TechAlum News

January 16, 2006 (Vol. 12, No. 32)

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:

White Gold

I first heard our snow referred to as "white gold" back in the 1980s. It was a local snowmobile storeowner, and he was touting winter tourism beyond skiing, working on creating the trail system. It has, of course, blossomed into an economic necessity locally. We joke that snowmobiles outnumber cars in our towns. Recently, someone counted snowmobiles in the motel parking lots from Calumet to Houghton and Hancock, and the total was more than 1,000.

With our recent, oddly warm temperatures and lack of snowfall, many local business owners were getting nervous. Winter tourism goes beyond motels, of course, to include restaurants, gas stations, stores, and more. The trails were still passable, but the Keweenaw was getting rough, and ugly-brown snow doesn't look right. As much as we curse at it some days, when we have to scoop or snow-blow three times, we do miss the fresh snow when it is not here.

And, we were getting anxious for Carnival. As much as the local road crews take care of the statue sites, we still need more snow to help from here to the big event. Mont Ripley was also suffering, as you can't run the snow guns in warm weather. No fear, though, the weatherman is coming through--five to six inches are supposed to be coming our way tomorrow and more in the long-range forecast.

It's not all smooth sledding though. The old railroad grade along the waterway between Houghton and Chassell is used for non-motorized traffic in spring, summer, and fall and becomes a snowmobile trail in the winter. Some property owners aren't happy with the noise and speed of the sleds in their residential neighborhoods.

In most locales, snowmobiles co-exist with houses. Special speed limits are enforced, and, in west Hancock, the Maasto Hiito cross-country ski trail bisects the snowmobile trail, and, both parties seem to manage without much trouble.

So, it is possible for everybody to get along, and a solution will come to the Chassell-Houghton trail, I'm sure. And, I think that old Ski-Doo salesman would be proud if he could see how we are mining the white gold.

Snowfall Update
As of January 9, 2006

Snowfall to Date, On the Ground

This Week: 118"     10"

Last Week: 116.5"     16"

Last Year: 82.63"     26"

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

MARTIN LUTHER KING OBSERVANCES: Festivities to celebrate the birth and life of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. began today, King's birthday, with a speech given outside the Memorial Union, at noon, followed by cocoa and cookies at the Rozsa Center. Other events throughout the week will include a showing of the movie "Remembering JIM CROW," performances by various student groups, and a dinner on Saturday, featuring a guest speaker and a performance by the gospel choir Praise in Effect. Recess for the holiday began at noon today.

KEWEENAW CHAPTER MEETING IN LAURIUM: It's time for another of the very popular Keweenaw Chapter After Hours Socials: Join us at the Irish Times Restaurant for "a wee bit O'Ireland (in Laurium)!" Enjoy Irish spirit and complimentary hors d' oeuvres at the Irish Times Restaurant, Wednesday, January 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m. All are invited. There is no RSVP needed, and questions may be addressed to Jacque Smith at jacque(at)

FORMER ROTC INSTRUCTOR IN US NEWS: Major Jonathan Fox, who served as an Army ROTC instructor at Michigan Tech from 1999 through 2001, is pictured on the cover of the Jan. 9 issue of U.S. News and World Report. His work in Iraq is described in the article "Cracking An Insurgent Cell" (

CARNIVAL SITE IS UP: The 2006 Winter Carnival website is now live. The Schedule, Queens, and Web Cams links are working, and the other links will become operable as soon as we start getting images and content for them.

Tech Sports

TECH SWEEPS HOCKEY WEEKEND AT UMD! The hockey Huskies secured a series sweep of Minnesota Duluth by scores of 4-2 and 3-1 in the Twin Ports this past weekend. Tech has now swept the last two series in Duluth, marking the first time Michigan Tech has achieved such a feat since the 1970 and 1971 seasons. Justin St. Louis notched his first career goal in Friday's win and the rookie finished with a team-best two goals and one assist on the weekend. Michael-Lee Teslak picked up his fifth and sixth wins of the year between the pipes after making 26 and 30 saves, respectively. Michigan Tech is 4-2-0 in its last six WCHA games. The Huskies host Alaska-Anchorage next Friday (Jan. 20) and Saturday (Jan. 21) at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

OWEN PICKED TO RACE FOR US SKI TEAM: Kristina Owen of the Michigan Tech Nordic skiing team has been named to the 2006 U23 World Championship Cross Country Team as announced by the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA). She will compete for the US Ski Team (USST) in the International Ski Federation (FIS) U23 World Championships in Kranj, Slovenia, Feb. 2-3. The junior is the first Michigan Tech skier to represent the USST in international competition since Sara Zimmer raced for Team USA at the 1997 World University Games.

