Gary Maki, Sr. Aerospace Science Instructor for JROTC at Bedford HS.


Air Force veteran Gary Maki is Bedford High School’s Senior Aerospace Science instructor for the school’s Air Force Junior ROTC program.

Maki retired from the Air Force in  2014 and is now on the BHS faculty. Gary has had prior experience as an instructor in the Air Force, was in Marine Corps Reserves for six years and has had  three combat deployments, including one in Afghanistan.

Students from Bedford, Hanscom Air Force Base, and Billerica take part in the BHS JROTC program. The program currently has 67 students. Maki said a district the size of Bedford would on average have more than 80 enrolled.   Maki and his JROTC students will improve awareness at the middle schools to make younger students aware of  the program benefits and increase future enrollment.

According to Maki,   JROTC programs in general are not designed to recruit for the United States military.   While students are learning respect, efficacy and solving problems,    JROTC offers students the opportunity to explore topics like aerospace that they may not experience in  their other traditional programs.   In addition, JROTC  students have the opportunity to be in leadership positions, learn life skills like finance and effective  communication, and how to choose a college.

Students spend 120 hours in the JROTC classroom during their six-day schedule, meeting four times during the school week performing drill and physical training.

more at Joy Richards,

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Wasp species named in honor of Bruins’ Tuukka Rask

A newly discovered wasp species from East Africa now bears the designation Thaumatodryinus tuukkaraski, a tribute to Boston Bruins’ and Finnish National goalie Tuukka Rask.  The wasp was named after Rask by Robert S. Copeland, an entomologist at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya  who grew up in Newton, MA.  more at:


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From the Atlantic Monthly-5 Bad American Habits I Kicked in Finland

  1. Fear of that awkward silence…
  2. Don’t say things that you don’t really mean…
  3. Don’t leave food on your take it; you eat it..
  4. Sit and enjoy your coffee..
  5. When going to sauna, you will be naked (and get comfortable)


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BOSTON, MA – Boston Ballet unveils an all-new production of the timeless classical masterpiece Swan Lake. The production is choreographed by Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, and features costumes and sets by award-winning designer Robert Perdziola. Due to the high-ticket demand, Swan Lake has been extended from two to three weeks. The show will now run from October 30-November 16 at The Boston Opera House.

Swan Lake is one of the greatest ballets of all time, set to a score that is celebrated throughout the world,” said Nissinen. “After a six year hiatus, I am so excited to bring this exquisite classic back to Boston with a fresh look.”

Swan Lake is designer Robert Perdziola’s second commission from Boston Ballet, following his highly acclaimed debut of The Nutcracker in 2012. He describes the new production’s designs as having “some recognizable German influences” set in the late gothic/early renaissance period.

In addition to the reimagined sets and costumes, Nissinen has adjusted the choreography to what he feels is the authentic Swan Lake. The new production features an added prologue that depicts the abduction of Odette and the beginning of Rothbart’s spell. “If I have done my job correctly, this production will stay classic, but fill in the gaps,” said Nissinen. “Our version is updated to meet the skills of today’s dancers but remains true to the intent, impact, and feeling of the original.”

Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake follows the Swan Queen Odette and Prince Siegfried in a tale of romance, sorcery, and deceit. The second act, created by Lev Ivanov, is historically considered the finest piece of classical choreography for the corps de ballet. The production is set to a luscious score by P.I. Tchaikovsky, and will be performed by The Boston Ballet Orchestra.

For more information, visit

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Helsinki-Vantaa to track passengers From parking lot to flight

Helsinki-Vantaa airport will soon be the first airport in the world to track passengers from the parking lot to the time they board their flight, using signals from their cellphones.

Airport officials say this will help them prevent bottlenecks. It will also allow the shops and restaurants at the airport to send them offers.

We’re looking at great paybacks from this investment,” said Heikki Koski, vice president in charge of new services at Finavia, operator of the airport in an interview with Bloomberg News. “We can manage the airport better, we can predict where bottlenecks might come and analyze everything more thoroughly.”

The system will work only when a mobile phone has its Wi-Fi access on, whether a passenger is aware of the tracking system or not. It is meant only to track a passenger’s movement, and not gather any other data about the individual

Privacy advocates, however, are skeptical.

The fact that my movements are tracked is a scarier thought than someone knowing which websites I visit,” said Antti Tikkanen, director of security response at software maker F-Secure Oyj. “I have a hard time believing location tracking is only left at statistics when the same technology makes so many other things possible.”

The tracking system is being provided by Walkbase Oy, based in Espoo. About 150 white boxes will be set up around the airport to pick up the signals from the mobile phones. Passengers can opt in via an application to receive information about flights and businesses. The initial tracking system is already in place.

The next step will be to install the capability to send messages.

Martin Laine

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Design competition underway for Helsinki’s Guggenheim Museum

A year-long international architectural design competition is underway to choose a design for the proposed Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki.

The new museum would be located on Helsinki’s South Harbor waterfront. It will host international exhibits of 20th and 21st century art, as well as specializing in Nordic art and architecture, according to a statement on the Guggenheim Foundation’s website.

First proposed three years ago, the project has not been without controversy.

Promoters of the museum project, led by Helsinki mayor, say the city needs the kind of economic boost an internationally recognized institution like the Guggenheim would bring.

We have to promote Helsinki and that’s why we need some international brands like the Guggenheim,” Mayor Jussi Pajunen, in an article in the New York Times..

