Tuesday, September 30, 2014

People's Climate March, Part 1, Letter: Houghton couple travel to New York to march for planet's future

By Shirley Galbraith*

Shirley Galbraith of Houghton participates in the Sept. 21 People's Climate March in New York City. (Photos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

In September, 2014, a historic summit on climate change was about to take place. Not only were Heads of States from all over the world planning on being there, but also the global media. With our future on the line, concerned citizens and social activists decided to take a weekend before the anticipated summit, and use it to bend the course of history.

In New York City alone there was an unprecedented climate mobilization -- in size, beauty, and impact. It was estimated that there were between 3 and 4 hundred thousand who met at Columbus Circle and walked. Allan and I had decided to join the march though it meant a total of about 36 hours of travel time one way. Why? Because the older we get the more we worry about the future of our planet for our children and grandchildren.

Young and old march together -- many parents carrying kids on their shoulders -- during the Sept. 21 Climate March in New York City.

People chatted as we marched along. One woman commented that it was nice to be with like-minded people; another remarked that if the establishment keeps their heads in the sand much longer, our world is doomed. A little girl, about 8 years old,  passed me at one point proudly displaying a sign that she and her Dad had made which said, "Children need clean air." I asked her why she was marching, and she said something to the effect that we need to let God know that our earth needs help and maybe he’s watching all these worried people and will tell the president to take care of the earth. She wasn’t exactly super coherent, but it was obvious that she was aware of why she and her Dad were in this march. Her brother, slightly younger, piped in something about puppies whereupon the girl explained that they have a cute puppy named Sam and they wanted to make sure that the animals would be safe too.

There was a lively group of seniors and "Grannies," some in wheel chairs or using canes.

Carrying a banner asking, "What will be our legacy?" elders march for the future of their children and grandchildren.

A large number of LGBTs walked hand in hand along with Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Pagan, Unitarian, atheist and various other groups. I had situated myself with the faith groups though I could have joined any number of other categories.

According to Rabbi Arthur Waskow of Philadelphia's Shalom Center (in red, waving at front of ark), more than 10,000 members of Communities of Faith and Spirit joined the New York City Climate March. "We were led by an extraordinary Noah’s Ark, built by students of the Auburn Theological Seminary under the leadership of Isaac Luria," Waskow writes. "I was able to join the thirty people who actually rode aboard the Ark. From that vantage point I was able to see the ocean of humanity that was pouring out to heal the oceans, the rivers, the clouds and mountains, the air and earth, the many many species, that make up the interwoven ecosystems of our planet."**

The signs were creative, poignant, sad, funny, imaginative. There were some floats and people dressed in costumes, dresses, jeans and you name it. Everybody helped each other in a spirit of friendship and commonalities despite differences in beliefs. Allan took lots of pictures for our Keweenaw Now site.

So, here I am, doing my part!


Editor's Notes:

* Guest author Shirley Galbraith is a resident of Houghton and a member of the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Shirley wrote this letter to her children and friends and shares it with Keweenaw Now. With her husband, Allan Baker, videographer and photographer for Keweenaw Now, she has also reported on climate marches against the Keystone Pipeline in Washington, D.C. Click here to see her story on the Feb. 13, 2013, Keystone protest.

** Rabbi Arthur Waskow has included Keweenaw Now in his emails since we published his article on the late Pete Seeger last January. He kept us posted on plans for the September Climate March. His comments here are taken from his Sept. 22, 2014, report on the March, "The Ocean of Humanity: 300,000+ call for Climate Action Now!" on theshalomcenter.org.

This is the first in a series of articles on the recent People's Climate March and related events. Watch for photos and videos, coming soon!

Celebrate French Canadian Heritage Week with dance, song Oct. 1, 2

Maple Sugar Folk perform French Canadian songs during the Omega House benefit concert last July. This Thursday, Oct. 2, they will perform and lead French Canadian songs at the Chassell Heritage Center. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK -- The public is invited to celebrate French Canadian Heritage Week at two special events in the Keweenaw: a dance on Wednesday, Oct. 1, and a music and singing event on Thursday, Oct. 2.

