HERE WE GO, FOLKS!  ANOTHER FULLY PACKED WEEKEND!

Full up with things to do, Marquette County is locked and loaded with events and activities.  This morning, we had a chance to highlight two of them for your consideration.  So without further ado and hyperbole, here they are!

ON SATURDAY CHECK OUT SOME DRUM & BUGLE CORP ACTION!

EVENT ORGANIZER JIM MANTY.

Jim Manty joined us this morning to give us the details of the “Bugler’s Holiday” Drum & Bugle Corp exhibition and competition being held this Saturday at the Ishpeming High School Gymnasium.  The event will feature drum and bugle corps from around the region and is being hosted by the Ishpeming Blue Notes.  This event is open to the public and is a great opportunity for folks to hear some fantastic music.  To listen to excerpts from Jim’s morning show interview, please click “HERE“.  For more information about the event and the Ishpeming Blue Notes, log onto their website by clicking “HERE“.

ON SUNDAY, TAKE IN A POLISH CUISINE FUNDRAISER.

DINNER ORGANIZER CHRIS KIBIT.

Chris Kibit, from Northern Michigan University stopped in this morning to tell us all about the annual “Share Your Love” Benefit Dinner which is being held this Sunday from 11a to 3p at the Masonic Center in Marquette.  This annual fundraiser is put on by the Polish-American Society of Northern Michigan and raises funds for an orphanage in Kutno, Poland and the American Polish Assistance Association.  The dinner features a variety of Polish dishes including Kielbasa, Dill Pickle Soup, Pierogi and more.  To listen to a portion of Chris’s interview from this morning, please click “HERE“.  For more about the APAA, please click “HERE“.

GET OUT AND ENJOY A BUSY WEEKEND!

There it is…only two of a multitude of things going on this weekend.  I hope you can get out and enjoy what Marquette County has to offer.  It’s worth the effort, and always rewarding!

CHEERS!

-Walt

YOUR GREAT LAKES CENTER FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

GLCYD'S ANN GONYEA.

Ann Gonyea, with the Great Lakes Center For Youth Development joined us in the studios to talk about “sparks”.  No, not those kinds of sparks!  What she meant was those inklings and early drives people feel as children to follow certain interests.  For example, athletics, music, art or even wanting to do radio!  Many time as we mature, we put those sparks out or on the back shelf and go on with our lives.  Ann told us about a program that focuses on those sparks in area youth to develop them and use them to develop the youth into productive and effective community leaders.  To listen to the interview with Ann, please click “HERE“, and to go to the website for the GLCYD agency, please click “HERE“.

SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK IN MICHIGAN, THE SUMMERTIME VERSION!!

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE'S MATT ZIKA.

Matt Zika, with the National Weather Service Office in Negaunee Township, joined us again to talk about Severe Weather Awareness Week, this time looking at the summertime version with strong thunderstorms, tornadoes and more.  Matt told us about the importance of having a working weather radio and being aware of changing weather conditions to be ready for any summertime severe weather that may move across our area.  He also talked about the latest round of storm spotter training going on over the next few weeks in all counties here in Upper Michigan and how anyone who is interested in learning more about being a storm spotter this summer season.  To listen in to Matt’s interview, please click “HERE” and to head on over to the National Weather Service, please click “HERE“.

A LOCAL BUSINESS DOES WELL.

COUNTRY INN & SUITES GM GAIL ANTHONY.

Gail Anthony, General Manager of the Country Inn & Suites in Marquette joined us to talk about a great recognition recently awarded to the hotel as the Carlson Hotels’ 2009 Hotel of the Year.  This is the first time that a Country Inn & Suites has won this international award and according to Anthony, it was an unexpected and surprising honor.  So a popular lodging establishment in little ol’ Marquette has gained some international exposure.  To listen to Gail’s comments, please click “HERE“.

M-DOT MEETS WITH THE PUBLIC TONIGHT ABOUT THE ROUNDABOUT.

M-DOT ENGINEER ANDY SIKKEMA

Andy Sikkema, Transportation Engineer with the Michigan Department of Transportation gave us the latest update on the planned modern roundabout construction at the US-41/Front Street intersection that will begin later this month and run through August.  Sikkema told us about a public meeting being held tonight in Marquette at the Citizen’s Forum at Lakeview Arena.  The meeting is being presented by M-DOT and the City of Marquette to answer the public’s questions about how to drive through the new roundabout and what the construction schedule will be for the project.  To listen to the interview please click “HERE“, and to be connected to the Department of Transportation website, click “HERE“.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS ISSUES FOR WOMEN IN MARQUETTE COUNTY.

