president for academic affairs. (Photo courtesy Michigan Tech University)

HOUGHTON -- Jacqueline Huntoon has been named provost and vice president for academic affairs at Michigan Technological University. Huntoon has been dean of Michigan Tech’s Graduate School since 2005 and associate provost since 2011. She is also a professor in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences.

Her new appointment is effective July 20, 2015. She replaces Max Seel, who has returned to the Department of Physics faculty.

"I am honored to be given the opportunity to take on this new role and responsibility at Michigan Tech," said Huntoon. "I have been with the University since 1990 and have come to feel that this place is my true home."

Click here to read the rest of this article on the Michigan Tech News.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Bergonzi String Quartet to perform children's concert at Portage Library July 10

Flyer announcing the Bergonzi String Quartet children's concert, presenting Peter and the Wolf Friday, July 10, at Portage Lake District Library in Houghton. (Image courtesy Portage Lake District Library)

HOUGHTON -- The Bergonzi String Quartet of the Pine Mountain Music Festival will perform Pamela McConnell's version of Peter and the Wolf in a free children’s concert at the Portage Lake District Library at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 10.

Children are invited to come dressed as characters in the performance: Peter, Grandfather, Bird, Miss Duck, Cat, Forest Rangers (no guns, please) and Wolf.

The Bergonzi String Quartet with Glenn Basham on 1st violin, Scott Flavin on 2nd violin, Pamela McConnell on viola, and Ross Harbaugh on cello, has been Quartet-in-Residence at the Pine Mountain Music Festival since 1995. The Bergonzi Quartet was formed in 1992 and is Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, where they are all faculty members. The members have extensive collective experience, performing in virtually every major center in the world, with concerts throughout Europe, North and South America, New Zealand, and Asia. The quartet has generated enormous excitement around the world for their superb blend of seasoned and sensitive virtuosity and is an important cultural asset for the Pine Mountain Music Festival and the Upper Peninsula.

Adults are welcome to attend this concert if they bring at least one child. There is no admission for this concert and all are welcome to attend. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Portage Library to host acupuncture presentation July 9

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host its monthly program in the Natural Health and Wellness series from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 9.

Marcie Wiitala, MSOM, and Elizabeth Ross, MSOM, will present "All About Acupuncture: What it is and what it can do for you." Wiitala and Ross will discuss their education and training and explain what Oriental Medicine is and how it relates to Western Medicine. They will also teach participants how to do self treatments using acupressure and will give acupuncture ear needle treatments to participants who would like to experience it. 

A native of  Hancock, Wiitala received her Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) from the Southwest Acupuncture College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In addition to acupuncture, her health care experience includes herbal oils, Qi Gong and Tui Nu, a form of Chinese medical massage. She has been in practice for nearly twenty years and works at Keweenaw Holistic Family Medicine in Calumet.

Ross received her Master of Science in Oriental Medicine from the World Medical Institute in Honolulu, Hawaii. She specializes in herbal medicine using Hawaiian and traditional Chinese herbs in addition to acupuncture, nutrition, fire cupping, and moxibustion. She received special recognition for her studies in herbal medicine, fertility and pediatric acupuncture, and auricular detoxification acupuncture. Ross works at Keweenaw Holistic Family Medicine in Calumet.

The Natural Health and Wellness series is held on the second Thursday of each month. All library programs are free, and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Monday, July 06, 2015

Bergonzi's Glenn Basham to join Steve Jones, Garden City Hot Club, more, in jazz concert July 7 at Orpheum Theater

Steve Jones on guitar, Glenn Basham on violin and Garden City Hot Club musicians, pictured here in concert, will perform a special Gypsy Jazz and Swing concert at the Orpheum Theater on Tuesday, July 7, 2015. (Photo courtesy Orpheum Theater)

HANCOCK -- Glenn Basham from the Bergonzi String Quartet, on violin, will be joining jazz musician Steve Jones and the Garden City Hot Club -- including musicians Bob Hiltunen, Scott McIntosh, Dan Fuhrmann, Adam Johnson, and possibly special guest horn player John Pfeiffer -- in a Gypsy Jazz and Swing concert at the Orpheum Theater in Hancock Tuesday, July 7.  Other special guests have been rumored but not confirmed.

"This will be an epic night of music!" says Jones.

Show starts at 8:30 p.m. $15 cover. $10 Students/Seniors.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Pine Mountain Music Festival to present "The Barber of Seville" July 9, 12 at Rozsa Center

HANCOCK -- Opera returns to the Pine Mountain Music Festival (PMMF) stage for the 25th Season with Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in two performances -- 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 12 -- at the Rozsa Center for Performing Arts in Houghton.*

First performed in 1816, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville is an opera buffa in two acts which has become one of the most beloved works in the operatic repertory. Determined to win the affection of the beautiful Rosina with charm and wit, rather than money, Count Almaviva recruits the help of Figaro, the barber of Seville, to steal her away from her guardian, Dr. Bartolo.

Festival favorite and U.P. native, tenor Miles Mykkanen, performs the role of Count Almaviva, and is joined by soprano Chrystal E. Williams as Rosina, baritone Levi Hernandez as Figaro, and bass Bradley Smoak as Basilio. The production is conducted by PMMF Artistic Director Donald Schleicher and is directed by Debra Dickinson.

On both July 9 and July 12, a pre-opera talk will be offered one hour before the performance. Tickets are General Cost: $45, $35, $22 and Student/Child Cost: $11. Click here to order tickets for the July 9 evening performance. Click here to order tickets for the July 12 matinee.

The Pine Mountain Music Festival features a season of opera, symphony and chamber music each summer in the Dickinson County area, the Marquette area, the Keweenaw Peninsula, and other locations in the Upper Peninsula. Based in Hancock, Michigan, it is supported by donations, ticket sales, and grants. Visit the web at, or call (906) 482-1542 for more information.

The 2015 Season is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by The Shaw and Betty Walker Foundation, The Ann and Tom Johnston Charitable Fund at Blue Grass Community Foundation, and the Payne and Dolan Company.

*The Rozsa Center for Performing Arts is on the Michigan Tech campus. Click here for a map.