In this photo some of the Thimbleberry musicians -- from left, Oren Tikkanen, Libby Meyer, Matthew Durocher and Dave Bezotte -- perform during a previous ethnic musical event. On Wednesday, Oct. 1, they will be joined by Anna Gawboy on concertina to play for a French Canadian dance at the Finnish American Heritage Center. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

A French Canadian dance will be held beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 1, at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock. Dance to the music of the Thimbleberry Band (Libby Meyer on fiddle; Anna Gawboy on concertina; Oren Tikkanen on guitar, banjo and vocals; Matt Durocher on bass; and David Bezotte on accordion and vocals) playing a variety of French Canadian fiddle tunes and songs. Join in contra dancing called by Colin Hoekje (beginners welcome), learn French Canadian folk dances, and enjoy waltzes, schottisches and other favorites. $6 admission. The Finnish American Heritage Center is at 435 Quincy Street in Hancock.

A music and singing event will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 2, at the Chassell Heritage Center, 2nd St., Chassell. Enjoy French Canadian folk and response songs led by Maple Sugar Folk and lively fiddle tunes and step dancing by Carrie, Emma and Susan Dlutkowski. Doors open at 6 p.m., so come early to view the exhibits, including an exhibit on local French Canadian settlement. Free admission -- donations appreciated.

For more information, contact Dave Bezotte at dbezotte@yahoo.com or 906-370-4956.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Letter: Embattled Great Lakes woman grateful for strong show of support

By Laura Gauger*

Laura Gauger paddling the Flambeau River. (Photo by Steve Garske of Marenisco, Mich., Oct 2011. Reprinted with permission.)

DULUTH, Minn. -- I stood up for clean water. I used my voice as a citizen. And now I am being punished by having to personally pay a substantial portion of a multinational mining company’s court costs.

That’s right. I am a citizen plaintiff in a Clean Water Act case against Rio Tinto, one of the largest mining corporations in the world. The case involved illegal discharges of pollutants into a stream at the company’s Flambeau Mine near Ladysmith, Wisconsin. For photos and official court documents, click HERE.

My co-plaintiffs and I won the case in U.S. District Court and exposed Rio Tinto’s highly touted "model mine" for what it is -- just one more example of how metallic sulfide mines always pollute. The ruling, however, was overturned on appeal, and now the court is ordering the plaintiffs, including me as an individual, to pay the polluter’s court costs. The bill is over $60,000, and my share is $20,500.

I am just a few donations short of paying off my share of these court costs awarded to Rio Tinto in the Flambeau Mine Clean Water Act case! Right now I am about $1500 short of my goal -- almost there! If you have not yet contributed, will you help put me over the top with a tax-deductible donation to my fundraiser?

I am completely OVERWHELMED by this huge flood of generosity. Truly, we have scored a victory on TWO different fronts in this lawsuit:

The first is a VICTORY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. The court case provided a means for exposing, under oath and with credibility, the serious water pollution problems at the Flambeau Mine site. So the next time the Flambeau Mine is held up by supporters of PolyMet or Twin Metals (Minnesota), Lundin (Michigan), GTac (Wisconsin), the Pebble Partnership (Alaska) or anyone else as an example of how mining can be done "without polluting local waters," you will have solid ammunition to use in the defense of your clean water.

The second is a VICTORY FOR THE "LITTLE GUY." Rallying the way you did to help me sends the following message, loud and clear, to Rio Tinto and other corporate polluters:

Enough! You cannot ride roughshod over citizens who are simply trying to protect public waters, and you cannot keep us down. We "little guys" watch out for each other, we have each other’s backs, and we are tenacious. You may as well give up on your latest mining proposals because we WILL ultimately prevail in this battle to protect the water and the "little ones" whose voices need to be heard.

