TechAlum News

January 9, 2006 (Vol. 12, No. 31)

A weekly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends of Michigan Technological University

Edited by Dennis Walikainen (MS ’92), Director, Web Development, University Marketing and Communications

For past issues, see our archives.

In this issue:

Jet Airliner

As I left our house this morning, a different sound came from overhead, and I realized it was the morning flight from Houghton County Memorial Airport, which is now a jet. The jet comes in at 11:30 p.m., stays overnight, then takes off each morning at 7:30 (see story in Around Town).

It was odd hearing the engines roaring overhead. Since the 1980s, when the last jet service was running up here, we've heard nothing but propeller airplanes, and propjets, except for the occasional military craft soaring far above. This forty-four-seat plane was the same one that took our daughter back east Saturday morning. (Since we don't have the Detroit flight back yet, we must still fly southwest on Northwest to go northeast.)

For about a month, we had the whole gang back home, but for most of last week, our son was also gone. He was at the Ford Forestry Center in Alberta with LeaderShape, a great program where fifty students work on leadership skills, teamwork, and networking. He enjoyed it immensely.

So, for a while, we were empty nesters, and the old house was very quiet. Frankly, with our freshman busy most nights, we are often alone. But, this time, it felt different, sort of a precursor to what to expect some day. To our credit, my wife and I didn't sit and stare at each other or the television. We kept busy with the usual getting-caught-up-before-the-week-begins scenario. You know the drill.

Still, when we hear the morning jet soar overhead, we know that someday it will carry our son away, too, for more than a few days this time, on to his career that he's working toward at Tech. We know that, thanks to Tech, he'll be very well prepared for moving on. However, I can't guarantee that we'll ever be totally ready.


Snowfall Update
As of January 9, 2006

Snowfall to Date, On the Ground

This Week: 116.5"   16"

Last Week: 113.5"   21.5"

Last Year: 70.13"   16"

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

At Tech

CLASSES RESUME TODAY; NEW WEBCAMS ADDED: Traffic was a bit more "intense" this morning as students, faculty, and staff cruised to campus to launch spring semester 2006. The City of Houghton and Michigan Tech road crews were busy strategically dumping loads of snow in front of Greek houses and elsewhere around town. Students will be engineering those famous snow statues very soon, and there will be more webcams than ever to view the proceedings. Current new cams feature a view of the bridge and campus from Hancock (Fund Cam), the Tech Trails (Trail Cam 1), and the Delt Sig statue site (Statue Cam 1). We will also have our two broomball cams up soon, giving us a total of twelve. Bookmark this site for future viewing:

Tech Sports

HOCKEY HUSKIES AT UMD: The hockey Huskies were off this past weekend and will resume Western Collegiate Hockey Association competition Friday and Saturday (Jan. 13-14) when they travel to the Twin Ports to take on Minnesota Duluth at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. Seniors Chris Conner (3-2--5) and Brandon Schwartz (3-2--5) are tied for first in shorthanded points among WCHA players.

STROM, BOWE SHINE FOR HUSKIES: Sophomore Tim Strom and freshman Fedrick Bowe both set career highs in Michigan Tech's 54-45 victory at Lake Superior State last Saturday (Jan. 7). Strom scored a game-high 19 points to improve his career best by three. The 6-7 forward is the Huskies' leading scorer and rebounding over the last five games. Bowe tallied nine points and 14 rebounds--both career highs.

MBB WINS TWO-OF-THREE; SETS SCHOOL RECORD: Michigan Tech won two of its three games last week, knocking off Grand Valley State and Lake Superior State and losing to Northern Michigan. The Huskies set a school record for fewest points allowed in a half when it held LSSU to just 12 points in the first half last Saturday (Jan. 7). The previous record of 13 was set in 1981 vs. Northwood and tied in 2001 vs. Hillsdale.

WOMEN'S HOOPS NINE-GAME LEAGUE STREAK ENDS: Michigan Tech finished arguably its toughest week of the season with a 2-1 record. The Huskies won home games over Northern Michigan and #10 Grand Valley State to run their GLIAC winning streak to nine games dating back to last season. Lake Superior State handed visiting Tech its first league loss last Saturday (Jan. 7). Michigan Tech, which owns a 10-3 overall record, remains on top of the conference standings with a 6-1 mark.

