Drug bust had nothing to do with Winter Carnival

I am writing to you on behalf of Michigan Technological University’s Chapter of the Blue Key Honor Society Our organization was very disappointed in the headline of a recent article published in your paper titled “Pre-Carnival Drug Bust: UPSET raid recovers marijuana, acid-laced medication.” We feel this headline was an unfair characterization of Winter Carnival and the Michigan Tech community. I must point out that the article had absolutely nothing to do with Winter Carnival.

Each year, student members of Blue Key Honor Society volunteer countless hours to make Winter Carnival a special event for the campus and local community. We sacrifice time from our busy class and work schedules because we understand the tremendous positive impact Winter Carnival has on the Copper Country. It is heartwarming to watch the community rally around our organization to ensure this deeply rooted tradition carries on. With the support of the local community, we are able to organize an event which provides a tremendous boost to the local economy. In a 2001 study conducted by the Michigan Tech School of Business, the economic impact of Winter Carnival was estimated to be $1.2 million. I am sure this figure has only grown over the past 16 years. Beyond economic impacts, the event brings in over 6,000 people to the area. This allows us to showcase our campus and community to friends family and visitors alike.

I have lived in the area my entire life. I am a proud member of this community and understand all of the positive impacts Winter Carnival brings As a longtime member of this community, 1 must ask you the following question. Why would the Daily Mining Gazette run a headline whose effect is to tarnish the reputation of Winter Carnival? I understand you had a story which was newsworthy. However, this story had no link to Winter Carnival. It seems to us that you used Winter Carnival as an attention grabber for an article. I sincerely hope you did not intend to undermine the image of Winter Carnival. Our students work hard, donate their time and make countless sacrifices to ensure Winter Carnival is an iconic event. They do not deserve this type of negative publicity. If you are looking for a news story, I have plenty of suggestions that would highlight Winter Carnival and the community in the manner they deserve.

Finally, on behalf of Blue Key Honor Society, Michigan Technological University and the local community, I would like to applaud the efforts of UPSET. We appreciate their dedication to keeping our community safe. Additionally, I believe it is important to recognize the role the university plays in keeping our campus and community safe. Michigan Technological University devotes $20,000 per year to bolster the efforts of UPSET in the local area. We are glad that the Gazette is publicizing UPSET’s work. That is no reason to imply that a drug bust has anything to do with Winter Carnival.

Below are a list of signatures from community members and local businesses who support Blue Key Honor Society in our mission to make Winter Carnival a positive experience for everyone_ Each of these people understands the impact Winter Carnival has on our community and will work to uphold this event’s image and long-standing reputation. We hope the Daily Mining Gazette will join us in our mission and support us in the years to come. In Blue Key, we having a motto which guides us; Serving 1 Live, Together We Thrive!

Brian Kass is the vice president of Michigan Technological University’s Chapter of Blue Key Honor Society.

Petition circulated at Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance meeting

The following businesses, organizations and individuals support Blue Key Honor Society in its mission of making Winter Carnival a positive experience for everyone:

Brian Kass

Glenn D. Mroz

Laura Bulliet

John B. Lehman

Tim Buroni

Karin Van Dyke

Stephen Smith

David Olsson

Theresa Coleman-Kaiser

Mark Johnson

Steve Zutter

Michael Scott

Sean Connors

Carla Beck

Glenn Anderson

Steven Palosaari

B Jollimore

Keith Anderson

Michael Scott

Jamey Markham

Alex Roy

John Sanregret

Kathy Codere

Mike Hauswirth

David Rautiola

Guy St. Germain

Glenda JO Berman

Marilyn Swift

Steve Karpiak

William Griffin

Jeffrey M Lang

Christopher H. Nielson

Jeff Ratcliffe

Les Cook

Bonnie Gorman