Category Archives: Community


Nuclear waste dump within a mile of Lake Huron?

The Great Lakes Environmental Alliance fights back
Katie Hunckler
Staff Writer
Nuclear SignOntario Power Generation plans to place a nuclear waste dump in Kincardine, Ontario at its Bruce nuclear site. This proposed waste site is deep underground, yet within a mile of Lake Huron. The Great Lakes Environmental Alliance is fighting the proposal.
According to Kraig Archer, Chairperson of the Great Lakes Environmental Alliance and Sociology Professor here at SC4, the waste placed in this dump will remain radioactive for 100,000 to 1,000,000 years. The site is scheduled to store low-level and intermediate-level nuclear waste.
A very similar storage system was placed in New Mexico in 1999, but it met an unfortunate circumstance early in its life. “All these flames and smoke were coming out of the ground and radiating people, and this was only 15 years after it opened,” said Archer, who fears the dump on Lake Huron could face a similar fate.
According to Archer, 80,000 people in Ontario signed a petition against the dump, yet the three-member federal review panel still approved the plan. “The process hasn’t been very democratic,” he said. The final decision will be made on Dec. 2 by Federal Minister of Environment Leona Aglukkaq.
The Great Lakes Environmental Alliance is determined to stop the nuclear dump due to its potential threat to Lake Huron. The alliance meets the first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. in room 150 of the MTEC building here on SC4’s campus. In addition to trying to bring light to a 1906 International Waters Treaty which may give the United States a bit more power over the issue, the alliance hopes to acquire the support of many members of the public, as well as relevant companies and organizations. “(When together) people have a voice that they wouldn’t normally have,” said Archer.
“This is an amazing group. The community is coming together. We truly are building awareness to protect and preserve our Great Lakes,” said Monica Hudson, who does promotions for the Great Lakes Environmental Alliance. She isn’t kidding; the alliance’s Facebook group alone has over 1400 members!
The Great Lakes Environmental Alliance was born when Kraig Archer was on his way to work one day. Along his route, he encountered a lawn sign talking about the proposed waste dump. Archer stopped right then and there to knock on the door of the house that had the sign. Resident Rick Bradley informed him of the plans, and the two of them decided to take action. “That was very disturbing to me. I just feel like it’s a terrible idea,” said Archer about the proposed waste site.
As the Dec. 2 decision moves closer, the Great Lakes Environmental Alliance requests the help of more members of the public. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. to see what it’s all about and decide whether or not to become involved.

From the Imagination to the Frame

Lauren Cross displays artwork in solo show at the Spiral Gallery
Katie Hunckler
Staff Writer

Lauren CrossA blank piece of paper has so much potential; it can become a paper airplane, a treasure map, or maybe even the founding document of a new country.
When Lauren Cross gets ahold of a piece of paper though, the paper’s fate is unlikely to be any of those things. That paper likely will be lucky enough to blossom into an incredible work of art. This 26-year-old from Marysville uses pen, ink, and watercolor to create intricate designs portraying a wide variety of scenes, the majority of them being fantastical.
“My inspiration comes from living by the sea,” said Cross as she pointed out a few of her aquatic scenes, many containing mermaids composed of intricate patterns, among other things.
Although it takes an abundance of patience to create scenes with so many tiny details, Cross does not consider it to be a bother. “It relaxes me,” she said.
And it was not only pieces of paper displayed at this artist’s solo show. A few guitars covered in this artist’s signature decor stood proudly in the rear of the gallery as well.
Cross earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Saginaw Valley State University, yet she credits the majority of her artistic success to her SC4 start. “At SC4, I felt like I had more freedom,” she stated. At Saginaw Valley, there was more of a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to do things, so her creativity was not able to flow as freely.
“She was very focused, and she had a direction, and she knew exactly what she was all about,” said David Korff of Port Huron. Korff was the first art teacher Cross had at SC4, and Cross attributes much of her love of the subject to him.
In the future, Cross hopes to open her own business selling original handmade items as well as antiques.
Cross’s solo show will be on display in the Spiral Gallery at Studio 1219 until Sept. 26, and can be viewed during the studio’s normal business hours.

