Monday, October 15, 2018

Candidate Forum to be held Oct. 19 at Hancock Middle School Auditorium

HANCOCK--The League of Women Voters of the Copper Country (LWVCC) and the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce are convening a Candidate Forum to be held for State Senate 38th District; State Representative 110th District;  Houghton County Commissioners in District 2, District 3, District 4 and District 5 (those in contested races); and Keweenaw County Probate Court Judge. The Forum will be held beginning at 6 p.m on Friday, October 19, at Hancock Middle School Auditorium, 501 Campus Drive.

The State Senate 38th District and State Representative 110th District forum will be held from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Following a 15-minute break, the forum for contested races for Houghton County Commissioners and Keweenaw County Probate Court Judge will be conducted from 7:15 p.m.-8:15 p.m. 

Invited Candidates include the following:

State Senate 38th District: Scott Dianda, Democrat, and Ed McBroom, Republican

State Representative 110th District: Greg Markkanen, Republican, and Ken Summers, Democrat

Houghton County Commissioner District 2: Melissa Davis, Democrat, and  Albert Koskela, Republican

Houghton County Commissioner District 3: Glenn Anderson, Democrat, and Ben Jaehnig, Republican

Houghton County Commissioner District 4: Gretchen Janssen, Democrat, and John Sullivan, Republican

Houghton County Commissioner District 5: Roy Britz, Republican, and Sharon Stoll, Democrat

Keweenaw County Probate Court Judge: Keith DeForge and Diana Langdon.

As you may know, the League of Women Voters (LWV) is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages citizens to play an informed and active role in government. Any person of voting age, male or female, may become an LWVCC member. The LWV is nonpartisan and does not support or oppose particular political parties or candidates. The LWV does take positions on issues after a lengthy member study and consensus process.

As this is a forum, not a debate, candidates are asked to respond only to the questions asked by the moderator. They are, however, free to address any appropriate issue during their opening and closing remarks.

This is an LWVCC co-sponsored Forum, and as such, no campaigning material will be allowed inside the Hancock Middle School Auditorium.  The LWVCC will also not allow any loud or rude comments in the form of clapping, booing, hissing, whistling, yelling, etc., from the audience. If this occurs, the forum will be stopped until the audience member(s) can be quieted to allow the forum to continue.

Please note: The LWV Voter Guide for the Nov. 6, 2018, General Election will be published by The Daily Mining Gazette on Tuesday, October 16, 2018.

For more information, call or email: Taryn Mason at 906-231-1713

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Indigenous Peoples' Week events begin Oct. 8 at Michigan Tech

Poster for Falling Leaves Moon Powwow, part of Indigenous Peoples' Week at Michigan Tech. The Powwow will take place on Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Wood Gym in Michigan Tech's Student Development Complex (SDC), with a Grand Entry at 1 p.m. and at 7 p.m. (Posters courtesy Indigenous Peoples' Day Campaign in Michigan's U.P.)

HOUGHTON -- Indigenous Peoples' Week at Michigan Tech begins Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, with various events on campus to recognize the contributions and struggles of Indigenous peoples from around the world. All events are free and open to the public. Here is the schedule:

Monday, Oct. 8:

Peace activist Miko Peled will present "Freedom and Justice, the Keys to Peace in Palestine," from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in GLRC (Great Lakes Research Center) 202.

Poster for Peace Activist Miko Peled's presentation on Monday, Oct. 8, in GLRC 202 on the Michigan Tech campus.

Israeli-born peace activist Miko Peled will address some of the basic history of the Palestine/Israel question, the Israeli occupation and what this means to thousands of Palestinian youth and their families.

He will also discuss the recent events in Gaza and the role of international solidarity in supporting the struggle for equal rights and freedom in Palestine.

Miko Peled speaks on Peace in Palestine/Israel during a 2015 visit to Michigan Tech. (Keweenaw Now file photo)*

"Some may ask, why is the question of Palestine a part of Indigenous Peoples’ Week?" said Miguel Levy of the Indigenous Peoples' Day Campaign in Michigan's U.P. "First and foremost, it is because the Palestinians are the indigenous people to what today constitutes the state of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Secondly, because they are valiantly resisting settler-colonialism in that part of the world. They are facing the same threats faced by the indigenous peoples of North America for over 200 years. Settler-colonialism is a world-wide phenomenon, threatening the genocidal decimation of native cultures and peoples in North America, South and Central America, the Middle East and Australia. And decolonization, the fight for the survival and reconstitution of indigenous peoples and cultures, is its counterpart. Hence, the question of Palestine is a global issue of international import."

