City Notes – December 2007

Highlights of what’s happening in and around town


Dear editor
On October 10, the Mining Journal reported that the Marquette Board of Power and Light (BLP) had voted the night before not to reconstruct the hydro- electric dam at Marquette’s Tourist Park. Previous to that meeting, the Marquette City Commission voted to request that the dam be restored. The BLP board based its decision on facts that have been disputed by many in the community. The board voted, 3-1, with one member being disqualified by their attorney. I disagree with this action.
Now that they have voted, a final step has to occur. The Marquette Board of Light and Power has under its control more than 600 acres in seven differ parcels along the Dead River. Much of this property needs to be returned to the Citizens of Marquette. I understand a few of these acres will need to be withheld to support the small Forestville Dam, and the BLP facility on Wright Street. But to answer the complaint that the city owns too much property, land will help create those situations where taxable growth can occur.
During the past year, utility companies such as WE Energy and U.P. Power have been divesting themselves of much of the surplus property they own on the open market. The BLP needs to revert that property to the citizens of Marquette, so they can decide on the use of that property and protect the parcels that support water recreational usage.
A meeting about the Tourist Park Dam is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on December 3 between the BLP and the Marquette City Commission in the forum room at Lakeview Arena. This will give the public an opportunity to come forward and state its feelings.
Jerry Irby, Marquette

Dear editor
After a great deal of thought, I have decided to resign my position as director of the Vertin Gallery in Calumet as of December 24.
The growth of the gallery has been tremendous. To be director involves an overwhelming amount of time and energy, and it is time for the baton to pass to a younger person with a drive for the arts.
It truly has been a pleasure being involved in the emergence of a gallery, that showcases talented artists of the Upper Peninsula. The building and gallery have been a complement to the historic district. Seeing the excitement of visitors in response to our efforts makes all the hard work worthwhile.
I have moved the stones out of the road and am heading in a new direction. On January 2, 2008, I will open the Miskwabik Ed Gray Studio Gallery as well as the Vertin Press at 109-111 Fifth Street in Calumet. It’s a beautiful, three-story turn-of-the-century building with two store fronts, 4,000 square feet of gallery and 1,000 square feet of studio or office space all on one floor.
I have enjoyed my three-plus years of work at the historic Vertin Building and Gallery, but it’s time for a change. It is the responsibility of each of us to keep the focus on Art in the Keweenaw.
Ed Gray (Jikiwe)

Dear editor
Well, well. What do you know? Don Potvin is in the news again. Mr. Potvin said he just wants to find out what’s going on.
How about a violation of the city charter, Section 4.10, which states, “Except for the purpose of inquiry, the commission and its members shall deal with administrative service solely through the city manager, and neither the commission nor any member thereof shall give orders to any of the subordinates of the city manager.”
Could Mr. Potvin have a problem with the city manager? I can’t believe that. We all know the “Watch Dog” can quote the city charter from memory, as he has demonstrated so often. I don’t know how that section got overlooked.
Gee, I hope the Citizens Watch Group is watching this. Did somebody say “recall” instead of a “clean sweep” “How about “your goose is cooked”? Where do I sign up?
Bonnie Bradley

