TechAlum News

September 20, 2004 (Vol. 11, No. 19)

An award-winning weekly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends of Michigan Technological University. Written and distributed by Dean Woodbeck '78, Director of News and Information Services.

In this issue:

  • Husky Tales
  • At da Tech
  • Around Town
  • From the E-mailbag
  • E-mail Updates/Welcome to new subscribers
  • Alumni Chapter Events
  • Job Opportunities
  • Electronic Services for Alumni

Husqi Tales

The Coast Guard should have had small craft warnings out on Portage Lake yesterday. Ok, maybe it wasn't *that* bad, but those riding on the tube behind the boat requested that I keep them inside the wake, which is unusual.

I'm told the water was cold, too (no nice warm layer on the top when it is so roiled up), so the tube trips didn't last long.

We did take a ride down the lake to the bridge, where we ran into (well, not literally) about 50 boats from the Professional Walleye Tournament that was just ending. All the walleyers were waiting in line to reunite boats with trailers. As we slowly passed by, one of my passengers kept asking, "Hey, did you catch any fish?" He didn't get any responses. Of course, another passenger had just unleashed an air horn as we passed under the bridge.

What is it that makes boating so romantic--so free? The wind blowing through your hair (after your hat flew into the water)? The lack of any formal traffic lanes (other than having to dodge those navigation buoys)? The feeling of total relaxation (with an engine so loud, you can barely hear the person next to you)?

Whatever it is, it will soon be gone for another season. By mid-September, any day appropriate for boating is certainly a bonus day for the season.

TechAlum COLOROLOGIST: The colorologist watched the Emmy Awards show last night, still seething over being passed over for a nomination. He was lobbying for a Best Guest Star on a Weather Program nomination after a series of appearances on the Weather Channel's Storm Stories. "Hey," he said, "that Jim Cantore is a stud, but I'm the brains behind those programs."

Meanwhile, the colorologist reports very little change in Keweenaw color coverage this week. He cites the warmer weather in the past week as arresting color development. "Oooo, don't even mention Arrested Development," said the Emmy-hating curmudgeon. He places color at 8 percent.

ALUMNI BULLETIN BOARD: Remember the alumni bulletin board for you to use for discussions related to this newsletter, Tech sports, or anything else:

At Da Tech

WADS RENOVATION JUST-IN-TIME: The day the students left last spring, crews began gutting the 50-year-old kitchen in Wadsworth Hall. And the day before they came back this fall, the health inspector signed the OK that signaled the start of cooking season. This brand-new, finished-just-in-time dining room may be the flagship of Wads' ongoing $31-million renovation. More:

MATH PROF STUDIES FUTURES MARKET: Semantics are important to Igor Kliakhandler. "The word 'predict' is not a good word," he says, choosing his own words with care. "It's a reasonable system of betting." Kliakhandler, an associate professor of mathematical sciences, has developed sophisticated algorithms to study, not predict, the futures market. He uses the information to bet, or, in the parlance of money managers, to speculate. More:

MUSEUM RECEIVES THOUSANDS OF ITEMS: William O. "Bill" Shelton is donating an extraordinary collection of thousands of mineral specimens to the Seaman Mineral Museum. Shelton's gift includes more than 350 types of minerals, one-of-a-kind rarities and display-grade pieces from classic mineral-collecting sites in the former Soviet Union, as well as reference materials. In addition, a portion of Shelton's estate will be donated to help the museum acquire more specimens. More:

FACULTY TO VOTE ON UNION: Faculty members at Michigan Tech will vote September 28-29 on whether to unionize. Tenured and tenure-track faculty will vote on representation by the American Association of University Professors.

BASH AT THE BIG HOUSE UPDATE: The two adversaries in the Bash at the Big House, Michigan Tech and Grand Valley State, are both undefeated. The November 6 game set for Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor is less than seven weeks away, when the schools will attempt to break the NCAA Division II attendance record of 61,143.

The Bash will be the regular season finale for both schools. The game will no doubt have implications for the NCAA II playoffs, which has expanded from 16 to 24 teams this year. Fans are encouraged to go to for tickets and more information.

