City Notes

 Edited by Kristy Basolo

About the cover
This month’s cover art, “Tree of Life” by Diana Magnuson, shows four seasons, from left to right. For more about the artist, visit www.diana

Short story entries wanted for annual MM contest
M arquette Monthly is accepting stories for its eighteenth annual short story contest through January 31, 2009. Entry fee is $5, payable by check or money order, and entries can be mailed Attn: Short Story Contest; Marquette Monthly, 810 North Third Street; Marquette, MI 49855.
The winning story, chosen by a panel of judges, will be published in the April 2009 issue of Marquette Monthly and the author will receive a cash prize of $250.
Contest guidelines are as follows:
• All entries must be works of fiction no longer than 2,500 words, never before published, typed and double-spaced in 12-point Times font.
• The author’s name, address and phone number, plus the story’s word count, should be typed on a cover sheet only, not on any subsequent pages to preserve the author’s anonymity in the judging process.
• The contest is open to Upper Peninsula residents.
• Entries are limited to one submission per writer, and will not be returned.
For details, call Kristy at 226-6500.

Bridge club finds new meeting space in Westwood Mall
Superiorland Bridge Club has a new place to play. The group will be meeting in Suite 8 of the Westwood Mall in Marquette.
The first game will be held there at 1:00 p.m. on December 4. The public is invited.
The suite is easy to find right inside the west entrance across from MC Sports and Sayklly’s. It is much larger than the previous location, and will accommodate nearly twice as many card tables.
Superiorland Bridge Club is open to anyone interested in playing or learning bridge. It meets at 6:30 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday, and at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Swiss Teams are played monthly at 1:00 p.m. on Sundays.0812cn1
For details, call Denise at 226-3108.

Mining documentary puts spotlight on Marquette area
The long-debated topic of sulfide mining in Marquette County will hit the big screen on December 5, when the National Wildlife Federation presents Mining Madness, Water Wars: The Great Lakes in the Balance at Northern Michigan University’s Jamrich Hall.
Fresh on the heels of its acclaimed premiere at Michigan State University in East Lansing, the documentary brings the voices of a legislator, scientists, engineers, and tribal and community leaders to the region most directly impacted by the proposed nickel mine.
The Lansing City Pulse called the film “an easy tutorial on one of the most momentous environmental battles in Michigan history.” It was screened before a crowded theater at an MSU film festival. Additional screenings of Mining Madness, Water Wars are scheduled throughout the state over the coming months.
Underwritten by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the thirty-three-minute documentary features a number of well-known personalities, including Senator Mike Prusi and KBIC Vice Chairman Susan LaFernier, as well as first-person testimony from world-renowned scientists and engineers who have reviewed the mining permit application currently stalled in the midst of legal challenges.
The screening will take place at 7:00 p.m. at Jamrich Hall Room 103. A question-and-answer period and an informal reception will follow.

Nutcracker performance set for December 6 at Kaufman
Leaping candy canes, flurries of snowflakes, a beautiful Sugarplum Fairy and a legion of rats— see them all swoop and soar across the Kaufman stage in America’s favorite holiday event. This ballet fantasy features a cast of more than sixty beautifully costumed dancers, reveling in Tchaikovsky’s beloved score.
Join Marquette dancers on an enchanting journey through a landscape of Yuletide dreams for the entire family.
The City of Marquette Arts and Culture Center and The Second Skin Shop have teamed up to bring this community dance performance of The Nutcracker at 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. on December 6 in Kaufman Auditorium.
The show features dancers of all ages. Seating is reserved and sold on a first come, first served basis. There are no refunds or exchanges. Advance tickets prices are $7 for children 0812cn2and $10 for adults; at the door, cost is $10 for children and $13 for adults.
Tickets are available at the Marquette Arts and Culture Center Gallery gift shop, located in the lower level of the Peter White Library. Call 228-0472 to order by credit card or for more information. For details, e-mail or visit

Festival tickets available at half off for one day only
The fifth annual Porcupine Mountains Music Festival will be held August 28 through 30.
On December 6, take advantage of the absolute lowest pricing available—fifty percent off the three-day pass. The cost is only $45 for this one day only.
To purchase, visit or call (800)344-5355.