MGH'S CINDY AMPE.

Cindy Ampe, Director of the Women’s and Children’s Center at Marquette General Health Systems stopped in with a run-down of an upcoming conference at the hospital that takes a closer look at health and wellness issues for women across Marquette County of all ages.  The free conference features two tracks of programming, one for younger women and the other for older women, is being held at the hospital in Marquette and on-line registration can be done at  Marquette General’s website.  To listen to Cindy’s morning show interview, please click “HERE“, and to log on to the Marquette General Health Systems website, please click “HERE“.

A UNIQUE WEST-END OF MARQUETTE COUNTY FOOD DRIVE.

FOOD DRIVE ORGANIZER DICK DERBY.

Dick Derby, organizer of the Project Ishpeming Food Pantry food drive joined us yesterday to tell us about the project.  The effort includes the distribution of four thousand bags in the City of Ishpeming that are to be filled with non-perishable food items, paper products and various hygiene product.  The plan is to then place the bags on the curb on Saturday morning to be picked up by volunteers.  The items will then be distributed to the Ishpeming Salvation Army and St. Vincent dePaul stores.  Dick also told us about how this project came to be and why folks need to fill the bags that show up at their homes.
To listen to the complete interview, please click “HERE“.

CONGRESSMAN BART STUPAK TALKS ABOUT RETIREMENT.

U.S. CONGRESSMAN BART STUPAK (D-Menominee)

U-S Congressman Bart Stupak joined News Director Walt Lindala this morning to follow-up on his announcement on Friday that he would not be running for a 10th term in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Stupak became the center of controversy following his recent vote over the health care legislation that made political history in the United States.  The 58-year-old Stupak said Friday that he was stepping down after 30 years in public service, with 18 of those years in Congress.

In this exclusive interview with Great Lakes Radio News, Stupak re-iterated why he is stepping down now in the wake of all of the political heat generated by the health care vote and explained how, while it was impossible to ignore, was not a controlling factor in his decision.  To listen to the Congressman’s comments, please click “HERE

UPPER MICHIGAN CONGRESSMAN BART STUPAK ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT IN MARQUETTE.

CONGRESSMAN BART STUPAK, JOINED BY HIS WIFE LAURIE, ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT AT THE SUPERIOR DOME IN MARQUETTE.

The latest chapter in the career of Congressman Bart Stupak unfolded today on the campus of Northern Michigan University in Marquette.  Speaking at a press conference at the Superior Dome, and citing a 30-year career in public service including representing the 1st District in Congress for 18 years, Stupak announced that he will not seek re-election in November.  The announcement came after Stupak made the final decision with his family in the last day and a half or so.

Stupak had been thrust into the national spotlight of late due to his position concerning the public funding of abortion services in the extremely controversial health care reform bill as it made it’s way through Congress.  Stupak’s vote was

THE CROWD AND MEDIA GATHER TO HEAR CONGRESSMAN STUPAK ANNOUNCE HIS RETIREMENT.

considered by many as the “yes” or “no” to the bill becoming law.  Following his decision to vote in favor of the measure, Stupak became the target of many political activist groups including the Tea Party Movement, who had slated him as their number two Democrat targeted for being voted out of office after Harry Reid in November.

The Menominee Democrat says that the recent attacks against him and his family and the controversy over health care were not deciding factors in his plan to retire.  In fact, Stupak said he felt that if he would have ran this fall, he would have won the race handily.  Stupak says he will now take some time to plan for retirement and will explore other options.  He says he will continue to serve the people of the 1st Congressional District, but in a new way.

To listen to the comments of Congressman Stupak from an exclusive interview with Great Lakes Radio News following the official press conference, please click “HERE

The following is the text of Congressman Stupak’s comments that were delivered today at the press conference at the Superior Dome on the campus of NMU in Marquette:


The people of Northern Michigan have provided me with the honor of representing them in Congress for the past 18 years.  I am truly grateful for their support.

I have the distinct honor of serving as your Congressman longer than any other member in modern times – longer than Bob Davis, Phil Ruppe, or John Bennett.

When I first ran for Congress in 1992, I campaigned on a pledge to make affordable, quality health care a right, not a privilege, for all Americans.  I promised the people of the First District that I would not accept the insurance that Members of Congress receive – the Federal Employees Health Benefit Package – until all Americans could have access to that same quality of care.  For the last 18 years, I have kept that promise.