Dear editor
Although I always enjoy each issue of Marquette Monthly thoroughly, the article in the November 2007 issue by Pam Christiansen about Puv and the overdue book was excellent. I knew Puv, and Pam did such a great job capturing her personality and spirit.
I complimented Pam about the story, but it occurred to me I should thank you as well for having the ability and good fortune to obtain such excellent writers from our community to make your publication so diverse and interesting.
Sue Minkler
Dear editor
Thank you to the many volunteers and participants who made MooseWood Nature Center’s Haunted Bog Walk and Friendly Frights Forest 2007 our most successful.
More than 125 volunteers staffed creative scare stations, operated the Friendly Frights Forest, and helped out with concessions. NMU student organizations and individual students scared more than 2,300 people and offered “friendly frights” to 350 children seven and under.
Thank you to our many individual volunteers, especially Hans and Bonnie Pergande, Nicoletta Fraire and Bill Mihalopoulos, Nick and Emma Metcalf, Claire Twohey, and Jane Mogavero.0712cn1
Jessica Robyns, Carlie Ward and Jessica Childs made 350 popcorn hands for the Friendly Frights Forest.
Hugh Leslie and the staff of Parks and Recreation assist MooseWood all year, especially during Halloween and summer camp. The Marquette Rotary renovated and maintains the bog walk.
Kohl’s A-Team, mBank and Shopko employees helped set up, staffed scare stations, and led people through the bog. Thank you to Q107-WMQT, Marquette Monthly, TV 6, TV 13 and The Mining Journal for event coverage.
Thank you to MooseWood’s volunteer board of directors, our staff, especially Julie Lyle, and a special appreciation to our families for your help and forbearance.
Funds from MooseWood’s Haunted Bog Walk and Friendly Frights Forest make it possible to provide science education to schools in Marquette County and offer a year-round nature center on Presque Isle Park. MooseWood is grateful to all volunteers and participants for supporting science education in Marquette County.
Suzan Travis-Robyns,
MooseWood executive director

AIDS presentation to take place at NMU on December 3
An exhibit of fifteen panels from the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt will take place on December 3 at NMU in recognition of World AIDS Day, December 1.
The event will be hosted by the Black Student Union, and will take place in the Hedgcock atrium. For details, call Marquita at 869-1875 or e-mail

Holiday citrus sale to benefit Noquemanon Trail Network
The Noquemanon Trail Network (NTN) will hold a holiday citrus sale, with a deadline of December 1.
Florida naval oranges and Texas grapefruit are available. The cost is $32 for a fifty-six count of oranges, and $32 for a thirty-six count of grapefruit. Pick up is December 7 through 14 at Farmer Q’s Market on Washington Street in Downtown Marquette. Payment must be made at the time of the order.
To order, call 228-6182. All proceeds benefit NTN.

Nativity collection programs available to the public
This year, the Margrifs will share a major part of their crèche collection with groups rather than public open houses.
Two new programs, “The Nativity in Wood” and “The Nativity in Paper, Prose and Print” will be available for groups who would like to meet at the Margrif’s home during December or January.
Groups could be women, young adults, retirees, book, church or any group of friends or families who want to do something special for the season. A minimum of twelve would be expected, with a maximum of thirty-five.
Most dates are open and can be morning, afternoon or evening, weekdays or weekends. Any donations will go toward the Marquette County Habitat for Humanity 2008 building program.
About 125 crèches from the Margrifs’ collection will be on display, including the latest from Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. The small group programs have been well received in the past, and generally last a couple hours.
Call Carol at 249-9975 for details or to reserve a date from December 7 through January 30.
FRT celebrates 25 years of Ebenezer Scrooge!
The finishing touches are being put on the staging, singing, scenery and costumes in preparation for the twenty-fifth annual NMU holiday productions of Ebenezer Scrooge!
This Christmas musical for the entire family features a lively new adaptation of the Dickens classic, with music by Jeffery A. Bruning and libretto and lyrics by Denise Clark. Ebenezer Scrooge! runs at 7:30 p.m. from December 6 through December 9, with 1:00 p.m. matinees on December 8 and 9.
Forty-seven cast members from the NMU and Marquette community will bring the famous story to life. Heading the cast in the title role is Marquette native Stan Wright. Rusty Bowers appears as the ghost of Jacob Marley, Scrooge’s late business partner. Scrooge’s other ghostly visitors include Susan Boyle as Christmas Past; Chris Curry as the Spirit of Christmas Present (for the second year); and Timmy Grams as the ghost of Christmas Future (also for the second year). Mike Shimon plays Scrooge’s nephew.0712cn2
Luke Smetters and Elizabeth Stahl play Scrooge’s bedraggled clerk Bob Cratchit and his loving and ever-faithful wife Martha. Sydney Rehmann plays the adorable Tiny Tim. Tickets are on sale at the Forest Roberts Theatre box office, weekdays between noon and 5:00 p.m.For reservations, call 227-2082 during regular box office hours. Tickets also can be purchased at any EZ Ticket outlet, including the Superior Dome and the TCF Bank. Online reservations can be made at
Tickets are $8 and all seats are reserved.
MCAC opens enrollment for all qualified U.P. adults
The Medical Care Access Coalition (MCAC) announced an open enrollment period for all eligible Upper Peninsula adults to receive health care through the Adult Medical Program (AMP). The open enrollment period begins December 1. It has been fourteen months since enrollment was allowed.
Eligibility for AMP is determined by completing a Department of Human Services (DHS) application for Medical Assistance.
AMP-eligible patients are adults without dependent children with an approximate monthly income of $0 to $294 for an individual and $0 to $404 for two-person households after deducting $200 from the gross earnings and subtracting twenty percent from the adjusted gross. Assets must be less than $3,000.
You will need to provide proof of residency, age and thirty days income when submitting your application. If you receive other benefits through DHS, you need only to contact your caseworker to update your existing application.0712cn3
AMP coverage includes physician, outpatient hospitalization, pharmaceuticals, lab/radiology, medical supplies and ambulance services.
For details, call MCAC at 226-4400.