First Fridays celebrate art in Downtown Calumet
Calumet continues to celebrate the Arts throughout the year on the first Friday of each month. Many businesses are open on December 5 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. For details, call or visit the downtown businesses.

Heifer International soup and dessert dinner open to public
The public is invited to attend the fourth annual Heifer Soup & Dessert Dinner from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on December 6 at the Marquette Unitarian Universalist Meeting House located on M-28 East.  A wide variety of homemade soups and desserts will be available for a donation in the amount of your choosing. All proceeds go to Heifer International.
This event is produced and created by children and teens of the Marquette UU Congregation to help those less fortunate.
The proceeds will support the purchase of livestock to alleviate hunger and poverty around the world. Gifts of cows, pigs, goats, bees and chickens will be selected to help impoverished families and communities become more self-sufficient. 0812cn3
The public is invited to come and enjoy the food and camaraderie, all for a great cause.
For details, visit or call Nancy at 249-3790.

Marquette Choral Society to perform December 6 and 7
The Marquette Choral Society will present “A Wreath of Carols” at Saint Peter Cathedral in Marquette at 7:30 p.m. on December 6 and at 3:00 p.m. on December 7.
The concert will feature ten carols from the Christmas music of Marquette native and composer, Alfred Burt. He was the son of Father Bates Burt, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Marquette in the early 1920s,
In addition, recent arrangements by Alice Parker and Robert Shaw of beloved traditional Christmas carols also will be part of the program. The audience will be invited to sing along with several familiar carols.
The 117-member choral society is directed by Dr. Floyd Slotterback, professor of choral music at Northern Michigan University. Sandra Balmer will accompany the group on the piano.
There is no admission charge. For details, call 227-2563 or visit

Marquette celebrates holiday with downtown events
• Santa will be arriving at the Marquette Commons via Marquette City fire truck at 5:30 p.m. on December 5. Pictures with Santa will be offered by CK Photography for a small fee. The Marquette High School Redmen Chorale will provide music during the event. Santa and mayor John Kivela will light the City Holiday Tree at about 7:00 p.m. Pony rides will be offered during the event for a small charge.
• Downtown businesses will have their annual “Home for the Holidays” open house until 5:00 p.m. on December 6. 0812cn4
• December 16 will be “Men’s Shopping Night.” It will provide the opportunity for men to find the perfect gift for their significant others. Downtown stores will provide advice and help with the selection process. All will offer free holiday gift wrap. As a bonus, moms can have a night free and dads can bring the kids and drop them off at HotPlate or Ultimate Game Zone. Kids five and older can have pizza and paint a gift for mom for $20, or can be dropped off for entertainment at the Ultimate Game Zone to play video games.

Exchange program set for Finnish Independence Day
The Marquette Sister Cities Exchange is sponsoring a program that will feature the Summer 2008 trip to Sister City Kajaani (Finland) on Finnish Independence Day—December 6—from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Commons Room of Peter White Public Library.
Sister City delegates on the recent trip to Finland will tell of their visits in the Kajaani area in the eastern part of Finland. Information will be shared about the next Finnish Sister City trip to Kajaani, planned for the summer of 2010.
The afternoon program also will include refreshments, music and dancing. This event is open to the public, and there is no charge for attending. For details, call Marty at 227-7387.