Fun in the Sun

Jamie Koebke
Staff Writer
Waves crashing, sunshine warming every inch of you, and the taste of cold beer all over your taste buds, is the best way to describe summer in Port Huron.
The Port Huron area offer summer events starting in early May and going until the end of August.
An upcoming event is “Brutes, Babes and Brawls” taking place on May 9 at 7 pm at the American Legion on 6th Street in Port Huron. Put on by Blue Water Championship Wresting, with a special guest appearance from WWE star Sunny. Tickets are $20 at the door.
You may live in Port Huron but have you really experienced it? The event “Be a tourist in your own town” is held on June 6 at 10 am. This allows you to experience Port Huron as a tourist. Being able to tour the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, dig for fossils at the science museum, tour how sea cadets are trained and of course take a free trolley ride through Port Huron.
The infamous Boat Night will be July 17 with the race to Mackinaw kicking off on July 18 at 8am.
Port Huron and the surrounding cities offer a lot of events in the summer, here’s a list from of some of the more popular events happening this summer.
Brutes, Babes and Brawls- May 9 at 7 pm, American Legion on 6th Street, Port Huron.
Run with the Sturgeon 5k Race and 1k fun run- May 30 at 51 Water St. Port Huron.
Pine Groove Electronic Music Festival- June 6 at 10am at Pine Grove Park. Three music stages, art, poetry and food.
Be a Tourist in Your Own Town- June 6 at 10am-4pm. Downtown Port Huron.
Marysville Days- June 10-14. Marysville Municipal Park.
Blue Water Cruise Night- June 26 at 6pm. Fort Gratiot, ending at Cheap Charlie’s.
Algonac Lions Pickerel Tournament & Festival- July 3 Downtown Algonac. Event takes place all day.
Blue Water Sand Fest- July 3 at Fort Gratiot Lighthouse. Event takes place all day. Michigan’s first and only master sand sculpting competition.
Lexington Fireworks- July 3 at Dusk.
Algonac Fireworks- July 3 at Dusk.
St. Clair Fireworks- July 4 at Dusk.
International Day Parade- July 15 at 6pm, Downtown Port Huron.
Blue Water Fest- July 16-19, Downtown Port Huron. Entertainment for all ages, with a carnival, live music, beer tents on Friday night and much more. Events take place all day. Family night is Thursday July 16.
Port Huron to Mackinaw Sailboat Race- July 18 at 8am. Downtown Port Huron.
Lexington Triathlon- July 18 at 7:30am. Downtown Lexington.
St. Clair County 4H Fair- July 20- 25 at Goodells County Park. Events take place all day. Including Motocross, Rodeo and Animal Judging.
Yale Bologna Festival- July 24 Downtown Yale. Events take place all day. Events include street dancers, carnival and of course the famous Yale Bologna.
St. Clair River Fest- July 24 – 26. Events take place all day. Events include power boat races, Family activities and live entertainment.
Color Craze 5k- July 31 at 6pm. Kiefer Park, Port Huron. All ages welcome. Register at
Harsens Island Field Day- August 1 Harsens Island, Michigan. Events take place all day. Activities include Sack Races, Coin toss, Relays. All ages welcome.
Civil War Weekend- August 1- 2 starting at 10am and concluding at 5pm August 2. At the Sanilac County Historic Museum.
Rockin’ the Rivers- All events start at 6pm and last until 9pm at Kiefer Park. August 6 -Motown All-Stars. August 13 – Your Generation in concert featuring 50 amp Fuse. August 20 – 80’s Inc. August 27 – Highwaymen Live Tribute.