Sawyer Airport records totals for busiest third quarter
Three additional flights during the summer allowed airport officials to report the three-month period of July, August and September as the busiest third quarter for passenger travel to and from Sawyer.
During the third quarter of CY-2007, airport officials report an increase of approximately 10.35 percent, in comparison with the third quarter of CY-2006, and approximately seventy-two percent since Marquette County relocated airport operations to the former K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base in September 1999.
Northwest Airlink/Mesaba Airlines (with service to both Detroit and Minneapolis) reported good traffic numbers, carrying 22,252 passengers.
American Eagle Airlines (with jet service to Madison, Green Bay, Chicago O’Hare and soon to begin daily service to Milwaukee on December 13), continues to record excellent numbers by carrying nearly 14,000 total passengers, noting an increase of more than forty-eight percent over the third quarter of 2006.

DMA makes decision: New Year’s ball drop a no-go
At a meeting on November 13, the Downtown Marquette Association board of directors decided it is no longer in a position to absorb the costs associated with the New Year’s Eve ball drop.
Prior to 2006, the event was a joint effort between Savings Bank building owners, the City of Marquette and the DMA. In 2006, the city began charging for services associated with the event—nearly $4,000 a year. Sponsors were found to help offset the costs.
After looking at the increasing cost and a lack of direct benefit to downtown businesses, the DMA board decided it can no longer provide financial support for the event.
For details, call 228-6213.

Special Christmas programs featured on radio stations
Due to positive responses in years past, the Gospel Opportunities Radio Network again will feature traditional Christmas hymns and carols on all thirteen radio facilities located around the U.P., starting the day after Thanksgiving.
Beginning November 24, these songs will be joined by special Christmas cantatas and dramas each weekend to add to the Christmas celebration.
The local Marquette station featuring the holiday programming is 95.7 FM. For details or to request a Christmas program guide, call 249-1423.

Concert celebrates new CD release at Kaufman
Marking the release of his new CD, Michael Waite will perform at 7:30 p.m. at Kaufman Auditorium on December 28. The CD, Let it Go, was recorded earlier this year with the assistance of John Churchville, Jared Smith and Ryan Staples, all of whom will perform along with several other musicians and dancers.
Waite, who regularly performs at Harley’s in the Ramada Inn and the Northland Pub in the Landmark Inn, offers many of his own new songs. Smith will accompany him on guitar, with Churchville on drums and Dave Ziegner on bass. The concert features dance and choreography by Erica Waite. Other performers include Tom Laverty, Carrie Biolo, Bob Mahin, Ben Imdieke, Jessica Pesola and Kristin Chioidi.0712cn4
Smith plays with the Los Angeles band Hello Stranger, which has recently returned from a national tour. Churchville has played around the world, pursuing a fascination with Indian Tabla drumming. He directs the music program for a Montessori school in Ann Arbor. Staples’ Chicago company, Pragma Studios, produced the CD. All three graduated from Marquette Senior High School with Waite.
The new CD will be available for the first time at the concert. Tickets cost $10 in advance at the Marquette Food Co-op, Snowbound Books and other area merchants, and $12 at the door.