MSHS to host community awareness event December 8
Marquette Senior High School is hosting Community Awareness Night at 7:00 p.m. on December 8 in the Shirley B. Smith “Little Theatre” at MSHS. The purpose of the event is to provide an opportunity for members of our community to learn more about the culture in which our children live.
This will be a relaxed, informal opportunity to gain awareness of current trends in alcohol and other drug use among youth in our county. Panel members include Carroll Ann Swanson, an adolescent substance abuse consultant with vast experience working with area youth; Merrilee Keller, prevention coordinator with Pathways/Northcare Network Substance Abuse Division; and Detective Mike Kohler of the Marquette City Police Department. 0812cn5

Center seeks folk artists, musicians and storytellers
The Beaumier Upper Peninsula Heritage Center is putting out a call for folk artists to apply to be part of the second annual U.P. Folklife Festival. The event will be held March 12 through 22, 2009. As with last year’s festival, the event will feature folk artisans, musicians and storytellers representing the Upper Peninsula’s diverse cultural, ethnic and artistic traditions. The selected presenters will receive an honorarium for their participation in the festival and also hotel accommodations.
The 2009 festival will be structured a little differently than in 2008. There will be an opening concert and celebration on March 12. Then, to avoid any conflict with the “Learning to Walk Together” Pow Wow, the festival will hold its demonstrations, folk dancing and workshops during the following weekend (March 20 and 21). There also will be evening events throughout the intervening week at NMU related to the Upper Peninsula’s folk traditions.
To apply to present, call 227-1219, download the application from or e-mail the center at
Applications and supporting materials are due by December 12.

Negaunee Musical Christmas Tour begins December 14
The Peninsula Arts Appreciation Council (PAAC) will host a Negaunee Musical Christmas Tour on December 14. The tour will include five locations, each offering a unique combination of live Christmas music, themed Christmas décor and specialty Christmas cookie refreshments.
The Christmas tour will be held from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the event. The Negaunee Historical Museum will feature Christmas folk music and historical Christmas décor. Organ music and Luminesse, a flute, cello and guitar trio, will be showcased at Immanuel Lutheran Church, along with the display of a collection of about 200 nativities.
Three private residences will be in the tour. One home will be decorated in a Scandinavian theme with carols performed by the Negaunee High School Chorale. Local singer-songwriter Mike Waite will perform in another home decorated in a natural Christmas theme. The third home will feature classic Christmas décor with traditional Christmas music played on a grand piano.
Proceeds from the PAAC Social Event Series will be used to help fund the preservation and operation of the Vista Theater.
Advance tickets may be purchased at the Vista Theater Thrift Shop at 218 Iron Street, downtown Negaunee.
Upcoming events in the PAAC Social Event Series include “An Evening with Fred Rydholm” at the Union Station, Negaunee’s recently restored train depot, on January 25, 2009; and an “All Hands on Stage” work day and barbeque to open and make improvements to the Vista Theater on March 28, 2009.
For details, call 475-7188 or visit

Humane society open house showcases pets in need
The Marquette County Humane Society is hosting a Home 4 the Holidays Open House on December 18 and 19. The open house runs from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm each night at the MCHS Shelter located at 84 Snowfield Road in Negaunee Township.
The community is invited to take a tour of the shelter, meet the shelter staff, volunteers and board members as well as all the wonderful pets. Enjoy baked goods, refreshments holiday music and fun.
During the event, pets for adoption will have special adoption offers plus all adopted pets will go home with a Christmas gift package. Select pets will be spayed/neutered and vaccinated and will be ready to go to their new homes.
For details, call the shelter at 475-6661.

Snowflake performances set for December 27 and 28
Snowflake will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on December 27 and at 2:00 p.m. on December 28.
Tickets will be available at MacDonald’s Music store and the Marquette Arts & Culture Center. Advance tickets are $14 for adults, $9 for seniors and students, and $7 for children. At the door, cost is $16 for adults, $11 for seniors and students and $9 for children.
Call 228-0472 or 360-1699 for details.