For more information visit

Seeking Forgiveness


One of the Roche vandals admits his mistake
D.J. Palm
Staff writer

Forgiving is harder than holding a grudge. Some hate you for what you did, some forgive you and move on with their lives. At one point in our existence we all do something really stupid we wish we could take back. That’s exactly how one of the Roche Bar vandals describes the choice he made that night.
Smith and a counter-part identified as John Slumpff (still at large) used sludge hammers to blast out windows of the Roche Bar on Quay St. on January 5.
Brian Smith, 30 of Port Huron, was arrested and charged with destruction of private property and has been sentenced to 6 months of probation, along with having to pay restitution and court costs.
Smith says that the torment he feels on the inside is worse than any sentence the judge could’ve handed to him, and is relieved the Judge showed leniency.
“It’s been eating me up,’’ Smith said. “I’m not a bad person, and I want him (Johnny Roche) to know that. I can’t go to the Roche and ask for forgiveness, but I just want him to know I’m sorry. I don’t care what anyone else in Port Huron thinks of me, but I do care what John thinks, and I want him to know that I’m not that kind of person.”
It’s uncommon for criminals to admit what they did, and say “I did it.” In fact, I’ve seen criminals maintain their innocence and only plead guilty because of a crap public defender or fear of heavier sentencing if their case goes to trial. Brian Smith is accepting full responsibility and punishment for the choice he made.
After talking with the man I feel that his remorse is genuine, and ultimately what did this man destroy? A window. Something replaceable. In no way am I condoning what Smith did. I’m simply trying to open people’s minds to the capacitance of forgiveness.
Smith has accepted his punishment, apologized to the owner and currently paying restitution for the broken window. Anyone can say that their sorry for what they’ve done but I feel Smith is trying to show it the best he can.

Save or shave

Blue Water Social Club hosts 5th annual ‘Stache Bash
Jamie Koebke
Staff Writer

“Do I look like a man or a creep?” was belted out during the opening ceremony of The Fifth Annual ‘Stache Bash took place on March 28, 1015 at McMorran in Downtown Port Huron.
‘Stache Bash is put on by the Blue Water Social Club and 100% of the proceeds go to The Thin Blue Line.
This year was a little bit different because ‘Stache Bash took place in McMorran’s auditorium, where in previous years it took place at Kate’s Downtown and Lynch’s Irish Tavern, along with other downtown businesses. They moved due to the growing number of people coming out to support the cause.
Contestants enter their mustaches and beards for auction. The highest bidder gets to decide whether they want to save the facial hair, or shave it.
Douglas Walsh, 34 of Port Huron, said “I shave for free so I figured why not shave for a good cause!” Walsh was only auctioning off his mustache however after $450 was pulled together he let them shave the beard as well. Walsh was the first of the night to be shaven.
A returning ‘Stache Basher Chris Wiegand, 43 of Lakeport, said, “I’m really hoping it’s (his beard, by the name of Ol’ Blue) saved this year!! Even my wife is hoping it’s saved this year!”
Chris’s beard raised $565 and Ol’ Blue was saved this year, topping his $401.75 total from last year.
WBTI DJ Sean Michaels put his mustache up for auction; he also did a strip tease and raised $225 for The Thin Blue Line.
‘Stache Bash isn’t just for people with beards and mustaches, but for people who enjoy them as well, and their families. Mike McKernam, 67 of Fort Gratiot, and his daughter Darcy Essmaker, 40 of Port Huron, came out to support the cause. “My dad wanted to come out and auction his mustache so we came to support him,” Essmaker said.
St. Clair County Community College Professor and Port Huron Police Lieutenant Joe Platzer, 45 of Port Huron said he came out to show support because “The proceeds go to The Thin Blue Line, which supports fallen officers and their families.”
Lieutenant Platzer didn’t auction his facial hair this year but said he has in past years.
This year ‘Stache Bash brought in a rough estimate of $5,000 for The Thin Blue Line according to Blue Water Social Club’s event coordinator Missy Campau.
“This brings everyone together for a good time and a good cause,” McKernam said.