SKIERS AT U.S. CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Michigan Tech Nordic skiing team competed in the 2006 U.S. Cross Country Championships at Soldier Hollow this past week, which served as the site for the 2002 Olympic Nordic races. The results of the U.S. Championships will be considered as part of the criteria for making the U.S. Olympic Team, to be announced January 17. The Huskies' top overall performer of the week, assistant coach Karl Walczak, achieved his best-ever performance in the prestigious event with a 15th-place finish in the 30 kilometer freestyle race with a time of 1:37:09.7 last Tuesday (Jan. 3). Adam Airoldi and Aaron Ditty competed in the race, but did not finish. All-American Kristina Owen compiled the best individual performance on the women's side, as she ranked 24th in the 15 kilometer freestyle race after recording a time of 51:45.7 last Tuesday (Jan. 3).


Men's Ice Hockey (4-17-1, 3-10-1 WCHA)

Did not compete

Women's Basketball (10-3, 6-1 GLIAC)

Jan. 2: at Michigan Tech 58, Northern Michigan 56

Jan. 5: at Michigan Tech 64, #10 Grand Valley State 58

Jan. 7: at #15 Lake Superior State 74, Michigan Tech 58

Men's Basketball (5-8, 4-3 GLIAC)

Jan. 2: Northern Michigan 70, at Michigan Tech 45

Jan. 5: at Michigan Tech 61, Grand Valley State 52

Jan. 7: Michigan Tech 54, at Lake Superior State 45

Nordic Skiing

Jan. 1-8: Men and Women at US National Championships

(no team scores)


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Men's Basketball hosts Wisconsin-Parkside, 7 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Huskies Drive Time, 7:30 - 8:00 a.m. on WKMJ, 93.5 FM

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Women's Basketball at Wisconsin-Parkside, 8 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Hockey at Minnesota Duluth, 8:07 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Men's Basketball hosts Finlandia, 3 p.m.  (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Hockey at Minnesota Duluth, 8:07 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

All Times are Eastern

Around Town

FIRST JET ARRIVES AT AIRPORT: Passengers coming into Houghton County Memorial Airport Wednesday were the first in more than a decade to arrive via jet service. A 44-seat jet now services the airport's last incoming and first outgoing flights to Minneapolis. "It's a step in the right direction," said Dennis Hext, in his third year as airport manager. "We used to have DC-9s that flew of out here, but that was before my time." Hext attributed the service addition to Northwest Airlines' recognition that flight numbers are up. "Our flight numbers are excellent," Hext said. "Our numbers are so good that we're giving away bumps every day." While he acknowledged that those bumps are inconvenient for some travelers, the overall message is encouraging. "It's frustrating, we know, but people are still using the airport and Mesaba (Airlink) and Northwest are noticing that we are bumping a lot of flights out of here," he said. "That's the only reason that we did get that jet." Hext is still awaiting word on the return of a daily flight to Detroit, promised by a Small Communities Airlines Grant awarded last October. "The grant is still available, but because of the reorganization that's going on at the airlines, they are unable to accommodate the extra flight that they thought we could get when the grant was approved," Hext said. "They asked us to be patient and wait until January, and they're re-evaluating that flight now." Hext said he would be talking to officials at Northwest within the next week regarding the flight. "By that time, we hope that they've reorganized enough to figure things out," he said.

NEW MEXICAN RESTAURANT IN CALUMET: The Copper Country may not have the reasonable winters of the Southwest, but at least now it has another of its defining features--Mexican food. Carmelita's Southwestern Grille on Oak Street opened Saturday in Calumet. The restaurant offers a variety of Mexican dishes, such as tacos and enchiladas, along with standard American fare. The opening fills a longstanding niche in the area's restaurant market, said owner Sandy Mitchell. "Everybody has something on their menu that's Mexican, but nobody's really doing Mexican. And we love Mexican food," she said. Mitchell's got previous experience with restaurants--she previously owned the Pilgrim River Steakhouse before selling it in 1998. But, obviously, the Mexican part's somewhat new. Mitchell and company have been experimenting with different combinations of ingredients. "We just came up with things on our own, and some friends gave us recipes ... basically, we just liked making Mexican food and adding different things," she said. About 25 employees work at Carmelita's, which can seat between 80 to 100 people, Mitchell said.