MCHM seeks nominations for historic preservation awards
The Marquette County History Museum is seeking nominations for the historical preservations awards program.
The Helen Longyear Paul Award is given to recognize outstanding individuals and the Peter White Award honors foundations, companies, organizations and institutions that have made an exceptional effort in the enhancement, restoration, conservation or interpretation of the history of Marquette County. Nominations should indicate the award category, how the individual/organization has shown dedication and commitment to local history and the projects in which they have been involved.
Presentations will be made in February at the museum’s annual meeting and winners will be listed on an engraved plaque in the museum. Mail nominations to the Marquette County History Museum, 213 North Front Street, Marquette, MI 49855 no later than January 15, 2008.

TFH encourages public to adopt a child for holidays
The holidays are a time filled with joyful memories of time spent with family and friends. But what if you didn’t have found memories of the holidays? What if you felt like there was nothing to look forward to? You don’t expect many gifts or special meal that take hours to prepare, or the presence of even family.
Many of the children at Teaching Family Homes (TFH) have been through horrific, unimaginable experiences. They don’t know what to expect on Christmas morning, who will be there, or if Santa will even come. The goal of TFH is to give children hope by showing them that someone cares.0712cn5
Adopt-A-Child provides a way to touch an individual child with your heartfelt donations. All children make gift lists and letters to Santa. Many children do so, not knowing if their wishes will be granted on Christmas morning. Every gift counts, whether it is $5 or a pair of clippers, everything is greatly appreciated.
For the past two years, the Upper Peninsula community has helped create joyous holiday memories for the children in TFH programs. They are hoping to continue to build on those memories again this year. If you would like to participate in this program, call 249-5437 or e-mail

2006-07 Marquette County Plat books available
The Marquette County 4-H Council is reminding hunters, gift givers and others that plat books are available at more than a dozen different locations in the county.
Help support the 4-H commitment to youth in Marquette and purchase a 2006-07 plat book at the following stores: LaPalme’s in Arnold, Powell Township Office in Big Bay, Gwinn Bait & Tackle, Forsyth Township office, Chocolay Township office in Harvey, Wilderness Sports in Ishpeming, Hyndman’s in Skandia, Phil’s 550 in Marquette, Quiet Sports Outfitters in Republic, Big Bay Outfitters, Country Village Bookstore in Ishpeming, Gander Mountain in Marquette, Lake Superior Community Partnership in Marquette, MSU Extension office in Negaunee, and the Marquette County Register office.
For details, call 475-5731.

Superiorland Kiwanis plans annual Christmas dinner
The Superiorland Kiwanis Club of Marquette is gearing up for the sixteenth annual community Christmas dinner to be held from noon to 3:00 p.m. at St. Michael Catholic Church on West Kaye Avenue in Marquette. Free rides may be arranged with Marq-Tran by calling 225-1112 at least a week in advance.
Everyone is welcome. If you would like a delicious turkey meal with all the trimmings, but can’t make it to the church, volunteers will pack up a meal and deliver it to your home.
Last year, almost 300 meals were served. None of this would be possible without the generosity of businesses that donate food, supplies, transportation and telephone-answering services. The volunteers from the community are a vital part of this dinner.0712cn6
Many families have made it a Christmas tradition to help at this dinner or to deliver a meal or two to someone who might not have any other visitor on Christmas. Volunteer help is also needed prior to the event to help with cooking, and after the event to help with clean-up and distribution of leftover food.
To make a reservation for dinner, volunteer or request a meal delivery, call 225-9423.