What happened to me is an assault to all citizen activists. If polluters can get away with bullying even one person for trying to enforce the Clean Water Act, it will make it more difficult for all of us to protect our drinking water, lakes and streams. Not only will it have a chilling effect on the ability and willingness of ordinary citizens to speak up, but on the lawyers we need to help us.

To all those who have already contributed to my fundraiser, THANK YOU! And if anyone else would care to make a donation to help erase the last $1500 of my debt, please click HERE.

With respect and thanks,

Editor's Notes:
*Laura Gauger is a member of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council (WRPC) and the Center of Biological Diversity (her co-plaintiffs in the Flambeau Mine lawsuit). Ms. Gauger is formerly a resident of Spooner, Wis., and currently resides in Duluth, Minn.

For background on the Flambeau Mine Clean Water Act case, see our Jan. 25, 2011, article, "Updated: Lawsuit filed against Kennecott subsidiary for water pollution at Flambeau Mine site" and our July 25, 2012, article, "Court: Flambeau Mining Company violated Clean Water Act."

Furry Friends Fall Festival to raise funds for K-SNAG Sept. 28

HOUGHTON -- Copper Country Veterinary Clinic will be hosting Furry Friends Fall Festival -- a fund-raising event for K-SNAG (Keweenaw Spay Neuter Assistance Group) from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 28, at the Clinic on Sharon Ave., in Houghton.

Poster courtesy Keweenaw Spay Neuter Assistance Group.

K-SNAG is a group of volunteers who raise money to spay, neuter and rescue local animals. It is strictly run on donations from the public and gets no state or federal funding at all.

The original purpose of K-SNAG was to assist area residents with the cost of spaying/neutering their pets in an effort to reduce the number of unwanted animals in our area. When people learned that this was an animal welfare organization, K-SNAG began to get calls from people needing help with stray animals, and that is how they began their rescue program.

K-SNAG is an all-volunteer organization that mainly relies on fundraisers to raise money for vet bills. Out of the 103 animals helped by K-SNAG in 2012, all but 20 were adopted. Currently, there are at least 22 cats waiting for a home. These cats are currently in the care of K-SNAG volunteers. To date, since the organization was founded, they have rescued hundreds of animals and helped to spay/neuter about 1,400.

There will be a multitude of fun events at the Furry Friends Fall Festival including the following: raffles, roulette wheel, dress like a doctor/pet photo station, cut-out posing booth, teddy bear surgery (bring in a teddy that needs surgery!), coloring station for young children, food and drinks, bake sale, face painting, t-shirts, outdoor events with prizes.

Some events will have a nominal charge, some are donation based and some are free!

Visit the K-SNAG Facebook page for more information.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club invites volunteers to trail brushing party Sept. 27

Gromit the Trail Dog supervises trail clearing on Maasto Hiihto Trails earlier this week. She invites Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club members and friends to help with trail brushing tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 27. Visit Gromit's blog for more photos of her trail adventures (and photos of the Parade of Nations!). (Photo © and courtesy Arlyn and Sandy Aronson)*

HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club will hold a trail brushing party TOMORROW, Saturday, Sept. 27, on Maasto Hiihto/Churning Rapids ski trails. Meet at Tomasi trailhead at 9 a.m. Wear sturdy footwear and gloves, bring water and whatever food you need. Stay as long or as little as you like/can. Tools will be supplied or bring your own.

Please email Jay Green at jbgreen45@charter.net or call 906-487-5411 to let him know you are coming so enough tools will be brought to the trailhead. Questions? Call or email Jay.

* Editor's Note: 
Grant Fenner reports, "Gromit is featured on page RG17 in the November issue of Lake Superior Magazine in the magazine's Lake Superior Recreation section under the heading of "X-Country Skiing for Dogs. There you go, Gromit!"