Classic rock duo performs in Downtown Port Huron

smithtucker2Thumb Coast Brewing Company features Smith & Tucker
Mel Buskirk
Copy Editor

On Friday April 3, classic rock and folk duo Smith & Tucker performed at the Thumb Coast Brewing Company. The local musicians perform classics from the 60s and 70s, covering artists such as Cat Stevens and Neil Young.
Doug Tucker and Ron Smith are both residents of St. Clair, but grew up in Detroit. The musicians met when they were teenagers in 1981 when they performed in the heavy rock band Illusion.
Smith & Tucker are not new to the area and play at venues all over downtown Port Huron including Lynch’s Bar & Grill as well as at Thumb Coast Brewing Company.
Jesse Peart, 21 of Port Huron and bartender at Thumb Coast Brewery, said, “They’re awesome! They’ve been coming here a long time.”
Patrons such as Mike Mellick, 27 of Port Huron, couldn’t complain. “I support music where I can. There’s always good live folk music here,” Mike said, “I also like to support my local brewery.”
While Smith & Tucker don’t have a set schedule, they intend on playing at the local bars whenever they can this summer.
To find out what bands play at Thumb Coast and when, visit their website at

“In-tents” St. Paddy’s celebration

Beer tent in front of McMorran Place
D.J. Palm
Staff Writer1426505107806[1]
Protection from the wind, ice cold beer, live music and space heaters made for a very comfortable setting as McMorran Place held their annual beer tent for Pub Crawl 2015.
Downtown Port HuronurHurionhh streets were filled with the color of green on the clothing and accessories of patrons who walked and “crawled” on the 18 pub stop event.
McMorran Place provided the tent on the east side of the building where the next to the fountain. On a 31 degree day, the McMorran was kind of enough to provide space heaters for people who wanted to stay inside the beer tent and drink.
Not everyone was able to keep warm as bartenders serving beer were finding that to be a bit of a challenge. “We’ve always had the beer tent ‘inside’ we’ve never done the Pub Crawl tent outside,” said Grace Gabler, a McMorran Bar tender helping serve guests at the tent. “Keeping your fingers warm is difficult. Grabbing the beer in the ice after a while your fingers start to go numb, you can wear gloves but they do you no good obviously.”
One of the bands performing at the Pub Crawl tent was the Decamp sisters from Port Huron, Libby and Riley as they were accompanied by the Schreiber brothers Adam and Brandon, also of Port Huron.
McMorran had live music playing in the tent from 12-7 p.m. the day of Pub Crawl. Dave Peters of the band “Mountain Babies” was partly responsible for helping the DeCamp sisters get their gig at the tent.
The sisters said they have fun playing anytime they get the opportunity to perform and are grateful for every chance play in front of an audience.
The beer tent downtown closed at 7p.m. but that didn’t mean the party was over as many downtown businesses (mainly bars) stayed open until the 2a.m. closing time, giving people that much more drinking time after the tent folded up.

St. Patty’s parade


Jamie Koebke
Staff Writer
Brisk temperatures, a sea of green and excitement filled downtown Port Huron on Saturday GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAMarch 14 for the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
The St. Patrick’s Day parade took place at noon, starting before Pub Crawl at 1pm. The parade route started at Pine Grove Park and ended on Quay Street. The Irish-American Club of St Clair County hosted of the parade.
Metro Detroit Police and Fire departments, the Knights of Columbus, the Irish-American Club and Troy’s Pub were just a few organizations who participated in the parade.
Tiffany Powers, 31 of Emmett said I like the parade happening on pub crawl.” Although it could be argued that the parade not happening on St. Patrick’s Day takes away from the allure. Bonnie Burns, 39 of Smiths Creek, said, “I think the parade happening on pub crawl is good. It brings a lot more out of town customers’ downtown.”
Not everyone feels that way though. “I wish the parade still happened on St. Paddy’s day, it’s more festive,” Larry Powers said. Larry, his wife Tiffany, and their son Shane rode on the Kearns float this year.
Although it was brisk out this year, there were quite a bit of people who came out to support the community. Larry and Tiffany Powers said they’ve been going to the St. Patrick’s Day parade for four or five years, bringing their son Shane for the last two.
Bonnie Burns said she and her daughters have been going for eight years. “The Parade gets everyone together for a festive holiday, it’s a fun day!” said Bonnie Burns.
“The St. Patrick’s Day parade is entertaining and gives the children something to look forward to,” St. Clair County Community College student Patricia Koroly, 22 of Port Huron said.
Whether or not it happens on St. Patrick’s Day, the children in the crowd couldn’t have cared less, their faces showed every ounce of excitement in them as a leprechaun came by and high-fived them while another threw them candy.