This event is sponsored by the Michigan Tech Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), the Social Sciences, Physics and Forestry Departments at Michigan Tech, the Indigenous Peoples' Day Campaign in Michigan's U.P., the Keweenaw Committee for Justice in Palestine and the Episcopal Church of Marquette.

Thursday, Oct. 11:

Ojibwe tribal member Steven Naganashe Perry, PhD, will deliver the presentation "Michigan Boarding Schools and Multi-generational Trauma," from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in GLRC room 202.

Perry, a decorated veteran, is an activist, educator and philanthropist. He has been involved in numerous campaigns about the environment, wildlife, racism and water. Perry descends from The Naganashe family of Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians (Waganakising) and The Pine (Shingwauk) family of Garden River Ojibwe Reserve (Kitigan-zeeping) in Ontario.

Saturday, Oct. 13:

"Falling Leaves Moon" Powwow, sponsored by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society at Michigan Tech (AISES), will be held from 12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the SDC (Student Development Complex) Wood Gym. Grand Entries will be at 1 p.m and 7 p.m.

A young dancer and drum at the 2017 AISES Powwow at Michigan Tech. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

The AISES Pow Wow is free and open to the public in order to encourage cultural sharing and understanding of Native American traditions, heritage and identity.

The event will feature traditional singing, dancing and drumming by men, women, children and veterans. A Grand Entry begins each dance session, followed by intertribal singing and dancing.

Thursday, Oct. 18:

Featured documentary, Tribal Justice. The film focuses on using restorative practices and traditional concepts of justice. It will be shown from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Fisher 135 on the Michigan Tech campus.

In this film two Native American judges reach back to traditional concepts of justice in order to reduce incarceration rates, foster greater safety for their communities, and create a more positive future for their youth. By addressing the root causes of crime, they are providing models of restorative justice that are working. Mainstream courts across the country are taking notice.

This film is sponsored by the Michigan Tech's Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Academic and Community Conduct, the Department of Cognitive Sciences and AISES.

Editor's Note:

* Miko Peled spoke at Michigan Tech in September 2015. See our Oct. 28, 2015, article "Israeli-American peace activist Miko Peled calls for one-state solution to Israeli occupation of Palestine."

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Obituary: Gustavo Bourdieu, 1944-2018

Gustavo Bourdieu, 74, a resident of Hancock, passed away suddenly on Monday, September 17, 2018.

Gustavo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, son of the late Raimundo José Bourdieu and María Genara (Castilla) Bourdieu. Gustavo was raised in Argentina and resided in Peru for more than 30 years. He moved to the United States in the 1990s, working in Georgia until moving to Hancock in 2006. In 2011 he proudly became a United States citizen.

Following his citizenship ceremony in Marquette, Michigan, Gustavo is pictured here with Amy Berglund, right, representing former U.S. Senator Carl Levin, and Jeremy Hosking, former representative of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow. (Photo by Michele Bourdieu).

In Argentina Gustavo graduated from a technical secondary school with a focus on telecommunications. In Peru he was a beekeeper and farmer as well as a businessman and telecommunications technician. Gustavo worked a variety of jobs throughout his life, from being a messenger at the Argentina Stock Exchange to installing solar panels and satellite antennas for radio and television in small villages in the Amazon to selling cars and motorcycles and working in a 5-star restaurant.

A man of many interests and many talents, Gustavo was a beekeeper for more than 50 years, an amateur radio enthusiast, a gardener and a great dancer. He taught himself many computer skills and read widely in both Spanish and English. More recently he became interested in metal arts, especially jewelry he hand-crafted from recycled copper and silver, which he sold at the Hancock Tori farmers’ market and other arts and crafts sales.

Gustavo sometimes sold his honey at the Tori farmers' market in Hancock. Here he displays a book with photos to explain to customers how the honey is made. (Keweenaw Now file photo by Michele Bourdieu)

Over the years Gustavo was a member of several amateur radio clubs, including a local Copper Country club, and loved contacting ham radio operators from many countries. He also marched in the local Parade of Nations, representing Argentina. In addition to his many hobbies, Gustavo enjoyed dancing, cooking, photography, repairing old sewing machines and telling stories about his adventurous life.

Gustavo marches in the 2018 Parade of Nations from Hancock to Houghton. (Photo © and courtesy Allan Baker)

In 2008 Gustavo was united in marriage to the former Michele Gilbert.