Since the day I took office, I have fought to improve the quality and accessibility of health care for people throughout Northern Michigan, and across this country.  Despite many set backs, in the process and in politics, I never gave up hope, and I never gave in.  As a result, we’ve made significant progress.

Today, in Northern Michigan, eleven Community Based Outpatient Veterans Clinics have been established to provide veterans with the care they need and deserve.

Broadband access for Northern Michigan hospitals serves as a model for the country of how to improve the quality and efficiency of care and lower costs in rural areas.

We’ve improved emergency rooms and provided updated diagnostic technology, leading to improved medical treatment and critical prevention services.

And, last month, we finally accomplished what I set out to do 18 years ago – we passed comprehensive national health care reform!

Throughout the past year, I have worked alongside my colleagues to achieve health care reform and I’m proud to have helped bring it across the finish line.

As a result of that work, today we are on a path to provide health insurance for 32 million more Americans, including 38,000 people living in Northern Michigan.

Today, because of these reforms, all American families – including more than 197,000 here in Northern Michigan – will see their costs lowered and receive important consumer protections so that they no longer have to live in fear of being one illness or injury away from bankruptcy.

Today, children can no longer be denied care because of a preexisting condition, and no insurance can drop you or your family from care, or cap your insurance coverage, due to a serious or chronic illness.

Today, because of reform, seniors will be able to afford their prescriptions drugs, and Americans will receive the preventive care they need.

And today, small businesses can receive tax credits to help make employee coverage more affordable.

After 18 years, together we have accomplished what you sent me to Washington to do.

My friends and family know that during the past several election cycles, when it seemed like health care reform was an impossible dream in Washington, I considered retiring from Congress.   I wish to spend more time with my family and begin a new chapter in my career.

But, in each of the past several election cycles, I chose to continue to serve the people of the First District, because I felt we still had work to do.

In 2004, after voting against the war in Iraq, I worked to elect John Kerry so that we could bring the illegal and immoral war to an end.

In 2006, when it seemed possible for Democrats to regain the majority and put this country back on track, I worked hard to make that happen.  When it did, I became Chairman of Oversight and Investigations, the most fascinating subcommittee in all of Congress!

Over the last four years, we have launched investigations into high-profile issues such as border security, nursing home safety, security breaches at nuclear weapons labs, food and drug safety investigations, excessive energy speculation, discriminatory practices of the health insurance industry, and the recent Toyota sudden unattended acceleration problems.

And, two years ago, I saw an opportunity to finally enact health care reform with the election of a new president.

While legislative accomplishments have been a significant part of my career, perhaps the thing I am most proud of over the past 18 years as your Congressman is helping you, my friends, my neighbors, and my constituents.

My staff and I have helped tens of thousands of people resolve problems and cut through red tape.  Problems such as helping secure benefits through the Veterans or Social Security Administration, or helping with a tax problem at the IRS, or securing medals for a service member who valiantly served our country.  We’ve helped people obtain passports, secure local mail delivery service, and obtain funding to weatherize their homes in order to save money on their monthly bills.

These may seem like little things, but to me and my dedicated staff they are the most important things.

I want to thank members of my staff, past and present, both here in Northern Michigan and Washington DC., especially those individuals who have been with me from the beginning of my Congressional career:

Chief of Staff, Scott Schloegel, District Director, Tom Baldini, Sue McCarthy, Ann Fix, Amy Wisti, and Sue Norkowski.  I thank them for their dedication, loyalty, and hard work.

I have spent more than 30 years in public service – as a police officer in Escanaba, a Michigan State Police Trooper, a State Representative and now a United States Congressman.   My service to the people of Michigan has been the greatest honor of my life.

But, it is time to begin a new chapter.

Last night and early this morning, I informed Democratic leaders and key supporters that I would not seek reelection to Congress.   I will always serve the people of the First District, but have chosen not to continue to do so as their Congressman.

I am committed to helping Democrats retain this seat as I believe we must continue to fight for our working families and small businesses, for our economic and national security, for our environment, and for our quality of life.

By announcing my intentions here today, potential candidates will have ample opportunity to organize campaigns and collect the necessary signatures before the May 11th filing deadline.