Christmas Light Show open daily through January 4
Dale’s Clock Shop will again be home to the Christmas Light Show, which is open from 5:30 to 11:00 p.m. every evening, weather permitting, through January 4.
The show features eighty separate circuits of lights, lasers and corresponding Christmas music, which onlookers can hear inside the comfort of their own vehicles by tuning into a specific frequency on their radio.
The show is located one mile from the corner of M-35 and M-553 toward Little Lake.
Visit or call 346-6885 for details.
Hunters with licenses urged to shoot feral swine on sight
The MDA and DNR urge hunters to shoot feral swine and reminded them to report any sightings. Feral swine are defined as free-ranging populations of wild pigs, not owned by any person. During the 2007-08 hunting season, sixty-five feral swine were taken by Michigan hunters.
In Michigan, hunters with a valid hunting license of any type can shoot feral swine through March 31, 2009. For a list of counties where shooting feral swine is permitted, visit 0812cn6
Shooters are encouraged to bring the carcass to a DNR Field Station where the heads will be removed for testing. Those who plan to have the swine mounted should ask the taxidermist to submit the heads to the DNR.
If you see or shoot any feral swine, call (517)336-5030 or e-mail

Initiative brings postpartum depression education to U.P.
A recent grant is allowing the Upper Peninsula Maternal Emotional Support Program, in conjunction with the Upper Peninsula Health Education Corporation and Marquette General Health System, to provide postpartum depression risk assessment, education and outreach to new mothers across the Upper Peninsula.
Through the Helping Hands Grant from the American Psychiatric Foundation, UPHEC recently purchased educational books on postpartum depression and provided them to OB nurse managers from the eight delivering hospitals in the Upper Peninsula.
Postpartum depression is a form of severe depression that occurs within a few days to a few months after childbirth. A woman with PPD may have feelings similar to the baby blues—sadness, despair, anxiety and irritability—but feels them much more strongly. While PPD is a serious condition, it can be treated effectively with medications and counseling.
For details, visit

Kellogg Foundation gives award to local agency
The Upper Peninsula’s Northern Initiatives has been awarded a $150,000 grant by People and Land (PAL) under its Regional Prosperity Initiative. The goal of the W.K. Kellogg-funded program is to increase regional collaboration and promote Michigan prosperity in the emerging knowledge-based economy.
Northern Initiatives will use the PAL grant to increase promotion of environmental tourism and awareness of the Upper Peninsula as one of the world’s greatest natural and cultural destinations, including working with the Sault Tribe of the Chippewa to develop a system of sharing tribal heritage as part of the sustainable tourism offerings throughout all fifteen counties in the Upper Peninsula.
The grant to Northern Initiatives includes assistance in developing communications and strategic planning, as well as the opportunity to make use of PAL expertise and research from Michigan State University’s Land Policy Institute to help inform its multi-sector collaborators.
PAL’s work is directed by a Leadership Council comprised of leaders representing a diverse and unique cooperative effort by seven Michigan organizations: The Michigan Association of REALTORS, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Suburbs Alliance, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, and the NAACP-Detroit Branch.
Northern Initiatives is among nine grantees, which received a combined total of $850,000 from the Kellogg Foundation and represent broad regional coalitions, each with specific objectives for regional collaboration and economic development.
To learn more about PAL’s Six Pillars for Prosperity, and information on the Regional Prosperity Initiative work, visit

Give a hoot: Don’t dump your hot tub in the forest
You expect to find many amazing sights and outstanding recreational opportunities in the U.P., but a tub in the middle of the woods generally is not one of them. Nor should it be. But that’s exactly what Forest Service personnel discovered on the Rapid River/Manistique Ranger District recently.
Even in just the past ten years, many tons of trash—from common household trash to tires to used automobiles and appliances—have been discarded carelessly in your National Forest creating hidden issues for the resource, for the public and for National Forest personnel.
While the dumper may avoid paying the nominal fees required for proper waste disposal, illegal dumping on National Forest lands has a high cost for society. This hidden cost is the result of several things. First, illegally dumped trash impacts natural resources.