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fourth Thursday in History: "Creating the Torch Lake Industrial District and Its Environment" TONIGHT in Lake Linden

CALUMET -- It might not seem like it today, but the Torch Lake shoreline between Lake Linden and Mason was once the largest industrial site in the Keweenaw copper district. Enormous powerhouses, stamp mills, and smelters lined the waterfront, and the lake bustled with ships delivering coal and taking copper to market. Processing mined rock, reclaiming copper-rich stamp sands from the lake and from scrap metals, and experimenting with new copper oxide products consumed the attention of the Calumet and Hecla and Quincy mining companies in their later years.

Although many of the buildings, docks, and other outward signs of industry are gone, copper production left a lasting mark on the Torch Lake area. Join Carol MacLennan, anthropology professor at Michigan Tech, as she surveys the history of Torch Lake’s shoreline and explores its environmental consequences.

The presentation will take place at 7 p.m. TONIGHT, Thursday Sept. 25, 2014. It will be held in the Lake Linden-Hubbell High School Auditorium, located at 601 Calumet Avenue in Lake Linden, Michigan. The event is free and open to the public.

The Fourth Thursday in History series arranges public presentations on important aspects of Copper Country and regional history, including techniques for historic preservation. Presentations are scheduled in venues throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula, particularly at historic sites associated with specific topics. They are free and open to the public.

For further information, including specific directions to this event, contact Keweenaw National Historical Park at (906) 337-3168 or check the web at www.nps.gov/kewe.

"Tatu Vuorio: Alchemy" exhibit opens at Finlandia Gallery; reception Sept. 25

Nomad, by Tatu Vuorio. Bronze, mirror and wood, 4 x 16 x 21cm, 2014. (Photos courtesy Finlandia University Gallery)

HANCOCK -- "Tatu Vuorio: Alchemy" is on display at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, through October 18, 2014.

An opening reception at the gallery will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. TONIGHT, Thursday, Sept. 25. Dr. Alexandra Morrison, Michigan Tech visiting assistant professor of philosophy, will present a talk on art and philosophy beginning at 7:15 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In a series of works titled "Alchemy," Finnish artist Tatu Vuorio explores the ideas of existentialism. Small in stature and poetic in nature, Vuorio’s work asks big questions. How should we live each day? How do our actions of today affect tomorrow? How does coincidence drive existence? How does the inevitability of death affect the way we live our life? Vuorio’s lyrical and sensuous work asks us to pause, reflect and question the most meaningful and most undefined qualities of human life.

Drawing from abstract, figurative and conceptual traditions, Vuorio’s work experiments with technique and material, combining painting, sculpture, jewellery and installation.

"As a creative person I have not experienced the need to focus on a particular method," says Vuorio. "I find using a variety of techniques, materials and approaches to address my inspiration creates the most dynamic meaningfulness."

Every cloud has a silver lining, by Tatu Vuorio. Mdf, aluminium,concrete, sterling silver, 4 x 22 x 22, 2014.

"The key thing of making art has been a curiosity and interest in new issues," Vuorio notes.

Using intuition and experimentation, Vuorio explores the theme of human existence, with mythology of the alchemist tradition and philosophy integral to his work.

Vuorio believes that to create something new, an artist must have an understanding of the history of artistic pursuits, including materials and working techniques. It is by experimenting and stretching this historical knowledge, and combining it with the courage to explore, that Vuorio creates work -- work that sometimes even takes him by surprise.

Vuorio received a Master of Arts in Applied Art and Design from Aalto-University of Art and Design and a Bachelor of Design in Applied Art/Jewellery and Object Design from Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Design. He is currently a Jewelry design teacher at IJKK Järvenpää. He has also taught courses in Painting and Sculpture.

His work has been exhibited widely in Finland and he was the Association of Finnish Sculptors "Artist of the Month" in January 2014. 

He has received grants from the City of Espoo, the Arts Council of Finland (2013, 2014) and the Aune and Mauri Riuttu’s foundation, among others.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday noon to 4 p.m. or by appointment.