Good times at Goodfella’s bar and grill

Swing dancing; a heck of a good way to pass the time
Mel Buskirk
Copy Editor

Got five bucks and some free time on a Thursday night? Consider yourself booked for a good time at swing2Goodfella’s bar and grill in downtown Port Huron.
Starting at 7 p.m. every Thursday night for only five dollars a person, you and a partner, or even you by yourself, can head to the second floor of Goodfella’s bar and restaurant for an hour and a half of clean fun by learning how to swing dance.
Swing dancing is a style of dancing popular during the roaring twenties, thus fitting perfectly with Goodfella’s speak-easy atmosphere. The dance instructors Lyle Malaski and Kristina Morton have about nine years of combined experience teaching others how to swing dance, but their passion and experience with swing dancing is easily more than double that.
Malaski and Morton’s passion and patience can help anyone learn how to swing dance with just a couple lessons. Anyone can swing dance, from college kids to seniors, talented 20’s enthusiasts (such as local personality and jazz singer Alfie Jean) to people with two left feet (like myself).
Morton said, “I want to add culture into our town and this is a healthy way to do it.” Which you just might need a healthy work out if you get to Goodfella’s early.
Goodfella’s happy hour is every weekday from 2 to 7 p.m. with $2 well and domestic drafts, $3 craft drafts, and half off appetizers.
Not only is Goodfella’s food delicious, but they are providing the room for the dance class for free, all the more reason to enjoy their food. Goodfella’s also has an open mic night on Thursdays starting at 9 p.m.
It just goes to show, there is always something to do in downtown Port Huron.

A different kind of clean

New beauty store opens in Port Huron
Jamie Koebke
Staff Writer

Harmful chemicals are in most body and beauty products found at the grocery store. Heather McCleary, local business owner of Herbal Panacea, a new business that opened February 9, 2015, sells organic body products. The business is located at 1211 Lyon St., Port Huron.
“My products are all natural, made with no chemicals,” McCleary said.
The store sells products from bar soap to laundry soap, soy candles, lip balm, coconut oil and dried herbs for teas and baths. Not only does the store sell these products but Heather makes the products herself. Heather said, “I decided to start making my own natural products because of all the chemicals that are in most products these days. Since I have children, I wanted to know what kind of ingredients were in the products that I put on them. What better way to know these things than to make my own products.”
Researchers have found that there are some chemicals used in personal care products that could cause cancer, diethanolamine or DEA is one of those products. DEA is a chemically modified form of coconut oil and studies have shown that it might cause cancer. By buying organic coconut oil you bypass the chemically modified part. “The products at Herbal Panacea are made with essential oils so they also have healing benefits,” said McCleary.
Organic body products are a way to not only help keep potentially harmful chemicals out of your life, but to help keep the environment clean as well. Most organic products can be expensive, roughly $3-$4 for a tube of lip balm; however, local Herbal Panacea lip balm runs $2 for a tube. Products like the soy candles have multiple uses. “The soy wax is soft and can be rubbed on skin to moisturize and replenish without the waxy coating of a normal candles,” McCleary said.
St. Clair County Community College student Brittany Collins said, “I want to use products that are made from natural ingredients and are more beneficial to my body in the long run than the non-organic products.”
Having a local business, Heather has a Facebook page for Herbal Panacea that acquired 270 likes in the first three weeks.
“This is my dream!” McCleary said. “I can’t wait to spread my business into a bigger store with more natural products to share with everyone!”