Babycakes memories wanted
Babycakes is turning twenty in 2009. Do you have a babycakes story, memory or event with a special connection to Marquette’s first coffee shop? Please share it by e-mailing

How not to win friends and inFLUence people
Each year, on average, 36,000 Americans die of complications from the flu, and more than 200,000 are hospitalized.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step you can take to protect yourself, loved ones, co-workers and friends from this serious disease.
Many people who are in otherwise good health mistakenly believe they cannot get the flu, or if they do, it won’t be serious. But the flu is serious. And it can be particularly dangerous for certain people at high risk, including people sixty-five and older; people with chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, cancer, kidney or heart disease; and pregnant women and young children. An otherwise healthy person may be sick in bed for a week with the flu, but passing the flu on to someone in one of these groups could kill that person.
That is why CDC recommends that people in high-risk groups get an annual influenza vaccine and that close contacts of people in high-risk groups get vaccinated, too. Vaccinating all family members and caregivers is particularly important for infants younger than six months of age who are too young for vaccination. This provides a protective “cocoon” around the child.
For the same reason, CDC recommends that health care workers and anyone living with or caring for people in a high-risk group get vaccinated, too. New this year is CDC’s recommendation that children ages six months through eighteen years get vaccinated to avoid getting and spreading the flu and having potentially serious complications that could result in hospitalization or even death.
In addition, CDC advises people age fifty or older who often have chronic illnesses to protect themselves and loved ones by getting vaccinated.

Watersmeet priest removed from priestly ministry
Bishop Alexander K. Sample of the Catholic Diocese of Marquette has temporarily removed Father Aloysius J. Hasenberg, eighty-six, from priestly ministry and his residence at the rectory of Immaculate Conception Parish in Watersmeet.
After a preliminary investigation and consultation with the Diocesan Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, there is sufficient evidence that sexual abuse of a male minor had occurred. The allegation of sexual misconduct against Father Hasenberg dates back a number of years.
The bishop will now send the case to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as required by the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons. The Congregation will then give further direction on how the bishop should proceed.
In accord with the Diocese of Marquette’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct in Ministry, the bishop also has referred the matter to the civil authorities.
Bishop Sample has offered to meet with the victim/survivor, and the diocese has extended counseling and spiritual outreach to him.
The bishop asks the faithful to pray for the victim/survivor and everyone involved in this situation. He also encourages any victims/survivors of sexual misconduct by a priest, church worker or volunteer to bring their complaint to the diocese so they can receive outreach and pastoral care leading toward healing. Complaints can be made in the following manner: contact Rosalyn Groves at (866)857-6459 or or Stephen Lynott at (800)562-9745, ext. 107 or Director of Ministry Personnel; Diocese of Marquette; P.O. Box 1000; Marquette, MI 49855. Please mark the letter “Personal and Confidential” and indicate the means of response desired (by phone, by letter or in a meeting).

Granholm’s U.P. director takes job with Rio Tinto
Matt Johnson, director of the governor’s office for the Upper Peninsula, has resigned from his post and now works for Rio Tinto, the parent company of Kennecott Minerals.  The company has an office in Ishpeming, and is seeking to develop a nickel-copper mine on the Yellow Dog Plains, in addition to other mineral projects in the area.
Johnson now is involved with government relations for the company. Prior to working in the governor’s office, Johnson was Congressman Bart Stupak’s Upper Peninsula district administrator.
Johnson was the governor’s contact on metallic sulfide mining in the U.P., since 2003.  According to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) documents, Johnson assisted in coordinating the governor’s involvement in the formation of Michigan’s new nonferrous metallic mining laws and kept her informed on updates from the DEQ, the company and citizens. The DEQ’s deputy director provided Johnson with talking points for the governor regarding contentious issues related to Kennecott’s project.

Sheriff’s office encourages drivers to consider visibility
The Marquette County Sheriff’s office reminds everyone that being visible to other drivers, as well as being able to see out of all windows of your vehicle is very important.
During inclement weather and other times of low visibility, vehicles should have their lights on. Take time to clean off your windows before getting into your vehicle.
Even with more modern automatic lights on some vehicles, most do not turn on taillights until dark. Motorists are encouraged to turn on their lights any time visibility is reduced so those both in front and behind them can see their vehicles.