MEN'S CAGERS RIDING FOUR-GAME WIN STREAK: Michigan Tech won both of its games last week to run its winning streak to four. The Huskies scored 51 second-half points Tuesday (Jan. 10) to defeat Wisconsin-Parkside, 74-47. On Saturday (Jan. 14), Radayl Richardson tallied a career-high 25 points and tied another career best with 10 rebounds in a 73-62 triumph over Finlandia. Michigan Tech owns a 7-8 overall record with each of its next five games at home, beginning Monday (Jan. 16) vs. Wisconsin-Superior.

KIDS DAY SET FOR SATURDAY: Michigan Tech will celebrate a full day of home athletic events with Econo Foods Kids Day on Saturday (Jan. 21). The Huskies have home games in men's and women's basketball as well as hockey, and Econo Foods will give away 500 tickets for kids 14 and under beginning at noon on Thursday (Jan. 19). The tickets will be available free at the Econo Foods Service Desk on a first-come, first-served basis, and each ticket is good for general admission to all three Saturday events.


Men's Ice Hockey (6-17-1, 5-10-1 WCHA)

Jan. 13: Michigan Tech 4, at Minnesota Duluth 2

Jan. 14: Michigan Tech 3, at Minnesota Duluth 1

Women's Basketball (10-4, 6-1 GLIAC)

Jan. 12: at Wisconsin-Parkside 72, Michigan Tech 54

Men's Basketball (7-8, 4-3 GLIAC)

Jan. 10: at Michigan Tech 74, Wisconsin-Parkside 47

Jan. 14: at Michigan Tech 73, Finlandia 62

Nordic Skiing

Did not compete


Monday, January 16, 2006

Men's Basketball hosts UW-Superior, 7:00 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Cager Club Luncheon, Noon (Memorial Union Alumni Lounge)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

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

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Kids Day Ticket Giveaway Begins at Econo Foods, 12 noon: 500 Free Youth (14 and Under) Tickets Available First-Come, First-Served at Service Desk; Tickets Good for All Home Athletic Events on Saturday

Women's Basketball hosts Wayne State, 5:30 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Men's Basketball hosts Wayne State, 7:30 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Friday, January 20, 2006 (Husky Friday--Wear Silver, Gold, or Black)

Blueline Club Luncheon, Noon (Grant Hockey Educational Center, Begg Conference Room)

Hockey hosts Alaska-Anchorage, 7:07 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Saturday, January 21, 2006 • Econo Foods Kids Day

Women's Basketball hosts Hillsdale, 1 p.m.  (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

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

Hockey hosts Alaska-Anchorage, 7:07 p.m.  (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

All Times are Eastern

Around Town

VETERANS PARK TO GET CANNON: The city of Hancock may want to put additional dollars aside as a defense budget against rival neighbor Houghton. The Houghton City Council approved a resolution Wednesday to pursue funding for the purchase of two M101 Howitzer cannon to be placed at Veterans' Park. "We'll point them at Hancock," quipped Mayor Tom Merz. City Manager Scott MacInnes said a subcommittee comprised of city representatives and members of the Copper Country Veterans' Association, the group working on improvements to the park, desired to showcase the pieces as display items in the park located just north of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge. "We have the opportunity to purchase these items from Army surplus and put one on each side of the wall," MacInnes said. "They're asking for our approval to obtain them and display them." While council member Craig Kurtz expressed concern that the cannon might "generate some creative vandalism" in the form of pranksters rolling them down the hill, MacInnes assured Kurtz that the cannon would be set in concrete. MacInnes also assured the council that neither cannon would be operational. "We won't tell Hancock that," said Merz. Hancock City Manager Glenn Anderson was unavailable for comment.

PORTION OF HIGHWAY M-26 TO BE RELOCATED: The section of M-26 from South Range to Trimountain has many curves and a history of traffic accidents. To remedy that situation, officials with the Michigan Department of Transportation have decided to eliminate those curves. Alan Anderson, delivery engineer with the Ishpeming MDOT office, said taking the curves out of the road has been contemplated by agency officials for quite awhile. "It's been a long process," Anderson said. "That old route wasn't the best. It was an area of higher accident concentration." Anderson said the reconstruction wouldn’t be able to eliminate the curving of the road completely, however. "We'll have one swooping curve from South Range to Trimountain," he said. Bids for construction of the project were taken from Saturday to Monday, and the contract was awarded to MJO Contracting of Hancock Township for $3.6 million. Construction is expected to start in April and be completed by October. Anderson said traffic through South Range shouldn't be disrupted too much during construction, because the initial work will be south of the blinking light at Trimountain Avenue through a former baseball field.

REX STORE TO CLOSE IN HOUGHTON: The Rex TV & Appliance Center on M-26 south of Houghton is closing. Store Manager Matt Heikkinen said the rumor mill is where he first heard of the closing. "I was hearing from community members for a month and a half," Heikkinen said. "I didn't think anything about it." Heikkinen said he got the official word about the closing from the Dayton, Ohio-based corporate headquarters in a kind of roundabout way. "I approached them at the end of December," he said. When a stock truck didn't arrive at the time he expected it, Heikkinen said he called the trucking company and was told there was no truck scheduled for his store. Then he called corporate headquarters. He was surprised to learn of the planned closing, Heikkinen said, because he had recently talked to a company representative and wasn't told of it then. "I had been called by someone at the corporate office the week before, and they said a truck was coming," he said. The 10,000 square foot store sells mostly televisions, Heikkinen said, as well as appliances. He has two employees, Assistant Manager Larry Davis and salesman Nathan Gagnon.