For more information, call 906-487-7500.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Carnegie Museum to host monthly Keweenaw Natural History Seminars beginning Sept. 30

HOUGHTON -- The Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw (Houghton) will host Monthly Seminars about our local landscape on the third Tuesday of each month beginning Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, through Tuesday, April 14, 2015, in the Community Room, downstairs at the Carnegie Museum. The museum opens at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments and introductions; a lecture and discussion will be from 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Dr. William Rose, Michigan Tech professor emeritus, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences and organizer of these Keweenaw Natural History Seminars, will present the inaugural lecture, "Geoelements of the Keweenaw and Isle Royale," on Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Dr. William Rose talks about Keweenaw geology at a beach near Point Isabelle on Lake Superior during one of his July Geo-tours.* (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

"Isle Royale and the Keweenaw share almost identical geology, but have very different human occupation," Rose says. "Geoheritage is about how geology and earth science guide people's lives. Geoheritage is stronger here than almost all places. In spite of this, it is hard for most residents to describe how this works. For Keweenaw and Isle Royale there are five main elements of geoheritage. They can be described simply by five words:  Lavas, Sandstones, Fault, Glaciers and the big Lake. In this lecture I will describe how these five geoelements affect all of our lives here."

Rose has  developed a website which provides extensive basic documentation on Keweenaw Geoheritage. To reach that website, click here.

"The Keweenaw is very special, and it guides our lives," Rose notes. "The connection we feel is strongly influenced by our natural history, as well as our cultural history. In exploring our region’s natural history, we will ask, 'What are the elements of Keweenaw Natural History?' and 'How can the community discuss, participate and celebrate these elements?'"

Other Seminars in the series this fall include "The (un)natural history of Huron Creek, a working stream on the Keweenaw Peninsula" (Oct. 21) by Dr. Alex Mayer, Michigan Tech professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering; "Lake Superior’s natural history and future" (Nov. 18), with Dr. Sarah Green, Michigan Tech professor, Chemistry; and "Animal Elements of Keweenaw and Isle Royale" (Dec. 16) by Dr. Rolf Peterson, Michigan Tech research professor, School of Forest Resources and  Environmental Science.

Click here to read more about the Carnegie Museum seminar series.

* Editor's Note: Watch for an article on the July 25-26 Jacobsville Sandstone Geo-tour -- coming soon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Finlandia to host 16th annual Sibelius Academy Music Festival

HANCOCK -- The 16th annual Sibelius Academy Music Festival will be presented by Finlandia University from Sunday, Sept. 21, to Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, in Chicago, Hancock, and Calumet.

This year's festival musicians will feature classical pianist, Kristina Annamukhamedova, whose repertoire will feature the works of Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin and Sibelius, and a female a cappella vocal group, Ensemble Norma, whose music straddles folk, pop and jazz.

The festival's western Upper Peninsula series of concerts and events begins at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 23. Norma Ensemble will perform at The Bluffs in Houghton. A free Meet the Musicians event will be presented at 7 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock. The musicians will discuss their lives as musicians, and present informal performances.

A special classical piano concert will be scheduled at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 24, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock.

Also on Wednesday, Sept. 24, a folk dance, led by professional folk dancing instructors,  will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center. Oren Tikkanen and friends will provide the music and Eero and Rosann Angeli will lead the dancing. Admission is $10. Finlandia students attend free. Light refreshments will be provided.

The grand finale festival concert is at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 26, at the Calumet Theatre, Calumet, Mich., with all musicians giving full-length performances.  Tickets are $15; $5 for students; Finlandia students attend free.

For additional details and ticket information, call 906-487-7250 or visit www.finlandia.edu/sibelius.

Mobile food pantry available in Hancock Sept. 18

HANCOCK -- Finlandia University Campus Ministry and Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank are working together to bring a mobile food pantry to Hancock at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18, in the parking lot of Old Main on Finlandia’s campus. It is hoped this will be a regularly occurring opportunity.