Local author corner
• Fire is a painfully shy Siberian husky who trusts dogs more than people. Where does she belong? The answer is revealed in A Place for Fire, a new soft-cover picture book published by author and sled dog musher Jackie Winkowski of Gwinn. The books will be available in select downtown Marquette stores. For details, visit or call 249-1011.
• Big Bay resident Tina Gratz published her second book, Barn Raising: Stories of a Vanishing American Legacy, a collection of stories and photos about barns in Lenawee County in southeast Michigan. Gratz is retired from teaching journalism at MSU and is the author of the award-winning A Transplanted Yooper: Mostly True Stories of Michigan’s U.P. The book is available from area book stores and gift shops or online at
• Jane Piirto will give a reading of prose and poetry in the Shiras Room at the Peter White Public Library at 7:00 p.m. on December 12. She will read from her new book of poems, Saunas, and from A Location in the Upper Peninsula, her book of collected poems, stories, and essays.
• A book about the early logging days, Lumberjack—Inside an Era in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, expanded and reissued fifty years after its first publication by one who lived the story, has filled a niche in the history of that amazing era. In response to this interest, North Country Publishing of Skandia announced the release of a fourth printing, available through the publishing company, local book and gift stores and museum shops and online. For details, call (866)942-7898, e-mail or visit

CCI news
• Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., reported financial results for the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2008. Consolidated third-quarter revenues increased ninety-two percent to a quarterly record of $1.2 billion, up from $620 million in the same quarter last year. For the 2008 third quarter, net earnings were up 207 percent to $175 million, and diluted earnings per share increased 198 percent to $1.61, versus the comparable quarter in 2007.
• Cliffs rescheduled the special meeting for shareholders to vote on its proposed merger with Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. to December 19. Cliffs said it rescheduled the meeting to allow shareholders adequate time to consider new information on the financial benefits of the pending transaction. Delaware Chancery Court approved a stipulation to move forward with new record and special meeting.
• Cliffs reported it has initiated production curtailments at two of its six North American Iron Ore mines. Cliffs indicated that the curtailments were necessary to bring production levels in line with demand. Cliffs temporarily will idle two small pellet furnaces at Northshore Mining and one small pellet furnace at United Taconite. Both locations are in Minnesota. On a combined basis, the three furnaces have monthly pellet production capacity of approximately 300,000 tons.
• Cliffs reported that in anticipation of potentially necessary production curtailments, its North America business unit has initiated compliance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, by notifying local officials and the United Steelworkers in four operating locations of the potential for production curtailments and employee reductions. WARN Act notification is required sixty days in advance under certain circumstances when there is a potential for layoffs of more than fifty employees for a period in excess of six months. The operations that could be affected are the Empire and Tilden mines in Michigan and the Hibbing Taconite and United Taconite mines in Minnesota.
• Cliffs announced that the boards of directors of both companies have approved settlement of litigation brought by Alpha in Delaware Chancery Court and termination of the previously announced definitive merger agreement, under which Cliffs would have acquired all outstanding shares of Alpha.

Notes from the desk of U.S. Senator Carl Levin
• U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan) made the following testimony to the Committee on Financial Services: “When today’s hearing is over and the witnesses return to their struggle to save their companies, the spotlight will be on Congress and our response to the plight of an industry resulting from an economic downturn not of their own making. The auto industry is like no other industry in this country. Ten percent of the nation’s jobs relate to the auto industry. The industry accounts for twenty percent of retail sales. Their dealers are on every main street in America, and their suppliers are in most of our states. Everyone agrees that any loans should be accompanied by strong oversight, taxpayer protections and a long-range financial plan outlining companies’ steps to produce energy efficient, advanced technology vehicles and achieve financial recovery…The problem right now is that there is no agreement on the source of funds for the bridge loans. My preferred course is contained in legislation that Senator Reid introduced Monday to provide bridge loans to the auto industry.  That approach would use just four percent of the $700 billion made available in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, which, after all, was enacted to restore stability to the economy. The White House says no to that source.  One way or another, this week we have to merge these two paths and provide the bridge loans for the domestic auto industry that the President, the President-elect and leaders on both houses support—for the sake of millions of workers and their future and to keep a recession from being pushed into a depression.”
•  Levin said the following after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to review the feasibility of using funding from the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA) to provide temporary assistance to the automotive industry: “The letter from Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi is a very positive step…If the Treasury Department rejects the suggestion of Pelosi and Reid and says the EESA language is not flexible enough, a bipartisan amendment to clarify the existing language is being prepared for consideration during the lame duck session of Congress.”