Town Folk seeks hat, mitten donations for Harbor House
Town Folk Yarns is accepting hats and mittens for donations to Harbor House. Bring in a new hat or mittens until December 15, and get a chance to win a $25 Town Folk gift certificate. Town Folk is located in the Masonic Square on West Washington Street in Downtown Marquette. For details, call 225-9010 or visit

Project Gift Wrap seeks local organizations for fundraiser
The Volunteer Coordinators of Marquette County have organized Project Gift Wrap at the Westwood Mall for the upcoming holiday season. Project Gift Wrap is a fundraising activity for groups and organizations in the area.
Shoppers make a cash donation to have their purchases wrapped. Fifty percent of the proceeds go to the community organization and fifty percent are used by the Volunteer Coordinators group to sponsor the annual National Volunteer Week celebration in April and Make a Difference Day in October.
Schedule times for your group to wrap between December 13 and 24 by calling Jane at 228-3578 or e-mailing

Local Big Brothers Big Sisters continues to grow
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marquette County welcomes three new staff members—Lee Brown, Tom Graves and Dave Jylha.
Brown is a graduate of Michigan Tech with a degree in English education, and will serve as match specialist and create fun activities for the Bigs and Littles.
Graves is a graduate of NMU with a degree in secondary education, and will work in schools and assist in fundraising, recruitment and marketing.
Jylha is a graduate of NMU with a criminal justice degree and will work as an enrollment specialist, helping Bigs and Littles who are entering the program.

Catholic diocese welcomes new priest into the fold
In 1998, Daniel Moll came to Houghton from Lower Michigan to complete his two-year associate’s degree in chemical engineering technology at Michigan Tech University. Nine years later, he’s getting a whole lot more than he bargained for.
Moll became a transitional deacon in June, and on November 29, will be ordained a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Marquette. The public is invited to the ordination liturgy, at 3:30 p.m. at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette; Bishop Alexander K. Sample will preside.
Moll was raised in a blue-collar family on the outskirts of Saginaw, where his father, John, was a career auto worker. His mother, Marian, stayed home to raise him and his two brothers. The Molls sent their children to Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School in Saginaw, where the boys were students through eighth grade.
After Moll is ordained, he will return to Manistique to preside at his first Mass at 5:30 p.m. on December 1 at St. Francis de Sales parish.

U.P. medical students receive helping hands grants
A group of medical students from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine (MSU-CHM) Marquette Campus is working to address the issue of postpartum depression (PPD), a major health issue for new mothers.
The American Psychiatric Foundation has awarded a $3,750 Helping Hands grant to help create the Upper Peninsula Maternal Emotional Support Program (UPMESP). The program was conceived by Sarah Roberts, a fourth-year medical student in the MSU-CHM Rural Physician Program.
Working with Marquette General Health System, the goals are to establish a postpartum depression risk assessment program at the MGH Family Birthing Center, develop educational materials for new mothers and increase community and physician awareness. Once the program is piloted at Marquette General, it will be available to hospitals throughout the Upper Peninsula.
For details, call 228-7970 or visit

Biggest little things in the world program, display set
Biggest little things in the world—this is what the originator of Christmas Seals, Emily Bissell, called the colorful, artsy and yearly stamps that have been used on letters, packages and cards for 100 years.
They were created as a fundraiser to keep a small tuberculosis sanitarium open on the banks of the Delaware River in 1907. The Upper Peninsula (Iron Mountain) produced the artists for the 1978 and 1979 stamps—Kirk Anderson and Anne Cerasoli.
The history and the illustrations for the past 100 years will be presented in a “Musical Celebration of Christmas Seals” in the Community Room of Peter White Public Library at 2:00 p.m. on December 16. Stan Wright and Robert Buchkoe will sing and play music that illustrates the decades of seals. Frank Richardson, the Gitchee Gumee Guys and the GSPW Troop #50 will be special guests. Original Christmas carols by Buchkoe and Richardson will be performed, along with many familiar holiday songs. The visuals will be presented by Carol Margrif, retired American Lung Association U.P. executive director.
Buchkoe’s collection of Christmas Seals will be displayed in first floor cases of the library and the larger items, including tuberculosis displays from ALA, will be on the second floor during the months of December and January.
Marq-Tran will provide bus service through a special grant for seniors at $1 round trip. There is no charge for the Sunday program, and Christmas cookies and punch will be served.
For details, call 249-9975.