I want to thank the people of Northern Michigan for putting their faith in me.  For 18 years, I have traveled this district – from Keweenaw Bay – to Grand Traverse Bay – to Saginaw Bay – and all points in between – to hear your concerns and share in your joys and disappointments.

I have enjoyed almost each and every minute, and fought for you and your families each and every day.   But, now it is time for me to spend a little more time with my wife of 36 years, Laurie, whose love and commitment has sustained me through the years . . .  with my son, Ken, and his family . . . and my extended family and friends.

Thank you.

UPPER MICHIGAN DEMOCRAT BART STUPAK WILL NOT RUN AGAIN.

US CONGRESSMAN BART STUPAK (D-Menominee)

Several news sources are reporting this morning that US Congressman Bart Stupak, a Menominee Democrat will not seek re-election.  The following report is from the Associated Press:

Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak tells The Associated Press he’ll retire from Congress rather than seek a 10th term this year.

Stupak has drawn stinging criticism from opponents of the recently enacted health care overhaul after leading a block of anti-abortion Democrats whose last-minute support was crucial to its approval by the House.

The Tea Party Express is calling for his defeat at rallies in his sprawling northern Michigan district this week.

But Stupak tells the AP the attacks didn’t influence his decision and he could win re-election if he tried.

He plans to announce his decision at a 12:30 p.m. news conference at Northern Michigan University.

He says he wants to spend more time with his family and start a new career after 18 years in Congress.

SPRINGTIME IN MARQUETTE COUNTY!!

A SNAPSHOT OF THE MALL PARKING LOT FROM THIS MORNING.

AHHH, SPRING! What a marvelous time of year!  Such eager optimism, looking ahead to a new season of rebirth and restarting of the machines while shaking off the snowy shackles of winter.  It’s a time where we can unanimously agree that, once again, we have made it through another dreary season of forced-air heating, incessant scraping of ice and the shoveling of snow to simply make a walkway to get from your house to your garage or to your car, which may or may not start.  Ahh, the freshness of it all!  It really does one’s heart good.

Yes.  That is sarcasm…enjoy today’s snow.

You know I will.

And yes, THAT is even more sarcasm.

TALKIN’ SUMMER CLASSES AND MORE WHILE THE SNOW FALLS GENTLY FROM THE SKY!

SMILIN' APRIL "L" FROM DEAR OLD NMU!

April Lindala, Director of the Center for Native American Studies at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, stopped by the studios today to promote a series of summer educational courses being offered this year at the University.  The classes are relatively short, intensive two-week sessions that are tuned to a series of topics including immersive nature-based Ojibway language training.  She also talked about a special series of presentations and workshops being presented this Monay on campus featuring violence prevention educator Paul Kivel.  To listen to the comments from April’s interview, please click “HERE“.  For more information on the classes and the seminar on Monday, or to find out more about the Center for Native American Studies, log on to their website by clicking “HERE“.

“FIRE UP” IS BACK THIS WEEKEND IN MARQUETTE!

DIRECTOR OF THE "FIRE UP" CONFERENCE, JILL SEPPALA.

Jill Seppala, Director of the Fire Up conference, came by today to give an update on the conference that is being held this weekend at Lakeview Arena in Marquette.  The event, now in it’s 24th year, features music, fellowship and prgramming geared for both young people and adults, all with a positive Christian message.  Jill explained how folks can take part in the event and all of it’s programs and also how they can volunteer to help keep the overall weekend running smoothly.  To listen in to Jill’s interview, please click “HERE“.  To find out more about the Fire Up event, please click “HERE” to log on to the official website.


THE DANG SPRING SEEMS TO HAVE SPRUNG!

Hopefully, by the time I write in this here blog again tomorrow, that blasted snow will have melted away.  Of course, that will just serve to make everything muddy and messy.  FEH!  I much rather prefer to sit on the porch with an acoustic guitar and a cold beverage in 75-degree weather that deal with this snowy crud.  Oh well, I guess it’s just part of the joys of living here in the good ol’ Upper Peninsula of Michigan!

See you all later!

CHEERS!


-Walt

MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP RESIDENTS NEED TO STEP UP.

The Marquette Township Board of Trustees is continuing with an effort to gather and organize public input for the purpose of strategic planning.  The Board is strongly encouraging township residents to attend the scheduled meetings over the remainder of this month in order to make sure that their opinions are heard as the future of the township is developed.  The next scheduled public input session is on Thursday, April 15th at the Township Fire Hall at 6:00pm.  The final session is set for Monday, April 19th at the Township Hall.