HANCOCK, FINLANDIA AT ODDS OVER CEMETERY: In 1998, construction workers building a new water pumping station near the Hancock 1 million gallon storage tank on Ingot Street just east of Elevation Street unearthed human remains which eventually led to a dispute between Finlandia University and the City of Hancock that has yet to be resolved. The discovered remains, in the form of bones, were from an abandoned cemetery situated on property near the water tank. The dispute involves responsibility for paying the costs of removing the remains still in the ground to another cemetery. Hancock City Manager Glenn Anderson said 1998 wasn't the first time construction on the property revealed human remains. "When the tank was constructed (in 1910), several bodies were removed," Anderson said. About three years ago, Anderson said, university officials offered to sell the five acres of FU-owned property, which contains the remnants of the cemetery, for its appraised value of $24,000, but the council decided the land wasn't needed. Anderson said this past summer university officials began communicating with the city, stating that in their opinion the city is responsible for paying the costs of moving the human remains to new locations should that become necessary. Moving remains would be an expensive project, Anderson said, because state law requires they be put into concrete vaults before they're moved to different cemeteries.

ALEX SAMPLE '82,'84 NAMED NEW BISHOP: The Catholic Diocese of Marquette will have a new bishop, the Rev. Alex K. Sample. A priest of the diocese, Sample was recently named to replace the Most Reverend James Garland, who is retiring. Garland said Sample, 45, will be the youngest bishop in the United States. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI and will be ordained a bishop on January 25. Bishop-elect Sample currently holds several positions with the diocese, including chancellor, director of the Department of Ministry Personnel and executive director of the Bishop Baraga Association. He has been the canonical pastor and sacramental minister of St. Christopher Parish in Marquette since 1996. Sample was born on Nov. 7, 1960 in Kalispell, Mont. to Joyce (Dory) Sample of Marquette and the late Alex K. Sample. He has two older sisters, Marti Sample of Salt Lake City, Utah and Barbara Krieber of Lake Ann, Michigan. After graduating form high school in Nevada, Sample moved with his family to Houghton. At Tech, he earned a bachelor's degree in 1982 and a master's degree in 1984, both in metallurgical engineering. He was ordained a priest on June 1, 1990 at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette by Bishop Mark F. Schmitt. After his ordination, Sample served as associate pastor of St. Peter Cathedral and then as pastor of St. George Parish in Bark River, Sacred Heart Parish in Schaffer, and St. Michael Parish in Perronville. He will become the diocese's 12th bishop. Garland has served as bishop since 1992.

From the E-mailbag

More on the passing of Ed Haltenhoff:

Dear Dennis,

I was saddened to read of the passing of Professor Haltenhoff in your recent newsletter. Ed was a personable teacher with compassion for construction and shared his experiences with stories about the Mackinac Bridge. I thought the surveying stories we wre amazing for the times. Great stuff and he's looking down on us now.

Dean LaFleur, PE

BSCE - 1989



As a mechanical engineer in the early 1980's, I never had a class with civil engineering Professor Haltenhoff. But for a freshman English class, I had to complete a technical research paper on a subject of my choice. Having recently crossed the Mackinac Bridge for the first time, I decided to research "Mighty Mac". Someone, I don't remember who, suggested I interview Professor Haltenhoff in the civil engineering department. I arranged the interview and he patiently explained the steps in building the massive concrete piers of the bridge. He also recommended some articles and books available in the campus library. It wasn't until I read those articles did I realize that the "Big Ed" mentioned so often was Professor Haltenhoff himself. During the interview, he humbly never mentioned he had such a large role in the building of this impressive Michigan icon. I remember receiving an A on the report. Professor Haltenhoff made quite an impression on me considering I met him only once.

Harv Pastunink, BSME


Editor's Note: We received many emails about snow scoops in the Detroit area. I've included some that covered all the bases:



In regards to the Yooper Scooper question posed by Eric Lee last week:

Although the original Yooper Scooper is not available in the Detroit area, it is available online at . These scoops are shipped factory direct from Ironwood Michigan to anywhere in the world. My family is saddened to report that the longtime proprietor of Kaufman Sheet Metal, Roy Kaufman (my uncle), passed away in early December, however the shop remains open and there is still plenty of stock of the Yooper Scoopers in a variety of sizes. My brother handles the online processing of orders (out of St Clair Shores), who then passes the orders along to my father (in Ironwood) for fulfillment. The Kaufman Snow Scoop was the invention of my grandfather who ran the shop until his death in the 60's. Roy Kaufman was raised in the shop and ran it until his death last year.  My father has been involved in business matters at the shop since his retirement as an aerospace engineer (and fellow tech grad) in the mid 90's. In addition to the scoops, a competitively superior roof rake is also offered on the site. Hope that helps out Eric or anyone else that gets your list procure these great items.  My wife and I have been using ours since we graduated in the early 90's. I can still clear my driveway in half the time it takes to do it with a snowblower without breaking a sweat!