Local business news…in brief
• Dan Perkins Construction celebrated a grand opening in their new Washington Street and CR-581 location in Ishpeming; the twenty-eight-acre site now is home to the 6,500 square foot shop and manufacturing facility.
• Iron County resident Dean Dallavalle recently was named the 2008 hunter education instructor of the year by the Department of Natural Resources.
• Tom Moser, FACHE, has been named senior vice president of physician practices and regional operations at Marquette General Health System; Moser is responsible for leading the MGHS employed physician group and strengthening partnerships with other Upper Peninsula hospitals and providers.
• The Julian Smith Award, which recognizes an individual for a lifetime of achievement in the field of outdoor education, was awarded to Dr. Jean Kinnear from the heath physical education and recreation department at Northern Michigan University.
• The William Stapp Award, which recognizes an individual for a lifetime of achievement in the field of environmental education, was awarded to Dr. Donald Snitgen, retired NMU biology professor.
• Dr. Don Fitch, of Doctors Park Family Physicians in Escanaba, is the recipient of the inaugural Leader Among Peers Award by Superior Care Partners, a service of Marquette General Health System.
• Bishop Alexander K. Sample of the Catholic Diocese of Marquette presented two Catholic Service Awards, one to Franciscan Sister Ludmilla Gramann of Marquette and one to the late Robert J. St. Louis of Kingsford.
• The Up North Lodge in Gwinn recently raised $450 for the Marquette County Humane Society through its Tuesday Night Bike Night fundraising events.
• The Upper Peninsula Health Plan is one of the nation’s best health plans for the third consecutive year, according to U.S. News & World Report; UPHP ranks twentieth among Medicaid managed-care plans in the United States and third among Michigan health plans. The article appears in the magazine’s November 17 issue.
• Jorma Lankinen, owner of Jorma Lankinen General Contracting, Inc., has entered into a unique agreement with the Marquette General Foundation. Lankinen has agreed to gift the foundation, which raises money for Marquette General Health System, one percent of the sale price of any spec or custom made home he builds.

Star Date: December 2008
Moon & Planets—December opens with Jupiter and Venus forming a striking pair in the evening twilight. The crescent moon is to their upper left on the 1st. This bright duo soon begins to separate, however, as Venus climbs higher and Jupiter sets earlier each night. For the rest of December, Venus dominates the southwestern sky while Jupiter hovers low above the horizon. During the last week of December, fast-moving Mercury emerges from the bright twilight and heads toward Jupiter. This sets the stage for a remarkable New Year’s Eve. Jupiter and Mercury form a tight pair low in the southwest about an hour after sunset, with brilliant Venus and the crescent moon higher to the upper left. Saturn is a morning object in December. It rises after midnight and is in the south by first light. The last quarter moon is below it on the morning of 19th.

Constellations—The most prominent constellation in the fall sky is Pegasus. In the early evening it can be seen almost overhead to the south. The Winged Horse actually is flying upside- down as viewed from the Northern Hemisphere. This has given rise to much speculation as to the origins of this mythical horse and why it has been portrayed this way since ancient times. The core of this constellation is easy to spot with its four equally spaced second magnitude stars forming a pattern known as the “Great Square.” Located higher up above the Square, through Zenith and a bit farther north, is the famous jagged “W” of Cassiopeia. This constellation is circumpolar, which means the “W” can be seen all year long. This time of year, it looks like an “M” and rides high above the North Star.
—Craig Linde

Courtesy of the Marquette Astronomical Society. The next meeting is at 7:00 p.m. on December 19 in Shiras Planetarium. Visit for details or download a free monthly star chart at