MACINNES GETS CONTRACT AGREEMENT: After months of closed sessions, Houghton city officials have reached a contract agreement with City Manager Scott MacInnes. "The subcommittee of the City Council has been negotiating with the city manager and we believe we have an agreement both parties will accept," Mayor Tom Merz announced following a closed session at the end of Wednesday's regular meeting. Negotiations centered largely on MacInnes' salary, which stood at $70,859. A 13 percent raise will increase his annual earnings to $80,071, not including fringe benefits. MacInnes said prior to the announcement that he had encouraged the subcommittee to review the salaries of other city managers in an effort to achieve parity. "I don't think they realized that there are a lot of city managers making a lot more than I do," he said prior to the closed session.

DOWNTOWN HANCOCK PROJECT PLANNED: City officials want Hancock to stay economically viable and competitive with other communities in the area, and to do that they have plans to make some improvements to Quincy Street with the help of some money from the state of Michigan. City Manager Glenn Anderson said that last summer the city council applied for a $400,000 streetscape grant from the Transportation Enhancement Activity fund from the Michigan Department of Transportation for improvements from the Portage Lake Lift Bridge to Quincy Street west to Lincoln Street. However, Anderson said the council received notification in October that they would receive a conditional grant of $234,000. "The city had to match it with $100,000 plus cover the cost of design and engineering," he said. That work is being done by U.P. Engineers & Architects Inc. in Houghton, Anderson said. "They actually have started their field work," he said.

From the E-mailbag

One more on the passing of Ed Haltenhoff:

I had the honor of knowing and working with Ed Haltenhoff on community projects while he was the Mackinaw Bridge Engineer and I was with the US Forest Service at St. Ignace, 1961-67. Ed took a great interest in downhill skiing and was very instrumental in developing the local ski area west of St. Ignace now known as Silver Mountain I believe. Ed helped a great deal in a junior ski-racing program there at the time.

He later left St. Ignace on another job as I was transferred also with the US Forest Service. I lost track of Ed, but had thought about him several times wondering where he had ended up. I wish that I had known that he had ended up as a professor at Tech. where I could have looked him up again.


Ronald E. Scott, CF, ACF



The story about the Hancock City water tank and old cemetery caught my eye. I am unfamiliar with Finlandia University. Is this a 'new' name for Suomi College?  If so, when did the name change?  As to the challenges presented by unearthing old remains; it pales in comparison to the challenge faced by the Suomi College back when I was a Tech. On a Saturday, many years ago, a parking lot near the gym suddenly disappeared! As I remember the story, an abandoned copper mine drift turned out to be located directly beneath the parking lot. Fortunately, no one was parked in the lot.

Thanks for keeping us updated on what's happening at Tech and around town.

George Teachman '76


Editor's Note: Suomi College changed its name to Finlandia University a couple of years ago.


Hi Dennis,

Regarding the Yooper Scooper notes in the last couple of newsletters, we still have the one I bought from Swift's True Value Hardware in 1966! It's getting a bit ratty now but it still does the job (this is an unsolicited testimonial, by the way <g>). Last year we bought the supersize version of the Scooper from Silver Bear Mfg. to deal with the heavy wet snowfalls we get here and it also works great. May have to consider replacing the old '66 model one of these days, too.

Doug Davies '69 & '72


Dennis, You have no idea how much reading the Tech Alum e-newsletter means to me. I smile at the mention of the many memories mentioned in the letter. The Dee stadium where I watched Tech hockey and went ice-skating for many years. the new buildings, the grants and all the improvements of the campus make me proud to be a Houghton native and a strong supporter of Michigan Tech. As you know,(maybe) my father was instrumental in getting the old student union built and recently I read about the "new"er building. All warm memories. Thank you for sending this letter to me.

Joie Townsend Hendrix


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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 18 Keweenaw Chapter: After-Hours Social: Irish Times, Laurium

January 23 Tucson: Presidential Reception

January 24 Phoenix: Presidential Reception

January 29 Grand Rapids: Alumni Sunday Brunch at Marie Catrib's

February 1 Minneapolis: Presidential Reception

February 2 Chicago: Presidential Reception

February 8-12 Winter Carnival: Michigan Tech vs. Minnesota Hockey

February 12 Atlanta: National College Fair

February 15 Cincinnati: Presidential Reception

February 16 Atlanta: 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

Research Engineer I--Keweenaw Research Center (Position duration dependent upon external funding)

User Support Specialist I--West Engineering Computing Network/ME-EM

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