Michigan Tech is also hosting the Michigan YES (Youth Engineering Science) Expo for high school students in Crisler Arena that Saturday. For information on the Expo, and how you can help, see

FOR MORE INFORMATION from Tech, see the weekly newsletter
Tech Topics:

Around Town

MOTEL/RESTAURANT TAKE SHAPE IN TWIN LAKES: The Parkview Lodge and Grill is taking shape on M-26 in Twin Lakes. The owners say the next closest full-service restaurant is a half-hour away in Houghton. The Parkview will feature 16 motel rooms, a 16-foot by 30-foot pool, spa and sauna, with a rustic stone fireplace in the lobby and a comfortable "lodge" feel. The owners plan a sports theme for the bar.

GOLF COURSE SITE PLAN COMPLETE: the Houghton County Board of Commissioners got a preview of a new 18-hole links-style golf course planned for Lake Linden. The course would be set on 200 acres of stamp sands adjacent to Torch Lake in Lake Linden. The area was an EPA Superfund site, remediated in 1988 by covering the stamp sands with six inches of top soil and native grasses. The EPA removed the Superfund designation two years ago.

HANCOCK CENTER OPENS: The Quincy Center, a strip mall on US-41 near Pat's IGA and White Street, has opened, with a video store as the first business. A Moyle Development spokesman said two food service businesses will open soon and that he expects half the spaces to be occupied by the end of the year.

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Erik Nordberg, Michigan Tech archivist (copper(at)

I'm working on a short article for the Michigan Tech
Alumni magazine about Michigan Tech alum who lived in travel
trailers off campus. I understand that this was
particularly affordable for veterans coming to campus
between the late 1940s and the early 1960s. I've heard
about the "trailer town" at the top of Garnet Hill,
and have also heard of references to some trailers
that were parked down on the waterfront near the
Central Heating plant. I'm not talking about the
Woodmar housing, as I am trying to focus on the use of
travel trailers. I would welcome e-mail with any
memories and experiences living in trailers off-
campus. I'm also looking for photographs to go along
with the article. Hope to get the thing done early in
October, so time is a little of the essence. I look
forward to hearing from some former trailer town

E-mail from Doug Jost (James.D.Jost(at)


A while ago (maybe last year?) in one of your
newsletters you mentioned a print of the Mackinaw
Bridge that was being sold. Do you still have the
contact information for this? Do you know if it is
even still available?

Dean sez: I don't recall this at all. Anyone?

E-mail from Mike Albrecht (mike(at)

Dean said: "At one point, a bank of fog (you know like
a gaggle of geese or a flock of cows) came flying over
a neighbor's roof--I thought something was on fire."

Geez Dean? A FLOCK of cows?!?!? I would have thought
of something else besides fire!

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 7,001 subscribers.

Here are the new e-mail addresses from the past week. Please note, we are
using the word "at" instead of the at sign to guard against spambots.

1952 John Jamar john.senior(at)
1965 James Seppala j1seppala(at)
1978 Paul Misik pmisik(at)
1987 Joel Graber jhgraber(at)

1990 Mark Maki makipatentlaw(at)
1992 Jonathan Kuhn kuna_matata(at)
1993 Gerri Kail gerrikail(at)
1996 John Donnay jdonnay(at)
1996 Amanda Conkey (VerHoven)
1997 Christina Wisti christina(at)
1997 Brolan Conkey brolan_conkey(at)
1997 Kristin Derscha (Benson) kmbenson(at)
1998 Matthew Portfleet mportfleet(at)
1998 Angela Heiden (Macuga) aaheiden(at)

2000 Caleb Emmes CEmmes(at)
2001 Chad Calaway chad.calaway(at)
2001 Crystal Payment clpaymen(at)

You can update your information at:

Alumni Association Programs

CHAPTER EVENTS: For more information on alumni chapter events,
e-mail mtu_alumni at or see the alumni chapter site on the web.


 9 -- Michigan Tech Homecoming vs. Wayne State


 6 -- Bash at the Big House, football vs. Grand Valley at Michigan stadium (

Job Opportunities This Week

ON CAMPUS: Complete job descriptions for these positions are available by e-mailing jobs at

  • Assistant Professor of Statistical Genetics--Department of Mathematical Sciences
  • Applications Programmer--Civil and Environmental Engineering, Local Technical Assistance Program/TDG (Temporary, full-time position)
  • Director of Development and Outreach--School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

OFF CAMPUS: For off-campus positions, visit the alumni section of the career center's web site (

See you next week