Marquette’s Christmas Bird Count set for December 15
The sixtieth annual Marquette Christmas Bird Count will take place on December 15. The Laughing Whitefish Audobon Society welcomes birders of all abilities to join the local count, one of nearly 2,000 counts scheduled to take place throughout the country on that day.
Counters can participate by joining a team of birders for all or part of the day, or by counting birds at their home feeders if located in the count circle. The official 7.5-mile radius circle is centered at the old city hall building in Downtown Marquette.
Groups will meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Donut Hole on South Front Street or at 8:15 a.m. at Mattson Lower Harbor Park. No preregistration is necessary. Participants pay a $5 fee, which is submitted to the National Audobon to pay for count administration, management and publication of results at
Youth younger than eighteen do not need to pay the fee. Call 228-8781 or e-mail for details.

Fundraiser in place for free weights for MTU hockey
The Michigan Tech Blue Line Club is raising funds to purchase additional free weights for the Husky hockey program. You can help with a donation of any size—every dollar donated will help to purchase one pound of weights for the hockey program.
Donors are invited to fill out a free weight cutout for display in the Blue Line Club skybox at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Copies of the form will be available in the skybox during the December 15 game against NMU.
The form also is available online under the “Spirit Groups” link from
E-mail for details.

LSSU alum works on NASA project at space center
A Lake Superior State University engineering alum’s latest project for NASA has been unveiled at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. “The Chariot” is a prototype lunar utility truck that will let astronauts haul payloads across the Moon’s surface within the next twenty years, if all goes according to plan.
It’s the latest in a series of projects that Tom Waligora has thrown himself into since being hired more than three years ago by the space systems division (OSS) of Oceaneering Advanced Technologies. The Houston-based company designs everything from hardware for shuttle and space station astronauts to use on EVAs, to intricate mechanisms that eject satellites into orbit from the space shuttle or other rockets.
His first company project was to help develop a microsatellite deployment system for the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program, designed to fly in the Space Shuttle’s cargo bay. It was used during a flight that Shuttle Discovery made to the Space Station last December.
Waligora spent most of 2007 working with a group of engineers at JSC on the Chariot concept.
A lunar architecture team first evaluated vehicle types against mission requirements, and then considered launch limits and cost constraints. Then it was up to Waligora and other engineers to build a working prototype.
The 5,000-pound vehicle moves fifteen miles an hour. Each of the truck’s eight wheels generate 600 foot-pounds of torque, four times that of an average SUV engine.

Richardson Jewelers kicks off fundraiser for United Way
Richardson Jewelers is holding a fundraiser for the United Ways of Marquette and Delta counties between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Giving Trees in the Escanaba and Marquette stores will be decorated with gold Richardson Jewelers boxes containing gifts that can be purchased with a $15 donation to the United Way.
Richardson Jewelers is stocking the tree with $25 and $50 gift certificates, assorted gemstones, a variety of jewelry items, gift certificates for area businesses and one grand prize of a $500 Richardson Jewelers gift certificate. The fundraiser will run through December 24.
The money raised by these donations will go to the United Ways to help support local nonprofit agencies in Marquette and Delta counties. Visit or call 226-8171 for details. For more on the “Giving Tree” fundraiser, call Richardson Jewelers at 228-2200.

Tax advice available for free at Peter White Public Library
John Scram, an experienced tax-preparer, will be available for free tax information on the following dates between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. in the main floor conference room at Peter White Public Library: December 5 and 19; January 2, 16 and 30; February 13 and 27; and March 5 and 19.

Stormy Kromer crafts new Lambeau Field trademark cap
Stormy Kromer, the trusted source for high-quality, reliable outdoor headwear from Ironwood, and the Green Bay Packer Pro Shop have collaborated on a new offering that allows fans to show their team pride and enjoy the thrill of the game without succumbing to the chill of the Frozen Tundra.
A new officially licensed Lambeau Field Stormy Kromer Cap is exclusively available at the Packer Pro Shop. Embroidered with the Lambeau Field logo, the hats come in Green Bay Green with a matching gold tie and Stormy Kromer signature.
The introduction of Lambeau Field Stormy Kromer Caps is something of a homecoming for the Stormy Kromer Cap, which was invented by George “Stormy” Kromer in Kaukauna (Wisconsin). The caps were later made in Milwaukee for many years before changing hands and moving to Ironwood in 2001.
For details, visit

