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.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

State Rep. Scott Dianda to host Listening Town Hall, coffee hours in District 110

LANSING -- State Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) will hold a listening town hall and coffee hours in House District 110 to give residents a chance to ask questions and share their concerns with him.

"The good people of HD 110 hear me talking about what is going on in Lansing, and now I want to hear from them and listen to their questions and concerns and what are the most important issues affecting them and their families," Dianda said.

Dianda will hold a listening town hall from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, April 2, at the Franklin Township Hall, 49850 U.S. Highway 41 in Hancock.

Dianda will also hold coffee hours at the following times and locations:
  • Friday, March 31, from 8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. (EDT) at the Ishpeming Town Hall, 1575 U.S. Highway 41 West in Ishpeming 
  • Friday, March 31, from noon-1:30 p.m. (CDT) at Contrast Coffee, 108 E. Aurora St. in Ironwood
  • Saturday, April 1, from 8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. (EDT) at Syl’s Café, 713 River St. in Ontonagon
  • Saturday, April 1, from noon-1:30 p.m. (CDT) at The Raven’s Nest, 213 Superior Ave. in Crystal Falls
  • Monday, April 3, from 8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. (EDT) at Slim’s Café, 8 Mohawk St. in Mohawk
  • Monday, April 3, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (EDT) at Java By the Bay, 10 N. Main St. in L’Anse.

U.S. Senators Stabenow, Peters announce they will oppose Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) announced this week that they will oppose Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Sen. Stabenow released the following statement laying out the reasons for her opposition: 

"The Senate has a Constitutional duty to provide advice and consent on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination through a fair and thorough confirmation process.  It is essential that the next Supreme Court Justice not only be qualified in the law but also balanced and impartial in his views.

"After reviewing Judge Gorsuch's rulings, it is clear that he has a long record of siding with special interests and institutions instead of hard-working Americans. And, therefore, in my judgment, he does not meet this standard of balance and impartiality.

"While serving on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Gorsuch ruled against Alphonse Maddin, a truck driver from Michigan who was fired for leaving his trailer on the side of the road after breaking down on a cold night and fearing he would freeze to death. When Mr. Maddin sued, Judge Gorsuch disagreed with six other judges' rulings and reached the conclusion that Mr. Maddin should have risked his life to follow company orders even though Mr. Maddin protected his cargo from loss and completed his assignment.

"Additionally, in 2008, Judge Gorsuch ruled against the parent of a severely autistic boy, Luke, who sought an education that would meet his special needs. Yet during Judge Gorsuch's confirmation hearing, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that disabled students are entitled to more protections than Judge Gorsuch had found to be necessary for a quality education. And in another important case, Judge Gorsuch ruled in favor of the rights of corporations over the rights of women to have access to health care.

"After carefully reviewing his record and listening to his testimony last week in the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have concluded that supporting the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court is not in the best interests of the people of Michigan whom I am proud to represent."

Senator Gary Peters released the following statement announcing his opposition to Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court:

"The U.S. Supreme Court is a pillar of our nation’s democracy, and I take very seriously the Senate’s responsibility to advise and consent on nominees to serve in this revered institution. The U.S. Supreme Court is often the last line of defense for everyday Americans, and Judge Gorsuch’s previous rulings indicate he believes that corporations have greater rights than individuals. Whether it is ruling against children who want an equal opportunity to get a quality education or women who want access to health care, Judge Gorsuch often fails to take into account the human face behind each case. He has also failed to acknowledge how deeply the Citizens United decision has corrupted our government by opening the floodgates for special interest money to pour into our elections. Serving on the U.S. Supreme Court requires more than education and experience, and I am extremely concerned that Judge Gorsuch’s judicial approach is out of step with mainstream American values. After careful consideration of Judge Gorsuch’s comments and his record, I cannot support his nomination to serve on our nation’s highest court."

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

State Rep. Dianda praises $6.5 million grant to NMU for broadband service to entire U.P.

LANSING -- The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved an Investment Fund Award for $6.5 million to Northern Michigan University (NMU) to bring high-speed broadband service to the entire Upper Peninsula. Scott Dianda, 110th District State Representative, said he is excited about the award.

"This is great news for the communities in House District 110 that have long struggled without high-speed broadband service," Dianda said. "This means entrepreneurs can live here and run their online businesses, and people can finally choose to stay in the U.P. or realize their dream of moving to U.P. We have affordable and move-in ready homes and commercial properties available right now. The availability of high-speed broadband will be a game changer for communities across the U.P."

The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) was created by Michigan P.A. 270 of 1984 and has broad authority to promote economic development and create jobs. Click here to access their Web site.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Help select Isle Royale Teen Artist

HOUGHTON -- Teens 13 to 18: your artistic opinion matters. Join Isle Royale National Park (NP) and the Copper Country Community Arts Center (CCCAC) in helping to select the 2017 Isle Royale Teen Artist at one of the following events:
Thursday April 6, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. or Saturday April 8, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

On both days, CCCAC will host the Selection Event at its gallery and learning center at 126 Quincy St, Hancock.

Choose a day, drop in, have some refreshments, and provide your opinion about who should be the 2017 teen artist. Artwork will be displayed anonymously and teens, artists, and park representatives will submit short judging forms for each artist’s submission. At a later date, park representatives will then tally the judging and make a final selection based on your input, an artist’s preparedness for visiting Isle Royale, and an artist’s June through August availability.

Selections are made without regard to race, religion, marital status, sex, age, or national origin. The selected artist will be notified by May 1, 2017.

The Isle Royale Teen Artist Exploration is a yearly summer program geared to all aspiring teen artists who want to develop their art through experiencing wilderness. Isle Royale NP, Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association, and the Copper Country Community Arts Council sponsor the Isle Royale Teen Artist Exploration. Click here to find out more.

To learn about the Copper Country Community Arts Center click here.

Inset photo: The Scoville Point Trail is a popular hiking destination for Isle Royale visitors. (Photo courtesy National Park Service)