In addition to its original museum in New York, the Guggenheim Foundation has built museums in Venice, Italy, and Bilbao, Spain. Another museum will open in Abu Dhabi in 2017. Each year the foundation receives requests from cities around the world asking to be considered as a site for a Guggenheim Museum

Thus, the foundation’s board of directors was caught off-guard when their initial proposal was met with a backlash of harsh criticism. Under that proposal, the Helsinki City Art Museum would be absorbed by the new Guggenheim, decisions concerning the design of the building would rest with the foundation while the city would bear the costs, estimated at $170 million, and finally the foundation would levy a $30 million licensing fee for the use of its name.

The Helsinki city council rejected the proposal in 2012.

The foundation came back with a new proposal last year. Representatives from Helsinki are now on the panel judging the design completion. The licensing fee will not be charged to the city directly. Instead, the foundation will work with the city to raise the money through private sponsorships.

Martin Laine


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Request for Information (Hugo and Vieno (maiden name Lehtinen) Salm’s (Salmi, Salminen) descendants.)

I’m searching Hugo and Vieno (maiden name Lehtinen) Salm’s (Salmi, Salminen) descendants.

Hugo and Vieno probably lived in Bronx, NYC.

Hugo was born 21st May, 1900, in Finland (in Kymi maybe)

and died in March, 1986, last residence 10452, Bronx, NYC.



Vieno Wilhelmiina was born 16th November, 1908, in Helsinki, Finland and

passed away 20th December, 1996, in Bronx, NYC.

Vieno arrived in U.S. 26th August, 1931. Vieno and Hugo had a daughter, Carol,

maybe still living.


Vieno’s mother was Mimmi Nurmi (maiden name Lehtinen),

married to Otto Nurmi. They mainly lived in Westerly, RI.


I would be grateful for any information.


Markku Keisala

Tammistonkatu 19 A 25

FI-01520 Vantaa Finland

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Ted Kennedy at Saima Park 1961


Ted Kennedy at Saima Park 1961

Above is a photograph of Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy taken at Saima Park, Fitchburg (MA), in June 1961.  It was taken at that year’s summer festival of the Fitchburg Council of Cooperatives.  The Council was made up of three co-operatives founded by Finnish immigrants in the early 1900s: United Co-operative Society of Fitchburg, Workers’ Credit Union and United Co-operative Farmers. Workers’ Credit Union is the only one that continues to exist today.  In 2014 it will be celebrating its 100th anniversary.

This photograph is from the archives of the Raivaaja Foundation Inc. It originally came from the photo collection of the former United Co-operative Society of Fitchburg. The Society had a good budget for PR in its heyday.  Many photographs were taken for use in the “Co-op Times,” the Society’s member newsletter.

The photo shows Kennedy speaking from the old program platform that used to be at Saima Park.  It was eventually torn down and replaced by a new platform for the 1970 appearance of Finland’s President Urho Kekkonen.

submitted by J. Ratila

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Aion osallistua FinnFestiin 2013 ja samalla tapaan myös amerikansukulaisiani.

Aion osallistua FinnFestiin 2013 ja samalla tapaan myös amerikansukulaisiani.

Olen kirjoittanut inkerinsuomalaisista. Kävin jopa Siperiassa tapaamassa sinne vainojen aikana siirrettyjä ja sinne jääneitä inkeriläisiä.

Nyt minua kiinnostaisi matkallani tavata Neuvosto-Venäjälle 1920-30-luvulla muuttaneiden omaisia ja läheisiä ja haastatella heitä. Heitähän tuli mm. Venäjän Karjalaan raskeine työkaluineen ja tavaroineen. Heidän panoksensa Karjalan tuon aikaiseen kehitykseen on arvioitu huomattavaksi.
Mutta niinhän siinä kävi, että he joutuivat Stalinin vainojen tuhoamiksi niin muutkin suomalaiset ja muut vähemmistäkansojen edustajat.
Olisin tavattoman kiitollinen avustasi. Jos pari sellaista henkilöä löytyisi niin heidän kauttaan sitten voisi löytyä useampi. Olemme mieheni kanssa keskutelleet myös käymisestä Kanadan puolella. Myöskin kandalaisia meni Neuvostoliittoon samaan aikaan amerikannsuomalaisten kanssa.
Eihän enää tuon ajan ihmisiä paljon enää ole elämässäkään. Toivoisin. että löytyisi kuitenkin heidän läheisiään.

Kiitollisena avustasi
Ystävällisin terveisin

Tyyne Martikainen
045 127 0129

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Request for Information RFK Visit to Fitchburg

Hello Ms. Cauthen,

I live in Imatra, Finland. I was born in 1958 and my family moved to Fitchburg, Mass. in 1961. My parents who are both deceased, used to tell me the story about Robert Kennedy visiting some park during some campaign. I was on my father’s arms, he was standing in the crowd behind a rope and waiting to see Bobby Kennedy. He came towards us, and stopped in front of my father and took me, a 3-year-old girl, on his arms to say hello to us. We also got a pin from him, I remember it being of blue and white color. Unfortunately it has been gone for a long time.

This park is probably Whalom Park. First I though it could have been Saima Park, but then I realized that it may not be so.

I would like to ask if anyone has any photos of this event? Or if anyone just remembers it? I would like to know the exact date or at least month and year.

Best regards from Imatra, Finland to my childhood’s home town Fitchburg

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