Peninsula Arts Appreciation Council presents awards
The Peninsula Arts Appreciation Council has many people who volunteer their time to get a show up and running in areas such as acting, music, lights, publicity, and another half dozen or more volunteers to be there each night to assure that the concessions, box office, ushers and ticket-takers are staffed.
Everyone works to create a show, and the basic reward is having an audience that appreciates and enjoys the show.
There are so many people to thank each season, but some just stand out a little more than others and are presented PAAC’s VIP Award. This is the third year for the awards, and they were held at Upfront & Company in Marquette.
The best actor went to Brian Elliott, who has performed in numerous plays at Forest Roberts Theatre at NMU and at the Vista Theater in Negaunee. The award for the best newcomer went to Jennifer Skogman of Escanaba who played the role of Janet in the Rocky Horror Show.
Actor Pat Wagner has improved continually from last season and was awarded a certificate for his achievement.
PAAC also looks for the best youth actor and this year that award went to Max Alexander who played Nathan Lukowski of Negaunee in The Full Monty. Marty Martello was awarded for his tech work and expertise. Jim Bushey and his “bandits” were honored for all their help, food, props and plain ol’ fun.
For details, or to contribute to PAAC, visit

Gwinn Baptist church changes worship times
The First Baptist Church of Gwinn will change the time of their morning worship services to 9:45 a.m. and Sunday school time to 11:00 a.m., through December 30. For details, call 346-6115.

Tidbits from the desk of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow
• U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) introduced the Community Health Center Capital Investment Act of 2007, which will help community health centers make critical infrastructure upgrades and expand their facilities to meet more fully the needs of underserved patients.
• Stabenow announced that her bipartisan amendment to improve accessibility of the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) for low-income seniors will be included in the Senate Farm through more than 140 projects in thirty-two states, including Michigan. Last year 80,000 Michigan families and seniors benefited from this program.
• Stabenow, Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), along with Michael Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending; Pat Combs, president of the National Association of Realtors; and Debra Jones, president of the Detroit Alliance for Fair Banking, discussed the growing foreclosure crisis in America and efforts to help homeowners.
• Stabenow and Carl Levin (D-Michigan) announced that five Michigan organizations have been awarded $267,925 through the Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP), including the Calumet Village Volunteer Fire Department ($22,261) and the Whitefish Township Fire Department in Paradise ($54,389).

Local author’s corner
• Gwinn author-musher Jackie Winkowski’s newest book, Smokey’s Run, will debut at the TV6 Christmas Craft Show at the Superior Dome from November 30 through December 2. The soft-cover thirty-page book with a target audience of young readers will have appeal for dog fanciers of all ages. The book, which has color images throughout, also will be available at select Downtown Marquette stores. For details, call 249-1011 or write Winkowski at 270 Flodin Road, Gwinn, MI 49841.

Local business news…in brief
• The Marquette General Neuroscience Center has been awarded a three-year, $90,000 grant from the Helen Bader Foundation of Milwaukee to assist the Memory Diagnostic Center in providing ongoing caregiver support to families caring for a loved one diagnosed with memory loss.
• Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. reported third-quarter and nine-month results for the periods ending September 30; in addition, CCI confirmed its 2007 iron ore sales guidance of twenty-two million tons in the North American, and million tons in the Asian-Pacific markets. Cliffs also expects to produce approximately 4.5 millions tons of metallurgical coal in 2008.
• Teaching Family Homes of Upper Michigan announced its recent national accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitative Facilities.
• The Upper Peninsula Health Plan (UPHP) is one of America’s best health plans for the third consecutive year, according to U.S. News and World Report; UPHP ranks eighteenth among Medicaid managed-care plans in the United States and fifth among Michigan health plans.

Star Date: December 2007
Moon & Planets—Mars is at opposition this month and at its brightest. It rises opposite the sun at sunset and is very high in the south at midnight. The red planet is brighter than any star in the sky. Yellowish Saturn rises after midnight and very bright white Venus is in the east in the predawn sky. The full moon on the 23rd also is opposite the sun and therefore close to Mars. The young moon sets early on the night of the 13th, which leaves the sky dark for the Geminid meteor shower. The winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, is on the 22nd.