Preceding him in death were his parents; his son, Gustavo F. Bourdieu Figueroa; and a sister, Angelica Estefanía Bourdieu.

Gustavo is survived by his wife Michele Bourdieu; his daughters María Amelia, Carmen, and Carla Estafanía; his sisters María Carmen and Estela; his niece Carla; his nephews Marcelo, Santiago, and Manuel Augusto; 6 grandchildren; and several cousins.

A Memorial gathering to celebrate Gustavo’s life will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 21, 2018, at the Hancock First United Methodist Church, 401 Quincy Street, Hancock, MI. An informal potluck will be included. Those who would like to are invited to bring a snack to pass. For details call Carol at 906-523-5182.

To view Gustavo’s obituary or to send condolences to the family please visit Donations may be made to Save the Bees at, an organization working to ban pesticides that kill bees around the world.*

The Memorial Chapel Funeral Homes of Hancock are assisting the family with the arrangements.

*Those who wish to help the bees are invited to sign the Avaaz petition and/or Donate by clicking on Donate button at top of the page.

Inset photo: Gustavo happily completes installation of solar panels on his home in Hancock. (Photo by Michele Bourdieu)

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Olé at the Rozsa: Food, Music and Laughter on Saturday’s Parade of Nations Menu

This year's Parade of Nations will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, in Hancock. (Logo courtesy Michigan Tech University)

By Cyndi Perkins*
Posted Sept. 11, 2018, on Michigan Tech News
Reprinted in part here with permission
2017 Parade videos and photos by Keweenaw Now

Guitar playing and juggling require nimble fingers, and the audience will witness both when Parade of Nations headliner -- the madcap international act Olé! -- performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 15), at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

The performance caps off a day of festivities that begin when the 29th annual Parade of Nations steps off at 11 a.m. Saturday in Hancock. The flag-flying procession -- including floats, horses, marchers in the traditional ceremonial clothing of their countries and the Huskies Pep Band -- makes its way across the Portage Lake Lift Bridge to Dee Stadium on the Houghton waterfront.

Michigan Tech's Pep Band kicks off the 2017 Parade of Nations in Hancock. (Videos by Keweenaw Now)

At the Dee, the Multicultural Festival features 11 international performances on the main stage and 22 food booths serving cuisine from around the world at affordable prices. Pony rides, a book sale and art projects from local youth add to the fun. Outdoor dining will again be available this year to ease traffic congestion, and a projection screen is designed to make viewing activities on the main stage more accessible. Trivia contests and prizes will be awarded throughout the day -- the biggest of which is a drawing for a Chicago getaway package.

Indian students show off some of their lively modern dances -- a favorite performance at the Multicultural Festival.

More videos and photos of the 2017 Parade of Nations:

Participants in the 2017 Parade of Nations assemble on the Quincy Green in Hancock. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

Japanese students from Finlandia University, in elegant dress, pose for a photo with their English instructor, Janice Cox-Adolphs.

Cindy Miller, second from left, teacher of Spanish and French at Calumet High School, regularly participates in the Parade of Nations with her students.

Gustavo Bourdieu and friends display the Argentine flag as they cross the Portage Lift Bridge. A group from Bangladesh follows.

Chinese students display their float and dragon as they approach the Judges' Table at the Parade.

Members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) sing and dance during the 2017 Parade of Nations.

During the 2017 Multicultural Festival following the Parade, Betty Chavis, co-founder of the Parade of Nations in 1990, expresses her thanks to the community for continuing the event, now in its 29th year.

Click here for Cyndi Perkins' full story on the 2018 Parade of Nations.

* Guest author Cyndi Perkins is an award-winning editor, journalist and columnist who writes feature articles for Michigan Tech University.

** For more photos of the 2017 Parade of Nations, see our Slide Show here.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Finlandia's Festival Ruska to bring Nordic culture to Copper Country

Finlandia University's Festival Ruska will celebrate the Copper Country's fall color season with events beginning on Wednesday, Sept. 5. (Logo courtesy Finlandia University)

HANCOCK -- As the leaves start turning in the Copper Country, Finlandia University’s Finnish American Folk School's Festival Ruska provides an equally awesome lineup of cultural programming, this year featuring two remarkable artisans and a pair of Finnish-themed concerts.