Lloyd Kaufman '93


There is/was a small (mom & pop size)hardware store in Keego Harbor (Orchard Lk. Rd.) that sells the metal yooper  scoops. I had found that out after I bought another scoop from the "Do-It" Burke Bldg. Center store on Dixie hwy in Waterford (corner of Sashabaw).  The one I bought there is made with a high impact plastic scoop and a steel handle that has been an excellent performer... never bends, and it is 5 years old now. I added some thicker steel at the front lip for wear, and it only needs to be sprayed with silicon 1-2 times a year to keep the snow sliding off.

Chad Fisher


Re: Yooper Scoopers

I'm not sure about Metro Detroit, but about ten years ago I found a Yooper Scooper at the True Value on State Street in Saginaw, MI.  Now that my snow blower and I moved to Kansas City, I use it very infrequently.  It sure comes in handy on those rare days I need it.  I'm pretty sure the neighbors never saw such a contraption until I came along!Jean Huepenbecker

EE, 1993


Dennis, regarding the "yooper scooper" snow scoops, here are some contacts that I have....from prior techalum emails!

If this year is like the past, there will be an email debate as to which company has the superior product (I believe one of them is owned by an Michigan Tech alum).

(906) 932-2130

(877) 388-9539

Dave Geyer '92



I read the request from Eric Lee for a Yooper Scoop. Years ago, I bought an authentic, Laurium-made scoop at the Houghton Wal-Mart while up on vacation.

Whereas I am holding on to it just in case we ever get a snow storm here in Northwest Arkansas, I did find the Silver Bear Manufacturing web site that allows one to order a scoop. Here is the link:

We moved to this beautiful area about a year and a half ago after spending all of our married lives in Chicago. My wife and I were raised in Calumet. We get such a kick out of watching the locals when the weatherman says "snow". It brings back memories of a deer standing, frozen looking at my car lights late at night.

We had our "big" snow here a few weeks ago. It left a white covering on the road but no evidence on the grass. Almost all of the schools in the area promptly canceled school for the day. When my wife called our daughter-in-law who recently moved here from Chicago to tell her of the closing, she laughed heartily as did our 7-year old grandson.

I do have to be fair though. There are a few hills here and balding tires on the old Suburban make it interesting especially when there are no 5+foot snow banks to adjust for any miscalculations.

Keep up the good work.

Jerry Davison '66



I live in Fenton, MI and I know they sell the "real McCoy" "Upper Scooper" shovels in the Linden True Value store in Linden, MI.  I've had one for years downstate here and it finally gave up the ghost last winter... but lucky for me I inherited another one this fall and so I'm back in business again.  However, in my recent travels I did find out that the hardware store in Linden, MI does sell them (Iverson, I think, is the maker?).  Not exactly Detroit Metro but about an hour's drive away if Eric (see last email note below) cannot find them closer.  I'd call ahead though just to be sure he still has them in stock... last time I saw them was before Christmas.

Best Regards for a great 2006!

Mark Laskowski - BSEE 1979


Two possible sources...both in the UP.

Swift True Value Hardware in Houghton ships scoops. They carry a rounded back end model (can't remember who makes them...someone in the Crystal Falls area if memory serves.)  (906) 482-0530

Also, see Silver Bear Manufacturing's website for the "square back" model:

Happy New Year,

-Douglas J. Coffman '94

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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.

January 17 Houston Presidential Reception
January 18 Dallas Presidential Reception
January 23 Phoenix Presidential Reception
January 24 Tucson Presidential Reception
January 29 Grand Rapids: Alumni Sunday Brunch at Marie's
January 31 Minneapolis Presidential Reception

February 1 Chicago Presidential Reception
February 08-12 Winter Carnival: Michigan Tech vs. Minnesota Hockey
February 12 Atlanta National College Fair
February 15 Seattle Presidential Reception
February 16 Portland Presidential Reception
February 16 Grand Rapids: Men's/Women's B-Ball vs. GVSU
February 23-24 Pittsburgh National College Fair
February 27 Tampa Presidential Reception
February 28 Orlando Presidential Reception

Job Opportunities This Week

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

Assistant Professor of Hydrology--School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Football Development Officer--Athletic Department

Instructional Designer--Educational Technology Services

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