"We know there are people in need in our community, and we’re happy to help our neighbors in any way we can," said Soren Schmidt, campus pastor at Finlandia.

The food pantry will be available with no questions asked. Volunteers from throughout the Finlandia University community will be on hand to help distribute food.

There will be 15,000 pounds of food available delivered in a refrigerated truck. The food should serve up to 300 families, and will be available on a first-come first-serve basis.

To volunteer at the mobile food pantry, or to learn more about the event, contact Soren Schmidt at soren.schmidt@finlandia.edu, or 906-487-7239. Tentatively the next planned mobile food pantry will be mid-to-late December.

Portage Library Storytime Schedule begins Sept. 17

HOUGHTON -- Storytime for the school year begins on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at the Portage Lake District Library and will be held every Wednesday and Thursday from 10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Young children are invited to come for stories, craft projects, occasional music, and lots of fun. Pre-registration is not required.

Storytime will also be held on the first and third Saturday of each month from 11 a.m. - 12 noon beginning Sept. 20 and will be presented by the Houghton High School Key Club.

During inclement weather, Storytimes will follow school closings. For Saturday programs, please call the library to check for cancellations.

Children are also encouraged to use the Children’s Listening Center at the library. Music, foreign languages, and stories on CDs are available for use during their visits to the library. Up to four people at a time can use the equipment, including parents who want to help their children learn another language or simply enjoy music or a good book together. Please ask a librarian to help you get started.

All library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit www.pldl.org.

MTU offers computer help for beginners at Portage Library

Students from the Computer Science Department at Michigan Tech are providing free tutoring at the Portage Lake District Library for beginning computer users. These computer help sessions with individual tutors are held every Friday from 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. throughout the academic year except on days when Michigan Tech is not in session.

"Online at the Library: Help for Beginning Computer Users" will show participants how to use the internet to keep in touch with people, share pictures and letters, find information, solve computer problems, and much more. Tutors will help each participant with his or her own particular needs. People may attend as many of the sessions as they wish, and those who have laptops may bring them.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit www.pldl.org.

Calumet Art Center to offer classes beginning September, October

CALUMET -- Calumet Art Center is offering several classes beginning in September and October. Pre-registration and payment are required for all classes. Each class is open for registration until it fills.

Here is the schedule:

Twining Class

Students will create an 18” x 13” twined rug using recycled wool. Twining is an ancient form of weaving which is done on a portable loom. The rug will be completed at the last class session.

Class Dates: Sept. 24, Oct. 1, Oct. 8 and again on Oct. 29, Nov. 5 and 12.  Class Time: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Class Fee: $65. Materials Fee: $20.

Leather Class

Students will make a pouch using soft, tanned deerskin, a Glover’s needle, and various stitches while learning to make the best use of material. Embellish with beads, draw designs with a heated steel rod (similar to wood burning). You may also bring your own materials. If time permits, we will also make a fetish. These pouches can be used to hold many things such as scissors, stones, tobacco or items that are special to you.

Class Dates: Sept. 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18. Class Time: 10 a.m. - Noon. Class Fee: $135.   Materials Fee: $65.  

Fun with Clay Class

This is an intermediate class. Experience the processes of hand building, texturing and the use of terra sigillata.

Class Dates: Sept. 23, 25, 30, Oct. 2, 7, 9. Class Time: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Class Fee: $145. Materials Fee: $40. Firing Fee: $20.

Lampwork Bead Class

Students will be provided detailed instruction about the tools and methods used to manipulate hot glass in the flame of a torch. Through demonstrations and hands-on practice, each student will use age-old techniques to create wound glass beads with a variety of shapes and patterns.

This is a 12 hour class split between two days. There will be an hour for lunch, so plan on bringing a brown bag lunch as well as something to drink. Each student must bring his/her own didymium safety glasses. This class is limited to ten students, and the age group is 16 and up. Register early.

Class Dates: October 25, 26. Class Time: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Class Fee: $135. Materials Fee: $35.