A word to the wise
Verbum satis sapientibus: A word to the wise is sufficient
In 1330-31, soldiers at Windsor Castle just west of London were ordered to do an inventory of their munitions. To the warriors of this period, still trained in the longbow, gunpowder was a novelty. And just as today’s pilot can grow fond of his plane, or a first mate of his ship, so these medieval soldiers were particularly attached to their brand new weapons. So new was this device, which we call a cannon, they had no generic name for it, no common noun.
However, again like their modern counterparts, these soldiers often would give human names—proper nouns—to their weapons of war, generally women’s names. The fourteenth century Latin catalog they compiled, still extant, lists “una magna balista de cornu quae vocatur Domina Gunilda.” In translation: “a great horn-shaped propelling machine which is named Lady Gunilda.”
As these fearsome weapons multiplied, the common noun gunne, and later gun, developed from the proper noun Gunilda to refer to the entire class of explosive “balista.”
And so can the evolution of a word wend its wondrous way. Back in the spring of 2004, as you will no doubt recall, a couple of these columns dealt with similar verbal derivations, broadly called neologisms or “new words.” Today’s column deals particularly with neologisms derived from proper nouns.
Among several such words described in those earlier columns is the now common noun guy, or man. The word comes from the given name of Guy Fawkes, accused in a violent plot against King James I in 1605. Effigies of “the old Guy” were long fashioned and vilified, often burned, but over a few centuries, guy has come to refer to any man. Lynch also comes from a name, that of a Virginia justice of the peace in the 1780s, Charles Lynch, or is it from Lynche’s Creek in South Carolina, where in 1768 a group called the Regulators applied extra-legal “justice” to Tories? Then again, the Irish will tell you that lynch derives from the name of the mayor of Galway who felt compelled to hang his own son, a convicted murderer. The word for sandwich, you may recall, comes from the fellow who is credited with inventing, in about 1765, this now commonplace food. He was John Montagu, the fourth earl of Sandwich, which is a town in Kent in southeastern England. The food and the word caught on pretty quickly. Jane Austen writes in about 1800 of dining on sandwiches slathered with mustard.
A number of these common nouns that are derived from proper nouns have a classical origin. Caesarean is an obvious example and is traced to the tradition that Julius Caesar himself was delivered into the world via this surgical method. (Stay tuned for others next month.)
For now, here’s one other example. A once enshrined prerogative of sailors in the British Navy was a daily ration of rum, served neat and intended, no doubt, to give them strength. Then back in August 1740, an admiral named Edward Vernon decided to dilute his men’s daily rum ration with water, an egregiously unpopular move. (We can only reckon that the sailors’ presumed physical deterioration hastened the decline of the British empire.)
Now it so happens that Admiral Vernon was in the habit of wearing a cloak made of grogram, a loosely woven fabric of silk and wool or silk and mohair. (An apparently more contemporary derivative, according to my fashion consultant, is grosgrain.) Because of this trademark grogram garment, sailors had nicknamed him “Old Grog,” and this watered rum became derisively known as grog. By the way, lest you feel too sorry for the poor sailors, grog itself still could be potent, as this 1849 quotation from a Washington Irving story illustrates: “A free allowance of grog…soon put them in the most braggart spirits.”
Today, grog can refer pretty broadly to any drink based on rum. To further your guests’ holiday cheer, you could do worse than dig up a recipe for it. Or try this one, which serves one:
To two ounces of dark rum in a mug, add a teaspoon of dark brown sugar, three cloves, a one- inch piece of cinnamon stick, a tablespoon of lemon juice and a slice of lemon. Add boiling water. Caution: product may make you groggy.

Word for the month
Succor (SUCK-er, as in sucker), which can operate both as noun, meaning aid or relief, and as verb, to aid or to help. Succor, or succour to the British, is a good word for this month of gift-giving, when we open our checkbooks for those charitable workers who offer, in the words of Dr. Sam Johnson (1758), “the devotion of life or fortune to the succour of the poor.” Merry Christmas to all.
—Gerald Waite

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