Constellations—The constellation of Andromeda contains the only object that can be glimpsed with the unaided eye that is not a member of our home Milky Way galaxy. The nearby stars in our own galaxy form Andromeda. Using these local stars as stepping stones, one can find the Andromeda Galaxy, which is more than two million light years away. Getting away from all city lights, start by looking high overhead for the Great Square of Pegasus. The constellation of Andromeda shares the upper left corner star of the Square with Pegasus. Counting this corner star as the first step, advance to the upper left to the third star of the chain that forms Andromeda. From this third star, look for two dimmer stars above it in line to the north. Near this final star the Andromeda Galaxy can be seen as a faint, hazy elongated patch of light. Slowly moving your eyes around this area will help to pick out its full shape. Binoculars will show it easily.
—Craig Linde

Courtesy of the Marquette Astronomical Society, which meets four times a year. The next meeting is at 7:00 p.m. on December 16. For details, visit

A word to the wise
Verbum satis sapientibus: A word to the wise is sufficient
I promised more on the subject of last month’s column, and here it is: Blended Words, Part II. Promise made, promise kept.
Blends are a fusion of parts of two words to make one, and we offered examples from readers. From Bridget, yet another alert reader, comes a fresh example, elacceleration, that is, pushing a floor button repeatedly in the elevator to make the door close sooner. This same lass writes that, growing up in Marquette, she and her friends called such words sniglets, though the term doesn’t register with the folks at Webster’s.
Call them blended or fused words, or portmanteau words, or sniglets, here are more examples, the first several from winners in a Washington Post contest:
Cashtration. A state of financial impotence after buying a house.
Intaxication. Euphoric intoxication at getting a tax refund, the hangover beginning when you realize it was your money to start with.
Bozone. An invisible substance, surrounding stupid people, that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer shows little sign of breaking down soon.
Inoculatte. To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
Glibido. All talk and no action.
Another reader passed these along, new combinations if not strictly blends:
Mouse potato. The online, wired generation’s answer to the couch potato.
Percussive maintenance. The fine art of whacking an electronic device, like a computer, to get it working right.
Assmosis. The process by which some people absorb success or advancement and consisting of kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.
Woofs. An acronym, actually, for well-off older folks. Well, OK, that’s more properly an acronym rather than a blend, but it was worth passing on.
Technological and scientific advances, of course, bring a need for new words, perhaps from Latin or Greek roots or from acronyms, and sometimes from blends, like these:
Blog, a web log.
Televersity, a university that teaches via the worldwide web.
Pharming, pharmaceutical farming, as through the creation of plants and animals to harvest useful proteins.
Digiverse, the digital universe, an online term.
And finally, a surprising blend—gremlin, a mischievous sprite, a sort of elf. If you read the sports pages hereabouts, you know that Houghton High School’s teams are called the Gremlins.
According to the noteworthy word-lover Michael Quinion, the term is not so ancient as we might suppose. He writes on his World Wide Words Web site that children’s author Roald Dahl claimed to have created gremlin as recently as World War II. However, other evidence suggests that it is a little older and was used in the Royal Air Force during the First World War.
Our readers in Houghton may offer other derivations, but Quinion suggests that gremlin may be a blend of goblin and Fremlin, the latter a beer commonly available in the airmen’s mess hall. So after you’ve lifted a few of those glasses, any amount of devilment might surface.
Word for the month
J ocose, jocund or jocular (jo-COSE, like morose, JOCK-end, JOCK-you-ler)—take your pick. Each means pretty much the same thing: cheerful, given to joking; playful, merry, gay, even witty.
All are centuries old and seem to be linked to the Latin jocus, meaning (what else?) a joke. Shakespeare’s Romeo offers a charming example: “Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountaintops.” And a jocose Christmas to all.
—Gerald Waite

Editor’s Note: Questions or comments are welcome by writing MM or at

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.