To register call the Calumet Art Center at 906-934-2228. Visit calumetartcenter.com for more information.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Public invited to Community Visioning Meeting for Saving Energy Sept. 17

HOUGHTON -- The Houghton Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) invites the public to attend a Community Visioning Meeting for Saving Energy -- to be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. this Wednesday, Sept. 17, at the Finnish American Center, 435 Quincy St.,  Hancock.

The program will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. In addition to exhibits, the program will include a presentation on Bio-energy in Finland, roundtable discussions and more.

The goal of the meeting is to develop a future energy vision. The meeting will offer the opportunity to discuss broad, community-level strategies to promote energy savings.

Why Come?
1- Our energy costs are among the highest in the nation and we need to work together to figure out ways to save.
2- Houghton County could win a $5 million dollar prize
3- You could win great energy-efficient door prizes!

Please join this team effort and invite your friends! This meeting is free and open to all.

Dianda introduces resolution to support energy generation in U.P.

LANSING -- State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) recently introduced a resolution that encourages legislative support for the construction of new electricity generating facilities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Currently, U.P. residents are paying increasingly large sums to keep the Presque Isle Power Plant (PIPP) -- a coal-fired plant in Marquette -- open and operating. With a capacity of more than 400 megawatts, the PIPP is the region’s largest energy supplier north of Green Bay, Wis.

"The cost of keeping the PIPP operating in our region is above and beyond what our residents can afford, and its closure is imminent," said Dianda. "Without the creation of a new, more efficient power source once the PIPP is shut down, the U.P. will be forced to rely on the construction of transmission lines to import power from Wisconsin. This is an expensive option that will inhibit economic growth, and will likely fail to meet the region’s future demand for capacity."

Dianda’s resolution recommends investment in natural gas, renewable energy and distributed generation, stating that natural gas, solar, wind and small, localized electric facilities are more reliable, and could be more cost-effective than the alternative option of building transmission lines across state borders.

"The creation of new energy facilities in the U.P. will keep our energy costs in check, and spur economic growth in our region by creating a multitude of jobs," Dianda said. "I am hopeful that my fellow legislators will see the importance of this resolution and support the growth of the U.P.’s energy sector. I also hope that Michigan’s energy companies will recognize the opportunity for growth in our region and begin the process of setting up shop in the U.P."

Guest editorial: How to avoid wolf-dog conflicts

By Nancy Warren*

Owning a pet requires responsibility which includes doing everything possible to keep it from harm. Sometimes bad things happen. Forget to close a gate and your pet can escape, become lost or get struck by a car.

So far this year in the Upper Peninsula, wolves have killed eight dogs and injured one. These were not dogs near residences or dogs that escaped yards; they were hounds either hunting or training to hunt bears and other wildlife. Some of the dogs were released at night when wolves hunt. Some dogs wore GPS tracking collars and were one-half mile or more away from the handler.

DNR records show there is little correlation between the total wolf population and attacks on hounds. In 2003, when there were 321 wolves in the U.P., there were 11 attacks on dogs.

Each of the dogs killed or injured in 2014 was released into known wolf pack territories where prior attacks on dogs had occurred. Further, each of these attacks took place during the month of August while wolves were still at rendezvous sites.

Rendezvous sites are the home sites used by wolves after the denning period and after the pups are weaned. These gathering sites are mostly used from mid-June until late September and are often associated with a food source. It is during this time that wolves are most aggressive toward strange wolves and dogs, as the pups are still dependent upon the pack.

As with other wild canids, wolves are territorial and will defend their territories from other wolves, coyotes and dogs. They perceive a pack of dogs yowling and barking through their territory as a threat and will attack other predators that get too close.

Bear baiting, beginning in early August, poses another risk to hunting dogs. Current regulations allow bear hunters and guides to bait with unlimited amounts of meat, meat products, dog food, fish products, cat food and a variety of bakery products including cooked and commercially processed materials, pie fillings and yogurts used in bakery products. Wolves are attracted to these bait piles and research shows they will guard this food source from intruders.