This year, events get under way at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5, with a one-night-only performance by the up-and-coming Finnish band Steve ‘n’ Seagulls at Michigan Tech University’s Rozsa Center with their unique style of playing American hard rock songs with a bluegrass sound. The band rose to fame after being discovered on YouTube and has since developed a worldwide fan base that enjoys their quirky stage presence. Tickets for this concert are available by calling (906) 487-2073 or visiting This concert is sponsored in part by the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce Upper Peninsula Chapter.

Two weeks later, the Folk School will welcome noted birchbark weaver John Zasada to the Finnish American Heritage Center for a two-day workshop creating a bread basket. A retired U.S. Forest Service employee, Zasada has devoted much of his adult life to the use and management of birch in northern forests and is eager to share his expertise with would-be artisans of any skill level. The class takes place Friday, Sept. 21, and Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Finnish American Heritage Center (FAHC), with personal instruction from Zasada, who has taught many similar classes at the North House Folk School in Minnesota. Space in the class is limited to eight students, so early registration ($150 per person) is encouraged. All materials will be provided. To reserve your place in this workshop, call (906) 487-7549.

Then, in early October, the international performers of the traveling ensemble Beethoven and Banjos will lead a Nordic folk music workshop at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6. Any musician who plays a stringed or other folk instrument is encouraged to join the workshop; for only $10 per person they’ll receive hands-on instruction from talented Nordic musicians who specialize in fiddle, nycleharpaa, banjo and much more.

Later that evening, the Beethoven and Banjos ensemble will take the stage at the FAHC for a 7:30 p.m. concert. They encourage you to "come as you are, pay what you can" and enjoy this stop on this group’s annual Upper Peninsula tour. Headlined by well known and longtime U.P. musicians Evan and Laurel Premo, the group also includes musicians from other parts of the U.S., as well as Norway and Sweden.

Finnish American Folk School programming will conclude its Ruska season with a four-week class in Finnish-style boat making, held in conjunction with the woodworking class at Calumet High School. Led by veteran boatmaker Alex Comb of northern Minnesota, the class will include several Calumet High School students, but is open to the general public as well ($400 per patron includes all class sessions). Comb will provide direction into the art of building a Finnish-style rowboat, similar to that seen at the Salolampi Language Village in northern Minnesota. For more information about how you can be a part of this unique opportunity, call (906) 487-7549.

Festival Ruska is Finlandia University’s annual celebration of the fall color season in Michigan’s Copper Country. Finnish American Folk School programming is sponsored in part by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and is managed by the staff of the Finnish American Heritage Center. For more information about the center and its mission to preserve and promote Finnish culture in North American, visit

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

4th Annual Pipe Out Paddle Protest against Line 5, Water is Life Festival to be Sept. 1 in Mackinaw City

During the 2017 Pipe Out Paddle Protest, Native and non-Native water protectors gather near the Mackinac Bridge with their kayaks and canoes, display their banners and sing songs about the water. This year the event will take place Saturday, Sept. 1, followed by a Water is Life Festival, both in Mackinaw City. (2017 file photo © and courtesy Miguel Levy)*

MACKINAW CITY -- Two events to protest Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac and to celebrate the water will be held this Saturday, Sept. 1, in Mackinaw City.

The 4th Annual Pipe Out Paddle Protest against the Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 1, at Huron St. and Nicolet Ave. in Mackinaw City. A flotilla of dozens of kayaks and canoes will gather offshore from Mackinaw City, raising signs and calling for the shut down of Line 5. Bring your own kayak or rent one onsite. Please RSVP and see the schedule here -- and learn more about getting there, camping, and renting a kayak. This is a free, family-friendly event.

Water is Life Festival poster courtesy Oil and Water Don't Mix.

The Water is Life Festival will follow from noon to 6:30 p.m. at Conkling Heritage Park in Mackinaw City. Lunch will be served at noon, and then all will gather to celebrate water through music (Hip Hop, folk, and native musicians), poets, speakers on Nestle and Line 5 from Flint and Detroit, and also tribal leaders and elected officials. One of Michigan's favorite musicians, organizer Seth Bernard, is the emcee. Bring a chair or blanket for sitting in the grass and a water bottle to use at the hydration stations. This is a free, family-friendly event.

Click here to see the festival schedule and RSVP.

* Click here to see our article on the 2017 Pipe Out Paddle Protest in Mackinaw City.