The Board will also be holding two sessions at the Township Hall to consider the formal establishing of the strategic plan for the township.  Those meetings are scheduled for Monday, April 26th and Thursday, April 29th.  The meetings will begin at 6:00pm.  Township officials are asking a representative from each neighborhood in the township to attend each session in order to ensure all voices are heard as the strategic plan is developed for the rest of this year and into the long-term future of Marquette Township.

To log on to the to the Marquette Township official website, please click “HERE” .

GO TIGERS!

HANGING WITH THE MISSUS AND TIGERS MASCOT "PAWS" AT COMERICA PARK IN DETROIT.

Yup, it was fun to watch the Detroit Tigers come out with a win on opening day.  I hope they continue their winning ways all the way to the World Series.  That would be fun and I am sure that the City of Detroit would not mind the boost of good energy for a change.  Just remember, though, if the Detroit Tigers win the World Series this year (or any year, for that matter), PLEASE do not burn the city down in an alcohol-induced “celebration”.  1984 was bad enough!!  But anyway, I digress…GO TIGERS, GO!  Let’s have a winning season and bring the World Series trophy back to Detroit!

MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP LOOKS TO ITSELF FOR DIRECTION.

MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP RESIDENTS ATTEND LAST NIGHT'S PLANNING SESSION.

Marquette Township Supervisor Dennis Liimatta came by the studios this morning to discuss and recap the first public input session that was hosted by the Marquette Township Board of Trustees designed to gather and organize comments and ideas from township residents in an effort to maintain transparency in the strategic planning process for the future of the township.  The meeting was fairly well attended for a first session, and according to Liimatta, they expect to get an increase in township residents attending the sessions as they continue over the rest of this month.  To listen to the comments from today’s interview with Dennis, please click “HERE“.  To log on to the Marquette Township website, please click “HERE“.

SMART TALK ABOUT MICHIGAN’S ECONOMIC CRISIS.

MSU PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS, DR. CHARLES BALLARD.

Dr. Charles Ballard, Professor of Economics at Michigan State University in East Lansing visited the studios this morning for a conversation promoting a presentation on campus.  Dr. Ballard shared some very logical arguments for changes in our current state and national political systems to get the state of Michigan out of it’s current financial crisis.  With a sensical approach to eliminating the political rhetoric and getting down to actual financial business, Dr. Ballard’s points make a high degree of sense and anyone concerned about the fiscal future of our state should take a few minutes and listen to the interview.  To do so, please click “HERE“.  For more on Dr. Charles Ballard and his academic and fiscal background and his history as an economic educator, please click “HERE“.

GOOD STUFF!

-Walt

IT’S A NEW MONTH AND THE BLOG ROLLS ON!

Here it is…the month of April!  There is certainly a lot going on, and this blog is ready to reflect it!

So…here we go!

THE MARQUETTE CITY COMMISSION MAKES A DECISION.

MARQUETTE MAYOR JOHN KIVELA.

Following a unanimous vote by the Marquette City Commission to extend an offer to William Vajda, Marquette Mayor John Kivela joined us to discuss the details of how the decision was reached.  To listen to the comments of Mayor Kivela and what the next steps will be, please click “HERE“.  To log on to the City of Marquette’s official website, please click “HERE“.

GOOD FRIDAY SERVICES ON THE RADIO!

PASTOR TIM BERNARD.

Pastor Tim Bernard from Messiah Lutheran Church in Marquette joined us to let us know the schedule for a special ecumenical Good Friday service going on at Messiah.  He also talked about why the service is set up like it is and how you can take part.  Listen to Pastor Tim’s comments by clicking “HERE“.

A SPECIAL EARTH ISSUES EVENT.

AIMEE CREE DUNN FROM NMU.

Aimee Cree Dunn with the Center for Native American Studies at Northern Michigan University joined us to talk about the upcoming Indigenous Earth Issues Summit.  The event, planned for this upcoming Monday is running from 9-am to 9-pm and features a series of workshops and seminars looking at a wide variety of earth issues discussed from a Native American perspective.  There will also be a keynote address with educator Ward Churchill.  To listen to Aimee’s interview, please click “HERE“, and for more information from the Center’s website, please click “HERE“.

THE MONTH BEGINS!

So far, good weather and a lot of information.  What more could you ask for from Marquette County’s most community-connected morning radio show and super-duper blog!

Have a great Easter weekend!


CHEERS!


-Walt