Michigan DNR has posted to its website a list of wolf/dog encounters dating back to 2012, along with the areas where conflicts have occurred.

No one is questioning anyone’s right to use dogs for training or hunting game. But, time and time again, hounders have ignored the warning signs and chose to release their dogs, in known problem areas, placing their dogs at risk. Then, when something bad happens, they cry wolf.

*Editor's Notes:

Nancy Warren, author of this article, is National Wolfwatcher Coalition Great Lakes Regional director. Inset photo of Nancy Warren by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now.

If you are interested in this issue or other local issues involving wildlife, you may wish to attend the Sept. 15 meeting of the Department of Natural Resources’ Western Upper Peninsula Citizens' Advisory Council (CAC) on the campus of Michigan Technological University in Houghton. The meeting will take place in the Memorial Union Building, Room A2.  Beginning at 5:30 p.m. EDT (4:30 p.m. CDT), DNR staff will present division reports on current DNR projects and business and answer questions from council members and the public. The council meeting will immediately follow from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. -7 p.m. CDT). Click here for more details.

Portage Library to host Gluten-Free Recipe Exchange Sept. 15

HOUGHTON -- Regular meetings of the Gluten-Free Recipe Exchange are held on the 3rd Monday of each month, September through May, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Portage Lake District Library. The first meeting for this school year will be held on Monday, Sept. 15. Everyone is invited to participate.

Each month features a different type of food, and September’s meeting will be a smorgasbord of foods in all categories. Participants are welcome to bring their favorite dish, salad, dessert or snack for sampling and are encouraged to share their recipes. Copies of the recipes will be made at the library. Please list all ingredients used in making foods that are shared at these meetings and identify the brand names of the gluten-free ingredients. Bringing food is not a requirement for attendance.

Participants are also encouraged to bring their former favorite recipes that they want help converting to gluten-free. Help will be available.

The Gluten-Free Recipe Exchange is organized by and for those who are interested in or required to follow a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free eating requires the avoidance of all wheat, rye, barley, and oats. Most people find it challenging at first, but are excited to find recipes and foods that are fun and easy to make and tasty to eat. The Gluten-Free Recipe Exchange is an opportunity to share those great recipes and learn from others. Everyone who is interested in learning more about gluten-free eating is encouraged to attend.

This program is free and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit www.pldl.org.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

DNR’s Western Upper Peninsula Citizens' Advisory Council to meet Sept. 15 in Houghton

HOUGHTON -- The Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Western Upper Peninsula Citizens' Advisory Council (CAC) will meet on Monday, Sept. 15, on the campus of Michigan Technological University in Houghton. The meeting will take place in the Memorial Union Building, Room A2.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m. EDT (4:30 p.m. CDT), DNR staff will present division reports on current DNR projects and business and answer questions from council members and the public. The council meeting will immediately follow from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. -7 p.m. CDT).

 Agenda items include:

 ∙ Trail proposal presentation, Houghton Keweenaw County Recreation Authority
 ∙ Update on Wildlife Division habitat improvement projects
 ∙ Deer season forecast
 ∙ Trapping regulations on commercial forest land
 ∙ Subcommittee reports
 ∙ Public comment (for public comment instructions, see www.michigan.gov/upcac)

The Eastern Upper Peninsula and Western Upper Peninsula CACs are designed to advise the DNR on regional programs and policies; identify areas in which the department can be more effective and responsive; and offer insight and guidance from members’ own experiences and constituencies.

The council members represent a wide variety of natural resource and recreation stakeholders and interest groups. Agenda items are set by the council members, and council recommendations are forwarded to the DNR for consideration.

CAC meetings are open to the public. If you would like to be considered as a future CAC member, please fill out the nomination form found on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/upcac. For more information, contact DNR Upper Peninsula Regional Coordinator Stacy Haughey at 906-228-6561.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.