Monday, August 27, 2018

MDEQ to hold Abandoned Mining Wastes Project Open House Aug. 29 in Lake Linden

Poster for the Aug. 29, 2018, Abandoned MiningWastes Project OPEN HOUSE. (Poster courtesy Amy Keranen, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Remediation and Redevelopment Division)

LAKE LINDEN -- The MDEQ (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) Abandoned Mining Wastes Project OPEN HOUSE (originally scheduled for June 20 and postponed because of the flooding) will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, AUGUST 29, at the Lake Linden-Hubbell High School Auditorium. The project team consists of staff involved in the planning, fieldwork, cleanup, and reporting for the project -- along with the On-Scene Coordinator Brian Kelly, from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Emergency Response Branch (ERB), who is managing three projects in the area. The team will share their findings with the community with maps and photos to display where they conducted their work, what they have found, and what they have planned.

This informal open house will provide the public with the opportunity to drop in, meet the project team and get any questions answered. Contact Amy Keranen, MDEQ Remediation and Redevelopment Division, at for more information.

Recent projects include the following:
  • 2017 sampling in former mining ruins in the Mason area, which identified the presence of widespread asbestos and abandoned containers at three of the five properties that make up the area.
  • Evaluation of the PCBs found in the reclamation areas of Lake Linden and Hubbell and connecting them to the presence of PCBs in the tissue of Torch Lake fish.
  • Assistance from the EPA Emergency Response Branch to address the contaminated sediments at the Lake Linden Recreation Area site.
Near-shore sediment sampling in 2017. (Photos courtesy Amy Keranen, Michigan DEQ Remediation and Redevelopment Division)
  • Investigation indicating the presence of widespread asbestos containing materials, residual wastes and abandoned containers throughout the Quincy Mining Company Mason area, including those at the Quincy Mill ruins west of M-26, which is frequented by recreational users. The EPA is in the process of evaluating existing information and planning a potential removal action.
Quincy Stamp Mill No. 1 ruins in Mason.
  • Calumet and Hecla (C and H) Mineral Building waste piles and asbestos cleanup.
  • Calumet Stamp Mill asbestos removal.
Calumet Stampmill foundation after asbestos removal was completed and the area seeded and mulched.
  • Tamarack Sands waste seep removal.
  • Hubbell Smelter Area shoreline drum removal.
This photo shows drum removal from beneath the cap at the water’s edge.
  • Cleanups at the Hubbell Coal Dock property, where PCB containing scrap was burned. 
  • Side scan sonar survey at the Quincy Mining Company operational areas from Dollar Bay down to the Portage Lift Bridge.
The team is planning further projects for 2018.

Click here for details in the Spring 2018 newsletter, "Notes from the Desk of Amy Keranen."

Click here for the Abandoned Mining Wastes Web site and more info.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Hey! Ho! Come to the Houghton County Fair Aug. 23-26

By Michele Bourdieu

This year's Houghton County Fair Carnival and Midway rides will open at 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, and will run from noon until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24 and 25, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26. (2017 file photo by Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK -- Hey! Ho! this "town crier" rooster says it's time for the Houghton County Fair with entertainment and events for the whole family:

(Video by Keweenaw Now)

The 2018 Houghton County Fair will be held from 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, through 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, at the Fairgrounds, 1500 Birch Street in Hancock.

In addition to the Carnival and Midway rides, some highlights of this year's fair include Whispering Pines Mobile Zoo, Kevin Kammeraad Copperfly Puppet Show, The ATV Big Air Jumpers, Canines in the Clouds, Livestock shows and competitions, musical entertainment, a Youth Talent Show, Horse shows, exhibits, a beekeeping demonstration, Motocross, Monster Trucks, Demolition Derby and more.

Senior citizens, don't forget the special events for seniors from noon to 4 p.m. on Friday in the indoor arena -- including entertainment, prize drawings and a free lunch!

Gustavo loves the fair! (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Click here for the brochure, including ticket prices, events and a map.

Click here for the schedule of events.

More videos, photos of the 2017 Houghton County Fair:

Exhibiting their lambs are, from right, Eva, Bailey and Kyla.

During the 2017 sheep and goat show, some frisky lambs present a challenge to their young owners. However, with persistence and a little help from judges, the contestants in the competition manage to get their charges lined up. (Video by Keweenaw Now

Can you guess the breed of this cute little brown and white goat? Its owner explains below ...

Posters like these show how young farmers have done research on the animals they are learning to raise. Click on photo for larger version. (2017 photos by Keweenaw Now)

Meanwhile, in the sheep and goat livestock pavilion, it's lunchtime for some of the animals ...

During the 2017 Houghton County Fair, a quiet alpaca is distracted by a noisy sheep neighbor eating his lunch. (Video by Keweenaw Now)